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Open Mike 09/08/2018

Written By: - Date published: 5:53 am, August 9th, 2018 - 182 comments
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182 comments on “Open Mike 09/08/2018 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    Make America Heat Proof Again

    In the interests of corporate profit Donald Trump set out to rehabilitate coal, and now is setting out to rehabilitate asbestos.

    Could we not get a more clear example of the destructiveness of corporate greed that puts human health and welfare, second to making money.

    President Trump’s long-time love affair with asbestos is making its way into federal policy
    Ryan Bort – Rolling Stone, August 7, 2018

    As an amoral New York City real estate developer, Trump has long supported the use of asbestos. In his 1997 bookThe Art of the Comeback, the future president wrote that asbestos is “100 percent safe, once applied,” despite the overwhelming scientific evidence supporting the contrary. Here’s what else Trump had to say about the carcinogen:

    “I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal. Great pressure was put on politicians, and as usual, the politicians relented. Millions of truckloads of this incredible fire-proofing material were taken to special ‘dump sites’ and asbestos was replaced by materials that were supposedly safe but couldn’t hold a candle to asbestos in limiting the ravages of fire.”

    Donald Trump

    New Zealand once had a huge asbestos mining, manufacturing and installation industry.
    (One of New Zealand’s most successful companies Harvey Building Products got rich on asbestos.)

    This industry as well as being ubiquitous in the New Zealand building industry also used to export its products to Australia and the Pacific. 

    (Dwellings in the Pacific Islands can still be found with asbestos cladding made in New Zealand)

    That is, until the terrible dangers of asbestos to people’s health became apparent.

    And this huge industry was shut down.

    And the world, (meaning our economy), didn’t collapse.

    Writing in these columns I have often used this example, to show that it is possible for our country close down the coal industry, which I likened to being the new asbestos. Because of its threat to human health and welfare through the effects of climate change. I made this determination following the work of James Hansen, who singled out the combustion of coal as the number 1 cause of global warming and climate change. James Hansen is quoted as saying, “If we can’t stop coal, it is all over for the climate”. He even went as far as once comparing coal trains to the trains that took 6 million European Jews to the gas chambers. (A comparison that Hansen had to back down from because of its insensitiveness).

    A fittingly banal anthem for our times

    • Ed 1.1

      Yes, we need to talk about the most important news.

      As Bomber puts it, “Being Carbon Neutral by 2050 isn’t a solution to anything, it’s the pretence of a solution.”

      Gwynne Dyer’s article makes for sober reading.

      “This is Armageddon Summer in the northern hemisphere: out-of-control wildfires all around the Arctic Circle (not to mention California and Greece), weeks-long heatwaves with unprecedented high temperatures, torrential downpours and Biblical floods. And yes, it’s climate change.

      It’s quite appropriate to be frightened, because the summers will be much worse 10 years from now, and much worse again 10 years after that. Prompt and drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions now might stop the summers of the 2040s from being even worse, but they wouldn’t do much to lessen the mounting misery of the next 20 years……..

      ….Food is the key issue: as warming turns whole regions into desert, mass starvation is imaginable, although actual extinction seems improbable. It’s also still possible that we will react fast enough to stop well short of mass death.

      The situation is quite grim. Bad news, of course, but when you find yourself in a high-stakes game you should know what the stakes are.”


    • tc 1.2

      Thought Oz, Canada and Sth Africa mined Absestos with James Hardie and Co manufacturing it in pipes and fibrolite sheeting for cladding/rooftiles etc in Penrose for many years.

      Till they substituted it with Pulp fibre from wood in the mid 80’s.

      Wasn’t aware we had any actual asbestos mines here so be keen to know where they were.

      • francesca 1.2.1

        Up the Cobb, in Golden Bay. Mining finished in 1964
        Its now an other worldly wasteland you cross on the way to Chaffey’s Hut

      • Jenny 1.2.2

        Hi tc, I added mining to my list of asbestos related industry in this country based on my recollection of reading reports of the suffering of ex-asbestos miners in this country.

        To check my recollection, I have just googled New Zealand asbestos mining and found several references.

        Here is one;

        Asbestos was only ever mined in small quantities in New Zealand. Chrysotile was sourced from a single mine near Takaka in the South Island from the early 1950’s until early 1960’s. It was of low quality and had to be mixed with imported material. In the late 1960’s a sizable deposit was found near Dusky Sound, but for various reasons these were never exploited. Since 1984 the importation of Blue and Brown asbestos, in its raw state, has been banned.


        You are right, tc, the Asbestos Industry in this country was much bigger than the mining of it here, ever supported, despite there being a high quality source near Dusky Sound. So mining of it was never a big issue, (though it might have seemed a big issue for the kiwi miners a the time with mesothelioma)

        The above report says asbestos wasn’t mined here in huge quantities for “various reasons”, I would guess that the prime reason would be cost per unit. Which is same reason why the Huntly Power Station in the middle of a coal field, imports its coal from Indonesia. A decision which saw the layoff of over 300 local Huntly coal miners.

        But you never saw the apologists for the coal industry crying over these job losses. They were completely indifferent to the suffering of the laid off Huntly coal workers. But these same people hypocritically cried rivers of crocodile tears over ‘potential’ job losses because they were not allowed to mine coal on conservation land on the West Coast.

        Like the supporters of the fossil fuel industry generally, jobs losses are not their real concern, profit is.

    • Andre 1.3

      Here’s a bit more of an in-depth look at the whole issue of the asbestos hazard Agent Orange wants to unleash.


      tl;dr No matter what the terracotta turdface might want, the hazards of asbestos are so well known that only a suicidal company would risk the liability lawsuits from using asbestos, except for a few very specialised applications that won’t expose the general public and don’t have a suitable less-hazardous alternative.

    • Macro 1.4

      As usual Jenny it pays to follow the money..

      As the world’s largest exporter of asbestos, the Russian company Uralasbest operates an enormous open mine nearly half the size of Manhattan in a mountainous town 900 miles northeast of Moscow, according to the Center for Public Integrity. The company has support from the government and President Vladimir Putin, even though their economic success exposes the local residents to major health risks. Once referred to as “the dying city,” Asbest’s residents have reported the carcinogenic dust is often found as a thick film over garden vegetables, laundry lines, and even on the floors of their homes.

      Earlier last month, The Washington Post noted that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the ADAO had discovered a controversial post on Russian asbestos exporter Uralasbest’s Facebook page showing photos of company pallets stamped with a seal of U.S. President Donald Trump’s face.

  2. Andre 2

    On the face of it, Berniecrats took a hammering in yesterday’s primaries. The high profile leftmost candidates, such as El-Sayed, didn’t win. The revolution isn’t coming in November, comrades, put those Che berets back into the closet.


    But dig a little deeper into the positions of the centrist establishment Dems that did win, and it certainly looks like pressure from the left is earning significant incremental successes. That’s what non-disruptive lasting progress looks like, shift the centre of what’s normal. It’s how the right pushed us all to where we are now over the last 30-odd years, it can be pushed back the other way with steady pressure.


    If anyone wants a compilation of the results with a sentence or two about the significant candidates …


  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Vladimir Putin & Donald Trump were relaxing by the pool after their talks, bodyguards shooting the breeze discretely in the distance.
    Trump: “Here, have some of this.” Putin: “Ganja?” Trump: “The best.”

    Some time later… T: “Ah, that’s better. Talked a lotta crap in there, eh?”
    P: “Usual. Mind games. Chess.” T: “No thanks, too hard. Makes my head hurt.” “Thanks for those cyber attacks.” P: “Sensible distraction. Woman was too obvious. Poor programming.” T: “You can say that again.” P: “Too obvious, poor programming.”

    T: “Right. Got it. Another?” P: “Ta. Good toke. What’s next?” T: “China.” P: “Blechh. Imperialists.” T: “Takes one to know one, eh?” P: “Look who’s talking!”

    T: “Squeeze ’em?” P: “Damn right. Hard.” T: “Another?” P: “… ahhh… ”
    T: “I can feel a tweet coming on. Vlad the Inhaler.”

    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      Putin: “Arctic Sea soon subtropical. Will build dachas around it. Want one?”
      Trump: “Thanks. Ok if I send my guys over to build it my style?”
      Putin: “No problemo. We put the bugs in later.”
      Trump: “Latest tech, don’t need ’em. We do it remote.”
      Putin: “Where I buy?”
      Trump: “Dunno. Word’ll be on the street. Tell your Silicon Valley guy to ask around.”
      Putin: “Nice here. You a good guy. mmmm.. “

  4. marty mars 4

    A lot of the free speech discussion has been pretty pale. Here’s is another different perspective.

    … Brash has delivered a sustained and focused attack on Māori for years, ever since his infamous Orewa speech in 2004. Those words, the divisive reaction from the public and the resulting political fallout cut me to the core.

    I felt betrayed by New Zealand because so many people applauded his speech then and still do now.

    He used his free speech to try to obliterate Māori out of New Zealand society. If you don’t believe me, read the speech for yourself.

    The problem is Brash has not changed his view. He says what some, I hope not many, Kiwis want to say about Māori but haven’t got the public platform he has to make his words stick in the minds of the public.

    It makes him dangerous.
    It is surprising Massey University decided to cancel the Brash anti-PC speech but they are not the first institution to dump a speaker. In 2011, the Auckland University Law School scrapped a talk by Hone Harawira about the seabed and foreshore legislation.

    At the time, Harawira called the decision redneck racism.

    So, Brash’s work is done.


    It is about time some of you realised that this is Aotearoa and Māori deserve better than this. Wake up bigots!!!

    Thank you to those who DO realise what and who we are as a country.

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Free Speech etc
      7.40 a,m Discussion from Massey Uni.

      8.22 am Later panel:

      I wasn’t impressed by Massey Uni pro vice chancellor? this morning on Radionz criticising Chnncellor about free speech decision not to soapbox for Don Brash. The trouble with free speech is that often someone has to pay for it in some way. It certainly prompts a lot of loose speech in the enthusiasm for it being ‘free’.


    • Bewildered 4.2

      All brash says is one law for all no privileges or separate justice based on race The poor petal might not like it but suck it up if his feelings are hurt He may not like it or disagree with brash but this clearly not hate speech I also believe brash says this with some conviction ie both as a politician and in person, nor is he anti Māori he simply just does not agree with intersectional or race based laws, that is not a crime and he should be able to put his case forward in an open and democratic society, as should his detractors

      • marty mars 4.2.1

        I’d adjust your name to ‘be wild e red’ to spice it up a bit.

      • greywarshark 4.2.2

        Unfortunately Brash provokes hate speech. I hate him for a start and all his ilk of self-important white fatheads who haven’t got over being successful at exams or in business and can’t forget what a good boy (includes girl) they are.

        I hate the way that they pop up and whinge on about things that have been discussed and debated and argued and compromised and agreed about over the years. After which we have gone on unhappily debating other points trying to reach agreement, while the OWM stand on the bridge and keep saying ‘You may not Pass’. In the end they have to be grasped by each arm and hustled along to the bar which is their true home while others get on with the job of working towards a viable finish to the problem.-

        And the OWM and their warped spawn want to turn all this on its head, not being able to accept democracy even though they have managed to advance themselves satisfactorily on it. They’re all a waste of space, and should stay in the bar or go recreational fishing catching all the fish that are left. They don’t seem to have many useful skills or hobbies. Join a Menzshed will you and make something for the community or a nice Scotch dresser for your child’s marriage gift. That would be useful. Try it.

        People get upset over dropping of 1080 because it kills say 5% of native animals that we are trying to conserve and restore and sometimes it kills dogs. Sorry about that. But the toxicity from people like Brash, although dilute, compounds and eats away at the vestigial patina of goodwill and national conscience.

  5. marty mars 5

    This will not be good imo – I think this is another foreshore and seabed issue and will eventually cause even more conflict. Māori aren’t prepared to be treated like shit – Labour you had better pull your socks up because you are vulnerable and not pure as driven snow as evidenced last time you were in Government.

    Iwi leaders have told the government they’ll see them in court over Māori rights to freshwater.

    The leaders met Cabinet ministers in Ngāruawhāhia on Friday, where the politicians made it clear those rights were not up for debate.

    Now the iwi leaders say they have no choice but to go to court, given the government’s unwillingness to negotiate with Māori on freshwater rights.

    The Waitangi Tribunal and the Supreme Court have both acknowledged Māori have first rights to freshwater, but that has not been backed up by government policy.

    Ownership rights are at the heart of the debate about water allocation and management, but successive governments have failed to reach a position that satisfies Māori.


    • mickysavage 5.1

      I gather NZ First don’t want to have a bar of it.

      As for me article 2 of the Treaty clearly applies, water has to be a taonga.

      • Gosman 5.1.1

        Access to water might be a taonga. Ownership rights over water is something different I would argue.

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.2

        Tribal property rights as frozen in time by the signing? Disregarding all prior inter-tribal conquerings & dispossessions?

        If yes & yes, then that logic applies only to the tribal domains as recognised then. If tribal boundaries were disputed and never recognised, the domains cannot be defined. Anyway, oughta be able to fund the decision-making bodies another quarter-century at least. Tax-payer delight imminent…

        • solkta

          Yes, claims by iwi and hapu only apply to their rohe. Yes stuff that happened prior to the signing of the treaty is irrelevant. It was the Treaty that formed one nation, or federation of nations, out of many. While there are disagreements, rohe can generally be defined.

        • marty mars

          The tax payer can pay to help sort it because sorting it is important. If the treaty point is the point then pākehā can all go to where they were at the time of the signing. That will make it fair.

          • Gosman

            “If the treaty point is the point then pākehā can all go to where they were at the time of the signing.”

            Eh??? What does that mean?

          • Gosman

            I’m curious what you think the British received in return (and what the Maori actually gave up) as a result of signing the Treaty. What did the British get in return for guaranteeing Maori their rights?

            • marty mars

              Nah you aren’t worth my time, energy or mana.

            • Dennis Frank

              A colony.

            • Stuart Munro

              There were a number of benefits.

              The principal one was probably that they denied the French a decent set of ports with timber for refitting raiders in the Pacific.

              They gained legal dominion which would enable them to punish objectionable behavior, like Captain Stewart’s carrying a cargo of human arms and legs, and presumably recover naval deserters and the like.

              And they were able to limit foreign adventurism on the part of the likes of Baron de Thierry and the NSW administration, who meant to glom large parts of New Zealand for themselves.

          • bwaghorn

            I think you’ll find none of us were born when it was signed . Except maybe brash ,he looks and acts like he may have been there.

            • marty mars

              Lol yeah I was being provocative to get the point across that the more things change the more they stay the same. We aren’t 1840 anymore and we also are as well imo.

          • greywarshark

            Taihoa koe e timata! – thick cleansing?

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Should water be ‘owned’ by the nation or local individuals/organisations?

      I tend to think that it should be ‘owned’ by the nation and that nobody should be able to profit from its sale and control. This is necessary so as to promote an inclusive community.

      • marty mars 5.2.1

        I like the commons approach but unfortunately imo that lets the capitalists in whether overtly or covertly. And you and i agree that capitalism is a direct cause of much of the worlds misery and that it is a failed system.

  6. Gosman 7

    I spoke with Massey University’s Vice Chancellor office (not with the VC though). They stated the only reason the event with Don Brash was cancelled was because of a Facebook post on a page from a Vorn Rossiter in which he stated that a gun might be being brought to the event. There are two FB profiles for Vorn Rossiter although they seem to be the same person. The one which caused the cancellation is the one based in Hell, Norway (obviously a joke). The VC office stated they made the decision to cancel the event on security grounds without consulting Police.

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      I await Vorn’s next move. Will the power to shift the high & mighty with a single online hypothetical go to his head? The temptation to strike again will be overwhelming. Then there’s all the copycats sitting around thinking “Hmmm. Sky’s the limit here. How can I leverage this precedent?”

      • OnceWasTim 7.1.1

        “Hmmm. Sky’s the limit here. How can I leverage this precedent?”

        A healthy degree of cynicism. (you missed a “going forward” and a “platform” and probably even a “bizzniss tunity” though).
        There’s hope for a spot on Jim’s ‘The Panel’ yet

        • OnceWasTim

          Btw, I’m listening to a hyperactive technology commentator on NinetoNoon discussing RocketLab with Rinnie.
          Apparently we have to go offshore to progress going forward.
          At least Rinnie had the decency to mention Lanzatech alongside RocketLab.

          Shows how far lil ole NuZull has come eh?
          Still, prostitution is legal

        • Dennis Frank

          Wot, me?? Doncha know the state broadcaster has been discriminating against indigenous radicals since whenever? 🙂

          Jeez, they even banned the mild-mannered liberal that operates TDB…

        • Jim’s “The flannel?”

  7. SaveNZ 8

    EPA is now allowing asbestos back into manufacturing


    P.S. Now countries like NZ get all this shit in their materials too… first Asbestos trains more to come by the look of it.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      I’m still amazed that they allow the use of silica based weatherboards:

      At least 600-900 people die each year from work-related disease in New Zealand.

      Exposure to a form of silica dust – respirable crystalline silica (RCS) – is dangerous and can cause serious lung disease. It is known to contribute to lung cancer.[1]

      It is important to eliminate RCS from a workplace, or minimise exposure to ensure worker health and safety.

      Silica is a natural substance found in concrete, bricks, rocks, stone, sand and clay.

      Silica dust is created when materials containing silica are cut, ground, drilled or otherwise disturbed. If the silica particles in this dust are of a crystalline structure and are small enough (known as respirable crystalline silica or RCS), they can be breathed deep into the lungs and cause damage.

      The dust that can be breathed in is not always visible to the naked eye.

      And people wonder why nobody wants to be a builder.

      • Draco,This is correct, and in 20 years there will be lung problems, as with smoking.

      • alwyn 8.1.2

        “silica based weatherboards”.
        Isn’t that just a fancy description of windows?
        They are made from silica and keep the rain out so the description seems appropriate.

        • Draco T Bastard


          Does that look like a window to you?

          You’ll note also that the article I linked to mentioned concrete, bricks, rocks, stone, sand and clay. I think that those are safer as they tend not to be cut so much and things like concrete and bricks generally need water cooling to be cut which helps prevent dust.

          An interesting point about that stuff is that you must put it up according to directions from Hardies but those don’t meet code. In other words, if you follow the building code to put it up it doesn’t get the guarantee*. Which, IMO, means it shouldn’t even be on the market.

          * This may have changed since I lats spoke to someone in the building industry about it a few years ago.

          • gsays

            To be fair, it’s not as if James hardie has ever done this sort of thing before…./sarc.

            Brown hardboard as an exterior cladding anyone?

  8. Jenny 9

    Could this weapon presage the shortest military conflict in history?

    The surface carrier fleet has been the US’s main overseas force projection asset, since at least the Second World War, playing a major role in the Korean, Vietnam and various Gulf Wars, as a staging and strike platform.

    The hypersonic missile has just made the aircraft carrier obsolete. Traveling at 6 times the speed of sound and impervious to missile defence systems, and capable of striking anywhere on the globe with out warning, with an ability to maneuver in flight.
    Even without a warhead, just the kinetic energy alone of one of these weapons is enough to destroy any large surface target. Build enough of them, and within minutes of them being launched, every large surface carrier owned by the US would be on its way to the bottom of the ocean.

    What this would mean for any military conflict between the US and China in the South China Sea is clear.

    One thing is for sure. China can now spare itself the expense of having to build a carrier fleet to match that of the US.


    • Dennis Frank 9.1

      Classic arms race yet again. Three-way this time. Usage inversely proportional to deterrence, so depends if the techno-teams involved get a system up & running concurrent with each other or China gets there first. If the yanks are smart they won’t rely on a single team.

      • Jenny 9.1.1

        The big question of course is if this technical rebalancing of forces between these two superpowers, increases the likelyhood of conflict between them or not.

        The Chinese are probably hoping that such a weapon acts as a deterrence to US aggression.

        Whether the US see it that way, is another matter.

        On the Chinese side any US ultimatum delivered to China over China’s expansion into the South China sea, (or even further afield), will now probably be ignored, knowing that the US has no way to practically enforce it.

        • Dennis Frank

          Yes. Likelihood of conflict will be reduced awhile. If Chinese imperialism continues to operate as per tradition, they will be relatively restrained. I expect their aspiration to secure regional control will produce tacit concession from the yanks (as slowly as possible).

        • Draco T Bastard

          On the Chinese side any US ultimatum delivered to China over China’s expansion into the South China sea, (or even further afield), will now probably be ignored, knowing that the US has no way to practically enforce it.

          China’s always ignored it. This release of information is, quite simply, China telling the US and the UN that they can’t do anything about it.

          • Dennis Frank

            May soon be unable to do anything about it. The test/video just proved they can launch, guide tactically, and do a controlled landing within China. What the yanks are likely to prioritise is a similar tech that works faster so they can take the incoming missile out before it reaches yank carriers in the SC sea (a la Reagan’s satellite defense system which somehow never eventuated).

            • McFlock

              The test/video just proved they can launch, guide tactically, and do a controlled landing within China.

              Not quite – launch, travel 800km at hypersonic speeds, then it was a bit unclear whether it was post-hypersonic maneouverability in the terminal phase or hypersonic maneouverability, and it landed in a designated target zone (not a controlled landing like a plane – it hit the ground in a designated radius).

              If it decelerates to change direction, point-defense systems come back into play. The hypersonic capability lets you reach out and touch someone within minutes (so you tag them first), but it’s interceptable. If it changes course while hypersonic, you have no interception and only limited evasion capabilities (although at say 1000km range you could also use standard measures like chaff to misdirect the terminal guidance phase).

              • Dennis Frank

                I appreciate your techno-savvy grasp of the situation. Surprising that the Chinese have jumped ahead of the Russians & Americans, eh? With a copyist culture rather than an inventive culture. Perhaps they secretly hired a cohort of young American gamers??

                • McFlock

                  Well, not quite.

                  The Russians reckon they’ve already deployed an operational mach 10, 2000km range missile with maneuverability at all stages of flight from launch to terminal attack.

                  The Yanks were doing hypersonic tests ten years ago, but reckon they’ll have a weapon to enter service in the mid 2020s. that’s a five-year-old source link though, sounds vague, and I suspect the funding went towards the eternity wars instead of this type of research (or the Fucking-35).

                  So when it comes to hypersonic missiles, Russians claim the lead (they often do) and US/China probably tie for second (with US lagging). But who really knows. The Russians might have fielded a shit weapon that doesn’t work, maybe the Chinese made theirs fully armed and operational a year ago, and maybe the Yanks have a small fleet of hypersonic drones that can drop conventional bang-bangs anywhere in the world within an hour or two and then fly back home.

                  Military test milestones are interesting, the results are often dick-waving, and if something goes quiet it was either a waste of time or scarily successful and they’ve gone all-in on it.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Hmm. So it’ll hinge on how they do triangulation in the deep political context of the Security Council. Three superpowers operating in near-parity as regards the first-strike option.

                    Which will depend lots on the personal relations between leaders and how they frame the mutual-interest basis of negotiations. Which is where my imaginary dialogue this morning in this thread comes in (3, 3.1)

                    • McFlock

                      Except that “first strike” in the geopolitical sense was regarded as the king-hit that obliterated your opponent before they could react. That was the danger of a “first strike weapon”: it gave the possessor the impression that they might be able to win a nuclear war.

                      Initially it was a decapitation strike (Cuba->WashingtonDC or Turkey->Moscow), but in the 1980s the idea was “if the other side think they can nuke all our silos and bombers on the ground and most of our subs, they might attack us for no harm in response”. Which is also why Star Wars was a problem – it essentially made the current stockpile a first strike weapon if you can eliminate the counterstrike in the air. MAD fails, and all bets are off. So current ABM systems are deployed at levels that will only likely be able to intercept limited strikes, rather than a full assault. Allies get a level of protection, but not so much that the other side feel exposed to imminent harm.

                      The best model I ever heard for international relations was a preschool playground with minimal supervision – if everyone has toys, it’s almost fine, but fights happen when one kid won’t share, or someone just arbitrarily shits their pants, then everyone’s in tears.

                      So hypersonic missiles will be/are deployed, but development time means that the others will get theirs operational before another side has an overwhelming advantage, and the balance is maintained.

                      oh, India’s apparently working on a hypersonic with Russia, too. Can’t forget that theatre of instability.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      “The best model I ever heard for international relations was a preschool playground with minimal supervision”. Good point but in that situation the kids are all in mutual-parity relations.

                      As soon as a bully emerges, that power over others transforms the culture, so the analogy only partially applies. Effectively the Security Council members are analogous to bullies constrained by the UN into good behaviour most of the time. The power imbalance relative to the other UN members dictates the culture of the whole.

                    • McFlock

                      But the thing is that everyone has someone who can hurt them. To seriously overturn a fairly rational-self-interest state of affairs, you need more than a lack of parity. To be able to win without taking unacceptable costs globally, China would need more than a transitional advantage over a dozen carrier groups.

                      It goes back to the ground war scenarios in the Germanies in the 1980s – the problem was that if the US did too badly tactically against hordes of Soviet tanks, the yanks might used tactical nukes on the battlefield and flip the balance, then the Soviets might double-down to strategic nuclear obliteration. Game over by creeping escalation.

                      So China needs not just tactical superiority if it wants to commit an act of war on the US, it also needs strategic nuclear supremacy. Even if China can swamp the main48 states with hypersonic nukes, 7000kph still leaves a full hour for the yanks to detect and respond likewise. More response time should there have been intermediate range strikes from subs or close bases. Even a close launch of them still leaves a response time, and they aren’t stealthy by any means. And that still leaves one or maybe two legs of the Nuclear Triad to respond (especially US subs).

                      ISTR all the major powers bar India have a veto on the UNSC. UN is mostly a spectator at the direct superpower-interaction level. Comes in useful in proxy confrontations, though.

                      China’s real advantage is from its own expanding soft power and new trade routes – a strategic weakness is China’s limited number of trade ports. Few land routes, and lots of straits to blockade its oceanic ports. but while the US is burning bridges, China is building them, and railway lines, too.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Well-reasoned, you’re right. That laser weapon DTB put in works on drones but not missiles currently. She said it targets the engine (though the picture had impact on the wing) so must be heat-seeking guidance system.

                    • McFlock

                      The devil is in the details – she said it could target the engine. But if you induce a structural weakness in a nice big wing, you’re guaranteed that the entire target failes dramatically. One of the most egregious examples of misleading test footage was in the 1980s star wars project, where there was footage of a missile body collapsing dramatically after a laser strike on the ground. The big girders on top collapsed it – would a hole that size in the missile outer body destroy the entire missile, especially the warheads? Doubtful. The Scuds fired by Iraq had warhead impacts even after they broke up (not because of Patriots either – their lengthened bodies failed on reentry).

                      Lasers take time to deliver their energy and can be substantially defeated by the right coating, so that limits their envelope. Rail guns might work within a certain envelope. The main defense against hypersonic standoff missiles is to not be where they want to land – a bit like avoiding regular air-to-air missiles.

                      Funny thing about the testbed ship for the first USN laser system – lasers need good optics, and they target down the boresight, as it were. They also need good attenuation compensation. Upshot of all that is that even without firing the laser, the system turned out to be an impressive sensor and very useful in that capacity.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Intercepting a hypersonic missile will require things like this:

              • Exkiwiforces

                I concur with your statement, when one considers that the turning circle for a Mig 25R Foxbat was around 3kms at M3.2 and the US SR-71 was a little bit faster than it then Soviet counterpart had turning circle nudging around 3.5kms+/-.

                The Brits in the 50’s- 60 and possibly into the 70’s spent and awful amount of time into the study of Hypersonics, pretty much concluded that an Hypersonic Aerial Vehicle is a one tick pony and it’s only use would be as a first strike platform or as a ISR platform in the future.

                When I was still in I came across an open source paper (a Janes Defence article) on the Chinese claim that their ICBM’s could hit any US Navy Battlegroup in the Pacific? Which is true in theory, but a US Navy Battlegroup is always moving and to my knowledge all MRV’s are pre-program prior at launch. So the assumption now is have the Chinese worked out how re-manoeuvre MRV’s, its Hypersonic Vehicle in flight? If so I would be very concern if they have managed it as this would be the biggest game changer since the V2 and the Instant Can of Sunshine.

                But also still needs to out number the yanks IRT it’s surface fleet units and nukes if they are to have chance of success or the try the indirect approach through cyber warfare, Submarines and soft power which might prove cheaper in the long run. Taking out hard target is one things, but mobile targets and a decentralised Command structure that the West teaches if Armed Forces is another thing.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I concur with your statement, when one considers that the turning circle for a Mig 25R Foxbat was around 3kms at M3.2 and the US SR-71 was a little bit faster than it then Soviet counterpart had turning circle nudging around 3.5kms+/-.

                  But we’re not talking about a turning circle. We’re talking about a slight jig in a random direction that doesn’t actually change the attitude of the missile itself – effectively flicking it sideways but not turning it. Just need to move it so that it can’t be effectively tracked and homed in on.

                  • McFlock

                    Who’s homing in on the missile? They know where it wants to go, the big thermal plume tells everyone where it is, the problem is that even if you hit it the pieces are still coming at you.

                    But if you turn into or obliquely to it, what G-loading would the missile have to endure to keep you in its sights?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Who’s homing in on the missile?
                      The anti-missile missile or the gun trying to shoot it down. Both need to be able to predict where it’s going to be to hit it. If it moves randomly then they can’t.

                      They know where it wants to go, the big thermal plume tells everyone where it is, the problem is that even if you hit it the pieces are still coming at you.

                      But the missile isn’t travelling in a straight path. That was what China said in their release.

                      If the target manages to hit and destroy the incoming missile then there’s a chance that nothing will hit the target. That chance improves the further out the missile is destroyed.

                      A hypersonic missile is going to need serious friction protection and that’s likely to be only on the outside. When it breaks up that friction protection is no longer going to work and most, if not all, of the missile will simply turn to dust in the atmosphere.

                      If the missile is using a solid penetrator then destroying it outright becomes more problematic but not impossible and hitting the missile may knock it off course enough that it won’t hit.

                      There are many variables but it’s still better to try and stop the missile than simply letting it continue.

                    • McFlock

                      Two things you’re missing:

                      Both guns and antiaircraft missiles already work on the principle of area targets rather than point targets (e.g. rotary cannon, continuous-rod warheads), partially because of the math of angular precision in a detection array at range is pretty fuzzy, partially because nothing is completely accurate when fired, and also partially because of evasive manoeuvres as you describe. So you’re now looking for high-G “jigs” without an attitude change in an atmospheric environment (although China never actually said that the course changes took place at hypersonic speeds).

                      Secondly, Columbia was at re-entry speeds and didn’t “turn to dust”. Helmets and wheels were scattered across states. So then there’s even the chance that in another envelope, it’s actually less preferable to destroy a hypersonic missile than just take the hit because of a shotgun effect.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Two things you’re missing:

                      I wasn’t missing them – I just wasn’t detailing them.

                      although China never actually said that the course changes took place at hypersonic speeds

                      Actually, they did. They just didn’t say that they took place in dense atmosphere which is critical IMO. Manoeuvrability will decline as the atmosphere gets thicker.

                      Secondly, Columbia was at re-entry speeds and didn’t “turn to dust”. Helmets and wheels were scattered across states.

                      Yes, it was at re-entry speeds and also at 60km altitude. How much actually made landfall without serious reduction from abrasion?
                      And then there’s the spread. As you say, the Columbia was scattered across states. Smaller pieces would scatter further reducing danger. Abrasion from atmosphere will decrease their mass maybe to the point where they’re not dangerous.

                      This where a solid penetrator would be more of a concern as it’s unlikely to be either diverted or lose a lot of mass.

                    • McFlock

                      Manoeuvrability will decline as the atmosphere gets thicker.

                      Like where the ships are.

                      And a 60km altitude breakup at mach 20 is above best case parameters for interception of an HVM, and still leaves substantial debris impacts. Compare that with the 1991 scud missile “intercepts, and there were still operational warheads after ballistic breakup of the missile. At what range will a point-defense system operate? 6km for a gatling? 12-20km for a missile or laser (environmental conditions permitting)? Even a scram combustion chamber hitting something at 2000kph will cause a Very Bad Day.

                      Chaff and/or just a course change at 40km range might be the much safer option.

                  • Exkiwiforces

                    The turning circle for the Mig 25 and SR-71 are slight turn of less than 2.5deg and no more than 5deg as greater the rate of bank of turn starts adding to the g Forces for the crew and airframe, this also applies to the Concorde as well.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The missile isn’t turning and there’s no crew for g-forces to be a concern with. G-forces will be a concern for the airframe but it’s possible to build aircraft that can survive g-forces that a human crew can’t. That’s been true for decades.

                      To move the missile all that’s needed is some small control surfaces back and front that move simultaneously that then moves the missile sideways (or up and down) a few metres. And because the missile doesn’t change direction it won’t be subjected to the same shear forces that would result if it tried to turn.

                • McFlock

                  If you lob an ICBM at a carrier group, everyone will assume you put nukes on it anyway. That’ll boost the odds of a hit.

                  Although the news report on this test was careful to say it travelled at 7000kph for 400s “then” did some vector changes for an accurate landfall.

                  I tried doing some math on whether a vector change to track a 30Kn ship from 35km out at hypersonic speeds would lead to some insane G-loading on the missile, but it hurt my brain.

                  • Exkiwiforces

                    Yes, even it change in direction is going to add to the g Forces a
                    already in counted by the Hypersonic vehicle and you are correct about the heat plume as well.

                    The more I think about a Hypersonic Vehicle it’s only going to be a first strike option and possibly an ISR Vehicle give today’s advance in technology

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Although the news report on this test was careful to say it travelled at 7000kph for 400s “then” did some vector changes for an accurate landfall.

                    Yep, I noticed that as well.

                    I tried doing some math on whether a vector change to track a 30Kn ship from 35km out at hypersonic speeds would lead to some insane G-loading on the missile

                    Such vector changes would happen ex-atmosphere. Once it’s back in atmosphere the ship has approximately 3 seconds to move. No ship ship has that sort of agility which is why the hypersonic missile is is a serious danger.

                    And the missile will still have some manoeuvrability.

                    And then there’s the possibility that the target didn’t detect the launch or the missile as it coasted through space.

                    • McFlock

                      3 seconds at mach 10 is 9km.
                      Hypersonic missiles don’t necessarily travel in ballistic trajectories.

                      The degree of manoeuverability (the word’s spelling always confuses me lol) is the issue. Even if a projectile is trying to “jig” in a sort of side-slip without an attitude change, it’s pushing against a high pressure shockwave at some point on its frame – will it even tear itself apart, as opposed to an attitude-based vector change?

                      And there’s the fact that in certain conditions, jets can outmanoeuvre faster and technically more agile (in terms of G forces) missiles because of math. I just can’t do that math, lol.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      3 seconds at mach 10 is 9km.


                      Had 7000 in mind from the article but was thinking in metres per second. The ship would have closer to ten seconds from re-entry.

                      Hypersonic missiles don’t necessarily travel in ballistic trajectories.

                      Video of the Starry Sky-2 test launch (which was conducted in an undisclosed location in northwestern China) showed the aircraft being launched into space on a multistage rocket. The aircraft then separated from its launcher and continued flying on its own power, soaring at about Mach-5.5 (five and a half times the speed of sound) for 400 seconds, China Daily reported. The aircraft then performed several maneuvers at an altitude of about 18 miles (29 km) before landing in a designated target zone — a demonstration that witnesses heralded as a “huge success,” according to a statement quoted in the South China Morning Post.

                      It may not be truly ballistic but it will be ex-atmosphere or nearly so for the majority of it’s flight. It has to be else the atmosphere will tear it apart.

                      And there’s the fact that in certain conditions, jets can outmanoeuvre faster and technically more agile (in terms of G forces) missiles because of math.

                      A slower plane can pull a tighter turn than a high speed one even if the high speed one is pulling more Gs. Remember that from the old flight sims. There was also the old super-sonic interceptors. They’d travel super-sonic to get there but drop to sub-sonic for the actual engagement for the better manoeuvrability.

                      Still, we’re talking about intercepting a ship and not a plane and they don’t turn on a dime.

                      Was considering what a near miss of a hypersonic missile would do and think it may be something like this torpedo which doesn’t hit the ship:

                    • McFlock

                      Scramjets work at highish altitudes. The Chinese went high, US tests generally went at about 20km altitude to avoid being confused with an ICBM launch. Airliners cruise at 10-12km altitude.

                      “Space” is about 100km.

                      The minimum decent time with an infinite-G vector change to verticle drop from 30km is almost 20seconds. If it’s a CVN aimed at the centrepoint, that’s a direct hit reduced to a near miss. Not trivial, but possibly not a king hit.

                      But then moving to a ground impact is itself a g-loaded vector change, from which we could estimate the actual trajectory. If I were a mathematician I’d be orgasming right now lol.

                      The torpedo is an old trick – the warhead forms a swell then a cavity under the middle of the ship and breaks its back using gravity and leverage. Doesn’t work from anywhere than under the ship. An HVM impact behind a vessel might be interesting via the propellors and shaft damage flooding the engine room and lower decks. One of the ships my grandfather was on got sunk that way with conventional bombs.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2

        Indications are that China got there first:

        Admiral Harry Harris, former head of the US Pacific Command and now the ambassador to South Korea, said in February, “China’s hypersonic weapons development outpaces ours… we’re falling behind.”

        In March, air force general John Hyten, commander of US Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us.”

        Of course, that was the same excuse used to build up the US military anyway when they over-inflated the capabilities of the systems that the USSR had.

        • McFlock

          yeah, bomber gap, missile gap… who knows.

          The US seemed to be the first to do long range hypersonic tests.

        • Dennis Frank

          They did indeed use that lobbying ploy under Reagan. And it would be consistent with their past masking of expertise to lull potential enemies into a false sense of complacency.

          • McFlock

            They used it back to the fifties. “ohmagerd the other side have soooo many!!!” has been the funding cry of various armed services for decades if not centuries.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      China can now spare itself the expense of having to build a carrier fleet to match that of the US.

      That would be the case if they weren’t going to project power. But they are going to be projecting power in classic Gunboat Diplomacy style and so they will still build up an aircraft carrier offence force.

      There are, after all, smaller nations that they can threaten.

    • indiana 10.1

      One thing the writer does not do is define “extreme views”. Because there is no governance on how recipients of free speech can label what they have heard or read, they can easily broadly use their own definition of “extreme view” and “hate speech” to shut down debate.

    • Puckish Rogue 10.2

      It was not:

      “He used his free speech to try to obliterate Māori out of New Zealand society. If you don’t believe me, read the speech for yourself.”

      “They hate the Treaty of Waitangi and all it stands for – partnership between Māori and the Crown.”

      I have read the speech and theres not even close to this anything like this in it

      • marty mars 10.2.1

        Are you Māori?

        • Puckish Rogue

          Are you vegan?

          • marty mars

            Why be a smart arse – it’s a simple question – what are you afraid of.

            But no I’m not a vegan. I’ve been vegetarian for 38 years.

            • Puckish Rogue

              I’m not interested in answering non-sequiturs

              • marty mars

                Yeah sure braveybot

                I am Māori and you are delusional if you are disparaging a wahine voice as wrong.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Being a wahine doesn’t maker any less right, or less wrong about Don Brash

                  • marty mars

                    Context son, context.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      The context is she doesn’t like him not just because of his views but because people want to hear his views and agree with his views, hes popular and thats what she doesn’t like, that there are people out there that don’t agree with her or her world view

                      Having said all that the idea of listening to Don Brash talk about his time in politics is not something i’d be interested in listening to but each to their own and its not up to the vc of Massey Uni or Carmen Parahi to decide what we can or can’t listen to

                    • marty mars

                      Even you must admit that the voices of whitish men have been heard. I am sick of that group thinking their view needs amplification – it is mostly the voice we hear and it is notable for its myopic focusing on whitish males and all their issues. Look around there are lots of difference and different views. A Māori view could enlighten – after all that is where the spears are aimed.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I consider myself a Kiwi first and ethnicity second and i’d hope everyone else does the same

                    • marty mars

                      Not me.

                    • Gosman

                      Do you want to establish quotas on who can speak on various topics?

                      If so, how would these quota’s work? Given NZ Europeans make up around 74% of the population and White males are approximately 50% of this that would suggest people like Don Brash can speak 37% of the time. Maori women like Carmen will get 7.5% of the speaking allocation.

                    • OnceWasTim

                      Puckish Rogue …
                      9 August 2018 at 11:46 am
                      I consider myself a Kiwi first and ethnicity second and i’d hope everyone else does the same.

                      So can I ask where you stand on the two state solution?

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      “So can I ask where you stand on the two state solution?”

                      Thats a question way above my paygrade

                    • OnceWasTim

                      Does that answer mean you’re being paid for your views?

                      There’s been a lot of discussion here and elsewhere over terminology and definition all of which seem a bit fluid to me, and it’s just that I’ve always seen a state as some geographical area under a system of governance, whereas a nation is something else .
                      One or more ‘nations’ might exist within the bounds of that state.

                      I was never comfortable with the idea of the two state solution, more the idea of 2 nations (or more) within the geographic bounds and system of government, that system of government obliged to take account of the nations within.

                      But here ya go …. let’s hear your ideas – altho’ I do appreciate you might have to consult with those in a higher pay grade

                      But, it seems to me that the treaty obliges our system of a state government to acknowledge and abide by the idea of a Maori Nation.

                      Other things (such as maybe a Nation of Islam, or whatever else) are negotiable

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      “Does that answer mean you’re being paid for your views?”

                      Well of course, isn’t everyone? 🙂

                      By above my pay grade I really mean i don’t know enough about it to have formed an opinion

                      However if I had to say something on it I’d say that its probably a bit like communism, good in theory but unworkable in practice

                • Dennis Frank

                  Do you have a tribal affiliation Marty – or are you in that urban group who apparently lack one?

                  • marty mars

                    Ngāi Tahu whānui

                    Deep South whānau.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Thanks. I sometimes have to figure out a position on Maori-related issues & lack anyone suitable to consult beforehand. Good to know.

                    • JanM

                      Sorry, marty mars, but I think you’re wasting your energies trying to reason with people with these simplistic attitudes. Their concepts are based on such seriously shonky misinformation and they are so willfully averse to opening their minds to any other knowledge that you might as well save your breath to cool your porridge! It makes me sick that there are so many people around with this attitude, but I don’t think there’s any way they will change their minds by using sweet reason on them 🙁

                    • marty mars

                      I hear you jan. I suppose i feel if i dont do it who will. And im playing to the lurkers mostly anyway so that they can see other sides of the story. I appreciate your comment kia ora.

      • Bearded Git 10.2.2

        Brash will for ever be defined by his cynically racist vote-targetted Orewa speech….he does not seem to be able to understand or acknowledge this.

        • Bewildered

          He has conviction in his beliefs and still holds them well outside politics Rightly or wrongly he believes race based politics and justice is wrong of which there is a fair arguement for simply on natural justice and logic , but also evidence ( ie South Africa,etc) He is hardly racist, you may not like his views and it hurts your feelings but tough, suck it up and play the ball not the man with a sound retraction rather than emotional, irrational name calling

  9. Bearded Git 11

    This is worth a read.

    Here are some excerpts:

    “Was there ever a fact that captured the absurdities of late capitalism better? Fever Tree sells a tonic slightly fancier than the many other available tonics, using what the company calls “the purest quinine in the world”. Be gone, engineering companies and textile manufacturers! We have no need for you in this brave new world.

    What a pointless era we live in: where even getting pissed can be artisanal, where clipping one’s toenails can be done with a boutique pair of scissors crafted by “some of the world’s most talented, curious and courageous designers”, or where you can use wifi to make fresh orange juice. And how odd it is to see these examples of laconic decadence illuminated against our current political background of imminent climate crisis, political instability and the rise of the far right.”

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Bearded Git
      Sounds like:

      “Everyone in the world is quite mad, except for me and thee. And sometimes I have my doubts about thee.”

      Said to come from Robert Owen. 1771-1850s
      He sounds like a man for our times. And had a sense of humour by the sounds of it, a good trait. Look how long ago he lived, and was trying stuff we are trying to get going now.

      We are so dull that we can’t hang onto good ideas for more than 2 generations, even with books and education to help us. What will we be like after spending most of our time with pretty images flashing before our eyes. Time being filled with watching zombie series instead of concentrating on people living (nd dead) whose lives have been full with drama, and some joy, and all sorts of ideas and ventures.

      • Bearded Git 11.1.1

        Love that Owen quote…yes strange old world….I was talking to a ski instructor last night who said the group he was skiing yesterday spent half the time taking selfies on their cellphones rather than skiing.

  10. Puckish Rogue 12

    looks like theres another endangered species, the liberal left


    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      Excellent essay & he’s totally correct in his critique. However I suspect a poll would find more liberal leftists in the silent majority than he assumes.

      • Puckish Rogue 12.1.1

        yeah you’re probably right, its always the vocal minority that gets the attention. My big worry is that the rise of the thuggish left and actions like whats happening with LS & SM and Don Brash means there’ll be a push back by right wing thugs and we’ll end up with a National party thats actually gone far right

        I mean real far right National not like the centre-right National we have today, so like Ruth Richardson and Bill Birch with free reign and with a desire for payback combined

        I don’t want that, I want centre-left and centre-right

        • Dennis Frank

          Yeah, same here. When groups polarise, things escalate. Many of us know this.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Not enough unfortunately, both on the left and right

            • Dennis Frank

              Well, as long as some are speaking on behalf of those who don’t identify with left or right (around a third of voters), I’m confident we can expect sanity to prevail most of the time. 🙂

        • Ad

          We’ve had centrist leadership for two decades, so I don’t see it as a surprise that occasional radicals pop up.

          But the thuggish right genie came out of the box with National forming an alliance with Whaleoil, in the early 2000s. While it looked like Key had stuffed the racist Brash-Orewa speech back in the bottle, all Key did was turn it into black ops.

          The civil in civilised political discourse went out the window right there.

          Ardern will do her best to restore the dignity of rational ideological exchange, but she will need to actively lead the universities to do so.

        • Draco T Bastard

          National today isn’t centre-right but far-right. It was centre-right when Muldoon was leader but it’s shifted quite considerably to the right since the 1980s.

          • Puckish Rogue

            That would explain how John Key banned unions, how benefits were slashed, how WFF was removed, all utilities were sold, no government money put into kiwisaver etc etc

            • Draco T Bastard

              He and the rest of National was certainly trying for all of those. They couldn’t go all the way though so they only did partials.

              Cut union access to workplaces
              Put in place ruinous sanctions on beneficiaries that achieve nothing except produce more poverty
              Altered the thresholds for WFF so that it wasn’t quite as effective
              Only sold half of the power utilities
              Stopped putting funds into the Cullen Fund.

              So, yeah, hard right-wing that inevitably causes the collapse of the economy and society.

              • Puckish Rogue

                There are times where I think it would be good for NZ to have a real, hard right government just so the lefties in NZ can see what its actually like because we’ve had a centrist government for nearly 20 years yet some on the left say National are hard and some on the right say Labour is hard left

                NZ want a centrist government because it works

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Actually, centrism doesn’t work as all it does is maintain the status quo which is a failure.

          • Grantoc


            All parties; including Labour have shifted in a rightwards direction. Not just National.

            In my opinion Muldoon was a far left dictator. There was nothing liberal about his economic and social policies. His attitudes, values, beliefs and policies are close to the current Venezuelan dictator.

            • Draco T Bastard

              All parties; including Labour have shifted in a rightwards direction. Not just National.

              True. Which is a pity because it prevents going to a more sustainable socio-economic system.

              In my opinion Muldoon was a far left dictator. There was nothing liberal about his economic and social policies. His attitudes, values, beliefs and policies are close to the current Venezuelan dictator.

              He was definitely a dictator and he was definitely right-wing but he’d grown up with Keynesianism and the welfare state and thought that they worked fine. His problem, like all those on the right-wing and many on the left, is that he didn’t understand that capitalism simply doesn’t work no matter which financial system you have.

    • Bill 12.2

      “Liberal left” isn’t some endangered species – it’s one of those impossible animals glued together from composite parts of other creatures.

      He does make a few salient points, but that “liberal left” framing’s all up the wop. (For those who struggle – “liberal” is supportive of liberal capitalism, “left” isn’t.)

      • Dennis Frank 12.2.1

        You seem to be confusing your personal criteria with those that apply at large. For instance, Bill Clinton, generally known to be a typical liberal and of the left. I realise you may have clearly-differentiated terms in your mind. I can’t see how they apply.

        For instance, James Shaw. Left? Liberal? Jacinda Ardern – liberal? Obama – liberal? Left? Helen Clark – liberal? Left?

        • Bill

          James Shaw is a liberal. Jacinda Ardern is a liberal. Obama was a liberal. Helen Clark was a liberal….

          Winston Peters is a social democrat. Jim Anderton was a social democrat…

          jeremy Corbyn is a social democrat. Nicola Sturgeon is a social democrat. Bernie Sanders is kinda social democratic.

          And yes, those are subjective calls made on where those politicians or their parties sit on the liberal/social democratic spectrum, but fiscal responsibility (as signed up to Shaw and Ardern is deeply liberal).

          That’s not to say that leftists can’t and don’t offer conditional strategic support to any of the above.

          Left and progressive does not support capitalism. Social democracy accommodates it as part of its statist programme. Liberalism elevates it.

          And as above, that doesn’t mean that progressives can’t and don’t support or fight for incremental improvements within the capitalist framework. But it’s not done with an eye to “improving” or “modifying” capitalism with any belief that it can be made right.

          • Dennis Frank

            Okay thanks, that makes it clear. So you equate left with anti-capitalist. That tradition derives from Marx/Engels, a 19th century frame. Left in the late 18th, when it was invented, was the people vs the ruling class. A similar frame, but structurally different. Aristocrats despised businessmen.

            I agree that capitalism ought to be replaced by something better. That doesn’t make me anti-capitalist however, because it ain’t a zero-sum game. I’m a shade of grey in between the black & white.

            Winston would reject the social democrat tag by barking at you “I’m a conservative”, Sanders would say “I’ve alway been a socialist”, but I’m in accord with the others you mention there.

            • Draco T Bastard

              That doesn’t make me anti-capitalist however, because it ain’t a zero-sum game.

              Actually – it is.

              That’s why decreasing income going to wages/salary is a concern.

              Then there’s physical reality. There’s a fairly large amount of iron sands off our the west coast of Taranaki. At present extraction rates with regard to present known amounts that will last about 50 years. That’s very much zero sum and applies to pretty much all our physical resources.

            • Bill

              So you equate left with anti-capitalist. That tradition derives from Marx/Engels, a 19th century frame. Left in the late 18th, when it was invented…

              I could say the tradition derives from Bakunin or Tolstoy ( or any number of others) but regardless, if “left” as anti-capitalist is to be consigned to the historical period of the late 18thC “when it was invented”, then why not the same for liberal capitalism?

              Winston is a conservative – a conservative social democrat. Sanders is no socialist. Neither is Corbyn. Both are social democrats – statists. But neither of them would would go the whole hog on statism in pursuit of a command economy after the fashion of the USSR; both would accommodate liberal capitalism but have it fettered by regulation designed to promote social democratic priorities.

              edit – just realised I misread your comment. I kind of like the misreading though 🙂

  11. marty mars 13

    Waste not want not – recycling?

    “Drone footage of the dumping ground outside Beijing was aired this week on ABC’s Foreign Correspondent and shows never-ending stacks of broken and discarded bicycles used in share bike schemes, piled high in a field for as far as the eye can see.”


  12. Alan 15

    Dear Steven, Sorry, you were right.

    • Dear Steven, your mates in business are doing their best to prove you right!!

      They forget their own business may be a victim.

      • Bewildered 15.1.1

        You close a sector down without consultation? You embolden unions, you raise uncertainty around industrial laws, climate change laws,tax law change, raise fuel prices etc etc what the fk is business suppose to think planning ahead, soft purring explaining we need to explain it better but we don’t really care what you think won’t cut it This coalition government will reap what it soes and can’t blame anybody but itself God help it if global economy sneezes

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2


    • rod 15.3

      More fake news.

  13. Dennis Frank 16

    The FSC are now taking legal action against the MU VC. I would have thought they’d take it against the university.

  14. ianmac 17

    Two days ago I wrote, “A great threat to Freedom of speech is giving in to a bomb threat.”
    I knew that there was a hint of violence which caused the cancellation for Brash but didn’t mean it to be a red herring.
    I meant it indirectly to be in the context of the apparent threat of violence to Brash/Massey. I had in mind that if anyone wanted to cause mischief to a school, or University, or a business they can now days just hint at a bomb or gun. I had in mind the way in which air travel is heavily hampered by threats. For example take your shoes off for security largely because a person tried to smuggle on a shoe bomb.

    And of course it is possible to hide the source/country of origin as scammers do.

    I welcome the view of those I disagree with. (Though my wife doesn’t think that I do.)

    • Dennis Frank 17.1

      I see no problem: human nature for some folks to misread an implication. I made a similar point in that thread re using a threat of violence to cancel an event someone doesn’t like. Authorities will have to get their act together.

    • McFlock 17.2

      Fake bomb threats are nothing new. The issue is whether anonymous “hints” count as genuine threats.

      I’m not so sure about “hints”. Especially if the author is tracable – the one who apparently made the “bring my gun” comment on FB is likely contactable.

      Massey ain’t that big.

  15. veutoviper 18

    Auckland Uni Debate tonight with Brash

    Have been otherwise engaged today, and had no time to check TS, so sorry if this has already been posted.

    According to Simon Wilson on Twitter *, this will be livestreamed on Facebook tonight starting at 6.15pm at https://t.co/8H3NtP1fif

    If that link doesn’t work, original link is on Wilson’s tweet at https://twitter.com/simonbwilson/status/1027310759494045696

  16. McFlock 19

    Oh look: people who made the supposed “threats” have finally been contacted. Pretty much all baloney.

    Makes one wonder why the student group said they couldn’t run a safe event.

    • Dennis Frank 19.1

      Well it’s good they haven’t remained anonymous, and have been sufficiently public-spirited to contribute their view of things. They deserve credit for that.

      The crux of the thing really lies in why the decision was made to reject the option of providing security for the event. I reckon it indicates a contempt for the former Nat leader by both chancellor & vice-chancellor. Obviously plenty of others would endorse that view. I don’t. I believe people ought not to be treated with contempt unless they do something that deserves a feeling of contempt.

      I think Brash is a typical product of his social niche, no worse. I understand why folk like him cannot see the big picture (a combination of complacency, lack of broad-mindedness & empathy etc). Claims that he is racist are bullshit. Closet-racism possibly – that operates tacitly: it is unethical to blame someone for feelings they are unconscious of. You cannot prove that they’re even there. Calling people racist without evidence is hate speech: the very thing some leftists accuse him of using! Pot/kettle/black.

      • solkta 19.1.1

        Just because he lacks self awareness does not mean that he isn’t racist. The fact that he is so engrossed in his sense of superiority is the point. Going by your definition none of the pompous British twits who colonised this place were racist either.

        • Dennis Frank

          My definition of racism is the one in the dictionary. Google will find it for you faster. It’s there because it is consensual. It has been consensual since it was originated as a descriptive term.

          So usage has always been applied on the basis of evidence. When you examine the historical record, you find instances of colonialists making statements of white supremacy or other races being inferior. I’ve seen them for myself.

          • solkta

            Wow, you got your in depth understanding from reading dictionary entries. It is so disheartening to know that my tens of thousands of dollars of student loan were such a waste of money.

            Gareth Morgan belongs to a similar “social niche” as Don Brash yet Morgan was able to study Treaty history objectively and in the process completely change his viewpoint. Brash is incapable of doing this, and there is a reason.


            One is left with the inescapable conclusion that Don Brash has a preconception of what the treaty should stand for and only by refuting all the other evidence can he support that preconception with a logical flow of argument. His is a colonizing, imperialist perspective and he will not accept any evidence to the contrary.

            But why would such a highly educated person exclude evidence and defend his preconception on the basis of logic from just part of the truth? One cannot escape the Brash reality – he wants his culture to be the pre-eminent one, for its norms to be the only norms and not to be sharing the norms of the other treaty signatory. This, more than any evidence that supports the alternative, is all that is acceptable to Brash. It’s nothing to do with evidence it is a preference – his preference that Maori society has no unique rights under the treaty, no matter what the reality is. He is religiously separatist, and has no tolerance for the sharing ethos which is the treaty reality.

            Why would he prefer Maoridom, as the other treaty signatory, to have no unique rights? It has can only be because of his deep-rooted sense of racial superiority, a prejudice that leads him to regard the Westminster-based system as the only legitimate template for New Zealand. Sharing governance with the other treaty signatory is unacceptable.

            • Dennis Frank

              Maoridom was not the other Treaty signatory. Some chiefs were. Polemicists often lose their grip on reality due to obsession with their personal view. In this respect Gareth & Don are alike. Has Don ever publicly stated that Maori “have no unique rights”? Unless someone publishes evidence that he did, all we have are false claims.

              Note that Gareth fails to include any quote of what Don actually said. He’s just mouthing off.

              • solkta

                Maoridom was not the other Treaty signatory. Some chiefs were.

                Oh fuck off. So the Crown was not a signatory EITHER, just some wanky British officials??

                • Dennis Frank

                  Tut tut, naughty word. Hobson represented the Crown. Those chiefs represented their tribes. Those chiefs who refused to sign represented their tribes. Those chiefs who weren’t included in the process also represented their tribes. Of those three Maori groups of tribes, only one became signatory to the Treaty.

                • Dennis is correct. The treaty was between the Crown and most, but not all, chiefs. Initially, only 40 signed at Waitangi. There were further meetings with other chiefs around the country and eventually a clear majority signed. However, some chiefs refused and it’s also been argued that some that signed did not have authority to do so.

                  • marty mars

                    Yes and no. The treaty was signed between Māori and the Crown. Individual and collective, the same and different, for instance NO Rangatira would EVER sign away mana – cant happen – so authority or not doesnt matter – these are the concepts which relate to it imo.

                    • Yep, that’s a good explanation marty. And when you factor in that the English and maori versions say different things (or at least understand concepts differently) then its little wonder there’s been so much grief down the years.

                    • marty mars

                      Yes true trp.

                      I suppose what happened and what it means is complicated and doesn’t neatly fit into the boxes we would like them to. Bit like why things happen today – muddy.

                      Kia kaha!

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Thirty years almost since I investigated how it happened, but I recall that proclamation of sovereignty over the South Island was done separately and on a different legal basis.

                      Mention was made that the process of gathering signatures there was abandoned due to logistical difficulties, which is why tribes weren’t included in the process. I don’t recall the relative numbers of the three groups but Prof Paul Moon probably knows.

                      There’s also the constitutional fact that sovereignty didn’t transfer when ceded or proclaimed. It didn’t kick in for several months, until the ship carrying the news got back to London & the UK parliament enacted the legislation.

                      Could be the Act confers recognition of the Treaty rights to Maori as a whole, you’d need a constitutional lawyer to confirm it did but since we’ve been acting accordingly I suspect so. In which case we can indeed see Te Tiriti as a contract between Crown & Maoridom in retrospect. However at the time the Crown treated with the tribes as separate entities. It did not ask them to make a collective decision to demonstrate their unity.

                    • marty mars

                      Yes there was no collective tribal unity until there had to be and that happened as a result of those tribes with lots of contact realising something had to be done to counter the colonizers. In much the same way whānau will coalesce into hapū, and then iwi, and then Māori, depending upon the threat.

      • McFlock 19.1.2

        Were they even anonymous in the first place? nope.

        Basically, it had nothing to do with providing more security. The organisers said that they couldn’t do it safely because someone said “gun” online. That doesn’t need extra security. Why should the uni pay for it if it’s not needed? But then if the students say they can’t use the booking safely, the booking gets cancelled as a matter of course.

        I think the VC was too eager to do it, but make no mistake – if the client hadn’t said they couldn’t use the place safely, the booking would have gone ahead. Just like any venue, safety takes precendence. Places I’ve worked all have safety as a condition of the booking, and it’s not their job to provide anything not specified in the contract. Including an AOS team on standby.

  17. cleangreen 20

    Again in Gisborne the main transport road north was blocked by a Logging truck accident on a straight road section of State Highway 2 10kms outside Gisborne City.


    August 8, 2018
    ‘Nightmare come true’
    by Debbie Gregory Published: August 8, 2018 12:36PM

    “Two hurt in SH2 log truck crash.

    “A Te Karaka mother is praising God she is still alive after hearing, then seeing, a fully-loaded logging truck flip in front of her.
    “My guardian angel was watching over us,” she said.
    The sound of the fully-loaded log truck screeching along the road was “so scary” but what she saw seconds later when she came off the Kaitaratahi Bridge on Matawai Road was a “nightmare come true.”
    The truck was sprawled across the road with logs everywhere.
    “We were going home from Gisborne. There were two people in my car and there was a car ahead of me . . . there were four of us there. The first thing I did was ring 111.”
    The 60-year-old driver was a Te Karaka local, she said.
    He was taken to Gisborne Hospital with serious injuries. The passenger was also taken to hospital with minor injuries.
    The truck and trailer unit rolled on State Highway 2 just north of Lavenham Road about 2.30pm yesterday afternoon as it was heading towards the city.” end of edit;

    Our community view is that the roads are not designed to carry all these heavy logging trucks.

    The log truck rolled over on the north Gisborne highway with a full trailer dangerously spilling all the logs onto the road and ditches alongside and blocked the road to Bay of Plenty for four hours holing up over one hundred trucks from delivering their goods to export ports and processing plants.
    We were comming jhome from Napier and were held up on this highway for four hours until one lane was setup to allow us all to drive slowly past the crash site. – This episode again graphically showed clearly why we need a rail line service again to connect Gisborne to the rest of the country, as Gisborne is attempting to increase productivity for the health/wealth and economic wellbeing of the NZ economy and security of the local communities.

    Aside from the dangers posed to other private users of the road depicted in the Gisborne Herald article here below, it is now time to plan for a rail route north of Gisborne to Waikato and the Bay of Plenty as our first PM Julius Vogel planned for us in 1870s, but sadly has never been carried out by successive Governments as they claimed to was due to the two world war events and the 1929 depression.


  18. Jenny 21

    Goodthink vs. Crimethink

    Big Brother returns to Eastern Ghouta

    Orwell in his novel 1984, famously wrote of what he called ‘Newspeak’, and his vision of a totalitarian state that controlled even how you spoke became known as Orwellian.

    Dark Humour

    “I asked them, ‘What’s going to happen with army service postponement, now that guys from the liberated territories can finish their [university] studies?’”

    Yasseen immediately regretted asking the question.

    Though he laughed while retelling this story to Syria Direct, it was a slip of the tongue that could have cost him dearly. “Liberated territories” is a term often used by pro-opposition Syrians to describe parts of the country, like East Ghouta, that were “liberated” from the government by rebel fighters after 2011.

    The government employee looked up at him. “You mean the territories that were under control of the terrorists?” he asked.

    Yasseen needed to think of a way—and fast—to fix his mistake. “No I mean the territories that were liberated from the terrorists.”

    I was strongly reminded of my time in the North Western town of Latakia in late 2010 shortly before the war. Remarking on the large number of posters, bill boards and banners with the dictator’s image, on display everywhere. I made a joke based on what I thought was a passing resemblance to a pompous British comedic character. And said that it looked like a John Cleese convention was coming to town. My guides were visibly shocked and told me shush and that I could get myself and my friends detained for saying less.


  19. eco maori 22

    Good morning The Am Show I say yes on the ban on supermarket plastic bags plastic is a poison to the animals and our environment . I read gone’s Orwia speech yesterday he thinks tangata whenua should voluntary wash his car on the weeked’s and be thankful for how the state treat’s us he thinks its ok to see maori dieing in the street;s mokopuna’s sleeping in car’s jail’s full of tangata whenua he thinks moari are dumb savages and we should call all of his m8 SIR .
    gone being a academic he knows that cold damp living environment’s is really bad for the mokopuna’s health thanks he is trying to follow out the NZ company’s original goal of exterminate by assimilation of tangata whenua thanks gone.
    The truth is tangata whenua are treated as second class tangata that’s a fact look at the other native cultures in Australia America Canada the tangata whenua in those country’s are being treated like dirt and why are maori not in as bad a state as our cousins in those country’s because of THE TREATY OF WAITANGAI I can trace my whapapa back to the beginning .
    With Pharmac duncan was it not your national m8 who have being tightening /strangling the all the state enterprises of mone and gifting the mone to bill’s south Island farmer’s m8 irrigation projects mean while people were dieing in the street’s that’s why Pharmac is not funding the important drugs don’t blame the New government for this mess
    mody collins how’s your hinu tohora M8 he was trying to float but no he has to much tiko on his waka and keeps sinking into IT.
    Nice try pimple that don’t faze Eco Maori you think I’M scared YEA RIGHT ana to kai.
    Ka kite ano P.S have a good weekend

  20. eco maori 23

    Here you go some thing gone brash ideals and his national party m8 caused thank’s
    The homelessness rise among older people was due to factors including a tight, expensive rental market, less home ownership and a low disposable income.

    “It’s not looking good. There’s some serious demographic challenges blooming and it’s going to be more common to see elderly living on the street.


  21. eco maori 24

    Let’s get this Straight If you are the majority radicalism can work for you.
    But when you are the minority it bites your on the ——- do the research .
    I back the ban of the southen and molyneux hate speech in Canada has risen by 600 % go figure.
    gone brash can speek and we can tell him that we ain’t stupid we can see exactly what he is trying to do Justified the neo liberal capitalist view that maori we deserve what we have got. YEA RIGHT. Ka kite ano

  22. eco maori 25

    Here you go anmials do have feeling’s emotions and intelligence .
    The neo liberal capitalist think only about there mone no concern’s about burning our Papatuanuku with there carbon poisoning her with plastic waste cut all the tree’s down for there greed when if we work with Papatuanuku OUR farm’s will produce more farm the SOIL’s keep trees in the correct place steep hills around all water ways ect the way we are farming at the minute is ancient and destroying our environment link below Ka kite ano


  23. eco maori 27

    Eco Maori says this man is correct everyone can see it to link below.


  24. eco maori 28

    Good evening Newshub Many thanks to Labour and the Green for starting a revolution against plastic . They are baning single use plastic bag’s .
    Many thanks to the Palmerston North City for getting some electric rubbish trucks one day all vehicles will be electric.
    Eco says that mud slide in Switzerland is caused by Global Warming that’s a lot of mud mody collin’s should move there she likes mud.
    That’s what we should be exporting high value Icecream and chocolate not just tons of milk powder.
    trump space force is just him trying to bolster his voter poll rating .
    The sandfly are throwing heap’s of resources at trying to suppress Eco Maori mana muppets but they just keep adding to it the muppets ka kite ano

  25. eco maori 29

    The Crowd Goes Wild hope the Warriors get a win Wai .
    James your seat did not get to hot the other day the sandflys like to use there heat muppets . Wai its awsome that tangata whenua culture is getting the respect that we deserve E hoa around Aotearoa and Papatuanuku ka pai.
    James to me you are a ngati pakeha maori tino pai
    Ka kite ano

  26. eco maori 30

    Some music Eco Maori is listening to at the minute

  27. eco maori 31

    Some music Eco Maori likes

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