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Open mike 12/12/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, December 12th, 2014 - 136 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

corporate overlords-1Open mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

136 comments on “Open mike 12/12/2014 ”

  1. an astonishing fucken editorial from the herald..

    ..the writer (roughan?/o’sullivan?) totally dismisses that oecd report that skewers our levels of inequality..(worst in oecd..caused by neo-liberalism..)

    ..detailing what damage such policies have actually done to the nz economy..

    ..and the editorial writer scorns/mocks the findings from the oecd..

    ..and advocates/urges even ‘more competition’..

    ..as the(ir) solution to this problem..

    ..feckin’ idjit(s)..

    • miravox 1.1

      Summary – we’re not as unequal as some. Look, back in the day before rogernomics we had a protected economy. We’re more equal than the US and some others. Education is the problem. Lets have more competition in education.

      I see a logic fail there somewhere.

      • BM 1.1.1

        Saw this video yesterday regarding charter schools.
        Interesting insight into how the US teacher unions operate.


        • phillip ure

          here ya go..!

          ..something to counter yr pro-charter school/union-bashing bullshit..


          ..the bad news..from here..britain..america..

          ..have a reality-check..why doncha..?

          • Once wasTim

            “..have a reality-check..why doncha..?”
            Why dontcha? ….. Because BM’s had learnings and twitterings as opposed to lessons and tweets. Part of the neo-lib agenda to re-invent things such as language and what’s what’s the bleeding fucking obvious whilst making an earn (preferably at the expense of those he regards as plebs).
            I notice, as of late – he’s desperately trying to come across as reasonable.
            The learnings from above – the Jamie Lee-Ross morning prayer ritual, in which they take instructions is still something he’s “comfortable with”.
            It’ll be the case right up until the time the fan hits the shit in his wurl.

            BTW….. I can’t be fooked updating Safari or my Mac OS since I had a brain purge of all things ticknukle (unless it’s maybe Linus Torvald-related) and open – which means my engagement with Le Standard is even more intermittent than it once was. Apologies if there are those who’ve expected a reply in recent times – I’ll check soonish and respond ….. because I wouldn’t want to be perceived as one of those cnuts that occasionally drops a bomb and runs. (I was expecting a ‘put your money where your mouth is a few days back to a comment I made on immigrunts, MoBIE, one or two lawyers (players in relationships with MoBIE staff and in with the minority ‘in crowd’)

            AND …….. as an aside (this is a general purpose comment – a bit like the all purpose drench many farmers will now be regretting) ….. check this out: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/12/12/public-equity-and-progressive-politics/ if its permited) I’ll reread the terms and conditions just as soon as my slingshot VDSL/ADSL/whatever marketing packaged ‘promises’ not-delivered …. internet connection allows me to do.
            I’d be grateful (as someone who admires the instigators of this site, and MOST of its followers – bar the lotrsl – of their opinions.
            For me …. whilst that post is an interesting little ditty – as important as it is – it’s still all about fucking money in an economy that’s supposedly about capitalism – rather than what we ACTUALLY have (crony, undemocratic capitalism where most of the principles the capitalists’ supposedy respect are not actually adhered to – i.e. such as we like competition…… etc etc etc.
            Bullshit and Jellybeans ….. Key and Jamie-Lee, and a twee little thing from the Eastern Subs called Finlee contemplating a BoQ futire.
            Good stuff, but supposedly as progressives – we’re still worry-durrying about little bits of paper – backed up by SFA – such as the value of manipulated ‘commodities’ – over and above the important shit – the attack on the principles of democracy.

            Anyway …….. in intussi-pay-shun, and prepared for the learnings y’all are about to offer – I await

            • Once wasTim

              “.. because I wouldn’t want to be perceived as one of those cnuts that occasionally drops a bomb and runs.”

              (cos it seems there’s a new llort in town trading under his company name ‘les’)

              Les: did I answer you, and if not – where not and when – I think it was something to do with ideo and pregmetuks.

              Now …. I need a lay down, but lemme no old fruit

        • Molly

          Do you ever look at “who is….(reason.com)”? before you post?

          I’ve heard of the Success Academy before, and had a quick read of the rah-rah article you posted.

          And as I’ve mentioned – charter schools are a possible way that I – as a home educator can get access to resources that I currently at present cannot.

          However, the long-term cost of charter schools is the removal of well managed, well resourced state education in certain areas. These “schools” that advertise their successes – don’t accept the high needs, low outcomes students that exist in every district. Over time the lack of state funding means that the students that would benefit from considered, managed education fall even lower in the heap of discarded lives.

          Some of these ‘academies’ even groom students for particular industries, and have students participating in trade subjects, ie. medical training, wearing scrubs etc. But on further investigation, the jobs they are training for are often menial, low paid manual service jobs.

          One of the major costs of charter schools is bourne by the hard-to-engage, impoverished, disenfranchised students. And those with high-needs. Nothing worth celebrating.

        • miravox

          And then there’s this which suggest eva moskowitz doesn’t serve the cause of educational equality, for which is what the Herald editorial seemed to tried to make the case.

          Got anything on that?

          • BM

            I like choice.

            • phillip ure

              interesting how you have this forrest gump-like ability to distill complex-issues down to a mindless/simplistic sound-bite/cliche..

              ..but then again..that is what the right is known for..eh..?

              ..with their current overuse of ‘arbeit macht frei!’ as their answer to most things..

              • BM

                Different strokes for different folks.

                • even more simplistic-cliches..!

                  ..will it (n)ever end..?

                  (i’m steeling myself for an ‘at the end of the day’…)

                  • BM

                    What do you think of this school, it’s now completed, they’ve just had an open day and there’s now lots of very excited kids and parents.



                    Different way of learning, scary stuff.

                    • Molly

                      Shiny, shiny – new, new.

                      Is that your standard for assessing outcomes?

                    • BM

                      Pupils at Endeavour will be in “learning communities” of up to 100 students, with multiple teachers in a large space and areas tailored to different types of learning.

                      Any where else in the country using this style of teaching?

                      Looks to me as being a much better use of resources.

                    • Molly

                      Providing existing schools and teachers with the same autonomy and resources that can meet their students needs, will go a long way to improving outcomes.

                      I’m assuming that Endeavour is a charter school, although the articles do not mention it, and the website for the school itself skirts around the issue.

                      This “new way of learning” is made possible by the non-requirement of charter schools to teach the NZ curriculum, targeted funding and Ministry support and advocacy. This “choice” is not available to most existing schools, and neither are the physical buildings and layout. That said, I do hope these students get the learning environment they thrive in – I need to see policy that provides that to ALL students.

                      (And considering that I have been involved in home education for thirteen years, and have undertaken, facilitated and participated in “different ways of learning” for some time. No – it is not scary stuff.)

                    • miravox

                      I think it’s a state school and similar in style to Papamoa college (also a state school) with enquiry-based (subject integrated) learning in ‘commons’ and breakout areas for small groups if required.

                    • ianmac

                      In the 80s there were many “Open Plan” schools BM. The only difference with this “new” discovery is the influence of ICT. There were flaws with the Open Plan schools such as the lack of particular teacher for kids to identify with. Some kids unsuited and some teachers unsuited.
                      So we hope that the new style of Open Plan works better than earlier efforts.

          • Molly

            Thanks, miravox. Interesting read.

            It’s been a while since I looked into charter schools. But I usually immerse myself in reading and researching quite solidly from a variety of sources, until I can form some kind of opinion on a topic. Subsequent articles are then read with a possibility of change, but I have not yet read one on charter schools that is convincing.

            Often they are a “photo” of a education institute, one where everyone is smiling for the camera, but I always think “how does the movie end?”. And it doesn’t look good.

            Despite their supposed “successes”, state funding of of charter schools ultimately ends up creating further deprivation for those already at risk of failure. (And does not substantially improve outcomes for other students).

            • miravox

              Agree – I’ve yet to read a Charter school article that’s not hype or ideologically positioning itself.

              “Despite their supposed “successes”, state funding of of charter schools ultimately ends up creating further deprivation for those already at risk of failure”

              And they create further deprivations at a higher cost to the taxpayer than State schools, it seems.

    • millsy 1.2

      Did you really expect anything different? This is the Herald, not Pravda.

      Save yourself a lot of stress, dont read it. That’s what I do.

      And BM -shouls schools be privatised?

  2. mickysavage 2

    Matt McCarten has been retained as chief of staff of Labour’s leader’s office and the staff retained. Good stuff …


    • Puckish Rogue 2.1

      Well I suppose after Labours performance at the last election he can only go up

      • Clemgeopin 2.1.1

        And National can only go down.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Sure can and surely will but the question is how by much and considering how much of a part McCarten had to play in Labours election campaign will make the next few months rather interesting

    • Murray Rawshark 2.2

      Apart from all the hype around his “game changing” appointment by Cunliffe, I have no real idea what McCarten actually did. What were his achievements which helped with the election campaign?

  3. “..5 Myths About Marijuana – Debunked..

    ..The more research is released –

    – the more legalization makes sense..”



    • minarch 4.1

      they even have pro lobbyists in washington now !


      • phillip ure 4.1.1

        it’s cos’ of the rivers of money that flow from legalisation..

        ..would that we had some (effective)-lobbyists here..

        ..i mean..ya wouldn’t know it..but kevin hague is the greens’ spokesperson on cannabis law reform..and has been for years..(you didn’t know that..didya..?..)

        ..and i’m gonna go out on a limb here..

        ..and state that hague has never ever even issued a press-release on this issue..

        ..(let alone spoken out..)

        ..pot is his/the greens’ third rail…and that puzzles me..why the greens are so scared of that issue..(the issue that first got them into parliament..and which from then on the greens have shown their gratitude for that early support..by promptly/resolutely turning their backs on that issue/those early supporters..)

        ..this when recent mainstream polling showed 85% of respondents favoured ending prohibition..

        ..they only differed on the solutions..from med-pot only..thru to full legalisation/regulation/taxation..

        ..i dunno what hague/the greens are waiting for..

        ..100% support..?

        ..will they feel ‘safe to move’/speak up..then..?..)

  4. Gosman 5

    Who’s that person who is always banging on about the imminent collapse of civilisation starting in 2015 as a result of the effects of Peak oil?

    Care to explain this:


    and this:


    • mickysavage 5.1

      It will happen. Or do you think there is a never ending supply of oil in the planet’s core?

      • minarch 5.1.1

        it happening right now

        why else are they taking the risk of drilling 2-3 KMS under the sea, big oil is desperate

        The oil business is a sunset industry , we are starting to see its death throes already , Lots of large establishments/funds are divesting from Fossil fuels,

        I Think in Europe they cant even recommend it as a good investment anymore because of new laws that stop advisers shifting dud investments ?

        • Gosman

          Except it would likely be reflected in the price of oil but it isn’t for some reason.

          • minarch

            here a list of some of the people who have divested allready, these are mostly American


            (Dunedin became the first city in New Zealand to commit to fossil fuel divestment on May 13th, 2014.)

          • tc

            yes because market price is such an accurate measure in terms of decades of available supply.

            geez you can do better than that Gossie.

              • tc

                Ah yes the obligatory aligned view and right at the end…

                ‘I predict that even if oil prices are extremely low next September, my new students will still believe they’re rigged.’

                nothing in that piece suggests a limitless supply, it asserts that the price is being driven down by OPEC to keep their market share so try again.

                • Gosman

                  I’m not sure why you quoted that sentence. Perhaps you will explain why you did.

                  • McFlock

                    Maybe your Turing chip has burned out.

                    • rawshark-yeshe

                      do you mean his chip has been fried ? 😀

                      ( and he likely thinks that Turing is something you do by bus on holiday, anyway.)

                  • tc

                    looking for a pinhead to plant an angel on are we.

                    Here’s you at ‘Except it would likely be reflected in the price of oil but it isn’t for some reason’

                    the article you linked to explains why that isn’t happening which is down to controlling market share not long term supply or the lack thereof.

                    Pretty sloppy Gman, knock off and let the next wingnut take over.

          • Murray Rawshark

            Some reason? Yeah, collusion between the US and A, Canada, and Saudi Arabia to keep energy prices down and thereby exert pressure on Russia. If you were genuine, you’d look it up.

      • Gosman 5.1.2

        I’m sure non-renewable Hydrocarbons will eventually become scarce enough that it won’t be commercial exploitable in any large scale manner at some stage in future. I just very much doubt it is on the timescale that the Peak oil alarmists have been banging on about.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Make a prediction and keep talking about the prediction and eventually the prediction will come true I guess

        • Colonial Rawshark

          The majors are already shutting down many exploratory wells and selling off huge amounts of drilling equipment, turning unneeded hardware into cash to distribute back out to shareholders.

          So this is already in progress. Another sign is a collapse in new tight oil drilling permits being issued in the USA.

          This trend will continue to worsen over the next 20 years.

    • minarch 5.2

      the low oil prices are all about screwing the Russians IMO

      they need it at over $100 a barrel ( or there abouts) to make any money i think

      they have been estimated to have lost around $90-100 billion already

      • Molly 5.2.1

        Agree. It won’t last longer than necessary.

      • batweka 5.2.2

        I’m guessing that Gosman doesn’t understand what Peak Oil is.

      • Jimmy 5.2.3

        Its probably helping dry up oil funds that were going to ISIS as well.

      • BM 5.2.4

        In the 80’s it was $10 US.

        The US used the Saudis to drive oil down below $10.00 which lead to the collaspe of the soviet union

      • Colonial Rawshark 5.2.6

        the low oil prices are all about screwing the Russians IMO

        they need it at over $100 a barrel ( or there abouts) to make any money i think

        I am guessing that break even for Russian oil is under $30/barrel.

        Problem is, Russia funds a big part of its government finances with that income, and to ‘break even’ on its govt deficit, they need oil to be >> $30 bb.

        By the way, Nigeria is being seriously screwed by this oil price. Expect major political social instability in Venezuela and other countries as well.

        All thanks to the US and their friends Saudi Arabia trying to force the weak hands in the market to fail.

        • Gosman

          See above for an article explaining the real reason for the fall in the price.

        • TheContrarian

          “Expect major political social instability in Venezuela and other countries as well.”

          That has been happening for some time now in Venezuela

    • Ennui 5.3

      Gos, time to exercise your brain….you have just read the “facts” as presented to you at face value.

      Consider how fast you can drink a beer? At any stage you can gulp like crazy….you can finish it at any speed a any moment…until it is all gone! One of the article mentioned the oil was being pumped at full speed by the Saudis….go figure why there is a surplus?

      Next question is why less beer is being drunk? There are less people at the pub with money to spend…the brewery by comparison has had their bank give them lot of cash at zero interest to produce more beer. Sadly they cut their workers and subbies cash and those people are now drinking water. Such short sighted avarice.

      If you wan to know what drives oil prices best read Nicole Foss at theautomaticearth.com

      • Gosman 5.3.1

        Except the state of the world economy is not as bad as it was in 2008-2009 when the price of oil was last at prices as low as this. The US economy is certainly doing much better now than then.

        • minarch

          not if you think of the triple bottom line Gosman

          the environmental and human factor are just as important as the financial ones

        • Ennui

          Complete bollocks Gos, unless you are fooled by increased financialisation, aka quantitative easing i.e the creation of credit to allow enormous bubbles in stock prices etc. Consumer demand has by contrast fallen steeply, the US is fine for the 1%ers, the rest are sucking up thin air.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          The US economy is certainly doing much better now than then.

          Wall St is doing much better now than then.

          But number of food stamp recipients, % workforce participation, US gov deficit and other measures are at record bad levels.

          Who cares about that though when the money players are still making?

  5. Clean_power 6

    Greenpeace’s big fuck-up in Peru, posting a banner near the historic Nazca ruins, will gravely damage its reputation. A big, big cock-up.

    • batweka 6.1

      it does seem like a really big fuck up. I’d like to see more detail and I’d like to see Greenpeace offer an acutal apology instead of the lame one in the media the other day, including an explanation of how this happened.

      • minarch 6.1.1

        I’d like to see Greenpeace offer an acutal apology

        They are

        A Greenpeace representative (Executive Director Kumi Naidoo) has left NZ for Peru allready to see the damage for themselves and to apologize directly to the indigenous tribes affected

        The funny thing is it was Greenpeace Peru that did this, you thought they would have known better ?

      • greywarshark 6.1.2

        I wondered what niggling RW Clean power could be on about. Surely not something that would be important to helping ordinary people in NZ and the world. No it’s the usual right wing slur and sneer. Greenpeace have trod on ground that has been declared off limits to most near an ancient symbol of a bird, carved out of the ground in the way that Britain has a giant and a horse carved out of hills long ago.

        They have put their message of yellow fabric cut into letters some way from the bird which was unwise, but do not appear to have harmed any part of the ancient art work or the land around it. So rest easy, they deserve a rebuke, should apologise and quickly remove their message and find a site less precious. Act quickly and carefully to ensure that no damage is done, that’s top of the list of steps for them to follow.

        • batweka

          the news item the other days said damage had been done to the site. Are you saying that’s not true?

  6. Ennui 7

    It is very easy to get a little more than miffed as a citizen when you observe chronic low wages and high levels of youth unemployment (itself hiding further numbers in “education” racking up huge personal debt).

    Anger rises further when you read that there are 45000+ public servants, (18,730 in Wellington) of whom 7000 earn $100,000 plus. Break this down again close to 2500 earn more than $140,000.


    As a worker in the private sector I see the public service as something we as taxpayers fund in order to make sure we have a decent society. I never thought it could be turned so conclusively into a “gravy train” for a privileged few. It’s a kick in the face for pretty much every other person working to pay the taxes that pay these people, and for those who are unemployed because there is not enough money left to go around to pay them a wage or a higher benefit.

    If you are asking why Andrew Little should court small businesses and trades people the above article could not state it more cogently.

    • Nic the NZer 7.1

      This attitude is a problem in my opinion. Public servants are doing a bit better than employees in the private sector, this is because they less directly feel the brunt of many market reforms introduced (including the employment contracts act). Expressing annoyance at the fact they have been less thoroughly shafted doesn’t help anybody in the private sector.

      Also, no, your taxes don’t pay for these people. The government can afford to make a loss in every government department if it so happens that way. That is part of the reason that it can be a bit of a gravy train actually (depending on in the public service is providing useful services or is largely engaged in a public relations exercise).

      There are many problems with NZ society which a larger public sector could address (in education, health care). If the government employs more people then there is a smaller pool of unemployed people, and so you can see that actually having the government contributing to more of the economy helps push wages up in the private sector. At the same time the government would not need to increase taxes to be able to afford this kind of program either.

      The discussion here may be informative in this regard,
      Its called Trickle down economics – the evidence is damning, and discusses causes of economic inequality and low private sector wages in western economies.

      • Ennui 7.1.1

        You make some good points, however we may be at loggerheads on a few.

        Yes, the Public Servants have managed to defend their position better, in fact the $s quoted makes it appear that they have triumphed: private sector pay rises are always linked to what is available from the bottom line, when that gets thin so does the rise. It would appear that this ratchet has little effect in the Public Service. That might cause some resentment from those footing the bill, it gives me a very clear message, “work for the Public Service”. Low risk, high reward, a sort of inversion of why private sector wages used to be higher.

        Your contention that tax does not pay for public servants…..what does if not taxes? Making a loss is only stored debt.

        Totally agree with the third paragraph, get the public spend to where it is needed, school staffing, hospital staffing etc etc, all as you say self funding. I reckon it would go further if we capped Treasury salaries at $150K, the boss man there would be worth an extra 10 nurses, a far more positive economic outcome in my book.

        • Nic the NZer

          “Your contention that tax does not pay for public servants…..what does if not taxes?”

          The government creates demand for its currency by requiring you to pay taxes in it. As long as it collects sufficient taxes to maintain a reasonable level of demand and value to its currency this in no way constrains how much currency it can spend. Currency issuing governments can not go broke (this is not true for countries which share a currency e.g the Eurozone countries).

          • Colonial Rawshark

            That’s true but always it is in the choice of where money in the budget is being allocated and prioritised.

            In the US the money creation there has gone straight into the hands of the 0.1%. And they have just cut Pell Education Grants yet again, even though there is no fiscal need to.

            In this nation if you are in the provinces on the front lines doing work in the trenches then you are starved of resources, while the Senators and their officials in Rome live it up large and wonder why the people are dissatisfied.

            To echo DTB’s sentiments, no one in NZ should have an income more than 10x the median wage (although he would argue that is far too generous…).

          • Draco T Bastard

            The government creates demand for its currency by requiring you to pay taxes in it.

            Nope. That’s another myth that the economists have been spreading.

            A nation creates demand for it’s currency by creating stuff that others want to buy and ensuring that they can only be bought with their currency.. The purpose of taxes is to decrease/increase the amount of currency available so as to control inflation and demand.

            How it produces those products is also a use of that same currency as it’s used locally to pay people to extract and alter the nations resources into those products. This gives people the money to buy local products increasing the demand for the currency.

            • NicTheNZer

              While exports certainly contribute to demand for a currency you lack any explanation for why NZ uses NZ $ without the taxation part of the equation. Trade demands can’t possibly explain this. Another piece of evidence is that all Euro zone nations switched currency after their governments switched the currency used for taxation (to the Euro).

              • Draco T Bastard

                While exports certainly contribute to demand for a currency you lack any explanation for why NZ uses NZ $ without the taxation part of the equation.

                Actually, I did:

                …and ensuring that they can only be bought with their currency.

                Another piece of evidence is that all Euro zone nations switched currency after their governments switched the currency used for taxation (to the Euro).

                That’s not really evidence of taxation increasing demand for a currency. It’s evidence that a country, being rational, taxes in the currency that it issues.

                • NicTheNZer

                  You are claiming the only reason that NZ taxes in its own currency is because it’s ‘rational’? But this statement is clearly shown to be meaningless because there are many countries which don’t tax in their own currency.

                  At minimum to justify the idea that it’s a matter of trade (obviously not just export trade but also nationally) you would need to point out the mechanism by which the government ensures goods and services can only be brought in its currency.

                  We don’t actually see any. You are able to undertake both trade and employment being remunerated in a foreign currency (or something like bitcoin) if you want. Never the less it’s rare so the question is what mechanism do you suppose the government is using here
                  On the other hand the tax mechanism clearly creates demand here. Any profits you make in your trade or employment will require you to acquire some NZ $ so you can pay taxes due on that. It’s pretty obvious taxation creates demand via this mechanism.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    After reading what you’re saying and thinking about it a bit I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s both. Go back a few decades and there wasn’t any other form of currency widely available and so you’d have to use the local currency to buy stuff. Throw in taxes as well and you get a dual system of induced demand.

                    What weight each applied to that inducement is another question.

                    At minimum to justify the idea that it’s a matter of trade (obviously not just export trade but also nationally) you would need to point out the mechanism by which the government ensures goods and services can only be brought in its currency.

                    That would be the concept of Legal Tender and controls on currency availability. Such controls have been largely removed now but they used to be common and heavily policed.

      • framu 7.1.2

        “Public servants are doing a bit better than employees in the private sector”

        i would be careful with that one – very easily argued for, against and all over the place

        i think – much like when discussing SMEs and large multinationals – its better to talk about high level public servants and ordinary public servants

        its the pay rises of the big wigs that make it seem like all PS workers are doing ok – reality is, most of them are going backwards under ever increasing workloads

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      As a worker in the private sector I see the public service management as something we as taxpayers workers fund in order to make sure we have a decent society viable business. I never thought it could be turned so conclusively into a “gravy train” for a privileged few. It’s a kick in the face for pretty much every other person working to pay the taxes that pay these people. , and for those who are unemployed because there is not enough money left to go around to pay them a wage or a higher benefit.


  7. joe90 8

    I doubt Dick and Dubya will be renewing their passports.


    However, oddly, Cheney ought to be thanked for what he told Baier. When asked about President George W. Bush’s awareness of the CIA’s interrogation methods, which the report says he was kept in the dark about, Cheney responded, “He was in fact an integral part of the program. He had to approve it before we went forward with it…I think he knew everything he needed to know and wanted to know about the program. There’s no question… I think he knew certainly the techniques that we did discuss the techniques. There’s nothing — there was no effort on our part to keep him from that. He was just as with the terrorist surveillance program. On the terrorist surveillance program, he had to personally sign off on that every 30 to 45 days. So the notion that the committee’s trying to peddle it, somehow the agency was operating on a rogue basis, and we weren’t being told or the President wasn’t being told is just a flat-out lie.” Cheney totally and without hesitation said that Bush committed war crimes.

    Now, one way to look at Cheney’s remarks is to say, as several people have, that the former VP threw Bush under the bus, a kind of “Fuck you, I’m not taking the fall.” But it’s more than that. It’s the beginning of a legal defense. Cheney may be an entity of concentrated malice, but he’s not stupid. With United Nations officials saying that there need to be prosecutions for the crimes described in the report, with the potential for other nations to want torturers and torture architects arrested, even if the likelihood of anything happening along those lines is slim to “America is awesome,” Cheney knows that he might need a legal defense. And the only defense for a vice president is to point the finger at the president and say, “That’s where the buck stops”.


    • @ joe 90..

      ..that’s interesting..cheney..for reasons of self-preservation or whatever..

      .. doesn’t just ‘throw bush under the bus’..

      ..he gets a fleet of buses to drive back and forth..over him..

      ..(there’s all the prosecution evidence you need..right there..)

      • b waghorn 8.1.1

        Bush needs to be the first one arrested everyone under him can use ‘the just following orders’ defence. I won’t hold my breath though.

  8. tc 10

    Another blow for choice on freeview, Sommet sports ceased at midday today.

    Drinks all round at Sky tonight then.

    • The Al1en 10.1

      Really? That’s a shame. I’ll miss Liverpool and Chelsea TV, English championship and German football and the nightly sports news wrap that isn’t presented by unfunny arseholes who believe their own publicity spin like the one on prime.

      At least we still have the internet and http://www.wiziwig.tv/index.php?part=sports

      • Morrissey 10.1.1

        It’s a disaster is what it is. Sommet Sports was the best TV channel in this country by a country mile. I refuse to subscribe to Murdoch’s channel.

        • The Al1en

          “I refuse to subscribe to Murdoch’s channel.”

          Glad to read it, though I sort of figured you wouldn’t really be the sky tv sort of bloke. 😆

          Yes, it’s a bad loss all right.
          At least we can look forward to getting another shopping channel to skip past 🙄

      • tc 10.1.2

        Yes budesliga was very good, feel like pointing the dish at Oz offerings before its too late as freeview is dire.

        • The Al1en

          I was surprised there was so much of it on, and pleased it wasn’t all Bayern Munich games.
          I don’t have a dish so have no idea what you’ll pick up from aussie, but happy hunting.

  9. Morrissey 11

    The Panel scoffs at the plight of Julian Assange, yet again.
    What would Garry Moore’s grandfather have thought of his behavior today?

    Radio NZ National, Thursday 11 December 2014
    Jim Mora, Garry Moore, Michael Moynahan, Zara Potts

    During today’s pre-show segment, Jim shows he can be a decent human being, when he very touchingly commiserates with Garry Moore, whose mother died this morning, aged 92. Sadly, however, we will soon see the cruel and indifferent side of his character. As we will of his producer Zara Potts, and of both of the guests. Perhaps the most discouraging thing here is hearing Garry Moore join in, albeit marginally, with the derisive laughter being heaped on Julian Assange. I am sure that Garry Moore, who is one of the more thoughtful and intelligent regular Panelists, does not for a second buy into the campaign of official lies that has been mobilized against Assange, that he has nothing but sympathy for this prey of the scofflaw U.S. and U.K. regimes.

    But in spite of this, he joins in the scornful laughter. Clearly the power of peer pressure is compelling, and even the most socially concerned people find it hard not to join in the trashing of an officially designated prey….

    JIM MORA: [brightly] And good afternoon. Very nice to have your company, 2101 to contact us textually, or the panel@radionz.co.nz, Zara Potts soon with What the WOOORLD’s Talking About. A lot to chew through today: Saruman’s Christmas song, the amount of junk in the ocean, the statue of Julian Assange that he’s asking for money for, what men think of women in high heels, a trick to get cheap air fares, why the man who began the world wide web hates apps, what people spread on their toast worldwide—you’ll be going like a TRAIN, Zara!
    ZARA POTTS: Ha! Like the clappers!
    MORA: The Harvard professor who TOOK ON a cheap and cheerful Chinese restaurant over his bill and who’s emerged the winner! On the Panel today, Garry Moore in Christchurch…

    Here, he expresses some genuinely heartfelt sympathy for Garry Moore’s bereavement. This is Jim Mora at his nicest. Sadly, though, a darker cloud is moving in….

    MORA: Michael Moynahan, welcome back!
    MICHAEL MOYNAHAN: Thank you! How are you?
    MORA: And we’ll be asking you about your mighty trip up through the snows of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
    MICHAEL MOYNAHAN:Uh, yeah, and I’ll try my very best not to sound like a prat!
    MORA: Mmm hmmm, a ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    MICHAEL MOYNAHAN: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    MORA: We’ll also talk about the OCR and the state of the economy in general, the big BUS SHELTER they want to build in Christchurch and why some retailers don’t want it, Ian Rennie’s apology, the Mirror Universe, the twin of our one! Mmmmm, what’s happening THERE? If— [momentarily interrupted by snickering from Zara Potts] well we don’t know—If the decisions by regional judges are so at odds with what’s handed down in metropolitan courtrooms, well who’s making the better decisions, the country judge or the city judge? And is alcohol on view as you enter the supermarket contributing much to society’s alcohol crisis, or not? All of those topics after four o’clock. Zala, er, ZARA Potts.
    [perkily] Hul-lo!
    MORA: Now, you’re gonna begin with the song.
    MORA: Yeah. And it’s a fitting beginning actually, because it’s the opening day of the new Hobbit movie, I think. So we’re going to start with a little bit of music, a Christmas carol of sorts by one of the major stars of Lord of the Rings. So play the music, maestro….

    Heavy metal music, and a deep, growling voice singing “The Little Drummer Boy”. It goes for a few seconds then the Panelists register their great amusement…..

    ZARA POTTS: A ha ha ha ha ha!
    MICHAEL MOYNAHAN: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    GARRY MOORE: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    MORA: Now—-
    ZARA POTTS: Ohhhh
    MORA: That’s fantastic!
    ZARA POTTS: Ohhhh I can’t stop LAUGHING when I HEAR it!
    That sounds like the bloke that’s cleaning the toilets! A ha ha ha ha ha!
    ZARA POTTS: A ha ha ha! He he he, it’s ACTUALLY Christopher Lee! Otherwise known as the wizard Saruman and—
    MORA: That’s astonishing!
    ZARA POTTS: Isn’t it! It’s pretty funny, I shouldn’t laugh, but he’s—he’s ninety-two! He’s ninety-two.
    MORA: [suddenly affecting seriousness] He’s ALSO ninety-two?
    ZARA POTTS: Yes.
    MORA: Okay.
    ZARA POTTS: And he’s quite the fan of releasing heavy metal Christmas carols—-
    GARRY MOORE: Ha ha ha ha!
    ZARA POTTS: [snorting] That one we’ve just heard is called “Darkest Carol Faithful Sing” and last year he had a single called “Jingle Hell”.
    MORA: “Jingle Hell”?
    ZARA POTTS: Yes, and it reached number eighteen in the charts. So pretty good, eh! He was actually the oldest performer to have ever made the top twenty.
    MORA: Is this him as well? The music’s changed….

    More heavy metal music fills the air….

    ZARA POTTS: A ha ha ha! There we go, so it’s a new take on Christmas carols I guess!
    MORA: So he’s become a heavy metaler, releasing an annual Christmas album!
    ZARA POTTS: He’s done three so far, yeah. He’s done three releases at Christmas, it tends to be just Christmas carols and done in that quite heavy metal way.
    MORA: I wonder how he got into THAT! I bet someone asked him, it’s a bit like William Shatner being asked.
    ZARA POTTS: Maybe he’s just always been a secret heavy metal fan.
    MORA: Maybe that’s true.
    ZARA POTTS: Yes, he’s just kind of tapped into a market.
    MORA: All right, Merry Christmas from Saruman everybody!
    ZARA POTTS: A ha ha ha! Ha ha ha!
    GARRY MOORE: I must—I must say that that last one is NOT a carol. It’s a Christmas SONG.
    MORA: An important distinction!
    GARRY MOORE: Rushing through the snow on a one-horse open sleigh is probably closer to Coca-Cola than it is to the Nativity.
    ZARA POTTS: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    MORA: Thank you. Although it’s hard to tell from the treatment, but—
    ZARA POTTS: A ha ha ha ha ha!
    GARRY MOORE: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    MICHAEL MOYNAHAN: I once saw him at a restaurant in London, um, a few years ago, and he was, ahhh, extraordinary for his age, and surrounded by adoring acolytes and fans in a way that, when I looked around at who I was sitting with, I found an ABSENCE of acolytes and fans.
    GARRY MOORE: Ha ha ha!
    ZARA POTTS: Ha ha ha!
    MICHAEL MOYNAHAN: And I thought he was very impressive!
    ZARA POTTS: You have to work on the Dracula voice.
    ZARA POTTS: That’s what you need.
    MORA: I saw him say he made it for his fans so, you know, he’s got his fans! That’s who buys the albums.
    ZARA POTTS: There you go. I might be buying one; you might find one in your stocking, Jim!
    MORA: Hmmm hmmm!
    ZARA POTTS: Now, we all know there’s a horrifying amount of garbage in the oceans….There’s a floating plastic island that’s almost as big as Texas. The oceans hold more than two hundred and fifty thousand TONS of trash—
    MORA: Yeah that’s quite a bit of trash…..

    A minute or so of talking about trash, then things take a sinister turn….

    MORA: Now, if you want to know how to spend money on a novel Christmas gift—
    ZARA POTTS: Yeah!
    MORA: It could be that you contribute to THIS!
    ZARA POTTS: Yes, that’s right! If you’ve GOT some spare cash and you need someone to spend it on: Julian Assange!
    MORA: Julian Assange?
    ZARA POTTS: You could spend it on Julian Assange! Now, he has taken to Twitter lately in order to do a spot of fundraising. What he’s raising funds for is a life-size bronze public artwork featuring himself, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden. Ah, the proposed sculpture is called—er, is titled “Anything to Say?”—
    MORA: [mirthfully] Hur!
    ZARA POTTS: [talking while snickering] And it’s been described as “a monument to COURAGE.” So the artwork will basically depict the trio standing on chairs, there’ll be an empty seat there so that members of the public can CLIMB onto the seat and, err, allow them to stand shoulder to shoulder with the whistle-blowers. They need a hundred thousand pounds for the project, ahhhhm, and organizers are hoping to get that sum by the first of January but so far though it’s not looking too flash, they’ve only raised about twenty grand.
    MORA: Will Julian have his arm OUT? So that if you stand beside the trio on the dais it will look like you’re Julian’s mate?
    ZARA POTTS: Yes.
    MORA: It was just an idea.
    ZARA POTTS: Yes, I think so, a ha ha ha! I think that’s exactly what they would do.
    MICHAEL MOYNAHAN: I thought what you meant is he had his arm out so that if you wanted to make an extra donation you could just pop it in there!
    ZARA POTTS: A ha ha ha ha ha!
    MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    ZARA POTTS: Ho ho ho ho!
    GARRY MOORE: Ha ha ha ha!
    ZARA POTTS: [mirthfully] Ahhhhh! Now interestingly there isn’t any predetermined spot for the sculpture so I don’t think it has actually been asked for, ahhh, so if you’re planning a visit we don’t know WHERE it will actually be, and part of that hundred grand they’re looking for will actually go towards transporting it around the world! So it could be kind of a moving feast.
    MORA: Okay so it won’t be on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy!
    ZARA POTTS: [snickering] No ho ho ho! No ho ho, no, no it won’t. Heee!
    MORA: It’s a—-oh well, it will be interesting to see how much money they get for it!
    ZARA POTTS: Yep!
    MORA: Won’t it!
    ZARA POTTS: Yep, it will, it will! I’ll sure they’ll get more. …. [awkward pause] Now, a sociological study in FRANCE has revealed some very important information for women who may need help from men when they’re out in public…..

    ad nauseam….


    Shortly after the 4 o’clock news today, you mentioned that your mother’s father had “refused to scab” during the 1951 Waterfront lockout. That’s an indicator of a brave and strong personality; to resist the Holland government’s overwhelming pressure against dissidents and union members took real determination. Your grandfather was no doubt someone of enormous courage and integrity. It is tempting to wonder what he would have thought of his grandson participating, 63 years later, in a far, far more brutal campaign against a target of government persecution.

    Yours, in great disappointment,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    • Clemgeopin 11.1

      It is amazing that people vilify these courageous and conscientious modern individuals like Assagne, Greenwald, Snowden etc.

      Not somewhat unlike in a different context to what happened when alive to people like Christ, Gandhi, Mandela, Dalai Lama, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln and even Galileo when they exposed ignorance or unethical evil stuff in their world then.

      • Morrissey 11.1.1

        Nixon went after Daniel Ellsberg in the same way, though he didn’t have 24/7 talkback drones like Jim Mora to reinforce his campaign of defamation. That particular campaign came unstuck, of course, with the Watergate revelations.

        Ellsberg, still alive and fit as a fiddle, is one of Julian Assange’s staunchest advocates….


        • Paul

          Clearly Potts selected the topic of Assange’s statue to mock him.
          I doubt she’d choose say the issue of the SIS and then talk about how Assange, Snowden, Manning have been heroes against the deep state.
          No, that would require some journalism from Potts and Mora…not tittle tattle.

    • McFlock 12.1

      On what grounds?

      Is it stupid because you don’t believe Slater would target the man without being paid by a third party to do so?

      Or is it stupid because you don’t think slater has learned his lesson and will simply breach another suppression order?

    • CATMAN 12.2

      He does look pretty stupid, like Andre the Giant but without the physical strength or convincing acting ability

  10. rawshark-yeshe 13


    Dianne Feinstein’s perfect use of Twitter — as head of CIA lies about torture to the press, Feinstein corrects him in real time on Twitter using references from the published report to prove him a liar. Awesome.

    Great example .. maybe some in NZ can correct the Nacts as they lie and endlessly spin……

    • Morrissey 13.1

      Feinstein voted to support the aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan, so she is directly responsible for everything that flowed from that. She is to be commended for her rearguard actions over the last couple of days, but she is part of the problem, even if she is not as flagrant and shameless as the likes of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush.

  11. Morrissey 14

    Norwegian doctor: ‘I saw beheaded children in Gaza’
    Doctor Mads Gilbert, banned by Israel from returning to Gaza, spoke to Al Jazeera about the plight of residents there. 7 Dec 2014

    When called to return to Gaza to help out in al-Shifa hospital, Dr. Mads Gilbert was denied access with valid papers.

    Dr. Gilbert told Al Jazeera that he was turned away at the Erez border crossing after Israeli authorities deemed him a “security risk”. After asking for an explanation, Gilbert was threatened with arrest.

    Al Jazeera spoke with Gilbert about these events and what is happening beyond the checkpoint.

    Al Jazeera: Did you just get a note from the Israelis saying you are no longer allowed to come back?

    Mads Gilbert: No, actually, I had been in Gaza in June for three weeks on an assignment for the UN and they had applied for a multiple entry visa for me, which I got from the Israeli army. It was a multiple entry visa valid until the 11th of November. So I went in on that to do the job for the UN, stayed for three weeks, wrote up the report and went home to Tromso in Norway to pick up my call in the helicopter.

    It is a week-long call. While I was on call in my helicopter, the bombing started. I went back to Amman over the Allenby Bridge to Erez. I showed my papers in the guard house, and he called up and he said ‘you are not allowed in’. I told him that my papers are valid and he said ‘no, we have a security problem with you and I can’t tell you what’.

    So I called the commander at Erez and he was very cross and he said ‘we have orders from the higher authority of security and we have a security problem with you’, so I asked if they can tell me what the problem is and he said, ‘it’s none of your business and if you don’t leave the premises we will call the police, I will arrest you’.

    So I called my ambassador and I called Tel Aviv. My diplomatic missions there and my minister of foreign affairs called them and they said ‘there is no way he is getting in’.

    So I returned to Norway and the Norwegian authorities, my minister for foreign affairs, formally inquired and asked why and they only get the response that there is a security issue from Shin Bet Mossad.

    Interestingly, the minister for foreign affairs has been protesting this denial of entry formally; they do not accept it. They have asked Israelis to reverse this denial, citing that it is inconceivable and unacceptable that humanitarian staff should not be allowed in to support Palestinians in a difficult situation on the medical side.

    AJ: What do you think the reason is for them not letting you in?

    MG: I think the truth is the security risk because when I, as a white medical doctor with blue eyes and white hair, tell the real story of the realities in the sharp end of the Israeli attacks, the Palestinians change from being terrorists to being humans, the numbers change from being numbers to being people, and the children appear as yours and my children.

    So when I write my articles and when I do my research, and when I publish in The Lancet and when I write my books, this is actually a danger to the Israeli narrative and, in a way, the global reputation of Israel, which is partially falling apart now.

    I have never done anything wrong, I have never been arrested by the Israelis, I have never lied to them and I have always followed the rules. Do I have contact with Hamas? Of course, of course I talk to the Palestinian authorities, they were elected in 2006. When I go on a medical mission anywhere, to Burma or Cambodia, I report to the proper authority, which in Gaza is the ministry of health.

    AJ: For outsiders and observers, what do they not know? What narrative are the people not getting?

    Gilbert: They are not getting the narrative of people, at one point several million people. They don’t really realise that these are people that have been incarcerated for seven years – that the average age is 17.6 years, that a child ghetto of 1.2 million children and young people are being denied the right to escape the bombs, to fly, because they cannot get out.

    They’re denied the right to travel, the right to eat enough for supper and breakfast, that they are chronically malnourished from the siege. They don’t know the horror of the injuries, that the people of Gaza are exposed to and the children and the civilians are seeing.

    Because this is concealed, this is concealed in a mist of deviation from the hasbara, from the Israeli propaganda machine that is saying ‘oh they are only terrorists, they are hiding behind the civilians, and they’re shooting at Israel’. What people don’t get is that it is Israel that is attacking Gaza and Gaza and the Palestinian people are exercising their right to resist.

    Occupied people have the right to resist. They also have the right to resist with weapons. So if you look at the number of rockets that are going from Gaza into Israel, and the number of shells being shot on Gaza, there is a hugely disproportionate number.

    Among the killed Israelis, 95% were soldiers, 66 of the 74 were soldiers, and there were four civilians and one child, one child too many. But among the Palestinians, there were close to 12,000 injured; 3,500 of these were children under 18.

    There were 2,100 killed and 521 of them were children under the age of 18. So that’s what people don’t get in this mist of propaganda from Israel. The narrative of Israel is saturating the media, so we have to tell the other story because good people all over the world will not accept this.

    AJ: What are you going to do now if they are not going to let you in?

    MG: We will find other ways. We have to be patient. The Palestinians have been patient for seven years [during the Gaza siege]. There’s a lot to learn from them: their dignity and their steadfastness.

    AJ: What have you experienced there?

    MG: I have children myself, I have grandchildren, and you don’t want to see this in the world today. Now everybody is talking about Boko Haram and ISIL beheading people. I saw beheaded children in Gaza, I have pictures.

    I don’t show them because they are simply too inhumane, but nobody is accusing Israel of a massacre of children. It is always directed to somebody else who is called under the general term of terrorists.

    This, what we see in Gaza, is by definition pure state terrorism. It is people defending themselves against attack from the occupant. How on earth can the occupant defend themselves when they are bombing the occupied people? Even in a semantic world it doesn’t make sense.

    AJ: What would you say is the ideal solution?

    MG: As a doctor, I say don’t send more bandages, don’t send more drugs, and don’t send equipment. Stop the bombing, lift the siege, treat the Palestinians as humans, include them in the human family, protect them by international law and find a peaceful political solution to the occupation of Palestine. That’s the preventative medicine of this mayhem that is going on.

    Source: Al Jazeera

    • Chooky 14.1

      +100 Morriessey…when an experienced Norwegian doctor who has worked in Gaza and is now banned by the Israelis says: … “what we see in Gaza, is by definition pure state terrorism”

      …New Zealand, the United Nations and the World Court must in all conscience be asking hard questions about the definition of ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorists’…and moving towards trials and prosecution

      ….especially also in light of the recent exposure of torture crimes against humanity

    • AsleepWhileWalking 14.2

      Thanks for posting Morrissey.

  12. batweka 15

    Lynn if are around, the search engine appears to be returning results only up until the 25th of November.

  13. Pete George 16

    This may be the last political poll of the year, from Roy Morgan:

    – National 46% (down 3.5% in a month)
    – Labour Party 27% (up 3%)
    – Greens 12% (down 2.5%)
    – NZ First 7% (up 0.5%)
    – Maori Party 2% (up 1%)
    – Act NZ 1.5% (up 1%)
    – United Future 0% (unchanged)

    Parties outside Parliament:

    – Conservative Party 2.5% (up 0.5%)
    – Internet-Mana Party alliance 1% (up 0.5%
    – Independent/ Others is 1% (down 0.5%).

    Small beginnings but in the right direction for Andrew Little and Labour.

  14. AsleepWhileWalking 17

    So this is what goes on at the G20.

  15. Clemgeopin 18

    The next step in war. US deploys first laser cannon for combat.

    Just imagine where such technology can take our future world!

    Good news or bad?


  16. Draco T Bastard 19

    Mars orbiter comparison

    Nope, don’t need a lot to run a successful space program.

    • TheContrarian 19.1

      Kinda easy to reduce the cost when you can pay a pittance to those providing the raw materials. But I am sure your chemtrail believing twitter friend has that already worked out

      • McFlock 19.1.1

        Not to mention the cost differentials between a payload mass of 16kg vs 65kg or 116kg, let alone the relative functionality of those payloads. Wikipedia is a wonderful thing.

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.2

        I suspect that NASA’s private contractors get the materials from the same place and really just pay their CEOs and shareholders more.

        But that wasn’t the point, the point is that NZ could easily afford a space program even in today’s financial system.

        • TheContrarian

          That’s good news. We could get the price of a Mars probe right down by paying the CEO’s less while paying the poor fucks mining it for a pittance the same.

        • McFlock

          That was a single-mission cost.

          The Indian Space Research Organisation has a USBillion dollar annual budget and has existed for 45 years.

          Sure, if we threw enough money at the project we could do it. But food in schools first, eh?

          • TheContrarian

            Don’t be stupid McFlock, all we have to do is mine our own resources without using fossil fuels or trading which will provide a million jobs so people will earn money from the state which just prints money in order to facilitate an electronic voting system akin to Loomio so people can vote on each an every issue presented to parliament which will be easy because despite needing to create a space program we’ll only need to work 10 hours a week because automation.

            Fucking simple.

  17. Paul 20

    In the UK Guardian today.

    ‘How New Zealand’s rich-poor divide killed its egalitarian paradise’


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