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Open mike 22/10/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 22nd, 2011 - 104 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…

104 comments on “Open mike 22/10/2011 ”

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      I’ve got a better idea. Why don’t you vacate the Octagon?

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        I have vacated, after spending an hour there this morning.

        Their Facebook page shows the problems trying to maintain a semblance of decency when you have a bunch of radicals, anarchists and “anything that involves a stir”-ists.

        • NickS

          It’s the fucking internet, what more do you want? Crumpets and whipped cream perhaps? A shrubbery with free delivery? The Second Coming of Raptor Jesus?

          If you say something utterly stupid and/or factually wrong, expect people to get fucked off with you to various extents. And give thanks to Peter Dunnes hair-piece that not one’s yet rightfully pain-series’d you (or linked you to that page) due to your ever irritating middle class privilege pushing.

          • Pete George

            What are you on about? I didn’t say anything factually wrong. I’ve been on amicable terms and had interesting discussions with anyone I’ve talked to face to face at the Octagon. I was abused and defamed, it was an embarrassment to Occupy Dunedin so they deleted the abuse and the nong went ape about it – and threatened to go even more ape against them.

            • NickS


              Shit you fail at reading comprehension. Re-read this, particularly the bit before the and/or while thinking about “perceptions”:

              If you say something utterly stupid and/or factually wrong, expect people to get fucked off with you to various extents.

              Go it yet, or do you also fail, at basic theory of mind as well?

              And while you may have had polite conversations offline, online provides teh ability for people to be direct and blunt, instead of faking politeness to avoid conflict. And thus creating impressions that they’re on “amicable” terms with you, instead of regarding you as whatever they privately regard you as…

              Which is pretty normal human behaviour as I and other members of the evil science brigade may have polite irl convo’s with people we regard as complete idiots (like Rick Giles).

            • marty mars

              it’s personal then pete – the nong went ape – says it all really

    • clandestino 1.2

      What a complete and utter tool. 

      And so very sad, I almost feel sorry for you. 

      • Pete George 1.2.1

        Do you almost feel sorry for all the others in Dunedin who have just about had enough of their Octagon being taken over?

        • clandestino

          Yeah sure. Those damn, dirty, directionless, dole-bludging dikes and do littles are spoiling their mid-afternoon lattes. Poor wee things.

          Busy-bodies like you have often played a very different, and quite horrific, role throughout history. Once again, sorry if you fail to see this.


          • Pete George

            You obviously have no idea what’s going on here. This is bringing out a few who genuinely think they can change the world, and many immature attention seekers.

    • NickS 1.3

      Pete G ’tis the derpist derp to have ever derped.

      He’s the very living image of derp.

      Sealed by his facebook page and actions on top of historical derp-ness on here.

  1. Carol 2

    A new study has investigated the relationships between the top 43,000 transnational corporations. It’s not a perfect investigation, but a good beginning to bringing to light the main networks of wealth and power:


    The work, to be published in PLoS One, revealed a core of 1318
    companies with interlocking ownerships (see image). Each of the 1318
    had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were
    connected to 20. What’s more, although they represented 20 per cent of
    global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own
    through their shares the majority of the world’s large blue chip and
    manufacturing firms – the “real” economy – representing a further 60
    per cent of global revenues.

    When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of
    it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit
    companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the
    super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the
    network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able
    to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most
    were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank,
    JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.

    It’s not the existence of such networks in themselves that are a threat to global economic stability, but the core of tight interconnections mean that if one company is struggling it has a negative impact on te rest.

    The article tends to focus on what this means for the occupy movement, and assumes that all occupiers believe the 1% are part of a deliberate, planned conspiracy. The writers of the article say the study shows that it is more to do with the way self-organising systems can develop.

    Driffill feels 147 is too many to sustain collusion.
    Braha suspects they will compete in the market but act together on
    common interests. Resisting changes to the network structure may be
    one such common interest.

    Well that explanation is more in keeping with how I see the wealth-power elite operating, and I suspect many occupiers would think so as well.

    The article doesn’t seem to be concerned about the inequalities developed through such financial-wealth-power networks, but only with the stability/instability of the system.

    • With so many of the players (e.g. former Goldman Sachs execs) moving between private institutions to work in government (and vice versa) and being on many boards the average Joe assumes collusion and a plan.
      It’s interesting that these people say it isn’t so. So the trap for the average punter would be when they see the collusion to resist “changes to the network structure may be one such common interest.” and interpret it as a 24/7 state of affairs.
      They problem I have with that (and a point raised by OWS) is that in times when the structure is not threatened by change you still see an undue influence by the corporations to buy our democracy, write our legislation and influence our decision makers.
       I don’t accept that there is no collusion/conspiracy. As someone once said about the changes in NZ in the 80s – for there to be a conspiracy all it takes is two people reaching an agreement over port and cigars in the Wellington Club.

      • KJT 2.1.1

        I do not believe in a conspiracy. These people are not that competent.

        Just a constant natural push by the greedy to take more from society..

        The ones with the most money have the most influence in our system. A natural spiral. More money = more power = more self serving facilitators..

        The only way to take back the power, is real Government by the people.

        Giving a small group power always leads to an authoritarian Government to benefit politicians and their cronies.

        • William Joyce

          I think the distinction is that conspiracies are to often seen as sophisticated, all encompassing and all powerful. For such a conspiracy to happen requires a lot of work and no loose ends.
          What is often missed is that conspiracies don’t have to be big. As I said above “for there to be a conspiracy all it takes is two people reaching an agreement over port and cigars in the Wellington Club.”
          That would make the CTU, OWS and the Business Roundtable conspiracies.
          Perhaps the distinction is in the morality / legality of the conspirators’ goals. When charges of conspiracy are laid it is a conspiracy to XYZ. It is the ends and methods of the agreement that determine the pejorative conspiracy.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      “The article doesn’t seem to be concerned about the inequalities developed through such financial-wealth-power networks, but only with the stability/instability of the system.”
      Inequality being one of the symptoms of instability.
      As always, it pays to read the actual paper – which indeed addresses the issues you raise.

      ‘One thing won’t chime with some of the protesters’ claims: the super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world. “Such structures are common in nature,”‘ Truthers take note.

      • joe90 2.2.1


        An online tool where you can map and visualize company board connections.
        You can look up specific people or play around and click to see various connections.
        I’ve no idea how up-to-date the site is but it’s interesting to play around with

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2

        the super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world.

        It may not have been but that doesn’t mean that it’s not being used for that now.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          “It may not have been but that doesn’t mean that it’s not being used for that now.”

          What makes you think that the desire to “rule the world” equates to the capability? We (humans) have set up very complex structures to “rule the world” and they have a hard enough time of it. I doubt corporations have a magic wand that governments don’t. They are influential players, but the fact that these super entities arise by “natural” means implies that their are natural laws to follow, which may have far more to do with survival as a member of the group, for example.

          I think you’ve failed to establish the premise – that “ruling the world” – in the sense you propose – is even possible.

          • NickS

            They are influential players, but the fact that these super entities arise by “natural” means implies that their are natural laws to follow, which may have far more to do with survival as a member of the group, for example.

            Someone needs to go do (history and) philosophy of science it seems…

            Calling it “natural” ends up hiding the social and economic factors over history that created the environmental forces that lead to these companies emerging, but also the ability of social and economic forces to be altered by mass movements to remove these. So that to suppose “natural laws” are responsible treats these concentrations of influence as immutable natural outcomes and thus not to be messed with, when history shows otherwise. Of course, I’m going by laymans definitions here, but then you have failed to show any signs of actually thinking in depth beyond teh surface details here.

            Also, in biology, the only hard laws are thermodynamics, everything else is context sensitive in reference to historical (biochem/genetics/population characters)* and ecological factors. Which is what makes ecology and evolutionary biology so wondrously neat and complex, but also means that trying to apply concepts to other areas without sanity checking becomes problematic really quickly.

            That’s not to say that human society and all it’s tools aren’t natural though (which is what drives SETI nuts**), it’s just that trying to assign “natural laws” rapidly hits brickwalls with exceptions and the mutability and adaptability of human societies.

            *I’m being a bit lazy here, because a full description is a whole fucking textbook on evolutionary biology + a couple of others on biochemistry, population genetics and ecology + key research papers.

            **While not a text book, it’s a large essay with extensive referencing in itself on why “artificial” is not as easy to define away from natural phenomena, with humorous references to the failures of Intelligent Design “researchers” myriad failings.

          • NickS

            I think you’ve failed to establish the premise – that “ruling the world” – in the sense you propose – is even possible.

            And you’ve failed to realise that you don’t need to rule the world, all that’s needed is just enough influence to nudge things (even accidentally) in ways that benefit you that are emergent features of these networks 😛

            It might not be world control, and it might be slow, but it does allow for indirect and direct nudging of nations if you can escape teh competition for a moment.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Says you. I hadn’t failed to realise it at all in fact – but if “ruling” is really “having influence” I fail to see what’s startling about it – you might as well get excited about the fact that the sky is blue.
              The authors of the study have already made this explicit connection to natural systems, and since they are referring to mathematical similarities, I feel confident in quoting them.

              • NickS


                The problem is that you’re not paying attention to teh definition of “natural” the authors use, which unless you’re feeling free to correct me fully, you’re not using in your prior post.

                As for it being “surprising”, the novel thing about this research is actually shows the connections companies have than can drive influence on regional or global scales with a bit more rigour than norm. And for those who dislike corporate influence of democracies it provides valuable evidence, but for me, it’s just a massively neat use of network theory. And picking apart you analogy, it’s not that the sky is blue, it’s how it’s blue that’s of surprise here.

              • Hi One Anonymous Bloke,

                I agree with NickS (and thanks for putting the points so clearly, NickS).

                This word ‘natural’ is very misleading. It is natural, for example, for humans to have five fingers on each hand. But, of course, (and in a different sense) it is also natural when someone is born with six fingers.

                The important point is simply that, in a particular set of circumstances certain outcomes are likely (or even inevitable). In different circumstances, different outcomes are likely.

                We could say, if you like, that capitalism has a certain internal logic which leads, generally, to particular macrolevel results, such as the concentration of wealth, while also generating more and more of it (i.e., ‘wealth’). Further, legal structures and laws have their own ‘logic’ which enables/encourages certain results in relation to the legal entities we call corporations.

                Together, these two ‘logics’ naturally produce the kind of pattern in which 147 companies form a ‘super entity’.

                Other circumstances (i.e., structures, systems and laws) may well not lead to such concentration. That is, the concentration is not ‘natural’ in the sense of ‘inevitable’ but ‘natural’ in the sense that it follows from a particular set of arrangements. 

                On another point, I don’t think that either intentionality or ‘naturalness’ should have anything to do with the question of whether or not such a state of corporate concentration of ownership is desirable. 

    • NickS 2.3

      Beat me to it I see 😛

      Anyhow, one of the issues with this is that a lose of one of these nodes can have very large effects on the global economy, and more so, enough of them acting together can have wide-reaching impacts. However, they’re also in competition so any cartels that form are going to be small scale and otherwise narrowly focused, as well as being prone to information leaking.

      So the main thing to watch for are mergers that concentrate power further and disrupt them, but also node sensitive legislation that adds social dimensions to the actions of nodes once they’re above a level that can cause significant national and international problems if things go wrong. Probably in the form of completely independent forensic auditors with far reaching powers to dig into any “issues” as they begin happen, rather than after the horse has bolted.

      Not that the nodes would go down without a fight and legal action, despite topographical network theory being pretty well advanced (and fun to use in ecosystem foodweb studies) and capable of locating potential failure points.

  2. logie97 3

    National billboard 2005 and 2008
    “Brashional will stem the flow of our youngest and brightest to Aussie.”
    Yeah Right!


  3. Chris 4

    Pretty good news:


    Although I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Edit: Apparently reading it a bit more Obama is just sticking to a deadline which was agreed to by Bush in 2008 anyway (not that I think the Republicans would have stuck to it).

    • ianmac 4.1

      Amazing if it happens. The immense size of the USA fortress in Iraq will now be used as umm ….

      • Chris 4.1.1

        Yeah they won’t want 40,000 guys getting bored in the US.

        On that note part of the reason they aren’t extending their stay is apparently the Iraqis wouldn’t agree to keep the US forces immunity from prosecution past that date.

        • ianmac

          Chris. That immunity was weird given that the USA are very righteous about pursuing every other criminal acts especially if committed by any foreigner. “We stand for freedom, the right to a fair trial, democracy, justice for all etc. Mmmm!

          • William Joyce

            There’s a definite double standard on the part of the US. They want to prosecute and pursue foreigners who commit crime but they will not submit any of their people to the International Criminal Court.
            You see this type of ethnocentric thinking when
            – Americans are arrested overseas and it is automatically assumed they will not  be treated fair in any other foreign jurisdiction 
            – Americans get sick overseas and it is automatically assumed they will not be treated professionally and with international best practice and have to be rushed back to the States.

            • Vicky32

              Americans are arrested overseas and it is automatically assumed they will not  be treated fair in any other foreign jurisdiction

              Even if they are convicted, the automatic assumption is that they are sweet innocents, wrongly convicted. If they are later acquitted, they are welcomed home as if they are heroes who suffered torture and injustice in a 3rd world hellhole! Cf the evil Amanda Knox… I remain convinced that there’s something dodgy about this woman’s acquittal. Now, she’s not giving any interviews, as she has a book contract which precludes that. Her brother spoke proudly on the BBC about how the “free Amanda Knox” campaign he started had “brought her back to us”. I am sorry, it just makes me very angry. The African guy (one of the 3 charged) is, by Amanda, the “real” villain… not her sweetness, oh no! 🙁

  4. Jenny 5

    It has been revealed that the Labour Government cut Maritime New Zealand’s oil spill response funding by two thirds.

    Could this be one of the reasons Maritime New Zealand was so slow to react to the Rena grounding?

    “MNZ was not immune from the effects of fiscal pressure”

    Former marine pollution response manager Nick Quinn left Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) last year for a job as response manager at the Australian Marine Oil Spill centre.
    Ian Niblock, who was national on-scene manager as well as the Northland regional harbour master, also left to take the harbourmaster’s position in Darwin.

    Public Service Association acting national secretary Jeff Osborne said he understood MNZ had lost other key players.
    It used to have a naval architect, a nautical analyst, an environmental analyst, a human factors analyst and a rules adviser.

    “Those jobs are gone we believe, they don’t exist anymore. People have left and not been replaced or they have been laid off.”

    Labour strategist Trevor Mallard said it would have been better if the country could have held on to good people without losing them to Australia.
    “Then we wouldn’t have been five days behind.”

    He pointed to comments by chairman David Ledson in Maritime NZ’s 2010 annual report that “MNZ was not immune from the effects of fiscal pressures … and that retention and recruitment of `the right people with the right skills’ and in the right numbers presented challenges.”

    Maritime New Zealand oil response “fund” gutted by Labour

    A decade ago, the Oil Pollution Fund contained about $12 million but now totals only $4m after a decision was made by then transport minister Mark Gosche to draw the account down. The purpose of the fund is to have sufficient cash rapidly available in case of an oil spill…….

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      ‘Labour’ Government cut?

    • Chris 5.2

      Would’ve thought National have had enough time to reinstate that funding if they wanted to.

      I mean I generally support National but please at some point they need to stop blaming the prior government.

      • tsmithfield 5.2.1

        However, it does make Labour look like absolute hypocrites given some of their attacks on National lately. National made an error of omission in not increasing the maximum liability. However, this was a deliberate, calculated decision on the part of Labour.

        From the article:

        Auckland University associate professor and maritime law expert Paul Myburgh said New Zealand had never faced such a serious oil pollution incident as the Rena.

        “Given the reality of maritime limitation of liability, it is inevitable that governments will always have to cover a portion of the clean-up costs and consequential economic consequences of a spill. That is why we levy the industry in the first place.”

        It had been “a foolish and shortsighted decision” to reduce the levy, he said.

        Labour foolish and short-sighted? Who would have ever guessed? 🙂

        • Tigger

          Great Tsmith, let’s talk leaky building regulation shall we…

          • tsmithfield

            I am sure you would love to divert attention from the facts in this article that prove Labour to have been little better than environmental vandals.

            • Draco T Bastard

              But it doesn’t prove that does it? Short sighted? Yes. Environmental vandals? No.

              • tsmithfield

                I didn’t say they were environmental vandals. Just that they were little better than environmental vandals.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Semantics. Really, it shows Labour as being short sighted some ten years ago but that doesn’t make them “little better than environmental vandals” no matter how much you want to spin it. As I said here, it’s not going to make any difference to the clean up.

                  The environmental vandals are NAct who are gutting the RMA and who also didn’t increase the resources needed to respond to a maritime accident as required.

        • Blue

          I thought right wingers were all for lowering taxes?

        • Puddleglum

          I can only repeat what I said here.

          Clearly – from that same article – the wound down fund is still sufficient for the Rena. Of course, it would be wise to have a bigger fund given that now we have to hope and pray another one doesn’t happen anytime soon.

          So, no tsmithfield, it doesn’t look like Labour are ‘absolute hypocrites’ – since the fund was fine for the Rena – but unwise decision making, nevertheless. 

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      It has been revealed that the Labour Government cut Maritime New Zealand’s oil spill response funding by two thirds.

      And? It’s the government, I’m sure that they’ll be able to borrow a few mil extra. They shouldn’t have to but it won’t slow down the clean up.

      See there’s a difference between having funds available for the clean up and being properly resourced to respond to an accident. National have held the critical funding (the resources MNZ has to operate) down by the simple expedient of not increasing funding by the rate of inflation and so MNZ was unable to respond. Of course, it’s possible that it wasn’t properly resourced before hand either but the latest report that said that they needed more resource came about under Nationals watch and they didn’t do anything to correct the lack of resources.

      • Jenny 5.3.1

        The facts are that since the funding cut many of the most experienced oil disaster response professionals at Maritime New Zealand were either made redundant or left.

        The question to be answered is this:

        Was the manning crisis which sprung from the underfunding of MNZ, one of the reasons that Maritime New Zealand stood around like hand wringing leaderless ninnies for a full four (4) days of fine weather, while a fatally wounded ship lay on a reef with 1700 tonnes of oil left leaking into the environment.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The facts are that since the funding cut many of the most experienced oil disaster response professionals at Maritime New Zealand were either made redundant or left.

          When did they leave? Really important point that because the Labour led government were building up the public services. It’s this government that’s been cutting them to shreds (again).

          What Labour did wasn’t a funding cut – it was a decrease in a slush fund. And, really, NAct had the report over a year ago saying that more resources were needed and yet they didn’t give those resources but instead mad no increase to the nominal amount.

  5. Uturn 6

    I have a suggestion for improving the calibre of our MPs:

    MP Bootcamp.

    Candidates are enrolled as cadets and then sent to areas around NZ which are culturally alternative to that with which they identify. The placement lasts for 3 years before the cadet can stand for office. While on placement their expenses and accomodation are arranged and paid for by their electorate/community.

    A candidate from Dunedin, for example, could be sent to Manurewa in Auckland. And a candidate from Auckland Central might be sent to Nightcaps. Perspective and communication skills would improve dramatically, or the MP would likely drop out of the system. This would ensure new faces and a move away from career polticians.

    • joe90 7.1

      More efforts to disenfranchise the poor.

      “First, their motive for cooperating with F.B.I. investigators was not to clean up corruption but to increase Republican political fortunes by reducing African-American voter turnout. Second, they lack credibility because the record establishes their purposeful, racist intent,” Thompson wrote.

        • Vicky32

          Two more reasons to despise religion.

          Wow, I didn’t know the Standard was all about trashing religion.. I thought it was all about politics, and now I am feeling as if I am rather naive! Don’t get your knickers in a knot, I am reading your links. But seriously, gentlemen I would go to American atheists or Professor Sir Lord Dawkins’ site if I wanted to read atheism.
          Also, please take note. Not all women regard abortion on demand as the freedom they want most! (Or even at all.) For every “pro-choice” woman I have met or seen online there are 20 pro-abortion men. It’s obvious why really, whether the man is straight or gay..

          • NickS

            Bait taken.

            Wow, I didn’t know the Standard was all about trashing religion.. I thought it was all about politics, and now I am feeling as if I am rather naive!

            Could you possibly sound any more stupid? If you look at the description for teh open mike, it’s very clearly a free for all.

            Don’t get your knickers in a knot, I am reading your links. But seriously, gentlemen I would go to American atheists or Professor Sir Lord Dawkins’ site if I wanted to read atheism.

            Awww, snookums, poor you having to put up with others freedom of speech and well founded dislike of undue religious influence on secular society,

            Also, please take note. Not all women regard abortion on demand as the freedom they want most! (Or even at all.) For every “pro-choice” woman I have met or seen online there are 20 pro-abortion men. It’s obvious why really, whether the man is straight or gay..

            Sampling 101 mega-fail.

            Or, there’s this things known as “surveys” which generally try to rigorously sample and so give us statistically sound indicators about what ever they’re sampling for. One of the things that they don’t do is pure convenience sampling via response, let alone use very dodgy human recall like your using. Which is doubly flawed, as female participation in online communities usually isn’t as high as males, and further more, participation is firmly dependent on a persons capability and willingness (aka teaspoons) to respond, thus creating major sampling problems.

            In short, your little anecdote is only of use to highlight your own ignorance and biases.

            And congrats on including a moronic sexist quip in there too /thumbs up

            • Vicky32

              Could you possibly sound any more stupid? If you look at the description for teh open mike, it’s very clearly a free for all.
              Awww, snookums, poor you having to put up with others freedom of speech and well founded dislike of undue religious influence on secular society

              Thank you so much for confirming my view that atheists are all about hate. I can feel the loathing coming off you in waves…
              Actually, I do have statistics confirming that males support abortion on demand twice as often as women do, but I thought, stupidly, that you’d be more open to my talking about my own observations.

              And congrats on including a moronic sexist quip in there too /thumbs up

              What sexist quip would that be then? You do have issues don’t you?

              • NickS


                Thank you so much for confirming my view that atheists are all about hate. I can feel the loathing coming off you in waves…

                Because annoyance at your stupidity and a tendency to bluntness = hate…

                Logic, learn to use it.

                Actually, I do have statistics confirming that males support abortion on demand twice as often as women do, but I thought, stupidly, that you’d be more open to my talking about my own observations.

                lolwut?: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_the_United_States#Public_opinion
                It’s nearly equal in the USA, assume similar distro in NZ, but more support, also you’ll need to show the question asked + sampling methodologies for those stats you claim to have as these obviously impact on responses received and statistical rigour.

                That if you actually have them that is.

                What sexist quip would that be then? You do have issues don’t you?

                It’s obvious why really, whether the man is straight or gay..

                Sexist sentence is sexist as it assumes men’s support is down to them being male, reinforced by the “or gay” bit.

                • Vicky32

                  Sexist sentence is sexist as it assumes men’s support is down to them being male, reinforced by the “or gay” bit.

                  Hilarious! My somewhat cynical statement of fact as I have observed it, is sexist? Diddums. Are we anxiously clutching our scrotum are we? As for the “or gay” comment, that’s sexist? Surely the word is “hetero-normative”?
                  Why do you assume that NZ stats are similar? Because NZ is culturally American? (It is, but so what. There are still differences)
                  Hey, here’s an idea. If you know a woman, ask her then ask what her friends and family (sisters, aunts. mother, daughters) think.
                  And yes, I do have those statistics, but they’re from a newspaper article, and not in digital form.. so you’d have to believe me, which I gather you’d rather die than do.

                  • NickS

                    So your reply is word salad that’s up there with RWNJ word salad, and instead of citing any stats you tell me to look at anecdotal evidence…


                    It’s like dealing with braindead young earth creationists all over again.

  6. Dirty Environmentalist

    The study also found that the main source of micro-plastic appears to be through sewage contaminated by fibres from washing clothes…

  7. johnm 10

    Hi ! Want a break from looking at the printed word, black letters on a white background !
    Have a view of this photo essay of the once in a half century floods affecting Thailand.

    Link: http://blogs.denverpost.com/captured/2011/10/14/worst-floods-in-a-half-century-in-thailand/5029/

    The serious point of course is climate change has made the monsoon heavier, disastrously so. Remember the incredible flooding in Pakistan.

    • ianmac 10.1

      Thanks johnm. An extraordinary essay. Amazed that there is little evidence of fast flowing water that we associate with flooding; just a mass of waterlogged land and desperate people. (I wish my wife had seen those photos as she was flying into Thailand yesterday. The word reports don’t due justice to seriousness of the flooding.)
      And yes climate changes probably account for the succession of changes around the world rather than just a one-off unlucky event.

  8. joe90 11

    The New Egypt: A Return to Dictatorship?

    Analysis: The military strongmen who oversaw Egypt’s political hierarchy for six decades hover ominously over the nation’s new democracy. Nivien Saleh argues the U.S. has the power to pry the generals’ fingers off the levers of power.

  9. Herodotus 12

    What an amazing write up. If only he was leading WW1 instead of Haig how many lives would have been saved, and all we have is a little world finance issue for him to manage !!!

  10. My apologies for the length of this post but here is collection of slogans from the Occupy Wall Street protests..
    Put Your Money in a Credit Union, Now!
    Peace, Love, Fairness, Common Sense.
    We are here for our children!
    Outflank the Banks.
    We will not be LIQUIDATED.
    Poverty Is Economic Slavery.
    Survival of the richest.
    Corporations aren’t people; they’re monsters.
    Invest in the middle class-they need it.
    Will work for evil corporation?
    If you stop people from hearing what I am saying then you are proving what I am saying.
    It takes an Occupation to raise a country.
    Put an end to the Bankster Fraud.
    Render unto Banksters – nothing.
    Independent regulating of our finance market, NOW!
    People BEFORE profits.
    Render Not Unto Banksters!
    People are the bottom line.
    Harsher penalties for white collar crime!
    No More Bailouts – Let Banksters Eat Losses!
    Paychecks for the People!
    Merrill should have been Lynched.
    The Enemy of My Bank Is My Friend!
    Where’s my bailout?
    Democratize the Banks!
    Banks for the 99%!
    Banks for People not for Banksters!
    Honest Community Banks, Not fraudster Big Banks!
    End Welfare for the Rich!
    Currency for a common good.
    Paychecks not credit card bills.
    Stimulus not corporate welfare.
    End debt slavery.
    Debt forgiveness, not debt peonage.
    Those with golden parachutes should jump out of a plane.
    Game over, insert coin!
    More Anti-Trust Class-action.
    The last thing wankers need, is more stimulus!
    Global wanking sector is a mess!
    My mother was right. Too much banking makes you go blind!
    Middle Class – All pain No gain
    I didn’t create the Global Financial Crisis.
    Goldman Sucks.
    Where are the prosecutions of financiers?
    End trading on our currency!
    Obama sold out to the finance sector.
    Stop corporates writing our laws.
    Make NZ about people again.
    Make NZ green again.
    We’re kick screwed more in the boardroom than the bed room.
    You know things are messed up when librarians start marching.
    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    One day the poor will have nothing left to eat but the poor.
    Hungry? Eat a banker.
    I am a human being not a commodity.
    Tear down this Wall St!
    When the rich rob the poor it’s called business. When the poor fight back it’s called violence.
    Education in personal finance should be required like math, history & science.
    Give a damn.
    I can’t afford a lobbyist. I am the 99%.
    Fuck trickle down. They’re just pissing on you.
    A better world is possible.
    Too big to fail is too big to allow.
    I won’t believe coporations are people until Texas executes one.
    You can’t find a good left-wing military coup when you need one.
    It is easier for me to buy a gun than an education.
    It’s harder today to make a living, it’s easier to snatch one.
    Democracy is hard but we’re doing it.
    End corporate personhood.
    Bakes sales for banks. Bailout for schools.
    Never confuse Friedman for freedom.
    Stop fucking up the future.
    It’s not a crisis – it’s a scam.
    Loan sharks ate my world.
    No bulls, no bears, only pigs.
    Foreclose on the finance market.
    We the people are pissed off.
    There’s enough to go around.
    The rich get bailed out the poor get sold out.
    The CEO’s of Wall St belong behind bars.
    Quit struggling and start fighting.
    Main St not Wall St.
    Can’t bear Wall St bull.
    Get  the money out of politics.
    Fox News – rich people telling rich people to tell middle class people to blame poor people.
    The only just war is class war.
    They poison our air, water, land, bodies, mind.

  11. just saying 14

    I asked this on another, dying, thread, so I thought I’d repeat it here:

    “Yes. I’ve been thinking Key’s (publicly known and undisputed) past should be an election issue, and should have been last time. The timing might be better now MSM is being forced to give at least some coverage to the issues behind OWS.

    In the interests of being well-informed in my bad-mouthing him in the run-up to the election: I remember hearing about his involvement in betting against the NZ dollar and costing this country millions (quite legally) in a previous life. True?, partly true?, false?”


    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      You want Travellerev’s site.

      • travellerev 14.1.1

        Thanks DTB,

        Justsaying you might want to read this. There is plenty more on my blog.
        John Key is a bankster scumbag with a huge conflict of interest and should not be the PM of this country.

        • travellerev

          Actually this one is the one on his dealings with Andrew Krieger the guy attacking the NZ dollar in 1987. there might be a couple of dead links to the unauthorised biography because when I confronted Eugene Bingham the writer with his obviously fraudulent piece they removed five pages of the article. Funnily enough those were the ones with reference to his banking career. The pdf of the article I made of the original will be available in the next couple of days. I’ve had a massive crash of my computer and need to rebuild it from scratch. Thank God for back up files.

  12. randal 15

    what about its the rich whats get the prunes but its the poor thats get the shits!

  13. You’ve got to hand it to Key, he has to be the luckiest guy in the world.
    By his testimony all the nefarious shit happened either before or after he left the various companies. Either he is the luckiest guy in the world or he is as guilty as sin. Trouble is, nobody with inside info is saying a thing.
    We are reduced to calculating dates and speculating. I personally have no doubt that he was up to his lying lips in CDOs and in getting rich off speculating on the NZ dollar. The problem is proving it.
    You’re right, it’s a good time to kick start this issue as he was definitely involved (even if he wasn’t there when the fit hit the shan) and doesn’t deserve the reputation of being a responsible money man and is therefore qualified to be our PM.
    shady financier + economic failure in government = epic fail

    • handle 16.1

      “it’s a good time to kick start this issue”

      because that worked so well at the last election.

      • William Joyce 16.1.1

        Truth can always be hidden by a good PR campaign.

        • travellerev

          Hi W,
          I’ve had a massive crash on my computer and have lost my ability to convert the flyers pdf’s to a word file for the time being. If you download them from my blog they can be converted for editing and you have my permission to do so. I would really appreciate you helping me with the flyers because it is my impression people are more open to reading them than they were three years ago.

    • In an article called the unauthorised biography published in the NZ herald he says: “and than all hell broke loose and I said I’m out of here”

      That was when the Bankers trust bank collapsed as a result of a derivatives scandal. John Key was then headhunted by Merrill Lynch to help them build up their Derivatives trade which made them one of the biggest banks by the end of 2000 when John Key left.

      John Key was on an advisory committee to the Federal Reserve in New York when the Glass Steagall act was repealed (something every investment bankster dreamed off) and he said in another interview of Andrew Krieger’s attack on the NZ dollar in which he was the party in NZ that Andrew Krieger was the first to really understand the power of Options (one form of gambling with derivatives) which had been illegal from 1916 until 1982 and should never have been legalised in the first place as they also caused the “Great” depression.

      John Key was there when it happened and knew all about it. He is quilty as sin.

  14. Cloaca 17

    William Joyce

    Timing is everything in life. Even when you draw down the Government’s Maritime disaster fund, and shut up about it until you are outed – bad timing ?

    • There’s a world of difference between bad decisions on the maritime fund and deliberately increasing your personal fortune buy selling shit and speculating on your own country’s currency knowing you are getting rich and causing people to lose jobs, businesses, houses etc.
      One is a moment of poor judgement and the other is an immoral position based on a lack of good character and if you support the later (as you appear to) then you obviously share the same failure of character.

  15. NickS 18


    Because that’s just soo much smarter and cheaper than actually doing network security properly and hiring a small army of grey and white hat hackers (complete with research botnets) to hunt for any holes + “deal with” any dumbass employees who violate basic security protocols. Basically, unless the new ‘net is utterly isolated from the rest of the net, and heavily encrypted, it’s going to be penetrated very quickly as it’ll be hacker catnip.

    And so, you can’t escape the Red Queen by jumping on to a different track, because they’ll just follow you…

  16. As a vegetarian for over 30 years I hope this story isn’t true, and it may not be, as there are no sources but…

    “Meatless days in France are a thing of the past for 6 million children after the French government announced children will be forced to eat meat if they want lunch at school. The new move has left vegetarians crying foul and demand a change to the policy, but Paris seems unwilling to budge after the law was passed by decree by the country’s parliament this month.

    It forbids serving vegetarian meals to school children and goes on to say that fish, dairy, meat or offal, “must be used in every meal.” Even bringing lunch to school is not an alternative as the government has also banned packed lunches. The ban will be implemented across kindergartens, hospitals, prisons, colleges and old people’s homes.”


    I don’t care too much what people choose to do and if they choose to partake of flesh, that is their choice – for me the disgusting practices we use to ‘farm’ animals was more than I could tolerate and I couldn’t get out of my head – “If we don’t need to treat animals like this to live – why do it? Why put the animals through untold suffering? I couldn’t, I won’t.

    • The Voice of Reason 19.1

      I had a quick hunt online and it looks like the report you quote is a tad exaggerated, MM. The government agency responsible has banned dishes that are associated with obesity such as hot chips and fatty meats, but they have only made some brief suggestions about what the alternatives should be. Their list of alternatives does not include vegetarian options, but does not preclude them either. And it does suggest more vegetables be included in the meals.
      Fox News has also gone off the deep end, reporting the change as being a ban on ketchup, implying that it’s anti-Americanism gone mad!

    • The Baron 20.1

      Your website hurts my eyes, and whatever message there is in dog-eat-dog politics is lost on me – just like I suspect it will be on 95% of people who see it.

      Fail E – must try harder.

  17. randal 21

    Hey Ev I didnt know that John Keys was working at Bankers Trust when they wen tbust. They went bust because they were selling derivatives to Proctor and Gamble and the Orange County Pension Fund and then changing the rules so that those mentioned above lost colossal amounts of money and had to sue to get it back.
    Hmmm. thats what New Zealand will have to do after John Keys slopes off.

    • Hi R,
      Here is the timeline for the Bankers trust career of John Key. He claims he did not start at the Bankers trust until August 1988 but he also tells us that he did trade with Andrew Krieger and what’s more he and his than boss tell us that he was the trader appointed to deal with Andrew Krieger solely while he was trading many millions. That could only have happened on the Thursday after the 1987 black Monday as Krieger reckoned the NZ dollar was overrated and that is the only spike recorded in the Reserve bank annals.

      Andrew Krieger left the Bankers trust in January 1988 and forex trading altogether in June of that year making it utterly impossible for John Key to have worked with him in August of 1988.

      The Proctor and Gamble scandal broke in 1995 but this is what was the norm in 1993: ROF in Bankers trust lingo meant Rip off factor. John does not say:”the Bankers trust was a big disappoint because they turned out to be a fraudulent lot.”

      Instead he takes a position with Merrill Lynch selling the same derivatives that collapsed the Bankers trust in the first place.

      Thanks for the info on the Orange County Pension Fund!

  18. handle 22

    Some useful research for the paranoid: http://berkeley.intel-research.net/arahimi/helmet/

  19. NickS 23

    America’s child death shame

    This is the cost of destroying welfare systems, this is the “choice” the little L libertards want people to have and this is what could happen here if the right wing nutjobs in National ever get their way, cheered on by the likes of ACT supporters and that arsehat Lindsay Mitchell who declares welfare to be teh evils.

    Fuck. This. Shit.

  20. Cuur 24

    Hey this is nice and keep it up

    • NickS 24.1


      It’s spam, pointless comment used to post in order to put in a name with a link to pseudoscience weight-loss bullshit.

      Kill it with FIRE please.

  21. randal 25

    allright then.
    fire at will.
    up against the wall muthaf*ckah!
    (lprent is gunna kcik my ass for this but hey I just couldn’t resist)

  22. just saying 27

    Many thanks Travellerev (and others)
    Much material there. Will pass it on.

    edit: This was meant to be a reply to Travellerev above.

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