Open mike 06/04/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 6th, 2019 - 83 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

83 comments on “Open mike 06/04/2019 ”

  1. Jenny - How to get there?The 1

    Apologists for Syrian fascism here, and Alt Right and Neo-Nazis all around the globe have celebrated and cheered the ongoing genocide against the Syrian people by the fascist style regime of Bashar Assad

    https://theintercept.com/2017/09/08/syria-why-white-nationalists-love-bashar-al-assad-charlottesville/

    March 15, the day of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, was marked around the world by Syrian refugees as the 8th anniversary of the beginning the popular revolt against the brutal fascist style regime of Bashar Assad.

    https://theconversation.com/how-the-syrian-uprising-began-and-why-it-matters-112801

    To counter the pro-fascist narrative, Syrian refugees and their supporters in Auckland had been planning a public event for the evening of March 15.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/2259832857627503/

    Understandably, because of the terrible events in Christchurch, this public event had to be called off. One of the Syrian refugees queried whether they would be shot if they turned up.

    On the breaking news of the attacks, some of Syrian refugees trying to get news of what was occurring in Christchurch, witnessed the terrible live stream put out by the fascist terrorist.

    As events unfolded the following conversation was occurred on my facebook page;

    I did not think it was as bad as it is… OMG.. now that I have seen the video I am totally shocked….

    Some syrian refugees who have escaped syria to remain alive were shot today in Christchurch on the anniversary of the revolution….. This is beyond believe….

    could u please send me this video….

    It is so horrible you wouldn’t be the same after watching it….. I thought I am a tough man.. and I am shaken….

    I saw so much when I was in syria

    If you like dont send it….

    It is not over yet…

    I have written many times here, that apologia for fascism in Syria will have effects around the world. I witnessed fascist thugs in MAGA caps harassing Syrian refugees in Auckland protesting the fall of Aleppo. But, I never foresaw the more extreme type of fascist atrocity ever unfolding here.

    I hope the authorities are giving the local New Zealand apologists for Syrian fascism some very close attention, to discover the links, they may have had with the terrorist, or the fascist circles he moved in.

    For identification purposes I offer the authorities this video of the fascists harassing Syrian refugees in Auckland.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11769042

    • Jenny - How to get there?The 1.1

      The Syrian refugee community in Auckland are trying to organise for a new date for their meeting to get the truth out about Syria.

      As details come to hand I will pass them on.

      • reason 1.1.1

        The truth on Islamophobia … and the bullshit which white supremacists feed off.

        Try fighting that instead of wanting more dead Syrians ….. Jenny

        Or not your agenda ?

    • reason 1.2

      Fisk https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/03/25/dont-believe-the-hype-heres-why-isis-hasnt-been-defeated/

      ” But because there are plenty of Isis fighters still under arms and ready to fight in the Syrian province of Idlib, along with their Hayat Tahrir al Sham, al-Nusra and al-Qaeda comrades – almost surrounded by Syrian government troops but with a narrow corridor in which they could escape to Turkey; always supposing that Sultan Erdogan will let them.”

      Here’s a non=warmongering woman ….. with 100 X the credibility than you Jenny …. and she tells a different story than you

      • Jenny - How to get there? 1.3.1

        In the first interview with Jimmy Dore, Gabbartd openly comes out in support of the regime change conspiracy theory.

        In the second interview, when put on the spot, Gabbard dances around the conspiracy theory that the US seeks regime change in Syria. As she said the US don’t have any differences with Assad. And this is true.

        The US has a bee in their bonnet about anyone, (other than themselves, and a few select others) having weapons of mass destruction.

        The US has conducted two attacks against Assad’s gas weapons sites. But not without giving Assad and his Russian allies a heads up first. Attacks in which no Assadist or Russian military forces suffered any casualties.

        Meanwhile the fascist genocide being conducted against the Syrian people by the Assad regime goes on unchecked and unremarked by the Western apologists for fascism.

        More than this, Western apologists for this slaughter continue to enthusiastically spread and repeat the lies and propaganda of the fascists that emboldens fascists everywhere.

        Jo Cox was assassinated by a fascist gunman because she supported the Syrian people against the regime.

        The attack in Christchurch was conducted on the anniversary of the beginning of the popular revolt against Assad, by a gunman who self describes as a fascist.

        The normalisation and acceptance of fascism in Syria has emboldened and empowered fascists everywhere.

        • Brigid 1.3.1.1

          Witness as US observers (also common Americans) speak of what they saw and learned while monitoring Syrian Elections. Understand that the US has been backing the “rebels” in Syria while in free and open elections 74% of the voting population showed up at the polls.

          These are the people Jenny who have first hand knowledge of how Syrians regard their President.

          God knows why you have to continue to write unfounded garbage about Syria and Syrians.
          Why do you choose to lie?

          Why do you continue to give implicit support to the Wahabi head choppers?

          • Jenny - How to get there? 1.3.1.1.1

            Hi Brigid, I think you have put up the wrong youtube video to accompany your comment. It seems to show someone talking about diesel injectors, and not, “….people who have first hand knowledge of how Syrians regard their President.”

            I would like to see that. Could put up the proper video?

            Apart from that. Your broad smear of the opposition to the genocidal regime of Bashar Al Assad, as “Wahabi head choppers,” is the sort of inflammatory language of the Islamophobes and racists witnessed in Charlottesville, and at other White Supremacist and Alt-Right gatherings.

            Would you care to explain yourself?

        • reason 1.3.1.2

          But you don’t mention Fisk Jenny ? …. who has refuted your white helmets war propaganda.

          Your a war peddler.

          I’m talking about your support for the usa sponsored proxy war in Syria which has killed over 600,000 people Jenny ….

          Or to put it another way ….one christchurch masscre every day …. for 12000 days …. or 12000X what happened in christchurch.

          I’ve never met a person who has been at the forefront of such a western backed blood-bath ….

          could you go into more detail of how you were co-opted into this effort jenny. …. I’m very interested

          • Jenny - How to get there? 1.3.1.2.1

            reason 1.3.1.2
            7 April 2019 at 11:21 am
            But you don’t mention Fisk Jenny ? …. who has refuted your white helmets war propaganda…..

            I have mentioned Robert Fisk writing on this website, more than once. Briefly; Robert Fisk is a member the Lebanon establishment, where he has lived for a long time. It wouldn’t be worth Fisk’s life to oppose the Lebanese based Hezbollah ally of Bashar Al Assad.

            It was Fisk who popularised the risible, ‘they died from the dust from the dust of regime bombs, not from the gas from regime bombs’ theory to explain away the Douma gas attacks.

            • Jenny - How to get there? 1.3.1.2.1.1

              P.S. I would like to see where Robert Fisk has has ever ‘refuted’ the work of the White Helmets. All I can find from Fisk about the White Helmets is a random scattering of snide asides, obviously echoing the smears of others, but never amounting to more than just a few words.

              Reason, if you can find even just a paragraph from Robert Fisk where he, “…has refuted your white helmets war propaganda.”

              Put it up.

              Prove me wrong.

          • Jenny - How to get there? 1.3.1.2.2

            reason 1.3.1.2
            7 April 2019 at 11:21 am

            …..Your a war peddler.

            I’m talking about your support for the usa sponsored proxy war in Syria which has killed over 600,000 people Jenny ….

            The vast amount of the killing has been done by the Assad regime.

            There is no account by anyone that disputes this.

            You cannot be anti-war, if you are not anti-Assad’s war.

            http://whoiskillingciviliansinsyria.org/

          • Jenny - How to get there? 1.3.1.2.3

            Reason, apologists for genocide and fascism like yourself get more ridiculous and discredited every day.

            Citing comedian Jimmy Dore to back up your pro-war and pro-genocide position just shows how desperate you are getting

            The regime propaganda of a “usa sponsored proxy war in Syria” picked up on by serial conspiracy theorist and 9/11 Truther, comedian Jimmy Dore, and cited by you makes a change from the Alt-Right and Tea Party websites that are often cited by supporters of this particular conspiracy theory.

            The fact is, as Tulsi Gabbard herself admits, the US has no gripe with Assad.

            Right up until the Syrian uprising this fascist dictator despite his appalling human rights record was a darling of the West including the US. So much so that the US used Syria as a the most common destination for CIA flights of Extraordinary Rendition to get Assad’s help to torture the CIA’s suspects for them.

            Extraordinary rendition – Wikipedia
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraordinary_rendition
            Extraordinary rendition, also called irregular rendition or forced rendition,

            ….. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria.

            … a subsidiary of Boeing, handled the logistical planning for the CIA’s extraordinary rendition flights.

            The US is no more opposed to Assad, than the US was opposed to other Far Right dictators like Ben Ali in Tunisia or Mubarak in Egypt until they were toppled in popular uprisings.

            The US only became involved in Syria when their main military ally in Iraq, the Kurds, became involved, and at a time when it seemed that the uprising would succeed. Now that the uprising seems to have been lost, and even the Kurds are beleagured by the regime and its Russian allies. Predictably the US under Trump’s leadership, has abandoned their erstwhile ally.

            The US strategic motivation in Syria, as it was in Tunisia and Egypt, is to be on the winning side.

  2. NZJester 2

    I was just reading the story “The blogger and the businessman – how the police failed, and new inquiries into a vicious home invasion”
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12219396

    Will we see a proper investigation and will Camron Slater actually be held to account for his possession of stolen property?
    Maybe Slater might get some taxpayer-funded lodgings in the future?

    • ankerawshark 2.1

      NZjester………………what the f was going on here???? Answers need to be sought about why this case was not investigated more……………………very worrying

    • patricia 2.2

      Who was the minister of police at the time the business man was assaulted ?

      • Anne 2.2.1

        Did some research but don’t have time to compare time lines at the mo.

        Anne Tolley 2011 – 2014
        Michael Woodhouse 2014 – 2015
        Judith Collins was police minister prior to some point in 2011 and was reinstated at end of 2015 by John Key after a period in the wilderness.

        Here’s the lowdown on JC from wikipedia:

        In August 2014 the book Dirty Politics, written by Nicky Hager, revealed that Collins was friends with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater and had passed on private information to him about Simon Pleasants, a public servant at Internal Affairs. Collins believed Pleasants had leaked information about Deputy Prime Minister Bill English misusing his housing allowance. Slater published Mr Pleasant’s name and details on his blog as well as the abuse and death threats that were subsequently directed at Mr Pleasants. A 3News-Reid Research poll taken at the time revealed that 63% of voters believed Prime Minister John Key should have stood Collins down over this incident. Mr Key said Collins had been ‘unwise’ and placed on her second final warning.

        Winston Peters claimed he was approached to do a post-2014 election deal with National with Collins as leader. Peters went on to say he would swear an affidavit that he had been approached. Collins denied this claim. On 29 August 2014 John Key backed Collins up by stating “I accept Judith 100 per cent at her word.”

        On 30 August 2014 Collins resigned her Cabinet positions following the leak of another e-mail written by Slater in 2011, which suggested she had also attempted to undermine another public servant, Adam Feeley. Feeley was Director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Collins was the Minister responsible for the SFO at the time. Collins says she resigned because she believed the attacks on her had become a distraction for the National Party leading up to the election.

        Interesting stuff.

      • Anne 2.2.2

        I’ve had a chance to do a bit of research patricia.

        The home invasion and vicious assault on Mark Blomfield was in April, 2014. The minister at the time could have been Anne Tolley or Michael Woodhouse.

        The slanderous blog posts by Slater (9 of them ) all occurred in April 2012 – 2 years earlier.

        Blomfield has been fighting this case for seven years and made 15 formal complaints to the police during that time. The time period of the lodged police complaints cover the terms of all three former Nat. Ministers of Police.

        Here is Fisher’s article form the Herald a few days ago. It is clear the police dragged their heels from day one, and you can’t tell me there wasn’t some sort of political interference occurring at some point along the way. It probably wasn’t directly communicated but the message got through to someone in the police force:

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12219396

        • Sacha 2.2.2.1

          We need to look at biased/corrupt senior police managers first, not necessarily the politicians.

          • Anne 2.2.2.1.1

            Oh hell yes Sacha. And it’s been going on for decades. Back in the 1960s and 70s there was apparently a secret “special forces” police unit whose sole task was to root out communists. You can imagine how that panned out. Any poor bugger who happened to find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time found themselves on a black list of suspects.

  3. WeTheBleeple 3

    This is not quite How To Get There material – as it is a poke at BAU, rather than solution based. I do think it might provoke thought concerning what sustainable and resilient looks like.

    It is a hastily scrawled out thought process, so probably ridden with error, but you’ll get the point.

    Pre-industrial cheese.

    Shelter belts/hedgerows, manures, forbes, grasses and nitrogen fixing plants – > sheltered pasture and tree browse/mast – > livestock – > milk – > cheese -> (market – >) consumer.

    Industrial cheese.

    Mines and chemical plants and energy producers provide mineral salts, seed companies provide grasses, chemical companies provide herbicides, insecticides and fungicides, trees and forbes and beneficial insects are largely gone, nitrogen fixers often fail to fix nitrogen where soil N is high, mined steel and forgeries provide wire and forestry provides timber with chemical plants supplying timber preservatives – > ‘pasture’ – > semen salespersons and genetics labs – > livestock – plus imported feeds, mineral licks (no tree browse or forbes), assorted medicines, antibiotics – > milk – > separation followed by pasteurisation and homogenisation – > cultures – > cheese – > plastic manufacturing for packaging – > trucks, ships, more trucks – > supermarket -> consumer.

    The industrial model can be broken in many places. The pre-industrial model largely provides its own needs, and, with neighbors who’d all pitch in for major work and purchasing events, is resilient as well as sustainable.

    I’m not sure that the industrial model has improved much at all with regards to the cheese on my table. I do imagine a hybrid of old school farming with new technology for direct marketing would kick ass for locals.

    In the states (and here?) many sustainable/new traditional farmers are building consumer bases online. They then market door to door delivery and/or pick ups to their immediate area. The farmers and consumers both get a better deal by cutting out all those middle men.

    Local farmers might be interested to see local examples of this type of direct marketing, and sustainable dairy production. Do we have some yet?

    Joel Salatin is a very interesting guy to learn from if you want to examine old school farming at a reasonable scale. He farms like his great grandaddy, but better tech. Learning stuff from examples in the States though, it seems strange that pasture fed cattle are a novelty. 😉

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    I’ve worn the Green brand a long time, but not the wizard brand – anyone who actually does wizardry in western society knows that the best strategy is to not wear the brand. Not only is is hard to hit a moving target, if you don’t see a target, you never even take aim! So I don’t know these Aucklanders, and am just reposting their notice here (from Ecosophia) as a public service:

    “The April meeting of the Green Wizards Association of Auckland will be held on the 27th of April 2019 at 13:00. Our inaugural meeting was a huge success with a bigger than expected turnout.”

    “We are still on the lookout for a permanent venue but for now we will meet up near Aotea Square, 303 Queen St, Auckland, 1010, New Zealand. Please RSVP, or send queries and comments to GWAA[at]wormlamp.com or better still sign up for e-mail reminders at https://wormlamp.com/gwaa/.”

    Go the green wizards! Less talk, more action!!

  5. adam 5

    Because…

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    The saga of the keystone cops, WhaleOil & Rawshark, and the Greenhithe home invasion by a gang member toting a shotgun, wearing a Spiderman mask, in which a family was terrorized and a businessman shot twice. Not serious enough to investigate, decided the keystoners… https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12219396

    Once upon a time, we could say `only in America’. Not any more, it seems! There will have to be some serious accounting done by the police commissioner eventually. Too much shit went down to be covered up any longer.

  7. joe90 7

    Kurt Cobain opted to shuffle off this mortal coil 25 years ago today.

  8. joe90 8

    There really is something wrong with these people.

    https://twitter.com/ndrew_lawrence/status/1113961870954827776

    • WeTheBleeple 8.1

      Great comments lol.

    • Macro 8.2

      But the orange of cancer is windmills! meoooowwwwww!
      https://twitter.com/RepTedLieu/status/1114190733270036481

      • Jenny - How to get there? 8.2.1

        Which Donald Trump will read as:

        Things that cause cashflow

        coal ash, air pollution asbestos

        Maybe the poor mans suffers from dyslexia.

        https://twitter.com/RepTedLieu/status/1114190733270036481/photo/1

        • Macro 8.2.1.1

          🙂
          Yeah Cash flow and short term profit. That is all he is interested in.
          I gather that he has had a thing against wind turbines for some time – since around 2007 – when the Scots planned to erect an offshore wind farm near one of his golf courses. 🙁 Sacrilege!

          • Dv 8.2.1.1.1

            And he has apparently been ordered to pay costs for the case he lost.

          • Jenny - How to get there? 8.2.1.1.2

            Yes, a very bad case of richlexia

          • WeTheBleeple 8.2.1.1.3

            That’s my pal in the News a sole protester at his course in Scotland when he went to visit as US elections approached.

            She covered the C so as to be legal. Hehe.

            https://twitter.com/janeygodley/status/746417852408696832

            • Macro 8.2.1.1.3.1

              hehehe. Good one! I remember seeing that one at the time 🙂

              There were some excellent signs to “welcome” him – obviously he is not well liked in Scotland – for obvious reasons.
              This article has a photo of one of my favourites
              https://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2018/jul/14/donald-trump-scotland-thousands-protest-visit

              I think Spiderman’s

              “With Great Power comes Great Responsibility

              Ya Radge Orange Bampot! “*

              Speaks volumes.

              *A radge, or radgie, is defined as someone who is mad, violently excited, furious, wild, obstreperous and dates back to the 1890s. But it can also mean someone who is sexually excited, lustful or even silly and weak-minded. In Trump’s case all of those things.
              bampot Idiot; an objectionable and foolish person.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Thank you for “Ya Radge Orange Bampot!“, with definitions. Good chuckle.

              • WeTheBleeple

                Finally, Spiderman raises more than a meh out of me.

                PS Janey comes over for the odd Laugh festival, and she is brilliant. So if you get the chance, well worth the ticket.

                • Macro

                  Now that is something I am very interested in.
                  BTW my daughter is about to head off to Edinburgh – and first port of call is “The Stand”. She is a graduate of Toi Whakaari.

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Jeepers, small world. The Stand is a venue Janey took to task over contracts not allowing performers to play in other venues. As you might imagine this severely limited an already difficult career path. Those contracts were common, and evil. Still a few around I’d wager. It did get sorted I think Chortle and a bunch of other acts and venues came on board. History now. Janey’s daughter Ashley (Storrie) just played the Stand. – ‘A total revelation’ (Dawn French).

                    I’m working a telly script right now. It’s passed the funny test with a bunch of cynical old farts, had us in tears at times with the planned idiocy… loving it.

                    Best of luck for your girl. Edinburgh is an amazing experience for artists and a serious networking opportunity. If she gets the chance to meet Janey or Ashley she should. They are fantastic people and love NZ and NZ’ers.

  9. Herodotus 9

    Has “Trumpism” Making up facts crept over to the left, or was it alway present, and thanks to Pres. Trump, he now has given his name to the term ?
    a response a few days ago a contributor made this statement regarding the Tomorrows Schools review
    “…Some are perfectly happy with a two tier education system.
    Meanwhile. The system is, failing most children.”
    Perhaps on reflection the education system has fail us, when some ( akolouthos ) fail to be able to source supporting facts for their arguments, and become lazy and Make Them Up.

  10. WeTheBleeple 10

    Amazing new story/science/evidence supporting lore on Maori origin

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12219164

  11. Macro 12

    Interesting development.
    WikiLeaks: Assange will be expelled from Ecuadorian Embassy within ‘hours to days’

    A Twitter account for WikiLeaks, the document trove website founded by Julian Assange, said Thursday that Assange will be ousted from his sanctuary at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London within “hours to days.”

    The website tweeted Thursday claiming that a senior source with Ecuador’s State Department had informed WikiLeaks that Assange would be removed from the embassy and subject to arrest by British authorities.

    Doesn’t pay to piss off your hosts – no matter what you might think.

    In a blog post on the organization’s legal defense fund website, WikiLeaks claimed that the move was an attempt by Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno to cover up activities related to his use of an offshore tax haven created by his brother.

  12. Macro 13

    Russians laundering money into the U.S. aided by a wealthy Republican politician? Who ever imagined such a thing could happen? I’m shocked!
    https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article228877939.html

    A Russian bank owned by former North Carolina Congressman Charles Taylor has been accused of money laundering and lost its license, according to Bloomberg News.

    The Commercial Bank of Ivanovo “failed on multiple occasions to comply with Bank of Russia regulations” on money laundering “of criminally obtained incomes and the financing of terrorism,” the Bank of Russia said in a press release.

    The bank lied about its assets and reserves, the central bank said, “in order to improve its financial indicators and conceal its actual financial standing.” The bank also artificially inflated its capital to make it look like it was in line with Russian regulations, the press release said.

    The central bank said most of CBI’s business involved corporate and individual loans, but 70% were “low-quality loans.”

    It goes without saying that Charles Taylor is a Republican.

  13. cleangreen. 14

    Shame on our roads as 24 die in one week.

    NZTA estimate now that each life lost on our roads costs our economy $4.5 million Dollars. So 24×4.5 is = $1008 million; – so save money and build rail for our safety government.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12219459

    Best bring back rail transport, as the roads are gridlocked with trucks so put funding into rail now and let the truckers pay for wrecking the roads themselves instead of us subsidising their industry as we get nothing but deaths from them.

    Government bring back all regional passenger services.

    Save our lives again, and the planet also lowering climate change emissions at the same time.

    • Barfly 14.1

      While i sympathise with your point of view ffs get the math right!! 24×4.5 mill =

      $108 million not $1008 million

  14. cleangreen. 15

    Yep Barfly thanks for the correction

    $108 m is a lot of loss of our economy in just one week eh?.

    Trucking companies have been getting subsidies from us ‘public road users’ for many years.

    Here are the facts.

    https://truecostblog.com/2009/06/02/the-hidden-trucking-industry-subsidy/

    The Hidden Trucking Industry Subsidy

    Freight trucks cause 99% of wear-and-tear on US roads, but only pay for 35% of the maintenance. This $60B subsidy causes extra congestion and pollution, and taxpayers pay the bill.

    It seems obvious that the heavier the vehicle, the more damage it does to roads over time. A 40,000 pound big rig probably does a bit more damage than your average 3500 pound consumer vehicle, right? It turns out that vehicle road damage doesn’t rise linearly with weight. Road damage rises with the fourth power of weight, and this means that a 40,000 pound truck does roughly 10,000 times more damage to roadways than the average car [1]!

    In other words, one fully loaded 18-wheeler does the same damage to a road as 9600 cars.

  15. ScottGN 16

    Fairfax Australia is reporting that Morrison has put off going to the Governor General for another week. Sounds like he and the government aren’t getting the feedback that they would have liked from the Budget.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/scott-morrison-likely-to-delay-election-campaign-by-another-week-20190406-p51bhc.html

    • Macro 17.1

      You wonder just how low the bugga can go.
      Good analysis of these two authoritarian utterances here:
      https://www.vox.com/2019/4/5/18297113/trump-authoritarian-comments-immigration-judges-media

      Trump made two remarkably authoritarian remarks in one day
      Did you even notice?

      President Donald Trump made two remarkably authoritarian comments on Friday, first urging Congress to “get rid of judges” — specifically, immigration judges — and later demeaning the entire media as the “ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”

      But in a sign of how normalized the behavior of this president has become, neither remark amounted to much more than a blip on the news radar.

      Trump made his comment about immigration judges during a question-and-answer session with reporters before departing the White House for a photo opportunity along the southern border in California.

      “Congress has to act,” Trump said. “They have to get rid of catch and release, chain migration, visa lottery, they have to get rid of the whole asylum system because it doesn’t work, and frankly, we should get rid of judges. You can’t have a court case every time somebody steps foot on our ground.”
      Trump’s comments marked the second time this week he has urged Congress “to get rid of judges” — a proposal that, thankfully, for those of us who value checks and balances, has little chance of gaining traction now that Democrats control the House.

      The president, however, is not even trying to hide the fact he’d like to have the power to summarily deport migrants and asylum seekers, and has already demonstrated a willingness to try and seize emergency powers toward that end.

      Later, while Air Force One was on its way to California, Trump posted a tweet in which he characterized the entire “press” as “truly the ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”…

      …The president says a lot of ugly stuff, and much of it can safely be tuned out. Still, Trump’s comments on Friday highlight how unprecedented the current state of affairs is for our country. The president aspires to being an authoritarian ruler and isn’t really trying to hide it.

      Regardless of whether you take Trump’s comments literally or merely seriously, they are disturbing. Judges are a vital part of the rule of law, and the free press is important in any democracy. Those values were mostly taken for granted in this country, but should not be any longer.

  16. Ad 18

    Can anyone with an energy analyst background tell me why we aren’t getting a sharp spike in the oil barrel price after the increased sanctions by the U.S. against Venezuela?

    Is the global heavy crude market really that distinct?

  17. cleangreen. 19

    US has begun a truck traffic congestion charge in New York.

    This will see every truck that enters NY city will pay a $25 congestion charge each time.

    About time we did this in NZ.

    Trucks need to pay there fair share and stop living off the backs of the public.

    ‘Stop corporate welfare within the trucking industry’.

    • Ad 19.1

      Zero chance of that with NZTA until there’s years of reform and years of internal rebuilding.

    • Skunk Weed 19.2

      Trucks in NZ are chewing up our roads ?

      • cleangreen. 19.2.1

        Skunk weed;

        Obviously you haven’t been driving on our single lane NZ regional roads or you would know that trucks are now ripping up our ‘soft roads’ here and every day road works are packing them temporarily just so we can drive on them slowly.

        Come down Hwy two from Tauranga to Napier after you ‘heavily insure yourself’ firstly.

        https://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/2015/6/5/revealed-convicted-felon-george-soros-bankrolling-attacks-on-election-integrity/

        It will turn you into a grey headed n human with the stress of driving and scaring when a monster truck comes around the sharp corners on some hill and takes up most of the narrow road.

        Give it a go.

        We see a lot of this type of stupid driving here too as you see here in US videos.

        We clocked a truck and trailer passing us at over 116 kms between Wairoa and gisborne.

  18. Andre 20

    Bernie and his tax returns: the returns themselves probably don’t matter a damn, but his approach to releasing them is yet more evidence he’d probably be really crap as prez.

    Sanders refuses to engage with things that annoy him. But he is no longer a protest candidate and can no longer escape the old adage that you may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you. He’s running not to make a statement or drag the conversation to the left, but to be the leader of the most powerful country in the history of the world and to rescue it from its collision course with a dystopian future. People rightly want to know whether he has his act together enough to do that, particularly as they experience life under the presidency of a man who clearly does not.

    Sanders’s refusal to bend on any issue, no matter how minor, may be endearing to his most passionate supporters, but he’s doing both them and the country a disservice. An unbending approach to minutiae harms not only him, but his movement — and begins to look selfish and entitled. A million people have raised their hands to volunteer to make Sanders president. They deserve more from him.

    https://theintercept.com/2019/04/05/bernie-sanders-tax-returns/

    • Sabine 20.1

      Might be time to look at Elisabeth Warren, who so far has been the most detailed, outspoken and forward thinking of the contenders.

      • Andre 20.1.1

        She certainly has a much better record of putting together substantial progressive legislation and putting together the necessary coalition to get it passed than any of the other contenders.

        However, I do worry about her age, and whether she’s got the right political reflexes to win against the orange anusmouth. She couldn’t afford many repeats of her DNA testing debacle.

        • Sabine 20.1.1.1

          well if you worry about her age, what about Sanders, Biden and Trump?

          lol

          • Andre 20.1.1.1.1

            Well, I’m pretty sure the last time I expressed enthusiasm for Biden or Bernie was before it become impossible for Bernie to win in 2016. Back then I would have preferred either to Hillary. As for the rotting halloween pumpkin. surely I don’t need to clarify my views?

            If Warren wins, she will become the oldest ever at inauguration. She’ll be 71 on 20th January 2021. Dementia Don was 70 at his. Ronnie “Alzie” Raygun was 69 at his.

            If the idea that one of the most intense demanding jobs in the world is better filled by someone with a bit more youthful vigor and stamina doesn’t sway you, just get a list of presidents ranked by age next to a list ranked by how good they were as prez. It’s a pretty good correlation, the younger prezzes have generally been better, the older prezzes have generally been crappier.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 20.2

      Last night I watched Trevor Noah (host of The Daily Show) interview Sanders for 16+ mins – he looked and acted his age, and came across as genuinely progressive (IMHO.)

      Bernie reiterated that he will be releasing his tax returns soon (April 15th) – @15:45 minutes. Video may be difficult to start! If someone has a better link, then please post it.

      http://www.cc.com/video-clips/jxxzf1/the-daily-show-with-trevor-noah-bernie-sanders—a-progressive-agenda-for-the-2020-presidential-race—extended-interview

      • Andre 20.2.1

        There’s no doubt he’s genuinely progressive. However, I’ve got doubts he’s sufficiently flexible and creative to work out the kinds of deals and compromises needed to actually get legislation passed. Given his very long service in Congress, his record of actually getting things passed is awfully thin.

        There’s also the concern that he’s never really gone up against the Repug smear machine. John Kerry got successfully swiftboated by shit that was just made up. Whereas Bernie is on record advocating a bunch of things, such as wholesale nationalisation of a bunch of industries, that I just can’t imagine getting accepted by more than maybe 5% of Americans. Sure that was a long time ago and his position now is quite different. But smears are a whole lot more powerful if they’ve got a kernel of truth at their core.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 20.2.1.1

          Creativity and flexibility are generally perceived as positive qualities, but they can be misused/abused.

          I’d settle for someone who sticks to their ‘guns’ and whose ‘guns’ are usually pointing the same way as mine – fingers crossed!

          Also, agree re ‘art of the possible’ and all that – just not sure how much time is left.

        • marty mars 20.2.1.2

          I agree that Bernie won’t survive politically the process. He’ll be fighting small fires constantly until he turns to fight like an old wilderbeast run down by wild dogs. Not pretty.

  19. Sabine 21

    Trump not inciting hate, no not at all.

    not him.

    https://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2019/04/someday-one-of-these-nuts-is-going-to.html

    “Jeff Flake, the mild-mannered critic of President Trump who voted with his the vast majority of the time, describes what happens when you buck Dear Leader:
    Jeff Flake, the former Republican senator for Arizona and a vocal critic of the Trump administration, has revealed he received a number of threats from supporters of the president before he left office this year.

    In an interview with the Guardian, Flake described several examples of threatening messages and behaviour made against him and his family that he said were currently being investigated by law enforcement agencies in Arizona and Washington DC.

    “I would have liked to have done one more term in the Senate, that’s probably all,” Flake said. “But its been at a heavy cost to my family. The sacrifices they’ve been [made to make], what they had to endure …””

  20. Sabine 22

    Prisons in Atlanta US of A.

    Over populated, understaffed, people thrown away to rot and humanity, dignity and all that is just meaningless words.
    And ys, its a horror show, and it seems no one give a care or a dime

    and maybe this is what we here in NZ are preventing by giving even the most horrible of criminals a bit of dignity, as not doing it is not an option.

    At the end of the article are two images with pointers, don’t click on the pointers to see more images if you are not prepared to see blood and beaten/stabbed and raped men. And the overseers either participate or turn a blind eye. But then, they too are locked up until they get to go home at the end of their shift.

    https://splinternews.com/the-leaked-photos-showing-the-horrific-toll-of-violence-1833785740

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