Open mike 06/12/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 6th, 2015 - 112 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

112 comments on “Open mike 06/12/2015 ”

  1. Ad 1

    This is already beginning to feel like a very long, very hot, very dry summer.

    • BM 2.1

      What a load of lefty wank that article is.

      • North 2.1.1

        Whereas in relation to your comment BM, what a load of wank simpliciter !

        Have you not the intelligence to understand the point BM ? Or is it that the mere mention of a collective responsibility for a collective ill stuns you into Babble Land ?

        When it comes to Serco/Corrections the troubling knowledge and experience amassed in my daily line of work qualifies me to dismiss you as a fool. Who knows shit all about the matter.

        • BM 2.1.1.1

          You can shove “the collective responsibly” up your arse.
          You fuck up, you pay the price and hopefully learn from it and move on.

          I’m not in the remotest bit responsible or should feel responsible for someone else’s criminal behavior or stupidity.

          • Gangnam Style 2.1.1.1.1

            “You fuck up” I think you mean “you get caught”. & also this “hopefully learn from it and move on”, if you are brutalised in prison or spending 23 hours in a cell you won’t move on buddy, thats where the ‘collective responsibility’ bit comes in.

            • BM 2.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s an issue with corrections, nothing to do with me.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Everything to do with you. As we live in a democracy what happens in our collective institutions is part of our personal responsibility.

                That’s the main point of a democracy: We are responsible for what we do collectively.

                You don’t get to declaim the responsibility by saying that it’s solely to do with Corrections as we have to be clear to Corrections about how they should behave. What sort of moral and ethical standards that they should uphold.

                And, no, I’m not talking about telling them exactly what to do.

                • The lost sheep

                  So our collective responsibility means that you have a personal responsibility for the actions of the democratic Government elected by the collective Draco?

                  • Yes.

                    Of course, part of that personal responsibility – in the collective context of a democracy – may be to seek to change the government that acts in our collective name but which (in one’s personal judgment) does harmful things.

                    We all have a personal responsibility to respond to the consequences of collective decisions and actions – because, by definition, we are all responsible for collective decisions and actions.

                    • I should clarify that I was not of course responding for Draco.

                      I take sole personal responsibility for my comment – it was not a collective comment 😊

                    • The lost sheep

                      No doubt Draco will concur PG, so taking both your personal responsibilities as given, I would like to formally hold you both personally accountable for the actions of this government.

                      Before we start, can you remind me what our collective agreement is regarding the mechanism for imposing accountability for collective actions on individual members of the collective?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      In Sheep’s example, personal responsibility has no meaning unless enforced by the collective.

                      Now, that’s a shit definition of personal responsibility but of course it’s hard to define something that only exists as a victim-blaming rhetorical device.

                      🙄

                    • The lost sheep

                      I agree OAB.
                      Personal responsibility has no meaning unless it can be enforced by the collective.
                      The collective has not agreed on any concept of, or mechanism for enforcing any such accountability.

                      Therefore, the theory of a personal responsibility for collective actions the individual had no direct influence or involvement in…..has no meaning.
                      It does not exist.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I should clarify that I was not of course responding for Draco.

                      Maybe not but you probably said it better than me.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sheep, are you pretending to be utterly stupid? Or just introducing stupid reductive rhetoric because you can’t handle the guts of the argument.

                      Those guts are: Puddleglum (and Paul Little) neatly exposes the shameful behaviour of the likes of you and BM, who enable this evil, and calls out your lip service to personal responsibility.

                      No wonder you’re twisting and turning like a grub on a pin.

                    • The lost sheep

                      As you believe it exists OAB, you will be able to tell me
                      what the collectives agreed definition of personal responsibility for collective actions is?

                      What collective body is responsible for administering the collective responsibility policy?

                      What is the agreed mechanism of accountability?

                      What sanctions can be imposed on individuals deemed to have failed in their responsibility?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Meanwhile on Earth, what I in fact said is:

                      …that’s a shit definition of personal responsibility but of course it’s hard to define something that only exists as a victim-blaming rhetorical device.

                      The only time right wingers invoke it is when pointing the finger at others. When it comes to the consequences of your own behaviour you’re all lawyered up from the get-go.

                    • The lost sheep

                      You didn’t answer my questions OAB?
                      If PG, Draco and yourself are correct, then it should be a simple matter to do so?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      A whining rhetoric-merchant asked “What is the agreed mechanism…?”

                      Public contempt ridicule and shame are good. That’s why you don’t talk about Cabinet Club, and can’t abide the notion of personal responsibility for the right wing clusterfuck you voted for.

                    • The lost sheep

                      There is no collective agreement on it. No collective mechanism to administer it. No collective accountability to it. No collective sanction for ignoring it.

                      We can say then that the collective does not in fact hold individuals personally responsible for collective actions they are not directly involved in.

                      That leaves us with collective responsibility being a concept that is asserted by individuals, who take it upon themselves to make judgements on the culpability of others, and administer their personal sanctions of ‘contempt ridicule and shame’?

                      There is a certain whiff of sanctimonious arrogance and a vain assumption of moral superiority attached to individuals who place themselves in a position of judgement on others don’t you think?

                      Luckily, as belief in this concept is entirely personal, individuals can reject it with exactly the same degree of legitimacy as others can adopt it.

                      (That’s my last word. Now you can have that little burst of abuse at the end that lets you pretend to yourself that you have ‘won’ the argument and humiliated your opponents)

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Meanwhile, on Earth, the notion of personal responsibility that has to be enforced by the collective is:

                      1. Introduced by you.
                      2. An oxymoron.

                      Which leads back to the point: you enable SERCO’s corruption and brutality, and exhibit no personal responsibility whatsoever.

          • Morrissey 2.1.1.1.2

            What about the criminal behaviour of the Prime Minister? Surely anyone who voted for his party, even in the light of the Dirty Politics scandal, is responsible for voting Key and his cronies back to power. (I presume you’re a National voter.)

            • DoublePlusGood 2.1.1.1.2.1

              By BM’s standards, to be logically consistent they must want to have John Key straight into prison for his criminal deeds, and they must also be totally fine with him being assaulted while in there.

      • Andre 2.1.2

        So Bill English calling prisons a “moral and fiscal failure” makes him a lefty wanker?

      • Once was Tim 2.1.3

        And no doubt you’ll hold that opinion right up until the time you, or someone dear to you drives drunk, kills someone and gets a jail term. Then it’ll be excuse excuse excuse

    • Olwyn 2.2

      An excellent article North. Thanks for putting it up. I can say why I think it is good: it presents a reminder of what prisons are supposed to be for, and discusses the ways in which they fall short. I am not sure why BM thinks it is “a load of lefty wank” since he/she offers no reasons.

  2. Whispering Kate 3

    I know everybody isn’t a boxing fan but the Herald this morning is showing highlights of the boxing bout with Joseph Parker and another fight with Zac Guilford the rugby player – but nothing of Irene’s fight. They are just the lousiest newspaper ever. Irene who graced our screens for years with fantastic netball and such a great person – and they haven’t got the decency to show her fight in their online content. I gave up on the paper ages ago and they still are not delivering fair coverage of everything that goes into print. A bloody waste of space.

    • Paul 3.1

      The Herald love focusing on Zac Guildford because he is perfect tabloid fodder for a certain type of NZer.

      • Whispering Kate 3.1.1

        I understand he is a recovering alcoholic, if he doesn’t watch it he will be a punch drunk instead for not wearing protective head gear – how irresponsible is that – the guy needs his head read literally. Irene is such a kiwi identity and I believe she won her bout – shame on the Herald, they ignore NZ netball as well with their coverage being sporadic.

  3. Once was Tim 4

    FYI….
    Intersting Insight (RNZ) on politicisation of the public service.

    I find it amusing that people actually believe the Public Service is still impartial.
    The neo-lib restructuring in the 80s (when we started having ‘CEOs’ and purchase agreements, and all the other crap), and when they justified it all by chants of “more accountability; less pliticisation’ efficiency and effectiveness” provided the means by which partisanship would creep in over time.

    It’s high time that senior management positions in the Public Service need bipartisan support. The number of little (actually quite large) fiefdoms that comprise our public service is unbelievable. It occurs at middle and senior management.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/201781443/insight-for-6-december-2015-politics-and-public-servants

    • whateva next? 4.1

      Always refreshing to hear such a well presented discussion, and allow the listener to form their own opinion. Bang on Brent.Lets hope it makes an impact on those who are being lead by the nose, or herded onto the lorries.

      • Once was Tim 4.1.1

        Agreed. What’s slightly depressing is the lack of apparent interest (witness the lack of feedback – even here thus far).
        When one considers the impact of it all, and how our daily lives are impacted by a politicised public service ….. I just think “Yea Nah” (when I see accusations of contributors being part of things like “Thorndon Bubbles” and various of shite).
        Not much has been learned from history eh?
        – I’ll wake up tomorrow …. Matty will be preparing to offer us his ultimate spin on NinetoNoon along with somebody ‘from the left’ (admittedly better than the last sellout)
        – Various opposition elected ‘representatives will be preparing to trot off to parly armint with some hobby horse they’re desperately trying to gain traction on while watching the polls and pretending they aren’t
        – complete arseholes like Lusk et al will be going about their daily bizz and doing the things they know best – while being incapable of even understanding the concept of a society, or a collective interest
        – Paddy Gower will be preening hisself in the mirror wondering what tie might be best whilst he ponders the best way to put the boot in
        – various IT wonder boys will be telling us how clever they are and how they have a solution (most times by reinventing the wheel)
        – bankers and financial ‘experts’ will be readying themselves to deliver the usual spin on media outlets ‘on the back of’ whatever incident has just occurred (going forward)
        – etc etc etc

        Few seem to have considered the ACTUAL impact of a partisan administration and public service in our supposed 1st world democratic economy. I guess we get what we deserve really.

        • arkie 4.1.1.1

          I always appreciate the Insight series, it is disappointing to see the lacking engagement.

  4. Gangnam Style 5

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3346220/Tory-MP-voted-bomb-Syria-Facebook-death-threat-row-adding-unless-die-constituent-s-email.html

    UK Tory MP doctored an email from constituent, the MP has since deleted the Facebook post, claiming that the three extra words were from another email and the post was an ‘illustration’ of the unpleasant comments she had received.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      I.e, Tory caught in a lie then lies more to try and cover the first lie.

      Fairly typical behaviour for Tories really.

  5. Over the ditch the Liberals retain the seat of North Sydney in the by-election called after the resignation of Joe Hockey. Normally that would be good news for the government, but the whopping 13% swing against them in the seat is a shocker, especially as the Labor Party didn’t even stand a candidate!

    In other news, Tony Abbott has been caught bludging:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-06/abbott-used-taxpayer-funds-on-same-day-as-donors-birthday-bash/7004648

    • savenz 7.1

      @Ropata – if the Natz didn’t have our country to sell, the emperors new clothes in the economy will be exposed.

      There are plenty of migrants keen to buy here, not sure that housing bubble will burst – more like just make Kiwis on local wages paupers unable to afford to live in our own country.

      The only way to slow property prices is to slow migration. Since most new migrants are voting the Natz and donating to them, just another way to stay in power.

    • Tautuhi 7.2

      100% correct, I wonder why Auction Clearance rates have dropped from 80% down to 35% in the past month, obviously all the Australian buyers have pulled out of the market?

      • Lara 7.2.1

        Possibly partly because after the Chinese stock market bubble has burst the CCP has tightened up on allowing Chinese to move money out of China.

        They need all the money they can keep inside the country to stay inside the country.

        And maybe… just maybe… NZ has a property market bubble and it’s found its peak.

  6. Morrissey 8

    Why the US, France and Britain are destroying Syria
    by SAM GERRANS, 5 December 2015

    Since Russia stepped up to the plate, suddenly western countries can’t wait to bomb ISIS. Are they now there to get the job done? Or are they there to stop Russia increasing its influence, and to make sure it doesn’t succeed where they failed?

    The world is falling over itself to bomb Syria. The following statement from Reuters summarizes the situation: “

    Most of the world’s powers are now flying combat missions over Iraq and Syria against Islamic State. But any consensus on how to proceed has been thwarted by opposing policies over the 4-year-old civil war in Syria, which has killed 250,000 people, driven 11 million from their homes, left swathes of territory in the hands of jihadist fighters and defied all diplomatic efforts at a solution.”

    While it may seem to the outside observer that this catalogue of mayhem is the result of incompetence, to me – on the contrary – it is evidence of things going to plan.

    I have never, thus far, seen a war the ruling elite clearly wanted to happen not happen.

    Here, as in all other cases, there has been a bit of hand-wringing, some crying, some protests, some moving speeches. But like the morality plays of medieval times, after enjoying the sermon dressed as entertainment, life has inevitably carried on as normal with the barons raping and pillaging and everyone else having to put up with that reality.

    Destruction of Syria is the plan

    This time the plan – at least judging from the outcomes – is to destroy Syria.

    Syria has been anathema to the self-appointed arbiters of righteousness: the ‘international community’, that coterie of hypocrites which arrogates to itself the monopoly on meting out death to those who won’t get with the program.

    This group dislikes Syria which has had an uncompromising stance towards Israel and an independent financial system, and is using the chance to destroy it to flood Europe with refugees, thus further debasing the makeup of its constituent nations, and simultaneously justifying a lockdown in those countries. ….

    Read more….
    https://www.rt.com/op-edge/324853-us-france-britain-syria/

  7. savenz 9

    Renowned scholar activist Susan George introduces her new book, Shadow Sovereigns – How Global Corporations are seizing power. She explains how corporations have taken over all branches of the government as well as international governance, in particular through trade treaties such as the proposed EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

  8. Morrissey 10

    Google has virtually ruined Google Groups;
    Now is it planning to ruin Gmail?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2015/12/05/google-ending-gmail/

    • ropata 10.1

      They aren’t shutting it down just morphing it into the new “Inbox”. It’s a next gen intelligent email client that helps you navigate the torrents of crap and respond to the stuff that actually matters.

      It’s also a superior data gathering service for the NSA to spy with

    • ropata 10.2

      Agree that Groups are crap, once upon a time (in the nineties) the newsgroups were the liveliest part of the Web, but now they are dead, but that’s not Google’s fault

  9. Morrissey 11

    Readers’ letters: Goodbye, Guardian

    5 December 2015

    Dear Guardian

    First off, I want to thank you for being the main source of my news for the past 20 plus years. Now 31, I have been an avid reader of the newspaper since I was a wee boy. Admittedly I no longer buy a copy everyday (along with the observer) as I rarely have the time to sit down and read the entire thing, but I still do on average three times a week and the Guardian website is the first website I go to on my laptop and I Phone.

    Thank you for breaking the best stories, having the best commentators and generally having an angle I could trust, over this time.

    However, the Guardian’s political coverage has sharply deteriorated since the election of Jeremy Corbyn and I will no longer be buying the newspaper or visiting the website. Admittedly it will be very difficult to not visit the website because it’s so ingrained in my behaviour. I’ve been trying the past few weeks to avoid it but keep on finding myself back there! But after this email, I hereby declare that I will never buy a Guardian newspaper or browse the website again.

    In recent weeks I’ve read the Guardian’s coverage of Corbyn with disbelief. The drip feed of anti-Corbyn bias has got ridiculous. Remember the story of John McDonnell’s Little Red Book joke? Well that was an ironic joke about Osbourne’s public investment strategy, reliant as it is on the Chinese state, an authoritarian dictatorship. The Guardian’s interpretation? That McDonnell was referencing Mao as one of his heros, backed up with a ridiculous quote from Chuka Umuna to that effect. I’d expect such a tactic from the Daily Mail.

    Or take the recent coverage of the Oldham by-election. During the build-up, the Guardian’s frame was that Labour was struggling because of Corbyn. The election was dubbed as a test of Corbyn’s Labour Party. There was recognition that Labour would probably win, but a low victory was predicted (“Labour works around Jeremy Corbyn in Greater Manchester”).

    During the build-up, I expected something was amiss. I can say that as a Labour party activist in a northern city (Leicester) Corbyn has made campaigning far easier because we have a positive platform and a clear difference with the Tories. Surely this is something to tap into?

    Fast forward to news of Labour’s emphatic victory, where Labour extended its lead by 7.5% to 62.3%, the Guardian’s view is that victory has very little to do with Corbyn and everything to do with Jim McMahon, the local guy who won despite the leadership.

    Now, I wouldn’t want to take anything away from McMahon, who is clearly a fantastic local politician. But an extension of Labour’s lead is astounding given everything that has gone on, the turmoil in Labour following the Syria vote and relentless hostility in the national media. Something about Corbyn’s leadership is proving popular at the ballot box, despite the Guardian’s best efforts to set him up for a fall.

    Indeed, over these past few months, I have come to understand the nature of the Guardian: it’s certainly not a modern incarnation of the “Poor Man’s Guardian”. That paper, originating in 1831, was part of the radical press which burgeoned following the advent of the printing press. It provided for the news and intellectual needs of working people, having as its motto “knowledge is power”.

    Today’s Guardian is “guardian” in a more Orwellian sense: a paper that polices leftwing discourse, that sets limits on what is acceptable for leftwing politics, and what is acceptable is basically Blair without Iraq. Rafael Behr, Polly Toynbee, Jonathan Freedland: all are echoing this anti-Corbyn, essentially Blairite line.

    It’s therefore with a sorry heart that I say goodbye. Like those who turned to the radical press in the 19th century, I shall turn to online news sources and social media where established filters do not apply. It is annoying though, as I do enjoy a good broadsheet and a cuppa.

    Yours,

    Tom Mills

    http://off-guardian.org/2015/12/05/readers-letters-goodbye-guardian/

    • That letter may be a fake, Moz. Leicester’s not a northern town and the Guardian is not a broadsheet.

    • Bill 11.2

      heh – if I lived 100 odd miles north of London, I’d grab the opportunity to disassociate with both hands 😉

      And even if the letter isn’t actually a piece of correspondence that was sent to the Guardian, the analysis of their (the Guardian’s) bent and the sentiments of the writer are pretty well spot on.

  10. ropata 12

    Danyl thinks it “wasn’t a very inspiring year” in politics —
    https://dimpost.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/notes-on-politics-in-2015/

    The most significant political development of the year was the ‘Mediapocalypse’ – the ongoing collapse of serious journalism in New Zealand driven by challenges to the fundamental business model of the media industry. Those changes have been matched in state-owned media outlets. Maori TV shut down its investigative journalism show because it was exposing corruption among Maori elites. TVNZ has an infotainment show on every week night where the host gives a speech praising the government and attacking its critics.

    Yep it was a damn depressing year, more of the same BS from the Nats, they are still looking unstoppable. For me the biggest theme of the year was the all out assault on TV journalism. Campbell Live, then Maori TV, now 3D, and the redundancies from the Herald.

    I am relieved that Glucina and her awful Scout vehicle hit the fan. And there’s a glimmer of hope that independent efforts like The Spinoff and WatchMe will throw a spanner in the works of the Nat media machine.

  11. Morrissey 13

    A real speech, from a real Benn
    by KIT, Off-Guardian, 2 December 2015

    Parliament has just made a decision that this time bombing the Middle East will fix everything, partially on the back of a speech from Hilary Benn. This, in our view, is the most apposite response:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfXmpJRZPYI

    http://off-guardian.org/2015/12/02/a-real-speech-from-a-real-benn/

  12. maui 14

    The NZ media is now reporting on all serious assaults in western mega cities. Expect to see detailed reports about all shootings, domestic assaults from LA and New York in papers next week. Their reporting won’t spread panic or link anything to errorism….

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/74783281/London-tube-attack-witnesses-stabber-yelled-support-for-Syria

    • Grindlebottom 14.1

      Well of course they’ll report it if anybody’s reportedly claimed attackers yelled “allahu akbar” or “Syria” or dressed up in military-style gear and attacked anyone in a country that’s involved in fighting in Syria or Iraq. And especially one that’s recently joined the fighting like Britain, France, Germany.

      Domestic assaults/drunken bashings/gang & drug-related shootings and that sort of shit happening overseas isn’t going to get reported here any more often than it usually does – i.e only when someone yells “allahu akbar” or “Syria” or gets dressed up in military style gear, or goes on a shooting spree, or kills their whole family…or does something else out of the ordinary.

      • maui 14.1.1

        Aren’t we in a murky world on what constitutes terrorism though? If the offender didn’t say anything during the incident, then it isn’t a story at the top of the news hour or a leading story on our news sites. The media is obviously hyper sensitive around this whole issue given recent events and I think we should call them out when they over egg the terrorism thing. This is the same group that duped the public into there being weapons of mass destruction in Iraq more than a decade ago and look how much destruction that’s caused since. They’re passing on misinformation without critical analysis, at least some of us can be critical of them although not enough of the NZ public is.

  13. Pascals bookie 15

    Look at these horrible Syrian Islamists: Putin should bomb their village, what wankers, don’t they look awful?

    Putin is great man bringing freedom to them, and look at them. Ungrateful sods.

    https://twitter.com/RamiSafadi93/status/673206599733809152

    • ropata 15.1

      Bombing: a simplistic answer to a complex problem.

      But simplistic easy answers sell better to the propaganda outlets corporate PR machine public news media

      • Tautuhi 15.1.1

        B52 Bombers have failed in the past and I don’t see things changing in the future?

        Whatever happened to meaningful dialogue, it a lot cheaper than war and there is less human and financial damage. When will the world ever learn from past mistakes?

        • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1

          Whatever happened to meaningful dialogue, it a lot cheaper than war and there is less human and financial damage.

          You answered yourself in your question:

          it a lot cheaper than war

          War makes far more profit because it’s more expensive. It’s why we’ve had social services cut and replaced by privatisation. It’s more expensive and thus makes more profit.

  14. b waghorn 16

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/291404/collins-wants-'monster'-maori-board-dumped

    Now why would Collins be head lining an act party conference. ?
    Is she there next leader perhaps?

    • BLiP 17.1

      Or . . . the media is claiming every nutter out there is aligned to the Corbyn movement to create the perception every one aligned Corbyn is also a nutter?

  15. Grindlebottom 18

    An ordinary American family and its guns

    • Macro 18.1

      OMG! They really are nutcases these “ordinary” Republicans.

      • Grindlebottom 18.1.1

        Can’t see an end to that situation macro. So many people there insist on being allowed to have guns eventually everyone could conceivably need one to protect themselves from any other angry person who loses the plot, or mugger, thug, burglar, nutter or even over-excited security guard or armed enforcement official.

        How would you get people to give up guns once they’ve legally got them? Every time there’s a mass shooting the numbers buying/applying for guns go up. The idea of their government trying to take guns away from gun owners over there is preposterous: it’ll never happen. The stable door’s wide open and that horse has long bolted. How do you stop owners of multiple firearms giving guns away or selling them privately to others. The chances of getting yourself shot by accident or in cross fire must be reasonably high already.

        Even US gun control proposals seem to only be about improving background checks. Sounds like the San Bernardino shooter couple got their assault rifles from a neighbour who purchased them legally.

        • Andre 18.1.1.1

          As I understand it, the number of households with guns is actually going down, even as the average number of guns per household goes up. I was very surprised to read that, but it seemed a reputable source. So there’s actually fewer nuts with guns, but the nuts that still have guns are getting waaayyyy nuttier and stockpiling way more guns (and ammo).

          I spent most of the 90s in the US, and was most recently back there for three weeks in January. I have the feeling there actually is a slow shift in the general cultural acceptability of guns, which is about the only chance of improving things. But that kind of shift takes generations to show results, and with the nuts getting nuttier things will probably get a lot worse before they get better.

          And all their surveillance seems kind of pointless if even getting yourself on a terrorist no-fly list is apparently no impediment at all to buying any guns you want. Which the NRA thinks is just the way it should be.

        • One Two 18.1.1.2

          Guns not the problem which need solving

          The mass shootings are beginning to have the distinctive whiff of manufactured events, given the recent frequency

          • ropata 18.1.1.2.1

            a consequence of totally unfettered capitalism…

            massive inequality, a permanent underclass that is tormented by the system, institutions that exist to entrench privilege not serve the community

            the USA is sick.

            I know many wonderful Americans, who I really respect and care about, but there is a dark side of that country, that is festering and not being dealt with

          • Macro 18.1.1.2.2

            No! Can’t blame the guns – that would never do – the gun makers, and merchants, have to make their killing! 🙁

    • joe90 18.2

      Michele Fiore, loon.

      If you have cancer, which I believe is a fungus, and we can put a pic line into your body and we’re flushing, let’s say, salt water, sodium cardonate [sic], through that line, and flushing out the fungus… These are some procedures that are not FDA-approved in America that are very inexpensive, cost-effective.

      http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/02/24/3626567/nevada-assemblywoman-cancer-fungus/

      • ropata 18.2.1

        I long for the day when politicians shut up when they know nothing, and try to actually represent their constituents

        D’OH I forgot, their constituents are Wall St, Big Oil and the Arms industry, not middle class America

  16. Muttonbird 19

    Disappointing to see the NZ dairy industry squealing about having their practices investigated. I would rather have seen them acknowledge the problem, apologise to the people of NZ for their lack of oversight, and promise to do better next time.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/291413/dairy-ad-'putting-the-boot-in

    This is the result of the Nats obsession with industry self-regulation. Key point being – they don’t.

    • weston 19.1

      looked to me from watching thr safe vid it was the industry itself” putting the boot in ” to the poor bloody calves and hitherto they didnt give a stuff .I supose we can be greatfull that dairyfarmers no longer cut off the tails of their cows an obscene practise that was not too long ago seen the length and breadth of the country .Logically the figure of 99% doing a great job would be wildly generous i.m.o.

  17. sabine 20

    16 people apperantly dead incident happened yesterday?. anything of this in the ‘news’?

    Might would not suit the drill baby drill, and it can’t happen here crowd.

    http://www.oilandgaspeople.com/news/6237/breaking-news-2-major-incidents-underway-as-platform-collapses-and-another-catches-fire-offshore-azerbaijan/

  18. Ergo Robertina 21

    Mediawatch is worth a listen today, especially its segment on the ongoing travesty of the death of current affairs journalism in NZ.

    What bemuses me is how easy this has been to sell this as an inevitable consequence of technology change, when of course that’s nonsense. But then of course this kind of stuff is easier to pull off in New Zealand.
    Steve Braunias’ secret diary of Mark Weldon was gold in the Herald yesterday.

  19. b waghorn 22

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/74787252/Early-access-to-Government-funded-drugs-would-happen-under-Labour
    I can’t help thinking King cocked up by promising action on the keytruda drug and has backed Little into a corner,.
    The greens putting the boot in as well doesn’t help.

  20. Penny Bright 23

    I SO hope Judith Collins stands in the 2016 Auckland Mayoralty!

    Comparing our proven track records on the ‘anti-corruption’ front will be SUCH fun!

    (Not to mention the forced Auckland ‘Supercity’ amalgamation.

    ie: I opposed it and National MP Judith Collins voted for it? )
    _________________________________________________

    Judith Collins on the Auckland mayoralty

    Sunday, 06 December 2015

    The New Zealand Herald

    National MP Judith Collins. Photo / Doug Sherring
    By Audrey Young

    National MP Judith Collins gave a wide-ranging speech about the Auckland Council to an Act regional conference yesterday, which is bound to renew speculation she is considering standing for the Auckland mayoralty.

    However she also appeared to make a pitch for Chamber of Commerce head Michael Barnett, whose name has also been associated with a mayoral run.

    “Auckland desperately needs a leader, someone who can articulate their plan, implement it and be accountable for it,” she said.

    She applauded the fact that Mr Barnett had repeatedly called for a transparent line-by-line review of council costs and planned capital expenditure.

    “He is absolutely right…taxpayers deserve to know what public money is being spent cost effectively and efficiently…

    “As a ratepayer, I just hope that we end up with a financially literate, decisive mayor who can work with central government and not someone who thinks that being Mayor of Auckland is all about themselves,” she said in the speech which was distributed by her press secretary. ….”
    _____________________________________________________________

    So – if that’s the case – do both Judith Collins and Michael Barnett support my stand against Auckland Council not telling citizens and ratepayers EXACTLY where public rates monies are being spent?

    What exactly have Judith Collins and Michael Barnett done to help ensure ‘open, transparent and democratically accountable’ local government in Auckland ?

    (The same question can be asked of Labour MP / ‘Independent’ 2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate – Phil Goff?)

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • ropata 23.1

      I wish TS had a “hide comment” feature like Kiwiblog. PB’s burblings are always downrated to oblivion over there 💩

      • lprent 23.1.1

        After having had a look at that feature, I tend to feel that it is not particularly useful. It just leads to people being silenced because what they say isn’t popular. Better to leave it so people can say what they want within the limits of the site rules about behaviour, including making barbed and smart derogatory comments about other peoples comments.

        When commenters walk over behavioural limits, then the moderators act. PB figured out the boundaries a long time ago, and she listens when she gets pulled up for being a wee bit enthusiastic about using our space. So she gets to use the soapbox – carefully.

        • ropata 23.1.1.1

          meh. it is very satisfying to click a 👍 or 👎

          • lprent 23.1.1.1.1

            I have another plugin in testing to allow an uptick that doesn’t suck performance out of the site, rations how many ticks people can have over a month AND allows me to restrict it to people who have had a minimum number of accepted comments on the site (or have that ultra-rare login).

          • Kev 23.1.1.1.2

            Down votes aren’t good as there are people who will gang up behind the scenes and down vote not only because they don’t like the content but because they don’t like the person making the comment and it becomes a wasteful game of petty politics. That’s my personal experience.

            • lprent 23.1.1.1.2.1

              That has been what I have observed as well. That is why I’m only going issue people with a very limited number of upticks.

          • Muttonbird 23.1.1.1.3

            Ropata, if up and down votes are what get you up in the morning you could always just stick to Kiwiblog…and Facebook.

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