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Open mike 08/02/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 8th, 2016 - 154 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

154 comments on “Open mike 08/02/2016 ”

  1. Ad 1

    Ohhhhh young people; is it really the end of marriage, capitalism, and God?
    And would that be so bad?


    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Hillary Clinton Has a Henry Kissinger Problem

      Bernie Sanders’ critique of Clinton is not that she’s cartoonishly corrupt in the Tammany Hall style, capable of being fully bought with a couple well-compensated speeches, but that she’s a creature of a fundamentally corrupt system, who comfortably operates within that system and accepts it as legitimate. Clinton has had trouble countering that critique because, well, it’s true. It’s not that she’s been bought, it’s that she bought in.

      I think that sums it up well. I’d say that it applies a lot to the Labour Party caucus as well.

  2. vto 3

    It is hard to know where to start with our child PM over the last week….

    It seems his bullshit and wave, in the absence of self-direction, is merely winding up tighter and faster like a small child before bedtime…. faster and faster, smarter and smarmier, wave and wavier, round and around, and around again ……. fzzzztttt! Pop bang splatter in another soon-to-be moment of yuck and shit…

    • Ross 3.1

      Very mature insight there. Like a toddler waking up grumpy and not sure why

    • North 3.2

      My goodness DTB…..that is spot on for a truth that circles. Everybody knows it’s there. How fortunate there’s a Bernie Sanders. To articulate what a healthy community is about.

  3. savenz 4


    “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum….” Noam Chomsky

    The TPP isn’t on that spectrum. That’s because 4 of the 6 corporations which control 90% of US media are known to be lobbying for the TPP.

    – COMCAST, “the parent company of NBC and MSNBC, has a team of at least ten lobbyists seeking to influence the TPP on ‘International IP Protection.’” MSNBC recently cancelled The Ed Show ostensibly for running anti-TPP commentary: http://bit.ly/1DLN82j

    – TIME WARNER INC., “the parent company of CNN, has at least four lobbyists working to influence the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. Disclosures show the TW lobbying team has attempted to influence both Congress and the U.S. Trade Representative office on the deal.”

    – TWENTY FIRST CENTURY FOX, “a subsidiary of News Corporation, the parent company of Fox News, has a team of three lobbyists working to influence the TPP.”

    – DISNEY CORPORATION, “parent company of ABC News and Fusion, is lobbying on the TPP regarding intellectual property enforcement.”

    Media Matters Report:

    These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America
    ‪#‎StopTPP‬ ‪#‎FlushtheTPP‬

    • BM 4.1

      If the US didn’t sign, but the TPPA still went ahead with the other 11 countries, would you be happy with that arrangement?

      • Paul 4.1.1

        It can’t go ahead without the US.

        • BM

          Why not?

          • pat

            for the document to be implemented it requires the ratification of the US and Japan

            • pat

              “At least six original signatories have to have successfully ratified the agreement.
              Those six signatories, between them, must represent 85 percent of the total GDP of the twelve originals signatories.
              That last clause is important. The United States and Japan between them represent just shy of 80 percent of the GDP of the twelve original TPP signatories (specifically, the U.S. represents nearly 62 percent of TPP GDP and Japan accounts for 17 percent). Basically, the TPP can’t come into force if either of these states fail to ratify the agreement in their domestic legislatures because there would be no way for the remaining signatories to fulfill the 85 percent of GDP requirement (even if the United States and all states but Japan ratify, the eleven would stand at 83 percent of GDP).”


            • BM

              It that US or Japan, or do both need to sign up?

              I think I read somewhere it needs to have at least Japan or the US to go ahead.

              Edit: just saw you post.

              Seems a bit ridiculous to be completely reliant on one country.
              If the US didn’t sign, I’m sure the other countries would just get back around the table and sort out another deal.

              There is going to be a free trade deal of some nature, including the US would be good but if they don’t want to be part of it, it’s their loss.

              • pat

                both .see link,

              • Reddelusion

                They will sign for geopolitical reason, to walk away allows China to fill the vacuum, the whole reason the U.S. got involved In the TPPA was to maintain thier relevance iin the Asia pacific

          • Andre

            It needs to be ratified by at least 6 countries that add up to more than 85% of the combined GDP of the 12 signatories. Which in practice means Japan and the US both have to ratify before it can come into force.

      • savenz 4.1.2

        Of course! Unlike the conformist politicians out there, who think signing a bad deal is good because other’s do so. Current politicians are too scared to stand on their own two feet and say NO to job losses, health increases, copywrite increases, environmental pollution, dishonouring treaty agreements, becoming tenants in our own country, being sued by corporations but not being able to sue corporations in the same bogus courts.

        BOO to John Key and the National party!

        Signed in a casino behind closed doors shows what a piece of crap it is!

    • pat 5.1

      is a good concise appraisal, but will be dismissed by the proponents due to the authors background

  4. logie97 6

    The Herald reports this morning on a tragic motor accident near Te Kowhai with the two drivers dying as a result.
    There is a long glowing profile (including a photo of this victim’s wife) on the success and “importance” of this victim.
    “He was involved in a head on crash in his BMW with a 17 year old driving a Toyota Corolla.”

    The feeling one gets as one reads the article is that it is probably the 17 year old’s fault. Certainly no reference in the article to the loss for his family, friends and community.

    The report eventually indicates that the driver of the BMW was overtaking a truck when the accident occurred.


    Dreadful reporting by the Herald

    • alwyn 6.1

      One rather gets the feeling they published it because of who his wife was.
      That really is bloody awful reporting as you say.

      • Graeme 6.1.1

        The item has just been updated, and a little clearer now. Still got to read the whole thing to find out the circumstances though.

    • Tautuhi 6.2

      Homicides and Car Accidents are far more important than the TPPA?

    • Tautuhi 6.3

      Homicides and Car Accidents are far more important than the TPPA?

      • Paul 6.3.1

        Be fair.
        Murder and car accidents are lower in their estimation than Beyonce singing at the Superbowl.

    • tc 6.4

      More of the same from granny.

      • Macro 6.4.1

        The story on the front page – I saw as walking along the main street this morning.
        NZ now safer for our kids


        I did not and will not link to the article – anyone with than more half their brain functioning will recognise it for what it is. Johnys in a bit of trouble so we had better publish a “puff piece” showing how good his gov’t is.

        I call the article bullshit for very obvious reasons:
        a. When for a growing number of children the car is their home
        b.A child is admitted to a New Zealand hospital every second day with injuries arising from either assault, neglect or maltreatment,
        c. need I go on?

        Thank you Herald for spoiling my day.

        *my apologies for shouting but that is what I felt like doing at the time I read the headline

      • savenz 6.4.2

        What can you expect the Herald is owned by Australians – an Australian fund manager and Rupert Murdoch. see below

        APN News & Media Limited is an Australian and New Zealand[1] media company. Divisions include newspaper publishing, online publishing, broadcast radio and outdoor advertising in Australia and New Zealand. APN’s two largest shareholders are the Australian fund manager Allan Gray Australia[2] and Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited.[3] Irish company Independent News & Media and Denis O’Brien’s Baycliffe held an approximately 30% stake in the company before selling it in March 2015.[4]

    • Rosemary McDonald 6.5

      Yep, saw that, and I’m waiting for our local rag to give out the name of the 17 year old killed by the BMW driver.

      This is local.

      We live on SH 39…a popular by pass between the North and the South West for trucks and cars. There are no passing lanes, and there are at least 40 bends that are posted 75km/hr.

      But we live on that road…and every single time one of my kids heads off into town or to go to work I wonder if this is the day some fwit from Auckland in a beemer is going to take them out while trying to pass a truck. (google BMW accident SH 39)

      One day I will film the near misses that happen outside our place on a holiday weekend or during the ski season.

      Slow the fuck down for god’s sakes.

      Be patient.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.6

      Typical worshipping of the rich that we get from conservatives. We saw the same when that business person killed the 15 yo that was tagging his fence.

  5. Paul 7

    You have to hunt for important stories hidden below nonsense about clickbait on ‘celebrities’,

    ‘Wall St stocks and oil have slumped again amidst growing talk of recession risk for both the US and the world.
    In Friday trading (Saturday NZT), the Dow Jones fell 1.3 per cent, the Standard & Poor’s 500 1.9 per cent and the Nasdaq 3.3 per cent.
    That took losses for the week to 3.1 per cent for the S&P 500 and 5.4 per cent for the Nasdaq.
    In a world braced for a hard landing in China, the US recovery was meant to be coming to the rescue.
    But Wall St’s dismal start to the year has sparked fears that it may have stalled and that the US Federal Reserve may have moved too soon to raise rates.
    In New Zealand, the extended period of low dairy prices is the biggest concern. Last week, Fonterra cut its farmer payout forecast to $4.15 from $4.60 per kilo of milk solids. The next day, prices in the global dairy trade auction fell another 7.4 per cent.
    ANZ economists responded by cutting their forecast for the payout to $3.95.
    The average breakeven for most farmers is estimated at $5.40 per kg.
    The Reserve Bank has indicated that it is likely to cut rates further this year if international conditions continue to weaken.
    At this point that looks more likely than not.’


    ‘ANZ is forecasting a longer, deeper trough in dairy prices.
    The bank has dropped its forecast price for milk solids this season by 30 cents to $3.95 a kilo.
    It now “tentatively” expected a price of $5 a kilo in 2016-17, which is 50c to 75c less than it had previously been predicting.
    Farmers would be losing about $1.50kg on their production over the two seasons, it said.’

    Tough times ahead.


    • The lost sheep 7.1

      You have to hunt for important stories

      Hunt – as in find something that is right out there in the open on the front home page?

      Gee, don’t you think they would find somewhere a bit more ‘difficult’ than the front page to put it if they really didn’t want people to see it?
      Like not publishing it at all for instance….

  6. Paul 8

    I see the NZ Herald are not publishing any of the comments to du Plessis’s disgraceful article. Wonder why?


    • Anne 8.1

      Yes Paul. One of the rare occasions I was moved to submit a comment there. I can guarantee the bulk of the comments were scathing… so many gaping holes in her arguments one hardly knew which to chose to comment on.

      I’ve noted it’s happening more and more frequently on the MSM online outlets. They ask you to “have your say” and then don’t publish any of them. What about an OIA to find out what is going on or are they exempt.

      • Paul 8.1.1

        Maybe the solution is to phone up Garner on his dreadful talk back show.
        And ask if he’s read the tpp legal files.

      • alwyn 8.1.2

        ” What about an OIA to find out what is going on or are they exempt.”
        You can’t use the OIA. Official Information is only that held by the Government, in most of its many guises.
        Our Government doesn’t own the Herald.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I suspect that was the point. The fact that private business can’t be held to account.

        • Anne

          Our Government doesn’t own the Herald.

          In theory – NO.
          In practice – YES

        • Ergo Robertina

          And even if it did own the Herald, it would likely be exempt, like Radio NZ.
          Even some entities one would expect to be OIA-able are not, like primary health organisations, which get all their money from DHBs and MOH.

    • Reddelusion 8.2

      I suggest because mainly personal rants and bile from the same twisted people

    • mary_a 8.3

      Paul (8) – NZH isn’t opening any comments to articles which might touch on FJK and his humiliation this week, through people power, with ordinary Kiwis fighting the signing of the odious TPPA.

      Audrey Young’s latest piece for instance is inviting comments, but still not open for debate. That’s from being published on Waitangi Day.

      Something to be said for digital media isn’t there? Yeah right!

      Keep the masses ignorant, keeps them compliant and controllable by the despotic powers that be!

      I’ve been around for almost seven decades and I’ve never known msm to be under such tight direct government control as it is now, not even in Muldoon’s time and that’s really saying something!

    • Incognito 8.4

      For some reason the NZH does not let any or hardly comments through during the weekend and I suspect that they have a shortage of Moderators on deck. The comments will appear slowly on Tuesday. The only exception seems to be comments to Sideswipe!

  7. Paul 9

    Clean Green New Zealand

    ‘Toxins now found in smaller lake

    Lake Waikopiro, next to Lake Tutira, has been confirmed as having dangerous levels of cyanobacteria.
    Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) staff noticed people swimming at Lake Waikopiro this week and decided to take water samples. Results came back yesterday showing potentially toxic cyanobacteria was present above guideline safety levels, although below the levels of the larger Lake Tutira, which was reported in mid-January and remains unsafe.
    HBRC has sent samples to the Cawthron Institute in Nelson, and is waiting on results of tests to assess if toxins have been released into the water or not.’


    ‘Trout dying in Tutira’s toxic water
    Dozens of dead fish were found along the shores of Lake Tutira by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s science monitoring team yesterday.
    “We saw potentially over 100 pan-sized trout,” said Vicki Lyon, a water quality and ecology resource technician.
    Prior to these latest deaths, the lake’s monitoring buoy recorded surface water temperatures approaching 33C — the warmest water ever recorded in the lake.
    Phycocyanin levels, which indicate the presence of cyanobacteria, peaked at around the same time. Cyanobacteria is the toxin that led to the death of 4-year-old labrador Marley after she drank from the Tukituki River last month.’


  8. BM 10

    Would the left be happy if a TPPA like arrangement went ahead, but the USA wasn’t part of it?

    • Paul 10.1

      As Andre says above
      ‘It needs to be ratified by at least 6 countries that add up to more than 85% of the combined GDP of the 12 signatories. Which in practice means Japan and the US both have to ratify before it can come into force.’

      And hypothetically, a ‘TPPA like arrangement.’ would be a forced trade agreement not a free trade agreement, thereby limitIng NZ’s sovereignty and democracy. The only change would be a lesser amount of ISDS claims as the highly litigious US corporations would not be in the game.

    • pat 10.2

      the only winner in a TPPA like arrangement are the transnational corporations not any particular country…i.e the US is projecting 10s of thousand job losses

      • BM 10.2.1

        So, there should be no free trade deals?
        Is that the position of the TPP protesters, all free trade is bad?

        • lprent

          You’re asking for a single opinion from a mass movement? Are you a complete nut?

          It is like asking National party members what their opinion is about their organisation’s institutional racism. You get all sorts of responses.

          • BM

            Ok, would you say that’s the majority view?

            • weka

              what do you mean by ‘free trade deal’? See how that works? What lynn said.

            • lprent

              Who knows? It sounds more like a dickhead myth to me polmulgated by idiots in the media (few of whom appear to have looked at the TPPA in any depth) and David Farrar’s focus groups than anything else.

              The only place I ever consistently hear that particular view (that all free trade is bad) is here, and even then only from a few people.

              At work amongst all of the engineers, I don’t hear it. Generally they export and like free trade deals. But the ones I’ve talked to about it are deeply suspicious of this particular deal (the TPPA) because it doesn’t look like a free trade deal at all. It looks like the opposite.

              In the political circles I still move in, most supported the China FTA albeit some pretty reluctantly, and virtually none of the same people support the TPPA.

              My parents tend to be deeply suspicious of free trade deals. But they also tend towards admiring NZ First when they aren’t voting Labour. And they remember the aftermath of the depression when the fragile free trade systems collapsed causing untold misery.

              I have to date supported all free trade deals from CER through WTO to the bilateral ones of recent decades. But the TPPA has less than a third of it about slightly freeing up trade. The rest is about restraining trade mostly for the benefit of specific interest groups.

              It isn’t worth supporting because it looks to me like a PR fool just stuck a ‘Free Trade’ badge on it to make a dud deal full of advantages for interest groups to make it look better. It reminds me of the worst of the corn laws in what it tries to do. Or any pork barrel bill from the US congress.


              Tell me amongst the TPPA supporters would you say that the majority support it because of their religious economic beliefs? That anything with a sticker saying it “free trade” is good? Because that is the impression of get of the mindless fools that I have run across.

              Many people have looked at the TPPA, found aspects that look to them to be highly flawed and detrimental, and therefore oppose getting into it. I’m one of them.

              But when you get an ignorant bigot of a reporter shoving mic in front of you on a hot day while you are walking, it is kind of hard to explain that to the fool disrupting a protest.

              • weka

                TPPA looks more like an MAI reboot.

                One of the key problems I have with free trade (in it’s general sense) is that it forces countries like NZ to be commodities exporters (let’s for sake of argument include tourism in that). In the world of post-carbon, Peak Oil and CC, that’s insane. Yes, we could shift to exporting things that worked within those constraints (and I hope we do), but I think the free trade culture itself promotes profit drive motives above everything else. Which means we should be regulating, and bang, there goes the free bit.

        • Tautuhi

          It ain’t a Free Trade Agreement it is completely the opposite – False Advertising by the NACT’s?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The TPP isn’t a free trade deal.

        • Paul

          The TPPA is not a free trade deal.
          It’s a forced trade deal.

        • Andre

          My past (and probable future) employment has been with companies that depend on international trade both for input materials and sale of finished goods. So I’m very much for removing barriers to international trade.

          My problem with the TPPA is that the trade aspects of it look like a very thin veneer over the bulk of the agreement, which is mostly an expansion of corporate privilege and power.

          • BM

            I was just looking at our free trade agreements


            Of the 11 countries involved in the TPPA, we already had agreements with


            with the TPPA there’s these countries added to the mix


            Why would all the other countries we already have free trade agreements want to join up to an arrangement which is more about corporate privilege and power and less about free trade. ?

            Why sign up to a deal which is worse than the deal that you’re currently in?

            • pat

              carrot and stick…..the corporates weild more power than national bodies…just as our esteemed(?) leaders say we can’t afford to be the odd one out so do the others…and that fear is played on …the reality is the transnationals need markets , stable and (reasonably) affluent ones at that….its about time the boot was on the other foot, way past time…..and the pricks need to start paying their way

              • BM

                So, is it just the USA corporates causing all the issues or is this corporate shenanigans across all the countries involved in the TPP.?

              • Ad

                Shows how much power our one multinational company has over our current government when for such tiny gains Fonterra still held MFAT’s balls in its hand.

                • pat

                  didn’t do them any good though….they were monstered in the deal and got virtually nothing….Fonterra may be our only international player of any scale but they pale into insignificance compared to the overseas owned corporations

                  • Ad


                    Fonterra are pulling New Zealand down every day.

                    They simply haven’t learnt how to do more than be driven by the margins of their Asset Management Plans.

                    I’d like to see a policy platform from an opposition party review its monopoly act.

              • greywarshark

                Why sign up to a deal which is worse than the deal that you’re currently in?
                If you are in a job and earning okay with future hopes, wouldn’t you think more than twice about saying no to the boss?

                Many workers have been forced by their employers to go away on weekend group-building exercises to weld them into a team and had to undertake meaningless activities on numbers of occasions, taking them away from their families, in their own supposedly personal free time. Why accept that deal?

                The desire is to weld employees (client countries of the USA) into a conformist lot of yes-men and women. Those who don’t participate can expect to be marked as undesirable. All part of the precarious world where we live freely, under the threat of being left out of whatever. And even being in leaves you out of pocket, or advantage, or resources, or anything that big corporations might decide to denude you of. The Emperor’s Clothes perhaps?

            • Andre

              I really don’t like speculating about other people’s motives, particularly on a topic as complex as this.

              But in this case it looks to me like maybe the TPPA grew too big, and fear of the risks of being outside of the agreement became the dominant motive for staying in the agreement. Possibly coupled with fear of too much loss of face from pulling out on the part of individuals that had already invested a lot of political capital into the agreement.

            • pat

              a parting thought for you BM…..TPPA is like game of blackjack…the corporations are the dealer…the minimum bet is $1000……NZ has a stake of 2k, the other members increasingly more…..whos going to win?

        • pat

          not at all…but then there is no such animal as a completely free trade deal….it would require both (or all) parties to be equal in every way,
          however, there are trade deals where the benefits for both parties outweigh the inevitable costs….TPPA is the complete antithesis of that

      • Paul 10.2.2

        ‘The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) includes special protections for corporations that offshore American jobs to low-wage countries. The TPP would not only replicate, but actually expand, the North American Free Trade Agreement’s (NAFTA) extraordinary privileges for firms that relocate abroad, and eliminate many of the usual risks that make firms think twice about moving to low-wage countries. The TPP’s offshoring incentives include a guaranteed minimum standard of treatment in the offshore venue and compensation for regulatory costs.
        The NAFTA-style offshoring incentives that the TPP would expand have contributed to the net loss of more than 57,000 American manufacturing facilities and nearly 5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs – one out of every four – since NAFTA took effect. The U.S. Department of Labor lists millions of workers as specifically losing their jobs to offshoring and import competition since the Fast-Tracking of NAFTA, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and NAFTA expansion deals – and that is under just one narrow program that excludes many whose job loss is trade-related. Studies estimate that the U.S. economy could have supported 7 million more manufacturing jobs if not for the massive trade deficits that have accrued under current U.S. trade policy.’


        How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Threatens America’s Recent Manufacturing Resurgence


    • lprent 10.3

      See my response here.

    • Olwyn 10.4

      (Reply to BM @ 10) There is more than one strand of thought in the USA. The people who oppose the TPPA there seem to have much the same concerns as those who oppose it here. What is of concern about the USA, here, there and elsewhere, are the ambitions of those aligned with the US corporations, the constraints they seek to impose on governments in order to lock in their own dominance, and subterfuge they have employed to do it.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.5

      Not me. The whole things bloody stupid and is designed only to make the rich richer. It does nothing for the other 99%.

    • The lost sheep 11.1

      More evidence of the Herald suppressing Anti TPPA stories Paul? /sarc

      • Paul 11.1.1

        This was a straightforward recount of events by a Hawkes Bay paper.
        It is not an opinion piece.
        As you appear a slavish supporter of the TPPA, negotiated by trade ministers with the input of 600 international corporations, can you explain why it’s good for NZ?

        And remember it’s not a free trade deal.
        So think of other reasons.

  9. Paul 12

    Maybe we need a post to demonstrate the TPP Is not a free trade deal.

    • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster) 12.1

      (subtitle courtesy of McFlock, with thanks)
      A good point, Paul. TPPA is not a free trade deal at all, as has been stated many times. In fact, when you look at all the ‘free-trade’ deals this country has been involved in or part of, the benefits have yet to ‘trickle’ down to the man in the street, except for cheap Chinese junk in our hardware shops. Most of the benefits from free trade have been captured by the top 1%, with inequality growing to obscene proportions.
      So maybe, just maybe, free-trade deals are not the panacea they are portrayed to be by their promoters. Perhaps we should be looking at ‘Fair’ trade deals.

      [lprent: 🙂 ]

      • Reddelusion 12.1.1

        Are you really saying globalisation and trade over last 50 years has not delivered higher standards of living and taken more people out of poverty than ever before. Show me a closed society that has been successful. Its a fact corporates now deliver by far the majority of our services and goods, it is no longer the state, thus trade is inevitable if you wish the nz economy to thrive Most of the fear about TPPA is fear of change which is understandable , ie we will loose what we have, this is not the case as with other trade deals the TPPA will over deliver on the positive side, companies and individuals will take advantage of it to the advantage of all that is not envisaged in current economic modelling

        • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster)

          Granted, the capitalist system has been successful – up to a point. Now, IMO, the balance has shifted too far in favour of large multi-national enterprises. Inequality is rampant, and poverty and underemployment is growing in New Zealand and worldwide. All the indications are that the corporate system is going to come crashing down – probably this year in an almighty market crash, or dismantled after the US elections (if Bernie wins).
          The neoliberal nirvana has almost played out its time. It really is not a question of if but when it all comes tumbling down and, more importantly, what is going to replace it.

        • Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster)

          Granted that capitalism has been successful, but only up to a point. IMO, the system is now all out of balance, with too much power being concentrated in the hands of too few. Inequality is rampant and middle class poverty is growing worldwide.
          There will be a rebalancing, of that you can be certain. Probably this year, with a market slowdown of massive proportions, or maybe next year (if Bernie becomes president).
          Perhaps then this country will be in a position to renegotiate the TPPA to make it a ‘fair’ trade agreement, instead of a corporate welfare agreement.

          [r0b: there are a bunch of strange characters in your new name, causing your comments to go to moderation. Please delete and retype your name for your next comment…]

      • maui 12.1.2

        Awesome, love your new handle 🙂 Definitely clarifies things and educates at the same time.

  10. Dialey 13

    A colonial gal’s view of TPPA, protests, Te Tiriti, and the media coverage – my latest blog post: http://abrainydeal.me/2016/02/08/tpp-is-the-new-imperialism/

    • ropata 13.1

      Great write-up, democracy is indeed in the process of colonisation and conquest by corporations, but that is by manufactured consent of the governed

    • ropata 13.2

      Related cartoon…

      Colonisation and corporatism. My #cartoon #nzpol #TPP #sovereignty pic.twitter.com/fxUOOsQIm4
      — Sharon Murdoch (@domesticanimal) January 19, 2016

    • Olwyn 13.3

      Thanks Dialey – that is a very good, very clear outline of the issue. It looks to me as if the people showing the most enthusiasm for this deal are the ones who think they will have a part to play in managing the power transfer or trumpeting the propaganda, which I guess is true in most cases of colonisation.

  11. greywarshark 14

    Some background reading for those who look at today’s turbulence in the world, and then think of the centuries of human development, thought and philosphy and wonder if any of it has ever reached our leaders, businesspeople and politicians and their and our parents who trained us in our prejudices and common goals.

    This I thought was interesting. The Frankfurt School Wikipedia.

    Founded during the interwar period, the School consisted of dissidents who were at home neither in the existent capitalist, fascist, nor communist systems that had formed at the time. Many of these theorists believed that traditional theory could not adequately explain the turbulent and unexpected development of capitalist societies in the twentieth century. Critical of both capitalism and Soviet socialism, their writings pointed to the possibility of an alternative path to social development.

    I wonder where those people ended up? Not a happy or popular position to adopt in early 20th century Germany. Reminds me of old song Something’s Got to Give.

    When an irresistible force such as you
    Meets an old immovable object like me
    You can bet just as sure as you live
    Something’s got to give…
    Lyrics Freak

    Frank Sinatra’s version – some light relief?

  12. The lost sheep 15

    The people express their electoral will by giving the Opposition a massive constitutional majority.
    The President then uses the outgoing assembly to load the Supreme Court with Pro-Socialist Judges.
    The Supreme Court then dismisses 4 opposition legislators in order to reduce the opposition majority below the constitutional level.
    The Supreme Court then appoints a pro-socialist majority to the Electoral C omission, despite Constitution stating that the Assembly should select the appointees, and that they should be non-partisan.
    President then subverts the elected Assembly by ruling by decrees.

    A question for the apologists here for the Venezuelan Socialists. Do you support these actions?

    • ropata 15.1

      Why do you continue to kick the Venezuelan people while they are down?
      Is politics just a game to you?

      • Reddelusion 15.1.1

        Lost sheep is simply highlighting that the society and economic system you aspire to has been tried many times and without fail ended up in abject failure and human misery

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Norway, you tiresome fuckwit.

          • Reddelusion

            Really OAB a monolistic society up to its knees in oil and on europes door step

            Can you list the successes and failures

            Angry little puppy today

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Yes: social democracy is the most successful political system that has ever been tried. Your flaccid attempts to smear say something about you and nothing whatsoever about your targets.

              It’s worthless and tiresome and a perfect expression of everything the National Party represents.

              • Reddelusion

                Your response is a slogan, not a list 😀

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Your allegation is a smear, motivated by hate, which has left you so twisted by bias you can’t even find a list of social democracies.

                  • Reddelusion

                    Another OAB cut and paste when challenged 😀

                    • ropata

                      no your stupidity has been exposed and smacked down yet again, yet you lack the basic comprehension skills to argue the point properly

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      That’s funny, coming from someone whose fatuous smears are copied directly from Gosman.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Ropata, I am pointing out that the democratic will of the Venezuelan people is being subverted by their President. He is the one kicking them when they are down.

                      @OAB. Social Democracy is a very successful system, but we are talking about Venezuela, which has a Socialist system.
                      Socialism is one of the worst systems ever invented, as Venezuela is demonstrating.

                      Ropata, OAB, do you support the actions of the Venezuelan President I note above?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      When did you stop pashing Augusto Pinochet’s corpse?

                      You see how this works? Shall we have a “debate” according to your witless point-scoring wank system? You seem to think you can demand answers of people, and I’m here to tell you that Pinochet pashers like you deserve jack shit.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      How typical of a Pinochet pasher to hate a system that increases literacy and decreases child mortality. I guess literate healthy people are harder to abduct and torture to death.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Is that red herring rant meant to disguise the fact that, again, you are not willing to make an honest answer to a straightforward question OAB?

                      It’s very simple. Do you support the actions of the Venezuelan Socialist President?
                      Yes or no will do. Only take you a couple of seconds. Whats the problem?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s very simple: do you support throwing people out of helicopters into the sea? And when did you stop fucking your pet pig?

                      Is this witless pigfucker argument the best you can do, Pinochet-pasher?

                      Speaking of cancelling election results, ECAN. Do you support the anti-democratic actions of the NZ Prime Minister? You do, don’t you: so you’re in no position to be looking askance at Venezuela, because you support a government that appoints cronies, cancels elections, and can’t even get literacy and child mortality right. You poxy hypocrite.

                      Meanwhile, the NZ Left has lots in common with social democrats the world over, and you haven’t got an answer to that other than to support torturers.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Is that a yes or is it a no?

                      Would only take you a couple of seconds to answer honestly. What is the problem?

                      Oh. Silly me. I guess the answer is honestly. That’s sooooo difficult….

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I’ve got nothing to say to a Pinochet pashing, election cancelling torture lover like you.

                    • The lost sheep

                      You demand answers from people all day every day OAB. What is wrong with answering one or two yourself?

                      And in this case it would only take one word to confirm you do not support the authoritarian actions of a President subverting the democratic will of the people?

                      I have to admit, your refusal to so does lead me to suspect you actually support those actions, but are unwilling to be honest about it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I must admit that that says something about you and nothing whatsoever about me, and if you haven’t worked out my opinion of authoritarians by now you’re inattentive as well as a massive hypocrite.

                      Oh, and don’t flatter yourself that this means I regard your opinions in this context as remotely credible. You supported Pinochet, after all.

                    • The lost sheep

                      My interest in Venezuela largely stems from my youthful vigorous opposition to Pinochet’s murderous regime.

                      See. I am happy to confirm my opposition.
                      Unlike yourself, who cannot bring yourself to confirm your opposition to the current President’s subversion of the democratic will of the Venezuelan people.
                      I can only conclude you have a double standard. You do not object to authoritarianism when it is imposed in the name of Socialism.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You didn’t explicitly deny your support for Jorge Rafael Videla. I can only conclude that you want to throw your political opponents out of helicopters into the sea.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      PS: What are you whining about: I told you a debate according to your witless point-scoring wank system was a waste of time.

                      I mean, do you know that what you’re doing is called a “pigfucker” argument? Or are you ignorant of that too? Nah, you fuck pigs.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …my youthful vigorous opposition to Pinochet’s murderous regime…

                      Now that’s an interesting admission. What made you switch to Pinochet’s side?

                    • The lost sheep

                      3 replies OAB? This one is weighing heavily on your conscience obviously.
                      And/or do you think that if you make enough replies it will hide your refusal to address a straightforward question honestly?

                      Seriously. I thought the policy on this site was that commenters should be willing to argue a point when reasonably requested to do so?
                      And I have observed YOU YOURSELF on numerous occasions demanding answers of others and (abusively) berating those you felt were not giving sufficiently open or honest answers to your questions.
                      So on both those standards, what about your refusal to engage with a reasonable question eh?

                      My question to you was reasonable.
                      We have previously debated the subject at hand, and you entered this particular discussion voluntarily.
                      The material I referenced was factual.
                      It concerns questions that you and others on this site commonly debate (support for authoritarian governments).
                      I posed the question in a polite spirit of goodwill.
                      You evidently have plenty of time free to debate.
                      It is a question you could answer with 5 seconds effort.
                      So on what grounds would you reasonably decline to address the point I raised?

                      Seriously, if the bar of ‘debate’ here is that commenters can simply ignore any point that challenges their position without justifying their refusal….what on earth is the value of ‘debate’ that occurs here?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If you can’t honestly acknowledge the basic point about pig-fucker arguments, what use are you?

                      If you were genuinely after my views on Venezuela, you’d read them and engage with the points I made.

                      Instead, you put words in my mouth and lie about my opinions. You rancid dishonest shitheel.

                      Now go fuck your pet pig.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Oh, and by your own admission, you support torture. You used to oppose it, and then you changed sides.

                      Why was that?

                    • The lost sheep

                      If you were genuinely after my views on Venezuela, you’d read them and engage with the points I made
                      We had that discussion, and you know very well that you made no comment at all regarding the points I raise in 15 above.

                      Instead, you put words in my mouth and lie about my opinions.
                      As you refuse to clarify your opinion, I am forced to make assumptions about why that is, and what you might think.

                      It seems bizarre in the extreme that you complain about being mis-represented, but refuse to clarify your position!
                      It would just take one word. What possible issue is there with that?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I am forced to make assumptions…

                      What possible issue is there with that?

                      No-one is forcing you to do anything. So the “possible issue” may be that your entire premise is a lie, characterised by sexual congress with porcine mammals.

                      Have you considered that? I had hoped that holding up a rhetorical mirror to your behaviour might give you a gargantuan clue. Apparently not.

                      One of your other prejudicial dishonesties was your description of people as “apologists”. You brought blank ammunition, and your powder’s wet.

                    • The lost sheep

                      My current assumption is that your unwillingness to indicate whether or not you support the authoritarian actions of the Venezuelan Government is because you do support them, but you know it would not be a good look at all to admit it.

                      If this is untrue, then just say ‘NO’.
                      I will be very happy to be corrected, and I will unreservedly withdraw my incorrect assumption.

                      If you do not, I will not ask you again. I will simply accept that this is the second time this week you have publicly exposed yourself as holding views you are not willing to admit to openly. Next time you have a problem with someone declining to debate your reasonable points, or accuse someone of a lack of honesty or transparency, I will remind you of this.

                      BTW, do you really think all that stuff about sex with animals enhances the validity of your arguments, or reflects well on you as a person? Let alone reflects well on this forum as a whole?

  13. Macro 16

    Why we can continue to treat Australia as our friend I do not know.
    With “friends” like these who would want to be friendly with us?
    The way Australia, particularly under the Dutton regime, has treated innocent asylum seekers, especially women and children, is indescribably inhumane and despicable.

    • fender 16.1


      Seems cruel but makes me wonder why our fire-fighters bother trying to help them. Have to remember there are many Australians also outraged by the actions of their backward leaders.

  14. Whispering Kate 17

    Have been wondering lately about what the age group bands are which write into this blog site. It seems to me that there could well be quite a lot of older folk (myself included at 70) who take an active interest in what is happening in our country – it may be me, but in my own experience there are many younger people who just show no interest in politics or current affairs at all – I have one of each, one who couldn’t care less and one who cares a lot. Is it because we probably are retired and have the time to muse and ponder and debate topics or is it just something else altogether. I know we grew up in the turbulent 60’s and were used to protesting and becoming passionate about being able to manage our own affairs – does that make our generation more active and vigilant or is it something else, maybe the preoccupation with iphones, electronic gaming etc which becomes an obsession quite often, shuts younger people off – shutting their ears off from the world. Mostly I see young people eyes glued to their phones walking down the street incommunicado to the world.

    Just me wandering off in my own thoughts – but its a real problem for this country if kids are not being taught civics and modern history at school, not having conversations around the table at home about what’s going on in this country and not being able to get balanced debate in the MSM – it definitely will end up a dictatorship and the younger generations will be trapped in a nightmare police state with their eyes shut oblivious before they know it.

    • Ant 17.1

      I’m 69 and suspect the average age here is fairly high 🙂

      I think you’re right; youth is accustomed to immediate feedback and turn-over of ideas via internet and a range of media devices. The slow turning of the wheels of politics, endless discussion, sterile debate and the orchestrated response of MSM all comprise a major switch-off.

      Until schools teach social and civic responsibility as mainstream subject the trend will continue. Its astonishing that the dangers facing our planet as well as our country are given no more than sanitised academic treatment.

      My kids are both early 30 ‘s and have zero interest in or knowledge of politics.

      • Paul 17.1.1

        It is my theory that people under 30 are more interested in the world than those between 30 and 45.
        People born from 1967 onwards have no adult knowledge of the world prior to Rogernomics.
        People born after 1990 have no adult knowledge of the world before the GFC, when it became apparent the neo-liberal world is not working.

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata

          It was heartening to see the large number of young adults involved in the Real Choice action shutting down Auckland from 9am Thurs. The earlier protests, eg in Dec 2012, seemed to have a noticeably lower percentage of youth IMO.
          I am greatly encouraged at the growing political awareness of this age group and with the current use of technology, this could grow rapidly and exponentially. The flying dildo coverage went viral. Every young person in NZ will know what and why this happened, and it won’t be through the Herald.

          The next step is to get other information through- maybe in a piecemeal fashion- in small byte-sized but riveting chunks. I am confident that this will happen now and that it will be initiated by young activists. The tide is turning.

          • Whispering Kate

            Thank you all for responding – my two kids were born in the late 1970’s and were too young to experience Roger Douglas’ pain on the country. They haven’t had to take out student loans thanks to us but one kid is very aware of the unfairness around her. The other is a w…….. banker as much as I love her to bits and making huge money and is politically unaware.

            I do think TMM’s comment about getting bite sized chunks of riveting information out to these kids so preoccupied with their hand pieces would be excellent. Kids seem to want everything instantly these days and its no thanks to us as we have provided that environment to them, so bite sized would be the right size for them. I personally don’t like bite sized as I like to ingest the whole chunk slowly – but that’s age I suppose.

            Education is down the tubes and is deficit in its subject matter but that again is a Government agenda and what governments prefer, people dumbed down, the more ignorant and docile the better for them, but thanks it’s great that one can ponder and discuss thoughts on this blog site.

            • Paul

              It is the 35- 50 group who are the generation who believe the koolaid about trickle down etc,

              • Craig H

                I’m 36 and have never believed it – it didn’t work in the 1800s, or any time since!

          • Paul

            Yes, the tide is turning.
            Far more people now know abut the TPPA and know about the fact our government can be sued by overseas corporations.

    • Ergo Robertina 17.2

      Most commenters on the Standard tend to be over 50 – I think stats put up by lprent at one stage showed that the most engaged readers (the ones who spend hours here) were older.
      Facebook is particularly popular with those aged 30s and 40s (and a lot of discussions there are political), and a number of social media platforms are popular with those under 30.

      The under 30s are interesting; the engaged are a minority, unfortunately, but they could be the most well informed and empowered perhaps of any generation at their life stage; they keenly evaluate information, read history, write engagingly, question assumptions, and stand up to authority. I’m pretty sceptical about claims it was ever that much better (but it has certainly been exacerbated by neoliberalism).

      Younger people are more likely to work during the day which is less conducive to commenting during the hours that are busiest on the Standard.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.3

      but its a real problem for this country if kids are not being taught civics and modern history at school…

      They are being taught those things in school. What they’re not seeing is active participation in the political process by their parents and contemporaries. They don’t see the good behaviour and so they don’t emulate it.

      Some will be actively put off it by their own social group.

      it definitely will end up a dictatorship and the younger generations will be trapped in a nightmare police state with their eyes shut oblivious before they know it.

      The thing about police states is that they’ve always collapsed in one way or another. Revolution seems to be quite common.

    • pat 17.4

      in my 50s…my adult children are varyingly interested in politics although not in the involved activist sense…what is noticeable is their views tend to be further to the right than my own but that is in some sense unsurprising given the society they have grown up in, (one curious feature is their response to lay offs…they are quite indignant so theres hope for them yet.lol)…and they have never experienced recession in their living memory, so have no reference for when “the market economy” turns….there is no teacher like experience and I suspect they won’t have long to wait

  15. Incognito 18

    Polls pervert the political process

    We seem to have developed an almost pathological obsession with political polls. There always is one important election happening somewhere in the world, e.g. the US Presidential Elections, or locally, e.g. the Northland by-election or the Auckland mayoral election, and the 2017 General Election is, for some reason, never far from our minds.

    Polls before elections influence voters’ behaviour. Some people like to vote for the anticipated winner. Polls can trigger or influence so-called strategic voting. This is sometimes called the Heisenberg Principle of Uncertainty, which means, in simple terms, that the measurement influences what’s being measured. (BTW this article Grading Teachers by the Test makes good arguments against performance-based incentives in education, one of which is based on the Heisenberg Principle of incentive design)

    Polls are particularly popular with MSM and can lead to biased framing of a story or situation (‘headlines’). Usually, only the two largest parties or two main candidates (‘frontrunners’) get invited to the main televised debates; minor parties play second fiddle and small, new ‘protest’ parties get virtually no airtime. All based on polls, of course.

    A much-loved ‘theory’ is that many polls are manipulated (‘rigged’). I believe that the reality is more concerning!

    In New Zealand politics often resembles a The X Factor contest that is guided if not driven by popularity stakes – this includes the number of viewers watching the spectacle – and heavily influenced by focus group polling and other types of beta-testing and ‘test audiences’.

    It is hard to escape the conclusion that New Zealand politicians, and particularly the current Government, make policies, laws, law amendments, and decisions in general that are at least partly (?) based on polls.

    This sets up a fascinating feedback loop that goes under many different names and that may give the appearance of malicious manipulation. However, it is no other ‘manipulation’ than teaching to the test where the whole system, students and teachers alike, are focused on a metric that needs to be achieved. This is a special example of Campbell’s law. What all this means is that polls become less valid as an objective measurement of public opinion or ‘the will of the people’ if you like. Here’s another take on this. Obviously, trying to win a popularity contest is not a good strategy for governing a country – it is perverting the political process.

    All this leads to a few important questions:

    Quiz Question #1: why are most polls within earshot of the actual results?

    Quiz Question #2: why do the polls hardly move from the ‘equilibrium’ bar a few fluctuations?

    Quiz Question #3: what can be done to change the poll results?

    Quiz Question #4: why do we pay so much attention to polls?

    Quiz Question #5: how best to measure, represent and act on the will of the people besides that snapshot poll once every three years?

    PS This is a very long (!) but very good (!!) recent read in The New Yorker Politics and the New Machine – What the turn from polls to data science means for democracy.

    • ropata 18.1

      yep, turning elections into an entertainment spectacle sells more ads on TV
      too bad for democracy!

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2

      It is hard to escape the conclusion that New Zealand politicians, and particularly the current Government, make policies, laws, law amendments, and decisions in general that are at least partly (?) based on polls.

      They will be to some degree but chances are they’re basing them more Focus groups. This will allow them to ask more detailed questions and get feedback from things like body language that can’t be measured in via online or telephone polling.

      One thing about focus groups is that they don’t cover the range of the population that polls can cover and so the result is more biased. The other is that the results of the focus group can help massage the message to be more favourable. It can allow advertisers and political parties to direct the response.

      Advertising truly is psychopathic.

      • Incognito 18.2.1

        Agreed, that’s why I used the word “pervert”, which conveys much of the contempt I hold for the current practices in NZ not to mention DP in all its gory.

        So, what can be done about it?

  16. joe90 19

    The Ram’s packed up his shit and the Monkey’’s taking over so a belated Happy Chinese New Year to all.

    • Macro 20.1

      Yes I remember the promise of quotas for local content. And interesting that Australia didn’t agree, and one only has to see the huge difference now between Aussie and NZ TV that is partly the result.

      • weka 20.1.1

        I have a feeling that that deal was done in secret so the incoming Labour govt had campaigned on quotas but didn’t know about the details of the agreement.

  17. Paul 21

    Further evidence of the oncoming crash.

    ‘Debt, defaults, and devaluations: why this market crash is like nothing we’ve seen before

    A pernicious cycle of collapsing commodities, corporate defaults, and currency wars loom over the global economy. Can anything stop it from unravelling?
    A global recession is on the way. This truism of economics holds at any point in which the world is not in the grips of a contraction.
    The real question is always when and how deep the upcoming downturn will be.
    “The crash will come, but it would be nice if it came two years from now”, Thomas Thygesen, head of economics at SEB told over 200 commodity investors and analysts in London last month.
    His audience was rapt with unusual attention. They could be forgiven for thinking the slump had not already arrived.
    Commodity prices have crashed by two thirds since their peaks in 2014. Oil has borne the brunt of the sell-off, suffering the worst price collapse in modern history. Brent crude has fallen from $115 a barrel in the summer of 2014, to just $27.70 in mid-January.’


  18. North 22

    This is the Pharma Terrorist Shkreli at a congressional hearing.

    Steven Joyce as an arrogant young man smirking ?

  19. joe90 23


    Jemaine Clement Verified account

    Hey @rooshv @Cernovich

    This poll might be the first time you guys win something!

  20. Macro 24

    Very informative article regarding financial abuse by Kyle MacDonald particularly with regards to Govt funding of NGO’s and the control of community welfare programmes with respect to workers speaking out about problems within their sphere of expertise.

  21. joe90 25

    The Wendelstein 7-X has been fired up.

    Today the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at a ceremony at the Max Planck Institute for Plasma physics in Greifswald in Germany, pressed a button that caused a two-megawatt pulse of microwave radiation to heat hydrogen gas to 80 million degrees for a quarter of a second.

    No, she was not setting off some new kind of hydrogen bomb. She was inaguriating the fusion reactor Wendelstein 7-X, the world’s largest stellarator, by generating its first hydrogen plasma.


    (previously on TS)

    Daily Review 14/12/2015

  22. Gangnam Style 26

    I missed this John Key said “I had a speech I was going to deliver at Waitangi this morning, which we actually decided to rewrite in the middle of this week this week (sic) which was really quite factual but reasonably straight forward – rebutting basically every single point that had been made by (sic) single person who had been opposed to the TPP.” – there’s still time for this speech, maybe a post on The Standard? (I am assuming he’s saying “rebutting basically every single point that had been made by (b) single person who had been opposed to the TPP

  23. Tautoko Mangō Mata 27

    Japan’s Top-Economist debunks TPP

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