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Open Mike 06/01/19

Written By: - Date published: 10:53 am, January 6th, 2019 - 166 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 …

166 comments on “Open Mike 06/01/19”

  1. veutoviper 1

    Thanks TRP. Yesterday’s open Mike was very popular – now up to over 270 comments, so anything new there would have got lost.

    I wanted to post this slightly lighthearted article by David Slack, as a good read for a Sunday morning for those of us who cannot turn off politics despite being summer.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/109708624/david-slack-simon-bridges-how-you-can-be-a-better-you-in-2019

    Enjoy.

    • Dennis Frank 1.1

      Too bland. He’d probably defend that by saying `yeah, but the dude is actually bland, so my take has to reflect that’. Fair enough!

      “I was put next to him at a lunch last month and greeted him with a warm handshake and the exact same words I use in the column: “Gidday, poor old Simon.” We chatted amiably for a good long while about our prospects in the respective cruel worlds of politics and media. He’s a good sport, poor old Simon.”

      Hang on, the dude is not poor and he’s not old. Professional journalism is meant to be based on accuracy. Not misrepresentation. And he got it wrong twice in a row. If I was rich young Simon, I’d take the bugger to the press council on a formal complaint. Headlines are always good. I would demand accuracy in the media. Winston would fume.

      • veutoviper 1.1.1

        I did say “slightly lighthearted” and “a good read for a Sunday morning” !

        David Slack is often tongue in cheek but is also able to slog it to them. Variety is the spice of life, Dennis.

        And come on, you don’t expect depth from the Sunday Star Times do you? LOL

        • Dennis Frank 1.1.1.1

          You did, true, and I’m actually a fan of the guy & appreciate his stuff most of the time. Just felt the need to bitch at him a little for being shallow. I take the point he may well have done it to suit the SST average reader.. 🙂

        • Anne 1.1.1.2

          you don’t expect depth from the Sunday Star Times do you?

          We did get it once many moons ago – a lot of good in-depth articles. The trouble was, nobody was buying it because people don’t want to be educated and informed. They prefer to be entertained by substance-less mish-mash. Its still better that the HoS rag.

          I agree with you vv, David Slack socks it to them – usually in a wry, sly way – but he chooses to carefully select his topics and when he does it.

      • Gabby 1.1.2

        So you don’t understand the expression ‘poor old x’ franky.

      • Chris 1.1.3

        Poor old Dennis.

        • Dennis Frank 1.1.3.1

          Inaccurate – due to buying low & selling high I actually became affluent old Dennis. Kinda strange for someone so averse to gambling that I never buy lottery tickets!

  2. Morrissey 2

    Jacinda Derangement Syndrome continues to afflict the Right Wing

    First two dozen posts on Kiwiblog yesterday were all deranged attacks on the P.M. We’ve got at least another seven years of this to look forward to…

    http://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2019/01/yet-more-jacinda-derangement-syndrome.html

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 2.1

      Hold on, one comment thread that happens to flow from the first comment on open mike is now evidence of derangement.

      What’s more deranged is counting comments, calling them posts and then announcing it as evidence of derangement.

  3. gsays 3

    Congratulations to the cricket team.
    To play poorly, (average bowling, dropped catches etc..) and still win is a sign of a good team.
    Cheers too to the Sri Lanka’s for making it a thrilling competition.

    Bring on India!

  4. dv 4

    Hospitals are wanting more alcohol restriction.

    Maybe also increase the ACC levy for the alcohol industry, to help pay for the costs to hospitals etc.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      dv
      Alcohol our favourite drug, enjoyable but sneaky and encouraged by the government. Under a low regulation, high punitive approach, you are encouraged to drink till the small hours of the morning, even all day, then they will fine you high if you piddle in the streets. If you lie down on the road and someone inadvertently runs over you government will fine the driver.

      It is all part of the money economy, find a way to make money out of everybody and everything, and laissez faire; but it isn’t fair to have no regulations, it isn’t fair to encourage people to take drugs, it isn’t fair to play on known human traits and enable people to get hooked and waste their lives and often become irresponsible and violent.

      The RW government theme is, Be born, grow up, earn some money and be taxed, die early before you get to old age (or go in and out of prison till you collapse). There is still public expectation that old citizens will be cared for and it is more convenient for government if people die early from accident, or alcohol effects, though they haven’t enough honesty and care about citizens to bring laws in that govern euthanasia, so citizens have choice about when and how they die.

    • JanM 4.2

      What we really need is to develop a different attitude to alcohol. Our ancestors have been drinking the stuff for a very long time, in fact it used to be drunk at breakfast time with no apparent ill effect – safer than the water!
      However, at some stage it got turned into the ‘demon alcohol’ where the whole point seemed to be getting shit-faced and creating havoc of one sort or another. A thoughtful analysis of how we got to this pathetic state would be in order before I and my friends find ourselves being perceived as anti-social for our evening glass of wine and we redevelop prohibition mentality.

        • Ed 4.2.1.1

          We have had periods in history when we rose above that.
          The Georgians, like the Bourbons and the Neoliberals, needed a drugged out, dumbed down populace to passively accept the levels of austerity imposed on them.

      • reason 4.2.2

        Alcohol is a drug …. a legal recreation drug … and its either a straw-man or paranoia ….. to state that anyone is going to label you as “anti-social”, for consuming a glass of 14% alcohol wine…. unless that glass gets you shitfaced and you create havoc 😉

        The drug Alcohol actually gets a soft ride …. “It is the cause of more damage than all the other drugs in the world combined and it is legal. Police
        officers estimate it is a contributing factor in 70% of the incidents they attend. ” ….. yet its the other safer recreational drugs which are “demonized” …. this has accurately been called ‘drug policy abuse ‘.

        Have an evening puff on a joint … or a night dancing on mdma … or take Lsd at an outdoor festival … and the state labels you a criminal …. with our ‘justice system’ administering this politically driven witch trial nonsense as law.

        Apart from demonizing and persecuting those who use a different recreational drug than booze …… there is no denying NZ has a problem with the abuse of Alcohol & other drugs …

        “ALCOHOL A MAJOR FACTOR
        Detective Sergeant Kylie Schaare has dealt with some of the most horrific cases the unit has seen in the past 12 months.” …
        “,,,,, an 8-month-old baby was beaten black and blue by his mother and suffered extensive bruising to his eyes, ears and face.
        Alcohol was a major factor in the bashing, which was apparent in a lot of physical and sexual abuse cases the unit dealt with, Mrs Schaare said.”

        “Police statistics show ample evidence that young people between the ages of 17
        and 19 comprise the highest proportion of offenders who have consumed alcohol prior to committing an offence” https://www.policeassn.org.nz/system/files/file/2011-02_0.pdf

    • Ed 4.3

      Our governments have been subservient to the global liquor industry for 30 years.

  5. At the risk of starting another lengthy thread on a subject many readers aren’t interested in, I’d like to continue yesterday’s discussion with Robert in a place where there’s more room to reply. Robert wrote (quoting me in the fist sentence):

    “This is a common problem with the arguments of GE opponents, ie the arguments often do not support the conclusions claimed.”
    Yes, I think that’s true.
    I also think the arguments of the GE proponents lack the “buffers” that come from outside of pure logic, buffers which come from somewhere other than the brain. The same issue is found in medicine, where the precise extract of a plant, synthesised even, becomes the medicine, rather than the plant itself, which contained the buffers that moderate the effects on the body. The two schools rarely mix, though I met a GP yesterday who practices both.

    I do focus on the logic of people’s arguments and the practicalities of technology, and you’re right that there’s more to it than that. Because it’s such a huge leap up from selective breeding, genetic engineering of plants comes with risks, particularly the risk of it being used to double down on the intensification and industrialisation of agriculture. On that basis, it’s not surprising the Green Party is so suspicious of it. Added to that, the party has to consider its supporters in the organic food industry, which would face difficulties if GE plants were in general use in NZ. (NB: I’m a Green voter and financial donor, so any criticism I make of the party comes from a supporter, not an opponent.)

    However, the GE jinn is out of the bottle and there won’t be any tricking it into getting back in again. The question now isn’t whether GE is good or bad, right or wrong, the question is what regulations do we need to apply to GE to make sure we don’t make things worse?

    That’s where I’m in disagreement with the Greens. If we pretend we can make NZ a bastion of GE-free food, for one thing we’d fail (because we’re not isolated from the rest of the world) and for another we’d be putting our non-organic agricultural sector at a big disadvantage for the benefit of the organic sector. It would not be a rational approach and many voters (not to mention some Green voters) would recognise that. The Greens’ focus should continue to be on reducing the intensification and industrialisation of farming in general, and we have a lot of very capable scientists who can help figure out how GE could contribute to that. It doesn’t have to be a “GE = good” vs “GE = bad” debate.

    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      “I’m a Green voter and financial donor, so any criticism I make of the party comes from a supporter, not an opponent.” Likewise. ” It doesn’t have to be a “GE = good” vs “GE = bad” debate.” True.

      Nuance is real hard for a lot of people. Politics, on a numbers basis, always gets driven by those who prefer simplicity. In a complex world, most punters therefore get it wrong, and produce public policy accordingly. Occam’s razor is a useful guide in a lot of situations, but a blunt tool that is likely to make things worse in others.

      I’ve not even tried to engage other Greens on GE policy. Am not even motivated to see it there’s a policy on the GP website. A can of worms best to side-step until it becomes necessary to clean it out, I reckon.

    • The Chairman 5.2

      You say, we’d be putting our non-organic agricultural sector at a big disadvantage.

      Can you give some detail on why you believe so?

      • Robert Guyton 5.2.1

        I’d say, first up, organic growers would lose the advantage of being able to market their produce as coming from a GE-free country, that is GE-Free NZ.

        • The Chairman 5.2.1.1

          The non-organic (yet GE free) agricultural sector would also suffer that marketing disadvantage, Robert.

        • bwaghorn 5.2.1.2

          How big is NZ organic market.?

          • Jim 5.2.1.2.1

            A very good question and one I can’t answer personally.
            However I have been invited to a couple of organic farms, Gee I shuddered a little.
            As far as I am concerned I wouldn’t want too eat or buy what was on that land animal or plant.
            It seems the term “organic” means no fertiliser application and no animal health remedies, or any that work anyway.
            Others may have different experiences?

            • Robert Guyton 5.2.1.2.1.1

              I struggle to believe your claims, Jim. Organic farms are generally intensely aware of their soil and animal health and apply organic fertilisers and organic-approved animal remedies for the health of their stock – perhaps your ignorance of how organic farmers operate meant you were blind to what was really happening.

          • Graeme 5.2.1.2.2

            Evidently about 10% of vineyards are organic, and it seems to be the ones who are doing fairly flash wine.

            https://www.nzwine.com/en/sustainability/organic-winegrowing/

            There’s also a substantial premium for organic honey, but all NZ honey attracts a premium because we don’t use antibiotics.

      • Psycho Milt 5.2.2

        Can you give some detail on why you believe so?

        The disadvantage would lie in the opportunity cost of not being able to use GE while overseas competition was able to use it.

        • Robert Guyton 5.2.2.1

          Should we follow every opportunity available to avoid losing out to overseas competition?

        • The Chairman 5.2.2.2

          Why would our non-organic (yet GE free) agricultural sector want to turn to GMOs when they know it will cost them sales?

          Consumers largely oppose GMOs with many opting for NZ products due to our clean image. Therefore, the loss of sales would vastly nullify any potential gain from investing in GMOs.

          Potentially lowering production costs or increasing yields means little if the process then leads to a vast reduction in sales.

          • Psycho Milt 5.2.2.2.1

            Why would our non-organic (yet GE free) agricultural sector want to turn to GMOs when they know it will cost them sales?

            It probably would cost them sales among the world’s more irrational consumers, but most consumers are not irrational and increased production enables more sales to those consumers.

            Consumers largely oppose GMOs with many opting for NZ products due to our clean image.

            Our “clean image” is exactly that, an image. It’s fake. I suppose consumers who are irrational enough to demand GE-free food are likely to be foolish enough to be sucked in by our “clean image,” but the ability to fool some of the people all of the time certainly isn’t something I’d be willing to die in a ditch for.

            Potentially lowering production costs means little if the process then leads to a vast reduction in sales.

            A “vast” reduction in sales? Hardly. Organic food consumers are a small number of relatively-wealthy people with no problems beyond the first-world variety. And the fact that the well-off-but-irrational will currently pay a premium for woo would be a very dodgy thing to base an entire country’s economy on.

            • The Chairman 5.2.2.2.1.1

              “It probably would cost them sales among the world’s more irrational consumers, but most consumers are not irrational…”

              Calling them irrational doesn’t change the fact (from the number of polls I’ve seen) that most consumers oppose GMO products. And increasing production of GMOs is no guarantee of more sales.

              “Our “clean image” is exactly that, an image.”

              Indeed. Nevertheless, it is a widely held perception offshore consumers have. Thus, what our goods are marketed upon. Moreover, compared to a good number of our competitors, we are clean due to our isolation and small population.

              “Organic food consumers are a small number of relatively-wealthy people…”

              Maybe, but we’re not just talking organic food consumers, we’re also talking about the large number of buyers of our non-organic (yet GE free) products.
              It would be a very dodgy thing to destroy the marketing capital we’ve built and risk our entire agricultural sector on something consumers largely don’t want a bar of.

              • That “marketing capital” we’ve built is based on a lie, and GE-free is woo. Those are not solid bases for economic development.

                • The Chairman

                  No. An exaggeration perhaps, but it’s not a total lie. We do produce things that are clean and green, albeit we are not as clean and green as we’ve marketed.

                  And regardless if GE-free thinking is woo, the majority of consumers don’t want it, which is clearly not a solid base to push forward with GMOs.

          • McFlock 5.2.2.2.2

            I don’t know why you phrased it as a question: the answer was in your use of “if”.

    • Robert Guyton 5.3

      “reducing the intensification and industrialisation of farming in general, and we have a lot of very capable scientists who can help figure out how GE could contribute to that. ”
      a. How might GE reduce the industrialisation of farming?
      &
      b. Do you believe it would?

      • Psycho Milt 5.3.1

        A. I’m not one of those scientists, but from my layman’s perspective: one political hurdle to overcome in reducing intensity and industrialisation of farming is that it results in lower yields. Andre posted yesterday one way GE could help offset that. There’ll be many others.

        B. It depends. If we have a government committed to reducing intensity and industrialisation of farming, and public sector research organisations that carry out research in support of government policy, of course it would. However, if we have a government committed to increasing the intensity and industrialisation of farming, ie a National-led one, then no it wouldn’t – but in that case we’d have a much bigger problem than any that might result from introducing GE.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      I have two concerns about GE:

      1. Considering that many GE seeds have been designed to kill themselves off what happens if that gene ‘escapes’ into the wild. Do we end up with a dead world?
      2. Patenting life and that if all farmers are dependent upon patented products then so are the people. What happens when corporations start picking and choosing who can and can’t be a farmer? Where that food can be sold? Or even if it can be sold at all?

      The latter is, IMO, a bigger concern than the former and we already see it happening.

      • Robert Guyton 5.4.1

        Your concern no.2 is shared by farmers across the globe, especially in the 3rd world, and if anyone would know the reality of it, they will.

      • JohnSelway 5.4.2

        Not all seeds are patented (golden rice for example is given away patent free) also not all are the ‘terminator’ variety.

        • greywarshark 5.4.2.1

          Is golden rice a terminator variety? Has it badly affected the old seed saved
          rice that was tried and true from the past?

          And b waghorn
          What if?
          You remind me of a sad and sorry old saying that reflects regularly-encountered reality.
          “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”

        • Draco T Bastard 5.4.2.2

          Not all seeds are patented

          Not all of them – yet:

          On the 25th March of 2015, the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO made the following unacceptable decision: ‘while processes for conventional breeding cannot be patented, plants and animals stemming from these processes are patentable.’ This decision made it possible to patent plants or seeds produced through conventional breeding, more than 180 have been granted already. On top of this, around 1.000 such patent applications are pending. The number is much higher when including genetically modified plants: more than 7.500 patents are pending at the moment. But the latter are not the issue of current discussions; their patentability will go on, in every case.

          There is a serious question of if life should be patentable. We’re not really talking about an invention here but a discovery. The same that applies in mathematics formulas that makes them un-patentable and why the NZ government also stopped allowing patenting of software.

          Golden rice is not given away patent free:

          Patents are tools to protect commercial interests and investments, but as the Golden Rice example shows, they are not an impediment to the use and dissemination of a technology. Apart from being national in scope and limited in time, their owners can decide to whom to license and under what conditions. Notwithstanding the fact that a number of patented technologies were involved in the production of Golden Rice (Kryder et al. 2000), Syngenta Seeds AG was able to negotiate access to all pieces of the puzzle actively necessary for the intended humanitarian purposes, providing the Golden Rice Humanitarian Board with the right to sublicense breeding institutions in developing countries free of charge.

          The patents still apply but the companies have agreed not to charge for humanitarian purposes.

          • McFlock 5.4.2.2.1

            I don’t have a problem with patents. A sixteen year monopoly provides a development incentive.

            Copyright, on the other hand, is going insane simply because the US keeps extending it for whatever mickey-mouse reasons they might have…

            • arkie 5.4.2.2.1.1

              lol
              It was never fun watching Sonny Bono Act

            • Draco T Bastard 5.4.2.2.1.2

              I read an article years ago (i.e, can’t find it) about a patent that had been going on for more than 60 years. The corporate owner of the original patent kept changing a word here and there to argue that it was a new patent and, amazingly, winning it.

              And then there’s the Patent Trolls:

              Soverain isn’t in the e-commerce business; it’s in the higher-margin business of filing patent lawsuits against e-commerce companies. And it has been quite successful until now. The company’s plan to extract a patent tax of about one percent of revenue from a huge swath of online retailers was snuffed out last week by Newegg and its lawyers, who won an appeal ruling [PDF] that invalidates the three patents Soverain used to spark a vast patent war.

              We were lucky – that one got won but how many others have gone through?
              Every single one of these fictitious patents costs us even if the ruling finally goes against the Patent Troll.

              • McFlock

                And patents give you the right to sue infringers, but not the means.

                But the flipside is no non-governmental research, because there’s no money in R&D.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  And patents give you the right to sue infringers, but not the means.

                  Well, that’s something that I’ve been thinking about lately and I’ve come to the conclusion that if the government id going to give you the right then it should also you the means. A law isn’t effective unless its enforced after all.

                  But the flipside is no non-governmental research, because there’s no money in R&D.

                  1. I don;t think that is true. Many people would still do research if they had access to the resources necessary.
                  2. Without government research then there’d be very little research. Government tends to do the basic research while companies do the applied research. In other words, government does the essential research that products are then based upon.

                  Your problem is that you think only capitalism can bring the research about but that is proven wrong by what’s actually happening in the world.

                  • McFlock

                    Fuck, people do like to build massive edifices on foundations that are mere assumptions.

                    I fucking love government research. But having it as the only provider of research is a route to less innovation. I’m not even talking about competition, but diversity of approach and prioritisation. Both the private sector and the public sector are needed.

                    As for “many people would still do research”, you’d provide anyone who wants it with the resources to built a multi-million dollar lab and push new compounds through three phases of drug trials? Good luck with that.

                    • JohnSelway

                      I fucking love government research. But having it as the only provider of research is a route to less innovation. I’m not even talking about competition, but diversity of approach and prioritisation. Both the private sector and the public sector are needed.

                      What he said.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Fuck, people do like to build massive edifices on foundations that are mere assumptions.

                      Actually, it’s backed up by research. I’d link but its from many readings read across decades.

                      I fucking love government research. But having it as the only provider of research is a route to less innovation.

                      Who said it would be the only provider?
                      Read The Entrepreneurial State and you may get some understanding of what I’m getting at. In it the author shows how the US became so innovative using a lot of government funding and direction of research employing both private sector and state sector researchers.

                      That government funded research then being freely available to everyone to utilise.

                      As for “many people would still do research”, you’d provide anyone who wants it with the resources to built a multi-million dollar lab and push new compounds through three phases of drug trials?

                      No.

                      I’d build several multi-million dollar government labs where people with the qualifications would be employed to work and where anybody with an idea can present it for development. If the idea is accepted for development then the person who’s idea it was would be encouraged to partake in that development up to and including the higher education needed to do it.

                      I think we waste so much potential by slotting people into unfulfilling jobs. It’s why I’m firmly in favour of ever more automation.

                    • McFlock

                      The assumption you made was “you think only capitalism can bring the research about”.

                      If you’re getting at something, try to express it in your own words. All I said was that patents actually provide an incentive for non-governmental research. This might be applied research, or blue skies research. It is often expensive research.

                      I’d build several multi-million dollar government labs where people with the qualifications would be employed to work and where anybody with an idea can present it for development.

                      Presenting an idea for development is not the same as doing the research yourself, and you miss the specialisation and prioritisation of private research. There will be some wins, but if the provider misses the potential of the idea then there’s nobody else to go to. Yes, the flipside of a patent is that nobody else is allowed to copy it for 16 years without the permission of the original developers. But the benefit is that you’re presenting your idea to people directly involved in the field, and if they don’t see the opportunity then their competitor might.

                      Central planning via government departments has its limitations. Difficulty engaging with human creativity is one of those limitations.

      • bwaghorn 5.4.3

        Your only looking at the possible negatives.
        What if we can produce spray free food (in monoculture s for feeding the masses not the wealthy few who can afford organic)
        What if we can produce bulk crops that require half the amount of water and or fertilizer.

      • Psycho Milt 5.4.4

        Patenting life and that if all farmers are dependent upon patented products then so are the people.

        Patenting life isn’t inherent in genetic engineering, any more than Google and Facebook commercialising your personal data is inherent in computer networks. Whether or not we allow the patenting of life is its own issue, just like whether or not we allow slavery is its own issue.

      • Psycho Milt 5.4.5

        Considering that many GE seeds have been designed to kill themselves off what happens if that gene ‘escapes’ into the wild.

        What indeed? Given that we have no conceivable way of preventing people from designing such things, we might just as well worry that aliens will invade and enslave us. Regulation of such activities within NZ is the best we can manage, so let’s manage it. Prohibition of GE will be as effective as any other kind of prohibition in the long term.

        • Robert Guyton 5.4.5.1

          We’ve prohibited murder and while there still are murders, I don’t think anyone’s campaigning to legalise it 🙂

          • Psycho Milt 5.4.5.1.1

            We’ve prohibited many recreational drugs, too. If people don’t see anything wrong with the thing that’s prohibited, many of them reject the prohibition. That’s why prohibiting recreational drugs is an entirely different category from prohibiting murder – nobody rejects a prohibition on murder, even if they’re a murderer, but many reject a prohibition on recreational drugs.

            When it comes to prohibition, GE will fall very much into the “recreational drugs” category, rather than the “murder” category – for the “what compelling reasons against?” reason we’ve already discussed.

            • Robert Guyton 5.4.5.1.1.1

              The recreational drugs were already in circulation by the time the prohibition was placed upon them. That prohibition was bound to lack effectiveness, given that and the nature of human desire for such substances. GMO crops are not here yet and a prohibition would keep them out (It’s hard to hide a paddock of GE corn). Humans don’t crave for GMO corn and so the prohibition won’t be circumvented in the same way recreational drug prohibition invariably is. The two, GMO and recreational drugs, are not in the same category, imo.

              • They’re both in the category I described: “If people don’t see anything wrong with the thing that’s prohibited, many of them reject the prohibition.” In this case, the prohibition doesn’t really affect consumers, but it does affect researchers and farmers, and over the long term those people aren’t going to put a lot of effort into observing that prohibition.

                • Robert Guyton

                  You are suggesting that researchers would act unlawfully, “reject the prohibition” because they don’t see anything wrong with the thing that’s prohibited. Wouldn’t that be illegal, contrary to their contracts and unethical?
                  Are you good with that? Seems irrational.

                  • I’m saying that over the long term, such people will exist, likewise in the farming sector and the environmental protection bureacracy. Given a non-zero probability of X occurring, and a long enough time interval, X will occur. What I personally feel about X is irrelevant. Prohibition isn’t a viable long-term option.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      ” Prohibition isn’t a viable long-term option.”
                      I agree, with there rider “alone” – “prohibition alone” Your proposal (I think) is to regulate the industry and allow it to develop, much in the way it’s proposed with cannabis, perhaps. My hope is the public of NZ will choose not to have GM crops, such as pasture grasses, grown here and that the representative Government will act according to the peoples’ will and legislate accordingly. Rogue researchers and farmers, as described by you, will be pilloried by the public and punished by the Government and any incursions of GMO’s dealt with as Velvet Leaf has been in recent times.
                      Faint hope, mind you, but that’s my (rational) position.

        • One Two 5.4.5.2

          the best we can manage

          That is your defeated predjudice showing through, milt…hard to hide it, eh…

          Bhutan is already organic…and now so is Kazakhstan heading in the same direction…

          Don’t be a defeatist, psycho…

          https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2018-07-18/kazakhstan-goes-organic-in-bid-to-build-niche-in-grains-market

          • Psycho Milt 5.4.5.2.1

            Good luck trying to persuade the agricultural sector to adopt Bhutan and Khazakstan as role models. There’s money in woo, for sure, but woo isn’t reliable in the long term, except for religions.

            • Robert Guyton 5.4.5.2.1.1

              Why is there more than one type of car? Surely any other than the simplest model are “woo”? There’s money in woo alright and it seems “reliable in the long term”. Are you suggesting we encourage all car manufacturers other than Lada that they should abandon their wooing?

              • Are you suggesting consumer preference for GE-free is nothing more than brand preference?

                • Robert Guyton

                  No. It includes it, for sure, but there’s more to it. Are you saying the buyers of non-Lada cars are irrational?

                  • That depends on why they’re willing to pay more for a particular car. There are rational reasons and irrational reasons. While we’re pursuing this metaphor, are you saying the production of Lada cars should be prohibited?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Too late – it’s already legal. There are rational and irrational reasons for wanting to eat food that’s non-GMO. Why do you characterise those people who want that as irrational? Do you classify everybody who wants to buy a car irrational?

                    • What are the rational reasons for refusing to eat food from plants that have been manipulated using this particular technique rather than a different one?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      If you are told a plant is poisonous and you believe it to be true and you don’t want to be poisoned, it would be irrational to eat it.
                      If you are told a genetically modified plant will negatively affect your health and you believe it to be true and you don’t want your health negatively affected, it would be irrational to eat it.
                      If you believed allowing the production of GE crops in NZ would affect the country’s export market negatively, it would be irrational to support the proposal to grow such crops here.
                      It’s irrational, isn’t it, to act or decide against your beliefs you believe are rationally held.

                      Do you classify everybody who wants to buy a car, irrational?

                    • The last one is a separate issue (and a rational reason). By the logic of the first two, exorcism is a rational approach to mental ill-health (ie, if you are told your relative is possessed by a demon and you believe it to be true and don’t want them to be possessed by a demon, it would be irrational to refuse an exorcism).

                    • Robert Guyton

                      “By the logic of the first two, exorcism is a rational approach to mental ill-health”
                      No, Psycho Milt. That’s not the logical conclusion of what I wrote.
                      Excorcism is a rational approach for the person who believes it to be effective but can’t be broadly called a rational approach where many people would not find it so.
                      The issue is localised.
                      You say people who oppose the growing of GM crops in NZ are “irrational”
                      Do you classify everybody who wants to buy a car” irrational”?

                    • You say people who oppose the growing of GM crops in NZ are “irrational”

                      I haven’t said that at all, in fact I seem to recall agreeing that your reason for opposing it (to protect the organic food industry) was a rational one, just not one I personally agreed with.

                      I have said that consumer preference for GE-free food is irrational, on the basis that I haven’t seen any rational reasons given for that preference.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      7 January 2019 at 9:18 am
                      You say people who oppose the growing of GM crops in NZ are “irrational”

                      “I haven’t said that at all”
                      You are quite right right, Psycho Milt and I’m wrong; Andre made the claim a couple of days ago and I assigned it to you in my flurry. I apologise. I made the mistake after seeing these statement-fragments from you:

                      “And the fact that the well-off-but-irrational will currently pay a premium”

                      “So, the argument is that we must ban GM crops in order to satisfy an irrational requirement of an unreasonable sector group.”

                      “(it would make it difficult for us to market GE-free food to irrational consumers)
                      I’ll retire from the discussion now, chastised (self) thanks for your time.

                    • Lol yes Andre definitely takes a harder line than me. Always a pleasure discussing things with you, Robert, thanks for your time too.

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    This fucktard dragged me into a lengthy debate on GE that he wasn’t interested in learning from at all… just one day before he started this abortion of a thread.

                    my advice – do not engage in any manner. Poisonous trash aka sad troll.

                    • One Two

                      It is the stock approach which milt takes when discussing…anything…

                      Psycho is still claiming to not have seen a ‘rational’ reason why consumers would have a preference for gm free food…he is blinded…best to leave him to it…

                      His approach is not rational…such is the irony which he is seemingly not aware enough to realize…

            • One Two 5.4.5.2.1.2

              So defeatist, milt..

              Your comments have deteriorated to using terms like ‘woo’…

              The ‘science’ (if you can call it that) of GMO is nothing but woo..

              It can’t be controlled, I explained that to you yesterday, as well as dispelling the opportunity cost comment as above…

              GMO can’t be an opportunity cost without using woo science, woo economics, woo marketing, woo lobbying et al…there is no legitimate case that could be made because the risk is immeasurable…

              So that is pure projection…

              Woo Woo

              • “Woo” is a useful generic term for belief in beneficial properties that can’t be defined in a rational way. Your personal belief that science is woo doesn’t alter that definition in the slightest.

                • One Two

                  You’ve got nothing for this subject, milt…you demand others do the leg work which you don’t have the chops for…

                  The white flag was raised by you many comments ago…

                  I’m not one of those scientists

                  Is when you hoisted the white flag…

                  Exactly the same as you do with this subject each time it’s come up…

                  Boo Woo Hoo

                  • Handy tip from my many years on blog comments threads: if you boast to everyone of your alleged glorious victory in the debate, you’ll only be embarrassing yourself.

                    • One Two

                      You self immoliated, psycho…in a sub thread which you started up…my pointing it out is nothing more than…pointing it out…

                      Embarrassment…is a 3rd party emotion based on the perception of how another person believes someone else should feel in a given situation…because they think others are as callow as they are…

                      Tip for you…figure out what embarrassment actually is…

  6. Ed 6

    Climate crises and catastrophe is the most serious issue facing the world right now.
    It would be good if we used this meeting place to put pressure on the New Zealand government and all politicians to act as if it is the most serious issue.

    Daily recommendations.

    Idea 3. Incentivise a plant based diet. Tax meat heavily and make vegetables and fruit tax free.

  7. The Chairman 7

    Worth a look
    New Zealand Public Television
    http://www.nzptv.org.nz

    • Ed 7.1

      Thank you.

    • OnceWasTim 7.2

      Yes it is @ The Chairman.
      So here’s a poor man’s option for going some way towards the resurrection of PSB TV.
      Whilst we’re buggerising around contemplating various options (some of which are tantamount to more corporate welfare) – put together the content available on NZPTV (not the live streams) and require TVNZ’s playout facilities to put it free-to-air on terrestrial and freeview satellite facilities.
      They might even require TVNZ to intersperse it with hourly news updates

  8. The Chairman 8

    Something to ponder

    40% of our full-time workers are on the minimum wage, earning $34,320 annually or $660 per week.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12172282

    • The Chairman 8.1

      A little more to ponder

      “By 2016, the self-employed had their lowest share of income since 1939. The largest beneficiary was corporate profits which rose to a 19% share in 2016, a level reached before only in 1940 under wartime conditions. It appears that labour productivity and real wages over the period were closely tied only during the period 1947 to 1974 when New Zealand’s industrial conciliation and arbitration system of collective bargaining extended by awards was working relatively well. From about 1990, real wage growth fell behind productivity growth. If wage and salary earners received the same share of the [national] income generated in 2017 as they did in 1981 they would on average have been $11,500 better off” – Bill Rosenberg.

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317868928_A_brief_history_of_labour's_share_of_income_in_New_Zealand_1939-2016

      • Ad 8.1.1

        Key point of diversion being the 1991Employment Contract Act and the desired destruction of the union movement by National, and with it the inability of labour to force good wages out of capitalists.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1

          If we got rid of the capitalists we wouldn’t have to force good wages out of them.

          • Ad 8.1.1.1.1

            You really should stand for election.

            • Ed 8.1.1.1.1.1

              I would vote for him or any decent socialist.

              • Ad

                A nationwide sigh of relief occurs.

                • OnceWasTim

                  Well it doesn’t necessarily have to be nationwide. He could stand for local body elections as a start @ Ad.
                  I mean to say, Laidlaw is doomed and probably hasn’t even got the guts to stand another term, and it’s quite likely rubbed off on Daran Ponter as well. And for many people, I doubt they’ll be able to bring themselves to vote for a Lester unless it’s in the absence of anything else – and even then they’d have to be burned-on Labour, too embarrassed or too yea/nah to do anything else.
                  So there’s an ‘in for ‘Draco’. I doubt he’d be intimidated by the systems that have been setup for elected representatives to have become subservient to the corporate machine that is our local body Councils.

                  Hopefully he’ll have balls this

                  HIGH ^ as well as having a good bullshit detector (gaydar, radar, age-ar and race-ar no longer necessary, but an ability to laugh your arse off at management is essential)

              • James

                a wasted vote that would be for sure.

        • OnceWasTim 8.1.1.2

          Indeed @ Ad! SO let’s not allow some of the shit that’s been brought to the public’s attention this past year to be forgotten by the last remaining of our journalists:
          – The so-called ‘Independent Contractors who are in effect ‘DEPENDENT Contractors’
          e.g. Courier Drivers
          Chorus Contractors
          DeliveryEasy
          Uber
          etc., etc., etc
          You can see how the language is manipulated in order to advance the neo-liberal agenda.
          All the above seek to externalise their costs whilst preserving their own margin, AS WELL AS providing for the margins of a number of ticket-clippers along the way.

          Is the coalition up to fixing it? The signs are sort of ‘OK’, but the pace of reform is pretty bloody pathetic – but then I suppose there’s 30+ years of agencies responsible for enforcement activity to battle, let alone some members within that have their right leg shorter than is needed in order to effect that ‘kinder society’.

          • Ad 8.1.1.2.1

            No, this government has reformed employment law as much as it is going to.
            The Employment Relations Amendment Act was passed on December 5th.

            The Act restores many of the conditions that existed during the previous Labour-led government. They are pretty basic and include:

            – reinstating meal breaks
            – strengthening collective bargaining
            – limiting 90-day trials to businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

            Comes in to force on Monday May 6th this year.

            Otherwise there are minor increases to the minimum wage, probably a bit of a further increase to WFF in the 2019 budget, and other minor tinkering.

            Remember this is their first term where they have all their ideological vim and enthusiasm on full display.

            Entropy only takes further hold in the second and third terms.

            • greywarshark 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Also practically, they want to get their promises up and running so they can point to them as the next election looms. It’s a KISS situation. Keep It Simple Stupid, and they need to keep this in mind all the time.

              And they will get kissed for it with another term if they keep telling people what they have done.

              “Three things you need to do, John,” I recall him saying. “Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.”

              It was not until years later that I learned that this advice was not developed by the good Jesuit fathers but rather by the master of rhetoric himself, Aristotle.
              https://www.inc.com/john-baldoni/deliver-a-great-speech-aristotle-three-tips.html

              • Dennis Frank

                Cool, I got it from some capitalist source in the eighties. Didn’t credit Aristotle, nor that the Jesuits had recycled it. I don’t use it due to not being an evangelist or salesman, but my career making tv ads taught me how well it works. I wonder if teachers apply it to slow learners…

                • WeTheBleeple

                  I apply it to all learners because it’s really effective.

                  I show a list of what I’m to present and a few reasons why, then the presentation, then a summary and two way question time (questions and pop quiz disguised as conversation) – result: Favorite teacher of many thriving students.

                  That’s also how I write academic papers which are: “beautifully written” and “succinct”. Succinct?!! Repetition lulls the mind.

                  Being funny helps too.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Damn right being funny helps! I’m interested in where you do teaching and where you do academic writing. Just because context is important, eh? But if privacy concerns apply, fair enough…

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Is that funny-ha-ha or funny-odd?

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      Funny peculiar. I tutor in various capacities and most enjoy teaching uni level science.

                      I’ve written in several capacities under several names. I prefer anonymity except with comedy as it is live (and an act), even then… Poke your head up and jealous assholes notice.

                      Very gun-shy of any public profile whatsoever.

            • OnceWasTim 8.1.1.2.1.2

              I don’t disagree @ Ad.
              They have and they did, but they do have a choice as to whether they want to spend their term and political capital (just to be trendy) battling against what are ‘the basics’ that will allow the less well-off to have a decent living and begin contributing, or whether they want to be all staunch and maintain the line “we’re doing the best we can under the circumstances we’ve been left by the previous junta”.
              One year on – that’s already beginning to wear thin – as well as the fact that all the research they’ve undertaken in order to formulate policy is now due and people will be looking for results OR AT LEAST signs of a trend.

              For me, I completely understand that H1 and H2 needed what was probably a generation to reverse what resulted from Roger, Ruth et al – but it really didn;t help that she chose to have a bit of a lay down and a cuppa cha in the 3rd term and concentrate on her future career aspirations. (I do concede she was probably one of the best PMs we ever had tho’).

              • James Thrace

                Controversial opinion: The last socialist PM New Zealand had, was Rob Muldoon.

                • Ed

                  Totally agree. Not all controversial, either.

                  If his policies were put alongside the Labour Party’s now, he is clearly left. The Overton Window was shifted radically to the right in the 1980s in the UK and New Zealand.

            • Craig H 8.1.1.2.1.3

              Fair Pay Agreements are still to come – that’s a significant piece of employment legislation.

              • The Chairman

                Unfortunately, once again the hype fails to meet reality.

                Industrial action will not be permitted in negotiations for Fair Pay Agreements. Thus, reducing unions bargaining power.

                Furthermore, Jacinda has sought to ease business concerns over the new type of collective bargaining, saying there will be “no more than one or two” fair pay agreements in the current electoral term.

        • The Chairman 8.1.1.3

          Indeed, Ad. The Employment Contract Act played a pivotal role in reducing labours share of income.

        • greywarshark 8.1.1.4

          From TC link at 8.

          Dr Ganesh Nana, chief economist and executive director of Business and Economic Research, said New Zealand was a low-wage economy.

          Factors such as a much smaller population size and a lower minimum wage rate was part of the reason New Zealanders earned significantly less than Australians.

          “We’ve got a business model based on low wages. We’ve had settings in place over the last two to three decades that have minimised wages, and focused on wages as a cost rather than an investment in labour,” Nana said.

          “We’ve been trying to put a lid on wage costs which supposedly translate into improved profitability and productivity but that model hasn’t worked.”

          Minimum wage in Australia is A$18.93 ($19.83) per hour, which totals $719.20
          each week or about $750 in New Zealand dollar terms.

          • The Chairman 8.1.1.4.1

            “We’ve got a business model based on low wages.”

            Indeed, greywarshark. Nana is correct.

            Furthermore, low wages are helping to maintain struggling businesses with poor long-term prospect (those that state they can’t afford paying wage increases) that should really pack it in and look to invest elsewhere more viable.

            The Government should consider doing more to help facilitate this transition to the more viable.

            And those that can afford to pay a decent wage but don’t, should be named and shamed. Consumers blacklisting them would add further pressure.

      • Ed 8.1.2

        Disgraceful.
        We need to change the system.

      • Pat 8.1.3

        something else related to ponder

        Inflation rates for q1 2008 to q1 2018 (past 10 years)…the previous 10 carry the same theme

        CPI 18.7%

        Food 20.7%

        Clothing -0.5%

        Transport 7.6%

        Housing 64.5%

        Wages 31.0%

    • Ed 8.2

      Time for some yellow vests.

    • Ed 8.3

      And they have to do this facing some of the highest housing costs in the world.
      And expensive food.

  9. Ed 9

    While the New Zealand corporate news puppets parrot stories about UFOs and meteors, the planet burns.
    No wonder we have such woefully ill informed public.

    https://t.co/VBFumoLT0s?amp=1

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Let us decide how we relate to those figures Ed. You don’t have to put little help lines in. Four comments where only one was necessary. Why don’t you become anally retentive and squeeze them out over a long period. Four in 8 minutes!

  10. Ed 10

    George Galloway has started to reconsider meat eating after seeing and hearing about the conditions under which animals are treated, tortured and murdered.
    His MOATs show features several discussions on the subject.
    Great job by George to be open minded enough to consider change when faced by evidence.
    I’ll post his contribution when it comes along.
    In the meantime here’s a link to his show.

    http://talkradio.co.uk/radio/listen-again/1546628400#

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    Just saw a report on One News from Delhi. Pollution levels there are currently twelve times the globally-accepted safe level. The fourteen most polluted cities on Earth are in India. One in every eight deaths in India is now caused by pollution.

    I checked Wikipedia. “A 2013 study on non-smokers has found that Indians have 30% lower lung function compared to Europeans.” “Fuelwood and biomass burning is the primary reason for near-permanent haze and smoke observed above rural and urban India, and in satellite pictures of the country. Fuelwood and biomass cakes are used for cooking and general heating needs. These are burnt in cook stoves known as chullah or chulha piece in some parts of India. These cook stoves are present in over 100 million Indian households, and are used two to three times a day, daily. As of 2009, majority of Indians still use traditional fuels such as dried cow dung, agricultural waste, and firewood as cooking fuel.”

    “This form of fuel is inefficient source of energy, its burning releases high levels of smoke, PM10 particulate matter, NOx, SOx, PAHs, polyaromatics, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and other air pollutants.[9][10][11][12] Some reports, including one by the World Health Organization, claim 300,000 to 400,000 people die of indoor air pollution and carbon monoxide poisoning in India because of biomass burning and use of chullahs.[13] The air pollution is also the main cause of the Asian brown cloud which is delaying the start of the monsoon.”

    So the recent citation of corporations being the primary culprits in global warming is just part of the picture. Traditional lifestyles and Indians are extremely competitive as well.

    • Pat 11.1

      at a mere 2.28 per capita tonnes per annum emissions I dont think theres a lot of scope for the average Indian to cut…and if the entire world emitted at that rate we likely wouldnt be discussing CC at all

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_greenhouse_gas_emissions_per_capita

      • Poission 11.1.1

        Black carbon is the dominant absorber of visible sr.regionally across the tropics,(hence the per capita metric is not a useful metric)

        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/32034622_Global_and_Regional_Climate_Changes_Due_to_Black_Carbon

        It also reduces photosynthetic available radiation at the surface and subsequent crop yields in India (with other SLCP.

        https://www.pnas.org/content/111/46/16319

        • Pat 11.1.1.1

          Yes, theres no denying there are a myriad of problems to be addressed but in terms of GHG the statement….”So the recent citation of corporations being the primary culprits in global warming is just part of the picture. Traditional lifestyles and Indians are extremely competitive as well.”….serves little purpose other than to attempt to minimise the role of western consumption in driving CC

      • Dennis Frank 11.1.2

        That point applies to policy formulation, whereas my point was that corporation-blaming, which is something I’ve done plenty of, is somewhat unrealistic. If we look at the creators of the problem, holism requires us to implement true-cost accounting (a key Green Party economic policy tenet) to lay blame accurately.

        • Pat 11.1.2.1

          particulate pollution could be relatively easily addressed, especially if the west actually fronted the oft promised funding and expertise to the developing world…..or perhaps the bulk of the subcontinent should adopt a diet of raw foods ?

    • WeTheBleeple 11.2

      So India needs rocket stoves aka double burners aka a decent engineer or two to make better stoves drawing out gases for additional fuel and making char to offset pollution.

      Absolutely primed for a revolution in stove type. Industry get on it.

    • OnceWasTim 11.3

      It’s chronic but the power of Mother Nature is clearly evident. Even on a day where there is no wind, you can clearly see the effects of the jungle literally sucking in the crap – such that whilst you might go to bed with the choking fumes of the city, rural brick factories and daily life (heavily dependent on diesel and other fuel), by morning you can awake to the purest, crispest and freshest of air only a few hundred kilometres north at the base of the Himalayas.

  12. Andre 12

    Fuck me, this illustrates how low things have sunk.

    You know that wall the waddling spray tan warning label always rambles incoherently about? And has shut down the US government in a tanty because Democrats and Repugs alike think it’s a stupid idea and won’t give it to him?

    Allegedly it was just something dreamed up by Dolt45’s campaign advisers as a shorthand reminder to bash immigrants at his rallies. That’s it. But now the (possibly) sentient caps lock button can’t let it go. So here we are.

    https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/world/trump-campaign-advisers-invented-border-wall-idea/ar-BBRQFrC?li=BBqdg4K&ocid=mailsignout

    • joe90 12.1

      So here we are.

      …partying like it’s 1933….

      WASHINGTON — As the government shutdown drags on, lawyers from the White House, the Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon are meeting to discuss whether President Donald Trump can declare a national emergency to deploy troops and Defense Department resources to build his border wall, according to two sources with knowledge of the discussions.

      […]

      The official said the talks are ongoing and will continue over the weekend as details are worked out.

      ABC News first reported that the White House was considering declaring a national emergency to build the wall.

      Trump said at a press briefing Friday he was considering declaring a national emergency in order to bypass Congress.

      https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/immigration/trump-admin-lawyers-eye-national-emergency-pentagon-resources-build-wall-n954926

      • Andre 12.1.1

        The official did not rule out that the Federal Emergency Management Administration, a part of DHS, may also be used as part of a national emergency response.

        Snark fails me.

        • Dennis Frank 12.1.1.1

          Yes, yes, I know. People who believe in democracy are a serious problem nowadays. He’s even too stupid to patiently explain to the news media & public that he campaigned on the wall, was elected on that basis, and therefore democracy provides him with a mandate to erect it.

          Y’know, the only possible explanation for such weird behaviour is that he thinks Pelosi & the Democrats, the media & public, all know that. As if they not only understand how their democracy works, but expect their politicians to act accordingly! Really, seriously dumb. Since when did the Democrats actually practice democracy? Surely everyone knows by now they merely preach it.

          • Ed 12.1.1.1.1

            Trump only happened because the Democrats has failed working class Americans since 1992.
            People forget that.

            Actually failed is too mild a word.
            Betrayed is better.

            • te reo putake 12.1.1.1.1.1

              More accurate to say capitalism failed them, Ed. Ironic that they’d elect a capitalist billionaire to solve that problem, but I guess they’re too busy dodging bullets to worry about details.

          • Andre 12.1.1.1.2

            In the US government system, control of the purse lies with Congress (ie the House and the Senate together). The only direct control of spending that is granted to the president is the ability to veto spending bills, and even vetos can be overridden by Congress.

            So in the case of spending huge amounts of money on something like a border wall, the mandate to do it (or not) is given by voters to the collective members of Congress, not the president.

            That divided responsibility is one of the checks and balances that keeps the US from being a serial elected dictatorship. But it’s clearly something the Combover Con doesn’t understand, along with many others.

            • Dennis Frank 12.1.1.1.2.1

              Yep, you got it. What people think is democracy and what it is in application are two different things. Much confusion results. Wouldn’t matter so much if politics wasn’t driven by that confusion. Nuances wash off simple-minded folk like water off a duck’s back.

              And since they have the numbers, they control the outputs of the system as much as the powerful folk behind the scenes. The marxists called it the dictatorship of the proletariat, figuring their system would do that better, but the one we have is close enough. Their perception creates our reality via majority vote. They selected Trump to represent them, a simple guy easy for them to identify with. Identity politics works like that.

            • Ad 12.1.1.1.2.2

              Looking forward to Pelosi and Schumer holding the line right through to State of the Union address January 21st.

              The newly emboldened Democrats have the political will to hold the line. They’d be fools not to; this is a massive, singular issue on which Trump bet 100 percent of his credibility. He put his head on the chopping block and handed Pelosi the ax.

              I’m looking for a series of massive defeats for Trump and the Republican Senators this year, and this looks like a doozy.

              • Andre

                McConnell will block anything embarrassing ever making it to the floor of the senate. That’s why the senate won’t vote again on the spending bill to reopen the government passed by the House, which is damn near identical to what the senate passed late last year.

                He’ll be happy though, if all he does for the next two years is confirm troglodyte judges and stop anything going onto the senate floor except the occasional bills that the House will never agree to. Just to pretend they’re doing something, and to generate talking points blaming House Democrats for something or other.

              • Dennis Frank

                Gosh, it’s almost as if you believe American politicians are now incapable of enacting compromise legislation in the spirit of collaboration for the benefit of the public. Yet we had a classic example proving the contrary just before xmas.

                “If you asked anyone in early November with insider knowledge whether the First Step Act, the now recently passed federal criminal justice reform bill, would get across the finish line, they would tell you “not without the endorsement of the president.” The prospects of a bill with the biggest changes to the federal criminal justice system in our generation were slim to none without an active role by the president himself.”

                “Trump continued to push for reform in the public eye and behind the scenes, working with Senate Majority Mitch McConnell to allow this to the floor for a vote. Before Christmas, the active support shown by Trump for a much fairer, much smarter, more conservative, and more compassionate criminal justice system came to fruition as the First Step Act passed the House and Senate with stunning majorities.”

                “Trump and the Republicans have been unfairly painted as “heartless” by the mainstream media. Alice Johnson, a great grandmother who served more than 20 years in prison for a first time nonviolent drug offense, had her sentenced commuted by the president earlier this year. She was able to spend Christmas with her family outside of a prison after two decades because of Trump. Over the next few years, thousands more families will get to do the same. This is what making America great again looks like.”
                https://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/423666-first-step-act-is-victory-marking-compassion-of-president-trump

                “The Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act or FIRST STEP Act reforms the federal prison system of the United States of America, and seeks to reduce recidivism. An initial version of the bill passed the House of Representatives (360-59) on May 22, 2018, a revised bill passed the U.S. Senate (on a bipartisan 87-12 vote) on December 18, 2018. The House approved the bill with Senate revisions on December 20, 2018 (358-36). The act was signed by President Donald Trump on December 21, 2018, before the end of the 115th Congress.”

                So Trump, most Republicans, & the Democrats, enacted this progressive law! They proved they can collaborate! God was willing, apparently. Still moves in mysterious ways though…

  13. joe90 13

    Yup, Mongolian hip-hop is a thing. And it’s glorious.

  14. joe90 14

    She takes no prisoners.

    https://hotair.com/archives/2019/01/04/aoc-tax-rate-70-fund-green-new-deal/

    • Dennis Frank 14.1

      But did you read their analysis? Her radical scheme has to be balanced by the likely result of implementing it.

      “But even in the first couple of years, assuming the government gets its hands on 70% of all income earned over $10 million, how many households would get taxed at that level? The 99th percentile of individual income in 2017 started at just over $300,000 in a University of Minnesota analysis, which would include roughly two million individuals. There simply wouldn’t be enough people and enough money earned over the $10 million mark to fund even the first year, let alone the two-decade run of Ocasio-Cortez’ Green New Deal. It would, however, drag the economy and stunt the creation of new jobs.”

      “One could describe that as radical, but ill-advised and self-destructive work better. That’s not an Emancipation Proclamation, but a recipe for full subservience to the elite who run this system.” Sounds like the law of unintended consequences may apply. However, if it threatens to cause de-growth I’ll support it!

      • joe90 14.1.1

        It’s a conservative analysis and sure, with the current houses there’s little chance of implementing it.

        But there’s no real shortage of analyses from the left to counter the conservative one and with a series of deepening crises on the horizon, anything’s possible.

        https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-green-new-deal-cost_us_5c0042b2e4b027f1097bda5b

        • Dennis Frank 14.1.1.1

          Reminds me of what Russel Norman was advocating: using quantitative easing to advance a Green socialist agenda. These authors are framing it as a required public conversation. Upside & downside consequences both flow from that.

          On the up, crowd-sourced wisdom causes opinion to coalesce around design principles of a policy solution, which like-minded politicians can then adopt.

          On the down, various views are floated in the media, then everyone moves on. Instead of a developing narrative becoming a political movement, the thing evaporates.

  15. eco maori 15

    Like Noam Chomsky state’s trump and brexit are a distraction thrown at the Papatunuku to slow down there losses of control and power carbon that the oil BARONs have now .
    These 2 phenomenon are a BIG DISTRACTION for the people of the world. They are not the TRUE risk to HUMANANITY. trump will flop out of office and Britain will stay in the EU. While this bullshit is going down we are still not taking enough action to stop OUR PLANET from over heating and in the prosess destorying the good life that we are USE TO get ready for the SHIT TO HIT THE FAN if we let the OIL BARON play with our intelligent minds and make us beleve that trump and brexit is the main threat NOT.
    Why do these 2 distractions have a BIG CLOAKING EFFECT on OUR reality .
    Its a fact that money controls the the World at the minute its a fact that the west controls the money at the minute so if the westen people of the world are distracted by trump and brexit well the BIG PROBLEM is not being FOCUSED on even when it’s effecting our lives negtively NOW . Wake up people and don’t RELY on the POLLIES of the world to beable to see through the oil barons bullshit cloak to make the changes to stop burning coal & oil carbon so we leave a better world for the Mokopunas.

    I
    Katharine Hayhoe: ‘A thermometer is not liberal or conservative’
    Jonathan Watts
    The award-winning atmospheric scientist on the urgency of the climate crisis and why people are her biggest hope
    Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She has contributed to more than 125 scientific papers and won numerous prizes for her science communication work. In 2018 she was a contributor to the US National Climate Assessment and was awarded the Stephen H Schneider award for outstanding climate science communication.
    In 2018, we have seen forest fires in the Arctic circle; record high temperatures in parts of Australia, Africa and the US; floods in India; and devastating droughts in South Africa and Argentina. Is this a turning point?
    This year has hit home how climate change loads the dice against us by taking naturally occurring weather events and amplifying them. We now have attribution studies that show how much more likely or stronger extreme weather events have become as a result of human emissions. For example, wildfires in the western US now burn nearly twice the area they would without climate change, and almost 40% more rain fell during Hurricane Harvey than would have otherwise. So we are really feeling the impacts and know how much humanity is responsible.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its 1.5C report in October. A month later, the US federal government’s climate assessment – to which you contributed – came out. How did these two massive studies move our understanding along?
    These assessments are important because there is a Schrödinger’s Cat element to studying climate impacts. The act of observing affects the outcome. If people aren’t aware of what is happening, why would anyone change? Assessments like these provide us with a vision of the future if we continue on our current pathway, and by doing so they address the most widespread and dangerous myth that the largest number of us have bought into: not that the science isn’t real, but rather that climate change doesn’t matter to me personally. Compared to past studies, how much media attention did these reports receive?
    There was significant coverage but a lot of media survive by generating controversy so they bring on opposing voices rather than explaining the scientific facts. Climate change shouldn’t be fodder for commentators who represent the interests of the fossil fuel industry by muddying the science. As a human and a scientist, this focus on controversy is frustrating. A thermometer is not liberal or conservative.What’s the role of global finance? Can money managers, shareholders and multinationals exert pressure and take positive action in ways that short-termist, vote-hungry politicians seem unable to do?
    Yes! In the world we live in, money speaks loudly. Thanks to the growing divestment movement, we have seen cities, universities and entire countries, in the case of Ireland, withdrawing investments from fossil fuel assets. This isn’t only happening for ethical reasons but for practical ones as well. As clean energy continues to expand, those assets could become stranded. When money talks the world listens.International talks are important but we should be looking at subnational actors because there is a lot going on at the city and corporate level. Across the US a hundred cities have committed to going 100% clean energy. Companies like Apple have already achieved that goal. In the US there’s a new climate bill with bipartisan sponsors, which is essential for legislation to succeed long-term.
    Are we likely to get any respite from climate change?
    (Sighs.) Climate change is a long-term trend superimposed over natural variability. There’ll be good and bad years, just like there are for a patient with a long-term illness, but it isn’t going away. To stabilise climate change, we have to eliminate our carbon emissions. And we’re still a long way away from that. Ka kite ano links below

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jan/06/katharine-hayhoe-interview-climate-change-scientist-crisis-hope

  16. eco maori 16

    This is OUR REALITY

  17. eco maori 17

    Here is some more of our reality from the great man

  18. eco maori 18

    Eco Maori Its well established that MONEY rules the Papatuanuku so I want to PLANT a IDEAR for our Worlds Music Star and Sports Star Movie Stars to and Media Stars to start fundrasing events like LIVE AID & WORLD VISION to raise billions to provide bridgeing finance to countrys that have viable climate change mitigating realitys that just don’t get financed because the people who control most of the money in the world carbon baron’s won’t invest in the prodject or they use there money to discredit the project. It would work better with the 21 century communication device the INTERNET as I heard some negative words about live aid & world vision like alot of funds being chewed up by management of those events. The funds raised & the projects invested in would need to be put up on a website for accountability and viability of the projects being invested in PEER REVIEWING to keep it HOUNEST .As actor can be planted in organizations to bring it down & the capitalist system can have one prouduct priced at up to a 1000% difference from different sources .
    The financing required for an orderly transition to a low carbon, resilient global economy must be counted in the trillions, not billions.
    Significant investment in infrastructure is needed over the next 15 years – around US$90 trillion by 2030 – but it does not need to cost much more to ensure that this new infrastructure is compatible with climate goals.
    Climate action offers a major opportunity to ensure sustainable global development and boost economic growth. It is already delivering real results in terms of new jobs, economic savings, competitiveness and market opportunities, and improved wellbeing for people worldwide with even greater investment, innovation, and growth potential ahead. Links below P.S PEOPLE POWER RULES THE WORLD

    https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/climatefinance

  19. eco maori 19

    Some Eco Maori Music for the minute.

  20. eco maori 20

    Kia ora Newshub Dvd videos are a thing of the past . I remember when video first came out use to watch Terence Hill Bud spencer Clint Eastwood many good movies to chose from it was cool when one came from a place with no power .
    Those fruit growers need to pay more money and they will get the worker isn’t that the capitalist way.
    Flip Flop.
    Is that Global warming that is affecting Maluab I think so.
    I quite like the thermometer in Vags as when I go to Auckland or Gisborne at this time of the year instant discomfort . One of our children had problems with the heat in Hawke’s Bay when he was about 8 months old you just have to keep a eye on the temperature gage and keep young babys cool bath or cold cloth ect.
    Tangaroa is a cool research ship doing a good job that was a photo of a Antarctica tooth fish we now know that we must be care full with new fisheries.
    That Antarctica marathon between Kiwis and Americans was a good sports match the Kiwi won ka pai its good to see everyone having fun .
    Ka kite ano

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  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
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  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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  • $100 million to redeploy workers
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    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
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  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
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  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
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  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
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  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
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  • Govt announces aviation relief package
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