Open mike 03/10/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, October 3rd, 2019 - 72 comments
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Step up to the mike …

72 comments on “Open mike 03/10/2019 ”

    • as a longtime 'bernie-boy' – all i can say is 'bugger..!'…

      and to wish him a speedy recovery..

      one of the main reasons i like bernie is that he will not take financial support from the billionaire class..(warren and the others..?..not so much..)

      and yet in the last fundraising quarter he pulled in the most of any democrat contendor..($25+ million..)

      the average size of those donations was $18..

      he truly is a man of the people…

      and i am still holding out for my international 'dream'-scenario..

      bernie in the white house..

      and corbyn leading britain…

      • cleangreen 1.1.1

        Bernie is hanging in there as an arterial blockage is being dealt to, and perhaps a stint will be placed in his partial blockage as the US media says he is expected to be back in operation before to long so we hope they are correct there.

        Elizabeth Warren is rising in the polls and nearing equal to Biden now we hear.

        • Adrian Thornton 1.1.1.1

          I think Sanders is doing just fine in this election cycle….

          "Bernie Sanders announces massive $25.3 million third quarter fundraising haul"

          https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/01/politics/bernie-sanders-25-million-fundraising-third-quarter-2019/index.html

          Bernie Sanders hits 1 million donors

          https://www.politico.com/story/2019/09/19/bernie-sanders-1-million-donors-1504970

          I wouldn't take to much notice of the mainly negative MSM spin on Bernie..I like this by Norman Soloman when talking about some liberal media in regards to it's coverage of Sanders.. "Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip, but the really well-trained dog is the one that turns his somersault when there is no whip." —George Orwell"

          The media seem to have coalesced around Warren now, personally I would be very disappointed if Warren wins the nomination, she would be for the US what Helen Clark was to NZ..nothing much, and even her most ardent supporters couldn't make that case that she was at all transformative…and that is exactly what the world needs right now, and we all know what candidate that is.

          The time has long past for the world to sit and wait for the centrist liberal/capitalist project and it's bullshit incrementalism to make any meaningful changes, we all know now that those changes will never happen, we all know now that liberal capitalists would rather lose everything than concede anything on their bottom line or capital gains or any of the power..that is exactly why the unified single chant that can be heard loud and clear from the board rooms of big business, corporate media and establishment political think tanks across the States is…Anyone One But Bernie!, why?.. because he is the only one who threatens them and their system of exploitative extraction of workers, the environment and the planet..not Biden and not Warren, Bernie Sanders.

          Get well Bernie…the only transformative candidate in 2020.

          • Dukeofurl 1.1.1.1.1

            "she would be for the US what Helen Clark was to NZ..nothing much,.."

            Labour was a minority party during those years…remember MMP was designed to stop big changes from a major party , and its works still.

            Sanders would have to try to get separately elected House AND Senate to pass any of his agenda…and you could say he would be in a more difficult situation than Boris Johnson is now and Clark was over a decade ago.

            You should really follow US politics more to see how it really works.

            Lyndon Johnson was a master legislator – even though he was personally quite corrupt – as he had been the leader of the Senate for some years and knew every trick to get legislators to back him, as happened to the Civil rights laws.

            Even Bill Clinton was a well persuader and could work to get things passed by difficult House and Senate.

            Sanders is a mediocre legislator based on his record, he has nowhere near the ability or long background of even say Biden or someone like Warren who has had a major impact in her short time.

            His committee is Veteran Affairs ….. that changed everything very little

            “While sitting down with then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who was meeting with members of his conference one on one during the difficult days in 2009, Sanders told the then-Senate majority leader not to worry: He was going to vote for Obamacare, though he would continue speaking publicly as if he wouldn’t so he could continue to rail against the absence of a public option.
            https://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/bernies-record-220508
            Wow Bernie… be the worst sort of Politician…

        • The Al1en 1.1.1.2

          Monmouth and Economist/Yougov polls from 2/10 have Warren ahead in both.

          Warren 28, Biden 25, Saunders 15

          Warren 28, Biden 22, Saunders 13

      • Dukeofurl 1.1.3

        Warren also is reported as not taking the 'big money' either.

        Biden as well says his 'average' is $46.

        Its about 2 weeks to go when the full details are made public. So we can see the 'mean' and see what the big donors numbers are.

        As those terrible debate rules that rules out some candidates last month ?
        Gabbard makes this debate Oct 12 under the rules , which have been getting progressively harder , so some of the minnows will be dropped for the Nov debate
        https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/us/politics/democratic-debate-lineup.html

        • Adrian Thornton 1.1.3.1

          "Warren also is reported as not taking the 'big money' either."

          Everything is not quite as it seems there…

          "Don’t Trust Elizabeth Warren’s Big-Donor Ban"

          https://jacobinmag.com/2019/09/elizabeth-warren-2020-big-donor-ban-bernie-sanders-corporate-money

          • Dukeofurl 1.1.3.1.1

            Well guess what Sanders made a $10 mill transfer too

            "Sanders had raised $46.3 million by the end of the second quarter, according to Federal Election Commission records. That includes $10.1 million transferred from previous campaigns.

            Spot the differences..if you can…hahahaha

            "Sanders doesn’t hold closed-door fundraisers to solicit high-dollar contributions and doesn’t accept money from corporate PACs or super PACs, or from fossil fuel, drug or insurance companies.

            Warren doesn’t hold closed-door fundraisers to solicit high-dollar contributions and doesn’t accept money from federal lobbyists or PACs, or fossil fuel or pharmaceutical executives.

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/09/30/are-sanders-warren-grassroots-funded/

            You werent being balanced Adrian

            “Time magazine reported in December 2015: “Sanders has hosted at least nine medium- to high-dollar, closed-door fundraisers in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere to directly fund his own presidential campaign. Even though Sanders’ efforts sometimes have a proletarian flair — he held one $200-per-ticket fundraiser at a dive bar near a grungy Seattle park — some aspects of the Democratic insurgent’s fundraising are similar to the candidates he condemns.”

            • phillip ure 1.1.3.1.1.1

              i don't have the link but i have seen the names of the billionaires all the candidates (even my fave for v.p. – tulsi gabbard) have taken money from..

              and bernie is not on that list – he is the only one..

              and heh..!..a '$200 fundraising dinner'…well..they will all own him won't they..

              is that the worst you can sling at bernie..?..'$200 dinner'….heh..!..that's fucken funny..!

              the man who terrifies both the republicans – and the democrat establishment..

              'cos he owes both nothing – he owes vested-interests nothing..

              and they know he will remake america more than roosevelt did with his new deal..

              bring it on..!..bernie..!

              get well soon.!..buddy..!

              (this is why it matters that bernie is the candidate..)

              and really..!..a.b.b…eh..?..anyone but biden..

              we don't need another war-criminal in the white house..

              we/the world – needs bernie sanders…

            • Kevin 1.1.3.1.1.2

              Hasn't Warren already stated that if given the nomination she will accept money from anyone?

              • Dukeofurl

                Spot the difference and who said what ?

                ….doesn’t hold closed-door fundraisers to solicit high-dollar contributions and doesn’t accept money from corporate PACs or super PACs, or from fossil fuel, drug or insurance companies.

                ….. doesn’t hold closed-door fundraisers to solicit high-dollar contributions and doesn’t accept money from federal lobbyists or PACs, or fossil fuel or pharmaceutical executives.

                The maximum individual limit is $2700 and we know that Bernie got plenty of those last time ( and even exceeded it)

                However both have used slightly deceptive wording:

                ..hold closed-door fundraisers to solicit high-dollar contributions..

                Which still allows max $ contributions from almost anyone

      • The Al1en 1.1.4

        Well, dreams are free, but accurate predictions they aren't. Neither of those two things will happen, and both, that's so far removed from reality it more like fantasy politics.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.5

        Best wishes to Bernie. Hey, Mick Jagger had a heart op and finished the Stones tour, Mr Sanders is ornery and committed enough to do similar. He would likely have one good term in him at least, and make a number of changes future Pressies would find hard to roll back.

        • Dukeofurl 1.1.5.1

          "make a number of changes future Pressies would find hard to roll back."

          Look what happened to Obamas executive actions – Trump just rolled them back like you seem to think wont happen.

          What can stick is legislation passed in Congress , and Sanders doesnt have much of a record working on that while in Congress and Senate.

          The Person with the most legislative experience is Biden…but having a 'history; is supposed to be a bad thing.

          • phillip ure 1.1.5.1.1

            i am talking about congressional changes..

            and yes – biden has a 'history'..of being owned by the establishment/vested-interests..

            and of course you wd support biden – no surprises there…

            after all he is one of your crew..eh..?

        • phillip ure 1.1.5.2

          bernie is fit – physically and mentally..and cd well see out two terms..

          but with gabbard as v.p..she wd then be able to step up in 2024..if needed…

          and yes…the changes he will bring will be massive..and largely unable to be rolled back..

          universal healthcare for americans being just one of a brace of seachange policies…

          • Dukeofurl 1.1.5.2.1

            hes in hospital with heart issues …havent read any real news?

            What Congress changes are you suggesting Sanders will make- Ive said hes a useless legislator and thats based on his record.

            Sanders is a prodigious fund raiser, is his only claim to fame, so he should be able to get his campaign themes out there no problem. Yet the primaries where democrats can vote show him as a runner up in 2016 and will happen gain in 2020

            • Kevin 1.1.5.2.1.1

              He had two arterial stents put in. This is about as basic as it gets for heart surgery.

            • phillip ure 1.1.5.2.1.2

              you neolibs are terrified of sanders..eh..?

              between him and corbyn – yr pox of an (there-is-no-alternative) ideology cd well end in the garbage bin..eh..?

              and sanders has always been..like corbyn – an outsider in those neoliberal decades we have just passed thru..

              he is a member of no party – he is an independent..

              an independent in both thought and action…

              so this congressional record you keep citing as some evidence of incompetence on his part..is just more neolib bullshit..eh..?

    • joe90 1.2

      Fortunately, he hasn't got pneumonia.

      /

      • Dukeofurl 1.2.1

        And the rest:

        Aphasia

        Autism

        Brain cancer

        Heart disease

        Multiple sclerosis

        Obesity, diabetes and hypertension

        Parkinson's disease

        Post-concussion syndrome

        Radiation poisoning

        Seizures- said zerohedge

        Stroke

        Tongue cancer

        her medical records said : hypothyroidism, She takes a prescription blood thinner to guard against clots,fainted four years ago after becoming dehydrated and suffered a concussion

        ttps://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/08/23/a-guide-to-hillary-clintons-many-illnesses-as-diagnosed-in-the-conservative-media/

        Watch the same play being used against Ardern next year, its because women politicians are susceptible to false rumours of all kinds but medical ones get traction.

  1. Adrian Thornton 2

    Good debate on impeachment..

    "To Impeach or Not to Impeach? Chris Hedges & John Bonifaz Debate What Congress Should Do Next"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-p9NCSMBlLc

    • aj 2.1

      Yes that was a good discussion. Hedge's comments starting about 20 minutes in, about the liberal church and christian fascists as represented by Pence, were right on the mark as well.

  2. Jum 3

    So Trump who has been accused of using fake news throughout his political meanderings is now accusing others of using fake news to impeach him. What a hoot. What delicious irony.

  3. ianmac 4

    NZ First President Lester Gray quits role – and leaves the party altogether.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12273218

    Whats's up Doc?

    • He wishes to focus on his Tear Ranga Council bid and bizzniss activities?

      He seems "passionate" about us and our, and as a "strategic thinker" he might be seeing the writing on the wall.

      Or maybe since he had pulled himself up by the bootstraps to "the heights of the Corporate world" ( no doubt with the help of his good lady woif -who also no doubt had to make so many sacrifices), his ambitions lay outside of centril gummint.

      Next

    • Rapunzel 4.2

      Yes the Herald called it "mysterious" but the original release earlier on Politik clearly referred to possible health issues, personal issues etc. Why is it now that the minute details of what may effect someone in this position or similar are open to such innuendo and scrutiny if they are not highly critical to operations of some sort? Things happen to and for people. He had already had clearance weeks back from NZFirst for leave and has reached this decision. The most mysterious thing is NZ media currently, they are determined to make every event an "issue", this is the normal passage of life people encounter.

  4. weka 5

    Good to see more and more companies using packaging that is home compostable (not just compostable in an industrial facility)

    https://twitter.com/five15design/status/1179515224459599872

    • weka 5.1

      Here are some definitions to help out:

      • Degradable – This is a standard plastic with a chemical added that disintegrates the bag into tiny pieces of plastic (called Microplastics)
      • Biodegradable – This is plastic which will eventually degrade into Microplastics from the action of naturally occurring micro-organisms, with no set time (could be 30+ years!)
      • Compostable – This is a product that is capable of disintegrating into natural elements in a compost environment, leaving no toxicity or plastic particles in the soil.
      • Commercially Compostable – This means only compostable in a municipal composting environment; moisture and temperatures of at least 50-65°C required to break down.
      • Home Compostable – This will compost at lower temperatures, ideally suited to a home compost bin environment (this is what we’ve chosen)
      • Recyclable – Packaging that can be processed back into reusable materials. This is what our Regular Proper Crisp Bags are, through the Soft Plastics Recycling Scheme.

      http://www.propercrisps.co.nz/giving-back

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        Helpful stuff weka. So much to get head around. Looking at my blue plastic bag this morning. What can I use that reduces those bits, already less than used to be. Have an idea. Will pursue.

      • Sabine 5.1.2

        Sorry for the pessimism, but i am very very careful with these sudden 'feel' good 'compostable, natural, etc 'plant based meat' solution that essentially allow us to continue with our bad food habits of eating crap mass produced 'cheap' food, that allow us to continue to mindlessly consume cause its is all 'environmentally friendly' and above all we don't actually have to change a thing we do. Ergo, nothing changes and in a few years time we will learn that the stuff that was sold to us as a miracle solution was neither a miracle nor a solution.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/104220912/compostable-packaging-could-do-more-harm-than-good

        http://theconversation.com/why-compostable-plastics-may-be-no-better-for-the-environment-100016

        or from 2009

        https://www.theguardian.com/environment/cif-green/2009/jun/18/greenwash-biodegradeable-plastic-bags

        • weka 5.1.2.1

          I generally agree. But short of a way to get everyone to change to low consumption in one go and pretty quick, this is a useful step in the right direction. It reduces plastic pollution, and at the same time points to zero waste as well as creating path out of consumption (when we start thinking about home composting, our relationship to the world changes).

          2009 is well outdated in terms of the greenwashing issues. We went through all that bollocks about being sold degradable plastics, and we pushed back, likewise industrial compostable, and now we have companies that are working with actually useful plastic replacements instead of trying to hide the pollution.

          Fake meat, don't get me started. That's the big one at the moment imo, because so many people who care about climate change don't seem to be making the connections between industrial processes and environmental damage and appear to believe that it's a reductionist issue – replace cow burps with soy and we'll be fine. This misses the issues around consumption, and ignores the vital importance of relocalising food supply.

          • weka 5.1.2.1.1

            I don't eat a lot of crisps, but if I am in town and hungry and this is what I can eat to get me through the shopping list until I get home, then I will buy the crisps in the packaging that I can put in the compost. This is a good thing.

          • phillip ure 5.1.2.1.2

            @ weka…

            'Fake meat, don't get me started. That's the big one at the moment imo, because so many people who care about climate change don't seem to be making the connections between industrial processes and environmental damage and appear to believe that it's a reductionist issue – replace cow burps with soy and we'll be fine. This misses the issues around consumption, and ignores the vital importance of relocalising food supply'

            ok..there are two types of fake-meat – one grown in lab – one plant-based – neither of which has soy as an essential ingredient..it cd be used..but is not integral..

            and interesting how you reference cows and soy – as 85% of the soy grown on the planet is feed to animals..that are then eaten..so unsure what the point is you are trying to make there..

            and of course one of the reasons our animal-extraction industries are threatened..is because both of those fake-meat alternatives can be made locally..no need to ship from other side of world…so that fits with yr 'local' imperative..eh..?

            hope that clarifies those three points for you..

            (knowledge is a wonderful thing..eh…?..)

            • weka 5.1.2.1.2.1

              Macdonald's chopped down Amazon rainforest to grow meat patties for their burgers and they'll do the same to grow soy burgers or pea protein fake meat. I support animal welfare, but the idea that going vegan is better for the environment only makes sense if you want a bit less damage instead of doing right by nature.

              If you think this is about monsanto soy (or whatever) for vegans, I'm sorry to hear that that is how you eat. I will continue to point out that CC action on food has to be relocalised and regenag, and that best practice food growing can easily include animals as a positive thing. It's not a hard argument to follow.

              • what did you not understand about 85% of soy is grown for animal-feed..?

                that is an irrefutable fact..not an opinion..

                how does yr alarmist soy claim make any sense..?

                and you 'support animal wefare'..but you eat them..

                you cannot see the incongruities in yr 'welfare' claim..?

                (and..)

                'the idea that going vegan is better for the environment only makes sense if you want a bit less damage instead of doing right by nature.'

                i have read that several times..and i cannot understand what you are saying..i cannot make it make any sense..

                and who mentioned monsanto..??

                and actually the suffering of those animals you claim to care about – doesn't bother you in the slightest..does it..?

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                "going vegan is better for the environment only makes sense if you want a bit less damage"

                I’m trying to decrease my consumption of meat and dairy (the dairy is a real struggle), and am interested in this idea that going vegan might be a bit less damaging to the environment. Specifically I'd be interested to know if there are any estimates of the magnitude of "a bit less", and in particular what range these estimates might span.

                "One report explores the economic case for changing current food production and consumption habits, estimating that they cause about $12 trillion a year in damage to the environment, human health and development. If countries invested just half of 1 percent of global GDP in carbon-friendly agriculture, food waste reduction, reforestation and prescribing more plant-focused diets, among other measures, the world could sustainably feed itself and reduce the climate-related damage, the authors found."

                If "a bit less damage" is code for 'a tiny bit less damage', why bother? If, however, "a bit less damage" turned out to be 'quite a bit less damage', then I would be less dismissive of plant-based diet initiatives.

                "What over 9 billion people choose to eat and how they make these choices are at the heart of how our food and land use systems evolve," the report finds, adding: "The right animals, in the right places and raised in the right conditions can continue to play an important role in sustainable food and land use systems."

                "So many countries are dealing with under-nourishment. They're going to have to increase food consumption, and accordingly their carbon footprints are going to have to go up," said Keeve Nachman, director of the Food Production and Public Health Program at Johns Hopkins' Center for a Livable Future and one of the report's authors. "We have a responsibility as a global community to make sure they have enough food. What that means is that high-income countries that typically consume more animal products are going to have to more rapidly consider some of these plant-forward dietary shifts."

                https://insideclimatenews.org/news/18092019/climate-change-diet-plant-meat-dairy-studies-developed-countries-malnourished-populations

                And we would've gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling UN activists… https://www.ipcc.ch/report/srccl/

                "Better land use, less-meat-intensive diets and eliminating food waste should be priorities to help forestall a climate catastrophe, the authors say."

                • weka

                  there's a world of difference between reducing meat/dairy consumption and going vegan. For instance, there are small scale dairy farmers in NZ doing regenerative agriculture. If you reduce your dairy consumption and buy their products instead of Fonterra dairy, then you are helping reduce NZ's methane emissions, supporting local economies, and promoting regenerative ag which has multiple very important ecological benefits including being a carbon sink.

                  If on the other hand you go vegan, and need to get protein from plant sources alone, what are you planning to eat? Monocropping causes multiple environmental issues, and for NZ a lot of legume protein is imported, thus increasing food miles and GHGs. There are ways around that, but they're not particularly easy and they lead to things like fake animal products with high enviro impacts in cafes because that is easier than them cooking whole legumes. Further, the more people who chose not to eat the regenag dairy, the less conversion to regenag we will see and people will simply choose whatever even if it has high food miles. Transport is significant part of NZ's eco footprint (esp within NZ).

                  The go vegan messages I see from say the Guardian are based on global industrial food supply chains, which themselves are polluting, and not particularly relevant to NZ eg cattle in NZ are still raised on pastures not in CAFO feed lots. So sure, eat less meat if you can (which really depends on how much you eat now), but eat local whether it's meat, dairy, nuts or beans.

                  "Better land use, less-meat-intensive diets and eliminating food waste should be priorities to help forestall a climate catastrophe, the authors say."

                  Yep. Go look up what they mean by better land use. Afaik they're saying regenag (which includes animals).

                  Again, less meat intensive doesn't mean vegan. Veganism is primarily an animal rights movement where you have to use no animals at all. It prioritises the welfare of certain animals over ecologies and eating local, and it's philosophically against much of the regenag we desperately need.

                  • weka

                    Mixed farming systems integrating crops, livestock, fisheries and agro-forestry could maintain crop yield in the face of climate change, help the system to adapt to climatic risk, and minimise GHG emissions by increasingly improving the nutrient flow in the system

                    https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2019/08/2f.-Chapter-5_FINAL.pdf

                    If you scroll up from that section you can read the bit about agroecology.

                    Monocropping grains and legumes is one of the least resilient options we have in climate change scenarios.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    "there's a world of difference between reducing meat/dairy consumption and going vegan"

                    Absolutely true at the level of the individual; at a population level not so much, unless (of course) everyone adopts a vegan diet. Can't see that happening in NZ, where the per capita consumption of meat is relatively high. Consumption is reducing though, which is good for almost everything and everyone except perhaps meat farmers.

                    Doubt I could ever 'go vegan'; even ‘going vegetarian’ would be a challenge. But for those in our relatively healthy and wealthy society who make that choice for themselves, I say 'hear hear, good choice, well done'. And not just NZ society – kudos to Greta Thunberg, and to anyone else with the fortitude and commitment to 'go vegan'.

                    https://www.livekindly.co/greta-thunberg-esther-wonder-pig-save-the-world/

                    Bit hypocritical on my part, but every little bit helps – don't lose hope.

                    “Vegetarians should take some solace from the fact that meat consumption is declining in half of the countries listed above. Between 2002 and 2009 the amount consumed by US residents fell from 124.8 kilos per person to 120.2, for example, in Luxembourg from 141.7 to 107.9, in New Zealand from 142.1 to 106.7 [kilos per person per year] and in Denmark (previously the world’s biggest consumers of meat) from 145.9kg to 95.2kg.”

                    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/world-according-to-meat-consumption/

                  • Sabine

                    @

                    weka…

                    3 October 2019 at 11:35 pm

                    this i agree with

                    +1

          • Sabine 5.1.2.1.3

            see this is where you and i disagree,

            i don't think it changes everything all this 'feel good environmentally packaging/bullshit'. It changes nothing, worse even it allows us to stay in our little bubble were we can fool ourselfs that we are doing something. LOOK, my packaging is labelled 'biodegradable', 'compostable', 'reusable', LOOK, i am doing my part.

            In the meantime we don't actually have any recycling facilities in this country worse calling it 'recycling facilities'. We don't actually properly seperate our rubbish, it all ends up in the same Landfill facility.

            We still continue to buy rubbish junk food – albeit 'plant derived'!! YEI, me see how i am saving hte world? \

            We still lie to ourself every day in order to continue doing what we do namely stop consuming like mindless idiots, stop eating crap (and that includes chemically derived fibres resembling meat from unidentified plant material), stop living desperate lives so empty that filling it with junk is what we call success.

            • weka 5.1.2.1.3.1

              I'm not sure we do disagree. I mean, I agree with what you are saying there. If it were up to me, and maybe you too, I'd have us powering down (with all the shift in culture that goes with that) so we don't need home compostable packaging for crisps. But we are a small minority and I don't see many progressives yet seeing the need to stop consuming, let alone people in positions of power. There's more than there used to be, but not so many that would commit to doing so now.

              I think it's likely we will be forced to powerdown, but in the meantime I'd like capitalism to do less damage.

  5. Edit
    Latest comment on Brexit. Good report from Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu/pm-johnson-to-submit-brexit-grand-bargain-but-ireland-sceptical-idUSKBN1WG309
    Johnson says that if possible he wants to secure an amended agreement at an EU summit on Oct. 17-18, and that both sides are keen on a deal to allow an orderly Brexit. Many EU diplomats doubt a breakthrough is possible by the summit.

    “We are sitting here every day ready to negotiate, the kamikaze way in which it is being treated by the UK government is not something we have chosen,” one EU diplomat said.

    Another said a move “half an inch” from the current proposal to keep open the sensitive border between Ireland and British-ruled Northern Ireland would make a deal difficult.

    Brexit kamikaze pilot Boorish! The EU must be watching with sourness and anger as Britain throws its wobbly. All that fighting in WW2 which has settled down to a relatively stable co-operative bloc is to be abandoned. The Irish Troubles and their settlement to a workable system, to be abandoned. Probably because Germany is perceived as doing better than Britain. So Britain wants to turn away from being the UK, and return to the old Britain relying on the USA to be its partner and collaborator. This from this reference repeated below. https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/battle-of-britain/aftermath

    Irresponsible, determinedly ignorant public school boys and girls enveloping the whole country in their persiflage. (Try reading Vintage Stuff and the adventures of Peregrine Clyde-Brown where the type is lampooned by Tom Sharpe.)

    I recall thinking of grand action that arose during the Battle FOR Britain. Air Marshall Dowding planned night and day, and was cognisant of all the resources, and ensuring new ones, and conserved what Britain had. And looked at cost efficiency closely both for finances, built resources and humans, pilots and crew in particular. Against his careful implementation of calculated risks and also that of Air Vice Marshall Keith Park, a New Zealander, were the fly-boys who wanted to dash in shouting 'Follow Me Chaps, Death or Glory', (the so-called Big Wing approach, advocated by Air Vice-Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory).

    Britain was saved from German invasion by Dowding and Park who spoke later – With benefit of experience in later commands, Park was convinced that ‘we would have lost the Battle of Britain if I had adopted the “withholding” tactics of No. 12 Group’. https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/battle-of-britain/the-battle-september-october

    This piece on the aftermath of WW2 points out how in supporting Britain, the USA also gained a stepping stone as a world power. Britain is now advancing that by withdrawing from the EU and 'paling up' with USA, and late-stage, crony capitalism. https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/battle-of-britain/aftermath

    The Battle of Britain was the first serious setback experienced by the Germans during the Second World War. This in itself was significant at a time when the German military forces seemed to be unstoppable, and it gave hope to conquered Europeans.
    But the long-term significance was even greater: Britain was preserved as a base for offensive action against Germany. Bombers operating from its bases would devastate German industry and infrastructure later in the war.
    As a springboard for the deployment of American power, it was vital to the eventual liberation of Western Europe.

    And now the American power is to be given deference by the UK as an expedient by its hungry capital-accreting Right Wing. Will the ordinary citizens look on bemused and rudderless?

    • Dukeofurl 7.1

      " The Irish Troubles and their settlement to a workable system, to be abandoned. "

      No it doesnt. have you even read 1 page of the Good Friday agreement. Its hundred or more pages , hardly mentions the border ( apart from removing military army/police posts)

      meanwhile plenty of chapters on the shared power arrangements for the NI Assembly and its 'compulsory coalitions and parallel consent' for both Unionist and Nationalist blocs.

      Havent you noticed but the Assembly hasnt been working since Jan 2017.

      Has the 'troubles' returned because of this major collapse of the GFA ?

      Its a complete nonsense to suggest that a customs border but still retain freedom of movement ( since 1922) between North and South will cause any strife.

      Remember Ireland joined Britain outside of the Schengen agreement to retain freedom of movement with UK,

  6. Peter Christchurh nz 8

    Well the reports finally out, recommends shifting Ports of Auckland to Northland in stages. Would be biggest infrastructure spend in modern NZ history. Great stuff so long as the self interested Auckland politicians dont scuttlebit.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12273168

    • Jum 8.1

      So, lots of new jobs in Northland and the Auckland land stays in Aucklanders' hands, no contracting out to private interests, or wealthy apartment dwellers, who will do everything they can to shut the rest of us out. Happens all the time.

      Maybe we can then compete with Wellington's waterfront people spaces.

      • Peter Christchurh nz 8.1.1

        Yes, Auckland foreshore probably could be the most beautiful recreational space in NZ. And the net benefit Auckland ratepayers will receive would be almost twice as much than the current dividend gives.

        Sadly, I doubt it will happen. Too many vested interests in maintaining the status quo.

        • Dukeofurl 8.1.1.1

          Auckland has hundreds of miles of foreshore for the public, whether its from Ihumatao or Long Bay.

          Its a weird concept pushed by Northland and Jones. They now want of 4 land motorway all the way to Whangarei… so everything can be trucked back to Auckland.

          As Tauranga is an export port and Auckland an Import one, what will happen is container ships will make one stop at Mt Maunganui instead of Marsden Pt.

          The good news is that its a one sided report so will be ignored like all the others of that ilk

  7. aj 9

    Some fools want people living in the lower half of New Zealand to keep in the dark until after 9am on winter days. School kids walking or cycling to school in the dark!

    Sunrise isn't till about 0840NZST in mid-winter in the south and their idea to keep NZDT would have sunrise at 0940 local.

    Stupid, and then I read this: "Houlbrooke worked for Seymour before taking on his current role at the Taxpayers' Union" so it figures.

    https://twitter.com/TakeBackClocks/status/1179467150899040256

    • Peter Christchurh nz 9.1

      Yep, ridiculous. The likes of Houlbrooke just oppose anything that even slightly smacks of social responsibility, all under the guise of 'personal freedom'.

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Such people want what they want to be what we should do. It is obviousthat his way is the best way. Is he a born NZr or a newish one changing a few things in the country to make it perfect for him.

  8. Vaping cannabis kills eight people

    Sensational tagline? perhaps, but news from the u.s warns people not to vape cannabis oil

    The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now confirmed a total of 12 deaths, with all of the patients reportedly using e-cigarettes prior to their deaths.

    Of those, three quarters said they had used a vape containing THC (cannabis) oil.
    The CDC is investigating, and has recommended people steer clear of vaping products containing THC, and no one substance has yet been identified in all of the tested samples.

    NZ experts, however, suggest caution not concern.

    Dr Penny Truman, Massey University School of Health Sciences

    "New Zealand vapers using nicotine (or the nicotine-free equivalent) should not be concerned by the problems in the USA," Dr Truman said.

    "People have been vaping as a smoking cessation tool with no obvious problems for around 10 years now all around the world.

    "In contrast, the lung damage that is appearing in the USA develops over a very short time-frame, is localised as to where it is happening and is almost certainly related to vaping cannabis.

    • McFlock 11.1

      Well, unregulated cannabis extracts cut with vitamin E acetate. There are hipsters all over the world, not just a loose area of continental US.

      I figure we've got another ten years at least before we can start calling the long term effects of vaping with/without cannabis.

      • The Al1en 11.1.1

        As Dr Truman says, ten years so far without obvious problems, so another decade to quit nicotine sounds good to me.

        Actually I've just been researching how to make those cannabis vape liquids, and as there are no doubt tens of thousands of legit vaping users in the states, and mostly medical by the looks, having this crop of deaths does point to the batches used or a badly made product at fault and not the delivery device in itself.

        • McFlock 11.1.1.1

          Ten years is pretty tight to even measure the negative effects of smoking, and I haven't seen any studies at close to the scale of many of the smoking harm studies.

          Even when things like the doctor's study were delivering their results, that was based on the observed outcome after 40 years of endemic smoking. I'e' they had a lot of 60y.o. doctors who had been smoking all their lives, rather than everyone only having started ten years ago.

          But the short term harm, as you point out, looks like being the joys of unregulated capitalism rather than a problem with vaping itself. Contrast would be the immediate and sustained effects of crack or meth, which are shit products even without unregulated capitalism.

          But I'm still pretty cautious about vaping.

          • The Al1en 11.1.1.1.1

            Well the media hysteria over vaping we saw after the first deaths in the u.s is somewhat put to bed (not that vapers didn't know it was mostly bs), and despite the caution, which I also share as anything but fresh air in your lungs isn't good, vaping is still much safer than actually lighting up and inhaling toxic smoke.

            • McFlock 11.1.1.1.1.1

              In some respects, it likely is. ~0ppm tar, for example. But until the long term data comes in, we won't know by how much. If it's only a quarter (or even a sixteenth) as harmful as smoking, would we have been better off trying to suppress vaping as well as smoking? A rhetorical question to illustrate the public health balancing act.

              • The Al1en

                Well I wouldn't promote it to anyone other than a smoker because even a rhetorical 25% better is still better, and there's the cost savings too.

                • McFlock

                  All depends on what the math turns out to be. Even for the smokers, if the vape plateau that stops them actually addressing their addiction ends up in significantly fewer people stopping their nicotine use, that might offset the benefit of fewer people actually smoking. Whereas the clear harm of smoking is an incentive to break the habit.

                  But we don't even know that vaping is actually safer, yet. It's a fair guess, but surprises happen.

                  • The Al1en

                    It's true I wouldn't ever go back to smoking if vapes were banned, though I did read one reason for wanting to get rid of them is that a number of kids go on to cigarettes after vaping, which I find really odd.

  9. Gordon Campbell looking at the swing in the world back to government involvement in infrastructure spending to kickstart a sluggish economy.

    (And other matters.)

    he IMF paper attributes the sluggish response of investment to the prevalence of market power. The authors find that investment rose less for companies with higher price mark-ups — a standard measure of a company’s power to dominate a market. This fits with the thesis that monopoly power is increasingly making the U.S. economy unresponsive to standard market forces. The benefit of corporate tax cuts might simply be one more piece of conventional economic wisdom that no longer applies. In any case, Trump’s tax cut looks like it underperformed in 2018. The effect in the long run might be more positive, but given the drag from the trade war and other events, that will be hard to know. The most reasonable conclusion seems to be that corporate tax cuts are not a particularly powerful tool for boosting economic growth in the U.S. The Trump tax cuts should be the last piece of evidence needed to end the illusion of supply-side economics.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1910/S00021/gordon-campbell-on-british-apologies-and-interest-rates.htm

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