Open Mike 14/10/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 14th, 2018 - 266 comments
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266 comments on “Open Mike 14/10/2018”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Gordon Campbell has alerted us to this: “There is draft legislation before Parliament called the Administration of Justice (Reform of Contempt of Court) Bill 2018. It was introduced by the former Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, but has been taken over by the current government. The main provisions of concern begin at clause 24:

    24 Offence to publish untrue allegation or accusation against Judge or court
    (1) A person commits an offence if the person publishes an allegation or accusation made by that person or another person against a Judge or a court, and there is a real risk that the publication could undermine public confidence in the independence, integrity, or impartiality of the judiciary or a court.
    (2) A person who commits an offence against subsection (1) is liable on conviction,—
    (a) in the case of an individual, to a term of imprisonment of less than 2 years or a fine not exceeding $50,000:
    (b) in the case of a body corporate, to a fine not exceeding $100,000.

    True, there are a couple of safeguards:

    (3) A person has a defence in a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1) if the person proves on the balance of probabilities that—
    (a) the allegation or accusation was true or not materially different from the truth; or
    (b) where the prosecution is based on all or any of the contents of a publication, that publication taken as a whole was in substance true or in substance not materially different from the truth.
    (4) A person has a defence in a prosecution for an offence against subsection (1) if the person proves that, as the online content host or distributor of the publication the person did not know that it con- tained an allegation or accusation against a Judge or a court that created a real risk of undermining public confidence in the independence, integrity, or impartiality of the judiciary or a court.

    Even so, the thrust is to create a new and severe sanctions regime to protect the good name of the courts and of the individual judges who serve in them ; and it runs directly counter to where we’ve been headed with respect to the other arms of our constitutional framework. As Sir Geoffrey Palmer points out in an excellent article (“The Purposes of Protecting Speech” in the New Zealand Law Journal, September 2018) about the history of free speech in this country, the provisions shielding politicians from public criticism and evaluation have been shrinking, ever since the landmark Atkinson v Lange case 20 years ago:

    “This new offence amounts to a statutory libel on a judge or a court. The judiciary are part of the system of government, although independent from Parliament and the Executive. False statements made in attacks upon the government are no longer punishable under the criminal law of libel and slander and sedition. Why should it be any different for the judiciary and the system of justice than for the political arms of government? Special protection for the courts and the judiciary but not the other constitutional arms of government seems to be inconsistent. These provisions in the Bill seem to be bringing back an approach to speech that has recently been rejected by the Parliament. The new offence is heavy handed and likely to be replete with practical difficulties in its application.””

    He and Sir Geoffrey are right to be concerned about this initiative. Seems designed to scare people off being critical of the judiciary. The government ought not to proceed with the legislation. The idea that the judiciary ought to remain a privileged caste is untenable.
    http://werewolf.co.nz/2018/10/gordon-campbell-on-the-ongoing-battles-over-free-speech/

    • SaveNZ 1.1

      +1 Dennis Frank – curbing free speech and more power to the powerful is already happening in NZ and we are becoming someone else’s country…

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.2

      I wouldn’t have thought there was a need for the law in the first place.

      If you’re part of the judiciary you should have lawyer sized balls.

    • Ad 1.3

      Judges aren’t politicians. They are not part of the “system of government”. They are sworn by the Governor General and entirely separate from Cabinet or Parliament. Special protection for the courts and the judiciary but not the other constitutional arms of “government” (Palmer uses the wrong word) is of course inconsistent. Because it is apples and oranges.

      IMHO Appelate and Supreme Courts should be even stronger in their criticism of bad legislation. They should be a very clear check and balance of the executive than they already are. That’s where the focus of criticism should be: depersonalized, and held within the court room.

      If you want to see what it looks like to see judges being able to be thrown into the full play of political discourse, you need look no further than the fully politicized United States system. Whatever you think of the facts in the Kavanagh case, a similar selection process is repeated (albeit more quietly) for every single enforcing judicial appointment down to County Sheriff.

      I’d certainly prefer stripping away Parliamentary privileges to slander anyone without facts – especially within the debating chamber. Go for heightening the responsibilities of elected citizens to be held like any other citizen. MP’s need fewer protections – Paula Bennet taught us it was OK to hunt down individual citizens.

      But protecting Judges? Definitely.

      • Dennis Frank 1.3.1

        Hmm. Probably a situation where both/and logic applies. I agree that courts can be useful for exposing bad legislation. I agree that the American model of a politicised judiciary is too problematic for us, but nobody ought to be protected from public accountability so I will remain resolute that a privileged caste status for the judiciary is untenable. Their current self-policing model didn’t work for the police, did it? Why assume that judges are a superior type of human to police?

        • Ad 1.3.1.1

          Call me elitist if you like, but judges are an elite. And that is right. We need them as an elite: they are and ought to be the paragon of civic virtue, because they alone hold the power to strip citizens of most of their rights.

          They are better than the Police.

          If we want to question their judgements, rock on to ZB and have a crack on the facts. Otherwise, if there’s issues to really have a go at a case, rights of appeal to a superior court.

          • SaveNZ 1.3.1.1.1

            The elite should be subject to the most scrutiny.

            • cleangreen 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Yes SaveNZ

              The elite must be Governed too!!!!!

              Otherwise if not, then we agree to the narrative that “money talks and truth walks”. ‘Or that money can buy anything or anyone’.

          • Gabby 1.3.1.1.2

            Elitist addy, if they’re so shit hot they hardly need additional statutary protection.

      • Jilly Bee 1.3.2

        “I’d certainly prefer stripping away Parliamentary privileges to slander anyone without facts – especially within the debating chamber. Go for heightening the responsibilities of elected citizens to be held like any other citizen. MP’s need fewer protections – Paula Bennet taught us it was OK to hunt down individual citizens.”
        Hear, hear Ad.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      So, you’re complaining that people won’t be able to lie without consequences?

      • Dennis Frank 1.4.1

        Dunno where you get that from…

        • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1.1

          From you complaining about legislation that simply makes it illegal to lie.

          • Dennis Frank 1.4.1.1.1

            Okay, so that’s your subjective take on what clause 24, section 1 actually says? Can you not see that it implicitly includes opinions about judicial bias? Consider that immensely long line of male judges who routinely found males accused of rape not guilty due to lack of evidence. Consider a lobby group of feminists publicly pointing out that male bias was consistently re-victimising female complainants. Consider them being prosecuted under this law for bringing the judiciary into disrepute. Do you get it yet?

            • SaveNZ 1.4.1.1.1.1

              exactly Dennis Frank, there are those that believe the system has become systematically racist against Maori for example – the judiciary is not above the law and should answer to the people and concerns and not be protected from scrutiny and free speech.

              We already have laws against slander, well used we see by RWNJ – the Hagaman vs Little for example and Bob Jones suing the film maker.

              People in power should NOT be above the law and they certainly don’t need additional laws to protect them.

              In fact it sounds like the laws need to protect public speech and freedom of speech against those in power, judging from how our current laws seem to be protecting the powerful not helping the public.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.4.1.1.1.2

              Section one does not exist in a vacuum and all up it says that people are not allowed to lie about judges. I find this eminently sensible.

    • Bill 1.5

      blah, blah, blah could undermine public confidence in the independence, integrity, or impartiality of the judiciary or a court.

      Such public confidence exists?

      • Dennis Frank 1.5.1

        😊 In particular niches in the body politic, most obviously those inhabited by establishment mainstreamers such as Sir GP & those who draft legislation for governments of the left & right…

    • Morrissey 1.6

      So the likes of that old duffer Sir Thomas Eichelbaum could not be criticized. We might as well just invite the Chinese CP to run the country.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.6.1

        Yes he can be but only with facts.

        • Morrissey 1.6.1.1

          Facts? Never a concern for Thomas Eichelbaum as he conducted that farcical “inquiry” into the Christchurch Creche scandal, or his farcical “inquiry” into John O’Neill’s hijacking of the 2003 RWC hosting.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Nothing entirely new in this but the framing of the issue is nicely done:

    That’s according to investigative journalist Oliver Bullough, who is working to unravel the intricate global web of money and power.

    “I think the damage that is being done by this is now more and more visible and more and more obvious,” he says of offshore tax havens and widespread kleptocracy.

    And while he says the problem is big, it’s also relatively new.

    “I think officials have probably always stolen from the people they rule, but essentially 60, 70 years ago if you stole money, you could put it in a hole in the ground but that was more or less all you could do with it, you couldn’t really enjoy it properly,” he told RN’s Geraldine Doogue.

    But the invention of offshore finance by bankers in London and Switzerland in the 1950s changed that, he says.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-13/oliver-bullough-on-moneyland-tax-evasion-and-offshore-wealth/10359142

    Again another massive global scale problem that the nations states struggle with. Some progress has been made, but it feels like we’re still fiddling at the margins. Only a global entity, fully authorised to pursue this offshore money can root it out entirely.

  3. Ed 3

    Reputable UK website news the Canary warns of oncoming crash.

    “Stock market shows signs of an imminent crash, and it could be 2007/8 all over again
    The US stock market has had a bad week. And it might be the beginnings of something bigger. Because according to some experts, another financial crash may well be on its way soon.

    On 10 October, US stocks experienced “their steepest drop in eight months”. The Standard & Poor 500-stock index registered its longest string of consecutive losses since November 2016.

    They tumbled again the next day, with the New York Times reporting widespread declines in “everything from previously high-flying tech shares to usually insulated sectors like consumer staples and utilities”. As trading ended, the market was down an extra 2.1% since the previous day. For the month of October, stocks in the US are down 6.4%. This makes it the worst month since 2008, and we all remember what happened in that year.

    Indeed, many experts see current trends as a forecast for what is to come: another financial crash of similar proportions. Even some international institutions, which have historically supported the kind of free-market system that led to the 2008 crash, are now predicting another one.

    According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), global debt levels (which are now well above those in 2008), combined with governmental failure to enact proper reform, put the world at risk of a repeat.”

    https://t.co/Tp77kuvWoP?amp=1

    • RedLogix 3.1

      An excellent linky; and a worrisome one for this govt. The last thing we need right now is another ‘rainy day’.

      A growing body of economic research confirms that once a financial sector grows above an optimal size and beyond its useful roles, it begins to harm the country that hosts it.

      Indeed I recall reading an interesting modelling done by Steven Keen that more or less predicted exactly this problem. And it’s an entirely avoidable one; all that is needed is regulation around offshore money as described above, and constraining banks to their proper role … trusted bookkeepers of daily real world transactions.

      • Ed 3.1.1

        Steve Keen is an economist worth listening to.

        • Ad 3.1.1.1

          Steve Keen has been telling us there’s a crash coming, every six months, for the last decade – since the last crash. He’s guaranteed to be right but it’s not a particularly useful thing to say. And it’s really, really hard to swallow everything the IMF has to say about global financial management much as I adore Christine Lagarde.

          Personally I’m hoping the upcoming March hard Brexit deflates the City of London and disburses financial power into something more diffuse.

          Other than save everything you have and pay off your mortgage, there is nothing the New Zealand citizen can do about it anyway.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            He’s guaranteed to be right but it’s not a particularly useful thing to say.

            It’s very useful because he also tells us why that crash is coming.

            Other than save everything you have and pay off your mortgage, there is nothing the New Zealand citizen can do about it anyway.

            Wrong.

            We could always vote in a government that could put in place an actually working economy rather than the delusional one that we have.

      • Ed 3.1.2

        Steve Keen said this last month.

        • RedLogix 3.1.2.1

          I’ve been closely following Keen for years; I even met the guy when he was in Wgtn some years back. Ad has a point; Keen’s modelling points to the inherent instability of our current economic setup, but it can’t tell him exactly when the tipping point will happen.

          Still the numbers aren’t pretty. Keen was one of the first to really hit on debt to GDP ratios as a key predictor, and fundamentally he’s right. His move to the UK seems to have worked very well for him; he’s incredibly bright and committed to what he believes in.

        • RedLogix 3.1.2.2

          And this is why I keep pivoting back to gross inequality as one of a handful of vital issues we face. Focus.

    • Dennis Frank 3.2

      As always, check Jim Rickards @ https://jimrickards.blogspot.com/ 😎 I had to scan down to his Sept 3 post to find this:

      “Shorting volatility indexes has been a very popular income-producing strategy for years. Traders sell put options on volatility indexes, collect the option premium as income, wait out the option expiration and profit at the option buyer’s expense. It’s been like selling flood protection in the desert; seems like easy money. The problem is that every now and then a flash flood does hit the desert.”

      “When we consider recent financial catastrophes affecting U.S. investors only, without regard to other types of disaster, we have had major stock market crashes or global liquidity crises in 1987, 1994, 1998, 2000 and 2008. That’s five major drawdowns in 31 years, or an average of about once every six years. The last such event was 10 years ago. So the world is overdue for another crisis based on market history.”

      As you will see, his recent focus has been on how Trump & Putin are playing the China squeeze, using Iran as leverage. So he’s seeing the geopolitical game as more significant than Wall St vulnerability at present.

    • James 3.3

      “Reputable UK website news the Canary”

      Oh Ed you funny wee thing.

      • Ed 3.3.1

        If you have nothing useful to add, please scroll past.

        • James 3.3.1.1

          Perhaps you should look at your replies to me over many months and see what a hypocrite you are.

          But regardless you slam professions media and put forward second rate left wing, conspiracy nut jobs and a idiot who like to pretend he’s a oust as reputable.

          You are a strange old fella arnt ya Ed.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      One major difference between the 1930s and 2008 crashes is that in the 1930s the politicians actually tried to fix the system. In 2008 the politicians simply bailed out the rich and then left things as they were which means that another crash is inevitable.

  4. Ed 4

    In case people forget, each Friday the Israeli army is killing Palestinians in Gaza.
    Every Friday.

    ‘At least 7 Palestinians were killed and dozens injured on Friday when the Israeli occupation forces heavily opened fire at the peaceful protesters taking part in the Great March of Return. According to the spokesman for Gaza’s Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qedra, the martyrs were identified as Ahmad al-Tawil, 27, Mohammed Ismail, 29, Ahmad Abu Neim, 17, Abdullah al-Doghma, 25, Afifi Afifi, 18, Tamer Abu Ermana, 22, and Mohammed Abbas, 21. Al-Qedra said that 192 protesters were injured, 140 of whom by live ammunition and three are in critical condition. There are 45 children, eight girls, and two paramedics among the injured. Thousands of Palestinians marched in the afternoon along the border between the Gaza Strip and the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories to take part in the protests of the 29th Friday of the Great March of Return. ‘

    https://mobile.twitter.com/swilkinsonbc

  5. Ed 5

    Good morning ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the newest episode of “Everything is Russia’s Fault”….in the world according to Bellingcat.

    ‘Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke dismisses Bellingcat’s “wild” accusations that Malaysia is under the influence of Russian operatives when stating there is no conclusive proof Russia was responsible for downing MalaysiaAirlines MH17’

    ‘Transport Minister Anthony Loke has denied any suggestions that Malaysia was influenced by Russia when declaring there was no conclusive evidence to confirm that the country was responsible for the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014.

    Investigators probing the downing of flight MH17 had stated in July that the missile which brought down the plane over eastern Ukraine originated from a Russian military brigade. All 298 people onboard died.’

    https://t.co/ZXKGvBUS78?amp=1

    • Stuart Munro 5.1

      There is a mindset among investigative communities that rushes to blame, that may be in play. In the process of mapping out the MH17 incident Bellingcat encountered multiple instances of untrue statements from official Russian sources, which they were able to show to be untrue. It would not be surprising if they developed a presumption that Russia were the culprit, similar perhaps to that developed by police against marginalized communities.

      But Russia has a long history and a substantial presence in the intelligence game. An active and effective analytical team like Bellingcat are in some respects their worst nightmare. The fog of war that has made many covert activities routine is being dissipated by digital proliferation, and ultimately this may forcibly change the nature of espionage operations.

      • Bill 5.1.1

        If I’m accused of something that wasn’t my doing, might I not offer up a number of alternative possibilities beside my denial? On the basis that those possibilities can’t all be true, or even if none are true, does that mean I’m guilty of whatever I’ve been accused of?

        Anyway and whatever.

        Bellingcat is being pushed very hard by The Guardian (Are we really to believe that we ought to rely on such a source – as the Guardian implores we do in this piece from today?). And for “open source” journalism, he gets and puts out a hell of a lot of obscure and unverifiable info.

        There are some very good independent commentators, bloggers, analysists out there. Bellingcat isn’t one of them. You’ll disagree (which is fine), but to me Bellingcat is about as dodgy as Whaleoil, though unlike Whaleoil, Bellingcat gets unabashed mainstream promotion….a bit like the fella in Coventry – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights who was also and always taken at face value and whose message was boosted and amplified by mainstream media touting him as a supposedly worthy and independent source.

        • Stuart Munro 5.1.1.1

          The greater part of Bellingcat’s work is open source – which enables you to verify or debunk their claims if they trouble you. Recently Bellingcat has many critics – but no one has been able to show them to have been in error. If you can by all means do.

          “There are some very good independent commentators, bloggers, analysists out there.”

          In fact they’re a very mixed bag, and highly susceptible to capture, so that previously reliable sources may lose that quality. That may be what happened to your SOHR example. We see it with larger organisations too – as Ed quite rightly pointed out about the BBC, and part of the character of that is the pattern of local influence – so that the BBC is perhaps one of the better organisations reporting on US politics, but it took Al Jazeera to break the UK based LFI & spies v Corbyn story. It’s a point in Reuters’ favour that they don’t have much in the way of a comparable local vulnerability.

          It is this pattern of local influence that troubles me about once reliable sources like Fisk, who, it may be presumed, have to live under the rule of the reigning power in their area and do not presently seem to be producing the robust stories with which they made their reputations.

          • mauī 5.1.1.1.1

            There’s not going to be a great number of people who can verify their claims. For a start you’re going to have speak or read Russian, and have access to official Russian databases, etc. If you get past those checkboxes then there’s the added problem of getting any exposure of your work in the mainstream press.

            Anyone Russian, offering reasonable critique and countering the mainstream press is going to have three strikes against them and zero chance of publication.

            • Stuart Munro 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t think that’s entirely true, given that Craig Murray, who is essentially devoid of factual content, seems to have no difficulty getting published.

              As it is with Bellingcat, who likely do attract some level of implicit state support, so any Russian who could score a hit on Bellingcat atm would likely find doors would open for them that normally would remain closed.

        • Ed 5.1.1.2

          Interesting that the White Helmets come from Coventry and Bellingcat from Leicester.
          Hardly as glamorous as Paris and New York!

          • Stuart Munro 5.1.1.2.1

            Yes – the kind of snide comment Hosking might make about Jacinda Ed.

            Have you any substantive criticism of Bellingcat, or is it just that they have repeatedly exposed the crimes of your Russian masters?

            • McFlock 5.1.1.2.1.1

              that was ed being nice, remember.

              • Stuart Munro

                Yes – his being nice comes with a daily full court press of denialism and Assad and Putin apology.

                You tell me, did he have any substantive criticisms?

                Because the Ed propaganda machine is rolling on in just the same despicable way. It’s not as if it were lack of kindness in the cut and thrust of his vacuous arguments that were the problem.

                • McFlock

                  Apparently the Malaysian transport minister says that they don’t know who shot their plane down and going against the findings of the international investigation has nothing to do with Russia. Even though he also said that Malaysia has to take into account diplomatic relations with Russia, according to Ed’s own link.

                  So in the “Russia is always innocent” file, we now have Malaysia’s announcement that they can’t be sure Russia shot their plane down was made for reasons that took into account diplomatic relations with Russia, but Russia didn’t influence Malaysia’s position.

                  The Bellingcat stuff about compromised investigators is interesting and plausible, but who knows. Loke said that Malaysia’s position on the findings of the investigation were made for reasons that went beyond “is the investigation true” and included “would the Russians like what we say”.

        • Stuart Munro 5.1.1.3

          “If I’m accused of something that wasn’t my doing, might I not offer up a number of alternative possibilities beside my denial? On the basis that those possibilities can’t all be true, or even if none are true, does that mean I’m guilty of whatever I’ve been accused of?”

          Quite.

          But it does mean anyone investigating is obliged to treat your statements as unreliable and possibly hostile.

          • McFlock 5.1.1.3.1

            lol the other point is that if you’re innocent you don’t offer up obviously bullshit alternative theories, or try to hack labs that are analysing evidence of the crimes you absolutely had nothing to do with.

            You offer alibis, reasonable alternative theories, and keep the fuck away from the investigation.

            • Stuart Munro 5.1.1.3.1.1

              I think there are several levels of culture in play here McFlock.

              The somewhat romantic notion that justice will be the outcome of investigative processes is traditionally both less true and less popularly believed in Russia. The Judiciary there has little in the way of a record of operating as a check or balance on the excesses of the powerful, making the good faith behaviour expected of innocent suspects in the West seem rather naïve. And in consequence, those in power enjoy a determinate relationship with the truth – their statements go unquestioned and are treated as fact.

              When they encounter Western processes they trip up with great frequency – some of these cultural factors were behind the high rate of prosecutions for fisheries offences, that and a habit of disregarding local law.

    • joe90 5.2

      From meaningless fake-news scribblers to a rag-tag band of amateurs to an arm of the deep state, controlled by MI6 and whoever the fuck else, all within a matter of weeks.

    • cleangreen 5.3

      Ed, 100%

      The expansionists inside the EU want to take over parts of Russia for their expansion pl;ans going forward.

      Just in the way Hitler did in 1942 when he sent his military to kill a million Jews in Ukraine and clear it out with women 500 000 as slaves sent to Germany, http://infoukes.com/history/ww2/page-13.html

      He effectively cleared some of the central/eastern population for his own placement of many German and other ethnic ‘settlers’ there – just to take Ukraine off Russia for themselves then.

      So we are witnessing this again now and the EU is using NATO to set up the pressure to fully carry that plan out.

  6. Ed 6

    Scary stuff.

    ‘Internet Censorship Just Took An Unprecedented Leap Forward, And Hardly Anyone Noticed.

    While most indie media was focused on debating the way people talk about Kanye West and the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an unprecedented escalation in internet censorship took place which threatens everything we all care about. It received frighteningly little attention.
    After a massive purge of hundreds of politically oriented pages and personal accounts for “inauthentic behavior”, Facebook rightly received a fair amount of criticism for the nebulous and hotly disputed basis for that action. What received relatively little attention was the far more ominous step which was taken next: within hours of being purged from Facebook, multiple anti-establishment alternative media sites had their accounts completely removed from Twitter as well.
    As of this writing I am aware of three large alternative media outlets which were expelled from both platforms at almost the same time: Anti-Media, the Free Thought Project, and Police the Police, all of whom had millions of followers on Facebook. Both the Editor-in-Chief of Anti-Media and its Chief Creative Officer were also banned by Twitter, and are being kept from having any new accounts on that site as well….’

    Read it all here.

    https://t.co/7gg9ltEY3u?amp=1

    • SaveNZ 6.1

      +1 Ed, more censorship and looks like the big media players control the message.

      Not sure how that works with first amendment rights, free speech etc…

      sounds like free speech etc are increasingly being removed or increased obstacles being bought about, from Western democracies.

    • francesca 6.2

      Ed, when Facebook cravenly took down Palestinian FB accounts on the sayso of the Israeli govt, that was it for me, I finally learnt how to quit FB for good, and a lengthy and tedious process it was , too.
      Now I do the work of reading the Guardian and Independent etc, then the online journalists like Jonathan Cook,Greenwald,Cockburn etc who have been most reliable in the past, rather than getting my news “fed”
      Am reading Hersh’s memoir “Reporter ” at the moment , a beauty!

  7. Jenny 8

    Necessity is the mother of invention

    Sitting at the traffic lights on my way to work the other day, I found myself at the front of the queue, as the streams of cars from the other direction passed by.

    As I sat in my car hunched over the wheel, my mind wandered and I wondered; What would happen if the oil companies stopped drilling oil? What if the oil tankers stopped coming to Marsden Point?

    Would society collapse?

    Would all these people stop going to work?

    Or would they find some other way?

    Would the government immediately hoard all remaining supplies and prioritise public transport?

    Would the car yards would sell out all those previously hard to shift electric vehicles over the weekend?

    Would a few enterprising individuals build stills and modify their cars to run on ethanol?

    Would the government reallocate resources from motorways and roading and launch massive works projects to expand public electric transport, across the city?

    Would buses and trains become the favoured method of getting to work?

    Would many younger and fitter people take to bicycles, to get to their jobs and/or places of study?

    Would all these working people determined to get to their places of employment, keep the supply chains operating?

    Or, would would all these people just sit at home, only leaving the house to riot and loot?

    Would society collapse?

    Or, after a short period of dislocation would industry and the economy, be transformed?

    Thinking this as I sat at the lights, as they changed to green. Witnessing all my fellow commuters, stopping to let me by, all patiently waiting to take their turn to go, all as seriously dedicated to getting to work on time as myself. As I put my foot down, I felt a surge of optimism to match my rev counter.

    • Chuck 8.1

      “What would happen if the oil companies stopped drilling oil? What if the oil tankers stopped coming to Marsden Point?”

      The original Mad Max movie might give you a peep into that future 🙂

      No oil = back to the stone age. We could not manufacture EV vehicles / or maintain and repair existing infrastructure.

      • Sacha 8.1.1

        Even the roads themselves are made from oil.

        • KJT 8.1.1.1

          The Romans made roads rather well without oil. Seem to last longer, also.

          • Sacha 8.1.1.1.1

            Donkeys cause less damage than trucks.

            • McFlock 8.1.1.1.1.2

              ISTR the autobahns are largely cement.
              And there’s rail.

              Oil is used so much not because it’s the only way to do things, but because it’s the easiest way to do things. We can make hydrocarbons, crack them into fuels like octane or join them into plastic polymers of immensely long carbon chains. It just takes less effort to do it using oil as a starting point, rather than anything else. Without oil, it might be cheaper to use tin, glass, or paper rather than plastic, but plastics will still be available.

              I sometimes think that the easier advances drive us forward, but then we stagnate for a bit because we didn’t put much work into the alternatives and now we’ve taken that tech as far as it goes. When they stop working, like oil or antibiotics, more resources go into developing the alternatives that we ignored, but there’s still a development gap. And if that gap happens at the wrong time, it might be like stalling a car on a railway crossing.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.2

            And Rome still collapsed.

      • SaveNZ 8.1.2

        Makes even more sense now we are in peak oil, and with climate change, not to waste oil but to instead make everything else possible renewable such as transport and power and stop using plastic for everything and save the oil for where we have nothing else.

        Also another benefit of electric transport is that is quieter, easier to fix as they have thousands of fewer parts, less pollution, soon will be cheaper…

      • cleangreen 8.1.3

        Like Jenny said
        ” Necessity is the mother of invention”

        Perhaps we may get smart and plan our lives around us rather than travelling 2 hours to work as a lady said from Northland yesterday.

        When I grew up in Napier in the 1950’s we used to notice that workplaces were close by then, and now people have to drive long distances today to get to a job.

        We went wrong somewhere.

      • Jenny 8.1.4

        Chuck 8.1
        14 October 2018 at 9:17 am
        “What would happen if the oil companies stopped drilling oil? What if the oil tankers stopped coming to Marsden Point?”

        The original Mad Max movie might give you a peep into that future 🙂

        Hi Chuck, Yes, I think I saw that documentary.

  8. Jenny 9

    National; The people’s champion?

    As polls show that a big majority of Kiwis want the government to take action to avert climate change.

    Feeling that they are losing the losing the argument the previous champions of big business and the fossil fuel industry are trying to re-position themselves as the people’s friend.

    Government ‘trying to close down people’s voice’ on fossil fuels, gas – National
    Newshub staff – October 14, 2018

    • KJT 9.1

      Last poll I saw on the subject, 80% wanted Government to take action on climate change.

      Peoples voice?

    • Bewildered 9.2

      Nz can not avert climate change, even if we shut the place down it would have a squat level of difference, Its all down to India China Russia and the US.

      • Anne 9.2.1

        Hi Bewildered,
        No-one is saying NZ can “avert Climate Change”.

        It’s true, a large part of it is down to India, China, Russia and the US, but if the rest of the world fronts up and does their bit then the biggest polluters will have no choice but to follow suit. They may do so reluctantly, but it is very much an intertwined world these days and to not take appropriate action will turn them into pariah states that no-one wants to know.

        That should be more than enough to goad them into action.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1

          And one way that the Rest of the World could do that is to simply stop trading with those big polluters.

          In fact, this is where the UN should be stepping in and placing sanctions upon those big polluters.

        • millsy 9.2.1.2

          Ironically, India Russia and China still have (the majority at least of) their oil and gas industries under government control, so a transtion to cleaner technology can be easily managed than, say here, where the private sector runs everthing and shareholders considerations have to be taken into account.

        • cleangreen 9.2.1.3

          Line up to save the climate NZ as we need to stand for our kids future now.

          “Pay it forward”

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2

        We still have to stop using fossil fuels as continuing to do so is unsustainable.

  9. Jenny 10

    Another country mistakenly confuses ‘tourists’ with ‘terrorists’.

    Missing journalist ‘recorded audio of his killing on Apple watch’
    Sky News UK – October 13, 2018

    A Saudi-owned satellite news channel has begun referring to the 15-man team as “tourists,” without providing evidence to support the claim.

    It echoes how Russia has described the men who allegedly carried out the novichok nerve agent poisonings in Salisbury in March.

    I wonder whether these ‘tourists’ will appear on Saudi Television to tell how they traveled to the Saudi embassy in Turkey to admire the furnishings.

    • Cinny 10.1

      This weeks episode of The Listening Post, sheds more light on the topic.

      Dodgy Saudi’s, didn’t even try very hard to conceal their actions, that’s what does my head in.

      Al Jazerra are covering the story in great depth, seems to be the best outlet for news in this instance.

      Topic was also discussed on Inside Story.

    • Jenny 10.2

      Will the usual band of useful idiots be rushing to their keyboards to defend the Saudi Government’s version of events?

      Will they repeat some claim that they read on some pro-Saudi or obscure Right Wing conspiracy website, that there was no attack on Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Embassy.

      Our busy band of useful idiots may even start reposting video of some regime stooge speaking to camera claiming they saw Khashoggi leave the embassy?

      As more evidence inevitably tumbles out, will our useful idiots, quickly change tack to claim that it was a false flag attack?

      That Jamal Khashoggi went into the Saudi Embassy and killed himself to blemish the spotless human rights record of the rulers of Riyadh.

      Nothing anymore would surprise me from this band of useful idiots.

      • adam 10.2.1

        Funny Jenny, you seem to forget why I questioned your take on Syria. My issue with you was that you were supporting the terrorists who were backed by Saudi Arabia. In relation to fighting units on the ground.

        The only useful idiot is you who keeps thinking that the Syrian army is not an arm of extremist terrorist groups , like ISIS and Al-Qaeda – who get funding from Saudi Arabia.

        By the way, do you really support Syrians against Assad? Because your woefully pathetic when it comes to Rojava. I would have thought supporting the real democrats was somthing you might do – rather than the fake ones who get weapons from terrorists.

        • adam 10.2.1.1

          I meant to say “free Syrian army” – not “Syrian army” in the second paragraph. My bad.

    • Carolyn_Nth 10.3

      So Trump’s response is to wave a big stick and say that he won’t stop US companies selling arms to Saudi.

      On the Intercept today, Sarah Aziza on how Khashoggi’s disappearance is in keeping with a long term pattern, and how Saudi oppression of ex-pat critics abroad has intensified recently.

      The audacious, and outsized, nature of Saudi’s more recent crackdowns on its citizens abroad reflect MBS’s intense desire to control the narrative — in any and every form — about his rule. The crown prince has spent millions to project an image of himself as a reformer and visionary for a burgeoning Saudi renaissance, but his rule has been marked by increasingly autocratic tactics both domestically and abroad. This shift has lead to an uptick in Saudi asylum-seekers in Western countries, as well as thousands more who, like Khashoggi, have sought homes abroad through other means.

      Khouri said bin Salman’s brutal tactics, now underscored by Khashoggi’s mysterious case, have sent chills through the Saudi diaspora, which could have grave ramifications for the region. “It’s gotten to the point that many ordinary people — non-activists, non-journalists — feel afraid to use their minds, to speak about opinions of any kind. There’s a sense that the government will not tolerate anything but outright pro-government propaganda,” he said.

      • Bill 10.3.1

        It’s gotten to the point that many ordinary people — non-activists, non-journalists — feel afraid to use their minds, to speak about opinions of any kind.

        I was reading recently (The Intercept) that the women who spearheaded the campaign to be allowed to drive cars were contacted by the government immediately prior to consent being granted and warned not to comment. Since then, some of them have arrested and basically disappeared.

        And the west and arms and Yemen and Syria and AQ and wahhabism aside – was it this year or last year that the UK (slight hyperbole) adorned the country with glowing adverts promoting the wonderful progressive credentials of bin Salman who was popping in for a state visit?

      • cleangreen 10.4.1

        I just heard on the Fox Channel that someone leaked the details that he was cut to pieces by a bone sawing machine.

        No wonder why they said it was “to graphic” to release.

        Usual Islamic state killing.

        • McFlock 10.4.1.1

          Totally plausible, but also fox. So who knows…

        • Bill 10.4.1.2

          …he was cut to pieces by a bone sawing machine.

          That some slicey dicey AI machine on two legs patrolling the embassy then? Or maybe a hack saw?

  10. Carolyn_Nth 11

    Scrolling through open mic this mroning, I was wondering where all the women had gone?

    Just looks like the centuries old patriarchal tradition of men dominating public space. It gets boring.

    • Kat 11.1

      Well the keyboard, once the domain of women in the “typing pool” is now a powerful tool and men love powerful tools. Some men can use their tools very adeptly, others just pound away making a lot of noise and a big mess in the end. Its a pity these men that pound their tools never learnt the finesse of stuffing envelopes.

    • JohnSelway 11.2

      There’s no barrier for anyone of any sex, race or creed from signing up or commenting here.

      • adam 11.2.1

        Woooshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

        • JohnSelway 11.2.1.1

          Yeah well, maybe…but I am still trying to see how it it is considered patriarchal when this is a place that not only allows everyone and anyone to comment but actively encourages female participation (or at the very least is welcoming of female viewpoints without prejudice).

          If I am missing something please enlighten me

          • Carolyn_Nth 11.2.1.1.1

            It’s about the patriarchal culture as seen in the comments. It’s a wider issue than just this blog. All the biggest political blogs in NZ, left and right, are male dominated – as has politics been traditionally.

            There seems to be a never ending stream of comments from guys, whether or not they are well informed. Women tend to be less prolific in their comments.

            The moderation policies of blogs don’t touch this.

            Public Address does it in more polite, MOR ways than is often the case on TS.

            But, I think in each blog there is a competitive, ego-driven element to it.

            In public forums, and even some social circles, men have traditionally dominated political discussion, and often in a quite combative way. It seems to be an arena where men establish their place in the social hierarchy, and aim to try to achieve status.

            Some women are quite at home in such arenas, and quite comfortable participating in such a culture – but so far in history, they are probably a minority.

            There are also men who totally dislike such a patriarchal culture, and opt out, or don’t participate in that way.

            • JohnSelway 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Ok – I want to touch on this specifically:

              “There seems to be a never ending stream of comments from guys, whether or not they are well informed. Women tend to be less prolific in their comments.

              The moderation policies of blogs don’t touch this.”

              Are you suggesting that it is wrong that men tend more frequently comment than woman and that moderators should do….what? Limit the amount of comments men make? And should men comment less because women are commenting less?

              Sorry – I’m just really confused at what you are implying.

              • gsays

                For me John, what I reckon it means is:
                if you are in a bar with your family, quiet drink planned, followed by a meal.
                Part way through your drink, a rugby team, off duty cops, a 21st on a bar crawl come in.
                They then dominate ‘ the vibe’ of the establishment with their loud, boisterous and obnoxious behaviour.

                Nothing illegal, rather understandable, just where you would rather not be any more.

            • gsays 11.2.1.1.1.2

              There is a mild concern for me that patriarchy is becoming a word of derision.

              It’s inevitably used (spat out)when blokes are being dicks.
              As a bloke, I am very conscious (thanks largely to a female, Celia Lashlie) of what it means to be male.

              That does include nurturing, mentoring, advocating and networking.
              Also imagining an alternative future.

              There will always be blokes being dicks.

              • Carolyn_Nth

                Ummm… yes, patriarchy is not a good thing. It establish a hierarchy of power where women especially get a bad deal, as to trans people – but so do some groups of men.

                Patriarchy is not so much about individuals, as being about a system and culture. Individuals, of any gender, can support, reinforce and perpetuate patriarchy, or than can choose not to.

                • RedLogix

                  patriarchy is not a good thing

                  Yet it invented the world you live in. Do you need a list of the ways in which your life is better than it was 10,000 years ago?

                  For all of human history up until very recently, the constraints of biology and the advantages of each gender specialising somewhat, meant a number of things. One is that women dominated the private domestic sphere of life with it’s safer and less onerous work, and were generally somewhat better with relational and people oriented tasks. While men undertook the laborious, dangerous, risky outdoor work and were somewhat better with analytic and object oriented tasks.

                  As a result the relationship between the genders was idealised in terms of women being modest and prudent, while men were expected to be gallant and protective. It seem reasonable to use the word patriarchy to describe this arrangement, but it’s worth noting that women derived as much benefit from it as men; each in their own fashion.

                  But every virtue or quality has both a light and dark aspect; modesty and prudence transform into repression and stagnation; gallant and protective step over into aggressive and possessive. And there can be no doubt that throughout history, the relative freedom and privileges that a small minority the most successful males enjoyed (and their sometime abuse of these things) could only be looked on from a distance by most people.

                  But for all it’s flaws and limitations this system has undeniably worked; together men and women have imperfectly fumbled their way into the absolute miracle which is the modern world. We live longer, we’re much safer, healthier and can access resources, travel and information on a scale unimaginable even a century ago. In particular women are no longer constrained by their physical strength and biology to little more than domestic work and baby making; industrialisation made a much broader range of work accessible to them, and the pill gave them choice … for the very first time in our evolution.

                  It’s hard to overstate the transformation this has been; and it’s all pretty much happened in our lifetimes.

                  And its clear there are many unintended consequence flowing from this that both genders are grappling with. But it does seem to me that framing the entire narrative as an evil oppressive ‘patriarchy’, pitting each gender against the other in a zero-sum battle is not going to have a happy outcome for anyone. We succeeded as species against quite incredible odds (geneticists tell us that we nearly went extinct at least twice in our pre-history) because despite our differences, men and women teamed up, each working to their strengths, each protecting each other’s weaknesses.

                  I’d argue the same plan is most likely to get us through this transformation too.

                  Cheers

    • One Two 11.3

      How many times you’ve used ‘partiarch’ and derivatives in your comments, Cn…

      It’s people slinging mud at eachother on an anonymous blog site…people with problems…people who may not manage those problems as well as they might like…

      ‘Partiarchal’…no…

      Perhaps it’s your mindset causing you to be bored ?

      • Carolyn_Nth 11.3.1

        Because patriarchal culture is alive and well. And women are being driven away from this site because of that culture.

        And it DOES become boring.

        • One Two 11.3.1.1

          Repetitive. Absolutely…

          Boring. In your opinion…which is just that…

          Patricarhal Culture…smh..

          Life must be more challenging than it already needs to be when looking through a pre-defined lens…

          We need to be freeing ourselves from mind bondage…not accepting or embracing it…

          • McFlock 11.3.1.1.1

            So was it a large helping of ‘shroom soup that freed your mind, or do you just take acid regularly?

      • gsays 11.3.2

        See one two, that’s the difference between you and me.

        Your attitude of “on an anonymous blog site…” is in on contrast to my view of this as a community, (virtually the only internet one indulge in), people with problems, Tories, capitalists, greenies, anarchists and all.

        I don’t have an issue with your behaviour per se, it’s the snarky, name calling, 8 yr old Willy waving over the last wee while that is very off putting.

        • One Two 11.3.2.1

          Terminology usage aside, gsays…it’s an anonymous online blog site…

          Expectation management seems to be something that many here are grappling with…

          It’s for individuals to examine why they are grappling, to the point where abuse and open disapprovals are common themes which dominate threads…

          • gsays 11.3.2.1.1

            Words reveal your heart one two.

            If anonymous is your words you will behave accordingly.
            If community is then ditto.

            As to an appeal to authority, (moderators) I would rather we organise along affirmations.
            Be kind to each other.

            • McFlock 11.3.2.1.1.1

              I have nothing against kindness as such.

              I just find it funny that most of the people who criticise my tone when I use rude words have usually been repetitively and incredibly patronising, rude, and downright insulting.

              But heaven forfend they should read or write a simple little four-letter word.

    • Gabby 11.4

      How do you know who the women are?

      • Carolyn_Nth 11.4.1

        For the most part because of things people have said about themselves over time.

        Of the people above who commented on OM today, the following are men:
        Dennis Frank, SaveNZ, Ad, Draco TB, Bill, RedLogix, Ed, Stuart Munro, McFlock, Sacha, KJT.

        Some are women, including ones who have identified as such in this discussion: Jenny, Anne, Cinny, Kay.

        Some others I have a fair idea of their gender, but not conclusively.

        You, I don’t know, in spite of using a female handle – could be male or female. I haven’t read you say anything indicating your gender.

        • JohnSelway 11.4.1.1

          Then I’m curious as to what you think should happen then to make this less male dominated?

          Men don’t comment as often? People moderate their language to be more welcoming of women?

          Neither seem appropriate. This is the comment section of a politics blog, it’s heavy on the cut and thrust and outside of not using sexist, racist or homophobic language (which people shouldn’t) there isn’t much you could suggest

  11. Ankerrawshark 12

    I am here and reading today.

    But there was a thread a couple of days back about some commenters firing shots at each other, rather than attacking the argument and I want to add my tuppance worth about that. Please don’t attack the person, but by all means attack their argument. It’s not nice to read personal attacks (btw I am not saying I have never ever done it).

    But I think if a slanging match breaks out’ moderators should consider a ban and us by standers should speak up more

    • Carolyn_Nth 12.1

      Yes. I agree about attacking the argument not the person.

      I also often think it’s best to let it go if I disagree with someone – after one or two rounds the main points have been made and positions often seem to be entrenched. Continuing to try to have the last word just makes it boring for others and it’s probably when the slanging matches start.

      And I’m selective about the comments I read – partly because I often don’t have the time or energy at the moment.

      • Anne 12.1.1

        Carolyn_Nth @ 11

        It gets boring.
        That’s why.

        We, women, have a habit of disagreeing with quite a few of them because we can see some issues from a different and often better informed perspective than they can.

        That should elicit a comment or two. 😉

        • Anne 12.1.1.1

          I should have added to the main sentence…. and some of them don’t like it.

        • Dennis Frank 12.1.1.2

          The past quarter century a considerable impetus has gathered under the label of evolutionary psychology. The gist of it relevant to this thread is that women are relational by nature. I wouldn’t go so far as to say men are not, just that men are inherently competitive rather than collaborative. Inasmuch as I see the need for both, I agree that interpersonal polarising driven by the male ego is inappropriate for this forum whilst understanding that some males remain unable to mature. 😎

          • Anne 12.1.1.2.1

            women are relational by nature.

            Relational
            adjective:
            concerning the way in which two or more people or things are connected.
            “there was no relational link between the killer and his victim”

            I would go along with that premise.

            Thanks Dennis Frank. 🙂

            • RedLogix 12.1.1.2.1.1

              On average men are indeed more interested in abstraction and things, while women are more skilled with the relational and people. Empirically it’s not a huge difference, we still share more in common than not. But I always imagined we evolved these complementary strengths so that together as a team we would could be better than we might be on our own.

              I must have listened the MK’s Sailing to Philadelphia album more than several hundred times now; it’s master work, a perceptive, loving ode to the human condition:

      • Jilly Bee 12.1.2

        Thank you Carolyn_Nth. The Standard has been my go to political blog for the past few years – the commentary has been well worth reading and mostly respectful of others’ views. The out and out war that was waged over the past few days had me on the verge of opting out for a while, if the flame throwing and general willy waving by a few regulars was going to keep on. There’s no need for TS to become a clone of KB – we’re better than that.

        • Carolyn_Nth 12.1.2.1

          Thanks, Jilly Bee. I haven’t been eading the comments much over the past few days – been too busy. So I missed the flame wars.

          It just struck me that the earliest comments on open mic this morning consisted of regular male commenters taking up a lot of space – hence me wondering where all the women had gone.

      • greywarshark 12.1.3

        Carolyn-Nth and Ann
        If commenters write in about something other than one’s favourite topic, it would be encouraging to have short comments from those who are fussed about too many RWs coming here. I try to put up stuff that I think needs consideration, and important to NZrs. Yet they don’t seem of interest, instead everyone chases after the RWs and old children having mudfights here instead of in another playground.

        Nobody said it was going to be easy to get change for the better in NZ. Yet when some people set up a forum that has been so successful as TS, I am amazed that people don’t want to ensure that it keeps going. To hear the lukewarm response from people who find that some have differing opinions about their gripes is pathetic; the sons and daughters of pioneers here have become lackadaisical it seems.

        There is extreme need for opening up our minds from conservative thinking that was narrow last century, and we have never taken on wide citizen political thinking and discussion either at home or in school. We have been witless and now we have the chance to repair that omission, so where are the people who are passionate about NZrs ability to move on with policies helping people back into 20th century living standards within the next ten years. All I hear is ‘Oh that won’t work’ put-downs.

        We don’t deserve to have a good living standard because we think we ought, and won’t achieve that while we act like helpless slaves at our masters’ beck and call. Soon we will have lost the opportunity for various reasons that we should all understand if we set aside half a brain from being involved in the television, easy listening, sporting, drinking, pleasing ourselves culture.

        I guarantee that all we know is coming to a sad end. In London, years ago there was always a guy with a big sign ‘The End Is Nigh’. I thought that was a sign of great determination and belief at a time when evidence pointed towards getting Better and Better. Now it is me preaching the same as that man, after much experience and maturing and a long life. I can see clearly now, and through coming here can amend and correct my judgments through reading others’ experience, information and critiques.

        • greywarshark 12.1.3.1

          Here is something that Russia did well – Moscow anyway. Probably a lot of money involved getting cameras on cranes etc.

          But bright cheerful well- performed, everyone got into it well, and that and Ode to Joy with little girl flashmob in Spain take the biscuit (chocolate).

          We can come together and have good art and performance like that now, there are people who pull together and create. But we have to activate the comfortable rest into community stuff, get them forming cross-party groups doing fun NZ things and some society-building work once a month, having political meetings and then making plans to advance on that point in a way that will help those left behind.

          • Anne 12.1.3.1.1

            If there’s one thing Russia has over much of the rest of the world its the cultural thing. They are just brilliant. I spend a lot of time watching and listening to their traditional and classical dancing and beautiful songs – always exquisitely performed.

            https://www.youtube.com/watchv=T4chpyTIE5Q

            • Anne 12.1.3.1.1.1

              I’ll try again:

              Russian rendition of the famous dance from Zorba the Greek. Little bit of culture folks:

              • greywarshark

                Love this dance. It is good to watch it on youtube being performed in various places by Greeks, at a wedding, in front of their ancient monuments, at a street dance in some city which may not have been Greek. They have a sense of national identity. I wonder if we will be able to get cohesion like that or have we run out of time to where we are hanging on with our bare teeth.

    • mickysavage 12.2

      I am pleased the tone of this morning’s open mike has improved. There will be greater monitoring of discussions.

      As said by Ankerrawshark please keep arguments about the issues and not about who makes the comments.

    • James 12.3

      “Us bystanders should speck up more”

      It amazes me the amount of abuse people on this site choose to ignore if it’s directed at a nat or a more right wing person.

  12. Kay 13

    Here too Carolyn, but only just. The slagging matches of the last couple of days have been extremely off putting.

    The beauty of the internet is there are sites/forums to meet everyone’s needs, including adults whom for whatever reason like to behave not like adults. They’re easy enough to find if one is that desperate.

    • Ngungukai 13.1

      Trolls need to issued bans, first temporarily and then final.

      It just puts people off visiting the site as we are looking for intellligent discussion on important issues.

      • Incognito 13.1.1

        It’s more (worse) than just (!) trolling IMO. Inaccurate labels inevitably result in ineffective approaches that even can be counter-productive (backfire).

      • JohnSelway 13.1.2

        “Trolls need to issued bans, first temporarily and then final.”

        All to often people label someone as a troll for just having a different opinion. It isn’t that simple

  13. alwyn 14

    I wonder if there was any cost-benefit analysis on the Island Bay cycle way in Wellington?
    As originally installed it was a disaster. Rather than do what the people of Wellington wanted, which was to scrap the stupid thing, the Council decided to replace it with a “better” version.
    Well, the cost has apparently risen to $12 million. Even the local MP and former Councillor is getting unhappy.

    “Rongotai MP and Island Bay resident, Paul Eagle, said he was concerned the costs of the Island Bay “compromise” solution had significantly blown out.
    He understood the $6m design signed off by the council in 2017 would now cost $12m.
    “If that is the case, it will be about $6m per kilometre.”.

    Any cyclist willing to justify this madness from out left-dominated City Council?
    I never thought I would say it but even the last Mayor, the ineffectual Celia, wasn’t as bad as the current idiot.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/107758672/wellington-city-council-seeks-24m-from-government-for-southern-suburb-cycleways

    • Grantoc 14.1

      I agree Alwyn.

      The current mayor and city council fantisise that Wellington is Scandinavia with nice wide flat roads and relatively benign weather.

      Their attempts to encourage ratepayers to use alternative transport systems to cars, such as disrupting a perfectly good bus service and replacing it with one that the Chair of the Regional Council believes we should have, have been abysmal failures.

      I also agree with comments about the mayoralty. I’ve forgotten who Wellington’s mayor is. He’s not visible, apart from turning up at various fringe events in the city.

    • Ngungukai 14.2

      Same as some of the Mt Albert Cycleways and the Mt Albert Town Centre Upgrade, AT have made some terrible cock ups in the Sparkling Pony’s Electorate, you wonder whether they do it on purpose or are they really just totally incompetent ? One has to wonder sometimes, they seem to throw COMMON SENSE out the window.

      • Sacha 14.2.1

        Do you have any linked articles or posts about your issues with the Mt Albert cycleway? Aside from the obvious disruption during construction for any project’s immediate area.

      • greywarshark 14.2.2

        I object to the sly put-down of Sparkling Pony for our PM. There is reason to show respect for politicians that are trying to do something positive for NZ. They might not, will not achieve all we want but for heaven’s sake don’t diss them while they are trying, while they are in a position to advance the people’s wishes for improved conditions.

  14. Ngungukai 15

    Good piss take on Auckland IMHO

  15. greywarshark 16

    Looked at as ‘politics is theatre’ today, Kavanaugh’s performance was great. While our attention is captured by these spoilt rich-guys elbowing everyone out of the way we are detoured from important actions by those in leading positions in our country, politicians or businesspeople or academics and scientists. We are instead watching similar to the male teenage NZ schoolboys playing on the luggage carousel at a NZ airport who received parental support who turned instead on their trainers, the school leaders. This is so they can learn they can do what they like in a degenerate society with the impunity of their deserving, entitled culture of dominance.

    Meanwhile the real action goes on behind the scenes. Try looking at what is being hidden behind the theatre of politics.
    (theatre, theatrical: acting; artificial, pompous, spectacular, or extravagantly histrionic)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatrical_style
    There are four basic theatrical forms either defined, implied, or derived by or from Aristotle: Tragedy; Comedy; Melodrama; and Drama. Any number of styles can be used to convey these forms.

    A good working definition of, “Style”, is how something is done. Theatrical styles are influenced by their time and place, artistic and other social structures, as well as the individual style of the particular artist or artists. As theater is a mongrel art form, a production may or may not have stylistic integrity with regard to script, acting, direction, design, music, and venue.

    Comedy
    https://www.britannica.com/art/comedy
    its function is frankly corrective. The comic artist’s purpose is to hold a mirror up to society to reflect its follies and vices, in the hope that they will, as a result, be mended.
    https://www.britannica.com/art/comedy

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comedy
    The theatrical genre of Greek comedy can be described as a dramatic performance which pits two groups or societies against each other in an amusing agon or conflict. Northrop Frye depicted these two opposing sides as a “Society of Youth” and a “Society of the Old.”[2]

    A revised view characterizes the essential agon of comedy as a struggle between a relatively powerless youth and the societal conventions that pose obstacles to his hopes. In this struggle, the youth is understood to be constrained by his lack of social authority, and is left with little choice but to take recourse in ruses which engender very dramatic irony which provokes laughter.[3]

    There is a Russian theatre of Moscow Academic Satire Theatre
    Going since founding in 1924 and updated in 1960. They are still trying and thinking where it seems that we are still trying.
    https://um.mos.ru/en/houses/theatre-of-satire/

    When we watch Trump and sometimes? our politicians – are we watching the ‘theatre of the absurd’?
    The characters in Absurdist drama are lost and floating in an incomprehensible universe and they abandon rational devices and discursive thought because these approaches are inadequate.[117] Many characters appear as automatons stuck in routines speaking only in cliché (Ionesco called the Old Man and Old Woman in The Chairs “uber-marrionettes”).[118][119] Characters are frequently stereotypical, archetypal, or flat character types as in Commedia dell’arte.[120][121][122]

    The more complex characters are in crisis because the world around them is incomprehensible.[122] Many of Pinter’s plays, for example, feature characters trapped in an enclosed space menaced by some force the character can’t understand.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theatre_of_the_Absurd

    If you have managed to read all this comment, then I think that you are not lost in space, but still holding onto meaning and direction through the maze and fog of present day society, which is what I am trying to do. Can people attempting this in good faith to the benefit of all humans unite, but not to form cults that take advantage of people’s vulnerability to virtually imprison them. Those within the cult and create a parallel universe that can never be tested by the inmates mixing and learning from people outside.

    • Incognito 16.1

      Very good comment, thank you.

      We certainly don’t want or need cults, which is one reason why I’m wary of putting people on a pedestal and fawning over them as if they were super-human heroes/heroines.

      We also don’t want or need echo-chambers in which everybody agrees, pats each other on the back and where dissonant/dissenting voices are not tolerated and silenced without hesitation and due consideration.

      BTW, I read your reply to me a couple of days ago, which I wholeheartedly agree with; it had run out of reply buttons.

      Open Mike 10/10/2018

      • greywarshark 16.1.1

        Buttons handy – I like chocolate ones. Thanks for return comment and hope all goes okay with ideas for the blog.

        • gsays 16.1.1.1

          Without trying to teach nana how to suck eggs: Malcolm Gladwell does a great podcast series called revisionist history.

          In one of the episodes he looks at satire and its supposed effectiveness as a political tool.
          He concludes it is often useless.

  16. Ed 17

    John Pilger discusses Syria, its ally Iran and the Trump administration’s policies towards the two countries. The journalist the public should be listening to.
    Thought provoking stuff.

  17. CHCOff 18

    Brexit is a drama, & perhaps no one does tabloid politics culture quite like the British.

    As an alternative, could have the two strongest Tory factions both negotiate their own deals with the EU as the party in power, along with Labour negotiating one deal. Then have an independent commission present them to the public with the two to four main pros of the individual deals as determined by their political factions, put forward but in the context that the political parties have to stay silent about where the deals came from etc This might have extended to having neutrals doing the negotiations for them, so even the EU doesn’t know.

    Another words, removing party identifications out of the equation, for the British public to vote on the best deal. The other parties in parliament are allowed to contribute one or two opinion points to the options. But on the whole, the debate is de-partied, and they have a big public conversation about it, and then vote.

  18. SaveNZ 19

    Food for thought: the smart way to better brain health

    “These effects are particularly evident by looking at brain scans of people on different diets. For example, when we compared the scans of middle-aged people who had eaten a Mediterranean diet most of their lives with those of people of the same age who ate a western diet with processed food, processed meats, sweets and fizzy drinks, we saw the way the latter group’s brains had shrunk prematurely. Subsequent studies provided even more alarming evidence that people on the western diet had started developing Alzheimer’s plaques already in their 40s and 50s. These are all signs of accelerated ageing and increased risk of future dementia.

    The bottom line is this: the more processed, packaged and refined foods that you consume on a regular basis, the higher your risk of cognitive decline further down the line.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/oct/13/food-diet-what-you-eat-affects-brain-health-dementia

  19. Ed 20

    Independent Syrian War journalist Vanessa Beeley discusses the Idlib offensive, the Syrian Arab Army’s progress on the battlefield and the decision made to resettle the White Helmets in the UK.

    She is one of the few really bold, daring honest journalists in the world.

    • You’ve misspelled ‘owned’ Ed. Beeley is just another right wing hack happy to take money from dictators and do their lying for them.

      View at Medium.com

      • Ed 20.1.1

        That, of course, is a matter of opinion.
        Many left wing people really admire her work, including George Galloway and John Pilger.

        The source you use is Brian Whitaker, once from the Guardian. The Guardian has nailed its colours firmly to the side of the anti Assad alliance and cannot be seen as impartial.

        • te reo putake 20.1.1.1

          Er, no. It’s a matter of fact. She works for RT and a couple of websites associated with Alex Jones. Just a bullshit artist looking for dollars and dupes.

          • Ed 20.1.1.1.1

            OK, let’s agree to disagree.

            • te reo putake 20.1.1.1.1.1

              Lets not. Its your credibility on the line when you make mistakes like this, Ed. Try googling your sources in future (you won’t like what you find out about Galloway’s views on rape for starters).

            • mauī 20.1.1.1.1.2

              There is a lot of vitriole towards your sources Ed… I wonder why..

              • Ed

                Any ideas?

                • Stuart Munro

                  Because they are invariably dishonest.

                  • Ed

                    My sources are dishonest?

                    Pilger
                    Fisk
                    Cockburn
                    Chomsky
                    Hersh
                    Beeley…..

                    You are welcome to your opinion about the dishonesty of these people.
                    You do have to accept, though, that many left wing people admire and respect these reporters.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You know for all he’s never among your posts, Chomsky is always on the list you pull out to try to fake credibility.

                      So is Fisk.

                      We’ve seen your example of Hersh – perhaps it was not his best work, but it was what you chose, and it was rubbish.

                      Beeley is more your speed, as are Galloway and Murray.

                      These people are the worst of the fringe, reporters of very low reliability. So that perhaps you ought to think of some other criteria for validating content than relying on their notorious want of judgement.

                    • Ed

                      As Bill mentions below, Beeley is on a’ list of the 238 most respected journalists, as nominated by journalists in the 2018 Journalists at Work survey.’

                      So if would seem ‘that nctj journalists (among many others) would disagree with your take there’.

                    • Ed

                      Fisk has written a lot questioning the official corporate media narrative in Syria. Easy to access.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I’ve read quite of lot of Fisk as it happens Ed.

                      But nothing in the rubbish you post suggests to me that you have,

                      Oh, and RT should appear on your reference list. It would be dishonest to pretend that they are not a major influence on you.

                    • Liberal Realist

                      I am one of those left leaning people that have great admiration for those journalists..

                      You could add Craig Murray to that list? Seems that for some, Bellingcat is somehow credible yet Pilger, Fisk, et al are not! Pretty far out if you ask me.

                      Keep it up Ed! I for one enjoy your posts here at TheStandard. Those with blinding bias will always exist, best to humour them and move on 🙂

                  • gsays

                    Way to go Stuart, first Chomsky is dodgy now fisk has sold out.

                    As an aside, thanks for toning it down today.

                    I admire and trust that above list of journos.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Good for you – if you’d read a little more carefully instead of looking for the cheap shot, in the comment to which you refer no judgement is made of Chomsky. The only mention of Chomsky is when he puts together a list like this, to pretend to the rational virtues Chomsky exhibits, that he does not.

            • Ed 20.1.1.1.1.3

              It is a matter of fCts that Pilger and Galloway respect Beeley’s work.
              Not a matter of opinion.

              • Stuart Munro

                I’m sure Galloway is a leading authority on fCts – when it comes to contemporary politics however he is not a luminary.

          • Bill 20.1.1.1.2

            A list of the 238 most respected journalists, as nominated by journalists in the 2018 Journalists at Work survey 😉

            http://www.nctj.com/downloadlibrary/A%20list%20of%20the%20238%20most%20respected%20journalists.pdf

            No Brian Whitaker on the list, but….

    • joe90 20.2

      Arse. Beeley’s a vile propagandist for the war criminal Assad and makes a shed load out of the blood of Syrians.

      Shame.

      • Bill 20.2.1

        Seems that nctj journalists (among many others) would disagree with your take there joe90.

  20. joe90 21

    Yevgenia Shishkina, the Russian investigator shot dead outside her home had been investigating embezzlement at Aeroflot.

    Boris Berezovsky, Alexander Litvinenko, and Nikolai Glushkov, the Russian dude strangled with a dog leash in his London home were all linked to the same scam.

    https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.kommersant.ru%2Fdoc%2F3766252

    • Bill 21.1

      Dodgy oligarchs (at least some of who had been in tow with Yeltsin) were involved in a “fly buys” scam? Seriously!?

      Given that Glushkov’s frozen assets resulted in $52 million being returned to Russia sometime around the early 00s, that’s one hell of a loyalty programme 🙂

      • joe90 21.1.1

        Gangster state oligarchs who fell out with the boss knew too much, met sticky ends.

        • greywarshark 21.1.1.1

          Could have been called Slushkov’s ice bloc.

          • Gabby 21.1.1.1.1

            Cos murder’s funneee greysy.

            • greywarshark 21.1.1.1.1.1

              Gabby-ey=ey
              I find putting that ey – ie ending on everything is sort of insolent. Don’t know why. Is that intended by the way?

            • Morrissey 21.1.1.1.1.2

              It certainly is funny, Gabby, when the murderers are Israeli execution squads or American soldiers. When a team of Israeli hit men killed Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel in 2010, they were all caught on CCTV entering and leaving the victim’s room. It was shown on television, including in New Zealand, with Benny Hill music to emphasize how funneee it was.

              When the heroes of the 82nd Airborne rampaged through Fallujah in 2003, with snipers picking off civilians and special squads invading Fallujah Hospital and tying up and beating patients, doctors and nurses, David Letterman would use this punchline for his jokes: “Where do you think you are? Fal-LUJAH?!???!?!?”

              So, yes, Gabby, murder is indeed “funneee” to some people, as long as the murderers are on “our side.”

        • Bill 21.1.1.2

          So were they or weren’t they involved in the same loyalty programme scam?

          Knew too much (about something) and done in? Possibly.

          But then again, everyone and their dog was contaminated with that polonium which…well, when you’re smuggling nuclear material from reactors.

          Berezovsky’s post mortem was suicide (hanged). Same with Glushcov who, like Berezovsky wound up broke.

          But they could have been “done in”…by the Russian government or by others of their ilk. Lots of people involved with Bill Browder (any in a position to point the finger on that quarter billion tax scam) wound up dead too. Just saying like.

          • joe90 21.1.1.2.1

            As with most criminal earners, it’s likely the Aeroflot scam has been handed on with the new owners of the scam coughing up commission.
            Fuck with a mobsters income at your peril.

            Perhaps Litvinenko’s assassins were just another charming gay couple, who loved cathedrals, hated a little bit of slush and operated a nutrition business together, eh?

            Police are having another look at Berezovsky’s alleged suicide and there’s an ongoing murder inquiry into Glushkov’s death.

            And have no doubt, the looters of Russia’s wealth, the nexus of old state corruption and organised crime who filled the post soviet space, are just like your run of the mill violent thug but with way more to lose.

            Their leader, Boris Berezovsky, was found hanged in a bathroom of his house in Berkshire, England, in 2013, in a death that was initially called a suicide but now police are investigating anew. Mr. Berezovsky’s longtime security assistant, former Russian security officer Alexander Litvinenko, was killed in 2006 by a fatal dose of the radioactive isotope polonium-210, a murder the U.K. blamed on Russia. Another partner, Badri Patarkatsishvili, died of a heart attack in 2008, in what police have deemed natural causes.

            Mr. Glushkov, Mr. Berezovsky’s right-hand man, was the last alive.

            https://www.wsj.com/articles/a-trio-of-wealthy-russians-made-an-enemy-of-putin-now-theyre-all-dead-1539181416?mod=e2fb

            https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/mar/16/police-confirm-that-nikolai-glushkov-was-murdered-but-why

            • Bill 21.1.1.2.1.1

              I’m really struggling to understand how a loyalty programme scam can net many tens of millions dollars, but hey.

              That aside.

              Like I said, Litvinenko’s associates (the two guys fingered for spiking him as well as a…was it an Italian living in Spain?) apparently had traces of pulonium either on their person or detected on furnishings etc they had been in contact with.

              And since pulonium only comes from nuclear reactors and they were all in the business of smuggling nuclear material…

              Murdered? Assassinated?

              He was a smuggler of nuclear material and now he’s dead.

              Berezovsky and Glushkov were Fay and Richwhite on steroids. Now they’re dead. And I’m as upset as their passing as I would or will be at the passing of Sir Michael Fay or David Richwhite (or that Kiwi who choked to death on a crisp in Fiji that may or may not have been being held on the end of someone’s hand at the time )

              If there was a criminal act behind their deaths, then investigate it and if possible bring people to trial.

              But this bullshit knee jerking to rush around like one eyed noble souls creating and havering about “human rights” and “Russia bad” ad nauseam and demanding retribution as though the Russian Federation was the only place on earth with dodgy as fuck governance and “social elements”…it’s not just tedious, dull and predictable, it creates escape hatches for utter bastards like Bill Browder to slip out through.

              • Macro

                I’m really struggling to understand how a loyalty programme scam can net many tens of millions dollars, but hey.

                Just down the road from where I lived in Coatesville was built a Mc Mansion which at that time was said to be the most expensive house to be built in NZ at the time. The cost was in the 10’s of millions of dollars. The woman who was having the house built, was the originator of a NZ wide Xmas Club. /www.chrisco.co.nz/default.aspx Chrisco’s. It subsequently earned notoriety as it became Dotcom’s residence, and it was there that the police raided.
                So here is how it goes – people put $20.00 into the scheme each week and of course Chrisco’s get to use that money to invest. When the people decide to redeem their “savings” on christmas gifts the items are sold to them at hugely inflated prices over and above cost.
                Loyalty schemes work in much the same way. The margins are lower a few cents per dollar on each purchase, but the scheme ensures a regular Customer. In a large market such as Russia large numbers of purchases total up to millions which you then invest at higher returns and any “rewards” received value way less than actual cost.

                • Bill

                  If you’d bothered to read joe90’s original link, you’d see the murdered police officer was investigating a complex criminal case of a criminal community whose members specialized in stealing bonus miles from participants of the PJSC Aeroflot loyalty program.

                  Which is explained by way of google translation…

                  SMS messages [were sent to] to the participants of the Aeroflot Bonus PJSC Aeroflot loyalty program and got access to the personal accounts of the company’s clients, who inadvertently entered into correspondence with fraudsters. Then, the OPS members turned off the cabinet’s protective functions (SMS notification at the entrance), got access to the bonuses accumulated by the passenger, and then sold them to the profile online communities wishing to purchase tickets at a price with a substantial discount.

                  A nice earner, no doubt. But I really do doubt the ‘hit rate’ was such that it funded the hugely extravagant lifestyles of the people joe90 reckons were also involved in the scam – their bullshit was of a different order and at the level of essentially stealing entire companies.

                  • Macro

                    I completely understand that side of the scenario Bill. I was simply showing that running loyalty programmes can net bags of money as well. Why else do major retailers indulge in them, if it is nor profit driven.

              • Stuart Munro

                Litvinenko had gone private. Russia had plenty of reason to want to silence him – he knew things and was trading on them.

                • Bill

                  What things was he trading on?

                  I mean, he was on his death bed for quite a while and had (not quite) all the time in the world to spill the beans knowing there would be no consequences or repercussions.

                  So there must be a heap of stuff out there in the public domain. Big stuff. Revelationary. You able to give me a head’s up?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    “former officer of the Russian FSB secret service who specialised in tackling organised crime” Wikipedia

                    Reckon he knew anything that might be tradeable?

                    Litvinenko was not so much a classic traitor as a downsized former FSB employee trying to leverage a life in the west after his career path dried up. (Word of mouth from émigré mate of mine)

                    I wonder if you’re familiar with omerta?

                    • Bill

                      What are we disagreeing on here Stuart?

                      Litvinenko was just another thoroughly unpleasant wannabe Russian rip off merchant seeking to create a high life for himself in London, yes?

                      And he’s dead.

                      Whether he was killed by Tom, Dick, Joe or Harry or by his own carelessness is kind of by the by to me.

                      I (quite reasonably) view whatever the British establishment has to say through its lens of centuries old paranoia and distrust for all things Russian. “Probably” this and “probably” that – the building blocks used to construct the “probable” conclusions of the severely circumscribed inquiry don’t take me any any further than a shrugging ‘maybe’ in relation to their released statements.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Perhaps you have greater cause to mistrust the British establishment than I.

                      My Russian friends don’t find the suggestion that he died at the hands of the FSB in any way implausible.

                    • Bill

                      I didn’t say it was implausible.

  21. joe90 22

    So it begins….

    Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences say they’ve successfully bred healthy mice from two mothers by way of new genetic engineering techniques.

    According to the study published Thursday, researchers were able to accomplish the feat by genetically editing embryonic stem cells containing one parent’s DNA and injecting it into the unfertilized eggs of another

    https://www.newsy.com/stories/same-sex-mice-give-birth-through-gene-editing/

    ..and for the men-are-the-true-victims folk, …I’m afraid we’re done, chaps.

    Summary

    […]

    Deletion of 3 imprinted regions in parthenogenetic haploid ESCs restored normal growth of fertile bimaternal mice, whereas deletion of 7 imprinted regions in androgenetic haploid ESCs enabled production of live bipaternal mice that died shortly after birth. Phenotypic analyses of organ and body size of these mice support the genetic conflict theory of genomic imprinting. Taken together, our results highlight the factors necessary for crossing same-sex reproduction barriers in mammal

    https://www.cell.com/cell-stem-cell/fulltext/S1934-5909(18)30441-7

  22. Ed 23

    Kevin Anderson’s take on the IPCC report on Climate Change.

    Anderson is Zennström professor in climate change leadership at the Centre for Environment and Development Studies at Uppsala University and chair of energy and climate change at the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester

    He says that the IPCC report fails to hold the world’s highest emitters accountable and argues a “Marshall Plan” for climate change is necessary to save the planet from destruction.

    About 70 percent of global emissions of carbon dioxide [come] from about 20 percent of the world population. … When we try to address climate change and reduce our emissions by focusing on all 7.5 billion people, I think it misunderstands where the actual responsibility of emissions resides,We’re not developing policies that need to be tailored to that particular 20 percent.

    Starts at 2:30

    Brilliant.
    Thought provoking.
    Nails it.

  23. adam 24

    This has been leaked from the US military, and confirms what many had been thinking about Syria. The US did not give a rats about the people of Syria, they want Assad gone, and would use anything or anyone to get him out.

    https://mondediplo.com/outsidein/syria-democracy-documents

    • Ed 24.1

      Nafeez Ahmed is a superb journalist.

      Used to work at the Guardian before it became a megaphone for the establishment.

      • joe90 24.1.1

        Where the superb journalist reckons a couple of your favs are little more than Assad propagandists.

        https://screenshots.firefox.com/E1IWDWCxiflvvIkF/statecrime.org

        http://statecrime.org/state-crime-research/state-propaganda-in-syria/

        • adam 24.1.1.1

          This distraction B.S. around sources has to stop.

          Le Monde is left wing, OK not left enough for me personally. But nonetheless, left wing. And all the references in the piece have been fact checked. So rather than join in the cattle to attack Ed at every turn (which is the BS people have been complaining about just in case you missed it) – how about you stick to what was put up.

          Because I think I’m not the only one who is sick of the merry go round, attacks of people for having an opinion. It’s OK to disagree, but the constant harassment is making me sick.

          • joe90 24.1.1.1.1

            Nafeez Ahmed authored both the Le Monde piece and the state crime report.

            So in Ed’s binary world, he’s either a superb journalist, or he’s part of the US/Saudi/ whatever the fuck opposition to Assad.

            • adam 24.1.1.1.1.1

              And if you have not worked out that is the world of Ed you have not being paying attention.

              Like when I read you on Russian – I know you hates them with a passion. And I’m fine with that, perfectly acceptable position for you to have. So I read what you say through that lens, conversely I’m not going to waste my time or anyone else’s having a go at you for having that position.

    • Bill 24.2

      So a write up of internal documents that more or less echo actual “on the ground” observations and that lay out how there was never any intention to bolster democratic movements within Syria, and every intent to fund, train and bolster Jihadists.

      Which….well, how many times have I and others written along those lines and suggested that was what was happening and been hit with rubbish accusations of being “Assadists” and what not? 🙄

      Oh. And “the west” would never support AQ and the rest of them; were actually supporting genuine Syrian opposition groups… said most liberals, all Trots (gotta love that ‘Party Line’ 😉 ) and (to be fair) more than just a few idiot anarchists

      p.s. But pay no attention, because here’s a slew of articles doing half arsed hatchet jobs on people who actually went to Syria to report back on what they saw there.

      • Liberal Realist 24.2.1

        + 1 Bill

        Interesting isn’t it, that if you don’t agree with or believe the narrative out of FUKUS MSM with regard to Syria you’re open to accusation of being a ‘Putinista’ or ‘Assadist’ etc.

        Oh I forgot – The West are always the ‘good guys’ and RUSSIA DID IT!!

        • Bill 24.2.1.1

          RUSSIA DID IT!!

          According to analysis passed on by the Israelis about that US election (sorry. it’s a pdf I downloaded a while back, or I’d provide the link) – Under the heading “Fake News Sites Facebook Strategy”

          “Over 140 pro-Trump websites owned by the same man in Veles, Macedonia”

          (No mention of anything Russian)

          And the main source of “bot tweets” between September 16 and October 21? Why, that would be Georgia. Georgia USA that is.

          And here’s a Guardian article on Veles and facebook memes from August 2016 (there are others too).

          But we will remember…Russia did it. (And not ask why sanctions aren’t being imposed on Greece 🙂 )

          • Stuart Munro 24.2.1.1.1

            Russia does do stuff though Bill.

            Even when I was back with MAF – you want to guess which nation topped the fisheries breaches every year?

            It is only by prodigies of denialism that your position stands, when a little rational thought would oblige you to condemn Russia for the invading monsters they are.

        • Ed 24.2.1.2

          That’s what I get all the time!!!

      • joe90 24.2.2

        So you disagree with the US about exactly which group of elite Baathists get to run the shop?.

        • adam 24.2.2.1

          FFS, joe 90. Us or them arguments is how most of the bad argument start on this page.

          Assard is a turd, but sparking of a civil war to get rid of him which has displaced millions, cost hundreds of thousands of lives, destroyed some of history’s most important architecture, let a bunch of loony right wing nut bags set up a terrorist state and will leave scars for years to come is not exactly a good way to go about changing a government.

          • McFlock 24.2.2.1.1

            but sparking of a civil war to get rid of him

            Nah. The civil war started like the rest of Arab Spring: food prices, drought, oppressive regimes, and people popped. And all the regional and global powers supported the factions they preferred, just like in the other AS nations.

            Don’t go painting the yanks as more Sauron-y than they are. They’re just like any other state actor. More cash than most, less likely to be gangsterish than some, but if people are hungry and unemployed in the cities shit will happen. Rome knew it, Louis XVI found it out.

            • adam 24.2.2.1.1.1

              The world’s largest empire and your down playing it. But the reality is the US had their dirty little fingers in pie of Syria. The spark, and it was a spark which was lit with the help the US, willingly or otherwise – when the then US ambassador attended protests in Damascus. It was seen as a green light by some of the opponents of Assard that they had US support. Which they didn’t, but people think the strangest things when as you say, other things like food costs, drought and a bloody awful ruler are in play.

              • McFlock

                Nice.

                Can you link to the Damascus protest Ford attended, and how many people had been killed before that action that you claim started the civil war?

                • adam

                  Spark was the word I used, not start. I specifical did not say spark off. if you like insert incite or stir up if that makes it simpler for you.

                  I won’t do what you ask because I did not say start.

                  I will throw you this nugget. Not saying I agree with the analysis, but interesting nonetheless.

                  http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/06/how-ambassador-ford-instigated-the-violent-revolution-in-syria.html

                  • McFlock

                    OK, “spark” does not mean “start”, even though sparks start fires.

                    How many people had been killed before Ford “sparked” the civil war? At what protest in Damascus did he “spark” the civil war?

                    • adam

                      Love the rewrite, you should have put ‘sparked off’, that what you’re asking 🙂

                    • McFlock

                      No, because apparently you specifical didn’t say “spark off”. Although you did say “sparking of“. So fucked if I know whether you’re using the term in a way that most people wouldn’t, or whether you used the term as a synonym for “start” and are now trying to backtrack because you can’t find anyone who reliably (even by your standards) says the US started the Syrian Civil War.

                      Surely you can link to a news report at the time where Ford was formenting rebellion where non previously existed? Or even before hundreds of people had already died?

                    • adam

                      The link above does what you asked for. Not well, but does some of it. Have a nice day.

                      🙂

        • Bill 24.2.2.2

          I disagree with any suggestion that a foreign government has the right to determine the government of another country on the mere basis of that foreign country’s elites ideology and/or expansionary strategic ambitions.

          All things being equal, it’s up to the people of a region or country to decide the make up of their own government, and the system or systems by which their government is validated etc.

          • alwyn 24.2.2.2.1

            At the risk of bringing in Godwin’s law does that mean the the Allies, as they were called, shouldn’t have fought against German and the Axis in WW2?

            Weren’t they merely objecting to the ideology of Hitler and his cohort, who were the elite in Germany at the time, and also merely objecting to their aim of expanding the German Reich?

            Tut , tut. They should have left the Nazi’s to continue in there actions. Such trivial activities shouldn’t have been opposed.
            Or have I misread what you were saying?

            • Stuart Munro 24.2.2.2.1.1

              Nope – you nailed it.

            • Bill 24.2.2.2.1.2

              Yes, it seems you’ve misread or misrepresented what I wrote.

              On the basis that my meaning may not have been clear, I’ll clarify that the elites I’m referring to above are those who would have action executed on another country, merely on the basis of the ideology that they themselves hold.

              Anyone and everyone has a right to defend themselves against those who would pull that shit (eg oppose the Nazis)

  24. eco maori 25

    Kia ora The Am Show well it’s a no brainer If one is driving any power vehicle they should not be intoxicated on any substance . Safety is not something one should not take lightly wearing life jackets is a must for all people going to sea.
    There you go the trucking industry backed national Its a known fact that main fright is one of nationals main donors like exclusive brethren I wonder why the latter has not been investigated for human right abuse.
    The teachers are getting more staff and more money hopefully they will settle friction is good for no one.
    The european man has known about the phenomenon for 30 years becoming the minority they have been running policies to counter the fact that they will are a minority but in management state and business they are a majority Equality is coming fast.
    With the doctors and nurses it is a fact that people of you culture will most times treat you or your love ones with the best care the state can offer this is the reason why we need more Pacific people in all professions.
    If one disagrees they are saying people are no racist in Aotearoa Eco maori knows that people are racist some professionals can override this problem some cannot and some don’t want to because they think there thought process is correct elitist .
    It’s A fact in hiring of staff one hires there mates first so if all management is Europeen 8 x out of 10 they will hire there m8’s/ word of mouth first than all other forms of hiring advertising comes second.
    The metoo kiwi lady Caroline did not think to talk about Russell Mcvay Law office sex harrestment cases ?????? we have found out they have been suppressed these problems for 30 years.
    The metoo people have come out in force in Aotearoa Alison Mau /Rachel MacGregor
    Colin Craig and many more cases that in the past were swept under the Rug .
    The MeToo people in Aotearoa are strong kia kaha and we will be a better society because of it .
    neo liberals national love the dirty tack ticks good holiday Mark .
    Ka kite ano

  25. eco maori 26

    Kia ora The Cafe its good to see you have our saint john people on the show they do a vitale job for our society ka pai ka kite ano. P.S I say treadmills are a great way to get and stay fit the Iwalk look a lot smaller that others .

  26. eco maori 27

    I agree with one of Australia’s top scientist we need to charge not trot to a TARGET of CARBON NEUTRAL BY 2050 WE need to use all the technologies to get there be it coal carbon capture, solar, wind, tidal energy, geothermal tree planting many others.
    The future is uncertain so one must have there energy eggs spread in many baskets
    one cannot predict the weather so you need back up energy sources to cover all future events, THE BIG PICTURE INVEST IN ALL VIABLE NEW CARBON FREE TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH and start using them.
    link is below ka kite ano P.S We are at a critical time in how we shape te mokopunas future the wrong choice now will spell disaster for our descendants.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/oct/14/forget-coal-wars-says-alan-finkel-look-at-emission-outcomes

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/13/top-climate-scientist-james-hansen-attacks-uk-fracking-plans

  27. eco maori 28

    Some Eco Maori music for the minute

  28. eco maori 29

    We need billions around the world to let the governments of the World know we want a
    Happy Healthy future for all our descendants and not one were the only the % 00.1 HAVE THAT.
    link is below ka kite ano ka kite ano.

    https://www.euronews.com/2018/10/13/thousands-rally-against-climate-change-across-europe

  29. eco maori 30

    One can see that Eco Maori is not spraying wai into the wind on the human caused climate change issues te Papatuanuku the world faces by Noam view on OUR REALITY
    I have another link to educate the human caused climate change deniers .
    Ka kite ano

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/14/climate-change-taking-action-rebecca-solnit

  30. eco maori 31

    I see some people are pessimistic about Aotearoa’s dependence of fright of our produce and the tourist .
    Who would have thought all those years ago when Australia won the America Cup that the yachts world be riding on foils going faster than ever before.
    You see all we need is the will to change and the research to come up with new carbon free international transporters .
    We could have planes and container ships traveling fast with just the foils in the water power by wind or solar power I know that has been proven that just above the sea there is a air cushion that has been used before by plane /boat etc .
    Utilizing physic instead of fighting against it is the way to go forward into a bright happy healthy future for all. Ka kite ano. P.S My theory is work with Papatuanuku not against HER.

  31. eco maori 32

    Kia ora Newshub looks like national is still spraying wai into the wind wow.
    I hope he gets the sack Blake fisher Idaho wild life worker shooting a whole family of baboons hunting is ok so long as one eats the game and it’s not endangered .
    This is the type of people who get into power with the go oil party in power.
    A business person has no place running a government we seen that experiment fail here.
    There you go I have had my say on the discrimination maori face in this system I see it for myself with the way the Health system treated my mokopuna.
    A bias opinion the tax hike on fuel is only $13.1/2 cents surely one would pay that to have a environment the the rest of the hike in our fuel price is you know who to blame.
    The Kereru is a good peoples choice for bird of the year my favorite is the Tui .
    I did not like the description The Guardian’s story on our beautiful native pigeon the head line was totally ignorant .
    With the Transport agency the rot is still emerging from shonky time in power
    The Kangaroo.s are quite a fighter there was probably had some female in heat
    Its was lucky no one was fatally injured
    Bullying is inappropriate in any organization Its bad for team morel and in organizations the wrong choices are made why because the bullies get there way weather there correct of wrong in my book.
    Ka kite ano

  32. eco maori 33

    The Crowd Goes Wild Mulls & James do you think Coach will want a waterboy me that is lol.
    Storm that will be a good game Tonga v Kangaroos .
    Go the Rugby Aotearoa 7 teams kia kaha .
    Our Netball and League Stars are shining brightly Kia kaha.
    Thee Otago guy had a teste time bugger that,s
    Bolt had a good time to .
    Ka kite ano P.S some people don’t like the influencer The Rock help create I keep for getting te rivalry

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