web analytics

Open mike 26/12/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, December 26th, 2019 - 38 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 Policy).

Step up to the mike …

38 comments on “Open mike 26/12/2019 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Gallup poll on socialism: https://news.gallup.com/poll/268766/socialism-popular-capitalism-among-young-adults.aspx

    Not trending: "positive views of socialism are flat across the age spectrum. Since 2010, young adults' positive ratings of socialism have hovered near 50%, while the rate has been consistently near 34% for Gen Xers and near 30% for baby boomers/traditionalists."

    Why? Young adults like the warm fuzzy feelings it generates. As they age, they notice the lessons provided by implementation. Relevant role models: Bashar al-Assad, Saddam Hussein, Robert Mugabe.

    "Ideologically an African nationalist, during the 1970s and 1980s he identified as a Marxist–Leninist, and as a socialist after the 1990s." [Google/Wikipedia] So he was the world's leading socialist when he died.

    Saddam was an expert practitioner. "Ba'athism calls for unification of the Arab world into a single state. Its motto, "Unity, Liberty, Socialism", refers to Arab unity, and freedom from non-Arab control and interference." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ba%27ath_Party

    "Saddam convened an assembly of Ba'ath party leaders on 22 July 1979. During the assembly, which he ordered videotaped, Saddam claimed to have found a fifth column within the Ba'ath Party …members were labelled "disloyal" and were removed from the room one by one and taken into custody… The 68 people arrested at the meeting were subsequently tried together and found guilty of treason. 22 were sentenced to execution. Other high-ranking members of the party formed the firing squad. By 1 August 1979, hundreds of high-ranking Ba'ath party members had been executed." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saddam_Hussein

    "Bashar Hafez al-Assad .. is a Syrian politician who has been the President of Syria since 17 July 2000. In addition, he is commander-in-chief of the Syrian Armed Forces and Regional Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party's branch in Syria. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bashar_al-Assad

    Memes are contagious, their meaning, not so much. Folks generalise the label, while ignoring relevant context. To err is human, and political consciousness has but a marginal relation to reality…

    • Ad 1.1

      In living memory our socialist leaders were Nash, Kirk, and Muldoon.

      In order:

      – Useless

      – Conservative and shortlived, and

      – Autocratic

      Lange and Clark were courageous powerhouses and not at all socialist.

      • weka 1.1.1

        Or, Lange didn't have it in him to stand up earlier to the libertarians taking possession of the party. Plus whatever went down as Labour came into power and had to deal with the apparent currency crisis.

        By the time Clark came along Labour were locked into neoliberalism with no easy way out.

        Framing not memery.

      • millsy 1.1.2

        Muldoon was the last PM to actually care about the people in this country. I think Lange might have, but didnt realise that it was too late that he had given too much power to Prebble, Douglas and Caygill, so he couldnt do anything about it. Jacinda? A damn sight better than Key and English, but too early to tell with her.

        • Anne

          Yes millsy that was the problem with Lange. He put his trust in them and it wasn't until halfway through their 6 year tenure he realised he made an awful mistake. I have sympathy for his dilemma because it so easily happens in life.

          As for Muldoon: just wait until the full story behind the Erebus aftermath is told. He won't be remembered as a socialist but rather… the Chief in Charge of thuggery and criminally acquired theft.

          And that’s just the start….

          • Sacha

            You really need to write a book.

            • Anne

              The truth has got to come our first and then yes… I might write the story. In fact it is already half written. Has a humorous side to it too. 🙂

          • millsy

            If you ask me, running sightseeing flights to the Antarctic was a disaster waiting to happen. There was not even provision for an emergency landing down there, with the plane expected to limp back home if anything happened. No cold weather gear, no nothing. Civilian airliners are not really designed to fly in these conditions.

            • Anne

              The truth I'm talking about was not to do with the tragedy and whether or not they should have been conducting sight-seeing flights in the first place. They are safe enough under very strict conditions. The RNZAF has been making trips to McMurdo Sound for decades without serious problems.

              My story is – in part – to do with the ongoing skulduggery that occurred in the wake of the tragedy which continued to have repercussions for a number of years afterwards. It included harassment, intimidation and in some cases worse than that.

          • KJT

            Well. Just goes to show that National hasn't changed much.

            • Anne

              Under Muldoon it was worse.

              I was never a great fan of Paul Holmes, but in his book "Daughters of Erebus" he describes Muldoon as "malignant, malevolent and a thug". I agree with him.

  2. pat 2

    "The problem, of course, is US president Donald Trump, who does not seem to understand that “managed strategic competition” with China requires good-faith engagement and cooperation with other countries. To succeed, the US needs to work closely with its allies and partners to bring its open-society, open-economy model into the 21st century. The west may not like China’s authoritarian state capitalism, but it must get its own house in order. Western countries need to enact economic reforms to reduce inequality and prevent damaging financial crises, as well as political reforms to contain the populist backlash against globalisation, while still upholding the rule of law."


    One observation from many inter-connected in a sobering article by Roubini….history never repeats?….maybe not exactly but the patterns remain the same.

    • Ad 2.1

      Trump's US economy is steady and strong.

      And the Chinese were rising well before he arrived.

      August this year Roubini was all chips in predicting recession for 2020. Pretty unlikely.

      • pat 2.1.1

        US economy strong prior 2007/8 as well…and the Chinese issue isnt the fact of their growing importance but how its accommodated (or not), no ones disputing a shift in global hegemony….I wouldnt dismiss Roubini's prediction out of hand though am happy to concede his timing may be off (theres always multiple actors working to avoid the worst outcomes but their success is frequently undone by the unforeseen) but that dosnt undermine his reasoning with the bigger picture….even though he dosnt appear to have factored in CC risk

      • AB 2.1.2

        "Trump's US economy is steady and strong."

        Therefore "steady and strong" economies can apparently co-exist with (or be the cause of) widespread human misery. Odd that we should care so much about such a sinister abstraction as "the economy".

      • KJT 2.1.3


        "Nobody seems to have noticed: the only two rich societies in the world with falling life expectancies, incomes, savings, happiness, trust — every single social indicator you can imagine — are America and Britain. It’s not one of history’s most improbable coincidences that America and Britain are collapsing in eerily similar ways, at precisely the same time. It’s a relationship. What connects the dots?

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    "What if everything you have been taught about how to succeed in life was wrong?" Specialisation was the prevalent ethos when I grew up. I suspect it was derived historically from the economic doctrine around the division of labour. But efficiency in organisation doesn't necessarily provide the right recipe for resilience in troubled times.

    "From the '10,000 hours rule' to the power of Tiger parenting, we have been taught that success in any field requires early specialization and many hours of deliberate practice. And, worse, that if you dabble or delay, you'll never catch up with those who got a head start. This is completely wrong."

    "In this landmark book, David Epstein shows that the way to excel is by sampling widely, gaining a breadth of experiences, taking detours, experimenting relentlessly, juggling many interests – in other words, by developing range. Studying the world's most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, and scientists Epstein discovered that in most fields – especially those that are complex and unpredictable – generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. They are also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can't see. Range proves that by spreading your knowledge across multiple domains is the key to success rather than deepening their knowledge in a single area." https://www.booktopia.com.au/range-david-epstein/book/9781509843503.html

    The author "has master's degrees in environmental science and journalism and has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica". Silo-thinking is widely recognised these days. I noticed it in academic culture when I was a student way back. About a decade ago I was musing on the problem & decided to start identifying myself as a generalist. Haven't really gone down that road due to diffidence & realisation that folks would challenge me to identify the general principles that apply to any situation. I didn't really need the extra workload. But it's true that I sat down one day in 1988 and summarised the basic principles of holism – filled the page no problem. That page is still in my holism folder.

  4. Incognito 4


    I enjoyed reading this and won’t spoil it by (selectively) quoting from it.

    Sometimes, TS feels like an extended family group chat with all the ups & downs that you’d expect when people chat with one another thinking that they know one another well (enough). It can be fun.

    • weka 4.1

      is the group chat via FB Messenger? Surely we can do better than this?

      "The future is private," Mark Zuckerberg said earlier this year

      Got eye rolling muscle strain now.

    • weka 4.2

      TS as extended family group chat… been watching leftie twitter yesterday, so many talking about reaching the limit of being around family by the afternoon. Not sure if that's business as usual with twitter amplifying it by being a public grumble space, or if people's tolerance for family has lessened.

  5. joe90 5

    The likes of Bill Ryan, Harry Leslie Smith and Greta Thunberg keep my misanthropy at bay.

  6. Robert Guyton 6

    "Can you imagine a theology that would suggest that we will be judged together as a collective and that heaven awaits us if all life that we touch has been improved by our presence, including both human and non-human; that the meaning of life is a collective effort, not an individual competition?

    I offer this, not as a theological proposition but as a thought experiment, one that is not without precedent. "


    • Incognito 6.1

      That was an excellent read (albeit very long and I did not follow any of the many links in it). I made some brief notes as I worked my way through it.

      Illicit drug use is being monitored by analysis of wastewater. I don’t know how much of these substances make it into our waterways. It could put a new spin on “high and dry” or ‘having the attention span of a goldfish’.

      Poisoning of environment is mirrored in poisoning of ourselves through substance abuse and (bad) food choices, for example; the world and we humans are not separate but extensions or manifestations of one and the same.

      A new theology will have to compete with the retrograde fundamentalism of (some) existing religions, of which there are many. Similarly, “our society” is diverse and so will be its (our) response(s).

      The language of economics and commerce may be expedient, but it is incomplete; by using it, something is lost.

      The same could be said about the language of science.

      This is where religion and philosophy come in. While some see them as the obstacle, I see them as the solution.

      I think the solution lies in an integration of all major ways of analysing our world (e.g. economics, science, religion, and philosophy) into some kind of Grand Unifying Theory.

      Instead of viewing nature as simply a resource or waste sink for our own benefit, we will find ways to see the value it possesses beyond human utility and efficiency. We will see value in all life and appreciate inter-dependencies that cannot be detected in a laboratory or calculated in a market exchange. The fact that we can’t measure or price this value does not mean that it doesn’t exist. It simply needs to be examined and expressed in different ways. [my italics]

      In this context, one could start by using the word “worth” instead of “value”. Hannah Arendt made a clear distinction between intrinsic worth and relative value.

      • Sacha 6.1.1

        Who sets the worth?

        • Incognito

          Yes, good question.

          My attempt at an answer: the commons should be managed (guarded and treasured) by the community for the community; it is non-commodified and non-tradeable that has intrinsic worth to the community. Because it is not tradeable on the market, worth is a quality, not a quantitative attribute like value. In fact, one could value the commons at zero, but its worth is infinite in dollar terms, as it cannot be sold, bought, or traded.

  7. Robert Guyton 7

    "“We have become, by the power of a glorious evolutionary accident called intelligence, the stewards of life’s continuity on earth,” paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote. “We did not ask for this role, but we cannot abjure it. We may not be suited to it, but here we are.”"


  8. Robert Guyton 8


    Many rightly express alarm that we are not moving fast enough and are therefore doomed. Some believe that we have already waited too long and only a dark future lies ahead. Ethicist Clive Hamilton warns that, “those who argue for the ‘good Anthropocene’ are unscientific and live in a fantasy world of their own construction…I cannot see how, in a world warmed by four degrees, anything can be described as good.” I look at books on my shelves and see dismal titles that send a similar signal: Learning to Die in the Anthropocene and We’re Doomed, Now What?

    But even if you are among the camp that believes it’s too late to prevent many dire changes to society and the natural world, we must still try. With each passing day, the signal events of the Anthropocene are becoming increasingly hard to ignore while the concept and its meaning for our existence are becoming easier to understand. At some point the signals and the concepts will converge and the world will change. In fact, we can see signs that this is happening already."


    • Sabine 8.1

      unless we are happy to give up the comfort of this life, endless water conveniently from the tap, a car for everyone and their dog, a boat, a jet ski, and a livestyle cause we are owned it, nothing will change for better.

      The world will not change, the world will burn in some parts, run out of water in other parts, and people will fight for survival. the planet 'the world' does not give a flying shit about us, we have no more value then the koalas and roos corrently burning to their death in their natural habitat.

      that is the problem with the hope gospel, we can see what happens, but still have hope that someone somewhere is gonna have a grandiose idea to save the' world' without having to give up our livestyle.

      and frankly us over 50 we be fine, its the young ones -especially the women who will be the mothers of tomorrow- how are screwed. But then no one really seems to care about that either.

  9. joe90 9


Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Protect seamounts and ban bottom trawling right now
    The Green Party is renewing its call for Minister for the Environment, David Parker to immediately ban bottom trawling on seamounts. ...
    19 hours ago
  • Building Auckland’s transport future
    We’re making sure Auckland has the infrastructure it needs for the future, so Aucklanders can get around safely and efficiently as our biggest city grows. The new, linked-up transport system we’re building will include partially tunnelled light rail between the CBD and the airport, as well as another Waitematā Harbour ...
    21 hours ago
  • Build Auckland light rail for benefit of everyone
    The Government’s decision on light rail in Auckland is the first step towards building the climate friendly, accessible city our communities deserve. ...
    21 hours ago
  • Put our most vulnerable first
    Don’t forget whānau and communities most at risk, says the Green Party, as the Government lays out its three-phase plan for Omicron. ...
    3 days ago
  • Boosting our immunity against Omicron
    With Omicron in the community, it’s vital we all do our bit to help to slow the spread, keep each other safe and protect our health system. One of the most important ways we can reduce the risk of Omicron is to get a booster dose as soon as we’re ...
    3 days ago
  • Equitable response to Omicron vital
    The Green Party supports the Government’s decision to move Aotearoa New Zealand to traffic light level Red at 11.59pm tonight, but says its success will depend on the support that is made available to the most vulnerable. ...
    6 days ago
  • How we’re preparing for Omicron
    As countries around the world experience Omicron outbreaks, we’re taking steps now to ensure we’re as prepared as possible and our communities are protected. ...
    1 week ago
  • What’s Labour achieved so far?
    Quite a bit! This Government was elected to take on the toughest issues facing Aotearoa – and that’s what we’re doing. Since the start of the pandemic, protecting lives and livelihoods has been a priority, but we’ve also made progress on long-term challenges, to deliver a future the next generation ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tackling the big issues in 2022
    This year, keeping Kiwis safe from COVID will remain a key priority of the Government – but we’re also pushing ahead on some of New Zealand’s biggest long-term challenges. In 2022, we’re working to get more Kiwis into homes, reduce emissions, lift children out of poverty, and ensure people get ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Tupu Tai graduation-It’s time to step up
    Greetings: Kia orana, talofa lava, Noa’ia e mauri, malo e lelei, taloha ni, fakaalofa lahi atu, ni sa bula vinaka, talofa, kia ora, tena koutou katoa.  I would love to begin by acknowledging everyone here in attendance, especially the families and friends of the 2021/22 Tupu Tai cohort, and those ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Building and shaping a city: Future-proofing Auckland transport infrastructure
    The Government is bringing Auckland’s transport infrastructure into the future by moving forward with an additional Waitematā Harbour crossing, progressing light rail from Auckland’s CBD to the airport, and creating a linked-up rapid transport network as part of a 30-year plan. Key decisions on additional Waitematā Harbour crossing to be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Penguin rehab and native forest restoration get helping hand
    A long-running penguin rehab facility which has been hard hit by the tourism downturn, and work to restore native forest habitats in the Catlins are being supported through Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. Otago’s Penguin Place and The Hokonui Rūnanga Catlins Biodiversity Project will receive combined ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Resilient economy reflected in Crown accounts
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect a resilient economy that has performed better than expected and puts the country in a strong position to respond to Omicron, Grant Robertson said. The Crown Accounts for the five months to the end of November were more favourable than forecast in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces three phase public health response to Omicron
    Reducing isolation period for cases and close contacts at Phase Two and Three to 10 and seven days Definition of close contact required to isolate changes to household or household like contacts at Phase Three Increased use of rapid antigen tests with test to return policy put in place for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Ambassador to Thailand announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Jonathan Kings as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Thailand. “Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-standing relationship with Thailand, celebrating the 65th anniversary of diplomatic representation between our countries in 2021. We also share much in common at regional and multilateral levels ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government’s Family Package continues to deliver for New Zealanders
    The Families Package helped around 330,000 families in its first year - more than half of all families with children in NZ These families received an estimated $55 per week more from Families Package payments in 2018/19 than in 2017/18, on average Families Package increases to the maximum possible Accommodation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand retains top spot in global anti-corruption rankings
    Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has welcomed news of New Zealand’s ongoing position as top in the world anti-corruption rankings. The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index released by global anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, ranks New Zealand first equal with Denmark and Finland, with a score of 88 out of 100. “This is an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Testing improvements see New Zealand well prepared for Omicron
    New Zealand’s PCR testing capacity can be increased by nearly 20,000 tests per day to deal with a surge in cases as part of our wider COVID-19 testing strategy, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We have continued to adapt our public health response to safeguard the health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 5,000 portable air cleaners for schools on their way
    As schools are preparing to return, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 5,000 air cleaners have been ordered for New Zealand schools. “As we know, along with vaccination, testing, good hygiene and physical distancing, good ventilation is important in minimising the risk of airborne transmission of the virus that causes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago