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Open mike 05/12/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 5th, 2015 - 62 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 …

62 comments on “Open mike 05/12/2015 ”

  1. Murray Simmonds 2

    I became suspicious a couple of weeks ago when Windows 7 started updating with irritating regularity – like just about every other day.

    Apparently they are busy installing one of the worst features of Windows 10 into Windows 7 and 8.


    Its probably too late for me. My machine crashed this morning during the update process and now i can’t get it to start again.

    • Asterix 2.1

      Linux .. avoid the corporate madness.

      • Murray Simmonds 2.1.1

        Historically, it has been the case that “Microsoft products don’t come cheap”. We were all overcharged when we bought Microsoft Office, and the various versions of Windows up to Windows 8. I say “overcharged” because Microsoft Corporation has made obscene profits over the years – a sure indication that we were all paying too much for the products they sold us. Well, that is one of the advantages of operating a near monopoly. Yes, I know that Linux has been around for a while – and although its getting better all the time, there is still a lot of software around that the various versions of Linux won’t run on a PC, even with a Windows emulator. And I know that if I didn’t like Microsoft then I could have gone the “Apple” way – but that alternative has never come cheap either.

        I didn’t mind when Windows was updated regularly to patch up security holes and otherwise improve the product we’d bought. But I draw the line when updates are provided for the sole purpose of making money for the Corporation. Because that is exactly what the latest round of patches do to Windows 7 and Windows 8. By introducing the Windows 10 spyware into Windows 7 and 8 without even telling us, they have cheated on us. No doubt the NSA love them for it, though.

        I have been pestered for weeks by requests from Microsoft to upgrade to Windows 10 (for “free”). I have refused to do so, because the Windows 10 Operating System gobbles up a lot more of my hard-disk space that was the case for Windows 7. And anyway – its MY hard-drive space – I paid for it when I bought the computer.

        I can’t think of any other product I have ever bought where, although I personally paid for it, the manufacturer retains the right to come into my private home and modify the product in whatever way suits them, entirely for their own profit.

        I don’t think I’ll ever be tempted to buy a smart fridge, or a smart washing machine or any of the next generation of internet-enabled smart appliances. At least, not without some kind of guarantee that the manufacturers won’t invade my home electronically to bugger it up or whatever, whenever they feel the need to have me buy another one.

        As if the Volkswagen case hasn’t been warning enough.

        • One Two

          Disable the ‘windows update’ service, it’s not necessary

          You won’t see or receive another update

          If you are unsure how to do this you can google search

          Windows 7 services to disable

          If using windows, do what you can to secure your data by stopping the OS taking control of your machine, and by locking it down. I would also suggest removing any anti virus software, and installing a malware engine instead. Suggest ‘spybot’ or malware bytes as solid free options

          Disabling unnecessary services is only one aspect of what you should consider, because that hard drive space you referred to, is not actually yours

          Check the license agreements

      • left for deadshark 2.1.2

        I second that, never had a problem, touch wood.

        Edit: kubuntu

        • Murray Simmonds

          Thanks for the useful advice, One two and left for deadshark – much appreciated.

  2. Morrissey 3

    That “brilliant” Benn speech (condensed)

    bloodthirsty adj. 1. Eager to cause or see the shedding of blood.
    2. Characterized by violence or carnage: a bloodthirsty oratory in a war council

    MR. SPEAKER: I call on Mr Hillary Benn to make his case for the execution of the people of Syria.

    ASSORTED LOUTISH TORY VOICES: [asinine braying] Yyyyyeeeeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh!…. BOMB THE BASTARDS!… Hear! Hear!… The Aryan stock is bound to triumph! … Hurrah!… Make it snappy! …. KILL THEM ALL!… [sotto voce]… I thought we supported ISIL?… Shut the fuck up, George, you coke-snorting shit!… At least, don’t say it out loud, George, for pity’s sake!…. Haw haw haw haw! …. Yyyyyeeeeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh!

    MR. SPEAKER [glowering, and shaking with rage] Silence! If the Chancellor’s so-called friends refer to him as a “Bullingdon pig-fucker” or “Cameron’s bitch” or a “coke-snorting ninny” or a “fuckwit” in this House again, they will be forcibly sent to fight in Syria along with a bunch of working class oiks!

    ASSORTED LOUTISH TORY VOICES: Haw haw haw haw haw! We’ll go when YOU sign up, Bercow, you old fraud!…Haw haw haw haw haw! …. When can we start bombing the bastards? ….I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. It would spread a lively terror!… Haw haw haw haw haw! …. Yyyyyyyyeeeeeeeaaaaahhhhhh!

    MR SPEAKER: [his face now puce with rage] SILENCE!!!!

    …..Hillary Benn rises slowly and portentously, and flinches almost imperceptibly as he senses his father dying over again, this time of shame and embarrassment….

    MR. BENN: [speaking slowly with all the gravitas he can summon up] Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to say this directly to the Prime Minister: be NICE to Mr Corbyn. I am the one who’s stabbing him in the back, not the prime minister, who by the way I support completely and to whom I offer up my services as his most loyal and devoted spaniel!

    ASSORTED LOUTISH AND UNIONIST TORY VOICES: [in a swelling wave of sound] Yyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaahhhh!

    MR. BENN: We are faced here by fascists. 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. [another barely perceptible flinch as in his mind’s eye he sees his dead father shaking his head in disbelief]

    ASSORTED SWINISH TORY VOICES: [sotto voce] Hang on a minute! Didn’t we SUPPORT the fascists in Spain? …. Ssssshhhhh! Nobody cares! ….. And haven’t we SUPPORTED al-Qaeda and ISIL in Syria? …. Shut up, you wet willie, and by the way the official name for ISIL is “the moderate opposition”…. I’m confused…. Shut up Nigel, you’re not in the Conservative Party to think. …Shut up, Nigel, you moaning minnie!

    MR. BENN: [droning on like the Schreibtischtäter he is] Otherwise, I support you all the way! BOMB THE ARABS!!!

    ASSORTED LOUTISH TORY AND UNIONIST VOICES: Yyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaahhhh! …. Let’s use some of our vast supplies of nerve gas against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment! …. Hear, hear! …. They won’t like it up ’em!…. Haw haw haw! … Yyyyyyyeeeeeeeaaaahhhhhhhh!

    ad nauseam….


  3. Asterix 4

    At a time when our allies seem to be run by the House of Borja (“Either a Caesar or nothing”), the moral and intellectual limitations of the Joyce/Key government look small.

    • Asterix 5.1

      Sadly, the Guardian is not what it used to be ..

      • Paul 5.1.1

        Steps on its decline to becoming another corporate rag.

        Why the Guardian axed Nafeez Ahmed’s blog

        Corbyn moment – never a better time to expose the Guardian

      • Morrissey 5.1.2

        The Grauniad has been a disgrace for a long time….


        • Paul

          The appointment of Jonathan Freedland as the Guardian’s executive editor was a step towards its loss of independence.

          • Morrissey

            The Guardian has confessed to not publishing commentary that links ISIL in Syria to the policies of Britain, France and the United States.

            The Guardian has mounted a systematic campaign of ridicule and abuse against Jeremy Corbyn, just as it did against Noam Chomsky. It is little different from a Murdoch rag in tone and political orientation.

            • bearded git

              I have been a guardian reader for 44 years and almost always had faith that it would tell me the best way to think….(sarc)….but in the last few months I have lost faith. The reporting of the Oldham by-election just about the last straw.

              • Pascals bookie

                So this particular story though?

                “Based on all field reporting, the number of alleged civilian casualties attributed to Russia is many times what we see being claimed against the US-led coalition,” says Chris Woods, who runs the Airwars project.

                “We think the primary reason here that the casualties are so high is the type of munitions that Russia is using, mostly ‘dumb bombs’ which almost always mean more civilian deaths. That is closely followed by where and how Russia is bombing. There is no doubt that Russia is bombing civilian neighbourhoods.”

                Airwars’ assessment of the strike on Habeet matches Raghat’s family’s account, and ties in with Russian reports of bombing raids in the area, it says. A Syrian monitoring group also confirmed details of the attack, and a prominent human rights activist still working inside Syria videotaped the aftermath and photographed the little girl’s body.

                What actual complaints dow e have about this reporting, or is it just The groaniad sed it so bad groniad

                • Here’s the relevant breakdown, according to Airwars.

                  However, the Pentagon is also radically underestimating (or under claiming) civilian casualties.

                  All bombing campaigns involve the intent to kill civilians in the sense that killing civilians is a highly predictable consequence of deciding to carry out a bombing campaign.

                  ‘Being careful’ is at best a utilitarian calculus based on perceived benefits of taking civilian lives in relation to specific targets.

                  • Pascals bookie


                    Airstrikes are a politically tempting thing to do, but the Russians are using unguided weapons, footage isn;t hard to find of helicoters dropping clusters of four 500 pound bombs over urban areas. The hit over about the area of a football field..

                    Why? coz they are cheap. Russia has guided bombs, Syrian civilians just aren’t worth the money.

                    • Perhaps if the oil/gas price was higher, and not depressed by oil sands, fracking and turns of the Saudi spigot, Russia may be able to afford to use ‘precision’ bombs; and hi-tech armament manufacturers would get bigger orders.

                      As it is, the Russian economy is such that it will struggle to maintain geopolitical military reach – which I guess has been one of the ‘plans’ in play globally.

                      The ‘Great Game’ being played makes it likely that ‘cheap and nasty’ campaigns will be the geopolitical option of choice for all as advantage is sought at lowest cost (e.g., presumably one of the reasons that a large contingent of ground troops is off the table in the west).

                      As ever, despite gaining their wealth largely on the back of exploitative practices, the wealthy (countries) can do things more ‘cleanly’. It’s the geopolitical equivalent of Home and Garden styling.

                      And of course it is preferable but, paradoxically, that accumulated wealth which allows such ‘clean’ bombing is also partly responsible for the messes outside its glossy ‘pages’.

                      It’s a strange and complicated world we live in.

                    • ropata

                      In economic terms the deaths of foreign civilians are an “externality” that doesn’t concern the decision makers.
                      If the Empire can be maintained by fear and constant war, then the ruling elites will not bat an eyelid.

            • Grant

              On the other hand we have this, which I thought made reasonably good sense: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/dec/04/isis-wants-an-insane-medieval-race-war-and-weve-decided-to-give-them-one

              “Hilary Benn, the product of his father’s tempestuous affair with Lembit Opik, showed a fighting spirit that was direct proof of Johnny Cash’s A Boy Named Sue. I think it’s worth remembering that if you say something and Tories start cheering, then you have said something awful. Yes, Hilary, we bombed Hitler, but we were being attacked here by German planes that were leaving from Germany – not by a teenager in west London who had been assembling a Doodlebug in the garage.”

              • Morrissey

                Frankie Boyle is brilliant. And, to be fair, there’s also a lot of other first rate writing in the Grauniad.

  4. Kiwiri 6

    Yes, there is a significant change in the Guardian.
    Maybe it is now wanting to be the guardian of the dying establishment.

  5. Morrissey 7

    The Hypocrisy of Hilary Benn
    by NICK WRIGHT, 4 December 2015

    The more morally dubious an act the more likely it is to be clothed in pseudo-legal justification.

    Such was Hilary Benn’s pompous justification for British imperialism’s latest foreign adventure.

    Stretching the ambiguities of UN resolution 2249 to include bombing of a sovereign state whose UN representative specifically opposes such action puts Benn in the same category as Blair. A point well made by John McDonnell.

    Benn cites as precedent and authority the post-war Labour government which helped found the United Nations.

    Set aside those aspects of the welfare state and post-war reconstruction that went some way to meet the needs of Britain’s working people, this government was distinguished, above all, by a fiercely bipartisan foreign policy which in all essentials sustained Britain’s imperialist pretensions. A Labour trend almost unbroken save for the Suez episode. Korea, Malaya, Aden, Kenya. He should read again his father’s diaries and view his Commons speeches.

    Alongside a passing reference to the Vienna process Benn pressed on with the claim that as well as progress in this ‘peace plan,’ British bombing would ‘help in the defeat of Daesh.’ In the same paragraph he argues that it would also ‘bring an end to Assad’s bombing, leading to a transitional government and elections.’

    So there we have it, ending the military campaign of the Syrian government, which involves the only ground troops both able and willing, as well as legally entitled, to secure the territory of Syria against the range of fundamentalist, jihadist and foreign-backed insurgents is the precondition for the defeat of Isil.

    One wonders whether Benn is conscious of his almost Freudian slip in thus indicating a key consideration in the thinking behind this ramping up of military action. The possibilities it entails for widening the options to include a contest over control of Syrian territory, a confrontation with the Syrian state and a new approach to the kind of regime change which Cameron wanted with the bombing campaign he presented two years ago to Parliament and which was shot down by a combination of Stop the War Coalition campaigning, public sentiment and Miliband’s effective marshalling of parliamentary opinion.

    Benn, like all those keen to interfere in Syria’s affairs, is silent on the inconvenient truth that a very large proportion of those fleeing danger find refuge in the largely urban and more fertile regions controlled by the Syrian government. How British participation in the bombing campaign by western powers will make the areas from which these ‘internal’ refugees have fled more safe is left unexplored.

    Benn then recited a list of Daesh atrocities. The hypocrisy involved in this sordid exercise in double standards again attained Blairite proportions. We are to bomb civilians in Syria in retaliation for Isil beheadings but in Saudi Arabia, such beheadings – carried out by precisely the people who are funding Daesh – are rewarded by lucrative arms purchases oiled by unimaginable sums of bribe money and embellished by exchanges of royal visits. ….

    Read more….

  6. Reddelusion 8

    Zzzzzzzzzzzz, blah blah Morrissey do you ever stop

    • Morrissey 8.1


      Wake up, Reddelusion! Wake up! Your arse is on fire!

      blah blah Morrissey do you ever stop

      Dude, I’m here once or twice a week, is all. But quick, do something! Your arse is on fire!

    • Paul 8.2

      He cares about the world.
      You care for the establishment.

  7. adam 9

    I’m sure many in the labour are sick of Chris. But, they seem to be on the path of irrelevance. My guess is it will take 10-15 odd years till they fall over properly. So in the mean time the left can expect to get stabbed in the back and sold out by the liberals who now make up the majority of the labour party.


  8. I think this is an issue that everyone concerned with the slow demise of the right to freedom of expression should be concerned with.

    Thank The National Party for this atrocious abuse of process.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1

      Fwiw, your blog on the subject ignores the discussion at 8 on yesterday’s daily review, prior to your posting.

      The legislation is a grotesque affront.

    • veutoviper 10.2

      I have been following this ongoing train wreck on PG’s blog for the last week or so, including last night’s debacle – and also the comments here on TS last night.

      My gosh, Redbaiter, I agree with both your statement above that it is an issue everyone should be concerned about in relation to freedom of expression; and with your opinion in your comment on your blog post that you doubt that it is a genuine court order. It just does not ring true to me somehow, although the actions of ‘those that cannot be named’ over the last week or so in posting anonymous comments on PG’s blogs certainly appeared to have been setting up such a scenario.

      A number of people on PG’s blogs have questioned the method of service of this supposed court order issued by the AKL District Court – presumably an interim restraining order or similar – where it was emailed to PG by the complainant.

      The District Court rules do in fact allow service by the complainant rather than an officer of the court, for example; and service can be by email. Here is information on this from the Ministry of Justice website.


      As an aside, service can in fact be via Facebook – who would have thought!


      Sorry about the long google link, but this is also of interest on serving documents generally.

      I do not comment on Pete George’s blogsite, but would be happy if the above is passed onto him. He may find the Ministry of Justice site in particular of use.

      • ropata 10.2.1

        Another view of the LF/PG kerfuffle…

      • Redbaiter 10.2.2

        Thanks for that comment V, and the information.

        Do you think this truly involves the HDCB?

        I’m starting to think maybe it does not. (Although the complainant seems certain that it does.)

        • lprent

          I suspect that when we see the affidavit we will find that Marc Spring and whatever dimwit was advising him tried to invoke the HDCA. However Judge Harvey should have ruled that out because it requires the agency that hasn’t been appointed to bring it to court.

          I think that this is an order based on existing law, which incidentally does point to a lack of a real need for the HDCA. The courts have always had this power.

        • veutoviper

          I am not a lawyer, so cannot comment on the legalities etc. The little I know about the HDCA is that certain parts came into force from 1 July or November 2015 (?) and other parts come into force in 2017, including the Approved Agency bits. But I suspect that the interim restraining order – if it actually has been granted by a court (I suspect not) – is based on other existing legislation rather than the HDCA.

          Sorry, have health problems at present and too tired to give a more informed answer.

          PG has irritated me to the hilt on occasions in the past; but I don’t think he is ‘evil’ etc – unlike my views of his current adversaries. So I am sorry to see him in his current predicament. OTOH it gives a clear warning of what the HDCA could legislation could lead to in the wider sense.

          But – good to see you engaging RB. I have seen your comments etc on many blogs etc over the years – and often have laughed as I don’t see you as evil, but as a stirrer!

          Update: Ooops, maybe I need to eat humble pie having just clicked on the court order linked to in lprent’s post. It seems ‘kosher’ with the seal etc…. But being cynic, it would not be hard to fake ….

          • veutoviper

            Another oops – just re-read the signature and this comment.

            Offending comment was made from Giltrap!

            Wondered why the name seemed familiar. Back to it seems fake. Fraudulent misrepresentation ?

            • Redbaiter

              I’ve decided I made a mistake in believing this was an issue involving the HDCA.

              Even though one of the litigators has claimed to have used it as the basis for the court action, I just do not think it is possible to do so at this early stage of its implementation.

              Consequently I have deleted my post as I have little interest in the issue if the HDCA was not the source of the action. What happens between PG and other gossiping politically incoherent nobodies is nothing of any real consequence.

              I still think the HDCA was an atrocious piece of legislation. I still strongly condemn National for introducing it.

              I still think in the future it will be abused as in this case it first appeared to be, and I will keep my indignation and outrage in reserve until that event is a reality.

              • veutoviper

                Fair enough. It was a good post, by the way. I have the feeling that the PG situation has a way to go yet, so keep the popcorn handy.

              • lprent

                The HDCA will get abused badly once it goes into effect. It seems to have been designed to be so.

                So far I know of several times when it has been threatened to be used, including against this site for things written in well prior to the Act, and once by a idiotic MP who should have known better. None have been even remotely legitimate according the the stated purposes of the Bill as it proceeded through parliament.

                One of the worst features is that whoever is eventually appointed as the agency by the governor general will be immune from any kind of retribution when they screw up, and there is no channel to educate the ignorant fools who will be appointed (have you ever known a politicians who wasn’t effectively a technophobe?). They will appoint some kind of illiterate idiot mates of theirs, and support them with people without the kind of experience to distinguish between crap and reality.

                You can’t take the approved agency or its people to court for making a stupid decision. You can’t do an OIA on how they made their decisions. Assuming that they don’t see the need to actually consult within the online communities (which is likely) and they are as pig-ignorant about them as Netsafe is, then I’m expecting to have to go head to head with them. Both for us and for others.

  9. Northsider 11

    Matthew Hooton

    “In 2003, Don Brash gave Bill English the #5 ranking and made him education spokesman, a portfolio Bill asked for. Andrew Little could consider doing something similar.”

    Te Reo Putake

    “Good point, Matthew. 12 months of Cunliffe badgering one of Key’s many dull witted lower ranked ministers, then back into a senior position, sounds about right to me.”

    Open mike 24/11/2014

    • Bill Drees 11.1

      Some very interesting and prescient posts were made on Open Mike in late November 2014, just after Little beat Robertson with the help of the membership.

    • Northsider 11.2

      Yep, heaps.

      Te Reo Putake again

      24 November 2014 at 9:05 am
      Cheers, weka and karol. I think the problem with some of the comments around the deputy’s position is the ignorance about the process. Little can certainly nominate someone, but it’s a caucus decision, not his. And the numbers in caucus have not significantly changed; the ‘ABCers’ are still the biggest camp. They showed that by dumping Cunliffe’s chosen whips at the first opportunity.

  10. Penny Bright 12


    I am happy to report that today’s Public Meeting, at the Tamaki Ex-Services Association Hall in St Heliers, attended by both Auckland Transport and concerned locals and users of Eastern suburbs buses, went VERY well.

    Positive and constructive recommendations from locals regarding proposed changes to Eastern suburbs bus services, were taken on board (as it were), by representatives of Auckland Transport, who were given an opportunity to present ‘their side’ at the beginning of the meeting.

    I look forward to a positive outcome.

    Penny Bright

    (Meeting ‘facilitator’).

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  11. ropata 13

    Here’s a wee peek behind the veil of reporting the “News” (c) ™. Something to remember when you next see some “finely balanced” political reporting

    via ThePaePae

  12. Muttonbird 14

    Has Duncs Garner acknowledged that, in 72 hours wall to wall global reporting on the San Bernadino massacre, not once has the Christmas party been referred to as a Christmas party?

  13. greywarshark 15

    Dr Philip Nitschke the Australian doctor advocating for euthanasia rights and getting legislation to enable decent methods respecting people wanting the option of death in their time, has been virtually forced from the Australian Medical Board by their backward policies and hostile reaction wanting to shut him down.

    People are keen to have the choice. And need to know what they are working with is at a proper strength and purity.
    From a recent newsletter:
    The testing of the purity of illegally imported drugs complies with the principal of ‘harm minimisation’, and in the case of euthanasia drugs allows people considering the ending of their lives, the comfort of knowing that there is no likelihood of failure.

    The Medical Board of Australia has specifically excluded the involvement of doctors in the testing of drugs like Nembutal.This restriction violates basic medical principals of ‘harm minimisation’ and is inhumane, increasing the anxiety of people desperate for a method to peacefully end their lives.

    Dr Nitschke said that it was inhumane conditions such as this, imposed by the Medical Board of Australia, that had prompted him to reject the medical profession and last week in Darwin to burn his medical registration certificate which he had held for more than 25 years.

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