Open Mike 15/06/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 15th, 2017 - 83 comments
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83 comments on “Open Mike 15/06/2017”

  1. Ed 1

    The brighter future…………..

    ‘Parents with children in kindergarten could face a price hike of up to $700 a year’

    • Ed 1.1

      The brighter future…………..

      Southland man’s benefit couldn’t cover his power bills – so he’s been living without it

      • Sabine 1.1.1

        now living rural, let me assure you that there are a lot of people living with little to no electricity.

        line charges + consumption makes for hefty bills. And this years consumption over winter is averaged and rises your line charges for next year.

        i have yet to use the electric heater. Its fire place and gas. Currently we are at a balmy +5 degrees in the house on average and + 10 where i sit and type.
        But sun is up, so all good. Soon it will get warm in here. hahahahahaha
        yeah, living rural in certain areas is not for the fainthearted.

        • RedLogix

          Yeah I know that’s a reality alright; been there and done that myself. Not so fond memories of getting up one morning to find a glass of water frozen over on the kitchen bench. OK when you’re young, not so OK as the years go by.

          WHO have long recommended that the minimum overnight temperature should not go below 16 degC, otherwise there are long-term health risks.

          Absolutely as a nation we should be ashamed of the number of people tucked away out of sight living in very reduced circumstances; no power, telephone, sod all heating if any. As I type this I have in mind some very vivid memories of encountering just this. It’s bloody wrong at every possible level.

    • JanM 1.2

      This has been a long-term plan by the management of at least some of the kindergarten associations with right-leaning attitudes

  2. Ed 2

    The brighter future…………..

    Farm owners fined $21k for under-paying migrant workers

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      When he should have had the farm taken from him and it given into Landcorp’s care. And he gets to keep all of the debt and never be allowed to own a business or be in an administrative position ever again as he’s shown that he just isn’t worthy of it.

      • Kevin 2.1.1

        This is the reality about the immigration issue. Noting to do with ‘lazy’ kiwis. Its all about fucking over the immigrants like in the third world.

  3. Ed1 3

    Trying again:
    A few weeks ago I saw an excellent graph showing government debt in billions, from the start of the Labour-led government to now – a clear downward curve until National’s tax cuts just after they were elected and a clear upwards curve from then.

    Does anyone have a link for it?

    I’d also be interested in a table over the same period of government surpluses or deficits. Some National apologists appear to be under the impression that National have achieved a period of large surpluses which have wiped out government debt!

    • tc 3.1

      How about a list of all property national have flogged not just in the contentious state housing lolly scramble but across police, doc, education, health etc etc

      When the local police can’t bring in a new member due to there not being anywhere for him and his family to live you have effectively impaired the operational effectiveness.

      All because they sold the house they used for that exact purpose in a booming coastal town, bet someone did nicely out of that deal.

      Then there’s fire station sites in strategic suburban sites like akl’s takapuna moved to glenfield and flogged to a resthome crowd. The local community members I spoke to still scratch their heads at that one as the brigade is further away now should those multi million high rise boxes planned ignite.

    • Molly 3.2

      Hi Ed1,

      Way back when (2013) I posted this on the Standard, regarding the Reserve Bank reporting, which stopped the existing easily accessible reporting on the Government Debt which was held on a spreadsheet – E3 and replaced it with a navigation of sorts.

      (I still have a copy of that E3 spreadsheet if anyone at TS wants me to send it in. (Historical figures from Mar 1993 – Dec 2012))

      I’ve just checked and it seems that that convoluted system has changed again, but I’m sure the information is hidden there somewhere.

      Original post on the access to government debt figures below:

      “Now you have to visit Statistics NZ, Open/download the Balance of Payments and International Investment position Quarterly report, select Table 11: International financial assets and liabilities then and add two figures together to get the debt:
      Add Line 29 General Government + Line 30 Monetary Authorities to get the same data that has been reported in the discontinued Reserve Bank report.

      To save some time (and sanity) the latest figures are below:
      2012 Dec $52.481 billion (same as final data on Reserve Bank spreadsheet)
      2013 Mar $56.773 billion
      2013 June $50.913 billion”

      • greywarshark 3.2.1

        Thanks Molly for that info which is probably what I was begging for earlier. But the fact that we need understandable base historic information is still of prime importance, and needs to be referred to constantly.

        We need to remember what that politician turd in Canada did with environmental records carefully noted and conserved and built up over years, he destroyed them. We need to be aware of how quickly a mass of anything can be destroyed by modern nihilists and skewed psychopaths. People who get into positions of power for a few years can turn around like religious fanatics and wipe out the historical monuments and records to higher thought and understanding in a few days.

        (By the way has anyone noticed how fast some professionals and advisors speak, it’s like their specialised interest and subject has entered their brain cells and pours out without conscious thought.)

    • greywarshark 3.3

      Ed1 asked yesterday for some graphs as he has today. Could someone who is onto this sort of thing come to the party with them. If you know the right location, pathway and butons to press you can help us through the maze. Please.

      And we have to keep looking back at useful truthful reliable trustable information to set ourselves straight again as we get buffeted with waves of stuff every day, whuich has to be prioritised just to allow it space to settle in our minds. So someone might ask the same question in another three months. Let’s be kind to each other and not snap ‘We’ve already been told that’.

      • Molly 3.3.1

        Since posting the initial reply to Ed1, I’ve had a bit of a play around with the new tables and spreadsheets available from the Reserve Bank, but I haven’t yet been able to find the corresponding lines and figures from the original post I made in 2013.

        Changes to reporting and statistics make it difficult to have access to historical figures and trends.

        Would also be interested if anyone else knows how to retrieve the Government debt figures from the Reserve Bank.

  4. Wayne 4


    The new station is about 2kms away from the old one. I would say it is now better located to cover the area it is supposed to service, which is Takapuna and as far north as Sunnynook and Forrest Hill. Previously while Takapuna town centre was within a 1 km of the service station, these other suburbs were out on a limb.

    Devonport is also supposed to shift to Belmont which makes sense.

  5. Molly 5

    There is some sobering reading in regards to the fire at Grenfell tower, on a community blog site: Grenfell Action Group.

    If you follow up this reading with a visit to the KCTMO (Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation) you will see their blogposts on the incident. Short, and understandably focused on the well-being of the tenants at present:

    “It is too early to speculate what caused the fire and contributed to its spread. We will co-operate fully with all the relevant authorities in order to ascertain the cause of this tragedy.

    We are aware that concerns have been raised historically by residents. We always take all concerns seriously and these will form part of our forthcoming investigations. While these investigations continue with our co-operation, our core priority at the moment is our residents.”

    … but it seems to be that despite concerns, investigations were not currently happening. The sentencing has been carefully constructed to give the impression that “forthcoming investigations” are current, by starting the next sentence with “while these investigations continue“.

    The care with which these statements are constructed, seem to be missing from the care taken to look after the tenants, given the historical concerns raised by the group.

  6. Glenn 6

    Grenfell tower developers decided to go for the cladding without the fire retardant mineral….

    Cladding is a material attached to a building’s frame to create an outer wall.

    The purpose of cladding – which can be made from wood, metal or plastic – is to prevent condensation and to let water vapour escape.

    But adding cladding to tower blocks creates an additional fire risk, according to some experts.

    The material can be flammable and it also creates a cavity that traps other burning material between the cladding and the building.

    Grenfell Tower underwent a £10.3 million renovation project in May 2016 and was fit with insulated exterior cladding and double-glazed windows.

    In the early hours of this morning, the fire at Grenfell tower spread to the cladding outside.

    ‘The cladding went up like a matchstick’, according to reports by one resident.

    The building was clad with polyester powder-coated (PPC) aluminium rain-screen panels, according to the Guardian.

    Some have described it as ‘polystyrene-type’ cladding – and it may have been clad in the cheaper.

    According to Reynobond’s website, the manufacturer of the panels, they come in two variants.

    One version a polyethylene core, which is a type of plastic, and flammable.

    Another version comes with a fire retardant mineral and has a higher resistance to fire.

    Grenfell tower developers decided to go for the cladding without the fire retardant mineral, which could be seen burning and melting in the early hours of this morning.

    Another issue is the process of applying the rain-proof frontage can create a 25mm-30mm cavity between the cladding and the insulation behind it.

    Arnold Tarling, chartered surveyor and fire expert with property firm Hindwoods, said this can have the effect of creating a ‘wind tunnel and also traps any burning material between the rain cladding and the building’.

    He said: ‘So had it been insulated per se, the insulation could fall off and fall away from the building, but this is all contained inside.’

    He added not all insulation used in the process is the more expensive non-flammable type.

    ‘So basically you have got a cavity with a fire spreading behind it.’

    Angus Law, of the BRE Centre for Fire Safety Engineering at the University of Edinburgh, said: ‘Early media reports suggest that this event has similarities with other fires that have occurred recently around the world.’

    He added: ‘The UK’s regulatory framework for tall residential buildings is intended to prevent the spread of fire between floors and between apartments.

    ‘If spread of fire does occur, as has happened at Grenfell Tower, the consequences are often catastrophic.’

    Construction firm Rydon, which carried out the refurbishment of the exterior of Grenfell Tower which finished last year, installing cladding and new windows, said its work ‘met all required building control, fire regulation, and health and safety standards’.

    Design specifications suggest the renovation work carried out at Grenfell Tower included a 50mm ‘ventilated cavity’ next to 150mm of Celotex FR5000 insulation.

    This insulation, according to Celotex, has a Class 0 rating under UK building regulations, meaning it has the highest rating for preventing the spread of flames and prevents the spread of heat.

    In July last year, the 75-storey Sulafa Tower in Dubai Marina went up in flames, following a number of similar fires in the Middle East, including one at the 63-storey The Address Downtown Dubai on New Year’s Eve 2015.

    James Lane, head of fire engineering at BB7, told IFSEC Global last July: ‘Another high-rise apartment block is apparently victim to the poor fire properties of its external cladding.

    ‘Any building constructed before the 2013 change in the local fire codes will be at risk from this kind of rapid and extensive fire spread unless major work is undertaken in the region to replace combustible insulation core cladding panels with a suitable alternative.’

    • RedLogix 6.1

      And from The Guardian:

      “A disaster waiting to happen,” is how the architect and fire expert Sam Webb describes hundreds of tower blocks across the UK, after the fire at Grenfell Tower in Kensington that has left at least six people dead. “We are still wrapping postwar high-rise buildings in highly flammable materials and leaving them without sprinkler systems installed, then being surprised when they burn down.”

      Webb surveyed hundreds of residential tower blocks across the country in the early 1990s and presented a damning report to the Home Office, which revealed that more than half of the buildings didn’t meet basic fire safety standards. He said: “We discovered a widespread breach of safety, but we were simply told nothing could be done because it would ‘make too many people homeless’.

      “I really don’t think the building industry understands how fire behaves in buildings and how dangerous it can be. The government’s mania for deregulation means our current safety standards just aren’t good enough.”

      • joe90 6.1.1

        It gets worse.


        Experts and politicians are pointing fingers in an effort to explain what caused the devastating Grenfell Tower fire in London that killed at least 12 and injured dozens more on Wednesday morning. Quite unfortunately, all fingers appear to be pointing in the same direction, at a new aluminum rainscreen cladding installed, in part, to make the building more attractive to wealthy neighbors in luxury flats nearby.

        • Johan

          To joe90,
          It must be obvious to any student having taken high school chemistry that the metal, aluminium or a partly made aluminium product is highly flammable at high temperatures. Remember the British made aluminium navy vessels that were easily ignited by French exocet missiles during the Falklands War.

          • joe90

            Remember the British aluminium navy vessels that were easily ignited by exorcit missiles during the Falkland War.

            An urban myth, apparently.


            There are many misconceptions and incorrect stories regarding the use of aluminum in warship construction.

            One common story is that HMS Sheffield, a destroyer sunk during the 1982 Falkland War, was lost because her alleged aluminum superstructure made her more vulnerable to damage. This story is completely untrue, because Sheffield’s superstructure was not aluminum. Like all ships of her class, her hull and superstructure were entirely steel. Aluminum played no role in her loss.

            Two Royal Navy warships lost during the Falklands War did have aluminum superstructures, and their loss is incorrectly attributed to this feature. Ardent was hit by seven 500- and 1000-pound bombs, plus at least two more bombs which failed to detonate, and sank some six hours after the attack. Any warship of her size, regardless of aluminum or steel construction, would likely be sunk by this many bombs, so aluminum cannot be blamed here. Antelope, another aluminum-superstructure ship, was struck by two bombs, which lodged in the ship but failed to explode. Later, while one of the bombs was being defused, it exploded, blowing a major hole in the hull and starting a large fire. The fire eventually reached the magazines, causing these to explode. Again, an aluminum superstructure appears to have little connection to the ship’s loss, which was caused by the explosion of the bomb and the magazines.

            A related story claims the US Navy and Royal Navy abanonded aluminum superstructures, in favor of steel, as a result of the Falklands war. Since aluminum superstructures played little or no role in the Falkands losses, this story is obviously untrue. The Royal Navy’s switch to steel appears to be a result of a 1977 fire in the frigate Amazon. In the US Navy, the switch from aluminum to steel superstructures was a result of the 1975 collision between the carrier John F. Kennedy and the cruiser Belknap. The collision caused major fires aboard the cruiser, and her aluminum superstructure essentially melted; she was reduced to a badly burnt hulk. This incident lead to a decision to adopt steel superstructures in the next new warship class, the Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) class destroyers. This decision had been made prior to the Falkands War.


      • greywarshark 6.1.2

        I noticed in the link that maui put up, the street-wise were saying that the building exterior had been done up to look good for people overflying the area, rather than adding value for the people living in it.

        And this from RedLogix piece says it all in accordance with the information that we hear reiterated, (just thinking back to the government’s careless attitude to the building of Christchurch’s earthquake collapsed building.)

        “I really don’t think the building industry understands how fire behaves in buildings and how dangerous it can be.

        The government’s mania for deregulation means our current safety standards just aren’t good enough.”

      • Mrs Brillo 6.1.3

        This is vile.
        How does the NZ situation compare – anyone know?
        Or haven’t we even looked?

  7. One Anonymous Bloke 7

    Nothing we didn’t already know, this graph illustrates exactly what needs to happen in September.

    Young people have to get out and vote.

    Looking at the whole survey, the Left could do well to focus on the health sector when talking to the over 50s. Again, nothing we didn’t already know.

    • gsays 7.1

      I was talking to a young (30) chap at work.
      He is going to vote for the first time this year. In the past it was irrelevant, nothing to do with him.
      He reckons he is voting for a future, voting for those who are the next generation.
      Congratulated him heartily.
      Matters not for whom he votes, he is engaged in the process.
      I will be encouraging others to be enroll band vote in the mainly early 20’s workforce.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Nothing we didn’t already know, this graph illustrates exactly what needs to happen in September.

      Still the oldies fucking over the young.

  8. Bearded Git 8

    If you can believe Richard Harman apparently English is the only member of the cabinet that supports resolution 2334 that opposes the illegal Israeli settlements continually being built in Palestine. This says everything about the National Party. It’s here:

    Interestingly English slapped Brownlee down. Maybe he should have thought a bit longer before appointing the least diplomatic person on the planet as our chief diplomat? The slap-down is described here:

    “But Brownlee had to endure a humiliating public put-down from English over his RNZ interview. In a May 8 press conference, English said: “We’re not describing it (the resolution) as premature,” he said. “Our role in the resolution was that it expressed Government policy. “The resolution was expressing long-standing Government policy – in fact, a long-standing commonly held international view.””

  9. Cemetery Jones 9

    Good old Saudi Arabia.

    Reminds me of that time the stadium full of Turkish football fans responded to a requested minute’s silence for victims of the Paris attack by chanting Allahu Akbar.

    • Molly 9.1

      It’s not that I don’t have empathy for the victims, but I don’t necessarily think that calling out the Saudi soccer team merits a news item – let alone an international one.

      I remember approaching the referee (at half time) of a soccer match in 2010 after he had lined up the eight and nine years olds and told them to stand in silence for the Elim students who died in the tragic Mangatepopo canyoning accident.

      I asked why this occurred and he said that a couple of those students played soccer. Not at the club that was holding the match, not at the club that were visitors, but at another location. When I said that I thought this was a mawkish act to visit on young players he advised that all coaches and referees had been asked to do this by the national soccer organisation and that I should take it up with them.

      A couple of brief emails (politely answered) led to the conclusion that the organisation considered it appropriate to advise all soccer teams to have a minute of silence before the commencement of each game because of the participation in soccer of a couple of the students.

      I still feel uneasy about the enforced public display of sympathy on young people who didn’t have an understanding of what they were doing and why. It seemed an appropriation to me. Even worse, some of those young players would no doubt have had personal tragedies that were not acknowledged in any way by their own teams and clubs, and the difference would have been felt.

      • Cemetery Jones 9.1.1

        When it comes to the politicisation of children and their leisure time, I couldn’t agree more.

        Thankfully, the Saudi international football team were not children, they were grown ups who more than capably understand the symbolic value of solidarity and condemnation in the face of extremist violence. As noted in the article, Australians are feeling pretty raw about two women from their country being stabbed to death by jihadist men while enjoying their OE.

        • Molly

          “Thankfully, the Saudi international football team were not children, they were grown ups who more than capably understand the symbolic value of solidarity and condemnation in the face of extremist violence.”
          They are also from a country where violence and intolerance is a fact of life.

          Expecting them to behave differently because they have been asked to, brings to mind the fable of the snake and the frog. Or memorably, the character Shelley on Northern Exposure The Woman & The Snake. (Not that I think the Saudis are snakes, but the fable is about expecting change, when behaviour and nature has been pretty constant.)

          So, the excuse of cultural differences could be a valid one – or at least, understandable. To be considered before it is dismissed.

          It is our culture that expects public solidarity for incidents that cause us concern, and we note those who don’t participate.

          Are we are asking for genuine solidarity or just feigned? At what point does it lose meaning?

          • Cemetery Jones

            “Expecting them to behave differently because they have been asked to, brings to mind the fable of the snake and the frog.”

            How does this affect your view of migrants from this part of the world? Are they too morally incapable of behaving in a manner inconsistent with a Sharia country?

            And how is it that we can understand their culture, but they not ours? We understand that it is polite to not walk into a Mosque with our shoes on, or to walk the streets of Riyadh swigging from a whiskey bottle. To suggest that we are capable of understanding and complying with their conventions to avoid causing offence, but they aren’t with ours …. doesn’t that sound a bit condescending? Like saying they’re basically stuck in a state of permanent infancy, with no insight into the needs or motivation of the other?

            • Molly

              Yes. I agree with what you are saying in terms of acceptable behaviour.

              However, having received quite a vitriolic response from the referee, I note that even within our own culture we ask for conformity in behaviour – to extend that out to other cultures – and flag their non-conformity is an exercise in futility.

              The actions shown by the Saudi soccer team is disrespectful to the host nation.

              But there are many acts of westerners that are disrespectful of nations around the world, not least the military invasion of some of them, and the corporate displacement of communities and their access to natural resources. An current example in Iceland is the use of the the moss landscapes to create long-lasting meaningless graffiti.

              Essentially, the story is about a group of young men, acting disrespectfully at a football match in Australia who have the same disregard for victims of terrorists attacks in London, that similarly aged young men in Australia might have for victims of the Syria airstrikes ordered by the US government, or the recent terrorist attacks in Yemen.

              Are you so sure that an Australian team playing soccer in Saudi Arabia, would feel comfortable with a minutes silence for the atrocities committed in the Palestinian conflict? On either side?

              It borders on tokenism if it is not genuinely felt.

              But I’m partially conflicted, because it does show a lack of respect and tolerance, but I consider this to be an issue with many cultures. Including our own.

            • Molly

              “How does this affect your view of migrants from this part of the world? “
              It doesn’t. To begin with, migrants make the choice to leave because there appears to be a country that suits them better than their place of birth.

              We should understand this, as we have had NZers moving all over the earth for better opportunities.

              I don’t expect the behaviour of one group in a culture to determine that of the whole culture. Especially not those who have made a deliberate choice to leave.

              • Cemetery Jones

                Right, and that’s how it should be – because adults are quite capable of grasping that things are meaningful to others, and how nice it can be to recognize that for just a minute.

                So I’m glad the Saudis lost this game of football, winning after such an unnecessarily obnoxious display makes it all the more fitting.

                • Molly

                  (I’m going to stop soon, because I’m off to do something that would be illegal in Saudi Arabia, and while doing that will be teaching my daughter the same.)

                  I’m just wary of the development of media tropes that tends to lump all misbehaviours of certain cultures at a time when tension is already high.

                  Whenever, I read an article like the New York Post – I flip the story, to see if the same initial response I have to it would be duplicated if the players (ha!) in it were changed. eg. Australian players in Saudi etc.

                  In that case, I would understand the lack of knowledge and empathy that would accompany a refusal to participate. Even more so, if their team management responded to the request and not the players themselves.

                  Taking that note, in such a country as Saudi Arabia, who knows what would await a player that took it upon themselves to publicly disregard direction?

                  • Cemetery Jones

                    I know what you mean, I have a girl too, which is why I’m very suspicious of ideologies which don’t think much of them.

                    The script flip is a great way to look at this. Last I checked, sympathy for Palestine was very widespread in the West. I see Free Palestine t-shirts and bumper stickers all the time. Sympathy for the victims of radical Islamic terrorist attacks on the west in countries like Saudi or Turkey though? Well, I guess the actions of a single football team is perhaps not the greatest sample, but a stadium full of thousands?

                    It’s perfectly reasonable to be concerned.

          • Stuart Munro

            The last Saudi king was considerably more enlightened than the current one. This doesn’t affect laws – they don’t change them often – but the severity with which they are enforced. A woman who drove a car who had been left alone has now been subjected to prosecution for example.

  10. Muttonbird 10

    This from section 2.2 of the SSC document “Guidance for the 2017 Election period”

    Programme launches and events
    Key points
    -Agencies should continue to support Ministers with ‘business as usual’ initiatives during an election period.
    -Particular care is needed around ceremonial events to avoid perceptions of being associated with any political aspects of such events.
    There is no blanket restriction on Ministers wishing to launch programmes or initiatives in the lead up to the election. In general, the business of government should continue and State servants should support Ministers with ‘business as usual’ initiatives. However, the nature and timing of high profile ceremonial events (e.g. building openings or award ceremonies) must be carefully considered.
    During an election period, there is a risk that public launches and events may take on a ‘party political’ character that would not be evident at other times. This is particularly so when Ministers and/or MPs are involved in the event.
    In general, State servants should support Ministers as usual, but must be vigilant in avoiding association with any political aspects of such events. Particular care must also be taken with the preparation of supporting material. All agency material must remain strictly impartial and factual to avoid any perceptions of being associated with any party political messages (see ‘advertising campaigns’ directly below).

    The ceremonial opening of the problematic $1.4B Waterview Tunnel is on Sunday 18 June just 5 days out from the official beginning of the 2017 election period on Friday 23 June when much greater scrutiny is applied to the use of ‘public launches and events’ for party political purposes.

    Coincidence? Think not.

    In fact there is still no opening date although somewhere around Sunday 09 July would be a good guess as the school term ends on Friday 07 July. Isn’t it odd then there might be a three week gap between the ribbon cutting and a still un-named opening date?

  11. Ad 11

    Trump is now under investigation for obstruction of justice.

    Hang in there for a full term Donny.
    Democrats need the full 4 years to renew.

    • Cemetery Jones 11.1

      I think this strategy stands to backfire terribly for the Democrats. The Russia stuff is rapidly coming to nothing, and this new turn probably will too. Suddenly the midterms will be upon them. Most of the races are for seats currently held by Dems, so there’s more for them to lose than to win. They are leaderless, lacking much of an agenda beyond ‘but muh Russians’, and they’ve really just put their feet up and hoped that the outcome of these hearings will be all the messaging they need.

      If the outcome of these hearings fails to deliver the headshot (and how many times did they claim in the campaign that one scandal or another would be just that?), it will be the Republicans who go to town on pointing out that the Democrats asking people for their vote have spent the last 2 years playing sore loser and whining to little effect. Look how badly the Republicans got burnt trying to play those games. It’s an absolute turnoff, but the Dems have repeated the mistake.

      Sanders had a strategy, but idiots like Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t get on board. He said, support Trump on things which matter – bringing back jobs, opposing TPPA (ok, not I understand why Pelosi wasn’t on board) – but oppose him hard on things like medical, taxes, immigration reform. That was a strategy, that was something you’d be able to put in front of voters after 2 years and demonstrate that you’d been putting the work in and preparing to make Trump a one termer. But Russia.

      • Ad 11.1.1

        “rapidly coming to nothing”?

        All we have so far is the early stages of multiple investigations, which are all still widening.

        After that we have the findings, and the media hits from that.

        After that we have determinations on who gets to face charges or sanctions. At which point there will be White House firings.

        After that we have trials.

        After that we have sentencings.

        After that we have a further wave of White House restructuring, and a whole bunch more pressure on the President himself.

        And all of the above has big media implications, at each stage.

        After that we have the President on record polling lows – far lower than now. And no-one in the Republican dominated Congress or Senate willing to come anywhere near him let alone propose legislation.

        After that we are in to the next Presidential election.
        With the whole White House swinging and attracting flies like a 6-week cow corpse hauled out of a river.

        That is what the Democrat renewal programme seems to look like right now, and it seems to be going just fine.

        • Cemetery Jones

          Innuendo in the Washington Post isn’t a hit, it’s an echo. Do you think ordinary Americans read it? Trials and sentencing only follow if someone gets found guilty, and given how much of a flop Comey’s star testimony has been, it’s really not looking great – especially when you compare it to the potential which Bernie’s approach offered as an opposition strategy.

          And we’re going by polls on Trump now? Isn’t this an age of learning things, or just when it gives us a narrow loss for Corbyn? If we want more Corbyns and Bernies, we have to stop pretending that perpetual losers like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer are onto a winner. They’re a large part of the reason Trump won – much larger than the phantom menace of Putin.

          • Ad

            Definitely not the optimum Democrat renewal strategy, but it;s the one history has dealt them so that’s what they have to operate with.

            The Washington Post is not the only entity reporting – it’s everyone in the MSM and the main blogs. This is going to go all the way.

            And don’t need to worry about whether there was actual collusion with the Russian – the charges will be about Obstruction. The cover up. Which is all these political amateurs are doing now.

            • Cemetery Jones

              Well that’s exactly my point – the investigation is not widening, it’s slaloming, and each new path comes to yet another dead end. Russia! Oops, no. Comey’s testimony! Oops, no. Obstruction! By all means hold your breath…

              I don’t know what would be worse for them. To head into the midterms having spent all that sound and fury for nothing, or for nothing more than getting Flynn, Kushner, or Sessions on a minor technicality or two. Where in the real world of ordinary people would you trumpet that as a productive use of two years’ work. You think that’s the sort of thing middle Americans relate to? Oh yay, after hyped up promises and a thousand breaking news banners of Russian spies, presidential lies, impeachment, corruption, and proof of a stolen election we get …. proof Mike Flynn and Jeff Sessions told a couple of porkies, proof Jared Kushner tried to keep the intelligence services off administration comms with Russia, and maybe, just maybe, proof Trump leaned on Comey to be loyal to him and/or to leave things be with Flynn.

              So I do not for a minute agree that the Democrats are making the best of the situation they’ve been given. There’s nothing wrong with letting those hearings take their course, but why are they sitting on their hands in the meantime? They clearly have no clue about how the electorate feels about work, about producing. Two years for outcomes which are already shifting into less relevant arenas? That does not make returning your local Democrat in a marginal seat look like bang for buck.

              As I keep reiterating, Sanders proposed a strategy and they spurned it – probably because it was an embarrassing reminder that they chose the wrong leader, and that’s why they are where they are. He and Corbyn understand what Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and their ilk will never understand at this rate: protest without proactivity just pisses working people off, especially if it seems to amount to the square root of fuck all.

              • joe90

                the investigation is not widening,

                It looks to be widening by the day as Mueller stacks his team with experts in campaign finance violations, money laundering and Eastern Europe organised crime.


                • Cemetery Jones

                  All the while previous avenues are closing – so it’s not widening, it’s changing direction.

                  • joe90

                    it’s changing direction.

                    His own words led to the obstruction of justice investigation so perhaps he, his whelps and his proxies should STFU because every time they open their yaps, the hole gets bigger.

                  • RedLogix

                    Inclined to agree with joe. It’s usually not the crime that gets them, but the cover-up.

                    But having said that, unseating Trump is going to be a fraught and unpredictable process. And Sanders is working hard to be in the right spot if and when something happens.

                    • Cemetery Jones

                      Exactly – Independent senator Sanders is working hard. The Democrats? Last I checked, Chucky Cheese was running around trying to convince Antifa protesters to become Democrats. An apt summary of how clueless they really are.

      • WILD KATIPO 11.1.2

        Oh the webs we weave when we seek to deceive…

        Here’s another American perspective instead of the second hand news we get from our MSM and the bought and paid for CNN , FOX etc…

        Comey Admits That He And Mueller Have Already Rigged The Russia …
        Video for trump investigated by mueller alex jones▶ 11:54


    We had no problems telling Israel what we thought of their illegal settlements in 2016. It was a good day to be Kiwi when Resolution 2334 was announced.

    But now we hear Gerry did not support the resolution.

    I am not terribly surprised, at the same time quite disgusted. Gerry knew what he was doing when he said a few weeks ago he thought the Resolution was premature.

  13. “A man is taking former politician John Banks to court in a bid to prove the two-term Auckland mayor is his father.

    However, neither the 70-year-old nor his legal representative appeared in the High Court at Auckland for the start of the case.”

  14. greywarshark 14

    Hi Mod If you could push my ones out since 1.30pm I’d appreciate.

    [r0b: Sometimes there isn’t a mod about, sorry. I suggested you trying making an account / logging in a while ago?]

    • greywarshark 14.1

      I did try but it wasn’t proceeding as I expected and I left it. Next time it will be fine I am sure.

      • r0b 14.1.1

        Give it another try and post here what happens?

      • r0b 14.1.2

        I’ve been through the moderation list again and again and I have no idea why you are being caught every comment. I’ll ask lprent to have a look.

        • greywarshark

          No I’ll have a try when I get time to do more unsatisfying work. Nothing I am doing at present is yielding fruitful results so have to keep pegging on with what time and energy I can muster. So I’ll have another go and it may fall into place.

          This is a rant from hereon about me and on behalf of other people who don’t want their lives dominated by bloody machines and systems and apps.

          I hate having to learn all the time how to do basic operations and form filling that keep changing. Everything gets more complicated when we are promised simple fast and easy.

          Under the captcha in the CTU site the other day there was something about choice with three options, and I didn’t know what it referred to, I ignored it and seemed to be okay. There are little symbols for things and I don’t know what they refer to, and there is not a different symbol for each thing only a row of little oblongs that you have to interrogate with your mouse for identification.

          We are asked/ordered to use computers and on-line storage more and then have to adapt to system changes needed to prevent our communications being stolen or our machine being invaded by bots or something that are under the control of some faceless entity. My bank site has been adapted to make it more difficult for nasties to hack and I now need my cellphone to give me a confirmation number that I have to enter. Good, but it now takes extra time to do anything, first find cellphone, is it charged, is it in credit etc.I Then I find that if I want to copy a bank number when making a deposit I can’t have any spaces or dashes, and I have to copy from left to right or it won’t accept the number.

          There is less time available for actually thinking and doing things because you have to keep adapting to new changes to programs. It isn’t a Brave New World when everyone on line is trying to get at you and sell or steal from you. And you have to read a 10page document of Terms and Conditions before you can proceed with anything. Eddie Izzard got a huge laugh from his audience when he challenged them, – ‘I know none of you have read the T&C on anything. Ever.’

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