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Sitting in a tent, having a learn - Tactical Ninja

Oct. 27th, 2011

09:47 am - Sitting in a tent, having a learn

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This thread on yesterday's xkcd made me smile. I love it when the geeks outgeek xkcd.

Last night I attended a talk by Jeanette Fitzsimons in a tent down at #OccupyWellington. We were indoors because it was raining. We gave her the only chair. It was interesting sitting in these conditions seeing someone who I've only seen on television and in newspaper photographs before, hearing what she has to say. She looks exactly the same in person. What did she have to say?

She admires the #occupy movement, and mused on why this of all movements has resonated with so many people. She thinks it's the same reason the haters have been denigrating it - because it doesn't have one demand, one solution, one problem. It encompasses all of the myriad problems and says "This is wrong" - and many many people can find something to relate to in that, even those who are not political experts. It's inclusive, put simply.


She believes that a good place to start tackling some of the issues in New Zealand is unfortunately also a place that Kiwis just won't go - state funded electoral finance based on percentage of vote, with no donations from private interests. She thinks that this would cost the taxpayer little more than it already does to fund our political system, and remove the opportunities for corruption. She didn't clarify why she thinks Kiwis won't go there - anyone want to fill me in? I know that electoral finance was a big issue a few years back and the indications are that it was almost sorted but the current government unsorted it. True? Or something else?

She also supports the idea of a Tobin tax (commonly becoming known as Robin Hood tax) on international financial transactions, to reduce speculation on currency. Did you know John Key was a forex trader?

Which leads to probably the dumbest reason I've ever heard someone give for voting National. This dude said this in the middle of Jeanette's talk - "Well isn't that the kind of people we want running the country? Those who know how to deal with money?"

Dunno about you, but I reckon 'dealing with money' covers everything from accountancy and budgeting to gambling at the racetrack to robbing banks - and I have a fair idea where Key falls on that spectrum. I don't want a fucking gambler running my country, no. Especially not one that is happy to pocket the big wins and let me pay for the big losses.

But it just goes to show the sort of thinking that's behind the likelihood of National getting voted in again. Yes, the guy was about 20, why do you ask?

Or maybe this tweet from stevebwriter this morning covers it: "Oooh look; there's 3 blue hoardings with that nice Mr Key on them and 4 red ones just w a lot of words. I've decided to vote National" ???

O.o Sad but true. I have no idea how he managed to dupe a majority of Kiwis into believing he's nice. Someone yesterday compared him with George Bush II actually - a snake who puts on a bumbling human face so that everyone thinks "Aww look he's just like us" and doesn't actually look too hard at what he's doing.


Ah fuck, you know what? I can't do this today. That thing in Oakland has really shaken me up. I don't know why, it's not as if I didn't know the US cops were capable of it. I just think, as a friend from there put it in an email, "I hope this blossoms into that which we hope for, rather than that which we fear."

So here, have some good news: The Royal Society has opened up its archives for free access. As someone who has found it frustrating that an organisation that has done so much relevant work has hidden its work behind a paywall, I am very thankful to now be able to read it.

And in other, close to home news, I have had a confidence boost, which I'll write about in another post.

Comments:

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From:rivet
Date:October 26th, 2011 09:06 pm (UTC)
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Sometimes shit is just hard <3
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From:tatjna
Date:October 26th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC)
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I think I need to read some more of that book you loaned me. x
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From:rantydave
Date:October 27th, 2011 01:43 am (UTC)
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When the present government came in I thought it would be a good thing, in times of immense turmoil, to have someone who actually understood international finance on our side. Because he does understand international finance, he just wasn't on our side.
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From:tatjna
Date:October 27th, 2011 01:52 am (UTC)
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People can be forgiven for that mistake once. To repeat it is just stupid.

(admittedly, this guy didn't seem old enough to have voted more than once)
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From:rivet
Date:October 27th, 2011 10:30 am (UTC)
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Forex trading is high risk gambling for short turn gain, in which people get paid huge bonuses for driving down (or up) the currency of entire nations to make a profit. To me, that is the exact opposite of the sensible long term investment and prudent management one wants to see in government.

But yeah, he knows about money.
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