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Open mike 28/12/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 28th, 2010 - 41 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.

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Step right up to the mike…

41 comments on “Open mike 28/12/2010 ”

  1. Finally, Date lines and other mishaps not withstanding here is the link to my radio interview with Dr. Kevin Barrett. For those of you interested in 911 and why it was scientifically impossible for the official Conspiracy Theory to be true have a listen.

  2. just saying 2


    I’ve cobbled together some bits from Campbell’s latest article on our government’s poor decision making when shelling out large sums of public money. Peter Jackson is a good example of welfare for the wealthy, and I reckon the many cases like this are a weak point in National’s armour. Key has already announced that welfare reform will be one of National’s four main election platforms. This has the potential to provide the forum, and the preset public mood, for the left to exploit to ram home the message about who the real bludgers are.
    (italics are mine)

    “The government has provided support to several aspects of Weta Digital’s development, including the recently announced $5.8 million of Tech NZ funding to help establish a dedicated r&d unit, strengthen connections with local and international research groups, and develop a long term r& d programme………..

    ……..It is somewhat mind boggling that this late in his career, Peter Jackson would even apply – let alone be given – a government subsidy to develop a ‘dedicated r& d unit’ at Weta Digital, and thereby ‘develop a long term r&d programme.’ You mean if taxpayers hadn’t paid for it, Weta wouldn’t have an r&d programme ?………………

    ……………..Arguably, government subsidies should not be means tested, but that additional $NZ2 million to help build the Kong sound stage in 2004 was handed over at roughly the same time Jackson was reportedly pulling down a $US20 million fee for his work on the movie. Little wonder that the New Zealand private sector has one of the lowest r&d investment rates in the entire OECD. Are such gifts a hand-up or a handout? You be the judge, because you’re paying for it…………..

    ……………….Can these chumps be trusted to be any more savvy with public money when it comes to public-private partnerships in say
education, or in transport infrastructure? That’s the worry, as we head into 2011″.

    • >but that additional $NZ2 million to help build the Kong sound stage in 2004 was handed over at roughly the same time< … as we had a labor government!
      So who are you suggesting 'you' vote for? twedal dumb or twedal dummer?
      Giving tax money to business is what all fanciest governments do. live with it.

      • just saying 2.1.1

        I’m not a Labour supporter. I said “the left” not ‘Labour’. Watch out for those knee-jerk assumptions. (There’s a rumour going round that there are more than two political parties in NZ…)

        “Giving tax money to business is what all fanciest governments do. live with it”

        God forbid even suggesting the possibility anything ever changing. It’s not like NZ is a democracy or anything.

        • Robert Atack

          All left wing parties are just sub branches of labour, the greed party was set up to soak up the ‘organic’ vote … and in turn hand it to Helen.
          They are all politicians first, second and third, telling the truth and doing good comes way way down their list of ‘to dos’ … and as we see on election day most people are happy with this arrangement
          Nothing has changed for thousands of years, people at the top are despots, they will keep doing what they do until they can’t. Peak growth is their boogie man.

          • mcflock

            I dunno that nothing has changed for thousands of years.

            They didn’t really have elections a thousand years ago (Iceland might be an exception), and if they did slaves couldn’t vote.

            A thousand years before that they had folk chop each other to death for fun.

            So we’re moving on slowly but surely. And the Alliance ain’t a sub branch of labour, FWIW.

            • Colonial Viper

              A thousand years before that they had folk chop each other to death for fun.

              Bayonets were still standard issue in WWII.

              • mcflock

                Still are today. But at least today we’re not supposed to find it fun for people to use them right in front of us.

                Well, not right in front, admittedly. That means we’d be on the pointy end.

            • Bill

              Athenian democracy. Not perfect. And neither is what we have today. And a thousand years before Athens and beyond, tribes people may well have participated in tribal decisions on a level way beyond anything we experience today. And that continued in some societies until colonisation…our ‘crusade of salvation and civilisation’… got to them.

              And there are millions of slaves in the world today. And they can’t vote. And their lot is far worse than that of many slaves in the ‘classical’ world you reference.

              And today, in countries ripped apart by economic deprivation and plunged into civil war, child soldiers hack people to death…just for fun.

              Now, where are we moving to again?

              • mcflock

                In NZ, we’re moving forward, slightly back over the last 30 years, but generally forward.

                And the slaves in the world today are at about the same level in slaves of classical times – from gold miners for the Romans to asbestos workers in Ancient Greece.

                Improvement doesn’t imply perfection.

                • Bill

                  “More than 5,000 children are being forced to work as sex slaves in the UK,…”

                  “…pimps and organised-crime bosses are transporting up to 500,000 women and girls, some as young as 14, into the European Union each year to be “sold like cattle” into sex slavery and enforced prostitution,…”
                  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/shame-of-eu-over-50000 sex-slaves-1269821.html

                  And so it goes on…article after article. And just from one newspaper search…browse them for yourself


                  And if you agree that economic deprivation feeds slavery, then you might want to reflect that the economic differential of the UK and eastern Europe is probably not dissimilar to that of NZ and the rest of Polynesia

                  • mcflock

                    Okay, you guys are right.

                    A dep10 unemployed adult in NZ has as little say in the government of NZ as a slave in ancient Rome. Or does that sound slightly stupid?

                    • Bill


                      I commented because you seemed to be peddling the fallacy of inevitable ‘progression’ in human affairs. But overall, human affairs seem to more subject to churn than any linear (halting or otherwise) process of improvement.

                      As such, ‘better’ and ‘worse’ are wholly subject to specific locations in time and place. Some things, like medical care, are certainly better for me than they were for my parents or their parents before them. But that’s beside the point. It’s the application or practice of that knowledge that marks whether we are ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than our predecessors. And I don’t think that our ancestors were indifferent to those among their number that needed medical attention to any greater or lesser degree than we are. ( Maybe we recoil at historical instances of lepers or such like being generally shunned and think of ourselves as ‘better than that’, only to shun victims of HIV in our own turn.)

                      Where certain, self referencing, linear progressions might be discernible in western social democracies, when we look through history we can identify other societies that were, by our criteria, and on specific matters, ‘better’ than us. (The position of women in society for example, or the treatment of conquered foes [The Persian Empire?], or on any number of specific moral attitudes.)

                      This is a long way of saying that specific socio/economic or cultural expressions are subject to change. And whereas we prefer to view that change as progression, it is probably more accurate to perceive any change as churn over the longer term…some things get incrementally ‘better’, some ‘worse’. And then the whole dynamic eventually dissipates and new, not necessarily linearly connected socio/economic or cultural dynamics come to the fore.

                      It’s like everything always changes at the same time as everything stays the same…variations of a constant theme.

                    • mcflock

                      There is a floor of human behaviour, where it might not be solitary but is definitely poor, nasty, brutish and short.

                      There is a ceiling, which we probably haven’t attained yet.

                      I like to think we’re farther away from the floor than we were a thousand years ago. It might be just “churn”, but I think we’re moving up. True, a village society 2,000 years ago probably didn’t have complete extermination in mind when it disputed territory with another village, but then I’m not sure that their treatment of the sick, frail or maybe women was as egalitarian as all that. Oh, and their life expectancy was probably 35.

                      We can slip, and we’re sure as hell not all we can be, but if my view of human progression was as bleak as yours I’d probably want serious medication.

                      And I think the Athenians might disagree with your attitude to the consequences of a persian invasion. That’s the thing about true autocrats – no impulse control.

                    • Bill

                      …if my view of human progression was as bleak as yours I’d probably want serious medication.

                      But you miss my point. I have no view on human progression. It doesn’t exist.

                      Look at it this way. All things being equal…ie cultural prerogatives or conditionings aside…would mutual comprehension and affinity exist between you or I and typical people from 1000, 20 000 or even 100 000 years ago? Or would we feel lost and confused due to some evolutionary process of psychology having put distance between us? (ie, would we be confronting, essentially, a different species?)

                      I reckon the former.

                    • mcflock

                      but a positive change in cultural conditioning (e.g. slavery = bad rather than slavery = legitimate business) is actually human progression.

                      And over the last thousand or few thousand years humanity has moved in that direction. Yes, there have been backward steps, yes there are some for whom their lot is as bad now as it would have been a thousand years ago, but at least now we belief this is bad and look to laws to change it. And maybe in a thousand years (hopefully sooner) laws and law enforcement will be more effective in eradicating such practises.

                    • Bill

                      There have always been people who thought or believed slavery was a bad thing.

                      Making laws around it isn’t any progression of the human condition.

                      The human condition remains the same.

                    • Remove oil from socity and bang we are on the floor again.
                      This snip from a talk given in 1957 … we have surely got a shit load more stupid since then.
                      With high energy consumption goes a high standard of living. Thus the enormous fossil energy which we in this country control feeds machines which make each of us master of an army of mechanical slaves. Man’s muscle power is rated at 35 watts continuously, or one-twentieth horsepower. Machines therefore furnish every American industrial worker with energy equivalent to that of 244 men, while at least 2,000 men push his automobile along the road, and his family is supplied with 33 faithful household helpers. Each locomotive engineer controls energy equivalent to that of 100,000 men; each jet pilot of 700,000 men. Truly, the humblest American enjoys the services of more slaves than were once owned by the richest nobles, and lives better than most ancient kings. In retrospect, and despite wars, revolutions, and disasters, the hundred years just gone by may well seem like a Golden Age.

                    • mcflock

                      yes there were always people who thought slavery a bad thing, most notably the slaves.

                      But there is a difference between it occurring in criminal enterprises that society frowns upon (tries to shut down) and it occurring freely on the street with the militia or soldiery returning runaway slaves.

                      That difference is a progression.

                    • Bill

                      Seems your sunk in being unable to differentiate between what we do and what we are.

                      But even on the what we do front.


                      What is the qualitative difference between getting directly supplied with food and shelter in return for your labour and getting paid money with which to compete with others to secure access to food and shelter ( and multifarious shiny baubles ) in return for your labour?

                      The dynamic is essentially the same, is it not?

                      Yet, isn’t it the case that ‘earning a wage’ is seen as right and proper and something to be aspired to in the modern age?

                      Progression of the human condition or progression in the art of cunning manipulation in order to make that which is unacceptable appear acceptable?

                    • mcflock

                      Seems that you are unable to realise that what we do counts for something.

                      Assuming that your question was a false equivalence between earning a wage and wage slavery and feudal slavery, then the main difference is lack of legitimised brutality. Yes, law enforcement is force, but we do tend to shy away from beating people to death these days. Not 100%, admittedly, but at least we try. And yes, I do think the attempt (even if unsuccessful) counts for something.

                      Can we move beyond the GDP wage economy? Yes. Is it still better than a feudal economy? Yes.

            • Robert Atack

              >They didn’t really have elections a thousand years ago<
              As far as 'democracy' goes we might as well be living in China or Russia, our choice on election day is about the same, 'they' manipulate everything from sand pit to polling both, 'they' know human nature, it is a breeze in a fossil fueled growth at no cost disposable society to run this scam, wait till 'we' can't afford a 2/3/4/5 party system … then the truth as to who rules will come out. So called democracy is a luxury, we and 'they' will soon miss.

              • mcflock

                We all have a choice about who to vote for.

                Don’t blame a “them” for the people electing the government they deserve.

                • -We all have a choice about who to vote for.-
                  No we haven’t, take the con Kiwi Saver for example, I know people will never see a return on their money if they are under 60 (being kind here). It is an out and out lie to expect this fast self-destructing system to keep itself together much more than 5 years, let alone have growth over the next 47 (time for 18 yo to retire) I think every politician voted for this scam, hence they all have their fat over paid heads up each others butts, they are in the same ponzi scam IE vote for us and life will get better, trust us, we will give you XYZ till the sun stops shining. The right think wealth and happiness will flow down to the masses and the left think we will get/deserve our ‘fare share’ -come by yar-
                  They are all feeding us the same crap, and because 99% of ‘the people’ are apathetic brain dead baby factories, they get away with it.
                  And every 3 years the fools think voting will change things, ha bloody ha ha, the joke is on us, well you as I don’t have a KS account, and if I vote it is always a protest one.
                  Please wake up.

                  • just saying

                    Believing ‘we’re-all-going-to -hell-in-a-handcart-and-there’s-nothing-we-can-do-about-it’ isn’t quite the mark of genius you seem to think it is RA.
                    Pretty common in my experience.

                    • JS – Pretty common in my experience.
                      Alas my anonymous friend it is not common enough as witnessed by all the bloody maternity wards.
                      Oh and the happy happy joy joy crap in the papers about all the kids being born over the past few weeks. poor buggers.

                    • Also JS there is KS …. with around 500,000 fools joined up, guess that is only $500 million more the govt owes? Yet another bill never to be paid.

            • ianmac from UAE

              Actually the Irish had elections for rulers, equal rights for women like in medicine or education and a restorative approach to crime. All this around the 7th Century AD. It eroded under the Roman Catholic Church influence where segregation and punitive justice become the norm.

              • M

                Yes indeed ianmac – have you read ‘How the Irish Saved Civilization’ by Thomas Cahill?

                St Patrick worked very hard at bringing the different tribes together in Ireland, perhaps a little too well considering what happened to them later. Women were certainly freer and not bottom feeders in Irish society before the arrival of suffocating Augustinian/Roman Catholicism. Irish monks and priests wishing to avoid conflict (as well as political influence from leaders) gave in at a synod in England in the seventh century to avoid a schism in the early Catholic church over various matters concerning faith and conduct which is a damn shame because it all goes to explain the existence of places like Magdalene laundries, because you know it’s all those damned women’s faults for enticing poor, innocent men to sin.

                Augustine was lucky that texts, both secular and religious, were preserved through the labours of generations of Irish monks while Rome’s empire crumbled under pressure from barbarian hordes so he could really get his misogyny groove on and message out after being the most shocking Lothario.

                Hell knows what he would have made of St Patrick helping pregnant nuns – maybe some long pork for dinner barbequed a la Augustine?

            • KJT

              Now we bomb people to bits in their millions to ensure the oil supply to the USA.

              Primitive tribespeople in New Guinea have more self determination than the average Westerner in UK, USA, Ireland, NZ or Greece.

              Athens, Rome and many other early cultures had a greater degree of democracy than we do. The current Swiss democracy has rather a long history also.

  3. Tigger 3


    Truly bizarre piece – not even marked Opinion in the mobile site so it appears as ‘news’.

    No free lunch except for the rich. Because when English says tighten your belts he only means working class.

    • Vicky32 3.1

      Further more he uses the Americanism “different than”! (No, I am not being silly – I am assuming that his use of an Americanism – which BTW is simply grammatically wrong, not an allowable variation) shows where his thinking comes from!

  4. John 4

    Senator Bernie Sanders rails against America’s NeoLiberal Greed Machine which has destroyed a once great Nation now reduced to Banana republic Status. This is the way Key and Wodney want us to follow to our own disaster and decline while they line the pockets of their mates! Is John giving Corporate OBama a xmas call from his Hawaiian retreat?

    At this moment in time Senator Bernie Sanders is probably the only honest civil servant on the senate floor with a working mind of his own..Everyone else in the House seems to be bought off by the International Bankers et al I gotta give it to Bernie Sanders… Man, this guy has a set of balls on him, don’t he??.he is talking about the militaryï»ż industrial complex, goldman sachs? rockefeller, the fed .The political stranglehold the super rich have on the American political machine and its policies.

    Refer link: http://geraldcelentechannel.blogspot.com/

  5. May be slightly off topic, if there is one on Open Mike?
    This is a brilliant speech, given in 1957
    Admiral Rickover was considered the Father of the Nuclear Submarine.(don’t hold this against him ra) As an employee of the US Atomic Energy Commission, later Department of Energy, he had great influence on the development of our country’s civilian Nuclear Power Generation Industry. This speech, given almost 50 years ago, sheds an important light on our current discussion about the future of energy in our country. In the 1970s, Admiral Rickover worked closely with President Jimmy Carter on energy issues.

    snip from his speech (which covers lots of topics relating to energy/food/population)
    Calculations give us the astonishing estimate that one out of every 20 human beings born into this world is alive today. .. (it must be around 5 now ?)
    snip 2 –
    For more than one hundred years we have stoked ever growing numbers of machines with coal; for fifty years we have pumped gas and oil into our factories, cars, trucks, tractors, ships, planes, and homes without giving a thought to the future. Occasionally the voice of a Cassandra has been raised only to be quickly silenced when a lucky discovery revised estimates of our oil reserves upward, or a new coalfield was found in some remote spot. Fewer such lucky discoveries can be expected in the future, especially in industrialized countries where extensive mapping of resources has been done. Yet the popularizers of scientific news would have us believe that there is no cause for anxiety, that reserves will last thousands of years, and that before they run out science will have produced miracles. Our past history and security have given us the sentimental belief that the things we fear will never really happen – that everything turns out right in the end. But, prudent men will reject these tranquilizers and prefer to face the facts so that they can plan intelligently for the needs of their posterity.
    With the clowns we have currently pushing us off the cliff what chance youre children?
    Apathy rules though

  6. Did Conor English take the Standard’s comments back in November personally?

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