Friday, June 08, 2007

AmeriNZ #15 - No Nukes

Episode 15 is now available, and it's free no matter where you get it from. You can listen to it or download it through the player at the bottom of the post here, or subscribe for free through iTunes here (you must have the free iTunes player installed). You can also listen to it for free through the player on my MySpace page.
Twenty years ago today New Zealand became the first country in the world to go nuclear-free. Had the US acted differently, this may not have lasted. The French government used blackmail to change New Zealand policy, the US could have done that, too. There’s a weird audio glitch about half way through—I didn’t edit it to make it weird.
I was on two other podcasts this week: ArcherRadio and There Are Some Who Call Me Tim.

I also go over comments from the past two episodes, adding a bit more. Then I give a strong endorsement: If you’re Liberal or progressive, you must give a listen to Callbox 7. Please check out my friend
Jason’s blog at jasonsviewfromdc.blogspot.com. The Bloomberg debate is at The Occasional Fag (or, for part one go here, for part two go here).

The column in the New Zealand Herald by John Armstrong is here.

Another podcast on Tuesday of next week.

Get AmeriNZ Podcast for free on iTunes


Kalv1n said...

I was totally interrupted while listening to your podcast at the gym this morning. Here I am on the elliptical listening to nuclear disarmament, when right next to me on the next machine, some super cute, toned, muscular young latin guy starts staring at me for like 15 seconds at a time. After 2-3 times, I had to finally take off my earbuds and talk to him. Christ, he even lives with his identical gay twin (but the twin also has a partner who is also living with them :( ). (why am I so simlutaneously luck and unlucky?) Anyway, I really enjoyed your discussion on the nuclear free zones. And what's so bad about having communist aspirations!? I'm tired of people bad-mouthing communism. I don't know that much about Bloomberg, but I also share your distrust of the free market (big surprise, eh?) Hope that all is well!

mike hipp said...

Love it when you inform us on New Zealand politics. The discussion about how a no nuclear policy is central to the national identity was facinating.

Anonymous said...

Aurthor, Thanks for info on Callbox 7, I have download all 4 of their shows and am going to listen to them tomorrow on my drive to the Bay Area.

I totally agreed with your assessments of the brew haha on The Occasional Fag. You took the words right out of my mouth but you stated them much more eloquent that I ever could have. ;)

ReMARKable Palate said...

I have been thinking more and more about that "debate" on TOF and regret that I fell into the trap of arguing so easily. I would rather have made the effort to be silent and just come in once or twice with important points. It's something that I have made a concerted effort to do in my life, since I used to be much more confrontational and it turned people off alot. I really buy into the honey vs vinegar thing now....I realize that I was not at all prepared for what the conversation would be. David just invited me to be on a group podcast, and I walked into the topic.

To your comments:

I WOULD indeed say that we don't live under any kind of true free market. However, I don't have unwavering FAITH in the notion of free markets, as you assert (I believe in reason, after all, not faith). I have unwavering support for trying to make the market free-er. I tend to be more on the side of limiting the rampant regulation of enterprise. Nothing gets created when there are tight strictures on entrepreneurship. China has learned from this, and even the world's largest communist state is becoming the biggest free market economy. Who'd a thunk it?.

(Interesting side note: I think one of the biggest misconceptions is equating corporations with entrepreneurs, they are by definition opposites. To lump all businesspeople together is a huge mistake, and sadly, corporations by their very nature tend to act more like bureaucracies with regard to individuals or small businesses, namely that they feel it's better to dominate them than to allow them to trade freely. Bureaucrats would control individuals with regulation, and big corporations would do it through throwing around their considerable economic weight. Both are enemies of true free market competition, although they may at times claim to support it. All animals are equal, it's just that some animals are more equal than others...)

As for the greed that goes on in some corporations, you are spot on. You said it well with your comment that the expectation of reward for an investment is at times out of all proportion to what is put in, and most "wealth" now is created by shuffling pieces of paper back and forth in a poker game, where we bet on each other. This is one of the core principles that I live by, that of the earned vs the unearned. In fact, I think it's immoral to derive benefit from that which you have not created. I think there are even whole professions built on immoral earning of money. One of my former best friends owns a hedge fund and has made millions by shorting medical technologies that he feels won't pan out in the marketplace. Not always because they aren't good, but because they just aren't ready, or because people expect immediate gains, or because the government has made it unfavorable for these technologies to succeed. So he's hoping that good ideas that could help people fail in order to turn a profit. Watching him work (and I used to sit with him as he made his buying and selling choices, sometimes moving up to $10 million at a time), it slowly became clear to me that he is making money not by creating, but by hoping for destruction. As good as I was at "trading", I realized that it was bad for my soul, since it was not based on investing, nor in any creation of my own, and over time I had a falling out with this friend who had grown rich from this practice.

Now, of course, my business is built on creating things, either literally with my hands or with my output of ideas. I feed people, a noble pursuit, and one that in this culture I can make a really good living at.

I absolutely agree with you that there is a place for regulation, since abuses do happen. The framers saw the need for this in the way they built our government. They were not naive enough to think that some degree of government was not necessary, but I think that it's more valuable that the shift away from rampant greed happen from within the ranks of the people rather than with the fist of governments. Greed and power are flip sides of the same coin, and as we see with government, using one to crush the other is simply re-arranging deck chairs...

I was definitely being tongue in cheek about the progressives being closer to communists. I was trying to get at the point that many so-called progressives actually operate under a strong assumption that the government necessarily SHOULD fix everything, and therefore MUST be turned to. It's a paternal attitude that makes the state our nanny, and has contempt for the ability of individuals to make good choices for themselves. I got at this in my comment about not respecting the voters. I also listened to CallBox7 the other day, and liked what he had to say about progressives being practical. I just don't think that governments can mandate people doing the right thing, just as it's difficult for a parent to make their child do the right thing. Freedom means being free to make even the "wrong" choices, and we grow, whether as individuals or societies, to the extent that we can learn from our mistakes.

My biggest assertion, as I'm sure you know from hearing me on different podcasts, is that we can change ourselves and the world only through personal responsibility. recognizing that we are the generators of our experiences, and the creators of our results is amazingly empowering, and frees us from the "matrix" that is this endless partisan debate. It's so easy to define ourselves as to the opposite of our opponents, and get caught in meaningless back and forth. We saw how easy that was in this discussion. I try to live by this principle, yet I easily fell into the matrix, so ingrained in our social structure it is, and had an easy time getting stuck in parrying back and forth.

Thanks for putting up with this long winded response. It helped me to say better some of what I meant to say in the discussion, and I think I will cross-post this, if you don't mind, to the Occasional Fags.

Love ya!

Anonymous said...

Oh my..the comments are flying!

What are the chances of the US ever becoming nuclear free? No chance. We are too busy telling others they can't have nuclear weapons. We are full of ourselves.

I don't know what to do with Facebook or MySpace either...I created the pages and they are just there. I don't know what to do with them.

That was a fun debate we had on the Occasional Fag...we need more debates like that and to have more people hear them.

Arthur Schenck said...

Kalvin: Sounds like your listening environment was more interesting than what you were listening to. How disappointing that there weren't further details to share!

Mike: Thanks for the feedback! There'll be more about NZ politics when I have something specific to illustrate it, like an election or maybe an event in the news.

Larken: I'm glad you gave Call box 7 a listen; I really enjoy it. But I'd be curious to know what you thought about it. Thanks for the compliment on what I said about the debate on The Occasional Fag, but I feel like I only scratched the surface.

Mark: What a great reply! I actually don't really disagree with what you're saying, overall. In fact, in thinking about it, the one point where I might disagree is that while people have responsibility for educating themselves about candidates and elections, expecting them to do so discounts the enormous influence of the media, peer groups, and so on. I don't know what can be done about that, but I think it's quite difficult for people to get and act on good information, no matter how much they might reasonably try.

I look forward to discussing this further with you.

Archerr: I agree, the US is unlikely to go nuclear free. Still, one can hope.

I'm not on Facebook because I can't figure out what to do with MySpace, and I don't need another thing sitting around unused.

The debate on TOF was good in that I think it's always good for the GLBT communities to discuss things rather than just follow some leaders. I'm just not sure that that particular debate helped all that much.