Open Mike 06/10/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 6th, 2018 - 138 comments
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138 comments on “Open Mike 06/10/2018 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    The President is on a roll

    Was this a set up?

    Is Trump being sabotaged by his own aides?

    Or is this another case of the Emperor has no clothes where all his aides were too scared to tell him?

    • Chris T 1.1

      As much as I detest Trump, this is digging down desperate in the trying to bring out yet another negative story about him

      • Pete 1.1.1

        You can leave some things like pussy grabbing behind but some shit sticks.

        It is a trite story of course. Especially in the week the stories about his background and personal finances came out. They put into perspective clearly the moral and constitutional crusade to ‘drain the swamp.’

        The grand knight rides in to rid his country of the rottenness at the core and put things right.

        The thought of him being a fuckwit, or whatever else his detractors have him, was irrelevant, the mission was the important thing.

        And so too the grand horse he rides in on to his crusade. It being a lying, fraudulent, corrupt steed is irrelevant. They don’t care.

        It is clear Trump has a fan base in New Zealand. It seems clear the heroic money making deeds have many here in his thrall. That much of those deeds apparently are a lifetime of fraud, rorts and bullshit is irrelevant. (What bets that those who laud his acumen used their daggers on a local politician who at a young age rorted the system?)

        Another negative story about him? Who cares. The more parodies the better.

        • Chris T

          9I’m not saying it’s bad it’s a negative story.

          I mean it’s a pretty pathetic subject to create one.

          A person has a piece of paper stuck to their shoe is national news?

          It is just another thing he can throw in to his followers to show his bollocks about the media out to get him.

          It’s an own goal to the press

          And the media seem too stupid to work it out.

          It’s like the boy who cried wolf

          • Anne

            C,mon Chris T. It’s funny. I’m glad Jenny posted it.

            Do you not have a SoH?

            • Chris T

              Yes, but it is stretched pretty thin with Trump


              • Macro

                Totally agree the piece of bog roll is spread pretty thin! We will need a much larger bog roll to flush him, and all he represents down the toilet.

            • Dukeofurl

              Agree. Its funny in light of Trumps grandiosity. We have to remember their obsession with Presidential news in US, any president included. They have 24 hr news channels , which we dont have, which every minor event is done – even when he climbs the stairs to “Air Force Twos'” – (hat tip The Project) and there is nothing to see.

              • Anne

                Unintentional though it may be, in a metaphorical sense I think it is highly appropriate. 🙂

                • Macro

                  Yep it is. Trump is so much just a piece of s**t and that pic sums him up completely.
                  The world will sigh a sigh of huge relief when we do get to see the back of him for the last time. And when we do get to flush him and all his wicked works down the toilet – so much the better.

          • Ffloyd

            I think it’s great. I bet Chris T would be all over it if it was Jacinda.

      • McFlock 1.1.2

        It was a “Gerald Ford stumbles” moment. At least it was light comedy, rather than the Gervais-level discomfort that normally comes out of the white house these days.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.2

      It isn’t really a story.

      But I would love it if a group of international leaders at some important meeting all glued a piece of bog roll to their left shoe and walked around without saying a word!

      Trump takes himself very seriously.

  2. SaveNZ 2

    It’s about time there were mandatory minimum redundancy payments and a much greater time frames before companies are allowed to make people redundant. Companies are now doing it to increase profits, not because they are losing money and they don’t care how it effects their employees.

    Also time that NZ stops thinking overseas companies will create jobs and make NZ prosperous, the opposite is happening and the only way to stop that from happening is to encourage NZ owned and based companies to flourish who actually have more invested into NZ than just one location on a world map.

    Up to 111 job losses as manufacturing moves overseas

    • bwaghorn 2.1

      Having been laid off twice in 5 years during the early 00s I’d say it would be nice if there was some help .
      Faced with the dole or scrambling for what ever you can get sucks .
      I chose scrambling but also chose after the second time never to go back to forestry so they lost 9 years experience and a good hard worker.

      • SaveNZ 2.1.1

        +1 – then next minute the industry will be complaining about skills shortages and how they can’t get anyone and need to bring in overseas workers!

        Sadly redundancy has become the norm in NZ with nothing to stop directors getting their bonus by what traditionally ‘the markets’ love to hear, job losses or just plain incompetence by just short term cost cutting rather than innovating and actually creating better products that out compete other companies.

        Funny enough the richest companies in the world like Apple tend to do the opposite and spend money on innovating and keeping ahead of the market rather than just cost cutting.

        This is a very revealing article about how much worse off NZ is for redundancy than other countries aka we tend to lose a significant amount of wages post redundancy.

        • SaveNZ

          Major companies in the US like Amazon are realising they have to double wages past the (pathetic!) US minimum wage of $7.25

          Wonder is that is to do with US direction to make it harder for lower paid workers to enter the US and stop the race to the bottom because companies now have to pay more to attract workers?

          Amazon jumps out ahead of its rivals, raises wages to $15

        • Chris T

          Without wanting to start an argument you might want to revisit Apple and Amazon as your examples

          For example Apple farms out their manufacturing to China, have appalling conditions for their workers to the point of having to fit a net to the factory roof because workers were offing themselves, and despite Amazon despite it’s sudden appearance of caring for it’s workers treats it’s workers not a huge amount better than Walmart

          Having said that I get your over all point

          • SaveNZ

            @Chris T, Yep, you are right about offshore working conditions although apparently is supposed to be getting better.. ha ha.. My point with Apple is that they looked ahead, did not use offshore labour to design the iPhone and spent money on research and development, against many soon to be obsolete tech companies that just focus on cost cutting to save money and don’t spend the money on creating the next big thing.

            As for Amazon, they have been forced to raise wages by criticism by Bernie Sanders and Trump (for different reasons) and the cheap factory labour worker was drying up in a tight labour market in the US so they have to raise wages and then hey presto the cheaper workers have somewhere to shift to and the absolute worst employers don’t have anyone to employ unless they just ship in cheap workers to undercut, which sounds like US policy has tightened up on. So business is forced to raise wages.

            Funny enough that pay rise will keep more people voting trump, against the democrats position of globalism is so great and makes so much money (just inequality distributed for the 40% living on food stamps or hand to mouth in the US).

        • greywarshark

          Employers like to regard the ‘human resources’ market as being like a toy store. Perhaps one with a lot of little lego figures. All the workers are there on the shelf in suspended animation, lift them down, turn the key and of they go like little kerbals scuttering round to and fro, self-energised.

          There is no sense of NZ as a worthy trading nation, one with respect for citizens, and paying a living wage. Other countries are rich, and they don’t have decent wages (USA for a start) so if the elite and aspirational want to be rich well – do the same, learn from the goldmeisters.

      • SaveNZ 2.1.2

        @bwaghorn – apparently the ‘official’ version of why forestry can’t get workers is that they are all ‘drugged out’ lazies so interesting to hear your story of being laid off again and again.

        When people are laid off constantly eventually workers will have had enough and not go back to that industry and that is where all the ‘experienced’ NZ workers are – disillusioned with being treated like garbage by industry in NZ which is fully supported by our ‘relaxed’ employment rules around redundancy that makes it a process rather than a difficult thing to do without a good reason.

    • The Chairman 2.2

      “Also time that NZ stops thinking overseas companies will create jobs and make NZ prosperous, the opposite is happening and the only way to stop that from happening is to encourage NZ owned and based companies to flourish…”

      While I agree NZ needs to stop thinking overseas companies will make us prosper, I disagree the only way to stop that from happening is to encourage NZ owned and based companies to flourish. This is an area where we should all be pushing for the Government to play a more direct and stronger role.

      • millsy 2.2.1

        That was supposed to be the idea around KiwiSaver. It would create a local capital pool which would invest in New Zealand businesses, and reduce overseas domination of our economy. Something I don’t see happening.

        • The Chairman

          A nation grows it wealth via exporting. The problem is, the vast majority of NZ businesses are small and have no desire to export. Thus, leaving Kiwisaver with little viable local investment opportunities.

          • millsy

            “The problem is, the vast majority of NZ businesses are small and have no desire to export.”

            You cannot export services or houses.

            • The Chairman

              Some services can be and are exported while others attain the export dollar (whether directly or indirectly) from tourism.

            • Ngungukai

              Complex business exporting you need to be very financially sound, have strong cashflow’s and an understanding banker.

          • Stuart Munro

            “A nation grows its wealth via exporting.”

            Not according to Ha Joon Chang. Domestic manufacturing is a path to wealth because that way your workers can afford to buy things.

            And of course, unless you’re locked into a colonial low value commodity export model, your domestic market is where you trial and develop new products. Not something we see a lot of here.

            • The Chairman

              Moving beyond the exporting of raw product requires domestic manufacturing to play a larger role in exporting.

              A nation can only grow its wealth via exporting dollars entering into its economy.

              Selling products domestically doesn’t result in new money entering into the local economy, thus doesn’t result in growing a nations wealth.

              • Stuart Munro

                “Selling products domestically doesn’t result in new money entering into the local economy, thus doesn’t result in growing a nations wealth.”

                It could be said that you’re mistaking money for wealth there – they’re somewhat different things. And of course the old import substitution line remains valid – a penny saved is a penny earned – anything that improves our balance of payments whether by reducing an import or generating increased export value increases local monetary wealth, which can then be used to further inflate our property market, assuming any of it makes its way out of the hands of the large corporates who dominate the export sector.

                In terms of domestic products, new or better products are almost invariably outgrowths of existing technologies. Which means that the capacity loss associated with decline of local manufacturing extends beyond the current generation who may lose their jobs in the transition.

                • The Chairman

                  Wealth is a term usually used when discussing total net worth. Which includes money, assets, etc…

                  While reducing an import will produce ongoing savings which will improve our fiscal position, unlike exporting, its growth potential is limited to the related saving made.

                  Generating increased export value can increase our export returns but if offshore owned, those returns will largely improve the fiscal position of other nations and not our own.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    A local market is an obligate step in developing products for export. Unless one wants to be a price-taking commodity exporter, developing the local market is part of the export process.

                    • The Chairman

                      “Developing the local market is part of the export process.”

                      Indeed. And as I said before, moving beyond the exporting of raw product requires domestic manufacturing to play a larger role in exporting.

                      As the majority of local private sector aren’t up to the task and offshore investment isn’t a viable long-term solution, this is where the Government should be taking a more hands on role.

        • greywarshark

          i’m not sure about that millsy 9.24 – at one time the superfunf kiwisaver was only investing a tiny part in nz because of the possibility of skewing the local investment market and being over-exposed to nz business and market movements.

      • cleangreen 2.2.2

        Agreed Chairman,

        We need to restore many of our industries that we were very good at.

        Like our former woolen carpeting factories that always supplied all our former ‘commonwealth’ countries as I saw in Canada and UK, as well as I saw also in the US during the 1980’s though they were outside the commonwealth.

        As of now we have virtually no woolen carpeting factories here or around the world.

        No date no one else other then China and India are making woolen carpeting (who have our complete wool clip export and are forcing the cost down to less than $3 dollars a kilo killing our sheep farmers incomes.

        Woolen carpeting is the very best floor insulation against cold damp houses and would make our homes more healthy to live in now since nylon carpeting is found to be very toxic to our health, and poor at insulating our homes against cold damp homes.

        • The Chairman

          “We need to restore many of our industries that we were very good at.”

          Only if they are viable, thus can produce a return we capitalize from.

          Additionally, we also need to create new opportunities.

      • AB 2.2.3

        My experience is that the difficulties arise when the NZ company is sold to overseas interests who are much larger entities. The new owner then ‘integrates’ their acquisition – which involves shipping NZ jobs to low wage locations and imposing internal processes and technology that are not necessarily a good fit. The overall effect is that the NZ operation gets hollowed out and the quality of what was being done declines.

        I witnessed something like 40-50 well-paying (NZ$60k-100k) jobs being replaced by around 100 workers in India on the equivalent of NZ$15-20k), i.e. wages are 25% while the number of employees is 200%, still a theoretical win.

        However, because much of the work required advanced English-language ability, quality declined badly. The new owners then gutted the product to eliminate those aspects where the quality decline was too obvious, threw money at additional training and spent fruitless effort on trying to automate as much as possible. A slow motion train wreck – easily predicted in advance, while those who did predict it were vilified.

        Global capital roaming the world for quick returns and creating mayhem at the local level.

        • SaveNZ

          +1000 AB

          That is where our domestic laws should not allow this to happen.

          • cleangreen

            100% SaveNZ.

            We need to protect us from these “carpetbaggers” of taking of our industries that use our “raw products”.

            These overseas carpetbaggers hollow out our principal raw produced products and take them as raw products overseas.

            Then they control the global buying of these and control our price for these raw products driving down the base price as we see all the time.

            Those who say our industries must always be “viable” are hollowing out the argument as they dont consider the reasons above that our base prices given us for raw products are driven down by these overseas “carpetbaggers”.

            This lowers our returns for our commodities and weakens our economy in the end.

            • The Chairman

              “Those who say our industries must always be ‘viable’ are hollowing out the argument as they dont consider the reasons above that our base prices given us for raw products are driven down by these overseas ‘carpetbaggers’”.

              Non-viable businesses won’t grow our wealth. Moreover, we require to be more innovated and move beyond merely exporting raw product.

              • Incognito

                Non-viable businesses won’t grow our wealth. Moreover, we require to be more innovated and move beyond merely exporting raw product.

                Can you please clarify for me what you mean by a “non-viable business”?

                I’d also like to know how we can be or become more innovative without taking risks and experiencing failures, from which we/others can learn.

                Businesses that cease to do business don’t just disappear in thin air. They often feed (into) other existing or start-up businesses. Think of it as an ecosystem where life & death are not the beginning & end of things but simply points of and on an ongoing ‘life-cycle’.

                • The Chairman

                  Non-viable businesses are businesses that aren’t producing a return and are unlikely to produce a return going forward.

                  Risk is generally part and parcel of being in business. The key is minimising the risk. Ensuring one can afford to take a small risk, learn from ones mistake if it all turns to custard while being able to carry on trading (and not go bust) if it doesn’t pan out.

                  “Businesses that cease to do business don’t just disappear in thin air.”

                  Unfortunately, some do. Leaving behind a trail of unpaid debt, which can result in other related parties going bust.

                  • Incognito

                    Thank you for your reply.

                    By “return” you mean profit, I assume.

                    From a single focus as business operator I can see that being viable or not may be the be-all-end-all question but from a holistic view of the economy as a business ‘ecosystem’ it looks very different IMO. In fact, I’d argue business failure is essential for a healthy ecosystem.

                    Existing businesses need to be flexible and adapt to changing conditions. If not, they become non-viable too. This is an inevitable ‘risk’ that’s locked in from even the first concept for a new start-up.

                    Any business that ceases to operate/exist leaves more than a “a trail of unpaid debt” if any debt at all; some unwind in a more controlled manner. You may want to look up articles on creative destruction, economic apoptosis and uncontrollability.


                    Edit: for some reason (?) the link changed in the comment; you’ll need to copy the whole link including the “.html”

                    • The Chairman

                      “Creative destruction”, yes I thought that is what you were initially hinting at.

                      While creative destruction is part of business evolution, it’s far from a win-win for all. Moreover, not all business failures are due to creative destruction.

                      Therefore, a failure here and there is to be expected but if business failures were to become systemic, it wouldn’t result in a healthy economy.

                  • Incognito

                    Agreed, but I wasn’t arguing for or about systemic large-scale business failure although even a man-made disaster like the GFC (or should that be a GFC?) didn’t destroy the ecosystem (AKA the economy). Businesses recovered, some faster than others, and innovation never really stopped.

                    Thank you for the positive engagement; you and I haven’t always achieved this but at least now we know it is possible, with a little bit of goodwill and mutual respect.

            • Ngungukai

              Timber would be a classic example ?

    • David Mac 2.3

      I agree, we do need improved safety nets and trajectories for those that find themselves no longer required. It’s an accelerating trend that isn’t going away anytime soon.

      I also think it’s important to acknowledge that virtually nobody starts a business with the primary motivation of creating employment for people.

      • James Thrace 2.3.1

        You’d be wrong there. We want to start up a business that explicitly wants to hire locals. Our issue is
        A) finding local people that have some knowledge that can be built on and
        B) ensuring that we can grow organically and ensure we hire accordingly

        Most people starting a business realise they have to hire staff.

        What you probably mean is: “virtually nobody recognises the need to pay staff in accordance with knowledge and skills rather than as expense accounts that can be opened and closed at will”

        • SaveNZ

          It’s a catch 22, NZ employers both foreign and domestic have created an idea that Kiwi workers should be cheap pliable workers and we pay cheap wages here. It started off with the employment contracts bill in the 1990’s and has gone down from there.

          That encouraged Kiwi workers to leave to work overseas, as even OZ often paid around 30 -100% more than Kiwi employers and well as the massive sell off of our assets overseas.

          To stop the rot they need to get wages in NZ up and keep the skills however it’s a huge issue as even for domestic companies they feel the need to bring in management from overseas that are often destroying wealth by focusing on short term profits and overseas models that don’t necessarily work in NZ (Fonterra, The warehouse) while a massive proportion of NZ companies are also owned by multinationals who couldn’t care a less about their NZ workers and destroy completely workable companies here (Cadbury, Dick Smith) or giving themselves massive profits while giving nothing back (banks).

          I don’t think the current government has any handle on the problem as they seem to be enjoying glowing in the international globalist accolade and no doubt a rude shock when coming home in 2 years for the next election to find out that their domestic changes of higher taxes, selling off land and letting foreign and domestic companies rout everyone with higher electrical, water, rates, housing, transport, petrol and people now living in tents because landlords abandon the market and the places are snapped up by our growing migrant population or the Singapore and OZ investors … while the IYI class strategists and MSM tell everyone that things are just peachy and in the next 15 years all their great ideas of globalism and free trade will trickle down…

          • SaveNZ

            I not suggesting the Natz would be better in fact they would be worse, but I think that Labour, NZ First and Greens need to have a serious look at why people are not happy with globalism and trade when it effectively is allowed to screw people over (so many examples) and our laws in NZ are not robust enough to do anything about it – because – apparently decent labour laws and environmental laws and societal good laws -“scare the market’ – maybe it’s about time the exploitative employers are scared out of NZ so that we can actually create a prosperous, fair, unpolluted country again.

        • SaveNZ

          @James Thrace – perhaps like the old fashioned way you train workers with the knowledge or pay more to steal them from other places or treat them better so you create loyalty…

        • David Mac

          Hi James, I’ve found that if I don’t start a business with the primary motivation of turning a profit I burn through my start-up capital and before too long have to ask any workers to leave. Paying people well has always been a by-product of profitability in my experience.

          I don’t hire workers these days, I appoint contractors. This cuts my workload by heaps, halves the hassles and those granting me their time make more money.

      • SaveNZ 2.3.2

        @David Mac, Even if they do set up in NZ, where is the longevity in NZ… like Gameloft, who were a French company that employed a significant migrant workforce into NZ, then after getting 3.5 million in grants, liquidated the company and set up in Nigeria.

        Is that really the calibre of corporates we want in NZ?

        Knew someone who worked there and he was a migrant worker. He said he could not ask for a pay rise, as every time Gameloft advertised a role, it was cheaper than the last. They just wanted the cheapest workers they could get… so no wonder they went out of business…. pity they were allowed under our laws to operate like that!

        • David Mac

          Hi Savenz, yep, I’m reluctant to get involved in any business pursuit that can be replicated more cost effectively offshore.

          A beachfront holiday on a Kiwi beach can only be done here. Possum fur fibres have unique insulation qualities, they aren’t a mega population pest anywhere else in the world. That Finnish company making fossil fuel based packaging in Henderson that is pulling the pin, with the scrappy muck left behind by our logging operations, the raw materials for a green line of packaging could be close to free.

          Competing with countries/companies that can prosper with slave labour is a race to the bottom. As standards of living rise in China, I think it’s just a matter of time until our TVs are assembled in Somalia.

  3. Sacha 3

    Soimon is such a good boy despite all that political failure that surrounds him, insists Nat hack Audrey Young:

    Bridges has not made too many mistakes since becoming leader in February – the biggest one was commissioning the inquiry into the leaked expenses. But what is evident from events this week including his handling of Jami-Lee Ross’s health crisis is that he is an easy magnet for criticism and there is a low tolerance for errors from him. People like to dislike him which is a slight disadvantage in politics.

    Though she does drop an unintentional nugget about Jami-Lee Ross:

    The pile-on to Bridges seemed excessive – considering he acknowledged the error and offered a plausible explanation – that he was meaning “embarrassment” at having your personal health issues aired so publicly, and not that mental health issues were embarrassing.

  4. Muttonbird 4

    Following on from Dennis Franks’ cut and paste last night, cut and paste specialist, Dr Bryce Edwards, regurgitates what we’ve been reading all week.

    As usual Dr Bryce provides zero analysis, preferring to let others to do that for him, including Cameron Slater who remarkably gets no political description tag at all, and Chris Trotter who is unfortunate enough to receive the only political designation in the piece from Edwards in being labelled “leftwing”.

    In a bizarre attempt at trivialisation of the seriousness of Bridges’ problems, he signs off by linking to the Jono & Ben appearance.

    Yes, Dr Bryce does his usual thing when dealing with National’s problems and that is to dispassionately relay what his right-leaning media associates have said.

    Contrast this with his opinion heavy RNZ article dated 26 August – his own work this time which is telling.

    In it, Dr Bryce literally fawns over Bridges’ decision to open the PWC and Simpson Grierson enquiries describing him as; showing ‘resolve’, being ‘calculated’, ‘star(ing) down a disloyal MP’, ‘responsible and humane’, and ‘reasonable’. Edwards pretty much went against all other analysis at that time who rightly questioned just what the hell Bridges was up to.

    Well I wonder what Dr Bryce thinks reading back on that column this weekend!


    • Dennis Frank 4.1

      Hey, not a bad critique, but to be fair to Bryce it seemed his intent was to report a hefty emerging consensus via the method of compiling quotes from sources. I thought it impressive enough to select highlights on the same basis to emphasise the political significance of the opinion swing against Bridges.

      Nothing wrong with coming on like a partisan leftist, Muttonbird, inasmuch as this site was designed to cater for sectarian bias. But the leftist political cause can only advance nowadays by establishing sufficient consensus with centrists. Our current government being a suitable model thus far.

      Also, a university political scientist cannot be seen to be partisan, so any public analysis by one will have to critique the left & right in a balanced way. Being fair to Bridges earlier is part of that prescription. Kiwis believe in a fair go, and we give credit where it’s due. Better a moderate, reasonable leader of the Nats than something worse. The current leader becoming irrational is news when it becomes obvious to centrists as well as leftists because it suggests a tectonic shift in voterland.

      • Dukeofurl 4.1.1

        ” university political scientist cannot be seen to be partisan”

        Thats not the case. Helen Clark was a part timer while working on her PhD before being elected. The long time of the Department at the time ( Chapman)was clearly national leaning as he wrote books on nationals leaders
        I think what you are alluding to is the media want their political scientist talking heads to be ‘balanced’.

        • Muttonbird

          Add to that professor Claire Robinson who is nothing more than the defacto president of the John Key fan club.

        • Dennis Frank

          Yes, I’ll accept that technical correction. Not just the media, though, because the credibility of any political analyst lies in their capacity for rising above the fray to present a more-or-less impartial view. I agree re Chapman, but political scientists lose credibility in the eyes of their students and peers to the extent that they push a partisan view.

          • Incognito

            Interesting comments as usual, Dennis.

            I like to think that the students and peers of a political scientist know when he/she addresses a different audience for a different reason than lecturing or disseminating science.

            I think there is a time & place for any political scientist to express their opinions and declare their leanings so to speak. It would be odd not to and stay on the fence forever as some kind of agnostic nihilist.

            • Dennis Frank

              Yes, I agree that anyone ought to be able to express their political opinion. Political scientists could do so in an inappropriate manner by informing their audience that they are doing so, when they do it. There’s a learnt skill in being dispassionate and impartial, although some people seem more naturally adept at it – while most others are simply unable to transcend subjectivity.

              For me, it was a late acquisition, in middle age, honed via self-discipline. The way I frame it internally is in the context of the group mind: any group I participate in, I try to mediate the microcosm/macrocosm relation. If that group is too insular (group-think), then relating issues to the broader societal context (macrocosm) and the body politic is the best way to go.

              • Incognito

                The professional ethics of academics requires them to declare any potential conflict of interest. Many peer-reviewed scientific journals have made it mandatory.

                Academic audiences, be it students or peers, are (ought to be) smart (educated) enough to weigh up one personal’s bias against that of others and even their own.

                Bias, or subjectivity, is impossible to avoid and the only proper way to deal with it, IMO, is to declare it. This raises awareness and avoids or minimises confusion from the outset and maybe this makes it possible to transcend subjectivity …

  5. cleangreen 5

    Oct. 5, 2018

    WASHINGTON — Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh appeared destined for final confirmation to the Supreme Court after two key undecided senators — Susan Collins of Maine and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia — announced Friday that they would support his elevation to the high court after the most divisive confirmation fight in decades.

    Ms. Collins’ lengthy speech on the Senate floor dwelled as much on Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial record as on the sexual misconduct charges that have consumed his nomination. She did conclude, “We will be ill-served in the long run if we abandon the presumption of innocence.”

    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      Looks like Democrats & women are combining to get him across the line. I presume they are motivated by the spirit of bipartisan consensus. Christians would frame that as god working in his usual mysterious way…

      • Dukeofurl 5.1.1

        Democrat Manchin is only doing so as his state is very strongly pro Trump and hes up for election in a month.

        Consensus ! . The self preservation for both . Collins isnt up for re-election this time but she will need big money support for the Republican Senate Campaign Committee if she is to survive in her democratic leaning state.

        Interesting fact . The other Senator from Maine Angus King, and independent – but who sits with the Democrats- is facing re- election this year.

        His democratic opponent, Zak Ringelstein is the only major-party candidate for Senate to be a dues-paying member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Likely that King will be relected though

        • Dennis Frank

          Yeah I expected a response like that. Realpolitik. But the interesting part is that these politicians are seeking refuge in a centrist camouflage. In respect of their motivations driven by political psychology, we could reasonably suspect that there’s more to it than the obvious self-interest. Could be a signal of a pendulum swing back from extreme ideological polarisation towards pragmatic centrism.

          • Dukeofurl

            “Could be a signal of a pendulum swing back from extreme ideological polarisation towards pragmatic centrism.”

            Kavanaugh is one of the most partisan of Supreme court judges – ever. hardly a swing to pragmatic centralism- unless the centre has mover far right, even for US.

            One of Obamas picks for Scotus was at the time Solicitor general, which acts much like our Solicitor General does. Republicans thought she was to partisan as it was a government job. Kavanaugh is 10x closer to government as he worked in GWB white House.

            With Trump around there wont be a swing to consensus/centrisim. It seems to be just a thought of yours rather than something that is real.

            • Dennis Frank

              Well yeah, but I was actually referring to the behaviour of the Democrat & woman senators who have decided to support Kavanaugh. I’ll reserve judgment on the Trump effect until the mid-term election results. A decisive pattern may emerge (rather than a muddle).

              If not, we may get an effective stalemate within both main US parties, in which there’s an approximate balance between pragmatic careerists supporting the establishment and disaffected anti-establishment folk getting even further alienated by the system their democracy has produced.

              • Dennis Frank

                Colin James has a relevant analysis here:

                He frames representative democracy as ” bounded rationality. Most of the people most of the time thought the system more or less worked – at least while their material standard of living kept rising and they felt reasonably safe and secure in their identity as one of a people in a nation. There was a high level of trust, the glue that holds liberal democracies together.”

                “Bounded rationality still reigns in this country, where a recent survey found a marked lift since 2016 in trust and confidence in the government, ministers and MPs, thanks probably to the election of a remarkable young woman Prime Minister. But in northern hemisphere liberal democracies, the centre-left/centre-right hegemony has ended and with it bounded rationality.”

                “That is because the material standard of living of a growing number of people in those liberal democracies has stalled or fallen or become insecure and/or they feel that migrants and other intrusions from outside such as hyperglobalisation are unstitching the fabric of what they think of as “their” “nation”. As a result, they no longer feel represented by, nor do they trust, the centre-left/centre-right cabal.”

                “They see these parties as agents of a self-perpetuating, detached elite: the “other”, not “us”.” Precisely. Representative democracy discredited as a sham. Representatives pretending to represent voters rather than actually doing so, in the hope that voters won’t notice the lack of authenticity. But around half the electorate have now noticed the sham.

              • Macro

                Are you for real????
                Only 1 (ONE) democrat senator has given his support to Kavanaugh, and that for the craven reason explained by the Duke above.
                As for women. Republican women are in many cases just as anti-human rights as their WhiteOldmen counterparts on the senate. In fact rupugnant senators are by and large white, old, and men. There are only a handful of Republican women senators – and one of those actually had enough gumption to vote against the other rupugnants and against Kavanaugh.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Well the headline news was real: “Susan Collins says she will vote yes to confirm Brett Kavanaugh”.

                  So she has publicised her voting intention. Doesn’t seem much chance she will change her mind in the next few hours.

                  • Macro

                    That wasn’t what you were saying above tho; was it.
                    No, Susan Collins has been looking for a way out of doing the decent thing by way of women, and humanity, and voting against Kavanaugh all week. The Whitehouse white wash “investigation” which lasted all of 2 days, interviewed only Kavanaugh supporters, and which only the FBI and senators are privy to, gave her the way out.
                    She still has time to regain her moral compass and vote “no” as does the Flaker. But be very aware – the US is now a deeply divided country. This in no way represents a swinging of the pendulum to the centre. Women are becoming energised as never before, and the forthcoming midterms are evidence of that. There were thousands protesting in the Senate over the past week and over 300 arrested. This will go down in history as one of Americas darkest moments.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Seems to me you’re allowing your subjective emotional reactions to cloud your view of the situation. I was pointing to the behaviour that could indicate the pendulum has swung so far toward polarisation that it can’t swing further. Historically what you usually get is a shift towards pragmatic acceptance of the need to move beyond the focus on differences to the need for a workable compromise and agreement on common ground.

                      Colin James explains why representative democracy can’t work when representatives betray the trust of voters. It’s just a question of these politicians waking up to the necessity of honouring their commitments instead of further undermining democracy. Any leftist tribalism and moral outrage is irrelevant (due to perceived lack of evidence) – but I suspect you didn’t even bother to read her reasoning for her decision (in that report).

                    • Macro

                      Could be a signal of a pendulum swing back from extreme ideological polarisation towards pragmatic centrism.


                      I was pointing to the behaviour that could indicate the pendulum has swung so far toward polarisation that it can’t swing further.

                      I’ll leave it at that.

    • Dukeofurl 6.1

      yes. apparently even this sort of WH briefings have become fairly rare and Trumps press conferences even rarer. he will still occasionally do a Fox news only interview.

      Reminds me in a way , of Keys first few years when he wouldnt do any interviews at all for Radio NZ.

      None. back then RNZ didnt have audience surveys like now , when we know that Morning Report has the largest ‘weekly’? audience of any news radio station and many music ones.

    • veutoviper 6.2

      Brilliant headline. Wonder how many here will actually miss its point. ROFL.

  6. The ZAPRUDER film HQ real HQ – YouTube

    Nice…. After JFK threatened to smash the CIA into a thousand pieces,… then along comes Howard Hunt and a few other Black Op characters into the the mix at Dealey Plaza…


    Gotta love those globalists.

    • Then decades later we have a guy who names the characters responsible… despite the fact that many of the perps are now dead because of the passage of time… dont change a thing…

      And did you know the Republicans were anti slavery and the Democrats were pro slavery , – hence the American Civil War ??? … bet most of you didn’t, and even if you did,… wanted to hide that distasteful and embarrassing fact away…

      The American public are not stupid, and know far more than we do in NZ about what effects their country and ultimately , the global community. I believe on the whole the American public is a good one. No other country on earth has such an open system, – despite the skulduggery that often happens there…they have many faults but just as many good points.

      Come back Colonial Viper !

      Here’s a magnificent speech by Trump about the reality of just who pulls the strings in this world… and yet all some of you can do is snicker like a pack of schoolkids about some paper around his shoe. He probably owns the company that made the paper.

      Donald Trump – Our Movement Is About Replacing A Failed … – YouTube

    • cleangreen 7.2

      1000% bang on perfectly Wild Katipo.

      President Donald Trump is very brave taking on the CIA now as his promise to “drain the washington Swamp” Got to give him credit for getting rid of the evil CIA as they have done some very bad shit over many years too many to document.

      Remember the movie “Spy game 2001” with Robert Redford/Brad Pitt?

      This movie was very close to the truth there when we see the current CIA administration under Robert Mueller as CIA ‘special investigator’ leaning on Trumps own inner circle for political reasons mostly to get forced admissions from them..

      • Macro 7.2.1

        If those admissions of guilt are the truth, and can be backed up by evidence in court – as to date they have been – then what are you complaining about?
        There is more evidence to come, and agent orange is in the firing line.

      • marty mars 7.2.2

        “CIA operative Nathan Muir (Redford) is on the brink of retirement when he finds out that his protege Tom Bishop (Pitt) has been arrested in China for espionage. No stranger to the machinations of the CIA’s top echelon, Muir hones all his skills and irreverent manner in order to find a way to free Bishop. As he embarks on his mission to free Bishop, Muir recalls how he recruited and trained the young rookie, at that time a sergeant in Vietnam, their turbulent times together as operatives and the woman who threatened their friendship.”

        yeah just like real life lol

        brave t.rump – oxymoronic!!!

  7. Sacha 8

    Ooh look, a whole post about the latest US shenanigans:

  8. marty mars 9

    This is appalling

    Half of university scholarships go to students from our wealthiest families, dismaying teachers in disadvantaged areas who see even their brightest students struggle to get a foot in the door.

    A Weekend Herald investigation into five universities found, last year, high decile schools received four times the number of entry-level scholarships as those in the low deciles.

    Schools in the most exclusive neighbourhoods were winning up to $1 million in prizes each year, while schools in more deprived areas were lucky to gain $100,000 in rewards.

    For example, Epsom Girls’ Grammar, a decile 10, gained $225,000 worth of scholarships from Auckland University alone. Mangere College, a decile 1, was awarded one prize worth $20,000 by the university.

    So the poor and disadvantaged continue to get pushed down.

    There is a reckoning coming…

    • cleangreen 9.1

      “So the poor and disadvantaged continue to get pushed down. Their is a reckoning coming…”

      What “reckoning ” – please explain with evidence & citations.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.2

      That is an important story. Social mobility is the exact opposite of what our current system encourages.

      And this again exposes the ‘meritocracy’ lie, so loved by National and the right.

      • Tuppence Shrewsbury 9.2.1

        But there’s a year free education, that’s supposed to restore the meritocracy

    • Ngungukai 9.3

      Something wrong there especially if it is Public Money $$$’s ?

    • millsy 9.4

      Scholarships are a poor way to get poorer people into tertiary education, Essentially it is charity for a chosen few.

      • greywarshark 9.4.1

        I found it strange that I as a parent was asked to pay $75 for my son last century to sit the scholarship exam along with the rest of the class. It was money I could not afford and I paid but he was not outstanding and i could have been paying for the child of some wealthier person.

        In old books I read about poor children getting a chance to apply for a scholarship, and presumably there was a scholarship fund which paid out its interest and a little capital to provide. And bequests would keep renewing the fund. Schools now act as if everyone has plenty of discretionary money.

  9. marty mars 10

    Good effort by these mana whenua – this will become more and more of an issue – help out their givealittle page if you can

    Whānau of Huramua Marae in Wairoa are raising funds to exhume and shift the remains of 53 relatives buried in Mātiti cemetery, which is being eroded by the Wairoa River.

    Chaans Tumataroa-Clarke from Huramua Marae says, “The key principal guiding us is to maintain the authority and heritage of our families, our elders, our ancestors.”

    Over the last ten years, locals have attempted to hold the riverbank through planting and remedial work, but 6m on average is falling away every year due to increased rainfall.

    Chaans Tumataroa-Clarke says, “We acknowledge the power and life-force of our river, know that we deliberated this issue and concluded to exhume our relatives, our ancestors and move them to rest near our marae.”

    The site of Mātiti was an old village dating back to the year 1800, and in 1903 the first body was buried in the cemetery.

    A large scale project, the exhumation and transport of the remains is estimated to cost over $265,000.

  10. cleangreen 11

    Was China really our quiet friend?

    Now the Chinese dragon roars to life; Naval incident again; 5th October 2018.

    China is now threatening US warships in the south pacific now and shows China’s increasingly aggressive posture .

    “America accuses Chinese warship of ‘unsafe’ manoeuvres after near collision with USS Decatur in South China Sea
    Analysts said the incident shows China’s increasingly aggressive posture in the South China Sea amid an escalating confrontation with the US on both trade and security fronts.”

    • greywarshark 11.1

      they think that usa should stop trying to rule the world especially the bits they haven’t bombed or destroyed politically

  11. Sacha 12

    Turnip futures surge in eastern Romania. Read all about it!

    • greywarshark 12.1

      turn up for the books = but you didn’t supply link or context

    • cleangreen 12.2

      Opps !!!!!

      There are flaws of ‘witness tampering’ going on inside the anti -Kavanaugh camp now!!! –

      Worse still now there is another after the ‘Senate’ newly received FBI report has discovered that a witness in the swetnick accusation case has been found to have perjured himself also, – and a probe into that case is now being considered by GOP perhaps to be carried out according to the media..

      Report: Ford’s FBI Friend, Monica McLean, Pressured Witness To Modify Testimony and Statement…
      Posted on October 5, 2018 by sundance

      “If you thought it was sketchy that Ms. Christine Blasey-Ford’s life-long best friend was a recently retired FBI agent and DOJ official, Monica McLean {Go Deep}; and if you thought it was sketchy that McLean and Ford were together on July 30th when Ford was writing a letter to Dianne Feinstein, likely making the friend Ms Ford’s “handler” for the operation against Kavanaugh; then it’s even more sketchy today with a report that McLean was pressuring witness Leland Keyser to shape her statements and testimony to the FBI.”

      • cleangreen 12.2.1

        This case against Brett Kavanaugh was a bunch of absoluite litiny of lies and bulllshit, as the FBI ‘supplimental report was released today. Ford said she was never ‘before made familiar or aware before of any way to operate or use a polygraph machine, so she lied right there.


        “In a twist, Keyser told FBI investigators that she felt pressured to clarify her original statement saying she was unaware of any incident involving Kavanaugh and Ford, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Keyser, who later said she believed Ford even though she could not corroborate her story, told the investigators that she was urged to clarify her statement by Monica McLean, a former FBI agent and friend of Ford’s. (Ford’s ex-boyfriend told the Judiciary Committee that Ford had helped McLean prepare for a polygraph, directly contradicting Ford’s sworn testimony last Thursday).”

        • greywarshark

          What’s happening in Gisborne cg? The USA can go to hell in a handcart but I don’t want that to happen to us. Can we keep thinking about NZ and our options for better government and policies?

  12. adam 13

    In two minds about this, kinda glad he got prosecuted, but only 2nd degree murder??!? He got a trial which is somthing which many black americans don’t get.

    And have to say I’m pissed at the police response. It like they can look at that video, then shrug, and utter “nothing to see here, move along”

  13. mac1 15

    I thought about $1 billion for a 20% increase in benefits based on the $5 billion mooted in this year’s Budget, in 1/10/2018 Open Mike discussion on Marama Davidson’s interview.

    Shaw calculates $1.5bn for the increase.

    Consider what that money would do firstly for the beneficiaries concerned, and secondly what it would do for the local economy since it would be mostly spent in NZ and the profits accrued by the companies getting this extra money then being taxed etc.

    A fillip to the economy rather like the 1935 Christmas payment that so boosted the economy in 1935. “As a statement of intent a Christmas bonus was immediately paid to the unemployed and those receiving charitable aid.”

    Interestingly, the article above goes on to say, “In 1936 there was a landslide of legislation aimed at stimulating the economy, including a programme of state house construction.”

    What do the wise heads on the Standard say?

  14. eco maori 16

    Here you go multinational companies selling us there chemicals and Genetic engineering. They don’t let the world see all the negative facts on there cancer causing products the long term side effects so what will these products do to our mokopunas low sperm count rising cancer rates ?? I bet these CEO will be eating organic food.
    At a time when we need to change of way of life to respect the future generations and Papatuanuku prospects. This is a time to start farming Organically these organizations are trying to sell us there bad products.
    NZ just need to target the high value markets with our produce that is some of the best PRODUCTS in the world . We will not lose our place as one of the best producers of safe food It won’t be long and the world will be chasing our food . Ka kite ano link’s below

    SPONSORED CONTENT BY Corteva Agriscience, Agriculture Division of DowDupont
    competitors-federated-farmers-president P.S notice the word possibility like could or would

  15. eco maori 18

    Kia ora Newshub look’s like the alcohol companies sales are dropping Lion is trying to sponsor the mental help health line I give a big KNOW to that move as alcohol is a major problem that causes mental health problems hippercritical business people.
    I think its a good move turning the Islands in Tauranga were that container ship sunk into a marine sanctuaries
    Why is MPI challenging it in court we need more we need more sanctuaries all around Aotearoa on te whenua and Tangaroa especially as I say the Quote system is not doing the job of protecting our fishes like it was sold to us.
    There was a bit of compost coming out of that school and what do you know I can not bring up that story about the school that had the problem {cover—— the compost} story .
    It was a good effort by the Sliver Ferns be patient wahine all in good time.
    Ka kite ano

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