Open mike 03/04/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 3rd, 2015 - 96 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

96 comments on “Open mike 03/04/2015”

  1. miravox 2

    I don’t understand why when we destroy something created by man we call it vandalism, but when we destroy something created by nature we call it progress.

    Ed Begley, Jr.

    Over population, over consumption – in pictures

    • Rosie 2.1

      Those were very sobering images miravox. They reminded me of the movies Koyaanisqatsi: (trailer)

      Baraka: (trailer)

      There was also Samsara, following on the theme of the devastating human exploitation of our environment. Haven’t seen that one. (trailer)

      There have been some excellent BBC series on telly lately documenting this ongoing destruction and the human causes of climate change. In Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer Simon Reeves travelled around meeting people from countries along those latitudes, discussing their political and social issues and their country’s interaction with nature and in what ways they exploit it.

      Fascinating and sad.

      • Paul 2.1.1

        Samsara was amazing and downright depressing

        • Rosie

          I’ve heard that Paul and plan to watch it tonight, so will brace myself. I’ll have my “tv tissues” handy, which I have on standby for watching documentaries that feature humankind’s large scale destruction of our grand and majestic environment for our unnecessary short term gain.
          Unnecessary because there are better ways of sustaining ourselves without destroying our environment.

      • freedom 2.1.2

        If you enjoyed, were disturbed by, raged at and embraced Koyanniqatsi, here are the other two films by Godfrey Reggio & Phillip Glass which make up the Qatsi Trilogy:
        Koyannisqatsi, Powaqqatsi & Naqoyqatsi

        They have collaborated again, and teamed up with Steven Soderbergh for a new work called Visitors – well worth a look 😉

        Here is a short bio and some quotes from Godfrey Reggio.

        • Rosie

          Thanks for the links freedom. I would like to see the other two Qatsi films. I need to be in a centred space of mind to to take on films of that depth and magnitude.

          This weekend, as well as Samsara, I’m viewing Citizenfour (produced by Steven Soderbergh)

          and Inequality for All (Robert Reich)

          Agree, the Vistors looks very interesting 🙂

      • Tracey 2.1.3

        As an aside I have been watching a trilogy starring BIll Nighy which started with Page 8, then turks and caicos and now the last one. Each time I see the PM in it making his decisions, benefitting financially, crossing his tie while issuing an edcts I am reminded that our PM seems to claim that he knows nothing and has power over nothing. The biggest lie of all.

      • miravox 2.1.4

        Thanks for the links Rosie – I’ll put them on my must watch list.

    • weka 2.2

      Thanks miravox, that’s a challenging photo essay.

      I would add, overpopulation begins at home. How many people can each of our watershed’s support sustainably? We don’t even know. How many of the environments in those photos are degraded because we in NZ thought we needed something from those populations?

      • miravox 2.2.1

        Agree weka. There is a whole online book that I didn’t link to because it may invite a kneejerk response to population growth, without addressing environmental degradation due to the need to sustain an economic model through population growth and increasing consumption. A model that NZ is very much depends on.

        A raft of cultural, social and economic responses are necessary to address some complicated issues involved in enabling better, more sustainable living and the final pics in the book begin to address some of these (as does the text).

        • weka

          Having a look at the book now.

          The crucial question is: How many people can the Earth sustain, at a reasonable standard of living, while leaving room for the diversity of life to flourish?

          • weka

            Holy shit, it’s a bold radical book. I’m trying to get my head around the idea that exponential population growth is relatively recent. Up until the industrial revolution population was either stable or increasing by fractions. If the big populations increases are happening in developping countries sine then, what is going on? Just got to the bit about how fossil fuels have enabled increases in aid and tech, and those keep population high 🙁

            • miravox

              “Just got to the bit about how fossil fuels have enabled increases in aid and tech, and those keep population high”

              Yeah – I do think aid and tech can be positives, it’s just the way that powerful people perceive how they should be used. In the wider context, the opposition of the Americans (improving under Obama?) and others to family planning initiatives, which have included abortion, that are run by the UN and others is almost criminal. It’s certainly a denial of human rights.

              I thought the foreword by Musimbi Kanyori was a beautifully-written piece about too many babies, too many young girls forced to give birth, too little in the way of healthcare, and the desires of women to control fertility. Her words, to me, show the way forward in this regard.

    • infused 2.3

      A dude on some drug, I forget, once said that whilst on that drug, he saw the world for what it is. We are cancer on the surface of the earth. I couldn’t agree more. Sooner or later, earth will produce a cure.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    On the heels of his previous video that explained the Queen had workers on zero hour contracts + expected them to perform certain tasks for free like showing paying visitors around (??!), here is Russell Brand on the Trews asking, “What’s better for you? Zero Hour Contracts, or Zero Royals?

  3. les 4

    Does Labour have a definitive policy on the TPP?

    • GregJ 4.1

      This was their policy from the last election.

      I haven’t seen any update to it as yet.

      I guess broadly in favour with some reservations?

      • Karen 4.1.1

        Andrew Little expresses strong reservations whenever asked. Phil Goff leads the pro-TPPA faction but my guess is he’ll be leaving soon to pursue his mayoral ambitions. My feeling is that the anti TPPA MPs are in the ascendancy.

      • tracey 4.1.2

        17 December 2013

        Following an email I sent to Cunliffe he passed it on to Goff (who signed off as spokesperson fro Defence) who replied as follows.

        “Thank you for your email to Hon David Cunliffe concerning the Trans Pacific Partnership trade negotiations. Apologies for the delay in my reply.

        There is genuine concern about what might be included in the final outcome of the negotiations, which the Government has not adequately addressed by making clear where it stands on important issues in the negotiation.

        Labour demands more openness and transparency from the Government. As Minister of Trade negotiating the China and Asean Free Trade Agreements in 2008, I involved a cross-section of groups in the process including the Council of Trade Unions and Greenpeace as well as businesses and exporters. That helped ensure we got good input and it also won trust and confidence in what we were doing.

        Those trade agreements hugely helped economic growth and jobs in New Zealand with New Zealand exports to China increasing from $2 billion to over $7 billion dollars in five years and closing the trade deficit with that country. It helped save us from suffering as badly as the US and Europe from the Global Financial Crisis.

        Labour has also set bottom lines for support for a TPP agreement. It must result in a clear and significant net benefit to our country. It must be a high quality agreement allowing New Zealand to gain access for our major exports to countries like the US, Japan, Canada and Mexico, removing barriers like the current exorbitant tariff rates on dairy (200-300 per cent), tight quotas and behind the borders barriers. For our services and manufacturing industries we would also want access to government procurement contracts, a market in the US alone worth $334 billion from which we are currently excluded.

        Labour recognises that the TPP is not just a trade agreement but deals with behind the borders issues and could impact on domestic policy settings. New Zealand must not sacrifice Pharmac or give up our sovereign right to regulate and legislate such areas as health, the environment and economic policy or in areas like gambling, tobacco and alcohol. The policy protections must be tight enough to prevent multinational companies from winning law suits against us when we regulate in these areas to their commercial disadvantage. We support intellectual property protection but not where it goes to extremes which would hinder innovation and create excess profits at the expense of the consumer. The Government needs to heed the concerns of smaller companies in New Zealand including those in the IT sector.

        Labour supports trade deals which genuinely benefit our country. We need growth in exports so we can close the gap between the value of what we export and import. A trade deficit which has persisted over 40 years has meant New Zealand having to borrow to pay the difference. Growing debt has resulted in us increasingly losing ownership of our own country.

        We need growth for jobs and higher incomes. We need growth to increase government revenue to pay for higher quality services in areas like health and education.

        The Petri study from Brandeis University shows that a TPP would likely lead to export growth to New Zealand of over $5 billion a year. The Parliamentary Library, based on the Brandeis study, states that could lead to job growth of up to 22,000 jobs.

        Half of our trade goes to the TPP countries. If we did not participate in a successful agreement our exporters would be disadvantaged by facing barriers in the key TPP markets that our competitors do not.

        We continue to insist that the Government better inform parliament and civil society as to its negotiating objectives and its position on issues of concern. Only then can the public be involved in an informed and mature debate. Labour will support a deal only if it is genuinely in the interests of New Zealand.

        Yours sincerely

        Phil Goff

        Hon Phil Goff

        MP for Mt Roskill

        Labour Spokesman on Defence

        Trade, Ethnic Affairs, Veterans’ Affairs

        Associate Foreign Affairs
        Private Bag 18 888, Parliament Buildings
        Wellington 6160, New Zealand
        T: + 64 4 817 6775 | F: + 64 4 817 6461”

        My take is he started by making soothing comments about the dangers but half way through pinned support on a TPP leading to Growth in NZ and then the rest talked about how important growth is. I read him to be saying if TPP can be argued to create growth he and LP will support it.

        • Skinny

          And now Phil Goff Off adds LP Auckland Issues portfolio to his CV as he looks to sail off into the sunset and become the new Mayor of the City of Sails.

          Bon voyage Phil happy sailing and please take the other failed leader David Shearer as your cabin boy. 🙂

          • tracey

            Yup and denies it is part of his unannounced tilt at Mayoralty, when Adern and Twyford have done a great job of speaking to Auckland issues…

            Collins v Goff for Auckland, and we all lose.

            • Scintilla

              I read him to be saying if TPP can be argued to create growth he and LP will support it.

              Yep, I agree, he gets fudgy on “our sovereign right to regulate and legislate” and ” policy protections must be tight enough to prevent multinational companies from winning law suits against us when we regulate in these areas to their commercial disadvantage. We support intellectual property protection but not where it goes to extremes”.

              Labour, NZF and The Greens need to be a united front on TPP – and yell it from the rooftops. Keep it simple, keep it clear. Rock solid.

              • tracey

                I think the Greens are VERY clear. They are agin it.

                • Scintilla

                  I note Goff offers no alternative scenario, as in what might we do if we don’t sign up. Seriously no-one else to trade with?? Doubt that, Phil.

                  Our sovereignty is not for sale.

                  • mickysavage

                    The party members are much more staunch on the issue.

                    This is the official position from the party website:

                    “We are very concerned about the lack of transparency around the TPP.
                    Labour recognises that the TPP could impact on New Zealand’s freedom to determine our domestic policy settings, if it contains terms that are inappropriate.
                    It is impossible for us, or indeed anyone, to take a clear position on the agreement while there is so little transparency.
                    We will continue to push for a more open and transparent approach from the Government.
                    We will also back New Zealand First’s Members’ Bill that addresses investor-state dispute settlement to its first reading so that it can be considered and debated.
                    Labour is pro-trade and is proud of the FTA with China which has worked well for the benefit of New Zealanders.

                    Labour recognises that the TPP is not just a trade agreement and has investment provisions which could impact on New Zealand’s freedom to determine our domestic policy settings.

                    We will address the TPP on its merits or otherwise when we see the full text of the final agreement.

                    Labour is disappointed that our demands for more openness and transparency from the Government have not been heeded. The last Labour Government, when negotiating the China and Asean Free Trade Agreements in 2008, involved a cross-section of groups in the process including the Council of Trade Unions and Greenpeace as well as businesses and exporters. That helped ensure we received wise input and also won higher levels of trust and confidence, both in the negotiation process and in the eventual FTA with China.

                    In recent months, following a report by the European Union Ombudsman, the European Commission has promised more transparency in connection with the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP), the European equivalent to the TPP.

                    It is proper for concerned New Zealanders to seek information about the effect of the TPP on New Zealand’s freedom to change our domestic policy settings. This is especially so if the dispute resolution procedures under the TPP allow overseas corporations to sue the New Zealand government for alleged losses.

                    New Zealand must not sacrifice Pharmac nor give up our sovereign freedom to regulate and legislate in such areas as health, the environment and economic policy or on more specific topics like controls on gambling, tobacco and alcohol.

                    The New Zealand Labour Party supports appropriate protection of intellectual property but not where extremes hinder innovation or enable excessive monopoly profits at the expense of the consumer by extending the scope or term of patents and copyright. The National Government should heed the concerns of New Zealanders, including those in the IT sector.”


                    • Tracey


                      It retains word for word some stuff out of Goff’s reply to me . BUT it removes his stuff about growth. , while leaving other language and vagueries in, makes me worry. EG ” benefit of New Zealanders”

                      if Labour outlined what benefit to NZers looks like, we could judge, but I suspect they would need to reintroduce that word “growth”.

                    • Skinny

                      Thanks for that Mickey, I have no doubts that Labour will look after our best interests, however it is the Tories that are in power and I would not think Dunne or the little lap dog from Epsom will oppose their intention to put ink on the TPPA contract on our behalf.

                      Just wondering how the TPPA would effect Labours local procurement policy?

                  • Adele

                    Kiaora Scintilla

                    “Our sovereignty is not for sale.”

                    This is such a meaningless statement. You can’t sell what you don’t have (okay, there is an exception or two).

                    Labour has put down some significant bottom-lines in agreeing to any TPPA. But if the significant other countries say “nah, get stuffed” what then? Let loose Cameron Slater to beat them silly?

                    Or, pull the plug like an Italian in a boat-race?

                    And should we decide to set sail in a leaky boat, who really is going to notice – apart from a few seagulls aiming poop all over a cargo-less deck.

                    Luna Ross gets a “Oh no, please don’t go.” We get “…valet?”

            • Skinny

              Goff-Off needs to stop the games and publicly declare his hand, he told a friend of mine he is running, sure he wouldn’t be the only one, and let’s face it his political career should have ended when he lost his election bid against Key three cycles ago.

              You can see what the Tories are up to, setting up to contest local body elections around the Country. In preparation for when their thrown out of Central Government office. The legislative changes they are pushing thru to give more power to councils, super city/council’s concept. The Left need to start planning to get the numbers in office in these positions
              like Mayoral & councillor contests.

              • Sacha

                “The legislative changes they are pushing thru to give more power to councils”

                Heck no. The LGA changes (in conjunction with the RMA ones) are designed to shift the balance of power from councils towards the private sector. That way, it doesn’t matter who wins local elections, their hands will be tied until a future government unties them. Property developers, CCOs and construction contractors shall have whatever they wish..

                • Skinny

                  Yes technically correct, and the poal reclamation scrap kind of illustrates this, however I still prefer the left getting into council positions so they are guardians/gatekeeper to counter, monitor the wool being pulled. Labour & Greens & possibly NZF can right the wrongs next election.

          • rhinocrates

            I’d indulge in some anti-jafa schadenfreude until thinking of the prospect of Mallard or Robertson as Wellington’s mayor (shudder). 🙂

            • Skinny

              His worship Mallard would suit him, of course nothing would get achieved at council meetings. Trevor being such a stickler for process and all.

              I would take the positive approach, another deadbeat gone, besides no guarantee he would beat Wade-Brown 🙂

              • alwyn

                Plus, of course, the fact that Trevor claims to be a proud scion of Wainuiomata. That is part of Lower Hutt, not part of Wellington.

                On the other hand you started the second sentence so well and then went badly wrong.
                You should have said “I would take the positive approach, another deadbeat gone,” and then continued “in the shape of Celia Wade-Brown”.

                That woman and her coven will bankrupt us.
                Why can’t we have Mrs Trevor as our mayor? Mayor Jane Clifton has a certain ring to it.

                • Skinny

                  Yes was in two minds about that after thought, can’t stand Wade-Brown comes across as a toff. Didn’t want to upset our Green friends. Obviously you know far more about Wellington’s local politics.

                  Haha careful brother being pc it’s would be Mayoress Jane Clifton.

                  I make a point of addressing our local lady at the throne of power as her worship the Mayoress and don’t she love it 🙂

  4. Pasupial 5

    9 days remaining until the scheduled return of the Rawshark 3:

    phillip ure
    Colonial Rawshark

    However, they may wish to read this comment from Murray Rawshark [& lprent], before deciding on whether they wish to continue their voluntary absence:

    Open mike 31/03/2015

    Macro seems to be back commenting yesterday (as does greywarshark):

    Fast followers – not


    It seems needlessly confrontational to continue this comment-strike when it might be better to have a conversation about issues arising from it. However, I will maintain this vigil while they feel it necessary to continue their inaction.

    • Meh. Down to two and pasupial crossing the line every day.

      • Pasupial 5.1.1


        I never counted myself one of the; Rawshark #. As my position was that it was better to stay and draw attention to the issue of the; author-moderator/ commenter-moderated, power imbalance:

        Open mike 30/03/2015

        I quickly realised that my intention of; continuing commenting generally while avoiding a single author’s posts, was just trying to have my cake and eat it too. So I’ve confined myself to merely holding my daily placard and addressing as many replies to this as I’ve been able.

        CR once gave me his work number to contact him if need be when we the; Dunedin Standard discussion group was still going. So I’ll give him a call tomorrow if he hasn’t replied to this comment by then. It’s a statutary holiday today, so he is unlikely to be in. I imagine that I can get in touch with PU through his whoar site, but again I’ll leave that till tomorrow.

        • te reo putake

          Would have been better if you’d concentrated on the real issue; misogynist bullying of a significant contributor to the Standard.

          • greywarshark

            @ TRP
            It did not seem to be this at all TRP: “misogynist bullying of a significant contributor to the Standard.”
            That just sounds like another version of Israelis saying that all critics are anti-semitic. When you can’t criticise, talk to people about problems because they have special status it results in an undemocratic situation and there is no reason why if female authors do get criticised, that they cannot respond in an interested, co-operative, adult manner. Women are logical andintelligent and not fragile, emotional basket cases.

        • marty mars

          It is actually about YOU pasupial – you took all this upon yourself without even asking the others you involved – that shows a lack of respect which I’m afraid is reinforced by this continued posting on this site where you are a guest. You need to look at what your issue actually is and post on that not smokescreen by bringing others into YOUR issues.

          • Pasupial


            As soon as I became aware that; you, and one other, did not wish to be included upon the roll of the Rawsharks, then I removed you as soon as I could. It was difficult to get permission from those who; by definition, were refraining from commenting on this site.


            Bullying is certainly at the core of this issue, whether it is; misogynistic, misandronic, or simply misanthropic. But I do not feel it is the whole of the issue, nor should it be up to one person to define what the issues are. That only post writers are seen as true “authors”, with commenters as mere scribblers in the margins (or “guests” as MM would have it), is to me a large part of the present conflict.

            Others may not agree with my position, which is fine. We can then discuss it and make our respective cases. Keeping silent about about a problem (of blogging generally, not just TS), and letting ill-will fester does not seem to be a productive course of action.

            • te reo putake

              “Keeping silent about about a problem (of blogging generally, not just TS), and letting ill-will fester does not seem to be a productive course of action.”

              Irony alert!

            • tracey

              So, write a guest post, submit ti to the Administrator. Make your solid suggesting for how a blog site could be run as some kind of cooperative when it comes to moderating. Nuts and Bolts ideas and systems/process to make it work.

              Before I was asked to Author I submitted a few guest posts. The idea that there is this glass ceiling or hierarchical barrier to moving between commenting and posting is a nonsense.

              If you want to write a post to have a thread led discussion, write it. If it isn’t purely abusive or against other rules I bet it gets published.

              • Scintilla

                I have no stake in this fight, I’ve read the posts and can see both sides i think. My observation: there is a microscopically small number of people who communicate exactly what they think/feel in any online forum, with no room for misunderstanding. We forget that 60% of our understanding in real world communication is through body language.

                Obviously there’s a lot of commenting history (that I’m not aware of ) that is colouring these exchanges. There’s no resolution at present and maybe there doesn’t need to be one – there is always another time, another way.

                It’s Easter. Let’s have a truce.

                • tracey

                  My suggestion was intended to be a movement toward such a truce by pointing out to Pasupial that we have a Guest Post feature at TS.

                  • weka

                    I had a similar thought on reading Pasupial’s comment.

                    Scintilla, personally I’m finding the conversation still useful. It’s helping me get clearer about my own thinking, and understanding what other people are doing.

                    “That only post writers are seen as true “authors”, with commenters as mere scribblers in the margins (or “guests” as MM would have it), is to me a large part of the present conflict.”

                    Pasupial, I think I understand the ideal you are exporing here. The problem is that blogging by its very nature is heirarchical. I can’t see any way around the logisitics of that using this kind of platform. I have been in long term online communities that use different platforms eg forums where non-admin people can start conversations/threads/posts of their own. But you still have to have moderation, and that moderation will always be heirarchical because you can’t have a whole community moderating each other, it just doesn’t work, not on this scale anyway. I’m open to being shown existing examples to prove me wrong.

                    I also think you probably still fail to understand truly how much work what you are suggesting would entail.

            • greywarshark

              @ marty mars
              Why can’t Pasupial have a point of view which is rationally expressed? He has the courage of his convictions and thinks things can be better on TS and that it is valuable and worth trying to assist improvement. You have withdrawn early and he has acknowledged that, but Pasupial wants to go further.

              It is easy to be a conformist and never achieve change, but that is how we have all acted since 1984. More definite action is required to help us in NZ to turn around our downward path. People with ideas need to be listened to, if those involve some criticism of present methods, a hearing and thinking about them working on a gradual improvement approach would be beneficial.

              • sure – I look forward to his guestpost.

                I haven’t withdrawn early – I never agreed with what pasupial was doing – I was making a SILENT protest not a jump up and down and make a fuss one. Murray has stated he doesn’t want people to stop commenting so there is no point in continuing to have a silent protest therefore I have taken up posting again. That imo is actually respectful to pretty much all concerned. The bottom line is if I don’t feel comfortable with a author – I won’t read or comment on their post. If I don’t feel comfortable with a commenter I ignore them. I’ve been coming here for a few years now and that approach seems to work for me – The Standard team can and will make changes that best suit them and what they are trying to do – I support them and whatever they may or may not do.

            • Chooky

              +100 Parsupial…you make a lot of sense…i myself would support another Left blog site should one eventuate

            • miravox

              “As soon as I became aware that; you, and one other, did not wish to be included upon the roll of the Rawsharks, then I removed you as soon as I could.”

              So you worked on an ‘opt out’ basis? Without the commentors realising there was this protest action to opt into? I see this as a breach of an implied trust.

              If, on the off-chance, we may marginally agree on a topic in the future, let me opt out now from any protest action you or anyone else may ever think of staging. I’ll explicitly opt-in if I want to sign up for it.

              Or will I need a disclaimer on each comment?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          CR once gave me his work number to contact him if need be when we the; Dunedin Standard discussion group was still going.

          Find me on FB if you like.

    • Chooky 5.2

      +100 Parsupial…am with you whatever you decide….think it has been valuable for a while

    • lurgee 5.3

      Most ineffective protest evah.

      I’m quite looking forward to the day it ends, simply because it deserves to be put out of its misery.

  5. Rosie 6

    Copied from the Planet Key post:

    ………………….It’s being played right now on Radio Active. They were one of the two radio stations in the country that were actually playing it when Darren Watson released it.

    The breakfast DJ has just done a spiel about the anger they felt at being censored at the time and given they criticise the Key Regime on a daily basis on that show they felt doubly aggrieved.

    The song has just finished and RedBird Jnr has committed to playing the song every day on his show until John Key goes.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 6.1


      I know I can search for it but, save me some lazy Good Friday morning time, and can someone post an email contact for RedBirdJr? And an email contact for the appropriate person at Radio Active?

      Ok, I looked up with one search and found RedBirdJr to follow:

      • Rosie 6.1.1

        I’d use that address Kiwiri.

        If you want to make a general comment, the studio address is:

        Here’s there website for those outside of Wellington who want to listen to the Thursday morning report with Alastair Thompson, and the link for their facebook page if you want to comment there:

        And because we are technically into Weekend Social time here’s another little ditty about John Key’s deflection over the Dirty Politics saga, when questioned by Guyon Espiner. A great tune from Bassnectar

    • Skinny 6.2

      There was a very good interview last night with the musician/songwriter on RNZ. Apparently he has put the song online free to download. He also said he won’t be taking any action for loss of income. Be interesting listening to a new song about to be released. Pretty relaxed sounding chap, good on him, wish him well after that nice little number.

  6. Philip Ferguson 7

    Fantastic strike by 6,000 Dunnes Stores workers in south of Ireland against, among other things, low hours. Here we have zero-hour contracts; Dunnes at least guarantees 15 hours work and then screws workers over with the hours they need above that to make ends meet.

    full at:

    Please feel free to circulate the url and/or advertise the story.

    In solidarity,


  7. Philip Ferguson 8

    Another inspiring strike – fruitpickers in Mexico are taking on some of the world’s largest and richest companies:

    And an inspiring little victory at Cotton On:

  8. Chooky 10

    A great step forwards towards Middle East peace ?

    ‘Tehran and world powers reach solutions on Iran nuclear program’

    “The group of countries known as “P5+1” – the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany – have been trying hammer out an accord with Iran to restrict the country’s nuclear program in return for a lifting the economic blockade imposed by the UN for nearly 18 months….

    While Israel has never publicly admitted to having a nuclear arsenal, maintaining the policy of “nuclear ambiguity,” it is widely believed to be the only power possessing the atomic bomb in the Middle East.

    International Law Professor at Georgetown University Daoud Khairallah believes that the deal engenders trust between Iran and the rest of the world and that it will help create an environment for rational peaceful problem solving in the Middle East.

    Khairallah also criticized Israel for hypocrisy on the nuclear issue.

    “They had made an environment of tension based on vilifying Iran and creating in Iran a scarecrow and a nuclear threat to the whole world. Whereas Israel sits on a huge pile of nuclear weapons.”

  9. mickysavage 11

    No daily review tonight. Will be back next Tuesday unless something unusual happens …

    • weka 11.1

      Isn’t the resurrection of Christ happening over the weekend? Not to mention the arrival of the Easter Bunny!

  10. Brendan 12

    I’ve offered some interpretation of the mediocre coverage of the terrorist attack in Kenya today. It certainly says something about the erosion of the Fourth Estate into a corporate mouthpiece.

    “For an attack on such a prominent institution of free speech, there seems to be deafening lack of it. There is, and never will be a “Mimi ni Garissa”.”

    • Anne 12.1

      Thanks Brendan. When I read the news online this morning my reaction was: bet this gets nothing like the ‘shock and horror’ type of coverage we have come to expect when a handful are killed in a European/Western country. And so it comes to pass.

      To put it bluntly but correctly:

      Its a poor black country so they don’t count for much.

      • weka 12.1.1

        Google search for Kenya, interesting difference in headlines.

        Kenya attack: 147 dead in Garissa University assault
        BBC News‎ – 1 hour ago
        A Kenyan soldier escorts a woman after she was rescued All students have been accounted …

        147 dead, Islamist gunmen killed after attack at Kenya college
        CNN‎ – 10 hours ago

        Somali Militants Kill 147 at Kenyan University
        New York Times‎ – 5 hours ago

        • Anne

          Short, terse and clinical. Can you imagine the wall to wall emotive coverage if it had happened in say… Belgium or France or England or Germany. My God, we’d have heard about nothing else for days/weeks and the mass candle-lit marches (100,000 plus apiece) would have spread far and wide. Calls for blood to be shed in revenge – no analysis as to “why” it might have happened.

          And I read the other day the 200 odd school girls abducted in Nigeria have still not been found and nobody really cares.

    • Clemgeopin 12.2

      A thought provoking great article :

      ” As I look through my social media feeds on what is possibly the most fervent of Christian feast days I see next to nothing regarding a terrorist attack at a university in Garissa, Kenya that has at the time of writing this claimed 147 lives (including 4 assailants). There are a few token headlines at the usual corporate media institutions, but alas, there is very little semblance of condemnation, sympathy, solidarity, criticism, or even the typical anti-Muslim sentiment (The New Zealand Herald’s top story is a championing of some wealthy narcissist putting the neo-colonial boot into local Māori because her profit trumps the exploitation of their land, while the Kenyan story falls faster than an anchor in water)[1]. To Western media, and the hegemony of European political consciousness, this is just as usual for Africa as flatulence in the wind. For an attack on such a prominent institution of free speech, there seems to be deafening lack of it. There is, and never will be a “Mimi ni Garissa”[2] for the 143 pinko student nobodies in some far flung corner of that homogeneous continent called Africa”

      TV1 news at 6pm did not even have this horrible news as their main feature. Instead, it was about a yacht pulling out of America’s cup.

      A very sad state of affairs reflecting (1) our poor societal values (2) the poor quality of our media.

  11. Bill 13

    I just inflicted over 2 hours of UK election debate on myself…resisting the temptation to make any Easter references here…

    Anyway. With 7 party leaders, the after debate polls were interesting. Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP had the highest average across 3 UK wide post debate polls. (ICM/Guardian, ComRes and YouGov)

    Sturgeon 21.7 %, Cameron 21% and Miliband 20.3 %.

    Given that voters in neither Wales, England nor Northern Ireland can vote for the SNP, you might think her rating among those voters would be a wake up call to Miliband and UK Labour’s constant nonsense attacks on the SNP, their policies and motivations…

    • mickysavage 13.1

      I’m writing a post on it and I agree Sturgeon was really impressive.

      • Bill 13.1.1

        Been mulling over one on the whole dynamic of the potential Scottish vote on Westminster. My main problem is that there is so much dumb shit flying from the Lib/Dems, Labour and Cons that is flat stick contradicted and seen through in comments below any article on it all. Anyway, I kind of have to spend any days I read such articles picking myself up off the floor and stitching up my split sides.

        I’ll get around to a post on it some time.

        • mickysavage

          Yep the SNP, Sinn Fein and Plaid Cymru could hold the balance of power. Imagine that …

          • Bill

            I think Sinn Fein currently and historically boycotts Westminster. But if the Greens pick up a seat or two….

            • mickysavage

              Yep Sinn Fein do although it may be time to rethink that. The Guardian thinks the greens will win only one seat which would be an injustice.

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 13.1.2

        I agree Sturgeon was really impressive.

        Can you point out a link or more to a video clip online where you watched an impressive speech, etc of Sturgeon please?

        (I know I can google for that but would prefer seeing what you have seen.)

        • Bill

          You really expect British media to shed Sturgeon in a favourable light?!

          Here’s the entire debate (it begins about 12 min in)

          Easy enough to scroll through to her contributions….

          • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

            Sturgeon, Natalie Bennett and Leanne Wood are outstanding as I am quickly zipping through the video.

        • te reo putake

          Some good coverage on the Beeb, including this short video:

          I watched the second hour. Miliband came over Ok, Cameron looked underdone. Sturgeon was pretty impressive.

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

          Thanks, Bill and TRP.
          Am starting to view them.
          Appreciate these … on Good Friday evening!

          addendum: ok, I clicked on the 2-min stuff and I think my blood pressure shot up. let’s do the dishes first …

    • ScottGN 13.2

      The interesting thing though is that even in the UK with FPTP which is practically designed to favour the two party system, politics everywhere is fracturing.

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