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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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openmikeOpen 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 …

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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