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Open mike 15/02/2015

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, February 15th, 2015 - 145 comments
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145 comments on “Open mike 15/02/2015”

  1. wyndham 1

    Can I believe my eyes? Rodney (Perkbuster) Hide in todays Herald:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/Rodney-Hide/news/headlines.cfm?a_id=978

    • b waghorn 1.1

      This government reminds me of the family of Chris and Crew Kahui in that if you just erect a wall of silence and stick to it, you can get away with anything.

      • Murray Rawshark 1.1.2

        Very much so. NAct is a dysfunctional family, protecting abusers.

        • b waghorn 1.1.2.1

          And just like what should of been done in the kahui case, the screws should be tightened until someone cracks .

      • Molly 1.1.3

        Interesting backstory to the Kahui twins.

        Given the premature birth and high probability of death in the early days, close watch was kept on the mother as this situation and probable outcome can be a precursor to disassociation and non-bonding. As the twins progressed it was noted that the bonding between mother and children was not as positive as would be optimal. It was recorded that further follow up from mental services for post-natal support was recommended.

        This recommendation, according to a friend who worked at MMH was never implemented, and was never mentioned at all after the death of the twins.

        I have no idea about the nature of what occurred at that home – or who was culpable. The images of the room were striking in that it was a typical nursery, well organised and well-kept – exactly what you would expect for loved new additions to a family.

        However, the failure of the health department to provide essential services, should make everyone aware that we must continue to lobby and advocate for an improvement in this area.

        • Murray Rawshark 1.1.3.1

          True, Molly. I also don’t know what happened in that case. What I should have said is that NAct remind me of the old patriarchal bible-bashing family, within which all sorts of abuse was hidden. I had an aunty who was the product of her father raping her sister at a young age. No one outside the family knew. That’s the sort of family I think of when Tories start wanking on about belonging to a family. It’s sick shit whether it’s pedophilia or whether it’s helping with the commission of a few war crimes.

    • i think it is the first time i have linked to hide..

      ..and he doesn’t hold back..

      ..and in fact – is saying things keys’ opposition should be saying..

      ..but don’t (yet?) seem to be..

  2. Well, if troll like shills such as Te Reo Putake can gravitate up there is something seriously wrong in the loosely organised group of the Standard writers. God forbid if he ever becomes a moderator too. Every other writer that gravitated here over the years I could see a reason for even if I did not agree with the things he said but for me the Standard just lowered it’s Standard shockingly with that one. IMHO.

    • lprent 2.1

      I’ve run across TRP a couple of times in person, and many times via the net. What he says is what his own opinions are.

      He reflects quite a large portion of the activist left, in the same way that I do as well. We’re far less interested in ideological purity than the need of the left need to win elections. You can’t do much to improve the country or that of less affluent voters from opposition benches.

      It takes time before people become learn to be good moderators, and they tend to be irritatingly constrained by our policies. The reason for that is quite clear when you look at the disaster that Bomber has made with his Goebbels style policy at The Daily Blog.

      I’d also ask what that has to do with *this* post so I am moving this to Open Mike.

      • phillip ure 2.1.1

        “..He reflects quite a large portion of the activist left, in the same way that I do as well…”

        you identify as rightwing/incrementalist-labour..do you not..?

        ..didn’t we have nine years of that with clark..?

        ..and what did that get us..?

        ..poverty/inequality rife…environment further degraded..etc. etc…i don’t need to list it all..

        ..do you not see that more has to be done on these issues than was done before..?

        ..that the imperatives are getting louder (esp. on climate-change..) by the day..?

        ..so how can yet another ‘nothing for the poor/steady as she goes’ labour govt make the difference/changes needed..? (c.f. labour ’14 election-policies..)

        ..how is that (esp. for those hurting the most..the poorest and the environment) that much better than these tory pricks..?

        ..only ‘incrementally’ really…eh..?

        ..and with each passing day we fall further behind the rest of the world..

        ..in the last 24 hrs..cameron/milliband/clegg have signed a joint-pledge that no matter who wins their upcoming election..

        ..they will go gangbusters on fighting climate-change..

        ..here..we have the bloody green party giving nods/winks to the dairy-polluters..

        ..and an/that promising to be even more incremental than was that radical cunnliffe..(!)..labour party..

        ..in their policy prescriptions..

        ..how the hell is that going to help anyone/in any way..?

        • phillip ure 2.1.1.1

          what is the value of victory..

          ..if you then do nothing with it..?

          ..except trying to stave off the other side getting their turn..

          ..for a long as possible..?

          ..as clark did..as key does..

      • Paul 2.1.2

        ‘He reflects quite a large portion of the activist left’

        You mean the left that believed the nonsense that Roger Douglas, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.

        FIFY.

        • te reo putake 2.1.2.1

          Not the least bit true, Paul. The left political party I was a member of during the Lange/Douglas years had a complicated relationship with the LP, recognising the need to get rid of the divisive and financially incompetent Muldoon Government, but being blind sided by the radical rightward turn Douglas engineered.

          Blair was and is awful and it was only the unfortunate death of John Smith* that allowed him his shot. The Blairite ‘third way’ is a load of tosh and it’s great that the influence of those who promote it with the NZLP is finally waning.

          I admit liking Clinton, his saxophone playing is pretty good. The politics not so much.

          * http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/12/john-smith-labour-britain-prime-minister

        • Once was Tim 2.1.2.2

          Yep @ Paul – that very same ‘Left’.

          You know … I caught a bus yesterday, from Wellington to Te Puke, and I’ve been circulating around the environs.
          Today’s little outing – Papamoa, Tauranga et al.
          I know this must be many people’s idea of Nirvana (I mean where the Joyce moto’way begins and ends), but a can’t think of a better description of the area than the Benidorm of the South Pacific.
          There’s even ripened old leather faced English expats trundling along in moto-assisted 3 wheelers with their pot-bellied long-suffering husbands in tow. Even the Polis force has their share. (No amount of bllody avocado or kiwfruit-infused moiseuriser is going to see them back to what they think is their former ‘beauty’.
          NONE.
          (I’m sure they all had their superannuation transfers sorted out before the deadlines expired).
          CHRIST! UGLINESS all around – and I dont just mean ‘the examples for a case study in NZ obeisity one could pluck at every coner. You just have to look at the car parked next to you sags to its extemity as two occupants “seat” themselves before exiting the same car park.
          IT’s not just that aesthetic FUGLINESS of appearance – it’s the FUGLINESS of consumerism and expansionism at work.
          But I cannot comment further – because that would be expressing my prejudices based on looks – and as we know, that’s not a go! And describing the ‘feel’is a hard task.
          I’ll head back to Te Puke and parts more remote – hoping that Benidorm goes bust and expansion stays put.
          Actually, the best thing around here is that there is a functioning railway line where trains go by reasonably regularly. I bet some in Gizzy’s are envious. The ground shakes – but then it has reason to do so – not like the thundering FUGLINESS ground shaking greed laden human specimens I sampled when waliking down one of those Papamoa “boulevards” that shook. (admitedly it was built on sand)

    • Pete George 2.2

      Give Te Reo Putake a chance as an author. I think his first post was a worthwhile effort and provoked some good discussions.

      Authoring is a very different skill to blog commenting. TRP is well known as a petty attack activist in commenting but that won’t necessarily be reflected in posting where you put yourself and your ideas out for much greater scrutiny so generally take a more reasoned and responsible approach.

      • phillip ure 2.2.1

        no doubt he will be cheered by yr support..

        ..what is known in some quarters (fact-checking?..anyone..?..)..

        ..as the beige-kiss-of-death..

      • Thank you, Pete. Admittedly Muldoon’s “I love you, Mr Lange” instantly popped into my head when I read your comment, but the essence of what you say is correct. I think it’s inevitable that being, ahem, authorised will change how I comment on OM and other posts and I’ll probably be a little less bombastic as a result. Probably.

        Just for the record, and in case my regular sparring partners are worried, I’m not big on banning and you’re not likely to see me even attempting any kind of moderation at least until the training wheels come off. Having said that, the crap Stephanie Rodgers has put up with in recent days comes pretty close to what I would consider ban worthy.

    • Murray Rawshark 2.3

      There are many Labour people who would agree with TRP. They are classified by most as being on the left. It is therefore important to debate their positions. We do not do this by calling them troll like shills.

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.3.1

        It’s not just the fact of these Lefties wanting to send troops to Iraq. It’s also their complete lack of any concept of what the troops are getting into (IMO it is degenerating into a sectarian civil war against the Baghdad regime), and the lack of any realistic accompanying political plan to let the Kiwis make an effective difference in the long run.

        These are actually two dimensional unthinking characteristics that we often associate with right wingers.

        I ask – the US and UK have bitter long experience fighting in Iraq and poured 12 years and billions into training the Iraqi Army – and the Iraqi Army ran from a lightly armed militia. What makes these ‘Lefties’ think the NZ Army (which apart from the SAS has next to no combat experience in Iraq) is going to do any better as trainers in 2 years?

        And then its the sound of fucking crickets chirping.

        • b waghorn 2.3.1.1

          At one point in the last week or to I recall key saying that the trainers will be safe because there are sending security forces with them ,I took that to mean the SAS would be going with them . But as our media are useless none seem to digging very deep so I could be wrong.

          • Colonial Rawshark 2.3.1.1.1

            The SAS don’t usually get sent to do sentry duty. Any environment where you need the SAS to play a role as guards is ipso facto a very dangerous environment.

            • b waghorn 2.3.1.1.1.1

              That would be all of Iraq ” a very dangerous environment.” And the surrounds .
              How many trainers have been killed by the trainees in the last 10 years

        • phillip ure 2.3.1.2

          that ‘right’ in labour also fully supports giving the poorest s.f.a..

          (c.f. labour election-policies ’14..)

  3. Gruntie 3

    If you need a laugh early Sunday morning this is from 2011

  4. Michael 4

    Bernie Sanders, independent Democratic Socialist US Senator, may try to run for President on the Democratic ticket.

    http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/presidential-campaign/232706-bernie-sanders-for-president-really

    Interesting article. It’s impossible that he would ever win the Democratic primary, but there is growing anger over income inequality and feelings that the system is rigged. At the very least, him running in the Democratic Party primary would force Hillary Clinton leftwards. She has already been attempting to use more left wing rhetoric (i.e. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyUoCiWsTfI), but it’s obviously just rhetoric. But it’s proof she is scared of someone coming from her left in the primaries. If Bernie runs in the primaries, he will force up those issues that the neoliberal Democrats don’t want to talk about.

    Edit: btw, here is a link to Bernie’s agenda: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-bernie-sanders/an-economic-agenda-for-am_b_6249022.html

    • Colonial Rawshark 4.1

      And lets remember that Hilary Clinton hasn’t ever been elected to sweet FA to represent voting constituents previously. Like Bill, she represents the interests of the 0.1%.

      • Skinny 4.1.1

        Speaking of slick Willy Clinton, I heard a tale the other week of what a hound dog he is. An American friend of mine won a state title (Arkansas) of Miss America. She was attending a function as part of her role, where she met the then Governor Bill Clinton. Cutting a long story short, later that evening Billy offers to drop her off at her hotel after her minder had taken ill and left early. Off they went in the charming Governor’s limo, on arrival at her hotel Bill insists on seeing her to her room and practically invites himself in for a coffee. Being a young and innocent girl from Hicksville she thinks it’s the least she can do. She puts the jug and excuses herself to go to the bathroom, when she comes out horror or horrors there is Slick Willy laying buck naked on her bed. In stunned disbelief she says Mr Governor I’m going to turn around and go back into the bathroom and when I come back out you better be gone, which he was. They met on numerous other occasions and never a word said.

        • millsy 4.1.1.1

          Were it not for the money and connections that the Rodham family held, Clinton would still be chasing ambulances in Little Rock.

          • phillip ure 4.1.1.1.1

            during the time he was governor..

            ..arkansas became one of the main destinations for cocaine smuggled in by air from sth amarica..

            ..coincidence..?..much..?

            ..his brother roger was often mentioned in dispatches..

            ..as sniffing around in those smugglers’ quarters..

            ..and in those days..everyone used cocaine..

        • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1.2

          Sounds about right…it seems very unlikely that he waited until the Oval Office to start trying it out with younger women.

      • Yes she has been. She was elected US Senator for New York in 2000 with 3,747,310 votes (55%), and was re-elected in 2006 with 3,008,428 votes (67%).

        • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.2.1

          Darn it I knew I had missed something obvious. Thanks, Matthew.

        • Skinny 4.1.2.2

          Hooton my old China where have ya been, I had directed some questions about SkyCity to you over the last few days.

          How is the mandarin lessons going?

          You can tell your iwi group they were a bit stiff not getting the tender reopened for their proposed Waterfront convention centre. I must say you gave it a very good crack. Anyway on the bright side you’re probably done enough to get the nod as the new ACT party President when that comes up.

      • alwyn 4.1.3

        “And lets remember that Hilary Clinton hasn’t ever been elected to sweet FA to represent voting constituents previously”.

        Really? I thought that, in the universe I inhabit, she was elected by the people of New York State to the United States Senate in 2000 and re-elected in 2006.
        New York may not be the largest state anymore but it still has a population of nearly 20 million people.
        It also seems a bit extreme to describe the job as being “sweet FA”
        Still perhaps you inhabit a parallel universe where these elections never took place.

        ps. Bugger. While I was composing this Hooton responded with the same information.

    • elizabeth warren is the best/only hope for any real change..

      http://whoar.co.nz/?s=elizabeth+warren

    • swordfish 4.3

      Sanders may have been a socialist back in the 80s when he was Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, but he’s more of a hawkish liberal Democrat these days. While he remains admirably progressive on most domestic social issues, he’s unfortunately backed all of Obama’s nasty little wars in the Middle East, never opposes increased Defence spending, always has an eye on lucrative US military contracts and the jobs they bring to Vermont.

      He’s also a chum of AIPAC and Israeli Governments of all stripes, never questions the unconditional financial and diplomatic support the US gives to Israel’s occupation and ethnic-cleansing and can usually be relied upon to support the never-ending pro-Israeli resolutions in the Senate.

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.3.1

        Yeah but unfortunately that’s about as good as we can get in the US of A nowadays. He does speak strongly against the 1% and the 0.1%. But he has to get his campaign funds from somewhere…

  5. idiot rejection

    Canterbury growers have struck another roadblock for growing hemp seed as authorities remain uneasy about its closeness to its drug cousin.

    Health ministers from New Zealand and Australia met in Auckland last month to consider a recommendation from Food Standards Australia New Zealand that governments change the food law to enable hemp seed to be grown for human consumption.

    Grower hopes hemp growing would be made more freely available to them were dashed when this was rejected because of transport concerns.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/cropping/66137801/farmers-denied-highvalue-hemp-crop

    Hemp has very very low THC – you’d hijack a seed truck of hemp ummm to grow more hemp not to get high.

    and one the best reasons for allowing hemp is that you cannot grow the cousins together – your dope gets wasted.

    Hemp is really a wonder plant and would provide many opportunities as it did in the past.

    Hemp (from Old English hænep) is a commonly used term for high-growing varieties of the Cannabis plant and its products, which include fiber, oil, and seed. Hemp is refined into products such as hemp seed foods, hemp oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, pulp, paper, and fuel.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp

    I think we may need a few of those things as society slips further down the slope due to CC and no easy picking oil.

    • Molly 5.1

      Marty, I just had a conversation two days ago with someone who was part of the Hemp Association of NZ for many years. He said that they sometimes travelled with Nandor Tanczos to maraes trying to inform and persuade the elders to consider this as a sustainable crop.

      He was saying that they were really disappointed with the Nandor’s advocacy for legalisation of marijuana because after seeing the reaction on the maraes – they considered it a step too far too soon.

      There is a recent documentary that can be purchased on the historical use, the benefits and sustainability of hemp crops.
      The trailer is worth looking at if anyone is interested.

      • Adele 5.1.1

        Kiaora Molly

        A more tikanga centric cash crop for Māori is harakeke, not hemp. Harakeke has equally admirable qualities and benefits. Its relatively easy to grow and has a multitude of good uses.

        A big plus is that it will never be mistaken for cannabis proper and smoked. Should the ridiculous happen, it has a laxative effect.

        • vto 5.1.1.1

          Yes, have been wondering about cropping harakeke for some time. The last old style mill was down Southland I think and still operating until recently-ish. Some parts of our land grow harakeke like, well, they have been growing here for millions of years…

          We have a bunch of them in a garden and they punch out screeds of seeds easily and consistently, and that’s just one of their uses.

          • Adele 5.1.1.1.1

            Kiaora VTO

            Yes, I believe that Riverton may still have a working harakeke mill. It is as versatile as hemp. There was work done some time ago on developing a commercial fabric industry using harakeke.

            From my understanding a variety of harakeke has been patented as the most ideal variety for creating cloth.

            I am rather excited about the prospect of making paper from harakeke for an art project I am involved with. Should be fun although I am a wee bit concerned about the caustic soda thing. I can be a wee bit clumsy.

            If I start typing nice things, you will know that I’ve burnt my hands off and now have a ghost writer

        • Molly 5.1.1.2

          Flax is also a great crop.

          It is not one or the other, and industrial hemp should not be confused with cannabis.

          Hemp, has a multitude of uses: construction, materials, regeneration of land, food – including providing essential Omega 3 and Omega 6 oils in a way readily assimilated by the body. It is also fast growing, cropping in just over 3 months, and requiring no external fertilisers or pesticides – entirely in keeping with kaitiakitanga principles.

          I’m not a cannabis user – though I agree with philure’s comments regarding decriminalisation – but when I looked into hemp, as an easy to grow, harvest and utilise, this crop has a lot going for it.

          Regarding the maraes, the impression I got from the person I was talking to was that they could not separate in their heads the difference between industrial hemp and cannabis, and that was why they had no traction. There also may have been the possibility that because of that general association, the marae would be loathe to get the label of supporting pot use. Which is understandable.

          So, that opportunity was not taken by those Maori who were offered it, and begins to get picked up by others interested in sustainable farming, and customers interested in great organic products.

          • Adele 5.1.1.2.1

            Kiaora Molly

            Firstly, Harakeke would be considered more in keeping with a sustainable ethic for Maori than hemp. Indigenous people using an indigenous plant. Hemp is an imported species.

            Secondly, Maori and Marae have a fairly sophisticated understanding on the use, growing and dealing in cannabis. It’s more common in some communities than wine. Who do you think grow most of the supply in New Zealand?

            I think Marae are being quite sensible because they obviously know how mischevious their rangatahi can be.

            • Molly 5.1.1.2.1.1

              I have little knowledge of marae based protocol so I accept your assertion.

              But you still make the assumption that industrial hemp and cannabis are the same in terms of drug use. They are not.

              Hemp also provides great food supplements and benefits, which is an easier market to approach rather than high end materials. (As well as building materials. I know MIT in Auckland many years ago was investigated harakeke as a component of earth building, but I never heard how that worked out, and never heard about it again.)

              If the plant was not connected with cannabis in any way, and was shown to be regenerative of land, able to be cropped three or four times a year, requiring little or no chemical applications, and able to be used for foodstuffs, materials, building materials etc – wouldn’t you at least be open to finding out more?

              • Adele

                Kiaora Molly,

                I know the difference between industrial hemp and cannabis. I have even visited the hemp store in Auckland.

                Māori have used harakeke mai rānō. For centuries we have used harakeke to bind, to build, to catch, to clothe, and to heal.

                I would rather advocate the industrial use of harakeke than hemp. In fact, I would go so far as to say to Marae – “forget hemp, grow harakeke instead.”

                By growing harakeke, the security issues would be non existent: no high fences; or regular drug testing on plant or people required; no need to grow in remote areas away from population centres. With harakeke, the compliance regime would be way less involved, intensive, or expensive. Most importantly, our people will be able to work all facets of the industry and not be banned because of criminal or drug convictions.

                • Molly

                  Kia ora, Adele,

                  Understand where you are coming from.

                  I’m not an advocate for one crop being “better than” another. Just that hemp is another choice that could deliver.

                  ” In fact, I would go so far as to say to Marae – “forget hemp, grow harakeke instead.””.

                  Despite understanding the valid reasons for your aversion – if a marae did choose to try hemp – why would you persuade them otherwise?

                  That seems disrespectful to me, and negates any benefits that occur, especially those that come from the attempt even if successful outcomes are not achieved. I’m assuming a decision has been made after discussions and there are enthusiastic people who are prepared to commit time and effort into making it work. Why would you say to them – that their choices and enthusiasms are not valued?

                  (If any progression on the decriminalisation of marijuana is achieved, then some of your concerns would be addressed.)

                  That said, would like to see the maraes thrive in any sustainable way, and if that comes via harakeke – all well and good.

                  • Adele

                    Kiaora Molly

                    “Despite understanding the valid reasons for your aversion – if a marae did choose to try hemp – why would you persuade them otherwise?

                    What’s so disrespectful about reminding Marae of the values we espouse as Māori? Indigenous peoples and their environments are not separate entities.

                    What is more disrespectful is to pursue a sustainability model that neglects to sustain the people who whakapapa to the whenua. Marae are meant to be the bastions of Te Ao Māori, not a gateway to its assimilation.

                    All things being equal, if Māori had to choose between harakeke and hemp. I am fairly sure most would choose harakeke.

                    • Molly

                      Kia ora, Adele,

                      “What’s so disrespectful about reminding Marae of the values we espouse as Māori? Indigenous peoples and their environments are not separate entities. “

                      I don’t believe it is disrespectful to be part of a community discussion and put your point forward – I do think it is disrespectful to criticise afterwards a consensus decision.

                      “All things being equal, if Māori had to choose between harakeke and hemp. I am fairly sure most would choose harakeke.”
                      I am suburban Māori, and this kind of blanket dismissal of the values and interests that my life have provided to me so far, is the reason that I have found no comfortable place to be in Te Ao Māori.

                      Which I am trying to belatedly remedy.

                      But the disconnect between the kaitiakitanga of Te Ao Māori, and the groundswell movement for sustainability is one that I find difficult to comprehend. The worldview of Māori, is as you have stated, one of balance and harmony. The sustainability movement is similar. My exposure and experience to date has been with the sustainability movement, perhaps this will change as I progress in learning more about Te Ao Māori.

                      I appreciate the time you have taken for this conversation.

    • The Murphey 5.2

      No hemp but let’s wait to see the perspective when the GMO discussion picks up again

      I expect once the strains have been modified and patented there will be a shift

    • RedBaronCV 5.3

      Even if the TTp % is low do the plants look so similar that the illegal plants can grow in with the legal?

      • marty mars 5.3.1

        no, dope cannot grow (so you get something you can get high from) within hemp – but they do look similar

        • marty mars 5.3.1.1

          “Growing hemp and marijuana together isn’t an option. By doing that you get cross pollination which leaves both plants infertile. When they cross pollinate you loose the buds of the flowers and the seeds.”

          http://rediscoverhemp.com/tag/plant/

          • weka 5.3.1.1.1

            I don’t think it’s as clear cut as that. Over successive generations you would get lessening of the value of the THC crop, but at first there would be a decrease in THC in the MJ plant and and increase in the Hemp. It’s unclear to what extent that would still be enough THC in the plants to give a high. It might not be enough for big growers to bother, but it probably does present some problems for lawmakers in that the plants both now contain enough THC to be an illegal drug.

            I haven’t heard the argument against from the authorities point of view, but I’m guessing that ‘growers won’t bother’ isn’t sufficient for them.

            http://www.newheadnews.com/hemp/hybrids.html

            Having said all that, I think we should be legalising hemp growing in NZ. It’s a no brainer really.

        • RedBaronCV 5.3.1.2

          Perhaps someone is worried that Mr Plod won’t be able to tell the difference. Or that consumers may be fed an underpowered product.

          • weka 5.3.1.2.1

            Police not being able to differentiate easily might be an issue, esp with dried plant.

            “Or that consumers may be fed an underpowered product.”

            lolz. It might be a good thing to tone the dak down a bit. Interesting that they don’t see the potential for widespread wrecking of the crop 😉

    • Draco T Bastard 5.4

      I read an article some time back that asserted that one of the major backers of making hemp illegal was the cotton growers. Apparently hemp cloth can be finer and stronger than cotton while also being cheaper because it’s so easy to grow and grows so fast.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemp#Fiber

      Pure hemp has a texture similar to linen.

      • tc 5.4.1

        And Dow etc as cotton requires lots of pesticides so good for them whereas hemp very little if any so cue reefer madness etc after WW2 as hemp was in large scale production for rope, fabric etc and needed to be discredited.

        It also has a fine paper market that last time I looked couldn’t get enough as demand exceeded supply.

        • Molly 5.4.1.1

          Can’t remember the documentary, but oil and chemical companies did have a major role to play in the “reefer madness” propanganda after the war, along with the cotton growers.

          As an experiement for the last couple of years have been growing chia seeds in the garden. I have harvested the seeds (which cost a fair bit in the supermarket) but also grow them as pollinators as they provide for the bees. They grow fast, survive without very much water, and have a very strong stalk. The seeds have a very good Omega 3 and Omega 6 content.

          Because of this thread I’ve just googled the plant, and found out it is part of the same family.

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-13/thirst-war-sen-inhofe-releases-fake-photos-russian-troops-ukraine

    Proving once again that the US really, really wants to go to war.

  7. freedom 7

    The Spin Bites Back

    Scene- A well appointed lounge in the penthouse office of an undisclosed metropolitan eyesore. A gentle levity fills the air as glasses clink and cheques cashed are fondly remembered. There is an urgent knocking at the door.

    X- Who is it?

    JK- It’s me, John

    X- ( under the breath -okay ) Come in John.

    JK- Hi guys, really sorry to interrupt you all, but I think we have a bit of a problem!

    X- What happened this time? Drop your handicap ? (guffaws and back-slaps ensue)

    JK- No, Really, we have a big problem.

    X- Ok John, just move those files and sit down
    NOT THOSE ! that’s [redacted]’s pile

    JK- Oh, I didn’t see it

    X- Well, that’s what you pay us for. So tell us, What’s the matter buddy?

    JK- I was just updating my facebook page, letting all my fans know how super awesome my summer hol’s were, when I saw a post about people asking to be unfriended if any of their friends think Zero Hour contracts are a fair and reasonable idea.

    X- So… ?? … look, we’ll fake you up some new friends.

    JK- No, no, it’s not that, no, well Yes! thanks!! That would be great!!
    Maybe you don’t understand what I’m saying, Zero Hour contracts!!!

    X- Yeah ! Aren’t they just the answer to every bosses’ prayers?

    JK- No you fools! They are a huge problem.

    X- How so?

    JK- We state repeatedly how we use the Household Labour Force Survey to gauge the levels of employment in New Zealand. Right?

    X- yes.., with you so far….

    JK- That survey uses a benchmark of one hour of paid work a week for a job to qualify as employment. Right?

    X- Yes it does and it is a beautiful thing. (high fives for all) The journos lap it up.

    JK- That’s the problem… How are we going to sell the employment figures when thousands of jobs are shifting to Zero Hour contracts?

    X- Oh! fuck

    JK- yeah. exactly.

    X- It will be fine John. You’ve got the new war, the flag, the cricket world cup is good for a few more weeks. There is that whole Centenary thing coming up. Wall to wall photo ops -no one will even notice.

    JK- Ok guys, if you say so. Bit of a relief to be honest. Now have you had any ideas about fixing this mess with Sky City ?

    X- We’re spinmeisters John, not miracle workers.

  8. Colonial Rawshark 8

    Stuff prints propaganda from Reuters: No alternative to bulk data collection

    These are utter lies. Firstly, the NSA (and therefore the NZ services) are collecting and have access to all content passing on the internet, in addition to the very critical and important associated metadata. The metadata is crucial for searching and indexing the sea of content they are collecting on everyone.

    Secondly, Bill Binney has explained in detail how peoples privacy can be completely protected by automatically encrypting everyone’s identities during the collection process, and only decrypting the identities of those people who are suspects, via court warrant. That is the system he designed, and the protections that the NSA stripped out of his programme.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/65187271/No-alternative-to-bulk-data-collection?cid=outbrain:starter

  9. “..Bill Clinton Apologizes To Mexico – For War On Drugs..

    ..Former President Bill Clinton apologized to Mexico during a speech there last week –

    – for a backfired U.S. war on drugs –

    – that has fueled spiraling violence..”

    (cont..)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/13/bill-clinton-apology-drug-war-mexico_n_6680412.html

  10. Weepus beard 10

    I’m not a gambler but I thought it would be topical to have a punt on how much Joyce is going to give to Sky City today.

    They were never going to put in $140m. My guess is they threw out a number and waited for the focus group results to come in before making an announcement for much lesser figure.

    $140m is a number picked so that it looks like the govt. is on our side when they manage to negotiate it down to what will now be spun as a “better deal”. Hey, they are working for New Zealand, right?

    As we have seen, the public reaction has been severe, and even National’s perennial and faithful lapdogs have growled (a little bit), so my punt is on 1/3 of the original figure announced, rounded down to:

    $45m.

    • i think $60 million was the endgame-target..

      ..and yep..!..we have been ‘played’ yet again..

      ..by both skycity and key…

      (and let us not forget that skycity made $66 million profit in the last six months..

      ..and that their share-price jump at the news of this upcoming present from the mug-punters..

      ..increased the value of their casino by $77 million..)

      ..that all seems ‘fair’..eh..?

    • Murray Rawshark 10.2

      I’d go for $60 million. That way they get to say that they have been tough and forced Sky Shitty to come up with more than half.

  11. swordfish 11

    Morrissey recently made mention of those honourable politicians in the west (often, it has to be said, of the independent Left) who speak truth to power.

    Here’s a brilliant (and highly amusing) example from a couple of years ago. Clare Daly, Left-wing MP for Dublin North, takes on the Irish PM and Irish MSM for their horrendous brown-nosing of Obama during his visit there…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GF5PChW5WDY

    A few excerpts…

    “The almost unprecedented slobbering over (Obama and wife Michelle) that the nation has been exposed to over the last number of days. And it’s really hard to know which is worse – whether it’s the outpourings of the Obamas themselves or the sycophantic fawning over them by sections of the media and the political establishment”

    …….And, of course, the biggest irony of all – the professtations of Obama himself in is speech to children in Northern Ireland about peace…Now I ask you, is this person going for the hypocrite of the century award ? … By any serious examination this man is a War Criminal….

    (to the Taoiseach) But is it not a reality that you have showcased us as a nation of pimps, prostituting ourselves in return for a pat on the head. To be honest with ya, we were really speculating this morning whether you were going to deck the Cabinet out in leprechaun hats decorated with a bit of stars and stripes to really mark our abject humiliation here.”

  12. Philip Ferguson 12

    One of the more progressive unions in New Zealand in recent years has been the firefighters:

    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/firefighters-coverage-on-redline/

    Phil

  13. dv 13

    Oops charter school doing well for puils NOT

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/66204362/private-school-failed-our-autistic-son

    The organisation which runs Mt Hobson, Villa Education Trust, is also facing fresh controversy over another of its schools, West Auckland Middle School.

    Regan Bennett’s family say the 14-year-old suffers from epilepsy and has been assessed as requiring Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) funding for his education.

    The government funding is hard to get and is available only for the highest needs students. The ministry paid more than $4000 to the school for extra help for Regan.

    But in the first term Regan received a maximum of 30 hours’ teacher aide support and no one-on-one teacher time as stipulated by the ministry, his family said.

    A large amount of that teacher aide time was used during school swimming lessons.

    The school said it had discussed the teacher aide resourcing with Regan’s mother who was in full agreement. The school believed it would be “educationally detrimental” to have a teacher aide in the traditional morning classes as it would act as a barrier between the student and the teacher.

    ACT MP David Seymour, under-secretary to Education Minister Hekia Parata, said the issues surrounding Haggett were not an indictment on the partnership school policy.

    (Translation Charter school)

  14. Philip Ferguson 14

    Compared with village idiot Cameron Slater, I guess David Farrar might look almost infellectual. But here’s an interesting piece, actually published nearly three years ago, about how prejudice is a core part of Farrar’s view of the world. His ‘explanation’ of the economic meltdown in Greece is that Greeks have a “CBF attitude” to life.

    We looked at Farrar’s nonsense here: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/farrars-blog-a-pile-of-prejudices/

    Phil

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Totalitarian Democracy Now

    The poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti used the phrase “Totalitarian Democracy” in a poem that ends with the lines, “The last lament for lost democracy,/ The total triumph of/ totalitarian plutocracy.”

    In the 1960s, Herbert Marcuse argued that the “free election of masters does not abolish the masters or the slaves,” and that even liberty itself “could be made into a powerful instrument of domination.” The term he coined to describe the phenomenon was “repressive tolerance.”

    Describes precisely where our democracy is today – owned by the 1%.

  16. joe90 16

    Aaah, schadenfreude….

    The Times said it received an advance copy of an upcoming report by Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab that details how banks in Russia, Japan, the United States, and other countries fell victim to malware starting in late 2013 that allowed the hackers to watch video feeds, view daily operations, and impersonate bank officials.

    The malware apparently allowed the hackers to transfer money from the banks to fake accounts. According to the Times, Kaspersky Lab said the total theft could be more than $300 million, although the cybersecurity firm has not nailed down an exact figure. Each transaction was limited to $10 million and some banks were hit more than once, according to the publication.

    http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/02/report-millions-stolen-from-banks-through-sophisticated-malware/

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.1

      And as the NSA has been systematically weakening internet, network and computer systems security for their own intrusion purposes, they have been making the whole environment more vulnerable to hackers than ever before.

  17. weka 17

    Churchill said a fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject

    Toby Ziegler.

  18. Penny Bright 18

    Good to see that Porirua City Council Mayor Nick Leggett came out on 10 February 2015, against the Hutt and Wairarapa being ‘bullied’ into the proposed Wellington ‘Supercity’ proposed amalgamation.

    Of course, this should help effectively sink the proposed Wellington ‘Supercity Titanic’, because, as I understand it, for the Draft Wellington Reorganisation Proposal to go ahead, there must be ‘demonstrable community support’ across each one of the ‘Territorial Authorities’ (TAs).

    If there is ‘demonstrable’ community OPPOSITION from 5 out of 9 of the TAs
    – Hutt CC, Upper Hutt CC, South Wairarapa DC, Carterton DC and Masterton DC (for starters) – then – in my considered opinion, the proposed Wellington ‘Supercity’ will be stuffed.

    Good job.

    Who on earth would want an effective corporate takeover – as we have experienced under the Auckland ‘Supercity’ (for the 1%), happen anywhere else in NZ?

    ‘Economies of scale’ and greater (business) opportunities for investors, BIG business, property developers, speculators and financial interests?

    A bigger ‘public trough’ for fewer but bigger ‘private snouts’?

    BEWARE folks from the Wellington region!

    The public focus is on ‘governance’ – but behind the scenes ( as in Auckland) the corporate focus is on ‘infrastructure’.

    The mechanism is through CCOs – which are hardly being mentioned by either the Local Government Commission (LGC) or those people or organisations which purportedly want ‘Better’.

    ‘Better’ for whom?

    Follow the dollar ….

    Penny Bright

    (For more background information – http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz )

  19. sky city have u-turned..and won’t get any money..

    ..power to the people..eh..?

    ..see what we can do when we put our minds to it..eh..?

    • fisiani 19.1

      John Key and Steven Joyce have stood up to Sky City and made them keep the written contract to build the convention centre. I was correct as always and not a single cent of taxpayer money will be spent on the Auckland convention centre. This is huge win for the Government and people of New Zealand. Glad you can all celebrate.

      • McGrath 19.1.1

        On the contrary, this episode has made the Govt look weak and indecisive. It should not have dragged on for this long. How hard was it for National simply to say No!

        • b waghorn 19.1.1.1

          They had to wait and see if the key spin/bullshit around it being an eyesore would change there polling on it .

        • phillip ure 19.1.1.2

          not so much that as key pushing for that massive handout..

          ..i wonder if sy-citys’ value will slump by the $77 million it jumped when ‘the market’/shareholders thought they were going to be pocketing that serious wedge of money..

          ..(i mean..john key promised them..it’s not fair..!..)

      • Skinny 19.1.2

        No that’s a lose by Key & Joyce and simply not good enough, in Key’s own words Aucklanders do not want a cheap eye sore. The country agrees with him we want SkyCity to spend an extra 130 million dollars so we get an international quality convention centre, not some ugly eyesore that blights the Auckland sky line. Mike Hosking is all for the extra spend also.

      • phillip ure 19.1.3

        c’mon folks..!..in a fair world..for that one..

        .. fisi would walk away with this weeks’ top-spinner gong..

        ..’the twisted-neck-award’…

      • North 19.1.4

        Troubled child you are Fizzy, as always ! Key, Joyce, SkyCity sing in unison from one of several, long prepared song sheets. This one marked “Contingency Plan In Case We Get Busted”.

        But good news. The ultimate heist has failed…….not to say the concept wasn’t a heist from the start…….not to say our prime minister hasn’t in the round-up handed fat extra money to SkyCity.

        There’s gonna be an ugly concrete cube in the CBD which forever’ll be known as “Key’sEyeSore”. That’ll go down great in international convention centre marketing now won’t it ? Waipuna Lodge must be heartened !

    • Murray Rawshark 19.2

      They’ll get their reward another way this time.

      • Skinny 19.3.1

        What on earth Jordan Williams of the taxpayers association is claiming victory for is beyond me.

        Whatever next Hooton claiming credit for the ACT party.

        • b waghorn 19.3.1.1

          I guess it will be a team effort to turn what is a big hit on key into key being such a competent poly he’s saved nz 130 mil, so its better to have it being front footed buy there mates in the TPU so they can control the story

    • http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11402393

      “The Crown has also indicated today that it may be prepared to accept slightly smaller NZICC if that is required to meet the agreed total construction cost,” Mr Joyce said.

      But no reduction in the number of pokies they will be allowed, presumably. So the citizens of NZ still lose and the house wins.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2524032/Mars-Snickers-chocolate-bars-shrink-size-price-stays-same.html

      • phillip ure 19.4.1

        the house always wins..

        ..that’s why..come the day..

        ..they will be nationalised..

        ..best to have that gambling income stay here @ home..

      • Skinny 19.4.2

        Commonly known as ‘PRODUCT SIZE REDUCTION’ or in corporate jargon its called sweating the asset.

        OK so how many pokie machines and gambling tables did lead snake oil salesman Stephen Joyce negotiate will be taken off the deal. Let’s hear the idiot media ask that question of him.

  20. fisiani 21

    Excellent result for the Government over Sky City. No matter how much the Left try to spin this it will be seen as a victory for John Key. Read it in the history books.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      😆

      Yes, a complete redesign is sure to reduce the eventual cost. Rats taste better with lots of hot sauce, nom nom nom Fisi.

    • millsy 21.2

      Nothing to stop SkyCity from building its own convention centre off its own bat without the government giving ‘concessions’.

    • Skinny 21.3

      When asked what about the eyesore on Auckland’s sky line Key will mutter something
      that makes no sense

      . When the media ask Morrison the silver tongued Aussie SkyCity boss, he will be struggling to contain himself from crying with laughter and reply;

      “It’s not like a convention centre the size of a shoe box is going to be a blight on anyone’s sky line, say for Mr & Mrs Sewer Rat….God I love doing business with you Kiwi’s.”

    • Draco T Bastard 21.4

      Auckland and the people of NZ still don’t want the convention centre and know that this government screwed them over to give it to SkyCity.

      • fisiani 21.4.1

        You are seriously claiming that Auckland and the people of New Zealand do not want 800 jobs and a $49,000,000 economic boost. That’s some powerful stuff you’re smoking.

        • Skinny 21.4.1.1

          No reputable international organisation would want to hold a conference at a bloody casino, what send their delegates off to a gambling den only to come back
          a gambling addict. New Zealand will become a laughing stock. The only conference will be the National Party ones.

          • Chooky 21.4.1.1.1

            +100 Skinny….John Key’s tacky conference casino centre… déclassé

          • ropata:rorschach 21.4.1.1.2

            Exactly, this is just a big party centre for NACTUM piss ups. Not a nice venue for the people of Auckland to enjoy, like a library or a pool.

            Key was played for a fool again, just like the Hobbit deal with WB. The taxpaying public did not vote for this shit while we have a housing crisis, rampant inequality, and Christchurch in ruins.

            And now the public will shell out to fund a new HQ for TVNZ. The Keymaster has shafted us again.

        • Draco T Bastard 21.4.1.2

          That would be, maybe, 200 jobs, an ongoing loss to the country as the government guarantees SkyCity’s profits and ever more social damage due to gambling addiction. Yeah, I’m sure that NZers don’t want it.

        • Naki man 21.4.1.3

          These lefties are just bitter that Key was able to keep his promise that no tax payers money would be used.
          People on welfare don’t care about more jobs.

        • millsy 21.4.1.4

          All low wage zero hour jobs.

  21. ianmac 22

    Missed most of this discussion but it occurred to me that the jubilation around the country can now be interpreted that we now support the Convention Centre and its pokies.
    We won but we still lose and Key can claim that he listens to the people. Huh!

    • tc 22.1

      Sky city in its current form is an ugly leech on society without the convention centre.

      • fisiani 22.1.1

        And with the convention centre and hotel it becomes a boon for Auckland.

      • Weepus beard 22.1.2

        Yes, but I find it quite odd and am uncomfortable with a national convention centre being so closely associated with the unsavoury business of gambling.

        I assume a lot of the business this Sky City convention centre will be in hosting foreign delegates and here we are shoving floors and floors of gambling at them as their first experience of the country.

        It’s Las Vegas in the South Pacific.

        I guess that is what John Key intends.

        • Pascals bookie 22.1.2.1

          seems to be how it will work.

          The centre itself will lose money most years, but SC will profit overall in the rest of the building.

    • Weepus beard 23.1

      Indeed. People have short memories don’t they?

      It’s as if this is a whole new war, yet not 3 years ago three ill-trained defence force soldiers lost their lives in the same war in Afghanistan.

      The soldiers being sent this time will be even more poorly trained.

  22. fisiani 24

    Say NO to the $140m SkyCity bailout

    I was roundly abused for pointing out that John Key never insisted we pay a cent. Hysterical over reaction from the poster as usual. The sky is falling said Chicken Little.

    • Skinny 24.1

      Next time you leave the rock you live under remember to put on a sun hat on, you’re really fried that pea brain of yours today. I refreshed my memory by reading that link.

      All I could make of your ramblings was you swinging your undies in the air cheerleadering for Key, oh and reinventing yourself as a litigation lawyer.

  23. b waghorn 25

    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/protesters-storm-national-party-fundraiser-2015021517#axzz3RmDPyoTC
    Top reporting from three as usual calling the back down of the government a ” show of force” and then not bothering to tell us what the protest was about.

  24. greywarshark 26

    Tough times being in coalition with the Brit RW during times of depression. (A Guardian piece about past politics.)

    [Ramsay] MacDonald, still reviled in some leftwing circles as a class traitor, was abandoned by most of his Labour colleagues and by the Liberals, when as Labour prime minister in 1931 he accepted George V’s invitation to head a coalition government with the Tories during the economic slump.

    Home Office files [released today at the National Archives at Kew] show that in office he became powerless even to insist on the just treatment of the communist leaders of the hunger marches – though some of them had been close colleagues in the founding years of the Labour party….
    …Home Office files… show that MacDonald was “broken-hearted” over his failure to secure the release of the veteran trade union agitator Tom Mann, a leader of the 1889 “great dock strike” and a founder of the Transport and General Workers’ Union.

    The first marches took place in 1927, and Churchill, then chancellor, told the home secretary he was concerned that those taking part were getting into “a very distressed condition” and thought their arrival in London, “footsore and hungry,” would create a difficult situation. He wanted them intercepted while some distance from London, “treated decently and tactfully, but turned back somehow or other”.

    The Home Office was apparently not very interested, regarding them more as figures of farce than dangerous revolutionaries. MI5 reports said the Lancashire group had proved the most difficult: they had demanded hotpot when they reached Manchester and had to be dispersed with a hose.

    …But as unemployment mounted and the marches became a regular feature in British life, attitudes hardened. In the winter of 1932 the biggest of the hunger marches ended in a 200,000-strong demonstration in Trafalgar Square and brutal clashes with the police, and the leaders of the NUWM were arrested, including Tom Mann, 76.
    http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/oct/20/past.politics

    Could NZ summon a proportionate number of protesters? And how would we be treated by the majesty of government. Tasered? Shot at? If UNACTS took off their masks the Dorian Gray personas would be nasty.

  25. BLiP 27

    Testing – 1 2 3

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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 9
    . . 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
    4 days ago
  • Death to our lockdown enemies!
    We must root out the traitors among us! ...
    Imperator FishBy Scott Yorke
    5 days 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Maybe axing Clark would be unfair. But what about any of this is fair?
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    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 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
    5 days ago
  • Returning To “Normalcy”.
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    5 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 ...
    5 days ago
  • Corona fevers and the madness of models
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Outsiders.
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    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    7 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
    7 days ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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 ...
    7 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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, ...
    1 week ago

  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
    More New Zealanders are taking up the chance to work in horticulture as the sector keeps New Zealanders fed and in jobs during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown. “Our horticulture sector has long been one of New Zealand’s export star performers, contributing around $6 billion a year to our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
    The Provincial Development Unit is working through applications and projects to see where Provincial Growth Fund money can be repurposed for initiatives deemed more critical to fighting the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. “We need to be throwing everything we have at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
    The Government’s wage subsidy to protect jobs and keep workers and businesses connected during the lockdown has now supported over a million New Zealanders, with $6.6 billion already paid out. “We’re supporting businesses to pay wages, and stay connected with their workers so that we are all in a better ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
    The Government is stepping up efforts to help protect New Zealand’s Pacific communities in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet has agreed that $17 million will be allocated to support a COVID-19 Pacific Response Package, which will: Support Pacific health and disability services facing increased demand; Ramp up public health messaging ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
    “Yesterday evening the Health Minister advised me of his trip to a beach during the lockdown and offered his resignation,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “Under normal conditions I would sack the Minister of Health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses.  “But right now, my priority is our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Statement from David Clark
    Last night as part of my preparation for the Epidemic Response Committee, I provided the Prime Minister with a complete picture of my activity outside my home during Alert Level 4.  That included the fact that on the first weekend of the Alert Level 4 lockdown I drove my family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
    A range of support is being rolled out across New Zealand to help people look after their mental health during COVID-19 Health Minister David Clark said this morning. “COVID-19 has brought a lot of uncertainty into our lives and many of us will be feeling some level of distress or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
    The New Zealand Government has made arrangements to charter a flight for New Zealanders stranded in Peru to depart the country, following agreement with the Chilean government to allow the necessary transit through Chile, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced today. “Like many travellers around the world at the moment, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
    Hospital preparations for COVID-19 are well advanced says Health Minister David Clark. “Hospitals across New Zealand are repurposing buildings and training staff to get ready for COVID-19 patients. This gives me confidence that we are well prepared for any potential increase in COVID-19 patients needing hospital level care,” said David ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days 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
    5 days 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
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    6 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
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
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