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Open Mike 09/04/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 9th, 2018 - 152 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open 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 …

152 comments on “Open Mike 09/04/2018 ”

  1. Ed 1

    Here we go again. Goebbels would have been proud of the propaganda effort.

    Chemical attack witnessed by the ‘heroic’ White Helmets, whose word is accepted unequivocally by the lapdog western media, prompting Trump to say there is going to be a big price to pay.

    More rushing to judgement over Russia.

    The western public has already been softened up with lies about spies. They’ve been primed to blame Russia and its dastardly leader Putin.

    Looks like the western establishment including its propaganda arm of the media is gunning for war.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/08/trump-big-price-to-pay-suspected-syria-chemical-weapons-attack

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      That’s one way of looking at it: don’t criticise Pauli Walnuts or he’ll give you the bash.

      • Ed 1.1.1

        Francesca was bullied off this site by your aggressive treatment of her.
        I know you do not share my opinion on this and other matters.
        I do not think this gives you the right to stalk every post I write with insults and aggression.
        I am wearying of your constant bully boy approach.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1

          False accusations Ed.

          I don’t accept your logic:

          1: The Kremlin does something.
          2: People criticise them.
          3. Nuclear war!

          I think appeasing them will embolden them which is a far riskier approach.

        • Bill 1.1.1.2

          I’ve no doubt OABs commenting behaviour ‘helped’ Francesca decide to take to the garden and what not for a time. And there was Lynn’s unnecessarily rude moderating comment to her.

          Lynn does that.
          But OAB is hanging by the tenderest of threads. He knows this, but oddly just carries on with the same derailing, snarking and bullying – which I find interesting to observe.

          Maybe today’s the day the boredom sets in and the 1 month ban lands. Could be tomorrow or the next day. Might be one comment away.

          Or then again, OAB might just cut the crap. Who knows?

        • cleangreen 1.1.1.3

          I agree Ed,

          OAB is not my idea of a “bloke” as an ordinary bloke is depicted as in Sir Robert Muldoon’s often used “the average bloke” terms.

          OAB is a product of the right wingers argument most times.

        • reason 1.1.1.4

          OAB has been shredding his own credibility in an obnoxious way for a while now.

          I to used to be a real aggressive arsehole on the internet …. before I wised up a bit.

          Going back and reading old arguments I’d had …. made me realise I came across as much the same prick as those pricks I was arguing with.

          So I started making changes ….. and I’m still evolving my techniques against trolls and others.

          Now when I make a post / point of view, I log out, and perhaps write the next piece of information I want to put up.

          This stops me getting involved with the ‘snarks’., …. which is a derail from the point of view I’m trying to put across. They are ego baiting. I try to leave my ego off the table .

          I write for the people I’m not arguing with.

          I also find it helps to view trolls as Dick Picks …. which allows me to treat them with the seriousness which they deserve,… as even a pack attack by a bunch of penises is laughable to me …. bunt away boys.

          I’m not saying OAB is a troll ….. but he’s starting to display a few to many of their symptoms and he’s letting himself down.

          He’s obviously quite intelligent …. but imparts so little information … and is obsessed over some things ….. Ed being one of them.

          • One Two 1.1.1.4.1

            Evaluating your ownself…breaking it down…making adjustments….

            That’s beautiful…

    • Wairua 1.2

      Yo Assad, you just secured 90% of E. Ghouta. You’ve surrounded the last town, you have overwhelming military force and are negotiating surrender. What’s next ? Assad: launch a chemical attack of no tactical significance to provoke international outrage & military intervention against me.

      • Ad 1.2.1

        I think this latest attack holds to a pretty consistent pattern from that tyrant Assad. It goes: warn everyone on the ground that the rebels will raise a false flag operation about a chemical warfare attack. Do the attack. Then before enough good evidence has been raised by the incoherent international community, strike somewhere else.

        The outrage economy moves on to another town.

        Makes perfect sense in the calculus of Assad, Vladimir Putin, and Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They want first and foremost to subdue the remaining rebels in Syria, specifically several million people remaining in rebel-held Idlib province. Give them all fear enough to dissuade any later opposition once the war is over. And second, outflank Trump and the outrage machine, just as they did with Obama.

        Obama was humiliated in August 2013 when he changed his mind about his “red line”. Box America and you neutralise Saudi Arabia, and then the entire floor is yours to lay waste with.

        Bold tactic – then and now – from the leading three countries, and its still working.

        • Bill 1.2.1.1

          So the chemical weapons factories in Ghouta (replete with instructions for manufacturing various compounds and delivery mechanisms) are just for show?Or the first hand reports are lies, and the accompanying photographs false? Or (perhaps) the entire set up is a hastily cobbled together stage set that the SAA constructed for the benefit of gullible journalists?

          I’ll have to go with that (or similar).

          Because the only sensible explanation is that an army on the cusp of victory, and that has tasked itself with evacuating civilians to safety while giving terrorists the option of surrender or free passage would deploy chemical weapons on civilians, and thus prevent themselves from making any kind of rapid advance on the ground.

          Oh. And obviously they are feeling six foot tall and bulletproof and positively relishing the prospect of being treated as monstrous pariahs down through the coming years – what with all the additional sanctions that will no doubt be landed (such fun!) and the continued illegal presence by armed forces of the countries they are guaranteed to piss off should they deploy chemical weapons….

          Yup. Them’s is just belligerent and mad. No accounting for that ME mind set. No siree.

          • Ad 1.2.1.1.1

            Far be it from me to discern the motivations of those three tyrants from Iran, Russia, and Syria. It’s not an easy mental space for me to get into.

            From their last five years of evidence , I don’t think they give a flying fig about their international reputation or their historical Wikipedia profiles. Trump, not they, are subject to the power of a free media, so once they have neutralised him into his own whirlpool of rage-media cycle, and show that the United States has everything to gain by retreating and withdrawing, the ground is theirs again, unimpeded.

            That is now what they have done.

            Trump has signalled full withdrawal.

            Ghouta’s ceasefire and rebel withdrawal is confirmed.

            And the signal that US withdrawal gives Assad, Putin, and Khamenei is that they and Turkey can now go after the entire Kurdish territory and people unimpeded.

            The result will be as big as the Armenian genocide of a century ago, and it will occur within this year. Now there is no level of international outrage to stop them.

            So those three tyrants care about nothing except eradicating Syrian opposition, and inciting terror without measure is the fastest way they have of ensuring submission.

            With Saudi Arabia and the United States retreating fully to the Gulf, Syria is now in the control of Russia and Iran, and they don’t care if it is rubble and choking on chlorine gas.

        • Muttonbird 1.2.1.2

          A false false flag attack. That’s a new one. You have quite an imagination!

        • Poission 1.2.1.3

          Can’t believe Bolton’s first day as National Security Advisor will be to objectively assess whether Assad used chemical weapons in Douma as alleged and to recommend an appropriate response

          He came to my office and said: ‘You have to resign and I give you 24 hours, this is what we want. You have to leave, you have to resign from your organization, director-general.'”

          Bustani said he “owed nothing” to the US, pointing out that he was appointed by all OPCW member states. Striking a more sinister tone, Bolton said: “OK, so there will be retaliation. Prepare to accept the consequences. We know where your kids are.”

          https://www.rt.com/usa/423477-bolton-threat-opcw-iraq/

        • reason 1.2.1.4

          Ad the hammer man by proxy … holds to a pretty consistent pattern

    • One Two 1.3

      Yes, Ed

      Obama was given a nobel peace prize moments after taking office, before expanding ‘peace efforts’ globally..

      The White Helmets received an oscar nomination…

      The cries of chemical weapons use serve only to highlight further the depth ‘the west’ with their Saudi/Israeli partners, will plumb…

      What are ‘they’ covering up for this time…is the question…

      • Cinny 1.3.1

        Yup I’m hearing you there One Two. And while news networks are arguing the politics of the matter, the public doesn’t even know what or who to believe anymore and on the ground, people are dying, who is helping them?

        Where’s the truth and where’s the freaking teleporter? I’d be there in a heartbeat.

        • Brigid 1.3.1.1

          I’d suggest believing the people who report from Syria, those who have reported from Syria from the beginning of the war. Those who talk to citizens, army officers and politicians and those who actually live in Syria.
          People such as Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett, Tim Hayward, Fares Shehabi, Janice Kortkamp, Ahmad Al-Issa, Tom Duggan there are many others
          In Ahmad Al-Issa ‘s twitter feed he reports on the recent evacuation of Ghouta.
          ‏Tom Duggan has been in Ghouta recently and reports via facebook.

        • One Two 1.3.1.2

          Hi Cinny,

          Agree with you it’s a complete mess…

          The only way to get a clearer view would be for the foreign invaders to pull out…

          So long as they’re inside boarders where they don’t belong it becomes increasingly murky…

          I can’t see the war machine pulling back or out…

          Begs the question…whose driving and to what end…

      • Stunned Mullet 1.3.2

        Assuming there was use of chemical weapons as detailed by the reports out of the hospitals in the area where do you believe they came from and what do you believe is being covered up ?

        None of which will be of any interest to the Syrian citizens who are being slaughtered of course.

        • cleangreen 1.3.2.2

          Assumption is the mother of all wars ‘Stunned mullet’;

          Remember the assumptions we all made after those allegations against Saddam were made by these same media ‘reports we heard over and over that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction?

          All made clear according to President Bush and UK PM Tony Blair duo, so don’t assume anything sunshine if you don’t want World War three as some appear to be begging for.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.2.2.1

            Threatening people with World War 3 because they criticise the Kremlin sounds like the sort of thing bullies do if you ask me.

            And I’m not the only one:

            …apocalyptic rhetoric, evocative of the 1980s anti-nuclear movement … inculcates the idea that confronting Russia is dangerous.

            h/t to Chris Trotter for piquing my interest in “Russlandversteher”.

            • Bill 1.3.2.2.1.1

              Nowhere in that article is there any mention of anyone threatening WWIII for criticising “the Kremlin”. In fact, the fear expressed in the article is that with Trump’s election “Germans advocating strategic neutrality will gain credibility”.

              And I love the kicker you swiped from your quote. In full, it reads –

              Similarly apocalyptic rhetoric, evocative of the 1980s anti-nuclear movement (itself heavily influenced by the KGB and East German secret police) inculcates the idea that confronting Russia is dangerous.

              I mean, I dunno. Have you ever thought of sending a wee CV off to the NSA or some such to see if you can get paid for this warping of discussion and pushing of thinly veiled propaganda that seems to be your “thing” these days?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It’s the sort of thing bullies do:

                this notion of “peace” permits Russia to act as it likes in its “near abroad” without consequence.

                I’m not convinced that the KGB and Stasi had that much of an influence on the anti-war movement of the 1980s. The argument outside the parentheses stands on its own.

                Is character assassination your best rebuttal?

                • Bill

                  Again, you rip away context in your partial quoting and present a bullshit statement.

                  The full quote.

                  As was the case during the Cold War, when Western “peace” movements urged unilateral disarmament, this notion of “peace” permits Russia to act as it likes in its “near abroad” without consequence.

                  Apart from Afghanistan I’m struggling to think of any invasion by the USSR during the Cold War.

                  It’s pretty rabid liberal interventionism that would position peace as the enemy and suggest peace has a track record on that front – as that article does.

                  But if that’s your bag…..

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Apart from Afghanistan I’m struggling to think of any invasion by the USSR during the Cold War.

                    The statement (about the Kremlin acting as it likes) could just as easily refer to the consequences for countries or citizens who disagreed with the status quo in the USSR. Prague Spring, gulags and so-forth. All that Orwellian stuff.

                    “Liberal interventionism” is a good comparison. I don’t recall anyone ever suggesting that if I criticised the USA’s nuclear missile proliferation, their dirty wars in Central or South America, their wars of aggression in Asia, or any of the other things I’ve observed about their foreign policy, that doing so made me a warmonger.

                    Amnesty International also stands up to bullies, including the ones in the Kremlin, sometimes at great personal cost to its employees. That doesn’t make them warmongers either.

                    • Bill

                      That piece isn’t standing up to a damned thing, bar the possible ghastly prospect of people embracing notions of peace.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Embrace notions of peace and you’ll soon find yourself exposed to subversive ideas such as “no justice, no peace”, and then the idea that “confronting [the Kremlin] is dangerous” might not seem quite so palatable.

                    • Bill

                      Right.

                      So lets all tool up, be fearful and suspicious, and knock seven shades of shit out anyone and everyone who just might knock seven shades of shit out of us…which by that mind set is absolutely every one.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    lets all tool up, be fearful and suspicious

                    Where do you get these ideas from? Certainly not me.

                    [And gone. One month. I warned you many, many times between your last ban and now. But I’ve indulged your various varieties of bullshit for long enough now – it just got too tedious.] – Bill

            • cleangreen 1.3.2.2.1.2

              “Threatening people with World War 3 because they criticise the Kremlin sounds like the sort of thing bullies do”

              Well who criticised Bush and Blair for their lies about saddam having weapons of mass destruction OAB and were they not advocating war too when lying?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Are you asking whether I criticised them? Have a bleedin’ guess.

                When I called them war criminals, I don’t recall you saying that meant I wanted WWII, but now I criticise the Kremlin and that’s exactly the accusation you’re levelling.

                Was it really your intention to portray Putin et al as so thin-skinned?

          • Stunned Mullet 1.3.2.2.2

            Um what …?

            I asked a simple question – if there has been yet another instance of the use of chemicals as weapons which certainly appears to be the case with now multiple reports, where did the weapons come from and what is being covered up as alluded to by OneTwo.

            • Stuart Munro 1.3.2.2.2.1

              It’s a stretch to assign sarin manufacturing capacity to ISIS (or any of the other ragtag semi-islamist groups). Not everyone could make it in their basement even if they had the precursors. And the US would have become a target – it wasn’t Assad that moved them out of Mosul.

              Assad’s forces did possess substantial stocks however – and didn’t acquire them by accident. The irregular forces have not been proven to possess them at all. A decent rule of thumb might be to look at the victims – if it were Syrian armed forces the irregulars would be plausible assailants. The convenience of claiming multiple labs wherever Syrian forces kill ‘rebels’ however, is stretching plausibility to breaking point. Only uncritical swallowers of Russian and Syrian propaganda will continue to swallow such self-serving nonsense.

              • Andrea

                Chlorine is still available. It’s used to make water potable. It was also used in WWI in trench warfare. Creates respiratory problems. I’m sure the necessary inventiveness to produce such a bane would easily be in the repertoire of urban fighters with much to avenge. And a career to develop.

                Civilian population is not in prime health after months of restricted diet, prolonged fear, and aerial attacks.

                It doesn’t have to have been Assad. There are enough crazies in the area to create a large list of possible villains for the deed.

                • Stuart Munro

                  And Assad would never do anything like that – the tonnes of nerve gas he had acquired by 2014 in no way indicate a willingness to use them. He must’ve been a collector eh.

                  I wonder at what point Assad supporters will repent their increasingly desperate rationalizations.

                  • One Two

                    I wonder at what point western propaganda enthusiasts will stop believing the increasingly desperate rationalizations

                    How many times will you fall for the same line, Stuart….

                    Approximately…

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Of course you’d never ask yourself that question – being so “clever” that you’ve made like a gannet and swallowed the version from the other side.

                    • One Two []

                      Thing is Stuart, I’ve explained it to you more than once now, and you continue to ignore what I’ve said…

                      You’ve taken a side based on whatever twisted variables contruct the narratives in your own mind….and can’t seem to comtemplate making adjustments despite decade after decade of naked propganda…

                      I’ve not taken a side, and because I don’t take sides, I can evaluate extended periods of time lapsed propaganda exposures aligned against events and outcomes without prejudice…

                      Meanwhile you keep repeating ad nauseum your bias, while convincing yourself that I’ve on-boarded a view counter to yours…

                      Come on man…you need a long hard look in the mirror…it’s not good enough in this day and age to be at such a low level..
                      I assume you’re an adult…

                      I’ll leave you to it for good from now on, as I strongly suspect you have some other issues going on…

                      Be well…

                    • Stuart Munro

                      “I’ve not taken a side, and because I don’t take sides,”

                      Piffle.

                      You’ve been a constant member of the RT cheer team. You’re a Putin troll – Own it.

                  • Bill

                    Unpleasant as it is, Syria in line with many other non-nuclear states, manufactured and stockpiled the “poor man’s” nuclear deterrent – chemical and/or biological agents.

                    So yes. A “collector” in much the same way as nuclear nations “collect” nuclear weapons.

                    Israel’s next door, y’know?

                    As for why (I’ll use the term beloved by western media outlets) rebels would have chemical weapons factories in Ghouta (as reported by fairly reliable non-mainstream media), well….

                    And why would terrorists who are getting huge amounts of support from the west, target the west with chemicals designed to aid in the overthrow of the Syrian government? (By encouraging military intervention to stop the country’s army that’s on the cusp of victory deploying chemicals in order to delay and possibly jeapordise its own imminent victory over terrorists in the country)

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You’ve still got a problem explaining why Syria, which is known to have them, and which UN bodies at least are persuaded have used them, aren’t using them, while irregular forces who don’t have them are supposed to have so many labs that the ‘poor’ Russians can’t seem to drop a bomb without supposedly hitting one.

                    • Bill

                      Syria destroyed its chemical weapons stockpile during Obama’s presidency.

                      And I’m only aware of one occasion when Russia claimed it had hit a chemical weapons factory operated by the terrorists.

                      Meanwhile, in Ghouta, Beeley claims CNN reporters were with her on the ground at the site of a chemical factory formerly operated by terrorists, but that they didn’t report on it.

                      (I linked her article somewhere on the thread and someone else did too)

                    • Bill

                      @Joe90.

                      You do have to wonder at all those allegations being leveled at the Syrian government by governments with no presence in the area, aye?

                      I mean, even if there were chemical attacks, how would the US, UK, France and the other complainants, who funnily enough all want the Syrian government overthrown and replaced, know about them?

                      Maybe the rebels tell them, except, as is becoming ever more clear, there are no rebels – just terrorists.

                      So the terrorists tell them. And that opens its own can of worms for “our” governments irrespective of who launched what chemical attack (assuming they all actually took place).

                    • Stuart Munro

                      There seem to be several claims:
                      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-39500947
                      Russia, which has carried out air strikes in support of President Assad since 2015, said the Syrian air force had struck Khan Sheikhoun “between 11:30am and 12:30pm local time” on 4 April, but that the target had been “a large terrorist ammunition depot” on its eastern outskirts.
                      http://21stcenturywire.com/2018/04/08/syria-the-egregious-western-media-chemical-weapon-fraud-in-eastern-ghouta/
                      Terrorist Chemical Weapon Capability in Eastern Ghouta.
                      Journalist and geopolitical analyst, Sharmine Narwani, was in liberated Eastern Ghouta a few weeks ago when a Chemical Weapons laboratory was discovered in the farmlands between between Shifouniyeh and Douma. Narwani comments on the western media “disinterest” in this discovery:
                      https://www.rt.com/op-ed/421515-ghouta-syria-chemical-weapons/
                      Terrorist capabilities laid bare in an Eastern Ghouta chemical lab

                    • Bill

                      Assuming that was a response to my comment to Joe90…

                      I think you misunderstand my comment. I’m not for a second suggesting there have been no chemical weapons deployed in Syria.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      In fact it was a reply to

                      “I’m only aware of one occasion when Russia claimed it had hit a chemical weapons factory operated by the terrorists.”

                    • joe90

                      I’m not for a second suggesting there have been no chemical weapons deployed in Syria

                      .

                      Strange how the opposition terrorists only ever seem to gas themselves with their super secret stockpiles of chemical weapons, yet never use them against the regime or Russian and Iranian forces.

                    • Bill

                      Well, no. That’s not correct. There have been allegations of chemicals being used against SAA soldiers.

                      And no terrorist uses chemicals against themselves. But they do have large captive civilian populations, many of who don’t or wont “convert” and willingly acquiesce to Sharia Law.

                    • joe90

                      And no terrorist uses chemicals against themselves

                      .

                      Apparently this mob spent weeks negotiating terms acceptable to them and their families, softened themselves up with an alleged gas attack and then threw in the towel and accepted the opposition’s terms.

                      .

                      AMMAN: Fighters in the last opposition-controlled city in East Ghouta reached a deal with Russian negotiators on Sunday to evacuate with their families, one rebel official told Syria Direct, after intense bombardment and a reported chemical attack killed at least 225 civilians over the weekend.

                      Under the reported agreement, all rebel fighters with the Jaish al-Islam faction in Douma city and any civilians wishing to leave are to evacuate the eastern Damascus suburbs for opposition-held northwestern Syria in coming days, a member of the faction’s media office told Syria Direct on Sunday.

                      The media official requested that his name not be published, as he spoke to Syria Direct without authorization from Jaish al-Islam, which has not officially announced an evacuation deal.

                      Syrian and Russian state media both reported that a deal was reached on Sunday for rebels to evacuate Douma. Russia is a longtime backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and was a party to recent negotiations with rebel factions in East Ghouta.

                      For weeks, Jaish al-Islam has maintained that it would not accept any agreement with Russia or the Syrian government that included the evacuation of fighters from Douma.

                      http://syriadirect.org/news/%E2%80%98deal-reached%E2%80%99-for-rebels-to-leave-douma-after-bloody-weekend-suspected-chemical-attack/

                    • Bill

                      Uh-huh.

                      According to a site called “Syria Direct” from Yale University. That’s slightly unfair perhaps – it’s coming out of Jordan. But the Managing Director, Justin Schuster, is from Yale.

                      I don;t know the site Joe. But a very quick look and I see headlines about “rebels” and mention of government reprisals for anyone moving to government areas.

                      And for now, I’m just going to say that flies in the face of what on the ground independent journalists are saying.

                  • Ed

                    Do you believe every word the western propaganda machine tells you Stuart ?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      No.

                      But I do like to see sources – which your ‘heroes’ don’t seem to like to use. And I’m quite familiar with disinformatsia, which you either don’t know about, or don’t care about.

                      Uncritically embracing sites like MOOA, RT, Globalresearch, and folk like Murray or Beeley, won’t get you much closer to the truth – it just gives you a different set of lies.

                      Which you seem to swallow like an eight year old. Which leaves you some way short of being convincing.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2.3

          where do you believe they came from and what do you believe is being covered up ?

          Belief isn’t good enough to make a decision upon. We need evidence and that is almost always missing from these discussions.

          The problem is that so many make vital decisions based upon belief and ideology rather than the facts.

          • cleangreen 1.3.2.3.1

            Draco;

            Both Stunned mullet and QAB always wildly ‘assume’ or use “belief” as they are right wing terms to widen the focus that it has been proven already.

            We now live in a deep state world of propandana activities and not the true factual world any more.

            • Stunned Mullet 1.3.2.3.1.1

              ‘Propanda’ …sounds cuddly.

              • Bill

                Nah mate. You’re getting it all confused with Poppa Panda.

                Propanda is the “Save the Bamboo” crowd.

                And propandana that cleangreen was referring to is just this years, vaguely militantly themed fashionable panda headwear.

                • Stunned mullet

                  Ah good oh, thanks for the clarification.

                  For I second I thought he was riffing like good old Randal and his Hardly Davisons.

            • Keepcalmcarryon 1.3.2.3.1.2

              It’s not fair to call OAB right wing. An intelligent poster with sometimes differing views to whoever. Hope the month goes quick.

        • Bill 1.3.2.4

          There are reports of chemical weapons manufacturing ‘factories’ being found in Ghouta. Apparently one journalist present worked for CNN, (Frederick Pleitgen, his camerawoman and a translator) but well, they omitted that detail from the live report for the network.

          In tandem with that Vanessa Beeley (whose first hand reports from Syria have been pretty well on the mark even if her overarching political philosophy is questionable) reports that an estimated 3 500 civilians have been incarcerated by Jaish Al Islam in Ghouta.

          Here’s the link to her piece that includes the reference to CNN.

          http://21stcenturywire.com/2018/04/08/syria-the-egregious-western-media-chemical-weapon-fraud-in-eastern-ghouta/

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.2.4.1

            Makes sense to me that ISIS remnants would perpetrate this atrocity as a last-ditch propaganda attack on Damascus. The problem is I can also see Assad doing it again, too.

            Anyone who would do it once, or even plan for it in the first place (cf: the “Syrian Center of Environmental Protection Problems”) is already beyond the bounds of sense or decency, so expecting them to start behaving reasonably is a stretch.

            ISIS are no better. Either party could be responsible for an attack like this.

            • Bill 1.3.2.4.1.1

              Not according to “our” governments and the howls (more muted than on previous occasions) from the liberal/corporate media.

              Their take seems very much to be that if chemicals were used it was Assad; it was Russia….and Iran will also pay, because “Iran”.

            • Brigid 1.3.2.4.1.2

              What you can ‘see’ counts for nothing when the OPCW, in every investigation, has not proved Assad’s government gassed Syrians.

              • Ed

                And we know the white helmets have tried to frame the government before.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                People who stockpile 1,300 tonnes of the stuff (not including the chlorine) don’t do so by accident. Nor do they do so with good intentions.

                As you can see, I have a low opinion of Bashar Al-Assad. You’re going to have to find a way to accept that.

                • Brigid

                  I don’t write stuff on here for your eyes only.
                  You’re going to have to find a way to accept that.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    However, when you’re merchandising your doubt at me, you can expect a response.

      • alwyn 1.3.3

        “Obama was given a nobel peace prize moments after taking office”

        A slight exaggeration One Two. It was actually about eight and a half months. It certainly felt like the way you describe it though. I can only think of one reason they gave him the award.
        https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2009/press.html
        He wasn’t George W Bush and the Norwegian Nobel Committee really hated George. Obama certainly hadn’t done anything, at least at that stage, to deserve it.

        • One Two 1.3.3.1

          POTUS for 8 years, peace prize after 8 months…

          11% of the total time of the presidency…

          It was announced sometime prior to the award…

          Moments!

  2. Ffloyd 2

    Trevvy reporting”new fuel tax” as an apocalypse. Can’t bring myself to read the article yet. Can’t wait for her to write a real news column. New revelations on Pike River Mine for one. Middlebrow Hospital for another. Camp Burnham as well. Umm, EQC debacle. Shame on you Brownies. Should go and read it now, it might be a truly unbiased revelation.

  3. Ed 3

    Poor old Mike is going to have to pay more for his coffee so workers on minimum wages have a better chance of feeding themselves and their kids.
    Poor Mike.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12028762i

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        Hosking doesn’t understand that the government is one of the market forces he purports to worship.

        • cleangreen 3.1.1.1

          Ha ha ha.
          Yes you may be correct there as it stands presently OAB.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1.1.1

            The government is a huge market force. The ability to make laws and regulations is very influential. In NZ (iirc) they’re also the largest employer in the country.

            Hosking’s saying “you can’t dip your toe in the water” to someone who’s already in the bath.

    • indiana 3.2

      Minimum wage nor a living wage will save workers. Mike will find a cheaper alternative.

      Robot baristas, here they come!

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        You’re probably right. So, we have to get rid of the failed experiment called capitalism as it obviously can’t support society at all as an economic system is supposed to do.

        • Ed 3.2.1.1

          Spot on, Draco.
          Economic systems are philosophical ideas designed to serve us all.

      • AB 3.2.2

        Excellent – perhaps a rogue robot will remove Mike’s head and steam it for 20 seconds before dropping it in a latte bowl?

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    Blame the cyclists. Blame the cattle.

    Personal responsibility? Missing in action.

    • weka 4.1

      Dude shunting the animal with his ute needs to have a think about what he did too.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        Have to say I’d think twice about getting in the way of “a half a ton of angry pot-roast”. Not saying he did the right thing, more like I might well make the same mistake. Mind you I haven’t got bull-bars.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          Farmer should have had people there so ultimately it’s on them. But it does sound like a bunch of people who had no idea how to be in/around cattle, doing stupid shit*. We share the road with farmers. Would the cyclists have done that in a paddock of cattle? Then why do it on the road?

          I’ve seen a farmer come up behind me when I’ve slowed for cattle on the road, pass me, and then use his vehicle to push the cattle out of the way faster. I wasn’t in a hurry, he was an arsehole who thought he was doing his job. The cattle behaved exactly as you would expect and got agitated, jumping around.

          Not an issue with cars (although I can see the potential for damage to the vehicle or the animal there if someone driving didn’t know what to do), but a really bad idea when you have people in that situation who are smaller than the cattle.

          *also possible is the person who drove his vehicle into the actual animal was a farmer.

        • cleangreen 4.1.1.2

          Do you have a farm as I do, and we treat our animals as we would treat you, so are you up for this?

          We treat our animals humanly with respect so should everyone as they have no other voice of reason than us.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.2.1

            I don’t even eat them: I reckon that’s pretty “humane”.

      • Keepcalmcarryon 4.1.2

        Not really, save the person whoever’s fault it was.

        • weka 4.1.2.1

          He drove into the steer and it then attacked another cyclist. Understandably (by the steer).

          We don’t know what happened, but on the face of it, in the story in the article, what I would have done is gotten out of my vehicle and told the cyclist to get off his bike, cross to the other side of the road and stop and wait for the steer to figure out what to do. It’s not going to attack people randomly, but it will if it’s stressed or scared. The person who drove into the steer aggravated the situation.

          • Keepcalmcarryon 4.1.2.1.1

            Missed that but, yes quite probably wound it up more- if true, the story has already changed from yesterday!

    • Keepcalmcarryon 4.2

      Dude in the comment section is adamant cones were in place and farmers at each end, cyclists bowled through, if that’s the case they only have themselves to blame.

      The other take home is how shit the reporting is – they have repeatedly confused a bull with a steer (obviously different temperament/handling) and didn’t establish the facts around the animal movement.

  5. One Anonymous Bloke 5

    Only ten of us installed the Big Brother app.

    Can the other sixty-three thousand of us claim ACC or something? I feel a sense of paranoia coming on.

  6. halfcrown 6

    I am not a Green voter but I am impressed of what I saw of Marama Davidson on the AM show this morning.
    She was NOT going to let Garner talk over her and wasn’t he pissed off.
    So pissed off, he and that other odious character Ricardson along with the female on the show who does not impress me one bit, had a deep and meaningful discussion on Marama Davidson’s comment on benefit fraud. something like ” I am not going to discuss that” not sure of exact words.
    It is a pity they do not have a similarly deep and meaningful discussion on tax fraud and the state of Middlemore Hospital, that no bridges Bridges says it is nothing to do with the National party.
    We need more like Marama Davidson to start to put these arseoles in their place, and I think Garner was so desperate to get something on her, he had to scrape the bottom of the barrel so hard to find that snippet he must have put a hole it.

    • Whispering Kate 6.1

      She also owned the interview with Espiner on RNZ on Morning Report this morning, my partner said “way to go Marama” – she controlled the narrative and what a breath of fresh air that was. Interesting times ahead for her and her political career.

    • cleangreen 6.2

      half crown you hit the nail squarely on the head.

      Last time I was a supporter of the green party was in 2002 and we split off to start our own Environmental advocacy centre because the green party were not supporting our actions using the green party.

      But now we see a glimmer of hope that the greens may push Labour back left again to it’s ‘true left side’ (as Simon Bridges suggested would happen if Marama was elected co-leader),on this morning on The AM Show.

      So we live in hope that the labour party will turn left again as all expected it to do.

    • AB 6.3

      Good on her.
      Alternatively she might have said she was happy to discuss benefit fraud so long as Garner allocated 33x as much time to discussing tax avoidance as that ratio correctly reflects their relative economic impact according to Lisa Marriot’s research.
      Say, 3 seconds on benefit fraud and 1min 40 sec on tax avoidance?

    • Ed 6.4

      Great news.
      Catherine Delahunty of the Greens also found out that Amanda Gillies ( like Richardson and Garner) does not deserve our respect.

  7. Tony Veitch (not etc) 7

    Soimon is UNfuckingBELIEVABLE!

    On the news -” the Government should stop whining and get on with fixing the mess in the health system!” or words to that effect.

    • Cinny 7.1

      Well said Tony, after witnessing his attempts on both TV networks this morning I’m predicting that he will lead national to their biggest loss ever come 2020.

      http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/04/national-government-didn-t-know-about-shocking-state-of-middlemore-hospital-simon-bridges.html

    • tc 7.2

      Wish Clark would start telling people about the clusterf#$k that Ryall/Key/Blinglish and Coleman created just in health.

      A Comprehensive year by year listing of all the services cut back or removed including a grim reaper to show where Mental Health keeled over because not having a reasonable mental health system is asking for trouble in this modern world.

      Then move on to Education, the environment, transport, housing etc in a format that’s easily understood so sheeple get the look and feel.

      Sheeple don’t think so with the nact msm giving these unchallenged soapboxes the Govt runs a risk by not countering the BS.

    • OnceWasTim 7.3

      Probably loik you, at toims I foind it difficult to unnastearn the bugger. Not unloik John Key going forwid.
      But then I’VE JUSS BEEN LUSSNING ta Jearssie Mullgin – lissning bearnt Kriss Lewisand the nurryda .
      I’l have to listen again because all I could hair was “ear ear ear” (going forward).
      En oim a mouldabull genrayshull Nu Zullna liviing, and deeply embedded amongst the Mount Victoria Urban Liberal – even to the extent I’ve sampled most of the lower Marjoribank Street’s eateries.
      Bugger me tho’…… I really will have to revisit and listen.

  8. Pat 8

    ‘World leaders urged to act as anger over inequality reaches a ‘tipping point’

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/apr/07/global-inequality-tipping-point-2030

    same clowns.

    • Pat 8.1

      In a similar vein….must be contagious

      https://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2018/04/should-we-mourn-our-cancelled-tax-cuts.html

      “Though they’ll never admit it, the logical consequence of the Taxpayers’ Union’s policies is indistinguishable from that of every other “taxation is theft” outfit: expanding the domain of public pain by deliberately reducing the opportunities for its concerted public amelioration. Like the far-Right American lobbyist, Grover Norquist, they are determined to get the state down to “the size where we can drown it in the bathtub”

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      The rich are the problem – time to get rid of them.

      • Pat 8.2.1

        I wouldnt phrase it so simplistically but agree with the general direction….the problem however is that too many comparatively well off see it as a personal attack whether or not their personal circumstances would be adversely affected or not…a case of ‘better the devil you know’ rather than ‘nothing to lose’ all wrapped up with fear.

        There comes a tipping point.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.1

          Well, we can use legislation to get rid of them or that tipping point arrives and people in dire straights do dire things.

      • cleangreen 8.2.2

        100%, Draco;

        Vote for the only option left to us all now is socialism as capitalism is dead now because of human greed.

  9. savenz 9

    Clearly we are doing something wrong in NZ….

    “New Zealand’s prison population is skyrocketing, and our jails are at breaking point.

    The Netherlands has the opposite problem – they’re closing down prisons because inmate numbers have plummeted.”

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2018/04/dutch-prison-system-offers-inspiration-to-new-zealand.html

    • cleangreen 9.1

      Yes savenz;

      Holland use discipline far more than we do but temper it with a much higher level of humanity towards incarcerated and use rehabilitation and training to give hope to those who have faulted.

  10. indiana 10

    Like these people?
    http://metro.co.uk/2015/08/26/13-vegan-athletes-smashing-it-on-a-meat-free-diet-5349835/

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  11. Ed 11

    The most recent article from Craig Murray.
    Brilliant satire.

    “Despite this story being one of the most improbably wild conspiracy theories in human history, it is those who express any doubt at all as to its veracity who are smeared as “conspiracy theorists” or even “traitors”.”

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2018/04/portonblimp-down-episode-2-a-tale-by-boris-johnson/

  12. adam 12

    If you favour sanctions for Russia, then have a read of this. Working people inside Russia are suffering. The last election was a joke, as mass protest against Putin suggest. “What protest in Russia” I hear you say, Christian Anarchists have been helping organising them, 300,000 people at one protest alone. All is not well in the oligarchic regime, what with them bleeding working Russians dry.

    https://libcom.org/blog/tragic-events-russia-08042018

    Do I need to mention a friend of mine is still in Prison, awaiting charges. Almost three years, now. Another guy I know has been given 5 years for Sedition, he was handing out fliers in support gay rights. His church is constantly being monitored, because they let LGBT members into the congregation.

  13. red-blooded 13

    Here’s a link to the article Simon Wilson wrote based on an interview with Johnathan Coleman. He claims to have known nothing about Middlemore (surprise, surprise!). Perhaps a bigger surprise – says he argued against tax cuts and for more funding for Health and Education” Wasn’t he the minister of health who presided over that?

    “I can tell you right now I had no knowledge of that at all,” he said. “Absolutely none. And,” he added, speaking each word carefully, “I don’t lie.”

    He said the Counties-Manukau district health board chair Lester Levy told a parliamentary select committee in February this year that they had two problems. “One was increased demand and the other was management of ageing infrastructure.” But he said Levy had not gone into any detail.

    “It was never raised with us,” Coleman said. “Look. If I had known, this would have gone to the top of my list.”

    Coleman cast himself as the champion of health. He told me that as health minister he battled inside Cabinet and caucus for more resources for his sector. “I asked for more money for health in each budget. It’s no secret that I advocated for more spending on health and education, instead of tax cuts.”

    No secret, eh, Johnathan? I sure don’t recall hearing this from you in the past. What about all the “Labour is the party of tax” and “tax is theft” bullshit your party has spouted in recent times?

    • OnceWasTim 13.1

      Probably one of the best kept National Party secrets (i.e. his advocacy in Cabinet for increased funding in the health sector).

    • Anne 13.2

      I read that article and reflected on his claims. He did have leadership ambitions up until recently which is probably the reason he kept silent about his opposition to tax cuts.

      It shows that in the Nat Party ambition trumps everything.

      • Muttonbird 13.2.1

        A bit harsh on Dr Death 🙂

        He would have been sacked or have had to quit if he’d publicly gone against Key’s and Bingles’ desire for tax cuts bribes the public didn’t even want.

        But then again he didn’t quit, did he.

        Can imagine ponytail boy and bingles being too happy reading that Wilson interview…lol.

    • Ad 13.3

      Just shows he was weak in Cabinet.
      Continually got rolled.

    • Grafton Gully 13.4

      Coleman, Levy and Mathias have show lack of commitment to our public health system while occupying positions of power within it.
      Mathias, the Birthcare and Labtests entrepreneur. Levy the seemingly conflicted director of Tonkin and Taylor and Coleman groomed to become CEO of Acurity Healthcare.
      Looks to me like they entered and left the public sector to suit their private sector agendas.

    • dukeofurl 13.5

      Lester Levy would have had his speech vetted by Colemans staff. Thats how these things work.

      They certainly ‘managed ‘the Waikato DHB CEO scandal to push it out till after the election.

  14. Anne 14

    You can bet your bottom dollar the foreign country in question was the United States.

    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2018/04/why-is-foreign-power-deciding-who-nz.html

    • OnceWasTim 14.1

      Perhaps we should defer to @Wayne’s expertise and impartial opinion on the matter.
      He should be along soon (when he gets time to indulge in a little conversation with a hard-left Labour Party blog site like TS.

      • Anne 14.1.1

        You will be in trouble with lprent. It’s not a Labour Party blog-site.

      • wayne 14.1.2

        From my recollection I am pretty sure the other country is Afghanistan. I recall various discussions with NZDF and MFAT officials on this particular point.

        When forces are deployed in another country which has a legally constituted government (which Afghanistan had from about 2002/2003) naturally that country has a say in the scope of the ROE.

        And as Exkiwiforces says there is also a status of forces agreement. Most of the legal jurisdiction over our forces remained with the New Zealand government.

    • Exkiwiforces 14.2

      Having read that post during my lunch and IMO it’s Afghanistan Government via what’s called a SOFA ( Status Of Forces Agreement) which covers everything from ROE, OFOF, LOAC, Size of the Military Force in the host nation, Religious stuff, respect of Local customs/ culture and use of locally employed contractors doing building, cleaning the dunnies etc etc as list is almost endless on the do’s and don’ts in the host nation.

      • Macro 14.2.1

        Yes I think that would be the case as well.

        • Exkiwiforces 14.2.1.1

          The Iraq SOFA is very strict and this largely due to some of the muppet PMC’s aka Blackwater and the shit that went on during the last shit fight post invasion.

          • Molly 14.2.1.1.1

            With the SOFA in place, and any information regarding how troops engaged or behaved under these agreements, and subject to classification – how would you see any unethical or out of scope behaviour by the NZ Army (most notably the decision makers) being able to be discovered, and verified?

            • Exkiwiforces 14.2.1.1.1.1

              I don’t know the full mechanics of how the SOFA works, but from what I do know that the host nation particularly those within the MER are very sensitive at gets released to the general public.

              Some of the confronting shit I’ve/ We’ve have seen in MER which went against my/ our values and morals we had to sand back or turn our back as I/ we couldn’t intervene due to the SOFA. BTW it’s not to do with Combat or the POWs as the they came under LOAC, but it was cultural and Religious stuff.

  15. Ad 15

    Anyone want to have a go at Northcote on June 9th?

    My personal pick would be Richard Hills the local Labour Councillor.

    He would have as good a shot as any against a fairly significant National majority.

    • Anne 15.1

      He would be the ideal candidate and – bless his cotton socks – he might even pull off a shock win.

      • AB 15.1.1

        Yes – but surely they’ll remain loyal to Shanan Halbert who did pretty well last year?
        Happy to see the contagion of Croaker Coleman lifted no matter what the result tbh

  16. Newshub congratulations to our sports stars for there win . Duncan New Zealand is as raciest as Taika Waititi is right with his statement .If I was brought up by my white father I would not be going through this Total harassment By the NEW ZEALAND POLICE they are using all the dirty tactics they can I read and see all the people whom the police have used to try and take me out . Can you justifie that . I am as proud as of my MAORI heritage and nothing is going to change that.
    Jacinda you handled Dancan well I treat everyone with respect I try my best not to be raciest because in my eyes we are all one race the humans race. Race should be banded to the history books we have to ALL COME together to mitigate against climate change to survive look at the other ancient cultures that have collapse around Papatuanuku .
    The Aucland Council should close that native forest track to save OUR ancient Kauri till they find a solution that stops the spread of that Kauri die back virus now.
    As for jonathan coleman watch him bend his neck while he lies his—— off Ana to kai. P.S shonky was a master at suppressing information and minuplating information
    Ka kite ano

    • eco maori 16.1

      The AM Show I agree with old Michele Barnett that OUR nurses deserve a pay rise they are just as important to OUR society as any the police . Paddy that’s the way ehoa tell it like you see it on Taika Waititi statement is correct P.S I am multi tasking on my computa .
      Ana to kai Ka kite ano

      • eco maori 16.1.1

        The AM Show I detest bullies as I was bullied since my Greatgrandmother died . The New Zealand police are bulling me now and bulling everyone that I associate with
        The thing is that I have a thick skin and it does not affect me as it does others Ana to kai Ka kite ano

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    4 days ago
  • “Fitz” On Cannabis.
    "I Like It!" “Shall I tell you the real reason to legalise cannabis? Because all the stuff I’ve told you, while true, isn’t enough. You should legalise cannabis because you’d like it. No, actually, you’d love it! Cannabis makes food taste better. It turns music into magic. It suppresses pain and nausea ...
    4 days ago
  • Crusher fails to resonate
    Judith Collins - National Party leaderYou can tell the National Party is in damage control mode most of the time these days. Instead of being able to provide any valid alternative to a Labour led Government, Judith Collins is going out of her way to be controversial just to get ...
    5 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime II
    Last month, we learned there was a flaw in our electoral transparency regime, with the New Zealand Public Party receiving a quarter of a million dollars in donations which will never have to be decalred. And now its got worse,as it turns out they're also explicitly soliciting donations from rich ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Entirely separate”
    When two people whose identities we all know but cannot say publicly due to name suppression were charged with "Obtaining by Deception" over routing donations to NZ First through the NZ First Foundation, Winston Peters claimed his party had been exonerated because "The Foundation is an entirely separate entity from ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Judith Collins' little green lies
    New Zealand is not the United States, thank goodness. We don't have the same level of political partisanship nor public media outlets that blatantly display political bias. However, during the closing weeks of this campaign I do feel an infection of trumpism is evident. Judith Collins and her National Party ...
    5 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: The Psychology of Ardernism
    Jacinda Ardern has made New Zealanders feel safe. Josh Van Veen looks at psychological understandings of leadership to help explain the ongoing success of Labour in this election campaign.   Simon Bridges could have been the Prime Minister. Opinion polls in February suggested a close election, with Colmar Brunton giving the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Let's Make Jacinda Break Her Promises.
    Make Her An Offer She Can't Refuse: Expecting Jacinda and her colleagues to break their promise not to introduce a Wealth Tax is not only unfair it is unwise. A consensus for change has never arisen out of a series of polite discussions - or base betrayals. A better New ...
    5 days ago
  • Two days to go, 12 questions still worth asking
    One last lap. One last crack. One last chance to boost your own policies or knock down your opponents. Tonight TVNZ hosts the final leaders’ debate and although over a million New Zealanders have voted and much of the policy debate seems to have stagnated around negative attacks, there are ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    5 days ago
  • Possible inter-satellite collision on Friday
    Two objects in low-Earth orbit may collide with each other on Friday, in a hyper-velocity impact which would lead to millions of fragments being left on-orbit, each potentially-lethal to functioning satellites. Fingers crossed (not that I am superstitious) that it is a miss, rather than a hit. One local ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • Do Elections Deliver What We Want?
    MMP may deliver a parliament which reflects us, but frequently the government does not. At the heart of my recent history of New Zealand, Not in Narrow Seas, is the interaction between economic and social change. I could measure economic change via the – far from comprehensive – ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Flailing last grasps bring lasting gasps in the NZ General Election…
    The last week of the 2020 election here in New Zealand has been an increasingly torrid and venal affair has it not? Many expect the last week of any Election campaign to get considerably more tetchy, everyone is hurrying to nail the last voter down after all. But this ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #41, 2020
    Zika follows climate Sadie Ryan and coauthors combine what we know about the Zika virus and its preferred regime with modeling to show the pathogen will greatly expand its range during the next few decades. We do have some remaining control over the situation. From the abstract: "In the ...
    5 days ago
  • Does a delay in COP26 climate talks hit our efforts to reduce carbon emissions?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Will the delay of the COP26 UN climate negotiations impact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Where do the parties stand on open government?
    The election is in less than a week, so I thought I'd take a quick look at where the parties stand on open government, freedom of information, and the OIA. The short answer is that most of them don't. While Andrew Little has "promised" to rewrite the OIA, there's no ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Second Time As Farce: National's Election Campaign Falls Apart.
    The Mask Of Civility Is Removed: According to Politik’s editor, Richard Harman, Collins has become her own campaign manager. Now, as a lawyer, you might think that the Leader of the Opposition would be familiar with the old saying: “The lawyer who defends himself has a fool for a client.” ...
    6 days ago
  • National's Little Helpers have A Cunning Plan.
    Keep Your hands Off Of My Stash: Viewed from the perspective of the 2020 General Election as a whole, the intervention of the Taxpayers’ Union against the Greens' Wealth Tax confirms the Right’s growing sense of desperation that the campaign is slipping away from them. With hundreds of thousands of ...
    6 days ago
  • Covid-19: A planetary disease
    Louise Delany* This blog focuses on the underlying environmental causes of Covid-19 (Covid) and the role of international law in tackling both Covid and other planetary crises. I argue that major changes to our relationship with our planet and its creatures are needed and these changes must be supported by ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: How to make your mind up
    If you’re still on the fence about how to vote, Liam Hehir says it’s probably more important for you to vote on the basis of your principles, and he offers a way to think about how these principles might align with the main party options.   Still undecided? Here’s how ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • What else apart from a Wealth Tax? The shape of a Labour-Greens coalition
    If you haven’t heard, the Green Party supports a Wealth Tax. Yeah, I thought you might have heard of it. Everyone’s been talking about it on the campaign trail these past few days. It would force the wealthiest six percent of New Zealanders to pay a one percent tax each ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    6 days ago
  • Time is slipping by for the fruit industry to improve wages
    The covid-19 pandemic has meant a lot of changes for New Zealand. Lockdowns, social distancing, a massive shift to working from home and the death of tourism for a start. But the sensible and necessary border closure has also completely cut off the supply of cheap, migrant labour - and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A new low in American “democracy”
    Every US election, we're used to seeing long lines of voters, and reading stories of widespread gerrymandering and voter suppression (including things like flyers falsely telling people their assigned polling place (!) has moved or that voting will be on a different day, and robocalls threatening that people will be ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A suggestion for Biden’s foreign policy.
    I have been thinking about US foreign policy after the upcoming election. My working assumption is that try as he might, Trump will lose the election and be forced from office. There will be much litigating of the results and likely civil unrest, but on Jan 21, 2021 the Orange ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Bleak views of melting Antarctic ice, from above and below
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Images from satellites high above the Earth have helped a research team put together a stark visual chronicle of decades of glacier disintegration in Antarctica. Meanwhile, a separate international research team has taken the opposite perspective – studying the ice ...
    7 days ago
  • Five reasons I am voting for National (and why you should too)
    Centre right voters have three realistic options this year.
      The National Party, which is currently at something of a low ebb but which remains the primary vehicle for conservative and moderate liberal voters; orThe libertarian ACT Party, which is undergoing a temporary boom as National struggles; orThe centre-left Labour ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Graeme Edgeler: How to vote, and how to think about voting
    Your choice of who to vote for could make a real difference. Electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler suggests you make an informed choice, and he goes through a variety of different ways to think about your voting options.   The New Zealand general election is being held next Saturday, the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • That School Debate: Tolkien, Shakespeare, and Anti-Stratfordianism
    Today, I am responding to one Philip Lowe, who back in August 2019 produced an interesting but flawed piece, looking at the way in which Tolkien viewed Shakespeare: Tolkien and Shakespeare: Counterparts ...
    1 week ago
  • Marching to the ballot boxes
    Today's advance voting statistics are out, showing that 450,000 people voted over the weekend, bringing the total advance vote to 1.15 million - just 90,000 shy of the 2017 total. So its likely that by the end of today, more people will have advance voted than did in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: The long road to “Yes”
    One day in 1985, I came down from the loft where I was working as deputy editor of Rip It Up magazine, looking for lunch, and walked into a scene. There, on the corner of Queen and Darby Streets, a man was in the process of getting two kids to ...
    1 week ago
  • A funny thing for Labour to die in a ditch over
    Over the weekend, National unveiled its latest desperate effort to try and gain some attention: campaigning hard against a wealth tax. Its a Green Party policy, so its a funny thing for national to campaign against (alternatively, I guess it shows who their true opponents are). But even funnier is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The comforting myth of the referendum ‘soft option’
    Assuming we don’t count Bird of the Year, last week was my first time voting in a New Zealand election. I’ve been here a while, but for reasons too dull to recount, I didn’t have permanent residence in time for any of the others. Anyway, it’s hardly up there with 1893, ...
    PunditBy Colin Gavaghan
    1 week ago
  • Election: Equality Network’s Policy Matrix
    How will you vote this Election? We suggest comparing the Party policies on addressing inequality: The Equality Network identifies Ten Key Policy Areas that will make a difference: ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network: Party Policy Star Chart
    ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • A Tale of Two Elections
    AS 2020 draws to a close, two very different countries, in different hemispheres and time zones, are holding elections that are of great importance, not only for their own futures but for the future of the world as well. The USA and New Zealand differ greatly in physical and economic ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #41
    Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... How Joe Biden could reorient foreign policy around climate change A new report lays out ...
    1 week ago
  • Potential attack lines in the campaign's final week
    In the final week of the election campaign, parties large and small will want to make clear to voters why they are more deserving of your vote than the other guys. It doesn’t mean going negative… oh alright, it does a little bit. But it doesn’t mean playing dirty. It ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Oct 4, 2020 through Sat, Oct 10, 2020 Editor's Choice What Have We Learned in Thirty Years of Covering Climate Change? A climate scientist who has studied the Exxon Valdez ...
    1 week ago
  • Economic Resilience or Policy Brilliance?
    The economy has been through a traumatic experience. Prospects look sobering. Preliminary official estimates suggest that market production (GDP) fell 12.2 percent in the June Quarter 2020 – a huge, and probably unprecedented, contraction. In mid-April the Treasury had expected a fall of 23.5 percent (published in the 2020 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • The SMC Video Competition: The Tītipounamu Project
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Interview with Nicky Lee
    Fellow New Zealand writer, Nicky Lee, has been doing some Q&A with other local speculative fiction authors: https://www.nikkythewriter.com/blog Each fortnight is a different author, answering ten questions about their Writing Process. I think it’s an excellent way of helping build the profile of the New Zealand speculative fiction ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Capital Vol. 3 lectures: converting surplus-value into the rate of profit
    This is the third in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation.Here he looks at the problem of converting surplus-value into the rate of profit.(Part one of the lecture series is here, and part two is here) ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Another call for OIA reform
    A collection of top-level environmental and human rights NGOs is calling for reform of the Official Information Act: The Child Poverty Action Group, Greenpeace, Forest and Bird, JustSpeak, New Zealand Council for Civil Liberties and Amnesty International are calling for a comprehensive, independent review of the Official Information Act ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The advice on moving the election date
    When the Prime Minister moved the election date back in August, I immediately lodged OIA requests with the Electoral Commission and Ministry of Justice for any advice they'd given. Both refused, on the basis that the information would be proactively released. That's finally happened, a mere three weeks after the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media Link: Pre-election craziness in the US.
    This week in our “A View from Afar” podcast Selwyn Manning and I reflect on Trump’s increasingly erratic behaviour in wake of contracting Covid-19 and the domestic and foreign implications it has in the run-up to the November 3 national elections. You can find it here. ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Conservation Minister plants two millionth tree in Raglan restoration
    A long-term conservation project led by the Whaingaroa Harbour Care group in the western Waikato reaches a significant milestone this week, with the planting of the two millionth tree by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Planting the two millionth tree crowns 25 years of commitment and partnership involving Whaingaroa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Seniors – our parents and grandparents
    International Older Persons Day is a chance to think about the individual older New Zealanders we know and to confront ageism, Seniors Minister Tracey Martin said today. “What happened around COVID-19 is a reminder that our over-65s are a very large and diverse group of people and we need to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Residential building sector growing stronger
    Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show healthy growth in residential building consents in an environment of Government support for the sector during COVID-19, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods. Statistics New Zealand reported today that a record 10,063 townhouses, flats, and units were consented in the August 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF helps Bay of Plenty youth find jobs
    Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) support for a pathways to work hub in Tauranga will help address high youth unemployment in the Bay of Plenty by connecting young people with training and meaningful employment opportunities, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau has announced. “Priority One Western Bay of Plenty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government confirms new acute mental health facility for Lakes DHB
    A new acute inpatient mental health facility at Rotorua Hospital will provide more patient-centred and culturally appropriate care to better support recovery, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says. “Improving mental health and addiction services remains one of the biggest long-term challenges facing New Zealand,” says Chris Hipkins. “Lakes DHB’s existing Whare ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Community Languages Fund to increase support for Pacific community language projects
    Round two of the Community Languages Fund (CLF) will provide even more support for Pacific grassroots community and family language projects with the introduction of a second funding tier of $10,000, in addition to the $2,500 tier, says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio.  During the first round of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Government puts teacher wellbeing at the centre
    The Government is committing nearly $9 million to ensure educators in early learning services and schools get the wellbeing support they need. Education Minister Chris Hipkins made the announcement, which includes providing frontline counselling and advice services for educators, during his address at the Post Primary Teachers Association (PPTA) annual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago