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Open Mike 09/01/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 9th, 2017 - 119 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 …

119 comments on “Open Mike 09/01/2017”

  1. Paul 1

    Reasons to vote this government out in 2017.

    1. We need a government that takes public transport seriously.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11778072

  2. Paul 2

    Reasons to vote this government out in 2017.

    2. We need a government that cares for our rivers, not one subservient to the interests of industrial agricultural demands.

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/environment/88188743/just-not-good-enough-summer-slow-at-polluted-canterbury-river

  3. Paul 3

    Reasons to vote this government out in 2017.

    3. We need a government that takes climate change seriously and acts decisively to mitigate the damage we are doing to the planet’s well-being.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/321865/2016-officially-the-warmest-year-on-record

  4. Paul 4

    Reasons to vote this government out in 2017.

    4. We need a government that houses ALL its citizens well.
    To do this it must act decisively to deal with inequities in renting and owning houses.

    It must make rental costs cheaper, raise rental property standards and increase the rights of renters.
    In addition buying a house must be affordable and we need a government that does not look after the rentier class and does everything to prick the housing bubble.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/outspoken/audio/201829264/outspoken-homelessness

  5. Stunned mullet 5

    Why not tell us who we should vote for and list the relevant policies to address these issues you are concerned about.

    • Paul 5.1

      How to vote this government out.

      Select the party you feel will best tackle the problems of housing, inequality, climate change and the environment , which this government had failed to tackle and , in each case, worsened.

      Once each party dedicated to removing this government releases their policies on each, decide which will act the most decisively to deal with our pressing issues.

      So you can cross National, ACT, United Future and the Maori Party from your list.

      Decide which of Labour, the Greens, New Zealand First, Mana or the Opportunity Party look they have the best plan to act decisively to deal with these issues.

      • wek a 5.1.1

        Peters may choose National esp with Key gone. If we want a change of govt NZF are a risk. If they choose to support Labour they will be a force to hold Labour in the centre rather than going left. It’s not just about what plan the parties have or what they say they will do, it’s about voting strategically.

        • garibaldi 5.1.1.1

          I quite agree weka. NZF cannot be considered as ‘left’. Populist ,yes. Ron Marks is a right winger for a start.
          We need to see who their candidates are before counting on them because we don’t need another debacle like the last time NZF got in with numbers.

          • weka 5.1.1.1.1

            I would say that if Peters is leader it doesn’t matter who the candidates are, the risk is still there for them to support a National govt. In other words we can’t count on them.

        • The Chairman 5.1.1.2

          “If we want a change of govt NZF are a risk. If they choose to support Labour they will be a force to hold Labour in the centre rather than going left.”

          Yet, NZF sits left of Labour on a number of issues. Hence, a number from the left support them.

          If anything, Labour are more likely to be the stumbling block in a NZF, Greens and Labour coalition.

          • weka 5.1.1.2.1

            “Yet, NZF sits left of Labour on a number of issues. Hence, a number from the left support them.”

            True, but Peters himself is not left, and is in fact against NZ moving left. That’s not in dispute surely? And the Greens don’t have a handful of policies to the left of Labour, pretty much all their policies and kaupapa is to the left of Labour.

            This is what I mean about being strategic. Yes, one can prefer NZF over Labour, and can have a problem with voting Green for whatever reason, and so vote NZF, but that doesn’t get around the fact that they may support the formation of a 4th term for National. The only way to vote left is to vote for parties that are on record as saying they won’t support a National-led govt.

            “If anything, Labour are more likely to be the stumbling block in a NZF, Greens and Labour coalition.”

            Peters has been fairly consistently clear that he opposed the Greens being in govt. Labour on the other hand have come round to being ok with either party. Doesn’t sound like Labour is the problem in formation of govt at least.

            • The Chairman 5.1.1.2.1.1

              As NZF sits left of Labour on a number of issues it would imply Peters is left of Labour on those issues.

              The Greens aren’t fully to the left of Labour and have a number of policies that could be deemed centrist and right wing. Compulsory KiwiSaver for every child born is one example.

              While NZF may not go with Labour (but given their bottom line – i.e. Pike River it is more likely they would) they’ll still help keep National more in line with the left in a number of areas if Labour fail to win (highly probable considering the polls).

              Which is a fail-safe a vote for the Greens won’t ensure.

              Moreover, Labour could decide to drop the Greens altogether, which they have done before, thus resulting in a wasted vote voting Green.

              “Peters has been fairly consistently clear that he opposed the Greens being in govt”

              No he hasn’t. In fact, he has claimed that is more of a media beat up.

              As it is likely Labour will be the dominant player, it’s more likely they will attempt to take the coalition more right.

              There was an episode on the Nation some time back when all three were there and for once they actually came across as a coalition in waiting.

              • weka

                “As NZF sits left of Labour on a number of issues it would imply Peters is left of Labour on those issues.”

                Not necessarily. It could be that Labour is to the right of Peters’ centrist position. But we’re talking too generally here. How about pulling up 2 or 3 NZF policies that you feel are to the left of Labour and we’ll have a look at them and whether they themselves position Peters as left wing.

                I’m not against a 3 way coalition. I’m arguing that if left wingers want a change of govt, voting NZF is a risk, esp because of Peters.

                While NZF may not go with Labour (but given their bottom line – i.e. Pike River it is more likely they would) they’ll still help keep National more in line with the left in a number of areas if Labour fail to win (highly probable considering the polls).

                Which is a fail-safe a vote for the Greens won’t ensure.

                But if the left fail by say 2% because that 2% voted NZF but wanted a left wing govt, and now Peters has gone with National again, then those left wing voters just voted in a right wing govt. They instead could have voted Labour or Greens and still ended up with NZF on the left.

                • The Chairman

                  “How about pulling up 2 or 3 NZF policies that you feel are to the left of Labour”

                  Sure.

                  State run Kiwi Fund opposed to privately run KiwiSaver

                  Buying back energy companies and enabling a 10 per cent discount for SuperGold cardholders.

                  Superannuation.

                  If the left not only want a change of Government but want one that is more left in many respects, then NZF requires to be there.

                  If the left fail because some in the left voted for NZF opposed to Labour, the blame can be put on Labour for not being left enough to secure their vote.

              • weka

                “The Greens aren’t fully to the left of Labour and have a number of policies that could be deemed centrist and right wing. Compulsory KiwiSaver for every child born is one example.”

                I said pretty much not absolutely. How is compulsory Kiwisaver right wing? I also suspect that if you put that one policy in the context of their overall policy you’d find it’s not right wing. That’s why I included kaupapa in my comment.

                You’re arguing individual policies, I’m saying that individual policies are important but that if we vote on them alone we risk much.

                • The Chairman

                  KiwiSaver is largely a massive ongoing revenue gathering stream for the banking sector to play the market. Providing the banking sector with an ongoing handsome return.

                  “If you put that one policy in the context of their overall policy you’d find it’s not right wing.”

                  Can you explain how putting it into the context of their overall policy transforms it from being right wing?

                  I’m contesting your assertion that NZF will hold Labour in the centre rather than going left. As NZF sits left of Labour on a number issues, it’s logical to assume they will attempt to take Labour left in those areas. But as Labour will most likely be the dominant player, it’s more likely they will attempt to take NZF to the right and not the other way round as you asserted.

    • weka 5.2

      “Why not tell us who we should vote for and list the relevant policies to address these issues you are concerned about.”

      For Paul’s points 1, 2, and 3 the Greens are way out in front. For points 4 and 5 I’d say both Labour and the Greens are doing good things. You can look the policies up online pretty easily, or ask more specific questions.

  6. Paul 6

    Reasons to vote this government out in 2017.

    5. We need a government that ensures ALL its citizens are paid a living wage and work under equitable conditions.
    To do this it must act decisively to empower workers through radical reform of industrial relations, undoing the ravages of neoliberal laws passed since the 1980s.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/321829/ambulance-staff-to-have-wages-cut-over-strikes

  7. Penny Bright 8

    Which political party is pledging to transform transparency in New Zealand, by implementing and enforcing the Public Records Act 2005, thoroughly and properly across local and central government, and the judiciary?

    As an Independent candidate in the Mt Albert by-election, this is a pivotal ‘plank’ in my campaign.

    Why?

    Because the implementation and enforcement of the Public Records Act 2005, would, in my opinion, transform the lack of transparency across NZ local and central government and the judiciary.

    How can you have transparency or accountability without full and accurate public records available for public scrutiny?

    Penny Bright

    Proven ‘anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner’.

    • James 8.1

      Hi penny. I admire your ability to keep getting completely rejected in every election you go into – yet you keep going.

      Perhaps you should look at different platforms to get your message across – because this plan isn’t working.

      • Nick 8.1.1

        @ james …..Penny knows she isn’t going to win this by-election, but its a good platform to highlight an important issue.

        • james 8.1.1.1

          What I was pointing out is that it isnt. Have a message, sure, and while I think she is crazy, and I dont disagree with her on anything – its hard to ignore that she is passionate about it.

          What Im saying – pick a different platform perhaps – because the running for everything is not getting her message across.

    • Sacha 8.2

      The Public Records Act does not make records ‘available for public scrutiny’.

  8. Cinny 9

    So Bill doesn’t want to go to Waitangi this year, he will meet with Iwi before the day, but has decided to spend the day in Auckland instead.

    Outgoing PM Bill English won’t attend Waitangi Day commemorations

    IMHO this is a dumb move by him, he’s making lots of dumb moves already.

    • Morrissey 9.1

      IMHO this is a dumb move by him, he’s making lots of dumb moves already.

      It’s a cowardly move by him. It certainly wouldn’t have been his own idea to boycott Waitangi. English, to his credit, actually made the effort to learn some Te Reo to conversational level when he was leading the National Party fifteen years ago; this decision smacks of the influence of the sort of people who supported Don Brash.

    • james 9.2

      Cinny – you are telling lies.

      Its not that he didnt want to go to Waitangi – it was because he wasnt allowed to speak that he decided not to take up the invitation.

      Pretty simply really.

      What you are doing is third rate spinning.

      • Cinny 9.2.1

        Hiyas James xxx It’s not telling a lie, I simply left that point out 🙂

        Anyways, he maybe unable to speak, but this demonstrates to me that he is also unable to listen or show real support to his coalition partners Foxy and Flavell.

      • Carolyn_nth 9.2.2

        As someone just tweeted, the point of going to the Marae at Waitangi (once a year) isn’t to listen to Māori -it’s not for the PM to tell them more of what the government did/does/plans. Plenty of other places where the PM speaks.

      • weka 9.2.3

        “Its not that he didnt want to go to Waitangi – it was because he wasnt allowed to speak that he decided not to take up the invitation.”

        In other words he doesn’t want to go to Waitangi this year (because he can’t dictate the conditions).

        • james 9.2.3.1

          No – he wanted to go – but the conditions applied were not acceptable.

          • Pat 9.2.3.1.1

            rightly or wrongly it was probably politically his best option….he was on a hiding to nothing.

          • weka 9.2.3.1.2

            Ok, so I throw a party, and there’s no drugs allowed, and you decide to not come unless I allow you to take drugs, and now you’re saying that you want to come to a drug-free party but the conditions aren’t right because it should be a drug-taking party? Whereas I’d say you won’t want to come to a drug-free party.

            • Psycho Milt 9.2.3.1.2.1

              As an aside, comparing attending the speeches at Waitangi with attending a drug-free party seems apt – in both cases I’d rather visit the dentist.

            • Pat 9.2.3.1.2.2

              lmao…that would have to be about the falsest dichotomy of all time

            • Gabby 9.2.3.1.2.3

              So I throw a party and the highlight will be a big lecture about how awful some of my guests are, and I’m dreadfully offended when some of my guests say no thanks.

              • weka

                that’s not what happened though. One of the guests think he has a right to go to the party and speak, but the person organising things has said no. He can come but not speak on the main stage. He then refuses to come. Nothing to do with the lecture, you just made that shit up.

          • Sabine 9.2.3.1.3

            if he wanted to go he would have gone. Simple as that. nah, that is just a weasels excuse to being unpolite fuck.

            Excuses go to the weasels.

            • Morrissey 9.2.3.1.3.1

              Do you really think it’s English’s idea to boycott Waitangi? It seems much more like the decision of some “adviser”.

              • Sabine

                he is not boycotting Watiangi. He just does not care and they gave him a reason to conveniently pull a sad – they don’t let me speak!!!! and thus i don’t go.

                so in my eyes he is throwing a the adult equivalent of a toddlers tantrum for smokes and mirrors sake. Lookit i’m da good guys and they don’t let me SPEAK!

        • mikesh 9.2.3.2

          As PM he should have been allowed to speak. Denial of that right is a clear slap in the face. Under those circumstances I would also refuse to attend, on principle, if I was PM. Seems to me the organizers should pull their bloody heads in.
          And I’m not even a National Party supporter.

    • Nic the NZer 9.3

      My understanding was that no politicians were allowed to speak on the Marae. Is that not the tradition? I thought they had to do their speaking external to the ceremony part which was the story during Keys refusal to attend/non invitation to attend.

  9. Rosemary McDonald 10

    Peter Sarstedt dies…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TGRKYVbpRU

    Every word you say is a vanity….

    • Sabine 10.1

      childhood memories and memories of living in the south of france. It is almost a national hymn in Juan les Pins.

      • Olwyn 10.1.1

        Lovely. That song used to be the basis of a running gag between me and a friend – one of those songs that certain people view with scorn, but can sing from start to finish when they are drunk and it’s very late at night. 🙂

      • Anne 10.1.2

        Those memories stretched around the world and were loved by many of us no matter where we lived. Lovely song. Thanks Sabine.

      • halfcrown 10.1.3

        Thanks, Sabine one of the great songs I think loved by all and certainly brings back memories.

  10. Nic the NZer 11

    Interview with the chief economist of the Bank of England, where he admits that their forecasting (mainstream economic forecasting) was completely wrong about brexit (the forecast was for it to cause a major slow down in the UK, the opposite happened).

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/05/chief-economist-of-bank-of-england-admits-errors

    Apparently the problem with the forecasts is that they were expecting people to behave ‘rationally’, but people are for some reason not behaving ‘rationally’ right now. A careful look at the meaning of ‘rationally’ here shows that it means that people making up the economy predict the future in a similar way to how they might play roulette (e.g they know the probability of future events with a greater degree of certainty than someone gambling on a sporting event!). Seems like a reasonable thing to expect then?

    • Gabby 11.1

      It hasn’t happened yet.

      • Nic the NZer 11.1.1

        The fact that brexit takes time to implement was taken into account by the forecasts. The forecasts are suppost to tell us how investment, commerce and the public evaluates the political decision to leave the european union. The expected reaction was quite negative (for growth) but in fact was quite positive.

        On the other hand Mr Haladine still believes the forecasts will do ok in the long run. And I think thats a certainty because the long run is not in 5 or 10 years, its once the economy reaches equilibrium. In other words he can believe whatever he wants about an economic state which never happens to a real economy.

    • adam 12.1

      I’d add that Venezuela is not as bad as how people like to paint it. And in one case at least, the toilet paper debacle. It was the actions of supermarkets chains inside the country to deliberately not buy toilet paper, that created the shortage – then they blamed the government for a lack of toilet paper.

      Ironic that one of the so called libertarians came on here ranting and raving how bad it was they had no toilet paper, and it was the governments fault.

      I suppose with Venezuela being a target of every hard right loon, the other South American Nations can just get on with the job of improving people lives.

      Bolivia is great and so is their president – I put up an interview with him some time ago with Abby Martin, very insightful.

    • Morrissey 12.2

      You really are the definition of a useful idiot. Francisco Toro is an utterly discredited right wing shill, and he writes his vicious propaganda for a paper which acts pretty much as a North American version of Pravda. In 2003, Toro was forced to resign from the New York Times, when his biased and unfair Venezuela coverage proved too outrageous even for that government megaphone….

      http://www.narconews.com/Issue30/article584.html

      MEMO Swordfish:

      I read your heartfelt plea yesterday to all on the liberal and progressive side of politics to put aside our differences, with an election coming up later this year. But I ask you: are we expected to remain silent when people like this fellow post up such inaccurate and incendiary material?

  11. Bill 13

    About interfering in another county’s domestic democratic processes…

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/08/israeli-diplomat-shai-masot-plotted-against-mps-set-up-political-groups-labour

    Is the UK threatening sanctions or whatever against Israel? No. Of course not. And yet the level of meddling claimed to be at least under consideration is a million blue miles beyond any influence Russia is claimed to have had on the US processes (in the released Intelligence report) via bog standard media presentations by rt or who-ever, that the NSA and others are pushing and/or using as a pretext to ‘ratchet it up’ with Russia.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      And?

      The relationship between Israel and the UK is not the same as the relationship between the USA and the RF. Nations have a range of measures they take when things like this come to light.

      The UK government says “We promote Britain’s security, prosperity and well-being, and regional peace, through partnership with Israel”. Would you describe US/RF relations as a “partnership”?

      If the UK were to impose sanctions (or any other long-term measures) on Israel, I’d expect them to do so after any official inquiries had concluded.

      • Bill 13.1.1

        Thankyou for that take OAB.

        So meddling in another’s internal affairs isn’t really such a big deal after all unless there is a deep seated institutional antipathy being harboured for the offending party? At which point, a possibly dangerous and certainly irrational response or set of responses being called for by those institutional actors is well within the realms of acceptability?

        If that’s the case, then it’s fine, because liberal social democracies have checks and balances in place. Except that if you go google any mainstream outlet on the allegations the US is making towards Russia, you’ll see nothing but lock-step compliance with the idea that something quite unprecedented happened and that the right response is ‘to hate on’ Russia and (this is beginning to emerge) denounce any and all who aren’t gleefully jumping aboard the bandwagon – anyone who has the temerity to stand up and say “Hey. Just a second”. And that’s not fine.

        That’s ‘The Red Scare’. That’s McCarthyism.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1

          Fair point.

          …Trump accepts the US intelligence community’s conclusion…

          Republicans have urged Trump to “punish” Russia.

          In a joint appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain said evidence was conclusive that Putin sought to influence the election.

          “In a couple weeks, Donald Trump will be the defender of the free world and democracy,” Graham said.

          “You should let everybody know in America, Republicans and Democrats, that you’re going to make Russia pay a price for trying to interfere.”

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1

            Lindsey Graham taking about democracy and freedom. The circle of neocon idiocy is complete.

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.2

            Former Republican National Committee chairman, said Trump understands that Moscow was behind the intrusions into the Democratic Party organisations.

            “He accepts the fact that this particular case was entities in Russia so that’s not the issue,” Priebus said on Fox News Sunday.

            Notice how the article said MOSCOW whereas Priebus actually said “ENTITIES IN RUSSIA”.

            Which might be a teenage kid in his grandma’s basement in Siberia.

            • Psycho Milt 13.1.1.1.2.1

              It might be. It might have been the fairies at the bottom of my garden, too, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1.1.2.2

              I notice some much-clutched straws and a floating corpse, puffed up like a balloon.

          • One Two 13.1.1.1.3

            John ISIS McCain and Lindsay Graham

            Recently returned from Georgia on ‘unofficial business’

            Are they the ‘traitor squad’?

  12. Bearded Git 14

    We need a government that takes the RMA seriously-often ignored in The Standard.

    The RMA has been gutted with the incremental changes National, with the support of their lackies the Maori Party, have pushed through.

    It is now a developer’s charter and bugger the landscape.

  13. Carolyn_nth 15

    I am not keen on all the hype from the Nats and 6pm evening news for diverless cars.

    Matt L on the Transport Blog has done an interesting post on the pros and cons of autonomous cars. This bit had me laughing out loud.

    Especially early on, this improved safety will be achieved by the vehicles being much more cautious on our roads as human drivers are much less predictable. More cautious also means slower and how will a trip taking longer by being driverless affect usage. Of course as I’ve pointed out before, it won’t take long for pedestrians to catch on and effectively reclaim the streets simply be threatening to walk across the road and all cars will stop.

    My bold.

    • weka 15.1

      Excellent. That made me laugh too, thanks.

    • Bill 15.2

      I think I’ve just become a convert to the idea of everyone having a driverless car. 🙂

    • Anne 15.3

      Oh gosh, the endless pranks. Nose to tails and cars slewed in all directions.

      • Carolyn_nth 15.3.1

        LOL.

        Well, after reading the TB post and comments, it oks to me like the best use of autonomous vehicles would be in the public transport system – within closed systems where humans can’t interfere. Apparently the already work well in Vancouver’s Metro – (presumably underground).

        Plus, I think there would still need to be security guards in a mass transit system – so jobs still needed within the system.

        Whereas, driverless cars seem to be too fraught with problems in urban areas, especially within a CBD.

  14. Paul 16

    Greenwald: U.S. Intel Chiefs Alleging Russian Threat Have History of Deceiving the Public.

  15. Paul 17

    Syria: Eva Bartlett interviewed by Ajamu Baraka

      • Psycho Milt 17.1.1

        You really want to go there again? Continually posting propaganda for a despotic hereditary dictatorship is offensive – stop doing it, for fuck’s sake.

        • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1

          Ahhhh Psycho Milt, still wanting to bring freedom and democracy to the Middle East.

          BTW how’s that been working out for the west over the last 50 years?

          Why not admit that it’s time the Anglo-US empire stopped with reruns of the Sykes-Picot bullshit and looked after the health of their own democracies for a change?

          • Psycho Milt 17.1.1.1.1

            As usual, you’re addressing some comment you’d prefer someone had made, rather than the actual comment. Paul spamming Open Mike with Assad regime propaganda is the subject at hand, not “the Anglo-US empire.” He may have forgotten agreeing a couple of weeks back to stop doing it, but I haven’t.

            • Colonial Viper 17.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s not propaganda if it’s the truth, particularly if it is truth which competes against the chosen narrative that the Anglo-US imperial propaganda prefers.

            • weka 17.1.1.1.1.2

              got a link PM?

            • Morrissey 17.1.1.1.1.3

              Paul spamming Open Mike with Assad regime propaganda…

              ????

              Paul is one of the more civilised and thoughtful contributors to this mostly excellent site. I’m sure I am not the only person to notice that over the last few months he has been vilified and ridiculed by a small group of ideological fanatics whose brutal ad hominem attacks, distortions and outright lies, such as the one in italics above, are similar to the sort of thing that Cameron Slater engages in on his disreputable blog.

              MEMO weka:

              Why is Psycho Milt permitted to post up bald-faced and incendiary lies like this repeatedly? He seems to be immune to any standards of behaviour or truthfulness.

              • Colonial Viper

                Morrissey, I quietly suggest that it’s not a good idea to criticise the way moderation is applied on this site.

                • Morrissey

                  Actually, I note that at 17.1.1.1.1.2, weka has asked him to provide a link to back up his statements.

                  I discussed the likes of Psycho Milt with the moderators a few weeks ago; they are aware of the problem, although understandably reluctant to stop them. Sunlight is of course the best disinfectant against these fanatics—and the best way to expose them to the sunlight is by calling them out whenever they try to do it—as I did just an hour or so ago, after the ever credulous “Ad” posted a vile piece of propaganda….

                  https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-09012017/#comment-1284679

                  • weka

                    I have no problem whatsoever with people asking questions about moderation. There are a few lines not to cross over. One is attacking authors. Another, a particular bugbear of mine, is people making out that there is a problem with pseudonyms, “Morrissey”.

                    As for PM, he’s expressing an opinion. By all means call him on that but it’s hardly a moderating offence. Likewise, you expressed an opinion as to the value of Paul’s comments. Personally I find your assertions much more problematic than PMs, because you cast general aspersions rather than naming specific people and comments. Either way, there’s no rule against thinking someone else is a dick and expressing that.

                    “I discussed the likes of Psycho Milt with the moderators a few weeks ago; they are aware of the problem, although understandably reluctant to stop them.”

                    I’d like you to link to that conversation please. Because you’ve just implied that more than one moderator thinks there is a problem with PM’s commenting, and as another moderator, I’d like to see the context.

                    as an aside, there was a fleeting discussion in the back end last week about whether to do something about the amount of FB-like posts in OM.

                  • Are you aware that the “ever-credulous” Ad you just delivered one of your stern, pompous rebukes to is one of the moderators you apparently discussed “the likes of me” with a few days ago?

                    EDIT:
                    weka: sorry, posted the above without seeing your comment.

  16. Draco T Bastard 18

    ‘Bust of the year’: Texas cops mistake kitty litter for meth, hold suspect for 3 days

    It’s not what one would really call news except for this bit:

    Despite two field tests conducted on the “meth” coming back as positive, a third test carried out in a forensic lab revealed the reality.

    It isn’t clear how the first two tests were so glaringly wrong, but LeBeau said he doesn’t blame the police. He however does want an apology and said the arrest caused him to lose work.

    There’s only two possibilities:
    1. The test simply isn’t accurate enough to be useful or
    2. It wasn’t tested and was just sent back as ‘positive’ for political purposes

    We, of course, have experience in NZ with methamphetamine tests not being fit for purpose.

    • McFlock 18.1

      Could be any number of things: the cops using the test were contaminated from previous busts, the kitty litter had absorbed traces of meth, something innocent but relatively rare in the kitty litter made the test indicate meth, and so on.

      Field tests are usually indicative, whereas the lab tests are the precise identifiers. Like how lots of people blow into bags or machines and return a positive alcohol result, but the blood/ breath test at the station/bus is the evidentiary test.

      One false positive does not a test negate. If it were a common occurrence, however, there’d be an issue.

      • Cinny 18.1.1

        Why on earth they thought the kitty litter contained meth was itself kinda weird.

        I mean, when the cops come in to do a bust do they gather up any kitty litter as evidence, is this common in the USA?

        Maybe the kitty was a dealer? All i can say is lucky that pussy doesn’t live in a HNZ house, they would have be out of their ear after the first positive and never allowed back.

        • McFlock 18.1.1.1

          well, it was a funny package in a sock in a car. “Kitty litter” wouldn’t be my first thought…

          • Cinny 18.1.1.1.1

            Ohhhh lolololz, i hadn’t read the article and just thought, dang this is strange as. Thanks McFlock 🙂

          • Ovid 18.1.1.1.2

            Drivers in the US are advised to carry kitty litter or sand in wintry conditions to sprinkle in front of their wheels to give them traction should their vehicles slip off the road. And kitty-litter (the silica kind) filled socks can prevent windows fogging overnight. Like those little silica packages that keep boxes of electronics dry.

            • weka 18.1.1.1.2.1

              Thanks for clearing that up, I was wondering what the hell this was all about.

            • McFlock 18.1.1.1.2.2

              Yeah it was the latter that seemed to be the idea.

              Bit like baking soda in the fridge.

              It still deserves investigating just why the field test returned a positive. Best case is it’s something funny in the litter (doubtful but possible). Middle case is the cops need to brush up on their contamination protocols.

              Worst case is that they know this and were just using the tests as a “contempt of cop” punishment, or justification for harrassment. As the article said, it gave them probable cause to lock him up for three days. How many other people have been locked up or had parole revoked based on poor testing procedures?

              Handy little tool if you want to shit on someone but they haven’t done anything illegal (like a story about NZ cops raiding a trade unionist at home in the 1930s – bust open the door and immediately asked him how much money he had in his pocket. Of course he had nothing, because he was at home, so they detained him under the vagrancy laws).

            • Cinny 18.1.1.1.2.3

              awesomesauce, thankies Ovid, it’s always good to learn something new.

  17. adam 19

    Now here is a bit of research I’m happy will go ahead. Shame about the subject matter, but this should have happened years ago.

    http://www.waateanews.com/waateanews/x_story_id/MTU0NDY=/National/Iwi-key-in-demanding-whale-autopsies

  18. joe90 20

    21 November 2016 : women are going to be denied reproductive autonomy.

    .
    Trump, being wealthy and male, gets a pass for his lengthy history of sleeping with any woman who will have him — and bragging about grabbing the pussies of those who won’t. But for those of us who aren’t privileged enough to be wealthy men, Republicans are going to do everything in their power to inflict punishment in the form of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted childbearing.

    Trump’s willingness to fully embrace the Junior Anti-Sex League was demonstrated on Thursday, when his transition team announced the hire of Katy Talento as domestic policy counsel for the White House, focusing on health care. Not only is Talento against abortion — which is par for the course in Republican circles — she’s also an anti-birth control fanatic.

    http://www.salon.com/2017/01/07/a-new-war-on-birth-control-trumps-victory-has-empowered-the-sex-scolds/

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/tillis-staffer-birth-control-abortion

    • Colonial Viper 20.1

      A red meat appointment for the base of evangelicals who swung in hard behind his candidacy – at the last minute.

      Trump has said quite clearly that the status of abortion has been comprehensively considered in the Supreme Court and under his administration it will be states’ rights as to how they want to treat it.

    • joe90 20.2

      Another fuck you with the appointment of Senator John Hoeven, a supporter of Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines with a serious financial interest in seeing the projects go forward, as chair of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.

      .

      Dakota Access Pipeline supporter will head the Senate's Indian Affairs Committee https://t.co/hdkuFfdNx1 pic.twitter.com/67bvuNKckj— Jezebel (@Jezebel) January 8, 2017

      https://twitter.com/Jezebel/status/818199463089020928

      U.S. Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) recently came out in support of the Dakota Access pipeline, the hotly contested Energy Transfer Partners-owned pipeline envisioned to move oil obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin. As the pipeline transports oil across North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Illinois, it will cross farms, natural areas, and perhaps most notably, ancestral lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which is one of several tribes disagreeing with Sen. Hoeven’s assessment that this pipeline is “infrastructure we need.”

      What Sen. Hoeven — an outspoken supporter of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline — did not mention, however, is his personal investment in 68 different oil-producing wells in North Dakota under the auspices of the company Mainstream Investors, LLC according to his most recent congressional personal financial disclosure form.

      Seventeen of those wells are owned by Continental Resources, the company whose CEO Harold Hamm also serves as a campaign energy adviser to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Those wells have a value of between $11,000–$171,000, and 14 of them, named Wahpeton, are located within 18 miles of the Dakota Access Watford City terminal site.

      In a twist of irony, Wahpeton is part of the namesake of the Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe, whose reservation sits in southeast North Dakota and northeast South Dakota. The tribe passed a resolution in 2014 in opposition to the building of the Dakota Access pipeline.

      https://www.desmogblog.com/2016/09/01/john-hoeven-dakota-access-pipeline-investments

  19. Paul 21

    The reason why so many New Zealanders are ignorant of so many issues.

    64 % of social media news consumers only get news on one site…

    http://www.journalism.org/2016/05/26/news-use-across-social-media-platforms-2016/pj_2016-05-26_social-media-and-news_0-04/

  20. Colonial Viper 22

    Ron Paul: Barack Obama only US President to be at war every single day of his 8 years in office

    Dropped at least 26,000 bombs during his time as President. I hope he likes the cash from the Nobel Peace Prize.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-08/ron-paul-sums-nobel-peace-prize-winning-president-obama-one-short-sentence

    • Ovid 22.1

      President Obama donated the $1.4 million he was awarded to the following charities:

      Fisher House ($250,000)
      Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund ($200,000)
      College Summit ($125,000)
      Posse Foundation ($125,000)
      United Negro College Fund ($125,000)
      Hispanic Scholarship Fund ($125,000)
      Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation ($125,000)
      American Indian College Fund ($125,000)
      Africare ($100,000)
      Central Asia Institute ($100,000)

      Descriptions of what these charities do are in the link I provided.

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.1

        Thanks Ovid. I had hoped he donated something to the Red Cross in Yemen. To compensate for the Saudi war that he is supporting there.

        • Clump_AKA Sam 22.1.1.1

          This from the guy who raised the debt ceiling by 10 trillion. That puts his economic management in perspective

          • Colonial Viper 22.1.1.1.1

            Pump the markets up and up and up in order to enrich the US top 5%.

            • Clump_AKA Sam 22.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s a perfectly strange form of hording is all. There’s no design just a mental disorder

      • Morrissey 22.1.2

        Forget the donations for a prize he should never have received: how about simply ordering his country to stop supporting terrorists in Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Syria? And how about simply apologizing and immediately ceasing his interference in Brazil, Honduras, Venezuela, Bolivia, Mexico, Argentina, and Haiti?

        Instead of donating those paltry amounts to charity, Obama needs to apologize for insulting and pathetic behaviour like THIS….

        http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/03/21/ap_504312058477-2799a3776896905aacb78a9a97d95b74137ed0c1-s900-c85.jpg

        and he needs to apologize to the people of South Africa and, indeed, the world, for this appallingly insincere method acting…..

  21. Poission 23

    Armenian Christmas in Aleppo ( eastern observance Jan 6)

    https://twitter.com/i/web/status/817408711199227907

    Missing from msm.

  22. greywarshark 25

    Economic discussion on Radionz calls for summit. http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201829525 about 28 mins

    Comment from thinking economist from BERL :
    BERL chief economist Ganesh Nana backed the idea of a summit, but said he hoped more could be achieved if it happened.
    Dr Nana said the debate needed to include child poverty and inequality, with Brexit showing the growing frustration of people left behind by economies increasingly geared to precarious work.

    “The goal is to make sure that what we leave for the next generation is a lot better than what I inherited and at the moment what I’m leaving for the next generation isn’t in my opinion any better than what I inherited from my parents’ generation.

    “My parents’ generation, nobody ever talked about child poverty in New Zealand. I have on a regular basis Year 12 geography students asking me for help with their child poverty in New Zealand research essays,” Dr Nana said.

    Compare to dazzling commercial entrepreneur on his view of what the economy is delivering:
    Xero founder and managing director Rod Drury also lamented the lack of bold ideas from politicians to prepare the economy for the growing challenges of globalisation, automation and inequality.

    He said another summit, like the 2009 jobs summit under former Prime Minister John Key, was needed.
    “It was one of the things that showed there is a Team New Zealand. We had the unions, we had Laila [Harre], and all those sorts of people. It was a really positive discussion,” Mr Drury said.

    “The main thing that came out of it was the cycleways, but they’ve been amazing.

    “If you look now, people are travelling there and doing all these sort of things. It’s actually become part of all regional towns now, they have to have that investment,” Mr Drury said….

    another walk down Drury Lame:
    Auckland: ‘Let’s add a million more people’
    The desirability of a larger Auckland was also contentious.
    “Let’s make a decision. Let’s add a million more people,” Mr Drury said. “So we can do another harbour crossing, so we can do a train out to the airport.”

    Cycleways, just what we need. They are used by people who can afford bicycles and helmets. Or haven’t had them pinched. And are they on the route for going to work? If there is any? They are a nice middle class thing that makes people feel green and healthy. The ones sleeping in cars or on sofas or on a round-about shared between rellies have other priorities.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/322055/calls-for-leaders%27-summit-to-tackle-inequality

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