Open Mike 29/04/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 29th, 2017 - 32 comments
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32 comments on “Open Mike 29/04/2017”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Very interesting interview today on Intercept, with an ex-climate denialist. He changed his view when he really looked at the facts and research he’d been using to promote denialism.

    After his own experience he now thinks the only way to convince skeptics is by calmly reporting the facts, and critiquing the misinformation.

    After that, I began to do more of that due diligence, and the more I did, the more I found that variations on this story kept arising again and again. Either the explanations for findings were dodgy, sketchy or misleading or the underlying science didn’t hold up. Eventually, I tried to get out of the science narratives that I had been trafficking in and just fell back on the economics. Because you can very well accept that climate change exists and still find arguments against climate action because the costs of doing something are so great.

    In our business, talking to Republican and conservative elites, talking about the science in a dispassionate, reasonable, non-screedy, calm, careful way is powerful, because a lot of these people have no idea that a lot of the things they’re trafficking in are either the sheerest nonsense or utterly disingenuous.

    I have talked to many of them [Republican pseudo-denialists] in confidence. There are between 40 and 50 in the House and maybe 10 to 12 in the Senate. They’re all looking for a way out of the denialist penitentiary they’ve been put into by the Tea Party. But they’re not sure what the Republican response ought to look like exactly and when the political window is going to open.

    • greywarshark 1.1

      That is remarkable and what lots of us have thought but to hear about it so clearly in reality – wow. Thanks for heads up

      They’re all looking for a way out of the denialist penitentiary they’ve been put into by the Tea Party. But they’re not sure what the Republican response ought to look like exactly and when the political window is going to open.

      God, please make it soon so these poor captured people lost in a fog of mis- and disinformation finally see the light.

  2. Morrissey 2

    Obama Explains Why He Accepted $400,000 For A Paid Speech On Wall Street
    by TYLER DURDEN, ZeroHedge, April 26, 2017

    There was some snickering two days ago when it emerged that as his first paid speech appearance, former president Barack Obama who – at least on paper was a determined crusader against the big banks – will receive $400,000 for roughly an hour of his time from, well, a bank or rather Cantor Fitzgerald.

    Moments ago, Obama seemingly concerned by the public response the news has generated, decided to respond via his spokesman Eric Schultz, and explain why it is perfectly ok for the former president to collect a $400,000 from a bank. We won’t comment suffice to note that in trying to explain why it is now ok for him to collect nearly half a million dollars from the hated banks, it is probably not a good idea to say the following: “I’d just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history.” …..

    Read more about Hopey-Changey, champion of Wall Street….

    • Siobhan 2.1

      ” President Obama will be true to his values, his vision and his record.”…well indeed. You can’t argue with that.

    • Good that you shun the banks morrie – those hated symbols of everything you detest – how long have you not had a bank account or associations with a bank?

      • In Vino 2.2.1

        Sorry Marty, but that is about as dumb as accusing a greenie of being a hypocrite if he ever drives a motor car, or travels in a plane.

    • Sabine 2.3

      you forgot to mention this stuff here tho

      The Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund provided $10 million to families affected by Hurricane Sandy. Howard Lutnick and the Relief Fund “adopted” 19 elementary schools in impacted areas, distributing $1,000 prepaid debit cards to each family from the schools.[19] In total $10 million in funds were given to families affected by the storm.[20]
      Two days after the 2013 Moore tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma, killing 24 people and injuring hundreds, Howard Lutnick pledged to donate $2 million to families affected by the tornado. The donation was given out in the form of $1,000 debit cards given out to area families.[21][22]


      Cantor Fitzgerald lost sixty-eight percent of its workforce, considerably more than any of the other World Trade Center tenants or the New York City Police Department, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, the New York City Fire Department, and the United States Department of Defense. CEO and chairman Howard Lutnick, whose brother was among those killed, vowed to keep the company alive, and the company was able to bring its trading markets back online within a week. On September 19, Cantor Fitzgerald made a pledge to distribute 25 percent of the firm’s profits for the next five years, and committed to paying for ten years of health care, for the benefit of the families of its 658 former Cantor Fitzgerald, eSpeed, and TradeSpark employees (profits which would otherwise have been distributed to the Cantor Fitzgerald partners).[11] In 2006, the company completed its promise, having paid a total of $180 million (and an additional $17 million from a relief fund run by Lutnick’s sister, Edie).[12]


      Before the attacks, Cantor handled about one-quarter of the daily transactions in the multi-trillion dollar treasury security market. Cantor has since rebuilt its infrastructure, thanks in part to the efforts of its London office,[13] and now has its headquarters in midtown Manhattan. The company’s effort to regain its footing is the subject of Tom Barbash’s 2003 book On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11: A Story of Loss and Renewal.
      On September 2, 2004, Cantor filed a civil lawsuit against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for allegedly providing money to the hijackers and Al Qaeda, one of a number of organizations to do so.[14] It was later joined in the suit by the Port Authority of New York.[15] Most of the claims against Saudi Arabia were dismissed on January 18, 2005.[16]
      In December 2013, Cantor Fitzgerald settled its lawsuit against American Airlines for $135 million. Cantor Fitzgerald was suing for loss of property and interruption of business, alleging the airline was negligent by allowing hijackers to board Flight 11.[17]


      Edie Lutnick is the author of An Unbroken Bond: The Untold Story of How the 658 Cantor Fitzgerald Families Faced the Tragedy of 9/11 and Beyond. All the proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the Cantor Fitzgerald Relief Fund and the charities it assists.[18]

      oh and the Wall Street Speech? A speach at a “Health Care Conference”. Cause why not invite a Man, or in fact ‘the man’ who despite all its fault actually got something akin to affordable Health Care to he US public. Or actually yeah, why not invited Donald J Trump and Paul Ryan to do the speech, so much more appropriate? Amirite?

      btw, are Sanders and Trump ever gonna release their taxes, cause then we – the discerning public – would know how much they earned making speeches. Also, then i would appreciate if they could make all these speeches public for scrutiny, you know, you want your ‘lefties’ to be pure and only make money out of ethical and vegan and organic granola. Cause purity.

      Fact is this Man is never gonna run for public office again, been there done that as they say, fact is our society is capitalistic, and fact is there is no law that would prevent him from charging and getting paid for for speeches. For all the things this man has done wrong, and he did plenty wrong, this is fucking stupid.

  3. greywarshark 3

    This morning a very interesting interview by Kim Hill with USA author. Lots to interest here, about his new book and the study he has made of Abraham Lincoln and also USA trajectory.

    He talked about how things are today and referred to how we forget our human capacity to handle complexity and another word which was perfect in defining responses so I’ll have to listen again to catch that and think more on his themes. He says how we don’t reflect. The words ‘first response’ were used which describe how many react to things without thinking and without the reflection, get led into causing increased problems than those they react to.

    10:05 George Saunders – Death humours

    Considered one of America’s foremost contemporary writers, George Saunders has published four collections of short stories, including Tenth of December; another, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award….a book of essays, and two screenplays. In 2009 Saunders received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He continues to teach creative writing at Syracuse University.

    His first novel Lincoln in the Bardo has just been published to critical acclaim. George Saunders will be appearing at the Auckland Writers Festival, from mid-May.

    Also of interest.
    10:35 Danny Sriskandarajah – Civil society in jeopardy

    Born in Sri Lanka and a national of Australia, Dr Dhananjayan (Danny) Sriskandarajah is the Secretary General and CEO of CIVICUS, the global alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society throughout the world. He’s also lived in the UK, during which time he was the Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society, the oldest and largest Commonwealth civil society organisation. At the time of his appointment he was the first non-British and the youngest person to head the 140-year-old organisation.

    He has an MPhil and DPhil from the University of Oxford. In 2012, he was honoured by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader, and has written numerous books, reports, papers and articles for the likes of the Guardian and Huffington Post. Sriskandarajah will be in New Zealand in May to speak at a summit on philanthropic innovation for Philanthropy New Zealand, where he’ll discuss philanthropy’s role in transforming the world.

    • rod 4.1

      @ Janet. WHY ? Because it’s not a good look on the National Government in election year, and the papers are owned and edited by National spinners. thats why.

    • Red 4.2

      Had first right of refusal, what’s the problem, why should tax payer subsidise locals , land ain’t going anywhere, not as if Chinese owners are picking up land and taking it back to china

      • Johan 4.2.1

        Red, That’s stupid logic. With an abundant supply of cash Chinese buyers will be able to outbid anyone here in property sales. What is the logic for the Chinese not to allow foreigners to buy land in China?

      • Halfcrown 4.2.2

        “why should tax payer subsidise locals ”

        You mean like they have with the farmers with their irrigation scheme in the South Island.

  4. So, Donald Trump ordered a whole lot of immigrants to be rounded up and it turns out a good half of them do not have the criminal convictions he claims.

    Fox bots will find a a way to slam this. They watch a channel that calls itself “America’s news HQ”, yet is often hours behind other major sources in reporting breaking stories, or in some cases does not even report them at all.

  5. Draco T Bastard 6

    Death Star laser now real

    Scientists in Australia have figured out how to combine several small laser beams into one, much more powerful beam.

  6. joe90 7

    Cult leaders are human, too.

    even if you don't care for his politics, this is a touching, human picture of Alex Jones— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) April 28, 2017

    • They all end up disgraced – shown to be the idiots and scum that many already knew and only the woeful didn’t understand. Guess no one will be using his toileting as evidence of much anymore – I wonder which fake rwnj news site will be next – can’t say I care because they really are equally odious to me.

  7. Draco T Bastard 8

    It is no surprise a former Governor of the Reserve Bank should seek to defend the banking system from its critics. But in denying the accuracy of points I made in the Herald about how the banks operate, Don Brash accused me of “peddling nonsense”.

    I made two basic points. First, I asserted the banks do not, as usually believed, simply act as intermediaries, bringing together savers (or depositors) and borrowers to their mutual benefit.

    Secondly, I said the vast majority of new money in circulation is created by the banks “by the stroke of a pen”, and they then make their profits by charging interest on the money they create.

    If this is “nonsense”, the “peddlers” include some very distinguished economists. My legal training has taught me the value of being able to turn to reliable authority to support what I say.

    What Bryan has said simply isn’t nonsense. It is how banks work.

    But the capacity they do have is hugely important. I concluded by asking whether it was wise to entrust such wide-ranging powers – so significant in their impact on the whole economy – to the banks, and then to arrange that the only person able to regulate that impact was himself a banker – the Governor of the Reserve Bank.

    That concern is surely heightened if a former Governor seems not to understand what is really happening.

    Brash has been around a long time and he’s been in banking pretty much the entire time so it’s unlikely that he doesn’t know how it really actually works.

    So, is he really that ignorant despite his experience in the banking system or is he trying to hide the fact that the banking system is a Ponzi Scheme/Pyramid scam?

    • Halfcrown 8.1

      Weil said Draco. It Is a great Pontiac Scheme.

      • Halfcrown 8.1.1

        Never ever use a cell phone as the bloody thing writes words for you and you cannot correct on Andriod. It makes you look a bigger tit than you already are.

        So I will say that again written from my PC

        Well said Draco. It is a Ponzi Scheme.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Never ever use a cell phone as the bloody thing writes words for you and you cannot correct on Andriod.

          Yeah, gota watch that.

          Still, I can edit comments on my Android phone.

  8. joe90 9


    Thread: This Thursday will mark the 90th anniversary of Coretta Scott King's birth. In her honor, I'll be posting on this thread.— Yashar (@yashar) April 25, 2017

  9. Draco T Bastard 10

    Drug Prices in the U.S. Are Ridiculous

    Taxpayer money provides the research for Big Pharma’s drugs, so shouldn’t the public be able to afford them?

    Capitalism strikes again.

  10. fisiani 11

    Labour still under 30% in Roy Morgan poll. That’s a surprise. Would a new leader help?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 11.1

      Would a new [Labour party] leader help? Doubtful if the effect of the recent National party leadership change is anything to go by.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.2

      Oh, look at that, a RWNJ wanders in to do some concern trolling.

  11. greywarshark 12

    Possibly most people heard Margaret Atwood being interviewed by Kim Hill on 22 April. She was interesting, talked about other things as well as The Handmaids Tale, and has a sense of humour. Delightful woman.'s-

    Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel The Handmaid’s Tale is enjoying a resurgence. Many fear the dystopian totalitarian United States it depicts could be reflected in Trump’s America.

    Coming up soon is a TV series based on the book (starring Elisabeth Moss), as well as a graphic novel and an audio book. It has already been made into a film, an opera and a ballet.
    Atwood adds that a group of 30 silent women dressed as handmaids were seen roaming the recent SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas.
    “It’s certainly off and running at the moment,” she tells Kim Hill.

    Atwood says theocracy is the form totalitarianism would likely take in the United States. “It would not be communist. It would much more likely be based on some form of fundamentalist religion.”

    She says she gets tired of people in the US saying “It can’t happen here”.
    “Anything can happen anywhere and the rapidity with which things can change can be quite breathtaking.”

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