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Open mike 20/02/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 20th, 2011 - 47 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.

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Step right up to the mike…

47 comments on “Open mike 20/02/2011”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    Milk price freeze until the end of the year?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4679866/Milk-price-freeze-could-end-in-tears-Fed-Farmers

    Why until the end of the year?

    Milk price freeze until after the elections?

    And then what?

    And then, yippee, milk price will go down??

    Reason(s) and motivation(s) for Fonterra’s latest call?

    • logie97 1.1

      … can’t help thinking we could link this to the “block of cheese” tax cut as well somehow…

      While we are on the mantra of competition.
      Seems our book retailing section was proof that “free enterprise” is not always best. When the big got consumed by the even bigger over time to produce the apparent efficiencies – bollocks. The “big” just went down and its subsidiaries have gone with it.

      Perhaps if there had been some form of regulatory body preventing takeovers from happening where all the major brands came under one company, we might have had genuine competition in the market place.

      Which brings us back to Fonterra. What happens if Fonterra were to ever go down?

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        What happens if Fonterra were to ever go down?

        Too big to fail.

        • r0b 1.1.1.1

          Pilgrim – moved your comment to the post on Whitcoulls.

        • Deadly_NZ 1.1.1.2

          And thats what they said about the big American banks and mortgage companies Fannie and Freddie May.. And the whole lot went tits up due to mismanagement and thievery by the big boys at the top. The trouble in NZ is that we NEED fonterra to fail, as it is a monopoly and with No competition then they will be able to just keep on Ripping off the little man. We need Competition and a commerce commission with teeth and the balls to use them, case in point the Oil companies, and the Supermarkets and the Telecommunications market as well, and they need to say No discussion it’s going to be this way. We HAVE to break these Monopolies and let prices fall, or rise as the competition cuts in.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2.1

            Competition isn’t always the best option especially in regards to natural monopolies such as Telecommunications. You don’t get competition in infrastructure and when you do it just costs more while doing less. For natural monopolies it’s better for state ownership regulated to run at cost plus reinvestment.

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Yep. Certain natural monopolies and basic infrastructure should be 100% Government owned and run for the benefit and resilience of the country.

    • ianmac 1.2

      Yes I wondered about that too Jim. But what connection could there be between Government and Fonterra? Could Mr Key have said that milk was politically embarrassing so “Freeze! Or else.”
      The milk producers are apparently disturbed by the decision too.

  2. joe90 2

    A Scienceblogs guest post, In Defense of Mockery. (of RWNJs).

    After all, what is the worst that could happen by whipping up snickering leftism to a fever pitch in the U.S. population? Single-payer universal healthcare? Defense spending halved? Lower teen pregnancy rates? Stable Social Security? Legalized pot? Higher tax rates for the obscenely rich? Clean energy?

    The horror.

  3. joe90 3

    Can a mod check the spam queue please, ta.

    • r0b 3.1

      Sorry – not sure what happened there – you did have comments in the spam queue – I released the first one and it has appeared above…

      Update: Sorry, between us we have been confusing the system. Think it’s all sorted now (and I’m away for the day).

      • joe90 3.1.1

        Tried to repost but the machine tells me I’m duplicating my post.. Trying again with with an alteration.

        edit: and there it is…?…

        and in moderation?

      • lprent 3.1.2

        Looks ok. I am around today having a look at the thread move. I will keep an eye on it.

        • joe90 3.1.2.1

          Thanks.

        • Deadly_NZ 3.1.2.2

          And I hope you are feeling better now. Nice to see you back.

          • lprent 3.1.2.2.1

            Never really went away. Apparently I was insistent on getting my comms up immediatelyl after getting out of surgery. They need wifi in the hospitals… 😈

            But I am taking it slowly. Am getting pretty bored. Going back to work next week remotely or in the flesh. Probably the latter. Hanging around home on my own even with the visitors seems a bit dangerous to me.

            • Jum 3.1.2.2.1.1

              Whenever you threaten to moderate or remove me, I’ll remember your courage and your wit and forgive you LPrent!

  4. ZeeBop 4

    When stepping out the door, everywhere there are choices, they all mostly cost money. So choice for the most parting means parting with mulla. John ‘feels your pain’ Key knows this since he was once a kid growing up on welfare. So then why would he accuse those on a benefit of having a choice? Living the dream? Since it contrariness, the more choice a beneficiary has means the more money they surely have, but the essential problem with welfare is that beneficiaries don’t have the income to support themselves so the government steps in. Any money that a beneficiary does have spare is because they have saved it, have worked to provide themselves savings and the choice Key is talking about regarding this as belonging to the government because they weren’t personally responsible! But they had to be personally responsible to get savings to have choices to live the lifestyle, the dream! The government builds half a bridge over a gully, put up a sign that warns people of the impending danger, then accuses the citizens who fall into the gully of not being able to read, and they the government justified cutting back on reading classes as a result! Because citizens weren’t being personally responsible. Because citizens didn’t know government could be so inept to fail to create jobs, and so it must be their personal responsible if they fell into the gully of unemployment, their personal fault for trying to learn to read road signage that government had failed to educate them because government cut the public information program!
    Where are the Jobs? Why are the warning signs being removed? Why does the media allow those with the power, with the incentive to do better, with the means at their disposal, to blame the least powerful, those will huge marginal tax disincentives, and little disposable income except the savings they’ve personally made at considerable effort??? Why do we live with such horrendously propaganda that lets government fail and allows government to justify its failure by blaming the victims of its poor policiesWhy are we alloing the creation of a class of rich poverty exploiters, when we should have government that creates a society of real choice exploiters.

    • neoleftie 4.1

      Maybe cause the capitalists are cleverer and more connected that the masses. Maybe cause Stalin came to power and exiled Trotsky, maybe cause the break down of society to the base unit of the individual had depowered the community and the rise of materalism has increased the desire for more and more stuff at any price.
      Also well if we take a longer view the ‘free-ish market’ actual brought real increases in base wealth to most people, more people can read, few people starve to death, most people have a home.
      The true social left block need to take a longer view than just 3-9 years and think about what eco system can co-oped both the capitalist and the people and satisfy both. We thinker at a micro level within fiscal constraints but overall bring no real longer tern satisfaction to the base question of opportunity, equity sharing and equality.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        The true social left block need to take a longer view than just 3-9 years and think about what eco system can co-oped both the capitalist and the people and satisfy both.

        This is a good approach, however you still have to take into account a class of very powerful, very wealthy, capitalist decision makers whose goal is to maximise their return on investment whatever the externalised cost on communities and individuals outside their own sphere. In our current set up these people are extraordinarily influential.

        You can see their fingerprints all over many decisions. Efforts to remove the estate tax in the US (which would benefit only the top 0.3% of the wealthiest people), participation in highly risky speculative schemes with huge toxic leverage, etc.

        For this class of capitalist, there is no such thing as ‘sufficient returns’ it’s always going to be “more, more, more”.

    • Todd 4.2

      In other words, if you ain’t got the dosh like the big cheese, you’re going to get milked for every cent. The simple answer there ZeeBop is greed and lust for money and power. Some people have a little switch inside their brains that cuts various emotions like empathy and compassion. It’s often money that flicks the switch, which is hard to turn on again. In fact it’s more like someone has come along and removed the cognitive reasoning part of their brains entirely, so that they place politics before the impoverished and the all-powerful dollar before everything else. They would privatize their own mothers if they could.

      • ZeeBop 4.2.1

        My point was that a beneficiary saves every penny they can, they take their kids out to have a day where they aren’t shackled to their deprived economic existence, and then some sh*t PM comes out and uses them, telling everyone that their living a lifestyle choice, that they have no personal responsibility, yet the beneficiary had to have huge personal responsibility to restrict all the urges they are bombarded with. It was just contradictory to say a group of people seeking to maximize their lives and willing to take sh*t, and so go out wait in line for free food are not being personally responsible. So those who don’t, who have given up and are never trying anything, never trying to better themselves, never trying to maximize their wealth (legally) are the ‘personally responsible’!!! WTF. Lots of people get jobs because a mate knew a mate. If a company creates a bad batch of food, that’s still edible, they sure don’t want to give it to people who have the money to pay for it, but they also don’t want to throw good food away, by gifting it to a food bank who *wants* to give the food away to beneficiaries is not the beneficiaries fault, or something irresponsible, rather its poor envy – the whole living the dream attack on the poor, that some rich prick who gets a bonus just because the oil price has gone up sudden hears someone is getting something for nothing, and they don’t understand basics like charitable giving helps the brand, that they abuse the poor so they can cut back welfare and pay for the tax cuts they gave themselves.

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      People make bad and irrational choices from time to time, full stop. We’ve all done it, we all know what its like. You give people a number, tell them its totally random, and they will still act on it. They will pay more for insurance against terrorist action, than for comprehensive insurance (which includes the same protection from terrorist action). Human beings are subject to a shit-tonne of psychological biases.

      Now, if we insist on creating a totally unforgiving society where there are lots of bad choices available and few good choices which allow people to recover from them, we will end up with lots of frakked up people. Which co-incidentally is what we have now.

      The Right’s defence to this is of course – individual responsibility! If people take a turn in the wrong direction, they have to suffer the consequences. Which to my mind is a fair comment only if you are not the one who has laid out a minefield and then dropped off a bunch of people in the middle with no instructions how to get out.

      • ZeeBop 4.3.1

        But its worse than that, someone buys shares in a gold mine, or an oil company and the shares just go up and up without them lifting a finger, and that means they can pooh pooh some poor envy line about poor people getting free food. How frigging out of touch!
        Someone makes millions sitting at the gats of the NZ economy, taking a cut from the trading of NZ dollar, or someone making millions from buying homes and selling them after talking them up, most people with education can do those jobs, but not everyone can HAVE those jobs. So there are always going to be people left behind, some quite capable, and the idea that just because Key, or whoever won life’s lottery, should not mean everyone else is scum.

  5. Thomas Forrow 5

    I attended a protest on Saturday Morning in Kapati about the new express way.
    Stephen Joyce got a real roasting
    Now compare TVNZ report To TV3.
    Both News teams even interviewed the same local

    welly-commuters-get-new-train-service
    Kapiti-expressway-protesters-vent-at-Steven-Joyce
    Spot the different headlines?
    What are TVNZ up to? Kinda like there is a political bias? no couldn’t be surely

  6. marsman 6

    Sound familiar? :- ‘But Cameron’s gift for planting great political myths in the popular imagination, aided by his mighty press, means he wins most arguments – until found out. This week it’s welfare. Polls show the public deeply believes immigrant/teen mother/druggy idlers live the high life on others’ hard-earned taxes. One anecdote is worth a hundred facts, but phoney facts can be very useful too – until found out.’ – Polly Toynbee in The Guardian talking about England’s dodgy PM.

  7. Todd 7

    There is a possible intrusion threat to your system through an SLO cookie KB places on your computer when you visit.

    Presently the KB SLO cookie seems to be offline. I’ve just reviewed some of the syntax, in my opinion there is still a potential threat. If you have visited KB recently, their SLO will still be in effect on your computer.

    An SLO cookie is not a normal cookie, usually you cannot delete it through your browser. Many SLO will re-spawn the normal cookie you have deleted. The KB SLO is not the DART google cookie. Learn about it here:

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

    If your using Firefox, this is what to do: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/

    Install BetterPrivacy or a similar application. Follow the instructions carefully.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Hi Todd, does it seem to you that the potential threat from the cookie was inadvertent, or was it engineered? Or is it simply a characteristic of all LSO cookies?

      • Todd 7.1.1

        Hi Colonial Viper,

        It’s my opinion the KB SLO cookie threat was engineered. My initial review of KB syntax shows certain loggers. I believe the recipient must be informed about all cookies and an opt out provision made available. This is not the case for the KB SLO cookie.

    • lprent 7.2

      Interesting. I will have a look around my systems.

  8. Pete 8

    How TV Ruined Your Life – You might be familiar with Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe. He’s got a new series out and this episode examines why we’re so fearful when society is now safer than it’s ever been. He blames the media, but I think we can also blame the politicians who capitalise on it too.

  9. Jum 9

    I’m watching the Libraries. Some very interesting books are being sold off – women’s history of liberation books, anything to do with socialism, they refuse to stock The Spirit Level where I am. Is this the start of the blackout, like in ’51, the dumbing down of people who can’t afford to buy the books?

    This ties in with ZeeBop 4
    20 February 2011 at 8:55 am

    That is the cunning plan of National which they cannot publicise. After all, what do cleaners and waiters, sweat machinists and rubbish collectors need to read for…?

  10. Jum 10

    Neoleftie,

    Absolutely, I agree, providing the initial information is there in the first place for allowing informed thinking. That’s all I have ever asked in politics.

    Trouble is, you are dealing with media that only presents one side, as Duncan Garner presented tonight on 3 and the Herald, which has its own history of rightwing support, so the written media becomes a valuable asset. Internet is still not strong enough to politically influence. Hard copy will still be the medium that all/most New Zealanders rely on for their information.

    I hope I’m wrong.

    PS I said “I hope I’m wrong” when John Key and National was elected. It turns out I was correct.

    • neoleftie 10.1

      Not to sound pompous but i sent some time hanging round the electoral office of my local MP (pitching in ) and challenged the local university’s marketing department Poll on the basis of their statistics they use to generate the poll…my experience is never never accept at face value at statistics esp from the MSM. I always ‘drill down’ to the underlying assumptions or data set to get a fuller understanding. MSM are so lazy they simple use the data given to them by the polies – spin spin spin and inaccurate data.
      To follow suit here i should use quotes etc more as well

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    How to topple dictators – Peacefully

    Looks like this old US academic’s instruction manual had a strong influence in the Egyptian removal of Mubarak.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/world/middleeast/17sharp.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general

  12. Jum 12

    Colonial Viper. I will check it out. I am getting very angry with the way this country’s msm is dealing with the political parties. All I have ever asked is objectivity and the media reporting in the interests of New Zealanders, not their foreign owners.

    I don’t have any faith left in this country and its people.

    I guess my rhetoric is beginning to show. ‘Refuse’ to me is not stocking it!

  13. Tigger 13

    Key and Bing Bing are off to the royal wedding!
    http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/fergie-snubbed-royal-wedding-john-key-invited-4035280

    I’m sure that royalist lapdog will just lurve being able to hob nob it with all the world leaders, especially since it will finally give him that Obama time he’s been craving so…wait, Obama hasn’t been invited! Bwahahahahahaha!

    • Rosy 13.1

      Key’s minders will be happy with that. He can’t do any damage to the brand while he’s there (unless he tells Kate she’s ‘hot’)

  14. Colonial Viper 14

    High value added manufacturing means better jobs, higher wages

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/business/19hyundai.html?src=me&ref=general

    Hyundai and its sister company, Kia, which opened a plant last year just across the Georgia state line, have brought thousands of well-paying jobs to the region and even helped nurture a little Korean culture in Montgomery, the first capital of the old Confederacy. Hyundai is running its Montgomery plant almost nonstop. Rarely do more than a few weeks pass without word that another parts supplier has dozens of new positions to fill, typically offering good benefits and double the pay that the average Alabaman earns.

    Seriously, we do not want an employment market consisting of people making coffees and working in milking sheds – which is where we are going right now.

  15. joe90 15

    Rachel Maddow on Beck, Obama and the antichrist guy and end times.

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    NZ scores bad on income inequality, prison population

    Australia does better than us in several measures, and is well above average. But the US sucks the most, by far.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/opinion/19blow.html?src=me&ref=general

  17. Rob 17

    Just went and visited the enemy (Kiwiblog) and saw this. Am I correct in hearing this guy runs a polling company and thus would have some mathematical/statistical skills?

    Polls
    Do you support the the Govt’s likely policy to allow minority shareholdings in four energy SOEs?

    » Yes (49%, 517 Votes)» No (51%, 516 Votes)Total Voters: 1,049

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