Open mike 04/12/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 4th, 2015 - 94 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

94 comments on “Open mike 04/12/2015 ”

  1. BLiP 1


  2. Morrissey 2

    If Reeva Steenkamp had been a dead Iraqi woman, this canting
    hypocrite would not have tolerated any expressions of support for her.

    Paul Henry, Friday 4 November 2015, 6:15 a.m.

    sanctimonious adj. 1. showing or marked by false piety or righteousness; hypocritically virtuous; 2. excessively or hypocritically pious.

    Big news of the day: Oscar Pistorius gets 15 years for murder…..

    PAUL “KILL THEM ALL” HENRY: The internet will be going mad about this. What are they saying, Charlotte?

    CHARLOTTE RYAN: There’s relief all over social media. A lot of people are tweeting, simply, “Her name was Reeva Steenkamp.”

    PAUL “KILL THEM ALL” HENRY: [gravely] Mmmmm.

    CHARLOTTE RYAN: Just to remind people, you know, who she was.

    Here’s a slightly less reverential approach by Henry to the dead…

    • ianmac 3.1

      The applause from the Media for Benn is to try and destroy the credibility of Corbyn. Probably works too.

      • Morrissey 3.1.1

        Benn’s raving has also won the support of at least one of the insiders on this very site.

  3. Bearded Git 4

    What is Labour doing voting in favour of the RMA reforms? Let me repeat my post of a couple of weeks back:

    The Nats and there friends at the Herald are spinning the line that there are only minor changes to the RMA proposed. See here:

    This is NOT true. Let me repeat; NOT true.

    The changes proposed to S.95A of the Act mean that NO residential subdivision and/or development will be able to be publicly notified regardless of adverse effects. This means that the checks and balances of public submission and the ability to appeal to the Environment Court will be removed completely from ALL residential subdivisions and developments.

    The result will be that in places such as Queenstown or Wanaka visually intrusive residential developments promoted by well-resourced developers will inevitably gain consent from (specially chosen, often poorly trained) commissioners without any public input. This is a disaster for NZ’s landscapes in the making.

    Why on earth have the Maori Party signed up to this?

    S.95A should be kept as it it is. In its current form it does not hold back residential development. The Nats are simply using this as an excuse to change it.

    One can only hope that Dunne and the Maori Party realise the the disastrous effects of this change before it is too late.

    • BLiP 4.1

      As well as S 95A, have you seen the wee tweak hidden in the depths of the reams of RMA legislation regarding environmental protection of the EEZ? There’s lots and lots of such sneaky devices scattered in there.

      I’m sorry you’re surprised with Labour’s support for the changes but its not exactly new news that Labour couldn’t give a fuck about the environment. It was Labour which opened Pike River Mine on conservation land, put tax breaks for fossil fuel corporations into law, and, and and. But don’t panic: Labour has got its media spin in place. Its all about “jobs first” and, believe it or not, “values”.

      The Maori Party has been bought off with more money for “social investment” and will probably just hitch a ride on Labour’s excuse when it comes to defending its position. As for Dunne? Who knows, except that Dunne will do what’s best for Dunne.

      • Bearded Git 4.1.1

        I know they are smoke-stack socialists where jobs matter and all other considerations pale, but surely Labour can’t support the destruction of NZ’s landscape in this day and age. For one thing it is actually a long-term loss to the economy.

        • Draco T Bastard

          but surely Labour can’t support the destruction of NZ’s landscape in this day and age.

          Apparently they do.

          IMO, Labour are still operating as if we’re in the 19th century and that all of the knowledge gained in the 20th century doesn’t exist. This is somewhat better than National who are trying to take us back to the 15th century and serfdom – but not by much.

          • Sacha

            Worst thing is Twyford being stupid enough to parrot libertarian nonsense about land supply being the main problem with housing affordability. Genius strategy.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Yeah, that’s a big one. Build upwards and the land supply issue goes away but so does the land-bankers unearned profits.

    • Kiwiri 4.2

      Dunne, ACT and Green voted against it (didn’t think those three would ever end up in one sentence!).

      NZ First abstained.

      The bill went through first reading by 92 votes (14 against). Natz Govt doing well as political managers in the House.

  4. Tory 5

    Boots, Bombs and Bullets. Well done to those Labour MP’s who crossed the house in the UK to do what was right. Shall now sit back and watch the Marxist Corbyn and his brown, I mean red shirts “Movement” attempt to intimidate and harass those MP’s that are now classed as traitors. How very socialist.

    • North 5.1

      Foolish Tory. Let’s sit back and watch Pigcreant Cameron preen.

    • Chooky 5.2

      John Pilger on the British warmongering Labour Party amongst other things:

      ‘John Pilger on Paris, ISIS and Media Propaganda (280)’

      “Afshin Rattansi goes underground with John Pilger. Award winning journalist and author, John Pilger talks to us about how Washington, London and Paris gave birth to ISIS-Daesh. Plus we examine the media’s role in spreading disinformation ahead of a vote in Parliament for UK bombing of Syria. Afshin looks at the Autumn Statement and why in a time of high alert we are cutting the police force and buying drones. Also we look at which companies are benefitting from the budget. Plus Afshin is joined once again by former MP and broadcaster, Lembit Opik, to look at the weeks news from a cyber sinking feeling over Trident to budget boosts for the BBC.”

    • One Two 5.3

      I sincerely hope there is a not a human being behind that handle

      Lauding death and begging for the blood of more innocent civilians who will die, is beyond ugly

    • DoublePlusGood 5.4

      If you consider killing people is what is right, then you have no decency.

    • Morrissey 5.5

      Is that you, Te Reo?

  5. What you can do about reducing carbon emissions in a country of only a few million people if your leadership isn’t something out a Dilbert cartoon: in less than 10 years, Uruguay has shifted to 95% of its energy from renewables.

    Méndez attributed Uruguay’s success to three key factors: credibility (a stable democracy that has never defaulted on its debts so it is attractive for long-term investments); helpful natural conditions (good wind, decent solar radiation and lots of biomass from agriculture); and strong public companies (which are a reliable partner for private firms and can work with the state to create an attractive operating environment).

    But, perhaps, the biggest lesson that Uruguay can provide to the delegates in Paris is the importance of strong decision-making.

    That first paragraph could be describing New Zealand. The second paragraph… not so much.

  6. Tinakori Road 7

    Hi John. I told you that you would have to step down. When?

    I’m waiting. Do you want me to destroy your party? Step aside, John. You know what I have. You know that you are finished. Bye-bye.

  7. Manuka AOR 8

    Donald Sutherland: War is for profit

  8. Stuart Munro 9

    If you are interested in the MPI fisheries review you have about a week to make your views known.

  9. Penny Bright 10

    Folks – what is ‘PUBLIC’ about so-called ‘public transport’ in Auckland?

    There are 10 private bus companies, 4 private ferries and a French multi-national which operates and manages Auckland trains.

    How much public subsidy is/ has been provided to these PRIVATE passenger transport providers since Auckland Transport came into existence on 1 November 2010?

    Auckland Transport won’t provide that information in an ‘open, transparent and accountable way’ – claiming this information is ‘contractually confidential’.

    (I know because I asked.)

    In my view – that’s outrageous.

    It’s PUBLIC money – where EXACTLY is it being spent?

    If the private sector are so ‘efficient’ – why do they need public subsidies?

    Why should the public subsidise that which we no longer own, operate or manage?

    Where’s the ‘cost-benefit’ analysis, which PROVES that public subsidy of private passenger services is a ‘cost-effective’ use of public money?

    How can you do a proper ‘cost-benefit’ analysis if you don’t know exactly (and accurately) where the costs fall?

    Why aren’t bus, ferry and train services brought back ‘in house’ under the ‘public service’ model?

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      How much public subsidy is/ has been provided to these PRIVATE passenger transport providers since Auckland Transport came into existence on 1 November 2010?

      Every single cent of profit that they’ve taken. After all, the government (ACC in this case) could have done it with the same people using the same principles and without profit. Actually, as there would be a reduction in bureaucracy the council simply running the PT would be cheaper.

      Profits are the biggest tax on all of us.

    • Ad 10.2

      It’s only Hong Kong that has a public transport system that doesn’t need public subsidy. Way it is globally.

      Car drivers need subsidy too, but most of that is indirect ie through CAPEX not OPEX.

    • Grindlebottom 10.3

      Folks – what is ‘PUBLIC’ about so-called ‘public transport’ in Auckland?

      Ah…Simple. They may be private companies, but their buses & trains are for the use of “the public”. Therefore, it’s “public transport”. Thus said, all those unconcerned may resume their slumber.

  10. Rosemary McDonald 11

    Log prices rise…..

    Workplace safety falls..

    The last time prices were this high there were thirteen killed in forestry…in ONE year.

    And then there’s the increase in logging trucks on the road over what is forecast to be a hot, dry summer.

    More fatal crashes.

    More damage to the roads.

    • BLiP 11.1

      Massive, crazy deforestation on the way, folks. Just as well John Key changed our emissions target to “conditional” before heading to Paris.

  11. woowoo 12

    former act mp’s calls for a ban on muslim migrants is really a call for a police state:

  12. Bill 13

    The first question is on emission reductions. I’m putting the link here, not because I have strong attachments to either this or that side of the inevitable political point scoring that’s going on, but because it’s an example of an OECD country/parliament having a somewhat grown up debate about CC during First Minister question time. A very stark contrast to NZs theatrical Prime Minister’s question time and (I suspect) streets ahead in terms of addressing CC.

  13. joe90 14

    Former Pike River chair John Dow is above the law.

    previously on TS

    U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez says the conviction of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship on a misdemeanor charge sends a message that “no mine operator is above the law.”

    Perez made the statement in a news release Thursday after the verdict was announced in Blankenship’s criminal trial in Charleston.

    Perez said there “must be accountability when people lose their lives because of the neglect of their employer.”

    Blankenship was convicted of conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards. The misdemeanor charge carries up to one year in prison. He was not found guilty of a more serious conspiracy charge. He was also acquitted of making false statements and securities fraud.

    The case centered on West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch Mine, which exploded in 2010, killing 29 men.

  14. ianmac 15

    “Who is this?”
    “His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one and, if you repeat it frequently enough, people will sooner or later believe it.”

    ” That’s from a psychological profile of Adolf Hitler prepared by the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the CIA.”

    Are there others closer to home who subscribe to this?

  15. Peroxide Blonde 16

    “Will Andrew Little turn 2017 into a re-run of 1999? Will he use the occasion of Labour’s 2016 centenary conference to invite James Shaw and Metiria Turei to join him on the stage for a symbolic group hug? Will the three of them then invite the New Zealand voter to bring centre-left politics into the Twenty-First Century by electing a Labour-Green Coalition Government? The “optics” – as the spin-doctors say – would be compelling.”

    Cuddly Chris of Bowalley fame muses.

    Would you turn up to a Labour dinner that has Roger Douglas and Michael Basset as headline? NOT ME!

    Nash and Douglas have a lot in common. They both are deeply in love with themselves.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      Stacking the Deck

      It’s a process that also puts a lot of potentially excellent Labour candidates off. Someone confident in their understanding of industry, agriculture, science, or (God forbid!) running a business, rightly feels affronted at the prospect of being figuratively pinched, poked and prodded by people whose experience of the world is often extremely limited and narrow.

      Translation: Some with an extremely narrow view of the world is put off when others don’t hold their limited view of the world.

      • McFlock 16.1.1

        Apparently the Alliance going down 2.25% in the polls from 1996 had nothing to do with the Greens gaining 5% in 1999, according to Trotter.

        I did like the phrasing “someone confident in their understanding of”, though – that doesn’t mean “someone with an accurate or competent understanding of”. Subtle difference.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      How Economists Are Failing Society: Professor Robert Wade At The Ika Seafood Bar & Grill.

      But if Orthodox Economics pays no heed to the real world and cannot predict an event as devastating as the GFC; if it scorns all those who posit a different interpretation of the economic data; if it guards the tenets of its economic faith as jealously as any member of the Roman curia, and punishes heretics with equal severity; then what, exactly, is the orthodox economics profession?

      The answer lies in the word “faith”. Wade himself said that there is a religious quality to the thinking of the men and women in economic institutions like the NZ Treasury. And this, of course, is exactly what the orthodox economics profession has become – a modern priesthood.

      And that really is what modern economics is – a religion and it’s just as wrong as all the other religions.

      • Colonial Viper 16.2.1

        F-off with your anti-religious slant Draco.

        When the world becomes Godless and Soulless men will still need something to believe in and then they end up choosing poor substitutes like “economics” and “consumerism”, with the new temples “business schools” and “shopping malls.”

        • McFlock

          Oh, bullshit.

          Some of the biggest economic criminals claim to be religious. And likewise, most athiests/agnostics are decent enough without needing to follow the instructions of a magic book.

          • Colonial Viper

            Mate, I didn’t say that people only believe in one thing at a time.

            • McFlock

              Nope. But you did say that without belief in the supernatural people ended up making poor choices to substitute. My third sentence addresses that point.

              • Stuart Munro

                Faith based belief is inevitable because the universe is too large to readily be rationally comprehended. Few people do as Newton did and calculate the basis for what is assumed to be reality – they repose their trust instead in an authority of some kind. Church, Science, Media, Politics. While the institution is self-critical and unambitious this does relatively little harm, but transitions, like NZ’s from an actual local democracy to a US style corporate polyarchy tend to be painful.

                • McFlock

                  It’s the idea that we’ll all turn into vapid creatures of greed without some sort of magic book scaring us with an afterlife to stop us that I find irritating.

        • Ad

          Atheists are in full retreat across the world.
          Being religious is the world’s preferred way of being.

          • McFlock

            That doesn’t make it right.

          • Grindlebottom

            I wonder if that’s true, Ad. And even if it is, whether things will stay that way.

            Religions were particularly strong when nobody knew how things worked in the universe, or when people were/are suffering or under threat eg war and needed comfort. Fat lot of good praying to God or Allah or whoever does when you’re all killing each other and praying to the same God for support & deliverance from your enemy.

            The belief in an afterlife and a God who will reward dead believers might be strong in some (for whatever reason – most commonly through forced installation into young or uneducated, unsophisticated, or otherwise susceptible minds – but the evidence for its truth is piss poor, in fact, non-existent.

            And there seems to be a rising trend in hostility between religions again in places where they are reported to be growing.

            The more widely educated people become, I reckon the faster the “I don’t believe in God” or “I don’t know” or “there may be some higher power but I don’t believe any of the established religions” categories will grow.

          • Grindlebottom

            This also worth a read Ad

  16. adam 17

    I wonder if this would be worth doing here.

    And reaction to the housing crisis in Auckland.

  17. Muttonbird 18–crown

    This is the guy Cameron Slater defended while attacking his victims.

    • Puckish Rogue 18.1

      Didn’t defend him, was concerned about the trial and conviction by media and wanted the full story to come out

      You know the old innocent until proven guilty thing

      • Muttonbird 18.1.1

        Pity he didn’t apply the same innocent until proven guilty policy to Tania Billingsley when he attacked her and her supporters.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Rizalman, 39, was initially charged with indecent assault, assault with intent to commit sexual violation and burglary by remaining in a building

          However, in a pre-trial hearing on Friday, Rizalman’s lawyer, Donald Stevens QC, told High Court Justice David Collins that his client would change his not-guilty plea to the charge of indecent assault.

          Crown prosecutor Grant Burston offered no evidence of the other two charges and the judge discharged Rizalman on both.

          Theres more to this story then was first presented by Tanias supporters

          • Sacha

            including a steaming pile on her porch?

            • Puckish Rogue

              Don’t get me wrong, the guy should definitely be in prison but the way that people, Jan Logie especially, were going on about this case and the reality of what happened looks like two different things

              • Sacha

                I’m not hearing anything different in the crown case than was said at the time (except the pooing). Guy needs serious help.

          • McFlock

            So they pled down. Like Veitch did.
            What’s your point?

            • Puckish Rogue

              My point is that what was stated to have happened and what the courts have decided sound like two different things

              It sounds more like it was a political point scoring exercise

              • weka

                You’ve said that but you haven’t provided any evidence or even explanation.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  The use of the phrase “rape culture” and linking John Key to the case says to me it was more about political point scoring then it was about finding out what happened

              • McFlock

                and yet you’ve come to that conclusion before the facts of the case have been decided by the courts, no?

          • Muttonbird

            Amazing that Slater would back a Muslim in Rizalman, who is a a serial liar and guilty of indecent assault, over an ordinary kiwi not much older than his own daughter.

            One suspects that Slater hates women and people of the socially responsible left more than he hates Islam.

            Staggering if true.

  18. adam 19

    Reflecting on Little’s little shuffle. Do the left inside labour realise they have been stab in the back…..again?

    How many times is that now?

    I really have lost count.

    Are you really willing to keep deluding yourselves?

    The left is dead inside labour.

    A socialist elements is a old dead dream.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Meanwhile the newly ascendant Stuart Nash and the Labour Party treats Douglas and Bassett like VIPs.

      What does it all add up to? A party which sold out its soul a long time ago and is proud of it.

      • Chooky 19.1.1

        +100…adam and CV

        …and I dont care how many sky jumps Little does …it is cheap publicity coverup for what the Labour Party really is today …not a left wing party for the grassroots

        …a bit like jonkey posing with the All Blacks in an All Black jersey ( phony)

        …can you imagine Norm Kirk doing this?…he was a genuine left Labour politician and not a poseur

  19. BLiP 20

    What a good idea . . .

    First, Iceland jailed its crooked bankers for their direct involvement in the financial crisis of 2008. Now, every Icelander will receive a payout for the sale of one of its three largest banks, Íslandsbanki.

    If Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson has his way — and he likely will — Icelanders will be paid kr 30,000 after the government takes over ownership of the bank. Íslandsbanki would be second of the three largest banks under State proprietorship . . .

    . . . why didn’t we do that here? Oh, right. Damn.

  20. Morrissey 21

    Anyone else hear Leighton Smith’s wandery rant about San Bernadino this morning?
    It ranks with other NewstalkZB classics, like the 2003 “cheeky darkies” one.

    NewstalkZB, Friday 4 December 2015, 8:45 a.m.

    Although he is a staunch supporter of massacres perpetrated in the Occupied West Bank, Gaza, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, NewstalkZB’s morning host Leighton Smith (New Zealand’s closest equivalent to Bill O’Reilly or Alan Jones) is not quite so keen on massacres perpetrated in Australia, or in England, or in the United States. Yesterday’s massacre in San Bernadino really got his fertile mind fertilising, and he delivered a memorable lecture about the state of the world. First up for condemnation, of course, was his bête noire, the man whose election in 2008 enraged Leighton Smith as much as it enraged any Klansman in the most backward reaches of Mississippi or Alabama…..

    LEIGHTON SMITH: Ummmmm, errrrrrr, ummmmmm….. Obama was hoping—I could TELL he was hoping—that the people who did this would turn out to be white Christians. He was HOPING for that! So did the liberals at CNN. Ummmm, errrrrrr, ummmmmm…. That’s the way they think. They wanted it to be Christians, not Muslims, that were responsible for this. But I KNEW right away that it wasn’t Christians. I KNEW it would be TERRORISTS that did this. Ummmm, errrrrrr, ahhhhhhmmm….. And their names were Syed Farook. ….[he pauses to let the ethnicity of that name play on the mind of his listeners]…. Syed Rizwan Farook, to be precise… [another meaningful pause]…. and his wife Tashfeen Malik. Ummmm, errrrr… Obama was HOPING they would be Christians so that he could push his anti-guns agenda. Obama TALKS TOO MUCH. …. Ummm, errrrr, ummmmm…. But they were Muslims, of course. Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. [He puts on a high mocking voice] “But Leighton, it might have been a HYBRID!” Give me STR-R-R-RENGTH! Ummm, ahhhh, ummmmmmm…. By the way, did you know he was an ecologist? It has to do with the ecology type of thing. BE CAREFUL OF ECOLOGISTS! Ummm, errrrr…. Time for a commercial break.

    ….continues ranting all morning….

    INTERESTING FACT: Two of this station’s slogans have included: “NewstalkZB: Tune Your Mind”, and “NewstalkZB: Fair and Balanced.”

  21. Macro 22

    This is just appalling!
    When are we going to call on the Australian ambassador and ask him to tell his government to get their shit together! When are we going to say to Australia unless you do something about your blatant abuses of Human Rights we will not cooperate with you militarily and your products are no longer welcome in this country – and more importantly don’t bother with sending your Cricket Team here next year.

    • ianmac 22.1

      Pretty awful stuff for Australians but apparently the public support the stance/actions taken by this and previous Aussie Governments. Sad reaaly.

      • Macro 22.1.1

        yes it is – and that is why we have to as a country stand up to out nearest and dearest and say “Hey Mate – that’s not good enough! And we are going to take our bat and ball home with us, and you can’t come to our place and play cricket until you learn to behave yourself and treat people decently!
        Sometimes, It’s only when your best friends start to become concerned with your behaviour that one starts to think …”hmmm maybe what I am doing is wrong?”

        • ianmac

          There was an ad in NZ recently about speaking up when we see violence in families. Maybe need one for speaking up about those Aussie injustices.

          • miravox

            Sadly, the only speaking up about about refugee detention this government will do is to applaud it. It will ignore the inhumanity.

            • Macro

              We once banned a rugby tour to South Africa over Apartheid (1985). Maybe its time to Ban a Cricket Tour over a similar abuse of Human Rights.
              ICC Banned tours of South Africa between 1982 and 1990

              • weka

                sounds like a good plan to me.

                • Macro

                  I’ve just been watching the test match between South Africa and India being played in Delhi – the composition of the South African team is so multicultural its amazing. 🙂 That would not have been the case 30 years ago.

              • miravox

                Sounds good to me to. I doubt the PM has moved on from the days when he couldn’t remember which side of the apartheid protests he was on. Maybe this could be a wee reminder.

  22. Xanthe 23

    The tide starts to come back in for DotCom we just might see a few of these corrupt prosecuters get their just deserts… remember it was Sony lawyers who advised against involvement because it was not unimaginable that DotCom might prevail

    • ianmac 23.1

      I read that he will retrieve some of his money from Hong Kong but is there something else looking promising?

  23. Penny Bright 24

    Any folks here concerned about the proposed Auckland Transport changes to Eastern Suburbs bus services?


    Public Meeting

    “Have your say on Auckland Transport proposed changes to Eastern Suburbs bus services.”

    WHEN: Saturday, 5 December 2015

    TIME: 10.30am – 12.30pm

    WHERE: Tamaki Ex-Services Association Hall
    Corner of Turua St and Polygon Rd


    This meeting has been convened by Penny Bright, assisted by concerned local residents.

    “There has been a considerable amount of work that has gone into recommendations to Auckland Transport’s proposed changes, by local residents, and their residents and community groups, these proposed changes being supported by the Orakei Local Board Chair, Desley Simpson.

    The purpose of this Public Meeting, is to give the Auckland Transport representatives, (who will have an opportunity to explain their proposed changes), a clear and positive message, that will help improve Eastern Bays bus services for those who use them.

    I look forward to ‘facilitating’ a very constructive Public Meeting, which helps result in a ‘WIN / WIN’ outcome for both Auckland Transport and the residents of the Eastern suburbs and their communities.”

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  24. greywarshark 25

    Coming up in Auckland. The pleasure of December festivities and music.
    Don’t miss:

    $10 at the door (What an affordable price – give yourself and friends a gift!)
    . :
    Saturday December 12 is Frank Sinatra’s birthday.
    In Auckland he’ll be remembered on his birthday at the Thirsty Dog on K Rd.
    And remembered as—Ol’ Pinko Eyes.

    Saturday is Frank Sinatra’s birthday. And not just any old birthday,
    his centenary birthday.
    Frank Sinatra was born on that date in 1915, in Hoboken, New Jersey,
    and died in 1998, aged 82.
    In that lifetime he was the winner of nine Grammy Awards.

    While Linn Lorkin & Friends sing Sinatra standards, the crowd at the Thirsty Dog will hear an account of Sinatra in the 1940s when he was named 12 times in communist witch-hunt hearings in Washington.

    Justin Horn, vocals
    Linn Lorkin, vocals
    Hershal Herscher, piano and accordion
    Stuart Grimshaw, bass
    Dave Powell, tenor sax
    Dean Parker, narration

    Today he’s known as an entertainer who sided with Republican politicians like Nixon and Reagan, hung out with mobsters and swaggered about Las Vegas with his cronies singing, “I did it my way…”

    But there was another side to Sinatra, an early radical Frank.
    He emerged from a political and historical context—the great flood of poverty-stricken European immigrants washed up on the shores of America at the end of the 19th century, the catastrophic economic depression that followed in the 1930s, then a world war meant to establish a peace worth fighting for.
    At the height of his popularity, in the 1940s, Sinatra was branded a Red, a commo—Ol’ Pinko Eyes.

    He was one of the first major stars of the era to stand shoulder to shoulder with the poor and the oppressed.
    While Bing Crosby was crooning to a Republican tune, Sinatra was backing Roosevelt’s New Deal of state-funded work schemes and nationalised industries.
    Asked by a reporter in 1946 what he considered the biggest problem America faced in its post-war world he replied, “Poverty… Every kid in the world should have his quart of milk a day.”

    The great bandleader Duke Ellington remembered Sinatra in the 1940s as
    being the leader of the campaign against race hatred..
    And the Popular Front, the United Auto Workers’ sit-down strike in Michigan…
    And the 1947 number that pinned Sinatra’s politics to his lapel,
    “The House That I Live In”—

    “The house I live in, a plot of earth, a street
    The grocer and the butcher, and the people that I meet
    The children in the playground, the faces that I see
    All races and religions, that’s America to me

    “The place I work in, the worker by my side
    The little town or city where my people lived and died
    The ‘howdy’ and the handshake, the air of feeling free
    And the right to speak my mind out, that’s America to me…”

    Linn Lorkin, Justin Horn and Hershal Herscher will be singing Sinatra standards, with Herscher joining Dave Powell and Stuart Grimshaw in Auckland’s Frank Sinatra Big Band.
    “Fly Me To The Moon” … “I Get A Kick Out Of You”… “Strangers In The Night” .
    At –
    $10 at the door


    WHERE: Albert Park at the top
    WHEN: Evening of Sunday December 13th
    Live entertainment on the rotunda 5.30pm – 8.30pm

    MORE INFO: A celebration of Chanuka (sometimes called the “Jewish Xmas”).
    Food and gift stalls.
    Live entertainment on the rotunda 5.30pm – 8.30pm. The groups Truppman, Sababa and Simcha will perform, as will a choir, and The Jews Brothers Band with maestro guest violinist James Sneyd will be adding to the mix, doing a nice long set 7.15 – 8pm
    Come join in the special festivities!

  25. Ad 26

    For those in need of a good leftie weep; try:
    “The Rise of the Illegitimate Authority of Transnational Corporations”, by Susan George.

    A barrel-o’-laffs, but still if you want high fibre truthiness, here it is.

  26. Morrissey 27

    Remarks on Hilary Benn’s “extraordinary” pro-war speech
    by JOE EMERSBERGER, Friday 4 December 2015

    The UK’s establishment press (i.e. the pro-war press) has been raving about a speech that Labour MP Hilary Benn made in support of joining the US, France and Russia in bombing Syria.

    The Spectator published the text of the speech with the headline “Full text of Hilary Benn’s extraordinary speech in favour of Syria airstrikes”

    Below are some quotes from it and my comments.

    The speech opens with a call for Prime Minister David Cameron to apologize for calling Jeremy Corbyn a “terrorist sympathiser”. That’s the high point of Benn’s speech. It’s all downhill from there.

    …we have a moral and a practical duty to extend the action we are already taking in Iraq to Syria…We now have a clear and unambiguous UN Security Council Resolution 2249….because every state has the right to defend itself – why would we not uphold the settled will of the United Nations”

    He uses third rate sophistry to insinuate that the UK has some kind of legal obligation to bomb Syria. The UN resolution he refers to is not a chapter VII resolution. The U.K. would therefore have a very dubious legal authorization – never mind obligation – to bomb Syria.

    …can we really stand aside and refuse to act fully in our self-defence against those who are planning these attacks?”

    He simply asserts that dropping bombs defends people in the UK rather than exposing them – never mind innocent bystanders in Syria – to even more risk.

    And if we do not act, what message would that send about our solidarity with those countries that have suffered so much – including Iraq and our ally, France….It has been argued in the debate that airstrikes achieve nothing. Not so. Look at how Daesh’s forward march has been halted in Iraq.”

    Ah yes Iraq – that stunning success that continues to embarrass anti-war activists. Damn. Was hoping he would not bring it up. Didn’t Tony Blair say in 2003 that – twelve years invading Iraq to get rid of non-existent WMD – the UK would be bombing a terrorist group with a foothold in Iraq, Syria and Libya? Was over a decade of bombing “acting in self-defence” as has been constantly claimed, or was it acting in self-destruction by enflaming the threat of anti-western terrorism – to say nothing of the destruction unleashed on the people in those war ravaged countries?

    Now, I share the concerns that have been expressed this evening about potential civilian casualties. However, unlike Daesh, none of us today act with the intent to harm civilians. Rather, we act to protect civilians from Daesh – who target innocent people.”

    Well that makes all the difference in the world to people who watch their loved ones get blown up by UK bombs doesn’t it? The lack of concern is why a moronic speech like this is widely hailed by the establishment press. Consequences for UK are brushed aside, never mind Syrians.

    But I’ll tell you what else we know, is whatever the number – 70,000, 40,000, 80,000 – the current size of the opposition forces mean the longer we leave taking action, the longer Daesh will have to decrease that number.”

    Here we have pathetic delusions of military grandeur – as if no other countries were bombing Syria and the UK’s contribution was going to be a game changer. The nineteenth century is over. Please move on.

    Benn closes with the stupid but obligatory and predictable WWII analogy below. Surprised he didn’t work in a warning that the UK must not risk being like Neville Chamberlain.

    And we are here faced by fascists. Not just their calculated brutality, but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this chamber tonight, and all of the people that we represent. They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt. They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt. They hold our democracy, the means by which we will make our decision tonight, in contempt. And what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated. And it is why, as we have heard tonight, socialists and trade unionists and others joined the International Brigade in the 1930s to fight against Franco. It’s why this entire House stood up against Hitler and Mussolini. It is why our party has always stood up against the denial of human rights and for justice. And my view, Mr Speaker, is that we must now confront this evil. It is now time for us to do our bit in Syria. And that is why I ask my colleagues to vote for the motion tonight.”

    • greywarshark 27.1

      Thanks Morrisey for that headsup on Hilary Benn. With Labour friends like that who needs enemies.

      You say it was surprising they didn’t resurrect Chamberlain. (I used to think of him as having made a bad move, but in hindsight his appeasing was said to have enabled Britain to speed up its defences and armaments program, and if war had been declared earlier Britain would have been overwhelmed, outgunned etc.)

      I started thinking of all the togetherness and alliances of countries that led to WW1. The shooting of one noble of one country by a gunman from an opposing group, was inflated to be a declaration of hostilities (could be compared to France blowing up the Rainbow Warrior in our port). In 1914 the bellicose and the over-active anxieties of countries led to a domino-like fall to war, so horribly.

      This post points out the dangerous side of alliances. He lists the various moves of countries who felt uneasy about their neighbours’ intentions.

      Alarmed by this strong central bloc:
      a. France in 1894 made an alliance with Russia, and
      b. In 1904 France made an agreement with Britain called the Entente Cordiale (= ‘Friendly Relationship’ – not a formal alliance, but a promise to work together).

      c. In 1907, Britain made an entente with Russia, thus forming the Triple Entente (France, Russia, Great Britain).
      d. In 1902 Britain made a naval treaty with Japan.

      The Triple Entente alarmed Germany, which felt itself surrounded by the France-Russia alliance.

      The countries of Europe thought that the alliance system would act as a deterrent to war; in fact it tied the countries together so that, when one country went to war, the others felt themselves obliged to follow.
      (The map shows in two colours red and yellow the position, red for Britain, France and enormous Russia and in between in yellow Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy..

  27. Reddelusion 28

    There’s monsters under the bed as well Ad😀

  28. Chooky 29

    there is hope yet

    ‘Bernie polling better than Obama was in 2007’


    “Tonight’s Politics Panel discusses how the Republican presidential candidates are inciting violence and hate, Bernie’s poll numbers today compared with Obama’s in 2007, and whether the rumors surrounding Rubio’s extramarital affairs are true. Thom discusses how the Republican Party promotes misogyny in America with People For the American Way’s Marge Baker and the National Abortion Federation’s Vicki Saporta and Facebook’s expanding of paid parental leave with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters’ Rome Aloise”.

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