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Open mike 01/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, January 1st, 2015 - 156 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

The Authors of the Standard are now in holiday mode. Posting will be less regular and dependant on individual author enthusiasm. Open mike will continue every day and prepare yourself for some year in review posts and some recycling of old stuff. And as R0b has said be nice to each other.

Open mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

156 comments on “Open mike 01/01/2015”

  1. John Shears 1

    Happy New Year to all The sky is blue the sun is shining another year is under way.

  2. happy noo yr to all..

  3. philj 3

    if only we could save ourselves ….. from ourselves. Happy And Peaceful New Year to us all. Here’s to a better informed media in NZ … beginning here on TS. At its best, TS is a great resource and gives me hope.

  4. Ron 4

    Sad news about Prometheus Finance falling over. We need ethical business and its a pity that the main problem appears to be lack of support from the community,

  5. This is how the Ferguson protesters are opening their New Year.

    Occupying the St Louis Police Department on New Years eve

    And on Aleppo New Years eve another year of murderous destruction ends with hopes for an end of the Assad regime

  6. “..It Was a Monster Year for Ending the War on Drugs: The 10 Biggest Stories..

    ..2014 saw a huge number of landmark reforms and votes..”


    (ed:..but not here in nz..eh..?..

    ..the reactionaries ruling over us have decided to just continue/repeat the mistakes of the past – and now..)


    • The Al1en 6.1

      How did most of those countries and territories overturn the bans on cannabis – Your war on drugs?

      If the answer is via the ballot box, as it is, then it’s not reactionary rulers that are your big problem but your fellow country folk who you need to get the message across to.

      If you want pot legalised, collect signatures for a referendum and use the democratic system to your advantage. Take the pro Active route. Stand outside the supermarkets in all weathers and put your case to Mr and Mrs average kiwi. See if they buy in to it.
      If, by the will of the people, you have the numbers to lobby effectively and change the laws of the land, then your dream will come true.

      Surely that’s got to be better than daily spamming a forum like this where it’s like taking the very soft option of preaching to the converted. You’re not going to win any war from a comfort zone.

      • phillip ure 6.1.1

        as recent mainstream local polling showed..

        ..85% of nz’ers support ending prohibition..

        ..they only differ on the solution – ranging from med-pot only..to full legalisation/regulation/taxation..(the colorado-model..)

        ..so you’d think med-pot wd be a no-brainer..eh..?

        ..but nah..!

        ..even current flavour-of-the-month andrew little..

        ..is a total reactionary on this subject..(oh joy..!..joy..!..)

        ..it is the politicians who are lagging behind the rest of us..

        ..and ‘go and stand outside supermarkets’..as opposed to arguing the case in the forum that many of those ‘leaders’/media/persons-of-influence frequent..?

        ..have you thought of freelancing as a political-strategist..?


        ..a wise call on yr part

        • The Al1en

          Go get those 85% mate. Get them and the pollies, like in the states, will fall in to line pretty sharpish. That’s what politicians do – Play the numbers.
          Get 80,000 down Queen St and you’ll be surprised at the back flips.

          Don’t make with the excuses, pu. Get out of your comfort zone and influence opinion in the market places and on the footpaths of real life.
          Chances are you’re not doing that here, and certainly not for the positive. Those “leaders’/media/persons-of-influence” probably think you’re a bit of a single issue tool. Maybe that’s why your questions usually get ignored or passed over.

          “..have you thought of freelancing as a political-strategist..?..no..?..a wise call on yr part”

          Don’t be bitter, be better. Perhaps you could make that a new year resolution?

          • Tracey

            i believe he is waiting for the party threshold to be lowered to 4% and then he is going to start a party.

            • The Al1en

              Right, like that’ll make all the difference.

              Doesn’t stop him trying to get a citizen initiated referendum on the go.
              One question about medicinal marijuana one for decriminalisation, one for legalisation.

              If he has the numbers, even in an unbinding vote, the pressure on the government would be hard to ignore, and even if rejected, a popular policy for the opposition parties at the next election.

              Blaming the system or those in charge of it is a bit of a cop out in my opinion.

    • “..Guess Which Miracle Drug Causes 75% Reduction in PTSD Symptoms? (Hint: It’s Federally Illegal)..

      ..PTSD affects tens of thousands of US Iraq and Afghan war veterans –

      – and millions of other Americans, too.

      The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs this week published results from a New Mexico study –

      – that found patients reported an average 75% reduction in all three areas of PTSD symptoms –

      – while using marijuana..”



      • phillip ure 6.2.1

        at the moment we are in the situation where a reactionary-fucktard like abbott in aust..

        ..has just introduced med-pot..and told the cops to leave people alone using cannabis for medicinal-reasons…

        ..whereas here..?

        ..and there already is a pot-party..it’s called the aotearoa legalise cannabis party…

        ..any musings on my part have been around the mmp-threshold dropping to 3%..

        ..and then an animal-rights party..not a pot-party..

        ..and a referendum..?..another utterly brilliant idea from our wannabe political-tactician-consultant..(we are spoilt..!..)

        ..why is he still unemployed..?

        ..why hasn’t he been snapped up by an international think-tank..or the like..?

        • The Al1en

          “..and a referendum..?..another utterly brilliant idea from our wannabe political-tactician-consultant..(we are spoilt..!..)..why is he still unemployed..?..why hasn’t he been snapped up by an international think-tank..or the like..?”

          Why bother getting employed as a political strategist when I can just come on to the standard arguing the case in the forum that many of those ‘leaders’/media/persons-of-influence frequent..?.

          I mean it’s clearly working out for you, eh, Fella. 😆

          I’ve proffered more in the way of suggestions to change the system in accordance with using similar democratic measures I attribute to winning the war on drugs in your first post today than you have in all the years you’ve been spamming the web.
          How do you think those yes/no questions got on the us state ballots in the first place?
          Hard work by activists on the ground, not shirking net warriors.

          Is there something wrong with your motivation? Too apathetic to get up off your lazy arse? I wonder why 😉
          Maybe it’s easier to blame reactionaries than it is to convince people your argument is worth backing. Factcheck that and let me know.

          • phillip ure

            if bullshit were tarseal..you’d be highway one..

            • The Al1en

              “I mean it’s clearly working out for you, eh, Fella. 😆 ”

              Okay, so you don’t really want to influence change, you want an mp or other party to do all the hard work for you. Bet you’ll claim credit somehow, somewhere though.

              And I’d rather be a well travelled and worn out SH1 than a dead end cul-de-sac no one ever uses.

              But rather than drag on all day and ruin the happy buzz of greywarbler by fighting, even though I’m not, I’ve been charitable and gave you some ideas to raise the profile of your cause with an end goal of using the democratic process, mirroring the work done by those in the states, we should just leave it there.
              You get nasty when you’re cornered, even if by positive intentions.

              • wank on..!..dear heart..wank on..!

                ..that is great news that you are ‘going to leave it there’..

                ..and you did do yr best..eh..?

                ..and i will finish/conclude this alonquin-roundtable stylings debate..

                .. with a buddhist-maxim..

                ‘over time a pot will fill up

                ..from just a dripping tap..’

                • The Al1en

                  “..and you did do yr best..eh..?”

                  I’m just gonna focus on “I mean It’s clearly working out for you, eh, Fella. ”

                  “‘over time a pot will fill up..from just a dripping tap..’”

                  Conviction politics 🙄 Not a convincing argument to those thirsting to death.

                  But if you do really want to effect change and raise the profile of your cause for medicinal cannabis by organising a proper petition calling for a peoples vote, then I’ll look forward to signing it.

              • greywarshark

                Aha I haf it! The Allen and philllip ure are actually twins and are acting out a primal fight of competition for your mother. You haf been fighting since before you were born for the right to get out first. Since then the tensions have remained. and the pain and anger is deep in your memories. This is vot is wrong wiz you. You haf primal twin anger syndrome.

                This is long lasting and I don’t haf time to listen so please don’t start telling me about your mother. There is no hope for you. Zat is my diagnoziz.

                No German or Viennese psychiatrists were harmed in making this pronouncement, or came anywhere near me when I was preparing it.

    • Murray Rawshark 6.3

      Polls have shown for a long time now that Kiwis favour lightening up at least on cannabis, but as with the asset sales referendum, NAct and Labour take absolutely no notice. This makes me wonder what’s different about our political system that means they can get away with this?

      Forty years ago I was sure that we’d see legal dope before marriage for all, but we haven’t. Maybe it’s not as urgent an issue because we don’t have the same business types that frolic happily with FJK at the Big Gay Out making money off cannabis. More money can be made while it stays illegal, not to mention the increased powers it gives ngati poaka to harass young Polynesians. I have no idea who else the war on drugs serves apart from commercial growers, law enforcement, and thugs like Mike Sabin. I really expected that sanity would have prevailed by now.

    • Bearded Git 6.4

      NY resolution Mr. Ure-talk less about drugs pls.

      There are so many more important issues.

      • phillip ure 6.4.1

        when prohibition ends..i’ll shut up..

        ..’till then…

        “..There are so many more important issues.”

        i agree..but that doesn’t mean this doesn’t need to get sorted…

        ..and as i said..’till then’..

  7. millsy 7

    Happy New Year everyone.

    Let’s all make it a good one.

  8. Olwyn 8

    Happy New Year everybody, and thank you to lprent and everyone else who has kept TS going for another year.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 8.1

      Thanks to all with the great comments on TS in 2014 and looking forward to a lot more in the new year. Have a nice day and best wishes for 2015!

    • Molly 8.2


      Thanks to lprent and all the authors, and all those regular commentators that both inform and entertain.

  9. Clemgeopin 9

    Fined over $91,000 for comments against Jewish and Chinese people. Not a good start for the New Year for Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan.

    I am presuming the fine was $45,500 a piece! Lucky he didn’t include Arabs, Indians, Blacks, Women, Mexicans, Gays, Germans, Eskimos, Kiwis etc, etc!

    More details here

    • The Al1en 9.1

      ‘Eskimos’ is an offensive word to the Inuit-Yupik.

      That’s $45,500 you’d owe and it’s not even 9.30 yet.

      • Clemgeopin 9.1.1

        Oops! I didn’t even know that! $45,500! Bloody hell! (Hope that one is free)

        Can’t afford to offend more than one can bear!

        • The Al1en

          “Can’t afford to offend more than one can bear!”

          Pick on cheap people and you can’t go wrong.

          Whelan should have been kicked out of the game. I don’t think football should have a place for people who express those views and show little remorse for them afterwards.

          Still, at least he has a future as ppc for ukip if he’s booted out.

          • Clemgeopin

            Pick on cheap people and you can’t go wrong.

            Ah, may be the fine was $90,000 for the Jewish remark and $1,000 for the Chinese!

            Anyway, the article is sparse with details. What exactly was the remark he made?

            • The Al1en

              From memory he described chinese as chi@ks and said jews chased money more than any other race.



              • Clemgeopin

                Thanks. Didn’t see your links before I posted.

              • The Murphey

                Q. Are ‘jews’ a race ?

                • The Al1en

                  What do you think? How about just making a point instead of that shitty style of using questions to make them for you.
                  Don’t get offended, but last time I’ll indulge you. Okay?

                  But I’m happy to defer to the internet

                  Are Jews a Race?

                  In the 1980s, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Jews are a race, at least for purposes of certain anti-discrimination laws. Their reasoning: at the time these laws were passed, people routinely spoke of the “Jewish race” or the “Italian race” as well as the “Negro race,” so that is what the legislators intended to protect.

                  But many Jews were deeply offended by that decision, offended by any hint that Jews could be considered a race. The idea of Jews as a race brings to mind nightmarish visions of Nazi Germany, where Jews were declared to be not just a race, but an inferior race that had to be rounded up into ghettos and exterminated like vermin.

                  • The Murphey

                    Q. What do I think ?

                    A. I think that companies are people too

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      I agree. We should not let the US Supreme Court define our lives.

                      On the other hand, the whole idea of race is fairly discredited these days. Some argue that there is no biological significance to the idea of race: http://wupa.wustl.edu/record_archive/1998/10-15-98/articles/races.html

                      I found another article which argued that there must be races, mostly based on some claim that whites IQs are 30 points higher than those of blacks. I suspect it could be some white supremacist bullshit, so I haven’t linked it here.

            • Clemgeopin

              Eureka! Found it here!

              The stuff report is so scant in details, compared to the above BBC report!

              He has said he was misquoted in an interview with the Guardian last month, during which he used the term “chink”.

              The Guardian also says the businessman said: “Jewish people chase money more than everybody else.”

              The FA ruled Whelan’s comments constituted an aggravated breach of rule E3[1] in that his comments were abusive and/or insulting and/or constitute improper conduct and/or bring the game into disrepute.

              He is also said to have referred to a local Chinese restaurant as “chingalings”.

            • tc

              Defended his under investigation managers use of the term ‘chinks’ and had a go at Jews as money chasers.

              The restraint bolt seems to have come loose of late and the pressure is on after many lucrative seasons in the premier league as they may drop down another division on current form.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Ahhhh relax guys, for the Chinks/Chingalings/slope eyes/ slant eyes/Japs/Nips/gooks this shite is just par for the colonial course.

                • Molly

                  CR, your comment reminded me of this 3 min poetry slam by Alex Dang: What kind of Asian are you?

                  An powerful reminder that we diminish ourselves when we casually diminish each other.

                  • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

                    “nothing but the secondary role and never the leading man”

                    When will we have the first Ethnic Asian Prime Minister for New Zealand?

                    • Clemgeopin

                      If the Asian person is good enough, why not? A good and capable person supported by the people is more important to me than her/his gender, race or colour.

                    • Ah, the “meritocracy” myth, from which one must come to the unavoidable conclusion that the only reason we’ve only had 2 women PMs and no Asian PMs is just because women and Asian people don’t apply themselves enough.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  I would have thought that was a good reason to not relax. Relaxation is what made those terms, and the attitudes that go with them, so prevalent.

          • tc

            Owners get away with it, especially former players and boys club made good types like whelan.

            Yet Chellini has to give up leeds due to an Italian tax issue after pumping millions in to keep it afloat whilst ridsdale, Sam hamman (who got exposed encouraging racist Cardiff supporters) and other shady characters do as they please.

            The FA does a good trade in hypocracy just like big daddy FIFA.

            • The Al1en

              That’s modern day football for you, run by corrupt hypocrites.

              • tc

                Read the secret footballer books, shows why England will never be a major force at international level as a team.

                EPL is a great spectacle but the football is often very poor quality.

                • The Al1en

                  Haven’t read them, but I suspect England won’t be an international football force because too much TV money has softened the player’s will to fight together as a unit come crunch time and there are way too many foreign nationals getting EPL game time that should be for home grown players to learn and develop their game like it always was before the EU member states employment deals came in.

                  That and rooney is a donkey 😆

                  • tc

                    English players just aren’t good enough tactically in enough numbers due to their coaching from youth level up.

                    His comparison to what goes on in Europe is astute. The FA lives up to its name and does FA to improve matters.

                    • The Al1en

                      I’ll have to search some out and have a read. I know the national football school has come in for flak for coaching the talent and natural flair out of the students, so I wouldn’t be surprised at those tactical observations.

                      The FA have spent huge amounts over the past decade on youth development but it doesn’t seem to be making much of an impression on the pitch.
                      Don’t know what the answers are, but I’ll still keep setting myself up for disappointment every tournament cycle. It’s more a sport than the sport itself.

    • tc 9.2

      Dinosaur dave’s side is in relegation territory on their second manager who is still being looked at for similar offensive remarks when managing Cardiff…..birds of a feather it seems.

      He overruled his Charman some years back who had settled a warehouse dispute causing a strike, been done for price fixing so quite the character is Davey boy.

    • Fined over $91,000 for comments against Jewish and Chinese people. Not a good start for the New Year for Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan.

      Funny – the UK finally got rid of thought crime by decriminalising blasphemy and sedition, only to re-implement it via ‘hate speech’ laws. I guess it wasn’t so much progress as a change in fashion.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.3.1

        Codes of conduct are not laws. Many, if not all, professional bodies have them.

        • Psycho Milt

          True, in this instance it’s the FA punishing thought crime, not the justice system – but if the thought-crime law didn’t exist, it’s unlikely the FA code-of-conduct version would either.

        • Tracey

          even our Cabinet

          • Clemgeopin

            Yep, there have been scores and scores of cabinet rules broken/disregarded by this crooked/dirty cabinet of Key and his ‘honourable’ ministers during their last six years of misrule. Imagine the amount of fine they would accumulate in nine years, at say, $100,000 per transgression!

      • Clemgeopin 9.3.2

        I tend to agree. I think that trying to control free speech, however offensive it might be, through laws, fines etc is a slippery path to take. The way to modify speech, discrimination, racism etc is through social pressure, condemnation, ostracisation, education and example rather than by fear and punishment.

        Who knows, one day hate speech may include swear words, songs, genuine criticisms of people, religions, philosophies, countries etc. Thought control and thought police!

        Why would any free person want such a regimented society?

        But I do agree that people in positions of power and influence need to be careful and restrained in their public statements and behaviour.

        • The way to modify speech, discrimination, racism etc is through social pressure

          And isn’t this exactly what’s happening, when someone’s racist statements are seen as bringing their organisation into disrepute?

          • Clemgeopin

            I agree that people in positions of power who bring their organisation into disrepute need to be held accountable by their organisational rules.

            I am thinking more of normal speech by ordinary people which should be modified by the ways I mentioned. Society evolves over time through collective wisdom and knowledge.

            Some countries punish people for criticising their gods or religious customs. That is thought control through fear and punishment.

            • Stephanie Rodgers

              Sure, but that’s not the case in the specific story being discussed, and segueing into a wider discussion about the slippery slope to totalitarian despotism makes it look like you think they’re the same thing.

      • Murray Rawshark 9.3.3

        If it was about thoughts, how would anyone know? It’s when people use their bigoted ways of thinking to the detriment of others that it becomes a problem. They should keep their stupid thoughts to themselves and there’d be no crime.

  10. One Anonymous Bloke 10

    Happy new year.

  11. Colonial Rawshark 11

    That guy looks like my head feels 😛 Happy New Year everyone!!!

  12. Anne 12


    An ‘pearler’ of a way to farewell 2014.
    Looking forward to Scott’s New Year resolutions. The mind boggles.

  13. cricklewood 13

    I’ll just leave this here for consideration in the new year.

    “Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference”

    Mark Twain

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    ‘US an enemy’: Palestinian official blasts Washington over UNSC statehood veto

    “It’s just the persistent unwillingness of the US administration to give the Palestinian people its lawful right of self-determination. It’s a very dangerous precedent,” he said.

    Empires don’t believe in people’s right to self-determination. The US is an empire.

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      The US is the centre of an empire. Technically I thought that the Palestinians didn’t get enough votes for the US to have to veto it? Did NZ abstain? Australia voted against. Bloody US lapdogs.

      • travellerev 14.1.1

        I would say that Washington is the military heart, London the financial heart and the Vatican the religious heart of the Western empire!

        • Colonial Viper

          The US has a very powerful wealthy streak of right wing pro-Israel Christian heresy throughout it now, which is not related to anything Catholic.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Most religions are, at their heart, about doing good. There is nothing about doing good in the present global system. Instead it’s about profit for the few.

            • The Murphey

              Q. Is it really about profit when ‘the few’ control/own ‘money’ ?

              • Draco T Bastard

                It’s about owning/controlling more of the world and profit allows those few to do that.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 14.1.2

        “Fraser, the most pro-American of all Australia’s leaders during the latter stages of the Cold War, began to question, with a critique no less withering than that of his former enemies on the left, the character of almost every aspect of America’s international behaviour: its narcissistic self-image as the light unto the world, its imperial arrogance, its systematic abuse of military power.”


        • Colonial Viper

          Ah yes that was a good article.

        • Ad

          Fraser repenting is like Lange waking up from the dead and going ” oh whoops sorry”.

        • Draco T Bastard

          He makes many of the same points that I make for NZ’s independence.

        • Murray Rawshark

          It’s ironic that the Liberal Fraser is to the left of most of the NZ Labour Party, while the Labor Party is to the right of National on many issues. How the hell did that happen? And why don’t we have a Kiwi equivalent of Fraser?

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.3

        Palestinian statehood bid fails at UN Security Council as US, Australia vote against
        8 vote for
        5 abstentions
        2 against

        Of course, even if there had been 14 for it would have failed with USA’s single vote as they hold the power of veto.

        One wonders how many of those 5 abstentions voted that way because of US pressure.

        I haven’t come across any indications of how many votes was required for the draft to be accepted.

      • karol 14.1.4

        I think the vote was taken just before Aussie’s stint on the security council ran out & NZ’s started.

        NZ began it’s stint on the UN Security Council this morning. RNZ reports this morning:

        New Zealand’s two-year term on the United Nations Security Council officially begins today.

        • Tracey

          today palestine signals they want to join the international criminal court (ICC)… knowing it would make their own answerable to the ICC too.

          “… Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has signed the Rome Statute, the founding treaty to join the International Criminal Court, a day after the UNSC failed to adopt the Arab coalition’s bid for the creation of a Palestinian state. …”

          Israel isnt a member of the ICC

        • Clemgeopin

          Behind the UN vote: How the Palestinian bid was defeated


      • Murray Rawshark 14.1.5

        Our NAct masters were not yet represented on the Security Council when the vote failed. From today, they take up the role of US lapdog. And you’re right, the seppos had no reason to use their veto.

  15. BassGuy 15

    I came across this Forbes article today.

    Noteworthy points include:

    Only 34 percent of directors “fully comprehend their companies’ strategies.”

    Only 22 percent are “completely aware of how their firms created value.”

    Only 16 percent have “a strong understanding of the dynamics of their firms’ industries.”

    Having read the article, quite a sobering read, I have to wonder if the same applies to politicians.

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      I’d suggest there’s really only 20-30 MPs in Parliament that contribute any real value. The rest are along for the ride.

    • tc 15.2

      Directorships go to members of the club first and foremost. Largely ceremonial and required by law they are often blindsided because they don’t know what to look for.

      Greg muir at Hanover, all those finance company boards, feltex etc

      Similar process that DP showed at play in choosing Nat MP’s like Ross, Barclay, Mitchell etc who will do as they are told.

    • Tracey 15.3

      and some worry having more women will diminish competency…

  16. Happy New Year y’all!

  17. Tracey 17

    wishing you all health and happiness for 2015

  18. Ad 18

    Even remembering 2014 looks good from the top of Wanaka’s Mt Iron.
    May the worlds order be overturned.

  19. Tracey 19

    the nz herald have begun 2015 with an Advertorial for Sky City masquerading as journalism


    • “We help them to develop their CVs, understanding the mechanics of an interview and the relationship between an employer and employee.”

      I’m curious about how much of the advice they give young people on “the relationship between an employer and an employee” involves mentioning their legal right to join a union and be part of the collective agreement covering SkyCity workers. I suspect the answer is “none”.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 19.2

      Plus I am trying to decide who ghost wrote the NZH Editorial titled NZ economy is in a good place and thriving”. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11380999
      I have decided it was a team effort by Bill English, Tim Groser and Wayne Mapp.
      It all fits in well with the US goals of ramming through the TPPA http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/12/31/push-corporate-friendly-trade-deal-top-2015-priority-white-house
      This article has a list of 10 Key objections to the TPPA as written by a Progressive US Senator Bernie Sanders:

      “1. TPP will allow corporations to outsource even more jobs overseas.
      2. U.S. sovereignty will be undermined by giving corporations the right to challenge our laws before international tribunals.
      3. Wages, benefits, and collective bargaining will be threatened.
      4. Our ability to protect the environment will be undermined.
      5. Food Safety Standards will be threatened.
      6. Buy America laws could come to an end.
      7. Prescription drug prices will increase, access to life saving drugs will decrease, and the profits of drug companies will go up.
      8. Wall Street would benefit at the expense of everyone else.
      9. The TPP would reward authoritarian regimes like Vietnam that systematically violate human rights.
      10. The TPP has no expiration date, making it virtually impossible to repeal.”

      The list would not be very different for NZ, so if this deal is not in the interest of either US or NZ citizens, then why on earth is our Government hell-bent on pushing us into it?

      • Murray Rawshark 19.2.1

        9. The TPP would reward authoritarian regimes like the US and A that systematically violate human rights.

        I doubt if the Vietnamese human rights violations compare to those of good ol’ Uncle Sam.

        7. Prescription drug prices will increase, access to life saving drugs will decrease, and the profits of drug companies will go up.

        How could the American health system get any worse?

  20. Ad 20

    My optimistic 2015 predictions:

    – TPPA fails, and discredits further economic globalisation.

    – The Paris climate talks go far better than was expected.

    – The Sky City deal permanently undoes Joyce.

    – Little leads Labour to consistent 30%+ polling.

    – OPEC continues to screw cracking,Putin, Iran, tars and heavy oils, deep sea exploration, and Keystone.

    – NZ wins the world cup cricket, World Cup Rugby, and Americas Cup, but National get no lift.

    – Labor takes back all states except W.A

    – 5 eyes breaks down permanently and each system is held to permanent public oversight

    – NZ GDP stays over 3%, inflation under 2%, and unemployment at 4%.

    – inequality becomes the only political conversation in town right through to 2017.

    • “..– inequality becomes the only political conversation in town right through to 2017..”

      ..that’d be my favourite..

      • greywarshark 20.1.1

        Recognising inequality – ooh that’s a clever piece of inequality – I don’t know much about inequality but I know what I like. (Paraphrasing ‘art’.)

        And once that hurdle of recognising inequality and assessing it s overcome, is acknowledging its spread, its width and depth. Ooh here’s the poor relations I can see through the glass door, shall we open and invite them in and ask them to stay for a meal? How many are we able to cope with?

        Then there is taking out the structural causes of unemployment and setting ground rules for treatment of workers as people who deserve good conditions.

        And setting up trade training with opportunities to go onto some government scheme as a first job experience. And setting employment boosters for down times (PEP schemes, Taskforce Green) not waiting for some whimsical private investor to realise how to screw some money out of something and want to employ a few or a lot doing that, right now. No training provided.

        Our present fuckwit lack of system and lack of planning and lack of willingness to behave like an actual government of the people will have to change or go.

  21. national radio just played ‘tramp’ by otis redding and carla thomas.

    ..by happenstance i had that playing on the tape-deck in my (slightly-styling) 1990 subaru legacy wagon..(a black and chrome beast..that cost me $500..a mates’-rates-deal..it was..)..

    ..as i rolled into piha yesterday..for ny celebrations..

    ..and this was on a mix-tape i made in the 80’s that i called ‘soul shots’..

    ..a mix-tape guaranteed to have you both bouncing and peeling yrslf off the ceiling..

    ..modern times won’t catch me up..!

    ..lady gaga..?..bah…!

    ..i’ll run with carla…

  22. Draco T Bastard 22

    More lies put out by farmers to try and defend the indefensible:

    Yes, we are all aware they had apparently been warned multiple times and were unfortunate enough to be farming by a main road for all to see, but come on, fining a hard working young couple $40,000 is ludicrous.

    But I can hear you bleating “but what if the kids get hurt or killed” and that’s an emotive argument.

    There are kids’ lives at risk in urban New Zealand and fines like that are unheard of.

    How many kids drowned last year? Way more than got hurt on farm bikes.

    A quick check tells me that farmers hurt their children far more:
    1465 kids hurt on quad bikes in 4 years – That amounts to some 366 per year. Dropping to 128 for work related accidents.
    Pre-school kids drowning toll at seven – that amounts to some 2% of the children hurt on quad bikes and arounf 5% of the damage done to children on farms.

    Those farmers who got fined $40k should be getting just fined but losing their farm as they’re continually putting their kids lives at risk.

    • My god, that article is like a perfect storm of entitlement. Waaaaah, how dare the government punish me for endangering my children’s lives? Waaaaah, how dare the government punish me if I sell contaminated or unsafe food products? I’m a farmer, dammit! You should be thankful I even bother getting the milk out of the cow for you!

      • Draco T Bastard 22.1.1


      • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1.2

        Reading it I couldn’t help thinking that there’d be quite a few farmers offended at being lumped in with such arrant drivel.

        Still, it must be nice to have such dim competition.

    • BassGuy 22.2

      I’m all for massive fines levied on farmers who let their kids muck around on quad bikes.

      When I was learning to drive, I was on a sealed back road just outside of town. Driving along, I approached a T-intersection built on a large mound (the kind built to allow drainage in farmed plains), when the guy teaching me swore, and then tore the wheel from my hands.

      I followed his movements, as the car swung onto the side road, sliding in the gravel. I hit the brakes just in time to stop us from going over the 2-3 metre bank.

      As we had slid around the corner, I noticed what my friend was reacting to: a teenager on a quad bike, no helmet, wrong lane, on the blind side of the hill where I had no chance of seeing him. It was just chance the other guy had spotted him.

      The little prick didn’t even stop to see if we were OK, I remember quite clearly that he just drove off laughing.

      The most terrifying part is, that’s not even the worst story I have from learning to drive.

      • tc 22.2.1

        Yup, passed a farmer hanging off the side of a quad bike his son was riding neither with helmets on the other day.

        I’ve had a few near misses with them both over the years so what do you expect with atitudes like that when they’re on and off busy rural roads every day.

        He’s only just put a culvert in 1.5 years ago after years of his dairy herd destroying the section they cross, oh to be one of the farming elite where rules are for city suckers.

      • Tracey 22.2.2

        to answer that, you only need answer one question…

        who benefits from those 10 things happening… and what career did our PM have before being PM.

    • Murray Rawshark 22.3

      The article stinks, but the fine also seems excessive. We seem unable to find a happy medium in the way we run things.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 22.3.1

        “Seems excessive”? It’s easy to judge court decisions from a position of relative ignorance.

        • Murray Rawshark

          It’s an impression, not a judgment. And I’m getting sick of people trying to score fucking points on here all the fucking time.

  23. bradbury (a.ka..trotters’ mini-me..have you ever seen them together..?..whoar..!..it’s a crack-up..!..they are like an old-couple..all tweedy and old jackets..as they are..)

    ..shares the love..in his blogging-awards..

    “..Lynn brays like a donkey about how fragile my ego supposedly is –

    – I think I’d prefer to have a thin skin than be a mean old shithead..” –

    (..he shouldn’t have held back so..eh..?..)

    ..and he left out ‘the biggest waste of money-award’..

    ..his hiring by dotcom as a ‘political-consultant/adviser’..

    • maybe bradbury..and the allen..should set up a political consultancy gig together..?

      ..does the allen wear tweed..?..does anyone know..?

      ..that wd help..

      • The Al1en 23.1.1

        “..does the allen wear tweed..?..does anyone know..?”

        You should do what you usually do and just make something up and then defend it to the point of pig ignorance. No-one will ever see through that, I promise.

        But at least we’ve solved the mystery and found out what a grown man needs 12 frosty pigs for. 😉

        “maybe bradbury..and the allen..should set up a political consultancy gig together..?”

        Well I did get the mip fiasco spot on, so it would certainly improve his shaky political credibility and forecasting some what, but as I think he’s a loud mouth fuck stick, it’d be like setting up in business with you, but a lot less cabbagegy and vegetative.

        • phillip ure

          “.. it’d be like setting up in business with you, but less cabbagegy…”

          ..that’s the first mildly-amusing thing you have said..ever..

          ..well done..!

          ..but think on..!..there cd be hidden benefits..

          ..if you were lucky..

          ..you might get to share the services of trotters/bradburys’ dietician…

          ..(i understand dotcom uses them too..)

          • The Al1en

            “..that’s the first mildly-amusing thing you have said..ever….well done..!”

            No it’s not, it’s the first you’ll admit to laughing to, which is of course quite different.

            But why the hostility? Just because I’ve given you an avenue to further your cause, and because it’s more likely to succeed than any of your net spouting and it exposes you as just another bit of a right on comrade style fraud, why start with digs and bitchy moans?

            Chill out, bruv. Enjoy the sunshine and have another day off.
            You’re getting as unfunny as your caption contest entries. 😉

    • Ad 23.2

      If Mr Bradbury wanted his self- respect back, he could follow Matt McCarten’s example by recanting his outsider ways, reviving the Labour Party from within, pay back that $8000 per month he got from that great German hoax he called saviour, admit for once in his ego-saturated life he was wrong from start to finish, invite rapprochement with TS rather than typical scorn, get a shave a suit and a real job for once, deign to contribute to a mainstream policy thought, foreswear the tiresome bombast gained at Ak Uni circa 1995, admit Mana losing was Manas fault not anyone else’s, relinquish moderation to more people than his hand-mirror, do some honest gender analysis of himself about why so few females read or engage him, and saddle up for Really Truly changing the government in 2017 with an organisation that really will do that.

  24. Draco T Bastard 24

    China Blocks US Imports Over GMO Contamination

    China has zero tolerance for many GMOs. They’ve made this clear by refusing US exports that contain genetically modified ingredients – not even in the parts per million range. Due to the recent contamination of hay from RoundUp ready GMO alfalfa, the Chinese government has now blacklisted hay from the US, and they are looking at Canada’s exports closely to determine if they will also need to be blacklisted.

    Considering some of our farmers expressed enthusiasm for GMO how long before we get banned from what is our present major market?

    • Clemgeopin 24.1

      Considering some of our farmers expressed enthusiasm for GMO how long before we get banned from what is our present major market?

      And from other markets. Scary thought!

      GMO, the potentially dangerous science. We don’t know the possible long term health and environmental consequences. Stupid farmers going for short term profits.

      • phillip ure 24.1.1

        “..Stupid farmers going for short term profits…”

        ..+ 1..

        ..my blood-pressure still rises when i think of those gloating/sneering venal pricks from federated farmers/o’reilly from business..

        ..and scumbag national politicians..

        ..in that doco from alister barry..

        ..and their gloats at their successes in rolling back/cancelling/delaying..

        ..any moves to help our environment…

        ..evil-fucken-bastards..all of them…

    • Ad 24.2

      A new year gift for the Sustainability Council to tell Fonterra “told you so – listen to us.”

  25. Pat O'Dea 25

    Speaking Evil

    The Three Evil Monkeys of the apocalypse

    We have heard from the deniers. (See no evil)

    We have witnessed the ignorers, (Speak no evil)

    Now in a a departure from tradition, we need to hear from the third evil monkey

    18 Scientists speak about climate change

    Professor Steven Sherwood
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science

    “We face a problem that could be addressed with relatively minor shared sacrifices, but instead there is a mass effort to ignore, defer, deny, and lie. Knowing that it will fall mostly on our own children, and their kids. On the part of people – of a generation – who are farther from hardship than almost any in history.
    Global warming doesn’t bother me as much as what it is revealing about humans. Maybe I need to just grow up and get over it!
    But that won’t help my kids any.”

    Dr Alex Sen Gupta
    University of New South Wales

    “I feel frustrated. The scientific evidence is overwhelming. We know what’s going on, we know why it’s happening, we know how serious things are going to get and still after so many years, we are still doing practically nothing to stop it.”

    Dr Jim Salinger
    University of Auckland

    “Having been on this journey now into my fifth decade it has been fascinating to see it develop from an academic study to be highly politicised. Leaders and politicians of countries ‘don’t get it’. It is now time for all of those who care to speak up and out to make a difference so that we change our ways for the future and those that can not yet speak.
    I am always hopeful – but 4 to 5 degrees Celsius of change will be a challenge to survive.”

    Professor Gabi Hegerl
    University of Edinburgh

    “I am both fascinated by and frustrated by climate change. A lot of my working life is about studying climate change, and the way the climate system works is really fascinating to me. Understanding a little bit more over time is thrilling.
    Then I look at my children and think about what I know is coming their way and I worry how it will affect them.”

    18 Scientists speak about climate change Read More scientists’ statements Here:

  26. All the best for the new year everyone. I hope we can reduce inequality and all its aspects this year and really help those who need it – even after getting the facesmash of the election I still believe in people and our abilities and motives.

    I spent the eve at Karamea after finishing taking a group across the heaphy – good people there, but I wish alcohol didn’t exist.

    kia kaha!

    • Murray Rawshark 26.1

      I walked the Heaphy Track both ways 40 years ago. I went with my brother and we left our bikes hidden in the bush at the eastern end. They were still there when we got back, which I’d be surprised to see today. We took the wrong sort of food and not enough of it, but at that age you survive. Had a great feed of mussels at Karamea. I don’t remember any alcohol on the track and I hope they never put a road through.

  27. Clemgeopin 27

    New Year revelry and tragedies:

    The happy revelry

    Gisborne riots

    Man dies after fall


  28. i wanted a vaporiser for xmas..

    ..santa disappointed..

  29. Pat O'Dea 29

    The photo in black profile against a white background, could almost be mistaken for that of a polar bear, the icon animal of climate change.

    But, its a cow

    NZ farmers and researchers ponder climate change

    “We found a significant variation in one of these genes and it’s led us to the situation where we understand the variation in the genome that causes animals to be heat tolerant,”

    Currently, LIC did not see these genetics having a domestic application, although that may change in the future as New Zealand farmers deal with the realities of climate change.

  30. f.y.i..

    ..there is a movie on maori tv @ 9.30 called ’empties’..

    ..which has a 100% critics ranking on rotten tomatoes..

    ..i’ve never seen a 100% critics rating on rotten tomatoes b4..

    • Bearded Git 30.1

      Guardian’s of the Universe gets 90/94% on Rotten Tomatoes and is complete and utter crap.

      • Do you me Guardians of the Galaxy? It was hilarious, well-acted, and didn’t take itself too seriously in comparison to some of its cousin comic-book-adaptations.

        Of course if you’re not a nerd I can see the lack of appeal.

  31. McFlock 31

    well, hope everyone has had a good festive season. A few days off and back into it 🙂

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