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Open mike 16/10/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 16th, 2010 - 61 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

61 comments on “Open mike 16/10/2010”

  1. ZeeBop 1

    Supplying the 10% wealth! How the right hijacked capitalism for the fewest.

    The dogma continues, economies are to produce a very select kind of wealth
    according to the mainstream media profits for the wealthy.

    Sustainable economies don’t have huge excesses for wealthy people gamble
    with. Shrinking economies certainly don’t. Yet as we move to a sustainable
    economy we’d have to shrink the gambling of elites.

    People make markets, and when peoples needs and desires are unmet
    opportunties to grow markets is un-met. Peoples wants can be
    delivered sustainable without much if any profit for the wealthy,
    the wealthy need to add value to sustainable systems if they
    want to stay wealth in the new economy.

    So how is that feedimg the rich more wealth working out? As
    our world economy goes from crisis to crisis? As elites demand
    their wealth be protected, the government oblige by cannibalizing the
    people even more. Turnabout, march in opposite direction already!

    But wait, if only governments stopped protecting existing wealth, and only
    started protecting FUTURE new wealth. Leave old wealth to look
    after itself, it was new once and demanded no less of the old wealth it
    displaced!

    The economy is for the peoples needs and wants.

  2. just saying 2

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/arts/4239839/Artist-paints-noble-picture-of-dole

    One for Bill if he’s out there today (and not at the Labour Party conference 😀 )!!

    An important debate, and this guy’s gonna be taking a lot of shit for raising it unapologetically. Courageous!

    At least there are some alternative, potential memes penetrating MSM. Gets the ideas into the public discourse, even the media’s aim is in covering them is to to incite outrage and derision. Seems better to me than never being heard at all.

    • BLiP 2.1

      “We should never be forced to take a job. If you’re forced to take a job it’s a punishment. If a job’s a punishment then society must be a prison.”

      Brilliant line. And true.

    • Bill 2.2

      My hat’s off to the guy.

    • Lats 2.3

      As a work of art it is an interesting concept. As a social/political strategy it is appalling in my opinion. If you hate your job by all means leave it, but do your utmost to find alternate employment beforehand. I can’t support anyone who endorses voluntarily leaving employment just because they don’t like it much, most people I speak to find something about their work unpleasant but they stick with it because they have responsibilities and bills to pay. The country doesn’t have so much money that we can afford to pay benefits to people just because they don’t like their jobs. Social welfare ought to be a backup for those who suffer from unfortunate circumstances. There is a definite shortage of jobs at the moment, and people shouldn’t be penalised for not being able to find work, but similarly we ought not reward them for voluntarily leaving paid employment IMO.

      • Bill 2.3.1

        As a work of art it is an interesting concept. As a social/political strategy it is appalling in my opinion. If you hate the plantation by all means leave it, but do your utmost to find another beforehand. I can’t support anyone who endorses voluntarily leaving a plantation just because they don’t like it much, most people I speak to find something about their plantation unpleasant but they stick with it because they have responsibilities and need to eat…And so on.

        While I’m being a bit facetious with this comment, the fact that simple (almost single) word substitution creates an argument for the retention of slavery should alert you somewhat to the nature of your position vis a vis paid employment.

        I could argue that having a job is immoral on a number of levels and point out that whereas the immorality of plantation slavery resided solely with the slave master, in the environment of wage slavery the employee must shoulder some of the blame insofar as the employee has a choice as to whether he/she will allow themselves to be engaged.

        And if the employee only has the freedom to choose between having a job and destitution (no choice at all), then the term ‘wage slave’ can’t be denied and the portions of society that are bounded by the market and market choices might reasonably be considered in terms akin to the plantation (if not the prison that Tao Wells refers to.)

        In the plantation days, the slave master provided back to the slave a small portion of the proceeds of the slave’s labour in the form of food and shelter etc.

        In these wage slave days, the master provides back to the employee a small portion of the proceeds of the employees labour in wages which the employee then uses to procure food and shelter etc.

        The bonus for the master in the second scenario is that by creating markets for the employees and their wages, the master becomes immeasurably more rich ( by means of numerous market opportunities) than under the former scenario.

        • Lats 2.3.1.1

          So we should just give people money for doing nothing?

          • ZeeBop 2.3.1.1.1

            Forcing down wages by denying citizens the dole turns society into a prison.
            In fact prisoners already don’t get the dole.

            One could sumise that lawful people do work, they work to keep the civic
            society functioning, make the possibility for wealthy to become wealthy.

            If the people have no interest in respecting property rights then you’ll not
            going to be able to tax them to fund a Police force to protect property rights.

            You see a capitalist (you are not Lat) would know what capitalism is.

            The invisible hand, Adam Smith, cannot occur unless there are free actors
            making free choices with confidence that their wealth is assured.

            Removing income support is also inefficient. When someone loses their
            job they could end up losing their home, so income support is there to
            stop loses just as an intervention in South Canterbury Finance was to
            stop the wider Southland economy suffering.

            But you see we live in a world where ignorance and baseless expertise
            is the normal defense of neo-liberal stupidity, and we are all losing massively
            from a misfunctioning market.

            So please before you call for the destruction of a government program please
            and least read the wikipedia page on the subject. But thanks for playing,
            we need clueless people like you so we can know what they look like.

            • Lats 2.3.1.1.1.1

              If you’d read my first comment carefully you’d realise I’m not advocating anything of the sort. One of the things I’m proudest about in NZ is our social welfare system & ideals. It is a valuable tool for helping those in need. I never suggested forcing down wages as a strategy for anything, But I don’t agree with giving a benefit to someone just because they don’t especially want to work. Otherwise why would anybody have a job? The whole system would fall, nobody would work, there would be no income tax take, and no money to pay benefits to those who need them. That might work in a pre-industrialised society where all we need to provide for our families is food and other basic necessities. That might be the world you would prefer (I don’t know you, so I apologise if I’m misrepresenting you) but I think the majority of kiwis quite like our modern consumer-oriented lifestyle. The need for an income goes hand-in-hand with our desires, we’re opened pandora’s box and we can’t realistically expect people to want it closed again.

        • Lats 2.3.1.2

          Oh and this…

          While I’m being a bit facetious with this comment, the fact that simple (almost single) word substitution creates an argument for the retention of slavery should alert you somewhat to the nature of your position vis a vis paid employment.

          … is complete bollocks. Try this one from the Labour Party website (modified):

          I want Labour to connect with Nazis, to engage with Nazis and sympathisers throughout the country to help us develop policies that destroy the lives and aspirations of all New Zealanders.

          By changing the words, you change the meaning. By all means critique my original statement, but don’t put words into my mouth. Otherwise your argument is senseless and null. I’m sure Phil would agree. Oh and for the original, untainted, inspirational version of the above quote, go to:
          http://www.labour.org.nz/meet-phil-goff
          🙂

          • ZeeBop 2.3.1.2.1

            Lat you seem to forget that modern propaganda techniques were discovered by the Nazi’s.
            And so of course all politicians frame their retortic as if they sound like Nazi, because
            they do sound like Nazi’s. Its about appealing to emotions like less tax if we do away
            with evil welfare, despite the fact that the US has actively been extending welfare in
            the present crisis!

            Think about it this way, a country like Haiti fails because it does not have a building
            industry, it cannot create wealth without a viable cost effective building industry!
            Well turns out that without a viable welfare system the poor cannot retain wealth
            and society become prohibtively more unstable and lawless, look at the US! Huge
            crime rates, huge social inequality, huge income inequality.

            Stupid costs more!

          • Bill 2.3.1.2.2

            Lats, you have essentially rewritten the piece and displaced the original meaning (‘reflects the needs’ becomes ‘destroys’ and ‘needs’ become ‘lives’…and so on). I didn’t do that. I substituted one word to change the contextual reference, and that aside maintained the original meanings…paying bills is on a par with a need to eat).

            I was merely attempting to highlight the parallels between slaves caught in a plantation system and slaves caught in a market system; not to put words in your mouth.

            That aside, are you saying that the two periods in the history of production marked by the use of slaves in the former and employees in the latter are not comparable in the way I suggest?

            If not, why not? What is the defining difference that would remove employees from a reasonable definition of slavery, ie wage slavery?

            • Lats 2.3.1.2.2.1

              I actually don’t disagree with you entirely. Yes, we do need to work to survive, the main difference being we have more choice over which plantation we work on, which master we work for, and which crop we harvest. And those who, for reasons beyond their control, are unable to head on out to the fields each day deserve our support. But, and I’ll say it again because this is the crux of my argument, Mr Wells in the original article is advocating the unemployment benefit as a deliberate lifestyle choice. Wells’ installation, The Beneficiary’s Office, urges people to abandon jobs they don’t like rather than suffering eight hours of “slavery”. I say no, find a different job, don’t expect a handout just because you don’t like your current job.

  3. outofbed 3

    Getting great feedback for the Green Candidate in Mana Jan Logie, getting the same sort of vibe as we did when canvassing for Celia.. We are going to do well.

  4. prism 4

    I listened to an interview that gave me some positive facts this morning. All about the growth of cities which have swelled alarmingly. But there are positive things that happen when people move from the rural areas. They are entrepreneurial and aspirational, they look for opportunities, their family size reduces, the land is farmed in a more productive way eventually. They will also repatriate money back to the village, so that gets a boost too.

    They may be more entrepreneurial and vital than the settled people in the city they move to. Given the opportunity to buy property they tend to build multi storey buildings with a business on the ground floor and living areas above it. They will work to become middle class with its better standards of living.

    Town planning regulations that don’t allow them to operate a small business from their living place prevent what is a natural path for them to find employment and manage their lives and living wage, increasing it gradually and becoming middle class. Obviously there needs to be areas zoned allowing for this style of living and working that allows for light industry and is perhaps more lenient as to noise.

    We worry of how we will all manage in the future. This new book is out by a researcher with valuable information, views and anecdotes – Arrival City: How the Largest Migration in History is Reshaping Our World
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday

    RadioNZ interviewed him this a.m. 8:15 Doug Saunders
    Canadian journalist and author Doug Saunders is the London-based European Bureau Chief for Toronto newspaper The Globe and Mail, and has won the National Newspaper Award, Canada’s counterpart to the Pulitzer Prize, on four occasions. He visited 20 countries on five continents to study the effects of rural-urban drift, and writes about this in Arrival City: How the Largest Migration in History is Reshaping Our World (Allen & Unwin, ISBN: 978-1-74175-916-7).

    • Bill 4.1

      Bloody hell Prism!

      People generally move off the land because they have been forced off. And if being desperate and willing to try just about anything to stay alive is ‘entrepreneurial’ and ‘aspirational’, then hey.

      And what is this about land being farmed more productively? That wouldn’t be double speak for ‘big agri business’ and mono culture would it? And ‘eventually’ wouldn’t be to do with the time it takes to force enough small holders/villagers/peasants off enough land to make the introduction of big agri business mono culture farming viable, would it?

      And so on, and so on.

      Next there’ll be some guy writing a book about how fantastic it is that rural children can be sold, thereby gaining ‘free’ migration to the great metropolises where they inject a certain freshness into jaded business cultures…

      • prism 4.1.1

        Gee Bill you are so stuck in your viewpoints that you just slide along the same old tracks each time there’s a suggestion. It limits our options on future moves when we can’t look at something from a different angle without bristling prejudices repelling new studies or ideas.

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          Na prism. I’m not that stuck in my viewpoints. Good luck in pigeon holing me if you have a mind to.

          The point is that the guy blithely ignores any and all of the politics of enclosure and attempts to sell his shallow interpretation back to us as some natural phenomena of human ‘development’ and gain intellectual kudos in the process.

          It’s bullshit.

  5. Armchair Critic 5

    The tax fiddle has not gone down well with Waikato Times readers, with only 12% saying they are better off. Could be an election issue, evidently.
    Where are the government shills now, commenting that it’s all good and we have extra money in our pockets to offset the rise in GST?
    Last night I was thinking Trevor’s suggestion of an early election was unlikely. This morning it seems more likely.

  6. ianmac 6

    “John Key’s prediction that the recovery would be “reasonably aggressive” has backfired. National is starting to look like it does not have the answers. English’s talk of “rebalancing” may be sound economic theory. But the average punter has little interest in that. English is consequently sounding out of touch. National is starting to look very vulnerable.”

    So says John Armstrong today. He sees a real chance for the Left.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10680890

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      English’s talk of “rebalancing” may be sound economic theory.

      Hmmm, you probably don’t need me pointing out the oxymoron in this sentence.

      The Right have been very fond of focussing on an extremely narrow version of economics – high finance. All the talk about deficits, OCRs, inflation, yields, spreads etc. Dr Ganesh Nana said that this leads to ignoring discussing boring old *real* economics of which all that stuff forms only a part.

      Boring things like people, skills, technology, experience, materials, means of production, buildings, water, power, environment etc.

      And the Right is totally shite at talking about real economics and how to get it working for the people. All they can wax on about is their high finance theory which leads to their emphasis on how to game the system in favour of a few people, while leaving the rest behind and mystified.

      Hence the point Armstrong makes.

  7. freedom 7

    Yesterday, Lord Christopher Monckton gave one of his always fascinating public interviews.
    http://www.infowars.com/lord-monckton-shut-down-the-un-arrest-al-gore/

    I ask each of you to watch this interview, or listen to the podcast which should be up later today.
    This is simply one of the most important fact-based collection of statements from anyone in a position to know even a small part of what is being negotiated behind the closed doors of power

    It is real. It is happening.
    This affects you, your family, and all who are on this planet we call Earth.
    Do not assume you already know what he says, watch the interview, then try to refute the facts

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      Everything that Monckton says has already been refuted. He’s lying and that’s the nicest thing I can say about him.

      • lprent 7.1.1

        Pretty much what I think. I haven’t seen anything from him that has substance once you look at the sources. I’m came to the conclusion some time ago that he has a compulsion to misconstrue any actual data to fit his fantasies.

  8. john 8

    Climate Change speeding up: 20% more fresh water entering oceans compared with 10 years ago! The Obvious result is we’re getting more flooding round the World.

    http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/chiefeditor/2010/10/more-water-flooding-postel.html

    • freedom 8.1

      See above!!! and John, next time, before you begin to post ridiculous statements please look at your source. Listening to climate change data from National Geographic is as sensible as letting starving wolves look after your newborn lambs.

      • Pascal's bookie 8.1.1

        Because NatGeo’s reputation simply can’t be compared to that of Lord Monckton, for sure. True fact.

        • freedom 8.1.1.1

          When it comes to climate change data the National Geographic have repeatedly sung along to the status quo. A simple google search will show very clearly which side the National Geographic sits on this issue.

          as an example, The National Geographic Society hosted the Washington premier of
          An Inconvenient Truth

      • john 8.1.2

        Hi freedom ” Using satellite observations, NASA and university researchers have found that rivers and melting ice sheets delivered 18 percent more water to the oceans in 2006 than in 1994.

        The findings, which appear in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that the volume of water running off the land toward the sea is expanding by the equivalent of roughly one Mississippi River each year. ” The source of these observations primarily NASA is reputable and credible.

        The National Academy is also a highly reputable organisation:
        The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is an honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare.

        “The NAS was established by an Act of Congress that was signed by President Abraham Lincoln on March 3, 1863, at the height of the Civil War, which calls upon the NAS to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art” whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government. Scientific issues would become more complex in the years following the war, and to expand the expertise available to it in its advisory service to the government, the NAS created the National Research Council under its charter in 1916. To keep pace with the growing roles that science and technology would play in public life, the National Academy of Engineering was established under the NAS charter in 1964, and the Institute of Medicine followed in 1970.”
        These statements are obviously not ridiculous and as shown I viewed the source which you did not as you thought it was solely National Geographic! I should have said nearly 20% not 20%. NZ experience confirms the above: we are getting heavier rainfall and more floods!

        • freedom 8.1.2.1

          i did read your source, in full.

          the biggest problem with the wealth of misinformation that is climate change, are the vast amount or reputable agencies that are associated with the issue.

          It is very difficult for most people to look past the previous good works of these organisations and see the contemporary fraud being perpetuated involving these bastions of science. Many of their own members are unaware of how widespread the manipulations are becoming

          for the record: i get no satisfaction in making these accusations

          • RedLogix 8.1.2.1.1

            For such a scam to have been successfully pulled off, you would need to gain the secret cooperation of tens of thousands of working researchers, in hundreds of different institutions, located in dozens of countries.

            They would have to have secretly coordinated a highly complex false story, going back to at least the time of Arrehenius, carefully concocting false information about CO2 IR spectroscopy, and from the 1980’s onwards at least, gambled on the global temperature actually rising in order to give credence to this gigantic hoax.

            Bear in mind that when they started out on this hoax there was no email, so they either had to have secret meetings with no notes taken, or destroyed every incriminating letter and document they sent to each other about this plan. And even in current times they have to have scrupulously destroyed the email trail detailing all the false data and false papers they were going to publish and how they were going to ensure that all these people were going to tell a consistent, coherent story….without anyone blabbing. Involving remember literally tens of thousands of scientists, across the globe.

            Do you have the slightest scrap of hard evidence for this ‘fraud’?

            • freedom 8.1.2.1.1.1

              yes it is called the 21st Century.
              It is a world where they tell children hydrogen is running out, cars emit Co2 and dispersant soaked oil simply dissappears,

              I sincerely hope you watch the video from Lord Monckton, contemplate the ramifications, and act. For if you are ever asked ‘What did you do to combat the destruction of democracy?’
              you can at least say you were a willing volunteer and not a POW.

              • RedLogix

                In other words, no, you don’t have the slightest scrap of evidence to support your delusions.

              • Pascal's bookie

                So if the threat is so dire freedom, what are you doing about it? Trolling the standard seems pretty lame.

                • freedom

                  I spend a hell of a lot less time here than you do Pascal, and anyway, what i contribute does not qualify as trolling in any way that i am familiar with the term.

                  Almost every single day of my life i engage at least one person in a direct and honest conversation about the world we know today. I ask a few simple questions and dependant upon the replies, I offer a few simple suggestions for topics the person may wish to investigate. I always respect their decision and if need be I try again at a later date.

                  Unlike many here, i have no political allegiance. I believe in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, one man one vote and true justice and equality for all. It is that last part that suffers the most resistance. There are currently no political parties that i am aware of which follow these principles.

                  Now that you have finished laughing, think about why it so quickly becomes the point of ridicule in today’s world? Is it such a ludicrous unachievable dream that is beyond the skills and abilities of Homosapiens or is it that the majority of the Western world is so corrupt and blinded by greed that the benefits of a just and fair society are impossible for them to see clearly.

                  I earn below minimum wage, i give freely of my time when it is asked, i create Taonga when the oppotunity arises and build Art when inbetween engagements.

                  The rest of the time i am reading, studying, learning, gleaning data from as many sources as possible, thinking for myself, and generally just hassling the hind legs off anyone i can to get as many people as possible to consider waking up. Often i do not succeed. Unlike most of the vitriol i repeatedly encounter, i respect your right to disagree but will continue to combat your reasons why

                  • RedLogix

                    Unlike most of the vitriol i repeatedly encounter

                    You encounter vitriol because you are repeating a dangerous lie. The truly sad part is that the lie was concocted (and there is clear evidence of this) and paid for by large corporate entities who have an obvious and undeniable commercial interest the oil, coal and heavy carbon use industries. If you are sincere you’ll find that evidence with a few minutes googling.

                    For all your fine intentions about ‘freedom’ you’ve been suckered into doing the work of your corporate overlords, whose only interest is maintaining the immense flow of profit their business makes. Moreover it’s obvious from what you are saying, you know almost nothing about the science involved. But as usual, it’s a case of the less you know, the more certain you are of it.

                    And you wonder why you get no respect.

                    • freedom

                      I am well aware of the dangerous propoganda programmes run by the elite.
                      The battle being fought does not have only two sides, and definitely is being played on various stages. The knots history ties poeple into would last a thousand boyscouts a thousand years but does not change the core reality that we are all part of the solution as much as we are all part of the problem.
                      To finish,( and just for fun say it with a little Yoda inflection)

                      – Naive, i am not, hopefull will i eternally be –

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Mate, you burst in telling everyone to go and read Monckton’s latest, (which is even more crazy than his usual). You assert that it is full of facts, that just can’t be beat, which have Implications! That freedom and democracy is at stake, and that we must Act! Now! You say that NatGeo shouldn’t be trusted and that the scientific institutions have all been corrupted by, err somebody or rather, while ignoring the fact that Monckton is being hosted by Alex fucking Jones. You say that if we ignore Monckton’s warnings, we will have to explain why we didn’t do anything about it when the darkness comes.

                    If you want to discuss some issue, like those things Monckton is talking about, why not just talk about them and present the argument, rather than demanding that everyone go watch it and then playing the wounded martyr about it when people respond in ways you don’t like.

                    That is what I meant by trolling.

                    What I meant by ‘what are you doing about it’ is this. If you really believe that democracy and freedom are under such a grave threat, and that there is a sinister cabal out there who want to murder millions of people, which is what Monckton claimed, then talking to random strangers about is a pathetic response. If I believed that, I’d be tooling up.

                    Monckton’s peace is drivel. Conspiracy headed nonsense about commun1sts coming to murder us in our beds and we must arrest Al Gore! and Disband the UN, (but keep some of it’s beaurocracy for some reason).

                    Unlike many here, i have no political allegiance. I believe in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, one man one vote and true justice and equality for all. It is that last part that suffers the most resistance. There are currently no political parties that i am aware of which follow these principles.

                    Good for you. Honestly. But remember that there are genuine differences of opinion about what ‘justice and equality for all’ mean. Randians and Marxists both have their own interpretations of these concepts. It’s not that those concepts get resisted, only that your interpretation of them does. It’s no good patting yourself on the back about how accepting of others rights you are, and how everyone but you is asleep and in need of a wake up, when you frame your statements in a way that implies that only you care about justice and equality.

                    • BLiP

                      Desperate denialists are desperate. Having lost the science argument, they now go for “fear and loathing”.

                    • freedom

                      Let’s clear some things up, I never suggested that i am the only one that is awake. I never stated i am the only one that cares about justice and equality.
                      I only have the right to speak for myself, how others see the world is for them to say, which is why communicating one on one with individuals is possibly the last valid and honest means of sharing information.

                      also since when does “I ask each of you to watch this interview” translate to “demanding that everyone go watch it ”

                      -just so you know, the cessation of replies is because i have to go to work now.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      I gotta cook dinner but this won’t take a moment:

                      “I never suggested that i am the only one that is awake”

                      and generally just hassling the hind legs off anyone i can to get as many people as possible to consider waking up. Often i do not succeed.>

                      The clear implication is that the people you speak to are asleep and that if they disagree with you, it is a refusal to wake up. People that disagree with you are asleep.

                      “I never stated i am the only one that cares about justice and equality.”

                      one man one vote and true justice and equality for all. It is that last part that suffers the most resistance. There are currently no political parties that i am aware of which follow these principles.

                      since when does “I ask each of you to watch this interview” translate to “demanding that everyone go watch it ”

                      When you do it like this:

                      Do not assume you already know what he says, watch the interview, then try to refute the facts…

                      …See above!!! and John, next time, before you begin to post ridiculous statements please look at your source….

                      I sincerely hope you watch the video from Lord Monckton, contemplate the ramifications, and act. For if you are ever asked ‘What did you do to combat the destruction of democracy?’
                      you can at least say you were a willing volunteer and not a POW.

                      The impication is that you if you haven’t watched Monckton’s maunderings, you are complicit in err, genocide and the death of democracy, or something.

              • KJT

                Lord Moncton has been so thoroughly debunked that it is one of the worlds mysteries that anyone considers him to have any credibility.
                The triumph of wishful thinking over reality perhaps?

                • Lats

                  More likely confirmation bias. We choose to believe whichever “experts” agree with what we already believe.

                  • freedom

                    When seen as as an applied dynamic of contemporary propoganda, I unreservedly agree with the above statement by Lats.

                    It is one of the principal weapons being used against the general population.
                    We each as individuals strive to overcome the natural tendencies of this dilemma and remain as clear and unbiased as possible. It is a daily encounter with assailants ambushing us wherever and whenever they can. There is no black and white, Yes or no, right or wrong, it has become a blood soaked quagmire so dense and heavy that to acknowledge it requires even more effort and energy in a day already overflowing with the stresses of family, work, and life in general.

                    There are many aspects of media consumption that are not fully understood by the Public (including myself) and it requires vigilance and honest reflection to overcome the remarkable influence of vested interests and the increasingly myopic attitudes in any ‘Official Story’.

                    This applies to devotees, detractors and deniers. It does not matter which side of the story you support, the same malady afflicts us all, no matter how resistant we like to think we are.

                  • Vicky32

                    I gather the argument is about global warming/climate change (slow dial up means I avoid following links if I can) – colour me also a ‘denier’!
                    I gather that as a leftie (which I indubitably am) I gotta believe in human-made climate change, but sorry, I simply can’t and don’t – any more than I am a vegan! There is a limit to how conformist I am… OK, I see that confirmation bias may be part of my attitude, but if we plunge into another sodding ice age in 50 years, don’t say I didn’t (try to) warn ya! I won’t be here by then, thankfully…
                    The irony is that many extreme anti-warming measures will help the inevitable cooling along!

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Five years (threnody for Arctic sea ice)

      What happens if you plot the same graph, using the current (last decade) trends for volume and “thickness” to project extent? It’s a striking picture, I think you’ll agree:

      If these trends continue, then September ice extent dips below 2 million km2 in 2015, before all but disappearing in 2016. Hence the title of this post…

      Just an interesting add to your post.

  9. BLiP 9

    A feared chemical spill in Orewa has turned out to be nothing more harmful than weed spray used by the council.

    Whew! I guess it couldn’t really have been that big a deal if Stuff has the story filed under “entertainment”. Does that mean I can pour my left over weed spray down the drain?

    • Bill 9.1

      As long as that’s the non-hazardous variety as used by the Orewa council, I can’t see why not, can you? Might even be able to raise a glass of the stuff to the withering weeds. Tastes ‘unusual’ apparently. A bit like its smell. Nothing a dash of tonic wont fix.

  10. The Chairman 10

    Labour’s new social policy. Vote winner or more nanny state?

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    SCF lingers on past Treasury’s expectations

    As early as December last year Treasury officials were picking the Timaru-based lender to collapse in June, according to a swathe of official documents published on the department’s website in relation to SCF’s collapse. The documents included monitoring reports from the Reserve Bank, which was similarly more pessimistic about other failed lenders, such as Allied Nationwide Finance Ltd., Mutual Finance Ltd., Vision Securities Ltd. and Viaduct Capital Ltd.

  12. KJT 13

    http://www.alternet.org/news/148481/why_the_u.s._has_launched_a_new_financial_world_war_–_and_how_the_rest_of_the_world_will_fight_back_/?page=1

    “Finance is the new form of warfare – without the expense of a military overhead and an occupation against unwilling hosts. It is a competition in credit creation to buy foreign resources, real estate, public and privatized infrastructure, bonds and corporate stock ownership. Who needs an army when you can obtain the usual objective (monetary wealth and asset appropriation) simply by financial means? All that is required is for central banks to accept dollar credit of depreciating international value in payment for local assets. Victory promises to go to whatever economy’s banking system can create the most credit, using an army of computer keyboards to appropriate the world’s resources. The key is to persuade foreign central banks to accept this electronic credit”.

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    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
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    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
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    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
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    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
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    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    7 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    7 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
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    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
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    2 weeks ago