Open mike 16/03/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 16th, 2013 - 123 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 link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

123 comments on “Open mike 16/03/2013”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Challenging the Washington Consensus
    Hugo Chavez and Me

    by TARIQ ALI March 7, 2013

    Once I asked whether he preferred enemies who hated him because they knew what he was doing or those who frothed and foamed out of ignorance. He laughed. The former was preferable, he explained, because they made him feel that he was on the right track. Hugo Chávez’s death did not come as a surprise, but that does not make it easier to accept. We have lost one of the political giants of the post-communist era. Venezuela, its elites mired in corruption on a huge scale, had been considered a secure outpost of Washington and, at the other extreme, the Socialist International. Few thought of the country before his victories. After 1999, every major media outlet of the west felt obliged to send a correspondent. Since they all said the same thing (the country was supposedly on the verge of a communist-style dictatorship) they would have been better advised to pool their resources.

    I first met him in 2002, soon after the military coup instigated by Washington and Madrid had failed and subsequently on numerous occasions. He had asked to see me during the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, Brazil. He inquired: “Why haven’t you been to Venezuela? Come soon.” I did. What appealed was his bluntness and courage. What often appeared as sheer impulsiveness had been carefully thought out and then, depending on the response, enlarged by spontaneous eruptions on his part. At a time when the world had fallen silent, when centre-left and centre-right had to struggle hard to find some differences and their politicians had become desiccated machine men obsessed with making money, Chávez lit up the political landscape.

    He appeared as an indestructible ox, speaking for hours to his people in a warm, sonorous voice, a fiery eloquence that made it impossible to remain indifferent. His words had a stunning resonance. His speeches were littered with homilies, continental and national history, quotes from the 19th-century revolutionary leader and president of Venezuela Simón Bolívar, pronouncements on the state of the world and songs. “Our bourgeoisie are embarrassed that I sing in public. Do you mind?” he would ask the audience. The response was a resounding “No”. He would then ask them to join in the singing and mutter, “Louder, so they can hear us in the eastern part of the city.” Once before just such a rally he looked at me and said: “You look tired today. Will you last out the evening?” I replied: “It depends on how long you’re going to speak.” It would be a short speech, he promised. Under three hours.

    The Bolívarians, as Chávez’s supporters were known, offered a political programme that challenged the Washington consensus: neo-liberalism at home and wars abroad. This was the prime reason for the vilification of Chávez that is sure to continue long after his death.

    Politicians like him had become unacceptable. What he loathed most was the contemptuous indifference of mainstream politicians in South America towards their own people. The Venezuelan elite is notoriously racist. They regarded the elected president of their country as uncouth and uncivilised, a zambo of mixed African and indigenous blood who could not be trusted. His supporters were portrayed on private TV networks as monkeys. Colin Powell had to publicly reprimand the US embassy in Caracas for hosting a party where Chávez was portrayed as a gorilla.

    Was he surprised? “No,” he told me with a grim look on his face. “I live here. I know them well. One reason so many of us join the army is because all other avenues are sealed.” No longer. He had few illusions. He knew that local enemies did not seethe and plot in a vacuum. Behind them was the world’s most powerful state. For a few moments he thought Obama might be different. The military coup in Honduras disabused him of all such notions….

    Read more….
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/07/hugo-chavez-and-me/

    • Jenny 1.1

      Thanks for this Morrissey

      Tariq Ali on Chavez

      http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/03/07/hugo-chavez-and-me/

      Once I asked whether he preferred enemies who hated him because they knew what he was doing or those who frothed and foamed out of ignorance. He laughed. The former was preferable, he explained, because they made him feel that he was on the right track.*

      But how did his people see him?

      ……. it was not the coup attempt or the referendum. It was the strike organised by the corrupted oil unions and backed by the middle-classes that worried him because it would affect the entire population, especially the poor: “Two factors helped sustain my morale. The first was the support we retained throughout the country. I got fed up sitting in my office. So with one security guard and two comrades I drove out to listen to people and breathe better air. The response moved me greatly. A woman came up to me and said: ‘Chávez follow me, I want to show you something.’ I followed her into her tiny dwelling. Inside, her husband and children were waiting for the soup to be cooked. ‘Look at what I’m using for fuel … the back of our bed. Tomorrow I’ll burn the legs, the day after the table, then the chairs and doors. We will survive, but don’t give up now.’ On my way out the kids from the gangs came and shook hands. ‘We can live without beer. You make sure you screw these motherfuckers.’”

      *A takeaway message for our leaders here.
      (If you are being praised by the Herald, instead of being slighted and ignored, then you know you have made a terrible mistake in direction.)

  2. lprent 2

    I’m testing a new backup system this early morning. So if you hit a slow patch – then that is what it is.

    • bad12 3.1

      Yawn, and your point is???, besides getting the kick as soon as possible again that is…

      • Hecate 3.1.1

        Documentation

        • Enough is Enough 3.1.1.1

          sentences please Hecate. What the fuck is your opinion

        • Hecate 3.1.1.2

          I have met some of the mothers of ‘the disappeared’.

          http://memorialmagro.com.ar/node/982

          might give you something of a clue of their desolation.

        • freedom 3.1.1.3

          wow, Hecate , so you are letting us know someone in an elitist position of power may have been involved in or knew of some dirty deals involving America, Money Death and Destruction and the MSM may not have been entirely forthcoming with what they know ?

          this is not news and most people here can also use google,
          but I imagine very few read Spanish ( do you? )
          what people generally come here for is to share an opinion on said information . . .

          • Hecate 3.1.1.3.1

            Si, pacito .. but people can generally the the drift.

            • Enough is Enough 3.1.1.3.1.1

              what drift? fill us in Tiger. I am very keen to hear what your view on Francis is. The whole world knew about the rumours you have linked to within minutes of him being elected. Its not a scoop

              • Hecate

                Have you ever travelled in a non-english speaking country ? It is not that difficult, given good will on both sides. My purpose is documentation.

                Francis ? I presume you mean Bergoglio. I have never met him, but I think his record speaks for itself. See above.

                Rumours ? I suggest you read it. Ignorance is no excuse.

                • McFlock

                  Why should I take the time to click random links, if you don’t take the time to summarise them and demonstrate a contiguous thread of connection between them?

                  It might just be me, but I prefer to read assertions and check supporting links if I want to know more / disagree / want to check veracity. Rather than just clicking on URLs that might be to somewhere interesting in English, or possibly just to somewhere nutty in another language.

            • Georgy 3.1.1.3.1.2

              Hecate, what about chemtrails?

        • locus 3.1.1.4

          documentation?

          odd mix…. award winning investigative journalist and try-hard conspiracy theorist

    • SpaceMonkey 3.2

      One interesting section in the first of Hecate’s links. On Argentina…

      “Under the helm of Minister of Economy Jose Alfredo Martinez de Hoz, central bank monetary policy was largely determined by Wall Street and the IMF. The currency market was manipulated. The Peso was deliberately overvalued leading to an insurmountable external debt. The entire national economy was precipitated into bankruptcy.”

      Shades of the National Ltd technocracy under John Key?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        That is interesting and, yes, it does sound like what this government is doing to our currency.

        • marsman 3.2.1.1

          Methinks that is exactly what NAct are doing to our country and I bet that just like Argentina the perpe-traitors will escape with the loot.

    • Ennui 3.3

      Been a lot of talk on this site about the new Popes bona fides….rather than add to this I am going to take an alternate approach. Tomorrow morning will be the first service most Catholics attend after the naming of the Pope, and I (as an agnostic non Catholic) am going to sit quietly in the back seat of the Cathedral and observe the congregations response, and listen to the Bishop. Could be interesting.

  3. Jenny 4

    Labour Party treachery betrays humanity itself.

    From their hard won leading role in our society, the Labour Party refuse to use their public declaration on the drought, to appeal to farmers and the rest of society that we really, seriously, need, to do something about climate change.

    Not one mention, of the two words, on everyone’s mind.

    What even was the point of this statement?

    • AmaKiwi 4.1

      It’s just a reminder that Labour’s spokesman for the environment, Grant Robertson, is just like “Mr. Fuck It” described by Eddie here on TS today. He has a high caucus ranking but no accomplishments.

      Correction: Robertson has an accomplishment. He’s been great for the Greens. They scoop Labour every time.

      Here’s a frightening prospect. An election in which National is led by Stephen Joyce and Labour by Grant Robertson.

      • ghostrider888 4.1.1

        chuckle

      • phillip ure 4.1.2

        from doing commentaries on q-time for some time/years now..

        ..i have noted that tho’ much vaunted in many circles..

        ..that robertson has pretty much failed as opposition spokesperson..

        ..he didn’t succeed against ryall in health..

        ..and now joyce is just waving him away with a lazy hand in economic development..

        ..so i guess i am still waiting for examples of that much talked of vaunt..

        ..phillip ure..

    • dumrse 4.2

      What do we need to do? Pay more tax ?

  4. bad12 5

    So, Slippery the Prime Minister modifies the truth claiming the past Chairman of the Board at the States coal miner Solid Energy asked the National Government to invest a billion dollars in Solid Energy’s diversification plans,

    That past Chairman of the Solid Energy Board being questioned at the Parliamentary Select Committee denies ever having asked Slippery the Prime Minister for further investment from the Government,

    In the latest bout of rewriting history the Prime Minister now claims that Solid Energy was asking the Government for 2-3 billion dollars annually which is simply bullshit,

    The Treasury documents released by the Prime Minister as ‘proof’ of what He has been saying being correct simply point out that the Slippery little Shyster is lying through His teeth,

    The 2-3 billion dollar cost of Solid Energy’s diversification are a Treasury estimate given to the Government after Solid Energy unfolded it’s expansion plans to Slippery’s Government and were not part of that submission given by Solid Energy, instead part of the advice sought by the Government from Treasury after talks with Solid Energy on it’s plans to diversify it’s business,

    One thing about compulsive liars that i do know is that they seldom if ever admit their lies, when caught out on one lie they simply tell an even bigger lie in an effort to cover up the first one…

    • vto 5.1

      Yep, Key is all at sea with his lies.

      He is becoming known as the lying prime minister. Most everyone agrees that I speak to – even nat supporters.

    • freedom 5.2

      nicely put bad12
      i stole para 3,4,5 as part of a rant elsewhere – credited tho’ 🙂

      • bad12 5.2.1

        Lolz, welcome to it, the more people that realize that they are being cynically lied to with an ongoing litany from this Slippery little Shyster of a Prime Minister the less chance there will be that He continues to do so after November 2014…

    • Jenny 5.3

      The 2-3 billion dollar cost of Solid Energy’s diversification are a Treasury estimate given to the Government after Solid Energy unfolded it’s expansion plans to Slippery’s Government……

      bad 12

      An expansion and diversification in coal use, that as well as proving to be unaffordable would condemn us all to accelerating climate change.

      • AmaKiwi 5.3.1

        vto @ 5.1 above:

        “I don’t have any recollection of that.” “I don’t remember.” “I can’t recall.”

      • bad12 5.3.2

        Ummm well NO Jenny, if Solid Energy produced X amount of diesel from coal and X amount of bio-diesel then we as a country would be no more condemned to accelerating climate change than we will by importing and burning actual fuels from elsewhere,

        Such accelerating climate change is a ‘theory’ which you may choose to believe or not, i am not discounting ‘climate change’ here i am simply not in a position to ‘know’ that the ‘theory’ of climate change’s acceleration will come to pass or such climate change may be far more benign than the ‘acceleration theory’ would have us believe,

        Along with it’s intention to diversify into bio-diesel and coal to diesel Solid Energy was invested with an Australian firm CO2CRC into research and actual capture and sequesture of CO2,

        As far as i can tell there is very little ‘intent’ from the major emitters of CO2 to radically rein in such production and given that as a country we do not occupy a ‘climate bubble’ then even if as a country our carbon emissions were reduced to zero this will have NO effect whatsoever on the eventual ‘climate out-comes’,

        i prefer not to sit here on the Standard whining about that which i (or anyone else here), can markedly alter in the way of CO2 reduction and would therefore see accentuating moves where it is possible to remove from the atmosphere on an industrial scale amounts of carbon which negates what we as a country produces in a climate damaging manner as far more productive,

        PS, isn’t the ‘the other’ barrow you push one of declining fuel production where fuel shortages are inevitable???, producing diesel from coal may be ‘unaffordable’ at the current market price of that product but in the future this will not necessarily be the case…

  5. vto 6

    Fiordland is under threat, as many are aware, with 3 proposals to insert private toll transportation inside the conservation estate.

    Environment Minister Nick Smith last month called the decisions for consent in for him to make “because the decisions are such a type that it is appropriate they are made by someone electorally accountable”. Well, excuse me, but doesn’t that make it more of a reason for NOT having a politician make the decisions? i.e. because long term decisions on what is best for the country need to be made, NOT short term on what will happen in the next election. (this type of shit gives me the shits with politicians).

    The 3 projects are the tunnel, the monorail and the Haast-Hollyford road.

    One of them, the tunnel, is headed by two Canterbury fullas, an Elworthy and a Gould. Would someone like to take a guess at the political patronage that is getting all hot and steamy under the National Party bedsheets over this?

    What a fucking stink. Betcha the tunnel gets the go. Elworthy corrupt. Gould corrupt. Smith corrupt.

    The more extreme this government gets (and it is extreme) the more extreme will be the reaction against their acts whence they are tossed onto the pyre.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      Environment Minister Nick Smith last month called the decisions for consent in for him to make “because the decisions are such a type that it is appropriate they are made by someone electorally accountable”.

      Then it should be put to local referendum.

    • yeshe 6.2

      Hard to believe he gets to make this decision when so many in Queenstown are against it.. I read somewhere – oh, maybe it was on TV — that the tunnel is single lane only !! Disaster waiting to happen, according to experts who were asked about it .. must have been tv .. I’ll try and find a link.
      Democracy in tatters everywhere in this our beloved land.

      • yeshe 6.2.1

        Found this by Mark Banham published in Wilderness magazine ..

        “This ten-kilometre-long, five-metre-diameter tunnel is going to be an engineering marvel and although it’ll be a little spooky it’ll be completely safe, just like the Pike River Mine was and totally earthquake proof, just like Christchurch was.

        So don’t worry kiddies there’s absolutely no chance it’ll ever make international headlines for all the wrong reasons like the Mont Blanc tunnel did back in 1999 when a margarine truck caught fire in it sending 39 people off to heaven.”

        http://markbanham.blogspot.co.nz/

        N.B. Need to scroll halfway down his blog to find ‘Welcome to Fiordland’, written April last year.

        • vto 6.2.1.1

          Yes it is a forgotten aspect of the tunnel proposal. 10 km is a very long tunnel. Recall one of Pike River’s problems was that they did not do enough pre-mining drilling to check what they had to tunnel through. They ran into unexpected (in their view) hard rock and it cost them dearly (we all know how dearly). This proposed tunnel is over 10 km (Pike River was about 2km). The unknowns are collosal. The risk of massive financial blowout are high. The risk of not even getting through are high. It would be as you say yeshe “an engineering marvel”.

    • millsy 6.3

      Have these guys actually stopped to think about what the purpose of a national park is?

      Not too sure that building roads and tunnels for fat rich tourists to ‘make their rides easier’ fits into that purpose.

      It really is no different to mining there.

      Like vto, im guessing Smith will rubber stamp it.

  6. karol 7

    Bomber has posted notice of a National Day of Action against asset sales, on TDB: Power to the People. 2pm Saturday April 27th.

    Glad there’s sufficient notice for me to book a day off work.

    Links on Bomber’s post at the above link for protests at various places around the country…. Problem is the Auckland-Britomart link takes me to a face book page, where I had to scroll down the page to a poster that says the protest is Sat 28 April…checked it, Saturday is 27 April. But eventually found this link that goes straight to the Britomart protest event page.

  7. Paul 8

    Did anyone listen to Kim Hill’s interview with Hordur Torfason?
    Was it just me or did I sense a subtle attempt to undermine his arguments?
    It just came over as quite a hostile interview.

    • tc 8.1

      Kim’s never been great at hiding her bias, she’s either gushing and fawning, undermining with her disruptive manner or just plain bored with her delivery.

      Top journalism RNZ styles

    • prism 8.2

      Kim is good at mining the best infor usually and she tests for reality, I think she was interested in revealing the truth about Iceland’s recovery. She thinks a bit harder and with more critical thinking than the average joe dropping comments around with little world knowledge or mental exercise. She is very testing for people who are used to sycophancy all the time also. She may throw popular myths and opinions into the mix and lampoon them or question them and then find out her interviewee’s personal views.

      • Anne 8.2.1

        Agreed prism. A brilliant interviewer. The best and most intelligent we’ve got.

        I can’t agree with you Paul. She came across to me as probing but not hostile or undermining.

  8. bad12 9

    Naughty me, i said i would post a link to Solid energy’s investment in removing CO2 from the atmosphere yesterday and didn’t, better late then never right,

    http://www.solidenergy.co.nz>…>newdevelopments>carbonmanagement

    http://www.solidenergy.co.nz/…and…/native-forest-carbon-sink-trial

    And on a related but not quite topic there is this CO2 from the atmosphere and back into fuel science,

    http://www.imeche.org/news/…/uk_engineers_create_petrol_from_air.asp...

    • Bill 9.1

      None of those links work bad12.

      • bad12 9.1.1

        Faaaaaark!!!, Lolz now you know why i don’t put up links that often, F-ing things never seem to work for me…

        • Colonial Weka 9.1.1.1

          Open the link yourself and then cut and paste from the address line on the webpage (I’m guessing you are trying to copy the link off the page instead).

          • bad12 9.1.1.1.1

            Lolz, hell no i am way too much of a computer illiterate to copy’n’paste anything, Lolz i ploddingly write the link onto paper and then type it into the comment…

            • prism 9.1.1.1.1.1

              I was a slow learner bad12 and still haven’t got how to do audio links.
              But if you find an interesting heading on google, you click on the heading to bring up that item in full, to read or manipulate it.

              If you want to offer it for others edification, you highlight the address at the top of the page by putting your cursor there and pressing the right button on your mouse which should then give you a menu which includes Select All which you place your cursor on and then press left button to action it.

              Then you go back to the highlighted address with your cursor, press right mouse button again and click on Copy on the menu window. Then you have the correct link address at your fingertips and you put it in the place you want with Right Mouse – Paste on menu with cursor and click left mouse button.

            • ghostrider888 9.1.1.1.1.2

              that is funny bad

    • karol 9.2

      Thanks bad, but the carbon management one doesn’t work. This is the correct link (I hope).

      • bad12 9.2.1

        Tah much Karol, i had better keep adding the Google with my hopeless lack of being able to put up correct links,

        Lolz, i am not sure which is worse my bad habit of non-provision or my inability to provide a correct link…

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2

        and this would be the PDF link.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      And the air-fuel link.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1

        Thinking about that one, it would probably use less electricity just running the cars on electricity. On the process that they’re describing it sounds like there would be a huge amount of energy loss.

        • bad12 9.3.1.1

          My take on what the Brits are saying about Air/Co2 to fuel is that they would not use much more energy in such production as what is now used refining oil to petrol and much of the same refinery processes could be used to enable the former as is used to produce the latter,

          Interestingly or not, i also read an interesting ‘study’ into the means of capturing industrial amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere which the authors claim to be extremely cost effective,

          It was all ‘theoretical’ and i will try and re-find the link to that later on, my view is the sooner that such ‘theory’ is proven as practical and economic the better as it is now obvious that there is little political will to alter current practices around CO2 emissions world-wide among the major emitters and if there is to be a climate saving ‘silver bullet’ it will be found by science/engineering producing a means of economically enabling the extraction from the atmosphere of CO2 on an industrial scale…

  9. prism 10

    Have you listened to the Icelandic guy on radionz? 8:15 Hordur Torfason: Iceland and democracy
    I made a note last night. He has been working on changing attitudes to gay rights and then when the money disaster overtook Iceland was involved in intelligent protests that has just enabled Iceland to not end up like the pictures they saw from USA with poor people lining up at soup kitchens.

    Now he wants a new Constitution. He considers with resignation, that the Independent party, which reflects the wants of the rich, will win the next election for the nest 4 years and will change back most of what has been gained. But people will observe this and not approve he thinks so they will progress again.

    I was thinking that we need a new constitution. It has to work for us not allow scandalous things to happen under sanction. I want to stop elected politicians considering that they have a mandate to do whatever comes out of their fevered minds. They would have the power to consult and explain with the people about their policy plans and have to get a definite okay of say 60% of a referendum then they can make changes. The changes that people want can be consulted about and introduced more easily with limitations, for a pilot period then to be monitored and altered to deal with failures and anomalies and reviewed again after another period say 5 years.

    At present our country’s style is being so altered, so much loss and wasteful behaviour of introducing policies that get reversed when the opposing politicians get in or are so embedded that they cannot be changed without upheaval.

    • ianmac 10.1

      Yes Prism. A great story but clearly the battle is not won. I kept hearing parallels with NZ in that the rich elite twist the system, and lie to the population. The loss of Media is also a prime factor there and here. Hordur Torfason’s story is a mighty one but to move forward two steps and back one must need a huge degree of courage.
      And Paul I think Kim was doing her job very well in sorting the popular myths re Icelandic survival from the realities. We need more interviewers like her. Yes?

    • AmaKiwi 10.2

      @ prism

      I have heard two contradictory views, both from legal scholars. Some say we have a constitution in the form of historical precedent and others say effectively we don’t.

      But both parties agree we do NOT have a constitution 99% of the population can understand and we should.

      It’s time we wrote one.

      • prism 10.2.1

        Amakiwi
        I understand we have a constitution even though fragmented. But I want more than a joined-up consitution that is somewhat easier to understand. I want to change the elected governments power so that we can stop them rushing into policy reversals because some fast-talking jerk with fixed-ideological, upwardly mobile advisors want it.

        So that’s just not getting a joined-up constitution, and it’s different from that of the USA that promises individual freedoms and yet doesn’t deliver good governance and support for community.

        If Maori hadn’t persevered for their ideals and rights, I don’t know NZ would be now. Perhaps like a southern American state with self-interested white blokes and blokesses wanting everything their way and going for the crude, coarse financially advantageous option every time.

  10. johnm 11

    Another Dispatch from the U$K class war. The artist taxi driver:
    “Comic Relief the BBC and David Cameron what an absolute disgusting”

    “Blind in one eye, partially deaf and facing major spinal surgery but Thalidomide mother is STILL found fit to work”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2293974/Blind-eye-partially-deaf-facing-major-spinal-surgery-Thalidomide-mother-STILL-fit-work.html

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    Republicans cut funding to family planning, costs blow out $200m.

    I suppose the challenge would be to highlight where this government has made cuts just to have the costs blow out as a result. The first that I can think of would be cutting public servants and then getting contractors in to do the same job for three times as much.

  12. Rogue Trooper 13

    on the Auckland Unitary Plan; “we will run out of land by May or June” ???- Dick Quax

    and slipped into the tele MSM; “manufacturing expansion”. IN- “food, beverage and tobacco products” (lot of “value-added” there)

    Dom on the Drought; “more dry weather to come after light rain”. Oh look, they have broken the chain;
    Stock sold early-Short-term slaughter spike followed by layoffs-Rural expenditure falls-City feels the pinch-Professionals suck it up-Cost of dinner (and milk) may increase (with the international commodity prices for protein)

    Indian Skilled migrants overtake the British by canoe (some say that James, the brother of our Lord retired to the sub-continent and had a family).Predicted that a flow-on effect of the ChCh earthquake will be a further increase in Indian migration (bro is married to a lovely wee Indian lady, and from experience, they are worth checking out; they welcome a reprieve from male chauvinism)

    Iran and Hizbollah are building a new para-military force comprising “tens of thousands” to protect their interests in a post-Assad Syria.
    In addition,
    according to “Western Diplomats”, another war between Israel and Hizbollah is “inevitable”
    (Hizbollah have re-built an arsenal that includes 60,000 missiles) Man! it takes a freakin’ long time for current affairs to reach the daily broadsheets, unless the subject is America, the Pope or SBW.

  13. Rogue Trooper 14

    For “muzza” (well, everybody deserves a break, sometimes)
    “I had been through a great deal of emotional turmoil and privation during my travels and arrived at the port of Limassol (in Cyprus) with great relief at having left the scenes of my suffering behind me.
    One evening I was gazing vacantly 😉 at the sea in the afterglow of sunset, having just finished a meal in a little Greek eatery, feeling very tranquil and relaxed, when I began to feel a strange pressure in my brain…
    I felt a thrilling liquidity of being and an indescribable sensation, as if the whole universe was being poured into me, or perhaps rather as if the whole universe was welling up out of me from some deep centre. My “soul” thrilled and swelled and my consciousness passed out across the ocean and land in all directions, through the sky and out into space. Within moments I was among the stars and planets and strange entities of space. Somehow I was aware of great beings, millions of miles high, moving in space, through which the stars could be sen. Wave after wave of revelation swept through my whole being, too fast for my normal mind to record other than the joy and wonder of it.

    -Muz Murray, “Sharing The Quest”

    In short, our chief limitation lies in our assumption that our narrow, tightly-harnessed consciousness is normal and natural, whereas it is in fact highly abnormal and unnatural. The basic problem of human beings is simply and inability to “get it all together”. We possess all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle but it is so huge that we rarely see it as a whole.

    Oliver Sacks has described a pair of ‘subnormal” twins in a New York mental hospital who amuse themselves by swapping TWENTY-FOUR-FIGURE prime numbers. (the brain cannot be “wired” to perform such feats).

    from “Beyond The Occult” by Colin Wilson.

    Welcome To The Pleasure Dome (a Community of Sensation) http://www.answers.com/topic/community-of-sensation
    we’re all nuts in here 🙂

  14. karol 15

    Sheee-it! Just had to close a window to stop some light rain coming inside. Raining in New Lynn? But will it be enough in the right places to be a drought-breaker?

  15. Lanthanide 17

    Much preferred the geometric shapes for those without gravatars, rather than the little monsters.

    • Lanthanide 17.1

      Snap!

    • lprent 17.2

      I will put them back tomorrow. But it is the day of the amnesty… Monster day seemed appropriate.

      • Rogue Trooper 17.2.1

        hi Lynn; attempting to “cycle” up with Gravatar and a new e-mail. (could you please see that it gets past mods. Thanks) gr888

      • Anne 17.2.2

        Well I’ve enjoyed them 1prent. Some of them almost seemed a bit appropriate. 😀

        • lprent 17.2.2.1

          Well if people don’t like them, then I have three types more to try… Or they can feed a image to gravator. But I am finding them kind of amusing.

          Mind you I was thinking earlier that an effective means of non-banning moderation (that would appeal to my crude sense of humour) would be to get the site to specify particular images or overlays for the identicons.. I was thinking of a puddle at the bottom of a flag……

        • Olwyn 17.2.2.2

          I have not felt inspired to comment today, but now I feel I must, just to see the monster. I think I like them.

      • xtasy 17.2.3

        lprent – will there be some “amensties” in future also, given that some may “repent” at some stage for having gone over board at times and having been banned?

        It is a great idea by the way, to offer such “amnesty”. People change and most will over time “mature” and grow up, so to say. It would be fair to give the permanently or longer term banned commenters a chance now and then, to show they have learned out of past misdeeds or offensive steps.

    • BM 17.3

      I give a thumbs up for the monsters.

    • locus 17.4

      I kind of thought a geometric shape was appropriate for my handle though a potato head with badly applied lipstick will do fine 🙂

  16. ghostrider888 18

    RT : Reborn

  17. millsy 19

    Dont know about anyone else, but I didnt think that Solid Energy’s plans to become what was more or less a national oil company sounded too bad.

    Elder should really be applauded for his vision, not denigrated.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      From the first link about anti-biotic resistant bugs:

      “We may have to work with the pharmaceutical companies in public-private partnerships, and we may have to do some development of antibiotics on a public basis,” she said.

      Fuck the PPP – costs far too much. Full out government funded research.

      From the second link about the US missile defense systems:

      “We will strengthen our homeland defence, maintain our commitments to our allies and partners, and make clear to the world that the United States stands firm against aggression,” Hagel told a Pentagon news conference.

      Ha, that’s funny. The most aggressive country in the world happens to be the US.

  18. Treetop 21

    I want to know what people have been doing to save water?

    Have some people just thought about what they could do?

    I had to cut my smug self down to size as I have been wasting water by running the tap from the bathtub when the bathroom window is open so as not to offend the neighbours close by with obvious sounds. When I chucked up last week they could not close their windows quick enough!

  19. Statement of the Argentine Socialist Workers Party on Pope Francis

    (PTS, March 14, 2014) Myriam Bregman, lawyer of the Professional Center for Human Rights (CeProDH), also a militant of the PTS (Socialist Workers Party) and in charge of the accusation in the trial of the ESMA (Navy School of Mechanic), referred about Jorge Mario Bergoglio, recently chosen by The Vatican as Pope Francis I.
    During one of the criminal trials against the military genocides of the ESMA (occurred between 2010 and 2011), Bregman represented Patricia Walsh, daughter of the disappeared journalist andwriter Rodolfo Walsh, and she had the chance to question Jorge Bergoglio, in that time archbishop of Buenos Aires. She was one of the lawyers who demanded the Tribunal to cite him to appear in court as a witness in connection with the demand made for the catechist María Elena Funes, who accused him of facilitate the kidnap of the Jesuit priests Francisco Jalics and Orlando Yorio, who were members of the same order as Bergoglio.
    About that event, the lawyer said: “Unlike the image that today is given of him as a humble person, Bergoglio had no shame in using all the privileges that his investiture gave him, refusing to declare like an ordinary person in Court, so he claimed move the whole session to the Buenos Aires Curia headquarter, and we had to proceed in there. During his statement, the actual Pope avoided straight answers and he contradicted the previous witness. He tried to make a formal defense of his acting during the period that lasted the Jesuit’s priests kidnap by the militaries, standing that when he knew they had been kidnapped he informed to his superiors. He made some affirmations very serious as well, such as that two or three days later of the kidnapping he knew they were at the ESMA. Something that still today no many Mothers of Plaza de Mayo know about their own sons, despite of their intense search. How did he find out? He related that he interviewed Videla and Massera, but some time later. He also admitted that when Jalisc and Yorio were released they told him that there still were people kidnapped in the ESMA, and he didn’t do anything”.
    But what Myriam Bregman remembers most vividly of that questioning is when she asked him about the misappropriation of babies during the dictatorship: “I will always remember Bergoglio’s face. He answered that he found out recently about that, about ten years ago, which is year 2000, when the whole society knew about Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo search from at least year 1983, and some of the relatives of La Plata assert that he knew about the case of Ana Libertad Baratti de La Cuadra from year 1977”.
    Finally, Bregman pointed out that Bergoglio’s recent attitude and the brief answers by that time had consistency with silence and concealment adopted by the ecclesiastic hierarchy during the whole years after the dictatorship, systematically denying to provide files or documentation that they had. Is part of the Catholic Church policy that blessed and directly collaborated with dictatorship initiated in Argentina in 1976. It is not strange for me that priests as Christian Von Wernich, who are convicted for being authors of the genocide, of the plan of torture and extermination of the dictatorship, were not ever being excommunicated and they can still preside mass as any other priest. The same as father Grassi, convicted for child abuse, and for whose expulsion the Church that Bergoglio used to command till yesterday, didn’t move a finger. Nobody can deny that today Pope Francisco I covered up genocides and pedophiles in Church lines.”

    Some links on the Pope and the Dirty War

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/pope-francis-election-stirs-up-argentine-dirty-war-allegations-biographer-calls-it-unfair/2013/03/14/3363e006-8c71-11e2-adca-74ab31da3399_story.html

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/pope-francis-i-bergoglio-has-ties-to-a-dark-period-for-the-catholic-church/5326656

    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/espanol/2013/03/14/eleccion-papal-agita-pasado-de-la-guerra-sucia/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/13/francis-first-pope-from-americas_n_2869332.html

    http://www.kaosenlared.net/america-latina/item/50276-argentina-causa-esma-bergoglio-hoy-francisco-i-declar%C3%B3-que-pidi%C3%B3-a-massera-y-videla-por-la-liberaci%C3%B3n-de-los-sacerdotes.html

    http://aangirfan.blogspot.com.ar/2013/03/italian-fascist-pope-francis.html

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/15/pope-francis-argentina-military-era

    http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/religion/argentine-jorge-bergoglio-elected-pope-francis/nWq5W/

    http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/03/13/who-is-jorge-mario-bergoglio/http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/u-s-world/new-pope-argentinas-cardinal-mario-bergoglio-selected-as-pope-francis-first-jesuit-pope

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/popebio-article-1.1287994

  20. What is with the new icons?

  21. xtasy 24

    lprent wrote on one post tonight that all this is just for one day, the “monster day” or whatever, some day to remember something, so he will switch us all back to “normal” tomorrow, I presume today then. Let us be patient, we may get our usual ids back.

  22. xtasy 25

    Never forget and adhere to the truth: “El pueblo unito jamas sera vencido”!

    This is serious stuff, and I only hope enough of gen X and Y will learn this!

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