Open Mike 02/03/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 2nd, 2018 - 283 comments
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283 comments on “Open Mike 02/03/2018”

  1. Jenny 1

    Letter to Russian Consulate in Auckland

    As the official honorary representative of Russian interests in Auckland we ask you to pass onto the Russian ambassador in Wellington and the Russian government and their Syrian ally our shock and horror at the continuing bombardment and attacks and the delay in implementing the UN mandated ceasefire by the respective armed forces of your governments.

    The United Nations Security Council mandated ceasefire, which your government is party to, was agreed for the express purpose of delivering humanitarian aid to the civilian population of the besieged suburb of Ghouta.

    We consider the continuing military actions and the holding up of this supply of this civilian relief a war crime.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/25/syrias-return-to-bombing-as-usual-is-down-to-russia

    • Ed 1.1

      Before people accept your comments as a balanced account of events, they may wish to read over a long set of threads at the time of Aleppo.
      At the time, you made a series of allegations and statements about events there which turned out to be untrue.

      Patrick Cockburn is an independent journalist who writes about Syria.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-aleppo-iraq-mosul-isis-middle-east-conflict-assad-war-everything-youve-read-could-be-wrong-a7451656.html

      As is Eva Bartlett

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      Well said Jenny.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.1

          🙄

          Ad hominem argument demonstrates that dishonest loser is a dishonest loser.

          • Ed 1.2.1.1.1

            Your heroes lie.
            Syria.

            View at Medium.com

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Ad hominem, loser.

              • Ed

                Wow! So aggressive.

                I call it evidence to prove how many times the corporate media lies.
                And therefore why I’m highly sceptical of what they report.
                There is usually a hidden agenda.
                Which seems to involve either the takeover of a country or its reduction to chaos.

                General Wesley Clark reported this.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I don’t care what you call it, because all you’re doing is parroting someone else, and that is the sum total of your “contributions” to this forum.

                  • mauī

                    And what’s wrong with that?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Nothing, unless it’s accompanied by a whole bunch of passive-aggressive smears aimed at anyone who doesn’t toe the rote-learned line.

                    • mauī

                      To me it seems to be more about you not liking someone “parroting” someone else. We’ve all got our own commenting style, accept it.

                    • solkta

                      A troll is generally defined on this site as someone who clearly isn’t bothering to engage their brain when commenting. The standard is that the troll could be replaced with a dictionary of lines and phrases, and no-one would know the difference. Typically trolls do not interact with other commentators as they either ignore what others say in reply or write a reply that ignores what they said.

                  • andrew murray

                    @ OAB and Psyhco Milt,
                    Read what Solkta below is saying below about you, I couldn’t agree more with her

                  • spikeyboy

                    Says the chief msm parrot…

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I think you might learn to distinguish between disagreement and endorsement. That is: scepticism of narrative (a), no matter how strongly expressed, does not equal endorsement of narrative (b).

                      Also, you might want to read the moderation notes on today’s Open Mike before continuing this line of discussion. 🙂

                      As always, if you can quote something I’ve posted and have a substantive objection to it, I’m stupid and wrong so you should have little trouble illustrating it.

            • james 1.2.1.1.1.2

              You’re my hero Ed – Does that make you a liar ?

              • cleangreen

                OAB

                I am sick and tired of those who spend all there efforts trying to silence others so OAB give it a rest please!!!!

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  My first comment this morning was to Jenny. I was immediately attacked by Ed, with his usual name-calling and an implication that I make heroes of liars.

                  On the 22nd of February, Fender described one of your comments as a “fucking disgrace”. Get the deciduous forest out of your own eye before complaining about the beam in mine.

                • Ed

                  I find it amazing there are so many on this site willing to accept the mainstream narrative after 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Ukraine, Yugoslavia, Yemen, Syria…..

                  [Ed, you seem to be one of the key points in a developing flame war, so in the interests of damping that down, and of limiting the amount of time I have to spend on that I’m taking you out of the picture for 6 days. That’s double the ban you had last time for flaming, so figure that bans will increase in length from here on out.

                  Before you come back, have a think about how to be here. The things that stood out to me today were your repeated use of the ‘your heroes lie’ line at people you disagree with, and the fact that you look like you are trying to shut down conversation. I’m not that keen on the number of random links and vids without decent commentary from you, so expect me to be moderating for that in future too.

                  There are others causing problems here too, I will deal with that separately – weka]

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Such as?

                    [you are next on my radar, so count this as a warning. Stop the personalised attacks. There’s no problem naming the issues with other commenters, but drop the nasty and personal. Understand that upping the ante until a moderator gets annoyed enough to moderate other people will also result in your own ban. Expect double whatever ban you had last time. – weka]

                  • Philg

                    Ed
                    I agree with your general argument that lefties can be mislead by MSM on Syria, Russiagate etc. Propaganda works on both sides of the political fence. Regards.

      • Jenny 1.2.2

        Plus 1

    • reason 1.3

      Send a letter to TVNZ for me please …. seeing white Helmets dirty war propaganda film footage on our TV makes me sick …. even if Peter Dunne did flick them a hundred thousand NZ dollars on his way out the door …..

      “The supposedly Syrian NGO White Helmets were established in Turkey, not in Syria. They are largely trained in Turkey and Jordan, not inside Syria. They were established in March 2013 by a British ex-military officer with $300,000 in seed funding from Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-civil-war-eastern-ghouta-assad-regime-rebels-talks-artillery-air-strikes-a8224701.html

      “The Islamist Nusrah faction, the “child” of al-Qaeda of 9/11 infamy, appears to be more reluctant to surrender to the Syrians – even if allowed to leave with its light weapons – than Saudi Arabia’s favourite militia, the Jaish al-Islam, or Qatar’s proxy “Rahman Legion”. ..

      “While the footage from eastern Ghouta pointedly fails to show the armed Islamists who are fighting in the enclave,” …..

      “While the footage from eastern Ghouta pointedly fails to show the armed Islamists who are fighting in the enclave,there is no reason to doubt the suffering of the civilians. And some of these civilians, it should be remembered, will inevitably be relatives of the very Syrian soldiers who are planning to storm Ghouta; there were many Syrian military personnel who captured eastern Aleppo in 2016 whose own families also lived there” …

      “negotiations have continued between three rebel groups and the Syrian army – under the direct mediation of the Russians – to establish “humanitarian corridors” and “escape routes” for the tens of thousands of civilians trapped inside Ghouta, the vast area of suburban slums and farmland held by Islamist and other rebel groups since 2013. Almost identical talks took place between Islamists and the government over eastern Aleppo before its fall in December 2016.”

      http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/ghouta-siege-syria-death-toll-civilians-armed-attack-rebel-aleppo-latest-a8221086.html

      “The “rebels”/”terrorists”/“Islamists”/“armed opposition” – you must pick the mantra of your choice – are, of course, the one other “fact” of the Ghouta bloodbath which must not be addressed, spoken of, mentioned, referred to or even acknowledged. For the Nusrah fighters in Ghouta – whether or not they have brought pressure on the civilians of the suburbs to stay as “human shields” – are part of the original al-Qaeda movement which committed the crimes against humanity in America in 2001 and which have, more often than not, been prepared to cooperate in Syria with Isis, the vicious cult which the US, the EU, NATO and Russia (add here all the other usual defenders of civilisation) have promised to destroy. Nusrah’s allies are Jaish al-Islam, yet another Islamist group. ”

      Thinking of you Jenny …. “How can we complain when we will not ourselves deal with the armed Islamist opposition to Assad (I am not at this point talking about Isis) or try to arrange our own ceasefire, even with Russian help? After all, we’ve been arming these people for years”

      https://www.mintpressnews.com/investigation-white-helmets-committing-acts-terror-across-syria/231597/

      • francesca 1.3.1

        Snap! Reason
        Just linked to the same Independent article
        If all any of us have to go on are the reports, analysis, books and articles, youtube videos, whatever, most of us being prohibited from travelling to war torn Syria, then
        it comes down to who are the journalists we trust
        As well as reading widely and noting all the discrepancies in reporting over the duration

        Fisk, although he has to pull his punches somewhat, has been the most reliable and correct over time
        .As well, I was in Austria last year, being hosted by a woman who looks after Syrian refugees. When they first arrived they were all anti Assad, which was of course the right stance for anyone seeking asylum.As time has gone on , and their trust has built, many are now saying they want to go back and they are very much for Assad.

        • reason 1.3.1.1

          Cheers Francesca ….. One of my friends Neighbors is a Syrian refugee with children … This poor womans New Zealand experience has been isolation, poverty and home sickness.

          She worrys about her elderly parents,still in Syria, who suffer medical conditions … and the harm western sanctions are causing them in their access to medicine.

          She had a very difficult pregnancy here in New Zealand …. with WINZ taking advantage of her hospitalization to cut her welfare support … leaving her to return to a house with a new born baby … that had its electricity due to be cut off for overdue / non payment…. in winter time.

          I had helped round up baby stuff like feeding bottles and a bassinet for her … but I was so appalled at our ( NZs) treatment towards this mother that I kicked in a couple of hundred dollars to ensure a heated home for baby….. which my friend passed on to her.

          Later on my friend introduced her sister … who was visiting from overseas … to the Syrian lady……The Syrian mother literally cried tears of gratitude when describing to the visiting sister … telling her how nice and good and helpful my friend had been to her and her children.

          Aside from reinforcing that $200 bucks was among the best I’ve ever spent … I’ve also benefited from her Syrian cooking which are in part thank-you gifts…. I like it better than Lebanese.

          But the story is mainly one of destruction and sadness ….

          I doubt Jenny s commitment to stopping the suffering of the Syrian people.

          I doubt she will write a letter of the war crimes , famine and blockade ….. presently being conducted by the Saudis, u.s.a and Britain …. regarding Yemen.

          “For 1,000 days, huge amounts of sophisticated modern weapons have pounded Yemen, and on top of that we are now witnessing a Medieval siege where mass starvation is being used as a weapon of war. Cutting off vital food, fuel and medicine to a population is never justified and should never be tolerated. It is a tactic that is devoid of any sense of decency, any sense of morality and any sense of humanity.”

          With not a Russian in sight …………… https://www.oxfam.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2017/12/yemen-pushed-closer-to-famine

          • francesca 1.3.1.1.1

            Reason “destruction and sadness”
            I can’t even begin to imagine how we NZers would feel if our country was overrun by foreigners hellbent on destroying us.
            Magnify the grief of the CHCH earthquake, or the loss of a family member by several million
            So good to hear the Syrian mother you speak of has found such kindness from you and your neighbour
            The partisan nature of our major news sources is amplified by all to see in their contrasting treatment of Yemen and Syria

          • Jenny 1.3.1.1.2

            “I doubt Jenny s commitment to stopping the suffering of the Syrian people.

            I doubt she will write a letter of the war crimes , famine and blockade ….. presently being conducted by the Saudis, u.s.a and Britain …. regarding Yemen.”

            reason

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

            Kia ora reason, I am very aware of the suffering of the people of Yemen, just as you are, and I am as appalled as anyone. But I have no personal experience of Yemen.

            But my knowledge of Syria is far more direct and personal.

            My experience of Syria comes from actually having been there.

            In late 2010 just before the mass protests that came to be known as the Arab Spring swept the Middle East.

            Already massive student protests in Egypt had seen Mubarak send in the army to occupy the universities and close them down. News of these protests were carried around the region by Al Jazeera Arabic. Switching between Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic was a strange experience. There was zero reporting of the massive student protests in Egypt on Al Jazeera English. But full coverage on Al Jazeera Arabic. Unfortunately I cannot speak Arabic and had to get locals to translate the news feed, but the video images of the Egyptian students taking on the Egyptian Army and being violently thrown off their own campuses, spoke for themselves.

            (No wonder Al Jazeera is banned from Egypt by the military regime of Al Sisi, that replaced Mubarak as Egypt’s Western backed dictator).

            When I was in Syria the hatred for the regime was palpable. Like all dictatorships, building a personality cult around the dictator seemed to be mandatory. The image of the dictator was everywhere, on advertising hoardings, on the side of buildings, on motorway over-bridges. on lamp posts on fences. And just in case you forgot, I witnessed the bizarre sight of a hundred foot statue of the dictator in a field of wheat in the middle of no-where between Latakia and Homs. I was told by locals that any disparaging of the dictator’s ubiquitous image, which seemed strange and grotesque to my Western eyes, risked internment or possibly worse.

            Being a Westerner I lived in bubble but couldn’t help notice the massive police and army presence everywhere on the streets. The police actually had the appearance of a massive job creation program, their cars were what we would call rent a dent and they were usually packed with cops in shabby uniforms. Groups of Police mostly young men in poorly fitting white shirts and black trousers of the police could be seen just standing around almost on every street corner. Not all the police in these groups had guns but those that they did have were old and shabby looking little side arms.

            The soldiers were different, their camouflage uniforms were pressed and neat, their fully automatic weapons, always on show, were immaculate and modern.

            Syria was a strange mix, of poverty, but connected, internet cafes, some only with dial up. Many people spoke English, and often knew more of world current affairs than I did. This connectivity would later play a big part in organising the original protests against the regime. (protests which were greeted with unbelievable violence). To combat the people’s connectivity, the Assad regime made Syria the first country in history to turn off the internet.

            https://blog.cloudflare.com/how-syria-turned-off-the-internet/

            • One Two 1.3.1.1.2.1

              You’ve chosen sides because you’ve been to Syria and the people you met [had the same story]….
              There is always more than two sides , surely you understand that…

              So it follows that you’re supportive of the ongoing imperialist west interference and inflaming of the situation…

              It’s as if you’re completely ignoring the track record of imperialist west overthrowing governments around the world, while simultaneously propping up those that would.be overthrown by genuine uprising…

              Perhaps widen your focus and leave the bias of your personal experience aside…it might just allow you to find some more context…

              Taking sides says you’re against innocents who don’t share your view. ..

              Who are Syrians, and who are still living every day …

              While you’re not in the warzone but endorsing the collective misery none the less…

              • Jenny

                There is always more than two sides , surely you understand that…

                So it follows that you’re supportive of the ongoing imperialist west interference and inflaming of the situation…

                One Two

                I don’t think that follows at all.

                Because someone opposes German imperialism doesn’t mean they support British imperialism.

                Because someone opposes Russian imperialism doesn’t mean they support American imperialism.

        • Jenny 1.3.1.2

          Kia ora francesca You say that Syrian refugees are anti-Assad as a “stance” to get Asylum. But after a while as “their trust has built” change their position to become pro Assad.

          From a woman you met, who looks after Syrian refugees.

          You met someone, who had talked to someone else.

          I think it would be better to hear from the refugees themselves don’t you think?

          I would put it to you that that without further detail, as to who this person you talked to was, or better yet an account from the Syrian refugees themselves, in their own words, as to why they changed their views on the dictatorship, your second hand account could be mistaken for hearsay.

          It is just as possible that on finding so many otherwise very good and charitable people that they meet here, are pro-Assad, that they shaped their views to match.

          That the Syrian refugees want to return is no surprise. That is the common experience of all refugees.

          • francesca 1.3.1.2.1

            And so many have ,for instance to Aleppo, now under government control again
            https://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2018/0202/Syrian-refugees-return-to-their-war-torn-homes
            https://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/15/middleeast/aleppo-syria-rebuilds/index.html
            Syrians have made their preferences clear, by voting with their feet. By far the majority of internally displaced Syrians live in Govt protected areas.
            When the “rebels” came to Aleppo, many residents escaped to Western Aleppo. When the “rebels ” were defeated in Aleppo, the vast majority of Aleppans chose not to accompany them and their families to Idlib.They went to Western Aleppo until they could move back to their homes in the east
            And I did speak with the refugees.Some of the younger ones will probably stay in Austria, if they can, their kids are in school there , they’ve made a life, but the older ones are planning to go back.
            Syria is diverse, I’m surprised you didn’t notice that
            The message I was getting was not a universal hatred of Assad, by any means
            How has the civil service been maintained, teachers, doctors , nurses, rubbish collectors even, still being employed. The army, majority Sunni, over these gruelling years,with so many losses, still loyal to Assad, an Alawite, by far the most mild practitioners of Islam

            • Jenny 1.3.1.2.1.1

              And I did speak with the refugees.Some of the younger ones will probably stay in Austria, if they can, their kids are in school there , they’ve made a life, but the older ones are planning to go back.
              Syria is diverse, I’m surprised you didn’t notice that

              francesca

              And what did they say?

        • Jenny 1.3.1.3

          Kia ora francesca You say that Syrian refugees are anti-Assad as a “stance” to get Asylum. But after a while as “their trust has built” change their position to become pro Assad.

          From a woman you met, who looks after Syrian refugees.

          You met someone, who had talked to someone else.

          I think it would be better to hear from the refugees themselves wouldn’t you agree?

          Without further detail, as to who this person you talked to was, or better yet an account from the Syrian refugees themselves in their own words, as to why they changed their views on the dictatorship, I will have to withhold my judgement on your second hand account.

          I would put it you that it is just as possible, that on finding so many otherwise very good and charitable people that they meet here, are pro-Assad, that they shaped their views to match.

          See for instance reason’s account below of helping a Syrian refugee down on her luck and isolated alone and struggling.

          I might note here that reason never actually said that this woman had ever expressed a pro or anti Assad position to him or anyone else.

          Having done the same journey in reverse, (admittedly under completely different circumstances), and some times finding myself in the company of people in support of the regime, I was very careful with my views as well.

          P.S. That the Syrian refugees want to return is no surprise. That is the common experience and dream of most refugees who fled their country under circumstances not of their choosing. For Syrian refugees wanting to go home expressing an Anti-Assad view now, now that the regime looks set to reassert their grip on the country, would pretty much make a return to their homes impossible.

      • greywarshark 1.3.2

        Thanks reason
        You’re the reason amongst others, of why it is so interesting to come to The Standard. Someone who actually knows something and isn’t a commenter fighting a sort of proxy war jousting with journalists pens. instead of lances.

    • james 1.4

      Perhaps post it to them as opposed to posting here – I doubt they read the standard.

      • cleangreen 1.4.1

        I disagree with you James,

        I believe the media do watch TS and TDB and supply the details to their paymasters to “neutralise or counter” those commentators.

      • reason 1.4.2

        James …. and the weakness of Trolls …

        The best insult / criticism leveled at me here at The Standard,… after years of my needling trolls …. was I was a ‘misogynist conspiracy theorist with syphilitic lesions on my brain’ … or words to that effect.

        The somewhat rude critique came from Lyn , the sites owner / tech … and a poster / Author I have a bit of respect for.

        I hoped I hadn’t annoyed him to much …. and felt his partially deserved abuse of me ….although bettering any insults I’d received from Trolls … had taken minimal effort on his part. .. Showing Our Trolls can’t even insult well

        As the exchange took place on a fathers day … I decided to see the humorous side … …and take it as an unique gift ….

        Being .. , ” The only thing I got for fathers day was a diagnosis of Syphilis on the brain leading to conspiracy & misogynist disorders”…. Which was all true until I caught up with my kids and received my socks and stuff.

        On a more serious note …I did take on board his misogynist charge …. especially as another poster who I respect made the same point.

        Being aware of The Standards site problem,… in both gaining and retaining a representative number of female Authors ( half ),…. and the same for Posters gender participation stats…..
        Cognisant of this … and spurred by a dual accusation of misogyny .. I did do some thinking on females internet experience versus mine … and what types of unpleasantness … like misogyny ….negatively impact them but may be invisible to me and many males .

        Strangely enough this lead me ponder over Dick Piks …. something I have never sent or received … or really thought about.

        They were just not part of my internet experience … I had only peripherally encountered them,…. for a short period of time, …on a NZ dating site … Where the amount of women saying don’t send them .. indicated a large number of what I judge as grubby perverts … and a cyber ‘flashing’ problem.

        In general Abusive macho insult laden threads or posts ….can be more unpleasant or threatening to females … leading to decreased participation … and a genuine loss … especially on a political site …. When Females make up over half of our society / voters.

        This lead me to make the link between trolls & Dick Piks … Both being unsolicited, unpleasant and with the aim of degrading the site users experience.

        Despite the ugly natures and and other negatives of Trolls …. Lyn as is his site owners right, and correctly too imo … Allows them to post within the sites criteria’s ….

        To teach people ( us ) on the Left….. how to argue For our politics.

        To teach people ( us ) how to combat right wing spin / propaganda / meme’s … which Trolls exist by and serve up to us.

        So I’d like to help … and point out a weakness of Trolls .. which I have seen some posters exploit …

        Its related to their ‘bad faith’ opportunist attacks motivated by political malice and delivered with dishonesty …

        Because their positions and arguments are not grounded in real ethics or values on their part … over time this leads to them often contradicting themselves.

        Take the shit stirrer James … His condemning of Oxfam … despite them sacking their workers involved in prostitute / sex abuse scandal … versus his defense of non sacked Rugby union players in their abuse of New Zealander sex workers…..

        Or his false concerns for worker safety involving Pike river re-entry ….versus his posting history regarding Nationals slash and burn deregulation attacks or union weakening legislation… Was James one of the particularly vile rightwing dicks? … deflecting and blaming onto the union for the mass killing of honest kiwi workers at Pike river ?.

        His ugly hypocrisy … where he see’s it all legal and good… when millionaire Bill can falsely claim $800 per week housing allowances,.. renting of himself …because of his bent lawyer joining in his greed driven dishonesty …But to a troll like james ….. a solo mum doing similar on a far smaller scale… and for the reason of need not greed … is far worse and deserving of much more sever consequences….. he’s vomit inducing.

        Changing Trolls …. what was the tune BM was singing when John Key and the Nats were denying there was a growing …speculation driven … housing affordability crisis …. versus his doomsayer posts now.

        To sum up trolls are quite useless and their own dishonesty makes it easier to defeat their insincere arguments.

        Don’t get mad and lower yourself to their level ….. thats a win for them …

        Hoist them on their own petards …..

        Interesting fact based arguments will clean up these living dick piks …. like James

        and more sensible reasoned exchanges of ideas and information …. could improve female participation and input.here at The Standard.

        After all …On the internet and in our society ….Females are the ( more ), silent majority.

        Finally I should also credit Lyn… with guiding me into making two changes to my internet browsing and posts …. both of which help me argue better.

        I’m sure I still piss him off occasionally though….

        • james 1.4.2.1

          You lost me at “Strangely enough this lead me ponder over Dick Piks”.

          • reason 1.4.2.1.1

            That’s because a dick only has one eye james …..

            DP …. Dirty Politics … or … Dick Piks …….. here’s looking at you James 🙂

            • Stunned Mullet 1.4.2.1.1.1

              Lots of…………..fine ellipsis………………..eh ?

            • greywarshark 1.4.2.1.1.2

              That’s a fine effort from Lynn, one to be treasured on the wall like a scathing cartoon.

          • adam 1.4.2.1.2

            James are you trying to start a flame war, it seems like it.

            • James 1.4.2.1.2.1

              No if you read my original comment that this started from it was reasonable- no point addressing post on here to people who most likely don’t read it. You want them to receive your comments- send it to them.

        • Pete 1.4.2.2

          Shit stirrer James defended non-sacked Rugby union players in their abuse of New Zealander sex workers? “Interesting fact based arguments” and all?

          Are all those bits fact-based?

          • reason 1.4.2.2.1

            Ask James Pete …. or go look up his posts…. fill your boots …

            He was a staunch defender of Rugby unions Waikatos franchise sex abuse cover-up ….

            He’s also the only poster, here at The Standard, that I’ve seen vouch for ‘public toilet sex’, …. when he was defending a sleazy cheating all black ………… but thats another of his troll stories ….

            • Pete 1.4.2.2.1.1

              I wasn’t aware of “Rugby union players abuse of New Zealander sex workers.”

              I am aware of a case involving the Chiefs rugby franchise. I’m not sure about ‘sex abuse’ in that case. The incident described to me by someone who was there, someone with nothing to do with the rugby mob, certainly did not include anything by rugby players which would be usually be called sex abuse.

              • reason

                Pete …. As a male… I’m calling you out as a self identified example of NZs rape culture.

                And although I’d never expect to pull the scales from your eyes.

                Your sexist memory hole needs debunking ….

                “Dr Ang Jury, the chief executive of New Zealand Women’s Refuge, said whilst she was “appalled” by the allegations, the comments made by prominent public figures were of equal, if not greater, concern.” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/05/nz-rugby-club-and-sponsor-criticise-dancer-who-said-players-licked-and-groped-her

                …”when we’re abused, assaulted, raped, murdered, or harassed, we’re told we brought it on ourselves for choosing this job in the first place.” … James https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/on-the-inside/310570/don%27t-strip-us-of-our-humanity

                “This followed a call on Thursday by the Human Rights Commission urging NZR to sort out how it dealt with women in the wake of the event, saying there were problems surrounding how “integrity, mana, respect and basic personal rights” were dealt with by the organisation.

                The commission penned an open letter, signed by numerous high profile New Zealand women, including Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue, Sexual Violence Survivors Advocate Louise Nicholas and Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.” https://i.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/84066913/chiefs-scandal-we-have-not-got-it-right–nz-rugby-head

                https://i.stuff.co.nz/sport/84078856/chiefs-stripper-scandal-womans-ordeal-recounted-in-interview …Trigger warnings.

                James is in this link ../nz-home-of-rugby-raping-and-beer/

                But I’ll quote someone decent who works to do good …

                Stephanie Rodgers: “The police chose not to investigate out of respect for the wishes of the woman involved – who from day 1 of this had said she didn’t have much faith in the police process.

                Spinning this into “so obviously nothing happened” only shows that you have a deliberate agenda of minimising violence against women.

                As for NZ Rugby wanting the truth? If they had, they would have spoken to BOTH women who made allegations against the Chiefs, and wouldn’t have had their pet in-house lawyer run the investigation.

                By any objective measure, this whole thing stinks, and only the people who desperately, desperately don’t want to confront the reality of violence against women cry otherwise.”

                —————————-

                Finally , although I stopped playing Rugby after 1st 15 college level … I still have Rugby contacts …. who tell a totally different story than you Pete.

                The abuse involved Marque players … at least one all black was involved.

                Protecting the ‘Brand’ … with it’s multi-million corporate sponsorship … was behind the white wash and cover up from the Chiefs ….

                “But this is another mess for a team who have become a mega-brand. The All Blacks are a corporate entity – closely aligned to heavyweight sponsors.” …

                The whole Waikato team had to take the blame … and the guilty individuals were never identified or named.

                Why should innocent players, … and there had to be at least a couple …take the blame and shame, for something others in their team did??.

    • spikeyboy 1.5

      If the illegal invading army of the Usa packed up and went home then most of the trouble in Syria would evaporate. The head choppers of al qaeda would lose their support and the Russians and Syrian armies could rid themselves of thier blight. But no. We have to continue the nonsense of it all being the fault of Russia as with every other thing on this poor earth. Russia did it. Never mind the repeated calls by Putin for the USA military to respect international law and to stop fonancing terrorists. Never mind the slaughter and starvation wrought atound the world by an unthinking and uncaring agent orange in chief continuing all the slaughter of all the previous commanders in chief supporting starvation blockades and death and destruction.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.5.1

        M’kay. Plutocrats bad, kleptocrats good.

        • spikeyboy 1.5.1.1

          Can’t be very good at the kleptocratic arts though since Russia has health care for all and free education. Doesnt suffer the mindless gun violence of an armed police force that would rather shoot first. Pretty much says it all really. Police shoot up the civilian population and then the army goes off on their misadventures and shoots up the civilian population they come into contact with.

          • Stuart Munro 1.5.1.1.1

            Meh – Russia has bombed it’s way back into some people’s good books. Once they’re dead it’s pretty easy to call them all jihadists.

            • spikeyboy 1.5.1.1.1.1

              Actually no. Ive always liked the Ruskies. Most of the best books I’ve ever read were written by Russians.

              • Stuart Munro

                Depends on the ones you meet – my brother was a bigtime Russophile, has all kinds of friends. I was in fishing so I met the kleptocrats. Bulgakov they ain’t.

                • spikeyboy

                  And that is the strength of Putin. He has let the kleptocrats keep their illgotten gains on the proviso that they obey the law and pay their taxes. When they dont they are thrown in jail as in Magnitski.
                  As an aside the kleptocracy was set up by Yeltsin who was fully supported and heavily funded by Bill Clinton. He was and is deeply unpopular in Russia and required fixed elections aided by Clinton. For some background

                  https://mediaroots.org/mark-ames-on-post-soviet-russia-made-in-the-u-s-a/

            • Jenny 1.5.1.1.1.2

              Plus 1

  2. Ed 2

    We hear so much fake news today.
    Witness post 1.

    Today I am going to start a series of introductions to alternative news sources, which will offer Standardistas a different perspective to the propaganda pushed out by the corporate owned western media.

    #1Abby Martin
    Abby is an independent journalist I recommend you follow.
    Her investigative show ‘the Empire Files’ will show you stuff not broadcast in the msm.

    The most recent episode looks at how corporate lobbying has destroyed America’s democracy.

    • Andre 2.1

      Skepticism is a good thing. But it needs to be applied to all sources.

      Some people appear to get so wrapped up in their anti-msm and anti-west worldview that they become uncritical suckers for anything that claims the western media is lying. The claim that the western media is lying appears to suspend all critical faculties for anything that follows that claim.

      • Ed 2.1.1

        Cockburn is a lot more reliable a source than the Guardian.

        • Keepcalmcarryon 2.1.1.1

          References needed Ed. That’s a subjective statement. The guardian has some good stuff and some tripe, they have a bunch of journos.
          Making such simple blanket subjective statements does not endear faith in the critical thinking behind them.

      • Planet Earth 2.1.2

        Totally correct and well expressed, Andre

    • cleangreen 2.2

      Agreed Ed;

      We need to ‘purge those who use fake news’ and counter the fake news artists using it here on TS and other media today.

      Last week I defended myself when I said Winston was still taking the National party ministers to court and some commentators here rubbished me for this saying Winston had dropped his case and I was yesterday proved right as the press reported Winston was continuing an expanded case against National politicians after the details of the court documents under the “discovery” were released with many more names of National MP’s on the list of those who had circulated his private confidential documents.

      Those who critisised me then last week can now kindly offer there apologies please!!

  3. Jenny 4

    Putin unveils new “invincible” nuclear weapons

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-43239331

    • Ed 4.1

      Are you going to post Russophobic stuff all day?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        Are you ever going to stop applying passive-aggressive smears onto people who don’t swallow your rote-learned narrative?

      • Stuart Munro 4.1.2

        Are you going to tell us one shouldn’t be concerned by a country that develops weapons designed to wipe out life in an area the size of France?

        • francesca 4.1.2.1

          yes indeed
          So far the US is the only country that has that ability and a demonstrated willingness to exercise it

          • Stuart Munro 4.1.2.1.1

            Russia has released the first image of its new nuclear missile, a weapon so powerful that it could wipe out nearly all of the United Kingdom or France.

            https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/25/russia-unveils-satan-2-missile-powerful-enough-to-wipe-out-uk-fr/

            Putin’s enthusiasm for conventional warfare does little to suggest his nuclear intentions are any better.

            • francesca 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Russia’s “enthusiasm for conventional warfare ” is rather puny compared to others , I must say.
              How many countries is The US bombing at present?
              Hmmm
              And how many is Russia??

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It’s a ghoulish comparison.

                Syria:

                Estimated minimum civilian deaths from Russian airstrikes:
                Syrian Network for Human Rights: 5,783
                Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: 6,609
                Averaged estimated civilian deaths to January 30th 2018:
                6,196.

                Airwars estimates ‘coalition’ bombing deaths in the Syria as close to 4,000.

                US drones strikes have killed somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000 people since 2001.

                Even if these figures can be verified, what do they tell us?

                That notions of who is “good” and who is “bad” are quite foolish.

                • Brigid

                  Who is the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and where are they based? Who are their sources?

                • spikeyboy

                  If you want to get into ghoulish comparisons then at least use respectable figures instead of ones that maximise Russian caused deaths and minimise coalition deaths. Quoting the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights is the same thing as quoting the White Helmmets since the guy that does it pretty much sits in a house somewhere in the UK and phones his mates in the white helmets and over a couple beers they pull numbers out their arses.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Reading is a skill.

                    Even if these figures can be verified, what do they tell us?

                    That notions of who is “good” and who is “bad” are quite foolish.

              • Stuart Munro

                I don’t think the survivors of Russian aggression in Chechnya, Ingushetia, Georgia, or the Ukraine would agree. Or the Turks for that matter, and a significant number of Syrians.

                • spikeyboy

                  Sorry Stewart but the Georgia Russian thing also was not Russian agression but another case of an idiot western sycophant leader of an eastern country getting a little ahead of himself and attempting to bite off more than he could chew. Last seen in the Ukraine I believe…

                  • Stuart Munro

                    You know, until you’ve talked to the Georgian refugees you want to be mighty careful swallowing the Russian official line.

                    If the US had not involved itself in the Ukraine the Russians would be making the same excuses there. A colonial Russian presence is a known quantity in all the former soviet territories, and one would have to be barking mad to want Moscow meddling in local politics.

            • spikeyboy 4.1.2.1.1.2

              What enthusiasm is that pray tell? Helping the sovereign state of Syria repel US armed and trained terrorists doesnt qualify nor does action to protect itself from the fallout of a US funded coup on its doorstep. We have seen how the USA projects itself in a unipolar world. Putin is making it clear that Russia can defend itself. It is the USA that has lowered the bar to nuclear war by advocating criteria for first strke.

              • Stuart Munro

                Ok – so you’re ignoring that fact that Assad is a hereditary military dictator with a murderous history.

                Putin is propping up that corrupt and repressive regime, and the rebels who wanted representative government are mere cannon fodder as Putin bombs his way back into the good books of the uncritical “left”.

                • spikeyboy

                  And that justifies an invasion and 3 or 4 hundred thousand dead. Sorry bud but it still falls under the international definition of a war of aggression. i.e a war crime. The USA is an invading force hiwever you spin it.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Not even close.

                    Nor has Russia been discriminate in their bombing – the Islamophobia is deeply culturally bound there.

                    If the US had been invading Syria Assad would’ve been dead years ago. The US has its hands full dealing with Iraq’s long borders – it has no immediate invasion plans, especially not for Syria. No oil there to speak of.

                    • spikeyboy

                      I think you might find that the definition of an invading army is simply uninvited boots on the ground. If they are only supporting so called rebels and not actively shooting the local army its still an invasion. But they are also shooting up the local sovereign army as well. They are occupying land that is not theirs to occupy in the same way that Israel occupies land that is not theirs. Both cases are invasions by hostile countries

                    • spikeyboy

                      Oh and that islamophobua that you project. Would that be the reasin why both Iraq and Iran gave Russia permission to overfly their territory much to the surprise of USA?. Maybe they are a little friendlier to Islam than you think. After all they have lived side by side for a couple or three centuries now.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You appear to be confused.

                      The US has not invaded Syria and is not presently at war with Syria – although it is true that historically that hasn’t stopped them. What they have been doing is supporting various groups, some of whom the Syrian government does not like. It would be fair to describe this as supporting an insurgency, although the overthrow of the Syrian government does not appear to be a proximate US goal – they haven’t bombed Damascus for example, or even eliminated the airforce, though subsequent to a gas raid they apparently had that intention.

                      If Russia wasn’t Islamophobic the half million Chechens they killed would still be alive.

                    • spikeyboy []

                      Stuart. You need to get out more. The US has set up bases in Syria. Uninvited. They occupy poeces of Syria.This is a fact. Given these facts and the definition of invasion the USA has invaded Syria. Uninvited boots on the ground. War planes that kill Syrian soldiers. Where on earth do you get your news from? Even some mainstream US news outlets have carried these stories. Here is a definition of an invasion. Note that it doesnt mention that you have to win or do any thing except move an armed force into the country.
                      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/InvasionJj

                      [lprent: You need to get out more. Banned for 4 weeks for breathlessly promoting a false news meme. A base has a quite specific meaning in military terms. I presume that you are referring to the outposts or posts, each of which also has a specific meaning (try wikipedia if you don’t understand the concepts).

                      For those interested in looking at what this dimwitted fool with a talent for hyperbole rather than accuracy is referring to, it is a report from Turkey reporters.
                      http://orient-news.net/en/news_show/138956/0/AAs-map-of-US-bases-in-Syria-infuriates-Penatgon

                      I will rescind this ban if you can prove to me that there are at least one US installation on the scale of a military base in Syrian territory. However if you attempt to bullshit me or indulge in semantics, then I will triple the ban on each and every comment.

                      I like being fair even for dimwits. But I also believe that you should be responsible for what you write and endure the consequences for stupidly lying, and since you have no sense of scale, the I fail to see why I shouldn’t use the s similar but reduced sense of scale in response..

                      By way of comparison on propaganda from the other side:-
                      https://informnapalm.org/en/48-000-russian-soldiers-have-been-deployed-to-syria-many-of-them-also-fought-in-donbas/ ]

      • Daveosaurus 4.1.3

        Your error is assuming that the enemy of your enemy is your friend.

        That’s the sort of thinking that led to that senile old fool Reagan backing Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge throughout the 1980s.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      That address has “domestic consumption” written all over it. The Pentagon says they aren’t surprised by it. I wonder if that’s because they they read it while it was being written.

      • cleangreen 4.2.1

        OAB

        You do have a serious hangup I am sad to say here!!!!!

        Leave Ed his rights to speak his/her mind pleass.

        As I have already suggested to you “just give it up Michael” (credit to Vogel TV bread advertisement.)

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.1

          …my comment was to Jenny, not Ed.

        • veutoviper 4.2.1.2

          OAG also has the right to speak his mind, cleangreen.

          Update: Regardless of whom his comment was addressed to – Jenny or Ed.

      • Andre 4.2.2

        Here’s an analyst that thinks Putin had an intended audience of one for that speech. To provoke a smokescreen of bluster and bullshit and hopefully distract everyone.

        https://edition.cnn.com/2018/03/01/opinions/russia-missile-trump-opinion-vinograd/

        Can’t say I find it particularly persuasive, but there are some interesting points to ponder.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.2.1

          That analysis presumes that POTUS is sufficiently engaged to seek out the speech for himself, as opposed to watching white supremacist videos and trying to figure out how to shift the blame onto Jared.

          It’s far more likely that he heard about it through intermediaries.

          Beyond that, I expect he admires Putin’s rabble-rousing.

    • francesca 4.3

      So Jenny , in reply to your link…….And how do you think Russia should have reacted to Trump’s new muscular nuclear posture?

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/02/06/trumps-nuclear-policy-is-taking-us-back-to-the-cold-war/?utm_term=.1882ae280765

      Russia is telling the US that MAD still exists, and that there is no winnable nuclear war

    • Andre 4.4

      Even if we take the claims as accurate at face value, I don’t see that it really changes anything in the MAD balance of power.

      Even with the massive technology advances since Ronnie Raygun’s 1980s Star Wars boondoggles, it seems that modern missile defenses still aren’t particularly useful at stopping even fairly rudimentary incoming ballistic missiles or submarine launched cruise missiles.

      • Andre 4.4.1

        Here’s a useful piece expanding OAB’s point about the speech being for domestic consumption, and expanding my point about how current systems really aren’t a defense against current technology so increasing the capability to get past ineffective defenses doesn’t really change anything.

        https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/vladimir-putin-new-nuclear-weapons_us_5a9832f7e4b09c872bb238ca

      • francesca 4.4.2

        Different belief systems must be in play for the Trump administration
        http://thehill.com/opinion/national-security/370901-only-trump-can-restore-americas-ability-to-win-a-nuclear-war

        We’re not talking about logic here

        • Andre 4.4.2.1

          The only consistent belief the administration appears to have is that they’d win any willy-waving competition. Which is probably true, they really do have the biggest dick ever to sit in the Oval Office.

          • McFlock 4.4.2.1.1

            Francesca’s point was valid though, because with the Trump leadership vacuum defense is now on another gold rush.

            The NPR wasn’t Trump policy, it was Omaha lobbying for relevance and another $60Bil a year.

            The way they argued for relevance was to increase their utility by lowering the threshold at which they can be used. It’s the Nuclear Earth Penetrator all over again. But this time the prez likes big shiny bombs and has no idea about geopolitics.

            Trouble is, even if they use a little-bitty nuke on, say, North Korea or an Al Shabaab base, nobody has any model for likely international responses. Will Africa or Syria face death by a thousand “tactical” irradiations as each nuclear power supports its preferred parties? Will a nuclear power (or its automated response systems) just decide “it’s all on”?

            Putin’s speech was for domestic consumption primarily, but no politician of his calibre speaks to only one audience at a time.

            • adam 4.4.2.1.1.1

              Plus we have a wee problem, was the speech translated properly. Been reading that some of putin’s speech have been deliberately translated poorly to help confuse issues.

              In the case of Nuclear weapons, I know I want the exact words from his oligarch russia megaphone are right. It’s too bloody scary to have anything, except exactly what he said.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                deliberately

                It would be reasonably easy to provide evidence of that allegation, if all the translation ‘mistakes’ show a bias in one particular direction.

                CF: The Baltimore case

                • adam

                  OK deliberately was to strong a word, more like mistakes have been made, and in this case there had not better be even one.

              • McFlock

                What, in case he actually said shit like “oh, and this graphic of MIRVs over Florida, that’s would have happened with the old missiles, but our new ones are easier to shoot down because we’re trying to step back from a new arms race”?

                • adam

                  If the annihilation of the human race is on the cards. Get what is being said exactly right. All of it, context, idiom, and even the glib remarks if there are any.

                  • Antoine

                    I’m not actually convinced that knowing exactly what Putin said would make you any happier

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    If the annihilation of the human race is on the cards, the NSA will already have picked up on it by listening to all the Russian government’s communications.

                    Translation mistakes will have little effect on the rest of us: we’ll either believe it or not.

                    • adam

                      My point is when they construct an argument around putains comments, And the media will be rushing to model what the consensus will be – it better be based in fact, not fiction, lies or half truths.

                      A proper translation will help, but I’m guessing jingoism will be the dish we will be served.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If you focus on finding jingoism, you’ll surely find it. The Florida graphic, for example, appeals to little else.

                      Most analysis I’ve seen so far puts it down to domestic electioneering, like posturing for calendars.

                  • McFlock

                    If you’re in a position to do anything about it, you’ll have translators to hand.

                    If not, what are the repercussions of a slight mistranslation or the benefits of a precise tranlsation?

                    We are but grass on a field where elephants fight.

                    • greywarshark

                      I like that saying McFlock; sounds ancient and whimsical, but it’s damn true for now.

                    • McFlock

                      I thought it was a reference to a Chinese saying, but Wikiquote thinks it might be East African: “When two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”
                      .

              • francesca

                More often, the speech isn’t reported in its entirety.
                Or there will be all kinds of theories and Putin mind reading experts declaring what he really meant by it.
                Here’s an example
                http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/mar/06/john-bolton/did-vladimir-putin-call-breakup-ussr-greatest-geop/

                And as for revanchism, which he is constantly accused of

                “Anyone who doesn’t regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart,
                Anyone who wants it restored has no brain”

                Russian scholarship is all but dead in the US
                When Hillary as SOS wanted a reset with Russia, she handed Lavrov a big red button with what was supposed to be the Russian word for RESET
                Lavrov gave her a puzzled look and pointed out the word was actually OVERLOAD
                Incredible that the administration didn’t have access to a decent translator

                • Stuart Munro

                  The reason Russian scholarship practically died out is that none of the Kremlinologists were able to foresee the turn they took in 1991. They showed themselves to be of very limited foreign policy value, and so it became a poor academic choice.

                  Russia isn’t short of English speakers however – if they choose to be candid they can make themselves understood. Often their preference lies in sowing confusion however.

                  The revanchism isn’t a return to communism, however ersatz, but to the Russian imperialism that largely killed it. It was imperial ambition behind the Chechen wars (which largely went uncriticised in the west because W was invading Iraq at the time). It is imperial ambition that had Russia invading Georgia in the citrus war, and that lay behind their many attacks on the Ukraine.

                  By 2000 the world had concluded that Russia was a squalid little kleptocracy and wanted little to do with it – indeed their own people were fleeing in droves as economic refugees as enthusiastically as they ever defected from the former regime. The return to active militarism probably shouldn’t be the path to rehabilitate the regime.

                  • francesca

                    Saakashvilli
                    ( you know the one, wanted in Georgia for fraud and implication in murder, and also Ukraine on 3 criminal charges)
                    encouraged by the US but ultimately let down,launched the war in South Ossetia…a self proclaimed autonomous republic largely inhabited by Russians
                    Rhttps://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/georgia/6247620/EU-blames-Georgia-for-starting-war-with-Russia.html
                    “often their preference lies in sowing confusion” straight out of the cold war handbook!
                    Smacks of James Clapper’s (he of the perjury before congress)Russians are “genetically driven”to deceive etc
                    Criticise, yes, no country is squeaky clean, no politician devoid of flaw,personally I find Russia’s relationship with Israel a little close for comfort, but this prejudice that many have that Russia is BY NATURE bad is just dehumanising and dangerous.
                    It seems the default position is either utter contempt or ridiculous paranoia

                    • Stuart Munro

                      If you’ve ever had to deal with Russian kleptocrats you’d be paranoid about them too.

                      Funny how all the former satellites want to flee, and the bloody hand of Russian imperialism crushes these attempts at independence every time. I mean how perverse! Why wouldn’t anyone want to be saddled with a Moscow backed kleptocracy instead of self rule. These nascent states just don’t know what’s good for them – and what’s good for them is whatever Putin decides it is.

            • Antoine 4.4.2.1.1.2

              > Trouble is, even if they use a little-bitty nuke on, say, North Korea or an Al Shabaab base, nobody has any model for likely international responses.

              I always wonder what Russia and China would do if the USA nuked North Korea

              A.

              • Sabine

                not sure about Russia, but China could/would call in their loans, kick out US Business – cause frankly by now they don’t need them anymore, and simply ignore the US, and as they are already doing establish large refugee centres to take in the Koreans that survive.

                Russia? very much like China you can’t defeat them in a conventional war. Too large, to diverse, and harder – emotionally, spiritually and physically – then any US American you could throw at them. So i guess, Russia might stay ‘neutral’ see which way the wind blows and side with China.

                You might want to rather ask how will it affect US here in NZ.

                But of course no such thing will happen, cause the Russian will sweet talk the orange turd to bring peace and prosperty to all. Lucky us.

                • Antoine

                  Those things all sound comparatively OK. I’m wondering whether China/Russia would launch a strategic nuclear response

                  A.

                  • McFlock

                    I think they’d maintain a buffer by declaring NK a no-go area for “safety”, and drop some sanctions.

                    And then start threatening to tactically vapourise third parties across the world, because the US made it a legitimate foreign policy option.

                    Especially in an asymmetric/deniable capacity. Was it Russia that set of a nuke in Kiev? Or “separatists”? Or “Ukrainian neo-nazis”? Or the US? Or the Germans (no matter what they say)? Fallout spectroscopy says it came from a Russian reactor, but that’s fake news.

                    • Sabine

                      again, if one don’t cares about survival one goes nuclear.
                      while i don’t have much use for the Russian government and neither for the Chinese government i don’t consider them crazy.

                      If/when the USA nukes North Korea to show the world that the orange menace indeed has a penis, albeit as small as his hands, the chinese and the russians will act reasonable. The US will then be the pariah it should have been since the day it dropped the bomb on Hiroshima. Firstly because nukes, but also because the US has literally nothing on offer anymore that anyone on this planet would want.

                      We have passed the area of greed and me me me and are slowly but surely moving towards ‘share’ ‘sacrifice’ and ‘for some’. And the US as much as North Korea could be among those that will be sacrificed by the new powers that are, expendable.

                    • McFlock

                      If the limited nuclear strike genie is out of the bottle, everyone will want to show they have the balls to use it. In places most people don’t care about, or places that are especially important just to them.

                  • Sabine

                    neither the Chinese nor the Russians are batshit crazy or waiting/agitating or Armageddon to come.

                    besides, they don’t have to go ‘nuclear’ on the US, they simply have to cut the US off. the US and its 350 million people is nary a drop on the stone that is 7 billion + people.

              • Stuart Munro

                If the US nuked North Korea, South Korea would expel their bases. They might even fire on them. Hot war with the north destroys Seoul.

    • One Two 4.5

      Still beating that drum , Jenny

      You’ve not posted for a while…

  4. We hear so much fake news today.

    Closely followed by:

    Today I am going to start a series of introductions to alternative news sources…

    Does the first sentence mean we aren’t hearing enough fake news or something?

  5. reason 6

    On.. Law & Order …Step up Greg O Connor

    Greg O’Connor was not a Labour party candidate that I could ever bring myself to vote for.

    But in the interests of the greater good … which was then being getting rid of the NActs …. I kept my criticisms of Greg to myself, let bygones be bygones …. His former role, …of basically top union rep for the Police,….. gave him different priority s and objectives, … when he was in that Job.

    Also, While campaigning for Parliament he gained a measure of respect from me…. when I learned about his care / involvement and obvious love for his son born with a mental condition…. I was genuinely glad to learn something good about his character.

    Anyway, now Greg is in the role of being part of a Labour government … I would expect him to step up and own any law and order media debates … Without opposition lobs of ‘ soft on crime’ and other Dirty Politicking …. sticking to him.

    Not having to play nice with incompetent police ministers ,,,, for the sake of pay or resource negotiations …… He can now truly state how stretched and overworked the last Government left the Police force … and he can work towards realistic change.

    His statements, should he make them …on things like how the police base their staffing levels and work rosters on the consumption of the drug Alcohol,,, would carry more weight than the self serving outbursts from the serial bullshitter and abuser of police stats ….. Judith Collins & her whale oil side-kick…..

    Greg could offer real no nonsense solutions … while crushing people like Collins on the basis of their own failed past actions as police minister.

    But He got off to a very bad start, imo …. voting down the greens Cannabis reform bill… alongside with every NAct party Mp, ….. it was almost like Peter Dunne still held the seat of Ohariua ….

    Gregs new job is to represent his constituents and NZ citizens in general … to the best of his ability, ,,,, in what is a ‘fiscally constrained’ Government…..

    He should ask himself,… what is the difference in a pound Cannabis which brings economic benefits to the state of Colorado …. to the tune of between plus +$5000 to +$8,000 …. or maybe more with the multiplier effect.

    And a pound of New Zealand Cannabis,,,,which our police would proclaim causes $10,000 of harm to society … calculated using their dodgy “drug harm Index” to arrive at this opposite, and negative -$10,000 position…. What is the difference between Colorado and New Zealand Cannabis?.

    Apart from the economic difference….. of anywhere between $10,000-$15,000 or more …. for the same pound of pot …. Other serious and dangerous crime rates have fallen for Colorado…. Backing up other evidence, long in from places like Portugal, the Netherlands etc .

    Greg is now in a position where he is required to look at the bigger picture …. for example, …. Instead of just arguing for pay increases which would allow police officers to buy property and live in Auckland ( failed),…. he can now tackle corruption which has invested in and helped fuel our property speculation problems.

    Instead of arguing for a bigger slice of the Austerity / fiscally constrained pie being directed towards under-resourced Police …..

    He can help our Govt take action to challenge, stop and forfeit the proceeds of corruption or other white collar crime…. which would benefit our and other Governments revenues …

    New Zealand is either for or against corruption.

    Our last NAct govt was for the shadow systems and secrecy tools ….. used by drug runners, weapons smugglers, dictators and tax criminals…. involving NZ banks, Lawyers and accountants.

    Greg O’Connor should stand against such corruption …. and if successful he would increase Government resources / revenue … allowing a bigger police budget once our white collar austerity con job and artificial straight jacket is dismantled.

    In the short term he also needs to stand up and start owning any law & Order debates ….

    I’d also advice his mucking in and helping fix the Police problems …. the ones Judith Collins and other national party ministers ignored …. regarding the Cartwright inquiry recommendations ….

    Ones he called a ritual humiliation …. in his former role / job.

    • Ad 6.1

      Why is NZTA running a campaign about driving while under the influence of marijuana?

      Why is our country consistently in the top 3 globally least corrupt?

      Why is this government undertaking the widest review of the justice and corrections system in 2 generations?

      • Psycho Milt 6.1.1

        Why is NZTA running a campaign about driving while under the influence of marijuana?

        I’ve been wondering that myself. Have all the serious issues been dealt with and they’re now down to trivia?

      • reason 6.1.2

        1) Ask NZTA ….

        2) And going down …….. ie in the wrong direction

        3) Declining crime rates on a population basis … Yet increased prison musters and cost … as a result of former cynical, ideological and counter productive tough on crime politics…. which Labour cynically took part in under Phill Goff ….

        Labour and Goffs past effort were a double failure …. International worst practice …. and they’ve still got a ‘soft on crime’ image problem.

        4) what was the point of Ads post ??? ….. who cares apart from him ….

        Niggly prostrate syndrome perhaps ?

        Get the examination Ad 😉

        • Ad 6.1.2.1

          You attacked a single MP about whole-of-government issues, citing no evidence.

          • reason 6.1.2.1.1

            I cite his non appearance and zero impact over Nationals latest and last ‘soft on crime’ attack at Labour …. regarding their hesitation to sign up for yet Another Billion dollar prison contract.

            Prostrate Probs fuzzing up your critical thinking and comprehension facilities Ad?.

            Jokes at your expense aside ……… Show me the evidence of Greg helping Labour to combat Judith and the Nacts ‘soft on crime’ meme ….

            Was it in your initial response some-where ??

            • mac1 6.1.2.1.1.1

              “Jokes at your expense aside” are jokes at my expense, too, reason, as there will be many prostate cancer survivors like myself reading your comments.

              I assure you that my critical thinking and comprehension facilities are all in ”perfect working order” as the Scotsman said.

              However please advise your spell checker that is prostate cancer and not ‘prostrate’ as while cancer will lay many people low it is not spelt that way.

              The question of the building of another prison at a billion dollars has been addressed very publicly in the House by the Prime Minister when she said that imprisonment rates akin to those of the USA are a ‘moral and fiscal failure’, quoting former PM Bill English.

              The fact that there is reluctance to build another prison is not a law and order question. There are many ways outside of incarceration whereby law breakers can be dealt with.

              The law and order attack is just that, a well-worn and consistent theme of oppositions and governments alike.

              This government has answered the attack by Bridges. He has gained little traction with this. The attack was answered at the highest level, a level chosen by the Leader of the Opposition, when he asked the questions in the House of the Prime Minister, above Greg O’Connor’s pay grade as they say.

              Another reason why O’Connor may be quieter than you want him is that he is neither Minister of Justice nor is he Minister of Corrections. Those areas belong to Kelvin Davis and Andrew Little. Those men, and Jacinda Ardern as PM, have the responsibility to talk on behalf of the government.

              • veutoviper

                Well said. Pleased you raised the prostate issue and support you 1000% on that (although not a problem I will ever have, but have male family members who have.

                I have expanded on the Ministerial responsibilities etc at 6.2 below. I missed that you had already covered this.

              • Antoine

                This is O’Connor’s first term. He’s best advised to keep his pie hole shut and spend his time trying to figure out how everything works. Which seems to be exactly what he’s doing, as far as one can tell.

                A.

                • reason

                  When it comes to ignorant blurts …. I know who I’d like to ‘shut their pie hole’ …

                  Antoine seems ignorant that ….

                  Greg O’Connor is a very very experienced and extensive media operator ….

                  Over the last 9 years…. he would have been quoted more often … and got more column inches in News Papers …. than any Labour party MPs … barring the leaders … ie Shearer, Cunliffe etc.

                  He has conducted many hours worth of radio interviews

                  He was the go to guy for our media … over police and Law and Order issues.

                  He has far more inside knowledge of Police operations and staff than Nash, Davis …or any other Labour Pollies

                  They need to publicly bring him into their tent …

                  And work out their media response strategy …. Using Gregs experience and other Assets.

                  Muzzling him for a year would be really stupid …..

          • alwyn 6.1.2.1.2

            Andrew Little certainly used to think that Phil Goff was pretty much in favour of “bashing the crims” as I have heard it referred to.
            An old speech, certainly, but have a look at the first paragraph.
            https://www.parliament.nz/mi/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/document/50HansS_20130703_00000250/little-andrew-bail-amendment-bill-second-reading
            “The truth is that the only real toughening of our sentencing laws and bail laws in criminal justice happened under the last Labour Government. We have a lot to thank the Hon Phil Goff for for that work, which he himself gave an account of.”.
            On the other hand perhaps Andrew L was lying?

            • patricia bremner 6.1.2.1.2.1

              Last time you put this up I conceded that Andrew Little had supported Phil Goff when he was first came to parliament, (and you called me mealy mouthed) but in the years since then, he has realised 30 years of the “Lock ’em up” attitude has failed.

              To get that “May be Andrew Little lied” from that is a bit of a stretch! LOL
              You are a bit of a troll at times.

              • Antoine

                Still one thing we can take away from this is that the ‘lock em up’ approach can have a lot of appeal, even to very reasonable people on the left. Perhaps it is not an entirely dumb approach then??

                A.

              • alwyn

                “and you called me mealy mouthed”
                I am quite sure that I have never used the description “mealy mouthed” about anyone.
                Indeed, I had to look the definition up to find what it actually means.
                Where do you think I used the phrase about you?

                Apart from that however I was actually responding to someone who was asking questions about Phil Goff. “reason” said
                “former cynical, ideological and counter productive tough on crime politics…. which Labour cynically took part in under Phill Goff ”
                and then “Ad” responded
                “You attacked a single MP about whole-of-government issues, citing no evidence.”.
                I was merely offering some evidence that current senior members of the Government certainly thought that Phil was being tough on criminals and were supporting of his views. Is that not some evidence of Goff’s actions?

      • Stuart Munro 6.1.3

        Our country is consistently in the top 3 least globally corrupt because it’s not objectively measured.

        • veutoviper 6.1.3.1

          Exactly.

        • Ad 6.1.3.2

          Which of our global corruption indices do you dispute, and why?

          • Stuart Munro 6.1.3.2.1

            None of them are objectively measured, as you surely know. Which is why Transparency International describes its rating as a corruption perceptions index. https://www.transparency.org.nz/

            The extra legal process by which SCF was looted for example, or the NZ links in the Cyprus corruption murder are cause to believe that all is not well.

            • Ad 6.1.3.2.1.1

              Doesn’t answer the question, or assist Reason’s arm-waving.

              • Stuart Munro

                I wasn’t getting into that.

                The corruption indices are not robust – they’re as flaky or flakier than Bill’s growth numbers.

                If we want them to be genuine, and since corruption is a deadweight cost it’s worth suppressing, we should be looking at developing a more rigorous model. Korea for example, long plagued by the issue, has a protocol that lets it imprison suspects while they are investigated. This appreciably reduces their ability to cover things up.

                • Pat

                  “Korea for example, long plagued by the issue, has a protocol that lets it imprison suspects while they are investigated.”

                  True? I could see advantageous effect of that but runs counter to innocent until proven guilty…therefore not really an option.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    The number of prisoners on remand is well over 2,000. It’s an option for them…

                    However, the likelihood of prison does not affect the crime rate; how it could be expected to prevent corruption?

                    • reason

                      White collar crims shit themselves at the thought of prison …….

                      Unlike Maori who get the brunt of our racist justice system … with their near on world beating incarceration rates….

                      Even if we argue about the deterrent effect of prison …. The near complete non-investigation rates … combined with lack of penalties…. Could act as encouragement for white collar crims to ‘have a go’.

                      It’s all carrot and no stick at the moment ….. for the biggest crims (money wise) …. ie the 2.2 Billion Aussie bank heist.

                      Allowing the Keys and Shewans among us …. to be very ‘gutsy’.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      The number imprisoned in this fashion from day to day probably does not exceed 10. The point is not to create an endrun for the police (or prosecution service in the case of Korea), but to facilitate investigation and reduce opportunities to lay off blame. Practitioners of corruption tend to be wealthy and politically connected – investigators need sufficient powers to curb them. Former politicians are fairly frequent subjects of such investigations.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I’d settle for an increase in budget and resources available to IRD and the SFO before any further hardening of bail laws.

                      Even better, a reduction in the GINI, which would stand a good chance of reducing crimes of dishonesty overall.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      OAB – I’d settle for any constructive commitment along those lines too. But in the absence of such action, I feel that the example of how seriously other jurisdictions treat the abuses of those entrusted with public authority is salutary.

              • reason

                And your getting into dick waving territory Ad …

                Greg o’Connor is obviously no ordinary ‘single mp ….’ on policing or law and order issues …..

                He could be a very good Asset for the Labour team ..

                He could shut down the ‘soft on crime’ slur …. stopping it now and preventing its growth ……. towards a political weapon … at the next election.

                Or did Labour just recruit him ………… as an ordinary mp?.

                Really now .,..Just Whose side are you on Ad ?????

                • veutoviper

                  See my reply to you at 6.2

                  You really need to understand a lot more about how Parliament operates – and for very good reasons of … law and order.

            • savenz 6.1.3.2.1.2

              @ Stuart Munro +1

              We like to pat ourselves on the back as not being a corrupt country but times are a changing! What John Key and Judith Collins got up to, would not be allowed in other countries. It’s like corruption in plain sight while god knows how much worse the hidden stuff is.

              Like on the environment, many of our touted achievements as a “clean and green” and “low corruption” have been totally changed by a decades of hard neoliberal policy and quest to be a low wage economy part of Asia.

              • Stuart Munro

                Actually I think you have found a general principal in regard to corruption there: the technically non-corrupt activities of the political and commercial elites in most countries would not meet the standards of their neighbours or peers.

                But as for Key and Collins – both have been neck deep in activities that are perfectly punishable under existing laws. Key’s railway shares trade was a frank breach of insider trading rules and should not have been tolerated for an instant. SCF – the extrajudicial looting of a private citizen’s wealth was worthy of contemporary Russian kleptocrats, and the ongoing swamp kauri rorts make a mockery of claims that NZ has a rule of law. If Brownlee goes unpunished for Christchurch there is something very very wrong with NZ’s pretentions to operating a justice system.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  A US accountant I know shakes his head at the way we fail to take conflicts of interest seriously.

                  • Macro

                    Mind you – the US could take conflicts of interest a little more seriously too:
                    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/business/jared-kushner-apollo-citigroup-loans.html

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Depending on which narrative you believe, either they already are, or Jared Kushner is a false flag attack (or something – I find it hard to keep up with the ever shifting sands of the real truthy story).

                    • Macro

                      OAB – this is nothing to do with false flags or anything to do with Russia or the middle East or anywhere apart from a large building in NY which Kushners family “own” and is about $500 million in debt. Following two White House meetings with prominent US bankers (apparently on other business)… Hey Presto! Over half a billion in loans suddenly appears.
                      From the link above:

                      “This is exactly why senior government officials, for as long back as I have any experience, don’t maintain any active outside business interests,” said Don Fox, the former acting director of the Office of Government Ethics during the Obama administration and, before that, a lawyer for the Air Force and Navy during Republican and Democratic administrations. “The appearance of conflicts of interest is simply too great.”

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I think the former narrative – that Kushner is on Mueller’s to do list (ie: being taken seriously, as per your 5:02pm comment) – is far more likely.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    One other Korean example – politicians’ net worth is assessed going in and going out. Makes enriching oneself at public expense much more marginal.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      That wouldn’t capture the National Party behaviour of cashing in your bribes in the form of directorships, once you leave office.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Once they’ve left power they’re less of a problem – they can’t lean on prosecutors as much for example, or personally grant exemptions to laws. I think Brownlee, Collins, Joyce, Key and Adams all became much wealthier in government than ordinary investment and salary can explain. This would make them ripe for scrutiny under a scrupulous administration.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No, that would make them potential targets of the SFO or some other independent police body, not ‘the administration’.

                      Separation of powers and so-forth.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      The SFO doesn’t seem to be controlling such rorts noticeably. If they are under staffed or resourced it will indeed require a scrupulous administration to correct that. And if they are merely disinclined that too may require direction to remedy.

      • Molly 6.1.4

        “Why is our country consistently in the top 3 globally least corrupt?”
        Because the oft-quoted corruption index is a survey completed by “analysts, businesspeople and experts” on their perception of corruption.

        Pretty easy to see how that source of data could skew the results.

    • veutoviper 6.2

      reason

      Firstly re your comments on these two main themes:

      “Anyway, now Greg is in the role of being part of a Labour government I would expect him to step up and own any law and order media debates.” and

      ” I’d also advice his mucking in and helping fix the Police problems.”

      Greg O’Connor is a first term MP and not a Minister. It would be totally improper for him ” to step up and own any law and order media debates.”

      That is the role of the appropriate Minister – ie
      Stuart Nash – Minister of Police
      Kelvin Davis – Minister for Corrections
      Andrew Little – Minister of Justice, Minister of Courts.
      David Parker – Attorney-General, etc.

      As to his ” mucking in and helping fix Police problems”, I have no doubt that Stuart Nash will be drawing on Greg O’Connor’s experience and expertise behind the scenes, but Nash is the responsible Minister for media and Parliamentary debates with the Opposition such as former National Government Police Ministers such as Judith Collins. Nash, as Minister, is also responsible for the budgetary processes for seeking and obtaining additional financial and other resources for NZ Police – not O’Connor as a back bench MP.

      Similarly in respect of corruption and other such wider justice issues , these are the responsibility of the appropriate Ministers such as Parker and Little.

      Finally, as I assume you know, there were two bills on medicinal cannabis put before Parliament in January.

      The first one on 30 January was the new Government’s Bill which was agreed on the basis of party votes (with all Labour MPS voting for it including O’Connor) for passing to the Health Select Committee for further examination and public submissions.

      The second Bill was the Green Party Member’s Bill fronted by Chloe Swarbrick which proposed more changes that the Labour Govt Bill was debated the next night, 31 January and put to a personal vote – not a party vote. And yes, Greg O’Connor voted against this Bill being also referred to the Health Select Committee. The Ayes were 47 and the Noes were 73, so Greg actually voted with the majority of the House. Here is the transcript of the debate with the voting list at the end.

      https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20180131_20180131_32

      I personally would like to have seen both Bills go forward to the Select Committee and be considered together, but it is still possible for some of the provisions proposed in the Greens Bill to raised etc during the Select Committee process of the Government Bill and to possibly still make their way into the final Bill. We will have to wait to see.

      So, please give Greg a chance. And I hope the above clarifies why he cannot be up and ‘roaring fire and brimstone’ on law and order matters etc. as you suggest.

  6. eco maori 7

    Morning Duncan on the AM Show yes being Maori is your whakpapa and tepuna is your connection to Maori but one can be Maori it is how you behave that counts in ECO MAORI book.
    So Simon Bridge has to prove he is a leader for he Tangata.
    Ka kite ano

  7. Pete 8

    That expert of standards in journalism Mike Hosking is onto it today. Once again he nails it, the perfect parody in action.

    Stuff’s doing something he’s appalled by. He reckons they’re doing something to get clicks on their website and that’s tacky. And what they’re doing is about hearsay, rumour, innuendo, scuttlebutt – sleaze and gossip.

    “And one of the bigger reasons to worry is these days too many journalists aren’t up to much.”

    The man, working for Newstalkzb and the Herald, is a genius.

    You can only hope that morality and ethics will rule as much as sheer intellect and you don’t need to go to SkyCity Casino to lay a bet that they were in the front of his mind when he showed his colours: “I can promise you, should our lot have dreamed up anything as tasteless I would be saying so.”

  8. francesca 9

    Not in my name please Jenny
    If I believed in the total impartiality and truth of the Guardian article than yes, i’d be all for it.
    Have you read the ceasefire agreement?

    Affirming that the cessation of hostilities would not apply to military operations against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), Al-Qaida, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with terrorist groups, as designated by the Council, the organ further called on relevant Member States to coordinate efforts to monitor the cessation of hostilities, building on existing arrangements. It called on all Member States to use their influence with the parties to ensure its implementation and create conditions for a durable and lasting ceasefire.

    Here’s a point of view that frankly, I find more convincing than the Guardian article
    It points out who , in fact are the militant groups involved in the fighting
    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2018/02/syria-the-two-east-ghouta-campaigns-one-is-for-liberation-the-other-to-save-terrorists.html
    I’m really hoping that anyone who wishes to critique that article addresses the points made and doesn’t just descend to the MOA!!Yah boo sucks!! school of criticism

    Here is Robert Fisk , and this will not be palatable to many, but probably gets closer to the true state of affairs than most

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-civil-war-eastern-ghouta-assad-regime-rebels-talks-artillery-air-strikes-a8224701.html

    And spare me the crocodile tears Jenny.Where were you when 40,000 civilians died under US coalition bombs in Mosul?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/west-mosul-mass-civilian-casualties-death-isis-iraq-us-coalition-aleppo-russia-a7853586.html

    • Brigid 9.1

      And once you’ve read Francesca’s and Ed’s recommendations it may help to understand the situation in Syria to read this:
      https://southfront.org/escalation-in-syria-how-far-can-the-russians-be-pushed/#undefined.uxfs

      I seriously doubt that the BBC or Guardian will tell you the truth.

      There is also the question: why, only now are you concerned about the people in Ghouta, when they’ve been under the control of the headchopping ISIS/Al-Qaida/Al-Nusra Front for 6 years.
      As were the people of East Aleppo until the Syrian Arab Army negotiated with these same brutes allowing the free passage of people to the Syrian Government protected West Aleppo.
      And then allowed the above mentioned headchoppers free passage to Idlib.

      As far as the recent security council ceasefire goes Syrian ambassador Bashar Ja’afari said, “According to the article 51 of the Charter, my country has the right to defend itself with all legal tools. There is a military presence, a colonial presence, a US presence, in our country and we have the right to respond to that. She threatened us and we’re threatening her [Haley] from this rostrum because we have the right to defend ourselves according to article 51 of the Charter.”

      The document that Jaafari referred to
      https://goo.gl/iL8dR3

      And from the horses mouth, “Hamad Bin Jassim: We Supported Al-Qaeda in Syria”

  9. Venezia 10

    The rotten core of the powerful legal firms is now being exposed. The HR staff of these firms and the Law Society are also complicit.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018634372/law-society-misses-the-boat-completely

    • Johnr 10.1

      We should also be taking a long hard look at accounting organisations. They are set up in the same manner as lawyers outfits, complete with their own self governing body.

  10. veutoviper 11

    Yes I know that we all should be concentrating on and stressing about much more serious issues, but its Friday and we all need a bit of light relief from time to time.

    Tweet of the Week?

    Hope Hicks lasted approximately 19.6 Scaramuccis as communications director.

    H/t https://twitter.com/kathrynw5/status/968965231694237698
    via https://twitter.com/MattNippert

    Some extracts from the very long thread:
    1 Scaramucci = 2.18 Spicers .. or approximately 8.2 Flynns
    1 Spicer = about 9 Muccis (or Mooches?)
    “196 Trump days is like 12 calendar years”
    “Trump has sullied the US Presidency for 40.4 Scaramuccis”
    “e^2 4849 = 1 Scaramucci”

    Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for the mathematical discrepancies. There is argument as to whether 1 Scaramucci = 10, 11 or 12 days.

    Or this one by Matt Nippert himself?
    WARNIING – Ed avert your eyes.

    David Seymour could answer his critics by performing in Dancing With The Stars wearing Lady Gaga’s meat dress.

    I’ll stick with the Scaramuccis.

    On a more serious note, Nippert’s latest Herald article on Peter Thiel is worth reading – even if just to see the format etc of what the Herald presumably is now calling their Premium articles which they are planning to put behind a paywall. Lots of shiny magazine-type with pretty pictures etc. Nevertheless very interesting.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/indepth/national/how-peter-thiel-got-new-zealand-citizenship/

  11. rhinocrates 12

    On the shifting and apparently crumbling structure of the British oligarchy. An interesting overview of cultural change from the Minister of Silly Walks to the Wolves of Wall Street, with a suggestion that its inherent features will lead to collapse.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/feb/27/is-the-british-establishment-finally-finished

    As George Orwell noted in 1941, however useless the upper classes were, they believed in service to the nation: “One thing that has always shown that the English ruling class are morally fairly sound, is that in time of war they are ready enough to get themselves killed.”

    Such a sense of duty and self-sacrifice is decidedly absent in the new elite. Instead, the values of those at the top are all about personal enrichment, individualism, enlightened self-interest and a reverence for the “wealth creators”. But such norms are antithetical to any sense of shared, collective interests. Selfish individualism and survival of the fittest are not a good basis for holding any group together – including the elite.

    The international transiency of the new elite means they care little about the spaces, communities or workforces that are essential for servicing big corporations, as well as their personal needs. All of which suggests that the current manifestation of the establishment, if we can still call it that, has an extremely limited future.

  12. james 13

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/03/mbie-wrong-about-kiwibuild-costs-twyford.html

    Phil Twyford calls MBIE wrong on the Kiwi build figures – prefers to take Core Logics.

    Thats despite MIBE’s figures being requested by his government.

    Kiwibuild is looking to be nothing like it was promised.

    [you are also on a warning. Apart from this comment, everything else you have said today in OM has been poking at someone in the middle of an escalating flame war. Expect double whatever you had last time – weka]

  13. weka 14

    Moderation note for everyone generally. Today’s OM looked like a flame war about to break out. I’ve dampened that down by banning Ed and warning two other commenters, but would appreciate it if the commentariat could also self-moderate. Stick to the politics, let people disagree with you, don’t make personalised attacks. It’s fine to comment on dynamics happening in the community here, but they need to be non-attacking/nasty, and bring something useful to the table. I’m also looking at net value of contributions.

    My priorities at the moment go something like this:

    1. is the trolling/flaming likely to put off people wanting to write here? (it’s definitely affecting me)

    2. is it putting off other commenters? (have a look at the small number of people commenting, and who they are)

    3. what’s the most efficient use of my moderation time?

    In other words, while we all try to moderate in even handed ways, fairness to commenters isn’t in my top three pressing concerns.

    I’m really hoping that the commentariat can pull itself out of this self-involved cul de sac and lift the standard of debate here.

    • Carolyn_Nth 14.1

      Thanks, weka. I thought there must be interesting discussions happening on open mic because of the number of comments. However, that whole starter discussion at the top about Syria put me off – same old, same old entrenched positions from a lot of the same people – plus the unhelpful abuse that clarifies nothing.

      • Antoine 14.1.1

        In my view, conversations about foreign news on the Standard are very rarely worth reading. Standardistas are better value on their home ground

        A.

        • Robert Guyton 14.1.1.1

          100% agree, Antoine – endless churn from fixed positions – probably fun for a few but makes dull reading/skimming for those of us who support localization 🙂

          • weka 14.1.1.1.1

            Speaking of which, I don’t suppose you have a post or two up your sleeve?

            • adam 14.1.1.1.1.1

              Weka do you know much about this project to change the way we farm?

              https://landinstitute.org/

              I’ve found it an interesting read.

            • Robert Guyton 14.1.1.1.1.2

              Ahh! Let me see now… do you subscribe to this site, weka?
              https://www.neighbourly.co.nz/e-edition/nz-gardener/29163
              It’s very good 🙂 (and free)
              This week I’ve written about tii kouka (cabbage trees) in an effort to convince all New Zealanders of their exceptional value and beauty.
              I’ll flick through my mental files and see if there’s anything there, bursting to come out into the light of day.

              • faroutdude

                They are indeed a tree of beauty – although oft in a Dr Suess kind of way.
                My cats love them for climbing and sharpening claws, and they seem robust enough to survive much of this.
                The torrent of shed fronds, when dried and bundled, make great little fire starters as well, although play merry hell when eaten by the lawn mower or weed eater.
                Ah the joys of outdoor domesticity….

              • adam

                Thanks for the link Robert – as always a good read.

          • adam 14.1.1.1.2

            Robert do you know much about this project to change the way we farm?

            https://landinstitute.org/

            I’ve found it an interesting read.

            • Robert Guyton 14.1.1.1.2.1

              Hi Adam – are you familiar with the saying, “When Adam delved and Eve spun, who then was the gentleman?”
              Its meaning and history is very interesting.
              The approaches taken and recommended in the link you’ve given (thanks) are grist to my mill; that is, I think about and practice these things where I can, all of the time. They are the direction we have to take and are increasingly (and rapidly) taking. I’d go further, as I have strong views about the farming of hooved animals, but there’s plenty there for us toi be getting on with in this present, rapidly changing, environment. Have you been following the stories?

              • adam

                Short answer no.

                I am however changing what I grow. I’m growing more perennials.

                Renter so everything is in pots – I’m not going to rip out another garden becasue some landlord wants grass, not flower or food on their property.

                I lost one case in the tenancy tribunal over growing a veggie garden, makes me a bit angry. Had to rip it all out half way through January one year. Then plant grass.

                Most houses I’ve rented have just awful gardens full of noxious and dangerous plants Moth Plant, Tradescantia, White Bryony, Castor Oil Plant are just some I’ve removed from this property.

                The rental market needs fix in more ways than just people having a roof over their head at a reasonable price, we need to look at the gardens people have as well.

                • Antoine

                  I hear ya, but I don’t think we can give the tenant the right to do what they want to the garden against the landlord’s wishes.

                  I’d be pretty cheesed off if my tenant ripped out a bunch of my plants, or planted a substantial amount of new stuff, without getting my agreement first.

                  On the other hand, if the tenant had a good gardening track record, I would probably be quite likely to agree to whatever they wanted to do.

                  How about the right for the tenant to present the landlord with a plan for what they would like to do to the garden, and a requirement that the landlord give the plan reasonable consideration and come back with a yes/no answer, and a requirement that the tenant abide by that.

                  A.

                  • Muttonbird

                    Depends on what the landlord provides. If the landlord mows fortnightly and does the hedges 4 times a year then they might have a legitimate say in what the gardens look like but this I think is rare in private rentals, the tenant being responsible for garden maintenance in most cases.

                    This said, I think it’s reasonable to expect the tenant to be able to do what they like with it proved it is well maintained and can be returned to the original state if what’s done aren’t deemed improvements.

                    It comes back to the definition of ‘home’. Many tenants and their families want to create a home where they live rather than live in a low maintenance sterile box which is what most amateur landlord seek to offer. The restrictions set by landlords just because they can still seem to have precedence which goes against family health and strong communities.

  14. JanM 15

    Very timely, Weka – wading through all the nastiness to find the good stuff was getting to be not worth either my time or my feeling of well-being.
    I really hope it works
    kia kaha

    • Anne 15.1

      +100 JanM.

      There are quite a few valuable TS regulars who appear to have walked in recent times and the righties are not entirely to blame.

      Over the next six days, I hope Ed reflects on the fact that ramming the same stories down readers’ throats over and over again is doing the exact opposite to what is intended. 90% of readers here know all about the problems of the world Ed. They don’t need you to be constantly reminding them. All I suspect you’re doing is driving people away from the site.

      • savenz 15.1.1

        Thats a bit hard. There’s been a bit of a lull in debate of late, but I don’t think Ed is to blame. A lot of the people who used to post articles have left. That’s driven more debate onto Open Mike.

        Plus people have got the change of government that most people wanted, so it’s been a bit more bickering amongst the lefties themselves as people either support the positions of the new government or think they have got it wrong or could do better.

        Divide and conquer I guess works. People felt more comfortable hating the Natz.

        [I’ve made it very clear that Ed IS a problem from a moderation point of view and I suggest you read the moderations that happening today and take note. I’m sick of the partisan bullshit, from all sides. Lots of people are contributing to the problem and you’ve just become one of them.

        There were two well written posts up today, and yet the frenzy was happening in OM, not because there was better discussion to be had here, but because there was a flame war gearing up. That’s on the people that were taking part, not a lack of posts.

        The reasons why we have less authors are complex, but the commentariat and how it behaves is a significant one of them. I’m not trying to actively recruit new authors at the moment because I cannot in all honesty say that writing here is a net positive experience. As I have said a few times now, when I see anti-moderation commenters expressing concern about the authors and the site, I will take their other comments more seriously – weka]

        • adam 15.1.1.1

          Hating the Natz, now your talking somthing we can all agree on.

          Oh wait, I hate all smug self important types who think they are better than everyone else..Oh yeah back to hating Tory types.

          Umm who have I missed, the dancing with the stars, middle misogynist, android looking mp who routed the system. The tory with the most chance to start eating your brains.

          • Antoine 15.1.1.1.1

            Hating people will not improve your life

            • adam 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Please don’t react to this as a literalism.

              Stick you fingers in your ears and hum – “always look on the bright side of life” and read it again. Then you might get the tone I’m looking for.

              Hate is the enemy of reason, and the first step to creating of an other. And when someone becomes an other – then we can then justify killing them.

        • faroutdude 15.1.1.2

          “The reasons why we have less authors are complex”
          Gosh, and many thought it was as simple as them being rewarded by a plum position at the taxpayer trough…

          • Antoine 15.1.1.2.1

            wtf??

            Is this sarcasm again? I keep missing sarcasm.

            Or are you trying to suggest that Standard authors get some form of taxpayer funding.

            [Head scratch]

            A.

  15. adam 17

    Another glorious example of concern trolling.

    It’s like you didn’t read the post at all james, or are one of those people who has no understanding of economics. Me, I’m going to guess its the later, as you have shown you’re ideological over substance, time and time again.

    [all I’m seeing there is you attacking another commenter. Please stop, and read the general moderation note from me in today’s OM, thanks. – weka]

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • weka 17.1

      mod note for you.

      • adam 17.1.1

        Read,

        Question, is concern trolling a thing we accept now?

        • weka 17.1.1.1

          depends on who you mean by ‘we’. The moderators will deal with it as they need to. Commenters who out of the blue attack another commenter will likely find themselves moderated.

          As I said, all I can see is you attacking another commenter. Had you responded to their comment by arguing the politics or whatever that would be a different matter. Naming a comment as concern trolling is one thing. Doing only that *and attacking the commenter is a problem, esp when I’ve just spent a bunch of time dampening down a flame war.

          My focus at the moment is limiting the amount of time I will have to spend on this going forward. James has already been moderated today and acknowledged the warning. You haven’t so that makes you the problem in front of me not him.

          • adam 17.1.1.1.1

            Thanks for responding weka.

          • Robert Guyton 17.1.1.1.2

            weka – I hope you’re able to spend your evening relaxing and washing-away the grime from today’s biffo. If you’re a wine-drinker, may your glass bring you joy, if rom-coms help you relax, don’t choose “Bridget Jones – the edge of reason – it’s crap!
            🙂

            • Antoine 17.1.1.1.2.1

              Interesting fluff piece on Stuff the other day about how badly romcoms stand up to modern watching, in this age of #metoo

              A.

              • weka

                because of the script? or the actors/directors/producers etc?

                • Antoine

                  The script. In many cases, the things the guy does to get the girl are just really creepy.

                  A.

                  • weka

                    did they give examples?

                    • McFlock

                      Dunno about the Stuff thing itself. Similar article in Atlantic here.

                      The classic trope is the “bursting into the wedding because I love you” thing.

                      Standing outside her house in the rain with a grand statement of love after a fight… could go either way.

                      Then there’s the “romantic because rich” thing that pisses me off – Thomas Crown Affair, various others. First dates: expensive hobbies, trips to my private island, booking out an entire restaurant for a romantic dinner, filling rooms with thousands of dollars of roses, and so on. Little conversation, but a great montage of wealth that seems to do the trick (for plot purposes only /sarc). Not creepy necessarily, but it does conflate cash with romance.

            • weka 17.1.1.1.2.2

              Thanks Robert 🙂

              No wine for me atm. A bit short on good tv, if you have any recommendations.

              • Robert Guyton

                Well, they’re not “entertainment” but they excite me: a series of short films called “Woodlanders” about woodlands and people making their living from them: growing mushrooms, charcoal, baskets, harvesting acorns for flour, truffles for sale, etc. Localizing food and resource production and creating sustainable, healthy environments at the same time. There’s even one on “forest bathing”, something I’m sure you’d benefit from after today 🙂
                http://www.woodlanders.com/

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                If you haven’t seen the “Alphago” documentary on Netflix it’s well worth it, whether or not you are familiar with the game.

                I can’t honestly recommend any of the other stuff I’ve seen recently. Scandinavian cop shows aren’t that bad, I guess 🙂

              • JO

                This beautiful short film is a sanity saver, celebrating the endurance of old ways that work and the power and joy that can happen when people work together. Gothic cathedrals took centuries to build, not days, but the principles are the same. He Tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
                The Bridge at Q⬔eswachaka – https://youtu.be/dql-D6JQ1Bc

                • weka

                  that was so, so good, thank-you. And yes he tangata, and resiliency and sustainability shining out of that video all the way through.

                  • JO

                    It seemed that a little love needed spreading around today, something to smile about. The way you and the other moderators work with people is awesome, thank you.

  16. beatie 18

    Heard part of English’s valedictory speech on RNZ yesterday and was struck by the following ,

    ” I want to just finish with a quote from James K. Baxter that I’ve always liked. It’s from his poem called “New Zealand”, where the first line is

    “These unshaped islands, on the sawyer’s bench,
    Wait for the chisel of the mind,”

    On March 13, when I officially resign—it feels like you leave the building about six times when you’re going, six last times—it will be 10,000 days since I was elected, and I want to acknowledge my brother Conor, who pointed that out to me. Ten thousand days since I was elected, and I’m satisfied that, every day, I took my turn at the chisel.” (extract courtesy of ‘Scoop’)

    More a wrecking ball than chisel.

    No doubt Baxter would be turning in his grave.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      These unshaped islands, on the sawyer’s bench,
      Wait for the chisel of the mind,
      Green canyons to the south, immense and passive,
      Penetrated rarely, seeded only
      By the deer-culler’s shot, or else in the north
      Tribes of the shark and the octopus,
      Mangroves, black hair on a boxer’s hand.

      The founding fathers with their guns and bibles,
      Botanist, whaler, added bones and names
      To the land, to us a bridle
      As if the id were a horse: the swampy towns
      Like dreamers that struggle to wake,

      Longing for the poets’ truth
      And the lover’s pride. Something new and old
      Explores its own pain, hearing
      The rain’s choir on curtains of grey moss
      Or fingers of the Tasman pressing
      On breasts of hardening sand, as actors
      Find their own solitude in mirrors,

      As one who has buried his dead,
      Able at last to give with an open hand.

      James K Baxter.

      Somehow I suspect Baxter’s meaning escapes English’s narrow grasp.

      • AB 18.1.1

        Yeah – you’d have to think so.
        Baxter hated puritanism (“to us a bridle”) whereas to me, Bill seems to embody it with his public service austerity and ‘social investment’.

        The Baxter I like best is the late sonnets and sestinas which leave behind what could sometimes be the verbose hectoring of his middle period.
        Somehow I don’t think that this really chimes with Bill’s way of thinking:
        “Yesterday I planted garlic, today sunflowers
        The non-essentials first is a good motto..”

        • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.1.1

          “Able to give at last with an open hand”, compared to Bill’s ‘puter-rubbing fist clenched around a chisel.

    • greywarshark 18.2

      I don’t think wrecking ball is the right icon for Bill English and his political terms and service. It was more a slow chaining of the society ostensibly to make it safe, but actually constricting it, pulling tighter till parts withered and died.

      Our little nation of NZ – its still there partly, and calls out to us to care about it. The song Unchained Melody seems sickly and sentimental, not to be compared to the words of a practical ex-Treasury man, ex farmer boy like Bill English.

      But if we want to recover the passion for our country we need to let emotion fire us and drive us to give up time from lighter things and deal with how we can be both fair and strong as a country for all NZs, and follow the creed – Think not what your country can do for you – but what you can do for your country. National won’t ever manage that except in PR puffery.

      Unchained Melody
      (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrK5u5W8afc

  17. eco maori 19

    Here is how the Labour lead coalition government can meet it goals of building 10 of 1000 of houses in a controlled environment you could have it set up so anyone could learn how to work there in days without qualifications train them and give them qualifications once again 2 problems solved Ka kite ano. Here’s the link.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12004363

    Kia kaha

  18. eco maori 20

    The Green Party is doing fine influenceing policy they are just not crowing about there achievements Ka pai Ka kite ano

    • alwyn 20.1

      What have they actually done, in your opinion.
      Apart from promoting the “Preserve Winnies’ Job” Bill?

  19. OncewasTim 21

    I can’t believe how incredibly gorgeous some commenters on TS have come to be over the past few months.
    Their perfection just astounds me.
    Pendantry and nit picking.
    Many are obviously so utterly more ‘left’ than me. It’s truly humbling.
    I’m so in awe. And I’m wondering what I can possibly do to aspire to such perfection.
    Is it just a matter of changing to a McFlopp or some other clever handle?
    Please advise Aunt Daisy. I’M getting desperate

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