Open mike 05/06/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 5th, 2019 - 216 comments
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Open 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 …

216 comments on “Open mike 05/06/2019 ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Al Gore says "The more deeply I search for the roots of the global environmental crisis, the more I am convinced that it is an outer manifestation of an inner crisis that is, for lack of a better word, spiritual… what other word describes the collection of values and assumptions that determine our basic understanding of how we fit into the universe?”

    • Incognito 1.1

      “As above, so below”.

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        I see it in the pose of the Magician. Hermes Trismegistus would be proud!

      • Poission 1.1.2

        “The ancient covenant is in pieces; man knows at last that he is alone in the universe's unfeeling immensity, out of which he emerged only by chance. His destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is his duty. The kingdom above or the darkness below: it is for him to choose.”

        Jaques Monod (Chance and necessity)

        • Robert Guyton

          Yeah, nah!

          Paula Bennett (Politician by Chance)

          • greywarshark

            Is there a gym and makeover company called 'Chance'? I have been wondering who or what is responsible for a very clever change in Paula which speaks of a clever cotourier and life and body shape coach getting a lot of money from this woman to whom apparently, image is primary.

    • bewildered 1.2

      Al Gore has a global carbon foot print of a small country

    • johnm 2.1

      Melzer, who by his own admission began his investigation as someone who had “been affected by the same misguided smear campaign as everybody else” regarding Assange, speaks of Assange’s plight with the fresh-eyed ferocity of a man who has not been immersed in a soul-corroding career in establishment politics or mass media. A man has not been indoctrinated into accepting as normal the relentless, malicious character assassinations of the western political/media class against a publisher of inconvenient facts about the powerful. A man who, when looking deeply and objectively into the facts with uncorrupted vision, was able to see clearly just how unforgivably abusive Assange’s treatment has been.

      • johnm 2.1.1

        The Murdering of Julian Assange

        Julian Assange is being slowly murdered by “Her Majesty’s Prison Service” at Belmarsh prison in the south-east of London. The prison is notorious for holding people who have never been charged with a crime indefinitely. It is also called the British version of Guantanamo, and, typically used to detain so-called terrorists, thus called by the British police and secret service and aped by the British MSM and establishment. Terrorists that become terrorists by continuous and repeated accusations, by media propaganda, but not necessarily by fact.

        Julian Assange has been condemned to a ‘temporary’ prison sentence of 50 weeks for jumping bail, when he sought and was granted refuge in 2012 in the Ecuadorian Embassy. And why did he jump bail? Because he was about to be extradited to neofascist Sweden, who acting in the name of Washington, accused him with phony rape and sexual misconduct charges, from where he would have most likely been extradited to the US – where he might have faced a kangaroo court and a fake trial with possible death sentence, or indefinite incarceration at Guantanamo.

  2. A late response last night – in my experience there is nothing so past as a past post. So in justification to myself, after WeTheBleeple called into question my ability to comment –

    "If you were to never mention these subjects, how is you you know ALL your students were profoundly ignorant on said subjects.


    “Your description of the average Han reminds me of Trump supporters. National supporters, Hosking readers…"

    “But we are so superior.”

    • greywarshark5.

      4 June 2019 at 4:02 pm

      Yes how did you know Tony V? – but WtB he seems a sound commenter and I think you are being touch.

      • Tony Veitch [not etc.]

        5 June 2019 at 5:38 am

        A late response:

      • Such a prohibition only spurred the foreign teachers to venture, tentatively, on the forbidden subjects. (Though not often – probably about less than ten times in 3 and a half years) Invariably, in the case of Tianamen Square, nothing – the event had been erased from their knowledge of their own history. Tibet and Taiwan, when mentioned casually, occasioned a full blown propaganda response.

        I taught senior high school kids and young adults about the age of mid twenties on the whole. With very few exceptions none could place NZ on a world map. For God's sake, I even encountered one student who couldn't even find China without a search!

        Urumqi is the furtherest city from the sea in the world – 2250 kms in any direction. Perhaps that explains the depth of ignorance.

        I also taught a smattering of older students who had lived through the Cultural Revolution. Their stories, retailed in meetings outside the classroom, were quite harrowing. They confirmed the censorship that prevails in China about Tianamen.

        I might be spouting Chinaphobic drivel, but it is drivel derived from observation on the ground (albeit in a remote part of China).

    • WeTheBleeple 3.1

      So you repeat this shite here why?

      I saw your reply, you got one back.

      "the depth of ignorance."

      Yes. It runs deep all right.

      Go look at the other thread to get real context folks, if this sort of petty shit amuses you.

      • I'm sorry, but the vitriol is out of all proportion to the offence!

        • WeTheBleeple

          At university some of the favorite students were the Chinese. One couple, Woody & Sue, who'd anglicised their names for our convenience, were learning english at the same time they sat (and passed) post-grad biology including metabolomics, genetics and biochemistry.


          But tell me more about how stupid they are.

          Vitriol so offensive right, but casual racism’s ok when versed politely.

          • WeTheBleeple

            PS I'm not calling you racist – just the whole thread in the context it was presented. The separation of Chinese people from the Chinese state is required before it has any merit at all.

            • In the next apartment where I lived, a nine year old Chinese girl used to practise the piano until about midnight. To succeed in China you have to compete, and I mean really compete. When I told my high school students I had an after school job at 12, they looked at me incredulously. They had no 'after school!'

              Most the students I encountered in Urumqi were learning English with the hope of, usually, getting a job with a foreign company (better pay and conditions) and/or moving east to where the real money was to be made.

              Yet many of these students in their final years at high school (and many from No.1 Middle School, the best in the city) had, and I repeat, a profound ignorance of both geography and history.

              I also taught in a language school in NZ. One day I entered my classroom to see a Chinese student on his knees, stabbing a compass point into a map, which he had removed from the wall. When I asked him what he thought he was doing, he replied, 'Taipei is not the capital of a country.'

              I don't doubt for one moment the ability of Chinese student to work hard and shine, and I personally have found them good students to teach, and pleasant people to be around, both in China and NZ.

              But let's not lose sight of the fact that their view of the world is a carefully manufactured and controlled one.

              • WeTheBleeple

                Yes but my point is so is ours (world view manufactured). We hid our history and banned Maori language… We might have improved now… leading me to believe we could encourage, rather than denigrate, those in similar situations.

                Just go have a drink in the pub in Gore to get some stunning displays of ignorance.

                • Fair point – I've been in rural pubs and been appalled by the narrow-mindedness expressed by many.

                  But our ignorance is, to a large extent. 'willing' ignorance. We could, if we wished, expand our view of the world. That many of us don't is not to our credit.

                  In the school I taught at in China, wikipedia was banned. Why? Because it contained articles critical of China. I remember trying to access an article on another site sourced in the US – I'd read about three lines and then the rest of the article disappeared.

                  Chinese 'ignorance' is largely unwilling. Their access to differing points of view is strictly limited. For this they are to be 'pitied' rather than criticised and my comments shouldn't really be taken as criticism, merely observations of what I encountered.

                  Whatever the cause or reason, it still came across to me as a deep and profound ignorance.

                  • francesca

                    We're probably pretty ignorant of it too Tony.

                    The full picture at any rate.

                    You would be amazed how many NZers still don't know the year the Waitangi Trearty was signed!

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      Yeah wilful ignorance is certainly a problem. Mostly a defense mechanism of the right (planets burning but it's inconvenient as I've shares in Statoil…).

                      As a coping mechanism, it kinda works. The humor around being wilfully ignorant can be top notch, and helps one laugh at their station. The promotion of it via politicians, to me, is simply unforgiveable.

                  • greywarshark

                    I think people using ‘vitriol’ and other highly-flavoured negative descriptions, is a bad way of indicating too strongly one's own opinion. Though it makes one feel self satisfied (put you in your place you nasty, big-mouthed loon). And I have done it myself, but you have to keep learning and moving away promptly from ineffective thinking and behaviour these days.

                    Perhaps following the advice of 'good communication' teachers and social work facilitators and expressing the thought using the I word, (which I find can be overdone and self-centred if overused), but is useful ie 'Hearing that word makes me feel unhappy with the way the discussion is trending'. So that's a mild objection to tone down 'vitriol' and it should then be followed up with a 'Why – do you feel so strongly that you use choose that term? What is the background for your very negative response?'

                    I think society has to watch the way that controversial discussions are managed, to keep down the extreme emotions otherwise we will get caught up in disagreements about terms and language instead of discussing the issue. The more important it is, the more emotive the language until cool and wise thinking is impossible. Ways to run meetings with someone adjudicating and timing speakers will be a necessary part of learnings about leadership, there are techniques which are not regularly used.

                    We are constantly being stressed by the breakdown of our people and planet systems, and the lack of morality and respect in treatment of each other. (One instance is companies not replying to all applicants for a job – it is neglecting the sensible and fair rules of behaviour. I like examples to illustrate my reasoning.)

                    And venting hate at hateful people is a useless though instantly satisfying behaviour. It clears the stress, but then what is the next step for moving that person out of their position? Spiking their guns etc. The 'don't get mad, get even' saying is the one to keep in mind. Trump is a good example, and he stands in for all Clown Princes and Princesses. There needs to be an assiduous group working to impeach him, and there probably is. But they will be self-controlled, keep their emotions in check, keep schtum and plan for unobtrusiveness, and won't flap their tongues to the media.

                • Kevin

                  You think ignorance is reserved for those from small rural servicing towns?

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    No, but it's more obvious there.

                    • Peter Christchurch NZ

                      Sadly, it is your ignorance that is showing here. Maybe a tinge of racism too.

                      Not a single comment in that thread yesterday was even close to denigrating the Chinese people, although the older Chinese invariably are very closed mind to outsiders – the product of all those decades of isolation. Tony Veitch [etc] and myself are commenting from direct immersion in China. In my case, that immersion continues with our business, my partner (Chinese), frequent business visits to China. It also included lecturing Chinese students at Lincoln University in Accounting.

                      All the book reading in the world or chatting to a few Chinese students in NZ is no substitute for direct experience.

                      Nothing I or anyone says will open your eyes no doubt. Rapid racism and ideology is blind.

                    • Kevin

                      Is it really?

                      I have frequented drinking establishments all over the NI and SI, rural and urban and frankly, you are talking shit.

                    • Peter Christchurch NZ

                      Kevin: no, you are 100% correct. My comments were directed at WTB and his comments on the thread above regarding the Tiananmen massacre. I guess I was not clear in that. Sorry for confusion.

                    • left_forward

                      No Bleep – that is not helpful – if there was a word to describe it, it might be <i>ruralism</i>, as an equivalent of racism.

                      Rural communities suffer greatly from institutional and personal ruralism, and you are merely continuing a stereotypical bias with another subset of people.

                      People everywhere are broadly diverse and it is not helpful or accurate to apply any form of personality / character judgement based upon a so-called group trait.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      I come from a village. A village of racist wife beaters. I can call it as I see it too. I'm not saying all country folk are as described, but I'm not holding a torch for them either.

                      My village was close to Te Aroha, a town in the news cycle right now concerning a LBGT group starting there to try and counter homophobia (by lending support to LGBT).

                      Last time I was there I heard tales of the local dope growers tried to kill their mate in the patch to keep all the weed but he lived and came out of the bush and had them charged.

                      So evolved that neck of the woods.

          • Nowhere have I ever said the Chinese people are stupid. Ignorance and stupidity are not the same thing.

            Ignorance can be 'cured,' stupidity never, (well almost never).

      • greywarshark 3.1.2

        WtB You are getting too worked up. Time to slow it please. Look carefully at the dart board to see if it is a real one before you aim for the bullseye. Is that unfair to bulls – I never thought of that before? You are raising my sensitivity WtB. Suggestion – have a go at me, if you are irritated and leave some people for others if they deserve a bollocking.

        Thanks Tony Veitch most interesting. About not reading maps well, showing ignorance, I think that street research about general knowledge in the USA has revealed similar levels of ignorance about the world, and their own country. Big countries successfully limiting information and narrowing education – is it actually general practice?

        • WeTheBleeple

          So I am racist for mentioning the pedigree of (some) country pubs, which I used to make a living in…

          People open up to the entertainment, especially drinking into the small hours. I've heard these nasty bastards open right up.

          It was only today I had to stop a Northland hick visiting a friend who thought the N word appropriate to describe the neighbors.

          No tolerance for it. And yes, possibly over zealous.

          Tony decided to carry it on today, I responded. He coulda just admitted his original statement was nonsensical instead of starting a shit fight.

          So fuck him and his ego, I'm gonna go eat worms.

    • francesca 3.2

      Wikileaks has a searchable cache of situation reports from the US Embassy in Beijing , concerning the Tianamen Square showdown .I had no idea it went on for 6 weeks and that some soldiers were taken hostage .And the Chinese govt was not a monolith, there were hardliners and more liberal elements.

      So much of what we think we know we know from a selective view provided to us by the media.

      Where would we be without Wikileaks?

      Save Assange!

      Now I know that some commenters shy like frightened horses at the mention of MoonofAlabama, think of MOA as a conduit to a primary source in this case and glide over the rest.

      Seriously, its bloody interesting.

      • francesca 3.2.1

        an excerpt

        Remember the iconic photo of Tankman ?Bravely halting the tanks?

        "According to the man who took the photo, AP photographer Jeff Widener, the photo dates from June 5 the day after the Tiananmen Square incident. The tanks were headed away from, and not towards, the Square. They were blocked not by a student but by a man with a shopping bag crossing the street who had chosen to play chicken with the departing tanks. The lead tank had gone out its way to avoid causing him injury."

      • Peter Christchurch NZ 3.2.2

        A great book is 'Tiananmen Moon'. It was written by a BBC journalist present in Tiananamen Square during the protests, one of the few western journos allowed in.

        Without any doubt whatsoever, the vast majority of those present in Beijing (and the almost 100 other cities where similar protests were taking place at that time, were sincere in wanting liberalisation, political and economic. As invariably happens, the 'revolution' was in its latter days hijacked by a very small minority hell bent on slef interest.

        That in no way whatsoever lessens the evil of what happened.

  3. Robert Guyton 4

    Emergent properties; a water molecule is not wet; it's only when you have millions of them together that the quality of "wetness" emerges; what emergent qualities might we see as present conditions evolve? They can't be predicted; they are unexpected and novel.

    • What the Sam Hill ?- water isnt wet , its only when our bodily senses that are made up of billions of atoms and thus molecules perceive it to be wet. Whats far more interesting is the empty spaces between atoms and thus molecules.

      For there and not far away , is where we will find true science and the interdimensional nature of this universe. And put away childlike Einstien and limited physics and embrace Tessla and Quantum physics instead. I wonder if the slow learner Big Al has realized that yet?

    • Incognito 4.2

      Imagine what might emerge when you connect millions of nucleic acids or amino acids with water molecules (and a few other).

      • Robert Guyton 4.2.1

        "Emergent properties" thinking suggests that we should prepare for a Big Surprise; how to do that is a challenge.

        • WeTheBleeple

          When you add energy to a biological system DNA micro-mutations can be more frequent and severe. This bodes badly for individuals, but given enough time, might enhance (or bottleneck and kill off) the species.

          Auckland is already emerging as the place to grow loads of stuff, but it's full of buildings… We can grow temperate, mediterranean and subtropical here now…

          But the current models would have the entire bioregion under monoculture (we grow pot bellied pigs in Ponsonby and they'd like to take over everything else).

          The mix of sub-tropical plants with temperate soil microbiota might show some interesting end results but prediction, as you say, is very difficult. There may be some devastating pathogens, but so long as we increase biodiversity we could get through relatively unscathed – except the human pathogens.

          We will change as people. We will value and respect water finally (or perish), and biodiversity (or perish). There will be a re-emergence of eco-centric societies. This much preferable to the ego-centric fractions and factions of today.

          And I predict people (maybe not today's America) will go right off corporate entities and home grown business will emerge alongside alternate trading systems and even currencies.

          Carpentry, mechanics, sewing, cooking, crop husbandry will re-emerge as useful skills.

          We've passed the 11th hour. There's no reversing anything with our tepid leadership and the bankers grip on the planet (and their silly growth model).

          There will be disasters, war, famine, disease…

          So Nike can increase its shares.

          There will emerge an uprising, a horde of billions, but far too late.

          I call it as I see it, a year ago I'd have given us a chance, then I paid attention and saw how spineless and toothless the world's governments really are.

          Jostling for position, the one closest to the sun gets to die first.

          Take the bankers down before they take the planet down. That is my emergent thought.

          • gsays

            In another thread a day or so ago, The Peoples Budget was linked to by The Chairman. A Bryan Bruce chaired town hall meeting in Otahuhu.

            A comment from the floor got to the core of things.

            Instead of the government spending $6B on interest annually, to private sector banks, it could issue it's own currency. (Sure treasury would have to clear out the Mr Magoos it currently employs.)

            Apparently there are a few hundred billion dollars of debt that would have to be managed.

            Can someone here explain to me, as if to an 8 yr old, how this transition could take place?

            The most obvious way would be to vote Social Credit and rid parliament of these neo liberal thinking junkies.

            • RedLogix

              It's a very good question. There is nothing inherently wrong with the idea of a credit based currency (99% of all currency circulating is pure credit, not cash) … but why we allowed private banks an effective monopoly on it's creation was always a preposterous nonsense.

              • Brigid

                " why we allowed private banks an effective monopoly on it's creation was always a preposterous nonsense."


                As Bruce Beetham said 40 or so years ago, when it was called 'funny money'.

                Now that it's called quantitative easing it suddenly has gained respectability.

              • Adrian Thornton

                "but why we allowed private banks an effective monopoly on it's creation was always a preposterous nonsense."

                Plus one on that!

                I email RNZ regularly and quiry their insistence on having bank economists as their main go to economists to talk about our economy, they are not neutral players.

          • RedLogix

            We will change as people. We will value and respect water finally (or perish), and biodiversity (or perish). There will be a re-emergence of eco-centric societies. This much preferable to the ego-centric fractions and factions of today.

            That is true and incontrovertible. Somewhere in many of us is an unreconstructed hippie from the 70's who still fondly remembers The Whole Earth Catalog. It was a vision with merit and a rustic coherence that appealed to that part of us which mourns what we have sacrificed on the alter of the modern world’s overwheening materialism.

            Yet ultimately I think it was insufficient; it was at some level a retreat from reality, an abdication of responsibility, a withdrawing into a self-centred hope to survive when billions around us don't. The unspoken implication was always, me and my mates will be right Jack … the rest can go to hell in whatever burning handbasket you stumble across.

            Unless our vision is universal, unless it is capable of encompassing the whole of humanity, unless all Nine Billion Names of God are called and accounted for, then we fail morally.

            This is the point on which so many human schemes falter, we have an idea that we think will solve all our material problems, an idea so wonderful that it is worth any moral sacrifice to achieve. It's why Stalin thought it a good idea to starve Ukraine in order to have collectivisation. He thought it the most reasonable, the most efficient and certain means to achieve his goal … yet history judges him a failure and a monster.

            This is why I ask the question, does our eco-centric vision pass this test? Let me emphasis that I understand and support the ideal here. Yet if implicitly it means that the clean water and reliable electricity fail, the police no longer turn up, the doctors disappear and there are no vaccines, no antibiotics, no dentists, no safe food to eat, no schools, no communications … none of the things that make life possible for most of 9 billion people … then we will fail just as Stalin did.

            If you think I argue for the status quo you are wrong. What I argue for is even more radical than you imagine … that all of us must emerge 'a new race of men' … or none at all. And that the path to get there is far more challenging than we think; so challenging that only if we act as if we were one human race do we stand a chance.

            • WeTheBleeple

              I agree absolutely. I can't build a food forest in the face of encroaching desert and hope she'll be right, as it wont.

              But collectively, we can repel deserts, as was shown with work on the Loess Plateau.

              But imo

              The momentum required will arrive too late. There are delays to the effects of all the damage we're doing, by the time life is getting untenable we're probably well past the point of no return.

              I hope I'm wrong, i see no evidence we're getting anywhere, last year resulted in record CO2 emissions

              RECORD emissions, with full knowledge that it is destroying us.

              Like watching an alcoholic who is told they'll die if they finish the wine barrel. Red lips, flushed face, gulp gulp gulp.

              We're cooked.

              • RedLogix

                All this I cannot quibble with; yet I still demand that the only response to utter catastrophe is total defiance.

                Right now I've some choices to make that are keeping me awake at night. At the lowest moments of highest anxiety I have to consciously tell myself that even if the odds are stacked against a good outcome, giving up is the path to certain failure. Eventually I fall asleep and in the morning I get up and keep plugging at it. This is my best bet, even if it isn't a very good one.

                Each of us on our own will feel hopeless, as hopeless as the one food forest holding back an encroaching desert. This is why connection between individuals is crucial, why we are never really alone when we set aside our ego and allow the differences and diversity of others to seep over our borders. It's this balance, this selective permeability that simultaneously allows 'other' in, while maintaining the integrity of the 'self' that we struggle with.

                It's not like-minded people we need to connect with, so much as people who we do not naturally agree with, who contend with us and cause us irritation who are the ones we need most. Because from this interaction something new is capable of arising.

            • mikesh

              It was probably either the Ukranians or the workers in the cities; but it was the latter who were building the factories and infrastructure that made Russia great.

              Incidentally I thought was Lenin, though I could be wrong.

          • greywarshark

            It seems to me that the 'Plain Living' movement must coalesce and form a community who are in touch and share skills and knowledge.' There is no other way to ensure that a good number of people can flourish and be happy.

            The settled power structures and their control over peoples minds do not want to change their thinking and practices which lead to technological control over the world with no owners, but corporate people bowing to a cult of whatever. And that cult does not care about individuals though it talks about invidualism, which is to edge people out of societal thinking into personal gratification and materialism. The use of alghorithms is growing, the entities using them think that they are being clever and efficient while they use the machine ideas to define behaviour in their area of work and responsibility. They are doing us all out of working with each other which makes our society right now. Eventually the machines will do the administrators out of a job. 'First they came for… then they came for… then they came for you.'

            But humans want to live, and stroke their animals, and work and finish a job they have done alone or with others, and take part in the world. There has to be a two-tier layer of society with the top layer being under, at present, reluctant control imposed by cautionary minds, of its expansion into technology etc – but I think it is unstoppable. The Plain Living people (or whatever name they adopt) will have to create a united group with quirky differences but practical and trustworthy and kind and helping others to adapt to new-old ways. This is already happening but is still not seen as a main and forward-looking way of managing life, just an interesting alternative or experiment.

            And be aware that the machine-minds will not be happy, the authoritarians will not be happy. Plain Living people are likely to be harassed. See how the RW states of America with the least amount of morality in their background have brought in swingeing anti-abortion laws, and Planned Parenthood as well apparently. They have decided to look moral and righteous and chosen women and sexuality as their featured cover which masks all the other amoral things they do.

            I am interested in what people do, as well as what they say. We have achieved the vision of the WW2 generation, that's nice for us children of that time. But it's a different future requiring different thoughts which must hold on to practical human values. We must accept hard facts, and try to manage things humanely and fairly, with the best of our religious beliefs but not allowing them to be the total authority on everything. We want to respect life, and death, but will have to control babies, so have willingness to allow abortions because we are very fertile animals. We must be prepared to be working parts of the community even as aged people, not being carried by others and provided for like children.

            If all Plain Living people form groups, with common agreements as to rules and controls, there will be different styles with different main interests but people should be able to have a life and putting clever heads together, should not descend to peasant level just scraping a living. The other tier of society will always watch and try to take advantage, because that is the approach that moneyed people take, if not adopting shonky practices themselves, they will overlook them in others if it is necessary to maintain their lifestyle. Hence the present division between rich and poor in the midst of affluence.

            (Lots of editing has gone on here. I have tried to make it coherent but there will be lots of holes to pick which will be enjoyable for some. If you can find a better hole, go to it, as they used to say in WW1.)

    • gsays 4.3

      Emergent properties, I have often wondered about the power and effects of 10% of the populace meditating regularly.

      Schools seems like a great place for that to happen. No sooner than I type that I hear a wise voice say 'beware the proselytizer'.

    • The Al1en 4.4

      A single molecule floating in the air isn't defined as wet, but when it touches another and starts to condense, it is. Therefore a puddle, glass or pool of water is most definitely wet.

      • WILD KATIPO 4.4.1


        Another one led by the holographic lie.

        Anyone ever told you your opinion is totally subjective?

        • The Al1en

          UCSB science line website

          To answer this question, we need to define the term "wet." If we define "wet" as the condition of a liquid sticking to a solid surface, such as water wetting our skin, then we cannot say that water is wet by itself, because it takes a liquid AND a solid to define the term "wet."

          If we define "wet" as a sensation that we get when a liquid comes in contact with us, then yes, water is wet to us.

          If we define "wet" as "made of liquid or moisture", then water is definitely wet because it is made of liquid, and in this sense, all liquids are wet because they are all made of liquids. I think that this is a case of a word being useful only in appropriate contexts.

          • The Al1en


            Why is water wet? And the proper answer is: strong tetrahedral hydrogen bonding

            Chemist Richard Saykally.

          • WILD KATIPO

            Yes but its still subjective if you try to define anything , isnt it. Or at worst , general consensus , because that's all it is ,- consensus. And as for something being a 'liquid ' its still just a bunch of atoms and molecules with gaps so big you could drive a truck through them. Attracted by weak dipole charges, – so whats the difference between a lump of wood, and 'liquid' lava?

            Because as sure as day follows night theres no way if you come onto contact with that 'liquid' lava , your going to describe that as being 'wet'. You will say 'ouch!' very loudly and forget very quickly about whats wet and whats not. You will then say its bloody hot instead. And still miss the point that in between those molecules and atoms there are large gaps.

            Therefore it is simply a matter of scale and what you in your subjective opinion would then go on to describe only. Yet what really matters is what lies in between the spaces of neutrons and protons.

            • The Al1en

              It's not my definition or my subjectivity, it's the opinion of a renowned chemist, and one I'm quite content to take as fact.

              If you want to argue about your scientifically erroneous postulation that water isn't wet, take it up with Mr Saykally, he'll set you straight.

              And liquid lava. Lol Isn’t that just molten rock. I’m not a vulcanologist but I wouldn’t say it was liquid.

              • Yes , but even your opinion of the opinion of a so called 'renowned ' scientist is still subjective. There was a time when scientists said smoking was good for your health and the earth was flat. They're always getting it wrong. Despite generous government grants.

                As for molten rock that is lava, – what would you describe it as ? A solid ? How come it runs and drips in inconvenient places everywhere?

                • The Al1en

                  The quota link gives a very good explanation as to why lava isn't a liquid, again, from a chemist.

                  Worth repeating, take it up with the renowned scientist if you think he's as wrong as an olde worlde flat earther or in the pay of governments. At the same time you could email De Grasse Tyson and tell him he's an idiot because the moon really is made of cheese 🙄 lol

                  • Well how do you know the moon isnt made of cheese? – have you been there smarty pants?

                    And wasn't the main break through's in history's discovery's made by amateurs and not the so called 'professionals?'. So why should we trust the opinions of someone whose gone through the sausage factory and gets to plonk a few silly nonsensical letters behind their name?

                    • The Al1en

                      Really, you're going with have I been to the moon, prove it? :sigh:

                      Yeah, you seem eminently qualified to make sound scientific judgements in contradiction to those qualified dopes, one a professor of chemistry at usc in Berkeley, the other a chemist and engineer.

                      Why would anyone have ever doubted it?

                    • Well that's exactly the point, – how can you or I even begin to trust those so called 'qualified dopes '?

                      They didn't do too well with the Titanic , did they ? They couldn't even think ahead to put enough life boats on the stupid thing.

                      And what happened to the Challenger in 1986 ? – it explodes on lift off barely into the stratosphere and you want us to put our faith in what the eggheads have to say?

                      I'll bet it wouldn't have exploded if they were on board, would it have.

                      So why shouldn't we reckon the moons made out of cheese?

                      Going on your hero's past track records we can hardly even believe they made a moon / cheese landing in the 1960's . How do we / you know it wasn't just another petty political race to sell more rubber grommets to the Russians for their rockets?

                      Which all just goes to prove how not only are those idiots absolutely frikking clueless in predicting , – and then preventing , – even the most basic of accidents and planning ahead for potential health and safety issues , – but totally and monumentally gormless at forming a theory let alone discovering what really consists of the gaps between protons and neutrons .

                      All we ever get is some cockamamie bullshit about 'cosmic glue' or some other inane cop out. And governments pay them for this stuff!!

                    • Well that's exactly the point, – how can you or I even begin to trust those so called 'qualified dopes '?

                      They didn't do too well with the Titanic , did they ? They couldn't even think ahead to put enough life boats on the stupid thing.

                      And what happened to the Challenger in 1986 ? – it explodes on lift off barely into the stratosphere and you want us to put our faith in what the eggheads have to say?

                      I'll bet it wouldn't have exploded if they were on board, would it have.

                      So why shouldn't we reckon the moons made out of cheese?

                      Going on your hero's past track records we can hardly even believe they made a moon / cheese landing in the 1960's . How do we / you know it wasn't just another petty political race to sell more rubber grommets to the Russians for their rockets?

                      Which all just goes to prove how not only are those idiots absolutely frikking clueless in predicting , – and then preventing , – even the most basic of accidents and planning ahead for potential health and safety issues , – but totally and monumentally gormless at forming a theory let alone discovering what really consists of the gaps between protons and neutrons .

                      All we ever get is some cockamamie bullshit about 'cosmic glue' or some other inane cop out. Or some subjective caveman dark age supposition about what lies in the empty space between the atomic matrix !

                      And governments pay them for this stuff!! And we pay governments our taxes !

                      A five year old could tell us what lies beyond matter !


                    • The Al1en

                      Going on your hero's past track record

                      Okay, consider that one bitten. What hero is that, then?

                  • Brigid

                    Liquidity is a state.Therefore molten lava is in it's liquid state. When it cools it's in it's solid state.

                    • The Al1en

                      Apparently it somewhat acts like a liquid in a molten state, but not exactly. I'm on a tablet and can't easily cut and paste to here, though the quora link is still available up thread if you want to save me the effort when I get home.

                    • The Al1en

                      “Lava doesn’t fit neatly into any of the common state categories. It has many properties that are similar to those of a liquid, but also has some properties of a bingham plastic Bingham plastic – Wikipedia. It also behaves a bit like certain plastic gels in that while it will fill voids it isn’t always self leveling.

                      One of the things that distinguishes lava from what we normally think of as liquids is that it isn’t a pure substance and it isn’t a true solution. Part of the result is that it doesn’t have a distinct melting point. Rather, as the rock is heated, it goes through a glassy phase with a viscosity that varies dramatically with temperature. At some point it become liquid-like, but there is still no distinct melting point or transition”

                      Jerald Cole, B.S., S.M. Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, SJSU, MIT

              • Brigid

                It seems “The higher the lava’s silica content, the higher its viscosity.”
                Which makes sense. So I guess liquidity isn’t a defined state, in that the matter could be at a temperature that makes it not quite liquid, nor entirely solid.
                I don’t know as much physics as I’d like to.
                Any clever physicists in the house to explain this?

                • Andre

                  I don't want to look like I'm claiming to be a clever physicist, but I do work with material properties on a regular basis …

                  Even in the range of temperatures and stresses experienced everyday by most people, the division between solid and liquid can be quite fuzzy.

                  As a simple working definition a liquid cannot resist a sustained shear stress and will eventually self-level in a container. If a liquid is separated (say, poured into separate containers) then brought back together (say, poured back into the same container), then the separated portions will mingle and become indistinguishable from a sample that was never separated. On a micro scale, the molecules in a liquid are continually moving around.

                  Whereas a solid holds its shape. Once separated into pieces, (broken or cut), a solid won't somehow self-heal. On a micro scale, the molecules and atoms of a solid are fixed in place – if you can identify a specific atoms (say it's a very rare isotope) in a specific location in a solid, you can be confident of coming back later and finding that same atom in the same place in that solid object.

                  Some materials appear to neatly fit those simple definitions, and transition between solid and liquid at specific temperatures. Water transitions to ice and back again as the temperature goes past 0 degrees C. Candle wax melts when heated, then solidifies when cooled. It's very hard to get water into a state that's neither very obviously liquid or very obviously solid.

                  Other materials blur the boundaries. Mayonnaise (classic example of a Bingham plastic) behaves a bit like a solid (scoop a bit out and what's left in a jar doesn't self-level), but it flows readily through a pipe and self-heals. It's like a solid at low stresses and short timescales, but like a liquid at higher stresses and longer timescales. Oobleck (used mostly to show primary school kids that material behaviour can be weird) behaves like a solid for suddenly applied stresses.

                  Most materials actually show some combination of solid and liquid behaviors, especially as temperatures and stresses and timescales increase. In engineering, it's often called creep and/or plasticity. The materials that don't exhibit some sort of creep behaviour tend to be very highly ordered crystals, such as diamond, carbon fibre.

                  Consider steel or aluminium – obviously a solid, right? Flex it a little bit and it springs right back to its original shape. But bend it a lot more, and it only springs partway back to its original shape; it undergoes a plastic deformation, kind of a flow-type process. Heat them up, and it becomes much easier to bend them, they lose most of their strength and stiffness at temperatures a fraction of their melting temperatures. Put them under enough pressure and they will self heal to an extent – cold welding is indeed a thing. Hollow aluminium extrusions are essentially formed into shape as separate pieces cold-welded together in the extrusion die at temperatures way below melting point. Yet steel and aluminium on a micro scale are mostly quite crystalline with fairly well-defined melting temperatures.

                  Other materials don't have well-defined melting temperatures, they are effectively solids at room temperature, then as temperatures rise they behave more like very high viscosity liquids, then as temperatures rise more their viscosity decreases. Glass and lava are common examples. On a micro scale, these tend to not have any kind of ordered crystalline structure and are generally described as amorphous.

                  Yet other materials never melt, they decompose rather than melting when temperatures get hot enough. Thermoset polymers as used for most fibreglass products and many kinds of rubber are the most common examples of materials that decompose before melting. But even these tend to show some kind of softening behaviour as temperatures rise.

            • WeTheBleeple

              But… there's gaps between housing here in my suburb however it is still a housing area. Most of us are aware that most everything is mostly space, but the physical manifestation of the world still appears before us and obeys physical laws.

              The gaps are where everything is 'connected' to everything. I can't wait till we're smart enough to work out how that all works but in the interim we study the observable world.

              • Yes but how do we know we arent all on some mind bending hallucinogenic cosmic substance that makes us perceive a certain thing as a corporate body?

                Cant you see the gaps in that argument?

                And you are still advancing an erroneous theory based on a matter of scale determined by your perceived body dimensions. Body dimensions, that largely , are full of empty space. Like the space between your houses in your suburb. In other words, this universe is replete with more gaps and 'space' than it is with what we pathetically try to describe and define as 'matter'.

                Monty python – The Universe song which also goes under … – YouTube

          • In Vino

            For heaven's sake: wet means when a liquid clings to the surface of a solid, which water normally does. But if you spray the solid object with silicon, water no longer clings to it, so it cannot be wet from water. But it could be wet from some other substance not repelled by silicon. (Even lava??)

            This is a language debate more than a scientific one.

            If language is the instrument of thought, as somebody once said, scientists should be our most important linguists.

    • Molly 4.5

      One of the more interesting Auckland Conversations I went to (when I still had some vestige of hope, -long gone now) was Zaid Hassan on the topic of emergent problem solving.

      Here he is talking last year about the necessity to change paradigms, and practice the devolution of structures. A bit repetitive for those who may already have come across it, but his social labs work was interesting to find, and read about change.

  4. Sanctuary 5

    Holy Mary sweet mother of Jesus who thought it would be a good idea to make Nick Leggett the spokesman for the trucking lobby???

    The guy just gave a complete train wreck of a ranting interview on RNZ. He is completely fucking off the planet. Yet another very angry ex-Labour now fervent ACToid in a media facing position. Just what the country needs. Not.

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.1

      Yes, Leggett is a true prince. Never mind the broken bodies and the broken lives and the fire crews having to wash away the gore…the trucks have to keep on rolling (at a sedate 90kph of course) or the economy will tank.

      I spent 15 minutes I can't really spare trying to find the mentioned NZTA Mega Maps which I imagine indicate which of our nation's highways should have their speed limit reduced…and largely drew a blank.

      Suzi did try to pin Leggett down, but she obviously didn't hear me when I yelled "Ask how many accidents fatal or otherwise involves heavy vehicles!!!!!". My rough guestimate is at least one accident involving a truck every day.

      • Blazer 5.1.1

        Try GRIDLOCK by Ben Elton..high farce mixed with satire and a relevant political message.

        • WeTheBleeple

          Also recommend this book it's a good read and plenty of laughs plus some deep thinking.

      • Adrian 5.1.2

        Truck involvement is about 26 to 27 % give or take on any given year, but the hidden death toll involving trucks is much higher. Interestingly, alcohol impairment is significantly below this.

        The "polishing "of roads that trucks move on combined with a little moisture is lethal. The polishing is caused by the smoothing and compacting of the tyre line on the road and is considerably more pronounced on corners because of the effect of centrifical force, as if that's not enough, the fact that trucks are considerably wider than cars or even vans means that one side of the car is on a completely different surface with a co-efficient of friction to the other.

        It takes considerable skill to safely drive on high trucking use roads.

      • Kat 5.1.3

        Listening to that interview Suzi did get Leggett to pin his colours to the mast side of his trucks and say money would be better spent doing up the roads than being wasted on rail. I like the way she subtly squeezes the nerve and gets to the real point.

        • Rosemary McDonald


          I like the way she subtly squeezes the nerve pimple and gets to the real point pus…

    • gsays 5.2

      Surely he has the job because of his connections and 'back door' access as opposed to his communication skills. I would much rather know what is being said behind closed doors.

    • Gabby 5.3

      He seemed very cross that a few mangled bodes might get in the way of the nice big shiny trucks.

  5. Adrian thornton 6

    A little fun tune to start the day with….

  6. Observer Tokoroa 7

    The hand that Shakes

    It is said that Queen Elizabeth II is well informed on the broad politics, and the Leadership of a number of Nations.

    Recently she has shaken the hands of some quite "Far Out" individuals, including those who deliver alarming punishments to harmless females.

    But for me to see her Hand welcome Donald Misanthrope Trump with all the Queens Trappings, was and is, a violation of Human Dignity.

    For he is the man who separates unknowing little children from their parents – to such an extent that they cannot be found!

    Yuck Yiuck Yuck Elizabeth !. You have let the civilised world utterly down! You are Applauding and Appeasing filth. Go and Cuddle your doggys. lick them!. But send Trump and his Nation away.

  7. esoteric pineapples 8

    "Apparently unsatisfied with the legal loophole the Americans had created for them, the Israelis sought and received full access to the NSA's massive surveillance data troves after the war. A 2009 memorandum of understanding officially gave ISNU unrestricted access to the NSA's raw intelligence data – including the phone and internet records of American citizens and citizens of third-party countries."

  8. Macro 9

    Even Larry the cat got involved in protesting Trump's visit !

    What a cat. Not only protesting his presence – but also making a statement on Climate Change and the irresponsible use of large vehicles!

  9. Observer Tokoroa 10

    I will Say This :

    Our Queen Elizabeth II, never intervenes when someone is in trouble.

    She eats her Oates and Salads, Pats the Horses, Cuddles and Licks her Doggys front and back.

    But she never intervenes. Intervention is Death.

    That's her Motto ! – oh, i see one of the doggys has had an oopsy. Prince William will nobly spend a Shilling or two fixing it.

    • vto 11.1


      At the rate Jacinda is going she will end up on a par with do-nothing Key.

      She cowardly bailed from capital gains issue. She has put together a budget which is exactly as the (left) critics outline – weak and avoiding the tough issues.

      Jacinda is on track for a weak place in history.

      Maybe she is simply trying to ensure a second term, which is when the real action will happen, but I call pfftt on that… her colours are flying high and it aint what many most voted for.

  10. WeTheBleeple 12

    Ban on cellphones in school. Well done Dio!

    And the students like it. Much like when I leave this desk and discover the world and people to be much more interesting than my rabbiting on…–and-students-are-happy-about-it

    • millsy 12.1

      So long as such a policy is balanced with open access to the school library during breaks, so ensure that non sociable kids dont just sit in the corner with their thumbs up their arses.

    • RedLogix 12.2

      I've recently seen emerging data that suggests social media provokes anxiety and depression in you people under the age of 18 or so. Especially it seems young women.

      • greywarshark 12.2.1

        RL I guess you meant to put 'young' people,. There aren't many under 18 round here I think.

        • RedLogix

          errk blush

          • RedLogix

            Bottom line …. kids under 16 should not have social media.

            • marty mars

              lol I don't think you know much about kids if you think that will fly in today's world.

              It is what it is – we are going to device free days (2) now and getting the board games out – hopefully the boy (11) will be able to deal with it. It must be fun or as we used to say – a lower taste can be given up if a higher taste is taken.

              • RedLogix

                Haidt recommends that parents collectively approach schools to implement a ban. I agree it's very hard for any individual family to deal with, but doable if everyone is working to the same rules.

                He also points out that the people who design and make these things know how addictive and potentially harmful they are, and keep their own children safe from them.

                • WeTheBleeple

                  Reminds me of the Watercare guy who wont drink Auckland water (I asked him as he was testing a reservoir).

    • solkta 12.3

      What a bullshit article. It says but students at Auckland's Diocesan School for Girls are happy with the new policy and quotes 2, yes 2, students to back this up.

      I know my daughter would be super pissed off. I would be annoyed also as i often communicate with her by text and email during the day. Given how the school tramples on her rights on a consistent basis i find it essential that she has quick access to advocacy.

      • greywarshark 12.3.1


        'The school tramples on her rights' – do you find living in a society with reasonable rules and guidelines a problem for a free-thinker? Do you tend to embrace Ayn Rand's approach.

        • solkta

          I have no problem with reasonable rules and guidelines, that's why we have the BoRA.

      • Gabby 12.3.2

        Play your cards right you can keep her tied to your apron strings 4 eva solky.

  11. WeTheBleeple 13

    Amazing – results on Kauri Dieback!

    I'm kind of baffled except I know most microbes can't grow on lipids. There's so much we don't understand, this is a classic example.

    For the record I'm meant to be doing a doctorate on Kauri right now but my supervisor fell ill then the financier died. Life goes on…

    • greywarshark 13.1

      Best luck with that WtB. Can replacements be found, is money needed?

      • WeTheBleeple 13.1.1

        I'm over that now (kinda). I think my ego really struggled letting it go, who wouldn't want to save the day. I'm actually revamping my touring company and will be taking climate conversation comedy on the road before long.

        It's a tough call, making climate change entertaining, no one wants to talk about it, because it's depressing.

        That's why walruses are leaping off cliffs.

        • greywarshark

          Please don't go walrusing we need your acerbic wit etc.

          • WeTheBleeple

            Comedy's a three day week if you plan it like that. I'll still be a thorn in your side. angel

            I was trying out some aspie material on my doctor this morning, made him snort snot.

            So rewarding…

    • Gosman 13.2

      "Both Butterworth and Ashby hope to get their treatment scientifically tested. "

      Ummm…. I thought they had tested this. Don't Traditional Maori medicine practioners use the scientific method when testing?

      • WeTheBleeple 13.2.1

        There's so much to be tested Gosman. It works (in this one context) but why…


        It's still amazing news.

        • Gosman

          No. Two people THINK it works. They did so on the basis of some testing. However this testing looks not to have been very scientific in nature. At this point in time this remedy is of no more interest than someone claiming that the power of prayer alone (as opposed to prayer and whale blubber) could help combat Kauri dieback.

          • WeTheBleeple

            Old fossil. Time will tell.

            Being dismissive of culture you don't understand was expected, but still a bit sad.

            It's an enigma wrapped in a mystery!

            • Gosman

              Your reply is no different to those I would expect pushing ANY unscientific idea. Do you believe in Homeopathy?

              • WeTheBleeple

                I'm a qualified scientist. I certainly want more knowledge than we've been given in the article, that's why I wrote

                "There's so much to be tested Gosman"

                Or was the sentence too long?

                • Gosman

                  If you are a qualified scientist then you should know that it is EASY to test something scientifically and that these people failed to do that.

                  All they needed to do was set up a Double blind, placebo controlled test to see if the traditional Maori remedy made a difference.

                  The fact they did not do so suggests they aren't interested in actual science and more interested in pushing their particular brand of Woo.

                  Do you think we should take the word of Homeopaths who also believe their remedies work?

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Disrespectful old coot aren't you. Woo, homeopathy… if you read the article it states:

                    "Both Butterworth and Ashby hope to get their treatment scientifically tested."

                    Most of our medicines are plant based. We got the ideas for them from indigenous people's and invariably stole their culture in the process. Then we rubbish them, as you are doing now.

                    • Gosman

                      You claim to be a scientists but you don't seem to understand why the scientific method is the BEST way of determining if something actually works or not. Instead you just accept the claims of these two that their remedy DID actually work. If you are actually a scientist can you tell me why the scientific method removes such things as confirmation bias from the equation?

                      These people may well be on to something but until such time as they properly carry out some scientific testing rather than just smearing their remedy on to some self selected trees which they check later then we don’t know anything at all. Tell me why they can’t carry out scientific testing themselves?

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Fuck off you stupid old man you're not worth the time.

                    • Gosman

                      Just as I thought. It is clear you are not the scientist you claim you are. You have a particular agenda you are pushing and are just as much a purveyor of Woo as these two are likely to be.

                    • Bewildered []

                      he started a doctorate and probably started a science undergraduate degree, that’s enough for many these days. ( ie. nearly finished , sort of)

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      You clearly cannot comprehend what is printed plainly in front of you. You failed to see I'd called for testing and whined about it, you failed to see the persons in the article had called for testing and whined about that.

                      All you did was prove you are either senile or stupid.

                      I have nothing to prove to you.

                    • RedLogix


                      Designing and implementing a gold standard double blind, randomised control study on large natural systems like a forest is a non-trivial exercise. It would definitely need more resources than two individuals could throw at it.

                      There isn't any controversy here, everyone agrees this was just a 'proof of concept' initial trial and lot more scientific work needs doing. WtB is quite right, the inspiration for many medical discoveries came from indigenous observational knowledge, and disrespecting this is churlish at best.

                    • vto

                      jesus christ bleeple, what's with the old hate? Eh?

                      the young and ignorant eh… no idea… wait until you get some decent years under your belt and all will become much clearer.

                      poor form

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      Old enough to recognise someone who sounds about a generation out of touch.

                      It's not the physical age, it's the fuddy duddy old BS.

                      Woo and homeopathy challenge, thought I was back on facebook.

                    • vto

                      It's an interesting one isn't it… who is out of touch… the old or the young

                      Other than phones (woop-de-doo), it is the young who are in fact out of touch

                      always have been

                      hence the value of elders (except in our out of touch 'modern' society – what an anomaly eh)

                      so out of touch our society

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      I do think I could've been more tactful, but posters who do not converse rather throw challenge (get answer) – ignore answer throw next challenge…

                      Not worth it.

                    • Gosman


                      A full blown study would not be straightforward it is true but a preliminary test to determine if a more detailed study should be carried out is easy enough to design. Unless you think we should just take people's word that something might work and spend time and money on that additional study without any further investigation.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      Kiss my ass Bewildered.

                      I posted this and mentioned some experience with this particular issue in case someone with intelligence wanted to discuss: Kauri, Phytophthora or just plant pathology in general.

                      I withdraw any attempt at coercing intelligent discussion on the subject. Seems the verdict is in and I'm not qualified… must alter the CV.

  12. Gosman 14

    This is Stephen Mills and Matthew Hooton's views on the "Hacking" scandal.

    Mills doesn't seem to think National has done anything wrong here and thinks Labour would have done something similar if they had been in the same situation.

    • Muttonbird 14.1

      Unlikely, particularly with their current leader, but how would we ever know?

    • bwaghorn 14.2

      I s'pose they woulda done it tooo!!

      Makes a change from whah whah they do it too.

    • mpledger 14.3

      I don't think they would have.

      Some people respect confidentiality and copyright.

      Some people think about the implications of what they do before doing it.

  13. Muttonbird 16

    Only in America…

    …can you be found guilty of an "utter disregard for the safety of others," by not shooting a gun.

    • greywarshark 16.1

      Complicated isn't it. A security guard expecting to be breaking up school fights and keeping strangers from roaming round the school is expected to charge in and stop the gunman. They say he and another did nothing, but I am sure they did something. One wonders what? And what was the protocol in the manual for behaviour if a shooter comes into the school – it is a dereliction of duty if the school didn't have such a set of instructions as it is no longer a rare happening in the good ol' UNITED States of America.
      At the beginning of 2018, Education Week, a journal covering education in the US, began to track school shootings – and has since recorded 23 incidents where there were deaths or injuries.
      With many parts of the US having about 180 school days per year, it means, on average, a shooting once every eight school days.

      From the link of Muttonbird's. They are in the USA blood-thirsty when they are seeking to blame others for gun violence. I hope all involved in the blaming have been outspoken for outlawing guns except on annual licences for hunting for the few.

      A former Florida deputy who stood outside instead of confronting the gunman during last year's Parkland school massacre was arrested today on 11 criminal charges related to his inaction.

      Broward State Attorney Mike Satz said in a statement that 56-year-old Scot Peterson faces child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury charges that carry a combined potential maximum prison sentence of nearly 100 years….

      The Peterson arrest is the latest fallout from the Valentine's Day 2018 shooting. Governor Ron DeSantis suspended then-Sheriff Scott Israel for "neglect of duty and incompetence" over the department's actions that day. Israel is appealing that decision to the state Senate and said he intends to run again next year.

      The case also spawned a state commission that issued a 458-page report detailing a litany of errors before and during the shooting, including unaggressive Broward deputies who stayed outside the school building and the policies that led to that — such as Israel's decision to change guidelines so that deputies "may" confront an active shooter rather than "shall" do so….

      The chairman of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, said in an interview that the charges against Peterson are "absolutely warranted."

      "Scot Peterson is a coward, a failure and a criminal," Gualtieri said. "There is no doubt in my mind that because he didn't act, people were killed."

      Blame, hot and heavy. I would be surprised if anyone is prepared to take on security guard work at schools there.

      • Sabine 16.1.1

        Someone has to be at fault for the dead kids and it can't be gun culture, it can't be the family of the shooter, it can't be the police – who knew about his issues but could not do much, it could not be the FBi – see re police, it can't be anyone cause GUNS! Merica! Guns! Moar!Guns!For!All! Second Amendment! Sacred Guns!

        But then the kids came and raised a ruckus, prayers and thoughts did not help those that committed suicide, or those that will have huge medical bills to pay and be considered a 'pre existing condition' for the rest of their lifes, did not shut up the dads unhappy about their dead kids, so someone had to be found to sacrifice to the Gods of War, Weaponry, Mayhem, Death, Bigottry and Second Amendment Rights as envisioned by the NRA.

        A school resource, who did not ran into a school to save the kids from a gun man. Obviously he was not a good man with a gun, thus he is now gonna go to prison for real long.

        That will teach all the other 'resources' stationed at schools, armed to their teeth, bullet proof west and all, that they don't get to opt out from a shooting, lest they be prepared to go into the slammer for life.


      • McFlock 16.1.2

        Surely it would be a defense if he said he thought and prayed really hard outside…

    • gsays 16.2

      Security guard must be a well trained and renumerated vocation.

      Expected to wield lethal force.

  14. Muttonbird 17

    Coming soon to New Zealand:

    A Dutch teenager who suffered years of mental health issues after childhood abuse has ended her life through legal euthanasia.

    • marty mars 17.1

      I am so disgusted and saddened by this – wtf

      • Sacha 17.1.1

        You can see why even Seymour has agreed to narrow the proposed scope to terminal illness.

    • vto 17.2

      Leaves a horrible discomforting feeling in the stomach

      There is something deeply not right about humanity going down this track… hate to think where it will lead, what the consequences might be… I don't think anybody can foresee this where or what either …. the door is only just being opened

      • gsays 17.2.1

        In almost every challenge we face, we deal with the band aid solution for the symptom rather than tackle the cause.

      • greywarshark 17.2.2

        Thinking about feeling gratitude for what we have and not wanting to spend our lives getting more just for 'retail therapy' would be a way. Being prepared to be lonely and sad for a time, and how to get out of it without buying something would help to keep control on the future and also wanting everyone to have an enjoyable life by adopting new ways of thinking, altering a little our ways of being – hard but if determined it can be done.

        We do have to go down new tracks. Appreciate each other, give and also take, and be happy as possible and keep others in the happiness loop as is possible. I think Prof Jared Diamond lays out how the door is being opened. Actually it is not 'only just being opened' but we have never chosen to go through it and explore.

        Diamond gives human civilisation 30 years, if we stay on our present trajectory.

        “One could certainly say that the world is on a non-sustainable course at the moment, we're utilizing essential resources, forests, fisheries, top soil and water at an unsustainable rate, such that we will run out of them in several decades.

        “That will deplete them to the point where we don't have a chance to correct our course. So, I would say it will all get settled in the next several decades, whether we get on to a sustainable track, or whether we go over the edge of the abyss.”

    • Sabine 17.3

      From the same article

      On her Instagram page last week, Pothoven wrote about her decision to seek the assistance of a euthanasia clinic.

      "I deliberated for quite a while whether or not I should share this, but decided to do it anyway. Maybe this comes as a surprise to some, given my posts about hospitalisation, but my plan has been there for a long time and is not impulsive.

      "I will get straight to the point: within a maximum of 10 days I will die. After years of battling and fighting, I am drained. I have quit eating and drinking for a while now, and after many discussions and evaluations, it was decided to let me go because my suffering is unbearable."

      her choice, her body, her life.

      And at least she could choose suicide in an environment that allows her loved ones, friends, family and those that cared about her be part of it, rather then spend a lifetime wondering as if they could have done something, anything, when really nothing could be done.

      I have lost a few friends to suicide. I think many of us might have or know someone who did. And this was always the question, could we have done something? And frankly i don't have an answer.

      Either we have bodily autonomy, or we don't.

      But here we are discussing the fact that she choose a legal way out of her life, rather then the fact that she like so many others could not deal with the abuse she suffered. And yet, we do nothing when we find the abusers, cause insert myriads of bullshit reasons.

      We would rather have her suffer, so as to not feel uncomfortable about the fact that a young women could not deal with the abuse that she was dealt, an abuse that hardly ever is punished to the full extend to the law. Now that we can live with. But bodily autonomy, nah, that is going one step to far.

      Rest in peace. May she fly free of angst, anxiety, bad dreams, and abuse.

      • greywarshark 17.3.1

        And at least she could choose suicide in an environment that allows her loved ones, friends, family and those that cared about her be part of it, rather then spend a lifetime wondering as if they could have done something, anything, when really nothing could be done.

        I noticed some nasty scars on her arm in that photo. A visual indication of her inner trauma. I have read stories of people who have gone through the concentration camps and have been able to come back from it and have a life. But the abuse of trust when you are young is hard to come back from. If we can help others who are young and vulnerable, and think of her and her memory prompts us to do so, it would be a memorial for her that some good came from her sadness.

        • WeTheBleeple

          From childhood trauma, now in my 50's, still struggling not to be reactive, defensive, offensive…

          Tried to drink myself to death but my liver's a tough bastard.

          Some days I REALLY want to die, but then a few days later life is amazing. The thing that gets me through the dark times is the memory of the other side being achieved. Without any respite I'd have thrown in the towel ages ago.

          It's a very complex subject matter. I don't know enough to say yes/no to the concept.

          On the one hand I agree with Sabine, on the other I fear a slippery slope as corporations are deeply embedded in all aspects of health. And as we've seen, they'd like to own it all.

          A sick person is more expensive to care for than bury. Simple accounting.

          And who will be stopping the accountants?

          • Sabine

            no one will be stopping the accountants. no one ever did.

            But she – this girl was not killed by an uncaring state or uncaring relatives, she was killed by abuse a long time ago.

            She tried to live, somehow and simply could no longer. And frankly it is worth to mention that. She …..SHE could no longer abide to live. She saw no value in it, she could not bear her suffering anymore. And she choose. Her agency, her body, her life, her choice.

            As for your comment of a sick person is more expensive to care, let me rephrase this for you in accountants slogan

            "A sick person is a profit centre, a dead one is an cost centre'.

            there is more money to be made keeping us alive, pumped up with pills, n shit to keep functioning – at least for now.

            Once there is no more use for us, they will have no issue doing away with us.

            I don't understand that people today are still so blinded by their own ideas of 'human rights' and stuff that they don't see that. Merica has no issues throwing out sick people from a hospital to die in a ditch if /when they can't afford the bills anymore. Heck we keep people on a waiting list until they die. But yeah, can't have assisted suicide cause…………….what ever.

            • WeTheBleeple

              I was thinking more along the lines of where the state provides the healthcare as we get, but then there's the accountants… Easier to knock a few off than pay for long term care.

              Still, if all the services get privatised you're absolutely on the money. The corporates will drain the state for however much they can squeeze.

              I agree if this girl's done all she can and life is nothing but misery, why carry on. There should be an option for humane considerations but… humanity!!!

        • Sabine

          First it would be good if people would acknowledge her agency in her assisted suicide. Secondly, it would be good if people accepted that some others might not have the same value or interest in living at all. Thirdly, everyone deals with abuse, torture and death differently, and again it would be nice if that could be also accepted.

          The 'young and vulnerable' would be best served if our society, our law enforcment officers, our justice system were to finally take abuse for that serious life changing crime it is, rather then offer fuck all and cut services to those that need them the most. That might help the 'young and vulnerable' to gain some of the trust that was just beaten or sexually assaulted, mentally tortured out of them.

      • vto 17.3.2

        Sabine, you said this a couple of times… "her choice, her body, her life"

        Is that the decider do you think? Simple personal choice? Or is it more complex … and if so, how do those complexities fit within these circumstances?

        Sounds like a slope of such slipperiness Sabine that a sizeable skate is certain..

      • Rosemary McDonald 17.3.3

        I was hoping we could collectively choose to ignore the fact that her battles with childhood abuse induced mental illness was played out for all to see on social media.

        In an alternate universe one hopes it might have been possible to treat her illness and heal her pain out of the glare of intense Instagram publicity. Clearly it is not a case of a problem shared being a problem divided by 10,000++, and therefore made bearable.

        Exercising her agency and dying with the spotlight still on her…way to go. Not.

        I guess I am showing my age.

        You are wrong Sabine.

        This is an absolute tragedy and it should never, ever be the message to other young people that suicide, either cleanly with medical assistance or potentially messily without, is a viable option when struggling with such issues.

        We are obliged to give the young people hope, and better therapy.

        • marty mars

          + 1 Yep I agree.

        • Brigid

          I agree. What a bloody awful indictment on the mental health services where she lives.

          The thing about being dead is that it's sort of permanent. No fixing exists that undeads one.

          Tragic beyond belief for her.

          And why is she doing it so publicly?

          • Rosemary McDonald

            And why is she doing it so publicly?

            Please goddess, let it not be that she aspires to be such an influential Instagram influencer that…

    • SHG 17.4

      Oh please, this has fake news written all over it.

      This just in, the word gullible isn't actually in the dictionary, check it if you don't believe me

      • SPC 17.4.1

        The UK right wing media reported it without fact checking and it has gone around the world. She was denied legal euthenasia, has been starving herself for years (they called it anorexia) and has many forced feeding interventions.

        It's a story which identifies the second rate, and right wing prejudiced media.

        • SHG

          Anyone who read the story and didn't instantly think "this sounds like bullshit" has identified themselves as a moron.

    • SPC 17.5

      This is fake news.

      Stuff has stuffed up.

  15. greywarshark 18

    No caption

    The complicated future of Ports of Auckland

    business transport

    The Detail – A giant car park occupies the most expensive real estate in New Zealand on Auckland's waterfront. Can we move the port – and should we? Audio

    The above sentences illustrate the problem that we have today with comprehending reality. That the port operates on the most expensive real estate in NZ is because so many people have been able to build riches from trading. Trading is the way that we have built our economies and the transfer of physical things from ports is probably one of the biggest underpinnings of much financial exchange and share market activity.

    That those who make money from this then want to buy a place with a sea view doesn't mean that we should abandon our goose that laid the golden egg. Actually it is very interesting watching ships and ports at work, and it makes someone like me happy who wants a thriving, busy NZ with reasonable levels of prosperity for all.

    If the port needs changing as a result of developing a port in Whangarei which will be useful and viable, and also amounts of shipping using Tauranga, well that is a result of wise decision-making assisting trade. The wealthy who want and can afford everything they fix their minds on can go jump.
    Here is the link that goes with the heading. I am replying to the heading with my thoughts about ports being grand bits of theatre and activity as well as places of industry and commercial advancement. More detail will be in the link which I haven’t read as yet.

    • Ad 18.1

      The development of Wynyard wharf into apartments, restaurants, business and commercial centres, hotels, a theatre, parks, and Americas Cup facilities shows what should happen next.

      This was (and in some part remains) a heavy marine precinct with fishing and refits and with massive oil and other contaminants stored in large tanks.

      What it is being turned into is a whole extension of downtown Auckland, and many sections of it are completed already under Panuku and other agencies such as the Wynyard Quarter Alliance.

      The next Mayor should sell the port company operations to the operators, and retain the land for a comprehensive redevelopment.

      Plenty of concepts have aready come and gone, but it's time for the fresh Auckland Council to shift heavy port freight away from Auckland's downtown area, and let the freight and logistics companies sort out how freight can be brought to the inland ports and broken down.

      • greywarshark 18.1.1

        Already with Whangarei and Tauranga there is a lessening of use of Auckland Port. Business comes before pleasure in this new century and the wealthy haven't got the message yet. If it is a good thing for transport and Auckland city to shift the dirtiest port facilities then that is wise, but all the things that cater mainly for the rich and idle should come second.

        The role of tourism and the leisured class in the nation's economy cannot continue for ever. However large cruise ships could become floating accommodation when things decline later, and having wharfs where they can be moored within cooee of the main drag and the trains at Briscoe could be a drawcard for budget tourists.

  16. greywarshark 19

    They didn't ban plastic bags in the UK but put a 5p charge on them and use went down by 85%.

    What a pity that when we were raising huge sums to get Americas Cup to perform on our seas, that we couldn't done the same in NZ for very little cost as a gesture to a beautiful clean sea. Now we have a Trust that goes round ports and cleans up rubbish. So it's nice for the America's Cup. Nz Goverment knows what is important and when; I think it is important to fund this great clean up effort and also the West Coast one, and don't you say 'Rubbish' government ministers.

  17. lprent 20

    Found a version of sphinx search that doesn't die all over the place. Fixed the systemd to handle failures correctly.

    I'll correct the queries tomorrow for various bits and add in some tags like author, and we'll see how we go with this new version.

    Always the same. I take a holiday for a week and it takes 4 days before I'm ready to play with code again. I need to start taking 2 week holidays.

  18. Jenny - How to Get there? 21

    Finally. We have a date.


    The same year that New Zealand finally becomes carbon neutral.

    Not a moment too soon, or too late.*

    *Depending on your political persuasion. (That is, if there are any politics or any other sort of extant human endeavor remaining by that time)

    • Pat 21.1

      and even that could be optimistic….31 years is a long time for cohesion in the face of crisis

  19. Jenny - How to Get there? 22

    Is cutting speed limits a sinister plot to lower the road toll?

  20. Jenny - How to Get there? 23

    John Campbell is back.

    There are 33,000 perfectly good homes standing empty in Auckland

    This morniings expose' by Campbell of the housing crisis in Phil Twyford's own electorate, calls for urgent action.

    Empty homes tax like they do in Vancouver, maybe?

    Is this thing working?

    Is there anyone out there?

    How about you Mickysavage?

    You used to be hot on this when Labour were in opposition.

  21. Eco maori 24

    Kia ora The Am Show.

    No comment on don.

    China increasing its milk power and baby milk powder production is a logical move. I say that move is about Australia

    The commemorations for the 75 Anniversary of D Day looks cool .

    I noticed the last time the housing market in Gisborne Bay of plenty rose consestantly was when Labour was last in power its called looking after all the people.

    John the weather was quite wild up North Land .

    It would be nice to see our government and the unions teachers and doctors come to a agreement.

    I don't get into fastfood being delivered my tamariki do quite a bit home cooked food is healthier a less expensive .

    That Newport story is a great one for a second name.

    The Directors deck chair was a great yarn to I had one similar but cannot reveal it .

    Gisborne is a great place to live sun shine hunting fishing great people.

    Ka kite ano

  22. Eco maori 25

    Kia ora Newshub

    The Christchurch shooter doesn't look like he is intelligent enough to have pulled that off by himself.

    Lot of Snow down south the skie season should be good this year.

    Some people just want the attention they don't think about the consequences of their actions the false claim of needles found in strawberries issues.

    That's not on selling new bikes with no brakes.

    That's the way Tim we have to look after the innocent people voting to keep the disabled employed cool.

    Eco Maori knowns what its like being served up Bullshit I get it every day of the year

    Ka kite ano

  23. Eco maori 26

    Kia ora te ao Maori news.

    That would be a big disaster if the Rhino Beatles wiping out coconut plantations in the Solomon Island there should be a solution to this problem Aotearoa will have to help with the research.

    I say the Waikato hospital workers and everyone should be payed the living WAGE

    It is needed a new mental health building to help the people who are mentally ill in Gisborne Ka pai.

    Nannia it awesome getting the tangata whenua houses repaired it makes me so sad when I see whare like that I know that the whare that are in bad condition are tangata whenua houses.

    I think it's cool more Maori Wahine are joining the police we need more Maori in the police so they learn to love and respect Tangata whenua.

    Wikitoria I agree with Phil we need to get more people using public transportation the free ride to mark 100 million rides is good marketing ka pai

    Ka kite ano

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