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Open mike 29/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 29th, 2010 - 35 comments
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35 comments on “Open mike 29/11/2010 ”

  1. Logie97 1

    Just watched a programme on Heartland TV made in the 70’s about how technologies will change our lifestyles and how we need to plan for greater leisure time.
    Back in the day when the sunrise technologies were about to take off, in Europe, people like Thatcher were lauding innovators like Clive Sinclair for what they were going to do for the betterment of mankind.

    Of course what has happened in reality is that the captains of industry (manufacturers, banks, stevedores etc …) have implemented the technologies and sent the labour down the road. Those semi-skilled but now “worthless workers” have become the targets of the likes of Paula Rebstock, speaking for the captains, and are being told to get on their bikes. Forget about the leisure…

    • ZeeBop 1.1

      Ford’s new product wasn’t selling! So he starts paying his workers more so they can afford them!
      Soon everyone had to have one.

      The great depression left many millions idle. So they started the dole, gave people enough
      money so they could go to the leisure park and spend it.

      The US government, after trying every other way to get the economy moving, supporting
      banks, helping out big industry, finally had to go back to capitalism 101, that people make
      economies not finance.

      The way out of our present crisis, is to let capitalism back into the every day lives of
      the citizenry. Everyone should have a guarenteed minimum income, no strings
      that covers the basics, no poverty trap. There should be a capital gains tax and
      the rich should have to work far harder to get blindingly stupidly rich. Sure nicely
      rich is okay, but stupidly rich just harms the economy.

      End poverty – a human construct – and you’ll have active capitalists vying for
      an extra buck on every corner. Continue the national socialism of National
      and Labour, and just get more of the same class war.

    • ianmac 1.2

      Strangely, the average number of working hours has gone up, making NZ one of the highest working week. What went wrong and what will the future hold?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        We instituted free-market policies under the 4th Labour/National governments which increased unemployment, forced down wages, destroyed our manufacturing base leaving only low paid service jobs and made the rich richer at everyone else’s expense making them having to work harder to stay afloat.

        With Peak Oil on the way we’re going to be finding that we will be rebuilding our manufacturing base, exports and imports will be declining and, if we rebalance the economy in favour of everyone rather than just the rich, we’ll actually get that leisure time and real democracy. Else we’ll drop into a plutocracy (Yeah, I know, we’re pretty much there already as the politicians only listen to the rich) and most people will be starving.

      • Bill 1.2.2

        Nothing went wrong.

        If industry could satisfy production needs in ‘half’ the time that it was taking, then we would have that much more spare time to ourselves, our families and communities. And then we might start entertaining ideas that didn’t require us enslaving ourselves to market production systems. Which would in turn present incumbent ruling echelons with a crisis of legitimacy. This was the situation faced by ruling elites in the 60’s. Production could and should have begun to unwind.

        But industry operating in a market scenario, for reasons of profit and competitive leverage, demands growth. So industry introduced inbuilt obsolescence, created consumer desire based on fashion and so on, so that it continue on a track of expansive growth that generate ever greater profits.

        A parallel development was industry beating down wages and conditions thereby increasing the %age of return that went to profit as opposed to wages. And that meant that products had to be made cheaper…shoddier…which fit in nicely with ideas of obsolescence and fashion and eventually led to production moving overseas to secure ever cheaper labour. With the acceptance or imposition of neo-liberal export orientated growth models (free trade), industry was able to normalise a situation whereby the poorer in any given country produced goods or services for the wealthier sectors of any other given foreign country.

        I first noticed this in relation to food production here in NZ (specifically apples) where the best produce was exported for consumption by wealthier sectors of the US population. Some of the exported varieties were not even for sale in NZ. More extreme examples of the poor catering for rich foreigners can be observed where populations starve because their domestic orientated agriculture market has been destroyed by cheap subsidised imports or food ‘aid’ and the resultant unworked agricultural land bought up by corporates who then plant ‘cash crops’ and export the whole damned lot.

        As an illustrative example of how industry would run if it abandoned some market principles. Remember crocs, those ugly but comfy plastic blobs of footwear? They kind of last ‘for ever’, right? Earlier in the year I recall reading a report in the Guardian that the production facility had shut down.

        And that’s as it should be in my mind.

        There are still Model T Fords on the road. In other words we have the ability to make cars that essentially last a hundred years. And there are still functioning and serviceable washing machines that date back 50 years….consumer guarantee on a new one, anyone? I could go on listing consumer product after consumer product. No point. We know that we sell ourselves short by engaging in the type of industrial production that we do.

        And we should all be able to figure out (it’s not difficult) that our industrial production behaves in a manner that is dictated by the market.

        Which leads me to ask: You want to preserve the market in some form or other, why?

  2. ianmac 3

    What a great speaker Greymouth mayor Tony Kokshoorn is. His sincerity and directness makes the people like Parker look oily and insincere. Tony for PM!

  3. Alan 4

    ianmac,

    I don’t think that anyone on the Coast thinks that Tony is a great speaker, however he is sincere and direct and he is a mayor to be proud of.

    Tony for PM? God forbid – he’s too good for that lot.

    • ianmac 4.1

      Yes, it is his sincerity and directness rather than the slick PR deliveries that we are used to that impresses me. You can’t imagine Tony putting up with “tutoring” from a Parliamentary tutor.

    • prism 4.2

      Tony K has spoken well over the mine disaster. However his judgment seemed way out over the business with the Maori iwi supermarket investment. It was being blocked by quibbles from local historical society from re-installing a war memorial in a different location than its previous neglected position. The Council delayed until the iwi, to progress their investment project, were forced to remove and store the memorial. The Mayor got on his charger then, all energised, and ‘rescued’ them.
      He definitely hasn’t what it takes to handle increased contentious issues as PM.

  4. john 5

    American establishment economist Krugman writes the Irish should have let their irresponsible banks go bankrupt, but crazily have sold their own people into debt peonage,they’re now reoccupied by German,Brit and French banks who should be having a hair cut! refer link:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/26/opinion/26krugman.html

    Irish banks are an example of cowboy Capitalism at its best. Unfortunately so are the Bank of America, Citibank, and JP Morgan Chase and so many other American banks. This disaster won’t be over until we all grow up and regulate greed.
    They privatize their profits and socialize their losses. This type of political trade caused some French heads to be severed at one time. Eventually, stone soup will reach a boiling point me thinks.

    The Irish situation is a perfect example of neoliberal folly.

    Ireland did what neoliberals said they should do in order to prosper. They cut their corporate taxes to a mere 12.5% in order to “compete for foreign investment”. They let their banks run wild. The government kept a tight budget and cut its debt in half.

    Ireland became the poster child of neoliberal ideology.

    Then things went wrong. The real estate bubble burst, borrowers got into trouble, and then the collapse of Lehman brought the credit market to a halt. Foreign investors pulled their money out and workers were laid off. Irish banks took on water, and the government promised to keep them afloat.

    The Irish did exactly what the neoliberal ideology said they should do, and it went very, very wrong.

    Now those same neoliberals, like the German government, are demanding that Ireland do penance for its sins, and tighten its public belt. The Irish response is to cut social programs, raise consumption taxes, cut public employment and reduce the minimum wage (as if that would improve the government budget!), among other things.

    German newspapers, like Der Spiegel, write about how the problem is due to Irish government waste, in spite of the fact that the government held a tight budget and only got into trouble when it tried to rescue its banks.

    Ireland is a victim of a neoliberal ideology that worships low taxes for business and high incomes, weak regulation and total capital freedom. Now that this ideology has failed, those who prodded Ireland into going down this path are pretending that government waste was to blame.

    Ok, maybe they’re right about that. It really is pretty wasteful for the Irish government to spend its money to keep German banks from having to write off bad loans to Irish banks who financed a real estate bubble.

    Rather than submitting to German austerity demands, Ireland might very well want to consider letting its banks fail, and leaving it up to the German government to figure out how to deal with the resulting losses for German banks.

    But until then, we’ll hear how reducing the minimum wage will help the Irish government reduce its debt.

    Sigh.

    • ZeeBop 5.1

      Quite simply politicians and media who tell us that the free market can exist with less
      government are lying simpletons, free markets cannot come about without government
      regulation. One way to make profits corruptly is to not administer markets. Or anything,
      if you don’t audit, then your accountant finds it easier to commit fraud!

    • john 5.2

      What happens if Ireland tells the NeoLiberal Casino Gamblers to take a haircut?

      If Ireland tells the EU to go eff itself and defaults, what happens? Well, first, the elites and the bankers go batshit. Markets tumble everywhere, amid cries that Ireland will forever be outside the world economic community and the people will suffer terribly. There is a lot of sound and fury, but when the din dies down, what’s the real effect?
      There are two major losers. The banks and the pro-EU crowd, in particular, the EU bureaucrats who have invested their careers and reputations in the prominence of the EU.

      Ireland itself suffers seriously in the short-term, but probably not significantly worse than it will under an IMF-imposed austerity programme. In the long-term, though, all the hysterical fears are just that. Look at Russia. After it defaulted, there were screams that it would never be able to borrow again, but five years later Wall Street was falling all over itself to underwrite their bonds.

      The short and sweet of it is that

      a) Irish politicians are mostly captured either by Euro-centric philosophy or bank interests, or should they truly be independent, are generally not smart or courageous enough to realize the banks/EU is bluffing hard with the fear game.

      b) The Irish peasants will bitch and moan but will prove to be as powerless and impotent as their American cousins.

      This is mass thievery from Ireland’s working class. Pure and simple.

      There should be riots and politicians hanging from lamp posts right now.

      There is nothing wrong with Ireland except for its banks. Ireland’s huge deficit is 100% the fault of bailing out the banks. F*ck the banks.

      This is completely and utterly DISGUSTING

      The poor and pensioners have been robbed of their shirts to bail out the banksters AGAIN

      • Bored 5.2.1

        “Workers of the world, you have nothing to lose but your chains”. (In this instance Marx is on the button).

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2

        As I keep saying – when you loan someone or some country money you’re taking the risk that you’re not going to get it back. Ireland defaulting is the natural result of the GFC, which was caused by the banks anyway, and the banks losing is the risk they took falling due. The banks gambled and lost – the Irish, or any country, should not have to prop up that loss.

    • Bored 6.1

      Just read intro, excellent document. It makes me ashamed to share this country with Rebstock and Bennett, they are below contempt.

  5. freedom 7

    Google, Wikileaks and the Department of Homeland Security

    Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

    To emphasize that the ramped up Airport Security measures are merely increments of harmony in an orchestrated exercise to implement a Police state, Texas Republican Representative Louie Gohmert recently appeared on Fox News’ Fox and Friends and told host Gretchen Carlson that Terrorists plan to use women’s tampons to sneak explosives onto airplanes. There are already growing reports of menstruating women having to undergo extensive ‘probing’ of their genitals when the Scanners discover foreign objects in their underwear and in their person. Understandably, many of these women are reporting distress and trauma in the aftermath of the searches.

    It is being openly reported that across the US on the eve of Thanksgiving the TSA roped off turned off and basically did not use many of its scanners to combat the widely promoted Opt Out protest. The use of the Enhanced Pat Down was also reduced. These actions go to support the accusation the TSA/DHS security protocols are little more than Police State conditioning instruments and have nothing to do with the detection of Terrorists. There are also reports from Airlines that passenger volume was as low as 75% of normal, whilst road traffic monitoring reports massive spikes in road user volume over the same period, including a thirty mile traffic jam on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

    To distract from the growing problems of and to support the DHS Director’s call for immediate roll out of mobile Scanner systems, we have the FBI announcing they are involved in another false Flag Operation. This time involving a 19 year old Somalian who reportedly attempted to blow up a Xmas Tree lighting ceremony with a car bomb. The FBI have admitted they ‘handled’ the teen and supplied the bomb. This is the exact same scenario as the failed Times Square bombing and the failed underwear Bomber. Why is it the only recent Terrorist actions that are justifications for conditions in which it is possible to intensify Police State behaviour are orchestrated by American agencies?

    Is it merely another coincidence that an alternative to the scanners and patdowns is being promoted? A Biometric ID card for citizens. Remember the 9/11 Commission Report? Following it, “The 9/11 Commission Report Implementation Act of 2004” was passed. One of the recommendations made by this bill called for the following:
    “Directs the Secretary to develop plans: (1) for a comprehensive integrated screening system; (2) to accelerate the full implementation of an automated biometric entry and exit data system for preventing the entry of terrorists; (3) to expedite the processing of registered travelers who enter and exit the United States through a single registered traveler program; and (4) to require biometric passports and other secure identification for all travel into the United States by U.S. citizens and individuals for whom immigration and nationality documentation requirements have previously been waived.”

    Well here it is

    I am sure it is only coincidence that Michael Chertoff is on the board of the card’s manufacturer. When you click on their website, and click on the “What is Clear?” link, and then click on the “Board of Directors” link, it should all become “very clear” to you. The 3rd name from the bottom, is none other than, the same Michael Chertoff who promoted the implementation of the invasive Rapiscan scanners.

    You may choose to acknowledge that this event happened at the same time Wikileaks gave the world proof of Saudi requests to invade Iran, Hillary Clinton wanting top UN officials spied on, and numerous other Diplomatic cables and memos which show the backstabbing complicity of the USA and the Corporate Elite against legitimate Governments of the world, including their own Allies. Damn right the US fought to stop the release fearing problematic relations and risks to International allegiances. I doubt anyone wants it discovered that someone you said you trusted was actually on your watchlist. As i said, you may choose to acknowledge the coincidence, you may choose to let the Governments continue their ramraid of Liberty. It is after all entirely your
    choice as to how much suffering the World has to endure

    Apart from the Senate passing billS510 and promptly making the growing of food illegal for most private citizens, and directly affecting global trade agreements, we have the DHS under the Copyright Infringement bullshit shutting down numerous websites. One site that was shut down was Torrent-Finder.com. It neither hosted copyrighted material nor directly linked to places where it could be found. Instead, the site opened new windows to sites that did link to file-sharing materials. There is another site that does this very task. It is called Google.

      • freedom 7.1.1

        yes there are undoubtedly some people who are taking advantage of the actions against the TSA and the Opt Out campaign is obviously designed to promote agendas other than simply opposing the DHS. Regardless of where the funding came from for a couple of activists, it is not ok for a Government to submit its citizens to DNA destroying radiation and Clayton’s stripsearches in the name of airtravel security when most of the cargo on the very same planes is not even screened. It is not okay for a Government to implement those same procedures on mass transit systems and public highways. Any technology that can scan a vehicle, can scan a home.

        In your own home this xmas season, many of you will be buying the new X-box Kinect, a funtastic piece of tech and from what i have seen of the range of Sporting and Exercise games available, Mr Orwell would be impressed that the daily fitness regime will be so well presented. But please don’t forget it has a very sensitve built in multi-directional microphone that is under the jurisdiction of international security agreements that allow illegal surveillance. Just sayin’

  6. Bored 8

    At the moment that governments worldwide have admitted oil has peaked, we in NZ are facing the dummy up approach of myopic “business as usual”. There are plans afoot for motorways, bigger trucks etc etc. Sitting behind the oil issue will be a demand for more electricity. The rationale will be “we aint got petrol, but we can get more electricity”.

    Therein lies the danger, we will wreck our environment in pursuit of electricity. This year the Mokihinui dam was approved, and recently the Stockton proposal. The former proposes to wreck a pristine environment, for the addition of 1% of the national demand. The Stockton proposal achieves the same result with some environmental benefits.

    My fear is that our rapacious power companies will want both. When you consideer that Meridian also has managed to get approval to extract a mere 60% of the Wairau in Marlborough despite huge environmental impact it becomes obvious that they know no restraint.

  7. ianmac 9

    I have a dim recollection that when the UN was being set up, there was advantage in knowing what each different county’s position was, especially in relation to the Security Council. It later transpired that the Diplomatic lines were being tapped by the Americans so that they always stayed one step ahead. It maybe why USA still has a very strong influence on UN operations.

  8. Lanthanide 10

    Ran across this wiftful picture of Key: http://www.madbutcher.co.nz/Image/john_key_xmas_dinner.pdf

  9. Lanthanide 11

    Ran across this wistful picture of Key: http://www.madbutcher.co.nz/Image/john_key_xmas_dinner.pdf

  10. jcuknz 12

    I hope people will keep their eye on the American scene where Congress tomorrow has to decide to continue paying the dole to the unemployed or just let them starve.

  11. Draco T Bastard 13

    Climate change scientists warn of 4C global temperature rise
    The beginning of the article starts with this bit:

    “There is now little to no chance of maintaining the rise in global surface temperature at below 2C, despite repeated high-level statements to the contrary,” said Kevin Anderson, at the University of Manchester, who with colleague Alice Bows contributed research to a special collection of Royal Society journal papers published tomorrowtoday. “Moreover, the impacts associated with 2C have been revised upwards so that 2C now represents the threshold [of] extremely dangerous climate change.”

    2 degrees is where the scientists think that the tipping point to runaway climate change is.

    A rise of 4C could be seen as soon as 2060 in a worst case scenario, according to research in the same journal, led by the Met Office’s Richard Betts and first revealed in the Guardian last year. Betts accepts the scenario is extreme but argues it is also plausible given the rapidly rising trend in emissions.

    Warren added: “This world would also rapidly be losing its ecosystem services, owing to large losses in biodiversity, forests, coastal wetlands, mangroves and saltmarshes [and] an acidified and potentially dysfunctional marine ecosystem. In such a 4C world, the limits for human adaptation are likely to be exceeded in many parts of the world.”

    4 degrees by the middle of the century – that’ll make the end of the century hell on Earth.

    A lot of us reading this blog today will see the beginning of the collapse of the eco-system. Our children and grand-children are going to have to find ways to survive in a world of chaos and death.

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