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Open mike 16/12/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, December 16th, 2014 - 75 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Michael Woodhouse pihaOpen mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

75 comments on “Open mike 16/12/2014 ”

  1. “..The Healing Power of Marijuana Has Barely Been Tapped..

    ..We’ve only discovered a fraction of medical marijuana’s potential for treatment..”

    (cont..)

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/healing-power-marijuana-has-barely-been-tapped-0

    • Skinny 2.1

      I had a belly laugh and thought of you Phil, seeing on the tv news the cop who raided Daka Green and impounded his pot vending machine is in trouble ‘no warrant’ Daka was in full cry as was I laughing.

      • phillip ure 2.1.1

        i actually was in the city yesterday..

        ..(me and the dog on the scooter..blatting around..)

        ..and by happenstance came across said vending machine..

        ..being unloaded from the cannabis bus..

        ..into the hemp store..(it’s new home..said (in)famous vending-machine can be viewed/touched there..)

        ..so i got the good word from the dakta on what was going on..

        ..we then retired to a park bench..burnt some combustibles..

        ..and discussed the state of the nation/world..

        ..as ya do…

        • Skinny 2.1.1.1

          Oh jolly good!

          Green seems quite a character reputed to be a former Nat branch excutive, ah nothing beats the Xmas stash (as I recall) Oh for the good old days before workplace random testing 🙁

          • phillip ure 2.1.1.1.1

            yeah..he’s a lawyer unlike many other lawyers..

            ..and earlier in his activist-life..he laboured to bring in saturday trading..

            ..and to overturn the prohibition of gambling..

            ..(ran a casino on a boat..as i understand it..which was proto-daktory..really..)

            ..and yesterday was the first time i had met him..(we had emailed previously/recently..re cannabis-reform and election-campaign..)

            ..but you can’t help having respect for the ballsiness of driving a cannabis bus to christchurch..post-earthquake..

            ..and widely publicising the distributing of free cannabis to the traumatised residents..

            (as just one example of his ‘good-deeds’..in the service of this cause/mission..)

          • phillip ure 2.1.1.1.2

            this might interest you skinny..

            ..there’s a doco being released in jan..(will be available on dvd/download etc..)

            ..call ‘druglawed’..

            (sub-title: how nz got rolled up in the u.s. drug war..)

            ..i asked the maker of it if there is lots of historic-footage..

            ..he said there is lots of historic footage..

            ..i’m looking forward to seeing it..

    • The Al1en 2.2

      What illness or diseases does cannabis ‘heal’?

      • phillip ure 2.2.1

        read the link..

        ..here’s more..if you need it..

        http://whoar.co.nz/?s=medical+marijuana

        • The Al1en 2.2.1.1

          I did, and no mention of any illnesses or diseases ‘healed’ by cannabis.
          So again I ask, what illness or diseases does cannabis ‘heal’?

          A proper website link will be acceptable, preferably something reliable, credible scientific or medical.

          • phillip ure 2.2.1.1.1

            why don’t you ask the nz parents of those children who suffer from mulltiple seizures..(that traditional medicine can’t help..)

            ..yet who receive relief from those seizures from cannabis..

            ..and who have been forced to take their sick children to colorado..

            ..’cos this fucked-up country won’t allow them access to the only medicine that helps their children..

            ..why don’t you question them..?

            ..you ignorant fucken braying fool..

            • phillip ure 2.2.1.1.1.1

              that is of course..if that massive fucken wedge of evidence i threw at you didn’t suffice…

              ..didn’t cause you to pause in that tirade of ignorance that passes for a mind…

              ..and wonder:..?

              • The Al1en

                “that massive fucken wedge of evidence i threw at you didn’t suffice…”

                Again, I did look (not at link whoare), and no mention of any illnesses or diseases ‘healed’ by cannabis.

                A proper website link will be acceptable, preferably something reliable, credible scientific or medical will be great. Thanks.

            • The Al1en 2.2.1.1.1.2

              Because I’m asking you to link to any medical condition that cannabis ‘heals’.
              I’m not surprised you can’t.

              I can find studies that show some evidence of it’s medicinal properties such as boosting appetite for aids sufferers, helping deal with the side effects of chemo and as a short term pain inhibitor, but nothing about ‘healing’.

              If you have those links, rather than insults and using sick children, which is still quite disgusting of you to make them a vehicle for promoting your drug habit, I’d really appreciate a look at them. Thanks.

              • silly me..!..why the fuck did i respond to you..?

                (slaps self up side of head..hits the off-switch..)

                • The Al1en

                  So that’s a no to a link that shows cannabis ‘heals’ then?
                  Okay. 😉

                  “..why the fuck did i respond to you..?”

                  Because you thought you’d be able to smear and insult your way past the simple facts at hand?

                  “..hits the off-switch..”

                  Until you realised you couldn’t.

              • “Marijuana use can be used to treat and prevent the eye disease glaucoma, which increases pressure in the eyeball, damaging the optic nerve and causing loss of vision.

                Marijuana decreases the pressure inside the eye, according to the National Eye Institute: ‘Studies in the early 1970s showed that marijuana, when smoked, lowered intraocular pressure (IOP) in people with normal pressure and those with glaucoma.'”

                and

                According to a study published in Journal of the American Medical Association in January 2012, marijuana does not impair lung function and can even increase lung capacity.

                Researchers looking for risk factors of heart disease tested the lung function of 5115 young adults over the course of 20 years. Tobacco smokers lost lung function over time, but pot users actually showed an increase in lung capacity.

                It’s possible that the increased lung capacity may due to taking a deep breaths while inhaling the drug and not from a therapeutic chemical in the drug.

                and

                Marijuana use can prevent epileptic seizures, a 2003 study showed.

                Robert J. DeLorenzo, of Virginia Commonwealth University, gave marijuana extract and synthetic marijuana to epileptic rats. The drugs rid the rats of the seizures for about 10 hours. Cannabinoids like the active ingredients in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC), control seizures by binding to the brain cells responsible for controlling excitability and regulating relaxation.

                The findings were published in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

                They are the first 3 from this list on the first link after googling http://www.businessinsider.com.au/health-benefits-of-medical-marijuana-2014-4?op=1#it-can-be-used-to-treat-glaucoma-1

                I’m sure it challenges your definition of ‘healing’ but I thought I’d try to help out as your list allen was pretty insignificant.

                Here is the search so you can carry on your own research

                https://www.google.co.nz/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#sourceid=chrome-psyapi2&ie=UTF-8&q=studies%20of%20healing%20properties%20of%20cannabis

                • The Al1en

                  At least you’re trying Mars. Like I said, medicinal, quite probably and I support it’s use for affected patients, but healing? Not so much.

                  http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/marijuana

                  http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancers-in-general/cancer-questions/does-smoking-cannabis-cause-cancer

                  “Smoked marijuana did lower intraocular pressure in some studies from the 1970s and early 80’s. However, this effect only lasted about 4 hours. One expert reasoned that patients would have to use marijuana around the clock in order to effectively treat glaucoma. Other medicines are generally more useful for people with glaucoma.”

                  “It’s possible that the increased lung capacity may due to taking a deep breaths while inhaling the drug and not from a therapeutic chemical in the drug.”

                  Also worth noting that cannabis when smoked contains most of all the harmful agents and carcinogens of cigarettes, especially those in tar.

                  “The substances in cannabis smoke
                  Cannabis smoke contains many of the same cancer causing substances (carcinogens) as tobacco – at least 50 of them. In addition, cannabis is often mixed with tobacco when smoked.

                  One of these carcinogens is benzyprene. Benzyprene is in the tar of both tobacco and cannabis cigarettes. We know that benzyprene causes cancer. It alters a gene called p53, which is a tumour suppressor gene. We know that 3 out of 4 lung cancers (75%) occur in people who have faulty p53 genes. The p53 gene is also linked to many other cancers.”

                  • http://www.doctordeluca.com/Library/WOD/WPS3-MedMj/CannabinoidsMedMetaAnalysis06.pdf

                    plus

                    The late Dr. Tod Mikuriya, a former national administrator of the U.S. government’s marijuana research programs, appeared in a film about the business of marijuana prohibition shortly before his 2007 death called “The Union.” (The full movie is available on both Netflix and YouTube.)

                    “After dealing with about 10,000 patents in the last 15 years, I’d say about 200 different medical conditions respond favorably to cannabis,” Mikuriya said.

                    We won’t go through all 200 conditions here, but here are 10 of the most notable, common conditions, afflictions and diseases that marijuana has been proven to help.

                    http://www.ibtimes.com/%E2%80%98medical%E2%80%99-marijuana-10-health-benefits-legitimize-legalization-742456

                    and

                    Oral cannabis extracts have been studied in multiple sclerosis. In 2014, the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology examined the evidence and found that oral cannabis extract is effective in reducing spasticity (using patient-centered measures) and in treating central pain or painful spasms in patients with multiple sclerosis.

                    Nabimixols, which contains an equal mixture of CBD and THC, has also been studied in multiple sclerosis. In 2014, the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology examined the evidence and found that nabiximols is “probably effective” in reducing spasticity (using patient-centered measures), central pain or painful spasms, and bladder dysfunction in patients with multiple sclerosis.

                    http://www.cancer.org/treatment/treatmentsandsideeffects/complementaryandalternativemedicine/herbsvitaminsandminerals/marijuana

                    That’s about as much energy as I’m willing to put into this – just trying to show that if you actually are interested let your keyboard do the work 🙂

                    • The Al1en

                      I think we can agree about medicinal, which is nice, to be able to reach consensus for a change.

                      My interest was already piqued, which is why I asked for proper links, so thanks for providing them.
                      If I find ‘heal’ mentioned anywhere I’ll post it up in a quote.

                    • All good – this one leads to a number of studies http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/08/23/20-medical-studies-that-prove-cannabis-can-cure-cancer/

                      I wouldn’t worry about the source doc/site too much but the links to the studies are interesting, for instance

                      In this study, we investigated the effects of cannabinoids–a novel family of potential anticancer agents–on the growth of HCC. We found that Δ(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9)-THC, the main active component of Cannabis sativa) and JWH-015 (a cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB(2)) cannabinoid receptor-selective agonist) reduced the viability of the human HCC cell lines HepG2 (human hepatocellular liver carcinoma cell line) and HuH-7 (hepatocellular carcinoma cells), an effect that relied on the stimulation of CB(2) receptor. We also found that Δ(9)-THC- and JWH-015-induced autophagy relies on tribbles homolog 3 (TRB3) upregulation, and subsequent inhibition of the serine-threonine kinase Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin C1 axis and adenosine monophosphate-activated kinase (AMPK) stimulation. Pharmacological and genetic inhibition of AMPK upstream kinases supported that calmodulin-activated kinase kinase β was responsible for cannabinoid-induced AMPK activation and autophagy. In vivo studies revealed that Δ(9)-THC and JWH-015 reduced the growth of HCC subcutaneous xenografts, an effect that was not evident when autophagy was genetically of pharmacologically inhibited in those tumors. Moreover, cannabinoids were also able to inhibit tumor growth and ascites in an orthotopic model of HCC xenograft.

                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21475304

                    • The Al1en

                      I think the only overarching conclusion about does it cause cancer or not is ‘maybe’. More research is definitely needed before claims it cures cancer can be taken as fact.

                      I’m sure pu will post the links if that study gets released.

                    • The Al1en

                      Lost ability to edit my last post.

                      http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2012/07/25/cannabis-cannabinoids-and-cancer-the-evidence-so-far/

                      “Researchers first looked at the anticancer properties of cannabinoids back in the 1970s, and many hundreds of scientific papers looking at cannabinoids and cancer have been published since then.”

                      “But claims that this body of preclinical research is solid “proof” that cannabis or cannabinoids can cure cancer is highly misleading to patients and their families, and builds a false picture of the state of progress in this area. For example, we’ve taken a look at more than 30 scientific papers that are often claimed to “prove” that cannabis cures various types of cancer. [Updated KA 21/07/14]”

                      [lprent: You will have to learn to think and type faster 😈 ]

                    • glad u cd be bothered..m.m..

                      ..that’s a decent heft of evidence..

                    • The Al1en

                      Have you even read my links, the one’s I’ve posted to offer some debating points based on scientific research?
                      Or are you conveniently ignoring what smarter, less ‘clouded’ minds than yours have concluded?

                      Focus on

                      “claims that this body of preclinical research is solid “proof” that cannabis or cannabinoids can cure cancer is highly misleading to patients and their families”

                      Which, coincidentally, is a nicer way of saying

                      “using sick children, which is still quite disgusting of you to make them a vehicle for promoting your drug habit”

                    • shrinking brain tumors..?..+ much more..

                      (i have been collating/collecting this evidence for quite some time now..)

                      http://whoar.co.nz/?s=cannabis+cancer

                      ..and this one is especially head-bending..

                      http://whoar.co.nz/?s=miracle+baby

                    • and of course that alan walks with the foil-of-the-day-award..

                      ..well done..!..that foil..!

                      ..where would we be..without foils..

                      ..involuntary-heroes really..

                      ..and quite funny how they manage to fool themselves that they are doing something different..

                      ..bless them..!..eh..?

                    • The Al1en

                      “[lprent: You will have to learn to think and type faster 😈 ]”

                      Thought it was 10 minutes to edit, yet I lost the ability after 5, though no denying you’re correct… And then some 😆

                    • The Al1en

                      “of course that alan ”

                      Alan?

                  • the miracle baby link has my report card on dunne for 2012..

                    ..(‘cos i mention said ‘miracle baby in that..)

                    ..and i might just repost it as his 2014 report card..

                    ..’cos i don’t know if i cd say it better again..as in summarising his career/works..

                    ..(keeping in mind dunne is permanently in the top three of my loathe-list..)

                    ..the muse was strong on that day..

                    • TheContrarian

                      The point you are missing here Phil is that the people studying marijuana as a medicinal tool (which it is – for some things) don’t envisage people just lighting up on a park bench or at home and enjoying a joint for its psychoactive properties as healthy or a way to treat illness but are actually researching the properties of THC and other chemicals within marijuana in order to create a non-psychoactive treatment.

                      I’d imagine, probably somewhat correctly, that people like yourself who indulge for psychoactive reasons, instead of actually for medicinal reasons as prescribed are actually a hindrance to the cause – rather than a champion. Much like Timothy Leary’s promotion of LSD in the 60’s actually inhibited further research of a potentially beneficial substance.

                    • heh..!..yr funny..!

                      ..where to begin..?

                      ..wanna get high..?

                    • TheContrarian

                      So no response to the content I posted? Nothing?

                      And no, I would not like to get high. I gave up smoking weed some time ago as I found it increasingly unenjoyable. I miss it sometimes and backslide on the very odd occasion which reminds me why I don’t enjoy it.

                      But seriously, address the content Phil.

                    • what ‘content’..?

                      ..yr fanciful leary surmises..?

                      ..that’s why yr ‘funny’..

                      ..and so..?..you don’t smoke anymore..?

                      ..so what..?

                      ..i’m not advocating it be compulsory..

                      ..so..what’s yr beef..?

                    • TheContrarian

                      So nothing then.

                    • nothing begets nothing..

                      ..u gave nothing to work with..

                      ..just something to laugh at..

                      ..anyway..this conversation is compelling..

                      ..but must go..!

                      ..and..do you imbibe most nights..?

                      ..u write like u have..

  2. esoteric pineapples 3

    For anyone concerned with animal welfare and injustice against animals

    March to save Beau, American stafordshire terrier-great dane belonging to Julie Snodgrass at Kapiti Pak n Save, Paraparaumu at 12noon today, marching to Kapiti District Council.
    While running loose at a park Beau bit the dog, leaving two bit marks but not requiring stitches. This should have been a case of Beau being required to wear a muzzle in future but the council ordered it put down. Julie has been fighting in court to save the dog for over two years while it has been kept in the council pound for all that time. She’s lost her cases which revolved around due process not being followed but everyone who has visited and examined Beau has found the dog to be extremely well-natured and not deserving of being in the pound for so long and put down.
    Extenuating circumstances appear to be that the other dog was owned by a council worker who had a negative phone conversation with Julie after the incident and then called the council. Positions seem to have become intransigent since then.
    The council has spent over $20,000 on the case and keeping Beau and doesn’t appear willing to back down although one councillor – David Scott – says the council has not followed its own processes and calls it an immoral killing.
    You can find out more about the march here – https://www.facebook.com/#!/events/1036459429702731/?pnref=lhc.recent
    And sign a petition to save Beau here – https://www.change.org/p/judge-bill-hastings-in-porirua-district-court-reverse-your-destruction-order-for-beau?recruiter=14044606&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=des-lg-share_petition-no_msg

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      The woman with the death threats? I think you’re flogging a dead dog.

      • esoteric pineapples 3.1.1

        Two wrongs don’t make a right, for sure, and death threats certainly don’t do the dog any favours. And yes, Beau’s chances of survival are limited given the council would never back down. However, the question remains as to why the dog was ordered put down in the first place when normally, a muzzle would have been dictated.

        • Bearded Git 3.1.1.1

          All dogs of that breed should be muzzled. That’s what they do in Colombia-works a treat.

  3. awww!!!..the bro-mance continues..!

    ..key has made the ultimate compliment to slater..

    ..he has had a makeover..and has ditched his ‘look..!..i’ve got a toupee!’ look….

    ..and is now sporting a slater-cut..

    ..(as i said:..aww..!!..eh..?..)

  4. karol 5

    And while the MSM is giving saturation coverage to the Sydney seige, and as people start to go into holiday mode, news filters out that the government is considering making further health service cuts.

    RNZ reports:

    District Health Boards may have to cut up to $200 million from their spending next year on official advice to the Government.

    In the leaked cabinet committee papers, the Treasury has warned that the Government’s operating budget was oversubscribed, and ministers needed to make some tough funding decisions in health.

    The cabinet documents on health funding for next year’s budget were leaked to the Labour Party and asked ministers what level of funding should be signalled to district health boards for next year’s budget.

    The DHBs need an extra $440 million in 2015/16 but the Treasury recommended giving them just $250m, while the Ministry of Health proposed $320m.

    The Treasury warned that under either option, DHBs would face considerable financial pressure, and cost efficiencies would be needed.
    Annette King.

    • Tracey 5.1

      but coleman says its funding is increasing every year…

      on a side note the Nats will be pissed the hold up didnt happen next monday when the surplus officially dissolves.

  5. Wairua 6

    Denmark lays claim to the North Pole.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-30481309

    Would the mayor of Invercargill be interested in similarly extending his jurisdiction ?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      They’ll probably have a little difficulty with that:

      Russia symbolically staked its claim to billions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves in the Arctic Ocean today when two mini submarines reached the seabed more than two and a half miles beneath the North Pole.
      In a record-breaking dive, the two craft planted a one metre-high titanium Russian flag on the underwater Lomonosov ridge, which Moscow claims is directly connected to its continental shelf.

      However, the dangerous mission prompted ridicule and scepticism among other contenders for the Arctic’s energy wealth, with Canada comparing it to a 15th century colonial land grab.

      And, yes, I’m pretty sure that Canada also claims it.

  6. Tracey 7

    very good piece by peter lyons of st peters college, about the el dorado that is aucklands housing market and the reluctance to deal with it.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11374675

  7. Sans Cle 8

    Review of how the government uses/deals with Official Information Act request begins today.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11375105

    • Murray Rawshark 8.1

      Good. They need stirring up a bit. Key, of course, never thinks he has to answer questions at all.

  8. Are the workers of Auckland City aware they are about to lose their $350.00 bonus from the Auckland Electricity Consumers Trust that the receive each year?

    The following email from Kim Campbell of the Employers and Manufacturers Federation identifies a meeting to be held tomorrow.

    Hello

    You will have read several commentaries and letters lately regarding the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust suggesting its assets should be made available now for Auckland’s development rather than in 2073.

    After careful consideration EMA agrees the Trust should be wound up and its assets returned to Auckland Council control provided the Council uses them to build new infrastructure for Auckland.

    To achieve this outcome will require a majority of Aucklanders to agree, but to inform them further about the AECT and the benefits of an early transfer of its assets a public campaign may well be required.

    To canvas this issue and the nature of such a campaign and the possible ways forward EMA is calling a meeting of interested organisations including we hope, yours. A list of those invited is below.

    We have scheduled the meeting to be held at:

    EMA, 159 Khyber Pass Rd, Grafton

    For Wednesday, December 17th at 4pm.

    Please RSVP to xxxxx

    Warm regards
    Kim Campbell
    Chief executive

  9. Philip Ferguson 10

    Some pieces on capitalism and immigration controls.

    Unfortunately, a lot of leftists still don’t support the right of workers to free movement.

    NZ’s immigration controls – not in workers’ interests:
    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/new-zealand%E2%80%99s-immigration-controls-%E2%80%93-not-in-workers%E2%80%99-interests-%C2%A0/

    Immigration controls necessarily imply the policing of them and inevitably stuff like dawn raids, deportations of people who belong to the ‘wrong’ class and have the ‘wrong’ skin colour. Here’s a piece on NZ immigration controls and the persecution of Samoans: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/depriving-samoans-of-immigration-and-citizenship-rights/

    And on a more general/global theme, there’s
    Capitalism, Third World poverty and migration: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/capitalism-third-world-poverty-and-migration/

    Phil

  10. greywarshark 11

    Farm worker has had his pay docked by $1400 over two months. He thinks it is because he can’t read or write and is unable to fill in a diary of his daily work to meet his employer’s requirements. He is 51 years, and said they liked his work ethic.
    Ed Emery has worked on Tiroa Station, owned by the Ngati Rereahu iwi in the Waitomo district, for four years, and it’s never been an issue before.

    He has worked out a code of letters to indicate where he is spending his time but it is not enough detail. Apparently they haven’t heard of telephones in his area. Interesting, he appears to be a Maori working for a Maori-owned trust. But they have a manager operating within the neo liberal efficiency-checking, worker-hostile system which penetrates into the Maori heart too.

    The trust’s chairman sent 3 News two pages of background information, but there was one question we really wanted answered: Did it dock Mr Emery’s pay because of his diary entries or not? It won’t say, citing employee privacy issues.
    “If the employer knew he couldn’t read or write, the onus is on them to have reasonable systems to accommodate him in his work,” says Council of Trade Unions (CTU) legal advisor Jeff Sissons.

    • Murray Rawshark 11.1

      That story is pretty disgusting. No complaints about his work, but they insist on a requirement that he can’t fulfil.

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    Taranaki farmers’ environmental record under fire

    Dairy New Zealand released their Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord report last week which claimed good progress had been made in cleaning up the country’s farms.

    However, Forest and Bird’s manager Kevin Hackwell said the report under-stated Taranaki figures by up to 10 times.

    “The report shows only 18 farms were found to be significantly non-compliant – just 1 per cent of dairy farms in the Taranaki,” Hackwell said.

    “However, the Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) recently released a report that showed the council has served 144 abatement notices and 33 infringement notices to dairy farmers in the last year for breaches of dairy farm effluent rules and conditions.”

    So the association designed to give dairying a good image is found to have lied…Nope, not surprised.

  12. Tracey 13

    “… Now I long for the morning that they realise
    Brutality and unjust laws can not defeat us
    But who’ll defend the workers who cannot organise
    When the bosses send their lackies out to cheat us?

    Money speaks for money, the Devil for his own
    Who comes to speak for the skin and the bone?
    What a comfort to the widow, a light to the child
    There is power in a Union …”

    Billy Bragg

  13. joe90 14

    Immoral prick.

    .
    Once 9/11 happened, Dick Cheney ceased to believe that the CIA should be subject to the U.S. Constitution, statutes passed by Congress, international treaties, or moral prohibitions against torture. Those standards would be cast aside. In their place, moral relativism would reign. Any action undertaken by the United States would be subject to this test: Is it morally equivalent to what al-Qaeda did on 9/11? Is it as bad as murdering roughly 3,000 innocent people? If not, then no one should criticize it, let alone investigate, charge and prosecute the CIA. Did a prisoner freeze to death? Were others anally raped? Well, what if they were?

    If it cannot be compared with 9/11, if it is not morally equivalent, then it should not be verboten.

    That is the moral standard Cheney is unabashedly invoking on national television. He doesn’t want the United States to honor norms against torture. He doesn’t want us to abide by the Ten Commandments, or to live up to the values in the Declaration of Independence, or to be restrained by the text of the Constitution. Instead, Cheney would have us take al-Qaeda as our moral and legal measuring stick. Did America torture dozens of innocents? So what. 9/11 was worse.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/12/dick-cheney-defends-the-torture-innocents/383741/?single_page=true

  14. felix 15

    Ew.

    Over at National’s blog, John Key’s best mate is using the murders in Sydney to attack maori.

    http://donotlink.com/http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2014/12/comment-of-the-day-50/

  15. Clemgeopin 16

    At least 126 people were killed and 122 injured in an attack by Taliban militants on a Pakistani high school, a provincial official said.

    “It may rise,” said Bahramand Khan, director of information for the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

    He said more than 100 of the dead were school children.

    This is such a heinous terrorist attack. My heart goes out to the victims, their families and the government that is trying to deal with such an atrocity. Awful!

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/middle-east/64224824/taliban-gunmen-hold-hundreds-of-students-hostage-in-pakistan

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