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Open mike 13/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, January 13th, 2015 - 293 comments
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openmikeThe Authors of The Standard are now in holiday mode. Posting will be less regular and dependant on individual author enthusiasm.

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

293 comments on “Open mike 13/01/2015 ”

  1. (one for those still deluding themselves that dairy will ‘get better’..)

    “..Dairy farmers payment delayed – as milk becomes cheaper than water – more and more UK dairy farms on the brink of collapse…

    ..Largest dairy firm First Milk delays payments to farmers –

    – as global glut cuts price of four-pint carton to £1..”

    (cont..)

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/12/dairy-farmers-go-unpaid-milk-becomes-cheaper-than-water

    ..and i see there has been a plunge in the price the punters in the u.k. have to pay for their milk..

    ..has this happened here..?

    ..(i dunno..i don’t use the stuff..but going on that industrys’ long history of self-centred/self-interested behaviour/mores..(fuck the environment..!..being just one example..)..i doubt it..eh..?..)

    ..and/but seriously..!..

    ..those iwi who are pouring their treaty-settlement money into dairy catch-up..

    ..will find they have missed the bus..all the white-gold times are over..

    ..it’s now global-market-glut time..and will stay that way for the forseeable future..

    ..and those iwi are just pouring their treaty-settlement monies down the drain..

    ..i wish someone wd warn/tell them..

    • millsy 1.1

      And just wait till the Chinese, Mongolians, Russians and Kazakhs start producing milk on their vast steppes for a fraction of the NZ price and at a greater volume, simply railing it all out to Europe. Using our farming methods (and possibly some of our farmers).

      • phillip ure 1.1.1

        aye..!

        ..i didn’t mention that..all of those..like the iwi are doing..

        ..chasing what is fools-gold..(sth american countries too..)

        ..as u say..there are more and more coming on-stream…

        ..and the global-glut..is only going to get worse and worse..

        ..our dairy-industry is a bubble..and will burst…

        ..soon..

        ..now..u can believe that..or u can believe that guy from the milk-industry..

        ..in his total denial of these realities..

        ..and with his false-promises of ‘happy days here again – soon’..

        ..who ya gonna believe..?..all those international experts saying it’s only going to get worse..

        ..or the milk-pimp from fed-farmers..?

        ..(there will be a lot of very cheap rural land..soon..which i welcome..

        ..as i hope more people will return to the land..and will make/grow real food..)

          • phillip ure 1.1.1.1.1

            yeah..i saw/featured that one..v.good..

            ..and i hafta say..the explosion in mainstreaming of what for so long has been considered fringe/wacky..

            ..is cheering..

            .change can/does happen..

          • Clemgeopin 1.1.1.1.2

            Meat is the enemy: large-scale meat production is thought to contribute as much as 22 per cent of annual greenhouse gases

            That surprised me. For some countries or per country or total for the planet?

            Anyway, that means, 78% of greenhouse gases primarily come from industrial and motor vehicle pollutions. It is the required reduction for these two areas that is the big problem.

            • phillip ure 1.1.1.1.2.1

              unusual environmental-fact..

              ..if we all stopped eating animals and their bye-products..

              ..and we all stopped mowing our lawns..

              ..we wd be well down the road to environmental-sanity..

              ..(to do my bit/walk-the-walk..i abstain from chowing-down on animal-bits/bye-products..and i have not mowed my lawns for about five yrs..

              ..i cd do a whole essay on that..future-lawn-management..)

              ..all i’ll say is the birds/butterflies like/love what i have done..

              ..and vote with their presence..

              ..and in that time my obsessive crewcut-lawn neighbour..

              ..has done about 250 mows..

              ..and has/gets very little bird/butterfly action..

              ..just a bit of spill-over..)

        • Murray Rawshark 1.1.1.2

          I doubt if there will be a lot of cheap rural land as long as it can be sold to foreigners. There will be a lot owned by the banks, but plenty of rich foreigners will line up to buy a piece of Newzild. We are so small and desirable that the price won’t go down much.

          Iwi who spent on dairy conversions are the ones who will be hit hardest. It’s hard to see how the tangata will hang onto their whenua. We’ll be seeing quite a few more rawakore, I’d say.

      • tc 1.1.2

        Watch for their eroding it here, once that big factory at Pokeno that can be seen from SH1 gets proven they intend 20 more around NZ I hear.

        • millsy 1.1.2.1

          I was passing by there in the weekend and saw that factory with the Chinese characters on it. Made me feel uneasy.

      • Gosman 1.1.3

        Why would the Chinese, Mongolians, Russians, and Kazakhs start producing milk if it isn’t profitable to do so at the moment?

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3.1

          Possibly because they’re not as stupid as you and understand that lack of profit isn’t a good enough reason not to feed their people.

          • Gosman 1.1.3.1.1

            Except the Russians and Chinese have been less than effective at feeding their citizens over the past 50 odd years. We on the other hand have been much better at it.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.3.1.1.1

              In which they probably learned that not feeding their citizenry is bad and now they’re learning from us.

              You RWNJs seem to be determined to believe that nothing changes while everything changes around you.

              • Gosman

                Au contraire. Free market capitalism is predicated on the idea of constant change. It is left wing ideology that seems to take the view of ‘Stop the world. I want to get off’

                • CATMAN

                  This from someone who appears to reject the very existence of time:

                  “Why would the Chinese, Mongolians, Russians, and Kazakhs start producing milk if it isn’t profitable to do so at the moment?”

                  Amazing.

                  • Gosman

                    Ummm.. You are aware of the concept of business planning aren’t you? This is usually based on current market conditions. Hence people are unlikely to invest if the current market conditions are unfavourable UNLESS there is strong evidence to suggest they will improve markedly in the future. PhilU certainly doesn’t think they will improve anytime soon and in fact seems to believe they will get worse.

                    • CATMAN

                      whoosh

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You are aware of the concept of business planning aren’t you? This is usually based on current market conditions.

                      Only if, like you, the person doing the planning is a fucken moron.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  That’s complete and utter BS. It’s the capitalists that keep demanding stability in the market while the left keep demanding change.

                  • Gosman

                    Care to explain how the concept of Creative destruction isn’t vital for free market capitalism?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      How about you care to show that it’s actually implemented?

                      Because the evidence is that such Creative destruction is prevented at major cost to tax payers. But, hey, the rich got to stay rich and that’s all that matters right?

                    • CATMAN

                      The astute reader will notice that Gosman only wants to discuss what capitalists say while others are discussing what capitalists do.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Care to explain how the concept of Creative destruction isn’t vital for free market capitalism?

                      you’ve got to be kidding. Oligarchs will threaten and hold the state hostage in order to access tax payer bail outs to prevent such a thing.

                      Financial system bail-ins are next up.

                      Only small and medium businesses belonging to ordinary people are allowed to go bust.

                    • Gosman

                      And that is why I’m opposed to the idea of crony capitalism. I admit the world isn’t perfect but that is why we have politics.

            • tricledrown 1.1.3.1.1.2

              Goosy while they have improved we have decline.
              How ever we have got better at feeding the Chinese and Russian’s we have got worse a feeding our Children!

        • tricledrown 1.1.3.2

          The Russians have pulled out,China has’nt enough land to feed its people but their govt has enough money to cut out th middle men i.e. NZ companies profit.
          Moving product out of New Zealand to China where all the profit will be made!
          National Primary production target is heading in the same direction as mining and Pike river.
          So Goose Stepper No concern about the 14 Dairy farmers dying and many others in Hospital from failed
          attempts!This is the Coal face of your untamed poorly mamaged fre market.
          So your other pathetic argument that the money the farms ate sold for will be reinvested!
          Bankruptcy means their will be no money for reinvestment,and longterm thinkers like command and control economies pick up these assets for next to nothing extracting all the wealth from the short term thinking fundamentalist economic bean brained bean counters!
          Goose of who you are disciple of this cult,Cargo Cult.
          Brighter future Orivida insider trading seems to ne the only way forward for the Dairy Industry!

    • Some of us did warn them phil but, well… I just wish, if they had to do it, they had gone organic small scale sustainable, I wish they had left the river alone and repaired the land after the pine forests had gone. But they went a different way and all of the iwi are implicated now. The propaganda around dairy is persuasive and I bet there are new people, yesterday and today, getting into dairy farming, walking over the gravestones of those who came before to get the bargains – such is life in nz.

      • phillip ure 1.2.1

        i find it really fucken depressing..really..

        ..how after all that struggle..

        ..the pittances that were given for so much..

        ..will disappear in these follies..

        ..esp. when basic research will clearly paint this outcome..

        • marty mars 1.2.1.1

          yep but within iwi there are the good, bad and ugly like in any group. The long game will prevail and those that followed the rainbow for the pot of gold will fall out of favour as the reality of the slow descent kicks in (if it hasn’t already). I’d like to believe that many of the old ways and values will become very valuable into the future especially around creating community and connection.

          • phillip ure 1.2.1.1.1

            i don’t pretend to know anything about how iwi-politics work..

            ..but the observation u make also applies to areas i know a bit more about..

            ..there will be much hoisting on own petards..

            ..in most areas of endeavours..

            ..and you got more than a taste of that from that excellent doco on the environment made by alister barry..that screened on maori tv recently..

            ..there you saw all the shitbags/usual-suspects indicted by/on their own words..

            ..as they lined up to gloat over their victories against any moves towards cleaning up our act..

            ..and key/groser etc are guaranteed their places in the history books..

            ,.as the villains of the piece/in the rogues gallery of those who knew..and were in a position to lead/drive change..

            ..and who did nothing..

            ,,and worse….

    • Gosman 1.3

      If this is accurate (which I strongly believe it isn’t) then it provides a good case why NZ should be happy if more dairy farms are sold to offshore interests. The previous owners can use the capital freed up to invest in more profitable enterprises.

      • phillip ure 1.3.1

        let’s start at line one..

        ..and u tell us how this is ‘not accurate’..eh..?

      • Psycho Milt 1.3.2

        Well, it’s accurate in the sense that there is a worldwide surplus of dairy production (to some extent caused by tit-for-tat economic sanctions between the EU/US and Russia), and that’s rendering it currently unprofitable.

        It’s not accurate in the sense of Phil’s pronouncements of doom for the dairy industry, which are products of wishful thinking more than anything else. The reality will be more like what you’d expect – a lot of people will get out of dairy because it’s currently unprofitable, supply will fall and suddenly dairying will be profitable again.

        • phillip ure 1.3.2.1

          r.u. channeling the milk-pimp from fed-farmers..?

          i repeat..the global-glut will only get worse for the next five yrs..(that rag the econmist made that prediction..)

          ..and i haven’t even gone near the other factors..meat/dairy being increasingly linked to the specific-cancers that we have world-beating rates of..

          ..and the rise of healthy/environmentally light-footed-milk..that to the consumer..will be indistinguishable from the cow-version..(and won’t need chilling..and will be cheaper to make/purchase..

          ..however way u look at it..dairy is fucked..

          ..yes..there will be some left after the shake-out..

          ..but dairys’ day of being the behemoth in our economy..

          ..is fast drawing to a close..

          • Psycho Milt 1.3.2.1.1

            i repeat..the global-glut will only get worse for the next five yrs..(that rag the econmist made that prediction..)

            Well, yes, Phil. Large-scale industries don’t turn on a dime. People getting out of dairying because it’s unprofitable will take a while. After which, prices go up again and it becomes profitable again. Commodity production is a bitch.

            ..and i haven’t even gone near the other factors..meat/dairy being increasingly linked to the specific-cancers that we have world-beating rates of..

            And I appreciate you not going near it, as it’s another example of wishful thinking trumping rational thought.

            ..and the rise of healthy/environmentally light-footed-milk..that to the consumer..will be indistinguishable from the cow-version..(and won’t need chilling..and will be cheaper to make/purchase..

            Leaving aside the fact that “healthy” milk is just milk that’s free of dangerous bacteria, and is therefore a term that applies to all pasteurised milk in this country, the question of whether your work skills will become superseded by something different is one that everyone who actually works for a living has to take into account.

            .but dairys’ day of being the behemoth in our economy..

            ..is fast drawing to a close..

            Well, a bit more diversification would certainly be a good thing.

            • phillip ure 1.3.2.1.1.1

              can’t be fucked doing this with you all over again..

              ..the archives will have the previous exchange..

              ..save to say by ‘healthy’ milk..

              ..i mean milk that is not cancer-causing..yes..

              ..but also the manufacture of such does not fuck over the environment as the cow-model does..

        • RedLogix 1.3.2.2

          Yeah – commodity markets can be brutal but they do work like that. And that item the other day referring to the 14 or so dairy farmers who have committed suicide this year (plus more who attempted it) puts a very real face on that brutality.

          Which only adds to the argument for diversifying the NZ economy and reducing (not eliminating) our dependence on raw milk powder.

      • tricledrown 1.3.3

        Goose so where does the lost capital value of the Dairy farm go.
        Many Dairy farms are facing bankruptcy,now on top of low prices drought conditions are exasperating already difficult situations.
        Many farmers have committed suicide with large numbers in hospitals having injuries from
        failed attempts.
        This is an industry which had been in crisis for a long time.
        Some what like Pike river poor management free market it’ll be right no worries mate attitude you displaying in your comment Gooseman!
        The Bull market in dairying is over for dairying.
        This govt’s hands off approach is now why we have another disaster!
        from water management,to botulism scare(which destroyed 90% of our value added baby formula exports to China except for Orivida).
        National have fucked up again!
        No one else is to blame.
        Cost cutting bean brained bean counters!
        Nick Smith looking after his dairy farming brother in Canterbury by taking over Ecan.
        Allowing unbridled expansion of Dairying on the Canterbury plains when their was never going to be enough water!
        Nationals economic strategy pander to its mates!
        No research base plan the market will deliver!
        well the market has failed again!
        The Brighter future is pure Bullshit goosey!

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.4

        The previous owners can use the capital freed up to invest in more profitable enterprises.</bloc

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.5

        The previous owners can use the capital freed up to invest in more profitable enterprises.

        This is part of the delusion of the financial system.

        No capital is freed up. The land and machinery stays where it is.

        The only thing that will happen is that there will be more money created and we will lose control of a little bit more of our country taking us further down the Road to Serfdom.

        • Gosman 1.3.5.1

          Ummm… no.

          If I own a farm and it’s value is 1 million dollars and I sell to someone else for that value I now have 1 million dollars to do as I wish.

          • tricledrown 1.3.5.1.1

            Goose stepper your argument is Bankrupt,you are not facing Bankruptcy.

            • Gosman 1.3.5.1.1.1

              People do not just sell businesses because they are facing bankruptcy. The recent proposed sale of farmland to the Chinese that was made an issue during the election is an example of this. The owners wished to sell the farm/s and invest the released capital in another area.

              • tricledrown

                So why did a majority of Federatef farmers oppose!
                China doesn’t play by anyones rules but its own.
                And when they own everything no profit will be made in New Zealand it will only be made in China.
                China is a longterm thinking Nation command and control economy!
                NZ is shorterm thinking(like yourself)
                Lead by promises empty promises like the brighter future.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.3.5.1.2

            But the land and machinery are still exactly as they were and will probably be worked by the same people, ergo, no capital has been released.

            The reality you don’t seem to have grasped is if there’s any other capital that can be used. You have $1m dollars but that doesn’t mean that there’s any resources around for you to use. This is what’s driving inflation. Lots of money being created by the private banks while there’s ever decreasing amount of resources to spend that money on.

            As I’ve said, the present financial system promotes delusion and pretty much everything you say is proof of that.

            • Gosman 1.3.5.1.2.1

              Intellectual capital is a resource. Not realising this is the main reason communism fails as a practical construct.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Actually, communism does recognise intellectual capability. Interestingly enough, it’s capitalism that doesn’t or, to be more precise, it refuses to accept that the majority of people also have intellect and not just a few.

                But even that piece of sophistry doesn’t actually save your assertion that selling the farm frees up capital. The farm and the people who work there are still there and still being used.

                • Gosman

                  Marx’s labour theory of value totally ignores the place intellectual capabilities plays in increasing the value of goods/services.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_capital#Marxist_analysis
                    http://www.marxist.com/intellectual-property-rights221105.htm

                    Really, you’re so fucken ignorant.

                    As I said up thread – things change. Communism has evolved since Marx’s day.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Marx’s labour theory of value totally ignores the place intellectual capabilities plays in increasing the value of goods/services.

                    Even Steve Keen agrees that Marx’s labour theory of value is now nonsense in the modern day.

                    Of course where Marx remains spot on is that unfettered capitalism is a revolutionary force which will sweep all of society before it.

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    No it doesn’t. Someone who didn’t have a clue about Marxist economics could leave it out, but you could also forget to put petrol in your car.
                    It shouldn’t worry you even if Marxism did leave out intellectual capabilities, Gooseman, because you don’t exactly have a lot.

                    • Goosman is a joke.
                      CV is looking for answers but up the wrong tree.

                      The idea that the labour theory of value, or the law of value (value equals the socially necessary labour time required to produce it) no longer applies because of ‘intellectual’ labour is nonsense. Tell that to IT workers. Just because your brain manipulates electronic 0’s and 1’s instead of shovels to create a digital product this is no less a commodity requiring socially necessary labour time. The capitalist pays the IT worker to produce a commodity and a sales person to sell it (Trademe) both of which contribute to its value.

                      However, the banker who loans you the money to buy something does not contribute to its value. Nor do the banking workers employed to circulate money add value. Insurance that employs workers to take money off you to reduce risk does not add value. It just pretends to be able to keep the wobbling wheels of commerce on track. Financiers who buy existing commodities such as houses, barrels of oil and futures (a form of insurance) and then speculate on their price do not add value.

                      Only the labour-power that creates the commodity adds value, more than its own value, and hence creates surplus-value, which is appropriated by capital. Money capital advanced to finance plant and raw materials to put labour power to work does not add value. It buys existing values from previous production cycles which value is remains constant through the production process.

                      Money that cannot be exchanged for value has no value. Marx called this ‘fictitious capital’. The rise of fictitious capital is inversely related to the production of value. Recessions and depressions are a reflex of the system to devalue capital until the the production of value by labour power is sufficient to return a surplus over invested capital.

                      So Steve Keen is not discovering anything new about too much money chasing too few goods. He is a radical Keynesian who describes effects rather than explain causes. Michael Roberts has written several articles that explain why Keen is missing the truth about how capitalism works.

                      The essential point he makes is that the GFC and the current Long Depression capitalism is experiencing cannot be overcome until sufficient excess capital is destroyed to restore an acceptable rate of profit.

                      None of this can be explained without the LTV and law of value.

                      https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/paul-krugman-steve-keen-and-the-mysticism-of-keynesian-economics/

      • Murray Rawshark 1.3.6

        The previous owners? Australian banks? That’s who effectively owns a shitload of land now and will be calling in the debts soon enough.

    • The Murphey 1.4

      Q. Who remembers when food prices used to be impacted by the price of oil ? Petrol prices went up and down along with manufacturing and transport costs as inputs into the food prices does not seem to be as aligned these days does it ?

      • miravox 1.4.1

        Well the answer to that comes from my old Econ101 lecturer – when input reduce in price “Prices are sticky in a downward direction”.

  2. a heads-up..! to our planners/investors/depts of innovation..etc..etc..

    ..i dunno if they have noticed..but first tesla..and now toyota..have made all their ‘green’ automotive inventions patent-free…

    ..this to encourage other countries/companies to innovate at will..using those inventions as they choose..

    ..now..if i had the resources..i wd hire people to burrow into those patents/inventions..

    ..to see if there was any way niche/major industries could be developed here..

    ..and if you marry that with the aluminium smelter here producing the high-grade aluminium that car-makers are increasingly turning to..

    ..it seems to me to be a field of opportunity..

    ..(and an important sub-text..i think there wd be now..and this increasing with time..much more of a public-mood to support such local industries..

    ..(how about aluminium/lite-weight electric-bikes..?..as just one possibility to be explored..?..

    ..and we don’t have just our market..australia is just over the ditch..

    ..and the rest of the world is gagging for smart/clever/green ideas/products..

    ..and this is only going to get more so..)

  3. Anne 3

    Benjamin Netanyahu was not invited to the C.H. marches but showed up anyway. Hollande was furious and made his feelings known at a synagogue church service.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11385555

    • karol 3.1

      Oh. Dear. And too many nation-state leaders are trying to get in on the populist, media fueled responses to the attacks in France. What a nightmare.

      This article from anti-war.com on “the march of the hypocrites”

      What a muddle.

      That politicians would steal the spotlight and turn the sincere outrage of millions into an opportunity for self-advertisement is hardly surprising. Sincerity has its uses, however, and these will become apparent in the days and weeks to come. Those marchers will soon be cheering their soldiers as they go marching off to war, with “Je suis Charlie” inscribed on their banners.

      The target? Syria, where “links” have been found between the Paris attacks and the self-proclaimed “Caliphate”of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

      The west continues to interfere in the Middle East, stirring up conflicts internationally.

      The Islamic State has been trying to provoke a major military response from the Western powers for months now, executing American journalists and aid workers and posting videos of the executions on the Internet, but so far the US has reacted with caution. So they resorted to attacking the West on its own soil, and now the chorus of voices calling for an all-out invasion of Syria will become deafening, drowning out all reason.

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1

        Witnesses said that the Charlie gunmen said they were from Al Qaeda in Yemen. Al Qaeda and ISIS do not like each other. Yemen and Syria do not share borders. Al Qaeda in Syria opposes ISIS and the west has been helping them do so, after treating Al Qaeda as the enemy in previous years.

        Basically this is the west’s ongoing FUBAR in the Middle East.

      • Rosie 3.1.2

        There was something kind of nauseating and sad about seeing leaders showing up for a march of fake sincerity. Even if individual leaders did privately feel genuine empathy towards France as a country in mourning and for the victims themselves, the PR opportunity was too good too miss. Just a matter of brushing aside the issue of double standards and hypocrisy.

        Great article thanks karol.

        PS: The bulk of the text from the article has gone missing on the second view. I had wanted to highlight what an excellent summary the author gave, regarding terrorism and surveillance, in the post 9/11 world.

        • RedLogix 3.1.2.1

          To be fair – NOT showing up was probably not an option for them either. (Apart from Netanyahu’s bizarro performance that is.)

          Any nation is a complex of inconsistencies, contradictions and hypocrisies and it’s fine to be pointing at them. But at the same time – not attending would have inevitably been seen as snub carrying it’s own symbolic baggage as well.

          That’s probably at least one reason why Hollande was so keen to see Netanyahu stay away – to keep the focus on an act of solidarity and mourning for the C.H. tragedy. Other matters could wait for another day.

          • Rosie 3.1.2.1.1

            “To be fair – NOT showing up was probably not an option for them either. (Apart from Netanyahu’s bizarro performance that is.)”

            That’s a fair point RL, especially in the case of close countries, neighbours like Germany.

            But it’s hard not to be suspicious of the motivations. It goes beyond diplomatic courtesy when the cast of attendees are guilty of suppression of the free speech of their own citizens and journalists. Those leaders and foreign Ministers again:

            The state of freedom of the press in the world in a series of tweets

            The very act they are condemning by marching in “solidarity” with the French, they are guilty of themselves The other side of that diplomatic courtesy coin is hypocrisy.

            They show a united front because it’s advantageous for them to do so. They get kudos for it, or at least aim to.

            • Olwyn 3.1.2.1.1.1

              They also seem to have seized the chance to frame the narrative around freedom of speech. It is all about the right to offend people, but as to the right to actually inform them, or to fundamentally challenge the current system, well that’s different.

        • weka 3.1.2.2

          “There was something kind of nauseating and sad about seeing leaders showing up for a march of fake sincerity”

          I agree Rosie, and I spent a good day completely gobsmacked by it. Thinking something different today. I think that photo that’s doing the rounds, je suis hypocrite, where the leaders are all lined up is potent. It’s the epitome of what’s not working globally and je suis hypocrite is much easier to understand than complex international relations and differing foreign policies. Now everyone can see our world leaders for what they really are. None of them are exempt. The whole tragedy and aftermath has the feel of a tipping point and that those leaders at that rally is an icon for change.

    • Rosie 3.2

      Such stunning arrogance. Even the commentators from the Israeli newspaper were embarrassed at his pushy behaviour.

    • Chch_Chiquita 3.3

      You can count on Netanyahu to not miss an opportunity to score some points for the coming election. His party almost went down the drain in the previous election, and it was only because of the partnership with the even more extremist Liberman that he is PM. He will do anything to keep his seat, and what happened in Paris has fallen to his hands like a ripe fruit. He needs a new spin to rally the fear from Islam as a cover for not addressing any of the urgent issues Israel is facing and for his extreme neo-liberal policies.
      Good to see Haaretz is not letting him off the hook, as they always do, though I have already read comments on social media calling to use the Paris method against their Journalists in order to silence them.

    • The Murphey 3.4

      Q. How does the Israel/Palestine situation not have anything to to with what happened in France in a macro sense ?

      That Hollande would seek to silo the Paris incident and yet still seek solidarity with multiple war criminals and savages (himself being part of the problem) leading the mourning march is hypocrisy in the extreme

      They all have blood on their hands and used the Paris events and march for their own self aggrandizement

  4. Skinny 4

    Phil your on fire, a good read to start my day, may going fishing let’s hope the fishing gods are feeling generous today.

    If rip off Fonterra don’t drop the price we are paying someone should start importing that cheap UK milk and undercut them here. They were quick to quote locally we pay World market price when it was high and now spin the New Zealand domestic market is a different market with higher production costs etc. Crooks and thieves & polluters.

  5. CATMAN 5

    Thoughts on morality, judgement, and personal responsibility in the latest episode of the egonomist; http://theegonomist.co.nz/?p=2808

    Ties in with these ideas expressed by sam harriss; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCofmZlC7

    Short version; the science suggests you’re not making the decisions you think you are (if you’re even ‘thinking’ at all) and neither is anyone else (if there’s even such a thing as any’one’ else.)

    There’s also a bit about poo.

  6. The lost sheep 6

    Stacy (Age 7) Reviews ‘The Standard’ for Homework.

    This wuz a really edukashional blog daddy showd me and i learnd heaps of stuff from it that will make me a beter citizn of the worled.

    I founded out that it is wrong to juge all peeple of 1 beleaf just becuze of the actionz of sum nauty peeplz [who do mean stuff like killin peeple who draw an tieing bombz to girlz} or to lump a hole lot of peeplz of 1 beleaf togetha into a lump and call them namez and stuff and like HATE them and want bad thingz to hapen to them just becuze th nauty ones look a little bit like sum of th other peeplz and say they beleaf in the same thingz even tho that is a ly and will get thm in troubel with there mummys an god.

    I also founded out that ther is a excepshon to this rul and they is peeplz who beleaf in Rite Wing.
    There brainz are smalla than Lefwing peeplz, and all they thnk about is bean sellfish an wot thye want for chrisxmas an how thye can tak monie off poor peeplz an controll th hole worled and eat meat an othr animalz like our pet lams.
    Especshily, thye like to hide under bridgz an tr**ll Lefwin blogz an bee pri minista an be wales and reel eval stuff like that.

    Mummy said if i wuz doin a reeview i should do sum critizim, like daddy always dos with wot she sayz. So i askt daddy y god an Lefwin sayz to lov evrybody as reel peeplz, but itz oakay to hate all Rite Wing peeplz like thye are zombees with there brainz cut out.

    daddy said it is only a apperent contrdikshion an it is ok to hate peeplz you KNO are eval.

    Mummy said somethin about that to daddy tha made him grumpie rite thro Shorlan Stret an mummy said he had drank to many bears an then mummy told me that tomoro she will tech me bout hippocrocracee.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      🙄

      …and then the strawman fallacy.

      • The lost sheep 6.1.1

        Modus operandi for you today then OAB. A derivative one liner instead of tackling the point head on.

        • phillip ure 6.1.1.1

          and that ‘point’ is..?

          • The lost sheep 6.1.1.1.1

            Obvious.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Just saying you’re the only one talking about hating people.

              • The lost sheep

                You’ve never noticed any hatred or prejudice or cheap stereo typing of a generalised ‘Right Wing enemy’ on this site OAB?

                You haven’t been paying attention obviously.
                They are less intelligent? Now who said that….
                And if someone said that about Muslims for instance, would it be considered racist hate speak?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Well, yesterday, I called attention to one of the authors of Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes, Gordon Hodson, criticising such extreme conclusions.

                  Is that what you mean?

                  • The lost sheep

                    It’s a bit of self contained satire and you can interpret it as a dig at you if you like, or any other way for that matter.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s not me writing about how Stacey (Age 7) misinterprets things. I blame her parents 😉

                • rightwing politics are attacked here..

                  ..if u want personalised attacks/hate’..

                  ..i suggest u head to the rightwing-versions of this place..

                  ..personally..i find it hate to declare ‘hatred’ for anyone..

                  ..it is such a major-step/commitment..

                  ..it’s either that..or a throwaway..signifying little beyond cliched-bluster..

                  • RedLogix

                    The unreasoning hatred is seen rampaging out of control on the right-wing blogs. Been on the wrong end of it a few times.

                    Here we make the bold claim that ‘we are not like that’.

                    But while we don’t do hatred like the right – we aren’t immune to it’s more subtle forms. People aren’t stupid, they see that and call it arrogance and hypocrisy.

                    And in many ways they see this as the greater of the offenses.

                  • northshoredoc

                    🙄

                    • yr thoughts on this one..?…doc..?

                      “..Jade no longer a ‘floppy noodle’ – thanks to medical cannabis..

                      ..For the first time in her life – 7-year-old Jade Guest is holding on to her mother – giggling – and smiling every day.

                      It’s all thanks to a controversial plant – and a 7000-kilometre journey that’s torn the Guest family apart.

                      Kiwi-born Brendan Guest and American wife Jessika settled in Whangarei in 2013 –

                      – but late last year Jessika returned to Colorado with their children Jade – then 6 – and Ethan 8 –

                      – in a bid to get medicinal cannabis to treat Jade’s worsening epilepsy..”

                      (cont..)

                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/64903058/jade-no-longer-a-floppy-noodle-thanks-to-medical-cannabis

                    • northshoredoc

                      @phil

                      The comment from the NZMA spokesperson sums up my position pretty well.

                      ‘Dr Kate Baddock, chairwoman of the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) general practitioner council, says that broadly speaking, the association would support research into whether cannabinoids were beneficial.

                      Overseas research, while “tantalising”, has a lot of gaps, she says.

                      “Most would suggest the research is not as robust as one would like,” she says.

                      The NZMA considers that cannabis may be of use to patients with HIV and cancer-related wasting, chemotherapy-induced nausea, chronic pain and those with neurological disorders including epilepsy.’

                    • i’m asking you to comment on that specific-case..

                      ..(not to hide behind yr association spokesperson..(!)

                      ..the case of that child going from 90 seizures a day..to five a day..and ‘coming back to life’ as a child..having a life..

                      ..and more fucken research..(!)..is yr answer to her/their plea..?

                      ..we have to reinvent the wheel..do we..?

                      ..and how many more yrs of prohibition to do that..?

                      ..what bullshit..!..from yr spokesperson..and you..

                      ..how many more yrs do you reckon that child should have to suffer..

                      ..before being offered that salve here..?

                      ..and before you start..none of yr pills/potions worked on/for her..

                      ..c’mon..!..how many more yrs should this child..and all the others..have to wait..until you have dotted all yr ‘i’s..

                      ..and crossed all yr’t’s..

                      ..eh..?

                      ..and cd u explain how u ..and yr spokesperson..both purporting to be ‘healers’..

                      ..can/could justify the witholding of what is clearly an effective medicine..from this child..?

                      ..to me that isn’t healing..

                      ..that is fucken cruelty..and medical negligence..and an abrogation of the hippocratic-oath you both took..

                      ..u tell me how it is not..?

                      ..and if not that..u r both just being slaves to this reactionary political-attitude..

                      ..letting that over-ride what u know..

                      ..i dunno which is worse..

                      ..and if ur spokesperson..and you..believe in all those possible benefits from medical cannabis..

                      ..why aren’t u both agitating for prohibition to end..?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I value your contributions here, Northshoredoc, despite the noise.

                    • northshoredoc

                      I am no more able to comment on this case than if I was the person in questions Dr.

                      In relation to your comment relating to “dotting the i’s” this is the purview of Medsafe(MoH) not the NZMA.

                    • “..I am no more able to comment on this case than if I was the person in questions Dr…”

                      bullshit..!..u r quite able to ‘comment’..esp what i am asking about..namely the witholding of a proven salve..i am not asking u for a diagnosis of her..stop being so fucken obtuse..

                      ..just answer a straight-question..why can’t ya..?

                      “..In relation to your comment relating to “dotting the i’s” this is the purview of Medsafe(MoH) not the NZMA…”

                      ..gee..thanks for clarifying that for us..

                      ..and why will you not answer what i ask..?

                      ..if u..and yr spokesperson really believe what u say u do..

                      ..why are u not agitating for med-pot/prohibition to end..?

                      ..how about just trying to answer those questions..

                      ..yr ducking and weaving/serial-avoidance is like key in a press-conference..

                      ..and is doing u no favours at all..

                    • northshoredoc

                      …Phil although it’s against my better judgement to either repeat myself too often or to feed trolls on the internet….

                      There is a medical cannabinoid available in NZ – sativex

                      http://www.medsafe.govt.nz/profs/RIss/Sativex.asp

                      ….it appears that there will soon be another product available from the same supplier as below

                      http://www.gwpharm.com/epilepsy.aspx

                    • heads-up..!..sativex is crap…

                      ..it costs what..$500 for a months’ supply..?

                      ..and how many people are on it..?

                      ..i’ll tell ya..s.f.a..

                      ..and if pot has all these healing qualities..

                      ..why isn’t big-pharma/yr suppliers all over it like a rash..?.i hear you/others ask.

                      ..answer:

                      ..as you well know..that reason is that they can’t patent it..that’s why..eh..?

                      ..and i ask for the third time..

                      ..yr spokesperson said:

                      “..The NZMA considers that cannabis may be of use to patients with HIV and cancer-related wasting, chemotherapy-induced nausea, chronic pain and those with neurological disorders including epilepsy.’..”

                      and you said you agreed with her..(so no squabbles there..eh..?..)

                      ..so..if you believe cannabis can help with all those serious conditions yr spokesperson listed that cannabis is helpful for..

                      ..why r u and the nzma not agitating for access to it/med-pot..?

                      ..it wd have nothing to do with patch-protection..i am assuming..such shallow/craven reasons as these are not pills u can peddle/profit from..

                      ..that wd not b the reason for yr tardiness/foot-dragging..wd it..?

                      ..so..what is the real/actual reason why u personally..and as a medical association..

                      why u aren’t yelling from the rooftops for access to this healing agent for yr customers/patients..?

                      ..and me having painted you into a corner on this..(as any reader can see..)..

                      ..u resort to sniffingly calling me a ‘tr*ll..

                      ..(not very screamingly obvious as waving a white-flag in all but name..eh..)

                      ..well..if u getting yr arse handed to u on a plate..and the person doing that is called a ‘tr*ll’..?

                      ..i guess..in this case.. i’ll have to accept that label.eh..?

                    • and i hope u have yr chiropractor on speed-dial..

                      ..all that ducking and weaving must have put yr neck out…

                    • northshoredoc

                      @phil 🙄

                      Yet again you seem unable to grasp some simple facts.

                      1. There is a medical cannabinoid available in NZ.
                      2. Funding is the purview of PHARMAC.
                      3. Cannabis derivatives may certainly have some medicinal uses in some patients….. as per the NZMA comment ‘ …research is not as robust as one would like..’. To call any product a healing agent is negligent and gives rise to the kind of false hope they we have seen again and again through the world.
                      4. I suspect the main reason that ‘big pharma’ is not ‘all over it’ is that the data is not hugely encouraging and the potential customer base is smallish – as you rightly point out these companies are motivated by profit, they would certainly be able to patent it if they had purified the actives and proven their benefit in clinical trials via production patents and Swiss type patents.
                      5. I suspect that the main reason that most such as myself would not agitate for open slather would be that we might attract people such as yourself to our individual practices.

                    • 1)..i already said it is shit..and costs $500 per month..what can’t u understand about those simple facts..yr answer is not an answer

                      2)..w.t.f has that got to do with ending prohibition..?

                      3)..yr nzma spokesperson wd know as much about the current state of cannabis research as u wd..

                      ..namely s.f.a..

                      ..4)..and do u really expect us to believe yr supplier-defending bullshit..?

                      5).. “.I suspect that the main reason that most such as myself would not agitate for open slather would be that we might attract people such as yourself to our individual practices..”

                      r u fucken serious..?

                      aside from u knowing nothing about me..except what u read here..

                      ..what a fucken wanking thing to say..eh..?

                      ..and u a fucken doctor..eh..?

                      ..well..i’m tiring of this..

                      ..u call me a tr*ll..?

                      ..u r the fucken tr*ll..

                      ..i answer everything i am asked..i post under my real name..

                      ..despite repeated questions..u answered nothing…

                      ..by any definition..

                      ..u.r the fucken tr*ll..

                      ..and anyone reading this exchange..

                      ..can see what devious/word-twisting person u are..

                      ..just protecting yr patch..

                      ..you lost this exchange..

                      ..in every fucken way…

                      ..and i will not reply to u any more..

                      ..as it is a waste of time/energy…

                      ..go and sit in the fucken corner..

                      ..and wallow in yr ignorance/self-interest..

                      ..u just don’t fucken care..eh..?

                      ..about that kid suffering..

                      ..u can’t even answer straight/simple questions..

                      ..u just defend yr pill-pushing agenda..eh..?

                    • northshoredoc

                      “.and i will not reply to u any more..”

                      @Phil..thanks for that much appreciated.

                    • i am sure you ‘appreciate it’..

                      ..not much fun standing naked..eh..?

                      ..and u do realise that any ‘doctor-authority’ u may have thought you had here..

                      .,is in shreds/tatters..

                      ..and all yr own work..eh..?

                    • northshoredoc

                      @phil

                      Not surprisingly I must rescind my appreciation.

                      Oh and as always …. 🙄 …eh !

                    • phil – good effort and take comfort that at least little Jade is feeling better – hopefully her story will inspire change here in Aotearoa.

                    • @ m.m…

                      ..i am pleased/cheered to see her story making the mainstream media here..

                      ..and yes..u wd think the bleeding-obvious humanitarian facts of the matter in her case..

                      ..will help to drive that change..

                      ..we live in hope..

                      (what else cd we do..line up some vomiting cancer-patients for the media to film..?

                      ..what more will it need..?..)

                      ..and what that north shore doctor has demonstrated is just the latest example of a medical-profession wracked with ignorance/arrogance/self-interest/hubris…on the part of the practitioners/’experts’..

                      ..and them once again..being ‘wrong’…

                • Rosie

                  Lost sheep. I wonder if you’re not being a bit over sensitive about the concept of less developed intelligence in those of a conservative persuasion?

                  This isn’t a cheap “left wing” beat up, it’s a scientific observation. It’s not a conspiracy. Our tutor discussed this topic in psych class with us years ago. He wasn’t running an agenda.

                  Futhermore, our minds don’t have to be stuck in mud. Our emotional IQ can evolve and strengthen with learning. We can learn empathy, compassion and being mindful of others. We can learn to think in a rational non reactive way. Such personal attempts at cognitive advancement isn’t about tagging oneself as conservative or liberal (the terminology the psychologists use in their research), it’s more about personal development.

                  • The lost sheep

                    I’m not at all sensitive about it Rosie, because it’s a load of bollocks.

                    (Am I being concise enough now Greywarshark?)

                    • RedLogix

                      Scientifically there is a difference. I don’t think that is bollocks.

                      Exactly what it means and how we interpret the value of that difference remains to be debated.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      A derivative one-liner instead of tackling the point head on?

                      Far from being “a load of bollocks”, as cited by Gosman yesterday,

                      There is simply no running away from scientific knowledge. This bell cannot be unrung. But interpreting its meaning is something else again. My plea: we all have strengths and weaknesses, and if politics is partly rooted in biology, then tolerance and understanding – a full understanding and acceptance of difference – become more important than ever.

                      Please note the reference to Biology, not Psychology.

                    • Rosie

                      Ok, so it’s easy for you to ignore science when it’s convenient for you to do so. Do you deny climate change too?

                      Fairly confident that tutors at our tertiary education facilities aren’t paid to teach their students bollocks.

                      PS. That was a reply to Lost Sheep. Ran out reply buttons.

                  • The lost sheep

                    One paper does not a scientific truth make, as you all know very well.

                    But in every field of debate I’ve ever been involved in, there are always those who scour the academic research to find some piece of ‘evidence’ that can be isolated and taken out of the overall scientific context, and then used as ‘proof’ that their particular prejudice, belief, or vested interest is ‘true’….

                    If you were a RW Bigot who wanted to claim, for instance that there was a relationship between level of wealth and intelligence, you could find scientifically credible papers that could be used to ‘substantiate’ that case….

                    What always interests me, is the MOTIVATION behind such a selective use of science…and in this case there is a definite whiff of a desire to assert the superiority of the left on the basis LW people are more intellegent than RW people.

                    Please do go and read the article OAB links, and then search out some of the scientific debate associated with it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Which article I linked? I cited three peer-reviewed articles and made reference to various other ones discussing aspects of the issue.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      you could find scientifically credible papers that could be used to ‘substantiate’ that case…

                      It’s the John Key argument “academics are just like lawyers and I’ll show you one that’ll give you a counterview.”

                      Go on then, show me some. Hint: wealth isn’t correlated to IQ, income is.

                      PS: what’s my “particular belief”? – go on – cite your evidence that I hold it.

                    • The lost sheep

                      I’d recommend the genuinely interested to read everything you’ve linked OAB, and then go searching for all the associated comment they can find.
                      Hopefully the result will be a fully informed and subtle understanding of a complex scientific discussion.

                      Anyone who wants to go believing the simplistic ‘LW smarter than RW’ concept should not do so.

                      BTW, my posts are not all about you. But I understand your need to always have the last word, so over to you…

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Not smarter: different. Sometimes these differences are advantageous, sometimes not.

                      Stop putting words in my mouth and I’ll stop correcting you.

                    • Rosie

                      Whose talking about “one paper”? Jeez Lost Sheep. I don’t think you’re getting it. I said our tutor wasn’t pushing an agenda, or do you think our universities and tech’s are deliberately presenting a conspiracy to their students?

                      You’re the one that seems really hung up about this topic. I can take it or leave it, it’s not new to me, and to be honest I’m getting a bit sick of it.

                      I think you are taking a far too simplistic black and white view when the complexities of anomalies of the study of intelligence and conservatism have already been made clear over the last couple of days. You’re just choosing to ignore it.

                      Believe what you will. No skin off my nose.

                      I’m outta here.

                • lprent

                  Usually I find myself talking about specific people I run across here. That is because I deal with the mindless fuckwits who come here to disrupt this site. It isn’t that they are right wing. It is because the ones I have to deal with act like moronic trolls. Moreover, they are usually very stupid trolls without any apparent ability to think or argue.

                  All I have to say is that I prefer to deal with a better quality of troll than the rightwing ones that arrive here. I really find it hard to talk to parrots with a limited playlist and an inability to understand what others are talking about. While there are left trolls, they are usually capable of actually defending their ideas without having to copy what they think from playlists made from basalt tablets.

                • greywarshark

                  @ the lost sheep 10.21 a.m.
                  You’ve never noticed any hatred or prejudice or cheap stereo typing of a generalised ‘Right Wing enemy’ on this site OAB?

                  Are you saying that venting about RW and reporting conckusions of studies that seem to show less brain activity by them is harming these amorphous Right Wingers, As you say they are a ‘generalised’ group as RW is just a name for people who have attitudes of self-first and last, Aren’t we allowed to be angry and damn and swear at those who are fouling our world, just grin and bear it – keep calm and carry on chaps into the valley of death? Stiff-upper lip and all that.

                  Do you see those who are labelled right wing as a group of self-identifying people who cling together for protection from LW, with a secret handshake when they introduce themselves as part of the Right Wingers Club? Are these sensitive, vulnerable people afraid of the bolshy Left Wingers who are challenging their assertions and saying nasty things about them?

                  It seems you are, when you draw an analogy with Muslims, a group of people with religious affiliations, who are feeling sensitive and vulnerable to physical and verbal harrassment.

                  You are badly off course here and sounding more RW all the time, along with apparently a poor understanding of what being politically aware and concerned is about.

            • tricledrown 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Lost sheep shager you are trying to pull the wool over the sheeples eyes.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.2

          I see the point, and there’s a strawman at the centre, which is that criticism of behaviour amounts to hatred.

          In fact, it’s encouragement to do better.

          As for the “brainless” strawman, in order for brains to be different, they have to be there in the first place. Even Gosman linked an article attesting to the value of this research.

    • Te Reo Putake 6.3

      Ok, I’ll admit I laughed just a little bit. Perhaps you should stop posting yourself and encourage Stacey (Age 7) to fill the gap?

      • The lost sheep 6.3.1

        Greywarshark pointed out how crap i was at being serious yesterday, so i thought I’d try another angle…

        • RedLogix 6.3.1.1

          I thought it was ok. If it doesn’t come with a canned laugh track my sense of humour struggles to get out of bed. But I appreciate the effort.

          And yes it does have a point.

        • greywarshark 6.3.1.2

          Good effort the lost sheep
          5 out of 10 for length and persistence.
          By the way when you are attempting to be serious and ironic about the content of someone’s comment, try to understand the ways that people, choose and misuse statistics confusingly. in Dave Brown’s case, 99% live in poverty, which just detracts from the reality of what’s being discussed. It doesn’t help those who have a poor understanding of the situation.

          What people have started doing here when being ironic in those circumstances is put /sarc at the end so everyone gets the point.

          • The lost sheep 6.3.1.2.1

            “What people have started doing here when being ironic in those circumstances is put /sarc at the end so everyone gets the point.’

            Will do in future Greywarshark.

            I have noticed this blog isn’t exactly awash with humorous posts, so it doesn’t surprise me that you need to flag it when it appears.

            • greywarshark 6.3.1.2.1.1

              @ the lost sheep
              We at this blog, as I understand it, are worried about the direction of our country and the world and find plenty of hard points to concentrate on. Humour and music gets in now and then because it is important to stay sane and we want to enjoy for a while the happy society that we want for all. But we are not actually a magazine type blog or a cosy chat blog or a passing the time on how bad the world is, looking from our cosy armchairs blog. (That is my opinion and I have no authority to make statements on behalf of the blog leaders.)

              And there are warnings coming from the cognoscenti that there will be deliberate attempts to throw blogs off serious discussion, fact finding and understanding of a situation. So from our various standpoints we can be sharp and demanding of good intention. Not looking for humour all the time.

              And it seems to me that there is a lot of discussion about how we should be nicer entering the discourse at present. Like from people who want authority to judge and guide. Limits and controls there should be but open, sincere discussion is paramount. I think there is plenty for us to think about of life and death stuff.

              • The lost sheep

                All good GWS. I take those points onboard.

                I must admit that over the Xmas period It did seem some posters were more interested in bloodsport than genuine debate – to the extent it was significantly overshadowing the ‘serious’ concerns that get chewed over here.

                Will welcome a return to a more focused atmosphere.

        • Weepus beard 6.3.1.3

          It was bloody hard to read, to be fair.

          So I didn’t.

    • Tracey 6.4

      you dont know any 7 year olds do you sheepie?

      • The lost sheep 6.4.1

        My own Tracey?

        But being RW they aren’t very smart.

        /sarc.

        • McFlock 6.4.1.1

          Ah, but most 7 year olds try to learn.
          Those that don’t try become tories 🙂

          • The lost sheep 6.4.1.1.1

            Maybe you can explain McFlock?
            If the Left Wing are more intelligent than the Right, why can’t they outsmart them politically?

            • McFlock 6.4.1.1.1.1

              because, among other things, sweet lies will always be more attractive than harsh truths.

              That (and the fact that self-interested money will always fund tories, and that short term BS is easier to sell than long-term planning) helps ensure that (funnily enough) tories don’t have a handicap in elections, rather they have numerous advantages

              • The lost sheep

                And if the Left is intelligent enough to understand that, the Left is intelligent enough to formulate a successful counter strategy?

                Espeshilliy when the opposition is a bunch of thickos
                / sarc.

                • RedLogix

                  Well you could argue that because thickos outnumber geniuses – that this is the reason why democracy is so fatally flawed.

                  /sarc u 2

                  • Weepus beard

                    Lol.

                    The lost sheep must be a RWNJ multi.

                    He claims to have voted Labour for 35 years and that his parents, grandparents, an great grandparents also voted Labour, it’s just that when David Cunliffe became leader he lost the faith of three generations of Labour support to then become a disillusioned and ex Labour voter.

                    Absolutely none of the lost sheep’s comments reflect any of the measured compassion and social intelligence of a socially responsible left wing voter.

                    What his comments do reflect are those of yet another John Key sycophant promoting the National party line.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Probably some RW outfit trying to fine tune their trole algorithms.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Because there is no room for anything other than black or white in your political spectrum Weepus?
                      Either you are utterly and completely and irrevocably blood red Left for life, or you are a raging RW fascist tr**LL?

                      There is no way in your worldview that there could be such a thing as someone who is somewhere in between the two extremes?

                      i find a real irony in that, as it is the voters in the middle ground that are the Lefts ONLY opportunity to return to government.
                      If you don’t even acknowledge that class exists, and you can only despise them, how do you hope to convince them to support your cause?

                      If you are over 60, then there is a chance you have spent more time in the ‘bottom 10%’ than me, or voted Left more times than I have, or put in more time, effort, and money into what i hope were socially responsible uses than I have.

                      If you are under 60 I would be very sure you have not, and in that case spare me your judgement. I have nothing to answer to you.

                      You remind me of why I got sick of Left Wing politics a few years ago. The Left used to be very tolerant and supportive of a much wider range of ideas and debate than the dogma and correctness that stifle it now allows. Used to be a lot less conspiracy theories and doom sayers and a lot more laughter.
                      A lot less whinging about the difficulties and barriers, and a lot more doing what was practical and realistic.

                      Why do you think the Left can’t throw up charismatic leaders anymore?
                      Well why would anyone of passion and charisma want to submit to the straitjacket of correctness and dogma that smothers true free speech and debate in the modern Left?
                      There is no way the current Left could throw up a character like David Lange. Self evidently.

                      Why do you think the Left has lost the ability to generate the heartfelt majority support it used to have?

                      FFS, What’s your plan Weepus? Tell me the practical and realistic actions you are taking to make this world a better place.

                      Because I can promise you that you won’t change a fucking thing by merely slagging people on a blog.

                    • McFlock

                      I guess some people find it difficult to believe that someone with any opinion worth a damn voted for rowling, stayed Labour throughout rogernomics and into Lab5, and then decided that “Cunliffe vs Shearer” was the final straw.

                  • The lost sheep

                    @RedLogix

                    Obvious strategy available there Red.
                    Get breeding.

                    How’s your sperm count?

                • McFlock

                  that assumes that there is, at any particular time, a successful strategy to be found.

                  Sometimes there isn’t.

                  It also assumes that the intelligence required to identify a problem is sufficient to solve it.

                  Sometimes it isn’t. Actually, most of the time it isn’t.

                  And not all tories are thickos. Some of them are just evil fucks.
                  BTW, if you want to argue that I’ve unfairly stereotyped a social group, please show me someone who self-identifies as ultra-right-wing-tory. I will then decide if I should then apologise to them.

        • tracey 6.4.1.2

          I just never meta single 7 year old who writes like that… a few adults but no 7 year olds…

          I appreciate it was an attempt at humour.

  7. Chooky 7

    Robert Fisk , The Independent, on cartoonist attack in Paris

    ‘Charlie Hebdo: Paris attack brothers’ campaign of terror can be traced back to Algeria in 1954 — Algeria is the post-colonial wound that still bleeds in France’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/charlie-hebdo-paris-attack-brothers-campaign-of-terror-can-be-traced-back-to-algeria-in-1954-9969184.html

  8. Philip Ferguson 8

    It’s decades since I did sociology, so I’m not sure how big Ulrich Beck is in NZ sociology depts. However, the German sociologist, the guru of (what I’d consider) the debilitating ‘precautionary principle’, died on New Year’s Day. Left-wing social critic and author James Heartfield has produced a good obit on Beck, which we’ve reblogged at:
    http://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/01/13/ulrich-beck-and-the-turn-against-modernity/

    Phil

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Thank you. An interesting read. For the most part what is written about Becks’ ideas strike me as very sane:

      At the core of Beck’s thinking was the limitations upon human action.

      And maybe that is true in a strictly material sense. Perhaps we’d all be a better off with less hubris, more humility.

      Biologically the ceaseless quest for more, bigger, better, brighter and shinier seems hard-wired into us. But then from another part of our being we are capable of recognising the folly of all this – and in the end all we really yearn for is something much simpler and quite different.

      • Molly 8.1.1

        “Biologically the ceaseless quest for more, bigger, better, brighter and shinier seems hard-wired into us.”

        I disagree. I think this is a cultural and social construct, not a biological one. As such it can be changed.

        For example, the longest (known) cultural society, the First Australians, endured for over 50,000 using no waste principles.

        We have been brought up in a consumerist culture, which feeds a narrative that we are missing something (that could be filled with a bigger house, a new car, new clothes etc…). Hence the compulsion. But it is not biological.

        • RedLogix 8.1.1.1

          It’s an interesting response.

          The aboriginal people certainly do present a fine counter example. It could be argued that this was part due to the harsh environment they lived in suppressed their opportunities for material development steering them very much onto the symbolic or spiritual aspect of human nature. The rest of humanity could well learn a great deal from them.

          Virtually everywhere else though, where material resources permitted, people inevitably have taken advantage of them – and often do so without restraint until they reach collapse.

          Looked at like this – its still consistent with the idea of a dual human nature, one we’ve inherited from our ape cousins, the other distinctly post-biological one when we developed our neo-cortex.

          Personally I’m of the view that culture is what you get when you mix biology, geography, history, religion, politics, economics and accident. I see it as something quite malleable, emphemeral. Certainly it defines the modes and acceptable boundaries of a society, so it is important – but it’s not fundamental.

          Culture changes and evolves, but not because we command it to. There are many other forces in the mix.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2

          +1

          IMO, the wanting more cultural construct is driven by peoples need to create and do and which the resources that would allow them to do so has been removed from them through the capitalist system which gives the resources of the community over to the few who only use them to enrich themselves.

          • RedLogix 8.1.1.2.1

            Perhaps – although expansionism and empire pre-date capitalism by a very long time.

            • Truth Will Out 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Activist and author Naomi Klein tells a story about the time she traveled to Australia at the request of Aboriginal elders. They wanted her to know about their struggle to prevent white people from dumping radioactive wastes on their land.

              Her hosts brought her to their beloved wilderness, where they camped under the stars. They showed her “secret sources of fresh water, plants used for bush medicines, hidden eucalyptus-lined rivers where the kangaroos come to drink.”

              After three days, Klein grew restless. When were they going to get down to business? “Before you can fight,” she was told, “you have to know what you are fighting for.”

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.2.1.2

              Or, as I believe, expansionism and empire are just capitalism by a different name. As the saying goes:

              If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck then the chances are it’s a duck.

              And, once you get down to the core of those previous systems, there’s very little difference between them and today’s capitalism.

              • RedLogix

                Or as Jared Diamond put it -“agriculture may have been the worst mistake humans ever made – remains to be seen if we survive it” (Probably paraphrased.)

                Nonetheless research strongly suggests that the drive for dominance, status and reproductive success plays a big role in our behavior – and this gets expressed in our social constructs and cultures whenever and however opportunity presents itself.

                I’m not claiming it’s an immutable aspect of human nature, but it is something coded at a pretty deep level. Which is why it takes a potent countervailing force to neutralise it.

            • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1.2.1.3

              Perhaps – although expansionism and empire pre-date capitalism by a very long time

              Although it doesn’t pre-date man’s greed for wealth, power and lands…

          • Olwyn 8.1.1.2.2

            That could well be part of it DTB, especially since we have gotten rid of our manufacturing. But I would be surprised if it turned out to be the whole picture. Anthony Robins had some interesting things to say in this post:

            Summer rerun: Deserted cities

            …America, has had such a short history. Pakeha history in New Zealand suffers from the same limitation. All of our history has been about expansion and growth. “Progress”. It seems to us to be the natural state of affairs.

            By this account, we are habituated to the idea of progress, and see material acquisition as evidence of it. Moreover, we do not have the sobering evidence of a long history around us to remind us of our limitations. Simone Weil thought along similar lines – she reckoned that uprooted people tend to become either virulently dominating or defeatist. Almost like plants.

            It might be that if there is a deep biological urge involved, it is one that is activated or deactivated by conditions.

        • Poission 8.1.1.3

          “Biologically the ceaseless quest for more, bigger, better, brighter and shinier seems hard-wired into us.

          Greed ( or the propensity to undertake greater risk) was an underlying factor of the GFC as Andrew Lo testimony to the house committee on the GFC showed.

          During extended periods of prosperity, market participants become complacent about the risk of loss—either through a systematic underestimation of those risks because of recent history, or a decline in their risk aversion due to increasing wealth, or both. In fact, there is mounting evidence from cognitive neuroscientists that financial gain affects the same ‘pleasure centers’ of the brain that are activated by certain narcotics. This suggests that prolonged periods of economic growth and prosperity can induce a collective sense of euphoria and complacency among investors that is
          not unlike the drug-induced stupor of a cocaine addict. The seeds of this crisis were created during a lengthy period of prosperity. During this period we became much more risk tolerant

          • Truth Will Out 8.1.1.3.1

            “Were there a mountain all made of gold, doubled that would not be enough to satisfy a single man: know this and live accordingly” ~ Buddha.

        • Chooky 8.1.1.4

          +100 Molly….and the spirituality of the First Australians fascinates me….certainly not a more primitive culture than our own…imo despite our so called technological and materialist and consumerist advancement or perhaps because of it …..in many ways we are the yang out of control barbarians on this planet

        • Murray Rawshark 8.1.1.5

          Amerinidans, with the possible exceptions of some around Mexico, didn’t have a culture of waste and desire for more either. The Amazon Indians certainly lived in a land of plenty, where they could fill all their needs easily. Even today, when the jungle troops of the Brazilian Army have survival exercises in the jungle, some of the Indians come back having put on weight.

          I’d say that the harsh environment in some parts of Australia has nothing to do with the lack of desire for bigger and better. I doubt very much if these desires are hardwired. In any case, the parts of Australia that used to have big concentrations of indigenous people are now where the whites live. There’s not much evidence that the people on the coast wanted more than they immediately needed.

        • miravox 8.1.1.6

          “I disagree. I think this is a cultural and social construct, not a biological one. As such it can be changed.”

          I too disagree with the idea of a biological construct. It’s too simplistic.

          It could also be that cultural/social construct was driven by the availability of resources and the environment in which humans moved. A great mash-up of all the factors that should be taken into account in human behaviours.

          For example, the First Australians may well have found that leaving resources in place was the most effective means of ensuring they were available as required. Northern Europeans, on the other hand may well have found processing and storing resources was the most effective means of ensuring they were available when required. If so, these survival strategies based on environmental imperatives and resource availability led to variations and contradictions in social/cultural practices and inequalities that we have now.

    • Tracey 8.2

      thanks for this Phili

  9. hoom 9

    Did anyone else find it a bit odd that National Radio interviewed the CEO of Talleys rather than a MFAT or Navy rep regarding the alleged illegal Toothfishers?
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/summerreport/audio/20163517/fishing-industry-critical-calling-on-gov

    • Paul 9.1

      Par for the course.
      Nat radio is now a puppet of corporate interests.

      • Gosman 9.1.1

        Care to explain how corporate interests have managed to influence the editorial policy of the news desk at Radio NZ National and why the Opposition haven’t raise so much as a whimper if they have?

        • phillip ure 9.1.1.1

          the appointment of rightwing trout/lackey richard griffin to run it (down?)..

          ..helped that rightwing cause/drive..

          • Paul 9.1.1.1.1

            Gosman knew that

          • Gosman 9.1.1.1.2

            That doesn’t answer the question about why the opposition hasn’t made any noise about this gross abuse of power.

            • McFlock 9.1.1.1.2.1

              you didn’t read their broadcasting policy, then.

              • Gosman

                It makes no reference to the board structure of Radio NZ though as far as I am aware nor to any abuse that has supposedly happened over the past 6 years.

                • McFlock

                  Nice.
                  Start broad and then complain that it doesn’t have two narrow policy statements you artfully invented on the trot.

                  Read the full policy yet?

              • Gosman

                It makes no reference to the board structure of Radio NZ though as far as I am aware nor to any abuse that has supposedly happened over the past 6 years.

    • Skinny 9.2

      Poor journalism or free advert for the ‘union unfriendly’ Talley clan.

    • greywarshark 9.3

      @ hoom
      I didn’t hear it but I would expect that MFAT or Navy would be so guarded in their response, being about a political matter and in the high seas, that Talleys was the best option for a comment to get on their early show. Pragmatic decision probably.

      The Russians? the Taiwanese? the Japanese? the Chileans?
      I’ll have to find time to listen and get the gist.

    • Murray Rawshark 9.4

      Isn’t MFAT a subsidiary of Talleys? And the Navy their security force?

  10. weka 10

    Search function doesn’t seem to be working at all now.

    • Te Reo Putake 10.1

      Aye. Been trying to find comments by or about Rogue Trooper without success. A tad frustrating.

      • Rosie 10.1.1

        Come back Roguey. We miss you brother.

        • Te Reo Putake 10.1.1.1

          Sadly, I understand RT passed away last year. That’s why I was trying to find his comments, to see if his passing had been noted. I met him once a couple of years ago and he was clearly a lovely man who did his very best to live according to his Christian principles despite the iniquities of modern life. That applied to his comments here, too. He had a fierce wit, but he rarely, if ever, played the man instead of the ball.

          • RedLogix 10.1.1.1.1

            I missed that. Very sorry to hear it – and yes I agree completely with your last sentence. That I admire very much in a person.

          • Chooky 10.1.1.1.2

            @TRP….sorry to hear this….did RT die of old age…or was it on a motorbike?….i always thought of him as a motorbiker philosopher

            • Te Reo Putake 10.1.1.1.2.1

              Not really appropriate for me to talk about the circumstances of his death, but I can confirm he spent a lot of time on a bike. A pushbike, actually. When we met, he arrived at the cafe on his cycle, backpack bulging with homegrown veges. I was one of the many he used to share his produce with, apparently. Again, his Christian principles in action.

          • greywarshark 10.1.1.1.3

            @ Te Reo Putake
            True about RT. Sad. Thanks for passing that on.

          • Rosie 10.1.1.1.4

            Oh TRP, that is such sad news. It really is. He was a gentle person, and a very astute observer of humanity. I think he was deeply compassionate towards his fellow humans.

            R.I.P Lovely man. You must surely be missed by so many.

          • Tracey 10.1.1.1.5

            Thanks for sharing.

          • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1.1.6

            🙁

            I’m really saddened by this, one of the brotherhood felled before his time.

          • miravox 10.1.1.1.7

            Oh, I’m so sad about that. I have missed him and was hoping he’d be back. An astute commenter who responded to critics and supporters alike with intelligence and kindness.

            Thanks for letting us know TRP.

          • McFlock 10.1.1.1.8

            Sad news indeed.

        • Te Reo Putake 10.1.2.1

          Cheers, Draco. And the Standard search function seems to be up again (thx LP).

          I think this is probably Rogue Trooper’s last substantial comment:

          Rogue Trooper
          18 April 2014 at 4:54 pm

          from The Good Doctor’s notes- 22 : 24, A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was to be considered the greatest. Jesus said to them,” The Kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that.

          Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest and the one who rules, like the one who serves.

  11. greywarshark 11

    lprent
    Search function same with me for RT
    Got this message – err: connection to sphnxhost:3312 failed

  12. Te Reo Putake 12

    I reckon Tangi Utikere would be a really good mayor for Palmy. Internet access as a human right is a great concept, good on him for promoting it in the campaign.*

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/64890025/Candidate-wants-internet-to-be-basic-right

    *The previous Mayor is now a bench warming Nat list MP, hence the by-election.

    • weka 12.1

      Looks good. Nice local focus too.

    • gsays 12.2

      hi there te reo putake, i hope this doesnt sound too ignorant but..
      do you know the boundaries for voting for the mayor?
      i am out in colyton and dont think i am eligible.
      cheers, g.

      • Te Reo Putake 12.2.1

        I think you’re in the neighbouring Manawatu District Council area, gsays. Palmy takes in Ashurst and Longburn, but stays close to the urban area on the western side. Check your rubbish bags, it’ll say on the sticker!

        • gsays 12.2.1.1

          thanx te reo putake,
          ironic you can look at the rubbish to see whether you can vote!

          now that i have been to the river for a dip and cooled off, it has become obvious to me.
          when i ask myself who is mayor i think margaret not jono.
          i get my head in these political blogs and get all enthused about participating…

          • Te Reo Putake 12.2.1.1.1

            I’ve heard that Margaret is great, lefty/liberal on most issues. Jono used to pretend to be left (even donated to Labour or so I’m told) but then took Key’s shilling last election. Drove a hard bargain though, insisted on getting a decent list placing before standing because he knew he wasn’t winning Palmy off Iain LG.

            Tangi as Mayor, Iain as MP, could really do some good for the whole Manawatu district.

            • gsays 12.2.1.1.1.1

              i have spoken to margaret a couple of times and listened to her speak a couple of times (transition feilding) and yes i would agree she does appear fairly liberal.
              more importantly, to me, she is quite inclusive, tangata whenua/iwi, business, and community alike.

    • millsy 12.3

      He doesn’t really offer any way of going about this, just vague platitudes. But you cannot fault the guy for having a vision. Something that is lacking in local body officials. Nearly all of them seem to be about “keeping rates down”.

      Something worth knowing: Palmerston North seems to have its rubbish collection activities ‘in house’. Probably the only city, apart from Rotorua that still does this.

      EDIT: Sorry, it looks like Dunedin does it as well, through council owned Delta.

      Any examples of council doing rubbish collection in house still would be greatly appreciated.

      • Te Reo Putake 12.3.1

        Not just rubbish, but most council facilities are in house at PNCC. They are one of a small number of councils who didn’t lay off their staff and waste money on contractors twenty odd years ago. Each council business unit is required to prepare bids for the work they do that must be market competitive and the council are rigorous in checking that they get value for money. But what they do know is that keeping it in house saves money.

  13. greywarshark 13

    Phil ure
    You might be interested in what Slavoj Zizek has to say here, he touches on marijuana, amongst other things, in his comment.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph9Vp9yTATA

  14. Ffloyd 14

    Well, well. Ian Fletcher is standing down. *Family reasons* apparently.

  15. ankerawshark 15

    sure you have all heard Ian Fletcher has resigned. Any thoughts about this? Sites family reasons.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    Estimated social cost of climate change not accurate, Stanford scientists say

    The “social cost” of carbon dioxide emissions may not be $37 per ton, as estimated by a recent U.S. government study, but $220 per ton.

    How much driving would people do if, Assuming 10l/100km and 15000km per year, doing so cost them another $1000+ per year?

  17. Ad 17

    Fletchers’ resignation gives his Minister and PM a chance to restructure or root out all those who don’t agree with the results of the restructure that inevitably follows the full review coming up.

    A generous PM wanting to take the skin out of the review would offer a Senate-style joint confirmation across the House.

  18. Olwyn 18

    There is a very good opinion piece in the print edition of today’s Dominion Post by Anne Salmond, entitled “Erosion of democratic rights”. It does not appear to be online, but is well worth checking out. Here are a couple of quotes:

    While our leaders do not shoot people, they work with others to try to ruin the lives and careers of those who disagree with them.

    and

    While H L Mencken defined good journalism as “afflicting the comfortable, and comforting the afflicted”, much journalism in NZ now does the opposite.”

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    Pierce professor saves students $1 million through open education resources

    By his estimate, the open education resources Lippman has worked on have saved students somewhere in the ballpark of a million dollars. Although he admits that some subjects are lacking high-quality open resources at the moment, he believes this is the way of the future for higher education.

    More proof of the dead-weight loss of profit.

  20. Paul 20

    Rockstar economy

    ‘Jobless take to the streets in Auckland’

    ‘Nick Greet has been out of fulltime employment for the past six months.
    The 47-year-old was among a small group of people at the intersection of Cavendish and Lambie Drives, in Manukau, yesterday.
    Holding up makeshift signs, they advertised their qualifications in a bid to get a job.
    Mr Greet’s qualifications include a masters degree in social work and a bachelor of theology from the University of Otago.
    He is a registered social worker and worked for Child, Youth and Family for six years until last July, when he decided he wanted to do something different.
    Despite his background, he has failed to get any call-backs from the roughly 70 job applications he has filled out for positions here and in Australia.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11385450

  21. Paul 21

    Inequality in the UK

    ‘The Super-Rich and Us BBC Documentary 2015 Episode 1 Rich People VS Poor People UK

    Some depressing statistics for your reading pleasure. (Depressing if you’re British and not a billionaire.) Since 2008, UK government austerity measures have been equal to the sum of money paid out in bankers’ bonuses: £80 billion. Not depressed yet? Try this. In 2013 the UK’s thousand richest people saw their wealth increase by a sum equivalent to the combined earnings of the country’s full time workforce: £70 billion. You probably are now, but if not… We play host to more billionaires than any other country in the world: 104. Oh, and the UK is the only leading economy which has become more unequal this century.’

  22. Colonial Rawshark 22

    Kraft downgrades Cadbury Crème Egg shells to shite chocolate

    And the corporatisation/cost cutting of our food supply continues. Even the unhealthiest sugar filled junk food is becoming more shit.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/12/shellshock-cadbury-comes-clean-on-creme-egg-chocolate-change

    • greywarshark 22.1

      @ CR
      That piece from the guardian is OTT. And shock, horror the real point is that it was a local product sold to a USA entity.. Why can’t an old established British brand stay in UK hands. Do the French sell off their appellation rights? Swiss chocolate makers give up their leading status. They are quite jealous of them. And there is something to be said for chauvinism when it comes to holding onto a good brand and product. Not going for the fast buck. Be known for achieving a quality something! Briton’s can’t work and live by The City financial deals alone.

      Looking at the item in another way – it’s an advertorial with a twist. It pretends to run the product down, giving all sorts of information about it, and is most likely to arouse curiosity so that people try the new product and see for themselves. It certainly goes on far longer than the item justifies.

      • Colonial Rawshark 22.1.1

        True.

        As to why it was sold. Kraft offered the major shareholders in Cadbury US$19.6B. They couldn’t refuse.

        Hence the vast majority of the food and the brands sold in our supermarkets now comes from about 6 major parent corporations.

    • Naturesong 22.2

      It was bad before, as those eggs already used palm oil in their chocolate.

      It did not think it was possible fo them to further degrade the quality of that eggs.

  23. Murray Rawshark 23

    I was just thinking about rights. If something is actually a right, it cannot be taken from you, but you can give it up voluntarily. An example is the right to remain silent when arrested. If it can be bashed out of you when you help the police with their enquiries, it’s not much of a right.
    On the other hand, you always need to think about whether a particular right is worth insisting on in every situation. For example, in Queensland a car turning into a road has to give way to pedestrians. I was hobbling across at the corner of our street once when an LNP voter in an urban tank turned left and put the pedal to the metal. I suppose I could have stayed there and let the douchebag run over the top of me, but I didn’t think it was worth making a stand on principle. I wonder how many of the people supporting fucked up cartoons would call me a coward for that? I don’t really care either way, but I do wonder.

    • miravox 23.1

      I dunno, I think all rights can be given up/taken away. Just some more easily than others. In an instance where it may seem advisable to give up a right, the consequences of that may have a greater affect on more people later on than it did on the person who gave up that right at the time.

      Also, giving up the right to cross the road sort of conflicts with the right to life that you’ve also exercised for yourself has it not? This is part of the the grey areas problem – when rights of different people conflict, what is the solution? Is it a case by case basis or are there absolutes here?

      • Murray Rawshark 23.1.1

        I find looking for absolutes just causes problems. In my clumsy way, that’s part of what I was trying to say. We often hear about unalienable rights, but it seems to me that’s a pretty meaningless concept. When you look deeply enough, things always seem to be based on force anyway. Even though my brain knows that my body would hit the urban tractor with the same force as it applied to me, I also knew which of us would be damaged. It was the one with all the power and a practical monopoly of force in that situation.

        Hmm…starting to rave 🙂

        • miravox 23.1.1.1

          Yep, absolutes rarely work in the fields of human behaviours, yet it’s easy for people to look for them all.the.time. (your good self obviously excepted).

          Instead of being observant before rights are threatened (I’m in awe of people who put themselves on the line for others by speaking out), sometimes all that can be done is argue the toss after the event and that hopefully leads to better protections against the powerful.

    • Colonial Rawshark 23.2

      Rights are an artifact of civilised human society. They always disappear when civilised human society disappears. Note that in many human civilisations past and present, only a privileged few were seen to have the right to have rights. The citizens of Athens. The Civis Romani. White Christian men who owned property. Etc.

  24. joe90 24

    lol

    Gerry Hassan ‏@GerryHassan

    This is what pseudo-solidarity looks like. World leaders marching in #Paris not actually on protest but photo opp.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/paris-march-tv-wide-shots-reveal-a-different-perspective-on-world-leaders-at-largest-demonstration-in-frances-history-9972895.html

  25. Herodotus 25

    When will the price we pay at the counter fall to reflect the decline of oil ?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11383798
    I await the headlines in the near future of record profits being achieved from: Air NZ, Genesis (with Huntly running partially on coal, and we know what has happened with the price of coal) and others due to lower costs.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_power_stations_in_New_Zealand
    But also should not the prices in supermarkets also fall for Cheese, milk etc
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/256004/dairy-foods-unlikely-to-be-cheaper
    “…Supermarket chain Countdown said it is up to the suppliers like Fonterra to cut prices, which it would then pass on to consumers.”
    This is not how the economy is expected to work.

    • nadis 25.1

      Yes, you are supposed to have competition, but in NZ we are chockablock full of monopolies, oligopolies and cartels.

  26. wow..!..the family guy/simpsons crossover was a pile of steaming/stinking horse-shit..

  27. Colonial Rawshark 27

    Timeline: French Government supports and arms “moderate” Muslim Syrian rebels against Assad; French Charlie Hebdo Islamist shooters had just returned from training/fighting in Syria

    Dec 2012: France a major funder of foreign and Syrian fighters against Assad
    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/07/france-funding-syrian-rebels

    Sept 2013: France’s Hollande supports arming of foreign, European and Syrian rebel fighters within a ‘controlled framework’

    http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/09/20/France-supports-arming-Syria-rebels-in-controlled-environment-.html

    Speaking at a press conference in Bamako, Hollande said: “The Russians regularly send (weapons) but we will do it in a broader context, with a number of countries and a framework which can be controlled, because we cannot have a situation where weapons end up with Islamists,” AFP reported.

    Mar 2014: numerous French nationals fight in Syria against Assad; boasts and video footage of atrocities committed.

    Heavily blurred for broadcast, the images provided to French journalists by supporters of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army are nevertheless plainly gruesome. Most disturbing perhaps is the juxtaposition of the young men all smiles —- for all appearances enjoying a summer holiday, footloose buddies on a camping trip—amid sheer horror.

    “We used to haul jet skis, quads, and motocross bikes. Now, on the path to God, we haul apostates and miscreants. Those who combat us, those who combat Islam,” one woolly-capped, wispy-bearded twenty-something grins, speaking a mix of French and Arabic at the wheel of a blue Dodge pickup.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/03/28/french-and-belgian-jihadists-boast-about-the-syrians-they-slaughter.html

    Aug 2014: French government now directly supplying weapons to “moderate” rebel groups fighting against Assad.

    According to Le Monde, it provided weapons including 12.7-mm machine guns, rocket launchers, body armour and communications equipment—but “ nothing”, according to a Le Monde source, “which ‘could have been turned against us’ such as explosives”.

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/08/27/frsy-a27.html

    Jan 2015: USA Today reports that both Kouachi brothers had recently returned to France, from activity in Syria.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/01/07/france-charlie-hebdo-satirical-publisher/21377861/

    Jan 2015: Hayat Boemeddiene, wanted partner of jewish supermarket terrorist/hostage taker, successfully flees to Syria, through Turkey.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/turkey-border-security-hayat-boumeddiene-escape-syria-sparks-renewed-criticism-1781150

  28. North 28

    Apologies if the matter I’m about to address has already been covered in this post, (haven’t the time to check, but on this re illegal ocean plunder –

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11385910

    – putting aside the flags they fly and where in the world they’re registered – where are these boats ACTUALLY from ? Who owns them ? And where is their ownership located ?

    Are we seeing a ‘sensitivity’ on the Herald’s part ? Censorship in these days of high fury about “freedom of speech” ?

  29. joe90 29

    Great reply.

    Rupert Murdoch Verified account ‏@rupertmurdoch

    Extraordinary scenes in Paris today, but do not forget the heroic sacrifice of Ahmed Merabet, Muslim police officer whose funeral was today

    Aziz AnsariVerified account ‏@azizansari

    @rupertmurdoch Quit back peddling you racist piece of shit

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