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Open mike 09/11/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 9th, 2015 - 116 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

116 comments on “Open mike 09/11/2015 ”

  1. lprent 1

    Expect some delays in page loads first thing this morning for the first few people in.

    I’ve fixed the feeds so that they now work correctly. However I had to change the media string for the images and other static data from the CDN (Content Delivery Network). Depending on your browser and if anyone else has loaded from it previously, you might experience some page delays.

    But the tabs are all working again. Now to figure out how to make them ‘faster’.

    And also how to get rid of the bloody duplicated feed items that Blogger likes to provide !

    • infused 1.1

      Just out of interest, do you run the Google Page Speed mod for apache?

      Seems you don’t. You should seriously install that.

    • maui 1.2

      Just noticed my tabs “Replies” and “Opinions” have been swapped around, either an update I guess or a tory gremlin stuck in the system trying to find a way out 😉

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    Forget the tin foil hat: NSA-proof wallpaper could keep snoopers and ‘doomsday’ electromagnetic weapons at bay

    *New flexible material can block electronic emission
    *Blocks signals that could be used for cybersnooping
    *Can also block electromagnetic ‘doomsday’ weapons
    *Could be used to protect drones flying in enemy territory


    • Whispering Kate 2.1

      Good God man this is so depressing it makes a person want to crawl back into bed and stay there. Can’t this wait until we have showered, had a decent coffee and “girded the loins” so to speak for yet another day in this troubled planet we all dwell on. Thanks for it nevertheless the less – though god knows what anybody can do about it.

  3. Bill Ralston was interviewed by Espiner on the radio a few minutes ago.
    What an obvious propagandist.
    What an arse.
    What an easy run from Espiner.

    • **He was announcing that he will compete for Waitamata. He slagged off Phil Goff

      • Mike the Savage One 3.1.1

        So do Mediawork’s mercenary front line “media persons” like Henry and Plunket (Radio Live and TV3), Goff is now accused of “double dipping”, while he has not even announced yet, that he will stand for the election of mayor for Auckland next year.

        Are we surprised? No, I at least am not. The Labour conference was also treated with little mention, and while it was more a feel-good meeting offering inspiring speeches and no policy yet, that was exploited by Henry in his breakfast show.

        Problem for Henry, Plunket and others, there is little to attack Labour for at present in regards to policy, as it is mostly “under review”, so they do of course look for any other next best opportunity to throw mud.

        Goff is the best opportunity now, and while I am certain that Nat MPs have in the past held onto their seat and stood for election or any other alternative position in the meantime, they have to stress the possibility of Goff “double dipping” now.

        While I have only so much time for Goff, he does not deserve to be treated like this.

        • b waghorn

          Hell I thought the henry interview of Little was as good as I’ve seen for Little, he came across relaxed and batted away Henrys bs with ease ,ad to that Kelvin Davis getting a lot of coverage and this morning was a good start for labour.

          • Mike the Savage One

            Yes, Andrew did quite well, but Henry was trying various angles to embarrass him. He soon changed the topic from the conference to the Mt Roskill electorate, to Goff and to a likely by-election.

            Potential voters, and more so non voters, they will probably not have been overly impressed by Little, as so many now fall for the machinations by media and spin artists. Only those that follow politics (a true minority in NZ) will even know about Andrew Little and his speech and the Labour conference.

            Going on the Paul Henry Breakfast is like swimming in between sharks 24/7 I would say.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Wasn’t there a few instances of National Party MPs double dipping which the MSM thoroughly ignored?

          • Visubversa

            Sleepy Sam standing for National while still an Auckland City Councillor. Did both jobs for a while in my recall.

            • tc

              Kept his council job right up till the point it didnt cause the position to be refilled. He didnt do his council job just took the money whilst being a new MP as his non attendance showed.

              Blinglish is an experienced double dipper so the glasshouse is well built.

        • Hami Shearlie

          Jono Naylor was still Mayor of Palmerston North while running for Parliament for the Nats in 2014 – How is that alright but for Goff it’s not?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2

        So, that would be standard nasty politics at play then. The right wing don’t seem to be able to carry an argument and thus always revert to ad hominem attacks.

      • rod 3.1.3

        I wonder who invited Ralston to be on the programme. mustn’t ask that sort of question I suppose.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    How many people have to die before Australian wingnuts start appearing at The Hague?

    Send in Kelvin Davis? Send the SAS to Canberra to arrest the fuckers more like.

  5. The Chairman 5

    Little said the text of the deal (released late on Thursday) met four of the party’s five bottom lines.

    Jane Kelsey says: I’ve spent the past 36 hours pouring over the massive technical text to understand some of the complexities and what they mean for current and future policy space in Aotearoa New Zealand.

    Yet, within a day the Labour leadership seems to have decided the text is fine aside from the narrow issue of the right to restrict sales of residential property to foreign owners.

    At the very least Labour’s leaders might have waited for the Waitangi Tribunal’s inquiry into the TPPA, which is now likely to be expedited following the release of the text.

    The following is why the TPPA fails to satisfy the other four non-negotiable bottom lines, in addition to the one the caucus concedes.

    See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/11/07/exclusive-open-letter-from-jane-kelsey-to-labour-party-conference/#sthash.yi60JtLh.dpuf

    • proud poppy wearer 5.1

      Surely you’re not surprised ?

      • The Chairman 5.1.1

        It adds to the disappointment Labour have become.

        • Colonial Viper

          Watch as no policy substance is delivered over the next 12 months. We know that Labour tolerates poverty very well. We know that Labour doesn’t believe in true full employment. We know that Labour cannot stand by tough policies unless they are neoliberal ones. We know that Labour takes climate change so seriously it won’t ban new oil exploration.

          • The Chairman

            The substance of policy is how one deciphers how the political rhetoric will take shape.

            Labour can’t expect voter support when voters aren’t clear on how the rhetoric will take shape.

            Therefore, failing to produce it will be another mistake.

            Moreover, they can’t genuinely counter National when they can’t offer the substance behind what they will do differently.

          • Olwyn

            @ CV: I can see that you are currently disheartened with Labour. I respect that you have reasons for this, but I want to put forward a thought for your consideration. What was important about Little’s speech to congress was that it was not equivocal, and it outlined standards against which future policies are able to be measured. Since the exit of Helen Clark, “market forces” have been the unstated but absolute measure of everything: the task was to show loyalty to market forces and win the punters over with rhetoric and equivocally framed scraps of bait. Anyone seeking to depart from this model was hobbled, vilified or both, with David Cunliffe being the prime example. I think you need to allow that, prima facie at least, Little’s speech represents a departure from this duplicity. At least you can now say to him, this plan will or will not lead to jobs. That plan will or will not lead to people being cast on the scrap heap, etc.

            • Colonial Viper

              Hi Olwyn. Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

              However, I suspect that we already know what Little’s standard is, and that it is a low one full of wriggle room, if not “duplicity”. Take Labour’s ‘unequivocal’ bottom lines around the TPPA. Now according to Little, the TPPA actually does meet 4 out of Labour’s 5 bottom lines. And that Labour cannot meaningfully oppose the TPPA but it can ‘flout’ a few of its provisions here and there.

              (While Jane Kelsey says that the TPPA fails all of Labour’s bottom lines. Who is right? GIven that Kelsey has gone through every page of the TPPA and no one in Labour has, I would say she is.)

              Some may be feeling inspired to give Little and Labour 6 more months to prove themselves but after a long list of crap like this over the last 12 months (voting for National’s spying and anti-terrorism legislation!) I am not feeling similarly beneficent.

              • Olwyn

                Two things: I think a glimmer of hope is better than no hope at all 🙂

                I also think it may be inevitable that Labour has a more nuanced approach to the TPP than you and I. I am opposed to it, and will be at this weekend’s protests, but I can see that a political party that thunders opposition that it is not in the potion to action can back-foot itself in the face of a fait accompli. When you are up against a force much more powerful than anything you can muster, strategy sometimes works better than beating your head against a brick wall – in the latter case, the head tends to break while the wall continues to hold.

                • Colonial Viper

                  well fair enough but its hardly evidence that Labour has learnt to fight for and stick with what it believes in, and now they seem to be saying that they have indeed learnt. Time will tell.

                  • Ad

                    Do your heart condition a favour and pop over and knock on the Greens door.

                    Overall they are less conflicted people, and the Dunedin lot could do with fresh blood. They will already know you are a good organizer.

                    It would be no fun to lose you from political activism altogether out of sheer frustration.

              • galeandra

                You say ‘ I am not feeling similarly beneficent.”

                I ask why you still continue to comment here, then.

                “a long list of crap like this”apparently includes Little’s personal failure to repudiate elements of the TPPA in line with Jane Kelsey’s analysis. Said agreement released just days ago and containing reams of legalese.

                Little somehow has to find a way to bridge the gap between the party factions. Everyone will have to compromise to some extent.
                By all accounts he spoke well at the conference. His speech read pretty well given that it was light on policy specifics, for well understood reasons.
                He sounds encouraging to me.
                You’re beginning to sound shrill and desperate.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You say ‘ I am not feeling similarly beneficent.”

                  I ask why you still continue to comment here, then.

                  My believing that Labour is spineless (as per backdowns on the TPPA, 90 day right to fire, NZ power, GST off fruits and vegetables, CGT, raising the issue of Chinese last names but having zero new policy of substance around it etc.) has nothing to do with whether or not I should comment on The Standard.

                  Why do you believe it does?

            • greywarshark

              Good thinking Olwyn and Tautoko MM.
              As CV says – what about the bennies bottom line?
              So nice words – very heartening.

              Now we want baby steps to attend to the basics, then we can toddle to the next stage. Some things are urgently needed, and may have to be dripfed small and regular improvements so as not to destabilise the system.
              Can we have a timeline for the improvements that are doable without a lot of parliamentary kerfuffle?
              How soon could that be done without leaving time for National to do something malicious and spoil, plug the gap with their own short-term panacea etc.?

              Could we have a reduction in GST as one of the toddling steps – down to 12 and half percent and 2andhalf be allocated to the originating region.? Give back to the area so they get full benefit of the spending multiplier. This will give more bang for the buck for poor people particularly.
              Present 15% was what Switzerland had when I was there in the 70’s. Since when have we had a financial standing like them across the nation? It is far too high for NZ

              On tax they are talking about how people ned help where they have to work numerous jobs and co-ordinate a portfolio of employers, and money earners. That’s realistic do it Labour. Get rid of secondary tax – that goes back to an anti double dipping mentality that is not appropriate for workers these days, forced to be serving numerous ‘masters’. Also do something about open slather hours. Make an attempt. Zero contracts out. Free rides for employers with subsidies not from government but from their workers out..

              Put personal and trust tax up instead. The idea that the more money you get, the less tax you pay is stupid, illogical, and unsustainable. The country needs a certain tax take to operate successfully. You have to oil the machine.

              And a system where some people are starved of jobs and wages and can’t pay much tax, while others benefit from that economy with people being out of work yet moan that they have to pay the tax thaat advantages them must be exposed as criminal and irrational. Perhaps the facts can be explained simply and firmly. Say the tax is going to better hospital services and health programs which are intensive in needy areas.

              • Olwyn

                One of the things they are talking about is allowing beneficiaries to earn more before abatement kicks in, and Carmel Sepuloni has spoken about that as well – I think she may have drafted a private members bill on it. I don’t know whether the ‘baby steps’ will follow your suggestions, but we will certainly want to see some.

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  yeah well only a small proportion have additional income so fat lot of use that will be to most people.

                  Re-instating Ruth’s benefit cuts, getting rid of the youth rate – or putting it back to 18 would both be more meaningful.

                  Better still remove age discrimination all together and make benefits the same rate as NZS.

                  Those things would be a darn site more help than fiddling at the margins.

                  Bring back universal family benefit as well so you’re not playing off one set of NZer’s against another.

                  The whole benefit system is now set up to play NZer’s off in that way,

                  But it’s still pale blue Labour we’re talking about.

              • Rosie

                “Could we have a reduction in GST as one of the toddling steps – down to 12 and half percent and 2andhalf be allocated to the originating region.? Give back to the area so they get full benefit of the spending multiplier. This will give more bang for the buck for poor people particularly.
                Present 15% was what Switzerland had when I was there in the 70’s. Since when have we had a financial standing like them across the nation? It is far too high for NZ”

                My response. Could we abolish GST? Lets do this. Introduce a robin hood style tax. For those of us struggling week to week and are always a step behind financially this would be a huge burden lifted from our shoulders. We can’t afford to prop up the lifestyles of wealthy MD and CE’s etc when our lifestyles are so threadbare.

                As mentioned far too many times before. It’s not 1986 any more. Labour needs to acknowledge they introduced a cruel and unfair tax, and now, living in this vastly unequal society we need to abolish those taxes that grow the divide.

                Agree with putting personal tax up if you’re on a high salary, eg, over $150K

              • Draco T Bastard

                Present 15% was what Switzerland had when I was there in the 70’s. Since when have we had a financial standing like them across the nation? It is far too high for NZ

                You misunderstand why GST is there. It is solely so that the government could decrease taxes on the rich and put the responsibility for covering the inevitable shortfall upon the poor. In other words, it gives to the rich and takes from the poor.

                • Pat

                  thats essentially true Draco but it also adds 2 + million tourists year as taxpayers as the majority fail to claim it back

            • Karen

              +1 Olwyn
              I would add – this policy will do nothing to reduce child policy.

              Andrew Little has concentrated on uniting caucus and getting around the country as he said he would. Ensuring that the caucus does not split into various factions is an ongoing job, hence the careful words. By concentrating on the sovereignty issue in the TPP he can be opposed without allowing the pro TPP faction room to object.

              It was a very good speech – let’s celebrate it.

              • greywarshark

                I do hope that the attempt to keep the Labour Party operating as a cohesive entity does not reduce time for good policy, for us all as well as children.
                Keeping Labour together is what Helen managed. We might excuse her then for not breaking the cycle of bennie bashing, and distancing herself from the concerns of oh-so-ordinary Kiwis. We won’t do so for Andrew Little and any other New Faces contestants looking for a big hand from the audience.

              • Karen

                Oops – I meant child poverty. The bit where he said every policy will be measured in terms of reducing child poverty and every budget will measure the degree to which this has been achieved was very clever and heartening.

                How can anybody, whatever their political leanings, say reducing child poverty isn’t something to work towards? And having accepted this is important and that the policies must reflect this, that means increasing minimum wages and benefits. There is no other way of reducing child poverty. An increase in minimum wages and benefits reduces all poverty – not just child poverty.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            We know that Labour tolerates poverty very well.

            I’d like to see Labour support the Living Wage campaign.

            Have I missed media reports of Labour’s vocal support of the WCC in the stoush with the Chamber of Commerce over insisting that contractors pay the Living Wage?

            • Colonial Viper

              Indeed. And let’s remember that a “living wage” is only that for those lucky enough to have full time employment. For many others in NZ even a living wage would be largely irrelevant.

              • Mike the Savage One

                Fair enough for a “living wage”, what would a “dying wage” look like, as that must be the logical counter balance of a wage then? It seems many get nothing more than a little over the minimum wage, which should perhaps be renamed the “dying wage” (wage of a slowly dying, impoverished person).

              • Tracey

                YUP, the disability and mental health communities are relegated to subsistence unless and until they reach 65… then they get a “pay rise”

          • BM

            Good, Labour is finally learning.

            Politics only matters for about 6 weeks every 3 years

            Rest of the time should be spent in PR.

            • tc

              Yup with slogans and catchphrases that cut to the core of nacts subtle and belligerent methods.

              The sheeple doze off between elections so they need to start the memes now.

              • BM

                The sheeple aren’t listening so you’re wasting your time.

                If Key and National fuck up let the media crucify them, Little sticking is oar in doesn’t help, people just roll their eyes and go what ever.

                Save it for the election period.

                • Gangnam Style

                  “If Key and National fuck up let the media crucify them,” & therein lies the problem, the media, on a whole, won’t (crucify them).

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  Actually the people are listening and don’t like what they see and so don’t vote.

                  Why would you vote for one set of neo-libs over another?

            • Draco T Bastard

              Ah, the RWNJ comes in tells the populace to go back to sleep, nothing to see here while National and their stooges keep fucking us over.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 5.2

      However in Andrew Little’s speech he said
      “So, I’m telling you, when it comes to undermining our democracy and our sovereignty in the TPPA, I am totally opposed and I will fight with every fibre in my body to stop it, to resist it, to make sure it never happens in New Zealand”.

      Since the TPP is supposed to “level the playing field” and prevent any local favouritism, then some of the ideas for favouring Kiwis in jobs that Andrew Little mentioned in the speech would not be possible without incurring litigation if the TPP was ratified. He has outlined a vision of a proactive government. We now need the public to engage in some rational thinking and realise the full implications of what Key and Co are signing away.
      The biggest dead rat in the TPP is the loss of our rights to determine the future direction of NZ without being financially screwed by foreign corporations.

      To quote Andrew Little “I am totally opposed and I will fight with every fibre in my body to stop it, to resist it, to make sure it never happens in New Zealand”. Me too.
      (Also, I’ll be fighting against the oil exploration with the same vigour!)

      • savenz 5.2.1

        +100 TMM

        Yes I have to say it was good to hear the lines

        “So, I’m telling you, when it comes to undermining our democracy and our sovereignty in the TPPA, I am totally opposed and I will fight with every fibre in my body to stop it, to resist it, to make sure it never happens in New Zealand”.

        But signing the TPP will do that. All his polices talked about in his speech will be in violation of TPP such as limiting property sales, keeping government contracts onshore, and taxing harmful products like sugar.

        • Colonial Viper

          It’s utterly schizophrenic. Just a week ago Little was saying that the TPPA passed 4 out of 5 Labour “bottom lines” and that it was a done deal that could not be meaningfully opposed.

          • maui

            Bottom lines appear to be written on crepe paper with chalk.

            • Colonial Viper

              well in the post I wrote on the matter I said “weaker than tissue paper” but yep exactly right: Little remaking himself into a man of principle this weekend has me curious indeed.

      • The Chairman 5.2.2

        Yet, Little’s focus concerning the investor-state dispute process seems to be solely on our ability to ban foreign buyers from the local housing market.

        If Little genuinely wanted to ensure our sovereignty, he could utilize the exit clause.

        However, he insists the deal is here. Implying there is little he can now do about it except for flouting or renegotiating the ability to ban foreign buyers from the local housing market.

        • Colonial Viper

          and now R0b has written a post on the escalating costs of cancer treatments in NZ. Guess what: the TPPA is going to make it even worse for Kiwis and our health budget.

      • Tracey 5.2.3

        I was heartened by that too, if he meant what I took him to mean…

  6. The Chairman 6

    What is being said in the US:

    • ianmac 6.1

      A great program Chairman.
      What a pity that there is no public dialog in NZ to do this analysis of TPPA! A TV channel? Nah! MSM? Nah! Criminal isn’t it?
      And Congress gets to vote yes/no. In NZ it will be Grosser, Key, Joyce and English who decide. Trust them? Sure can

    • savenz 6.2

      +1 – great link – very similar problem to NZ – on one hand they are thinking NZ can push our food exports out there but like in the US it allows very cheap food to flood in and now people can fight the inspections.

      So a pile of fruit flies and diseases comes into the country but NZ has reduced powers to stop it the pests coming in.

      Shrimp from Vietnam that is not safe.

      No food labelling.

      6 of the 7 Nafda environmental conditions deleted in the TPP.

      Pharma able to extend existing patents even if they have no real change.

      Increased medicine costs.

      Competing with Vietnamese workers on 65 cents an hour.

      What a great day to be an international lawyer!!!

      Where do we sign? Sarc/

      • ianmac 6.2.1

        And the Disputes Risk.

      • greywarshark 6.2.2

        Can’t see what you are quibbling about savenz. /sarc

        Don’t know whether I mean quibbling or kibbling. ( I think the kibbling comes after the quibbling. I can feel myself getting ground down and coarser as I write. Fu.ked……)
        gerund or present participle: kibbling –
        grind or chop (beans, grain, etc.) coarsely.
        “a high protein legume such as kibbled beans”

      • savenz 6.2.3

        On the food labelling it makes no sense either because
        NZ food’ has a really safe international reputation so without knowing where any food is coming we are undermining our exports with cheaper producers who are cutting corners. (Unless the idea is, we all cut corners to have unsafe food?)

  7. Mike the Savage One 7

    Now this is what should really get our attention, prepare for a harder landing with the Mainland Chinese economy than so far expected:

    ‘China’s imports fall 19% on waning demand’

    From boom to bust, and little hope for dairy farmers, same as Australian mining companies, and other businesses exporting raw materials and low value added products to the “Middle Empire”.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Here’s What Happens When You Put More Women in Government

    “We know that companies with more gender balanced leadership teams significantly outperform companies with only men at the helm,” says Avivah Wittenberg-Cox, CEO of Twenty first, a consulting company that focuses in building gender-balanced businesses. “Why wouldn’t this be even more true at a country level?”

    Actual balance, rather than the ‘balance’ that the RWNJs like which prioritises the economy over everything else, produces better results.

  9. Muttonbird 9

    Whatever you think of Jamie Oliver, this is some heavy hitting support for Labour’s sugar policy…


    FYI, Jamie Oliver is not some newcomer to this debate. He has campaigned for a long time on issues around obesity.

    I wonder what Vernon Small and the rest of the right wing media will make of this?

    John Key has proven himself to be a pm who is beholden to celebrity culture so I wouldn’t be surprised of there is some movement from National to steal this policy on the back of a TV chef’s Facebook post.

  10. Clean_power 10

    Labour’s policy on sugar labelling is ABSOLUTE madness. A. King has no idea what she is trying to do. It is not only unworkable but will cost many votes.

    • McFlock 10.1

      That’s what they said about “number of standard drinks” labels on liquor bottles.

      Thanks for your concern

    • Muttonbird 10.2

      The government will steal this policy. You watch.

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        If National can appropriate the policy quickly and easily it likely means that the policy didn’t go far enough to begin with.

        • McFlock

          their usual form is to steal the rhetoric and fuck up the details so that what on the surface was a good idea becomes a seven-figure clusterfuck, and then the tories say “but it was Labour policy”.

          E.g. flags.

        • Ad

          That is well expressed.

    • Tracey 10.3

      Thanks for being specific and stcking to facts. Your post may have been undermined if you had gone all scattergun and emotive.

      • Puckish Rogue 10.3.1

        I don’t think it’ll work as well as people think/want as it doesn’t do anything to solve the real issue which is people not grasping the basics such as fizzy drink being a treat drink and not an all day/every day drink

        • McFlock

          I think most people grasp that.

          What I suspect is that the most obvious labelling (e.g. “50% less sugar!!!”) has more influence than kJ/carbohydrates per 100gm or arbitrary serving size.

          When I started looking at labels more closely after going onto a lower-sodium diet, I was surprised at some of the ingredient levels, expecially in processed foods. E.g. fruit juice is often as sugary as fizzy drink, yet juice is often seen as “healthy”.

          So I suspect that the minority might down 8 litres of coke a day and be surprised when helth turns to shit, but a hefty chunk of folks probably just follow broad rules and don’t realise quite how bastardised some of their food staples are – e.g. the cheaper bread usually has a massive anount of salt.

          But then if I were a cynic, I’d suspect that you knew very well that having simple graphical guides on food content would show up some of the major foodstuff producers as being as amoral as the tobacco industry, and that’s why you speak against the label idea.

          • Puckish Rogue

            If they really want to drink a boat load of fizzy drink then they could try the diet or sugar free versions, costs the same and tastes the same

            • McFlock

              well, no it doesn’t taste the same (some of it has a really rank aftertaste), but you missed my point about people who “want to drink a boat load of fizzy drink” probably not really making up all that large a chunk (excuse the pun) of our increasingly obese population.

        • BM

          Yeah the amount of people I see with trollies full of cheap fizz, fatty cuts of meat and white bread is quite staggering.

          I some how doubt a couple of tea spoons on the side is going to make any difference.

          Thing is there’s already a ton of low sugar options out there.

          On a side note I was surprised to find out how little sugar there is in beer, something like 1/2 teaspoon per bottle.

          • Ad

            And if you marinate your steak in beer first, the carcinogen levels go right down.

          • maui

            Shows you how our culture has a complete disconnect on knowledge about food, how many people are self medicating on shitty food, and how we’ve driven low income earners to poor diets, poorer overall health and shorter lives.

            • BM

              Nah, it’s just laziness and lack of will power.

              There’s never been more information available to people at any time in human history.

              There really is no excuse.

              • McFlock

                There’s lots of data available.

                Whether that equates to “information”, on the other hand, is highly debatable.

              • maui

                Yeah we just need to all channel our inner Annabel Langbeins, and flounce around making our coq au vins and wait for hubby/wifey to come home in the audi.

                • McFlock

                  don’t forget all those handy hints Gwyneth gives us for using our leftover quinoa 🙂

                  • weka

                    Come on McFlock, all other things being equitable I can’t believe that you would ever eat quinoa.

                    • McFlock


                      I might have done. I have no idea. Sometimes there’s weird stuff on a plate next to the meat, and one doesn’t wish to offend…

                • BM

                  You don’t know how to cook healthy?

                  • Descendant Of Sssmith

                    Limit the amount of sugar (carbohydrate) in all manufactured products ie they can’t be sold.

                    So you can still produce Coke but with less sugar in it QED.

                    Of course the sugar lobby is fighting any suggestion people have less sugar:



                    There’s a documentary somewhere about the NZ scientist involved in the 1990 report which was altered before release by the sugar lobby groups.

                    • BM

                      Political suicide.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      Well that was actually the WHO recommendation that was altered without the authors’ knowledge.

                      Many countries use the WHO guidelines to determine their standards.

                      Seems that the only reason the recommendation was suppressed and the only reason it would be political suicide is because of the lobbying by the powerful sugar industry.

                      Good of you to acknowledge that money buys influence.

                      Why would the public care if a maximum limit was imposed in all products? You really think people would object to their coke being a little less sweet?

                    • BM

                      You may find this interesting.


                      Imagine of every one had to change their recipes, lots and lots of very unhappy voters.

                    • Descendant Of Sssmith

                      Did you bother to read the article. They changed the flavours quite substantially eg removing vanilla.

                      Removing sugar, which has no flavour, and is simply sweet won’t particularly change the taste – it will simply be less sweet.

                      It’s a bit like when people started removing the copious amount of salt put in boiled potatoes. It didn’t take long for people to adjust.

                      You’re not removing the ability to put sugar in – just limiting the volume.

                      In the case of soft drinks for instance they will still be sweet – just less so.

                    • greywarshark

                      I knew that Milo has been changed but didn’t know it was the vanilla.
                      We use their instant coffee cafe sleeves and that has changed its packaging recently and as often happens, the recipe too I think. It’s sort of watery, perhaps less milk powder and maybe it had vanilla there too.

          • Psycho Milt

            On a side note I was surprised to find out how little sugar there is in beer, something like 1/2 teaspoon per bottle.

            Beer is a great drink for diabetics. It does fuck-all to your blood sugar unless you’re drinking stuff like Kilkenny or Guinness. Every time medical professionals suggest I drink less beer, I give them a more polite version of “Fuck off.”

            • BM

              Yeah the beer belly is actually a complete myth, nothing to do with beer at all.

              Having said that though, beer can often lead to eating large amounts of fatty fish and chips and other assorted take away nasties which results in a rather large gut.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Indonesia burning again.

    Friends of Earth Indonesia/WALHI and its five regional offices have been conducting investigations of companies suspected of involvement in the fires and triggering the smoke and haze problems in Indonesia. They overlaid the concession maps of the companies, and tracked the names of companies mentioned by the environment and forestry minister. Many of the land concessions of those companies are in the precious peatland area

    Already a number of company executives have been arrested for their suspected role in starting illegal forest fires, some of whom supply pulp products to the giant logging corporation Asian Pulp and Paper (APP).

    The fires that have been started deliberately are part of a process which usually involves building canals to block water to the beautiful peatlands; thereby drying it out and enabling deliberately lit fires to burn. This drains the life out of these naturally-moist tropical forests, dries them out, and enables deliberately lit fires to burn. In time, companies and contractors will return to plant endless rows of palm oil and wood plantations in their place.

    Also http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/know-indonesias-devastating-fires/

    I keep waiting for God to do something, but I think there is too much going on for him/her to be able to cope. We may have to do more ourselves. Any way of getting through to the Indonesian’s heart?

  12. les 12

    TPP deal ‘worst thing that Harper government has done for Canada’: Balsillie

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 12.1

      Sadly, the bad parts are indeed bad enough to risk the whole; yet, the partners could also agree to a more measured, step-by-step approach, since that would be in the common interest, though not necessarily to the benefit of certain powerful interest groups.

      The most egregious parts of the agreement are the exorbitant investor powers implicit in the Investor-State Dispute Settlement system as well as the unjustified expansion of copyright and patent coverage. We’ve seen this show before. Corporations are already using ISDS provisions in existing trade and investment agreements to harass governments in order to frustrate regulations and judicial decisions that negatively impact the companies’ interests. The system proposed in the TPP is a dangerous and unnecessary grant of power to investors and a blow to the judicial systems of all the signatory countries. And as in earlier trade agreements, the United States has pushed through overly strong intellectual property rights that strengthen the aggressive pricing practices of big pharma and unnecessarily extend the copyright protections far beyond their social usefulness.”


  13. One Anonymous Bloke 13

    A bunch of can-do Kiwis showing John Key how to get some guts.

    It isn’t all good news, though: soon the Australian forces will regroup and launch a full on assault, and although our plucky lads have plenty of heart, they simply don’t have the weapons that would allow them to fight back.

    At the very least we could send someone over there to give them some training.

    • Puckish Rogue 13.1

      At the very least we could send someone over there to give them some training.

      – You volunteering?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1.1

        No, I’m nominating you be sent over as a human shield.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Thought not, just another keyboard warrior

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            I’m glad you think that anyone who proposes military action go to the front of the deployment queue. That will have a most salutory effect, let’s do it!

  14. Chooky 14

    ‘US in stupor, doesn’t know what to do or even what it wants in Syria – MidEast studies academic’


    ‘As Syrian peace talks pick up speed, should we hope for any progress in ending the war? This conflict is a riddle, surely – as years go on, it becomes more and more difficult to sort out who’s fighting whom and for what purpose. And over that boiling pot of violence and blood, major powers – Russia, America, Gulf States, Iran – play their own game, no less convoluted, with goals and forces used to influence the conflict unclear. We try to solve that riddle, and to do that, we speak to the director of the Center for Middle East studies at the University of Oklahoma, who is an influential analyst on Syria. Professor Joshua Landis is on Sophie&Co today.”

    ‘Russian diplomacy’


    “Steady as she goes: Russia continues to pursue a carefully calibrated policy of force and diplomacy in Syria. Damascus invited Moscow to enter the conflict to preserve the state and fight terrorism. Washington and its allies remain clueless.
    CrossTalking with Mohammad Marandi, Gregg Roman and Catherine Shakdam.”

  15. North 15

    Trust Trev’ of the Herald to be all invigorated over this piece of Who.Gives.A.Fuck ? Egomaniac crooks wanking one another. Still, some relief for Richie…..


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