Open mike 15/01/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 15th, 2024 - 102 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

102 comments on “Open mike 15/01/2024 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Neolib addiction to fossil fuels gets a dispassionate appraisal here: https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/506701/extra-long-haul-flights-boom-would-blow-climate-targets-campaigner-says\

    Although the new government promised to look at reopening the refinery, chief executive Rob Buchanan said there was no possibility of restarting refining. "It would require substantial investment, a long period of time and frankly people and folk that no longer work for our business."

    Instead, the facility's owner, Channel Infrastructure, is planning its future around booming international air travel. The company supplies 80 percent of New Zealand's jet fuel, accepting shipments at its jetty at Northport in Northland and piping it 170km to Wiri, near Auckland Airport.

    Long-haul travel makes up more than half of the airport's fuel use, despite being less than a quarter of trips, according to a presentation the company made to investors last year.

    Junkie neolibs need to jab that needle in to get the tourist rush – all those little dollar signs running through your veins producing the eternal high.

    The company told investors last year growth to 2050 will be driven by more demand from India and Asia and more 'extra long-haul' flights, which fly nonstop for over 16 hours to destinations such as New York. These 'extra long' journeys burn more fuel per passenger per kilometre, because of the extra weight of the fuel they carry.

    And while Channel Infrastructure is investing in developing synthetic fuel by harnessing renewable energy, neither synthetic nor biofuel (from crops or wood) is expected to be able to keep up with more than a small proportion of the growing demand during the next two decades.

    Yeah, because performing well requires drive & motivational energy & few capitalists nowadays have got what it takes. Hide behind market failure instead, much easier.

    • Ad 1.1

      The vein of fuel is particularly important to New Zealand, since tourism is largely by plane and international tourism's overall contribution to New Zealand's total exports of goods and services was 2.4% and increasing leaps and bounds since COVID.

      https://www.tia.org.nz/about-the-industry/quick-facts-and-figures/#:~:text=Tourism%20generated%20a%20direct%20annual,of%20New%20Zealand's%20total%20GDP.

      We don't have an alternative to air transport tourism, either as a mode of transport or as an entire segment of the economy.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        Doing holism on the situation requires encompassing conservatives & the establishment along with liberals, social democrats or whatever the left currently frame themselves as. Pragmatism is what you get when holism is inclusive enough to ground in common sense, so your view seems reasonable for now.

        Voters will always choose life-support. The future of younger generations is too hypothetical to prevail.

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          Oh no it's just facts.

          https://oec.world/en/profile/country/nzl

          And the facts get worse. In 2021 New Zealand was the world's biggest exporter of concentrated milk, sheep and goat meat, rough wood, butter, and casein.

          Other than tourism, our export goods are pretty much the same as what we were making after World War One (minus wool).

          That's what keeps us in biscuits.

          • Dennis Frank 1.1.1.1.1

            Impressive. I had no idea materialism works so well – still going strong a century later. Still we do have a burgeoning tech industry too, which does export product & designs. Perhaps the stats on that aren't good enough to feature (yet).

          • Graeme 1.1.1.1.2

            There's also the airfreight capacity that comes with international tourism. This is a huge co-dependency in our economy as we found out through covid when tourism, and air freight stopped.

            More tourism allows more exports, and cheaper imports, both making the biscuits more affordable.

    • Sanctuary 1.2

      Worrying about the impact on global warming of jet fuel consumption is a bit of pointless middle class theatre for Grey Lynn yoga mums, who will fly to Europe for their bi-annual holiday anyway. The elephant in the room is coal being used for electricity production. The world used 8.5 billion tons of coal last year.

      I have just got back from three weeks in India and Sri Lanka. From my observations in India population growth is viewed as an unalloyed social good. The more young people we have, the argument goes, the richer we will become. And the first thing everyone wants is AC and then a car and then consumer electronics. Climate is not a seriously discussed priority compared with the desire to get rich. India used about a billion tons of coal a year, of which they produce about 80% domestically. Fossil fuel consumption generates around 56% of India's electricity (coal/lignite produces 50% of India electricity), hydro/wind/solar/waste to energy etc produces 41.5% (the country is festooned with wind turbines, fields of them marching from horizon to horizon) and nuclear less than 2%.

      If we are serious about reducing global emissions we have to get the 56% of India's electricity produced by buring fossil fuels down to zero. The demand for power in India is insatiable as 1.5 billion people get richer. The only feasible way to reduce fossil fuel consumption is nuclear.

      Any responsbile climate change movement seriously interested in solutions would be urgently demanding a crash program of nuclear power station construction. Arguing about jet fuel consumption is an utter distraction.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2.1

        Any responsbile climate change movement seriously interested in solutions would be urgently demanding a crash program of nuclear power station construction.

        COP28’s Nuclear Mirage [21 Dec 2023]
        The problem with throwing nuclear into the mix of potential climate change fixes is that it takes money and attention away from proven and more viable solutions that are urgently needed, such as transforming grids to ensure delivery of renewables, and energy efficiency and storage.

        If governments are serious about addressing climate change, they need to stop perpetuating the fantasy of a nuclear future, and pursue viable alternatives. They know that.

        I hope they do – there are risks associated with channeling limited resources into new nuclear power plants. Nuclear energy is and will continue to be a significant source of base load power for some countries, but (imho) proponents are underestimating the challenges of rolling out new nuclear generating capacity in a timely fashion, and in the deteriorating geopolitical and environmental 'climate'.

        Nuclear energy remains far behind photovoltaics and wind in China
        [13 Jan 2024]
        Solar and wind power have a history of next to no cost or schedule overruns during construction globally in Professor Bent Flyvbjerg’s data set over over 16,000 projects greater than a billion USD in cost. Nuclear generation, on the other hand, has innumerable long-tailed risks that lead to significant budget and schedule overruns. Unless you control very tightly, with military discipline usually enforced by the military, nuclear programs go far over budget and schedule.

        Nuclear construction risks can be managed down and cost and scheduled constrained, but it can’t be done without all of the conditions for success in place. Even China, which has successfully built vastly more infrastructure than any country in the world in a much shorter period of time, couldn’t get it right. Maybe it will figure it out one day and keep the export strategists out of the nuclear side of the energy business. But as their wind, solar, battery and HVDC exports are booming, I suspect nuclear will continue to falter.

        India boosts power generation capacity significantly over decade, aims for sizable renewable energy expansion [18 Dec 2023]
        Looking forward, the ministry of power has laid out a comprehensive plan to meet the anticipated increase in power demand. Projects under construction include 27,180 MW of thermal capacity, 18,033.5 MW of hydro capacity, 8,000 MW of nuclear capacity, and 78,935 MW of renewable energy capacity. By 2031-32, India expects to add a total capacity of 464,124 MW.

        India – Country Commercial Guide: Renewable Energy [12 Jan 2024]

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Here's a site dedicated to good news: https://futurecrunch.com/goodnews2023/?ref=future-crunch-newsletter

    They have this critique of msm news:

    The news is supposed to tell us what's happening in the world. It doesn't. It tells us what's going wrong. Thanks to a combination of commercial pressures, cognitive biases and cultural habits, news organisations have become modern-day doom machines, showcasing the worst of humanity, without highlighting any progress, healing or restoration. Yes, journalism is supposed to hold truth to power and when terrible things happen we shouldn't turn away. But when we only hear stories of doom, we fail to see the stories of possibility. We deny ourselves the opportunity to do better.

    MSM news does sometimes feature up-market weddings, though, plus the royals, although gossip around Paris Hilton & the Kardashians seems to have ebbed.

    This year, we found over 2,000 of those kinds of stories, and shared them with tens of thousands of readers in a weekly email. Not dog-on-a-surfboard, baby-survives-a-tornado stories, but genuine, world changing stuff about how millions of lives are improving, about human rights victories, diseases being eliminated, falling emissions, how vast swathes of our planet are being protected and how entire species have been saved. We rounded up 400 of our favourites, and then crammed all of those again into this final list of 66.

    Such selectivity is admirable, and the list does indeed seem a public service. Here's one:

    50. One of the largest ever declines in deforestation

    In 2023 deforestation across the nine Amazonian countries was 55.8% lower than last year, in a major turnaround for a region that's vital to curbing climate change. Brazil's deforestation rate fell by over 50%, the largest single year decline since records began, and over a million hectares of forest were protected across South America, including the Cuchilla del San Juan Reserve, linking together two of the world’s greatest biodiversity hotspots, and the Camino del Jaguar Reserve, part of a global biodiversity hotspot that extends from Panama to northern Peru.

    • ianmac 2.1

      One of the Western European countries developed a deal with MSM that they would cease catastofreonising (?) the bad news. They also set about increasing rehabilitation in prisons and reducing the punishments in prisons. The prison population halved and the population fear of crime faded away.

      Why not in NZ? people like Mitchell would totally refuse to look at any such evidence because there are votes in more crime.

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        It would be clever to apply that thinking, Ian, but I can't see any of our political parties thinking outside the square – the effect of democracy on them is too much of a conceptual strait-jacket.

      • Barfly 2.1.2

        Which country?

        • ianmac 2.1.2.1

          Sweden, and Norway also has a great response:

          Sweden:"Sweden's non-punitive sentencing model must be working because the overall reoffending rate in Sweden is only 10-40%. Post-prison support is another strong reinforcement for keeping ex-offenders from returning to prison. .."

          And:"Sweden is doing something to lower the recidivism rate and forcing prisons to close because they are taking a different approach to crime and punishment.

          Globally, we need to pay close attention to what Sweden is doing…"

          And: "Nils Oberg, chief executive of Sweden’s probation service, announced in November that four of Sweden’s prisons are going to be closed because of a significant drop in inmates."

    • Morrissey 2.2

      How would this positivity site approach something like what's being done in Gaza right now?

      What good news would it have found on 9/11, as the U.S.-backed Chilean military destroyed the democratic government of Salvador Allende?

      How would they have handled the 1965 genocide in Indonesia? Actually, we have the answer for that one….

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DI42TlCZcik

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Just heard Shane Te Pou explaining to RNZ, on their 8am news, what Golriz & the Greens have been doing wrong – not fronting the issue – and I wondered what the conservative msm guys were saying. Not much!

    https://theplatform.kiwi/opinions/topic/nz-politics

    Haven't been able to form & opinion & get it up since 19 December. Too much holiday beer, obviously. Hang on, they've got a separate politics page. Nope, no politics worth reporting since 1 December. Talk about lame!!

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    One media hot-shot is onto a leading story though:

    There is a glorious pocket of time in Auckland City when I love it here.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2024/01/15/light-rail-scrapped-in-a-nation-incapable-of-building-infrastructure/

    He understands that news must be personal so readers can identify with it. He also dresses it up with primary colours, and those two Nat honchos in yellow hats look ever so cool, eh? Simian especially.

  5. SPC 5

    Marijuana is neither as risky nor as prone to abuse as other tightly controlled substances and has potential medical benefits, and therefore should be removed from the nation’s most restrictive category of drugs, federal scientists have concluded.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2024/01/12/health/marijuana-fda-dea.html?unlocked_article_code=1.Nk0.OnWm.oMx4dSB0NpMo&smid=url-share

  6. SPC 6

    Gideon Levy looks at how economic pressure is a driver of ethnic cleansing on the West Bank.

    The injustice of denial of access to the Arab village land, when there are settlements nearby, drives people to protest and then they are arrested and imprisoned etc.

    Then they later leave the village for the urban centres.

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/twilight-zone/2024-01-13/ty-article-magazine/.highlight/i-have-land-but-i-dont-west-bank-olive-harvest-is-yet-another-casualty-of-gaza-war/0000018c-ff8e-dd94-a9cc-ffeeb6910000

  7. Gosman 7

    Why have The Greens handled the Golriz Ghahraman allegations so badly? Their approach to date has not shut down the story and it has given it legs. Even exactly when Ms Ghahraman is due back in NZ is unclear which just adds to the confusion. Do The Greens lack an experienced Media team?

    • Robert Guyton 7.1

      Why "shut down the story"?

      Talk is ephemeral. If there is a problem, it will have to be faced, regardless of any preparations for softening it.

      If there is no problem, the weight of the chatter will fall back upon the chatterers.

      Urging The Greens to behave as other parties do, won't provoke them to employ the techniques we are so jaded about.

      The Greens are wiser than that.

      • Matiri 7.1.1

        Ronald Reagan said "If you're explaining, you're losing".

        • James Simpson 7.1.1.1

          He was referring to policy, not allegations of theft against his justice spokesperson…

          • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.1.1

            Who was Reagan's justice spokesperson?

            Why wasn't Reagan "referring" to him?

            Do we know the full story?

      • Gosman 7.1.2

        Because this damages the party's image and therefore the brand. The Greens are big onstating they have integrity and are better than your usual set of politicians. What they have done so far in dealing with this suggests otherwise.

        • Robert Guyton 7.1.2.1

          The accusations alone have damaged the party's image and those couldn't be avoided. The Greens do "have integrity and are better than your usual set of politicians" If one of their MP's has not met that standard, the party itself is not answerable for that persons actions. You are implying that the party is acting below their professed standards. I presume you are doing so in order to erode readers confidence in them.

          • Gosman 7.1.2.1.1

            They should have demanded that Golriz Ghahraman provide them with either an assurance there was nothing untoward happening or for her to provide them the information about what she did wrong so they can request that she resigns

            • weka 7.1.2.1.1.1

              see my comment below. Afaik the Greens have an internal process they have to follow with MPs. I think this was developed after 2017 and the issues with the two MPs that went rogue.

              • alwyn

                "the two MPs that went rogue."

                I can remember Turei but who was the other one?

                • Gosman

                  Weka is most likely meaning Kennedy Graham and David Clendon who resigned on a matter principle rather than "went rogue" over the Metiria Turei revelations of benefit fraud and the unravelling of her story attempting to justify it.

                  • weka

                    technically they did both.

                    But Shaw said the way in which the pair chose to go about their resignation was in violation of the Green Party values, and the party caucus felt betrayed by the way the pair had gone about quitting.

                    He added that he believed the pair's actions had brought the party into disrepute – which was against its rules for MPs – and he'd be acting on that.

                    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/95544495/james-shaw-fronts-over-longserving-green-mps-quitting-over-coleader

                    They were subsequently also removed from the party as members. Not something the GP does lightly.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Whilst I'd rather not get into another onsite dispute about this, since I led the consensus process that created the GP constitution & standing orders, I do have a view that's relevant: nobody involved did the right thing – which was to specify any perceived breach.

                      The internal rules are meant to produce outcomes in accord with the principle of natural justice (just like our inherited state legal system).

                      The two who resigned over Turei's (perceived) breach of consensus ought to have specified precisely why they did. I can't comment on the rules for MPs since they didn't exist in the GP when I was SOC convenor. I didn't like the current SOC convenor's absence from the fray since he was the cop on the beat. Either cowardly or the parliamentary rules made him irrelevant…

                    • weka []

                      My vague understanding (probably from something I read during the Kerekere thing last year) is that they developed additional processes after 2017.

                      Appreciate the perspective though on both what happened and what the GP kaupapa was/should have been.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Thanks. Further to that, I did learn during my second stint within that there had been significant changes to the constitution that was adopted pre-MMP, and since they weren't available to members on the GP website I assumed that members were obliged to trust the word of the current SOC convenor.

                      A bit like being out on a limb & officially expected to do your saw-cut on the trunk side of that limb. Faith in officials is what got Stalin into his dictatorship. You'd think common sense would make the rules available to the members. But, you know, leftists… wink

                    • weka []

                      seems odd to me too. I remember when they did a major revamp of the website and a lot of the material taht explained the GP was either removed or hard to find.

                      tbf though, the constitution of political parties is published on the Electoral Commission’s website. It’s an easy google for individual parties, but I can’t easily find of all the parties are there.

                      https://elections.nz/assets/party-files/Constitution-of-the-Green-Party-of-Aotearoa-New-Zealand-June-2022.pdf

                    • Dennis Frank

                      That's excellent. Here's the key section re parliamentary caucus:

                      8.4. Parliamentary Caucus will consist of the:
                      8.4.1. MPs;
                      8.4.2. Co-Leaders; Green Party of Aotearoa N/Zealand
                      8.4.3. Party Co-Convenors;
                      8.4.4. Policy Co-Convenors;
                      8.4.5. Kaiwhakahaere of Te Rōpū Pounamu;
                      8.4.6. Local Government Caucus Co-Convenors;
                      8.4.7. General Manager.
                      8.5. Parliamentary and Party staff may attend as advisors with the permission of Parliamentary Caucus.
                      8.6. Any Member may normally attend a Parliamentary Caucus meeting subject to the rules contained in an agreement between the Party and its MPs.

                      It's very much to their credit that they've made the thing available to members! I bet they got a good crowd watching when the Turei fiasco was dealt with! Gives them optimal credibility, that.

                      Hard to see how the process enabled a stuff-up. Either the thing was decided by consensus or a vote, so why were we not told which?? Extremely peculiar.

          • weka 7.1.2.1.2

            exactly.

            In addition, the Greens have specific internal processes that they will be following regarding issues with MPs. That's not a public process although I expect the co-leaders to make announcements in due course.

            I do think they could be doing more publicly though.

        • weka 7.1.2.2

          are you channelling today’s right wing memo Gosman, or perhaps leftie commentator Shane Te Pou?

          The silence was fuelling speculation, Te Pou said, and it was damaging the Green Party's brand as well as Ghahraman's.

          "It looks from afar that there's trying to be suppression of the issue, where I think for the sake of Greens, for the sake of Golriz herself, the best disinfectant for all this is daylight.

          https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/506715/very-few-grey-areas-greens-urged-to-front-on-golriz-ghahraman-shoplifting-allegations

          • Gosman 7.1.2.2.1

            Do you not think that because both commentators on the left AND right are on agreement on how The Greens are mishandling this it might suggest that there is in fact bad political mangement going on here?

            • weka 7.1.2.2.1.1

              could well be. Could also be the habitual takes from the right and centre left because they don't understand how the GP operates.

              Myself, I think it's probably a bit of both. But I don't think the GP are going to pre-empt a fair process. There are employment issues for parliament to work through too. They've learnt a few things from Graham, Clendon and Kerekere, and other parties’ issues, as well as having fairness built in.

              fwiw, if she is guilty of shoplifting I think she should resign, and I also think due process should be followed.

              • James Simpson

                because they don't understand how the GP operates

                My take is the GP operates in a way that ignores the simple fact it is the public that puts them in Parliament, not their members.

                I have no doubt there are internal rules that are both fair, and provide for due process. But this is politics, and politics has its own rules, which are based on perception.

                • weka

                  My take is the GP operates in a way that ignores the simple fact it is the public that puts them in Parliament, not their members.

                  that would be an example of what I said about people who don't get the GP.

                  It's not that there is no criticism to be made, I just wish people would understand what they are criticising first.

                  The GP have often successfully defied political convention.

                • Robert Guyton

                  "…this is politics, and politics has its own rules, which are based on perception."

                  Is it? Does it?

                  Questions from individuals who don't support the party, MUST be answered!!

    • Barfly 7.2

      Swing and a miss Gossy

    • David 7.3

      To be fair, I'm not sure they could have 'shut down the story'. This is a sitting MP accused of shoplifting – the media were always going to run this hard.

    • mary_a 7.4

      Gosman (7) … Golriz Gharhaman arrived back in NZ today.

  8. dv 8

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/political/506674/national-led-government-officially-cancels-auckland-light-rail-plans

    And I see that the NATZ are complaining about the planning cost for the project.

    Don't believe in planning HUH

    • Stephen D 8.1

      I’ll be fascinated to see what their alternatives are.

      My suspicion is more roads.

      East West link anyone?

    • Ad 8.2

      Not sure I can face doing a whole post on this sorry saga.

      I just have this sneaky feeling that CRL will be one of the last big public transport projects or even rail projects done in New Zealand in a very long time.

      CRL itself will be a major boost to Auckland as an alternative to the car. But it is taking a decade to construct, and the impact on the CBD was big. Also it's doubled in price in that time and that is crippling Auckland Council.

      Stopping this light rail project locks Auckland in to a very difficult transport future, that gets harder and harder to get out of.

      • SPC 8.2.1

        The decline of Auckland maybe the only investment in the future of the New Zealand provinces that our government makes.

        • Ad 8.2.1.1

          Aucklanders' high mobility tends against regional benefit:

          – old people go to the provinces to soak up the NZSuper, and

          – young and income-earning people head to Australia or elsewhere and usually don't return until close to retirement or at all

          Investing to turn Auckland around is necessary for the whole of New Zealand.

          • SPC 8.2.1.1.1

            No, it is a choice to move to Oz for more money, or the provinces for cheaper housing.

            If they can keep the job and work from home (or find local employment in their sector) the provinces is their chance to own a property with a section like their parents in Auckland once did.

            • Ad 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Do young people really move to the provinces for a career future based on cheaper housing? Maybe a few do. I don't think most do.

              • SPC

                Working couples with children have been doing it. It's made their lives easier.

                Younger ones who see no prospect of owning a home in Auckland do still have the option of partnering to own a cheaper property apartment/flat then later moving to the provinces when starting a family.

        • Stephen D 8.2.1.2

          Will Labour go near surface light rail when back in government? Or is it now another toxic issue?

      • David 8.2.2

        As an Aucklander, I would be interested in your take on this. Here's Matt Lowrie's view:

        As a huge advocate for better public transport in Auckland, it continues to feel a bit weird that I’m not upset that a major public transport project is being cancelled. Instead I continue to feel disappointed and frustrated at the previous government for botching this project so badly that it was further from becoming a reality in 2023 than it was when they took it over in 2017.

        Light Rail officially dies – Greater Auckland

  9. Adrian Thornton 9

    Ahed Tamimi’s interrogation video released…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okBRaBsFFCo

    If she was a pretty Ukrainian girl you can be sure this would have been a lead story on The Guardian, BBC and RNZ.

    • Morrissey 9.1

      Thanks Adrian. The persecution of this young woman generated a lot of comment on this excellent site at the time. It's a grim but ultimately uplifting story, showing once again that aggressors and occupiers can kill and maim people (mostly children like Ahed's cousin, and old people) but they cannot crush their spirit.

      The thread also contains one genuinely funny contribution, from "Wayne", who asserts, with all the gravitas he can muster, that the occupation "is not, of itself, illegal."

      https://thestandard.org.nz/middle-east-teenagers/#comment-1442597

    • SPC 9.2

      Video of the original incident, and more.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-42884885

      This one annoyed me enough to send a Times Up Me Too email to Isaac Herzog, then just an MK.

      I hope he enjoyed the Candles in the Rain music video I linked to.

    • Tiger Mountain 9.3

      A number of the IDF and zionists really seem to be serious psychopaths.

      • Adrian Thornton 9.3.1

        Watching atrocity after atrocity, brutality after brutality, massacre after massacre all being proudly conducted right out in the open, with the deranged IDF filming themselves…the Israeli politicians calling daily for even more violence…

        …the Israeli children happily singing about genocide, the Israeli families dressing up and mocking the starving woman and children, all this horror has made me come to realize, that without question, watching this horrific genocide is what it would have been like, had the brave and heroic fighters in the Warsaw Uprising has iphones on them…

        …filming themselves in that hellhole fighting the Nazi's, while watching their families starve or being indiscriminately blown into pieces of unrecognizable meat, or worse, trapped without the possibility of rescue, too die slowly and horribly under mountains of rubble….or have amputations done with no anaesthetics…

        ..the only difference is that with just one phone call from the USA and Biden they could stop this in an instant….but that won't happen because now it has been said explicitly by the West, through their open support for this genocide, that the West has no moral or ethical framework embedded within it's ideology….and only power and the maintenance of the power at any cost, is all that these monsters believe in and wish to achieve.

        Only fanatics, liberal free market fundamentalists and the weak of mind can now possibly maintain an allegiance to this despicable ideology,that is for sure…look out for them, and never forget who they are.

        • Tiger Mountain 9.3.1.1

          Exactly how I feel Adrian. It is amazing how so many ordinary people that I have known for years have finally understood what US Imperialism and their client state Israel are all about.

          The South African Lawyer Tembaka could not have put the case for Genocide being enacted before the world any clearer to the International Court.

  10. Dennis Frank 10

    Expert has a go at unclogging the global governance system:

    The dysfunctionality of the Security Council was underlined on December 22 when it finally reacted to the Gaza situation by adopting a watered-down resolution. It demanded the provision of much greater humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza but failed to address the massive violence causing such extensive human suffering in this territory.

    The key factor behind the marginalisation of the Security Council in the current Gaza conflict has been the stance of its most powerful member, the US. Washington has a long history of using its veto to support Israel at the United Nations. It has blocked 53 Security Council resolutions relating to Israel in the past 50 years, including the two Gaza resolutions last year.

    At present, global security matters are hostage to the interests of the five permanent members. Without curtailing the use of the veto or significantly increasing the power of the UN General Assembly, it is difficult to envisage any real improvement in the security of the world.

    The five permanent members will obviously be reluctant to lose their veto privileges but pressure from the wider UN membership could yet force a new arrangement whereby General Assembly resolutions with two-thirds support or more become binding and not subject to a veto.

    This article was originally published in South China Morning Post and is republished with permission

    https://newsroom.co.nz/2024/01/15/global-security-held-hostage-by-un-security-council-vetoes/

    https://nz.linkedin.com/in/robert-patman-9b29a557

  11. Ffloyd 11

    Have the alleged potential costings for Aucklands Light Rail been substantiated in any way, or are they plucked out of the air and referred back to ‘advice they have received. From whom may I ask?This is a genuine question. Cocs seem to be able to fling all sorts of numbers in the air but never give a breakdown on how they arrived at these numbers. It’s all very airy fairy.

    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      It’s all very airy fairy.

      It's mainly the neolib tooth fairy. She waves her magic wand & makes all stakeholders believe whatever costing is being toted at the time. Then times change & new numbers magically appear. It's how neoliberalism was designed to work. Magical thinking.

  12. observer 12

    Luxon bullshit, chapter 367 …

    Before Christmas he declared that this all-action get-things-done government would be getting everyone back in Parliament by – well, about now.

    Parliament summer close down period will be shorter, incoming PM Luxon says | RNZ News

    Fact check: the timetable now is the same as previous supposedly lazy governments and Parliaments.

    This is not surprising or even bad. Breaks are important. What's bad is that he spouts this nonsense before the summer break and it is reported as if it were true, instead of reporters pointing out that it obviously isn't.

    Credit to one reporter for not having a Luxon memory hole …

    First cabinet meeting no earlier than usual | BusinessDesk

  13. Dennis Frank 13

    Important meeting earlier:

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has met with Kiingi Tuuheitia just days before a national hui. In December, the Kiingitanga called a nationwide hui over fears of the coalition government's plans for Māori. Iwi across the country converge at Tūrangawaewae Marae in Ngāruawāhia this Saturday, to work out a unified response to the coalition government's policies.

    Thousands are expected to attend the national hui, Taakiri Tuu Te Kotahitanga, Taakiri Tuu te Mana Motuhake, convened by Kiingi Tuuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII.

    The prime minister and Kiingi Tuuheitia met on Monday morning, the prime minister's office said in a statement.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/506731/pm-christopher-luxon-meeting-with-kiingi-tuuheitia-days-before-national-hui

    Looks like Lux has given the Maori king a brief on his govt's intentions, eh? Let's see the effect. The inside word can often be useful leverage.

    • observer 13.1

      It's obviously box-ticking, no more.

      "Have you met with him?'

      "Yes, I have".

      • Dennis Frank 13.1.1

        Nah, they've met before. One of the reports today said so, can't recall which. And this:
        “The meeting had been planned since last year and was an opportunity to further build on the relationship they have established in the last two years.”

        https://www.1news.co.nz/2024/01/15/pm-luxon-meets-maori-king-ahead-of-national-hui/

        • observer 13.1.1.1

          Yes, of course they've met before, but this meeting is just an attempt to get in ahead of the hui. We all know what's coming, and Luxon wants to pose as the reasonable one (note the presence of Potaka at the meeting, the Minister who wants to build a bridge but can't outmuscle Peters and Seymour).

          BTW, really unprofessional reporting on the 6 pm Newshub story. A casual viewer would assume that was current footage. It was old library footage, and labelling it as such is what every TV journalist/editor learns at broadcasting school, lesson one.

          • ianmac 13.1.1.1.1

            Wonder where they had their meeting?

          • Dennis Frank 13.1.1.1.2

            Agree. My surprise was lead story on ONE News: Golriz. Nothing happened. Well, ostensibly they reported her return to Aotearoa earlier today.

            Plus they interviewed Brigitte Morten, who helpfully explained why it was so bad that Golriz and the Greens continued to stonewall the public interest. Insert eye-rolling emoji. The purpose seemed to be that she represents the public interest in the situation. Yes, I know that's not plausible.

            • aj 13.1.1.1.2.1

              Plus they interviewed Brigitte Morten

              Without revealing her political links . . of course.

        • Anne 13.1.1.2

          … an opportunity to further build on the relationship they have established in the last two years.

          That sounds like Luxon-speak and it would mean nothing coming from him. If he went to a local beach and accidently bumped into someone who happened to be a local councillor he would claim at a later date he had met the person and formed a close relationship. Close alright, he knocked him over. (Just a tongue in cheek fib)

    • Ad 13.2

      We can defeat them if we rise together.

  14. Dennis Frank 14

    Three strikes & you're out: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/133561585/police-investigating-golriz-ghahraman-allegation–this-time-in-wellington

    This was the third shoplifting allegation against Ghahraman.

    • Muttonbird 14.1

      Next time you do three boring comments in a row of an early morning, you're out.

      I suspect that will be tomorrow morning.

    • observer 14.2

      Nothing has really changed since the story first broke last week. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that the options are:

      If guilty, leaves Parliament.

      If not guilty (a longer road, but that's how the justice system works), doesn't leave Parliament.

      Everything else is a lot of tedious political commentary by interested parties. None of that provides any information about what happened.

      (There are no "three strikes", that's absurd. Allegations are true, or they are not. One offence is the same as two or three).

  15. joe90 15

    Alex Berenson calls Tucker Carlson on his antivax nonsense…who woulda thunk it..

    @thereal_truther

    Alex Berenson debunks the claim that COVID vaccines are causing excess deaths “I don’t believe that this entire regulatory apparatus would ignore screaming danger signs. And I don’t believe doctors would.”

    https://twitter.com/thereal_truther/status/1746586560752206173

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