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Open mike 16/01/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 16th, 2020 - 64 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 …

64 comments on “Open mike 16/01/2020 ”

  1. Herodotus 1

    Perhaps when we have govt depts making such announcements as "Total international spend is expected to reach $14.8 billion in 2024, up 40% from 2017." and how well our economy is to benefit from such growth we should now expect to accompany the impact of any govt decision towards GHG, And understand should there be an increase where the offset is to be sourced from ? Otherwise without reporting the "Cost" how can we expect there to be any action to restore our planet ?

    https://www.mbie.govt.nz/assets/5c05b7bfce/nz-tourism-forecasts-2018-2024-report.pdf

  2. A 2

    Yes, I know it's David Icke BUT he is the first one to gather + comment on a recent case where a teenage girl falsely accused a group of men of a gang rape in the news. Here he is covering the other deeply disturbing side of the story. #boycottcypress

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTuX1mJ2icE

    • A 2.1

      Found a mainstream link buried in the SERPs. The complainant has been trapped in the country for over 5 months now after reporting a gang rape to police.

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/07/a-defining-moment-teenagers-fight-for-justice-galvanises-cypruss-feminists

      In a trial that had been repeatedly postponed, proceedings had been dominated by what was described as the court’s predilection for “gender stereotypes, classic rape myths and victim bashing”.

      But it was Israeli women, also appalled by the way the Briton had been portrayed at home, who, Cypriot activists say, emboldened them to take risks.

      “They were more daring than us,” said Gregoriou. “They were able to say ‘we believe you’ when here we could only talk about the young woman not being given a fair trial. They had a wisdom and dynamism that has proved how important these transnational bonds really are.”

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Letter to the editor; The Southland Times 16 Jan 2020

    OMV critics use oil too

    Does Environment Southland councillor Robert Guyton ride a pushbike or walk from his place of abode or, horror of horrors, drive a petrol-tax guzzling motor car, to Environment Southland meetings?

    Does he also claim travel allowance from us poor, long-suffering ratepayers?

    Len Lind of Stewart Island

    Councillor Robert Guyton replied:

    Len has spotted my weakness; I'm just like everybody else! I too have to use petroleum products in order to live; it's unavoidable, they are everywhere! Len seems to believe that I should never criticise the activities of the big oil companies; their spills, accidents and massive contribution to climate change, because I drive a car and have plastic lenses in my glasses. We're all in the same boat when it comes to reliance on fossil fuels; we’re all compromised but should that disqualify us from talking about the damage the industry causes? I don’t think Len really wants to silence everybody; he himself feels he has the right to criticise in public. He got me thinking though, about what I have already done to reduce my use of oil and top of that list comes my decision never to fly again in an aircraft; I think that will make at least some difference. And thanks to Len’s reminder, I’ll get my old bicycle back onto the road again; the chain’s a bit rusty but a little oil should fix that.

  4. Sabine 4

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/wildfires-california-amazon-indonesia-climate-change_n_5dcd3f4ee4b0d43931d01baf

    So when this OZ fire season ends end of this summer (hopefully) how much will be left over of the flaura and fauna of this continent?

    And when the fires start again in Sept, will the rest be burned then? And to be honest is that what is wanted by those that call the shots? Allow for such environmental degradation that the Scot Morrisons of this planet can simply throw their hands up and declare that 'nothing much can be done, its to late' and drilling will resume as buisness as usual?

    Because really, when these fires are extinct – 180+ currently still burning and mainly not being contained, not much will be left over, those critters that survived will need to be fed, watered if they are to survive. As for the humans, has anyone in OZ yet dared to put a realistic estimate to the damage the fires caused? And i am not looking for another 2000 houses burned 🙂 a proper estimate maybe by a insurance company? And then looking at the article i linked too (yes its huffpost, only read if if it passes the purity test 🙂 ) what about the estimated losses world wide.

    the world is burning and all our selected overlords play a fiddle. In the meantime, 'we can't breathe' is a thing now.

    • I couldn't agree more, Sabine.

      There was a link posted on The Standard the other day, the last paragraph of which I found profoundly chilling:

      "Millennials and the children we call Generation Z face the horrifying prospect that they will get stuck with the tab for humanity’s centuries-long rape of planet Earth, the mass desecration of which radically accelerated after 1950. There is an intolerably high chance that today’s young people will starve to death, die of thirst, be killed by a superstorm, succumb to a new disease, boil to death, asphyxiate from air pollution, be murdered in a riot or shot or blown up in a war sparked by environmentally related political instability long before they survive to old age."

      https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/1/13/1909613/-Climate-models-suggest-global-food-system-crisis-at-hand-dust-bowl-scenarios-now-locked-in?utm_campaign=trending

    • alwyn 4.2

      "how much will be left over of the flaura and fauna of this continent? "

      Well, quite a lot actually. Up till now about 63,000 sq kms has been burnt. The area of Australia is 7.7 million hectares so the amount subject to the fires is about 0.8 percent.and more than 99% has not been touched. Now that is a huge amount of land, and a great tragedy, but the answer to "will the rest be burned then?" is NO and to "not much will be left over" the answer is nearly all of it will be untouched.

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        That would be a fair answer if Australia was all one kind of landscape. But it isn't, at least 80% of it would be fairly barren and open outback, with a sparse vegetation at the best of times. It rarely burns unless a particularly wet spring has allowed a lot of grass species to flourish.

        What we have seen burn this year are the eucalypt forests in the alpine and coastal regions, and the fraction of these that have been severely damaged is substantial. Worse still in many places it's old temperate forests that have never burned before which are being destroyed. These eco-niches are not adapted to fire, have a very poor capacity for recovery, once they're lost, they will never return.

        Species like the Bogong moth, already under pressure will have a flow on effect to already highly endangered fauna such as the pygmy mountain possum. And places that have been reliably lush for generations, are no longer. As with almost everything to do with climate, the story is more complex than you are implying.

        • alwyn 4.2.1.1

          "What we have seen burn this year are the eucalypt forests in the alpine and coastal regions".

          I assume you mean that these areas are not usually affected by bush fires. I will have to take your word for it as far as New South Wales. I am not really familiar with that state. However for Victoria the areas that have been burnt out appear to be generally similar to other recent major bush fire seasons such as 2008-9, 2006-7 and 2003-4 when about 500,000 ha, 1,200,000 ha and 1,300,000 ha burned. The latter two years would seem to be of a similar scale to the current season's numbers. 2009 didn't hit the same area of land but it was of course Black Saturday with 173 deaths.

          They are also on much the same area as the previous monsters such as 1939-40 (2,000,000 ha) and the daddy of them all in 1851 when 5,000,000 ha went up in flames.All of these fires affected the NE and Gippsland regions of the state, just like the current lot. Thus it doesn't seem to be unusual for the alpine and coastal forests to be badly affected in Victoria.

          There have been other major fires than affected the NW of course, which has been pretty well spared this year.

          https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/history-and-incidents/past-bushfires

      • satty 4.2.2

        (Luckily) Australia is 7.7 million sq km large, so 100 times larger than 7.7 million hectares. The burnt area was 63,000 sq km or 6.3 million hectares; the latest numbers have been over 10 million hectares burnt or around 100,000 sq km. As a comparison, 100,000 sq km is Canterburry + Otago + Southland!

        • dv 4.2.2.1

          Apparently the burnt area is the size of Ireland!!!

          • Adrian 4.2.2.1.1

            At the moment Australia is the victim of a positive phase of the Indian Ocean Dipole where the warm water is in the west of the IO and does not produce any rain over Oz. It is like the Pacific's El Nino /La Nina, it slops around every 4 or 5 years or so. The LN/EN is about every 7 years, probably because its a bigger ocean. Sometimes the positive or negative IOD phase coincides with a LN or EN phase and causes even more problems. Both systems are wind driven.

            But wait there's more, the Southern Annular Mode of westerly winds that rotate around Antarctica are further north in the current mode stopping the big Aussie summer anti-cyclones from picking up cooler damp air from the Southern Ocean, these are the big highs that eventually drift over us giving us nice warm calm summer weather, but not this year, the SAM is too strong bequeathing us these bloody cold South Westers and Easterlies, and squeezing the central Aussie highs rotating over the desert making them hotter and hotter.

            The SAM is probably caused by the wobble in the Earth's rotation which in turn is probably caused by the Earth's molten iron core slopping around. Another bloody thing to worry about. Lets Stop the Slop!

            Last years "Beast from the East "in northern Europe is a similar phenomenon.

            So its not all Climate Change just weather and it has been doing it for millenia, not Melania, shes just a temporary aberration thank Christ.

            For what its worth, a few hours ago around midday there, SE Australia was cooler and a lot wetter than NZ, Hobart 11Degrees, Melbourne 18, Sydney and Brisbane 22, ( where they are breaking out the jerseys) . Fancy that.

            It's just weather and if we didn't have it redistributing warmth and moisture around the globe fuck all of anything could live here.

        • alwyn 4.2.2.2

          "7 million hectares". Oh dear, why does that always happen? Yes, square kms. And I read it over a couple of times looking for silly mistakes like that. At least I got the calculation right though.

          I'm not saying it isn't a huge amount of land. It is. However when it is compared to the total land area of Australia it doesn't really justify the somewhat hyperbolic questions I highlighted in the final sentence.

  5. joe90 5

    GOP cockroaches plan to scuttle around in the dark..

    The Standing Committee of Correspondents vigorously objects to restrictions being considered on press access during the upcoming Senate trial of President Trump.

    The Standing Committee sought to address our concerns with the Sergeant at Arms and with Rules Committee before final decisions were made, but decisions are being made quickly as plans for the trial are completed and we are hearing that nearly every suggestion has been rejected

    Our suggestions were rejected without an explanation of how the restrictions contribute to safety rather than simply limit coverage of the trial.

    The restrictions that are being considered exceed what occurred during the Clinton trial 20 years ago, with fewer ways for press to speak to senators and even a magnetometer being installed within the Senate Press Gallery to ensure electronics are not brought into the chamber.

    The no electronics in the chamber rule has existed for many years, reporters don’t violate it, and we’ve never needed an extra layer of screening to ensure it is followed.

    Installing a magnetometer means the Senate trial will have a soundtrack of “beep, beep, beep” as 90+ reporters walk in and out all day. There is no additional safety or security brought by bringing such a device into reporter work space

    It also gives the impression that it is being done mostly to protect Senators from the bright light of the public knowing what they are doing in one of the country’s most important moments.

    The Standing Committee requested an exemption to the no technology in the chamber rule so that we can provide the public with up to the moment information without having to walk out of the chamber, but we’re hearing that request has been denied.

    I grasp that there is precedent, but few things in Washington are more momentous than an impeachment trial and the American public deserves to have eyes in the room.

    Reporters will be kept in pens, meaning only senators seeking out press coverage will get covered.

    Currently we can walk with Senators as they enter the chamber, wait for them outside of meetings or lunches. It leads to a diversity of voices. Penning us means people across the country might not hear from their senator.

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1217202438031257602.html

    • Kevin 5.1

      They seem to be going to extraordinary lengths to protect someone who has done nothing wrong… /s

      • Sabine 5.1.1

        They are not protecting "him" they are protecting themselves.

        Trump is now wholesale owned by the Republicans (who will last longer then Trump imo) and he owes them, bigly some people say, super duper bigly.

        He is the pen that signs their legislations, Tax cuts for the Ueberrich, gutting of social security, gutting of environmental regulations, their god before government etc etc etc. Essentially the Republicans done a 'back to the past' replaced one old senile man with another old senile man, heck its all the Presidents Man. 🙂

        but again, this Kabuki Theatre in the US, or Russia for that matter will have no importance when the world burns and runs out of the stuff that we humans need so deseperatly to live.

        Btw, did you hear that the entire Russian parliament 'resigned'? King Putin, long he may live and his future clones.

          • francesca 5.1.1.1.1

            Or to put it more accurately, an article that expands on your comment

          • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.1.2

            "Putin announced that he appointed Mikhail Mishustin, the head of Russia's Federal Tax Service, as the new Prime Minister." Just guessing, makes sense that a competent bureaucrat gets jumped up to become top bureaucrat.

            Presuming the guy has actually established a system for selective wealth-extraction as required, and enough time has passed for Putin to agree that the system works. He's a systems engineer.

            "In 1989, he graduated from the STANKIN, majoring in system engineering, and then in 1992, he completed postgraduate studies at the same Institute. After graduating from graduate school, he began working as a Director of a test laboratory, and later headed the Board of the International Computer Club (ICC), a public non — profit organization."

            "In 1998, he joined the state service as an assistant for information systems for accounting and control over the receipt of tax payments to the head of the State tax service of the Russian Federation. Then he worked at the rank of Deputy Minister of the Russian Federation for taxes and duties, head of the Federal Agency for Real Estate Cadastre within the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, and head of the Federal Agency for Managing Special Economic Zones."

            "In 2008, he left the civil service on his own and returned to business — this time in the field of investment. In February 2009, he joined the personnel reserve of the President of Russia." Putin likes competence.

          • joe90 5.1.1.1.3

            The move would give any future President less power than Putin currently holds. But why would Putin weaken the position of the president if he would want to run for another term?

            To get around presidential term limits. Handing presidential powers to parliament makes PM the highest office in the land. Poots snares himself another term as PM and bingo, he's the leader of Russia, again.

  6. Andre 6

    In the 80s the ideas of big union and centrally planned economies etc were rejected in favour of letting the market rule (and there actually were good reasons to be unhappy with the way things were). But that change hasn't turned out well either. So what lies beyond?

    The Roosevelt Institute examined work from more than 150 thinkers in order to distill a new progressive vision for the United States. There’s no one set answer. But instead of a world where capital returns will always outpace wage gains, the progressive worldview puts in place higher taxation. It focuses on robust antitrust enforcement instead of allowing for corporate concentration, puts power back into the hands of organized labor, and ensures women and people of color are included.

    “This isn’t just a flash in the pan — this is really based on a lot of work by a lot of preeminent scholars and thinkers and policy experts,” Wong, who authored the paper outlining the positive vision for a progressive worldview, said.

    She identified the various critiques of neoliberalism that are embedded with positive progressive solutions and distilled them into four groups. It’s not a cohesive progressive answer, but instead a set of four broad categories of answers, many of which work in concert.

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/1/15/21065823/neoliberal-progressive-economic-vision-roosevelt-institute-papers-warren-sanders

    • Dennis Frank 6.1

      So "it’s time for a broad-based, democratic effort for the government to shape the economy and foster the public good." True.

      "The theory at the center of the “new structuralist” belief system is that government rules structure markets, and a new set of rules is needed to foster more equality and widely shared prosperity. A major plank of this is tied to antitrust enforcement and a government that prevents a wider range of merger types and considers a broader set of stakeholders when deciding whether to approve a deal. It also entails higher taxes on the rich and corporations, and measures such as a potential financial transaction tax; it also puts limits on corporate governance matters, such as stock buybacks."

      Increasing stakeholder involvement and financial transaction tax are both essential. Rules operate as guidelines only, however, since lack of effective enforcement has consistently discredited the concept of government regulation. A theory that offers no solution to corporate capture of governance is clearly inadequate.

      "The basic theory is that the government can be more efficient at providing certain public goods, not less" but in what way is this not utopian?? Anyone would think it had been written by some Democrat seller of snake oil.

      "The paper points to the Green New Deal as a prime example of the approach: a public-investment-led initiative that employs different policy tools to promote innovation, equity, jobs, and decarbonization." Promotion is different to delivery. Since Democrats are famous for non-delivery, this is typical.

      "Implementing the types of policies being proposed in progressive circles isn’t going to happen overnight, or without some real electoral and institutional shifts first. That’s where the economic democratists come in. They argue that economic reform hinges on participatory democracy, where unions are strengthened, communities are activated, and public agencies are open and transparent."

      That one looks more promising – yet still rendered ineffective by woolly leftist language. Vague intentions won't get them far. Explanations of what is going to change, and how that change will be delivered, remain necessary. Obviously it's wonderful that the liberals have figured out where they went wrong 30 years too late, and I hope they get their act together before we all die.

      • RedLogix 6.1.1

        We've had this stale debate over the relative role of the state and the market since … well Adam Smith. The argument usually degenerates because everyone presumes that somehow if you automatically have more 'state' this means an equal measure of 'market' has been displaced, and vice versa.

        Yet obviously the state is not a one for one substitute for markets. As Arnold Nordmeyer acerbically observed "Do we want the state to run corner dairies?". The two forces may overlap to a degree, but their crucial differences complement each other. Specifically the state is good at long term investment, high risk, and wide scope. If politically the state cannot tolerate the failure of an enterprise and therefore implicitly underwrites it, then it probably should be in public hands. By contrast private capital is really good at running business for short term cash flow, low risk, small scope enterprise … the daily stuff of feeding and clothing us for example.

        If we were a lot clearer about this distinction we might be able to sell it better.

        Also in the bigger picture I would suggest this binary model omits a crucial actor, an omission that explains why the debate has become so stale. The role of community in moderating and regulating the excesses of both state and market has been consistently ignored. Well at least until quite recently, it’s a good sign that many thinkers are now working with this notion.

        • Dennis Frank 6.1.1.1

          I would suggest this binary model omits a crucial actor, an omission that explains why the debate has become so stale. The role of community in moderating and regulating the excesses of both state and market has been consistently ignored. Well at least until quite recently, it’s a good sign that many thinkers are now working with this notion.

          Yes, I think the binary model had the fatal flaw of tacitly assuming that voters are mere passive recipients of largesse.

          If you frame the community as players in the political game, you acknowledge their agency as being proactive. That's where participatory democracy comes in.

    • RedLogix 6.2

      A generally good read, but then I stumble over ideology like this:

      Recent research by leading thinkers studying racial inequality has exposed the shortcomings of this theory by analyzing data on employment, income, and wealth disparities for people of color. At every level of education, people of color experience higher rates of unemployment, are paid less than their white counterparts, have fewer assets than their white counterparts, and accrue less wealth.

      Well for 'leading thinkers' they seem remarkably resistant to actual data. Consistently all the data shows East Asian Americans as substantially the highest income group. (Setting aside 'Australian Americans' as probably an outlier group of academics and/or professionals). Nor does it explain dramatic differences between groups such as Nigerian Americans with household incomes around $60k compared with Somali Americans at a miserable $24k.

      Nor are they willing to look at data showing that white working class males are the big group in the USA with a falling life expectancy. For certain some white people are doing exceedingly well, as you might rationally expect in a society where white people remain a numerically dominant group. But to then lazily imply this means all white people are unfairly advantaged across the whole of the USA, just flies in the face of ordinary people's experience.

      The white American man who I worked with last year, whose wife was scared of his meth-addicted brother in law running out of control, with him stuck on site thousands of miles away, plus a catalog of other intractable worries … would spit on this article … and vote Trump.

      Yes ethnicity plays a role in outcomes, but to grossly simplify it down to a 'white privilege' narrative oversimplifies a complex story.

      • Sacha 6.2.1

        Australian Americans' as probably an outlier group of academics and/or professionals

        Actors 🙂

      • joe90 6.2.2

        plus a catalog of other intractable worries …

        Who killed the Knapp family?

        http://archive.li/iVmzL

        • RedLogix 6.2.2.1

          Great link thank you. I've skimmed through it fast; it seems to capture something very like what my now ex-colleague told me first hand over a beer or two.

          “We have to stop being obsessed over impeachment and start actually digging in and solving the problems that got Donald Trump elected in the first place,” Andrew Yang argued in the last Democratic presidential debate. Whatever you think of Yang as a candidate, on this he is dead right: We have to treat America’s cancer.

          FWIW in terms of Dem candidates, Bernie had my total support last time, but I think he was mistaken to run a second time. Tulsi Gabbard won my heart with her Joe Rogan podcasts. Andrew Yang won my head with his Universal Income, his backing for next gen nuclear and his clear headed ability to cut to the essence of the big story as above. There is hope, but the Dem machine is doing it's best to crush it.

  7. Chris 7

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/118823041/whether-and-how-labour-might-win-a-second-term

    Bernard Hickey has left out one very important variable, which is how well Bridges and his mates execute a filthy lies campaign leading up to the election and whether the media buys it, i.e. whether what happened to Corbyn and UK Labour will happen to Ardern.

    • Sanctuary 7.1

      The sleeper issue for this election campaign is going to be the links between the National Party and the Chinese Communist Party – https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2020/01/us-democracy-watchdog-freedom-house-accuses-mp-todd-mcclay-of-echoing-china-to-justify-mass-detentions-in-xinjiang.html

      Expect NZ First to swiftboat the Nats on this, and while NZ First and the Nats are slinging mud at each other over funding Labour to pick up votes from disgusted New Zealanders.

      • Graeme 7.1.1

        Gets even murkier when you look at who made the criticism reported in the Newshub piece.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_House

        According to the Freedom House Financial Statement 2016, Freedom House "was substantially funded by grants from the U.S. Government", with grants from the United States government accounting for approximately 86% of revenue.[5]

        Below are the organizations and entities who funded Freedom House in 2016:[5]

        • Government of the United States – $24,813,164 (85.5%)
        • International public agencies – 2,266,949 (7.8%)
        • Corporations and foundations – 1,113,262 (3.8%)
        • Individual contributions – 1,113,262 (2.8%)

        In its 2017 and 2018 financial statements, Freedom House once again disclosed that it "was substantially funded by grants from the U.S. Government." In 2017, the organization received $29,502,776, 90% of its total revenue that year, from the US government.[36] In 2018, the US government gave Freedom House $35,206,355, or 88% of its annual revenue.[37]

        So a shot across the bows from Uncle Sam. Must be some really interesting discussion going down in the inner reaches of the National Party right now.

        Wonder if a very slickly produced political add pops up just before the election featuring little blue pandas dancing across the bottom of the screen.

    • Muttonbird 7.2

      Hickey describes how MMP has locked in what public policy was present at its inception. And how Centrists act as a handbrake on major policy changes.

      Contrary to what Centrists believe of themselves being pragmatists who generate consensus and "just get shit done", the opposite is true. Centrists are obstacles to both progress from the left and to reaction from the right. Consequently nothing gets done.

      Hickey's thoughts on risk-taking and staying safe in the centre echoes the article Sanctuary posted yesterday which was a critique of the roles of Centrists within UK Labour in the spectacular undermining of Jeremy Corbyn.

      What confuses me about the replies is the vain belief from Centrists they actually get shit done. They don't get shit done, they just prevent others from getting shit done.

      • Dennis Frank 7.2.1

        True some of the time. We have a center-left coalition govt. It gets shit done whenever the leftists and centrists within it agree on proposed legislation. Then the agreed proposals get passed into law to prove it.

        I realise you're unlikely to claim that they have no such track record of progress made. Perhaps you just don't want to admit to yourself that the three parties have proven themselves to be genuinely progressive by enacting their legislation?

        Get real instead. Telling the truth earns respect. Seeking refuge in partisan delusions achieves the opposite.

        • Muttonbird 7.2.1.1

          I think they've tinkered and patched up a few risk-free things but you have to be deluded to believe this is a government of progress. There is nothing "genuinely progressive" about it. The left of centre part has made some noises but as Hickey correctly states it is the centrist part of the government, NZ First, which has acted as a handbrake to progress.

          I can only assume that this government's glacially meek movement on social fairness and social infrastructure progress looks positively dynamic – almost dangerous – to a staid Centrist such as yourself!

          • Dennis Frank 7.2.1.1.1

            😎 Oooh, truth hurts (a little). The staid bit comes from putting oneself out to pasture in retirement. However I have actually spent a lifetime watching self-professed radicals drop off the pace.

            That learning curve is all about how mass movements actually work. When progressives blame each other for not being radical enough, they focus on division instead of common ground. When the masses divide amongst themselves, the control system doesn't need to do divide and rule against them. They've already disempowered themselves!

            Several decades of watching that shit happen imposes a fundamental learning about mass psychology. So you get to appreciate whatever gains result from consensus.

  8. Dennis Frank 8

    The binary party structure of democracy in the USA was seen as evil by one of the founding fathers. This from a letter written by John Adams in 1780: "There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution."

    They ignored him and built evil into their system anyway. It's why the Democrats supported slavery during the 19th century. They had to oppose the Republicans, who wanted to free the slaves. It's why the Democrats worked with organised crime in the 20th century – to oppose Republicans who wanted to eliminate it. The American middle class got eliminated via the gfc & predatory lending, authorised by govt regulators appointed by both parties. Their system incorporates the deep state, who eliminate whistle-blowers by whatever means necessary. It's a puppet show that no longer compels collective belief.

    To gauge the extent of alienation, we need suitable research. "Carroll Doherty is director of political research at Pew Research Center." He presents some here: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/04/26/key-findings-on-americans-views-of-the-u-s-political-system-and-democracy/

    "A large majority of the public (67%) says “their side” in politics has been losing more often than winning in recent years on issues that matter to them." Yet losing is good, according to the poll. "About six-in-ten Americans (58%) say democracy is working well in the U.S., though just 18% say it is working very well. At the same time, a majority supports making sweeping changes to the political system: 61% say “significant changes” are needed in the fundamental “design and structure” of the U.S. government to make it work in current times."

    So most Americans think the system is working well because it is turning them into losers. Remarkable, eh? Who'da thunk they were that clever?

  9. Incognito 9

    'The blob', a huge marine heatwave, killed nearly a million seabirds in the biggest known die-off of its kind

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2020-01-16/blob-seabird-murre-die-off-climate-change-marine-heatwave/11867264

  10. joe90 10

    So much winning…

    • Sabine 10.1

      a very stable genuis.

      however what is not mentioned is how much money the orange hairball made of all this misery.

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    "A New Plymouth business owed hundreds of thousands of dollars by a failed oil and gas company is calling on the government to force the parent company to sell its remaining New Zealand assets to help repay creditors." https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/407474/creditor-calls-for-government-to-step-in-over-tamarind-taranaki-collapse

    Can the govt actually do that??

    "Tamarind Taranaki went into receivership just before Christmas after its $300 million offshore drilling campaign at the Tui oil field failed. It owes creditors about $484m. Matt Hareb owns an excavation company which had the contract to transport drilling waste from Tamarind Taranaki's operation. The business, which employs about 10 staff, is owed more than $500,000. Hareb said it would take years for it to recover."

    Limited liability is part of the design of the capitalist system. Being able to dodge debt is hard-wired. I can't see how the govt can enforce moral culpability.

    "Hareb Excavating is one of 82 creditors, of which 72 are unsecured, many of them small Taranaki-based firms." Destroying local small business is a frequent consequence of corporates using smart lawyers. Like big fish eating small fish, it's normal. Social darwinism rules, okay?

    "The government is owed between $100m and $155m for Tamarind's share of decommissioning costs for the Tui oil field." So the big fish is gonna rip off the taxpayer too? Whoopee, what fun!

    "Other creditors spoken to by RNZ described the Tamarind collapse as tantamount to "daylight robbery" and said a "heck of a lot of people had got done over"." Capitalism divides users into screwers and screwees though, eh? Nobody can claim the system is based on the concept of a fair deal, can they? Exploitation is the entire point.

    "The government has an obligation to look at this" reckons my local Nat MP. "Minster of Energy and Resources Megan Woods says Tamarind's acquisition of the Tui permit in 2017 had exposed a gap in the Crown Minerals Act." " "The government has now closed this loophole with an amendment to the Crown Minerals Act," she said. Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted is a good move.

  12. soddenleaf 12

    Food waste. Food in held longer for sale to mitigate it being wasted. Supermarket sell stuff they were throwing away. More produce goes off at home, increasing food waste tonnage and carbon credits going more often to supermarkets. Profits for retailers skyrocket as they keep increasing the amount of sub standard produce sitting in shelves waiting to be brought and then throw out as it's gone off by the time it reaches homes. I know this because it keeps happening, bad meat, old carrots, yuck throw out, never used to throw out a onion, potato, used to use them all or nearly. not now. Food waste is a self forefilling prophesy that forts consumers and radically increases supermarket profit. Supermarket go to their suppliers, who know this and start selling their non export food, or returned from china unsold food, in big PR specials. To the point that either you buy for a local producer of buy the imported good if in Auckland before they get shipped to the new food deserts.

    The solution is to force a percentage of all local food to be sold locally. Given the bulk deals that should mean cheap good food, that then if not sold be sold even cheaper to restaurants etc way before it goes off. Most food I see is old.

      • soddenleaf 12.1.1

        There are already business that already sell cheaper fresher goods and will sell unsold vegies cheaper to save putting them back on the truck. They exist in many places, not enough though. They are call market stalls, and instead of getting old food that's been ship to Auckland, and back, or worse. They sell local food locally. Now some councils did away with them, and so super markets don't need to sell the freshest, selling processed fresh Fox's that are processed to send their nutrients and energy to their skins, and remain attractive for longer shelf life. Foods that once brought go off. I brought a carrot before Christmas, a week later came to roast it, it had gone off. This is my point targeting a negative only rewards more of the same. Target food miles, if my carrot has gone unsold in China then mark it as such so I have informed choice when it's put on nz shelves. Save the planet and sell fresh local goods with simple cloud data.

  13. Sabine 13

    maybe if all the food would be a bit cheaper people would actually buy a bit more.

    there is quite a bit of 'food insecurity' aka 'hunger' in the developed world, and a lot of it is to do with the fact that it is too expensive.

    maybe we could remove GST from food. All of the food.

  14. Eco maori 14

    Some Eco Maori Music For The Minute.

  15. Eco maori 15

    Kia Ora Newshub. .

    A photo speaks a thousand words.

    Suborbital flights from Dunedin that will be great for the economy.

    Kaikoura getting putea from the Provincial growth fund they will be happy.

    Ka kite Ano

  16. Eco maori 16

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    Pangawerewere tukutuku.

    Kai pai for Rugby league setting up training for the tamariki there is a lot of talent Rangatahi in Aotearoa that just need a bit of guidance.

    Football is a good game for the Rangatahi to get into.

    Ka kite Ano

  17. Eco maori 17

    Some Eco Maori Music For The Minute.

    https://youtu.be/94dBVPpymac

  18. Eco maori 18

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    People need to learn to respect Orca and other creatures of Tangaroa I have a great yarn of A Orca encounter He was a huge Bull.

    Its sad that people are drowning because they can't swim.

    The only way to fix Manuka harbour is for the city to put money in plant mangroves and clean up their water that goes into the water course I have seen them they are a big mess

    Ka kite Ano.

  19. Eco maori 19

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    Condolences to Piri Whanau.

    There should be respect given to Te uri taniwha wanting to protect their old cultural sights.

    It would be sad to lose a mokopuna lets hope the Authorities carry on doing their mahi and find Jamie Kaiwai.

    The Pacific Island are suffering from the effects of Global Warming sea-level rise.

    I think the government should respect Ngapuhi opinion and wishes.

    Ka kite Ano.

  20. Eco maori 21

    Kia Ora Newshub.

    Yes the housing short will effect the students and poor badly. The students will have to have 2 unrelated per room.

    That's is cool carers get more money for looking after there challenged love ones.

    Mana Wahine that's A great reason to march for Wahine equality.

    The oil barons.

    That's swam of locus looks huge can cause havoc in Africa.

    Ka kite Ano.

  21. Eco maori 22

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    Piri will have a huge hakari.

    I,,, we need Maori to look after Maori tamariki wellbeing aroha and understanding is needed for the correct care of our mokopuna.

    Mana Wahine.

    Ka pai for your Wakarma journey in Tamiki Makaru.

    Ka kite Ano

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