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Open Mike 04/11/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 4th, 2017 - 59 comments
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59 comments on “Open Mike 04/11/2017 ”

  1. Andre 1

    Delving into the operations of a russian twitter troll.


    When I see commenters who only ever seem to be attempting to sow distrust and chaos, I can’t help wondering …

    • chris73 1.1

      I swear I’m not a russian troll comrade 🙂

      • mauī 1.1.1

        Do you have a cartoon ‘buff bernie’ poster in your bedroom? Do you find Pokemons at controversial Tama Iti protest sites? Hows life in the troll factory with the other trolls?

    • greywarshark 1.2

      It is important to look at where and whom you can trust in present society Andre.
      So don’t be mealy mouthed about whom you decide to criticise because you may become the object of distrust yourself. I have to watch people for a while and see their mental tendencies before I can see how far I will trust them. These days, trust is an opt-in situation, not to be given casually.

      Chaos is a word that conservatives use when they survey some suggested policy or scenario that May disadvantage them somehow and May diminish their material possessions. It can destroy more than is replaced, so chaos can be a WMD on many fronts so to be regarded suspiciously and doubtfully.

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        Kim Hill interviewed Tim Cope who rode across Mongolia and in those hard conditions finds that you have to understand people and how they manage and still have a culture despite their hard, basic lives and appreciate them.

        This includes the extent of understanding that it is a compliment if they steal your horses and realising they consider that if you can’t look after your horses well, you don’t deserve them. (Horses are their equals in a way, part of their families, and if they die, or they are sold , they will always keep a hair from their tails and attach it to a rope near the door to maintain their connection. I have photos near my door.)

        It was so interesting and also adds to my thoughts on who you can trust, and how people react when there is chaos in their lives. He notes about WW2 and Stalian, and about Crimea and the Ukraine and Kadjikstan?. And his dog, who he managed to have an EU passport issued for, and got him back all the way from there to Australia. There was a TV story done, out on DVD.

        RadioNz summary – also go to the page and see images.

        11.04 Gippsland-born Tim Cope speaks fluent Russian, and has spent the best part of a decade traveling Russia, Mongolia, and Central Asia by bicycle, row boat, skis, horse, camel and many other means. His most renowned journey was a three and a half year odyssey across the Eurasian steppe from Mongolia, through Kazakhstan, Russia, and the Ukraine, to Hungary, retracing the trail of Genghis Khan on horseback.

        The trip was detailed in his book On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads. On the same subject he’s completed an award winning film series for ARTE in Europe, and ABC TV in Australia. Cope’s book, which was released in Australia, the USA, Canada, UK and Germany, won Best Adventure Travel Book and the Grand Prize at the Banff International Mountain Book and Film Festival 2013 and more recently, the Grand Prize at the NZ Mountain Festival. Since 2008, Cope has been returning to Mongolia annually to guide trips for World Expeditions.

    • One Two 1.3

      ‘Wondering’ versus thinking..

      Try more ‘thinking’, Andre!

      Read a book on techniques first though..seems you need a steer…

    • Muttonbird 2.1

      It’s good practice to make a statement so people know where you are coming from. So, what do you find interesting about it?

      • Antoine 2.1.1

        I never knew there was such a firm! So it was a learning experience for me

        • David Mac

          I think lobbyists are the tools of the neoliberal mindset that we should be looking for creative ways to dismantle.

          Interesting that they run 2 depts side by side. One to chew on the ears of rightwing politicians and the other dept, the left. I can see strategic advantages when meeting clients needs.

          Lobbyists are in the game for money. Steering govt decisions towards generating profits for their clients. I think our law making should have a sole focus: What’s best for NZ. What’s best for Vodafone shouldn’t enter into it.

          Vodafone may well have the best grid of mobile phone coverage for a Civil Defense initiative but I think we need other ways of Vodafone making the select committee aware of this fact. A sweet talking lobbyist with a little black book filled with the phone numbers and birthdays of those sitting around the decision making table has too much potential for dodgey money-driven law making.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I think lobbyists are the tools of the neoliberal mindset that we should be looking for creative ways to dismantle.

            Although I agree that lobbying needs to be banned as it goes against the one person, one vote ideal of democracy to the one dollar, one vote process of corruption it’s been around a lot longer than neo-liberalism.

            Vodafone may well have the best grid of mobile phone coverage for a Civil Defense initiative but I think we need other ways of Vodafone making the select committee aware of this fact.

            We already have that way – submissions to the select committee along with everyone else’s.

          • Antoine

            I actually suspect lobbyists add a lot of value by making the wheels of government run more smoothly.

            Without lobbyists, groups who wanted to talk to politicians would have to run round trying to find who was the right person to talk to, how do they get an appointment, making the time, then trying to put their case in words the politician would understand, then trying to understand what exactly the politican is telling them in response.

            Adding the lobbyist into the equation saves everyone’s time and increases the chance that people go away with a clear understanding of what has been discussed.


            • David Mac

              They may well make the wheels of government run more smoothly but at what price? Our government should be placing their banking with Westpac because they’re the best candidate for the job. Not because the influential get invited to fabulous lunches. I don’t understand why a portion of Govt banking doesn’t get done through the banking infrastructure we all own, Kiwibank. Maybe they’ve got a rubbish lobbyist with no flash lunch budget.

              As Draco says, it’s always been with us. The ancient Greek Forum had outsiders pushing causes. Outlawing it would see a rise in underhanded campaigns as revealed in Dirty Politics, black market lobbyists.

              I don’t like it but I’m not sure what to do about it. If it’s unavoidable…maybe as transparent as possible is the best we can hope for.

              • Incognito

                Indeed, everything should be in the public domain without any OIA requests, no exceptions, no redacting, and no secrecy. Lobby away, I say.

    • Keepcalmcarryon 2.2

      Interesting in that the headline is completely misleading. It’s not a left wing lobbying company at all, it’s a for hire lobbying firm that has sister companies to lobby left or right.
      Lobbyists aren’t the grease that oils the wheels of democracy, they are the ticks that engorge themselves on our ” democratic” process.

      • Antoine 2.2.1

        > Lobbyists aren’t the grease that oils the wheels of democracy, they are the ticks that engorge themselves on our ” democratic” process.

        Dude, Helen Kelly was a lobbyist.


        • Psycho Milt

          Note the context:

          … it’s a for hire lobbying firm that has sister companies to lobby left or right.

          I don’t recall Helen Kelly ever running or working for such a firm.

        • veutoviper

          Antoine, further up this thread at 2.1.1 you say that “I never knew there was such a firm! So it was a learning experience for me” in relation to the Stuff article about the Australian lobbyist firm you provided a link to in your original comment at 2.

          While the possible effects of lobbyists you express at are positive ones, regrettably in practice there are also some very negative effects that can also result including backhanders, corruption and similar.

          Lobbyist firms have been in existence for many, many decades particularly in the US political arena. They are big business and big $$$s, and usually represent big business interests.

          In the NZ context, there are a number of professional lobbyist firms of this ilk that have already been working in the NZ political scene for years.

          Sanders Unsworth is an example. http://sul.co.nz/page/home.aspx

          This earlier Stuff article last year sets out some of the concerns with the increasing entry of professional lobbyist firms into the NZ political scene – and the need for some form of regulation etc of these activities.


          Here is another earlier Stuff article in 2011 also expressing concerns etc.


          Unions as represented by Helen Kelly etc, and individuals like Morgan Godfery included in the list of NZ lobbyists with access to our NZ Parliament in the latest Stuff article usually do not have the resources, money etc that these professional lobbyist firms have.

          It is far from a level playing field for competing lobbyist interests in the NZ political arena. So, I would not rush into only looking at the possible positive effects; the possible negative effects also need to be understood.

        • Keepcalmcarryon

          As pointed out all lobbyists are not equal. If we want to be dicks about it, when you send a letter to your local MP you are lobbying.
          Professional lobbyists are a blight on democratic process. They should be banned from private mp meetings and parliament period. Yes I would include unions in that despite the fact I do see a big difference between them and most of the others. The field must be level.
          Political influence should be through a party of anyone’s choosing and be fully transparent.

          • Antoine

            Unionists should be banned from privately meeting with MPs?

            I don’t think there’d be many people here who would subscribe to that idea!


            • Keepcalmcarryon

              Level playing field. This also would apply to the employers federation or whatever that union calls itself these days , the farmers union federated farmers and so on not just employee unions. Meetings can still occur but all goings on made public.

  2. Ad 3

    Bryan Gaynor wonders what New Zealand would have been like if Labour’s 1974 superannuation scheme had continued into now, and had continued to invest in New Zealand:


    • repateet 3.1

      I’ve been waiting for that update. Gaynor wrote about around 2009.

      People believed Muldoon was strong. people believed Muldoon was right. They were allowed to, but getting rid of that super scheme was the biggest calamity to ever hit our economy. Hindsight and all that but the scare tactics worked and we shat in our own nest. That’s okay too, you’re allowed to do that.

      But between then and now I have kept hearing some of the same people, the ones who supported Muldoon, telling me the National Party’s right, they know best about finances and economies. What? They fucked up our country and they still want me to believe them?

      The irony is that as a young worker I was in a super scheme which was similar to the one wiped. I stayed in it. Not only would the country be benefitting unimaginably from the scheme had it been continued but there would be generations so dramatically more comfortably off now. My personal situation is proof of that.

      Gaynor says, ” …the aborted Labour Government compulsory scheme would be worth substantially more than $500b after 42 years of existence.” He talks of how that could have been available to help with our diabolical infrastructure problems.

      His article should be printed on big posters and put on the office walls of all National MPs. Instead they’ll probably adorn them with newspaper copies bearing headlines about $11 billion holes.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        He’s the only commentator I know who consistently covers this stuff, other than maybe Brian Easton. Both now fading stars in our firmament.

        • John Shears

          Thanks repateet & Ad I agree this is a very powerful and informative article by Brian Gaynor.I am saddened however that only three of us have taken the time to comment.
          I am not sure that Brian would like to be described as a fading star.

  3. Penny Bright 4


    Maltese journalist’s funeral held after politicians told to stay away

    “Daphne Caruana Galizia’s family objects to presence of government and opposition leaders as day of mourning declared.”

    Murdered Maltese journalist / anti-corruption ‘whistle-blower’ Daphne Caruana Galizia TWICE ‘blew the whistle’ exposing how NZ Foreign Trusts were used for money-laundering by Maltese ‘Politically Exposed Persons’ (PEPs).

    Penny Bright

    Anti-corruption whistle-blower.

    • cleangreen 4.1

      John Key’s legacy is = NZ is good place to setup a Foreign Trust and use it for money-laundering.

      Thanks John Key for that very toxic bad mark against us in NZ for that dirty money laundering.

  4. eco maori 5

    Well when I was in my 20 we managed to save enough money for a 25 % deposit on a house by living with my mother for 2 years. I went into the ANZ bank and asked for a loan to buy a house got turn down they made many excuses but I no why they turned me down. So I though that i will buy a business as I wanted to stay on land to look after my family going to sea for 7 days at a time was not ideal One uncredabl person gave me the idea of a food caravan so I found one for sale it was parked outside The warehouse in Napier so I brought it as the site was ideal for foot traffic they just had hot chips and burgers on there menu and I new we could improve on that. So my friend that I lost whom was like a brother to me and I decided to put a mister whippy machine in the caravan another freezer and two deep fryers and a exhaust fan to ventilat the caravan.
    My friend did most of the alterations as my carpentry skills are limited to my main tool being a chainsaw so he was a good carpenter and a perfectionists so I left him to it. He did a good job of the refit we take the caravan to the site and start serving custom well not me my wife and I get a call the fuse at the site keeps blowing we are drawing 40 amps and the fuse box was only 20 amps. The warehouse was realy help full and put in the required wiring and fuse for us at no charge. We were working long hours my wife was getting sore swollen feet from the long hours and I was still scrubbing dishes at 9 pm. So after the Christmas new year rush I decided to get a accountant a asses the business and he said to me your profit is only going to be the same as the dole. Well one person said put it in a charitable trust and work it that way he did not explain why I could do this. So I asked the accountant he said no you cannot do this so I took his word for it. But he should have said your poor so you can use a charitable trust for the relief of poverty but no I no why he gave me the wrong advice now with a few grayhairs under my cap.
    So I lost with that enterprise I cut my losses and flicked it my children loved it lol heaps of i cream and burgers an fish and chips.
    Now to my point I should have had a plan at the start an researched the hole enterprise before I wasted my money. So we need to spend more money on research and science I say to need a plan for all the new carbon free energy technology that we are about to get a plan for new charging out let’s for electric cars a plan for how solar power wind power is going to be implemented into our power grid plan plan research research all the information is out there we just have to look for it And we dont want to make costly mistakes when we can avoid it with research and planing this should be minimised Ka pai

    • Antoine 5.1

      Well told story.

      A lot of this work is actually happening although you may not realise it if you don’t keep in close touch with the energy and transport industries.


      • eco Maori/kiwi 5.1.1

        Not sure I would trust those in charge of those industry’s as national have still got strings attached to management thats what key did put his m8 in all the CEO rolls they could they could throw a spanner in the works. I would do my own research so there can be a comparison to keep them honest I can see a lot of bullshit still going on.
        Ka pai

  5. joe90 6

    Absurder by the day.

    Have you heard about the left’s evil plans on Nov. 4?

    According to some online conservative circles, anti-fascist activists — or “antifa supersoldiers,” depending who you ask — have plans to “behead all white parents” and attack “small-business owners,” “kill every single Trump voter,” team up with violent gangs and go on a rampage, killing every conservative they can find.


    Let me guess: Right-wing media started to take that seriously, too.

    Oh, yes. Gateway Pundit’s D.C. Bureau Chief and White House Coordinate Lucian Wintrich responded to these satirical responses with this post: “Tom Bloke,” aka @21logician above, is “considered to be one of the leaders of the domestic terrorist group antifa,” the report reads. “[He] took to Twitter today to threaten violence against ‘white parents’ and ‘small-business owners.’”


    edit: heh


  6. Andre 7

    Here’s one explanation for why the list of charges against Manafort is so short: Mueller is leaving out offences state authorities can pursue. That way even if the pumpkin Pinochet pardons Manafort, he’s still on the hook for states to go after him.


  7. Andre 8

    How “good guys with guns” actually make it much harder for cops to do their job and find the bad guy, even when it doesn’t degenerate into a free-for-all shootout.


  8. greywarshark 9

    Please keep writing in to TS thoughtful left writers! Looking at the recent comments at times is like looking at the sports ground after the game and it’s littered with empty snack bags and cans.

    • Incognito 9.1

      I’ve got an advanced draft for a Guest Post but have no time & energy finish it 🙁

      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        A bit of sun and time in the garden will regenerate you as well as the green things and you’ll be busting out with a spring, sprong. Looking forward to it.

  9. OnceWasTim 10

    Aljazeera just reporting the ICC(J) wants an investigation into war crimes in Afganistan.
    Oh Dear! Maybe time for Nicky Hager and Jon Stevenson to make a submission

  10. joe90 11

    It turns out Donna Brazile’s allegations were either outright lies or she didn’t have a clue about the documents she was talking about.

    The notion that they prove the primaries were rigged is nonsense.

    On Friday, NBC News published the agreement between the Clinton campaign and the DNC. The Clinton campaign agreed to donate a minimum of $1.2 million per month to the DNC:

    HFA is prepared to raise and invest funds into the DNC via the Victory. In return for this financial support, HFA requires the appropriate influence over the financial, strategic, and operational use of these JFA-raised funds.

    (“JFA” means the joint-fundraising agreement.) The memo does describe the campaign having input into hiring decisions at the committee:

    With respect to the hiring of future DNC senior staff in the communications, technology, and research departments, in the case of vacancy, the DNC will maintain the authority to make the final decision as between candidates acceptable to HFA.

    The agreement stipulated, for instance, that the DNC would hire a new communications director in the fall of 2015 from a list of candidates that the Clinton campaign had “previously identified as acceptable.”

    On the other hand, the agreement also came with a caveat: The DNC could enter into agreements like this with other candidates:

    Nothing in this agreement shall be construed to violate the DNC’s obligation of impartiality and neutrality through the Nominating process. All activities performed under this agreement will be focused exclusively on preparations for the General Election and not the Democratic Primary. Further we understand you may enter into similar agreements with other candidates.


  11. joe90 13

    Oh dear.

    An expected choice for science adviser of the US Environmental Protection Agency believes the air is too clean – another indication that Donald Trump’s head of the EPA appears to be stacking the group in charge of trying to protect the environment with climate sceptics.

    Robert Phalen, who currently directs the Air Pollution Health Effects Laboratory at the University of California Irvine, has research that would support the deregulation of policies aimed at preventing air pollution.


    Mr Phalen has asserted that air is currently too clean, because children’s lungs need to breathe irritants so their bodies can learn how to fight them. “Modern air,” he said in 2012, “is a little too clean for optimum health.”


    • eco maori 13.1

      Trumps war against our climate has made the a lot of Americans step up there efforts to minimise climate change. My point about our new coalition government getting there own research is that America energy security Steven Chu got one investment wrong and the Solyndra company went broke costing $700 million and he end up resigning now this is a very intelligent man who in my view was lead down the wrong path Ka pai.

  12. Instauration 14

    Timely insight into the expletive thoughts of Victoria Nuland in support of Winston.

  13. Instauration 15

    Viktor was 3 of 4 years into his democratic tenure. He did not have a mandate to aver from the status-quo. Multi billion gas (16) subsidy and support from Russia. The EU offered nothing comparable. Maiden was a made-in (insert Capitals here) Coup-dT.

    • Ed 15.1

      You are spot on.
      Many people just don’t bother to read and research beyoun the corporate media’s agenda.

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