Open mike 20/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 20th, 2012 - 41 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

41 comments on “Open mike 20/11/2012”

  1. Can I surprise everyone by saying that I think that disciplinary action should be taken by David Shearer.

    There is a member of caucus who has destabilized the party for the past few years by continuously leaking to the media.  Last weekend was an example.  In a clusterfuck of gigantic proportions he managed to undermine all the good that Shearer’s speech achieved by feeding the meme that Cunliffe is running a challenge.

    Cunliffe did refuse to say how he would be voting in the future on the leadership as his right.  Others also refused to say how they would vote, including one Trevor Mallard.  

    Loyalty to a leader should always be conditional on the interests of the party and a review is perfectly appropriate.  Blind loyalty is not in the interests of the party.

    But by continuing to feed this meme this leaker has not only sought to undermine Cunliffe’s future but has also undermined Shearer’s leadership.

    I wonder if this is the intent? 

    • ianmac 1.1

      Wonder who you have in your sights mickey?

    • David H 1.2

      And the biggest joke of it all, is if Shearer just watched TV3’s destabalising of the Labour party he could then have a go at them. and know that Cunliffe was bending over backwards to be polite at the end. Hipkins should immediately be dumped as whip, and a back bencher he should be. As should Mallard, King, Dyson, and Goff, they should ALL be on the back bench for the LAST months of their political lives. And as to the leak to the media Dump that lot and the leaks should stop. but yesterday (Monday) on Firstline at 8.25am was the interesting bit.

    • Vicky32 1.3

      But by continuing to feed this meme this leaker has not only sought to undermine Cunliffe’s future but has also undermined Shearer’s leadership.

      Indeed! (I do hope I am allowed to comment, and my comment will not be removed… We’ll see!)

      • lprent 1.3.1

        It is just QoT’s posts that you should avoid. Authors are allowed to moderate comments on their own posts. It serves two purposes.

        Firstly, there is nothing as irritating to an author has someone sidetracking their posts from their intent in writing it. And you’ve got to admit that the arguments between you two are pretty full on and tend to take over the posts – which rather defeats the purpose of writing it. The editorial moderators probably wouldn’t interfere because generally the comments are acceptable but they may frustrate the hell out of authors. You’ll probably have noted that I have a different style of moderation in my own posts especially in science – that happens for much the same reasons.

        Secondly, it is a useful way for authors to ease into moderating on a large site. Excessive moderation gets a certain amount of (very polite) blowback from other commentators.

        So just think of it as a minor restriction and don’t get too worried.

        • Vicky32 1.3.1.1

          It is just QoT’s posts that you should avoid

          Oh, I see… A  minor restriction? Give me a break! What on earth gave her and you the idea that I would have side-tracked the post from her intent?
          You wonder why the media and Shearer question the relevance of bloggers. Tricks such as QoT’s maybe? The posts she removed, were simply my sticking up for Shearer.
          If the idea is to make it seem that Standardistas are unamimous in bagging Shearer, well, then, well done! 🙁

          • lprent 1.3.1.1.1

            Ah – perhaps you should think about why bloggers write? They write because they want to express something. They seldom write because they want to be “relevant”. That is a politicians trait to always think of everything in terms of damage and influence. Those things are just by-products of the process.

            And I suspect that she simply doesn’t want you on any of her posts regardless what you say. Live with it.

            BTW: Mike Smith, r0b, Ben, etc. I guess I can’t organise – or you’re very unobservant.

  2. tinfoilhat 2

    [deleted]

    [lprent: astroturfer ]

    • aerobubble 2.1

      Mai Chen on Radio yesterday said that she respected the Garrent, a Australian Labour Ministers point, that how Australia chooses its policies is up to Australia. re. kids born to kiwis failing to get loans, welfare in Australia…

      No for a lawyer, and one interested in civil rights, three thing strike,
      i.) lawyers as a rule think about the consequences of statements all the time, so the fact that there is a growing population of individuals who have kiwi citizenship, are no afforded access to higher education, and cannot get welfare in Australia, and probably not citizenship if they have a criminal record in OZ, why would she not consider the tsunami of angry young people coming to NZ and welfare dependancy (where their parents have not been paying tax)!
      ii.) that she is reinforcing a political stance yet could not see the Australian Minister saying that his constituiency isn’t interested in kiwis rights, so much for he claim to interest in civil rights,
      iii.) and then to finally cap off, Chen thought it wise to cut Australian in NZ access to welfare, and exactly why would the ramification would be does she not understand the technical word, of reciprocal agreements, that many kiwis in Australia are on benefits too, and so there is no way the NZ government could end welfare to some, because the whole agreement was about the LARGE number of kiwis in Australia, and the SMALL number of Australians in NZ, and so the bigger cost to Australia,

      So I’m totally perplex how did this person ever become a lawyer, or does NZ live under the rule of lawyers now, who think nothing of the law, letter or otherwise. Its just putty for extreme political muckracking? Could we please have real discussions about the effect on our economy of Kiwis turning up wanting welfare, wanting loans for Nz universities (only to return to Australia afterwards), who mayy have criminal records and been conditioned to mental, criminal, and other conditions by Australian authorities. Of course Key needs to grow some balls, how can he be serious worried about poverty amongst kiwi kids, if he does not include those in Australia – who will inevitable turn up here.

    • Daveosaurus 2.2

      Yes, vote Green so they can sell out their supporters by coming to yet another ‘arrangement’ with the Tories. Brilliant idea, Einstein.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    New Zealand’s Green Tourism Push Clashes With Realities

    But while the spectacular and seemingly untarnished natural backdrops, stunning waterscapes and snow-tipped mountains might look world-class on film, critics say the realm New Zealand’s marketers have presented is as fantastical as dragons and wizards.

    “There are almost two worlds in New Zealand,” said Mike Joy, a senior lecturer in environmental science at Massey University in Palmerston North. “There is the picture-postcard world, and then there is the reality.”

    The clean and green image has long been promoted by the isolated country in its striving to compete in world markets. But an international study in the journal PLoS One measuring countries’ loss of native vegetation, native habitat, number of endangered species and water quality showed that per capita, New Zealand was 18th worst out of 189 nations when it came to preserving its natural surroundings.

    That’s in the NYT so our clean, green brand is history. Which is good, might give us a chance to reign in those filthy farmers and put in place better regulations to protect the environment.

    Then there’s this one from the World Bank:

    The report Turn Down the Heat: Why a 4°C Warmer World Must be Avoided doesn’t put it in quite such descriptive terms — it is a scientific analysis prepared by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics. But make no mistake, it packs quite a punch, all the more so given who commissioned it. As World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim says in his foreword:

    It is my hope that this report shocks us into action. Even for those of us already committed to fighting climate change, I hope it causes us to work with much more urgency. This report spells out what the world would be like if it warmed by 4 degrees Celsius, which is what scientists are nearly unanimously predicting by the end of the century, without serious policy changes.

    And what’s this government done? Oh, yeah, weakened the RMA, put in place the EPA which seems to be more about boosting business than protecting the environment and dropped out of the Kyoto Protocol.

    Time we cleaned up our act.

    • oscar 3.1

      Australia is far far cleaner than new Zealand. One of the reasons is probably as there are rubbish bins on every corner in the cities. You walk around Wellington and the bins are like hens teeth. Same goes for Auckland and other cities.
      There’s also a possibility that immigrant cultures aren’t used to using bins. Visiting Samoa as I do every year, I remain constantly appalled at the amount of rubbish there. Apia park is always covered in plastic and food wrappers, mcds and kfc bags etc every afternoon.
      The users of the ferry services just throw their rubbish overboard into the sea.
      Absolutely terrible and one can see how that environment conditions those who move to Nz to carry on the fine littering tradition as espoused by their parents.

      Nz is a dirty country, make no mistake.

    • Which is what I said a while back, National and Tourism New Zealand are living on another planet. New Zealanders view their nation differently to how it is viewed in the rest of the world, which is quite poorly on the environment front.

      Tourism New Zealand is totally out of touch…so much so that the only increases in tourist numbers are coming from places like China, which has far worse pollution problems that New Zealand. Europe and America however have led big declines in visitor numbers here, and it can no longer be held to be because of ‘the difficult recession conditions’.

      Time that NZ stopped branding itself ‘100% pure’ and instead focussed its attention on the multicultural society we have here, especially on our culture, music and art. Anyone can visit Finland, Sweden, Iceland etc and get similar scenery, why does Tourism NZ keep claiming the 100% Pure brand is working, when visitor numbers show a decline.

  4. Thanks for the heads up Te Reo Putake.

    Had too kick some witch in the head last night ……

    Looks like Labour has a problem with Smacko male witches as well M8 🙂

  5. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5

    Thank God that’s all over. Until February.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Can you actually give some context for what these links are about?

      • Rogue Trooper 6.1.1

        sociocultural-political patterns to consider, from a leftish political position if interested
        The world, and Aotearoa’s place within, it is changing at an ever-increasing rapidity, exponentially, I believe.

        salience (not assuming that TS readers do not keep abreast of current affairs, but links kept me returning to the site when I began)

        lprent can give me feedback, he knows how unorthodox I can be

        This chappie, whose thought I am learning about, was active academically across a wide range of fields / disciplines- law, politics, history, philosophy and theology.

        I think that the promotion of such a wide critical gaze is helpful

    • Uturn 6.2

      Re Auckland Canton-ese: Good lord, another bit of racism from our news-makers for no reason. Central story: people with less money can’t compete in an auction-like environment with people who have more money. Wow. Insightful stuff. But wait, what’s this? Oh the rich people are Chinese? That explains it then. Everyone knows Chinese money has special evil mega powers. uh? 😯

      Reminds me of last night’s news story that, and I’m paraphrasing, “maori and pacific people are refusing to wear life jackets, even though they have been repeatedly told to do as us whities say. Education can’t reach them, they are unteachable!” uh? 😯

      The reason I caught that piece of stupid was because I’d just finished watching Moneyball. Behind the simpering of Brad Pitt and the unsurprising end that comes from projecting ones own problems onto one’s job, was a message of the importance of a healthy skepticism of the norm, dismissing outward appearances and identifying the various ways inferior traits can be applied.

      • Rogue Trooper 6.2.1

        Hi Uturn. Always good exchanging with you. I been doing it all year under four earlier pseudonyms (from memory, can ya list them?). The thing about this site, the only one I have time to read, is the critical thinking often displayed; TINA is bullshit, but then, if I may be a little immodest, all my life I wondered what had prevented a wider dissemination of international thought and subsequent influence on policy in Aotearoa, and concluded very early on, that it was the dominant imported / colonial culture/s.
        As I read Ellul, I find that his thought was matched by his experiences and offerings in the real world, down amongst the delinquents (french equivalent of teddy-boys), university politics, church politics, the war, revolutionary politics, family, community, parish and so on. Yet, everywhere his great mind was directed politically, he was met by power and self-interest ( sorta like this debacle playing out within New Zealand politics), yet, he still contributed and taught and published (gave away) thousands of newspaper and journal articles and wrote approximately fifty books.
        Well, after a lifetime of exposure to MSM in this country, what the majority of the electorate consume, I personally conclude it is absolute rubbish, and that is saying something as I have spent literally years in time consuming music, film, fiction, MSM current events, Sky documentaries, and what has passed for television for four decades.
        Now, I feel liberated, as I can only bear flicking through the news on television and skimming the local and international press for the zeitgeist (thats what the context is Lanth, the zeitgeist).The television and what passes for the majority of journalism and socially acceptable commentary in this country is like another, more primal, language to me now
        Thinkers such as Ellul are very critical of the implications of technology for social well-being, harmony, yet, reading this blog and the links provided by thinkers such as Draco and others has had one identifiable personal positive outcome; it has opened up, and made more efficient, my cognitive processes, so that when I do think about things, it is precise, and draws on my exposure to both life and many disciplines. Also, there are many things / most things, that I do not even have to give any thought, or worry, to at all now.Furthermore, after frequent consideration of the many perspectives that are encountered on a political blog such as this, the MSM is just too freakin narrow and slow; I imagine that this is the case with the politicians too, just too simple and self-serving; not you Julie Ann and Helen Kelly, You do Impress me!
        As I once heard, sadly, people get the politicans they deserve (that is harsh, it feels harsh writing it, but really, what sort of people vote for a government that includes John Banks, Peter Dunne, Maggie Barry, Paula Bennet, Anne Tolley, Tremain et al; and that is without even starting on the opposition)
        I am just very thankful that I was born here, and that we are well situated geo-politically, yet I tend to avoid what passes for polite discourse around us; Racism, Ageism, Xenophobia, Aquisitiveness, Consumption, Bigotry,Labelling (self-deprecation) 🙂 it takes strong filters to prevent these attitudes soaking in to one if around them.
        Anyway, I am no saint; I literally lived the will-to-power White male New Zealand / American dream for two and a half decades, well-paying work, the toys I wanted, the experiences I sought; it was weighed, and found wanting; it was all on the backs of the billions of simple folk that populate the remainder of the planet, the people Tolstoy considered, and eventually understood.
        I, like Ellul, agree with Kierkegaard; Faith (not virtue) overcomes “sin” (that’s “missing the mark”, not being right with “God”, for you atheists)
        anyway, might head off to the “shop” and encourage some awareness of Mana while I’m there.

        Great site lprent

        • Uturn 6.2.1.1

          Probably I could list the previous handles (I count five 😉 ), but that’d be rude. Ideas count, not labels. It’s strange you know, admin here are quick to say there is no hive mind, but since we all talk about the same thing and tend towards similar perspectives, there is often a natural flow to the ideas outlined here. While no one tells us what to think before we think it, many of us seem to arrive in the same place, more or less. Last night I was thinking of the source of the colonial culture we have and why it is still dominant and how certain other dominant psychological theories would either have to be completely wrong to allow for that cultural dominance, or the idea of culture being anything more than a failed brain process would have to be true. In which case, who exactly would “we” be at any given moment if everything in our past is just an illusion? What or which guidelines are we living if there is no such thing as culture and memory is a delusion?

          I was impressed to see the link you offered a few days ago under the title of Logos; an element of western philosophy of a distinctly Eastern outlook that I was not aware existed; and seems to have little influence in global affairs these days. This also contributed to my thoughts last night that, somehow, a whole sphere of thinking has been suppressed by the western mind at a level that suggests something more powerful than the usual conspiracy theory of a shadowy group of patriarchal puppeteers controlling what rises and what doesn’t. Maybe “western mind” is too vague. Let’s say, Celtic. The mind of the people as a group who began in central Europe and spread outwards from there. It didn’t seem possible to me that for seven thousand years or so, people have only ever been behaving like animals – worse than that – mindless animals… not even looking after their own interests. Impossible. So why is a “colonial” attitude so entrenched in our collective psyche? I couldn’t answer that specifically. There were questions of inescapable evil, evils downgraded to popular virtues because everyone has to live them if they want to eat; and if you’re born into it, you’ll never find out what’s happening at least before fifteen years have passed. A blind spot in the psyche? How would we find and recognise something everyone has forgotten and how would we know what we were looking at was the real deal, not just some pipe dream to make us feel better?

          Yeah, I agree this site is the only one I’ve found where the people can think in a way I can be bothered participating. (That might motivate them to change their style 😉 ). It’s a pity it’s centred around politics, because as you say, so much that goes on in politics isn’t politics and the polarisation of attitudes that our NZ style encourages makes me impatient. Not much humour and creativity in polarised arguments. I owe some debt of gratitude to regular contributors here for pushing me this way and that and helping to breaking down some of the hurdles that were proving difficult. It is a little embarrassing, and unethical, when I think about what they had to go through to give me an education I could have found myself, if I’d just been better at asking the right questions. But that’s the cost of self directed learning, learning through doing – no one comes out clean. It’s common now to realise that to argue for balance is an equally immoral interference as the aggression of a singular opinion, because of the way I came to know the difference. Supporting what is right, isn’t always right and so knowledge hits it’s useful limit.

          I’ve been over a little of my past here already and like you, owing to a number of personal dispositions and unknowable motivations, it all fell apart. My level of reasonably assured comfort presently extends to 14 day periods, which is privileged, compared to many who ran out of food two days ago. I’ve had more and wasted too much, had almost nothing and still wasted some and at times been able to create something out of nothing. I still live the evils of our time: own gadgets, drive a car, live in a house surrounded by other houses – all things paid for by the on-going colonial mindset, the destructions of others. There’s even a lawn. What bizarre stately Victorian reality are we all condoning with our acceptance of lawns? Thank god the people in my new neighbourhood dig theirs up for vegetable gardens.

          Life often bewilders me and the Christian God scares me. He appears to be one seriously unrelenting individual. So when I remember, I put my faith in “overshooting” the mark and hope that should we meet he’s in the mood for grace. It’s fair to note that I haven’t met anyone that can make him sound as reasonable as you often do. Have we sucked up enough space yet? I think I hear people snoring.

          • lprent 6.2.1.1.1

            While no one tells us what to think before we think it, many of us seem to arrive in the same place, more or less.

            Not quite. On any one topic you’ll have the people who are interested in a particular discussion. People who aren’t interested or use a different ‘language’ for it tend to go to other discussions either here or elsewhere. So there is a certain amount of self-selection going on.

          • Rogue Trooper 6.2.1.1.2

            theology is often defined as “faith seeking understanding”
            I have always valued Satre’s concept of “good faith”

            I have just come from a walk around the city of the province and a read of the local paper
            -more of that later
            anyway, Thomas Mann said “when a man comes to know himself, he is never quite the same” and Mary Wollenscroft (sp probably) said “prejudice can make a psychology unstable and flow out in a flood when barriers are removed” or something like that (quotes at back of paper) and I see that with the flow of information in the “media”.

            even people of faith have struggles, it is all in there (in Colossians at the moment); I never profess to understand how it works, but clearly faith was around for a long time before
            “psychologizing” and man, has there been some rubbish psychology around (I understand the assertions and findings of neuroscience, I believe in the current findings of science, but as I think felix said “science is taught by telling lies to children”; like when I studied my degree and all those resources and time is wasted with the loitering around the foundations, when one finds when one is introduced to (drip-fed) advanced papers that the whole discipline has been examined in a post-modern, deconstructive sense, and that “philosophising” is the ascendent modality (hence health workers utilising “logotherapy” and “mindfulness” techniques, which are effective imo, ime,).

            anyway, back to the walk, clearly we can become determined by the technology / tools/ la tecnique, via our relationship through the day to many forms of technology, utilitarian and recreational, and it is the involvement in virtual reality, vicarious living and fiction that interests me (and we are not alone, my best friend, who lives with dyslexia, gets these ideas, and we question why, a,young people are not taught how to be “human beings” and how to “drive their bodies” alongside preparation for economic contribution and, b, why they are not made more aware of the influence of economically-rationalised propaganda)

            I value creativity in art (“creation” in the Hebrew was “created to create”), I just lament the capitalist prostitution
            anyway, time will tell, I’m with the wide variety of environmentally aware Posters and commentators on here who warn us about climate and pollution, here is one for Draco
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proudhon
            however The Chinese are very industrious people and they may take greater steps towards
            a more sustainable future, yet for much of the people on the planet, the coming decades appear likely to be “dystopian” sadly,

            back to the bay, Retail sales are down across all cities, some 5% down year-on-year and the local fishermen have been carrying out regular surveys of fish stocks (gurnard in particular) over a decade, and stocks are consistently, across a wide range of surveys, by a wide range of organizations, not looking healthy. Even Supermarkets report “same amount of people, generally spending less each”.
            More and more different ethnicities though, especially people from or around the sub-continent, many men with long flowing beards, and these people remember their customers in retail and are easy to engage.(not good PR for the buddhists in Myanmar though, sadly, see when the teachings split into Theravada and Mahayana, and all these “scriptures” I started thinking wtf?, sorta like trying to understand Christian denominations, which I don’t, but I understood John Walton, and all the dynamics possible in a large loving family)

            Like archetypes / myths influencing culture influencing archetypes, for example The Matrix (I must apologize and state my position on “gaming using information technology”; never been interested) I’ve looked at cyberpunk lit, but it is not really my thing, anything too culturally determined is bound to be prejudicial, don’t you think?

            The editor of the local paper is a shill for the retailers though, while in the same editorial acknowledging what “a low-wage economy” the region is (we are in the bottom of employment, health and a few other lovely (not) socio-economic statistical indicators)

            There is a great literary journalist at the local paper though-Mark Story, so not all is lost

            Wittgenstein stated “that the meaning of the system, is outside the system”, however he also asserted, that faith is just another “language game” so either/or as Johannes /Judge Vilhelm would argue

            however, readings recently strongly suggest that there are enough common referents and definitions between moderate Christian and Islamic scholars understanding of the monotheistic God of Abraham to allow discourse at the highest levels even with the Pope,
            and over half the population of the planet acknowledge that understanding, or variations of it now, and have done across generations within the “advancing” cultures for more than Three millennia;

            If the medical science priests could get away with it, they would seek a pathogen (of course, they would not look at food, or the socio-cultural-economic situation of peoples lives) and they would develop and trial a vaccine; they could call it a “cluster-munition”

            I might be fortunate enough to get a wee flat soon, thanks to the provisions and foresight of earlier Labour governments, and then if I can get a job gardening, I will be more secure than many of our fellow people, one way or another (i’m gonna getcha, getcha getcha good) They ripped into Debbie too for her past, freakin paparazzi parasites

            Imagine being Mick Fleetwood and having memories snorting you-know-what- off the bottom of you-know-who.With my memory, I do not think I would need to ever open my eyes again, just kidding

            Blues-Gospel-Soul-R&B-Rock-Steady-Reggae-Rock-Punk-New Order-House-Grunge
            Drum and Bass-Pulp-Blur-Radiohead-TripHop-Bluegrass-Grunge-Black Sabbath Worship

  6. Jackal 7

    John Tamihere – Asshole of the Week

    Tamihere might come across as a jovial kind of chap, but his recent statements have been entirely undiplomatic and show him to be just another political fool…

  7. weka 8

    Very good post by Susun Krumdiek over at The Jackal. Practical suggestions presented in an easy to understand form. A couple of excerpts:
     

    To be honest, coal is really dirty dangerous crap. Mining coal, and well, really mining anything, is guaranteed to be an environmental disaster for more than just one generation. The thing is that we can’t have any kind of industrial society without coal. So, what we are going to have to do is recognise that coal use is going to decline, it’s going to get more expensive, we are going to have to spend 50-90% more on technology when we mine it and use it to make sure we don’t muck things up, and we are going to have to make hard choices about what we really need and don’t need. What is really worth burning coal for and what isn’t.  We are not going to burn coal for electricity.  Those days are over.  We are not going to sell our coal resources off-shore.  Our grandchildren and great-grandchildren will need some coal some day. They will also be much more sensible about balancing their fossil energy use against the irreversible climate rupture we have created. We start now to face up to the facts about coal and we are going to do everything we can to reduce what we dig up – including a 10 year moratorium on new coal mining as a period to take stock, get the international corporations jaws un-clamped from around our necks, and decide what we really need to do.
     

    and

    I have told you the truth about energy resources and how we are going to adapt to use less energy. Now I am going to be honest with you about the economy. The economy is not something separate from us. The economy is actually just people who do a good job getting fair compensation for their work from the people who benefit from their labours. This is why there are different wages for different capabilities. We all pay taxes in order to live in a country that has high quality services and infrastructure. The people who are profiting the most should also do the most to make this country a better place. 
     

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/a-guest-post-by-susan-krumdieck.html

  8. How about focusing on the REAL issues folks?

    REPEALING the legislative framework upon which the neo-liberal ROGERNOMICS model was based / OPENING THE BOOKS/ and supporting an ACTION PLAN TO PREVENT CORRUPTION – ‘WHITE COLLAR’ CRIME & ‘CORPORATE WELFARE’ IN NZ?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2012/11/14/new-zealand-tops-list-of-the-best-countries-for-business/

    (My comment- yet to be published.)

    “OPEN LETTER SENT TO TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL BY NEW ZEALAND ‘ANTI-CORRUPTION’ CAMPAIGNER /’WHISTLEBLOWER’ Penny Bright:

    31 October 2012
    For the URGENT attention of Transparency International Secretariat, and global member ‘chapters’.

    I, Penny Bright, from New Zealand, was an attendee at the Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference 2010, in Bangkok, and widely distributed a ‘whistle-blowing’ NZ ‘Corruption Reality Checklist’ – which showed the lack of transparency and accountability in New Zealand, which is consistently ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ (according to the TI ‘Corruption Perception Index’).
    In my considered opinion, if Transparency International is going to ignore the FACTS and EVIDENCE presented by ‘whistleblowers’ such as myself – then your ‘Corruption Perception Index’ is going to be seen as being effectively meaningless as a global indicator of global corruption.

    (This ‘whistle-blowing’ NZ ‘Corruption Reality Checklist’ has since ‘morphed’ into the following:)

    ACTION PLAN TO PREVENT CORRUPTION – ‘WHITE COLLAR’ CRIME & ‘CORPORATE WELFARE’ IN NZ:

    1. Get our anti-corruption domestic legislative framework in place so NZ can ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption.

    2. Set up an NZ independent anti-corruption body tasked with educating the public and PREVENTING corruption.

    3. Change NZ laws to ensure genuine transparency in the funding of candidates for elected public office and political parties at central and local government level.

    4. Legislate for an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ Members of Parliament (who make the rules foreveryone else).

    5. Make it an offence under the Local Government Act 2002 for NZ Local Government elected representatives to breach their ‘Code of Conduct’.

    6. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government elected representatives.

    7. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Central Government staff responsible for property and procurement, (including the Ministry of Health), in order to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    8. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government staff, and Directors and staff employed by ‘Council-Controlled Organisations (CCOs) responsible for property and procurement.

    9. Make it a lawful requirement for details of ‘contracts issued’ – including the name of the contractor; scope, term and value of the contract to be published in NZ Central Government Public Sector, and Local Government (Council), and ‘Council-Controlled Organisation (CCO) Annual Reports so that they are available for public scrutiny.

    10. Make it a lawful requirement that a ‘cost-benefit analysis’ of NZ Central Government, and Local Government public finances be undertaken to prove that private procurement of public services previously provided ‘in-house’ is cost-effective for the public majority. If not – then return public service provision to staff directly employed ‘in-house’ and cut out these private contractors who are effectively dependent on ‘corporate welfare’.

    11. Legislate for a legally-enforcable ‘Code of Conduct’ for members of the NZ Judiciary, to ensure they are not ‘above the law’.

    12. Ensure that ALL NZ Court proceedings are recorded, and audio records made available to parties who request them.

    13. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available NZ Judicial ‘Register of Interests’, to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    14. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available NZ ‘Register of Lobbyists’ and ‘Code of Conduct for Lobbyists’ at Central Government Ministerial level.

    15. Make it a lawful requirement at NZ Central and Local Government level for a ‘post-separation employment quarantine’ period from the time officials leave the public service to take up a similar role in the private sector. (Help stop the ‘revolving door’).

    16. Make it a lawful requirement that it is only a binding vote of the public majority that can determine whether public assets held at NZ Central or Local Government level are sold; or long-term leased via Public-Private –Partnerships (PPPs).

    17. Make it unlawful for politicians to knowingly misrepresent their policies prior to election at central or local government level.

    18. Make laws to protect individuals, NGOs and community-based organisations who are ‘whistleblowing’ against ‘conflicts of interest’ and corrupt practices at central and local government level and within the judiciary.

    19. Legislate to help stop ‘State Capture’, a form of ‘grand corruption’ arguably endemic in NZ – where vested interests get their way at the ‘policy level’ before legislation is passed which serves their interests.

    Prepared by Penny Bright, ‘Anti-corruption’ and ‘Anti-privatisation’ campaigner waterpressure@gmail.com)
    _______________________________________________________________
    CORRUPTION AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF THE AUCKLAND $UPERCITY:
    http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/SiteCollectionDocuments/aboutcouncil/governingbody/governingbodymin20121025.pdf

    7.1 Penny Bright – Open letter to Auditor General
    Ms Bright was present to address the meeting regarding her open letter to the Auditor-General on conflicts of interest.
    _______________________________________________________________
    This presentation was filmed, and can be viewed, (after registering – costs nothing to register) athttp://www.allaboutauckland.com/
    “CORRUPTION AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS” 25 October 2012: ”
    _______________________________________________________________
    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    (New Zealand)

    [lprent: Frigging hell Penny. We need to get you onto the mandatory verbiage reduction diet. ]

  9. It’s not ‘verbiage’ – these are concrete, sensible proposals that any political party with any brains would pick up?

    In my considered opinion?

    (You may prefer this ‘verbiage’? 🙂

    “NZ Herald – News digest Tuesday 20 November 2012

    Banks faces more counts
    Act leader John Banks is facing two fresh charges in a private prosecution brought by political activist Graham McCready.  The charges relate to Mr Banks’ role at investment company Huljich Wealth Management before he became an Act MP. ”
    _____________________________________________________________
    Graham McCready states that the Wellington Deputy Registrar ‘confirmed she would set them down for Banks to be Summons to appear on these two with the Local Elections Act charge on 11 December 2012 at 1:45. 
    The Court will ensure the Police serve all three summonses.’ 

    So!

    The arguably ‘Not-so Honorable’ John Banks will appear in the Wellington District Court, on Tuesday 11 December 2012, to face private prosecutions over alleged electoral fraud  and ‘Mr Banks’ role at investment company Huljich Wealth Management before he became an Act MP’.

    Bit of a sad day for the ‘perceived’ least corrupt country in the world, when individual citizens have to take private prosecutions in order to help ensure  ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’ actually does apply  equally in New Zealand?

    Where were the regulatory and statutory bodies when it came to applying ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’ to fellow former Directors of Huljich Wealth Management(NZ) Ltd – current and former leaders of the ACT Party – John Banks and Don Brash?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com
     

  10. The count down has begun

    http://transitionvoice.com/2012/11/a-farewell-to-arms/

    A farewell to arms
    By Guy McPherson November 19, 2012

    In previous essays in this space I have mentioned two phenomena worth fighting for: the living planet and freedom based in anarchy. I surrender. I no longer believe the struggle matters on either front.
    Kiss goodbye the living planet

    I no longer think we’ll save the remaining shards of the living planet beyond another human generation. We’ll destroy every — or nearly every – species on Earth when the positive feedbacks associated with climate change come seriously into play (and I’ve not previously considered the increasingly dire prospects of methane release from Antarctica or the wildfire-induced release of carbon from Siberian peat bogs). Due to numerous positive feedbacks, climate change has become irreversible over temporal spans relevant to humans. Such is the nature of reaching the acceleration phase of the nonlinear system that is climate catastrophe.

    The climate-change data, models and assessments keep coming at us, like waves crashing on a rocky, indifferent beach. The worst drought in 800 years in the western United States is met by levels of societal ignorance and political silence I’ve come to expect. I would be stunned if this valley — or any other area in the interior of a northern-hemisphere continent — will provide habitat for humans five years from now. And climate change is only part of the story.

    My trademark optimism vanishes when I realize that, in addition to climate chaos, we’re on the verge of tacking on ionizing radiation from the world’s 444 nuclear power plants. Let’s ignore for now the radioactive waste we’ve left lying around without a plan or already dumped into the world’s oceans. When we choke on our own poison, we’ll be taking the whole ship down with us, spewing a global blanket of radiation in the wake of collapse. Can we kill every single species on Earth? Apparently we’re willing to give it a try, and I will not be surprised by our “success” at this omnicidal endeavor.

    • McFlock 11.1

      “My trademark optimism” 

      hahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaahahahahahahhahahahaahahhaahahahahhaahahahahahahahhahahahahaahhahahahahahahaaaaaaaaaaa!
             

      • Robert Atack 11.1.1

        When you get up off the floor, read the rest of Guy’s essay. Its a real laugh.

        • McFlock 11.1.1.1

          Your excerpt was funny enough. It looked like you wrote that bit about optimism. And I have doubts about claims to optimism by people who are preaching 100% extinction of life on the planet. Blatant bollocks – or at least a massive bias towards higher life forms. Which makes me doubt the reliability of other predictions made by the same people.
              
          Lazy thinking.
                   
           

  11. I think Guy has a clue, more so than anyone else I know anyway. But then I might have a small circle of stupid friends).

    Guy’s bio – Academic B.S. Forest Resources, University of Idaho, 1982
    M.S. Range Science, Texas Tech University, 1984
    Ph.D. Range Science, Texas Tech University, 1987
    Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Georgia Institute of Ecology, 1987-1988
    Visiting Assistant Professor, Texas A & M University Range Science Department, 1988-1989
    Assistant Professor, University of Arizona School of Renewable Natural Resources, 1989-1995
    Visiting Associate Professor, University of California-Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management, 1995-1996
    Associate Professor, University of Arizona School of Renewable Natural Resources, 1995-2000
    Director, The Nature Conservancy David H. Smith Fellows Program, 1999-2000
    Professor, University of Arizona School of Renewable Natural Resources, 2000-present
    Professor, University of Arizona School of Natural Resources and Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, 2002-present.

    Guy in Auckland http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk9I0peQOmg

    • McFlock 12.1

      Given that there are fungi growing inside the Chernobyl sarcophagus, I’m saying that:

      Can we kill every single species on Earth? Apparently we’re willing to give it a try, and I will not be surprised by our “success” at this omnicidal endeavor.”

      … is a pretty massive call. Even human extinction is a big call – humans have managed to build communities is the harshest places on the planet. So worst case we’re looking at a significant reduction in the human population down to sustainable levels, maybe a bit of the old soylent green scenario as a transition period. 
           
      But sterilizing the planet? Not a hope. 

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    Company executives receive bonuses after causing business to collapse in bankruptcy

    Hostess Brands, the maker of sweet snacks like Twinkies that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last week, will ask a bankruptcy judge today to approve a plan that will allow it to pay $1.75 million in bonuses to 19 of its executives. Hostess’ decision to file for bankruptcy came amid disputes with its union workers, who threatened a strike that Hostess said imperiled the company’s finances. The unions are now protesting Hostess’ request for the bonuses, though they are unlikely to prevail, CNN Money reports:

    Or attempt to but, still:

    The salary of the company’s chief executive tripled from $750,000 to roughly $2.5 million, and at least nine other executives received pay raises ranging from $90,000 to $400,000. Those raises came just months after Hostess originally filed for bankruptcy earlier this year.

    We aren’t exactly seeing great management here and it has been getting very well rewarded for trashing the company.

    • joe90 13.2

      A something awful post about the CEO Gregory Rayburn.

      Correct. Let’s take a look at current Hostess CEO Gregory Rayburn’s executive resume, per Businessweek and LinkedIn:

      CEO, Hostess Brands: February 2012 – Present (10 months)
      CRO, Indiana Live Casino and Indiana Downs Racetrack: February 2011 – April 2012 (1 year 3 months)
      CEO, NYCOTB: July 2010 – January 2011 (7 months)
      CEO, Magna Entertainment Corp. March 2009 – May 2010 (1 year 3 months)
      CEO, Muzak: 2005 – 2006 (1 year)
      CRO, AAIPharma Services Corp.: 2004 – 2005 (1 year)
      CRO, WorldCom: 2003 – 2004 (1 year)
      CEO. Sunterra: 2002 – 2003 (1 year)
      Co-Founder, Capstone Equity: 1999 – 2001 (2 years)

      Huh. In ten years, he’s helped run eight (8) companies, yet his average tenure is just under one (1) year. Sounds like just the guy to provide some stability to a company that’s hemorrhaging cash (Hostess has had six CEOs in eight years, an obvious indicator of sensible and stable leadership; insert deck-chairs-on-Titanic metaphor here).

  13. joe90 14

    Arctic versus Antarctic Sea Ice.

    Suggestions that modest increases in sea ice around Antarctica offset significant losses in Arctic sea ice are based on a bogus “apples and oranges” comparison. Through interviews with a range of respected experts, Peter Sinclair’s newest Yale Forum video explains why such suggestions do not stand up to scientific scrutiny.

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