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Open mike 14/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, January 14th, 2015 - 281 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeThe Authors of The Standard are now in holiday mode. Posting will be less regular and dependant on individual author enthusiasm.

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

281 comments on “Open mike 14/01/2015 ”

  1. Paul 1

    Charter school principal facing prison for hitting a student.

    ‘A principal at an Auckland private school has admitted slapping one of his students with the back of his hand and says the incident has torn his family apart.

    The man – who has interim name suppression until he is sentenced – pleaded guilty to one count of common assault at Waitakere District Court.’

    ‘The school at which the incident took place applied to the Ministry of Education to operate as a charter school this year.’

    ‘When asked by NZME. whether he had continued as principal after the assault and planned to stay in the role next year, he refused to answer.’

    ‘The Ministry of Education confirmed the school board had stood down the principal and an acting principal had taken over. The issue had also been reported to the Teachers’ Council.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11386002

    • Gosman 1.1

      This was a private school not a partnership school. Whether or not they have applied to become a partnership school is irrelevant. The man has also been stood down by the school board so this is no different to if a principal acted in such a manner in the public school system.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        You would cover anything.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.2

        God Charter Schools are shit. He has the nerve to think he can continue on as a Charter School Principal next year?

        How low can National push the standards in NZ education.

        • Gosman 1.1.2.2

          You are presupposing that first his school is accepted as a Partnership School and that he will be back as a Principal. Perhaps you should wait till these decisions have happened. In the meantime this is not indicative of any failure beyond those of this individual. If you want we can start listing the failures of teachers in the public school system. Do you think this reflects on the quality of that system?

          • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.2.2.1

            And to think that tax payers are pouring money into his private school, and he is hoping to get even more money from tax payers via National’s Charter School money rort.

            It’s appalling self serving, money seeking behaviour Gossie, and I am surprised that you are running defence for it.

            • Paul 1.1.2.2.1.1

              He’s defending pretty much everything today.
              Even derivatives.
              After 2008.
              That must be a first.

              • Gosman

                That shows a general level of ignorance of what derivatives actually are.

                • Paul

                  Pray explain to us mere mortals gos.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Pah. The bankers will be taking your money, straight out of your bank account, at the next GFC. I hope you will be grateful at your chance to participate in the “bail in” for the billionaires, when it comes around.

                  Its odd that you support socialism for rich bankers who refuse to take personal responsibility for their own misdeeds and bad risks. Surely that’s against your self professed ethos, Gossie?

                  Seems to me its you who are ignorant of the system which has been built.

                  • Gosman

                    I’ve never made a statement in favour of bailing out banks.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      You are in favour of the current financialised economic model including “too big to fail” investment banking, and in fact would like to see more of the same.

                    • Gosman

                      You are making an awful lot of assumptions there considering I have never stated I am in favour of too big to fail banks.

                      Your position seems to be either you want the system changed massively or you are in favour of bailing out banks. That seems rather limiting in my mind.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Have I guessed wrong? I thought you were a big backer of the status quo financialised banking system Gossie but here you are implying that you would support reform of the TBTF banking system in order to prevent a GFC2 and further socialised bailouts?

                    • Gosman

                      Do I think this area needs looking at ? – Sure.

                      Do I think the system needs radical changes ? – Unlikely I would think.

                      Do I think banks should be left to fail if they make bad decisions ? – Of course.

                      The question for you is if you agree with the last point or not.

              • The Murphey

                The gosman of old pretends to understand financial instruments such as derivatives and along with a number of ‘pet topics’ the profile comments on such as Charter Schools which attract attention immediately as per today

                It is not always the same author using the ‘gosman’ account in recent times it have been someone or something else operating it as the writing style was obviously different and much less antagonistic in execution

                Today is much more like the ‘gosman’ of old defending the indefensible and pretending to be a businessman of sorts who understands ‘exotics’ while ‘asking for evidence’ and ‘buying businesses’ yet again

                That the gosman profile along a with a number of others may be operated by humans or ‘bots’ is open to discussion but either way they are simply a distraction which should be gotten rid of

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  good observations

                  • The Murphey

                    That many continue engaging and reacting to the ‘same tired tactics’ the ‘gosman’ account has been recycling does not reflect well on their self control or ability to observe the purpose of ‘gosman’

                    That accounts such as ‘gosman’ are enabled to continue reflects poorly on this blog site by facilitating a lower level of ‘debate’

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      at least some of his points have to be answered, not for those who are already well grounded in real economic vision, but for those who are just learning and picking up clues to enable themselves to break out of mainstream thinking.

                    • Gosman

                      Except you haven’t addressed the issues around derivatives. Any newbie or even someone with a passing knowledge of the topic wouldn’t have a clue what derivatives are based on what most lefties state about them here beyond they must be evil and are the cause of so much suffering.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Derivatives have evolved into extraordinarily complex mechanisms and deployed as financial weapons of mass destruction.

                      Sure you can still get the good old ‘plain vanilla’ derivatives of the 1960s and 1970s, but that’s not what Wall St hired million dollar quants to design.

                    • Gosman

                      Finally you acknowledge the problem is not Derivatives themselves but complex derivatives that make the identification and effective pricing of risk extremely difficult.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      We would get further with these discussions if you chose to get on with the substance rather than a style of conversation predicated on word games.

                    • Gosman

                      I’m not the one who has wrongly defined the problem. I am merely pointing out that people’s lack of understanding might mean their views on the subject may be fundamentally flawed.

                    • McFlock

                      Gos, if an alien were to read your posts, they might think that people are amoral, mildly stupid mercenaries who shill for any evil prick with the money to hire them.

                      Now, one might argue that the alien had “wrongly defined the problem”, but it would seem to be an understandable error given your overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

                • greywarshark

                  @ The Murphey
                  Interesting what you said. I have wondered about the way that RW people pop up and down and it takes a while for new ones to reveal their slimy faces. (And thought – there will be no reason for them to be people at all, as a machine could have some random comments that it makes, changed on a daily or weekly basis. The way that the RW repeat themselves now and drive ruts into old ground we would never know the difference.)

                  And others may have been on short or long ban, but could be part of a tag team set-up. That would be practical co-operation for RW workers stirring for their masters and to protect their privileges.

          • gsays 1.1.2.2.2

            is there room for more to dance on the head of this pin?

  2. Ad 2

    Dairy farms drying up.

    Oil drillers pulling out.

    Sky City deal facing delayed consent, blowouts, and completion.

    Come on John, show us your plan. This one isn’t working.

    • Paul 2.1

      There is no other plan.
      The Canterbury rebuild was also key, but you could hardly call that part of a plan.

      David Fisher’s new article on Sky City.

      ‘Details of the SkyCity international convention centre have been revealed for the first time in the casino company’s resource consent application, including the revelation that its existing convention centre is an integral part of the new facility.’

      ‘The application reveals SkyCity’s existing convention centre, next to the casino, is an integral part of the new project. It said that to meet Government demands, the new centre and the SkyCity Convention Centre “will at times be used concurrently by the same delegates attending a single conference”.

      The application documents reveal SkyCity’s original plan to host conferences of 3500 to 5000 people has been whittled back to hosting conferences attended by 1500 to 3500 people.’

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11386032

      • miravox 2.1.1

        “The application documents reveal SkyCity’s original plan to host conferences of 3500 to 5000 people has been whittled back to hosting conferences attended by 1500 to 3500 people.’”

        So can SkyCity be sued for fraud? or is it just a case of gambling better than their dinner guest when the deal was done?

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          So can SkyCity be sued for fraud?

          You would hope so but, even if they could, would this government actually do so?

          • phillip ure 2.1.1.1.1

            the ‘new’ convention centre you are promised..

            ..when you really aren’t getting a new convention centre..

            ..the gambling-industry parasites – sky-city..in collusion with key/joyce..

            ..have totally scammed us..

            ..i wd hope people will get a bit pissed off at this total rort run on us – by these parasitic-scumbags….

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 2.1.2

        Can someone clarify whether this is right – SkyCity has already got the part of their deal to increase gambling machines, etc but the Key Govt and public are getting screwed with the remaining deal, bad and lousy as it is?

      • Puddleglum 2.1.3

        If that change in capacity for the Sky City convention centre is correct then it will now be in competition with the proposed Christchurch Convention Centre.

        The latter is part of the (in)famous ‘Central City Recovery Plan’ (aka ‘Blueprint’) and was sold to us by claiming that it would complement the larger, planned Sky City centre because it had a capacity less than the Auckland proposal (and larger than the Queenstown centre).

        With Auckland downsizing its capacity the proposed Christchurch ‘Goldilocks’ Convention Centre (‘not too big, not too small’) will be in direct competition with Auckland despite promises to the contrary.

        One scam leveraging off another and now that leverage is without validity.

        Hopeless stuff from the government.

    • tc 2.2

      The plan is working just fine, lower real wages, reduced employee/civil rights, corporates looked after, guilt edged state assets flogged, farmers kept happy, akl screwed over welly next etc etc

      you only have to look at the growing inequality and wealth gap to see all is going fine in nacts plan with DP a bonus achievement thanks to an apathetic public.

      • JanM 2.2.1

        Worse than apathetic – willfully ignorant!

      • Paul 2.2.2

        Yes but what are these Tories going to do once they’ve hocked off the whole country?
        And the country is owned by large transnationals?

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.1

          Their plan would be that they’d be employed by those large trans-nationals in comfy roles that get paid large amounts but doesn’t require them to do any work.

          • Paul 2.2.2.1.1

            And their plan for their children? Grandchildren?
            Which bit of the wasteland will they be leaving for them?

            • Ch-ch Chiquita 2.2.2.1.1.1

              I doubt they think that far ahead.

              • Gosman

                The evidence suggests otherwise.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The evidence suggest that they hope that their children will be bludgers on everyone else but that they’ve done absolutely no thinking on sustainability of the present socio-economic thinking relying on their belief that it will last forever.

        • phillip ure 2.2.2.2

          they will retire to a gated-community here..

          ..or they will get a bolt-hole in hawaii/parts-foreign….

          ..’cos in hawaii they might get to play golf with chief-looter key.

          ..and will be far away from the carnage they created/caused..

          • Paul 2.2.2.2.1

            Yes maybe the top lot, but what of those more traditional Tories?
            What’s their vision of the future?

            • Gosman 2.2.2.2.1.1

              I do so enjoy reading hard core lefties like yourself trying to understand the mindset of people on the other side of the political divide. It shows a serious lack of imagination and knowledge. It is kind of like teenage boys trying to imagine what teenage girls are thinking.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Why speculate when we have your very own words to go by: it’s mostly about giving back double to your enemies, isn’t it?

              • Paul

                Hard core leftie?
                Actually I am not a Maoist.

                Wayne used the terminology yesterday as well.
                Is the new meme fed to you by Lusk/Ede/Slater?

                If you look at the social policies of Muldoon and Holland (both National Party leaders), you would describe them as ‘hard core lefties.’
                I sense Nixon by passing the Clean water Act in the 70s was a raving Greenie as well.

                Any chance you could discuss the issues rather than name call?
                Somewhat juvenile to return to schoolyard taunts.

                • Gosman

                  Yes I would describe Muldoon as a hard core lefty.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Of course, you would. He was a man willing to build serious infrastructure for NZ in order to prepare us for a low carbon economy.

            • phillip ure 2.2.2.2.1.2

              @ paul..i don’t see them all as being the same..

              ..and i wd guess more than a few of them are not environmental-vandals by choice..and are not global-warming ignorant..

              ..and also many traditional national voters are not comfortable with child-poverty..and the like..

              ..after all..it was muldoon/the national party who introduced the domestic purposes benefit..

              ..there used to be a sort of consensus between national/labour that both were working for the ultimate good of nz..the good of all..

              ..that went down the gurgler with rogernomics..

              ..and clark-labour reinforced that government is not for the good of all..in her nine long years of ignoring poverty..both adult and child..

              ..she/labour really embedded that fuck-them! attitude into the body-politic..

              ..and so well prepared the ground for bennett/key..and their escalating war on the poor..

              (and labour election ’14 were no better…they offered the poorest exactly what national did/gives them..namely s.f.a..)

              ..and the latest cementing in of a country of two peoples..comes with the new scheme work and income have introduced for their ‘clients’ who need glasses..

              ..it used to be ‘clients’ cd go to the optometrist..and wd be fitted for what was best with/for them..

              ..work and income wd loan the ‘client’ the money to buy said spectacles..

              ..which the ‘client’ wd then pay back out of their benefit..

              ..now..there is a brilliant new scheme..

              ..whereby a few selected optometrists are the only one who will be approved for such loans..

              ..(why..?..i dunno…!..i have been trying to think of the logical-reasons..and i can’t find any..aside from further fucking over the least powerful..)

              ..and/but here is the rub..!

              ..when the ‘client’ goes to the specified optometrist..

              ..they will find they are second-class customers..

              ..they are unable to have the spectacles everyone else can..

              ..the optometrist will go to a bottom-drawer..and pull out a case with the glasses frames for the poor-people..

              ..and in there you will find the shittiest/cheapest/crappiest/ugliest glasses-frames you an imagine..and not many of them..

              ..and you are told that these are the only frames work and income will approve for client-loans..

              ..frames so bad..that optometrists with any sense of shame..(specsavers of course are excepted)..hide them away from public view..(with specsavers you just get to choose from their two cheapest options..)

              ..these opticians are too ashamed to display/sell these poor-glasses to the general public..

              ..and i am puzzled for just who work and income has done this for..

              ..the optometrists seem distinctly uncomfortable about the whole thing..

              ..the ‘clients are forced into cheap/shitty glasses – further humiliated..

              ..and i really can’t see who benefits from this…as there are no cost-savings for work and income..

              ..(keeping in mind this money is loaned to people who need but can’t afford glasses at that particular time..and this money is guaranteed to be paid back..it is not a gift..)

              ..and the only conclusion i can come to is that this little whizz has been thought up just to fuck over the ‘clients’ even more..

              ..and back to the original question..

              ..i think these rightwing ratbags who currently run national..

              ..wd have those old-school ‘good-for-all’-consensus national party people rolling in their graves..

        • JanM 2.2.2.3

          They know perfectly well that our voting patterns make it unlikely that they will be facing the mess – they will leave that for others to deal with – they will have run into the hills with their spoills

        • Gosman 2.2.2.4

          This shows an ignorance of economics. Capital is not just land or even physical in nature. If I sell a farm returning 4% on my investment and use the released capital to purchase shares in a company such as TradeMe returning 10% I am better off. The country has not lost any capital either.

          • Colonial Rawshark 2.2.2.4.1

            A perfect illustration, Gosman. Your kind have turned “economics” into a financialised game of spreadsheet numbers.

            “Economics” is actually about the real world – peoples lives, the infrastructure that society has to work with, what communities choose to invest in to create the kind of life (and country) that we want, along with the skills and the capabilities which will serve the nation the best.

            The Right Wing has forgotten that.

            • Gosman 2.2.2.4.1.1

              Yet the right wing has been predominant around the world for decades and the left has shrunk back to almost irrelevance.Certainly the more traditional left. Even nations that attempt something approaching the more traditional left wing approach like France or Venezuela either shrink back from their plans or find they get in an awful lot of difficulty.

              • Paul

                ‘Yet the right wing has been predominant around the world for decades.’

                That’s simply because the billionaires have control of power – not because neo-liberal capitalism works.
                Serfdom was predominant in Europe for hundreds of years. That isn’t an argument for it.

                The destruction of human rights and the planet.
                What a legacy for Thatcher, Reagan, Douglas and the other glove puppets of the big banks and corporations. And sadly acolytes who still believe in the failed religion of neo-liberalism.

                http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-consequences-of-globalization-and-neoliberal-policies-what-are-the-alternatives/7973

                • Gosman

                  Except countries that were once supposedly not controlled by the Billionaires have moved towards the right.

                  • Paul

                    It’s called the Overton window.
                    It has been moved by the billionaire backers of governments.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Gossie is sorta daft to believe that huge corporations haven’t been gaining in political strength and ambition since 1950s.

                      And of course his point on “countries” is obsolete too, as he knows full well that these same corporations pushed hard to create a globalised system of capital which de-fanged sovereign governments.

                    • I apologise, but I literally cannot scroll past a reference to the Overton Window without reminding everyone that’s the title of Glenn Beck’s first political thriller.

                    • nadis

                      Funny – please tell me you have read it.

                      I’m gonna have to find it and read it now. I’m sure it will be unintentionally hilarious.

                    • nadis

                      from goodreads user reviews:

                      Recommends it for: conspiracy lovers with less than a fifth grade education.

                      Recommended to Marvin by: Glenn Beck. He looked directly through the TV screen and said “Please buy this”

                      “Top psychologists tell us in Maxim magazine…”

                    • I have not read it, nadis, but I did read the excellent chapter-by-chapter reviews at Shakesville which go into a lot of (mind-boggling) depth. The review for the prologue is here:
                      http://www.shakesville.com/2010/08/overton-window-prologue.html

              • adam

                Well that’s a bit of a desperate argument there Gossy.

                I love it when you dismiss political economy and say you’re the only game in town.

                It should remind everyone on the left – there is no compromise with this lot – they have a pathological hatred for the left as a whole. And an arrogance, to believe they are always right. It is why they will destroy society, and then blame us for their collective short sightedness and poor decisions.

                The right-wing in this country are like the schoolyard bully – they have all the muscle and no brains.

                • Paul

                  They certainly speak like they’re on the school playground.
                  Name calling etc.

                  • Gosman

                    The only people here name calling seem to be the lefties.

                    [RL: There is some truth in that – but so far this particular thread has been free of it. Good to keep it that way.]

                    • adam

                      I’m just pointing out Gossy, you have narrowed the debate to fit your agenda.

                      It’s a common practice by the right – you’re no different. You all do it, and try to be so clever about it – Whaleoil and kiwiblog just look priggishness, when they do it.

                      Don’t get upset when myself and other will these days point out when you move the goalpost to fit your world view. Your poor me response is unbecoming.

                    • Gosman

                      I have no pathological hatred for the left. Certainly my views in this area are far more tolerant than the views expressed here by many about people on the right. If we are to believe some of the people here anyone pushing rather traditional right wing policies (e.g. more private sector control of the economy and greater freedom for trading) they are basically guilty of treason. I would never argue that in relation to the left. Sure you are misguided in your views but I understand you mean well and think the policies work.

                    • framu

                      now your just using the slyhands defence

                      “im so polite and awesome. All you lefties are immature haters for not agreeing with me while i deliberately act like a pain in the ass, move the goal posts relentlessly and act all super duper better than you”

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      (e.g. more private sector control of the economy and greater freedom for trading)

                      Are they actually traditional right-wing policies though? As you say, you would call Muldoon a raving lefty and yet he was fairly radical right-wing for the time.

                      There’s also the simple fact that those policies damage the community while propping up a few well off types so calling people who call for them treasonous seems quite reasonable.

                    • Gosman

                      Muldoon increased the size of the state as a percentage of the economy. No true right winger should be pushing for that.

              • JanM

                And just look at the mess they’ve made!!!

              • bad news for you..gosman..

                ..greece has had enough of austerity-economics..

                ..and is about to vote in a seriously left grouping of socialists/greens etc..

                ..all yr worst nightmares..

                ..’pendulums swing like pendulums do’..

                ..did u never learn that wisdom from roger miller…?

          • RedLogix 2.2.2.4.2

            Nor are all investments the same either Gosman.

            A farm, factory or say engineering company – all produce real wealth. Services like TradeMe improve market efficiency. So far so good.

            But a very large portion of ‘investment’ is really just speculation in capital gains, or bets in the derivatives casino. Much of which is parasitical on the physical economy.

            • Gosman 2.2.2.4.2.1

              Derivatives are a broad range of financial instruments. At their core though they are essentially forms of insurance. Do you not think insurance is beneficial?

              • RedLogix

                I am not saying that insurance has no value. But at each level of abstraction away from the physical economy – towards the purely financialised economy less real benefit accrues to ordinary people and more to tiny elites in privileged positions.

                What we now have is an economy where producing physical goods and services necessary for human life is rewarded quite poorly, while the highly inter-mediated abstracted parts of the economy are rewarded very, very nicely thank you.

                Or in short – the money-changers have taken over the temple again.

                • Gosman

                  That ignores the fact that the Temple was designed to encourage 5 he money lenders.

                  I’m not going to deny that people in the finance area get almost insane amounts of money. However the people that provide them the means to do so are generally pretty wealthy themselves. If these people didn’t think they were getting value for money then they shouldn’t use the financial institutions to invest their surplus capital.

                  • Paul

                    I think you’ll find most religions are fairly consistent on usury.

                  • RedLogix

                    You are describing self-bootstrapping concentration of wealth perfectly. This is the fatal flaw of unmoderated capitalism, the rich just keep on getting richer far faster than any real value they are adding to the economy.

                    That ignores the fact that the Temple was designed to encourage 5 he money lenders.

                    Well yes. The designers of the Temple understood that the money-changers served a modest and useful purpose in the wider scheme. (As I accept that insurance serves a purpose too.)

                    What they never anticipated was that they would take the place over.

                    • Gosman

                      No, the Temple (or at least the last manifestation of it) was created by Herod for political and economic reasons mainly. The Religious aspect was almost subsidiary. The Judean kingdom received huge amounts of religious tourists to the Temple site every year (hence why Jesus was there around Passover. The Temple mount was designed to accomodate the crowds and also to provide avenues for them to spend their money and thus increase the wealth of the Kingdom.

                    • RedLogix

                      The Religious aspect was almost subsidiary.

                      Yes and to draw this analogy to a close – it’s why Christ threw them out. They had indeed made the Temple a vile parody of it’s real purpose.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Hey Gossie, why you would back a state of affairs which leaves 2/3 of your fellow Kiwis struggling and most of the remaining 1/3 just barely getting along, I’ll never know.

                      BTW your idea that derivatives are just like insurance – for fucks sake you must think us stupid. It’s just like insurance you can take out on someone else’s property, then make money from organising arsonists to burn it down.

                      Oh very smart Gossie.

                    • Gosman

                      Do you understand what a Futures contract is C.V.

              • tricledrown

                Gossy you have lost that argument so many times yet you continue telling the lie hoping one day someone will believe you!
                Charleton’s are in charge again,the republicans have contrlol of Congress upper&lower houses and the first thing these greedy comen do is unravel the Dodds Frank legislation!
                Ponzi schemes (Derivates)are back again the Cause of the GFC!

                • Gosman

                  At least C.V. is beginning to understand the issue. You on the other hand are still taking an overly simplistic approach.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Oh fuck off you condescending prick. You don’t get to set the standard of debate around here, by a country mile.

              • tricledrown

                So Goosy who picks up the bill when the futures have trade ad infinitum!
                Its your Socialist governments the to big to fail banks ie Merrill Lynch $38 dollars printed for every $1 on deposit!
                had to be bailed out twice by the taxpayer $65 billion +Another $14 billion.
                Socialism for the rich.
                While the predatory loan sharks on the bottom(feeders)collected their commissions no losses to them.
                Main street families have been tossed out of their speculative bubble house but not one charleton conman has been charged. Yet!

            • nadis 2.2.2.4.2.2

              Just to quibble slightly, the problem is not derivatives. The problem is (almost always) either inappropriate levels of leverage or lack of adequate risk controls.

              Minor point I know, but to anyone even slightly au fait with capital markets, blaming “derivatives” is usually an indication that the blamer doesn’t really understand how financial markets work. Blame greed, excess risk taking, too much leverage, lack of risk controls etc, but blaming derivatives is like blaming the car for an accident when the driver runs a red light.

              There is nothing inherently wrong with derivatives, in fact without them real economic producers and consumers would be forced to take unwanted risk.

              • RedLogix

                Yes I understand your point. Like insurance, derivatives originally started out serving a useful, if modest purpose.

                Just like bankers serve a useful purpose as the trusted bookkeepers in the credit based money system everyone uses for our day to day transactions.

                But when the finance sectors rise to become 20, 30 or even 50% of GDP – that is a symptom of excess concentration of wealth. Of a sector that is taking more out of the real economy than it is adding to it.

                It’s like an engineering company paying it’s junior draftsmen a hundred times more than it’s senior process designers. Both serve a role, but the relative reward imbalance is not sustainable for the business in the long run.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Remember these banksters are not in it for the “long run”, and certainly they have no care for how their actions affect society in the “long run” as they think that their wealth can insulate them from adverse effects like commodity price volatility and the destruction of the currencies (and economies) of far-away countries.

                • nadis

                  Where do you get “20, 30 or even 50% of GDP” for the financial sector contribution to GDP? Currently in the USA, “Finance and Insurance” makes up 6.9% of GDP.

                  ?

                  To save you some google time:

                  http://www.bea.gov/iTable/iTable.cfm?ReqID=51&step=1#reqid=51&step=51&isuri=1&5114=a&5102=15

                  • RedLogix

                    Yes my mistake. IIRC the reference I was thinking of was not percentage of GDP but of total corporate profits.

                    • nadis

                      Even that’s a long way out. Total corporate profits before taxfor all services and industries are 2.2 trillion – on an economy of 17.6 trillion that makes 12.5% for all services and industries in the US.

                      Finance and insurance profits pre tax make up 16% of total corporate profits.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Another yardstick. Total US debt is US$60T, which is 3.5x USA GDP.

                      More than 2/3 of that is private sector debt (household and business debt).

                      To my mind this debt represents the size of the US financial sector more than a GDP measurement.

                    • RedLogix

                      This link suggests a number around 33%

                      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/30/financial-profits-percentage_n_841716.html

                      Just prior to the GFC it was around 50% in the UK. Memory only.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      To my mind this debt represents the size of the US financial sector more than a GDP measurement.

                      Yes, that is a very good point.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    IIRC, Steve Keen has done a model that shows that when the banking sector gets above 2 to 3 % of GDP an economic collapse is inevitable. Personally, I think even 2% is about three to four times bigger than it should be.

              • tricledrown

                Futures trading has been around since the Egyptian pyrimids (ironically ie schemes).
                Today they have become infinitely more complex.
                So who insures the Futures trader,then who insures the the insurer etc etc!
                you will find that the end of this trail leads to the caymen islands and many other corrupt tax dodging countries where corrupt despots drug cartels etc hide their money!
                then lend it back to countries that need bailing out because of corrupt ponzi schemes purrveyed by the Goldman Sachs Merrill Lynch mob!

                • Gosman

                  Futures contracts are pretty simple and low risk financial instruments. It is more the options and the swaps which cause problems. The fact you aren’t aware of this is indicative of your general level of knowledge on the wider topic.

                  • tricledrown

                    So who insures the futures traders Gos!

                    • Gosman

                      When you mean insures what do you mean?

                      Buying or selling a futures contract is a form of insurance in it’s own right.

                      Holding a position in a futures market which might leave you vulnerable to major losses can be dealt with in a multitude of ways. Normally most major financial institutions close off positions daily rather than going long.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Gossie you’re ignoring that the majority of derivative contracts open today are purely speculative plays amongst financiers and have nothing to do with insuring sweet fuck all.

                    • Paul

                      He knows all that
                      Just being a contrarian for the sake of it and hoping some are naive enough to believe his bs

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Why are they insured at all? Surely the fact that they can lose everything is the risk that they chose to take. Insurance of that actually removes the risk and puts the loss on others who, most likely, didn’t ask to take the risk at all.

                    • Gosman

                      They would only take the risk if they agreed to buy an instrument. So they do agree to take on the risk.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      And yet when it all fell down it was the taxpayers who bailed them out without having a say in doing so, ergo, they didn’t agree to take on the risk.

                  • tricledrown

                    I agree with you on basic commodity future trade s but now their are markets for future trades themselves!
                    so to make money someone has to loose money!

                  • tricledrown

                    Sort of like unemployment insurance health insurance!
                    No its a gamble a dollar each way on the price going up or down speculation.
                    Dressed up by the market as Financial intruments insurance derivitives.
                    A tax on businesses like socialism to protect their future but no guarantee’s

              • Gosman

                Agree completely.

          • scotty 2.2.2.4.3

            What have you invested all your ‘released capital’ in Gosman — assuming you are living in rented accommodation .
            You are renting – aren’t you Gosman.

            • Gosman 2.2.2.4.3.1

              I’m looking to invest in a new business opportunity very shortly. Why do you ask?

              • The Murphey

                Q. Still here Gosman ?

                Q. Why ?

                Today your writing style is more alike that of last years ‘gosman’

                It’s rather straightforward to tell when there is someone else operating the ‘gos bot’

              • scotty

                Oh – you know – lots of RW types just love to minimise the value of ownership – piously banging on about rate of return -being of the paramount importance.
                Yet wouldn’t dream of not owning their own home.
                You do rent – don’t you Gosman?

                • nadis

                  If I lived in Invercargill or Wanganui I would probably rent. If I live in the greater auckland area or christchurch I’d probably own.

                • Gosman

                  Yes I rent. Why does that make a difference?

                  • gossie has gault-dreams..

                    ..and little else…

                    • Gosman

                      What is your point and how it is relevant to the discussion between Scotty and myself?

                    • that’s true..isn’t it..?..(call it a reality-check..on yr bullshit..)

                      ..@ this stage..u have gault-dreams..and little more..eh..?

                      ..basically u r rattling an empty-can..eh..?

                      ..cd we call u a wannabe-exploiter..?

                      ..not quite there yet..?

                    • Paul

                      Let’s keep it civil here, please Phil.
                      Debate the actual issues.

                    • @ paul..come now..!

                      asking a rightwinger if he has gault-dreams is somehow out of order..?

                      ..since when..?

                      ..and that is ‘the issue’..

                      ..the fuck-everyone-else! ideology most of them believe/follow..

                      ..they use that to justify all the shitty things they do to people..

                      ..how can it not be ‘the issue’..?

                      ..and this is the general debate thread..

                      ..there is no dedicated ‘issue/subject’..

                      ..@ the bottom of the thread i am going to reveal my just-discovered jehovahs’witness deterrent..

                      ..the subject can be whatever..and can veer any which way anyone chooses..?

                      ..surely…?

                    • Gosman

                      So you think pointless abuse is a legitimate use of this thread then do you?

                    • much more of that passive-aggressive bullshit will earn u some pointed-abuse..

                      ..and interesting u think mentioning yr philosophical-underpinnings is ‘abuse..

                      ..u r a rand-ite..aren’t u..?

                      ..i’m not mistaken there..?..am i..?

                      ..or do you renounce ayn rand..

                      ..and all her vile prescriptions..?

                      ..(i think the answer to that trio of questions is ‘a’..eh..?..)

                      ..enough of yr wordgames around ‘trickledown’..

                      ..let’s discuss that underlying philosophy..

                      ..eh..?

                      [lprent: And the difference between your pointed abuse as exemplified in this ‘abuse’ comment and theirs is? Stop being such a passive-aggressive dickhead about our policies (they are there for a reason) or I will start demonstrating my interpretations of it on you. Pointed abuse is not only permitted, it is encouraged to stop people avoiding answering valid criticism. Going off and trying to push the bounds of the policy just invites me into the discussion – something that I suggest that you don’t really want ]

                    • r.u serious..?.lprent..?

                      ..cd u plse clarify how is inquiring about his underlying randian-philosophy..is ‘abuse’..?

                      and cd i refer u to a previous comment to paul..

                      “..@ paul..come now..!

                      asking a rightwinger if he has gault-dreams is somehow out of order..?

                      ..since when..?

                      ..and that is ‘the issue’..

                      ..the fuck-everyone-else! ideology most of them believe/follow..

                      ..they use that to justify all the shitty things they do to people..

                      ..how can it not be ‘the issue’..?

                      ..and this is the general debate thread..

                      ..there is no dedicated ‘issue/subject’..

                      ..@ the bottom of the thread i am going to reveal my just-discovered jehovahs’witness deterrent..

                      ..the subject can be whatever..and can veer any which way anyone chooses..?

                      ..surely…?..”

                      ..has this policy for the general debate changed..?

                      ..have i somehow got the above wrong..?

                      ..(and as an aside..gosman is ‘playing’ this thread..

                      .u can’t see that..?

                      .and u r patting him on the head..

                      ..and snarling at me..?

                      ..whoar..!

                      ..and there was me thinking how civilised debate here had been since the departure of allan and p.g..

                      ..but hey..!..if u put no value on my contributions to this forum..

                      ..and want me gone..see me as a ‘problem..

                      ..u just say so..

                      ..and i will bow out..

                      ..it is yr place after all..

          • Molly 2.2.2.4.4

            This shows an ignorance of value. Value is not just financial or even economic in nature. If I sell the resources and assets that we collectively own, and use the short-term largesse to invest in more polluting or non-sustainable industries, even if they have a higher financial return, I am losing value. The country as a whole loses value when a lot of individuals think in such simplistic terms as you, especially when some of them are in charge.

            • Gosman 2.2.2.4.4.1

              Is TradeMe more polluting than a typical Dairy farm?

              • RedBaronCV

                Hey Gos If capital is so great and markets work so perfectly then why are bankers and their ilk conspiring to fix LIBOR and other rates so that they can make a profit??

                • Paul

                  He has yet to explain 2008…

                  • nadis

                    Easy.

                    Cost of capital too cheap. Insufficient regulation on banks. Bad incentives. Flawed risk management around housing loans as an industry standard.

                    Next.

                  • Gosman

                    Classic asset bubble bursting followed by a liquidity crisis in the credit markets as a result of the misspricing of risk making some major financial institutions techincally insolvent .

                    • McFlock

                      and if economics were anything more than entrails-reading, it would have been consistently identified well in advance and prevented. Rather than you spouting off after the fact.

                • Gosman

                  Who ever stated markets work perfectly?

                  I believe they were doing so as to basically guarantee a good return on investments. This is no different to Unions trying to enforce closed shop arrangements on work places. That doesn’t mean Unions or the Finance sector are inherently evil.

              • Truth Will Out

                @Gosman

                I have spent most of the last 8 years driving around New Zealand from town to town, living in hotels 48 weeks of the year, from Auckland to Invercargill, doing a cyclical loop of every town in this country at least 3 times a year, visiting clients in person to cement relationships with them, in the process of building a $130 million p/a turnover company, which started with nothing but an idea 9 years ago.

                I can safely tell you beyond any doubt that Trade Me has changed the way we do business in this country.

                Now, my clients in Invercargill regularly sell their products to customers in the North Island, and vice versa.

                Bricks and mortar are no longer so relevant.

                The single biggest effect Trade Me has had on the market in New Zealand, is that it has increased/improved consumer confidence about buying online, exponentially.

                It has changed the way we do business.

                But it has come at a great cost.

                In those 8 years, I noticed more and more and more rural and provincial towns dying, shops being closed and boarded up.

                Retail and other businesses in rural and provincial towns are dying.

                Why?

                Because just as the Warehouse has had a similar effect in terms of hammering the retail sector in New Zealand, Trade Me is also a race to the bottom, where the majority of people are only focused on price and not value.

                You could argue that this is all occurring in an evolutionary context, and you would be right.

                But at what cost to the fabric of society while such seismic transitions are occurring?

                It is the willingness to remain open minded about the needs of those who are rendered vulnerable by these processes that fundamentally encapsulates the differences in mindsets and worldviews between left wing and right wing thinkers.

                Left wingers think about what happens to the people in the process of determining whether the financial outcomes are/were worth it.

                Right wingers only care about the financial outcomes, no matter what happens to the people.

                Your entire approach assumes that profit takes care of everything.

                You use examples like Venezuela to reinforce your points, but in the process you either deliberately or unwittingly fail to recognise vital aspects of the Venezuelan case, such as decades of US sanctions and interference, both secretive and open.

                The problem I have with most right wing thinkers, is that everything is profoundly simple when it suits them, and then incredibly complex when it doesn’t.

                It is intellectually dishonest to suggest that wealth automatically generates opportunities or equal opportunities in society when it consistently ends up in the hands of very few people.

                The trickle down effect is a lie and only an idiot would suggest otherwise.

                • tricledrown

                  Here here Truth wins Out!

                • Gosman

                  Your view is not new and has been expressed throughout history. People argued the same about the impact of the Railways, Factories, Motor cars, Supermarkets, Computers, etc etc. It can be summed up with the phrase ” Stop the World. I want to get off.”

                  As for the trickle down effect. I have yet to see anyone on the right argue for this. Certainly it isn’t a theory I subscribe to. It is essentially a strawman argument designed and used by lefties to make themselves feel superior.

                  • @ gos..

                    “..As for the trickle down effect. I have yet to see anyone on the right argue for this..”

                    ..i wd like to nominate that one for the shortlist for whopper-of-the-day..

                    • RedLogix

                      Well actually Gosman has a point. It always was more of a political term than an actual economic theory.

                      But there is no question that it was implicit in the justifications for the neo-liberal revolution of the 80’s and is closely related to very frequently quoted ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ idea.

                      When the evidence is that it mostly lifts luxury yachts.

                    • Skinny

                      Phil that whopper was such a Gross statement I laughed, not as much as Gorman did while he plucked that one out of his arse.

                    • @ r.l..

                      ..i seem to remember it being argued by the right,..

                      ..and of course it has now been proven to be such a pile of horse-shit..

                      ..that righties get laughed at if they try that on..

                      ..that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t..if they weren’t guaranteed to be laughed out of the room..

                      ..and i am sure there are records somewhere showing roger douglas uttering those ‘trickle-down’-words/that fake-promise..

                      (tho’ i am sure the recognition of ‘trickle-down’ being a metaphor for being pissed-on surfaced soon after douglas/whoever tried it out/on for the first time..)

                      ..but you can bet the craven.useless media of.from that time..

                      ..parroted ‘trickle-down’ without any questioning..

                      ..and their behaviour/intelligence has not changed that much..since then..

                      ..has it..?

                      ..the last election-campaign being a telling reminder of just how fucken ego-driven/useless most of them are..

                      ..we’re looking @ u..!..’paddy’..

                    • Crashcart

                      Actually when I was doing Economics in high school back in the early 90’s we were given classes in how trickle down worked and they even used equations to estimate the increased value of every dollar insertaed at the top through the whole economy.

                      The whole claim that no one truely believed in trickle down on the right is false and a blatant attempt to rewrite history so that people can now distance themselves from a failed ideology. All the while continuing to impliment policies like coporate and high income tax cuts that are only ever justified by this trickle down policy they don’t subscribe too.

                    • Gosman

                      Provide me evidence of someone on the right who uses the Trickle down effect as a justification for their policies.

                    • Gosman

                      Only defined by people on the left. I haven’t seen too many people on the right using the principles of the trickle down effect to promote policies.

                    • read the comment just above yr two..from crashcart..

                      ..and repeating a lie over and over again..

                      ..does not make it any less a ‘lie’..

                      ..or are you just ‘disrupting’..?

                    • McFlock

                      Provide me evidence of someone on the right who uses the Trickle down effect as a justification for their policies.

                      Everyone see the slide? We’re asked to identify any tories dumb enough to use the phrase “trickle down” now, rather than when these policies were being presented in the 1980s/90s. The phrase is so discredited that even gos disowns it, preferring instead to advocate for a system that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer – because if the rain doesn’t trickle down, it stays up the top…

                    • Gosman

                      Even someone from the 1980’s or 1980’s would suffice Mcflock.

                    • McFlock

                      How about David Stockman, Reagan’s budget director?

                  • Truth Will Out

                    @Gosman

                    Your response is infantile and deliberately reductive in both logic and reasoning.

                    Your view and the view of people who think like you, if allowed to prevail, will ensure that human history has a definite end date.

                    • nadis

                      Crashcart – I suspect that wasn’t “trickle down” you recalled, but the multiplier effect.

                      The implementation problem with increasing taxes for the very wealthy is that the optimum point on the Laffer curve is impossible to identify and indeed keeps moving as you increase the rate. Once you start increasing the highest marginal rate your optimum point actually moves lower than where you thought because of avoidance. Those increased taxes are usually too easy to avoid due to complexity in the tax system, tax authorities who lack sufficient expertise, and different jurisdictions who allow arbitrage between them.

                      France is a great recent example- they are quietly not renewing their 75% super tax which raised way less than expected over the 2 years it was in force for. High earners tended to do one of several things – delayed bonuses to 2015, moved to Belgium and commuted to Paris, or worked less.

                      Its not orthodox here at the standard, but the best thing for lower paid workers would be a high tax free threshold – say 30k, a flat tax after that, and a higher consumption tax. A while since I played with the numbers but you can get a sense of the problem from this:

                      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/budget/2013/taxpayers/02.htm

                      and this

                      http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/revenue/estimatesrevenueeffects/estimates

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Oh god someone referring to the “Laffer Curve” as if its a real thing. It’s not. It’s utterly make believe. Like all the other “curves” taught in neoclassical economics.

                      Put another more pragmatic way – if rich people truly thought that they would have to pay less taxes overall when tax rates went up – they would be all for it, not all against it.

                    • Gosman

                      You fundamentally misunderstand what the Laffer curve represents C.V.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      The laffer curve is a piece of some economist’s fevered imaginings, utterly devoid of foundational evidence or real life empirical test.

                      Again, if rich people were really going to pay less tax when tax rates were moved upwards, they would be completely for it not against it.

                    • tricledrown

                      Gosman Prebble and Douglas have used such analogies but not these words!
                      It would expose the reality of economic failures of Neo Liberalism.
                      The propaganda now purveyed is wealth creators leave the wealth creators alone,one such robber Barron recently compared criticising tax cuts for the rich as crystal nicht!
                      Yet at the same time he had voted for Gerry Brown Californian Govenor who increased his taxes!

                      spin of baffling with BS
                      Gosman

                  • tricledrown

                    Gosman shifty as ever!
                    Tricledown is a description of the failings of unbridled capitalism.
                    In economic history when ever we have had Robber Barrons in charge of govts Capitalism fails to deliver !
                    The Ruling Class Bully Bribe and Bullshit to maintain power and priviledge!
                    Goose you are one of their Tools.
                    The Bullying Bu……. one!

                    • JanM

                      I’ve always thought that the ‘trickledown’ story was one of the cons to persuade the turkeys to vote for an early christmas

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    People argued the same about the impact of the Railways, Factories, Motor cars, Supermarkets, Computers, etc etc. It can be summed up with the phrase ” Stop the World. I want to get off.”

                    Bullshit. Address the realities on the ground.

                    Mate, to be clear, you’re arguing for changes which are decimating regional NZ, offshoring jobs and capabilities and leaving our country more reliant than ever on distant oil fueled foreign supply chains.

                    That’s a pretty silly thing to do.

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    The right have finally stopped talking about trickle down because it’s obvious even to blind fools that it doesn’t work. Now that they are more powerful, they talk about how the rich deserve their success, and how anything else is envy. So yeah, it was a lie that’s no longer needed and no longer used.

                • @ t.w.o…

                  ..+ 1..

                • RedLogix

                  is also a race to the bottom, where the majority of people are only focused on price and not value.

                  Or what the Victorian anti-slavery campaigners called “the sin of cheapness”.

                  Value measured in money terms alone – is the greatest poverty of all.

              • Molly

                Have you invested ALL your capital in TradeMe?

                And do you really care if it is, if it has higher returns than your now abandoned dairy farm?

                • Truth Will Out

                  Arguing over semantics such as whether right wing people openly use the myth of the trickle down effect to distract people is simply an attempt to distract from the core issue(s) at stake in the debate between the relative merits (or not) of right wing vs left wing thinking.

                  Regardless of whether notable right wing people openly use the argument of the trickle down effect to reinforce their position or not, the fact remains that money is the only thing in life that flows uphill, and it invariably ends up being largely controlled by very few people.

                  The social distortions this creates in terms of not simply the disproportionate distribution of wealth, but also the wildly disproportionate distribution of *opportunities* are blatantly obvious to everyone with at least half a brain cell.

                  If you want or need one of the most glaring examples of this in recent NZ history, look no further than the Minister of Social Development, Paula Bennett.

                  Arguably, she should be called the Minister of Social Engineering, a strategy John Key accused Helen Clark of employing during the leaders debates in the run up to the 2008 election.

                  Just like her leader, rarely have there been more glaring examples of pulling the ladder up behind them, than in the case of Paula Bennett and John Key.

                  Denying successive generations *access to the same opportunities they enjoyed at the expense of the state* now that they are in a position of privilege and power.

                  They can hardly cite budgetary restraints as their reason(s) when all we need are examples like the Sky City deal to prove how wasteful Key is with public money.

                  Or the fact that his next door neighbour was allowed to make $105 million profit out of buying and selling just one asset from the South Canterbury Finance receivers, while Key convinced taxpayers this was all a necessary evil.

                  When broken down, the excuses for not allowing or providing others access to at least *equal opportunities for advancement* which are consistently trotted out by the wealthy and their right wing mouthpieces, invariably dilute down to two words.

                  Selfishness & greed.

                  “Trickle down effect” is the term used to describe the natural void which occurs between the actions of wealthy and privileged and the consequences of those actions, in the minds of the vast majority of fair minded and reasonable people.

                  It is what *should* happen – but doesn’t.

                  Instead, we end up with this circular argument with idiots like Gosman, who duck and dive for cover whenever they invariably run out of corners to hide in, trying to pretend that such a basic aspect of human nature, typically known as “a sense of fairness”, is not just as powerful and compelling in the human psyche as the product of human conditioning and fear, commonly known as selfishness and greed.

                • Gosman

                  Why would the Dairy farm be deserted? If you sold it I presume someone will be doing something with it.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Yeah, the same people (or, at least, the same number of people) who are working it now. This is an important point because it means that no more resources are made available through the sale which is completely contradictory to what you (and every other RWNJ) have been saying about selling stuff.

                    Physical reality trumps your delusion.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.4.5

            Money isn’t capital. Even economists don’t it such. Instead they call it financial capital to differential it from physical capital. But even in that they’re wrong as money should be called what it is – a tool.

            If I sell a farm returning 4% on my investment and use the released capital to purchase shares in a company such as TradeMe returning 10% I am better off.

            What you would be is a bigger bludger.

    • tricledrown 2.3

      Coal and Gold mining collapsing!

  3. Colonial Rawshark 3

    Timeline of France pouring arms and funds into Syrian rebel fighters

    Commented on this in yesterday’s OM. Understanding now that the Kouachi brothers had recently come back from fighting/training in Syria.

    And that France had been a supporter of pushing money and arms to “moderate” Muslim groups in Syria who had been fighting Assad. (And appears to have been tacitly OK’ing their own citizens to join that fight against Assad).

    Open mike 13/01/2015

    Also thanks to Chooky for pointing out this great piece by Fisk on how the Kouachi brothers attack links back to France’s bloody colonial history in Algeria.

    Open mike 13/01/2015

    • Te Reo Putake 3.1

      Just one of the brothers went overseas, CV, as I understand it. And that was to Yemen.

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1

        I went by this:

        Cherif Kouachi, 32, and Said Kouachi, 34, were French citizens known to the country’s security services, according to officials. One spent time in jail for ties to terrorism, and was in Syria as recently as this summer, according to a French source. The other went to Yemen for training, officials say.

        A French source close to the French security services told CNN that investigators are looking at evidence that suggests Cherif Kouachi traveled to Syria and returned to France in August 2014.

        http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/08/europe/paris-charlie-hebdo-shooting-suspects/

        I guess things will become clearer over time. Russia’s Lavrov also said that one of the brothers had been to Syria.

        Al Jazeera said both brothers have had weapons training in Yemen

        Both brothers who carried out the attack against satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo last week travelled to Yemen via Oman in 2011 and had weapons training in the deserts of Marib, an al Qaeda stronghold, two senior Yemeni sources said on Sunday.

        http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/1/11/kouachi-france.html

  4. Molly 4

    I missed AsleepWhileWalking’s comment late December on Spain’s new laws regarding protestors, and went looking for it on Google.

    Found it, along with a couple of other items of interest.

    Along with the austerity and authority issues, it seems that many abandoned rural villages (over 2000) are now up for sale.

    Disheartening to see the wholesale loss of established communities and families promoted as investment opportunities. Most of which will end up as tourist or holiday homes which allow you to feel part of the rural beauty of the place (without any of those actual rural Spanish around).

    Especially disappointing in a country with such successful collective initiatives such as Mondragon and Marinaleda.

  5. aerobubble 5

    Arbitrary rule making. Worst form docking wages for drive offs.
    How about bags in shops? Saw a sign in a shop, no racksacks, yet
    a number of women had huge handbags hanging off their shoulders.
    Got me wondering is it sexist to target the bagging choice of men?
    Or the bagging solution of cyclists and tourists?
    I heard that cyclists, and walk in traffic, go into shops more since
    they need to return more, why would retailers want to turn off
    consumers. And then there’s the obvious, that a customer who
    arrives in a car, gets a rack sack out and enters the store, making
    the security team job much easier!

  6. tracey 6

    NZ’s biggest insurance company dodging the rules… again.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/64930979/iag-pulled-up-by-rbnz-for-reinsurance-breach

    ” Giant insurer IAG New Zealand has been pulled up by the Reserve Bank for putting in place catastrophe reinsurance that fell $220 million short of its licence requirements.

    But IAG, which owns the State, AMI and NZI brands, sought to minimise the breach, saying it had agreed to “satisfy the regulator”, and that at no time had it in place too little reinsurance cover should a disaster have struck. ”

    and then

    ” In late December IAG admitted it had made a mistake in estimating its total claims costs as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes, and raised its estimate by up to $1 billion. ”

    Think for a moment what owning

    State
    AMI
    NZI

    actually means in terms of market share.

    “The bailout of failed Christchurch insurer AMI will cost the taxpayer more than double the amount estimated in March after the sale of the company’s assets and brand to Australian insurance giant IAG”
    Nov 2012
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7994187/AMI-bailout-cost-doubles

    A neat and readable overview of the AMI collapse and need for the bailout. under reinsurance for a start… sound familiar?

    http://thechristchurchfiasco.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/understanding-what-happened-to-ami/

    • Morrissey 7.1

      Bob Dylan is—was—a great musician, superb lyricist and a clever guy. Pity he was, and is, so intellectually lazy…..

      http://www.chomsky.info/letters/199406–.htm

      • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1

        Wow, that’s devastating, Moz. A twenty year old recollection of a fifty year old interview. Yep, you and Chomsky have really nailed Zimmerman good.

        • Morrissey 7.1.1.1

          It was all Chomsky, my friend. All Chomsky.

          I’d love nothing more than to be able to point out something intelligent that Dylan has said about politics, but so far I can find nothing to lift him above the dire level of the likes of Jared Leto, Kevin Spacey or Bruce Springsteen.

          • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1.1.1

            You’re clearly not trying very hard, Moz. That’s rather intellectually lazy of you.

            • Morrissey 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I’ll try harder, Te Reo. Tomorrow I start parsing “Blood on the Tracks” for hidden profundities.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Still his most coherent album. I’m told ‘Buckets of Rain’ sounds wonky because Dylan was in a foul mood and refused to let the session muzo’s tune their guitars before the recording. If you’re looking for profundity, bear in mind his marriage had just broken up and most of the songs are vignettes or fantasies about their relationship. Bob wasn’t in a good place.

          • fender 7.1.1.1.2

            It’s worth remembering this took place during a time when Dylan was doing his best to shake off the “voice of a generation” etc. labels he was being pigeon-holed with. He didn’t want to be used by people to front their agenda and was keen to shock people with bizarre behaviour.

            There could be some intelligence in these lyrics from 1989, “Political World”:

            We live in a political world
            Love don’t have any place
            We’re living in times
            Where men commit crimes
            And crime don’t have any face.

            We live in a political world
            Icicles hanging down
            Wedding bells ring
            And angels sing
            Clouds cover up the ground.

            We live in a political world
            Wisdom is thrown in jail
            It rots in a cell
            Is misguided as hell
            Leaving no one to pick up a trail.

            We live in a political world
            Where mercy walks the plank
            Life is in mirrors
            Death disappears
            Up the steps into the nearest bank.

            We live in a political world
            Where courage is a thing of the past
            Houses are haunted
            Children unwanted
            The next day could be your last.

            We live in a political world
            The one we can see and feel
            But there’s no one to check
            It’s all a stacked deck
            We all know for sure that it’s real.

            We live in a political world
            In the cities of lonesome fear
            Little by little
            You turn in the middle
            But you’re never sure why you’re here.

            We live in a political world
            Under the microscope
            You can travel anywhere
            And hang yourself there
            You always got more than enough rope.

            We live in a political world
            Turning and trashing about
            As soon as you’re awake
            You’re trained to take
            What looks like the easy way out.

            We live in a political world
            Where peace is not welcome at all
            It’s turned away from the door
            To wonder some more
            Or put up against the wall.

            We live in a political world
            Everything is hers and his
            Climb into the frame
            And shout God’s name
            But you’re never sure what it is.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2

          You should probably read the letter again so as to get your times straight and then perhaps you might be able to provide a reasonable critique of it.

          • Te Reo Putake 7.1.1.2.1

            1966/7 and 1994. And your point is?

            • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.2.1.1

              Re-read it again as you’re still missing it.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Yeah, nice diversion. You’re usually a bit more on to it, Draco, but no worries.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Just the other day I was sitting in a radio studio waiting for a satellite arrangement abroad to be set up. The engineers were putting together interviews with Bob Dylan from about 1966-7 or so (judging by the references), and I was listening (I’d never heard him talk before — if you can call that talking).

                  So a few days before he wrote that piece in 1994, he listened to the recordings of “Bob Dylan from about 1966-7”.

                  So, not a twenty year old recollection but a few days.

                  All I can gather from what you’ve written is that you didn’t even read the piece and are thus talking out your arse.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    1994 is twenty years ago, Draco. Nice try, no cigar.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      This is what you said:

                      A twenty year old recollection of a fifty year old interview.

                      It’s not a 20 year old recollection but a few days. The article itself was written 20 years ago.

                      Basically, you’re wrong and refuse to admit that.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      You’re almost there, Draco. Clue: it’s a 20 year old recollection. As I said. 1994, twenty years ago. Is it the heat? Is that what’s causing you the problem?

                    • Morrissey

                      Nice try, no cigar.

                      Did somebody say “Bill Clinton”?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      I feel sorry for Bill. All he did was suggest to Monica Lewinski that he’d like to blow his sax. It was all a big misunderstanding. Or so he told Hillary.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Clue: it’s a 20 year old recollection.

                      No, it’s not a 20 year old recollection at all. Here, I’ll even help you with the meaning of the word recollection:

                      the act of remembering something or the ability to remember something

                      It’s a 20 year old article recalling events that happened a few days before the article was written, i.e, the recollection was only a few days.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Yep, it’s a twenty year old recollection as you say. It’s a recollection from 1994. 20 years ago. Glad you finally agree. Words are fun, aren’t they?

      • The lost sheep 7.1.2

        Bob Dylan is not intellectual enough for you Morrissey?

        Funniest post of the year so far mate.

        Er, Unless you really don’t understand the difference between art and intellect?

  7. Paul 8

    People whose kids play golf with billionaires cannot claim to be ordinary nuzealanders.
    So why do so many sheep believe that line?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11386325

    • I think you’ll find the sheep don’t care Paul – but if you are trying to insult the citizens then the sheep joke is very overworn thus your insult is ineffectual.

    • Murray Rawshark 8.2

      The Herald calling the picture a hoax makes me think it could be real. Max’s father has his picture taken with all sorts of scum. Why wouldn’t Max?

  8. Paul 9

    Great cartoon by Emmerson.
    ‘A little hypocrisy.’

    “The targeting of journalists going about their daily work is an attack on the Fourth Estate and the democratic principles of freedom of speech and expression, which must be strongly condemned.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11385991

  9. i have just discovered a brilliant (expletive-free) deterrent to use on jehovahs’ witnesses/any religion-hawkers..

    ..they made the soft-approach on me..praising my swarming monarch butterflies..

    ..i gave them a short speech on why they shouldn’t mow their lawns..

    ..then they hit me with ‘read this pamphlet..to understand love for god’s creations’..

    ..i then said to them:..’how can you claim to respect gods’ creations..

    ..when you kill them..cut them up..and eat them..when you don’t need to..?..

    ..and it is done for the most base of desires..?”

    ..that had them saying ‘have a nice day’ over their shoulders..

    ..as they wheeled in unison – and headed for the gate..

    ..(it worked a treat..)

    • Morrissey 10.1

      Does that trick work with Mormons?

    • Karen 10.2

      Your post reminded me of my grandfather, who was mowing the lawns when a couple of Mormans arrived. He offered to let one try to convert him (my grandfather was an atheist) if the other finished mowing the lawns. They left.

      I also had a friend whose father would pull a sheet over his head and go to the door saying “I am Jehovah, and I never asked you to witness me.”

      • phillip ure 10.2.1

        heh..!

        ..to both of them..

      • Clemgeopin 10.2.2

        JOKE:

        Two men knocked on John’s door yesterday afternoon.

        They asked if he would consider becoming a Jehovah’s witness.

        He said, “Sorry, can’t help you, I didn’t see the accident!”
        ———–

        AND ANOTHER ONE I JUST READ ON THE INTERNET:

        Hughzy 607 points 1 year ago

        I also have a story that is similar in a way but also different, So there was a knock at my door and I answer it, turns out to be Jehovah’s witness’s they proceed to ask me questions and I answer back since I had just learnt about it in school. After about 10 minutes of talking they said that they had to get some leaflets from their car that they had parked a bit up the street, I agreed and bid them fair well, knowing that they would return i told my older brother to tell them that I had died not so long ago in a car crash (I know its no joke) anyway they come knocking at the door and my brother this time answers it. They asked if I was home their actual words ” Hello, sorry but we just talked with your brother and would like to ask him a few more questions.” To which he replied “What?? What are you talking about my brother died 3 months ago in a car crash …. Why would you ask something like that” At this time he had managed to start sniffling and welling up. They looked at each other and turned pale, apologized and left.

        Well lets just say every time I see Jehovah’s witness’s walking down my street doesn’t matter who they are they always miss our house now.

        [–]JOWERGE 34 points 1 year ago

        I am a former JW, and I guarantee you they won’t be returning. If anything you strengthened their faith by proving the existence of spirits. JW’s don’t believe in ghosts, since they don’t believe in souls. But they do believe in demons. The JW’s that ran from your door that day most likely told their friends their “demon encounter” and those friends most likely told theirs. Thus another real life account of the existence of demons is born.

        I’m sad to say nothing fun like this every happened to me. Best thing I ever had happen was someone in an apartment complex started blairing “Jesus Christ Super Star” as we started knocking on their door. They kept it going till we left the building. At the time I thought it was pretty hilarious. I hated people answering the door as much as they did.

        [–]Hughzy 11 points 1 year ago

        Well if it helped in anyway at the time I was thought to be Anemic and very pale, and also I kept making references to how things might have looked in the afterlife, so after they found out that i had “Died in a Car crash” they may have just believed it a little bit more.
        ——————-

    • Clemgeopin 10.3

      A mate of mine, a very naughty guy and a practical joker, told me some years ago that a pair of visiting Jehovah witnesses scurried away in haste from his front door when he confronted them in his bathrobe, flashed his wet body at them and told them to F-off!

      I always thought a better punch line would have been to say, ‘witness this!’

  10. Morrissey 11

    “Je suis Der Stürmer”?
    by Norman G. Finkelstein, January 13, 2015

    The Nazi publication Der Stürmer, edited by Julius Streicher, was notorious for its obscene anti-Semitic caricatures.

    Imagine if a pair of Jewish brothers, distraught at the death and destruction that had befallen the Jewish people, barged into the newspaper’s offices and murdered members of its staff.

    Would we hold up as martyrs and heroes those who chose to mock the deeply held beliefs of a suffering and despised people; to degrade, demean, insult and humiliate Jews in their hour of trial, when the world they had known was disintegrating around them?

    Imagine if a million Berliners turned out to mourn the political pornographers.

    Would we applaud this display of solidarity?

    Streicher was sentenced to death in the Nuremberg Trial.

    It is not reported that many in the enlightened West shed tears.

    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2015/01/13/ich-bin-der-sturmer/
    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Streicher.html

    • miravox 11.1

      A poor comparison.

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_Streicher

      Streicher was a full-on member of the hate machine and his reporting methods more dirty politics than political commentary.

      • Morrissey 11.1.1

        You obviously haven’t read much of Charlie Hebdo.

        Glenn Greenwald, on the other hand, has….
        https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/09/solidarity-charlie-hebdo-cartoons/

        • phillip ure 11.1.1.1

          @ morrissey..

          ..and on this..greenwald is wrong..

          “..Some of the cartoons published by Charlie Hebdo were not just offensive but bigoted, such as the one mocking the African sex slaves of Boko Haram as welfare queens

          . Others went far beyond maligning violence by extremists acting in the name of Islam – or even merely depicting Mohammed with degrading imagery and instead contained a stream of mockery toward Muslims generally –

          – who in France are not remotely powerful but are largely a marginalized and targeted immigrant population.

          But no matter..”

          yes..it does matter..

          ..this is a minority being targeted..and greenwald says..’no matter’..

          ..that is all swept away as immaterial..with the right of these racists to ‘freedom of (hate)-speech’ over-ruling all..?

          ..i say..w.t.f..!

          ..and am calling bullshit..

          • Te Reo Putake 11.1.1.1.1

            Phil, re: the Boko Haram cartoon. It was taking the piss out of racists. ie. it was shining a light on the kind of tools who think like that. A bit PoMo, I know, but they were not actually saying that they thought the abducted women would be claiming child benefits, but that there are righty tossers who would actually think that way.

            A fair bit of the nature of the CH satire gets lost in translation, so it’s not a surprise that it’s not always clear what they are doing from our perspective. But if you recall the scene in the Office where Brent asks an Asian employee to do his Ali G impersonation, that piece doesn’t make the writer, Ricky Gervais, a racist. It’s having a laugh, and making a point, at the ignorance of others.

            Edit: An article on that cartoon that explains it quite well: http://www.vox.com/2015/1/12/7518349/charlie-hebdo-racist

            • phillip ure 11.1.1.1.1.1

              in greenwalds’ own words..

              “..contained a stream of mockery toward Muslims generally –..”

              ..i can’t get past that..that is preaching hate..

              ..against a weak/powerless minority..in that culture..

              ..it is a form of bullying of the weak..

              ..with intellectuals posturing all around it..saying it is of ‘no matter’..

              • Te Reo Putake

                Mockery isn’t hate. For example, I mock you regularly, but I don’t hate you.

                • i’ve said it before..i find it hard to ‘hate’..

                  ..it is such an investment of time/energy..

                  ..who the fuck can be bothered..?

                  ..i prefer to laugh at opponents..

                  ..and to unpack their bullshit..

                  ..i can get angry at what they do/believe..

                  ..but ‘hating’ them is a step too far..

                  ..i mean..i monstered that northshoredoc last nite in that med-pot thread..

                  but if i met him..i wd smile and shake his hand..i wouldn’t sulk/snarl from a corner..

                  ..but that rag was peddling ‘hate’..racist-hate..

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Well, no, it wasn’t peddling hate, generally or race hate specifically. You won’t find a single example to back up that claim. That’s kind of the point of the paper. They sided with the oppressed and took the piss out of the oppressor. And religion is oppressive. Any religion, mostly. It’s fine if you don’t get it, after all you’re not a native french speaker, let alone someone familiar with their comic traditions*. But there isn’t much point claiming they were racist when there is no evidence of it and an issue every week for 40 years proving the opposite.

                    Which is not to say they weren’t beyong criticism. But the criticism really should be based on their actual failings, where they occurred, not on a simplistic, context free misreading of one or two cartoons.

                    *Readers, please insert your own joke about Phil’s comical difficulties with English here.

                    • financially they were about to go down the gurgler..

                      ..in part because of falling sales largely credited to their constant stream of crude anti-muslin cartoons..

                      ..previous readers who supported the ethos of satirical-cartooning..(as do i..done well it is brilliant/cannot be surpassed in the ability to skewer a politician/idea..)..

                      ..those readers had been turned off..

                      ..which is why the sales had fallen/the rag was going down the gurgler..

                      (i have archived 19 pieces i think worthy of reading on this..

                      http://whoar.co.nz/?s=charlie

                      i think you just have to look at the history here of depicting chinese..(in particular..in cartoons..

                      ..to feel discomfort at the similarly crude/racist depictions of muslims..

                      ..and as were the chinese..mocked/attacked just because they are muslim..

                      ..that is not clever/intelligent in any way..

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “..in part because of falling sales largely credited to their constant stream of crude anti-muslin cartoons..”

                      “.those readers had been turned off..

                      ..which is why the sales had fallen/the rag was going down the gurgler..”

                      Yeah, you’re bullshitting just a bit there, Phil. Well, just a lot, actually.

                    • i don’t make shit up..

                      ..the evidence is in the links..

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Great. You’ll be able to back up your (bogus) claim by pointing out which of the links specifically say the things you reckon they do. The actual cause of the mag’s financial problem was that they were losing ground to their rival Le Canard Enchaîné, much like Private Eye saw off Punch magazine twenty years ago.

                      Edit: Quelle Horreur! Number of links in Phil’s Big List ‘o’ Links that back up his bullshit claim about the reasons for CH’s financial difficulties? Zero. Guess you were just bullshitting after all, Phil.

                    • trp..

                      ..their financial woes..and the reasons for them..

                      ..are general knowledge..

                      ..do try to keep up..!..eh..?

        • miravox 11.1.1.2

          A great article.

          One can defend free speech without having to publish, let alone embrace, the offensive ideas being targeted

          In terms of whether these cartoons have legitimacy – personally I would prefer not to have ‘equal opportunity’ to demean people. I’d prefer it wasn’t done at all. I do however agree that the application of the principle to offend powerful interests should be across the board. I have no sympathy with the targeting of ordinary people who are subject to those who misuse power and symbols or power.

          • phillip ure 11.1.1.2.1

            “.. the principle to offend powerful interests..”

            ..yes..all well and good..in theory..

            but that hasn’t been done here..this is serial hate-cartoons against a weak/already maligned sector of society..

            ..how is that in any way cocking a snoot @ ‘powerful interests’..?

            • miravox 11.1.1.2.1.1

              How can you not see that I’m not defending what Charlie Hebdo produce?

              I don’t think Charlie Hebdo should have the right to mock people under the thumb of their leaders. But offending the powerful? On this blog we all do it and I reserve the right to mock Key and Co for what they do. I don’t want or reserve the right to mock the lives of the people who are affected by what Key and Co do. Yes, where to draw the line between legitimate dissent and bullying is not always clearly defined.

              I think it’s quite telling that the cartoonists weren’t murdered because they produce hate cartoons against the weak and already maligned standing about on street corners in Paris. They were murdered because they pissed off people with power – even if the actual deed was done by the marginalised.

              The powerful don’t care if the weak/already maligned are mocked or offended.

              • i don’t see them as ‘pissing off people with power’..as such..

                ..as maligning a core religious-belief of a large group of people..

                ..most of whom in france..are an oppressed minority..with the stratospheric levels of youth unemployment..

                ..and even if you vehemently oppose what they believe in..

                ..you must concede they have the freedom of belief..

                ..to follow that religion..

                ..and i wd submit they also have the freedom/right to not be subjected to/protected from hate-shite like this..

                • miravox

                  “and i wd submit they also have the freedom/right to not be subjected to/protected from hate-shite like this..”

                  I would definitely prefer people weren’t subjected to cartoons that offended them without good reason. Where does protection from offence begin and end? This is the question I’m struggling with.

                  Would you say religious followers have the right to be protected from vile cartoons depicting paedophile priests? slave-owning protestants (a core belief in a god-given right to have dominion over all… you get the picture)? zionists killing in the name of their god?

                  As for the last example – media in the Western world already struggles to freely express legitimate outrage and give offence to Israel about actions towards Palestine because of hate speech protection and active, co-ordinated protest.

                  I don’t think they have the right to be protected from criticism about the powerful abusers who act in the name, of from their position in, religious order. Because they use religion to subjugate, that religion becomes part of the criticism. This why I err on the side of Charlie Hebdo’s right to offend even though I find the cartoons seriously distasteful. They may also be racist, I’m not French and I am aware that nuance and context can be lost in translation. Claims of racism have to be judged separately, imo, and not tied to the right to offend the powerful. It remains that the cartoonists were not killed because they may have been racist.

                  I don’t know how well I’m expressing myself, but however cartoonists and other artists or writers portray the immorality of the leaders and symbols of Islam, or any other religion, it should no be a killing offence.

                  • “..Where does protection from offence begin and end? ..”

                    ..that is the question..and the answer is difficult/nuanced..

                    ..and not as simple/straightforward ‘free-speech-rules!’ as some seem to think..

                    ..and of course offending-cartoons are not ‘a killing offence’…

                • i don’t see them as ‘pissing off people with power’..as such..

                  ..as maligning a core religious-belief of a large group of people..

                  You don’t think religious leaders are “people with power?” And also – good. Irrational, superstitious people who believe made-up stuff should have the piss taken out of them by the rational. They’ve earned it.

                  • a fervent ‘athiest’ r u..?

                    ..i find them as annoying/irrational/single-minded as the blindest adherents of whatever..

                    ..’cos..basically..nobody knows nuthin’…

                    ..and anyone who claims to ‘know the answers’..

                    ..is just blowing smoke..

                    • It’s “atheist,” and there isn’t a “fervent” way of not believing stuff there’s no evidence for.

                    • “..and there isn’t a “fervent” way of not believing stuff there’s no evidence for..”

                      oh yes there is…haven’t you ever heard those trying to ‘prove’ atheism..?

                      ..they can be just as tiresome as any other true-believer..

                      ..’hello..i’m from the atheist-witnesses..can i give you this pamphlet..?..that will show you what we ‘believe’ in..’

                    • People who imagine they can prove a negative would themselves be irrational, should they actually exist. Also, I note you were just taking the piss out of them…

                    • “..should they actually exist..”

                      are you seriously denying the existence of athiest ‘true-believers’..?

                      ..who preach..?

                      whoar..!..

                      ..and there is a core of seriousness behind the piss-take..

      • Murray Rawshark 11.1.2

        After Streicher’s taunts, synagogues and Jews were attacked all over Germany. At the moment Arabs and mosques are being attacked all over the world. A mosque in São Paulo had “Je suis Charlie” grafittied on its wall. I am not convinced that Charlie Hebdo had not become part of a hate machine as well.

        This article gives some food for thought:

        http://posthypnotic.randomstatic.net/charliehebdo/Charlie_Hebdo_article%2011.htm

        • miravox 11.1.2.1

          I’ve no respect for Charlie Hebdo’s ‘work’ and would never (strong word) buy, read or encourage the imagery they create. I just don’t accept the likening the Charlie Hebdo productions with the the situation in 1930s Germany. I used ‘hate machine’ as a euphemism for the politics of the time. I agree there are many versions of hate machines.

          I expect people to be able to protest and throw criticism back at Charlie Hebdo for what they produce (if they can’t – that’s definitely a descent into fascism) – to similarly be able themselves to produce caricatures of people and symbols of power without fear and march in the streets. I don’t think these rights were extended to the people who were depicted in the Streicher productions where the political machine was very much involved in the production of his publications.

          I expect that the State does not encourage or financially or otherwise support Charlie Hebdo, nor are there restrictions on those who want to voice disapproval. That’s the only point I’m making.

        • Psycho Milt 11.1.2.2

          A mosque in São Paulo had “Je suis Charlie” grafittied on its wall.

          The horror, the horror! It’s just like the Nazis!

          • Murray Rawshark 11.1.2.2.1

            No it’s not. I’d ask you to stop being an idiot, but I doubt if you’d know how, but you could stop reading posts you don’t understand.

  11. Morrissey 12

    Pictures speak louder than words

    In any large public protest, there is always a small, violent minority who wish to hijack it for their own twisted ends….

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1421050745.html

  12. idlegus 13

    “There is no self-respecting way for me to identify with these objects that I sometimes see, just as there is no self-respecting way for me to hear the still-in-use French word for ghostwriter—nègre (literally an unacknowledged, unpaid laborer: a nigger)—without flinching; and there is no self-respecting way for me to gaze on that hideous Charlie Hebdo cartoon depicting France’s first black Justice Minister, Christiane Taubira, as a monkey.”

    https://nplusonemag.com/online-only/online-only/equal-in-paris/

  13. Clemgeopin 14

    From the linked article:

    “Calling people out makes a difference.

    One in five Australian women and one in 20 men have experienced sexual assault after the age of 15. One in three women and one in six men experienced it before. Of offences against both sexes, 93 per cent of perpetrators are male.

    The Australian Institute of Family Studies has complied research on women’s experiences of sexual and street harassment. It found they are “highly prevalent” and “common” experiences for women, yet are not taken seriously as harm and are often seen as welcome behaviour.

    It said all forms of sexual violence are interconnected and all underpinned by the same social attitudes.

    The normalisation and acceptance of relatively “minor” forms of sexual harassment contributes towards a broader culture that facilitates and excuses sexual assault and rape.

    So, in other words, minimising and laughing at gropes on public transport makes some men feel it’s okay to sexually assault a woman when they feel “horny”.

    Most interesting, the research found that men with a proclivity to perpetrate sexual violence were no more likely to harass women than other men when living in a society that rejects the behaviour.

    This is great news: Standing up and speaking out against sexual harassment and violence in all forms can work to stop it.

    It empowers victims to have a voice, supports them in the aftermath and tells perpetrators their behaviour is unacceptable.

    Challenging rape jokes might not be popular at parties. I know I find it hard. But not to would be to allow a culture that says sexual assault isn’t that bad.

    It would be a disservice to the 18-year-old girls out there too fearful to speak up as I once was.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/life/64933245/i-was-groped-on-the-tram–and-fought-back

  14. fran o’sullivan seems to ‘get it’ about our reliance on chinese dairy market..

    ..and how that industry is in the beginning of its’ ‘e.u-moment’..

    (..that deep/dark day that we stopped being the food-basket for britain..)

    ..’cos eu regs prevented/stopped that little gravy-train..

    “..The White Gold Rush may well be over as far as China is concerned..”

    ..o’sullivan is optiistic new markets will be found..

    ..but the funny thing is..she is pointing to areas/regions that are ramping up their own milk-production..as our salvation..

    ..given that those countries have already been fingered as the source of the upcoming five-yr glut in the dairy-market…quite how that works..i am unsure..)

    (..and she has clearly not heard of the impending arrival of the ‘green’ milk substitute..that tastes/bakes/works the same as cow-milk..but doesn’t need chilling to survive..and is much cheaper/greener to produce..)

    ..once she takes all that on board..she should get really glum..

    • tinfoilhat 15.1

      Hi Phil

      What is this green milk substitute you mention – I haven’t heard of anything new ?

      Do you mean soy ?

      • phillip ure 15.1.1

        hi..

        not from soy..

        ..it is the dairy industries’ ‘uber’..

        (here is a primer..)

        http://whoar.co.nz/?s=muufri

        • tinfoilhat 15.1.1.1

          Thanks for that… looks few years away from being on the shelves anywhere in the world and price may be a bit of an issue according to the inventors.

          Very interesting though.

          • phillip ure 15.1.1.1.1

            i think a launch for later this yr/early ’16 was mooted..

            ..and it has one of the american food distribution behemoths right behind it..

            ..and a global launch is planned..(it is no way underfunded..)

            ..as the size of the market is huge..

            ..nz earned about $18 billion last yr from dairy..

            ..imagine the size of the global-market..?

            ..whoever ‘ubers’ that..strikes gold..

            ..(and of course..an aspect of this that will become increasingly important..is the small environmental-footprint this stuff has..

            ..esp. when compared/contrasted with our cow-model..

            ..and dairy is currently exempted from paying their environmental-bills..

            ..how much longer do you think the rest of the world will tolerate that..?

            ..and imagine what the ‘real’ environmental-cost of the cow-model will be..

            ..and how much that will hike up the retail price..

            ..whoar..!

            ..cow-model dairy from here on in..is an uphill-battle..

            ..and if i were a dairy-investor..i wd be heading for the hills..

            ..(who should i invoice for this heads-up!/warning..?..don’t people earn large amounts of dosh for seeing these changes coming..before others do..?..)

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      ..o’sullivan is optiistic new markets will be found..

      ..but the funny thing is..she is pointing to areas/regions that are ramping up their own milk-production..as our salvation..

      Many people don’t realise that we can’t export ourselves to wealth. In fact, the only thing that exporting does is make us poorer as we reduce the physical resources that we have.

      • tricledrown 15.2.1

        So true DTB Easter Island like!
        Many cultures get wiped out by using up all their resources with the left over byproduct poisoning their ecosystem.
        Just like fermentation where yeast eat all the sugar excreting alcohol which kills the yeast!
        Right Wingers are to addicted to the Idea we are not in a closed ecosystem!

  15. greywarshark 16

    The Pink Postman on the Key post said where have our egalitarian ideals gone?

    And I thought I’d put what I was thinking by on Open Mike. The change has come after the free market and loss of jobs from world competition. Now we have no job to take pride in and those with ones may not be paid well, so can’t take pride and those who are paid well don’t recognise their luck and understand how we have demeaned jobs and people.

    Slavoj Zizek comented wryly on how with high technology work of physical type is supposed not be needed, is downgraded. Yet in Firenze in Italy, highly civilised and gracious, there recently was uncovered the fact that they had 15,000 Chinese workers slaving away. So work is needed, it is a meme to say it isn’t, and an excuse to downgrade it and the people who do it. If anyone wants the link for Zizek ask and I’ll look for it.

    @ the Pink Postman
    I was thinking this morning on your question. And the human trend that we are possibly following. It’s frequently the case that parents will build a business gradually and when successfully running, will make way for their children who run it down or out. I think that is what we New Zealanders did.

    Too much complacency and the easy credit and array of shiny new stuff from overseas, cheaper than we can make it, have satisfied us and made us feel we are progressing. But we lost the jobs where we would have made that stuff we are now buying cheaper and of lower quality.

    We can never compete with economics and the nil cost of a run that is already paid off, and the profit, up to 100%, that can be made squeezing more product out at the end of a run after the main customer has been supplied. Then they sell to us and other alternative world markets at low price yet great profit as all the set-up costs have been met. This ruins our own economy, but the stuff is shiny with bows on it and who cares?

  16. greywarshark 17

    I thought I’;d check out latest Alex cartoon from The Telegraph. This was under it amongst a fe3w seclect ads. Is it for any of you? Apply now. Ironic surely.

    EU Sales Director
    Vitae Selection
    £180,000 + 30% OTE + Fully Exp Car + 26 Days Holiday + Private Healthcare + Pension Scheme + LTIPS

  17. Shane Le Brun (dickhead) 18

    I am new to blogging, have my first post over at __http://yournz.org.linkwhoredom/ Let me know what you think!

    [lprent: A gentle warning and to let you know what I think.

    Don’t link whore posts – read our policy.

    If you want to bring it to peoples attention here, then you need to encourage them to click through. That means writing something here that says what you are writing about and why it is relevant to this audience. In fact enough to allow them to make a decision *not* to click through if they think from your excerpt that it is trash.

    Otherwise if a see any sign of an anonymous comeon, I will happily ban you from being able to write comments here. To discourage future arsehole bahviour I often add the astroturfed offending site to those that aren’t able to added into a comment.

    I’d suggest that as a new blogger, you learn some manners. Read site policies. ]

    • Sacha 18.1

      …phil ure is going to looove you…

      • Shane Le Brun 18.1.1

        Politically neutral……. I haven’t
        heard much praise for Phil Ure …………. did you read it sacha? what do you think?

    • Chooky 18.2

      @ Shane le Brun…interesting, well written …and I agree cannabis should be available medicinally …and I am open to it being decriminalized …like alcohol for those over 18yrs ( but with a lot of education of young people into the pros and cons…and in some cases serious downsides to education and mental health)

      …I can say this because personally i dont take it…alcohol is my choice….but it would seem to have a lot of merit for use medicinally eg as pain relief and anti- nausia…..and for some it suits them better than alcohol for socialising and recreational use

    • Te Reo Putake 18.3

      Competent start, Shane, but wtf are you doing wasting your time over at YawnNZ? If Pete was a drug, he’d be mandrax.

      • Shane Le Brun 18.3.1

        I emailed The Standard, no response……. happy to reblog here too,

      • Murray Rawshark 18.3.2

        Placebo mandrax, or homeopathic cocaine. Nothing that would cause an elevated heart rate.

        • Te Reo Putake 18.3.2.1

          Indeed! I was thinking more of the drooling hypnotic downer aspect of mandrax. As Petey says, he doesn’t “have a fixed view on any outcome”. Far out, maaan.

      • phillip ure 18.3.3

        @ trp..

        nah..!..not so much mandrax…more mogodon…

        (those who know the differences..will find it funny..)

    • Shane Le Brun 18.4

      lprent… duly noted, I do apologize, could you please remove the text? and perhaps respond to my email about me guest posting on here? I aim for 1 post a week…..

      • Te Reo Putake 18.4.1

        Many are called, few are chosen …

        • Clemgeopin 18.4.1.1

          ‘Dr Jesus, I presume?’

            • Clemgeopin 18.4.1.1.1.1

              That is so funny!

              Here is a joke for you : Why Ella May Choose him!

              This is a story about a popular young Baptist preacher, who on Sunday morning announces to the congregation that he will not renew his contract and is moving on to a larger congregation that will pay him more. There is a hush. No one wants him to leave. Bubba, who owns several car dealerships, stands up and announces, “If the preacher stays, I’ll provide him with a new sedan every year, and his lovely wife with a minivan, to transport their children!”The congregation sighs, and applauds. Billy Bob, the entrepreneur and investor, stands and says, “If the preacher stays, I’ll double his salary, and establish a foundation to guarantee the college education of his children!!” More sighs and applause. Ms. Ella May, age 70, stands and announces, “If the preacher stays, I’ll give him SEX!!” There is a hush. The preacher, blushing, asks, “Ms. Ella May, whatever possessed you to say that?” Ms. Ella May answers, “I just asked my husband how we could help, and He said …. F**k him!

              • Murray Rawshark

                Westboro Baptist?

              • greywarshark

                @ clemgeopin
                That’s a nonconformist joke!

                • Clemgeopin

                  I liked the joke, conformist or not!

                  Here are some silly conformist jokes:

                  [1] Two elephants are in a tub. One turns to the other and says, “Could you pass the soap?”
                  The other replies, “No Soap, Radio!” …Get it?

                  [2] Kids in elementary school would ask “your a virrrrginnnn aren’t you?” not knowing what a virgin was and the way they asked, made it sound terrible so of course the correct response was “noooo!!!!”

                  [3] A grasshopper walks into a bar.
                  The bartender turns to the grasshopper and says, “Hey, we have a drink named after you.”
                  The grasshopper says, “Really? You have a drink named Murray?”

                  [4] A guy puts a couple of muffins on the counter for breakfast. One turns to the other and says, “I don’t think we’re gonna make it.” The other muffin says, “Holy shit, a talking muffin!”

                  [5] MONTY PYTHON : The World’s funniest joke!

                  • greywarshark

                    Good muffins. Plenty of rising there. We’ll have to bake some fresh ones each day. Just a wee snack change from masticating the usual sour matter on hand.

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