Open mike 26/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 26th, 2010 - 63 comments
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It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

63 comments on “Open mike 26/12/2010”

  1. Carol 1

    Why doesn’t Stuff have a comments section under some of their most contentious articles? their list of top 25 best and 4 worst “lawmakers” of the year:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4494769/The-best-and-worst-lawmakers-of-2010

    Stuff’s top 25 performers:

    #1 JK (TOP photo op performer, one of the worst performers in actual politics, IMO)

    #2 Gerry Brownlee (Oh… hahahaha…. they’re being satirical….surely?)

    #3 David Parker

    # 4 Simon Power (yes, the best of Nats)

    #5 Grant Roberston ( a very good year for him)

    #6 Tariana Turia (hmmmm?)

    # 7 Stephen Joyce (he’s quite skillful, I guess)

    # 8 Judith Collins (Huh?)

    # 9 Annette King

    # 10 Bill English (Pull the other one! The top spin and diversion merchant! “After the nine years of dmagae done by Labour” on a repeat loop)

    #11 Phil Goff ( he was not great, but much better than some higher on this list)

    # 12 Trevor Mallard (IMO, he had a great year and should be much higher up this list)

    # 13 Te Ururoa Flavell

    # 14 Keith Locke

    # 15 Meteria Turei ( a solid year, some very good moments – could have been higher on the list)

    #16 Tim Grosser

    #17 Pete Hodgson (deserves to be higher on the list – very successful rort-buster)

    #18 John Boscawen (now I know they’re being satirical!)

    #19 Hone Hawarewa (should have been higher on the list)

    #20 Hekia Parata (huh?)

    #21 Sir Roger Douglas (that’s beyond satire, and having him on the list is incomprehensible)

    #22 Tony Ryall

    #23Anne Tolley (should have been on the top worst performer list)

    #24 Amy Adams (who?)

    # 25 Shane Jones (he did OK, but how come there’s no David Cunliffe on the top performer list, or Darren Hughes?)

    Stuff’s “FOUR ON THE FLOOR: THE YEAR THEY’D RATHER FORGET ”

    #1 David Garrett

    #2 Chris Carter

    #3 Pansy Wong (surely she did worse than Carter? Carter was stupid, Wong has been rorting)

    #4 Rodney Hide

  2. Jenny 2

    Merry Christmas Carol

    This might cheer you up.

    Thanks to the free media, Christmas came twenty weeks early for truth, this year.

    On the first week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    The video of two journalist’s deaths

    On the second week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    The video of two journalist’s deaths and the murder of nine Iraqi

    On the third week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    US army orders to rape and torture given in secrecy

    On the fourth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    secret army log of Iraq civilian war casualty

    On the fifth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    spying on UN diplomats was US policy

    On the sixth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    Democrats and Republicans working together to protect the guilty

    On the seventh week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    US and Spanish govt. corruption of court strategy

    On the eighth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    “The day Obama lied to me”

    On the ninth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    US pressure on Germany

    On the tenth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    On how a presdident lied about US air strikes that killed many Yemini

    On the eleventh week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    How Obama lied about Yemen in his publicity

    On the twelfth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    India torture of Kashmiri

    On the Thirteenth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    British trained death squads of Bangladeshi

    On the fourteenth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    That Britain shielded US, in Iraq inquiry

    On the fifteenth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    Refusal to co-operate with investigation of sex abuse by the church, from the holy See

    On the sixteenth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    The 2009 Honduran coup illegality

    On the seventeenth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    US special forces in Pakistan, illegally

    On the eighteenth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    Justification for the war in Afghanistan, is challenging morally

    On the nineteenth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    How US killings of civilians fuels the insurgency

    On the twentieth week of Christmas Wikileaks revealed to me
    just some of the truths denied to me

    • Carol 2.1

      Thanks, Jenny. Yes, wikileaks was an early Christmas present. Though the leaks have a mixed impact on me… ie, they don’t necessarily make me cheerful, because of the contents. But increased tranparency of many of those political comments & decisions is cheering.

  3. swimmer 3

    Hodgson is an asset and will be sorely missed when he leaves I’ll bet. Bill English could’ve got a mention for his creation of the new suburb of Dipton. Mallard has been great this year. 🙂

  4. Bored 4

    Bouquets OR brickbats? Hmmm, just had a read of yesterdays Open Mike. Now let me think, yesterday was one of those significant annual festivals, a time for downing tools, to spend with family and friends, to relax, and if you are inclined to pray and celebrate, Christmas comes but once a year.

    So to the question, is it bouquets or brickbats to those who took time out on Christmas Day to post on the Standard? I could go both ways, praise the dedication of Standardistas, or prod them on behalf of loved ones ignored…..over to you to decide.

    • Logie97 4.1

      @Bored…
      guilty as charged. Yet I wished John Boy well and I reminded a RWNJ that rust never sleeps – that while many and their loved ones sat replete on sofas with remotes in hand, less fortunates will have woken with the same miserable prospects they have had all year. So I think the spirit of the postings were reasonable – and the dog still got to have a walk in the evening.

      • Bored 4.1.1

        Good one Logie, as stated I could go either way, really good to hear the dog got a trot. I took mine for a Christmas swim, she loved it. Have a good day.

    • Carol 4.2

      Posting on Christmas Day doesn’t mean loved ones/family are being ignored. Sometimes family/friends take a nap, go for a walk, or visit a special friend after Christmas lunch, for instance, leaving an individual alone. I’ve never been totally in the company of family/friends for every minute of a Christmas Day.

      Also, not everyone attaches that much significance to the day. Some people refuse to recognise the day because of the strong consumerist values attached to it. Some people who follow non-Christian religions see it as just another day.

      Not everyone has a large number of family/friends close by, alive and/or who are not working or otherwise engaged (eg many friends/family could be helping out at the local city mission).

      Some people have been rejected by their families, or relationships have become too unbareable to maintain (I have known a few young LGBT people who have been thrown out of the family homes because of their sexuality) … etc, etc.

      Too many assumptions there, bored, about people, their values, family and other relatonships).

      • Vicky32 4.2.1

        “Not everyone has a large number of family/friends close by, alive”
        That’s would be my reason – everyone in the family has died or moved away (or was visiting their in-laws!)
        Even so I wasn’t here – I try to make myself have a day of the Interwebs once a week…
        Deb 🙂 Happy Christmas for yesterday everyone!

        • swimmer 4.2.1.1

          Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Vicky. 🙂

        • WOOF 4.2.1.2

          Halwo Vicky, Merry Christmas! 🙂

          • Carol 4.2.1.2.1

            Hope you had a good day, yesterday, Vicky. Happy Boxing Day…. and beyond.

            • Bored 4.2.1.2.1.1

              Carol et al, Merry Christmas, sorry to cause any offense but as stated I could go either way, no judgement here, just a behavoiral enquiry. I suspect we are all slightly addicted to our “blog” comrades and community, giving them a miss for Christmas day might be a little anti social as well. Might be more apt to question how we would “blog” if the Net were rent from our grasp? Would we be isolated and lonely? Who knows?

    • mcflock 4.3

      And, might I add, that commenting on a political website on christmas by calling people miserable pricks seems even more miserable pricky than just kicking the political ball around in a quiet time of the day.

      I’m just glad I had a cigar and therefore an excuse to retreat from the noise and kerfuffle for a while.

  5. Kevin Welsh 5

    To be fair to English, he has done what many expected and lead us back into recession. It’s his signature move, I guess.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Its been twenty years, surely he could have learnt a new move by now.

    • Tanz 5.2

      To be even fairer to Bill English, he did not lead us back into recession, it was already there when National won the election. Govts cannot be responsible for global economic crises, but National have cut much of the wasteful spending and have created more revenue and employment is looking better too. Tbey are not crazy spenders, many beauracrats now gone, much more sensible. A good thing. How many advisors do Ministers actually need?

      • Colonial Viper 5.2.1

        Not surprised you want to be fair to a rorter, its a becoming look for you.

        but National have cut much of the wasteful spending (1) and have created more revenue (2) and employment is looking better too (3). Tbey are not crazy spenders, many beauracrats now gone (4), much more sensible. (5) A good thing. How many advisors do Ministers actually need? (6)

        1) And gave the money from the poor straight to the rich, SCFbail out, half billionaire Peter Jackson etc.

        2) Ah…no, you must have been asleep when English announced 2 weeks ago that the tax take was way under budget and the Government had an unfunded debt hole to climb out of.

        3) Not if you’re a woman, paskifia, Maori, or young. Then again, what does National give a shit?

        4) Bureacrats gone? Oh yeah, NAT sent them to the dole queues. Smart move English, in the middle of a recession! The awesomesauce of his ecnomic handling.

        5) lolz

        6) Shit loads. John Key has expanded his staff hugely over the last 2 years.

  6. jcuknz 6

    I found this an interesting story about hopw small solar panels and bio-gas plants running of the dung from three cows is transforming life in African villages far from the electricity grid.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/25/science/earth/25fossil.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a2

    • Bill 6.1

      Solar panels, wind power, water wheels, small hydro-schemes, wave power…all work havoc with the cash cow that is large scale, centralised electricity generation and distribution. And that’s why, in my mind, we are not in a situation where-by communities have autonomous electricity supplies.

      I’ve said this before in other contexts, but if a dozen or whatever neighbours were generating their own electricity, they’d probably discover that they weren’t producing enough to power those multiple appliances we tend to accumulate and that guzzle power, sometimes unnecessarily.

      I’m a low user of electricity (just over 8 units per day), but if there was a degree of centralisation with regards those things that use electricity within the geographical ‘community’ I live in, that consumption would drop significantly.

      eg. How many of us are running half empty freezers? So why not have ‘communal’ freezers located in the community, thereby saving on overall consumption? And instead of having a dozen or more people guzzling electricity watching the same shit on their TV’s , why not have ‘communal’ entertainment centre facilities? Or communal kitchen facilities to cut down on the multiplier effect of a dozen stoves and what not running on half empty? Or centralised hot water systems? And so on.

      Of course, moving in such a direction could only eventuate in tandem with us moving away from the atomised consumerist situation we are currently maintaining via our desire to ‘get ahead’ in relation to our neighbours and various imagined ‘others’.

      And that will never be encouraged by the various powerful institutions that profit in so many different ways from our atomisation.

      If we do pursue such a path, not only would we gain socially in terms of community, but the potential would arise for meaningful work that was not predicated on individual income level. Where a community acts as a coherent economic unit, then non-renumerative work undertaken by members of that community that facilitates the earning potential of the community as a whole, would become valued in ways that aren’t at the moment.

      eg. child care embedded within the community would give time to parents to engage in renumerative work; using a kitchen’s full potential to cook for a dozen people rather than two or three would also free up other’s time. And the same can be said for maintaining communal vegetable gardens, or maintaining the sources of the electricity generation and so on. Time that is freed up carries a potential financial component. And so therefore, do the activities that free up that time. Even though they may not attract direct payment in and of themselves.

      And the stigma attached to ‘unemployment’…that narrow definition whereby meaningful contribution is measured and determined by the level of engagement in renumerative work…fades and disappears.

      Why not consider the enormous, multi-faceted paybacks available where the worthiness of an activity isn’t determined by it’s direct renumerative potential, but on whether it makes a contribution to the community? Or, put another way, a situation where the psychological stranglehold of individual income…of the ‘me’ versus ‘everyone else’… becomes loosened and eventually evaporates because the community has become the principle accumulator of material wealth? Why not consider the advantages of individuals accessing common, community generated wealth through agreed upon mechanisms that promote equity, rather than engaging in endless soul destroying and inefficient competition to accrue an individual ‘pile’…a ‘pile’ that always fails to satisfy?

      Just a thought.

      • Logie97 6.1.1

        @Bill – you have obviously thought long and hard about this issue and therefore do not warrant a trite reply. However I like watching sport but I have a feeling many others wouldn’t so we would need at least 2 television sets.
        Was your thinking the philosophy behind Centrepoint?
        I have a feeling also that this is the blueprint for that fundamentalist community down on the West Coast run by “Hopeful Christian”

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          If two TV’s are required, then two TV’s are required. I don’t see the problem. (Although you’d probably find that as a functioning, interactive community became more vibrant, TV watching would diminish. How often times is TV watched because of a lack of other social things to do; because of boredom?)

          From what I know of ‘Centrepoint’ ( I’ll be kind), it was a twisted piece of shit. I’m of the persuasion that it more akin to a cult under the sway of a charismatic leader than a community.

          Religious communities can persist through time. But they’re ‘not my bag’. They tend to revolve around a fairly set belief system and a continued adherence to the particular belief is what binds them. In my mind there are a whole host of potential problems associated with that. Charismatic leaders are one. Conservatism and stultification is another. In the absence of a charismatic leader, they will not tend to challenge orthodox social mores anyway (patriarchy being the most obvious in terms of religious belief systems) and so be inclined to become a parody of the situation they sought to be an alternative to.

          In my mind, it’s far better to have no codified or overarching ideology and for communities to consist of a fairly eclectic mix of people. I believe that’s more likely to result in a more robust reality that maintains ongoing dynamics of development and refinement. And that’s a necessary safe guard against ossification that would result in the community becoming a quaint anachronism in the face of an ever changing world.

        • RedLogix 6.1.1.2

          Centrepoint and various other experiments along similar lines were all by the nature of the modern world, marginal fringe communities that could only exist in contrast and in contradiction to the rest of the society. They attracted a self-selecting group of individuals who for their own reasons where looking for somewhere to isolate themselves from the rest of the world.

          But in that isolation lay the seeds of their destruction. Bert Potter would never have perverted the direction of Centrepoint as he did if it had been a fully open, transparent and properly accountable community. Fundamentalist and survivalist communities who deliberately seek as much isolation as possible are potentially even worse.

          The core problem with these communities is that they have invariably grown from the energy of a single charismatic individual, that inevitably fail as that individual’s ego battles to retain control of those who have flocked to him/her. The prime tool they use is isolation from the rest of the world… feeding back into the needs of their followers and planting the seeds for an inwardly-turning spiral that looses touch with reality.

          But none of these failings are necessarily attached to the ideas Bill is talking about… indeed as a fine and proper anarchist himself, I’m sure Bill would be wholly alert to them already.

          PS … no I’ve visited EarthSong myself several times and I’ve sensed nothing amiss.

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2.1

            We need the philosophical opposite of a gated community, a communal property development which is able to function in an integrated fashion with the outside world, but which also has a very different non-capitalistic lifestyle and ethos within.

            People can do their jobs and earn their keep as per usual “outside” but they live there as a lifestyle choice.

            • Bill 6.1.1.2.1.1

              You’ve just hit on the crux of the matter for me when you say People can do their jobs and earn their keep as per usual “outside” but they live there as a lifestyle choice.

              This does not work!

              People can have all the lifestyle choices they want…assuming they have attained a position in contemporary society that affords them the luxury of those lifestyle choices. But what’s the point? What changes?

              If they are still pursuing individual incomes, then the disparities and undesirable social dynamics that are evident in society now will simply be recreated in the community.

              If a non-capitalistic ‘lifestyle’ and ethos is being sought, then there are very real and practical developments that need to take place in order that a parody of a capitalistic ‘lifestyle’ and ethos is not recreated.

              One of the fundamental ‘markers’ of modern capitalism is the individual accumulation of material advantage or wealth with all it’s concomitant issues of social and material disparities.

              Time and again I’ve witnessed communities in states of distress because they have failed to take our ‘capitalist’ relationships into account. Eg. Where there is individual ownership of property on the land, not only does inefficient utilisation of resources ensue, but some people find they are in a position to charge rent to other people in the community who don’t have the financial capability to construct their own dwelling. Hardly ‘non-capitalist’. Or again, I’ve seen situations where, because of the preservation of individual income earning, a community has been in desperate need for one of it’s members to apply their skill and knowledge to maintain the integrity of a community’s infrastructure and that need has been denied because the community couldn’t afford the individual’s rates for the work.

              I could go on with example after example, but I’m sure you get my point. There is a world of difference between various privileged individuals buying their way into a given ‘lifestyle’ and serious alternatives to our current situation.

              As far as I’m concerned it is imperative that:

              1. Income is not accrued by individuals, ie that there is a system of income sharing developed to allow the community, not the individual, to be the economic unit of accumulation.
              2 Land and dwellings on the land are not owned by private individuals, but that ownership is invested in the communal entity.

              • Colonial Viper

                Can’t really disagree with your points, but some issues can be addressed by way of a community “time bank” or similar. Also a tithe which goes into the community.

                Someone is not likely to give up their $85,000 p.a. job in the outside world outright, but they might buy into a scheme where the capital they earn for the community in their day job is recognised in some other way.

                Also at the minimum your idea of communal fridge freezers/entertainment areas/central heating-cooling/community power generation etc could be implemented in a set up like this.

                And yes, any setup needs to take into practical account the current capitalistic interfaces the community will need to have.

                • Bill

                  If someone finds their $85 000 job and the life that entails satisfactory, then they would have no interest in alternatives.

                  I acknowledge that initial difficulties arise due to differing earning potentials and skill sets. That’s why in the medium term, any community with an eye on the long term would explore possibilities of engaging in or setting up a collective business venture determined (at least in part) by existing collective skill sets and the feasibility of ‘skill sharing’ those articular skills that attract good renumeration in the market place.

                  Also. Don’t forget that a person engaged in a 24/7 ‘outside’ job is accruing a deficit with regards other practical contributions to the community….building work, engaging in the development of a whole host of necessary systems, child care, maintenance of infra structure, cleaning, cooking, food production, social integrity etc, etc

                  And if they are single parents and they are only able to pursue a 24/7 renumerative ‘outside’ job because others in the community are providing child care and other forms of general support, then what? Do we sanction them hanging on to their earnings? Meaning, do we allow the entry of market relations into the community and pay child carers and whoever? And how do we determine how much to pay those providing supportive services that enable the preservation of individual rights of accumulation? Do we pay more to those taking care of the children of the $85k earner and less for the caring of the $26k earner? And who pays? The individual worker? And what would the impact of that be in terms of undesirable consequences for the community as a whole?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Bill, in both capitalistic and non-capitalistic societies, many of the answers are provided by markets. Regulated or unregulated. Socialist countries have markets, capitalist countries have markets. I would look to such a mechanism when it comes to a fair price for good child care. Barter, exchange of goods and services, time and skills etc could all be used in such a community market.

                    I would suggest that we do not want to set up a completely new societal framework from scratch (way to ambitious), but set up some fundamentals which will co-exist well with capitalistic society “out there”, and leave room to dynamically change and evolve internally over decades. And part of that will be based on what direction the residents want to take over time.

                    If someone finds their $85 000 job and the life that entails satisfactory, then they would have no interest in alternatives.

                    I’ll suggest that the very practical common sense ideas you brought forwards re: communal facilities etc are going to make sense to certain people regardless of their level of income.

                    The concept I have is of a community village – which happens to be populated by modern people living largely modern lives – but in the midst of a larger (for now) capitalistic society. Yet within the village, a new kind of old fashioned and intimate village life and village community evolves.

                    • Bill

                      Monetising human interactions (the market) results in all manners of undesirable dynamics and outcomes.

                      It’s probably pointless…or beside the point…to debate pro-market/anti-market positions at the moment (command economies, market economies, mixed command/market economies, participatory economies) . I’m saying that because there seems to be disagreement or difficulty in agreeing on what the term ‘the market’ actually relates to.

                      Let me simply ask this. Is there anything wrong in principle with demonetising human interactions?

                      And the wine asks…what was more valuable to you today? That exquisite chocolate truffle, or that killer smile? And how do you signal the value you assign to those things? Money? Can’t do that. Not without causing insult. Why then…as we tend to do as a society…devalue those things that cannot be monetised and ascribe extra practical value to those things that can?

                      Less prosaically, which is of more value? The person who offered social interaction for your child and kept them safe; the person who unblocked your toilet or the lawyer who secured an x thousand dollar payout to you?

                      What I’m saying (I agree with the wine on this), is that market value is a blunt and ultimately misplaced crock of shit. Yet, we use it as our principle measure of worth. Strange that, innit?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      For the avoidance of doubt, do you count the exchange of goods and services ie barter, also concepts such as time banking, as “monetizing” human interactions?

                      The other thing is, what would be the aim of building a community which avoids the use of money completely? (Seeing that civilisations from the ancient Greeks, Romans, Mesopotamians, Chinese, Egyptians,… all used money).

                      Now, building a society which does not use debt – that could be a very useful construct. It has existed before, and for good reason.

                      As for the philosophical question you ask – how do you value one thing more than another thing – thats really in the eye of the beholder surely?

                    • Bill

                      I don’t know if this will fall into the correct ‘comment space’. But…..There is nothing wrong with using coinage in lieu of straight barter. Money is not the market. The market is a particular set of mechanisms that determines resource use and distribution and that skews those things in relation to existent power relationships within the market system. It’s not neutral. It’s not efficient. It doesn’t serve our needs. ( Just ask the starving in a world of plenty). I just can’t see the point in it. It comes with a plethora of deleterious outcomes.

                      There are other economic possibilities that do not rely on market mechanisms to deliver outcomes.

                      That aside, there are senses of valuable contributions that can’t quite be quantified…the smile or whatever.

                      edit. I’m not familiar with ‘time banking’ but I assume it operates on a trade of time required to complete a particular task or whatever? Or that the time is moderated by the application of market principles of worth? Which means, regardless, that onerousness is absent from the equation. And that natural endowment or capability is similarly absent. And so, finally, that equitable outcomes are not a prominent consideration.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yep I understand that you’ve got the essence of time banking there, although I am not an expert myself.

                      Getting away from the topic of alternative communities for a moment, at the end of the day I do not believe in absolute equality of wealth and income.

                      I do believe however in a much narrower spread of wealth and income than exists currently, with the aim of enabling everyone to participate fully in civil society, and ensuring that there is a vast common wealth of facilities and services accessible to all NZers. To achieve this, the mass of incomes need to rise dramatically. The top 2-3% of income earners and wealth holders will find themselves carrying much more of a tax burden. In exchange they will have a much more vibrant, lively and happy society to exercise their wealth within. Fairs fair.

                      Further, for those who do not want to spend their whole week chasing money, this day and age there is no reason why everyone should not be able to make a living wage on the equivalent of 3-4 days work per week.

          • Logie97 6.1.1.2.2

            @redlogix
            Sorry if I misled – I was suggesting that EarthSong might be what Bill was suggesting. Certainly appears to be an attractive philosophy there… and thriving.

            • Bill 6.1.1.2.2.1

              @ Logie.

              Had a quick look at the link you provided, but can’t see any indication that the fundamentally necessary criteria I mention in reply to CV above have been applied.

            • Bill 6.1.1.2.2.2

              Found it. A $200 non-refundable fee should you wish to join and then a minimum $2000 investment which buys you full membership rights and the right to buy a house on the land.

              You see the problem? All ‘Earthsong’ provides is a cozy, ‘alternative’ (seemingly white, if the photographs are anything to go by) middle class, liberal lifestyle for those with purchasing power.

              What’s the point? It’s just a variant on middle class suburbia with a dash of ‘feel good’ factor thrown in.

              • Logie97

                Perhaps the suggestion is little by little rather than radical mind-set shifts.
                Earthsong is right in the middle of a very multicultural area of Auckland. If those around see its success then you may have a movement in the right direction. The cooperative is the first step surely… Oddly enough I would suggest that throughout time movements (far from all good mind you) have their roots in the middle classes or intellectual groups.

                • Bill

                  I’ve mentioned this before, but as an adult I moved to live in a community that embodied a radical step shift in mind set.

                  The stuff I’m espousing here is based on that experience and the experiences of other places that embodied, what I now regard as all too obvious flaws.

                  Maybe I missed it. But where is the substantially co-operative aspect of ‘Earthsong’? It is entirely individualistic from what I can see. The co-operative element is no more in evidence than it would be if, say, a pile of people agreed that it was more desirable to live by the sea and subsequently bought beach front properties. There is as much a commonality of purpose in that than there is in these puffed up ‘alternative lifestyle’ choices as expressed by ‘eco-villages’ and such like. They are going nowhere. They offer nothing beyond ( to me) a facile lifestyle choice to those with material leverage.

            • Bill 6.1.1.2.2.3

              Further delving revealed this http://www.earthsong.org.nz/docs/CohousingAgreement.pdf which is a ‘Agreement’ document predicated on the unchallenged primacy of private ownership. So we get page after page of potentially punitive legalistic nonsense; the ‘dancing on the head of a red hot pin’ that must always accompany an atomised monetisation of material (and so, due to their influence ultimately non-material too) relationships.

              I wouldn’t live there if you paid me to.

              • Zorr

                Can’t help but agree with you there Bill. I can go in to more depth here regarding the social issues that would exist in such a place but your stuff is well written so I think I will just add a +1 to whatever you said.. 😛

    • lprent 6.2

      Saw that yesterday. Was interesting enough to write a post last night, that posted this afternoon. Good to see someone else found it interesting

  7. Sanctuary 7

    Men might be from Mars, and women might be from Venus, but ACT people are from a completely different universe where the normal laws of reality do not apply:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10696536

    One scarcely knows where to begin with such a farrago of fantasy and nonsense. Coddington has been so bad for so long she has coined a new word to describe it, such does her ramblings defeat even the munificent resources of the English language.

    Coddingtonswallop – Cod.dings.tons.wal.lop n. NZ Slang – Nonsense; rubbish, esp. columns written by Deborah Coddington. (origin 2006: Stephen Judd on http://www.publicaddress.net)

    • Brendon Mills 7.1

      Ms Coddington, I would rather have the big deficit, than homelessness, hardship, crumbling schools, closed hospitals, boarded up libaries, insecurity, cracked footpaths, street light that dont go, and a chasam between rich and poor.

      • millsy 7.1.1

        Ms Coddington, I would rather have the big deficit, than homelessness, hardship, crumbling schools, closed hospitals, boarded up libaries, insecurity, cracked footpaths, street light that dont go, and a chasam between rich and poor.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    Been a very shaky Christmas down here in Christchurch. We’ve had a spate of aftershocks with a 4.2M this morning at 2:07am (although on Geonet it looks like it was revised downwards to 3.8? definitely felt bigger) and a 4.9 just 20 minutes ago.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4495195/Christchurch-feels-major-after-shocks

    • Zorr 8.1

      And taking out the bloody power again.

      Would have thought Gerry would have managed to at least fixed it well enough by now that the small shakes wouldn’t still do that.

      • RedLogix 8.1.1

        Zorr,

        No not Gerry’s fault in this case. The quakes are triggering specific sensors that designed to trip the circuits to pre-empt the possibility of damaging equipment.

        Normally the control equipment is perfectly capable of sensing and preventing damage, but big earthquakes can cause unpredicatable sequences of events that could conceivably damage transformers, insulation and switchgear.

        Better to trip in the event of a small quake, and suffer an hour or so of outage, than have a major event burn stuff up and take days to fix.

        • Zorr 8.1.1.1

          Fair enough if that is the case.

          Just very irritating and the constant shocks today aren’t exactly helping my situation x_x

    • happynz 8.2

      …six years to the day after that horrible event off the coast of Sumatra caused so much devastation and loss of life.

      OK, I’m not enjoying the bumps and jolts that have been going on since the wee hours of the morning, but at least it hasn’t had the awful effects of what happened in the Indian Ocean six year ago or Haiti earlier this year.

    • Lanthanide 8.3

      Bloody hell there’s been a lot of them. Two in the space of the last 2 minutes as I type this. Seems almost the same frequency as the week after the main event.

      • RedLogix 8.3.1

        Yikes… no fun at all.

        Without giving away too much identifying info… been there done that myself. It took about a decade before I stopped reacting to small bangs and shakes. It’s definitely a form of post-traumatic stress syndrome.

        Anyone who has not experienced something like this…. at how quakes profoundly fire up strong responses deep within the gut…. cannot appreciate what the people of ChCh have been through these last 4 months.

        • Vicky32 8.3.1.1

          As an earthquake phobe (I insisted we up stakes and leave the best city in NZ – Welly, because of them) I sympathise!
          Deb

  9. Logie97 9

    Chris Carter’s latest foray into overseas travel brought instant public condemnation and rightfully so. Like him or not it would seem, however, he was not doing anything illegal, (as opposed to Wong), and was simply making further bad judgements.

    That said is there anything on record to show where the other 120 members of parliament are holidaying at this moment and how many are making use of the “Perk”? And for that matter, what about the former MP’s who have passed under the radar?

  10. Zorr 10

    2 polls on Stuff today

    1 in regards opening ACC workplace coverage up to private competition and the other asking “do you believe in UFOs

    59.8% have voted yes on ACC and 52% on UFOs… shows just how useful these polls actually are

    Might as well just ask “Are you a gullible moron?” with the only options being “Yes” or “YES!!!”

    • Carol 10.1

      “Do you believe in UFOs?” seems to me to be a non-sensical question. Unidentified Flying Oblects exist on record. The question should be about what people believe them to be.

      The ACC one is not very visible IMO, so the vote will be skewed even more than usual.

      • Zorr 10.1.1

        UFOs for me fall in to the “only people who believe in the existence of ghosts, homeopathy and Santa Claus should click yes here”

        The idea of bumping in to ET, all good. The idea that an unidentified phenomenon in the sky is a potential ET visiting us, complete nutjob whackiness.

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Hotchins one step ahead, already sidestepped asset freeze

    Financial shell of Waiheke mansion left for authorities to control. (He mortgaged the damn thing for $12M earlier in the year, and took off with the money). Good luck to Westpac lolz

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/4494742/Hotchin-takes-12m-mortgage-on-island-home

  12. A 12

    Why not just paint targets on cops in the rural eastern North Island? This is a completely stupid decision which, if there is a conviction, will just end up fomenting the kind of behaviour it is supposedly trying to stop.

    [lprent: Moved to Open Mike. It appears to have have only a passing relationship to the post and looks to me more like a trolling diversion comment. The post was about the administration of the law in this case.

    The only mention of the police was to do with their stalling in bringing it to trial. The case involves more than just the eastern north island as the charged come from and were arrested all over the country.

    Try a diversion like that again on our posts and you won’t get an opportunity to leave another comment. ]

    • A 12.1

      Well, if you’re going to continuously treat your commenters like that, and make such accusations, then there’s just no point bothering. cya.

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