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Open Mike 14/04/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 14th, 2017 - 67 comments
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67 comments on “Open Mike 14/04/2017 ”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    In my twitter feed this morning: the hypocrisy of the US and allies.

    Link to airwars’ article:

    March was the deadliest month ever recorded by Airwars during the Coalition’s campaign in Iraq and Syria. This coincided with the greatest number of munitions dropped by the allies so far in the war. The high number of alleged incidents across both countries forced Airwars temporarily to pause its full vetting of Russian airstrikes in order to keep pace with the reported Coalition toll.

    After a disastrous strike on March 17th claimed up to 230 lives in Mosul, media attention intensified – and the Coalition began reviewing its strike policies in the campaign there. However, civilians were also killed in record numbers across the border in the vicinity of Raqqa, Syria. Indeed it appears highly likely that the Coalition killed hundreds of civilians in Syria during March, with little press coverage.

    This is supported by articles by other news outlets:

    Vox, March 28, 2017: US airstrikes are killing a lot more civilians. And no one is sure why.

    Democracy Now, March 27, 2017: More Than 1,000 Civilians Reportedly Killed by U.S.-Led Airstrikes as Trump Expands War on Terror

    CNN March 25, 2017: US military investigating if airstrikes caused nearly 300 civilian deaths

    Newsweek 31 March, 2017: Under Trump, U.S. Military Has Allegedly Killed Over 1,000 Civilians in Iraq, Syria in March

    NZ Herald 31 March, 2017 : Civilian casualties in Iraq, Syria undercut US victories

    Death by chemical weapon is extremely nasty, but so are deaths by airstrikes where bodies are brutally mutilated.

    • joe90 1.1

      In my twitter feed this morning: the hypocrisy of the US and allies.

      But her emails….
      /

      The United States dropped “the mother of all bombs,” the largest non-nuclear device it has ever unleashed in combat, on a network of caves and tunnels used by Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, the military said.

      President Donald Trump touted the bombing as evidence of a more muscular U.S. foreign policy since he took office in January after eight years of President Barack Obama.

      The 21,600 pound (9,797 kg) GBU-43 bomb was dropped from a MC-130 aircraft in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, close to the border with Pakistan, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.

      http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-afghanistan-bomb-idUSKBN17F27U

      • Carolyn_nth 1.1.1

        The way this bombing is described, it makes it seem like a surgical strike only hitting a major ISIL stronghold.

        But how many civilians would have been also injured or kileld by it?

        the article says:

        U.S. forces took “all precautions necessary to prevent civilian casualties and collateral damage,” he [Spicer] said.

        So, there is a possibility of “collateral damage”!

        This from my twitter feed:

        Now tell me that no civilians were victims!

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        The mission had been in the planning stages for months, the Pentagon said in a separate statement. However, they “did not have the information” on whether the mission was being planned during the previous Obama administration.

        My bold.

        According this article such weapons as the MOAB are:

        A Human Rights Watch background report on volumetric weapons used by Russia in 2000 describes the weaponry as “prone to indiscriminate use” and likely to cause high rates of civilian casualty when deployed in urban environments.

        “The fuel-air explosive is just another way of killing people in ways that leave bodies that are horrifying to look at,” Dr. Theodore Postol, MIT physicist and missile expert, told VICE News. “So it increases the terror in regard to these attacks on innocent civilians.”

        Like barrel bombs or sarin gas, the point of using vacuum bombs goes beyond the destruction of city blocks and the unfortunate civilian inhabitants. The ultimate purpose of such weaponry is to terrify, to sow fear amid chaos.

        So, now that the US has used such weapons are we going to see the same kind of condemnation of the US?

    • Andre 1.2

      The combo of too many generals in positions that should be civilian, the Chump’s need for attention, and the way little woodies pop up all over (including on people who should know better) whenever shit gets blown up far away means we’ll probably get a lot more of this.

      http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/trump-military-strikes-generals-237214

  2. greywarshark 2

    What if USA and Russia and Turkey et al decided practically, without any concern for the horrid results the fighting nations are having on the people in the various countries in the Middle East, that they are not achieving any of their goals and they will all withdraw and attempt to have influence in a way that doesn’t destroy anything? Perhaps a little bit of relative quiet, would then result and then probably an outbreak of retaliations from within the country, so then could that be prevented with a bribe for not attacking whoever is the current scapegoat there, something non military like a trip to Disneyland (worked with the Russians). Something has to change as what is being tried is bringing us humans into bad repute with God or whatever watches us and weeps.

    Meanwhile the world’s thugs move on carrying out our tendency to be mean and nasty if not deliberately controlled. Avaaz is calling attention to torture camps in Chechnya for gay men and asking for an outcry. Chechnya has ended up with a ‘brutal’ controller and under Russian influence.

    If you are interested in that part of the world, one of Martin Cruz Smith stories takes place there, a thriller, a good read called Stalins Ghost. Like most of his books he backgrounds the reality of the place so you get a feel of the history and culture there which winds its way into the story. It is a bit of light relief against current bad news as the baddie gets fingered and the goodie gets away with his war-wise female partner and his adopted chess-playing son. It’s got more than the average thriller!

  3. greywarshark 3

    Scoop’s total is going up and up only $2000+ more to go before 10pm tonight Good Friday. So let’s be ‘good eggs’ this Good Friday and hop over to the Pledge me site from the link in the Home page.

    Incidentally the $1 reserve offering of Helen Clark’s vis is up to $1600, and the tipshop manager is handling the questions and answers with panache. There has been a stoush as to who was the first elected female Prime Minister which of course nobody can win as we don’t elect Prime Ministers. That has been good for some fevered pros and cons.

  4. Tamati Tautuhi 4

    Wonder how many more terrorists the “mother of all bombs” will create?

  5. Sabine 5

    you gotta break eggs to make an omlette, and besides “killary’ would have done the same and then some?

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    California’s charter schools: hundreds of millions of tax dollars for wasteful, redundant, low-quality education

    In Spending Blind: The Failure of Policy Planning in California Charter School Funding, Gordon Lafer — a University of Oregon prof who also works for Oakland’s The Public Interest — finds “hundreds of millions of dollars … spent each year without any meaningful strategy… on schools built in neighborhoods that have no need for additional classroom space, and which offer no improvement over the quality of education already available in nearby public schools. In the worst cases, public facilities funding has gone to schools that were found to have discriminatory enrollment policies and others that have engaged in unethical or corrupt practices.”

    Sounds exactly like what we’ve been seeing in NZ with National’s charter school system.

    • greywarshark 6.1

      I remember some decades back that a USA citizen turned up in NZ because of a mistake in dialect. He got on a plane going to Auckland not Oakland in California.

      Perhaps getting these charter schools, which are an invitation to fraud and malign influences, is actually another silly mistake from something lost in translation.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        Charter schools are the result of believing that private enterprise is always better than government despite all the evidence to the contrary.

        Of course, a lot of that ‘belief’ is due to the greed of the profiteers rather than actual logic or reality.

        • JanM 6.1.1.1

          It has as much to do with dumbing down the population so they are less able to think for themselves and ask the awkward questions 🙁

          • Sabine 6.1.1.1.1

            i would even go so far and say that dumbing down the population is the first desired outcome and being able to charge a lot of money for it is just icing on the cake.

            If we think or believe that we are at maximum capacity on the planet in numbers of humans that we can sustain, would it not make sense to start decreasing the number of humans. Like getting rid of excess citizens. A good way would be to remove all health care from women – this would lower birth rates and take care of the incubator at some stage. Then you remove all health care for pre existing diseases (like pregancy in young women already is a pre existing condition) and voila, people will die earlier. And so on. Education is only one little nail in that coffin, lower education, lower earning potential, higher risk of dying several years earlier then a richer person with a better education.
            And you can claim to not have killed a single person to boot. One just mis educated them, refused to house and feed them, refused health care, and while doing that one creates a nice little obedient populace that will do what ever to survive.

            Yei, the future is bright and rosy.

  7. joe90 7

    Hmmm….

    See I want one of them to be Ivanka so bad, but the Gods haven’t been kind to me since November 2016.

    Claude Taylor has had the goods in the past. He’s served on Clinton’s White House staff. Laura is a constitutional lawyer. Like I said: Twitter Rumor. I will keep my eyes and ears open (on Twitter lol).

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/4/13/1652858/-Twitter-Rumor-Two-Trump-kids-caught-on-Tape-committing-criminal-acts

  8. joe90 8

    Golly, it seems like only yesterday folk were whining about Hilary “but her emails” Clinton being the “War Party” candidate.
    /

    The U.S. is prepared to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against North Korea should officials become convinced that North Korea is about to follow through with a nuclear weapons test, multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-s-may-launch-strike-if-north-korea-reaches-nuclear-n746366

    • Poission 8.1

      But those HRC emails are interesting.

      • joe90 8.1.1

        But nowhere as interesting as these ones will be.

        CIA Director: Time to call out WikiLeaks for what it is: A non-state hostile intelligence service often embedded by state actors like Russia pic.twitter.com/lVuDt2vzNm— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) April 13, 2017

      • reason 8.1.2

        yes poission …… but Hillary gets a free pass for being a warmonger who is responsible for the most horrific crimes ……….. stemming from the ultimate crime ….. which are illegal wars of aggression.

        After watching a video in which a young child is screaming …. because their jaw was blown off ….. in Hillarys war.

        I can never forgive her …….

        For Joe below …. People who attack wikileaks ….. shred their own credibility.

        Because politicians tell lies …. that lead to war crimes.

        We need more exposure of them ……….. not less

        She and Obama should move to Libya …. and see how they have made things for women and blacks.

        same for Iraq …

        same for Afghanistan

    • mauī 8.2

      Who needs emails, the warmongering character of the lady is glaringly obvious at every turn.

      • Sabine 8.2.1

        well lucky for everyone that the US has elected a man of Peace then. No?

        • adam 8.2.1.1

          h.r.c lost – get over it already.

          • Sabine 8.2.1.1.1

            as i said above, we are all so lucky to have a peace loving man running the biggest army of the world.

            or are you not happy that the peace loving man won?

            • adam 8.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m not happy about the biggest empire in the world, running the biggest army, full stop.

              I don’t care who runs it, it will still be evil.

              • Sabine

                so why then posting about the one that lost?

                and why insinuating that i ‘have to get over ‘ the loss of Hillary Clinton? Her losing never affected me. I am still having access to health care, i still get to have sex without fear of a forced pregnancy, i still am much safer then any mexican, black, muslim, jewish, special needs kids, sick, or female US American.

                Oh, its just a case of ‘both sides are doing it”? Yeah, i would even agree to that but sadly it ain’t so. No both sides do not do it.
                One side however is currently doing it, and no matter how many times Hillary Clinton is raised to deflect from it, Donald Trump is doing it and next on the list might be North Korea. Cause why not use all these tremendously beautiful weapon when you have them? What good is the largest Army in the world if you don’t use it and such.
                And considering that with a republican held congress and senate he has no one there to hold him back.

                So yeah, i don’t have to get over anything, but it seems that a lot of people still rather speak about Hillary Clinton instead of admitting that they fell for a lot of bullshit served by a conman.

        • McFlock 8.2.1.2

          lol

      • joe90 8.2.2

        In the past week the thug in chief has signed a bill aimed at cutting off federal funding to Planned Parenthood, rolled back an Obama administration attempt to reform how student loan debt is collected, prepared an order to expand offshore oil drilling, sent a guidance letter to federal agencies ordering them to plan for big cuts to programmes and staff and dispatched a US Navy strike group toward the Korean Peninsula, bombed two nations and threatened a third with a preemptive strike …….but Hilary.
        /

  9. Carolyn_nth 9

    Greed is not good … for society or democracy, or for a sustainable future.

    Time to take a strong stand against the fallacies of the Randian virus.

    It’s infiltrated the Trump presidency and Silicon Valley maestros, now UK GCSE courses.

    • Incognito 9.1

      Hi Carolyn_nth,

      Great piece, thank you for the link.

      May I ask whether this is a quote or yours?

      Time to take a strong stand against the fallacies of the Randian virus.

      Either way, I’d disagree with the idea of a “virus” as to me it suggests some kind of infection that needs to be fought/killed off. No wonder we seem to going around in circles (the ‘ages of Rand’).

      • Carolyn_nth 9.1.1

        Yes, it is my words, not a quote from someone else.

        And yes I do think it is something that needs to be fought, and, not so much killed off, as being neutralised by an antidote or inoculation against it – by exposing the way the Randian ideals are damaging to a fair, inclusive, democratic and sustainable society.

        Such ideals are not based on logic or evidence, but desires by some to somehow make a moral case for their selfishness and greed.

        • Incognito 9.1.1.1

          Have you ever wondered why neoliberalism appears to be so appealing to many, why it ‘resonates’? Why it managed to get such a strong footing and become the dominant socio-political and socio-economic discourse? Why it does not seem to go away and/or keeps coming back?

          According to primatologist Frans de Waal we have two sides or traits: empathy and cooperation, or group solidarity, on the one hand, and selfishness and competition, or individualism, on the other. Our environment influences or may even determine which of the two traits dominates at a given time.

          As such, there is no antidote or inoculation against it; we cannot inoculate against ourselves.

          Can we neutralise one trait in favour of another and, if yes, should we attempt to do so?

          I think the answer to the first part is “no” as is the answer to the second part; it would be trying to deny who we are, our very human nature.

          The answer lays IMO in integration rather, in which both traits and thus we ourselves get transformed.

          Is our current environment conducive to such a transformation? I don’t think so; neoliberal ideology has pervaded our thinking and continues to do so.

          Is ‘neutralising’ neoliberal ideology the answer then? No, not really, because it is a human construct, not inevitability or a Law of Physics, and it is an ‘environment’ that we ourselves helped shaping; basically it is a deceiving feedback loop (chicken & egg).

          Until we transform, individually and collectively, of course, we will not build bridges and mend gaps (e.g. between Left & Right) and we will not really (be able to) move forward in a truly meaningful way and simply continue ‘oscillating’ from one [extreme] to the other but never reach a higher ‘social plane’.

          Society mirrors us in the same way we mirror society.

          • Carolyn_nth 9.1.1.1.1

            You’ve left out the element of power. Those with (these days) wealth, corporate and/or political connections tend to spread their values, as suits them in maintaining their position of power.

            Neoliberal values have been spread form the top down. And yes it emphasises some elements of human desires over others.

            Millions of people do not share those values, but feel powerless to remove them from their dominant position.

            To me, the left is always about power to the people, rather than to some self-selecting elites.

            Neutralisation involves shifting the balance of power through collective mobilisation of large numbers of people. It involves changing the narrative away from the neoliberal virus that has infected discourses throughout all areas of life.

            Psychological approaches focusing on individual human traits won’t change social values and political power struggles. They are on a different plane.

            • Incognito 9.1.1.1.1.1

              I did not leave out power; I did use different wording but it is all the same.

              Neoliberal ‘values’ are emanating from all directions, which is the point I tried to make. They are not just external influences on us but also originate from within us – a feedback loop.

              It is not about psychological approaches focussing on individual traits in order to affect change; it is about gaining understanding. This understanding can guide our actions towards change or we can choose to ignore it and keep ‘neutralising’ the ‘enemy within’. The Left is in disarray because they cannot see what they’re up against; they fall back on weak rhetorical arguments and nostalgic sentiments. The Left is shadow boxing in the dark. What’s worse is that the Left has succumbed to neoliberal thinking as much as any of us without admitting it; after all, the Left is just (!) a bunch of people grouping together from time to time who share a range of more or less similar values & ideas about society, etc.

              Individual human traits are reflected (…) in social-collective traits as well as politics and vice versa; they are on the same plane. This was my point too.

              The way forward lays in individual efforts banding together in (local) communities and grassroots movements, etc. It will take time to change our ‘ecosystem’ but change is inevitable.

      • TootingPopularFront 9.1.2

        “Virus” seems about right to me – “Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit that is driven by greed, excess, and selfish consumption”

        Seeing Wetiko

        • Incognito 9.1.2.1

          I really enjoyed reading that, thank you.

          I agreed with most of it; the ‘virus’ metaphor or meme offers a different viewpoint that will help us move forward. However, I see the human condition as ‘normal’ rather than ‘pathological’ and thus there is no (necessary) ‘antidote’; quite possibly, it is the continuation (!) of the process of human evolution, much along the line of thinking of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin and Carl Gustav Jung. See my comment @ 8.1.1.1.

  10. Wow – this covers so many aspects of the 100% Māori issue – great writing and analysis

    http://oncewerepacific.blogspot.co.nz/2017/04/the-problem-with-being-100-maori.html?m=1

    • weka 10.1

      “You can’t fight blood quantum with blood quantum. But you can fight it with whakapapa.”

      Awesome. That’s a really good read, thanks.

      • Once ..whatever 10.1.1

        A bloody good read!
        The double standards in thinking are really interesting
        “The way to challenge stereotyping, and the way to challenge claims of Indigenous absence, is not to disprove them by proving their opposites. Instead, it is only possible to challenge them by pulling them apart: by understanding their history, by understanding their deeper claims, and by refusing to engage with them as logical (and, thus, ‘disprovable’) arguments.”
        (just one example)

    • adam 10.2

      Ah eugenics you evil beast, you can change your name to genetics, but you are still are not a science.

    • millsy 10.3

      You are either Maori or you are not. I dont belive that there is such as thing as ‘part’.

    • Sacha 10.4

      Great insight. Would never have happened with the old team who Maori TV’s tories forced out.

      Ethnicity is about belonging. Race is about blood. Long history of harm from focusing on the latter.

  11. adam 11

    A good analysis of left wing media and how it can preform well in this environment.

  12. weka 12

    Can anyone with an understanding of legal structure of banks and credit unions comment on this?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/91577129/Kaikoura-MP-Stuart-Smiths-members-bill-to-modernise-regulations-around-credit-unions

    What’s the difference between incorporation and having trustees?

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Looks to me that he’s wanting a way for credit unions to become owned by shareholders and thus shift them into a capitalist minority ownership model the result of which will be the increased shift of the countries wealth to the already rich.

      • weka 12.1.1

        I had similar thoughts. There are probably good reasons that the original act was written the way it was. The point is that CUs aren’t supposed to be like other banks.

        I also thought the incorporation model might make CUs more vulnerable to collapsing or being bought out. Although I think the Canterbury CU did fall over some years ago and lots of people lost their money. I’m guessing that the remaining ones are more cautious/better run.

  13. Poission 13

    Trumps Mar A lago cited for WMD (weapons of mass diarrhea)

    http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/restaurants/article144261894.html

    • weka 14.1

      nice one. I wonder if complaining about what’s wrong but not taking action is worse than not noticing what is wrong.

    • joe90 14.2

      Later today I’m off to the annual easter egg competition and dollars to donuts they’ll be pouring kegged Steinlager.

      I really will be pleased when I’ve had enough.

  14. joe90 15

    More Careful with That Axe, Eugene than Wish You Were Here.

    A new species of shrimp has been named after Pink Floyd, as NPR points out. The shrimp is called Synalpheus pinkfloydi, and it has large pink claws that open and close quickly enough to create frequencies up to 210 decibels (which is louder than most rock shows), capable of killing small fish within its proximity.

    http://pitchfork.com/news/72829-new-deadly-sonic-shrimp-named-after-pink-floyd/

  15. weka 16

    A bit of post-cyclone cheer, where a NZ preschool lets kids play on the slide in the rain and the video gets 26 million views, with lots of people awed that kids are still allowed to do that,

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11838562

    #wedon’tknowhowluckywearemate

  16. timeforacupoftea 17

    A mass exodus of Americans coming to New Zealand to take our jobs and [deleted for being totally unnecessary and stupid.]
    Come on Jacinda and Andrew support our unions.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/14/technology/new-zealand-tech-industry.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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

  17. Muttonbird 18

    What a clusterfuck this ‘weekly roundup of other people’s ideas’ is from Bryce Edwards.

    I read the whole thing if you’ll forgive me, and I came out wondering what part of criticising and pressuring racists, sexists, fascist, slut-shamers, and fat-shamers is not also free speech?

    This drive by people like Paul Moon and his right wing friends is a further attempt to normalise conservative, anti-minority feeling when there’s been so much advancement in recent years in diversification of thought and identity in gender and race.

    How ironic then that they wish to protect outfits like the recent white supremacist power group at Auckland University and racists, sexists, etc under the banner of ‘diversity of thought’.

    Bryce’s column reads like alt-right porn to me.*

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11838436

    *That’s me exercising free speech, Bryce.

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