Death of capitalism; bring it on

Capitalism is nourished by growth. Without growth it cannot survive. It’s a function of the debt-based monetary system which requires growth to cover future interest commitments.

We cannot easily address climate change without threatening the capitalist system’s very existence. It could be done, but the status quo has its head up its backside and won’t acknowledge the extent of the problem.

Eventually things will change, the sooner that happens the better for your children.

Just do it

The Holstee manifesto

https://www.dropbox.com/s/53lc72rn934e5mk/11947680_10206505276583786_7719042175870459453_n.jpg?dl=0

Transcript:

“This is your life. Do what you want and do it often.
If you don’t like something, change it.
If you don’t like your job, quit.
If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.
If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.
Stop over-analysing, life is simple.
All emotions are beautiful.
When you eat, appreciate every last bite.
Life is simple.
Open your heart, mind and arms to new things and people, we are united in our differences.
Ask the next person you see what their passion is and share your inspiring dream with them.
Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.
Some opportunities only come once, seize them.
Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating.
Life is short, live your dream and wear your passion.”

The Holstee Manifesto

Notes for our grandchildren

Sir Paul CallaghanNew eyes to see

A few years ago I met a great New Zealander, Professor Paul Callaghan. He opened my eyes to new ways of looking at our world. It was a mixed blessing; he condemned me to a future of enlightenment on the one hand, and frustration, anger, and despair on the other. Dr Callaghan, a physicist from Wellington’s Victoria University, had recently been made a Fellow of the Royal Society. When he hopped on the plane to return to New Zealand after picking up the award, he also picked up a book called “The Undercover Economist”. In doing so, he changed the direction of his life. Mine too. I’ve talked about Paul and his must-see presentation “Beyond the Theme park and the Farm Gate” here. Although it’s about New Zealand’s economic decline; why it’s happening, and how to reverse it, his conclusions are relevant to non-Kiwis, anyone who wants to understand the requirements for prosperity in an economy.

Dr Callaghan was knighted not long after I met him; then he was made New Zealander of the year in 2011; and the Labour Party had him as keynote speaker at their annual talkfest. He was a great New Zealander who understood where our country is going wrong; why 500,000 of us live in Australia; and what’s required to fix the problem. New Zealand isn’t awash with people I have great respect for. Sir Paul was definitely one.

I was enlisted to help him set up a website to promote his message, but he lost his battle with cancer and died, far too soon, in 2012.

Our politicians of all stripes thought enough of Sir Paul’s work to honour him, but they’ve never acted upon it. He motivated me to learn as much as I could about what’s going wrong in our country and on our planet. Here’s some of it:

When the world was young…

One of my earliest memories is of the VJ day parade in Dunedin, a celebration of the surrender of Japan and the end of World War II. I stood outside Whitcombe and Tombes on George Street listening to the bagpipes and watching someone in the parade pushing a hand cart which carried an effigy of Hitler’s body sans arms, legs and head. I was 4 years old but 70 years later I can still see it clearly. At that age children don’t usually understand much about political events, but the time between the start of World War I, the terrible influenza epidemic, and the end of World War II (with the catastrophe of the Great Depression squeezed in between) was so cataclysmic and all-pervasive that even small children probably had an inkling of what was going on, and well knew who Hitler was.

VJ day in DunedinMy generation’s childhood was dominated by that war long after it was over. Most adult men were veterans of at least one war; my best friends Onno and Ingrid were refugees from a devastated Europe and their parents told of wonderful things like eating rats and cats to survive; in those pre-TV days the movies, the news, and even the comics were about “The War”: the Dam Busters, Rockfist Rogan, Nazis, Tommies, Yanks, and Japs. Winston Churchill and Hitler, Berlin, London, and Hiroshima all loomed large in our young lives. Meat and butter were rationed so that we could send vast quantities of produce “Home” to England.

At the end of it all we had a new United Nations, a booming world economy, unbounded optimism and the general idea that we’d learned our lesson. The age of war was over.

Yeah, right.

Continue reading

The Union Jack

Lots of Kiwis passionately believe that it’s a great idea to have the Union Jack on our national flag.

I disagree, but strength to their arms anyway. 🙂

Just wondering whether the Poms feel the same way: or the Jocks? Taffs? Ulstermen? Any takers for the Union Jack?

Let’s see…

Cross of St George flag
This one is named after Dunedin’s main drag.
St Andrew's flag
Och aye, th’ noo…
This one seems to be named after a soggy golf course.
Welsh flag
Cer i grafu…
The Poms got George’s cross, so the Dais settled for his dead dragon.
Ulster flag
T’ be sure now… at least it’s distinctive.
According to Google, a discarded body part of a self-mutilating political wannabe called O’Neill.

This Land is Our Land

Nina Paley Chiaroscuro
I’m old enough to remember the 6 Day War. Like many around the world I was cheering for the Israelis; underdogs fighting overwhelming odds.

I’ve been confused by the situation in Israel ever since.

Then I watched Nina Paley‘s brief video (below) and realised that it’s quite simple. I’d understood perfectly all along.

I’m also old enough to realise that I’ve been wrong about many things I thought I knew. The news media, controlled by the 0.1%, bear a lot of the blame for my ignorance. In the midst of the 6 Day War reportage, for instance, there was scant reference to the culpability of the West, particularly the British, who’d made promises to the Palestinians, and then stabbed them in the back.

No wonder the Palestinians were, and still are, mightily pissed off.

Along came Viet Nam. I swallowed the Domino Theory peddled by politicians and the media. I was in the Navy then, and fully prepared if called upon to charge off to South East Asia to deal to those Commie Bastards in North Vietnam.

It was years later that I learned that we had caused the mess in the first place. During World War II we swore to Ho Chi Minh that if he helped us to boot out the Japanese we’d protect his people from French domination when the war was over.

They did their bit and we dropped them right back into the hands of de Gaulle and the Foreign Legion.

They too were a little annoyed.

We’ve been at it ever since: Iraq, Iran, Latin American countries by the handful, Afghanistan, Libya… on and on and on

dummy line break

This Land Is Mine from Nina Paley on Vimeo.

Dr Jane Kelsey: calls foul on the TPPA

This is important

  1. The TPPA isn’t a trade deal; it goes far deeper than that. I have reservations about a deal of which we really know nothing.
    If a free trade agreement can’t be fully described in a couple of A4 sheets of paper, then it isn’t a free trade agreement.
  2. The Americans will never give an inch on trade without taking a mile. Or on anything else come to that.
  3. People are saying, “Our great and glorious leaders would never sign up to something that isn’t in our best interests.”
    Really? Remember Vietnam? Afghanistan? Iraq? What’s good for politicians isn’t always what’s good for the suckers who voted for them.

Here’s a real expert.

Professor Jane Kelsey remains remarkably civil whilst trying to inform the smarmy middle-aged adolescent, Mike Hosking:

Pushing shit uphill gets to you in the end

Jon StewartThe state of “democracy” is so toxic that it’s destroying those who are trying to help us to reclaim it.

The media good guys know that they’re in an echo chamber. They’re preaching to the converted, but gaining little traction with those whom they most need to inform: the naive majority who have no understanding of the problems the world faces.

Dealing with constant bad news, denial, and abuse is a psychological problem and perk of the job for many climate scientists. The effects of researching and presenting constant bad news forced David Roberts of Grist to take a year’s sabbatical, and now it has claimed the best news satirist in the business.

We all lose.

Here’s the real story behind the retirement of the best and most effective communicator in the business:
John Stewart throws in the towel