Open Mike 10/11/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 10th, 2018 - 108 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

108 comments on “Open Mike 10/11/2018”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    “Identity crisis: Marxists against wokeness” is written for those who prefer depth in cultural & political analysis. Food for thought here…

    “James, the black Marxist, was, thanks to his profound understanding of the game and the warmth of his courtly manner, the most esteemed figure in British cricket, a world that combined the white working-class clubs in Nelson and Sheffield, in the industrial north, the clubs in the broker belt of the Home Counties, and the toffs at Eton, Winchester and Lord’s. And all of them rigidly segregated their scholarship and teaching from their politics. At a practical level, they believed that their political goals would be furthered not by indoctrination, which only succeeds in producing revolutionaries (or social-justice warriors) with flabby minds, but by rigorous scholarship and adherence to bracing academic standards. Where today even high-school teachers believe it their moral duty to advance their social agenda in the classroom, Thompson, for instance, understood that his duty was to train minds and that, given the power and influence teachers and professors exercised, they should never push a political line in the classroom.”
    https://www.spiked-online.com/2018/09/28/marxists-against-wokeness/

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    “The meaning of the Midterms: Five writers give their views on blue waves and Trump bumps.” https://www.spiked-online.com/2018/11/09/the-meaning-of-the-midterms/

    1. “But that the sitting president did less badly than sitting presidents have recently done in Midterms is remarkable. It tells a broader story of the failure of the woke politics of fear, of the febrile, counter-populist technocratic reaction to Trump… for two years now we have been told, day in, day out, that Trump is the worst president ever. That he is Hitler… Dems and their supporters pumped millions of dollars, deployed the energies of the celebrity set and cranked up the social-media machine to secure a blue wave, and still it didn’t come.”

    2. “What we are experiencing in America is the politics of exhaustion, of two large, lumbering ideological golems whose energy and forward momentum is completely spent. Party affiliation is at or near historically low levels, and who can blame us? Neither party even pretends to offer an appealing, let alone viable, vision of the future.”

    3. “Trump that has the potential to bring him greater political success than has been evident so far. His self-image as a ‘deal-maker’ would certainly lend itself to targeted coordination with Nancy Pelosi on a host of popular measures. However, because the notion of partnering with Trump on anything – even as a matter of legislative compromise – is so anathema to large portions of the Democratic electorate, it is unlikely that this eventuality will shake out. The result will instead probably be even more substance-free theatricality, on the part of both Trump and the Democrats, without any commensurate policy upside. Cynicism, alienation and Culture War inferno will take the place of governance, and everyone will get progressively disgusted with the whole charade.”

    4. “Moderate Republicans were the biggest losers in the Midterm elections, as Trump consolidated his hold on their party. Who were the biggest winners? It’s too soon to tell… Trump retained his hold on the crucial battleground states of Florida and Ohio, he lost Wisconsin and Michigan. Democrats won seven gubernatorial and some 300 state house races. They came remarkably close to winning a Senate seat in Texas and a governorship in Georgia.”

    5. “But while Trump got a bloody nose, he wasn’t knocked out. And the weaknesses on the Democratic side have also been exposed. The media fawned over candidates like Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams, only to see these would-be celebrities defeated. The Democrats have been living off anti-Trump sentiment, and have not presented a coherent alternative. The new populism that emerged in 2016, that positive desire among voters for change, has become precarious because of its link to Trump. But the Democrats have no inspiring agenda for the future, nor an answer for the workers who have abandoned them.”

    Exhalant has an emotional commentary with similar sentiments, concluding with what needs to change: “But that would require dismantling the overt and covert power structures that ensures Establishments at the internal level don’t change, on both sides, even if they change the branding from time to time. It would require also not falling for manipulation from self-billed “woke” people… Only if both sides recognise the serious faults internally that they both have, and start addressing them in an actually authentic manner.”
    https://exhalantblog.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/what-the-mid-terms-werent-what-could-easily-happen-and-a-rocky-road-to-2020/

    • Ad 2.1

      Well go on Dennis, stretch your legs and write some analysis yourself.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        I’m still mulling it over, Ad. I agree that the Dems have done well in getting control of the House back, and with those noteworthy multicultural candidate successes they are validating inclusionary politics. I agree that the Reps are endangering their future with the rich ole white men model.

        I’m impressed that 47% of the electorate got so excited by the competition that they actually voted. Such belief in democracy is heart-warming. Obviously the establishment will be reassured that both their parties did well. Business as usual therefore perseveres. Angst about the system and the future of humanity remains marginalised as a result, thus reducing the anxiety level of most Americans.

        The leadership vacuum in the Democrats is probably the space to watch now. Nature abhors a vacuum (which is why the Goldwater Girl got selected by default) but Democrat aversion to leadership is becoming so obvious that even political commentators will start to notice it eventually.

        Gordon Campbell’s view on this: “Pelosi and Co will prefer to pitch the Democratic messaging to a now non-existent moderate political centre.”

        “The Democrat’s main tactician in the House will be the next House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi. In many respects, she is a Hillary clone. As Slate recently pointed out, the Democratic leadership embodied by Pelosi and by minority leader Chuck Schumer is almost pathologically inclined to display ‘borderline-comical caution and an over-estimation of Republican good faith’. They’ll be terrified of looking obstructionist. They’ll want to do a deal, especially on immigration. Trump will embrace that readiness, and probably eat them for lunch. If left to their own devices, Pelosi and Co will largely serve to humanise Trump’s excesses round the edges, but without changing his course to any significant degree.” Non-leaders, playing leadership roles.

        Sanders? “In October 2017, Sanders stated that he would run for reelection as an independent in 2018 despite pressure to run as a Democrat.” [Wikipedia] GC also writes “Klobuchar won her Minnesota seat in a 60/36 landslide. Look at the rural/suburban districts she won. IMO, a Klobuchar/Beto O’Rourke presidential ticket would have a lot going for it. BTW, if you haven’t seen O’Rourke’s concession speech yesterday, you should. It’s about ten minutes long, but is riveting.” http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1811/S00036/gordon-campbell-on-the-democratic-leadership-and-trump.htm

        • Andre 2.1.1.1

          Nate Silver’s taken a look at what the actual numbers mean in terms of the Electoral College in 2020. Yeah, sure it’s a mid-term which almost always tilts against the incumbent, so he also took a look at what happens if you took 6% off the Dems across the board …

          https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the-2018-map-looked-a-lot-like-2012-and-that-got-me-thinking-about-2020/

          • Dennis Frank 2.1.1.1.1

            Reading the future by extrapolating current trends? I lack the temperament to be that sensible, so I always look for a game-changer. Here’s one:

            “He taught himself computer programming at the age of 10, and by the age of 12 sold the code of a BASIC-based video game he created called Blastar, to a magazine called PC and Office Technology… His childhood reading included Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series from which he drew the lesson that “you should try to take the set of actions that are likely to prolong civilization, minimize the probability of a dark age and reduce the length of a dark age if there is one.”

            Exactly the right kind of person the world needs as leader, eh? “Musk was severely bullied throughout his childhood and was once hospitalized when a group of boys threw him down a flight of stairs and then beat him until he lost consciousness.” Experience of traumatic victimhood can be character-building. If the will to power prevails over adverse circumstances, one becomes more assured of overcoming powerful others in future.

            “He holds South African, Canadian, and U.S. citizenship and is the founder, CEO, and lead designer of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO, and product architect of Tesla Inc.; co-founder and CEO of Neuralink; and co-founder of PayPal. In December 2016, he was ranked 21st on the Forbes list of The World’s Most Powerful People. As of October 2018, he has a net worth of $22.3 billion and is listed by Forbes as the 54th-richest person in the world.”

            Inasmuch as he has the track record to be both strong contender & likely winner, his triple citizenship gives him a unique cosmopolitan personal base from which he could become a genuine statesman. So what are his politics?

            “Politically, Musk has described himself as “half Democrat, half Republican” and “I’m somewhere in the middle, socially liberal and fiscally conservative.” …Musk has voiced support for a universal basic income; he additionally backs direct democracy. He has described himself as a socialist, but “not the kind that shifts resources from most productive to least productive, pretending to do good, while actually causing harm” – arguing instead, “true socialism seeks greatest good for all.” He supports targeting an inclusive tax rate of 40%, prefers consumption taxes to income taxes, and supports the estate tax, as the “probability of progeny being equally excellent at capital allocation is not high.”

            Electability? “Musk has described the United States as “[inarguably] the greatest country that has ever existed on Earth,” describing it as “the greatest force for good of any country that’s ever been.” Musk believes democracy would not exist any longer if not for the United States, saying that it prevented this disappearance on three occasions through its participation in World War I, World War II and the Cold War. Musk also stated that he thinks “it would be a mistake to say the United States is perfect, it certainly is not. There have been many foolish things the United States has done and bad things the United States has done.”

            “Before the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States, Musk criticized candidate Trump by saying: “I feel a bit stronger that he is probably not the right guy. He doesn’t seem to have the sort of character that reflects well on the United States.” Following Donald Trump’s inauguration, Musk expressed approval of Trump’s choice of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and accepted an invitation to appear on a panel advising President Trump. Regarding his cooperation with Trump, Musk has subsequently commented: “The more voices of reason that the President hears, the better.” He subsequently resigned from both in June 2017, in protest at Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change.”

            • Andre 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Okaaaaay, that one’s waay out there, but it would certainly be a game-changer. There’s also the minor obstacle he’s constitutionally ineligible, since he’s not a natural born citizen, having been naturalised in 2002.

              • Dennis Frank

                Yeah, the yanks have two kinds of citizenship. I forgot that’s why Schwarzeneggar couldn’t run. Oh well. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizenship_of_the_United_States

                “The United States Constitution requires that all members of the United States House of Representatives have been citizens for seven years, and that all senators have been citizens for nine years, before taking office. Most states have similar requirements: for example California requires that legislators have been citizens for three years, and the Governor have been a citizen for five years, upon taking office. The U.S. Constitution requires that one be “a natural born Citizen” and a U.S. resident for fourteen years in order to be President of the United States or Vice President of the United States. The Constitution also stipulates that otherwise eligible citizens must meet certain age requirements for these offices.”

            • One Two 2.1.1.1.1.2

              Musk. No.

              POTUS. PM’s et al.

              No!

              Why do people deperately seek ‘leaders’…it really is rather meek…

              Be your own leader…each and every single one of us…

              Then genuine change occurs…

              • Dennis Frank

                Yeah, but when? I’ve been trying that approach an awful long time. The yippie non-leader thing was circa ’71. When the Greens tried it on, it was obviously that gender-balanced co-convenors wouldn’t suffice. I had to tell them that leaders emerged in various species in nature via group selection. We ended up with gender-balanced co-leaders as a compromise…

                • One Two

                  As soon as people accept that the current frameworks are the problem, Dennis…and stop thinking in terms of changing the current frameworks…they can’t

                  They are done…broken…the barriers in the way of humanity taking control of it’s own destiny…here, vote for ‘our candidate’…go ahead…keep doing it…

                  People can’t seem to understand why the system keeps beating them up by producing the ‘leaders’ who the ‘believers’ continue to vote for…..

                  The system is controlled…that’s the ‘secret’ … right in front of their face…

                  Pure idiocy to keep it in place…

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Yes, the existence of the control system becomes obvious the longer one observes the patterns of consistency in the way it operates. But this is another perception/reality thing, inasmuch as those who lack perceptive faculties cannot discern the underlying reality.

                    So if nature endows humans with a spectrum of acuity, we can’t really expect cognition to become general – unless social pressure builds sufficiently to trigger a tipping point in mass consciousness.

                    In the Matrix movie, cognition that the matrix was constructed rather than reality was a minority view and gnosis of how to finesse it was too deep to market to Hollywood, so they just did shoot’em-up bullshit as usual instead. Problem diagnosis is always easier than solution.

                    • RedLogix

                      Exactly. It’s kind of fun speculating about ‘non-hierarchy’, ‘non-leader’ models of social organisation, but these things are hard-wired into us from deep evolution. This doesn’t mean we cannot consciously choose to modify our innate behaviours, but we do need to honest about what we’re up against.

                      As you say, diagnosing is easy. Solutions that don’t turn out to be worse than the original problem are much harder. Indeed vanishingly rare.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But this is another perception/reality thing, inasmuch as those who lack perceptive faculties cannot discern the underlying reality.

                      Is it that they don’t have them or that they’re not taught how to use them?

                      See, I think it’s the latter.

                      So if nature endows humans with a spectrum of acuity, we can’t really expect cognition to become general – unless social pressure builds sufficiently to trigger a tipping point in mass consciousness.

                      It has to be taught at schools and in the home. The latter is the hard part because so many don’t have it to teach to their children.

                      Problem diagnosis is always easier than solution.

                      True but we still need the problem diagnosis first.

                    • “Problem diagnosis is always easier than solution.”

                      No I disagree. Most times we spend 90% on solutions and 10% on understanding the problem – it should be the other way around imo.
                      Seems a western euro trait, this wanting to know, continual movement in any direction. Similar to a person on guided tramp asking “what is that called… what’s that… what’s that called?” Sometimes I felt like saying, “why do you actually care? Just enjoy it without categorizing or mentally controlling it.” We need to mull, to consider, to contemplate, to roll around ideas, to discuss, to muse more imo. Solutions yes – with clarity, precision and compassion.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Yes, I do agree with you & Draco that diagnosing the problem correctly is essential. You’re right that many folks tend to jump onto solutions too fast.

                      Red & I commented presuming the optimal diagnosis had already been achieved. Often in such cases likely solutions don’t necessarily resolve in favour of one (better than others). That stymies collective decision-making. And with real tricky problems like climate change arguing over diagnosis takes years, after which it sometimes gets too late for solutions to be viable…

                    • Incognito

                      I was thinking of your comment at 11.24 am, Dennis, when I read this:

                      In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D. And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, …, collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose.

                      If this catches your attention, you’ll be interested to read more and find out where this excerpt came from.

                      https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/11/dystopia-in-fiction-and-in-fact

                      PS I also wondered about JLR when I read it …

                • Stuart Munro

                  Dual leadership was as much a strength for the Greens as it was for the dual Spartan kingship. A monolithic leadership would have hit the party much harder when Rod died or Metiria retired.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    So indeed it has proved. Which is why the Maori Party adopted the model, presumably, and to their credit. Surprising, inasmuch as it apparently emanated from Maori aristocracy (although I have no idea about whichever tribal context of that) and that was/is a traditional patriarchy.

                    You’re right, it’s a resilience design. I recall agreeing immediately, without even having to think about it, when it was suggested. As a teenager I adopted the idea of gender parity years before women’s lib, think I got it from Malory’s Morte D’Arthur (1485) which I read aged eight. Didn’t realise kids weren’t meant to be able to read antique English! Chivalry actually came to the English from southern France, which had a unique culture in those days. So Malory was doing a multicultural exercise in historical revisionism, you could say!

              • Draco T Bastard

                Why do people deperately seek ‘leaders’…it really is rather meek…

                True.

                Be your own leader…each and every single one of us…

                Almost. What we actually need is for everyone to engage in and help make the decisions of governance for the business where they work and then their local ward, city, region, country and the world and all without representatives.

                We could call it democracy.

                • greywarshark

                  Mmm that would be ‘participatory democracy’ would it? And not representative democracy where people vote for who and what they want on one day, and spend the rest of the time between elections moaning because government didn’t provide it.

                  And presumably not ‘pluralist’ democracy where interest grioups of all sorts lobby government and the ones that offer the best recompense to their champions, win.

        • Ad 2.1.1.2

          The spatial vote breakdown in Texas done by the Washington Post is pretty inspiring; the demographics as well as the candidate have really shifted Texas from red to purple.

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/politics/texas-election-results-analysis/?utm_term=.0ada2a5b7757

          And the O’Rourke concession speech is epic.

          • Dennis Frank 2.1.1.2.1

            I had another look & found https://www.chron.com/news/politics/election/article/Analysis-How-Ted-Cruz-pulled-off-the-win-against-13369814.php
            Looks like the old city/country split, eh?

            Further support for this: “Cruz targeted the Texas Panhandle, a half-dozen counties in East Texas and the Houston suburbs as he closed his campaign. He held rallies in each of those areas, pleading with conservative supporters to vote in big enough numbers to counter the record turnout in Texas cities that powered Democrat Beto O’Rourke.”

            “And those conservative voters delivered, providing Cruz with almost 250,000 more votes than O’Rourke — slightly more than Cruz’s margin of victory statewide. As of late Wednesday, the Texas Secretary of State had Cruz winning the U.S. Senate race over O’Rourke 50.9 percent to 48.2 percent. It is the first time any U.S. Senate race has been decided by less than 10 percentage points since 1978.”

            “No region was more important to Cruz than the Harris County suburbs. In Montgomery, Waller and Chambers counties, Cruz built a nearly 100,000-vote margin of victory there, claiming almost 73 percent of the vote, and nearly half of his overall margin of victory. That was critical for Cruz as O’Rourke pounded him in Harris County. O’Rourke won nearly 200,000 more votes than Cruz in Harris, even though that is Cruz’s home county and Cruz won it outright in 2012.”

            “The Interstate 35 corridor shows the unprecedented nature of O’Rourke’s campaign. In the 19 counties on I-35 from Laredo to the Oklahoma border, O’Rourke won about 450,000 more votes than Cruz. It’s a shocking turnaround from 2012 when Cruz had a 200,000-vote lead in those counties.”

  3. ScottGN 3

    Gillum has un-conceded in Florida so both Florida races, the gubernatorial race in Georgia (which may go to a runoff) and the senate race in Nevada are still too close to call and in the best American tradition everyone is lawyering up.

  4. Jenny 4

    As one of the world’s leading Left Assad apologists, Max Blumenthal wonders how he got an invite into this secretive far Right conclave to “rub shoulders” with some of the biggest reactionaries inside the Republican movement, when all other journalists, even conservative journalists, are barred.

    Most likely Blumenthal’s attendence at this event was endorsed by the shadowy extreme far Right US groups that support Assad fascism.

    They would know from following his personal time line, that Blementhal is corruptible and given the right prompts and incentives can be turned.

    As Blumenthal himself says; “They know who I am”.

    Documenting Max Blumenthal’s Regime Change from Assad Opponent to Assad Apologist
    Shughl, hurriya, karama wataniyya – Apr 11

    Blumenthal maintained his principled pro-revolution, anti-U.S. military action position throughout 2014 and 2015 until his paid trip to Moscow as part of RT’s 10th anniversary celebration in December 2015. There, he shared a stage with the likes of anti-Semite Charles Bausman, editor of Russia Insider and author of “It’s Time to Drop the Jew Taboo.”

    Blumenthal returned from Moscow a changed man. He no longer spoke out against Assad or his crimes or expressed any sympathy for the victims of the crimes he claimed in his open letter disgusted him. Instead, he would pass off as his own work White Helmets conspiracy theories hatched by Rick Sterling and Vanessa Beeley. In 2017, he even repeated Beeley’s ludicrous smear that the White Helmets are Al-Qaeda after seven White Helmets were murdered by Al-Qaeda in Idlib.

    The Assad regime itself would later repeat these lies about the White Helmets at the United Nations Security Council in February 2018.

    What is remarkable about Max Blumenthal’s transformation from Assad opponent to Assad apologist is the degree to which he became exactly what he railed against in his essay, “The Right to Resist Is Universal.” Now it is he who is “nickel-and-diming civilian casualty counts.” Now it is he who speaks the language of George W. Bush, ranting about terrorists and Al-Qaeda. His flunkeys Benjamin Norton and Rania Khalek quickly and mindlessly followed his lead and became rabid Assad apologists, engaging in the very behaviors they too once railed against.

    However, unlike Norton and Khalek, Max Blumenthal has not tried to scrub his Twitter history of anti-Assad comments. Nor has he issued retractions after U.N. investigations proved him wrong about Al-Qaeda poisoning Damascus’ water supply and wrong about the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons. He was also wrong about Bana al-Abed’s Twitter account being run by a foreign P.R. firm, wrong about a random Arab guy with a beard being infamous jihadist cleric Abdullah al-Muhaysini, and wrong about a whole lot more.

    And why should Blumenthal issue retractions?

    Being a Blumenthal means never having to say you’re sorry for any of the vicious lies you spread. After all, his millionaire daddy and Hillary Clinton hitman Sid Blumenthal never apologized for spreading the smear that Barack Obama wasn’t born in America during the 2008 Democratic primary.

    Being a Blumenthal means you always escape accountability for your actions. When you get fired from Alternet because your “journalism” is garbage, you slither over to The Real News.

    Being a Blumenthal means lecturing other people about what it’s like to “toil at the lower rungs of the work force” while attending daddy’s posh book launch parties inside the Beltway where you rub shoulders with the very power elite you rail against on the propaganda platform of a registered agent of a foreign government…..

    Well worth a read of the full link to gain an insight into the corrupt world of Left Assad apologists and genocide denialists.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Adrian Thornton 4.1

      What’s your point? this has nothing to do with Syria, I was talking about Haley, and btw I didn’t see this Nikki Haley talk covered by any other media, in fact I have seen very very little push back to Haley from MSM on both sides.

      • Jenny 4.1.1

        Hi Adrian,

        What’s my point?

        Briefly;

        There has been a lot of reporting of the convergence between Western Left apologists for Assad, and the most vile and violent Western fascist movements. From the neo-nazi who posted praise of Assad on his facebook page before he rammed his car into a group of anti-racist protesters killing Heather Heyer.

        From the Italian fascists, to the Britain First racist who murdered Jo Cox for her stand on Syria in particular her support for Syrian refugees fleeing the Assad holocaust.

        But not so much about the convergence between Left Assad apologists and the political Far Right establishment politicians, represented by the CNP.

        Of Left apologists for Assad, Max Blumenthal, (if you have read the link you would know), is damned as a proven conscious and opportunist liar in the service of Assad regime.

        Adrian be in no doubt that Niki Haley, as she rises up the political ladder, and if the CNP have anything to do with it, will be at the head of a Republican led campaign to publicly rehabilitate the Assad regime and draw the regime away from the Russian sphere of influence.

        Max Blumenthal will have an important role to play in this rehabilitation and normalisation of genocidal fascism back onto the world stage. Which will have repercussions for the whole world.

        No doubt the CNP will be looking closely at European establishment politicians of the Far Right who have already begun this process.

        The European Far-Right’s Sick Love Affair With Bashar al-Assad
        Josephine Huetlin – The Daily Beast, March 28, 2018

        “German far-right and neo-Nazi politicians are taking trips to Syria, claiming it’s now safe for refugees to return and praising murderous dictator Bashar al-Assad”

    • Morrissey 4.2

      Max Blumenthal is not an apologist for Assad or anyone else.

      Do you support the Saudi-Israeli-U.S.-U.K.-French axis and its sponsorship of the Daesh-Al Nusra-Al Qaeda insurrectionists in Syria?

      • Jenny 4.2.1

        Reply
        Morrissey 4.2
        10 November 2018 at 11:35 am
        Max Blumenthal is not an apologist for Assad or anyone else.

        Do you support the Saudi-Israeli-U.S.-U.K.-French axis and its sponsorship of the Daesh-Al Nusra-Al Qaeda insurrectionists in Syria?

        Of course not.

    • Jenny 4.3

      Adrian Thornton 2.2.1
      9 November 2018 at 9:14 pm
      Yeh, I have been following Nikki Haley’s apparent political maneuverings pretty closely lately, she is one very scary and horrible human that is for sure, I can’t believe I am about to say this, but I think I might even prefer Trump to Haley, and she (at this early stage anyway) looks like she could be a very real contender to go all the way……

      From The Real News…

      ‘Inside Nikki Haley’s Shocking Speech to Secretive Far-Right Group’

      How politically rotting do you have to be, to get an exclusive invitation to the CNP?

      Max Bluimenthal tells us in his own words.

      Inside Nikki Haley’s Shocking Speech to Secretive Far-Right Group
      TheRealNews
      Published on Oct 19, 2018

      @1:25 minutes
      ……Before we get into some of what Haley said, which you reported on, which is quite extraordinary. Talk about this gathering, and how you got in……

      @2:00 minutes
      …..These people kinda call themselves ‘Grass Tops’ – leaders. Y’know, they kind’a shepherd the Republican Grass Roots to the polls on election day. But they also kind’a decide what the wedge issues are gonna be, and what the narrative is.

      For the Party, they have anointed the past two Republican Presidents. Donald Trump, back in 2015 and George W. Bush in 1999, (as they were just emerging)…..

      …. they also helped make Sarah Palin John McCain’s Vice Presidential pick. So y’know, Niki Haley coming to this gathering, I thought, was pretty significant.
      I didn’t know that she was going to resign five days later. But I was there. And I had a chance to go.

      Basically I think that no reporter, especially progressive reporter, has managed,. actually, maybe one, or two, over the last thirty years or so, or since this group was founded, has managed to get in.
      I don’t think any progressive independent reporter has managed to get into the Council for National Policy.

      They hold these meetings three times a year in secrecy. The location is not told to anyone who is not a member of the group. The membership rolls are not provided outside the membership’s inner circle. And these are closed door meetings, the press is not allowed.

      I knew someone who is a CNP member, who’s an anti-war conservative, so they shared some policy views with me, they were sympathetic to my writings on Israel Palestine….

      …..I didn’t hide anything about myself, I put in my Real New biography, and I run this anti-empire journal. Like nothing hidden at all.

      My name should have been well known to the National Policy Council, because I have written about their members in my book ‘Republican Gomorrah’…

      @5:42 minutes

      ………and I went to the Western Hotel in Charlotte, and walked into the auditorium, this giant ball room. Jenny Thomas the wife of Clarence Thomas, walked by me. Frank Gaffney, y’know, the kinda foreign policy hawk who inspired Trump’s Muslim ban, y’know brushed shoulders and sat near by. And I was basically surrounded by the vast Right Wing conspiracy, about 300 people, settling into their chairs to hear Niki Haley speak at noon.

      Yeah Max, it’s interesting. You mentioned your book, ‘Republican Gomorrah’.  ‘Republican Gomorrah, Inside the movement that shattered the Republican Party’. It came out in 2009. It was the definitive book on how the Far Right took over the Republican Party and here you are there now, a decade later inside the movement, once again, at one of their most secretive meetings…..

      Related commentary:

      Because you asked

      • Morrissey 4.3.1

        You’re deluded, Jenny. Willfully deluded. As in: you know you’re talking utter nonsense but you’re compelled by some crazed logic to keep at it.

        Once again, I remind you of what you know perfectly well: Max Blumenthal is not an apologist for anyone. He is one of the small and diminishing number of rigorously independent and outspoken journalists in an increasingly authoritarian country.

        I asked you before, but you failed to answer, so I’ll ask you again: Do you support the Saudi-Israeli-U.S.-U.K.-French axis and its sponsorship of the Daesh-Al Nusra-Al Qaeda insurrectionists in Syria?

        • Stuart Munro 4.3.1.1

          What a pack of nonsense Morrisey.

          Detail that support if you contend it’s real.

          US & UK forces have been killing Daesh forces with some enthusiasm.

          It is only Putin’s apologists who are determined to conflate resistance to Assad with ISIS, because it gives him free rein to bomb and gas whomsoever he pleases.

        • Ed 4.3.1.2

          Stuart didn’t answer you.
          He dodged.

          • Stuart Munro 4.3.1.2.1

            I didn’t dodge Ed – I merely asked Morrissey to support his assertion – something you could learn to do, if you cared about the quality of your content.

            • Ed 4.3.1.2.1.1

              Morrissey asked you this.

              “Do you support the Saudi-Israeli-U.S.-U.K.-French axis and its sponsorship of the Daesh-Al Nusra-Al Qaeda insurrectionists in Syria?”

              You didn’t answer.

              • greywarshark

                I wish you ardent negotiators for a settlement in the Middle East would stop talking in circles.

                For instance –
                Morrisey at 10/11 2.43pm repeated the question he had asked Jenny at 10/11 11.35 referring to Jenny’s original comment at 10/11 7.42am.

                Ed at 10/11 4.10 pm and 4.26pm – Morrisey didn’t ask Stuart at 10/11 4.24pm anything – his request was to Jenny.

                All clear now?
                Ed it might be a good idea if you held back sometimes and let others take the argument while you watched from the sideline. Then you could keep up better.

              • Stuart Munro

                Morrissey’s construct entities ” the Saudi-Israeli-U.S.-U.K.-French axis” and
                “the Daesh-Al Nusra-Al Qaeda” are not sufficiently united or coherent to describe in this fashion.

                But I’ll tell you who I don’t support Ed – Assad, those who sell him gas, those who drop it for him, and those who are his western apologists for it.

        • Jenny 4.3.1.3

          “I asked you before, but you failed to answer, so I’ll ask you again: Do you support the Saudi-Israeli-U.S.-U.K.-French axis and its sponsorship of the Daesh-Al Nusra-Al Qaeda insurrectionists in Syria?”
          Morrissey

          My apologies Morrissey for my late reply. I always try and do my best to give a prompt reply to questions put to me by Assad apologists on this site. Unfortunately I was away from my keyboard baby sitting the grandkids in Pukekohe last night and then planting pumpkins in Tuakau this morning.

          But I did get back to you, Here

          And I will reply to your question again now;

          “Do you support the Saudi-Israeli-U.S.-U.K.-French axis and its sponsorship of the Daesh-Al Nusra-Al Qaeda insurrectionists in Syria?”

          No

          But let me ask you a question Morrissey, and I hope you can have the grace to give me a reply.
          It is a question that I have asked many times on this site of Assad apologists and not one of you has ever, not even once, had the courage or the honesty to answer it.

          Who did this?

          And is it not evidence of genocide?

          • Morrissey 4.3.1.3.1

            Thanks, Jenny. I know you don’t support Daesh.

            And, no, I don’t support President Assad’s regime.

            • Jenny 4.3.1.3.1.1

              ….I don’t support President Assad’s regime.

              Morrisey

              Hi Morrisey, I didn’t ask whether,you support the dictator Bashar Assad’s regime, or not.

              That wasn’t the question.

              The question was;

              Who did this?

              https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2016/feb/04/drone-footage-homs-syria-utter-devastation-video

              And is it not evidence of genocide?

              Why do Assad apologists have so much trouble answering this question?

              There is a regular apologist for authoritarian Right Wing political regimes and politicians, who qualifies his contributions, roughly like this; I don’t support Assad but…., I don’t support Putin but…., I don’t support the Saudi regime but….

              So as to give our readers a better chance to be able to judge the worth of your pretty evasive answer to my question, Morrisey, let me ask you another, but more pointed question;

              Do you accept the evidence of genocide being conducted by the Assad regime against the Syrian people?

              Or, are you a genocide denier?

  5. SaveNZ 5

    “A reader who is fluent in Chinese sent me a couple of snippets on Jian Yang.

    “In one of the …. files released last Oct by the immigration office under OIA , Jian Yang declared he entered to Luo Yang University in 1978 and graduated in 1982 where he obtained a bachelor degree of English Study.

    When I checked the background of this university in Chinese source, I found this university (Luo Yang university) wasn’t even founded until 1980 which means the university didn’t exist in 1978, the year Mr Yang declared he started his university education.”

    https://croakingcassandra.com/2018/11/07/the-prc-and-new-zealand-bits-and-pieces/

    • Morrissey 5.1

      Shades of Maori TV’s ill fated CEO John Davies, a Canadian con man headhunted by a “talent agency” for an enormous fee, who had allegedly graduated from “Denver State University.”

      Eager-beaver investigative reporters soon discovered that Denver State University did not exist.

      The rest is (shameful but hilarious) history.

      • SaveNZ 5.1.1

        Yes but Jian Yang is still a Natz list MP?????

        I guess only people outside of positions of power are held to account about lying on their CV and immigration to NZ???

        You would think at least he would be suspended from the Natz list, but wait, no apparently 2 Chinese is worth more than 2 Indians if they pay to get there in donations.

        Clearly not much interest from the politicians themselves in upholding democracy or keeping fraudsters out of NZ on their immigration applications and subsequent buying onto the list as a National MP, as can’t see much heat on this issue.

        https://www.ft.com/content/64991ca6-9796-11e7-a652-cde3f882dd7b

        • Gabby 5.1.1.1

          For all we know, the Comrade Colonel’s continuing presence is in accordance with a clause in the trade agreement that the likes of us need not bother our little plebeian heads about.

  6. Ankerrawshark 6

    Yes Morrissey that was one weird little story. Didn’t he then claim he was in a witness protection scheme?

    On a somewhat related note, I am very curious about what was and wasn’t handed on to Ian l g by officials. Surely immigration should have data on who has and has not left the country.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      Didn’t he then claim he was in a witness protection scheme?

      Yes he did. Although in New Zealand he was protected by the hapless Derek Fox, who did all the talking for him at that cringe-inducing press conference.

    • Anne 6.2

      …I am very curious about what was and wasn’t handed on to Ian l g by officials. Surely immigration should have data on who has and has not left the country.

      Jacinda Ardern was reported yesterday as saying that ILG never received any file containing reports of the alleged two trips back to Czechoslovakia. In other words, he did not find out about it until after he made his decision.

      It doesn’t sound to me like ILG did anything basically wrong, and the claim of incompetency has no substance to it. I also note that one or two people who are familiar with the case have also been claiming the public is only getting one side of the story.

      It is beginning to look to me like someone has been leaking information/evidence to the Nats that was not supplied to the minister. In other words a “set up” designed to bring him into disrepute?

      • Morrissey 6.2.1

        Whale Oil has heaped abuse on Lees-Galloway for many years now. I would wager Bill Clinton’s weekly whoring budget that Whale Oil is behind this latest beat-up.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.2

        It is beginning to look to me like someone has been leaking information/evidence to the Nats that was not supplied to the minister. In other words a “set up” designed to bring him into disrepute?

        That wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest.

      • Ankerrawshark 6.2.3

        I also think the other piece of info that is left out was the strict conditions I LG set on this guy staying. It was a yes /no decision but was conditional on him behaving well…….

        Is it likely that immigration have deliberately set him up?

        Btw jacinda is handling it superbly imo

        • Anne 6.2.3.1

          Not Immigration as such, but likely one individual inside the agency or someone quite closely associated with them.

  7. SaveNZ 7

    This is a very sad story. Time our government started looking at our justice system that seems to ignore some crimes aka wealthier migrants and then absolutely go crazy on NZ youth in particular who are Maori, had little chances, fall through the cracks and let down by the state in the first place. The sad thing, is that once kids (aka poor unsupported by parents) seems to get a zealous conviction here in NZ, it seems to escalate their chances to get further convictions and in this poor kids case, he just got no justice what so ever by the sounds of things.

    Court of Appeal overturns rape convictions for teenage boy and criticises defence lawyer Brandt Shortland in miscarriage of justice

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12156071

    Weird that this sex offender gets residency by the Natz..
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11837608

    And of course the roast busters kids didn’t even get charged.

    • I only hope the young man now receives intensive counselling to help him manage the trauma of his early years. God knows if he will ever get back to a life of normality.
      Or finds his siblings and mother.

  8. SaveNZ 8

    I’d like to see youth court extended up to youth aged up to 24 years in particular if they have been in state care or abused, that they get QUALIFIED help rather than jail.

    And their records sealed unless compelling reasons so they can get employment and accomodation.

    An early criminal conviction can wreck people’s entire lives and actually direct them into further crimes or gangs as they have few other avenues to live their lives normally.

    Our system has become an ambulance at the bottom. Funding needs to be directed into human capital from birth and supporting kids born into NZ into their potential – not as scraps passed from agency to agency without any real care and then putting in the money into prisons and adult schemes when they really have major issues to be addressed rather than early care and attention and not in a hap hazard fashion as we do it at present.

  9. patricia bremner 9

    Anne, at 6.2 I tried to locate where I had read that WOODLOUSE of worm farm fame , had been telling Jane Clifton that “they had I. Lees-Galloway caught out”
    Thoughts of a set up struck me.
    How did the Woodhouse know there would be a problem? Perhaps because he knew the final summary was missing salient facts?

    That members of the National Party were having discussions with journalists early in the piece is indicative they new something was amiss, but were deflecting it onto the Minister’s judgement rather than a faulty summary.

    • Anne 9.1

      Does Jane Clifton still write for the Listener? That could be where you saw it.

    • veutoviper 9.2

      Don’t think it was Jane Clifton, Patricia.

      Yes, she does still write for The Listener which appears online under Noted.co.nz, but her only articles over the last two weeks of the ILG problems have been about Jami-Lee Ross and Kiwibuild.

      Woodhouse is currently National’s Immigration spokesperson as well as former Minister of Immigration from Jan 2013 until Oct 2017 and so will be well up with what happened with Karel Sroubek over the nine years of Nat government, and certainly seems to have known that ILG’s decision had been made on incorrect/incomplete information. Mark Mitchell is also trying to get in on the act, in his role as Nat’s Justice spokesperson – and possibly a hopeful for Leader in the future ? – LOL.

      I am currently doing an analysis of the questions etc that Nat have asked in the House over the last two weeks and what they have seemed to know that ILR didn’t but have not completed it as yet. Its for other purposes, but I may do a small summary here when I have completed it in the next few days if I am able to do so – and will look out for which journalists have been aware of/pushing the Nats information etc.

      • OnceWasTim 9.2.1

        “I am currently doing an analysis of the questions etc that Nat have asked in the House over the last two weeks and what they have seemed to know that ILR didn’t but have not completed it as yet.”
        I can’t wait @ VV, and if you’re at a loose end, match it up with various media reports, correspondence between Immigration lawyers and government agencies, and anything else that’s relevant (such as actual entry and exit information in the EU and elsewhere).
        It might put to bed a lot of the speculation and ill-informed opinions I’ve seen around the place – just for example things like who first granted residency versus when it became known there was a double identity and a whole new set of issues to consider.
        There’s no doubt there are many who seem to see I L-G as a convenient scapegoat in this whole bugger’s muddle.
        A timeline that includes all the known facts, at at the time they were known would be very useful.
        IF you are able to get together everything, my suspicions are you’ll soon discover there is, and has been an agenda at play.
        And when it all comes down to it, it won’t be much different from a number of other complete fuckups that have occurred in recent times.
        Meantime, I’m trying my best to refrain from commenting because it all seems eerily similar to so many other cockups that are now the norm under the immigration ‘system’ as it stands.
        At the moment, people are just feeding off each other, AND basically just polluting the ether

  10. jcuknz 10

    After I heard the reports about the reasons the Czech Govt had for taking him back I am not suprised that he fears for his life if he has to go back. Also the two trips back quite likely confirmed his belief.

    • ianmac 10.1

      And it is only the Opposition that is saying he went to the Czech Republic. If he went to say Italy, although it is also in the EU, the Czech police could not arrest him in another country. The NZ Court allowed his trip to Europe but to the Czechs? Not known.

  11. SaveNZ 11

    Even if Iain was ‘caught out’ as you say, the victims of this guy are the people of NZ and apparently Iain said he would do it all again. We have major problems in NZ from drug abuse which goes hand in hand with all those poverty outcomes and crime statistics in many cases when people are getting addicted to cheap, highly addictive and violence inducing drugs that ‘white collar’ criminals are making a killing out of supplying.

    The EU is rich, and perfectly able to provide the necessary support and incarceration for the Drugsmuggler. We have more than enough problems in NZ and don’t need another criminal to keep here.

    If it’s so difficult to Iain to work it out, he should go too.

    Immigration should not be about the Natz or Labour point scoring, and who said what, it is about a minister being capable of doing their job and it seems like Iain is more interested in Drug smuggling (like the Natz) than actually keeping the NZ public safe.

    Whole communities are being destroyed by those synthetic drugs and it beggars belief that there is actually government support to have him stay here especially when he is from the EU!

    They also should not be allowed to give bonus points to criminals turned narks, because rewarding criminals even those ‘suppling questionable information’ should not be part of the residency process.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      One thing i thought of was that he might have been a stalking horse used to try and get a handle on the whole operation and therefore a useful idiot.

    • cleangreen 11.2

      I fully agree with you there SaveNZ – and we saw how Phil Twyford was punished and lost his “air transport portfolio remember.

      So if Iain lees galloway is not punished it will leave a very ‘smelly fish in the sun’ pong all through our country.

      Get rid of his portfolio as he needs to be punished.

    • OnceWasTim 11.3

      Generally I agree with you @SaveNZ.
      The problem I have with your contributions is that you seem to have no concern for a system that NZ has been complicit in that’s royally ripped a good many non ‘lil ‘ole NuZullners – and for commercial purpose.
      Forget ’em eh? Let’s just forget it and start all over again.
      WE industrialised immigration under the model created by Joyce and Coleman and their little pompous puppet.
      I mean, I’ll concede Joyce was not ever that bright – more extremely astute in the art of animal cunning – not unlike a few other gNats. (The saying “Cunning as a shithouse rat springs to mind, and worse still, rehearsed in the art of sales and spin-speak).
      WE encouraged scams that not only involved people from various places WE were trying to target, but also ‘NuZulln CITIZENZ’, and WE were/are neck fucking deep in it.

      I’m all for change. I’m just not up for abrogating OUR responsibility for a good many lives and families ‘lil ‘ole’ yea/nah NuZull has pushed further into poverty and debt – especially in ‘MARKETS’ WE targeted.

  12. joe90 12

    The wall has been down for longer than it stood.

    On this day in 1989, the #Berlin Wall comes down. The infamous barrier between East and West stood for exactly 10,315 days. pic.twitter.com/f703JVOoVG— Alex Kokcharov (@AlexKokcharov) November 9, 2018

    • Wow. I have bittersweet memories of that great day it came down. I remember thinking about two friends that had topped themselves over the previous 6 months and thinking. “Fuck you guys have missed out on seeing this fantastic unbelievable day.”
      It’s strange the things we remember…

      • joe90 12.1.1

        Yet we persist in dividing ourselves.

        This report reveals that member states of the European Union and Schengen Area have constructed almost 1000 km of walls, the equivalent of more than six times the total length of the Berlin Walls, since the nineties to prevent displaced people migrating into Europe. These physical walls are accompanied by even longer ‘maritime walls’, naval operations patrolling the Mediterranean, as well as ‘virtual walls’, border control systems that seek to stop people entering or even traveling within Europe, and control movement of population.

        https://www.tni.org/en/publication/building-walls

        • Sabine 12.1.1.1

          how many people have been shot while trying to get over these walls?

          how many people have been locked up in re-education, while their families lost jobs, housing, schooling etc for the transgression of one of their relatives trying to get over the wall?

          Die Mauer, as we called it was an abomination, people died trying to get out of east germany. they bled to death in front of everyone in the no mans land.

          Borders have always existed. Border will always exist. And generally i have no issues with that. Walls however, that come with mine fields, self shooting systems, watch towers with sharpshooters etc are a slightly different thing.

          • greywarshark 12.1.1.1.1

            Oh dear. My tragedy is worse than your tragedy. I can’t feel for you, you haven’t had it as bad as we did.

            That is the theme of the Four Yorkshiremen isn’t it?
            Original –
            (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKHFZBUTA4k

            • Sabine 12.1.1.1.1.1

              no what i am trying to say is that there were people, 239 east germans who were shot while trying to get over this very real wall.
              (i quoted 279, but after checking here revised teh number https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_deaths_at_the_Berlin_Wall)

              so i think we might want to keep that in mind when we compare walls, especially while speaking of that wall.

              but if you have issues understanding the pain of others, that is not my concern, it should be yours.

              here is a little clip for you dear, so you might find your sense of tragedy that you seem to have lost

              • greywarshark

                Poor Sabine
                I apologise for criticising your focus on numbers and the tragic situation for the split country of Germany and the sad deaths of people trying to reach the other side. Can you not see that the continuation with this new wall building is just like the Berlin wall all over again. In time the statistics might rise to match the ones you quote. I am sorry for the pain of the past. I feel sad for the killings of people at the Berlin wall.
                I don’t like to see it repeated. I believe that you are concerned about that also.

            • WeTheBleeple 12.1.1.1.1.2

              “my pain and sadness is more sad and painful than yours” – Mclusky

              “My dad is bigger than your dad
              He’s got eight cars and a house in Ireland
              Sing it…

  13. Poission 13

    how a solar flare blew up 4000 US magnetic mines during the vietnam war.

    https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1029/2018SW002024

    Darn photon torpedo’s.

  14. Dennis Frank 14

    Great story on the Spinoff about how an urban legend got spun from an historical anecdote and unreliable memory: https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/04-11-2018/the-parihaka-prisoners-and-the-legend-of-the-caves/

  15. Puckish Rogue 15

    How to quickly lose support, well done Antifa at least now everyone (including the left) can see exactly what they’re like

    • joe90 15.1

      To be fair, the families of Igor Soldo, Alyn Beck, and Joseph Wilcox would probably prefer antifa.

  16. veutoviper 16

    Another job available in Parliament

    Last Tuesday, we were told that Simon Bridges- or rather “the National Party Leader’s Office” – was looking for a Senior Social Media Advisor. We even had a separate post on this here on TS!

    Simon Bridges wants a new senior social media advisor

    Now there is also another “ongoing, full-time” job on offer in Parliament, again for a National Party MP.

    PLEASE NOTE that I am making no connections between this ad and anything else going on at present in the political arena, and lets keep it that way. However, some parts of the ad (actually most of it – LOL) are quite amusing – sorry, ‘interesting’ … Whoever wrote the Job Description should be given a promotion.

    Parliamentary Executive Support and Researcher to Sarah Dowie, MP

    https://jobs.govt.nz/jobtools/jncustomsearch.viewFullSingle?in_organid=16563&in_jnCounter=223461665&in_jobDate=All&in_searchbox=YES&in_summary=S

    “Job Description [My bolds]

    As the Parliamentary Executive Support and Researcher to Sarah Dowie, MP, located in Wellington, you will be relied on to provide research and briefings on the Member’s particular issues of concern as well as putting your admin and multi-tasking skills to good use in a varied and rewarding environment.

    On a daily basis, you could be doing anything from researching, writing briefing notes for your Member, summarising data on relevant issues and preparing reports, to managing their diary, travel or managing and reporting on budgets and expenses, and greeting visitors or answering correspondence. You’re there to offer unconditional support to the Member, ensuring they have exactly what they need, when they need it.

    You’ve got a keen eye for the political landscape and a knack for taking everything in your stride – things are changeable here so an appreciation for the environment and the ability to be calm, proactive, and flexible will stand you in good stead. Needless to say, you’re about as switched-on as they come and you’ll be confident in developing strong relationships built on trust and mutual respect. An interest in environment and conservation along with law and justice would be beneficial for this role.

    You will be stepping into a role and an environment that is very unique. One that is hugely rewarding and exciting with the chance to be at the heart of it all.

    As an organisation, it’s extremely important to us that our people feel supported and are given the opportunity to continue to grow and develop their knowledge and their careers.

    We are open to hours in the range of 32-40 per week. Some flexibility in hours may be required, particularly when the House is sitting. This is an events-based, fixed-term role linked to the Member of Parliament.

    If you’d like to play an important behind-the-scenes part in helping our MPs work for New Zealand, apply now.

    Applications close at midnight on Tuesday, 20 November 2018.

    The Parliamentary Service appoints on merit and is committed to EEO and good employer principles. If you have any questions regarding this role please contact Talent@parliament.govt.nz

    To apply for this job, please go to our job site https://careers.parliament.govt.nz/home and enter the job code 19182GJ.”

    Enough said.

    • Muttonbird 16.1

      What happened to the last person in the job? An attack of conscience?

      • veutoviper 16.1.1

        Don’t know.

        In terms of her list placement and Opposition responsibilities (Conservation Spokesperson for the Nats), this position would probably be her main Wellington support person being a combined Executive Assistant/Researcher position – although other support would be available to her through shared staff and resources such as the Leader’s office staff and Parliamentary Library staff.

        Dowie has had patchy attendance in the House/in Wellington over the last five or so months, including over the last month or so, but was in full attendance in Question Time last week and back in her normal seat. She seemed to be playing musical chairs there for a while.

        • Muttonbird 16.1.1.1

          Oh yes, I can imagine her attendance has been patchy. She’s been a busy woman. We still pay her full whack though. 😕

          This is the same person who encouraged hunters to fight the Tahr cull I think. Not much of a conservationist!

  17. cleangreen 17

    ___Along with another senior MP opposition too?

  18. Ed 18

    Palm oil plantations are among the biggest driver of deforestation, threatening the orangutan with extinction
    Take a stance and enjoy a Rang-tan friendly Life.

    By the way, this advertisement was banned.
    Shows what happens when you tell the truth

    • joe90 18.1

      I like their beef ad.

      edit:

      So it’s all about the use of an overtly political ad, not the content.

      Clearcast is the body responsible for clearing ads on behalf of the four major UK commercial broadcasters.

      We assess all ads against the rules of the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising; Clearcast is not a regulator and we do not ban ads. The Iceland ad submitted to us is a Greenpeace film which has been appearing on the Greenpeace website for a number of months.

      The specific rule Clearcast and the broadcasters have considered is:

      An advertisement contravenes the prohibition on political advertising if it is:

      An advertisement which is inserted by or on behalf of a body whose objects are wholly or mainly of a political nature.

      Clearcast’s concerns do not extend to the content or message of the ad.

      https://www.clearcast.co.uk/press/iceland-advert/

      • Muttonbird 18.1.1

        Troll post. 👎

      • greywarshark 18.1.2

        Unfortunately everything today is political or should be. The world is being ruined while apathetic apolitical people avoid thought and standing up for what is worthwhile in their minds, after looking at the ramifications of it. (I remember Key being dismissive of something before one of his elections, saying that the Opposition was being political!).

        So this political thing is an excuse to avoid looking at reality in case it hurts the eyes and minds of the buying public! The orangutan cartoon should not be banned on ‘political’ ground as it is making fair, general comment and the rules seem like repression and censorship.

        As far as content could be of concern, (if it was) – only problem to my mind is that bottle of shampoo had label which might be seen to mimic some brand. Replace with a green square, and what reasonable complaint could there be?

      • Ed 18.1.3

        Very sad Joe, very sad.

    • Morrissey 18.2

      Take a drive through the Waikato some time, Ed. All around Matamata, Cambridge, Morrinsville, etc. there are advertisements for Palm Oil Kernel, all for selling to big farmers to fatten up their dairy herds.

  19. WeTheBleeple 19

    Farmers swear by the stuff apparently it puts condition on the animals like nothing else.

    What do our cattle lack that this is such a notable thing?

    The product in and of itself is great value. How we source it is the issue. But again I query, what is wrong with our feed stock that cows get noticeably better with palm kernel?

    Possibly the overzealous use of mineral salt fertilisers forcing excess water into plants with the salts resulting in poor nutritional content. As a Fonterra executive unofficially reported to me on grass in the Waikato region after last season being atypically wet: it’s all watery, the cows have got the shits, there’s no protein in the grass.

    We could grow high quality feed here as part of a diverse on farm shelter belt system. I’d hazard a guess acorns might fill the ‘niche’ of palm kernel. We could also improve the nutritional content of existing on-farm growth through soil re-mineralisation, crop diversification, and reduction of artificial salts.

    • greywarshark 19.1

      There you go again WetheBleeple having good ideas again. Keep on watering them, apply a little nutrient each day, and keep the sprouts growing. They might get permanently planted one day soon, I hope.

      I thought we have done a lot of grasslands research here as to nutrition. And there is some overseas testing with GM on rye grass, I guess to try and get a rust and fungus-resistant strain. That is a good use of GM I think, but I quite agree that we shouldn’t have it tested here. I wouldn’t trust our officials to care about or understand the implications of things getting munted through inadequate control. Someone would make it worth someone’s while to relax surveillance, lift the covers etc.

      We already have careless seed merchants who can’t or won’t ensure that they get clean seed, and of course we couldn’t grow ours here, that’s not the right way to go these days.

      And I have an article away in my archives about one pair of farmers who are growing natural pastures and weeding out what they don’t want, not relying on monoculture. They reckon they are green all the year, while their neighbours are browned off often.

      • WeTheBleeple 19.1.1

        The problem with their silly GM plans (bear with me on the silly) is the lack of forward thinking attached to the salivation at the prospect of an extremely lucrative product (sell the whole country the stuff).

        Silly e.g.

        In the case of rye staggers, the plan to implement a grass with resistance ignores the fact the fungus arrives due to: over-fertilisation, over-grazing, high temperatures. The fungus is a protection mechanism to stop pastures being decimated. The fungus coincides right when the cows need a feed in high summer, GM grasses won’t necessarily help as this is a typical supplement time the paddocks are often dry and needing rest. So now it’s GM grass, fertiliser, irrigation, all required to make this plan work…

        Now, as soon as the fungus builds resistance to the GM mechanism, or a new pathogen can gain access, whatever it is – the entire countries crops are imperiled. Seriously, think kiwifruit PSA but ALL THE GRASS.

        Or we could add clover and variance in the pasture to reduce the effect of rye staggers, and use cover crops, shelter belts, and local imports. Good pasture management and knowledge of peak conditions will save the farm.

        GM is about as reliable as all the other ‘safe stuff’ the industrial ag chemists and now bio-technologists tout. It’s about $$ they are not concerned with saving the planet. It’s a heady game for young scientists though, who can’t put a picture together being stuck in single disciplines of ever narrowing focus. They think they’re saving the world, and can sound very knowledgeable defending such nonsense.

        Not to mention the damage that will be incurred as farmers attempt to plough under and poison ‘inferior grasses and forbs’ on a massive scale. Keep the damn chemists out of biological systems.

        • greywarshark 19.1.1.1

          You make good points. I hadn’t thought about the opportunity for other plant diseases stepping up, that is very likely. And the situation about dry summer and little feed; the animals will graze further down than usual and the fungus is near the ground.

          Is there a possibility of being able to co-ordinate with townies having lawns of a certain type, that contract with a business to look after their lawn (no noxious weeds or spraying) and the business mows it for a very small cost, and then makes silage out of it? That could be very useful and use all that grass that is not so good in compost and my Greenwaste collection doesn’t want it. That would seem an efficient use of greenstuff and lessen reliance on palm oil tree stripping.

          As you say with the specialisation the scientists looking for breakthroughs, playing around with the basis of the plant’s building blocks, is dangerous.
          We have already seen that with Monsanto’s attempt to control the world’s major food plants.

          10 April 2018
          https://www.businessinsider.com.au/bayer-monsanto-merger-has-farmers-worried-2018-4?r=US&IR=T
          The $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger just got a major green light — but farmers are terrified

          …“By the time 2050 rolls around, the world will have 10 billion people, and the demand for food will double,” Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s outgoing chief technology officer, told Business Insider last year. “The whole point here is that the business combination between Monsanto and Bayer [BASF] will allow the companies to invest in and create more innovation, and it’s going to take a huge amount of innovation in order to double the world’s food supply.”

          Farmers aren’t so sure.
          “From my perspective, they’re saying the exact opposite of what most people in the industry actually believe,” Clay Govier, a farmer in central Nebraska, told Business Insider in January 2017. Govier is the fifth generation to work on his family farm of 3,000 acres, which primarily grows corn and soybeans. The farm has used Monsanto products for at least 12 years, and Govier’s family expects seed and chemical prices to increase due to the merger.

          Industrial farming – 3,000 acres, for sure will be growing genetically manipulated corn and soybeans.

  20. Sabine 20

    anyone following the fires in California?

    animals one the beach.

    madness, it seems as if the world has gone mad

  21. Draco T Bastard 21

    ‘Serious storm clouds’ threaten NZ democracy – report

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has defended New Zealand’s donations transparency, also suggesting the Government had a range of measures to tackle the issue of foreign interference.

    However, Dr Simon Chapple, the report’s author and director of the Institute for Governance and Public Policy at Victoria University of Wellington, said while New Zealand had a robust democracy by world standards, there were “serious storm clouds on our democratic horizons” coming from both within the country and the outside world.

    Can’t say that I’m surprised to find Adern defending our present broken system.

    • Ad 21.1

      From the actual report, rather than the headline-hoping hook from a febrile fault-finding fool:

      “…New Zealand democracy functions well.
      Our democracy ranks highly in terms of overall quality (4th in the world in the Economist democracy index),
      and we are apparently relatively transparent (1st in the Transparency International corruption perceptions index).
      Our English language media is ranked relatively highly in terms of press freedom (8th in World Press Freedom Index) (…)
      Our Parliament and public service (according to workforce data on available on the State Services commission website – see http://www.ssc.govt.nz/public-service-workforce-data) is reasonably representative by gender and ethnicity and perhaps also by ideology, and generally becoming more so.
      Trust in government services is generally on the rise (…)”

      Can’t say that I’m surprised to find Ardern defending it at all.

      • greywarshark 21.1.1

        Three years working in the political sphere and he is Political Editor, after some NZ reportage and overseas jobs – Sam Sachdeva knows how to play a line and fall on his journalistic feet I think. Such as ‘Serious storm clouds threaten NZ democracy’.

        Perhaps not too much in-depth stuff but his contacts appreciate him and vice versa I think. That’s from looking at his bio.

        But with academics like Bryce Edwards, why aim higher? Bryce on Twitter details says he is Anti-Establishment, but doesn’t state which.

  22. Pete 22

    Mark Mitchell, photo supplied ,in the Herald, continues his, photo supplied, leadership campaign. Photo supplied.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Membership: Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board
    The Governments of Australia and New Zealand have announced the membership of the Australia and New Zealand Electronic Invoicing Board (ANZEIB) today. This is an important step towards implementing e-Invoicing across both countries to help businesses save time and money ...
    1 week ago
  • An end to unnecessary secondary tax
    Workers who are paying too much tax because of incorrect secondary tax codes are in line for relief with the passage of legislation through Parliament late last night. The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2018-19, Modernising Tax Administration, and Remedial Matters) ...
    1 week ago
  • Chatham Islands pāua plan approved
    Efforts to reverse the decline in the Chatham Islands pāua fishery are the focus of a new plan jointly agreed between government, the local community and industry. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the plan was developed by the PauaMAC4 Industry ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill introduced for synthetics crackdown
    The Police will get stronger powers of search and seizure to crackdown on synthetic drugs under new legislation, which makes the two main synthetics (5F-ADB and AMB-FUBINACA) Class A drugs. The Government has today introduced the Misuse of Drugs Amendment ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Blasphemous libel law repealed
    The archaic blasphemous libel offence will be repealed following the passing of the Crimes Amendment Bill today, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Coalition Government lassos livestock rustling
    New rules to crack down on livestock rustling will come into force following the passing of the Crimes Amendment Bill says Justice Minister Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Medieval law axed
    The ‘year and a day rule’ rule will be repealed following the passing of the Crimes Amendment Bill, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Further steps to combat tax evasion
    Further steps to combat tax evasion Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has announced New Zealand is expanding its global ability to combat tax evasion by joining forces with authorities in 30 countries and jurisdictions. Cabinet has agreed to add another ...
    3 weeks ago