Open Mike 03/01/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 3rd, 2017 - 161 comments
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161 comments on “Open Mike 03/01/2017 ”

    • mauī 1.1

      If its true that many people involved with suicide prevention discouraged Mike King and then didn’t attend his talk in Kaitaia I find that shocking. It would be like Kaikoura turning away some of the emergency services after the quake.

    • DH 1.2

      The depressing thing about stories like that is it brings out all the pompous jackasses who say people should do this, they should do that, it’s their own fault blah blah.

      I wonder just how many suicides can be laid directly at the feet of uncaring Governments, politicians and bureaucrats. I suspect it’s in the thousands.

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        When you hear the saying that pessimists are those who are most in touch with reality and being probably right, the wonder is that there aren’t more suicides.

        We keep ourselves sane by having parallel consciousnesses going on at the same time I think. If so, then we are all split personalities, not quite bi-polar but balancing on a tipping point all the time. But we have to or we would not be able to handle stories of Syria, Australia, NZ, and happenings like the holocaust happening to many people over and over again, only in Germany using modern industrial methods. Still we must hope and try to encourage ourselves and others to be positive despite our human frailties.

        I’m going all philosophical because we have to think about what we are, or we may as well lie down and let artificial intelligence and techno-advantages and its fellow travellers sell we humans out, with our own connivance. We need to turn one of our public holidays into extolling humans day! Seriously. Start doing it now before the grey and black people take us over like a zombie wave.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “Still we must hope and try to encourage ourselves and others to be positive despite our human frailties.”

          Like this young lassie…

          Nina Griffiths, 18, People’s Choice The Hits New Zealander of the Year.

          Began her work by supporting (as a 13 year old) abused youngsters at Pamapuria School…

          With Young People like this coming along…maybe there is hope.

          • greywarshark

            I get concerned about children taking on caring roles. It is good for youngsters to learn to be themselves first not be putting others first when they should be growing up and developing their own personalities and abilities.

            Learning to be considerate and generous and respectful of others and understand one’s own behaviour, abilities and faults is the first task of a youngster. Those who live in dysfunctional households with unreliable parents or sick parents and have to take the parental role on may manage well or be heavily burdened. It is better if they can spend most of their time growing up, getting their education and personal skills, not taking on adult responsibilities.

            Some manage well in becoming little parents, but I don’t like kids being burdened, and I don’t agree with them being encouraged to be little adults. (I’m thinking of clothing styles etc. here. Also entered into sports competitions and encouraged to be striving winners so that games just aren’t any more.) Balance is the thing needed.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              ” It is good for youngsters to learn to be themselves first not be putting others first when they should be growing up and developing their own personalities and abilities.”

              You know, when I read that I immediately thought of the offspring of Our Leader Past. Growing up in stable privilege, having all care and support and no responsibility. Indulged.

              Imagine the planet populated by their ilk.

              • greywarshark

                If disabled people improved their conditions at the expense of young people becoming their carers it would not be a net improvement. And having time to grow up and get an education and mature inti a young adult does not mean that they will turn out like the spoilt children of isolated rich, people.

                We won’t get any encouragement for the idea of thinking about others’ welfare from this cohort of pollies and probably never from the RW. However developers are working on help robots which will be of value. They may be as useful as washing machines which are popular programmable machines. We can hope that a caring and practical humanity will arise in sufficient numbers to return to us our world, much depleted, but with some use and wear left in it. In the meantime there are some improvements, not fast enough I am sure.

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  “If disabled people improved their conditions at the expense of young people becoming their carers it would not be a net improvement. ”

                  Sometimes, Greywarshark there is no other option…other than the horror of residential care, or unreliable and inconsistent care from ‘formal’ providers.

                  The reality is that there is an ever increasing expectation that family members will assume most or all of a disabled member’s care.

                  Families are usually made up of people who love and care about each other…emotions that successive governments of all leanings have exploited for those whose impairments are not covered by ACC.

                  It is nonsense to suggest that it would be the case that a person with a disability would choose to handicap the future of a young family member so that their own ‘conditions’ would be ‘improved’.

                  Likewise the concept that a robot could ever replace a human carer.

                  However….this topic is not about disability and the potential ruining of a young person’s prospects by them having to provide care.

                  This is about a young person volunteering to provide support to her PEERS.

                  A huge difference.

                  And who better to support young people who have been betrayed and abused by adults than another young person with an obviously caring heart and a willing, listening ear?

                  Who better to organise a group to tackle bullying in schools than other young people experiencing on a daily basis the competitive culture that exists in schools?

                  And who better to proactively seek to have a wider community discussion about YOUTH suicide than a young person who has experienced personal loss through suicide?

                  It does no harm whatsoever for these young people to take on these roles. Trying to be contributing members of their communities is as much a valuable a part of their education and maturation as taking selfies and inane facebook chatter.

  1. Carolyn_nth 2

    RNZs predictions for 2017. Always interesting too see what is on journalists’ radar.


    Prime Minister Bill English will try to win favour with middle and lower income New Zealand with bold budget policies for social equity.

    Jacinda Ardern will romp to victory in the Mt Albert by-election on 25 February.

    Kingmaker Winston Peters strikes again. After the general election in September, Mr Peters will court Labour, but, given their Greens allegiance, he’ll likely go with National in exchange for a top job.

    The economy will continue to grow, then hit a wall in the second half of the year as a Trump-style shock hits the global economy and concerns about the eurozone (specifically Italy) and China’s economic health pose a threat.

    There will be a significant company failure.

    The Commerce Commission will turn down one and possibly two major media mergers and find its decisions appealed in court.

    Donald Trump will be inaugurated US President. He (and/or his picks for national security and budget directors) will cause at least one international crisis. The world will long for Barack Obama.

    Climate change will spell another record hot year, including for New Zealand. More species will edge towards extinction, Arctic sea ice will melt in winter and more coral will die. There will be at least one megastorm.

    Auckland house prices will keep marching upwards. Auckland’s Task Force on Housing will make recommendations on how to accelerate building, but the house shortage will continue to worsen.

    Queenstown’s traffic woes will get some relief with the first stage of the $22 million eastern access road opening. Plans for a $60m publicly-funded convention centre will get dropped in favour of a private one by Remarkables Park Town Centre.

    Otago will get a shockingly early – and an appallingly late – snow dumping.

    Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt will start riding a push-scooter to council meetings.

    Myself, I rarely/usually can’t make predictions. I’m never quite certain what will happen next – except to expect some very unexpected happenings.

    Though I do think Bling will try to get onside with middle and lower income Kiwis. The bits above about the economy and Auckland house prices seem very likely.

    I have no idea about Shadbolt’s transport preferences.

  2. Olwyn 3

    Locals showing resistance to an old working class Melbourne suburb being turned into a lifestyle centre. A cafe owner felt the need to stick a sign in his window saying that he had lived in the area for eight years, sent his kids to a local school and was renting. People really are getting sick of life-styles taking precedence over lives. At least the cafe owner, who comes across as quite decent, justified his presence on their terms rather than insisting that they give way to “progress” or move somewhere cheaper.

  3. garibaldi 4

    re RNZ Journalists. Wow ,their predictions are so conservative and “safe”. I guess that’s a reflection of what RNZ has become. The indomitable and much cherished Kim Hill is the only one left with any fire.

    • Carolyn_nth 4.1

      Yes. They are pretty superficial, and mostly focus on the pretty obvious.

      Though, at least the housing crisis, the fragility of the NZ economy, and climate change are on their radar. And that is more than can be said for the Stuff predictions, which were all about the GAME of politics.

    • Morrissey 4.2

      Kim Hill is not indomitable. She was hauled over the coals, deservedly so, by John Pilger in 2003. All of her extensive retinue of pouting, scowling and frowning did not save her…

    • Siobhan 4.3

      Generally I agree. However Kim Hills view that Hilary should win, but didn’t …because she is a woman was, to my mind, breathtakingly stupid. And, speaking as a woman, pretty darned offensive.

      • garibaldi 4.3.1

        Fair enough Siobhan. I did not realize that, and I agree that was a stupid attitude(common as it was) to have.

        • Colonial Viper

          But it was HER TURN!!!

          • Clump_AKA Sam

            Monica, and THEN Hillary

          • gsays

            Hey CV, a belated welcome back and seasons greetings to you.

            Have missed yr view on things.

            Liking the illiberal liberal tag, it’s gonna get used by me.

            • Colonial Viper

              Hi gsays, thanks so much for your support now and while I was benched, much appreciated 🙂

              • North

                Is it truly as simple as people for you and people against you CV ?
                Is there not a tolerable amalgam somewhere CV ? Or has this all become weirdly egocentric or something ? Which would mean that the main players have not learned a thing.

  4. Cinny 5

    Am very lucky to have a number of friends and their families come to stay with me this week.

    We were chatting about politics last night, turns out one of my friends had Gerry Brownlee as a woodwork teacher. He said Gerry was not a good teacher, would spent most of his time in his office doing political stuff rather than teaching the lads, also said he was a nasty bully and bigger in size than he is now.

    Another friend turns out he had gone to school with Bill English, apparently he had never met anyone so boring.

    NZ is such a small world, and it appears not much has changed.

  5. halfcrown 6

    As I have said before, go back 20/30 years we used to sail our small boat on this lake and kids used to swim in it. Not now. Someone who has been in the engineering business, if I let the coolant oils from the machine tools leak or leach into the water table or drains I would have been heavily fined and told to fix or be closed down. Why is it then these arsoles are allowed to pollute the country with their large industrial dairy farms? I don’t want to hear the shit about “export earnings” as I know quite a few non-dairying companies just doing that, but are subject to the rules, Why is this sector allowed to get away with all this pollution of our so-called green and pure country.

    Oh, I have just remembered it is all the bird shit in the lakes, not the cows causing the problems. sarc/

    • BM 6.1

      As I have said before, go back 20/30 years we used to sail our small boat on this lake and kids used to swim in it

      That was probably more to do with ignorance than anything else, if it didn’t kill you, it was all good.

      Back then I doubt people would have had any idea if the lakes were full of faecal matter or cyanobacteria.

      • halfcrown 6.1.1

        You could be right there BM, but I have been tipped out many a time and others as well, and taken the odd mouthful in the process. I don’t recall anybody getting sick I know I never did even if we were ignorant of the conditions of the lake. Visited Ngaroto the other day the lake colour is now RED something I have never seen in all the years I sailed there. Good reply mate but the only reason this lake is now red and highly toxic is through intensified dairying. You can come back with smart answers but you can’t get away from the fact that there are too many cows that are unsustainable and the numbers have got to be culled and get back to more manageable numbers the country can handle.
        It is now bloody ridiculous, traditional sheep country in the SI are now being turned into dairying that can only be sustained by large irrigation systems which are well and truly stuffing up the local water supply. When you get the likes of Graham Sydney the artist voicing his concern about areas like the Maniototo Plain something has to be done like now if we are going to leave this country in a reasonable condition for the next generation.

        • garibaldi

          Shallow lake, warmer weather – there are other factors at play as well as dairying in these ‘swamp’ lakes in the Waikato.

          • BM

            Yep, Ngaroto it’s a rotting peat bog lake so it’s always going to have naturally high nutrient levels.

            • halfcrown

              Are you two telling me that all of a sudden it is caused by weather conditions and rotting peat? If so why not 20/30 years ago. I class those two comments as a Nick Smith comment, so you are both wrong, its all down to birdshit as Smith has already informed us.

              • garibaldi

                Half crown, I must admit I haven’t seen Ngaroto for about 10 years now, but it always was brackish to me. Also Waikare was a cess pool many years ago. We used to spend half our summers immersed in the Hamilton lake when we were kids- wouldn’t hop in it now. I am just saying that not all deterioration has been caused by dairying, though it is a big factor.

                • halfcrown

                  Of course, both you & BM are right garibaldi (christ I am beginning to sound like Jones with Hooten.) I thought it was a good idea when the water slide was removed from Hamilton Lake. There was no way I would swim there, and the Waikato Lakes are known for the brackish colour because of the peat.
                  I am not an environmental nutter but I love this place and I would hope someone considers the long term effects this industrialised farming is having on NZ I would not like to see NZ end up like some of the cesspits we have all seen overseas.

                  • In Vino

                    I still sail on Hamilton Lake, and, away from shallows near the shore where measurements are often taken, find the water perfectly safe to swim in. But Hamilton, alone among the Waikato peat lakes, has no inflow from dairy farms, nor any of the dreaded Koi carp that infest all others. (These fish spread to all other lakes through farms’ irrigation/drainage channels – none are connected to Hamilton Lake.) The algae Hamilton Lake gets is a different one to all other lakes’ as well.
                    I agree that farming has to tidy up its act with all irrigation/drainage channels and shorelines, plus reduce usage of leaching phosphates, etc. What is happening to excellent lakes like Ngaroto is nothing short of criminal.

  6. Morrissey 7

    The internet is a public resource. It’s too valuable
    to be entrusted to private entities like TradeMe.

    Nearly one year ago, the caring and sharing folks at TradeMe announced that they were burying the Old Friends site. Their “justification” for this execution is a model of mealy-mouthed corporate blather….

    Today we switched off It wasn’t a decision we made lightly, and we really appreciate the support you’ve given Old Friends over the past 13 years.

    We’ve got some good news about the publicly available information though (e.g. photos, lost & found, notices). We’ve been working with the team over at the National Library and they’re in the process of archiving this information via an annual process called a ‘web harvest’. This means that information will remain available even after Old Friends closes. If you have any questions about the web harvest, please get in touch with the National Library.

    • RedBaronCV 7.1

      I visited a couple of times ( not really my thing) and did wonder how they coped with people who weren’t too interested in being put on the site by others. I suspect that not everyone wanted a named photo of themself in standard one posted on the net by that helpful old classmate. Or some one “sharing memories” that may have been very different from the other party’s memory.

      • Morrissey 7.1.1

        I agree. I also used to wonder what people thought about being labeled “Unknown” by their ex-classmates!

        • RedBaronCV

          That too. Overall I can’t say I would miss it’s existence but it’s there in the National Library along with “TheStandard” archive.
          The big question is – do you let your children (& grandchildren) know about your standard blog handle -in your will?- for when they do the family history research? Most of us have only a vague idea of our forebear’s personality & character but a blog would give some colour to that.
          I found ( courtesy of a WWI publicly funded project) a hand written note from a great uncle who subsequently died in the war. It was like touching a fragile hand from the past.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I found ( courtesy of a WWI publicly funded project) a hand written note from a great uncle who subsequently died in the war.

            I have the criminal records of one of my fathers uncles from the 19th century to go on 😈

            My sister has been researching our ancestry and traced some of the family back to the late 1400s. The available information is… interesting.

  7. Anne 8

    Goodness me, what a bunch of dim-witted low-life frequent Kiwiblog. Some of the adjectives used to describe ‘mickysavage’ are almost unprintable. Farrar’s posts, while hopelessly politically compromised, are at least readable but the level of commentary below them has the aura of an IQ level of around 30. Why would anyone bother to read them.

    Btw to lprent: now you’re back on deck… I haven’t had any ‘replies’ function (right hand side) for yonks now. Have tried to log on but must be doing something wrong. Won’t work.

    • lprent 8.1

      It is a strange beast, carefully designed to provide the service without burdening the server.

      The current incantation of that runs off the javascript in your browser. As the page loads, it looks at your client side cookies that maintain your reply details. If you have commented on your current client machine OR have logged in, you will have a cookie stored. It requests a limited number of replies using those details.

      If your client browser or machine stops cookies or limits javascript jQuery too much (eg by closing TCP connections too fast), then it won’t work.

      There are two possible results. It could be that you get a blank replies tab, in which case it is likely to be the javascript side (I’d have to peek at the code). Or you could just not get the tab. Maybe I should put some diagnostics into the tab and always have it present.

      …but the level of commentary below them has the aura of an IQ level of about 25. Why would anyone bother to read them.

      There was a reason that I refer to the comments section of KiwiBlog as “the sewer”. As far as I can tell a substantial portion of the regular commenters think with their genitalia. And very few of them have a clit to think with – so the drain of blood causes them to have a severely diminished cranial blood supply.

      • Anne 8.1.1

        Thank-you for your prompt response to my problem lprent… most of which I don’t understand. 🙁

        I take it then there’s nothing I can do about it? Guide me to the buttons I need to hit on my keyboard and I’ll be right. I get a blank replies tab. I think.

        • Andre

          My replies tab is blank on The Standard front page, but then when I go to any of the posts, my replies show up.

          • Anne

            That’s how it started with me but then the replies tab went permanently blank.

            Edit: geez, I tried one more time and its working like you say Andre but it hasn’t been doing it for yonks. I feel a fool. 😡 Maybe lprent has done something. As you were folks. 😳

            [lprent: Not me. ]

          • lprent

            Ok. That is just weird. That sounds like the javascript simply isn’t triggering from the front page. I can’t think of any way that could happen. It is triggered from inside the div on the right where it displays (I think).

        • lprent

          Ok. That means you are getting a javascript timeout. It detected a cookie, tried the request, but didn’t get a response.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        I still get an empty reply tab when I first get on to the site. When I go to a second page it fills up then. From what you say it would seem that the javascript isn’t being fired on initial page load but works after that.

        • BM

          You have to use callbacks with javascript/jquery when doing asynchronous operations, it’s the only to make sure your code runs in the order you want it to.

          • Anne

            Thanks for the assistance folks. Ahhh BM, that looks a bit too complicated for me but will check it out later. 🙂

          • lprent

            Yeah of course. You wouldn’t believe how much I live in async when coding. My favourite c++ library is boost::asio and anyone who works with me will tell you how boring I can be on singing its praises.

            The problem turned out that it wasn’t triggering because a dependency between a utils script and jquery hadn’t been set up in the wordpress codex. On Firefox (for some reason) it decided to launch the javascripts in a different order on the front page only.

            • BM

              I knew you’d know, I could be wrong but I think Draco has just started to get into coding..

              Thought I’d share that bit of info, can be a bit of a head scratcher for people just starting out.

              Reply tab is working on chrome, unfortunately it’s now throwing an error

              std_read_cookie is not defined
              at (index):2007

              • Draco T Bastard

                I could be wrong but I think Draco has just started to get into coding..

                Should complete my Bach in Comp Systems (Prog.) this year.

                I actually had a similar problem with C# and although I was sure what the problem was the only info I could find on it was MS promise that it would all be loaded correctly at run time

              • lprent

                std_read_cookie is not defined

                Annoying. Temporary inelegant fix by moving the function from utils.js to inline in the header. I have a bit too much code in my head right now to jump languages.

        • lprent

          Odd. What OS/Browser?

          NTS: I really should make that show on the superadmin pages so I don’t have to keep asking that.

          • Draco T Bastard

            OS: Win10
            Browser: Firefox 50.1.0

            • lprent

              Just tried it on same version of firefox on linux (chrome and several other browsers worked fine). It picked up my cookies on the first display but only gave me a blank Replies tab. The replies showed up on a post screen.

              Can’t see anything obvious except I can’t even see the query being launched.

            • lprent

              Just tried it on same version of firefox on linux (chrome and several other browsers worked fine). It picked up my cookies on the first display but only gave me a blank Replies tab. The replies showed up on a post screen.

              Can’t see anything obvious except I can’t even see the query being launched.

              Ummm. That is triggered with this bit of code at the end of utils.js

              $( document ).ready( load_replies() )

              Ok. Just spotted the problem. It is loading utils before loading the jquery – so the statement is meaningless to your browser. I have no idea why this wouldn’t handle the same as it does on chrome and other browsers.

            • lprent

              Fixed. I just needed to register utils to load with a jquery dependency

    • Morrissey 8.2

      Why don’t you sign on, Anne, and join the fun? See if you can beat my record of posts marked “Hidden due to low comment rating”….

      By the way, there’s a major event coming up there soon….

      • Anne 8.2.1

        Why don’t you sign on, Anne, and join the fun.

        Very tempting, but I spend too much time at the keyboard as it is.

      • halfcrown 8.2.2

        “Why don’t you sign on, Anne, and join the fun? See if you can beat my record of posts marked “Hidden due to low comment rating”….”

        You must be joking Morrissey, you must consider Anne’s health.

        As I was pointing out to BM @6.1.1 I would not sail on now a sewer known as Lake
        Ngaroto as it is a danger to your health. kiwiblog is in the same category (grin)

        • Morrissey

          Nice analogy, halfcrown.

        • In Vino

          FYI halfcrown – I still occasionally sail at Ngaroto despite the algae, and the club still has a good core of keen sailors. None of them have suffered the threatened dire consequences of making contact (or immersion!) with the water, but this is not a reason for not reducing the pollution. It remains one of Waikato’s best sailing venues for clear, steadier breezes than others.

    • greywarshark 8.3

      Just from an observational point of view about the Replies, it seems to me that I don’t get access to them till I have, in the present, put a comment. It seemed that was necessary, but am unsure if it then works with or without a reply as my system isn’t working well. (I have to spend an hour so learning about it and tweaking.)

      • lprent 8.3.1

        Hi GreyWarShark
        Are your comments going straight through now? I did a tweak yesterday that should have diminished the effects of getting auto moderated.

        • greywarshark

          You are tops. I wondered why going through faster. Can’t give definite timing but I can see them now quite soon. Appreciate your patience. I have had a taste of almost pure hatred from clique of techno-in-people on another supposedly friendly community site when I blundered into an in-depth discussion thread. So know how trying learners are. And unfortunately we are eternal learners, it is built into the system that there are constant changes and readjustments – all makes work for infrastructure engineers though.

          • lprent

            No problem. I’m having a day of coding at home (mainly for work since I head back in the morning), so these are useful diversion/avoidance things while shifting from holiday to work mode.

            A close examination of an old version of the site compared to the current showed a new option that appears to have been turned on automatically.

            Wordfence free version already includes excellent comment spam filtering. If you are a premium customer, we provide an additional feature that does a further check to prevent comment spam. This feature does an additional check on the source IP of inbound comments and any URLs that are included. We have found this feature has a high likelihood of reducing spam that has been known to slip through traditional spam filters.

            So I suspect that you or your ISP’s local area have made it onto a blacklist somewhere.

    • garibaldi 8.4

      “The aura of an IQ level of about 30.” Sounds about right for them.

  8. greywarshark 9

    India and its attitudes to women. When there are rigid limitations on women and, if not adhered to, then to men in a society that discriminates and disparages women that is a sign that a majority of men can then abandon social controls and treat the person as a thing to be played with, abused.

    In this situation perhaps women should carry whistles or noise makers that erupt when they are pressed so that the occurrence cannot go unnoticed, and an effective instant control like the old-fashioned stocks be instituted where such men would be ridiculed. There will not be a lessening of this bad behaviour and attitudes while there is no punishment, no denunciation of it in public.

    In any society if that happens then women are a subset of society, only accepted when they conform. It’s a hard one to change when in what are named shame-based societies, if a women reports a rape to the police and expects the miscreants to be named and punished, instead she is imprisoned for now being unchaste even though unwilling and unwitting, perhaps too trusting.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      That’s just British colonial self-righteousness rearing its dusty head again. Who are these late on the scene white people who think that they are going to change 3000 years of Indian societal structure?

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        I understand you but 3000 years must include much change. The present already includes effects of colonial change from past centuries, change, reaction, change, improvement, advantage taken, reaction, change etc. It’s all humans trying each other with the powerful being in the driving seats. Not just in India.

        Anthropologists? have found that traditional, oral people have plastic memories.
        Plastic as in being movable and changeable. At first visit to a new area, the moderns sang their modern song in reply to a traditional song. When visiting the same area a decade later, it was incorporated into their traditional music and they had no memory of it being of late inclusion. It had been absorbed and was now part of their historical repetoire. That’s how we are. We absorb and change to include or react against.

        • Colonial Viper

          India and Russia are moving even closer together geopolitically; I expect that will mean that western media will have many more scathing remarks about India during this year.

          • greywarshark

            What are R and I doing to move closer? A marriage of convenience? As part of BRIC? Are there shared borders in the north or buffer states both have interest in? Resources?

            • Colonial Viper

              As part of BRICS: engineering, economic and military co-operation without the strings attached that the US requires.

              As well as reducing reliance on the US dollar and safeguarding their military and nuclear capabilities from any future US sanctions.

              eg. India to lease a second modernised Aukla class nuclear attack submarine from Russia


              • McFlock

                India has also recently signed a defense logistics agreement with the US, held joint training exercises with them, and a couple of years ago bought some US P8 sub-hunting aircraft (to replace Tupulovs, funnily enough).

                It’s Pakistan that’s pivoting towards Russia, FWIW. Having burnt their bridges with the yanks.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yeah, and Obama cleared India to have access to some US nuclear technologies.

                  Re: Pakistan afaik they still allow the US to run drone operations in their country and intelligence co-operation continues unhindered. Although diplomatic relations have cooled off.

      • McFlock 9.1.2


        Young people are dressing like westerners, which is the excuse for lack of police (western power structure) intervention that was given by the state (western power structure) minister (western parliamentary structure).

        Yes, lots of older social structures still exist. But to argue that change is impossible is one of the dumber things you’ve written today (and you’ve written a lot).

        • Colonial Viper

          Yes, lots of older social structures still exist. But to argue that change is impossible is one of the dumber things you’ve written today (and you’ve written a lot).

          you may think change wrt to India’s rigid attitudes to women and class structures may be theoretically possible; I’m just telling you that it’s not going to happen this century and especially not due to western colonial tut tut tutting.

          • McFlock

            When you see the tut-tutting, I’m sure you’ll let us know.

            In the meantime, I read a a Guardian report about how local Indian media and witnesses were speaking out about the incident and calling their own minister to account.

            Look how far western society has moved in a century. Why do you think that Indian society won’t change as well?

            • Colonial Viper

              Happy to have this conversation with you again in 25 years and you can show me all the progress.

              • McFlock

                You’ll be too busy by then, having been globally lauded as The Man Who Knows Everything.

  9. Morrissey 10

    Once people like Clarence Beeby used to run New Zealand education;
    now it’s been turned over to the likes of Rodney Hide and David Seymour.

    If you aren’t filled with despair and rage after watching this documentary, you are a member of the ACT cult…

    • Pete 10.1

      “Once people like Clarence Beeby used to run New Zealand education;
      now it’s been turned over to the likes of Rodney Hide and David Seymour.”

      Credit where credit’s due – to Tolley and Parata.

      The supporters of Hide and David Seymour think education needs jackboots tromping in and stomping all over the system. Kids’ learning needs something of ballet shoes.

      With Parata they got shit covered gumboots down below a blindfolded myopic.

      Our demise as a nation is nicely depicted by the difference between Beeby and the cretins of more recent times.

      • greywarshark 10.1.1

        Parata is more likely to be inclined to ballet shoes I would think. That very self-oriented precise controlled traditional example of physical art. She may be very keen on kapa haka but she seems so crass, middle class and conservative in her thinking that she has no natural warmth in her for pakeha or Maori I think, although involved at a high level with Maori administrative roles herself or through her husband. Just my feelings and observations.

  10. Morrissey 11

    New Zealand had its own Donald Trump, three decades ago

    In 1984, New Zealand was treated to an off-Broadway preview of the infamous Trump campaign of 2016. The Kiwi version of Trump was also vulgar, ungracious, sexist, racist, obscenely wealthy due to dodgy property speculation, and had enjoyed years of fawning media coverage.

    Like Trump, he also had a way with glib phraseology. In the following clip he draws laughter from his glassy-eyed acolytes by calling Rob Muldoon “the Idi Amin of economics”….

    • garibaldi 11.1

      Thanks for that Morrissey. I will say that Jones at least had a sense of humour. When someone was pestering him about what he would do if he became PM he retorted “What do you want me to do, come around and mow your lawns?

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        Trump has a very fast, very well developed New York sense of humour. Watch his SNL and world wrestling appearances, for instance. Also how he plays the crowd at political rallies.

    • Siobhan 11.2

      I still get asked, very occasionally, for Bob Jones books, usually by young men who presumably are on the hunt for sage advice from ‘Bob’.. When I react with a ‘piff..we don’t sell those sorts of books’ they appear quite taken aback. Maybe its time to restock them for cheap laughs, like our fine Ayn Rand selection.

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    What Next for the Euro?

    It is now 15 years since the introduction of the pinnacle of European Integration – the Euro.

    Yesterday’s anniversary comes at a moment of uncertainty for both the European Union (EU) and the Eurozone. The UK’s decision to leave the EU will see the first country exit since the signing of the Treaty of Rome. The Eurozone’s periphery is still in deep crisis, with unemployment rates ranging from 13% in Portugal to more than 20% in Spain and Greece. Populist, often nationalist, political movements are on the march across the continent.

    The history of the Euro has been somewhat paradoxical: on the one hand, it was supposed to lead to further integration among the European people. On the other hand, it has divided the continent more than it has ever been since the end of World War Two.

    The problem was that they used the wrong tools, the wrong ideology to try and bring about a convergence. It was never going to work. Instead of bringing about convergence among the nations it’s actually increased economic divisions.

    Of course, a few people have got very much richer because of those policies.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Globalist agenda to disempower ordinary citizens, undermine democracy and wreck national sovereignty. The elite university educated lefty liberals love it all.

    • Nic the NZer 12.2

      I read Stiglitz book on the Euro recently. As he argues the Euro was supposed to cause economic convergence between states but has caused divergence instead.

      I put this down to its poor economic rationale, to its neoliberal economic arguments. I also put this as the basis for its persistence as a cause in the face of repeated and abject failure to deliver positive outcomes.

      Other similar policies in NZ such as charter schools, the govts social statistics database, selling social housing and the cause of underfunding every area of public spending will have similar persistence beyond their failures to deliver.

      While i am making guesses about the future. Bill English will deliver that blind persistence while mean time exuding a caring glow and ignoring these failures. Its in the nature of ideology.

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        I put this down to its poor economic rationale, to its neoliberal economic arguments. I also put this as the basis for its persistence as a cause in the face of repeated and abject failure to deliver positive outcomes.

        Basically the same criticisms that were made in the 1980s and 1990s, and which those in authority blithely ignored because they knew better and because they could.

        • Clump_AKA Sam

          Sanctions are a big issue issue in Europe in that all there gas comes from Russia so to get around trading in dollars they’re giving up power and influence.

          • Colonial Viper

            Also why the EU desperately want Assad gone so they can get a Qatari gas pipeline through Syria to Europe, and so dump Russia as their main gas supplier.

    • millsy 12.3

      Complete German control of Europe, all without a shot being fired.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.3.1

        That does seem to be the way that it’s turned out. In fact, we could say that that seems to be the global target via the neo-liberal ideology of privatisation. Increased financial control by a very small clique.

  12. Colonial Viper 13

    China, Iran and Russia driven together to resist American monetary, economic and political hegemony

    Iran, Russia and China have fully understood that union and cooperation are the only means for mutual reinforcement. The need to fight a common problem, represented by a growing American influence in domestic affairs, has forced Tehran, Beijing and Moscow to resolve their differences and embrace a unified strategy in the common interest of defending their sovereignty.

    Events such as the war in Syria, the bombing of Libya, the overthrowing of the democratic order in Ukraine, sanctions against Iran, and the direct pressure applied to Beijing in the South China Sea, have accelerated integration among nations that in the early 1990s had very little in common.

  13. Colonial Viper 14

    NYT Op Ed: Obama’s war against whistleblowers and against journalists now gives Trump terrifying precedents to expand on

    Criticism of Mr. Obama’s stance on press freedom, government transparency and secrecy is hotly disputed by the White House, but many journalism groups say the record is clear. Over the past eight years, the administration has prosecuted nine cases involving whistle-blowers and leakers, compared with only three by all previous administrations combined. It has repeatedly used the Espionage Act, a relic of World War I-era red-baiting, not to prosecute spies but to go after government officials who talked to journalists.

    Too bad liberal lefties in the US gave Obama such a huge pass for all this authoritarian BS. I bet they will hypocritically turn on the Orangegruppenfuhrer if he does exactly the same as their favourite black President has done.

    • Siobhan 14.1

      I’m still trying to digest the implications of this

      “Second, the legislation seeks to leverage expertise from outside government to create more adaptive and responsive U.S. strategy options. The legislation establishes a fund to help train local journalists and provide grants and contracts to NGOs, civil society organizations, think tanks, private sector companies, media organizations, and other experts outside the U.S. government with experience in identifying and analyzing the latest trends in foreign government disinformation techniques. This fund will complement and support the Center’s role by integrating capabilities and expertise available outside the U.S. government into the strategy-making process. It will also empower a decentralized network of private sector experts and integrate their expertise into the strategy-making process.” (my bolds)

      Any organisation or individual who is funded from the US Military budget to expose ‘Fake News’ should be required to declare that publicly. And I can’t wait to see who will receive funding to expose fake news on Left wing Politicians like Bernie etc Protesters, Unions, Workers, the poor, any and all ethnic groups…

  14. BM 15

    Who thinks Putin will hand over Snowden as a good will gesture to Trump?

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Yep, just in time for Trump to pin a Congressional Medal of Honour on him.

      This will happen about a month after Trump commutes Chelsea Manning’s harsh Obama handed sentence to home arrest.

      • Wayne 15.1.1

        Yeah right.

        • Colonial Viper

          Who would’ve guessed that liberal lefty Obama would persecute a record number of whistleblowers eh what an authoritarian deep state tool he turned out to be

    • I’m not sure it’s that likely. It would burn bridges with Putin’s useful idiots on the left, so there’d be a trade-off of that against the potential benefits from offering Trump a gift. The useful idiots probably don’t have any particular value beyond being unpaid propaganda distributors, but it’s not obvious that there’d be benefits from offering Trump a gift either, as he’s already a fan.

      Still, I wouldn’t be sleeping well these days if I was Snowden.

      • Colonial Viper 15.2.1

        I love the illiberal liberal left.

        Shit dude, the CIA has been after Snowden’s life since Day One. He knew that he would get this unimaginable amount of heat by revealing the truth to us.

        That’s why Snowden is a great hero, and you’re just another lousy collaborator.

  15. Colonial Viper 16

    The latest Lionel from Lionel Nation:

    Becoming a better conspiracy analyst. Realise when you are being manipulated. Avoid “smart” technology. Don’t be a gullible schmuck. And why it’s time to give up on the mainstream.

  16. lprent 17

    Test message

  17. HDCAFriendlyTroll 18

    Donald Trump, greatest American President since Reagan, puts Chicago Mayor on notice:

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Chicago, a Democrat run US city with more killings than a low intensity war zone.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.1

        Parroting the NRA makes a change from RT.

        • Colonial Viper

          Chicago homicide rate is equivalent to 110 murders per month in NZ.

          It’s mostly blacks killing blacks in a continuous low intensity war.

          The NRA has nothing to do with it.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Apart from their implacable opposition to gun control, subsequent political funding of Republicans and the inevitable consequences of your bright orange policies on inner cities, nothing at all.

    • mpledger 18.2

      For the last 12 years or so the Chigago Mayor has been closing public schools in order to start charter schools. But the charter schools don’t take the kids from the closed schools, they take the kids that will make them look good. So the kids from the closed schools have to travel to different communities which causes lots of friction between the different gangs (there are no opt out for these gangs, a kid is in a gang by where they live). Before the last round of school closings, everyone associated with schools said it was going to increase the violence once again and 5 years down the track it has.

      Given that Trump is pro-charters and pro-privitisation, I don’t see him doing anything that will change the situation except close more neighbourhood schools and let private companies profit off tax meant for educating kids.

      • Colonial Viper 18.2.1

        For the last 12 years or so the Chigago Mayor has been closing public schools in order to start charter schools.

        You mean the Democratic Mayor of Chicago, Barack Obama’s former Chief of Staff, has been doing this? But liberals!!! REEEEEEE

        • Morrissey

          He’s not a liberal. He’s a fascist. Really. And his father is even worse….

          • Colonial Viper

            But why would Barack Obama chose a fascist as his Chief of Staff, and then support a fascist as Mayor of Chicago?

            • Morrissey

              Hopeless-Changenothing came through the same route as Emanuel did—Chicago politics, the nastiest, most cynical and corrupt politics there is, outside of Japan.

              He picked Emanuel because he gets things done. Character is of no concern, obviously, in U.S. politics.

              • swordfish

                Yep and very much part of Obama’s 2008 pre-Convention deal with the Clintons – after that any faint hope surrounding his capacity for real change flew swiftly out the window.

                Extraordinary that such a huge mandate for change from the American electorate would immediately lead to a comprehensive merger between the Obama and Clinton camps, with the latter consistently awarded seniority. Basically, a third Bill Clinton term.

                I know you and CV will be well aware of all this … but for the benefit of others (excepting, of course, our somewhat smug and wayward Clintonista chums) …

                Obama allowed his inner circle – including his economic shadow cabinet – to be entirely taken over by the Clintonite entourage: not just the utterly corrupt Rahm Emanuel but also the likes of Lawrence Summers (good buddy of Dershowitz, of course), Robert Rubin, Jason Furman, Tom Donilon, Leon Panetta, John Podesta and dear old Hillary herself … in the process, willingly entangling himself in that whole seedy history of the Hamilton Project/Rubinomics and the notorious back door between the Clinton White House and big investment banks and money funds.

                Stunning (economic and foreign policy) continuity with the old established Clintonian order … which naturally attracted more than a few admiring glances over the years from the usual Neo-Con suspects, while, at the same time, naturally enough alienating a whole swathe of working-class Democrat voters.

                • Ad

                  Swordfish, on your measurements you will always be let down.
                  Obama would be too, but only on the strength of his own campaign rhetoric. Not on how he governed.

                  You can look for all the micro-conspiracies and lack of revolution in the streets, but President Obama can be summed up like this: solved major crises, kept things steady, cleaned a number of things up, and left a pretty close to clean desk.

                  • swordfish

                    (1) What conspiracies ? Just business as usual for the US Establishment.

                    Some of the more astute Left-leaning commentators had been pretty sceptical about Obama’s capacity for real change right from the start (early stages of his 2008 Primary campaign). They cottoned on fairly early that he was essentially a narcissist / opportunist (wonderful soaring rhetoric, shame about the delivery).

                    (2) Revolution in the streets ??? You’re ‘avin’ a larf, ain’t ya, Gov ??? I’d be more than willing to settle for anything even vaguely resembling a move towards domestic social democracy and a less uber-aggressive foreign policy in the US.

                    Fact is: Obama unnecessarily made the decision to merge with the slimey, corrupt old Clinton camp, thereby killing any possibility of the sort of root and branch change Americans had voted for (no one was expecting it to happen overnight, incidentally).

                  • Colonial Viper

                    and left a pretty close to clean desk.

                    Obama has:
                    1) Tried to fuck the incoming Trump Administration over Russia in these last few weeks by rapidly escalating political and diplomatic threats against Putin, including a massive expulsion of diplomats.
                    2) Tried to fuck the incoming Trump Administration over Syria in the last few weeks by agreeing to supply Syrian jihadists with advanced and heavy weaponry.
                    3) Tried to fuck the incoming Trump administration in the last few weeks by trying to delegitimise Trump’s victory in the mass media
                    4) Left the Dakota Access Pipeline mess for Trump to clean up
                    5) Left the Guantanamo Bay mess for Trump to clean up
                    6) Put $10 trillion dollars on the Federal debt for Trump to clean up
                    7) Attempted to box Trump in over Iran by signing big corporate deals with Tehran.
                    8) Left a mess of persecuted whistleblowers for Trump to clean up including Assange stuck in the Ecuadorian Embassy.
                    9) Left fucked up expensive out of control Pentagon projects for Trump to clean up including the F-35, the LCS, the Zumwalt class destroyers
                    10) Put thousands of new boots on Iraqi ground to try and sort out Mosul, a mess that Trump now has to clean up
                    11) Left more than half a dozen ongoing drone wars for Trump to clean up
                    12) Allowed China to build huge new military islands in the South China Sea for Trump to clean up
                    13) Allowed workforce participation rates to drop to the lowest levels in decades for Trump to clean up.
                    14) CO2 levels now up to 405ppm under Obama and rising


  18. greywarshark 19

    radionz this afternoon alexei sayle – the mouthpiece for today.

  19. Morrissey 21

    Kimberlee Downs is the latest in a lamentable list of sports know-nothings.
    Trouble is, she’s been given the job of reporting on the ASB Tennis Open.

    TV1 News, 6:40 p.m., Tuesday 3 December 2017

    That Television New Zealand is fronting its sports news with people who know little or nothing about sports will come as no surprise to long-suffering viewers who have been obliged for decades to put up with the likes of Tony Veitch, Martin Devlin, Andrew Saveloy, and Jenny-May Coffin [1] making inane and ignorant comments before throwing to the weather or engaging in ten seconds of excruciating banter with Simon Dallow.

    Certainly no one expects sports commentators to be rocket scientists, but surely we have the right to expect them to know at least SOMETHING about sports? On tonight’s sports round-up, something called Kimberlee Downs announced, with the cheerful certainty of the hopelessly ignorant, that Serena Williams is “the most famous tennis player to ever appear in Auckland.”

    Now, New Zealand tennis fans will know that Auckland has hosted many, many famous players, many of them arguably at least as famous as Serena Williams. The New Zealand Open at Stanley Street has hosted, among others, Rod Laver, Pancho Gonzales, Tony Roche, Roy Emerson, Arthur Ashe, John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall, Bjorn Borg, Roger Federer (he lost in the first round in 2000), Ann Jones, Billie Jean King, Rosie Casals, Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong, …. the list, full of people that Kimberlee Downs has no doubt never heard of, could go on for ages.

    There will be lots of people at TVNZ who know at least something about tennis. So why is Kimberlee Downs, who obviously knows nothing, given the job?


    • James Thrace 21.1

      You forgot Anna Kournikova.

      Probably the most famous tennis player ever.

      The breathless proclamations of the young are lost on the old.

      Williams is the most famous, now.

      Kournikova was in the same position in 2002 when she was here.

      In 2028 it’ll be someone else who will be “the most famous” which will be estatically stated by a completely different young thing on the TV news.

      If TV news even still exists in 2028.

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.1

        It barely exists in 2017

      • Morrissey 21.1.2

        I certainly have not forgotten when Anna Kournikova came here for the 2002 event. Thanks for the reminder, James.

        The way she was treated here was a disgrace, from the dismal sexist marketing of her—a television ad showing porn-style slo-mo close-ups of her legs and breasts, interspersed with young males salivating—to the press conference which featured Television One’s Tony Veitch being manhandled out, giggling. That display of idiocy prompted sports commentator John Dybvig (one of the few in NZ with a discernible intellect) to remark: “Tony Veitch is nothing but an asshole.”

  20. greg 22

    take a look at this chart from the telegraph nz tops the list for most expensive houses

  21. greg 24

    i wonder how many over leveraged home owners are going to start howling about there debts

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  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
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