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Open mike 08/07/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 8th, 2016 - 129 comments
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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 …

129 comments on “Open mike 08/07/2016 ”

  1. Paul 1

    Another day in John Key’s neo-liberal nightmare.
    We have become a cruel, greedy, uncaring and selfish nation under his wretched leadership.

    Uncaring, greedy.
    Andrew King of the NZ Property Investors Federation.

    Pretending that property investors care about homelessness on RNZ this morning in an attempt to say there should not be new restrictions on them.

    ‘Tenants could be worse off if Reserve Bank targets investors’
    Listen to his weasel words here……….

    These spokesmen of greed, misery, exploitation and death don’t seem to have any problems getting themselves on our air waves……
    Money talks.

    • tc 1.1

      If only she was as principled about the welfare of citizens more often rather than vote with national to sell state houses and prop up a regime that’s wilfully selling out our future generations ability to take care of themselves.

      All for show in my view, cunning as her surname that one.

    • ianmac 1.2

      Yep. No pussy footing there! And she is totally right to call out the unscrupulous death harbinger.

  2. Tautoko Mangō Mata 2

    New video by Elizabeth Warren opposing TPP.

    Ahead of this weekend’s Democratic platform fight, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has once again taken aim at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), skewering the corporate-friendly trade deal she says will allow for “open season on laws that make people safer.”

    Warren makes the remarks about the 12-nation trade deal, which still needs Congressional approval, to progressive activists in a video released Thursday by social change network CREDO Action.

    The deal, Warren says in the video, “isn’t about helping American workers set the rules. It’s about letting giant corporations rig the rules—on everything from patent protection to food safety standards —all to benefit themselves.”

    Even in the drafting process industry representatives could exert influence—but there was no voice to represent American workers or consumers, she says. “A rigged process produces a rigged outcome,” she says.


    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      I’m a bit sad that she has decided to campaign next to Hillary Clinton. Warren should have been the Democratic Party’s favoured Presidential candidate.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 2.2

      If Hillary Clinton chooses Elizabeth Warren for VP running mate, she will bring on board most of Bernie Sanders’ followers. But Elizabeth Warren’s video against the TPP means that Hillary will have to choose between the TPP or Warren.

      If Clinton does pick Warren, it will be exceedingly difficult to pass the agreement, even during Congress’s lame-duck session. The Obama administration gained fast-track authority on the strength of Republican support. That support will likely dissolve if president-elect Trump is preparing to take office. Conversely, if the incoming Democratic vice-president is one of the nation’s leading opponents of the TPP, it’s hard to imagine that many congressional Democrats will feel comfortable changing sides.

      Notably, the veepstakes’ other front-runner, Virginia senator Tim Kaine, was one of the 13 Senate Democrats to vote for fast-track last year.


  3. Jenny 3

    “Could it really have been the legislature’s intention to remove from the internal workings of New Zealand’s principal piece of environmental legislation virtually all opportunities, both negative and positive, to consider the one environmental issue that adversely affects all others?”

    Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC


    “What’s worrying [about the record-breaking 2016] is that we are in unprecedented territory and we don’t really know what the consequences will be,”
    Bob Ward
    Policy director at the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.


    Meanwhile here in New Zealand due to legislation banning any mention of climate change in resource management consent hearings two brand new coal mines are being started and one old shuttered coal mine is being reopened.



    In 2004 the Labour Government amended the Resource Management Act to order that objections based on climate change must not be taken into account by Regional Councils when considering applications for a new coal mining operations at consent planning hearings.

    As Geoffrey Palmer asks, is this the intent?

    The evidence is so compelling and irrefutable, that if the case against climate change caused by burning fossil fuels was allowed to be raised at coal mine consent hearings, it would be very difficult for any coal company to gain a consent to begin a new mining operation in this country ever again.

    Taking this statute out of our law books must be a priority. Allowing it to remain standing, is incompatible with New Zealand becoming a world leader in combating climate change.

    If Andrew Little is serious about the commitment he gave at the Green Party AGM about making New Zealand a world leader on climate change then Little must make the repeal of this law one of his election campaign promises

    This will be the real test of the sincerity of his statement made at the Green Party AGM to make New Zealand a world leader on climate change.


    • Rosemary McDonald 3.1

      “If Andrew Little is serious….”

      “This will be the real test of the sincerity of his statement made at the Green Party AGM…..”


      I too would like to see some real and sincere statements from Andrew Little to convince me that there is true commitment to the accord between Labour and the Greens.

      This issue presents an ideal opportunity for Labour to acknowledge that we a living in different times….and that that particular statute has no place in the RMA in 2016.

      Thanks Jenny for bringing this to our attention.

    • Ad 3.2

      When does this get to its first vote in Parliament?
      Or have they not yet finished drafting the changes out of Select Committee?

      A little challenge for its defenders: it is essentially a permissive law, rather than a policy-directive law. Isn’t it time that some of the Government Policy Statements shifted from regulatory instruments to actual law? eg water quality.

      That would change the whole modus operandi of this law from permissive to directive.

      We may not like that National is reforming the law, and I would oppose changing the principles of the Act. But Palmer should be less afraid to defend his baby and maybe accept it’s really time to give it a good wakeup.

    • Bill 3.3

      Meanwhile here in New Zealand due to legislation banning any mention of climate change in resource management consent hearings…

      So I’ve come across mention of this before. A member of ‘Oil Free Otago’ attended the resource hearings for Fonterra’s Canterbury coal fired drying plant and wrote a piece for the ODT.

      In that piece she made passing reference of some illegality applying to her making any mention of global warming during that hearing. I meant to follow up on it and ask if it was a prohibition applying to her in a personal capacity, or whether it was something wider than that.

      This legislation – can you link to it?

      • http://www.legislation.co.nz/act/public/2004/0002/latest/DLM237584.html#DLM238104

        As I read it, it was meant to allow councils to take climate change into account when making decisions, but, if Jenny is correct, the opposite effect has occurred. An unintended consequence?

        • Bill

          Fucking astonishing. Nothing unintended about it as far as I can see. (emphasis added)

          70A Application to climate change of rules relating to discharge of greenhouse gases

          Despite section 68(3), when making a rule to control the discharge into air of greenhouse gases under its functions under section 30(1)(d)(iv) or (f), a regional council must not have regard to the effects of such a discharge on climate change, except to the extent that the use and development of renewable energy enables a reduction in the discharge into air of greenhouse gases, either—

          “(a) in absolute terms; or

          “(b) relative to the use and development of non-renewable energy.

          And 68.3 reads – “In making a rule, the regional council shall have regard to the actual or potential effect on the environment of activities, including, in particular, any adverse effect.”

          So 70a over-rides 68.3 and shit that contributes to global warming gets a free pass.

          • te reo putake

            The purpose section at the beginning suggests the change is intended to allow councils the ability to take it into account, but the actual wording says they can’t. I did a quick google and I can’t find anything that clarifies what is going on. It’s weird that it doesn’t seem to have been an issue for the Greens, Labour, Greenpeace etc for the last 12 years. There must be some piece of the puzzle missing.

            • Save NZ

              The only Green thing about the environment court legislation, is the money!

            • Bill

              The purpose (deleting the clause and para markers for the sake of readability)

              The purpose of this Act is to amend the principal Act to require local authorities to plan for the effects of climate change; but not to consider the effects on climate change of discharges into air of greenhouse gases.

              That’s pretty unequivocal…and insane. It’s an instruction to adapt, but specifically, to not mitigate.

              Since the amendment was passed back in 2004 under a Labour led government that was at least nodding in the right direction as far as global warming goes, I can only guess it is as it is because of lobbying.

              And since it was 2004, and we were all going to be getting serious about tackling global warming and what not, I guess Greenpeace and whoever might not have picked it as an issue at the time (under their radar).

              It sure as fuck’s an issue now though.

          • instrider

            The reason for this is because central government has decided that it has responsibility at a national level for managing emissions, but more pragmatically it has absolutely no trust in the competence of councils to deal with the issue. Look at the scientific ignorance numerous councils have shown over fluoridation as an example as to why.

      • Jenny 3.3.2

        The reason I didn’t put any link to the statute itself, is because to actually tease out the real world result of this law has been the result of several court battles.

        In all these court hearings the judgement has always come down clearly on the side that the intent of the law is that climate change is unambiguously banned from being raised as an objection in consent hearings for new fossil fuel projects.

        But these court battles have been “under the radar” in the sense that they have not been widely reported.
        But anyone who has ever tried to raise climate change as reason for denying a permit for a new coal mine or fossil fuel power plant in their area will have come up against it.

        Apart from Geoffrey Palmer’s rather dense treatise entitled “New Zealand’s defective law on climate change”

        There have been several other legal comments on this law.

        Despite being an “allegedly reputable law firm”, Chapman Tripp wrongly attributed this law change to the National Party, (well they might considering the extreme retrograde and right wing nature of this law), but it is not a slip that I would expect from a major law firm, National was not the government at the time this law was inserted into the RMA.

        Buller Coal was granted consent by the Buller District and West Coast Regional Councils for the Escarpment Mine in August 2011 but West Coast ENT and Forest & Bird have appealed that decision. Solid Energy has an application before the councils now.

        The decision

        The case hinged around section 104E of the RMA. This was inserted as part of the 2004 amendments to the Act by the National Government and provides that, when considering an application to discharge greenhouse gases, a consent authority “must not have regard to the effects of such discharge on climate change” – except to the degree that the use and development of renewable energy would enable a reduction of greenhouse gases.

        The Court dismissed arguments from West Coast ENT and Forest and Bird that climate change effects should be considered, saying:

        “I consider, as I did in Greenpeace New Zealand Inc v Northland Regional Council, that the whole of the Amendment Act, but particularly section 3, point strongly to a finding that regulatory activity on the important topic of climate change is taken firmly away from regional government and made the subject of appropriate attention from time to time by central government by way of activity at a national level”.

        Chapman Tripp comments

        Chapman Tripp represented Buller Coal in these proceedings and welcomes the Court’s clear and consistent application of the law in this area.

        The decision will allow coal mining companies like Buller Coal to proceed with their plans without the introduction into the consenting process of irrelevant arguments and evidence about the threat posed by climate change.
        If New Zealand is to develop its mineral resource, investors need to have the confidence to invest.


        Investors “need to have the confidence” to invest in fossil fuels.

        Business As Usual needs to continue untrammeled by concerns about climate change.

        This is the clear intent of section 104E of the Resource Management Act as emphasised and reinforced over several court cases.

        Section 104E of the RMA is incompatible with New Zealand being a world leader on climate change.

        My hope is that Andrew Little, in line with his promise that he made at the Green Party AGM to make New Zealand a world leader on climate change. Will announce that the Labour Party in government will repeal section 104E prohibiting climate change being raised as an objection to new fossil fuel projects.

        • te reo putake

          Thanks for the explanation, Jenny. I agree entirely that it needs looking at and as I said upthread, I can’t believe more of a fuss hasn’t been made about it. Mind you, I can see the argument that this should be a central government issue, not one left just to the district councils to rule on.

          However, I think this is not just an issue for the Labour party. This is something the Labour/Green alliance should be addressing. Improving that section of the Act could be a natural plank in their cooperative effort, IMO.

          • Jenny

            I can see the argument that this should be a central government issue, not one left just to the district councils to rule on.
            te reo putake

            You are right, as it reads 104E was inserted into the RMA to ensure that central government keeps full control of climate change policy. The central government mechanism for doing that is the ETA.

            Which like 104E is also the same as doing nothing. Since its inception the ETA has overseen a huge increase in Greenhouse gas emissions.


            The ETA in practice has proven to be worse than doing nothing.

            The ETA and section 104E fit together, both preventing any practical and measurable cuts in Greenhouse gas emissions.

            Which is why the Green Party want the ETA repealed as well.



            The establishment have learnt from the past. Nuclear Free Aotearoa was first achieved at the devolved council level, long before it ever became central government policy. Unlike central authority, councils are less remote and more open to democratic grass roots lobbying. (While Central authority is more susceptible and open to corporate lobbying.) This is one of the reasons that devolvement, Scottish Independence, Brexit, etc. have proved so popular. People seem to know instinctively that the more remote authority is, the less democratic control they have over it.

  4. Adrian 4

    The Guardian today, ” How Hot Chinese Money is Making Vancouver Unliveable “. Same problems, empty houses, ridiculous prices and before the usual suspects complain of racism, amongst the most vocal opponents are the Chinese who have been there for decades.

    • KJT 4.1

      Like my Aunt.

      Says there are too many Chinese immigrants in Auckland.

      She was born in Hong Kong.

  5. vto 5

    So Chilcott says on the basis of the information and circumstances at the time Tony Blair was wrong in many ways to go to war and kill 100,000 Iraqis and 179 English soldiers.

    But Tony Blair says on the basis of the information and circumstances at the time he would still make the same wrong decision..

    that is psychopathic

    key is the exact same

    • North 5.1

      I know……it’s boggling. The Non-Man Key said more or less the same thing………”Hindsight’s a wonderful thing………” It’s got nothing to do with hindsight. It’s got to do with having a core morality and not being a war criminal.

      What a bastard is Blair. What a bastard is that effete Non-Man Key.

  6. Lanthanide 6

    Simple thing the RBNZ could do to help control the investing side of the housing market – say that banks are only allowed to lend at their carded rates when signing interest-only loans for investors.

    There has been various suggestions that interest-only be banned outright, which seems like a punitive over-reaction that could have unforeseen consequences. But this would be a very easy policy for the banks to implement. It represents another tightening of the screws against investors that would help to even the playing field. Note I’m not suggesting this instead of other proposals, but in addition to.

    For example, at the moment the lowest 1 year rate from a mainstream bank is 4.25%, but it’s possible to get that discounted to 3.99% if you’re attractive enough to the bank.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Buy Chinese! Buy more Chinese! Then make Kiwis sort out the mess!

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      This is what happens when you buy on price rather than quality. National, and to a lesser degree Labour, always buy on minimum price and maximum profits. This is why we have substandard housing and other failures throughout our society.

      • Pat 7.2.1

        buying on price can be a big problem, as can not having or enforcing standards…..but the most mind blowing aspect is that after all the problems that have cost millions, time and still ending up with a product that doesn’t meet spec we have ordered more…..from the same manufacturer ……brilliant

  7. Kevin 8

    Well that’s a new one…


    As long as you don’t INTEND to break the law…

    • Puckish Rogue 8.1

      It beggers belief (to me anyway) that country like the USA can only come up with Clinton v Bush

      • Save NZ 8.1.1

        @ Puckish Rogue, 30 years of Charter schools, legal lobbyists and neoliberalism….

        plus, you are what you eat….all that GM and monsanto crops, lead in the water and so forth…

      • Kevin 8.2.1

        What is unbalanced about the OffGuardian article?

        They re not putting words into the FBI Directors mouth they are just analysing what he said.

        The Director of the FBI, James Comey, seems to go out of his way to exonerate Clinton in his press conference (full text here), and yet somehow damn her at the same time – making some peculiar statements in the process. This (my emphasis):

        “I should add here that we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them.”

        Is followed up by this (again, emphasis mine):

        “It is also likely that there are other work-related e-mails that they did not produce to State and that we did not find elsewhere, and that are now gone because they deleted all e-mails they did not return to State, and the lawyers cleaned their devices in such a way as to preclude complete forensic recovery.”

        These two statements seem contradictory to me. All the e-mails Clinton’s lawyers didn’t produce were deleted in such a way to “preclude forensic recovery”? And yet there’s “no evidence” of attempted concealment?

        • Andre

          What’s not balanced is that the OffGuardian article only presents the bits that put Clinton in a bad light. It doesn’t present any of the reasons why the FBI recommended against charging Clinton.

          • Colonial Viper

            Get serious, if Clinton had merely been a senior level manager in the State Department doing what she did, she would have been charged 6 months ago and made an example of.

    • ianmac 8.3

      And how does our Key fit in with our law when he deletes all his texts?

    • Ad 8.4

      State Department investigation now underway.

      Clinton isn’t out of the woods on this.

      • Andre 8.4.1

        You seen anything that says the State Department investigation has the power to be anything worse than just embarrassing for Clinton? As far as I can tell, it’s a civil matter so there’s no possibility of criminal charges or anything else with real teeth.

        • Colonial Viper

          You can be stripped of your security clearance, prevented from working for the Federal Government ever again, and placed on a no-fly list.

          • Ad

            Main problems is it corrodes her claim to foreign policy experience, and may disqualify a number of staff favoured for the foreign policy desks.

            Delicate balance:
            she has to be humble to take the beats in media for constitutional propriety,
            but State Department have to be sure they don’t get full scorched earth when she walks through the door.

            • Colonial Viper

              Trump is going to have a field day with this every single TV debate.

              • North

                Oh CV…….Trump?…….you mean your daddy ?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Killary and her associates have caused a massive national security breach through her deliberate mishandling of classified information.

                  Trump is going to take this to the end zone over and over and over again.

            • Andre

              I don’t see that it hits her claim to foreign policy experience. But it certainly reinforces that she’s DGAF about some things that she really should be careful about.

              Yeah if the State Department throws everything at it the likes of Abedin may disappear under a bus, but Hillary’s network is big enough it won’t leave big holes.

              Since one of the reasons claimed for Hillary to set up her own system was that the approved State systems were such a pain to use, I’m picking the State investigation outcome will be heavy on the “this is what State has learned it needs to improve” and light on condemnation of Hillary and associates. Which will fuel another few rounds of congressional investigations.

              • Colonial Viper

                Holy shit, high security top secret information systems are a “pain to use.”

                You don’t say.

                Are there any other Federal Employees who now get to use that same excuse to commit felonies with sensitive/classified US GOV documents?

                If Clinton gets nailed by this, then Bernie naturally becomes the Democratic Candidate, and the polls say that Bernie would smash Trump hands down in the general election.

                I can’t believe the people still cheering for Clinton to come out on top in this scenario, especially when it is so clear that the Deep State is pulling every string it can to appoint Clinton to the Oval Office. FFS.

                • McFlock

                  As opposed to trump, who might end up starting WW3.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Which is the exact inverse of the truth.

                    Clinton is a neocon, and will fill her White House with neocons like Samantha Powell and Victoria Nuland.

                    Taking their current brinksmanship against Russia and against China, will be the top of their agenda. As well as a full scale invasion of Syria by US/Saudi proxies.

                    Trump is far more interested in doing business with China and Russia, and bringing US forces home.

                    • McFlock

                      no, he’s cool with overseas deployment, he just doesn’t want to tell anyone about it.

                      And as soon as nuclear proliferation is out of the bottle (like he wants), shit gets much worse.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m under no illusions that the Deep State holds far more power than the Oval Office.

                    • McFlock

                      lol so you’re relying on the “deep state” to stop him before he blows up the world? Awesome.

                  • North

                    Yeah CV…….you’re losing it and you’re a pain in the arse frankly. I think you’d happily unleash Trump on us as a quid pro quo for Clinton being humiliated. Bugger it…….came home after a hefty day thought I’d just have a quick squiz at TS before dinner…….Oh No ! CV being a weird-arse.

  8. Why should Māori have to put up with this shit.

    The welsh should be ashamed of these disgraceful, racist and insulting players.

    I hope they lose everything.


    • Bill 9.1

      Curious. (Can’t actually view the vid on this particular computer/browser btw)

      Is the root of the insult that the guys are Welsh? That it was an insensitive and thoughtless pastiche? That a part of Maori culture has been appropriated by corporate sporting bodies, performed around the world in that context and, abroad at least, not understood beyond that sporting context?

      If – and I suspect this is the case – a load of foreigners with no connection to NZ merely view the haka as some kind of blood stirring theatre of no cultural significance, then what’s the solution? Is there a solution?

      Or in tune with 1001 other culturally insensitive bits of nonsense, is the only recourse to either quietly (or not so quietly) mutter what a pack of apparent wankers this that or the other group of people are to indulge in this or that kind of shit?

      • marty mars 9.1.1

        when you have watched it you may have the answers

        the solution is that these welshmen should be shown up as arseholes right around the world – just like someone who blackfaces, just like somewhiteone who uses a native american war whoop to try to insult someone of native american heritage.

        why should some welsh fuckwits think they can do what they did – why? There is NO reason, NONE – apart from idiocy, bigotry, insensitivity, arrogance and fuckwittery.

        • Bill

          Oh fuck. I managed to boot up another computer, watched it and then did a quick search to see how other media were reporting on it (and if they were reporting on it).

          And the first non NZ based news story was this.

          From http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/wales-football-team-perform-wild-11583742

          This is the moment Wales’ footballers performed a ferocious half-naked Haka during Euro 2016.

          The brilliant footage shows the wonderful team bond the Welsh team formed during the greatest summer of their lives as they took the tournament in France by storm.

          Over 1200 shares and only one comment. At least the comment, from the handle ‘thelongwhitecloud’ pointed out that it was “embarrassing, insulting and demeaning”

          I got nuffin.

          • marty mars

            I’m not sure what a traditional welsh celebration entails but the idiots missed a great opportunity to put it on the world stage. I am very pleased that I have not resorted to insulting the welsh because of these individuals – I have deleted a number of sentences where my fingers started typing of their own volition!!!

            • Reddelusion

              FFS who really cares don’t watch it and you can’t be offended

              • I care – you don’t – fair enough – just move on and don’t comment on what I’ve written or is that too complicated for you to understand? Jeeze some people…

            • instrider

              Yeah cos no nzer has ever made fun of a male voice choir or a miner or the welsh accent….

              Get over yourself

              • Sabine

                is that in undies or in formal wear?

                got a link for your claim?

              • As Sabine says put the link up and I’ll write a comment on that too but don’t worry I’m not holding my breath on your ability to do that LOL

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      …that resulted in a recreation of the haka, the iconic war dance of the All Blacks.

      Now that’s just absolute fucken BS and needs to be corrected. The All Blacks may use the haka but it’s certainly not theirs.

      As for the Welsh – if they want to do a war dance they should probably look to their own culture which is rich in martial tradition:

      I’m sure that they could put together a great war dance. The Sword Dance is a credible place to start.

    • TC 10.1

      Problem wherever theres no rules on foreign ownership of residential as theres trillions of chinese controlled funds looking for boltholes.

      National have cynically ridden that with tax havens, no cgt and the chch rebuild to smudge the effect of their destructive behaviour across the economy, public service and industry.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1


        Simple fact of the matter is that foreign ownership needs to be banned.

    • Macro 10.2

      I’ve commented several times on this on The Standard. I’ve seen it in Vancouver with my own eyes and read about it in the local papers there. Streets of houses empty and boarded up and rents going up and up.
      It is a problem in cities around the Pacific rim.
      Sydney is another case in point. However in Australia the station is under some sort of control with far more stringent rules wrt to overseas investors buying. The extra taxes imposed are not great but they do slow the market to some extent. Furthermore development is still going on even with a slight downturn. A 4×2 (4 bedroom 2 bath 2 garage houses are around $400,000) in the suburbs. Beginning teachers on $60+K salary. A couple can look to buy close to work. Why can’t NZ get it’s act together?

  9. The Fairy Godmother 11

    I was talking to some overseas students who are really upset about the institution they were attending not helping them to get jobs after their study. They also felt a lot of students were being exploited working below minimum wage and for more than the 20 hours they are legally allowed. It was pointed out to them that they have a student visa and there is no guarantee that they will get work or a work visa and presumably they have stated that they have resources to support themselves. However this is not the reality and these people are coming here to study in the hope they will get jobs and eventually permanent residence. Some of these students already had a bachelors degree in their own country and had taken on a lower level course in new Zealand. The primary purpose of their being here is not the education.

    When listening to the frustration and disappointment these young people felt I thought this might not end well for any of us. Perhaps we need to get away from the idea of education as a marketable product and stop selling places to overseas students. Can’t see how the current system really benefits anyone. Of course there is a real benefit in scholarships which are given for academic excellence and help the transfer of ideas between countries. These students are well supported and they come to do a higher degree such as a Phd.

    • whispering kate 11.1

      I agree Fairy Godmother, I have commented about this before on the Standard. Once upon a time students came here to better their education so they could return to their home countries and further enhance their home country with their acquired skills. Why are these students allowed to come here, extend their stay and try to gain residency here when their original intention was to come here for extended education. I once experienced a very young Asian girl win a house at auction and then phone her relatives in China to put the money in the bank for the house. This was a large 4 bedroomed home, and surely not for her, is this the way families can get in here if their offspring gain residency here.

      Didn’t immigrants have to gain so many points and once upon a time it was so difficult to attain those points. It seems there are large loop holes in the system. Also didn’t the Reserve Bank just state that its not so much immigration that was the problem but that the system wasn’t being as selective in its criteria as it should be.

    • Save NZ 11.2

      +100 Fairy Godmother, “get away from the idea of education as a marketable product and stop selling places to overseas students….

      Of course there is a real benefit in scholarships which are given for academic excellence and help the transfer of ideas between countries. These students are well supported and they come to do a higher degree such as a Phd.”

    • DH 11.3

      It would certainly be interesting to know how much impact they’re having on the property market. Auckland alone received more than 65,000 international enrolments in 2015, that’s a huge number.

  10. Rodel 12

    Congratulations to the Redcliffs community forcing the Minister of Education to overturn her decision to close their precious school. A deserved victory..but be alert for any hidden catches.

    Shame that the poorer Philipstown community didn’t have the same money, expertise and influence to keep their school open. But hey! Who gives a toss about the Philipstown working class

    Also a shame that just one person has the power to cause such stress in a community to pursue an ideological slogan . (‘Big is better’ might be OK for a DIY store but not community based schools).

    I believe the Redcliffs polling booth was the only one in Port Hills electorate where the last vote count for National’s candidate was higher than that of the Labour candidate.
    I wonder if they’ll stay loyal to National out of misguided gratitude.Or just short memories.

    Redcliffs voters might well remember who fought to keep their school open – Their Labour MP, Ruth Dyson or the wannabee hiding quietly in the shadows?

  11. M. Gray 13

    This decision just shows the pnats are looking after their own constituents poor school closed rich school left open despite the danger

  12. ianmac 14

    On a lighter note maybe you might like the “Chillest fish and chip” man dealing with a would-be robber in Christchurch?

  13. swordfish 15

    After Brexit, Red Ukip prepares to take on Labour’s northern heartlands
    (New Statesman) A few brief passages:

    Farage’s departure as leader might … lead to Ukip ratcheting up their attempts to displace the Labour Party in the north of England.

    The referendum campaign again exposed the disconnect between Labour MPs and what was once called their core vote. While just 10 of Labour’s MPs supported leaving the EU, and 218 wanted to stay in, 37 per cent of Labour voters opted to leave.

    Much more ominous for Labour is that their remain supporters were concentrated in relatively few seats – principally in London and Manchester. Of Labour’s current seats, 150 voted to leave the EU, and just 82 to remain. So on the biggest issue in British politics for a generation, two-thirds of Labour MPs had a dissident view to their constituents.

    None of this will have passed Ukip by. Over the last five years, the party has attempted to redefine itself: ditching the reputation as the party of crusty retirees in the south, and replace it with an altogether more abrasive image

    Ukip came second in 120 seats, 44 of which were held by Labour.

    The rise of Ukip in the north is also the story of the rise of “Red Ukip”: a cocktail of anti-immigration and anti-elitism, with a social democratic tinge ……. At last year’s by-election, in Oldham West and Royton, Ukip circulated leaflets on “How Labour privatised the NHS: And How Ukip will save it, for you”

    We could now be about to hear plenty more of this message. The two favourites to be Ukip’s next leader are Steven Woolfe and Paul Nuttall: two working-class men from the north who grew up in Labour-supporting households. Together, they have led Ukip’s surge into Labour territory.


    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      UKIP supporters are predominantly uneducated racist anti-gay red necks full of anger and hate. They should be ashamed of themselves.


  14. swordfish 16

    More on the potentially profound consequences of Brexit for UK Labour and the broader Party System (New Statesman)

    (1) “Labour is the party most in line for some kind of split.

    The new social cleavage runs clean through it. On one side are “heartland” Labour-voting Brexiteers, left behind by globalisation. On the other are liberal metropolitans of both the left and the centre (not just Corbyn and Corbynistas, but much of the wider Labour membership and parliamentary party too). What happens to the other parties – particularly the Conservatives and UKIP – depends to some extent on how Labour responds to its predicament. But whatever Labour does, we will see liberal, metropolitan Tories finding it hard to stick with their party in the new political landscape, and UKIP hoovering up both parties’ spoils.


    (2) The strange death of liberal politics
    The world is changing in ways the British left cannot comprehend.
    (A few passages from a long opinion piece)

    There are sure to be concerted efforts to resist the referendum’s message. The rise of the hydra-headed monster of populism; the diabolical machinations of tabloid newspapers; conflicts of interest between baby boomers and millennials; divisions between the English provinces and Wales on the one hand and Scotland, London and Northern Ireland on the other; Jeremy Corbyn’s lukewarm support for the Remain cause; the buyer’s remorse that has supposedly set in after Remain’s defeat – these already commonplace tales will be recycled incessantly during the coming weeks and months. None of them captures the magnitude of the upheaval that has occurred. When voters inflicted the biggest shock on the establishment since Churchill was ousted in 1945 they signalled the end of an era.

    But those who think the vote can be overturned or ignored are telling us more about their own state of mind than developments in the real world. Like bedraggled courtiers fleeing Versailles after the French Revolution, they are unable to process the reversal that has occurred. Locked in a psychology of despair, anger and denial, they cannot help believing there will be a restoration of an order they believed was unshakeable …

    … There will be no going back. The vote for Brexit demonstrates that the rules of politics have changed irreversibly. The stabilisation that seemed to have been achieved following the financial crisis was a sham. The lopsided type of capitalism that exists today is inherently unstable and cannot be democratically legitimated. The error of progressive thinkers in all the main parties was to imagine that the discontent of large sections of the population could be appeased by offering them what was at bottom a continuation of the status quo.

    … “populism” is a term of abuse applied by establishment thinkers to people whose lives they have not troubled to understand. A revolt of the masses is under way, but it is one in which those who have shaped policies over the past twenty years are more remote from reality than the ordinary men and women at whom they like to sneer …

    … Telling voters who were considering voting Leave that they were stupid, illiterate, xenophobic and racist was never going to be an effective way of persuading them to change their views. The litany of insults voiced by some leaders of the Remain campaign expressed their sentiments towards millions of ordinary people. It did not occur to these advanced minds that their contempt would be reciprocated.

    Leading Labour figures have denied adamantly that the party’s stance on immigration is central to the collapse of its working-class base. It was a complex of issues to do with de-industrialisation, they repeat, that led to mass desertion by Labour voters. There is some force in this, but it is essentially a way of evading an inconvenient truth.

    … Free movement of labour between countries with vastly different wage levels, working conditions and welfare benefits is a systemic threat to the job opportunities and living standards of Labour’s core supporters. Labour cannot admit this, because that would mean the EU is structured to make social democracy impossible. This used to be understood, not only on Labour’s Bennite left but also by Keynesian centrists such as Peter Shore and, more recently, Austin Mitchell. Today the fact goes almost unnoticed, except by those who have to suffer the consequences …

    … Corbyn is not alone in passing over this conflict. So do his opponents, and this is one reason why it will be extremely difficult to reverse Labour’s slide. If Yvette Cooper, Andy Burnham or David Miliband had been leader, the referendum would still have ended badly for Labour. No doubt the campaign would have been handled better. But the message would have been the same – promises of European reform of European institutions have shown to be worthless. Labour’s heartlands were already melting away. A rerun in the north and Midlands of Labour’s collapse in Scotland is now a distinct possibility. Fear of this disaster is one reason Labour is unlikely to split. With over 40 per cent of the party’s voters opting for Leave, anyone who joined a new “modernising” party would be on a fast lane to oblivion. Only a radical shift from progressive orthodoxies on immigration and the EU can save Labour from swift and terminal decline. It is doubtful whether any future leader could enforce such a shift, as it would be opposed by most Labour MPs and by activists. Yet it is plainly what millions of Labour voters want.


    (3) Four ways the anti-immigration vote won the referendum for Brexit:
    Total control on immigration mattered more to voters than the single market.

    The historic outcome of the EU referendum coincided with a 10 point surge (between May and June) in people saying immigration is the biggest issue facing the country in Ipsos MORI’s Issues Index. And in the final two weeks before the polls opened, our Political Monitor showed that immigration ranked as the single biggest issue which would affect how the public voted in the referendum, overtaking the economy.

    The Issues Index has seen concern about immigration steadily increase over recent years, and so it was already a central theme in the debate long before Nigel Farage revealed the now infamous Breaking Point poster.


    (4) I’m disappointed about Brexit – but the snobbery of some pro-EU protesters is hard to take

    Of all the brilliantly scathing lyrics on Pulp’s 1995 classic Different Class, my favourite has to be this line from “I Spy”: “Take your Year in Provence and shove it up your ass.”

    Even if you’ve not read your Peter Mayle, you know exactly who the target is: a self-satisfied middle class that has mistaken educational privilege for intellectual and moral exceptionality, and is to be found using cultural tokens – the cottage in France, the wine from Tuscany, the opera tickets for Bayreuth – to state and restate their presumed superiority over the common masses.

    I couldn’t get this lyric out of my head when looking at images of last Saturday’s anti-Brexit March for Europe in London.


    • Colonial Viper 16.1


      It did not occur to these advanced minds that their contempt would be reciprocated.

      a self-satisfied middle class that has mistaken educational privilege for intellectual and moral exceptionality, and is to be found using cultural tokens – the cottage in France, the wine from Tuscany, the opera tickets for Bayreuth – to state and restate their presumed superiority over the common masses.

      Just smashing. Thanks for this swordfish.

      • Save NZ 16.1.1

        Yep, but the middle class has bought us Mendela and Kate Shepard. In fact most peaceful change throughout history is from middle class….

        I know there is this discourse about glory to the uneducated worker but seriously, if you want to get rid of inequality it comes through education (not the cultural revolution style of glory and power to the ignorant and conformist).

        Isn’t the idea of a social democracy to even everyone out, so we have a massive middle class, low poor and low rich communities…

        And don’t forget NZ was settled by working class people who wanted a classless, fairer system they were escaping from Europe from (if we ignore the damage that does to indigenous people).

        US had a massive refugee population after the 2nd world war which helped them as a nation push ideas.

        My issue at present is that the migration National is spearheading, is based on a very different type of person, people who have made a lot of money by exploiting free trade cheap goods, having cheap workers, being plutocrats attracted by tax havens like status, ‘gold bricks’ banking and exploiting assets here and creating infrastructure offshore contracts, or just people who have no interest in NZ apart from to study a bogus course here, to get a passport which their agent told them to do.

        Clearly I am generalising, but things are getting ridiculous in NZ, we really are becoming tenants, a banana republic and the unemployed in our own country, which Key seems to think is not a crisis.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yep, but the middle class has bought us Mendela and Kate Shepard. In fact most peaceful change throughout history is from middle class….

          From Trotter’s recent piece has already addressed your comment:

          Chris Trotter: The middle class have become selfish survivalists

          OPINION: What has happened to the New Zealand middle class? Why has the social strata that encompasses our best educated, most highly skilled, most entrepreneurial and financially literate citizens failed so miserably to respond to our nation’s needs?

          When did the middle class relinquish the moral and civic leadership upon which its claims to social pre-eminence rested? How, and by whom, has the middle class been superseded?

          • Save NZ

            Well I’m an optimist so I think that the middle class are grouping and about to strike in a series of freedom fighter style attacks from blogs to anti TPPA, to communities fighting to keep their school open…

            Let’s be clear both Jane Kelsey are Bomber Bradbury are middle class…. and in my view nothing wrong with it! Maybe they feel self loathing at being white educated individuals but in my view, own your own identity – because you have to feel comfortable in your own skin to get others like you to join you in the change. If every five minutes you attack your own class you will not get the momentum you need. That’s part of Labour’s problem, they apologise for all the wrong things. (Pro war and Pro trade deals and then attack the middle class who vote for them in some sort of 19th century view of blue collar worker that does not vote for them and probably lost their job due to the Pro war and Pro trade deals) but against the above).

            Maybe that is why certain so called leftie’s fear Hone Hawawira, he is the real deal as being both the ‘accepted mythical revolutionary’ and then (even more fearful) he is a real revolutionary.

            Remember the revolutionaries that sought the biggest changes had policies of inclusion. Luther King etc. If we want to alter neoliberalism then they have to understand why people are against it…

            As for Trotter “The middle class have become selfish survivalists’ – possibly due to the shock of Rogernomics and the lack of political choice…. again read the above, do you want to contribute to a revolution by being inclusive or just moan about why nobody will join you or have some sort of complicated criteria based on some fucked up insecurity?

            As was explained to me, the vulnerable don’t normally have time or energy to get a revolution going, they are too busy surviving day to day… nothing left in the tank… so you will be waiting a looong time for them to join you have an exacting criteria…

        • Draco T Bastard

          Clearly I am generalising, but things are getting ridiculous in NZ, we really are becoming tenants, a banana republic and the unemployed in our own country, which Key seems to think is not a crisis.

          It’s not a crisis for the rich and Key/National only govern for the rich. They really don’t give a shit about anybody else.

      • Sabine 16.1.2

        tickets to bayreuth?

        oh for love of mary, Bayreuth and Wagner are now a sign of the uppity middle class who is abusing the lower class? Really? Define Middle Class.

        There are years of waiting lists to get tickets to the Bayreuth Wagner Spielfeste. However, one can enjoy Wagner at any of the other good Opera Houses in the World and that is where the middle class goes as does the lower class, the true Wagner Lover will go on the list and see what happens and the 0.01 % that is fucking it up for the rest of the world is invited.

  15. katipo 17

    For those who like playing around with stats….

  16. adam 18

    If you have 15 minutes or so, this video is very interesting. Talking about the culture wars of the cold war, and the role of the CIA. There were some very smart people running the CIA in the post war era.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      And it takes Venezuela public television to bring this information to the highly propagandised western audience.

  17. The Lone Haranguer 19

    I just read Dr Deborah Russells comments on negative gearing for housing investments. Perhaps if politicians didnt have so many houses themselves, they might look at this seriously.

    Surely, it would be as simple as Parliament saying (they are sovereign after all),

    1) that if you claim a loss on a rental property, its an investment, so any income on sale is taxable
    2) that you cant claim a loss on a rental property against other income (ringfence the loss till the property is sold)

    I used to be an accountant in my earlier life, and I cant see that this is very hard to sort out.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Yes, unless of course you don’t want to sort it out.

      • The Lone Haranguer 19.1.1

        Yeah, well there could be that too.

        I would prefer to think that our Politicians want to improve the lives of all NZ citizens and that they would act accordingly.

        But I can see your view too

  18. Puckish Rogue 20


    I know we all like to see wrongs righted and apologies where apologies are due.

    Not sure how judges are hired or fired but this judge needs to take a good, hard look at themselves and ask if they’re really up to the task of being a judge

    • Muttonbird 20.1

      It’s your second go at this.

      Let me explain. On the balance of probabilities, Banks is a crook, therefore it stands to reason his wife’s word might be in question. Perfectly legitimate connection to make.

      • Puckish Rogue 20.1.1

        Let me try to explain it you:

        A High Court judge has made a public apology to John Banks’ wife after questioning her credibility as a witness.

        The ex-politician was back in court today seeking $190,000 costs over the trial that saw his wrongful conviction for a false electoral return.

        Just because you don’t like the guy doesn’t mean he should be wrongly convicted, that’s not how justice in NZ works

        • Muttonbird

          Could you explain why the donation was split in two?

          • Puckish Rogue

            Was John Banks falsely convicted? Yes, yes he was, anything else is unimportant.

            If he is found guilty of anything in another case then he’ll deserve whatever punishment he gets.

            But this is not that case.

            • Muttonbird

              Thought not.

              • Puckish Rogue

                So if someone is guilty of something then it doesn’t matter what the charge is and it also doesn’t matter if someone lies to get the conviction

                Good to know

                • McFlock

                  Someone committed perjury? That’s a serious allegation.

                  Meanwhile, it seems that Banks’ entire defense was that he didn’t know he was signing a false return because he didn’t read the bit of paper.

                  The overturned conviction was not for signing a false return. The return was false. It was for knowingly signing a false return. His defense was incompetence.

                  • Draco T Bastard


                    Should still have been found guilty.

                    • McFlock

                      yeah – I don’t believe he was that incompetent by accident.
                      In some ways it got bogged down in this-lunch-vs-that-lunch argumentation, rather than the simple “are you fucking pulling my leg” test.

                • save nz

                  Tell that to Dotcom. bit of a double standard there… If you want to know why people are getting angry, it is because their governments are wasting unlimited time and resources persecuting various people who have stood up to them, (Dotcom, Assage, Snowdon), while secret deals mean that John Banks who is as guilty as hell in the public’s eyes gets off… with some US witness who suspiciously did not appear at the last trial…

          • Chuck

            Kim Dotcom is a very smart cookie (shame he wasted it, and choose the path he did).

            Dotcom knew himself to split the donation in two, thus giving him leverage over Banks if he ever needed to call in a favor.

            Which of course Dotcom did…and Banks told him to f…off (when Dotcom found himself in a Mt Eden jail cell).

            • McFlock

              The case focused on how he knew to split the cheque into two. What it should have focussed on is whether any reasonable person would have been unaware of two identical cheques that totalled to over the threshhold, or whether any reasonable person actually signs a legal declaration without reading it or knowing its contents.

              As to your idea that people donate to politicians in exchange for direct influence with those politicians… well, the cabinet club springs to mind.

            • save nz

              Ha Ha chuck so believable a trolling, not!

              • save nz

                Banks should also be thrown in jail for selling off social housing when he was mayor and pushing Charter schools.

                It’s a joke he’s asking for more handouts.

                • Stuart Munro

                  Under a joke government like this he may get them – the pig shit clearly wasn’t enough.

      • James 20.1.2

        Muttonbird – you show your bias.

        Why would there be reason to question Banks wife and not Kim Dotcoms and his wifes.

        After Kim Dotcom is a proven crook.

        • TC

          Yes dear zzzzzzzz

        • Draco T Bastard

          KDC and his wife were both questioned.

        • save nz

          Actually James, Dotcom has not been convicted yet, apart from John Key finding him guilty. In fact the GCSB has been found guilty of illegally spying on him and seizing his assets.

          Well, I guess that is Nationals next dream to control the judiciary, which they are alarmingly getting close to. They did have to get the Internet expert judge to step down so someone else got to hear the case. Apparently joking about the US is now a crime for NZ judges….

          • Naki man

            “Actually James, Dotcom has not been convicted yet”

            Thats bullshit savenz.

            • save nz

              No it is not bullshit. The case which should have been bought by Hollywood in a civil case not by our dumbo government, has only got to the stage where NZ in a very dodgy unprecedented judgment has been allowed to extradite him to the US where he will stand trial. The dodgy extradition is being challenged. No conviction at all Naki Man. You need to stop believing John Key and his Hollywood buddies.

              Even Sony lawyers thought what he was doing was not going to result in a conviction. You Tube do the same thing and won their case that file sharing is not illegal.

      • The Lone Haranguer 20.1.3

        So Muttonbird what you are really saying is that birds of a feather nest together?

        Sounds like political profiling to me.

    • Andre 20.2

      Banks’ entire defense was basically that yes, I committed a crime but not the one I’m charged with. Nyah, nyah, you’re too late to charge me for the actual crime I did. See the article from Andrew Geddis below.

      So if Banks is an admitted crook, then it’s a reasonable inference that his close associates may be less than completely trustworthy. Like Muttonbird says.

      “First of all, it means Banks did break the law when he filed his donations return. Under the Local Electoral Act (as it then stood), inadvertently filing a false return was an offence. It’s just that this particular offence had to be prosecuted within six months of the return being made – so Banks escaped liability for his actions on a technicality.”


      • ianmac 20.2.1

        Yes Andre and I just read the Geddis article which points out that Banks did break the Law but just escaped the charge because it was after the 6 months. The rest is detail but it is a bit rich for Banks to still claim innocence. Thanks for the link.

  19. ianmac 22

    “Poor old Saddam, he told the truth – that he didn’t have WMDs – and thus doomed both himself and the poor old Iraqis to mass death.”

    Robert Fisk goes on to say that Blair-Bush would not dare attack North Korea because they do have atomic weapons, whereas they knew that Iraq did not.

  20. Draco T Bastard 23

    You know how the RWNJs keep telling us that we all want more cars and more roads?
    Yeah, well:

    The question asked Aucklanders to indicate how strongly they support each of these options on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 means “strongly oppose” and 10 means “strongly support”.

    In the poll of 500 Aucklanders, we found extremely low support for a road-only crossing, with more opponents than supporters; 22% support, 37% neutral and 41% oppose.

    The option with the next highest support was for a rail only crossing; 42% support, 29% neutral and 29% oppose.

    Support for a crossing that is rail and road was by far the most popular option amongst Aucklanders. Almost two thirds (64%) said they would support a crossing that is rail and road, with 22% neutral or unsure and 14% opposed.

    And political parties really need to take this on board:

    Conventional wisdom among political pundits has been that a new road-only crossing to the Shore is a vote winner, but with only 22% support across Auckland, and 17% on the North Shore, that should be questioned.

  21. leftie 25

    What scam is National and Fletcher pulling? Are these vultures praying on the desperate UK migrants who are left fearful after the Brexit vote?
    They are even putting out a call for expats living in NZ to contact their friends and relatives in the UK.

    Fletcher heads to UK on big recruitment drive

    “New Zealand’s biggest builder is off to London as it hunts for new staff to help fill vacancies in our building boom.

    A massive surge in building work has prompted Fletcher Construction to kick off its latest recruitment drive with an event at New Zealand House in London on July 28, held in conjunction with Immigration New Zealand and a recruitment company.”

    <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11670287

    This given:

    World’s biggest builder arrives in NZ for $375m in contracts

    <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11668296

    (China will bring in their own workers).

    Plans for nearly 2000 of Auckland apartments ditched

    <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11665063

    And you can bet that a Chinese government owned company will pick those plans up.

    The National government fudges unemployment figures again

    <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/81579257/nz-unemployment-rate-tumbles-along-with-the-number-employed-in-recalculation

    Quake rebuild delays drive workers out of Christchurch

    "Tradesmen and builders are leaving Christchurch in frustation over a lack of work and continuing delays to the quake-hit city's reconstruction.

    Although recruitment agencies continue to advertise overseas for qualified tradespeople to help with the devastated city's rebuild, local workers say there's not enough work to go around as it is."

    <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10814294

    Is what’s on offer ghost jobs? Not much is listed on the employment section on Fletcher’s website, and applications for graduates and interns is closed.

    <a href="http://www.fletcherconstruction.co.nz/employment.php

    And since New Zealand already has a massive housing crisis that is about to burst, where will National/Fletcher house all these new migrants from their huge UK recruitment drive?

    • Sabine 25.1

      “This given:

      World’s biggest builder arrives in NZ for $375m in contracts

      <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11668296

      (China will bring in their own workers)."

      Where will these imported chinese workers live? Will they get to keep their passports / visas if there is an employment dispute? Will they fall under NZ Employment law? The questions are endless.

      Actually is does not matter that they are chinese, or other nationality. where are these people once here supposed to live, we already are several thousand houses/flats/beds short?
      We need training programmes and apprenticeships. It makes no sense to have all these unemployed youth and trades that need workers but then we don’t train. Is it really that much cheaper to import a fully grown adult with certain needs into a country to do a job then spending the cash on a local youth and train them from 15-16 onwards. By the time they are 19 they have learned a trade, earn a few dollars, are student debt free and have a trade. What the hell can kiwis not understand about this simple principe? Train your young ones. Teach ’em , learn ’em.

      • leftie 25.1.1

        Yes agreed, Good questions that should and need to be asked. msm won’t do that though. National cut the funding to apprenticeships when they first came to power. This situation that we have now has been deliberately orchestrated from the outset, by the key National government.

  22. Sabine 26

    so we need to wait for the government before the tradies can/could start hiring apprentices? Sad state of affairs.

  23. Sanctary 27

    So, it looks like the USA is seeing the start of a full scale race war.

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