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Open mike 04/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 4th, 2011 - 82 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

82 comments on “Open mike 04/12/2011 ”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Seeing as how the corporate world didn’t get the change back to FPP (SM but the same thing in drag) that they wanted, I see they are now talking about extending the Parliamentary term to four years. Now while that may well be a useful reform in of itself… a cynical man just might observe that during the three terms of a Labour led govt there was not so much as a peep on this.

    But now they have their ‘natural party of government’ shining its collective fat arse on the Treasury benches; it suddenly becomes fashionable again.

    • Uturn 1.1

      They may see it as a compensation for no FPP. Worst case, four year terms of poor government would encourage the kind of wild swinging voter instability that could only be dreamed of with FPP. One benefit of the system – dependant on a responsible government – is that policy might be debated thoroughly instead of being rushed through – which would endear the political process to people a little more.

      • felix 1.1.1

        “One benefit of the system – dependant on a responsible government – is that policy might be debated thoroughly instead of being rushed through”

        Or in the case of this bunch of miscreants, an extra year of crap could be rushed through under urgency with no debate at all.

  2. Hopweful signs that some in Labour ‘get it’.

    We got hammered.

    It is a comprehensive rejection of Labour as a party fit to lead the government.

    A fundamental acknowledgement that we have a major job to rebuild our party and our movement, and to reconnect with voters who we have clearly lost touch with, is the start.

    Leadership change is only one part of the refounding process. The depth of the party needs to acknowledge reality and the need for fundamental change too.

    • tc 2.1

      Yawn……do you ever do any real work.

    • Pete how about you tell us why United Follicles did so bad?

      • Pete George 2.2.1

        Greg, you’re trying one of your standard diversions from the topic. Too tough to answer, or ostrichitis?

        • kriswgtn

          Shouldnt the Exclusive Brethren services be starting soon? Dont b late for it

        • Lanthanide

          It’s a case of “those in glass houses shouldn’t cast stones”, Pete.

          • Pete George

            UF ate aware a serious look at the future of the party is necessary, but at the moment we are too busy negotiating policy gains and coalition agreements.

            • mik e

              PG in other words the one man band will be given some pathetic little quango to fiddle with for the next 3 years so he looks important between hair dressers appointments

              • Diss us all you like but it doesn’t hide the fact that Dunne and United Future will have more policiy initiatives progressed and more government influence than Labour, NZ First and Mana put together, and you can probably add Greens too, such is the nature of our democracy. Getting party votes is important, but so is getting tangible results.

                • Colonial Viper

                  A collaborator justifying his collaboration in the selling of NZ’s most valuable and strategic state assets.

                  Figured you out long ago mate.

                  • McFlock

                    that and their “policies” are so broad that anything good that happens is down to the hairstyle, while badness is alwayssomeone else’s fault.

                • Ianupnorth

                  Sorry thi is late, but FFS Pete, get some help man, you are truly deluded, but not beyond help.

    • RedLogix 2.3

      Sighs.. quit with the brain-dead FPP thinking.

      A 3% swing to the left and it would have been Goff forming the government.

    • kriswgtn 2.4

      why dont you jus go away and play on the road
      ur jus so pedantic and boring
      noone cares for your right wing tory bulllshit and neither obviously does Dunedin

      • uke 2.4.1

        “noone cares for your right wing tory bulllshit and neither obviously does Dunedin”

        Not quite no one: PG got 146 votes out of 25890 in Dunedin North.

        • gingercrush

          And so what. He stood for Parliament as did many others. And good on Pete George for doing so. It takes a lot of guts especially when you’re in a minor party.

          Besides. Pete George may only have got 146 electorate votes but that translated into 151 votes for United Future. In contrast Sue Bradford with a way higher profile was able to get 266 electorate votes but could only get 118 votes for Mana. Not exactly inspiring is it. But you wouldn’t being say half the things about Bradford than you do to George.

          • Colonial Viper

            The result probably reflects left voters not wanting to risk Harawira losing his seat to Kelvin Davis and wasting their party vote for Mana. It’s not really a reflection on Bradford, good or bad imo.

            • gingercrush

              What you said makes absolutely no sense.

              • felix

                What CV means is that Mana being in parliament was entirely dependant on Hone winning Te Tai Tokerau, and with that being far from a certainty a party vote for Mana had a good chance of being a wasted vote.

                Of course, the same applies to Dunne and UF. I wouldn’t think it was a reflection good or bad on Bradford or Pete George.

                • My impression was that at electorate level there was little interest in candidates. Candidate meetings were well attended but the focus was on the main parties and policies, and only represented a small proportion of the voters. The ODT virtually ignored coverage of candidates, and Channel 9 went out in the suburbs checking out support and found even the Labour and National candidates were not well known.

                  At the top of our politics personality is important, but the further down our electoral system (below leaders) you go the more it is simply a party choice.

                  I tried various things, both traditional campaiging and some different approaches, but as far as election votes go I don’t think doing less or more would have made much difference. The only thing I noticably attracted attention on was establishing a local political lobby, but there were no votes in that.

        • kriswgtn

          o thats alot 😛

    • Anthony 2.5

      Or instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater how about trying not to have stupid fights or public “scandals” every five minutes.

  3. RedLogix 3

    I know that one or two of us follow John Michael Greer… but from time to time the guy writes a standout. Pepper-Spraying the Future

    What all these three news stories have in common is that they display an attitude—it could as well be described as a belief, or even a religion—that treats the satisfaction of short term cravings for material goods as the only thing that really matters. The shopper with her pepper spray, the politician with his absurd claim, and the government with its blind disregard for national survival, each acted as though getting the stuff is all that matters, and any obstacle in the way—whether the obstacle was other shoppers, the laws of physics and geology, or the fate of Canada’s future generations—was an irrelevance to be brushed aside by any available means.

    In recent years, there’s been a fair amount of intellectual effort devoted to the attempt to prove that this is inevitably how human beings will act, and this effort has had an influence well beyond the borders of, say, cognitive neuroscience. Glance over anything the peak oil blogosphere has to say about the absurdity of today’s public policies on energy, the environment, or the economy, for example, and it’s a safe bet that somebody will post a comment insisting that this is how human beings always behave. In point of historical fact, though, this is far from true. The popularity of the monastic life across so many cultures and centuries is hard to square with such claims; it has not been uncommon for anything up to ten per cent of the population of some countries and times to embrace lives of poverty, celibacy and discipline in a monastic setting. Clearly, whatever drives push our species in the direction of the satisfaction of short term cravings are not quite as omnipotent as they’ve been made out to be.

    If there is one thing above all about the RWNJ mindset that disheartens me above all else it is this; it is the idea that humans are inherently lazy, greedy and violent unless incentives are imposed on them via the mechanism of markets and laws. It’s another sort of Original Sin; just dressed up in secular drag.

    • Olwyn 3.1

      What an intelligent, insightful piece of writing. Thanks for the link.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        JMG kicks ass.

        And if you want to see what a futuristic version of the deindustrial future looks like, check out his monthly fiction narrative, Star’s Reach.

        Tip: start reading from the very beginning.

    • Uturn 3.2

      That article is a good example of the irony of values driven conclusions in communications – or values as a measure of truth in general. He starts with an idea and sets out to prove it true by reinterpreting complex historical matters to his own ends: can do attitude plus optimism can’t beat access to resources. He even stumbles over his thinking flaw early on in the mention of the pepper spray incident by saying it is more complex than he illustrates. That is the point in his editing where he should have realised the subconscious warning. But instead he brushes it aside to get what he wants – exactly what he accuses his subjects of doing and just like the RWNJs you complain about. J.M.Greer’s article is entertaining opinion, a possiblity on what might have happened, but it isn’t anywhere near the truth.

      (I do not suggest that what follows is the Truth either.)

      The average RWNJ (and to be fair, most people in general) start off with a point of view and then go the long way round to reveal it, without ever examining the veracity of their idea. Along the way it will look like a discussion, but it isn’t, because the end had already been decided and all other intrusions would necessarily have to be brushed aside to reach it. Frustration ensues and people start calling each other names. The reason this happens is because to do it properly, to engage in conversation, exploration and real discusion is not just a case of opening your mouth about what you think is right. The central focus must be the ideas and what they are based on, not the outcome. This of course leads to the implication that there is no point where a good discussion ends because new ideas and perspectives do not end. So how do we “decide” anything? We have a deadline: the climate is changing; the election is coming up; the deadlines are always present. We choose to decide with a flawed system, under arbitrary urgency: enter the drawn out prejudiced bebate.

      Since most discussions are yet another method of projecting personal psychology onto the world, participants would first have to have an uncommon level of self awareness to eliminate their own counteractive influence. As a result, what we usually find online are just really slow arguments based on a mash-up of emotion, culture, feelings; anything but rational consideration or Kantian autonomy. The same thing happens in parliament and it’s infuriating to see our country run by people who blunder about under the wieght of their own self inflicted illusions.

      What people forget is that life is not a recipe. If it was, we could all get what we want without effort; every intent of previous governments would have be attained; every business could not fail. Just follow Mr. Smith’s recipe for wealth, fame, or whatever and you too can be trim and toned! Life has a random factor we like to filter out so we can have faith in planning and place our efforts at the centre of the universe. We filter it our from history to show our deeds were right and purposeful instead of haphazard, fearful, cowardly or wrong. Despite our human nature, the hell of the moment ends and then we seek to justify it. Buddhists the world over would laugh.

      • Carol 3.2.1

        Without going nto the details of this particular issue… this is how we ALL operate. If you trace back our arguments on any issue, you will find some basic underlying value assumptions. There’s no way of avoiding that. The best thing is to be up front about your underlying values. This doesn’t negate the details of any evidence-based argument that follows from it.

        However, it means that others can judge your argument in comparison with their own values, and consider the evidence accordingly. i.e. I put value on the way society is organised, co-operatively, fairly and democratically. I put people over privatised profits. Many on the right wing assume that individual competition trumps co-operation and seem to subscribe to a meritocratic, competitive, individualised profit-gaining value system.

        • Uturn

          We may all use the method, but it is not the only choice; which is the important point unless we want to go round in the circles of the past. The problem with values driving debate is that it is unavoidably adversarial – there can be only agreement with the speaker – with no examination of the idea necessary – or disagreement, with the same problem. There is US, who agree, and THEM, who disagree. Values are the first step towards war.

          As you demonstrate, if we set up an environment where we all know our values will differ, that voicing them is not a crime because they can be openly examined, we can then move on to discuss topics as ideas, rather than determining the end of the discussion before we start by twisting the topic and ideas to fit our values. The Japanese have a saying when discussing, they say, yes, your idea is perfect in every way… what other options are there? And so the discussion eventually continues beyond personal values. All participants can recognise the dignity and individuality of the speaker by seperating the inherent worth of the man from his idea and rationally examine the idea as an object. It will not ensure the truth is arrived at, but it will ensure decision making has at least examined the idea.

          From there we can add our arbitrary deadlines, our emotional inputs and whatever else, but it’s not possible to delude ourselves once we know we are deluding ourselves. Politics then has the opportunity to become constructive, rather than destructive.

          • Carol

            I don’t understand your distinctions, Uturn. “Values driven debate”? I’m also agreeing with talking the more general ideas, plus examining the evidence and using it to develop a rational argument. But, yes, you do reach a point where some of us have to agree to disagree. There’s no way round the way logic and values are intertwined in our thinking… language is based on this intertwining – a mix of objectivity & subjectivity.

            If we do discuss broader ideas, and are aware of our underlying assumptions, then we do get to avoid going around in circles, because we acknowledge they there are some things some of us are never going to agree on. That’s why some of us are broadly left wing in our perspective, others more often right wing, and others straddling the two general positions.

            This doesn’t negate anyone’s agurments, but gives us a deeper awareness as to how to judge the arguments of others.

            Ultimately, it’s not about winning or losing debates, but using the debates to further our own understanding of what we think about any topic, and of the policies that we think will be the better ones for any government to pursue..

            • Uturn

              A values driven debate cannot examine an idea because values themselves have ambiguous sources. Measuring an idea primiarily with values is like trying to measure a distance with a ruler that has a randomly shifting scale. For example, how do we determine that a value based on placing people above profit is more or less important than a value based on physical beauty? And if values are built around a personal problem, or a cultural trend, or an aspirational dream, how stable are values as a measuring tool?

              “Ultimately, it’s not about winning or losing debates, but using the debates to further our own understanding of what we think about any topic, and of the policies that we think will be the better ones for any government to pursue..”

              Here you summarise what I’ve used hundreds of words to say: it’s about breaking down barriers to understanding. Thanks for your comments.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      During the years immediately ahead of us, unless I’m very much mistaken, the political, economic, and cultural institutions of the industrial world can be counted on to do just about anything other than a meaningful response to the crisis of our age, and any meaningful response that does happen is going to have to come from individuals, families, and community groups.

      During those same years, I suspect, every available effort will be made to convince as many people as possible that the nonsolutions on offer are actually meaningful responses, and the things that might actually help—using less, conserving more, and downscaling our burden on the planet—are unthinkable.


      All the political parties are going on about how much we need to save money rather than do the rational thing ans save our resources. Hell, this government are all for digging up our resources and selling them leaving us with nothing.

  4. logie97 4

    Why haven’t we had Brian Gould on panels analysing or even questioning the politicians?
    That man alone could have kept Key honest – nay better, actually shown Key up for what he is … watch him on “The Nation” yesterday.

    Of course I may have answered the question right there. Those in control of the media wanted to stick with the blue-eyed-bushy-tailed wonders.

    And then this yesterday from Brian Gaynor (hardly a left journalist) and his seemingly open criticism of Key/English …


  5. ianmac 5

    …..that humans are inherently lazy, greedy and violent unless incentives are imposed on them…
    I cannot accept Performance pay as valid. When a person is employed to do a job you would think that they would do it without extras or else the selection panel were wrong in their choice. And the competitive nature of the winners and losers must play havoc with cooperation. Stealing the credit for ideas or performance must be damaging. And then there is the performance pay/bonuses for execs who have failed as in the Banking world.
    (I suspect that the fashion for certificates and prizes in schools set kids up for future expectations that you should expect reward for doing what you should be doing anyway. Different from recognition.)

  6. NickS 6

    Dear Auckland, Meet Your DOOM

    And no, it’s not John Banks trying to resurrect his mayoral candidacy.

  7. joe90 7


    Recent years have brought reports from the far north of tundra fires1, the release of ancient carbon2, CH4 bubbling out of lakes3 and gigantic stores of frozen soil carbon4. The latest estimate is that some 18.8 million square kilometres of northern soils hold about 1,700 billion tonnes of organic carbon4 — the remains of plants and animals that have been accumulating in the soil over thousands of years. That is about four times more than all the carbon emitted by human activity in modern times and twice as much as is present in the atmosphere now.

  8. joe90 8

    The 2011 word of the year is,……what Pete does….tergiversate.

    tergiversate [tur-ji-ver-seyt]  
    ter·gi·ver·sate   [tur-ji-ver-seyt]
    verb (used without object), -sat·ed, -sat·ing.
    to change repeatedly one’s attitude or opinions with respect to a cause, subject, etc.; equivocate.
    to turn renegade.

  9. Carbon credits pricing crashes and burns

    A crash in carbon credit prices means the government has no option but to ban or drastically restrict the use of imported carbon credits of dubious quality, or the emissions trading scheme (ETS) could become a national embarrassment.


    It already is a national embarrasment as is the National chump who brought it in.

    ‘Dubious quality’ carbon credits…WTF ?…What exactly does that mean ?

    Made by child slave labourers in asian sweatshops with little quality control ?

    • pollywog 9.1

      Bought some carbon credits the other day.

      First time through the wash and the dye ran, the seams gave way and they shrunk to half the size when i hung them out to dry…dubious man, real dubious.

      They just don’t make carbon credits like they used to.

      • pollywog 9.1.1

        Bought some carbon credits the other day.

        …brand new off Trademe. Opened the box, followed the setup instructions, wound it up and let it rip. Thing shot straight up into the air hovered for about 2 seconds burst into flames and smashed into the side of the house.

        Read the box again “Manufacturer makes no guarantee on the dubious quality should it crash and burn

        pays to read the fine print.

        • pollywog

          Bought some carbon credits the other day.

          Mate took me round ‘one of his bro’s’ place knowing i wanted some to spruce up the front yard.

          Dude looked suss, reminded me off a russian gangster in one of those movies but whatever… the price was right. Bought em, took em home, dug a little hole, planted one, added the magic growing elixir…

          NEK MINNIT… it shot up to hip height, wrapped itself around my groin and almost squeezed the life out of me before i managed to disentangle it, at which point it withered and died.

          Now i’m dubious of any offers my mate comes to me with. Buyer beware…You get what you pay !

          • ianmac

            A clever point there polly. Those pesky carbon credits are credited with no end of strife. 🙂

            • Colonial Viper

              I’ve got some carbon credit default swaps, futures and options contracts for sale. You can make a bundle, promise.

  10. joe90 10

    Canadian blogger on the Harper style.

    Her reply to one of the comments.

    Anon : No, it’s a bunch of links which, when read in sequence, tell a particular story criticizing our PM :

    1) Vacuum up whatever arms length political and cultural credit you can lay your hands on into the PMO.
    2) Consolidate it.
    3) Rebrand it.
    4) Jettison everything you can that doesn’t fit the new brand and paralyze the rest.
    5) Hire hundreds of unaccountable staffers to replace policy and info exchange with pumping out new brand.
    6) Outsource it to assholes.

    Get it now?

    Sounds familiar.

    • joe90 10.1

      Canadian, ethical oil, conservatives plan to renege on their Kyoto agreement.

      Canada, the country furthest from meeting its commitment to cut carbon emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, may save as much as $6.7 billion by exiting the global climate change agreement and not paying for offset credits.
      The country’s greenhouse-gas emissions are almost a third higher than 1990 levels, and it has a 6 percent CO2 reduction target for the end of 2012. If it couldn’t meet its goal, Canada would have to buy carbon credits, under the rules of the legally binding treaty.
      Canada, which has the world’s third-largest proven oil reserves, would be the first of 191 signatories to the Kyoto Protocol to annul its emission-reduction obligations. While Environment Minister Peter Kent declined to confirm Nov. 28 that Canada is preparing to pull out of Kyoto, which may ease the burden for oil-sands producers and coal-burning utilities, he said the government wouldn’t make further commitments to it.
      “Canada is the only country in the world saying it won’t honor Kyoto,” said Keith Stewart, an energy and climate policy analyst for Greenpeace in Toronto. Under a previous Liberal government, Canada was one of the first countries to sign Kyoto in 1998. The current Conservative government made a non-binding commitment at 2009 United Nations talks in Copenhagen to reduce emissions by 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, in line with a pledge by the U.S., its biggest trading partner.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Yep, Canada has officially become a petrostate. There is only one country in the world with a worse emissions performance than Canada now, and that is Saudi Arabia.

      • joe90 10.1.2

        Indeed CV and with torture as part of the repertoire Canada has had it’s status as a petrostate confirmed..

        Canada’s spy agency was so reliant on information obtained through torture that it suggested the whole security certificate regime, used to control suspected terrorists in the country, would fall apart if they couldn’t use it.

        That’s the essence of a letter written in 2008 by the former director of CSIS, Jim Judd, obtained by The Gazette.

  11. AAMC 11

    In a brilliant twist, OWS now have their own drones…


  12. Uturn 12

    Yesterday we had “The Little I Know About David Shearer” topic. Can we have one for Cunliffe too? Does anyone know Cunliffe? He seems to be the favourite here, but discussion on his past, his image and potential pros/soncs as leader doesn’t go as far as it has on Shearer already.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      That’s true. I would say however that Cunliffe’s performance as a long serving electorate MP, in the House, in media interviews, directly debating English, as a Cabinet Minister, etc. is all a matter of long standing public record.

      Compare all that to what we know of David Shearer’s ability to perform as a politician.

  13. GorjusGeorge 13

    Last Friday The Press published a letter in response to an article by Gareth Morgan and Susan Guthrie about ‘reviving the values of an egalitarian society’.

    The 240 word letter by D McFarlane of Hokitika was awarded Letter Of The Week and exceeded the 150 ‘preferred’ word limit.

    Clearly upset by references to the pillaging of the Niger Delta by the oil companies Shell and Chevron (which is ably assisted by the Nigerian government), McF refers to the ‘primitive creatures’ who live in the Delta and contrasts their ‘mud huts’ to the skyscrapers of New York.

    The latter – along with McF’s car, washing machine and cell phone – is the positive ‘flow down’ of industrial capitalism but the former hasn’t got anything to do with the inevitable negative flow down – it’s just collateral damage – and of no concern because it’s only ‘primitive creatures’ who live there and they are the agents of their own suffering because they ‘rape and pillage each other’ and mutilate women and girls. Nothing whatsoever to do with the legacy of colonialism and the extraction of oil.

    McF’s ok thank you very much. S/he’s got a car, a washing machine and a cell phone and can gaze upon the skyscrapers of NY and – carefully averting his/her gaze from the 100,000 New York homeless who live in the streets beneath them – can feel proud that s/he’s a part of it.

    S/he also constructs an alternative to ‘champagne socialist’ – exhorting those who ‘enjoy a latte or an organic salad’ to thank capitalism for providing them.

    S/he ends by professing undying love for laissez-faire capitalism. I hope they’ll be very unhappy together.

    McF won some salmon for the letter. I hope it’s got a hefty dose of mercury in it – or salmonella.

    The Press says the LOTW is judged on how well the person expresses their views, and leeway on the word limit is granted if the letter is judged to be ‘worth it’.

    Google Niger Delta + Christchurch Press to see what the paper has to say about this tragic region and a link to McFarlane’s letter comes up 1st and 2nd. 

    Way to go Press editorial team – hope the letter was ‘worth’ it.

    • Uturn 13.1

      McFarlane writes in his letter:

      “…You can live in any way you choose (I will not interfere) and spend your money the way you choose on the priorities you value…”

      But if you have resources McFarlane and friends want, he will come and pollute your rivers against your wishes because he can, it is central to his doctrine, and he is a superior human being because none of his people have never cut off women’s breasts (didn’t happen to the Native North American Indians, eh McFarlane?) or rape young girls. Capitalists are blameless and have never done anything wrong and never will because their Iphones prove they are superior.


      I reckon I should write a “well presented argument” about how racism, war, dictatorships or famine are good things that form strong cultures and promote growth and see if THE PRESS give me LOTW.

    • Puddleglum 13.2

      Saw the letter too.

      MacFarland is clearly not a strong polemicist.

      S/he said “The countries that have experienced the flow-down from the Industrial Revolution are immeasurably better off than those that haven’t.

      Well, yes. That’s the whole point of colonial exploitation. It would be a bit rum if the colonising West ended up being materially worse off after the expenditure of so much military effort.

      Also, far from ignoring or refusing to participate in the Industrial Revolution Niger has been playing its allotted role right at the hub of the Industrial Revolution, especially those people in the Niger Delta, given the oil extraction, pollution and social destruction that has occurred, and continues to occur, there.

      S/he also said “Please don’t tell me those primitive creatures are superior or equal to the West, or have a superior lifestyle because it is non-polluting, equal for all, ‘natural’

      Edit: Pressed ‘submit’ too early. I was going to say its been a long time since I’ve seen such 19th Century racism expressed in a ‘mainstream’ newspaper. It has been even longer since I’ve seen such opinions put on a pedestal and rewarded.


      • Puddleglum 13.2.1

        And … far from being ‘natural’, the current situation of the inhabitants of the Delta is one they would like to change.

        That’s because, quite ‘naturally’, they do not like the fact that they and their land are being exploited in this way.

        • ianmac

          Terrifying really. A friend is adamant that those lazy pricks could improve their lot if they had a bit of initiative! And he was talking about the cafe staff who worked for him, in NZ. Expect that he would agree with McF of those primitives on the Delta. Bluddy awful.

  14. joe90 14

    Legacy of denial

    It’s time to stop pretending. Freya Klier on the radical right in East Germany.

    Germany is shocked by a series of murders targeting Turkish citizens. Over the course of several years Uwe Böhnhardt and Uwe Mundlos from Zwickau randomly murdered flower sellers and grocery store owners as well as a policewoman. And for years they remained in hiding, while the investigations of local and national police came to nothing. The murderers originate from Saxony, a region of the former GDR, and they were part of a extreme radical rightwing scene. There are Neo-nazis in both western and eastern German states. What is less known, however, is that this ideology was surprisingly alive and well in the GDR. Freya Klier, a former East German dissident, describes how racism was actually promoted in the GDR. Today an atmosphere persists in the “new states” that continues to tolerate rightwing extremism.

  15. Jackal 15

    Shame on the sheep. Fossil of the Day Awards held by CAN-International on 2 December at COP17 in Durban.

    • ianmac 16.1

      Wonder if there will be such a bomb buried under our ACC privatising project?

      • joe90 16.1.1

        With this lot drafting statutes and passing legislation on behalf of the insurance industry, nah.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      Oh, wow, didn’t realise such a clause was in the US law. That will see the US going to state provided healthcare quite rapidly. There’s no way that the health insurers will be able to make a profit with such a law that’s properly enforced.

  16. Draco T Bastard 17

    A debunking handbook provides lessons in science communication

    Here’s a great new booklet that everyone interested in science communication should read – especially science bloggers. It’s the The Debunking Handbook by John Cook, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland and Stephan Lewandowsky, School of Psychology, University of Western Australia.

  17. Craig Glen Eden 18

    For those of you who want a left leaning progressive Labour Party without the old guard heres a link to show your support for David Cunliffe and Nanaia Mahuta.


  18. randal 19

    whoever better be ready.
    kweewee and his party of fleas aint gunna last long.

  19. Chris Oden 20

    Teflon. When heated to a high degree becomes toxic! Just thought i would throw that one in.

  20. Campbell Larsen 21

    Helen Kelly of the CTU is awesome

  21. Draco T Bastard 22

    How private prisons game the system

    Just a decade ago, private prisons were a dying industry awash in corruption and mired in lawsuits, particularly Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the nation’s largest private prison operator. Today, these companies are booming once again, yet the lawsuits and scandals continue to pile up. Meanwhile, more and more evidence shows that compared to publicly run prisons, private jails are filthier, more violent, less accountable, and contrary to what privatization advocates peddle as truth, do not save money. In fact, more recent findings suggest that private prisons could be more costly.

    So why are they still in business?

    Why indeed and why is our government so in favour of them?

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    7 days ago
  • Happy new year, Aotearoa!
    Welcome to 2022! As we look ahead to another year of progress on the big issues facing our country, we’re taking a look back at the year that’s been and everything the team of five million achieved together in 2021. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
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  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
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    3 days ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
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    6 days ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
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    1 week ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
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  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
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  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand congratulates Tonga's new Prime Minister on appointment
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Hon Hu'akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni on being appointed Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Tonga have an enduring bond and the Kingdom is one of our closest neighbours in the Pacific. We look forward to working with Prime ...
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  • High-tech investment extends drought forecasting for farmers and growers
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    2 weeks ago
  • Support for fire-hit Waiharara community
    The government will contribute $20,000 towards a Mayoral Relief Fund to support those most affected by the fires in Waiharara in the Far North, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “I have spoken to Far North Mayor John Carter about the effect the fires continue to have, on residents ...
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  • Manawatū’s ‘oases of nature’ receive conservation boost
    The Government is throwing its support behind projects aimed at restoring a cluster of eco-islands and habitats in the Manawatū which were once home to kiwi and whio. “The projects, which stretch from the Ruahine Ranges to the Horowhenua coastline, will build on conservation efforts already underway and contribute ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to continue Solomon Islands support
    A New Zealand Defence Force and Police deployment to help restore peace and stability to Solomon Islands is being scaled down and extended. The initial deployment followed a request for support from Solomon Islands Government after riots and looting in capital Honiara late last month. They joined personnel from Australia, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Our Pacific community shares in New Year’s Honours
    Prominent Pacific health champion Faumuina Professor Fa’afetai Sopoaga has been made a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s Honours list. Professor Sopoaga has been a champion for Pacific Health at Otago University, said Minister of Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. “She’s overseen changes in ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • Congratulations to Māori New Year’s Honours stars of 2022
    Kei aku rangatira kua whakawhiwhia koutou ki ngā tohu ā tō tātou kuīni hei whakanui nui i ā koutou mahi rangatira i hāpai i te manotini puta noa i a Aotearoa. Ko koutou ngā tino tauira. I whanake i ngā hapori, iwi, hapū, whānau me te motu anō hoki. Mauri ...
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  • Top honours for women in sport
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    3 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates 2022 New Year Honours recipients
    The New Zealanders recognised in the New Year 2022 Honours List represent the determination and service exemplified by so many New Zealanders during what has been another tough year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “I never fail to be amazed by the outstanding things ...
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    3 weeks ago