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Open Mike 15/11/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 15th, 2016 - 129 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

[In order to keep Open Mike and Daily Review free for other conversations, please put all discussion, comments, link postings etc about the US election under one of the posts about the Election]

129 comments on “Open Mike 15/11/2016”

  1. Ray 1

    I see “Red Alert” the Labour Party blog has started up again, must have been the quakes.
    Good to see the Left given another chance to put their views in front of the public without going through the media lens/distortion

  2. Cinny 2

    Is the outgoing PM to proud to accept help from other countries re the earthquake? Apparently we are equipped to handle it and offers of help have been turned down.

    Patsy Henry on the wireless assured listeners that the outgoing government has enough funds to cover it. Let’s hope those funds look after the people as much as the infrastructure, mental health is already failing kiwis. And those stressed by the quakes will need much ongoing support.

    Thinking of those on the east coast today, much love to you all.

    • Janice 2.1

      I thought the same C. I am sure the Red Cross, Sallies, et al would be pleased with any donations. Then i suppose if you have enough assets personally and no empathy for others, you turn down help automatically.

    • Red 2.2

      A bit of politics sprinkled with usual sanctimonious bs

  3. Bearded Git 3

    Is it just me or has there been very little reporting of the fact that 4 more states voted to decriminalise marijuana use at the same time as the Trump debacle?

    This means that marijuana use is decriminalised for almost a quarter of americans; I think the article below slightly understates the percentage.

    But as the Herald reports today there could be trouble brewing if Giuliani is appointed Attorney General.


    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Trump believes in medical marijuana, and states rights for other legislation regarding weed.

      [Sorry will keep the US stuff on the US threads now]

      [too late, I didn’t see your edit note until I was already in moderation mode and you could instead have removed your comment as the rules request. Banned one week for wasting moderator time when the rules on the election are clearly known – weka].

      [Seriously people, there was a huge amount of time and energy went into damage control yesterday, much of it invisible in the front end. Can we all please just take a step back and be kind and consider what we want this place to be – weka]

    • Bearded Git 3.2

      This comment was meant to be a general comment on the marijuana issue and not on the election of Trump.

      • In Vino 3.2.1

        To be fair, it is difficult to see why Bearded Git was not also banned on the same grounds. In his comment he mentioned Trump, 4 US States, and the fact that Guiliani may be appointed Attorney General. Surely such material must be expurgated from OM, and the writer punished? A different rule for CV?

        • Bearded Git

          I think the moderators look at track records In Vino, and you are wrong in any case as it was genuinely meant to be a “marijuana-issue” post.

          [lprent: We do. The intent of moderation is to protect the site against bad behaviour over the long term. So we look to see if something is part of a pattern of behaviour. We also have a strong degree of random in the sentences as well. The idea is that commenters should self-moderate, and that means that they need semi-random risk to limit the ability to ‘game’ rules. ]

        • weka

          As it happened, I was in the process of reading Bearded Git’s comment and trying to decide what to do about it, when CV’s comment came up. There have been people who have posted in OM where they’ve not been clear about whether what they were posting was ok or not. That’s fine up to the point where I start running out of time, but I have generally been ok about asking them to move their links.

          CV didn’t do that, he actively engaged in a conversation that was obviously going to be about the US election and intended to create more discussion about the US election (not cannabis law as the original comment was about). Further, he had time to rethink and instead of removing his comment he let it stand. He knows damn well about what the OM rules are about and this was yet another example of him overstepping the boundaries can creating problems for the site.

          That on top of all the other shit that’s gone down recently, on top of the huge amount of work moderating has been in the past few days, largely in part due to him, was why I banned him.

          As BG points out, patterns of behaviour are part of moderation, as are the time limitations of the moderator and what is going on elsewhere on site. I had intended to come back and ask BG to put his links elsewhere, but I ran out of time, so I didn’t bother. I also trusted most commenters to just not start talking about the election here and felt confident that they would use common sense.

    • adam 3.3

      I think this will play out similar to how votes for women played out.

      A reaction from the moneyed class to stem the tide of sanity prevailing.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      I’m pissed off that our representatives aren’t looking at full legalisation of marijuana. It’s the only rational position to choose. Keeping it illegal is only criminalising people who aren’t actually criminals and empowering those that are.

      They can’t even say that it’s a contentious issue. A plurality of people support full legalisation and slightly less people support decriminalisation (which is actually an illogical position – keep the same rules but just don’t enforce them?). Both together is a large majority.

      Full legalisation would probably garner significant support from the electorate.

      • adam 3.4.1

        I think so, almost everyone I speak to these days supports medical cannabis in one form or another.

        Even some of the old gate way crowd seem to be slowly accepting that it would be better if cannabis was legal, rather than illegal.

        I’m of the opinion, why put people in prison for taking drugs, when obviously if it’s done to excess, it a health issue, not a criminal one.

        • Andre

          Yeah, it seems pretty clear the harm done to society and individuals by criminalising drugs is vastly greater than the harm individuals do to themselves by using them.

  4. Muttonbird 4

    Carnage last night on the standard. TRP and Lanthanide went for a skate, and CV lost his writing privileges.

    Needed a bit of a shake up imo, so thanks to the moderators – keep up the good work.

  5. Morrissey 5

    So why CAN’T they be friends? After all, things weren’t
    always so unpleasant between Donald and Hillary.

    It will enhance your experience of reading this New York Times article if you listen to the YouTube clip at the same time.


  6. Penny Bright 6

    Know about this folks?


    A big turnout is expected for a March for Peace on Saturday November 19th at 2pm, starting from the Town Hall, Queen St, and organised by “People for Peace”.

    (This is an agreed complementary event to those organised by Auckland Peace Action, in the ‘Week of Peace Action’.)

    After the Weapons Conference blockade, the Peace Flotilla and warships – this is an opportunity for thousands to ‘stand up and be counted’ in the ‘traditional’ way – an Auckland march up Queen Street!

    Remember how we filled Queen Street on 4 February 2016 on our massive Queen Street march against the signing of the TPPA?

    Let’s make this march even BIGGER!


    Who benefit$?

    The same BIG business corporate 1% ….

    Penny Bright

  7. Is it possible for a general trump post where things like this can go. People are on the streets and id like a safe space to support them. Thanks.


  8. Mods please note that i dont want a T discussion here on OM and I am not going to engage with the rightie who does. That person knowingly and deliberately flours the rules of the site by trying to do that.

    • weka 8.1

      PR has been banned for the day.

    • Carolyn_nth 8.2

      I haven’t been closely following the US elections. I’m more interested in the international networks of left-wing people – and one that embraces more of a culture of collaboration (not competition), less income and wealth inequality, inclusion of diversity, etc.

      What recent overseas political wins of right wing parties and politicians, highlights is that racism, misogyny, homophobia, ablism, corporate power, demonisation of those on low incomes, anti-environmental sustainability, etc, never went away – in spite of many gains in some of these areas.

      So, as Monbiot published yesterday, we need a new narrative

      One that stresses we are socially connected animals, that can work well collaboratively, and unselfishly, for the betterment of all.

      • Bill 8.2.1

        I’m all up for that focus. The ”not be be mentioned election result over there” opens up an opportunity for the non-liberal democratic left – the progressive left – to get a move on and gain some traction.

        We already know that all the facets of the liberal establishment will act as a road block to any progress. The liberal core of political parties will fight to retain their grasp on power (eg UK Labour resistance to Corbyn and Democrats resistance to Sanders etc ) and that the entire media will be hostile (the same examples as just given, plus their reaction to Syriza, Chavez, and a long list of others.)

        Liberalism is dead – discredited in the eyes of voters who now vote for any prospect of change – and has to be buried or shifted out of the way unless we want understandable voter reaction to liberalism to deliver us 21st C fascism via the ballot box.

        Time for the progressive left to re-invigorate and offer up prospects for positive and meaningful change.

        • Carolyn_nth

          Thanks, Bill. I don’t identify with the term “liberal”. It always seemed to me to come more from the US mainstream of politics, as too often represented by the dominant voices in the Democrat Party.

          Liberalism to me is a pretty centrist to centre-right thing. It promotes individualism over collective and collaborative ways of organising. It promotes the false notion of “meritocracy”.

          The term “liberal” seems to have gained in currency in NZ, and maybe the UK, in recent decades (post 1980s), when Thatcher et al began to strongly demonise words like “socialism” – and by extension democratic socialism and social democracy.

          We need to maybe reclaim some of the once positive terms and values of the left, and/or develop some new ones more suited to the 21st century context.

          One thing earthquakes show is the natural human response is to help and support others as best they can, with whatever resources are available.

  9. Morrissey 9

    U.K. correspondent speaks breezily of Britain violating international
    law—and Guyon Espiner seemingly oblivious, merely snickers.

    RNZ National, Tuesday 15 November 2016, 8:45 a.m.

    We’ve seen before how the lack of serious reading and its consequence, a lack of knowledge, by RNZ hosts like Kathryn Ryan, John Campbell, Jesse Mulligan, Wallace Chapman, and Bryan Crump too often leaves them prey to clever political spin and to guests who are sometimes nasty, cynical, or fanatical—and often all three at the same time.

    Just as concerning, though, is the seeming lack of any professional discrimination by the Morning Report team. Susie Ferguson seems just as susceptible as her predecessors (like Geoff Robinson or, in a best-forgotten spell in the early ’90s, the notoriously ill informed Mike Hosking) to swallowing and regurgitating wholesale any political spin coming out of Whitehall or Washington, D.C. And, as horribly demonstrated in the following interview with Dan Whitehead, her colleague Guyon Espiner is not much better.

    This morning Espiner devoted three minutes to discussing the latest moves against publisher and journalist Julian Assange, who has been the object of U.K. and government fury ever since he released evidence of U.S. forces murdering Iraqi civilians, as well as the even more damaging release of government files revealing massive criminal enterprises perpetrated by the U.S. and U.K. against not only nameless and unheeded Pakistanis, Iraqis and Yemenis but against the citizens of their own countries. It will come as no surprise to anyone to learn that neither Guyon Espiner nor Dan Whitehead even so much as mentioned the “Collateral Murder” video or any of the other state crimes Assange has revealed to the world.

    The truly terrifying passage starts from the 2:14 mark on the tape. Dan Whitehead, without betraying the slightest sign that he understands the enormity of what he is saying, suggests that the U.K. government might bestow on itself “extra powers to go inside the Embassy and bring him out.” If the U.K. government, no doubt being hectored and bullied by the State Department, actually bowed to this pressure and took such a step, that would be a grave, unprecedented violation of the right to political asylum, leading to predictable consequences all over the world. That someone, even a cynical British radio flack, could say such a thing without a second thought is worrying enough, but even worse was the fact that Guyon Espiner did not react at all. Instead, all he had to offer was a “philosophical” little snicker/snort and an anodyne signing-off comment.

    GUYON ESPINER: Well let’s head overseas now, and after more than four YEARS holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, Julian Assange has been QUESTIONED by a Swedish PROSECUTOR over RAPE allegations, the Australian founder of WikiLeaks has DENIED the claim, he insists these claims are politically motivated, of course. Dan Whitehead is our correspondent in London. Dan, good morning to YOU. What do we KNOW about, errrr, how this process is playing out?

    DAN WHITEHEAD: Well very LITTLE, to be HONEST, I’ve spoken to the Swedish prosecution office, errrrr, this afternoon here in the U.K., and they have said they will be refusing to give a running commentary on the investigation as it continues. What we DO know is that the Deputy Chief Prosecutor of Sweden attended the Ecuadorian embassy behind Harrod’s, in Knightsbrige, here in London where Julian Assange has BEEN for more than four years now, she was in there for FOUR YEARS. Quite a convoluted legalese process which went under WEIIIGHHHH. Questions which were pre-arranged were ASKED to Julian Assange by a, an Ecuadorian, uh, official. Uh, there was opportunities for the Swedish, uh, prosecutor as well as a police representative to interject with follow-up questions but no NEW questions DURING these four hours. Uh, three days have been set aside here in London for the questioning, we DON’T know whether that, those days will be used, or whether the questioning has indeed, uh, been ended. Errrrm, but as it stands at the MOMENT, Julian Assange remains INSIDE the Ecuadorian Embassy, he is of course FIGHTING that extradition order over fears that he will be, uh, sent to the U.S.

    GUYON ESPINER: And what happens after those, uh, three DAYS?

    DAN WHITEHEAD: Well the Swedish authorities will review the evidence, errr, the ANSWERS which Julian Assange GIVES will be given to the Prosecution Office in Stockholm in a WRITTEN form. It is then up to the prosecutors in Sweden to see whether or not they have enough EVIDENCE, errr, to press those charges, and then we’re in another legal GREY AREA which really [snorts ruefully] has been the sign of this entire SAGA over the last four years, because it all depends on whether or not Ecuador then HAS to give UP, uh, its political ASYLUM, uh, so that he is sent to Sweden, or whether or not the U.K. gets extra powers, um, to i-indeed go inside the Embassy and bring him out. If this case is DROPPED, errr, which IS likely, which is not unlikely but is a POSSIBILITY, given that the other THREE charges against him were dropped last year—the prosecutors ran out of time—if this case is dropped it’s not the end of the ROAAAAD for Assange, he can’t simply walk OUTSIDE of the embassy here in London because heeeee, uh, the U.K. authorities could STILL arrest him, uh, because he BROKE BAIL, uh, his bail conditions during this extradition request from Sweden when he went INSIDE the Ecuadorian Embassy in the FIRST place. So the U.K. au-, police still have the authority to ARREST him under THAT charge of breaking BAIL conditions. So this saga looks set to continue.

    GUYON ESPINER: [snickering] It’s not gonna end any time SOON is it Dan! Thanks for that. Dan Whitehead from London.


  10. One Anonymous Bloke 10

    A number of other major Wellington buildings also remain closed on Tuesday including the Ministry for Primary Industries on the Terrace and Pipitea House, the home of New Zealand’s principal spy agencies and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

    From Fairfax’s Earthquake blog – takes a bit of scrolling down but!

    The rest of the report describes major damage to the BNZ building and “pancaked [ie: collapsed] floors” at Statistics House.

    Shades of the CTV building…?

  11. greywarshark 11

    The Coalition of Better Broadcasting is concerned about a number of moves that Radionz (RNZ) is making that will tend to weaken it and are in the pattern of selling off all government assets by the privateer government of National:

    You can sign a petition if you care about the quality of our national radio, actually having one to be a basis for transparency and real, factual information about funding for RNZ and not selling its assets.

    RNZ to sell one of its last assets
    You won’t read this in the news but New Zealand’s only non-commercial broadcaster is planning to sell its Auckland studios and rent them back from the new owners.
    Although RNZ deny it, this is obviously a result of the 8 year funding freeze. And while the much-needed cash will help in the short term, moving from landlord to tenant can only be bad news in the long term.

    CBB Trustee, Jym Clark has set up a petition calling on the Minister of Broadcasting to properly fund RNZ and save it from having to sell its Auckland studios.
    The petition gained over 10,000 signatures in just a week.
    We want it to keep growing so please sign the petition and then share it by email or on social media:
    In August we were pleased to read the Minister of Broadcasting, Amy Adams had agreed with our submission that online media should come under the control of the Broadcasting Standards Authority (BSA).
    NZ On Air funding shakeup

    In September NZ On Air announced a major change to all their funding programmes. This was barely reported at the time yet will have an effect on what we watch for years to come.

    The main thrust of the change is that more funding will be available for online projects as well as broadcast projects, which we see as a good thing. But there’s one very serious problem which could make it even tougher for non-commercial projects to get funding.

    NZ On Air are introducing compulsory requirements for platforms (websites or TV channels) to stump up money for projects they want funded. The danger is that non-commercial or minimally funded platforms will struggle to come up with the necessary money that commercial operators can provide.

    It could mean RNZ, the Wireless, Scoop, Public Address, NZ Geographic and many other under-funded or low-budget media can’t apply for reasonable amounts of funding.

    This rule could seriously limit innovation and end up funding more commercial media on the larger commercial platforms like TVNZ, Mediaworks and Fairfax.

    So we’re suggesting to NZ On Air that non-commercial media like RNZ and the Wireless shouldn’t be required to co-fund or find third-party funding. And that websites or channels with less turnover be treated with more lenience.

    The deadline for submissions to NZ On Air is this Friday 18 November.
    Will you help us ask NZ On Air to make it easier, instead of harder, for non-commercial and minimally funded platforms to get funding?

    Please email them directly and put this argument into your own words.
    If you’re short on time, we’ve created a standard email you can send instead.

    Outside of the strategy review, possibly the best thing any of us can do is to tell NZ On Air what we’d like to see more of. NZ On Air often receives letters of praise for their expensive Sunday dramas and it has a surprising impact on their decisions.

    So if you want to see more documentaries, or more kids TV, or current affairs, science, wildlife, educational or even expensive drama – let them know. A hand-written letter is perhaps even stronger – NZ On Air, PO Box 9744, Wellington 6141.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 11.1

      Thanks, this is very important. Just signed the petition.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        Oh good – now you are cooking with gas, as in the old saying. (Just felt another little earthquake,rolling. Thought you might like to know! You heard it first.)

    • Gangnam Style 11.2

      Selling buildings & renting them back is what NZ Post has done. Good short term thinking, lousy long term thinking.

  12. Scott 12

    I’m someone who seldom comments but when I do I normally have a view that is contrary to the consensus opinion. But I value the discussions I have about those issues. I thought discussions like that were the point, rather than this being some sort of self-affirming support group.

    It seems things got out of hand yesterday, far too personal. If there is to be interesting discussions I think civility is the key – from both sides of those discussions. Playing the ball, not the person. Discussion, not heated argument.

    I disagree with nearly all of CV’s opinions, but I am interested in what he has to say. It challenges my way of looking at things, and sometimes makes me think about things I had not considered. I hope that he returns, and when he does everyone can be a bit more civil.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Deliberately and persistently misrepresenting other’s opinions and beliefs is the very stuff of incivility. It renders debate not so much heated as munted.

    • Bill 12.2

      CV can still have posts published here and has merely brought a fairly short commenting ban upon himself for stupidly picking up his Trump/US election mega-phone on Open Mike in spite of it having been made clear that OM is a US election free zone for now (dedicated post for all of that etc).

      Civility – a pulling in of various heads. Yes. That would be nice.

      • McFlock 12.2.1

        bill – I just flipped you a gmail about another issue

        • Bill


          Am about 5 min from getting my shit together and heading to town. But will have a quick look.

          Anthony already updated his post to incorporate that, no?

          If a dedicated post – in a day or two to save on ‘double ups’?

    • weka 12.3

      I’ve missed a bunch of the uncivil comments, because I was putting out various fires for the site overall. Can you please link to what you are meaning, because I’d like to know what was happening? Maybe give 3 examples of the worst comments.

      I’d really like people to understand here that the issue isn’t one of people disagreeing with dissent. The long history of the arguments on the site demonstrates this. It’s that having an alt-right author and prolific commenter is literally driving people from the site. That affects commenters, other authors and the reputation of the site.

      In terms of commenters, I will still moderate anyone if I see abuse going on, but I also understand the dynamic that is happening. When you have an intolerable situation that goes on for a long time anger is going to escalate. And it’s not just about the election, it’s about a very long pattern of behaviour. If CV were at a public meeting in a left wing space and behaving like this, he would be getting the same degree of abuse, and eventually someone would have removed him. The one that really gets me is that so much of the energy of the commentariat has been sucked into this, instead of talking about other vital issues.

      We also lost a long time author yesterday. There is no way that any individual’s political views are more important than that and losing lots of commenters unless you believe that The Standard should be so political broad as to no longer mean the authors “share a commitment to the values and principles that underpin the broad labour movement”. There is a huge freedom for authors here to write what they want. CV overstepped the bounds on that sufficiently to mean it was no longer viable for him to have that freedom.

      I would also add, that in the absence of CV, there is no vacuum. There are plenty of other people around with divergent views. Time we heard from some of them.

      • Scott 12.3.1

        I’ll give you a personal example.

        I while back I tried to enter a discussion about polling to judge public opinion. Iprent (as an author here I assume I can name him without him being too concerned about that) responded. His response was interesting but contained completely unnecessary vitriol. I persisted, and in the end the discussion ended well.

        By vitriol I mean: “However your moron level of stupidity says that they are accurate in mid-term as a group when they are doing one or two polls a month and people are less decided. Give me a break – what are you? Someone who has never bothered to think about polls? By the sound of it, you are simply so ignorant that you have to be parroting someone else and doing it badly”.

        That is the sort of thing that I suspect would put off many with thinner skins. The same thing can be said without the vitriol. The vitriol invites a like response (which to my shame I took the bait and I did, even if in more measured tones). I finished my reply with “If you were not so busy insulting people, you might understand”. His reply was again rather vitriolic, finishing with “If you want to be a credulous fool who doesn’t understand the statistical limitations of polls, then just say say. Then I won’t bother insulting you. Until then I’ll treat you like the idiot spouting garbage like a parrot without thinking.”

        In my next comment I avoided taking the bait completely and in the end the discussion finished in civil tones.

        Beyond that personal example, I’ve often seen people being told to F off etc. I think you’re picking up and deleting up most of that with your moderation (an endless job I expect, and one I don’t envy) but it would just be better if commenters stopped doing it. Those people might benefit from short bans not just deletions, rather than those that just get too stubborn express views (and I appreciate there is more to the CV thing). I’m okay with that personally, I don’t have to read it or comment if I don’t want to.

        • weka

          Ah, unfortunately Lynn is not a great example. He has a special dispensation from the gods of the blogosphere because he is a founding member of TS, is a trustee, and is basically the only indispensable person of the whole shebang. I think his rudeness causes problems, not least because it sets the tone that others then aspire to. And yes, there are people that get put off. But I also think that of everything that is going on this is the least able to be changed and probably not the most important thing by a long mile.

          I wouldn’t moderate someone for saying F off and I doubt that any of the moderators are deleting content for swearing except for when it’s excessively mean or inflammatory. Content generally only gets deleted when it’s seen to cause a problem for the site eg defamation or flame war or serious attack on an author or trying to out someone. It’s a tricky one, because most moderators really don’t want to be removing what people are saying but sometimes it’s the most expedient thing to do.

          I like the short ban idea (and there are other mods too), but the thing for me is that it takes so much time. For any single moderation I have to open multiple pages, find the comment in the back end, cut and paste twice and the write the moderation notice for the front and back end. On a day like today I’m increasingly inclined to ban for longer and longer periods simply to reduce the work load. I think many people miss that about moderation.

          Bans are a good way to get commenters to change how they communicate, but again it takes a lot of work, and this is always being balanced up against the core ethos of the site that supports robust debate. I think the atmosphere is too aggro here, at the expense of the more intelligent debate. Personally, I appreciate when commenters take the time to talk about the problems and how they experience and perceive them.

          I think this goes a long way to explaining things,

          (courtesy of micky)

          • lprent

            You forgot dinosaur era (and current) computer programmer who has been around the social computer nets since 1980, and who has had an interest and reading fetish in everything associated with politics since about the same time.

            I’ve seen people try just about every damn line that there is, and tend to have a dislike of tedious conversation. I also don’t have much spare time for this site. So I short-circuit the conversation to find out if anyone has anything different to say.

            Most of the time I get irritated and very short-circuit when

            1. People address me directly or indirectly (for instance in my role as the sites sysop) and talk about things that they don’t understand.
            2. They make a flat statement of authoritative asserted fact – where the ‘fact’ is clearly wrong.
            3. I need to head off a daft circular discussion.

            If people avoid those things then I usually don’t bother biting heads off. If you do, then I have some ‘fun’.

            It does tend to make sure people get more careful about doing those things in future.

      • Bearded Git 12.3.2

        “The one that really gets me is that so much of the energy of the commentariat has been sucked into this, instead of talking about other vital issues.”

        +1000 weka I am convinced that this it is a deliberate tactic by right wing bloggers to channel this site into meaningless invective rather than serious and constructive discussion of policies and politics.

  13. Muttonbird 13

    Worryingly, Wellington’s number is up.

    There is an inevitability about another major event near Wellington if not in the next few months, then in the next few years.

    It’s a time frame seemingly too short to complete the earthquake strengthening projects underway or planned for.

    Life must go on but residents there must be urged to have full supplies and emergency kits updated, because it is going to happen.

  14. rhinocrates 14

    Originally aimed at the US Democratic Party but really should be read by the Labour front chaise longue, which is why I’m posting it here.

    Maybe there can be a discussion thread on Labour After Trump?


    The Democratic Party once represented the working class. But over the last three decades the party stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class – failing to reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violate them, or help workers form unions with simple up-or-down votes.


    View at Medium.com

    The Democrats have a stark choice right now: Whose Side Are You On, Democrats?

    There’s been some slow gestures at progress lately, but it’s been very Little very late and I still don’t expect Little to grow a backbone to deal with the neoliberals he’s been appeasing. I’ll cheer for a semi-rigid cartilaginous rod.

    [suggestions about posts people are interested in are always welcome with the caveat that authors may not have the time or will to do anything about it. Also feel free to either submit a guest post, or put up a draft in a comment. However, for now, in OM, please don’t put actual links about the US election. I’ll leave this for a while so you can save the links, and then I will delete them.

    Any further comments that include links or discussion about the US election will be deleted immediately – weka]

  15. Muttonbird 15

    PM to earthquake looters: ‘Be a decent human being’

    Everyone else to PM: ‘You first’


  16. Cinny 16

    Question time today is all earthquake related, however this question places an interesting angle on things.

    GARETH HUGHES to the Minister of Broadcasting: Will she join with me to acknowledge the work of all media in New Zealand, which is so important in times of natural disaster and crisis; if so, will she consider increasing our public broadcaster Radio New Zealand’s funding in Budget 2017?

  17. weka 17

    Not sure what to think about this yet, or what to trust, but on the face of it the Army Corps of Engineers appears to have just stopped the DAPL in the interim. DAPL needs the permission of ACOE to build on their land. Previously DAPL etc had been asked to stop work and had ignored that. Now they’ve been told.

    Washington, D.C. – Today, the Army informed the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Energy Transfer Partners, and Dakota Access, LLC, that it has completed the review that it launched on September 9, 2016. The Army has determined that additional discussion and analysis are warranted in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the Tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property.

    The Army invites the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to engage in discussion regarding potential conditions on an easement for the pipeline crossing that would reduce the risk of a spill or rupture, hasten detection and response to any possible spill, or otherwise enhance the protection of Lake Oahe and the Tribe’s water supplies. The Army invites discussion of the risk of a spill in light of such conditions, and whether to grant an easement for the pipeline to cross Lake Oahe at the proposed location. The Army continues to welcome any input that the Tribe believes is relevant to the proposed pipeline crossing or the granting of an easement.

    While these discussions are ongoing, construction on or under Corps land bordering Lake Oahe cannot occur because the Army has not made a final decision on whether to grant an easement. The Army will work with the Tribe on a timeline that allows for robust discussion and analysis to be completed expeditiously.

    We fully support the rights of all Americans to assemble and speak freely, and urge everyone involved in protest or pipeline activities to adhere to the principles of nonviolence.


    • weka 17.1

      oh yeah, then there is this from Myron Dewey,

      On Oct 8th when my drone was stolen by Jon Moll Morton country sheriff, I was documenting DAPL working at the 16 mile within the 20 mile buffer zone set by Obama. If they didn’t listen to the president of the United States then….why would they acknowledge the Army Corps of engineers?

      We are the last frontline of defense to stopping DAPL in the desecration of sacred sites and polluting the water.

      • Karen 17.1.1

        Sounds like the army is willing to talk but the local sheriff will carry on as before. Needs to be sorted in the next couple of months to have any hope of a resolution in favour of the protestors.

        • weka

          Some of the authorities are trying hard I think. That statement from the Army Corps looks like it was written by someone with actual social intelligence. Some of the police from further out seem to have taken ethical stands too. Which bodes well for the US, that there are still relatively good people in those positions.

  18. Rosie 18

    Since you have raised it, and as a constant and long time reader of The Standard commenting for only the second time, I am very surprised (Marty Mars) and extremely disappointed in the comments that have been directed to CV of late. For years I have defended The Standard against accusations of nasty, bullying behaviour that have been made by right wing acquaintances. Sadly, I now have to agree that the Standard is fast becoming no better than the popular right wing blogs. So, you don’t agree with him, neither do I at times. That is no excuse for the nasty, personal, abusive comments against CV that have been way too frequent . The occasional hasty, harsh retort can be overlooked, including those from CV. But the constant stream recently has become unacceptable. That includes the constant mis-representation of what he has said – something else I have long defended as not being a characteristic of this blog. Sort yourselves out. Please.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Karen 18.1

      “as a constant and long time reader of The Standard commenting for only the second time”
      Are you the same Rosie who used to comment quite frequently or a new Rosie? Or have I misunderstood this?

      I too dislike nasty, bullying behaviour but I understand why many on the left have become frustrated by CV. I had actually decided to not even read The Standard any more because of him and am returning only because he has been banned for a week.

      I find his promotion of what some call “alt-right” viewpoints deeply upsetting. I personally prefer the labels “neo-nazi” or “white supremacist” to “alt-right.” Of course, it is all sugar coated in concern for the working class (well, the white male section of the working class) but this to me makes it all the more dangerous. As for “misrepresentation of what he has said” – this is exactly what CV does to those who challenge him.

      • Draco T Bastard 18.1.1

        Are you the same Rosie who used to comment quite frequently or a new Rosie?

        It’s a new Rosie. You can tell by the different icon by the name.

        • McFlock

          Nah a while back the backend thingamy got chopped around and now people’s key-generated icons are different.
          Mine got changed, for example, even commenting without logging in.

          ps: Apologies for the technilicious terminology 🙂

          • Draco T Bastard

            This is what the long time commenter Rosie’s normal icon looks like. Completely different colour and design.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              The chopping and changing happened since then. My icon thingammy changed too. Your’s didn’t, because you substituted the generated one for your own image.

              • McFlock

                nah otoh draco might well be right, because my current icon looks the same when I view the page afresh, but using the wayback archive both that rosie and my own icons are different.

                although could be the same rosie w/different email…

              • Draco T Bastard

                Rosie has been commenting here for quite some time thus it can’t be the same person who’s commented here twice and who has a different icon.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Yes, I know she has. Are you saying her icon stayed the same when everyone else’s didn’t?

      • Rosie 18.1.2

        Not the same Rosie, sorry for the confusion. I forgot there was a previous Rosie. That genuinely was my second ever comment. First was when Pete George was a frequent visitor, spoiling every post and driving me nuts to the extent I stopped reading TS. We all interpret differently of course, but I have always found CV genuine in his “left-wing” views. True he annoys some by always having a go at Labour, since the problems he had with that party – don’t really know what that was all about. To me, some of the regular commenters have gone completely over the top recently.

        • McFlock

          lol that sorts the discussion about icons.

          I’m not touching the topic of CV with a bargepole 🙂

        • weka

          Thanks for coming back and clarifying. Can you please pick a different name? thanks,

          As for CV, he himself has declared over the winter that he is no longer left wing. Much of his politics around gender and identity politics are aligned with the alt-right, and he uses alt-right sources to back up his arguments that many lefties here find abhorrent. He doesn’t think that Trump is the lesser evil, he genuinely believes that Trump will make America great again, and thus positively supports policies that are going to do massive damage to many people in the US. If it quacks like a duck etc.

          If some regular commenters have gone over the top, I think it’s because of the damage he is doing to the site. It might not be the right way to go about it, but it might also be a last resort.

          • mauī

            That’s not my impression weka, recently I think after someone accused him of being right wing he said he supported Warrens and Sanders policies in the US. I’ve got no reason to doubt that. I may have missed where he stated he is now right wing though? There’s a breakdown of left and right politics at the moment/coming up and I dont see a problem with using right media sources to show where the lefts blindspots/issues are. Probably Cv has been too gloating in the way he’s gone about it, and I can see how that has ruffled too many feathers now.

            • weka

              That CV says he supports Warren and Sanders doesn’t mean what I just said isn’t true. And CV didn’t say he was RW, he said he is no longer LW. That’s on record a number of times, so people who keep seeing him as LW need to stop. Some of what he says might be LW of course.

              I agree about the breakdown of L/R. However there is a difference between right and alt-right. I was talking about alt-right. Whatever the source of the news it needs to be credible. Are you honestly saying that Fox is a useful source of news for left wing discourse?

              “Probably Cv has been too gloating in the way he’s gone about it, and I can see how that has ruffled too many feathers now.”

              CV ran rape apology lines for a couple of months on TS. That’s not all he has done, but I’m putting it out there to show that this isn’t about people disagreeing. This isn’t about ruffling a few feathers, please don’t minimise what people are saying is the problem here. People are leaving the site because of what he has created. It’s fucked up.

        • Karen

          That is going to be a bit confusing to have 2 people called Rosie. Can you add a number or a letter to yours seeing as the other Rosie has been much more prolific?

    • Garibaldi 18.2

      I too am concerned. I would like to raise with the moderators an anomaly I see happening on the Standard.
      This site is a left wing site and not a Labour Party site.
      There are many right wing trolls who make concerted, deliberate efforts to derail and waste our time and yet they are tolerated. Why? It is folly to pretend we might change their minds.
      Conversely there is a strong anti left cohort here. By that I mean anyone who is left of Labour gets pilloried or accused of being alt right sooner or later.
      To me it is hypocritical to accept the trollers and ban the lefties (who get banned because they are goaded incessantly).
      I am an old school leftie- to me Norm Kirk was our last good PM. The Labour Party back then was left. Today they are said to be centre left but the pendulum has gone so far they are really centre right because they still adhere to the third way ie. Blairism ( yes we all got sucked in by him for a while).Helen Clark is a Blairite, the Labour Party are still Blairites- wedded to neolib free market capitalism.
      With CC about to dominate our lives we must look elsewhere. Sanders and Corbyn are a start but just look at how the conservative left treat them.
      So ,what am I trying to say? I think the Standard should kick out the trolls and embrace the left/progressives.
      Thank you …if you got this far!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 18.2.1

        anyone who is left of Labour gets pilloried or accused of being alt right sooner or later.

        I read the whole comment, but you lost the argument right there, even though I agree with most of your remarks about the NZLP.

        As for your argument, TRP and Lanth are a couple of black swans right there.

        Also, there’s a soupcon of implication that this site is a Labour website: careful with that.

        • Siobhan

          Pretty sure I’ve been kicked off a few times for totally benign observations, but ones which (apparently) identify me as being some sort of self righteous, holier than thou, Left of Left, Leftie. And sure, that may or may not be true.
          But still it’s rather odd given some of the outrageous Right wing trolling and “Hitler wasn’t all bad” sort of guff that seems to be okay with the damnable algorithms.

          • weka

            Part of the reason that CV has run so long with that stuff is because the people who own the site place a high value on robust debate, and there has previously been no mechanism for removing authors (hasn’t needed to be). Those with the power to do so are reluctant to just do it, because of the precedent it sets etc. That’s about to change, with author guidelines now being developed.

      • weka 18.2.2

        “By that I mean anyone who is left of Labour gets pilloried or accused of being alt right sooner or later.”

        I’d like to see some back up for that statement please. The only person I’ve seen called alt-right is CV. I’ll defend that if I have to (I’m possibly the first person to have called him that here), but in general I haven’t seen lefties being accused of being alt-right, so please link to some examples.

        As for the RW trolls, I tend to agree, but there are all sorts of reasons in terms of how the site is run, that we don’t have paid moderators, that the place is hostile etc that make doing that less easy than it seems. Plus the robust debate imperative. How would we define troll for a start? Or RW? Or left/progressives for that matter.

        I’d also add that as a feminist, this place is pretty unsafe, and the progressive men here supportive to a point, but it’s pretty obvious that few are willing to make the place safer, so how can we be an actual progressive site given that? Next time we have a debate about rape culture, we’d have to ban actual left wing men.

        I agree with you wholeheartedly about refocussing on being left/progressive, and I think it’s great to see people here talking about this, because I think the commentariat has power in how this site functions by the way people choose to comment and what they focus on.

        • Garibaldi

          Thanks weka. I’m not IT literate enough to do the back ups you request but I do know I have been accused of being Right wing and I have seen that accusation at others who are, to me, obvious lefties.
          Thanks for your reply.
          I hope the new rules you are working on will work out. I do appreciate the work that goes into running this blog .Thank you.

          • weka

            People accuse people of all sort of shit here all the time, including accusing people of accusing lefties of being alt-right 😉

            The alt-right is a fairly new term in ts, and it’s come up primarily because of CV. That’s a different thing that calling a leftie a RWer. I agree that gets tiring, and would prefer to focus on the politics and debate, but we also have a lot of people here claiming they are not right but who then make RW sounding comments. If you are leftwing and being unfairly accused of being RW, then stand your ground and make left wing comments 🙂

            • McFlock

              I reckon some of the “you’re right wing” stuff is actually “anyone less left wing than me is right wing”. Particularly if their economic religious beliefs don’t match one’s own. For example, I tend to suspect (I’m not sure, it just seems reasonable on the face of it) that supply of money has some input as to its value, for which some social credit type folks have suggested I’m basically following rogernomics, and we can print as much cash as we want (billions) with no impact on the exchange rate or inflation. And at the same time I’ve also done the same to others, tbh.

              When arguing amongst lefties, that can be a bit unfair or a long bow to draw, but it also leaves nothing to describe the full breitbart/conspiracy/foxnews/mensrights crowd, which until recently we were blessedly short of here. We were without the words to express that someone’s position is not just “more right wing than me”, but is nutty-right-wing to the bulk of the population in any normal time.

              thank goodness for the alt-right label, I say.

              • weka

                Spot on McFlock. I find the “you’re right wing” = “anyone less left wing than me is right wing” boring and it often seems to come up when people run out of argument. But it’s relatively benign I suppose.

                And yeah, I suspect there isn’t a good understanding here yet of what alt-right means. I only learnt about it from Blue Leopard on twitter in the winter, and then a whole bunch of stuff fell into place about CV and not just what he believes but what he is doing.

                I don’t read or follow links to Fox, Breitbart etc, so am grateful for people pointing out the connections.

                I also think there is a complexity here that we haven’t gotten to yet, which is that some people can be left wing and alt-right at the same time. Or that they are borrowing strategy and tactics from the alt-right, and gaining some legitimacy for their anti-human rights’ politics that is no longer tolerated on the left.

                • Karen

                  No, I do not believe someone can be alt-right and left wing. I think alt-right deliberately use some left wing terminology to widen their support base but their core beliefs are fascist.

                  Interestingly, Chris Trotter has talked about being attracted to fascism in his youth. I believe that he too veers towards alt-right, even while donning his cap and extolling the working class. Many here also think he is left-wing, and perhaps he was for a while, but his views now are not my idea of left wing. He, like some here, seem to think the working class are all white men.

                  I am a socialist who also embraces environmentalism, feminism, indigenous rights, disability rights, LGBT rights and who has fought racism for several decades now. This is left wing to me.

                  • Carolyn_nth

                    I am a socialist who also embraces environmentalism, feminism, indigenous rights, disability rights, LGBT rights and who has fought racism for several decades now. This is left wing to me.

                    Ditto for me. I’d like to revive the term socialism. It has been drasticaly demonised by “neoliberal/neocon” propaganda in recent decades. Maybe the whole package could be called “democratic socialism plus”…?

                    • Karen

                      I’m happy calling myself socialist but it is a pain always having to list all the other stuff that is important to me to distinguish myself from socialists who don’t care about those things. So if you (or anybody else) can come up with a single word that I can tag onto socialist I’d be grateful!

                  • This is left wing to me.

                    And good on you. That doesn’t mean it’s left wing to everybody else, though.

                    • Karen

                      That’s why I said “to me.” Accept that left is a wide spectrum, I just don’t accept that alt-right is in any way left.

                  • weka

                    No, I do not believe someone can be alt-right and left wing. I think alt-right deliberately use some left wing terminology to widen their support base but their core beliefs are fascist.

                    Fair enough. Let me rephrase it then. I think there are ostensibly left-wing men borrowing from the alt-right narratives. It would be pretty easy to argue that they’re not alt-right in the US sense especially, but there are cross overs. I think this is part of the problem in TS at the moment.

                    I am a socialist who also embraces environmentalism, feminism, indigenous rights, disability rights, LGBT rights and who has fought racism for several decades now. This is left wing to me.

                    Yes, me too, and also, for left wing people who wouldn’t describe themselves in that way we need to be allies, and so teasing out where the different politics becomes a problem seems important. Critical in fact.

                    • Karen

                      “I think there are ostensibly left-wing men borrowing from the alt-right narratives”

                      Don’t have enough time to really get into this today but it is an interesting subject. I think there is a section of white men who feel very threatened because their privileged position is being challenged and they get resentful. They don’t see themselves as having a privileged position and “alt-right” seems to offer solutions for them. That is why it is so dangerous.

                      This is a bit of a superficial analysis which I will try to expand when I get some spare time.

                    • weka

                      that’s probably how I would see it too, or part of it at least.

            • joe90

              The alt-right is a fairly new term in ts

              For giggles –

              Bubonic Youth

              Angry Turds


              Whitey-Frighty Troll All-Nitey Party

              etc etc


              • weka

                Lolz, I know I shouldn’t laugh, but I am.

                I’m not sure what we are meant to do now, but I’m off for icecream.

        • Ovid

          I fear that in the run-up to next year’s general election the mischief makers will more than likely increase their thread-shitting, concern-trolling, nitpicking and derailing. I think the mods need to brace themselves for that.

      • Andre 18.2.3

        “…anyone who is left of Labour gets pilloried or accused of being alt right sooner or later…”

        Hmm, OAB, DTB, Bill, weka, Macro and a bunch of others seem to me to be pretty far left of Labour, but I’ve yet to see any of them called alt-right. Hell, even RedLogix holds some views that if you squint just right, seem to have something in common with some alt-right views, but I don’t recall anyone calling him alt-right.

        On the other hand, CV was pretty regularly posting and approvingly commenting about stuff from Alex Jones, Breitbart, Fox, and other favourites of the alt-right…

        • weka

          Quite. It’s why accusations that the place is a Labour-fest are funny. The place is literally crawling with people left of Labour.

      • Rosie 18.2.4

        With you there 100% Garibaldi.

    • marty mars 18.3

      I am sorry for ofending you Rosie. I will temper my comments because i value your feedback. Thank you.

      • marty mars 18.3.1

        Well i was apologising to the rosie I know and respect whose comments I enjoy. Nevertheless my original apology stands for you too Rosie.

        And it may be a good idea to adjust your handle to avoid confusion. I’m unaware that rosie won’t be commenting again.

      • Rosie 18.3.2

        Not sure if that is sarcasm or not marty mars 🙂 I only mentioned you because I have always highly valued your perspective and what you have to say. Sometimes find myself thinking – where’s marty to sort out some stupid comment or another. I don’t get why CV winds you up so much. Please don’t change your comments 🙂 I was just surprised by reaction to CV.

  19. One Anonymous Bloke 19

    If you think I’m going to show courtesy and respect to some neo-Nazi asshole you’re the one who’s delusional, comrade. The prick can’t even stand to let me comment on his hate-speech.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  20. Garibaldi 20

    On a totally different note…. I have just watched the beginning of Prime news. How embarrassing that we rely on foreign military to rescue people from Kaikoura. How is it that we can spend heaps supporting American democracy(sarc) in Afghanistan and yet we can’t equip our Forces for rescue operations? Another case of wrong priorities( because of our toadying to the USA) imo.
    The lack of organisation down there is also embarrassing for a supposed first world country.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      When you rely upon the market to get anything done you end up with the essential services lacking.

      • Gangnam Style 20.1.1

        Spot on Draco, the Chinese Govt chartered a number of helicopters a day after the earthquake to transport their people, while our Govt waits…saw the rich Americans show how it was done by chartering their own helicopters, a Marae opens its kitchen to feed people & Key threatens to close the rail line. A decade old building is nearly ready to collapse in NZs capital city, a building that housed Govt workers, we can only rely on our good luck for so long.

    • Gabby 20.2

      How much do you want to increase military spending by?

  21. weka 21

    [In order to keep Open Mike and Daily Review free for other conversations, please put all discussion, comments, link postings etc about the US election under one of the posts about the Election – weka]

  22. bruce 22

    I read a letter to the editor in the herald today about the protest against the oil finding ship in the harbour. The writer pointed out that without oil the would be no plastic for the kayaks and no petrol for the protester to get to the harbour to protest. Well the writer was wrong there is an alternative and a safe one at that but unfortunately lawmakers were conned and we were tricked into adopting the destructive technology of oil. The alternative is hemp its a pity those in power can’t accept they were conned by greedy powerful men and give the earth a future.

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    2 weeks ago

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  • Speech by the Minister of Defence to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs
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