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Open mike 10/03/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, March 10th, 2015 - 184 comments
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openmikeOpen 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 …

184 comments on “Open mike 10/03/2015 ”

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      The economy must be doing worse than anticipated if Key’s pretty much demanding that the RBNZ lower interest rates.

      • infused 1.2.1

        It’s actually to combat negative inflation, which is just as bad, if not worse than inflation. Take a look at Japan. Once that starts, it’s very hard to stop.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          LOL deflation is a symptom of economic spending declines, debt over burdens and household incomes going backwards; it’s not some separate thing.

          This is where neoliberal policies and monetarism have taken us to.

          • infused

            Which isn’t actually happening.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              If the symptoms are there, you can be pretty sure the disease is there. You youself used the Japan example. Their economy is debt and demographic fucked – two lost decades now and counting.

          • les

            I think a blindingly good diversified deflation proof portfolio would be…
            Rio Tinto
            Sky City
            Bank of America
            Scales Corp
            JP Morgan

            • Hutty

              Why Scales Corp?

              • les

                former Sth Cant asset given away for about $43mil ,then floated for about $143 mil,with one of the main ‘actors being John Spys next door neighbour in Parnell.

                • Tracey


                  • les

                    really and truly…P.M at 105 St Stephens,and the entrepreneur at 106.

                    • rawshark-yeshe

                      Yes, literally given to govt by Hubbard when requested for a sign of good faith. In fact, it has been reported that English delayed the entry of SCF into guarantee scheme until Scales and his helicopter company were signed over. I think there is evidence they occurred on the same day as soon as the two companies were ‘gifted’ by Hubbard.

                      This story is out and about … there is evidence, it’s just never been looked at thoroughly in daylight. One of the biggest most corrupt rorts by Key and English, and that’s really saying something.

                      Will find a link and come back … a main part if it –here you are:

                    • thatguynz

                      Having known quite a bit about this for some time I would dearly love to see this be a topic for investigation by Hager or Jon Stephenson..

                      If even half of what I’ve heard is true then the current government would be gone in the blink of an eye – potentially to the point of not being electable for a very long time.

                • les

                  ‘South Canterbury Finance receivers have signed an agreement to sell a 79.7% stake in apple exporter and cold store company Scales Corporation to Direct Capital for $44 million.

                  Direct Capital is a local investment firm headed by Ross George. ‘

                  ‘Goldman Sachs & Partners New Zealand Limited acted as financial advisor to the Receivers of the SCF Group’.

        • Tracey

          Then he should sack Wheeler who clearly has no understanding of the necessary matters to do his job.

        • Draco T Bastard

          It’s actually to combat negative inflation, which is just as bad, if not worse than inflation.

          Yeah, that’s what I said – the economy is tanking despite all the talk from the government about ‘rock-star economies’.

    • Tracey 1.3


      Not wanting to interfere the PM says at.8% the reserve bank is short of its 2% target but denies putting pressure on for an interest rate cut…

      the cut would lower the dollar (I assume) but lower borrowing costs as well, so no stop to Auckland’s runaway property market in mind from this PM.

      • Lanthanide 1.3.1

        And Wheeler is just thinking “yes, and if you’d do something about the housing market, then maybe I could drop interest rates”.

        • Tracey

          spot on with my thinking Lanth

        • infused

          And what do you propose?

          * CGT – Delayed effect, and would add to house pricing in auckland, while deflating it elsewhere

          * Stop Foreign Investment/purchasing – Which would the crash the Auckland market. As nice as you think that would be, it would be a disaster for NZ economically.

          Besides, house prices are only affecting two cities.

          • Molly

            “Besides, house prices are only affecting two cities.”

            One of which – Auckland – accounts for a third of the population.

            Couldn’t be bothered figuring out the other city you are referring to because if you don’t recognise there is a knock-on effect for the whole country, you are a bit deluded.

          • b waghorn

            According to key if i recall correctly foreign investment isn’t causing the house price boom so no problem to exclude them from the market.

          • Lanthanide

            “* Stop Foreign Investment/purchasing – Which would the crash the Auckland market. As nice as you think that would be, it would be a disaster for NZ economically.”

            How about we actually do the research first, hmm, instead of leaping to conclusions?

            The fact is, there are no firm numbers about the amount or extent of foreign investment in Auckland, only anecdotes, hunches and guesses.

            Also, you don’t have to completely restrict it – you could require that all foreign bought homes must be new-builds. Use all of that excess cash coming in from offshore for something productive, instead of locking out NZers from buying homes at sensible prices.

            The government, being sovereign, can literally do anything they like in order to combat house prices. Here’s a suggestion: any entity that has owned land for 5+ years and not made any moves to develop it (ie, land-bankers), must pay a 1% capital tax, calculated based on the council valuation for the land. If that isn’t a big enough stick to get them to sell it, start increasing the rate by 0.5% per year after 5 years.

          • Draco T Bastard

            1. Banning foreign ownership of homes
            2. Stop the banks from creating money
            3. Ban foreign ownership of anything and everything in NZ
            4. Build enough homes through Housing NZ to ensure 1% to 2% over-supply of housing
            5. http://thestandard.org.nz/real-monetary-reform/

            Stop Foreign Investment/purchasing – Which would the crash the Auckland market. As nice as you think that would be, it would be a disaster for NZ economically.

            No it wouldn’t. Sure, the financial markets would crash but economically we’d end up being much stronger.

          • Murray Rawshark

            The Auckland house market is going to crash anyway. All pyramid schemes do. The question is whether Kiwis will control the property after the crash, or whether the strings will be pulled from overseas. It’s better we decide on the preferred outcome and aim for that.

  1. North 2

    Herald editorial this morning framing Little as having lost his nerve over Northland; by implication – “silly, no-guts, useless Little……”

    “Andrew Little’s initial instinct to compete strongly in the byelection was the right one. If any contest was tailor-made for Labour and its new leader, it is Northland.”

    Who writes this shit ? “Tailor-made” ? For what/whom ? Oh that’s right – TheGodKey. Herald abusing its power again.

    • tc 2.1

      Herald sees that as a good use of its power as a tory rag.

    • Skinny 2.2

      The beauty/ugly fact is every Northlander knows they get the modern day equivalent of broken plates and beads from the Treaty era, the morden being broken roads and a undemocratically implemented Super Council to strip rural Zombie towns of a say.

      So spin as they are the MSM have little say, the true glimmer of hope is Peters motto “Help is on it’s way.”

    • Tracey 2.3

      pretty sure journalist’s opinion is no more valid than anyone elses, but how about just giving us some facts and letting us decide for ourselves?

      god forbid they be spending this morning opining about Bridges bridges.


  2. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    Thought having access to all emails, texts, and phone conversations was invasive?


    Sir Bernard Hogan Howe, the head of London’s Metropolitan Police Service, is now urging residents to put CCTV cameras in their homes and businesses. Because safety. It gets better though…

    Sir Bernard is encouraging inhabitants to install cameras at eye level, because according to the Scotland Yard chief,

    ‘Facial recognition software has got better, and we can now apply it to images of burglaries, and then compare them with images we take when we arrest people.

    ‘What we need to be able to do is to be able to compare that photograph with the images we have of people committing a crime.

    ‘Taking the tops of their heads is not that helpful for facial recognition which relies on the eyes and the configuration of the area around the nose and the mouth. So we’re trying to get people to, ideally, add a camera at face level.

    ‘If anyone listening has a business, think about installing a new one – they’re relatively cheap. If you can’t buy one, could you think about moving it?

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 3.1

      What a twit! Give away your freedom so that the Police can catch your burglar…oh, sorry…he was wearing a mask?

      • What freedom is being given away? It’s entirely up to the homeowner what happens to the video. Modern cameras have motion sensors and if all they record is the cat, big deal. But if they capture a burglar, then yeah, share that for sure.

        • vto

          ” It’s entirely up to the homeowner what happens to the video”

          Are you serious trp? You truly believe that freedom would not be lost? ….. after all eh, nothing to fear nothing to hide…

          everything else is already recorded – there is only the inside of ones home left.

          • te reo putake

            Yep, entirely serious. The home or business owner has total control over the what is recorded and what happens to the video. I think the mistake being made here is the thought that the video is going to be actively monitored by the police. Which it ain’t.

            • vto


              read some history

              start with ird

            • vto

              “The home or business owner has total control ”

              You do realise trp that the home or business owner does not have total control over things in their home or business in countless ways already?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          What freedom is being given away? It’s entirely up to the homeowner what happens to the video

          Most of these modern CCTV systems will be hooked up to a PC hooked up to the internet, silly. Homeowners will be told they can monitor their home and their kids from work or while on holiday. Who wouldn’t want that?

          And once its on the internet it will be collected and recorded by the intelligence services.

          • te reo putake

            Actually most of them work on flash drives, CV. And in the real world, who’s going to be actively monitoring what your cat does while you’re asleep anyway? Get a grip.

            • vto

              I am staggered at your mindset here trp, in light of the recent revelations that ALL our communications are being hoovered up by the ‘authorities’.

              This is la-la land stuff that you are dwelling in

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Dick Smith $599 home CCTV system enabling “remote viewing” by PC, smartphone or tablet. Compatible with Apple, Android and Windows devices. How handy.


                • So what? I think we are all aware that there are internet compliant systems, but most people go with the cheaper systems that aren’t. If you’re paranoid about the man monitoring your moggy, that’s the obvious option. Or simply don’t put a system in at all.

                  Get. A. Grip.

                  • vto

                    Lets place a bet shall we……

                    that the authorities will move to collect this data as its recording becomes more prevalent (of course some of it is already recorded by the authorities right now as CV has amply shown)

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    LOL just making a point that you’re not paying proper attention to Snowden and Hager’s revelations.

                    • Um, I think you’re the one missing the point of their revelations, CV. But keep looking out for the black helicopters anyway. You never know.

                    • vto

                      That’s what the populists said in Germany in the 1930s. Why is it that humans do not learn from history?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      TRP: You probably think that the “black government helicopter” raids meme is funny.

                      The truth is of course is that “black government helicopters” accompanying paramilitaries in body armour with automatic weapons have already been in use around NZ. Against unarmed civilians with families and children. Who have had loaded weapons pointed at them for no just reason.

                      They went for Kim Dotcom on a foreign governments orders, and they went to the Ureweras on trumped up terrorism charges.

                      vto: yep some people can’t even seem to remember recent Kiwi history let alone European 20th century history.

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    Some of us do a little more in our homes than sit patting a cat that’s asleep on our knee shawl. But hey, don’t worry, they’ll make the cameras compulsory for beneficiaries first, probably ones with little kids. Then Sabin’s Methcon will get a contract to monitor them. Yeah, don’t worry.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              People want to be able to watch their pets, kids, house while at work, so more and more of these systems will be connected to the internet via wifi straight to the modem, the home PC or a cellular connection.

              And once it is connected to the internet even indirectly, it’s a gift to the intelligence services who are collecting everything and recording it permanently.

        • Tracey

          You don’t see a point where maybe the data of those who voluntarily do this is used to show what a great “crime fighting” success it is so everyone should have one and to make it easier we (govt) will subsidise the cost and installation…. but you must instal…

        • weka

          “What freedom is being given away?”

          There are privacy rights issues for people visiting the businesses and private homes where such systems are installed, esp if the police are using such systems to gather data for nationwide face recognition systems, which I’m pretty sure would be the intent. You really think the police want to go through hours of localised files that aren’t connected to a network each time there is a burglary?

          We already know that there is significant connection happening between the police and places like nightclubs, where private businesses are feeding the police data.

          In NZ I think there would be legal issues. Do you have the right to record me in your home without me knowing? Or your business? How about in the toilet or bathroom of both those places? Where’s the limit? Can you record images, or can you record sounds as well? How about phone calls I make from there on my own phone? Now think about how this links into the meta and content data being collected by every spy and his dog as well as private contractors.

          I’m also surprised by your responses TRP, because they sound exactly what people used to say about other kinds of data collection, when us paranoid lot were being told there was nothing to fear and nothing to hide. It’s patently obvious that the people developing surveillance systems are intending them to go much further than just having a isolated recording device in your hallway.

          Like tracey said, more people need to read 1984 (again).

          • vto

            TRP’s approach to this really is surprising. Raises questions about the place heshe occupies in the system. Again.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Agreed. It’s a viewpoint congruent with those who have authority and influence in the power establishment.

          • te reo putake

            “esp if the police are using such systems to gather data for nationwide face recognition systems, which I’m pretty sure would be the intent.”

            The intent is to catch burglars.

            • weka

              so? That’s not incompatible with what I said.

              • Yes, it is. Unless intent has a new meaning not previously known. The cop concerned wants to catch burglars. He suggested that those home owners who already have CCTV devices put them at a better angle so the pictures can help identify crooks. He further suggested that other home owners might consider getting the devices as well. That’s it. That’s all he said. That was his intent. To catch burglars. Anything more is speculation and fantasy.

                Have a read: http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-10032015/#comment-982707

                • vto

                  Your determination to limit this discussion to cops and robbers does your credibility no good trp. This discussion goes beyond that – the cop was the starting point only.

                  The discussion is about the creep of government surveillance – the cop was the starting point only.

                  Why are you ignoring this? (and please don’t repeat what the copper said again)

                • Bill

                  You’re being disingenuous trp.

                  He wants to match the images against the 12 000 000 images of suspects and offenders the police already have. Note the word suspects there? (And the existence of 12 million ‘mug shots’ from a population of…!?)

                  Labour MP Andrew Miller said: ‘We were alarmed to discover that the police have begun uploading custody photographs of people to the police national database and using facial recognition software without any regulatory oversight. Some of the people had not even been charged.


                  Still. Everyone (who counts) is a good guy and a cop in this brave new world you seem prepared to relax into.

                  • It’s you and the daily mail using the word ‘suspects’ (strange bedfellows, Bill!).

                    The cop actually says: “What we need to be able to do is to be able to compare that photograph with the images we have of people committing a crime.”

                    • Bill

                      Aw ffs! – the infantile school yard dance aside…

                      The Metropolitan Police Commissioner says…’x’.

                      House of Commons Committee discovered…’y’.

                      And in this instance you’re going with the word of a Met Officer over a House of Commons Committee. Whatever.

                    • Bill, you wrote: “He wants to match the images against the 12 000 000 images of suspects and offenders the police already have.”

                      Which was wrong, as it turns out.

                    • Bill

                      How are you showing that opinion to be wrong?

                      Given the penchant of authorities to ask for an inch while they take a mile, and the fact that the Commons Committee discovered the police have been using facial recognition software without any oversight, I’d say there’s a fair bet they will do matches against their entire data base. Actually, unless their data base is subdivided into ‘arrested but not charged’ and various other categories, then I don’t see how such an outcome can be avoided.

                      They sure as hell ain’t wanting face level photos just so they can print them off and take them around the neighbourhood.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      It’s quite likely that FVEY police forces are following the example of the US FBI and other law enforcement organisations in participating in what Bill Binney calls a “planned programme perjury policy”.

                      This is where law enforcement uses NSA data without warrants or probable cause to finger individuals, then reconstructs in parallel (so-called “parallel reconstruction”) legal evidence which can be presented to a court of law while concealing their original sources of knowledge.

                      It’s stasi state secret police, secret evidence stuff.

                    • No, you’re probably right that it will be the broader usage, Bill, but that’s what happens now anyway. All that will happen if those with cameras follow the cop’s advice is that they will get clearer pictures, which will mean the right people have their collars felt. That’s gotta be better than just arresting the nearest kid that vaguely looks like a grainy photo taken from a bad angle or simply not solving the crime at all.

            • Sabine

              and to that end everyone is guilty unless proven innocent by facial recognition.
              Yeah, right Tui.

      • infused 3.1.2

        I have cameras in my house on the out side. One covers the garage, two on they alley way side (main reason I got them) and one in the drive way.

        Night vision motion sensors.

        All came about as there is a bottle shop across the road and alley way right next to my house. Fence was always being tagged/booted in. People coming up the drive way and fucking with stuff on the property.

        Never had an issue since the cameras went in.

        • Tracey

          what did it cost you?

          • McFlock

            probably only a few hundred bucks if it was an off the shelf domestic system with 3 cameras and DVR, and a monitor thrown in for luck. “Night vision” is just a pretty standard ccd with IR leds and “motion detection” is a software option. The pan/tilt/zoom cameras get more pricey, as do more durable or higher def professional surveillance cameras.

            • infused

              Nah… if you buy the cheap stuff you will get what you pay for. I did a lot of research as i’d heard horror stories about night vision cameras.

              You need to pay for the $800 cameras for outdoor+night vision or you are going to get a shitty picture. indoor ones are a lot cheaper.

              For a DVR, I just used a NAS with some software to do the job. I already had the NAS for storage, so you just add the app to do the processing.

              Camera is here: http://www2.acti.com/product/support/B87

              • McFlock

                Fair enough.

                Although if the result is deterrence rather than trying to get the cops to track down taggers, simpler would do (although those cheap dummy domes look like crap).

                I recall one ptz I was working with back in the day automatically flipped to macro-focus to get a clear shot of the small spider sitting on the dome an inch from the lens. You don’t want that to suddenly pop up when you’ve a coffee halfway to your mouth 🙂

    • Tracey 3.2

      People really need to re-read 1984. Too often the media and the pollies only feed people the so-called “upside”…

      • Tiger Mountain 3.2.1

        thats right, read it as a kid and was fascinated to find that original title was “1948”, the author was critiquing existing totalitarian regimes as much as projecting futurism.

        But much of Orwell’s book has come to pass though, TVs, computer webcams and other electronic gadgets and drones that can watch and monitor you, politicians that say the exact opposite of what they mean, a pervasive surveillance state, various snitch networks (such as Whaleoil’s Tipline and the blue bellies star555–its only traffic safety, 0800 consumer lines and web tracking) and so on. Auckland Transport is going to run facial recognition software on its traffic intersection cams that photograph license plates, driver and front seat passengers linked to US based servers.

        The ability to go about your life reasonably privately and unmolested by the state is nearly gone. But you can do things like use cash for most purchases and turn some of the gadgets off occasionally. There is plenty to fear when you have nothing to hide.

      • Sans Cle 3.2.2

        Agree – there are so many parallels with manipulating information, obfuscating meanings, denial of having said something…..basically trying to change the facts. Veutoviper @14 below, also makes some interesting points about Key’s post-cabinet press conferences being published.

        I really like this essay “Plato and the Internet”, extending old philosophical ideas with new technology…… (available here http://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/40292.pdf), and have taken out one relevant passage:
        “The written is infinitely less interesting to Plato than live discussion. But nowadays technology has blurred the distinction. Some speech – as recorded on TV or radio – is as unchanging as a piece of text. One cannot interact with a recording; it will not change if one debates with it (it ‘cannot come to its own support’). One can, of course, debate with the person who made the recording, but the recording will still stand. Like a piece of writing, a recorded utterance will remain in existence even if it has been exposed as a lie, or if its author has changed his mind. Like writing, it can be broadcast to a wide and undiscriminating audience (it ‘rolls about everywhere’).”

        I find this fascinating, in the context of a) a blog such as this, where everything is retained for future cross-checking…….b) the internet in itself, where humans are cataloguing everything, it seems…….and c) the mass surveillance and collection of data that Snowden has made us privy to.
        Also, I am not sure whether written word is immutable! What if we go back in 5 years from now, and the text of what we have written has changed?! I know there are projects archiving the internet, but are these beyond manipulation?

        …..and on interesting literature in this regard, we should also relook at The Minority Report (K. Dick’s original book, not the movie) as to where this could lead us.

    • Bill 3.3

      Okay, so as TRP says ‘It’s up to you’, but….

      1. Insurance premiums dropping if approved home surveillance systems in place.

      2. Cops issuing seizure orders (or whatever they might be called) on spurious as well as legitimate grounds.

      3. The ‘license’ and permission for neighbours to be snooping on neighbours…the guy on ACC, the guy on the dole, the single mother next door…

      4. Panopticon

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.3.1

        In East Germany, neighbours, friends and family members were encouraged to inform on each other. There were inducements and advantages provided for doing so.

        This is the way our society is heading.

  3. Marksman33 4

    As I work in the roading industry in the Far North, I can assure readers that Joe Carr was quite right on Morning Report this morning. Both the Taipa bridge and the Kaeo bridge are both on the nine year plan and have been for years, no new money there. I want to know why the government isn’t doing anything about the 2 one lane bridges on state hi way 1, north of Kaitaia. The amount of accidents and near misses that occur with tourists at these sites is staggering. Something needs to be done.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      “Joekerr” (Carr) is with right breakaway Focus NZ but still backs up the tories–the Nats were actually going to progress Taipa and Kaeo regardless of the by election eh? Yeah right.

      There needs to be all sorts of planning, cost benefit analysis and local input before these much needed upgrades actually happen.

      • Skinny 4.1.1

        I wouldn’t knock the Focus NZ candidate. Osbourne may get clipped by Carr (polling 6℅) and flattened by the Winston Express.
        They may well rue not selecting the Focus NZ Leader Kenny R who lost the Nat candidate race to Carters pasty Osbourne. In other words Focus NZ would not have
        stood a candidate. Expect more protest votes to Carr from disgruntled Tories who can’t bring themselves to directly support Peters.

        Key and Joyce’s heads will be spinning faster than the taxpayers money machine spitting out money to pay for their By-Election bribes.

        • te reo putake

          Cheers, skinny, that answers something for me. If I read you correctly, the Focus group are not a party in their own right, just a ginger group. So National are likely to be putting pressure on them to cease campaigning to help Osborne out, yes?

          • Skinny

            Focus NZ are break away NL rural Tories. Front man Kenny R is no mug 6,000 votes in the NL election backs this up. Funny setup when he can drift back to the Nat’s and nom to stand for them. What a slap in the face to farmers (over & over again) getting rejected with 2 very capable rural characters. I would be spewing if i were a farmer.

            Key may have to offer new milking sheds all round to keep the farmers from defecting.

      • jenny kirk 4.1.2

        We went to the Kaikohe candidates meeting last night, and it was very clear that Joe Carr is using the by-election as a public platform to get some basic info across about
        the regional council’s draft 10 year transport plan, and also to correct some of the bullshit being talked by the Nats re the so-called “new” money for the 10 bridges.
        Focus might be naturally tory, but they sure as heck are not impressed with how the tories have treated the north over the last few decades – that was very clear from what was said at the meeting. Neglect was the word used, over and over again.

        • Tiger Mountain

          yes but; Focus are ‘good ’ol boys’, conservative and reactionary rather than modern citified Nats or the petit bourgeois of Kerikeri. They will wriggle and squiggle but never see beyond a blue political solution.

          People that are at core landowners and farmers in denial of the post colonial situation the Far North is in.

    • Tracey 4.2

      how many national voters north of Kaitaia?

      • ropata 4.2.1

        it depends on the time of year, how many Parnell tractors are touring through before heading back to the yacht in Paihia

    • vto 5.1


        • Colonial Rawshark

          Ahhh the propaganda machine and their spokespeople creating martyrs, heroes and freedom fighters. Exactly what I would expect.

          It’s a quagmire over there, a sectarian civil war against Baghdad authorities. How’s Tikrit going by the way.

          • infused

            You are so small minded. It’s a lot bigger than baghdad. The fact you even say that shows you don’t actually grasp what is going on on there.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Just speaking the truth that it’s a sectarian civil war against corrupt partisan incompetent rule from Baghdad.

          • te reo putake

            Tikrit is going well, apparently, CV. Good thing the Iraqi army isn’t relying on you for military advice, eh?


            • Colonial Rawshark

              Huh? If its going pretty well between the Shiite militia, the Iraqi Army and the Iranian Quds forces, then what the hell do they need our soldiers there for?

              • For training. It was in the news, surprised you missed it.

                • Tracey

                  sounds like their current training will suffice if they are heading for success in Tikrit?

                  • They can always use more training, Tracey. It’s been a major focus of the yanks in the last six months and seems to have paid some dividends. It will be interesting how Tikrit goes. If they can’t win there, then the bigger prize of Mosul will have to be reassessed. But the indications are that the Iraqi army are showing much more discipline and organisation than was previously evident. And training will have a bit to do with that.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Armchair General Westmoreland, confident as ever about the mission at hand.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      How come you never mention the salient fact about the Qods and the militia, TRP?

                      Iraqi army this, Iraqi army that. Who is doing the fighting in Tikrit and in what proportion?

                      Who is in command? Who is advising him?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Newsweek: Tikrit will be a bloody disaster led by Shiite militia

                      Several months after thousands of American advisers showed up for training sessions, Iraqi troops still aren’t ready for combat. Iranian-backed Shiite militias will do most of the fighting against the ISIS militants in Tikrit and other largely Sunni towns and cities in Iraq, raising the chances of more sectarian slaughter…

                      That’s the grim assessment of a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, James Dubik, who oversaw the training of Iraqi soldiers in the final months of the eight-year U.S. occupation…he wasn’t surprised when the Iraqi forces collapsed.

                      “Yup,” Dubik says with a dry chuckle, “those were my guys.”

                      Iranian involvement has created an awkward situation for the Obama administration, which has been launching airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria since last August, effectively putting Washington and Tehran on the same side…

                      Iranian-backed Shiite militias like the Badr Brigade and K’taib Hezbullah say their fighters make up two-thirds of the 30,000-strong force that’s gathered near Tikiti…But the presence of Shiite fighters on a predominantly Sunni battlefield is cause for concern, Dubik and other military analysts say.


            • Tracey

              don’t need us then

            • Murray Rawshark

              They’ve been trying for a week and haven’t made much progress at all. Maybe they should ask CR for advice.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Without the promise of serious political and administrative reform in Baghdad, no lasting peace with Iraq’s majority Sunni areas is going to hold.

          • Bill

            The Rojava Revolution has no interest in forming a state entity (eg – a Kurdistan). Where it exists within Syria, it has stated its recognition of Syrian territorial integrity and law.

            The inclusion of an armed, anachronistic Marxist/Leninist organisation gives me the shits though. (See comment 5.2)

            Here’s a link to the constitution of Rojava. Leninism flies full tilt into the face of it. http://civiroglu.net/the-constitution-of-the-rojava-cantons/

        • vto

          Nope, not correct. Idiots can be brave. The mad can be brave. Evil is very brave. Murderers are also brave, as are rapists. Soldiers are brave. Gay peopleare brave. Psychopaths are brave. Political extremists are brave.

          Brave, in this context is the same as that other tiresome word Honour. Toss anything into it. Worthless.

    • Bill 5.2

      Hang on! So she died fighting for the MLPK! The same MLPK that “believes that a sharp class struggle will also continue under the power of proletariat against the danger of restoration, that the dictatorship of proletariat is a real democracy, a socialist democracy, and it aims at it.”


      I’m thinking that the MLPK have a long ideological road to travel. Meanwhile, I’m (sadly) seeing Spain writ large again, where authoritarian Leninist elements essentially undermined the democratic potential of that revolution.

      That aside, I take it there will be calls from within the authoritarian left that travel bans to Rojava be lifted, that the designation of the PKK as terrorist be lifted and that the political/economic embargo on Rojava be lifted?

      Then can they all ‘go to school’ and get a grip?

      • Murray Rawshark 5.2.1

        The PKK should not be designated as a terrorist organisation. The US Department of Defense should be.

  4. veutoviper 6

    Last night in the comments on the Caption Contest post, Clemgeopin, Sans Cle and I shared a few more ‘funnies’ related to the Northland By-election. (Thread is at 30.)

    As they are rather lost in the comments there, I thought I would re-post them here in case you missed them!

    First, the TV3 News bulletin which shows the original of the Key Nailing failure, and Osborne showing he is at least reasonably competent in the nailing skill. It also shows Key playing ‘Daddy’ to Osborne, and Osborne playing second fiddle to Key including acting as Key’s personal photographer – rather than the centre of attention as the actual Nat candidate. All in the first 2 minutes of the video.


    There has also been some very amusing photoshopping of Osborne’s billboards on Twitter. Here are the two supplied by Clemgeopin and Sans Cle last night.


    There are also a couple more in the photos on this Twitter feed


    Enjoy – and share!

  5. adam 7

    I know I’m a day late – but if you have not read this post From Andrew – I think you should. It really is that good


    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      It’s quite clear from that article that the Otago University Faculty of Law is inefficient, surplus to requirements, full of screaming Lefties, and should be defunded.

      • veutoviper 7.1.1

        I am hoping you forgot the sarc/ tag!

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          I’m writing government policy. If Osborne can do it why can’t I?

          • veutoviper

            LOL! Go for it. IMO your policy will be way better than his.

            Did quite a bit of that in the past, on a paid basis. Don’t miss it one bit.

    • veutoviper 7.2

      Thanks for the link, Adam – and I thoroughly agree that this is a must read.

      A little more information – Andrew Geddis discusses the ethics of the Nat candidate, Osborne, fronting yesterday’s announcement about the 10 Northland bridges funding from taxpayers’ funds when currently he is still a private citizen running as a candidate and not a current MP.

      Andrew also examines the 10 bridge proposal against the Northland regional plan which mentons only two of those 10 bridges in the plan and not as high priorities.

  6. les 8

    ‘Mr Key said National “unashamedly” wanted to win the byelection. He said it was standard practice to release policies during byelections, although he could not recall instances of National doing so in previous byelections.’.(nzh)…..he does it every day…!unbelievable.

    • logie97 8.1

      Wow. Look what Peters has achieved for Northland already and he is not even elected. A bevy of bridges to start with. Wonder what is next.

    • RedBaronCV 8.2

      But are the bridges a tainted gift. This is a gift that needs a hard look.

      The Nacts want bigger trucks on the roads so have kept at the state highway network widening roads and fixing bridges. I don’t think the Reginal councils have been the least bit interested in spending money to accomodate bigger trucks. So if Nact up grades these bridges is it really looking at putting bigger trucks on Northland’s roads and is this what voters want? Or are they being suckered?

      • veutoviper 8.2.1

        Adam at 7 above has provided a link to a post by Andrew Geddis at Pundit which is well worth reading.

        Andrew raises the ethics of a candidate (not an already elected MP so therefore still just a private citizen) fronting a government announcement such as that yesterday where Osborne fronted the bridge funding intentions.

        He then goes on to examine the 10 bridge proposals against the Northland regional plan currently under development where only two of the bridges are even mentioned in the plan.

        And this comment and photo from Sevy on Gower’s twitter feed last night is interesting if true …..

        Have just seen Marksman33’s comment at 9 below which is also very relevant and apparently from someone involved in Northland.

  7. Marksman33 9

    Tiger Mountain, as I said both those bridges are on the books. This is not New money being waved here, I should know, we have the Transit contract and the FNDC contract. Whether the bridges would have got the go ahead remains to be seen, although I will say there has been a lot of office johnny activity going onsite over the last year.
    As for Joe Carr, yep he’s a tory acolyte, and I don’t pay much attention to him, he just happens to be correct in this matter.
    Sorry dont have numbered reply on my cell.

  8. Marksman33 10

    Tracy, not that im aware of, but im just a pleb.

    Tracy, how many nat voters north of Kaitaia youa ask, well every farmer and his wife normally, the wealthy elite in Pukenui and the forestry block owners and most of the logging truck drivers I come across.

  9. hoom 11

    Say bye bye to our Public Health sector from later this term or if not, then next term the Nacts are in power.

  10. Philip Ferguson 12

    Last month saw the death of Dick Morrison, one of the founders of the gay liberation movement in NZ, and like most of the other activists in the GLM at the time, a fervent anti-capitalist:


  11. Pascals bookie 13

    I’m just going to leave this here:

  12. veutoviper 14

    On a bit more serious note than some of my comments over the last day or so, this article by Audrey Young may have escaped your notice with everything else that has been happening.


    Audrey has scored a small win in getting the PM’s office to produce and supply the transcripts of the PM’s post Cabinet press conferences via the Beehive website (www.beehive.govt.nz) – although these are not currently searchable, apparently.

    To date, recordings have been available via Scoop for example, but not actual transcripts.

    Audrey details the background to this small win, the excuses put up to date for not doing so, and the fact that she took the matter to the Ombudman (with this aspect still ongoing).

    What does it mean? It means that anyone will now be able to view what Key actually said, as opposed to what may have been reported in the media etc. Sometime different things. – in terms of actualy wordings, lack of context etc.

    • weka 14.1


      What I want to know now is what effort is required to make a PDF document non-searchable. I assume it’s not the default setting, that someone has had to intentionally alter the document to make it nonsearchable before uploading it to the govt website.


      Young, When I asked why the transcripts were not searchable, Sia said it was decided that making them searchable was the “safest” way to present them so they could not be “manipulated.”


      • Hayden 14.1.1

        They appear to have been printed then scanned as images, so they’re no longer text but pictures of text. It’s all a bit pointless, as you can just upload the PDF to Google Drive, then open it in Google Docs, wherein it’s all nicely OCR-d, then download it as a Word document containing the original images and the now searchable text. It takes about 3 minutes per document.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          It’s all a bit pointless, as you can just upload the PDF to Google Drive, then open it in Google Docs, wherein it’s all nicely OCR-d,

          Nice tip.

          I like noting how the security and surveillance state has all these handy tools. Like auto-captioning in Youtube – they can take a recording of someone speaking and automatically turn it into a transcript.

          • Hayden

            Speech recognition seems to be always on the cusp of working properly – I remember building something in VB6 in 1999 that used some fairly crude version of it.

            Anyway, someone should tell Sia that it takes her longer to make the PDFs unsearchable than it does to make them searchable again.

            • McFlock


              You could even run it back through text to speech so you can not only search it, but listen to Stephen Hawking reading the transcript 🙂

  13. Clemgeopin 16

    Watch a misogynist moron and his shameful behaviour (ironically on the day the world had dedicated as the ‘International Women’s Day’)


  14. Gareth 17

    Why do we still have daylight savings and how do we get rid of it?

    • Bill 17.1

      I’ve found that being unemployed with no visible clocks in the house helps…right up until I have an appointment to be somewhere 😉

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      Don’t know but, despite the fact that everyone seems to hate the bloody thing, all that our governments have done is extend it.

  15. NZSage 18

    There was a telling question to the PM in yesterdays press conference which appears to have been overlooked/ignored by MSM.

    The question was; “Would the government still abide by their promise to upgrade 10 Northland one-way bridges even if National lose the Northland bye-election?”

    The reposnse by Key was simply: “Yes”

    So there you have it Northland voters, you don’t have to vote National to get your bridges upgraded, it’s a set in stone promise by John Key and how could you not trust honest John?

  16. Penny Bright 19

    FYI folks – just had a significant victory in the Auckland District Court today.

    Within 35 minutes, District Court Judge Harvey ‘set aside’ the ‘rates judgment debt’ upon which Auckland Council had been relying, in order to force the rating sale of my freehold property.

    The ‘Rates Statement’ upon which Auckland Council had been relying, as evidence of rates owed, had included legal fees, which are NOT rates.

    CLUNK – went Auckland Council’s case.

    I am now actively seeking the assistance of legal counsel competent in local government matters to help
    prepare a ‘Declaratory Judgment’ in the High Court to test the ‘validity’ of my rates assessment notices and rates invoices against the statutory requirements of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002.

    The painstaking ‘due diligence’ has been done.

    This will be QUITE a case – because – generically, my rates assessment notices and rates invoices are arguably the same as every other residential ratepayer in the Auckland region.

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

  17. ScottGN 21

    Why has the TVNZ website put up a picture of Andrew Little to accompany their piece about David Seymour’s pathetic attempt to refer Winston to the courts if he wins Northland without first resigning his NZ First List placing. There is nothing whatsoever in Katie Bradford’s piece which has any relevance to the Labour leader.

  18. Ergo Robertina 22

    Britain’s Daily Mail has covered the story of Mathilda Crisp, the youngest known person in the world to be diagnosed with narcolepsy, which causes sufferers to suddenly fall asleep, as well as hallucinations and excruciating pain.
    Her Mum, who remains in favour of vaccines, says it was caused by the Pandemrix pandemic strain vaccine, which she received aged 3 in 2009, and this is a link that has now been accepted.
    Before 2011 this vaccine was given universally to those under 20 in Britain.
    Now, since the causal link can no longer be denied, the U.K Government has started to claim narcolepsy is not a proper disability anyway, so as to decline the compensation claim. Unbelievable!

    ”This wrangling has continued despite the fact the Government’s scientists admitted two years ago that the vaccine, Pandemrix, could cause narcolepsy, having previously denied any link. In a statistical investigation, published in the British Medical Journal, they found children given the vaccine were 14 times more likely to have developed narcolepsy than unvaccinated children.”


    • Colonial Rawshark 22.1

      Yep sounds about right. Over blown threats, understated risks, plenty of unknowns. Pushed on the public anyway with minimal or no effort to obtain informed consent.

    • McFlock 22.2

      Lawyer Peter Todd has been pursuing the cases with the Vaccines Damage Payment Scheme. ‘The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) initially refused our application because it would not accept there was a link between Pandemrix and narcolepsy,’ he says.

      This was before the publication of the BMJ study. ‘Now they are saying narcolepsy is not a severe disability and does not qualify for compensation.’

      I wonder if the tories have been screwing with the compensation system.

  19. The Murphey 23


    We are still, despite several decades of campaigning, living in a world where we still ‘shoot the messenger’.

    His crime? He passed on damning information to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which showed what a paedophile-protecting hypocrite Australia’s chief rabbi really was.

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