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Open mike 03/01/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 3rd, 2020 - 115 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

115 comments on “Open mike 03/01/2020 ”

  1. James 1

    Belated happy new year all.

    here is to a happy and successful 2020.

  2. James 2


    Jacindas “year of delivery” was a quick on the fly catchphrase – which it seems was never supposed to be taken seriously or to be held to account for

    “Last week Beehive insiders told leading political journalists that the “Year of Delivery” promise was actually a spin-line produced on the fly by the PM’s top spin doctor to get his boss out of a tight situation when she needed something memorable to say at the start of 2019. The explanation from the Beehive was to convey that it’s not actually fair to hold the PM to account for a catchphrase that was never intended to be taken so seriously.”

    I wonder what her 2020 catchphrase is going to be ? Are we supposed to take it seriously?

    • Stuart Munro 2.1

      Better not to worry about it.

      More concerning is the rise in public service PR flacks – not a practice confined to this government – but now significantly outnumbering journalists. Loosely speaking, 8000 people paid to lie to the public instead of delivering improved service.

    • Peter 2.2

      Are we supposed to take it seriously? It depends. Different people take different things seriously.

      For example: A journalist wrote, “Last week Beehive insiders told leading political journalists that the “Year of Delivery” promise was actually a spin-line produced on the fly by the PM’s top spin doctor to get his boss out of a tight situation."

      Some people took that seriously.

      • Wensleydale 2.2.1

        Whenever I read something like that what I actually read is, "Some random dude we passed in the corridor stopped to gossip with us for five minutes. None of what he said is in any way verifiable, but it makes for good copy." Another victory for quality journalism.

    • Formerly Ross 2.3

      “Last week Beehive insiders told leading political journalists that the “Year of Delivery” promise was actually a spin-line produced on the fly by the PM’s top spin doctor to get his boss out of a tight situation…"

      That only raises the questions of who are the Beehive insiders, who are the political journalists, and what was the tight situation? Trotting out a vague line can get a politician – not just any pollie but the PM! – out of a tight situation? Yeah nah.

      • JanM 2.3.1

        As anyone who has had anything to do with the staff and journalists in parliament know, it is all in a little world of its own. Back in the 70s when my partner was a parliamentary journalist I was of the (often expressed) opinion that if the rest of the world died it would be at least a fortnight before anyone in the Beehive noticed! Truth and ethics had very little to do with most of their shennanigins, entered on, in most cases as far as I could see, in a closed little game of one-upmanship

    • Red Blooded One 2.4

      A bit like a previous Prime Ministers "We'll doing everything to bring your boys home" and that was dealing with mourning families and dead relatives. You must of been outraged.

      • anker 2.4.1

        Actually and this coalition govt has delievered…..increasing minimum wage, increased wage for teachers and nurses, insulation for rentals, the winter energy supplement, building more state houses and some kiwibuild, Pike River, banning plastic bags, stopping overseas owners buying our property, Best start, increase to working for families, stopping bogus meth testing that saw state house tenants being kicked out of their homes and wrongly accused, re-starting payments to the superfund, changing our gun laws, starting the Dunedin hospital build, fixing or beginning to fix Middlemore Hospital, funding infrastructure spending) on schools, committing money to making our roads safer (following the Swedish model, where they have brought the road toll down), beginning the building of light rail in Auckland, extending paid parental leave, changes to consumer law (helping to stop the worst exploitation of vulnerable people, establishing a climate change commission and getting cross party support in ensure we are carbon neutral by 2050, including most recently announcing that 2020 is the year our carbon emissions will peak, holding an enquiry into fuel prices demonstrating that fuel prices are too high (hopefully forcing fuel companies to bring them down). Mental Health Enquiry and billions of dollars to mental health to develop the work force and implement services (both well underway, but a huge job). The cancer agency, including increasing funding for cancer and other drugs, buying new radiology equipment. Chch call, and did I say the best leadership in the world during two National crisis? Compare and contrast Jacinda with Scotty from marketing. WTF did Key and National do in 9 years? Seriously

        • Red Blooded One

          Exactly. This Government is delivering already more than the last, but that doesn't fit with the relentless negative narrative of the Newstalk ZB and National crowd. Thank you for taking the time to list the above.

    • anker 2.5

      So much for PR and spin lines….it isn't working so good for Scotty from marketing over the ditch is it.

      Astonishing though that there are 8000 people paid to lie to the public instead of delivering……as outlined by Stuart below.

    • Sacha 2.6

      Welcome back. That article was noted hereabouts a couple of days ago.

    • Bill 2.7

      I wonder what her 2020 catchphrase is going to be ? Are we supposed to take it seriously?

      20/20 vision?

    • McFlock 2.8

      Wordsmiths smith words.

      Wordsmith smithed words about wordsmiths smithing words.

      How many words can a wordsmith smith about a wordsmith smithing words?

    • sumsuch 2.9

      No social-democrat likes her but we prefer her to Simon Bridges. Never voted for laissez-faire 'Labour'. Thinking about giving the Greens the heave-ho, as compromised by , basically, middle class values. That's how far out '35 social-democratic values by which we grew up are. Amerika!!!

  3. Robert Guyton 4

    "The Oxford Children’s Dictionary notoriously dropped the words acorn and buttercup in favor of bandwidth and chatroom, but restored them after public pressure."


    • Stuart Munro 4.1

      They're a funny lot OUP – you know getting on for half their income in recent years has been from their Advanced Learner's Dictionary? The various Cobuilds are probably better, but don't have quite the same imprimatur.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Imprimatur. That has to be word of the week! 👍

        • Stuart Munro

          Well they did enjoy a royal monopoly on printing bibles for a century or two there.

          But Robert's point is more animist, I think, consonant with ideas of participation in a living community, which we see in the likes of the Ghibli films like Totoro, which I'll take the risk of asserting has some relevance to the Maori idea of wairua.

          The thing about animist metaphysics is that, if you credit Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis at all, is that it provides some predictability to interactions with complex systems like the environment – if one disrespects the spirit of the environment, particular kinds of problems tend to develop.

          I was struck by a local example recently – the stigmatisation of carp . I can readily accept that they're a problem in terms of water quality and predation of natives, but to assert that they are inedible seems pretty prejudicial, as this writer notes. Current estimates put them at 80% of the fish biomass in the Waikato.

          I've eaten them in China, and there's nothing wrong with them. They don't have a taint like red cod or southern blue whiting that are eaten. I wonder how respectful it is to the wairua of the river to consign them to fertiliser when we have food banks struggling to feed increasing numbers of our people. I’d go as far as to say we should have a fishery of them – employment and food right there.

          • Robert Guyton

            Along those lines, Stuart and from the same story:
            "Writing as an indigenous plant woman I might say, 'My plant relatives have shared healing knowledge with me and given me a root medicine.' Instead of ignoring our mutual relationship, I celebrate it. Yet English grammar demands that I refer to my esteemed healer as it, not as a respected teacher, as all plants are understood to be in Potawatomi. That has always made me uncomfortable. I want a word for beingness. Can we unlearn the language of objectification and throw off colonized thought? Can we make a new world with new words?"

    • Incognito 4.2

      I favour favour over favor.

  4. joe90 5

    Meanwhile, Norway is in the process of opening an enormous North Sea oil field that will be in operation until 2070.

    Western Norway is experiencing a rare heatwave for early January, at a time when temperatures should normally be below freezing.

    The highest temperature of 19C (66F) – more than 25C above the monthly average – was measured in the village of Sunndalsora.

    This makes it Norway's warmest January day since records began.


    • sumsuch 5.1

      Good fun, reality.

      Given my struthers (?) I'd be completely perplexed. But facing in the right direction, unlike the fools who rule.

  5. Robert Guyton 6

    "I have been reading the Call of the Reed Warbler by Charles Massey, he is an Aussie farmer who had an epiphany after nearly killing himself trying to survive farming the Australia way – a fantastic book. I really liked his take on how we got into industrial agriculture and its links to growth and especially to capitalism, this idea of “mechanisation of the mind”.

    I had to write it down, interested if it makes as much sense to you as it does to me.

    Prior to the beginning of agriculture, a worldview called animism had reigned for >200,000 years in human societies. This view constituted the organic mind, as it did not see humans as separate from the environment or from an objective reality. Instead reality was an interconnected spirit filled landscape in which nonhuman entities – plants, animals, inanimate objects like rocks and rivers and mountains or phenomena like thunder, wind and shadows – possessed a living soul or spiritual essence and had awareness and feelings. Animism’s significance was that it contained strong ethical and spiritual implications for nurturing in sustaining the earth; an associated value system.

    The shift from this organic mindset to our society's dominant mechanical worldview was triggered by the development of domesticated agriculture about 10,000 years ago. In time, domestication meant that plants, animals and other natural phenomena became manipulable property as opposed to sacred beings or entities. Consequently, from the dawn of agriculture until the Renaissance humans on the European and Southwest Asian continents in particular, began a slow process of progressively throwing off the long, co-evolved organic mind that had previously bound them to nature. Mother earth and a spiritual world.

    This new cultural practice of agriculture and its resultant abundance of food eventually lead to population growth and intensified urban living, culminating in the ‘urban revolution’ and the appearance of cities. Thence came the rise of large-scale political and social systems: all an increasingly far cry from our genetic evolutionary conditioning as hunter-gatherers investing in the organic mind.

    Humans now began to focus in on themselves and their societies (the beginnings of humanism). Part of this involve people beginning to apprehend the power of the human mind to manipulate the earth and its resources. Therefore, a massive shift in value systems, ethics and morals began to occur. Less and less was there an unquestioning recognition of the worth of all natural things, or the concept of cyclical renewal. So human evolution radically shifted.

    A key influence was Judeo-Christianity. This gave us the idea of ‘man as nature's guardian and caretaker…. a managerial interpretation of the doctrine of domination’. This blended with classical and pastoral attitudes towards nature as being something that could be ploughed and cultivated, used as a commodity and manipulated as a resource, tamed and subdued for human benefit – particularly by males. This worldview also saw females as passive and receptive: thinking incorporated into the new Mechanical worldview. Such a mindset was easily and quickly adapted from 16th-century through to 18th-century enlightenment: that crucial phase of the scientific revolution and the evolution of the market economy.

    The mechanical model meant humans perceive the world as a place where matter and nature were inert constituents of a new, machine-like world – one capable of manipulation.

    As historian Henri Frankfort wrote in 1949, “the world around us has become an ‘it’ rather than a ‘thou’”. This also paved the way for the rise of capitalism, which goes hand in hand with the Mechanical mind. The machine image under Descartes and fellow ‘mechanists’ in the 17th-century, which invoked human power over lifeless, mechanistic nature, was a forerunner to modern capitalism as it became the foundation stone of materialist reductionism, empiricism and objectivism. In effect Descartes had ‘de-souled’ the Earth.’

    The next step what's the linkage of the ideas of Bacon, Descartes, Newton and peers into that of economic and political theory, thereby embedding a capitalist philosophy. In this way of thinking, nature has no value except where it was reduced to a means to human ends – just an instrument for use. This bridge and its accompanying moral handwashing was made by John Locke and Adam Smith.

    Locke's ideas on ‘rationality’ helped establish a platform for the value system of the European Enlightenment: that one could profitably appropriate the whole sphere of nature as ‘reason’s own individual property’. The acquisition of private property helped enable the idea that humanity could ‘progress’ from the state of nature into ordered civil society, where the natural world had no ‘rights’.
    Adam Smith's contribution to the evolving master discourse was to incorporate new thinking on progress. This laid down a system of capitalist economic laws built on the advancement of science and technology, property and polity.

    In the process morals and values regarding the Earth, nature, women, colonised lands and their indigenous people, and other ‘creatures’ began to be jettisoned. Thus, it was Smith’s thinking regarding the market system’s slow and steady growth that opened the way to the destructive shift to capitalist market economy and economic rationalism: the belief that continual growth is necessary and desirable.

    The transition to capitalism marked the moment when the traditional organic model of communal, interdependent society (one that emphasized the whole as well as the parts) was undermined and transformed by competitiveness and acquisitiveness. Inherent now was an intellectual arrogance towards nature, which was regarded is the raw material for wealth creation, with little to no ethical restrictions on this."

    – Kevin Jay

  6. joe90 7

    big if true

    • joe90 7.1

      hoo boy

    • joe90 7.2

      Looks like the moran in chief has started a war with Shiite Islam.

    • Sabine 7.3

      but her fucking emails.

    • Fireblade 7.4

      Is the orange turd trying to start a war to distract from his impeachment proceedings?

      • Macro 7.4.1

        In all probability – it wouldn't be the first time and he wouldn't be the first either.

        • Anne

          My first thoughts too. In fact somebody here predicted it would happen weeks ago.

          It won't be lost on anybody including Iran.

    • joe90 7.5

    • joe90 7.6

      Things are as peachy AF.

    • Fireblade 7.7

      U.S. Senator from Connecticut

      • Bill 7.7.1

        Looks like instant grounds for impeachment by that take, but….well, the Democrats don't do impeachments for launching illegal wars (Pelosi refusing to consider impeachment Bush for the Iraq debacle).

        They (the Democrats) prefer to run impeachment on the basis of someone's assumption. (Their 'star witness' on impeachment is on record as saying they assumed Trump was running a quid pro quo on holding back arms from Banderists in Ukraine for an announcement about an investigation into Biden's corruption) Arms, btw, that Obama refused to provide in spite of pressure from neo-cons within his own party and the foreign policy establishment.

        Anyway. Middle East today. Not fucking good. Possibly very bad.

    • joe90 7.8


    • Exkiwiforces 7.9

      Well I'm not at all surprise that they have finally got their man, they have been trying for a few yrs now at knocking him off and it was really been cranked up a notch or two since the civil war in Syria. When there was reports of him travelling about the region via covert and invert means, so it was a matter of time before his luck will run out aka the law of averages will catch up with you sooner or later.

      Where this leads as too, I really don't know? Probably more unrest in Iraq, Beirut and Gaza around Israeli borders areas? Or would Iran play a waiting game and attack at their time and place of their choosing?

      • Sabine 7.9.1

        Or would Iran play a waiting game and attack at their time and place of their choosing?

        so far Iran has shown remarkable patience and restraint.

        it is the US that is swinging the whole dog carcass at Iran hoping to provoke a reaction that would allow them to call for a coalition of the willing . Lets hope that Iranians once more be the more level headed player in this game of fuckwits.

  7. Puckish Rogue 8


    This will be a compelling read no doubt, Jude'll give it both barrels!

  8. Stuart Munro 9

    You strike me as an irredeemable idiot

    Well thanks for that, Bill.

    I feel the same about you – but more importantly I feel that the public interest lies in opposing your false narrative.

    Lousy as the US is, Putin is not a cause that anyone pretending to progressive values can support.

    • Bill 9.1


      Well, for the sake of "public interest" would you care to expound that "false narrative" (or is it just a catch phrase you thought might fit)?

      I wholeheartedly agree with the final sentence of your comment btw.

      • Stuart Munro 9.1.1

        I don't trust you Bill.

        My conversation relates to your post – but you intend to control comment there.

        That being the case, stay in your silo.

        • Bill

          Gee. That concern about the "public interest" needing protection from my "false narrative"didn't last long, did it? Oh, I get it. You seriously think that an MiT Professor, a former Guardian journalist, 2 OPCW whistleblowers and a current Independent journalist are running lines I created! That's funny. So you disagree with them and their analyses, meaning there is no "false narrative" of mine to expound on. Oh well. Care to highlight a comment I've made that might reasonably be deemed as "untrustworthy" instead?

          Or will you merely wait for a comment to spring up and commence with your stupid gaslighting in lieu of ‘good faith’ commenting? (I wouldn't do that if I was you btw)

          • Stuart Munro

            You'd just ban me.

            So, back to your false narrative Bill, and leave me alone.

            • Bill

              Oh, so you do have some exposition on this 'false narrative' malarkey?! I've asked that you expound on it, so there's no way I'm going to ban you for doing that. Do you think you could carry off such an exercise without resorting to smears and false bullshit about where I sit philosophically and politically? So, y'know, none of this childish bullshit that would assert issues only have two possible positions (eg against "this" = for "that")? You think you can do that Stuart? I'll come back later, and hopefully read some cogent thoughts from you on "my false narrative" 😉

              • Stuart Munro

                Bill I'm really not interested – you've banned me before on specious grounds – you never produce any credible evidence – you even produced multiple posts denying Russian involvement in the novichok poisonings.

                If you wanted to engage the place to do so was on and in respect of your post, if you don't want to engage you can go and jump in the lake. I've had enough of you for one day in either case.

                • Bill

                  Can't remember what those "specious grounds" might have been. Maybe I'll go and look. (I can't actually remember banning you.)

                  I "never produce any credible evidence"? Really? You think the rather indepth articles and video interview I provided on the OPCW post lack credibility? Gee.

                  And I never "denied" Russian involvement in the novichok poisonings. In fact, the very speculative post I did where I suggested a culprit,( git me some hot water for that one 🙂 ) – that culprit was Russian.

                  I still don't buy the assertion it was the Russian government, but if evidence is produced on that front, then hey…

                  Meanwhile you had nothing to say on the post I submitted today. Some arm waving, some bad faith engagement and gaslighting was about the entirety of it…and given that level of engagement…well, it's just not appropriate for that crap to be entertained beneath a discrete post.

                  Maybe tomorrow you'll submit that stuff you promised around "the public interest", aye?

                  edit – only ban I can find on you was handed down by Lynn because you were “offering violence”. Anyway…

                  • solkta

                    I think by "Russian involvement" people mean involvement of the Russian gummint. That would seem rather obvious.

                    • Bill

                      Oh. I know that 🙂 But Stuart was lying again and I was kindly cutting him some slack. Not buying into the UK Government's version of events is simply not the same as denying the possible complicity of the Russian government. It's difficult for ideologues to get their head around that, but there it is.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    But Stuart was lying again

                    I think you'd better substantiate that slander Bill.

                    I was kindly cutting him some slack

                    rofl – I posted a factual link but it was too much for you – you insulted me and bumped me.

                    You are a disgrace to this site Bill.

                    [If you are past the point of agreeing to disagree with an Author, I think it might be better that you stop commenting or you might find that you have used enough rope to hang yourself. Just to make it crystal clear to anyone who reads this, as a Moderator I will protect The Standard closely followed by shielding Authors from personal attacks and insults. I am known for my patience but it is starting to wear thin after yesterday’s shit storm. Another Moderator is infamous for handing out harsh bans without (much) prejudice to keep everybody on their toes. Nobody would want to attract Moderators’ attention for all the wrong reasons – Incognito]

                    • Bill

                      What level of stupid is it that you operate at Stuart?

                      You were lying when you claimed I did posts denying Kremlin involvement in the novochok stuff. But I chose to interpret "Russian" in a wider context. (ie – I cut you some slack).

                      To repeat Not buying into the UK Government's version of events is simply not the same as denying the possible complicity of the Russian government. It's difficult for ideologues to get their head around that, but there it is.

                      btw, I was kindly alerted to the ban you whined about before. (Y'know, the one that was "specious"). Well…here's the link to the comment where you referred to a contributor as Lord Haw Haw – a "wretched sell out" and then topped it off by accusing them of lacking political purity and being a supporter of Putin.

                      That was a lot of shit to squeeze into one comment and know what? I didn't ban you for it.

                      Then you claimed I was "down with supporting despotic regimes" and….I still didn't ban you. It was when you didn't provide a link to anything I'd written that would back up that claim and instead went on a fairly unhinged rant that I banned you – for a couple of months.

                      And what strikes me is that all this time later you still puke out the same senseless accusations when someones views don't align with your own (I see what I'm told to see and hear what I'm told to hear) views.

                      Someone else might be along to deal with you attacking an author in the way you have btw. So if you've anything more to say, you might want to say it kinda tout suite 😉

                      (I guess I ain't going to be getting that "public service/Bill's false narrative" exposition now. Ah well…)

                    • Incognito

                      See my Moderation note @ 9:13 AM.

    • The Al1en 9.2

      Stuart, have a look at Psycho's comment at 8.3 and ask yourself is is really worth being nailed to the cross in a thread populated by a handful of the same regulars whose take on the subject matter is one you may, or may not, dismiss out of hand anyway?

      • Bill 9.2.1

        No-one debating the post in good faith will get nailed to anything, let alone a cross. I think the original point Adrian was highlighting was that those who have cleaved to "official" lies spun around Douma would have nothing of substance to contribute on that post if they were going to hang on to their previous notions of what happened.

        And to be fair…scanning the comments, it would seem he was basically correct on that front.

        McFlock is dancing on semantics,(which is kinda bad faith and boring) and that aside, it's been people submitting links and claiming the links contain info that they don't contain, somewhat ironically registering huffy justifications for not commenting…and gaslighting – which I can't be fucked with. Hope that clears things up for you there Al1en. 😉

        • The Al1en

          Sure does, it’s why I agree with Psycho Milt 😉

          “Bollocks. I don’t bother disputing anything Bill writes these days, for reasons made obvious in comment above.”

          • Bill

            Jolly! 🙂 Then you and PM are most welcome to not contribute any bullshit or nonsense in response to anything I write hereabouts. Deal?

            • The Al1en

              Whilst knowingly chuckling at your framing of unmade contributions as "bullshit or nonsense", I thought it was pretty firmly implied by agreeing with “Bollocks. I don’t bother disputing anything Bill writes these days"

              • Bill

                Just to be clear. You know I'm going to hold you to that, yes? And I don't want to hear any bitching from you if you do respond to something I say and cop a ban for going back on this deal.

                (You can respond to this comment, or not, as you see fit.)

                • The Al1en

                  So to be really sure, for clarification, you're going to ban me if I ever respond to something you post again, even on the off chance it was to agree with you, because I subscribe to not bothering to dispute anything you write these days?

                  • Bill

                    If by "post" you mean an OP, then no. I'm including comments/discussion. And it's not a threat. I'm simply looking to hold you to your word.

                    • The Al1en

                      If by my word, I'll certainly be held by I won't "bother disputing anything Bill writes these days".

                      Glad that's settled. 🙂

                    • McFlock

                      Ah, see the "won't" confuses the tense – previously it was quite clearly a description of current behaviour, rather than a commitment to future behaviour.


                    • The Al1en

                      Well, McFlock, as I agree with "I don’t bother disputing anything Bill writes these days, for reasons made obvious in comment above.”, and have observed that since his recent return, and as I see no worthwhile reason to change that stance, it follows that I will continue to observe it, so maybe "won't bother disputing anything Bill writes these days, for reasons made obvious in comment above." isn't too far of a stretch moving forward.

                      The promise of a ban under the terms of Bill's imposed 'deal', that's a bit controlling, though I suspect sort of justifies the original PM quote in the first place.

                      I can live with it. One less eye roll to send out, and all that.

                    • Bill

                      You didn't have to seal the deal Al1en. Now stop bitching and wailing.

        • McFlock

          Yeah, like semantics between the possibility of fraud and the certainty of it. Semantics about whether one person saying several people think something is the word of one person or the word of all those people.

          That stuff is actually important in geopolitics, but you steamroll over it.

          • Bill

            No McFlock. A falsified document is fraud. The document was meant to be based on the facts found on the ground by the OPCW's own inspectors. And it most assuredly wasn't. Do yourself the favour of watching to the Postol interview if you have difficulty understanding the nature of actions taken by the OPCW 'big wigs'.

            • McFlock

              Bill, a document you or any other person doesn't agree with isn't necessarily "falsified" intentionally and might not even be false at all, even if some criticisms of it are accurate. Big if.

              And yet you are categorical that there's "fraud" – intentional deception. That's just more of the inflation I talked about.

              • Poission

                Fisk recent article suggests that it does not pass the sniff test.


                The other significant test was when Fisk was there shortly after,there was an entomologist being interviewed from Douma who suggested that there seemed to be no evidence of collateral damage to the adjacent insect population.

              • Bill

                Spend some time on the links I provided. Go through them. (Because you obviously haven't). I most certainly didn't do a "he said she said" post as comments from you seem to be implying – ie, the suggestion that both sides of the OCPW report coin are equally valid and no detailed evidence of tampering, suppression and outright destruction of documentation has been produced..

                • McFlock

                  I did not imply that. At one stage I even asked why the "whistleblowers" weren't due the same caution you give to the OPCW board.

                  I haven't bothered with the videos. More often than not they're a waste of time. I see no reason to expect this to be any different.The typed links had no new information, and none of it as damning as one might expect – as long as scepticism is applied to all parties involved, not just the OPCW.

                  • Bill

                    I even asked why the "whistleblowers" weren't due the same caution you give to the OPCW board.

                    Get real McFlock. In even a general context, a whistle blower puts their future prospects on the chopping block. That's never done lightly.

                    And these ones have produced oodles of evidence to support their position (which again) is not one anyone adopts lightly.

                    Meanwhile, a board that's arm waving about how there's nothing to see here while denying requests for an airing by experts who work under its management…yeah. Nah.

                    edit – In Vino has a question for you here that you may not be aware of and may wish to respond to.

                    • McFlock

                      And an international, prior-to-now-respected scientific body would risk its existence and the professional reputations (and careers) of everyone involved if they created fraudulent reports.

                    • Bill

                      Indeed. And it's been my recent experience (I don't claim to understand this) but it's a mind set not unknown within managerial boards. (To put everything on the line)

                      And it's maybe worth bearing in mind that the OPCW has recently (post Douma) been politicised, such that instead of merely gathering evidence, it is now charged with apportioning culpability. So we already know that impartiality has been sacrificed, and with that, probably a goodly proportion of its reputation.

                      Which actors politicised it…?

                    • Sacha

                      Can you guys please take this back to its own post.

                    • In Vino

                      Agree – and can McFlock answer the question I posted there?

                    • McFlock

                      was playing computer games. I'll have a look.

  9. Brutus Iscariot 11

    Genuinely shocked at the Suleimani assassination, that a Western democracy could resort to the flagrant and cold blooded political murder of a senior governmental figure of a major regional power.

    The equivalent would be Colin Powell or Mike Pompeo getting knocked off in Toronto.

    I honestly weep for the US.

    • McFlock 11.1

      Not even the current USian regime could think this would be allowed to pass.

      But any direct response would play to dolt45's base and its racism.

      But the Houthis have had some success lately – maybe they'll get an upgrade in their weapons…

  10. sumsuch 12

    I've accused you of being a footnotes section, but you're the most educational and entertaining footnotes section.

  11. Robert Guyton 13

    "The scientific community has been trying to warn the government of the need to plan to adapt to climate change for at least a decade. In fact, the world’s first global conference on climate change adaptation was hosted here in Australia, on the Gold Coast in 2010.


    This conference was run by the former National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCARF), which lost its federal funding in June 2018. It was a visionary initiative to attempt to help the most vulnerable nation in the developed world prepare for climate change. Despite this immensely important task, the initiative is now vastly scaled-down and operating through Griffith University by a handful of dedicated researchers.

    How anyone thought that axing funding to the only dedicated national climate change adaptation program in the country was a good idea is completely beyond me.

    This summer has been a brutal reminder that no matter how much we want to avoid addressing the problem of climate change, it simply can no longer be ignored. As this summer has shown, it is now part of every Australian’s lived experience."


  12. Stuart Munro 14

    @ Incognito

    you are past the point of agreeing to disagree with an Author, I think it might be better that you stop commenting or you might find that you have used enough rope to hang yourself

    People are entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Bill was and remains deliberately grossly offensive to me, on top of posting his… material.

    I will no longer comment directly to him, but it is my view (which you are free to ignore) that the material he posts degrades the experience of this site – the moreso because it is evidently protected by some kind of special pleading.

    [“was and is deliberately grossly offensive” and senseless etceteras…. You’re fucking gone after that wee add on rant/attack Stuart. To be fair – that last time you were banned for attacking people, it was for two months. Since that obviously wasn’t long enough to facilitate intelligent reflection, you can take twice the time this time around ] – B

    [Since your comment was addressed to me, I will give you my perspective although you have already taken the rope and hanged yourself despite my friendly warning 🙁

    People are free to express their opinion, argue their point, and disagree with others, including Authors. It is not tolerated that people attack and insult Authors or litigate Moderation.

    Some commenters here have taken some kind of ‘vow’ to not directly respond to certain others. However, indirectly attacking Authors or litigating Moderation is not tolerated either.

    One-upmanship and slagging others creates a negative vibe and lowers the experience of this site.

    Stuart, the “special pleading” was for another Moderator to deal with the situation and the irony is that it could have shielded you from a (long) ban. Alas, Bill swapped his hat for his Moderator one and dealt with you himself.

    We Authors and Moderators are only human and we do make mistakes. Nevertheless, we all endeavour, each in our own unique way and in our precious spare time, to make this site an inclusive site for robust debate and sharing of (our) progressive views and ideas with a broad audience, which is mostly the silent readership.


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