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Open Mike 10/01/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 10th, 2017 - 144 comments
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144 comments on “Open Mike 10/01/2017 ”

  1. greywarshark 1

    This from RadioNZ – haven’t looked at all the details but sounds interesting.

    9 Jan 2017
    RNZ helping launch new digital innovation for Radio Stations
    “Vox Populi” – latin for ‘voice of the people’ – takes on a whole new meaning as RNZ helps the launch of the diigital innovation VoxPop. It’s a new way of giving listeners the chance to give us feedback on stories – and have your voice on air.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201829518 2,45m

  2. Andre 2

    The future of manufacturing employment – robots are becoming cheap enough that even third world wages aren’t low enough to compete. And yet, New Zealand still lags in using them. In terms of robots per 10,000 manufacturing workers, Russia 3, Indonesia 6, Brazil 11, NZ 41, China 49, USA 176, Germany 301, South Korea 531.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/gadfly/articles/2017-01-09/the-robot-threat-donald-trump-isn-t-talking-abou?cmpid=yhoo.headline&yptr=yahoo

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      And automation does the one thing that eliminates trade – it removes economies of scale. And that will mean that we’ll have to be economic.

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        Right we will have to write shorter quicker comments I can see. Perhaps a guide beside us with common words matching each letter of the alphabet. Then a lot more phrases like WTF and LOL and IIRR. There will be a little guide with newest acronyms that people can have in a small window or print off. Much more efficient and save fingertip skin.

        Andre you sound as if you are welcoming low cost competition for the few jobs available now on random part-time basis. The people are going to have to form a parallel government called WGAD (We Give a Damn) with slogan JUNABAGPCI (Join us now and bring a good practical costed idea).
        And one idea will be to start guilds in each town and tell people of the value when they commit to the producers in their town first before looking at the tempting stuff made overseas.

        Then there are the NZ labels and designs made overseas China, Vietnam.
        They will get a look in after buying locally made. Shopping will have to be to build one’s own economy. Guilds will be started and take on apprenticeships and the locals will support this by spending strategically on local goods. Any sneers, go blow your nose.

  3. greywarshark 3

    On religion’s importance to those in Europe and USA.
    <iLTwo sociologists, Pippa Norris and Ronald Inglehart, recently correlated the prominence of religiosity and the sense of economic vulnerability in the nations of the world. Their conclusion: the more self-perceived vulnerability, the greater the importance of religion.

    America seems an anomaly: a rich society in which people worship, pray, and believe, as if they lived in a poverty-stricken nation. Norris and Inglehart believe that the solution lies in the distinctive form of American capitalism, a system with a sadly porous safety net. One need not adopt a flat economic determinism in order to wonder why four of the five states with the lowest median income have the highest percentage of people who say that their religion is very important to them, while three of the five states with the highest median income have the highest percentage of people who say that is only moderately important.

    And finally—at least for now—is the long tradition of association between religion and nationalism. Europeans could be as religiously nationalistic and nationalistically religious as any American ever dreamed of being.

    But Western Europeans watched as their cultures collapsed after they invested their nineteenth and twentieth-century wars with religious meaning, and it is rare now to see a national flag in a Western European religious building. It is this American sanctifying of national adventures with religious rhetoric that most worries Western Europeans. But this worries many Americans, as well…
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/15/americans-more-religious_n_4780594.html

    • garibaldi 3.1

      I think you will find religion is a taboo subject greywarshark, just like that other highly divisive subject of Israel.
      Too much emotion and antagonism involved.

    • Ad 3.2

      Try it as a post.

    • Conal Tuohy 3.3

      “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions.”

      • garibaldi 3.3.1

        Conversely one could say “Religion is a powerful, moneymaking method of controlling people”.

        • Conal 3.3.1.1

          I chimed in with my Marx quote to support greywarshark’s thesis that Americans’ religiosity is connected with the lack of social solidarity in the US, and the high levels of social precariousness. In other words; religion is a kind of mythical security blanket for people who do genuinely lack real security. I don’t see how your statement relates to that — are you suggesting that Americans religious feelings are actually foisted on them by powerful financial interests?

          • In Vino 3.3.1.1.1

            Strangely enough, history generally shows religion closely connected with repressive regimes. Among the great, cruel Tsars of Russia, only Stalin was an atheist, and he all but replaced the Greek Orthodox religion with Marxist dogma. Putin has restored the Greek Orthodox.. The American oligarchy have their silly fundamentalist Bible Belt Christianity.

            By and large, religion has largely functioned as a blunt instrument of social control. The few who get transports of spiritual delight out of religion are the lucky but deluded ones.

            If you are one of those few, enjoy it for as long as you can.

  4. Penny Bright 4

    ‘Out-sourcing’ = ‘contracting out’ = PRIVATISATION.

    ‘Inefficient’ is corporate speak for we haven’t yet got our filthy hands on it!

    ‘Inefficient’ was the unsubstantiated, unproven corporate mantra behind the ‘commercialise, corporatise’ PRIVATISE Neo-Liberal Rogernomics agenda.

    In my considered opinion as an anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner – the only ones who have benefited from running public services in a more ‘business-like’ way – are those businesses which have been awarded the contracts.

    And how much corruption has been involved in the awarding of contracts across central and local government?

    Locally, nationally and internationally?

    Penny Bright
    Independent candidate
    Mt Albert by-Election

    #PennyBrightNZ

  5. joe90 5

    Mário Soares has died.

    Portugal’s former president and prime minister, Mário Soares, a central figure in the country’s return to democracy in the 1970s after decades of rightwing dictatorship, has died aged 92.

    […]

    Once popularly known as King Soares for his regal manner, the founder of the Portuguese Socialist party was prime minister three times and later spent a decade as the country’s president.

    “Today Portugal lost its father of liberty and democracy, the person and face the Portuguese identify most with the regime that was born on 25 April, 1974,” the Socialist party said in a statement.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/07/mario-soares-former-prime-minister-of-portugal-dies-aged-92

    Also, an obit from a Portuguese newspaper – google translate

    Mario Soares left us and left us everything
    He was a bourgeois revolutionary. The bourgeois criticized him for being revolutionary, and the revolutionaries criticized him for being bourgeois. That is why he is so refreshingly modern: we have not yet come close to what he wanted for us.

    Mário Soares took nothing with him. Left everything with us. This is the greatest generosity a person can have: wanting everything to others and dedicating his life to fighting for it – and for us.

    https://www.publico.pt/2017/01/07/politica/noticia/mario-soares-deixounos-e-deixounos-tudo-1757483

  6. Andre 6

    The list of reasons why Putin might have wanted Trump just keeps growing. There’s Junior telling us back in 2008 Russians made up a disproportionate part of the business, there’s just the general principle that shit-stirring, mayhem and loss of credibility in the US is good for Russia, and then there’s Russia and Big Oil wanting to pump out and burn vastly more fossil fuels…

    https://thinkprogress.org/putin-helped-trump-exxon-oil-deal-sanctions-6f169c4a4cd0#.jn8nzc7qz

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Ahhhh the liberal tears keep being so salty. Don’t forget the Russians didn’t want warhawk Hillary Clinton starting a nuclear conflict over Syria, either.

      That’s real motivation. Detente.

      Let’s see how former Exxon Mobil CEO Tillerson’s confirmation goes. That’s going to be a rough one and a major test of Trump’s political management on the Hill.

      • Psycho Milt 6.1.1

        Don’t forget the Russians didn’t want warhawk Hillary Clinton starting a nuclear conflict over Syria, either.

        Thing is, Andre’s reasons are actual ones, as opposed to fantasy ones like the above in Colonial Viper’s head.

        • Poission 6.1.1.1

          the threat was real ie clintons solution for syria was a no fly zone,which was an act of war.

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/25/hillary-clinton-syria-no-fly-zones-russia-us-war

          • Psycho Milt 6.1.1.1.1

            The definition of the word “real” is no longer useful if we allow it to encompass possibilities at the end of a tenuous chain of “ifs.”

            • Poission 6.1.1.1.1.1

              The garden of forking paths is well known,as is the problem of future contingents.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_future_contingents

              The problem at the time was real as the pathway was to an illegal act of war if enacted ( a syrian no fly zone) .

              • McFlock

                Well, according to that theory any US personnel on the ground and US airstrikes on Syrian territory (even ones in territory not in the direct control of the Syrian government) has already been an “act of war”, yet not precipitated a nuclear war.

                • Morrissey

                  Correct. Just as it would be an act of war if Syrian troops deployed in, say, North Dakota.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Yes. It’s truly amazing how many acts of war that the US commits and never gets called on.

                    • McFlock

                      Indeed.

                      And yet still no nuclear conflict.

                      It’s almost as if international relations are complex interactions betweeen state, non-state and substate actors, rather than just a simple “OMG, that’s technically an act of war, press the fucking button!!!”

                      Which is why a person with a brain is preferable to an oompah-loompah with poor impulse control as head of state.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m more concerned with them not being called on them when they call anything that anyone else does that’s exactly the same as what they do such as fast as they can.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, you’re not the only one who prefers to call moral equivalence rather than avoid geopolitics being dominated by an orangutan with a twitter account.

                • Poission

                  Well, according to that theory any US personnel on the ground and US airstrikes on Syrian territory (even ones in territory not in the direct control of the Syrian government) has already been an “act of war”, yet not precipitated a nuclear war.

                  Um no.

                  Airstrikes against isil and Nustra are legitimate targets ,as authorized by the UN sc resolution.

                  Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the United Nations Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and endorsed by the UN Security Council, pursuant to the statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria

                  https://www.un.org/press/en/2015/sc12132.doc.htm

                  The US coalition bombing of syrian soldiers ,they used the get out of jail card of a mistake undertaken in good faith to legitimize the fact.

                  http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/11/air-strikes-killing-dozens-syrian-troops-legal-161129180300666.html

                  • McFlock

                    So wouldn’t that also legitimise a no fly zone?

                    • Poission

                      Nope.That constrains the ability of syria (and russia as an invited party) to use the self defence mechanisms of the UN charter.

                      The no fly zone would need a separate un resolution,which would not get through the SC.

                      Hence it always was a binary outcome,either Clinton was full of shit or as PONTUS would have invoked an unlawful act of war,

                    • McFlock

                      No.

                      It depends on the extent of the proposed no fly zone, but if say Syrian airstrikes on non-ISIL groups take the pressure of ISIL (because non-ISIL are being bombed), then the no-fly zone satisfies the current UN request.

                      Russia and Syria might have arguable legal justification to defend themselves (just as they had the arguable justification when the US accidentally bombed that outpost), but even if the current airstrikes bombed something the Syrians didn’t want bombed, that’s still an arguable act of war.

                      There are very few binary situations in law or international relations. The no-fly confluence of both is not such a situation.

                  • Conal

                    The key phrase here is “in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter”. The Security Council has asked member states to take on ISIL, but notice they require that it is done within the bounds of the UN charter, which forbids states from attacking other countries. The Syrian government has asked the Russians and Iranians to provide military support, which means that support conforms to the UN charter. If the Syrian government (as a member state of the UN) had asked the US to bomb the ISIS rebels besieging government forces at Deir ez-Zor, in the famous incident there, and the US had committed an honest mistake, and blown up the Syrian government troops instead, that would have been merely a nasty diplomatic incident, but the Syrian government had not authorised that bombing (still less had they authorised a “mistaken” bombing of Syrian Army positions), and that meant it was an act of war and a breach of the UN charter.

                    In practice, the US gets away with it not because international law says it’s OK, but because they have the military and political clout to get away with it, whatever its legal status might be. This is the norm for US military action: they have invaded or attacked countless countries over the years without even a pretence of legal justification. There are exceptions, of course, where the law has been on their side, but in practical terms that’s of no consequence: the law is for the weak; the strong can rely instead on force.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      Pro tip: you can’t learn about coding or the UN charter with a couple couple hours trolling Google. We’ve got unilateral deployments and legal exemptions from prosecutions now, because:

                      US: motion to bomb Syria

                      Russia: lol nope, we veto that

                      Russia: motion to bomb Syria

                      US: lol nope, we veto that

    • Bill 6.2

      If the US goes all gung-ho on oil extraction…fracking etc…,wouldn’t that actually hurt the Russian economy (its oil sector revenues)?

      And if Trump increases the US’s nuclear arsenal (as he’s sign-posted) then wouldn’t that also have the potential to hurt the Russian economy (ie – a ‘new’ arms race bleeding resources/budgets)?

      Clinton would probably have been more rational on the extraction front and, war monger as she is, less inclined to increase the US’s nuclear stockpiles.

      edit – the prospect of more cordial relations with one President as opposed to the other is a genuine reason to prefer one to the other. Nothing suspicious about that, is there?

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Fiat Chrysler announces US$1B investment in USA, 2,000 new American jobs to be created

    But denies it has anything to do with Trump

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/fiat-chrysler-donald-trump-more-jobs-us-plants-michigan-ohio-cars-suvs-trucks-sergio-marchionne-a7517986.html

    A few hours later:

    Fiat Chrysler may have to abandon Mexico production if Trump tariff is high

    The truth comes out. Nothing to do with Trump eh??? LOL

    Again this is the brilliance of Trump as a business man. He knows how big business makes decisions. He doesn’t need to individually talk to the CEO of Fiat Chrysler to signal to them what they need to do.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-autoshow-fiat-chrysler-idUSKBN14T1UG

    • Sacha 7.1

      “the brilliance of Trump as a business man”

      Pffft. The guy has been bankrupt so many times that only financiers outside the US will continue doing business with him. But keep wearing out those kneepads, sir.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        I think Trump has been bankrupt once. Not unusual for an entrepreneur. Thereafter some of his companies have been bankrupt or liquidated. Again, not unusual in the entrepreneurial world.

      • greywarshark 7.1.2

        Sacha
        CV was being sarcastic. Trump is a brilliant businessman at doing whatever and still holding onto plenty of dosh.

        Someone who can go bankrupt and just go around the barriers, is a Grand Master of Chicanery. That reminds of University of Chicago, the place where Milton Friedman et al and his theory came from. He’s partly Milt’s creation.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_Friedman

    • Andre 7.2

      ” the brilliance of Trump as a business man”

      Uh, yeah, he’s done astoundingly well out of being an obnoxious loudmouth buffoon on TV. And he’s done mediocre-to-middling in real estate, a business he learned at his daddy’s knee. Considering what he was given to start with, he’s way underperformed the general New York real estate market and the general stock market.

      On the flipside, he’s been an abject failure at everything else he’s tried, apart from fleecing investors and stiffing contractors. FFS, how do you lose money running casinos?

      • james 7.2.1

        “he’s been an abject failure at everything else he’s tried, apart from fleecing investors and stiffing contractors”

        Yet this “abject failure” has many millions (billions?) of dollars, a loving tight knit family and become the President of the United States.

        So Im guessing you are more of a failure than he.

        • mickysavage 7.2.1.1

          Any verification on what he is worth?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.2

          That just proves that you have a warped values system as you celebrate his stealing from others. Not that Trump is successful.

        • North 7.2.1.3

          What a ridiculously callow comment James. It’s as good as saying that no one can comment on anyone/anything unless they enjoy (?) more or less equivalence with the players and involvement in the things. Almost as ridiculous as the never-endingly malignant CV, self-proclaimed as the purest leftie in the whole of New Zealand (hahaha), suddenly expert in ‘mega-business’. And adoring of the sharpest practices associated therewith.

          Have a listen to Meryl Streep re the NYT reporter. The foulness she identifies is all swept away because (however questionably or by virtue only of the accident of birth) Trump got his “millions (billions?)” ? Yeah I know…….success/failure is ALL about money and the surplus/deficit thereof. I understand how that’s your buzz James but in New Zealand’s purest leftie……WTF ?

    • Gabby 7.3

      Socialist intervener. Wouldn’t have thought that was your cuppa.

    • McFlock 7.4

      Hmmm.

      Was the main motivation a theoretical 35% import duty that Trump might or might not be able to push through congress, vs $1.7Billion in Michigan tax credits exchanged for $1billion investment by Fiat-Chrysler that was announced a little over a year ago, I wonder.

      BMW is staying in mexico. I guess detroit didn’t promise them tax credits.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.4.1

        Ah, so massive tax payers subsidies to line private pockets.

        • McFlock 7.4.1.1

          Yup. The art of the deal /sarc

          • Colonial Viper 7.4.1.1.1

            My pick: at this rate, in 2020 Trump will win the Rust Belt with bigger majorities than 2016.

            • McFlock 7.4.1.1.1.1

              If he does, it’ll be by claiming credit for shit he had nothing to do with.

              Like manufacturers taking tax breaks that states had negotiated when Trump had barely announced his candidacy.

              Oh, and blaming Obama for things Trump fucked up.

              • Colonial Viper

                Ain’t politics grand. Watch out for Toyota to fold soon and put new big money in the US.

                11 days to 16 years of Trump rule.

                • TheExtremist

                  16 years…?

                • Reality

                  For one who thinks he is so knowledgable, how come you think Trump will be in power for 16 years, given the two terms that all other presidents legally have in office. Guess he could try to change the law and become an octogenarian dictator for life or family could become de facto president.

                  • garibaldi

                    I think you are getting carried away CV on your predictions.
                    I always backed you on your reasoning for Trump to beat Hillary, but I think it would be safer for you to predict that Trump will be an abject failure than claiming there’s going to be a Trump dynasty. Better still why don’t you just buy a lotto ticket instead! Cheers.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well my prediction is 8 years of Trump; the 16 years of Trump rule thing is tongue in cheek.

                      But I am also indicating that (IMO) by looking at the tea leaves, the Trump family is planning ahead at least that far.

                      BTW I’d bet anyone real money that Hillary Clinton is trying to figure out a way that she can run again in 2020

                • North

                  My name is CV and it’s “Life” I say, “Prez for Life !” The US and The World really does ‘owe’ Trump 16 years to Life and stuff the Constitution. Why though CV do you presage it being all over by 31 January potentially ?

                  To think all this fucked-up hubris of months now started with a tatty internecine dispute in Dunedin. 150 km south-west of Gore, the country music capital of New Zealand ??? “Stand By Your Man……”

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The multiverse works in truly mysterious ways

                    • In Vino

                      It is not funny to tease people unduly, CV – you may have pushed taking the piss a bit far, if I have managed to understand correctly (always a highly debatable point..)

                    • Colonial Viper

                      True true. Though I have friends who live in Gore so I took exception 🙂

    • Red 7.5

      Either way Americans will pay more for their Chryslers

    • Wainwright 7.6

      Bit weird, these lefty Trump fans. Normally you’d think someone inheriting huge amonuts to get started, exploiting loopholes to dodge tax, rip off investors and get away scot-frree (oh it wasn’t me going bankrupt, it was my company!) would be the natural enemy of the left. Basically capital personified. But the alt-left are so desperate to convince themselves that senpai is going to fix ecerything they’re praising Trump for being a typical business psychopath.

      [Kindly (I thought) I decided to make sure you had seen this before deciding what to do. You got quotes or links? Or is it an apology? Or…] – Bill

  8. Siobhan 9

    In the Guardian, a piece from Brother Cornel.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/barack-obama-legacy-presidency

    Though I think his statement that ‘The age of Barack Obama may have been our last chance to break from our neoliberal soulcraft.’, is overly polite. Obama wasn’t financed into power to change anything.

  9. joe90 10

    As with despots and tyrants – nepotism.
    /

    BREAKING: Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will be named Senior Advisor to the President, per senior transition official. @NBCNews— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) January 9, 2017

  10. Morrissey 11

    By “New Zealanders” do they mean “ex-Labour MPs-cum-National stooges”?

    http://www.sundayworld.com/news/irish-people-are-in-pornhubs-top-10-users-in-the-world

  11. joe90 12

    heh

    You know that ltr McConnell sent Reid in '09 asking for more info before Obama noms were considered? Schumer just sent SAME exact ltr back-> pic.twitter.com/dcYxIYvZNZ— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) January 9, 2017

  12. Morrissey 13

    It was illegally occupied East Jerusalem, and it was a massacre, not a “war” in 2014
    —but Eric Frykberg’s dishonest and loaded report leaves all that out.

    We have had several looks at the mediocrity and lack of professionalism of Radio New Zealand’s political commentary, from Jim Mora’s light chat vehicle The Panel through Kim Hill’s tendency to indulge nasty attack dogs like Alex Gibney and A.A. Gill, to the dismal naïveté of Bryan Crump, Jesse Mulligan, Anusha Bradley and John Campbell.

    This morning we must, sadly, add one more to this unedifying list. Long term sufferers of RNZ’s steadily deteriorating news service will be familiar with the name of Eric Frykberg. In the following item about a courageous New Zealand teacher in the besieged enclave of Gaza, Frykberg—or perhaps it was some nervous higher-up—manages to undermine it by tagging on three final paragraphs which are pure black propaganda. If you can read this without gnashing your teeth in fury, then you are either an ACT cultist or you simply have no clue….

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/322080/kiwi-teacher-won't-quit-gaza

    • stunned mullet 13.1

      Not sure how you tag those paragraphs as propaganda Moz ?

      • Morrissey 13.1.1

        Okay, mullet, here they are, in italics, with my comments after each one. Of course, those three paragraphs are there for no other reason than to distract from and undermine the bravery of Julie Webb Pullman. They certainly are not relevant, even slightly, to her story.

        1. The Foreign Affairs Ministry warnings came after a Palestinian man rammed his truck into a group of Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem, killing four of them and wounding 17, raising tensions throught the region.

        The truck attack occurred in illegally occupied East Jerusalem. They were IDF soldiers, and as such were legitimate targets for resistance. International law recognizes the right of occupied people to resist with force. And, no, I do not endorse such actions; I do not support Palestinians using terror tactics against Israelis. I think they should resist this brutal occupation actively but nonviolently, as they do 99 per cent of the time. I don’t support people shooting other people either, even if they are provoked beyond reason as the Palestinians are. But international law does recognize the right to defend yourself militarily if attacked, and that’s what some desperate Palestinians occasionally feel driven to do. Russian soldiers in Chechnya suffered similarly, so did U.S. soldiers in Iraq, and so did German soldiers in France. It is worthwhile considering what would happen to, say, any heavily armed Iranian soldiers who walked through Tel Aviv, or Houston, or London, routinely cowering the population.

        2. The truck attack was praised by the Hamas rulers of Gaza.

        This banal sentence at least is undisputed, bearing out the old adage that even the most egregious propaganda usually has at least some truth to it.

        3. The kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank in 2014 led to a full scale war in Gaza that year.

        Again, Eric Frykberg—whether unwittingly or by self-censoring—neglects to mention that those teenagers were kidnapped in the illegally occupied West Bank. He—or some nervous sub-editor—then compounds this misinformation by adding another, even nastier, piece of disinformation, by labeling the massacre of the trapped, unarmed population of Gaza as a “full scale war.” It’s worth contrasting the shoddy work of people like Erik Frykberg with the words of Israeli soldiers who actually take part in Israel’s brutal repression of the Palestinians….

    • Gabby 13.2

      Those bastards with their facts! I’m positively livid!

    • Bill 14.1

      They kind of work out quite nicely for the pharmaceutical industry that gets $x?? of public money by way of subsidy for all the patches and gums and what not they supply.

      They work out quite nicely as a revenue stream too. (The article covers that).

      The only area the price increase has an effect is in youngsters not taking up smoking. I stumbled across all this when compiling the Chematistic Camel post back when. Oddly. Smoking rates have increased among the oldest of us…which I’m waiting for someone to spin as a sign of the health benefits of smoking 🙂

      Anyway. Vaping would have a huge impact. I’m an ex-smoker and know many people who have only been able to quit by switching to vaping. I don’t know of a single person who smoked and took up vaping who then defaulted back to smoking.

      But here’s a thing – there’s no money in vaping for either the government nor the pharmaceutical industry. So it’s ‘dangerous’ and a ‘gateway’.

      • The Chairman 14.1.1

        “They kind of work out quite nicely for the pharmaceutical industry that gets $x?? of public money by way of subsidy for all the patches and gums and what not they supply.”

        Indeed.

        “Vaping would have a huge impact”

        One of the concerns with vaping is they are known for blowing up in your face.

  13. The Chairman 15

    Kiwi entrepreneurs call for legalisation of cannabis, following worldwide success
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/88195868/kiwi-entrepreneurs-call-for-legalisation-of-cannabis-following-worldwide-success

    • Cinny 15.1

      Fantastico, may it happen.

      Did you know that nitrogen is one of the nutrients that cannabis thrives on? Dairy farming diversification springs to mind.

      There is massive public support for cannabis legalisation throughout NZ and across many social groups including right wingers.

      Watch the alcohol lobbyists continue to fight against the legalisation of cannabis, they will be super concerned that it may eat into their profits.

  14. One Anonymous Bloke 16

    Playing nicey-nicey with people outside the “regular commentariat” is over-rated. We’ve been doing that for decades and racism hasn’t subsided in any meaningful way at all. In fact if you measure it on outcomes, it’s got worse.

    “I’m just saying what you’re all thinking.”

    [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.]

    • weka 16.1

      If you think I’m suggesting playing nice-nicey you’re really not paying attention and you’ve missed the point.

      Besides, the massive testosterone-fest that TS commenting often is regularly bleeds commenters and authors, so I don’t see how your approach is designed to work.

      edit, and while I’m at it, how about you take a look at your contributions to TS being hostile to women. Male supremacy, the dynamics are remarkably similar. See, not particularly nice-nicey.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1

        It’s designed to work by bringing the issue of white supremacy front and centre and putting its advocates on the defensive.

        Hostile to women? Can you illustrate that with an example please?

        • weka 16.1.1.1

          Have you thought about why there are no regular feminist authors writing on TS? Or why the sole current regular woman author won’t write from a feminist perspective? What’s happened to all those women? Have you even noticed that there is a problem?

          Like I said, the dynamics are remarkably similar. How about I start calling you a misogynist then and attacking you every time to you do shit that makes this place worse for women. I’m not actually comparing you to James, I just want you to pay more attention to what is going on here and the fact that you might be missing significant parts of the picture.

          “It’s designed to work by bringing the issue of white supremacy front and centre and putting its advocates on the defensive.”

          That much I understand. What happens after that?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.1.1

            Yes I’ve noticed there’s a problem. I’ve also noticed you calling certain people on their misogyny – TRP (rightly or wrongly) also made a point of doing so to those same people while he was here. This is the first time you’ve characterised my comments that way (I think); time for some introspection I guess.

            See my response to Carolyn_nth above for “what happens next”.

            • weka 16.1.1.1.1.1

              Despite his on the surface pro-feminism position, TRP is part of the problem (go look at what happened on the one post I’ve made on a feminist topic, assuming the evidence is still there because TRP was deleting it). He’s had his moderation privileges reduced so he can now only moderate his own posts, but he’s also caused problems with some of the posts he writes on gender issues too.

              There is a huge problem on TS for women. Mostly it gets ignored, but this is a very hostile place for feminists, and the macho nature of the debate culture is a big part of the problem.

              I don’t think you are a misogynist, and I don’t think you are one of the main problems in terms of individuals (although the whole soundbite zen thing is fucking annoying and counterproductive to good communication, and poor communication is part of the problem). And all things being equal, your approach to racism probably wouldn’t matter. But in the culture that exists here, it’s like holy fuck, another dude setting fires when we can’t even keep up with the existing ones and meanwhile does it even matter what is happening to women here? The irony of seeing you argue against white supremacy while taking part in the male supremacy of this site was just too much.

  15. One Anonymous Bloke 17

    A necessary first step in that direction requires the development of a more detailed and transparent exploration of the concept known as “white supremacy.”

    I think a far more pressing priority is challenging it directly wherever it rears its head, and forcing its mouthpieces onto the defensive, rather than allowing their rhetoric free reign to hurt people while we search for a nuanced response.

    This is a pākehā problem. Pākehā hand-wringing is just another way of enabling it.

    [I’m shifting this and the conversation below to OM, because while it’s broadly on topic, I see micky attempting to get people to address the post and I don’t want this to detract from that. – weka]

    [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.]

    • weka 17.1

      Oh fuck off. It’s only in your head that the only two options are hard out aggression or Pākehā hand-wringing.

      It’s possible to challenge directly and not allow free reign to racism without turning every conversation into a war. Maybe consider that you aren’t the only person in the world with a strategy, and have a listen to your peers from time to time on what might be best.

      • Carolyn_nth 17.1.1

        Agree, weka. I do find an aggressively combative approach to politics tends to result in reinforcing polarised views and superficial point scoring – much like the farce Question Time has often become in parliament.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1

          There are multiple lines of evidence that false beliefs are reinforced by exposure to facts.

          There are also multiple lines of evidence that creating dissonance is a useful tool against racism. So we see James and Newsflash (yesterday) getting all hot and bothered about my negative characterisations of their behaviour, and then attempting to defend it.

          There is also evidence that change is impossible without negative consequences for a person holding racist views.

          I would rather they get hurt than their targets.

          • Carolyn_nth 17.1.1.1.1

            I agree that facts are helpful. My experience is that when people get called “racist”, or accused of expressing “racism”, they tend to get very defensive & then are not so open to attending to the facts. Then discussion is shut down.

            I think it’s better to go straight to the facts and reasoned arguments rather than (over)using accusatory terms like “racism”.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.1.1.1.1

              I think facts are un-helpful, because they harden false beliefs. This is well-documented.

              Emotive arguments, on the other hand, elicit defensive responses, forcing the antagonist (in this case the racist) onto the back foot, and diverting their attention from the actual targets of their hate speech.

              That’s the theory anyway.

              • Carolyn_nth

                This is well-documented.
                eg?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Example.

                  • Carolyn_nth

                    Thanks, OAB

                    But then that article ends thus:

                    So after examining the power of untestable beliefs, what have we learned about dealing with human psychology? We’ve learned that bias is a disease and to fight it we need a healthy treatment of facts and education. We find that when facts are injected into the conversation, the symptoms of bias become less severe. But, unfortunately, we’ve also learned that facts can only do so much. To avoid coming to undesirable conclusions, people can fly from the facts and use other tools in their deep belief protecting toolbox.

                    With the disease of bias, then, societal immunity is better achieved when we encourage people to accept ambiguity, engage in critical thinking, and reject strict ideology. This society is something the new common core education system and at times The Daily Show are at least in theory attempting to help create. We will never eradicate bias—not from others, not from ourselves, and not from society. But we can become a people more free of ideology and less free of facts.

                    My bold.

                    So they are saying including facts in a debate is helpful to some extent – Aand necesary as part of a wider strategy.

                    I think that, behind all facts and arguments are some basic assumptions that are value-based. Including facts, critiques and reasoned arguments into the discussion, does help expose the underlying biases and related values.

                    Cognitive dissonance can be achieved by exposing such biases and evidence based arguments. IMO it doesn’t require a combative approach.

                    Actually, I think that being aggressively combative is more likely to close down the discussion and result in strengthening of biases, with no way to usefully expose those biases.

                    And then there is the collateral damage that weka mentions.

                    Aggressive approaches may have their uses, if used very sparingly, but as a regular and persistent strategy, I think it only reinforces polarisation and entrenched positions.

                    • weka

                      well put Carolyn.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Aggressive approaches may have their uses, if used very sparingly, but as a regular and persistent strategy

                      Your point is well taken, however – IMO – it’s the double standard infested passive aggressive behaviour which flavours The Standard at the moment.

        • weka 17.1.1.2

          “There are multiple lines of evidence that false beliefs are reinforced by exposure to facts.”

          No-one that I can see is objecting to you posting facts.

          There are also multiple lines of evidence that creating dissonance is a useful tool against racism. So we see James and Newsflash (yesterday) getting all hot and bothered about my negative characterisations of their behaviour, and then attempting to defend it.

          That may well be, but there is still collateral damage.

          There is also evidence that change is impossible without negative consequences for a person holding racist views.

          I would rather they get hurt than their targets.

          Are you familiar with theories of horizontal and lateral abuse?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.2

        To labour the metaphor, if you never respond to the opening shots of a war (clue: I didn’t fire them, Bill English did) you just get picked off one by one.

        • weka 17.1.2.1

          It’s not a war OAB, at least not one in which that metaphor works. After all these years I understand your rationale, and I have some sympathy for it and can the usefulness of the strategy when applied with discernment. But there is so much more going on than that. I’m suggesting that you look at the collateral damage. You’ve now got two feminists calling you on that.

          And I’m addressing it directly in the context of gender because of all the shit that goes down here regarding women and where their place is it’s close to intolerable to see a progressive man arguing for an end to white supremacy and using the very tools that exclude women.

          (apologies micky, we can shift this to OM if you prefer).

        • Red 17.1.2.2

          Yawn the best response to OABs tough man, key board warrior dribble

          • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1.2.2.1

            🙄

            Thanks for providing an example of exactly what Weka is talking about.

            • Red 17.1.2.2.1.1

              Pleasure 😀, don’t agree with much what weka says but I respect the way she communicates , so glad to help, you in turn….. of the highest order

  16. Pat 18

    Given the general tone of comment the past couple of days (on a variety of topics) the following appears pertinent.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-the-unavoidable-is-political-polarization-destroying-democracy/5523290

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splitting_(psychology)

    “O con noi o contro di not” Benito Mussolini

    • Morrissey 18.1

      So we shouldn’t argue with one another then?

      • Pat 18.1.1

        argue all you like….if you believe black and white thinking is debate.

        I guess it depends on the purpose of your argument…argument for arguments sake or to seek common ground. I think the previous links indicate where the former leads

        • Morrissey 18.1.1.1

          if you believe black and white thinking is debate.

          I don’t think like that.

          I guess it depends on the purpose of your argument…argument for arguments sake or to seek common ground.

          I think we all do a bit of both. Arguing purely for argument’s sake is nothing more than simple contrarianism—it’s what a lot of talkback hosts do in the absence of having read anything substantial.

  17. Once was and others etc 19
    https://michaeljfield.tumblr.com/post/155409123408/nz-and-the-hacking-link-tokelau

    ….. just to put it out there

    There are still one or two journalists (often with vast experience) still interested.
    Some of them still have mortgages to pay, so they’re signed up to the corporate machine – whether Granny and her peons, of Fearfex, or even 3 – worse still the state owned commercial machine.

  18. adam 21

    This was a great interview, and very insightful if you have the time. Anthony Flaccavento is a farmer who is highly critical of trickle down economics, a Green and a supporter of bottom up economics.

    https://www.bottomupeconomy.org/

  19. Draco T Bastard 22

    High income earners getting “free ride”

    A claim that fresh figures show high income earners are still getting out of paying their fair share of tax.

    IRD has released aggregated tax data showing a spike in those declaring their income just before the top tax rate threshold of $70,000.

    The Green Party says that’s strong evidence of people avoiding tax.

    And the rich keep stealing from the rest of us.

    Really, we need to change the tax system so that this simply cannot happen.

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      Tax on income is so terribly passé

      Tax on land and financial capital, that’s where you go to really get at true wealth

      And the rich keep stealing from the rest of us.

      People making $100K to $200K pa aren’t “rich” – unless they have millions in assets.

      • Sacha 22.1.1

        Many of those declaring personal income at just less than the $70k threshold are the capital-rich who can hide the rest of their wealth through trusts, companies, etc. No accident that the bulge moved when the tax threshold did.

      • Craig H 22.1.2

        Agree – wealth/asset tax is the way forward there.

      • Draco T Bastard 22.1.3

        Although I agree with you I don’t think that we can get rid of an income tax just yet.

  20. Pat 23

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/09/liberal-confirmation-bias-study-elitism-listening

    “Greed and curiosity were teamed up against motivated ignorance,” they explained in the LA Times – and it was a clear victory for staying in political comfort zones. Most conservatives, 61%, chose to stay in their bubble and forgo the extra cash”

  21. greywarshark 24

    Forward looking thoughts by Gareth Morgan”s TOP Party.


    Making NZ fair again requires an investment by somebody, there’s no free lunch here. The somebody is those of us who have enjoyed a tremendous rise in our wealth that a tax loophole has generated over the last few decades. Yes, us the Babyboomers are the ones who have to first acknowledge what’s happened and then step up and deal with it… Read more

    TOP’s policy to make New Zealand fair again; Some numbers
    Is there a simple way for me to work out how TOP’s tax package might affect me? Yes there is, it’s crude but gives you an idea at least. Take 8% of your gross income, and that’s your tax cut

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