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Open Mike 13/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 13th, 2017 - 89 comments
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89 comments on “Open Mike 13/03/2017”

  1. Andre 1

    Dirty politics. Using fake news and trolls to discourage Bernie supporters from voting Clinton. With obvious lessons on things to look out for in our coming campaigns.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/bernie-sanders-fake-news-russia_us_58c34d97e4b0ed71826cdb36?63g&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    • adam 1.1

      The is no such thing as fake news, there is just propaganda. And people who supported h.r.c. and the democrat’s need to get over losing. To live in this world you are creating, just hurts people and their chance to resist.

      People will die because of this weakness deomcrats, at least 9 of these spineless flecks are going to vote to over turn health care. You could actually help stop that, rather than buy into utter b.s being peddled.

      Here is a link to democrats who are in fear of losing there seats. Take down there names and write them a email.

      http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/several-democrats-facing-2018-re-election-states-trump-carried/

      • garibaldi 1.1.1

        Good on you Adam. It strikes me the Left are suffering the same bullshit ‘fake news’ paranoia as the Right are. You are correct…. it is all just another form of propaganda.

        • Andre 1.1.1.1

          Hey, adam and garibaldi, we’ve got our own election coming up later this year. The result will either be a fourth term for National, or a Labour/Green led government. Yes, it is essentially a binary.

          Your choice is to put your support to a Labour/Green led government (which will involve swallowing dead rats), support a fourth term Nat, or say you think they’re equally bad (which is the same as supporting Nats).

          If you want to change the government, it’s a good idea to look at what tactics were used successfully elsewhere, because it’s quite likely they will be used here too. To me, one of the biggest lessons is we’re now at the point in our cycle where it’s time to support the positives in Labour/Greens, rather than picking at and amplifying flaws.

          • adam 1.1.1.1.1

            Andre, so your saying that a obvious corrupt two party system, which has been rejected by New Zealand in favor of proportional representation. Is the model you want to work from?

            To Quote Mr Pepelo “Interesting…”

            The working class people rejected the democrates for a multitude of reason: corruption, being conservative, in bed with the corporations, lying and cheating – not some fantasy about Russia. But sure beat yourself up about false flags, I won’t stand in your way.

            • garibaldi 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Andre, I have never voted National and never will. However if you can’t see the bullshit that the Dems are pushing, and call it for what it is, then you are part of the problem.

            • Andre 1.1.1.1.1.2

              I’m saying that for the coming election here, the choice has narrowed to “do you want to change the government, or not?”. And that the current government, having successfully used dirty politics in the past and been shown a new selection of dirty politics techniques to use, will undoubtedly do so to retain power. Inducing lefties to criticise left candidates and share fake news and smears are techniques likely to be re-used here. Even if doesn’t flip voters, it still depresses turnout.

              It’s a sad commentary on our local politics that MMP has narrowed to the point that it has effectively become a binary again. But that’s the reality we have to deal with at the moment. If you think there’s a viable alternative, lay it out and explain it. I’ve asked Bill to explain his alternative vision and all I’ve seen are vague incoherent mutterings about “social democracy”. If you’ve got an alternative vision, I’m honestly interested.

              When it comes to reforming government, the government has already pulled a bait-and-trash MMP review, so I really doubt there’s any chance of meaningful improvement with the current lot. Whereas Lab/Greens have both been supportive of improving democracy through implementing suggestions from the MMP review, limited as they were. Yet another reason to swallow dead ratsfor the sake of changing the government.

              Unless Hone starts looking likely to win TTT AND Mana are polling above 1% (about 1.3% is needed for a second seat), then frankly a vote for Mana is wasted. No matter how moral someone may convince themselves it is. In practical terms Mana have had absolutely zero influence the last 2 years. Although because Hone had a good shot at winning TTT and Mana/IP were polling above 1%, I wouldn’t call it a wasted vote.

              Similarly, a vote for TOP is wasted unless TOP are polling above 4%. But even then, TOP have no commitment to changing the government. They just want to slightly change the flavour of whatever government forms. So from the point of view of changing the government, TOP will be a wasted vote.

              • Bill

                Hi Andre. Not quite sure what conversation you’re referring to when you write I’ve asked Bill to explain his alternative vision and all I’ve seen are vague incoherent mutterings about “social democracy”.

                It’s pretty simple stuff.

                Social democracy puts a tighter or shorter leash on capitalism/markets than liberalism does.

                In short, social democracy seeks to protect individuals from the more egregious affects of capitalism; to rein it in so that it serves society (ie – social democratic policies would seek equal or fair outcomes across populations).

                That sits in stark contrast to liberalism, that promotes the simple notion of an individual having access to equal opportunities in a world dominated by unfettered capitalism.

                You really find that too vague or just generally incoherent?

                And I should note, social democracy is not my alternative vision – I’m not a social democrat. My vision involves self governance through meaningful or substantive, non-hierarchical democratic institutions being developed and existing at the local or community level – ie, my vision revolves around a fully participatory democracy.

                • Andre

                  Sorry, that conversation looks to have dropped off my replies tab so I can’t find it easily.

                  In any case, what I’m interested in is the nuts and bolts of what kind of structures get set up to resolve conflicts over where resource comes from and gets allocated. The how and who of balancing the competing demands of infrastructure, welfare, health, education, conservation and so on.

                  I can stretch my mind to incremental improvements of what we’ve got now. Things like lowering thresholds for representation in parliament, adjusting tax rates and where they’re spent. I can even get my head around changes as big as introducing a UBI and funding it from new sources, such as carbon taxes and capital gains taxes.

                  But if you want my support for throwing out a big chunk of what we’ve got now in favour of something completely new, I’m going want a very detailed picture of what it is. Preferably with an established model elsewhere showing how it’s going to work.

                  Because for all the flaws in the systems we have now, they still work better than just about everything else I can point at. And the models I can think of that I’d like better, mostly Scandinavian states, are really just incremental changes from what we have here and now.

                  • Bill

                    There isn’t anything new about Social Democracy.

                    In NZ, just look to anything prior 1984. In the UK, look to pre-Thatcher. IN the US, pre-Reagan.

                    You want examples of social democratic policies in action today in the English speaking world? Then look at what the SNP does (free tertiary education, more or less free dental care, no prescription charges, no privatisation of the health service etc…ie, a raft of policies putting people first or of putting society before finance).

                    And that’s achieved by a government that cannot borrow money or raise tax thresh-holds in any meaningful way. It works with in proscribed powers of governance and within the constraints of a formulaic allocation of monies from a Westminster government wedded to liberalism and austerity.

                    Thinking about social democracy versus liberalism = merely thinking about priorities.

                    • Poission

                      We have come upon a very different age from any that preceded us. We have come upon an age when we do not do business in the way in which we used to do business,—when we do not carry on any of the operations of manufacture, sale, transportation, or communication as men used to carry them on. There is a sense in which in our day the individual has been submerged. In most parts of our country men work, not for themselves, not as partners in the old way in which they used to work, but generally as employees,—in a higher or lower grade,—of great corporations. There was a time when corporations played a very minor part in our business affairs, but now they play the chief part, and most men are the servants of corporations.

                      You know what happens when you are the servant of a corporation. You have in no instance access to the men who are really determining the policy of the corporation. If the corporation is doing the things that it ought not to do, you really have no voice in the matter and must obey the orders, and you have oftentimes with deep mortification to co-operate in the doing of things which you know are against the public interest. Your individuality is swallowed up in the individuality and purpose of a great organization.

                      It is true that, while most men are thus submerged in the corporation, a few, a very few, are exalted to a power which as individuals they could never have wielded. Through the great organizations of which they are the heads, a few are enabled to play a part unprecedented by anything in history in the control of the business operations of the country and in the determination of the happiness of great numbers of people.

                      Yesterday, and ever since history began, men were related to one another as individuals. To be sure there were the family, the Church, and the State, institutions which associated men in certain wide circles of relationship. But in the ordinary concerns of life, in the ordinary work, in the daily round, men dealt freely and directly with one another. To-day, the everyday relationships of men are largely with great impersonal concerns, with organizations, not with other individual men.

                      Now this is nothing short of a new social age, a new era of human relationships, a new stage-setting for the drama of life.

                      WOODROW WILSON 1913.

                      http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14811/14811-h/14811-h.htm#V

                    • Andre

                      Very few people I know (actually none that I know of IRL) have fond memories of the Muldoon years. Things like Supplementary Minimum Prices paid to very-well-off farmers, carless days and no weekend petrol, wage-and-price freeze (that was really only a wage freeze) and so on leave a bad taste. I suggest pointing to the specific aspects, such as near-free tertiary education, near-free medical care etc, if you want to get traction in a New Zealand audience.

                      All of those things can be achieved by increments from where we are now, by supporting and pressuring a sympathetic government. Look at how far Key was able to move things the other way, without scaring the populace.

                      Meanwhile, we do have people active in politics advocating those kinds of policies, such as Joe Carolan. If those policies are so popular, why don’t they get a bigger vote share?

                    • Bill

                      So no fond memories of being able to afford a house (either for rent or to buy)?

                      No fond memories of having a secure job – of penal rates – of vastly superior conditions than those endured today…?

                      No fond memories of going to the shops and actually being able to afford the stuff that was needed…?

                      No fond memories of actually getting hospital treatment when you needed it and not being required to have health insurance…?

                      No fond memories of going to university because going to university…?

                      Nah, you’re right. It was a hell zone of no margarine and no frothy wee flat whites….just like most of the rest of the world in the tasteless 70’s. And margarine and wee frothy flat whites are where it’s at.

                      Those things are the prize and the goal and the end point of the liberal medicine bottle marked “no gain without pain”. And my, such gains we have!!

      • Johan 1.1.2

        Adam, not surprising to find out that many anti-democrats want to sweep the dirt under the carpet, as if the filth perpetrated by the Republicans never took place nor isn’t taking place. I am not a fan of American politics, but I am astonished that a pervert, like Trump can rise to the position of President of the USA.

        • Robert Glennie 1.1.2.1

          I am not surprised that Trump became President.

          Hillary crashed Bernie so he couldn’t become Trump’s challenger. If he had manged, the result could have been very different and got people who would have otherwise never thought of voting, come out and do so.

          Hillary should not have even been the Democrat nominee.

          In conservative America, they talk about Republicans In Name Only (R.I.N.O.’s), who are thought to be too left leaning, or forgotten what a “true conservative” is.

          I would say in all honesty, then there must be D.I.N.O.’s too who are too sympathetic to the causes of the Republicans, or who have forgotten what a true socialist is.

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.3

        The is no such thing as fake news, there is just propaganda.

        What a steaming piece of po-mo bullshit. There’s a clear and significant difference between news agencies presenting actually-occurring events in ways you don’t like, and private interests paying people to flood opponents’ communication channels with made-up stories. Pretending there’s no difference helps only the left’s enemies, who have a lot of money to spend on fake news.

        • Bill 1.1.3.1

          Accusations that Iraqi soldiers were throwing babies from incubators onto the floor to die. Fake news or propaganda?

          Last hospital in Aleppo razed (lost count of the number of times that was reported as having happened). Fake news or propaganda?

          Last pediatrician in Aleppo killed. Fake news or propaganda?

          All of the above were stories that were pushed heavily by all major western news outlets and quite a few western NGOs (eg – Amnesty International or medecins sans frontieres). And all were used by western governments to justify actions or positions they were holding and as a way to sway public opinion or attitudes.

          • Psycho Milt 1.1.3.1.1

            I can’t believe this stuff can be genuinely that hard to figure out.

            Scenario 1:
            Kuwaitis who’ve fled the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait describe atrocities committed by the invaders, including the accusation that Iraqi soldiers had pulled babies from incubators. News media extensively report the unverifiable accusations as unverifiable accusations and people make up their own minds how much credence they’ll give them.

            Scenario 2:
            Republican black ops type makes up a story about tens of thousands of fraudulent Clinton votes found in a warehouse and publishes them on his web site, which presents itself as a newspaper site but isn’t one.

            Only one of the above is fake news. If people really do struggle to understand the difference, I suggest they hand in their computers as it would better if they steered clear of the web.

            • Bill 1.1.3.1.1.1

              Scenario 1. The daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US gave false testimony ie – made up a fucking story – before the US Congress and her entirely false story was corroborated by Amnesty International.

              And from the NYT of Dec 16 1990 (one snippet among many that you can find using “google is my advanced friend)

              In its last report, Amnesty International said that based on scores of interviews with refugees, it had found a “horrifying picture of widespread arrests, torture under interrogation, summary executions, and mass extrajudicial killings.”

              Few informed observers disagree. What is at issue, however, is the number of victims. 250 Executions Confirmed

              and

              “Kuwait says seizure of hospital equipment caused many deaths”. Reuters News. September 6, 1992.
              “Iraq equipment removal killed patients – Kuwait.”. Reuters News. September 6, 1992.
              “Kuwaiti says Iraq plundered hospitals”. Associated Press. North Carolina: Charlotte Observer. September 7, 1990. p. A16.
              “Official: Hospitalized in Kuwait are left to die”. Associated Press. Chicago Tribune. September 7, 1990. p. 12.
              “Persian Gulf crisis – More about the Mideast”. Houston Chronicle. September 7, 1990. p. A18.
              “Kuwait Says Iraq Plundered Hospitals”. The San Francisco Chronicle (Associated Press). September 7, 1990. p. A21.
              “Released Hostages Tell of Kuwait Terror”. All Things Considered (Transcription of broadcast). National Public Radio. September 7, 1990. Total destruction everywhere, cars wrecked, burned, people thrown out of cars on the street you’re driving down; they just throw people over the street. They’re hitting children with the butts of the guns, taking infants out of incubators and taking the incubators.

              And for some strange reason you don’t appear to want to speak to the other two salient instances I brought up. Or are you getting around to them?

              I’m going to guess you won’t. And here’s the thing. Labeling some stuff as ‘fake news’ as opposed to propaganda means that propaganda that isn’t liked gets dismissed out of hand and propaganda that’s approved of slips uncritically under the radar. And that’s pernicious.

              • McFlock

                Personally, I think the distinction is that the incubator story was reported by organisations that could fairly be regarded as at least trying (although maybe lazily and with significant confirmation bias) to report an objective truth, whereas “fake news” systems dispense with any attempt to report the truth. And the distinction between fake news and propaganda is that propaganda is designed with a specific angle and frequently merely exagerrates the truth, whereas fake news is just intended to overload the synapses to produce a null response.

                That’s just my personal taxonomy of thumb. It’s all just different flavours of shit.

                • Bill

                  You telling me that Hill & Knowlton were attempting to report an objective truth?

                  If anything qualifies as ‘fake news’ it’s that utter fabrication Hill & Knowlton knowingly and cynically compiled and peddled. And given its fake news status, and the fact it was used to impact on opinion around an invasion of Iraq….well, your distinction for what separates ‘fake news’ from propaganda seem to fall over, no?

                  I agree everything’s shades of shit. But I think my point about the potentially pernicious impact of labeling some stuff as ‘fake news’ and other stuff as propaganda, stands.

                  • McFlock

                    No, it was propaganda from hill&knowlton that was probably reported in good faith by AI and the media (with the caveats and attributions milt has raised).

                    This is a phenomenon distinct from fake news like RT or breitbart or even large swathes of fox news, who flood people with oft-conflicting bullshit simply to overload individuals’ ability to make an informed decision.

                    The objective of propaganda is to mislead or persuade, whereas the objective of fake news is simply to induce information overload in the public sphere.

                    • Bill

                      Lets cut the fucking crap here McFlock. Propaganda is by definition false. There is no distinction between what you want to call fake news and what you’d rather call propaganda….except, it seems, that propaganda would be practiced by those sources you’d seek to be an apologist for (BBC, AI, CNN etc) and fake news would be practiced by those you seek to discount entirely (RT and other non-western news sources alongside a few right wing western news sources).

                      I mean ffs! RT “induces information over-load in the public sphere”??!!

                    • McFlock

                      No, it’s not always “false news”. It often takes the form of fake news, but it tries to form a single, coherent, plausible message. E.g. the incubator story reinforced other atrocity stories, some of which probably true, and the true fact of the actual invasion, in order to produce the coherent message of “Iraq = bad war criminals”

                      It also takes the form of true facts selectively reported in order to reinforce the intended message. The Churchill “gangster” photo with the thompson machine gun was a true depiction that was used by both sides in WW2 to reinforce their respective propaganda messages.

                      It can also take the form of simple opinion or editorial pieces with no assertion of fact: e.g. “keep calm and carry on” or even just the pictorial leaflets of porn on one side and a corpse on the other. The gist is there.

                      But “fake news” functions not by individual or even an over-arching message, but by producing an overwhelming number of conflicting messages. Propaganda tries to drive the car in one direction, fake news just tries to overheat the car’s engine until it seizes.

                      Look at RT’s coverage of the airliner shot down over the ukraine, up to and including obviously faked “satellite photos” of other jets in the area, conflicting statements about the possible antiair systems and their locations, and all sorts of shit about radar tracks. Each theory with its own headline and article, reported as reasonable no matter how outlandish. Just clickbait for morons.

                      That’s qualitatively different to say the BBC or CNN. They might have their own agenda, but at least it’s a coherent agenda, rather than just noise to drown everything else out.

                    • adam

                      Sorry McFlock but noise is just one part of propaganda, you and Psycho Milt want to limit propaganda to a fit your agenda.

                      Propaganda is “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view”

                      A point of view, includes overload, and putting people off.

                      I’m all for differing points of view, and think we should have it. Look the media you seem to being holding up is only three organisations, all corporate, and have one interest, profit.

                      So they do propaganda well. One example is just by omitting news. Standing rock is a good example, then MSNBC and their refusal to do anything positive about Bernie Sanders, instead showing trumps empty podium. They did it for hours. Still propaganda.

                      I’m glad you getting a handle on what is happening. But don’t think it’s not propaganda, that is the road to a very dangerous tribalism bubble.

                    • Bill

                      Look at RT’s coverage of the airliner shot down over the ukraine, up to and including obviously faked “satellite photos” of other jets in the area, conflicting statements about the possible antiair systems and their locations, and all sorts of shit about radar tracks. Each theory with its own headline and article, reported as reasonable no matter how outlandish. Just clickbait for morons.

                      I never really took much interest in that particular event, but all you say about it and use as a reason to condemn rt, applies equally to the framework of western coverage of Syria.

                      And the noise from the BBC, CNN et al is many decibels above anything rt can achieve. It’s like a solo artist playing against an orchestra…and both produce clickbait for morons. (But one obviously produces more readily available clickbait than the other though, aye?)

                    • McFlock

                      Alternatively, Adam, you’re redefining what a “view” is to include information overload (aka the complete absence of a view) in order to fit your false equivalence.

                      You think I’m only just getting a handle on things? I’d feel patronised if you weren’t such a monochromatic tool. Hell, not even monochrome: dot matrix. Thirty years out of date and with a worldview of thousands of unconnected black dots on white paper, no shades of grey.

                    • McFlock

                      I never really took much interest in that particular event, but all you say about it and use as a reason to condemn rt, applies equally to the framework of western coverage of Syria.

                      No, it doesn’t. Nowhere near equally. That’s a false equivalence.

                    • adam

                      My point was not to be condescending, and for that I apologies.

                      That said, you need to read what current people are writing about propaganda. It’s not new what you are trying to point forward, people said similar things about Berlusconi and his campaigns. Then a new wave came with the rise of Putin.

                      So I’m not living in the dark ages, as you wish I was. As I actually read about this quite often. And have for years.

                      Like I said, the problem trying to spin this to fit an agenda, is the road to tribalism.

                    • McFlock

                      “current people”. People with their own agenda? Or just more noise?

                      My approach isn’t particularly new, again I never claimed it was. What it does do is provide a distinction between two logically different approaches to public information warfare.

                      Let’s avoid attribution to particular networks or outlets, and just work on the distinction: is “information overload” as an objective fundamentally different from “attempting to persuade or dissuade people about a particular point of view”?

                      I think they are fundamentally different objectives and are characterised by different tactics.

                    • adam

                      I’m just like a word which actually has a use, and we can use it. That is not that useful when you can not get an agenda out of it.

                    • McFlock

                      But if you want just one word that envelopes two different things, then how do you refer to just one of those things?

                    • Bill

                      Let’s avoid attribution to particular networks or outlets, and just work on the distinction: is “information overload” as an objective fundamentally different from “attempting to persuade or dissuade people about a particular point of view”?

                      So by that definition – that ‘fake news’ is a process of ‘information overload’ – then arguably all of the sports news and the ‘girl shits on Dunedin street’ news and the endless hours of adverts that supposedly impart information, and the Hollywood gossip and the OMG! you’ll never believe what they did, said, happened next…and all of the misleading headlines and vacuous filler on websites and in newspapers and what not… all of that’s fake news.

                      Meanwhile, any spin (on say) a plane being shot down or on the situation in a war zone would be propaganda. And some of it will be quite slick and professional and some of it amateurish. But none of it ‘fake’ insofar as it’s all trying to sway opinion.

                    • McFlock

                      no bill, because although you might think it’s a pointless distraction, some people find sports interesting and want to know about it.

                      That’s real news, supplied in good faith to people who want it, even if it bores the fuck out of you or I.

                      Fake news in regards to sports would involve dozens fictional teams, injury reports, scores and fixtures all thrown in alongside maybe the occasional true report of a football match.

                      How was RT coverage of MH17 being shot down trying to “sway opinion”? What did they want us to believe – that it was a Ukrainian jet, an invented story, a spy plane, a Ukrainian SAM covered up by the US (who saw everything with their 100% radar coverage of the area), or a US “false flag” op? There was no attempt to persuade, just an attempt to overload.

                      The incubator story was part of an actual propaganda campaign where, even if the actors didn’t necessarily coordinate every piece of their material, the US, Kuwaitis, UK, and Saudis all had the basic message “Iraq bad, committing heinous atrocities, must be stopped or someone else is next”.

                    • Bill

                      As far as I’m aware the reporting around MH17 was “it were the Russians that wot did it” on one side of the coin and “it were Ukrainians that wot did it” on the other.

                      But like I said previously, I never paid much attention to any of it since I reckoned (rightly or wrongly) that it was going to be an endless blame game of ping-pong.

                      So I just applied some basic questions around motivation, likelihood and what not, came to a reasonable conclusion and moved on.

                      Yes, sports are of interest to some. And it’s why I used the word “arguably”. I mean, adverts are important to some (I lived with a person who got annoyed if ads were interrupted by people in a room).

                      So are we at the point where fake news is taken to be complete smash that no-one is interested in? If so, it’s completely irrelevant and therefore not a problem.

                      On the other hand, if people are giving some time and energy over to it, then it’s having an impact, and is therefore propaganda.

                      edit – a thousand made up stories around (say) HC impacts on how people perceive HC. There’s an agenda. Just as there was an agenda when the claim was made that German soldiers were bayoneting Belgium babies during WWI…or that babies were thrown from incubators…or that the queen is a lizard.

                      A story about a WW 2 plane being found on the moon – well, that’s in the realm of fake news. (An actual headline story from a UK paper back in the day)

                    • McFlock

                      RT’s approach was to provide conflicting stories, rather than a coherent “it wasn’t us” message.

                      So are we at the point where fake news is taken to be complete smash that no-one is interested in? If so, it’s completely irrelevant and therefore not a problem.

                      It’s noise, that’s the problem. That’s the entire problem. It drowns everything else out, either you create more noise refuting the more plausible stuff or you hope enough people notice that today’s noise is the exact opposite from the noise the same source was throwing out yesterday and will throw out tomorrow. And in the meantime, actual news has to compete for space against utter bullshit.

                      The goal of fake news is to stop people making an informed or considered decision, at all. The goal of propaganda is to get people to make the decision you want.

                    • Bill

                      Hmm. So the propaganda we’ve been fed for years and years about the middle east is predicated on having us make decisions around stuff in the middle east? And here was me thinking that most people I know just throw their hands in the air and announce how it’s all just “too hard”.

                      Much the same with regards Yugoslavia from memory. And was much the same with Northern Ireland too (from the perspective of broadcasts in the UK).

                      Seems all that propaganda was designed to prevent people coming to any kind of informed decision. But that can’t be right according to what you reckon propaganda is and how it differs from ‘fake news’.

                      Libyan troops filling up on Viagra in order to rape opponents to the government in Tripoli. That one was carried ‘everywhere’ and used to generate backing for a ‘no-fly zone’ in Libya. The story was obviously bullshit and noise that crowded out any sensible discussion on Libya (maybe in the same way that Brietbart stuff is noisy bullshit)….and it had an impact.

                      According to what you’ve been saying, the Viagra story should rightfully be seen as propaganda and yet the same type of stuff (coming from Brietbart or wherever and focused on the Democrats or whatever instead of Libya) should be considered ‘fake news’ as opposed to propaganda.

                      And this is straight back to one of my first points about this so-called difference between ‘fake news’ and propaganda. The ‘fake news’ tag gets reserved for specific outlets (lists have been drawn up and circulated by liberal media), meaning that everything those outlets produce becomes tarnished and at risk of instant dismissal regardless of the actual content…leaving the coast clear for ‘our’ propaganda.

                      And that’s pernicious, very dangerous and a damned good reason to run a propaganda campaign around this notion of ‘fake news’.

                    • McFlock

                      According to what you’ve been saying, the Viagra story should rightfully be seen as propaganda […]

                      Not necessarily.
                      The viagra story in the context of a campaign towards a coherent message would be propaganda.

                      The viagra story in the context of it being A) true and b)reported impartially would be news.

                      The viagra story from the same outlet that releases stories about how Libyan soldiers are all part of an abstinence cult, as well as stories about how no medicines are in Libya, and as well as stories that “Libyan” soldiers are all actors in southern Nevada, as well as stories that Libyan soldiers are all women because Libyan men run away, etc etc etc, that’s fake news. Regardless of outlet and regardless of whether one of those stories happens to be true. It’s just about noise, so nobody on the street decides that they have a strong enough onpinion on the matter to write a letter to the editor or their MP or boycott goods from XYZ.

                      You say the “fake news” tag is reserved for specific outlets to discredit the news from those outlets. I say specific outlets are fake news sources because their stories are completely unverifiable and usually contradictory, even if some of their stories are true. It’s impossible to verify or place any reliability on anything from those sources because there’s no distinction between opinion, fact and outright fabrication. To the point that even considering almost anything from those sources is a waste of time, you’ll find out the true stories from other sources sooner or later.

              • The daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US gave false testimony ie – made up a fucking story…

                And the news media reported it as a claim, just like they reported Trump claiming that Obama ordered Trump Tower’s phone’s tapped. That isn’t “fake news,” it’s just “news.”

                And from the NYT of Dec 16 1990…

                Er, yes. The NYT reported Amnesty International’s claims about widespread torture and murder, with the appropriate caveats. And of course, not completely irrelevant to the issue was the fact that widespread torture and murder did actually take place, and wasn’t made up by a party hack to put on his pretend newspaper site.

                And for some strange reason you don’t appear to want to speak to the other two salient instances I brought up.

                Well, no, because they’re just two more instances of the same thing: news media reporting claims from a war zone that can’t be independently verified, as claims from a war zone that can’t be independently verified, otherwise known as “reporting the news.”

                If you can find repeated and egregious instances of reputable news organisations deliberately making up stories and reporting them as news, you’ll have a case. Until then, fake news is something different from regular propaganda.

                • Bill

                  because they’re just two more instances of the same thing: news media reporting claims from a war zone that can’t be independently verified

                  Hmm. Except any western journalist from a major outlet could have interviewed Dr Zahar Buttal, Director of the Aleppo Medical Association with regards hospitals in east Aleppo and registered medical practitioners. But then that might have interfered with the ‘official’ narrative…which has been wholly informed by “opposition” voices.

                  Which is not surprising in light of How Britain funds the ‘propaganda war’ against Isis (and the Syrian government) in Syria

                  The British government is waging information warfare in Syria by funding media operations for some rebel fighting groups, in the foreign front of what David Cameron has called “the propaganda war” against Islamic State (and the Syrian Government)

                  The campaign aims to boost the reputation of what the government calls the “moderate armed opposition”, a complex and shifting alliance of armed factions.

                  Deciding which factions to support is risky for the government because many groups have become increasingly extremist as the five-year civil war grinds on.

                  Contractors hired by the Foreign Office but overseen by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) produce videos, photos, military reports, radio broadcasts, print products and social media posts branded with the logos of fighting groups, and effectively run a press office for opposition fighters

                  Bracketed text my expansion for the sake of accuracy 👿

                  edit. Oops. Forgot to respond to the first part of your reply above. You suggest that media reported the babies and what not as claims. Did you read the list of headlines provided? The word ‘claims’ or ‘alleges’ or any other such like simply doesn’t appear. Kuwaiti says and statement of fact as headline after statement of fact as headline…. 🙄

                  • … any western journalist from a major outlet could have interviewed Dr Zahar Buttal, Director of the Aleppo Medical Association…

                    Well, they could have, but claims from the government side also can’t be verified, and this particular regime mouthpiece wouldn’t have set foot in east Aleppo at least since the start of the siege, so wouldn’t have any current info to base his claims on. It would be like asking rebel forces for commentary on what was happening in west Aleppo.

                    Did you read the list of headlines provided? The word ‘claims’ or ‘alleges’ or any other such like simply doesn’t appear.

                    “Kuwait says” in a headline means the Kuwaiti government is claiming something.

                    • Bill

                      and this particular regime mouthpiece wouldn’t have set foot in east Aleppo at least since the start of the siege, so wouldn’t have any current info to base his claims on.

                      So the head of the medical association is a “regime mouthpiece”. What you base that allegation on? The fact he’s saying stuff that contradicts what the BBC and others reporting from ooutside of the country have reported as true?

                      And even if he didn’t set foot in east Aleppo, he does have the list of all existing hospitals and of all registered medical practitioners for Aleppo. And they can be checked.

                      It would have been an improvement on western reporting had they asked their mates they were embedded with what was going on (Channel 4 ran with Al Zenka for a production that they later removed from their site – linked)

                      Go to 2min and 45 secs and you’ll see Mahmoud Raslan. Now, if you don’t know who Mahmoud Raslan is, well he was the guy who took the ‘boy in the orange seat’ video that all western outlets ran with and who also gleefully filmed his mates (Al Zenki) beheading a 9 year old Palestinian boy.

                    • How do you think an authority figure got his position of authority under an authoritarian dictatorship, Bill?

                      I’m sure this particular one had info on all the registered medical practitioners in Aleppo at the time conflict started – how many of the ones in east Aleppo were still around in its later stages is anyone’s guess, as is the number of foreign volunteers. Likewise the hospitals – people in a city under continuous bombardment end up with makeshift hospitals and don’t concern themselves over-much about official documentation.

                    • Bill

                      See…this bullshit you appear to exhibit…of excusing anything and everything western media says or claims, because to not accept what they say would apparently mean taking a side is…fucking tragic.

                      Nice to see you slipping slightly from the official narrative there though. So now the hospitals may not have been hospitals in the sense claimed and the pediatrician may not have been a pediatrician after all. Jollity.

                    • Just like there’s a difference between propaganda and the more recent phenomenon of fake news, there’s a difference between taking a realistic view of news media organisations and “excusing anything and everything the western media claims.”

                • adam

                  So the New York Times never published anything on “WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION”

                  Brian Williams: “The helicopter I was riding in got hit with an RPG.”

                  “No sailors were harmed by Fukushima radiation.”

                  “Eating cholesterol in foods causes heart disease.” (sugar is the real enemy)

                  “The Dreyfus Affair”

                  Vietnam’s “Gulf of Tonkin”

                  Ronald Reagan and the ‘welfare queen’

                  The Greeks are lazy and don’t pay tax. (or other racist b.s they printed)

                  Sheesh Psycho Milt that is just off the top of my head, I’m sure with a bit of digging I could come up with hundreds more.

                  The media lie all the time, it sells papers and helps make profits. You seem to be under the illusion that they are good. Is that the case?

                  • Sure, you could go on – the list of irrelevant items is effectively infinite. The evidence requested was instances of reputable media organisations deliberately inventing false stories to serve a political purpose – what you’ve provided is examples of media organisations failing to uncover government lies, which is something else entirely.

                    • adam

                      That why Brian Williams was near the top of the list.

                    • adam

                      I’d also add most journalist knew the welfare queen lie and printed it anyway. Many on that list could fall into the same category. Again off the top of my head, without research.

                      I find it interesting you want to differentiate on propaganda. Maybe you should read what propaganda means. I’d say you a twisting it into to a narrow definition to fit your own narrative, rather than looking at as a whole.

                  • joe90

                    most journalist knew the welfare queen lie and printed it anyway.

                    Reagan’s campaign rhetoric reported as fact, really?.

        • adam 1.1.3.2

          So the English language is leaving you now Pscho Milt? Do you understand the definition of the word propaganda?

          I know Wikipedia, but the first sentence is telling.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda

          Fake news is a out and out propaganda term, put out there by Muppet’s who want to mislead people.

          Lies are not new, getting worked up over the latest propaganda term is also not new. Cutting through the lies and b.s, is difficult – but keeping an open mind and read a lot of different sources can help. Buying into your sides latest fetish, helps no one.

  2. Andre 2

    Pie on Trump’s first 50 days.

  3. FlashinthePan 3

    Good to see a new media player in election year.

    Jennings has found his feet – http://newsroom.co.nz/

      • grumpystilskin 3.1.1

        If you read the article it’s obvious that blame should be be on Palace Poultry, the supplier, not Countdown.

        • adam 3.1.1.1

          Just joining the dots – the last time this happened was at countdown.

          Countdown are a good Aussie company, who are good at passing the buck. So just calling it like I see it.

          • garibaldi 3.1.1.1.1

            In all honesty the whole free range market is untrustworthy.

            • adam 3.1.1.1.1.1

              It really does feel like that.

              I’m fast coming to the conclusion that being an ethical consumer, will not change anything. It’s just another lie.

              • aerobubble

                National are poor managers of the economy. Food retailer managers are poor sellers of goods. Going in a Tesco, etc you’d find something worth buying, NZ retail offerings are so contorted and rigged my cash goes elsewhere, its just poor management. Its always been this way, no. eight wire get something that works mentality. Good when your on the frontier but UK ruled the world eith four million people. Its like we keep digging whith a bunch of managers who just know how to did more debt.

              • Gsays

                Well depending on the fluidity of yr ethics, it could be argued that shopping at a supermarket is unethical.

  4. adam 4

    You know Britain gave that bastard Pinochet protection. The guy who killed people for their art.

    https://bitchmedia.org/article/material-acts/chilean-embroiderers-record-memory-stitch-stitch?

  5. Carolyn_nth 5

    Hamish Rutherford on Stuff warns that NZ’s economy looks like it might be cooling.

    Both Westpac and UBS warn growth may have dropped as low as 0.5 per cent in the quarter, which would mark it as the weakest quarter of growth since the start of 2015.

    It would also suggest the economy was growing at around the pace of New Zealand’s annual population growth, currently about 2 per cent – a 40 year high.

    Meanwhile, Bernard Hickey on Newsroom says that the big Aussie banks are now restricting lending to property developers in NZ, meaning there will likely be a drop in the numbers of new residential properties being built in Auckland.

    The Government’s grand plan for a massive boom of apartment and townhouse building to solve Auckland’s housing crisis is quietly being picked apart by banking regulators on both sides of the Tasman.

    Apartment and section developers say banks have pulled back from lending to them in recent months and property buyers also face a squeeze on mortgages from the big four Australian-owned banks because banks are hitting limits set by regulators – both in Australia and New Zealand.

    • tc 5.1

      Nationals disaster ecomonics and unchecked tax haven property speculation seems to be running out of steam.

      JK’s no fool his timings impeccable.

    • Herodotus 5.2

      Meanwhile, Bernard Hickey on Newsroom says that the big Aussie banks are now restricting lending to property developers in NZ. What does he mean “now” this has been the position since the middle of last year, and the consequence of less credit ? The pace of development dramatically slows both in the creation of development land and the construction of dwellings. This has been happening since the end of last year, so no matter what any govt does without the 4 banks to fund there will be limited construction of houses. But leave it to the market to solve !!! eh
      By the time that the media was made aware of this was months after the banks had quietly implemented their policies. Ever wondered why the banks are so compliant with the Reserve Banks restrictions ?? So that they can reduce their risk in the sector.
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/85468366/construction-costs-funding-squeeze-blamed-for-developers-walking-away
      ps://blog.bnz.co.nz/2016/11/auckland-property-developers-feel-funding-pinch/

    • Ad 5.3

      From the Standard and Poor report on New Zealand lending situation:

      “With banks reporting a tightening in lending standards for property development, it’s conceivable that new construction will slow, despite the rollout of the Auckland Unitary Plan, applying further upward pressure on house prices.”

      Our Reserve Bank will also shortly force banks to put more of their profits aside to assure against riskier lending. That will take higher profit margins. And you just know what that means ….

      Auckland has already seen a few developers pull out (eg the St James, Avondale, and Albany ones) even though they had the pre-sales to go. It was simply the Aussie banks saying NO.

      I sure don’t want a housing crash, or a credit crunch, or thousands more homeless, or existing rental landlords just creaming it.

      But the actions of our Australian-dominated banking system says that is where we are headed. There will be no more “show me the money!”

      The 2017 government has an almighty task on its hands. And it’s the biggie: a banking policy problem so big that will test the political independence of the RBA.

    • Grand plan?

      What grand plan?

      As far as I can honestly tell, if they have a plan at all it is a hodge podge mash of various ideas slapped together with a few more houses built here and there at the expense of environmental planning to glue the various bits of this bizarre looking mash together.

  6. Carolyn_nth 6

    On e-tangata, an interview with the Green Party candidate for New Lynn:

    “Leilani Tamu: Was John Key lying to us?”

    Before she gets to talk about JK’s lies, Leilani describes her journey from being a PI-Māori Aucklander, growing up in a Pākehā education system, through learning the Māori and Pacific history of the country and region, to working for MFAT and McCully.

    When Leilani and her husband hit hard times, he was driving a bus on minimum wage, and she saw a reality that was different from the brighter future John key was spinning.

    Then our landlord gave us notice and we couldn’t find a place to rent. And I had this sense of: My God! Here I am. I’ve got a degree. My husband has a degree. We work hard. We work long hours. We’re trying to do the best by our children. And yet, it feels like we’re going backwards.

    All around me I saw the same story. I saw struggle. All around my neighbourhood. My friends and colleagues. And everybody was saying the same thing. So I started to think: John Key has to be telling lies here. Because people are suffering and struggling. And yet he’s telling us, it’s fine. And there’s a big gap between what he’s saying and what I’m seeing.

    That’s when I decided to become political and put myself out there and walk the talk.

    • adam 6.1

      Great read Carolyn_nth, thanks for the link.

    • garibaldi 6.2

      .Good article and good on Leilani for getting active on the Left. One small point is that many thousands of us knew that Key was lying from day one and it is an indictment on how dumbed down we have become to the ravages of neoliberalism that the rest of NZ still can’t ( or don’t want to) see that.

      • Johan 6.2.1

        Shonkey proved himself to be morally corrupt, but a good snake-oil salesman, all for the love of money.

  7. fisiani 7

    OK Keyboard warriors. 177 days till the election. Labour want to be in a coalition with NZF and get Green Support. The MOU only lasts till Sept 23rd. Crazy strategy relying on Winston. I marvel at how easily the Left make assumptions of victory in the absence of any evidence. Do you not realise that National have planned the next 177 days carefully and that there will be a multiple carrots on offer. Labour’s best trick is to change leaders after June 23rd. Will it be Jacinda or Grant?

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]


    [lprent: As was pointed out below, this was a blatant attempt at diversion (I was somewhat busy today). Banned for 2 weeks. If I have to ban you again for anything similar, it will be until 1 month after the election. ]

    • McFlock 7.1

      Meanwhile, is Judith going to make a last tilt at putting “PM” on her CV before the election, or will she be satisfied spending three years as a caretaker opposition leader after blinglish disappears?

    • mauī 7.2

      I often hear Winston making statements supportive of the Government and how he could easily go into a coalition with National. Yeah right.

      You’re in deep do-doo.

    • Cinny 7.3

      How’s the fishing going today Fizzy? Nice day for it?

      • Johan 7.3.1

        Poor old, Act Party supporter, fisiani, goes on a lot of fishing expeditions, and seems to do very little catching, if any. His comments are meant to show there is conflict between Labour/Green and NZF, to me fisiani is just a sad comic.

    • DoublePlusGood 7.4

      If it’s a crazy strategy to be relying on Winston, that’s going to turn out badly for National, given they’ll need Winston to be in coalition with them.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 7.5

      @fizzy 8

      Blatant attempt to derail, without reference to the post topic.

  8. Tautoko Mangō Mata 8

    Protesters held a rally in front of Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel’s home Saturday in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, speaking out against the work by one of his companies that could track airline passengers and other immigrants.

    A small group of protesters were calling attention to a company he co-founded called Palantir.

    Theil is one of only a few Silicon Valley giants who supported Donald Trump for president.

    Former San Francisco City Supervisor Dave Campos says Palantir won a contract to do work for the Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement Agency. “They’ve received this contract, which will essentially create a data system that will allow, that will enable the mass deportation of millions of people,” Campos said.

    According to federal government, in 2014 Palantir was awarded a $41.6 million contract to create an ICE investigative case management system.

    http://abc7news.com/politics/protesters-target-paypal-co-founder-peter-thiel-over-immigration/1797479/

  9. Richard@Downsouth 9

    Completely off topic, but I saw this today… I wonder how many kiwis are affected by this… I know a few people who have had ‘weird’ power bills

    https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/hardware/millions-of-smart-meters-may-over-inflate-readings-by-up-to-600-percent/

    “The study involved several tests conducted on nine different brands of “smart” meters, also referred to in the industry as “static energy meters.” Researchers also used one electromechanical meter for reference… Experiments went on for six months, with individual tests lasting at least one week, and sometimes several weeks. Test results varied wildly, with some meters reporting errors way above their disclosed range, going from -32% to +582%..”

  10. greywarshark 10

    This old house is going and 17 units will be put in its place. Though that sounds positive the price for each will still be $700,000 so that volume and being on one location still can’t bring them within the reach of young hopefuls. Why can’t this be organised by the government. Low interest mortgages over 15 years or longer within the price range of a hard-working young couple. Come on Bill English take a laxative and get moving.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/90306690/Hamilton-1920s-home-to-be-demolished-to-make-way-for-17-new-houses

    “It is in such a bad way inside, it was inevitable [it would go],” she said. “It’ll be sad, but it’s served its purpose.”

    Yeoman Homes is the building contractor for the Ruakiwi Terraces project. Yeoman declined to name the owner of the property.
    Managing director Andrew Yeoman said the homes will be worth around $700,000 each and include three bedrooms, two bathrooms and either a single or double garage.

    Yeoman said the current house was investigated to see if it could be relocated, but it was too riddled with borer and rot to be able to be moved successfully.
    Some of the materials are going to be recycled, he said.

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    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    7 days ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
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    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
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    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
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    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
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    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
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    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
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    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
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    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
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    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
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    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
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    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
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    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: COVID-19 Alert Level 4
    The COVID-19 situation in New Zealand is moving fast - and to avoid what we've seen overseas - the Government's response must be to move fast too. We're committed to keeping New Zealanders safe and well-informed every step of the way. ...
    23 hours ago
  • SPEECH: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw – Ministerial statement on State of National Emergency an...
    Thank you, Mr. Speaker.  The scale of what we face right now is unlike anything we have ever seen before. Overcoming it is our common purpose. ...
    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters urging New Zealanders overseas to stay put
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging New Zealanders overseas to stay where they are amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are reaching a point where the best option for most New Zealanders offshore is to shelter in place, by preparing to safely stay where they are.” "This includes following the instructions ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealanders overseas encouraged to shelter in place
    Rt. Hon. Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters is encouraging the tens of thousands of New Zealanders travelling overseas to consider sheltering in place, in light of COVID-19.  “Since 18 March, we have been warning New Zealanders offshore that the window for flying ...
    5 days ago
  • Ground-breaking abortion law passes, giving NZers compassionate healthcare
    Ground-breaking law has passed that will decriminalise abortion and ensure women and pregnant people seeking abortions have compassionate healthcare. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Package supports Kiwis to put collective health first
    The Green Party says that the measures announced by the Government today will help families and businesses to prioritise our collective health and wellbeing in the response to COVID-19. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: COVID-19 rescue package ‘more significant’ than any worldwide
    As New Zealanders brace for a global downturn due to Covid-19, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says his Coalition Government’s rescue package "more significant" than any other he's seen around the world. The Coalition is to reveal a multi-billion-dollar stimulus plan on Tuesday afternoon designed to cushion the economic blow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our response to COVID-19
    We know some people are feeling anxious about COVID-19. While the situation is serious, New Zealand has a world-class health system and we’re well-prepared to keep New Zealanders safe. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Demerit Points System’ will address youth crime
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill drawn from the ballot today seeks to overhaul the youth justice system by instigating a system of demerit points for offences committed by young offenders. “The ‘Youth Justice Demerit Point System’ will put an end to ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in kingfish farming
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund is investing $6 million in a land-based aquaculture pilot to see whether yellowtail kingfish can be commercially farmed in Northland, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. A recirculating land-based aquaculture system will be built and operated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1BT grants for Northland planting
    Hon. Shane Jones, Minister for Forestry Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced two One Billion Trees programme grants of more than $1.18 million to help hapu and iwi in Northland restore whenua and moana. “Many communities around Aotearoa have benefited from One Billion Trees funding since the programme was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand reaffirms support for Flight MH17 judicial process
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    2 weeks ago
  • PGF investment in green hydrogen
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    2 weeks ago
  • Coronavirus support for Pacific
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    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party passes landmark law to ensure deaf and disabled voices heard equally in democracy
    Chlöe Swarbrick's Members Bill to support disabled general election candidates has passed into law. ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    7 days ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
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  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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