28 Comments Posted

  1. http://whoar.co.nz/2012/save-the-state-of-the-union-how-obama-can-do-it-better-in-10-minutes-commentwhoar-why-we-dont-want-to-end-our-problem-of-poverty-its-cos-we-are-meanmiserable-bastards-eh-a/

    “…Second: Average family income has been flat since 1979 — see that dark red line —

    – while the income of those at the top has gone way up —look at the orange line.

    On top of that, the tax rate paid by those at the top has gone way down!

    That is why the percentage of total income going to those at the top has skyrocketed –

    – while the number of people in poverty has reached an historic high — more than 46 million – or 15 percent of our population.

    This comports with neither our sense of fairness – nor any theory of how we will compete in the global economy.

    That is why I am proposing something endorsed in the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson report – and by numerous leading elected officials of both parties:-

    – ending preferential treatment for capital-gains income.

    That unearned income is now taxed at a top rate of only 15 percent –

    – while folks who actually make their income through hard work face a top rate of 35 percent.

    I am thrilled that my good friend Mitt Romney paid taxes of only about 15 percent on his sizable income — and I am sure it was all done properly.

    But frankly, Mitt, I am not sure why you don’t pay the same rate that Warren Buffet’s secretary pays.

    So in your honor, we are going to call this the Mitt rule:-

    – All income is taxed the same—up to a top rate of 35 percent…”

    (ed:..reality-check:..here in new zealand..our richest/1% pay zero capital-gains-tax..

    ..that figure again..?..

    ..zero/nada/nothing…

    ..and our child-poverty rates..?

    ..oh..!..world-beating…!

    ..that’s ‘cos we can’t afford to give the poorest more money..eh..?

    ..and also as a nation..

    ..we seem to lack the will to solve these easily-solvable problem…

    ..and that’s ‘cos we are mean/miserable fuck-everyone-else-i’m-ok!..as a people..

    ..and that’s kinda sad…

    ..and so the politicians/rich also know this..

    ..and they play on that nasty streak in us to demonise/marginalise those poor…

    ..and to draw attention away from the fact that the richest are getting a totally free-ride…

    ..those beneficiaries are taxed on their miserable stipends..
    \
    ..while the richest pay nothing..

    ..that figure again..?..

    ..nothing/zero/nada..

    ..that all seems fair…eh..?

    ..i mean..hello..!

    ..anyone listening..?

    ..anyone out there with a bloody brain..?)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  2. Scott Inglis in the gray area

    A rather misinformed editorial by Scott Inglis was published yesterday in the Bay of Plenty Times. It’s a purely speculative rant about what other people should be thinking based on the authors diploma in pseudoscience, which is par for the course for many propagandists…

  3. I tend to agree with Fonterra on this – if the reason of their being required to sell milk to other (often foreign owned) dairy firms is more local competition and instead they are exporting the milk supplied as milk poweder for export, what is the point?

    Any extra supply should only be made to those providing milk to the local market in competition to Fonterra. That should ensure we get more local competition.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/milk-pricing-plan-not-work-fonterra-4699797

    It’s also as if the government wants shares in Fonterra available for sale – they do appear to be forcing the promotion of shares tradeable between farmers. This means anyone forming a company to farm can then become part of Fonterra and buy up shares off others, this includes foreigners. One wonders what TPP and free trade with the USA has to do with this or is this the lobbying of wealthy corporate farmers (who also have shares in private dairy plants exporting independently of Fonterra)?

    The money lost to Fonterra would be better used to improve the long term state of our waterways and to contribute to a national water resource investment plan etc.

  4. Paula Bennett’s ministry has told contracted social workers in Northland not to feed children in school lunches (part of a strategy to reduce theft and truancy).

    The Northland MP says it would encourage parents not to feed their children if others fed those who were hungry.

    Wonder what he thinks about Fonterra’s plan for milk in schools …

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10780696

    MOU – propose the government have a programme to feed children in poor area schools?

  5. http://whoar.co.nz/2012/commentwhoar-i-am-being-occupied-by-the-animals/

    ed:..as i sit here compiling this whoar-beast…

    ..there is a small dog sound asleep on my lap…

    ..and a cat sound asleep on my right shoulder…

    ..with it’s head/nose snuggled in against the back of my kneck..

    ..(it tickles..)

    ..large dog is lying on sofa..

    ..looking on balefully..

    ..and wishing it was smaller….

    (cat has just stirred into a purr…)

    (update:..large dog has woken everyone up..

    ..and is leaning in..bullying me..

    ..telling me it is time we went for the morning run to the park…

    ..she is an eye-dog…and she just locks in on me…ears standing up..

    ..her mood/attitude best described as plaintive/insistant/assured…

    ..(it cracks me up…

    ..she plays me like a violin..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  6. FBI calls the shots

    After the SOPA protest last week that blacked out much of the worlds internet, international raids initiated by the United States government took down one of the worlds largest cyberlocker sharing websites, clearly showing that copyright law enforcement is already too powerful…

  7. dbuckley

    Films and TV can’t exist without technology, they are basically technological art forms. Take away the camera, and there is no film or TV, and whats left isn’t theatre.

    Films continue to control theatre distribution by using old technology ie 35mm film, which is not easily copied. Studios make most of their money from ticket sales. The changes have affected the video industry the most. TV will survive because it’s convenient.

    ~

    When a house is not your home

    It’s worth noting that over reliance on the free market system, something the Act party often promotes, is what got us into the mess in the first place.

  8. …but my concern is that if movie makers and television show makers can no longer cover their costs, then we will not see any new movies or television.

    This is why I note that music is different. Films and TV can’t exist without technology, they are basically technological art forms. Take away the camera, and thre is no film or TV, and whats left isn’t theatre.

    Music, however, can exist without any mechanism to distribute it. The music distribution mechanism is not required in order for music to be made.

    The problem with music is decoupling the music industry from the copyright payments. When we needed distribution mechanisms (such as vinyl, CDs, pre-recorded cassettes) it made reasonable sense to have the media duplicators manage the copyright fees for the artists. Now that link is a boat-anchor around innovation, and the distributors are using it to both stifle innovation and to prolong their own existence.

  9. Megaupload was charging people if they wanted faster transfer speeds… that’s how they afforded all the things the cops are currently seizing. Other formats such as BitTorrent, Limewire (closed down), Freenet, FastTrack etc take a certain amount of technical ability… so there is a natural inclination of many to use mainstream services.

    Jackal, sure Megaupload charged people extra for faster speeds, but when you have things such as BitTorrent which allow people to transfer for free, you have a big big problem.

    That is todays reality with music; the internet revolution has happened, and the old guard (the music distribution business) is no longer necessary, and thus they are fighting for a reason to exist in a world where distribution is no longer a problem that needs to be solved.

    At least with music though there is an alternative business model – an artist can give away tracks for free as a loss leader and build up the fan base that will pay $100 for a concert ticket. With movies and television, it is a different story. I do agree that we shouldn’t be mourning the loss of the middleman, but my concern is that if movie makers and television show makers can no longer cover their costs, then we will not see any new movies or television.

  10. Fairfax fears the facts

    There’s a tendency with many Fairfax articles to ignore relevant issues and developments in favour of a controlled and sometimes contrived message. This is a mechanism of propaganda that has been greatly exacerbated by Fairfax’s centralization regime…

  11. john-ston

    The problem is that no business can survive if its customers expect to not pay a cent for its product.

    Megaupload was charging people if they wanted faster transfer speeds… that’s how they afforded all the things the cops are currently seizing. Other formats such as BitTorrent, Limewire (closed down), Freenet, FastTrack etc take a certain amount of technical ability… so there is a natural inclination of many to use mainstream services.

    dbukley

    the distribution businesses which are no longer needed don’t want to accept they are as necessary as a hand weaver was in the heart of the industrial revolution.

    Exactly! Their business model has been outdated and they were too slow to adapt. What we are seeing now is a tantrum backed by the billions they made when they were relevant.

    Although copyright and artist royalties are reduced in the new system, it’s beneficial in that it increases self promotion and easy distribution for the little guy. It also reduces the amount of waste produced.

    ~

    Last BDO in New Zealand

    Low ticket sales and increased competition are undoubtedly the main reasons for the events untimely demise… but really it’s just another good reason to move to Australia…

  12. The problem is that no business can survive if its customers expect to not pay a cent for its product.

    Which is undoubtably true.

    But so is the opposite true – there is no longer a need to pay a cent for distribution, but the distribution businesses which are no longer needed don’t want to accept they are as necessary as a hand weaver was in the heart of the industrial revolution.

    That is todays reality with music; the internet revolution has happened, and the old guard (the music distribution business) is no longer necessary, and thus they are fighting for a reason to exist in a world where distribution is no longer a problem that needs to be solved.

    Copyright and artist royalties are just collatoral damage in the crossfire. Deliberately so, in my opinion.

  13. Romney the likely Republican Party candidate shows how well he represents the 1%.

    “Like many Americans, Mitt Romney has an individual retirement account.

    Unlike most Americans, Mr. Romney has between $20.7 million and $101.6 million in it, a big chunk of his fortune.

    Experts on estate planning said it is highly unusual to accumulate such a considerable sum in an IRA, an investment vehicle restricted by annual contribution limits. It appears that Mr. Romney’s grew so large mostly because it holds investments in Bain Capital, the private-equity firm he helped start.

    Under federal law, Mr. Romney isn’t required to pay annual taxes on the account’s investment gains.

    Under current tax law, anybody investing an IRA in a private-equity fund, as Mr. Romney did, would likely incur a hefty special tax on “unrelated business income,” also known as UBIT. This tax, assessed at a maximum 35% rate, is meant to discourage tax-exempt entities such as an IRA, pension plan or endowment fund from unfairly competing with for-profit, taxpaying entities by operating a business without paying taxes on it. Investing in a partnership that uses debt to buy companies would trigger the tax, experts said.

    It isn’t known whether Mr. Romney paid UBIT. His filings suggest use of a strategy involving offshore funds sometimes employed to avoid it, according to several experts.

    One method used by tax lawyers is to have the IRA invest through an offshore affiliate of the private-equity firm, known as an offshore blocker corporation, which in turn invests the same money in the private-equity partnership. The tax is avoided because the IRA technically is investing in the offshore corporation, not in a private-equity partnership.

    Tax experts say that might explain why Mr. Romney’s IRA includes holdings in Bain entities based in offshore locations, including one Cayman Islands entity that Mr. Romney listed as having a value between $5 million and $25 million.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204468004577168972507188592.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

  14. Those that developed successful business models needed to be shut down before the industry players could swoop in and offer the same services using the same technology.

    The problem is that no business can survive if its customers expect to not pay a cent for its product. If people can download the latest episode of Chuck for free using BitTorrent, then the makers of Chuck will make virtually no money.

    Really, these sort of laws (well not exactly, but you get the idea) should have been looked at in the late 1990s when the likes of Napster were running around – but no-one had the foresight to realise the magnitude of the problem.

  15. It’s not really a copyright issue as much as a business model issue.

    The industries complaining were simply too slow to utilize the Internet to gain market share in selling their products. Those that developed successful business models needed to be shut down before the industry players could swoop in and offer the same services using the same technology.

    The problem is that the industry is utilizing governments to perform the takeover, which will also ensure they again control the message. Copyright as a business tool and corporate weapon does little to help those producing content, which copyright law was initially developed to protect.

    In my opinion, it’s better to see a few breaches of copyright than a highly controlled system that inhibits many of the freedoms we often take for granted.

  16. Yeah, this is the issue. The old schoolers and the new schoolers are communiating via lobby groups through congress, and when the parties are well matched thats a useless way to achieve anything.

    I’ve considerable sympathy for the movie folks, but much less for the music industry, which is using copyright as a tool to sustain businesses that should by now be consigned to history.

  17. feel the power people..!..feel the power..!..

    A day without Wikipedia might have killed this bill, but if we don’t act on internet piracy, then we might end up with a world without new movies. It is all good and well to say that these sort of laws are not good, but no-one has proposed an alternative where the rights of copyright holders are maintained and achieves sufficient balance that “innocent bystanders” as it were are not punished.

  18. (feel the power people..!..feel the power..!..

    ..sopa has been flushed down the pipa..)

    http://whoar.co.nz/2012/sopa-and-pipa-votes-shelved-after-congress-climbs-down-on-piracy-bills/

    “…In a dramatic display of the power of online protest –

    – a congressional vote on the anti-piracy bills Pipa and Sopa have been shelved after some of the internet’s main players demanded a legislative rethink.

    Just two days after chunks of the internet went dark in opposition to proposals that critics claim will hamper the flow of online information –

    – Senate majority leader Harry Reid announced the postponement of a planned ballot on Pipa, also known as the Protect IP Act.

    Lamar Smith, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary committee, followed suit, saying his panel would delay action on similar legislation called the Stop Online Piracy Act, or Sopa, until there is wider agreement on the legislation.

    The decision to postpone the votes was made in light of “recent events”, Reid said – taken to be a reference to Wednesday’s day of action in which Wikipedia led the way with a 24-hour blackout…”

    (cont..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  19. (this will amuse/delight some..)

    http://whoar.co.nz/2012/get-letters-in-the-mail-weekly-from-famous-authors/

    “…The Rumpus is finally starting a print subscription.

    We’d like to say this was the plan all along – but we’ve actually never had a plan.

    It’s called Letters in the Mail.

    Almost every week you’ll receive a letter, in the mail.

    Letter writers will include Dave Eggers, Marc Maron, Stephen Elliott, Janet Fitch, Nick Flynn, Margaret Cho, Cheryl Strayed, Wendy MacNaughton, Emily Gould, Tao Lin, and Jonathan Ames.

    Think of it as the letters you used to get from your creative friends –

    – before this whole internet/email thing…”

    (ed:..yes..there is an international-subscription..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  20. Good riddance Perry

    I’ve been cringing at some of the happenings in the American Republican presidential nomination race lately… particularly the candidates obvious mental deficiencies and bigotries. The clear winner there has to be Texas Governor Rick Perry…

  21. http://whoar.co.nz/2012/americas-foremost-peddler-of-excessive-butter-cream-salt-and-sugar-chef-paula-deen-has-finally-confirmed-rumors-that-she-was-diagnosed-with-type-2-diabetes-three-years-ago/

    “…Her timing for this announcement was clearly no accident – as she also revealed that she is now a paid spokesperson for the Novo-Nordisk diabetes drug, Victoza.

    Ms. Deen, whose high-calorie recipes and super-sized portions have made her both a Food Network favorite – and a public health nightmare – appears appallingly opportunistic for simultaneously revealing both her diagnosis and a deal with a pharmaceutical company.

    But could this announcement by one of America’s most high-profile chefs actually be a blessing in disguise –

    – particularly for her devoted fan base?

    Could her diagnosis act as a wake up call to those in denial about the relationship between what you eat and your health?

    It certainly could – if Ms. Deen chooses the right path…”

    (ed:..as in..go vegan..!..eh..?..)

    and seriously..!

    ..as a country we just peddle ill-health/a slow/premature-death to the rest of the world..

    ..we are like the british pushing opium into china..
    ..and historically that is how we will be viewed..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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