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Open mike 26/03/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 26th, 2011 - 68 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

68 comments on “Open mike 26/03/2011 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    Show the government you care about the Seabed and Foreshore.

    Stop Deep Sea Oil Drilling. Rally Tomorrow – Princes Wharf 12.30 pm.

    Called by Te Whanau Apanui and Greenpeace

  2. William joyce 2

    Some weekend reading….book review and discussion following:
    Das Capitalist – Adam Smith: An Enlightened Life by Nicholas Phillipson

    ‘ [Adam] Smith roundly mistrusted businessmen….. he insisted that businessmen, for all they may talk of freedom and fairness, “generally have an interest to deceive and even oppress the public.” ‘

    • apples are yum 2.1

      Link seems to be bung. Try this: http://tinyurl.com/4tldlr9

      • William joyce 2.1.1

        Thanks for the catch – but the url in the navigation is the same…hhhmmm not sure what’s going on.

    • apples are yum 2.2

      “That a little more plenty than ordinary may render some workmen idle, cannot well be doubted; but that it should have that effect upon the greater part, or that men in general should work better when they are ill fed than when they are well fed, when they are disheartened than when they are in good spirits, when they are frequently sick than when they are in good health, seems not very probable.”

      It seems history has proved this idea incorrect. People aren’t happy until they work themselves into nervous breakdown these days. They don’t feel like they’re working until they’re sick or dead and will go at it until that state is reached. Mainstream society treats work related sickness as a status symbol. On the way to sickness, a person can achieve much and they are well rewarded for it. If it is possible to achieve the same amount whether a man is worked to death or work is taken at ease (choose and insert your new age management theory), what does it suggest about the dynamics of modern “work” environments? How does it contradict the way politics currently relates to work and business?

      A. Smith says:

      “Such combinations [employers’ organisations], however, are frequently resisted by a contrary defensive combination of the workmen; who sometimes too, without any provocation of this kind, combine of their own accord to raise the price of labour. … But whether the workmen’s combinations be offensive or defensive, they are always abundantly heard of. … They are desperate, and act with the folly of desperate men, who must either starve, or frighten their masters into compliance with their demands. The masters upon these occasions are just as clamorous upon the other side, and never cease to call aloud for the assistance of the civil magistrate, and the rigorous execution of those laws which have been enacted with so much severity against the combinations of servants, labourers, and journeymen.”

      He also says:

      “What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe, and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves well fed, clothed, and lodged.”

      Once again, history proves him wrong. After spotting the common element between master and worker, he has chosen to side with the worker even though his contradiction points toward an alternative unexplored conclusion. Why do “philosophers” all suffer this blindness?

      We have the advantage of time over A. Smith. How relevent are his almost 300 year old theories today?

      • Bored 2.2.1

        I suspect that the answer to all your questions may be best answered by Galbraith in reference to Keynes, whom he said was “for a time but not for all times”.

        • Bored 2.2.1.1

          PS Apples, its nice to see somebody actually reading and referencing the literature. How we interpret etc varies, which is the fun bit. As is often said nobody has a monopoly on the truth.

  3. joe90 3

    Another day, another lie.

    • ianmac 3.1

      I did see that remarkable recent documentary featuring Sarah Palin demonstrating her skill as a hunter aiming to shoot a deer (?) Her ineptness in handling a rifle and her inability to shoot a strangely still deer showed a total lack of experience even needing a helper to reload the rifle for her. Most amazing was that she allowed her lack of experience to be exposed since hunting fishing was the cornerstone of her image. Politics is a marketing job.

  4. marco 4

    C’mon the Black Caps….

    • millsy 4.1

      Yeah, I didnt expect them to roll South Africa, but they tend to pick them selves up when they are expected to stay down.

      We either play England or Sri Lanka in the semi final. I reckon that we are more likely to roll England…

      If England do make the semi final, it will bring heavy political implications in the world of cricket. The rising subcontinental powers, vs the fading ‘White’ nations

      • Samuel Hill 4.1.1

        Whats heavy and political about that? Surely India playing Pakistan is much more politically interesting. Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka have played in the last four finals (1999, 2003, 1996/2007) respectively where as England haven’t been in the final since 1992 and we and South Africa never have. I don’t really see how your using the reality to further your point?

        • QoT 4.1.1.1

          The rising subcontinental powers, vs the fading ‘White’ nations

          That seems to have been the bit you missed.

          • Samuel Hill 4.1.1.1.1

            My point is that the sub continent teams have been at the top of world cricket for the past 20 years anyway. Australia was at the very top for most of that time, but have recently seen the departure of some of the greatest players ever.

            And as for England. If anything they have been playing better in recent years then they have ever before. Remember England have never won the cricket World Cup either, in fact only one ‘white’ country has.

            What political implications did you say you could see there?

            • QoT 4.1.1.1.1.1

              No, wait, you’re right, Samuel. There’s certainly no big meaningful lesson to be drawn, especially by white Western former-colonial powers who still pretend they run everything, and no symbolism whatsoever in the epitome of colonial white sport being dominated by former colonies largely populated with brown people historically treated like shit by their “masters”. Gosh I wish I were as clever as you.

              • Samuel Hill

                I’m not trying to patronize you.

                I just wonder what actual political implications you’re talking about. Brown skinned people beating white people at the white man’s game may be symbolic to you due to your sympathies, and I can see the symbolism, but I don’t know of any actual effect to international relations this will have.

                Do you?

                • QoT

                  You really like to ask questions which have already been answered, don’t you?

                  There’s certainly no big meaningful lesson to be drawn, especially by white Western former-colonial powers who still pretend they run everything

  5. kriswgtn 5

    Kapiti -Pram beach has just had 2 shakes- each 2 mins apart
    Freaky shit

    sorta startin to understand what Chch must be going through

  6. joe90 6

    The insanity of the religious right, Jesus opposed the minimum wage.

    • Vicky32 6.1

      Seriously wish that would hurry up and load so I could see what it’s about! Because of course Jesus did no such thing! 🙂
      Oh, as it’s a video it never will load, so I can’t see it… but I bet they can’t support such a mad idea!
      Deb

      • Vicky32 6.1.1

        Tried to edit – did I mess up? I wanted to add :
        Oh, as it’s a video it never will load, so I can’t see it… but I bet they can’t support such a mad idea!
        Deb

  7. kriswgtn 7

    We had 2 shakes at Paraparaumu beach 20 mins ago.Were 1min apart

    My desk sorta shook

    This is getting rather nerving and I am of the bullet proof variety

    Now I can sorta undastand how my sister who is one strong woman feels in Chch
    Her text this morning-Dunno how much more I can take of this

  8. lprent 8

    Our author Ben Clark just spoke at the list meet. Good.

  9. KJT 9

    “What improves the circumstances of the greater part can never be regarded as an inconveniency to the whole. No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable. It is but equity, besides, that they who feed, clothe, and lodge the whole body of the people, should have such a share of the produce of their own labour as to be themselves well fed, clothed, and lodged.”

    Actually a few other great capitalists, including Henry Ford, said the same thing.

    They knew that long term their prosperity depended on everyone else’s prosperity.

    The problem with Neo-Liberal economics is they have divorced the economy they play with from the real one, apart from the resources of the real economy they burgle. Unlike Adam Smith, it is all taking and no giving back.

  10. chris73 10

    Ok so open mike time

    I was born in Dunedin (Dunedin North electorate if anyones wondering) and my parents were a boilerman at the old gas works and a cleaner in a hospital (both Labour voters by the by)

    My educational level is woeful (my fault) and I’m currently working as a semi-skilled labourer and yet I don’t vote Labour.

    The reason I don’t vote Labour can be traced to how my parents felt way back in the 80s when Douglas and Prebble did what they did (as well as Goff) which caused my dad to never vote labour again (he got made redundant and never found another position like his old one again)

    This viewpoint was not lost on me

    But now I’m in my late 30s and I make my own decisions so now when I think of Labour I think “who speaks for me?”
    The Rainbow wing?
    The feminists?
    The High School into Uni into politics group?
    The High School into Uni into unions group?
    The teachers?

    Who speaks for the undereducated, working class like myself?

    No one as far as I can see (except for Matt McCarten) so instead I look at National/Act (will never vote for the Greens or Winston.

    I bet there are thousands (10s of thousands?) of people just like me who actually want a strong labour (that way National will have to up their game) not this disjointed rabble

    So the very best thing the next leader of labour can do is bring labour back to its working-class roots by selecting mps that have real-world life experience (or at least can act like they do)

    I asked this question before but I’ll ask it again:

    What would the miners who started the labour party think of the labour party of the last 25 years?

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      “What would the miners who started the labour party think of the labour party of the last 25 years?”

      God is the only one that could know mate. But what they were real keen on was the idea was that jack was as good as his master right? That everyone deserved the opportunity, as of right, to better themselves. To have access to ongoing education was a big part of it.

      Those guys weren’t anti-intellectual in the slightest. Most workingmen’s clubs had libraries, and they weren’t stocked with paperback novels. A big part of their dream was that if the system couldn’t be revolutionised to do away with capitalism, then at the least, their sons, and later their daughters, should have the access to things like university. I don’t see any reason to think now that their party now has people who have taken that opportunity in parliament they would change their mind about that. I think they’d see it as a bit of a win.

      Who speaks for you in National or ACT? Honestly. Not ‘who tells you that Labour isn’t sticking up for you’, but ‘who actually is sticking up for you?’

      It’s the old story about politics mate, true now, been true in every society you care to look at in history. For ever. Ignore the party labels, ignore the liberal vs conservative. These are all just words we tell the story with, but the story remains the same.

      A big businessman has a sit down dinner with a worker, a solo mother, and a union rep. The waiter brings out a bowl with 10 bread rolls in it, the business man takes 9. The other three people look at the last roll in the bowl, and the businessman turns to the worker and says “Watch out mate, those guys are trying to steal your bread”.

      Tell me that doesn’t describe what’s happening?

      If you vote tory, you’ve either got 9 rolls on your plate, or you’re a sucker. Simple as that.

      In 100 years all the bullshit about ‘rainbows’ and ‘real world experience’ and ‘ivory towers’ and all the rest of it won’t get a mention, and the rightwingers will be spinning lines about how the left has lost it’s way and doesn’t speak for the real workers like they did ‘back in the day’.

      That’s not to say that the Labour party couldn’t be much much better at sticking up for you. But voting for people that are even worse isn’t a solution. That just makes them give up on even trying to represent you.

      • chris73 10.1.1

        “Who speaks for you in National or ACT? Honestly. Not ‘who tells you that Labour isn’t sticking up for you’, but ‘who actually is sticking up for you?’

        No one is but my point is Labour should and isn’t so I look to the alternative and unfortunatly in NZ you have to choose between Labour and National so by default I turned to National

        “A big businessman has a sit down dinner with a worker, a solo mother, and a union rep. The waiter brings out a bowl with 10 bread rolls in it, the business man takes 9. The other three people look at the last roll in the bowl, and the businessman turns to the worker and says “Watch out mate, those guys are trying to steal your bread”.

        The above is true however its also a bit simplistic so its sort of similar to this:

        Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:
        The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
        The fifth would pay $1.
        The sixth would pay $3.
        The seventh would pay $7.
        The eighth would pay $12.
        The ninth would pay $18.
        The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.
        So, that’s what they decided to do.

        The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20.”

        Drinks for the ten now cost just $80.

        The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes so the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men – the paying customers? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share?’ They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer. So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.

        And so:
        The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
        The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33%savings).
        The seventh now pay $5 instead of $7 (28%savings).
        The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
        The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
        The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

        Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
        “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!”
        “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more than I!”
        “That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!”
        “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”
        The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
        The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

        • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.1

          They didn’t have enough money between them all right. Some fucker had 9 rolls on his plate.

          Untill we sort the system out so that that doesn’t happen in the first place, the options are take some of the rolls back through taxation, or get no bread.

          That story is exactly what I was talking about. It’s the sucker line, fishing for suckers. Bite if you want mate, but don’t expect a fish for dinner.

        • RobC 10.1.1.2

          nice example. Except in the real world over the last 20 years, if you care to look at income trends, it has been:

          Forget about the first 4 (beneficiaries)
          The fifth man who earned $1 now earns $1.25 (a 16% increase)
          The sixth man who earned $2 now earns $2.50 (a 16% increase)
          The seventh man who earned $5 now earns $6 (a 16% increase)
          The eighth man who earned $9 now earns $11 (a 22% increase)
          The ninth man who earned $14 now earns $18 (a 22% increase)
          The tenth man who earned $50 now earns $80 (a 60% increase)

          Excuse me if I think the tenth man should be paying all the fkn beers for everybody

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.3

          But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

          You are quite right, the 9 men made a big mistake. They shouldn’t have beat up the richest guy, they should have made him pay more, because he was the one who could afford to shout the rounds.

          In the real life example what the rich guy does is this:

          – Pays less across the bar, not because the publican wants him to, but because the rich guy threatens the publican to let him.

          – The publican still has to make ends meet and can serve less beer than before. The rich guy demands that the resulting reduction in the amount of beer served is to affect only the poor (the poorer workers get less beer each), and not himself. He achieves this by threatening the publican again.

          – So the poorest don’t pay any more than before, but they also receive much less service than before.

          – HOWEVER the rich guy himself keeps getting served as much beer as he did right at the start, AND now has more money in his own pocket.

          Sweet for him.

        • felix 10.1.1.4

          Chris. You had a nice little story going there about your life and then you go and blow your cover with that Actoid bullshit parable.

          FFS Chris, the tenth man owns the bar.

          And the brewery.

          And the bank.

          Whoever spends what, he makes off with all the loot.

          If your cutesy history was anywhere near true you’d know that though.

          • QoT 10.1.1.4.1

            You had a nice little story going there about your life and then you go and blow your cover with that Actoid bullshit parable.

            Fuckin’ A. Unsubtle sock puppet is unsubtle.

          • chris73 10.1.1.4.2

            Actually that story is more or less my life.

            The point about the taxation was in relation to Pascals Bookie rather simplistic story of how capitlists act using bread rolls.

            I merely used another simplistic story about taxation to point out that…you know what I’m quite drunk so I’m going to finish this tomorrow when I’ve sobered up and remembered the point I was trying to make

            • QoT 10.1.1.4.2.1

              Another simplistic story you just happened to have to hand …

              • chris73

                My point was you can’t use simplistic messages for complex issues because its too easy for either side to back up their views, kind of like cancelling each other out

                • QoT

                  Except that the “simplistic message” you were responding to has obvious parallels with the political situation in a lot of western democracies, and your “simplistic message” in response isn’t simplistic and is full of holes.

      • William joyce 10.1.3

        And the businessman would be fronting the media, forming round-tables, lobbying the government, funding politicians, producing reports and otherwise stacking the deck – saying that you are being greedy and unreasonable for wanting that last roll and that it is in the best interests of the economy that “we” reach a competitive advantage by reducing your share of the roll even further.

        And when you have handed over a share, of your share, of the roll – in the form of taxes – the businessman will be lobbying the government for some of that tax (as a grant, or interest free loan or subsidy) so that he can get another nine rolls.

        He will even get you to pay for him to get more rolls – taxes used to pay for trade delegations, trade agreements etc.

        Before long, he has a shed-load of rolls and you only have a few crumbs to feed your kids.

        And if his ability to make more rolls is threatened by natural disasters, market downturns, or just plain bad management & incompetence – he will go to the government and ask for bailouts for all sorts and all from your share of your roll.

        And at the end of it all he gets more rolls as a bonus if he has managed to screw you out of your share or made you pay through the nose if your had to go and buy rolls.

        And that, my friend, is how National will help you – just step up in November, open a vein and hope for oblivion.

    • Bob 10.2

      You look at national / act ? you have to be pulling some ones leg , when did they represent undereducated/working class ? Thats right they have been giving out BIG breaks to the ones on lower incomes . Reads like you are TROLLING for Kahawai

      • chris73 10.2.1

        “You look at national / act ? you have to be pulling some ones leg , when did they represent undereducated/working class ? Thats right they have been giving out BIG breaks to the ones on lower incomes . Reads like you are TROLLING for Kahawai”

        I expanded on my point here:

        No one is but my point is Labour should and isn’t so I look to the alternative and unfortunatly in NZ you have to choose between Labour and National so by default I turned to National

        The key words being by default

        • Pascal's bookie 10.2.1.1

          So you default to parties that you acknowledge are worse, because they tell you a simple story about how the gays, feminists, unionists teachers and welfare bludgers are somehow stealing your share.

          Like I said; sucker.

          But you have a right to be a sap mate. Fill your boots.

          • chris73 10.2.1.1.1

            At the moment I’d hardly describe Labour as a shining example of how a political party should act

            • Pascal's bookie 10.2.1.1.1.1

              So?

              • felix

                I’m allergic to peanuts. I usually have fruit for breakfast.

                This morning I noticed that my nectarines were starting to go off.

                So I had a bowl of peanuts instead.

  11. weka 11

    This turned up in the comments list before

    http://theaword.org.nz/2011/03/good-news-nz-pro-abortion-lobby-divided-against-itself/

    They do accept guest posters, from any side of the debate ;-p

  12. Colonial Viper 12

    US corporates make record profits ever this quarter, even as new employment and economic recovery for the masses stays invisible

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/25/corporate-profits-2011-all-time-high_n_840538.html

    To put that in perspective, said Lynn Reaser, the chief economist at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, it’s important to note that companies were able to bring production back up to pre-recession levels without hiring any more workers.

    “We have now recovered all of the output lost in the recession, but we are still down by 7.5 million workers,” she said.

    It seems that US corporates do not need US workers any more.

  13. Samuel Hill 13

    where can i find a collection of these funny photos of johnkey/national??

  14. Shit just clicked over another notch on the international nuclear scare-o-meter…

    Japanese officials have expressed alarm over a possible fracture of a reactor core at one unit of the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

    Damage could have been done to the core when a March 14 hydrogen explosion blew up Unit 3’s outer containment building.

    This reactor, perhaps the most troubled at the six-unit site, holds 170 tons of radioactive fuel in its core. Previous radioactive emissions have come from intentional efforts to vent small amounts of steam through valves to prevent the core from bursting.

    However, releases from a breach could allow uncontrolled quantities of radioactive contaminants to escape into the surrounding ground or air.

    Reports indicate that a number of Japanese people who lived between 200 and 350 kilometers away from the plant have been hospitalized for exposure to radioactive materials.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/171556.html

    The lack of information has led to growing frustration with Tokyo Electric Power Co., known as Tepco, and the Japanese government, which has parceled out information with little context, few details and giant blind spots. It has left the international community confused about what is happening and what could come next.

    “Information sharing has not been in the culture of Tepco or the Japanese government,” said Najmedin Meshkati, a USC engineering professor who has advised federal agencies on nuclear safety issues. “This issue is larger than one utility and one country. It is an international crisis.”

    Almost every step of the way, the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant have been understated by those in charge in Japan, outside experts say, leaving observers scrambling to analyze the situation as best they can from afar.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-sci-japan-quake-secrecy-20110325%2C0%2C3610246.story

    …but hey Darren Hughes is gHey…WTF ???

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      US military sensors should be able to pick up gamma ray sources and other radioactive by-products really easily.

      Which makes me nervous that the US safety zone around Fukushima has been much larger than the Japanese Government one, and that US military assets have continued to increase their distance to the facility.

      Since those workers suffered radiation burns from contaminated water, there is no doubt that material is leaking out from one of the cores, either directly or indirectly.

  15. vto 15

    The Dept of Labours refusal to handover such basic documents as those of theirs authorising various activity at Pike River, for the purposes of the Royal Commission of Inquiry, goes down like a cup of cold sick with maggots it would have to be said.

  16. Jim Nald 16

    Reading Finsy’s smug congratulatory lines …

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/national-news/4807357/Peters-vows-foreshore-and-seabed-law-repeal

    “…she approaches issues fairly and with the gravity they demand. She is a great New Zealander.”

    Sounds like he’s gotten really close to her. He’s spinning delusionally. In orbit around Turia.

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