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Open mike 08/01/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:04 am, January 8th, 2014 - 71 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike …

71 comments on “Open mike 08/01/2014 ”

  1. i made a major discovery about colin craig this morning..

    ..that i feel i should share with you..

    ..i joined two pulsating/obvious dots..

    ..and was then driven to cannabilise/re-write the lyrics..

    ..of a kim carne song..

    ..and yes..colin craig really has..

    ..’ann coulter eyes’..

    http://whoar.co.nz/2014/ann-coulter-does-what-she-does-and-whoar-colin-craig-really-has-ann-coulter-eyes-video/

    phillip ure..

  2. McFlock 2

    Great Britain shows once more that tories hate freedom: ASBOs set to become IPNAs. George Monbiot describes the almost-passed bill for injunctions to prevent nuisance and annoyance. Anyone aged ten or more can be locked up for causing “annoyance”. As Monbiot puts it:

    The new injunctions and the new dispersal orders create a system in which the authorities can prevent anyone from doing more or less anything. But they won’t be deployed against anyone. Advertisers, who cause plenty of nuisance and annoyance, have nothing to fear; nor do opera lovers hogging the pavements of Covent Garden. Annoyance and nuisance are what young people cause; they are inflicted by oddballs, the underclass, those who dispute the claims of power.

    • felix 2.1

      Yay, turn our cities into giant privately owned malls where “loitering without intent to shop” is a punishable offense.

      That’s the libertarian paradise, isn’t it? Every space controlled by private hands.

      • millsy 2.1.1

        Libertarianism = privatisation of dictatorship.

        • aerobubble 2.1.1.1

          So you are saying that a love of liberty leads to private dictatorship.

          I would suggest that inept love of liberty, like that exhibited in the American Republican party, is doing so.

      • greywarbler 2.1.2

        Have fallen for Giles cartoons at last. He would have had something to draw about this.
        But one was appropriate in the Daily Express of 5/7/1979 Policeman addressing leader of toddlers trespassing on the grass in a park.
        ‘You realise, sir, you are contributing to the ‘avalanche of lawlesness threatening to engulf our civilisation’.
        http://www.gilescartoons.co.uk/keywordlist3.asp

        • Anne 2.1.2.1

          Thank you for reminding me of Giles greywarbler. A cartoonist supremo. Nobody was sacrosanct.

          feast on them

          I love the one highlighted during the Cold War – as seen through the eyes of MI5 and MI6? And the Giles family… don’t you love the dear little children.

          It was fictitious family but Giles did admit that some of the characters were based on members of his own family.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3

        Otherwise known as feudalism.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      One word. Totalitarian.

  3. felix 3

    Getting a lot of moderation lately. Was it something I said? Is it ‘cos I is black?

    • karol 3.1

      I’m not aware of any gravitar moderation.

    • mickysavage 3.2

      Perish the thought felix!

      Akismet does some strange things sometimes.

    • lprent 3.3

      Not as far as I am aware. However akismet got removed because they kind of fell over in the silly season.

      I’m using a system that looks much more closely at *how* the comments are posted to the site with a few quiet details that should be done by anything talking to wordpress. Are you using a RSS feeder?

      BTW: The site software only appears to have a colour discrimination against people with polkadots with high amounts of puce. Some kind of stylistic folly methinks…. Either that or a coulrophobia issue.

  4. Philj 4

    Xox
    New low for RNZ on Summer program with Suzie and Caitlin. Topic : Auckland University study into blood spray patterns from bullets to the human head! Using a USA pistol, (not used in NZ.) The relevance and lack of judgement by RNZ in broadcasting this item is appalling. What has happened to, once proud, RNZ? It’s gone the way of TVNZ. Lead by Jim, Kathryn, Suzie, Simon, Noelle, it’s off to the sewer. Makes Matinée Idle appear ok! RNZ R. I. P. Where to turn to for sensible, informed media in NZ?

    • infused 4.1

      What’s wrong with it?

      You a little squeamish or something?

      • greywarbler 4.1.1

        There is often talk about blood splatter in murder cases. It’s relevant because of the violence that is inherent in society and not repressed. Police and experts are interested. I think it was a factor in the Bain case. Sorry but it can’t be dismissed as sensational crap from the USA. Wish we could. Or blame it on Canada, or anywhere.

  5. Morrissey 5

    Why is RODNEY HIDE’s nonsense on the Editorial page?
    The “news” is as biased, ridiculous and untrustworthy as ever

    Q—What do you do for a living?
    A—I am a communicator.
    Q—What do you communicate? Scarlet fever? Apprehension?

    —A.J. Liebling, The Press (Pantheon, 1961)

    If you read the newspapers, listen to the radio or—worst choice of all—watch television in order to see what’s going on in the world, you will occasionally, even regularly, feel a sense of despair: not only at the events being described, but at the flagrantly partisan and irresponsible treatment of those events by the “reporters” and studio anchors, as well as the headline writers and copywriters for not only third-rate tabloids like the New Zealand Herald, but also for quality broadsheets ( 😀 ) like the Waikato Times, Dom-Post and ODT.

    Here’s a representative sample, scribbled in disbelief and anger at odd moments during the last few days….

    “Sharon was known for bold tactics and an occasional refusal to obey orders.”
    —Ian Deitch (AP), in the NZ Herald, 3 January 2014

    “…Ramadi and Fallujah, where U.S. forces once fought desperate battles against al-Qaeda…”
    —David Martin, CBS, on Prime TV’s 5:30 News, 4 January 2014

    “Fallujah was pacified by U.S. troops in 2004…”
    —Paul Brennan, 9 a.m. News, Radio NZ National, 5 January 2014

    “Biggs has the last word”. “Cheeky floral tribute a final statement from Great Train Robber”
    —an entirely laudatory AP, AAP report of Ronald Biggs’ funeral “celebration”, Herald on Sunday, 5/1/14

    “Death by dogs disputed”. “Commentators debate truth about death of Korean leader’s uncle”
    Herald on Sunday, 5/1/14

    But as bad as this floodtide of trivia, this mountain of distortion and falsehood, this monumental failure by the “news” organisations might be, there is actually something much worse than people like David Martin of CBS, who are after all only acting as functionaries in the service of corporations much bigger and more powerful than they are. The most chilling feature of the “news”—more disturbing than hard-working servants like Martin, Blitzer, Ananpour, Paxman, Wark, Espiner and (shudder) Dallow—is the ideological fanatic who operates as a “commentator”. In spite of the neverending moaning by some that journalists are “liberals” and “leftists”, anyone who actually looks at a few papers and watches TV and listens to the radio will see that the right wing—and usually the most extreme, unhinged part of the right wing—is running wild, unchecked and unhindered over the Op-Ed pages of the mainstream press and in the chairs reserved for guest commentators and “pundits”.

    You know the phenomenon of the extreme right wing commentator very well. He (or she) has stunned you on occasion and has left you shaking your head, or screaming at the television screen, and wondering: why the HELL is Bill O’Reilly talking about this?—Karl du Fresne knows NOTHING!—Bat Ye’or is bat-freaking INSANE! The roll-call of this cadre of ideological despots is long and inexhaustible; there are right wing “think tanks” and journalism schools producing these vacuous but self-important talking heads as regularly and reliably as India churns out top-class cricketers. In North America, there is Glenn Beck, David Brooks, David Frum, Sean Hannity, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Maher, Daniel Pipes, Bill O’Reilly, William Safire—and hundreds more. In Great Britain there is Niall Ferguson, Simon Heffer, Boris Johnson, Dame Ann Leslie, Melanie Phillips, Nick Robinson, Bat Ye’or—and hundreds more.

    New Zealand and Australia‘s round-up of right-wing reactionaries let loose in the top paddock is equally dismal. It includes: John Ansell, Dr. Michael Bassett, Andrew Bolt, Karl du Fresne, Stephen Franks, Matthew (“I loved Mandela”) Hooton, Alan Jones, Steve Price, David Round, John Tamihere and hundreds of others too dim, depressing and outrageous to mention. (Tune in to Jim Mora’s Panel show if you want to hear some of the worst of them indulge in an uninterrupted rant.)

    To compound the faux news that dominated its pages, the 5 January edition of the Herald on Sunday carried a typically bizarre piece by the notorious ACT loon and science-denier Rodney Hide, entitled “Heat gone out of climate claims”. The great thinker opens his barrage of crap with this pearler: “Future historians may point to this one ironic event as the trigger that finally ended the public fear of global warming.” He goes on to sneer at Al Gore and at the “nuttiness” of climate scientists. Hide uses the word “nuttiness” three times, and his sub-editors at the Herald on Sunday compound his mischief by using it a fourth time—in an enlarged, highlighted excerpt: “That’s the climate alarmists’ nuttiness in a nutshell: nothing proves them wrong; everything proves them right.” Hide’s garbage appears on the editorial page, which some people might have thought was for considered and serious writing. Such a placement, aided and abetted by the highlighting of the “nuttiness” quotation, bestows a degree of ex cathedra authority on a piece of writing which, in its poverty of thought and its infelicity of expression, as well as its lame attempts at humour, would embarrass a moderately intelligent Year 9 student.

    The overall effect of this is not just to confuse and mislead the listener, or viewer, or reader. Intelligent consumers of this willfully dishonest and/or fantastical and/or depraved “product” realize that it is a vital part of a disinformation regime in which everything we see and understand is cast into doubt. News coverage like this creates a situation in New Zealand, and in every country where people like David Martin of CBS are entrusted with reporting on Iraq and people like Rodney Hide are allowed to write crazed rants against science, very like the situation which pertained in Soviet-bloc countries in the 1970s, where nobody trusted APN or TASS or Pravda, and the intelligentsia simply recognized that they were not to be believed at all. And CBS, as anyone who remembers its bloodthirsty cheerleading from its flag-bedecked studios during the aggression against Iraq in both 1990 and 2003 will know, is a de facto official news channel—along with the other flag-wavers and Obama-cultists at ABC, NBC and CNN, as well as the BBC, Radio New Zealand and TVNZ.

    Now you might be thinking: at least there’s Bryan Crump on nights on Radio NZ National. At least there’s one place we can go to hear intelligent and civilized talk. At least there is an island of civilization and rationality amongst all the nonsense. But not so fast! Among the mostly excellent line-up of guests for this year’s “Monday Night Thinkers” feature is…. Rodney Hide. For such a prospect, there is really only one appropriate response….

  6. geoff 6

    A pic of wealth inequality in the USA. I wonder what a NZ version look like.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b3/If-us-land-mass-were-distributed-like-us-wealth.png

  7. Ron 7

    How can NZ get a non commercial radio network that does not require you to check your brain before listening.
    We have what I believe is one of the highest radio station per head of population in the world but they are all the same. National Radio used to provide intelligent programming but these days it is starting to sound like one of the commercial networks.
    I would be more than happy to pay a subscription for a decent quality Radio service. I would love to have good quality music, documentaries, radio plays, book discussions, interviews where the subject is more important than the interviewer and all the other items that make up good station.
    Also would like to announcers to be capable of stringing two words together with out sounding like idiots.
    Is this too much to hope for?

  8. Pasupial 8

    The old divide and rule trick in action once more:

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/287558/dunedin-urged-show-it-can-support-shell

    “Shell country manager Rob Jager told the Otago Daily Times no decision had been made on where the company would base its shore operations, but it was between Dunedin and Invercargill…. [Otago Chamber of Commerce past-president] Mr McIntyre said Southland would surely be ”putting its best foot forward” and Dunedin should waste no time showing it could host Shell.”

    So any effective protest action by the Dunedin public will be met with threats to relocate south. It’s further from the drilling site, but with the smelter on the verge of shutting down; Invercargill will agree to almost anything for jobs (especially since the spill modelling doesn’t show much immediate risk for Southland west of the Catlins). But this ploy will not prevent protest action from the Dunedin Green Party at least:

    “Oceans spokesman, Gareth Hughes, said his party opposed all deep sea drilling, as it was too risky.

    ”This is a particularly risky environment – it’s between the roaring forties and the furious fifties. We saw one of the world’s largest oil companies Exxon Mobil pull out in 2010 because they said the conditions were too harsh and the location remote. Those conditions still exist for Shell.” “

    • Pasupial 9.1

      PR

      I’m not at all interested in clicking on one of your links without any indication of what cess-pit it’ll land me in (probably something to do with; data massaged by National’s pet pollster by the look of it). If you could quote some part of it in your comments, then I might be interested in that.

    • Bearded Git 9.2

      Thanks PR-always worth reading what the opposition are saying to get some perspective.

      My reading of the graphs is that Labour/Greens/Mana are more likely to get in next time than National, with Winston as the possible deal breaker. I reckon’ he will get 4.8% and miss out. Colin Crayfish is too loony to have much influence.

      • Puckish Rogue 9.2.1

        Well even if he gets in he won’t have much influence anyway, how much influence have any of the support parties really had?

        • fender 9.2.1.1

          John Banks has had plenty of influence, all detrimental from memory except his interest in animal welfare with regards to party drug testing.

      • Skinny 9.2.2

        Speaking of that old cod Winston Peters, I hear he could be going head to head with his sister (Labour) in the rat abandoning ship (Phil Heatley) seat of Whangarei. That’s if Peters sister beats a tranny for the Labour candidacy. All we need now is for bible basher Colin Craig to stand there too, the place is full of god botherers. So maybe Key will ask his blue ribbon lot from the North to vote Craig. Perhaps Dot Blob can add to an interesting electorate contest?

        • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2.1

          ^^ so much worthless abuse, so little content.

          • Skinny 9.2.2.1.1

            Oh great we have the content police amongst us! Touch a nerve did I old coot?

            • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2.1.1.1

              Bigotry such as your does tend to piss me off.

              • Skinny

                Ok sorry no malice intended, in hinsight speaking loosely. I like the tranny & Peters to a degree, the god botherers are mostly fine, however the brethrens up here are a weird bunch & Colin Craig has some dim views on the likes of Maori & reintroducing beat the kids is plain dumb. I’m no spring chicken myself 🙂

                • JK

                  yep – Skinny – from this point of view, it looks like it might be a verrrrry interesting selection for Labour ! Like you, I’m no spring chicken but I look forward to the revelations this election will bring forth in Whangarei ! It might be fun… for a change!

                  • Skinny

                    As long as idiots don’t drag the party through the mud in the process. The candidate will need to be sharp & fast on their feet and street wise so that narrows the field down some what. The last election the candidate was woeful as was his campaign crew, I understand the unions now hold sway, which is probably a good thing as organising is their thing.

                    • JK

                      You’ve got it wrong Skinny – I’m not so sure the unions hold sway – that’s just big talk, no real do, happening. A couple of those unionists are all talk …. no real reputation for doing anything real.
                      fascinating you thought the last election candidate was woeful – I thought he was pretty good but then i was part of his campaign crew so biased

                    • pat newman

                      Dear Skinny as the supposed woeful candidate last time, Id love to know what u based yr comment on… Easy to hide malicious uninformed comments behind a pseudonym isn’t it… I’m guessing from yr nasty personal comments, that you probably would be a member of a Whangarei Nutters Group. The results achieved here last election by the way, don’t point to me being a woeful candidate….

                    • Skinny

                      Sorry if I offended you, however i am from the school of hard knocks as should any aspiring MP be. Therefore I will contradict you Mr Newman the last election result; 

                      http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/mpp/electorates/data/DBHOH_Lib_EP_Whangarei_Data_3/whangarei-electoral-profile

                      clearly shows you achieved below the national average for the NZP. Why so? because you and your campaign crew were woeful. You lot gave it your best crack which was simply not good enough.

                       So rather than front up with an inferior ‘patsy’ candidate why don’t you and your self serving bunch of glorified teachers pull your heads in and get behind the soon to be chosen candidate, think of the big picture.

                      Lastly, dollars for doughnuts the Unions hold sway alright, that is why Kelly will get the candidacy. But hey it’s a democracy… bring it!

        • RedBaronCV 9.2.2.2

          Why doesn’t Winston stand in North harbour. Wouldn’t that make things interesting?

          • Skinny 9.2.2.2.1

            Old grudges up North against Heatley (tho he has done his dash) & Mike Sabin who he hates like no other MP, + he gets votes from Maori & the senior voters rounded out by the church goers and racehorse set. He setup quite a good office in Whangarei last year & his brother & family are locals. Of course the likes of Shane Jones and Winston prefer being list MP’s as they can goof off without being tied down like an electorate MP who has to do some mundane work locally.

            • JK 9.2.2.2.1.1

              In reply to Skinny at 9.2.2.111 on 10 Jan “Therefore I will contradict you Mr Newman the last election result ” the 2011 election result in Whangarei for Labour was on a par with every electorate result for Labour that year. The Labour vote throughout the country went down from the previous election. Whangarei was no different to the rest. An No – it won’t be the Unions who’ll be supporting Kelly : it’ll be the lawyers and others – get your actual facts right, nutcase !

              • Skinny

                Wrong you old trout the seat was all about the party vote, Newman gathered around a poultry 20 percent, which was pitiful considering the previous electorate results. You ran a poor campaign with a lazy candidate amongst many other things, that’s why your services as chairperson are no longer required.

                I’ve spoken to the main Union leaders here and they have confirmed they will not put their own contender up, instead will back the justice lawyer. The only conditions are the candiate must be fully funded to the maximum allowed in all regards, and they push a pro worker platform directed by the union affiliates.

                Here is a final tip ‘don’t bother’ trying to get back on the Executive as your not wanted by the majority of the members, your an unwelcome distraction to the task at hand. Now pull that hook out of your nose and sling it further North!

                • JK

                  Hey Skinny – for someone who has NEVER run in a campaign, let alone WIN one, you do speak a lot of malicious tosh. The “main union leaders here” (in Whangarei ?)
                  all TWO of them ! not much help coming from that lot …. as you should know from previous campaigns – but that’s right, you haven’t actually done any organising in a campaign, nor been very much use in a campaign except for banging the odd nail in a hoarding ….. so what do YOU know about it . All bloddy nothing …. just a load of old crock yourself. about time you were put out to rest ….. in those paddocks of yours.

            • pat newman 9.2.2.2.1.2

              Self serving bunch of glorified teachers eh skinny… You must have been strapped when at school to have such an opinion of teachers like that… Pity as u obviously come from Whangarei that you didn’t actually help out at the last election.. Then as I said earlier, its too easy to criticize from anonymity… By the way note Phil heatleys result was down over 10% on previous election
              …..

    • Rosie 9.3

      Nah. (@pukish)

  9. Puckish Rogue 10

    Another nail in the coffin for Labours hopes at the next election but at least you can guarantee a win in 2017

    [lprent: Idiot. Where was there *anything* about the Labour party in that post? FFS: bsprout is a well known green.

    Basically we do know where your brain appears to be – but you don’t have to tug on it here just to prove it again.

    And you just collected a 2 week ban for intimating this site was a Labour party site (see the about and the policy), and a 2 week ban for being a stupid trolling fool doing diversions at the top of posts.

    And moved it to OpenMike as being irrelevant to the post. ]

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1

      Is that what you think? I think you might be forgetting a certain John Banks in the dock, and a certain Kim.com appeal hearing in April. And that’s assuming your confidence in the economic tea-leaves proves well-founded, as opposed to just some cocaine-addled banker talking shite.

      Labour/Green for the win in 2014.

      • Naki Man 10.1.1

        No one believes a word Krim.con says, the sooner the thieving fat Kraut is sent to the USA and locked up the better. There is to much news about Labour’s Pant’s Down Brown the serial masturbator for anyone to remember John Banks minor memory lapse.
        I wonder if the Russians will melt down that Gween Peace ship to make some more drilling pipes
        may as well use the steel for a worth while cause.
        PS Labour and the Gween Taliban are sunk.

        • fender 10.1.1.1

          You put an N there instead of Cr….i.e: Craki Man..

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.1.1.2

          Sure. No-one believes him except the judge, who keeps on ruling in his favour.

          Poor wingnuts are especially reality-challenged today. That, and determined to demonstrate that they’re twelve years old – seriously, “gween”? Tee hee, speech impediments are so funny.

        • Sanctuary 10.1.1.3

          Slater appears to have sprung a leak in his sewer.

  10. Philj 11

    Xox
    Thanks Morrissey.
    Your contribution made me feel a little better. Good to know I’m not the only one thinking along these lines. TV is dead now that quality Public Broadcasting has gone the way of the dodo.

    • Morrissey 11.1

      There are still many excellent programmes, though, Phil. And then there’s ConcertFM—still the best radio station in Australasia.

  11. Bob 12

    This has to be shared: http://e2nz.org/2014/01/08/8-year-old-boy-caught-drinkingdrugged-and-family-allow-it/

    The only encouraging thing in this video is the fact it was teenagers that stepped in to the situation to try to help the kid. Maybe the message is at least getting through to some young people….

  12. Rosie 13

    crap – a – roo. I had replied to pukish rogue at 9.2.1 (1.39pm) and it has disappeared. When I refreshed the page I got the Standard Banner only and a blank page. I think this happened to phil ure the other day. Just saying.

    Long story short, in response to PR I had mentioned Dunne’s influence as a support “party” – far too much in regards to his damaging voting choices: Asset sales, GCSB and TICS Act’s, Sky City and his intention to not vote for Hone’s Feed the Kids Bill (just off the top of my head)

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1311/S00216/unitedfuture-will-oppose-harawira-bill.htm

    • Pasupial 13.1

      Rosie

      Before clicking on the “submit comment” button, I generally select the whole field and ctrl+C it; that way if it vanishes into the glitch zone, I can get it back with a quick ctrl+V.

      I heard that Gareth Hughes is considering going list-only next election, so it may be that Labour’s candidate will be only up against a nominal Green opponent in Ohariu-Belmont. Given his conduct this term, and a coordinated left alternative; I think Dunne and Untied History are done.

      • Rosie 13.1.1

        Hi Pasupial. Ha ha! I did that little trick last time and it worked………….

        Tane Woodley has been selected as the Green party candidate for Ohariu this year, and there is still no word on the Labour candidate. I even emailed the NZLP through their website to ask them but no word as yet. I’m busting to know.

        Yes, Dunne absolutely has to go this year, especially as it will be his 30th anniversary of holding the seat. I’m in Ohariu and will be working alongside a non party affiliated group to see what we can do to help move him out. I think it can be done but it will require hard work because he is like a comfortable pair of old slippers for many voters here. Mind you, 64.6% of Ohariu voters said NO in the asset sales referendum, so hopefully the wind is changing direction.

        • veutoviper 13.1.1.1

          Morning Rosie

          It seems that we will have to wait another six weeks to find out who the Labour Party candidate for Ohariu will be. The LP sent out a candidate selection update just before Christmas, Apparently nominations have closed for Ohariu with two people nominated and so a contested selection. A confirmation meeting is scheduled for 22 February. Names of the nominees were not provided in the update.

          Nominations for LP candidates for many electorates do not close until 28 February.

          • Rosie 13.1.1.1.1

            Thanks! Thats very helpful veutoviper and something to look forward to.

            I’m hoping the selection of the candidate will reflect the “specialness” of this electorate, in that there have been mutterings of discontent in the street from actual Dunne voters vs. the glue like nature of Dunne’s presence. A crow bar may still be required but the right candidate will be able to harness the section of the community that is waking and feeling pissed off and sold down the river by Dunne.

  13. joe90 14

    A real-time map of global winds to waste your day away.

    http://earth.nullschool.net/

  14. Draco T Bastard 15

    Too many MPs in that House

    But it found much of their discussion supported fewer MPs because participants “did not trust politicians to represent them with integrity”.

    /facepalm

    The number of MPs has no bearing on them representing with integrity. That requires being able to hold them to account as the John Banks saga has shown. The problem that we have don’t have systems in place to ensure that the MPS are upholding the necessary standards and neither the police nor the MSM seem willing to even when there is obvious breaks in an MPs integrity.

    • fender 15.1

      lol

      I know a couple of smokers who answered NO to the are you a smoker question, but I don’t know anyone ‘pretending’ to be an MP, other than the obvious..

  15. Tracey 16

    That included Hawaii, where it was -8 degrees Celsius atop Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano…

  16. Morrissey 17

    Al Sharpton and Michael Moore versus two hateful bigots
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLsxnMmhec4

    The Rev. Al Sharpton—one of those black leaders in whose memory the likes of Matthew Hooton need never feel obliged to make a mock tribute on Public Address—and Michael Moore try their best to keep things rational and civilized here. Valerie Plame also pitches in on the side of decency and tolerance, but this is Bill Maher‘s show, and with his watery English henchman Richard Dawkins he won’t be having any liberal crap about tolerance and understanding and context spoiling things this evening.

    Valerie Plame’s very first contribution to this conversation is a vacuous statement, chiming in to support Bill Maher just after he’s assured everyone that he is “not racist.” But after that vapid beginning, she does get better. She, like Bill Maher, is out of her intellectual depth though—I got the impression she was not overly bright when I read her (much redacted) book a year or so ago.

    Bill Maher, on the other hand, only gets worse as this clip goes on. Every single utterance he makes is bumptious, hateful and obnoxious. He is backed up, languidly, by Richard Dawkins, who is at his hypocritical worst here. If Dawkins has ever uttered even a mild statement condemning Christian or Jewish violence, could someone please post it up?

    Observers of this kind of pretentious but empty upper class drawing room honking will be aware Dawkins has taken up some of the burden since Christopher Hitchens died. At first glance, he would seem to fill Hitchens’ two key roles perfectly: 1.) the steady dripping of hateful slurs against all Muslims, at the same time scoffing at anyone who dares point out that there is also massive Christian and Jewish and Buddhist violence; and 2.) playing the suave and sophisticated Englishman, the sine qua non at any smart Manhattan soirée, where you will also hear the sort of ignorant, racist opinionating that Maher and Dawkins specialize in. A few generations it was “the Jews” on the receiving end of such vile bigotry; now it’s Arabs and Iranians.

    But watch carefully and you’ll see that there’s something gravely wrong here. Dawkins has not really bought in to the role that Maher expects him to play. Dawkins seems detached; he seems to be phoning it in instead of engaging in the scenery-chewing, snarling and faux outrage of a committed role-player like Hitchens. He nods wanly in support of Maher, but he doesn’t really seem to have his heart in it. Unlike Hitchens, he is incapable of summoning up the display of bogus rage needed when one engages in the kind of needling provocation Bill Maher expects of his back-up men.

    As for the pitiful Maher: his intellectual level is perfectly illustrated by the very last words he utters on the clip: “Hitchens said a great thing—” he burbles—and then he is cut off.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLsxnMmhec4

  17. adam 18

    Now I find Bill O’Reilly a distasteful man most of the time. But today, he crossed a line, from being distasteful idiot on the right, to a numb skull who deserves to be retired from the media forever. This is from my libertarian capitalist mates, even they are finding him and fox news nothing more than propaganda for arch-conservatives. I wont repeat what they said as children may be watching, except to say, this is an example of out of touch conservatives, whose grip on reality has failed.

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/07/bill-oreilly-makes-millions-of-marijuana

    Read at own peril – it will disturb.

  18. Draco T Bastard 19

    Efforts to curb unbridled growth that’s killing the planet

    A full world
    Nineteenth century economists assumed that the economy would stop growing naturally, reaching “a very pleasant steady state,” said UC Berkeley economist Richard Norgaard, chairman of the Delta Independent Science Board advising California on water issues, and a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “People would have more time for the arts and less time spent working.”

    Sometime in the 20th century, the idea that the economy must grow became a truism, he said, yet “there is no theoretical reason why the economy has to keep growing.”

    In fact an economy must not keep growing as that will destroy the environment totally.

    The first thing we need to do is to tell the politicians and business people that we will no longer support more growth. We’ve had massive growth over the last three decades and yet poverty is worse than ever and so it’s obvious that growth is not the panacea to poverty.

  19. Draco T Bastard 20

    Pōwhiri and gender essentialism

    But I will not sit idly back and let this discussion be derailed by the Speaker of the House and the dominant culture or by Māori men justifying gender essentialism based on a context that no longer afflicts our interactions with each other. Tikanga is fluid. It can adapt. But its up to Māori to decide if they will adapt.

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