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Open Mike 10/01/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 10th, 2019 - 199 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 …

199 comments on “Open Mike 10/01/2019 ”

  1. Jenny - How to get there? 1

    Just when you thought the embarrassingly servile ‘Fast Follower’ doctrine had departed the country along with John Key.


    …….pacing ourselves at the pace of our competitors, and being relentlessly honest about the economic implications of the transition.

    If Generation Zero has issues with these principles, I’d love to hear what they are – because from my perspective that is the exact kind of level-headed, pragmatic and measured approach that New Zealand would expect from National.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 1.1

      ……Generation Zero is trying to paint climate change as a partisan issue, with the Labour and Green Party in one corner, and National in the other. We are seeking to move climate change beyond partisan politics to provide stability to this issue……

      Tod Muller and the National Party need to be put to the test.
      When National was the government, Kennedy Graham on behalf of the Green Party organised an all Party conference on climate change in parliament, which the National party and ACT deliberately and actively boycotted. Not one National MP or representative turned up.

      I challenge James Shaw to call such a conference again.

      Let’s see if National turn up this time.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 1.1.1

        National and scientific understanding are two mutually exclusive things IMHO ?

        Just look at ECAN and the state of Canterbury’s Rivers ?

        • WeTheBleeple


          National are only interested in selected science, typically out of context. They are rotten to the core but will say anything to get your vote.

          • JohnSelway

            “…National are only interested in selected science…”

            To be fair there are a great deal of left-wing/environmentalists who do the same.

            • Tamati Tautuhi

              Like the Greens supporting the use of 1080 ?

            • WeTheBleeple

              Yeah I was wearing my heart on my sleeve there. You can find convenient quotes and stats for most anything if you enter the right search terms. It’s not science but it can sure sound like it to the uninformed.

      • alwyn 1.1.2

        “an all Party conference on climate change in parliament, which the National party and ACT deliberately and actively boycotted. Not one National MP or representative turned up.”.
        You seem to have an interesting interpretation of “boycotting”.
        The National Party MPs seem to have taken an active interest in the subject and there were quite a lot of them involved in the exercise.
        ” In October 2015, Graham formed a cross-party group, GLOBE-NZ, working on climate change. GLOBE-NZ is a national chapter of GLOBE-International, and has 35 MP’s as members drawn from all seven political parties represented in the 51st Parliament. As chairman of the national chapter, Graham contracted a London-based consultancy, Vivid Economics, to prepare a report on “transformational pathways to carbon neutrality for New Zealand”. The report, Net Zero in New Zealand: Scenarios to achieve domestic emission reduction the second half of the century, was launched in the New Zealand Parliament in March 2017. The initiative is regarded as a major step forward in clarifying inter-party discourse and debate on New Zealand’s national climate change policy”
        Among the committee, listed here
        I can see at least 9 who were in the National Party.
        Bishop, McIndoe, Scott, McKelvie, Mitchell, Muller, Simpson, Smith and Barclay were all National I believe.
        It is certainly a bit hard to argue that they all boycotted the group isn’t it?
        In the debate on the report
        Smith and Simpson both spoke as well as Seymour from ACT and Paula Bennett.

        What on earth do you mean by your “boycott” comment?

        • Jenny - How to get there?

          I will tell you what I am talking about.

          But first what you are talking about Alwyn is a lot of back room committees.

          Where National party participation usually acts as a brake, and where they can manipulate and backpedal out of the public eye.

          What I was specifically talking about was the public all party conference on climate change that was organised by Kennedy Graham in the Old Legislative Chamber in Parliament.

          At this public event. National made it very clear that they would not attend and they didn’t

          It is all very well, Alwyn for the Nats to be involved in all sorts of alphabet soup of acronym back room groups, but taking a public stand with the other parliamentary parties? This was a step too far for the National Party MPs. An action which exposed the National Party as deeply sectarian and viciously opposed to any genuine bipartisanship on climate change.

          Have National changed. I doubt it. But I could be wrong, that is why I think that the climate change minister needs to repeat Kennedy Graham’s initiative and call an all up party conference on climate change in parliament.

          Let’s see if National MPs and reps boycott or attend such a public event.

          My guess is that National will again choose to boycott.

          This will be the acid test of the sincerity of the National Party’s bipartisanship when it comes to climate change, by which they will be measured against all other parliamentary parties.

    • Dennis Frank 1.2

      It shows he has a flair for writing propaganda. Spin that seems plausible on the face of it. However, to see how it plays to the gallery, read the comments. I got the impression it was more than a 50/50 split, it was more against the Nats.

      I give the guy credit for trying to reposition them as part of the solution. It will reassure those in his support base who think National should move with the times. His support for James Shaw’s approach validates it – but we must reserve judgment until the result of the process can be appraised.

      I think he would make a better leader for the bluegreens than Nick Smith. I wonder if they think so. Lack of leadership is their primary problem! There are 27 in that photo, and that’s just the Bluegreen Executive: https://bluegreens.national.org.nz/about_bluegreens

      “The Bluegreens approach is underpinned by five principles that we are now applying in Government to the broad range of environmental challenges facing New Zealand:
      Resource use must be based on sustainability
      Economic growth and improving the environment can and must go hand in hand
      Good science is essential to quality environmental decision making
      People respond best to change when engaged and given incentives
      New Zealanders have a unique birthright to access and enjoy our special places

      Our Bluegreens caucus has grown from the two founding members in 1998 to the current diverse team.”

      The economic growth principle is the flaw in their thinking – the other four principles are valid. This all reminds us that the Values Party schism casts an extremely long shadow, and the Green political movement in Aotearoa is still as divided as ever. But I’m confident the bridge James has built will reduce that divide as time passes.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 1.2.1

        If National are going to start marketing themselves as Blue-Green they could eat into the Green Party Vote ?

        • Morrissey

          They’re actually Blue-Mean.

          And it’s going to be a struggle to overcome the perception of their water policy…


        • Dennis Frank

          Not likely, Tamati! Conservative Greens have voted National since the seventies. The effect that has had is to keep the Green vote down – about half what it would be otherwise. It’s because the environmental activists of Aotearoa have constituted a strong movement since they stopped the Manapouri dam – almost half a century ago, but many prioritised short-term success so they decided to work with govt rather than against it. Pragmatists.

          As regards Nat marketing, it never seems very clever. Just a rear-guard action to try and limit progress. Residual colonialism, basically. Notice you never see the brand in public apart from their website. Such subtlety is by design. The idea is to retain control of their half of the movement. I often describe it as `keep the dog in the kennel’. Anyone who thinks their dog doesn’t need a regular run is a moron, right?

        • James

          Of course. How much we won’t know.

        • Robert Guyton


      • Tamati Tautuhi 1.2.2

        Nick Smith is definitely not Blue-Green he is an environmental terrorist like Trump, Key, Bridges, Brownlee etc pro Oil & Mining Corporates set out to destroy what is left of the environment IMHO.

      • Jenny - How to get there? 1.2.3

        Yes, Todd Muller does have a flair for writing propaganda.

        Going on about bi-partisanship and consensus, and then saying in the next breath, that immediately on a change of government National will repeal the moratorium on issuing new oil and gas exploration permits.

        What’s bi-partisan, about that?


        Muller also talks about kicking action on climate change down the road twenty or thirty years.

        Which is what draws him to attack Generation Zero, who want to do something about climate change in the here and now.

        One Ring to rule them all,
        One Ring to find them,
        One Ring to bring them all,
        And in the darkness bind them.

        This is the only sort of consensus that Todd Muller is interested in.

        • Tamati Tautuhi

          He is a Trumpster ?

          Bolsonaro in Brazil is going to start clearing more rain forest in Brazil, Muller should get together with Trump and Bolsonaro.

    • Ad 1.3

      Gen Zero should stop needlessly picking at scabs and start picking their fights better.

      Shaw, Upton, Parker and Muller are near to cross-parliamentary support for legislation that binds for generations. They have been working on it for over a year already,

      The bases of both Greens and National will likely go nuts at the compromises when its made public.

      It’s going to be up to these actual political party reps to bind policy enough to take climate change away from perpetual electoral cycles. No more arguments, just get to work.

  2. Morrissey 2

    Why doesn’t 60 Minutes ever interrogate Netanyahu
    based on Human Rights Watch/Amnesty reports?


    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Holding Israel to account is just not done.

      And then people wonder why we’re in such trouble.

  3. Sacha 3

    A fun new angle on decolonisation from Singaporean comic Jinx Jeo – from 2min mark: https://youtu.be/hN6gX9X4vWE

  4. Morrissey 4

    Would YOU play golf with a reprobate?

    It doesn’t seem to be a problem for Barack Obama or John Key. Or for Larry David….

    • Tamati Tautuhi 4.1

      Like +100%

      • Tamati Tautuhi 4.1.1

        Jacinda should take up golf and go and play with Trump in Florida like Key did with Obama.

        • alwyn

          It certainly didn’t hurt New Zealand that Key and Obama got on so well did it?
          I’m sure that Ardern and Trump would hit it off very well. After all they do have so much in common.

  5. Morrissey 5

    My latest drama, entitled Why the f*** are we in Afghanistan?,
    is not currently garnering rave reviews over on Kiwiblog.


  6. Andre 6

    Top-end adolescent-grade malice: the Barbecued Brutus cuts off emergency funds to California’s wildfire areas.


  7. cleangreen 7

    We give our full support for Jane Kelsey on this publicly inspired,movement to curb greedy globalists influence to rort the worlds poor yet again.


    New campaign for a 21th century trade agenda
    Monday, 7 January 2019, 9:34 am
    Press Release: Professor Jane Kelsey
    7 January 2019

    For immediate release

    Launch of JusTrade.nz heralds a new campaign for a 21th century trade agenda

    The website JusTrade.nz, launched today, heralds a new forward-looking campaign for a progressive 21st century trade agenda.

    The JusTrade project builds on a two-day hui in late October that debated what an alternative and progressive trade strategy for Aotearoa New Zealand should look like. The live-streaming attracted over 17,000 page views. The website carries videos and transcriptions of all ten panels.

    Hui convenor, University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, says ‘for too long we’ve been told there is no alternative to the current model, epitomised in the recently adopted Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.’

    ‘Today, the global trade regime faces an existential crisis. Mega-negotiations are being abandoned, delayed or pared down, and the World Trade Organization is fractured and paralysed.’

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      And ‘Critique is no longer enough. If anything is to really change, we need to step away from the existing framework and take a first-principles approach to rethinking what will work for the 21st century.’

      Ha! I’ll believe that when I see it! The quote is absolutely correct, but can anyone remember when the left actually practiced what they preached? So I’m calling their bluff: let’s see those principles, pronto!

      Of course, it they actually existed, they’d be up front in the press release, wouldn’t they? And if Kelsey has spent the past decade mulling them over (as well as protesting their lack), you’d think she’d have been able to identify at least one!

      Let’s give her the benefit of the doubt, and assume she has some in mind but wants to organise a consensus around them. The press release suggests a process will now occur to produce a consensual, principled, output. Let’s hope for the best.

      Otherwise it’s just typical leftist sham: all show, no substance, like Sue Bradford’s left-wing think-tank – another decade-long brainstorming exercise with no result.

  8. Tamati Tautuhi 8

    Interesting article on NZ population growth, immigration still happening big time, no wonder housing prices still high and in short supply here in NZ, demand is out stripping supply.

    Still don’t know why timber is so expensive here in NZ ?


    • Bewildered 8.1

      Let’s do this Jacinda and Winnie on immigration, big time fraud or plain old bs

      • Tamati Tautuhi 8.1.1

        Still not sure what happening on this Immigration Issue still bringing heaps into NZ while not looking after our own people ?

        • Chris T

          Would imagine it is Labour and Winston just saying one thing in opposition and then not carrying through in govt.

          There has been a lot of that

    • alwyn 8.2

      I do love the Statistics Department Mr Dunstan’s optimism when he said
      “the population estimates would be revised once the final Census results were out.”.
      We won’t see any realistic results from that Census in any of our lifetimes.

      • McFlock 8.2.1

        oh, snap – I thought you just wanted to shit on a Green minister. But maybe your objective is to argue that the population denominators are meaningless, so you can pretend that nothing improves under this government – the bad numbers might go down and the good numbers up, but unless you can put together an accurate rate we cannot know if there’s been any real change.

        Which explains why you wanted an interim census in 2021, when you think a census can be sorted out and completed in five months. You get three years of saying the government has no demonstrable improvements before the next election.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      Still don’t know why timber is so expensive here in NZ ?

      It’s so expensive because the owners are selling it raw to China.

      Another case of the profit drive bringing about the worst possible outcome.

  9. mauī 9

    Galloway goes vegan with surprise ending! Seems we have another convert.

    • Ed 9.1

      Yes he talked about it during his show MOATS this week.
      Such an inspiration.

      [Ed. I had a long think overnight about your behaviour on this site. This morning I went back to check previous moderation notes and it is clear you have been repeatedly warned and occasionally banned for spamming, abuse and wasting moderator timeover the last 12 months. Yet, nothing changes. Yesterday, you indicated that you see your role as being to protect TS from “Blairite bullies”. This is not a service The Standard requires. In addition, you made two comments that suggested re-education and forced labour was a legitimate response to people who had views different to yours on climate change. This is an absolutely abhorrent position on a human level and, is, in effect, intimidation directed at other TS commenters. TS has clear policy on comments that discourage others from contributing to the site. Permanent ban. TRP]

      • mauī 9.1.1

        Indeed Ed, that’s where I found out about it.

        “But we’ve got thousands of people watching this” that line made me chuckle.

        Liked how he bumps into a fan in the shop at the end too, It must happen to him a lot.

      • francesca 9.1.2

        so much for robust debate

        • Andre

          I wouldn’t worry about it too much. Based on past history, I fully expect another commenter to pop up soon using a short male name as a handle, a predilection for posting videos from that convergence point of moonbat far-lefties and alt-right wingnuts, a fetish for veganism and conspiracy theories, and a hectoring tone that alienates everyone that’s not fully bought into the exact same viewpoint.

          • veutoviper

            And a predilection for using more than one identicon (and thus different email addresses) and testing new ones out late at night.

          • Bewildered

            Bring back Ed, he is hilarious and know one barring Mozz and a couple of other likely travelers takes him seriously

            • Morrissey

              Christ, he’s only been banned a few hours. Surely the “Bring Back Ed” campaign is a bit…early?

              And where were you bastards during any of my seven bans from this site?

            • Andre

              His zombie will be back soon enough. Meanwhile the mozzie provides plenty of lolz amongst the whining.

              • Morrissey

                “Whining”? Could you direct us to one instance of this writer, i.e., moi, whining?

                Wining on the other hand….

                • Andre

                  Every time you whine that someone isn’t saying or doing or paying attention to something you think they should be. Such as your whine at comment 2 today.

        • aj

          I agree. (Francesca 9.1.2)
          Ed (and Morrissey) make this forum an interesting place and worth visiting. They are gentle but sharp in their comments and rarely lower themselves to the level of their detractors.

      • Adrian Thornton 9.1.3

        @ TRP, I have tried finding Ed’s comments were you accuse him of “intimidation directed at other TS commenters.” but couldn’t find anything , could you please put up a link to these comments please.

        • McFlock

          here’s one.

          And the mod comment was that it was in effect intimidation of other commenters. We might know that Ed is a full of shit blowhard, but others might think he doesn’t just mean it, he’s trying to bring it about. And if the offence is too minor to be detected by other people, they might become more circumspect about commenting for fear of the EdEds knocking on their door.

          • mauī

            Can’t see how that is intimidating other commenters myself – he’s talking about well known cricketers who probably have never commented on here. There are a couple of other regular commenters who use much more intimidating language toward others on a regular basis…

            I thought this comment from Joe in the same thread (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-09-01-2018-2/#comment-1569753), which you didn’t pick up on? calling another commenter a “vile prick” was an actual example of intimidating other commenters. But hey he is on the right side of the law so to speak.

            • McFlock

              Calling someone a vile prick does not imply that you want to torture them and then send them to a forced labour camp.

              edit: But that’s just my interpretation of a moderator’s decision. Seems reasonable to me, though.

            • Adrian Thornton

              @mauī, great point, don’t tell there is some sort of ‘class war’ going on here?

            • joe90

              “vile prick”

              I’ve just spent a couple of days with a man who thinks this was his 84th Christmas. But being the sole survivour of an extended family of Kulaks sent to a forced labour camp, he’s guessing.

              So yeah, in my world anyone who advocates for reeducation and forced labour is indeed a vile prick.

          • Adrian Thornton

            Are serious? please say that you are, because if that is what warrants a permanent ban, then The Standard has some real fundamental problems around moderation and it’s application.

            • McFlock

              permaban was the mod’s decision based on that incident being a continuation of behaviour about which ed had been repeatedly warned. Amnesties periodically occur, anyway.

              My opinion of the reasonableness of the decision is irrelevant – it’s not my site. But you and Maui seem to be having difficulty what the moderator wrote, whereas it seems pretty plain to me. So I’m simply trying to explain my understanding of what occurred.

              There can be insults against individuals allowed, although pointless abuse is against site policy. But outright intimidation and calls for violence are well against site policy.

              • Adrian Thornton

                @McFlock “But outright intimidation and calls for violence are well against site policy.”
                Give me a break…that is just plain outright bullshit, there is just no equivalence from what Ed said and to your statement or TRP’s “and, is, in effect, intimidation directed at other TS commenters” for that matter.

                • McFlock

                  If they continue to wilfully lie about climate change after a brief education course, then they should be sent to Bangladesh to build sea walls.

                  My italics.
                  The use of the normative in tandem with the passive indicates a desire for it to happen and a lack of ability to refuse the proposal (and therefore use of force to extract the seawall-constructing labour).

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    Come on man, that is quite obviously just someone getting passionate in a debate, and then saying some shit, so fucking what, if that is all it takes to make someone feel intimidated, then I would say it is them who has the problem (probably stemming from some deep rooted unresolved trauma that needs professional psychological help) , and not Ed… maybe some people should either harden up a bit, or go and sort out their shit and come back when they can stand up to a robust debate..this isn’t playcentre.

                    The last thing wanted on a political forum is for everyone to have to tip toe around like they are walking on broken glass, for fear of triggering off someones neurosis.

                    • Andre

                      You have read lprent’s reply to you at, haven’t you?

                      Coz that lays out pretty clearly the problem is ongoing behaviour issues. TRP’s moderation note makes the same point. Focusing on just the last straw is ignoring the mountain of crap that overloaded the camel to begin with.

                    • McFlock

                      OK Adrian, I’ve explained my perspective. What do you think Ed was banned for, specifically?

                    • greywarshark

                      I can/t see why you should be so protective of ed Adrian. You have written more about him and his rights than he would have written in dozen of his comments.

                      What makes this blog strong is people like you thinking and writing about politics, exchanging information and we all end up knowing more. Ed was like a seagull that flies over and drops one on the words you are reading.

                      Ed tended to dominate the site with summaries about his obsessions. And having USA or world conflicts as the first thing on the blog each morning was stultifying for the blog; finding Ed dominating prime position so often was a bore. He does come up with some good points, but usually about things other than NZ, and can’t control his takeover tendencies of the blog.

                      Ed was low on NZ stuff, and high on telling us about his likes and dislikes and making our minds up for us. He has been a sort of Likes/Dislikes system and has given us evidence of why we have decided rightly, that they aren’t wanted on this blog.

              • mauī

                permaban was the mod’s decision based on that incident being a continuation of behaviour about which ed had been repeatedly warned. Amnesties periodically occur, anyway.

                What a load of old cobblers. Ed’s comment deemed “intimidatory” by some (mostly by those who feel a need to harass and snark at his every comment) had absolutely nothing to do with his previous behaviour. He was banned previously for posting multiple videos without descriptions. Before that I think he was banned for not clearly defining when he was quoting someone else. He came back and learned from both of those bannings and modified his behaviour.

                Yeah pointless abuse, there’s a dime a dozen of that, have you heard of BM? Yet Ed gets sent packing for saying two people who don’t exist on this site should work overseas. Fuckn hell.

                • solkta

                  should work overseas

                  Ed, stop being a disingenuous little twerp. You know as well as any of us that you were talking about people being forced to go to a far away place and there being forced to labour because of their ideas.

                  • mauī

                    Forced… yeah forced. My god, and I thought he said ‘should’! in order to do something constructive. Mind you I have never, ever known Ed to make throw away comments..

                    ‘Little twerp’ oh yes that is not intimidating other commenters… That won’t discourage the commentariat at all I’m sure… Perhaps you want to really intimidate and offend by suggesting a NZ First style boot camp for non-existent persons.

                    • solkta

                      Ed, stop being a disingenuous little twerp.

                      You said:

                      If they continue to wilfully lie about climate change after a brief education course, then they should be sent

        • lprent

          They wouldn’t be that hard for me to find. Bearing in mind the state of the search after the wordpress 5 update at present it’d be hard for others to do a search for Ed’s comments (getting around to fixing search in these “dog days”)..

          Most of them are probably rhetorical claptrap and more based on idiotic and simply dumb labels about groups of other people (like ‘Blairites’ and a pile of other labels) rather than the reality of what people are actually saying.

          But they are exclusionary, repeated, and often seem to be designed to avoid actually thinking and expressing his own opinions, and certainly he seldom explains his ideas in any depth so that others can pick holes in those ideas. Which is what the site is for.

          If we wanted meaningless and unthinking waffle using labels, then we could just tune into Mike Hoskings or talkback radio.

          The second problem is that Ed (both as Ed and as his other handles over the last decade) just keeps doing the kinds of behaviors that he gets moderated and warned for. He changes behaviour for a short time, then reverts. I have a kitten that has a massively faster behavioral change response than Ed has.

          For instance I actually have a personal moderator watch running at present for his first comment behaviors on OpenMIke for instance after my last warning about that. I think that most of the active moderators past and present have similar exasperated watches for Ed. All of which suck effort out of us. I don’t even bother reading his comments in any depth these days. I just scan them for (bad) behaviour – just like I do for any other troll.

          The point is that this site is there for robust debate. Ed doesn’t provide much (if any). We keep having to try to reform his behaviour. That is a lot of extra work. It is a behavioral problem because it just wastes everyone’s time.

          BTW: Perhaps you’d like to point to any comment where Ed actually made a significiant contribution to the debate in what he wrote himself. That could be more a better way of arguing about a ban…

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury

            Thank you! Sweet Jesus it’s been an effort to point out that Ed just regurgitates and positulates in his unctuous way that supporting people is the same as having an opinion and adding to the debate.

      • reason 9.1.4

        was TRP looking in the mirror when he wrote out his ban spiel …. the sort of spiel which discourages others from contributing to the site….. no one feels intimidated by Ed ….

        bully boy mods on the other hand are a different matter

        To me …. TRP will always be the moderator who stands by and allows abuse of people who disclose they were victims of sexual abuse.

        Shame on you TRP ………..

  10. Adrian Thornton 10

    Longtime Reporter Leaves NBC Saying Media Is “Trump Circus” That Encourages Perpetual War.

    I think few contributors on this site would do well to maybe listen to this interview.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 10.1

      Big money in War and Social Unrest for the Corporate’s and the One Percenter’s 1%.

    • francesca 10.2

      Great interview Adrian
      Thanks for that
      Have a look at this NBC newsreader presenting very convincingly and “sincerely” a total fraud

      Greenwald supplies the missing info
      Arkin’s a hero

      • francesca 10.2.1

        And a very apt comment below the Greenwald piece

        “As everyone knows, most diplomats in US embassies are actually CIA agents. They have made the ultimate sacrifice of their brains, and should be venerated, regardless of whether the culprits are Russians or crickets. Fortunately, they can be retired and given jobs as analysts at NBC where their brain damage will be considered a career asset. Unfortunately, there is a limit to how many analysts NBC can hire, so the rest can be given jobs in the State Department.

        The fact this incident couldn’t be pinned on the Russians is just another example of their deviousness. The Russians were probably aware of the crickets’ activities and did nothing to stop them, which is essentially as bad as if they’d done it themselves. So they clearly have a moral responsibility for the brain damage.”

      • Adrian Thornton 10.2.2

        Thanks for that francesca, love reading Greenwalds reporting, he is always on the mark and always manages to slip in a couple of pointed lines that make me laugh.

        I sent links to both the DM videos to RNZ this morning, suggesting that maybe this year they could help play a more considered role in their coverage of world news and especially US politics.

        I don’t expect to hear back from them.

  11. Adrian Thornton 11

    Oh yeah, forgot this piece that talks about the absolutely bizarre place that many ‘liberals’ and so called ‘progressives’ have got themselves in lionizing the CIA and FBI for fucks sake…and again quite a bit of this bizarro behavior is seen right here on The Standard…

    William Arkin On Homeland Security’s Creeping Fascism and Why the CIA & FBI Won’t Save Us From Trump

    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      He didn’t mention the deep state though, did he? So, like any typical msm frontperson, his analysis is shallow. He’s right about the creeping fascism, even if HS staff don’t wear brown shirts or jackboots, but he fails to join the dots.

      Still, he was articulate, made a good point about American imperialism (“I think we’ve bombed nine countries in the past year”) and fingered Trump as someone who wouldn’t even know how to find the dept of Homeland Security. As an insider, this invalidation of the `Trump is fascist’ thesis popular with some commentators here is definitely helpful to the simple-minded.

      I noticed a passing reference to American military involvement in Honduras. Given that all the Hondurans travelling through Mexico so they can enter the USA and become victims of Homeland Security prefer that fate to the one they left behind, I’m wondering what the hell the US miltary is actually doing there. Anyone know?

        • Dennis Frank

          Thanks francesca. A good report by The Conversation, of which part is worth reproducing here as essential context for the migration:

          “the election of Manuel Zelaya, a liberal reformist, as president in 2006. He led on progressive measures such as raising the minimum wage. He also tried to organize a plebiscite to allow for a constituent assembly to replace the country’s constitution, which had been written during a military government. However, these efforts incurred the ire of the country’s oligarchy, leading to his overthrow by the military in June 2009.”

          “The 2009 coup, more than any other development, explains the increase in Honduran migration across the southern U.S. border in the last few years. The Obama administration has played an important role in these developments. Although it officially decried Zelaya’s ouster, it equivocated on whether or not it constituted a coup, which would have required the U.S. to stop sending most aid to the country.” When is a coup not a coup? When expediency requires denial.

          “Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in particular, sent conflicting messages, and worked to ensure that Zelaya did not return to power. This was contrary to the wishes of the Organization of American States, the leading hemispheric political forum composed of the 35 member-countries of the Americas, including the Caribbean. Several months after the coup, Clinton supported a highly questionable election aimed at legitimating the post-coup government.”

          So the Democrats worked hard to create the political conditions the migrants are fleeing from. Helping the fascists is democratic behaviour, apparently, or at least they must believe so. You can see why they get hysterical in their attempt to depict Trump as fascist. The pot must always claim that the kettle is blacker. Is there anyone left who thinks Democrats are good people?

        • Draco T Bastard


          Wonder how many people have died in Honduras over the last hundred plus years because of the actions of US capitalists.

          • KJT

            Sh, sh.

            Not allowed to mention Honduras, only Venezuela.

            But. Ignore Venezuala’s long history of plutocracy and right wing corruption.

            And the fact most refugees at present fleeing South America is from the purist capitalist disaster, Honduras.

    • mickysavage 11.2

      Lionising the CIA? For opposing Trump and detesting all he stands for?

      Strange equivalence.

      • Adrian Thornton 11.2.1

        @mickysavage, are you saying that you believe that the CIA detest all Trump stands for?…wow.

        I know they don’t like his less interventionist and more inward world outlook, but apart from that what other of Trumps policies do they ‘detest’?

        Maybe your time would be better spent opposing what should be the antidote to this terrible Trump/Right Wing slide, namely the idiots that run the Democratic party and who plainly, would rather see Trump in power than any shift to the Left, exactly the same ideology that pervades parts of UK Labour (and Labour NZ, but I guess you already know that)..they are the reason we have Trump and Co…they have effectively taken away the traditional Left wing safety valve that people turn to when they are hurting, and replaced it with Liberalism, a debunked ideology that has no credibility left whatsoever.

        Personally I choose to ignore Trump and concentrate on working ( if only in a small way) toward a real Left wing alternative..that is the kryptonite that will destroy this man made orange monster.

        • Bewildered

          And where has socialism worked, especially in countries of significant population and diversity Shite even China worked that out I also think the US working class have worked that out especially with so many basket case left wing experiences on thier doorstep Contary to your view the new crazynkeft of Democrat party will see TruMo do another term, they are gold for the attack adds and Trumps mocking style

          • McFlock

            Depending on the definition of socialism you’re talking about:

            Scandinavia and much of northern and western Europe, Vietnam, Chile under Allende, several central American nations before other nations funded insurgencies against democratically elected governments, Cuba until it’s closest and largest trading partner launched a multi-decade boycott of anyone who does business with them.

            Can you identify a common factor that challenged or ended a variety of socialist governments?

            • Dennis Frank

              Is a bewildered person likely to be able to answer a question that several generations of socialists have been unable to answer in any country? Worth a try though. Lateral thinking is what we need.

              I see the dude from the Tooting Popular Front has identified why Corbyn wants Brexit. Apparently he has had past success campaigning for re-nationalisation. EU rules forbid it.

              Serious street cred for a socialist. I can see why he doesn’t want to remind the public about this, nor other Labour MPs! But it alerts us to the likely title of Labour’s next election campaign: Back to the Future.

              • joe90

                EU rules forbid it.

                Brussels didn’t complain when half the Banks in Britain were nationalised during the GFC.


              • Pat

                Gordon Campbell has a rational explanation for Corbyn’s position on Brexit…albeit a slightly cynical one


                • Dennis Frank

                  Yes, he does make a good point: “To his credit, Corbyn has (so far) refused to be baited into making Labour the media story in the run up to the parliamentary vote, which is due on either January 14 or 15. In his recent statements on Brexit, Corbyn has adroitly kept the focus on what May can and should be doing, not on what Labour might do, or should do, sometime in future. The time for Labour to show its hand will come later, after May has finally run out of options. A controversial statement on Brexit by Corbyn at this point would be the answer to May’s prayers.”

                  “if Corbyn backed May and her deal in the mid January parliamentary vote, Labour would be finished. The young who have flocked to Corbyn would desert him in droves. [The poll] indicates Labour’s share of the vote would slump another eight points – from 34 per cent to 26 per cent – if its MPs join with the Tories to support the prime minister’s Brexit deal. This would be even worse than the 28 per cent share secured by Labour under Michael Foot”. Gah!!

              • Dennis Frank

                ” DER SPIEGEL: And now you want to go back to the future?

                Corbyn: What we’ve been saying on both sides of the Atlantic is about redistribution of wealth and power. Bernie Sanders has quite a good line. He says: “America can afford anything except the inequality it’s got.”

                DER SPIEGEL: You will turn 70 next year. Are you planning to stand in the next general election?

                Corbyn: I’m very young. I’m very healthy. I run. I’m a vegetarian. I eat porridge every morning. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I don’t do anything bad. I am sorry if that makes me sound boring.”


          • Adrian Thornton


          • KJT

            Socialism has worked perfectly well in “New Deal” USA. 50’s and 60’s New Zealand, almost all the Northern European countries. Costa Rico.

            There is nowhere “capitalism” has worked, without a healthy dose of socialism.

            In fact all the “capitalist” experiments are disaster zones. Honduras being but one example. Argentina has never recovered fully from their Neo-liberal experiment. Recovery from ours will take decades, if ever.
            Weird that media, and even commentators on here, ignore the, many, right wing capitalist disasters. Russia, The US rust belt, Puerto Rico, Honduras, etc You know, the places people really are fleeing from.

            Note the worst standard of living and lowest performing economies in the USA are States that have had red (republican) Governments for the longest time. It is actually worse to be poor in Arkansas, than India’s poorest State.
            A good basis for comparison, as US States are otherwise very similar.

            Greece, notably, was one of the last countries in Europe, to get rid of a right wing Fascist Government.

        • mickysavage

          I regard Trump as being even worse than the democrats. If that makes me a class sell out then indeed I am a class sellout.

          • Adrian Thornton

            Sorry that doesn’t make sense to me, if you agree that the lack of alternative provided by a captured Democratic Party is largely responsible for the likes of Trump, then surely logic dictates that the solution to the problem of Trump is real progressive change within the Democratic party?

            And yes I would regard you as a class sell out if you allowed yourself to be baited into supporting a non progressive Democratic Party through fear of Trump.
            This whole one step forward, two steps backwards for workers the poor and disenfranchised that seems to be locked into operating manual of the centre left has got to end now, not tomorrow.

            • McFlock

              Nicely demonstrating how the perfect is the enemy of the good.

              Let’s say you had a single vote in November 2016. You couldn’t make the dems suddenly turn to socialism. It’s Clinton vs Trump. Realistically, it would be one of those two. That’s it. workers should do this, dems should do that, repugs should do the other – you have zero control over that, other than one vote. Do you vote for Clinton and against Trump? For Trump and against Clinton? One is worse than the other. Throwing away your vote on a third party does nothing to stop the worst candidate winning. What do you do? Because that’s reality.

              • Adrian Thornton

                No, the reality is that the third way liberals who have co opted most Left leaning parties in the west have been using your bullshit argument for nearly thirty years now..ie cynically using fear to direct your vote.

                The fact is that workers and the poor are suffering anyway, so why should or would they give a fuck about your ridiculous analogy?

                The strangest thing to me is that smart guys like you and mickysavage still believe the same fucking lies that you were feed last time, and the time before that and the time before that.
                Can’t you see that you have been suckered in to game where the results are ALWAYS the same.

                The enemy of good is being bullied around like a pawn out of fear and not being guided by your moral and ethical internal compass, and calling bullshit on this liberal centrist ideology that has plainly run it’s course, and is now continuing only as a destructive force that survives solely by exploiting and destroying both humans and the planet in it’s insane search of endless growth.

                • McFlock

                  It’s not an analogy. It actually happened. People had a choice between dolt45 and Clinton.

                  The workers who aren’t being paid because of the shutdown are suffering more than they would have. The people relying on the downstream effects of those workers’ incomes are suffering more than they would have. The would-be auto workers not hired because of the higher cost of steel to build the cars are suffering. The people worried their healthcare would be stripped away again were suffering.

                  Even if you go the other way and think more people would have suffered under Clinton, the point remains that one was better than the other in terms of the suffering of workers and poor people. The odds of them being exactly as bad as the other are cosmic.

                  So you can vote for the lesser evil, vote for the greater evil, or do nothing to stop the greater evil winning.

                  Just stop and think. What would you do with your ballot paper?

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    Vote Greens.

                    • McFlock

                      Stein = do nothing to stop the greater evil winning.

                      Sure, here you can vote green. Hell, I’ve voted Green for exactly that reason. But November 2016 POTUS election, Green/third party/write-in was a wasted vote. One viable candidate is less bad than the other. Which one do you vote for?

                    • McFlock

                      The reason I’m pushing it is that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. And pretending that two evils are identical or equivalent is one way to get good people to do nothing.

                      Shitting on “third way liberals” might make you feel righteous, but the only reason the third way was grabbed as a strategy was because the traditional left way got well and truly fucked in the ballot booth.

                    • It is not a matter of me feeling righteous, it is a matter of no doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result…
                      btw how is Trump any worse than Bush II
                      Or for that matter how is Trump worse than Clinton on foreign policy, as that is all that really concerns us right?

                    • McFlock

                      lol so you’ve gone from concern for workers and the poor to “all that really concerns us”. So much international worker collaboration.

                      But it’s not about expecting anything different, or even whether dolt45 is better than Clinton or the other way around. It’s about minimising the obvious harm. One is better than the other, even though both are bad.

                      If the position we are in at the ballot is the same as the last time we were there, then the rational thing to do is to do the same thing as before (choose the least worst) and then try to change the situation we face at the next ballot.

                  • Siobhan

                    “Of two evils choose neither” -Charles Spurgeon, is often misused in the realm of social media to discourage Christians from voting in political elections (either entirely or certain candidates). But Spurgeon is being taken out of context.

                    Worse still, this claimed fuller quote often attributed to him, was not Spurgeon at all, but Michael Marcavage “Of two evils, choose neither,” he said, “Christians must turn from the endless cycle of voting for the lesser of evils and expecting an unrighteous act to produce a righteous result. From a communist to a cultist, choosing the lesser of two evils is still evil, and never should we do evil that good may come”. – Michael Marcavage.


  12. Tamati Tautuhi 12

    Eden Park Auckland just about Bankrupt and Phil Goff wants to build an Underwater Stadium on Auckland’s Waterfront what next ?

  13. Andre 13

    Individual-1 might indeed be immune from prosecution while he continues to hold his current job. And the people tasked with overseeing him and that hold the power to terminate his employment may be disinclined to even think about fulfilling their responsibilities and duties. That doesn’t mean his business empire is safe from a RICO prosecution and seizure.


  14. Tamati Tautuhi 14

    E-Ferries for the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland would also be a good idea for the Manukau Harbour, imagine we could catch an E-Ferry from Waiuku to Onehunga Wharf, not a silly idea IMHO.


  15. Dennis Frank 15

    Aotearoa is #4 on the Democracy Index. Honduras is #82, just below Fiji, and just above Ukraine. It’s defined as hybrid. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index#Classification_definitions

    “Hybrid regimes are nations where consequential irregularities exist in elections regularly preventing them from being fair and free. These nations commonly have governments that apply pressure on political opponents, non independent judiciaries, and have widespread corruption, harassment and pressure placed on the media, anemic rule of law, and more pronounced faults than flawed democracies in the realms of underdeveloped political culture, low levels of participation in politics, and issues in the functioning of governance.”

    So what has been happening there recently? “In January 2017, President Juan Orlando Hernández announced that the Special Commission for Police Reform Restructuring will extend its mandate until 2018. As of May, nearly 4,000 of the more than 9,000 police officers evaluated by the commission had been removed, including many for alleged involvement in corruption or criminal acts. However, none of the police officers expelled upon orders of the commission has been convicted to date for alleged involvement in criminal activities including human rights abuses.”

    The Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (IACHR) “described Honduras in August 2016 as one of the “most hostile and dangerous countries for human rights defenders” in the Americas.”

    “Twenty-five journalists were murdered between 2014 and 2016 according to the human rights ombudsman, CONADEH, which also revealed in its 2016 report that 91 percent of killings of journalists since 2001 remain unpunished. Most recently, journalist Carlos William Flores was shot and killed by unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle in Cortes, near the Guatemalan border. Flores directed a television program, “Sin Pelos en la Lengua,” which was critical of major agribusiness enterprises linked to deforestation in the area.”

    “To date, eight men have been charged with the murder in March 2016 of environmental and indigenous rights activist Berta Cáceres, including an army major and the former environment manager of Desarrollo Energético S.A. (DESA), the company behind the Agua Zarca dam project that Cáceres was campaigning against at the time of her death.”

    “At the behest of the Mission to Support the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), Congress passed the Law on Clean Politics, which came into force in March 2017. The law created a framework to prevent organized crime from contributing to political campaigns and to hold parties and candidates accountable for financing their campaigns illegally. In July 2017, the MACCIH announced that it would investigate the funding and government concession granted to DESA for the Agua Zarca Dam project for possible corruption and money laundering.”

    “For fiscal year 2017, the US Congress allotted US$95.3 million in bilateral aid to Honduras. Members of Congress reintroduced the “Berta Caceres Human Rights in Honduras Act” (H.R. 1299) on March 2, 2017. The bill would suspend US funding for the country’s police and military operations until the Honduras government prosecutes and convicts those who ordered and carried out the murder of Cáceres, in addition to other killings and attacks against other activists; investigate and prosecute members of military and police forces who have allegedly violated human rights; withdraw the military from domestic policing; establish effective protections for human rights defenders; and strengthen rule of law.”

    “In May 2016, after prosecutors filed murder charges against an employee of DESA, the Dutch development bank, FMO, and the Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation, Finnfund, announced they would suspend payments of their loans to the Agua Zarca Dam. In June 2017, both funders told the Guardian that they would withdraw completely from the Agua Zarca project. The third and largest investor in the project, the Central American Bank of Economic Integration (CABEI), also announced that it would no longer fund the project.”

    • Dennis Frank 15.1

      Sorry for so much block quoting, but I’m hoping the moderator will agree that it provides a balanced view, in which the shit that has been going down is producing some appropriate high-level responses that seem good news. The struggle for law and order is clearly ongoing, however. Savagery and victimisation remain normal.

  16. WeTheBleeple 16

    If I earn the average NZ wage (50K) and save 100% of that… I only have to work for two million two hundred and forty thousand years to catch up to Bezos.

    Alternately, if two million two hundred and forty thousand average earners saved everything for a year we could collectively make a Bezos.

    But if there were more than one Bezos in the market would value decline? Currently you can get 2.08 Zuckerbergs for a Bezos but that might change.

    We could put GE to good use and clone Thiel as 44.8 Thiels make a Bezos. Nobody would care as nobody is buying Thiel, they’re all just gawkers.

    While nobody outside the entertainment industry has been able to determine the value of a Trump he is made up of at least some Thiels, a smattering of Zuckerbergs, and a smearing of Bezos.

    • Dennis Frank 16.1

      “Amazon’s chief Jeff Bezos is the first person with a net worth surpassing $150 billion in the 3 decades that Forbes has tracked the richest Americans.” https://www.forbes.com/profile/jeff-bezos/#43e261831b23

      Think it was on RNZ this morning or yesterday I heard he again passed Gates to become world #1. A puzzle, that, given that Forbes reckons it happened March 2018. https://www.forbes.com/billionaires/#1b05be35251c

      It’s tough at the top: 121 dropped off the list “including all 10 Saudi Arabians.” Buffett at #3, Zuckerberg @5, Carlos Slim down to 7, Koch brothers 8&9, Ellison 10. Elon Musk #54, Rupert Murdoch #94. #148 is Graeme Hart. #190 George Soros. Trump also ran, #259. #388 Richard Branson.

      • Sacha 16.1.1

        “he again passed Gates to become world #1. A puzzle, that, given that Forbes reckons it happened March 2018”

        Easy – up then down then up again.

        • Dennis Frank

          Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that RNZ reported it had happened again. Forbes only ever rates them annually and I’m unaware of any other such rating of the wealthiest people that may have been their source. If they mentioned a source on the report, I missed that, and can’t find the report on their website…

    • McFlock 16.2

      There was an early 1980s TV series called Brass, with Timothy West and Barbara Ewing. I remember one lovely scene where West, as the landowning industrialist, was talking about how he could donate a hundred pounds to the poor in the town, and they would only get a few pence each. But if they each gave him a few pence, he would be substantially better off, and that’s why capitalism is better than socialism. Very funny show.

      Another bit had a worker stuck two steps up a ladder on a very tall factory chimney he’d had to clean – he’d dealt with the fear of falling by saying it was mostly safe and “it were only ‘t last foot that killed thee”. When he came down again, he couldn’t overcome the mortal fear of descending that last foot 🙂

      • WeTheBleeple 16.2.1

        Nice. That is funny. Never saw the show so I check you tube for clips.

        first one I find he’s asking after a horse

        ‘He killed another stable boy this morning.

        Oh that’s lucky, they’re due their wages this afternoon’

      • ianmac 16.2.2

        ““it were only ‘t last foot that killed thee”
        Yes McFlock. I remember that line well as the bloke confidently clambered down the ladder then froze with one rung to go. Very funny and a great metaphor for life and I use it to reassure my wife when she is boarding a plane. She is not amused.

      • joe90 16.2.3

        Meet Fred Dibnah.

        • McFlock

          Fuck. No. Just no. This is why we have health&safety.

          Reminds me of stories from the foundries granddad worked in in the North, with men jumping from crucible to crucible to sweep the slag off. Apparently one guy fell in.

        • Ad

          He does an awesome set of short films on chimney stack demolition as well.
          The man had balls of steel.

          • joe90

            Love the drinking and climbing episode.

            • Ad

              I’ve been tempted to use them in health and safety inductions.

            • McFlock

              I love that he’ll sit on a bosun’s chair at top of chimney, but he was worried about not being able to swim if he fell in the small lake.

              • WeTheBleeple

                Climbing those huge ladders with a smoke dangling out his mouth. This guys like a real life Barry Crump character except, y’know, not a kiwi.


        • gsays

          thanks joe.
          utterly compelling.

    • patricia bremner 16.3

      Very clear picture of the rotten perspective. WeTheBeeple
      Makes it plain how out of kilter and horrible it all is.

  17. joe90 17

    While Putin and his oligarch cronies have been busy stealing $Billions from the Russian people and squirreled it away in London banks, French villas, Miami condominiums and super yachts, 25% of Russians have yet to have access to an indoor toilet.

    According to a new report by Russia’s state statistical agency, Rosstat, 35 million Russians live in houses or apartments without indoor toilets, 47 million do not have hot water, 29 million don’t have any running water inside their residences, and 22 million do not have central heating (ehorussia.com/new/node/17679).

    In fact, only 62.7 percent of the Russian population has the usual accoutrements of modern existence – water in the house, plumbing, heating and gas or electric ranges, Rosstat says, a fact that must seem incredible to those who visit only Moscow or St. Petersburg but a fact of life for those who lives beyond the ring roads of the capitals.


    • Bewildered 17.1

      Mozz and Ed won’t like this Joe, Putin Is a paragon of purity don’t you know, now those evil brits and yanks whole different story, just ask George “Purr” Galloway

    • francesca 17.2

      Mind you, home ownership in Russia is around 84% and trending up , whereas the same in NZ is 64.58% and trending down
      Rural areas of Russia surely could do with a few improvements, just as our housing
      (leaky homes because of lax regulations, poverty in Northland, people living in garages and cars, slum landlordism)aint anything to crow about
      Cue the knee jerk required whataboutism response
      I lived with out electricity for 25 years, bucketed in water and longed for a flush toilet.
      Ah, those days
      Still haven’t got one, composting instead 2000 tiger worms do the job , outside on the veranda(in a separate room of course)

      • joe90 17.2.1

        Free houses.

        Free housing privatization began in Russia in 1992. Then they were allowed to issue ownership of apartments, rooms in dormitories and other residential premises located in the municipal, federal and departmental housing stock.


      • Sacha 17.2.2

        Interesting that home ownership is 85% but indoor dunnies are only 75%. In NZ, you’d expect renters to be the ones squatting outdoors in the winter.

        • Francesca

          Rural areas traditionally have outhouses
          Dealing with their own shit so to speak
          Many apartments of the old Soviet style would have shared toilets

        • Francesca

          Why only renters?
          I know heaps of home owners with long drops
          and outhouses
          I actually prefer an outside toilet
          It’s a country thing

  18. joe90 18

    Pelin Ünker is one of more than 160 journalists and media workers imprisoned by Erdogan’s regime.

    Turkish journalist Pelin Ünker has been sentenced to jail over the Paradise Papers investigation after being found to have defamed her nation’s former prime minister and two of his sons.

    An Istanbul court sentenced the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ member to imprisonment for 13 months for “defamation and insult.”

    Ünker, who reported that former prime minister Binali Yildirim and his sons owned companies in Malta in the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, was also fined $US1615.

    Prime minister from May 2016 to July 2018, Yildirim became speaker of Turkey’s Grand National Assembly after the post of Prime Minister was abolished.



  19. greywarshark 19

    Serious Fraud Office.
    In the past
    As at 30 January 2015 the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) had prosecuted company officers such as directors and accountants involved in eleven finance companies, securing convictions against twenty people for a range of offences against the Crimes Act and Securities Act.,,,

    Between May 2006 and the end of 2012 there were sixty-seven finance company collapses in New Zealand; including companies entering into liquidation, receivership or moratoria.[1] An inquiry by the New Zealand Parliament estimated losses at over $3 billion that affected between 150,000 and 200,000 depositors.[2]

    The most high-profile collapses were South Canterbury Finance, Hanover Finance and Bridgecorp Holdings. The collapse radically reduced the size and importance of the non-bank finance sector in New Zealand.

    According to the Reserve Bank, at the height of financial expansion prior to the 2007 crisis, non-bank lenders had assets of about $25 billion and made up 8 percent of lending by financial institutions. By late 2013 the size of the finance sector was half its previous size and accounted for only 3 percent of institutional lending.[3] In the years following the beginning of the collapses, sweeping legislative and regulatory changes were made, aimed at improving oversight and regulation of the finance industry.

    So NZ private business companies are well controlled now? Now – government funding is being investigated.
    The chief executive of the financial crime investigation agency, Julie Read, said she expected up to 5 percent of government funding to be obtained or used fraudulently.
    In the 2017 financial year, that would have been worth nearly $5 billion, from the Crown’s total expenditure of $99.8b….

    Citing the Auckland Transport case, where former employees were convicted for accepting more than $1 million worth of bribes in 2016, Ms Read said some organisations overlooked checks and balances when receiving or allocating

  20. greywarshark 20

    September 2018 is the date for this investigative report. Has anything changed yet?
    New Zealand In Depth
    Why being made redundant in NZ is so tough
    3:54 pm on 3 September 2018

    Kate Newton , Senior Journalist, In Depth
    @katenewtonnz kate.newton@radionz.co.nz
    Axed over the Christmas break, told to be out by lunchtime after 50 years’ loyalty – this is redundancy in New Zealand, where there’s no mandatory notice period or compensation payments and little support for those searching for new work.

    • Siobhan 20.1

      where there’s no mandatory notice period or compensation payments and little support for those searching for new work.”

      Thats because, according to the business.govt.nz site….”Although redundancy is about roles, not people, people are affected.“.

      In other words its ‘the role’ that is redundant, and ‘roles’ don’t have rights, meantime the effect on an actual human is simply the byproduct.


      • greywarshark 20.1.1

        The laws aren’t formed for ordinary humans. Once you realise that politicians and civil servants aren’t working for us but a ‘higher power’ it cleanses the mind of all confusion. Everything then can be ironical and we realise we are having a mind melt when we start expecting normal.

  21. Brigid 21

    “The U.S. has accused Kaspersky Lab of working with Russian spies. But sources say the company exposed a massive breach that U.S. authorities missed.
    The 2016 arrest of a former National Security Agency contractor charged with a massive theft of classified data began with an unlikely source: a tip from a Russian cybersecurity firm that the U.S. government has called a threat to the country.”

    So guess what the FBI knee jerk action was.


    • Dennis Frank 21.1

      Good story, eh? One for LP to do an expert evaluation of, I reckon. So much for the Democrat’s favourite spin-line: Russian hackers are the enemy. Evaporated!

      “A Google search on the Twitter handle found someone using the same Hal999999999 username on a personal ad seeking female sex partners. The anonymous ad, on a site for people interested in bondage and sado-masochism, included a real picture of Martin and identified him as a 6-foot-4-inch 50-year-old male living in Annapolis, Md. A different search led them to a LinkedIn profile for Hal Martin, described as a researcher in Annapolis Junction and “technical advisor and investigator on offensive cyber issues.”

      Seems safe to predict that this dude won’t go down as the cleverest spy in history. A strong contender for the title of dumbest. Bring back Blackadder.

      • lprent 21.1.1

        So much for the Democrat’s favourite spin-line: Russian hackers are the enemy. Evaporated!

        Huh? How does that follow?

        Computer security companies, regardless where they are, are pretty much on the other side of the fence. Sure they tend to hire quite a lot of hackers – but usually after they want to or are forced to stop hacking for themselves, criminal gangs or intelligence services. For security companies, not hacking is the basis of their business. They just know a lot about ways that people can hack systems. They also usually have quite intrusive employment policies and employee contracts about what employees are allowed to do. Among other reasons that is so that they don’t have the security forces or hacker groups trying to penetrate their organisations. It is also why they have some pretty scary firewalls.

        Kaspersky and the few other computer security research groups outside of the US are most notable because they aren’t as constrained by the legal gags that the US maintains on their resident security research groups. So they tend to report more of the day zero exploits that the US and other western security forces use. Just like you find that the US groups are pretty good at reporting on security holes in use by the Russian, Chinese, and North Korean hacker groups both government and ‘free lance’.

        But having kasperky or any other security company helping to control exploits doesn’t mean fuck all about what the blackhat hackers from any of those places get up to. After all who in the hell would want more exploitable hacks available on the open market. It is bad for business.

        • Dennis Frank

          “Huh? How does that follow?” I was just being flippant. It was a reference to the anti-Russian paranoia prevalent in Democrat attack-dog tactics nowadays. You know, how they try to revive Cold War thinking in order to position themselves as the responsible establishment party.

          • Brigid

            Ah yes but you actually read the article.
            I suspect IPrent did not.

            • Dennis Frank

              Because his focus was on the technical side? It’s his forté. But if he was too busy to read it fully & consider the implications, I hope he gets around to it later.

    • lprent 21.2

      I’ve used Kaspersky on windows systems since some time in the 90s. Never had any issues with them and they’re a damn sight less less of a load on the systems than the other systems I’ve used. These days I use only use them for Android because I don’t use Windows for my personal systems any more – too much effort and there are better alternatives.

      But like any bit of software that relies on network access for analysis and updates it is a security risk, exactly as is indicated in that article. I just don’t think that they are a particularly high one for me. Certainly I have never detected them doing anything dodgy when I have tested it.

      • Dennis Frank 21.2.1

        Well, what’s your feeling about the implications of the exposé? As regards the general theory that the Russian regime is using hackers to subvert US democracy in general rather than just trying to ensure HC didn’t get elected, for instance? Do you think this company is being used by Putin? Perhaps just one or more employees, rather than management?

        • Dennis Frank

          Sorry, think I confused myself there. Could they have done it to try to create the false impression that they operate independently of their govt, to create plausible deniability for Putin?

  22. Jinx 22

    I see Lime scooters have had their license extended.
    I have mixed thoughts on this.
    We do need to get people out of their cars.
    But are lime scooters the solution?


  23. Jinx 23

    Interesting news coming out from India.
    150 million go on 2 day General Strike.

  24. Dennis Frank 24

    Spinoff features i/v with all-round renaissance man: “He’s a lot of things: a commentator, political PR guy, Twitter scrapper, dad, recovering alcoholic – even Mongolian ambassador. But Matthew Hooton’s main focus at the moment is chalking up a philosophy Master’s in London.” https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/10-01-2019/im-completely-squeaky-clean-an-interview-with-matthew-hooton/

    In “1996, when parliament was thrown into a post-election paralysis Winston Peters and NZ First, holding the balance of power, negotiated the first MMP government. “We had to go to work to be paid. But we weren’t allowed to do any work constitutionally, right?” Hooton says “right?” a lot, as a kind a rhetorical punctuation mark.”

    “So it was great for the first couple of weeks you got to work about 10, office morning tea, out for a boozy lunch, back to the office at four to check out, right? But it got a bit much so I booked a one-way ticket to Mumbai. I backpacked through India and China and Mongolia and Sri Lanka for about a year and then ran out of money and went back for a year in Wellington to work for Lockwood, who [had become] trade minister.”

    “His month in Mongolia came to a fruition of sorts more than two decades later. After a series of return visits, including to advise on the formation of the Mongolian Green Party and “to look at a mad idea to set up a sheep farm to supply the Saudi market”, he ended up appointed as Mongolia’s honorary consul in New Zealand.”

  25. joe90 25



    • Macro 25.1

      Yep. But No Collusion!
      Here is a timeline of Manafort’s involvement – as we know so far:

      Consider the timeline of some key events below.

      It shows that the email hacks paralleled Manafort’s increased responsibility on the campaign.

      But even as Russia’s operation to release dirt on Hillary was proceeding (and Russians were reaching out to George Papadopoulos to dangle emails as well), Michael Cohen was negotiating a Trump Tower deal, via Felix Sater, which was premised on a meeting between him — and then later, Trump — and Vladimir Putin. On June 9 — the same day that Don Jr told Aras Agalarov’s representatives that the Trumps would revisit sanctions if Trump was elected — Cohen even started to book his travel for that meeting. He canceled those plans, however, on the same day Russia’s role in hacking the DNC became public.

      But two key figures in the operation did meet at the St. Petersburg Forum: Deripaska and Millian. And Millian would pick up the Trump Tower deal after the RNC Convention, laundering it, at that point, through a junior staffer who had proven to be a useful go-between for the Russians.

      We don’t know whether Deripaska, whom Steele was pitching as a viable partner to counter Russian organized crime, was a source for Steele’s dossier. We do know that Manafort is the one who pushed Trump to discredit the Russian investigation by attacking the dossier.


      January 12, 2016: Steele writes Bruce Ohr to say Oleg Deripaska may obtain a visa for later that year

      January 20: Michael Cohen speaks with Dmitry Peskov’s personal assistant for 20 minutes about Trump Tower deal

      January 21: Putin’s office contacts Felix Sater about Trump Tower deal

      February 21: Steele sends Ohr Orbis reporting claiming Deripaska was not a tool of the Kremlin

      February 29: Manafort drafts proposal to work for “free” for Trump

      March 19: GRU hacks John Podesta

      March 29: After the intervention of Roger Stone and Tom Barrack, Manafort joins the Trump campaign, initially only as Convention Chair

      April: Manafort asks Kilimnik,”How do we use to get whole?”

      April 18: GRU hacks into DNC via DCCC

      April 26: George Papadopoulos learns Russians are offering election assistance in form of leaked emails

      April 27: In first foreign policy speech Papadopoulos includes signal to Russians to meet

      May 4: Cohen tells Sater he’ll do a trip to Russia before the Convention; Trump will do one after

      May 5: Sater passes on Peskov invite to Cohen to attend St. Petersburg Forum to meet Putin or Medvedev

      May 19: Manafort formally named campaign chair

      May 21: Manafort forwards request for Trump meeting to Rick Gates, warning against sending a signal

      June 3: Rob Golstone starts arranging meeting with Don Jr.

      June 7: Manafort meets with Trump and Trump announces he’ll have an announcement about Hillary

      June 8: GRU releases first emails via dcleaks

      June 9: Trump Tower meeting presents dirt for sanctions relief; Cohen makes plans for trip to St. Petersburg Forum

      June 14: WaPo reveals Russia hacked DNC; Cohen cancels plan for St. Petersburg trip

      June 15: Guccifer 2.0 created

      June 16-19: St. Petersburg forum (Putin does attend)

      June 20: First Steele report, allegedly relying on Millian as one source

      July 7: Manafort tells Kilimnik he’s willing to provide Deripaska private briefings; Ohr call with Steele about Deripaska

      Week of July 15: Trump campaign prevents change making platform more belligerent to Ukraine

      July 21: Sater visits Trump Tower

      July 22: George Papadopoulos asks Ivan Timofeev to help prep for a meeting with Sergei Millian; Millian would eventually pitch Papadopoulos on Trump Tower Moscow deal

      August 3: Manafort and Kilimnik meet in New York

      August 17: Manafort fired from campaign

      August: Manafort and Tom Barrack take boat trip, meet Kilimnik

      October 18: Steele and Ohr discuss dispute between Ukraine and RUSAL

      January 11 or 12, 2017: Manafort contacts Reince Priebus to tell him how to use the Steele dossier to discredit Russian investigation (remember, Manafort insists he didn’t lie about meeting with Trump officials, because those meetings happened before inauguration)

      January 27: Papadopoulos agrees to meet FBI without a lawyer, in part in hopes of sustaining possibility of a job with Trump Admin and possibly a deal with Millian

      January or February 2017: Manafort meets Kilimnik in Madrid.

  26. One of the big questions about Trump’s wall is how effective it will be. This guy from the construction industry identifies the potential issues:

  27. francesca 27

    NYT gets it wrong again
    Turns out it wasn’t Deri-close-to-the-Kremlin -paska after all that Manafort wanted to send the polling data to


  28. joe90 28

    Humans, huh.


    The world’s loneliest snail is no more.

    George, a Hawaiian tree snail—and the last known member of the species Achatinella apexfulva—died on New Year’s Day. He was 14, which is quite old for a snail of his kind.

    George was born in a captive breeding facility at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa in the early 2000s, and soon after, the rest of his kin died. That’s when he got his name—after Lonesome George, the Pinta Island tortoise who was also the last of his kind.

    For over a decade, researchers searched in vain for another member of the species for George to mate with, to no avail. (Though these snails are hermaphrodites, two adults must mate to produce offspring, and researchers refer to George as a “he.”)


    About a decade ago, it was commonly believed that over 90 percent of Hawaii’s snail species were gone. Researchers have re-discovered dozens of species that they thought were extinct, however, and found several new species.

    The snails that remain in Hawaii are in serious trouble, though. Most are only found on a single ridge or valley, and in recent years, declines have accelerated as introduced predators have started invading their last refuges.

    “We’ve had populations that have been monitored for over a decade, and they seemed stable… then, within the past two years they’ve completely disappeared,” says Sischo. “We’ve all broken down and cried in the field.”

    These snails are likely to go extinct within months or a few years, Sischo says, unless they’re protected in the wild or brought into the lab.


  29. Eco Maori 29

    Here you go shonkys & his main man steven joyce turned a state department into a decitfull orgianization . These people use websites to bait promises a deal thats to good to be true rope people into breaking the LAW set them up and nab them for a crime that was instigated by the state next minute BUSTED The person setting up broke desprate people do not care they are stuffing up a inercint sole life why because they will get a bonus for every person they nab .

    Government to question MBIE over fake persona training
    4:54 pm on 9 January 2019

    The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is being summoned to the Beehive for a ‘please explain’ over a training course in using fake online personas to gather intelligence
    MBIE signed a contract with Wellington based consultancy ZX Security in December 2017 that has been published on the Ministry’s website and outlines the details of the social media training course.
    “The service provider will deliver an advanced social media training course to Ministry using false personas on social media for verification and investigation purposes,” the contract says.
    Ministry staff have received training on how to spot a fake profile, maintain multiple identities using “techniques for creating a backstop (history) for your online personas”, and send and receive anonymous text messages and emails.
    The contract also offered optional training modules, including automated harvesting, image metadata analysis, and creating a dossier.
    To date, no MBIE staff had done the extra modules.
    “During this workshop the attendees will use the skills gained during the course to create a detailed dossier on a group or individual,” the contract says. Ka kite ano links below. P.S The sandflys do that all the time baiting poor people


  30. Eco Maori 30

    Warming oceans likely to raise sea levels 30cm by end of century – study
    Seawater temperature is rising faster than predicted, which is likely to worsen extreme weather events around the world
    The world’s oceans are warming at a faster rate than previously estimated, new research has found, raising fresh concerns over the rapid progress of climate change.
    Warming oceans take up more space, a process known as thermal expansion, which the study says is likely to raise sea levels by about 30cm by the end of the century, on top of the rise in sea levels from melting ice and glaciers. Warmer oceans are also a major factor in increasing the severity of storms, hurricanes and extreme rainfall.

    Rising sea levels will claim homes around English coast, report warns
    Read more

    Oceans store heat so effectively that it would take decades for them to cool down, even in the unlikely scenario that greenhouse gas emissions were halted urgently.
    The report, published on Thursday in the journal Science, found that the warming of the oceans was accelerating and was matching the predictions of climate change models, which have shown global temperature rises are likely to lead to extreme weather across the world
    The new Science paper analysed four studies published between 2014 and 2017, which corrected for discrepancies between different types of ocean temperature measurements and gaps in measurements.
    Satellite monitoring, buoys and ships are all used to gather data on the effect of climate change on the oceans. In the past decade, a network of 4,000 buoys known as Argo has provided an unprecedented data set on the temperature, salinity and acidification of oceans.
    By taking the four studies, with different methodologies, into consideration the authors of the new analysis were able to build a fuller picture than was previously possible, with calculations extrapolated back to the 1970s. Ka kite ano links below.
    P.S we can not wait for the POLLIES to do the correct thing we must make changes for the better future for the grandchildren


  31. Eco Maori 31

    The whole world can see he has cheated his way into the White House he did not even belevie he won on the night of Amercian President election his mouth was that wide open one could have driven a bus through it.

    Washington (CNN)As special counsel Robert Mueller wraps up his Russia probe, investigators have focused on conflicting public statements by President Donald Trump and his team that could be seen as an effort to influence witnesses and obstruct justice, according to people familiar with the investigation.
    The line of questioning adds to indications that Mueller views false or misleading statements to the press or to the public as obstruction of justice. That could set up a potential flashpoint with the White House and the Trump legal team should that become part of any final report from the Mueller investigation.
    Mueller hasn’t addressed the issue publicly, but prosecutors have dropped hints that they view public statements as possibly key in influencing witnesses.

    Court filings from the plea of Michael Cohen, the President’s former personal lawyer, included allegations related to false public statements — not usually considered illegal since they aren’t made directly to investigators. A December sentencing memo filed by Mueller’s office notes that Cohen’s lies were amplified in public statements, “including to other potential witnesses.” The memo said this was done partly “in the hopes of limiting the investigation into possible Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election — an issue of heightened national interest.”
    That includes the President’s role in crafting the misleading Air Force One statement in the summer of 2017 on the now infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians attended by Donald Trump Jr., the President’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
    Another episode centers on Trump’s attempt to have his then-White House counsel Don McGahn disavow articles reporting that McGahn threatened to quit over Trump’s pressure to fire Mueller, according to one source familiar with the matter. McGahn refused to publicly say that the stories were false, which prompted more anger from the President.
    The President publicly has said he wouldn’t fire Mueller and hadn’t thought about it, which other witnesses have told Mueller’s investigators isn’t true. Ana to kai Ka kite ano links below.


  32. Eco Maori 32

    Kia ora Newshub it’s not on those people throwing a kitten out of a moving car window. The USA government department shut down is trump game
    I’m a organ donner I say it’s a good thing. Ikea store will bring more competition to the Aotearoa retail market.
    Its cool people are donating a lot more second hand goods this year that’s the Kiwi spirit give to the needy.
    A warming Tangaroas is hard on the wild sea creature and caged fish can not find cooler water and they can easily die. That’s a cool set of glasses for the blind people helping them navigate surrounding with voice and computer tech Emma the new tech is booming Ka pai.
    Sir Ernest Shackleton picked up supplies from Dunedin Aotearoa the old wooden beer being restored in Antarctic is cool Ka kite ano.

  33. Generation Zero is trying to change the climate in a corner with the Labor Party and the Green Party and, on the other hand, the national one. We want to move towards climate change outside the biased policy to provide stability in this …

    Todd Muller and the National Party have to be examined.
    When the national government was, Kennedy Graham on behalf of the Green Party organized a conference of all parties on climate change in parliament, which boycotted the Jatiya Party and the law deliberately and actively. Not a single member of parliament or representative.

  34. Āmi mātra kaẏēka dina atibāhita karēchi ēmana ēkajana mānuṣa yini biśbāsa karēna yē ēṭi tāra 84 tama krisamāsa. Kintu kulākēra ēkaṭi bardhita paribārēra ēkamātra bēm̐cē thākāra kāraṇē tini śrama śibirē pāṭhiẏēchilēna, tini anumāna karachēna.

    Tā’i, hyām̐, āmāra jagatē, yē kē’u punarbibēcanāra ēbaṁ jōrapūrbaka śramakē samarthana karē, sēṭi āsalē ēkaṭi durbala pañcāśa.
    Show more
    I’ve spent a few days just a man who believes that this is his 84th Christmas. But he was sent to labor camp because he was the only survivor of an extended family of kulak, he was guessing.

    So, yes, in my world, anyone who supports reconsideration and forced labor, is actually a weak fifty.

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