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Open mike 17/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 17th, 2012 - 205 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

205 comments on “Open mike 17/08/2012”

  1. Morrissey 1

    BBC: official mouthpiece for state vengeance
    Just imagine if China threatened to invade the US embassy to arrest a Chinese dissident

    As you read this shabby little item from the British state broadcaster, note the tone inviting us to laugh at little Ecuador and its president….

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-19259623

    • locus 1.1

      Having read the BBC link you’ve provided I can’t help thinking that you’re interpreting the report in an angry and biased way. Of course it may be that I’m biased in reading the reportand detecting no opinion one way or the other.

      • Carol 1.1.1

        http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/08/americas-vassal-acts-decisively-and-illegally/

        This will be, beyond any argument, a blatant breach of the Vienna Convention of 1961, to which the UK is one of the original parties and which encodes the centuries – arguably millennia – of practice which have enabled diplomatic relations to function. The Vienna Convention is the most subscribed single international treaty in the world.

        The provisions of the Vienna Convention on the status of diplomatic premises are expressed in deliberately absolute terms. There is no modification or qualification elsewhere in the treaty.

        Article 22

        1.The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.

        2.The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.

        3.The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.

        Not even the Chinese government tried to enter the US Embassy to arrest the Chinese dissident Chen Guangchen. Even during the decades of the Cold War, defectors or dissidents were never seized from each other’s embassies. Murder in Samarkand relates in detail my attempts in the British Embassy to help Uzbek dissidents. This terrible breach of international law will result in British Embassies being subject to raids and harassment worldwide.

        My view is that Assange should stand trial for the Swedish allegations or rape etc. There should be a guarantee from Sweden that they will not co-operate in, or agree to, extraditing Assange to the US.

        • rosy 1.1.1.1

          I’ve had various UK news channels on all day and the government has backed away from the threat to enter the embassy – their ‘right’ to do so comes from a piece of legislation written after the killing of the British policewoman, Yvonne Fletcher, in 1984 from the Libyan Embassy – lots of advice and warnings from QCs and diplomats about the safety of British embassies if they do this. It appears William Hague is now preparing for a very long stand-off. The UK won’t give free passage for Assange to leave the UK.

          The author Tariq Ali, an Assange supporter, has proposed the idea of Ecuador giving Assange an Cultural Attache post, or the like. That way he gets diplomatic immunity. I wonder how that will fly. Apparently the Swedes are fuming and have called in the Ambassador to express this.

        • locus 1.1.1.2

          I agree.

          However Assange has done his reputation a lot of harm by not fronting up to the allegations and disproving them immediately. Excusing his cowardice in this regard by saying he’s scared of extradition from Sweden to the US is – given his status as a hero for honesty – spineless.

          Very stupid (for so many reasons) for the British to say they might invoke legislation created to prevent murderous acts as an excuse to break in to an Embassy to arrest someone who they have a legal obligation to extradite to Sweden.

          Interestingly,extradition laws in Sweden and the UK are absolutely clear on the fact that someone cannot be extradited if the reason is to answer allegations which if proven might result in the death penalty in that country. I suppose that the US could find a way around this, but wouldn’t it have been awesome if Assange had disproven the allegations in Sweden and then as a worldwide hero stood up to the bullying arrogance of the US.

          • William Joyce 1.1.1.2.1

            The problem is that it’s not about proving himself innocent.
            My guess is that he probably did what he has been accused of. However, his actions are not a crime in the UK and almost all other places in the world including NZ. It would not even constitute common assault let alone a sexual offence.
            It would be like being extradited to a country because you drank coffee on a Sunday. I would allow my to be extradited – would you?

            • McFlock 1.1.1.2.1.1

              That’s outright wrong. At least one allegation conforms to rape  in NZ (an unconscious person cannot consent) and the restraint bit might be common assault or something more serious (don’t recall offhand).

              • I didn’t know that one count constituted rape by our standards. Do you have a source?

                • Colonial Viper

                  If you are lying in bed next to your sleeping sexual partner, I suggest to take care not to touch her, or to lie close enough to touch her, because she will be unable to consent to being touched in any way, and you may inadvertently leave yourself open to an assault charge or worse.

                  • McFlock

                    Particularly if you [allegedly] touch her in a way she has refused to be touched when conscious.

                    • Okay, McFlock, in the article you cite above, the language that is used seems to be from the statute of Sweden. If that is what he did then he’s an A-hole and deserves the appropriate sanctions under the law.
                      Someone who acted in such a way has committed a crime under Swedish law.
                       
                      But before you can equate what the laws say with what happened – you have the process of interpretation.
                      What do the participants say happened?
                      Who can I believe?
                      The [jury/judge/prosecutor] then create a narrative of what they believe to be the truth.
                      They then interpret the “truth” to determine if they align with and interpretation of the law that say it is a crime.
                      Obviously, the first prosecutor said no crime had been committed. The second said there had.
                       
                      Does that indicate room for doubt? Is so, does the problem lie with being able to interpret what happened. Could his actions have been misinterpreted? It happens.
                       
                      The charges are written to be unambiguous and they sound damning. But human behaviour and the narrative of events are not so clear.
                       
                      I am not defending Assange just calling for the possibility that we need to wait to see if his actions have been misinterpreted. He may be a serious sad fuck and I will be the first to suggest he gets what he deserves (contrary to Weka’s predetermined view of me)

                    • McFlock

                      I fully and comprehensively agree with you.
                               
                      But I think the only place to determine the truth of the matter is in a court of law. Which is what the Swedes are stepping towards with their investigation.
                                   
                      The question becomes whether the fear of rendition to the US if he goes to Sweden is reasonable (i.e. disproportionate punishment even if he’s guilty of the allegation). Interestingly enough, the risk of rendition was not one of the grounds he used to appeal the extradition from the UK. 

                    • weka

                      But before you can equate what the laws say with what happened – you have the process of interpretation.
                      What do the participants say happened?
                      Who can I believe?
                       

                      There is a certain amount of information in the public domain, but my own personal opinion is that it is not possible for people to judge the guilt/innocence of the women or Assange at this distance. All I am arguing for is that people who support Assange in the general wikileaks drama don’t assume the women are lying, and don’t use accusations of them lying to support one’s political agenda because that damages all women.

                      Edit: what McFlock said.

                       
                      He may be a serious sad fuck and I will be the first to suggest he gets what he deserves (contrary to Weka’s predetermined view of me)
                       

                      I don’t have any predetermined view of you William. I don’t know what you think about rape in general, nor much about your views on Assange. All I did was call you out on one comment today (and one yesterday). It’s pretty simple. If I am wrong, you can just clarify.

                  • weka

                    If you are lying in bed next to your sleeping sexual partner, I suggest to take care not to touch her, or to lie close enough to touch her, because she will be unable to consent to being touched in any way, and you may inadvertently leave yourself open to an assault charge or worse.
                     

                    I’ve said this to you before CV. If your understanding of consent is that fucked up, you really shouldn’t be around women. Nor commenting on sex.
                     
                    But of course, your understanding isn’t that fucked up. You are just misusing rape issues to make a point. It’s sick.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You are not permitted by law to touch someone without their consent, regardless of whether it is physical contact of a sexual nature or non-sexual nature. That is my understanding. And as McFlock has stressed, no consent can be given by someone who is asleep.

                    • McFlock

                      Don’t be full of shit, CV.
                         
                      Sticking your penis inside someone is not a simple “touch”.
                           
                      For example, the NZ Crimes Act s128A (3): A person does not consent to sexual activity if the activity occurs while he or she is asleep or unconscious.
                          
                      You’ve just given us another example of an Assange fan making shit up to minimise the accusations.

                      EDIT: I’ll shift this down to Weka’s new thread. Reply there if you want.

            • weka 1.1.1.2.1.2

              Remember what I said yesterday about women’s sexuality being expendable to the left when the fate of the Hero is at stake?
               

              It would be like being extradited to a country because you drank coffee on a Sunday.
               

              Irrespective of whether what Assange (allegedly) did meets the criteria for charging him with crimes, if you consider his actions to be like drinking a cup of coffee, you are supporting rape culture.
               
              Have you read the complainants’ descriptions? You really think it is ok to treat women like that?

              • Jackal

                Although I get your point, William Joyce’s opinion isn’t expressed by the majority of commentators here… So no generalizing about supporting rape culture please.

                • Nor do I hold the opinion weka has imputed to me. Weka tried this strategy with me last night and I was too tired to correct it and though weka was just another practitioner of eisegesis.

                • weka

                  Jackal, my generalisation, such as it is, is that anyone who thinks being arrested for something neutral like coffee drinking is similar to being arrested for sexual assault, supports rape culture. Do you really have a problem with that generalisation?

                  • Jackal

                    I have a problem with this generalization:

                    Here on TS, where women are deemed expendable?

                    and;

                    [If] you aren’t naming the problem and arguing against it, then you are supporting the expendability of women.

                    I’ve already made my thoughts clear on the coffee drinking analogy. Even if I hadn’t, it wouldn’t be an indication that I supported rape culture.

              • You really have a psychological need to take what I say, equate it with something I didn’t say, and label me a rape-supporting misogynist of the left – all to support some pet theory you have about “women’s sexuality being expendable to the left”

                Confirmation bias (also called confirmatory bias or myside bias) is a tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses.

                 
                If you want to use me as confirmation of your pet theory then you are barking up the wrong tree and need to get more objective and at least ask me for my opinion rather than pulling it out of your arse.
                 
                I have not read the charges since the months after this whole thing blew up. If it is as bad as you say then I may to do a rethink.
                 
                But that wont satisfy you – you have already made a determination of my attitude -seesh!

                • weka

                  Nice avoidance William. If I got it wrong, please explain your cup of coffee analogy. I’m open to the possibility that we miscommunicate rather than you not understanding what rape culture is. Please prove me wrong.

                  btw, you would have to read the complainants’ statements to understand what I am talking about.

                  • I did not know that one charge is the equivalent of rape. McFlock kindly gave me a link. Something you could have done before leaping to conclusions about my support for “rape culture”.
                    You are assuming that what he did was rape. That has yet to be determined by a court. If he is a rapist then he’s toast and quite rightly so. You are looking at the charges, written in unambiguous, emphatic language and interpreting what happened in that light.
                    So of course you think it is rape.
                    But we are not there yet. Before we get there we have to go through a process (which I have written in response to McFlock) to develop the best narrative we can about what happened.
                     
                    I am not trivialising the enormity of rape. The validity of my coffee analogy hangs on the way Swedish law defines rape. It is my understanding is that the Swedish law defines certain action as rape when would not. They venture into areas of what constitutes consent that we do not. The venture into areas that can constitute a misunderstanding between the participants.
                    Now that doesn’t seem that way when you read the charges because charges are, by nature, emphatic and damning. But before you get to that you have a shit load in interpreting.

                  • Jackal

                    The coffee analogy was wrong because it somewhat trivialized the issue, but it’s a huge leap to say that William Joyce is supportive of rape culture because he reiterated a statement that has been extensively promoted by the media.

                    Peoples indifference to things like sexism, abuse, porn, media normalization and victims remaining silent are some of the things that generally support rape culture… Pointing out that different countries have different laws doesn’t.

              • Colonial Viper

                Remember what I said yesterday about women’s sexuality being expendable to the left when the fate of the Hero is at stake?

                The hotel worker who accused the IMF’s Dominique Strauss-Kahn was fully victimised and character assassinated before you could even start your computer up. All sides of the political economic spectrum do it because it is all too easy to stop women from having an equal voice in the proceedings.

                I personally think Assange should be forced to front up in Sweden asap and Sweden should facilitate this by assuring Assange that they will not co-operate with requests to extradite him to the US on any charges relating to espionage/Wikileaks/national security.

                • McFlock

                  Just because everyone else does it doesn’t mean that you or any other Assange supporter should do it.
                             
                  Oh, and negotiation =/= “forced”. 

                  • Colonial Viper

                    You don’t think there should be any negotiation. Something about Sweden’s sovereign rights to not question Assange even if he is available for questioning.

                    Their position is likely because they have no real interest in questioning him re: the allegations, they are just mainly interested in taking him into custody.

                    • McFlock

                      I think you’re almost correct :  

                      the prosecutor said that, in accordance with the Swedish legal system, formal charges will be laid only after extradition and a second round of questioning.   

                      I think that he will most likely be formally charged with sexual assault and/or rape after interview number 2. Not for rendition to the US.

                • weka

                  I think there are two things there CV. There is the attempt to silence the women who have been assaulted. And then there is the attempt in conversations like this to make women’s issue less important than men’s. The second one is shown whenever we have discussions about Assange that can’t include the possibility of his guilt, AND that his possibly guilt might be the more important issue.

                  The most obvious example on TS is Morrisey who already KNOWS that Assange is innocent and that the women are lying (god forbid that he is ever on a rape trial jury). What I would be interested to know is if any of the people who think Assange should be given asylum have challenged Morrisey on his assertion that the women are lying? See? Why can we not have a conversation that supports Assange (or not), but at the same time doesn’t reinforce the rights of men to call women who report rape liars?

                  On another matter, does the Swedish govt have enough information to make the call you want them to?

                  • Professor Longhair

                    “…Morrisey who already KNOWS that Assange is innocent and that the women are lying….”

                    I have carefully followed Morrissey’s contributions to this debate, and he has not said or implied those things. His concern is with the state apparatus of disinformation and defamation, and its (often unwitting) accomplices in the media. You have either chosen to deliberately misrepresent his views, or you are hopelessly confused.

                    You are ill-intentioned or ill-informed; whichever it is, you have not done the background reading to be able to comment with any authority on this topic.

                  • Vicky32

                    What I would be interested to know is if any of the people who think Assange should be given asylum have challenged Morrisey on his assertion that the women are lying?

                    Personally, I think they’re lying – which is not the same thing as thinking that all women who allege rape are lying! These women actually have harmed the cause of women who actually have been assaulted.

              • Professor Longhair

                A loon called “weka” writes, in apparent high seriousness, that “if you consider his actions to be like drinking a cup of coffee, you are supporting rape culture.”

                Do others agree that our feathered friend’s effort is the funniest post of the week?

                • McFlock

                  Only if they think Assange should not be investigated for sexual assault, even if it’s possible that he did it.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Personally I don’t find any of this particulalry funny Prof.

                  But if I had to choose I’d say the funniest part over the last two days has been your comments. Firstly you took umbrage about ‘fan’ comments, and since then all you’ve done is insult anyone who questions your narrative, in which Assange is playing the lead part in airport thriller.

                  Quite amusing.

                • Morrissey

                  Do others agree that our feathered friend’s effort is the funniest post of the week?

                  I’m not sure whether it’s (a) unintentionally funny, (b) an exercise in fraudulent political correctness, or (c) just sad.

                  Possibly a bit of all three.

        • Bored 1.1.1.3

          Carol, respectfully we will disagree on My view is that Assange should stand trial for the Swedish allegations or rape etc. You have put the horse before the cart.

          As I understand it Assange is accused BUT not charged. The Swedes want to interview him before they decide whether there is case to answer. If there is then I agree, he stands trial.

          The problem with this is that there appear to be strings being pulled by “puppies” of the US empire so that they might lay their hands on Assange for what is officially an “unrelated” issue. For example the British position which is contrary to international law which they signed. Who pulled that chain?

          Imagine that you as a woman are wanted by the Swedish investigators responding to unproven accusations of assaulting your husbands lover. You know that it is bollocks but you are prepared to go and clear your name. You have in your job done some whistle blowing on some dirty political deeds in the US which has issued a warrant for your arrest with a possible death penalty. Sweden will allow the US to extradite you. Are you going?

          I would suggest given the seriousness of the accusations that the “facts” are made public by the Swedes. If they have veracity let’s get Assange into the dock. Maybe another scenario is a public guarantee from the US that they will not pursue Assange.

          • Carol 1.1.1.3.1

            Carol, respectfully we will disagree on My view is that Assange should stand trial for the Swedish allegations or rape etc. You have put the horse before the cart.

            As I understand it Assange is accused BUT not charged. The Swedes want to interview him before they decide whether there is case to answer. If there is then I agree, he stands trial.

            Bored, I stand corrected on that point, and agree on the last sentence

            PS: I’ve never had and am never likely to have a husband.

            • Bored 1.1.1.3.1.1

              Thanks Carol, on the PS we mere males are happily content with your company “en-blog”.

      • Professor Longhair 1.1.2

        1.) “Having read the BBC link you’ve provided I can’t help thinking that you’re interpreting the report in an angry and biased way.”

        Morrissey’s construing of the BBC piece seems to me to be an astute reading of a typically mendacious effort by that organization.

        2.) “Of course it may be that I’m biased in reading the reportand detecting no opinion one way or the other.”

        You are not so much biased as willfully naïve.

  2. Morrissey 2

    The liberal mouthpiece for state vengeance

    If you thought Bernard Manning was funny, if you were rolling in the aisles as Sacha Baron Cohen snarled invective at a Christian Palestinian shopkeeper, if you were amused by Paul Holmes as he uncorked an obscenity-laced rant against the U.N. Secretary General for having the temerity to be black, then you will appreciate the sly humor of one Lizzy Davies in the “liberal” Grauniad, as she finds a way to render comical a grave announcement by the Ecuadorian foreign minister by choosing just the right verb to convey the hilariously emotional way that these Central American paisanos express themselves: “In Quito yesterday, Ricardo Patiño fumes…”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/aug/16/julian-assange-ecuador-embassy-asylum-live?newsfeed=true

    • locus 2.1

      The word ‘fumes’ to me means that someone is expressing righteous frustration or anger. It doesn’t suggest to me that the Guardian is trying to belittle the person who they say (correctly) is fuming.

      I can only assume that you think it’s an attempt to be comical because you are fuming about the Foreign Office threat to get Assange.

      If you’re going to fume, then pick on the idiocy of the FO threat rather than having a go at at the Guardian writers Jo Adetunji and Lizzy Davies. And don’t ever mention that racist f*ckw*t Holmes in the same breath as half-decent journalists.

      • Morrissey 2.1.1

        And don’t ever mention that racist f*ckw*t Holmes in the same breath as half-decent journalists.

        I didn’t mention him in the same breath as half-decent journalists, I mentioned him in the same breath as Bernard Manning and Sacha Baron Cohen, two other notorious racists who, like Holmes, are thought to be funny by some.

  3. Te Reo Putake 3

    You really shouldn’t post before taking your pills, mozza. But then, there’s no cure for misogyny, is there?

    • bad12 4.1

      From the other side of the spectrum, The Greens must be congratulated for having legislation pulled from the Members Ballot that would see the children of beneficiaries receive the Working for Families Tax Credit,

      The proposed Legislation from The Greens will change the focus of the Tax Credit to one of Household Income rather than some narrow and dense definition of ‘work’,

      The previous legislation, in my view, fails on 2 counts, the first, it is discriminatory against the children of beneficiaries and those who work less than 20 hours per week,

      The second is simply that IF the children of those who have work and are earning up to 50,000 a year NEED the Tax Credit, and i cannot mount an argument against that, then it is F**king obvious to anyone,(except that bloke with the brain leak, Farrer), that the children of beneficiaries need it one hell of a lot more,

      Labour have a position on extending the Tax Credit to benefit dependent children which appears to flick on and off changing color like a traffic light,going into the 2011 election promising to extend the tax credit to benefit dependent children and then half way through the election appearing to back pedal with qualifications about how soon that could be implemented,

      Saying they will support the Legislation through to it’s first reading in the House is all well and good, but, Labour had better decide,and decide soon, whether they see ‘the poor’ as part of their constituency,

      To be open, i have washed my hands of Labour and my vote this far out from the 2014 election will be going to the Greens…

    • North 4.2

      Bennett is a pig, licensed and encouraged by John Key to be such.

      [lprent: That comment is getting to the pointless stage. Think somewhat more please. ]

      • bad12 4.2.1

        Pigani is a pig, free-range porcine, Bennett is simply the Oink emanating from the porcines anus…

  4. BillODrees 5

    Most of us do not want to be measured.  That way there is no target against which we can me judged.  Thus we will never be failures.  We will therefore always be winners.  
    It is a great aspiration for a political party to want to make everyone winners.
    And Bennett is leading by example.   

    (Carmel Seuloni, please keep up your electorate and party work.  You have a duty to the people of New Zealand to win back Waitakere in 2014) 

  5. Rosie 6

    Striking mine workers in South Africa are being shot and killed by the police.

    If you follow international Union news you hear about Union organisers and Delegates being detained and beaten in Turkey, Iran, India and you hear about people being fired for joining a Union. (Most recently read article was about cleaners in America being fired by their hotel employer for joining the Union). You read about all sorts of things including the deaths of those leaders who have been murdered in cold blood.

    This is a new low, for these times and a new State shame for South Africa.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/africa/7495749/Many-dead-as-police-open-fire-on-South-African-miners.

  6. KJT 7

    To those who think that Sweden’s interest in Assuange has anything to do with a crime in Sweden.

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/op-eds-&-columns/op-eds-&-columns/ecuador-grants-asylum-respecting-human-rights-despite-threats-from-uk?utm_source=CEPR+feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+cepr+%28CEPR%29

    “”We can infer that the Swedish government has no legitimate reason for the extradition, since they were repeatedly offered the opportunity to question him in the U.K., but rejected it, and have also refused to even put forth a reason for this refusal. A few weeks ago the Ecuadorian government offered to allow Assange to be questioned in their London embassy, where Assange has been residing since June 19, but the Swedish government refused – again without offering a reason. This was an act of bad faith in the negotiating process that has taken place between governments to resolve the situation.

    Former Stockholm chief district prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem also made it clear that the Swedish government had no legitimate reason to seek Assange’s extradition when he testified that the decision of the Swedish government to extradite Assange is “unreasonable and unprofessional, as well as unfair and disproportionate”, because he could be easily questioned in the U.K..

    But most importantly, the government of Ecuador agreed with Assange that he had a reasonable fear of a second extradition to the United States, and persecution here for his activities as a journalist. The evidence for this was strong .””

    • Bored 7.1

      The Romans pursued Hannibal for years until the assassination squad succeeded: Stalin pursued Trotsky….Kissinger arranged for Allendes demise. Who can trust imperialists?

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      They should question Assange in person or by videolink. Lay charges if it is warranted (which gives Assange a chance to see all the evidence and prepare his defence); if charges are laid Assange should defend them in Sweden. With suitable assurances from the Swedes of course.

      If after questioning however it is found that there are no grounds for charges against Assange, the whole matter should be dropped and Assange allowed to go free. I’m guessing this is exactly what Sweden/UK/US don’t want so they are stone walling.

      • Even if they want to lay charges I’m not sure he should go. It’s a bit murky and I’m working from memory – the possible charges are for a crime that does not exist in the UK, NZ and a whole host of other countries.
        Would you allow yourself to be extradited for breaking a law that says you can’t drink coffee on a Sunday?
         

        • McFlock 7.2.1.1

          “Sex by surprise”?
          nah – that was just something his lawyer said to the media. It was one of the earliest outright lies and slurs that Assange’s supporters made regarding the case.

        • Jackal 7.2.1.2

          Hm! I don’t think comparing rape charges with drinking coffee is very enlightened. The alleged offense happened in a country that has specific laws. The fact that other countries have differing laws is irrelevant!

          Somebody who is accused of rape, and will receive a fair trial without further extradition to the US to be persecuted for crimes most people agree are false, should stand trial. I don’t think anyone could argue that the Swedish judicial system is so corrupt that Assange wouldn’t get a fair trial, especially because the eyes of the worlds media would be watching.

          Until the US Attorney-General issues a diplomatic assurance that they would not be seeking the extradition of Assange from Sweden to the US, I think Assange should fight extradition to Sweden, even though his not fronting gives the appearance of guilt.

          • William Joyce 7.2.1.2.1

            “I don’t think comparing rape charges with drinking coffee is very enlightened”

            It is my understanding is that what constitutes rape in Sweden includes actions that would not be considered rape here. Just as some Muslims consider a woman talking to a man who is not family is considered adultery. We wouldn’t.
            By that definition we are all adulters.

            • McFlock 7.2.1.2.1.1

              Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t speak Swedish.
                     
              But the UK judiciary thought  that the Swedish proceedings were: “[…] self evidently not a case relating to a trivial offence, but to serious sexual offences.”
               

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.3

          …the possible charges are for a crime that does not exist in the UK, NZ and a whole host of other countries.

          But they do exist in Sweden where the alleged incidents happened.

    • McFlock 7.3

      Option B: is that the Swedish prosecutors see no reason to negotiate with persons of interest in sexual assault investigations when the person of interest has already fled the investigation. Nor do they see any need to explain themselves to Ecuador. 
            
      Actually, the lack of comment from Sweden is a good sign for Assange, should he end up there: the prosecutors are doing their best to keep out of the political situation while still doing their jobs, and the politicians are reluctant to make public comments that would interfere with the criminal investigation – unlike the Anwar Ibrahim trials that were raised yesterday.

      • Jim in Tokyo 7.3.1

        I’m not sure where you are getting your facts from McFLock but that’s the second time you’ve asserted that Assange ‘fled’ or ‘skipped’ the investigation.

        According to the BBC, the alleged crime took place August 17th 2010. The prosecutor decided to investigate and a warrant was issued August 20th, but the case was dropped by the Swedish prosecutor August 21st. The investigation was re-opened by a different prosecutor 1st September and Assange presented himself at that time and was questioned for one hour.

        Assange claims to have stayed in Sweden for a total of five weeks to aid the investigation and process his residency application before finally leaving the country 15th September 2010 with the full permission of the Swedes. It was not until November that the Swedes decided to put out a warrant to bring him back, and at the time Assange offered to present himself to either the Swedish Embassy or Scotland Yard for questioning but the offer was declined.

        If those points are true, then I’m not sure you can accurately say that he ‘fled’ or ‘skipped’ the investigation.
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-11949341

        • McFlock 7.3.1.1

          Your dates are off.
                 
          He was told on the 15th that he wasn’t under arrest and could leave. The investigation was still ongoing.
                
          His lawyer arranged to have a second interview. And claims that he couldn’t tell Assange about an imminent arrest – but A flew out of Sweden on the same day his lawyer got the news.

                 
           

          • Colonial Viper 7.3.1.1.1

            He was told on the 15th that he wasn’t under arrest and could leave. The investigation was still ongoing.

            So the Swedish authorities told Assange he was free to leave the country, and Assange did so? You keep stating that Assange “skipped” out of the country to escape the Swedish authorities. In future, please say that Assange sought and left with the permission of the Swedish authorities.

            Its pretty clear that Assange stayed in Sweden for two full weeks after the investigation was reopened on Sept 1.

            http://www.news.com.au/world/as-it-happened-julian-assanges-fight-with-sweden/story-fndir2ev-1226451815504

            • McFlock 7.3.1.1.1.1

              Yeah. But he wasn’t under arrest because the investigation was still in progress.
                 
              It would look bad if the prosecutors hadn’t subsequently arranged another interview with his lawyer, and apparently told the lawyer that an arrest was likely, so Assange didn’t attend the second interview and left the country on the same say his lawyer was told about the arrest.
                        
              As it is it looks like an amazing coincidence that he left the country just as an arrest was imminent. 

              • Colonial Viper

                Sure it looks like an “amazing coincidence”.

                But he left with the full permission of the Swedish authorities right? He didn’t cross the border in a car boot or something like that?

                • Jim in Tokyo

                  Thanks for the WSJ link, a bit more detail in that one. So it seems Assange left Sweden on Sept. 27, while he was still free to do so, and it is alleged that he based his decision to leave after receiving a tipoff that a warrant for detention was forthcoming. So it suddenly doesn’t look so good for Assange. Although according to the BBC timeline the Swedish warrant was not actually granted until 18th November, so his arrest was hardly ‘imminent’?

                  • McFlock

                    To me, it looks like nobody is particularly rushed in the prosecutions office (there are procedures to go through, i’s to dot, and so on). So they arrange an interview, tell the lawyer that it’s not looking good for Assange, Assange coincidentally leaves the country that same day, they see if he comes back, make a few attempts to reschedule, spend a few days in court on other cases, official notice goes upstairs that it looks like they’ll have to open a shitstorm with an EAW…
                       
                    Weeks could go by depending on any of those factors causing delays. I’d be more suspicious if the arranged interrogation was at 1700hrs and they wait until 1701, then issue a europe-wide dragnet.

                • McFlock

                  Funnily enough, in free societies with a fair justice system, you are not restrained from leaving the country until you are actually arrested for something. Heck, you can leave your home, leave town, leave the police station, even just walk away when the cops are mid-sentence talking to you.
                           
                  Of course, doing so when they really want to have a chat with you will probably result in detention or, in this case, an arrest warrant.
                         
                   

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Then please stop suggesting that Assange “skipped” out on an interview with authorities in Sweden, and say instead that he left Sweden with the full knowledge and permission of those authorities.

                    • McFlock

                      So the authorities arranged to have an interview with him when they knew he wouldn’t be in the country? 
                         
                      Damned fiendish swedes… 

  7. Jackal 8

    On the back of Paula Bennett’s eye-watering contempt for the Human Rights Commission comes another case of unacceptable ignorance of privacy laws by a National Minister:

    Education Minister Hekia Parata is denying claims by a union that her office accessed teachers’ personal information to expose their political opinions to their employers.

    The Post Primary Teachers Association says several teachers who wrote to Ms Parata about student/teacher ratios got a response that was copied to their school board and principal.

    The union says the teachers sent letters from personal email addresses and did not say where they work.

    PPTA president Robin Duff says he knows of three cases and this suggests Ms Parata’s office accessed their teacher records or matched their names with publicly available information.

    When are these arrogant tory’s going to be held to account?

    • Does anyone have any dirt on Paula that she would not like out in the public domain? What’s good for the goose…..
      What is her real weight? What does she spend her money on? How many sexual partners has she had? What does she keep in the wardrobe of the third room on the left?
      So her bank can release her account details? The IRD can tell us what her tax details are? Her doctor can tell us all her medical issues? The chemist can tell us what birth control she is on?

    • McFlock 8.2

      Oh, with any luck one of them might go completely overboard, at which time their former colleagues will believe that their own ability to get away with similar acts depends on how viciously they can attack and devour the scapegoat.
           
      But most of them will get gongs and titles for their strong history of public service. :roll:
             
       

  8. ad 9

    Hey LPrent, great to see that your site is the talk of the town this week.

    Whaleoil.
    Paganis.
    Bomber.
    Herald.

    Feels like a good breakthrough. Keep it up.

    But could we have entertaining video clips like Whaleoil, just to lighten things up a bit?

    • lprent 9.1

      Yep and I have just the post for them underway (disrupted by my moving and work). We have been running for five years now as of the 15th.

      If you want video’s then find them and quirt them to thestandardnz@gmail.com. One of the editors may :twisted: decide that they are worth putting up. I don’t know about any of the other authors but I’m so busy that I barely get to read anything apart from this site these days.

      • DH 9.1.1

        lprent. I see the odd commentary by Bryce Edwards in the Herald & was curious if it’s increased yr site views, he usually links to at least one post from the Standard. He’s anonymising his links with bitly, will visits from his links show up as linked from there or do they just show the source IP? Thanks.

        • lprent 9.1.1.1

          We get some traffic from them. But typically the referral links from the Herald max out at between 100 and 150 per day. So over the last 7 days with a number of links from Bryce’s articles we have got approx 100k page views [make that 145k comments – busy week], of which the following were referred.

          Search Engines 6,183
          Facebook 1,012
          whaleoil.co.nz* 793
          Twitter 454
          nzherald.co.nz 406
          tumeke.blogspot.co.nz 290
          bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz 203
          robertwinter.blogspot.co.nz 196
          google.co.nz 184
          nominister.blogspot.co.nz 184
          norightturn.blogspot.co.nz 171
          kiwiblog.co.nz 168
          static.ak.facebook.com/connect/xd_arbiter.php?version=9 163
          Google Reader 163
          keepingstock.blogspot.co.nz 163
          dimpost.wordpress.com 118

          After that it drops below 100. Basically you can see that while it probably gets us some coverage it is not a major contributor to page views. It probably helps more in sending new readers to the site over time. Links from search engines and facebook are by far the biggest contributors to both page views and new readers.

          * Whaleoil’s includes 700 from a single dog-whistle post today. The moderators have been dropping moron level first time comments into the spam. This type of mobbing happens within a few minutes of whenever he does a dog-whistle on us. Since it always involves the same group of a few hundred people, you’d think that they’d learn the basic lesson that you have to write at least one comment that gets beyond troll grunting before you can comment here freely. But they never learn and get caught by the first time comment troll trap every time. I suspect that many are incapable of writing a coherent and interesting comment. *sigh*

          • DH 9.1.1.1.1

            Thanks Lynne. I’d hoped for a bit more from the Herald, thinking they’d be more general public type readers rather than blog followers or political activists. It’s the Joe Bloggs we need more of on sites like this IMO.

            Interesting how close the numbers are from other blogs. Same people all the time perhaps?

  9. Fortran 10

    Asange would probably renditioned from Sweden to Guantanamo eventually via other countries.

  10. McFlock 11

    including Ecuador.

  11. weka 12

    You are not permitted by law to touch someone without their consent, regardless of whether it is physical contact of a sexual nature or non-sexual nature. That is my understanding. And as McFlock has stressed, no consent can be given by someone who is asleep.
     

    CV from upthread, moving down here so the formatting works..
     
    CV, you’re not stupid, so I am at a loss to know whether you are being disingenuous or just shit stirring. Obviously there is a difference between a couple who have been happily married for 20 years and say a one night stand. In the former it’s likely that either party can initiate sex with the other while the other is asleep and that not be a problem. To say that in that situation consent hasn’t been given is stupid. Equally obviously, if you don’t know someone, then you can’t tell what they are ok with, so you do have to ask.
     
    The point here is that consent happens within the context of a relationship. Where the line is drawn between initiating and something that requires actual explicit consent will vary. I personally wouldn’t give carte blanche consent to a male partner putting his penis in my vagina while I was asleep any time he felt like it. And here is the crucial bit – the only way my partner would know, would be to ask me. They could ask me at another time, so this idea that there is a big problem with gaining consent is just complete crap. What that ideas suggests is that men’s (and Assange’s) ideas about their entitlement to sex trump consensuality. Which is exactly the problem.
     
    Honestly, it’s really hard for me to understand why some people don’t get this. If you don’t know if someone is ok with something, then don’t do it until you do. If you do decide to do it, in a sexual situation, then yes I’m afraid you run the risk of traumatising your partner. Man up and take some responsibility for your side of things.
     

     
    You are not permitted by law to touch someone without their consent
     

    Citation please. You are misusing concepts of consent and it’s getting tedious.

    • McFlock 12.1

      In response to the same comment:

      Don’t be full of shit, CV.   Sticking your penis inside someone is not a simple “touch”.     For example, the NZ Crimes Act s128A (3)A person does not consent to sexual activity if the activity occurs while he or she is asleep or unconscious.    You’ve just given us another example of an Assange fan making shit up to minimise the accusations. 

      • weka 12.1.1

        The thing that strikes me is the thread that runs through these conversations: some men seem more concerned with whether certain acts would lead to a rape charge, not whether those certain actions would traumatise their partner.
         

        • prism 12.1.1.1

          On this thread I have the feeling that other commenters have no more idea of what actually happened in this highly charged sexual encounter than I do. I have just been proceeding along the lines of refusing to find it a crime on the basis that only unusually naive virgins don’t know enough about the ways of men and women should be given hand-wringing hearing.

          My thoughts are that sex is not new, that sex with celebrities is not new, that women getting drunk and having sex is not new, that the women’s magazines are full of stories of those who had sex and with whom, that Mills and Boons are full of heavy breathing, and that having sex with well-known men is a great way for a woman to get notoriety, and from interviews with women who count having lots of drinks so they lose their sense of purpose and place, as having a good time.

          If sex was had while the woman was asleep, was it a continuation of a sexual encounter by Assange and these two innocents? Where is the link for a good summary of the encounter?
          And is there money involved, or some advantage offered? That is apart from the publicity.

          • Colonial Viper 12.1.1.1.1

            All those questions prism would be way more like the real life ‘shades of grey’ world that I understand that we live in. That and the presumption of innocence.

            McFlock:

            Don’t be full of shit, CV. Sticking your penis inside someone is not a simple “touch”. For example, the NZ Crimes Act s128A (3): A person does not consent to sexual activity if the activity occurs while he or she is asleep or unconscious. You’ve just given us another example of an Assange fan making shit up to minimise the accusations.

            Thanks but no thanks McFlock. What I wrote was very carefully wordered to cover the generic case of unwanted touch either sexual in nature or non-sexual in nature. In fact, I explicitly stated that and you cannot disagree with a single sentence of those facts. Unwanted touch of any nature can result of a charge of assault and the scale escalates from there all the way to the sky. I know that. Don’t try and straw man me mate.

            Especially when I have on multiple occasions stated that I believe that Assange should indeed face the justice system in Sweden ASAP so that we can get to the bottom of the matter, and so the complainants can be properly heard.

            YOU AND I AGREE ON THIS.

            A simple reassurance from Sweden that he won’t be shipped to a distant land on some completely unrelated matter (i.e. charges of espionage, as suggested by the US Senate Intelligence Committee) is also what I think should happen.

            THAT’S WHAT WE DISAGREE ON (it seems to me) as you are quite willing to let this drag out without such a reassurance.

            • McFlock 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Unwanted touch of any nature can result of a charge of assault and the scale escalates from there all the way to the sky. I know that. Don’t try and straw man me mate.

              then citation, please.

              A simple reassurance from Sweden that he won’t be shipped to a distant land on somecompletely unrelated matter (i.e. charges of espionage, as suggested by the US Senate Intelligence Committee) is also what I think should happen.

              re: two-step vs three-step comment from last night. 
              No “reassurance” will be enough to overcome the paranoia of Assange and his supporters. 
               
               

              • Colonial Viper

                then citation, please.

                In fact, just the threat of the unwanted application of physical contact can constitute “assault”. (Crimes Act 1961).

                No “reassurance” will be enough to overcome the paranoia of Assange and his supporters.

                You use the term paranoia as if Sweden has never co-operated with the US in extra judicial renditions before. Oh wait, it has.

                For me, a Press Release by the Swedish Ministry of Justice (equivalent) guaranteeing Assange’s safety and security in Sweden, and that he will not be handed over to any third party for reasons associated with Wikileaks activities, would be sufficient.

                • OneTrack

                  Why is it more likely that he would be renditioned from Sweden as opposed to the UK? If it was going to happen it would have happened already. It looks like he is just trying to avoid facing the allegations against him.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Oh sheeezus.

                    IMO Assange is safer in the UK than in Sweden.

                    • McFlock

                      based on…?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Cite, CV? And complicity in a single rendition years ago doesn’t suggest a trend, so some verifiable facts would be good!
                       
                      My understanding is that Sweden is pro-asylum, supportive of political fugitives and not as completely up the US’s arse as the UK has been for decades. On the other hand, they clearly don’t like sexual assault and take it seriously. Silly Swedes!
                       
                      And one further question. Why shouldn’t Assange be extradited to the US anyway? OK, at the moment, they can’t be arsed charging him with anything, but why should Assange be immune from American justice if he has knowingly broken their laws?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Heard a euro lawyer today saying that if he is extradited from the UK to Sweden for one reason, and if he is to be then extradited from sweden to the US for some other reason, then the US has to get UK permission as well as Swedish.

                • McFlock

                  You mean the definition in section 2? Is the word “contact”? And does your understanding include the term “mens rea”?
                        
                  As to rendition thing, it did it once, 3 months after 9/11, and got its arse whacked by swedish courts and the European courts. 
                        
                  The UK, on the other hand, was apparently complicit in the torture of one of its residents. And yeah, that mean Assange had less chance of going to guantanamo from sweden than he did from the UK.

                         

                        

                  • Colonial Viper

                    And yeah, that mean Assange had less chance of going to guantanamo from sweden than he did from the UK.

                    ‘Coin flip one’ predicts ‘coin flip two’ territory again mate?

                    And does your understanding include the term “mens rea”?

                    Yeah because there clear objective tests for looking inside peoples heads, going back in time and establishing intention.

                    As to rendition thing, it did it once, 3 months after 9/11, and got its arse whacked by swedish courts and the European courts.

                    Oh they did it just once (that we know of, to two people), and now they’ve learnt their lesson! Promise!

                    Bottom line is that Assange should face the music in Sweden. ASAP. And Sweden should give reassurances that they are not going to transfer him into the custody of any third party on any grounds not relevant to the womens’ complaints.

                    (Feel free to go into your whirl about Swedish sovereignty now).

                    • McFlock

                      Not coin tosses.
                      Clear probabilities based on international relations, past behaviours, and their contexts. Rather than bumper stickers.
                               
                          
                      Determining intent is a keystone of many legal systems, including our own. Glad to hear that you know better than a thousand years of legal development.
                             
                           
                       Yes. As opposed to Britain, who are probably doing it to this day. Being “close allies” and all.
                               
                           
                      Sovreignty wasn’t my line. Keep up. My line is that legal systems shouldn’t work at the convenience of persons of interest in sexual assault investigations. And they sure as shit shouldn’t provide blanket immunity for crimes committed in other countries.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      My line is that legal systems shouldn’t work at the convenience of persons of interest in sexual assault investigations.

                      OK then. My line is that investigators should consistently work to progress any criminal investigation that they are involved in. Using any standard means necessary. Like using a telephone or a videolink or an in-person interview.

                      Swedish criminal investigators could do that by questioning Assange, today. But those front line investigators have been prevented from doing so by politically motivated orders from above.

                      IMO Sweden should question Assange today. And based on that lay formal criminal charges, greatly strengthening the extradition case against him.

                    • McFlock

                      lol
                         
                      The extradition case doesn’t need strengthening. It succeeded. And the Ecuadorians have come in to piss of the yanks.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Questioning Assange, laying formal charges and strengthening the extradition case against him would be significant progress for Swedish investigators.

                      I’m surprised you don’t find any of the above that important since you seemed all for bringing Assange to justice a moment ago :roll:

                      Come on McFlock, I’m really on your side, I want to see Assange answer to the authorities.just like you do.

                    • McFlock

                      CV,
                      There are no more extradition proceedings. Assange lost, that’s why he’s in the Ecuadorean bedsit. There is no purpose to interviewing him. because nothing can result from the interviews.  No “progress”, because there is nothing to progress. Either Ecuador sticks with protecting him from sexual assault proceedings, or he goes back to Sweden.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The extradition case doesn’t need strengthening. It succeeded. And the Ecuadorians have come in to piss of the yanks.

                      By the way. Is this what you genuinely believe?

                      edited:

                      There is no purpose to interviewing him. because nothing can result from the interviews. No “progress”, because there is nothing to progress.

                      uh…grounds for formal charges can be determined, and from there formal charges can be laid. Wouldn’t you call that a big step forwards for the women complainants?

                    • McFlock

                      It’s more likely than suddenly getting a concern for human rights. 

          • weka 12.1.1.1.2

            Prism, none of those things are relevant to rape. Doesn’t matter how many times the women had previously had sex with Assange or the reasons why they did so. Drinking alcohol likewise.
             
            What matters was whether they agreed to specific sexual activity or not. 
             
            My suggestion is that you go read the actual statements made by the complainants. Then come back here and tell me if you think that that is acceptable way for a man to treat a woman. I’m not asking you to decide if the women are telling the truth, I’m asking you to say whether that behaviour, were it true, would be ok.
             
            If you don’t want to read the statements, that’s fine, but please refrain from making comments about rape sexual assault when you don’t know what the women are actually saying.
             

            • marty mars 12.1.1.1.2.1

              What matters was whether they agreed to specific sexual activity or not.

              Yes weka you are onto it as usual. I cannot understand why this point is seemingly so hard for some people to accept. It is 101, the minimum. I’ve read the various bullshit by some posters regarding their interpretation of when it is acceptable or not to have sex with someone who doesn’t consent. I’ve actually lost quite a lot of respect for those posters over their attitudes to women and rape.

              so Thank you for putting out good arguments that I can read and learn from.

              • weka

                Thanks marty, appreciated. I’ve lost respect too :-( And it’s disheartening to see this is still such an issue on the left. I do take heart from the people here who obviously get it though, that’s a relief.

            • prism 12.1.1.1.2.2

              weka
              All right if you want to do something useful to advance the truth about this, then you could give me the link I asked about and you have referred to when you said “My suggestion is that you go read the actual statements made by the complainants.”

              When I think of the woman who get raped in war, the thousands who suffered en masse on the Indian continent, the women who have gone mad after forced multiple sex every day, the families who have seen their mother raped before them by enemy soldiers, then I hear about two women who have had social intercourse that developed into sex, it doesn’t add up to the same level of horror. I am sorry that you are so sensitive about rape, when there are so many females and males brutalised around the world each day in this and other ways.

              • McFlock

                So you have no idea what the charges are, you haven’t googled them yourself (court documents and prosecutor’s office), but you still know enough to reckon that it doesn’t compare to rape in wartime and so therefore… what? The criminal justice system shouldn’t look at it?
                 
                ffs 

                • Colonial Viper

                  So you have no idea what the charges are, you haven’t googled them yourself (court documents and prosecutor’s office)

                  There are no frakking “charges” McFlock. Assange is wanted in Sweden for questioning.

                  And try to remember the “presumption of innocence” for a minute will you.

                  Assange should answer to the investigation in Sweden. And Swedish authorities should reassure him that this is not a trip to Gitmo via Stockholm.

                • Morrissey

                  So you have no idea what the charges are

                  There are no charges against Assange. Now, you either know that and are simply repeating a falsehood with malicious intent, or you are unbelievably naïve and ignorant.

                  Then again, judging by your posts this week, both options could be equally valid.

                • McFlock

                  Quite correct, both of you.
                     
                  He skipped the country before an arrest could be made. 

                  Although the UK court of appeal did say “[…considering the question of whether the prosecution had commenced, we would not find it difficult to hold that looking at what has taken place in Sweden that the prosecution had commenced. Although it is clear a decision has not been taken to charge him, that is because, under Swedish procedure, that decision is taken at a late stage with the trial following quickly thereafter. In England and Wales, a decision to charge is taken at a very early stage; there can be no doubt that if what Mr Assange had done had been done in England and Wales, he would have been charged and thus criminal proceedings would have been commenced.”
                        
                  So it’s semantically fortunate that the allegations were madee in Sweden, no? 

                   
                   
                   
                   
                   

                   

                  • Colonial Viper

                    He skipped the country before an arrest could be made.

                    In fact, Assange left the country with the full knowledge and permission of the Swedish authorities. And given that there was no way of telling how many weeks or months it would take Sweden to press charges (if ever), leaving the country was completely reasonable.

                    And now, if Sweden wants to continue questioning Assange, they can. Today.

                    • McFlock

                      He just left coincidentally on the same day his lawyer was told an arrest was imminent…

              • weka

                Prism, re the complainant statements, please do your own homework.
                 
                What you have just said is that rape by obvious extreme force is unacceptable, but other than that women should accept whatever sexual behaviour the man they are with wants. For instance, the man can have sex with her while she is asleep, even if she wouldn’t consent were she asked (that fits a clear legal definition of rape btw). He can have sex with her without a condom even though she has made that a condition of sex. It’s ok for him to hold her down and try and make her have sex with him even though she is resisting. Is that ok so long as he doesn’t actually put his penis inside her? You seem to be saying yes, and that any woman who feels traumatised by that is being too delicate a wee flower.
                 
                You also seem to be saying that if a woman has sex with a man once, then she can’t complain if he forces her to have sex again, esp if she is in bed with him. Basically that’s saying that once consent is given once, it’s given for … what? the rest of the night? the rest of the week? forever? (there is a reason why rape within marriage law was repealed, see if you can figure it out. Or do you think that once a woman marries someone she consents to sex whenever?)
                 
                You also seem to be saying that any woman who makes a mistake in her choice of sexual partners is out of luck, because hey, if you choose to screw a celebrity, then he’s allowed to do what he wants after that. 
                 
                You seem to be under the impression that rape is defined by certain acts (physically violent ones are rape but anything less than that is decreasingly rape until it’s just a woman’s poor judgement). But actually rape is defined by whether a woman has sovereignty over her body or not. You are clearly saying that sovereignty has nothing to do with it. Fuck you.
                 
                Marty kindly pointed out that this is all 101 stuff. I suggest that before you google the complainants’ statements that you first search for rape myths and educate yourself.
                 

              • Vicky32

                When I think of the woman who get raped in war, the thousands who suffered en masse on the Indian continent, the women who have gone mad after forced multiple sex every day, the families who have seen their mother raped before them by enemy soldiers, then I hear about two women who have had social intercourse that developed into sex, it doesn’t add up to the same level of horror.

                Seconded!

                • rosy

                  Yeah, I mean it’s sorta like pick-pocketing isn’t real theft, now being forced to the ground, kicked in the ribs and having your handbag ripped off your arm – now that’s theft.

                  • prism

                    rosy
                    Yes. It’s a matter of how serious, such as there is a general offence of assault and another serious one of grievous bodily harm.

                    • McFlock

                      Funnily enough, the UK courts seemed to think it was pretty serious. And they, like, read the alleged facts of the investigation so they’d know what they were talking about, and everything.

                    • rosy

                      So in relative harm terms, assange’s behavour should be excused? I don’t go along with that at all. This is why there are a range of sentencing options available to judges- to account for relativities in similar type of crime (if allegations are found to be true).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So in relative harm terms, assange’s behavour should be excused?

                      I don’t believe that prism suggested that at all. FYI The charges Assange faces, if finally laid, come with a sentencing range of 0-4 years.

                      A sexual violation charge in the NZ system comes with a sentence of up to 20 years, where 6-10 is a typical range.

                    • McFlock

                      cite, pls.
                       

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Up to 4 years, Sweden. “Minor rape”. (Now plz don’t harangue me for this. The Telegraph uses the term. Apparently in Sweden there are various grades).

                      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/wikileaks/8308877/Julian-Assange-extradition-hearing-Swedish-prosecutor-is-biased-against-men.html

                      Sexual violation NZ up to 20 years, typical around 8 years

                      http://www.netlaw.co.nz/crime.cfm?PageID=130

                    • McFlock

                      cheers.
                             
                      So after all the hooplah about the allegations not amounting to “real” rape, it turns out they’ll probably charge him with the crime that proportionately fits the allegations?
                              
                         
                      I’m shocked, shocked I tells ya. 

                • prism

                  Vicky 32
                  Thanks, I think we all have to keep the horrendous of sexual abuse in mind when the focus goes strongly on to individual cases.

            • prism 12.1.1.1.2.3

              Weka
              If you have a point to make referring to the Assange women’s statements then why don’t you give the link to it. It would be a good idea. But you seem to prefer to write long comments attacking me because I don’t hold the same views as yourself. Who is right. Women are always right in what they think aren’t they.

              • weka

                Prism, please reread my post. I know it’s a hard read, but I am not attacking you, I am having a go at what you said. Which is valid IMO. If I am wrong about what you are saying, then please challenge that.
                 
                “Women are always right in what they think aren’t they.”
                 
                You will never have seen me ever say that. So please acknowledge that you are reacting and made that up, rather than that being my own views.
                 
                 
                “If you have a point to make referring to the Assange women’s statements then why don’t you give the link to it.”
                 
                That complainant statements are available online if you want them. And no, I’m not going to do that work for you, sorry. Try googling ‘assange +complainant +statement’ or similar.

                • prism

                  weka
                  Of course I made that sentence up. I made up all the comment. If I wanted to quote you I would have put quotes around it. And I give up on this anyway. I haven’t the time to seek out the truth of what happened and what I think doesn’t count for anything anyway. The whole matter will roll on whatever and I don’t want to argue with and upset fractious sensitives like you.

                  • weka

                    Of course you made the sentence up prism, I know you weren’t quoting me. I thought you were suggesting that  I was the one that thought women are always right. Obviously that’s not what I think, so why did you write the sentence?
                     
                    “I haven’t the time to seek out the truth of what happened”
                     
                    And that is absolutely fine. But if you insist on commenting when you don’t know the details, you can expect to be called on it.
                     
                     
                    “I don’t want to argue with and upset fractious sensitives like you.”
                     
                    Hmm, not sure you are being genuine with the second part of the sentence. I don’t think the issue is that I’m sensitive, although there is nothing wrong with that. It’s that I’m pointing out a glaring failure in our culture, in the culture of the left in particular. You can look the other way if you like, but given that you and I can usually talk about things here, I would suggest you have your own levels of sensitivity too.
                     
                    The issue you bring up – that some rape is worse than others  – is important, and needs to be discussed if we are ever to move past a culture that sanctions rape. But minimising the experiences of some women is not the way to do that.

      • Blackwood 12.1.2

        “You are not permitted by law to touch someone without their consent.”

        If you saw a woman lying unconscious in a ditch filling with water does the law not permit you to touch her without her consent when the alternative is to watch her drown?

        Do you break the law every time crowd movements in a packed stadium press you against your neighbours?

        Consent can be expressed or presumed. If a woman falls onto a bed with you in your arms it is not necessary to ask her express consent to remove her blouse, or clothes in general,or her consent to touch her here, there or any where. In certain situations consent can be assumed until it is expressly denied or revoked – in short no means no, but the absence of no can legitimately be taken to be yes.

        The Crimes Act creates a presumption that sexual activity cannot be consented to by someone who is asleep or unconscious at the time, for obvious reasons. However it is a presumption capable of being refuted by circumstances. Is it against the law to wake your wife in bed with a cuddle on the Sunday morning? If the woman isn’t your wife but still went to bed with you the night before should it be any more against the law? If she was drunk or (self-) drugged at the time the presumption is harder to refute, but she wasn’t drunk or drugged when she went to bed with you it’s at least arguable that she consented to ‘reasonable’ sexual activity.

        I don’t know the facts of the Assange case but as Dominique Strauss-Kahn discovered accusations of a sexual nature are VERY hard to rebut, and are very damaging even if untrue.

        • locus 12.1.2.1

          if you were accused -incorrectly- by someone that you had sex with them while they were asleep after they refused consent just before they went to sleep, wouldn’t you do your level best to fight the accusation?

          And if someone else had been proven in a court of law to be guilty of this crime would you support the victim or the perpetrator?

          It’s a pity that Assange didn’t fight this accusation in a court of law rather than allowing the internet to run a trial.

        • McFlock 12.1.2.2

          A lot of the alleged facts of the Assange case were discussed at the extradition hearings in the UK.
             
          Maybe you should know what you’re talking about before you come up with hypotheticals where something might, in the letter of the law, be “rape” but is ethically okay. 

  12. Pascal's bookie 13

    All this talk about Gitmo.

    I assume that’s because none of the talkers can say what he’d be charged with (espionage is what’s being touted, but if he’s guilty of espionage then so is just about every newspaper editor in the developed world).

    If it’s espionage though, he won’t be going to gitmo

    And the problem with the gitmo fear, is that if they could put him in gitmo, then rendition is on the table, as is drone strike.

    Gitmo is a sucky institution. But it’s not a magic word. If he’s eligible for gitmo, then all the talk about ‘promises he won’t be sent to gitmo’ or extradition, or anything else, are beside the point.

    Gitmo is for enemy combatants. That’s who they can put there. If the President declares him an EC, he can take him out with a drone strike.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Gitmo is for enemy combatants. That’s who they can put there. If the President declares him an EC, he can take him out with a drone strike.

      Anyone can be held at Gitmo, even Pakistani taxi drivers who have, after the fact, been shown to have nothing to do with anything. Did the President declare each Pakistani taxi driver caught up in this an EC beforehand? I dunno. By the way, the US uses drone strikes against targets which have no more worthwhile intelligence value.

      I suggest in Assange’s case, that they would want to very carefully debrief him, in person.

      And only the National Security Committee and a handful of other senior US personnel would have clearance to know whether or not Assange has been declared an EC, unless the information was deemed suitable for public release.

      Same with whether or not a Grand Jury has been convened to study the possibility of laying charges against Assange and the details of those charges. Such a Grand Jury may already have recommended that charges be laid against Assange. None of us would know, at this stage.

      Gitmo is a sucky institution. But it’s not a magic word. If he’s eligible for gitmo, then all the talk about ‘promises he won’t be sent to gitmo’ or extradition, or anything else, are beside the point.

      Gitmo is a physical reality, but it is also a meme that the USA doesn’t care much for due process and humane treatment if it believes that its national security is at stake. The treatment of Bradley Manning clearly attests to that.

      My bottom line is that Assange should face the authorities in Sweden ASAP, without the risk that this is some ploy to then send him on to Gitmo (or wherever) on completely unrelated matters.

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1

        Fuck memes bro.

        Do some bloody homework.

        Find out what the actual situation is.

        It’s not like there isn’t enough in the actual facts to get pissed off about.

        Here’s some starter for you:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habeas_corpus_petitions_of_Guantanamo_Bay_detainees

        Pay particular attention to Rasul v. Bush. Hunt down the Supreme Court decision penned by Justice Stevens in that case.

        Your whole argument here is that the US might have declared assange an EC. But if that’s the case* then there are no promises from anyone that would be worth a damn. If that’s what he is worried about, why would a promise from Sweden be worth anything? A promise from a host country won’t protect you if you are a EC and the US decides to get you. Ask all the dead people scattered around the globe. Whoops you can’t, they’re fucking dead.

        As for debriefing assange. To what end? He’s not James fucking Bond.

        * I’d fucking love to hear the reasoning that would justify such a finding, because it would make pretty much make every editor of the NYT for the last 50 years, for example, an EC.

        • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1

          As for debriefing assange. To what end? He’s not James fucking Bond.

          Assange was directly involved in the largest compromise and public distribution of classified US military and State Dept information in the world’s history.

          It’s not “James Bond”, but its not exactly parking fine conduct either.

          PS you do know that Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said that Assange should be prosecuted for causing serious harm to the national security of the USA, right? Again, not parking fine conduct is it. They might want to talk (debrief) Assange over this, no?

          • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1.1.1

            Assange was directly involved in the largest compromise and public distribution of classified US military and State Dept information in the world’s history.

            And? What intel do you think he has that they might want? You’ve suggested that they might want to put him in gitmo to interrogate him. To what end? What secrets do you think he has, that they do not know?

            Wikileaks security stuff. If WL is so fucking incompetent that Assange has anything useful on that score at this stage then they are not worthy of support. He is compromised and not safe to know things.

            And only in terms of volume this was the biggest leak. It was all pretty little league shit in terms of its level of classification.

            There have been heaps of worse leaks. They had nuclear bomb plans stolen at one stage. They’ve had lists of undercover assets handed to the russians. That led to actual deaths of those assets. Nothing WL got came close to any of the stuff the NYT published about the black sites in terms of classification.

            PS you do know that Feinstein, chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence said that Assange should be prosecuted for causing serious harm to the national security of the USA, right?

            You do know that Feinstein is a politician right? She’s not a prosecutor. She could say the Committee should hold a hearing, and they’d be able to call people in to testify, but she passed the buck and said ‘nah, someone should prosecute him’.

            Looks tough; isn’t though. But it sucked a few rubes in I guess. Politicians eh?

            She said he should be charged under the Espionage act. Good fucking luck. There a number of wingnut sites running arguments that it would be possible, if you squint, and broaden a few definitions, and hope a few Supreme Court rulings on first ammendment rights get overturned.

            But in any case, if he was charged under the espionage act that still wouldn’t mean Gitmo, and it wouldn’t mean onimous ‘debriefings’.

            • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1.1

              Hey thanks PB if you could just email that to Assange’s legal team, it’ll sort out a whole lot of unnecessary concerns that they hold.

              Facetiousness aside, so perhaps they won’t hold him in Gitmo. Maybe just some run of the mill military prison. Maybe the same facility Bradley Manning is in.

              • Pascal's bookie

                :roll:

                Worse than Pete George.

                Want to know why Manning is in a military prison?

                But you already know.

                You just don’t care about this stuff enough to bother being honest about it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You do realise I am not an expert on the US judicial or courts martial system right? That I’ve never been admitted to the bar. That I only know the vaguest outlines of how the US Grand Jury system works? I mean FFS, what do you expect of people here?

                  My belief is that Assange should face the Swedish justice system. My belief is that Sweden should give assurances that they are not about to place Assange under the control of some other third party interested in Assange for other matters. Its not fucking rocket science. And I don’t think it’s that unreasonable either.

  13. just saying 14

    Highly recommended from Luddite Journo at ‘the Hand Mirror':

    http://thehandmirror.blogspot.co.nz/

    So now we have Rape Crisis, brought to you by Hell’s Pizza. Fantastic. What next? McDonald’s Women’s Refuge? Coca Cola Save the Children?

    Hell, why stop there? Why not invite companies that make fast food in to fund our state agencies too? KFC could come to mean Keystone Fcuking Cops if we only open our minds to the beauty of public-private partnerships….

  14. bad12 15

    Is that Slippery little Shyster back in the country yet, you know the one s’posed to be running the place,

    I feel a real big Hoick coming on, i would make a deposit at Shearer-bufoon-spitoon-dot-conned but someone beat me to it, spit…

  15. Morrissey 16

    Jim Mora’s guests chuckling at the persecution of Julian Assange
    Friday 17 August 2012

    Listening to another featherweight discussion on National Radio’s ever-worsening “The Panel” a few minutes ago, I felt obliged to send the following email to the host, Jim Mora….

    Dear Jim,

    So, according to Michelle Boag, Ecuador granting asylum to a political dissident is “posturing”.

    Imagine if Australia or the United Kingdom had shown the courage to grant him asylum. Would that have been posturing, in Ms. Boag’s view? Last month the United States granted asylum to a Chinese dissident. Was that posturing?

    I am sure I was not the only listener disturbed to hear Ms. Boag and Brian Edwards chuckling in apparent amusement at the prospect of Julian Assange spending years trapped in an embassy.

    Yours in concern at steadily falling standards of commentary,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

  16. freedom 17

    A heads up for Capital Connection users. This little story was buried deep in the bowels of Stuff almost immediately after being posted this morning and i suspect we will not be seeing any coverage over the coming days.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/northern-suburbs/7496734/Capital-Connection-may-close-within-weeks

  17. Morrissey 18

    Recommended weekend viewing

    Censor’s Warning: The viewing of this short film may trigger homicidal anger against the whistle-blowers by those who support state terror….

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0

    Check out the immortal dialogue….

    “Hahaha. I hit ‘em!” …. “Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards.” …. “Look at that. Right through the windshield!” …. Laughter…. “Well it’s their fault for bringing kids in to a battle!”… “That’s right.” …Laughter….

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      ^^ political, please move to Open Mike.

      • Morrissey 18.1.1

        political, please move to Open Mike.

        What? You’ve decreed that weekends are thought-free? I urge you to use this weekend to actually do a bit of reading on this topic. I’ve looked at some of the things you’ve written recently and they have been alarmingly naïve and smug.

        Weekends free of reading and thinking? Whatever next?

  18. Pascal's bookie 19

    This Guardian editorial is very good, and it confirms that it would be easier to be extradited form the UK to the Us than from Sweden:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/16/julian-assange-wikileaks-refugee-protection?CMP=twt_gu

    No one should be naïve about the US, but this is a fallacious chain of reasoning. The US has not said whether it wants to detain Mr Assange, though it has had plenty of time to do so. If it wanted his extradition, the US might logically be more likely to make use of Britain’s excessively generous extradition treaty with the US – which has not happened – rather than wait until he was in Sweden, when both Sweden and the UK would have to sign off on any extradition application. And neither Sweden nor the UK would in any case deport someone who might face torture or the death penalty. Ecuador’s own human rights record is also far from exemplary, as Human Rights Watch has made clear.

    It also talks about how Assange may be damaging the diplomatic norms around refugee status and asylum, by claiming them when he is facing criminal, rather than polical, threats.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      This Guardian editorial is very good, and it confirms that it would be easier to be extradited form the UK to the Us than from Sweden:

      There’s a simple plausible explanation. Assange has more influential/connected supporters in the UK than in Sweden. So while it would be legally easier to extradite Assange to the US from the UK…the political will is not present to do so directly.

      In addition, it is impossible to confirm or deny whether or not the US has already convened a Grand Jury against Assange, and what the outcomes of that Grand Jury has been/will be.

      • McFlock 19.1.1

        Got evidence for that explanation?

        • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1

          No hard evidence, except Assange was given safe haven and considerable monies by well known supporters in the UK.

          • McFlock 19.1.1.1.1

            He seemed to be popular in Sweden. 

            • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Not that it did him any good in the long run.

              • McFlock

                It could just be that influential supporters don’t interfere in criminal proceedings – like how the UK extradition thing didn’t go his way. 
                     
                Much better for him to have a friend in a president who can make it a political decision. 

                • Colonial Viper

                  hey I think Assange should answer to Swedish authorities asap. No argument there.

                  • McFlock

                    Provided they agree to his conditions.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The single condition not to be placed into the hands of a third party unrelated to the women complainants? Seems not unreasonable to me. And it would significantly progress the criminal investigation against Assange while protecting judicial outcomes for the Swedish women complainants.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Why should Sweden do this? What is so special about Assange that Sweden should change its laws for him?

                    • RedLogix

                      What is so special about Assange that Sweden should change its laws for him?

                      Because of his services to democracy in exposing damning secrets and lies he has made powerful enemies. Unquestionably he is a special case.

                      What is interesting is your wilful inability to acknowledge the obvious.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Why should Sweden do this?

                      To progress to the stage of laying (or abandoning) criminal charges against Assange. That’s worth something good.

                    • McFlock

                      I missed the bit where Assange gave the promise to leave the embassy and face proceedings if Sweden made promises to change its laws and extradition treaties to his convenience. Got a link?

                    • RedLogix

                      Yet the bizzare thing is CV is that all of us who have the brains god gave geese know that if it was anyone other than Assange the whole investigation and extradition would never have seen the faintest glimmer of daylight.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      RL – Yep. I’m sure the Swedish and the UK govts go to the same amount of trouble on a monthly basis for the UK football yahoos who visit Sweden.

                    • McFlock

                      RL, is that a complaint that Sweden is actually doing what they should be doing all along? I.e. actively pursuing sexual assault investigations?
                                  
                      Do you want them to do more of it, or stop doing it altogether?
                       

                    • Colonial Viper

                      BS McFlock. If Sweden were in fact “actively pursuing” the allegations against Assange why haven’t they taken every opportunity to question him?

                      Formal charges would be right up.

                    • McFlock

                      Because there’s no point interviewing him if charges won’t be laid. And charges won’t be laid if he goes to Ecuador. So why bother?
                                     
                       But if he gets sent back to Sweden, then charges can be laid after the interview. So there is a need for the interview. So charges can be laid.

                    • RedLogix

                      So why bother with the extradition? How about just getting on a plane to the UK and interviewing him there? I mean if the crime was all so serious and all….

                      Nah … none of this makes any sense whatsoever.

                    • McFlock

                      Jesus RL,
                      why would they interview him if the interview might result in formal charges, but formal charges couldn’t be laid?
                           
                      What more would that do? They already had a European arrest warrant, extradition proceedings and successful defenses of appeals to those proceedings? An interview without the possibility of arrest and charges is a pointless exercise.

                    • RedLogix

                      Police routinely fly to other countries to interview suspects before instigating extradition. Once they have done that then charges may or may not follow.

                      (Which to my understanding have still not been formally made…)

                    • McFlock

                      Indeed. Before extradition. Extradition succeeded, remember? And no extradition from Ecuador, because of their presidents’ new-found respect for human rights.   
                         
                      So why bother?

                    • RedLogix

                      An extradition which if it had been anyone other than Assange would never have happened …

                      http://notesonwikileaks.tumblr.com/post/15251907983/assange-extradition-fact-sheet

                      Get real.

                    • McFlock

                      So are you bitching that the swedes aren’t doing enough for all sexual assault investigations, or simply that they are unfairly taking this one seriously?
                          
                         
                      And you call that a source? You get real: on the “not charged, just wanted for questioning” point for a start it ignores the fact that the UK courts said that if the allegations had been made in the UK, he would have been charged already,  because the UK lays charges earlier in the process than Sweden does.
                           
                       Yet more “sex by surprise” from teamassange.

                    • RedLogix

                      So are you bitching that the swedes aren’t doing enough for all sexual assault investigations, or simply that they are unfairly taking this one seriously?

                      States generally only pursue extradition for serious crimes. This one is not. The Swedish charge involved is not ‘rape’ … it is relatively new and lessor offence that does not have an exact equivalent in the legal systems we are familiar with.

                      Clearly the Swedes are treating Assange as an exceptional case.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh well, the UK legal system must be in on the conspiracy, given that they said he was accused of serious offences. But you know better, right?

    • Morrissey 19.2

      This Guardian editorial is very good

      It could have been written by someone at the Foreign Office.

      Couple of questions for you:

      1.) Did you think the dodgy dossiers preparing the ground for the invasion of Iraq were “very good”?

      2.) How much serious reading have you done on this case? (Warning: trawling the Grauniad‘s government-approved website in no way constitutes serious reading.)

  19. rosy 20

    Well, unsurprisingly Pussy Riot have been found guilty - of ‘hatred and religious emnity’ rather than political protest. (sort of ironic in a post-soviet nation, with a leader who appears to want to weaken other power blocs).

    The Pussy Riot singers colluded under unestablished circumstances, for the purpose of offensively violating public peace in a sign of flagrant disrespect for citizens

    No word on the sentence yet. The leader of the opposition and Gary Kasparov have been arrested – not for protesting, but for trying to attend the judge’s summing up.

    • rosy 20.1

      Sentence: two years in prison, beginning from the day of their arrest. For singing an anti-Putin punk protest song in a church. The judge considers this lenient, especially because two of the women have children.
      Lyrics

      • Grumpy 20.1.1

        They are Russian – they knew the risks.

        • rosy 20.1.1.1

          I’m not saying they didn’t… well the risk of arrest was understood, but the hate crime, rather than protest charges might have thrown them. It’a a bit of an indicator about what Putin’s democracy means, is all (if one was needed). The arrest of the opposition leader and Kasparov shows a bit of concern about things getting out of control, I reckon.

          Edit: Oh, and I think they’re enormously brave going ahead with it all, knowing the risks.

          • muzza 20.1.1.1.1

            Falling for the framing around Russia, by the looks of the your comments Rosy..

            I’d have a wee look into who Kasparov , and for that matter Medvedev get around with..

            Enormously brave, very stupid or naively coerced/flat out used as a tool for what is going on around this “saga”

            • rosy 20.1.1.1.1.1

              Pretty aware that a pro-democracy anti-Putin party in Russia is similar in style and influence to similar parties in Georgia and Ukraine have been, Muzza. No wonder the govt wants to keep a lid on it, aye what?

              Never mentioned Medvedev.

              • locus

                :roll:
                yes rosy, you are so naive – sucked in by corrupt western media who are framing putin and the Russian authorites. Can’t you see that Pussy Riot are tools of western powers (as are the western media), not to mention those dastardly schemers kasparov and medvedev

              • muzza

                “Never mentioned Medvedev”

                –Correct, I did!

  20. Vicky32 21

    but why should Assange be immune from American justice if he has knowingly broken their laws?

    It is to laugh, as the Americans themselves say. American er… justice, when it comes to a charge of espionage? Ma dai! 
    You’re even stupider than I thought you to be.
     
     

  21. Vicky32 22

    Just dropping this in for what it’s worth – quite a lot, I think
     
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32216.htm

  22. Colonial Viper 23

    Julian Assange speaks from the Ecuador Embassy

    First public appearance in 2 months.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nqv1DSTVv4&feature=g-trend

    • Deborah Kean 23.1

      Julian Assange speaks from the Ecuador Embassy

      That’s good, as the TV3 reporter nattered over the top of what he was saying. Her interpretation I presume…

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