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Open mike 23/09/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 23rd, 2010 - 65 comments
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65 comments on “Open mike 23/09/2010”

  1. Carol 1

    With respect to recent discussions in this forum about the impact of inequality, I found this article gave a good overview of some books that look relevant:

    http://fivebooks.com/interviews/danny-dorling-on-inequality

    Professor Danny Dorling says it is becoming very hard to argue against inequality when, under the surface, arguments are beginning to be made that it’s rational to have inequality. His latest book, Injustice, rejects the arguments that are put forward for preserving inequality, one by one. He chooses essential reading on the subject.

    Dorling explains why he thinks his 5 selected books make significant contributions to the issue. The books are:

    The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain since 1950– Avner Offer

    The Selfish Capitalist: The Origins of Affluenza – Oliver James

    Super Rich: The rise of inequality in Britain and the United States – George Irvin

    Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power, and the Hidden Battle for the World Food System – Raj Patel

    The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better – Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett

    The comment by Dorling that I found most startling, was this (about the book, The Selfish Capitalist):

    There has been research done in the States scanning the brains of students as they see a homeless person: the evidence suggests that they don’t recognise them as human. It was only when they asked the question ‘Do you think that person is hungry?’ that suddenly all the emotions fire up. It’s a survival mechanism. If you live in a very unequal society, you barely even see people who are from different social classes.

    • prism 1.1

      I have bought The Waning of Humaneness by Konrad Lorenz 1983 though not read it entirely yet. Under the heading ‘The uneasiness inherent in culture’ he posits that the soul preceded the mind and refers to his dog’s soul and capacity to love exceeding that of a human.

      He comments on the formation of mind ‘The human mind brought into existence through conceptual thinking, syntactic speech and the heritability of traditional knowledge {through} speech…'(p123) and this overtakes the soul.

      He refers to the technocratic/capitalistic success-society and says it influences us so much that our minds have ‘become the adversary of life itself and collaterally the adversary of the human soul’.(p126)

      I have referred to a radio discussion on the limiting of humanities education in universities which includes this type of philosophical thinking. If such debilitating control grows, then there will be even more growth of the money/action oriented person as in the Ayn Randian brand and Brave New World and 1984 portray the culture that will dominate our thinking and our lives.

    • Vicky32 1.2

      “scanning the brains of students as they see a homeless person: the evidence suggests that they don’t recognise them as human”
      Dear Heaven, that is well scary!
      Deb

  2. prism 2

    From The Daily Noose: John Key bends to pick low-hanging fruit. Douglas bites him in the bum, but Key turns the other cheek.

    • Carol 2.1

      Heh. Good one, prism. key just doesn’t accept any criticism – like water off a ducks back. He uses denial, diversion, and/or jokey deflection – all in his “down-to-earth-honest-guy” tone of voice. Sooner or later, surely (?!), the mainstream TV news & newspaper frontpage headlines must call him on it, and get him to face up to, and answer to, realities!?

    • jcuknz 2.2

      Key didn’t have to turn much since he has two cheeks up top and behind below.
      But seriously there will always be inequality, it is a fact of life, the aim should be to limit it to reasonable proportions. If there is none then there is no incentive for the individual. and no reward for effort. Everybody would be fat objectionable slobs as portrayed in the cartoon film about the waste collecting machine left behind on earth when mankind left for the stars ….I’m sure there was a message there from the producers..

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        That, quite simply, is a load of BS. Of course there would still be incentive – it would just be different than the fight to survive that drives the majority ATM (and which is used to keep them poor and the rich rich).

        • Bored 2.2.1.1

          Draco, I think from a historic perspective JC is quite correct, as we hear from the pulpit so often “the poor will always be with us” (ergo so will the rich). As a hard core lefty I work running companies (a very bourgeois activity) which makes me extremely aware of the need to allow people to contribute at their own level and to give them incentive to do so. Its as simple as recognition, people have a need to achieve and celebrate their success.

          What I think capitalism has done with this innate urge to achieve / succeed is to subvert it from the common good and the joint celebration of individual success. It is now a singular individual isolated success, and the capitalist control mechanism is the need of individuals to repeat it continuously to remain in front of the competitive pack. Rewards are material (cash) and thus success becomes an act of class warfare and control. The corollary is institutionalised poverty, no winners without losers.

        • Armchair Critic 2.2.1.2

          Yeah, I’m with jcuknz until about half way through the comment.
          I’d like a link to the cartoon film (is it on youtube, jcuknz?) so I can understand the context, because at face value it seems like BS to me.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.2.1.2.1

            He’s talking about Wall-E

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WALL-E#Themes

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.2.1.1

              Yep, Wall-E. Where everything was done by the machines and the people were looking for something to do but the machines wouldn’t let them. Pretty much what we have in capitalism.

              • Armchair Critic

                OK, thanks. I’m still not inspired to watch it. Whatsoever (which is the AS word – it’s sentient. Again.)

                • jcuknz

                  Thanks for the title which had slipped my memory though if you have a spare hour or so the film is well worth watching and I only refered to a short part of it … WALL-E is a highly engaging character and lovable 🙂

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    What with everything, those folks at lower then 5 on the ACT list must be real keepers eh?

    • Dave 3.1

      Yeah, I’ll bet that party has more buried skeletons than Agincourt and Hastings combined. Good to see Clayton Cosgrove getting stuck in where he can, perhaps another backbencher could get fired up and throw in his two shillings worth?

      I hope Winston decides to stand in Epsom, that would be a debate I’d love to go and watch

      • Anne 3.1.1

        @ Dave
        You can be assured they have buried skeletons. A couple of their early antics would see them “gone by lunchtime” (and more) if they ever saw the light of day. The problem is, getting a few people to stick their necks up above the parapet and spill the beans.

  4. G8 4

    Herald article today:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10675467

    John Banks campaign manager Dr Rainbow is still on the rate payers payroll.

    WE CANNOT TRUST BANK’S

    • prism 4.1

      No apostrophe in Banks in this use G8. His name has an S at the end. But if wanted to indicate possession or attribution of something eg Banks’ trustworthiness in doubt.

      Which reminds me of funny? USA story I heard on RadioNZ other day. Two geeks went on a trip in USA drawing on their expertise with English usage and editorial experience, correcting grammar, apostrophes on or not on signs etc.

      At Yellowstone National Park they altered a sign without asking permission, but though it seemed a park sign it was an art installation purposefully done. They were charged with vandalism and were dragged before a court, fined $3000 and were forbidden to continue this activity, it was suggested for ever but finalised at six months, and had to take down their web site relating to it.

      What an extreme response. USA the land of the free? Rather a punitive, humourless, authoritarian, conformist society.

      • Vicky32 4.1.1

        Very authoritarian, yes, and they have serious issues with freedom of speech no matter what the Constitution says! (I remember years ago, hearing about a study done – psych students (who else?) stood on the street with a clipboard and a copy of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, asking the American in the street what s/he thought of it all – and got the response from 8 out of every 10 people they asked that these documents were the rankest communism and that the authors ought to be in prison!)
        Deb

        • jcuknz 4.1.1.1

          VICKY …I related your story to my son who did his higher education in the States and he asked … where in the States were the students? His wife who is American thought it hilarious.

          • Vicky32 4.1.1.1.1

            I don’t really remember the details, sorry… I learned about the incident when doing Ed Psych 201, many years back…
            Further though, I am on various fora, and I’ve recently caught hell for perceived (not real) anti-Americanism when I commented on a fictional example one woman gave, that it sounded like something from Criminal Minds, and that American TV was not a realistic source of knowledge of human nature!
            So it seems to me, obvious, that Americans are always on the lookout for things that seem to them, attacks… Sad.
            Deb

    • pollywog 4.2

      A gay doctor with a green background named Rainbow…so does that make Banks the pink eunuch horn ?

      …what a pretty sight they must make together

    • BLiP 4.3

      With his brown-shirt bovva boys stacking the front row at candidate meetings, his allowing council staff to ignore rules on campaigning, and with his National Ltd™ mate Boag using Momentum letterhead to seek donations . . . desparate Banks is desperate.

      • comedy 4.3.1

        Frankly the three fuckers who are the incumbent mayors should all be gassed – you’ve got Brown rorting it up using council resources to campaign, Banks doing the same and the Looniest of the lot on the Nth Shore having council staff doing mail drops of his fliers………… we are through the looking glass.. reverse vampires etc etc etc

  5. freedom 5

    Stuff site poll on the Games now at 72% opposed to sending athletes

    capcha: come lol

  6. tsmithfield 6

    I thought I would have seen an article by Marty or Eddie now on the student loan stand-down for failing at Uni. Thought one of you would have been into that one like a big fluffy dog.

    • Mac1 6.1

      What are your thoughts, tsmithfield? Apart from thinking that someone else should have thoughts?

      • tsmithfield 6.1.1

        The two year period is two thirds of the time required for an undergraduate degree. If you can’t pass more than half of your course over that period, you’re sure as hell not going to get the degree. Two years also should be long enough to determine if someone has got the intellectual grunt to be able to make it in tertiary education (One year for pissing around enjoying getting drunk etc, one year for serious study).

        So, I think its about right. It weeds out all the hangers-on who want to be perpetual students but have no hope of getting anywhere. Also, it focuses the mind a bit more so that students might actually take study seriously than some otherwise might..

        • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.1

          Tumeke all right.

          http://tumeke.blogspot.com/2010/09/listening-to-paul-henry-in-morning-is.html

          I’m listening to that awful Paul Henry rave on and on and on about the new draconian policy by the Hollow Brain of Steven Joyce to stop funding students who fail 50% of their courses and this has now been imposed retrospectively starting last year….

          …Here’s something to jam down Paul Henry’s throat. I hosted a debate at Auckland Uni on Monday between Sam Lotu-linga, Gareth Hughes and Jacinda Ardern about education policy on this very issue. Sam explained that the Government wanted ‘productivity’ and that was why National were pushing ahead with the ‘pass 50% our you are out’ game (he didn’t note the new news released today that this policy would be imposed retrospectively). From the floor a young woman got up to ask a question. She said in her first year she had been a straight A student, but then she was raped (the entire Quad went very silent over her statement). She pointed out that her studies suffered and she failed half her papers. She wanted to know why this blanket policy to dump students was so cruel (she also noted she was unable to get ACC counselling now the policy had been changed by this Government to cut rape counselling funding). Sam was a but stunned, the other two political spokespeople were stunned, the Quad was a bit stunned (I was a bit stunned). The student said it was easy for National to pass policy like this when they didn’t know the reasons why students failed.

          • tsmithfield 6.1.1.1.1

            From that same article

            “To Sam’s credit he said he would ask Steven Joyce to look at possible exemptions form this blanket ban”

            And I understand that there will be consideration given to individual circumstances, as there should be. Obviously there can be situations that arise, illness, personal tragedy etc that need to be accounted for.

            However, in principal I think the idea is a good one.

            • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1.1.1.1

              If you are going to chop sentences in half when you quote someone ts, it’s polite to use an ellipsis.

              Here’s the full sentence:

              “To Sam’s credit he said he would ask Steven Joyce to look at possible exemptions form this blanket ban, which would be a joke in itself as that is what the Universities do right now.”

              • tsmithfield

                So, how about you, Pascal? In principal do you think there should be some level of accountability for students considering the taxpayer is subsidising the lions share of their fees?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Quite possibly, but I don’t think this plan is much good, nor you much honest. So fucked if I see why talking to you about it would be worth anything.

                  • tsmithfield

                    On the grumpy juice today?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Not really, just think blatant dishonesty is only worth responding to in certain ways. If you want people to be nice, don’t be a fuckstick. If you do be fucksticky, it’s your own fault if people treat you like the shit you present yourself as.

                      Accountability ya reckon?

                      Deal.

                    • tsmithfield

                      So your reason for expressing self-righteous angst is that I forgot to put a few dots after the quote:-something I am normally quite careful to do…..

                      You also seem to be implying that I was taking the comment out of context. However, I don’t see that as the case at all. The purpose for citing that portion of the quote was to demonstrate that the government was looking at the problem that had been highlighted. The omitted part of the quote wasn’t relevant to that.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Everyone here can read ts.

                    • felix

                      You prior behaviour suggests that it’s more likely you deliberately omitted the last half because it makes a mockery of exactly the point you tried to make by quoting the first half, and less likely that you “forgot”.

                      D

            • Outofbed 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Well thats ok then, good old double dipping Sam. What about the cuts to ACC funding counseling what did he say about that?
              fuck i detest Tories
              Any one see Aaron Gilmore on Backbenchers last night
              every question apart from sow crates he mentioned the fucking earthqauke and/or Bob Parker
              What a creep

        • Mac1 6.1.1.2

          Thanks for the reply, tsmithfield.

          Back when, and as I remember, I had to complete four units (eight papers) in two years to keep the fees being paid, less than half the course which was twenty one papers.

          One bad year would have blown it under what you propose. Half the course could not have been completed by absolutely blowing one year- no passes- out of two.

          However, I would have passed half of the papers sat over two years. Is that what Joyce means?

          I agree perpetual students should pay their way. To what extent are they subsidised now? University can also be a place for some dilettante learning but that should be self-funded. I agree also that failure can focus the mind.

          • tsmithfield 6.1.1.2.1

            When I did my Masters I actually marked quite a lot of undergrad papers. Some of the standard was very poor. The “bums on seats” mentality has pushed a lot of people into higher education that simply shouldn’t be there IMO.

            What is probably needed is a good pre-entry assessment process that selects more reliably those who are suited to university, and their maturity level to cope with it.

  7. Outofbed 7

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/sep/22/suffolk-county-council-outsource-services
    So just a virtual council now
    this is what the future holds here

    • prism 7.1

      But the Suffok council spokesperson says the magic words which are bolded below. While bureaucracy can be stifling, if efficient you can get them to do things that should be done. Without them? – well you might get what oldies in some NZ areas get – a phone call from a contracted agency that gets you chatting as to how you’re getting on and if you say something positive, the voice says well you obviously don’t need your home help any more, and that’s finis to that.

      The council says it wants to withdraw from directly providing public services in order to reduce the local authority’s>i/<“size, cost and bureaucracy and build community capacity to enable Suffolk citizens to take greater control of their lives.”

      • Outofbed 7.1.1

        size, cost and bureaucracy and build community capacity to enable Suffolk citizens to take greater control of their lives. sort of like the Somalia of the British isles

  8. bobo 8

    “The child’s identity was not stolen 26 years ago, it was simply borrowed, and that harmed neither the child nor his parents, particularly since the false passport was never used.”

    Garth George on Act’s ‘stupidity’ in managing MP roster

    I don’t know what is more pathetic Garrett’s act, or the excuses and playing down of the act by the right wing trolls in the msm.

    • Outofbed 8.1

      We do not know it wasn’t used. As has been stated here before it could have been used for any number of purposes Setting up false bank accounts for example .
      One thing is for sure you don’t go to all that trouble for a lark
      Garth George another nice tory

    • Mac1 8.2

      How does George’s comment about no harm to the parents fit with Garrett’s regrets that the parents had been harmed? Whose word is he taking for the non-use of the passport? The criminal himself or some reputable authority such as the relevant Govt Department?

      If I borrowed a car rather than stole it, that would be called car conversion and would still be a crime, yes?

      Silly apologist, Mr George.

      • bobo 8.2.1

        I would have thought to borrow something you’d have to ask the owner first, maybe Garth George and David Garrett are one and the same person?

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Serious

    As for who’s responsible, Three News points the finger at Labour candidate Daljit Singh:

    One of the properties searched was the real estate office where Labour candidate Daljit Singh works. He said today police had not contacted him.

    I actually saw that on 3news last night. There was the definite implication that it (Papatoetoe eletoral fraud) was being done by Labour. It will be good to see just who is responsible for doing this.

    • Pramod 9.1

      I can confirm that Daljit Singh is involved in the papatoetoe vote fraud. This is a calculated strategy to undermine the Democratic process of NZ which Daljit has done with the support of 2 labour organisations namely GOPIO and Indian Newslink run by Venkat Raman who is a close associate and mentor of Daljit. The entire community knows that Daljit is being supported by Venkat Raman and Satish Sharma of GOPIO .
      Daljit is also the National Immigration Advisor of GOPIO.
      Labour should come clean of this and issue a statement as their silence indicates something fishy.
      Read the glowing tribute venkat raman is giving Daljit http://www.indiannewslink.co.nz/index.php/archives/sept_15_2010/4917.html

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    When ’speak to the hand’ isn’t good enough

    Mark Ford was appointed by Rodney Hide to set up the Auckland super city. The ratepayers of Auckland pay him $540,000 a year.

    He was responsible for hiring the agency Momentum to recruit 45 senior executives for the super city. Momentum has close ties with the National Party, employing former National Party President Michelle Boag as a senior executive, and with former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley on its board. Back in February it was revealed Ms Boag was working for John Banks’ mayoral campaign as an unpaid adviser while at the same time recruiting the super city’s chief spin doctor.

    Now we find out Ms Boag has been soliciting money and votes for John Banks on Momentum letterhead while the agency is recruiting the super city’s top executives. Mr Ford is asked about it by the Herald and he says “I’m not going there.”

    Looks like more corruption is showing up on the political right.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Garrett is GONE!!!

    hattip: NRT

  12. Roflcopter 12

    Labour + Greens + NZ First + Maori Party eh?

    *grabs popcorn*

    Good on ya Phil Goff!

  13. felix 13

    I remember learning about averages in primary school maths.

    I remember learning what mean, median and mode averages are.

    I remember my teacher putting great importance on the differences between them, and telling us to always be wary when anyone tries to use an average figure to make a case for something as it may not be the type of average you expect it to be.

    I remember other maths teachers in intermediate and high school reiterating this point.

    Was I the only one in class paying any attention to any of this?

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    More socialising the losses by farmers. When are we going to stop this blatant theft?

  15. Salsy 15

    Im interested to see just how this fonterra boom plays out. They may have recorded profits this year despite droughts in the north, but never before has NZ dairy been to utterly environmentally degrading, unethical & irresponsible. How many Europeans are would be happy to sit down for breakfast, pouring over their porridge a product that has been so mismanaged, that it can singlehandedly destory rainforests in South East Asia, causing extinction as well as climate change, pollute a vast, and growing number of NZ lowland waterways to the point that NZ is now home to one of the most polluted rives in the western world, threaten to expand – intensively consuming the ecologically important McKenzie basin and could, if left uncontrolled have a significant and unintended negative impact on the industries which trade on our clean green image including the billion dollar tourism industry, …all the while at sitting at a well known major market disadvantage – being created a giant carbon footprint away from its main market.

    Its possibly one of the most environmentally irresponsible, unethical and ungreen products in the world – ironically still marketed under the clean green brand.

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    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    4 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    5 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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