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Open mike 12/06/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 12th, 2012 - 85 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

85 comments on “Open mike 12/06/2012 ”

  1. BLiP 1


    Heh! Why worry about climate change and the inevitable rise in sea levels when you can make it illegal? Gotta love them denialists . . . always thinking.

    • lprent 1.1

      Bloody hell. Like trying to legislate to make pi equal to 3.000000000

      • joe90 1.1.1

        They’re trying to LP.

        Other schools approved for state-funded vouchers use social studies texts warning that liberals threaten global prosperity; Bible-based math books that don’t cover modern concepts such as set theory; and biology texts built around refuting evolution.

        This too.


    • joe90 1.2

      Love em all BLiP. Agenda 21, illegal.

      • prism 1.2.1

        Delightful farce joe90. Of course the reality is very different. Please tell me that is the case and if it isn’t I don’t want to think about the decline of my illusions about the USA. One could expect in this century a modern take on their Constitution that has respect for all.

        • freedom

          When you are right you’re right.
          Any attempt to portray US lawmakers to be showing respect for their Constitution could only be done as a farce.

    • ianmac 1.3

      Now that’s a plan that Treasury could adopt. Do not measure unemployment or inconvenient Deficits.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      That’s actually terrifying as what these goons have done is tell the scientists how to get their measurements and how those measurements can be used and done it in such a way so as to produce the results that they want rather than the ones that will match physical reality. It’s going back to the days when scientists were persecuted by the church for their findings which contradicted the church’s teachings.

  2. BillODrees 2

    The next phase of New Zealand history will not be defined by games inside the Wellington Beltway. The “clever insiders” have failed.
    Labour has the answers but not the voice. The answers are in it’s history and it’s people.  They have an excellent policy machine (bright people). It now needs to focus on the future of New Zealanders. It needs to free itself from the shackles of the past Strategies.
    Labour needs to focus on 5 years and 10 years out. When they Are seen to own the future vision the people will come back: back to the polling booth from the couch or garden on election day, back from the Gold Coast, the mines, London, back from the Greens/Mana/Maori. 

    • ad 2.1

      Gareth Morgan’s half-page article in the Business Herald this morning outlines the complete hash that English is making of the economy. Gareth also seriously questions asset sales and instructing the Reserve bank to correct its prudential guidelines to banks “so that a repeat of speculative housing demand raising pressure on interest rates simply wouldn’t happen …”

      He also points out that never has there been a better tmie for structural reform. Sorry I’m not good at links.

      It’s as if the government is so burnt by its cluster of fuckups in the last six months that it can no longer make rational plans and is retreating further and further into itself. This is the ideal circumstance for the opposition to come out with pathbreaking plans.

      • Carol 2.1.1

        It seems to be only in the hard copy (page B2). But the sub-header says “Ideology-driven cuts adding momentum to the downturn”

      • mike e 2.1.2

        so conmankey can steal them as he has no plan for the economy

    • Carol 2.2

      All left parties need a rethink – I gave up on Labour a few years ago, and they still seem locked into the neoliberal paradigm.

      I voted Green the last few elections, but am not happy with the centralising Normanisation of the Green Party. When Norman gets more sidelined in favour of the stronger left winger MPs, I’ll be happier with them.

      Mana has promise, but I don’t yet trust them, and have some concerns about whether women will play a significant part in the party in the long term -incorporation of Bradford and Sykes seems promising, but I’ve yet to see them playing a leading role.

      • Dr Terry 2.2.1

        Yes, Carol, as usual I agree with your views. I, too, went with the Greens last time for the same reason. But Norman, though but a co-leader, always seems to be spokesperson and I am seldom happy with him. Turei is co-leader, much more to the Left, and whose views are fresher and much more exciting to see or hear.

        • Carol

          Agree on Turei. I think the Normanisation is getting help from the MSM. Duncan Garner, in his live online chat this week, said Norman was the real leader on The Greens.

          It suits the news corporates to have a more centrist Green Party. The Greens should resist colluding with them.

      • Murray Olsen 2.2.2

        Mana is a very young party and was initially built on Hone’s popularity up north. I think it’s come a long way and hope it will go even further. What impresses me most about them is their willingness to act outside the established parliamentary norms, with Hone and the other candidates actually getting out on the street.

  3. SamHall 3

    VTO; disappointed we are. Reading Uturns contributions recently indicates to us what a “wise” person or persons they are. As wise as DTB but in a broader way.
    We learn a great deal of wisdom from contributors such as these. We have not learnt much beneficial from your recent rants.

    THANKYOU (not shouting, but BIG) to
    Joe 90
    Carol (we think)
    Dr T
    et al; Chu know if you are being helpful.
    Muchas Gracias

    We want Bolivia with snow like Sweden and some of Cubas’ great features!

    We could pilot-scheme a new constitution right here in Hawkes Bay. Great Natural Environment.
    Dominant culture/hegemony/sleepwalk could do with some interuption though.

    • muzza 3.1

      Posting on a blog site , is no indication of the wisdom of any idividual(s), you have misused the word SH.

      While there are angles of thought to be considered, true wisdom will not be found on the internet, this site or anywhere else.

      • SamHall 3.1.1

        Thats why, that is why, chu are not on the list in our bubble.
        We believe the internet can be a tool to leverage great wisdom.
        As personal experience may prove to be the bitterest form of learning.

        As I once said to another bully, (policeman),

        Opinions are like bumholes…………..

    • prism 3.2

      Sam Hall
      Have you crossed over from the Jedi or some such?

  4. Kotahi Tane Huna 4

    I wonder where Fairfax Media are going with this.

    A deliberate attempt to make the minister look like a tool much?

    Someone really should tell them she doesn’t need any help.

    • Carol 4.1

      Good on them for highlighting this. Bennett’s proposal was clearly a dog whistle, as such actions are already being taken.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.1.1

        Depends how much prominence it gets – they blew Bennett’s dog whistle loud and clear and long.

        The article isn’t open for comments; my guess is this is the last we’ll hear of it.

  5. For those of you interested in 911 research I will be talking with professor and researcher radio host Jim Fetzer about my 911 storyboard research. the Show is live at 11 am NZ time.

  6. freedom 6

    Matt McCarten’s column certainly hit the mark, bestowing a knighthood on a Monarch’s spouse seems a little ridiculous but i was more interested in his quiet comment regarding the Asset sales.

    Last week The Queen ( according to the media ) was so distressed about the future of a certain church that her majesty made inquiries to our PM concerning the hardship facing Christchurch if they lose a pile of bricks erected to symbolise the groupthink homoly to a Deity. Yes the symbolism of the cathedral and its importance to Christchurch is a serious matter and in no way do i mean to belittle it’s importance but why is our Monarch not showing the same concern for the very real hardship and poverty that so many of her subjects will endure if we sell the Assets? Does her majesty even know they are being sold?

    • Dr Terry 6.1

      freedom, I doubt that her Britannic Majesty even knows who or where we are (when did she last visit?) But I will concede that she sure does know John Key who is “one of her own” sort! (Did you observe his fawning bow?) Indeed he was even invited a while back to holiday at royal Balmoral Castle! (Though it did not come off). When was this invitation extended to a Labour PM?

    • Lanthanide 6.2

      Constitutionally the Queen does not get involved in the affairs of the government. That was the point of the Magna Carta.

      Rebuilding the Cathedral is a little more of a grey area, because the Queen is the head of the Anglican Church of England. I think part of Key’s response that it’s the government’s job was a way out of outlining the constitutional ‘hands off’ approach that the monarch is expected to take.

      • Murray Olsen 6.2.1

        The Queen could always sell a few of her assets and build a new cathedral if she’s so worried.

  7. Jackal 7

    Waiting for Judith

    By allowing a couple of lying bastards to get away with making a false complaint to the police, Judith Collins shows she is an ineffective minister. If she does not know what is right from wrong in this situation, in my opinion, she has no place being a minister of the crown at all…

    • ianmac 7.1

      The irony here Jackal is that Judith is taking a case of Defamation for her reputation allegedly being impugned.
      In her own Ministry, she is condoning the much more serious defaming of Pullar and Boag. In not speaking out she could be identified as a hypocrite. Let alone the downright dishonesty of Senior Staff. Be an interesting line for Question Time.

  8. prism 8

    The Queen is head of the Anglican church isn’t she. For that reason she would be expected by the church to be interested in the holy pile.

    The poverty inducing governments which we persist in voting in is an operational matter. We have been given the right to decide on our own governments arising from our own people. This was achieved after sacrificial efforts by a dedicated minority for centuries on behalf of all to get the vote and a say in laws. We screwed up and now can we stop the sociopathic (The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way) way we think which is turned on ourselves in self-punishment? Can we stop the mutilation of our country and its once universally beneficial policies?

    Don’t blame the Queen, we wallow in a sad moshpit of our own national choice.

    • freedom 8.1

      thankfully the musos of Aotearoa supply one hell of a soundtrack

    • SamHall 8.2

      Read Erich Fromm “Escape from Freedom”
      His thesis is writ large across New Zealand society.

      • Dr Terry 8.2.1

        SamHall, absolutely! Everybody should read this classic. It will not be hard to make necessary comparisons.

  9. NickS 9

    Old media thinks rape against prostitutes isn’t rape.

    And victim blaming from the police.


      • weka 9.1.1

        Looks like it’s the police that can’t tell the difference between rape and sex – Stuff call it sex when reporting what Counties Manukau central acting crime manager Inspector Richard Wilkie said. He goes on to focus on teen sex workers rather than the men cruising the street*, or the offender who raped a teen at knifepoint. He also calls sex work ‘selling oneself’. I’m fairly sure that sex workers sell sex, not their selves. Classic endorsement of rape culture and a policeman of that seniority should know better (even if he is just acting).

        *with the law change, is it illegal to pay for sex with someone between 16 and 18, or is it still just the sex worker who gets charged?

        • Murray Olsen

          Policemen of much more seniority than him also seem to be a little confused about what constitutes rape. It’s a shame that the investigations into “police culture” didn’t go a lot further. Having a commision of inquiry with Ross Meurant as commisioner would shake a few of them up. He knows their inside bullshit and isn’t shy about speaking out.

    • Vicky32 9.2

      Old media thinks rape against prostitutes isn’t rape.
      And victim blaming from the police.

      I just read the Stuff article about that, and didn’t get what you got from it at all! Don’t you think that if the media thought “rape against prostitutes isn’t rape”, then the headline wouldn’t say rape?
      A little thought would go a lot further than your knee-jerking does. But your comments are almost exclusively about sexual issues, and I can absolutely predict your views on all of them! 😀

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        It’s the TVNZ  article NickS linked to first. Which starts with the line “A 16-year-old prostitute was picked up in Manurewa and forced to have sex at knifepoint over the weekend, police have said.”   
        My italics.

  10. Anybody know any more about this?

    “Let’s recap the main points. Assume we agree with the premise of the Stuff story (Russian mafia). Assume also, reasonably, that if one connected company is dodgy, it means all of them are at least worth a quick look. On that basis, we have a whole bunch of active companies worth a quick look, as follows:

    35 active New Zealand companies, some with possible Russian Mafia links, at 17 Georgia Terrace, Albany.

    594 active New Zealand companies, many with possible Russian Mafia links (run inter alia, by Vanagels, Bilder and miscellaneous residents of Cyprus), at Level 4, 44 Khyber Pass Road.


    another 730 defunct New Zealand companies at 17 Georgia Terrace, Albany, many with possible Russian Mafia links, that may still, in the worst case, have active overseas bank accounts.

    1766 defunct New Zealand companies at 69, Ridge Road, Albany, many with possible Russian Mafia links, that may still, in the worst case, have active overseas bank accounts.

    That’s 3,000 companies that are worth some level of closer scrutiny: or at least, the (large) subset of that 3,000 that has overseas directors.

    These counts and assumptions may exaggerate the scale of the problem, but not necessarily by much. And if I’ve missed any other big clusters, which is perfectly possible, the problem is bigger. For instance a thorough trawl of New Zealand company directors with addresses in Cyprus, Latvia, Panama, the US and Canada might throw up some interesting patterns. One can’t do that kind of investigation via the register’s public interface, but a sleuth with SQL-level query access and a bit of gumption could serve up some pretty neat (and alarming) reports, I should think.

    By way of taster, among the companies at those three hot spot addresses in Albany we can quickly identify (in addition to Stuff’s red flags):

    People running 28 active or defunct New Zealand companies (Liliya Soboleva, Evgeny Orlov, John Acosta, Olga Belchikova) who are indirectly connected with alleged moneylaunderers.

    88 active New Zealand companies with possible Russian Mafia links, all run by one guy in Cyprus.

    124 active New Zealand companies with possible Russian Mafia links, all run by another guy in Cyprus.

    One is not necessarily impressed by the vigilance of the New Zealand authorities”


    • prism 10.1

      Southern Limits
      Are these companies that have been registered in NZ under what has been called a very open company registration system. I had heard that some companies on NZ company lists were shell companies for criminal gangs looking to lander assets.

      This sounds like the dumb sort of thing we would do under the evil eye influence of Sir Roger Douglas et al, unregulated, no business standards or eithics to keep to, no awkward government controls. An interesting list of dodgy sounding companies. How do you know they are mafia> Is all big Russian business to be regarded as such?

      • I didn’t write the article but the Russian Mafia link comes from this story on Stuff: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/world/6976306/NZ-shell-company-linked-to-alleged-150m-fraud

        • rosy

          Also relevant is this article – that mentions New Zealand has been struck off a European ‘white list’ of countries with comparable controls to prevent money laundering in banking.

          New Zealand and Russia have been struck off a prestigious European Union banking and corporate “white list” over this country’s weak money laundering and terrorism financing controls.

          Latvia’s confirmation it had blacklisted New Zealand comes after revelations over the way New Zealand registered shell companies – which can be created on the internet for $153.33 – have been used in multi-million dollar money laundering operations involving banks in Riga.

    • mike e 10.2

      Southern Limits don’t forget the Japanese yakousa’s very large share holding in the Bank of America which now owns Merrill lynch.I wonder if this is why Key resides in Hawaii .

  11. captain hook 11

    so tell me now so I can understand: if you get on the list does that mean you are now an employeee of the public service?

  12. prism 12

    More hits to the poor from this despicable government. I don’t know whether Labour brought in user pays on couples who once could get some free legal aid to deal with their separation or divorce and property and custody matters. But that really hit people on low and medium incomes – it is not cheap to finish a marriage or couple partnership. Often the female parent is left quite poor, and possibly homeless and having to rent in a different location and school. We have wonderfully equal laws which can demand that the house be sold and money split between the partners despite the needs of the custodial parent to provide and bring stability to the children.

    Now NACT are charging to go to the Family Court as a disincentive, in their excuse, for couples fighting themselves into a corner. Now with this new measure they will sit down like rational people and talk it out. Huh. The people who go to the Family Court are the minority and extreme. By all means give them limits as to the number of times they can appear. But Courts Minister Chester Borrows (now he will be in tough with the people sseeking legal help who will have to borrow)! So $200 here and $900 a day there, no worries from the viewpoint of an MP overpaid and over there in Wellington.

    I googled and found item on family lawyers fuming by lawfuel.co.nz and within seconds of viewing the page all the words changed to little squares – so not allowed to read it on google.
    Haven’t struck this before.

    ALSO found was David Farrar running a book on nz herald on who is going to be Labour leader in 2020, which will be the 7th Labour Govt, after the Sixth to come.

  13. captain hook 13

    Its about time that hooton and farrar were prohibited by law from making a book on politics.
    Politics is not sport and the free exercis of the vote is fundamental to our democracy,
    Trivialising it in this way is detrimental to society and moreover it is an illegitimate assist to the party who aspires to rig the election in any way possible.

  14. freedom 14

    “The negotiations are expected to end at the point final agreement is reached,” wrote Roger Wigglesworth, MED’s tourism and events director.

    in reply i would like to quote a friend’s four year old,
    ” d’uh !”

  15. Fighting to STOP asset sales – not just ‘OPPOSING’ asset sales!

    If dodgy John Banks is forced to resign from Parliament then this MINORITY National Government with only 59 out of 121 MPs will not have the number to railroad through the Mixed Ownership Model Bill.

    FYI –



    The reply received from Graham Gill, General Manager of Fraud Detection and Intelligence, dated 30 May 2012 stated:

    Dear Ms Bright,

    RE: C2390 – Complaint to the Serious Fraud Office

    I refer to your complaint received by the Serious Fraud office (SFO) on 3 May 2012.

    We have assessed your complaint and decided that there was insufficient evidence to support an allegation of a serious or complex fraud.

    The Police are already investigating the circumstances surrounding Kim Dotcom’s donation to John Banks. We have advised the police to contact us should they find any evidence that would be of interest to the SFO.

    If you have any further information you would like to provide in relation to this matter please feel free to do so.”

    Why has a complaint alleging BRIBERY and CORRUPTION has been treated as a complaint alleging SERIOUS or COMPLEX FRAUD.

    With all due respect – do you people know what you’re doing?

    Since 2010, the SFO has been purportedly the ‘lead agency’ to whom complaints alleging bribery and corruption are supposed to be forwarded.

    This complaint has been made, in the proper way – to supposedly the proper body, and it appears to have been sent in the completely wrong direction.

    According to your SFO ‘flow chart’ – the General Manager for Fraud and Corruption is Nick l Paterson.

    The recent phone call (Monday 11 June 2012) from Graham Gill, has now clarified why a complaint alleging ‘bribery and corruption’ was not directed to the General Manager of Fraud and Corruption, but – it still seems a rather peculiar process.

    New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ (according to the 2011 Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception index’).

    Is this one of the reasons why NZ has this ‘perceived’ status? Because allegations of bribery and corruption are simply not dealt with as such, as appears to have happened in this case?

    Why is it that former Labour MP Taito Phillip Field got sentenced to SIX years jail for ‘bribery and corruption’, for providing ‘immigration advice’ to Thai nationals in exchange for work on his properties – whilst John Banks, the Minister of Regulatory Reform appears to be effectively getting political protection from NZ Prime Minister John Key, after John Banks has allegedly given ‘immigration assistance’ and Coatsville property purchase ‘assistance’ to a German/ Finnish national, in return for $50,000 donated to his 2010 Auckland Mayoral campaign fund, and gifts valued at over $500 which he failed to declare?

    Are you aware that Kim Dotcom’s ‘John Bank’s song’ has had nearly 150,000 ‘hits’ on You Tube,
    in my opinion, helping to make NZ an international laughing stock? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CvRSZxqk_I

    It is also of great concern that ACT’s ‘one law for all’ has yet still to apply to either John Banks and/ or Don Brash, current and former Leaders of the ACT Party.

    As former fellow directors of Huljich Wealth Management (NZ) Ltd, both signed Huljich Kiwisaver Scheme registered prospectuses dated 22 August 2008 and 18 September 2009, which contained untrue statements, but were never charged for so doing. This is a strict liability offence under s58(3) of the Securities Act 1978, but neither the old Securities Commission, the Finance Markets Authority (FMA), the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) , nor the NZ Police arguably ‘did their job’ and charged John Banks or Don Brash.

    John Banks, is now the Minister of Regulatory Reform, yet four different ‘regulatory’ bodies failed to act against him , someone, who arguably couldn’t properly run a Kiwisaver Scheme, yet now has a key Ministerial post and is supposedly helping to run the country ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt in the world’

    The public ‘perception’ is arguably that John Banks has been politically protected at the highest levels, because this minority National Government has only 59 out of 121 MPs, thus no mandate for assets sales. Because there is not a majority of National MPs, this minority National Government is dependent on the pivotal vote of John Banks – the ACT MP for Epsom.

    The ‘perception’ is that this why NZ Prime Minister John Key is continuing to ‘defend the indefensible’ and still express ‘confidence’ in John Banks, although former National MPs, Richard Worth and Pansy Wong appear to have lost his confidence over a lot less.

    The public ‘perception’ is that if you are a politician upon whose vote the Government is politically dependent, you are protected at the highest levels, and ‘one law for all’ does NOT apply to you?

    Please ensure that this complaint is given to those in the SFO tasked with dealing with corruption, as a matter of extreme urgency, and please ensure that the Police are requested to act with similar haste. This Government is proceeding with extreme urgency to railroad through the Mixed Ownership Model Bill, and it would be a travesty of justice for this to occur on the pivotal vote of a yet-to-be-charged alleged ‘corrupt’ Minister of the Crown?

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright Anti-corruption campaigner’ …..

    Lisa Prager …..


    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


    • Dr Terry 16.1

      You are certainly doing your job Penny, against all (very many) odds. Justice is probably the hardest thing in the world to gain, but must never cease to be our aim..

      The following quotation is misapplied, but possibly pertinent:

      “With our backs to the wall, and believing in the justice of our cause, each one of us must fight on to the end.”

  16. Carol 17

    Just being retweeted around Twitter:

    Now have confirmation – POAL have withdrawn their proposal to contract out at Ports of Akl – yay for @SaveOurPort GREAT NEWS!

    • ad 17.1

      Carol, is there a stronger source for this? Seems a pretty important story.

    • Te Reo Putake 17.2

      I also have heard unnoficially that the Oceania rest home wage dispute has been settled with an above inflation increase to the workers and no removal of OT payments as had been threatened by the employer. A good day in the union movement!

    • muzza 17.3

      That is really great news….

  17. Why are $ 112 Billion in Derivatives not on our books?

    Ask thi question on the “live” chat going on right now!

    With this link: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/latest-edition/6671255/Government-in-112b-barney

  18. freedom 19

    wow what an enlightening q&a that was with the PM. A whole hour of his wisdom to bathe in. I may be wrong but was it not advertised as being from 12-2pm ? Anyways, so it was as expected just patsy question after patsy question but i am sure the msm will pontificate at large about our glorious leader and his selfless dedication to open and accessible Government.

    On a personal note, my question about the introduction of a tax free allowance to bring us in line with our OECD partners was unsurprisingly absent.

  19. SamHall 20

    Dear Students, with STUDENT LOANS, after you have completed your indoctrination,oops, education under a regime that is vastly different from that experienced by your “elders and betters” (sic) here is an idea;

    U know how businesses and business people etc can avoid the financial liabilities of their poor (predatory) decisions and go BANKRUPT, wellllll…

    if you file for insolvency with the Ministry of Economic Development, Insolvency and Trustee service,

    You can attach your STUDENT LOAN to your debtor schedule.

    After learning what it ‘means” to be human being, and how to use that particular apparatus, (stuff the free education could teach if not so focused on grooming you for exploitation) WE have done this exact thing TWICE. Yep. Cost nothing, and nothing personal was taken, or any clawback made on income since.

    Sooo, even before heading overseas, EMANCIPATE yourselves if you choose.

    The World, or Aotearoa, is your paua baby!

    • Lanthanide 20.1

      When applying for an insurance policy recently:
      Have you ever been declared bankrupt?
      Have you ever been declined or had additional questions for any reason when applying for an insurance policy in the past?

    • Te Reo Putake 20.2

      Excuse me, Sam, but are you saying you deliberatly chose bankruptcy to avoid repaying your student loan or was that part of a larger debt that you couldn’t manage?

  20. SamHall 21

    And loss of “ability” to obtain credit? think about it.
    Dont Even Bother Trying.

  21. Pete 22

    The Treaty of Waitangi is being moved from Archives NZ to the National Library. This has been on the cards for the past year or so, but it’s now confirmed.

    • ad 22.1

      I never quite saw the point of having two buildings. But I really did love the restrained lighting and vault that they kept those kinds of documents in. Sincerely hope there is something similarly spooky and secure for such a hallowed set of documents.

  22. Pete 23

    ACC CEO is leaving (yay!).

    To be taken over by Paula Rebstock (boo!)

    Apparently he’s taking up the role of chair of ACC National Bank (which is not the same thing as chief executive). Somehow I’m reminded of this scene from the West Wing.

    • freedom 23.1

      By appointing Paula Rebstock the National Government certainly shows they are committed to an efficient use of resources .. .. they are not wasting time attaching strings to a new puppet.

  23. Fortran 24

    What is going to happen to the Treaty when we become a Republic after the next Election – there will be no Crown as far as New Zealand is concerned ?
    Which Tribal leaders will sign the New Treaty – will they agree on anything ?

    • McFlock 24.1

      I don’t see why a new treaty is required – the new republican government will simply assume the rights and duties of the Crown. Same as with the title deeds to the Beehive.

    • mike e 24.2

      Footrot Maybe you better sell your house now and leave the country as your building is probably on stolen land.

  24. Morrissey 25

    Were Syrian rebels and not Assad forces responsible for the Houla massacre?

    It was, in the words of U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan, the “tipping point” in the Syria conflict: a savage massacre of over 90 people, predominantly women and children, for which the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad was immediately blamed by virtually the entirety of the Western media.

    Within days of the first reports of the Houla massacre, the U.S., France, Great Britain, Germany, and several other Western countries announced that they were expelling Syria’s ambassadors in protest.

    But according to a new report in Germany’s leading daily, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the Houla massacre was in fact committed by anti-Assad Sunni militants, and the bulk of the victims were member of the Alawi and Shia minorities, which have been largely supportive of Assad.

    For its account of the massacre, the report cites opponents of Assad, who, however, declined to have their names appear in print out of fear of reprisals from armed opposition groups.

    According to the article’s sources, the massacre occurred after rebel forces attacked three army-controlled roadblocks outside of Houla. The roadblocks had been set up to protect nearby Alawi majority villages from attacks by Sunni militias. …..



    • ad 25.1

      The shift the mainstream media ned to do in the heads is stop relating this to the Arab Spring (bracketing Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt in the same breathless paragraph), and linking it more to Bosnia or Iraq or one of those thorough decade-long ethnic cleansings with all their attendant horror.

    • Vicky32 25.2

      Were Syrian rebels and not Assad forces responsible for the Houla massacre?

      Thanks Morrissey, I have wondered…

    • D-D-D-Damn ! 25.3

      Yep, guessed as much.

      And what a contrast with the Western reaction to Israel’s massacre of 1400 Gazan civilians, including more than 300 Palestinian children.

  25. just saying 27


    Further to a discussion on open mike recently about Jonathon Haidt’s theory of the working class being more interested in bigotry (moral issues about purity and authority), than social justice for themselves, here is George Manibot’s scathing rebuttal – full unlike Haidt’s right-wing apologism of those useful facty things.- hat tip Gobsmacked via No Right Turn

    Will the Labour party take note of the fact that, rather than turning to the tories because of “identity politics” the working class left, has, in lieu on any real alternative because of being betrayed by Labour, largely stopped voting.

    Nah they don’t give a shit about the poor either, hence the problem.

    Still, Shearer might hand out food parcels to the starving in South Auckland one day – as long as he’s paid a big fat one-percenter salary, and given enough plaudits and awards to do so.

    • just saying 27.1

      Damn – the strike-out tag is still not working. The word “bigotry” above was supposed to have had a line through it. I checked I did it correctly via the FAQ, but no joy.

      [lprent: There was discussion a week or so ago that it was meant to be <del> </del> rather than the s tag. I haven’t caught up yet. ]

      • just saying 27.1.1

        Thanks LPrent.
        I’ve made a bit of a hash of it all round. The comment was supposed to be in open-mike.

        [lprent: No problem… Moved.]

  26. lprent 28

    There is a new CDN running on the site that while having other possible benefits* will also hopefully get rid of the remaining excess of overseas traffic that we get charged for. 21GB last month and nearly double that in April. Many of you will be aware that I have been trying to club that excess to death since last year as it is a expensive and unrequired variable cost^

    If it works then I should be able to turn the RSS full post feed back on for those dependent apon it rather than the front page excerpts.

    So far the main effect I have noticed as it comes on line as the DNSes update (and shifted 1.1GB of mostly offshore traffic away from my content server since 1600), is that it is highlighting an error of quotes in the Opinions tab on the right hand side of the screen. I will fix it in the weekend as few people use that feature.

    If anyone notices any other non-usual bugs**. Then let me know. I haven’t noticed any apart from a irritating option turned on at 1800 and off by 1830.

    * mostly as far as the users are concerned it simply speeds up the static content of the site – images etc. this will mean that pages are faster to load until they hit the bloody slow advert servers. For the moderators, it should also really hammer the spambots (which I can see already) and move handling of them to the CDN providers servers.

    ^ problem with variable costs is that they kind of vary. Which means it is hard to hard to predict how they will impact in our cost structure a month later. What is really irritating is that we have more than 95% of our readers in NZ, but the entirety of our variable costs comes from offshore users coming through a really really expensive and resource constrained pipe to offshore.#

    ** ie don’t use this as an opportunity to offload the wish list. I’m almost through at work on this phase of the project. I have at least a week of catchup after that before I can enhance this site. I’d also like some lounging around doing nothing much time where the location is not Invercargill.

    # it is cheaper by far to move the entire site offshore purely to escape those excess charges. Of course that makes the site a lot slower and indirecy more expensive for 95% of readers who live in NZ…. I wouldn’t stay here if this was commercial. Any commercial user with any sense would obey the price signals from the idiotic charges from monopoly suppliers of the Southern Cross Cable data and put their servers anywhere but here.

  27. prism 29

    The UK, for the opening of the Olympics is setting up a picture of a country idyll with happy cows and people – must be like a glossy Midsomer Murders background. Very Marie Antoinette who used to have tableaus with her entourage dressed as rustics I understand.

    And funny in a nightmarish way when one thinks of residential buildings in London having their roofs turned into sites for anti-missile etc surveillance. This will have to be set up earlier than the opening and people screened in and out. The people there will have this burden of suspicion and checking systems for months perhaps, and feel like targets for damage. Not an idyll.

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