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Open Mike 02/01/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 2nd, 2018 - 65 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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65 comments on “Open Mike 02/01/2018”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Thatcher’s Henchmen
    No. 3: NIGEL LAWSON

    Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1983 to 1989, Nigel Lawson was in charge of deregulating the London financial markets in 1986, providing a template for the Clinton regime’s decision a decade later to remove the protections of the Glass-Steagall Act. As a radical Friedmanite, Lawson is a stern advocate of chopping welfare for the poor—but in 2008 it was revealed that he had “pulled a Bill English”, claiming £16,000 in overnight allowances by registering his farmhouse in Gascony as his main residence.

    Lawson was and is a loud supporter of the disastrous, irresponsible decision to break away from Europe.

    He’s also a strident anti-science agitator, serving as chairman of the crazed “Global Warming Policy Foundation”, which was found by the Royal Society to be guilty of “spreading errors” and making “demonstrably inaccurate” statements. The GWPF was deregistered as a charity in 2014 for breaching rules of impartiality.

    “People such as Lord Lawson are not sceptical, for if one major peer-reviewed piece of scientific research were ever to be published casting doubt on climate change theory, you just know they’d have it up in neon at Piccadilly Circus. They are only sceptical about what they don’t want to be true.”

    —-David Aaronovitch, “Strip away the figleaf and reveal naysayers”, The Times, November 24, 2009.

    Perhaps the best summary of Nigel Lawson is that provided a couple of months ago by Will Hutton in the Guardian:

    “In any league table of national figures who have been consistently wrong on almost every major judgment Nigel Lawson must rank close to number one.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/21/enough-of-nigel-lawson-and-his-band-of-80s-ultras-brexit

    “Thatcher’s Henchmen” is produced by Daisycutter Sports, Inc.

    No. 1 Michael Portillo; No. 2 Lord Heseltine
    http://morrisseybreen.blogspot.co.nz/2017/12/31-december-2017-at-821-pm-thatchers.html

  2. patricia bremner 2

    The coming rain must be a huge relief to some on the East coast, but a blow to those who have crops nearly ready. However, with such warm seas we are bound to get more rain.

    • Antoine 2.1

      NZ is in fact getting drier due to climate change (weka says)

      [not quite what I said, here’s the link and context (where you talk about different dryness than I do) /open-mike-01-01-2018/#comment-1431538 – weka]

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        Did you bother looking it up yourself? You have an internet connection…

        • Antoine 2.1.1.1

          I haven’t tried, because I don’t believe that there’s yet enough information to know how the climate in any particular region of NZ is changing.

          A.

          • Dv 2.1.1.1.1

            You haven’t looked yet you believe……….

            • mauī 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Ask any farmer, they will tell you it’s getting easier to farm not harder. There is hardly much risk of drought nowadays and the weather is much more predictable than it used to be 🙂

              Edit – Better insert the ‘sarc’ tag just to be safe.

              • Jimmy

                I would have to disagree with you, the last two years have been very difficult farming in traditional dairy farming areas, in Taranaki for example we had 18months of almost constant rain, causing massive paddock pugging damage and nutrient losses, followed by 3months of absolutely no rain, causing the government to declare drought in places like Stratford which is unheard of.
                Coastal Taranaki farmers have had to dr off cows very early before Christmas and some have had to cull capital,stock and tell workers too find another job, all very stressful as well as having the bankers on there back as loss of income is sending some farms too the wall.
                The Dairy factories are running at half capacity due to no milk.
                So,no Farming has not become easier!

                Apologies read your comment in haste now realise sarcasm.

                • greywarshark

                  Those aren’t wasted lines Jimmy, it is good to hear from the ‘horse’s ‘ mouth about conditions. Real people, real information.

                  And it certainly is hard. The grass dying off like that. What are you thinking up your way. Has Lincoln University got grasses in a mix so that they can cope with variable conditions. Are you going to try having ploughed fields so that they have a rise with a fall drainage effect? What about the ideas of having mixed grass and natural paddocks, just removing the nasties from it. That means that you would get a locally adjusted sort of pasture. I think that if you have enough clover and so in then you get nitrogen fixing. Perhaps hedges of tagates which is a fixer isn’t it. Then the cows wouldn’t be dependent on ground level grazing.

                  I guess that you realise that there is stuff that you can do beyond just praying for the right sort of weather and conditions. Time for a rethink about a different way of stocking, feeding etc.

                  I heard a woman farmer sounding very confident saying she fed out over 100 kgs/tonnes this year of palm kernel stuff and only 48 last year. WTF. We shouldn’t be importing stuff like this. We have had research going for years about feed stuff in NZ and also there is research showing that more stock requiring imported feed, is bad for the farmer profit and loss and it is bad for NZ to import this, and bad for the people where the palm trees are grown on land taken over from native forest.

                  • Jimmy

                    Lincoln is doing some great research intograsses, most encouraging i think is new grasses that can grow in colder climate, possibly producing 20% more feed in the winter months.
                    Although I’m not sure any grass can survive pugging damage from too much rainfall.
                    My own farm has fall drainage and mixed grasses, although I am struggling with Giant buttercup and dock in some area, these paddocks also have lots and lots of clover.
                    Unfortunately the sprays available to combat dock and buttercup also decimate clover, hmmm decisions.
                    Yes stocking rate always comes up, we try to plan for the best but expect the worst.
                    We try to have a stocking rate that allows us to produce silage and hay on the milking platform without external supplements.
                    However in some weather event such as the last 18months this just hasn’t happened.
                    For the first time in 20years we have used PKE I personally don’t like PKE but decided to use it, because the choice was cull cows, dry off, risk a huge cow empty rate, starve cows or use the ONLY feed available PKE.
                    No wrapped silage or hay is for sale because no one has been able to make any.
                    I have been unable to measure a profit from PKE, it’s break even at best.
                    100 Tonnes might sound a lot, that’s about 10 truck loads.
                    A cow needs 17kgs dry matter to milk well, she needs 8kgs for body maintanence.
                    A 300cow farm could easily feed 10tonne in 10 days.
                    It’s easy to sit on the sideline, but Making the decisions not so easy.
                    Fonterra have set limits (the only company so far to do it, the test is called FEI) on PKE use.
                    They are trying to limit it to 3kgs per cow per day, they test for it and financial demerits are to be imposed I think start of next season.
                    This will impact many farms, some farming systems are based on PKE use.

                    • greywarshark

                      Jimmy thanks for very full comment.

                      Do you use electric fencing to limit pugging from the cows? With feedouts of hay? If you couldn’t get enough hay and silage I guess you would have to let them roam. Would tagetes help you planted along near fence lines to keep them from the middle of paddocks? Is there a standing area where you can confine them to limit damage?

                      Has anyone ever tried to tap into the grass from townies back yards? All that potential feed that the Councils can’t handle – can it be used if the right stuff, by farmers through silage at reasonable rates? If the lawn was surveyed for weeds and good condition they would grow a useful crop which could go into silage? Cheap rates for mowing and use of land for production. Bad weeds not allowed, perhaps no ryegrass, that’s connected to staggers isn’t it – some of weedy grasses that I have to tackle have a lot of rust near the roots.

                      It’s good to know that Fonterra is limiting PKE. Why have we not made more publicity of our cows eating grass and being freedom-loving outdoor beasts? And I understand that our butter is buttercup yellow indicating Vitamin A and? whereas the Scandinavian, I think Danish, was more the colour of cream. That would give us cred I think but PKE wouldn’t be allowed or actually needed then.

                      It would be good if the country could have some experienced weed control teams that could be contracted from the government at reasonable rates, that would help out farmers with weed eradication for those you mention and others. And watch out for the ones that are sneaking through from overseas, either blown from Oz or through stretched biosecurity.

                      Anyway wishing you a better 2018. The likelihood of weather events with cloudbursts etc. isn’t something to cheer. But it can make some good news stories like the beef? cattle stranded after the slip and rescued. But the best news would be steady weather and healthy herds without any of these foreign bugs getting in.
                      I’ll never forget bovine spongi whatname in Britain. I think we are safe from that sort of thing aren’t we.

                  • Cricklewood

                    Miscanthus is an interesting option….

                    • greywarshark

                      Okay I looked that up cricklewood.

                      Miscanthus dictionary definition | miscanthus defined – YourDictionary
                      http://www.yourdictionary.com › Dictionary Definitions › miscanthus
                      miscanthus. Noun. (plural miscanthuses) Any of several perennial grasses, of genus Miscanthus, native to subtropical and tropical regions of Africa and southern Asia, which is cultivated as an ornamental plant and is being used as a source of biomass for the production of biofuel.

                      But it would be good if you answered with a joined up sentence rather than throwing a word at the comment that you knew probably only a few would know.

                      And I notice with scepticism that it is thought of as a possible biofuel. The growth of this as a new gold rush has been touted. However there is likely to be a continuing shortage of viable food which biofuel would exacerbate, for climate reasons, and because farmers don’t have enough rain, grain, river dried up, rights over their seed, opportunity to use the land without warlords intervening, without bombs blowing them up, snipers sitting each side of their plot shooting like loons at anything that moves, lack of living young family to work in the fields etc.

                      We don’t understand the other half or three-quarters of the world and shouldn’t grab every new idea like a new-found friend.
                      Confidence tricksters abound and some people are easy to work with; ‘Have I got a cunning plan for you.’

          • McFlock 2.1.1.1.2

            Why don’t you believe that? Have you looked?

            • Antoine 2.1.1.1.2.1

              I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at climate data in a previous incarnation, and I know the level of variability in it. It takes a lot of signal to stand out from all that noise. More signal than could (in my view) credibly be produced by the relatively minor level of anthropogenic climate change that has occurred in the last few years.

              A.

              • McFlock

                Then you’d be able to refute any suggestion of trends change by pointing to analyses of rainfal data over the last 50 years that found no consistent change in rainfall frequency, intensity or cumulative total.

                Yet you prefer belief to knowledge.

                Which is weird, because sooner or later someone is going to simply type “rainfall trends nz” into a search engine and skim through the links, and the simplicity of it will simply make your intransigence look like denialism.

                • weka

                  I’m starting to think denialism too.

                  As I pointed out to Antoine yesterday, ‘dryness’ can be measured in many different ways. He ignored that and went with his own beliefs.

                  • McFlock

                    If it were laziness, A. would have simply done the google search and STFU.

                    But now I suspect they’re just waiting for someone to throw up a paper with quotes like “At Dunedin, the CDD index [dry spell duration] has significantly increased over the last 50 years (this is consistent with the earlier analysis)” or “The spatial analysis of the trend in the South Island for several time aggregations showed a negative trend in the eastern side and a positive trend in the south-western side. Moreover, the trend analysis of the different rainfall categories showed a decreasing trend of the middle categories and an increasing trend of the weaker category.” and they’ll suddenly become an expert at statistical quibbling in order to bore everyone to death.

                  • Sacha

                    Waste of energy arguing with a denialist. More deserving fish to fry.

                    • Antoine

                      I’m not a denier. My contention is that it is not possible to determine how anthropogenic global warming is currently affecting the climate of any specific region of NZ, and that anyone who thinks they have such knowledge, is essentially kidding themselves.

                      A.

                  • Antoine

                    > As I pointed out to Antoine yesterday, ‘dryness’ can be measured in many different ways. He ignored that and went with his own beliefs.

                    Hi Weka

                    Can you point to any one region of NZ, which has become drier in terms of any metric of your choosing, demonstrably as a result of climate change?

                    If you do, I’m happy to debate that on your terms.

                    If not, I’m done with this conversation, and will depart muttering “you got nothing”.

                    A.

                    • weka

                      Do you think we are having more extreme weather events?

                    • Antoine

                      I don’t have a strong view about that

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Do you have a strong view about McFlock exposing your lazy weasel character?

                    • Antoine

                      It’s not laziness, it’s cynicism about the extent of human knowledge

                      A.

                    • weka

                      “I don’t have a strong view about that”

                      Thanks. Was just trying to gauge the genuineness of your intention in debate here. Have to say fairly low at this stage.

                      I gave a list of things in the other thread that influence dryness in regards to vegetation fires. If you want to talk about increased fire risk and climate change, I’d start there. I’m guessing you are focussed on single measures like rainfall, or perhaps you are looking at more complex analyses like definitions of drought. But who would know, because you’re debating in a pretty evasive way.

                    • Antoine

                      I now depart muttering ‘you got nothing’, as set out above

                      A.

                    • McFlock

                      Interesting – the next step in denial. AGW exists, but any regional climatic change can’t be attributed to it, even if one would theoretically cause the other. AGW is some sort of hypothetical thing that doesn’t really affect us, by the way aren’t the stretches without rain over summer so lovely and long…

                    • Antoine

                      > Interesting – the next step in denial. AGW exists, but any regional climatic change can’t be attributed to it, even if one would theoretically cause the other.

                      Just because I’m annoying doesn’t mean I’m wrong…

                      > by the way aren’t the stretches without rain over summer so lovely and long…

                      Do you really know that the stretches without rain over summer are getting longer (in a long term trend sense)? Or are you bluffing?

                      A.

              • patricia bremner

                That may be the case Antoine, but the 6deg increase in surface sea temperatures to the west of NZ are an anomaly beyond the norm, and point to a fundamental shift which could lead to hurricane like weather and faster sea ice melt.

                We are in new and concerning territory, as change is faster than our most pessimistic projections. When 98% of scientists publish open letters about tipping points we need to be taking notice.

                But I’m probably just a panicky person, and your “spread over time” view could hopefully be right.

              • weka

                Great, you’ll be able to provide some insight into rainfall, time between rainfall events, how wind is impacting on soil moisture and plants etc. Also land management practices and how they impact on fire risk. Look forward to it.

          • Jimmy 2.1.1.1.3

            I’ve got rainfall and temperature data for every day since 1914 for the Taranaki region.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.1.3.1

              Just out of interest, how do you use analyses of a longer term series like that in your farm management? Like, do you run your own historic models against NIWA forecasts for, say, the next six months to make management decisions, or is it your copy of data that gets fed back to someone like NIWA and they plonk out the assessments for you?

              The day-job nerd in me is always looking for interesting ways data analysis helps folk.

  3. halfcrown 3

    Another bit of failed “Private Enterprise can do it better” scenario. Fun loving tax avoiding beneficiary Branson(Virgin) along with Stagecoach has been given a massive bailout for running Eastern Rail in the UK because it is in the shit.
    Once again another sample of “Private Enterprise” whose only motive is profit at any cost failing and the likes of Branson expecting the taxpayer to bail him out.
    This is typical of the Tory government, can’t afford to pay decent wages to the nurses, and doing their utmost to run the NHS into the ground and privatising it, telling UK people that there has to be austerity, whilst at the same time dishing out money to the likes of that parasite called Branson.
    Reminds me when Air New Zealand had to be bailed out, by the Clark government after Briely and every bloody crook had Bungy Jumped with this company. Then when it was fixed up making money again, the fucking spiv wanted to sell it again to his spiv mates.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/dec/31/tom-watson-calls-on-chris-grayling-to-quit-over-grubby-east-coast-rail-deal

    • OnceWasTim 3.1

      Very typical @halfcrown in just about every sector that’s been privatised.
      Not only were we told competition would bring down prices, but that they’d be more ‘efficient and effective’. Except that it doesn’t/can’t apply to things that are natural monopolies such as roads, rail, electricity reticulation, water reticulation, etc.
      Remember how Prebble used to harp on about how long it took to get a telephone connected? Pretty much the same now applies to getting a fibre connection – and then when it finally gets done, in many cases the work is so shoddy it comes apart in the first high wind.
      And once upon a time if you reported a street light out, the local MED would dispatch a truck the same day or the next and it’d be done. Now the Council ‘liaises’ with the local owner of the lines, who then reply to your report telling you to be “rest assured, our team will be onto it” and who schedule a contractor, who comes and surveys the area to ensure the lamp post is fit to climb, or whether a cherry picker is required, and who then schedules the work, reports back to the lines company, who reports back to the Council, and Bob’s you uncle – 3 full weeks later, the work is done. And of course, all along the food chain, clip goes the shears boys, clip, clip, clip. VERY efficient and effective! Sillier still is that mounting the new LED street lamp by the contractor who gets his cut regardless, but who only puts in a single coach screw to hold it to the lamp post, means that after the first storm, the thing has turned upside down and is again rendered useless. Clip go the shears boys, clip clip clip!

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        OncewasTim
        I wear glasses – have macular degeneration in one eye. I can see quite a lot without them, but what a difference in the amount of detail and what I can read when I put them on.

        We have been myopic in New Zealand for too long. We need a Fred Hollows to help us out, as many are too pathetic to use the eyes and knowledge they have to see and think out the answers to the problems that they can’t as yet see the hard edges of. Everything is in a misty rosy glow for them.

        Bible quote coming on – hasn’t it got some great lines! And I am not a dedicated churchgoer, just find that the Bible in general is great about life before and after Christ, and I like his style. The good Jesus he was all right though you have to look beyond his literally reported words.

        1 Corinthians 13:12 KJV – For now we see through a glass, darkly …
        https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13%3A12…KJV

        For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:
        now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

        • OnceWasTim 3.1.1.1

          @greywarshark
          Firstly, if Christianity works for you, that’s great. Despite an upbringing in church schools where I was rapped over the knuckles for writing with my left hand, and have friends/acquaintances who’ve suffered at hands of (SOME OF) its purveyors, whatever faith that works for you is fine by me. Indeed, my sister sometimes plays the church organ and conducts/recruits a choir despite sharing my sentiments on religion.
          But secondly, I’ve come to realise that the things we seem to worship these days are actually antithetical to whatever religion or faith you subscribe to be they Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Sikh…..or whatever.
          But, thirdly, I realise none of us are perfect. The Catholic or Anglican Priest that abuses, and is simply transferred to some remote Pacific Island, OR the Sikh National Party Minister who seems to have forgotten the 5 virtues and the 5 thieves, and who justifies what he does by ego, and ratinalising it all by thinking ‘well that’s what I had to go through’, OR the Muslim who gets ‘radicalised’ and thinks its OK to murder and maim in some sort of fucked up struggle for supremacy.

          (I still can’t work out though, how Bill English, and others – Singh Bakshi even – justify themselves – other than maybe they are just a bit fik, or that their politics transcend their faith)

          Oh, btw – seems we may also have similar eye complaints :p It’s a bugger eh?

          • greywarshark 3.1.1.1.1

            Once was Tim
            Talking about religion and churches is a side issue to what I was saying.
            Put them aside and look at what Jesus is reported to have said and you get closer to the pure thought without the layers of theological preferences as to the meaning actually often obscuring them.

            We need to see through that glass which is dark, and come face to face with the important ideas that glimmer for those who want to find them. And these will be often separate to whatever the churches are banging on about most.

            • OnceWasTim 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t disagree. In fact I agree.
              EDIT:
              It’s just that for me, Jesus isn’t, and wasn’t the only sage in my life and I’m not prepared to elevate any one person, or belief system, or ideology to something that will ‘rule’ or attempt to rule my life, or those of others.
              I could probably explain things better, were it not time for my nanna nap

            • Incognito 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Hi greywarshark,

              Best wishes for the new year.

              Here’s another metaphor for you: it’s easiest to spot glow worms when it is pitch black outside; when you are a glow worm you lighten the dark even if it is only a tiny glimmer in the vast blackness of the night. Remember that people used to navigate by the light of the stars; it only really works at night.

  4. cleangreen 4

    Happy new year for 2018 folks.

    RNZ should broadcast this episode of ‘Borgen’ for all NZ to learn the importance of MMP.
    This is a good read/watch to get all National trolls to get used to the change of government, now that MMP has chosen a “Labour coalition Government.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/346875/2017-mmp-comes-of-age
    2017: MMP comes of age
    1:25 pm on 23 December 2017
    Finlay Macdonald, Contributor
    @MacFinlay news@radionz.co.nz
    Opinion – As my personal contribution to the smooth functioning of parliamentary democracy, I’d like to suggest the National Party caucus be made to watch all three series of the lauded Danish TV drama Borgen.

    If you haven’t seen it, https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/tvandradioblog/2013/nov/16/borgen-recap-season-three-episodes-one-two

    the programme follows the rapid rise of a young, charismatic female politician to leader of a minority government, requiring skilful coalition negotiations and the constant management of compromise and competing agendas.

    Big issues such as immigration, environmental standards, health care and state pensions force the various parties to balance their political ideals with the pragmatic solutions required to govern and stay in power.

    Sound familiar?

    Denmark is not a mirror of New Zealand, but the core ingredients of proportional politics in the two countries are broadly similar. Which is why a good old binge-watch of Borgen might be just what certain National MPs and their cheerleaders need to help them adapt to the realities of a new era.

    Put simply, 2017 was the year MMP came of age. Yet, like ageing duffers exasperated by new-fangled technology.

    The National Party has blamed everything and everyone except itself for the system not working to its liking.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Thanks for that cleangreen – I had read about Borgen and now must take your recommendation and watch it.

  5. greywarshark 5

    I wondered about what was happening to the refugees that had been flooding into the Greek Islands. I contributed through GiveaLittle to a fund that was helping them when the authorities couldn’t keep up. Then I got sidetracked and looking at the news of course I should have known, it has got worse.

    It is hard with problems coming all ways such as attacks.
    http://www.lsn.gr/2017/05/announcement-from-the-dodecanese-network-of-solidarity-groups/

    Things being done:
    https://sea-watch.org/en/leros-a-gleam-of-hope-in-the-aegean/
    Some English information amongst the Greek and videos of happenings
    https://www.facebook.com/lerossn/
    http://www.lsn.gr/2017/02/childrens-costume-party/

    Pikpa is the outcome of the group that I donated to in 2015 and continues.
    Here is a September 2017 report on it and at the bottom there is a link and I shall be trying to donate through that, and hope that Christmas generosity will prompt others also, to start a relation ship with this feisty good little organisation. Apparently other Greek Islands haven’t been able to gather enough support and steam to achieve this sort of outcome but continuing the support here is a start.
    https://asnteamuk.org/2017/09/23/from-pikpa-leros/

    A huge list of humanists from the 99% – doing to alleviate distress:
    https://www.greecevol.info/experience.list.php?organisationID=182

    A book about the epic story.
    https://refugeeobservatory.aegean.gr/el/node/416

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/22/this-isnt-europe-life-greece-worst-refugee-camps

    https://reliefweb.int/report/greece/greece-intends-move-5000-refugees-mainland-thousands-still-trapped-islands-oxfam

    Makes you think doesn’t it. All this globalisation with a breakdown of borders and freedom for corporates or vulture businesses to undercut esablished business with funds provided enabling them to make losses while they put businesses out of business. Yet when it comes to people they should know their place, and stay in it, even if it has been ruined by the corporates through their governments. that they back.

    We want to trade globally, so does Australia. But want to pick the cherries out of the situation. The dark side of this trading is an externality, and not to be looked at or thought about. It’s SEP and if someone else doesn’t pick it up and assist then it’s left as mass harrassment, displacement, inhumanity and ultimately manslaughter.

    It really is just like a global Highland Clearance. People have their houses and their livelihoods and peaceful living conditions taken away and are forced to move because other powerful people want their land and location for something.

    • OnceWasTim 5.1

      It’s an exercise in double standards @greywarshark or, if you’d prefer, total hypocrisy.
      Trade in people is apparently OK as long as it allows a continued trade in goods and services.
      What’s worse is that people don’t seem to understand just how ‘lil ole NuZull’ is an active participant – i.e. in terms of migration/immigration and exploitation (which is STILL actually getting worse).
      It’d be amusing if it wasn’t so sad!
      e.g.
      – an expectation that we as NuZullners (often with dual citizenship, OR with parental/grand-parental heritage) that allow us to do big OE’s and ‘off’ to the lands where currencies are worth double, and where we can chock up a few attractive points on a C.V – whilst judging (and penalising) those from the second and third worlds who have the same ambitions. AND, more often than not, from places who’ve suffered the same effects (or not) from the same colonial empires
      – creating a chain of immigration consultants, PTE’s, recruitment and labour supply companies, builders, mortgage brokers, home renovation ‘specialists’ – even beauty salons where a temporary ‘skill shortage’ allows an opportunity for the ticket clipper trading in humans to operate.

      I’m not sure yet whether it’s that Kiwis are just so laid back and ill-equipped with any means for critical thought, or whether they don’t actually give shit until such time as it all jumps up and bites them in the bum. I suspect it’ll begin to hit when a few more farmers go to the wall having been persuaded to rack up debt to convert to dairy, and that the urban property owners who come to realise they shouldn’t have racked up so much debt on treats and trinkets against the mortgage.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        OwTim
        I like your comments in the last para. I don’t think that NZs want to spend too much time thinking about things other than the factors that impact on them personally. Their vision is small, and that is important as if you start to expand your vision then you see things that have escaped your notice previously, and it can make you feel uncomfortable. And we don’t want to feel uncomfortable, do we people? No.

        So it doesn’t pay to think too hard, and look for facts and so be ready for unpleasant future outcomes for us personally, our rates and so our local entity, and one hopes that the rest of the country are resilient if there are problems and those who don’t appear to have that capacity can in the meantime pull their socks up and get doing something for themselves instead of just moaning about how hard everything is. Nobody gets on who does that, perhaps they will learn that one day by thinking about things better, and putting time into work instead of whining. /sarc

        End of rant. Whoooo.

  6. georgecom 6

    Change of subject. I was reflecting today how it has been 12 years since the National Party attempted one of the biggest electoral deceptions/frauds of living memory. Don Brash and his Exclusive Brethren cash campaign. ‘Honest’ Don on the hustings telling people how trust worthy he was, and how his wife was from Singapore, whilst simultaneously planning with the EBs the roll out of ‘our/your’ campaign.

    Who is behind the pamphlets Dr Brash?
    ‘I am not sure, one things I do know is that’s it not the National Party’

    a few days later
    ‘I didn’t lie. They told me they were putting out pamphlets attacking the government and I said that’s marvellous’

    And it was only a year ago that John Key was still PM, Key who ‘met the EBs for prayer’ on several occasions.

    • greywarshark 6.1

      Of recent times I have had occasion to look into the EBs and was disturbed by their dismissive attitudes to the society that I hold dear.

  7. eco maori 7

    I have seen a couple of articles that have got my attention one was saying make sure you get the difference right of race and culture. I say we can interpret culture as we see fit and it is a better word to use than race when discribing unique people as race is a word that divide US so in my view we have many beautiful intelligent inercint unique people around our world Ka pai.
    Another was quoting all the achievements of the baby boomers and said we stand on the backs of giants don’t get me wrong I have a lot of respect for our elderly.
    But I say they are giant sheep who let the %1 lie cheat and steel off the rest and give them selves impunity our elderly did not have this wonderful 21st century comunacations devices that us younger generation have so it was easy for the 1% to pull the wool over there eyes. I say no more were will get equality for all Kia kaha

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Eco maori
      Good points. And I think it is a case of keeping on top of the new innovations around computers etc. but not letting go of the basic systems that are still under our control.

      The test will be, if the electricity and battery operated systems were out of order, withdrawn, put under sanctions and denied to us, what have the people still got. I’m wondering if we should have a pigeon network, for fun, but with possible future needs in mind. I think these would have to be the imported ones. I don’t know that kereru would take kindly to flying all over the place unless they knew there were going to be berries there!

      I’m reading the story of the Cretan way of getting round their mountainous island near Greece that really came into its own in WW2 when the Germans occupied it. Called Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall. The library in your area should have it, and if not, it is worth putting in a request for them to buy it. The Cretans had donkeys I think but not many horses. But they couldn’t have managed what the Cretan men did (don’t know about the women yet). That would be an interesting place for NZ to go to as I understand we were helpful in the war and they don’t forget.

  8. Over the last few years we’ve had RWNJs and even some Lefties telling us that we can’t ban foreign ownership and importation and exportation of other stuff because of FTAs. Well, China is now banning the importation of waste.

    Wouldn’t this, too, go against those same FTAs?

    • James 8.1

      Depends on the FTA obviously. But the two are not necessarily related.

    • SPC 8.2

      A related point, apparently in the UK they are now sealing roads using plastic rather than bitumen, lasts a lot longer and provides a use for recycled plastic.

  9. Penny Bright 9

    Happy 2018 folks!

    Seen this?

    NZ WHISTLE-BLOWER ALERT!
    (2 January 2018)

    Who in NZ has heard of the form of corruption known as ‘State Capture’?

    (Where vested interests get their way at the ‘policy’ level – before the law is made /changes are made which serve their vested interest$.)

    Seems that the country leading the fightback against ‘State Capture’ is South Africa!

    A new ‘civil society’ organisation has been formed – spearheading the fight against corruption and State Capture – called ‘Save Our South Africa’.

    State Capture: Madonsela ‘happy’ with court ruling on Zuma | News24

    https://m.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/state-capture-madonsela-happy-with-court-ruling-on-zuma-20171213

    (I met Thuli Madonsela – this South African Public Prosecutor in July 2017, at the World Justice Project International Rule of Law Forum at The Hague.)

    Penny Bright

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Penny
      I guess it follows what seems to be a human universal failing –
      Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.

    • Ad 9.2

      Any weak judge can stand up and look righteous once the leader has been deposed.

      Much more interesting to see what the new government leadership will actually do.

    • eco maori 9.3

      There is hope that all of Africa and her people will get their Mana back and they will share it to benefit all her people Ka pai Penny bright

      Joe 90 you know we have worked out that the 1% know about all the corruption in OUR WORLDs society they chose to keep it to themselves as they are scared they will lose their money.
      The neo liberals have tunnel vision on any issues that they disagree.
      Climate change is poking US in thee eye and they still denied it existed
      There small brains can’t handle admitting to there own flaws typical of neo liberal who self massage there own ego.

      Waha whakawhetai to Scott Morrison for making the time to teach our people in prison how to speak Maori this will help them find our Maori culture eco will have to learn more reo to
      Kia kaha people

    • Penny Bright 9.4

      Thuli Madonsela – an impressive South African woman.

      She stood up to and exposed President Zuma.

      She exposed ‘State Capture’ in South Africa.

      Good on her.

      https://advancedleadership.harvard.edu/people/thulisile-madonsela

      Advanced Leadership
      HOME / PEOPLE /
      Thulisile Madonsela

      Thulisile Madonsela
      Prior to ALI, Thulisile Madonsela was the Public Protector of South Africa, and was the first woman to hold this position.

      Ms. Madonsela is a human rights lawyer and authority on equality; she helped South Africa’s Constitutional Assembly draft the country’s constitution, and co-developed the policy framework that formed the basis of the establishment of her country’s Ministry for Women, Children and Persons with Disability.

      As an ALI Fellow, she hopes to explore new ways for legal systems to promote social justice and eradicate poverty, both in her native South Africa and globally.
      ___________________

  10. joe90 10

    The pricks have known for sixty years.

    It was a typical November day in New York City. The year: 1959. Robert Dunlop, 50 years old and photographed later as clean-shaven, hair carefully parted, his earnest face donning horn-rimmed glasses, passed under the Ionian columns of Columbia University’s iconic Low Library. He was a guest of honor for a grand occasion: the centennial of the American oil industry.

    […]

    Four others joined Dunlop at the podium that day, one of whom had made the journey from California – and Hungary before that. The nuclear weapons physicist Edward Teller had, by 1959, become ostracized by the scientific community for betraying his colleague J. Robert Oppenheimer, but he retained the embrace of industry and government. Teller’s task that November fourth was to address the crowd on “energy patterns of the future,” and his words carried an unexpected warning:

    Ladies and gentlemen, I am to talk to you about energy in the future. I will start by telling you why I believe that the energy resources of the past must be supplemented. First of all, these energy resources will run short as we use more and more of the fossil fuels. But I would […] like to mention another reason why we probably have to look for additional fuel supplies. And this, strangely, is the question of contaminating the atmosphere. [….] Whenever you burn conventional fuel, you create carbon dioxide. [….] The carbon dioxide is invisible, it is transparent, you can’t smell it, it is not dangerous to health, so why should one worry about it?

    Carbon dioxide has a strange property. It transmits visible light but it absorbs the infrared radiation which is emitted from the earth. Its presence in the atmosphere causes a greenhouse effect [….] It has been calculated that a temperature rise corresponding to a 10 per cent increase in carbon dioxide will be sufficient to melt the icecap and submerge New York. All the coastal cities would be covered, and since a considerable percentage of the human race lives in coastal regions, I think that this chemical contamination is more serious than most people tend to believe.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2018/jan/01/on-its-hundredth-birthday-in-1959-edward-teller-warned-the-oil-industry-about-global-warming

  11. eco maori 11

    I see that ECO Maori and the rest of the good people on the standard are having a positive effect on OUR society they are trying to cover it up I won’t say what the effect is but ECO see it many thanks to my te puna for gifting me these skills Ka kite ano

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