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Open Mike 17/01/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 17th, 2017 - 181 comments
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181 comments on “Open Mike 17/01/2017”

  1. Andre 1

    A good read about the Russia/US election problem that makes a lot of good points that don’t get enough examination.

    “There’s also the crucial dog that hasn’t barked: Unlike during the lead up to the Iraq War, no one from the intelligence agencies has been leaking doubts or claims that they’re being leaned on by the White House to provide the desired conclusion.”


    • Morrissey 1.1

      Yes indeed. The complete absence of evidence is proof enough that those dastardly Russians are, once again, running everything.

      • Psycho Milt 1.1.1

        Wow, two straw men in one sentence. There’s almost something admirable about such ability.

        • Paul

          “Trump will be assassinated” Paul Craig Roberts & Max Keiser

          Dr. Paul Craig Roberts states clearly and repeatedly that if they can’t stop him becoming president they’ll kill Trump just as they did with John Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield and William McKinley.

          • reason

            Fake media narratives hide the truth ……and can trick good people into making bad decisions ….

            Its how National Govern

            Fake news stories are individual hail-stones…… in the blizzard of inaccurcies, manipulated statistics and biased no context bull shit served up by our corporate media .

            we only get one side of the story ……… and thats presented in a dishonest light.

            The John Key image was built on fake news ………… ‘reported’ and repeated by either, biased, lazy or incompetent press members who print lies.

            media fake news in partnership with Nationals Dirty politics WAS John Key …. Popularity by dishonesty

            Exibit A) http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/573560/Key-pledges-PMs-salary-to-charity …. it reads like a press release from that swirler farrar //////
            This fake news exibit pimped on the front page of the sunday times, stuff, etc ……. it sends a false “generous” image for Key ……versus the reality of a greedy multi-millionare cheat …..who made a large part of his wealth by taking money of normal, honet and poor people …..

            I doubt any new zealand prime-minister, past or present ,…. or any other nz citizen ,has taken more money and wealth away from middle class and poor U.s citizen ………..

            Very few reporters in NZ can hold their heads up high during the Key media mirage with a few honarble exceptions ……

            But for a Heroic, brave and honest reporter I recommend this riviting and revealing movie by jerry scahill …… Dirty Wars

            Look at the childrens eyes …. and reflect on the u.s “intelligence”

          • Psycho Milt

            Dr. Paul Craig Roberts states clearly and repeatedly that if they can’t stop him becoming president they’ll kill Trump…

            Sure. And Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi states clearly and repeatedly that there is no god but God and that Muhammed is his prophet, but that doesn’t mean either that there is a god or that Muhammed was a prophet.

        • Morrissey

          Straw men is your province, my friend. I’m just amused by your gullibility. How’s that James Clapper-led investigation into the Russian masterminds going, by the way?

          • reason

            … and a very good ….but also very sad interview for you Morrissey

            Two reporters who give us the truth at great personal risks ….

            You’ve probably heard it before …. but I thought you’d enjoy some quality over the low grade and ignorant dross NZ media puts out.

            Excluding Nicky Hager and the few other good ones we have ….

            • Morrissey

              Thanks reason! Jeremy Scahill, along with such other outstanding journalists as Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, Amy Goodman, Chris Hedges, Allan Nairn and Matt Lee makes me optimistic about the future of the United States.

  2. Andre 2

    A cool idea for cyclists. But it also needs one to the rear, and a model wearing something more visible than all black while cycling at night.


  3. Rosemary McDonald 3

    Stuff ‘journalist’ gets up early to file this…


    “And when reviewing that list of economic principles, it is instructive to consider just how much cross-party support they have received over the years.

    It is true that neither of the last two governments have been particular puritan disciples of the creed. One example of this is the spending binge that characterised the end of Helen Clark’s government.

    This National government has continued the questionable tradition of doling out generous subsidies to big Hollywood movie studios. While both governments sold some state assets (either wholly or partially) there is not much appetite for further privatisation.

    But in the main, the essentials of New Zealand’s new economy have enjoyed a bipartisan consensus.

    Whether you call it “neoliberalism” or something else, it is a framework that has served us well. Here’s hoping that this year’s election renews our commitment to responsible economic management.”

    Maybe he should have stayed in bed….needs more sleep.

    • Paul 3.1

      Whether you call it “neoliberalism” or something else, it is a framework that has served us well.

      2 questions.

      1.Who is ‘us’?

      The owners of Fairfax media?
      Alan Gibbs?
      John Key?
      Michael Fay?
      David Richwhite?

      2. How is it serving the rest of well?

      High rates of imprisonment
      High rates of suicide
      High rates of unemployment
      High rates of homelessness
      High rates of water pollution
      High rates of inequality
      High rates of child poverty
      High rates of foreign ownership
      High rates of personal debt

      How Neoliberalism has failed New Zealand

      The 10 great neoliberal myths of NZ

    • Andre 3.2

      It’s clearly labelled as opinion. A quick google shows Liam Hehir appears to be some sort of lawyer, with an occasional sideline in writing hard-right opinion pieces. He’s not a journalist, and it’s a slander on actual journalists to suggest Hehir has anything in common with real journalists.

      • Paul 3.2.1

        Interesting that Liam Hehir felt comfortable using the pronoun us. Must have been describing the lawyer community. It would be interesting to know why he got selected for a regular opinion piece.

        It is an editorial decision to give so many right wingers a forum to publish their opinions. It is no slander to criticise the editorial policy at Fairfax.

        • Morrissey

          Liam Hehir is not an aberration. He is firmly in the tradition of third-rate, nasty and downright disgusting commentary in the Herald, a tradition underlined weekly by the likes of Kerre “ohoWmad” McIvor and Mike “Contra” Hosking.

          The cosy assumption that “we” all shared his loathing of and contempt for Māori was a feature of Paul Holmes’s rants on radio, television and, yes, the New Zealand Herald. Several months before his seven-minute spittle-flecked tirade against the Secretary General of the U.N., Holmes was sure his television audience would share his “concern” about another lot of cheeky darkies—these particular lowlifes were in the Bay of Plenty. In a conspiratorial manner that the Broadcasting Standards Authority later described as “framed in a way calculated to incite moral indignation” Holmes intoned the following …

          “Wait till you hear about this one. Prepare to go ballistic. We’ve had the taniwha in recent weeks, we’ve had the sand on the North Shore beach and now a mountain called Kopukairoa, in Welcome Bay, just outside of Tauranga.”


          Four years ago, media luvvie Brian Edwards was incensed when I and several others had the poor taste to spoil an encomium he had written for Holmes by reminding him and his readers that Holmes was a racist….



      • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.2

        He also appears to have a regular airing on the cetacean’s site…rather hilarious actually…judging by the few comments I managed to read before nausea overcame me…they take him seriously without fact checking.

        I get your point about calling him a journalist Andre…hence the ‘journalist’.

    • Bill 3.3

      Seems there might be a bit of a patterns to this Rosemary. ‘The Canary’ is reporting on a fair chunk of UK media framing the Oxfam report as “Poor Bill Gates”


      Someone commented yesterday that TVNZ News simply didn’t mention it.

      And then there’s this piece of gunk in The Independent this morning


      I’m not going to bother mentioning my contention that Liberalism is in crisis and I’m not going to bother speculating that this broad consensus in reporting across a fair swathe of the msm is indicative of a “circling the wagons”. 😉

      edited for the sake of accuracy And The Guardian has a couple of decent articles.


      • Rosemary McDonald 3.3.1

        Stuffed is allowing comments….Mr. Hehir’s fan club hasn’t rounded the membership yet to bolster his premise…so far he’s being slammed for the twit that he is. Folk are asking for a definition of “works”, next thing they’ll be demanding evidence.

        Clearly he’s the right tool for the right job.

    • Carolyn_nth 3.4

      Mr Hehir lists the great policies of neoliberalism:

      As summarised by English economist John Williamson, who coined the term, this involved governments:

      *Avoiding large fiscal deficits;
      * Eschewing subsidies in favour of spending on infrastructure and primary education and healthcare;
      *Implementing moderate tax rates over a broader tax base;
      *Allowing interest rates to be set by the market;
      *Adopting a competitive exchange rate;
      * Liberalising trade and not interfering with imports into the country;
      * Encouraging foreign investment;
      *Privatising state owned businesses;
      *Eliminating regulations that restrict competition (while retaining those which protect the environment and safety); and
      *Protecting legal property rights.

      These policies are not a complete account of the neoliberal policy agenda. Undoubtedly the examples given above will generate some consternation from those claiming that they are only the most benign examples of what neoliberalism is all about.

      of course this includes benign examples like

      Eschewing subsidies in favour of spending on infrastructure and primary education and healthcare; does not include subsidising landlards, farmers, etc

      * Encouraging foreign investment; which has been great for the housing situation in NZ, and for the banks, for farmland, etc

      *Privatising state owned businesses;
      And how we all have benefited from SOEs, from lower power prices, from the comings and goings of Kiwirail, etc

      *Eliminating regulations that restrict competition (while retaining those which protect the environment and safety); and such a great safety record we have at Pike River, in forestry, and the environment has benefits from unrestricted competition in farming, etc.

      *Protecting legal property rights. unless it’s land of the tangata/manu whenua… so no problem there.

      So that’s the most benign of impacts of neoliberalism, then? So tell me about the less benign impacts?

    • tc 3.5

      Get used to this in an election year as the owned MSM go hard with overt and subtle ‘why change’ themes

  4. Paul 4

    Europe considering a UBI

    I am, therefore I’m paid.

    The radical notion that governments should hand out free money to everyone — rich and poor, those who work and those who don’t — is slowly but surely gaining ground in Europe. Yes, you read that right: a guaranteed monthly living allowance, no strings attached.

    In France, two of the seven candidates vying to represent the ruling Socialist Party in this year’s presidential election are promising modest but regular stipends to all French adults. A limited test is already underway in Finland, with other experiments planned elsewhere, including in the United States.

    Called “universal income” by some, “universal basic income” or just “basic income” by others, the idea has been floated in various guises since at least the mid-19th century. After decades on the fringes of intellectual debate, it became more mainstream in 2016, with Switzerland holding a referendum ” and overwhelmingly rejecting ” a proposed basic income of around US$2,500 ($3518) per month.

    “An incredible year,” says Philippe Van Parijs, a founder of the Basic Income Earth Network that lobbies for such payments. “There has been more written and said on basic income than in the whole history of mankind.”

    Read it all here

    As robots take jobs, Europeans mull free money for all

    • bwaghorn 4.1

      A ubi will consign at least 10% of youth to the scrap heap, having enough % to subsist on they will rot in hovels and basements.
      Governments need to create real jobs with meaning.

      • Pat 4.1.1

        valid point…UBI in combination with some form of vocational training to age 25?

        • bwaghorn

          real jobs with meaning , for some that might be higher learning , but for others it could be killing pests , cutting tracks in forests , mining minerals on mars, young men hang one armed from skyscrapers because they have no outlet for their urge to explore.

          • Pat

            may be difficult to provide real jobs with meaning looking ahead however there are other reasons to provide opportunities to develop…. the opportunity to learn skills or to examine areas of interest can only be beneficial both to individuals and society and helps to retain/develop a repository of those skills and knowledge….things that may well be at great risk of being lost….and that is meaningful.

            If fact thinking further a UBI brings into question the role of universal formal education at every level.

          • mauī

            Yeah interesting to see what would happen. The middle class kids at the moment spend time mucking around at uni living off their loans for 3 or 4 years. Poorer kids would be afforded a similar lifestyle under a UBI probably keeping more of them out of trouble.

            • bwaghorn

              when i was a lost young loon, i went on the dole by choice for a spell, the only thing that got me to go back to work was it wasn’t enough for me to eat live and support my love of partying , if it had of been a $100 dollars more i would have rotted away there for years.

              • weka

                What if someone had offered you another $100 to do something you loved?

                • bwaghorn

                  hard to tell but i lack the self motivation gene and at that point was a munter of the highest order , it would have gone on beer and smokes , bloody glad p wasn’t a thing back then aswell.

      • bwaghorn 4.1.2

        $ not %

      • grumpystilskin 4.1.3

        How about we stop the student/work visa scam. That’d be a start.


        “A joint Mbie-Treasury briefing to Joyce, Woodhouse and Finance Minister Bill English in December last year said 45 per cent of former international students who became skilled migrants did not have degrees, compared to only 30 per cent in 2004/05.
        It added that in 2014 recent migrants held 25 per cent of accommodation and food jobs and about 18 per cent of administrative and support jobs, despite “no strong evidence of genuine skills shortages” in these industries.”

        I have no problem with people coming here to contribute with skills, I have a huge problem with people coming here to work at mcdonalds.

        Those people that Joyce said “…might start initially in lower-skilled jobs but they tend to move up into higher-skilled jobs over time, just like everybody else.” could have been NZ citizens that the state has supported since birth.

        • bwaghorn

          Be careful you’ll get called a racist by some for spouting common sense like that.

          • grumpystilskin

            I just find it odd that we would let overseas students have free range in our job market, all while complaining that our citizens are unemployed. I think I know the real answer, in keeps wages low and appeases big business.
            I’m a contractor in my chosen field and get payed very well for my skills when I work (health reasons mean I have to be picky). Lately I’ve felt the need to move on and try something else but can’t afford to start at the bottom again as minimum wage doesn’t cover my modest outgoings. FFS, I was earning $12/hr 27 years ago when I was a bar manager (yes, that was a good rate back then but…) The manager at my local earns $16 with 30 years experience and they have no shortage of applicants when they need new staff.
            Brighter future? yeah right.

            • bwaghorn

              ”Brighter future? yeah right.”
              you just gotsta believe.

              but yes while everyone was wanting to have a beer with key he was shafting the youth of nz

    • One Two 4.2

      Would a UBI create a ‘contract’ with the government or controlling entity?

      What ‘conditions’ may be ‘enforced’ as a quid pro quo…

  5. Paul 5

    Reduce inequality and we’ll reduce this terrible statistic.

    New Zealand’s suicide rate is higher than Australia’s, with twice as many of our young men killing themselves in recent years.

    The study published in the New Zealand Medical Journal compared suicide rates between the nations from 1949 to 2013, with a focus on age patterns.

    In the latest year bracket available, 2009 to 2013, the rate among Kiwi men aged 20 to 24 was 29.7 per 100,000 – double the rate of Australian men of the same age group.

    The study, Changes in the age pattern of New Zealand suicide rates by Australian clinical professor of psychiatry John Snowdon, was based on Ministry of Health and Australian Bureau of Statistics data, and census data.

    While suicide rates were similar between the nations generally, New Zealand’s rate was higher overall due to higher rates among young citizens, including a “markedly higher” suicide rate of youths.

    New Zealand has continuously ranked among the worst in the world for levels of teen suicide. An OECD report published last year found we had the highest rate in the developed world.

    “There must be continued concern regarding the relatively high youth suicide rate in New Zealand versus the much lower corresponding rates in Australia,” Snowdon said.

    Read the whole article here.

    Suicide rate among young Kiwi men double that of young Australian men in recent years

    Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett researched and wrote The Spirit Level. The book argues that there are “pernicious effects that inequality has on societies: eroding trust, increasing anxiety and illness, (and) encouraging excessive consumption”. It claims that for each of eleven different health and social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust and community life, violence, teenage pregnancies, and child well-being, outcomes are significantly worse in more unequal countries, whether rich or poor.


    • Wayne 5.1


      Is inequality the cause of the difference in the suicide rate?

      Both Australia and NZ have virtually the same level of inequality in both wealth and income terms.

      The reasons for the higher rate of youth suicide in NZ will be more complex than you suggest.

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1

        Geeze, Wayne….share with us plebs the wealth of your greater insight!

        Tell me….is the Mighty Right getting a tad nervous at the moment with all this discussion about how the policies of the past thirty years have been a complete and utter failure by just about every measure one can apply?

        • Wayne


          I don’t know the reasons for NZ’s youth suicide rate being twice that of Australia.

          But it seems to me that the inequality difference between the two counties will not be the reason. Both nations have a wealth spread that is very similar and is in the middle of the OECD nations. The US is much greater.

          The reasons for suicide are known to be complex. Each person has their own reasons and while there will be common elements in many of them, each person makes a unique choice.

          I did read today that NZ is much more unequal than Australia because the two wealthiest people in NZ had as much as the poorest 30%, whereas in Australia the two wealthiest people had the same as the poorest 20%. It is a spurious use of numbers that is hugely dependent on chance. Actually one of the two NZers does not even live here and has made all his wealth in Russia and Singapore.

          A much better comparison is how much wealth the top 10% have compared to everyone else. There are many more people in the top 10% so one person can’t skew the stats. On this measure NZ and Australia are similar, with the wealthiest 10% holding as much as the lowest 50%.

          • DoublePlusGood

            Pretty gross to be referencing Richard Chandler and discussing suicide in the same comment, given what his brother’s Legatum got up to in rural India.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      I was intrigued by this sentence:

      Peters does not really care whether a plan is practical or worthwhile if there are some votes in it.

      That is equally true of the National Party.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        I think the most salient point is this:

        “Regardless of bottom lines, he will go with the winner if his choice matters.”

        • Morrissey

          I think that’s pretty much on the money, Rogue. A Peters-English administration would have considerable comic potential, I believe.

        • mpledger

          I don’t know. This will probably be his last throw of the dice so I think he’ll aim for something monumental rather than playing himself for the long term.

          I think if people have screwed him over at any point then they ought to be starting to feel a bit worried about how he is going to play his cards.

      • Tamati Tautuhi 6.1.2

        Sounds more like John Key rather than Winston Peters again MSM preaching a false narrative.

  6. Morrissey 7

    Jesse Jackson and John Lewis have placed party loyalty above truthfulness;
    Their foolish repetition of anti-Russian lies will tarnish their legacy.

    Over the last week or so, we have heard much about three men, all of them Democratic Party politicians, who have spoken out strongly against Donald Trump. Congressman John Lewis of Georgia is a legend in the civil rights community; more than fifty years ago, he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Birmingham, and had his skull smashed by “law enforcement” thugs. The Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1988 got 6.6 million votes in his run for the Democratic nomination; he is famous around the world for his eloquent defense of human rights. And New Jersey senator Cory Booker last week became the second senator in history to testify against one of his colleagues when, at the Senate confirmation hearing, he spoke against Trump’s unbelievable nomination for Attorney General, the racist Alabama senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions.

    This all sounds impressive, and it’s the kind of political news that gives people hope during these dark and dread-filled days of waiting for the horrifying reality of a Ku Klux Klan-endorsed candidate reciting the Presidential oath on Friday.

    On close inspection, however, these three turn out to be no more honest or trustworthy than some of their more unpleasant, less revered colleagues. This past week both Lewis and Jackson have shown that, whatever glorious and brave deeds they have performed in the past, they are first and foremost Democratic Party loyalists. And being a Democratic Party loyalist right now means that you are under intense pressure to repeat the most absurd, fantastic and lurid anti-Russian propaganda.

    The other day, on NBC’s Meet the Press John Lewis, civil rights hero, lowered himself to the level of the most shameless Clinton apparatchiks as he delivered the following fantasy, which might as well have been written for him by John Dean or Debbie Wasserman Schultz….

    “I don’t see this president-elect as a legitimate president….I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”


    Equally on message, equally loyal, equally cynical is another former civil rights warrior, Jesse Jackson, who, when taunted by a Fox News troll to comment on why Hillary Clinton lost, said this:

    “Well somewhere between Russian hacking and corruption and voter suppression may give you an answer.”


    And as for Senator Cory Booker: well, the United States needs another Barack Obama like Gaza needs another massacre….


    At a time when the United States more than ever needs people of rectitude and character to step forward and speak truthfully and fearlessly, two old civil rights warriors have thrown in the towel, and a superficially attractive young politician is exposed as just another smooth-talking fraud. Thus party politics doth make cowards of us all.

    • Andre 7.1

      In honor of this being exactly the same post you put on Open Mike yesterday, you win…

    • Paul 7.2

      Worth repeating Morrissey.
      There is big stuff going down at the moment.

    • What Andre said. Also, given that Jesse Jackson and John Lewis are both black and both veteran civil rights campaigners, we don’t need to go looking for ulterior motives for their rejection of a KKK-endorsed racist for PotUS. It’s pretty insulting to them that you do look for an ulterior motive and tell yourself you’ve found one.

      • Morrissey 7.3.1

        Also, given that Jesse Jackson and John Lewis are both black and both veteran civil rights campaigners, we don’t need to go looking for ulterior motives for their rejection of a KKK-endorsed racist for PotUS.

        So why did they both parrot the bogus “Russian hacking” line? Clue: it has nothing to do with their history of civil rights campaigning, and has everything to do with their rather misguided decision to be “team players”.

        It’s pretty insulting to them that you do look for an ulterior motive and tell yourself you’ve found one.

        So what WAS their motivation for repeating a lie that no one with an IQ above 60 actually believes?

        • Psycho Milt

          So why did they both parrot the bogus “Russian hacking” line?

          It’s a complete, unknowable fucking mystery. Well, unless we dare entertain the counter-intuitive prospect that perhaps, just maybe, I know this will be shocking but bear with me, they might not share Morrissey’s assessment of the Russian government’s cyber-attacks on the major parties.

        • Paul

          PM clearly believes the CIA….after 2002-2003.

          • Psycho Milt

            You really are an enthusiast for logical fallacies. Today’s one is “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus,” or “false in one thing, false in everything.” It’s a popular one in holocaust denial, because eye-witnesses are often wrong about various things in their testimony.

            In other words, the US intelligence agencies’ investigation of Russian cyber-attacks on the US’ major parties is to be taken on its own merits, regardless of Paul’s opinions about things that happened in the early 2000s.

            • Paul

              “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”

            • Paul

              Patrick Cockburn

              The Dodgy Trump Dossier Reminds Me of the Row Over Saddam’s WMDs

              I read the text of the dossier on Donald Trump’s alleged dirty dealings with a scepticism that soon turned into complete disbelief. The memo has all the hallmarks of such fabrications, which is too much detail – and that detail largely uncheckable – and too many names of important people placed there to impress the reader with the sheer quantity and quality of information……….

              I was correspondent in Moscow in the 1980s and again during the first years in power of Vladimir Putin. Every so often, people would tell me intriguing facts about the dark doings of the Kremlin and its complicity in various crimes, such as the infamous apartment block bombings in 1999. But my heart used to sink when the informant claimed to know too much and did not see that what they were saying contained a fatal contradiction: Putin and his people were pictured as unscrupulous and violent people, but at the same time they were childishly incapable of keeping a secret damaging to themselves.

              The conclusions reached in the Trump dossier similarly claim to be based on multiple sources of information where, in the nature of things, they are unlikely to exist. The dossier cites at least seven of them. “Speaking to a trusted compatriot in June 2016 sources A and B, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry and a former top level Russian intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin respectively, [said that] the Russian authorities had been cultivating and supporting US Republican presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP, for at least five years.”

              I obviously failed as a correspondent when I was in Russia because it turns out that Moscow is choc-a-bloc with fellows in senior positions willing to blow the gaff on the Kremlin’s deep laid plans. A and B, despite achieving high rank, apparently remain touchingly naive and more than willing to make revelations that, if known, would get them imprisoned or shot in short order.

              Reading the papers on Trump brought back memories of talking to Iraqi defectors in the 1990s who claimed to have plenty of information about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and gossip about his family affairs. It did not take long to work out that they were making it up when they produced convincing but uncheckable details about the doings of some of the more dangerous and suspicious people in the world, with whom the defectors claimed have had frank and revealing conversations.

              • And back to the old favourite, “argument from authority.” This may come as a terrible shock, Paul, but Patrick Cockburn has no more idea than you or I do whether all or any of the things in that dossier are true or not.

                • Paul

                  What’s wrong with turning to independent experts as sources?
                  Of should I just make up my views based on gut instincts….

                  And had you watched the George Galloway link earlier, you would see he does know more than either of us.

  7. Paul 8

    George Galloway talks about the soft coup against Donald Trump.
    Much in this talk worthy of your listening.

    1. It was the British that interfered in the American election.

    The dossier was complied by a British intelligence official.
    The dossier was passed to the United States through an former British ambassador to Moscow, who passed it to McCain, who then passed it onto the Head of the FBI.

    2. The plan is to corner him so he does not go along with plans for rapprochement with Russia.

    3. Trump is at risk of assassination on his inauguration day IF he follows through with such plans.

  8. Paul 9

    Trevett and the Herald up to their usual obsequious manner.

    This time the caretaker PM is described as ‘calm.’, ‘steady’, ‘measured’ , ‘a wee bit of balm for her (Merkel’s) soul.’
    According to the sycophant Trevett, he put on ‘a good showing for New Zealand’,made ‘an impressive showing” and ‘managed to put up a convincing case for New Zealand.’.

    English…… ‘a wee bit of balm for her soul.’ Even by Trevett’s bootlicking standards, that’s up there.

    Read the whole article if you haven’t eaten a meal recently.

    Bill English puts on a good showing for New Zealand on his first European tour

  9. xanthe 10

    My opinions are based on listening very carefully to what people are saying and your speculation on my “agenda” is disingenuous. There is nothing “anti feminist” about my views , labeling and shutting them down is not a very productive.

    The point was raised (and was relevant) that as you put it some are suggesting that “real politics is economic and women’s politics is about manners” .

    my point was (and is) that that is a common perception. My challange was for you to consider how you may be contributing to that view and how you might change it. If you really need an example I would give you the Cinton campaign in the USA (which is no derailment because the march is against TRUMP) if you cannot see how the Clinton campaign contributed to the view that “real politics is economic and women’s politics is about manners” and how marching in solidarity might further promote that view then i ask you to set aside your righteous anger and look a bit deeper. (preferably before rushing to moderation). we actually both want equality and fairness, our disagreement is about what is a productive action to get there.

    [The march isn’t against Trump. Reread the post. You are now banned from commenting in that post for the rest of the day for wasting moderator time and derailing the thread when asked not to. – weka]

    [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.]

    • xanthe 10.1

      “Women to protest Trump’s inauguration”
      Moderated because
      “The march isn’t against Trump. Reread the post”

      Most abject apologies , boy i sure got that wrong then, have to be more careful in future!
      If any of you see the march please be sure to remember that isn’t against Trump. OK?

      so sorry for letting my unreconstructed assumptions and bias lead me astray there

      [I will take from that that you didn’t reread the post. I’m sick of having my time wasted as a moderator, so for future reference if you do this kind of derailment again in a thread that I see I will just move the comment immediately to OM without warning, and I will probably ban you for a period of time so I don’t have to deal with this shit when I would rather be writing posts – weka]

      • xanthe 10.1.1

        Ok genuine question.

        now that this is moved to OM can I continue to discuss the purpose and perceptions around the inaguration protests ?

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 10.1.2

        You better be more careful. Obviously the march is against Trump’s *inauguration*, not Trump himself. It’s totally and absolutely irrelevant that it’s Donald Trump getting inaugurated. Anyone can see that.

  10. joe90 11


    Here's what Cheeto said after Obama was reelected. I'll just leave it here as you ponder your response options to current events this week. https://t.co/URyJ0HJUan— Harold Cook (@HCookAustin) January 16, 2017

    We can't let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2012

    • xanthe 11.1

      “We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty. Our nation is totally divided!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 7, 2012”

      well if he feels like that he can either bloody well stand for president himself or shut up!

  11. joe90 12

    So, the clown paid Pumpkin Pinochet foundation to produce fake news has moved on to plotting the disruption of the Pumpkin Pinochet’s inauguration while in the pay of the Pumpkin Pinochet foundation.

    A left-wing political group released a new video Monday of a counter-sting that has uncovered evidence of right-wing activists trying to sow chaos at Donald Trump’s inaugural ceremony, an effort to portray critics of Trump who march against him as violent fringe figures.

    The counter-sting, carried out by The Undercurrent and Americans Take Action, a project of a previous target of provocateur James O’Keefe, managed to surreptitiously record elements of O’Keefe’s network offering huge sums of money to progressive activists if they would disrupt the ceremony and “put a stop to the inauguration” and the related proceedings to such a degree that donors to the clandestine effort would “turn on a TV and maybe not even see Trump.” To have riots blot out coverage of Trump, the donor offered “unlimited resources,” including to shut down bridges into D.C.


  12. Cinny 13

    It will be well worth attending any ‘meet the candidates’ events or debates in Nelson this election year. Why?

    Local identity Matt Lawrey is standing for the Greens. There is no love lost between him and Nick Smith, this will be popcorn entertainment at it’s finest. Nickoff will be spitting tacks. Mr Lawrey is anti southern link an experienced Councillor and media savvy (journalist, ex lotto presenter), he has quite a following and the strength to fight Nickoff. Whether he wins or not is a different story, but he will put up a fight, Nickoff will def meet his match on the local stage.

    All the best Mr Lawrey, I’d love to see you in the house.

    Plenty of topical issues in the Nelson electorate but the Southern Link is a massive issue between these two

  13. Tamati Tautuhi 14

    Winston is the only viable alternative to the two neoliberal parties who portray the same ingredients as Pepsi and Coke. NZF will poll somewhere between 15-20%

    • weka 14.1

      Vote NZF and you run the risk of getting a right wing neoliberal govt, instead of a centre/left/green coalition govt.

      • xanthe 14.1.1

        Vote NZF and you run the risk of getting a right wing neoliberal govt, instead of a centre/left/green coalition neoliberal govt.

        • weka

          who will you vote for then xanthe?

          I disagree that the Greens are neoliberal, but they will certainly work in a neoliberal govt if that’s all left wing voters will let them do.

          • xanthe

            “who will you vote for then xanthe? ”

            Internet Party!
            They seem to be the only ones who recognise that abuse of state power will overwhelm the best of intentions whoever we vote for

            • weka

              Assuming they stand, the risk there is that the % of the left vote that the left needs to form govt is lost and National get another term.

              • Xanthe

                Yeah i know that but i think it is improper that voters are put in a position of voting for something they dont agree with to stop something worse thereby destroying any long term chance to get what they do want.
                Fuck it i will vote for the party that seems to have the best understanding of what is actually happening and the best intentions , i wont play the other game anymore. So IP it is.

                • weka

                  I’d have some sympathy for that argument, and would probably use it myself, were it not for Climate Change. We don’t have time for that kind of long term change.

                  • Xanthe

                    Do you think that climate change can be tackled without tackling abuse of state power?

                    • weka

                      Climate change is tackling us already irrespective of state power. The politicians will follow soon enough, once the population gets antsy. Or if we have a hard crash let’s just pray we have left wing neoliberal and the Greens in power rather than a pro-fascist National govt.

                      So, I support people being activists to change the economic system, but I’m not waiting for the revolution. When the shit starts to hit the fan re CC, we need to be ready irrespective of whether the govt is or not.

    • Vote NZF and you’re effectively voting for a National government that’s less socially liberal than the current one. It depresses me that there’s a constituency for that at all, let alone one that occasionally hits 14%.

      • weka 14.2.1

        Maybe take some solace from the fact that NZF only once got close to 14% (13.3%, 7 elections ago), once got 10% (5 elections ago) and every other time has been below 8.7% (sometimes well below).


        • mauī

          I wouldn’t be taking too much notice of their past results in this Trump era. I think its entirely possible NZ First could double their support this time and get 16%. New Zealand has become so out of whack I think we should expect some surprises.

          • weka

            I think that’s true, even more reason for lefties to be careful about how they frame things and what they promote and support.

          • Anne

            Agree maui.

            The dumbing down of the NZ populace over the past 30 odd years has taken its toll. We may may not have sunk to the levels of ill-informedness (yes, I made the word up) that exists in America but we’re not very far behind. The blow-hards and Waitakere man and their partners will be marching to the polls to the tune of “go Winston go. We love you. Make NZ great again.”

        • Puckish Rogue

          I think NZFirst probably will get about 15% this election, any votes lost by National will probably go to NZFirst before Labour and the Greens

          IMHO of course

  14. Puckish Rogue 15


    Good call for Little this, why keep flogging a dead horse in trying to win an electorate seat when you don’t need to

  15. Paul 16

    Glenn Greenwald somehow maintains his patience when dealing with the blatant bias of the BBC interviewer.
    Interview starts at 4 minutes.

  16. joe90 17

    Nobody wants to go and the cover band is bailing.


    The @BStreetBand pulls out of NJ Inaugural Gala citing “respect & gratitude” for @Springsteen & ESB. Statement here: https://t.co/azDZ0XAhhk— Backstreets Magazine (@backstreetsmag) January 16, 2017

    edit: funnier by the minute


  17. Paul 18

    John Pilger’s assessment of Obama at 12:30

    “Obama has been one of the most violent presidents. He initiated a worldwide terrorist campaign with Hellfire missiles being fired by drones at so called terrorists…certainly at weddings and funerals…in some of the poorest countries in the world.”
    What I find personally some of the most anxious and almost shameful descriptions are those from so called intellectuals in the west…writers, journalists, people in the liberal establishment who have had all the privilege that they ought to know better, fawning in sycophancy to this man who has done what he was meant to do.”
    “He served the power…He was meant to serve.”

    He also asserts that the ultimate ambition of hawks in Washington was regime change in Russia.

  18. Paul 19

    George Galloway on U.S. Russian Witch Hunt

  19. Paul 20

    Jeremy Corbyn Accused of Being Russian “Collaborator” for Questioning NATO Troop Build-Up on Border

    THE LEADER OF the UK’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, called for a “de-escalation” of tensions between NATO and Russia, adding in a BBC interview on Thursday: “I want to see a de-militarisation of the border between them.” Along with the U.S., the UK has been rapidly building up its military presence in the Baltic region, including states which border Russia, and is now about to send another 800 troops to Estonia, 500 of which will be permanently based.

    In response, Russia has moved its own troops within its country near those borders, causing serious military tensions to rise among multiple nuclear-armed powers. Throughout 2016, the Russian and U.S. militaries have engaged in increasingly provocative and aggressive maneuvers against one another. This week, the U.S. began deploying 4,000 troops to Poland, “the biggest deployment of US troops in Europe since the end of the cold war.”

    It was in this context that Corbyn said it is “unfortunate that troops have gone up to the border on both sides,” adding that “he wanted to see better relations between Russia, NATO and the EU.” The Labour leader explained that while Russia has engaged in serious human rights abuses both domestically and in Syria, there must be a “better relationships between both sides . . . there cannot be a return to a Cold War mentality.”

    The response to Corbyn’s call for better relations and de-escalation of tensions with Moscow was swift and predictable. The armed forces minister for Britain’s right-wing government, Mike Penning, accused Corbyn of being a collaborator with the Kremlin:

    “These comments suggest that the Labour leader would rather collaborate with Russian aggression than mutually support Britain’s Nato allies. As with Trident, everything Labour says and does shows that they cannot be trusted with Britain’s national security.”

    • Paul 20.1

      From that article, Glenn Greenwald writes.

      For the crucial context on NATO/Russia tension that is very rarely heard in the western press , I highly recommend these two items:

      (1) This Foreign Affairs article by University of Chicago political scientist John J. Mearsheimer on the west’s relentless, aggressive march eastward up to Russian borders and its consequences;

      (2) The passage of this interview with Noam Chomsky by German journalist Tilo Jung – beginning at 40:30 – that explains the crucial historical context of NATO’s march eastward toward Russia, how that is perceived in Moscow, and, most important of all, why the dangers this behavior creates are incomparable:

  20. Paul 21

    With only days left before the inauguration of Donald Trump, it appears the intelligence community is at war with itself. Are we witnessing an attempted coup?

    • garibaldi 21.1

      Thank you for your very thorough efforts to shine some light on what is going on Paul. The Left in the USA seems to have totally lost the plot, and the Right is really struggling to make any sense of anything with all its infighting over their loose cannon leader.

    • Morrissey 21.2

      We have a KKK-backed candidate about to take the oath of allegiance, and unfortunately the major “opposition” party’s only tactic is to concoct, in league with the world’s most notorious perjurer, wild fantasies about Russian hacking.

      It’s dispiriting to see the likes of Jesse Jackson and John Lewis succumb to the (obviously intense) pressure to fall into line with this witless campaign.

    • We do know how to find the Russian government’s propaganda service if we want to watch it, you know. It’s really not necessary to post all its programming to Open Mike.

      • Paul 21.3.1

        John PIlger, Glenn Greenwald, George Galloway and Naom Chomsky – Russian propagandists?
        You really have been hoodwinked by the MSM.

        • miravox

          …and this guy? I guess he’s not a Russian propogandist, so is ok?


          A regular German host for the Kremlin-funded RT news outlets has been exposed as the editor of a neo-Nazi revisionist magazine.

          Manuel Ochsenreiter, who has appeared on the English-language channel for the past four years as an expert on German and Middle Eastern affairs, is the editor of Zuerst!, a radical right-wing monthly magazine, which pledges to “serve German – not foreign – interests” and preserve “German ethnical identity” against “de-nazification”.

          Zuerst!’s former publisher was the Bauer Media group, Germany’s largest magazine publisher, which came under a storm after evidence was uncovered that many of its magazines were glorifying Nazism and Adolf Hitler’s soldiers, polishing the image of the Third Reich in popular culture.

          Ochsenreiter’s magazine advances an anti-immigrant stance and laments the loss of ethnic identity. It caught the attention of the Baden-Württemberg’ state office for the protection of the constitution, which said in a statement: “The publication rails against the ‘unending de-nazification effort’, spreads revisionist theories on national boundaries, and the terrorist activities of the South Tirolean Freedom Fighters in the 1960s.”

          However, the German journalist is cited by RT as the “primary spokesman for the German point of view, featuring him on talk shows and extended interviews on the network scores of times over the past four years”.

          • Paul

            Are John PIlger, Glenn Greenwald, George Galloway and Naom Chomsky Russian propagandists?

            • Psycho Milt

              What does that even mean? If they’re invited onto the Russian government’s propaganda service because their opinions are helpful to the Russian government’s interests, it doesn’t make them Russian propagandists but it would be nice if the fact they’re being invited to contribute to Russian government propaganda gave them even a moment’s thought. There’s no sign that it does.

              • Paul

                Wonder why the BBC or CNN hardly ever has them on?

                • Well, I expect their willingness to endorse Russian government propaganda has at least a little to do with it. Think of the flip side: if someone regularly appears on Voice of America because their views are helpful to the US government, how likely are independent media to regard them as reliable sources?

                  • Paul

                    You really do believe every lie the MSM tells you, don’t you?

                    Some people never learn…

                    • Paul

                      Former CIA presidential adviser to Regan / Bush, Ray McGovern speaks about the LIE at the Gulf of Tonkin that thrust war upon Vietnam killing 1.5 million Vietnamese, 58,000+ Americans, 424+ Australians.

                    • Paul

                      Nayirah al-Ṣabaḥ (Arabic: نيره الصباح‎), called “Nurse Nayirah” in the media, was a fifteen-year-old Kuwaiti girl, who alleged that she had witnessed the murder of infant children by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait, in verbal testimony to the U.S. Congress, in the run up to the 1991 Gulf War. Her testimony, which was regarded as credible at the time, has since come to be regarded as wartime propaganda.

                  • I know this is a difficult one for you, but you really do need to somehow wrap your head around it: no matter what instances you dig up of the US government or one of its allies peddling a propaganda lie, it doesn’t form even the semblance of an argument against RT being a Russian government propaganda service, nor any kind of argument that the people who appear on it to espouse views favourable to the Russian government are reliable authorities.

                  • Nayirah al-Ṣabaḥ (Arabic: نيره الصباح‎), called “Nurse Nayirah” in the media, was a fifteen-year-old Kuwaiti girl, who alleged that she had witnessed the murder of infant children by Iraqi soldiers in Kuwait, in verbal testimony to the U.S. Congress, in the run up to the 1991 Gulf War.

                    Having lived in Kuwait for a while, I find your continual parading of this example particularly loathesome. Yes, there were some Kuwaitis who were keen to get any horror story about the Iraqi invaders they could in front of western media, and were willing to lie to do it. Big whoop – you think Palestinians haven’t published any false stories about Israeli atrocities? Fact is, Iraq did invade and its soldiers did murder, torture, loot, rape and a whole lot of other stuff, all of which more than justified Kuwait’s allies destroying the invasion forces. If you think the Iraqis were the victims in that conflict, fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

                    • Paul

                      You have an answer for everything.
                      Most cultists do.

                    • I guess getting my opinions on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait from having lived there and talked to people who lived through it can’t compare with your own intensive YouTube experience, so fuck it, knock yourself out.

                    • Paul

                      My views are based on independent reliable experienced journalists…. Cockburn, Pilger, Fisk, Greenwald, Chomsky and others.
                      Sorry, but anecdotal evidence is at the Paula Bennett level of debate.

            • Bill

              Paul. Why do you even respond to PM? He knows rt is no more and no less a conduit for propaganda than CNN, BBC, ABC, The Times, The Guardian, Washington Post and on and on and on.

              It’s just that since rt often challenges the prop we get fed and PM prefers seagulls to discerning diners as it were, rt must be subjected to squawks of condemnation.

              Basically. 😉

              • Paul

                Why is pm so pro CIA?

              • I know that RT is essentially the same as media organisations that aren’t propaganda services of their respective governments? That’s pretty fucking low.

                • Bill

                  The BBC doesn’t promote UK ‘official’ interests. Neither does the Times, the Guardian et al. NBC, CNN, The Washington Post, NYT … these outlets don’t spin pro-US lines.

                  Then there’s the real world.

                  Are you not a part of it PM? If your going to insist on being taken seriously, then the only conclusion a thinking person could possibly tend towards from taking some of your squawking at face value, is that you’re delusional…perhaps a rabid, strangely conservative ideologue – even possibly both.

                  • Paul

                    Your support of neo-con foreign policies is an embarassment.

                  • The “real world,” huh? In the real world, there’s a difference between state-funded and state-controlled. If you want a comparison service to RT, try Voice of America. The BBC et al are a different class of entity.

                    • Paul

                      The BBC’s bias is clear.

                    • Paul

                      More BBC propaganda…this time regarding Libya

                    • Bill

                      Nah PM. The BBC might not be subject direct dictatorial control, but only those who display the ‘correct’ attitudes and politics ever aspire to a position of power within the org. (And then there are those funding ‘strings’ – the government sets the licence fee.)

                      As to how RT’s editorial policy works – I have no idea. But presenter after presenter who has formerly worked for these “different class of entities” say there has never been editorial interference.

                      And if intelligent and critical people get 5/8ths of sfa air time on these “different class of entities”, are you saying that’s got something to do with them, rather than the “different class of entity”?

                      Voice of America isn’t something I’ve ever listened to or really got anything much to say about. I’ve heard of it.

                    • Paul

                      Ever wondered if what the media and the government tells you should always be trusted?
                      This quote should alert you.

                      “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship…
                      Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”
                      – Hermann Goering

                    • Bill

                      Yeah, maybe fair enough. (What you reckon would have happened to any BBC TV presenter going off-script like Abby Martin did btw?) And is it the case that no journalists have quit major western msm outlets for similar reasons?

                      If Sara Firth is to be held up as an exemplar, then hundreds should be heading for the doors of the beeb over their Syrian coverage. Ain’t happening though, is it? Which could lead to an interesting and indepth discussion beyond this point scoring ping-pong in ever shrinking boxes.

                    • …only those who display the ‘correct’ attitudes and politics ever aspire to a position of power within the org.

                      Well, yes. That’s true of any large organisation. It doesn’t make the BBC equivalent to state propaganda service.

                      As to how RT’s editorial policy works – I have no idea. But presenter after presenter who has formerly worked for these “different class of entities” say there has never been editorial interference.

                      And yet somehow, everything on this news service run by the Russian government, all the time, ever, reflects and supports the Russian government’s position. What are the odds?

                      Voice of America isn’t something I’ve ever listened to or really got anything much to say about.

                      Well, funny thing – it’s a news service run by the US government, on which everything, all the time, ever, reflects and supports the US government’s position. It sounds kind of familiar, but it’s hard to pin down exactly where from…

                    • – Hermann Goering

                      Oh, the irony…

                    • Bill

                      Provide a link to the last story TVNZ ran with prominence that went against a consensus held by those in NZ government circles. (ie – not something just being critical of the government of the day by reporting something in line the Opposition was running with)

                      And then give me one from the BBC that did likewise on a UK government consensus.

                      Something on Iraq perhaps? What about Libya? Syria? Anything?

                      No. You won’t find a damned thing outside of an opinion piece in a newspaper.

                      No ideologue would think that as anything other than right and normal mind.

            • miravox

              I’ll just leave it at as PM suggests – they have outlooks that are useful to the Russian propagandists.

              How about having a neo-nazi as your German ‘specialist’?

              • Paul

                It would appear this site is full of neocon armchair warriors.
                Are the BBC, Guardian, the Independent. NBC, CNN, The Washington Post, NYT and al Jazeera also propaganda outlets – for the other side?
                Are you able to have your worldview challenged?
                Or are you close minded?

                • GregJ

                  Al Jazeera certainly runs propaganda lines for the Qatari rulers and doesn’t as a rule criticise the Qatar Government over things like the Yemen War. Press TV does the same with Iran and CCTV for China.

                  It probably pays to have a healthy dose of skepticism with all of them – RT is noticeable for its lack of criticism of its own Government as with the others above.

                  I would contrast them with France 24 – another government backed TV network which actually has robust political debate on the French Government – both domestically and in foreign policy. It tends to have a much more nuanced view of Russia and foreign-affairs generally.

                  • Bill

                    Indeed. A healthy dose of skepticism – not idiotic condemnation. And applied right across the board with no exceptions…unless the aim is to conjure up or reinforce a comfortable little slice of security to get an ideologue through the day.

              • How about having a neo-nazi as your German ‘specialist’?

                It’s all good – if his views are helpful to the Russian government, nothing else needs to be taken into account.

                • Bill

                  You apply the same bar to the really existing situation whereby the BBC, Channel 4, CNN and a wheen of others uncritically reported as news the views and opinions of known terrorists when the views of those terrorists just happened to coincide with western governments’ policies of regime change?

                  Nah. Thought not. You believed it was actual reporting because it was coming from Aunty et al.

                  And many people died unnecessarily because the official line was never questioned. And people like yourself aided and abetted in the demonising and sidelining of those who had the nerve and the courage to go to the places the BBC and others wouldn’t go to when they tried to get their first hand and far more accurate message out.

                  Here’s one to take yourself away with. Has any western outlet reported that Nawaf al-Basheer has capitulated in Syria? Do you even know who that is or why his capitulation is so important?

                  Has any western media outlet bothered to go to East Aleppo and interview any of those people they claimed were going to be raped and murdered in an orgy of violence that would be unleashed by the Syrian Army? Do you even wonder why it hasn’t happened?

                  • You apply the same bar to the really existing situation whereby the BBC, Channel 4, CNN and a wheen of others uncritically reported as news the views and opinions of known terrorists when the views of those terrorists just happened to coincide with western governments’ policies of regime change?

                    Well, I would, but western governments don’t really have a dog in that fight so there are no western governments’ policies for those agencies to endorse – unlike the Russian government, which is actually involved in the conflict and had its indiscriminate bombardment of east Aleppo endorsed not only by its propaganda service (well duh) but by various commenters on this blog.

          • Paul

            You use Yahoo as news source?
            No wonder you’ve never heard of Cockburn, Pilger, Fisk, Greenwald, Galloway, Bartlett, Chomsky,………..

            • miravox

              False conclusion there Paul. Still wondering about your view on the appropriateness of RT’s German specialist….

              • Paul

                I have never used him as a source.
                I don’t know of him.

              • Bill

                You’re going to provide a link that provides verifiable back-ground info on that one. Just saying.

                • miravox

                  Hi Bill, I provided a link to a news source ( and asked Paul his opinion on what the news source said. He’s pretty free to reply and argue the news source and/or my terminology is incorrect if he wishes (you will see that he did indeed question the credibility of the news source).

                  As for the question I asked him – ‘is it ok if RT has a neo-nazi as an expert on Germany?’ That’s asking for his opinion. It could even be a hypothetical

                  But anyway – Background to the man in question – here’s his wiki profile, not in English but google translate provides the gist. I’m not linking to any of his websites, sorry. I’m sure you can find them if you wish and make your own mind up about his political orientation, especially given his writing and editing for publications labelled “extreme-right” in Germany


                  • Bill

                    Interesting (in a not very nice way)

                    So from what I can gather from a quick ‘once over’, he’s a chauvinistic nationalist (like Le Pen or Farage), but unlike those two politicians he has no public power beyond his influence as a journalist/writer/commentator.

                    As far as oxygen goes, do you reckon his (to me) fairly reactionary views get granted more or less air time by RT than say Farage’s get on the BBC and other UK mainstream media outlets?

                    I’ve never seen the guy or heard of him before, so I’m asking – does RT interview him on stuff he claims knowledge of – such as middle east politics, or do they grant him a platform for (say) proselytising xenophobia?

                    Beyond Ochsenreiter, is the suggestion that hosts or interviewees be vetted in order that they pass a “correctness” test? That’s a very…I mean that road stinks to such high heavens I’m not even going close to it to see how slippery it might be.

                    Awarding airtime to (say) uncritically push reactionary right wing tosh, is one thing. Awarding airtime to someone with knowledge of (say) the Middle East who happens to be a reactionary right wing toss pot is another.

  21. weka 22

    “Labour is talking up Greg O’Connor as one of their candidates.”


    /facepalm. I guess I’ll have to suck that up seeing as how I argue for letting Labour be what they are.

    I”m not sure that Labour are talking up O’Connor so much as keeping head of the rumour machine.

    • bwaghorn 22.1

      I quite like the guy , be a good few votes in him for labour, the greens will just have to get out there and make sure they get enough votes to pull labour left.

    • Xanthe 22.2

      Greg O’Connor?

      Gawd NO NO NO NO
      thats unbeliveable stupid , stupid

      If thats true (i cant believe it) then Labour has just confirmed they really dont have any idea what is happening outside of some tiny fantasy bubble they inhabit

    • Admittedly, I’d find it pretty hard to put a tick next to his name on a ballot paper myself. But if the Labour Party isn’t the party for a union representative who’s made a name for himself through staunch and sometimes unpopular promotion of his members’ interests, it should retire the name. File this one under “Suck it up, soldier.”

      • weka 22.3.1

        I don’t think Labour means at any cost though.

        • Paul

          For pm it does.

        • Psycho Milt

          What’s the cost? If the cost is that some won’t vote Labour if it has this representative of organised labour in its ranks, maybe that’s a cost it has to live with if it wants to call itself the Labour Party.

          • McFlock

            The cost is the other side of the conflict that he represents: yes he was an advocate for his union, but part of his job (as he saw it) was lobbying hard to give the enforcement arm of the state stronger powers and more weapons.

            Similarly, some people might be conflicted if a former president of the union for workers in cosmetic vivisection research, who made a media profile lobbying for weaker ethics oversight and exemption from SPCA inspection, was suggested as running for Labour.

            • Psycho Milt

              Hence the finding it hard to put a tick next to his name on a ballot paper (glad he’s not standing in my electorate). He still fits the spec sheet for a Labour candidate, though, regardless of what I felt about his TV appearances.

              • McFlock

                I’m tempted to argue that his specific lobbying interests also ticked the “disqualifying” box for Labour. Maybe if it becomes a dead cert.

          • Wainwright

            Compared to some of the outandout rightwing careerists already in the caucus he’d be a step up.

          • weka

            Cost probably wasn’t the right word, although maybe cost to Labour’s integrity. I meant that just because someone is very good in one area, if they are really shit in another that shouldn’t be overlooked.

    • Rosemary McDonald 22.4

      “I guess I’ll have to suck that up seeing as how I argue for letting Labour be what they are.”

      He’ll be a prop…. if, perchance, Labour leans left.

      He’ll keep them on the straight and narrow.

  22. Paul 23

    Glenn Greenwald: You are not obligated through patriotism to believe the CIA.

  23. joe90 24

    ‘Russia’s our biggest problem.

  24. Paul 26

    If you needed any more proof that neo-liberals are psychopaths.
    And they knight people like Jones and Talley.

    Audio – Sir Bob Jones talks to ZB’s Chris Lynch

    Sir Bob Jones, property investor and former politician, said it was unbelievable that begging was allowed in New Zealand today.

    “They’re a bloody disgrace, they’re an eyesore, it’s a disgrace in a modern society that fat people – that fat Maoris as they mostly are – are lying on our streets of our city begging.” he told Chris Lynch on NewstalkZB.

    He said begging should be made illegal.

    “I was in the city yesterday, in Wellington, and one bugger was standing there, he had a message, this Maori bloke, ‘I’m not on welfare’ – and this apparently was an achievement – ‘so give me money.”

    “It baffles me when people say, ‘Oh leave them alone’. They should be ashamed of people begging on the streets… I’m ashamed of these people. They’re a disgrace to the human race.”

    NZ Herald article. Sir Bob Jones labels homeless people a ‘disgrace to society’

    Some viewing for Jones and his ilk.

  25. Paul 27

    John Pilger.
    The Issue Is Not Trump, It’s Us

    An excerpt.

    According to a Council on Foreign Relations survey, in 2016 alone Obama dropped 26,171 bombs. That is 72 bombs every day. He bombed the poorest people on earth, in Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan.

    Every Tuesday — reported the New York Times — he personally selected those who would be murdered by mostly hellfire missiles fired from drones. Weddings, funerals, shepherds were attacked, along with those attempting to collect the body parts festooning the “terrorist target.” A leading Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, estimated, approvingly, that Obama’s drones killed 4,700 people. “Sometimes you hit innocent people and I hate that,” he said, “but we’ve taken out some very senior members of Al Qaeda.”

    Like the fascism of the 1930s, big lies are delivered with the precision of a metronome, thanks to an omnipresent media whose description now fits that of the Nuremberg prosecutor: “Before each major aggression, with some few exceptions based on expediency, they initiated a press campaign calculated to weaken their victims and to prepare the German people psychologically … In the propaganda system … it was the daily press and the radio that were the most important weapons.”

    Take the catastrophe in Libya. In 2011, Obama said Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi was planning “genocide” against his own people. “We knew … that if we waited one more day, Benghazi, a city the size of Charlotte, could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”

    This was the known lie of Islamist militias facing defeat by Libyan government forces. It became the media story and NATO — led by Obama and Hillary Clinton — launched 9,700 “strike sorties” against Libya, of which more than a third were aimed at civilian targets. Uranium warheads were used; the cities of Misurata and Sirte were carpet-bombed. The Red Cross identified mass graves, and UNICEF reported that “most (of the children killed) were under the age of ten.”

    Under Obama, the U.S. extended secret “special forces” operations to 138 countries, or 70 percent of the world’s population. The first African-American president launched what amounted to a full-scale invasion of Africa. Reminiscent of the “Scramble for Africa” in the late 19th century, the U.S. African Command has built a network of supplicants among collaborative African regimes eager for U.S. bribes and armaments. Africom’s “soldier to soldier” doctrine embeds U.S. officers at every level of command from general to warrant officer. Only pith helmets are missing.

  26. joe90 28

    The Issue Is Not Trump, It’s Us

    Isn’t it great that things are going to change for the…oh wait, holy war and torture.

    In June 2015, Rep. Mike Pompeo, a Kansas congressman, headlined a “God and Country Rally” at Wichita’s Summit Church. “To worship our lord and celebrate our nation at the same place is not only our right, it is our duty,” he began. Pompeo’s speech was a mishmash of domestic culture war callouts and dark warnings about the danger of radical Islam. He cited an inflammatory prayer that a pastor named the Rev. Joe Wright once delivered before the Kansas State Legislature: “America had worshipped other Gods and called it multiculturalism. We’d endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.” He lamented government efforts to “rip faith from our schools” and then segued immediately into a discussion of the jihadi threat: “This evil is all around us.” Pompeo concluded by describing politics as “a never-ending struggle … until the rapture.”


    Amid the fire hose of lunacy that is the Trump transition, however, Pompeo’s extremism has been overlooked. It’s worth pausing to appreciate the fact that America’s CIA will shortly be run by a man who appears to view American foreign policy as a vehicle for holy war.

    Like Trump, Pompeo has been a fierce critic of efforts to rein in the CIA’s torture program and a champion of keeping Guantanamo Bay open. While in Congress, he was a frequent guest on the radio show of famously paranoid Frank Gaffney, a man disinvited from the right-wing Conservative Political Action Conference after claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood had infiltrated its parent organization, the American Conservative Union.


    btw, your link’s jiggered, too.

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