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Open mike 25/03/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 25th, 2013 - 127 comments
Categories: open mike, uncategorized - 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…

127 comments on “Open mike 25/03/2013”

  1. Morrissey 1

    America’s Willing Executioners
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/22/americas-willing-executioners/
    by ROB URIE

    Ten years after the invasion, occupation and widespread destruction of Iraq was set into motion the revisionist apologetics are flying fast and furious. These include the denial of culpability for crimes committed, the systematic undercounting of the innocents slaughtered and displaced and the conveniently forgotten hubris of empire in the high theater of technocratic carnage. They also wanly posit that the historical epic is behind ‘us,’ the 75 per cent of the populace reported in poll results to have supported the war before news began leaking that its murder and mayhem weren’t achieving their hypothesized results. So to this 75 per cent, AKA the American people, is the problem that we murdered too many or not enough? Put another way, what number of murdered Iraqis would be too many if today there were a Starbucks on every corner in Baghdad and Payday Lenders to bridge the cash flow shortfalls of the citizenry that remains?

    And whither the good old days? Once upon a time the decomposing corpses of those responsible for destroying an entire nation, murdering a million or more of its citizens, causing the premature deaths of a wee chunk of the home folk and costing it a few trillion of its national ‘product’ would be on display for all to see—a cautionary exhibit against future hubristic incaution. This, if for no other reason than to assure that before another such adventure is undertaken, as the Nazis about to be hung at Nuremberg had it, we are sure to ‘win.’ And as gestures of contrition for these and other transgressions and magnanimity toward those slaughtered and their friends and family who remain, fair trials followed by swift executions of those found guilty at gallows set within public view on the White House lawn for Messrs. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Powell and Ms. Rice would place some distance between these architects of distant carnage and the other 75 per cent of this nation who at one point or another supported ‘their’ war.

    The culture and political economy of impunity and immunity from prosecution for crimes high—war crimes under legally agreed upon terms, is matched only by the absolute immiseration, persecution, incarceration, torture and purposeful and negligent homicide of those on the other side of this imperial power. No war criminals have yet been charged in the bungled plunder of Iraq and the torch of aggressive war, murder, torture, illegal surveillance and robotic murder have been passed from war criminals past to war criminals present. Likewise, the methods of imperial economic extraction intended for America’s client nations now place much of the same 75 per cent that at one time supported the war on the wrong side of the imperial divide. The murder drones tested on distant battlefields now carry surveillance and murder technologies ‘at home’ to assure phone bills are paid and for-profit prisons filled as the ‘other’ political party divides our collective wealth amongst its new owners.

    Read more….
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/22/americas-willing-executioners/

    • pollywog 1.1

      At least there’s no more Saddam in the world.

      Was that the catalyst for the Arab spring which may also see the downfall of Bashar ?

      That’s gotta be worth something in the long run…

      • Morrissey 1.1.1

        At least there’s no more Saddam in the world.

        Three million Iraqis dead since 1991, but according to this genius it was all worth it, because “at least there’s no more Saddam in the world.”

        Was that the catalyst for the Arab spring which may also see the downfall of Bashar?

        No, it wasn’t. And, although you probably don’t know, the United States and Britain, AKA “The West”, continued to support Mubarak until the very last moment of his dictatorship.

        That’s gotta be worth something in the long run…

        You’re either a halfwit, or are just trying to be funny. Why are you here, exactly?

      • aerobubble 1.1.2

        The arab spring? Dictators stopped inevitable progress, and was threatening food, water, energy outcomes for the populations, dictators held in place by cold war fears that no longer had merit.

  2. Saarbo 2

    The National Govt. are cutting more jobs from the Conservation Debt. Unbelievable.

    Conservation is critical to our NZ lifestyle.

    Conservation underpins our Tourism and Farming industry.

    How the hell does this atrocious government maintain its support, it is completely beyond me?

    • muzza 2.1

      Conservation Debt

      Appropriate slip.

      People need to understand the NZ govt is working for other entities, who do not give a toss about NZ or the people in this country.

      Perhaps once the bank accounts have been raided, people will begin to join the dots.

      The debt is growing exponentially, global GDP cant keep up fast enough to pay the interest bill, we know thats not possible, so nect they’re coming for the banck accounts, after which time , private property is not going to tbe off the table, but likely that will be after whats left on NZs support systems, have been sold off!

      • tc 2.1.1

        +1, yes Granny and the MSM in general are assisting the NACT keep the sheeple in the dark as to their real inentions which is flogging anything of value and making us tenants in our own country.

        Key’s desire to see wages drop is the tip of the iceberg NZ is being shafted with.

      • clashman 2.1.2

        I had an interesting conversation around the ‘OBR’ and it’s implications with a couple of people yesterday . we ended up agreeing (surprise, surprise) that now that our politicians, on both sides of the house, are advocating the confiscation of our private property that they were no longer doing the job they had been elected to do ie represent the people and need to be removed. all of them
        . but how do we do this?
        we are going to gave to take the power back through fair means or foul if necessary.

        time to stock up on piano wire, people.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.1

          As expected, the Cyprus parliament has been forced by the international banksters to directly “haircut” savers bank accounts. If you have over Euro 100K in Cyprus biggest bank, expect to lose 20% of it, instantaneously.

          Many ATMs in the country now allow you to withdraw only Euro 100 a day. Capital controls. And this is just the start.

        • vto 2.1.2.2

          How do we do this?

          Vote Them Out

          The party whose elected representatives refuse to participate in the current system. Each seat won becomes a non-starter and effectively cancels out a seat. It is not a final solution – it is a kick-starter.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.2.1

            Does refusing to participate in the system also mean refusing the $145K salary…?

          • clashman 2.1.2.2.2

            vote them out and replace them with whom? even the greens response isn’t satisfactory afaiac. it’s time to start regulating the banks and restricting the way they operate so that they can never be ‘too big to fail’. ‘too big to fail’ is simply too big, full stop.
            there is going to be misery pain and suffering if we continue down the current path we are now clearly on to serfdom and virtual slavery to the moneyed elites. I’d prefer we go through the misery pain and suffering and destroy these barstards and ensure a fair and just world for future generations.

            • vto 2.1.2.2.2.1

              Well as I said clashman, it aint a final solution, it is a kick-starter to kicking the system.

              And yep – this entire global financial crisis is the result of charging for the use of money – interest, or usury. Ban usury, like many other societies do. Usury turns the system into a ponzi scheme. The world banking system is one gigantic ponzi scheme – the planets biggest ever.

              (ponzi scheme being one whereby further money needs to be brought into the system in order to pay for the costs of the system (the interest). This of course is completely unsustainable. Unfortunately the bozo right wingers and Nat party types refuse to see this)

              Cancel out interest and the risk and danger dissipates to near nil.

              • Colonial Viper

                This of course is completely unsustainable. Unfortunately the bozo right wingers and Nat party types refuse to see this)

                Cancel out interest and the risk and danger dissipates to near nil.

                Centrist parties like Labour also tend to completely avoid the issue in favour of the status quo.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  +1

                  Which is why Labour is no longer a party for the workers or, even, for people and life.

                  • muzza

                    None of the current listed MPs or Parties are addressing the monetary supply issue.

                    Which as I have said here many times, until its being address in a meanigful way, there is NO point in discussing anything else, forget it!

                    Monetary Supply is the most critical problem which needs to be sorted out, and currrently is hardly rating a mention!

              • mikesh

                I agree. In disparaging the charging of interest Aristotl and the church fathers may have been onto something. It would be useful to ban the charging of interest on fiat money but in today’s world it is difficult to distinguish between fiat money and real money backed by debt, though about 95% of our money supply seems to start out as fiat money. Perhaps we should also get rid of fractional reserve banking.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  It would be useful to ban the charging of interest on fiat money but in today’s world it is difficult to distinguish between fiat money and real money backed by debt, though about 95% of our money supply seems to start out as fiat money.

                  All money today is fiat money and all of it is based upon debt. There’s nothing wrong with fiat money, the problems arise because it’s based upon debt and has interest charged upon it by the banks who created it meaning that the economy always needs to grow to cover the interest but it can still never be paid off.

                  • mikesh

                    Given that virtually all money is fiat money a ban on charging interest on fiat money would be tantamount to banning interest altogether. However, if I receive money as wages, say, and decide to lend that money out, I would probably want to receive interest on it.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You need to ban interest on it’s creation and the only way to do that is to have the government create the money rather than the banks. People loaning out their money would still be able to charge interest – except that I’d also have the government making loans at 0% interest which would probably put paid to that idea.

                      Charging interest results in an exponential increase in income. As savings accumulate interest income increases thus increasing the rate that savings accumulate. The end result is that all the money will inevitably end up in the hands of a few (very few people have an income above subsistence) which requires an ever increasing amount of money to be created which feeds the ever widening gap between the haves and the have nots.

                      Having the government creating the money and loaning it out at 0% stops that cycle of accumulation and ensures a more equal society with all the benefits that brings.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Usury turns the system into a ponzi scheme.

                QFT

                And like all ponzi schemes it results in a few people at the top with all the wealth and everyone else losing. That is a perfect description of capitalism though and it’s been that way throughout history.

                This of course is completely unsustainable. Unfortunately the bozo right wingers and Nat party types refuse to see this

                Some of them see it but they’re the ones at the top benefiting from it so they don’t want it to stop and everything they say about how great the system is is a lie.

            • ghostrider888 2.1.2.2.2.2

              Greens-“disabled facing tougher work requirements under govt. welfare reforms, yet, funding for a placement programme-Mainstream-has run out of funding despite being opened up to the private sector; Demands for placements have increased, yet, funding has not risen since 2010-2011 financial year.”

        • mikesh 2.1.2.3

          I think more weight should be given to referenda, even citizen initiated ones. While I don’t think a CIR should be binding on a government, I think that once the necessary number of signatures has been collected and a referendum has become mandatory it would seem pretty unseemly for a government to act ahead of the ‘people’s voice’ being heard, even if they intend ignoring the outcome as is the case with asset sales.

          It may even be a constitutional matter since it affects the way democracy is conducted in this country.

          • KJT 2.1.2.3.1

            If a referenda is not binding. THEN WE DO NOT HAVE DEMOCRACY.

            All the arguments against BCIR and real democracy are the same ones that were made by those in power at the time against citizens, women, non-aristocracy or non-landowners having a vote, at all.

            There is absolutely no moral, or justifiable arguments against democracy.

            Just self serving bullshit from those who want their turn in Dictatorship.

            As NRT says. ” Even if they are wrong they are still our decisions to make”.

            Why should 160 odd marginally competent, power hungry, ill educated twits in Parliament rule the rest of us.

            We still let them do it despite constant reminders of how incapable politicians, of all stripes, really are.

        • pollywog 2.1.2.4

          It’s the future generations who will do something about it.

          There’s not even any need to foment unrest amongst the slackers. They’ll have their revolution cos we, of generation x, were to gutless and apathetic to.

          I see these times and events as the last days and futile power grab of a generation looking to see out their days on the back of ill gotten gains.

          It won’t take much to level the playing field. By wiping out debt/profit and cracking ‘free’ energy resets the game to start over again but with new rules.

    • ghostrider888 2.2

      DoC Cuts Put Wildlife At Risk
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10873425
      -laying off 100 front-line staff to be replaced with volunteers
      -budget cut by 25M
      -Fonterra becomes a corporate “sponsor” / funder of DoC; water quality conflicts you think?

      • marty mars 2.2.1

        + 1 Only time before corporate sponsors come in to DOC I think – after all the capitalist exploiters are so much better at looking after everything – but only for them and their obscene profits.

  3. chris73 acualy is Dolan 3

    I’ll admit I didn’t know this:

    http://www.youtube.com/embed/9RABZq5IoaQ?feature=player_embedded

    • joe90 3.1

      I’ll admit I didn’t know this:

      Because it’s just another attempt to re-write history although the stupidity of people who swallow that sort of revisionist bullshit never ceases to amaze me.

      Prior to the National Rifle Association being organised in 1871, with the goal of improving American civilian marksmanship in preparation for war, the southern states instituted The Black Codes with severe restriction on black possession and ownership of firearms.

      .http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112322/gun-control-racism-and-nra-history

      This too.

      http://guns.periscopic.com/?year=2013

      Deaths since Sandy Hook.

      • chris73 acualy is Dolan 3.1.1

        You tell them they’ve got it wrong, I wouldn’t.

      • joe90 3.1.2

        I’d have thought that a video bracketed by nut in chief Alex Jones clips and fronted by born again loon and world nut daily columnist Star Parker and would have given it away.

        But then idiots will persist in swallowing the revisionist tripe that’s dished up.

  4. chris73 acualy is Dolan 4

    I don’t like to admit my mistakes but I’ll man up and admit one here. I said yesterday gun deaths attributable to rifles in the USA was around 2% . I was wrong.

    This guy looked at the stats, shows the web sites and has a higher number:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FWNOiw_XIV8

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      I haven’t checked the link out yet, but I presume that the majority of US gun deaths are ones where a handgun are used.

      • chris73 acualy is Dolan 4.1.1

        Probably correct. He gets stats from the FBIs website and the UKs website. 3.5% of deaths attributed to rifles .

        If people don’t want to view it:

        The murder and violent crime rate in the USA has decreased over 50% since 1992.

        Also the UK is a lot more violent then the USA (3.5 times more!).

        Its just when you go to metropolitan centers over 250 000 is when the violent crimes and murder rates jump up.

        He does have some good ideas on how to solve the crime rates in those centers, you’d probably agree with it.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Also the UK is a lot more violent then the USA (3.5 times more!).

          Sure. The Brits love their pub punch ups.

          But the per capita kill rate in the US is 4x higher than the UK. The difference is that in the UK they use fists, bottles and knives. In the US they use firearms.

          More guns = more people dead.

          Global UNODC homicide data here.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/oct/10/world-murder-rate-unodc

          added: NZ has a 15% higher murder rate than the UK. Something that I find quite curious.

          • chris73 acualy is Dolan 4.1.1.1.1

            Not saying the USA doesn’t have problems but we know prohibition doesn’t work so banning weapons won’t work. Mexico has way stricter gun laws then most countries yet theres a few gun deaths there. Also note that the USA rates are dropping.

            The recent ban was for military style semi-automatics which make up less than 3.5% of all deaths.

            If you want to stop gun deaths why target a gun that is used in less than 3.5% of all deaths?

            Also on a separate note check out Greenland, double the rate of the USA. That surprised me.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1.1

              There’s no civilian or sporting use for military style convertible to full-auto assault weapons. Greenland…those guys need to get more daylight hours.

              Not saying the USA doesn’t have problems but we know prohibition doesn’t work so banning weapons won’t work.

              Sorry mate you used the legal term for an alcohol ban which is what doesn’t work in this context.

              In terms of banning these weapons, unfortunately for the US that horse has well and truly bolted.

              • vto

                Children should be taught in the use of machine guns and rpg’s at the pre-school stage so they can defend themselves.

                This is the usa way.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I can’t believe that you would consider a ban on RPGs. I have my Constitutionally guaranteed Second Ammendment rights, damnit!

              • chris73 acualy is Dolan

                “There’s no civilian or sporting use for military style convertible to full-auto assault weapons”
                – I agree but the 2nd amendment isn’t about sporting or hunting (as I understand it)

                – Yes I concede prohibition wasn’t the right choice of words.

                “In terms of banning these weapons, unfortunately for the US that horse has well and truly bolted.”
                – I agree and thats why I think banning is just pointless, all it does it make a few people fell good about themselves because they’ve made a difference whereas the reality is they’ve made no difference at all except make previously law abiding citizens potential criminals.

                Check this guy out, hes got quite reasonable views (if you can get past the semi-incoherent ramblings of Piers Morgan) and some ideas of what to do

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHIQtxLCgrM&feature=endscreen&NR=1

                • Colonial Viper

                  – I agree but the 2nd amendment isn’t about sporting or hunting (as I understand it)

                  Sure, it was about the use of rifled muskets within the context of a well disciplined, well regulated state run citizens militia.

                  • chris73 acualy is Dolan

                    Muskets which was the technology of the day. Since its the United States of America not simply America it still holds true today.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The constitution was written with the thought of ,and applied to, the common military firearm of the day chris73.

                      Muskets and rifled muskets, usually with bayonets.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Bear in mind that the modern equivalent of a standard infantry primary weapon is a fully automatic AR-15, M-16 or AKM/AK-74 with 30 round clip with anti-personnel or armour penetrating rounds.

                      Surely that’s the modern corollary Second Amendment would apply to today, right?

                • joe90

                  Quite reasonable views

                  …. from a deeply stupid person who reckons people need assault rifles in case the gubmint decides to start rounding them up…with tanks, bombers, F-35 joint force fighters and drones armed with hellfire missiles…oh, and he’s a victim too…

                  http://www.newshounds.us/breitbart_s_ben_shapiro_pretends_to_be_bullied_by_the_left_01092013

                • KJT

                  Yeah. Because we should never have let the horse bolt in the first place.

                  We could have stopped it in NZ by continuing the strict registration and licensing of firearms, but of course the gun nuts want open slather.

                  Real sports people and pro hunters don’t need semi-auto’s or auto’s. You get into position and get it right, with the first shot.

                  I’ve always been against guns for “self defense”. The USA shows that it doesn’t work. The most common gun casualty is the family members of gun owners.

                  However with our police assaulting legal protesters with impunity, maybe the yanks have a point!

                  • Colonial Viper

                    We could have stopped it in NZ by continuing the strict registration and licensing of firearms, but of course the gun nuts want open slather.

                    NZ firearms users tend to be highly responsible and serious about abiding by the law and good safety practices. There are almost 1M firearms in this country, with only very few non-suicide deaths resulting.

                    • KJT

                      Yes agreed. Mostly!

                      However it was not very responsible opposing gun registration.

                      Not to mention, the ‘so called hunters” who don’t identify their targets

                      And in NZ Mostly rifles. Which are a bit hard to routinely carry around, and keep in the bedside cabinet..

                      I suspect we would have a lot more gun deaths if we had more handguns, like the USA.

                    • Jackal

                      Actually, around 50% of reported family violence incidents where a firearm was involved are committed by gun license holders. That indicates that any legislative changes should target licensed and unlicensed gun owners.

                      1.1 million guns is an old estimate from around 2006… We simply don’t know how many guns there are in New Zealand because they aren’t registered. Also, around 79% of gun deaths are from suicide, with the remaining 21% from criminal endeavour, legal intervention or by accident.

                      As far as I’m aware, there is no proper database of recent statistics on firearms deaths, however between 1995 and 2004 there was a mean annual number of deaths by firearm of 79 (62 were suicide). This number has nearly halved whereby 38 of the 558 suicides in 2011 were committed using a gun or explosives.

                      Even with that reduction, casualties arising from firearm misuse in New Zealand are considered to be high.

                      As an aside, an in-depth government funded 1997 review of firearms control concluded that registering guns is required. However the government has ignored that recommendation, mainly because of pressure from the Police and gun lobbyists.

                      Personally I don’t see the point in undertaking costly studies if the government just does whatever they want to anyway.

                  • chris73 acualy is Dolan

                    We don’t need restrictive laws as the ones being proposed in the USA. We don’t have a problem with them now and we haven’t had a problem with them in the past.

                    The difference between the USA and NZ is that the laws in NZ are enforced. I personally will be buying certain military rifles and machine guns when I have the spare money to buy them (so a wee way off) and I’ll be following the laws to allow me to do that.

                    “I’ve always been against guns for “self defense”. The USA shows that it doesn’t work.”
                    – I’ve posted many examples of women using guns for self-defense successfully, I’d suggest that the people with the guns are trained properly to use them.

                    I’d say anyone owning a firearm should (as part of obtaining a license) be made to get proper training and be part of a gun club (so as to have regular practice)

              • Colonial Weka

                Greenland… as well as sunlight issues it probably has a similar problem to NZ ie colonisation trauma.

        • One Tāne Huna 4.1.1.2

          The decrease in violence and murder has been convincingly attributed to the removal of lead based additives from petrol. This pattern is not confined to the USA.

        • prism 4.1.1.3

          chris73 ..
          This is a good example of how to present stats in a confusing way that tends to reinforce one’s argument.

          The murder and violent crime rate in the USA has decreased over 50% since 1992.

          Also the UK is a lot more violent then the USA (3.5 times more!).

          The first statement seems to be connected with the use of guns which was being discussed.
          The second seems to be connected also but is not just related to guns.
          How can we get a clear line of reasoning to comprehend the argument when the references are being shifted?

  5. I have been rereading Chris Trotter’s “No Left Turn” recently and came across this wonderful comment by Bill Sutch about the first National Government. He described National’s approach to education as being founded on a conviction “that the main thing needed in education was to insult the Education Department …”

    How times (and the Nats) have not changed …

    • prism 5.1

      Is that Bill Sutch, NZ national hero? Who I think was not made a Sir William Sutch because he had a scenario for NZ’s progress that required intelligent judgment. So Sir Roger Douglas got the knighthood and Goodnight Nurse to NZs aspirations to a modern, well-balanced, well-run economy with stability, effective enterprise and innovation plus good living standards for all.

      • mickysavage 5.1.1

        Yep prism one and the same.

        The whole book gives a really good oversight of how opportunity after opportunity for improvement of the country was missed because of the stupidity of the right. And New Zealand has often verged on doing the right thing but this has been frustrated by reactionary forces and stupidity.

        It should be compulsory reading for the current cabinet not to mention the opposition front bench!

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          opportunity after opportunity for improvement of the country was missed because of the stupidity of the right.

          And has that made either the Greens, Labour or National tack further to the left, in recognition? Nope. We’re as blind as ever.

        • prism 5.1.1.2

          ms
          I watched Sir Humphrey and PM Jim in Yes Minister on youtube recently. The one about only getting honours if they have been earned.
          PM Jim trying to pierce Sir Humphrey’s rhetoric says something like ‘So you don’t want to do the right thing now, because it creates a precedent for the next time’.

          I guess that explains National’s behaviour and why they stick to the status quo, which usually produces results that suit them and their supporters, ie ‘If it ain’t broke (for us NACTs) why fix it.’ I don’t like this idea, it is very depressing to me. We seem to be doomed to this downward slide.

        • Olwyn 5.1.1.3

          I am very interested in this movement in the UK. I think that the only way we are going to get a return to anything resembling social justice is for people to unite, independently of political parties. I just had a chat on Skype with a friend in Athens, who is just staggered by the EU’s abandonment of democracy for the sake of the banks.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/feb/05/people-assembly-against-austerity

          • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.3.1

            I’m not. It’s been obvious for awhile now that governments are only there for the rich, to keep the wealth pump from the poor to the rich going.

      • North 5.1.2

        Sutch was booted to the sideline because he committed the heresy of scandalous interest in secondary industry

        • mikesh 5.1.2.1

          I thought it was because he was a part of some think tank on monetary reform during Norm Kirk’s time in office. Gerald O’Brien was also on that think tank and was later beaten up in a Courtenay Place public toilet. O’Brien was later arseholed out of the Labour Party by Bill Rowling, though perhaps justifiably since he had written a letter to Bruce Beatham, then leader of the Social Credit party, behind Rowling’s back. Sutch was later prosecuted, though unsuccessfully, for having contact with someone in the Russian embassy. He may well have been set up.

          • prism 5.1.2.1.1

            Yes Sutch was a bigger thinker than the little crackpots in and around government. He remained silent on the Russian clandestine meeting for which he was arrested in 1974. I thought he probably just was trying to keep up with his background knowledge of political thought and movement in that part of the world. But it appears that he may have been responding to a request for political asylum.
            See stuff – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/477347/Sutch-case-Russian-got-chance-to-defect

            At the time of course we were strongly anti-communist. However we pragmatically managed to overlook that barrier by the 1980s to do some bartering with Soviet Russia by swopping our butter for their Lada cars and the NZ Dairy Board was distributor for them. (Australia was bartering with bauxite ore, so we of course weren’t trail-blazing.)

            From Wikipedia –
            Ladas were briefly popular in the 1980s. Meat, dairy and fertiliser exports to Russia were wholly or partly paid for with Belarus tractors, Stolichnaya vodka and Lada cars. The New Zealand Dairy Board were distributors for Lada vehicles.[10] Some Ladas, even those of the 1970s, can still be seen on New Zealand roads (especially in rural areas and offshore islands) but are increasingly rare.

            • mickysavage 5.1.2.1.1.1

              It was a funny time.

              Kirk’s death was thought by some, including Bob Harvey, to be a case of poisoning.

              Certainly Sutch’s treatment was strange and had the feeling of hatchet job about it.

              • Colonial Viper

                Gough Whitlam.

                • Yep. Two leaders of progressive governments brought down in very unusual circumstances. I must admit harbouring a few conspiracy theories about what happened.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    And once you read up on how Salvador Allende was dealt to and how Pinochet was installed, also the 2002 coup against Chavez, you realise that “conspiracy theory” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

          • North 5.1.2.1.2

            My schoolboy recall of the time says Sutch was Secretary of Trade and Industry, or the equivalent, under the ’57-’60 Labour government. Phillip Holloway was the minister I think.

            Sutch was booted and marginalised when Holyoake took power in 1960. He had no opportunity to lobby for anything meaningful until ’72 when Labour returned. By that time he was probably regarded as a bit old hat. Accordingly he spent years as a private consultant.

            He was a remarkable individual whose influence commenced as early as 1935. He accompanied Walter Nash to Britain when Nash went there as finance minister to give comfort that the first Labour government was not about to nationalise all and sundry, inlcuding the interests of British bondholders.

            The talk around Wellington at the time of his trial an afterwards was that the Russian Embassy officer Razgovoroz whom Sutch met surreptitiously was indeed planning to defect.

            It was a strange case with, it was privately said, the Sutch home having been entered and searched in the course of the trial. Tin foil liner in the base of a tea caddy of a morning was found in the evening on top of its contents, with remnants of those contents spilt on a kitchen bench. Nothing stolen.

            One can see the SIS of the day (for which Rowling as PM after Kirk was minister) being much exercised by Sutch – Cold War, reds under the bed and all that. It was even said that at his funeral a matter of only months after his acquittal, people were observed in the upper floors of a building opposite the church in Taranaki Street, photographing those emerging.

            Interesting times the real fabric of which will probably never emerge.

            • Anne 5.1.2.1.2.1

              Having had pc trouble this past week, I’ve only just seen your comment North. Be assured that back in the 1970s… interest in NZ politics and related matters was not confined to the NZSIS. In 1992 a lengthy article appeared in the Australian Womens Weekly (I still have a copy in my possession) about a woman by the name of Wendi Holland who went public about her former job as an ASIS spy. She spent a large portion of her time in the late 1960s and 1970s in NZ spying on NZ politicians and certain organisations and individuals suspected of links to communist activity. She would certainly not have been their only spy in the country either.

              There is no doubt in my mind that off-shore intelligence services were interfering in New Zealand’s affairs at that time and a lot of innocent people were being fingered for no other reason other than they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I had a close family member who was one of them, and the fallout even had an affect on my life and career opportunities.

              In light of the above I agree with you mickysavage. It is unlikely to be coincidence that both Kirk and Whitlam were brought down in unusual circumstances.

  6. FYI.

    25 March 2013

    Press Release – Housing Lobby Spokesperson Sue Henry ” Don’t fast-track the Auckland Unitary Plan!”

    “The Unitary Plan should not be fast-tracked and signed off this side of the local body elections, with so much dissent from communities, who do not want unfettered property developers intensifying their suburbs beyond recognition,” says Housing Lobby Spokesperson Sue Henry.

    “The ‘tiff’ between Mayor Len Brown and Housing Minister Nick Smith is a diversion from the fact that there is already an alignment set in concrete between Wellington and the Auckland Mayor. ”

    “Three east Auckland suburbs, Panmure, Point England and Glen Innes, have already been signed off between the Mayor and the previous Housing Minister, Phil Heatley, into a company, implementing the ‘Tamaki Transformation Programme’, through a ‘Heads of Agreement’ which was signed off behind closed doors, excluding the residents.”

    “Which suburbs will be next?
    What other communities want to be turned into a ‘company’ without their consent?”

    Sue Henry
    Housing Lobby Spokesperson

  7. prism 7

    A tick for Winston. He has revealed the NACTs siphoning money that should be going direct to regional development initiatives in NZ, to an overseas oriented agency. He has found that the smarmy ones are paying it to some outfit called KEA that operates overseas to keep in touch with the people that are already doing well there and perhaps to entice them back. Now them being encouraged to come home is okay – let us have a register of interested ex-pats to be referred to.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport
    08:23 Winston Peters says regional funding diverted to expat group
    The New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, says money from a Government fund aimed at boosting regional economic development has been given instead to the organisation Kiwi Expatriates Abroad, or Kea. (4′10″)

    But the money being paid to KEA we need HERE to support the regions to find and support healthy and risk-free business initiatives that will provide employment for semi-skilled people in particular. The idea has grown that it is Bad and Lazy to be ‘semi-skilled’ ie not to be a lawyer, or a techology type etc. Trouble is when there is growth in employees in any of these specialist jobs, the pay will go down – so self-defeating for the upwardly mobile aspirants. There must be jobs for all so we are all enabled to have a good live and the respect of our country for each person, something the unemployed don’t receive.

    And with the growth of computer generated physical objects this still leaves many people in a work-oriented society out of the loop. This is surprising in a country with such advanced education and understanding about everything. We must do better at balancing the economy and work opportunities.

  8. ‘DEMOCRACY FOR DEVELOPERS’?

    WHO EXACTLY IS RUNNING AUCKLAND COUNCIL AND IN WHOSE INTERESTS???

    Council sees no conflict in belonging to property body – Property – NZ Herald News

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=10873340

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’
    2013 Auckland Mayoral Candidate

    • muzza 8.1

      Council chief executive Doug McKay said he saw no reason to change the arrangement, which he had decided under delegated authority, as did managers of five council-controlled organisations.

      Tells you who the puppets are eh!

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      The same people as always – the businessmen.

  9. Morrissey 9

    “From the Left and From the Right”: trivializing serious public debate
    Radio NZ National, Monday 25 March 2013

    Kathryn Ryan, Matthew Hooton, Mike Williams

    The always on-message, relentless and very clever Matthew Hooton is clearly the Alpha-male in nearly all these Monday morning match-ups. Only Andrew Campbell and Laila Harre have had the presence of mind and integrity to consistently counter Hooton’s antics and consistently get the better of him. Mike Williams does occasionally get aroused and actually puts Hooton in his place, but all too often Williams is just like he was today: passive and over-eager to please. First part of this program was a run-of-the-mill discussion, mostly about David Shearer’s bank account, with Williams as usual bending over backwards to agree with everything Hooton said. Then it was time to face up to a very unpleasant elephant in the room….

    KATHRYN RYAN: The other matter that took a PREPOSTEROUS amount of time in my humble opinion was the appointment of Dame Susan Devoy as Race Relations Commissioner.

    MATTHEW HOOTON: Have we still got a Race Relations Commissioner? Ha ha ha! No, really, she is no worse than anyone else! I mean she’s a perfectly nice person. She belongs to the Climate Science Coalition….[He rambles on for a considerable time, simultaneously pouring scorn on the very idea of a Race Relations Commissioner and asserting, incredibly, that Susan Devoy has written and said nothing to disqualify her.]

    KATHRYN RYAN: That all sounds reasonable to me. Mike, what’s your problem with her?

    MIKE WILLIAMS: [carefully] She’s clearly not a rocket scientist, let’s put it like that.

    KATHRYN RYAN: [suddenly not so congenial] I-I-I-I-I’m not going to put UP with that! What is your objection?

    MIKE WILLIAMS: She lacks the capacity to do the job.

    MATTHEW HOOTON: You need to be able to conciliate, and not just swallow everything from the Treaty grievance industry!

    MIKE WILLIAMS: Actually there is quite a lot to the job. Joris De Bray— or De Brayze, is it?

    MATTHEW HOOTON: Who cares?

    MIKE WILLIAMS: Well, I was tangentially involved in the Cheeky Darky business and Joris did a very good job taking the heat out of that. He called off the Auckland University people who wanted to hang, draw and quarter Paul Holmes.

    KATHRYN RYAN: I like the cartoon over the weekend which showed her whacking a squash ball at people and saying “You lot make up!” He he he he!

    MIKE WILLIAMS: Ha ha ha ha ha! Let’s give her a chance!

    More light-hearted and jocular comments on another topic, then it’s time to wrap it up…

    KATHRYN RYAN: Hey thanks guys! That is Mike Williams and Matthew Hooton, our political commentators! Coming up: today’s recipe and wine match from John Hawkesby!

    • karol 9.1

      I listened to some of that while on the exercise machine. Williams managed to say “no problem” to Shearer’s UN bank account, and to say nothing when Hooton added in a smear to TS as a site of conspiracy theorists re-shearer being a plant for overseas wealthy interests.

      I got fed up, and switched onto Maori TV for a Te Reo learning session – was much more useful way of engaging my mind while exercising.

      • Rhinocrates 9.1.1

        Hooton added in a smear to TS as a site of conspiracy theorists

        Amusing – as he’s tried to influence opinion here and found himself the object of ridicule instead. I suppose that’s “Plan B”.

    • i thought an interesting bit was during the shearer-discussion..

      ..when williams called those unhappy with shearer ‘the far left’..

      ..and that ‘there is only about three of them’..

      ..(i reckon ryan/nine-to-noon should be done for false-advertising..

      ..for describing that neo-lib apologist/enabler/promoter/defender mike williams..

      ..as being speaking for ‘the left’..)

      ..the only time williams turns/does anything ‘left’ – is when he goes out of his driveway..

      ..and then only because he has to..

      ..as he lives in a right/one-way street..

      phillip ure..

  10. North 10

    The regular spots in Afternoons with Borer are so facile I’m now more or less dependent on Morrissey. Seems Mornings in that safe pair of hands Kathryn is going the same way.

    In fact, everything seems to be relatively dumbed down now. Not surprising since that was always part of the modus operandi on the road to the nirvana of New Zealand as a playground for international money games.

    Trivialise formerly trusted institutions as someone said. Have people give up and stop listening. Logistically, institutions and thinking which formerly defined us, is all the easier to throw away as inefficient and ultimately expendable froth on a body politic which is distinctive for its corruptness.

    • prism 10.1

      North
      I hope you complain to Radionz with definite examples. It is important to try and keep a crisp coverage of our daily serial news.

  11. ghostrider888 11

    RNZ-“House Insurers shifting the onus (and cost) of maintaining up-to-date cost of rebuild figures on to home owners; do not expect market value payouts unless you keep (annually) up to date valuations (at your expense); Insurers slipping more risk back onto owners.”

    Dom-
    CHINESE SUCCESSFULLY TEST “CARRIER KILLER MISSILE”; (anti-ship DF21D)(yanks developing “highly classified defensive measures).China shifting ballistic missile batteries nearer Taiwan; Americans rushing Raptors and U-2 spy planes to Asia-Pacific region.

    time for an end to “romantic pacifism” and to begin “full preparation” for war.
    -Liberation Army Daily. (that is some fairly strong rhetoric, right there)

  12. Colonial Weka 12

    Is Lynn fiddling with the pipes again? Comments list links are in a bit of a time warp.

    • lprent 12.1

      Nope. And they are up to date on my screen. Ummm. I did fiddle with the database query caching at the end of last week. I’ll have a look at what implications that has.

      • Colonial Weka 12.1.1

        Just had it happen again. Tried opening a new tab on Pascal’s Bookie’s comment in the Labour’s Three Factions thread and went here instead

        http://thestandard.org.nz/tizard-not-coming-back/#comment-609446

        The problem doesn’t seem to last long though and then the links go back to normal if I try another page. But if I try and open links from the original page (the FP in this case, that I still have open), all the comments go to the Tizard thread, but different comments.

  13. ghostrider888 13

    “Man has gained power over the world by turning it into symbols-by turning real men into matchstick men and so on. But he has often gained this mastery at the expense of losing touch with reality and spending far too much time in an unreal world of symbols. In effect modern man spends most of his time inside a sound-proof room inside his own head, staring at a computer screen ;). This enables him to handle reality with far more efficiency than a child or a savage, but it also means he tends to forget that there is a ‘real’ reality out there. And when he grows tired and bored with the computer, he thinks he has grown tired and bored with life…”

    The psychologist J.Silverman found that for “convicts who had been in prison for a very long time that their perceptions became blurry and they tended to notice far less.Their consciousness had shifted from the ‘active’ mode to the ‘receptive’ mode (i.e.passive mode).”

    “A Zen parable tells how a common man asked the Zen Master Ikkyu to write down for him some maxims of the highest wisdom. The Master wrote one word: ATTENTION.”Will you not write something more?” asked the man, whereupon Ikkyu wrote, ATTENTION.ATTENTION.The disgruntled man said he couldn’t see much wisdom in this, whereupon the Master wrote, ATTENTION. ATTENTION.ATTENTION.” What does attention mean?” asked the man, whereupon Ikkyu replied, “Attention means attention.” :)

    “There is a big
    A big hard sun
    Beating on the big people
    In the big hard world…”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4uTEhDqa_s
    (Living Stone Seagull)

    The Only Sound That Matters
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObRY1ZA8hfY
    (Planted) ;)

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Odd, it didn’t say that the US killer flu strain that they reported on is included in the 2013 Kiwi vaccination formula.

      Is it in the NZ vaccine formulation or is it not in the NZ vaccine formulation?

      • ghostrider888 14.1.1

        interesting, yet i would suggest text implies it is; from my experience, the available vaccinations covers the national and international strains of concern per year of release.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          Possibly, but I’d be far more comfortable with a piece containing that factual statement rather than a between the lines implication.

      • freedom 14.1.2

        Breakfast this morning covered it and it sounded like all the necessary evils are present and accounted for. (I think it was just before Toni Timefiller asked the PM about the DOC job losses then sat back as the PM spun a long line about National’s ongoing ever-growing world saving job creation programme whilst avoiding the question in its entirety. Did you know that according to the PM over a hundred thousand jobs a month are lost or created in NZ? Someone please tell me I heard it wrong)

        folk have to understand many of the useful predominately safe vaccine programmes of thirty forty years ago are very different beasties than the pick’n’mix petridishes of today.

    • muzza 14.2

      Must be commission payments time again!

      What a load of utter DROS!

  14. freedom 15

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/rebuilding-christchurch/8469811/EQC-leak-much-larger-than-realised

    Gee, I wonder how King Gerry and Queen Shonkey are going to spin this one ???

  15. muzza 16

    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/could-cyprus-happen-here

    Josie Pagani, shows why certain subject matter, are best left to those who have an ounce of understanding, Josie is not one of those, in this instance!

    Some gems:

    Does anyone really understand what the hell just happened in Cyprus?

    Russian money in particular had flooded in, taking advantage of its tax-haven status. The financial system grew, and soon out-weighed other productive parts of the economy, like natural gas. The banks had to invest all that Russian money somewhere, so they brought up Greek bonds. Bad decision.

    It’s a shame that the financial crisis hasn’t been used as an excuse to clean up tax havens across the world. If global leaders focused on that as much as they focused on multilateral trade deals, we’d go a long way to stop Cyprus type chaos happening again.

    According to development economist Paul Collier, if you stopped corrupt African leader syphoning off the proceeds of oil and natural resources into Swiss bank accounts, developing countries would be better off by many millions of dollars.

    The legacy of the Cyprus crisis is unknown. The Economist magazine has argued that the Cyprus crisis should be used as a excuse to introduce a united European banking system, which would create more confidence across the region, and therefore more investment

    What is alarming for countries like New Zealand is the lack of a strategy from the EU to deal with situations like Cyprus.

    More awful writing, on pundit!

    • freedom 16.1

      “should be used as a excuse to introduce a united European banking system”
      Quelle surprise!
      http://unhypnotize.com/attachments/nwo-new-world-order-globalization/465d1247255964-sample-coin-new-world-currency-unity-diversity-coin-00021ace.jpg
      they don’t just make these things for fun

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.1

        Did Josie just miss the fact that the Eurozone is a key part of the problem, yet she wants even broader multinational banking systems???

        And did she just equate Cyprus to some tin pot corrupt African country?

        OMG.

        Geeezus the international bankster and corporate cartel want their tax havens and infinitely unrestricted control over capital movement. She needs to get with the programme.

        Maybe start with watching some Max Keiser.

        • muzza 16.1.1.1

          Josie is clueless on this subject, and a terrible writer by looks of it, the article is atrocious in all respects!

          Of course she has no idea that the Russian money is long since removed from Cyprus, if it were ever actually there in the first place (the avergae cyprian will wear 100% of this, and what when they need another bailout, another round of account theft of course), and Josie seems to not understand that the people writing the compliance regulations, also use the *tax havens*, she muses about *being cleaned up*

          Its no wonder Josie has no idea the Eurozone/EU/IMF/ECB at al, are tools used to reek havoc on the worlds populace! – NZ has been owned by the IMF since 1961, it started with our gold, and it will end with (who knows what),and we still owe, undisclosed amounts, to undisclosed creditors

          Josie exposes herself again!

  16. i see shearer was on the telly reassuring the swinging-voters that ‘no..!..don’t worry..!..i also won’t do anything about poverty’..

    ..he has ditched the no gst on food..and the first five grand tax-free policies..

    ..saying we ‘can’t afford them’..

    ..and that labour ‘must focus on job creation-policies’..

    ..isn’t that the same pile of stinking bullshit key has been shovelling our way for so long now..?

    ..(is farrar advising shearer now..?..’can’t afford it/job-creation’ has been what he has been pushing since before national came to power..)

    ..phillip ure..

  17. aerobubble 18

    Q&A. Guest argued that Australia laws are its own business, but then decried that Australia would return welfare rights to kiwis in OZ, and this would hurt Australia because so many kiwis over there are so hard working – what will they do? return to NZ. The guest was unnerved by the whole direction of the move. NZ just doesn’t deserve better highly motivated skilled kiwis working here.
    But then, to cap his blather off, after missing the obvious disproportionate treatment (that is know to destabilizes a nation), he went on to demand that the same policy should be introduce here.
    Now editors at Q&A may feel the dumb arse opinions of don’t-know-don’t-want-to-know-heres-my-definitive-conclusion types makes great television, but I don’t, its just lazy filler for the time slot.
    Q&A is not quality current affairs when it can’t debunk such nonsense.

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