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Open mike 10/09/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 10th, 2021 - 114 comments
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114 comments on “Open mike 10/09/2021 ”

  1. Gezza 1

    Judge dismisses Oranga Tamariki's attempt to remove Māori girl from Pakeha couple.


    Judge seems to have tried to apply the "wisdom of Solomon" to the situation but I wonder if this is the end of the matter? I can see both parties' viewpoints as being culturally valid in their own way.

    • cricklewood 1.1

      Seems he can up with a reasonable solution in what was a very difficult situation.

      The behavior of Oranga Tamariki seems to have been pretty abhorrent and the fact that CEO and 2 high ranking judges attempted to interfere on an ongoing case well outside our guidelines for judicial conduct was staggering. The presiding judge did the right thing.

      Having govt heads attempting to influence ongoing court cases is a really slippery slope.

      • Anker 1.1.2

        Cricklewood, I agree with all you are saying. The Judge has come up with a worthy solution to the issue, by including. the caregivers in Wellington and the biological mother into the picture while keeping the little girl with the Pakeha family who care about this child enough to go to court and fight for her (there are perhaps better indications that the couple have cared well for the little girl).

        The interference in the trial is highly dubious.

        Although it appears that the social workers in this case were domonstrably inadequate, I would give a shout out to the social workers at OT. I know some personally and I know them to be dedicated, committed to the children and compassionate to the families of those children. They get a lot of flack eg the social workers who uplifted the baby in Hawkes Bay. Apparently they were identifiable from the video and received death threats.

        While of course it is advisable that Maori families preferrable whanau are found for Maori babies, that may not always be possible as was the case for this little girl. The idea of distrupting the bond that had been established betwenn her and her current caregivers troubles me greatly.

        • Cricklewood

          Yeah Social work is a very difficult career to take on, amazing people who always do their best. I dont doubt for a second that many of the 'inadequacies' in this case are the result of upper management scrambling to cover arse and putting pressure on Social workers on the ground.

          Then more poor descisions from upper management that ended up with the whole thing in court. Then made entirely worse for the individual Social workers in question when an attempt was made to interfere in the trial suddenly making it newsworthy.

          As usual those at the coal face bare the brunt of the actions of people with comfy chairs and massive salaries.

          The govt really needs to get a handle on the leadership and direction in our big social agencies its pretty poor atm.

          • Gezza

            As a former (34.5 years) public servant whose 2nd department was subjected to constant restructurings, "realignments", "refocuses", & completely new "corporate" management teams, many of whose executives were completely new to the "business" every 3 – 5 years, I can identify with those remarks completely.

            It's reasonably normal for staff to whinge I know but in Head Office we frequently ended up top-heavy with make-workers & with the occasional truly hopeless managers, some of whom knew even less about their job when they left at the next restructuring than when they started.

            Front line staff were chronically under-resourced & stressed. I can recall there being a 3 year period when we had a particularly good "customer-service business model" introduced that was applied across the board, externally & internally, & where a continuous improvement committee process was adopted & met regularly to consider staff suggestions, evaluate & either reject or implement them.

            The General Manager & the Policy Manager worked hand in glove & visited & talked to the staff at all levels, & the department eventually hummed like well-oiled machine.

            The GM & then the CEO retired. The new CEO came in & decided there was to be a moratorium on all changes, introduced a top down review by an outside consultant, got rid of the old management to stamp his authority on the org. And completely broke it.

            They're still being regularly reorganised & still haven't recovered.

            I realise this is a Labour-friendly blog & this may not go down well, but from my perspective many of the current crop of Labour Ministers just don't have the experience or in some cases the intellectual equipment to control & direct their departments, as many actually did in the Clark & Key administrations.

            • Incognito

              It seems that you have a skewed idea of Ministers ‘controlling & directing’ their ‘departments’. If your premise is off, not much useful will come out at the other end. Do you know how government works in NZ or do you think you know?

              • Gezza

                No, I know how government works. I was intimately involved in policy development, appeals (working with Appeal Authorities), & operational systems implementation work for most of my career. I even have some personal Ministerial commendations for some of my work.

                I was also a PSA rep for a short time, after we had a national walkout & my manager returned from overseas & walked in to find everybody leaving the premises. There was no Head Office rep. He had no idea what was happening. Fuck him the staff said. I felt guilty & went back in & told him where things were at with the pay & conditions review. And took the role on on to represent our staff on the negotiating team. There wasn’t much negotiation. It was a take it or leave it situation. They wanted to move as many staff off the Collective Agreement & onto personal contracts with a bit more pay but inferior redundancy conditions as they could

                • Ad

                  Good personal history there Gazza thanks.

                  • Gezza

                    They eventually used to contract out recruitment for senior management positions to professional recruitment companies. They didn't know the business. This resulted in a couple of senior management appointments of folk from the private sector who were utterly useless. I remember one who'd previously worked in management for the biggest Korean airline.

                    He was flown down from Auckland to Wellington every week to run his unit. He'd go into his office & shut the door & the staff couldn't get a decision out of him all week. He was completely out-of-his depth. It was a vital role. The staff had to pick up his job. They were flat out & alternated between despair & being ropable.

                    It eventually became apparent why he was on the market. He'd been useless in his previous job too, they'd got rid of him via the classic scheme of giving him a glowing reference during the recruitment company's referee checks.

                    In the olden days of the strictly in house public service promotions when sackings were unheard of the equivalent was promoting someone sideways into a new role where they couldn't do any harm.

                    • McFlock

                      I tend to think that some ministers who maybe don't have adequate sector knowledge is an obstacle that can be overcome (especially if they're not morons and senior advisors/management can act as translators into the minister's conceptual framework), but even one management level full of "professional managers" with no sector experience is lethal.

                    • Gezza

                      Agreed. And when new Ministers are appointed they get a BIM (briefing for incoming Minister) which aims to give them a reasonably comprehensive overview of their department, & summaries of its policies, operations, legislation, reporting lines etc.

                      They are then completely reliant on the quality, knowledge, communication abilities & personal relationship management skills of their GM & the senior managers they meet with & who prepare their Cabinet Papers.

                      Most of them managed fine, even with the occasional misfit manager as there was a good Chief Legal Adviser & sufficient experienced management talent in the Senior Executive Group or the next layer down who prepped their Execs, had mutual trust & good working relationships & could accompany them to the Minister's Office.

                      I had probably over a dozen Ministers & Associate Ministers in my time there. There were one or two plodders who never really got up to speed & just shuffled papers & kept their heads down as far as possible till they were moved to another porfolio or didn't get re-elected.

                      Most Ministers were good friendly folk, not fools, learned quickly on the job in about 3-6 months, & did solid, dependable, if not stellar work.

                      And there were a few who were standout: sharp as a knife, read their briefing papers thoroughly, & would call their execs over, ask questions, query things they didn't understand, send papers back for further work if they weren't satisfied.

                      Most Ministers & Associates had several portfolios. I guess some people think they have a pretty cruisy time, but the hours they all worked were punishing, they'd be taking work home over the weekends, during long holidays, often in the House working late, & the constant travelling would have been too much for me. I turned down a couple of invitations to be seconded to the Minister's office as departmental private secretary. I just had too many responsibilities at home.

      • Gypsy 1.2.1

        The 'link within your link' (to the earlier article) lays out the failures of OT, and the condition the child came to the caregivers in. "When she arrived with them, Moana's teeth were rotten, she had an untreated club foot, and she showed all the symptoms of a traumatised child."

        Any judge considering this case is going to need the wisdom of Solomon.

  2. Adrian Thornton 2

    Tuns out the BBC is just as dodgy as we suspected….imagine that, the same news source that gets on board for every western war and intervention, dishonestly skewing their Syria story in the service of more intervention…I wonder when was the last time the BBC, or any other western MSM outlet dishonestly skewed a story for the benefit of less western war and intervention?

    BBC admits Syria gas attack report had serious flaws

    'Adjudicators agreed it had failed to meet ECU's editorial standards for accuracy'


    • francesca 2.1

      The comments are hilarious!

      Most commenters had little faith in the current BBC

      Some of them think the BBC is leftist!!

      It's campaign against Corbyn (along with the Guardian) says otherwise

      Corbyn lost that 2019 election, not because of his left wing policies which had wide popularity, but because of his non committal stand re Brexit, and the unrelenting and ill founded charges of anti semitism.(Thanks BBC and Guardian , you did a sterling job in helping to put the idiot Boris at the steering wheel)

      And now we have the quisling Starmer swinging the wrecking ball .

      • Bearded Git 2.1.1

        Agreed francesca. If they had MMP in the UK Corbyn would have started his own party by now.

        ooooohhh Jeremy Corrrrrrbyn!ooooohhh Jeremy Corrrrrrbyn!

        • Morrissey

          Corbyn was the target of unrelenting ridicule and lies by the Blairite rump of his own party, as well as by its media accomplices, the Grauniad, the Murdoch and Desmond filth outlets, and the state broadcaster…..

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Well Judge Peter Callinicos appears to have what could be described politely as some deeply unfashionable views on custody issues. Still, he is the presiding judge I would suspect it isn't a bad thing to apply the occasional bromide to prevailing orthodoxy.

    PS this is in reply to Gezza…

    • Nic the NZer 3.1

      I read those bits, but since it was clearly spin, I took it to show Callinicos attitude to people missrepresenting to the court. He seems to take that as a trigger to ask the hardest questions of those witnesses, which seems fair enough to me. Bending the truth to courts frequently results in false convictions and rulings.

      What do we make of the Oranga Tamariki lawyers claim that, failing to raise a Maori child as Maori, is physically harmful. Does this go on to explain David Seymour?

      • Anker 3.1.1

        Ha ha re your comment about David Seymour.

        I think "failing to raise a Maori child as Maori, is physically harmful" is contestable.

        For one thing it broadens the definition of what physical harm is and I think that in itself is problematic. We would need some very good research to unpick the issue.

        Dunedin study is always my go to.

        Speaking as someone whose spouse is Maori and who was raised by adoptive parents as Pakeha, I wouldn't support what the OT lawyer is saying. I think we have very good ideas of what a baby infant child, teen needs. Secure attachment figures, who offer unconditional love, but are able to set good boundaries. I would add parents who are mature enough to tune into the individual their child is and allow that to flourish. Someone who isn't afraid to be the big person and safeguard the child.

        • Gezza

          My brother-in-law (married to my kid sister [60] ) has a Maori dad & a Pakeha mum. Sis has all his whakapapa (Taranaki nga iwi) & keeps the genealogies for our side too. He & his late dad are "Kiwi 1st, Maori 2nd" types. They don't identify as Maori per se although they're justifiably proud of their whakapapa & look Maori & one of my 2 nephews (theirs) opted for the Maori roll. They're both ambitious & hard working, started out at the bottom & ended up having successful careers in management in their fields of work.

          I get my roof moss-proofed every two years. Four years back the two sprayers who turned up were Maori. As is my habit, I was home, & I called out to them that I was making coffee, would they like one when they finished? It was a nice day & we had a chat in my covered patio & I asked what the taller, chattier one's iwi was. He said his folks hailed from Kaitaia, (Nga Puhi, I think), but they'd moved to Porirua for work & he was born there.

          He had a couple of kids to his partner & I asked if they were married. He just grinned & said "No, that's a Pākehā thing where I come from! We've been together for years & don't see any need to spend money on a wedding."

          I asked the quiet one where his turangawaewae was. He said he'd been adopted as a child by a Pākehā couple & he hadn't been brought up as a Maori. I asked if he knew his birth parents' nga iwi & he said no, & he wasn't that interested in finding out. He'd had a happy childhood & he loved his adopted parents & that was all he needed & cared about. He'd have been around 18 – 20 at a guess. I was surprised he hadn't bothered to find out; I think I would've wanted to in his situation.

          They both got on well together & did something classically Maori. When they finished their coffee & bikkies they said they still had a lot of spray left over & before they left for their next job they sprayed all the lichen on my visitors' car park & driveway for free.

          My point is … I know Maori who are staunchly Maori & embrace their culture & local marae, Te Reo, & kapa haka, taiaha martial arts etc. They see themselves as Maori 1st, Kiwi 2nd. And I know others who are happy enuf on the General Roll & just regard themselves as Kiwis of Maori & Pākehā descent in equal measure.

          Either works for me. I'm happy for people to choose for themselves. I wish I did have some Maori lineage. And that I'd learned Te Reo Maori & French instead of Latin & French at school.

  4. Jester 4

    I see there are pictures and even a video going around on various platforms of Siouxse Wiles breaking her own advice under level 4. I bet this wont make the main news channels if they want more government funding.


    [link added with video and showing Wiles didn’t break any level four rules]

    [next time, post a link, or something else to back up your assertions. This is especially important for public figures, because 1) it avoids defamation and putting the site owners at risk, and 2) it stops you looking like a troll. We’re here for the robust, informed debate, not rumour mongering – weka]

    • Robert Guyton 4.1

      Crikey! No one I know has ever broken their own advice and I know I certainly never have, especially the advice I give myself about writing inane things on blogs!!

    • Red Blooded One 4.2

      As nothing was made in the MSM of the National Party breaking rules dining together in Wellington that Reti admitted to, you may well be right that they won't report on Siouxse Wiles, and if it's not in the Media, maybe you could link to your source. Please tell me its not Coltheman? To blame it on Government funding is bollocks, or is the constant griping from TV3 only because Joyce gave them money. Can't have it both ways bud.

    • Sanctuary 4.3

      The political problem facing the right wing right now is the massively popular and competent government response to covid has forced the right further and further down the rabbit hole, until people like Jester here can't understand why the media won't run character assassinations and smear campaigns by nasty pricks as "news" and can't understand why they make reasonable people want to vomit.

    • Pete 4.4

      Some Stuff headline writer will be going to the grab bag, frothing at the mouth as I write. Oh the choices!

      "Fiasco, failure, catastrophe, disaster, debacle, screw-up, botch-up, fail, cock-up, fuck-up, balls-up, shambles, mess, muddle, bungle, muck-up, foul-up, screw-up …"

      The world is going to end …

    • weka 4.5

      mod note for you Jester. Please acknowledge.

      • I Feel Love 4.5.1

        Another Collins shambles, fat shaming now, she just gets worse.

        • weka

          really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

          • Gezza

            OMG. I've just read what Collins said. She's not just hypocrtical: she's utterly crass & completely artless. She's clearly got a blind spot in the mirror. That's just nasty schoolgirl stuff. Absolutely bizarre that she can't see the damage she's just done to herself & her party. I don't think she engages the brain before she opens her mouth, & I don't think she actually hears what she's saying.

            Man, that is SO dense it beggars belief !

            She's gone. Just a matter of time now, imo.

            • weka

              only sense I can make of it is that National are still running a trumpian politics agenda. They want a more divisive society, because in the medium term that's the only way they can get some traction against Ardern.

              • Gezza

                She probably thinks she's scored a Trumpian-style king hit. Her EQ & IQ are both highly suspect.

                I suspect Collins has offended probably the vast majority of voters in this country with that totally unnecessary personal denigration of Wiles. Ardern’s fan club journos will flay her.

                She's as dumb as a sack of hammers. Wonder when the next polls are due out? Hope they aren't busy collating & analysing them already. I’d like to see a couple more working days roll around before someone starts doing the polling.

                • weka

                  I don't think she is dumb. I think she's got a certain personality that doesn't really give a shit about people, and she's in a role where her choices are very limited.

                  There's a sizeable portion of people that either don't know who Wiles is, or actively dislike her. That's who Collins is talking to.

                  It's a mistake imo to right Collins off as stupid. She's on track with trumpian pol. It's not about king hits, it's about undermining democracy over the long term.

                  • Gezza

                    I hear you.

                    I'm not particularly fond of Siouxsie, but those remarks of Collins' are so far below the belt I'm gobsmacked.

                    I'd never say I'd never vote National (although I never have to date). But I don't think Collins is attracting any more voters than the current crop.

                    I think she's an unimpressive, awkward communicator & doesn't strike me as having anything like a coherent policy programme. With such lean pickings for spokespeople & her still at helm the Nats are in no current danger of picking up a candidate or party vote from me.

                    Ardern’s got time to counter or pirate & tailor policy anywhere they might be getting some traction. And Labour’s in its 2nd term now. Their newby Ministers have now got experience.

                    I really am wondering how she'll score next poll. She's done some serious media foot-shooting lately.

                    • weka

                      again, trumpian pol isn't about short term poll gains. It's about creating a social and political milieu where division advantages the right.

                      National have nothing atm that can touch Ardern, this is a long term strategy. They could of course rebuild their party around values again, but it doesn't look like the people in power want that. Proto-fascism is a drug, and Key was the one that really brought National into this position. Irrespective of what Collins does or doesn't do in terms of voters this year, she is on point for the bigger agenda.

                    • Gezza

                      Ah, yes. thanks. I see your point now.

                      Seymour & she might end up a double act if it works.

                    • weka

                      Indeed. Act are doing their own version of trumpian politics.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Irrespective of what Collins does or doesn't do in terms of voters this year, she is on point for the bigger agenda."

                    My view is she did a deal with her party and caucus last year. She is a 'place holder', and is throwing stones until a younger, most likely female with a softer and more reasoned approach takes over later in 2022. My pick is Nicola Willis.

            • Gabby

              She knows her people and feeds them what they want.

      • Jester 4.5.2

        Yes I would have put up the Newshub Link if I could, but the story wasn't there when I posted original comment at 8:50am this morning.

  5. tc 5

    Well done NZ ! Vaccination rates and adherence to the levels.

    Hang in akl almost there, awesome effort everyone especially the frontline workers.

    • Tricledrown 5.1

      The govt should throw a big load of cash out to Auckland especially when their lockdown reduces to boost mental well being and help the economy.

  6. I Feel Love 6

    "The endgame is to suppress the virus,” – Dr Fauci.

  7. Molly 7

    A short (10 min) video about Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, the nine-year old whose 2013 death was attributed to air pollution in London.

    For me, it also speaks of the wider and more complex issues of social justice and inequity not being considered, let alone adequately addressed, by planning, transport, health or environmental monitoring institutions.

  8. Gezza 8

    Still another puzzle piece of a thoroughly confusing history:


    Although when you listen to the full audio track it looks like a relatively minor blip that isn't really the "gazumper" the Opposition might try to make it out to be if they're aware of it. Will try & see if it comes up at Question Time.

    • Gezza 8.1

      Oh. 😰

      Friday. No QT.

    • Gabby 8.2

      ImmigrationNZ appear to be culturally welded to the principle of inertia. Do nothing even when it requires great effort.

      • Gezza 8.2.1

        Maybe. On the other hand, if you go to sections 163 & 164 of the Immigration Act (just as a start) and then click on EVERY linked provision & all their cross links, & then go looking for the relevant provisions & links to every likely section & subsection covering every other element of this guy's immigration history & relevant provisons around permanent residence & deportation, & appeal rights & Ministerial powers that have been mentioned to date – it doesn't take too long to realise it's an excruciatingly complex legal situation & those who think there's been a simple solution at various key points or milestones imo hasn't really understood ALL the relevant requirements & processes that must be covered off before any ONE of them could have suceeded.

        I'm not surprised that nobody wanted to do a knee jerk rush to a quick solution that conceivably might have failed on Judicial Review. As he in the end refused to engage to pursue the revocation he said he wanted, the point is moot.

        The Review hopefully will unentangle all the many strands in some intelligible way.

    • Pete 9.1

      It is not good news to hear of someone with the seeming inclination. It is good news to hear of the arrest.

      It will be interesting to see if recent events have a 'worst case scenario' applied to the individual to look after the community or the paramount perspective is to look after the individual and his rights.

      All those from whatever agencies dealing with him, up to the judge, should paint their children or spouses into a scenario where he has his way.

      • Gezza 9.1.1

        I am hopeful that the Muslim Association & Muslim Women's Council might be approached early to see if they think they can help & what assistance they might need in supporting this individual & deterring him from this possible path – & perhaps support & help his family as well. Lonely or isolated Teenagers are so easy to radicalise.

        This surely can't just have come out of nowhere. And the LynnMall attacker has probably raised the temperature of anti-Muslim sentiment. If any of that's been directed at him or he's seen it on social media, or he feels the attacker was simply executed, it could have set him off.

        I also can't help wondering if Allah granting the Taliban such a stunning victory, while the West is railing against them, threatening to deny them money, & calling them liars, is a factor. Fundamentalists everywhere have been celebrating, from the reports I've seen.

        • In Vino

          Well, our totally dumb USA policy-makers asked for this years ago, didn't they?

          Just deserts, and we backed them all the way. No point in moaning now.

          I remember just after the 911 disaster, a History teacher was standing next work day morning with other staff at the school, and someone said something like, “Isn’t it terrible?”
          “Yes,” he said, “and a lot of people are going to die now.” Looks of surprise. He added, “And they will probably be the wrong ones.”
          Prescient, unlike the US policymakers, who just pretty well repeated their Vietnam blunder.

          • Gezza

            They really learned how to kill over there by remote control. And in their last days during the evacuation mission they killed a suspected IS suicide attacker, again by remote control. They announced on tv that they'd got the terrorist(s), & that the explosion was huge, so they were clearly suicide bombers, and that there were no civilian casualties.

            I was watching AlJazeera tv newshour, looking at a civilian man on top of a single story house building, running to the edge, looking over at where the black smoke was rising, then running back while others also appeared, bringing a bucket of water which he threw down into the smoke. It made no difference.

            They’d rocketed the car in a very narrow street, right outside that house, killing 11 people, 10 in one family, including several children and their father, who'd just arrived home from work. They were running out to meet him.

            A Pentagon spokesman doing a live standup on tv as I watched not long afterwards was asked by a reporter had he heard that there were civilian casualties and he replied that they were aware of this claim but it hadn't been verified.

            They've now killed thousands of innocent civilians as "collateral damage" in this way, in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Somalia and numerous other countries, taking out Taliban, Islamic State, Al Qaeda, Al Shabab and other "terrorists" in rocket assassinations via Predator drones flown by young operators who're trained and skilled in computer gaming.

            It's bizarre how this simply doesn't register in the US consciousness or the Military Commands. Non-American lives just don't matter. It's why they're so hated in many of these places.

          • Gypsy

            What did they 'ask for'? Oh the US have made huge foreign policy mistakes, but Islamic terrorism is centuries old, so let's not fall for the old 'great satan' narrative for everything that is happening.

            • In Vino

              Since Islamic terrorism is centuries old, one would have expected that by now US 'Intelligence' would have thought of much more effective policies for dealing with it..

              • Gypsy

                Such as? I mean appeasement is such a successful strategy, right?

                • In Vino

                  Repeating most of the blunders they made in Vietnam then leaving in utter humiliation is probably worse than appeasement, which was your silly suggestion, not mine.

                  • Gypsy

                    Vietnam? Not sure when that was run by islamic extremists, but if you're off on a tangent, how about the soviet occupations of Korea, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan just to name a few. Or the Chinese involvement in Korea, Tibet, Vietnam and of course their present day treatment of the Uyghurs.

                    • In Vino

                      The Soviet occupation of Korea?? History is not your strong point, is it?

                      I never said Islam had anything to do with Vietnam – I said the Americans made much the same blunders there. Read up about it all.

                    • KJT

                      "They did it too" is not an excuse.

                      I expect murderous arseholery from totalitarian regimes.

                      I expect better from our "Friends" who purport to be principled democracies. And from our own Governments.

                  • Gypsy

                    "The Soviet occupation of Korea?? History is not your strong point, is it?"

                    It is, actually.

                    "I never said Islam had anything to do with Vietnam…"

                    This entire conversation has been about the history of Islamic terrorist activity.

                    "I said the Americans made much the same blunders there. "

                    Yep, they did. And China and Russia/USSR have made mistakes too. Plenty of them.


                    • In Vino

                      Soviets were gone from Korea by 1948: more like liberation from Japanese and setting up of Govt with little suppression – hardly a long-term supressive occupation like Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

                      You don't get to decide what a thread is about: American behaviour applies to more than just Islam – the anti-Communist campaigns invite valid comparisons.

                      Typical rightie evasion – oh, everybody else made a mistake too. Not on the scale of roughly 20 years in Vietnam then Afghanistan as well.

                  • Gypsy

                    "Soviets were gone from Korea by 1948: "

                    Indeed. Good on you for looking it up.

            • KJT

              Murdering millions with forced changes of Government, saunctions, bombs, drones, et al. are "Foriegn policy mistakes"?

              That is objectionably mealy mouthed as the term "collateral damage".

              Don't forget who supported and armed, the Talibans precursers.

              • Gypsy

                If you mean the mujahedeen, it was the US, Saudi Arabia and China. Of course the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979 to prop up a communist government there. And it would appear China will now bankroll the Taliban. So they've all got their fingers dirty.

              • joe90

                The Mujahideen were tribal warlords funded and armed by the US to oppose the Soviet invaders. The Taliban are religious fundamentalists, formed during the post-soviet civil war to oppose the Mujahideen, funded indirectly by the US via US military aid to Pakistan.


                • Gypsy

                  The Mujahideen were also supported by the Chinese and the saudi's. Now the Chinese are going to back the Taliban. And the wheels turn.

                • Morrissey

                  The U.S. regime was arming and supporting and praising extreme Muslim groups in Afghanistan BEFORE the Soviets intervened in late 1979.

                  • Gypsy

                    The marxist regime in Afghanistan in the '70's led to Afghanistan being called a Soviet 'client regime'. The soviets were up to their eyeballs in Afghanistan, which is why they invaded Afghanistan when the marxist government was on the verge of collapse.

                • KJT

                  In other words. Mujahideen!

              • Gypsy

                ""They did it too" is not an excuse."

                I never argued it was. I'm just balancing your anti-us rhetoric.

                • KJT

                  You "never argued that". But you just did.

                  • Gypsy

                    No I didn't. I'm not making judgements or excuses. The superpowers have all behaved badly. They see it as part of protecting their geo-political interests. So singling out the US for criticism is intellectual dishonest. As is blaming them for islamic radicals murdering their way to their religio/political interests. It's been happening for centuries.

                    • KJT

                      Who is singling out the USA.

                      If the idea that criticising the USA is intellectually dishonest. Then the total USA good, China/Russia bad, that occurs constantly is even more so.

                      By the way you should have said religious radicals. Not Islamic. That is also intellectually dishonest.

                  • Gypsy

                    "If the idea that criticising the USA…"

                    You're now being dishonest. I said 'singling out', not criticising.

                    "By the way you should have said religious radicals. Not Islamic. That is also intellectually dishonest."

                    No, it's historically accurate in the context of this conversation, of this thread. When a white supremisist goes around killing people in a mosque we call it out. When Christian radicals bomb abortion clinics, we call it out. There should be no fear or favour.

                  • Gypsy

                    "But yet, you object to me "calling out" US state terrorism. FIFY."

                    No, to you 'singling out' US foreign policy stuff ups.

                    • KJT


                      Your choice of words is rather a giveaway.

                      Decades of bombing, murder of civilians, removal of elected Governments and replacing them with tyrants, saunctions that starve whole countries of food and medicines, not to mention drone strikes on weddings and people going about their everyday lives.

                      Is "Foriegn policy stuffups"? When the USA does it.

                      When "Islamists" or China "does it, you have rather a different description.

                  • Gypsy

                    "When "Islamists" or China "does it, you have rather a different description."

                    Where have I labelled China 'terrorists'?

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              …so let's not fall for the old 'great satan' narrative for everything that is happening.

              Not "for everything" (of course), but for many things.

              "Great Satan", "evil empire", "axis of evil" – birds of a feather, or two in the Bush?

              All 'fingers' are dirty, but some are dirtier than others.

              Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean the government isn’t playing dirty. [Sept 2014]
              After the revelations of Dirty Politics, it might have been assumed these practices were halted. It seems that they haven’t been. Cameron Slater said to me last week on Twitter ‘wait until you see Dirtier Politics’. The worst, it would seem, is yet to come.

  9. joe90 10

    Wonder no longer about why repugs (and our very own big biz shills) are working to spanner public health.

    Leaders all over the South were scrambling to find a cure for the dreaded pellagra until they discovered what that cure might cost them. That’s when the campaign of denial began. A century-old fight over public health feels fresh as a morning headline as we wrestle with a new threat, with equally simple remedies that upset Southern values. Disease is personal. Pandemic is politics.

    Joseph Goldberger was sent to the South in 1914 on a mission from the US Department of Public Health to investigate an outbreak of pellagra. Pellagra is a terrible illness, starting with skin lesions, then advancing to diarrhea, dementia and in about 40% of cases, death. The disease, already well known among poorer populations in Southern Europe, had been documented in the South in 1908. By 1912, more than 30,000 cases had been identified in South Carolina alone.


    Goldberger was initially welcomed. Southern leaders expected him to blame the disease on an infection, or even better, on a contaminant in corn imported from the Yankee Midwest. Instead, his experiments backed up his initial suspicion that pellagra was a nutritional deficiency. Goldberg published his findings in 1915, demonstrating that pellagra was a consequence of a poorly diversified corn diet, and could be remedied by adding a few fresh foods. His conclusion wasn’t novel, matching the recommendations of earlier researchers in Europe, but his report sparked angry denials.

    An earlier commission of Southern researchers in 1909 had reached an erroneous conclusion more welcome to Southern planters and mill owners – pellagra was an infectious disease, spread either by flies or adulterated corn. It could, therefore, be remedied by educating the poor toward better sanitary habits and/or regulating imports from the hated North. Goldberg’s discoveries instead tied the disease to Southern economic practices that were producing wealth for a few powerful people. Wealthy Southerners worked to promote their preferred diagnosis.


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