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Open mike 15/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:46 am, January 15th, 2015 - 305 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeThe Authors of The Standard are now in holiday mode. Posting will be less regular and dependant on individual author enthusiasm.

Open mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

305 comments on “Open mike 15/01/2015”

  1. Paul 1

    Now we are being told not to help the poor and vulnerable in society.
    What a repulsive society we are becoming.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11386539

    If we keep following the neoliberal model, we’ll soon be like the U.S. , where you get arrested for feeding the poor.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/ninetyyearold-man-faces-jail-for-giving-food-to-homeless-people-9838728.html

    • Pete George 1.1

      It doesn’t sound you read much of the first article.

      Police are urging the public to stop giving money to beggars in Auckland’s Queen St after warnings were issued to two men dressed as Buddhist monks over begging in the inner city.

      “Police advise members of the public not to give money to anyone begging on the streets and instead refer them to agencies such as Lifewise and City Mission who are in a position to be able to offer support,” Auckland Central acting area commander Gary Davey said.

      He confirmed that a second “monk” was spoken to by police on Tuesday and “warned for begging and causing nuisance”, which was a breach of an Auckland Council bylaw.

      A related article Cash-soliciting monks in Queen St:

      Questions surround people dressed as Buddhist monks who are targeting tourists and shoppers in Queen St to solicit cash donations for a Thai temple.

      An Auckland Thai temple says it is against the rules for Buddhist monks and nuns to ask for donations, and questions the monks’ activities.

      Chavaritch Mounlath, spokesman for the Thai Watyarnprateep Buddhist Temple in Kelston, confirmed that the temple was not seeking any public donations.

      “They are definitely not Thai monks. The type of robe they are wearing is more Chinese, and you don’t see monks wearing Nike and jeans under their robes,” Mr Mounlath said. “We would advise people against donating anything to them because they could be imposters, and what they’re doing is basically wrong.”

      Mr Mounlath said that if the monks were from Thailand, their eyebrows would have been shaved.

      It was also against monastic rules for monks to solicit or beg for money, he said.

      “Monks do go out with alms bowls, but they do not ask for things, and what they get must have been given willingly,” he said.

      “They would never ask for cash from strangers, or sell prayer beads and religious items in this way.”

      We are not being told “not to help the poor and vulnerable in society”, we’re being warned about being pressured to hand over money to people dressed as monks.

      Giving money to street beggars is at best unlikely to be cost effective assistance to those genuinely in need, and more likely to be a rip-off. Best to contribute directly to reputable charities.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        The best response to the massive increase in begging is a proper health and welfare system and some well funded independent beneficiary advocates.

        Yes, yes, I know you right wingers think charity works. It doesn’t: cf: human history.

      • RedLogix 1.1.2

        PG’s point is the same one most people who travel come to – that giving to beggars is fraught with pitfalls and problems. It might make you feel good – it probably didn’t do much good. And this kind of open begging is relatively new domestically in NZ.

        It’s true that local charities are in a better position to make a difference. Of course government agencies are even more empowered to make a difference.

        And if you really wanted to do something that mattered to the genuinely destitute and desperate – we would do something urgently to reduce the obscene extremes of wealth and poverty in the world.

        Consider this PG. I was told a while back that about 45% of the worlds’ population has zero access to medical care. Not even a so much as a disprin. What charity could make a meaningful difference to that reality?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.2.1

          The whole notion of charity goes hand-in-hand with toxic right wing attitudes towards poverty and illness.

          Cf. National Party rhetoric about social housing.

          The people who can do something about this are your local MPs. Put the issue in their faces – demand that they take action to restore dignity and ethics to this society and shame the shit out of them when they don’t.

          • RedLogix 1.1.2.1.1

            Charity as a replacement for a fair society is a stinking crock. But it does have it’s place – undertaken with the right motives it can be a lot more flexible and responsive to specific needs than the big monolithic rule driven bureaucracies.

            I’m comfortable with the idea of them co-existing.

            Your last para is dead on though.

            • Tracey 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Key brought in an increased rebate for those who donate. If you donate you can claim back 33.33333333333%, in otherwords the taxpayer pays 33.33333333% to your choice of charity (indirectly). This was intended to make people give more to charities. I don’t know if it has achieved that goal. I may take some time to find out.

              A friend of mine has sat on the board of a few charities. When the GFC hit she noted to me that the wealthiest dropped off the charitable donations quicker and in greater numbers than the lower end donors of $50 a year or one-off less than $100 donors.

              her observation over 20 years was that the wallets that closed the quickest in economic downturns were those of the wealthy

          • millsy 1.1.2.1.2

            Whenever I think of “charity” I think of some blazer wearing “pillar of the community” sitting on a big pot of money (which in most cases belongs to that particular community), picking and choosing who to dish it out to (ie pointing to random people and beckoning them to “come here”).

            And then more often, they start micro managing people lives. In return for help, you have to do this, that and the next thing.

            Charity is no subsitute for a welfare state and publicly provided services. The key is giving agencies more flexibility.

        • mac1 1.1.2.2

          ‘giving to beggars is fraught with pitfalls and problems.’

          I was in Venice eight years ago and saw a most pitiable sight- a man with deformed twisted legs kneeling on a padded mat with his begging bowl.

          Later that day, I saw him walking normally through a little side alley there, literally counting his takings with his little kneeling pad on his back held with pack straps.

          Another time on the Left Bank, I saw a young man dragging himself with huge effort along, soliciting for donations. A stall owner selling books left his station and walked quickly over to the beggar and gave a donation and as quickly returned to his stall. There were very few people about, so I doubt it was a ‘salting’ manoeuvre.

          That young man got my donation. The locals thought he was genuine. So did I.

          But I did learn to be very sceptical about beggars- through several experiences- and to give donations to recognised charities such as in churches.

          It also confirmed my belief in the institution of the welfare state.

          • Tracey 1.1.2.2.1

            The worst charitable rorts I saw in Europe were the churches, particularly the catholic churches. Huge ornate begging bowls sucking money from tourists and parishioners alike. i would see them extorting money for entry and to buy the souvenirs, and later I would read the leader of their church bemoaning the state of the poor in the world…

            Then i saw the Vatican and St Peters. Standing waiting to go inside I saw the gold finished eaves at the entrance and thought “scrape that off and poverty is almost gone”.

            • millsy 1.1.2.2.1.1

              Just like Destiny Church here.

              Church goers going to loan sharks to pay for Brian’s latest Harley.

        • Pete George 1.1.2.3

          @RL

          I was told a while back that about 45% of the worlds’ population has zero access to medical care. Not even a so much as a disprin. What charity could make a meaningful difference to that reality?

          If that’s the case it’s hard to know how it could be adequately addressed – but I don’t think that would be a priority. A lot of resource goes into narrow issues, like Ebola at present. For all the good it has done with some things the Gates Foundation has been criticised for attracting resources to their per projects like Aids, TB and malaria and

          Safe water and adequate sanitation are more important issues than medical care.

          While they do some good there are limitations with government aid and corporate aid. Greater good requires greater determination from the wider populations in better off regions.

          There’s always a problem with priorities. For example in New Zealand should we be focussed on lifting people out of poverty here? Or lifting more people out of greater poverty elsewhere?

          We have to keep working on the best balance somehow, both personally and nationally.

          • Clemgeopin 1.1.2.3.1

            We have to keep working on the best balance somehow, both personally and nationally

            What have you done to help achieve that, personally and nationally?

            • Pete George 1.1.2.3.1.1

              Not sure what your point is. If that’s important why haven’t you asked Paul and others?

              • Tracey

                re-read your last sentence in your previous post, that should help you understand where the question came from.

                Unless you meant by “we” people other than you.

              • Clemgeopin

                Paul did not make the statement, “We have to keep working on the best balance somehow, both personally and nationally”. You did!

                That is why I wanted to know what YOU are doing personally as per your own lofty statement.

                • Pete George

                  I’m not going to give you my personal details. Are you going to give yours?

                  • Tracey

                    so now you are saying you GET the point made but dont want to tell how you are working to change things. Why on earth not say that the first time…

                    • Clemgeopin

                      May be because he is shy, humble, secretive and doesn’t want us or his left hand to know what his right one is personally doing, but doesn’t know how to express it?

                  • Clemgeopin

                    Don’t be silly! I am not asking for your personal details. Just about the personal actions to ameliorate poverty that you stated was imperative, rather than what you termed ‘narrow stuff like ‘trying to stop Ebola’ and the Gates foundation’s work regarding their ‘per projects like Aids, TB and malaria’!

                    No, not personal details but your personal projects and actions that you preached about.

              • Murray Rawshark

                Because you’re the one who thinks he can tell us all what to do, PG. The others don’t do that.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2.3.2

            For example in New Zealand should we be focussed on lifting people out of poverty here? Or lifting more people out of greater poverty elsewhere?

            False Dichotomy George is at it again.

      • Paul 1.1.3

        The police telling people not to give to beggars is not the solution to a couple of scammers.
        As usual, the solution is to blame the poor and as usual you take the side of the powerful, pg.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.4

        Giving money to street beggars is at best unlikely to be cost effective assistance to those genuinely in need, and more likely to be a rip-off. Best to contribute directly to reputable charities.

        Although I agree that giving money directly to beggars is ineffective I don’t see charities as being any better. This is based upon the 19th century experience of ever increasing poverty that was supposed to be addressed by charity.

        The only solution that works is when the government steps in with effective policies to ensure that there isn’t any poverty. That means effective welfare and employment policies.

        Anything else is RWNJs demanding that we increase poverty so that they can be richer.

      • Bill 1.1.5

        Giving money to street beggars is at best unlikely to be cost effective assistance to those genuinely in need, and more likely to be a rip-off. Best to contribute directly to reputable charities.

        Cash. Direct to source. In their hand. Not cost effective? What lame and misanthropic planet does your brain orbit Mr Pete George?

        Oh, hang on, I see. The one where beggars are, more likely than not, scammers and not ‘genuinely in need’. You really do have no fucking idea whatsoever, do you?

        Next you’ll be telling me one about the beggar who, it was discovered after their death, had millions stashed away.

        • Tracey 1.1.5.1

          “the one where beneficiaries are, more likely than not, scammers and not ‘genuinely in need’. ”

          😉

          But (picture Pg throwing his arms in the air in resignation) it’s such a big problem what do we do.

        • Pete George 1.1.5.2

          My last direct experience with a beggar was someone in George Street several months ago claiming he needed to raise $800 for a phone bill. Would you hand over $800 to someone claiming that?

          I’ve given that much to charity in a year but I wouldn’t for that. Even if he had genuinely let a phone bill get away on him like that (that’s about my annual phone/internet bill) he needs more help than a one off handout or handouts.

          Bill, what idea do you have about the need of street beggars in Auckland?

          • Bill 1.1.5.2.1

            Begging to pay off an $800 phone bill? Somebody’s telling porkies.

            Anyway, people having to beg for money for food and/or drug induced escape are in the same physical and psychological space the world over Pete.

            And some people not having to beg may well indulge in a little deceit from time to time…just like some lawyers, business people, cops, priests…..

          • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.5.2.2

            Too bad this country has fucked over the social worker profession who in the past would have provided “more help than a one off hand out or handouts.”

            Would you be for the re-establishment of social work positions that would provide such help, and also advocate for their clients to the likes of Spark, Vodafone, Trustpower etc?

            • Pete George 1.1.5.2.2.1

              I know people well who work doing that sort of thing now. There’s quite a bit of resource going towards advocating for people and helping them manage their finances and lives better. I’d be for doing more of that sort of thing.

              • greywarshark

                I know people well who work doing that sort of thing now. There’s quite a bit of resource going towards advocating for people and helping them manage their finances and lives better. I’d be for doing more of that sort of thing.

                Weak little positives from Pete G. Everything that’s wrong has an anodyne answer that something is being done. No need to hang around looking, thinking about the problem.

                There is no problem really, because it is in hand and being attended to and is an operational matter, or one-off or the person responsible has been spoken to, sharply, offered their resignation, and on blah blah. Makes me sick. I can’t stand the man. Is he a man? Or a whispering ghost that swirls over the internet blanketing thought and aware discussion and interchange in a fog of comforting rhetoric.

                So it goes says Kurt Vonnegut when making an all-embracing final comment on the ongoing state of unsatisfactoriness of the world. So it goes.

                • Bill

                  Within the PG cranium…I admit that I get recurring images of grey-ish chewing gum squishilly discarding integrity in the face of external forces, and maintaining only, and ever, it’s inherent greyness.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                I know people well who work doing that sort of thing now.

                We likely know some of the same people.

                You’ll also know that the services that they work in are in desperate need of an extra 15% to 20% funding after being expected to do more, with less, for years and years.

              • Sacha

                advocating for budget advisors doesn’t require changing who you blame for poverty.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.5.3

          Cash. Direct to source. In their hand. Not cost effective?

          It’s not that it’s not cost effective, it’s that it doesn’t work. It’ll leave huge amounts of people in dire poverty while a few do quite well out of it. Even PG’s preferred option of private charities doesn’t work. We know all this because it’s been tried before and we eventually got around to putting in the welfare state because it didn’t work.

          • Pete George 1.1.5.3.1

            New Zealand has operated with a mix of private charity and state welfare for a long time. Imperfectly but I think better than the alternatives.

            Where in the world is there or has there been a perfect model of total state welfare that has worked successfully to eliminate poverty/poorness?

            • Bill 1.1.5.3.1.1

              What alternatives cross your mind there Pete?

              • Pete George

                Total state welfare or total charity.

                There always has been and always will be a mix. If you want things done better you have to find a way of influencing things for the better.

                This means either being patient and working towards a Labour/Green government (and hope for 2017), or doing something outside or within the current Government. I’m more interested in the latter.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.5.3.1.2

              New Zealand has operated with a mix of private charity and state welfare for a long time. Imperfectly but I think better than the alternatives.

              And it’s not working as the growing poverty proves.

              Where in the world is there or has there been a perfect model of total state welfare that has worked successfully to eliminate poverty/poorness?

              Ah, the usual RWNJ attempt to distract from the need for change.

              How about this:

              Where in the world has there been a perfect model charity that has worked?

              We know that charity doesn’t work as we have history to prove it. We also know that state welfare does works because, again, history proves it. Is it perfect? No, because people aren’t perfect. That’s not a reason to throw it out but a reason to make it better.

          • Bill 1.1.5.3.2

            Draco. I spent somewhere north of two years of my life begging on the streets of Europe. Believe me, cash really, really fucking works. (So does food and other basic altruistic acts)

            Meanwhile, private charities, even if they were to run in perfectly altruistic and non-judgmental fashion…and even if they didn’t prescribe and proscribe certain decisions and behaviours and were never paternalistic… who-ever was accessing them would have to know how to access them, where to access them and maintain the network by remaining in the same location. (And there are enough PG’s in the world to ensure that those locations would be ‘on the fringes’ – out of sight and out of mind.)

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.5.3.2.1

              I spent somewhere north of two years of my life begging on the streets of Europe. Believe me, cash really, really fucking works.

              And what do you think would happen if everyone who needed help got out on the street and begged? Where the number of beggars on the street increased by a hundred fold?

              I can assure you, begging would fail within days.

              Basically, you’re taking you’re own personal experience and taking it as a universal truth rather than the anecdote that it is.

              Two major points:

              1. We cannot make decisions upon anecdotes.
              2. We need a solution that works for everyone and not just a few.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                You just attempted to demonstrate what you saw as Bill’s over-generalisation by using a weak hypothetical which would never ever occur in real life (everyone coming out to beg at once).

                • Draco T Bastard

                  It’s not a weak hypothetical – it’s what would need to happen for begging to work as Bill expects it to.

                  As I said, we need a solution that works for everyone and not just a few. Begging works for a few people in need but not everyone in such need. This is why we need the state to do it and not just have people begging or charities.

      • gsays 1.1.6

        hi pete, i see alink between the two articles which i think you would agree with.
        in the american example there is is a quote from
        Michael Stoops, community organiser at the National Coalition for the Homeless, told NBC News:
        “Economic development and tourism don’t mesh well with homeless folks and the agencies that serve them.”
        what that says to me is it is not a good look for business to have these beggars around .

        mr abbott views these strangers as his brothers for whom he must serve.

        this is an example of capitalists love/care about money and socialists (mr abbot) love/care about people.

        • Pete George 1.1.6.1

          Beggars aren’t necessarily homeless folk (although some are likely to be).

          You’re right, beggars/’street merchants’/scammers aren’t good for tourism. I’ve seen them being a real nuisance in Fiji, and Italy in particular – on one occasion one harassed and tried to separate a 16 year old girl from our group. Would you give someone like that money?

          Have you considered the possibility that the more that is given to street beggars the more street begging there may be? Market principles are likely to apply.

          • Bill 1.1.6.1.1

            Was that a beggar, a street merchant, or a scammer that honed in on a member of your group? Or are beggars, street merchants/sellers and scammers/con merchants utterly interchangeable in your world view?

            Nice logical solution you have there by the way. Make sure ever greater numbers of people have absolutely no money and the numbers of beggars will plummet. You truly beggar fucking belief.

            • Pete George 1.1.6.1.1.1

              There’s nothing logical about “make sure ever greater numbers of people have absolutely no money”. I’ve never suggested or believed anything like that.

              I don’t think handing out money to the first person on the street who asks for it is the best approach to solving a complex problem, but that’s quite different.

              “are beggars, street merchants/sellers and scammers/con merchants utterly interchangeable in your world view?”

              I think they often have similar motives.

              Would you trust all of them? How often do you give strangers on the street money?

              • “I think they often have similar motives.”

                What a terrible thing to say – do you think people want to beg?

                This shows the pretense of your ‘middle of the road’ positioning – all show, no substance.

          • gsays 1.1.6.1.2

            hi pete, surely you can see things are headed in the wrong direction when a man who sees strangers as his brother is arrested for doing what jesus would advocate for.

    • Realblue 1.2

      The Buddhist monk thing is a scam I came across in China this year. They are not poor they are organised and are criminals. Hardly a justification for your shrieking. None of that article says what you’re saying.

      • Paul 1.2.1

        Shrieking?
        Expressing a gentle concern, more like.
        I would hope you were concerned about the story from the states.
        What about how our council is not allowing begging.

        Of course a ‘real blue’ would take Disreali’s ‘One Nation’ approach. You, however, appear to be more the more recent hue of the colour, addicted to the kool aid of neo liberalism.

        Conservatives once cared for the poor.
        It’s clear you don’t.

        • Naturesong 1.2.1.1

          Hmm, he may be pointing out that the Monks, aren’t really. And are dressed that way specifically in order to present a sympathetic face to encourage donations.

          On that point, I’m in agreement.

      • Tracey 1.2.2

        Gotta credit their bravery though, pretending to be a buddhist monk in a place like China.

        • Colonial Rawshark 1.2.2.1

          Pretty sure there are a few state sponsored Buddhist monasteries kept running for tourism purposes.

          Buddhist monks get away with it as they haven’t tried to usurp Chinese government rule. Not for a few centuries anyway…

    • whateva next? 1.3

      just like Thatcher said “There is no society…” but who paid for her funeral then?

    • burt 1.4

      We are indeed being told not to help the poor – by Labour and their activist supporters.

      Matt McCarten, the lefty who refused to pay his PAYE as Chief of Staff, he’s like having Penny Bright the lefty who has a freehold house, pays no tax and won’t pay her rates as Chief Of Staff. Hey perhaps she could be deputy Chief of Staff and between them they could make sure all well paid and asset rich lefties in parliament avoid paying for the services they think we ( the actual tax payers ) should provide for people less fortunate than they themselves are.

    • Murray Rawshark 1.5

      That’s what I thought when I read the article as well, Paul. Besides that, what business of ngati poaka is it to tell people not to perform a perfectly legal act?

  2. Paul 2

    Instead the Herald devotes its charitable writing towards billionaires.
    After all, they might provide some cash and benefits for the editors…..

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11386474

  3. Shane Le Brun 3

    Got off to a bad start yesterday guilty of link-whoring.
    I’m new to Blogging, and have started blogging over at YourNZ under Pete George’s banner, on the topic of Medical Marijuana, my motivations are pure, as I have come to this movement over time as my wife, who has a failed back surgery, is left with unresolved pain. I am not in this for personal use, which is a simple attack made on others. I aim to attack the issue from a centrist POV, accepting the current political realities in NZ. If you are interested please read my initial post here.. http://yournz.org/2015/01/14/introducing-a-new-author-shane-le-brun-2/

    for my back story, a shortened version is http://yournz.org/2014/10/27/medical-marijuana-for-chronic-pain-advocacy-group/

    Let me know what you think of my first post.

    • millsy 3.1

      Pete George has an apprentice.

      • Shane Le Brun 3.1.1

        If you look at the post and my political leaning, I wouldn’t call my self his “apprentice” I am just focused on a singular issue that effects me personally.

        • framu 3.1.1.1

          then maybe set up your own blog?

          pete george’s online reputation has a bad smell that will attach itself to you and taint everything you say be mere association

          Theres a reason he repeatedly gets banned from multiple blogs for the same reasons

          i mean this in the most civil manner possible

          • Shane Le Brun 3.1.1.1.1

            I contacted the standard, no response, I have no intention of starting my own blog based on 1 post a week, I thought getting on a political one would be the best bet to try and get heard, rather than preaching to the converted.

            • phillip ure 3.1.1.1.1.1

              here ya go..

              ..u r welcome to cherry-pick from my archive on this subject..

              http://whoar.co.nz/?s=medical+marijuana

              (it is quite a large archive..approx. 40 posts/links since june last yr..and it goes way-back..)

            • marty mars 3.1.1.1.1.2

              it is not difficult to start your own blog and once a week posts are not unusual – posting on pg blog immediately means I’m not going to read what you’ve written sorry I can’t stand that middle of the road bullshit. Apart from that all the best – it is good to write and say what you want to say.

            • framu 3.1.1.1.1.3

              well your not wrong in your thinking – you just chose the wrong blog IMO

              Posting on PGs blog wont get you the result your after as very few people take him seriously.

              but yes – all the best. phil does have lots of data on this subject. plus theres the green cross and other groups.

              While it might feel like preaching to the converted you still need to be in a place where people will take the time to read. Having some linkage to other people/groups of the same topic will strengthen your words not weaken them.

              But yeah – its going to take a lot of time so start small and build networks

              • Shane Le Brun

                I’m a board member at Green Cross, co operate with some of the Pediatric Epilepsy folk, and have my own chronic pain advocacy group.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  There’s already a chronic pain advocacy group at The Standard. Phil ‘man’ Ure has been causing chronic pain on the subject of dope every day for yonks. To be fair, you seem to be more on to it than Phil, whose efforts so far have only proven the downside of smoking too much weed.

                  The difficulty I see with your project is that it’s a minority interest and while the occasional blog post might work, a weekly post here isn’t likely to get much engagement. My suggestion would be to set up your own blog and occasionally cross post here and on other blogs (yes, even YawnNZ).

                  • Shane Le Brun

                    I can confirm there is certainly is a difference in the weeds smoked, a batch of medicinal supplied by someone with CRPS, the worst pain disorder in existence (that i’m aware of) was less intoxicating than 1 beer, and knocked pain from 8/10 to 3/10, while some street cannabis only took 1-2/10 of the nerve pain, but did involve a trip to BK for the munchies and a laugh….
                    As for reblogging etc, I cant even comment on Whale Oil to share, it is that curated…. What are the bigger blogs?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Have a look at the top right hand side of this page. There’s a button named ‘feeds’ that lists most of the more important lefty or liberal blogs.

                    • weka

                      “I can confirm there is certainly is a difference in the weeds smoked, a batch of medicinal supplied by someone with CRPS, the worst pain disorder in existence (that i’m aware of) was less intoxicating than 1 beer, and knocked pain from 8/10 to 3/10, while some street cannabis only took 1-2/10 of the nerve pain, but did involve a trip to BK for the munchies and a laugh….
                      As for reblogging etc, I cant even comment on Whale Oil to share, it is that curated…. What are the bigger blogs?”

                      One suggestion if you want to build a readership is to not use jargon that lay people won’t understand. Pretty much everyone that’s commented in this thread exists within the blogosphere. If you want us to get your name and writing out there, make it accessible right from the start.

                      Personally, I welcome someone blogging about hte politics of illness and pain.

                      However I agree with others, being hosted on PG’s blog is the kiss of death. I’m also unlikely to read your posts and I definitely won’t be linking to them. Many other people will feel likewise. You may still build a readership, but you’re hobbling yourself from the start.

                      When you way you contacted the standard, what do you mean? Did you ask to do a guest post? That’s a good way to get a sense of how your posts are going to go down, although it’s the school of hard knocks here. Public address is probably the best blog for disability issues, but haven’t read your posts so don’t know how they would fit in there.

            • Tracey 3.1.1.1.1.4

              well, with Phil Ure using Open Mike for exactly the same topic you will find we are quite used to the preaching to the converted and the getting sick of hearing PU over and over and over on legalising marajuana (for all purposes not just medical). But, stick to the rules and you will be able to share your viewpoint as often as you like here.

              Phil is waiting for the threshold for minor parties to drop to 4% then he is going to get really active on this topic.

              • weka

                Lots of people don’t read phil though. I’d read someone posting in OM about medical cannabis who made the effort to communicate effectively.

                • lprent

                  Yeah it was much better second time around.

                  • Shane Le Brun

                    Thanks, I took your message on board!!
                    I am happy to have spot here and post once a week if you’d have me, I have got a good rebuttal/attack on my Local MP drafted if that’s your thing (National MP). I also have OIA requests on the go over at FYI, So I’m definitely a “doer” and not just a “talker” on the issue. Secondary to Medicinal Cannabis for me is ACC – Kevin Hague is my political champion on that front!

                    Most of the comments here seem to be anti PG and people refuse to read my post by default because of it, so I’d like to expand my readership.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Many people (rightly or wrongly) see Yawns as a vehicle for Dirty Politics, via Pete’s interminable circular arguments.

                      There’s also the fate of Politicheck to consider.

                    • Choosing to blog on anyone elses site other than your own means that readers will likely filter your posts through the lens they utilise when reading the rest of that site.

                      With yournz.org, people will see your posts overlaid to some extent with how they feel about Pete George (and no doubt other things).

                      With the Standard, it’s likely you will come to the attention of National Party bloggers.
                      Also lies are told about the nature and makeup of this site on a fairly regular basis in print and on television in NZ.

                      Your best bet really would be creating your own blog space, and then sindicate it to different blogs.
                      This way you can not only maintain your independance, but also be seen to maintain your independance.

                • Tracey

                  hence I wasnt discouraging him

        • millsy 3.1.1.2

          For what it is worth, I do support decriminalization of pot. While I’m not into drugs, and would discourage anyone from using them (mainly for health reasons), I don’t believe that people caught with a joint in their pocket or growing a couple of plants in the backyard for personal use should be dragged through the court system and have a criminal conviction against them. It is the complete opposite of common sense, and IMO the result of meddling by the god-botherers who see the use of drugs as some kind of immoral evil.

          • Shane Le Brun 3.1.1.2.1

            I personally think the bar is set at alcohol, anything safer should be allowed, with tight controls on cross intoxication, whats worse than drunk or stoned?, its drunk AND stoned….

            My angle for Medicinal Cannabis is the much worse harms caused to the chronic pain community by Opiates (morphine class of drugs) and Benzos (valium class) these are much more addictive, and also more “toxic” as in people routinely die from accidental overdose etc. Also Cannabis is effective for nerve pain by itself, and can enhance pain relief supplied by the Morphine family of drugs, without increasing the amount of Morphine “soaked up” by the body. Used together, the pain relief is greater than the some of its parts. In laymans terms 2+2=5 on the pain relief when mixing them, which means patients can get by with less Morphine than otherwise required, reducing the risk of overdose and death.

            In the United States deaths from the Morphine class of drugs drops significantly with access to Medicinal Cannabis.
            http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140825185315.htm

      • Tracey 3.1.2

        Give the guy a break and don’t make it about PG until it has to be. Yes, he mentioned PG but if he hadn’t he would have been jumped on for that. So, read his links, don’t read his links but surely judge him on those first?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.2.1

          Serious about blogging. Posts on Yawns.

          Discuss.

        • Shane Le Brun 3.1.2.2

          Thanks, my motivation is chronic pain, as this Class C drug is safer and often more effective than some of the Class B options for pain, As a political moderate, and militant atheist, I’m attacking the issue with logic and science, and less emotive or politically motivated responses, It also helps I’m a non user, with a right wing background, though dealing with ACC and surrounding myself with people in Chronic pain has certainly swung my political pendulum.

          I applaud Phil Ure’s motivation, but from speaking to people who know him, I don’t think hes the man for the job…..

          • framu 3.1.2.2.1

            he he 🙂

            good luck shane – dont be put off by moaners (even though we can all be one at times) – i think most are trying to be constructive with their replies to you.

            im not a moderator here or anything – but the best way to get a guest post seems to be by making yourself known as a thoughtfull commenter first – open mike is your friend.

            interesting mix of background youve got there

            • Tracey 3.1.2.2.1.1

              I think you just write a guest post and use the “contact” button and go from there.

          • Clemgeopin 3.1.2.2.2

            from speaking to people who know him, I don’t think hes the man for the job…..

            What did the people say about him? and what makes you think he is not the man for the job?

            • Shane Le Brun 3.1.2.2.2.1

              I’ve heard he is very passionate, but outspoken to the point of irritating, stubborn, and sometimes lacking in coherency, which is understandable on hard pain killers, My wife has a whole year of her memory erased from high doses of Oxy and Valium while ACC were giving us the run around delaying treatment….. I won’t judge him on that, as I’ve seen it first hand.

              As for myself, I have no party affiliations, I am a non user only wanting to help others, (admittedly, if my wife was in less pain I might get more action!)
              And my membership of the Green Cross Board, my preference of evidence…. and also my co operation with “moderates” in favor of Medicinal Cannabis outside of GC.

              • Clemgeopin

                When you say you have spoken to ‘people’ about Phil Ure, where did you find these people? How many? What was the need to discuss PU?

                You say, you don’t want to judge him, but you have, directly or indirectly!

              • Tracey

                you could be describing our PM in the first two lines

          • Tracey 3.1.2.2.3

            militant atheist? Who have you maimed?

            • Shane Le Brun 3.1.2.2.3.1

              Good one, I guess I could use the word bigot to describe my atheism in lieu of militant, against anti science folk in general, not just religious folk of course, so that includes chem trailers, anti vaxxers etc. With my working knowledge of explosives from my years as an Ammunition tech, my new pet hate is also the 9/11 conspiracy folk.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                What work have you done with nanothermite or controlled building demolitions?

                Do you understand that medicine is a socio-economically applied technology, not a physical science?

                • McFlock

                  double 🙄

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    You self professed “sciency” types really are so closed minded. You do realise that early western scientific endeavour succeeded using exactly the opposite mindset?

                    Also the concept that medicine is a socio-economically applied technology and not a basic physical science is utterly straightforward and self apparent.

                    • McFlock

                      What work have you done with nanothermite?

                      And the second 🙄 was because it’s a fairly stupid false dichotommy. To quote Wikipedia:

                      Physical science – branch of natural science that studies non-living systems, in contrast to the biological sciences.

                      So yeah, while medical science can involve inorganic chemistry or physics (unless you reckon an MRI happens to excite hydrogen molecules and its receiver then registers that excitation by pure chance), it also involves biology, microbiology, and a whole pile of other stuff. So while your comment about medicine might to some, on the face of it, have sounded like a profound critique or Western medical science, actually you were just spouting bullshit.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I haven’t done any work with nanothermite. Nor was I the one claiming to be an explosives expert.

                      Geeee you worshippers at the alter of scientism get all riled up when someone offends your religious sensibilities. Get over it.

                      Medicine is predominantly a socioeconomically applied technology. It is not a basic or physical science, although it does use some techniques, analytical approaches and findings from various branches of the hard sciences.

                      That’s what probably confused you.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, now it’s “predominantly” yadda yadda yadda?

                      While a lot of technology is used in medicine, I’d be interested in an example that is “predomonantly” applied technology.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      I accept that you are better at being a dogmatic little shit than I am, mate.

                    • McFlock

                      Lol
                      I haven’t made any dogmatic comments. Haven’t even managed to get there, because you keep shifting your goalposts.

                      Maybe you should stop using big words that you don’t actually understand.

    • northshoredoc 3.2

      Good for you Shane – i’ll pop over for a look later in the day.

    • gsays 3.3

      hi shane,
      i want to wish you good luck in your efforts.
      for what it is worth here is my opinion after reading your posts.

      stick to your knitting eg the mmj cause.
      while i understand you wanting to differentiate yourself from pot users and are establishing your credentials (explosives experience), just be careful as they become red herrings.

      this is not a cure. in my experience i have found a regular practice of meditation to be both palliative and essential to being able to have control over the monkey mind.

      i can not resist asking this question and i understand if you do not address it (for the reasons i just gave): how did world trade centre tower 7 fall into its on footprint in under 11 secs without help from explosives.

      kia kaha bro to you and your wife from another ex from the green machine. (1984-1991).

      • Shane Le Brun 3.3.1

        Thanks Gsays, what gets me with the Explosives, is everyone wants to pin it on a fantastic explosive that is not in use outside of the lab. – this nanothermite stuff, it didn’t exist in sufficient quantities, and still doesn’t, its too hard to manufacture, it would require tonnes of it, (decade or more of production, when the concept was less than a decade old) even now manufacturing capacity is to low to start using in mass production, and the burn is too chaotic for such a task as precision leveling of something so tall. Linear cutting charges are more suitable for the job, and would have taggants, which is trace chemicals to make them easier to detect, any older explosives from before taggants were introduced just wouldn’t be reliable enough for the job. The best explosive for the job is Blade 1150 or larger. Google some images of it, you will get nothing, which is why conspiracy theorists didn’t try to pin it, because they plain old fashion don’t know.

        On a side note, the report on nanothermite someone showed me confessed there was no chain of evidence for the samples, couldn’t guarantee where they come from.

        What do you mean by the meditation comment?

        • gsays 3.3.1.1

          hi shane, cheers for the nano thermite explanation, and as is usual it raises a bunch of other questions but that is for another day.

          ref meditation: it is essentially excercising a muscle. when you regularly (twice a day, dawn and dusk, starting at around 5 mins each session building to half an hour) you become master of your mind, with recourse to profound peace and clarity.
          part of that clarity is realizing that “i” am not this body, nor this collection of ideas and beliefs. ie breaking identity with the body/mind.

          i am aware that this sounds kind of irrelevant, but meditation is a powerful tool for pain management.
          i hope this helps.

          • Shane Le Brun 3.3.1.1.1

            ahm In understand now, mindfulness they call it at the pain clinic. The wife is on the been there done that bandwagon, distraction is important, preventing the mind from focusing on the pain, that’s how most chronic pain folk get stuck in front of laptops and TVs, fortunately we have a little bub to keep her busy, something far more productive than the goggle box, what trade were you?

            • Colonial Rawshark 3.3.1.1.1.1

              this nanothermite stuff, it didn’t exist in sufficient quantities, and still doesn’t, its too hard to manufacture, it would require tonnes of it

              Please explain to me how you know what current global manufacturing capacity of nanothermite is, and where the facilities are and who owns them.

              it would require tonnes of it

              How would you know that tonnes of it are required, if only lab scale quantities had only previously existed and been used?

            • gsays 3.3.1.1.1.2

              hi shane,
              yes mindfulness is part of the aspect of the benefits of meditation, but by no means gets near the wholeness of things. with practice there is no need for the external (laptops, tv etc).
              i am not here to force any thing on to you, just sharing my experience.

              i was cheffing after doing cadets in ’84.
              lots of time in linton, a wee stint in burnham, and a bit in waiberia.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    I hope the Navy use their gun today on those poaching fishing boats to persuade them to allow our people on board. Or an anti-ship missile. Although the missile would be a bit more final (but they’d be no survivors in those frigid southern waters, so we could deny everything). Otherwise, we might as well disband the Navy and replace it with the Boy Scouts in kayaks.

    • Shane Le Brun 4.2

      sadly no missiles, just a 25mm Cannon, same as on our LAVs, and 2 x 50cal Heavy Machine Guns, more than enough to turn the wheel house to swiss cheese, someone I know suggested smashing all the glass, and let the fresh antarctic air lower their resolve………..

      • Sanctuary 4.2.1

        Haven’t they got a Sea Sprite helicopter on board? They carry Penguin anti-ship missiles (cue mental image of determined looking penguin with goggles on strapping a big skyrocket onto his back).

        • Crashcart 4.2.1.1

          This is an off shore patrol vessel. No Sea Sprite embarked, no Missles. Shanes description of the armament is acurate.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1.1

            Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs): Capability & Role

            Helicopter capability

            OTAGO and WELLINGTON have a flight deck and hangar and are capable of embarking the KAMAN SH-2G (NZ) Seasprite helicopter.

            Of course, capable of having one and actually having one are two different things.

            • Crashcart 4.2.1.1.1.1

              Exactly. I can say with some confidence that they don’t currently have one embarked.

              • tricledrown

                You can rest assured they won’t be deployed as the cost of maintaining the seasprites is too much as the salt in the sea air damages these helicoptors.
                The seasprites are a lemon the cost of keeping them in the Air beyond the Navy budget all their frames are coroding while their military capability is good their reliability is very poor.
                We were sold a lemon!
                Their production ceased not long before the Defense force purchased them.
                The only real option we have is to mothball most of them and cannibalize those ones to keep 1 or two flying to cover up the blunder!
                The other more expensive option was to go in cooperation with another country operating the seasprite still more expensive than mothballing $100’S of millions of lemon helicopters!

                • Draco T Bastard

                  You can rest assured they won’t be deployed as the cost of maintaining the seasprites is too much as the salt in the sea air damages these helicoptors.

                  Which basically means that purchasing them was a really bad idea. With corroding frames caused by sea air they should remove ‘sea’ from their name.

                  The other more expensive option was to go in cooperation with another country operating the seasprite still more expensive than mothballing $100’S of millions of lemon helicopters!

                  And the best option would have been to make our own.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    We have whole sections of defence force personnel who evaluate, assess and purchase this equipment. Between this and the LAV debacle, the melting Steyrs, the Charles Upham etc. it seems like there are still major problems in the way they work and how they are led.

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    We did really well with the Semple tank. I think the worst option would have been to make our own. Buying Seasprites was probably the second worst.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The Semple Tank was a DIY affair built in the backyard. It was a POS but at least it showed can-do. Another backyard vehicle made in NZ was the Britten which can honestly be said to be quite a bit better.

                      Of course, when I say that we should build our own I mean a full R&D program hiring several people full time with serious gear to support them. The end result would be as good as if not better than the Seasprite.

                      Developing these things here has a number of spin off advantages to buying them from overseas. These advantages can be simply put as developing our own capabilities.

                      One wonders why you think we building up our capabilities is a bad thing.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      The Seasprite is basically 60 year old technology, and even the capability to build that would take a Think Big type effort. The Britten was due to one man’s brilliance.

                      “One wonders why you think we building up our capabilities is a bad thing.”

                      Two wonders why people on this blog keep basing their discussion on things the writer never said.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The Seasprite is basically 60 year old technology, and even the capability to build that would take a Think Big type effort.

                      No it wouldn’t. The DSIR wasn’t a Think Big project but that’s about all it would take. We’re not talking about a one off operation but an ongoing R&D program.

                      Two wonders why people on this blog keep basing their discussion on things the writer never said.

                      Actually, that’s exactly what you said when you said:

                      I think the worst option would have been to make our own.

                      It’s not the words you used but it is the end result of following what you said.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      Nope, you said making our own helicopters was the best option. I disagreed. I said nothing about developing capabilities in other areas.

                • exkiwiforces

                  The RNZAF/Navy (6Sqn) has only 5 Seasprites in service and the 10 Super’s have only started to arrive in country this week. The Navy have more Seasprites carrying ships than Seapsprites so what to do you expect when the last government didn’t/ wouldn’t buy anymore Seasprites or purchase new Helicopters when the Navy got more Ships. In the 90’s we had 2 ANZAC’s and 1 Type 12 (F421 Canterbury )frigates hence why brought 5.

                  The 10 new Super’s that well enter service this year will allow the Navy to embark one each on the ANZAC’s, OPV’s, if the required between 2 and 4 on broad L421 Canterbury which will proper maintenance to carry out instead of sort cuts and more airtime for aircrew training. The carney Kiwi’s have rip out the Flight management System (FMS), the Auto Hover and something else that I can’t remember. RNZAF/ Navy have gone back a 3 man crew (Ozzies had 2 man crew) brought the Seasprite back down to a standard model with a lot more whistles and bells like the Penguin ASM and using tried and tested TTP’s (SOP’s) which work.

                  Last of all Des Ashton from the MOD armed with inside knowledge from the Kiwis who were working with Karman who were based Australia at the time would have not gone to government if this wasn’t going to work. Since Des has been working for MOD after he got the sack from Labour when they disbanded ACF every project he has worked on has been under budget and on time so he knows has stuff!

      • millsy 4.2.2

        Seems rather under equipped for a patrol vessel like that. Rather like having an SAS commando armed with a water pistol.

        Perhaps we shouldnt have scrapped the air combat wing after all. A couple of high speed low level passes by a fully laden Skyhawk would have brought the issue to a close very quickly.

        • tricledrown 4.2.2.1

          The skyhawks would be lucky to make it to the Ross Sea on one tank of fuel they can only cover 1200km without refueling carrying no bombs!
          This govt is all talk and no action!

          • millsy 4.2.2.1.1

            I am sure they had external fuel tanks?

            • tricledrown 4.2.2.1.1.1

              Thats what gave them the 1200km maximum range!

              • Draco T Bastard

                Yeah, the range of combat aircraft is SFA which is actually major reason as to why NZ having an air-combat wing was a waste of money.

              • millsy

                OK fair enough.

                We still seem to have a lot of crap equipment though.

                I think its time for us to bite the bullet and think about getting cheaper Russian, French and Chinese gear.

          • Murray Rawshark 4.2.2.1.2

            Skyhawks would have been useless, even besides the range problem. We don’t want to blow the boats up in the middle of nowhere. The Wellington could use its Bushmaster to wreck some of the fishing equipment on the boats. It’s got heaps of armament for what it’s supposed to do. It’s not for fighting against other warships.

            • exkiwiforces 4.2.2.1.2.1

              We did back in 1976 by firing a shots across the bow of one fishing boat and everyone back then took notice, but mind you back then we did some pollies who had some big balls on both sides of the house unlike now.

          • exkiwiforces 4.2.2.1.3

            Yeah its called Tanker support from the RAAF’s 33Sqn based out of RAAF Base Amberley

    • Crashcart 4.3

      I understand the sentament but the Navy is doing all it can. They can not and will not fire on those vessels. Nor should they. The conditions down there are terrible even in the summer. After losing a Sailor just a few years ago carrying out RHIB operations in poor conditions CO’s are very careful not to put their sailors in un warrented life threatening situations.

      Would you trade a young man or womans life to collect evidence against a fishing boat?

      • Paul 4.3.1

        The issue of overfishing and the toothfish was covered very well by the film ‘The Last Ocean.’

        Here is the trailer.

        • Crashcart 4.3.1.1

          I a not minimising the issue. I ask the same question though. Would you be willing to put a young sailor in a position where there is a Very High chance of death or serious injury to collect eveidence? This ship has very little to no capability to carry out arrest. The intelligence they gather by shadowing and filming these ships is valuable as it is. Yes catching them red handed via a boarding would be valuable but is it worth someones life?

          • Colonial Rawshark 4.3.1.1.1

            The vessel is in international waters, so whatever is done needs to be done within those laws and treaties applicable to the area.

        • Clemgeopin 4.3.1.2

          Thanks for the link. Nice one.

          Liked this dialogue:

          “Ruining an entire eco system for the benefit of a small number of very wealthy people to enjoy the tooth fish”

          ….$200/kg, I read in the news.

          • Paul 4.3.1.2.1

            If you liked that, I really recommend you read Derrick Jensen’s Endgame or listen to him on YouTube.

            • gsays 4.3.1.2.1.1

              hi paul, cheers for that recomendation.

              “you have not lived till you have been chased down the street by a bunch of pacifists”
              brilliant.

          • Clemgeopin 4.3.1.2.2

            Shows that it is the world’s rich rogue bastards that cause the most horrendous havoc to people, politics and our planet.

      • Psycho Milt 4.3.2

        They can not and will not fire on those vessels. Nor should they.

        They shouldn’t fire at them, no. But a few 20mm cannon shells across the bow followed by instructions to heave to often works a treat. Sure, it’s international waters – I expect the other countries engaging in illegal toothfishing would raise objections, to which our government’s response could be “Gee, that’s too bad.” If our government had some bollocks, that is.

        • Crashcart 4.3.2.1

          I won’t go into a discussion on the laws of armed conflict but I assure you that Firing a shot across someones bow is a very major step and a large escelation of the situation. The NZDF would be hard pressed to defend that action in a court and it would probably contribute to the fishing vesseles being let off scott free.

          The misconception here is that the only thing preventing a boarding is the ships evasive actions. In the conditions they are operating in a boarding would be dangerous even if the ships are complient. This is componded by the ships not mainting a steady course and speed to allow safe boarding.

        • Te Reo Putake 4.3.2.2

          Yep. My thinking exactly. And where are the Aussies? They actually do have heavily armed ships and it’s their backyard too.

          • Crashcart 4.3.2.2.1

            The only heavily armed ships the Australians have that are desgned to be able to operate in the Ross sea are Anzac frigates. The same Anzac frigates we operate. The 5 inch gun, Missles and Phalanx CIWS are even less suitable for fisheries interdiction.

            In the end it would still all come down to the ability of a RHIB to deliver a boarding party safely to the deck of a fishing vessel that does not want to be boarded. How big the stick you are carrying has very little impact when the vessels are well aware that in the situation presented we are not going to use deadly force.

            Now should they start shooting at Wellington then things become very different. I for one hope it doesn’t come to that.

            • Te Reo Putake 4.3.2.2.1.1

              Cheers for that info, Crashcart. On reflection, I imagine the Aussies are also put off by the presence of the Sea Shepherd ship and don’t want to be seen to be endorsing an organisation they’re not keen on.

              • RedLogix

                On reflection it does rather emphasise just how creative and effective Sea Shepherd have been.

                Of course neither the NZ or Aus govts are all that keen on an organisation which has so comprehensively out-performed them on the water.

                • Paul

                  The Herald is most impressed by the Navy’s tough stance.
                  It somehow forgets to mention Sea Shepherd, which has achieved much more than our toothless navy.

                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11386511

                  • Crashcart

                    If by toothless you mean our Navy is required to operate within the bounds of both NZ and international law then you are correct. Our Navy is not able to carry out actions which can arguably be considered acts of piracy unlike sea shepard.

                    Sea Shepard has a place and do some good work however when it comes to actually trying to achieve something in a court of law to punish these companies it will not be Sea Shepard providing the required evidence, it will be the RNZN and the Fisheries staff embarked on board HMNZS Wellington who will.

                    To Trickledown above, I will be the last one to say the Sea Sprite was the best answer to the Navy’s neads when the Wasp was replaced. However it has provided good service. It performed very highly when deployed off the cost of Somalia with HMNZS Te Mana between 2013 and 2014. It met all the demands of the conditions and provided highly valuable intelligence to the Combined Naval forces in the area operating to combat Piracey. We will see if the NH90 is a better purchase.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Pretty sure our NH90s aren’t going to be used at sea.

                    • tricledrown

                      I had no beef with its capability the capability is severly reduced if they can’t fly because they have coroded frames,
                      The seasprite is way more powerful longer range faster modern electronics but not being able to fly more tham 1 or 2 at a time,out of eight also they have reduced flying times especially over salt water to reduce maintenence!
                      This proven once again military purchases the Defence force makes should be opened up to more scrutiny!
                      For if we have to ever use our capabilities we won’t have any!

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Considering that it was only produced for 10 years and has been retired by the US and Australia I suspect that it was never good for it’s intended role (aircraft that simply ‘work’ tend to stay in production).

                      By 2005, up to 40 deficiencies in the helicopter had been identified, including the inability to operate in bad weather and low-light conditions, and its failure to meet Australian airworthiness standards.

                      That’s the experience the Australians had with these things.

                      And then we went and bought even more of them.

            • exkiwiforces 4.3.2.2.1.2

              That death happen on the Canterbury L421 while the Canterbury underway not the OPV’s. Have a read of the Coles Report on the Canterbury its pretty damming on the Government and MOD for buying that type of ship and rushing the ship into service before the Navy were able write up and test its TTP’s (SOP’s). An extra 85 million dollars were spent on her to make ship shape

              Mind you the OPV’s have some major issues as will like being 200tons over weight, the main gun system (now has been fixed) half ass magazine for the Seasprite weapon systems and limited growth options for future refits due the weight issue.

            • exkiwiforces 4.3.2.2.1.3

              If they had embarked a Helo they could have Fast Rope on to the ships like the Royal Navy/ Marines, Oz Navy and most other Navies do if they can’t use the RIB’s.

              Draco T Bastard,

              NH90’s will be embarked on Canterbury when required how else will they deploy overseas they can’t fit into a C130 with stripping them down big time so they can fit into a C130 unless the get rid 757’s and a couple of C17’s and replace the 5 C130’s with 5-8 A400’s.

          • Te Reo Putake 4.3.2.2.2

            It does appear to be a deliberate strategy by the Aussie Government to stay away. Hopefully the pressure on them to intervene will rise.

            http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/government-accused-in-failing-to-act-against-illegal-southern-ocean-toothfish-trade-20150113-12nb81.html

            • Paul 4.3.2.2.2.1

              Would have got involved prior to Abbott’s election.

              Ron Marks say we should escalate.

              ‘New Zealand First defence spokesman Ron Mark said the standoff revealed concerns about rules of engagement and the war-fighting capability of our naval vessels.
              “It is clear this needs escalation. Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) are armed with a single gyro-stabilised 25mm Bushmaster cannon and two unstabilised .50 calibre machine guns. … It should be … sufficient to send a warning shot across the bow.
              “Ultimately, New Zealand is exercising our legitimate legal rights and should these vessels refuse boarding then we must be prepared to use force.”
              Foreign Minister Murray McCully said yesterday: “HMNZS Wellington attempted to exercise its legitimate right to board the Yongding and the Songhua … but the vessels refused to co-operate.”
              Equatorial Guinea told New Zealand officials it was believed the vessels were fishing illegally and agreed the Navy should board them and verify their flag status.’

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11386517

              • Colonial Rawshark

                New Zealand First defence spokesman Ron Mark said the standoff revealed concerns about rules of engagement and the war-fighting capability of our naval vessels.

                A very weird thing to say given that it is a civilian vessel in a time of peace.

                Anyway, if the fishing vessel was damaged could the Wellington safely take on board and secure a dozen or more of its crew. Sounds like a potential nightmare for the Wellington captain, to me.

                • exkiwiforces

                  We did it back in 1976 with a couple of Skyhawks when a fishing boat refuse to stop for the Navy. The A4’s fired a few across the bow and if they didn’t stop the next lot would be though wheel house. Back then we did have pollies with some big balls on both side of the house unlike the fillets we have today.

        • Sanctuary 4.3.2.3

          What about firing across the bow with a Penguin ASM and in a “by mistake on purpose we are terribly sorry but I guess if they had followed our instruction this awful tragedy would have been avoided” kinda away bow it to smithereens?

          • marty mars 4.3.2.3.1

            I’m not sure that killing the crew would achieve much apart from murder – aren’t they really pawns in the bigger game played by the owners and eaters of fish.

  5. vto 5

    Heard a French cartoonist in te radio yesterday claiming innocence from politics …. “we are just like children doing drawings” he claimed….

    what a load of tosh. Cartoonists comment heavily on politics and politicians. They thrust themselves directly into the fire pit of politics and the hate that exists there, and then proceed to take the mickey out of its participants and ideas (people hate being ridiculed more than anything else of course).

    At times of war all politicians and political activity are up for grabs, evidenced through history by the acts commited against activists, commentators, politicians, etc. Quite why cartoonists think they should be immune I do not know.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      We’re not at war.

      • vto 5.1.1

        You have to stop assuming things which are not written oab, it harms your credibility

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1

          At times of war…

          You have to start paying attention to what you’ve written for much the same reason.

          • vto 5.1.1.1.1

            whatever

            clearly it was reference to the war that others are fighting, like france, which you have read with the word “french cartoonist”

            go have another coffee

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.1.1.1

              No, France is not ‘at war’ either. Unless we’re ‘at war’ whenever we follow a UN mandate. By definition, we are not.

              Much is made of the fact that “terrorists” are not soldiers in the conventional sense – enemy combatants aren’t* covered by Geneva Conventions, remember?

              Which country is France ‘at war’ with?

              Which wartime emergency powers is its government now legally entitled to as a result? Are you sure you want to follow the narrative down that sheep track so blindly?

              *yes, they are.

              • vto

                non non, there is no war, carry on everybody – off to the mall you go

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  A civil war in what used to be Mali, for example. The Tuareg MNLA’s stated aim is to establish a secular government over the North.

          • Colonial Rawshark 5.1.1.1.2

            France has 5,000 to 10,000 troops in northern and western Africa engaged in anti-islamist military ops. These are not occasional drone strikes or a few anti-insurgency special operations; these are large operations with regular forces reminiscent of its colonial history.

            • Psycho Milt 5.1.1.1.2.1

              The difference between committing a few troops to help some other government fight irregular forces is a very long way from being “at war.” Given the number of violent religious nutcases wanting to kill people, it should just about come under the heading of “business as usual” for UN countries.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I’m sure a few of them would just love it if they could formally declare war. Suspend elections, get shiny new powers, build some internment camps, that sort of thing.

                Baa!

              • Colonial Rawshark

                The difference between committing a few troops to help some other government

                it’s a Division strength deployment. You may consider that a “few troops” but internationally it is seen as a major operation by French forces.

            • Te Reo Putake 5.1.1.1.2.2

              France has no troops engaged in anti-islamist military operations. Though they are involved in fighting an insurgency in Northern Mali that includes people who claim to be Islamic, but don’t behave as if they were.

              • Er, trying to impose Sharia across your country by force is behaving exactly like you were an Islamist. It’s pretty much the definition of it.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  No, it’s not, PM. It’s the definition of one minority strand of Islamic thought. The vast majority of the world’s muslims do not subscribe to that line of thinking.

                • RedLogix

                  PM – if I said that in the light of the Inquisition the definition of a Christian was someone who liked burning women alive at the stake – you’d be upset with me.

                  For very bad logic if nothing else. 🙂

                • You’ll note that French forces aren’t fighting “the vast majority of the world’s Muslims,” they’re fighting an Islamist insurgency – an Islamist insurgency being pretty much defined as an attempt to impose Sharia on a country or region by force.

                  Also: the Qur’an is pretty clear about the obligation of Muslims to impose their faith on the world’s unbelievers, pagans and idolators by force – the fact that the overwhelming majority prefer to skip over that bit doesn’t mean the Islamists are only claiming to be Islamic.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Though they are involved in fighting an insurgency in Northern Mali

                French troops are based in Mali, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger. Possibly in other nearby countries as well (Mauritania for instance). This has moved well beyond fighting a limited insurgency in a limited region of Mali.

      • Paul 5.1.2

        Fox News and Rupert Murdoch think we are.
        Brilliant takedown by Russell Brand with some interesting detail about Murdoch’s investments in the Middle East.

      • vto 5.1.3

        “We’re not at war.”

        Clearly that is what people in the US, UK, Australia, Canada and France think too isn’t it …. acting all surprised when they are attacked in return for their bombing and guns in the middle east …..

        off to the shopping mall
        lives unaffected
        go on overseas holidays
        no rations

        life is grand when you don’t even realise you are at war

        what a bunch of imbeciles

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.3.1

          What’s imbecilic is when you run off on your own merry little tangent before pausing to make sure you’ve read the signs correctly.

          Sure, we’re at war. Here come your draft papers. Idiot.

          • vto 5.1.3.1.1

            Yes wanker, you are correct, there is no war….

            go back to sleep everybody….. it is just a bunch of “terrorists” running amok without reason

            and please everybody, listen to and believe the official lines ….

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.3.1.1.1

              🙄

              War without end. Slow clap.

              • vto

                What has been going on in the middle east since 2001 with regard to the actions of the nations mentioned OAB?

                …. go the semantics ….

                • RedLogix

                  Well OAB has a point.

                  Way I see it when you strip off all the complexities we have two fundamental choices – an endless confrontation between the Islamic and Western worlds or we mutually confront the fundie fanatics on our own sides.

                  Pick a lane.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Thanks, and well put.

                  • vto

                    Fair enough but that is miles from what OAB was saying… at least as I interpreted it.

                    Such a point is also a million miles from the facts on the ground in the middle east, where it is war, outright war, war which France is entirely involved in and now adding another aircraft carrier to.

                    But yep, France is not at war …….. the new aircraft carrier alone is proof of that isn’t it …. sheesh

                    and I am not going to haul in plenty fresh flounders for tonights dinner now ……..

                    out

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Interpretation.

                      So that’s what it was.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Colonial powers are often not “at war.” Militarily suppressing local rebellions is as you say, business as usual. But it looks pretty much like a war if you are in the region.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  In Mali, what’s been going on is a civil war between the Malian government and the MNLA.

                  Neither France nor Germany sent troops to Iraq in 2003, and yet both have responded to security council resolutions and requests from AFISMA.

                  This may seem like semantics to you, and Mali is not ISIL.

    • Te Reo Putake 5.2

      Just to help correct VTO’s mistake, here’s what the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Luz actually said:

      “We are cartoonists and we like drawing little characters, just as we were as children. The terrorists, they were kids, they drew just like we did, just like all children do. At one point, they lost their sense of humour. At one point, they lost the soul of their child which allowed them to look at the world with a certain distance.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11386205 (also repeated in just about every other newspaper).

      • vto 5.2.1

        Yes te reo uptake, thanks for providing the link and support to my point (not mistake, unless you read with a certain predetermined outcome in mind), in particular this …

        “We are cartoonists and we like drawing little characters, just as we were as children”

        just as we were when children …. little characters ….

        yeah right. see original point

        • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1.1

          Your mistake was the line “claiming innocence from politics”. Something Luz did not actually say.

          • vto 5.2.1.1.1

            I have just pointed out where the “claiming innocence from politics” arose. Imo, Luz without doubt claimed a form of innocence with his words “we like drawing little characters, just as we were as children”

            There was nothing “little characters” about the cartoons, and neither are they anything like they would have done as “children”

            Luz indulged in a deception

            Cartoonists are heavily involved and connected with politics and life in a nation. Claiming they are more like children is bullshit.

            • Te Reo Putake 5.2.1.1.1.1

              So, it’s a good thing he didn’t make that claim, eh? As it turns out, it’s only you making the claim. Your assertion simply isn’t supported by the facts.

              • vto

                He did make that claim, as repeatedly pointed out. Let me repeat it.

                “We are cartoonists and we like drawing little characters, just as we were as children”

                Fact. Fact provided by you even.

                Ostriches seem to be out in force today

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Bullshit. Show us where he claimed innocence from politics. You can’t, because he didn’t. Funny kind of ostrich you are; ignoring the sand, inserting head in arse instead.

                  • vto

                    Already have. Repeatedly.

                    You are ignoring and not answering it.

                  • vto

                    Have already done that too, you are just being a rude prick.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Sweet, then you’ll be able to show us. Just once. Go on, show us where the political cartoonist from the political newspaper Charlie Hebdo, who has just had 8 equally politically minded colleagues killed has claimed “innocence from politics”. C’mon pal, don’t let us down. Show us you’re not full of merde, eh.

                    • vto

                      already done it

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      I believe that’s what the young folk call a ‘fail’. Better luck next time.

                    • vto

                      Nup. Failure is yours in not answering

                      sensitive spot though for you isn’t it ……

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Keep telling yourself that. The tears will dry eventually.

                    • vto

                      no hiding from it is there

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Correct. You can’t hide from your fundamental error. If there was a logical way out of your impasse, you would have used it ( I know you’re no dummy). But your problem is that you can’t hide the cartoonists actual words, which aren’t what you thought they were. The actual words spoken don’t match your claim.

                      Ironic that Luz talks about children and here you behave so childishly when confronted with the truth. You could have tried to put forward a logical argument to back your claim based on the actual statement, which would have been honorable though doomed to failure, but instead you avoid a mature approach and just rely on bluster.

                      You simply have failed to back your claim. You’ve let yourself down. And as you now seem to realize, there’s no hiding from it.

                    • vto

                      Give up trp. I have made a claim, provided some evidence for it and nobody has claimed otherwise, except you, who has simply and solely said “no it isn’t” with no further explanation.

                      Why do you behave in this manner? Same style crops up elsewhere. You come across as jaded bitter old and foolish

            • Bill 5.2.1.1.1.2

              Interesting piece by ex- Charlie Hedbo cartoonist, Olivier Cyran http://posthypnotic.randomstatic.net/charliehebdo/Charlie_Hebdo_article%2011.htm

            • Paul 5.2.1.1.1.3

              There are consequences to generating islamophobia.
              Surely the solution is learning to live together on this planet.
              The extremists on both sides need to be discouraged.

              http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/pegida-movements-marches-attract-thousands-as-hatred-of-islam-and-immigrants-sweeps-across-germany-in-the-wake-of-paris-attacks-9978543.html

  6. Paul 6

    It seems to me that people getting angry about the police being strict about speed limits should really be more concerned about our shocking fatality rate on the roads.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11386657

    Maybe there are more important things to hold an enquiry about.
    Like how to reduce the road toll effectively.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11385448

    • Crashcart 6.1

      Is this review not addressing that in part? Surely assessing how we deliver the road safety message will help us in future and can actively contribute to reducing the carnage on our roads.

      • Paul 6.1.1

        Point taken.

        • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1.1

          We can reduce the road toll by shit loads by taking heavy vehicles off state highways and putting that cargo on rail. We can also reduce the number of private cars on the road by 1/4 and greatly boost public transport use in the big cities. Dedicated pedestrian and cycling spaces need to be created and enforced.

          • Te Reo Putake 6.1.1.1.1

            Spot on, CV. But pedestrians and cyclist don’t have the resources of the Road Transport lobby who have their financial hooks into the National Party in a way that makes Sky City look like amateurs.

            • JanM 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Wouldn’t that be wonderful!
              I live in Northland and am fed to pussy’s bow with negotiating a very indifferent roadway around scores of giant logging trucks, etc, while a perfectly good railway line sits idly by

              • Murray Rawshark

                All the Remuera tractors towing boats out to the East Coast beaches give me the shits whenever I’m back home. And if you do go on the water, they don’t know the rules there either.

          • gsays 6.1.1.1.2

            hi colonial rawshark,
            amen to the trucks going by rail.
            a couple of years ago we had the manawtu gorge closed by a humungous slip for a year. for. a. year.
            this is a vital link joining east and west of the island
            for that whole year rail services ran essentially uninterrupted. (there may have been a wee slip but cleared inside a couple of days).

            during this time the trucks crawled over one of the two alternative routes. either the saddle road or the pahiatua track. doing all sorts of damage to those roads.

            is the trucking lobby that powerful to prevail over common sense or am i being too much of a communist thimking rail is under used?

            • Murray Rawshark 6.1.1.1.2.1

              The trucking lobby is far too powerful, and get too many subsidies.

              • gsays

                do those subsidies refer to us having to constantly fix the damage the trucks do to the roads?
                the forced up grade of small rural bridges and roads so they can keep on bigger, bigger and biggerring (thanx the lorax).

                • Murray Rawshark

                  Yes. The road user charges they pay should be about 1000 times higher as a rough guess. We should use rail.

    • Tracey 6.2

      BUT all those National and NZF voters got fined for speeding when they bizarrely believed it was ok to break the law… beats focusing on real issues.

  7. (this one is interesting..a shortcut to kickstarting a relationship..boiled down to 36 questions..)

    “..Can these 36 questions make you fall in love with anyone?..

    ..A 36-point questionnaire – which promises to help you and a partner kickstart a relationship –

    – is being shared widely on the web..”

    (cont..)

    http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jan/14/very-scientific-romance-36-questions-make-you-fall-in-love

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    International Law or Diktat of the Powerful? The Case of Iran

    Indeed, the Foreign Minister of the UK during the negotiations, Jack Straw, noted in 2013, that “had it not been for major problems within the US administration under President Bush, we could have actually settled the whole Iran nuclear dossier back in 2005, and we probably wouldn’t have had President Ahmadinejad as a consequence of the failure as well.”

    On top of being a strategic blunder, as conceded by Straw and other EU diplomats, the EU’s position had no basis under the Non Proliferation Treaty – the foundation of nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament. Article IV of the NPT states, that “Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination and in conformity with Articles I and II of this Treaty.”

    The US and EU acting to prevent Iran from developing nuclear power is acting against agreed international law.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.1

      The US is working hard to prevent a EU-Persian-Eurasian bloc from rising.

      This block would be entirely self sufficient in energy, natural and manufacturing industry, and would rival its no 1 position in the global empire.

      • Oncw was Tim 8.1.1

        I wonder what they’d think about a South Pacific/South American bloc forming?
        Seems to me, given the right conditions – it could be self sufficient (food supply, oil, manufacturing capability). We’d exclude the ozzies of course :p – at least until they treat NZ citizens in the same way we treat Autralians (in that ‘spirit of ANZAC).
        ………. just a long-held thought re the ‘bloc’ (our Pacific neighbours alongside Sth Americans – who incidentally we also treat like shit)

        • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 8.1.1.1

          Once upon a time, there was a bloc of countries that came together.

          New Zealand, Singapore and Chile. And then Brunei.

          Whose brilliant initiative was it that led to big boys piling in and turning the proposed grouping into a potential monster called TPP?

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        I think the US is working hard to try and prevent the inevitable decline of their empire. They’re not losing money yet but I do believe that they’re losing the power that they’d built up over foreign nations during the Cold War.

  9. Morrissey 9

    Rod Oram talks sense on National Radio, but not on NewstalkZB
    NewstalkZB, Wednesday 14 January 2015, 6:40 p.m.

    NewstalkZB’s dire afternoon drive host Larry “Lackwit” Williams is on holiday—one may well ask: from WHAT?—but anyone who thought Rachel Smalley would be a more intelligent and thoughtful host for a few weeks will be deeply disappointed. She might be brighter and more pleasant than Williams, but (at least judging by her failure to do her job on this afternoon’s programme) she seems to be as determinedly know-nothing as the Lackwit himself.

    In stark contrast to the vast majority of commentators that appear on this dreadful radio station, Rod Oram is neither stupid nor ideologically fanatical. In a memorable exchange with the hapless Matthew Hooton just before Christmas, Oram showed he doesn’t suffer fools; Hooton was dispatched to the outhouse, just like he used to be in the bad old days (for him, anyway) when Laila Harré and Andrew Campbell would regularly reduce him to incoherent shouting and, more often than not, angry silence on Monday mornings. Therefore it came as a real surprise to hear Oram announce that he was “mystified” about something that, even for the mouth-breathers that comprise NewstalkZB’s core audience, is glaringly obvious….

    ROD ORAM: The American economy is doing very well, but wages do not seem to have improved at all. That is a very big problem.
    RACHEL SMALLEY: [concerned tone] Yes.
    ROD ORAM: It’s a bit of a mystery really….

    No mystery at all, actually. The United States, like New Zealand, has suffered a sustained attack, led by a small group of determined ideologues in government, business and the media, on wages and workers’ rights for more than a generation now. When you have diminished the rights of people to bargain collectively, low wages are the inevitable, and desired, outcome.

    Oram knows that perfectly well, of course. He also knows that it’s not acceptable to speak so plainly on NewstalkZB, hence his nonsense about it all being “a bit of a mystery”. It’s an indictment on his character that on one channel he will forcefully counter right wing ideological nonsense, but a few weeks later on another channel he is prepared to pander to it.

    It’s deeply disappointing, but not really surprising, that Rachel Smalley chose to allow him to say that, and even amplified his cynicism with her tone of mock concern.

    • Paul 9.1

      When you work for the corporate media, you have to follow their agenda.
      Smaller now is simply a different glove puppet.
      More intelligent, more thoughtful, but still peddling the same propaganda.

    • tricledrown 9.2

      Krugman points out US not doing that well,out of 3700 counties only 70 have managed to get back to 2008 levels of economic activity,all of those states relying on fossil fuels for growth!
      which is old news because oil prices have collapsed!
      Krugman points out that when the market can’t deliver the state should step in like Obama did 2008 to 2010.
      Since then Tepublicans have pushed for more and more austerity Except when it comes to their Wall st Mates where massive bailouts outs are Socialism for their mates Defense contractors and the massive subsidy to their Oil industry mates with the Keystone pipline Rushed through Congress .
      Socialism for the Corporates Austerity for the rest!

  10. Morrissey 10

    FRANCE ARRESTS A COMEDIAN FOR HIS FACEBOOK COMMENTS, SHOWING THE SHAM OF THE WEST’S “FREE SPEECH” CELEBRATION
    by GLENN GREENWALD, The Intercept, 14 January 2015

    ……Since that glorious “free speech” march, France has reportedly opened 54 criminal cases for “condoning terrorism.” AP reported this morning that “France ordered prosecutors around the country to crack down on hate speech, anti-Semitism and glorifying terrorism.”

    As pernicious as this arrest and related “crackdown” on some speech obviously is, it provides a critical value: namely, it underscores the utter scam that was this week’s celebration of free speech in the west. The day before the Charlie Hebdo attack, I coincidentally documented the multiple cases in the west – including in the U.S. – where Muslims have been prosecuted and even imprisoned for their political speech. Vanishingly few of this week’s bold free expression mavens have ever uttered a peep of protest about any of those cases – either before the Charlie Hebdo attack or since. That’s because “free speech,” in the hands of many westerners, actually means: it is vital that the ideas I like be protected, and the right to offend groups I dislike be cherished; anything else is fair game.

    It is certainly true that many of Dieudonné’s views and statements are noxious, although he and his supporters insist that they are “satire” and all in good humor. In that regard, the controversy they provoke is similar to the now-much-beloved Charlie Hebdo cartoons (one French leftist insists the cartoonists were mocking rather than adopting racism and bigotry, but Olivier Cyran, a former writer at the magazine who resigned in 2001, wrote a powerful 2013 letter with ample documentation condemning Charlie Hebdo for descending in the post-9/11 era into full-scale, obsessive anti-Muslim bigotry). …..

    Read more….
    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/01/14/days-hosting-massive-free-speech-march-france-arrests-comedian-facebook-comments/

    • It would be amusing if it wasn’t so shit – a good proportion of those people giving themselves a warm glow of self-satisfaction by waving “Je suis Charlie” signs would be horrified and angry if France started dismantling its extensive restrictions on free speech…

    • Clemgeopin 10.2

      Glen Greenwald is such a great journalist and writer. An ethical teacher and philosopher. Makes you think things over and helps improve civilised society and the world for the better. People like this are the ones deserving the Nobel peace prize. Thanks for the link. Worth reading.

  11. Molly 11

    Alternet has an article on modern slavery, where the commodification of human lives is complete.

    “I stumbled upon a fellow in a quarry in Northern India who’d been enslaved his entire life. He had assumed that slavery at birth. His grandfather had taken a debt of 62 cents, and three generations and three slave masters later, the principal had not been paid off one bit. The family was illiterate and innumerate. This fellow, who I call Gonoo — he asked me to protect his identity — was still forced to work, held through fraud under threat of violence for no pay beyond subsistence.

    Since he was a child, he and his family and his children, along with the rest of the enslaved villagers, took huge rocks out of the earth. They pummeled those rocks into gravel for the subgrade of India’s infrastructure, which is the gleaming pride of the Indian elites.

    They further pulverized that gravel into silica sand for glass. There’s only one way that you turn a profit off handmade sand, and that’s through slavery.”

  12. rawshark-yeshe 12

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/64958628/special-needs-family-face-life-in-tent

    Shame on Key, Joyce and Bennett … their results for NZ are just so bloody awful.

    • millsy 12.2

      There was a similar case up in Auckland, a tetraplegic women was being evicted from her HNZ home, because she had a male friend that stayed a couple of nights a week and helped her out .

      Anyway, there was correspondence between her and a HNZ staffer, and the HNZ person told her that “disability is not an automatic qualification for social housing” or words to that effect.

      • rawshark-yeshe 12.2.1

        yes Millsy .. like breathing isn’t an automatic qualification you have a heart for some of these sods. how is it we have attained such cruel government ? deeply troubles me on this bright and sunny January day. sigh.

        • b waghorn 12.2.1.1

          I reckon there’s change in the wind kiwis are waking up from there stint feeding on keys lotus flowers.
          When even Jamie Mackay from the farmers weekly mentions NZs “two speed economy of the haves and have nots” the writing is on the wall .

          • rawshark-yeshe 12.2.1.1.1

            may it so b waghorn, and may it be swift while we still have a wall to write upon ! so much unnecessary suffering happening.

          • rawshark-yeshe 12.2.1.1.2

            may it so b waghorn, and may it be swift while we still have a wall to write upon ! so much unnecessary suffering happening.

  13. Heartbleeding Liberal 14

    I do not agree with it in its entirety, and its arguably in bad taste to critically analyze the magazine so soon after the horrible tragedy, but i figured i would drop this link in here, as readers may be interested in an alternative take on the magazine (in light of the herofication that is mainstream at the moment):

    http://posthypnotic.randomstatic.net/charliehebdo/Charlie_Hebdo_article%2011.htm

    • Bill 14.1

      Well, seeing as how the piece was written last December, any charge of ‘bad taste’ with regards timing is by the bye. Good article.

  14. Heartbleeding Liberal 15

    Hi Bill,

    Just to clarify: I was referencing my own decision to post the link here, as opposed to making any statement about the article itself.

    I think it is unfortunate that the false dichotomy of “you’re either with us, or you’re with the terrorists” seems to be rearing its ugly head. It is of course possible to support free-speech, oppose extremism, and condemn xenophobia.

  15. Paul 16

    The Herald maintains its obsession with billionaires.
    It’s second story today focusing on their frivolities,
    Messrs Roughan and Murphy, please don’t ever describe yourselves as members of the 4th Estate.
    Tabloid magazine fodder….

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11386706

  16. Colonial Rawshark 17

    Russia unilaterally cuts off gas to and through Ukraine

    “The decision is made.”

    Sounds like the Ruskies have just created a new political-economic reality on the ground.

    Russia will instead ship gas to the EU via Turkey. Or more precisely, it will ship gas to the Turkey-Greece border. It is up to the EU to set up the infrastructure required to deal with it from there.

    Hard core.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-14/russia-cuts-ukraine-gas-supply-6-european-countries

    • McFlock 17.1

      It’s winter, so it must be time for Russia to waggle its regional dick.

      A fairly frequent act – one of the few non-military ways Russia can directly influence its neighbours these days. Runs the risk of pushing the Ukraine closer to Europe, though.

      • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.1

        Europe can’t supply gas to Ukraine either.

        It’s winter, so it must be time for Russia to waggle its regional dick.

        That winter dick royally fucked both Napolean and Hitler, and every Ruskie knows it.

        • McFlock 17.1.1.1

          Ah, but is Putin closer to being a Stalin than being a Nicholas II?

          • Colonial Rawshark 17.1.1.1.1

            Well, I think the Stalin comparisons are overblown; after Beria, the Ruskies pretty much settled down to exiling people who were problematic to Siberia, as opposed to the mass political executions of old.

            Personally, I think Putin is going to be considered reasonably favourably in the Russian history books of the 2030s and 2040s.

          • nadis 17.1.1.1.2

            Putin is more like Lucky Luciano or Pablo Escobar.

    • millsy 17.2

      As an aside, the Porochenko government is seeking to flog off Ukraine’s gas distribution network, so it looks like there are going to be higher gas prices regardless of whether Russia turns off the taps or not.

      • Colonial Rawshark 17.2.1

        I’m going to take a wild guess here…the Kiev government that was installed by the west and is supported by the west, is now going to sell off their nations key energy infrastructure to western corporations. Sounds like the standard IMF/economic hit man plan to me.

    • nadis 17.3

      This is a great example of how credible zerohedge is:

      Gazprom cut gas exports to Europe by 60%, plunging the continent into an energy crisis “within hours.” Perhaps explaining the explosion higher in NatGas prices (and oil) today, gas companies in Ukraine confirmed that Russia had cut off supply; and six countries reported a complete shut-off of Russian gas. The EU raged that the sudden cut-off to some of its member countries was “completely unacceptable,”

      and this

      Russia cut gas exports to Europe by 60 per cent today, plunging the continent into an energy crisis ‘within hours’ as a dispute with Ukraine escalated.

      This morning, gas companies in Ukraine said that Russia had completely cut off their supply.

      Six countries reported a complete shut-off of Russian gas shipped via Ukraine today, in a sharp escalation of a struggle over energy that threatens Europe as winter sets in.

      Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Romania, Croatia and Turkey all reported a halt in gas shipments from Russia through Ukraine.

      The article links to this story

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1106382/Europe-plunged-energy-crisis-Russia-cuts-gas-supply-Ukraine.html

      That story was from early 2009. Really, before you get all breathless thinking about Putin chopping firewood with his shirt off, you should treat anything from zerohedge like you would a turd on a stick. He has built a whole story around a Daily Mail article from 2009. Lots of clues in the story to anyone half way intelligent, for instance:

      “Czech EU Presidency” (that was H1 2009)
      “Prime Minister Putin” (that was either 1999/2000 or 2008/2012. He is now President)
      A quick google shows not a single credible website is reporting the same story, its only the weirdo gold conspiracy, survivalists and other nutter websites that are cut and pasting the ZH story.

      Seriously………

      Now – to the part of the story that is true, the announcement about plans to circumvent the Ukraine. What ZeroHedge doesnt say is that the proposal relies on an as yet unbuilt pipeline (called Turkish Stream) Did you get that? It has to be built yet. If Russia can fund it (a very big if) its at least a 3 year project.

      The EU has made massive progress in Russia proofing themselves, and this announcement by Russia looks to me more like a sign of weakness rather than strength.

      For instance: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2015/01/economist-explains-2?fsrc=scn/tw_ec/why_europe_no_longer_fears_the_russian_gasman

      In actual fact Europe can supply natural gas to the Ukraine, see here:

      http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2013/03/28/ukraine-replacing-russian-gas-with-cheaper-european-imports/

      The EU has invested heavily in interconnectivity since the Russian induced supply crisi of 2009.

      and this for the larger strategic picture:

      http://www.nato.int/docu/review/2014/NATO-Energy-security-running-on-empty/Transatlantic-energy-security-Ukraine-crisis/EN/index.htm

      This Turkish pipeline announcement is empty rhetoric by Russia out of weakness. Here is the real problem they can’t solve a the moment. Current interest rates:

      Overnight 17.68%
      MOSPRIME1W 1 Week 18.11%
      MOSPRIME2W 2 Weeks 18.94%
      MOSPRIME1M 1 Month 20.95%
      MOSPRIME2M 2 Months 22.62%
      MOSPRIME3M 3 Months 23.18%
      MOSPRIME6M 6 Months 23.61%

      And the Ruble:

      http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/USDRUB:CUR/chart

      In light of what else is happening with currencies right now, I reckon the Ruble will be trading at 70 within days.

      Inflation this year 17% (Russia’s own view, probably way too optimisitc)
      GDP -5% (again way too optimistic)

      I’m a little bit worried by how much of a basket case will actually be, it makes military misadventure by Putin way more likely.

      Just remember: Zerohedge = convicted bulgarian inside trader with a particular world view that he likes to massage facts in to, as well as a clickbait/google ads driven business model. Don’t hold your breath waiting for a clarification on why he is using a 5 year out of date Daily Mail story……

      • Colonial Rawshark 17.3.1

        Ahhh thanks for pointing out the age of that Daily Mail article. Probably some editorial fuck up.

        Like when the New York Times swore black and blue that Iraq had WMD etc.

        As for the Russian economy. Yeah the western financial hitmen are out to collapse the Russian economy and the Russian ruble for the third time in 25 years. More of the fucking same.

        Putin’s response won’t be “military adventures” (are you mad? Just consider what US/UK/NATO has been doing in the last decade and a half and how many countries they have left as utter wrecks before you start talking about “military adventures”); you really underestimate the Russian game here which is simply to out last the ongoing western BS.

        • nadis 17.3.1.1

          Hows “quoting extensively from an out of date article, pretending it is current news, drawing wild conculsions from said article, ignoring inconvenient facts” an editorial fuck up?

          And the Russians are crashing their own economy. If Putin hadn’t singlehandedly facilitated the theft of trillions of dollars of Russian resources for the enrichment of his clique at the expense of ordinary Russians it wouldn’t be where it is now.

          • McFlock 17.3.1.1.1

            As opposed to reporting the categorical “slam dunk” assertions of national leaders at the time they were made, lol.

            • nadis 17.3.1.1.1.1

              Why are you conflating the two issues? I never raised or defended the first. Classic Standard commenter tactics – move the goalposts, raise unrelated issues, avoid the current discussion, next you’ll be attacking me personally, subscribing motives or personality traits to me, ad hom attacks. God forbid we discuss the issue at hand.

              • McFlock

                CV made the comparison with NYT to defend zerohedge: “Like when the New York Times swore black and blue that Iraq had WMD etc.”

                But the NYT reported some pretty strong assertions by govt leaders of the time, rather than zerohedge issue you described.

                • nadis

                  Ok. But his ad hoc approach is so intellectually lazy it offends me. As an illustration how dishonest it is just try pointing out that Helen Clarke used to do something John Key is accused of. To be clear, you cant defend Entity A by pointing out that completely unrelated Entity B did something completely unrelated to the current issue 15 years ago. That’s the thought process that toddlers use.

                  • McFlock

                    agreed. I just wanted to clarify that the zerohedge FUBAR was completely unrelated to reporting the adamant comments of leaders who were outright lying and/or being lied to. And I guess I fumbled the delivery.

                    Off to bed now 🙂

  17. Draco T Bastard 18

    If you do not read this post then the terrorists will win

    So now we catch planes while side-eyeing that brown guy who looks like he might be Muslim. Now we know to leave for the airport that much earlier because the hold-ups will be long. Now we lose our nail clippers because we forgot to pack them in our check-in luggage. Now we accept that our online communications are probably being stored and read by someone. Now we can be arrested and held without charge for a period of time because of terror laws. Now warrantless searches are allowed. Now we accept the CCTV cameras every where around the city, on the motorways. Auckland Transport is adopting facial recognition software, there was a brief flurry of concern, but not much.

    And the people who do speak out loudly in concern, they’re dismissed as being nuts and cranks.

    We were never at war with Eurasia. Now we are always at war with Eurasia.

    • Heartbleeding Liberal 18.1

      That article makes great points, most notably the complex geo-political reasons which have led to the situation in the Middle East (refreshing in the face of simplistic narratives that are peddled about quite often). I do however feel that, in the wake of this unique type of threat, there is some merit to the expansion of the surveillance state, so I feel that the article overplays its hand by what i perceive to be a blanket condemnation. The unique nature of the modern battleground (in that it is very unconventional in the fact that it isn’t contained to a series of specific, identifiable locations) is indeed one in which we must be willing to at least consider the need for a higher presence of governmental authority in our lives. However, the progression of the surveillance state, specifically, the sacrifice of civil liberties for security, must occur following robust debate about the merits and perils of the policy, with a focus on evidence and reason (for example, it must be remembered that the statistical chance of any random person being attacked by a terrorist is still very small). Unfortunately this has not been happening as there has been a tendency for governments to create laws in urgent response to tragedies in conditions and time constraints where rational analysis is simply not possible.

      One last point i would like to make is in response to the statement that seeks to alleviate fear about the ability of the group ISIS to reach people in their homelands (specifically the comment alluding to the lack of any major identifiable links in the Australian and Canadian examples). In a sense this understanding does alleviate fear in that members of these groups haven’t been able to directly penetrate the national security infrastructure, however this relief is sobered by the realization that the ability of ISIS to propagandize lone wolves creates a type of threat that is relatively hard to identify and target.

      • Colonial Rawshark 18.1.1

        Five quick points:

        1) You are giving up on our democratic rights and civil liberties far too easily.

        2) The power elite are eager to create a security and surveillance state against legitimate democratic dissent. Don’t help them.

        3) You far overstate the danger of terrorist action, you far understate the role of the west and Israel in generating Islamic extremism, and trust in the effectiveness of mass surveillance against the “lone wolf” far too much.

        4) “The unique nature of the modern battleground” is a garbage phrase which could have been pulled out of the glossy corporate brochure for a million dollar weapons platform or mobile phone catcher. This is big profitable $$$$$ business now.

        5) You blame governments for passing bad laws, but the claim is a distraction. It is the Deep State which is coordinating these laws amongst the FVEY nations.

        • Heartbleeding Liberal 18.1.1.1

          Five quick responses:

          1. My comment doesn’t make any value statement on any specific policy, rather stresses the need for robust debate prior to the enactment of any policy that encroaches on civil liberties. This makes your comment baseless.

          2. See #1.

          3. I acknowledged both the geo-political reasons for the turmoil in the Middle East, and the low statistical probability of any random person being targeted by terrorists. Again your comment is baseless. I specifically mentioned the problem of identifying lone wolves which leads me to think that English may not be your first language (i mean this sincerely).

          4. You seemingly disagree that overseas organizations which harbor hostility toward western nations are actively targeting citizens of said nations for attacks in their homeland. Is this your position?

          5. Heaven forbid that our government collaborate with the governments with allied nations for our mutual security and intelligence! To think we can live in some sort of isolationist strategy is nothing short of voodoo.

          • Colonial Rawshark 18.1.1.1.1

            1. My comment doesn’t make any value statement

            1) Yes, that was my point, your comment holds no democratic values whatsoever. Because it’s clear to me by now, as it should be clear to you, that our political elite and their media cronies are (barely) interested in maintaining the appearance of democracy, but not in any actual democracy.

            2) I find it hilarious that you spout on piously about the need for “robust debate” then spend the rest of your comment saying that disagreeing with you is “baseless”, that my command of English is not as good as yours. Then you call my comment on the Deep State “voodoo”. Boy you are smart. You just agreed that what you originally tried to characterise as the panicked passing of bad, anti civil liberty laws by the power elite is actually being internationally planned and co-ordinated. Think about that for a sec.

            3) Fuck off.

          • Colonial Rawshark 18.1.1.1.2

            One more thing:

            I specifically mentioned the problem of identifying lone wolves which leads me to think that English may not be your first language (i mean this sincerely).

            Your lack of thoughtfulness here is interesting. Of course despite your comments, there was zero problem “identifying lone wolves” in the Charlie Hebdo incident.

            They were ALL KNOWN. They were all on WATCH LISTS. Some had been to Yemen. Had been to Syria. All were within one degree of communication separation to known/convicted terrorists. For example, the parties involved had been in phone contact with each other hundreds of times over the last year, government sources happily reported.

            And yet mass surveillance failed to stop the attack.

            So based on the utter failure of mass surveillance to stop actions by KNOWN, FLAGGED and WATCHED individuals, you posit that we should have even more mass surveillance of ordinary citizens, by the power elite.

            Because taking a losing recipe and doubling down on it will make it a winning recipe, right?

            LOLOLOLOLOLOL

            • Pete George 18.1.1.1.2.1

              And yet mass surveillance failed to stop the attack.

              That’s right. It’s probably impossible to prevent all attack attempts. No Western state that I’m aware of proposes locking up everyone who could possibly launch an attack in the future.

              But governments claim that surveillance does prevent attacks and has prevented attacks.

              Claiming “the utter failure of mass surveillance to stop actions by KNOWN, FLAGGED and WATCHED individuals” based on one failure is nonsense.

              We can’t know for certain but it’s feasible that surveillance does deter and could prevent some attacks.

              Zero surveillance is not an option that any state would seriously consider.

              The key questions are the degree and type of surveillance, and mass surveillance versus targeted surveillance.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                I didn’t say I was against nations having a powerful surveillance and spying capability, PG.

                Western governments have been exaggerating/lying about how effective their spying programmes are at stopping terrorism. My position is that spying programmes are heavily targetted against the general public and legitimate democratic dissent).

                While Stone said the mass collection of telephone call records was a “logical program” from the NSA’s perspective, one question the White House panel was seeking to answer was whether it had actually stopped “any [terror attacks] that might have been really big.”

                “We found none,” said Stone.

                Under the NSA program, first revealed by ex-contractor Edward Snowden, the agency collects in bulk the records of the time and duration of phone calls made by persons inside the United States.

                Stone was one of five members of the White House review panel – and the only one without any intelligence community experience – that this week produced a sweeping report recommending that the NSA’s collection of phone call records be terminated to protect Americans’ privacy rights.

                The panel made that recommendation after concluding that the program was “not essential in preventing attacks.”

                “That was stunning. That was the ballgame,” said one congressional intelligence official, who asked not to be publicly identified. “It flies in the face of everything that they have tossed at us.”

                http://www.nbcnews.com/news/other/nsa-program-stopped-no-terror-attacks-says-white-house-panel-f2D11783588

          • Colonial Rawshark 18.1.1.1.3

            4. You seemingly disagree that overseas organizations which harbor hostility toward western nations are actively targeting citizens of said nations for attacks in their homeland. Is this your position?

            Let me answer your direct question.

            The wars of empire that we wage on the streets of towns and villages throughout the developing world using million dollar ordinance, will eventually come home to us, to our own streets, to our own towns.

            This is the way it has always happened in history. It is simply the ignorance of our power elite today that they think that we are immune this time around.

            History also shows us that the systems of control and force which our power elite employ in far off colonies will eventually be brought home to be used against their own citizens and their own officials.

            And so it has proven with drones, mass surveillance, para-military forces aimed at civilians, media propaganda and more.

            Think about that for a moment, too.

            So to be clear – I agree with you that western citizens are being deliberately targetted, particularly as a result of long standing imperial/colonial actions by our own western power elite.

            Plus don’t forget that the Charlie Hebdo shooters themselves were also “western citizens”, French, and who spoke “perfect French”.

            • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1.1.3.1

              This is the way it has always happened in history. It is simply the ignorance of our power elite today that they think that we are immune this time around.

              It’s not ignorance – they’re quite aware of the history. It’s arrogance and hubris. They think that they’ve got everyone under their control.

        • Colonial Rawshark 18.1.1.2

          It’s also funny that you call yourself a “Liberal” via your pseudonym. I take it from your writing that you are being sarcastic.

      • Murray Rawshark 18.1.2

        I’ll give you a simplistic narrative – what you write is just muddying the waters. Bugger the surveillance state. It doesn’t work except against peaceful opposition. No passaran.

    • b waghorn 18.2

      I bet Osama never in his wildest dreams thought he would effect the world so much .
      He won the terror war with 9/11 .

    • greywarshark 18.3

      We ordinary people, both on the western side and on the Muslim side are racked by worry and regular pain as a result of the blind crazy tussling of opposing teams who seem to know no method of self-control, no ability for honest dialogue, just shallow game-playing and maneouvring for advantage of self-centred interest.
      As a result we have this continuing squeeze on us by people who have authority and power on each opposing team.

      Our own forces are not our friends preserving our interests and freedoms, when using increasingly draconian controls when they do their so-called protective and invasive methods of public regulation. And all without attempting to alleviate the situation by attending to the causes of the terrorist acts, instead inflaming the other side by continuing and actually increasing the behaviours found so reprehensible by the other party. And the whole morass is ratcheted up continually by both sides being further aggrieved and then further.revengeful. Where does rational thought enter and stop this shit.

      There seems no ability for reasoned, honest adult discourse. There appears no ability to talk and come to terms with each other, giving gradually a little, as well as asking for taking a little, and getting movement for each side. And determination to follow the plan and agreement to keep moving on with the small concessions agreed, from which neither party should resile. And this should remain strong despite some happening – some deaths, outrage, attack, tragedy, fault or failure from ill-considered actions from one side or the other. These must not undo the solemn commitment from the diplomatic work of both sides’ leaders and negotiators.

      At present each time there is movement to heal and make changes this is annihilated by attack or action from one side or the other. The response should not be withdrawal, revengeful but only be a pause, with a condemnation by the aggrieved party and a demand that some reparation should be made. Then the announcement of continuation of the plan within a week, that time to allow for mourning and repair. And this despite whether satisfactory reparation has been made.

      Once agreement has been reached the plan must go forward, and not be stopped for infringements of good behaviour along the way. Every attempt must be made to explain to the people that there will be events along the way that will have to be borne and overcome. And people must be consoled, with the understanding that there will be an end of fighting and a dismantling of hostilities, and a better life.
      People will need reassuring, and explanations that it will not be simple to achieve peaceful outcomes.

      There must be no room for the destroyers and white-anters who will be apparent on each side, to undo the understandings and agreements that have been achieved. There are those who profit from disorder and who can accept eternal dissension because of the power they can wield while it continues. Their wrong-minded ways can not be allowed to prevail. The mission must be to move forward where the sides can agree, and remain strong in their resolve and the leading elite for negotiation must be alert for the back-stabbers from their own side who would destroy their own sides negotiated plan because of their own ambitious desires, for power, for wealth, or wrong-headed, self-centred ideas that serve their own family, religious or inward-looking group or region.

      • idbkiwi 18.3.1

        “The capacity for loyalty is stretched too thin when it tries to attach itself to the hypothetical solidarity of the whole human race. It needs to attach itself to specific people and places, not to an abstract idea of universal human rights. We love particular men and women, not humanity in general. The dream of universal brotherhood, because it rests on the sentimental fiction that men and women all the same, cannot survive the discovery that they differ”

        Christopher Lasch
        New Oxford Review
        (April 1989)

        • RedLogix 18.3.1.1

          Tell your average American that his loyalty to the USA is ‘stretched too thin’. Or perhaps to a Maori that their solidarity with their iwi is only hopthetical. You will get laughed at. We are all perfectly capable of wider loyalties beyond specific people and immediate families.

          It is true as children that our moral horizon is defined by our families, as we mature this widens progressively to friends, sport teams, culture, religion, race and nationhood. As our personal capacity for abstract empathy grows so does this moral horizon stretch to accommodate.

          Nor is it limited by differences. Our families consist of different people, so do our acquaintances, communities and nations. The very hallmark of civilisation is the ability to respect the rights and needs of others regardless of their differences and increasing levels of abstracted remoteness.

          Of course people are remarkably non-uniform about the size of their personal moral horizon. Some never get beyond caring about nobody but themselves. We call them psychopaths because they are so damaging. Others place the greatest value on an inner trusted circle of family and a few friends – but no further. The exact shape of our loyalties is unique to each one of us.

          The fact that many people cannot learn differential calculus does not invalidate the logic and truth of it. And as we pass though life it offers to teach a lesson some are more open to than others; that none of us are islands and we all ultimately connected to each other to some degree.

          I have known intimately some individuals who have indeed cultivated the widest possibly loyalty to humanity, in all its diversity. That they are still a minority proves nothing – but the fact that it is possible.

          • greywarshark 18.3.1.1.1

            Red Logix
            Christopher Lasch’s quote did refer to solidarity with the whole human race.
            idbkiwi picked a good one.

            And your comment states the situation well. I have observed how people often are kinder, more empathetic with those suffering overseas, impatient, even scathing about people not negotiating our own culture well. So the distant problem might provide a more satisfactory charitable target for empathy.

            Then empathy for family and connections is not always what would be expected. The children of some very outward-looking givers can feel deprived of their family’s concern, like Cinderellas at home rather neglected, while their parents turn their faces and energy to be helpers and organisers for others. Then there are those whose parents are only interested in their family. They are always at their elbow, the ones with surveillance set up and regular phone home portrayed in USA news, for example.

            Finding balance in life for all its aspects is I think the greatest achievement for humans. To everything there is a season etc.

          • idbkiwi 18.3.1.1.2

            Thank you for reading my comment, I appreciate your reply. You said: “I have known intimately some individuals who have indeed cultivated the widest possibly loyalty to humanity, in all its diversity. That they are still a minority proves nothing – but the fact [is] that it is possible.” …and I believe you. I have no doubt that you are not lying.

            Is it desirable though; that the lamb should welcome the wolf? Should we have stood with Cromwell while he crushed the English monarchy and the people of Ireland, stood with Luddites while they smashed machines and their capitalist sponsors, stood with Robispeirre while he betrayed his peers and beheaded them, stood with Darwin while he destroyed Genesis but introduced eugenics, stood with Lincoln when he emancipated slaves but argued against their humanism, stood with Hitler when he denounced Internationalism in favour of xenophobia, stood with Mao and the Cultural Revolution, stood with Johnson while he denounced communism and announced the Domino theory, stood with Pol Pot and his aggressive anti-intellectualism, killing all school-teachers?

            As much as some people say they can love everybody, it may be true, as long as they never ask people what they really think, and pay no attention to their answer.

            • Colonial Rawshark 18.3.1.1.2.1

              It seems that your understanding of loving your fellow man is to give up your own personal agency, to give up your own personal values, to give up on your own sense of what is right and what is wrong, to give up on true communication and connection, and to allow others to walk all over you like a doormat.

              But that is not what the real meaning of “love” is my friend, and if you think it is, you should relearn it.

  18. Clemgeopin 19

    Historic Charlie Hebdo issue sells for up to 117,000!

    This is a MAD world!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/65094985/historic-charlie-hebdo-issue-sells-for-up-to-117k

  19. Penny Bright 20

    STOP THE WELLINGTON SUPERCITY!

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/stop-the-wellington-supercity/

    15 January 2015

    ‘Open Letter’ from Penny Bright to all Mayors and Councillors of the ‘Greater Wellington Region’ – why I recommend the Wellington ‘Draft Reorganisation Proposal’ should cease forthwith.

    Greater Wellington Regional Council
    Wellington City Council
    Hutt City Council
    Upper Hutt City Council
    Porirua City Council
    Kapiti District Council
    South Wairarapa District Council
    Carterton District Council
    Masterton District Council

    Dear Mayors and Councillors,

    Over the Christmas break, I have studied numerous documents pertaining to the Draft Wellington Reorganisation Proposal.

    The following is my considered opinion:

    1) There should be NO further amalgamations of Councils anywhere in New Zealand, until there is a full, thorough and independent audit of the Auckland ‘Supercity’, (based upon FACTS and EVIDENCE) which confirms how ‘cost-effective’ it has really been for the majority of Auckland Council citizens and ratepayers.

    2) This ‘Draft Wellington Reorganisation Proposal’ is fundamentally flawed, and this process should cease forthwith, because the public are not being given detailed FACTS or INFORMATION showing exactly where Councils in the Greater Wellington region are currently spending citizens and ratepayers public monies on Council services and regulatory functions.

    This information is needed in order to establish a factual datum, upon which to measure current or future ‘cost-effectiveness’ in the provision of Council services and regulatory functions.

    There is no information of this type in the Draft Wellington Reorganisation Proposal, so the public simply cannot make an ‘informed’ submission.

    FYI – here is an OIA that I have sent to the CEO of Auckland Council, Stephen Town, requesting the following information pertaining to the purported ‘efficiency savings’ arising from the ‘combined Auckland Council’ :

    “31 December 2014

    Stephen Town
    Auckland Council CEO

    ‘Open Letter’ /OIA request to Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town :

    Please provide the EVIDENCE of ‘efficiency savings’ since the Auckland Council forced amalgamation on 1 November 2010:

    Dear Stephen,

    In the ‘Application for Local Government Reorganisation – PROPOSAL FOR A UNITARY AUTHORITY WITH LOCAL BOARDS FOR THE WELLINGTON REGION’ – it is stated on page 47:

    “The Auckland Council experience and overseas examples strongly suggest that there should be a reasonable expectation of efficiency savings from the creation of a combined Wellington Council.

    Opportunities would likely come from the following areas:

    * Common administrative and support functions (human resources, procurement, ICT, finance, property management, corporate and executive services)

    * Common data management systems and processes

    * Common regulatory functions, activities and processes (building consents, resource consents, liquor licensing, dog permits, and other permits and licensing)

    * Streamlined planning processes for resource management, transport planning as well as plans required under the Local Government Act

    * Single ownership of assets and a comprehensive asset management approach

    * Services that are delivered at both a regional and local level (economic development and tourism marketing)

    * Combined contract for services, for example rubbish collection and road management.

    ….”

    A) Please provide the EVIDENCE which confirms in each of the above-mentioned categories the ACTUAL ‘savings’ (if any) which have been made, by comparing the ACTUAL costs for each category, and ‘sub’category, of the 8 previous Councils in the Auckland region in the last ‘rating year’ prior to the forced Auckland Council amalgamation on 1 November 2010.

    B) Please provide the information which confirms the ‘reorganisational’ costs of the Auckland Council forced amalgamation on 1 November 2010, in each of the above-mentioned categories, including all costs relating and pertaining to the establishment and operational costs of the Auckland Transition Agency (ATA), particularly the costs of appointed ATA members and staff.

    C) Please provide the information which confirms the costs of establishing, and/or extending the roles of the following 7 ‘substantive’ Auckland Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs), in each of the above-mentioned categories.

    http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/AboutCouncil/representativesbodies/CCO/Pages/Home.aspx

    Auckland Council Investments Limited
    Auckland Council Property Limited
    Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Limited
    Auckland Transport
    Auckland Waterfront Development Agency Limited
    Regional Facilities Auckland
    Watercare Services Limited

    Yours sincerely,
    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption whistle-blower’
    ………………………………………………….. ”

    There is a LOT more information on this post – if you’re interested in more background FACTS and EVIDENCE that were submitted to the Auckland Royal Commission of Auckland Regional Governance, to substantiate WHY I opposed the Auckland ‘Supercity’ – check it out.

    There is information there that you will not find anywhere else ….

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

  20. Adele 21

    Tēnā koe, Colonial Rawshack

    Further to your comment below:

    It seems that your understanding of loving your fellow man is to give up your own personal agency, to give up your own personal values, to give up on your own sense of what is right and what is wrong, to give up on true communication and connection, and to allow others to walk all over you like a doormat.

    But that is not what the real meaning of “love” is my friend, and if you think it is, you should relearn it.

    What is described by you is unconditional love. And the real meaning of love is exactly that. Anything less is simply self-love in various guises. Hence why humility is such a powerful force because it basically allows for “Yay, I am a doormat.”

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    . . April 3: Day 9 of living in lock-down… Another late-start to my work day. Everything is temporarily upended as clients are shuffled around so we can minimise our “bubble” by reducing the number of people we help. One of my colleagues has been removed from his clients; his ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    14 hours ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: The benefits of electrification
    In order to meet our 2050 carbon target and do our bit to avoid making the Earth uninhabitable, New Zealand needs to decarbonise our economy, replacing fossil fuels with electricity in the energy, industrial and transport sectors. The good news is that it will mean cheaper power for all of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of a pretty flower, .   . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a cute animal video. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 8
    . . April 2: Day eight of living in lock-down… Today, my work day starts late. Our rosters and clients have been dramatically changed, lessening (theoretically) the number of people in our work “bubble”.  If just one of us catches covid19 the impact could be considerable as Grey Base Hospital ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A note on apartments and bubbles
    As Aotearoa enters week two of lockdown, it’s clear we’re all still working out what our “bubbles” look like and how to stay in them to stop the spread of Covid-19. New to the government’s Covid-19 website is some good guidance for people living in apartment blocks. Recent decades have ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Getting in futures shape 
    “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.” Lenin Don’t we all know that feeling now.

    Prospect Magazine alerted me to this particularly apt quote. It is a much more evocative quote than Hemingway’s “gradually then suddenly” which is also doing ...

    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
    Yesterday was the day the consequences of the lockdown suddenly got very real for many. Firms have been closing and laying people off since the outset of the quarantine but this has mostly been happening out of the public eye. The mass closure of a number of iconic New Zealand ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 days ago
  • Might a ‘Coasean’ social contract mitigate overall societal harm from COVID-19?
    Brian Williamson1, Prof Nick Wilson2 (1Economic consultant, UK; 2University of Otago Wellington) In this blog, we outline how a win-win social contract could be forged to address the major dimensions of response to the COVID-19 pandemic when using a mitigation strategy: the particular need to protect older people from high ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
    Resuming Normal Service: The Republican Party's nominee for in 1920, Warren Harding, promised the American people: “not heroics, but healing; not nostrums, but normalcy; not revolution, but restoration”. If she wishes to remain our prime minister, then Jacinda Ardern will offer New Zealanders the same.HOW EDUCATED AMERICA snickered when the ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Government Must Save New Zealand’s Media.
    No Free Society Without A Free And Functioning News Media: If we are to surrender our civil rights to the broader cause of defeating Covid-19, then foreign corporations must, likewise, surrender their right to inflict immense economic and cultural harm on New Zealanders simply because it improves their bottom line.I’M ...
    2 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
    by Daphna Whitmore A third of the world is under lockdown and a clear assessment of this measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 is urgently needed.  With any high-stakes decisions it has to be asked what are we dealing with here? Are the measures warranted? Will they achieve their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Lockdown day 8
    I haven’t done a huge amount in the last few days. I’m reading The Poppy War and I’ve sort of poked at a couple of games – I started SOMA but I’m a wimp and I quit while in the first room after the brain scan. I might try it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    2 days ago
  • Backstage and Theatre
    The swan politicians may be gliding on the water, occasionally snapping at one another. Meanwhile, as the Covid19 crisis illustrates, the officials are desperately paddling below providing the real locomotion. One of the most fatuous recent grandstanding comments (of about a week ago), adding to the public’s anxieties, was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Waiver, the singular Crown and the conduct of Crown legal business
    Much has been written about the importance of discretion in an emergency situation, and the concerns raised by the potential for it to be exercised arbitrarily. Given the quality of the discussion, there seemed little point in adding to it at any length. In particular, I point to the evidence ...
    2 days ago
  • Highlights from Bauer Media’s science-related reporting
    Today has felt surreal. I was all set to touch base online with my science communication students when a colleague shared the news that Bauer Media would be shutting down its publications immediately. The first link I saw implied it was Woman’s Weekly affected, and even that shocked me. But ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 days ago
  • Outsiders.
    Bogeymen, Real And Imagined: Is the number of psychopathic and sociopathic individuals in any given society truly as vanishingly small as we like to tell ourselves? Isn’t it more likely that the mass-shooters and serial-killers filling the headlines represent only the tip of a much, much larger iceberg of frightfulness? ...
    3 days ago
  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    3 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    3 days ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    4 days ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    4 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    4 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    5 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 week ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
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    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    5 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
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    5 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
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    5 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    6 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    2 weeks ago