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Open mike 09/06/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, June 9th, 2019 - 217 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 …

217 comments on “Open mike 09/06/2019 ”

  1. johnm 1

    On Contact: Assange with Vijay Prashad

  2. marty mars 2

    Good read

    Wheeler didn’t know what he didn’t know, and that’s the cognitive engine of what’s today rued and ridiculed as the Dunning-Kruger effect. It describes what Dunning later called “the anosognosia of everyday life”; a cognitive foible in which people lack the self-awareness—and yes, in some cases, the intelligence—to objectively estimate their own ability. Or, to paraphrase John Cleese: some people are too stupid to understand how stupid they are.


  3. vto 3

    So, many people claim men have caused the world's problems.. you know, the patriarchy, the aggression, the everything blah blah…

    Over the last 3-4 decades the influence of women has grown significantly.

    Are things improving? Or getting worse?

    How would this be measured?

    Is this question allowed to be asked?

    • WeTheBleeple 3.1

      Sounds like you've got some research to do.

      It is my opinion a Patriarchy has done us no favors and mixed gender representation allows a voice for women and thus by default children, who are largely cared for by women. All of society deserves representation at the highest levels. Men are concerned with glory, legacy, profit, beating other men…

      But what are opinions but a dime a dozen. Do some research.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        Men are concerned with glory, legacy, profit, beating other men…

        Yet women reliably prefer to select such men for their mates. Did you ever wonder why men are the way they are?

        • vto

          You are brave mentioning that elephant in the room Red. But it is an entirely relevant question too..

          • Robert Guyton

            Men aren't to blame, vto, the causal factor is our innate primate nature. It's not men's fault alone that we default to hierarchical male-dominant modes; avoiding that is the challenge for everybody.

            • vto

              Robert, accusatory fingers get pointed at particular men all the time over this stuff. So, yep, men are blamed.

              If it is men and women's innate primate nature to default to hierarchical male-dominated modes, why is it to be avoided ? This goes to the post yesterday about male-caused destruction. It isn't male-caused is it – it is "men and women's innate primate nature"-caused.

              • Robert Guyton

                Vto – yes, individual men carry the same obligation as everyone else and must answer to those charges.

                Innate primate nature is to be avoided/modified now, because we've moved on, just as our deeper innate reptile nature is to be discarded as redundant. Humans have a new nature; we're half primate, half … something else ( I have my view) and are struggling to recognise this. What it means is we have to address our previous status and up-grade it, for all our sakes and that of the rest of creation. Plus, time is running out fast.

                Male-caused destruction? No, primate-behaviour-caused destruction. I think you've read your own story into the issue (kindly meant – we all do that unless we are very watchful).

                • Robert Guyton

                  Oh, and to clarify, "men" can mean class and individual, so statements are easily misread. Individual men get blamed for their chosen behaviour, but the gender isn't responsible for that.

              • bwaghorn

                Just because we came from apes doesn't mean we have to remain apes.

                We can aim for better.

                • Robert Guyton

                  Agreed. We are primates still, in body, but our mind has undergone a sea-change. The sooner we understand what we are now, the better. The clock's ticking and the spring almost wound down…

              • If it is men and women's innate primate nature to default to hierarchical male-dominated modes, why is it to be avoided ?

                Because biology isn't destiny and humans have choices. We have enough self-awareness to figure out and understand the effects that evolution has had on human behaviour, and to decide for ourselves how much influence we allow those effects to have on our behaviour. A human being with full brain function doesn't get to make the excuse "Hey, evolution made me do it."

                • Robert Guyton

                  Individually, yes. Society though, is infested with a number of pathological behaviours and institutions; corporations, for example, don't "have enough self awareness" to do anything other than what they're programmed to do: make profit, dominate the market or what ever. Handling man-made, soul-less, psychopathic "creations" is our biggest challenge; they'll drive us over the brink, if we don't rein them in.

                  • Oh, yes. Always makes me laugh when doom-sayers worry over what will happen when AI systems are controlling many aspects of society and are operating according to non-human principles and algorithms – what will happen to the poor humans then? Well, actually we already know because we already have artificial entities controlling many aspects of society according to non-human principles and have done for the last century or more – if anything, future computer-based ones are likely to be less scary.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Yet women reliably prefer to select such men for their mates. Did you ever wonder why men are the way they are?

          Well, sheeet…mayhap it is the basic drive to perpetuate the species…and since there seems to be a deficit of more acceptable mates most women have to settle for what they can get.

          Luckily the societal expectation for all women to breed has lessened considerably so more of the grunting types are being left on the shelf.


          Ffs RL, haul your sorry arse out from the swamp.

          • marty mars

            Sadly these toxic male attitudes will come thick, very thick, and fast because of vto (vote labour out btw) and rl – we have some classic men's rights advocates with imo disgusting attitudes.
            They diminish men and actively seek to maintain their position.
            Luckily times are changing and these attitudes are dinotrucking out of here.

            • vto

              there is nothing disgusting about asking for evidence of the toxic claims about men marty mars..

              • marty mars

                whoosh – try reading this

              • vto

                you're another old white man hater marty mars and discounted accordingly

                i don;t think i have ever seen you post anything positive about old white men

                only negative

                that says something

                • solkta

                  I have heard marty compliment lots of the old white men on this site.

                  • vto

                    not the same thing, though it should be for obvious reasons.

                  • marty mars

                    vto just hears what he wants, sees what he wants, and listens to what he wants and this all spins back into the tight wee attitudes displayed.

                    he is so fixated on being 'white' he can't see all the infinity of other colours – and thus contributes nothing apart from negativity. He has gone well back from a year or so ago when he used to think a lot more imo.

                  • James

                    true – amazing isn’t it. The level of hypocrisy from some who single out gender, race and age – as long as it’s male, white and old.

                    Yet they are are the first to Bitch of you mention any other groups.

                    Some women have become the worse of men haters and very nasty.

                    • Molly

                      <i>" Some women have become the worse of men haters and very nasty. "</i>

                      This sentence is nonsensical. The use of "some" women, mean the the rest include others, perhaps self-idenfied genders – and male. You might as well have written: Some blue t-shirt wearers….

                    • RedLogix

                      @ Molly

                      In my experience there are people of both sexes who have been badly treated by the other sex and wrestle with very understandable feelings of resentment and vengeance. I once briefly visited the borders of that hellish land and from that glimpse I vowed never to judge them.

                    • James []

                      good point very well made.

            • francesca

              Why do we have such hard and fast characterisations of "male" behaviour at a time when we seem to find it impossible to characterise"femaleness"

              Referencing the transgender issue that sets fire to this site from time to time

              And Red Logix does have a point.

              Do we really think Jerry Hall found Murdoch irresistibly attractive because of his good looks and personal qualities?

              Not his money either ,of which she has plenty, but his power., an aphrodisiac for many

              Same for the myriad of physically repulsive, but wealthy old men with young beautiful wives.

              Or is it true that for many, not all of us , but for many women, powerfulness and a good quantity of resource is seen to guarantee the survival of our children, particularly through the vulnerable period of pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood.

              Or at least , and a degree of comfort and material satisfaction and the reflected glory of power

              (With my sexual allure I control a powerful man and therefore wield power)

              Not very worthy, but why would women be any better than men when supposedly there's not a huge amount of difference between us?

              We should at least be able to discuss this stuff without immediate polarised attitudes and further divisiveness. I like Red Logix's approach of sometimes being the devil's advocate, it makes us test our own beliefs and hopefully ease up on the old knee jerk

              • Blazer

                'a good quantity of resource is seen to guarantee the survival of our children, particularly through the vulnerable period of pregnancy, childbirth, and early childhood.'

                'the myriad of physically repulsive, but wealthy old men with young beautiful wives.'

                the ugly kids not a consideration then!

                • francesca

                  50/50 chance on that

                  Mother's genes can prevail

                  • Blazer

                    is it worth the risk?

                    'it is better to be beautiful than to be good,

                    but it is better to be good,than to be…ugly'


                  • Blazer

                    lazy day.

                    'A clever, ugly man every now and then is successful with the ladies, but a handsome fool is irresistible. William Makepeace Thackeray

              • RedLogix

                Thank you. It's my view that while each sex does have it's legitimate interests and perspectives … that fundamentally we are all in this mess together.

                There is a historic validity to the idea of patriarchy. For implacable biological reasons women always were the more physically vulnerable sex. They and their children needed powerful males to provide for and protect them. There is nothing to apologise for in this, life was incredibly hard and risky for both sexes. No-one thought of this unequal arrangement as patriarchy, it was just how life was. In the context of those times, there was no viable alternative, men dominated the public world, while women had their power and influence in the private one. Different and separate.

                It has only been the past 200 years of science and industrial progress that women have been dramatically freed from these biological limitations. They can choose when to have babies, most of them will now survive to adulthood, they can find work they are physically capable of outside of the household, they have been extended the same legal and social opportunities once the preserve of a few wealthy powerful men only. And most of this progress has been achieved by both sexes working along side of each other. What's more, most men played their part in order to help and please the women in their lives.

                The idea that everything is an oppressive patriarchy, that all men partake and benefit from nothing but oppressing women for their own sadistic ends, is an absurdity. It's true that men and women often misunderstand each other, we often irritate the hell and don't get on very well. And sometimes we treat each other appallingly. But this is true of men and men, and women and women. But more importantly than this, we both sexes need each other and mostly find ways to make it work. Sometime miraculously well.

                My partner regularly tells me that she believes there has never been a better time in history to be a woman. She doesn't believe in perfection or utopias, but by comparison to any other time or place, she is grateful and delighted in what the modern world gifts to her.

                • francesca

                  There'll always be a tussle, its part of our life's work to resolve the tussle, manage it, learn, grow, agree to disagree, find new ways of being, but with love, not hostility

                  I appreciate your thoughts

              • marty mars

                Mostly I've found this type of 'discussion' to be a trojan horse to deliver particular ideas into the forum. My involuntary reaction to a prick is biological.

                • RedLogix

                  Mostly you're chasing bad phantoms of your own imagining. The 'trojan horse' I have consistently delivered is plain and obvious. That men and women while they have somewhat different biologies, temperaments, capacities, priorities and perspectives on life, share more in common than not and are fundamentally the same in the eyes of their Creator.

                  Equal but not equivalent. And they are at their best when they help each other through life. If they are very lucky they even get to love and treasure each other.

                  • marty mars

                    lol very saccharine indeed – your walk isn't your talk.

                    • RedLogix

                      No-one is perfectly aligned, we all have ideals that exceed our grasp. Maybe you should pay attention to that mote in your own eye brother.

                    • marty mars

                      sure play the man not the ball – I have been quite open about what I'm saying – you're untrustworthy in these discussions imo

                • I feel love

                  I'm a proud white male in my 40s, heritage NZr since the whalers & the Fencibles as well as Yugoslav immigrants, what always amazes me about these discussions is how personal these other white men take the criticism, it's all so broad & abstract, it's not directed personal to you FFS. I can accept responsibility for my privilege, while also accepting it ain't my fault (& also enjoy the irony that my own white ancestors namely the Irish & Croat were once considered non white).

              • Molly

                I think you are correct when you define the levels of power being the attractive feature for some. Men and women included.

                The reality is, that in most societies in this world, it is men that hold those positions of power because of the underlying structures in place that grant those men access to pathways to hold power.

                It is not a knee jerk reaction to say that persons of any gender who have chosen to use their physical attractiveness to attain power that might not otherwise be attainable, is the result of societal mores and messages that spread the idea that physical attractiveness if preferable to many other human attributes.

                • francesca

                  I dunno, I think all sorts of things,

                  In the plant world vines have opted to utilise the scaffolding of high trees, rather than waste energy on their own woody infrastructure.They get to the light without the hefty effort that trees put in

                  Some humans do the same, twining themselves to a more powerful human by whatever leverage they have….most often sex, sycophancy, identifying psychological need , or even honest symbiotic trade.Young men attach themselves to older women, young women to older men… generally those elders have money,/ power, /prestige, bit of a short cut, like the vine.

                  Lets face it , we're all flawed, 30 years of hard fought feminism and we still have girls willing to be page 3 girls, and somehow pretend thats "empowerment"

                  • Molly

                    Lets face it , we're all flawed, 30 years of hard fought feminism and we still have girls willing to be page 3 girls, and somehow pretend thats "empowerment"

                    Interesting. I had this conversation with my children, both male and female, about the disparagement of those who choose to use their looks to get ahead. And the discussion is so much easier out of context, but when you include the bombardment of body images (particularly female) that ascribe to certain restricted set of criteria, then you realise that for many that don't have equal access to other methods of power, this is a logical pathway to take.

                    The confluence of sexual activity with empowered sexual choice, is also an interesting one. Especially, conflating sexual attractiveness and availability being a requirement to be a sexual being.

                    Aligned with a society that emphasises financial wealth as success, it should be expected that many Page 3 girls result. As individuals, they will no doubt be aware of the costs of this. But they have been encouraged by multiple media images and society measures of success. Their choices have been curated for them.

                    Some of that responsibility lies with us all.

                    • francesca

                      We do all buy in to it. Or enough of us do so that it remains profitable. And while we have inequity increasing, both men and women will put their bodies on the line to get by.Men in dangerous high risk jobs or sports like kick boxing, women in prostitution or page 3. Thanks Molly, for helping me remember that .We can't have liberation for either sex until we have more humane and equitable economic ideas.

          • vto

            Rosemary, "have to settle for what they can get".. really? Are women that much better and more suitable that across the entire population the average male is lesser??

            Kind of like how some races are superior do you mean??

          • RedLogix

            and since there seems to be a deficit of more acceptable mates

            Yes. This is exactly female selectivity in action. It is well understood by all social scientists that women have a longer shopping list of acceptable attributes for their mates than men do. Starting with tall, dark and why 50 Shades of Grey was by far the most insanely best selling book in all of human history.

            • marty mars

              " why 50 Shades of Grey was by far the most insanely best selling book in all of human history."

              nah – made up rubbish. You do this – take a factiod and twist it to further your mens rights agenda – similar to many of that cohort. So that was wrong, as was the whole edifice you create from the mistruths and distortions. Not trust worthy in these debates which is why you voluntarily stopped doing it. Pity you reverted back to type.


            • Rosemary McDonald

              Yes. This is exactly female selectivity in action.

              No. That was me taking the piss.

              It is well understood by all social scientists ( "all?" citation needed) that women have a longer shopping list of acceptable attributes for their mates than men do.

              You need to be specific if you're going to be so dogmatic.

              Starting with tall, dark and why 50 Shades of Grey was by far the most insanely best selling book in all of human history.

              When time permits I suppose I'll have to do some formal/informal research regarding the popularity of those books. I'm an avid reader, and never in my most material bereft times have I ever even contemplated for a second buying one of the many, many copies of that series clogging the shelves of the second hand bookshops. At most a passing fad. Certainly won't set the standard for 'males women are attracted to.'

              There's a bit of a 'tone' coming from you RL….perhaps you need to get outside more?

          • greywarshark

            After feminists managed to raise the treatment of women from being regarded as grown up children, without agency themselves, dependents on their husbands, needing male guarantors, it was a great move forward.

            But many women didn't have the fortitude and gratitude to come forward and thank the feminists, even to accept that the moves were needed. Many moved up and gained higher status and better pay on the back of it, but still were too self-centred to appreciate that the way had been prepared for them. And would deny that they they owned anything to feminism (rather in the way that some of the disciples denied Jesus – it would bring trouble.)

            The women who back Trump have not wished to stand tall in their own right, they are content to be manipulated and remain on the back foot, under male dominance. Some have gloried in it. Those women are the authors of their own misfortune as the saying goes.

            Unfortunately it also fits the authoritarian rule of many churches and they combine their compliant women to act together to prevent moves that would result in better conditions for those the churches like to stand against in their 'moral purity'. Such people are stepping into the role of decision makers for themselves, and those places are already firmly held by the righteous, The many wimpish and self-centred women who have been cowardly and unprepared to stand up for better conditions and respect for themselves, and others, have a lot to answer for in the way that males, and society, behave today.

        • WeTheBleeple

          No I don't wonder I read about evolution. cheeky Coming from the wild physical attributes were desirable. It seems we've not evolved past this yet and selection of aggressive traits for mating (to be passed on) appears to be associated with the genes possessed by strong males, genes that come with aggressive tendencies? So long as the world is a dangerous place women will select to breed (physically) strong offspring.

          But is this association correct?

          An interesting study using just smell had women selecting men who have the most antibodies dissimilar to their own. In other words they were selecting so their offspring had the greatest chance of combating illness and disease. It's all about survival.

          Evolution has sent many species to their doom as so called useful traits proved to be a downfall e.g. fish too flashy are neon signs for predators, not flashy enough they attract no mates. Without an overseer to direct evolution, a species might go belly up in both directions. Will human aggression end the human race – it's certainly probable.

          Are there trends today countering female human's historic selection preferences? Maybe… but:

          One problematic trend is mate copying. Selection based on others selection… So you see some ditzy clown influencer with her bodybuilding bozo arm candy – I'll have what she's having. (some jerk eating enough protein for five men so he can pose in some speedos).

          Then there's the attraction to earning potential. Will the rich save the planet/race or destroy it?

          We're bottle-necking ourselves.

          For women selection is all about survival of offspring. They do not consider the species entire. But men do not look past their noses either.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            For women selection is all about survival of offspring. They do not consider the species entire.

            Must be the season for sweeping generalisations.

            To say 'women don't consider the species entire' when choosing a mate….how do you know this?

            • WeTheBleeple

              Evolution goes on behind the scenes. We do not consider evolutionary time scales we're not even likely to grasp them except maybe geologists/biogeographers.

              From the science:

              Narcissism determines selection: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/147470490400200123

              Physical displays indicate resistance to parasites: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534798014736

              Intrasexual selection (competition for mates) has been a driving force in shaping human male aggression: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00265-018-2497-3

              Those lads are fighting for your attention. When they get it, it perpetuates the problem.

              Smell is a big deal for both sexes: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090513802000958

              Smell indicates immune properties, we sense beyond what we comprehend.

              The present results support recent findings in mice and humans concerning the relation of female preferences in body odor and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) compatibility: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02912495

              Cash may be king?

              Consistent with past research, men placed more emphasis on the item Good Looks, whereas women placed more importance on the item Good Financial Prospect: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/016230959290021U

              Obviously the whole boy girl thing is complex, but there are patterns we can learn from.

            • Molly

              For women selection is all about survival of offspring. They do not consider the species entire.

              Interesting to know. I must be operating behind the evolutionary times…

              • WeTheBleeple

                Women select men based on one or a combo of various things, some will not fit in the 'normal' curve.

                Typically they select those perceived to be similar, or strong, or good providers, or smell right (that immune thing).

                None of these attributes add anything to the survival of the race through geological/evolutionary time. They increase the odds of their specific infants surviving.

                Exemplary resource gathering is destroying the planet. As is aggression and vanity. Our sense of smell, to the best of my knowledge, is not causing life-as-we-know-it threatening issues.

                So female and male selection processes, as they stand, are on the whole bad for the human race.

                Exceptions to every rule will be found in nature. Be exceptional.

                • Molly

                  I would so much rather more were ordinary …. like me…

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  So female and male selection processes, as they stand, are on the whole bad for the human race.

                  So what do you suggest? An official, scientifically designed breeding program? One that encourages traits that will enhance the species while eliminating those which don't?

                  Ah, brave new world.

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    I don't suggest anything. I'm just outlining key traits to selection and then my opinion... on those.

                    Science is science, I'm not making those reports up.

        • Molly

          Do you have reliable studies that link women's choice of partners to this? Because I had a quick look for something of worth and couldn't find any. Other than looking at patterns, but not necessarily along the lines of what you state – and – nothing that included taking into account the societies in which people live.

          • WeTheBleeple

            That link women's choice of partners to what?

            • Molly

              … to natural selection, as a biological process.

              ( Apologies, thought I was replying to RL)

              • WeTheBleeple

                Natural selection as a biological process. Hmmm. Thinker… is… hurting,,, smoke… from… ears….

                Natural selection is more of an environmental feedback – feedback that encourages/discourages specific phenotypes from reproducing and thus increases/reduces the chances of genes allocated to said phenotypes being passed on.

                In this manner natural selection is biological at the point(s) of reproduction, but environmental as to the perceived fitness of the genes (for the environment they are in).

                The environment does the bulk of the selecting. (imo).

                But then you get instances where sperm selection takes place. Over my pay grade but somehow 'fitness' of specific sperm can be perceived by some organisms. That is an entirely biological selection process.

                Mate choice is biological, not choosing the dweeb may be, but it might also be environmental (peer pressure, preconception etc)

                • Molly

                  Thanks WTB. I do understand the process of natural selection.

                  Just some of the comments being made seemed to ascribe modern day relationship choices to this (somehow) or purely biological impulses, without taking into account societal mores or pressures. I was wanting to see where they got such strong convictions from.

                  • WeTheBleeple

                    Yeah I figured you have natural selection figured, but the nature vs nurture debate rages on.

                    Despite all our supposed 'free will', a lot of our behavior is quite kneejerk and pre-programmed. The extent of that is still under question.

                    You can see it here when you try paint a broad picture of a group using stats and all the individuals jump in to disagree with opinion.

                    But we do display free will. Just look at the willfully ignorant on climate change, if that aint a case of going against nature I don't know any.

                    As women take from multiple cues I believe there is an initial reaction to an individual (biological attraction) but then, the interview begins. What does he smell like, what's his job, is he a complete plonker… Smell is biological and associated with compatibility of immune systems. Earning potential – some birds select mates for their nest making ability – just an offshoot of that type of thing?

                    We're smart enough to have some say in the matter, but how much?

                    Convenience and proximity are likely contributors to mate choice too.

                    But some people don't feel a 'biological imperative' to have children. Good on them. Far less future consumers children is the best breeding strategy we have right now to save the planet.

                    Here's the rub. If we can blame all our choices on nature it absolves personal responsibility. You know that thing right wing people bang on about till it's time for a paternity suit…



      • vto 3.1.2

        Patriarchy has done us no favours – good grief

        Men are concerned with glory, legacy, profit, beating other men… – good grief

        You are entirely correct that research needs to be done

        • Incognito

          Monty Python: What have the Romans ever done for us?


        • WeTheBleeple

          What are you, Charlie Brown?

          Good grief, then go do some research.

        • Molly

          Both men and women in society are damaged by power structures that seek glory, legacy, profit ….

          Men, at present, are more likely to have have entrenched pathways to encourage their movement into, and positions within these systems, although sometimes individual women can find themselves in those roles. Often though, requiring conformity to the same normative as the men.

          Many of these normatives are encouraged by society in both schooling, sports and entertainment and what accolades are offered and given.

          It is the normatives that create such a dysfunctional society, not the nominal amounts of men and women within the power structure. And it is very unrealistic to assume that the dominant power structure allows for change even from within. When we speak of men resisting change – it is because the percentage within the power structure is predominantly male.

    • Cinny 3.2

      Maybe it could be measured by lack of conflict?

      Look forward to your research findings with great interest.

      • vto 3.2.1

        Has there been less conflict over the last 3-4 decades?

        Is the increasing influence of women having a positive impact?

        I know though – naughty questions – shouldn't be allowed

        • Psycho Milt

          Increased influence of women is not evenly distributed across the planet. You'd have to identify the countries in which women's influence has increased (eg, NZ and various other liberal democracies) and compare them with places where women's influence hasn't increased (eg most of the world's authoritarian dictatorships). If the "increased female influence" group has more positive features than the "little or no increased female influence" group, that's a correlation in favour of the hypothesis.

    • Brigid 3.3

      After thousands of years of patriarchy I would suggest it's a little too early to judge if things have improved after only 3-4 decades of addressing the imbalance.

    • Pat 3.4

      would suggest that some will strive for 'success' at any cost (understood or not) regardless of gender….others will have a more considered view

    • Drowsy M. Kram 3.5

      If the state of human affairs has generally worsened in the last four decades, then that probably has something to do with the fact that the human population has roughly doubled, from 4 billion (1975) to 7.7 billion (2019).


      The increasing influence of women over time is a wonderful trend – just wait a bit.

  4. RedLogix 4

    Simon Bridges has created a major problem for National. It goes well beyond his personal mendacity and hypocrisy exposed with the Budget leak. Essentially Bridges, and by close extension the Party who still support him, is saying that revealing confidential government information solely for a political purpose, with no public interest defense whatsoever, is perfectly justified.

    This creates a terminal problem for any future National government, because if their internal policy is to break security and confidentiality whenever it suits them, then no Departmental Head who will be ultimately held responsible for that security, can ever afford to reveal information to their Minister.

    If any ordinary Parliamentary employee had acted in this fashion they would have been terminated instantly. Yet essentially National have openly declared themselves to be a major security risk. Not just once, but collectively doubled down on the claim in the days since.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Their position is also hypocritical when you think of the extremes Bridges went to identify the leaker of his transport spend information.

      • RedLogix 4.1.1

        Hypothetically their absurdity could run to the point of a National Party Minister leaking confidential departmental information to the public, and then demanding the resignation of the Head of that same department for failing to keep the information secure.

        It seems crazy, but it has to be a question that has passed through the minds of more than one or two senior public servants this past week.

    • WeTheBleeple 4.2

      Desperate dickheads.

      • I feel love 4.2.1

        Also Bennet wanted to break the confidentiality of the women who revealed sexual harassment in parliament (when they were promised confidentiality). They really are a party that cannot be trusted.

    • Cinny 4.3

      Newshub poll coming out tonight…

    • Grantoc 4.4

      Red Logix

      National did not 'break security and confidentiality.'

      Treasury, all by themselves, put 'confidential' budget documents onto their public website – thereby enabling any interested party to access them legally.

      This situation does not create a 'terminal problem' for National; it creates a terminal problem for the head of Treasury for deliberately lying about what happened; and may create terminal problems for some Labour politicians for smearing the Nats.

      • Psycho Milt 4.4.1

        Treasury, all by themselves, put 'confidential' budget documents onto their public website…

        That is untrue. If you won't trouble yourself to find out what happened, best not to comment on it or you just make yourself look stupid.

        • Grantoc

          Actually it is true.

          How is not true? It was a public website – yes. Treasury placed the documents onto it – yes. Anyone could access the website legally -yes.

          The Police and the GCSB decided it wasn't hacking and that the Nats had no case to answer.

          So, again, explain to me how my comments are not true. Or are you so sycophantically embedded with Labour that you're in a state of total denial.

          Or are you some kind of conspiracy theorist who knows better than the police/GCSB and anyone else.

          And if you have 'the truth' about how it happened – do please enlighten us.

          'Otherwise best not to comment because you make yourself look stupid". You arrogant prick.

          • SPC

            Yeah na. Playing dumb as National and their deep state would want voters to be suits you.

            • Grantoc

              What on earth are you talking about SPC?

              What is `National's 'deep state'? Who is it comprised of? What does it do? How does it related to Treasury's release of budget material?

              Sounds to me like you've been watching too many cheap spy stories and fantasies on TV2 and the like. Pretty dumb SPC I'd say.

          • Psycho Milt

            How is not true?

            It's not true because Treasury did not put confidential documents on its public web site. The documents were unavailable to National because they were on a secure server. Some National staffers were able to find and exploit a search engine config error to extract indexed data from the documents via a public search engine, but that's a long, long way from Treasury putting confidential budget documents on its public web site.

      • SPC 4.4.2

        Yeah they did breach confidentiality.




        What smear of National?

        Makhlouf said he referred the matter of access to the Treasury information to police as a hacking of the site (and he did make it clear it was not a systems hack of the sort that concerned GCSB but still one to refer to police). In the end this is about the use of the term hack, rather than mere accessing of confidential information – which can be an offence.

        All Robertson did was tell National not to make any further release of information and that he had been informed by Makhlouf that he had referred the matter to police as an incidence of hacking of the Treasury site.

        It’s not their fault if National felt guilty about their accessing of confidential information being referred to as a hack – because that placed them in the category of Assange, whose extradition, on the charge of hacking, has been sought by the USA.

        There is also AFP action against journalists for accessing confidential information.

        Must be tough being National when all your right wing mates want to criminalise release of confidential information, and you are trying to gain access to it.

        Yet the GCSB still leak to the media information to help National – where, where its the integrity in all of this?

        And our police see no offence to investigate. Where of where is the consistency in application of law – their going after Hager etc.

        • I feel love

          I think the lesson is if you ever have a member of National in your home or one of their supporters is to check their pockets before they leave, their views on private property or morals leave a lot to be desired.

    • Yet essentially National have openly declared themselves to be a major security risk. Not just once, but collectively doubled down on the claim in the days since.

      Yes. I still can't get my head around that. National have declared that it's "entirely appropriate" to exploit an organisation's IT security mistake to gain unauthorised access to confidential data. What credibility do they now have on any issue related to confidentiality, cyber-security or data privacy?

    • AB 4.6

      Quite – because although a "hack" and an "exploit" are technically different, and the police seem less inclined to prosecute the latter, they are ethically indistinguishable.

      National's media cheerleaders will certainly know that within the beltway, National's preparedness to crap all over the convention of budget confidentiality is regarded with horror. They are desperate and determined to stop this perspective percolating out into the general public – so they are in overdrive trying to divert blame onto Treasury, and if they can, Robertson.

    • Herodotus 4.7

      National IMO had lost some moral capital in this event that was no more than a beltway issue. Now we have had NZ1 hit and run where the deputy PM yet again made some totally outlandish assertions that have turned out to have no support, and senior Labour MP's have decided to enter the pig sty and have turned a minor victory into a case now where they have lost more moral capital than National. And for me this is backed up by the amount of energy that is now being burnt to protect or support the govts action or attack Nations M.O.

      If the govt is exposed for turning this political then we have a govt as dirty and murky as every other that went before them. No wonder many of the public turn away 🤬

      • SPC 4.7.1

        Or if National's accusations are groundless – little more than shouting squirrel to divert attention from the fact they accessed confidential information – and this can be prosecuted …

      • WeTheBleeple 4.7.2

        Ya'll full of shit mate.

        • Herodotus

          So playing fast with the facts for only political gain is not getting in the sh!t ? Senior ministers where in the know and didn't correct misleading statements, what other than political damage could be the reason? Labour=National for moral behaviour. Perhaps it goes deeper and there are no absolutes into what behaviour/acts are now considered No goes, just playing the game and winning ?


          Using google now is a crime ?

          We have a deputy PM making comments"…Asked if he would apologise to Bridges, he said they are lawyers and I am one, they would think that type of behaviour is a crime.""


          • RedLogix

            It doesn't matter how easily they accessed the Budget documents … if one of Santa's fucking fairies dropped it on Bridge's desk wrapped with bows and kisses … they knew perfectly well it was an embargoed and confidential information they had no right of claim to and even less right to make public.

            • Herodotus

              Did I not mention national losing some political capital, if you play in a pig sty crap will stick. Labour entered the sty and now they expose political damage, and the efforts of some supporters are making to mitigate this just shows to me the potential damage. National May loss some but the govt has now risked more.

              • SPC

                What do you imagine Labour did then?

                • Herodotus

                  If Andrew Little loses his spy's and spooks portfolio then he was the one to fall on his sword for not passing on pertinent information when the Min of Fin, Deputy PM and PM was briefing the media on; wrong, out of date information, that with hindsight could be viewed as perpetuating a "non truth " 🤫. Or are you ok with that ?

                  On the week of the budget Labour lost control of the message. 1st there numbers were wrong, then some were wrong, then it was hacked/stolen, at the same time being told that there was no hack ?

                  • RedLogix

                    Definition of the word 'hack':

                    To gain access to (a computer file or network) illegally or without authorization:


                    Note carefully, there is no minimum threshold of difficulty required. If you are not meant to be there, then it's a 'hack'.

                    I can well understand Treasury and Robertson being highly alarmed and overreacting a tad, but to equate this with Bridge's blatant breach of trust is nothing but a distraction.

                    Actually on reflection it’s worse; it’s called ‘blame the victim’.

                  • SPC

                    Some people want to believe and peddle spin for some reason.

                    Why do people choose to forget that Makhlouf said that the GCSB did not regard it as a government systems hack of interest to them, but to refer the accessing of information from the Treasury site onto the police? That Makhlouf still called that accessing oinformation, a hack, albeit in another category seems to have confused many – thanks to Herald and Stuff media peddling National spin, rather than doing their job.

                    In the evening Makhlouf met Robertson and informed him he had already referred the matter to police as a hacking to access confidential information off the Treasury site. Robertson then publicly advised National not to use confidential information and simply added what the Secretary had done (referred the matter to police as a hack of their site to access confidential information).

                    At some point of course GCSB advised their Minister Little that it was not a government systems hack and they were presumably unconcerned and uninvolved in the matter. Some say this was before Makhlouf and Robertson met (Herald and Stuff) some say afterwards (Newshub timeline).

                    Whether Little referred this onto Robertson before he made public comment is not yet known. But it is not that significant.

                    What Little and Makhlouf told him may well have been the same thing (whomever told him first). They both would have said it was not seen by the GCSB as a government systems hack.

                    The issue was then Makhlouf's earlier (prior to the meeting) referring the accessing of the information off the Treasury site to police (and calling it a hack) as he claimed he was advised to do (not necessarily using the term hack). This whole heap of hooey is based on semantics, not a government systems hack but another kind of intrusion that should not also be known by that hack name. There are many kinds of intrusions/hacks/criminal accessing of confidential information.

                    PS The geo-politics of this are interesting. Assange's extradition for complicity in accessing information off a site as a hacking charge. AFP in Oz investigating journalists because of access to confidential information – and claiming they had to reassure Five Eyes partners that secrets would be kept. And no use of Huawei as there might be insecure information etc. In that environment what Bridges and his team did is inept and embarrasing to our place in the big boys club. Then GCSB leaks to the Herald, wtf. And police harrass Hager but nothing to see here …And they wonder why people do not trust them …

  5. Observer Tokoroa 5

    National Shackled forever

    Bridges and Mrs Bennett knew (approx May 27) that they were uplifting Documents not belonging to them.

    For normal people this is considered Theft.

    The Documents related to aspects of the 2019 Annual Budget which had not been released. Bridges and Bennett did not seek Permission to release any of the Annual Budget Documents. Security was trampled upon totally by the National Party.

    The Documents enabled Simon Bridges and Mrs Bennett to wave about Considerable information days before The Statutory Day and Time of release.

    This enabled them to wise up Banks, National Party Staff and Caucus; Newspapers, and other likely Outlets. Including Nation Wide Television and Radio.

    Simon Bridges is now Thereby allowing every New Zealander to Thieve anything they can get their hands on – at any where – any time. Permission not Required.

    Why is there always dodgy, stink around Bridges, Bennett, Collins, etc ..?

  6. The Chairman 6

    Open and transparent Government?

    Robertson's office did not confirm when Robertson was advised the information should not be described as a hack, saying that was for the State Services Commission (SSC) inquiry to go into.


    • WeTheBleeple 6.1

      Obviously. They left their servers open.

      Whereas you are transparent.

      Checkmate. angel

    • SPC 6.2

      Open and transparent does not negate or transcend due process.

      • The Chairman 6.2.1

        The due process of being open and transparent is to front up and honestly answer questions. Largely adverting the need for investigations to determine the truth and the scope for politicians to hide behind them.

        • SPC

          Yeah na on that one. National would not believe what Ministers said and would want an investigation anyhow in the hope of catching someone out on something they said.

          • The Chairman

            National would not believe what Ministers said…

            Considering the Government's response in this matter, one can't blame them.

            The Government failed to be straight up from the onset. First off, the information was said to be incorrect, then partly correct and so on. Now, it comes out they've known it wasn't a hack but how long have they sat on that info is yet to be determined as they won't answer questions on that. Which, of course, isn't a good look.

    • For a supposed left-winger, you certainly do post a hell of a lot of right-wing talking points.

      • SPC 6.3.1

        Lots of reasons, these are four.

        1. Too much time in a room that echoes with other conservative white men of that generation.

        2. Left wing but without being seen as partisan, because he has higher standards than the coalition.

        3. If the centrist fiscally responsible Labour loses they can be replaced by a real left wing party.

        4. If the woke Greens lose they can replaced by a blue green party and real left wing alternative to Labour (the conservative National Party want they same outcome).

      • The Chairman 6.3.2

        You don't consider open and transparent Government being left wing?

        Moreover, you support Labour evading giving answers?

        For a supposed left-winger, you certainly don’t come across as one.

        • Psycho Milt

          There's nothing inherently left-wing about open government, no.

          If Labour were to evade giving answers to questions asked in the public interest, no I wouldn't support that. If they evade helping you promote National's talking points, on the other hand, good on 'em.

          • The Chairman

            I believe open and transparent Government is valued by the left and right. Nevertheless, it is something Labour committed too. Thus, there is nothing anti left holding them to account on this.

            As for the public interest, according to the State Services Commissioner, the matter is of "considerable public interest". Hence, the inquiry.

            • McFlock

              So they will render unto the state services commissioner what belongs to the state services commissioner.

              And the SSC will answer the question. Process does not always work to the schedule of media hacks and opposition muckrakers.

              • The Chairman

                While the answers will no doubt surface via the SSC inquiry. Currently, they are failing to directly (to the public via the media) answer simple timing questions. Reaffirming the perception they are covering ass.

                Leaving people wondering, if they have done no wrong, why don't they just answer the questions and avert the bad look?

                • McFlock

                  To paraphrase your question: why don't they dripfeed information at the convenience of the opposition and clickwhores before the full picture is available, rather than conducting the full investigation and releasing complete findings in context?

                  • The Chairman

                    I'm not suggesting they do it for the convenience of the opposition. It's in the interest of protecting their own image and being open to the public.

                    • Incognito

                      That’s why it’s better to let the SSC get on with it and do a thorough independent inquiry and report on this when completed.

                    • McFlock

                      Lucky I didn't restrict it to "opposition" then.

                      Comment still stands

                    • The Chairman

                      That’s why it’s better to let the SSC get on with it and do a thorough independent inquiry and report on this when completed.

                      Clearly, that's what Labour think. But by also evading answering simple timing questions, they are reaffirming the perception they are covering ass. Which of course isn't a good look and is the cost of their decision to wait it out.

                    • Incognito []

                      I cannot escape the sense that you sound very similar to some National supporters. There are two SSC inquiries in progress and you want Labour to pre-empt these!? The only way to stop a trial, if there’s one, is to plead guilty. Is that your intention? Time will not help anybody, except possibly Makhlouf, if the truth is to come out. The only other party who’s been calling for a quick scalp is National.

                    • McFlock

                      lord save us from everything the chairman thinks is "not a good look", and ain't it funny he's never on his own list 🙄

              • Incognito

                Makhlouf is packing his bags and selling his car as we speak so the media hacks and opposition muckrakers need to act swiftly. They are also desperate to pull in Robertson, Little, Ardern and anybody else they can find. It also is a convenient distraction from internal ructions in National and the polls.

                • The Chairman

                  As I highlighted the other day, it's Ardern Labour need to be concerned about. If she is politically damaged to the extent of no return (which this may just be the first of many more planned attacks) the party has no back up and will suffer in the polls/election.

                  While Makhlouf may be packing his bags, he may find (depending on the inquiry outcome) he no longer has a new job to go too.

                  • Incognito

                    Whether Makhlouf has a job to go to or not is not our concern. In any case, he’s packing his bags.

                    Indeed, these attacks that amount to ‘political terrorism’ in my view need to be stomped on, which is exactly what I’m trying to do here. What are you doing?

                    The polls are not the primary target or concern. It is the public confidence in the integrity of the overarching system with all its checks and balances that is under fire here. What are you doing to bolster it?

                    For the record, this is not a Left vs. Right issue. Disclaimer: I lean to the Left.

                    • The Chairman

                      Whether Makhlouf has a job to go to or not is not our concern.

                      Well seeing as it is largely dependent out the outcome of the inquiry, I disagree.

                      I'm looking for answers while holding the left to account, that's what I'm doing.

                      While National played a underhanded ball, the information was accessible on a public domain, whereas the accusations regarding Labour are rather serious – i.e smearing National while attempting to use the police to silence them. If this was National doing this to Labour, most here wouldn't accept it.

                      What National did was not terrorism. It was a political tactic to expose a security flaw, embarrass and rob the Government of its thunder. How the Government and Treasury responded made the matter far worse.

                      The public confidence and the integrity of the Government is what is at stake here. And Labour not answering questions is further eroding it.

                      The overarching system with all its checks and balances isn't what is under fire. And although I have seen criticism of it (https://croakingcassandra.com/2019/06/05/on-makhlouf-and-standards-in-public-office/) I (like others) will hold judgement on that until the inquiry is complete and outcome released.

                    • Incognito []

                      I’m sorry to have to bring it up again but your infamous inconsistency is on full display again:

                      And Labour not answering questions is further eroding it.

                      … I (like others) will hold judgement on that until the inquiry is complete and outcome released.

                      You seem to have a blind spot to your own criticisms and use one measure for the Left and another for yourself. A glib answer to this might be that you are not in Government, etc. Let’s see whether you can come up with a better self-explanation.

    • Sacha 7.1

      To help people decide whether to click:

      Seven of our largest manufacturers – all beneficiaries of decade-old policies designed to minimise the impact of the emissions trading scheme on them – are now pleading for even more favourable treatment. They are doing themselves and the country no favours, writes Rod Oram.

      Expect much more of such politicking as Parliament fights over the zero carbon amendment to our climate response legislation. With agricultural sectors, backed by the National Party, seeking to minimise their obligations to act, many other sectors and companies will seek to carve out their own such deals.

  7. joe90 8

    Concussion, suspected broken ribs, bruised AF. He tried to fall off a balcony.


    MOSCOW (AP) — A prominent Russian investigative journalist has been charged with drug dealing after four grams of the synthetic stimulant mephedrone were found in his backpack, Moscow police said Friday.

    Ivan Golunov, who works for the independent website Meduza, was stopped by police in central Moscow on Thursday afternoon. Police also said that more drugs were found at his home.

    Meduza’s director general, Galina Timchenko, told The Associated Press that Golunov, one of the most prominent investigative journalists in Russia, was beaten while in detention and denied medical tests that would show he has not handled drugs. Timchenko said she has photos that show the impact on the left side of his face.


  8. SPC 10

    The nemesis cabal of those who drink alcohol say the vital reforms sought by them were not realised by them in 2012 under National.

    They have to concede the fact that drinking by youth has continuied to reduce since then (as it has since changes to allow 18 year olds to purchase alcohol were made back in 1999). Youth now start drinkiing later, fewer drink when able to after 18 and if they do generally drink less than those of earlier generations (albeit problems with pre loading amongst some). Proving the opponents of this change completely wrong.

    Yet the cabal still want measures of control on price, availability and marketing. For what purpose?

    It’s only amongst the middle-aged and elderly Kiwis that consumption has held up (as it was a more regular part of those generations way of socialising).

    The only purpose would be to stigmatise those of future generations who continued to drink and to make it more expensive and access inconvenient for the older generations (lack of marketing would have no impact on them).

    Under the regime they want, those who continued to drink despite the rising cost and inconvenience of access would be seen as problem drinkers. The whole idea of minimum pricing is managing the behaviour of the young and poor by cost without impact on the middle classes beverage preferences – speaks to middle class social control of the underlcass. It’s woke (baiting someone).


    Of course if we adopt the same successful approach on marijuana we should also be able to reduce access to the drug and use by the young.

    • The whole idea of minimum pricing is managing the behaviour of the young and poor by cost without impact on the middle classes beverage preferences…

      Absolutely. I bought a six-pack of craft beer for $21 when I went grocery shopping yesterday, so it's safe to say price isn't a significant factor for people like me. Minimum pricing would have put a big stick in my spokes back when I was 20 and broke most of the time, but it sure as fuck wouldn't have any effect on my drinking these days. It's easy to see who this lobbying is targeting vs who it aims to privilege.

  9. Morrissey 11

    What should have been an interesting and enlightening interview about a Gaza documentary was wrecked by Noelle McCarthy's dreadful ignorance

    RNZ National, Saturday 25 May 2019, 11:10 a.m.

    Andrew McConnell is a serious and decent Irishman, who has made a compelling documentary about life in the blockaded and terrorized Gaza Strip. Unfortunately, he was interviewed about this fraught subject by Noelle McCarthy. Short of Dr David Cumin or Dame Lesley Max, it would be hard to select a harsher, less sympathetic interviewer. This was typical McCarthy: crass, indolent, ignorant. Masochists might like to listen to the whole thing [1], but here's a selection of the lowlights….

    NOELLE McCARTHY: One of the most intractable conflicts on Earth… Places where there are, y'know, intractable situations….. Israel on one side, Egypt on the other, Hamas in charge. …. Gaza is full of fashion, and cafes full of poetic men saying "Hello my pomegranate"…..

    ANDREW McCONNELL: Growing up in Northern Ireland, in Fermanagh and Enniskillen, has given me an empathy for other people who live under conflict… The Irish have an affinity with the Palestinians. …

    NOELLE McCARTHY: It doesn't engage with BOTH SIDES, Andrew. Israel is just seen from afar. Hamas is NOT CLEAN. The men you see with machine-guns….

    ANDREW McCONNELL: It's not a political movie.

    NOELLE McCARTHY: It's indivisible from the political context, isn't it.

    ANDREW McCONNELL: We stand by the film.

    NOELLE McCARTHY: How has it played in America? You played it at Sundance, didn't you?

    ANDREW McCONNELL: Most people were surprised, and shocked. They asked why do we not see more of this on our media? [2]

    NOELLE McCARTHY: There were moments when I wanted to see the other side. Would it have been possible? Or was that always gonna be outside of your scope? All we see is young men throwing stones, it's always described as "asymmetric warfare"…..

    [1] https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/2018696722/andrew-mcconnell-the-everyday-life-of-the-people-of-gaza

    [2] ANSWER: Because the American media are full of people like Noelle McCarthy.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Refuses to objectively review. Keeps alluding to the idea of balance ie allowing the losers and winners equal time with each refuting each other and no-one getting the whole picture of the depth and breadth of the difficulties and suffering of the losers, and why they can be excused for launching a few attacks themselves.

      Would that fit in with your thoughts Morrissey?

    • Brigid 11.2

      Just as bad was Bryan Crump on RNZ Nights, a while back, asking a resident of the West Bank if Palestinians practiced Halloween.

      • Morrissey 11.2.1

        Unlike Noelle McCarthy, Bryan Crump is not malicious. But as you say, his performance was pretty bad…..


        • greywarshark

          He may have been attemting facetious, or taken on board that they may divert themselves with practices from other countries and faiths.

          • Morrissey

            Like you, I don't think there was anything wrong with his asking the question. Of course, some Palestinians—many of whom are Christians—observe Hallowe'en, just like some of us in this country do.

            What I found deeply offensive was the way he ignored Fadwa Hodali's heart-wrenching description of what it's like trying to live with those brutal and illegal Israeli checkpoints. She spent a considerable time explaining how tough it is: "thousands and thousands and thousands of people in lines waiting to be searched and cross. So you would see a worker coming into the checkpoint when he needs to start working at seven a.m., he has to be at the checkpoint around three o’clock in the morning, to be able to be at work at seven o’clock. So you can imagine the pressure in there, you can imagine the kind of lives they are leading. So it’s not easy, it’s not easy at all."

            Instead of taking up that point, showing some interest in their plight, some respect for her and her compatriots, Crump just ploughed on to an anodyne question about something else. I strongly suspect he had been warned by someone at RNZ to keep it "light" and "non-political".

            BRYAN CRUMP: By car? So you’re almost, you’re just next DOOR to Jerusalem. But how long does it take to get there if you want to travel there?
            FADWA HODALI: Well, it depends on the situation at the checkpoint. Sometimes you can pass by, five minutes at the checkpoint, and sometimes it takes you half an hour, an hour to cross. And of course in the early morning is when the Palestinian workers cross through the checkpoint to work in the Israeli area. And of course there you would see thousands and thousands and thousands of people in lines waiting to be searched and cross. So you would see a worker coming into the checkpoint when he needs to start working at seven a.m., he has to be at the checkpoint around three o’clock in the morning, to be able to be at work at seven o’clock. So you can imagine the pressure in there, you can imagine the kind of lives they are leading. So it’s not easy, it’s not easy at all.

            BRYAN CRUMP: So to some extent is Bethlehem a bit of a dormitory suburb for people who work in Jerusalem? Are there lots of people who actually depend on jobs in Jerusalem for their livelihoods?


  10. joe90 12

    In the interests of our fossil fuel donors and pig-ignorant base, it's best we pretend science doesn't matter.

    White House officials barred a State Department intelligence staffer from submitting written testimony this week to the House Intelligence Committee warning that human-caused climate change could be “possibly catastrophic” after State officials refused to excise the document’s references to the scientific consensus on climate change.

    The effort to edit, and ultimately suppress, the written testimony of a senior analyst at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research comes as the Trump administration is debating how best to challenge the idea that the burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet and could pose serious risks unless the world makes deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade. Senior military and intelligence officials have continued to warn climate change could undermine America’s national security, a position President Trump rejects.

    http://archive.li/uUSPI (WaPo)

    • Morrissey 12.1

      You keep talking about this "pig-ignorant base". Is that only the Trump supporters, who I agree, were unwise, bloody-minded, and yes, sometimes even "pig-ignorant."

      But what choice did they have? Who in all conscience could vote for this?….


      • The Al1en 12.1.1

        Over Trump, 100% of the time.

        • Morrissey

          Yeah, me too. I'd have voted for her, but then I wasn't one of the people at whom she and her equally cynical husband spat brutal, vile hatred like this….

      • joe90 12.1.2

        Who in all conscience could vote for this?

        Geez moz, the mere notion of the woman and you're coughing and spluttering like a septuagenarian rest home resident with a pin bone stuck in your throat.

        • Morrissey

          It's not just her, joe. I react like that every time I see your namesake Mr. Biden, or Nancy Pelosi, or Charles Schumer, or the ridiculous Jerrold Nadler. There is simply no way that Trump and his horrifying gang should ever have been able to come near taking the White House; if there were anything like a democratic and popular Democratic Party—now there's an ironic title—Trump and Bolton and De Vos and all the rest of them would have been consigned to the dustbin of history.

  11. marty mars 13

    Big report – unsettling conclusions – what will happen? Ignore it, minimise it, pretend it, racist it… and so on – I hope people read what these people are saying – it is so important

    Grief and colonisation sit at the heart of a criminal justice system that must change, a Government report has found. The report, He Waka Roimata or A Vessel of Tears, was released on Sunday and makes a case for transformation of a criminal justice system "clearly not working".

    "Some of what we heard was confronting; some has been more optimistic. Without doubt, the clearest call we heard is the call for change," it said. The report was produced by the Government-appointed Te Uepū pai i te Ora – Safe and Effective Justice Advisory Group after more than 220 public meetings natiowide.

    "Among these conversations the overwhelming emotion we encountered is one of grief …," it reads. "We heard the effects of colonisation undermine, disenfranchise and conspire to trap Māori in the criminal justice system and that racism is embedded in every part of it."


    • Rosemary McDonald 13.1

      Big report….here…https://safeandeffectivejustice.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/fa55462d44/teuepureport_hewakaroimata.pdf

      “The overwhelming impression we got from people who have experienced the criminal justice system is one of grief. They feel the system has not dealt with them fairly or compassionately or with respect; often associated with this grief is anger.

      This sense of grief and anger is particularly evident among individuals who have experienced the worst crimes. We also encountered it among the families and whānau of those who have experienced the system – either because they have been victimised or because they have offended.”

  12. The Government has launched a new website promoting vaping as a way for people to quit smoking


    Good to see the government get behind vaping. Hopefully those helpless addicts who continue to smoke will cotton on to not only the accepted health benefits, but realise how much money they'll save as tax increases rip money from their bottom lines.

    I'd go further than just a website and with starter kits, subsidise smokers on benefits and those with children to take it up and quit fags. For the price of a 50g pack of tobacco, one can get a vape pen and a weeks juice, thereafter, even for a heavy smoker, it's $14 a week for refills.

    All that extra money going into the bellies of smokers kids would greatly help reduce poverty.

    • WeTheBleeple 14.1

      Nice post.

      3.5 years smokefree. I vape about $8 a week.

      It's not ideal but is WAY better than smoking!

      Much fitter, better lung function, health, budget, dietary habits…

      Poor homeless fellas got nowhere to recharge their vapes so they keep smoking cigarette butts.

      • The Al1en 14.1.1

        I use to buy a 30g packet of tobacco, blue papers, no filters, and that would last me most of a week. When that outlay became too great, I'd get the cheapest pack of 20 tailors, snap in half and roll them instead, no filters. Mornings were a constant round of coughing up brown gunk, blocked sinuses and wheezing.

        Once they allowed nicotine in e juice I swapped over and haven't even thought about smoking since. I'd say I was a heavy smoker, and doing so without filters, lung cancer or heart disease walking. Quitting smoking is easy – I've done it dozens of times before, but I can honestly say I'd never go back and it's because of the vape.

        I accept that anything going into your lungs is bad, and should be avoided, but by just ceasing the intake of tars and toxic chemicals has, like you, improved my quality of life. No morning coughing fits, no brown shit phlegm, no taste bud die off. As a smoker, and lets face it – once a smoker always a smoker, vaping has been heaven sent. Most days I get up at 5.30am and often it'll be a few hours before I reach for the pen. I would never have done that with ciggies, unless I was out and waiting for pay day.

        My research: Best cheapest starter kit is the joyetech ego aio at about $35 with a free juice from the vapeshed. 4x10ml suitable juices in many flavours, with a choice of nicotine levels, for $20, which lasts more than a week.

        I upgraded recently, mainly because I wanted to use thicker e juices, so I went for a $60 Smok stick x8. Gave my old unit to a smoker friend and hope they can get the same result I did from it.

        As a former hard core tar sucker, I believe, now that nicotine vapes are here, smokers able to do so, who don't change, are selfish, foolish or just ignorant. Harsh, but not like my 12mg nicotine vanilla butterscotch icecream clouds.

      • Jenny - How to Get there? 14.1.2

        Poor homeless fellas got nowhere to recharge their vapes so they keep smoking cigarette butts…..

        I smoke old stogies I have found, short but not too big around…..


    • Pat 14.2

      And yet….

      "Mr Pryor and business partner Jonathan Devery said they have been "astonished" at some city and district councils’ decisions recently to ban vaping.

      Rotorua, Whangarei and Invercargill councils have banned vaping in public places and Hauraki District Council is considering doing the same.

      The council is proposing new rules to discourage and de-normalise smoking and vaping."


      • The Al1en 14.2.1

        I sort of get that, though, even if there's no second hand smoke, I don't want to be breathing in someone elses lung puffs. I'd never smoke in public anyway, so no biggie for me.

        Wouldn't stop me if I was desperate though, I'd just be discreet. Find a bike shed, or tennis court to slink behind. lol

        • WeTheBleeple

          I have about 2 kg of tobacco cheeky I grew it lol. More in the garden to come out. It'll be a useful commodity if shit hits the fan.

          But haven't touched the stuff for the 3 1/2 years. I am not allowed to trade with it I'm not sure I'm even allowed to give it away so I drop it beside homeless people who can decide to pick it up or not hehe.

          When I switched to homegrown I still had withdrawal – all those additives mate, seems they're addictive too. After a few janky days the homegrown was well superior to smoke. I cut back from 10 to 5 grams a day (yes I smoked 10g a day). That helped me to then move to the vape rather seamlessly.

          I was getting pretty crook near the end of smoking too. Not enough breath, too much coughing. Glad that's behind me.

          Lately been cutting down on other smoking… Going well! I reckon you hit an age and start to enjoy your faculties.

          So nice to have options. I hope central government can direct local government not to be plonkers about it. Encourage vaping and get our whanau off the cigs!

          Phillip Morris does not need another Superyacht.

  13. marty mars 15

    wow – The Directors Cut people!

    “Scientists have discovered that water is being released from the Moon during meteor showers. When a speck of comet debris strikes the Moon it vaporizes on impact, creating a shock wave in the lunar soil. For a sufficiently large impactor, this shock wave can breach the soil's dry upper layer and release water molecules from a hydrated layer below. This Director's Cut version of the video features additional narration and an extended interview with scientist Mehdi Benna.”


  14. joe90 16

    We're going to roast ourselves

  15. greywarshark 17

    I've been listening to Radionz and there has been a Radio Tedtalk about Social Networking and how important it is to society. I have the feeling that is the idea around which that we need to do everything from now on.

    The name of the very keen and vibrant speaker is Stephen Krizakis ? that's how it sounded but I can't confirm that – thre is precious little detail on Radionz site. So just registering that I heard it – comes on every Sunday night.

    Earlier talks:

    The TED Radio Hour is a National Public Radio series based on talks from annual gatherings where some of the world's deepest thinkers and innovators are invited to give the 18-minute "talk of their lives." TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.

    Here are some speakers from a Changing the World series from 26 May 2019 who seem to be covering subjects that come up regularly on this blog.

    Changing The World – 26 May

    From TED Radio Hour, 7:06 pm on 26 May 2019

    Share this

    Changing The World

    What does it take to change the world for the better? In this week's TED Radio Hour, five TED speakers explore ideas on activism, what motivates it, why it matters, and how each of us can make a difference.

    Ruby Sales: How Do We Maintain Our Courage To Fight For Change?
    Dolores Huerta: Each Of Us Has A Voice, How Can We Use It For Social Change?
    Jeremy Heimans: How Can We Harness Technology To Fuel Social Change?
    Sarah Corbett: How Can Introverts Be Activists Too?
    Angela Oguntala: How Do We Achieve The Future We Imagine?

  16. greywarshark 18

    Just when we need to use all our brains, the effects of democracy and laisssez faire seem to have fried our brains. Ugh.

    White House Tried to Stop Climate Science Testimony, Documents Show June 8, 2019

  17. joe90 19

    Wanna-be authoritarianism creeps across the globe.

    LONDON (Reuters) – Suspending parliament remains an option to ensure Britain leaves the European Union on Oct. 31, former Brexit secretary Dominic Raab said on Saturday, rejecting criticism of the measure from other Conservative leadership candidates.

    Raab, who draws support from the most pro-Brexit wing of the Conservative Party, has refused to rule out suspending parliament until the Brexit deadline, if needed to prevent lawmakers from stopping a no-deal Brexit.


  18. Jenny - How to Get there? 20

    Fossil Fool of the week

    Kate MacNamara – Fossil Fuel Propagandist


    The main theme of this apologist for Business As Usual, is that we need coal and other fossil fuels to smelt the steel needed for a renewable future.

    There are alternatives. Alternatives that this apologist refuses to see. She is also a liar. There is no lithium being mined in New Zealand. She is trying to conflate this issue to justify the mining of coal and oil.

    The New Zealand public should be told that cheap and plentiful coal still fills the electricity gap in this country, particularly when the wind doesn't blow, and water levels drop behind hydroelectric dams.”

    Kate MacNamara

    MacNamara decries the government's ban on mining on conservation land and arrogantly threatens, that the Prime Minister will live to regret this decision.

    In the throne speech in 2017 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised to prevent any new mines on New Zealand's conservation land which covers a third of the country. That would be a significant expansion of protected land over the status quo and a serious curtailment of land available to mine. Ardern may well regret this promise".

    Kate MacNamara

    In tone MacNamara's article is condescending and arrogant, exactly reflecting the views of the mining industry. 'We know what we are talking about. You don't.'

    MacNamara's argument is specious and superficial, contains no facts except for a shopping list from the UN for minerals, appeals to emotion instead of reason. And deliberately (and dishonestly) conflates mining lithium with mining fossil fuels

    MacNamara completely glosses over the terrible danger that climate change represents. Calling it a "distant problem".

    Mac Namara's claim that we need coal, to produce steel is a lie. Steel is an infinitely recyclable material. A simple google search reveals that the majority of the steel in the U.S. the world's third biggest producer after China and Japan, is made from recycled scrap, and not the smelting of ore with coal.


    There are two main types of steel mills. The traditional large integrated steel mill, which reduces metallic iron from ore (iron oxide) and makes it into pig iron and steel, has been steadily declining in importance for decades in the US. The second type, the mini-mill, or specialty steel mill, which produces new steel products by melting steel scrap, now produces the majority of steel in the US….

    ….Two-thirds of the iron and steel produced in the US is made from recycled scrap, rather than from iron ore. In 2014, 81 million mt of iron and steel were produced from scrap.[9]Most steel from scrap is produced using electric arc furnaces.


    It is an unfortunate fact that in North America a lot of the electricity used in the arc furnaces is generated from coal, but that is not the case here in New Zealand, (and may not even remain the case in the US as renewables replace coal in generating electricity even in America.)

    • WeTheBleeple 20.1

      What a condescending prick she is. Paints the activists as a bunch of fools while she and her ilk are all business.

      Didn't bother going past the first two paragraphs it is a hit piece on activism and a handjob for mining.

  19. Eco maori 21

    Kia ora The Am Show.

    The national parties mess they made over 9 years has come back to bite them on the ASS ka pai.

    I agree with Chester they system should give prisoners help as soon as they get into prison I say teach them there culture educate them reform them .Exactly Chester stop treating people like CRAP that will go along way too reforming them .If someone one is treated bad well they soon start behaving bad and do dumb stuff.

    I will get a ta moko on my back of a Octopus riding a Whale in good time.

    The Cricket World Cup is looking very exciting this year.

    I think vaping is a good tool to give up smoking .

    Mark there are people that are that dumb he could cause a lot of damage???

    Ka kite ano

  20. Eco maori 22

    We did not think about the bad effects of plastic waste I bet some new about the problems of plastic especially when they new it would take a 1000 years to breakdown in the natural environment.

    I remember when we had milk in glass bottles and paper bags we have to go back to glass and paper bags to save our environment for our mokopuna grandchildren it mite cost a bit more to start with but we will save billions not having to clean up the big mess of our waste.

    How did we let plastic bags get everywhere?

    They’re under our sinks, all over our streets, and filling the stomachs of dead whales. What can we do to stem the single-use scourge Today, much of our resource-intensive consumerism is still mindless, despite rising awareness of the impact of our plastic waste. Amid the hustle and convenience of a grocery store, it’s hard to connect our own behaviour to the distant problems in the depths of the oceans. But the dozens of perfectly intact plastic bagspulled from the stomach of a dead Cuvier’s beaked whale in the Philippines this spring could be from any of us. Those bags were once used in a grocery store – for an average of 12 minutes – just to carry that bottle of wine home. A study by the Washington-based Worldwatch Instituteestimated that 4-5tn bags, including shopping bags and trash bags, were made in 2002 alone

    Ka kite ano link below.


  21. Eco maori 23

    Some Eco Maori music for the minute.

  22. Eco maori 24

    All the people out there with dyslexia don't be ashamed you will have better skills than others in some fields.

    Eco Maori has dyslexia my spelling is bad .But I have skills that others don't for 1 I'm not a sheep that follows the leader I question everything I have other skills to .People with dyslexia are best to admit it and work hard on the skills you lack you will get better at that task if you focus on that skill.

    It turns out "thinking outside of the box" comes more naturally to the dyslexic brain than the propensity to spell accurately.

    It was a relief when I realized as an adult that I am dyslexic. What was even more liberating was realizing that many things I was good at were also because of dyslexia.

    Each dyslexic has a different set of skills, and weaknesses, but there's a pattern of commonality that links people like Galileo, Pablo Picasso and Julia Child.

    Dyslexics often think in pictures and can see multi-dimensionally which is why architect, gardener, chef and astronomer are careers that dyslexics gravitate toward.

    Paradoxically, dyslexics struggle to write, but are often excellent authors, such as Roald Dahl and Agatha Christie. They have "vivid imaginations and are highly creative," according to Made by Dyslexia, which acknowledges, "9 in 10 dyslexics have poor spelling, punctuation and grammar but many are great writers."

    Adept problem solving

    Entrepreneur, billionaire and dyslexic Richard Branson is so passionate about championing the positive aspects of the dyslexic brain that he launched and supports a charity called Made by Dyslexia.

    "Dyslexic people hold a unique set of skills that will be really important to business," Branson tweeted. These include "the ability to think flexibly and creatively and solve really complex problems by thinking different

    Ka kite ano link below.


    • WeTheBleeple 24.1

      Love that post. My bro is dyslexic and by NZ standards very successful.

  23. Eco maori 25

    Kia ora Newshub.

    I have a naval gauze but I not saying I don't want to put wind in national sales.

    It is always the few who spoil it for the many the Murpara atm machine being stolen x2 .

    EQC needs to up there fees to get more money to cover earthquakes. After Christchurch earthquake.

    Bush fires in American again the cause dry conditions from Global warming.

    Ka kite ano

  24. Eco maori 26

    Kia ora te ao Maori news.

    Its good that the marae in Wellington that burned down it cool to see the whanau helping out in hard times. I say you will do good with your give a little page.

    There you go some people cannot help profiling people it is good having funding for the issue surrounding racism .

    Chris we don't have to stop dairy farming to stop the pollution they just have to convert to Organic farming. It would be to big a loss for Aotearoa to stop dairy farming you know how Rumplestitlskin actually turned his straw in gold he feed it to his cow she gave him milk and a calf he could keep milking the cow for 10 year and when she is old he sells her .What I'm getting at is there are no other way were you get paid for produce and don't have to kill the cow dairy farms are quite profitable if run correctly.

    Good on Manu Bennett he is rasing the profile of Maori it doesn't look like anyone was close enough to get a fright.

    A lot of people don't know how proud we should be for the foundation that out tipuna laid for us in te reo and Maori culture . It's sad to see the struggle that other indigenous cultures struggle to revitalize their language culture and mana .

    Ka kite ano.

  25. Eco maori 27

    Edit is to short when you have low reception for the post above not many ways to making money when you get to keep the cow there are other things like wool ect ka kite ano

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    More young minds eyeing food and fibre careers is the aim of new Government support for agricultural and horticultural science teachers in secondary schools, Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. The Government is committing $1.6 million over five years to the initiative through the Ministry for Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago