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Open Mike 03/01/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 3rd, 2018 - 113 comments
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113 comments on “Open Mike 03/01/2018 ”

  1. patricia bremner 1

    Could anyone give me their experience of Hospital waiting lists?

    I am about to go into the system for a hip operation.

    First there is the wait for an appointment for x rays, followed by a review, followed by a specialist appointment inside four months, if I get into the top points.

    Apparently within another four months I may qualify hopefully for surgery.

    I just wondered what the “on the ground” experience was, as I have heard people can go on and off the list depending on money available to do a number of operations.

    So, do I hold my breath or plan my life anyway? 2018. A pivotal year personally at 76.

    PS. pain is so bad I am now on a walker, though the inflammation has been greatly helped by rose hip oil capsules twice daily plus pain meds.

    • James 1.1

      I can help with this.

      My mum needed a hip replacement which was completed about 2 weeks before Christmas in the Waikato.

      Was all done under public health. Total time from docs to surgery was under 2 months.

      Edit Mum is about the same age as you also.

      • patricia bremner 1.1.1

        Thanks James. I’m in Rotorua. I believe it varies.

        • cleangreen 1.1.1.1

          Patricia I have been waiting since 2007 for an (ACC) covered Hernia operation to be done with (only local anaesthetic administration) in either HB or Gisborne.

          No surgeon in NZ will perform a ‘local anaesthetic operation on a hernia’ – even a simple inguanal hernia as mine is.

          You may wonder why I have need of ‘local anaethsetic’?

          I have extreme drug reations to chemicals and drugs and my medical specialists have requested only local anaestic administration be used and not use either ‘general or spinal’ administration with me as it may cause death.

          We need labour coalition to fix this impass now that national are gone.

          There are many still awaiting surgery as I am so we need to do better, and thanks for the question I hope this helps.

          • patricia bremner 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I also have issues being an asthmatic and ex polio. LOL never really “ex” as the effects are life long.

            I have heard of a hip op done as you describe. I’ll ask my friend where her surgery was done 5 years ago.

            I hope things improve for you as that is a painful situation, and limiting.

            • Patricia 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Hi Patricia – close relative (78) had her hip done under epidural and sedation. Went very well and quick recovery time. Up and about quickly and excellent long term outcome. Sadly great variation between DHBs and waiting times.

    • Andre 1.2

      My mother, now in her mid-80s, has had a number of hip operations over the last few years, starting from when she broke her hip in a fall.

      Prior to the fall, she was experiencing pain and lack of function, and was in the early stages of a hip replacement process. Immediately after the fall, hardware got put in the top of her femur to give her some mobility back in the short term (a hip replacement then and there wasn’t feasible because of the break location).

      After recovery had progressed far enough, she went back into the queue for a replacement. The schedule kept shifting, so she went ahead with her life including making arrangements for overseas travel to visit family. Then shortly before departure she got scheduled for the op at a time that would have required cancelling the trip. She decided the trip was more important to her and went ahead with that, so she lost her place in the queue.

      However, it was only a few months after her return that they were able to schedule her back in and she got the replacement not much later than she would have otherwise.

      So it seems to me that planning her life and living it anyway worked out ok for her. Her experience also looks to me like the health authority involved (Waitemata) do recognise that people have lives to live, and it’s one of the factors they have to account for when juggling all their different priorities. No, the timeline wasn’t as fast or convenient for her as it might have been with a fully-paid private route, but it did look to me like the system did a fair job of balancing the different constraints it has to work under.

      Of course, your experience may end up wildly different…

    • Rosemary McDonald 1.3

      Hiya patricia…sorry to hear of your troubles…and such a pity that the option of legal medical cannabis is not available to you….I have heard that even a balm can be quite relieving for such pain. 😉

      My recommendations….be available for surgery once you get to the “You do need the surgery and you’re now on the list stage.” My partner ended up on such a list a few years ago and settled in for a long wait…couple of weeks later they had a ‘gap’, he got a call, “Can you come in tomorrow morning?” and voilla!

      Another guy I know was told he could have the hip surgery done nowish if he was willing to go to Rotorua Hospital rather than wait for it to be done at Waikato.

      Now…I wouldn’t ever suggest that anyone manipulate the system, but, if perchance, a person had a fall or a stumble and was writhing in agony (say in the middle of a busy pedestrian crossing at rush hour) and an ambulance was called to transport said person to A&E then suddenly the situation is an ‘accident’ and an ’emergency’ and voilla (again !) operating theatres and orthopeadic surgeons miraculously become available. This happened to my ninety year old neighbour some years ago after some time languishing where you seem to be. Afterwards she commented that she should have had her fall months earlier. 🙂

      And another elderly friend, then in her 75th year, needed cataract surgery. She became highly pissed off at seemingly every doctor upon the road to the surgery asking her if she had medical insurance. This was 28 years ago and she did…but that wasn’t the point…there was, even then…this herding of as many patients as possible out of the public system and into the private system. More often than not it is the same surgeons performing in both venues…and my friend knew she was being profiled…

      She was getting to the stage of being unable to drive so with great reluctance went private….then the insurance company tried to rip her off.

      Your are entering shark invested waters mate….

      If you truly want to become depressed…google “hip surgery unmet need” and you’ll find some uplifting academic research that rather coldly calculates the odds of making it to the table.

      https://nzoa.org.nz/system/files/Quantifying%20the%20demand%20for%20hip%20and%20knee%20replacement.pdf

      https://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/read-the-journal/all-issues/2010-2019/2016/vol-129-no-1432-1-april-2016/6861

      “Firstly, replacing joints in patients who have lived with disabling arthritis for a significant period of time, and who have more co-morbidities, is likely to result in poorer outcomes with higher postoperative complications. Secondly, managing these patients in the community will require increased resources. Thirdly, operating on ‘end-stage’ osteoarthritis can be surgically demanding, resulting in the use of more expensive implants, more extensive rehabilitation and intensive nursing; all of which require added resources.”

      The very best of luck patricia….

      • stunned mullet 1.3.1

        Where you come on the public service waiting list is based on need.

        The higher your perceived need the quicker you will be seen.

        While I wouldn’t wish to direct you to lie I would suggest you talk up the impact it is having on your life/mobility as much as you possibly can with the help of a supportive general practitioner.

        • alwyn 1.3.1.1

          And tell them you are in severe pain most of the time. It is, or at least was, more important than whether you can get around.
          The Doctor who assessed me before I had mine replaced told me that you have to tell them the pain is unbearable. It is not the Doctor who decides whether you get on the queue. It is someone working in the DHB office who only sees your responses to a questionnaire.
          It is an enormous change in your circumstances though.
          No more pain.

      • patricia bremner 1.3.2

        Rosemary, this is as I thought. Thanks for your good wishes.

      • patricia bremner 1.3.3

        Rosemary that has been the experience of friends in the past. I had depressed myself earlier with the documents you listed xx.

        • Rosemary McDonald 1.3.3.1

          “I had depressed myself earlier with the documents you listed xx.”

          Actually…that quote I put up…“Firstly, replacing joints in patients who have lived with disabling arthritis for a significant period of time, and who have more co-morbidities, is likely to result in poorer outcomes with higher postoperative complications. Secondly, managing these patients in the community will require increased resources. Thirdly, operating on ‘end-stage’ osteoarthritis can be surgically demanding, resulting in the use of more expensive implants, more extensive rehabilitation and intensive nursing; all of which require added resources.”

          wasn’t supposed to depress…its a hint. 😉 😉

          Also…use your previous diagnosis of polio for all its worth…seriously, its a ‘co-morbidity’ that could/has already exacerbated your dodgy hip.

          The last thing they wan’t is for you to lose independence…you’ll cost ’em more in the long term.

          My partner has been a full time wheelchair user since 1970. At some stage, a tumble from his chair must have broke a hip (he can’t feel the pain) and it has set a bit weird. A few years ago he suddenly got an ugly, red swollen lump on that hip. Made sitting in his w/c really difficult. Chances of a hip replacement for someone who will never walk again and is already dependent on others for support is zero. This preparation was recommended ….https://www.nz-online-pharmacy.com/products/traumitane-recovery-action-cream-75g.html…twice daily. Way more effective than the hot rubs or the anti inflammatory rubs…and very gentle on a chemically sensitive skin. Tears of relief when the ugly red lump went away…..

          • patricia bremner 1.3.3.1.1

            Rosemary thanks. I use painaway from Aus. It will be good to find a helpful thing here. You both deserve a good New Year xx

    • Zorb6 1.4

      My theory ,for what it’s worth,is to always try and get a woman surgeon.Their success rate is better AFAIK.They seem more kind,caring and delicate in surgical matters,more finesse,nimble fingers.Its a conveyer belt system,quite efficient and impersonal.I suppose I can be accused of being sexist with my observation.Too bad.

      • James 1.4.1

        Are you saying that someone could be better at a job simply because of their physical sex ?

      • stunned mullet 1.4.2

        Your theory is bullshit. It’s best to get an orthopaedic surgeon who specialises in hips and performs multiple operations per week, furthermore it’s preferable that the surgery is performed in one of the main regional centres.

        • Zorb6 1.4.2.1

          I would assume that these ops are performed by specialists in that field,not by anyone who walks through the door.Anyway your condemnation of my theory as b/s moved me to find out if it had any substance.
          http://time.com/4975232/women-surgeon-surgery/

          • James 1.4.2.1.1

            So you agree that a persons physical sex can make them more suited to a particular job or task ?

            • weka 1.4.2.1.1.1

              only as a generality, it can’t be applied to individuals. And it’s not so much about gender making someone more suited, it’s that there are broad differences that affect things. Some are biological, some are social, good luck figuring that out.

          • Andre 1.4.2.1.2

            Here’s the two useful paragraphs from that Time piece:

            “Even after those adjustments, patients of female surgeons were 4% less likely to die, be readmitted or experience complications 30 days after their surgery compared to patients of male surgeons.”

            So if there really is a difference, and not just an artefact of torturing the data, then the difference is still very very small.

            “In the meantime, he says, gender shouldn’t be a factor in deciding which surgeon should be in charge of your next operation. “You should select a surgeon based on the rapport you have with him or her, what your family physician recommends, and the research you do,” says Satkunasivam. “You should be equally confident with a male or female surgeon.” ”

            Not that you’re likely to have much choice in New Zealand’s system, mind. But it still points to the value of doing what you can to build rapport with your practitioners.

            • weka 1.4.2.1.2.1

              I agree, and it’s a big failing of the NZ system that it’s relatively difficult to choose the specialist or surgeon you see. Not impossible, but there is little attention paid to the value of having someone you get on with.

            • Zorb6 1.4.2.1.2.2

              Supposedly the chance of extreme adverse effects after surgery are 5%..i.e 1/20.On those odds ,even a 4% better success rate is a big plus imo.

              • Andre

                Given that reports written to claim there’s a difference between A and B usually find a way to maximise the apparent size of that difference, I interpret that reported 4% difference to mean that the rate of post-operative adverse events for female surgeons is say 4.85% and the rate for male surgeons is 5.05%, to end up with an average rate of 5% for all surgeons.

                Yes it’s possible the rates are of the order of 2% and 6% respectively (allowing for there being a lot more male surgeons than female surgeons, to get a mean of around 5%). But if that were the case, I would expect the headline to be something like “Post-operative adverse events are 3 times higher for male surgeons than for female surgeons”

      • cleangreen 1.4.3

        Thanks Zorb6 I will re-apply for my ACC operation now asking for a Woman for my operation too, as as a man while in Canada I underwent several medical proceedures and in several cases my experiences with women specialists/surgeons I recieved a full careful treatment and recovery that was provided was excellent there, so I agree with you there.

    • Whispering Kate 1.5

      Bottom line, to qualify for hip or knee replacement there has to be “bone on bone” – if there is any padding inbetween they will make you wait that bit longer. Then you wait for the operation which is usually within 4 months. I don’t know about knee reconstructions or partial knees. I have had a knee replaced and it has worked wonders for me. I kept off pain killers and just used plenty of athletic strapping and local pain rubs like Deep Heat. Hips are a bit more difficult to keep the pain under control. Fish Oil and Glucosomine with Chondroitin also are great for hips and knees.

      • halfcrown 1.5.1

        “Fish Oil and Glucosomine with Chondroitin also are great for hips and knees.”

        Thanks for the info Kate, I am beginning to get hip problems and I have told my JP surgery is out. At my age, it would be a complete waste of time and money. Sooner they did it on younger persons or spent the money on some poor unfortunate kid.
        My hip plays up at night keeping me awake I take the occasional Panadol as I am not a pill popper but have stayed away from those other products as I was not sure how they would work. Was about to visit my JP for his advice but now I will visit the chemist and buy some of those products
        I hope my hip joint does not get too bad as we do a lot of photography, well, the photography is a means to an end it to get us out in the wild to appreciate this country of ours before it is well and truly stuffed.

        • Whispering Kate 1.5.1.1

          Take the fish oil and glucosomine morning and night – I use quite high doses of the fish oil and what ever the glucosomine says on the label you can up the dose on that as well. It made all the difference to me when I started taking it twice daily instead of just the once. I presume you are using a walking stick. Also swing both legs out of the car when you get out and when getting up off dining chairs swing both legs around as well – try and keep the hips and legs together when sitting – no crossing legs or letting your legs lay apart when sitting.

          As for your age – if it means you are going to have a better quality of life and you have over all general good health, then I think you should get it done and I am sure your doctor will agree.. We are all entitled to health care in this country.

          • patricia bremner 1.5.1.1.1

            Thank you for the tips. I invested in a swivel seat for the car. My problem is I have to lift my left leg now because of polio as a child…. adds to the woes.

          • halfcrown 1.5.1.1.2

            Thanks for your reply Kate. No, I am fortunate that I can walk with no problems and have no need for a walking stick, I feel it has only just started, well been like this for the last 2 years about and only get pain when I lie down in bed or drive for long stretches.

            Thanks for the general tips about getting up off chairs etc.,

            Yeah, I agree with your last sentence Kate, but I have been fortunate had several hand ups along the way that has given me a successful life. I know we are all entitled to health care but after the Tories have destroyed the public system. and now with the limited health care and money available I feel in my very late years I don’t need expensive procedures just for a few years before I kick the bucket.
            My GP (not JP as written in my first response. that is known as an SOS Silly Old Sod Syndrome) would agree with you.

        • patricia bremner 1.5.1.2

          Halfcrown, I mentioned Vital rosehip GOPO It has been clinically tested in 15 trials. (I could not use anti inflammatory aids other than this as they depressed my kidney function.) My hip to knee was hot and inflamed and within a week it had improved and a month later I realised I was able to sleep and sit a great deal longer and my hip was hot at one point only.

          I have just started Glocosamine and chondroitin. It is not cheap, but will help as the tablet has Vit D etc. I don’t get out much currently as I had polio as a child and this is my “good” leg and I’m prone to falls.

          I blessed the election, as we were in Australia when my hip was suddenly totally bad. The internet and this site gave me something else to focus on at 3.a.m.

          Christmas and New Year are a “slow time” for progress with hips etc. (possibly car accidents, holiday period in general). Good luck with the treatment.

          We have ordered the next lot of rosehip and await it from Chemist Wharehouse Auckland. An Australian crowd just starting up here. Norm got his glucosamine
          from Go Healthy online. Cheers.

          • cleangreen 1.5.1.2.1

            Patricia,

            I too have a knee injury and am awaiting an operation on it to but no light at the end of the tunnel yet as there is a very slow rate of surgery of knee replacement now during 2017 so 2018 may be better.

            My knee surgery Specialist comes from Hamilton to Gisborne and can only book twice on (two wednesdays) a month and he said last time that he is booked for six months ahead.

            My knee injury was an ACC claim as it was pinned and crushed by a boat against a reef while fishing.

            My inside left knee meniculus was ‘torn’ so it now feels like bone on bone and aches occassinally too.

            The emergency doctor only gave me an opiate last year in may, (which I didn’t take)

            I have used your treatment of fish oils and Glocosamine and chondroitin and use a floor cycle to excercise with now.

            Now I have two small bottles of “Vital 3” I just recieved from my wife as she sent an order to ‘Vital3.com’ in NY for some as she saw it on the website.

            Before I try three drops with water every morning do you know about the product?

            • patricia bremner 1.5.1.2.1.1

              Cleangreen, no not that one. I hadn’t seen that before. Just read about the USA trials and patent online now.. Try it, as it doesn’t affect other meds. Nothing ventured nothing gained. I’ll be interested to hear of your progress. Please let us know. Good luck.

          • halfcrown 1.5.1.2.2

            Thanks for that Patrica I will be going ahead with the advice and suggestions from both you and Kate.

      • cleangreen 1.5.2

        Thank you very much Kate very good advise.

    • weka 1.6

      I think it depends on what DHB you are in too.

      From people I know who’ve been through this, keeping the pressure on helps. The people managing the lists are working in a stressful situation (not enough funding), but I think polite but firm persistence, especially if you are being given the run around, can keep them focussed. It’s work, but if you’re not getting your medical needs attended to, go back to your GP, get a letter, give it to the hospital, phone them, talk to the manager etc. Yes there are processes and rules, but people get dropped out because of the limits of the system, and reminding them of your rights can get you back in and reprioritised.

      (and yes, that means someone else will get dropped off. If this is manageable for you, start hassling your local MP as well).

      • Rosemary McDonald 1.6.1

        “…keeping the pressure on helps.”

        Hah! I know another guy, in his seventies, who still blames Labour for all the failings in the Public Health system. His usual MO when told to wait his ‘turn’ for hip, knee, shoulder surgery (he has had all of these) is to visit his local MP (always National) and proceed to rant and rave with promises to return if they don’t sort it. Seems to work. Alternatively, it could be the fact that he has a rather well developed sense of entitlement and conveys such to whichever health professional has the misfortune to suggest that there might be a wait.

        And fuck me…it really seems to do the trick…

    • Fireblade 1.7

      I had surgery in 2013 at Waikato Hospital. To speed the process up, my GP referred me to a private specialist surgeon who also worked in the public system.

      After the consultation, the surgeon put me on the waiting list, advising it was urgent case. I had to pay for the private specialist and an MRI.

      Five months later I had the operation. If I didn’t go private for the specialist surgeon consult and MRI, it would have added another six months to the process.

      It seems wrong that I had to pay around $1,500 myself because the system is so slow.

      Maybe you could do something similar to speed things up, if possible?

      I hope things go well for you and you have a speedy recovery.

      • patricia bremner 1.7.1

        Thank you all for your responses. In your head you know you are not alone with this, but at 3.a.m it can feel like that!

        I am cheered by your suggestions, I guess I worry they may not be very quick, as my doctor said possibly Nov, and I thought “well I’m going to live my life.”

    • Morrissey 2.1

      I wonder why Greenwald never appears on New Zealand television….

      …the centerpiece of U.S. foreign policy, really in the wake of World War II through the Cold War, and then even with the fall of the Soviet Union, has been to align with and to embrace and to support dictators, tyrants and repressive regimes, as long as they serve the interests of the United States. So, anybody in their right mind who ever takes seriously pronouncements from official Washington that they’re motivated by anger over repression or a defense of the political rights of people in other countries is incredibly naive at best, to put that generously.

      Just this week, Juan, there was an amazing leak that Politico published, which was a State Department memo written to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that explicitly said what has been long obvious, but usually isn’t put into words so clear, that human rights is not actually something the U.S. government believes in; it is a cudgel that it uses to undermine and bash countries that don’t serve its interests. They use denunciations of human rights abuses to undermine and weaken governments that are contrary to their agenda, like in Iran, while at the same time, this memo said—this isn’t me saying this, this is the State Department memo saying—they overlook and even sanction repressive behavior on the part of their allies.

      And it goes beyond the Trump administration. I mean, if you look at how official Washington works in terms of, say, the leading think tanks in Washington, the Brookings Institution, for example, which has become incredibly popular among liberals in the Trump era, is funded with tens of millions of dollars by the government of Qatar, one of the most repressive regimes on the planet. The Center for American Progress, which is probably the leading Democratic Party think tank in the United States, is funded in—one of their biggest funders is the government of the United Arab Emirates.

      https://www.democracynow.org/2018/1/2/glenn_greenwald_on_iran_protests_trump

      • adam 2.1.1

        That was his best comment.

        Greenwald will never appear on NZ TV, they are corporate lap dogs barking the truth they want you to hear.

        “Liberalism is good for you, why even question it – go back to your barbque, and look they changed government, so everything is fine.”

    • Bill 2.2

      Destroy a county’s economy via sanctions. Sit back and wait for things to hopefully boil over. Give a further nudge, a push or a shove if possible. If and when country disintegrates, point out it was a basket case of a place and ride in on a white horse of humanitarianism to rip it wide open for “free market” exploitation democracy …to be governed by western friendly administrations.

      Okay. Now I’ll watch the vid and be very surprised if Greenwald is deviating from that basic line that repeats in country after country that the west has a dim view of.

  2. Andre 3

    What will 2018 bring for Donald Trump? Senator Mitt Romney of Utah. One more Republican that won’t be afraid to criticise him. And even, if it ever gets that far, vote for conviction in an impeachment proceeding.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/donald-trumps-drive-to-block-mitt-romney-from-senate-stumbles?ref=home

  3. Morrissey 4

    The vacuous Megan Whelan said nothing this morning when her guest said that
    boycotting Israel “reminds some people of the Nazi boycotts of the Jews”.

    RNZ National, Wednesday 3 January 2018, 9:30 a.m.

    I tuned in to this outrageous little piece of propaganda masquerading as analysis toward the end, so I wasn’t sure who was speaking. I assumed he was someone from the Israeli Consulate, because he made several sleazy insinuations against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, and talked condescendingly and dishonestly about Lorde’s decision to boycott Israel. I thought it might be the infamous Dr David Cumin, who reared his head in late 2016 in order to denounce Marama Davidson….

    Open Mike 08/10/2016

    But this voice was different to Cumin’s. I knew I’d heard him before, but who WAS it? He spoke as smoothly and with the same nerveless dishonesty as Dr Cumin. It might have been the Wellington dentist David Zwarz, who used to be the go-to man whenever the media needed a local comment supportive of a massacre in Gaza, or the shooting of unarmed Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank or East Jerusalem. But it wasn’t David Zwarz.

    Who WAS it?

    Finally, at the end of the interview, his patsy Megan Whelan identified him: “That was Professor Robert Ayson, from Victoria University’s School of Strategic Studies.”

    Of course! Robert Ayson!!! This bloke has form. A couple of years ago, he insisted to me by email that U.S. troops kill civilians with the best intentions….

    …in seeking to target people and groups they believe to be in particular locations they sometimes make poor judgements about the wider consequences.

    regards

    Rob

    I replied:

    The United States military was repeatedly given the coordinates of Kunduz Hospital. They didn’t get their targeting wrong. When they “conquered” Fallujah General Hospital in November 2004, U.S. troops tied up doctors and nurses, and forced patients out of their beds, before also tying them up. Again, that doesn’t seem like getting their targeting wrong.

    He did not reply to that.

    http://morrisseybreen.blogspot.co.nz/2018/01/prof-robert-ayson-explains-why-mass.html
    —————————————-

    There is something I find even more disturbing than the malicious propaganda these people routinely dispense: the silence, bordering on approval and complicity, of the person supposed to be interviewing them. David Cumin’s patsy was Jesse Mulligan, who like the others in the studio remained silent as Cumin poured scorn on Marama Davidson and the rest of the protestors who broke through Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza in 2016. I suspect this was a condition insisted on by Cumin before he spoke.

    Robert Ayson’s patsy this morning was Megan Whelan, who seems to have no knowledge whatsoever of the situation in Palestine, or of the movement to boycott Israel. On such ignorant and compliant accomplices do Israeli apologists depend.

    • OnceWasTim 4.1

      Aw you are awful @ Morrisey! But I like you

      ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJmg-879j5o )

      Being vacuous these days can apparently be an asset amongst those that are aspirational members of the 4th Estate

      • Morrissey 4.1.1

        Megan Whelan is one of the producers for Jim Mora’s light chat show. Today’s hapless non-performance was not unusual….

        Open Mike 06/09/2017

        • Ed 4.1.1.1

          This transcript sums up what is wrong with the chattering classes.
          Mora never discusses the profound issues and delights in trivia.

        • OnceWasTim 4.1.1.2

          Yes. Megan and Jim are both extremely ‘nice’.
          I think possibly RNZ are using the holiday period to train the next generation of personalities and presenters.
          At times I think they must also be using it to train the new breed of panel operators (or whatever they call them these days) too.

    • Ed 4.2

      Brilliant Morrissey

  4. adam 5

    Well worth the read about the actions of twitter and facebook. Happy to promote the violence of the state. But God help you if you say “F%^k off” to rapist or their apologists, you will get banned.

    https://leecamp.com/twitters-new-rules-reward-military-violence-small-time-threats-facebook/?mc_cid=465790d481&mc_eid=524e48683c

  5. The US is fucked:

    The more Washington lashes out in anger at those who will not bow to the unipolar world order, the more the rest of the world fights back. As the launch of its Yuan/Gold-settled oil futures looms, China is escalating its de-dollarization scheme further by seeking a bilateral rial-yuan agreement with Iran.

    Once the US dollar loses its place as the Reserve Currency of the world, which should have happened when they dropped the Gold Standard under Nixon, the US economy will crash and burn as the world stops using the US$ for trade.

  6. Shadow armies: The unseen, but real US war in Africa

    According to a VICE News special investigation, US troops are now conducting 3,500 exercises and military engagements throughout Africa per year, an average of 10 per day. US mainstream media rarely discusses this ongoing war, thus giving the military ample space to destabilize any of the continent’s 54 countries as it pleases.

    “Today’s figure of 3,500 marks an astounding 1,900 percent increase since the command was activated less than a decade ago, and suggests a major expansion of US military activities on the African continent,” VICE reported.

    Following the death of four US Special Forces soldiers in Niger on October 4, US Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, made an ominous declaration to a Senate committee: these numbers are likely to increase as the US is expanding its military activities in Africa.

    But wait, there’s more…

    The old colonial ‘Scramble for Africa’ is being reinvented by global powers that fully fathom the extent of the untapped economic largesse of the continent. While China, India and Russia are each developing a unique approach to wooing Africa, the US is invested mostly in the military option, which promises to inflict untold harm and destabilize many nations.

    It’s not just the US that is trying to grab all of the remaining resources of the world for themselves.

    And people still think that we don’t need a defence force.

    • cleangreen 7.1

      100% Draco I lived there in Africa for a year and you are right on there.

      As I witnessed then there is a real power play of ‘international’ corporates as they scramble for Africa’s resources as you show there is again now.

  7. red-blooded 8

    People might want to check out this article (https://www.villagevoice.com/2018/01/02/the-10-dumbest-rightblogger-writings-of-2017/) – a review of the 10 most ridiculous set of excuses and obsfucations used by far right commentators when trying to spin dumb comments and decisions from Trump. It’s informative and entertaining and there are lot of links.

    It’s not the 10 worst comments or decisions (that would be a hard list to compile – imagine having to decide what to leave out), the focus is more on how media commentators, bloggers, spin docs etc aligned with Trump try to find or manufacture some sense in what he’s saying and doing.

    • adam 8.1

      There are no political solutions. When people can lie to themselves, and other with this sort of ease.

      Thoroughly depressing reading. No wonder right wingers are happy, with this level of self delusion.

    • Ad 9.1

      Smart writing!

      • Nic the NZer 9.1.1

        You mean the O’Toole piece? It seems to be a question of how many times you can use one movie reference in a single opinion piece.

        I suspect ‘hard Brexit’ (what ever that means) will be about as terrible for the UK economy as Brexit was in fact. Remind me wasn’t a Brexit outcome going to cause the UK economy to enter recession?

    • millsy 9.2

      The supporters of Brexit I suspect didnt want it. They were hoping that there was a no vote so they could have the continued luxury of moaning about the EU without having to do anything. Now they have to back their words up with actions and they have no idea what to do except bumble along. They are probably waiting for someone to say, “let’s not do this’.

      That is my theory anyway.

  8. adam 10

    2017, The 4th year of super mergers.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Just thought of a slogan to keep repeating each time that Gnational gnashes it’s teeth again at the Labour coalition.

      Think RATIONAL
      Not National
      Support LABOUR>>>

    • 4th Year?

      Mega-mergers have been happening since the 1980s when deregulation set in – and we’ve been told of the consequences for poorer services, higher prices and other forms of monopoly powers since.

  9. joe90 11

    I reckon it’s been quite some time since either has seen his own button in the flesh.

    North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018

  10. Ed 12

    There is a crash coming.
    And it will be bigger than 2008.

    ‘Global instability appears to be the big risk for NZ economy

    This year could see a geopolitical crisis on the scale of the financial crash a decade ago, a New York-based political risk consultancy is warning.
    Citing “daunting” global political challenges, Eurasia Group said that “if we had to pick one year for a big unexpected crisis – the geopolitical equivalent of the 2008 financial meltdown – it feels like 2018”.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/world/100298745/2018-feels-ripe-for-a-big-unexpected-crisis-eurasia-says

    • greywarshark 12.1

      They are just guessing, they had a sweep at work on whether there will be a crash and most thought it would be in a year with 8 in it.

  11. Ed 13

    No wonder New Zealand has a problem with alcoholism.
    The consumption of this class B drug is glorified.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11968990

  12. Ed 14

    New Zealanders told to conserve water.
    Meanwhile, rich foreign corporations takes money for free and make mega bucks.
    Why is New Zealand so stupid?

    https://mobile.twitter.com/MPD_NZ/status/947972622804848640

    • greywarshark 14.1

      We are likely to be in Dire Straits paying for not enough water for us with all this Money for Nothing. Just a bunch of yo-yos.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcFFqGjz0_c

      Now look at them yo-yos, that’s the way you do it
      You play the [odds on the casino see]
      That ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
      Money for nothin’ and your chicks for free

      Now that ain’t workin’ that’s the way you do it
      Lemme tell ya them guys ain’t dumb
      Maybe get a blister on your little finger
      Maybe get a blister on your thumb

  13. Ed 15

    Agriculture is killing us.
    And the article doesn’t mention the damage agriculture does to our environment.

    ‘Agriculture remains New Zealand’s most dangerous industry to work in, according to WorkSafe New Zealand.

    As of November 2017, nine people lost their lives working in the industry last year – with three of those people dying as a result of quad bike accidents.
    With a total of 124 deaths in the past six years, the sector is New Zealand’s deadliest. ’

    https://t.co/Jrt6A6kQcv?amp=1

    • Ed 17.1

      11737 – 2

    • Macro 17.2

      Thanks for the link draco – I remember the table being tweeted – and good that the Royal Society of Statistics has chosen this (or rather the 69 lawnmower deaths per year) to be the most significant statistic of the year – and one that is on the increase.

      Reminds me of the story about the guy who was driving home from work and saw someone cutting their hedge with a rotary mower. Wow that’s a great idea he thought! On his subsequent trip into the hospital with all his fingers chopped off – the doc in emergency says: “Don’t tell me – but you were driving home and saw this guy cutting his hedge with a rotary mower – right?
      “Yeah! How did you know?
      ” because I’ve just treated him.”

  14. Ad 18

    President Trump is threatening to suspend the US$400 million a year it spends in the Palestine Authority areas, if the Palestinians don’t get to the peace negotiating table:

    https://fas.org/sgp/crs/mideast/RS22967.pdf

    Kinda puts the Lorde thing in the shade.

    You can guarantee Iran will be ready with the cash to substitute-out the (massive) US aid contribution.

  15. joe90 19

    The owners of Fusion GPS, the outfit who commissioned Steele to investigate and report on Trump, have penned an op-ed saying Trump’s operation is nothing more than a money laundering front.

    Explains today’s twitter outburst.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/02/opinion/republicans-investigation-fusion-gps.html

    • Macro 19.1

      A very interesting piece – thanks for the link Joe. Pretty much confirms what I have been thinking and saying for the past year. Interestingly Steele chose on his own bat to go to the FBI with the results of his investigation, independently of who had commissioned him, it was that serious. This confirmed with the FBI what they had been hearing from different sources.
      The fact that Trump is shunned by every major bank in the US and has used Deutsche Bank for all his business activity, and that he has so many dealings with Russian Oligarchs (who are only oligarchs because of their intimate relationship with the Kremlin) it is hardly surprising that there was something fishy going on. And the twitter outburst today merely confirms it. “He doth protest too much”.

    • Anne 19.2

      Thanks for that joe90 @ 19

      It is beyond my comprehension that so many nation’s leaders including Australia, Britain and maybe even NZ are prepared to do business with such a corrupt regime as the Trump administration. Link:

      Congress should release transcripts of our firm’s testimony, so that the American people can learn the truth about our work and most important, what happened to our democracy.

      Why don’t Fusion GPS leak their own testimony then?

      • Macro 19.2.1

        I guess such Testimony to Congress would be classified – and would be a breech of official information were it to be leaked.

        • Sacha 19.2.1.1

          Close, I reckon. The material would have legal privilege if released by the committee – but not if leaked by the submitters, who could then be arrested or sued for defamation etc by interested parties.

        • Anne 19.2.1.2

          I suspected as much. But they could still release an ‘overview’ without revealing the actual content of the testimony. That should be enough to point people in the right direction and set a dialogue going.

  16. Ed 20

    We should deal with these tax dodgers.

    ‘Google has moved more than £14 billion ($26.8b) into a tax haven in a controversial bid to slash its bills.
    The internet search giant funnelled the cash through low-tax European countries and then into Bermuda, in a switch thought to have saved it £2.7b ($5.1b) in 2016.
    To reduce its bills, Google books most of its international advertising revenues – including those from the UK – in low-tax Ireland.
    It then passes this on to a company in the Netherlands, where there are also generous tax laws, in a strategy known as “the Double Irish with Dutch Sandwich”.
    From there the money is sent to Bermuda, where the corporate tax rate is zero.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11969108

    • joe90 20.1

      Just a thought….

      Sing, swing
      Savour the sting
      As she severs you, Madame Guillotine
      Slice, come paradise
      You’ll be smitten with Madame Guillotine

      The Scarlet Pimpernel – Madame Guillotine

      The Internal Revenue Service is demanding a whopping $7 billion or more in back taxes from the world’s most profitable hedge fund, whose boss’s wealth and cyber savvy helped Donald Trump pole-vault into the White House.

      Suddenly, the government’s seven-year pursuit of Renaissance Technologies LLC is blanketed in political intrigue, now that the hedge fund’s reclusive, anti-establishment co-chief executive, Robert Mercer, has morphed into a political force who might be owed a big presidential favor.

      http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/article147454324.html

      • greywarshark 20.1.1

        To add a different flavour to the discourse on paranoid money men JK Galbraith:
        https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2017/10/07/why-europe-needs-a-new-deal-not-breakup-op-ed-in-the-nation-with-james-k-galbraith/

        The American New Deal of Franklin Roosevelt’s first two terms combined the goals of financial stabilization, reconstruction, conservation, and employment—jobs for the jobless; public works; power systems and new industries, especially in the South; soil conservation and reforestation to battle the Dust Bowl; and a potent mix of regulations and insurance to assert public power over high finance.

        Doesn’t that sound like the sort of thing we should be doing. It might save us big grief if we could batten down the hatches, borrow some money while it is still cheap and do something about our infrastructure. Alternatively we could continue on back to the glory days of previous laissez faire approaches and use child labour down mines, women naked to the waist etc. Men working in bare feet building roads. Old people in workhouses. The RW haven’t got any ideas about governing for the people, when push comes to shove it’s them at the front of the queue for any benefits, advantages to be handed out.

        I’m sick of us paying pollies to drive the mammoth vehicle straight into a blinding disaster. They are trying to bring us back to where we should have been ten years ago. But now times are different and upskilling the problem solving to practical, rather than theory based would be good.

  17. Whispering Kate 21

    Talking about miserly sods who make mega bucks. This morning I was listening on RNZ to the back story of the Scandanavian flat pack empire Ikea. The guy who owns it has spent his life cost cutting, dodging tax and making it his life ambition to shave costs from the day of its inception. Now I have no truck with shaving costs, but to have all his well earned profit going into tax havens makes me feel a bit dirty as if I need a shower.

    It must be a miserable existence to spend your entire life just wanting more and more and never giving a little to make life better for his employees and to support his country with the largesse of his good life – taxes to help the country to be a decent place to live. This skinflint is worth millions and is in the world’s top rich list. Good for him for being so successful but a really black score for being such a miserable shit. We have many more like him in this world and what a sorry state the world is in for it.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04nmxy2

  18. Ed 22

    Pity RNZ can’t say the 2 words.

    Climate change.

    ‘He said it was the worst conditions the area had seen in decades.

    “This is my first year where I’ve had to make the decisions, which has been a baptism by fire. My father has been on the farm 44 years, running it, born and bred on the farm, he’s never seen anything like this.”

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/country/347422/storm-too-little-too-late-for-drought-ravaged-farms

  19. eco maori 24

    The muppets sandflys were at it again today were ever I go the sandflys are following me playing with them selves I see there moves and lol.
    I have told stories about when I was young and I said when he tried to hit me I ran away some people have enterpered that as I was badly beaten well know I had fights with people a couple of years older than me but because cause of my grate grandmother Mana everyone treated me really well after she died it changed but not totally. I figure out that it was them knowing that my mama will and the money in my accounts you see at the time of the incident of taking me to the bank I did not know it was to draw out my money. It wasn’t until one of my favourite aunties asked what happened to the money and her will and that mama told her that she was leaving everything to me that I came to that conclusion of being used for the money my MAMA has a lot of Mana. My wife had a hard life when she was young what I don’t get is intelligent people around her when she was young would have known what was going on and chose to do nothing WTF.
    Alcohol was used to destroy Maori Mana.
    Alcohol and a deceit full society.
    Ana to kai

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    6 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
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  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
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    7 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
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    1 week ago
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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    1 week ago
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  • Important People
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  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
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  • Dissing The Farmers.
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  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
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  • Game over for the HRPP
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
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  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
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  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
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  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
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    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
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  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
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    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
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  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
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  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
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    1 week ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
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  • Sing Song about Hard Times
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    2 weeks ago
  • A good problem to have
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    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
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    2 weeks ago

  • More Vietnam Veterans to receive compensation for Agent Orange Exposure
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  • Government commits to international effort to ban and regulate killer robots
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  • Grace period for expired driver licences cruises into 2022
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  • Delivered: 1,000 extra transitional homes
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  • Traffic light levels announced
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    1 day ago
  • Financial support to move to traffic light system
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  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
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  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
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    2 days ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
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  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
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    3 days ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
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  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
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    3 days ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
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    3 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
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    4 days ago
  • Nailed it! Over 500 apprentices get jobs boost
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    4 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
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    5 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
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    5 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
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    5 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
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    5 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
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    5 days ago
  • Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament
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    5 days ago
  • Shortcomings revealed in power cut investigation
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  • COVID-19 Protection Framework supported by new testing and contact tracing strategy
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    5 days ago
  • Supporting New Zealanders to recover from COVID-19 in the community
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  • Additional support for people isolating at home
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    5 days ago
  • Tax bill provides vital support for families
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    6 days ago
  • New text service to support disabled peoples’ vaccinations
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  • Proactive Calendar Release – October 2021
    ...
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  • Pacific community reach vaccination milestone
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  • Reconnecting New Zealand – the next steps
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  • Shot in the arm for Canterbury tourism
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    6 days ago
  • Combined efforts connecting locals to nature
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    7 days ago
  • Empowering Diverse Communities
    Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson has approved five funding grants to support national-level family violence and sexual violence prevention initiatives for LGBTQIA+ people, disabled people, older people and new migrant communities. “Local community initiatives are a key lever in reducing violence. The Government ...
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    7 days ago
  • Moriori Claims Settlement Bill passes Third Reading
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    1 week ago
  • Permanent drug-checking law passed and new providers appointed
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  • Pacific communities supported to transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework
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  • Government helps Pasifika Festivals to ride the COVID wave
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    1 week ago