Posts by TracyMac

  • Hard News: The epitome of reason,

    The other difference in the UK is UKIP grabbing a substantial share of votes from working-class people who were traditional Labour voters. I'm almost grateful for FPP reducing the number of potential UKIP MPs in Parliament.

    While I can see Winnie continuing to milk his anti-immigration line, the UKIP level of underlying racism wouldn't fly in NZ.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 524 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Fool me Once: Lessons on…,

    The last Labour govt was negotiating quite happily for this. Let's not subscribe to the fallacy this was invented by National. Maybe Labour was negotiating a more limited scope, but who knows?

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 524 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: Fool me Once: Lessons on…,

    The American public doesn't want it either. It's large corporations that don't have any allegiance to any national laws, trying to refashion the world in their own image.

    Maybe one day the "one world govt" won't be such a bad thing, but not at the behest of the mega-corporations, thanks.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 524 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: What Alltracks…,

    Well, I think those efforts to curate NZ music are frigging awesome, actually. Spotify thinks that because I live in Australia, I want to listen to "what's hot" there. Not so much, actually. I love Soundcloud, so links there are great.

    As for the whinging about their being curated links, unless you want NZOA to directly fund artists' streaming revenue, and to create an NZ music ghetto, linking to the places artists use for their revenue stream its much better.

    I'll be using all these, because of the above reasons - I can hardly curate my own Spotify list - time, and I don't just want the greatest hits of the 80s and 90s (the last time I spent more than 2 years of the trot in NZ). My music taste hasn't ossified that much yet.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 524 posts Report Reply

  • Envirologue: The Cry of the Indignados –…,

    Good article in the main, but boy, am I amazingly tired of 3D printers being held up as a liberating force. They do not scale, yet. What they can make is limited (although some people have great ideas).

    But even when their limits are solved, I fail to see how they are any different to any other means of production. Yes, if there is going to be any kind of economic revolution, the workers will have to be able to manage the latest technology.

    The internet was hailed as a liberating force as well, but no, it's simply a great communications medium, and like any technology, can be used for both good and bad or indifferent, by anyone with the means to control it.

    Maybe 3D printing is appealing because they are currently small devices that can be controlled by small numbers of people. So how do you scale up the current craft use for entire communities, much less countries?

    I can't see any economic revolution working without some aspects of industrial/mass production. Which Mondragon actually manage, as do some factory co-ops in South America. So please, let's not just focus on cute techno-toys when discussing production in alternative economies.

    (Caveat - I'm not focussing on a Marxian "all production happens in factories". Technological change has given us huge amounts of automation. Which I think is great in terms of saving labour, but not for undermining the value of the labour that remains. I don't know what Marx's approach to that would be, combined with the fact that industrial production has mostly been exported to cheap-labour countries.)

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 524 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Behind Baltimore,

    The Divide by Matt Tabibi, is an interesting look at the two-gear law enforcement system in the US at present – one law for the rich (and mostly white) and another for the poor.

    Number of people criminally prosecuted for GFC- precipitating shenanigans – 0. Number of people being prosecuted every year for welfare fraud – thousands. He tells a story of a woman denied welfare because she owned sexy undies. Yes, if you’re poor and asking for assistance in the US, welfare officials can and do go through your drawers.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 524 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Will the grown-ups ever…, in reply to BenWilson,

    I worked in a Jones- owned building that had a couple of specimens of semi- pornographic, sexist "art" in the foyer. ( Disclaimer: most porn is fine to me outside my working environment, and I do not have a Dworkinesque view of sexism. )

    When I got up the gumption to ask our company's admin what the "art" was there for, the story goes that some woman working in the building had complained to Jones about his less- evolved views. So he personally selected the art and had it placed where it could be seen by her everytime she entered the building.

    Let's just say that nothing in his columns has given me the impression that such a reputation of petty dickishness is entirely undeserved. Nor the blatant sexism.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 524 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This Anzac Day,

    Great post.

    So agreed on the "amusement park" trenches. My great-grand uncle died in one in Northern France.

    However, the one in the Auckland museum always moved me. There was a similar larger-scale exhibit in the Imperial War Museum in London that really got to me - it came with sound and lighting effects. I totally acknowledged the artificiality of the exhibit, but trying to imagine living in such horrible quarters day after day after day under a semi-constant barrage and risk of sniper fire just brought home to me how little I can know of its horrendousness and how lucky I am.

    And also reflecting on s how, today, so many political disputes end with people blowing each other and bystanders up. When will we learn?

    It's really appalling to think that a sleb ( Angelina Jolie, re Syria) has made more apposite comments about war these last few days than any reported politician or prominent participator in the ANZAC circus (by which I mean the hyped Gallipoli "event", which has been even more objectionable here in Oz).

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 524 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Look in the Mirror, New Zealand,

    There are larger numbers of those that leave their own countries but can return ?

    No.

    As for the person who left again to fight against ISIS, does he have a family he's left in NZ? Perhaps he left because of the conflict, but has found a way he can help fight back against the reason he left.

    I'm sure most are grateful to find a refuge, but to pretend that many wouldn't prefer to return home to their language and culture, if circumstances changed, is willfully naive.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 524 posts Report Reply

  • Access: Here's to them, in reply to giovanni tiso,

    I totally agree that confining a child except in an urgent case of keeping the kids safe (for a very limited time until the guardians can fetch him/her) is appalling. And that outrage is the appropriate response.

    And all the people I know of in special needs education here are also outraged - there isn't a culture in that sector of the "naughty chair". Mishandling of mainstream education needs and inadequately trained mainstream teachers is still too common in many cases, alas.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 524 posts Report Reply

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