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Open mike 01/03/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 1st, 2012 - 69 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

69 comments on “Open mike 01/03/2012 ”

  1. The nats privatisation plans are getting more and more difficult.  It was conceded yesterday that unless the legislation specifically prevents this happening a partially privatised SOE could sell individual power stations to overseas interests.  Eventually they could all be sold.  Being a company the directors need to act in the best commercial interests of all shareholders.  If the price was right the power stations could all go.

    To stop this the matter will need to be addressed in the proposed legislation.  And if they do this then the price will take a hit.

    Add Maori’s urgent application to the Waitangi Tribunal concerning the use of water and a professional investor is going to significantly discount any offer made.  As far as I am concerned they should be allowed to.  After all water and the rivers are taonga that Maori retain tino rangatiratanga over.

    There must be a point where the sale process is not worth it.  I wonder if we are there yet.

    • marsman 1.1

      The sale process has never been worth it despite the spin Key and English put on it.

  2. Campbell Larsen 2

    lprent – what is up with the Microsoft cloud/ Plunket banner ad on the home page?

    Given that Shonkey and the Nats have already signalled their intention to roll out cloud hosting of govt services and information this ad is pretty wack -using Plunket and the kid to promote microsoft and this type of tech as cuddly or safe kind of glosses over how radical and experimental the move to host govt on the cloud really is.

    It should never even go to tender – but can we assume from this that there will be a competitive open tender process? – I for one would dearly like a piece of the Nats IT splurge – Google and Microsoft must be drooling at the though of all the money one of them is about get out of NZ. And silly us, we are paying them while at the same time handing over our soverignty.

    • Ianupnorth 2.1

      Microsoft = evil. Time we all went open source.

      • Campbell Larsen 2.1.1

        From clicking the MS banner ad:

        Public Sector in the Cloud

        With the promise of lower costs, increased efficiencies, and new ways to meet organisational priorities, there is a lot of excitement about cloud computing. This is particularly true for government organisations that see ways to leverage the cloud to reduce costs, improve transparency, advance collaboration, better focus on critical needs, and increase citizen services.

        Sound familiar? Ole Shonkey has been parroting the PR of the cloud pushers almost word for word. Their sales pitch obviously won him over, I wonder what his kickback is for regurgitating their spin.

    • lprent 2.2

      Just an ad. They pay for the servers.

      I tend to pretty much ignore the ads except for the odd time. For instance the campaign against MMP banners ads last year, where I added the campaign for MMP logos to our logo.

      • Campbell Larsen 2.2.1

        Cheers Lynn – I am doing my best to ignore it but still find it galling. I was hoping that you might have some comment or might like to post perhaps on the ‘cloud’ and its pros and cons – this is your field after all and I would be most interested in your thoughts.

        • lprent 2.2.1.1

          Cloud is a label covering a multitude of types of systems. This site uses two “cloud” sites for warm backup servers (one is meant to be hot – but needs more time to work on than I have now). One is configured as a VPS, but is easily scaleable. The other is a on demand system.

          There isn’t anything much different to the remotely hosted dedicated servers, VPS, and web servers I have been using since 1997. All the usual security issues and problems with slow international links and latencies to code around. Hopefully if the government does it here, then they will do it over the local nets to one of the local clouds.

          But you pretty much have security problems as soon as you allow any remote access to any system that doesn’t involve a physical access control with people looking over biometrics. Doesn’t matter that much if it is a terminal to a mainframe or a server on the public nets. You still have to put in a lot of connectivity security against man in the middle and stolen access codes. Systems based on the public systems is usually somewhat better these days – a lot more eyes looking for and fixing holes.

  3. Morrissey 3

    Burning Conscience Israeli Soldiers Speak Out

    Thousands of young Israelis refuse to serve in the army. Listen to these two young ex-soldiers and you’ll see why more and more of them are refusing…

    • McFlock 3.1

      trouble is that means it’s the zealots who end up on the front lines, with no qualms at all about lobbing WP into housing projects or shooting children.
        
      Another difficult moral challenge in an overwhelmingly shitty situation.

      • Morrissey 3.1.1

        The Israeli soldiers who commit atrocities are carrying out government orders. If a soldier shoots a Palestinian child and/or demolishes a Palestinian home, it’s not any more acceptable if that soldier does it with a heavy heart and feels guilty.

        The problem is the Israeli government, not the poor soldiers who are forced to carry out its crimes.

        What “moral challenge” is there? You either participate in these atrocities, or you protest against them, as thousands of young Israelis do every year by refusing to join up.

        • McFlock 3.1.1.1

          it’s more how they interpret their orders, and what they choose to interpret as a “threat” that warrants lethal force, and so on.

          • Morrissey 3.1.1.1.1

            it’s more how they interpret their orders, and what they choose to interpret as a “threat” that warrants lethal force, and so on.

            No, that’s not right. While some Israeli soldiers are undoubtedly cruel, the fact is they are there because the Israeli government has sent them there. It wasn’t a few “bad eggs” who made the decision to destroy Gaza’s electricity supply, bomb its hospitals and schools and cut off its water. It wasn’t a few soldiers making a faulty interpretation of their orders that resulted in white phosphorus, cluster bombs and napalm being used on the civilians of Gaza and Lebanon.

            It was the Israeli government.

            • D-D-D-Damn ! 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Good to see you back, Morrissey – and in fine form with dear old Grumpers.

              Did you see Norman Finkelstein’s recent demolition of the Palmer report ? – ‘Torpedoing the Law: How the Palmer Report Justified Israel’s Naval Blockade of Gaza’. “A careful analysis of the POI report shows that it is probably the most mendacious and debased document ever issued under the aegis of the United Nations.”

              Still, should be useful for Geoff’s career earnings. I wonder if Chen and Palmer will diversify into strategic hasbara PR for the Israeli government ?

              • Morrissey

                Good to see you back, my friend!

                Yes, I have indeed read and listened to Finkelstein damning Palmer.

                Don’t forget, though, it’s the Palmer-Uribe report. The real driver of the report was no doubt the notorious ex-President of Colombia (and notorious violator of human rights) Signor Uribe. Norman Finkelstein noted that the dice were loaded as soon as Uribe was named as the “investigator”.

                I’m sure Palmer contributed little or even nothing of substance, other than sign his name to it.

                I wonder if Chen and Palmer will diversify into strategic hasbara PR for the Israeli government?

                They already have. For free. I believe Lenin had the right term for people like Palmer: useful idiots.

            • McFlock 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Some of the time it was. Particularly when involving calls for tactical support and most specifically who to shoot and where.
               

              • Morrissey

                Fair enough, McFlock. I am not trying to say you are wrong. You’re not. It’s just a question of where the primary responsibility lies. As flawed as some of the Israeli soldiers might be, the primary responsibility for them being in the Occupied Territories lies not with them, but with the Israeli regime.

  4. Uturn 4

    Why does the word communism automatically alert the moderators? Every time I use it my comments are sucked away. Is there an alternative? How about… “that state of social organisation preceeded by socialism”. Too wordy?

    The word communism can only be used legitimately, no? Unlike Nazi, which always seems a little over the top in anything but a historical context. And commie can be humourous. We even have those “In Soviet Russia…” jokes on youtube. Can anyone remember any funny Nazi’s?

    [It used to be a common “flag” for RWNJ trolls during the last government. But that use does seem to have faded now. Lynn – time to review this? — r0b]

    [lprent: Yep. Along with a number of other words and phrases. I’ll have a review of them in the next couple of weeks when the warm weather and my current project crunch let up. The most effective way is to scan the archives of moderated comments to see what they are being used for now. ]

    • McFlock 4.1

      “Can anyone remember any funny Nazi’s?”
         
      Are you crazy? Hitler had a silly moustache and farted a lot, goering had fabulous blue uniforms and silly batons but was so fat that none of the planes in his airforce were big enough to get him off the ground, goebbels had a congenital malformation and constantly talked about being in the master race…
             
      Aside from the entire planned deaths of millions (and just winging the deaths of millions more) thing, the entire crew seemed to be characters taken from the unreleased comedy classic “Carry On Up the Thousand Year Reich”.
           
      Tossers.

  5. http://whoar.co.nz/2012/occupys-valuable-message/

    “…The demise of the Occupy camp outside St Paul’s Cathedral was long overdue.

    That is not to say it should never have been there at all.

    The protest that the police dismantled late on Monday night was loud, scruffy and angry.

    And embedded in its sometimes incoherent messages was a core feeling of dissatisfaction which spoke to many struggling to make sense of the most severe financial crisis since the 1930s.

    A world in which the richest few grow ever richer –

    – while everyone else feels the squeeze cannot possibly be justified –

    – and Occupy can take credit for providing a focus for a much wider concern…”

    (cont..)

    phil-at-whoar.

    • Uturn 5.1

      Yeah that story from The Independent is a bit sad, not just for the person who wrote it being a typical “don’t look too hard” journalist, but that the occupiers themselves haven’t thought through what St. Paul’s represents well enough and shouted it out in the media. The Church and versions of capitalism go hand in hand and have for thousands of years. It’s the very forms of oppression that Occupy protest against. Christianity seems to me to be the basis of the style of capitalism most of the western world experience: In the old testament it it regards “earthly treasures” as evidence of god’s blessing and mental illness as evidence of sin. It trades in an “eye for an eye” style of adversarial thinking with all the attendant hypocrisies. Then in the New Testament, apparently many years later, once the Church and religious heirachies are cemented, it seeks to both mentally and materially disarm the people and asks them to remain poor and to “give to caesar what is caesar’s” and not fight back. Even on Christ’s last night alive, the man who fought back against the soldiers was chided by Christ and the soldiers ear healed. Many communities have experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed by corporate interests. The Church would suggest they just lay down and turn philosophical.

      So which book do we take as rule? Just discard one over the other as it suits? The Church has done nothing to address this contradiction in it’s one major text and teachings. There is no denying that Christianity is a good way into the exercise of thinking morally if you have no alternative and many have had their circumstances improved by christian intervention. But like capitalism, it’s down sides are many and brutal. That Occupy chose St. Paul’s was a good decision and cannot be devalued on the basis that the church did or continues to do some good stuff somewhere, once. One hundred odd days is nothing compared to eras of christian oppression.

      • while understanding yr historical reading..

        ..now is now…

        ..and really..i agree with the writer of this piece..

        ..who points out that progressives and religions (to use a broad-brush) need to get/work together..

        ..if we hope to achieve meaningful change..

        http://whoar.co.nz/2012/why-progressives-cant-ignore-religion/

        phil-at-whoar.

        • Uturn 5.1.1.1

          Well yes I agree that any movement, especially American, that stands up and says “Down with religion!” isn’t likely to gain any traction. But that is not what I argue and the overuse of political expediency as soon as things get hard for fledgling organisations is usually the death of them. The Alternet.com story you link to falls prey to the same thinking they award the conservatives within religion:

          “Those who worship the gods of selfishness may proclaim themselves to be saved by Jesus, but they do not follow his teachings. As politics and religion continue to influence each other in America, progressives need to realize how completely conservatives have distorted the religion they claim to believe in. And we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about our own values using the familiar language of Christ — a language the vast majority of our fellow Americans already understand.”

          Picking and choosing Christ’s words and saying you’re a christian, even a progressive Christian, would be very post-modern, but your Bible would tell you you were a hypocrite – bit of problem. Progressive Churches are popular here in Auckland. My brother attends one and the influence of that on our relationship has all but ended our connection. As far as I understand it, they have reduced christianity to a kind of new-age pop music based sub-culture that mistakes emotion for the truth and contagion emotion as the prescence of a spirit. Nothing wrong with that, if it spins your wheels, but it isn’t very christian as far as a biblical definition goes and not at all intelligent – the kind of intelligent you need to be to be effectively politically progressive. In order to get the progressive church ideas to work, it requires a level of cognitive dissonance to step around the psychological contradictions and it still embraces a big part of the selfishness intertwined with free market capitalism. This problem is not isolated to progressive churches, of course.

          I cannot see how Occupy can embrace christianity, officially, if they were to form some sort of “government” or socially influencial body and maintain their own direction. The two philosophies in contact would cause continued rifts. They are less damned if they don’t than if they do. In the very least you’d need a mediatory body between them and stuff like that is just too damn hard to make work in real life. Freedom of religion, but not power in conjunction with the state.

          • Olwyn 5.1.1.1.1

            You are looking at religion (conservative and progressive) in its most tedious forms. Andrew Little, an atheist himself, used a Christian quote in his maiden speech: “What gaineth a man who gains the world but loses his soul.” Then there’s “whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do unto me.” The literature of Dickens, who used the deeper Christian values to challenge the complacent Victorians. Religious concepts continue to permeate our culture and come up poignantly in such things as popular songs, as in “Won’t you help to sing/ this song of freedom/’cause all I ever have/redemption song. Not to mention Mickey Savage, who described Labour’s reforms as “Christianity in Action.”

            One thing I am more and more confident about: we have more chance of gaining ground on the left by putting forward a deeper moral vision than the one the right employs, than by hoping that the sciences will ultimately “prove” we are right.

      • Vicky32 5.1.2

        Christianity seems to me to be the basis of the style of capitalism most of the western world experience:

        Well, that shows that you know little or nothing about it! The Book of Acts is afaik the first depiction of socialism in practice, and word to the wise, the Old Testament may have supported the idea that material wealth was a sign of good favour, but it has been  superceded by, let’s see, what is it called, oh yes, the New Testament (the clue being in the name.) 
        Do you seriously think that Jesus should have said “Oh good one, yeah, have at it with your sword, violence is always the answer”. As if.

        • Uturn 5.1.2.1

          That there is going to be disagreements on interpretations of christianity is exactly the point. Three of here us disagreeing and now you casting unsupported insults. So how will that help government? Religion is a private practice, in his own words (should you believe them) god existed before the world, before the earth, before religion, before the church and will after those things are gone. Vicky, you are picking and choosing. You deny the entire old testament to suit your taste. In some circles that would be blasphemy. The christian god said he was the same now as he ever was and never changes, yet he eagerly gave orders to his people to slaughter anyone that got in his way, no niceties, no mercy. Now you say god is a liar, that he’s changed and didn’t mean it, because the new testament exists and Jesus was a socialist. Jesus himself could only turn a blind eye to homosexuality, where his father openly condemned it; how will you include gays in your religiously progressive new world? Just ignore that part too? This is where the dissonance starts, don’t demand that the entire population of the world join in. And Olwyn above you calls deference to the old as “tedious”. This is the kind of myopic understanding of christianity that starts wars. How is the state going to be better off with you or anyone else defining who is wrong or right based on your narrow version of morality. Who must be hated because they do or think this or that? And how will you include immigrants, with their own religions and perspectives to your progressive cause? As I said, it is not politically intelligent. It is a minefield for developing political movements and must be avoided.

          • Vicky32 5.1.2.1.1

            . Now you say god is a liar, that he’s changed and didn’t mean it, because the new testament exists

            No, I don’t say God is a liar. I say that peoples’ understanding of God changed, and Jesus came among other things, to explain how God is, and bring about that change.
             

            and Jesus was a socialist.

            Yes.

            Jesus himself could only turn a blind eye to homosexuality, where his father openly condemned it; how will you include gays in your religiously progressive new world?

            I don’t know of any gays who want to be included! All gays I know, hate religion with a purple passion. From my own point of view, gays are almost infinitely less important than they think they are!

             
              don’t demand that the entire population of the world join in.

            When have I ever done that? I don’t recall demanding that anyone ‘join in’.

            And how will you include immigrants, with their own religions and perspectives to your progressive cause? 

            I am an ESOL teacher – I teach immigrants, a surprising number of whom are Christians. (Not surprising to me, but hey, I am certain it would amaze you! 🙂 ) As for the Muslims, they are not all keffiyeh wearing terrorists, (and I am sure that amazes you as well) and hold differing views on political/social subjects, as is true of any population.
            Your hatred is simply tedious.
             

  6. Akldnut 6

    Damn – I’ve had three guys in my roof doing the Govt funded Pink Batts instalation and it all went quite about an hour ago. I crept down the passage and all I could hear was snoring.

    • Vicky32 6.1

      Damn – I’ve had three guys in my roof doing the Govt funded Pink Batts instalation and it all went quite about an hour ago. I crept down the passage and all I could hear was snoring.

      😀

  7. Jackal 7

    Parata steps over the bounds of decency

    It is despicable that National and their apologists are trying to gain political ground and public support for the Privacy (Information Sharing) Bill over such an issue, especially when it’s ultimately the Ministers responsibility to ensure such failings do not occur.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Don’t upset advertisers, Fair Go staff told

    Television New Zealand journalists working on the Fair Go programme have been told not to produce stories which would upset their advertisers, Parliament has heard.

    Time, methinks, to go to a non-commercial public broadcaster as it’s obvious that any commercial operation is, by its very nature, compromised.

  9. http://202.68.89.83/en-NZ/PB/Presented/Petitions/7/b/d/50DBHOH_PET3097_1-Petition-of-Penelope-Mary-Bright-and-307-others.htm

    29 February 2012

    Petition of Penelope Mary Bright and 307 others

    That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into the decisions regarding prosecutions relating to the Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009.

    Petition number: 2011/5
    Presented by: Phil Twyford
    Date presented: 29 February 2012
    Referred to: Commerce Committee

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________

    So!

    Which MPs from which political parties are going to put their hands up and say that they DON’T agree with ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’?

    Which MPs from which political parties are going to put their hands up and say that they DON’T agree ‘that the House should conduct an urgent inquiry into prosecutions relating to the Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009’?

    Especially when to date four ‘regulatory bodies’ – the former (useless) Securities Commission, the new Finance Markets Authority (FMA), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the NZ Police – have refused to charge the now Minister of Regulatory Reform, the (new) ACT Party Leader and MP (but for how long?) for Epsom?

    For background information – do feel free to check out http://www.pennybright4epsom.org.nz

    Which ACT Party members/supporters will put THEIR names forward for NOT believing in ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’?

    Remember 3 ACT Party Leaders ago?

    Former ACT Party Leader Rodney Hide?

    Rodney believes in ACT’s ‘ONE LAW FOR ALL’.

    Rodney also believes that John Banks and Don Brash should be charged, and said so publicly on Radio Live 20 January 2012.

    Cheers!

    Penny Bright
    Anti-Corruption Campaigner

  10. marsman 10

    Good on you Penny.

  11. Jackal 11

    Tui advertising breaches law

    What is the point in having advertising rules when they’re regularly breached with impunity?

  12. Campbell Larsen 12

    Duncan Garner busts out the pom-poms and reveals he has secret crush

    …and suggests that the MP who likes to have things explained to her on a whiteboard could be the next leader of the National Party!!!???
    .

    [Was that supposed to be a link? If so, fixed it. — r0b]

    • muzza 12.1

      “She’s tough. She’s been there. She’s been a solo mum. She’s had it hard. She’s come out the other end. Labour hates her. And she hates them more”

      This is seriously bad writing by Garner, he really gives no real balance at all. CL is correct, its a bloody rah rah for Bennett.

      If she becomes leader, I will have to stand against her myself in Waitakere. West Auckland will not know whats hit it. I might just stand for the fun of it.

      • seeker 12.1.1

        Ghastly writing, just Bennett back up propaganda. Equally ghastly is the thought of Garner’s possible “crush” on her blooming into something more enduring and becoming three of them.Ugh, ugh and poor little ugh!

      • lprent 12.1.2

        And who knows. You may have as big an electoral effect as Pete George had in Dunedin last election.

        😉

    • Chris Oden 12.2

      Has anybody heard if she is going to be investigated by the Human Right Commision about flouting privacy laws or has My Leader managed to get that one shut down.Also, seeing as she had to GO ON THE BENEFIT because she was so tired how in the hell does she think that any other single working mother is goingto manage what she “wonder woman” could not do. I would also like the complete story about her hardship days. Who looked after her child. Did she get support from her parents? There is a lot she is not saying.Was she living on her own with noone to support her when she came home exhausted! Or did she live with mummy and daddy. Maybe Duncan knows. It would make a great TV story As he said, she came out the other end. Whose I wonder?

  13. Jackal 13

    Get the word on fracking out

    Award-winning filmmakers Tom and Sumner Burstyn from Cloud South Films are reaching out to concerned Kiwi citizens to help fund their next documentary with the working title Fracking Whakatutu.

    • Salsy 13.1

      Thats interesting, I loved their film this way of life.. Utterly beautiful. Apparently started as a documentary about horse whisperers and became this fascinating film about modern NZ culture.

      • Jackal 13.1.1

        This Way of Life was a very nice film. It will be interesting to see how they will apply their obvious artistic camera skills and if they can gain access to get footage from fracking sites. I hear the industry is pretty secretive, with good reason I might add.

    • uke 13.2

      This Way of Life was excellent and I expect they’ll do a good job on this one. There was a confrontation scene at the end of the doco which showed the filmmakers aren’t cowards like our so many of revered celebrity journalists.

  14. fender 14

    Winston Peters was ejected from the debating chamber for saying Gerry Brownlee was an illiterate woodwork teacher. Classic! And so true.

    • Morrissey 14.1

      Actually, it’s not true. Brownlee might be a pain in the ass, but he’s hardly illiterate.

  15. Morrissey 15

    LIAR WATCH No. 2
    grumpy
    The Standard, March 1, 2012

    1.) “I go by the simple process of believing that Islamic Radicals are bad bastards and anyone who stands up to them are [sic] good bastards. Sort of the opposite of your opinion.”

    2.) “I try to be objective.”

    – – – – – – – – – ——- – – – – – – – ——– – – – – – –
    If you enjoyed this, you might like to see….

    LIARWATCH No. 1 (Populuxe1):

    Open mike 27/02/2012

    • Morrissey 15.1

      I note that “grumpy” has compounded his foolishness by launching into a drooling rage against Noam Chomsky, and cited a notorious right wing site to “refute” him.

      I note also that for some reason I am unable to reply to his muddled message….

      Wanna stop problem gamblers? Close the casinos

      (Lin, could you explain why there is no “Reply” option on his messages? It has the effect of giving our far right wing friend an entirely spurious last word.)

      [lprent: With a threaded messages system there has to be a limit on how nested the programmers allow it to get. Otherwise you eventually wind up with replies that are indented so far to the right that they are splashed against the right boundary as a column of single or hyphenated words.

      WordPress has a maximum of 10 ? reply levels deep. We use their maximum. When you hit it, then there is no reply button.

      As someone said below, walk up the parent comments until you find a reply button and use that. Or start a new thread. ]

    • grumpy 15.2

      Don’t just take Populuxe1 and my word for it, here’s someone else from a long time ago.

      “He begins as a preacher to the world and ends as an intellectual crook.”
      – Arthur Schlesinger
      (Commentary, December 1969)

      Anti semitic, holocaust denier, nazi sympathiser etc. etc.

      • Morrissey 15.2.1

        You really are foolish, my friend. If you’re going to substitute random Google results for argument, you couldn’t have blundered on to a less credible source than Arthur Schlesinger. Not that it matters to you, but in case anyone serious is reading this, Schlesinger was the official house myth-maker of the Kennedy clan, and a supporter of everything that JFK did, including the terror campaign against Cuba and the start of the destruction of South Vietnam.

        Chomsky was merely the most distinguished of the many intellectuals who showed him up for what he was. Not that this will mean anything to you, of course. I’m sure you don’t even know who Arthur Schlesinger was, and are only familiar with him through stumbling on his dyspeptic and absurd spleen-vent via your Google-searching.

        Anti semitic, holocaust denier, nazi sympathiser etc. etc.

        Your absurd and fanciful list of accusations against Chomsky is not your own, of course. You don’t know enough to even slander him.

        It only makes you look dishonest—and even more foolish.

        • grumpy 15.2.1.1

          Seems to depend on you political viewpoint, either he’s the messiah or a devious lying prick. Undoubtably, though, the doyen of the Left.

          Do you ever think for yourself?

          • Morrissey 15.2.1.1.1

            Seems to depend on you [sic] political viewpoint, either he’s the messiah or a devious lying prick.

            You’re seeking to trivialize and turn everything into a joke. That’s because you’re out of your depth. Please read one of the books on that site. If you want to continue ignoring Chomsky, feel free, but you should read one of the others. As it is, you’re lamentably ill-informed. Are you Leighton Smith?

            Undoubtably, though, the doyen of the Left.

            Again, you have little or no comprehension of what you are writing. Chomsky is perhaps even more critical of the Leftist establishment than he is of the pseudo-scholars of the rabid right, who you unwittingly quote with relish.

            Do you ever think for yourself?

            That’s rich coming from someone who has inadvertently cited a discredited old Kennedy apparatchik and (even funnier) a lunatic site from the furthest reaches of the braindead right.

            • Drongo 15.2.1.1.1.1

              “As it is, you’re lamentably ill-informed. Are you Leighton Smith?”

              No, just one of Slater’s sycophants.

              • McFlock

                Has anyone got a blowtorch? I need to permanently remove the visual imagery for “Whaleoil lickspittle” from my brain.

                • lprent

                  I am really not sure that we should be encouraging self-harm. Please don’t make drongo feel any worse than he obviously is. 😈

              • Morrissey

                just one of Slater’s sycophants.

                Ah! I thought so.

                Thanks for the heads-up, my friend.

        • Grumpy 15.2.1.2

          Are you mad?
          Schlesinger opposed the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Iraq war and was a columnist for that well known right wing media organization – The Huffington Post.

          FFS

          • Morrissey 15.2.1.2.1

            He was also foolish enough to let himself be tricked into writing for Norman Podhoretz’s barmy Commentary magazine, from which you (unwittingly) took that ridiculous and mendacious quote.

  16. prism 16

    Has anyone read Gordon McLauchlan’s book The Pasionless People lately? Some of the points in the 1976 book about our doughiness seem to either be still applicable or be applying again.

    “Here in a beautiful, benign and uncrowded country…we suffer…from depression and…angst… Unhappiness has become such an epidemic that our smugness, once unassailable, is wearing thin.”

    We look to see ourselves and find ‘a group of people who have nurtured in isolation from the rest of the world a Victorian, lower-middle class, Calvinist, village mentality…There is no passion to give us a dream of the good life, a vision of love and beauty, a sense of a variety of lifestyles, of alternative viewpoints and philosophies through which we may fulfil ourselves in different ways.”

    …New Zealanders have no moral or social philosophy…Right now, influence within our society is factionalized, compacted into pressure groups which exert their power almost exclusively for selfish needs without any sense of a total community.”

    • Vicky32 16.1

      Has anyone read Gordon McLauchlan’s book The Pasionless People lately? Some of the points in the 1976 book about our doughiness seem to either be still applicable or be applying again.

      It’s an awesome book! I read it some time in the 1980s.

  17. Anne 17

    He’s writing an update (Passionless People No. 2?) as we speak.

  18. Colonial Viper 18

    Greece cuts minimum wage by 22%; cuts youth rates by 32%

    I’m sure these bankster neoliberal EU led steps will lead Greece to financial prosperity. Not.

  19. Struggling 19

    Why has Silent T refered to those on the benefit as Stupid and Lazy?

  20. mikesh 20

    Peter Dunne said in a letter to the Ohariu anti asset sales meeting tonight that he had pledged support for the policy, and that it would be “dishonorable” to renege on his promise. I think it would be more dishonorable to support policies that were not in the best interests of NZ people.

  21. millsy 21

    I think the right needs to start putting its money where its mouth is and start circulating a petition for a Citizens Initiated Referendum to ban unions and collective bargaining. Surely this is doable, with many rich pricks with money burning holes in their pocket. If a bunch of god bothering child beaters can do it, then the biggest and richest business barons will have no problems doing it, Im sure Farrar, Slater and Cactus, can mobilise volunteers.

    I am being deadly serious here. I have even thought up possible questions:

    Should workers be barred from forming and joining trade unions?

    Should collective bargaining between workers and their employers be outlawed?

    I’m willing to help circulate the petition too, if need be.

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