Sunday Reading

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, March 17th, 2013 - 25 comments
Categories: interweb - Tags:

My regular Sunday piece of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. Those stimulating links you wanted to share, but just didn’t fit in anywhere (no linkwhoring).  This week: the squeezed middle, tax avoidance, Sheryl Sandberg’s feminist non-manifesto and Pentagon technology.

I had Killer Robots last week, and as the stories come out about the latest Pentagon drone (a bat that can pick objects up), here’s an interesting look at 10 Pentagon mind experiments.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has released a book. And she’s been slated for it as it’s not a feminist manifesto, and she comes from a position of wealth… Except she explicitly makes these points in her book. She also had an excellent interview with Kim Hill yesterday – including a great quote about how she was warned off speaking about certain issues as she’d be “typecast as a woman”…

At the Guardian a look at who the “squeezed middle” is that politicians are fighting over in the UK.  The article also looks at the new documentary film Spirit of 45 that looks at what the post-war UK Labour Government did for the masses (and what’s been lost).

Locally Catriona MacLennan looks at where the money is being lost in our system. $6 billion on tax dodgers and $23 million on welfare fraud – so which are we targeting again?

An interesting look at how we sometimes shape our beliefs to our actions rather than the other way around. Explaining how fossil fuel employees don’t believe climate change among other things.

And finally it’s 100 years since the first US Presidential press conferences. So, a look at how they looked back then.

25 comments on “Sunday Reading”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    Sexual abuse of submissives by dominants who fail to comprehend boundaries:
    http://www.xojane.com/sex/the-soapbox-on-abuse-within-kink-or-this-one-time-some-really-bad-stuff-happened-to-me

    Quote:
    “A safeword is supposed to be for when you’ve reached your limit,” he admonished me.

    I wasn’t sure what he was saying. ”I have reached my limit,” I told him. “That hurts. It doesn’t feel good anymore.”

    “It’s not supposed to feel good,” he said. “You’re supposed to use the safeword when you can’t take the pain anymore, not just because you don’t want to.”

    “But I don’t want to,” I told him, aghast at what I was hearing. It was like he was suggesting I wasn’t being a “good enough” submissive or something, as if consent to one thing (spanking me) was consent to all things

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    It’s not actually from earlier during the week, it’s from today.
    A story outlining elder abuse. No comment has been made in the story of how higher accommodation prices are contributing to some of the abuse (not an excuse!!)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/8430571/New-Zealands-hidden-shame

    Most cases do not end up with the police, Collins says. That’s important, because fear for their abusers appears to be a barrier to elderly people seeking help.

    That’s illustrated by the case of a 77-year-old man, who was exploited by his grandson. The man allowed the 38-year-old to move into a downstairs unit at his home. The grandson then invited someone else to move in, and the elderly man ended up paying much higher electricity bills, something he could not afford to do on NZ Super.

    When he asked the grandson and the other person to leave, both of them yelled at him, telling him he was a “selfish old bastard” and threatening to break the windows.

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    A blog post by Holly Walker (GREEN), discussing the sell off of government land and properties to developers.

    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2013/03/14/another-state-housing-sell-off-in-sandringham/

    Auckland – and increasingly the rest of New Zealand – has a housing affordability crisis, and this Government’s answer is to sell off valuable land to private developers and leave the most vulnerable to fend for themselves in the private rental market. It’s simply not good enough.

    Indeed. It’s a massive shift in the balance of power, with an essential need such as housing into the hands of private investors, while those who don’t currently own property are sapped for rent money by greedy and non productive landlords, or forced to buy property at outrageous prices just to stop being subjected to the brutal rental market.

  4. ghostrider888 4

    re Pentagon neuro-technology; amazing the amount of money and resources being expended to replicate instinct and intuition imo; first “rules” of Aikido; get out of the way and / or utilise the enemy’s energy against them

  5. Jenny 5

    An alarming rise in methane outgassing in the Arctic recorded this month. Have we passed a tipping point?

    http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.nz/2013/02/dramatic-increase-in-methane-in-the-arctic-in-january-2013.html

    • Jenny 5.1

      I mistakenly gave the link for January. March is even worse. I am sorry, this is just so dreadful.

      The following is the proper link, plus links to today’s follow up articles:

      http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/record-methane-in-arctic-early-march-2013.html

      http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/the-worst-case-and-unfortunately-looking-almost-certain-to-happen-scenario.html

      http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/the-greatest-war-ever.html

      It is just like someone just pulled the plug hole out of the climate.

      The by now over 20 degrees Celsius temperatures of the upper layer of the polar ocean will be sending a massive thermal pulse down through the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (ESAS) and other shallow submarine permafrosts in the arctic. This pulse propagating fast through liquid water in cracks and methane eruption vents. The hydrate layers containing over 1000 billion tons C of methane at the bottoms of these permafrosts will destabilise fast, bottom up, when that thermal pulse hits them. Quite possible the pressure building up under these shelves, most particularly the ESAS will shatter them and release most of the hydrate methane, free methane, and undecomposed organic carbon, they are holding very fast indeed. Best estimate around 2750 billion tons C total in shallow submarine arctic permafrosts.

      Kinda like a warm well shook champagne bottle when you pop the cork.

      Lots of this methane will hit the atmosphere.

      With even more water vapour, more methane, more N2O, more ozone being produced by the methane, less SO2 forming clouds because methane destroys it….

      We’ll have a greenhouse effect like the earth has not seen before in its 4.5 billion years of existence.

    • Bill 5.2

      Hi Jenny. So who exactly is Aaron Franklin? The page you linked to gives no info on contributors and/or what their relevant expertise is. (And that’s fine for opinionated blogs) The fact that Aaron constructs elaborate and quite detailed future scenarios (including time scales) in areas where science rightly throws up its hands due to knowledge hitting boundries of probability/uncertainty….well, it says to me he’s a bit of a conspiracy nut doom sayer. And I do love his ‘rescue plans’ such as sending the Australian navy to spray water around the Arctic with, of course, Aaron’s very own special nozzle attachments…I mean, how many ships does the fcking Australian navy have and how big is the Arctic?

      Anyway, I happen to reckon that we’re screwed. But that’s based on what has happened up until now with regards (understandably) conservative, scientifically grounded ‘predictions’, governmental inaction and the trajectories that are now showing up in the scientific record.

      Aaron, however, is another kettle of fish.

      If what he is blogging can be linked back to peer reviewed papers or opinions/extrapolations by peer reviewed scientists, then that’s one thing. But if not – and there’s a real dearth of links in that blog – then sack fulls of salt are in order because he’s of no more worth than a mirror or reverse image of a Monkton.

      That’s my critical and non-scientific reading of him anyway

      • Jenny 5.2.1

        You may, indeed be right Bill. This guy may be a bit of panic merchant.

        However, take note of what Lynn Prentice says on the matter:

        Quite simply we are on a irreversible rollercoaster to a vastly changed climates.

        lprent

        Sunday Reading

        I am still waiting on Lynn’s reply, on what we should and can do about it. If his reply is: “Nothing can be done”. (ie “Do nothing”).

        Then that would be very informative.

        • Jenny 5.2.1.1

          1/ This is what I think we should do……

          2/ I think we should do nothing and this is why……

          3/ “You can’t handle the truth”

  6. Jenny 6

    Sorry, I am chilled. This is unreal, this is the exact scenario predicted in the stupidly named “Diagram of Doom”.

    This emergency like no other, is unfolding live on line today.

    The Greatest War Ever

    Introduction – Highest Urgency and Priority for Australia

    By Aaron Franklin

    Hello everyone,

    I hope this report is helpful in understanding the current very serious situation. Its an attempt to present it in a way that’s accessible to all.

    There should be no other priorities until this is dealt with.

    Every one should acquaint themselves with the Arctic Methane Emergency Group (AMEG) and its Strategic plan, at: http://a-m-e-g.blogspot.com/2012/12/ameg-strategic-plan.html

    Lots of good up to date information can be found at http://arctic-news.blogspot.com/ , most of the reports there should be compulsory reading for all.

  7. Jenny 7

    Come on lynn. Help me out here. I am floundering. You’re the climate scientist here. Am I being alarmist? What’s happening?

    • lprent 7.1

      Actually I did an earth sciences degree 30 years ago. It means that I’m better capable of reading charts and data on earth sciences than most people

      Looking at the links and in particular the atmospheric concentration charts I’m sure that he has overblown the issue – especially in terms of the timescale. He appears to have only been looking at the short-term effects rather than longer term trends.

      They are showing a strong level of short term variability in the current levels of CH4 in some arctic areas – looks like the Barents & Norwegian sea being spread in the polar jetstreams. Looks pretty consistent with a rapid outgassing of methane over a geographically limited area (or something disrupting the adsorption/breakdown mechanism). But the volumes in the Arctic when evened out over the period are consistent with previous years. What has probably happened is that one of the outgassings in that area is starting to get more variable and letting more through to the surface periodically. You’d need more data over time to find out how sustained the release is.

      Think of it as an volcanic eruption in progress, with it waxing and waning periodically. It makes little effect if you look at it over a decade, but causes marked variability in the short-term.

      The polar projection charts are showing isolated hot spots in terms of air-sea temperature and the general upwards trend in CH4 consistent with an outgassing. Again consistent with a limited area / volume. You see this kind of stuff all of the time with volcanic eruptions and sulphur dioxide or forest fires and CO2/dust. CH4 plumes off the sea floor appear to act in a similar way.

      Release of methane and nitrous oxides releases will give a greenhouse gas pulse and they are up over time. But so far not on a scale that would compete with the effects of releasing CO2 in either the short or long term. Both are also short-term effects which don’t have that much effect on the oceans because they simply don’t persist for long enough.

      Always think decades in climate – because that is how sluggishly the climate systems change. What you’ll get are statistically shifting temperatures, precipitation and probability of extreme weather events.

      What you’re looking at deserves watching, and similarly they should probably increase the observation for CH4 plumes in the south. But it is a watching situation rather than the emergency the guy you were quoting is trying to say.

      • Jenny 7.1.1

        Thank goodness. So we still have a little bit of time. Just one more thing. Help me get submission sign ups, to stop the new Mangatangi open cast coal mine.

      • Jenny 7.1.2

        Yeah. I thought this guy was a little bit flakey. In my opinion when it goes, nothing will be able stop it.

        • lprent 7.1.2.1

          That had already happened. Quite simply we are on a irreversible rollercoaster to a vastly changed climates. From the 90’s we haven’t managed to reduce the rate of increase in CO2 emissions, pushing an immense payload of CO2 and heat in at the polar ocean currents for generations in the future.

          But nothing moves very fast in climate terms, it is just hard to live with an ever escalating rate of change over the coming decades and centuries.

          • Jenny 7.1.2.1.1

            Granted. But what do you recommend we do about it?

            • lprent 7.1.2.1.1.1

              Sorry missed this.

              Attempt to mitigate more damage. At present we are looking at 4C average increase at the end of the century. That will make considerable areas of the world unusable for agriculture, and some places potentially uninhabitable for any large populations through water rises and desertification. But it probably will not cause the kinds of warfare caused by massive resource and refugee issues because it is likely to be gradual enough to allow time for adjustment.

              However it is quite feasible that we hit between 6C and 8C. All that takes is a still expanding world population for most of this century clawing their way to affluence on the enormous coal reserves. Currently that is quite possible to happen. That path will cause severe and probably rapid climate shifts with some pretty nasty effects on agriculture.

              • ghostrider888

                there is an e-mail from moi

              • Jenny

                No need to apologise Lynn. I am humbled that you have not been offended by my imperious demands.

                An email from moi, also, will be finding its way to you through the ether.

                • Jenny

                  Bugger. On composing my email to you. On hitting send and after CCing it to myself it seems to have dissappeared into the aformentioned ether. Not to appear in my in box, or in my ‘sent messages’. Not to be discouraged. I am rewriting it. Will resend soon.

              • Jenny

                What can we do?

              • Jenny

                Definition of mitigate

                verb
                [with object]

                make (something bad) less severe, serious, or painful:
                drainage schemes have helped to mitigate this problem
                lessen the gravity of (an offence or mistake):
                (as adjective mitigating)
                he would have faced a prison sentence but for mitigating circumstances

                Oxford English Dictionary

                The key word here is “verb”. At school we were told a verb is a “doing word”.

                What should we do?

                • lprent

                  At present? Work on reducing the amount of CO2 heading into the atmosphere. Start raising insurance premiums. Avoid buying or developing property close to the sea shore. Keep looking at the security of food supplies assuming a increase in exceptional weather events.

                  In other words, try to avoid inflicting increased damage on future generations beyond what they will already get from the last few centuries of CO2 pollution and plan to start receiving the first waves of climate shifts and sea level rises ourselves.

                  The frequency of extreme weather events is going to rise pretty rapidly over the next few decades as the climate adjusts shifting more heat around. And I’d be surprised (if I am still alive) if more than 25% of the current ice volume in Greenland survives the next 3 decades now that the Arctic sea ice has largely disappeared in summer. The experience in the Antarctica peninsula shows that without the brake of the sea ice, the glacier flow will start speed up a lot.

                  Fortunately at present the WAIS looks pretty stable. Which is a good thing as the evidence of past warming there says that it goes really fast once it starts. But it is only a matter of time before the seaice in places like the Ross sea starts to reduce.

                  The EAIS, while it is getting additional moisture leaking through causing more snow, will probably take a few centuries before it starts get strongly affected.

    • ghostrider888 8.1

      fark joe, greatful to be a simple man, i am (all commodities within arms reach)

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    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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