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Open mike 26/06/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 26th, 2011 - 34 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

34 comments on “Open mike 26/06/2011”

  1. Jenny 1


    Spying on workers made legal.

    A law change has made it legal to install secret cameras to spy on workers, and companies are employing private detectives to do so.

    Presumably this new law also makes it legal for unions to install secret cameras to spy on bosses and hire private detectives to do so?

    I can’t wait the day, that a manager is caught on tape plotting to victimise a worker who dares to join a union.

    • ianmac 1.1

      How times have changed. A few years ago a friend took exception to an employer secretly taping staff at his Service Station and took him to the Employment Court – and won.

    • Vicky32 1.2

      How mad is that! Wow, sneaky… (I haven’t heard that reported on the radio or TV)

  2. uke 2

    Wealth of the world’s richest rose nearly 10 percent in 2010
     
    “Austerity measures, wage cuts and rising unemployment have characterised the years since the crash of 2008 for working people. For the rich and super-rich, however, they have been the occasion for clawing back every penny of the initial losses made and adding a great deal more.
    Today, the world’s wealthy are richer than before the crash and the number of individuals belonging to this highly exclusive club has grown.
    The annual world wealth report by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini identifies nearly 11 million “high net worth individuals” (HNWIs), defined as having more than $1 million in free cash, not including property and pensions. Their collective wealth reached $42.7 trillion in 2010, a 9.7 percent rise. This means that the wealth of this social layer has already surpassed the previous peak of $40.7 trillion reached in 2007.

    The World Bank defines extreme poverty as living on less than US $1.25 per day, and moderate poverty as living on less than $2 a day. In 2001, some 1.1 billion people lived on less than $1 a day and 2.7 billion on less than $2 a day. Almost half of the world’s people—3 billion souls—live on less than $2.50 a day. One billion children—fully 50 percent of the world’s children—live in poverty. Six million children die of hunger every year, 17,000 every day.”

  3. Bored 3

    An economic and political system that tolerates such inequality and such economic brutality is an abomination and an obscenity. Yet we bleat about our won condition as we fight for our share of the cake. We are all caught living for the day, doing what we must to retain what comforts we have.

    Those who have the wealth bear no useful function to our society, yet we by our own desires and demands are divided, ruled and conquered. Our compliance makes us accomplices and collaborators. We will only find redemption when we take action and expel the wealthy from our society.

    • ZeeBop 3.1

      Worse, we throw out items that a generation ago would still be working. We reward people to take away what should work and sell us something that will work for less long. If they raised the standards of housing, products and services, then we’d have more free time, more money left over and everything would be cheaper. Imagine that buying one toaster for your whole life, even getting it as a hand me down. And the strange thing is we will like the whole world have enough to eat, and live culturally rich lives. But no! We choose shallow regurgitated news cycle and movies, and worse of all dogmatic political economics from paid public and politicians who know better, or should be sacked or voted out. The funny, if you can see it that way, is history will call men like Brash and Key, and even Goff, fools. Their own grandchildren will be disinherited (unless a cheap form of energy is discovered), and so even today we know these men are fools since they don’t have the cheap energy source.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        There’s no cheap energy source coming available for 20 years (or more). With additional safety requirements and fuel shortages, nuclear power is going to get more expensive not less. Even massive immediate discoveries in cold fusion will require many many years to commercialise safely into 100MW scale reactors.

        So I reckon that by 2030 most will have to make do with a 1910’s level of per capita energy usage. It’s going to be a rough ride for western civilisation down the slope of depleting oil. $3/L petrol really is only a start.

      • Bored 3.1.2

        Your grandchildren will not be disinheritted by energy depletion or a lack of the cheap material baubles of the oil age. I would prefer to think that we in three generations have disinheritted ourselves from the practical low energy based knowledge of life that our grandparents knew, and that our grandchildren will have to rediscover. Yes, life might be materially much harder but it might also be more spiritually rewarding given that we have divorced our spiriits from anything not from a manufactured technology derivation.

        As a point of interest, the whole energy era of the last century has produced huge advances in knowledge and theory around mathematics and science, with towering intellects such as Einstein. Conversely in a sea of literature and arts I see no Shakespeare. Maybe technology and science have trumped the human spirit.

        • ZeeBop 3.1.2.1

          I agree with the sentiment. I just observe that our desires pick what we believe. Einstein had he not happened would have still seen the emergence of General Relativity, as would we have seen a ‘Darwin; if Darwin were not around. The times demanded new thought, a culture pregnant for new ideas.

          Similarly now.

          I find it astonishing that a man on the radio declared that people should starve and not get benefits, he sounded in his 20s having no doubt supped on the interest free student loans, and was sounded desperate to keep the good times going like he had a mortgage (may even less than the price of his home). What staggered me, was someone made unemployed might have no debts, might own their own home, might already be living a low carbon life, have savings in the local bank supporting local businesses, and doing everything right. And here was this smuck too smart for his own good, the ‘losers’ who supped on the tonic of high debt, who are carried and bailed out by the common community. Sorry but we so live in interesting times.

          The great contraction has started. Do we want to make it easier on ourselves by fracting oil shale and leaving a wasteland that kills whole ecosystems for generations, killing the top predators like Eagles, or do we want to end the privately owned petroleum automobile culture and buy into wind farms that may or may not kill the odd eagle?

          Activity for activity sake ‘economics’ is killing our planet, our future, and our yes very moral being, when our young smart people desperately peddle the far right wing greed at any cost is good. Sorry but real greed is knowing that too much greed harms you. We can have it all now, and nothing later, or we could have less now, more leisure time, more time with our kids doing low carbon, cost on society lowering healthy exercises running around playing footy with the kids.

          I think our MSM has too many people who have too much debt and little common sense left.
          But be warned they will come after us, criminalize or try to have us sanctioned for our political and social views. Its always the way with proto fascism.

          • uke 3.1.2.1.1

            Tocqueville observed of c.1840s American Democracy that Materialism was its shared value-system. That a basic urge to acquire more money and goods united all people and classes – and thus should be given free rein. Hence, American-style democratic capitalism.
             
            What Tocqueville didn’t foresee is a time when the Materialistic ethos would become practically untenable due to shrinking resources and overpopulation. The challenge for Western democracies in coming years will be to replace Materialism with some other value-system that is compatible with democracy and broadly shared by all citizens. Otherwise, perhaps we will probably go toward some kind of Chinese-style political system.

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Tocqueville was only one side of the equation though. In the 19th century there was a great interest in all things spiritual and philosophical in the US, a counter-reaction to the materialists who only believed in what they could own, buy, sell and touch.

              At the end of the day the material capitalists may seem to have won out, but their victory is incomplete and as we can see now, increasingly shaky.

              • uke

                CV, yeah, I agree. In fact, Tocqueville himself saw religion as the great counter balance to materialism in American society. To some extent, this American religous strand continues to the present. But, just as the corporate capitalists have triumphed over the small business, the fundamentalists seem to have trumped the transcendentalists.
                 
                In some ways, the transcendentalist proto-hippy Henry David Thoreau presented a good model for a low-energy, low-labour, independent lifestyle. He was a bit unsociable though.

  4. MORE broken promises from National and John Key?

    This time on the privatisation of state housing assets?

    This is a BIGGIE!

    Looking forward to ALL the parties that are opposed to privatisation and assets sales going BALLISTIC on this one!

    Seen this?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1106/S00319/stop-privatisation-of-state-housing-assets.htm

    26 June 2011

    PRESS RELEASE: Response from Sue Henry Spokesperson Housing Lobby:
    “STOP PRIVATISATION OF STATE HOUSING ASSETS!”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10734409

    “Thousands to come off housing list” By Simon Collins Saturday Jun 25, 2011
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    “With the continuation of Auckland’s serious housing crisis and families still languishing in sheds, garages and overcrowded and sub-standard accommodation, including those left homeless in Christchurch – the last thing any decent Government should be doing is privatising the state housing stock, using charities such as the Salvation Army and ‘trusts’ in a mixed economy to do it,” says Sue Henry, Spokesperson for the Housing Lobby.

    “It is totally unacceptable to have Government policies in the 21st century that create instability, transience and homelessness.

    There are several other aspects that are very concerning:

    The ‘housing crisis’ will not be fixed by taking people off the waiting list.

    Prime Minister John Key promised that there would be no asset sales in this first term of government. This is what John Key promised on 14 April 2008:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0804/S00195.htm
    “Transcript: Agenda IV’s John Key
    Monday, 14 April 2008, 10:57 am
    Article: Agenda

    GUYON Alright you rightly point out it was sold by the National government in 1998 now that brings us to this position. What is your position now as a National Party on state asset sales?

    JOHN Well National’s had some time to reflect on that and the position that we’ve decided to have is the following one.
    That in the first term of the National government there will be no state assets that will be sold either partially or fully.

    GUYON So no state assets, you’re completely firm on that?

    JOHN That’s right.”
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    “But Housing Minister Phil Heatley has said ‘some iwi groups wanted to take over managing state houses rather than buying them, but the Government wanted to sell them.’

    Prime Minister John Key is breaking this promise.

    The proposed sale of any state housing stock must cease forthwith.”
    ………………………

    Sue Henry
    Spokesperson
    Housing Lobby
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

    • Treetop 4.1

      Scrap over the housing stock
      Scrap over the jobs
      Scrap over the hospital waiting list
      Scrap over cheaper places in childcare
      Scrap over the specials at the supermarket

      About 460 Housing NZ homes out of 6,000 in Christchurch are estimated to be reduced due to the earthquakes in the red and orange zones. The Government in 2011 are finishing off what they started in the mid 1990s concerning the housing stock for those with the most need.

      • Vicky32 4.1.1

        About 460 Housing NZ homes out of 6,000 in Christchurch are estimated to be reduced due to the earthquakes in the red and orange zones. The Government in 2011 are finishing off what they started in the mid 1990s concerning the housing stock for those with the most need.

        Yes, on RNZ and on TV, we keep hearing about home-owners, but what I want to know is: what has become of those who were renting, especially the poor? They are possibly in a much worse position than those in the Red zone  who have discovered that their insurance companies aren’t going to pay out (which is bad enough).

        • Treetop 4.1.1.1

          HNZ stock is 6,000 in Canterbury my slight error. Vicky 32 do you mean those renting HNZ homes or private rental?

          It is my understanding that if a HNZ tenant HNZ have relocated people in the red zone. Some in private rental have remained in their dwelling and no doubt there are tenancy issues.

          It would be good to see a topic on this: rental stories from within the red zone regardless of being a private or HNZ tenant.

          • Vicky32 4.1.1.1.1

            I was actually thinking about both, although it seems the HNZ tenants might (for a change!) be slightly more secure than those renting privately. (What I mean by that is that an HNZ tenant can be at the mercy of a loonie tenancy manager)

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    ‘history will call men like Brash and Key, and even Goff, fools’

    Anyone who knows what is actually happening with respect to energy and environment has been calling men like Brash, Key, anf Goff fools (or criminals) for several years.

    Men (and women) like Brash, Key, Goff etc. have maintained their positions by ignoring reality as a matter of policy. Reality is now knocking at the door.

    ‘unless a cheap form of energy is discovered’

    Cheap sources of energy were discovered (coal, oil and gas). They are what got us into this mess.

    Fortunately there are no other forms of cheap energy. So, the present corrupt and inefficient political-economic system will collapse, almost certainly by 2015.

  6. jackal 6

    The week that was 19 – 26 June

    The Bay of Plenty Regional Council said this week that excessive sludge on beaches is not associated with the discharge of dairy farm effluent. They said that the high levels of scum is all a part of nature and that surf diatoms are a type of phytoplankton, which is a main source of food for productive shellfish beds in the surf.

  7. I sometimes listen to Radio Live talk back Saturdays ( no rude comments please) . Most interesting fellow named Keith Lewis , Certainly well on the political left. Anyone with any information. Last night said that Key was the most dangerous politician ever in NZ .Interesting because this is my belief too. It would be interesting to know something about him.

    • ianmac 7.1

      Remember those characters who wore a smiley mask on one side of their head and a demonic one on the other? Don’t know about Lewis but the masking would fit Key to a tee don’t ya see?

      • ZeeBop 7.1.1

        Until Madoff was uncovered, he was a light that people would recommend to their friends.

        So is neo-liberal economics.

        We will destroy ourselves by accepting at face value anything John Key has to say, not because its right or wrong (mostly wrong) but because we consent to everything he has done, is doing and will do in our names otherwise.

    • millsy 7.2

      “…the most dangerous politician in ever in NZ…”

      This is very, very true.

    • Treetop 7.3

      Periodically I put Key on par with Muldoon. The destruction Muldoon left is still around. E.g.
      1) Crewe inquiry, 2) Colin Moyle inquiry, 3) Traumatised undercover cops trying to expose the short comings of being an undercover cop in particular Patrick O’ Brien (Iam no fan of high ranking cops at PNHQ as I know they have even concealed the truth in recent times), 4) Erebus inquiry.

      I feel it in my bones that Key will be another Muldoon on how he performs regarding Pike River. Muldoon was mafia like concerning his dealings with the police because he NEVER held the police to account for 1) Who fed Rochelle, 2) Ensuring there was an internal police investigation into who in police leaked the Moyle incident, 3) The damage that resulted due to police undercover work, 4) What happened to Collins diary in the lock up at Mc Murdo Sound. Either the PM can have a commission of inquiry or the police commissioner can do an inquiry.

      I am yet to see how Marshall performs regarding historical police matters which are still affecting people today.

      • Anne 7.3.1

        There is one major difference between Muldoon and Key Treetop. Muldoon was an overt bully and a bastard. Key is a covert bully and a bastard. Also, it became quite well known that Muldoon used the SIS for his own political purposes. I don’t think Key will have tried that one on… unlikely to get away with it in this day and age.

        • Treetop 7.3.1.1

          Anne I knew that you would respond. Your idea on a book is a first rate idea. Of interest, goings on in the 1970s are being written about more now days. My library has Vol 1 but not Vol 2 “In New Zealand As it Might Have Been” by Hugh Eldred-Grigg. There is a chapter on Moyle in it. I need to read both volumes and have a think about what has really changed in 35 years between the police and certain prime ministers.

          Did you know that Muldoon was Key”s idol in Key”s teen years and Muldoon got Key interested in politics. For all I know Muldoon could be Key’s hobby!

  8. belladonna 8

    Pink Postman – this you may mean Keith Stewart. He is one of the few talkback hosts coming from the left and his show is often very interesting. Mikey Havoc was on Radio Live recently, he also appears to come from the left. Also made interesting talkback, wish they would give him a permanet job. Talkback radio can actually provide some interesting debate occasionally as opposed to the usual rightwing propaganda believe it or not!

    • Yes and thank you Belldonna. In fact I was listening to Keith Lewis the wonderfull NZ tenor and got the names mixed up. Im getting old and funny ,
      However I am most impressed by K.Stewart and I would like to know about his background . Like you say it makes a change to get a good Leftie on talk back

  9. jackal 9

    Sour Grapes

    The political left gained a victory this weekend with te Mana’s Hone Harawira winning the Tai Tokerau by-election. It’s a fantastic result considering the short amount of time te Mana had to launch their campaign and the negative media campaign run against the new party…

  10. Kate K 10

    Press Release: New Publication Available Online Now

    E-Release Only

    Matters To A Head

    Cannabis, mental illness & recovery

    By Kate K

    This highly readable and exciting new book explores the links between cannabis and mental illness through the personal and professional experiences of New Zealand author Kate K.

    [This isn’t a place for a long advertisement, thanks, though you’ll probably get away with something short and a link to your web site. r0b]

    To contact the author:

    Kate K

    16 Beach Haven Place

    Paraparaumu 5032

    M. 021 024 79861

    Email: 444kate@gmail.com
    http://katekennedyonline.blogspot.com

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Deborah Coddington nails into National and ACT for trashing their female MPs and loving recycled old male ones

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10734513

  12. rosy 12

    This has made my day – smart girls from a decile one school and bees – one of the most important ecological issues of out time.

    Against the odds, four young Kiwi girls have out-smarted some of the world’s top problem solvers. Oturu School placed second in the community section at the International Future Problem Solving Finals in the United States….
    Deputy principal Heather Greaves, who travelled with the students, said the judges were impressed by the students’ ambitious plan to save the honey bee.

    Awesome 🙂

  13. Ian 13

    Two thoughts for this evening, one profound, one mildly amusing/creative.
    First the profound – look at the pictures on here http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2011/jun/26/wwf-animal-research#/?picture=376126227&index=0
     
    1000 new species, including a new species of dolphin, found in the Papua New Guinea rainforests and coast; profound, because this is now the third largest rain forest in the world, is on our door step and is at risk from climate change and exploitation of resources – such wonderful diversity, just found, but could be gone in a century.
     
    Second – you may remember those TV road safety adverts with the old scary guy with the roulette wheel who decided whether they would crash, near miss, be killed, etc. How about a campaign at major intersection with people dressed as Key, English, etc, but instead having ‘Asset sales’, Privatisation, no GST increase, etc as the outcomes.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      I do love the ads idea, only problem is that it is a very negative and downbeat campaign. Labour needs to present a different vision of the future, not just negate National’s crap.

      It could however form the basis of a secondary viral campaign 🙂

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