Open Mike 11/02/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 11th, 2017 - 95 comments
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95 comments on “Open Mike 11/02/2017”

  1. Morrissey 1

    How a veteran politician tries to silence debate on The Standard

    Over many years on this normally excellent and stimulating site, I have gotten myself embroiled in some brutal stoushes. I’ve been banned several times, once after being so foolish as to rile the formidable Queen of Thorns, other times after irritating either Te Reo Putake or the long-suffering proprietor Mr. Prent. I’ve been accused of all sorts of ridiculous things, most recently of supporting Donald Trump; this because I had had the bad form to criticise Hillary Clinton. I’ve been called a “supporter of rape culture” because I dismissed the ludicrous, fantastical and sinister Soviet Russia-style campaign to destroy Julian Assange. I’ve been labelled “anti-Semitic” for demonstrating that Sacha Baron Cohen and Jerry Seinfeld are racist, hateful, and politically extreme to an extent that makes Bernard Manning look like Stewart Lee.

    All of this is water off a duck’s back in the end. Accusing someone of being anti-Semitic for protesting Israel’s crimes and critiquing Israel’s ruthless apologists (like Baron Cohen and Seinfeld) carries no intellectual or moral weight. Nobody—well, nobody with an IQ above room temperature—accepts there’s any substance to such name-calling. Except for the bitter and unforgiving Queen of Thorns, all of my other past accusers have either apologised, or at least stopped the silly accusations once they realised they’d got it wrong.

    Yesterday, however, I was the subject of something viler and darker than anything else I have encountered here. The poster Wayne, who has identified himself as the former National Government minister Dr Wayne Mapp, decided he would indulge in a little National Party-style character assassination.

    After enthusing about the positive benefits of “a drone strike, typically using a Hellfire missile with a 9 kg warhead” for the victims of that drone strike, Wayne then wrote THIS….

    As for Morrissey, if he/she thinks that ISIS is apparently a force for good (or at least the moral equivalent of the US, Europe and NZ), well I guess that is his/her view. On his/her argument ISIS should be able to legitimately target the NZ Parliament, since we are part of the anti ISIS coalition.

    Of course, I don’t think that, and Wayne knows I don’t. His absurd and dishonest antics don’t particularly bother me; once you’ve been accused of being a Trump supporter, after all, it’s hard to be bothered by anything—especially such a transparent and flimsy piece of nonsense as Dr Mapp has indulged himself in here.

    What is interesting, however, is the insight that it gives into the way that an experienced politician operates. If you ask most political observers what they remember about Dr Wayne Mapp, most of us would probably say that, regardless of his politics, he was one of the nice guys. His casual and deliberate lying about me yesterday shows that would be an overly generous, even inaccurate, assessment.

    • Jenny Kirk 1.1

      Perhaps its an indication of just how dirty, and nasty, the Nats are going to be with this election, using you as a practice run, Morrissey.

      That was my first thought, Morrissey, and then I remembered how the Nat councillors on Nth Shore Council tried out a number of speculative rumours on me soon after Helen Clark was elected as PM ….. so yes, that could well be one of their nasty little ploys.

      • reason 1.1.1

        wayne never talks to me … as i advertise his dishonest racist warmongering past actions with links to norightturn …..

        …. and post up things he does not want to talk about …..

        • reason

          I notice the Bank of America….. which bailed out and Assimilated Merill lynch when they were going bankrupt are in the news …. for reasons of greed in exploiting ‘investor-state dispute settlements, or ISDS’…

          ISDS were some of the more nasty fishooks in the 3000 page long-line … known as the TPPA ….

          Key will probably end up working for Bank of america as they are as sleazy as he is … and they did bail him out ….when his greed driven investment strategy in Merrill shares became worthless ….

          Deutch bank are also mentioned in the story….. and I believe he’s fiddled around with them too … …

          “WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables. One of those cables described how Blue Ridge Investments LLC, a Bank of America subsidiary, bought an almost $180 million ISDS award that an American gas company originally had won against Argentina. Blue Ridge, the cable said, was rumored to have paid roughly 30% of the award’s value.”

          “‘Vulture fund’ Blue Ridge belongs to a new class of financial market players”

          Rich people making poor people suffer …. Key will love it.

          • reason

            And then I was thinking of all the wars and conflict going on in the world …….. and how they tied into keys/naionals tax haven network ??

            Like a dirty glove of course …. ” We found a large number of arms-producing companies with shell companies established in the Netherlands. Most of the production of these companies takes place in the major westerarms-producing countries; the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany. The arms companies turned out to have zero or minimal personnel presence in the Netherlands. Their almost empty offices and sometimes only having a mailbox allows them to legally pay as little tax as possible.”

            “Many of these companies have a record of corruption that goes beyond tax evasion”

            “Tax evasion by arms companies is therefore doubly cynical”……….” their products too are paid for by taxes. The lion share of what arms companies produce is bought by governments. Moreover, much of their research and development is subsidized by governments or done in cooperation with publicly funded universities and/or research institutes. And prices paid by tax payers are inflated further because of high levels of corruption.”

            Johhny made-off and the nats have committed $20 billion Nz ‘tax payers” money on this wasteful corrupt industry

            And our farmers are paying for the economic weapons of sanctions …. which we are using to support these fascists


            My grandfather would be spinning in his grave ….. he lost mates and health fighting Nazi fascists in WWII

            He had real guts …. unlike the soft corrupt nats ….like the mapps and keys of this world

          • Draco T Bastard

            Key will probably end up working for Bank of america as they are as sleazy as he is … and they did bail him out ….when his greed driven investment strategy in Merrill shares became worthless ….

            I believe he owns shares in BoA.

            Rich people making poor people suffer

            That’s capitalism for you.

      • Morrissey 1.1.2

        We got a preview during their disastrous and inept losing campaign in Mt Roskill—from the National candidate’s thuggish husband to the National Party louts in the front row hurling insults at the Labour candidate.

        Still, the byelection had two positive outcomes: beside the election of the excellent Michael Wood, it led to the resignation, a day later, of John Key.

        • Anne

          There’s a future NZ prime minister inside the young Michael Wood.

          • James Thrace

            I don’t think NZ has a future under this current government. We cannot wait that long for a prime minister. We just need a change, for now.

    • I expect that was a pretty painful spanking he gave you. Maybe he’d read this comment on the same thread, in which you declare the US and UK governments to be more comparable to fascists than the religious fascists they’re targeting with drone strikes.

      To be fair, Wayne didn’t really go far enough with “or at least the moral equivalent of the US, Europe and NZ,” given that comment I just linked to. “Moral superiors” would be more accurate than “moral equivalent” under the circumstances.

      • Morrissey 1.2.1

        I expect that was a pretty painful spanking he gave you.

        Yes, it was like being savaged by a dead sheep.

        ….in which you declare the US and UK governments to be more comparable to fascists than the religious fascists they’re targeting with drone strikes.

        The religious fascists you pretend to be so concerned about have been and are financially, militarily and diplomatically supported by the US and UK governments.

        The rest of your inept casuistry is not worth a response.

        • Psycho Milt

          You still haven’t explained the logic behind your claim that the US and UK governments are supporting Al Qaeda and Da’esh while also killing them with drone strikes. The drone strikes are self-evident, but evidence for the “support” part of your claim is non-existent. So, I know readers won’t have any problem seeing how your claim fails, but I’m interested to know how you imagine it works.

          • Spikeyboy

            Thats pretty weird logic. Obviously the usa cant be helping the group hit by a drone strike cause they be dead but nothing stops them aiding others in other regions. If you are ascribing morals to Isis along the lines of not accepting guns from Cia cause they bombed some of the bros I suggest you check out some headchopping videos. Seymour Hirsch has detailed the rat line that moved arms from Libya to Syrian groups thar included Al Quaida even though AQ was the target of drone strikes in many regions. What has changed?

            • Psycho Milt

              So, the logic is that tenuous string by which some group that western governments support at some point makes some kind of deal with Al Qaeda and Da’esh in some combat zone and that supposedly justifies the claim the governments are “supporting” Al Qaeda and Da’esh. Don’t see it myself.

              However, Morrissey’s claim (“The religious fascists you pretend to be so concerned about have been and are financially, militarily and diplomatically supported by the US and UK governments”) is that the combatants I’m happy for the US government to kill with drone strikes are also being directly supported by those same governments. If what he meant is that those governments kill some religious fascists while supporting others, maybe he could have phrased the claim less stupidly. For my part, I’m OK with them killing whatever proportion of combatant religious fascists they feel comfortable with. More is better, but even superpowers have limits on their capability.

              • Spikeyboy

                You may enjoy indiscriminate bloodletting simply on the say so of some random accuser with no right of reply but Im wondering if even in your world you would draw the line at the uk and usa using religious fascists to kill non religious fascists. Because this is what they have done in Syria and are doing in Yemen and will be pushing to do in Iran. The articles above and below show this to be the case

          • Spikeyboy

            Also check out this thorough outline with references from Seamus Milne at the Guardian.

    • Tinfoilhat 1.3

      Whilst I come from the opposite end of the political spectrum from dr mapp, I’d happily have him as a guest speaker for my students.

      At least he is honest and open in his opinions and avoids hiding behind supercilious affectations such as those displayed by Mr Breen all to often.

      • Morrissey 1.3.1

        … avoids hiding behind supercilious affectations such as those displayed by Mr Breen all to [sic] often.

        Should read: “…all TOO often.”

      • North 1.3.2

        “supercilious affectations……” – Morrissey ? What a riot you are Tinfoilhat ! That’s Dr Mapp down to his socks. Shows of pompous noblesse oblige and supercilious affectations aplenty are simply not in Morrissey’s toolbox.

        Remember being at a National Party election meeting in Birkenhead years ago. Wayne somehow got it into the discourse with the gushing chairperson that his wife was at a farewell dinner for some law chap………portentously naming the man, adding “QC” to round off this quite unnecessary identification. Remember thinking at the time “You’re just wanking mate…….showing off how you’re so elevated, so fine.” In a word, ‘Snob’.

        As for “honest” he certainly wasn’t that night. It was in the days of Kiwi/Iwi. His facile misrepresentation of Affirmative Action (strenthened in the moment by obviously advised failure to mention the US Supreme Court), was offered to a bunch of grey-cardigan-clad with negligible if any appreciation of this seminal concept. Easy targets for the One-Law-For-All lie.

        My…… challenge to their champion’s glib dishonesty roused them ! Aggression and threats of disorder were quickly stemmed however when , to my momentary confusion, out-of-the-blue my mate falsely remarked that I was a fairly handy middleweight in my day…….the winner of some title in 19 hundred and something. Hilarious it was !

        • Morrissey

          my mate falsely remarked that I was a fairly handy middleweight in my day…….the winner of some title in 19 hundred and something.

          What a pity you didn’t end up coming to blows, my friend! I’d be prepared to wager Bill Clinton’s weekly whoring budget that it would have looked something like the following, with you, North, of course being the one in blue,…

    • Ad 1.4

      With that degree of vainglorious shirt-ripping, you’d do better in a U2 video, on a cliff, crying into the wind, singing ‘the streets having no name’, and the moon doing something else, and then Michael Bolton would come in for a blowsy clarinet bridge, and then a great black Chicago choir would rise up behind you clapping in time as the sun sets in their eyes.

      • marty mars 1.4.1

        He would do anything for love but he wont do that

        • greywarshark

          Morrissey makes good points often, gets passionate about a lot, and does not belong to the large group of NZs labelled the ‘Passionless People’. Showing skill at jibes about his sincere and seemingly accurate argument is a cheap shot.

          • weka

            He just lied about a bunch of stuff that happens on TS, as far as I can tell to make himself look good. Whatever the value of his political arguments, that’s not a good look.

            • greywarshark

              Ok Weka I have seen his confabulations before but was there a grain of truth in there?

              And I have work to do today re Schumacher, will you be round during day?

              • weka

                Grain of truth? Probably but I can’t be arsed wading through the crap and trying to parse it all so that I can see whether what he claims Mapp was doing is true. My own view is that Mapp is a useful contributor on TS because he doesn’t troll (rare in our RW regulars) and he brings in perspectives from having been an MP, which means we have to up our game when talking about parliament and subjects related to that. Of course, I disagree with his politics and assume that he will frame things to suit his argument, and yes I’m sure he dissembles, but I’m not sure that I would take Morrissey’s assessment of him at face value without going to looking it up. In other words, pot calling the kettle black (and so ably demonstrated in his on comment).

              • weka

                “And I have work to do today re Schumacher, will you be round during day?”

                Yes. If you want it to go up tomorrow morning I need the draft copy this morning. I’ll probably need to check some things with you about it too. cheers.

      • Morrissey 1.4.2

        Brilliant Ad! That’s a Joycean masterpiece. You’ve captured my essence there, my friend.

        • greywarshark

          When you start saying ‘my friend’ you are being your most patronising and precocious.

          From reading weka’s thoughtful summation of you and your diatribe, I think that the grain of truth that you could pull out of the comments on this post, is to make your more concise and therefore more polished. Then they would be more effective for those who haven’t time to follow a stream of consciousness approach. That is my prescription, if you choose to accept it.

          • Morrissey

            When you start saying ‘my friend’ you are being your most patronising

            No, I wasn’t patronising Ad, whose intellect I do respect. I genuinely appreciated his clever little takedown, even though I was the victim.

            … and precocious.

            Precocious? Moi?

            Could you explain how my careful dissection of Mr Mapp’s enthusiastic support for drone bombing, and his casual lie that I support ISIS, is a “diatribe”.

            After that you might like to explain exactly how weka’s confused and haphazard comments constitute a “thoughtful summation.”

            Thanks in advance.

            • greywarshark

              Sorry Morrissey after your self-critique I can’t bear to handle the perfectly shaped intellect I see before me.

      • North 1.4.3

        See how Morrissey’s so good for us Ad ? Lifts you and all of us to such colourful, creative heights. Go Morrissey !

    • reason 1.5

      Everybody knows Waynes n sa racist warmongering dishonest creep of a man …..who moonlights as a sick kind of king dick pic here …

      I’d ask wayne if he thinks nat mp mark mitchell was involved in torture of prisoners in iraq ….. when all that torture and prisoner abuse was growing isis ….. they used dogs a lot on prisoner …..

      and raped boys in front of mothers ….

      Waynes like a female version of judith collins ….. bad.

    • weka 1.6

      Except for the bitter and unforgiving Queen of Thorns, all of my other past accusers have either apologised, or at least stopped the silly accusations once they realised they’d got it wrong.

      Pretty sure that if we were to be talking about Assange again that I would still call you a supporter of rape culture. I’m also pretty sure you know this, which means you’re outright lying. I’ll add sexist to that as well given how you just framed QoT’s response to you (and that’s without even looking it up). And patronising git. And drama queen. Egg (to steal a great cultural insult from Moana Maniopoto).

      But I did get to read Ad and Tinfoilhat’s comments, which made up for having to read yours. Saturday mornings on TS.

    • Peter Swift 1.7

      “Yesterday, however, I was the subject of something viler and darker than anything else I have encountered here.”

      Did he call you a retard? Then I agree. That’s quite vile.
      Using people with learning disabilities as insult material is beneath contempt. Wouldn’t you agree?
      Certainly puts your crocodile tears and blame game for effect antics in to context.

  2. Jamie 2


    [permanent ban for blatant misogyny against Poto Williams, advocating violence against women, and trying to wind up the community. – weka]

  3. Penny Bright 3

    In 2009 – New Zealand was ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ – according to the Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception Index’.

    That was the very same year of the, in my considered opinion, ‘corrupt corporate coup’.

    When the Local Government (Auckland Council) Act 2009 was railroaded through Parliament, which set up the framework for this FORCED Auckland ‘$upercity for the 1%’.

    Goes to prove what a complete and utter meaningless CROCK is the Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception Index’?

    Penny Bright

    Proven ‘anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner’.

    2017 Independent candidate
    Mt Albert by-election.

    • tuppence shrewsbury 3.1

      Penny, these are people who go about researching this stuff as profession. I.e. they get paid for it. So their considered opinion is a lot more weighty and valuable than yours.

      No one will vote for a candidate that can’t work out the difference between relative frequency of occurrences, which New Zealands position in the index is, and absolute occurrence, which you may be right about. but probably aren’t, in my considered opinion.

      Hanging your hat on your own opinion about a survey released in 2009, about 8 years ago (or almost three electoral cycles) is quite frankly ridiculous.

      • saveNZ 3.1.1

        We are in post truth tuppence shrewsbury – so I think many surveys are actually either paid propaganda or the criteria they use it out of date in the 21 century.

        I certainly don’t believe everything I believe in a survey!

  4. Jenny 4

    Fascist neo-liberalism

    We Must Understand Syria as a Popular Struggle Despite Its Complications……

    The Panama Papers have revealed what all Syrians fighting for freedom and the coherent sector of the Left already knew: the Assad regime is not only dictatorial, bloody and extremely repressive, it is also deeply corrupt and a great defender of neoliberalism. That is the first and most established face of imperialist policies in the country, not the people in arms! Unfortunately, there is still a sector of the “Left” that persists in ignoring reality.

    By Florence Oppen.

    [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.]

  5. Jenny 5

    I wonder, if the New Zealand people had protested and fought against the neo-liberal looting of the public purse like the Syrian people have. Would the neo-liberals have turned to unbelievable levels of violence to cement the imposition of their rule?

    I doubt it.

    I think that in the face of such protests, the New Zealand neo-liberals would have backed down.

    But not so in Syria.

    In New Zealand the extremes between rich and poor are not as extreme as they are in Syria, where the average wage was $2,600 a year. (probably even less now)

    Because of this huge disparity, the neo-liberal revolution was felt much harder by the Syrian people, and could only be forced through with massive repression by the Assad regime.

    And repression and violence, is something that the Assad regime is expert in, and has a long history of.

    So much so, that before the revolution, Syria was the Number 1 repository/customer for the CIA’s flights of Extraordinary Rendition. The scheme in which the CIA outsourced torture to repressive regimes around the world. To evade the US constitutional ban on “Cruel and Unusual Punishment”.

    I wonder:

    Now that Trump has said that he will bring back torture, (forbidden in their constitution), and that he will do it it legally. Will the CIA’s flights to Syria for the purposes of torturing their suspects, be restarted?

    In light of the fact that Trump has also said that he will be joining with Putin alongside the neo-liberal Assad regime in fighting the genocidal war of repression, currently being waged against the Syrian people. That the outsourceing the CIA’s wetwork to Syrian torture chambers would be a logical further step.

    And globally, neo-liberalism goes to the next logical level, that most neo-liberals would probaly have shied away from.

    [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.]

  6. greywarshark 6

    I am sorry that I didn’t give right timing for listening to Matt Nippert investigative reporter with NZ Herald on his work on Peter Thiel. I thought 9 am but he was on Radionz with Kim Hill after the news at 8am. Then there was another journalist who has received an award for work supporting other journalists in risky locations.
    Matt Nippert
    Emma Beals

    Matt Nippert: Uncovering a billionaire’s bolthole
    Matt Nippert

    Matt Nippert Photo: supplied

    A Fulbright scholar with a masters from the Columbia School of Journalism in New York, Matt Nippert has spent the past decade in newsbreaking roles at the New Zealand Listener, National Business Review, Herald on Sunday and the Sunday Star-Times before joining the Herald in 2014. His work – latterly focused on tax avoidance and corporate malfeasance – has won numerous awards and he is the reigning Canon reporter of the year. This week he talks to Kim about discovering that US billionaire Peter Thiel gained citizenship and profited from a publicly-funded venture fund.

    8:30 Emma Beals: A culture of safety in warzones
    Emma Beals

    Emma Beals Photo: supplied

    Emma Beals is a New Zealand journalist who has just been awarded a James Foley Freedom award for her work. Emma is currently working on an investigation into the UN’s operation in Syria for the Guardian. Her freelance articles about the Syrian civil war, which she has covered since 2012, have also appeared in The Daily Beast, USA Today, Raconteur, Al Jazeera English and Vice. She has worked on documentaries for BBC Panorama, AJ+, Vice, ABC and others. Emma was a major force in the creation of the Frontline Freelance Register, which has pressed employers to adopt standards that would increase security for their freelance employees. Thanks largely to Emma, the standards have become ‘A Culture of Safety Alliance’-a movement of 80 organizations in 20 countries to increase safety.

    • Carolyn_nth 6.1

      Thanks, grey. I will listen to them when I have time. It’s great we still have a few investigative journalists.

  7. adam 7

    If you feel weak on economic arguments, and not sure how to frame them, especially around austerity. Then this Scot, who is a bit rough around the edges explains it in very clear terms. Please note, I think successive NZ governments have been running with this economics, it’s just the last 8 years under national we have seen it put in overdrive. A video of 12 minutes give or take in length. From Jimmy Dore, so expect some bad language.

    Economist Who Predicted Trump & Brexit Explains How System Screws You

    • weka 7.1

      that was good, thanks. I think some of this is still based on economic concepts that many people won’t understand but he was good to listen to in general.

      • Craig H 7.1.1

        Mark Blyth is great. His example about lowering taxes on the rich and increasing student fees really illustrates a major cause of inequality.

  8. greywarshark 8

    Immigration Dept has dropped of preferred list of immigrants, those offering a welcome to senior maritime personnel. Locals are happy that they can now get better training and work opportunities for thousands of potential sea-persons than in a decade. And get an apprentice type sheme going again.

  9. greywarshark 9

    Thinking about Trump. Isn’t he the embodiment of all the things that are negative about America. See him and you see it all walking and talking.

    It is a folk tale come to life. We are the little child with naive eyes not impressed by conflicting and conflating stories about what we should see and notice, and there in front of us is the USA with no clothes on. Ugh.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Domestic violence leave a small cost to employers but priceless to victims

    Critics of domestic violence leave, such as the Australian Industry Group, have also complained that under the proposal of 10 days leave put forward by the Australian Council of Trade Unions, employers would also be paying the wages of perpetrators while they were taking leave to sort out legal and other related issues.

    At METL, this is part of the solution. Earle says that while his organisation has a zero-tolerance policy for violence at work, it would pay out the leave to perpetrators who were using it to get help to stop the violence.

    “If it is an issue that men are seeking help for, then they need to be supported so they can help themselves, help their families and show other men that it is possible to turn that around.”

    Now this sounds like a good idea to help deal with our domestic violence issues.

  11. rhinocrates 12

    Today’s cornucopia of Trump-era Neonazi lunacy, the explicitly anti-democratic ‘Neoreactionary’ or ‘NRx’ movement. It’s a major ideological influence on Steve Bannon and Peter Thiel has been associated with it.

    Says one who’s having peculiar wet dreams,

    Apparently there’s a big underground movement of right-wing bodybuilders — thousands. Their plan is to surface spectacularly this April, in a choreographed flash demo on the Mall. They’ll be totally nude, but wearing MAGA hats. Goal is to intimidate Congress with pure masculine show of youth, energy. Trump is said to know, will coordinate with powerful EOs…

    There’s more of the usual stuff you expect from socially inept manbabies – declaring themselves to be ubermenschen with IQs of 160, ‘reluctantly’ accepting their ‘historic’ role etc. These are the ones who instead of going on high school shooting sprees get into politics instead.

    There are and always have been narcissistic idiots with chronic testosterone poisoning, but the recent and rapid shift of the deeply misogynistic and authoritarian alt-right into the cultural spotlight with Bannon’s rise to the effective control of the presidency is a new and substantial threat.

  12. Macro 13

    Here’s an Idea!

    Facebook to add punch button for responding to posts by Nazi’s!
    In the interests of balance, the site has told alt-right users, their stunning meltdowns when presented with evidence which contradicts their Breitbart-bubble generated opinions, will also be accommodated.
    “We’re adding a snowflake-shaped button just for you,”

    Maybe something to be considered?


    • Morrissey 13.1

      “Punch the Nazi” is a good idea, but New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder got there first….

  13. joe90 14

    Oh boy…..

    U.S. intelligence has collected information that Russia is considering turning over Edward Snowden as a “gift” to President Donald Trump — who has called the NSA leaker a “spy” and a “traitor” who deserves to be executed.

    That’s according to a senior U.S. official who has analyzed a series of highly sensitive intelligence reports detailing Russian deliberations and who says a Snowden handover is one of various ploys to “curry favor” with Trump. A second source in the intelligence community confirms the intelligence about the Russian conversations and notes it has been gathered since the inauguration.

    • Morrissey 14.1

      Pardoning Snowden, or more appropriately, awarding him the Congressional Medal of Honor, was just another of the things Hopey Changey could have and should have done but didn’t. Too busy, I guess….

    • Bill 14.2

      Christ on a bike, are news outlets ever going to learn?

      It’s like being back at primary school and accumulating knowledge of the world through playground gossip.

      An anonymous person who claims to have access to highly sensitive intelligence reports waffles shite and gets backing from another anonymous person. Sure. I’m taking that hook, line and sinker.


      Snowden’s ‘leave to remain’ has been extended for three years and he can apply for citizenship next year.

      • joe90 14.2.1

        Do you think Putin won’t truss Snowden in xmas paper and deliver him with a bow should it be politically expedient to do so?.

        • Bill

          I think that if you read the Guardian link from January 18th you’ll see that nbc is just recycling speculative bullshit that was put out there by (according to The Guardian on the 18th) former acting CIA director Michael Morell.

          It’s tedious.

          As for what Putin may or may not do with regards whatever or whoever in whatever situation – I’m not psychic.

          Is it really too much to be asking that news be informative rather than scraping along in the sludge of bullshit gossip?

          • joe90

            Ed ain’t too confident it won’t happen.

            Finally: irrefutable evidence that I never cooperated with Russian intel. No country trades away spies, as the rest would fear they're next.— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) February 10, 2017

            • Bill

              Sure. (But what’s your point?)

              From the Guardian link already provided…

              In November, Snowden said he believed there was a chance Putin might hand him over to Trump as part of a deal. “It’s possible. It would be crazy to dismiss the idea of this guy who presents himself as a big deal maker [Trump] as trying to make a deal,” he said.

  14. Andre 15

    If they successfully corroborate the golden showers, will they…ahem…announce it by leaking?

    • Morrissey 15.1

      Andre, it doesn’t matter if they corroborate the reports or not. As we’ve seen, Trump can get away with anything. Even if there was a photo of him KILLING one of those women, his “base” of hapless imbeciles would still support him.

    • Bill 15.2

      They say they can verify that some electronic interchanges happened between foreigners at the times alleged in the so-called dossier.


      So how many telephone calls or such like between foreigners are detailed or alleged to have taken place in that ‘dossier’?

      I’m picking the only communications that can be being referred to are those that Christopher Steele (UK citizen) had with other foreign sources A through K or whatever.

      Like I say above – seems too many news outlets are happy to be nothing better than breathless school ground gossip mongers trying to make out that their banal shite is somehow important. Do CNN (and others) not give a toss about how they’re perceived or how they will become to be perceived?

    • Andre 15.3

      Confirmation of connections and inappropriate behaviour between Trump’s people and Russia keep getting stronger.

      “UPDATE: On Friday morning, the Trump administration confirmed that Flynn did speak to the Russian ambassador about the sanctions.”

  15. Wayne 16


    As you know my comment was in response to your statement;

    “You will therefore be supportive of any drone strike carried out against US domiciled terrorists, Cheney, Rice, Obama, Trump by forces government or non governmental from say Syria, or Iran, or Lebanon…”

    You have been quite clear that you consider that the drone strikes by the US are terrorist attacks. The above comment seemed to indicate that you thought ISIS etc could legitimately carry out their own drone attacks in response. I simply drew a logical extension about the NZ Parliament since NZ is part of the anti ISIS coalition.

    Do I actually think that you believe that about the NZ parliament? No I don”t.

    It was simply a response to your view that seems to place ISIS and the US, UK (and given NZ role in the ISIS campaign, NZ as well) on the same moral equivalence.

    My comment was to illustrate my point about the ultimate outcome of moral equivalence.

    It was not actually intended to be personal, but rather to illustrate a point

    • KJT 16.1

      Extrajudicial executions with civilian “collateral damage” are morally wrong no matter who does it.

      That Wayne thinks that they are acceptable, says a great deal about his lack of moral compass.

      Not only that, but drone strikes and bombing in general are counterproductive, because it simply inspires more revenge on the perpetrators, sorry – terrorism”.

    • reason 16.2

      Any one going to norightturn and searching ‘Mapp’ ….

      will see an illustration of crap ….

      Wayne was the closest to a self proclaimed wannabe ‘propeganda minister’ …we have had in modern NZ times ….

      “National has appointed Wayne Mapp its spokesman for “Political Correctness Eradication”.” ………….. This was during a very dishonest and very racist National PR offensive from honest don brash and key versus Helen …… with her strange Iwi/kiwi … where both racists and Maori were being sold out by her…. (with Maori being correct)

      “for a final kick of the dead horse (pending further stupidity from Mapp, that is), in this morning’s Herald, Brian Rudman calls Wayne Mapp’s position as chief PC eradicator a humiliation and a “nonsense role”, and wonders whether Mapp will ever be able to return to Auckland University without sniggers following him down the corridors. ”

      aside from all the crony perk work ….Wayne is basically just a obnoxious troll now ( ie KDS ,green Taliban etc ) …………

      …. with a huge bulls eye stuck to his ass ….

  16. Andre 17

    How to persuade gullible people when the evidence is against you. Impossible expections, cherry-picking, blowfish strategies and so on.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Every movement that has rejected a scientific consensus, whether it be on evolution, climate change or the link between smoking and cancer, exhibits the same five characteristics of science denial (concisely summarized by the acronym FLICC). These are fake experts, logical fallacies, impossible expectations, cherry picking and conspiracy theories. When someone wants to cast doubt on a scientific finding, FLICC is an integral part of the misinformation toolbox.

      And we see all of those from the RWNJs as they try to distract from the reality that their policies bring about.

  17. rhinocrates 18

    Interesting article on the decline of the credibility of statistics and expertise.



    Pertinent in relation to Andre’s post at 17, on the role of experts and statistics in public discourse.

    Essentially, gross statistical presentation does not match local conditions, which inevitably vary from the national mean, and of course statistics-gathering has political and cultural biases – GDP does not mention unpaid work usually done by women for example. All of this leads to resentment and distrust.

    However, Big Data is on the rise and is generated not by active questioning and surveys, but by harvesting the data we all leave in our everyday activities. That is usually privatised.

    The author concludes by warning that that we are leaving a period when data was publicly accessible and useable to an age when it is privatised. Experts and technocrats won’t disappear under a hail of rotten tomatoes, they will simply go behind closed doors.

  18. The Fairy Godmother 19

    Congratulations to Deborah Russell who won the nomination for New Lynn. Commiserations Greg Presland who would have made a good MP.

    • weka 19.1

      Bugger. Good for us though 🙂 and I’m sure Russell will do well. (now I’ve got some mad game of Labour Party musical chairs going on in my head, but am biting my tongue).

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