Open mike 08/06/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 8th, 2019 - 172 comments
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172 comments on “Open mike 08/06/2019”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Log-in’s all over the park, mods. Takes me three attempts, then reverts spontaneously to not logged in.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    Peregrini:

    "the early Celtic Christian monks and mystics who set out alone in small, flimsy boats, seeking solitude, nature, and God on the most remote islands of Britain.

    "On island after island," she writes in A Book of Silence, "the more isolated and far-flung the better — on St. Kilda, on the Farnes, on the Shiants, throughout the Hebrides and the northern islands, off the coast of Ireland, around Iceland and possibly even North America — the traces of hermits can be found."

    I wonder what "traces of hermits" look like?

    I first thought, fewmets!

    • vto 2.1

      Dunno Robert, but I do know that archaeology is a young science and that the surface has literally hardly been scratched yet….

      There is a huge amount more to learn about our past and the extent of exploration and discovery that humans undertook…

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        I've been listening to Terrence McKenna describing the intricacies and importance of the I Ching. That's fascinating stuff:

    • WeTheBleeple 2.2

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

      The hermit is almost a mythical figure in lore.

      There's an awesome coffee table book 'Men Who Live Alone' but I've not seen a copy for decades. Bunch of locals, B&W photography and stories in their words. Stunning piece of work. War heroes, alcoholics, madmen, artists.

      Can't get a fix on it on google, might get lucky in a Library, or hopefully one of our oldies has it and can give us the Author, publisher.

      Traces of Hermits? Solitary skeletons. Few implements per small dwelling. Single bed space type thing. When you are building your own shelter there is no reason to overbuild. No neighbors or potential partners to impress. No signs of children (toys, skeletons, art). No communal space…

      Take a bit of thinking about but archaeologists are clever types, at least the ones I've met.

       

    • WeTheBleeple 2.3

      Also, on living alone.

      The more you are alone the more you are convinced you are right. Feedback is a necessary part of the human progression of thought.

      The internet's algorithms that put us alone, but within echo chambers of those sharing our delusions, are a massive regression of human evolution removing the requisite feedback from thought processing – thus enabling extremity.

       

      • Robert Guyton 2.3.1

        Get out into the garden, WTB, and talk to the trees. Human to human discourse is as you say, WTB, but there are other conversations to be had; it's not as though other beings aren't talking to us, it's more a case of us having grown deaf to their voices 🙂

        • WeTheBleeple 2.3.1.1

          Don't patronise me with spiritual mumbo jumbo please. 

          I study communication of plants/insects/microbes. We were always deaf to their 'voices' only now beginning to understand the means by which they interact.

          Got a mate doing a PhD trying to interpret birds… Hard task.

          • WeTheBleeple 2.3.1.1.1

            Sorry I was a bit harsh. I have little tolerance for this type of stuff met many people of many belief systems and there are those who live spiritual lives and those who use it as a mask or moral high ground to denigrate/disrupt others living.

            We certainly need a better 'religion' than capitalism, so I do understand your attempts to introduce new ways of thinking/being to the TS readership.

            A persons spiritual journey is their own. I've not read a single man-made interpretation of the spiritual realm that comes close to sensible.

            Maybe we cannot put our finger on that which we cannot put our finger on, as it is a requisite property of the non-physical world.

          • Robert Guyton 2.3.1.1.2

            I'm sure I didn't and I don't believe it is, but if you feel I did and it was, I'm sorry.

            I'm studying communication between trees and forests and other beings; insects, mammals, including humans. From what I read, it's a wide and fascinating field of study. Birds-song, it's purpose and meaning along with it's relevance to humans, is also a study I'm involved in making, albeit at the level of an amateur, though there's some great material to be read and heard out there. I'd be interested to read your mate's PHD when it's finished.

            • WeTheBleeple 2.3.1.1.2.1

              I can't wait for the PhD he's the brightest young man I knew at Uni. Aced two degrees at once…

              I have a few thoughts around bird communication but didn't want to distract him from his work. I am SOOO curious.

              He's in Yellowstone for much of the work, lucky for some aye.

              I was being overly-sensitive. No worries you know I struggle. 

              A spore of the fungus Botrytis cinerea can sense it sits atop a fruit and can then germinate and, using vacuum pressure, force a 'peg' into the side of the cell. Then the fungi releases a couple of assassins to take out the cells sentries, and a hacker to subvert the cells defense systems. The cell begins to attack itself. The fungi sends in armored vehicles that do bombing runs with reactive oxygen species to further force plant response until the cell is weakened by its own attacks and ultimately gives up the cell, allowing it to shut down and die. The dead cell is the actual goal of the fungi, it feeds the fungi, replenishing supplies for further attack. 

          • bewildered 2.3.1.1.3

            Hey WTB you need to chill,  also its not usually not a winning communication strategy   to keep telling people  how smart you are or you hang around  with smart people as if smartness rubs off or like  Likewise to belittle one moment and apologise the next as a regular occurrence This tends to be a real credibility killer

            • WeTheBleeple 2.3.1.1.3.1

              You have only directed judgement and smartass shite at me for some time. You have no credibility to me whatsoever, so fuck off.

              And I’m not going to stop apologising if I think I’m wrong.

              • Bewildered

                Wow over reaction, less emotion snow flake

                My point is if you keep attacking then apologising it lacks integrity , not that apologising per see is wrong Just an opinion so dont sweat it champ

            • patricia bremner 2.3.1.1.3.2

              Bewildered ,  Sadly you offer nothing of sustenance for the soul,  seldom do you offer anything constructive or uplifting.

          • Robert Guyton 2.3.1.1.4

            Nature and I are two.

            Woody Allen.

    • Macro 2.4

      Oh! You missed out Gigha! and Iona.

      The whole of the west coast of Scotland is littered with such sites. Gigha is referred to by it's inhabitants as the "Isle of the gods", this was the stopping off place for the monks travelling from Ireland northward, and had a small settlement, part of which is still standing in the local graveyard. The Island itself is around 7 miles long, and about a mile wide. It was, at one stage, owned by the Horlicks of the malted milk drink "fame". Now it is under local inhabitants control under a trust, A law change about 20 years ago enabled islanders to take over control of their island homes where previously they had been tenants. Gigha was the first of the Islands to proceed with such a huge undertaking. It obviously needed financing and the Islanders came up with a novel and sustainable solution. They raised money for the purchase of three wind turbines for generating electricity to supply to the UK National grid. These wind turbines are affectionately known as the "Dancing Ladies". They have been so successful that they recently added a 4th and larger turbine to the mix.

      http://www.gigha.org.uk/viewItem.php

      My great grandparents lived on Gigha and only spoke the Gaelic. 

      Do you know the song "Westering Home"? It was composed by the local minister on Gigha around 1900.

      Iona was the centre for early Christianity in Britain, and the place where St Columbus set up residence. The small buildings the monks built there are still there and the resident brindled cat (whose ancestor mewed thrice in the "Scottish Play") is a distant relation of my owner – so she informs me. 😼

      http://www.welcometoiona.com/

      • Robert Guyton 2.4.1

        You might enjoy this, Macro:

        • Macro 2.4.1.1

          Oh Yes! And I know my family (including the "owner" of the house) will too!

        • RedLogix 2.4.1.2

          Very nice, I want to see all of this.

          And right in the trailer with the characters of Brendon and Ashley is exactly the kind of masculine/feminine symbolism I was talking about before. 

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Compassion:

    "Celtic thought contributes magnificently to a philosophy of compassion, deriving from its sense that everything belongs in one diverse, living unity. On an ontological level, the exercise of compassion is the transfiguration of dualism: the separation of matter and spirit, masculine and feminine, body and soul, human and divine, person and animal, and person and element. The beauty of the Celtic tradition was that it managed to think and articulate all of these presences together in a profound, intimate unity. So, if compassion is a praxis which tries to bring that unity into explicit activity and presentation, then Celtic philosophy of unity contributes strongly to compassion."

    • ianmac 3.1

      I read of the Celtic legal system which concentrated on forgiveness and compensation in the 200-500 AD. Then the spread of Catholicism brought punishment and guilt and imprisonment and torture. Women had had an equal place in the society but that was then eroded.

      • Robert Guyton 3.1.1

        That's really interesting, ianmac. There's a lot to be said for the idea that we are presently, again, under the influence of our base primate hierarchical male-dominant structure that is causing us to destroy ourselves and our fellow travellers through space, yet at times we were operating differently, with feminized society, Goddess influenced, love and compassion driven communities which, if still operating, would see us all living without wrecking the show. Your reference to the Celtic legal system sounds like this, although the one's I'm referring to are pre-historic.

        • vto 3.1.1.1

          "male-dominant structure that is causing us to destroy ourselves "

          Thats a big call Robert, do you have any evidence for that?

          • Robert Guyton 3.1.1.1.1

            It's all around us, vto; competition, top-down dominance, bullying across the board, thuggish sports, the nuclear family structure just for starters.

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              competition, top-down dominance, bullying across the board, thuggish sports, the nuclear family structure just for starters.

              It's tricky untangling the symbolic from the literal on this. In a symbolic sense order and hierarchy are allocated to the masculine gender, while it's opposite chaos and nature are considered feminine. Thus a society which has become excessively ordered and regimented can be thought of as 'male dominated', while the complete absence of social order in the natural world is symbolically couched in feminine terms, eg 'Mother Nature'.

              Yet in literal terms there isn't a lot of difference between the sexes. Both men and women compete, will act out dominance games, bully (indeed women are arguably more prone to bullying than men) and invest heavily in the nuclear family.

              I've long argued here that while men are somewhat more physically aggressive than women on average, women tend to be more emotionally manipulative and abusive. The differences are not huge, but on the whole both sexes are equally capable of aggression. To label this a 'male' problem is deeply misleading and unhelpful.

              • Robert Guyton

                RedLogix – I think you are assessing the genders from within the matrix of the primate state I described. At the times when humans/hominids were outside of the matrix, all changed and what I described was the state of affairs, imo. It may be true, nowadays, that "there isn't a lot of difference between the sexes", but that not what I was talking about; I'm referring to primate behaviour .v. Goddess-people behaviour.

                • RedLogix

                  I'm referring to primate behaviour .v. Goddess-people behaviour.

                  To be honest I went through a similar line of thinking myself a while back and I acknowledge the appeal of this idea. Sadly my reading in the past decade or so just doesn't support it. Human behaviour prior to recorded history starts about 10,000 years ago is more reliably understood using biology, neurology, and evolutionary psychology tools, and none of this supports the notion of  'female dominated goddess cultures' utopias.

                  I'm going to link to this fascinating talk by Robert Sapolsky one of the foremost thinkers in this field. At over an hour long I don't expect anyone to watch it now, but it does offer a glimpse of how complex our relationship with 'primate' behaviour really is:



                  • Robert Guyton

                    When you passed through that "similar line of thinking a while back", RedLogix, did you land for a moment on the Terrence McKenna description of the "stoned ape" and the communities they enjoyed; psilocybin-lively and stimulated groups with better visual acuity, higher libido and better hunting skills than their peers, thriving in a non-pairing breeding situation where male dominance was redundant, connections with the numinous were regular and life was good? 

                    Woody Allen wouldn't have been comfortable there.

                    • RedLogix

                      I don't have a dogmatic response to this; human history is way more complex than we even begin to suspect and even what we have discovered in the past few decades just scratches the surface. 

                      McKenna is not the only one to have pointed to the potential role psychedelics may have had in human evolution. Even Peterson has spoken on the topic a few times, and there is a flourishing community of people out there experimenting with micro-dosing and similar. I recall commenting a month back on the potential they may have in treating trauma, dementia and other brain injuries. But whether they are causally linked to more peaceful less aggressive, less ego driven societies is not clear at all. 

                      The 'Garden of Eden' mythology points to how old this idea is, that in our evolutionary history we existed in a paradise much closer to our primate condition. But a condition subject to nature not knowledge.

                      Broadly speaking the past 10,000 odd years has been a period of evolution characterised by our increasing ability to manipulate knowledge and build fabulously complex abstractions from it. eg quantum mechanics. We may well share a great deal in common with our primate cousins, but none of them have even remotely achieved this level of intellectual capacity. 

                      What I do accept is that this process has necessarily forced us into a narrowing of our potential. In order to achieve excellence in one thing, we have had to sacrifice other capacities. Whatever we were 10,000 years ago, we are not the same creature that types on the internet.

                      I'm not trying to discredit what you are saying Robert, it has a validity. But it's wrong to frame it up as a female good vs male bad confrontation.  There is a lot more nuance and symbolism to it than this.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      I don't think I framed the ideas, "female good vs male bad' did I?

                      I assigned the present situation we "civilised" humans are experiencing as "base primate hierarchical male-dominant structure" and my wished-for state as " feminized society, Goddess influenced, love and compassion driven communities"

                      Do those descriptions equate with "female good, vs male bad" do you think?

                    • RedLogix

                      Well yes that's exactly how I read it. If you mean differently then you might want to communicate it better.

              • WeTheBleeple

                It is a patriarchy we live in still. Things are changing slowly but we certainly need more feminine influence to lend balance.

                Just look at how the right wing took to Jacinda, her sex was anathema. What she wore, that she's attractive, her reproductive abilities… How dare a woman get power!

                Old boys clubs everywhere in all strata of society. Male dominated councils, churches, government, corporations, clubs, gangs, boards…

                As I said, times are changing, but the Patriarchy has been taking humankind downhill for some time now.

                38% female MP's. Go NZ!

            • vto 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Thanks Robert, but that wasn't quite my question… "male-dominant structure that is causing us to destroy ourselves"

              What is the evidence that it is the 'maleness' that is causing the destruction?

              Sure, there is a heap that is correlative, and many people always jump on that to claim causation. But as we all know from Issues101, correlation is not causation.

              What is the evidence that it is the maleness that is causing it? I would have thought it is the inevitable 'advancement' of 'civilisation' that is causing it. And every society, male or female-dominant, has been on that path such as Maori for example, which pre-euro showed plenty of signs of going down the same path.

              • solkta

                as Maori for example, which pre-euro showed plenty of signs of going down the same path

                What signs are these?

                They had the concept of kaitiakitanga

                They had the whakatauki:

                Rite ki te Moa, ka ngaro / pēra ki te Pouakai, ka ngaro — (Just like the moa/pouakai, it will be lost)

                Moa extinction and whakataukī offer ecological, social, linguistic knowledge – Dr Priscilla Wehi

                The whakataukī also show that Māori learned from the moa's extinction, Dr Wehi says.

                "You can think about it as an ecological nuclear bomb – the moa was that important, its extinction had a huge impact.

                "We see Māori really responding and talking about this extinction event and we see by the time Europeans arrived … there are a whole lot of environmental management techniques that have been put into place as a response to that kind of thing."

                "You can see that now – in the way that Rakiura Māori manage the tītī (muttonbird) harvest, for example, there are lots and lots of different ways that they manage that harvest to make sure there are chicks for future generations.

                 

                • vto

                  population expansion, conflict, species extinction, environmental degradation, technological advancement

                  • solkta

                    species extinction,

                    So when you have actually read the links i gave you then have another go. You are just choosing to be an ignoramus.

                     

                    • vto

                      Yeah thanks solkta, I have read ample. Species extinction happened and was happening. Like it is today despite recognition and action against in the same way

                    • solkta

                      Yeh good onya. Enjoy your tiny planet.

        • marty mars 3.1.1.2

          Yep – it was the same non gender hierarchy for Māori – all changed when Christians turned up, at the forefront of colonisation, with their concept of sin and male dominance. 

          Still the usual mens liberation army recruiters will say their sob stories of how they are the real victims. Pity some men cannot, for the LIFE of them, front up and take responsibility – they snigger as they weaken even more.

          • vto 3.1.1.2.1

            I am glad that you reference that to "Christians" marty mars and not men. There, I think, lie most of your targets. Shows good and proper thinking and less knee and jerk.

             

            • marty mars 3.1.1.2.1.1

              you didn't really read it did you.
              The second paragraph directly relates to your style of men’s defence.

              • vto

                There was no "men's defence", there was a call for evidence for the claim that men have caused the world's destruction.

                Got any?

                edit: unrelated, but your second paragraph is typical mm personal rhetoric and of no use

  4. WeTheBleeple 4

    "We want the Police to stop locking us up, it's really that simple"

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/113212281/cannabis-campaigner-dakta-green-opens-cannabis-club-in-wellington-claiming-700-members

     

    The Hill.

    A boy with some weed was put in a cell

    In a place filled with misshapen men

    He went from that cage adorned with new rage

    And a play that might put paid to them

     

    And so it goes on, these layers of wrongs

    In a system outside of the heart

    Run by the bastards that call themselves masters

    Who dabble in death and dark arts

     

    Through the gaps in the bars were no fine motes of dust

    Capturing light in the gloom

    But a grim gallows pole where they hung men of old

    And the walls overshadowing doom

     

    In the line for a meal shuffling cold toes to heel

    shines a light as it bounces from knife

    and the screams and the blood and the thundering thugs

    and the banshees that cry in the night.

  5. marty mars 5

    t.rump the brainbox – this is pretty poor when you consider the state of the planet and the thinking needed from here – sorta the opposite of the non-thinking of the don and the regurgitation of rubbish.

    In a tweet, apparently commenting on his own administration’s space policy, the president said: “For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon – We did that 50 years ago.”

    He added: “They should be focused on the much bigger things we are doing, including Mars (of which the Moon is a part), Defense and Science!”

    … Irrespective of whether the moon is part of Mars (it isn’t), Trump’s announcement was doubly surprising given his previous enthusiasm for a moon trip. His criticism of Nasa for “talking about going to the moon” came just three weeks after Trump championed the idea of a lunar visit. 

    … but either way it soon emerged that Trump’s moon reversal may have been provoked by the Fox Business tv channel.​ One hour before the president offered his take on the moon’s origin and his criticism of Nasa, Fox guest Neil Cavuto had expressed scepticism over a moon trip.

    Cavuto reportedly told the TV cable network that Nasa is “refocusing on the moon, the next sort of quest, if you will, but didn’t we do this moon thing quite a few decades ago?”

    https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/jun/07/trump-moon-is-part-of-mars-tweet-nasa

    • WeTheBleeple 5.1

      Sounds like he just retweets sound bytes that catch his ear and that is what constitutes his thinking.

      America will take a long time and a herculean effort to get any respect post-Trump.

      Fear is not respect.

      • Macro 5.1.1

        Regrettably that is his sole mode of "thinking". I fear he really is in early stages of dementia. He regularly will say the complete opposite of what he uttered only an hour previously. It is obvious that he has no understanding of what the outcomes of his decisions might be. Added to that is his complete lack of self awareness, and his overwhelming hubris. When added to his underlying principle motivation of greed, he is not only a danger to the US, but a threat to us all.

        The saddest thing is however that the only person who could remove him from office , Myrtle McTurtle, is the most duplicitous person on the planet! Unlike Agent Orange he is in complete control of his faculties and understands completely what he is doing – and that is to keep this buffoon in office, as long as he can, so that he can feather his own (and his wife's) nest.

        https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/02/us/politics/elaine-chao-china.html

        • WeTheBleeple 5.1.1.1

          Yeah what do these people care about destroying any shred of credibility a country ever had. The fact the country is not filling the streets and shutting the place down (ironically the government is shutting itself down) lends little sympathy for the rest of them except, living under thumb it often pays to keep your head down (our teachers a classic example of this).

          Post-Trump America will carry shame and guilt for a long time. And rightly so.

          If they cannot now see they are led by murderers bullies liars and thieves it is because they don't want to see. The lie is the narrative.

          White supremacies dying gasps. Cornered cowards stealing the silver before they run and hide. I hope they all get dragged out of the holes they'll hide in.

  6. francesca 6

    Greywarshark 

    You were interested in updates on Assange 

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/06/07/assa-j07.html

    Assange's father was due to visit, had made a double booking, but was turned away because Assange had to be seen urgently by the prison doctor

    And here RT has a video of Assange in Belmarsh , obviously out of date.Although he's thin, he's freely interacting with other prisoners, and seems ok.No verification of the video,how it was made, when it was made….the date stamp is clearly wrong..and how it was got out.

    https://www.rt.com/news/461329-assange-video-belmarsh-prison/

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Interesting note on the Iceland incident:

      Jonasson said it was only when a 'planeload' of FBI agents arrived in August that he realized the true reason for their visit. 

      The former minister claims the FBI was seeking Iceland's 'cooperation in what I understood as an operation set up to frame Julian Assange and WikiLeaks'. 

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4021166/Former-Icelandic-minister-claims-FBI-tried-frame-Julian-Assange.html

      This is evidence that the FBI were indeed seeking ways to actively entrap Wikileaks. While it doesn't speak directly to what may or may not have happened in Sweden, it does confirm American intent to do entrap Assange in whatever manner possible.

      • francesca 6.1.1

        Also extraordinary that the interior minister of tiny Iceland sent the planeload of FBI agents packing.

        With a population less than 350,000, how is it that they can punch so far above their weight?

        Loved the Icelandic film Woman at War

      • McFlock 6.1.2

        Well, his interpretation of their purpose was to entrap wikileaks for hacking.

         

        • RedLogix 6.1.2.1

          He's been confident enough in his interpretation to go public on it. He's the one who was there, and the Americans aren't talking.

          • McFlock 6.1.2.1.1

            Ordinarily that might count for something, but self-professed members of "Team Assange" have been confident enough to go public with utter bullshit ever since his first UK legal team claimed he was being investigated for "sex by surprise".

            So in my view they're as reliable as RT or Fox&Friends.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Members of 'Team Assange' (including, apparently, former Icelandic minister Jonasson) are, in McFlock's view, as reliable as RT or Fox&Friends.

              "As reliable as RT or Fox&Friends" when it comes to first-hand accounts of events relevant to Assange's behaviour and treatment, or "As reliable as RT or Fox&Friends" period?  Either way, that's a surprisingly blinkered position to take. Apparently, to belong to ‘Team Assange’ marks one as inherently unreliable, in McFlock’s view.

              And yet, if I was to state that anyone belonging to ‘Team anti-Assange’ was, in my view, as reliable as RT or Fox&Friends, I might be roundly criticised as being wildly off base.

              Before becoming a member of the Althing, the Icelandic Parliament, Ögmundur Jónasson was a journalist engaged in trade union politics. In 1988 Mr. Jónasson became the chairman of BSRB, the Federation of state and municipal employees. A Left-Green Movement politician, he has held office as minister for health, minister for justice and human rights and minister for transport, communications and local government. The last two ministries were united to form the Ministry of the Interior at the beginning of 2011 and he became the first Icelandic minister for the interior.

              http://www.katoikos.eu/interview/icelandic-minister-who-refused-cooperation-with-the-fbi-ogmundur-jonasson-in-an-interview.html

              • McFlock

                Pilger was pretty good in the 1980s and 90s, too.

                But it's a shame that so many Assange supporters outright make shit up. Really hurts the credibility of his team (and that was the phrase from the article, not my invention).

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Are you suggesting that because Pilger has, in your opinion, gone off the boil over the last two decades, Jonasson's first hand account (in a 7 Dec. 2016 interview) is unreliable?

                  It's a shame that so many Assange vilifiers outright make shit up – really hurts their credibility.

                  • McFlock

                    What I'm saying is that given the inaccuracy of pronouncements by other prominent people who strongly support Assange, interesting and possible claims from people I don't recall hearing of before require a bit more evidence before I'll bother regarding the claims as anything other than interesting and possible.

                    So the dude was a country's cabinet member once. So was John Banks.

                    BTW, I didn’t make shit up. Sad but true.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      John Banks is an interesting choice; Minister of Police, Minister of Tourism, and Minister of Sport.  I'm not seeing the overlap.  Maybe they're all as bad as each other, but I'm going to go out on a limb here and speculate that Jonasson and Banks hold incompatible views on Assange, and that your views are closer to Banks’.

                      Before becoming a member of the Althing, the Icelandic Parliament, Ögmundur Jónasson was a journalist engaged in trade union politics. In 1988 Mr. Jónasson became the chairman of BSRB, the Federation of state and municipal employees. A Left-Green Movement politician, he has held office as minister for health, minister for justice and human rights and minister for transport, communications and local government. The last two ministries were united to form the Ministry of the Interior at the beginning of 2011 and he became the first Icelandic minister for the interior.

                    • McFlock

                      So ex-politicians can lie or misinterpret things, but not if they support Assange? Seems a bit circular: he supports Assange so I should believe his claims in support of Assange.

                      Let me put it this way: he might have had some weight if so many other claims in support of Assange hadn't been complete bullshit.

                    • RedLogix

                      @McF

                      So in essence your strategy is to demand evidence and when it is provided merely assert that it is just made up. Well two can play that game; what evidence do you have that Jonasson is lying? 

                      Is what he claims about the FBI somehow impossible, or implausible even? Is it logical impossible or incommensurate with reality? Has someone else come forward with a contradictory claim on the meeting? Do you have anything other than a smear?

                    • RedLogix

                      @McF

                      So in essence your strategy is to demand evidence and when it is provided merely assert that it is just made up. Well two can play that game; what evidence do you have that Jonasson is lying? 

                      Is what he claims about the FBI somehow impossible, or implausible even? Is it logical impossible or incommensurate with reality? Has someone else come forward with a contradictory claim on the meeting? Do you have anything other than a smear?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Why would McF (need to) believe that Jonasson was lying, or had misinterpreted events? Does McF “have anything other than a smear?

                      Interesting questions.

                      To quote a McF comment from a 23 Feb 2019 'Assange discussion':

                      "lol crickets" https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-23-02-2019/#comment-1587514

                      In that discussion, McF asserted that he would walk out of the [Ecuadorian] embassy today if he was in Assange's position.

                    • McFlock

                      I'm not asserting it is just made up.

                      I have no idea whether it is or not, that is the point. It's an interesting statement that might or might not be true, but the source is completely unfamiliar to me other than what is here and in the article. And given the behaviour of his fellow team-mates, the odds are pretty even either way.

                       

        • francesca 6.1.2.2

          That a tiny country like Iceland can stand up to a major league bully like the US is inspiring

          Thats the point

          And if Jonasson declaring he was pro Assange/Wikileaks puts him out of the credibility range, then you, who are so adamantly and reliably anti Assange are also out of the running

          • Morrissey 6.1.2.2.1

            you, who are so adamantly and reliably anti Assange…

            Our friend McFlock should enter this salon, where he’d fit in nicely…..

            https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/rnzs-brains-trust-re-assange-hes-just.html

          • McFlock 6.1.2.2.2

            That's not logical, f, unless the folk who think he should have fronted up to Sweden to face the allegations told as many demonstrable and outright lies as "Team Assange".

            • Morrissey 6.1.2.2.2.1

              What lies did "Team Assange" tell?

              • McFlock

                Started with his british lawyer talking about "sex by surprise". Includes the claim that red notices are only for terrorists and serious criminals (nice minimisation there). The deliberate muddying of his status regarding charges. The accusation that it's all an invention by the CIA – categorical unsubstantiated assertions of innocence are as bad as those of guilt.

                Most of what you say, but I accept those might be delusions rather than outright lies.

                • Morrissey

                  You're a notorious smearer, so your "delusion" smears—you use that almost as freely and carelessly as you fire the word "rape" around—carry as much weight as your snickering endorsement of a lightweight contributer's allegation that I was anti-African American and anti-Semitic for daring to criticize Paul Wolfowitz, Norman Schwarzkopf, and Colin Powell.

                  https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/how-many-war-criminals-can-you-name-in.html

                  • McFlock

                    dude, take your linkwhoring and rant about me to the ether.

                    Not sure I've ever read your blog, and I can't be bothered starting now – I see enough of your crazy here.

                • francesca

                  And then there are those who talk of Assange "scarpering" from Sweden when he was free to leave, those who insisted that it was Assange prolonging the case, when it turns out the Swedes could just as easily have questioned him in the UK but were strongly advised by the UK not to.

                  That somehow Ecuador frivolously gave political asylum so an alleged rapist could avoid questioning….again Ecuador was open to Assange being questioned in the Embassy, as was Assange.No avoidance except on the part of the Swedish prosecutor(rapped over the knuckles by the Appeal Court too)

                  And your "team " has had nothing to say about the way political asylum was so egregiously violated

                  That has repercussions beyond Assange, just as the US indictments have emboldened the Australian spooks/police? you be the judge ..to violate the protections journalists have up until now enjoyed in the "free" world

                  And members of your "team " have also equated the alleged offense with violent sexual assault. Suzie Dawson is particularly good on this , as are many victims of violent rape.To conflate the two does a huge disservice .

                  Anyway McFlock, silly for us to be so insistent .We are very unlikely to convince each other with this unseemly tit for tat

                  I leave you in peace….and will be quite happy for you to have the last word…

                  • McFlock

                    I disagree with everything in your comment, but I hope your evening treats you well 🙂

                     

    • greywarshark 6.2

      Thanks Francesca.   I found your comment by using the new updated search hooray!   (I am supposed to be just spending a few minutes here before I have to dash out and would otherwise not have seen it.  A search that works is better than chocolates at Christmas.)

  7. Muttonbird 7

    Wow. This is the reality for 110 people at Queenstown's Lakeview Holiday Park including a family of nine.

    But it is no holiday for these people.

    https://resources.stuff.co.nz/content/dam/images/1/v/c/v/o/l/image.related.StuffLandscapeSixteenByNine.1420×800.1vboje.png/1559892834395.jpg

    If you can imagine the thousands of empty multi-million dollar properties nearby, this image is a clear sign of what we have become.

    It looks like a concentrated version of America.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/113079290/holiday-park-living-for-homeless-families-who-cant-find-homes

    • Muttonbird 7.1

      And another…

      Family of seven living in a tent with two severely disabled children pleads for help

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12235511

      Time to close the borders?

    • Graeme 7.2

      Here's another report of the Lakeview situation, make what you will of it but there are various realities.  The pitfalls or leasehold, and expiry of said lease, being front and centre

      https://crux.org.nz/community/deceived-then-abandoned-lakeview-residents-on-qldc-secrecy/

      The default "affordable housing" in Queenstown has always been what is scheduled for demolition and redevelopment this or next cycle.  The Lakeview cabins have been in that category from mid – late 80's but being Council endownment land it's always been knocked back after many development proposals.  It's probably the most valuable site in Queenstown but there are some fishhooks in the tenure and difficult for the Council to realise any value.  Ideally it would have been sold to a hotel developer and the funds put into a huge social housing development on cheaper land.  There's plenty of option for  that sort of build.

      But the rub is that you can build social housing profitably but not run it, or run it profitably but not build it, but not both.  The nightmare is running the thing because of Queenstown's unique social character.  There is a housing trust that does a fantastic job with a shared ownership model and several private worker accomodation facilities but waiting lists are long and selection criteria and conditions are onerous.  The change in tourism focus away from cheap mass market tours will see a few hotels at the bottom of the market move to long term accomodation which will help things a lot.

      The issue is as much demand side as supply, all the demand is from people who have moved here in the last few years (or weeks).  We are as much "over localled" as we are "over touristed".  Current economy is tourism, which is going well from our perspective, just changing.  And building houses to house people to build more houses, which could come a gutsa very soon.

      And then we won't have an accomodation problem for a while.

  8. ianmac 8

    Seems to be genuine/credible Mr Robertson:

    "The secretary of the Treasury came to my office and said there had been 2000 attempts to hack – his word – into the Treasury system. I'm going to take that very seriously. What we learn in hindsight will come through in the [State Services Commission] inquiry.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/113307614/robertson-clarifies-knowledge-of-the-hack-at-business-postbudget-briefing

    • Pat 8.1

      Right from the first statement from Marklouf his antipathy towards National was apparent (and is now being returned in kind)…..the question is why?

    • Jimmy 8.2

      Not sure if Andrew Little has helped the situation with his comments last night to HDPA on One ZB. He's basically said he passed on the info. that there was no hack in a timely manner

      • Psycho Milt 8.2.1

        Given that none of the people involved actually know what they mean when they say "hacked," and that saying "not hacked" is a long way from saying "not a criminal offence,"  the take-home messages are that government officials need to be a lot more careful about their language when they speak to the media, and this possible criminal offence needs to be properly investigated.  Can't imagine Paula Bennett writing any letters demanding the latter, though.  

    • Anne 8.3

      I am in no doubt that is exactly what happened and it showed in Robertson's demeanour after Bridges’ accusation surfaced. He looked nonplussed. Add to that, my understanding is the GCSB head rang Andrew Little after the Treasury secretary reported to Robertson he had called in the police.

      There was no conspiracy on anyone's part – just unfortunate timing and in the case of the Treasury secretary maybe a difference of opinion. He clearly believed what happened constituted a hack, and judging from the wording of the legislation he could be right. Just because it didn't fall into the criteria required for the GCSB to become involved, doesn't mean the attempt to extract figures in advance would not qualify as unlawful.

      The police, as usual, couldn't wait to drop the case. I wonder if it was the same crew who jumped in bright eyed and bushy-tailed when they saw an opportunity to bring down Nicky Hager over "Dirty Politics"?

      • SPC 8.3.1

        It's not surprising that the GCSB head would contact his Minister after concluding there was no hack of government systems. 

        What is interesting are the conflicting reports about the matter at the Herald. He is being portrayed as heroically trying to warn the governement of the "false" account of Makhlouf (as if they knew what he was going to say in his public statement in advance of it …. how, spying on Makhlouf's office or his meerting with Robertson or both?).

        The thing is, the hair width gap in story. Makhlouf acknowledged it was not a hack of government systems that would concern GCSB, but was advised to take it to police (the issue here will be by whom) – presumably as accessing confidential information was still illegal. 

        Apparently the concern of GCSB that it not be called a hack, is because it was National what done it and I for one suspect GCSB knew that and then  – and yet told no Minister about this and yet were concerend they not be blamed by National for police being called in to investiugate a "hack". Concerned enough to leak stuff to the Herald, so National know who their mates are.

        • Anne 8.3.1.1

          Aha… the squirrels and hares all running for cover as fast as their legs can carry them. I, too suspect Makhlouf may well be the scapegoat in this affair. 

          We can only hope the SSC inquiry gets to the bottom of it in a timely manner before innocent individuals get cauterized for simply being who they are, or find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

          In the meantime the real perpetrators of the crime – or at best dishonourable and dirty political behaviour – are being let off  the hook by certain partisan journalist hacks.

    • Chris T 8.4

      Yeah.

      Because I am sure Little didn't bother mentioning it to him or Ardern

  9. Muttonbird 9

    Tom Pullar-Strecker makes the very good point that it is not the Police or the GCSB who says what is lawful and what is not, it is the judiciary.

    The National Party, led now by Paula Benefit furiously writing letter after letter to the SSC and to the media, are trying to divert attention away from their initial misdemeanour, and are wanting desperately to keep the focus on some cast iron definition of the word 'hack'.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/business/113324294/hack-or-no-hack-accessing-a-computer-system-without-authorisation-carries-risk

    I think it's too late for the Nats and their followers because this budget is now well and truely known as the 'hacked budget' and evidence of that is the liberal sprinkling of the word in every single article you read.

    And the Nats are pouring petrol on it! Madness.

    • Incognito 9.1

      The last two paragraphs of that good Opinion piece:

      To stay on the safe side, if you find information online on a computer system, especially government information, that you know the owner of that computer system would be surprised and furious you had access to – unless you are willing to take a risk for some sort of whistleblowing mission – my advice would be to navigate away.

      Accessing a computer system for a "dishonest purpose" is a separate crime punishable with up to a seven year jail term, by the way, so quite clearly a no-no.

      In my view, accessing the cloned Budget 2019 website 2,000 times over 48 hours clearly suggest a wilful intent and purpose. It is a matter of opinion what the nature of this purpose was; I have mine and others have theirs. The subsequent actions of the responsible Party speak volumes.

  10. RedLogix 10

    An informed and nuanced article this morning:

    Patman says the idea of two great rivals squaring off is appealingly simplistic. But another reason it is quite wrong is the world system has reached a point in its development where its biggest issues are truly global.

    "Think of all the problems the US, New Zealand and China face together. Like climate change. Can any one country unilaterally resolve climate change? No it can't. What about the global economy? Can any one country resolve the economic problems of the world? No it can't."

    Patman says the same applies with terrorism, drugs, pandemics, and any other ill which transcends national borders.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/113097493/caught-between-china-and-the-us-the-kiwi-place-in-a-newly-confrontational-world

    • marty mars 11.1

      Serious problems there. To reveal medical information is unforgivable imo

  11. Descendant Of Smith 12

    Reading the parliamentary extract below I'm reminded of the Fallout game intro:

    "War. War never changes.

    The Romans waged war to gather slaves and wealth. Spain built an empire from its lust for gold and territory. Hitler shaped a battered Germany into an economic superpower.

    But war never changes.

    In the 21st century, war was still waged over the resources that could be acquired. Only this time, the spoils of war were also its weapons: Petroleum and Uranium. For these resources,China would invade Alaska, the US would annex Canada, and the European Commonwealth would dissolve into quarrelling, bickering nation-states, bent on controlling the last remaining resources on Earth."

    Politics in New Zealand in modern times never changes either. Since the 70's we have lost the notion of socialist type reform, of community, of resistance to capitalism which consistently and vigorously attacks any notion of mutual support through taxation. Housing is part of that malaise.

    Parliamentary Debates, Volume 382

    "but it is also a simple fact that at the time of the general election New Zealand was psychologically sick after 12 years of National Party administration

    There is no question about that Confidence had been eroded to the point of completely disappearing in many sectors of our economy By the end of 1972 we had unemployment at a level seldom experienced except under a National Administration since the 1930s. 

    Home building was lagging despite the needs of the people from one end of the country to the other This afternoon I cited the fall off for example in State housing from the 2,320 units built in 1960 to the miserable 760 units built in 1972.

    The future of that industry was so uncertain that no fewer than 4,000 skilled tradesmen opted out of the industry and left it in a state where obviously there will be some difficulty initially in getting it back to a position where it can do the job that is so desperately needed at present."

    Labour in it's 80's shift to the right is part of this problem. It's affordable housing policy was a nonsense to the half of the population earning below the median wage, particularly with the failure to recognise that  cost of the land made the notion of affordability a nonsense. The simple solution of the state owning the land underneath the house in perpetuity if you really wanted people to own their "house" clashes with the capitalist notion of the land being an asset and having an appreciating value (until the state sells it to the capitalists where it is suddenly worth a lot less at point of sale and a lot more the day after)"

    That earlier politicians recognised the need for the state to intervene in the market to house the working and non-working population, to remove the slum landlords, to reduce market house price escalation and rent subsidisation and to reduce homelessness and that our modern politicians cannot see this says a lot about how modern (neo-liberal) capitalist thought is ever persuasive and promoted as common sense.

    These past working interventions were not designed by the capitalists – they were designed by the socialists, the unions and the communists. These are the people who should be getting consulted now – not the capitalists nor the neo-liberal Harvard trained economists. These people want to dismantle socialist policies and have the market provide solutions.Remember part of the dismantling of Maori culture was because it was seen by the capitalists as being "communistic" with it's greater sense of community over individual.

    It's no use decrying the slum landlords, the motel owners, the camp ground owners, the greedy landlords charging $300-00 a week for a room – they are doing exactly what a capitalistic, market driven economy would drive them to do – they are as economic theory goes being entirely rational. How can I make the maximum profit for the least cost? I have no doubt the wealthy will be jumping on the motel bandwagon as they can.

    (Seems interesting that the hotel/motel accommodation survey was reported as being stopped by MBIE at a time we are filling motels up with homeless people. How will we know how many bed nights are tourists vs homeless?)

    The churches, in their rational charitable way, are jumping in on the act as well – putting their hands out to help the left behind, making money along the way, imposing their own virtuous rules on those "fortunate" enough to come under their stewardship as they look back on the glory days of poor houses and workhouses and homes for unmarried mothers.

    I always note that neither churches nor capitalists like paying tax – they are not strange bed-fellows at all and quite happily spoon together under the blankets of righteousness and respectability.

    And while we continue to stay within the current capitalist paradigms of knowing the price of everything but the value of nothing, while we continue to look for capitalistic solutions, while we fail to actually change the system that exists will continue to get market rational behaviours.

    So like war, politics at least since the 70's doesn't really seem to change either.

    Labour trots out it's slogans:

    2012 was the year of the manifesto.
    2013 was supposed to be the year of the policy…..
    2019 year of delivery

    and then underwhelms.

    That the discourse mainly is about helping individuals is symptomatic of the prevalence of  capitalistic and religious thought. 

    This was highlighted back in 2012 by a worker who articulated the systemic change that had occurred far better than any politician.

    But poverty was formerly a mark against society, now it is seen as an individual's failure, Salesa said.

    "For a long time, living in a state house and working in a factory was a badge of honour. If you did a hard day's work you deserved to live in a good house and live a life of dignity," said Salesa, whose father was a factory worker with Fisher and Paykel.

    "Being poor in New Zealand, the first thing you don't get is dignity."

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/video-pointer/8256615/Are-Kiwis-really-one-big-happy-family
     

     

    • RedLogix 12.1

      Hi … welcome back yes

      A thoughtful comment. Perhaps I can select this as the pivot:

      But poverty was formerly a mark against society, now it is seen as an individual's failure, Salesa said.

      Left vs right wing politics has long been marked out as a debate over these two influences. Yet it always seemed obvious to me that this was not an 'either/or' choice, that both individual failure and social failure would have a mutually interdependence on each other. Or to put it in starker terms, the optimum way to mitigate poverty is to pursue both individual and social excellence.

      Progressive people will rightly look at the decades of neo-liberalism with it's punitive welfare policies and point to the increasing mess of dysfunction build up at the bottom of our society. Poor housing, educational failure, aggression, drugs, mental and physical health failures, crime … the old familiar list.

      Conservative people say that unless the individual is willing to change, to take some responsibility in extracting themselves from the mess they're in … then no amount of do-gooding welfare or social help will make much difference. They rightly argue that welfare easily becomes a multi-generational poverty trap that's exceedingly hard to break.

      Forty years of neo-liberalism has tilted us towards a harsher, judgemental view of poverty that strips away the dignity and demonises the weakest and most vulnerable in our society. It's clear which way the pendulum must move. Yet, as the Meritia Turei debacle clearly shows, as a society we remain resistant to change. No-one argues for poverty, no-one wants to see social dysfunction, but this conventional left/right wing framing of the issue had demonstrably taken us nowhere.

       

      • Descendant Of Smith 12.1.1

        "Yet it always seemed obvious to me that this was not an 'either/or' choice, that both individual failure and social failure would have a mutually interdependence on each other. Or to put it in starker terms, the optimum way to mitigate poverty is to pursue both individual and social excellence."

        The difficulty I see if that the conventional framing is dominated by capitalist framing and structural organisation. It's like a generation earlier than myself saying they had no welfare system. Well they did – it was called a job in the public service. The public service took on school leavers whether they needed them or not, the public service employed people with disabilities – people for whom the profit driven private sector didn't have jobs for. It was called free education, family benefit and so on.

        Importantly it was underpinned by a sense of community well-being as an overarching goal. Education was free as it was recognised as a community good – not just an individual good.

        You can have both. Lets take something like rail. Lets say, without any complex analysis at this point that rail has both a community good – providing business and the public with necessary infrastructure to enable the country to operate and a private good – enables individuals to travel and businesses take a profit.Let's say it's 50/50. The notion that there is both a public and a private good moves us away from an either or situation where either the state runs rail or it's run for purely a profit.

        The conversation and the conceptualisation that it's both is what I see as important.

        I think formerly we understood that there was a balance. Today the pendulum is towards individualism and capitalism and immediate reward. 

        The irony of course in the Meritia Turei situation, and with many others committing fraud, is that economically they too are behaving entirely rationally. The selective moralising I saw at the time (people complaining about benefit fraud while paying tradesman to do cash jobs to get a cheaper price for instance) was somewhat astounding and hypocritical.

        We need a much stronger swing towards socialistic / community based outcomes without the fear mongering that the right like to use when such things are discussed. By not calling it socialism we would simply need to find new words for the same thing and let the capitalists define the world in their terms. 

        Labour however can't just lead the discourse, they need to actually change things.

        The biggest disappointment for me at this point is the refusal to increase benefit rates. At least two previous royal commissions as well as the welfare advisory group recommended  that this be done. None of the governments in charge at any of those points of recommendation have done so. In that respect the politics wins out over the dignity of those on benefit – as it did when Helen Clark's government put the $20-00 per week back on NZS but not on benefit.

         

        • RedLogix 12.1.1.1

          We need a much stronger swing towards socialistic / community based outcomes without the fear mongering that the right like to use when such things are discussed.

          Exactly. This prompts me to reframe it slightly, “how do we achieve this swing while winning the support and confidence of the the right? “The answer seems obvious when we put it like that … when the left demands better social support and community outcomes we must simultaneously link it to better individual outcomes. The right doesn't really like poverty any more than we do, but while the left prioritises it, the right will never vote for programs that do little but entrench it. 

          Understanding right wingers is crucial to gaining their support; and the parable that means much to them is this one, 'give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you will feed him for life'. In other words people who get their shit together will on average look after themselves better than those who don't. 

          It is a mistake to make social support conditional, I'm a big fan of universality. But this does not rule out also insisting on universal social participation, as Ardern I think put it, everyone should be either 'earning, learning, caring or volunteering'.  This is a very powerful idea we could pay a lot more attention to. 

          But yes what you are saying is strong, straightforward leftwing advocacy, that makes perfect sense to people here at TS, but needs refining if it's going to work in the wider community. This govts apparent failure to address benefit rates should really be seen in that context. 

    • Jenny - How to Get there? 12.2

      Why haven't we got an Empty Homes Tax like the city of Vancouver?

      Supply and demand. Is the sick logic of the market.

      Limit the supply, and you can demand whatever rent or mortgage you like. 

      Who cares about the social wreckage created? The market will provide and the devil take the hindmost.

      Family of seven living in a tent with two severely disabled children pleads for help

      8 Jun, 2019 6:00am

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12235511

      Today we reveal the shocking situation one family of seven is currently facing with trying to find a home in our current housing crisis. Their plight is sad – especially given their special circumstances – but it is reality for many people struggling to find roofs over their heads. They have no power, no running water and are living in a situation most people would find difficult for a weekend let alone months on end. Reporter Kelly Makiha talks to the family about how they cope with day-to-day life…….

      While families are living in tents and cars, at last count there were 33, 000 perfectly serviceable homes standing empty in Auckland alone.

  12. Herodotus 13

    The world and NZ have become far more complicated than the 60's -80's yet we seem to be applying a govt funding model based on these times to fund a 2020 world.

    Yet the commercial/free market world is happy to off load many responsibilities eg wages funded by WFF, tourism and inadequate infrastructure, intensive farming/fishing and deterioration of environment etc.

    So who pays for this gap – or is there ever increasing stress on "the system" and we are now seeing this stress manifest for the 1st time in that the current generation facing the fact that the previous generation has had it better ?

    • WeTheBleeple 13.1

      All our well to do types have offset environmental and social costs for us to pick up the tab now the ecology and social fabric is breaking.

    • Jenny - How to Get there? 13.2

      The market will provide.

      And if the market can't provide the taxpayer will subsidise the market.

      Currently the taxpayer is shelling out $millions to stuff as many of the homeless as possible into motels to pad the pockets of the motel owners.

      Government continues to enable motels to profit from crisis

      Tuesday, 19 February 2019, 1:05 pm
      Press Release: Auckland Action Against Poverty

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1902/S00148/government-continues-to-enable-motels-to-profit-from-crisis.htm

       

      A recent investigation by Stuff, coupled with information obtained through the Ministry of Social Development shows that a single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants regarding the sanitary and safety conditions of the premises. From the period of December 2016 to June 2018 the Government has handed out over $61.7 million worth of Emergency Housing Special Needs grants to motels without putting in place standards to ensure the Emergency Accommodation providers are providing a safe place for homeless people to stay.

      Despite criticism from Labour and other parties when in opposition about using motels for emergency accommodation, the current Government has not introduced any measures to proactively ensure contracted motels meet basic criteria of safety for tenants…..

       

      [Is it necessary to bold the whole quotation? I’ve unbolded it – Incognito]

      • greywarshark 13.2.1

        A-mazing.    The trouble with government finances is that there are too many separate pockets to dip into.    Something can't be funded out of this pocket.   But another pocket seems to have unlimited funds.   

        There is the wages pocket that has a limit so only skeleton staff can be employed to try to manage necessary duties, but then there is pay-the-contractors' pocket which is quite plump and amenable to being squeezed.  There is probably a funny skit on this on youtube somewhere, perhaps in Yes Minister or the Simpsons.

      • Incognito 13.2.2

        See my Moderation note @ 4:02 PM.

        • Sacha 13.2.2.1

          Was similar couple of days ago: https://thestandard.org.nz/the-teachers-strike-2/#comment-1625175.

          May be possible for people to click bold then paste into it and not be able to fix for some reason?

          • Incognito 13.2.2.1.1

            Yes, I suppose that’s a possibility but my technical ignorance prevents me from going any further 😉 It doesn’t seem to happen too often, luckily, and it seems to happen more to some than to others …

            Maybe J – HtGt? did try to fix it??

            Anyway, it’s not a biggie IMO, just easier on the eye.

            FYI, as far as I can tell, DMK is not a sockpoppet.

  13. Observer Tokoroa 14

    The Three Stooges

    Mike Smith in his Dispatch seems a bit upset. For Britain, which is now a mere Fossil,  has sworn itself to the total Power of the United States.

    Donald Madman Trump Says Smith " has shown his hand by meeting with Johnson, Gove and Farage. God help us."

    Men of no Standing. No Matter. For all the English citizens are now dishelved suckers wanting to suckle and dribble at the Tits of Trump. 

    Every bit of Trade in Britain will be sacked and splintered by the Gluttonous USA.  Especially – National Health.

    Neither will The Planet Earth be able to cope with Amercan Pollution.  For the Monkey Idiots that comprise the United States would rather Kill Planet Earth than do anything else.

    Americans are the Enemy of not only the Earth, but of Reason itself.

    Look out Children!. You are in the hands of murderous Mr Trump and his weird family.

  14. mauī 15

    Canterbury Cowards? What a weak decision by NZ rugby not to change the team's name. If the team prides itself on excellence, leadership, culture then this decision surely stuffs that all up.

    "The reality is that adidas have got to make jerseys, there's merchandising and that sort of stuff," 

    Yeah, so you need to get on with deciding on a new logo/brand and then would have to email that to your clothing suppliers. Lol, OMG too hard!

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/113333175/christchurch-shootings-crusaders-will-keep-name-in-2020-nz-rugby-chairman-says

    • Morrissey 15.1

      A couple of days ago I heard some fools on RNZ National's Panel programme praising Chairman Tew's "stewardship" of the game. This sort of spinelessness behaviour belies that view.

    • marty mars 15.2

      disgusting creeps – the crusaders = sexual harassment, toxic male attitudes and booze culture compulsory – join up and pretend cos it's easier than trying to solve the problem – drink yourself for bliss forget about the last one get yourself another…

      • Chris T 15.2.1

        The Crusaders have probably the most scandal free record of any elite professional male sporting team

        • marty mars 15.2.1.1

          so what

          • Chris T 15.2.1.1.1

            Well it kind of makes your comment

            "disgusting creeps – the crusaders = sexual harassment, toxic male attitudes and booze culture compulsory"

            A bit silly

            Their whole franchise was built to the success it is by literally family 

            Including entire team and their families having BBQs at weekends to make the whole thing inclusive.

            Frankly your comment was about as wrong as wrong can be

            • marty mars 15.2.1.1.1.1

              that is ridiculous – you have said they are have the most scandal free record but what does that mean – the rest had 2 scandals a month and the crusaders only had 1 a month.

    • Chris T 15.3

      The Crusaders don't decide if they change the name

      The NZRU do.

      Frankly changing the name would just be knee jerk virtue signalling imo. 

      I get emotions were high when it was first muted, but calmer heads have prevailed.

      But I do agree with one thing. The NZRU are cowardly for not just saying they are not changing it, rather than pretending it is some sponsorship thing

       

      • marty mars 15.3.1

        the name is meaningless – it is made up – it relates to nothing other than some marketing alliteration. But the rugby fans desperate for some relevancy in today's world hold the stupid name close – why?



         

        that's why

        • Chris T 15.3.1.1

          OK then

          Why don't the Labour Party change their name?

          These days it is “nothing other than some marketing alliteration” at elections, given the change to their policy

        • Descendant Of Smith 15.3.1.2

          The other aspect is that this debate has been going on much longer than the events in Christchurch. The world is bigger than this rugby team – Middlesex cricket being but one example that removed Crusaders from its name a few years back.

          The KKK magazine has always been known as The Crusader which seems to serendipitously  fit nicely with the country's skinhead capital.

          I can't see why they don't just change it. Tis just a marketing gimmick. 

          http://www.terrorismanalysts.com/pt/index.php/pot/article/view/641/html

           

        • greywarshark 15.3.1.3

          Change it to the Canterbury Knights or something similar and they can still have their outfits and their horses and Knights are generally well regarded.   Easy peasy, no need for fainting and wringing of hands.

          • aj 15.3.1.3.1

            Canterbury Rangers. Lots of scope for horses there + the play on the South Island Ranges (Southern Alps)

            • mauī 15.3.1.3.1.1

              Nice, I was thinking of something along the lines of Mustering. More New Zealand appropriate too than medieval stuff.

      • Morrissey 15.3.2

        ... knee jerk virtue signalling imo. 

        Idiot, you are.

        • Chris T 15.3.2.1

          Well it is

          Agree with losing the stupid horses and sword dude though

  15. marty mars 16

    Shocking event – glad they have the suspects now.

    The two women left needing hospital treatment after they were attacked on a bus in a homophobic assault have blamed a rise in rightwing populism for growing hate crime and called on people to stand up for each other.

    … “I was and still am angry. It was scary, but this is not a novel situation,” said Chris. “I’m not scared about being visibly queer. If anything, you should do it more.

    “A lot of people’s rights and basic safety are at risk. I want people to feel emboldened to stand up to the same people who feel emboldened by the rightwing populism that is, I feel, responsible for the escalation in hate crimes,” she told the BBC in a televised interview. “I want people to take away from this that they should stand up for themselves and each other.”

    Geymonat added: “The violence is not only because we are women which are dating each other. It’s also because we are women.”

    …Politicians roundly condemned the attack.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/07/two-women-left-bloodied-in-homophobic-attack-on-london-bus

  16. SPC 17

    Robertson meets with Makhlouf after 7.15-35pm and is informed that the matter has been referred to police.

    Around 7.55pm Newshub reports this and around this time the GCSB head informs Little it would not refer to what happened as a hack.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2019/06/inside-the-budget-breach-what-we-know.html

    After this point Robertson makes his call for National not to use the information it has and that the Treasury have referred a hacking complaint to police. And apparently still before Little has informed him of his contact with GCSB.

    National is angry at the idea (and they take it personally because they did go and get the information off the Treasury site and are guilty of deliberately accessing confidential information) of it being called a hack, apparently they and GCSB sing off the same song chart as to what is a hack and what is not a hack (witness the Assange legal case in the USA).

    National had conspired to force an offer of resignation from Robertson (form when budget info is leaked), and to keep focus on him and away from themselves and their actions they claim to be victims of dirty politics (we can see who dances to their tune in the Herald's coverage) – they accuse Robertson of accusing them of hacking (no one had accused anyone of hacking, but National was not ready to admit they had gathered the confidential information albeit by a means they did not accept was hacking).

    Now with the apparent help of a leak form the GCSB, the Herald is promoting the line that Ministers knew because one Minister was informed by GCSB. IMO the lack of regard for confidentiality of information displayed by both National and GCSB is of concern. We know what Paula Bennett did with confidential information when Minister etc. 

    • Muttonbird 17.1

      National are desperate for the language to be steered away from the word 'hack', and that is what has incensed them from the beginning – the idea that anyone could think their motives and method were not pure.

      The noise of the past week, as you say, is their attempt at keeping the focus away from their original misadventure.

      Agree that the leaks and statements coming out of the GCSB are hugely concerning. They are paid to listen, not talk.

    • bwaghorn 17.2

      National are not angry that they have been accused of hacking . 

      National found a weakness and are ringing every last drop of shit stirring they possible  can out of it . 

      Any one who cant see this is fucking thick.

      • SPC 17.2.1

        So Bridges was not angry but feigning anger, and lying about being angry. 

        Sure, OK …

        • bwaghorn 17.2.1.1

          Yip he is . Hes a greasy little turd that has just happened to float to the surface of the septic tank that the national party has become. 

        • McFlock 17.2.1.2

          If he had an ounce of self-reflection Bridges would be channelling the anger at himself that he turned a gift story about budget infosec into a fucking semantic debate about the meaning of the word "hack".

          I mean, seriously, how do you fuck that up?

    • Incognito 17.3

      Last night on OM I wondered about a leaker in the GCSB. The media seems to know an awful lot about what Ministers had been told and when. Andrew Little was contacted by GCSB but he may not have known about Makhlouf and Robertson’s conversation. Didn’t the GCSB tell Treasury that it was a matter for the Police? Anyway, all this conveniently distracts away from the people who started all this in the first place.

      • SPC 17.3.1

        Yes, the early reports indicated GCSB did not see it as a government systems hack, but something specific to attempts to access info off the Treasury site and something for the police to look into … . The confidentiality of government information side of the law, which police could not be bothered with – wonder how they will feel if its their information next time (early this century DPF managed to pull a similar gathering of information about police statistics before they were released, on Kiwiblog he posted about this when this story broke in budget week). 

  17. Jenny - How to Get there? 18

    Houston, we have ‘consensus’

    The terrible tragedy of the Zero Carbon Act; is consensus between all the parties on climate change, means that voters will be denied a chance to decide between the parties on this issue. And again, despite the growing urgency, climate change will again not be debated on the hustings for another electoral cycle.

    No Right Turn

    Friday, June 07, 2019

    Climate Change: National still peddling denial

     ……worrying about "consensus" with Denier National is unnecessary. Instead, the government should legislate the strongest bill NZ First will allow them to – and dare National to oppose it. If they do, paint them truthfully as the party of denial, delay, and do nothing, and voters will do the rest.

    (It’s called having faith in the people)

  18. joe90 19

    'Murica!

    • Andre 19.1

      Even 25 years ago, almost all the engineering I got involved in in the US was done in metric. But I still get a giggle out of having to express the result of a test in newtons per pound.

      (it was the slope of a curve, before all you nerds out there try to tell me it's a constant 4.448)

      • Macro 19.1.1

        lol I still remember my first physics lecture – Naturally it was on units. Part of the first assignment was to convert miles per gallon into per acres! Buggered if I'm going to work out the conversion factor for you. now tho. 🙂

    • Macro 19.2

      OMG!

      Mind you I remember when we were "forced" – forced I tell you! by that UltraRight Muldoon to move from our sacred and oh so blessed LSD (Pounds, Shillings, and Pence) not acid on 1 July 1967. I still have that jingle in my head. angry It caused huge relief to all school pupils who suddenly no longer had to calculate the cost of 12 men working 8 hours at 5 shillings and fourpence h'penny per hour. And great anguish to a multitude of teachers who now had to dream up an even more tangled question for a far more simplified money system.

      The fact is the 'merican gallon is different from what was the British Imperial Gallon as well! I would have thought that 'merica was the ideal place for a simplified system of measurement. Certainly if the"knowledge" of their "President" is anything to go by.

      And it wasn't Robespierre it was a panel of 5 French Scientists and Mathematicians Jean-Charles de BordaJoseph-Louis LagrangePierre-Simon LaplaceGaspard Monge and Nicolas de Condorcet. who developed the first complete metrical system which has been developed and is continuing to be modified – even this year.

      • joe90 19.2.1

        Deep state Jacobins.

    • WeTheBleeple 19.3

      "You give us heart to defend against the global tyranny of the metric system" – Tucker Carlson

      OMFG!!! surprise

      They're batshit crazy stupid now…

    • Andre 19.4

      Whenever any American colleagues would whine about having trouble with the metric system, I used to wind them up by asking why they were so fixated on using some weird measurement system dreamed up by some mad english king that was so inbred he had six toes on each foot and hand, which is why there are 12 inches in a foot. Nobody ever called bullshit.

    • Morrissey 19.5

      Is it really "a nation of people" that's stupid? Or is it that the political class treats them with no respect?

      Look at the "choice" they were "given" by the Republican and Democratic Parties at the last presidential election. Do you blame the "nation of people" for that, or do you blame the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman Schultz?

  19. joe90 20

    Only the best people, #…

  20. greywarshark 22

    This is worrying concerning NZ intellectual archives and memory.   We don't want to find outselves to be in the position of a determinedly ignorant leader caring nothing about our accumulated valuable records as in Canada's past Prime Minister Stephen Harper. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Harper

    Edit:
    Stephen Joseph Harper PC (born April 30, 1959) is a Canadian economist, entrepreneur, and retired politician who served as the 22nd prime minister of Canada for nearly a decade, from February 6, 2006, to November 4, 2015.
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/canadian-scientists-open-about-how-their-government-silenced-science-180961942/
    .
    https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/01/canada-war-on-science/514322/

    https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/4w578d/the-harper-government-has-trashed-and-burned-environmental-books-and-documents

    New Zealand :
    http://briefingpapers.co.nz/behind-the-scenes-at-te-papa/

    5/6/19 

    Behind the scenes at Te Papa  : Lionel Carter & Mike Rudge

    ,,,the Board bears an obligation to maintain the resources and the necessary discipline-specific skills. After all, its own Statement of Intent states the museum will “maintain collections to the highest possible standard.”

    The Board of Te Papa comprises people mostly qualified in subjects such as law, finance and public affairs, not in science or, in particular, biology. (A temporary exception was the tenure of Sir Peter Gluckman, a paediatrician.

    Te Papa restructurings 2012-2018

    The restructuring proposed in 2018 was the third in five years. A restructuring in 2012 reduced the number of staff managing the natural history collections by roughly 50% as indicated in the graph below. The proposals in 2018 cut a further 50%. These are not trivial figures. Even worse, people, with specialised expertise and institutional memory are being replaced by inexperienced generalists.

    Generic managers and executives – out.   Bean-counters and accountants – out.

    This set of adjectives – do they describe our present persons of powerful positions?
    philistine    –  a person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts.

      "I am a complete philistine when it comes to paintings"
    synonyms:lowbrow, anti-intellectual, materialist, bourgeois; boor, ignoramus, lout, oaf, barbarian, primitive, savage, brute, yahoo, vulgarian

    • OnceWasTim 22.1

      "Generic managers and executives – out.   Bean-counters and accountants – out.

      This set of adjectives – do they describe our present persons of powerful positions?
      philistine    –  a person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts." ……..

      ……….  a big reason why this coalition can never be transformational and 'kind' until they tackle that problem. Not just in the arts.

      Incognito had a good post the other day (Politicians Don't Know Jack).   See comment12 at bottom

  21. joe90 23

    So, it's a long con..

     

    Uber’s longer-term goal was to eliminate all meaningful competition and then profit from this quasi-monopoly power. While it has already begun using some of this artificial power to suppress driver wages, it has not achieved the Facebook- or Amazon-type “plat­form” power it hoped to exploit. Given that both sustainable profits and true industry dominance seemed unachievable, Uber’s investors de­cided to take the company public, based on the hope that enough gullible investors still believe that the compa­ny’s rapid growth and popularity are the result of powerfully effi­cient inno­vations and do not care about its inability to generate profits.

    These beliefs about Uber’s corporate value were created entirely out of thin air. This is not a case of a company with a reasonably sound operating business that has managed to inflate stock market expectations a bit. This is a case of a massive valuation that has no relationship to any economic fundamentals. Uber has no competitive efficiency advantages, operates in an industry with few barriers to entry, and has lost more than $14 billion in the previous four years. But its narratives convinced most people in the media, invest­ment, and tech worlds that it is the most valuable transportation company on the planet and the second most valuable start-up IPO in U.S. history (after Facebook).

    ..and a real life example of what people have been saying for years; real profit comes out of workers wages.

      Uber’s entry substantially increased the demand for drivers. If labor markets worked as predicted by economic theory, this should have significantly increased driver take-home pay and improved working conditions. Instead, Uber exploited artificial market power to subvert normal market dynamics.

    […]

    Starting in 2015, Uber eliminated most of the incentives it had used to attract drivers and unilaterally raised its share of passenger fares from 20 percent to 25–30 percent. Almost all of Uber’s margin improvement since 2015 is explained by this reduction of driver compensation down to minimum wage levels, not by improved efficiency. These unilateral compensation cuts resulted in a direct wealth transfer from labor to capital of over $3 billion.

    https://americanaffairsjournal.org/2019/05/ubers-path-of-destruction/

    • reason 23.1

      In NZ Uber flouts and is non-compliant with nearly all passenger service requirements and laws …

      Some examples being …..

       

      A passenger service class of drivers license , which involves a police check,,,, Land Transport photo identification, and a compulsory defensive driving course before sitting the license.

      Log book requirements and rules  on how many hours driving before compulsory rest periods ….. how many hours out of 24 you are permitted to work.

       

      Passenger service vehicles have  more stringent warrant of fitness safety inspections, which can only be done at a VINZ testing station….

       

      I presume they flout the laws in other countries as well …. leading one to ask how they have got away with it.

       

      The answer seems to be their existence and growth has occured while the poms , Canada  the Aussies and NZ ….. had right wing or conservative Governments in charge . Deregulation is in their blood.

       

      The fact that Uber has also attacked their workers pay and conditions , as well as those across the industry …. also dovetails with right wing politics.

       

      I do wonder what creative sham they use,  to exempt themselves from our NZ transport  laws though…

  22. Eco maori 24

    Eco Maori say in reality to save the Papatuanuku (as we know)  save it our future from a huge MESS men are creating  we must EMPOWER Wahine women. 

    They are the intelligence human special half of humanity they give us life we must give them respect responsiblity and that =equality for Wahine  = happy healthy future. 

    I did not realize it was World Ocean day yesterday ka pai we need to have a culture that respect Our Ocean. 

     

    To save the oceans, we must first empower women 

     

    Rather, there is a necessary cultural shift that needs to be undertaken to highlight the equal value of a woman's input when it comes to sustainable management. While this may sound like an insurmountable task, the power of an individual to make waves cannot be overemphasized.

    Read: 7 startling facts about the crisis facing our oceans

    My own journey has been greatly influenced by strong role models such as Sylvia Earle and Rachel Carson, marine biologists who made their voices heard when gender inequality was even more prevalent.

    In 1970, Earle led the first all-female team of aquanauts and later became the first female chief scientist at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration link below ka kite ano. 

     

    https://edition-m.cnn.com/2019/06/08/opinions/rebecca-loy-oceans-day-intl/index.html?r=https%3A%2F%2Fedition.cnn.com%2F

  23. Eco maori 25

    Kia ora Hui .

    Our Labour lead Coalition governments has delivered a lot of good policy for the common people tangata whenua make up a big portion of the common people so we are getting a better deal from this government. Money for helping papa kainga is very good I see all the whanau whare in need of Maintenance. 

    The preservation of  tangata whenua art of weaving clokes in Pukekohe ka pai Emily White for your mahi in teaching others to weave clokes ka pai teaching pakiha anyone one who likes to learn the great Art .

    Ka kite ano 

  24. Eco maori 26

    Its carbon fuels we have to stop using ASAP all the other causes of Global warming can be tackled in the near future. 

    If we dump carbon fuels that will go a long way to leaving our decendince a happy healthy future. 

    Earth's carbon dioxide levels are highest they've been in millions of years This level hasn't been seen in human history and is also higher than at any point in millions of years This is the highest seasonal peak recorded in 61 years of observations on top of Hawaii's largest volcano, and the seventh consecutive year of steep global increases in concentrations of CO2 la kite ano link below. 

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/environment/climate-news/113328022/earths-carbon-dioxide-levels-are-highest-theyve-been-in-millions-of-years 

  25. Eco maori 27

    Kia ora Newshub. 

    The polls give Eco Maori a sore face very good 

    The business community should be rubbing there hands together with all the extra government spending going into Aotearoa economy common tangata  have more money to spend on goods and services .

    That's sad that island bay Tapu Te Ranga Marae it will be hard for the local people condolence for your losses. 

    I have said many times that the JUSTICE system needs to clean up its act.

    You would think that a Vitale service like a ferry to Waiheke island would be on time a have a reliable service. It would be good if the Auckland council could take over the ferry's the islands is a big attraction. 

    The Pink and white terraces were  beautiful scenic sight it is cool the underwater filming of them and research them. 

    Ka kite ano 

  26. Eco maori 28

    Kia ora te ao Maori news. 

    Its not good for the tangata of  Tapu Te Ranga Marae it sound like quite a few people live in and are camping at the Marae it's lucky no one was losted in the fire.

    It would be good for our tamariki if we don't dig holes in the Dome to bury Auckland rubbish we need to minimize wastre and recycle everything .

    That was awesome see te tangata in world war uniforms I don't like war but OUR Tipuna got and gave te tangata whenua O Aotearoa heaps of Mana for there effort and losses. There are stories about our tipuna not being happy about no getting what the pakiha soldiers got when they got home I could see the effects around Te Awa and Waikato. 

    Ka kite ano 

     

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