Open mike 04/02/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:49 am, February 4th, 2015 - 302 comments
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302 comments on “Open mike 04/02/2015”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    The anti-Midas strikes again.

    A review by Australian consultancy Taribon last September and October, which included a survey of 1006 DOC staff, slated the restructure, blaming it for a breakdown in communication, inefficiencies, leadership difficulties and preventing DOC achieving its goal* of significant steps towards conservation gains.

    Looks like Nick Smith might be correcting some of his answers.

    Can he guarantee that any job cuts announced today will not impact on the Department of Conservation’s ability to protect the conservation estate?

    *what kind of goal is a step to a gain? One that’s been touched by Dr. Smith.

  2. Paul 2

    Headline news in the Herald this morning concerning the burning of a Jordanian pilot.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11396216

    Just below on the online site, there is a video entitled
    ‘Something has to be done – PM.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/national/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503075&gal_cid=1503075&gallery_id=147846

    And then of course all heard from the British Foreign Minster, what that something could be. Send soldiers to Iraq.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11395976

    And just on time, Audrey Young has an exclusive, telling what the British want from us.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11396093

    Problem. Reaction. Solution.
    It’s not even subtle.
    We’re being played by corporate media to support war.

    • Te Reo Putake 2.2

      How would you respond to ISIS, Paul?

        • Te Reo Putake 2.2.1.1

          Happy to answer your questions. Yes and yes (if other options fail). Any chance you’d care to answer my question?

          • Paul 2.2.1.1.1

            So you would send NZ troops to all these places?
            Personally, I would support the Kurds more in Iraq. They seem quite capable of looking after themselves.

            I would not send foreign troops. 2003 invasion created the problem that exists now.

            But don’t rely on my opinion. Look up Fisk, Cockburn and other reputable journalists on the matter.

            • Te Reo Putake 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Cheers for the reply, Paul. I would happily see NZ support an international effort in those countries in whatever way was appropriate. For example, the Iraqi Kurds are making progress with assistance from the US and allies. If we can help, why not?

              • got any other global longterm sectarian disputes you’d like to pick a side in..?

                ..and fire off some troops to back-up that ‘call’..?

                ..or is it just the american/cia panic-du-jour/war-drums that well and truly sucks you in..?

                ..gets you all antsy/armchair-warrior-ing..?

                • you’d have been all gung-ho on overthrowing gadaffi..wouldn’t you..?..

                  ..eh..?

                  ..are you really so susceptible to war-propaganda-du-jour..?

                  ..and factcheck:..yr ‘ally’ saudi arabia..executes far more people than isis do..

                  ..what would you do about that..?

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    He said he’d send troops to Saudi Arabia as well.

                    • um..!..don’t these ‘problems’ have neighbours that are oil-rich/armed to the teeth..?

                      ..let them sort it out..it’s their fucken business..not ours..

                      ..would they come down here if we had a problem..?

                      …wd they hell.!

                      ..so..why the fuck this ‘we must go and help/stop them!-bullshit..

                      ..and the unquestioning-media never ask those fucken questions..

                      ..do they..?..

                      ..useless bastards that they are..

              • adam

                So our underfunded military – who have issues related to that – your happy to put into a combat zone Te Reo Putake?

                I’d support if we were going after Saudi Arabia – I really would. But ISIS, are a overblown state in fail mode. So they can kill a few people – but for how long – till the money from the Saudi’s runs out? Because if my Kurdish friends are correct, and I think they are – ISIS has no economy, no infrastructure, no ability to run a country – they are just a military movement who are well funded. Fighting them – lets cut the money off.

                I don’t see the point in sending young men and women into a war zone, when we know for a fact, a so called ally is funding the other side. That to me is the height of negligence.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  I hope your Kurdish friends are right, adam. But the current situation is that ISIS are running a country about the size of NZ and have both external funding and the ability to generate income within the conquered territories. They aren’t going to go away without intervention.

                  Who is the ally you reckon is funding them? The Saudis?

                  • for one with such a strong opinion..

                    ..you clearly know little of the facts of the matter..

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Once again in English, please, Phil. What facts don’t I know?

                    • where to begin..?..

                      ..did you support/get all gung-ho over overthrowing gadaffi/invading libya..

                      ..were you then also handwringing/saying:..’what would you do?’..

                      ..wd the archives here have a record of that..?

                      ..’cos i have memories of bitter arguments here..

                      ..me against the warmongers..many of them ‘lefties’ from here..

                      ..lefties whi had been well and truly sucked in by the cia-propaganda..

                      ..much like t.r.p.is now over/around isis..)

                      (and amongst other warmongers…keith locke..(!)..go figure..!..the cia-propaganda even sucked him in..

                      ..ya coulda knocked me over with a feather..)

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Well, that wasn’t much help! Honestly, Phil, if you think there are relevant facts I’m missing, please let me know. Preferably in a way that can be easily understood.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      TRP – no NZ troops should go into Iraq until a non-sectarian government is installed in Baghdad, Middle Eastern billionaires – who are all US allies – stop funding ISIS, and the EU lock down on the hundreds of their citizens who are going to join and fight with ISIS. France is just one country which has been very tolerant of its citizens going to Syria to fight because they want to see Assad gone.

                      ISIS thrives in Northern Iraq because the local Sunni population is sick of partisan, sectarian Baghdad rule, and ISIS keeps itself stocked with lethal weapons because of billion dollar middle east backers.

                      Why the fuck would you want to send NZ troops in to that meat grinder, under those conditions?

                      And to do what? Train Iraqi security forces? That’s a failed mission before it even starts. In case you haven’t noticed, the USA and UK have poured the last ten years and hundreds of billions down the drain to train an Iraqi security force which is outstanding at running away and abandoning all its arms, equipment and vehicles to the enemy.

                      So why would you push for us to join more of the same???

                    • Pascals bookie

                      Most of this is beside the point a bit TRP, I think.

                      The harping on about ‘what would you do then?’ and the like.

                      There is a plan on the table. And there are facts on the ground.

                      You either support the plan, or you don’t.

                      The facts on the ground should play a part in that decision, for sure. But so do the facts about the plan.

                      What shouldn’t play a part in the decsion to support the plan on the table, is whether or not you’d support some other plan. That other plan isn’t on the table.

                      So, if you don’t support this plan, that doesn’t mean you think nothing should or could be done. That’s just some bullshit.

                      And arguing about what would be a better plan is pointless given none of our plans will get to the table.

                      This plan, of sending some trainers who the Iraqi govt does not want to see action. That’s the plan.

                      On the gorund, the fighting is being done by militia. The govt is saying they will investigate some of the claims about the atrocties being committed as militoa drive sunni out of ISIS held territory. Of course they will.

                      The head of the interior ministry is the head of the politcal arm of the Badr brigade. So we’ll see how that goes.

                      Personally, I think this plan will achieve fuck all in terms of destroying ISIS. I think our politicians are lying about the dynamics on the ground. ie, I don’t think they are ignorant of those dynamics, I just think they believe that if they are honest, no one will support the war.

                      the political demand to ‘do something’ is all this plan achieves. I think that’s a shit reason to order troops into a potential quagmire. So I don’t support it.

                      If they present a different plan, in a way that strikes me as honest, I’ll reconsider.

                      How about you?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      We have to be part of the club. Right? Maybe that’s just as important a consideration to TRP as any other, I suspect.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “We have to be part of the club. Right? Maybe that’s just as important a consideration to TRP as any other, I suspect.”

                      You’ve made some pretty weird comments in recent months, CV. That may be the most out there so far.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Bookie, thanks for that reply. It’s as good an analysis of the situation as I’ve seen in NZ media this week. For mine, I want ISIS stopped. I also want my country to assist in any practical way, because I’m not an isolationist. We are part of the progressive world and we should stand up and be counted.

                      As you say, it’s a question of what plan should be used. There may be better alternatives, but a plan exists, it seems to be working reasonably well without western troops directly engaging ISIS. We can play a part within that plan, even given our limited resources. So I reckon we should be involved, becuase it’s the correct thing to do.

                    • still can’t answer a straight question..eh trp..

                      ..did you support the invasion of libya/over throw of gadaffi..?

                      …a simple yes or no will do..

                      .and looking back up this thread..and all the other questions from me/others you just ignore/don’t answer..

                      ..and recognising that as yr standard-pattern (see what i did there..?)

                      ..i have to be asking myself..why bother engaging..?..

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Are you having a laugh, Phil? You still haven’t even attempted to answer the very first question (what facts don’t I know?). As far as I can tell, you aren’t engaging your brain, so if you want to disengage your typing fingers as well, that’s coolio.

                    • u can go and join that alan in the ignore-corner..

                      ..u can’t even/won’t answer whether u supported the invasion of iran..

                      ..’cos u did..eh..?

                      ..i’m tired of yr fucken games..

                    • The Al1en

                      I’m broadly in agreement with TRP, though as I’ve stated before, I don’t support troops on the ground without UN authorisation.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      TRP: trying to train the Iraqi security forces is a waste of time. The US and UK tried for the last 12 years, spent hundreds of millions on it, and they ran away at the first sign of trouble.

                      Call my ideas weird or whatever, but your willingness to drive NZ deeper into a long failing strategy just to be part of the club is not just weird, it’s very foolish.

                    • heh..!

                      ..trp and alan..sitting in a tree..

                      ..along came another simplistic-warmonger..

                      ..and that made three..

                    • The Al1en

                      That’s about the limit of ‘debate’ one expects from you and I guess you’re content to not exceed expectations.

                      Now I know retard as an insult is frowned upon here, so when I ask are you retarded from being a drug addict? I’m actually do mean in the medical sense.
                      Not only would it explain a lot if you are, but it will also help me frame my responses in future as I don’t want to be known as the bloke that literately fucked up someone with learning difficulties. So hand on heart, are you afflicted?

                      And again, for reference,, my name isn’t Alan, Allan or any variation on it.

                  • The Murphey

                    “I want ISIS stopped”

                    Yes it’s all about you despite claiming to not be an isolationist

                    Q. You understand how and why ‘ISIS’ exists right ?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      You understand how the personal pronoun works, right?

                      (Well, no, apparently not.)

                    • The Murphey

                      Q. So you are an isolationist ?

                      Among other strong indicators you have the ‘ mainlander handle supporting your position which is a powerful signal of being on the wrong track

                      That you are on the wrong track is not contentious

                      Why you are on the wrong track is down to you

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      I’m not an isolationalist, I’m an internationalist. Do try and get your head around the difference. And, I suggested, look up ‘personal pronoun’ while you’re at it, it’ll help you understand why you misunderstood what I said.

                    • The Murphey

                      That you believe it matters is more vanity

                      I want ISIS stopped. I also want my country to assist in any practical way, because I’m not an isolationist

                      Q. Where do the above words translate to being an internationalist ?

                      You also have backing from the alien as well as mainlander

                      Q. Does such support reassure and reinforce ?

                    • “..You also have backing from the alien as well as mainlander

                      Q. Does such support reassure and reinforce ?..”

                      heh..!

                    • The Al1en

                      “oh..!..believe me….i am going to be much more vigilant/diligent in my ignoring from now on..”

                      😆 You can’t help yourself, eh bruv? 😆

                    • The Al1en

                      “You also have backing from the alien as well as mainlander

                      Q. Does such support reassure and reinforce ?”

                      No need to bring me in to you whiny little cat fight cause you’re losing it and being exposed all over the board, Smurfette.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      “Q. Where do the above words translate to being an internationalist ?”

                      They don’t. But they’re not actually mutually exclusive concepts, so yah boo sucks there, pal.

                      “You also have backing from the alien as well as mainlander

                      Q. Does such support reassure and reinforce ?”

                      Yup. If nothing else, they both have excellent taste 🙂

                  • adam

                    Te Reo Putake – Yes the Saudis. And other in the region too, I don’t think and having asked I don’t believe Iran and Iraq have any money going to them. For the first time the Iranians are talking to the Kurds and helping them out – that’s all very new.

                    I think they will fall over – they may have access to resources – like oil. But the ability to extract it is getting beyond them. They have killed off many of the class who can do this type of work, and many other middle class professionals have just left.

                    I think NZ does have the ability to help. We have some might fine computer hackers and crackers – lets use them and cut of the funds from external sources.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Cheers, adam. The relationship with the Saudis is truly awful, clearly based on petrodollars not principle. If memory serves, we in the west gifted what is now Saudi Arabia to the Saud family when we could just as easily set up a democratic state. But whats a constitution compared to an oil concession?

                      I agree with you that ISIS won’t last the distance. There are already signs that their supply lines are stretched and fighting on multiple fronts is not a winning strategy. They may eventually have to withdraw and consolidate around the Syria/Iraq border and Mosul.

                      A good set of maps from the BBC here, including one showing ISIS controlled oil refineries that have been bombed :

                      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27838034

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Oh I guess western engineering companies will have to come in and take up the contracts to repair those bombed refineries once ISIS has gone. Damn shame.

                      I also read that General Dynamics will be manufacturing another 170 M1 Abrams tanks for the Iraqi army, given that they gave 40 of them to ISIS and the Americans had to destroy them. Good business at US$5M a pop.

              • Mainlander

                Well said TRP, agree totally with all your statements on this topic

        • Rawsharkosaurus 2.2.1.2

          Or what about these murders? Should we also send troops to the United States of America?

      • Morrissey 2.2.2

        How would you respond to the governments that fund them and arm them in their war of insurrection against the government of Syria?

    • Ron 2.3

      Did anyone notice that the British Foreign minister looks suspiciously like the Cigarette Smoking Man. Scary stuff They are our there!

    • David H 2.4

      And I see that the Hooray Henry sent out from britain, is now lumping in the murders in Sydney into Isil (or whatever they are called today)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hooray_Henry

      And there’ll be Jognny boy wagging his tail for a pat on the head and he will put all of our citizens all over the world into danger by joining ‘The Family’ whats he tyhink this is a movie ?? The family! FFS did they steal the name from the latest mafia Movie?

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2404311/

      And before that it was the Club whats coming next week?? The Organisation??

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067535/

      • saveNZ 2.4.1

        Love it.

        Maybe if you don’t live in the real world, just a movie and everything’s happily ever after…. sipping drinks in Hawaii and playing golf… txting your pyscho bff for black op missions… playing Monopoly with a real country… whats next ‘state houses’ aka Old Kent Rd, swap for a motel aka convention centre Sky City… Then on the Sony playstation real life war games… reality TV, Would I lie to you…

    • saveNZ 2.5

      It is all so horrific. Bloodshed and war just leads to more bloodshed and war and further atrocities. On the Guardian it said there has been 1800 bomb strikes in 6 months on ISIS, clearly in the ‘terrorist’ eyes it is payback, and they burned him on an air strike site. More bombs, more casualties, more hatred against the west, more recruits to ISIS. More terrorists attacks in retaliation into the west.

      Lets face it, 9/11 was caused by mainly Saudis nationals, but in spite of Saudi Arabia’s horrific human rights records, we put our Kiwi flag on half mast when their King dies. Iraq was not even mainly Muslim when US and UK invaded, WMD never found and it was always controversial. Now we have new threat created by the invasion ISIS as well as Al Qaeda, so blow up more people and created more terrorist offshoots… God who is winning by this?

      I’m against all violence and I am defiantly against NZ being dragged into an un winable war that is going to endanger NZ and western lives to be part of a warmongering ‘club’. Not a good reason to go to war. Not to mention the goading of Russia etc. What is next, nukes? It’s a battle to be the most inhumane. Maybe in the old days you could go around causing trouble and invading little and (big) countries with various dubious agendas, (like Vietnam) but with globalism not a good strategy.

      The US are spreading a religious war with their privatisation of warfare which is big business while many US people are starving and homeless and have no access to healthcare. There are too many simpleton politicians strutting about the world with access to too many weapons, feeling powerful by being part of a ‘club’. Um, in the old days politicians used to work for the people of their country, not lobbyists and other countries governments.

      Apart from the Human Rights issues of war, the strategy does not sound like Utopia or economic prosperity to me.

    • Tracey 2.6

      and the Jordanians have begun executing their ISIS prisoners.

  3. Paul 3

    Go back to sleep, New Zealanders.
    Emerson nails it again.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11396043

    Sadly his own paper, the rag the Herald, is part of the corporate media that wants you not to focus on the important stories and so spends its time focusing in trivial nonsense, breathlessly telling the story of voyeurism in Christchurch.

    Anything to get Sabin off the news.

    For example, this story of Disney princesses!
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11396088

  4. Whateva next? 4

    And how much airtime discussing cadbury’s reducing the size of their bars?? Even a specialist saying this akshully does constitute an increase in price…..thanks for that, fascinating

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 4.1

      Related to reducing the size of their bars in the name of running a massive multinational company, the real questions that I want to hear raised are what plans Cadbury has to increase the number of jobs in NZ by improving the quality of their products, sourcing ethical and fair trade ingredients, reducing any negative environmental impact, as well as how they will ensure profits and benefits flow to the wider local community and what they are doing to restore their credibility with NZ consumers and people.

      Even a snippet of the above would be far too much to ask of our reporters to raise?

    • saveNZ 4.2

      I can sleep well at night knowing that 2 minutes on One news was spent on Cadbury’s reducing their bar size, they even polled 3 people to find out what they thought!!! I was riveted to find out the result.

      Maybe it was a ‘brand inside’ special like on the Herald. Who Knows. Looking forward to finding out about Sky cities latest creations too coming soon, to TV news advertorials.

      I only watched TV1 news wondering about Sabin discourses to the masses. Was so pleased I did, because now I know about the latest NZ scandal of Cadbury… cos since I fast forward the adds, I would not have know this unless buried within the news itself.

      For those who condemn sleepy NZ masses. Think about it, with the Rock Star economy being reported constantly in the Herald and the oldies watching TV1 thinking that chocolate is the only scandal to worry about, no wonder National gets away with blue murder.. (literally).

  5. Philip Ferguson 5

    “Hamas is a monster that Israel helped create. And having spent three decades helping create Hamas, it has spent the next two trying to destroy it, through the imposition of collective punishment on Palestinians, from economic blockades to air strikes. . .”
    full article at: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/israels-role-in-the-creation-of-hamas/

    Phil

    • Morrissey 5.1

      Actually, Israel is a monster that Great Britain created. Hamas is a resistance movement that Israel helped to create.

      • Chooky 5.1.1

        Israel is trying to undermine Obama and USA foreign policy towards detente with Iran…Israel tail wagging the USA dog !?

        “The closer the Western powers and Iran come to a negotiated settlement, the more we hear that the West and Iran are destined to be enemies. Can the political establishment in the West and Israel ever say ‘yes’ to peaceful co-existence with the Islamic Republic? CrossTalking with Charles Cogan, Chuck Freilich, and Jim Lobe.”

        http://rt.com/shows/crosstalk/228451-west-iran-bibi-gamble/

      • Gosman 5.1.2

        Great Britain did not create Israel. The United Nations sanctioned the Israeli state in 1947. The British did give their support to the concept of a Jewish State but also attempted to restrict it’s development during their Mandate of Palestine.

        • adam 5.1.2.1

          I agree with Gossy – The British troops I’ve talked to from the Mandate period – said whilst they were sympathetic to the Zionist cause – they were sicked by the Zionists treatment of the Palestinians. Great English diplomacy at the fore once again, bumbling, morally squiffy and if they can bugger it up for years to come – yeap that’s what will happen.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.2

          The United Nations sanctioned the Israeli state in 1947.

          And why did the UN decide to do that? Was it a bright idea that the UN suddenly had or was it decades of the Zionists lobbying the British?

          You’re either an ignorant fucken moron or you’re trying to re-write history.

          • Gosman 5.1.2.2.1

            Have you read anything about the creation of Israel? The vote was actually a very close run thing and it wasn’t the British who swung it for the Israelis.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.2.2.1.1

              Have you read anything about the creation of Israel?

              Yeah, I have thanks. Have you? I ask because you seem to be ignorant of the century or so before the UN vote of the Zionists working towards taking Palestine off of the Palestinians.

              • Gosman

                I’m well aware of the Zionist movement. Much of their early efforts was in purchasing land legitimately.

                • McFlock

                  And what about the efforts not included in your “much”, eh?

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  I’m well aware of the Zionist movement. Much of their early efforts was in purchasing land legitimately.

                  And using heavily armed paramilitaries in the 1930s and 1940s to ethnically cleanse Palestinians off their lands.

                  Remember that the Zionists understood full well that you cannot build your own nation state by “buying land” within someone else’s nation state.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I don’t think it’s possible to legitimately buy the land from those who don’t live there. As I’ve said before, Palestine is a great example of why foreign ownership is bad for NZ.

                • In the west bank, most of the land used for settlements was purchased off the original Palestinian owners quite legally.

                  It’s the next step of rolling in the tanks and sectioning off that land from Palestinian Authority control thats the bugger.
                  And once the settlement is built, populating it with overzealous Zionists to ensure that any Palestinian who approaches said gated settlement is met with an entirely inappropriate response.

                  Maale Adumim is the poster child for this strategy.

                  It’s a bit like a foreign power buying up large sections of land in New Zealand, moving armour into those lands, and then telling the New Zealand government to fuck off.

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    “In the west bank, most of the land used for settlements was purchased off the original Palestinian owners quite legally.”

                    Not at all how I understand it. Some of the land was taken by force during the Six Day War, with Israel claiming it was taken in self defence. In my view, the Israeli Air Force began a war of aggression with a surprise attack and therefore the land is illegally occupied.

                    A lot of land that is bought is bought by fraudulent means, which must be challenged in Israeli courts. Much of the rest is denied to Palestinians because lunatic settlers shoot at them and uproot their olive trees, all with the protection of the IDF.

                    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/05/israeli-settlers-forging-deeds-land-201452095941176244.html

                    • That was also my view before I lived in Palestine, that most of the settlement land was taken by force, also that the conflict was mainly a religious one.

                      Speaking to a wide range of Palestinians during the three years was there disabused be of both notions.
                      That land was taken by force and fraud is not disputed, but that the majority of was land annexed in this manner is not the general understanding of Palentinians themselves.

                      Edit: I am talking specifically about the settlements set up to ring and enclose Jerusalem, as is my original comment

            • Brigid 5.1.2.2.1.2

              ” The vote was actually a very close run thing and it wasn’t the British who swung it for the Israelis.” How did the Arabs vote?

        • dave brown 5.1.2.3

          Actually the US was the main influence in creating the Zionist state in 1948
          http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/28805-the-us-s-hidden-hand-in-the-creation-of-israel

          • Gosman 5.1.2.3.1

            The US was a key player that the Jewish leaders worked very hard to swing around to support them. Initially they were reluctant to be active supporters due to their relationship with Arab nations most notably Saudi Arabia. It was not the main influence though and was a relatively late convert to backing the Jewish state.

        • Morrissey 5.1.2.4

          Your ignorance is exceeded only by your unfeasible confidence. I’ve said it before, but it needs to be said now more than ever: please do some serious reading on this subject.

      • Philip Ferguson 5.1.3

        Well, it was formally created by Britain, the US, the Soviet Union, France etc.

        Interestingly the USA wasn’t originally so totally behind Israel as it is today.

        In 1956, when France, Britain and Israel invaded Egypt, the US basically told them to fuck off. They threatened economic measures against Britain, which would have screwed the pound, and forced the Israelis to give back the Sinai.

        It was only with the wider spread of progressive, secular Arab nationalism and the US deciding that the Middle East would be part of its new, ever-expanding ‘back yard’ that the US elite really committed to Israel.

        As Kenan’s article explains, the US and Israel were happy to promote Islamic fundamentalism as a reactionary counter to progressive and secular pan-Arab nationalism. They had no idea how that would pan out for them in the end.

        However, Hamas is not much of a threat to Israel. They are increasingly up for a deal, just like Fatah was and is.

        While Hamas may presently be a *resistance* movement in the sense of resisting Israel, it is certainly not a *liberation* movement. The Palestinian faction that stands for secularism, socialism, women’s liberation, and progressive policies generally is the PFLP. I think progressives here, while campaigning in general in solidarity with the Palestinians, should try to do what we can to help support the PFLP.
        For a campaign of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/for-a-campaign-of-solidarity-with-the-palestinian-struggle/
        Palestinian liberation and the PFLP today: interview with their deputy general-sec: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/palestinian-liberation-and-the-pflp-today-an-interview-with-abu-ahmad-fouad-deputy-secretary-general-of-the-pflp/

        Phil

        • Ian H 5.1.3.1

          The Brits were trying to reclaim possession of the Suez canal which they’d built at vast expense. The Americans told them to back off. So the US stood up for the Egyptians on a matter of principle? Nah. It was just oil diplomacy. Don’t forget that the Americans owned the Panama Canal at the time and had no intention of handing it over (they eventually did so only much later in 1999).

  6. Morrissey 6

    The Panel continues to be a forum for crazed ideologists;
    At least Steve McCabe registered his disgust this afternoon

    Radio NZ National, Tuesday 3 February 2015
    Jim Mora, Nevil Gibson, Steve McCabe

    It’s always a bit of a worry when National Business Review editor Nevil “Breivik” Gibson is a guest on this program. He’s one of those special guests who can usually be counted on to say something both stupid and offensive, if not downright depraved; other Panel regulars in that category include Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, Michelle Boag, Jordan Williams and Barry Corbett. Gibson is a former Maoist agitator, who went straight from harassing shoppers with crazed pamphlets espousing the Cultural Revolution into supporting the even crazier theories of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman, without passing through any intermediate stage involving common sense, sanity or humanity. Gibson almost always gets away with it, however, because he’s usually paired up with a weaker guest, like Jeremy Elwood. [1]

    Gibson has occasionally come a cropper on the Panel, though—most memorably when Gordon MacLauchlan lost patience with him. Gibson was delivering an absurd homily, in his trademark ponderous croak, about the role of city councils—merely to organize the picking up of rubbish and the maintenance of footpaths. “That’s RIDICULOUS, Nevil!” said MacLauchlan, and proceeded to school the doctrinaire dunderhead about the necessity for and the complexity of council functions, carefully established over generations, of public services like libraries, parks and festivals, as well as scores of other public amenities. Nevil Gibson simply did not have a coherent response to offer, and lapsed into a silence closely resembling stupidity.

    On today’s show the other guest was Auckland teacher Steve McCabe, who was to be similarly disturbed by Gibson’s complacent fanaticism. Let’s see how things worked out…..

    Before the news, there’s a brief discussion about the possibility of the United States backing the junta that seized power in Ukraine with “lethal force”. One of today’s guests is not convinced of the moral, legal or strategic justification for this. But the other guest has worked it all out; he’s been reading David Brooks and watching Fox News, so naturally he supports the junta, and supports the arming of it. He’s really on top of things. He speaks slowly, to convey just how deeply he is thinking…

    NEVIL “BREIVIK” GIBSON: [speaking very slowly, to convey authority] It’s about stopping an invasion, isn’t it?

    After the 4 o’clock news, there’s a discussion with Professor Jim Rolfe, Director at the Centre for Strategic Studies at Victoria University, about the possibility of New Zealand sending troops to Iraq to fight against the Islamic State. It soon becomes clear, after he delivers a confused and windy attempt to explain why this is a fight involving “all of us”, that Prof. Rolfe, like Nevil Gibson, is right behind whatever the Americans request (instruct) our government to do. Steve McCabe is not so sure, though, and he reminds Professor Rolfe and Gibson that only a decade ago, the United States was prosecuting an illegal invasion of Iraq, based on lies.

    NEVIL “BREIVIK” GIBSON: [croaking testily, with contempt] As Professor Rolfe has just told you….

    Later in the program, there’s a brief discussion about jobs in New Zealand. The unemployment rate of 5.4% is expected to remain steady, despite a predicted rise in employment. McCabe points out that there might be more jobs, but they are low-paid and unstable jobs. The median pay for CEOs has increased astronomically, but most people have seen their wages stagnate. What about all the poor people?

    Once again, the Oracle has all the answers…

    NEVIL “BREIVIK” GIBSON: Their job is to look for better jobs. No one looks to work in McDonald’s for ever.
    STEVE McCABE: So in the meantime we just let them eat cake. Brilliant.

    An extended awkward silence ensues….

    Later, during a brief discussion about the mega-rich, the editor of the NBR treats us to another of his insights, this time about what is perhaps the most misunderstood section of the world community….

    NEVIL “BREIVIK” GIBSON: It’s assumed by people on the left wing that billionaires have done something corrupt, but that’s not the case….

    After the news, Gibson recommends an article by Professor Jacqueline Rowarth, from Waikato University. She’s one of the nastier commentators going around, and further proof that if you want to find an extremist or an unhinged loon, you should travel to Hamilton. [2] But Nevil “Breivik” Gibson praises her, as well as plugging her column in—yes, you guessed it—the National Business Review.

    Later on, Jim Mora introduces another serious topic—the shrinking size of the Cadbury chocolate block…..
    STEVE McCABE: I’m astonished that we’re talking about this topic on this program.
    JIM MORA: [suddenly taken aback, sheepish] But not only on this program.
    STEVE McCABE: Yes, but this is supposed to be a serious program.
    . . . . . . . .

    [1] /open-mike-18102013/#comment-712798
    [2] /open-mike-23092014/#comment-895173

    • Paul 6.1

      Yes, Steve McCabe fought a decent rearguard action against one of Mora’s most unpleasant commentators.

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        You guys really don’t like alternative views getting any airing. You have heard of a little thing called balance haven’t you?

        • phillip ure 6.1.1.1

          there is ‘alternative’..then there is batshit-crazy..(c.f.gibson..)

          ..trotting out a mix of lies and rightwing-prejudices..

          ..that ain’t no ‘balance’..

          • Gosman 6.1.1.1.1

            You think anything slightly right of The Greens is batshit crazy. In your world they only people allowed to comment would be left wingers (who you would define as right) and hard left which would become the new center’.

            • phillip ure 6.1.1.1.1.1

              no i don’t..

              ..i have as much respect for gibson..as i do for mike williams..

              ..my contempt is trans-ideological..

              ..but when you have rightwinger as climatechange-denying/social-welfare-net-shredding/poor-bashing/self-centered greedy fucks making up most of the rightwing..

              ..what else to feel for them..but contempt/derision..?

            • Murray Rawshark 6.1.1.1.1.2

              What a load of shit, Goosestep. The Standard is part of our world and you’re allowed to comment here.

        • Paul 6.1.1.2

          There is balance and the FOX news version of balanced.
          Martin Bradbury was banned from the Panel.
          Gordon McLaughlin seems no longer invited.

          I challenge you to count the number of extreme neo-liberal apologists on ( Farrar, Gibson, Williams, Franks from the top of my head) , compared to real left voices.

          • Gosman 6.1.1.2.1

            Gordon McLaughlan was on the show in December so not sure why you think he is no longer invited.

            http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thepanel/20141210

            Repeating a question I have kind of asked before. Which people from the Right are acceptable on the Panel?

            • phillip ure 6.1.1.2.1.1

              if you compare the numbers of times a questioning-voice like mclaughlin is allowed on..(one..twice..a year..?..)

              ..with the steady parade of rightwing-freaks..(franks every couple of weeks..often more often..)

              ..the panel doesn’t come within a bulls-roar/country-mile of faint semblance of ‘balance’..

              • Gosman

                They actually discussed this during the pre-Xmas show I believe. The view expressed at the time was there were slightly more left of center panelists than right of center. Of course this is a subjective measure but from what I can tell they seem quite balanced.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  If you think that they’re balanced then the chances are that they’re actually radical right-wing.

          • TheContrarian 6.1.1.2.2

            Bradbury was banned for being a loud, rude, jackass. Not for having a dissenting POV.

            • Paul 6.1.1.2.2.1

              Opinion, not fact.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.2.2

              [citation needed]

              • TheContrarian

                The RNZ statement said he was banned for defamatory statements, giving the producer incorrect information and breaking their editorial terms.
                For which Bomber apologised.

                Do you think he would have apologised if he was banned for having a dissenting POV?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That’s not a citation.

                  • much as it pains me to support contrarian..

                    ..i think he is correct..

                    ..bradbury also committed the ‘sin’ of bringing in a pre-written tirade for his ‘what have you been thinking about?’ segment..

                    ..and then delivered it..with all the read-out/strident nuances present..

                    ..i actually heard it on the day..and it jarred…

                    ..and it wasn’t ‘good radio’..

                    ..whether it was enough to boot him off the show..i dunno..

                    ..(especially when u consider the drivel that is so often spoken there by others..)

        • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.3

          Telling lies and spreading malicious rumours isn’t balance.

        • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1.4

          You guys really don’t like alternative views getting any airing. You have heard of a little thing called balance haven’t you?

          Balance is where the voices and perspectives of the less powerful and the less wealthy, get more airtime and prominence.

          • Gosman 6.1.1.4.1

            And that attitude is why there will unlikely to be a fully funded State media organisation run along the lines you and other leftists want.

            • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1.4.1.1

              No, I’m serious – the wealthy and powerful already have more than their share of airtime and media promotion. “Balance” is where the perspectives and ideas of those in the bottom 80% of society also get prominence and airing.

              • Gosman

                Except you require money to pay for this “balance”. This money will likely have to come disproportionately from the wealthy people who’s views you wish to reduce being heard or seen on this State funded media.

                I know what I would campaign for if that happened. It would be the abolishment of the Leftist propaganda media or at least a major cutback in funding.

                In essence you would have created a major political football for the two sides of the political divide to kick around for decades.

                • Gossie, would you prefer “fair and balanced” propaganda from our US corporate masters?

                  The problem with Mora is that he’s afraid of rocking the boat or questioning PR BS from the Beehive. Also, he frequently admits to not knowing much about current affairs. Also, his show frequently consists of mindless pap which does nothing to inform or elevate people’s thinking.

                  He’s just not the right person for the job. Kim Hill would be far better, as she always does her homework, and she asks the tough questions.

                  • “… Kim Hill would be far better, as she always does her homework, and she asks the tough questions..”

                    ..hard to argue with that..

                    ..i wd actually enjoy hearing some of those rightwing bullshit-artists on the panel trying it on with la hill..

                    ..they could well need therapy by the end of the show..heh..!

                    ..quivering/quavering in a corner..lest her eyebrows again head skyward..

                    ..and her tongue shred them..

                    ..i’d almost pay to hear that…

                • Draco T Bastard

                  So, what you’re saying is that only the rich should be heard and everyone else can shut up right?

                  • Gosman

                    Nope. Try again.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’ve read what you wrote:

                      This money will likely have to come disproportionately from the wealthy people who’s views you wish to reduce being heard or seen on this State funded media.

                      And, really, telling poor people to shut up and listen to their betters is exactly what that means.

                    • Gosman

                      Nope. Wrong again.

                    • North

                      In natural and unavoidable extension that’s exactly what you did say Gosman.

                      The wealthy are entitled to the pre-eminent voice in state-funded media – because they are wealthy and while they’re not paying for it were they paying for it they would be paying for it – (WTF ???)

                      Then you said were the pre-eminence of the voice of the wealthy disturbed you would abolish altogether the alternative voice or at least use funding cuts to effect restoration of the pre-eminence of the voice of the wealthy who are not paying for it but would be were they – (again WTF ???)

                      Routine obfuscation, dishonesty, and callow wrongheadedness from Gosman. And it’s delivered with a professorially straight face. Unbelievable !

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Except you require money to pay for this “balance”. This money will likely have to come disproportionately from the wealthy people who’s views you wish to reduce being heard or seen on this State funded media.

                  Don’t be a shite, the “wealthy” got this money from the rest of society and from government in the first place. It wasn’t theirs to start with.

                  Seems to me like you aren’t really interested in balance at all, unless it is balance tipped in favour of the top 1% to 2% of society.

                  • Gosman

                    Try pushing that view in the wider political arena and see where it gets you. I suspect that sort of class warfare talk will go down as well as a cup of cold sick with the wider electorate.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      We are pushing this message out to the wider electorate. We want true balance in the media, not the tilted playing field that you support.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Yes, pointing out that it’s the poor that pay for everything including for the rich to be rich is such a bad idea…

                      oh, wait, no it isn’t – it’s the truth.

    • mora dosen’t like being ‘called’ by guests..

      ..perhaps we will just see less and less mccabe..

      (and seriously..!..does mora even sometimes ‘feel’ like asking a question..?

      ..clowns like gibson trot out the most irredeemable -rubbish..

      ..and mora just nods-along..

      ..being ‘mr nice-guy’/unquestioning to everyone..

      ..no matter what rancid-muck they may spew into the airwaves..(c.f. gibson on waitangi yesterday..)

      ..as a broadcasting-tactic..it is way past its’ use-by date..

      ..and much more suited to garden-makeover shows..

    • Philip Ferguson 6.3

      Gibson was a member of the Socialist Action League in its first few years – it was founded in 1969 and I think he left around 1971.

      The SAL was very anti-Maoist. They were Trotskyists.

      It’s funny that these days he’s such a paranoid and crude right-winger. Given his background, he should know better and be a more sane, sophisticated right-winger (there are a few such creatures about).

      For several years I used to email him each July to ask him when that year’s Rich List was coming out and I’d add, “I like to keep up to date with what’s happening with the class enemy”.

      He did always email back and tell me when the next one was due out.

      I think he’s the only SALer that ended up a true believer in right-wing cargo-cult economics.

      Phil

      • Once was Tim 6.3.1

        “It’s funny that these days he’s such a paranoid and crude right-winger.”

        It’s a common phenomenon @PF, and I often wonder what causes it.
        It isn’t just marrying and settling down, having kuds and supposedly becoming ‘responsible’.
        It’s captured politicians, trade unionists and journalists alike. In my mind, most of them weren’t ekshully that principled to begin with. I mean I have NO doubt people like Toby Hill is probably rolling in his grave for starters – and with some of his kith and kin too, as well as those who built their careers claiming allegiance (and all the solidarity/fraternity/etc.)
        I think maybe they were just bullshit artists to begin with

    • Philip Ferguson 6.4

      Really right-wing women in positions of authority are an interesting phenomenon.

      They would still be shut out of a lot of these jobs if the left – the women’s liberation movement and socialist groups and individuals, progressive trade unionists and so on – hadn’t fought bloody hard for the doors to be open to women to move into the professions and better-paid jobs and into politics.

      You’d think they might be a little bit grateful to the women’s liberation movement and wider socialist left.

      But, not at all. They are every bit as grasping and nasty as their male counterparts, the very males who fought long and hard to keep women out of these roles!

      To me, the classic case was Condoleeza Rice. She only got to have the career she had because *leftists* fought bloody hard to end segregation, win civil rights for Afro-Americans and women. It wasn’t her buddies, the Bushes and Cheneys and Rumsfelds of the world, who fought, and in the process risked their lives, to achieve civil rights. They never gave a shit; indeed it was right-wing Republicans and the Dixiecrats who fought long and hard to keep blacks and women ‘in their place’.

      Phil

    • North 6.5

      Morrissey you surprise and disappoint me. You omit mention of Gibson’s silent sulk so loud one could hear it, notwithstanding the radio medium, bloody near see it.

      Discussion of Waitangi Day – bursting out in the most summary fashion and straight off the bat Gibson spat – “No No No !……I wouldn’t go……I object to the way it’s celebrated”. To the pedants I acknowledge, I paraphrase.

      That was it…….mercifully he buttoned his surly lip for the minutes of discussion thereafter. Truly it was the most extraordinary public sulk I’ve been witness to for a very long time. It was as though the mere mention of Waitangi Day was savagely offensive to this miserable up-himself prat !

  7. “..Sorry Islamophobes – this is about animal welfare – not religion..”

    (+ comment:..this is the fate we live-export our sheep to..)

    “..The images of sheep being tortured in a halal slaughterhouse should sicken us all –

    – and open a debate about how we treat livestock..”

    (cont..)

    http://whoar.co.nz/2015/sorry-islamophobes-this-is-about-animal-welfare-not-religion-comment-this-is-the-fate-we-live-export-our-sheep-to/

    • Gosman 7.1

      Unfortunately you cannot separate the two. The Quran is quite explicit on the correct way to slaughter animals for eating. Any other way is Haram. If you want them to stop then you need them to radically change their interpretation of their religion or all become Vegans. Which do you think would be easier to achieve?

      • phillip ure 7.1.1

        neither..

        (on second thoughts..the latter..)

        • Gosman 7.1.1.1

          I doubt very much you will convince too many Muslims to become Vegans. They believe Allah has willed it that certain animals should be available for humans to eat.

          • phillip ure 7.1.1.1.1

            as do most christians..

            • Gosman 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Not sure you can get that detail from the New Testament. Regardless Christianity (at least in the mainstream now) is less legalistic than Islam. In mainstream Islam (i.e. Sunni or Shia branches of the faith) you can’t really state that following the laws laid down in the Quaran is not important.

              • “..Not sure you can get that detail from the New Testament…”

                that dosen’t stop them claiming it does..

              • McFlock

                Because christianity is just the new testament /sarc

                Besides – loaves and fishes

                • Gosman

                  That is not an entirely wrong interpretation of Christianity. The very name New Testament suggests that it is replacing the older version that was in place up till then. I know many Christians take this view. The trouble for Islam is that they don’t really have the option for doing that. The closest they get is the concept of abrogation and unfortunately how the mainstream interpret that is not good news for a peaceful and tolerant faith.

                  • McFlock

                    lol
                    whatever, dude.

                    Your sleazy use of “many” vs “mainstream” to perpetuate hate would make Jesus want to kick you in the nuts.

                    • Gosman

                      Except there is little evidence suggesting he was ever a real person.

                    • McFlock

                      same can be said about you.

                    • Wrong G.
                      Most scholars accept that Jesus was a real person, but the myths that grew up around him (as recorded in scripture) are lacking independent evidence.

                    • “..Your sleazy use of “many” vs “mainstream” to perpetuate hate would make Jesus want to kick you in the nuts..”

                      heh..!

                    • Gosman

                      Outside the Bible there is very little external references to Jesus. Josephus mentions him I believe but actually focusing much more time on John the Baptist. The view is that John was a much more influential religious figure and the early Christian’s basically assimilated him in to their cannon.

                    • Gosman, I agree that fundamentalism of whatever stripe is deeply problematic, but it’s certainly not a problem exclusive to Islam.

                      Lumping all Muslims in with fundamentalist nutjobs (i.e. the MSM narrative) is simplistic bigotry. There are many ideologies in this world, none perfect. The holy books of religion speak to something transcendent in all humanity, and they are also deeply flawed, just like the human race.

                      Religion is used as a justification or whitewash for war, but rarely is it the true motive. The real motivations are injustice, economics, or political movements.

                      Reza Aslan is excellent on this topic.

                      I highly recommend John Ralston Saul’s “On Equilibrium” as an antidote to ideology.

                    • McFlock

                      Aslan’s book “How to win a cosmic war” is fucking awesome.

                  • It’s very hard to make broad statements like Gossie does about “Islam”, as it’s a global faith with followers in many nations and cultures and huge variation on how the religion is practiced. Ex-muslim Cenk Uygur explains it quite well.

                    • Gosman

                      Bollocks. Muslims try this tack all the time. Arguing that it is a decentralised faith with no real authority detailing what it stands for. The trouble is there used to be a central authority (The Caliphate) and that it set out quite early on what the faith stood for. This forms what is commonly regarded as the mainstream Islamic view.

                    • McFlock

                      And protestants once followed the Pope before splitting off .

                      If anything, Christianity by your measure is more centralised than Islam. Yet Christianity is okay because “many” Christians discard half of the Bible.

                    • Gossie. The “mainstream” practice of Islam is not a crazy jihad, although I’m sure that’s what you’re being paid to spread around. Muslims are people like us, who just want to mind their own business, look after their families, and live in peace with their neighbours.

                    • Gosman

                      Religious faiths such as Roman Catholicism and to a lesser extent the Eastern Orthodox religion don’t allow much individual interpretation of doctine. In that regard you are correct that they are more centralised. However Islam has imposed its own version of doctrine without the need of a central interpreter. The very concept of Islam means surrendering to Gods will as expressed in the teachings of the Quran. In that regard Islam is much more like the early Protestant movements which attempted to focus on the Bible and strip away the extras imposed by the Church hierarchy. Just as fundamentalist protestant churches can be extremely problematic so to is Islam.

                    • McFlock

                      “Many” Protestant churches might be problematically fundamentalist.
                      Would you say that “mainstream” Protestantism is problematically fundamentalist, gos?

                    • framu

                      “Roman Catholicism and …. Eastern Orthodox”

                      are – drum roll – sub sets of christianity – thanks for proving the points of others gos

                    • tricledrown

                      Gooseman is trying to ferment an alarmist backlash against Islamism in general.
                      Gooseman your a fundamentaly a fuckwit.
                      You know fuck all about fuck all.
                      A Right Wing lackey that can’t think for yourself.
                      Spreading pathetic gossip you should be writing fo Coro or Shortland st.
                      You know nothing about Islam nothing about the Palestine to Israel transition 1947 48.
                      When you put links up 99 out of a 100 times contradict your claims.
                      You rely on wikipedia a popularity post of history pushed often by lobby groups changing the truth to suit their view.
                      Just like you try and do here gooseman.
                      Ever since the cristian crusades western christian countries have been interfering in Muslim countries when Oil was discovered more colonial interference has continued.
                      Israel formerly Palestine was promised to both the Jews and Arabs by England afterWWI and WW2 England interfered again allowing mass migration of Jews from Europe ruining the peaceful coexistance of Palestinian Jews and Arabs.
                      The New immigrants started causing trouble and in the end were shooting British Military Police in a guerilla style using the public as human shields.
                      Had the British not let mass immigration their wouldn’t be the mess their is today.
                      The British gave the West Bank to Jordan and Gaza to Egypt part of Englands colonies.
                      Now we are facing the backlash of many centuries of judeo christian interference in the Middle East.
                      Arabs find Islam more suited to their culture.
                      While Christians call it another form of satanism Muslims call Christian infadels both Religions have the same origins.
                      The Judeo Chistians have had the upper hand in more recent times and have kept govts that are willing to collude with the West in power by undemocratic means leaving large sections of the Arab world in poverty.
                      Arabs have had enough and are fighting back!
                      The Wests other problem with Islam it is more Socialist especially around banking.
                      Where Christian Ideals about looking out for your fellow man have gone by the way now Christian countries follow the greed is good greed is great.
                      So the Rich and Powerful don’t want Islamic ideas on profit spreading and underming their Banking Cartels!

                    • Gosman

                      tricledrown, you are aware that the Muslim Arabs invaded Western Europe 300 years before the First Crusade aren’t you?

                    • tricledrown

                      Spain is not western Europe its just one country.

                    • Gosman

                      Ahhh…. no. You have obviously never heard of the Battle of Poitiers/Tours in the 8th Century

                    • McFlock

                      Ahhh, congratulations gos on a rather spectactular variation of the “labour did it too” argument.

                      Would you say that “mainstream” Protestantism is problematically fundamentalist, on the same basis that you criticise current-time Islam?

                    • Gosman

                      Not in most countries and most likely not the majority of the Protestant churches. Certainly they are far more activist in places like the United States which does cause problems in that country. Luckily they have checks and balances on the influence of Religion in the political sphere which makes them less of a risk. Islamic majority nations generally don’t have such checks and balances and indeed often imbed Islamic principles in their laws.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                      Gosman makes one big categorical statement about Islam, but when the same logic is applied to Protestantism he’s all “most countries”, “majority of Protestant churches”, yadda yadda.

                      But he’s not a bigot, no sirree /sarc

                • so let’s buy into their stories..

                  ..so we have this omniscient-being..

                  ..who decides one week to whip up this thing we call earth..

                  ..and all the wondrous-species on it..

                  ..and he/she/it decides/dictates that one of these species..(humans..)

                  ..shall ‘have dominion’ over all the other species..

                  ..and will have the right to torture/kill/do whatever they like..

                  ..with every other species..

                  ..(see..even when you buy into the big-story…that claimed/self-justifying detail does not stand up to scrutiny..

                  ..as clearly..no wise ‘god’ would do such a thing..)

              • Morrissey

                Christianity (at least in the mainstream now) is less legalistic than Islam.

                You’re obviously unaware of the nutcases that run the Anglican Church in Africa, and the ravers that appear on our TV screens every Sunday morning.

                • I think the point of difference is that Christianity has gone through the Reformation and other huge cultural movements to become part of modern “western european & american” culture. Some of the things we take for granted (aspects of human rights, democracy, secular education and government) have not yet been incorporated into (some) Islamic societies. However, others like Turkey, Indonesia, or Iran are relatively sophisticated and increasingly open to Western ideas.

                  On the other hand, (as Morrissey notes), novel re-interpretations of the Christian faith proliferate, which lack the veneer of modern civilisation.

                  • Clemgeopin

                    I agree.
                    We should hope that the fundamentalist ultra orthodox backward ruthless strict sects do not take over the establishment and democratic ideas in the three more modern countries you mentioned.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        If you want them to stop then you need them to radically change their interpretation of their religion or all become Vegans.

        Nope. You need to address why the laws were there and why they’re no longer needed in a developed country with rules regarding testing for disease etc.

      • b waghorn 7.1.3

        I went through a halal certified works recently and I can assure you the lambs being slaughtered were stunned in a very efficient manner before the throat was slit.

    • adam 7.2

      The old practice in the freezing works here in the killing of our lamb, hogget, and mutton was more humane. It was quick and, it was less stress for the animals. Halal is slow, and more stressful for animals. I remember as a kid, and talking to my father recently – when the Halal butchers came over in the 80’s that many freezing workers on the chain were not happy about the killing method at the time.

      I wonder how Muslims feel that a religious practice has become a corporate model for maximum profits with not a care for animal welfare?

      • nadis 7.2.1

        Given that the religious practice illustrates “not a care for animal welfare” in the first place, the fact corporates uses the same practice likely means nothing negative to muslims. They are probably pleased to be able to buy halal meat cheaply.

        The real issue here is that medieval practices are being used in the 21st century. Lets introduce a few more like stoning, witchcraft trials, feudalism, duels, defecating out windows onto the street, jousting, treating women and children as chattels etc into society too. Some of them sound quite fun.

        I struggle with the concept that religious free(or the bible for that matter) but I’m suspicious that a lot of religious traditions could be more aptly described as cultural baggage.

    • Rosie 7.3

      phillip. In 2009 I wrote to the then Minister for Agriculture, David Carter about the inhumane conditions for sheep on board ships being sent from NZ ports, around the world for Halal slaughter.

      I no longer have the response, (which by the way took 2 months to arrive) so I can’t quote it. I lost all my poli comms, along with all other files in a crash of an old and tired machine.

      What struck me, at that time, was the response from one of his staffer’s. There was a sentiment of “we don’t give a flying fuck” towards animal welfare. I got a spiel about the importance of the $$$ terms of such trade for NZ, as well as a petulant “Labour did it too”.

      There should be a sub heading for agriculture beneath the “drill it, mine it, sell it” slogan. “milk it, kill it” to sum up the NZ Govt’s indifference to animal welfare and our environment. As long as money can be made it doesn’t matter what harm is done.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1

        here should be a sub heading for agriculture beneath the “drill it, mine it, sell it” slogan. “milk it, kill it” to sum up the NZ Govt’s indifference to animal welfare and our environment. As long as money can be made it doesn’t matter what harm is done.

        QFT

    • nadis 7.4

      A fair number of European countries (Denmark, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway etc) have banned religious defined slaughter on the grounds it is inhumane.

      Whereas in the UK, the right to inhumanely slaughter animals is regarded as a human right.

  8. RTM 8

    While the NZ Herald was dehumanising the bonded labourers who come to New Zealand under the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, a group of artists were staging a celebration of the Pacific Island working class in a gallery in the middle of New Zealand’s most redneck town:
    http://eyecontactsite.com/2015/02/lost-in-the-job

    • Molly 8.1

      Yep, that’s my town alright.

      The landscape and the activity provides a vivid canvas for pictures.
      My son enjoys photography, and we couldn’t think of a respectful way to ask if we could take photos to get a series together. (Although next year we might be flush enough to take cold drinks and food along with the request.)

      The pickers have been out in the searing heat, and whole families come along to do the job, and are there from dawn to dusk and sometimes beyond, turning their headlights on to finish off. The are provided with port-a-loos, which sometimes don’t look very level or stable.

      The kids either join in, or wait under whatever sparse shade there is, and in grower’s fields that is very little. They seem to occupy themselves but it would be a strange school holiday for many.

      I don’t know about the pay or working conditions, but they do appear to work incredibly hard.

      (And wish I had read Scott Hamilton’s piece earlier, I would have gone into the gallery to check it out).

    • Jenny Kirk 8.2

      + 100%

  9. Belladonna 9

    That article on the halal slaughterhouse is sickening but the carnivores will stick their heads in the sand as usual and think because they dont eat halal lamb it doesnt apply to them.

    • weka 9.1

      and the fundamentalist vegans will continue to abandon animals to their fate.

      • marty mars 9.1.1

        I don’t understand what you mean by that.

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          Changes to animal welfare will come when enough meat eaters start making ethical meat eating choices. Stopping eating meat, while laudable for other reasons, leaves the animals to the ethics of the meat eaters, most of whom don’t care enough to change and look at the fundamentalist vegans as crazy people.

          Obviously animal rights activist are very important in changes too. I think too many of the people who are vegan that think the whole world should be vegan, and who are basically intolerant fundamentalists make the problem worse (I don’t included you in that, for what I hope are obvious reasons) eg swapping beef and lamb for imported monsanto soy is not a solution to animal welfare issues, because the same mentality that treats animals badly treats plants and ecosystems badly too.

          Judgemental patronising comments like Belladonna’s just turn people off food ethics entirely.

            • phillip ure 9.1.1.1.1.1

              gee..!..there’s a surprise..!

              • Do you have something intelligent to contribute or are you just continuing your bizarre harassment of weka through me?

                • i usually ignore weka as much as possible..

                  ..but when she comes out with batshit-crazy/weird stuff about ‘vegans abandoning animals’..

                  ..and then gives a condescending ‘you’re dumb!’ sneer when i ask if she could explain this weird statement..

                  ..so i reacted to that..

                  ..weka..like alan..follows me around..

                  ..you could well be mistaking bettering for ‘harrassment’..

                  ..in fact..i will try even harder to ignore her..

                  ..(starting with not responding to her most recent ad-hom – at the bottom of this thread’..)

                  • The Al1en

                    “i usually ignore weka as much as possible….but when she comes out with batshit-crazy/weird stuff about ‘vegans abandoning animals’….and then gives a condescending ‘you’re dumb!’ sneer when i ask if she could explain this weird statement….so i reacted to that..
                    ..weka..like alan..follows me around….you could well be mistaking bettering for ‘harrassment’….in fact..i will try even harder to ignore her….(starting with not responding to her most recent ad-hom – at the bottom of this thread’..)”

                    …Parklife…

                  • and my lack of surprise –

                    – was a throwaway-comment referring to the fact u do not seem to have the warmest feelings towards moi…

                    ..that is all..

                    ..and should you see some offence in it..

                    ..i will withdraw it..

                    ..(y’know..!..that power-(im)balance thang again..?..).

                    • The Al1en

                      “– was a throwaway-comment referring to the fact u do not seem to have the warmest feelings towards moi…”

                      Hardly fair singling one out from the many.

                      “..i will withdraw it….(y’know..!..that power-(im)balance thang again..?..).”

                    • Yes, shockingly I “don’t have warm feelings” about men who harass a woman just because they can’t handle her disagreeing with them/can’t handle her paying other men attention. 🙄

                      weka explained her point perfectly clearly in reply to marty mars. You can disagree with her premise but this “she never explains anything and you just hate me because you’re friends with her” rubbish is a bit sad.

                    • “..men who harass a woman just because they can’t handle her disagreeing with them/can’t handle her paying other men attention..”

                      whoar..!

                      ..are u serious..?

                      ..i have absolutely no problem with ‘women who disagree with me’..on a gender-basis..

                      ..and the ‘paying other men attention’ claim has me picking my jaw up off the floor..

                    • factcheck:..

                      i am a male who raised my daughter as a solo-dad in the 70’s-80’s…

                      (..there wasn’t a lot of that going on around then..)

                      (and if having a daughter doesn’t make you a feminist..you are fucken brain-dead..)

                      ..it incenses me that u try to paint me as some woman-hating reactionary..

                      ..as i have supported the cause of feminism/equal-rights since day one..

                      ..(a reader/supporter of broadsheet..)

                      ..and here’s one for ya..

                      ..i’l l betcha i’ve read/enjoyed more germaine greer than u have..

                      ..read ‘the change’ ..yet..?

                      ..i recommend it..

                      ..one of her best…

                    • The Al1en

                      “factcheck:….i’l l betcha i’ve read/enjoyed more germaine greer than u have..”

                      Well that settles it 😆

                      Phillip, calm down, it’s embarrassing to watch.

                      ‘Did aliens protect our planet from being destroyed by a nuclear meltdown?’

                      😆

                  • You seem to be following her around phil.

                    imo alan and weka are quite opposite in their motivation and the way they express themselves.

                    I think you are peeved because weka doesn’t agree with you – others do agree in part or full with you – as they do with weka.

                    I’m lucky because I quite like both of you – not so much that alan – quite disappointed he came back after his nasty spiteful exit but as Mr Young says “keep on rocking in the free world…”

          • Rosie 9.1.1.1.2

            weka. The push for change to our animal welfare codes has to come from every corner if we are to succeed. That means it has to come from meat eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. Our dietary choices shouldn’t dictate whether we should or shouldn’t advocate for change, and consumer power alone is not enough to create change. It is our conscience that should drive us.

            After being vegetarian for 30 years I started up with fish again. Officially, I’m a pescatarian. I also buy free range meat for the meat eating members of our household. (One cat, one human). I feel no different now, as a fish eater about the importance of advocating for more humane methods of farming, as I did all those years ago as a teenager, when I first went vego. Same goes for the fishing industry.

            I agree that cropping of GE soy, as a protein alternate, isn’t the answer either. This is also part of the “Big Food” agenda that suppresses the ability for us to choose how we eat.

            (Good thing we grow GE free soy beans in Nelson then isn’t it 🙂 )

            And P.S If we had voted in a Labour/Green government wouldn’t we be looking at the phasing out of battery farming by 2017? We need that political will to change the status quo too, as well as consumer power. Right now, the political will doesn’t exist.

            • weka 9.1.1.1.2.1

              Thanks Rosie, I pretty much agree with all of that 🙂

              I’m excited about the increase in variety of crops being grown in NZ. Am semi-veg myself (after being full veg for several decades then eating a lot of animals for 5 years to regain some of my health), so always grateful for an increase in locally produced veg food. However, monocropping via industrial agriculture in NZ is a small step up from importing it from China or the US. Not sure about the Nelson soy, but most grain and legume cropping in NZ is not being done sustainably. This is where the fundamentalist vegan argument falls down.

              • Rosie

                Re the NZ grown soy beans. (Motueka in fact, I was wrong) They aren’t organically grown but the owners of soyworks do intend to go down this path once they get their own land.

                “Under its previous owners, Soy Works tofu was made using organic Chinese or Australian soybeans, a label that has been dropped. Mr Dalzell’s soybeans aren’t organic because his land is leased and it takes money and time to become certified.

                Miss Rowley says becoming organic is a goal, but it won’t happen until they can buy a block of land themselves. She also believes her partner’s soybeans taste, look and smell better than overseas ones, and that using beans produced just down the road is ultimately more sustainable than shipping them from China, organically grown or not.”

                http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/lifestyle-entertainment/lifestyle/4881941/Soy-business-takes-new-tack

                I understand Urban Hippie also use their beans in the miso they produce.

                One thing about growing crops more sustainably here is the issue of competition from cheaper overseas organically grown crops. One example. I remember from my time working in the organic industry (retail and distribution) that local production of organic oats dropped dramatically once NZ started importing much cheaper Canadian grown organic oats.

                Even in our small organic industry here in NZ, globalisation still has an impact.

                • weka

                  that’s cool, thanks. I’ve heard about that guy but didn’t realise he was in Mot. I agree with them about local non-organic vs imported organic, esp as they’re wanting to head in the organic direction anyway.

                  Yummmmm, miso.

                • nadis

                  I’d be quite skeptical about “Organic Chinese Soyabeans”…….. Slap on a label, triple your margin.

                  • Clemgeopin

                    Similar to this present National government : Copy a few Labour party social polices for the ‘under class’, but triple the pro-wealthy right wing nasty policies.

                  • weka

                    “I’d be quite skeptical about “Organic Chinese Soyabeans”…….. Slap on a label, triple your margin.”

                    For precisely this reason organics have international standards. eg IFOAM have been in existence for over 40 years and certify the national certifiers in each country. It’s true that some govts are trying to undermine organic certification in order to make the market money, but in that regard I’d be as concerned about the US as I would about China. Wholesalers in NZ and most retailers are aware of the issue, so it’s more about whether you trust them.

                    http://www.ifoam.bio/en/ifoam-family-standards

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Federation_of_Organic_Agriculture_Movements

          • marty mars 9.1.1.1.3

            Thanks

            For some, meat eating is fundamentally unethical, no matter which way they are killed or how much the animals have a human-determined happy life.

            Food ethics is a very important issue because it is entangled in so much – from capitalism to commodification, from land use to sustainability.

            I think that the same mentality that treats animals badly treats people badly as well as ecosystems – i don’t go for the plants angle myself.

            I hope that food ethics can be discussed without ‘personalities’ or dug-in positions but that may not be possible. It is a tough issue.

            • weka 9.1.1.1.3.1

              Thanks marty. I wish we could have food ethics conversations, esp regarding the politics and the context of CC, but I also think this may not be possible.

      • phillip ure 9.1.2

        “..the fundamentalist vegans will continue to abandon animals to their fate..”

        cd u plse explain that..?

        ..and how the fuck it makes any sense at all..?

  10. Now if the Booker were the America’s Cup:

    http://www.metromag.co.nz/metro-archive/key-pledges-36m-eleanor-catton-defend-booker-prize/#comment-337215

    First published in the December 2013 issue of Metro.

    Prime Minister John Key today pledged the government would fund $36 million towards Eleanor Catton’s defence of the Man Booker Prize.

    Mr Key said it was in New Zealand’s interests that Catton, 28, repeat her “stunning” win of the world’s most celebrated literary award.

    “We’ve all got to get behind Ellie,” he said. “She brought the nation together and gave us that ‘feel-good’ factor which certain other allegedly top performers manifestly failed to do.

    • Murray Rawshark 10.1

      The contrast is stark. As far as I’m concerned, getting so many Kiwis behind the rich pricks’ boat race was a bigger con job than the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

  11. Ovid 11

    There’s a new Harper Lee novel coming out in July. To Kill a Mockingbird had a big impact in shaping my view of the world when I read it at 15 – especially around justice, fairness and race. We could stand to have a few more Atticuses (Atticii?) in the world.

    • alwyn 11.1

      When I started to read this my reaction was something like “Damn, her estate has allowed her name to be used by some hack”, rather like the sequels to “Gone With The Wind” or the James Bond books.
      But it is really by her, after a lag of about 60+ years. I had assumed she was dead.
      This I am going to have to read.

      I wonder what are the chances that someone will find a second novel by Boris Pasternak, or Emily Bronte? There might even be a second novel by Keri Hulme somewhere out there.

      • Grant 11.1.1

        What would her “estate” have to do with the matter when she is alive and well and making her own decisions?

        • “Making her own decisions” is apparently not a guaranteed factor in this publication.

        • alwyn 11.1.1.2

          “Alive and well”.
          So I discovered. As I said though for some reason I had assumed she was dead.
          She actually isn’t that old either. It was only the wording about the “new Harper Lee novel” and my mistaken opinion about her being no longer alive that made me think what I did.
          I’m glad I was wrong.

    • David H 11.2

      From what I could gather from the news was that this book was written 50 years ago but she was advised not to publish it by her editor.

      /blockquote In the mid-1950s, I completed a novel called `Go Set a Watchman,'” the 88-year-old Lee said in a statement issued by Harper. “It features the character known as Scout as an adult woman, and I thought it a pretty decent effort. My editor, who was taken by the flashbacks to Scout’s childhood, persuaded me to write a novel (what became `To Kill a Mockingbird’) from the point of view of the young Scout.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.3

      hmmmm, may have to go read To Kill a Mockingbird

  12. ianmac 12

    Oh Boy! Up the stakes Mr Little. Crash or Soar Andrew! Breaking news?

    “Labour leader Andrew Little believes John Key is lying about when he first knew of allegations concerning former MP Mike Sabin.

    Mr Little told RadioLive this morning he did not accept the Prime Minister would not have known about the allegations before his chief of staff told the Prime Minister’s office on November 26.

    “I don’t accept what [Mr Key]’s saying, I don’t believe he’s telling the truth… [he is] a liar,” Mr Little said.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11396354

    • marty mars 12.1

      I was just going to post that ianmac

      This is what we want from little – get in keys face and he will bullshit even more and then that can be shown to be lies too and lo the actual unwinding of the costumekey accelerates.

      key is the leftshark and his choreographer must be spewing!

    • alwyn 12.2

      I think we really need someone to go through Little’s various statements to try and identify “What did Little know and when did he know it?”. Examples of his confusion include.

      A couple of days ago Little was quite sure his office notified Key on 28 November, and there was a file note to prove it. I suspect someone pointed out to him that 28 November was a Friday, that he wasn’t in the office and neither was Key, and that if he claimed to have a file note reporters would demand to see it. It would also mean that Key couldn’t possibly have heard about it until the next Monday, which was in December.
      Suddenly there was no file note and he brought the date forward to 26 November. What evidence does he have? Well none really, just a list that says someone in his office rang the PMs office. Topic? Person? nothing identified.

      On National Radio this morning he was asked who had told his office about the affair. He claimed he didn’t know who they were. Then about 10 seconds later he was gaily claiming that they weren’t MPs and had nothing to do with Parliament.
      If he didn’t know who they were how could he possibly know that? The interviewer from Red-radio let him get away with it of course.

      Come on Andy. If you are going to tell tales at least try and make them consistent.

      • Molly 12.2.1

        Do you really expect the leader of the Labour Party to have full and accurate recall of a situation with the informing of a National Party situation, when the PM himself is unable to recall broad timelines?

        Don’t misdirect the issue.

        The problem lies with:
        1. Mike Sabin
        2. The PM
        3. National party officials and members who knew about this prior to the election and who did not raise enough concern about continuing with Mike Sabin as candidate.

      • McFlock 12.2.2

        Even if you hadn’t heard that cellphones let people tell political leaders stuff on a weekend, there’s a major difference between being within a couple of days when the even was weeks ago and being a full month out.

        As for the national radio thing – I suspect that even morrissey has more accurate recollections about what was said on a radio program than you do. Time of broadcast?

        • alwyn 12.2.2.1

          The interview with Little was in Morning Report at about 7.50am
          About 1 minute in he says he doesn’t know who the people were. Then he talks about who they aren’t. Then he waffles.
          http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20165995
          I fear that Andrew’s problem is they he will say anything, regardless of the truth of what he is talking about and then has to reverse ground when Matt has words with him.

          • McFlock 12.2.2.1.1

            He said he didn’t know the exact sources. He did know that the information came in twice “clearly from independent sources”. Not people “in Parliament or Parliamentary precincts”.
            “[…] it was clear to me the allegations had been around for some time. My office wasn’t the first to know of them“.

            q: “were they anonymous”
            a: “I’ll have to go back and have a look at what the record was , I was notified that two messages came in raising the same information”.

            Seems to me that if it was two walk-ins/phone calls to electorate offices up north, that would fit the bill. It would also explain why the contact logs weren’t at his fingertips.

          • framu 12.2.2.1.2

            “About 1 minute in he says he doesn’t know who the people were. Then he talks about who they aren’t.”

            thats not neccessarily illogical

            eg: little might not know the identity of the source but he might know that its not an MP

            That thing in your hand is a straw – if you look down theres a few more you can grab

      • Draco T Bastard 12.2.3

        A couple of days ago Little was quite sure his office notified Key on 28 November, and there was a file note to prove it.

        You mean like this?

        Late yesterday afternoon Little’s office produced the phone logs that proved McCarten made the call to Eagleson a week earlier than Key claimed – on November 26.

        And there’s no way that Key wasn’t told on the same day (if he didn’t already know) as it’s just too explosive.

        Still, Vance keeps plugging for the Key meme:

        Critics and politicos can fulminate all they want, but Key knows the public switched off to this convoluted story as soon as Sabin exited stage left.

        No, that was when the public sat up and took notice and realised that the smoke really indicate fire.

        • alwyn 12.2.3.1

          You do remember that Andrew Little claimed that there would be a file note in his office don’t you?

          Then he came out with this little tale, reported on Stuff

          “Just before 3pm today, Little gave a press conference saying he couldn’t verify claims he made contradicting Key. He said that didn’t matter – he didn’t believe Key, and says he should have immediately stepped Sabin down.

          More than an hour later, the party supplied journalists with a telephone log which they say shows McCarten called Eagleson at 11.20am on November 26 and left a message. Eagleson returned the call 18 minutes later.”

          They showed the “evidence” of the phone log on TV. There was absolutely nothing on it except that there were phone calls from unidentified people to other unidentified people with no indication of content. However Andy says that it was about Sabin and we all believe him because Andy is never mistaken about anything. Doesn’t matter anyway he says, because he doesn’t believe Key, so there!

          • framu 12.2.3.1.1

            yeah big deal, crime of the freaken century stuff there mate

            Its a really small matter next to the fact by keys own admission (take whatever version you like) he let sabin stay on the law and order SC AFTER he knew he was being investigated by the police

            and then theres the NBR calling BS on keys versions of events as well as pretty much everyone in northland

            give it up alwyn – its lame

            the issue is key and sabin not little

            • North 12.2.3.1.1.1

              Tell you what Alwyn, the narrative “Key’s a bullshitter !” is more and more entrenched every day. You know it. Suspension of disbelief is ultimately bad for your health. Give yourself a break.

              • alwyn

                But I quite like visiting this blog-site.
                As long as I don’t upset any of the people running it too much I intend to continue doing so.
                I bet there are at least 100 people who comment here and would agree with your narrative about John Key, but I can stand reading them without hurting myself by laughing too much.
                The real suspension of belief was actually commentators here last year who were absolutely certain that the polls were rubbish and that the left were going to win the election easily.

                [lprent: I haven’t noticed your behaviour being an issue for quite some time. ]

          • Draco T Bastard 12.2.3.1.2

            Call logs have phone numbers, phone numbers can be traced as to who they belong to.

            And I doubt if anyone in Labour is calling up National to just have a chin-wag.

          • Murray Rawshark 12.2.3.1.3

            Do you get paid much for this, alwyn? It’s not your best effort.

      • framu 12.2.4

        so this is an issue for you – but key changing his story, on a daily basis, again – isnt?

        really dumb diversion – because thats all it can be – your moaning about this while ignoring that the PM is obviously lying

      • Tracey 12.2.5

        Can you point me to your analysis of Keys changes of stories?

  13. Ennui 13

    Sport. ..sport…sport. Hides a plethora of social attitudes. Mark Reason in today’s Stuff.co.nz has written a column about the casual racialist of sport. In particular about how the greatest women’s player doesn’t pass muster for white America.

    All very sad as it diminishes the pleasure spectators enjoy watching Serena stepping up the pace. It demeans her stature as the closest America has come to producing another Ali. All because she is black and a woman. Very sad.

    • nadis 13.1

      And yet a recent survey of Americans has this listing for America’s most popular female athletes:

      http://wallstcheatsheet.com/sports/the-7-most-popular-female-athletes-in-america.html/?a=viewall

      Serena does amazingly well (in terms of US interest) given that tennis of any sort doesn’t capture the interest of the USA except at US open time. But even then not too many people care. Last year the US open was shown on CBS and rated 1.4% which in US terms is death. This year the coverage has gone from CBS to ESPN. Lets face it, most people find tennis boring.

      Reason often writes sensationalist crap.

    • Tracey 13.2

      and then calls it the 50 Shades of Serena Williams and misses the irony of his sexism

      • nadis 13.2.1

        he also refersto people as “girl” which my adult daughters indicated to me was not as funny as I thought.

        I’ve just re-read the article – honestly it is a pile of shite thats not logically consistent. Serena is the most widely known female atlete in the US, the highest earning female athlete ever, and the fact that she has plenty of high profile endorsements would all indicate to me that she is pretty well liked. Companies don’t hire celebrity endorsers who the public don’t like. Check out Lance Armstrong post confession or Michael Vick or plenty of other unlikeable celebrity/athletes.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    Is this why we keep getting a National govt?

    Believing that life is fair makes you a terrible person

    Hune-Brown cites another recent bit of evidence for the phenomenon: people with a strong belief in a just world, he reports, are more likely to oppose affirmative action schemes intended to help women or minorities. You needn’t be explicitly racist or sexist to hold such views, nor committed to a highly individualistic political position (such as libertarianism); the researchers controlled for those. You need only cling to a conviction that the world is basically fair. That might be a pretty naive position, of course – but it’s hard to argue that it’s a hateful one. Similar associations have been found between belief in a just world and a preference for authoritarian political leaders. To shield ourselves psychologically from the terrifying thought that the world is full of innocent people suffering, we endorse politicians and policies more likely to make that suffering worse.

    The right-wing are definitely authoritarian and engage in victim-blaming.

  15. weka 15

    Thanks to the people in the Hokianga for protesting oil exploration.

    http://www.maoritelevision.com/news/regional/hokianga-protest-sparks-over-oil-exploration

  16. David H 16

    Test to see if this thing STILL thinks I am SPAM

  17. David H 17

    There is something seriously wrong here.

    It’s taking way too long to loaad pages
    the Edit function don’t work
    and when I tried to reply to a message without logging in it gave me some random thing and called me Spam.

  18. Philip Ferguson 18

    Some material on the PFLP, the leading secular, radical-left Palestinian movement:
    PFLP leader Khalida Jarrar: boycott Knesset elections, oppose UN resolution: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/pflp-leader-khalida-jarrar-boycott-knesset-elections-oppose-un-resolution/
    PFLP says Palestinian capitalists are the 1% who confiscate 100% of Palestinian decision-making: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/pflp-palestinian-capitalists-are-the-1-who-confiscate-100-of-palestinian-decision-making/
    PFLP rejects proposed recognition of fake ‘Palestinian state’: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/12/30/pflp-rejects-proposed-recognition-of-fake-palestinian-state/
    PFLP statement on 47th anniversary of its founding: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/12/19/pflp-statement-on-47th-anniversary-of-its-founding/
    For a world free of racism, colonialism, imperialism, oppression and capitalist exploitation – PFLP message to eirigi conference: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/12/01/for-a-world-that-is-free-of-racism-colonialism-imperialism-oppression-and-capitalist-exploitation-pflp-message-to-eirigi-conference/
    PFLP on 97th anniversary of Balfour Declaration – Zionist state remains illegitimate: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/pflp-on-97th-anniversary-of-balfour-declaration-zionist-state-remains-illegitimate/

  19. Morrissey 19

    Republican voters at play…

  20. fisiani 20

    Good news to cheer you up.

    [
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1502/S00030/strong-job-growth-and-record-labour-market-participation.htm
    This is a Steven Joyce propaganda press release.
    ]

    The latest labour market data shows continuing strong employment growth with 80,000 more jobs added to the New Zealand economy in the last year.

    Today’s Household Labour Force Survey shows employment was up by 1.2 per cent – 28,000 people – in the December quarter and up by 3.5 per cent in the last year.

    [deleted]

    [lprent: You know the rules. Quote segments and link. I corrected it for you ]

    • freedom 20.1

      regarding any and all figures from the Household Labour Force Survey:
      One hour of paid work a week is not employment.

      and your 80,000 more jobs figure came from where exactly?
      remember fisiani,
      the number of new job listings does not equate to the number of new jobs available

    • Clemgeopin 20.2

      ““The other striking element in this jobs report is the record high participation in the labour market of 69.7 per cent. This participation rate increase means that unemployment rises slightly to 5.7 per cent despite the strong job growth.”

      This participation rate increase means that unemployment rises slightly to 5.7 per cent despite the strong job growth. ??

      Participation INCREASE = Unemployment RISE??

      What!?

      • Typical National tactic at the moment: just talk up the numbers without context or explanation. “Participation is up, everything’s great!” “There are more jobs, please ignore the fact there’s also more people trying to get them!”

    • Tracey 20.3

      how many jobs gone over the same period

  21. Clemgeopin 21

    I just received this email from the Labour party education spokesperson, Chris Hipkins:

    You won’t believe this.

    The government’s planning to make cuts to the National Library, which will mean teachers will no longer be able to request educational books for the children in their classes.

    Last year, nearly a million books were sent to our kids to read. Stopping our kids from receiving these vital educational books will damage both their learning and education.

    But the service hasn’t been stopped yet – and the government’s plans are coming under intense criticism.

    If we act quickly, and in our thousands, we can show publicly how strongly mums, dads, grandparents, teachers and other Kiwis feel about this vital service being cut. That will heap pressure on the government which could even force them to scrap their plans.

    Will you sign an open letter to Peter Dunne, the Minister responsible, asking him to stop his cuts to the National Library and keep the service providing our school kids with their educational books?

    We’ll then send the letter to Peter Dunne, along with the signatures of everyone who signs it. It will make quite an impact when it lands on his desk – and the more people who sign it, the louder the thump will be!

    The proposals are so concerning that the School Library Association of New Zealand wrote a letter to the National Library saying the scrapping of the service would have a negative impact on teaching and learning, and that it was was “disheartened” by the change.

    Stopping our school kids’ access to books makes no sense at all.

    Thanks,

    Chris Hipkins
    Labour Education Spokesperson

    PS: You can read more about the Government’s plans on the Stuff website.
    PPS: Here’s the text of the open letter in full:

    Dear Peter Dunne,
    Please do not cut school children’s access to National Library books.

    The service is vital for educating our school children. Last year, 16,000 teachers made 40,000 requests for almost a million hard-copy items via the Curriculum Topic Support Service.

    Please reconsider your plans in light of the huge opposition to your proposed cuts, which includes the School Library Association of New Zealand, and thousands of parents, grandparents and teachers – many of whom have signed this letter below.

    Thank you.

    ———————-
    Click here to add your signature to the letter.

    P.S :
    I can’t get the link to work, as I have already signed and link disappears! If any of you have the link, please post it here. Thanks.

    • fisiani 21.1

      This is a Chris Hipkins propaganda press release. You know the rules……..

      [lprent: There is no rule against propaganda. There is a rule against dumping generally available and possibly copyrighted content on the site. It is often used as a technique to boost google scores.

      The implementation of the rule is that if I drop quoted paragraphs out of the missive into google as quotes, then I shouldn’t be able to find the document already available online. I didn’t find this one online when I saw it. I did find yours at scoop and on the National party website (which is where I suspect you read it) in the top two links.

      You easily can’t link to something that isn’t ‘visible’. You can when it is in the top of the first page of google.

      This is incidentally why Penny Bright’s missives get through the filter. They don’t appear to exist elsewhere until after they get on our site. It is either bad SEO or this is her primary outlet. ]

      • The email is not publicly available/linkable the way a press release is. And yeah, shockingly on a leftwing blog we’re more interested in hearing about leftwing campaigns than in having to scroll past a dump of Steven Joyce’s spin.

      • Clemgeopin 21.1.2

        That is not a propaganda press release you idiot. It is a political campaign to alert the people of this country to the evil designs of the pro rich and anti less-privileged people of this country being unleashed by this sleazy, lying crap of a myopic right wing rogue government.

        That email was sent to all the Labour party members including me to sign and shame this stupid penny wise pound foolish government.

        The email was based on facts. There are no distortions or lies in that email unlike the Joyce propaganda piece you posted distorting jobs and unemployment figures.

        You did not even bother to respond to my reply to your comment when I said, at 20.2 :

        “The other striking element in this jobs report is the record high participation in the labour market of 69.7 per cent. This participation rate increase means that unemployment rises slightly to 5.7 per cent despite the strong job growth.”

        This participation rate increase means that unemployment rises slightly to 5.7 per cent despite the strong job growth. ??

        Participation INCREASE = Unemployment RISE??

        What!?

        Anyway, take a look at this link and do something worth while like supporting it

  22. Tracey 23

    this from the Greens and the possibility that NZ is hosting a Sri Lankan wanted for war crimes. I havent checked any of the assertions.

    “… I’d like to invite you to a presentation I’m hosting with the National Council of New Zealand Tamils at the University of Auckland.

    I’ve been working closely with the Tamil community to raise awareness about what happened during the war in Sri Lanka as well as the fact that we still do not have truth or justice.

    The Government invited Sri Lanka’s former President Rajapaksa – accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity – to come to Aotearoa New Zealand for the ICC Cricket World cup. In response, I’ll be hosting my own guest: renowned author and journalist Trevor Grant. A former sports reporter for Australia’s The Age and Herald Sun Newspapers, he also recently published Sri Lanka’s Secrets: How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away with Murder.

    Please come to Trevor’s presentation and to hear eye witness accounts from Dr N. Malathy and Green MP Jan Logie about their time in Sri Lanka.

    When: Thursday 12th February, 6.00pm
    Where: Algie Lecture Theatre, University of Auckland Faculty of Law, City Campus, entrance via 9 Eden Cres.”

  23. b waghorn 24

    Winston s making noise’s of standing in the north if he was to split the vote surely it would help Labour s chances.

  24. Rodel 25

    Just considering the implications of (grinning) Winston hinting that he might stand in the electorate vacated by Mr Sabin and Is there an opening for Labour or anyone else to take away National’s tiny majority?
    Could be an interesting by- election if Little has a cuppa with Winston.

    • rawshark-yeshe 25.1

      Have that cuppa Andrew !

      The irony of Winston winning would be delicious and so productive for the country by weakening Key’s majority.

      And I well remember the irony of Muldoon’s filthy attack via SIS on Colin Moyle and his subsequent resignation — which of course saw David Lange into parliament for the first time as MP for Mangere… and the rest is history.

      Not sure why, but this brings it all to mind ‘cos I enjoy it when justice diligently trumps filthy politics and all their tricks with the natural law of unintended consequences ….

      Go Winston !

      • b waghorn 25.1.1

        And if Winston wins how long would it take key to offer him the baubles of office there by strengthening the nats.

        • Chooky 25.1.1.1

          wouldnt take Key long at all…but I dont think Winston would go for the hook

          • b waghorn 25.1.1.1.1

            You have more faith in the old falla than I do.

          • Clemgeopin 25.1.1.1.2

            No one can ever second guess Winston. One can only be certain if Winston explicitly says so, but I doubt he will for various political reasons which will be perfectly valid and advantageous to him.

            It will be interesting how this bi-election plays out. If the opposition play it well with maximum effort, work very hard and with smart strategy, they do have an even chance to bring this sleazy disgraceful government down.

            There may even be a small chance that a few disgruntled/scorned National MPs that may do the unexpected and pull the dirt-hiding-rotten-rug that is lying perilously under the more and more slippery Key. Never say never.

      • Chooky 25.1.2

        +100 rawshark-yeshe

    • nadis 25.2

      tiny majority?

      • lprent 25.2.1

        National are short by one vote.

        They do have four puppet MPs, three of whom occasionally disagree with National and Act of course is operated by National more rigidly with a ideological levers rather than strings.

        So in a parliament of currently 120 seats, they have 59 National, 2 Maori party, 1 Peter Dunne, and the hologram from Act. National’s tiny majority is 63 votes at best, usually against 57.

        Bearing in mind the rate that National has lost MP’s in the last few terms, I suspect they will be lucky to make it to the end of the term as government.

        Don’t tell me you are on of those idiots who is still thinking in terms of National / Labour. Surely even a meathead conservative must have realised that 17 years ago we changed our electoral system.

    • Weepus beard 26.1

      Really?

      It’s socialist policy, is it?

      Not the deliberate scuppering of the oil price by powerful Western interests?

      You are either blind, or stupid. Which is it?

    • Gosman 26.2

      If you think the West controls the oil price you are deluded. Opec has far more say in it. Venezuela is a member of Opec.

      Venezuelan oil production has been declining over the past few years despite the high price of oil prior to now. Why do you think that is?

      If you read the article you will see that most of the benefits from the windfall of high oil prices over the past few years have been squandered by the spendthrift policies of the Chavista regime. I certainly don’t see Norway running out of toilet paper and medicines.

      • Molly 26.2.1

        You really do have a great interest in toilet paper Gosman.

        Pretty sure you have run this line about toilet paper deprivation several times in the last couple of weeks.

        Are you really that concerned about access to medicines or basic necessities?

        Are you going to provide us with a list of peoples that have suffered (eg. under US sanctions, and Israeli checkpoints) and have for decades had the same complaint?

      • Weepus beard 26.2.2

        Right, so OPEC just decides how much they pump on their own, do they? They’re told what to pump by Capitol Hill and Brussels. Fact.

        I suppose you think this sharp downturn in the GLOBAL oil price is just a normal, apolitical occurrence, which happens from time to time for no reason whatsoever like, say, a tornado, or an earthquake.

        Equating the economies of Norway, which is on the doorstep of a wealthy Europe and that of Venezuela, locked out of the US market, and on the doorstep of a third world continent is perverse.

        Grow up.

      • Gosman thinks that spending oil profits on social welfare, jobs and education are “squandered, spendthrift policies” FFS

        Would you prefer that the oil company execs got higher bonuses, or poor kids got food and education??

        This is a new low in corrupt neocon ideology.

        • Gosman 26.2.3.1

          No, I’d prefer it if the government didn’t waste all of the windfall revenue and put aside some to cover periods where there is low oil prices. Tell me how all this spending on social welfare has mad a long term difference in Venezuela?

          • ropata:rorschach 26.2.3.1.1

            Investing in people (education, health, welfare) is a moral obligation and the best investment for developing nations.

          • Clemgeopin 26.2.3.1.2

            The essential few thing that need to happen is controlled ‘free market’, limits on the maximum pay that any CEO can ever receive pegged to a certain multiple of the median wage, limits on the uncontrolled accumulation of wealth and income by the very wealthy, much higher tax rates on higher incomes, living wage, control on inheritance, control on housing/immigration/foreign buyers.

            That is, if you really and honestly want to make a difference and make NZ a great and fair place.

    • GregJ 27.1

      Perhaps a sentence on why we should click on your link might be useful? I, like many here, don’t like to just click on the link for no reason.

      Thanks.

  25. Red delusion 28

    I am getting to understand pu, strange ideas but consistent , also right on the mark re weka and alien, bat shit crazy yet they try to pin that on poor phil

  26. vto 29

    There is something very fishy going on with this IS lot……..

    After all the effort they have gone to why would they try their very goddam best to rark up pretty much every nation on the planet? Why? It makes no sense to bring war down on your own heads – war that you will certainly fail at without doubt …..

    And I don’t buy the madmen descriptor. Not with that many.

    There is a piece missing in this situation – the lock piece

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