Open mike 29/04/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 29th, 2012 - 101 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

101 comments on “Open mike 29/04/2012”

  1. Stephen Doyle 1

    In the current era, where the Right has dominated the intellectual debate and has captured the MSM and the Govt, how does the left reframe the debate to the point where it starts to get taken seriously by both the public and the press?
    I certainly don’t have the answer, but I think the question needs to be taken seriously before the damage done is too great to undo.

    • Uturn 1.2

      The misunderstanding is this: people cannot move Left until the damage hurts them to the point they have nothing to lose.

      The Left in NZ is perpetually at the intellectual stage because most people are comfortable under capitalism. We can afford the luxury of pitying the poor, rather than experiencing poverty for ourselves. With no experience, we cannot relate; only theorise, sympathise, empathise.

      At this stage there should be some honesty from our “Left”. But it does not come. It is simply as easy as emphasising and demonstrating the fact that life is not all about money/profit. In all the “show me the money” bollocks that went on during the last election, not once did Goff or anyone else stare Key right in the face and chant back to him: It’s about people, stupid.

      Instead, there was a mad scramble to “show the money”, to show we can be good capitalist lapdogs. Didn’t we do well master? We can add numbers. We can reduce life to a financial unit to assure our opponents we are just like them. Next stop, those goddamn bludgers. Didn’t we do well? Didn’t we? Give us a pat on the head… please? Pathetic.

      The Left is not about being or becoming rich, serving money, and being nice to the poor because you pity them. Moving Left is about controlling the means of production for the good of all people; improving the lives of those who work/contribute to the nation with any excess, without prejudice – and everyone does/will contribute – and not accumulating an excess of resources for a few people to buy expensive trinkets while others starve or cannot work. It is an attempt to build a classless society.

      So currently, we have people up in arms about selling assets: perfectly correct under a leftist point of view. But then those same SOEs operate under a capitalist system, untouched, partially privatised or not – accepted as if it is a natural law. Left and Right unashamedly combine and give us, Shite.

      How do you “reframe” that? You can’t. It’s just plain truths: if NZ wants to move Left in anything but words, some things will go, some popular things, some occupations will become obsolete, values will have to change, and ideas about how life and work is or should be. The Right have not dominated the debate through skill, it is because the “Left” have been complicit in their goals.

      • Adele 1.2.1

        Uturn

        Thank you for your comment. I agree 100 percent and more!

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2

        +1

        We need to stop using money as when we do it gets substituted for actual resources.
        We need realise that we shouldn’t be taking as much as we can from the environment but only what we need.
        We need to accept and define what limits there are to what we can take from the environment.
        We need to accept that the purpose of the economy is to ensure no one lives in poverty rather than profit.

        That’s just a start.

        You’re right, some occupations will go and some people will be upset about that. Capitalists will be especially as one of the roles that will go will be that of capitalist. The actual amount of work will decrease as we pull our economy back within the natural limits which means that we will have to get beyond the work/reward conditioning that has blighted our society for the last few hundred years.

      • Clashman 1.2.3

        +1

        • seeker 1.2.3.1

          We need to start with our children and work on policies that will help them.From this hub policies will grow that positively develop our country for the future. We need a Children’s Minister or ‘epicentre’ created by the opposition, even while they are in opposition, in order to gather ways and means/processes to fight poverty, disease, community dysfunction etc and create policies that will restore responsibility,kindness, nurture and support back to our young ones. Our country will then develop,grow and flourish from our 0- 20 somethings upwards and outwards and onwards.

          In this way the adults can stop thinking of themselves and work towards growing together as a nation again.

          This may be the only way to exorcise the ghastly greedy, selfish/what’s in it for me, ignorant,’competitive/productive’ amoral mindset we have been herded into over the last 35 years, by a very, very nasty ideology designed by some extremely nasty right wing Machiavellis. A mindset which has been, ironically, one of most unproductive history has ever known and definitely detrimental to the healthy development of a creative, happy, productive and caring society.

      • M 1.2.4

        Uturn, great comment. As it was in the 1930s, I don’t believe people will move to the left or demand true left politics until they’ve had a good dose of pain.

        What Labour wrought in the 1980s, was honed further in the 1990s by National with small concessions by the Clark government will probably take a generation or more to redress.

  2. I don’t think the Right has dominated the intellectual deabte. Act are MIA. National’s strategy has been more to avoid debate, to just do things with as little fuss as possible.

    And they certainly haven’t captured the MSM, that’s a standard excuse for not getting good press yourself. The MSM is captured by a sensation obsession, even where there is none.

    Parties who keep stoking the same boilers while their train is wrecking will attract MSM attention.

    • freedom 2.1

      for a while now i have been trying to find an image that adequately portrays the sincerity, the strength of character and the unwavering integrity of the values expressed by Pete George.

      At long last I think i have found it
      http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m2l178fOKG1rri683o1_400.jpg

    • felix 2.2

      Pete, capitalism itself is never questioned in the mainstream public discourse. Everything that is argued, is argued entirely within that paradigm.

      That’s the level I think the first comment was referring to rather than a trivial analysis of which party’s ex-mps get to write the gossip column this week.

      • Stephen Doyle 2.2.1

        Thnak you Felix, you’re right. That is what I was trying to get at. Now I am aware that we are not going to to be able to do away with capitalism altogher, but it seems to me that within that broad church, there is room for a debate about how to equalise the economy in amore meaningful way that does not make the rich richer at solelty the expense of others.
        My big question is, who and how can that debate be had in NZ?

        • Pete George 2.2.1.1

          I think that’s a good way to look at it, how to find what is a reasonable balance.

          In reality we’re probably wavering not far from it in New Zealand, we have substantial wealth redistribution and social support, and substantial but regulated private enterprise.

          We will obviously not always be on the exact right balance because of moderate changes of government and an always evolving world.

          • McFlock 2.2.1.1.1
             
             

            Pete:

            In reality we’re probably wavering not far from it in New Zealand, we have substantial wealth redistribution and social support, and substantial but regulated private enterprise.
             

            3,000 kids a year are admitted to HOSPITAL because of skin infections. Not went to the doctor for a cream, went to fucking hospital and stayed there.
                
            If you think that this is within a lightyear of “reasonable balance”, you’re more of a fool than I imagined.
             
             
             

          • fatty 2.2.1.1.2

            “…in New Zealand, we have substantial wealth redistribution”

            We sure do, its called the trickle up effect and we should resist it in every possible way

  3. Neil Stockley comments on why Ken Livingston may struggle to win the London Mayoralty despite all the problems the conservatives are facing in the UK.

    He cites the US theory for presidential races where the “Bugs Bunny” type candidate always beats the “Daffy Duck” type candidate.

    To quote:

    Bugs and Daffy represent polar opposites in how to deal with the world. Bugs is at ease, laid back, secure, confident. His lidded eyes and sly smile suggest a sense that he knows the way things work. He’s onto the cons of his adversaries. Sometimes he is glimpsed with his elbow on the fireplace mantel of his remarkably well-appointed lair, clad in a smoking jacket. (Jones once said Cary Grant was his inspiration for Bugs. Today it would be George Clooney.) Bugs never raises his voice, never flails at his opponents or at the world. He is rarely an aggressor. When he is pushed too far and must respond, he borrows a quip from Groucho Marx: “Of course, you realize this means war.” And then, whether his foe is hapless hunter Elmer Fudd, varmint-shooting Yosemite Sam, or a raging bull, Bugs always prevails.
    Daffy Duck, by contrast, is ever at war with a hostile world. He fumes, he clenches his fists, his eyes bulge, and his entire body tenses with fury. His response to bad news is a sibilant sneer (“Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin!”). Daffy is constantly frustrated, sometimes by outside forces, sometimes by his own overwrought response to them.

    And:

    In every modern presidential election in which the candidates have personified a clear choice between Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, Bugs has prevailed. 

    John Key is certainly our Bugs Bunny. 
     

    • Olwyn 3.1

      Even supposing that this is broadly true on some level, it is unclear whether Bugsism is a cause or a consequence: being on a winning streak may give one a Bugs-like confidence, while not being able to win a trick whatever you do may bring out Daffy-like desperation. Admittedly though, the confidence/desperation would probably reinforce one’s winning/losing potential.

      • just saying 3.1.1

        Learned helplessness.
        Don’t like the concept because it has been embraced by those who blame victims, but approximations of what you describe can be created in lab conditions quite quickly.

        I once read Bob Jones attribute a lot of his business success to the fact that he had his adrenal gland removed when he was young, and he found that he could take risks and make big-stakes decsions without being hampered by any sense of fear of the consequences.

    • just saying 3.2

      In the discussion, Stockley goes on to talk about famous political examples, and they start at 1980.
      I think this apparent trend of voters favouring for insoucience in their leaders (and there are very notable exceptions), goes hand-in-glove with neo-liberalism, and is one of the fashions that were created.

      And it’s rapidly going out of vogue.

  4. james111 4

    Good to see the Shearer debate hiiting the Sunday papers again. The left certainly work on a divide and rule theory, even amongst their own. How can Labour ever have a united party?

  5. Hateatea 5

    Banksie and David Parker on Q & A right now

  6. David H 6

    Anyone see this the other day??? Made for interesting reading.
    The reason why people did not vote.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10801848

    • felix 6.1

      Worth noting that they only interviewed 272 non-voters, but yeah still interesting.

    • bad12 6.2

      Yeah, that was highlighted on ‘Open Mike’ yesterday, the shame of this IF the small sample of non-voters is representative of the non-voters as a bloc is that 2% are deterred from casting their vote by the actions of the masse media,

      The 2011 was a far tighter electoral contest than most of that masse media are willing to aknowledge so while ‘we’ give the press the freedom to mostly say whatever they like ‘we’ have such a free press by what appears to be subterfuge interfering in the democratic election of our Governments…

  7. felix 7

    Just noticed this: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/private-prison-operator-failing-meet-targets-4855095/video

    Turns out the private prison operator Serco has been releasing prisoners by mistake (oops) and failing to meet 40% of their performance targets (sorry).

    Who woulda thought? Oh that’s right, everyone.

    Minister Tolley says it’s just a “bedding in” period for Serco. A bedding in period? What, are they new to this now? These people were supposed to be the experts you fucking moron.

    In other news, these same incompetents will get to run a 2000 bed prison in Wiri (yay Serco!). Wonder how long they’ll need for “bedding in” there?

    • bad12 7.1

      Serco tho did try and make amends for having released 2 prisoners early, they managed to keep 1 prisoner for longer than His sentence allowed…

      • felix 7.1.1

        Seems fair.

        • bad12 7.1.1.1

          They probably get paid by the ‘bed night’,oops we are down 14 days of bed nights by releasing those 2 prisoners a week early,

          Quick,change the paperwork to keep that other prisoner in for 2 weeks longer than His sentence allows that will keep the boss happy…

    • Pascal's bookie 7.2

      Silly Felix.

      It’s like a trial period for new employees. For the first 90 years they can make a few fuckups and you can’t hold it against them on account of meanie and socialist.

  8. joe90 8

    Benny the popes man Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the Apostolic Nuncio, has called for Jews and Muslims to join with Catholics in a multi faith campaign to kick the gays.

  9. logie97 9

    Superannuation and “Middle Class Welfare”

    As Banks goes down, he is still able to make a lot of noise about this welfare, whether it is interest free loans or doctors visits or superannuation.

    And you can be sure that anyone with savings is going to be means-tested sooner or later.
    What we need to insist on is a change in the “Trust” laws so that these pricks who are championing means testing, have not salted away any “testable income” in trusts.

  10. logie97 10

    Here’s a way the government can create jobs and a bit of hope for the future.
    Start up a PPP building buses and railway rolling stock like the ones they
    sold off in the 90’s. (That’s a novel idea.)
    Think of the apprenticeships and skills development available there …
    The pension funds could get in behind them as well.

    • Fortran 10.1

      Logie

      Interesting idea but Pension Funds will only invest if they can see a good return on their investment.
      Anyway, hope my Pension Funds sees it this way.

  11. Graham 11

    Would it be possible to initiate a petition for a referendum to do something about the obscenely high power prices we pay in NZ? It is now a luxury to live in a home that is warm enough in winter to be even considered healthy. What would it take? This is an issue that affects a lot of people. I am sure that we are being ripped off big time.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      It is now a luxury to live in a home that is warm enough in winter to be even considered healthy.

      that’s not power prices you want to address but housing standards. We have cold homes because we build cold homes and not because power prices are too high.

      • bad12 11.1.1

        Would tend to suggest its both, my humble abode has recently gone through an insulation up-grade and it defintly holds the heat inside for far longer than previously,

        However,in Winter the reverse is true, without heating the House holds onto the cold as effectively as it did the heat of Summer,

        In effect on a warm Winters day where the Suns heat is not abundant enough to heat the house it will stay as cold as the coldest previous few days simply because the insulation keeps it that way…

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passive_solar_building_design

          In passive solar building design, windows, walls, and floors are made to collect, store, and distribute solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and reject solar heat in the summer. This is called passive solar design or climatic design because, unlike active solar heating systems, it doesn’t involve the use of mechanical and electrical devices.

          A building built to proper specifications needs neither active cooling nor warming.

          Your house is cold due to poor design.

          • bad12 11.1.1.1.1

            I will take it as written then that my place along with 99.99% of everybody else’s places is poorly designed,

            Pity tho I can’t live in such a computer construct as that highlighted by your kindly provided link,

            It would seem tho that poorly designed tho it appears (from the inference of the link provided),my place along with every other place that aint a computer construct requires some form of Heating be applied in the Winter months so as to conform to what would be the norms in consideration of keeping a society of inhabitants of such poorly designed places healthy,

            My point being,and this seems largely ignored by those who constructed the computer simulation of the ‘properly designed warm house’ is that given the average conditions of a Wellington New Zealand Winter there is in fact NOT ENOUGH warmth from the Sun at times during that Winter to overcome the effects of winter cold,

            IE,If there are 3 really cold days in winter then any design of house is likely to remain cold unless there are enough warmish winter days to have overcome this unless another source of heating is applied,

            Myself being both Green and in the ‘poor seats’ choose the layered clothing method of keeping warm through the few weeks of winter where one would expect ‘normal’ folk to be applying heating to their poorly designed homes…

            • marsman 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Nothing to do with computers bad12, 2000 years ago or more there were houses built that did exactly what Draco described, I think it was somewhere in the Mediteranean.

              • bad12

                Obviously not subjected to the same number of screaming southerlies straight off the Antarctic Polar ice as Wellingtons south Coast is every winter then…

            • Vicky32 11.1.1.1.1.2

              Myself being both Green and in the ‘poor seats’ choose the layered clothing method of keeping warm through the few weeks of winter where one would expect ‘normal’ folk to be applying heating to their poorly designed homes…

              Me also… except that I am green with a small ‘g’… 🙂

              • Carol

                I try to go as long as possible without heating, but there comes a point where no amount of layers can make me warm enough to be able to function. That’s especially true of my hands and feet. Fingerless gloves work to a point, and thermal socks, but my hands and feet have a tendency to get really cold…. sometimes my feet get too cold when the heating is on at work. And I live in Auckland.

                Some people do feel the cold more than others as well.

                • lprent

                  Same with Lyn. I am always amazed at how cold her feet can get where in the same house I am in jandals so my feet can offload heat. I put boots and a hat on the other day for the march and found my body tempatures went through the roof – my two main heat radiating surfaces were covered.

            • weka 11.1.1.1.1.3

              I agree it’s criminal how much domestic power costs. I also agree that it’s criminal that houses are built so poorly. Bad12, even in Welly it is possible to build passive solar houses that retain heat far more efficiently than what NZ’s building code currently dictates. You need some heat, but far less than what we have to use now. Even with retrofitting quite a lot can be done to make a house warmer with less energy.

            • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.1.1.4

              You miss the point. It’s not that power is too expensive but that we use too much. Yes, present houses are too cold but that means retrofitting as much as possible of which you’ve already done some – now do a bit more.

              BTW, water is an excellent heat storage medium.

              • RedLogix

                Given that 90% of NZ housing desperately needs remodelling with a bulldozer (and that’s an enormous indictment of our building industry) most of us are stuck with the hovel we are currently in. So yes while poor design and performance is the root issue, it’s not something we can fix in time for this winter.

                And yes power prices are too high. Fortunately this government has a plan; it will privatise a large portion of the electricity industry and this will drive prices down.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Some people could do it by this winter but, yes, to get all our houses up to scratch is going to take awhile but that’s still a better goal than focussing on power prices.

                  This government only cares about the monetary profit it can put in it’s mates pocket and not the people.

  12. Campbell Larsen 12

    Police and Nats defend the use of the Damocles technique

    Discretion is no substitute for a more appropriate law based on harm reduction. While it is certainly a good thing that minor infringements of the drug and other laws do not make their way into the justice system, it should not be seen a solution but rather a temporary fix until legislative changes can adjust the threshold of criminality in law to allow the situation to be dealt with more appropriately. Police already have considerable ‘discretion’ in this country – if we allow the separation between the letter of the law and what is actually enforced to widen or persist then we run the risk of Police using enforcement as a stand over tactic when it suits them to be hard-line. Discretion does not provide the consistency of case-law and the judiciary and this is required for Justice. The days of the all-powerful and oft corrupt ‘Sherriff’ are gone and I would not see them return. We should always be striving to ensure that our laws reflect the values and priorities of our communities. The criminalization of Cannabis is a hangover from the days of alcohol prohibition and a legacy of the failed war on drugs. It is a law which unjustly persecutes citizens – enforcing it merely brings the Police and the law into disrepute.

  13. seeker 13

    @Stephen Doyle 8.06am

    “how does the left reframe the debate to the point where it starts to get taken seriously by both the public and the press”

    (I have reposted this comment down here, as I realised many would have moved on from earlier comments today. My comment may appear to sound naive, but I am serious and think it is worth a good airing.)

    We need to start with our children and work on policies that will help them. From this hub policies will grow that positively develop our country for the future. We need a Children’s Minister or ‘epicentre’ created by the opposition, even while they are in opposition, in order to gather ways and means/processes to fight poverty, disease, community dysfunction etc and create policies that will restore responsibility,kindness, nurture and support back to our young ones. Our country will then develop,grow and flourish from our 0- 20 somethings upwards and outwards and onwards.

    In this way the adults can stop thinking of themselves and work towards growing together as a nation again.

    This may be the only way to exorcise the ghastly greedy, selfish/what’s in it for me, ignorant,’competitive/productive’ amoral mindset we have been herded into over the last 35 years, by a very, very nasty ideology designed by some extremely nasty right wing Machiavellis. A mindset which has been, ironically, one of most unproductive history has ever known and definitely detrimental to the healthy development of a creative, happy, productive and caring society.

    In fact we are so morally fulfilled today that we are apparently now far more in favour of euthanasia than we were. What a world to enter for our young.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      In fact we are so morally fulfilled today that we are apparently now far more in favour of euthanasia than we were. What a world to enter for our young.

      So, what’s you argument about people being able to choose to die with dignity rather than being forced to endure pain and suffering for as long as the medical profession can keep them alive?

      • Reagan Cline 13.1.1

        Are you opposed to pain and suffering ? If so why ?

        • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1

          When it can’t be cured, yes. Because the person in such a pain is in two basic conditions – so much pain they can’t do anything, drugged to the gills so that they can’t do anything.

      • Vicky32 13.1.2

        So, what’s you argument about people being able to choose to die with dignity rather than being forced to endure pain and suffering for as long as the medical profession can keep them alive?

        There’s nothing dignified about a plastic bag over the head, or having your head bashed in wiith a hammer (one old man murdered his wife that way, and got off, claiming it was a mercy killing – yeah, right…)
        Hospices are well able to and knowledgeable about keeping ‘pain and suffering’ at bay, but some people would rather slippery slope their way to being able to bump off the wife, or the mother or even the grands, either because divorce is expensive, or to hurry the inheritance.
        I remember hearing an MP who has been a GP on the radio years ago. She spoke about having had patients say they wanted her to provide the means for them to ‘die with dignity’. She would always leave exactly what they said they wanted within reach and then leave. When she went back days later, somehow they had always had second thoughts… (Before you ask, I can’t remember her name.)

      • Stephen Doyle 13.1.3

        This is exactly what gets me annoyed. Why sidetrack a reasonable debate with a tangent?

        • Vicky32 13.1.3.1

          with a tangent

          Do you mean me? What tangent?
           
           

        • seeker 13.1.3.2

          This is exactly what gets me annoyed. Why sidetrack a reasonable debate with a tangent?

          Sorry Stephen. I realised too late that I should not have put that last sentence on my 3.40pm.comment, which was of course an attempt to answer your rather good question from 8.06am.

          • Stephen Doyle 13.1.3.2.1

            So how do re reframe? The right used Hayek, Freidman and the Chicago School to intellectualise their debate. I’m not well read enough to draw on the left equivalents.

            • seeker 13.1.3.2.1.1

              Stephen D.

              Neither am I really. But in his first important/visionary speech, David Shearer mentioned education as being the foundation or starting point for his philosophy. I rather agreed with him and just developed my own philosophical starting point, as described above, from there. I suppose now I have to go and find a few thinkers to back me up.

              I had previously given thought that for all our advances we actually seemed to be returning to Dickensian days ( this was at the celebration of Charles Dickens’ life the other month and where I read that he said he was going to “take a sledgehammer to poverty”). Thinking from that time, and how the wealthy landowners subjugated and trampled the poor,I wondered how we had ever moved forward, as they were desperate times for many and mortality was so high.

              Shaftesbury started reforms with the children down the mines and up the chimneys and in factories. Their little lives were not worth tuppence to the ignorant at the top (conservatives or tories were the worst, the liberals, or whigs of those days were not quite so bad.) In fact the reformers of those days were liberals in the proper becoming sense. Barnardo helped the street orphans, Elizabeth Fry helped children and mothers in stinking prisons, Shaftebury brought in factory reform etc.Wilberforce went after the slave traders. The first parliamentary reform came in 1832; the first education act for schools for all came in 1872- all pushed by Liberals. Education and children’s needs drove the adults forward . Of course this was all in England, but New Zealand was trumpeting ahead already as we gave the vote to women in 1893.

              I simply thought we might have to do all this reform type of thing again as the landed gentry/farmers tories/corporates seem to think they still rule the roost and can get away with anything, no matter who they hurt or trample upon in their selfish grasping, rush. Although John Key did say the other day about his ‘pokie’ idea that “hardly any harm will be done at all”. So the ‘tory entitled ‘ mindset does appear to have softened a little in 200years!!!!

              Thus Stephen, I thought that perhaps the pattern for ‘re framing’ can be found somewhere between approx 1760 and 1944 when a big education act arrived and when the second world war had changed the lacking mindset and values of the “entitled”.

              Oh and by the way a strong warning, once one has sorted the blueprint out again, whilst following it ,one needs to watch out for not only another ‘Hitler’, but also another ‘Thatcher’ or ‘Douglas’- all antichrists in my book.

              Am off to watch The Mid Wife now, and as Punch once said “now that’s the way to doit “.

  14. seeker 14

    DTB-
    Would not trust humans to decide whether I lived or died. And in the present climate of so much deception/corruption, depression, despair, and fear about survival and life itself for so many vulnerable people under the policies of this wretched government, it is not my favourite topic for rational discussion.
    P.S. DTB I could possibly disintegrate tomorrow as getting on now, but would still rather wait for the Almighty to take me. Wonderful medicines nowadays. And can you imagine one’s end being entrusted to laws that could be changed or destabilised at a whim under someone in government as cavalier and unprincipled as John Key ? One day (under further welfare or health reform cuts or deregulation of official ‘life’ inspectors) it could possibly be considered to cost too much to keep alive me, and, at the roll of a dice, my number would be up and off I go into a brave new world – all legal and above board.

    Again we ignore the children and the sanctity of life itself , by focussing on ourselves and our end this time. As a child I would be very frightened to hear of this discussion. In fact I am fearful now and miles away from my childhood development stage.

    Sorry to have this opinion, when yours sounds so dignified, considered, modern and correct. Am obviously not objective enough for your brave new designer world DTB, no matter how many enticing, mind bending guilt phrases or stories from experience are used on me.

    • freedom 14.1

      seeker, my 2c,
      One of the foundations of euthanasia is to end undue suffering.
      The choice to end your own life is fundamentally a question of freedom.
      ie walking out into that big backyard on your own terms.

      “Would not trust humans to decide whether I lived or died” is a whole other subdivison that has minefields of questions. The safest oversimplification is a proxy on end of life decisions which can easily be outlined in a living will or DNR type agreement. I do agree that the State has no right to decide on a person’s termination if a prior choice is not clearly expressed as the wishes of the individual. Current law seems to deal with the situation as best it can in cases where communication with the patient is not possible, such as coma patients.

      The right to end one’s own life to ease suffering is a simple concept that no other person has any authority over. It is your life. Regardless of how the fleeting wants and wishes of society twist in the wind it is your life. The people left behind, the hurt and loss they experience, this falls under the quantum rubble of society. The same argument against the ending of life should instead be put to the starting of wars. If the world had more respect for the life of the individual then perhaps the loss of that individual would not be seen as anything other than that person’s choice, and be given the dutiful respect it deserves.

      Yes that includes suicide, even though the causes and reasons for suicide are many they would largely be null and void if not for the oppression and cruelty of man. Strangely society attempts to lessen the risks of suicide whilst simultaneously aggravating the pain of those suffering debilitating and painful illness. The stigma of euthanasia is a mish mash of puritanical fanaticism often driven by idealistc theology that is usually as hypocritical as it is destructive. If life is so important to the menagerie of Gods that make up this crazy landscape then why do so many good people get killed in their name? Why do those who head these organisations always live so well whilst the devotees often struggle to eat. Do you honestly think the Elite do not practise euthanasia? The difference being they do so without fear of conviction. It is only us prols down here in the muck that face the penalties.

      Complex questions that deserve simple answers. The answers that we need are already at our fingertips. We are only lacking the will to reach for them.

      • Vicky32 14.1.1

        The stigma of euthanasia is a mish mash of puritanical fanaticism often driven by idealistc theology that is usually as hypocritical as it is destructive. If life is so important to the menagerie of Gods that make up this crazy landscape then why do so many good people get killed in their name? Why do those who head these organisations always live so well whilst the devotees often struggle to eat. Do you honestly think the Elite do not practise euthanasia? The difference being they do so without fear of conviction. It is only us prols down here in the muck that face the penalties.

        Sorry, that looks like paranoid balderdash to me. You’re so busy bashing the atheist drum that you ignore the atheists who are deeply worried about euthanasia (and yes, abortion… and I have a very close friend who campaigns against abortion and has been for decades, and who is absolutely opposed to any gods… )
        Will you do what to you is the right thing, swallow a double handful of pills and vomit inside the plastic bag your aquaintance puts over your head, when the time comes? Because if not, you’re the hypocrite.

        • Zorr 14.1.1.1

          I think the example you are using is poorly constructed in much the same way that suggesting that abortions shouldn’t have been legalized because of all those people using dirty coat hangers…

          The whole idea of legalizing euthanasia or, at least, making it accessible is to prevent such horrible situations as you are describing. By keeping it in the dark, the only options available are those that involve your plastic bag mercy killings.

          • Vicky32 14.1.1.1.1

            I think the example you are using is poorly constructed in much the same way that suggesting that abortions shouldn’t have been legalized because of all those people using dirty coat hangers…

            Well, I do think it shouldn’t have been legalised! But I don’t want to get into that argument now, or here…

            The whole idea of legalizing euthanasia or, at least, making it accessible is to prevent such horrible situations as you are describing. By keeping it in the dark, the only options available are those that involve your plastic bag mercy killings.

            So, what would you favour? Potassium chloride in an IV? Yeah, that’s dignified!
            As I have already said, hospices are well experienced at dealing with ‘pain and suffering’… I’ve yet to read of any of the cases that pro-euthanasia groups use where there was (a) any proof that wife/mother/granny actually wanted to be lethally injected/bashed in the head/smothered or (b) there was any kind of oversight of the situation. Did you bother to read what I said above about the comments of the GP on the radio?
            Felix will screech at the source, but check this out…
            http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/euthanasia/eu0014.html

            • felix 14.1.1.1.1.1

              “I’ve yet to read of any of the cases that pro-euthanasia groups use where there was (a) any proof that wife/mother/granny actually wanted to be lethally injected/bashed in the head/smothered”

              Then it’s not voluntary euthanasia, is it?

              And if you’re being serious about the “bashed in the head/smothered” bit, then it’s probably a violent murder.

              • Vicky32

                Then it’s not voluntary euthanasia, is it?

                No, but it’s said to be! That was my point…

                And if you’re being serious about the “bashed in the head/smothered” bit, then it’s probably a violent murder.

                I am serious. The incident happened here in New Zealand in, probably the late 1990s. I have tried google to find it without sucess, whatever combination of words I try! Maybe because it was “too long ago” – I remember that L., was at intermediate or high school which means any time between 1998-2007! He bashed her with a brick, then applied the good old plastic bag over the head, claiming she’d asked to be euthanased, and he’d bashed her because he wanted to be certain she died.
                Later he said “Oh all right, I lost my temper with her whinging, but it was still euthanasia!” I could be wrong that he actually got away with it, but he might have got 3 months or something risible!
                Then there’s that dreadful Lesley woman, whose siblings testified that Mum had never told them she wanted to die!

        • freedom 14.1.1.2

          there are far more imaginative and less traumatic ways to end one’s life and as for ‘paranoid balderdash” how exactly ? Because i had the gaul to mention there are people in this world who live above the laws that you and i are asked to submit to?

          “The same argument against the ending of life should instead be put to the starting of wars.”
          tell me Vicky, is that paranoid balderdash?
          You seem to focus on the garnish whilst ignoring the meat and potatoes.

          If you look closely you will notice i do not say if there is or is not a god or whether or not i believe in one. So accusing me of bashing an atheist drum seems arbitrary at best. You have no idea of my beliefs and i have no intention of sharing them with you at this juncture. Some of the most well formed arguments i have ever heard against the idea of a god have come from some of the most religous people i know. Being able to express a thought on a topic does not confine you to that dogma ad infinitum. It is called objectivity. It is called crtical thinking. It is that ol’ bugbear ‘freedom to express an opinion’. Perhaps on reflection i should have written a qualifier such as,
          ‘Much of the stigma that attatches itself to euthanasia is a mish mash . . . ‘
          would that have been acceptable?

          And you can make a very safe bet that if illness or debilitation forces me to a position where i face that choice, i know i can take the necessary action, if that is what i choose. That is the point of the entire debate Vicky, choice. I also deliberately stayed away from including abortion as i feel that debate already has all the cards on the table. Even though i am just a mere male, abortion has been part of my life and i have never waivered in my belief it is a woman’s choice pure simple and final. Regardless of the wishes of the father or the family, it is her choice because it is her life. Euthanasia is my choice for my life. Your choice is just that, yours.

          • Vicky32 14.1.1.2.1

            “The same argument against the ending of life should instead be put to the starting of wars.”
            tell me Vicky, is that paranoid balderdash?

            No, it is not paranoid balderdash, but it is incomprehensible! If you’re claiming that I am pro-war, you’re so wrong it’s funny. I am and always have been anti-war, since my childhood… but I truly can’t parse your sentence, or fathom who you’re quoting there!
            It was Felix bashing the atheist drum as far as I know. I think you’re answering the wrong person here…
            Really, I can’t fathom what on earth you’re on about!

             

            • freedom 14.1.1.2.1.1

              two quick points then i have to go do stuff.

              1: you plainly and clearly accused me of bashing the atheist drum
              Vicky32 6:39 pm ” You’re so busy bashing the atheist drum that you ignore the atheists who are deeply worried about euthanasia” sorted? good!

              2: ““The same argument against the ending of life should instead be put to the starting of wars.”
              you state you cannot comprehend that line. Now that’s a shame because as far as single lines with big ideas go, that’s a doozy.

              Sure it may not be good enough for a Stuff news soundbite as it requires a reading level above that of primary school, but i am sure it is clear as day for those who see it.

              be well and see you in a future

              • Vicky32

                2: ““The same argument against the ending of life should instead be put to the starting of wars.”
                you state you cannot comprehend that line. Now that’s a shame because as far as single lines with big ideas go, that’s a doozy.

                Please, lay off the nastiness, and tell me who you think you’re quoting with that line? You may think it’s a doozy, I have thought about it at length, and I still don’t know what you mean by it? I certainly don’t promote the starting of wars, so I don’t know why you keep hammering that line you’re so proud of!
                I’ll use this to say to Felix, ok, sorry, my mistake… too much multi-tasking!

                • felix

                  That’s ok Vicky, I am pretty much an atheist but I don’t (generally) bang on about it 🙂

                • freedom

                  my apologies for the bitchy tone in the second point Vicky, I was over-tired and i do regret including the primary school line, it was unnecessary and impolite.

                  • Vicky32

                    my apologies for the bitchy tone in the second point Vicky, I was over-tired and i do regret including the primary school line, it was unnecessary and impolite.

                    Thank you! Apology accepted, and I apologise for my tone as well! 🙂

            • felix 14.1.1.2.1.2

              “It was Felix bashing the atheist drum as far as I know”

              Wait, what?

      • seeker 14.1.2

        @freedom 6.13pm

        “Would not trust humans to decide whether I lived or died” is a whole other subdivison that has minefields of questions.”

        Thanks for thoughtful and pertinent response which succinctly shows the problem with life/death decisions.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      Would not trust humans to decide whether I lived or died.

      It’s not other peoples decision but the person who’s ill/debilitated. That’s why laws are suggested so as to ensure that no pressure is brought to bear etc, in other words, oversight.

  15. Salsy 15

    The Sundar Star Times – Rod Oram has written a very succinct analysis of John Key’s faults as the leader of New Zealand and how having a currency trader/deal maker is potentially disasterous for our economic future. His analysis of the Crafar Farm deal is partlicularly chilling. Why this isn’t available on line is utterly beyond me. What is also beyond me is why Labour dont just pick this up and run with it – they already have 70% of the public on side, they know the economic benefits dont exist – Why the hell not??

  16. bad12 16

    The crux of the debate on euthanasia would seem to come down to the one central question, I have seen both the ‘war argument’ and the ‘abortion argument’ brought into the debate so far and will address both those points here but first there’s the question,

    Does anyone of us believe we have the right to take the life of another except where in so doing we are protecting either our or others lives???

    The war argument,the question above addresses that also,but,the arguments are one and the same, no-one should have the right to take another s life, just as no-one should be forced into a position of war where they are forced to take anothers life,

    The abortion argument,hauled into this debate showing that legislation surrounding abortions has halted backyard abortions on demand and presumably this is given as the example to show that the backyard type euthanasing of the rellies would be brought within some form of moral right as they could then be dispatched in an effete hospital setting,

    The use of the abortion Legislation tho is a total red-herring,there is in fact NO law that allows for abortion on demand,the only reason we have anyone thinking that the Law allows for abortion on demand is simply because the Law has been twisted by those who practice in that field to in effect grant abortion on demand well outside of the provisions of the Law and as late as 18 months ago a Judge in the High Court at Wellington gave Capital Coast Health a blast for providing abortions on demand that fell well out-side the provisions of the abortion laws,

    Need I sat more,perhaps add in the slippery slope nature of legislation where the toe in the door leads to the next phase, you know how it works, first we euthanased the oldies, then hell we thought we might as well get rid of the deformed,

    I wont go all the way down that path just yet,but, the Judge told Capital Coast Health they were providing abortions in effect on demand and well outside the Law,

    Did they change the way they do things over in the abortion suite at Wellington Hospital?, like hell they did,its still a free for all as far as abortions go and my contention is that any law anyone cares to write about euthansing anyone will in a short time be twisted in much the same way that abortion law has been…

    • seeker 16.1

      bad12

      “Need I sat more,perhaps add in the slippery slope nature of legislation where the toe in the door leads to the next phase, you know how it works, first we euthanased the oldies, then hell we thought we might as well get rid of the deformed”

      Exactly. An excellent comment bad12, thankyou.

      • bad12 16.1.1

        Aha,tah much for the ups, I think tho that I use the word euthanasia far far too much, such an effete and polite way of saying lets KILL old people off with a set of Laws designed so as to make us all believe that those we want to KILL are the sole beneficiaries of such KILLING…

        • McFlock 16.1.1.1

          lets KILL people who RATIONALLY CHOOSE TO AVOID a LONG, PAINFUL and often AGONISING manner of UNAVOIDABLE DEATH with a set of Laws designed so as to ENSURE that those we want to KILL are the SOLE DECISION-MAKERS of such KILLING…
           
          FIFY.
          I’m not really sure which way I go on this debate (I’m not sure about the slippery slope issue in practise), but your original draft was just insultingly dumb.

           

          • bad12 16.1.1.1.1

            Rational people DO NOT ask other people to KILL them, being rational by definition would have people being horrified at the thought of dying…

            • McFlock 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Compared with an even more horrific alternative, maybe not.
                     
              And that’s without pointing out your philosophical and cultural bias (I’m not even talking about belief in an afterlife, just a philosophical acceptance that death comes to us all, and is part of life. Without it, we are left with an eternity of sharing company with a farty ranty Hitler, a nutty selfish hypocritical Ayn Rand, and their charming offspring. Frankly, I’d prefer death).

              • bad12

                Yes, perhaps horrified is an incorrect view of how the rational person views death, I am sure that as we age most of us have that epiphany where we realize that death is an inevitability…

      • Vicky32 16.1.2

        “Need I sat more,perhaps add in the slippery slope nature of legislation where the toe in the door leads to the next phase, you know how it works, first we euthanased the oldies, then hell we thought we might as well get rid of the deformed”
        Exactly. An excellent comment bad12, thankyou.
        Agreed Seeker and bad12, a brilliant comment!
         

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      Does anyone of us believe we have the right to take the life of another…

      We’re not asking for the right to others lives but for the right to determine when we die.

      As for abortion, what gives you the right to force people to carry a baby to term when they don’t want to?

      I’d also like to point out that we are over populated and that abortion is going to have to be a tool used to help bring the population down.

      • bad12 16.2.1

        Brilliant!!!,”who am I to force people to carry to full term babies in their wombs” and then in the next breath its ”oh by the way sooner or later there will be compulsory abortions”,

        Which simply leads me straight back to the original question that I asked of the commentor pete george as my initial comment on this site about euthanasia,

        ”At what point will it be made compulsory”…

        • muzza 16.2.1.1

          B12, yes it seems that DTB is having a bad day….see more of his confusion about rights to choice in a reply on today open mike,

          here

          and

          here

          • bad12 16.2.1.1.1

            Yeah tah, but I might pass, I am not really ‘into’ chasing an individual commenter around the various posts to gather ‘evidence’ to use against them in other topics,

            Once engaged in such a fashion in web based debate I have found that it simply leads to an overall negative attitude toward such a commenter which in turn leads to ignoring points that commenter might bring up that are of interest…

            • muzza 16.2.1.1.1.1

              That’s a good policy B12, and learning from experience is what life is about.

              Curious it is, the ability of people to have such changeable views around what would be “personal choice” matters, I guess the emotive nature of such topics, lead people into space that they may not have experienced, and brings into question the very essence of the word “rights”

              DBT is one of the more stable commentators on here, and I enjoy his posts which are usually on the money.

              The links were not compulsory reading BTW, although I am sure you knew that!

      • Vicky32 16.2.2

        I’d also like to point out that we are over populated and that abortion is going to have to be a tool used to help bring the population down.

        Just as they do in North Korea and China, hey? Whether the mother wants an abortion or not? Well, I saw that coming years ago, but it still shocks me to see you say it. Your nickname has never seemed so appropriate!
        Studies *have* shown already that a huge proportion of women (especially the very young ones) having abortions have been lent on/forced/persuaded by parents or ‘boyfriends’. This happened to my own sister! (Cue QoT screeching that I regard my own experience as more important than his/her ‘right’ to abortion etc.) 🙂
         

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