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Open Mike 10/02/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 10th, 2018 - 281 comments
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281 comments on “Open Mike 10/02/2018 ”

  1. Ed 1

    The stock market continues to fall……

    “US stock markets continued their wild ride on Friday morning, on course for their worst week since the financial crisis as international stock markets continued to fall, spooked by fears of more rapidly rising interest rates.
    The Dow Jones Industrial Average, which lost over 1,000 points on Friday, rose 30 points on Friday morning as the more broadly based S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq also moved into the black only to shortly lose those gains. By noon the Dow was down over 200 points.
    On its current course the Dow is set to fall more than 6%, its biggest one-week drop since October 2008.”


    I quote Martin ‘Bomber’ Bradbury.

    “The reality is that markets have been horribly distorted and a hard crash has to occur. The reason Winston was so grim the night he picked Labour as the Government was because he knew this correction was coming.
    There are enormous problems with the stability of the global economy that go to the very heart of neoliberalism and when the full impact starts to set in, people are going to start to panic. The danger point will be when people start pulling their Kiwisaver out of the stock exchange and put it straight in the bank, that will begin a run away event on the stock exchange as more and more Kiwis start frantically pulling their depleting accounts out of the market.
    There comes a point when panicking becomes perfectly rational.”


    • Keepcalmcarryon 1.1

      We know all this. If you can pick when it happens or even make it happen then you can be rich.otherwise you are just contributing to the general hysteria which helps to spook the market.
      We are all just along for the ride.
      No posts from you the other day on the market rallying.

      • Ed 1.1.1

        You may know this.
        A lot of people do not know all this.

        Anyway, don’t believe me.

        Listen to the former leader of the Bank of England.

        “A worldwide debt binge could trigger the next financial crisis, warns former Bank of England governor Lord King.
        King said it was essential to tackle the global debt pile, which stands at £166 trillion ($321t), according to the Washington-based Institute of International Finance.
        “The areas of weakness in the current system are really focused on the amount of debt that exists, not just in the US and UK but across the world,” King said.
        “Debt in the private sector relative to GDP is higher now than it was in 2007, and of course public debt is even higher still.”

        Or listen to the International Monetary Fund chief.

        ” Christine Lagarde also sounded the alarm last month and researchers believe China is a danger.

        Or the Council on Foreign Relations.

        “Benn Steil and Benjamin Della Rocca of the Council on Foreign Relations said a meltdown is rapidly approaching, saying: “Given our evidence that China is shovelling new loans to companies with the least ability to pay them back, we think China is heading towards a debt crisis.””

        • Ed

          The warning signs have been around for a while.
          Our levels of debt are unsustainable.

          “Global debt ratios have surged by a further 51 percentage points of GDP since the Lehman crisis, reaching a record 327 per cent (IIF data).

          This is a new phenomenon in economic history and can be tracked to QE liquidity leakage from the West, which flooded East Asia, Latin America, and other emerging markets, with a huge push from China pursuing its own venture.”


          • Keepcalmcarryon

            And he’s off again..

            • veutoviper

              I call his first comments here on OM each morning the Chicken Little Ed Hour.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                If you think it’s bad now, just wait until the stopped clock’s time comes around again. He’ll be insufferable.

                • Ed

                  Oab., I realise that I have a view, you will disagree with it.

                  If I have a view on Syria , you disagree with it.
                  If I have a view on Climate Change, you disagree with it.
                  If I have a view on meat eating, you disagree with it.
                  If I have a view on dairy farming , you disagree with it.
                  If I have a view on economic crashes , you disagree with it.
                  If I have a view Ukraine , you disagree with it.
                  If I have a view on ( fill in the gap) , you disagree with it.

                  This is Open Mike.
                  Are you against free speech?

                  And please desist from the bully boy abuse.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Wrong on all counts Ed. I disagree with your sloppy counterproductive rhetoric though. If you can manage not to tell lies about that it will be nice change.

                    [Cut out the gratuitous abuse] – Bill

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    After the gratuitous abuse in your first reply I think I’ll pass.

                    • Grey Area

                      What gratuitous abuse exactly?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @Grey Area: the implication that I am so closed minded and bereft of imagination that I base my opinions on what Ed reckons.

                    • Grey Area

                      @OAB: I didn’t take him to be saying that and I don’t think you do either. Back off please, it’s the sort of behaviour that makes The Standard much less fun for some of us.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @GreyArea: I’m struggling to think of another interpretation of his statement that “If I have a view on ( fill in the gap) , you disagree with it.

                      It follows a pattern that can also be seen in his comment at 6.1.1, wherein “people who are not ostriches and who have open minds and are capable of critical thinking” will be the ones who watch his video link. I could find a plethora of other examples if I could be bothered.

                      Ed is given to smearing anyone who criticises his presentation, let alone the content of his comments, in this manner.

                      Perhaps you should be asking him to “back off”. After all, you might succeed where everyone else has failed 🙄

              • mauī

                That was unkind.

              • James

                Have you ever seen him/her post anything positive in the world? It must be hard living under a cloud of such negativity.

                • Ed

                  That’s because I don’t have a barbecue and a boat.

                  • James

                    You don’t need a bbq and a boat to be happy – perhaps that’s your problem.

                    Surround yourself with good friends and a family that loves you (and you them) and life will be a ton better.

                    It’s a mistake you make thinkingthat the toys are what makes you happy (don’t get me wrong I love the bbq – and I like the boat, although we don’t use it as much as we should). But sharing them with friends and family is what make the great days and give you a positive outlook on life.

                    • Ed

                      Keep ignoring issues like child poverty James.
                      Because that would be negative….

                    • One Two

                      And yet here you are on a left blog site, James..

                      Deliberately agitating and seeking reaction from other commentators to satisfy…what exactly…[i don’t care by the way, that’s for you]…

                      And you have the gall to suggest Ed is negative…

                      There is little to nothing positive about your contribution, James…

                      You’re an agitator on an anonymous blog site…

                      No, it’s not abuse either..

                    • Stunned Mullet

                      My lovely sock puppet !

                    • Ed

                      James is paid to be here.
                      Either that or he is a real tragic character, trolling away on a left wing blog site for kicks.

                      And the persona he has created is totally fake.
                      It’s a stereotype of what ‘James’ thinks a real Kiwi bloke looks like.

                  • James

                    Btw missed your howls of outrage (outrage I tell you) over Jacinda cooking a bbq with meat on it the other day.

                    Or do you have selective outrage ?

                    • mauī

                      Ed can’t do all the vegan heavy lifting. Maybe you could help him if you put your tongs down for a bit.

                    • Ed

                      No I am not selective.
                      If we all either cut down or gave up on meat, we would have a much better chance to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.
                      You want to make this a party political issue.
                      It is a planetary issue James.

                    • Stunned Mullet

                      ”If we all either cut down or gave up on meat, we would have a much better chance to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.”

                      Thta’s a pretty bold assertion Ed and while it may very well be correct, has anyone done a peer reviewed study which you can point to ?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @Stunned Mullet, see IPCC reports for that citation.

                    • cleangreen


                      I hoped you helped put on the barbecue for the ‘hapless national’ party “retreat” I couldn’t imagine they would not invite you to there own barbecue.

              • Ed

                Don’t you want to hear the real news.

                Perhaps you should read this if you want to be deluded and distracted.


            • Ed

              Don’t believe me.

              • james

                I for one dont.

                • james

                  Just replying to your statements above:

                  “James is paid to be here.

                  And the persona he has created is totally fake.
                  It’s a stereotype of what ‘James’ thinks a real Kiwi bloke looks like.”

                  Any evidence to back up your accusations?

                  Or are you still fucking goats and beating your wife? (being an example of making accusations that cannot be backed up).

                  When I was corrected on one of your post where I called you a liar – I withdrew and apologised.

                  So – I guess I back to calling you a liar – because that is what you are.

                • Ed

                  Says the troll with the created persona….

          • mauī

            Thank you Ed.

        • mikes

          I think credit suisse estimated the total wealth in the world at 250 trillion? It’s ridiculous how dumb we all really are for just accepting the monetary system we’ve been sold and blundering blindly on in an orgy of consumption…

          if you think about it, all the debt is 70 trillion more than all the money….. wonder where the money’s gonna come from to pay the extra 70 trillion…. guess it’ll have to be borrowed…somebody’s making a killing…

          the entire monetary and financial system will at some stage in the near future crash into complete and total meltdown. (Unless something drastic is done to change things before that happens).

          maybe when the worldwide debt number has so many zero’s on the end of it that it takes a couple of hours or even days just to say “well… a thousand millions a billion, a thousand billions a trillion, a thousand trillions a quadrillion……and so on and so on….” , or it’s become such a big number that nobody on earth can come up with a name for it (as an aside, I wonder what the first ‘non illion’ will be???) Anyway that will be the straw that triggers the collapse

          Sounds like it will take ages to get to that number, but exponentially increasing numbers have a way of catching up on you real quick…like the flash…

          As a further aside, had a laugh with nephew yesterday when he was talking about something called a petabyte! I had to explain to him that when i got my first computer (which wasn’t all that long ago, must have been after 1981 because the computer was a zx81), the word megabyte didn’t even exist as a megabyte was something which hadn’t yet been imagined into existance! (And my 16kb expansion pack was like me being the king of personal computing storage space, even though that amount will never be needed of course…hehehe)

          Ahh the good old days…

          • Draco T Bastard

            if you think about it, all the debt is 70 trillion more than all the money….. wonder where the money’s gonna come from to pay the extra 70 trillion…. guess it’ll have to be borrowed…somebody’s making a killing…

            Yep. The private banks who get to create the money and then charge interest on it.

            It’s both an inherently unstable system (when demand for money drops the creation of money stops and the economy goes into recession. It’s what happened in the GFC) and an unsustainable one as well as there’s never enough money to pay off the debt.

            (And my 16kb expansion pack was like me being the king of personal computing storage space, even though that amount will never be needed of course…hehehe)

            It was actually the megabyte that would never be needed according to Bill Gates. Of course, as soon as a PC came available that had a megabyte he wrote an OS, Windows, that used it all up.

    • Pat 1.2

      you forgot to add…

      “Under the announced plan, the Fed will allow a portion of the proceeds it receives each month to roll off. The monetary level will start at $10 billion then increase that much quarterly until it reaches $50 billion. Ultimately, economists expect the balance sheet to stabilize between $2 trillion and $3 trillion.”



      “We’ve been patient in removing that accommodation”, Mr Powell said during a hearing on Tuesday before the Senate banking committee on his nomination to serve as Fed chair. “I think the patience has served us well. It’s time for us to be normalising interest rates.”


      • mikes 1.2.1

        “Ultimately, economists expect the balance sheet to stabilize between $2 trillion and $3 trillion.”

        When they say economists, I wonder if they mean all economists, or just a certain group of them, or maybe just two or three?

        Regardless, I wouldn’t bet much on them being right.

        • Pat

          except however that is the plan outlined by the Fed….and as they are running the programme I guess they will need to know the target.

          Currently sits at around 4.5 trillion and windback is timed to approx 3 years

    • alwyn 1.3

      Why are you surprised?
      The DJA, the S&P 500 and the NZSX 100 are all back at about the level they were in November last year. That isn’t really a crash, is it?

      It has been agreed, by most market commentators for the last year or so that the markets are greatly overpriced. Here is a representative article. The same sentiments have been expressed for a long time. I chose this one, from a few weeks ago, not because it was the first to express the sentiments but merely because it explains what is going on very clearly.

      The problem for investors has been that you have to put your money somewhere and when interest rates have been forced below inflation even an overpriced stock market seems sensible.
      It is rather like people buying houses in Auckland. You may have thought for years that the houses were overpriced but you still need somewhere to live and if you don’t buy now you never will.
      Try reading Keynes’ General Theory on the subject of irrational investing. The book is 80 years old but the exposition on the subject has never been bettered.

      • Ed 1.3.1

        I am not surprised.
        I have been warning people about our levels of debt for ages.

      • The problem for investors has been that you have to put your money somewhere and when interest rates have been forced below inflation even an overpriced stock market seems sensible.

        Technically, we don’t need the bludging investors anyway. If they have excess amounts of money and nothing to do with it then that’s not our problem.

        • alwyn

          I take it you do not have a KiwiSaver account then?
          Or any other form of saving for your declining years.

          • One Two

            What’s that question have to do with the conversation, Alwyn

            Investments are not necessary, except in a rotton to the core debt system..

            Interest is a mirage, a phantom to protect the mirage through blinding the simple and the uninformed…

            I offer you 0.75% interest, but will inflate the monetary supply by 1.25% and charge you 3.75 above the cash rate…

            So to pay back what is owed you might need to go an steal from another person…or invent an instrument which will do it indirectly…

            Declining years…being stolen from people since… [pick a date]..

            • alwyn

              If you are making any attempt to save for you retirement you must, almost by definition, have excess money. If you are going to save it you have to put it somewhere, even if it is only in the bank.
              DTB sounds as if he doesn’t have any surplus money and presumably isn’t therefore saving anything for the future.

          • AB

            Oh – this is the fallacy of individual responsibility. A rhetorical trick that goes like this:
            1.) Leftie points out a problem in the world (e.g. climate change)
            2.) Person no. 2 (usually a RWNJ) then frames a question to uncover any apparent inconsistencies between the stated concern and the behaviour of the left-wing person. e.g. “do you drive a car?”
            3.) Left wing person usually does and so gets written off as a ‘hypocrite’

            Whereas any rational examination of the inconsistency would conclude that it is due not to personal hypocrisy – but to the coercive power of the economic system in which we live, which locks people into activity they don’t like because it leaves no viable alternatives.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Backing a Ponzi Scheme doesn’t make it work.

    • Blackcap 1.4

      But the stockmarket (US) was actually up today?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.4.1

        I predict it will crash tomorrow. And if not, the day after that, or the day after that, or on some other day in the future. If only there was someone who could warn us about it.

  2. patricia bremner 2

    The money system is broken. It has been rorted by the rich. What can anyone do?

    If you can, repay or lower any debt. Keep some cash on hand. Don’t panic, set up ways to talk to family quickly and cheaply. Offer support to any distressed family members. Loved ones and friends are what life is really about.

    Have a plan in place. Always have extra meds on hand. “you are travelling/ may travel shortly” renew first aid and emergency kits and check safety aspects of your home and transport.

    Any things you need, try to have extra on hand as supplies could be disrupted in a domino of collapses. Dried milk, long life milk, dried fruits, vegetables, soup bases, tinned goods, especially fish.

    Don’t go overboard, but doing these things allows space to absorb larger shocks.
    If any or all of these are too expensive or difficult, form a family/friends help group where skills and knowledge can be exchanged in a difficult situation. Talk to family and friends. Our biggest strength is working together, our biggest weakness is procrastination.

    • greywarshark 2.1

      patricia bremner
      I have been thinking of what should be done if what seems inevitable happens, something that has a scary effect on other countries and they lock down on you, sort of like Palestine suffers as a result of Israel feelings of concern. (Could we suffer similar from our friends in Australia. Always inclined to take the advantage ie preventing us exporting apples etc.) Next tornado? The wet spring meant some horticulturalists lost 50% of their crop. Note: listen to Country Calendar on Sat Mornings to hear real alive working people on the land, so admirable.

      Who knows what is likely.

      So your suggestions sound good for everyone. Thanks for putting it down for us in a practical way.

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        By the way – say you have a limited supply of protein and lots of pasta. How much protein to a cup of dried pasta would be sufficient to provide a meal sustaining two people. A cupful of dried pasta usually expands to quite a lot so would stirring in 1 tspn of tinned fish or meat be baseline diet okay, or 2, 3, or what.

        And I presume that there would be no refrigeration so how long would the tinned fish, meat last covered? Sitting in cool water covered? It has been pointed out that most people have only enough food for 3 days, so knowing how to spin food out would be good info.

        People who tramp and camp a lot would probably know this but most wouldn’t know how to manage for long without a frig.

        Also need to have water, vessel for holding water and separate for cooking, boiling fuel so fire and wood or electricity, solar? and conserve water from cooking. Would be useful to have had workshops from survivors after Christchurch earthquake who had to do it hard.
        Were these held so we could learn from them?

        • patricia bremner

          Greywarshark, Sorry, missed this earlier. Dried smoked fish will keep for a week or more. Tinned fish in oil two to three days in a cool safe( Out of the tin). Tinned fish in spring water (tuna 1.09 at PaknSave) with a cup of pasta would feed two, and dried peas/carrtts could be added/or tinned., fresh fish would keep best made into fritters or patties for buns. 2/3 days.

          A cool safe is on the south side of a shrub or home/tent.

          A hole deep and wide enough to take a stainless steel bucket. A stick or wooden spoon, cheese cloth (which is sold in tube lengths) One metre of cheese cloth, tie securely one end, insert a dinner plate or large pot lid as a base. Cut a vertical opening !5cm/6″ long. Tie top of the tube to your stick or wooden spoon.b Hang in your bucket.

          This can contain, oils/ butter cold meats/fish salad goods.

          The outer hole has bricks placed at the base, half filled with water, then the bucket prepared is carefully lowered in. your stick or spoon should be below the rim, and the bucket needs a lid to keep out vermin and insects. a brick weight on top and the whole covered with a damp towel/sugar sack and a board. This works a treat.

          We always had two when camping, one for milk butter oils and cheese etc, one for meats smoked fish or bacon/ham treated with fat on the cut end.

          We never got sick, loved camping “Food” and helped prepare the safes.
          Remember.. when using it……Wash your hands first!!

          • greywarshark

            Thanks Patricia I will run that off as a handy guide and need to practice it to get the way of it.

        • Bugsolutely

          If you make it cricket pasta that is stored it has a long shelf life and is a complete food with good amounts of fats, minerals and protein. Boil it up forage some greens and you are good to go.

    • The money system is broken. It has been rorted by the rich. What can anyone do?

      The money system is broken and it was specifically set up the way it is so that the rich could rort it. The only thing that can be done is the government changing the monetary system from the interest bearing debt system it is to a non-interest bearing sovereign deficit system.

      The government creates the money, spends it into the economy and then taxes the money back out. It would run at a slight deficit all the time to account for growth and development.

      • greywarshark 2.2.1

        Great idea DTB. What chances of getting something goding like that? Or having a narrow countrywide or local region-wide exchange system with some things costed entirely in local $s and some in part local $s?

      • patricia bremner 2.2.2

        Is this similar to the Muslim way of loans?

        • Chuck


          As an example, if you buy a house using an Islamic loan provide, while you don’t pay interest, you pay a premium over and above the “cost of the house”. It can be done a few ways…but it always ends up similar to using a normal mortgage provider (in terms of the overall cost in interest).

    • Antoine 2.3


      > If you can, repay or lower any debt. Keep some cash on hand. Don’t panic, set up ways to talk to family quickly and cheaply. Offer support to any distressed family members. Loved ones and friends are what life is really about.
      > Have a plan in place. Always have extra meds on hand. “you are travelling/ may travel shortly” renew first aid and emergency kits and check safety aspects of your home and transport.
      > Any things you need, try to have extra on hand as supplies could be disrupted in a domino of collapses. Dried milk, long life milk, dried fruits, vegetables, soup bases, tinned goods, especially fish.

      This is slightly weird advice. It would not have been particularly useful in the GFC or, well, any other financial crisis ever. What scenario are you envisaging?


      • patricia bremner 2.3.1

        Hello Antoine, GFC is only one disaster, Cash is King and no debt is best in that scene, but in todays society, we live with debt, it is encouraged.

        So we have few controls available when the system fails except those put in place by the Govt. which happened last time. We didn’t suffer as Greece did. Then, you would need the back up of cash on hand, meds foods and family.

        Needing to be able to survive for 6 to 10 days has become common in disasters. We are asked to “be prepared”, but most people just feel overwhelmed and put action off.

        Ordinary folk don’t have huge amounts invested anywhere. Their biggest investment is family friends and good health, and if they are lucky a home.

        So learning how to use a transistor, make a cool safe, purify water, have suitable fall back rations and ways to cook outdoors are skills we have lost by and large.

        We have altered the environment to such a degree, we can’t always forage for food either, so knowing porridge oats, dried or canned beans or peas and tinned fish can be excellent easily prepared meals in a disaster helps. They are good things to have and know.

        Panic never helps, so having a simple plan, suitable supplies, and knowing you have done what you can to stop the overwhelmed out of control feelings , also talking to other people keeps things in perspective, and our strength in adversity is co-operation. Cheers.

        • greywarshark

          Talking about foraging for food, strength of purpose, strength of body, strength of community I recommend ;
          Christopher McDougall
          Natural Born Heroes.
          It centres on Crete but branches out in so many ways, I found it fascinating.

    • OncewasTim 2.4

      Agree….if you can, lower debt and forget the treats and trinkets AND family and friends working together.

      • Antoine 2.4.1

        I dont see the big problem with debt in a crisis.

        In a GFC type event, the problem is _investment_ not debt. The risk is that your shares, bonds, investment properties etc will lose their value. The solution is to liquidate your investments into some mix of cash, bank deposits, gold and bricks and mortar.

        On the other hand, in a total economic collapse, debt is also not a problem cos theres no banks left to collect your mortgage and if someone does turn up wanting money, you can drive them away with a shotgun.


  3. patricia bremner 3

    I hope the news item listed on Scoop under Politics “Decision overturning care ruling welcomed by H.R.C.” Also recommendations made to Ministry of Health. Yay!!! Gives some hope to Rosemary and others. Things are going to change hopefully.

        • patricia bremner

          Thank you, I will have to learn how to do that.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            patricia…its a simple copy and paste exercise…the really clever bit is when the link is embedded in the text. Looks nice and tidy and takes up less space. I have failed to do this on TS.

            • alwyn

              ” I have failed to do this on TS.”.
              Thank God. I thought that I was the only one that had the problem.
              I keep trying but I still can’t get the hang of it.
              Mind you it took me ages before I worked out how to do emoji so I suppose there is still hope on mastering the link technique.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                “Thank God. I thought that I was the only one that had the problem.”

                Take heart. I still am subjected to occasional supervision from the Offspring. They think that one day my ineptitude will bring about complete destruction of the internet. They keep telling me to “Clear your cookies ffs!!!” and I nod agreeably and don’t tell them I have no idea what they are talking about. For some reason, checking out the latest dispicableness from Farrar’s Ferals seems to provoke more of this verbal abuse…

                One day I’ll be old enough to sign up for a http://www.seniornet.co.nz/ course. 🙂

            • greywarshark

              Getting link pinned under a chosen word or name.

              Method: <a href=”long link address”>your choice of link name</a>

              Copy and file away for next time. Soon you can do it from memory.
              (To do this I had to get help to put it up so it would show how to do it without turning the instructions into an actual link – something to do with an ampersand etc. That is something that usually we don’t need to know.)

              • Rosemary McDonald

                If this works, a cyber choc fish for you greywarshark. 🙂


                Enjoy the choc fish!

                • patricia bremner

                  Make that two chocolate fish xx

                  • greywarshark

                    Oh goodie chocolate fish – fish – chocolate – favourites. I’m on to a winner.

                    Just referring to nothing in particular I am reading about David Nobbs
                    d.2015, who wrote a lot for tv, humour, books with humorous sidelines such as about Reginald Perrin.

                    I like the summary of Nobb’s character Perrin’s restlessness and dissatisfaction with his prosaic life at Sunshine Desserts.

                    Caught in a hapless suburban existence, Perrin reflected a contemporary mood with his fervent hope to become more than “just a product of Freudian slips and traumatic experiences and bad education and capricious pointlessness”.

                    I think we all echo that!

                    He wrote a Fairly Secret Army. Here is a short clip from that and it’s rather funny halfway through as it starts to sound like some of the TS more diverting discussions.

    • Rosemary McDonald 3.2

      patricia, I would so like to share your optimism. Incredible though it may seem, Ministry of Health Disability Support Services are simply not structured to allow for change such as is required to sort this.

      Their response back in 2012 when they lost in the Appeal court for Atkinson was to do the chicken licken thing and claimed that paying family carers would undermine the entire system…they set up a technical advisory group (all members of which had a financial relationship with the MOH of some kind) and they called for submissions from the plebs and ‘stakeholders’ and they held ‘workshops’ around the country to engage with us. Have Bus patricia, will travel ( ;-)) and Peter and I did all the workshops in the North Island.

      All this was a pantomime.

      Back in 2010 when the HRRT decision came out to much fanfare and flagwaving the Ministry asked for and finally secured a Suspension Order to allow the discrimination to continue (and disallow any other plaintiffs coming in) until one year after the Appeals process was completed. They needed this time they claimed to get their systems organised to allow paying of family carers..blah, blah, blah. The current system and the way resources were allocated just weren’t set up for paying family for care that had been considered ‘natural support’ during assessments.

      Now…go forward (back) to 2012 and their inevitable loss in the Appeal Court…they had one year of the Suspension Order up their sleeve remember…and this sham of policy work and consultation which culminated in the Part4A amendment to the PHDAct and the disgusting Funded Family Care policy which finally addressed the discrimination and provided a mechanism whereby the previously unthinkable could happen and Family Carers Could Be Paid. Completely coincidentally, the Suspension Order they had secured (later found to be illegal) expired the day before the PHDAct(2) made its lightening speed run through the house.

      The Chamberlain Case is about how unworkable and generally shit Funded Family Care is.

      And now, to sort this out, we are supposed to hop into our time machine and go back and completely revise the NASC processes which should have been done back in 2010 or 2012.

      OR…they could have simply examined the 272 cases the 2008 (how’s that time machine going???) HRRT heard about where, oh my god, family were being paid to provide assessed disability support!!!

      I did an OIA for info about these 272 (actually 274) cases where family were being paid. These family carers were not under the same restrictions as Chamberlain and others on FFC. If the person had been allocated 50 hours per week, that’s what the family member was paid for. Simple. The sky didn’t fall (as one of the judges in a 2010 High Court hearing remarked) and despite the PHDAct legislation specifically stating these arrangements were to be terminated by the end of May 2014…they continued as they were until the end of March 2016. (I have documentary proof of this, and I also know a couple in exactly the same situation as my partner and I who enjoyed such an arrangement).

      No simple fix here…there’s way too much dirty water gone under the bridge.

      First thing needed is for Claire Curran to pull finger and have the redacted sections of this revealed.


      Now…job for today is to pack all the supplies, meds, and the general paraphernalia of disability back into our Bus before we head away into the blue yonder next week. We will be well prepared for the financial apocalypse you talked about at (2). 😉

      • patricia bremner 3.2.1

        Rosemary. Bloody hell!! That is a ball of barbed wire. You have every reason to be distrusful in view of all that!!

        However, I now have a group who are bringing every instance of unfairness to the attention of the new government ministers and local MPs. We just act as individuals, drip dripping on the stone.

        Have a good trip. We always felt more “in control” when we had the motor home.
        I think because you learn to be prepared and how to make do. Regardsxx

        • Brigid

          Patricia could you give me details of this group?
          My daughter and I are trying to get Disability Support services to take a case of fraud seriously concerning payment for my sister’s end of life care, where people who should have been paid weren’t and those who shouldn’t have been were.
          They just keep fobbing us off with b/s and not returning calls.

          They aren’t interested. They don’t care.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Brigid. You have me interested. “Fraud” is a strong word. I have no doubt there has been seriously dodgy stuff gone on, but you can bet your bottom dollar if the Ministry of Health or a DHB are directly involved in funding care then it will have gone through a Contracted Provider. These CPs often have multi tentacled accounting systems where details can be conveniently lost.

            This Contracted Provider may have simply have been an “Host”…takes $$$ from the MOH or DHB and makes payments for services rendered. I have heard of cases (and yes the victims claim ‘fraud’) where a timesheet has been submitted to the Host and the carer paid at a lower hourly rate than the client stipulated, and instead of the balance being put back into the total funding package…it gets ‘lost.’

            Some CPs are under a ‘bulk funding’ contract where they have a pool of $$$ not necessarily strictly allocated to specific clients. I can find some more info on this if you like. It’s all about maximising profit.

            The Ministry of Health at one stage tried to hide information about a contracted provider by claiming the info was ‘commercially sensitive’. A friend did an OIA request that went to the Ombudsman to overcome that secret squirrel bs. ” It is about taxpayer $$$, cough up!”

            Good luck.

            • Brigid

              No it wasn’t a contractor but I’m not surprised by all you’ve written.
              I’m under the impression contractors are funded nicely and workers paid appallingly.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                A good rule of thumb (ie: to keep your business afloat) is to pay your employees one-third of what you charge your clients for their time. This is one reason why consultants cost so much more than public servants.

          • patricia bremner

            Brigid, these are just my friends who go on line to the ministers or visit local MPs here. We are in Rotorua. …In your case….

            Q. Who qualifies for payment at end of life? Who would not?

            Are there govt. regulations you could read covering that situation online?

            Can you afford a lawyer’s letter? Ring round a few, I have found free helpful advice here doing that. Be clear about the situation. Write it out as a clear simple story. (no names in the story is best).

            If you write a letter to the Minister with a question, they have to answer.
            Write clearly what happened. Speak only of what you can prove.
            Ask for clarification on who should be paid and why in such a situation.

            It is hard to keep the emotion out, but it is best to be calm. Do not claim fraud until you clearly have a case of broken rules. I’m sorry to hear you have lost your sister with these things unresolved. A sad time for you.

            • patricia bremner

              I see Rosemary has more inside knowledge of situations like this. xx

            • Brigid

              Thanks for your help Rosemary and Patricia.
              If we persist I guess we’d get somewhere, but it’s so much of a head f**k.
              What is worse is that it was a member of the family that created this mess, as embarrassed as i am to admit I’m related to such vile creatures.

              It stems from the thing that sometimes happens when a family suffers a bereavement. A power struggle ensues. Unfortunately.

              Thanks, both of you. It sure helps.

  4. greywarshark 4

    This morning a very informed and interesting discussion on Kim Hill with English commenter on Brexit and the English in particular, about whom he has described the Europeans thinking as ” lager louts”.

    8.09 Nicholas Boyle – Brexit is a collective English breakdown
    Professor Nicholas Boyle is Emeritus Schröder Professor of German at the University of Cambridge. He’s been Professor of German Literary and Intellectual History, and he has taught German in Cambridge since he was a student.

    He has a particular interest in German literature and thought of the 18th and 19th centuries, and especially in Goethe.

    Boyle has latterly weighed in on the Brexit issue in a range of publications, questioning the results of the EU referendum. In January he wrote a piece for the Irish Times, describing Brexit as a “collective English mental breakdown”.

    • mikes 4.1

      HeHe don’t mention the war around that guy…

    • alwyn 4.2

      I loved the bit where Kim commented that there was a German word to describe the Federal Government system in Germany.
      She then asked, in what seemed to be a very coy manner whether he was willing to say the word.
      He immediately rattled of about 20 syllables. I can see why Kim wasn’t game to attempt it.
      It was a very interesting interview though. Well worth listening to.

      • In Vino 4.2.1

        Alwyn, for one who is usually so punctilious, you apparently hear what you want to..

        I also taught German. I remember that word – it was Vergangenheitsverwertigung, and, as Kim Hill said (she also learnt German), it means ‘reconciliation with the past’.

        ‘The Federal Govt system in Germany’ ??

        • alwyn

          Sorry about that.
          I was making a cup of coffee when I heard it and clearly wasn’t paying sufficient attention.
          I should have checked the recording before I gave the meaning as I obviously got it wrong.
          I still think she was very sensible not to attempt to say it.

          • In Vino

            Fair enough..
            Kim Hill once said she majored in German at university (ie, a pretty good level), and German is far more consistent and logical in its spelling than English is.. I suspect Kim would not really have too much trouble if she needed to pronounce it.

    • Peroxide Blonde 4.3

      Prof Boyle’s analysis is similar to that of Fintan O’Toole of the Irish Times (and Guardian and NYT)

      “The country that prides itself on sober moderation has made one of the most impulsive moves ever undertaken in a developed democracy. The stiff upper lips have parted and released a wild and inarticulate cry of rage and triumph.

      Make no mistake: this is an English nationalist revolution.”


    • Peroxide Blonde 4.4

      The most read FT letter in a decade.

      Prof Boyle explains why the Pro Brexit faction of the Conservative Party are to be knows as “wankers” while their opponents are to be knows as “fuckers”.

      “Surely this rhetoric inverts the truth? It is the Europobes who shut themselves away in self-gratifying fantasies, while the remainers know that real life is only possible through interaction with others.”

  5. halfcrown 5

    All I can say is,

    Democracy is one thing the Tories hate. Especially when there is a dollar to be made.

    I am waiting to see what National Light will do about this, at this stage, it looks like Fuck All.


    • Stunned Mullet 5.1

      ‘Democracy is one thing the Tories hate.’

      Bit ironic that they’re the only party likely to vote against the ‘waka jumping’ bill.

      • Chuck 5.1.1

        I am hoping the Greens find their spine when it comes up for its second reading.

      • Stuart Munro 5.1.2

        That’s less to do with democracy than their intention to buy people with public money. Only way they’re likely to get power again, but voters whose MPs turn ought to have some serious sanctions at their disposal.

        • Stunned Mullet

          🙄 Not many bought and paid for amongst this list.


          • Stuart Munro

            One would have been too many.

            And there were plenty frankly. Not all waka jumped really – you have to distinguish between those who continued to represent the constituency that supported them and those who sold out for money or other inducements.

            The corruption of Alamein Kopu for example should have seen both her, and the person who corrupted her (Shipley) in prison. You wouldn’t have found a voter who supported her supporting her defection.

            • alwyn

              Rubbish. The only complete and utter idiots in this little exercise were the fools that ranked her in 12th place on the Alliance List.
              Can you provide any evidence at all that Shipley had anything at all to do with her resignation from The Alliance? Your own opinion doesn’t count.

              • Stuart Munro

                Given that she never showed her face again politically your claim of place envy is no better than most of your witless maunderings.

                I suppose you expect Shipley to have published accounts of the inducements she used to suborn her – Jenny is pretty stupid, but not quite to the level of publicly incriminating herself.

                • Stunned mullet

                  So you are stating on a public blog that Shipley bribed Kopu …I’m intrigued do tell.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I’m stating that she suborned her – I understand the inducement was publicly funded things, similar in character to the ‘party leadership’ baubles that were granted to Peter Dunne after his party de facto no longer existed.

                • alwyn

                  What on earth do you mean by “your claim of place envy”?
                  All I am saying is that she should never have been put in a position where she could possibly become an MP. That was promoting her far beyond her competency level.
                  Once she got there she was completely out of her depth.

                  As for “she never showed her face again politically” I could suggest that that happens with every MP who loses their seat. What is Hone up to these days?

                  As far as you second comment “I understand the inducement was publicly funded things” goes I asked for some evidence. After all I suppose I could propose that the reason that Jim Anderton dropped all his claims to be the real Labour was that he was suborned by inducements like being kept in Cabinet and receiving all the perks of being a Party leader even though he was a one man band.
                  I could also suggest that the Green Party have lost their backbone because they have been suborned by the perks of being Ministers of the Crown and have dropped all pretensions that they actually cared about the environment.

                  • patricia bremner

                    Alwyn, one thing doesn’t cause the other. There is no evidence of the Greens “dropping all pretensions” That is your construct.

                    • alwyn

                      And there has been absolutely no evidence produced that
                      “The corruption of Alamein Kopu for example should have seen both her, and the person who corrupted her (Shipley) in prison”.
                      That is just a wild supposition from Stuart Munro.

                      I merely followed his style and made up the same story about Labour and the Greens.
                      I at least had the decency to say “I could also suggest” etc.
                      I didn’t make it as if it was clearly factual and as a blatant statement of corruption.
                      Of course I don’t have any evidence. In that respect I am in exactly the same situation as Stuart Munro is. I am willing to admit that fact and he is not.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    You could (and probably would) make such claims – but they would only tend to erode the weight of your assertions.

                    It goes back in fact to what amounts to reasonable party hopping and what does not. The Green departure from the Alliance, for example, appeared to be conscientious, and was scrupulous in not making off with or eroding the franchise they bore on the part of their constituents.

                    The NZF waka jumpers were not conscientious and were unscrupulous in terms of the franchise – but would likely have argued that they cut a better deal for their constituents – it was arguable, if not particularly persuasive.

                    Kopu’s defection was neither conscientious nor scrupulous – there is no interpretation other than that she betrayed her constituents, and knowing this she didn’t stick around to defend it.

                    • alwyn

                      Come on, Stop waffling.
                      You claimed that Kopu and Shipley were corrupt and should be in prison.
                      Then you toned down to claiming that Shipley had suborned Kopu.
                      Why don’t you either produce some evidence or admit that you simply made the whole thing up and you have no evidence at all for your scurrilous statements?
                      Be a man. Admit you are lying.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Alwyn – I consider that the overwhelming probability is that Shipley bribed her.

                      Certainly there is nothing in Shipley’s character that would have prevented it. There’s not much that baggage would stick at.

                      But I do not possess evidence beyond the circumstantial or I promise you I’d’ve had them in jail long long ago.

                      But since you’re talking big – how do you explain the turning of Alamein Kopu? Brownian Motion?

                      Be a man: answer an honest question for once in your trivial life.

                    • Jack Ramaka

                      The NZF Waka Jumpers were contacted directly by Shipley and the National Party, whether there were financial strings or benefits attached one will never know ?

                    • alwyn

                      “I consider that the overwhelming probability”.
                      In other words, and more honestly, you are saying that you haven’t any evidence at all but that you really, really hate Shipley.
                      What a plonker you are.
                      As for your question about Kopu?
                      “I consider that the overwhelming probability” is that she simply got pissed of with the way she was treated by the other MPs in the Alliance.
                      Did you ever read Pam Corkery’s book about life as an Alliance MP?
                      As she said
                      “Politicians are, by and large, far more self-deluding, devious, bloated, insecure, egocentric wankers than I had feared.”
                      She was talking about Jim Anderton remember, even if it seems to be a very accurate description of you.
                      Even Alamein finally had enough of that shit.
                      It really is a waste of time trying to debate with you though.
                      Logic and reason have no place in your strange little view of the world.
                      Be a man. You are simply a lying bigot who will smear anyone who isn’t in your little cess-pit. Why not simply admit it?

                    • Antoine

                      Because “being a man” is such a great standard for y’all to adhere to?

                      Have you tried “being a decent human being”?


                    • Stuart Munro

                      Ok Alwyn – so we’ve established that you are crude, if rather unimaginative, but nothing more. You have nothing to contribute to the debate on the propriety of waka jumping . This is understandable because you are trolling – taking pains to divert the discussion from the propriety of waka jumping into a pig wallow of personal abuse. I guess that’s your natural element and thus the best you can muster.

                      You have nevertheless inadvertently outlined some part of Shipley’s modus operandi in terms of suborning waka jumpers.

                      “Even Alamein finally had enough of that shit” What shit? Being elevated to a list place above her competence but below her ambitions? Doubtless a narrative on just desserts was part of the process – as it was for a more recent defection.

                      “You are simply a lying bigot who will smear anyone who isn’t in your little cess-pit. ” There speaks a Jungian shadow if ever I saw one.

                    • alwyn

                      The only thing that you have established Stuart is that any connection between you and logic is totally absent.
                      You seem to be limited to a simple view of your world where the only standard is “Green Good”. Everyone else is evil.
                      I’ll bet you even supported Meteria’s fraud on the taxpayer.
                      Irrespective of anything else I propose to simply ignore you in the future. Like so many on the watermelon side of politics you find debate impossible.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Good – your biased and ill-natured nonsense will not be missed.

                  • reason

                    Your the bull-shitter Alwyn

                    A liar … as I’ll show at the end of this post.

                    And You do not have to be a bigot to have a bad impression or memory of Alamein Kopu… thats how she was presented

                    I make no comment on her actions …. but the media reporting gave the impression of a Lazy unprincipled politician doing the bare minimum for a salary she did not deserve .

                    Putting the boot in further, when she left Parliament ….The Herald printed a ‘Maori stole the furniture’ type smear / story

                    It Insinuated she was a serial thief ….. “the furnishings, including a desk, chair, filing cabinet and rubbish bin, are missing”

                    Headed: “Missing Kopu office items ‘not a first'”

                    ” ROTORUA – The disappearance of furnishings from one-term MP Alamein Kopu’s Rotorua electorate office is not the first time property belonging to the Parliamentary Service has gone missing while in her care…

                    The Herald revealed yesterday that police are investigating” ….

                    The herald story was racist crap … business as usual

                    I think National cynicaly used the late Alamein … took her vote and attempted harm upon Maori politics with her as a scapegoat …. racists like Wayne Mapp and his drinking buddy Ansell would have loved it.

                    Shipley is dishonest, disloyal … and seems to be involved in the long time National party love affair with very dodgy business practices …

                    “Jenny Shipley among Mainzeal directors facing legal action”

                    “Mainzeal was one of the country’s biggest construction firms before it collapsed in 2013, initially owing unsecured creditors an estimated $138 million.

                    That amount grew to $151.3m” ..

                    “In its reports, BDO remarked on the convoluted company structure that Mainzeal was part of and the related party transfers that had occurred.”

                    “related party transfers” .. is a creative phrase for tax scamming.


                    Finally Alwyns serial dishonesty ….

                    As a troll Alwyns trademark technique … …. was to quote or use John Keys / Nationals lies. lines and spin from the debating chamber…..

                    I remember Alwyn talking pure shit about the number of house builds National were claiming for Auckland …. as they supposedly solved our housing crisis …

                    The numbers were lies with national fabricating and exaggerating.,,, counting consents as built houses or something ( It was not me who busted him on the thread but I’m sure others remember )

                    So Key and national lies were Alwyns lies…. Its probably why he hates Blips list so much … he’s probably lied hundreds of times too.

                    That’s Keys legacy for you Alwyn … he made you a proven liar….

                    Spot some other dodgy MPs .. http://www.insolvencywatch.co.nz/failed-finance-companies-26-january-2012/

                    • alwyn

                      What happened to the end of this post?
                      You proclaimed “as I’ll show at the end of this post” and then did no such thing.
                      Did you accidentally delete something before you put this comment out?
                      Or, in your incandescent rage did you simply forget to add whatever you thought justified you claim?
                      Whatever. I suggest you take a break and settle down with a nice cup of tea, as David Lange might have said.

                    • reason

                      ….. I try not to waste to much time on trolls Alwyn … unless there is a reward or pay-off

                      Do you deny your a liar ????: …. lets have a wager if you do .

                      The loser stops posting here for six months ….

                      Give me some motivation to pick through your shit.

                    • alwyn

                      “Give me some motivation”.
                      Why do you bother if it hurts so much?
                      I assure you I won’t be hurt if you don’t read what I have to say.
                      I only propose ideas for intelligent open-minded people who may be able to appreciate new ideas that may not have occurred to them before.
                      If it is impossible for you to read them with an open mind please don’t bother.

                    • reason

                      Alwyn …. I searched my mind and came up with an example of you spinning lies …….. it took about me about 3 seconds to recall an example involving numbers which will leave you no wriggle room … it was far less effort than making a cup of tea.

                      Your recollection is probably more detailed than mine … as you wrote the bullshit fake stats regarding Auckland house builds.

                      Do you deny it ?.

                      You may well write interesting stuff …. but your troll method involved quoting Nationals lies … which makes you dishonest.

                      Why should your dishonesty get a free pass

                      Now you could admit it and apologize ….

                    • alwyn

                      I’ve trimmed down your little flight of fantasy to the essential truth.
                      “…. I searched my mind …….. it took about me about 3 seconds…….”
                      There that is more accurate, isn’t it. Everything you know could be gone through in about 3 seconds.
                      I note you haven’t put in any link to this supposed story.
                      Kindly put one in or I will just have to assume that this is another little fantasy from your fetid little imagination.
                      Put up or apologise.

                    • alwyn

                      I’m still waiting.
                      If it actually existed I’m sure you could have found it by now.
                      Oh well. I suppose it isn’t really your fault if your memory is letting you down.

      • AB 5.1.3

        Waka jumping (especially by list MPs) is of course anti-democratic. You have it arse about face.

        • Chuck

          “Waka jumping (especially by list MPs) is of course anti-democratic. You have it arse about face.”

          That is making the assumption that in the majority of cases the MP is leaving for reasons other than having the genuine concerns of the party’s supporter base at heart.

          This bill is to give Winston the power to control his MP’s.

          • Stuart Munro

            If they come up with a judicial review process where departing MPs must justify their stance in terms of public interest it might work out rather well.

  6. Ed 6

    A brave journalist telling the truth about Syria and North Korea. A true heroine of our times.

    It’s a wet day.

    if you have 40 minutes, watch…

    • Brigid 6.1

      Ed those who don’t want to know about the Proxy Syrian War wont watch this.

      • Ed 6.1.1

        Appreciate that.
        This is for people who are not ostriches and who have open minds and are capable of critical thinking.

        • Brigid

          Not only, but also
          “Contrary to what its multi-million dollar international PR campaign would have you believe, the “White Helmets” are not a group of volunteer search-and-rescue workers that sprang spontaneously out of the Syrian soil. When you peel back the layers of foreign financing and reveal the foreign intelligence operatives and murky lobbying groups at the heart of the organization, what you find is that the White Helmets are, in fact, a propaganda construct.”

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              I can’t tell if that’s an example of open-mindedness and critical thinking or not 😉

            • One Two

              Through your breathless attempt in trying to rationalise the narrow view you have of the world [your comments tell that story], while simultaneously seeking to belittle , Brigid….

              You’ve managed to ignore the message about the White Helmets, which Brigid was attempting to convey….

              Did it feel good to leap on the link used, and then try to piss all over it…..did it give you another little rush when you realised it attracted other responses to your obvious piss take?

              • Ed

                Some many imperialists and neocons like Andre and joe90 on this site.
                They follow the mantra of Blair and Clinton.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Oh look, gratuitous abuse.

                • One Two

                  I would doubt that’s what they believe, Ed..

                  There is a readiness to insult in various ways, so try not to fall into the same patterns….

                  I don’t bother engaging with some these days, which has likely been picked up as a ‘free hit’ to saying [whatever] being played out…

                  End of the day, Ed….the twisting of words, insults ultimately ensures the ‘safe environment’ will remain unlikely….

                  Don’t feed into further preventing that possibility, however unlikely it may seem….insults and such only propgate negativity….

                  Call it out, but deliver the message in a neutral manner if you can…

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Let’s see if you can take your own advice rather than authoring any more patronising attempts to belittle people.

                    I think you will struggle to break that pattern of yours, although I could be projecting.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Joe90’s comment is entirely apt. As Michael Shermer says in The Baloney Detection Kit, the source of any claim is a relevant factor in deciding the credibility of the claim.

                Watch out for a pattern of fringe thinking that consistently ignores or distorts data.

                The controversy surrounding the White Helmets has been thoroughly explored at The Standard. Speaking of “belittling”, I note that Brigid apparently agreed with Ed’s assessment of people who will pass on watching the video he posted: that they are closed minded and are incapable of critical thinking. I further note your attempt to belittle Joe90: “the narrow view you have of the world”. Did it feel good to leap on his comment, and then try to piss all over it? Hoist on your own petard much?

                I’m grateful to Joe for pointing out the pattern at the Corbett Report, although I daresay I’d have noticed it myself eventually. Only so many hours in the day.

              • Brigid

                joe90s ‘breathless attempt’

                Hilarious. I can just see it too.

                • One Two

                  Not as breathless as the heavy breathing stalker still following around my comments…

                  Once you’ve touched a nerve, they will then chime in, and keep chiming in….if you continue posting what they don’t agree with [taboo subjects almost a form of kryptonite] or can’t understand….

                  Expect the responses to take on venom as the abuse ratchets upwards…

                  Rise above it, should you become ‘a target’…

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    …deliver the message in a neutral manner if you can…

                    …heavy breathing stalker…


            • Brigid

              As I assume you didn’t read the link I put up, I trust that you gained enough information from the paragraph I quoted.
              That’s good.

              I’m not sure if the links you’ve supplied are worth reading though..

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                From the very end of your linked article:

                In the end, the point is no more that we should uncritically accept every statement made in opposition to the White Helmets than that we should uncritically accept every statement made in their favour.

                It takes a long time to get to that which everyone involved in this discussion already knows: the art of warfare is deception. No matter who the white helmets really are, someone is going to tell lies about them. However, I find it difficult to believe that Syrian civilian medics wouldn’t run to the aid of the injured, and organise amongst themselves in doing so. Refusing aid to the wounded is a war crime.

                • Brigid

                  The white helmets are not Syrian civilian medics.
                  Please do more research on them. Refer to Vanessa Beeley’s articles.

                  • Ed

                    And Patrick Cockbun, John Pilger and Eva Bartlett.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Good thing I didn’t say they were then eh.

                    I note you failed to comprehend the conclusion of your own source.

                  • Ed

                    You are aware of who these people are.
                    Brilliant independent journalists.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …and you’re arguing from authority. Did you read Psycho Milt’s link? You do read the links people put up, eh. Or do you take the ostrich approach (your words)?

                      Let’s look at it in terms of set theory.

                      Assumption: there are two sets of people: White Helmets (WH) and Syrian Civilian Medics (SCM). The ones that are still alive, that is.

                      In Brigid’s hypothesis (The white helmets are not Syrian civilian medics), the subset of the two is empty.

                      In mine, the subset of the two has a value greater than zero.

                      Brigid: {WH} ∩ {SCM} = Ø

                      Me: {WH} ∩ {SCM} > Ø

                      I hope the wounded are getting medical attention.

  7. Ed 7

    Cyclone Gita.

    Another reminder that we urgently need to change the whole industrial capitalist system.
    Or see life on the planet become extinct.

    I like the way Bomber is naming these cyclones after the culprits of climate change.

    This one he is calling Cyclone Gerry.
    The last one was Cyclone Fonterra.

    I suggest we call the 10th cyclone Cyclone James.
    For services to denial of the crisis.

    • Or see life on the planet become extinct.

      Life won’t become extinct. The worst that would happen would be similar to the Permian Extinction and it only took ten million years for life to recover biodiversity afterwards.

      Of course, humans probably wouldn’t be part of the biodiversity afterwards if such an extinction event took place now.

      • Stunned Mullet 7.1.1

        Human extinction is probably a fair price to pay for a cessation of posts by Ed on the inter webs.

        • Ed

          You should be at Kiwiblog you troll.

          • Stunned mullet

            I know you are but what am I ?

            • adam

              Stunned mullet, I’m sick of you trying to get a bite, it’s bloody tiresome.

              So grow up and scroll past ed’s comments if you don’t like them, stop acting like a two year old.

              • Stunned Mullet

                Adam if you dislike my comments so intensely why don’t you scroll past whilst sucking your alternate thumb ?

                • Grey Area

                  I’m with Adam. I’m sick of your abusive comments. It is really tiresome.

                  • Stunned Mullet

                    I didn’t realize sockpuppets could become sick or tired.

                    • greywarshark

                      You’re often hostile Stunned Mullet, I think people here would like to have a community of commenters that listen to others and limit their level of abuse.

      • Ed 7.1.2

        If you wesorry about that
        I meant the 6th mass extinction will happen.

      • weka 7.1.3

        “The worst that would happen would be similar to the Permian Extinction and it only took ten million years for life to recover biodiversity afterwards.”

        lol, that’s alright then.

    • James 7.2

      Always nice to have something named after you . I have a sheep in my paddock called ed.

  8. veutoviper 8

    Well, well, well …

    Jacinda Ardern and Julie Bishop met informally last night in Auckland. Revealed by Julie Bishop in a tweet at 11pm. She is here for the weekend for the standard six monthly meeting with Winston Peters, her equal as Deputy PM. They are meeting on Waiheke Islalnd today.


    The smiling photo made me realise just how small Julie Bishop is. Take away the high heels and she would be even smaller.

    [No cattiness, criticism etc intended -or encouraged. Perhaps some (female) envy on my part for her size and trimness !!!!]

    PS – Audrey Young must have originally filed her opinion article on Julie Bishop’s visit before knowing of the meeting with our PM as when I read it in the early hours of today, it said that there were no plans for Ardern and Bishop to meet. It has since be updated. A reasonably middle of the road summary of the current NZ/Australia relationship by Young.


  9. rhinocrates 9


    The Dystopic Leftist Youth of Reddit and Facebook
    A look into the spaces where young people mock the “boring dystopia” that capitalism has built
    “This post aided me on my journey to personal wealth and happiness,” reads the hover text on the upvote button. “This post is unprofitable and thus useless,” reads the text on its counterpart.

    Welcome to /r/LateStageCapitalism, a Reddit page where even the content rating system is a satire of the constant monetization of our daily lives. It’s one of many online forums where a leftist brand of humor can flourish, composed of anticapitalist memes, caustic jokes about current affairs, and a sprinkling of underreported news stories and research papers.

  10. joe90 10

    It gets better. tRump defends a man with a history of domestic violence, and blames the nearest woman .



    • veutoviper 10.1

      Not just the nearest woman, but one whose meteoric rise within the Trump administration etc both before and after the inauguration was attributed to her close relationships with Trump – presumably before her relationship with Porter.

    • joe90 10.2

      Only the best people.

      A White House speechwriter resigned Friday after his former wife claimed that he was violent and emotionally abusive during their turbulent 2½ -year marriage — allegations that he vehemently denied, saying she was the one who victimized him.

      The abrupt departure of David Sorensen, a speechwriter who worked under senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, came as The Washington Post was reporting on a story about abuse claims by his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett. Corbett told The Post that she described his behavior to the FBI last fall as the bureau was conducting a background check of Sorensen.


      She said that during her marriage to Sorensen, he ran a car over her foot, put out a cigarette on her hand, threw her into a wall and grasped her menacingly by her hair while they were alone on their boat in remote waters off Maine’s coast, an incident she said left her fearing for her life.


  11. lprent 11

    Only half an hour to Auckland airport. Only half an our before the trauma that is collecting luggage and braving customs and immigration.

    I do this boring travelling crap for exports. I fail to understand why anyone would do it for pleasure? Selective amnesia perhaps?.

    • Ed 11.1

      Once air travel was glamorous.
      Now it is an endurance test.

      • james 11.1.1

        Not if you fly business class.

        • joe90

          According to the RBNZ inflation calculator my first Auckland London economy return flight cost $11,581.59, twice the price of a business class flight today.

        • Ed

          Bragging again about your wealth.
          Go to Kiwiblog and share the company of fellow selfish gits.

          • One Two

            James does not fly business class…

            If he did he would realise it makes no difference when passing through security…

            It was an ambiguous wind up Ed….serving to show another example of James the left blog site agitator…

            • James

              I never said it did you moron.

              I was pointing out that it’s no an endurance test when you fly with the lie flat beds etc.

              • One two

                James does not fly business class……It was an ambiguous wind up Ed

                In a hurry are you, James…

                48 year old man should have higher levels of comprehension…

                I’ll leave aside the juvenile response mechanism…..which actually was an insult…..in case you go off half cocked wildly projecting in my direction……

              • Ed

                You need to control your anger.

          • James

            Work fights. Plenty of them.

            • Incognito

              Nice Freudian slip there, James 😉

              • Muttonbird

                Remember this is supposedly a 48 year old dyslexic male who left school at fifteen and who has two adult children running their own businesses after having attended $25k/annum Kristin School.

                • Incognito

                  Oh, I see. I thought it aptly fitted his pugilistic style of commenting here on TS.

                  • Muttonbird

                    They are the claims of James himself. I’ll leave readers to judge the veracity of those claims, and by extension any other claims he might make.

                    • Incognito

                      Yes, fair point, but we, the readers, have no way to test the veracity of his claims. And frankly, the successes of his children or his legendary BBQs make not an iota of difference to me; it is Facebook stuff IMO.

          • Muttonbird

            James is virtue-signalling again.

          • greywarshark

            Who are you talking to Ed.? I wonder if we can elevate ourselves from biting each other in the playpen. When you think of replying or initiating some brave critique, just suck in some air and go for a wee instead will you.

        • Brigid

          Good grief james
          That really is pathetic

        • Stunned mullet

          I prefer 1st class and it’s great that there’s internet access on flights now.

        • KJT

          Don’t find business class much better.

  12. lprent 12

    Not as cost effective these days. We used to get it for the long haul. These days we get premium economy.

    At least I can mostly get the net when flying. And I load up a lot of Netflix, music from spotify, and books from my library.

    oops looks like we landed…

    • weka 12.1

      How come you have to go overseas? i.e. are you doing hardware as well as coding? Or is it larger project management that needs face to face meetings?

  13. cleangreen 13

    Hi travel buff’s,
    Since you are all talking about transport here I had our NGO send this reminder to the ruling Labour Coalition Government to ratchet up the rail travel (expressly freight) but passenger rail could be added to as it was good in the 1980’s here.

    With our family boarding a rail-car from Napier to Wellington and catching the ferry to Picton and hiring a car to go down the west coast to see folks where rail didn’t go that far.

    Wished we could do that also today. – Cheers.

    Letter to Government.
    10th February 2018.

    Dear ministers;


    A report by HSBC shows that contrary to the commonplace narrative in the industry, even amidst the glut of unconventional oil and gas, the vast bulk of the world’s oil production has already peaked and is now in decline; while European government scientists show that the value of energy produced by oil has declined by half within just the first 15 years of the 21st century.

    The upshot?

    Welcome to a new age of permanent economic recession driven by ongoing dependence on dirty, expensive, difficult oil… unless we choose a fundamentally different path;

    One such “fundamentally different path” can easily just be using rail freight rather than road truck freight. https://www.aar.org/BackgroundPapers/Environmental%20Benefits%20of%20Moving%20Freight%20by%20Rail.pdf

    This evidence of using rail rather than road freight to lower our use of fuel/energy is reported to be from four to eight times more benefit to us all from use of rail as fuel compressions now show rail uses far less fuel to carry one tonne one km than road freight does.

    The truck freight industry now uses between 28% to 36% of all NZ diesel supplies.

    Use of rail will use less than 6% of our total diesel supplies.

    This is found in studies according to all available fuel use studies of rail verses road freight fuel uses when comparing moving each one tonne per one km.


    “Freight Railroads and Fuel Efficiency Go Hand in Hand Freight railroads are the environmentally friendly way to move freight: ✓ In 2016, U.S. freight railroads moved a ton of freight an average of 468 miles per gallon of fuel — up from 235 miles in 1980 (see Figure 1). That’s a 99 percent improvement. ✓ On average, railroads are four times more fuel efficient than trucks, according to an independent study for the Federal Railroad Administration. ✓ Greenhouse gas emissions are directly related to fuel consumption. That means moving freight by rail instead of truck lowers greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent.”


    The recently new labour Government discovered (formerly hidden) rail report (see above) “The value of rail in new Zealand” that was commissioned by our own “State Owned Enterprise” (SOE) ‘Kiwi rail’ a publicly owned crown state asset was said to be “for the NZ Transport agency” has now proven that this “fundamentally different path” of using rail is now needed to be incorporated urgently now that we are nearing the end of cheap oil. Rail using electric locomotives also should be used to further our less dependency on road freight and using fossil fuels that are destroying our climate, health wellbeing and economy as well as our individual wealth.

    Dear PM Jacinda Ardern please place us on the right “fundamental different path” using rail freight for saving our environmental future, and help to reverse our climate change.

    ‘lets do this’

    Your early response is appreciated please.
    Warmest regards,

  14. Incognito 14

    But sharing them with friends and family is what make the great days and give you a positive outlook on life.

    How many times have we heard these kinds of platitudes? Sharing is caring and compassion is a sure way to achieve happiness, etc. Yet, a majority of people, 44.5±3.1%, go berserkers when you mention inequality and distributive taxes. They go nuts at the idea that their hard-earned money goes to support the ‘lifestyle’ of the lazy, the bludgers, the “pretty damned hopeless”, etc.

    They scream the strongest ‘argument’ that pops up in their narrow selfish minds:

    It’s legalised theft!

    It is clear that the sharing and caring does not extend far and social interactions and attitudes can be summarised as follows:

    1) Like knows like

    2) Like only shares with and cares for like

    3) Unlike is dislike

    4) Intense dislike is hate

    Welcome to human society.

    Another beersy and a sossie, John? Yes thanks, mate.

    • In Vino 14.1

      Agreed. Most selfish bastards limit their generosity to very close family and friends, then congratulate themselves on how much they enjoy ‘sharing’ it, oblivious to how they are actually denying that generosity to most of humankind.

      • james 14.1.1

        Yes – it was fantastic to see the response to Eco Maoris give-a-little page from people who comment on here – not a single donation.

        • Incognito

          Come on James, I challenge you to make a symbolic donation of $1 (or more if you so wish) and show us up for the obvious hypocrites we are! I’ll make a mental note that I must donate to each & every cause I sympathise with and, in fact, to all charities because they all serve a good and noble cause. In other words, if the shoe fits …

          And then we can argue about whether you just created a false equivalence or not.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          ‘fantastic to see… not a single donation.’ – James

          Fascinating; RWNJs can ‘do schadenfreude’ too.

  15. greywarshark 15

    Sharing and caring. I like the one about the elderly brother who charged his elderly sister for petrol for driving her to visit their other elderly sister. And I think he had bought the car using moneys he was holding in trust for her on an Enduring Power of Attorney. People can rationalise self-centred greed given half a chance.

  16. Muttonbird 16

    The drums are beating for airbnb. Great to see this cancer getting some coverage in the media.


    • David Mac 16.2

      I think airbnb is a minor player in the diminishing number of rentals available.

      The critics in your link let long-term rentals and run motels, of course they’re anti airbnb. They’re happy to beat it up, not because of any proven commercial threat but because it’s a soft target. ‘Airbnb bastards have got your home!’

      Our visitor numbers have gone up by a million this year. Tourism dollars are sweet. They spend big, pay GST and require little in return.

      There are lots of holiday houses around me, empty for most of the year. Hosting international visitors at these properties denies no Kiwi a home. Rather than a curse, I see these owners contributing to NZ.

      We need to get better at how we do it but I see it as a benefit rather than a cancer.

      • Muttonbird 16.2.1

        Who is the major player then?

        Home ownership rates are dropping, this is a fact, so it’s not that the rental stock is being bought by first time buyers.

        Whole property airbnb listings in Auckland doubled in the last year and rental stock listed on Trademe halved.

        Did you even read the article? It says:

        In other countries where affordable housing is scarce, short-term rentals listed as an entire place are capped in a bid to bring them back into the rental stock – London has moved to cap it at 90 days per year, and it’s 60 days in Amsterdam.

        According to the BBC, London boroughs have warned that short-term lets are pushing up longer-term rental prices in the UK capital, and reducing housing availability in London as many properties stay empty for long periods of the year.

        These countries appear to be recognising the very same problem you are dismissing. Why is that?

        Have you read any of the other articles in the media recently about amateur landlords being ‘sick of tenants’, and about those who are going to list on airbnb because of ‘the cost of providing a warm, dry home to renters’, and because ‘I can double my money’?




        • BM

          It’s their house, they can do whatever the fuck they want.

          What would make the biggest difference is if this amateur hour government engaged their brains and thought about cause and effect.

          They’re they’re ones making the situation worse with their ideological stupidity.

          • Muttonbird

            The government should start by thinking airbnb’s cause and effect.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            It’s their house, they can do whatever the fuck they want.

            Nah, we dumped that lot in September, when they lost the election. It ain’t your House any more.

            • BM

              Good one dingus, this government ain’t going to do shit.

              As slow as these ass hats are I think it will soon dawn upon on them that they’re actually making the situation worse.

              Backtrack number 156789 is on its way.

  17. Morrissey 17

    New book about the Democratic Party

    Written in honor of Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats’ brave struggle against the Trump gang….

  18. Andre 18

    Interesting piece in The Intercept about intelligence agency mind games and the chaos created by Trump-Russia issues within those agencies.


    • Morrissey 18.1

      Not a single piece of evidence. The Democrats’ “leaders” are wasting their time and everyone else’s.

      • Andre 18.1.1

        I fail to see how your comment relates to the linked article.

        Did you actually read it, or did the “Trump-Russia” in my comment just activate your *no evidence, blame the Democrats* kneejerk reflex?

  19. NewsFlash 19

    Just a question for the regulars………

    Has anyone heard from Marty Mars?

    I haven’t seen any posts from him since last year, he suffered an MI last year so I hope he’s still around, I know what it’s like, I suffered one 15 yrs ago, statistically, there is only a 50% survival rate.

  20. NewsFlash 20

    Cheers OAB, thanks for that, I hope he is too.

  21. Rosemary McDonald 21

    Pie, anyone?

  22. David Mac 22

    Those with a command of our language that I admire have started doing it and I can bite my tongue no longer.

    Nothing can be ‘quite unique’.

    Nothing can be ‘really unique’.

    Nothing can be ‘so unique’

    Something is unique or it isn’t.

    Draco is not quite unique. There can be only one.

    • weka 22.1


      What prompted that?

    • mikes 22.2

      If “Nothing can be ‘quite unique’.

      Nothing can be ‘really unique’.

      Nothing can be ‘so unique’”

      and “Something is unique or it isn’t.”

      Does than then imply that if something isn’t unique it is nothing?

      And if something is nothing then nothing can be unique?

      And if nothing can be unique then something can’t be unique…unless it is nothing…which would mean it’s not something…..

      #@%# !!!


  23. Brigid 23

    Orange balloon animal.

    • Rosemary McDonald 23.1

      I do so love a bit of pie for dessert.

      What I didn’t know about was the march in London to demand the Gummint protect the beloved but beleaguered NHS.

      That was kept quiet.

      I struggle to imagine a day when we Kiwis take to the streets in a mass protest against the privatisation of our Public Health and Disability system.

      The only one I can think of was the Compass crap food protest

      (greywarshark for fromatting tutor of the year)

  24. Muttonbird 24

    I remember Farrar attacking a tourist family who lost $17k from an airbnb scam. They made the mistake of paying third party. Farrar reckoned it was impossible to be scammed if you went through the airbnb process.

    Well, it seems not:

    A hen’s party of 20 women was almost left without a venue after a scam on Airbnb involving a house that didn’t exist.

    Auckland woman Renee Carroll only realised she had been scammed an hour before guests were due to arrive for the weekend of celebrations on February 3.

    The house – a sunny and inviting four-bedroom villa – was booked and paid for through the legitimate Airbnb site


    • James 24.1

      “Carroll immediately called Airbnb staff who questioned if she was “at the right house” before offering alternative accommodation and then a full refund.”

      Alternative accomodation or a full refund – gee scammed hard.

      Air bnb provide a great service

  25. greywarshark 25

    Rosemary McDonald
    For feisty foodie – and about other things. Good to exchange info and advice, individualism will have to be lessened as times get tougher if we want a decent society, and sharing when possible is the way to go.

  26. eco maori 26

    Well we’ve been busy looking after the mokos 9 of them on the farm my Wairua feels good here just over the road is a local Tapu sight ECO MAORI feels the good Wairua here. I show my mokos to the Tepuna buried there I hope they are proud of us Ka pai.
    I see some people are making fun of ECO
    for caring about all the mokos of Papatuanukue and using mokos all the time.
    Here is my reasons the children of Papatuanukue don’t have the Mana to make choices that can change there lives for good or bad the grown-up do this on behalf of the mokos because of this fact
    I advocate for all the children of Papatuanukue in my view one is not a adult till 20 and most men are not men till they turn 40 most ladies are adults at 18. Its is funny that they hide behind the smallest person be careful as if I want to I could decimate your ratings. Eco Maori doesn’t like affecting others in a negative way Ana to kai. Ka kite ano

  27. James 27


    Law makers move to cancel Lorde concerts.

    “The taxpayers of Miami and Tampa should not have to facilitate bigotry and anti-Semitism, and I look forward to the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority and the Tampa Sports Authority complying with the law and cancelling these concerts.“

    If this gets upheld- her US career is toast – 20 states have the same laws (and growing)

  28. Pat 28

    “He said about $5bn is invested in Vix ETPs (exchange traded products) betting on stable markets, “but what people should be afraid of is a disorderly unwind of the much larger $1.5-2tn [invested] in financial engineering strategies that are leveraged to low volatility.
    Cole said the collapse in Vix ETPs was analogous to the quant hedge fund meltdown of 2007, which preceded the 2008 financial crisis. “I do think another crisis of that magnitude will occur in the next few years.”


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