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Open Mike 13/01/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 13th, 2018 - 107 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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Step up to the mike …

107 comments on “Open Mike 13/01/2018”

  1. The Chairman 1

    The Government said it wants officials to evaluate the impact and effect of tax on tobacco consumption.

    Marewa Glover of Massey University has been researching tobacco use for over 25 years and says price increases just hurt the most vulnerable who end up going without the basics.

    “Now that we have a Labour-led Government, I hope that they will halt the taxes.” Dr Glover said.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/governments-goal-smokefree-nz-2025-now-being-described-unrealistic-v1?auto=5708399175001

    • savenz 1.1

      I know a couple of people who gave up because they just couldn’t afford it anymore. Prior to that they were smoking less and less due to the cost. So I think high prices, work for most people. I’d like to see minimum prices put on alcohol so they can’t sell cheap high alcohol drinks in particular to be consumed by teenagers.

      • The Chairman 1.1.1

        If high prices worked for most, most would have given up by now.

        • savenz 1.1.1.1

          @The chairman – most people are giving up. Also young people are not starting.

          • The Chairman 1.1.1.1.1

            If most are giving up we wouldn’t have Quitline warning the goal of a smokefree New Zealand by 2015 is now unrealistic.

            Apparently, higher prices have been successful in deterring the young from starting. However, with a growing black market as a result of higher prices, the ease of which to obtain cheaper tobacco is becoming more widespread.

            And there are no age limits on those buying smokes in the black market.

            • Bill 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Taxing by way of altering behaviour doesn’t work. I think I linked to the stats on tobacco use for a post I did way back “The Chrematistic Camel”.

              The rate of decline is essentially the same following the imposition of the punitive tax regime as it was before.

              Yes, young people are less inclined to start smoking, although I get the impression it’s become a bit trendy among some of the pub set – almost a status thing.

              If the daft fuckers (that’s government) would legalise the sale of nicotine (it’s subject to some medical restriction or something atm) and promote vapourising, then yes, there could be a marked decrease in the numbers of smokers (I don’t know of any ex-smokers who’ve taken to vaping who have then gone back to tobacco).

              There’s lots of public money being hoovered up by pharmaceutical companies peddling bullshit, heavily subsidised gum, patches and lozenges, though I’m sure they have the health of people at heart and would back a move that would better serve peoples health at the expense of a few $ profit for them/ sarc

              • Taxing by way of altering behaviour doesn’t work.

                Actually, it does. But it is susceptible to declining returns and it’s probably at the point where adding more won’t help but decreasing the taxes will make things worse.

                • Bill

                  How’s about you do the simple site search for the post I mentioned and look at the charts and figures over time for NZ? The idea was to use tax as the main tool to achieve zero smoking by 2025. It’s a dismal failure of a strategy.

                  • And you were wrong then too as the quotes you provided proved.

                    Increasing taxes on tobacco works – to a point. It won’t eliminate smoking completely which is why the government also has education programs and subsidises ways to quit smoking.

                    Thing is, we also know that a complete ban won’t work. Just need to look at the use of marijuana and other attempted prohibitions to see that.

                • But it is susceptible to declining returns and it’s probably at the point where adding more won’t help but decreasing the taxes will make things worse.

                  It was at that point years ago. Now it’s at the point where it’s created a black market and violent crime is supplying that market. Decreasing the taxes would make thing better, not worse.

                  • It was at that point years ago.

                    [Citation Needed]

                    If there really is a rise in violent and black market crime because of the cost of cigarettes* then you could be right.

                    * Remember that such things could also be happening for other reasons.

                    • Citations aren’t needed for obvious cause and effect. If I leave food to rot all over my house I don’t need an academic study to tell me why my house has a rats/mice/ants problem. It’s been obvious for years that tax increases were risking the development of a black market in cigarettes, and in the last couple of years we’ve seen the development of that black market and dairy owners being bashed by gangs of armed robbers after cigarettes. Feel free to pretend it’s not happening if you like, but it’s happening nonetheless.

                    • Citations aren’t needed for obvious cause and effect.

                      It’s not obvious – just your assertion which is most likely wrong.

              • The Chairman

                “The rate of decline is essentially the same following the imposition of the punitive tax regime as it was before.”

                Interesting. Thanks for that info.

                “I get the impression it’s become a bit trendy among some of the pub set – almost a status thing.”

                Yes, I’ve also heard anecdotal evidence to that too.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          Most have given up by now. What’s left is the hangers-on.

          High cigarette prices can really make you quit smoking

    • “Now that we have a Labour-led Government, I hope that they will halt the taxes.” Dr Glover said.

      I’d say that’s a forlorn hope. This is one area in which the left is rubbish – tobacco taxes have been raised to the point that’s made a black market worthwhile and people are robbing dairies to supply it, but few on the left will admit it. The new government needs to lower tobacco taxes, not just halt the increases, but fat chance of that happening while it’s considered to be a matter of corporate lobbyists vs public health professionals.

      • The Chairman 1.2.1

        “The new government needs to lower tobacco taxes, not just halt the increases…”

        Indeed.

        It seems they (Labour) would rather hire more police to deal with the associated crime. Which will result in more incarcerations.

        Nevertheless, halting the tax increases would be better than continuing on with them.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2.1.1

          Some want lower tobacco taxes, some want higher taxes, some want to ban tobacco sales.

          Concerns about tobacco-related crime and hardship should be discussed in the context of the ~5000 premature smoking related deaths that still occur in New Zealand every year, both as a consequence of active smoking and through exposure to second hand smoke.

          The July 2012 position statements by the RNZCGP support

          “increasing the excise tax on tobacco as one of the measures to reduce the prevalence of smoking in New Zealand, and believes further increases must be made. The College also believes most of the extra income from tobacco tax must be dedicated to cessation programmes especially targeting low-income earners, Māori and Pacific smokers, at-risk youth and patients with chronic illnesses.

          The RNZCGP supports programmes and initiatives that involve general practices and their patients in smoking cessation. General practices are encouraged to increase their use of the ABC approach and aim to ask every smoker about quitting at every visit. Practices should also be supported to use audits to know where improvements need to be made.”

          Click to access 2012-RNZCGP-Tobacco-position-statement.pdf

          “Tobacco killed 6.4 million people in 2015. It’s the second biggest contributor to early death and disability, showed data from 195 countries.” “That tobacco kills half its users is well established.”

          http://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/how-tobacco-death-and-taxes-are-intrinsically-linked/story-37B8hLoosYNVlLNa3c267H.html

          • The Chairman 1.2.1.1.1

            “Concerns about tobacco-related crime and hardship should be discussed in the context of the ~5000 premature smoking related deaths that still occur in New Zealand every year, both as a consequence of active smoking and through exposure to second hand smoke.”

            I would add to that the effectiveness of the tax increases.

            If tax increases are ineffective, or merely drive smokers to other sources, then deaths will continue on regardless.

            As for further increases, going off the results of the increases we’ve already had, they are unlikely to be any more successful. With prices already astronomically high, we are largely dealing with the hardcore addicts now. And they are more likely to turn to the black market or to growing their own before they are forced to give up.

            Harassing smokers visiting their GP just becomes an annoyance. And for some, reinforces their determination not to quit.

            And wile supermarkets continue to sell foods that can cause harm and even death, the concern about smoking looks disingenuous and bias.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2.1.1.1.1

              If tax increases are ineffective, or merely drive smokers to other sources, then deaths will continue on regardless.”

              Whereas it seems generally accepted that increases in tobacco taxes have contributed to lower rates of smoking.

              The Lancet Commission on Investing in Health identified raising taxes on tobacco as the most important intervention against non-communicable diseases like cancers, heart disease and lung diseases.

              Higher taxes push up the price of tobacco products, which forces users to cut down and prevents people who are experimenting with smoking from becoming regular smokers. Smoking rates can be reduced by a third by doubling the inflation-adjusted price of cigarettes, which in many low- and middle-income countries can be achieved by tripling excise tax on tobacco, conclude economists in The New England Journal of Medicine. While it took the US and UK more than 30 years to halve cigarette consumption per adult, France and South Africa used tax increases to do it in less than 15 years.

              Raising taxes may lead to smuggling, which has to be stopped with improved policing and international cooperation.

              I agree with your “hardcore addicts” comment; it is a lethal product with highly addictive properties and considerable public health costs. If high tobacco taxes are contributing to fewer youngsters getting hooked, then IMO that outweighs any additional tobacco-related crime due to taxes.

              BTW, I’d be interested to see any peer-reviewed research in NZ or Australia that quantifies the association between (increasing) tobacco taxes and criminal activity. Any link could them be ‘weighed’ against the lives saved by decreased rates of smoking.

              • The Chairman

                We’ve seen similar reductions happen here, but we’ve also seen a growth in the black market, people vaping and growing their own.

                Therefore, tax increases are ineffective at putting a total end to it.

                As I said above, we are largely dealing with the hardcore addicts now. For which harm and even death is no deterrence.

                When it comes to new smokers, they’ve yet to have been addicted, so pricing does have far more of an impact.

                However, apparently, higher prices have been successful in deterring the young from starting. So much so it is trending downwards. Therefore, we’ve gone beyond the tipping point in that regards.

                • BM

                  If cigarettes were banned tomorrow what would you do?

                • weston

                  i guess i must be one of the “hardcore ones ” then having smoked for about 40 years ! but i doubt higher an higher tax will make me stop i might cut down a bit more and that will probably make me enjoy it even more. Everybody uses some form of drug and they all have downsides in fact a very reputable doctor friend of mine said recently that living longer just exposes a person to more lifethreatning diseases ! . making tobacco more and more expensive seems to me to be very poorly thought out for all the reasons already mentioned by others here and a particularly unsavory fact which might have been missed by the anti smoking brigade is that a point of meth is now half the price of a 50 gram packet of tobacco . Far as i know giving up meth is infinately harder to give up than tobacco and is smoked in complete secrecy so you are never gonna know whos indulging unless you are one of them

          • Psycho Milt 1.2.1.1.2

            Concerns about tobacco-related crime and hardship should be discussed in the context of the ~5000 premature smoking related deaths that still occur in New Zealand every year, both as a consequence of active smoking and through exposure to second hand smoke.

            That’s the argument used against all recreational drugs by conservatives. It’s as crap when used in relation to tobacco as it is in relation to other recreational drugs.

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2.1.1.2.1

              And not just conservatives. “Smoke yourself to death” may get a new lease of life if the ‘End of Life Choice’ bill receives the thumbs up.

    • Incognito 1.3

      No more smoko’s for the blue-collar workers and no more stress relief for the Precariat; another victory!

      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.3.1

        Maybe employers, out of the goodness of their hearts, lungs and other organs, could subsidise smokes for their blue-collar workers. Yeah, nah…

        “Evidence suggests that smokers take three times as much sick leave as non-smokers and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke or second-hand smoke can also cause harm.”

        Some interesting real NZ cases here:

        http://www.findlaw.co.nz/articles/4328/smoking-at-work.aspx

        • Incognito 1.3.1.1

          Yeah, I get it: smoking is bad, simply. Instead of killing yourself go and practice mindfulness & yoga and have the occasional coffee enema; if it is good for Gwyneth then it is good for you 😉

          • Drowsy M. Kram 1.3.1.1.1

            All for tolerance, respect, choice and common sense. Nevertheless, your “Instead of killing yourself…” advice has much to recommend it – just not for everyone, I guess.

            • Incognito 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Ah yes, the good old ‘common sense’ heuristic that cuts through Gordian Knots like a scalpel through a turd and never fails to look at context, nuance, and (unintended) consequences.

              The argument has been made that the tobacco industry engaged in social engineering to peddle their deadly products. Similarly, anti-smoking campaigns and aggressive Government taxes can be seen as reversed-social engineering. Smokers are becoming pariahs of our society, by design, and we don’t only condone this, we’re actively cheering on the process. Because, you know, smoking kills.

              BTW, this comment is not really directed at you but more a general venting 😉

      • Psycho Milt 1.3.2

        No more smoko’s for the blue-collar workers and no more stress relief for the Precariat; another victory!

        Yeah, but in exchange they’re offered any number of ur-doin-it-wrong programmes from middle-class do-gooders, so they ought to be chuffed, right?

        • Incognito 1.3.2.1

          Employers only have the best interest of their workforce at heart because a happy worker is a productive worker. When was the last time I heard a happy cleaner scrubbing the toilets late at night doing her second shift of the day? Hmmm, when was the last time I was that late at work?

  2. cleangreen 2

    Try growing your own tobacco plants now people.

    You can buy the seeds freely everywhere.

    They grow fast and you can use them without chemicals too.

    Big talk on radio yesterday about this.

    • Ad 2.1

      Or, give up smoking because it kills you.
      Burn those seeds.

      • alwyn 2.1.1

        I think Kingsley Amis had the right idea.
        “No pleasure is worth giving up for the sake of 2 more years in a geriatric home at Weston-super-Mare.”

        Why should you only give up smoking because it may cause cancer?
        Let’s ban motor cycles. And bicycles for that matter.
        Reduce the legal speed limit of cars to 10 kph.
        Put head high barriers along all road verges so people can’t wander into the road or a vehicle onto the footpath.
        Get rid of booze.
        Fence off all rivers and the beaches.
        Hey, that’ll prevent a few premature deaths, whatever that means.

        • Ad 2.1.1.1

          Alwyn if that describes your life, great.

          So long as your second-hand smoke, second-hand motorbike driving, second-hand speeding, second-hand drowning, and any other second hand stupid actions of any kind don’t affect me, you just go for your life …

          … with your cigarette in one hand, your drink in the other, driving your motorbike through your unfenced river, at 130 k’s, and I’ll just follow up behind you with a mop and a shovel for your mortal remains.

          • RedLogix 2.1.1.1.1

            If he can eat a cheese and steak pie, and txt at the same time I’d be impressed. 🙂

          • alwyn 2.1.1.1.2

            My life?
            What are you talking about? You are the one who wants to ban everything that just might risk the participant getting injured.
            And no, you don’t have to follow me around. You only make me nervous.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.2.1

              What are you talking about? You are the one who wants to ban everything that just might risk the participant getting injured.

              Actually, Ad made the succinct point that it was other people that get injured by some people’s stupid actions.

              You want to smoke and die young? Your choice but you don’t get to make that choice for other people and second hand smoke kills.

              That’s what rules are for – protecting people from other people’s stupid choices.

              • Other people’s bacteria and viruses can also harm you – maybe you should agitate for a law to force people around you to wear surgical scrubs at all times?

                • It used to be accepted that sick people stayed home so as to minimise the risk of spreading disease. This no longer seems to be the case as employers demand ever more from their employees up to and including demanding that they come to work when sick. And children go to school sick because the parents can’t afford to take time off work to care for them.

                  But then, getting sick isn’t actually a choice like smoking or speeding or driving drunk is it?

                  • When were these halcyon days when sick people were expected to stay home? And, spreading bacteria certainly can be a choice – the number of people you see leaving a public toilet without washing their hands or putting a perfunctory splash of water on them is testament to that.

                • Incognito

                  @ Psycho Milt 13 January 2018 at 4:41 pm:

                  Condoms would be a good start 😉

              • Ed

                Alwyn should be allowed to do what he wants.
                Who cares if his smoking kills someone else, his speeding causes innocent people to die in a car crash…..

                Neo-liberals have no concept of society.

        • Frank Macskasy 2.1.1.2

          Alwyn, you do realise that by using hyperbole, you’re not exactly proving your case?

  3. Molly 3

    Interesting picture accompanying a Herald story about a broken basketball hoop causing quite severe injuries to someone attempting a slam dunk.

    When you look at the base of the hoop, there seems to be no broken concrete and the base plate seems to be only screwed to the pole not embedded in the concrete. In fact the only connection seems to be a two or three inch sleeve of pipe that may have been inserted inside the pole.

    Hoop nightmares: North Shore teen…”

    • Andre 3.1

      Not sure I agree with your description, Molly. Looks to me like there is a pipe embedded in the concrete with a welded flange. The flange on the end of the pole is bolted to the flange on the embedded pipe.

      It appears to me the embedded pipe wall failed at the edge of the weld, and the failure propagated around the pipe by tearing around the pipe until the remaining eighth or so of the pipe wall just bent rather than tearing. You can see that there is still some of the pipe that is still untorn, which kept the base of the pole connected to the embedded pipe flange.

      So my first thoughts on looking at that photo are whether the embedded pipe was simply too thin walled for the purpose, and/or whether there was some fault in the flange welding.

      • joe90 3.1.1

        Looks to me like someone’s completed the top but missed the bottom weld on the lower flange.

        https://screenshotscdn.firefoxusercontent.com/images/9f6b78d7-05b4-4b27-af04-3c0bab1f6061.png

        • Andre 3.1.1.1

          That was my first thought, too. But I went away from it because I couldn’t come up with a plausible mechanism for how a failure initiating at that kind of weld would transition into tearing the pipe wall. Plus, I would also expect some kind of witness markings on the visible end of the pipe inside the flange where the galv wouldn’t have covered it.

          In any case, an actual in-person inspection would resolve that question pretty quickly.

          • joe90 3.1.1.1.1

            Or a re-purposed break-away light standard.

            • funstigator 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Frangible joint is the technical term 🙂
              I agree though that there would be huge loads on this even before the “slam dunk”
              A practical lesson in structural engineering I guess, much as the one you would get when opening a (any) door with a high degree of force/velocity at the furthest distance from the hinge point.

      • Molly 3.1.2

        That makes more sense. I knew the Standardistas would have a better explanation for what was going on…

    • Bill 3.2

      The fcking ‘male’ pipe that the main structure slips over should have been much longer. That couple of inches of pipe coming up off the base might as well not have been there at all – it adds nothing to the structural integrity of the affair.

      • Molly 3.2.1

        Agree with you there too. Relying on the weld, if that was what it was, seems to be unreasonable, given the size, weight of the hoop and the purpose and use of it.

        • Andre 3.2.1.1

          Welded assemblies are fine, when they’re done right. If I was asked to design that structure, I wouldn’t hesitate to use welds.

          However, I would look fairly carefully for some data on what kind of loads might get put into it. If I had to guess, I’d start with Shaq’s weight of 150 kg, times 3 for the fact he’s coming down from a jump when he grabs the hoop and gives himself a boost back up, plus 100ish for the backboard, hoop, mounts etc. Then safety factors on top of that.

          If that base was simply repurposed from a light, like joe90 suggests, without analysis of how the load might be a lot higher than the loads on a streetlight, then it’s not surprising it failed.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    Anyone else got Fraudband problems this morning?

    • Andre 4.1

      Nope. Big Brother is just paying special attention to you.

    • Rosemary McDonald 4.2

      No problem with Fraudband (very good ;-)), but my early morning blogscope has been spoiled somewhat by TDB giving me 404 notices…has Bomber been blown away???

  5. The Chairman 5

    “Banks are not universally loved. But when they try to remove a key protection for those using internet banking, and do it under the cover of a strangely closed “consultation”, they deserve to become even more unpopular.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/100534538/banks-botched-attempt-to-weaken-promises-to-their-customers

  6. spikeyboy 6

    In case anyone still thinks carbon capture technology will save us think again. The greatest carbon capture technique known i.e methane hydrate frozen into the Arctic is breaking down at a rate that is impossible to ever catch up to except possibly by ceasing burning fossil fuels right now.

    https://arctic-news.blogspot.co.nz/2018/01/unfolding-arctic-catastrophe.html?m=1

    • Bill 6.1

      All part of Plan “B”. (And all plans – A and B, up through X, Y and Z – revolve around power)

      I mean, those responsible for AGW, who no-one has been holding to account anyway because…oh that’s right!…the mechanisms and institutions that would be used to ensure accountability are managed and perpetuated by the self same people and institutions who ought to be being held to account….Hmm.

      Anyway.

      They can’t possibly be held to account when the situation slips over to non-AGW, ’cause GWs just natural innit?

      And no-one knew when AGW would slip beyond our control – and we was blindsided (Honest!) – and now we need this stamp down on you and yours, to ensure that us and ours enjoy our primacy to our pathetic. fucking. fading. end.

  7. joe90 7

    He’s falling to pieces.

    Trump's mega-rant about how he is the smartest and best at everything, as WSJ tries to ask him about Bannon, must be read to be believed. https://t.co/WAH6qyifpb pic.twitter.com/Gw3vx2nSc7— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 12, 2018

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/transcript-of-donald-trump-interview-with-the-wall-street-journal-1515715481

  8. Robert Guyton 8

    Where’s James today? Dreadful bbq accident, perhaps? Burnt sausage, sizzled saveloy?
    Dollops of unguent, James, liberally applied and keep your chin up!

  9. Rosemary McDonald 9

    Lovely to hear Jim Salinger this morning on Natrad, not so lovely the topic being discussed.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/up-this-way/audio/2018628386/marine-heatwave-it-s-never-been-that-hot-before

    Temperatures in the Tasman hit record highs, with snapper being caught in Fiordland and krill being driven to cooler depths and beyond the reach of seabirds…

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Yes our Jim Salinger chased away to work in Queensland and met officers with foreign accents doing the weather announcing. We need a bit more nationalism and a bit less internationalism.

  10. red-blooded 10

    Well, Karl Du Fresne just can’t get over the fact that his beloved blue team didn’t win the election. He’s calling the MMP process wonky and basically saying that the biggest party should be given preference when forming a government and that negotiations should be overseen by the governor general. (Just what would that add, I wonder?)

    When’s he going to drop the whining? He’s even questioning “how long a government formed in such shonky circumstances (can) last”?

    • alwyn 10.1

      “how long a government formed in such shonky circumstances (can) last”?”
      Until Winston comes out of his coma and starts demanding more baubles.
      Remember Oliver in the film?
      “Please Sir, I want some more”
      I Winston’s case it will be. “Listen sunshine, move out of my way”.

      • red-blooded 10.1.1

        Don’t hold your breath, mate. We wouldn’t want you any bluer than you already are!

  11. North 11

    Naked projection the name of the game now ? Boris Johnson brands Khan mayor of London a pompous, puffed-up popinjay. Right back at ya Boris !

  12. joe90 12

    These fuckers.
    //

    Men like Chris Matthews shaped the narrative of the first female presidential nominee of a major party, during & after her campaign. The extent of their influence fucking enrages me. Burn it all down. https://t.co/ffeXk9cLXF— Sarah Lerner (@SarahLerner) January 12, 2018

    Network footage obtained by the Cut shows Matthews, during the interview setup, making a couple of “jokes” about Clinton. He asks, “Can I have some of the queen’s waters? Precious waters?” And then, as he waits for the water, he adds, “Where’s that Bill Cosby pill I brought with me?” Matthews then laughs, delighted with the line, for an extended moment, as the staffers around him react with disbelief, clearly uncomfortable. (Cosby has been accused of sexual impropriety by dozens of women, some of whom allege that they were drugged and raped by the comedian.)

    https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/chris-matthews-bill-cosby-pill-hillary-clinton-interview.html?

    • One Two 12.1

      Not just “these fuckers”

      All of them..

      All of ‘these fuckers’…includes Bill and Hill…!

    • adam 12.2

      Mind you from the station that spent two hours covering an empty podium rather than interview Bernie Sanders, are you really surprised?

  13. eco maori 14

    Well it’s so harlious the sandflys tried to use a move against me and now the person that they admire Alot is being pulled up about his faculties. And he is still showing the whole world there is a good reason for being conserned.

    The sandflys are scared there are keeping there distance. They are sending the public to try and intimidat me that does not work on me. They think I’m blinded by some of their moves but know I see them all everyday I choose to ignore them all this is like water of a ducks back. One person has seen the truth and will feel the thunder if they don’t rectifie this situation sooner or later I will not be happy if a situation could have been avoided. How do I know the sandflys like Trump well I have seen there neoliberal my support Trump here on the standard. Ka kite ano

  14. China ministry says protectionist sentiment rising in U.S.

    China is disappointed that the Ant Financial-MoneyGram deal was rejected on national security grounds, ministry spokesman Gao Feng said in a regular briefing.

    Ant Financial’s plan to acquire MoneyGram collapsed last week after a U.S. government panel rejected the deal over national security concerns, the most high-profile Chinese deal to be torpedoed during U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration.

    Not that China can complain about openness.

    • greywarshark 15.1

      From the ‘openness’ link in DTBs comment.
      Manawatu dairy farmer Andrew Hoggard fears the impact of a vengeful China – but says New Zealand must stand up for its free trade principles. “The rules are the rules.”

      Every man and his dog thinks they understand the economy and can speak with the confidence of a well-versed, well-informed scholar of business. Even if Manawatu dairy farmer Hoggard has 14 dairy farms (I think what Crafur farms had) it doesn’t mean that he understands what is happening in and to NZ and internationally. And he is quoting the old mores about an economy and government to a different one where the rules are made up as we go along, and then ushered through parliament under some spurious reason to legalise what has been the custom.

      Can’t give a definite example but I can remember thinking this was the case, and I know that people don’t understand the TPPA and I don’t know just what we signed up to with China and I bet he doesn’t either even if he is some official with FedFarmers.

      • Ed 15.1.1

        Manawatu dairy farmer Andrew Hoggard should have been more accurately described as ‘former Federated Farmers Dairy chairman.’

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/93157582/hoggard-to-give-up-top-dairy-job-for-tilt-at-feds-secondincommand-role

        • greywarshark 15.1.1.1

          Hoggard makes a good point that most people don’t understand or even know about. He said a large part of the job was unseen such as meeting with lawmakers to talk through the impact of rules and regulations on farmers.

          It’s called lobbying. And also ‘working closely with the government of the day’ to ensure farmers’ views are taken into account.

          This is different to how other groups and citizens are treated by government. Most end up begging the government to take some notice of strongly held beliefs that changes will be beneficial to the vast majority, or if it is Maori that they shouldn’t have their views overlooked or ignored again.

  15. Ed 16

    It is not very often that a documentary film can set a new paradigm about a recent event, let alone, one that is still in progress. But the new film Ukraine on Fire has the potential to do so – assuming that many people get to see it.
    Usually, documentaries — even good ones — repackage familiar information in a different aesthetic form. If that form is skillfully done, then the information can move us in a different way than just reading about it.
    Ukraine on Fire has the same potential and could make a contribution that even goes beyond what the Davis film did because there was very little new information in Hearts and Minds. Especially for American and Western European audiences, Ukraine on Fire could be revelatory in that it offers a historical explanation for the deep divisions within Ukraine and presents information about the current crisis that challenges the mainstream media’s paradigm, which blames the conflict almost exclusively on Russia.
    Key people in the film’s production are director Igor Lopatonok, editor Alex Chavez, and writer Vanessa Dean, whose screenplay contains a large amount of historical as well as current material exploring how Ukraine became such a cauldron of violence and hate. Oliver Stone served as executive producer and conducted some high-profile interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin and ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
    The film begins with gripping images of the violence that ripped through the capital city of Kiev during both the 2004 Orange Revolution and the 2014 removal of Yanukovich. It then travels back in time to provide a perspective that has been missing from mainstream versions of these events and even in many alternative media renditions.

    https://www.globalresearch.ca/a-documentary-youll-likely-never-see-ukraine-on-fire-by-oliver-stone/5574843

    • Gosh, here’s my opportunity to hear a fair and balanced description of what’s happening in Ukraine by, er, Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovich? What the serious fuck? I think I’ll pass.

      • Ed 16.1.1

        Oliver Stone served as executive producer

        • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.1

          So what? Did he shove a lie detector in Putin’s face? Would you trust a movie about the US invasion of Panama including interviews with George Bush?

          • Ed 16.1.1.1.1

            If Oliver Stone was involved, I would watch the film, yes.
            It is good to see a different perspective.
            Having watched it, I would come to some judgement on its veracity.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1.1.1.1.1

              He’s just as capable of selective editing as the next person.

              As far as I know, immediately after this terrible catastrophe, one of the Ukrainian air traffic controllers — I believe he’s a specialist of Spanish origin — announced that he’d seen a fighting machine in the vicinity of this civilian airliner. The only fighting machine that could have been in that area would have been Ukrainian”…

              It is unclear why this exchange never aired in Oliver Stone’s interview series…

              • Ed

                I am sure he is not perfect.
                I have found a lot of his work interesting.
                I think therefore it’s worth giving the Ukraine film a watch.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I doubt whether it will provide any extra information than can be read in minutes (depending on your reading age) on Wikipedia.

                  The same is true of Winter on Fire.

        • Psycho Milt 16.1.1.2

          Oliver Stone served as executive producer

          Really? Who did the catering?

  16. Ed 17

    Don’t Be Fooled by These 5 Misleading Dairy Ads Peddling the Preposterous Myth of the ‘Happy Cow’
    Happy cows are just an advertising ploy.

    For most of my life, I genuinely believed the false advertising used to sell dairy. When I learned the truth—that nearly all cows used for dairy are kept inside, locked up, forcibly inseminated, and hooked up to painful milking machines—I was heartbroken. How had I never put two and two together: that for humans to consume cow’s milk, mother cows must have their calves taken?

    Here are common myths in dairy advertising, and the truth behind them.

    https://www.alternet.org/animal-rights/dont-be-fooled-these-5-misleading-dairy-ads-peddling-preposterous-myth-happy-cow

  17. adam 18

    FREE AHED!!!

    When we are dealing with a state which considers it normal and their right to shot and kill young adults and children we have to ask ourselves – what is wrong with that place?

    Again a big thanks to Abby Martin for her great journalism.

    Twenty minutes if you have it, well worth watching.

  18. Ed 19

    “Animal welfare groups call for higher standards for farmed chickens
    Retailers and restaurants urged to sign up to new cross-European guidelines amid growing concerns over cruelty in intensive meat production.

    To help curb some of the cruellest aspects of the business – which sees fast-grown, over-bred birds collapsing under their own weight – the new standard stipulates the use of higher welfare breeds. It also bans inhumane live bird shackling during slaughter, and specifies more natural light and space, room to perch and “enrichment” items such as straw and vegetables for pecking.

    Recent polling by the RSPCA shows that eight out of 10 people (86%) who buy chicken expect the supermarkets to ensure that all chicken meat they sell is farmed to high welfare standards.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/13/animal-welfare-groups-call-for-higher-standards-for-farmed-chickens

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