Open Mike 16/02/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, February 16th, 2015 - 197 comments
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197 comments on “Open Mike 16/02/2015”

  1. Paul 1

    Dreadful journalism by the Herald.
    As ever.
    ‘Protesters give Key a hard time.’
    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11402528

    • ianmac 1.1

      Actually the fact that protesters gave Key a hard time is good. And that poor old Key had to sneak away is pretty good as well. From Key’s point of view he would rather have not had any reports at all. So not too bad at all Paul.

      • fisiani 1.1.1

        The media portrayal was of a group of the usual thugs trying to disrupt a National Party meeting on private property. Guess where the public sympathy goes… it goes to National.
        The protesters left feeling they had a great success but the meeting went ahead and so will the policies.
        I always worry a bit when there is no protest because that means we are not doing enough.
        Every shreeking protest is a sign that we are on the right track for the majority of New Zealanders.
        Long may they protest.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          Every shreeking protest is a sign that we are on the right track for the majority of New Zealanders.

          Man, you really do have a warped view of reality. Completely fucken delusional in fact.

          The media portrayal was of a group of the usual thugs trying to disrupt a National Party meeting on private property.

          Government isn’t private and when the people in government and their supporters think it is then those people are inherently corrupt.

          Can’t find the info but I wouldn’t be surprised if the yacht club was actually publicly owned or, at least, on public land. We do publicly support sports in this country after all.

          • Naturesong 1.1.1.1.1

            The Royal Akarana is on land leased by from the Auckland Council (previously owned by PoA).
            Most likely RAYC itself is a trust.

            Although membership is open to the public, RAYC has traditionally been one of the networking hubs of Auckland’s more affluent middle class.

            • KJT 1.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s the “squadron” mate.

              The upper middle class would not be seen dead at the Ak!

              Not ashperashional enough.

              • The upper middle class aren’t aspirational. They got there generations ago.
                They race yachts for fun.
                And the old boys who’ve been racing for decades, they catch up for lunch there.

                Aspirational is middle income people thinking they are middle class. It doesn’t apply to those that don’t need to work for a living.

                • Morrissey

                  I wonder how many of the National Party stalwarts who form the vast majority of Yacht Club members have aspired to do something really challenging—like reading a book?

                  • KJT

                    The overwhelming majority of yacht club members are working class and tradespeople who sail centre-boarders worth less than your car. Or act as rail meat on the knobs yachts. I suspect most used to vote Labour, before Labour betrayed them, and belonged to a Union.

                    They spend less on their sport than most rugby players.

                    Yachts in New Zealand used to be owned mostly by very ordinary people. A lot built them themselves. It is notable how many are now rarely used, and deteriorating, as wages for working people have been slashed. Part of Douglas’ and Key’s brighter future.

                    The exception are clubs such as the “Squadron”. The majority of their members do not even sail. They prop up the bar in suits, networking! If they have a boat it is a massive gin palace owned as a tax dodge.

                    One of my best moments was getting booted out of the Squadron bar for wearing sailing clothes. Parking a ships lifeboat on one of the committees marina berths outside, had nothing to do with it, of course.

              • Oops, yup. You’re right, I’m thinking about the squadron.

        • Skinny 1.1.1.2

          I am surprised your so pro protests fisiani we all know what happened here and in your homeland of South Africa regarding protesting. The Right Wing dictatorships got turfed out on their ears.

          • TheContrarian 1.1.1.2.1

            “The Right Wing dictatorships got turfed out on their ears.”

            Yeah but the government over there is more fucked up and corrupt than ever before.

        • tricledrown 1.1.1.3

          Fishyuturn sky city back down.
          Housing back down next.
          Iraqi back down next!
          Fishy fanboy loves his idol poll dancing!

    • tc 1.2

      granny doesnt do journalism, it does messaging on behalf of it’s owners.

  2. Paul 2

    Healthy food becomes less accessible for the poor.
    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11402531

    The government’s friends in the fast food, pharmaceutical and diet industries thank the government for failing to look after its people and allow them to be preyed upon.

    • weka 2.1

      “Apples commanded record prices due to a later-than-usual season and reduced volumes because of a cold, wet spring and summer hailstorms in all the main growing regions.”

      Apples aren’t in season in Jan, that’s the time when last years cold stored ones have run out and the new seasons ones aren’t ripe.

      I see lots in the article about weather but nothing about climate. This is only going to get worse, esp as we’re not supporting growers to adapt now before they have to.

  3. Paul 3

    The Herald is slow onto a story.
    Yesterday commentators were saying exactly this, while the Herald was gibbering on about Sky City backing down.
    Is journalism training provided there or is it simply the ability to repeat propaganda that counts?

    ‘SkyCity may need to shrink its international convention centre after public funding was ruled out, prompting critics to question whether the plan for a “world-class, iconic” building in downtown Auckland is now fading away.’

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11402525

    • Incognito 3.1

      I am utterly unimpressed by the Government’s mismanagement of the Convention Centre (AKA Gambling Centre for Selfish Bastards or GCSB), from the beginning in 2009 to how they dealt with the cost ‘blow-out’ in 2015. They are way too easy with opening the wallet with taxpayer money, our money, for their corporate buddies. Meanwhile, Peter Dunne slashes The National Library Services to Schools for a measly $400k – nobody knows the exact figure and Treasury has not been involved – which is much less than the median house price in Auckland.

      • Tracey 3.1.1

        Bill convinced Key that not getting to surplus would hurt Key more than backing down over SKYCity… this was still about money but not in terms of saving it to give to those in need.

    • b waghorn 3.2

      Little on tv3 this morning said that if sky city build a less than promised convention center a government he leads would review there gambling concessions

      • phillip ure 3.2.1

        good to see little say/do that..

        ..but that is only one of the symptoms of the disease/cancer on our society..

        ..there is only one clear/clean solution..

        ..nationalise the bastards..!

        ..mp’s should use their powers to do what we elected them for..

        ..to work for/in the common-good..

        ..if they can partial-privatise our commonly owned/paid-for assets..

        ..they have opened pandoras’ box..

        ..and offered up the option of nationalisation..

        ..or at the very least..partial-nationalisation..

        ..where the state takes 51% control..

        ..and the public/shareholders can hold the other 49%..

        ..what’s not to love about that..?

        • Ron 3.2.1.1

          I would love to have Labour to announce that on becoming the Government they would hold a Royal Commission Inquiry into Gambling in New Zealand with particular emphasis on Casinos and the massive increase of pokies all over New Zealand bars and clubs. I would imagine that an inquiry looking into the effect of such gambling on our people would find it pretty hard to justify the existence of such places. We already have the TAB and if an inquiry felt that we needed additional gambling then it should come under a government structure similar to TAB. Private ownership of such gambling should be stopped.

        • b waghorn 3.2.1.2

          Part of what cost the left the election was there plan to control power prices ,so any one with shares would be motivated buy selfishness every election time around any partial nationalisation IMO.

      • Murray Rawshark 3.2.2

        Good. I’ll accept for the moment that “review” doesn’t mean give them more pokies so they can make a bigger centre next time. That would be more Goff’s style. I’d also like to see them aware that the TVNZ block can be taken back at the same price for which it was sold. We are not Batista’s Cuba, to have casinos running the place.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3

        Little and Labour need to grow a backbone. They need to be saying that they will be cancelling the gambling concessions whether the convention centre is built or not.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Neither National nor SkyCity give a shit about the convention centre, they only care about siphoning taxpayers money into corporate profits.

  4. Paul 4

    Dominion Post Editorial on the TPP.
    They argue for more transparency, pointing out this government hasn’t a good track record making deals.
    http://i.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/editorials/66223914/Trans-Pacific-Partnership-Trade-deal-secrecy-par-for-the-course

    • miravox 4.1

      From the ‘stuff’ article

      You can’t negotiate in plain daylight, they say. But once again this is a matter not black or white.

      European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly has been pushing European Union officials over the secret negotiations between the EU and the US over the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TIPP), another enormous “free trade” deal. She wants more disclosure both during the negotiations and full disclosure of the concluding deal before it is signed. This way, she argued, the public would have some knowledge of and input into a deal that would affect all Europeans. More openness would also increase public confidence in any deal, she noted

      The Editor appears not to know that the EU is working on making negotiations at least look a bit like “plain daylight”, not simply talking about it.

      It starts here; clearly still a work in progress, but the public is beginning to be informed on the EU negotiating positions.

      • vto 4.1.1

        “You can’t negotiate in plain daylight”

        Well in fact you can. It happens all the time in various spheres and realms, not least in much of business.

        The fact that the Key bozos can’t is for them to work out. The Skycity craps deal proves their incompetence at negotiation.

        • Tracey 4.1.1.1

          Even if you can’t negotiate in plain daylight you can take the final version/draft, when negotiations are complete, and show it to your nation before signing.

          This need for secrecy throughout is a giant red-herring. That so many corporations know what is in the drafts and citizen nations do not, speaks volumes about where this agreement is weighted.t

          • KJT 4.1.1.1.1

            They! are, negotiating in plain daylight.

            The corporations and overly wealthy, the ones that stand to benefit to our detriment, are fully cognizant of the details, in fact they get to write the terms.

            The reason those who will bear the costs are not allowed to know, is the strength of public opposition into cementing corporate rights over democratic rights, would destroy the process of theft of our democracy, which is being continued.

            “Trust us”, Wayne Mapp says. “Trust us”? the people that have ensured most of our incomes have dropped, caused recessions when our terms of trade says we should have had booms, advocate putting troops into yet another US caused middle Eastern mess and have a quarter of a million kids on poverty in one of the richest countries in resources per capita in the world.

            We are still waiting for the rise in living standards and prosperity promised in the 80’s. “Trust us and our dog eat dog world view and privatisation of State enterprises will result in a higher living standard and more prosperity”.

            They forgot to mention it would only be for 2% of us.

            “Trust us”…………….

            • phillip ure 4.1.1.1.1.1

              @ kjt..

              + 1..

            • Tracey 4.1.1.1.1.2

              which is why Mapp never addresses the real concerns of folks but drops his mantra about hating all free trade deals… presumably cos he can’t do so with a straight face. 400 corporates alone int he USA are seeing the documents as “advisors”, and of course none show or tell their boards!!!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.2

          Well, no.

          The distributive negotiation model requires secret bottom lines. You are describing an integrative negotiation, which requires a high degree of trust between negotiating partners.

          • Clemgeopin 4.1.1.2.1

            What are you saying? Explain in plain English with examples if you can, please.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.2.1.1

              It’s pretty clear already: I’m drawing a comparison between the two basic negotiation models and pointing out that secrecy is a requirement of one, whereas a high level of trust between the parties is a requirement of the other.

              The only substantive way to inform the debate is for the government to tell everyone what New Zealand’s bottom lines are, whereas by not doing so, they stand a chance* of striking a better bargain.

              Rock, meet hard place.

              One solution would to change the negotiation model.

              *yeah right – this thing isn’t getting signed any time soon.

              • Clemgeopin

                So, we have to trust the government negotiators of all countries to do the best for their own country and by definition at a cost/detriment to the other or some other countries. I suspect that the powerful nations with the most wealth/clout will have an advantage over the others and be more favourable to them.

                And when our country negotiators agree to the terms and sign up, do we, the people, then get a chance to reject them if we find them to be not really good enough?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Exactly: you see the problem straight away. There probably isn’t enough trust between the parties for integrative negotiation to be an option.

                  Edit: although I don’t think you’ve summed up integrative negotiation very well: ‘by definition’, it aims at win/win solutions.

                • Sacha

                  The country whose corporations have been writing the agreement stand to benefit the most, unless we walk away. We’ve just seen an example of what good negotiators in NZ’s interest our government are.

                • Tracey

                  and it is SO secret that 400 corporates have been tagged as advisors to the USA team, and all will have boards they report to, but Mapp suggests NONE of them are sharing anything with their Boards???

              • KJT

                Well. If “free trade” really lifted “all boats” as the proponents claim, then there would be no need for secrecy.

                New Zealand’s major problem is that our Governments have, already, in a fit of idealogical lunacy, abandoned almost all our trade protections, leaving us nothing to negotiate, so we have to beg other countries to do the same. Most shamefully when Key was trading on the sacrifices of our dead soldiers with South Korea.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  It’s difficult enough to persuade two individuals to enter into an integrative negotiation, let alone two countries. There are twelve conducting the TPPA negotiations.

                  Is there much doubt that the CER has been good for NZ? Or the Chinafta? Trade agreements are one thing – the US’s wishes for the TPPA look more like restraint of trade, in that they seek unfair advantage for shareholders over citizens.

                  That said, Tory employment law has done far more damage to New Zealanders than trade ever will.

                  • KJT

                    Actually if you did a total cost benefit analysis of the China FTA, I think you will find it is costing us a lot more than it gains.

                    People, like Wayne Mapp go on about the 7 billion dollars of milk powder we sell to them.
                    Totally ignoring the cost of constant stream of junk we have to borrow to buy back off them, the lost jobs, opportunities and industries, the cost of the unemployed and destroyed lives in New Zealand, (and China). The cost of borrowing for dairying which exceeds the long term profits etc, etc.

                    Both the USA and UK, and now China, got wealthy in the first place because of trade protections (often enforced with guns as the Chinese well remember). Now they have the money, they want to ensure other economies cannot do the same.

                    Ironically Germany got wealthy due to half their borrowings being forgiven after WW2. And lately by lending to wealthy Greeks and Italians so they could buy German cars. A form of Keynesian stimulus. Loans which the poor of those countries are now expected to pay back.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Both the USA and UK, and now China, got wealthy in the first place because of trade protections

                      And NZ. We became a country with a strong economy because we backed ourselves and worked together rather than selling ourselves out and fighting against each other.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Private borrowing was a problem long before the Chinafta.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Private borrowing was almost non-existent before we went ‘free-market’.

                    • Tracey

                      I assume any country not in the TPP is doomed to poverty for want of trading partners?

                • Tracey

                  Perhaps Wayne knows we are being screwed like we were over SkyCity so revealing details would be suicide for the NACTs

          • miravox 4.1.1.2.2

            So what’s the EU/US negotiation model called? Where EU texts (but not necessarily US) are released to the general public as the negotiations proceed?

            http://www.euractiv.com/sections/trade-society/ttip-papers-published-eu-ombudsman-demands-more-transparency-311088

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.2.2.1

              Reading is a skill: your link refers to “the legal language and binding rules”, not bottom lines.

              • miravox

                …and ongoing release of documents to EU members and the general public throughout the negotiation process.

                Hence holding a ‘secret bottom line’ as in the distributive model may be difficult? Yet the release of negotiation texts over the process and at the conclusion of negotiations may preclude integrative negotiation model?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Neither of your questions make sense to me. If we were in an integrative negotiation there wouldn’t be any expectation that negotiating texts would be confidential.

  5. Skinny 5

    No surprise Tolley most likely knew of the seedy goings on prior to the 2014 general election. What sort of banana republic is Key operating when continued stonewalling of
    the timeline he got briefed. The MSM has failed us as the fourth estate to demand answers.

    m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11402445

    • wyndham 5.1

      Yes, but ‘honest John’ won the 2014 election by a ‘landslide’ don’t yer know. That means he can do anything.

      • mac1 5.1.1

        The problem with landslides is that they cause a lot of damage, leave a lot of spoil, and require a huge clean-up afterwards. A lot of energy is spent on rescue and repair just to get things back to where they were.

        In our case, rising unemployment, $100 billion debt, cuts throughout public services and hocking off the nation’s assets.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      Nah, the National Party knew about it before the 2011 election, according to the NBR. The only way it can have been suppressed is if lots and lots of people decided that their ‘personal responsibility’ was to look the other way.

      • Skinny 5.2.1

        Well according to self appointed National party watch dog, and champion of the liberals Matthew Hooton, the NBR knew of some sort of investigation involving Sabin back in 2011. Which begs the question if this is correct, and the Leader of the National Party knew, as a good leader one could reasonably expect John Key to keep a close eye on him. Sitting him down to have a in depth discussion about his expectations of all his MP’s.

        There is speculation that the 2011 investigation is seperate to the one last year. Which if true needs to be clarified by Key, or as many people suspect Key is deliberately misleading the public due to the suppression order. In my opinion the non disclosure of timelines is a miscarriage of justice.

        • Tracey 5.2.1.1

          John Key, we are to believe, is Sergeant Shultz. He knows nothing and remembers nothing. Pretty sure those are just the characteristics you need to run a country

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.2

          The relevant detail is that the NBR says that the National Party knew before the 2011 election.

          We know the investigation started in Whangarei and had to be moved. There is no mention anywhere of a separate investigation. ‘Speculation’, or smoke?

          What happened in 2011 when the National Party found out? I expect they threatened the messenger.

          • marya46 5.2.1.2.1

            “What happened in 2011 when the National Party found out? I expect they threatened the messenger”

            Hoping to close the investigation down as well at that stage!

            Also I’d say Key appointing Sabin as chair of the select Law and Order committee might have been an intentional move on his part. Having information on this issue before he said he did, Key put Sabin there to intimidate the police, to the extent of scaring them off and not continuing with the investigation! Typical of Key in self preservation mode!

        • rawshark-yeshe 5.2.1.3

          Skinny .. your link is odd .. this is better I think …

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11402445

          And noticeable they are not letting any replies through moderation .. are they trying to make it appear as if no-one is interested ??

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.1.3.1

            Plenty of comments there now – I’m no lawyer, and some of them wouldn’t make it past moderation here.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.3.1.1

              And very few of those comments supporting the line of the editor.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                I think it’s a valid argument: the no surprises rule has evolved into something quite toxic.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Although I agree that the No Surprises policy can be detrimental as it causes government departments to give the advice that the minister wants to hear rather than the truth I don’t believe that this is one of those cases. In the case of an MP being investigated the MP needs to be stood down during the investigation as I point out below. It would be better if an MP stood themselves down as well but we can’t rely solely upon people’s honesty and integrity for that to happen and so we need procedures in place to ensure that it will.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Lots of fishhooks there.

                    In effect it hands the police a veto over Parliamentary appointments.

                    • McFlock

                      To a degree, but at the same time they’d be picking powerful enemies if they made up serious investigations against parliamentarians they didn’t like.

                      The other point is that no surprises is confidential, and doesn’t dictate what the party leader should do. A minor investigation might not warrant a stand-down except in those areas where there might be a direct implication of conflict of interest or abject incompetence (a biosecurity minister bringing fruit through customs, for hypothetical sake). A minor scuffle in a bar or something, though, might not affect anything political, beyond a sad little oik getting 15 minutes of fame with a petty complaint.

                      But if there is a solid, long-term investigation into multiple serial offences, like if the minister for horticulture was a likely Mr Asia, then a stand-down might be right and proper (unless it affected the ongoing investigation). And the cops might play that card with invented complaints against their political enemies, but if shit gets that serious there are other problems with our democratic system. Useful symptom to look out for, I guess.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That would obviously be something that would have to be considered while writing up the process.

          • Skinny 5.2.1.3.2

            Yes sorry about that my iphone called it a day and I still haven’t mastered my new one yet, must read the instruction manual.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      That’s just another MSM defense of this Government:

      But those questions beg a much more important one: ought ministers be told anything about an investigation such as this?

      Yes they should be. When an MP comes under investigation by police they need to be stood down until the investigation is complete else we end up where the MP is in a place of power that they could use to influence the investigation.

      • rawshark-yeshe 5.3.1

        DTB … your last paragraph — which is exactly what happened here imho. Appointing Sabin chair of the Law and Order Select Committee was a very direct message to Police as far as I’m concerned, but thank goodness for decency, it didn’t work.

        Maybe Key didn’t know til later ? Maybe he thought it was all fixed with the appointment of Sabin to head of that committee ?? Key must have been surprised someone with actual integrity defeated him by laying charges ?? This truth would not surprise me at all, so low is my opinion of Key and government-by-crony.

        And if anyone has known since 2011 ? Charge the bastds with being accessories to whatever crimes Sabin is prosecuted with, (according to Speaker David Carter).

  6. The Other Mike 6

    Is this the same G20 meeting JK went to? Has he signed this?

    “On Tuesday, a draft statement from the Group of 20 finance officials warned that growing income inequality could harm economic growth, the first time the group has voiced concern over the issue.”

    “A majority of large American companies have warned investors that falling incomes for most consumers could hurt their businesses. ” (This is what it takes for Gov to actually take notice)

    Link: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2015/02/11/3621727/first-time-g-20-warns-income-inequality-dangerous/

    • that all hearkens back to that economics 101 rule that ideology blinds tories to..

      ..that is that the best stimulus to an economy..

      ..and one of the pillars of an ongoing economically sound society..

      .. is to ensure the poorest have enough money to live on..

      ..and stripping all of the inequality etc. arguments out of the case..

      .. you are left with that economics 101 rule..

      ..and that is that each and every week that living-wage churns instantly back into the economy..

      ..thru retailers/service-providers tills…

      ..plus more tax revenue for the govt..

      ..plus the lessened costs to the health system from everyone able to afford to eat well/better..

      ..everyone’s a winner..

      ..and why is labour not presenting these arguments..?

      ..instead of what they did in their election ’14 policies..

      ..namely offering nothing to/for the poorest..

      ..in their unspoken agreement with the tories..

      ..to continue to screw over the poorest/weakest..

      ..is this what we are..?

      ..is this what we have become..?

      ..and if not..labour had better start signalling/arguing the rationales of that economics 101 rule..and soon..

      ..now would be good..

      • phillip ure 6.1.1

        (not to mention..)

        “..What We Are Not Being Told About Suicide And Depression..

        ..For nearly two decades Big Pharma commercials have falsely told Americans that mental illness is associated with a chemical brain imbalance –

        – but the truth is that mental illness and suicidality are associated with poverty – unemployment – and mass incarceration.

        And the truth is that American society has now become so especially oppressive for young people –

        – that an embarrassingly large number of American teenagers and young adults are suicidal and depressed..”

        (cont..)

        http://www.alternet.org/personal-health/what-we-are-not-being-told-about-suicide-and-depression

        • tricledrown 6.1.1.1

          Homophobia is a major factor in suicide.
          Underfunding of Mental Health by govt.

        • The Murphey 6.1.1.2

          When profit is in the pill or vaccine every organisation and company involved in ‘industry’ will exercise behaviour and operational strategy to protect profit above all else including mental and physical health

    • Tracey 6.2

      Key may be a member of the G20 but the PM of New Zealand is not…

  7. Tautoko Mangō Mata 8

    There is an interesting article in the Intercept regarding what motivates
    young men to engage in terrorist acts on behalf of Islam. It gives an insight into the environment that influences them and could lead to much better ways of dealing with the problem than our leader is considering.

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/14/imprisoned-terror-charges-fahim-ahmad-gives-insight-radicalization/

    • Molly 8.1

      Good read.

      Especially noted the comment:
      “I also don’t think people should go and take part in other people’s conflicts, because from a distance you can’t really know what’s going on. Things are never so black and white, and if you go there, people are just going to end up using you.”

      And the profound alienation that he must have been felt, seeing the invasion of Iraq and reading such pro-war MSM articles would have been intense.

    • Tracey 8.2

      You mean look below the surface???

  8. Murray Rawshark 9

    Can someone explain to me how this is different from what Pat O’Dea did? I’m sure it must be in many ways that I’ve missed.

    http://www.bootstheory.wordpress.com/2015/02/13/bingo-time-being-a-killjoy-feminist-thought-policewoman/comment-page-1/#comment-131

    [ Well Murray, if you think an explanation would be helpful to you, then there is a comments section over at the blog where the post was made. Go there and ask for one. I wonder though, do you really want an explanation? Or is the fact that you asking for an explanation here simply indicative of you grinding an axe for the sheer hell of it? – Bill]

    [lprent: Since I did the permanent ban of Pat O’Dea…

    A. There is specific part of the policy “Describing the site as having ulterior motivations, being a tool of someone…”.

    I will do a cross blog ban on that when someone asserts that without bothering to show any proof or even any reason why they think the assertion is justified about the site or an author.

    My presumption is that if they do so then they are a person who feels no compunction about lying for their own benefit. Even Cameron Slater, for all his multitudinous faults, at least tries to justify when he asserts that kind of crap. He links back to previous posts that explain his bullshit logic. Which is why he retains commenting rights here when he chooses to exercise them.

    But Pat O’Dea didn’t bother even trying to justify his assertion as he tried to attack Labour via us. He also couldn’t see why he was acting like a troll on our site as he diverted the comments on posts into his own pet topic. He ignores what everyone else says and twists it into his obsessive focus on what he wants to say. That lack of awareness of others is the mark of a classic sociopathic personality in my view. They tend to be quite poisonous to debate. You don’t have to go far to realise that. Just read most of his longer comments here where he does exactly the same things – he asserts fallacies as fact and never ever bothers to justify his position.

    B. Stephanie’s post on the other hand was quite supported by the evidence she pointed to in her own post, and I have seen exactly the same kind of commentary both in comments that have been moderated here and those left on the site. Not to mention some of the emails.

    However she expressed an opinion, didn’t ascribe an ulterior motive to the site or the authors. So it isn’t covered by that policy.

    Now I’m sure that some of it is ‘gender’ related, but I’d question whether it is anything more than the kind of stick I sometimes get because of my first name, age, or that I like laughing at young males and their dick obsessions in their various manifestations.

    Stephanie still reacts to that kind of personal probing with actual unfocused emotion and that tends to act as a focus. She tends to be too nice or constrained to do what I do – which is to either tear into the perp with an even more personal speculation about what they are like with language as a ripping weapon. Or to just ignore what they said while I deconstruct the lack of logic or knowledge in their actual argument.

    Basically I demonstrate why you need to be careful who you try that crap on as I wind them to incoherent sputtering. It amuses me.

    But I have been an adult around the net for 35 years. She is a spring chicken. She is learning fast and actually doing a pretty good job overall of figuring out how to communicate effectively in this kind of net environment populated almost exclusively of older smart educated egotists. She is certainly the youngest moderator I have ever used.

    That post demonstrates why. Such a lot of spluttering… ]

    • whoar..!

      ..that’s the first board-game i’ve had made about me..

      ..(and my bad attitudes..)

      ..i’m both humbled and flattered..

      ..and..obsessive..?..much..?

      ..heh..!

      ..am i being stalked..?

      ..is there a basement somewhere with walls lined with pictures of me..

      ..with sharp=objects sticking into them..?

      ..heh..!

      .very funny..!

      • Murray Rawshark 9.1.1

        No Phil, you’re not being stalked. Alan has gone (for now).

      • phillip ure 9.1.2

        but..yep..!..it is also pretty fucken weird..

        ..and i do wonder what the reactions wd be had i done something similar..

        ..(constructed an attack-piece on the game-maker @ whoar..)

        ..i am sure the likes of the game-maker/weka/tracey wd have howled the roof off..

        ..i await their reactions to this little purler..

        • Murray Rawshark 9.1.2.1

          You would have gotten a reaction from me as well, Phil, if you’d done that. I would have considered it less than helpful. I disagree with a fair few things you say, but I doubt if you lose any sleep over that. I see a big difference between discussions on tactics and actually pulling in different directions.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2

      It’s probably just some sort of psychotic episode I’m having, and I just can’t shake the feeling that Stephanie’s status as a moderator really pushes male buttons 😈

      • Murray Rawshark 9.2.1

        Always possible, and hard for a male to know whether that has happened or not, and to be honest about it. However, I wasn’t addressing the moderator status. It’s more having a go at people on one blog via another. Pat was widely condemned for it, and I think what he did was at best unhelpful. I can see similarities and differences here, but I can mainly see a left which is cannibalising itself. Maybe I’m just pissed off that my back still hurts.

        [ It’s more having a go at people on one blog via another. Uh-huh. Really? – Bill]

        • te reo putake 9.2.1.1

          Pat is clearly pissed off at TS and chose to write attack posts on another blog that included claims about the Standard that he knew were untrue. The post on Bootstheory is entirely truthful and composed of real or summarised comments from people who really should know better.

          • phillip ure 9.2.1.1.1

            entirely truthful’..eh..?

            ..how about this ‘summarised-comment’/quote..?..(what i ‘would’ say..(!)..)

            “It’s got nothing to do with the fact you’re a woman, it’s about the fact you’re a nagging/shrill/bitchy/catty/oversensitive/overemotional/PMSing cow.”

            ..whoar..!..eh..?

            • phillip ure 9.2.1.1.1.1

              also not quite ‘entirely truthful’..

              ..is the attributing what other people said..

              ..to me…eh..?

              ..but near-enough ‘entirely truthful’…eh..?

              ..how very joyce-ian of you…eh..?

              • If you mean the Bootstheory post, it’s not attributed to any specific commenter. The idea that’s it’s all about you came from, er, you.

                • yeahh..fucken right..!

                  ..it’s not about me..is it..?

                  ..yu r so fucken full of it..eh..?

                  ..that ‘game’didn’t really piss me off..

                  ..yr bullshit does..

                  • so once again..you say bullshit..’entirely truthful’..

                    ..are called /asked about it..

                    ..don’t answer..and just a fucken lying-sneer..

                    ..enough..!

                    ..u r now at the same status alan was..

                    ..to be totally fucken ignored..

                  • It’s not about you, specifically, Phil, and not all the comments used are yours, so when I wrote “The idea that’s it’s all about you came from, er, you.” that’s actually correct. The worst comment, in my opinion, is actually not one of yours.

                    IMHO instead of throwing around words like bullshit, you should address the real issue. Why don’t you meditate on why a women might find the attitudes of a man like you offensive.

          • Murray Rawshark 9.2.1.1.2

            I’m not sure Pat would have known that his claims were untrue. We can often convince ourselves of some strange things. Apart from that, I accept what you say about the difference.

        • marty mars 9.2.1.2

          It’s good that you’ve clarified because I didn’t get that from the initial comment.

          pat is attacking the site with mistruths imo

          Stephanie’s post imo doesn’t seem like an attack (it was on her own blog for instance) but if it was it was against a commenter who has irritated her.

          the bingo game is pretty mellow

          In terms of working together the left is always jostling and some issues – identity, sexuality, gender, ability, war, age, climate change, and so on have proponents all along the spectrum. I don’t know who is left – I believe I am and those who have the same values are too (like you Murray) and others I wonder, but accept them for what they believe and realise that widening the definition of left beyond my values is necessary, important and sensible. I can accept both Stephanie and Phil as left – even alien was part of the left – the left is scaringly full of individuals with obnoxious ideas for me but the right have to be gone so that the people can be protected more and the environment can be rescued as much as possible. I love the left – we actually care.

          Hope your back gets better soon e hoa.

          • Sacha 9.2.1.2.1

            Pat is criticisng this site’s moderators. Stephanie is criticising its *commenters*. One of those is against site policy.

            • Murray Rawshark 9.2.1.2.1.1

              I think we’re allowed to criticise moderators, as long as we don’t attack them or tell them what to do. If that weren’t the case, TS would be like a Young NActs’ Q&A session with FJK. I would be totally unable to debate Iraq with TRP, for instance.

              • lprent

                Yep. And the moderators are allowed to criticise the other way as well.

                That she did this bit of criticism offsite and got such a reaction on site speaks well of her tactics. Because after making such a to-do about not doing it here, you can hardly complain if she then does eh?

                😈

                Boots theory is her own personal site. She was expressing herself there in a public journal. Rather effectively I thought.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  I’ll answer this one now 🙂 (6:34 pm)

                  I would have liked to see Stephanie’s post here. I still would. I think it addresses some important points. I think many of us would benefit from addressing them here.

              • TheContrarian

                “I think we’re allowed to criticise moderators…”

                I give shit to LPrent all the time. He’s a good sport about it.

          • Murray Rawshark 9.2.1.2.2

            The left does need to be broad. Depending on which day of the week it is, I either hate or love that fact. Why can’t the laws of politics be like the laws of nature? Grrr.

            I think what I don’t like is taking things from one blog to another. I have a sense of community about this place. As I said above (or maybe below) I wouldn’t be happy to see Phil do it either. It reminds me a bit of Pete George. I agreed with almost everything in the bingo game, it came from comments made, but I rather would have seen it here. I think that would have been healthier for us all. On the other hand, I’m often wrong and what I think should generally be ignored, so……

            As for the back, thanks. It has a mind of its own 🙁

            [ I think what I don’t like is taking things from one blog to another.. So why, pray tell, have you done precisely that? – Bill]

            • Murray Rawshark 9.2.1.2.2.1

              Because I’m writing about something that has already happened. Half of it happened here, with comments that convinced Stephanie to write about it on another blog. It started here and I thought it was being addressed here. I told Phil here what I thought of his comment. People tell me here what they think of mine. Most of them manage to do it without using bold.

              • lprent

                Yeah, but you raised a specific point about the site policy and the banning of Pat O’Dea that needed answering. It means that you get a moderator comment and probably from me. The immediate answer comment was long gone so there was no point in answering way down thread. So it is black you get.

                [lprent: Opps I thought you were referring to my one further up… ]

                • Murray Rawshark

                  To lprent 6:40 pm

                  If I ever have criticisms of policy, I’ll raise them privately. Then they can be ignored privately. I try to stick to politics and the interactions we have with each other. I seem to cause enough confusion just with that, without straying into constitutional territory.

              • Bill

                Murray – if I’m using bold in your comments, take it as read that a warning of some description is contained within. I don’t use bold in comments for the mere sake of replying.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  I would find a bit more of a hint at the policy that I’m either violating or close to violating helpful. It’s easier to modify behaviour with a bit of guidance. I’m too old to guess.

                  • greywarshark

                    @ Murray R
                    If you take my advice, you will relax and pass on this matter. I believe it is beyond hu-man understanding. I think it is a cultural matter which is convoluted and the more discourse there is, the less able to be concluded with a brief and clear explanation.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      I think I like that idea. It’s too easy for everyone to be misunderstood at the moment.

                  • weka

                    “I would find a bit more of a hint at the policy that I’m either violating or close to violating helpful. It’s easier to modify behaviour with a bit of guidance. I’m too old to guess.”

                    Good point. Sometimes bold comments are a bit obscure.

                    Bill’s comments to me looked like a caution to take care and probably to step back, rather than being about a specific part of the policy (other than that you are talking about an author/moderator).

        • Murray Rawshark 9.2.1.3

          Yeah, really.

      • phillip ure 9.2.2

        “..I just can’t shake the feeling that Stephanie’s status as a moderator really pushes male buttons ..”

        no..why..?

        ..gender has nothing to do with anything..in this case..

        ..(there’s a new square for the game..!..)

    • 1) Because it’s true

      1a) Because I took pains to quote accurately instead of spinning vast conspiracy theories

      2) Because I deliberately chose not to link to the specific discussion or commenters I was quoting – my point was a general one about the absolute waves of smarmy, condescending sexism I encountered from a simple one-sentence comment

      3) Because my little blog gets approximately 1% of the readership The Daily Blog gets (and 0.7% of the readership of The Standard) and I deliberately chose not to publish it here

      4) Because the problem was never “somebody talking on another site about this site” and you’re a total numpty if you think it was.

      • phillip ure 9.3.1

        so you wd be quite relaxed about me doing ‘the modertors-game’..

        ..over @ whoar..

        ..wd u..?

        u call me every slur under the sun..homophobic/trans-phobic/woman-hating/feminist-hating..

        ..u attribute what other people said to me..

        ..and while i wd never/have never said to anyone what you ‘quoted’,me as saying..’the pms-bitch’ line..

        ..my tongue is bloody bleeding…

        (and all the other moderaters + the bingo-creator here wd b quite relaxed about me linking to the moderaters-game..would they..?

        .full of bully/power-freak/man-hating/make-repeated-false-accusation squares..

        (i cd write half of them in five minutes..)

        ..that wd b ok..wd it..?.

        (if i were so fucken infantile/obsessive..?..).

        ..i don’t think so somehow..eh…?)

        ..this person never answered the final-questions in that exchange they use..

        ..where i asked them to retract the false-accusations they had made about me ‘demanding transcripts be published’..

        ..which was just the latest of a series of bloody-lies…

        ..and was penny bright also calling that an injustice ‘cos she ‘hates women’..?

        ..or was that just me..no injustice-call..just a manifestation of my woman/homo/trans-hatred..eh..?

        • Seeing as I have never – and I’ve searched the comments already – called you a “woman-hater”, phil, perhaps consider the paradox of accusing me of lying about things you’ve said, especially when it is very clear from the post Murray linked to that I never mentioned your name or even linked to your comments.

      • Murray Rawshark 9.3.2

        I’m a total numpty then because I see that as an issue. Certainly not the only one, but an issue. Any other names you’d like to call me?

        • weka 9.3.2.1

          I think the point is that most of the reaction against O’Dea was not about him talking offsite. It was about what he said. In your comment earlier you said most of the reaction was the offsite bit.

          • Murray Rawshark 9.3.2.1.1

            Yeah, it looks like I misread the situation a bit, assuming that others were seeing it the same way I was. Not the first time I have got things a bit wrong, and it won’t be the last. I thought that Pat was doing something very bad by spewing on one left blog in a column on another, as well as not respecting what he wrote.

            In the other case, I agreed with most of the bingo card – I’d seen what inspired it. I can see more of the difference now. That’s more than enough from me. Shut up, Muzza you old fool.

            • weka 9.3.2.1.1.1

              🙂 Nice to see you handling it gracefully. Not a very common occurance round here.

              • Murray Rawshark

                Just wait. Gazpacho is a dish best served cold. 🙂

                I get a bit passionate at times, and go off on the odd tangent. I can recognise that in myself. As a middle aged man, apologising for it is totally unthinkable though 🙂

    • Rawsharkosaurus 9.4

      I thought women were ‘allowed’ to have their own opinions these days. Did someone turn the clock back to 1955 and not bother telling me?

      • Murray Rawshark 9.4.1

        If that’s addressed to me, I don’t have a problem with anyone having an opinion. It’s still 2015 where I am.

    • Murray Rawshark 9.5

      To Bill: If I’m grinding any axe, it’s about the left in general being less cannibalistic. As for your questions, I suspect you’ve already made up your mind.

    • Murray Rawshark 9.6

      To lprent: Thanks for a coherent response. I can see now why, from your point of view there is a huge difference. I’m coming from a different point of view and have possibly taken something more seriously than I should have. I accept that what Pat ended up doing was unacceptable, and even if I didn’t, it’s your call. Maybe something will start happening on the ground that will focus us all better, myself included.

      • lprent 9.6.1

        You might have noticed that I am really really strongly rules focused in the moderation. The reason why is to make sure that people are aware what will and will not cause particular reactions from moderators. To do anything else just gives you warlord rules as the system scales up. What works for a small blog doesn’t work for a large one.

        But the rules tend to be loosely written but tightly focused for the same reason that law is. You want to identify areas of particular concern and limit what happens there. You sure as hell don’t want it so wide that unforeseen consequences abound.

        Consider the daftness that can arise from “You shall not kill” as a commandment as opposed to “Do not murder”. Consider bacteria.

        • Murray Rawshark 9.6.1.1

          I suspect bacteria come under the beasts of the field that all of us, excepting Phil, have god-given dominion over.

  9. Sans Cle 10

    Citizenfour is a film about Edward Snowden (with Glenn Greenwald) playing in Rialto cinema Newmarket, and well worth seeing.

    What I took away from it:
    Je suis Nicky

  10. Sacha 11

    I miss the feeds. Any word on when they might be able to be fixed?

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    Trust on state houses: We won’t buy unless they’re free

    A community housing provider has told the Government that it won’t buy state houses when they’re put up for sale this year unless the price is zero.

    Kinda defeats the purpose of selling them unless the purpose is other than what the government says it is.

    • Molly 12.1

      At least National are consistent.

      The purpose is ALWAYS other than what the government says it is.

    • Naturesong 12.2

      Not really. The purpose is to create the market. It’s one of the main planks of neoliberalism.
      The govt’s job ends once the market is created. Further intervention in the market is warranted only when it acts in totally foreseeable ways that negatively affect the function of other markets (but not if that market destroys peoples livelihoods and communities).

      So, we could give away all the state houses, and it would all work like magic, apparantly.

      I’m really not sure what they think success will look like with this policy.
      But once it’s done, I’m guessing they’ll just ride it out while viciously attacking (from all quarters) anyone who asks impertinent questions.

  12. Colonial Rawshark 13

    US economy going so well, old people are “un-retiring” for ‘economic reasons’

    Work till you die is the new American economic leadership.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-15/un-retiring-increasingly-disabled-non-working-american-dream

    • greywarshark 13.1

      This from CR link to zerohedge —
      So to sum up – The American Dream is now… work your whole life (and we mean your whole life)… the number of workers 55 and over just hit 32.9 million, up 1.3 million from a year ago, and an all time high.

      That is workers – up 1 million plus. This one below, for population numbers over 65 years in USA. If 55 years is considered old, then 65 and over, must be a burden to the country’s planners. Their present mode of ageism and an unhealthy economy seeking cheap underpaid labour overseas and high returns in their own supposed wealthier country has few options for older workers. Yet it is agreed that the middle class is being decimated by this behaviour. Can the economy recover health with this reckless lack of responsible business and political behaviour?

      2010 USA figures – here are now more Americans age 65 and older than at any other time in U.S. history. According to a new Census Bureau report, there were 40.3 million people age 65 and older on April 1, 2010, up 5.3 percent from 35 million in 2000 (and just 3.1 million in 1900).
      http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2012/01/09/65-and-older-population-soars

      In the UK:
      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2340119/Number-65s-work-doubles-decades-1million-time.html
      The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, show 1.03million people who are over state pension age are working – nearly one in ten. In 1992, the first year the ONS kept records, only 479,000 worked.

      Yet nearly one million jobs were cut from government and turned to private so abandoning the opportunity to fashion workforce decisions to assist healthy employment trends:
      Spending cuts and a renewed focus on creating private sector jobs has seen the number of people working for the state tumble from 6.3million to 5.7million….

      There is usually a lack of will by business to undertake giving training and worker development. Men and women who wished to achieve individual advancement and autonomy, who pay for their own training will see the opportunities for skilled jobs with good pay recede, and even mothers being able to afford to concentrate on child care is no longer an affordable option:

      The continuing financial squeeze means the number of stay-at-home mothers has dropped again, by 34,000 between February and April.
      Of the 432,000 extra jobs created in the past year, nearly two-thirds have gone to women, who make up nearly half the workforce – 13.8million….

      Job vacancies are the highest since the 2008 banking crisis, at 516,000.
      But Mark Beatson, chief economist at the Chartered Instituted of Personnel and Development, said businesses were struggling to find people with the right skills.

      edited

  13. Anne 14

    A very good session on RNZ between Mike Williams and Matthew Hooton this morning. And I never heard Mike say I agree with Matthew once although I could have missed it. Matthew came up with an excellent term – neo-muldoonary – in connection with the SkyCity machinations. Especially pertinent since Key is on record as saying he is a… Muldoon acolyte who has closely studied his mode-of-operation.

    • alwyn 14.1

      When did Key say that about Muldoon? Dis you have a reference?
      I had thought he had been most taken with Holyoake.

      • Anne 14.1.1

        Sometime between 2008 and 2011. I don’t remember the exact time. He didn’t call himself an acolyte. That was my way of summing up what he did say, which was to the effect he had always admired Muldoon, and that he had studied him in detail. It was initially during a TV interview, but was almost certainly commented on in the newspapers and on radio at the time.

        At the moment he likes to mention Holyoake because he’s probably decided it is politically advantageous to pretend he’s modelling himself of the NZ statesman of yesteryear – fancies his chances of becoming Sir John Key, the great NZ statesman of the early 21st century?

        • te reo putake 14.1.1.1

          While he can’t remember how he felt about the 81 tour, Key has talked about his growing interest in politics as a teenager and when he was a uni student. The PM during that entire period was Rob Muldoon.

      • Murray Rawshark 14.1.2

        I can understand how Key would be taken with the way Holyoake basically gifted Kinloch to himself, while everyone thought how honest and gentlemanly he was.

  14. adam 15

    At work today we’re playing a very sick game.

    How many state houses are boarded up to fenced off in New Lynn Auckland.

    Including those which have been removed.

    The count is at 15 – including 2 removed.

    In the mean time – how many are homeless are their in New Lynn? I know more than 15 families personally.

    This is a very sick joke – This National Government is a bad joke. It has no morality.

    Greed is the sin, which will destroy our country.

    • Sabine 15.1

      yes, its been pissing me off….so many that can’t afford houses and so many houses boarded up.

      fucked up society we are becoming.

      • adam 15.1.1

        Just a evil situation.

        It’s is like the Nastiest people have been given social policy.

        And they just doing their personal best to destroy as many people as possible.

        • The Murphey 15.1.1.1

          The nastiest people are chosen by the nastiest people and however many levels its rolls up there is evil at each of them

          It can’t change until enough people are able to see this world for what it is and to begin taking action developed through their awareness outwardly to others

          So long as people continue to operate inside the false narratives and fake constructs designed to entrap there will be few who develop the necessary awareness

          Many more will continue to shun the messengers

  15. Philip Ferguson 16

    ‘Guantanamo Diary’ and American democracy:
    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/guantanamo-diary-and-american-democracy/

    The book is the first to get published while the author is still being held at the US concentration camp/torture centre at Guantanamo Bay, a part of Cuba occupied by the US.

    Phil

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.1

      Someone was telling me that Guantanamo Bay is “leased” by the USA from Cuba…

      • phillip ure 16.1.1

        it is one of those leases that cannot be broken/ended by the landlord..

        • Murray Rawshark 16.1.1.1

          “it is one of those leases that cannot be broken/ended by the landlord..”

          I’m generally supportive of those leases. This is an exception. Castro’s Cuba has never cashed the cheque.

      • McFlock 16.1.2

        For $4,000 a year.

        The interesting bit at the end of the wikipedia article is that the use of the base as a detention facility might exceed the terms of the lease, which might be grounds for challenging it. But then the Chagossians have a similar problem.

    • Tracey 17.1

      Both GREAT people and selfless workers for the future of NZ

    • gsays 17.2

      hi trp and tracey,
      i too have just heard that celia lashlie is very ill.

      i had the privilege of hearing her speak a couple of years ago, (after reading her books, hearing interviews etc).

      celia lashlie is someone that has PROFOUNDLY informed my thinking and behaviour.

      i feel that the term hero is bandied about far too often.

      celia lashlie is one of my heroes and i wish her and her whanau/friends the strength and courage needed in the near future.

    • Clemgeopin 17.3

      Seemed like a very good, caring, fair and compassionate person. RIP.

      [It is the really fair, courageous and great people like him and Celia Lashlie who give selfless exemplary service to the community and the country that need to be given our highest honour, knighthood etc rather than be dished out to some self serving dodgy people or politicians who happen to be in the government’s good books]

    • Clemgeopin 17.4

      There is a good article and some nice comments from readers about him on Stuff in this link:
      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/66248553/robin-duff-has-died#comments

  16. Colonial Rawshark 18

    The Great War of American Empire

    The US has engaged in many high, mid, and low intensity military conflicts around the world in the last 25 years. Very few of these conflicts were justified honestly, or achieved more than a tiny fraction of their officially stated aims.

    Terror and terrorism are invoked to rationalize some operations. Vague threats to national security are mentioned for others. Protection of Americans and American interests sometimes is made into a rationale. Terrorism and drugs are sometimes linked, and sometimes drug interdiction alone is used to justify an action that becomes part of the Great War of the American Empire. On several occasions, war has been justified because of purported ethnic cleansing or supposed mass killings directed by or threatened by a government.

    Upon close inspection, all of these rationales fall apart. None is satisfactory. The interventions are too widespread, too long-lasting and too unsuccessful at what they supposedly accomplish to lend support to any of the common justifications.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-15/guest-post-great-war-american-empire

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      Empires engage in wars to get resources to their centre and to crush resistance of the outlying regions to that theft.

      • McFlock 18.1.1

        And, sometimes, because other empires want the area and it’s a good way to whittle each other down.

        And sometimes because it’s a good way to keep armies busy so they don’t start looking inwards – Hadrian’s wall, for example.

  17. Draco T Bastard 19

    How Superstar Companies Like Apple Are Killing America’s High-Tech Future

    The iPhone didn’t just magically appear out of the Apple campus in Cupertino. Whenever a company produces a technology product, it benefits from an accumulation of knowledge created by huge numbers of people outside the company, many of whom have worked in government-funded projects over the previous decades. Öner Tulum, a researcher at the Academic-Industry Research Network (theAIRnet), has shown how all of the technologies in the iPhone — things like touch-screen technology, GPS, and so on — originated with government spending, funded by taxpayer money.
    That’s why a company like Apple should be using a substantial portion of its super-profits to support government investment in the next generation of innovation. Instead, the company runs an entire division devoted to finding ways to avoid taxation.

    Considering that we have people and companies also avoiding paying taxes to the tune of several billion dollars per year just how much damage are those greedy scum doing to our high-tech future? We need to accept the fact that it is the government that does the basic research that supports innovation and then we need to fund it.

    • vto 19.1

      Agree completely and this is an essential reason patent law and the like is unstable in its current form and worse with what is proposed for the future i.e. TPP. Patent laws are unstable because they do not reflect reality or a sense of fairness. As such they will fail.

      All inventions / patents result from an investment by the community to bring the inventor to that position in order to make that discovery. Such discoveries are 100% a community discovery, with an individual being the one to bring it to pinpoint fruition.

      As such patents belong to the community, with an add-on for the pinpoint individual.

      The end.

  18. Morrissey 20

    “Were we THAT sloppy?”
    A depressing half hour of radio, Monday 16.2.15 (Part 1 of 2)

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Monday 16 February 2015
    Jim Mora, Barry Corbett, Lavina Good

    Mostly a pretty uneventful program today—neither Barry Corbett nor Lavina Good said anything remotely interesting, leave alone intelligent, even in the “Soapbox” segment after the news. But then things picked up—actually, took a sinister turn—in the last ten minutes or so. Three topics were discussed.

    Topic No. 1: KILLING STOATS

    The Department of Conservation is using dogs to sniff out stoats, which have been devastating kiwis and other native birds in the wild. Jim Mora notes that after the dog has detected the stoat, the ranger then kills it. He asks why the heck don’t they just use the DOGS to kill the stoats? Barry Corbett is not sure whether that is a good idea or not; he’s a bit worried about possible cruelty. Lavina Good has no such qualms: “Kill the stoat,” she exhorts her fellow panelists. “Kill the stoat. KILL THE STOAT!”

    JIM MORA: To discuss this, we welcome Scott Theobald from the Department of Conservation. Hello Scott.
    SCOTT THEOBALD: Hello.
    MORA: So why NOT let the dogs kill the stoats?
    SCOTT THEOBALD: Because it’s inhumane. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a dog kill an animal, it’s not a pretty sight.
    MORA: [testily]Yeah but hang on! Squeamishness surely can’t be a reason given the vicious and indiscriminate nature of what stoats do. That can’t REALLY be why you’re against it, can it.

    A brief but noticeable silence as an obviously disturbed Scott Theobald assesses the ethical standards of his inquisitor….

    SCOTT THEOBALD: Ah, yes it can. …

    ……

    Topic No. 2: STUDENTS DRINKING IN DUNEDIN

    MORA: A local city contractor has refused to clean up Hyde Street in North Dunedin, after it was left COVERED in broken glass following an Orientation Week party. ….[He sighs to indicate moral seriousness]…. Okay, in our day, students had a larrup, but were we THAT sloppy?
    BARRY CORBETT: We were both at Otago, James. I think we had a lot of fun, but it was all in good spirit, wasn’t it!
    MORA: [baffled sigh] Uh, so North Dunedin has lost a lot of that amiable, rumpled reputation that it had. It seems a bit harder edged now.
    LAVINA GOOD: But the partying on the weekend was good-natured, wasn’t it? A bit of innocent fun, really.
    MORA: Is there a tipping point though?
    LAVINA GOOD: I’m sure there are worse things going on in the community than a bit of broken glass.
    MORA: Anyway, research out today shows that O-Week drinking could have a GATEWAY effect. This is fascinating, isn’t it.
    BARRY CORBETT: [skeptical] Hmmmm….
    LAVINA GOOD: [skeptical] Hmmmm….
    JIM MORA: [irritated] Isn’t it?
    BARRY CORBETT: I actually organized a couple of O-Weeks, and they were great fun! You used to report on it back when you were the editor of Critic, didn’t you, James?

    ……

    Topic No. 3: SCHOOL UNIFORMS

    The news about a Parnell school’s expensive P.E. tops leads to some animated discussion. It’s mostly pretty run of the mill stuff, until the following prime piece of ignorance…

    LAVINA GOOD: I like that we have school uniforms, because they make us less of a class-conscious society.

    That was pretty stupid, but as we shall see in Part 2, a few minutes later I was to hear far, far worse over on New Zealand’s version of Fox News….

    • gsays 20.1

      hi morissey,
      didnt hear the show (have largely weaned myself off both the panel and the politics slot on mondays, they were, in the recent past, appointment listening), but i cant help take the bait ref. topic 1.

      1080 would hve to be the cruellest way for any critter to die.
      i defy anyone reading this to cite another crueller, more painful way for a creature to die.
      bear in mind i have said cruel, not economically efficient.

      • Morrissey 20.1.1

        You make a very fair point.

        The point of my transcribing those comments, however, was to highlight the nature of the person making them. The interesting thing about what Mora said, and the impatient way he said it, was his apparent equanimity about, and approval of, a stoat being torn apart by a dog. His remarks fit, I think, with his equally depraved, approving attitude to human beings being imprisoned and persecuted by vengeful states.

        • gsays 20.1.1.1

          all cool here.

          i reckon that part of the appeal of the likes of the panel and (dare i say it) ts, is the voicing of opinion.
          personally speaking one of my favourite parts of the newspaper was the letters to the editor followed by the rotating pieces by regular guest columnists.

          this either reinforced and informed my attitude or disgusted me and gave insight to what THEY were thinking.

          • David 20.1.1.1.1

            I’ll say, it’s hardly the stoats’ fault that it’s vicious little critter. Not to mention training a pack of dogs to destroy animals isn’t very smart if they get loose. What a stupid vacous statement to make from Mr. Mora.

      • weka 20.1.2

        Content warning for serious animal cruelty.

        “1080 would hve to be the cruellest way for any critter to die.
        i defy anyone reading this to cite another crueller, more painful way for a creature to die.
        bear in mind i have said cruel, not economically efficient.”

        Being caught in a leg trap, left overnight, then hit on the head with a hammer, stunned but not killed, plucked, body left in the bush until dead from shock.

        3 day slow death from internal bleeding from eating rat poison. I’ve seen mice in the death throes of this, it ain’t pretty.

        I once heard a hunter on the radio talk about how being shot in the head was a worse way to die than a fast acting poison like cyanide. Being shot in the head is essentially a traumatic brain injury death. Not sure what I think about this.

        • gsays 20.1.2.1

          hi weka,
          i have no intention of escalating or taking this in a more graphic direction.
          your example of 3 days dying after eating rat poison is close to the mark re 1080.

          i understand that the cells break down slowly….

          none of our examples are ideal and i would suggest that they would be illegal, certainly unlawful.

          however because the almighty $ reigns supreme, doc can go down this dehumanizing path.

          • weka 20.1.2.1.1

            thanks gsays, I think I misunderstood your original point. I thought you meant that 1080 is one of the worst ways to kill an animal, but now I think you were meaning that DOC are hypocrites talking about cruelty when they use something like 1080.

            I thought 1080 was reasonably quick for the primary kill, and took hours rather than days for secondary kill. But yes, I agree with you, there are animal cruelty issues here that barely get talked about. I did think the DOC guy in Morrisey’s piece was interesting, but I suspect that being killed by a dog is not necessarily kinder than most other methods (Mora is still an idiot).

            It’s very complex, because the only real alternative to poison is trapping, and we often don’t do that humanely either.

    • vto 20.2

      Barry Corbett was completely and utterly shown up for the big mouth fool he can be in his knee-jerk-red-kneck brain fart on the unlawful activity of police in a civil matter at the cricket. He went painfully quiet – poor man.

      A big brave radio personality whom everyone loves, followed up by being voted into Council because of his amazing wisdom, what else would anyone think when festooned with such festoons?

      Unfortunately brain not big enough to untangle the tangling messages sent his way over the years.

  19. Morrissey 21

    “He’s a terrorism EXPERT!”
    A depressing half hour of radio, Monday 16.2.15 (Part 2 of 2)

    Larry Williams Drive, NewstalkZB

    After the 5 p.m. news, I listened to a Radio NZ National item about the Mark Lundy trial, then switched over to NewstalkZB’s notoriously addle-pated Larry Williams Drive show, just in time to catch the peroration of what sounded like one of the more bewildered callers to that haven of the terminally bewildered. This bloke had an Australian accent; apart from that, he was pretty much indistinguishable from the confused wretches that call in from Birkenhead, or Pukekohe, or Bulls, or Nelson or deepest, most benighted Southland. The caller confidently, but not very coherently, reeled off a series of clichés he might have picked up from repeated exposure to Fox News—or indeed, its Kiwi equivalent, NewstalkZB. When I tuned in, he was near the end of his spiel….

    CALLER: It needs to be a regional force as well, comprising the neighboring Arab states. There is no alternative but for us to take part. This is more than a military campaign, it’s a war against an idea, an idea that has gone global.

    …..Long pause, and then the surprise of the day……

    LARRY “LACKWIT” WILLIAMS: Thanks for your expertise, Greg. That’s Professor Greg Barton, from Monash University! He’s a terrorism EXPERT! Okay, after the break, the Lundy trial….

    If you think the name Greg Barton is familiar, it is. If you followed the Sydney siege in December 2014, you might recall that one “counter-terrorism expert” ramped up the anxiety levels by expertly opining that the gunman was not likely to be acting alone. That was Greg Barton. It’s interesting that NewstalkZB, even if nobody else does, still treats him as a credible commentator.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/11294082/Sydney-siege-gunman-not-acting-alone.html

    Open Mike 16/02/2015

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      The RTDs of the marijuana world.

    • adam 22.2

      The source of that article is not the best and does not draw on much earlier research. In particular the age of first use and the impact on undeveloped brain. Coupled with the fact that most episodes the report are at age 16.5 years of age. I say cannabis is a drug that should have an age limit 21 – along with every other drug.

      This is the argument the majority of supporters of legalisation have been arguing. Letting young people with underdeveloped brains smoke pot is exactly the same as letting young people drink alcohol with underdeveloped brains. A bloody stupid series of events.

      But once again, just pure propaganda from the Tory rag herald – and happy consumption for the masses to keep the beer barons buying adds.

      You should really read more b wagon before you dump herald propaganda on the standard.

      • weka 22.2.1

        We can’t stop people under 21 from drinking or smoking tobacco, how would we stop them from smoking cannabis?

        I suspect that the connection with psychosis won’t always be mitigated by prohibition until 21.

      • b waghorn 22.2.2

        My own personal experience i started smoking as a teen a lot of it was weak stuff as I got into my mid twenties skunk or clones as we called it became available and I went from enjoying it to giving up due to it winding my brain up pretty tight. Very unscientific I know .
        Maybe if we legalized it we could control the THC levels.

        • phillip ure 22.2.2.1

          you obviously started smoking during the dark-years..

          ..when most of the importing ended..

          ..and before the local-growers got their act together..

          ..and when cannabis was often cannabis in name only..

          ..and when nz was notorious internationally for crap-pot..

          ..(fortunately i wasn’t here then..but those here then have confirmed that ‘dark’-period..)

          ..whereas for those older than you..

          ..words like ‘buddah’..durban-poison – afghani hashish..

          ..really strong honey hash-oil..plus more..

          ..these are the brands of pot we smoked..

          ..and they were as strong..some wd claim stronger..(durban-poison’..mmm!!!..)

          ..as the best skunk today..

          ..my condolances to you for missing that golden-period for pot in nz..

          ..and for having to grow up surrounded by/your only choice being weak/shitty bush-weed..

          ..’dark days..!..indeed..!

  20. The lost sheep 23

    Mr Ure likes to start every most days with a pro Cannabis post or two, so here’s something for him to ‘mull’ overnight.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/almost-a-quarter-of-new-psychosis-cases-linked-to-strong-skunk-like-cannabis-10047716.html

    • 5 ‘mulled-over’ points..

      1)..this is based on the entirely false-premise that pot is now stronger than it used to be..

      ..as one who has smoked since ‘used to be’ – i can report this is complete-bullshit..

      ..and don’t believe me..forensic-analysis of cannabis in court cases over the decades – both here and in america..confirm this…any changes in pot strength are minimal..

      ..good pot has always been good pot..

      2)..and so what..?..if the pot is of good quality..you smoke less..’cos you need less..

      3)..no matter how ‘wasted’ someone gets on pot..they are nowhere as ‘wasted’ as yr average kiwi teenager lying drunk in a gutter..

      4)..who funded this research..?..the booze-pushers..?

      5)..no matter what anti-pot bullshit is pumped out..

      ..it is impossible to deny the fact that cannabis is the safest of all the intoxicants to use..

      ..end of story..

      • gsays 23.1.1

        hi phil,
        last year i had an interesting chat with a police officer from northland.
        he painted a grim anti-pot picture, obviously based on his experiences.

        it culminated with him saying tptb want to move weed to a class b category.
        this, according to him was because of the high potency of thc.

        i went and had a look at the drug foundation (btw ross bell is a breath of fresh air) at studies on the levels of thc.
        hasnt markedly increased and what was surprising was the range of thc levels on the same plant.

        • phillip ure 23.1.1.1

          yep..!..

          ..that big-lie bullshit is designed to scare adults who may have smoked in their youth..

          ..but don’t any more..

          ..and are (understandably) scared by lying-crap such as this…

          ..and as an aside..

          ..one of the mysteries of modern-life for me..

          ..is why hone harawira is such a reactionary on cannabis..

          ..when he knows the damage to maori resulting from both alcohol –

          – and police activities as a result of cannabis-prohibition..

          ..and how maori suffer the most from both..

          ..and also how legalisation wd be such an economic-boost for northland..

          ..as i said..it’s a mystery to me..

          • phillip ure 23.1.1.1.1

            and more on that ‘..good pot has always been good pot’..point i made above..

            ..cannabis has been grown since forever..in many different cultures..

            ..how fucken euro-centic/egocentric to think/believe that we ‘modern’-people have just discovered how to grow strong/decent-pot..

            ..eh..?

            • gsays 23.1.1.1.1.1

              shhhh!
              you will wake the booze merchants.
              not to mention big pharma.

              oh yes, there is also the cotton industry.
              did i mention the building monoply and forestry owners?
              none of them would want a plant that has 7 times the strength of wood,
              can be harvested twice a year and doesnt need any sprays and chemicals.

              also can you point me to an example where prohibition works?

        • Murray Rawshark 23.1.1.2

          Poaka should stick to enforcing the law and investigating ex-poaka, not trying to make law. We are not yet a police state. Problems in Te Tai Tokerau wouldn’t be due to economic depression by any chance, would they? The Netherlands must be really bad. And Portugal. And as for Uruguay….

  21. Incognito 24

    I am surprised that nobody has drawn attention to this excellent (IMHO) article in the NZ Herald (I may have missed it?): The American working class has gone missing by Andrew Cherlin.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11402733

    The original article appeared in The Washington Post and is worth visiting also because of its comments section (107 comments at the time writing this).

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-missing-working-class/2015/02/13/d20d6352-b385-11e4-886b-c22184f27c35_story.html

    Anyway, the article in the Herald reminded me of another recent one in the same publication: University-centric view risks losing talent by Rick Ede.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11399078

    Cherlin contrasts the “people who have a diploma but not a bachelor’s degree” (i.e. the working class) with “the college-educated middle class, who already have bachelor’s degrees”. Ede advocates less emphasis on university degrees as a career path. Obviously, one’s career determines one’s ‘standing’ (i.e. class) in society. It is too late now to get really into this but it seems to me that there’s a paradox: encouraging the working class to pursue university education – which used to be almost free – may have contributed to diminishing the role of the same working class in society.

    • Draco T Bastard 24.1

      New Evidence that Half of America is Broke

      Half of our nation, by all reasonable estimates of human need, is in poverty. The jubilant headlines above speak for people whose view is distorted by growing financial wealth. The argument for a barely surviving half of America has been made before, but important new data is available to strengthen the case.

      We have, of course, been following dutifully and unquestioningly in the US’s footsteps which has resulted in ever increasing poverty and inequality. About time we stopped doing that.

      • Incognito 24.1.1

        Ta for that. I agree about not following in the US’s footsteps and that’s another reason why the TPPA should never go ahead.

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