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Open Mike 13/09/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 13th, 2018 - 53 comments
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53 comments on “Open Mike 13/09/2018”

  1. Ed 1

    Rachel Stewart highlights a vital issue by pointing to an important article.
    Our farming is NOT sustainable.

    She says

    Every New Zealander should read this. Why? To fully grasp how deeply our economy is built on myriad products that directly hurt others, our land, and our waterways. Farming must change, or it will be taken out of our hands.

    The article she refers to is entitled ‘Precious rock New Zealand is accused of stealing from the Sahara’

    An excerpt.

    The cycle that underpins New Zealand’s economy starts with a town in the desert, shielded by a minefield. A white, dusty rock is stripped from the earth and put on a conveyor belt, which rumbles slowly across the Sahara – flat, desolate and silent – for 100km. It leaves a cloud of dust so vast it can be seen from satellites, etching a scar across Northern Africa.

    When it reaches port, the rocks topple off the belt and are loaded onto trucks, which are driven to awaiting cargo ships. They sail a tedious route south, ducking beneath the horn of South America to avoid nations that may confiscate the cargo.

    The ships arrive at their destination: It could be Bluff, Dunedin, Lyttelton, Napier, or Tauranga, depending on who is buying the cargo. The rock is driven to a factory and blended with other rocks, mixed with sulfuric acid, and compressed into small, white balls. The balls are dropped with precision from planes over the countryside and bleed into the soil, releasing nutrients into plants, which are eaten by sheep and cows, which are eaten by us.

    The scale of the operation is enormous. The conveyor belt is the longest in the world, as is the minefield protecting it.

    ……If you are a farmer in New Zealand and you use Superphosphate fertiliser, it is likely the raw materials came from the western side of the world’s longest minefield, and made the long, slow journey to the sea on the world’s longest conveyor belt.

    When it arrives in New Zealand, records will say the phosphate came from Morocco, but the many thousands of people in Algerian refugee camps would say it was stolen from them.

    “New Zealand farmers are the only clients in the whole world of the Moroccan plunder of Western Sahara,” says Erik Hagen of Western Saharan Resource Watch, an NGO that monitors trade from the region.

    “New Zealand stands alone now as the main funder of the illegal occupation… They are buying stolen goods.”

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Tracey Watkin: “The lesson is that, unless Labour policies are agreed in coalition negotiations and tied down in Ardern’s speech from the throne, it shouldn’t be assumed they are Government policy.”
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/107025942/why-national-insists-on-calling-jacinda-ardern-weak

    “Labour ministers seem to have been painfully slow to learn that lesson, presenting as policy decisions that have not been signed off by Peters. And Peters is the ultimate showman, timing those lessons for maximum effect. But it’s Ardern who has had to pay the price by having to turn the other cheek to Peters’ gamesmanship and opportunism.”

    “Peters jumped down the throat of reporters who questioned on Wednesday whether Labour’s latest sacrifice might be the multi employer agreements specified under its industrial relations reforms – but, notably, he also refused to commit to supporting them. Stuff has been told that NZ First has drafted changes to the legislation for when it comes back before the House. The end game appears to be either leverage, or oxygen, or kudos from the business sector for moderating Labour’s union base – or at least cultivating that perception.”

    So we have Labour ministers allowed to operate like loose cannons and announce policies that haven’t actually been agreed to by NZF, giving Winston the opportunity to market his brand as superior. Does such political brand differentiation really work to the advantage of either party? Not at present. Makes more sense in a suitable part of the electoral cycle: 2020.

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      There’s also this: https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/366312/nz-first-pull-support-for-labour-led-initiatives-at-last-minute

      “The government was forced to halt a planned announcement about its Crown/Māori Relations portfolio after New Zealand First raised last minute objections. It’s the latest in a string of incidents where New Zealand First has pulled its support for Labour-led initiatives at the 11th hour.”

      “Media were briefed and invited to attend an announcement by Crown/Māori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday, where the new agency was set to be unveiled following sign-off at Cabinet. But Ms Ardern and Mr Davis had to roll back the announcement after NZ First refused to support it.”

      That must be the fourth or fifth such instance in recent times! “It’s understood the lines of communication between Labour and NZ First are still not clear almost one year into the coalition arrangement. RNZ has been told the two parties are at odds over whether NZ First was properly consulted over such policies.”

      So, after a year in government, when the coalition ought to be shifting into second gear at least, if not third, it seems instead intent on proving that the training wheels have yet to be removed!! Leadership now essential. Do it.

      • Enough is Enough 2.1.1

        I agree completely.

        There appears to be a complete lack of leadership and communication between the partners. There is just this constant stream of missteps that should be getting cleared up behind closed doors, not in the media.

        National doesn’t have to do anything at the moment as the sloppy management of this government is getting splashed all over the media on a daily basis.

        Jacinda is a great on screen communicator but she needs to get the back of house management sorted

    • Gabby 2.2

      Kelv must’ve forgotten to check in with El Pomposo, Prince of the Provinces.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        You got it. Not only that, his boss forgot to check it was okay with His Pomposity’s boss. Almost like deliberately, as if playing a game called `let’s forget we’re supposed to be govt awhile – more fun competing with NZF than the Nats’…

  3. Jenny 3

    Is the US being run by a death cult?

    As Hurricane Florence bears down on the US Atlantic coast, residents would not be comforted to know that the persecution of immigrants has been put above their safety….

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/107038928/donald-trump-moved-fema-funds-to-ice-at-start-of-hurricane-season

    And as well as being soft on fascism and against public health care, the Trump administration; has rolled back regulation of Coal, of asbestos, of air quality, of automatic weapons….. and….. and…. nuclear weapons…..

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/white-house-hobbles-nuclear-weapons-safety-agency/

    • Ed 3.1

      Scary times

      • Adrian Thornton 3.1.1

        Scary times…you betcha, here is the warmongering no conservative John Bolton sounding like a villain straight out a 1980’s Robocop movie, threatening the International Criminal Court and it’s judges and anyone who assists them…

        Looks like the US might be going year zero..

        Unfortunately we probably don’t get to see all the villains get their justice at the end.

        John S. Hall – America Kicks Ass

    • Sabine 3.2

      there are almost 8 billion people on this planet. Literally 4 billion give or take a few millions to many.

      Its not a death cult, its an extermination cult by proxy. It kills the old, the sick, the ailing, the infirm first by refusing to fund health care and aged care and disabled care. It kills the young ones by refusing to vaccinate on grounds of what ever. It kills the women by not funding female centric health care, it kills them pregnant, in child birth, it kills the mothers or the babies and sometimes both.
      It kills the men by removing any rule, any legislation that would make work safe, that would prevent death through accidents, toxic waste etc.
      it kills all without difference by refusing to send aid to disaster areas, it will kill the people in hospitals by not fixing the electricity net, by not cleaning the water ways, by not fixing the infra structure needed to bring in aid after a natural disaster.
      Of course it will kill the poor first. The poor people of color will die before the poor white people die. But die they will.

      the rich, the monied, the connected, the pundit class, the political class, the technocrats have known at least since the Bush 2nd years that climate change is coming, and with it rising sea levels, floods, destruction of habitat and arable land and with it migration.

      It is about time to take of the blinders and stop believing that we can still stop this. We can’t. Its well underway. And our governments – any and all – know this, and they also know that mass migration and poverty are what awaits us. And the US is happy to let die all those the ruling class believe are surplus, they are happy for the preachers to screech stay at home, the righteous will be saved – after all are n’t they all righteous?

      And we have had the same mindset here for the last years under National. So they are poor? Thems lazy buggers. So the child is poor and hungry? Should have choose better parents. So they don’t have a house? Should get another job. So they aren’t healthy? Must have been something they done. Right?

      There are too many humans on this planet, The ruling class and their technocrats know this, and we – the unwashed masses – are surplus to requirement. We will not be saved, we will not be educated, we will not be considered of importance. And they don’t hide it. Time to stop acting surprised.

      • Bill 3.2.1

        It is about time to take of the blinders and stop believing that we can still stop this.

        Erm. But we can. An on-going 10% (or whatever it takes to stay within the known global carbon budget) annual cut in fossil consumption stops it. It might not leave us sitting below 2 degrees. But it might.

        Why don’t you hassle the crap out of your local MP and demand they insist that government AGW policy gets written wholly off the back of science, instead of bent to accommodate economics?

        And sure, we may already have passed a tipping point that takes the “anthropogenic” out of the global warming equation. Who knows? Maybe that possibility could feed into an unwavering insistence that we do what needs done no matter what?

        • Sabine 3.2.1.1

          We can also admit that we are too many on this planet. Capacity is reached, what now. We can admit that our governments world wide do not really care about those that it deems surplus. Namely the very poor, the very old, etc. You get the drift.
          We can admit that our government short funds anything that would keep us alive, could make life better and maybe even more sustainable but generally does little more then pay lip service. Again, because they – our elected overlords – care little about our survival, after all theirs is assured.

          As for what i do, whom i write to, how i live etc. You know nothing and you should not assume.

          Non of us is wrong, and i am not saying it is too late, that is only what you hear. I say that there are to many humans on this planet. There are too many cars on this planet. To many MacMansions that house no one. Too much shit that people have because we need growth. Lol. And i say that non of that is gonna change anytime soon, unless we give up on the myth that the next generation needs it better then we had. We are at the highest living standard literally since ages ago and people still complain that they don’t have enough .We pull fucking boats across the middle of the country to go water skiing in a lake hundreds of kilometers from home, that is how fucked up we are. We inject our self with poison to be young for ever. We pretend to have it all with an empty fridge at home and no electricity. We buy on tick and then complain that we own nothing.

          Yeah, right lets tell the poor that they can’t have it all, in fact what little they have they should give it up;, that they should not aspire to get out of the muck. . Cause it ain’t our ruling classes and their enablers that are gonna give up the tiniest sliver of their excesses.

          You want change? Start with giving up hope that those task to know better actually know better.

  4. Ffloyd 4

    Poor Winston. Trying to stay relevant. Don’t think much of his methods. Everything last minute. Not exactly showing Labour any respect at all. Shame! Oh well. Hes dominating news this morning so he and B@B will all be ecstatic. I hope he doesn’t stop Labour from doing it’s best to return NZ to its egalitarian status. Bloody annoyed at his timing.

    • marty mars 4.1

      + 1 yep – he is acting like a baby who needs his nappies changes.

      • James 4.1.1

        Winston gets what Winston wants. Labour gets what Winston allows them to have.

        Seems he’s not afraid to simply say “no”.

        It was always going to happen – and it’s fun to watch it play out.

        That’s what happens when you have such an ill prepared and weak leader like Jacinda (IMHO).

    • Dennis Frank 4.2

      Takes two to tango. He wouldn’t be able to grandstand if Labour didn’t keep on giving him the opportunities. The government ought to be doing consensus politics. It ought not to be allowing individual Labour ministers to hijack the process.

      Ardern knows she can only be successful by securing agreement. Sometimes that means working through disagreement by solving problems. She isn’t telling us that the process has failed, has she? So the obvious conclusion is that they didn’t even try. Labour arrogance, presumably, as Mahuta demonstrated. What’s missing currently is leadership at the top. Those loose cannons must be brought under control before they sink the ship.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 4.3

      Isn’t respect earned?

      As DPF points out, labour can’t even run a proper meeting in parliament. Why should Winston show them any respect?

  5. marty mars 5

    Awesome little aussie battler – thank you Harper, for highlighting this.

    “Harper Nielsen claimed the song “Advance Australia Fair” ignored the nation’s indigenous people.

    “When it says ‘we are young’ it completely disregards the Indigenous Australians who were here before us,” she told ABC news Australia.”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-45495675

  6. Ad 6

    Does anyone know what this Prime Minister’s speech at AUT on Sunday is all about?

    Generally geeing up the troops, or something substantial?

  7. cleangreen 7

    Long live Winston!! our real hero of the north;

    Winston is needed to keep Labour honest as Labour has many rigjht wingers in their “broad church”.

    So if Winston does not check on labour swinging right who will????

    Remember it was Jacinda that challenged all to keep her government to keep her promises at the Whitangi day speak right?

    Here is Chris Trotter’s own coverage of the speech that day.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/02/08/blowing-smoke-why-jacinda-needs-to-talk-less-and-do-more/

    “In her speech from the porch of the whare runanga, Jacinda urged Maori to hold the Labour-NZF-Green government to account if it failed to deliver on its promises of uplift and renewal”

    Winston is effectively doing everyone elses job they forgot to do!!!!!!!.

    • Nick 7.1

      Best to make the best decision, not the first decision, so let’s hope NZF are delaying for worthy reasons. Anyway, Labour coalition is still performing better than the last lot of crims, so there’s that!

    • solkta 7.2

      Bullshit. Labour are trying to do leftish things like reverse Labour law changes but Winston first is blocking it. Labour are trying to make attempts to honour the treaty by setting up the Maori/Crown thing but Winston is blocking it. Labour are trying to make meaningful changes to prisons but Winston is blocking it. Etc. Winston is the great dragging break on most of the progressive stuff that Labour and the Greens want to do.

  8. “Putin called on the two men to appear in the media to protest their innocence, saying he “wanted to address them directly”. The Russian’s president’s words marked a departure from his country’s earlier position, which was to dismiss the evidence released by Scotland Yard as a fabrication.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/sep/12/skripal-poisoning-suspects-are-civilians-not-criminals-says-putin-novichok

    A good development putting paid to the fabrication conspiracy adherents.

    • Bill 8.1

      Apart from questions being raised around identical date stamps on video stills that appeared to be from the same location (and that was cleared up), what “fabrication” are you referring to marty?

    • mauī 8.2

      From what I can tell we still have one story versus another story. We need more evidence from both sides to see what story makes more sense.

      If you’re implying there is a change of story so that leans toward guilt. I don’t see that. The president’s latest comment clarifies the earlier one.

    • adam 8.3

      This report is very much like CNN coverage of Venezuelan. Like the added bit from the CIA – calling people conspiracy theorists.

  9. ‘I am cautious in who i read and what I believe from them. Even people i love like russell brand I still am circumspect rather than just like all they say because i really like something they say.’

    I just wrote that and then thought, it sums up the problem well. We really struggle with this good person doing bad, bad person doing good, previous good person now doing bad and previous bad person now doing good. (I’m ignoring the value judgments of what is good or bad). I wonder why we can’t seem to compartmentalize a person’s actions and them or is that the problem – they are holistic. I’ve seen leftie unionists turn into capitalist pigdogs. I read good stuff and absolute rubbish from the same author. Probably just a reflection, a mirror of inside us and the turmoil we often live within.

    • Exkiwiforces 10.1

      Yes, to some degree as it’s a hangover from old “rat eyes” John Howard’s” era and from memory it maybe something to with Federal funding at the time as I can’t really be sure as I had more important things to worry about.

    • ianmac 10.2

      Back in the 70s Merv Wellington was out Min of Ed. He set out to demand that every kid at every school on every morning should salute the NZ flag and sing the National Anthem. He also asked that every image of nudity be removed from every book in every library. There was at least one Principal who inked out every image of nudity including those in the encyclopaedias. Thank goodness the National Government of the day fell. Very few schools responded to his Methodist beliefs. Phew!

  10. greywarshark 11

    Mr Poole wrote a scathing email to the group behind the Save the Schools campaign expressing his frustration at being included in the ad but Catherine Isaac, who is a supporter of the group and used to head the charter school authorisation board, doesn’t think the ad did any damage.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/366348/head-of-two-charter-schools-annoyed-by-newspaper-ad

    Catherine Isaac married to the late Roger Kerr. RWs rule Okay!
    Managing things to suit themselves first and foremost since at least 1984.

    I don’t think that generalised statement will do any damage, even if not true in every letter of that paragraph.

  11. james 12

    Winston clarfies once and for all.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12124423

    This government is not “Government was not “Labour-led”

    I guess Labour are going to have to wake up to this at some point – else they are going to be continued to be shocked at whats “work in progress” – normally after they announce it.

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      Good. Some sanity for a change. ” “You had the coalition agreement, then you had the 100-day statement, then you had the Speech from the Throne, then the Budget. If those things we’re talking about are not in those four documents then they are always work in progress,” Peters said. He insisted the Government was not “Labour-led”.” What kind of a dance is it when one partner leads, then the other partner leads?

      • mac1 12.1.1

        “What kind of a dance is it when one partner leads, then the other partner leads?”

        I was introduced in an alternatives to violence workshop to the concept of effective relationships by the physical act of dancing with a fellow participant. The group felt what it was like, in turn, to dance in a way where both partners led at the same time (conflict and huge waste of energy), where neither led ( boring with nothing happening at all), and then where both partners led in turn.

        Great fun. Great learning.

        Could work in the great soft shoe shuffle of politics, too.

        • Dennis Frank 12.1.1.1

          Thanks, good response. Let’s hope the coalition proceeds on that basis eh? 😊

          • Chuck 12.1.1.1.1

            Better tell Jacinda and her ministers they need to run things pasted Winston then.

            Jacinda could be excused for thinking 37% verse 7% did not entitle Winston to have the power to veto / water down key Labour policy.

            The “not for public release” NZF – Labour document must not have been explicit enough in that regard!

            Winston knows where NZF votes come from…he is positioning NZF not to suffer the minor party fate come 2020. He will trumpet keeping Labour and those looney Greens in check.

          • mac1 12.1.1.1.2

            Dance is an interesting metaphor from a depiction of Christ’s life in
            “Lord of the Dance” to the sex act as in “Shake, Rattle and Roll” to deceit as in leading someone a merry dance to bliss as in “I could have danced all night”.

            I guess politics is similar. You just gotta choose if and when you gotta get down close and dirty.

            The question remains-“Will you still love me tomorrow?”

            And then the next day. Is it “So long, It’s been good to know you” or is it “Silver threads amongst the gold”?

            But the dance goes on, and I’m in the band.

  12. joe90 13

    Criminal in Chief puts corporate profits ahead of life.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration moved closer Tuesday to rolling back Obama-era rules reducing oil and gas industry leaks of methane gas, one of the most potent agents of climate change.

    The Environmental Protection Agency formally released its proposed substitute for a 2016 Obama administration rule that aimed to step up detection and elimination of methane leaks at well sites and other oil and gas facilities. The agency’s move is part of a broad Trump administration effort to undo President Barack Obama’s legacy programs to fight climate change by cutting emissions from oil, gas and coal.

    https://apnews.com/a42323c0e0ed4572be8f752388d86787/EPA-moves-closer-to-rolling-back-Obama-era-rules-on-methane?

  13. Dennis Frank 14

    No Right Turn is reporting that Parliamentary Services is currently advertising for a pair of “security intelligence officers” and quotes the PS ad: “Reporting to the Security Enablement Manager, this role will collect information of intelligence value, conduct analysis of the information collected and prepare standardised intelligence product, in order to inform and influence the security and risk posture of Parliamentary Service.”

    NRT: “Why the hell does Parliamentary Services need this? Who will they be collecting intelligence on?” Leakers, I presume. Wonder why that’s not obvious to NRT!

  14. Morrissey 15

    Croaking propagandist Barbara Walters fails miserably

    This horrible woman has cozied up to Israeli presidents, American presidents, Henry Kissinger, and bloodstained military leaders like Norman Schwarzkopf and that arch-liar Colin Powell. She says that if she traveled abroad, she would love to have Powell as a “buddy”. She is infamous for her fawning and groveling manner.

    However, when it came to interviewing the President of Syria, she tried to come across as an interrogator. Unfortunately for her, besides not having prepared properly, she is not nearly as sharp intellectually as her interlocutor….

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    5 days ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    5 days ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    1 week ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    1 week ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    1 week ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
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    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    2 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive
    Dale Nimmo, Charles Sturt University Have you ever wondered how our native wildlife manage to stay alive when an inferno is ripping through their homes, and afterwards when there is little to eat and nowhere to hide? The answer is adaptation and old-fashioned ingenuity. Australia’s bushfire season is far from ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Should I ditch my fossil-fueled car?
    Yes. Reducing the number of cars in your household, or switching from petrol/diesel to electric, will dramatically reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s one of the easiest and highest-impact climate steps you can take. New Zealand is being flooded with cars The New Zealand vehicle fleet is increasing rapidly. In ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
    This interview with Quentin Crisp is part of a series of articles republished from Planet, the independent magazine I edited in the early 90s from a base at 309 Karangahape Road, along with Grant Fell, Rachael Churchward, Fiona Rae, David Teehan, Mere Ngailevu and others.Inevitably, you forget things, and over ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
    Supply Side How are we doing with CO2 emissions? It's an important question, increasingly posed to a mixed bag of CO2 contributors who may or may not provide accurate reportage. Liu et al present a new, additional means of measurement based on satellite observations of nitrogen dioxide co-emitted from ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
    There’s a meme going around the Internet at the moment claiming that Donald Trump is a bit of an idiot. To outside eyes it does seem as though the President of the United States thumbs his nose at his own countries laws and administration far too often to be taken ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Is the prostitute the seller or the sold?
    Excerpts from Being and Being Bought, by Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Spinifex Press, 2013. Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book. This is the third part of a synopsis and brief commentary of the book by Daphna Whitmore. Part 1 was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • The climate crisis is also a biodiversity crisis
    Dr Andrea Byrom Like many of us, the summer break has seen me transfixed with horror at the scale and magnitude of the bushfire crisis in Australia. As an ecologist, I can’t help but be appalled at the loss of some of Australia’s most beautiful ecosystems and landscapes. And ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Apathy in the face of disaster
    Warning: This article contains topics that might trigger right wing snowflakes!Unless you’ve had your head buried in a billabong for the last four months you’d of heard about the Australian bush fires. The fires have been unprecedented, with approximately five million hectares (12.35 million acres) of land burned nationwide. More ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Jeremy Clarkson – God is an arsonist
    You've really got to wonder if Jeremy Clarkson is worshiping the right deity? I mean thinking that Australia is somehow deserving of the calamity that has befallen it in the form of unprecedented bush fires is one thing, but claiming God intentionally likes to cause people and animals immeasurable pain ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour opposes leisure
    Finland's new Prime Minister has made headlines by pushing for a 4-day week. So what does new Zealand's "centre-left" government think? Nope. They'd rather people kept working themselves into misery and death:The Government does not plan to follow Finland's lead to encourage businesses to offer staff a four-day week. [...] ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Who’s afraid of the non-native accent? Everyone … unless you tell them about it
    As someone who learnt English late-ish in life, I was always on the look-out for signs which betray my foreignness, afraid that my clumsy mispronunciation or syntactic misalignment will give away my outsider status. And for once, sadly, my worries were well-founded it seems. It’s bad, prejudice is rife! In ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    3 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    4 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    5 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    6 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    7 days ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    1 week ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
    New Zealand First MP Darroch Ball says that a paramedic being kicked unconscious last night in an attempted burglary in Warkworth, north of Auckland, is a symptom of a larger problem. "Incidents like this are becoming more and more frequent...and it’s getting worse," Mr Ball said. The MP is pushing for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
    Defence Minister Ron Mark said there was nothing to prevent similar large-scale bushfires seen in Australia from also happening in New Zealand, and has asked the New Zealand Defence Force to conduct a nfire risk assessment from a defence point of view. The defence assessment would help prevent a disaster ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Defence Minister Mark expresses “absolute confidence” in NZDF forces stationed in Iraq
    While feeling worried about increased Middle East tensions, Defence Minister Ron Mark said he had "absolute confidence" in New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) leadership. His statements come as the fate of Kiwi troops stationed in Iraq comes under intense scrutiny. Forty-five Defence Force personnel were thought to be in the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • ‘No Body, No Parole’ Bill is pointless dog-whistling
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order National MP Tim Macindoe Member’s Bill, Concealment of Location of Victim Remains Bill does not do what he claims. The Bill specifies a requirement for the Parole Board to only “consider” denying parole if an offender refuses to disclose the location of the body. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Hon. Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
    As Kiwi kids and teachers return to classrooms over the coming weeks, the families of around 428,000 students will feel a bit less of a financial pinch than in previous years, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The Government’s decision to increase funding for schools that don’t ask parents for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
    Public health staff will begin meeting flights from China from tomorrow, to actively look for signs of the novel coronavirus and provide advice, information and reassurance to passengers. Health Minister Dr David Clark says the additional measures are being taken following the arrival of the disease in Australia, via flights ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • National Yearling Sales 2020
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Government and construction industry to build big, lift productivity with Transformation Plan
    Delivering the workforce and productivity gains required to build the houses, schools, roads, rail and hospitals New Zealand needs will become easier with the Government-industry Construction Sector Transformation Plan launched today, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. “The action plan launched today delivers on the Government’s Construction Sector ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
    Log trains are about to start running between Wairoa and Napier following Provincial Growth Fund investment to reopen the rail line, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The Government invested $6.2 million to reopen the mothballed rail line which was closed after significant storm damage in 2012. “With PGF ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark met with United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper today. “This was an excellent opportunity to meet with one of our closest security partners,” Ron Mark said. “The main focus of the meeting was to discuss challenges that New Zealand and the United States share ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today acknowledged the ruling of the International Court of Justice in relation to the Rohingya people in Myanmar. The ruling ordered the Government of Myanmar to take all measures within its power to prevent the commission of acts of genocide in relation to members of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
    A proposal to cut “trade and production-distorting subsidies” in the agricultural sector by 2030 has set out important measures to ensure a fair agricultural trading system.  Speaking after attending meetings of trade ministers in Davos, Switzerland, Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker welcomed the joint proposal from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is delighted that PHARMAC has struck a provisional deal to fund Kalydeco – a medicine which is set to improve the quality of life for about 30 New Zealand children and adults with cystic fibrosis. “While rare, cystic fibrosis is an awful inherited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
    New Zealand has regained its position as the least corrupt country in the world for the second time under this Coalition Government, says Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealanders can be proud that our reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world has been restored,” says Andrew ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
    Community conservation in Rēkohu/Wharekauri/the Chatham Islands is receiving a boost, with grants to support local projects announced today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Rēkohu/Wharekauri/ the Chatham Islands are home to 20 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened bird species and 11 per cent of New Zealand’s threatened plant species. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More people getting into work
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
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  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
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