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Open mike 17/04/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 17th, 2019 - 143 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

143 comments on “Open mike 17/04/2019 ”

  1. Stuart Munro. 1

    “Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
    Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
    And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
    The Sultan’s Turret in a Noose of Light”

    • Rosemary McDonald 1.1

      Dreaming, when Dawn’s left hand was in the sky.
      I heard a voice within the tavern cry,
      Awake my little ones and fill the cup!
      Before life’s liquor in its cup be dry.

      Heh. My morning serenade for many years to rouse sluggish offspring. Unsurprisingly, none are into either the dawn chorus or poetry.

      • Robert Guyton 1.1.1

        Get up, get up, you lazy heads
        Get up you lazy sinners:
        We need the sheets for tablecloths
        And it’s nearly time for dinner!

        That was ours.

    • Grant 1.2

      Oh Goody! Can I play too, please?

      “And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
      Whereunder crawling coop’t we live and die,
      Lift not thy hands to It for help — for It
      Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

      • Stuart Munro. 1.2.1

        Fitzgerald took some liberties, but the result is excellent. It takes a poet to translate a poet.

        • Grant 1.2.1.1

          Aye, indeed. I like this verse also:

          “For in and out, above, about, below,
          ‘Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
          Play’d in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
          Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.

  2. vto 2

    If Israel Folau is to be banished and thrown out

    Then surely so too must the bible be banished and thrown out

    As many have pointed out – only to be politely ignored

    such are we humans eh…

    little credibility

  3. Barfly 3

    Good to see you standing up for Israel Folau’s right to vilify , disparage an harass those people he chooses to. /SARC

    • RedLogix 3.1

      While somehow saying anything about the Sultan of Brunei, who passes laws stoning these same people to death gets defined as Islamophobia. /sarc right back at you

      • Barfly 3.1.1

        I have even less time for the Sultan than I do Folau though I wonder if Folau would make homosexuality criminal again if he could like the Sultan did.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          Maybe we can rationally assess the chances of Leviticus being enacted in any modern western nation.

          And while doing that let’s wait for the chorus of condemnation from imam’s all around the western world for the Sultan’s actual law making shall we?

          • aj 3.1.1.1.1

            “Maybe we can rationally assess the chances of Leviticus being enacted in any modern western nation”

            We can answer that with one word: Pence.
            So quite high.

            “So today, I want to close with faith. Faith in the good people of this nation of faith, the United States of America. And from our founding, have cherished that foundation of belief and cherish it still.
            Faith in our President, whose deep commitment to religious liberty at home and abroad has been evident every day of this administration.
            Faith in all of you and the nations represented here, and your renewed commitment to the cause of religious liberty in your nations and around the world.
            And I also close with faith that, from this renewed beginning today, we will make progress on behalf of religious liberty in the years ahead. And my faith ultimately comes from what’s in my heart.
            And in the ancient words inscribed on our Liberty Bell, displayed in Philadelphia, the words of the ancient text of Leviticus that read, “Proclaim liberty throughout all the land, and unto [all] the inhabitants thereof.” We’ve done it throughout our history. And I know that as each one of us renew our commitment to proclaim liberty throughout all of our lands, that freedom will prevail, for as the Bible tells us, “where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” So freedom always wins when Faith in Him is held high.

            https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-vice-president-pence-ministerial-advance-religious-freedom/

            • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Great, but nothing about stoning adulterers and gays. Just saying.

              • joe90

                but nothing about stoning adulterers and gays

                A wink and a nudge…

                After nearly 24 hours of declining to clarify its position, the State Department finally sent The Daily Beast a statement saying the U.S. was “concerned” about the new law, minutes after we published a story noting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the department’s silence.

                However, when asked by The Daily Beast, Pompeo and the Department of State declined to directly condemn, or state an objection to, the stoning to death of LGBT people.

                […]

                The Daily Beast again asked if Pompeo or the Department of State objected to the stoning to death of LGBT people under the new law. A spokesperson would not address this question directly, and instead referred us to the statement above.

                A request for comment by The Daily Beast to Vice President Mike Pence, given his influence when it comes to U.S. foreign policy, went unresponded to.

                https://www.thedailybeast.com/pompeo-and-trump-admin-silent-on-bruneis-law-to-stone-lgbt-people-to-death?

              • aj

                Pence is on the extreme right. The Westboro Baptist Church also occupies that space and has views on homosexuality that are based on teachings found in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, which they interpret to mean that homosexual behaviour is detestable and that homosexuals should be put to death.

                • RedLogix

                  Maybe I missed the point where Pence proposed ” that homosexuals should be put to death” and this will be introduced as US law if he became President.

                  Also I missed any realistic analysis of the likelihood of such a law actually being implemented in the USA. As contrasted to at least four Islamic countries where is law right now.

        • marty mars 3.1.1.2

          Yep I’m sure he would – I wonder how many Christian so called moderates would turn their heads and pretend not to see or hear the truth of that bigotry. Not many I hope but history might not hold that up.

          • RedLogix 3.1.1.2.1

            So Folau is a bigot while the rulers of Saudi, Yemen, Mauritania, Brunei and all our allegedly moderate Muslim ‘brothers and sisters’ throughout the world who hold to the much the same views …. are what exactly?

            • marty mars 3.1.1.2.1.1

              bigots too if they act or say bigoted things – same with Ardern and t.rump, Corbyn or Sanders – doesn’t distinguish between skin colour, religion, gender, country or what your hair colour is.

              • RedLogix

                Yes. Maybe it’s what individuals say and act out which is important; not which group they’ve been allocated to.

                • marty mars

                  They self allocate and implicate their group when they say the group believes in the same bigotry – in other words they say the group is bigoted not the individual.

            • Gabby 3.1.1.2.1.2

              They’ve got fuckall chance of playing in a pro rugby team too I’d say Rodlog.

            • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1.2.1.3

              Trading partners

    • He is us, isn’t he? The PM certainly thinks so. People in your society hold religious views you don’t like, suck it up.

  4. Rapunzel 4

    “Wakey, wakey rise and shine
    Bushell’s coffee’s on the line”
    From a time when husband and his mate did shift work on top of a day job, as you did then before “wimmin” went out to work, as of right and to share the load, plus you could and had the incentive that you could become established as a family more quickly. One or other “wife” would drop them down some dinner and it seemed normal, pretty stress-free for a year or more – their was a lot of comradeship and it almost in hindsight seemed like fun.
    Not so easy now with those sorts of jobs automated and getting from one place to another in the centres traffic-wise pretty much would make it impossible from what I can see.
    What a shame that the local fruit season demands – with decent incentives – aren’t seen as such. Here it is kiwifruit but the many who once did it of all ages to top up funds for travel or even necessities find the 12 hour shifts that are the standard I understand a bit hard around home, other jobs etc given they are short term option and not even semi-permanent.

  5. lprent 5

    Damn – right RSS column has been picking up posts from this site somehow. Looks like I will have to find time to fix it – it is now preventing the column from displaying.

    Easter + ANZAC next week and with a couple of days break I’m off work for 10 days from friday.

    • Andre 5.1

      May I request some attention to something strange in linking to comments? *

      If you link to a comment as part of a sentence like this https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-17-04-2019/#comment-1608587 it seems to work fine. As does embedding the link.

      But if you put it by itself as if it’s a separate paragraph like this:

      Open mike 17/04/2019

      it seems to drop the hash comment-number and just go to the post. Same if you link to, say instructions on how to link cleanly in the FAQ https://thestandard.org.nz/faq/comment-formatting/#linking or the same link standing alone

      Comment Formatting

      * Request made in full awareness that a totally legitimate response is if I don’t like what’s happening I can fuck right off and run my own blog just the way I want it.

    • adam 5.2

      Can I suggest you actually have a break lprent! And the standard people actually live with the fact you having a break.

      I know, dirt socialist thing to say.

      • greywarshark 5.2.1

        I think lprent works out when to do things for himself adam. And I think he gets both pride and satisfaction, and irritation and irony about TS probably in equal measures.

  6. RedLogix 6

    An interesting result from a Melbourne company:

    Don’t try to contact Melbourne digital agency Versa on a Wednesday. It’s shut.

    On Wednesdays there are no client meetings, no deliveries, no “pitches” for new business and no expectation of checking emails.

    The private company has been doing it for a year, chief executive Kathryn Blackham said, and the data is in.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-17/killing-hump-day-business-that-shuts-wednesdays-workers-happier/10985332

    In the meantime Jack Ma, the billionaire of Alibaba fame is demanding 72 hour weeks to be the norm:

    China’s wealthiest man, with an estimated net worth of more than $50 billion, has created a stir on social media after declaring that staff should adhere to a “996” work schedule: from 9:00am to 9:00pm, six days a week.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-16/alibaba-founder-jack-ma-says-staff-should-work-996/11021610

    And as a side note, not many people would know that the origins of the 40 hour week was in Victoria in the 1850’s gold rush. The main street of Ballarat has dividing strip with about 20 or so interesting historic monuments of all kinds; but the one that surprised me the most was this:

    https://bih.federation.edu.au/index.php/The_Eight_Hour_Day_Movement

    • arkie 6.1

      The Utopian Socialist Robert Owen coined the slogan “Eight hours’ labour, Eight hours’ recreation, Eight hours’ rest” in 1817.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Owen
      Marx wrote in Capital “By extending the working day, therefore, capitalist production…not only produces a deterioration of human labour power by robbing it of its normal moral and physical conditions of development and activity, but also produces the premature exhaustion and death of this labour power itself.”
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight-hour_day
      Victorian Masons used their labour power to strike successfully for an eight-hour day but they still worked 6 days a week. The 40hr week only was made law in 1948
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_labour_movement
      John Maynard Keynes thought that increased labour productivity would lead to a 15-hour work week. “But beyond this, we shall endeavour to spread the bread thin on the butter-to make what work there is still to be done to be as widely shared as possible. Three-hour shifts or a fifteen-hour week may put off the problem for a great while.”
      We work more, more productivley for less

  7. cleangreen 7

    On the politic front,

    *So Bridges is a goner?

    *Green Party MP Golriz, – she has no environmental credibility at all.

    So when did she complain about the excessive over use of trucks and underuse of rail”

    She is dumb on the ruining of our planet by the massive emissions of tyre dust and diesel exhaust from all those 34 tyres on every truck in the fleet of 35 000 trucks emissions from each truck isn’t she just.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1904/S00106/greenhouse-gas-inventory-shows-need-for-action.htm

    https://www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Research/Documents/Fleet-reports/1b33252a3d/The-NZ-Vehicle-Fleet-2017-Web.pdf

  8. adam 8

    Because…

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    Had second thoughts after praising the PM & govt yesterday. The continued stalling on the climate change legislation is a big problem. It informs the public that the issue is not a priority. They ought not to keep sending out that signal!

    At the very least, they owe us an explanation. “We’re working on it” is an excuse that has worn thin from over-use. If NZF is indeed doing the stalling, make the buggers accountable to the public!

    What use is a PM that allows the tail to wag the dog? Ardern ought to realise that her boast about climate change being her generational issue is being diminished in its political effect by the ongoing lack of follow-through. Precisely what is the hold-up? She’d better sort it fast – or publicise exactly who is doing the stalling.

    • soddenleaf 9.1

      what is the current level of co2 in the atmosphere? clearly it’s not part of the weather report, it’s of no interest. Simply put, we don’t have to care about co2 since the media have decided not to inform us about co2 actual levels. Politicians are not there if the media isn’t. It’s inevitable that continued co2 rises will hit, even has, tipping points in the planet’s climate. And worse, given we won’t react until we have measured the irreversible trend, that any media needs immediate evidence for emotional sensationalism we will never get to any real action on climate change. Sure, transitional fads, but if climate does radically shift our race has no ability to preempt said disaster. cross fingers.

  10. Morrissey 10

    “Not just an attack on press freedom, not just intimidation, but it says: Even if you’re exposing WAR CRIMES, we’re coming after you.”

    At the 6:00 minute mark, the clip from MSNBC shows where Te Reo Putake gets his major talking point re WikiLeaks. It’s false of course, and Paul Jay deals with it at the 11:30 mark….

    • aj 10.1

      Thank you. Another very good discussion on this issue, where disinformation is almost overwhelming dominating the mainstream ‘media’

      • francesca 10.1.1

        Assange’s health has been seriously undermined according to

        “Dr. Sondra Crosby, an associate professor of medicine and public health at Boston University and an expert on the physical and psychological impact of torture, has evaluated detainees held by the United States, including at its prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. She quietly began meeting with and evaluating Assange in 2017 inside the embassy where he had sought refuge.”

        https://theintercept.com/2019/04/15/julian-assange-health-medical-care/

        • Morrissey 10.1.1.1

          No sympathy for Assange’s suffering from Chris Trotter or Jim Mora….

          https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/01/an-unusually-inane-and-depraved-edition.html

          • McFlock 10.1.1.1.1

            self harm is often poorly understood.

            • Morrissey 10.1.1.1.1.1

              You’re correct: ultimately he harmed himself by exposing those massacres of civilians. Manning too: let her rot.

              If only every journalist were as compliant and amenable to the authorities as, say, our own Mike Hosking, or those drones at the BBC.

              If only they’d gone after that narcissistic prick Ellsberg in the same way they went after Assange.

              Ellsberg. The very name brings out in hives all who love and trust our politicians, our spies, our military top brass. Narcissist that he was, and is.

              • McFlock

                Don’t forgetthe alleged sexual assaults. They were pretty damaging, too.

                • Morrissey

                  Key word: “alleged”. As in “manufactured by U.S. spooks and totally discredited.”

                  The foul and equally fictional denunciations of dissidents in Red China and Soviet Russia were pretty damaging, too.

                  • McFlock

                    You’re still a rape enabler when someone you like is accused, then.

                    • Morrissey

                      ?????

                      Fantasies concocted by criminals do not constitute rape.

                    • McFlock

                      Just to be clear: you’re saying that the two complainants are, 100% without a shadow of a doubt, lying?

                    • Morrissey

                      Just to be clear: the women—not “the complainants”—were harried and bamboozled into complying with this obscene and ridiculous scheme to destroy Assange. However, despite the strenuous efforts of Marianne Ny and her incompetent henchmen, they both quickly made it clear that the charges were a fantasy.

                      Spy vs. Spy is funny in the pages of Mad magazine; in real life it’s sinister and extremely dangerous.

                      Of course that won’t stop you carrying on pushing these black lies, any more than we can expect the DNC and its media mouthpieces like Rachel Maddow to pull back from their equally absurd and evidence-free assertions that Trump is a “Russian agent.”

                    • McFlock

                      Must be awesome to be able to read the matrix like that.

                      Funnily enough, the representative of one of the complainants doesn’t seem to agree with you.

                      So the swedish prosecutors and the claimant’s lawyer are part of a sophisticated lie on behalf of the yanks? Sounds totally legit /sarc

                    • Morrissey

                      Thanks for the helpful “sarc” note.

                      And your little dig about “the matrix” is certainly a step higher on the evolutionary ladder than sneering about tinfoil helmets.

                      Appreciate your perseverance in the face of reality. Don’t know why you’re doing it for free though; at least the likes of Hosking are paid to spew their bile.

                    • McFlock

                      So the lawyer wanting the case reactivated – do you think she’s working for the complainant, or just another CIA plant?

                    • Morrissey

                      You keep saying “the complainant”. The women roped into this obscene engine of destruction both clearly stated the charges were bogus. The “complainant” is the U.S. government and its vassals.

                      And, yes, it is a conspiracy.

                      Interestingly, you seem to place great faith in the integrity of the Swedish prosecution service, as if complete and utter refutation would lead it to simply abandon a case in which it was so heavily invested. How are Swedish prosecutors any more trustworthy than, say, the New Zealand prosecutors who forced Peter Ellis into prison on equally bizarre and outlandish charges?

                    • McFlock

                      Focus, mos.

                      The lawyer in that link, Elisabeth Massi Fritz, isn’t part of the prosecution service. She is working for the complainant. When the complainant’s lawyer wants the case reopened, the term “complainant” seems appropriate.

                      So is Elisabeth Massi Fritz committing professional misconduct and lying about who her client is or her client’s wishes? Or is your “bogus” claim itself questionable?

                    • Brigid

                      In all your life McFlock have you ever campaigned for any other alleged rape victims?
                      Demanded that their testimony be accepted and that the accused be punished?

                      Thought not.

                      So why are you so especially interested in this case?

                    • McFlock

                      Thought not.

                      Ford/Kavanaugh comes quickest to mind.

                      One or two others, incl offline. Even had to be there for one friend as she testified in court against her attacker.

                      In short, your thought was an incorrect assumption.

                      How many people accused of rape have you defended?

                • francesca

                  What the Swedes are calling rape in this instance , is what I call bad sexual etiquette. Save your tears for forceful entry and assault, where a man uses his superior strength against a woman , and his penis as a weapon.

                  • McFlock

                    So one commenter is saying it’s all made up, another commenter is saying people only care because of a vendetta against the accused, and you’ve come up with minimisation of what occurred and that other rapes are much worse so this doesn’t really count.

                    Standard rape-culture bingo card, right there.

                    I really don’t know which position is more contemptible to hold.

                    What level of “sex without consent” do you consider to be more than mere bad manners? Where on your hierarchy of sexual molestation do you think Assange would have to be in order for you to want him to appear before a court?

                    • francesca

                      I find your disgust and outrage disproportionate to the event.
                      You are probably never likely to experience a violent rape.
                      If thats the law in Sweden, thats the law in Sweden.
                      Saudi Arabia also has some unforgiving laws, which have to be obeyed by all .So does Indonesia over drug laws.
                      Where do you get the idea I dont believe Assange should have his day in court?More assumptions on your part.
                      I think he has every right to the opportunity to clear his name.
                      He was granted asylum lawfully as a political refugee, and Sweden could have upheld that with assurances that status would be honoured by them
                      No rendition or extradition while Assange was in their custody.
                      Instead the Swedes put political considerations above the rights of the complainants and the accused.
                      And the Bingo card is a fizzer No prize for you. You have to have them all on the same card McF

                    • McFlock

                      Legally, it’s rape here, it’s rape in Sweden, it’s rape in the UK. Poor etiquette isn’t a crime in any of those countries.

                      People don’t minimise the alleged crimes of other people they think should go to court. Make up your mind.

                      By the way, you do realise that the bulk of my disgust isn’t levelled at Assange (who at least provides entertainment by having been hoist by his own paranoid petard), but with folks here who repeat the same lies and minimisations for almost a decade, copying every rape denialist trope ever used to get a rich frat-boy or a Harvey Weinstein off a sexual assault charge? You lot are contemptible.

                  • greywarshark

                    The NZ legal conditions for defining rape are numerous, partly because a wife can claim rape against her husband; agreement without pressure comes into the consideration. This:

                    What is consent?
                    A person consents to sexual activity if they do it actively, freely, voluntarily and consciously without being pressured into it.

                    https://www.police.govt.nz/advice/sexual-assault/sexual-assault-and-consent

                    Assange though he already had had intercourse with the woman. I think is blamed for having it again without her consent, because she was asleep.

                    It seems that the approach of the recent protective law is to define everything precisely, and try to cover every possible situation.

    • A 10.2

      Conspiracy type comments I’ve heard on the web re: Assange that I think are interesting enough to post here

      1. He is being carried out because if he doesn’t set foot on the ground he cannot be properly charged
      2. The purpose of his arrest is not to actually punish him, but to put critical evidence before the public so they can see behind the scenes
      3. Because this isn’t a “real” arrest (?!) he will be released later on.

  11. Rosemary McDonald 11

    Maori Council executive member and Chair of Suicide Prevention Australia Matthew Tukaki talked with Guyon Espiner this morning about the lack of action from the government on addressing our appalling suicide stats.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018691361/suicide-how-do-you-know-when-someone-is-struggling

    Seems our Aussie cousins have a To Do list, yet here…nothing.

    Mr. Tukaki was just getting to the actual cause of the delay…..(around 5 mins)

    “I think they run the risk of being held captive by the Ministry of Health and the public service who are well versed in the dark arts….”

    ….when buggering damn, Guyon cut him off.

    • alwyn 11.1

      Come, come.
      Guyon shuts anyone who might embarrass the Government down as you must surely have observed.
      The only people he allows to proceed uninterrupted are members of the current Government. They get total fawning attention.

      • Peter 11.1.1

        If you think he allows members of the current Government to proceed uninterrupted and they get total fawning attention, either you need a new radio or I do.

    • One Two 11.2

      How many of the (life line like) support services shut down (defunded) by NACT have been started up again by the current govt…

      • Rosemary McDonald 11.2.1

        That’s a very good question.

        https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/thepanel/audio/2018690785/lifeline-funding

        “A woman turned to Lifeline in desperation. First of all she texted them and got replies that the service was experiencing long wait times. She then called, and was on hold for 30 minutes. Eventually she gave up and hung up. Lifeline has been around for 50 years and Robin Gault of the University of Otago says Lifeline should get funding in this year’s Budget and people should get immediate attention when they call.”

        • One Two 11.2.1.1

          There was regular links during the previous govts terms illustrating the volume of service cuts and defunding of them…

          It was staggering the high numbers of service cut…as it was unthinkable given the dollar values being removed from those services…

          A few hundred thousand here..aggregate totals being a handul of million of I recall…yet the social value of the safety nets was immeasureable in reality…

          I get that it is not a straight forward exercise to start up such services even if funding was available…and that some services may have been..or may be started up in different form…

          If it were my decision it would have been a key campaign issue…to fundm..and start up every single support service shut down by NACT…

          And it would have had it done by now…if I was the PM…

  12. Morrissey 12

    Notre Dame and Lateral Thinking
    by CRAIG MURRAY, 15 April 2019

    France is a country which has spent hundreds of billions of euros on nuclear Weapons of Mass Destruction, and hundreds of billions of euros on other military capabilities. France possesses the technological capability to utterly flatten a city the size of Paris in minutes. Yet it does not possess the technological capability to prevent one of its greatest buildings from being destroyed by fire.

    If the many trillions spent all around the world on the research, development and production of instruments of destruction had been devoted to peaceful purposes instead, what new technologies might we have now? It is not a huge step in lateral thinking to imagine that in such a world, more might have been available to save Notre Dame – and Grenfell – than too short ladders and hoses squirting water.

    I posted this simple idea on twitter a couple of hours ago. As with all my twitter posts, right wing trolls came in to dispute my point very quickly. Their posts are worth reading because they so stunningly miss the point. They talk about standard lengths of firefighting ladders and about water pressure. They appear completely unable to even register, let alone extrapolate from, the notion that had the resources mankind has squandered on agents of destruction been better used, we might have different technologies.

    John Stuart Mill once stated in parliament: “I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.” I have always believed that right wing “thought” is a misnomer, and right wing views are rather characterised by absence of meaningful intellectual activity. Furthermore, those touted as right wing “thinkers”, such as Roger Scruton, Patrick Minford or David Starkey, if studied with any rigour, are the greatest proof of this. But it is seldom that you see such clear evidence as the responses to that little tweet. If I had devised that tweet as an experiment to demonstrate the hypothesis of the intellectual incapacity of the conservative mind, it could not have worked better.

    My condolences to all for the loss of a great building. One day, perhaps mankind will learn that we do not in reality defend what we have by spending vast amounts of our available resources and capacity for communal activity in preparing to destroy as much as we are physically capable of destroying.

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

    • One Two 12.1

      France has played a role in destroying nation states…obliterating numerous ancient sites around the region…

      • Morrissey 12.1.1

        French governments have wasted, and continue to waste, billions—actually, trillions—of francs/euros on weapons of mass destruction and on wars of aggression/repression all over the world. None of this criminal aggression has popular assent.

        If French politicians cared about French culture and French treasures like Notre Dame it might be a mitigating factor. But clearly they do not.

  13. greywarshark 13

    The complaints of the modern young hedonist. Has some lines in the sand, but self-centred, observational about his culture rather than integrated into his society and country.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/news/112079021/9-things-i-dont-miss-about-australia-when-i-go-overseas

  14. greywarshark 14

    Good news. Swimming dog found oil rig. Keep paddling is the answer in life I guess, we might get to a safe place.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/asia/112093018/dog-rescued-swimming-220-kilometres-off-thailands-coast-by-oil-rig-workers

    And good news about people getting together to save Notre Dame treasures. They kept working to make things better than they would have been. Keeping paddling example!
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/112093160/notre-dame-fire-how-human-chain-saved-treasures-as-design-of-building-foiled-firefighters

  15. greywarshark 15

    This program is getting a lot of buy-in and the organisers are very keen for people to see how well it is succeeding in cutting down on violent events that have put our domestic violence figures high. It may be similar to Celia Lashlie’s ideas that she were proving helpful to people losing it and messing up everyone’s lives. RIP Celia. I think others are going ahead with the plans she and they instigated. It
    might be a good thing for those of us who see the need for improvements for people in NZ and don’t know where to start to get involved in.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018691367/domestic-violence-awareness-roadtrip-born-out-of-tragedy
    life and society crime

    Domestic violence awareness roadtrip – born out of tragedy
    From Nine To Noon, 9:20 am today
    Listen duration 15′ :02″
    David White’s daughter was murdered a decade ago, now he’s traveling the country to raise awareness of domestic violence.

    The 74 year old is now more than half-way through a nationwide road trip, speaking to community groups from Invercargill to the Far North.

    His campaign slogan is Harm Ends Futures Begin. David White’s daughter, Helen Meads was killed by her husband in 2009.

    • Rosemary McDonald 15.1

      A very good programme, and well done to Kathryn Ryan giving for David White space to deliver his message.

      Ten years on and he still audibly grieves.

      Two major things popped out…one was that domestic violence affects ALL sections of the community and merely blaming poverty is a cop-out, and the other was that he recognised the real value of cross party (political) discussions on this issue.

  16. Rosemary McDonald 16

    And more good news re the Cathedral Rebuild…

    ‘We can rebuild it, better than before!!!’, or words to that effect…

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018691351/notre-dame-fire-experts-assess-damage-ready-to-rebuild

    …and fortunately there is plenty of spare cash floating around to pay for it.

    France’s benevolent wealthy have stepped up to the plate and dug deep for Notre Dame…

    ” French business leaders have already pledged more than a billion NZ dollars for the reconstruction of the cathedral. Billionaire François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of the Kering group that owns the Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent fashion brands, has pledged €100m. Another €200m was pledged by Bernard Arnault’s family and their company LVMH – a business empire which includes Louis Vuitton and Sephora. French cosmetics giant L’Oreal and its founding Bettencourt family have promised to give a further €200m. Total, the French oil giant, has pledged €100m. Air France said in a statement that the company would offer free flights to anyone involved in the reconstruction. ”

    So it is just as well that the-gloss-wearing-off-rapidly Macron reversed the contentious Wealth Tax that drove the Worthies from French soil….

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-tax/macron-fights-president-of-the-rich-tag-after-ending-wealth-tax-idUSKCN1C82CZ

    “Macron’s move to replace the tax with a levy targeting only real estate in last week’s 2018 budget was used by political opponents to brand him the “president of the rich”, a label the ex-Rothschild banker has been struggling to shake off since taking office in May.

    In a visit to a Whirlpool factory in his native town of Amiens, scene of a showdown six months ago with his then far-right challenger Marine Le Pen in the presidential election contest, Macron defended the policy.

    “It’s all well and good to want to spread wealth, but you first need to produce, to create wealth before redistributing, that’s how it works,” he told journalists. ”

    In the meantime, the motley assortment of the disaffected, the Yellow Vests lick their wounds…https://www.thelocal.fr/20190129/france-in-numbers-police-violence-during-yellow-vest-protests

    “These injuries caused by police during the protests mostly result from the uses of the security forces’ “defensive bullets” known as Flashballs or LBDs and stun grenades which contain a dose of TNT.

    Police are forbidden from aiming the bullets at people’s faces but as already mentioned at least a dozen people have suffered serious eye injuries including the permanent loss of sight, by these rubber bullets.

    After an appeal by France Info some 51 victims of police Flashball came forward. Some had been seriously maimed including one named Vanessa Langard who was hit in the face by the so-called “defence bullet”.

    “My eye has lost three quarters of its vision. I can just see shapes and colours now and it’s not going to get any better,” she said.

    Four people have reportedly had part of their hands blown off as a consequence of the use of the grenades. ”

    I guess this is the outcome when the electorate has a choice between someone like Macron and a child of the ultra far right.

  17. marty mars 17

    Classic t.rump

    Donald Trump was reluctant to expel suspected Russian spies after the novichok chemical weapons attack in Salisbury, viewing the poisoning of a defector as “part of legitimate spy games”, according to a new report.

    According to the New York Times, Trump reacted sceptically to a British request in March 2018 for a strong punitive response to the use of the nerve agent against the former spy, Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. A local resident, Dawn Sturgess, was killed three months later when she came in contact with the chemical.

    It marked the first chemical weapon attack on European soil since the first world war…

    … The incident is cited as an example of the persuasive skills of the then deputy CIA director (now director), Gina Haspel.

    She is said to have presented the expulsion of 60 accredited Russian diplomats – the course eventually taken – as the “strong option”.

    She also showed the president pictures of young children who had been hospitalised as a result of the Salisbury attack, as well as photographs of ducks that had been killed because of the carelessness in handling the deadly nerve agent on the part of the two Russian intelligence operatives alleged to have carried out the attack.

    “Mr Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong option,” the report said…

    … Trump has separately been reported as having been furious when he found out that the US had expelled far more Russians than Germany or France, who each ordered four Russian officials to leave.

    According to a report last April in the Washington post, Trump had told his officials that the US would match the European response, but his aides interpreted that to total European expulsions, not individual countries.

    “I don’t care about the total!” an administration official cited in the Washington Post report recalled Trump screaming.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/apr/16/trump-novichok-attack-skripal-poisoning-spy-game

    • francesca 17.1

      Goodness me Marty.
      So Haspel(the torture Queen) deliberately misrepresenting the facts (no children were hospitalised , no ducks died)is a good thing???
      Totally fabricated evidence to manipulate a gullible and emotionally infantile president is a good thing now?
      The ends justify the means eh, its a slippery slope

      • marty mars 17.1.1

        I just though t.rumps actions and reactions were funny – “I don’t care about the total” – those officials misinterpreted his utterances? – ha ha I bet they did.

        You can do all the other stuff – I feel okay with what I think happened on those days.

      • Siobhan 17.1.2

        Unfortunately that slippery slope is ancient history these days francesca..these days folk seem happy to support anyone and any action as long as they follow the ‘Trump (Assange) Worst Man on earth Ever’ narrative.

        Haspel, Mueller*, George Bush, Alec Baldwin….all now looked upon with benign fondness by so some called liberals/left wingers/centrists/whatever .

        Political language especially as regurgitated by the msm and journalists who should know better, like those at The Guardian,…. “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind” Orwell. (my italics)

        *Though maybe not now he’s failed to deliver the promised ‘goods’…apparently helping start a disastrous war by purposefully lying about Saddam Hussein’s WMD’s was entirely forgivable..the Collusion Report…not so much.

        • francesca 17.1.2.1

          Yep Siobhan , as long as its against Trump, all is forgiven and” kinda truthy ” is good enough

  18. francesca 18

    Yes,
    preferential blinkering I see, beats critical thinking every time.
    Of course Trumps responses are totally buffoonish, and totally predictable.
    Whats new?
    But fabricated information is a dangerous tool to
    put in front of such a President, and for that to go unremarked in the article is worrying.
    But anyway
    Whooosh!

    • marty mars 18.1

      There were news reports about 3 children being given bread to feed the ducks and 48 people were assessed in hospital I believe – not so strange to mention then I think. Still could be wrong and morally there may be issues giving this information to t.rump and expecting some coherent response. But he did expel the people so…

      “48 people were assessed in hospital in relation to the incident
      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43315636

      • francesca 18.1.1

        Yes, but no children were hospitalised and no ducks died, you really can’t extrapolate that from the fact that 40 people got worried and Skripal fed ducks and gave bread to the kids from his novichoked hands .
        One thing is not the other
        Maybe its “truthiness” is ok for you
        And for you the ends justifies the means, so…

        • marty mars 18.1.1.1

          Yes well i’ve put the reports up with links and you have some issues with those reports. All good although I would caution about ascribing anything to me – ask and I shall tell otherwise don’t speculate please.

      • francesca 18.1.2

        48 people were assessed …but not hospitalised

        Fabricated evidence
        but he did expel the people so…

        thats all right then?

        • marty mars 18.1.2.1

          Yes well i’ve put the reports up with links and you have some issues with those reports.

          Have you tried a search for some links to show the fabrication? Might pay to.

          • francesca 18.1.2.1.1

            https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/russia-salisbury-poison-fears-allayed-by-doctor-vf9v0zg0m

            On March 16 Steven Davies, “Consultant in Emergency Medicine” at Salisbury hospital, wrote the following letter to the Times in response to an article that had appeared there two days earlier.This is the text of the letter:

            “Sir, Further to your report (“Poison Exposure Leaves Almost 40 Needing Treatment”, Mar 14), may I clarify that no patients have experienced symptoms of nerve-agent poisoning in Salisbury and there have only ever been three patients with significant poisoning. Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. None had symptoms of poisoning and none has needed treatment. Any blood tests performed have shown no abnormality. No member of the public has been contaminated by the agent involved.

            STEPHEN DAVIES, Consultant in Emergency Medicine, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust”

            There are precisely zero reports of ducks killed by bread from either the kids or Skripal.

            • marty mars 18.1.2.1.1.1

              Awesome – glad that’s sorted.

              “Several people have attended the emergency department concerned that they may have been exposed. ”

              Maybe they got mixed up with that.

              • Brigid

                “mixed up” is not how I would describe the BBC’s habit of blatantly misconstruing the truth.

  19. marty mars 19

    Some looking up stuff too – truth stranger than fiction

    Last December, a trio of astronomers set the record for the most distant object ever discovered in the solar system. Because the small world is located about three times farther from the Sun than Pluto, the researchers dubbed it Farout. Now, not to be outdone (even by themselves), the same group of boundary pushers have announced the discovery of an even more far-flung object. And since the new find sits a couple billion miles farther out than Farout, the team has fittingly nicknamed it Farfarout.

    The discovery of Farfarout, which is about 140 astronomical units from the Sun (where 1 AU equals the distance between Earth and the Sun), is quite impressive by its own right. But Farfarout and its nearer sibling are not just record-breakers, they could be trend-setters. Depending on how their orbits shake out, the two may add to a growing pile of evidence that hints at the existence of an elusive super-Earth lurking in the fringes of our solar system: Planet Nine.

    http://astronomy.com/news/2019/03/a-map-to-planet-nine-charting-the-solar-systems-most-distant-worlds

  20. greywarshark 20

    Golly that is exciting about Farfarout. I think we should all stop worrying about our little planet and petty little crises and put all our money into exploring the huge universe that we live in. And when we have used up this planet Earth and killed off everyone in various ways including bacteria and viruses, in a parody of Jules Verne The War of the Worlds, the few scientists and their bloated backers that are left can all bugger off and have a great time eating pies in the sky, and singing about their obsessions as in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

    In the meantime there is a relatively cheap $69 million contract to Musk to bounce off an asteroid though I don’t know whether that is to protect the body of our planet or the spyware satellites floating around it.
    https://www.fin24.com/Economy/World/nasa-awards-musk-69m-to-fly-spacex-rocket-into-asteroid-20190416

    • greywarshark 21.1

      Liberalism is sweeping populism away and now people don’t like liberalism. What next – what next. He is making me think of a song ‘You call everybody darling’ but here the word is ‘Nazi’. He makes the very salient point that if that word is spread around so widely applied to everyone – what do you call a Nazi when you want to point to a real one?

      Jonathan Pie so hot, that you need oven gloves to get near him.
      There is so much here that you have to listen twice.

  21. McFlock 22

    NZ threat level being downgraded.

    I’m slightly surprised by this – given the number of days in April that involve NZ holidays/gatherings or important dates for US nutbars or important dates from WW2 and for Nazi nutbars, I expected the threat level to remain high until early May.

    • Gabby 22.1

      Never mind flockers, there’s bound to be a disaster somewhere for you to laugh at.

      • McFlock 22.1.1

        Your comments over the last wee while bring a smile, for a start.

        • Gabby 22.1.1.1

          Yours don’t.

          • McFlock 22.1.1.1.1

            A horse walks into a bar. Barman says “why the long face?”

            • Gabby 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Horse says, ‘I trod in a flocker on the way in.’

              • greywarshark

                Is your brain having some time out gabby. Not funny or clever – the only reason for reading you.

              • McFlock

                Barman replies “A flocker? Nah, that flocker was a MiserySchmitt”

                • The Al1en

                  Stuka that up your Junka lol

                • Gabby

                  Horse says, ‘Same thing.’

                  • marty mars

                    You’re reminding me of a gabbleduck

                    “Apparently, linguists who have loaded a thousand languages into their minds, despair trying to understand gabbleducks. What they say is nonsensical, but frustratingly close to meaning. There’s no reason for them to have such complex voice boxes, especially to communicate with each other, as on the whole they are solitary creatures and speak to themselves. When they meet it is usually only to mate or fight, or both. There’s also no reason for them to carry structures in their skulls capable of handling vastly complex languages. Two thirds of their large brains they seem to use hardly at all. Science, in their case, often supports myth.”

                    http://clarkesworldmagazine.com/asher_08_15_reprint/

                    Brilliant Sci Fi story in that link (audio story too!!!) – Neal Asher is one of my favorite writers – space opera though so get ready for a big ride if you start reading his work.

                    • One Two

                      You’re not a linguist though…are you marty….

                      The angry tantrums and abuse… say you aren’t…

                    • marty mars

                      Yeah you’re probably right buckle but compared to you we are all lacking aren’t we.

                      It’s okay I sense you’re lonely and frightened today – I’ll be your wee buddy mate.

                    • One Two []

                      Your sense (sensors) require calibrating, marty…they’re way off…

                      Each of us have deficiencies, marty…putting in the effort to identify and understand them, is a discipline…

                      Working to improve them…a lifes journey…

                      We’re all at different stages…that’s all…

                    • marty mars

                      What are your deficiencies? And what have you done about them – this could be good learning for me as we are at vastly different stages on the journey as you have stated.

                    • One Two []

                      We’re – We (general term) are…(All human beings)…

                      It is highly improbable, if not impossible for two people to be at the same stage of development…unlimited variables involved…

                      I was mirroring your use of ‘we are’…not pointing at any difference between our journeys…

                      I’m not into sharing personal experiences online…some folks do…that’s fine…I choose not to be overt with details I share…

                    • marty mars

                      Yeah I suppose with the way you talk to people online it’s good for you not to share too much.

                      Over the years I’ve found those most critical of others (like you are) often are the most in need of their own advice. This is the way it works.

                      It seems like people don’t trust you from what you say. Trust has to be earned One Two. You need to show you can be trusted. You know this stuff so just a reminder to tap you onto the path again.

                      Good luck on your journey – as they say, the master is just around the next corner.

                  • McFlock

                    Drunkard at the end of the bar says “holy schmitt, a talking horse!”

  22. joe90 23

    A couple of months after being granted unexplained relief from sanctions, and despite tariffs on Canadian aluminium for national security reasons, Manafort bestie Oleg Deripaska and co are going to build a new aluminium production plant in McConnell’s state.

    But coal.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/02/14/694769097/trump-tweet-fails-to-save-kentucky-coal-fired-power-plant

  23. Kay 24

    No CGT. Supposedly NZers don’t want one. Cowards.

    • McFlock 24.1

      pity. Not just this govt, but under her leadership.
      Provides point of difference for Greens, though – I suspect they’d be for it.

  24. Ad 25

    Capital Gains Tax dead.

    Boomers win. All else: ……. ouch

    • greywarshark 25.1

      https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/387253/watch-live-govt-rules-out-capital-gains-tax
      Oh it isn’t the government’s fault, it is that wonky steel that got imported from overseas. The government just buckles under pressure. And poor Mr Robertson so rotund and roly poly doesn’t look as if he would be able to stand up to lean and hungry capitalists in a row coming at him like an All Black charge.

      Doesn’t it seem sometimes as if the All Blacks have almost become favourite enforcers for the National Party; when they retire sportspeople like them, if they are in good standing, can get good jobs as part of a government goodie bag.
      It seems a fanciful idea, but in our present state of nimble government, Jack has to be quick to keep up with pollies.

  25. Brutus Iscariot 26

    Ardern…what a coward.

    Stick to photo ops and feelgood interviews.

  26. BM 27

    Lol, retaining power and a position at the trough obviously far more important.

    • joe90 27.1

      Winning the next election obviously far more important.

      • BM 27.1.1

        If Labour is only interested in staying in power why the fuck did they waste so much taxpayer money doing a TWG.

        • McFlock 27.1.1.1

          You’re seriously reducing the worth of the tax working group to expansion of the CGT?

  27. cleangreen 28

    100% Brutus Bang on there.

    Green Party is throwing their toys all out of the crib today also.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/04/17/green-party-start-their-campaign-to-curtail-free-speech-the-danger-of-millennial-micro-aggression-policing-culture-defining-hate-speech/

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

  28. Andre 29

    Anyone else remember back around three years ago when the convergence moonbats were telling us Hair Farce One was going to be some kind of peacenik once he was prez?

    The Senate just voted 54-46 and the House 247-175 to withdraw US involvement from the Yemen massacre. But the Tangerine Palpatine gets some sort of jollies from his Saudi mates murdering Yemenis by the thousands, so he vetoed it.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/trump-veto-yemen-saudi-bill_n_5cb667ace4b082aab08de6a4

    • Morrissey 29.1

      You do realize, I take it, that the killing in Yemen—and in Gaza, the West Bank, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and several states in Africa— was greenlighted by Obama well before the arrival of Trump?

      I share your distaste and disgust for the Tangerine One, and acknowledge that he’s even worse than what went before. However, he’s not doing anything radically different from any president before him.

      • Andre 29.1.1

        What is radically different is this is the first time Congress has ever explicitly told a president to stop the malicious war games. That’s an enormous step by itself.

        Any previous president would take that as a big sign to rethink what was being done. But not the deranged dotard.

        And the convergence moonbat game of whining “but Obama” really isn’t an argument. I really can’t be arsed looking up the facts to play that game.

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