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Open mike 17/02/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, February 17th, 2015 - 272 comments
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272 comments on “Open mike 17/02/2015 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Suport Democracy, Support Venezuela
    JOHN PILGER interviewed by Michael Albert

    Z-Net, February 16, 2015

    Albert: Why would the U.S. want Venezuela’s government overthrown?

    Pilger: There are straightforward principles and dynamics at work here. Washington wants to get rid of the Venezuelan government because it is independent of US designs for the region and because Venezuela has the greatest proven oil reserves in the world and uses its oil revenue to improve the quality of ordinary lives. Venezuela remains a source of inspiration for social reform in a continent ravaged by an historically rapacious U.S. An Oxfam report once famously described the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua as ‘the threat of a good example’. That has been true in Venezuela since Hugo Chavez won his first election. The ‘threat’ of Venezuela is greater, of course, because it is not tiny and weak; it is rich and influential and regarded as such by China. The remarkable change in fortunes for millions of people in Latin America is at the heart of U.S. hostility. The U.S. has been the undeclared enemy of social progress in Latin America for two centuries. It doesn’t matter who has been in the White House: Barack Obama or Teddy Roosevelt; the US will not tolerate countries with governments and cultures that put the needs of their own people first and refuse to promote or succumb to U.S. demands and pressures. A reformist social democracy with a capitalist base – such as Venezuela – is not excused by the rulers of the world. What is inexcusable is Venezuela’s political independence; only complete deference is acceptable. The ‘survival’ of Chavista Venezuela is a testament to the support of ordinary Venezuelans for their elected government – that was clear to me when I was last there.  Venezuela’s weakness is that the political ‘opposition’ — those I would call the ‘East Caracas Mob’ – represent powerful interests who have been allowed to retain critical economic power. Only when that power is diminished will Venezuela shake off the constant menace of foreign-backed, often criminal subversion. No society should have to deal with that, year in, year out.

    What methods has the U.S. already used and would you anticipate their using to unseat the Bolivarians?

    There are the usual crop of quislings and spies; they come and go with their media theatre of fake revelations, but the principal enemy is the media. You may recall the Venezuelan admiral who was one of the coup-plotters against Chavez in 2002, boasting during his brief tenure in power, ‘Our secret weapon was the media’. The Venezuelan media, especially television, were active participants in that coup, lying that supporters of the government were firing into a crowd of protestors from a bridge. False images and headlines went around the world. The New York Times joined in, welcoming the overthrow of a democratic ‘anti-American’ government; it usually does. Something similar happened in Caracas last year when vicious right-wing mobs were lauded as ‘peaceful protestors’ who were being ‘repressed’. This was undoubtedly the start of a Washington-backed ‘colour revolution’ openly backed by the likes of the National Endowment for Democracy – a user-friendly CIA clone. It was uncannily like the coup that Washington successfully staged in Ukraine last year.  As in Kiev, in Venezuela the ‘peaceful protestors’ set fire to government buildings and deployed snipers and were lauded by western politicians and the western media.

    Read more….

    • The lost sheep 1.1

      John Pilger reporter says….
      “The media is the enemy”, and “we should take direct action in our own countries, starting, I would suggest, with the propagandists in the media.”

      The logical implications of this line of thinking can only be that media who publish material deemed to be anti government ideology need and deserve to be controlled.

      What a fine principle for a journalist to promote!

      And I notice (attn Molly) he quotes ‘Reporters without Borders’ as a reference for the lack of press freedom in the US (49th) – while omitting to point out that Venezuela has dropped to 137th.

      John Pilger is another of those people who are willing to turn a blind eye to human rights and press freedoms abuses in situations where such abuses are being carried out in the name of socialism.

      BTW. NZ has risen from 9th to 6th in this years press freedom index.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.1

        The CIA controls/influences/provides benefits and contacts to most of the major media outlets and prominent journalists in the USA.

        At least outside the mainstream media this kind of government control is less prevalent.

      • Molly 1.1.2

        I usually pay attention to John Pilger… 😉

        • The lost sheep

          Great writer Molly.

          But you know how you were saying that you were open to genuine debate if new information came along?
          Well as you have found out today that John Pilger regards Reporters without Borders as a source worth referencing, and you find him credible, I take it you will be revising your opinion of ‘Reporters’?

          • Molly

            Lost sheep, I have been in the same relationship with my partner for close to 30 years, and very early on I realised that we didn’t agree on every issue.

            (Please don’t ask me to link to the list, haven’t bothered compiling that one!)

            I have constructed my own set of values over the years and use those to give voice to my opinions, and will revise them when I uncover a perception of mine that is false or without factual basis. This is an ongoing process, and has required a few complete turnabouts in my lifetime. I’m comfortable with that, or else I will become a staunch defender of my opinions without ever looking back.

            Have John Pilger’s books, watch his documentaries, and enjoy his constant reminders regarding the First Australians, Palestine, the abuses of the UK and US government – because in the dearth of unbiased media – we need those reminders of the humanity of us all.

            However, I also doubt that John Pilger’s wife agrees with every word out of his mouth, so I’m not going to take on that role.

            Besides it is not about whether I agree with John Pilger, it is about whether I trust you to provide a relevant link.

            And from reading your comments to others, and having had a discussion with you myself. I’d say again, “No”.

            (As always might revisit this later – will thank you if it proves valuable.

            Otherwise, give up trying to educate me. One aspect of education I do believe in, is that even if there is disagreement, there needs to be an honest relationship between the facilitator and the student. We don’t have that.)

            • The lost sheep

              I was not trying to educate you Molly, I was attempting to debate some issues with you.

              Clearly you are unwilling to engage in genuine debate about issues of human rights and press freedoms in Venezuela. The ‘reasons’ you give for not doing so are classic mechanisms of avoidance. You might even believe them, but I don’t.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                You’ve been accused of arguing in bad faith. Not for the first time. Probably just coincidence.

                • The lost sheep

                  How do you determine I am arguing in bad faith?
                  Is there a subjective method for doing that, or is a claim of bad faith just something you can pull out of the toolbox anytime you want to avoid some inconvenient questions?

                  And isn’t the claim of bad faith simply a variation on the Ad Hominem fallacy?
                  It is attacking the integrity of the person making the argument rather than the argument itself?

                  I would say that the issues I raise stand alone perfectly well. Their validity does not rest on any quality of me as an individual.
                  But obviously there is a huge reluctance for some people to address those issues.
                  Strikes me as very weird on a blog that has protecting human and press freedoms as such a consistent theme!

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I addressed your last remark below: Lord haw-Haw as an example of free-market media.

                    And no, the character of the witness is totally relevant to the case. To put it another way “Does this source often make similar claims?”

                    If you Google that, also pay close attention to item No.5.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Rubbish OAB.

                      On that basis we could write off almost every author and commenter on TS, yourself included!

                      A point does not gain or lose validity by repetition.
                      Validity is established by a process of subjective investigation.
                      Which leaves you back to having to actually prove or disprove a point on it’s own merits, not the merits of the person making the point….

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Did you google the phrase I quoted?

                      Repetition, by the way, is one of the recognised methods by which familiarity replaces truth, so yeah, repetition can indeed speak to validity.

      • halfcrown 1.1.3

        “John Pilger is another of those people who are willing to turn a blind eye to human rights and press freedoms abuses in situations where such abuses are being carried out in the name of socialism.”

        That’s not quite right. If my memory serves me correctly John Pilger did a television documentary which later was made into a film called “The Killing Fields” where through his excellent investigative journalism he made the world aware of the genocide practiced by Khmer Rouge (Pol Pot) in Cambodia.
        I would not exactly call the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot right wing.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          The lost sheep is making a silly transparent attempt to denigrate one of the foremost investigative journalists of our time.

          • The lost sheep

            Doing fine work in the past does not exclude John Pilger from valid criticism in the present?
            And with that out of the way, I’ll point out that none of you have dealt with the actual substance of the criticisms I made?

            How can it be anything but hypocritical for a journalist to label the media as the enemy, and encourage people to take direct action against them?
            Can you really not see some problems with that?
            Who decides that the media is the enemy?
            What action do people or the government take against the media?
            How do you allow those things to happen while still preserving the freedom of the press?
            Why should citizens of Venezuela, or any other country, not be free to object to their governments ideology, and why should they not have a media able to report that dissent?
            Why even should they not be free to choose to be ‘influenced’ by individuals or organisations or ideologies outside of Venezuela, just as we are free to choose to be influenced from outside NZ ?
            Why should journalists / the media not be free to express dissenting views themselves?
            What has John Pilger’s attitude been in the past when he felt his ability to report uncomfortable truths has been threatened?

            Pilgers current attitude seems to me to be diametrically opposed to the freedoms of the press he has personally enjoyed. The right to oppose and reveal and disagree with authority and to publish that through a free media as he has been able to do.

            Why should Venezuela be any different? And why does Pilger rightfully criticise the US for being 49th on the press freedom index, in the same article he is supporting the demonisation of the media in a country that has just plummeted to 137th?
            Why does he omit to mention that?
            Why do some of you also support a situation you would not tolerate in your own country?
            To me it seems clear the reason is that you believe that the ideology of socialism over rides some freedoms. If a little suppression of dissent is what it takes to preserve the socialist state, then that suppression is justified?

            There are some valid points there surely. Maybe some of you could attempt to debate them sensibly instead of simply slinging a bit of mud and then running away from the issues?

            • gsays

              hi there lost sheep,
              ‘What action do people or the government take against the media?’

              how about not buying their product?

              we used to subscibe to our local paper (the evening standard), till the day they chose to publish, on the front page, a picture of a degenerate giving the finger to the camera in court.

              my wife was incensed and she rang them, told them and no more newspapers in our house.

              • The lost sheep

                I agree.
                That’s how it works in a democracy.

                I don’t buy The Evening Standard or The Times myself, but I do accept their continued existence means that many citizens do support them.

                Much the same could be said of the media in any country – including Venezuela.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  No, that’s not how it works in a democracy, that’s how it works in a market. Completely different beast from a democracy.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    The lost sheep would think it fine if “democracy” got lost and all that was left in our society was a market which commoditised every aspect of human relations and communication.

            • halfcrown

              “There are some valid points there surely. Maybe some of you could attempt to debate them sensibly instead of simply slinging a bit of mud and then running away from the issues?”

              I am not sure if that was aimed at me as I am sure I was not not slinging mud or running away. On that particular statement you made it clear that you thought Pilger was only prepared to report on the rights bad doings whilst ignoring the left, and I pointed out that was not right. So please don’t come out with that was then you were talking about now because that is not what you implied.

              “Why should journalists / the media not be free to express dissenting views themselves?”

              So true, so please tell me who has that freedom in NZ corporate controlled media, and why was Hager raided by the police? Was it because our dearly beloved leader got pissed off with “dirty Politics”? After all “Dirty Politics” was, as you put it “free to express dissenting views”. Also as you are so knowledgeable, please explain the bit of freedom of thought and press when a Herald Cartoonist lost his job a few years ago because he drew a cartoon about the Jews and Gaza.
              It is not about the “ideology of socialism over rides some freedoms”, it is about the ideology of big corporates and money that controls the media that over rides freedoms filling the heads of the great general public with bullshit, sport and Master Chef, manipulating their thinking to bring down governments the right don’t like, or ensuring to get governments the right want, or in Venezuela’s case overthrow a populace government democratically elected, so America and the fat cats can get their grubby little fingers on the oil.
              The last election in this country was a good example of above, with some of the crap written about Cunliffe by the likes of Armstrong, with no opposing views being published, and Hoskins & co repeating the same bullshit on TV with once again no opposing view being aired.
              I have just finished reading a book about Julia Gillard called “The Stalking of Julia Gillard” at the time of her premiership. The disgusting denigration by the corporate media plus the games played by our media in this country, makes me I agree with every word Pilger has said. Like 200%

              • The lost sheep

                The ‘slinging mud / running away’ was not aimed at you halfcrown, as I appreciate that you were willing to debate some of the points I raised.

                “please tell me who has that freedom in NZ corporate controlled media”
                Please note that John Pilger references the newly released 2015 Press Freedom index. NZ’s ranking is 6th, rising from 9th last year. (Venezuela 137 and dropping.)
                It is nonsense to claim that two extremely rare incidents on the borderline of press freedom issues in NZ ‘prove’ that NO freedom of the press exists. That is a wild exaggeration, and we could not have PFI ranking of 6th if anything like that were the case.

                Hager and ‘Dirty Politics’ are in fact a fine illustration of the freedom of expression through the various media in NZ.
                Right in the middle of an election, Hager was perfectly free to publish material highly critical of the Government, and all the forms of media here carried that material in detail, along with every variation of commentary on the issues raised. KDC (an outside influence) / MANA brought in outside influences to criticise our Government and attempt to influence NZ voters opinions. The coverage of this dissent actually dominated the media coverage of the election. Citizens were perfectly free to access both the original material and the media’s coverage of it, and form their own opinions accordingly.

                That is exactly as we would wish it to be isn’t it?

                But some people on this blog and John Pilger do not believe the same level of freedom should exist in Venezuela?
                In Venezuela apparently, dissent is undemocratic, and citizens are not capable of making up their own minds, and so on that basis action should be taken against the media who dare to publish such material.
                If I have ever seen hypocrisy and double standards, this is a prime freaking example of it!

                Further. Can you cite me some evidence that the MSM are even capable of influencing enough people to change their views to make a significant difference to voting patterns? Did n’t change yours did they?

                And if corporates are inevitably evil and RW I guess I should stop reading The Independent and The Guardian?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Depends whether the Venezuelan media are the equivalent of Lord Haw-Haw or not.

                  What does the US government’s money buy, and to what end?

                  • The lost sheep

                    Depends whether you take at face value everything you read in an article from a Socialist Solidarity source?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      On Earth, my opinion depends on a lot more than that.

                      Can the behaviour of US corporations and public ‘servants’ towards Venezuela be accurately described as warfare? If so, why would Venezuela treat its Haw-Haws any differently than Britain treated WIlliam Joyce?

                    • The lost sheep

                      My long running ‘comparison of the lies’ on Venezuela leaves me in no doubt that the US does to some degree support the anti-socialist opposition, and also attempts to influence public opinion there.
                      But beyond the official funding, I have not seen evidence that gives me any confidence in believing much more than that. It very quickly becomes a case of which of the lies your world view inclines you to believe.

                      But the point I am pursuing here OAB, is the right of Venezuelan citizens to choose to hold views and express them, regardless of the degree to which they choose to those views to reflect outside ‘influences’, in the same way you are free to be influenced by outside influences.
                      If a citizen chooses to believe in a Capitalist model, and seeks to engage with ‘influences ‘ from the US or any other country, and wishes to actively promote such political views in their own country…..
                      Why shouldn’t they have that right?

                      On what grounds do you decide that ‘outside influence’ is a justification for government control of media and suppression of opposition?

                      That is a very very slippery road IMO, and I would be very interested in hearing if you believe Venezuela should go down that route, and if so, how exactly such control would be structured?

                      Oh, and whether you would be happy for similar controls and actions in your own country?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      For example, from a legal perspective it would be quite easy to cut off the flow of foreign governmental and corporate money to the National Party (one person, one dollar, one vote).

                      I suspect that would go a long way to restoring media neutrality.

                    • The lost sheep

                      So you too are going to endlessly slide away from directly addressing questions regarding Venezuela OAB.

                      I think that makes my point evident enough.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I answered your question: countries under attack by external (aka right wing) forces are well advised to consider political party funding regulations.

                      How about you get a grip on “one person one dollar one vote” before you fail to get what I’m talking about again?

                    • The lost sheep

                      I can read well enough to see that in your original answer you referred specifically and exclusively to ” the flow of foreign governmental and corporate money to the National Party”

                      When I pointed out that you had slid away from “directly addressing questions regarding Venezuela” you claimed that you had answered “countries under attack by external (aka right wing) forces would be well advised…”

                      Even a simpleton like me can see you didn’t just shift your ground there OAB, you moved to another continent altogether.

                      But good point thanks. I personally favour the freedom for individuals , organizations, or even countries to support political parties financially, and I don’t see that as exclusively a RW benefit.
                      I believe Unions should be free to fund parties of their choice for instance, or International Socialist organisations or even a country like Cuba being able to financially support Socialist Parties worldwide.

                      But as you were good enough to answer that point OAB, here’s another one that I’m having trouble getting anyone to front up to. Would appreciate a direct response to this…

                      If a citizen of Venezuela chooses to believe in a Capitalist model, and seeks to engage with ‘influences ‘ from the US or any other country, and wishes to actively promote such political views in their own country….. Why shouldn’t they have that right?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Let’s examine your sophistry some more.

                      If a citizen of New Zealand chooses to believe in a sadistic model, and seeks to engage with ‘influences‘ from ISIL, or Sabin, or Capill, or any other National Party philosopher, and wishes to actively promote such political views in their own country….. Why shouldn’t they have that right?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      This country is Gods own yet we condemn many innocent children to abuse, neglect and homicide. For a generation we have vainly sought solutions, largely ignoring the fact that we have created a culture which too easily traps parents in welfare, who often through no fault of their own, lack even the most basic of life skills and for whom personal responsibility is an unnecessary and irrelevant commodity surpassed by a sea of social agencies that seek to provide what they will now never have to.

                      Michael Lewis Sabin.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.4

        The logical implications of this line of thinking can only be that media who publish material deemed to be anti government ideology need and deserve to be controlled.

        I suspect the problem is the short form interview misses a lot of nuance. The problem is the corporate media which is owned and controlled by the rich and the rich only hire journalists and editors that support their view.

  2. North 2

    The corporate Herald’s editorial proselytising for SkyCity (and Key and Joyce) this morning –
    [ Link here – MS]

    ” But since SkyCity is now willing to proceed without public money, perhaps it can be cut some slack. ”

    How jolly nice of SkyCity to back off from backing off the ‘darling’ deal their man in the Beehive gave them. Yeah, let’s go easy on them !

    • roughan and/or o’sullivan write most of those editorials..

      ..rightwing corporate hacks that they are..

      • alwyn 2.1.1

        You have evidence for this claim do you Phil?
        Or is it just an opinion?

        • phillip ure

          which claim..?

          ..that they write editorials in/for the herald..?

          ..or that they are ‘corporate-hacks’..?

          • halfcrown

            “which claim..?

            ..that they write editorials in/for the herald..?

            ..or that they are ‘corporate-hacks’..?”

            Ha, I like it well said.

          • alwyn

            That they write the editorials Phil.
            What is your evidence for that?

            Anthony Robins, who blogged on the Herald editorial and Rodney Hide’s column didn’t seem to know who wrote editorials. He said –
            ” The Herald’s anonymous editorialist de jour “.

            I am quite prepared to believe all New Zealand journalists are corporate hacks.

            • DH

              It says in John Roughan’s bio in his weekend commentaries on the Herald that he’s their senior editorial writer.

              Once you get familiar with his writing style it’s not hard to pick which editorials are written by Roughan. He’s rather patronising.

            • North

              I don’t give a stuff who writes the editorial, it’s in the Herald and it’s “let’s go easy on SkyCity because really, at the ‘end-of-the-day’ they’re our friend, as is John Key our friend, as is that archetypal hollow man, that archetypal parchment thing Joyce, our friend”. Drink the Kool-Aid people ! The Herald with its piss-arse anonymous editorials is Crosby Textor Greys Avenue.

              Pathetic attempt at diversion from the issue there Alwyn. Sad fulla/lady you. The lovely thing is that while the worshippers at the temple are dispositionally incapable of seeing it, slowly, slowly, slowly, then exponentially, TheGodKey bubble is bursting. We approach the critical point Al’. Take up the home-making of jam baby, or OCD double masporting of your lawn.

              And don’t feel too bad when ThePonceKey jets off to Hawaii all decked out, all accessorised with the royal honorific. Cackling effetely. Leaving you to the social shame.of it all.

              Precedent ? The sad old alcoholic Rob Muldoon. Whom it has to be said at least had the balls to stick around, Not this parody of a man.

              • alwyn

                Bloody Hell.
                How much did you imbibe before you penned this missive?
                I really think that AA could help you. Why not give them a call?
                I have previously advised you that I am a male, so what is the “lady” bit?
                Do you suffer from alcoholic amnesia, by any chance?
                Or do you have some sort of idea that to be female is to be inferior?
                Grow up junior.

                • North

                  Fuck off dickhead Al’ ! That’s the cheapest and oldest example of flailing ‘snide’. Have you nothing more than stolen cliche ?

    • vto 2.2

      Cut them some slack?

      What frikkin’ planet are these anonymous editorial writers on? John Roughnan and Fran O’Sullivan?

      I have to strongly submit that Roughnan and O’Sullivan are simply ignorant of how the world works. They need to get out into the real world.

      In the real world, if someone you have entered into a deal with such as this acts in the manner that Skycity has and tries to put one over you then the flashing lights and sirens go off. Efforts must be doubled up to ensure the terms of the deal are met. A route out must be planned in the event that similar shenanigans arise again. You must never take your eye off the ball and you must absolutely never “cut some slack’.

      That is truly ignorant of how business is attended to.

      • Skinny 2.2.1

        These Hearld shills need to pull their bloody heads in. SkyCity have been cut enough slack by getting very favourable softening of gambling regulations.

        After just hearing an interview with an Aussie convention centre operator on RNZ it is apparent size is everything. Their convention centre is going through it’s 5th upgrade and increased it’s capacity to house 5,000 delegates. There is no way SkyCity should be allowed to drop the convention centre capacity by 10℅.

        Key & Joyce have been woefully negligent negotiating this deal, public opinion got SkyCity to fold not anything theses smucks are trying to take credit for.

        If Sky City persists in a 10℅ size reduction then hit them with a double jeopardy clause of a 20℅ pokie & table reduction.

        • greywarshark

          @ Skinny +1

          • rawshark-yeshe

            andrew little said similar last night .. +100%

            and not only a reduction, but also increase in services they just provide to problem gamblers and community groups.

        • Gosman

          How would you force Skycity to do this? They could simply walk away if they weren’t willing to build to the levels demanded.

          • McFlock

            cut the 500 pokies for a start.
            Then monitor the casino for infractions every month rather than once a year.
            then cut another 500 pokies from their licence when they get caught out with infractions.

            edit – and if they walk away, we’re no worse off.
            if they leave entirely, we’re better off overall

          • Draco T Bastard

            Awesome – we don’t want the bloody thing anyway and we most definitely don’t want all the extra social problems that come from gambling.

          • Skinny

            SkyCity won’t be walking away Gosman they shall be turned away for non compliance of monitoring problem gamblers. They are already skating on tin ice with non compliance to the strict rules.

            It is not going to be hard to film actors in distress not getting help from the greedy leeching operator. I am looking forward to directing this sting. On the bright side they still have their hotel and restaurant business. 🙂

          • North

            Legislate, you quisling bastard Gosman. Legislate. In the name of our sovereignty, legislate ! I totally support Little in this intimation. Time we stood up for New Zealanders. Fuck those fetid, amoral, greedy bastards and their gauche ponce in the Beehive !

          • North

            Walk away…….no way (as someone on TS ventured just the other day). The amoral bastards already have a licence to make money on a grand scale. Whimper, cry, make out they’re suffering, walk away ? Let’s just test them then. This could be the first abandonment/nationalisation. And Catton was meant to be a traitor ??? You’re a depraved thing Gosman. Perhaps we should be really ‘reasonable’ about it all and gift our daughters to that Mafia look-alike thing Nigel.

            You’re so fucked Gosman. I want you to go to Pitcairn forever. Society here would certainly be safer ! Not sure that Pitcairn would be.

      • North 2.2.2

        It never was ‘business’. It always was ‘corruption’.

    • DH 2.3

      It’s hard to figure out whether the corporate media are just lazy or have been paid off by SkyCity. Their coverage of this deal has been appalling.

      A question every journalist should be asking is just how did the cost increase by so much in such a short space of time. Instead of trying to answer that question the media just regurgitate the pap they’re fed by SkyCity & others.

      Nothing about this deal adds up. The $402 million people keep quoting includes up to $87 million for the land, $15 million for escalation (inflation) and $4.5 m for a linkway bridge to the casino that’s no longer being built.

      The original contracted construction cost was NOT $402 m, it was about $300 m. That also included 780 carparks the cost of which is very unlikely to have increased.

      These cretins in the media would have us believe the construction cost has gone up by over 50% in just 18months. That’s complete bollocks.

      • rawshark-yeshe 2.3.1

        DH .. please write to Campbell Live and give them your figures in more detail .. they are ones most likely to examine and dissect, if anyone is …

        Do you have more details you can post here? Fascinating .. thx.

        • DH

          All the media need to do is read the contract and the KordaMentha report.

          Those numbers I quoted are in the ICC contract. The basic cost of building the original CC was about $300 m plus a maximum of $87 m for the land, $15 m escalation etc taking SkyCity’s total investment to a limit of $402 m.

          $300 million covered everything – site works, carpark building,… the whole caboodle. Now, seriously, where the hell did the extra $130 million come from? The NZ economy hasn’t changed much since 2013, there’s been no sudden shortage of labour or anything else that would push up contractors charges above what was already estimated.

    • Clemgeopin 2.4


      One way…may be a small way…of teaching this evil peddling scum SkyCity would be for as many people as possible that CARE, to BOYCOTT this gambling joint.

      I have personally decided never again to visit this crooked corporate bastard of a place ever again. They will not get a CENT more from me from now on. Over the years, I have been there at least ten times. My not visiting it any more may not make much of a dent in their massive yearly dirty profits, but it WILL make a tiny dent nevertheless. Little Drops Make the Mighty Ocean.

      • Skinny 2.4.1

        Yes bang on I am all for people power, Kiwi’s need to be conditioned to the power of boycotts, especially ones targeting corporations. It is quite common in America Wallmart being a classic.

        I think a working party should be formed to formulate a strategy. Count me in!

      • alwyn 2.4.2

        Why on earth did you go there at all?
        Surely you didn’t think you were going to become wealthy beyond you wildest dreams did you?
        Don Brash could give you some good advice. He said that he had never bought even a Lotto ticket.

        • Clemgeopin

          The point is not for what reason I went there, but why I have decided NOT to go there ever again.

        • McFlock

          I’ve been to a casino twice, both times because friends found it an enjoyable way to pass the time.

          Some people like cinemas.
          Some people prefer pubs.
          Some people like a casino.

          Trouble is, the last two can be quite addictive and damaging to families. But at least pubs have the problem that if a few addicts get too drunk and gross, it turns the other customers off.

          At a casino, how do you know if the person next to you has been there for fourteen hours, or just forty minutes after a hard day’s work?

        • tricledrown

          Alwhynge you sound like an exclusive bretheren pastor.
          Morally speaking Brash’s marriage advice would follow.
          Eating advice some corned beef with mushy peasants.
          Racial advice my wife is singaporean.
          Economic advice Austerity works
          Gambling advice don’t take any risks(businesses must take risks)
          So Alwynger you would be for shutting down pokies and casinos as the damage they do($6 billion a year)exceeds the income they generate!

        • North

          If you want any credibilty at all I wouldn’t quote that weirdo Brash Al’ – socks in the microwave and corned beef hung out over the bath. Oooh ! Maybe I got that all wrong…….the bath fucking the socks and the corned beef rooting the microwave…….Oh I don’t know. Whichever way…….weird ! Like not of this planet really.

  3. “..Libya’s Arab spring: the revolution that ate its children..” (+ comment:..and the ignorances of the leftwing war-mongers..)

    “..Four years after Muammar Gaddafi was killed –

    – the high hopes of Libya’s activists have crumbled –

    – as Isis fills the vacuum left by scrapping militias..”

    (ed:..i was astonished at the time by the widespread swallowing of the cia-kool-ade by so many new zealand ‘leftists’..

    ..how they joined in on the fretting/hand-wringing-chorus of ‘something must be done’..’if not us..who?’..

    ..and how they supported the americans invading/overthrowing of the head of the most secular-state in the arab world..

    ..one that had social-welfare/citizen-support policies that wd/shd have made those nz ‘lefties’ weep in envy..

    ..free education for all..to doctorate-level..

    ..and newly-married couples given u.s.$40,000..

    ..to help them get started in life..

    ..totally free healthcare..

    ..that is just three of a suite of support libyan-citizens all got as ‘rights’..

    ..now libya is a fundamentalist/sectarian/civil-war ridden hellhole..

    ..well done..!..those new zealand ‘lefties’..eh..?

    ..i wd really like to see the likes of keith locke from the greens..(the ‘big-surprise’ for me in kool-ade-drinkers..)

    ..i wd like to see him..and those rightwing blairite labour people..who were also kool-ade drinkers/swallowers..

    ..to now revisit that ‘call’..

    ..and to maybe try to explain/defend it..in some/any way..?

    ..but i’m not holding my breath..eh..?

    ..as many of those gung-ho for invading gadaffi..

    ..now support sending our soldiers to be killed fighting the fundamentalist nut-jobs that overthrow created..

    ..it seems they learn little from history..

    ..do they have the short-term memories of fucken guppies..?

    (and funny story..!..our saudi arabian friends/allies (‘y’know..!..that country where women are not allowed to drive cars..?..and are beheaded for things like heresy..?..)

    ..they fully supported the overthrow of gadaffi…mainly ‘cos the secular-model arab society he ran..terrified/threatened them…

    ..and their repressive grip on the throat of saudi arabian society..

    ..and funny story two..!..they are/have been the major funders of isis..

    .how’s them berries..?..

    ..food for thought for those war-mongering ‘lefties’..?…d’yareckon..?..)



    • b waghorn 3.1

      Libya is the big story on tv3 this morning talking up IS and refugee problems but no mention on what caused it all in the ,1 st place which in my opinion was the poms wanting revenge for Gadafee embarrassing them around the locabee bombers release.

      • phillip ure 3.1.1

        it was also because gadaffi was on the brink of setting up a new banking-system..for the african/arab regions..

        ..one that wd have bye-passed/negated the european banking cartels..

        ..fuck with them/their money..and they kill ya…

        • vto

          yep, see below

        • Chooky

          +100 phillip ure

        • thatguynz

          Precisely. Did noone find it even remotely suspicious that the first thing the rebels did in Libya, even prior to ousting Gaddafi or seizing a significant land base, was to setup a Central Bank that was aligned with the IMF/BiS etc..? Yeah sure – that’s the first thing that springs to mind for any burgeoning rebel leader…

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Gadaffi was on the verge of launching an alternative gold based currency for Africa, trading oil and other commodities in, further undermining demand for the US petrodollar.

          That was never going to be allowed to happen by the western powers.

    • Tiger Mountain 3.2

      A class analysis soon reveals that organisations such as NATO exist for a reason and it sure is not to guarantee free tertiary education for Libyans!

      IS gets maximum bang for buck using the digital world but the Saudis behead more people per annum so far, they just don’t draw attention to the fact.

      Leftists worthy of the name need to get a grip and reassert their principles, as a number did on the War HUH! thread–NO participation in or support for imperialist wars and military action.

      • Rosie 3.2.1

        “Leftists worthy of the name need to get a grip and reassert their principles, as a number did on the War HUH! thread–NO participation in or support for imperialist wars and military action.”

        Not around much these days but was really heartened to read the responses to TRP’s War HUH! post. The argument for NO was crystal clear, Folks put different reasons forward, to counter TRP’s rationale and together it became a unified moral stand against engagement in warfare. And what a powerful stand it was!

        When all those points are boiled down you find a government, ours, using victims of IS for political advantage – that lovely warm sense of belonging to The Club.

        Funnily enough as I was reading that thread this was being played on the radio:

        Not in out name – the pledge of resistance. Saul Williams 2002


        We need to continue that resistance. I expect we will will be marching soon, within the next few weeks. See you there.

        • Chooky

          +100 Tiger Mountain and Rosie….well said!…and I have missed you not being around Rosie

    • vto 3.3

      People are ignorant P Ure, they really genuinely are. And bad-arse politicians like Key take advantage of that when it comes to war-mongering in particular.

      People are ignorant.

      That is not to say they are not smart – they are. But most simply aren’t aware of the relevant facts and have no time or need to find those facts. This of course does not stop people from venting opinions on all and sundry, nor from casting a vote on the basis of no facts.

      No wonder free education is being steadily pulled from us.
      No wonder Libya’s free education to doctorate level was canned by the US in Libya.
      No wonder education is expensive in the US.
      No wonder the ACT Party wants to, and is, privatising education.

      Whole bunch of dots ……
      actually it is a lot like the financial system….. dots all over the world ….. or fingerprints you might say ……..

      • phillip ure 3.3.1

        i’d like to practise my psychic-skills here..

        ..and i’m gonna go out on a limb..

        ..and make the call..

        ..that trp is/was a cia-kool-ade-swallower…

        ..and felt strongly that ‘something must be done!’..

        ..’to stop gadaffi!’.

        ..and ..’if not us..who..?’..


  4. Ray 4

    Great to see a partial reversal over the Auckland conference centre
    Just a bit worrying that Labour see this as win and a sign of Government weakness
    Does this mean that when they are the Government they will ignore what the general population feels (strongly) about unpopular policies?
    Judging by the past…..yes

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 5

    Check out what they are saying about the TPPA here:

    “Trans Pacific Partnership, Was Initiated at U.S. West Coast Ports
    on February 13, 2015

    The above headlines tells who is behind what is happening, it does not tell you how bad it is going to get. The unions are refusing to back down and it is for darn sure that the TPP will not back down either!

    The backlog of ships is a crisis being done on purpose because the private multinational corporations want to empty the shelves in supermarkets nationwide for three or four weeks is designed to force the American people to approve the blackmail contained in the Trans Pacific Partnership. This is the economic end-game which will permit these multinational corporations to become nation-states across the planet.

    Most Americans will fail to notice the threat until they can no longer purchase food in the super-markets, or mail-order prescription medications are not shipped. The sheep of this country will still be in denial that this could ever happen. The unions have now been idled, at major American shipping ports, because the multinational corporate owners of the shipping companies are keeping their ships filled with perishable goods at sea until all governmental opposition to the fast-tracked TPP is ended. Watch this video and listen to the what LA City Councilman, Joe Buscaino says when he states that even if product were to be off-loaded, in force, today, it would still take six to eight months to “get back to normal”. The United States economy does not have six to eight months to recover. It does not have six to eight days to survive the economic Armageddon that is coming.”

    The rest of the article needs to be read and appreciated as it gives an American perspective on the damage the TPPA will create.

    • oh well..they can blame phil goff..

      ..he was the one who invited the americans into what was then a much smaller/easier-to-handle local/regional trade-deal proposal..

      .invite in the americans..and all of this shit happens..

      ..well done there..!..goff..!

      ..should we chalk this one up next to afghanistan..?

      ..and those neo-lib shit-policies you pimped/enacted for so long..?

      ..r u retiring soon..?

      ..haven’t you already done ‘more than enough’..?

      • Skinny 5.1.1

        Phil please show some respect to your new Auckland City Mayor, I hear it’s confirm ed Goff is to be Dirty Lenny’s replacement. I hear its going to be Goff and Shearer running on the same ticket with Shearer as Deputy. They will be a singing duo on the campaign trail.

        • phillip ure

          you’ve got me dry-retching here..!

          ..why doesn’t/can’t he/both of them..

          ..just fuck off..!

          ..enough already..!

          • Skinny

            Once on the gravy train it’s hard to get off.

            Len is gutless he allows right wing fuckers to wave their arms about yell at him to shut up and sit down, with Penny coming to his rescue.

          • Murray Rawshark

            Both Phil and Dave have important contributions still to make to the fabric of our nation. They should be lauded for their service and their willingness to sacrifice us on behalf of corporates everywhere.

            • alwyn

              I glanced at this comment and then, as I was about to look at the next one, I was struck with that feeling that it didn’t say what a first glance had absorbed. Rereading made it all clear.
              You are a hard man M.R.

    • vto 5.2

      And here … “Monsanto and Walmart can view any part of the (TPP) process, Congress and the American public cannot”

      Wake up everyone.


      And here too … “the creation of a TPP Tribunal Council which will have the authority to force member nations to transform its laws, its civil procedures, its criminal procedures, even its electoral process,”

      Hello Wayne? Wayne Mapp? Are you out there? You keep refusing to answer this question. This government, and any simple majority government in NZ, has no ability to enter into the TPP precisely because the TPP affects our vote. It diminishes our vote. It controls what our vote can do. This is constitutional change. Such massive constitutional change can simply not be attended to by bare majority in Parliament.

      Answer Wayne, answer

      • phillip ure 5.2.1

        wayne has been absent since i confronted him about the war-crimes committed (handing over for torture etc) while he was minister of defence/on his watch..

        ..war-crimes he seems/seemed to be in denial about…

        ..he was clearly a sergeant schultz kinda defence minister..

        ..’i see /saw nothing!’

        • Tracey

          not really. he posted on TS this morning in fact

          • alwyn

            You’re a hard woman Tracey.
            Phil was burnishing his image of himself as the St George who had vanquished the fire breathing dragon Wayne.
            Then you spoiled it for him.

            • Tracey


            • phillip ure

              not really..if here today..that is the first time in a while..

              ..i want him here..

              ..i want him to answer those war-crime/handing over for torture questions..

              • McFlock

                First time in a while. Yep. First time since yesterday morning. And the night before that. Etc.


                I guess he’s just scared of your wanting him too much.

                • so why hasn’t he answered those war-crimes/handing over prisoners for torture question..?

                  ..that also a bit of an lol for you is it…?

                  • McFlock

                    well, there are a number of possible answers to your first question:

                    1: Wayne is terrified of being skewered by your rapier wit and penetrating investigative queries;

                    2: Wayne thinks you’re just a nutter who isn’t worth his time;

                    3: Wayne cannot decypher your syntactical liberties, so skips over most of your comments;

                    4: given that the subjects of your “sentences” (I use the term loosely) are frequently vague or imprecise (as an example, the “that” in your second question could refer to the “war crimes” themselves or merely the fact that he does not answer your questions), maybe Wayne doesn’t know what the heck you’re talking about so ignores you;

                    5: Maybe wayne disagrees with your portrayal of events

                    6: maybe Wayne feels he has already answered your question, so sees no need for further engagement.

                • greywarshark

                  Cripes McFlock what is it about phillip’ utterings that makes you go all schoolboyish. You are beginning to go yahboo like yek in Question Time.
                  If you’ve got something to correct phil about why not do it and stop.

      • rawshark-yeshe 5.2.2

        if new zealanders would only begin to understand what will happen if Monsanto GMO cropping plants are released into our indigenous environment.

        In USA, millions and millions of acres have been abandoned to glyphosate (roundup) resistant weeds ! And the solution ?

        “So here it is, the pesticide industry’s dirty little secret: GE seeds are no green solution to the world’s food needs, but are rather the growth engine of the world’s biggest pesticide companies. In point of fact, the latest wave of GE crops is expected to drive a 25-fold increase in the use of one particularly nasty pesticide (2,4-D) in corn over the next seven years.”


        Yes folks. 2, 4-D that vicious component of Agent Orange, is now licensed for use in USA against glyphosate(roundup) resistant super weeds.

        And let’s remember that D stands for dioxin. Remember Ivor Watkins Dow and the harm their factory caused in New Plymouth ? Now they want to spray it over edible food crops.

        So c’mon Wayne. Let’s hear from you on the truth behind TPPA. Want your home sprayed with dioxin ?? Please, for all of us, grow a spine while you still can.

        • rawshark-yeshe

          and this article for those maybe too young to remember about 2,4,5 T and dioxin …( I don’t support the politics of this magazine, but this is worth reading) … from 2000 ..


          And yes, this is what they are currently spraying on GMO corn crops right now in USA.

          Watch your food labels .. anything from USA with corn or corn syrup in it, will have been sprayed. Glyphosate/Roundup doesn’t work anymore, so they douse the corn crops with 2,4 D !!!

          I wish there was a universal court to prosecute the corporations for destroying our health, our home and our plant.

          But instead ? They want laws under TPPA which will prevent us keeping them away from us !!! This is so fu..ked up isn’t it ?

        • greywarshark

          Interesting you should bring up the case of the roundup ready seeds of Monsanto. (Does that mean My God?) Recently I talked with an organic farmer well up in the discipline of o.g. and asked him about the cows that died from eating swedes?/winter feed which w talked about here.

          He says it was probably a new strain of seed that has been Gen engineered to not be affected by Roundup. That is one aspect – a changed plant with changed growth patterns. And the second thing to remember is that because the crop plant can’t be harmed the grower may not be so careful with rates of application – a heavier dose, put on at any time that suits the grower, than would have been the case.
          And thirdly, did he know whether it did break down in the soil. Well they say it does, he said, but we don’t know what substances it breaks up into, and what effect they might have on the Mycorrhizal fungi.
          (This link might be good to explain that – I haven’t read it all http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/garden-s-homegrown-ally)

          The roundup components and their various combinations might be killing off the fertility of the soil.

          It’s interesting how bacteria etc are important to us to live. On Radionz there was something in the weekend about the faecal inserts of bacteria that people have lost from their systems. And a lot of detail about what some of the 900 bugs we have in our gut, some helping with immune defence. Damned amazing. The things we can’t see are even more important than those we can. (The things we know and don’t know blah Donald Rumsfeld is a genius yet!)

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Go on blast your gut with broad spectrum anti-biotics, it’ll be good for your immune system…

            • rawshark-yeshe

              what a sincerely stupid comment .. you can’t be serious colonial – or are you ?

              • Chooky

                he isnt serious…he is very sensible on medical issues.. anti-biotics must be avoided unless absolutely necessary…and then used with caution

                • Colonial Rawshark


                  Half a century or more after the introduction of antibiotics, the medical profession grudgingly began to admit that they could do significant damage to the body’s normal functioning even if “used as directed.”

                  Similarly a couple of years ago the use of paracetamol on kids in NZ was found to be related to many, possibly hundreds of thousands, of cases of childhood asthma over the years.

                  It takes a long time for certain kinds of damage to become apparent, and even longer for it to be accepted by the orthodoxy.

          • rawshark-yeshe

            but we should not be growing a genetically engineered swede in NZ ? interesting your organic farmer friend thinks it’s possible.

            No reports finally confirmed of why those poor cows died. I wonder why ?

            • Chooky

              yes i am very suspicious about those swedes….and a number of people got very sick in Christchurch around about that time and they blamed it on plastic packaged carrots and lettuces….but maybe they had a little boiled cubed swede for dinner with their roasts? ….

            • greywarshark

              rawshark yeshe
              I made a mistake in my comment in the way I included two things in it. The best of people will go off the main subject into the secondary one if it presses their button. Then you lose the benefit of their full attention.

              So my fault with CR reacting to faecal inserts which are needed because of antibiotics killing off your own specialised internal protective bugs as well as any aliens. And another point, while the antibiotics are working and killing off 99% of all known germs as the ads say, it is possible for a renegade germ (wearing a black mask and red tights) to sneak in and get a hold while the other immune guys are missing.

              Sensitive subject. CR seems very interested in basic and natural medicines and being aware of what chemicals one puts in one’s body. And of course you will be ahead of me RY in being up to date iwth the amount of chemicals from prescriptions in our urine that is fucking the fish. I’m still taking my pills and have to try green prescriptions and try and ease them out of my schedule.

          • Chooky

            Donald Rumsfeld is NO genius…but he is other things….


            ( while we are on the topic of health)

            • greywarshark

              @ chooky
              That Donald Rumsfeld is a genius. He gets to be a crook and get a medal for it. They give medals for being big money-makers there in the USA. I remember Sam Walton of Wal mart got one for bringing mass retailing to the small towns and taking all their customers away to the Big Box miles from High Street. Now he’s got pots and his workers all work in haberdashery (wages cut to ribbons). Hah. In Kaitaia a wee town in the Far North that just gets along with a lot of beneficiaries in the town, and there are two big box stores going up a way from down town. Soon empty shops, newspapers on window, food wrappers, leaves and vomit in the doorway? And part of the money of the community will be siphoned out and it will lose part of its beating commercial heart. They will get a modern cathedral of merchandise, well lit, large, shiny floors, sophisticated, and what? Local business people lose, and money is likely to drain from the area even with a local franchisee.

              At local KMart here they stay open till midnight. One person I know had to go to work to see whether they were supposed to be at work. Luckily it wasn’t far. It was a good thing to turn up because that person was on the roster, which should have been on the computer.

              That’s how we deal with people now, call them up on the computer. By the way honey do you feel like sex tonight? No, but I could be encouraged, what’s offering etc? Amazing what repartee could be exchanged in lieu of actual eye to eye and touch by humans. In the future, part of the required checklist of activities will be to touch yourself every hour on the arm or face just to remind yourself that you indeed are a living person while you convey your thoughts to an advanced paradigm.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  good grief.

                • The Murphey

                  Indeed chooky fraud and corruption are the elephants in the medical science waiting room

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Indeed. Look at Mr. Andrew Wakefield, for example.

                    • The Murphey

                      Q. You can do better than that surely ?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke


                      You’re the one claiming fraud and corruption. We know Mr. Wakefield is a corrupt fraud because he lost all his court cases and was stripped of his doctorate.

                      I expect you can’t do any better than science denial and conspiracy drivel, so I thought I’d school you some more.

                    • The Murphey

                      Its not about science of which you have no more ability to quality control or influence than I do

                      Q. Have you heard of lobbying ?


                      The denial exists from inability to accept the medical science and health care related industry are as susceptible to fraud and corruption as any other


                    • One Anonymous Bloke


                      So nothing specific then. Claims there’s an elephant in the room, then admits it’s no more than the normal level of susceptibility.

                      I’m sure Chooky was impressed though.

                    • The Murphey

                      That is right OAB there is no coherent argument as you have so eloquently illustrated

                      All big business industry have fraud and corrupt business practice at their core without exemption and that includes medical science research based and pharmaceutical industry and insurance

                      That pharma has the highest lobby expenditure is irrelevant to you it would seem most likely a conspiracy

                      The behaviours strategy and tactics employed to cover up the outcomes and consequences of corrupt business practice are what you seek to convince yourself as being conspiracy

                      Denial is your problem to work through no need to project in my direction

                    • One Anonymous Bloke


                      From your vast experience of medical companies, you can tell they have the same level of susceptibility to fraud and corruption as any other business.

                      You also have deep insight into my opinions on the subject. How do you cope with such awesome levels of profundity and wisdom? Most people would simply explode.

                    • The Murphey

                      If you continue to stalk I will continue to highlight the cognitive dissonance in your comments

                      With that said the deflective and distractive flailing you persist in exhibiting spares me the energy expenditure

                    • McFlock

                      I hate it when delusional morons use words that are bigger than their brains but smaller than their egos.

                    • The Murphey

                      Looking in the mirror must be a difficult experience McDuck

                      Ex-cep-tion-al : Being an exception

                      Quit the stalking behaviour you appear as deperate as your flailing partner OAB

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Come back Muzza, all is forgiven.

    • Coffee Connoisseur 5.3

      so read what is below in point 7. It doesn’t have to wait for Gen Y to be in the corridors of power…

  6. I’m not alone in thinking Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a bit of an arse, but this is classy stuff:


    • tc 6.1

      Zlatan is always entertainment and good with lines like on being sold by jose at inter milan said ‘you will not win anything without me’.

      Mourinho then won the treble and they meet again as PSG face chelski when CL resumes so more entertainment to come.

  7. Coffee Connoisseur 7

    To the free thinkers in Gen Y and Gen zero.

    Dear Leaders of Tomorrow….

    How to change the world to the one that you want to live in

    Learn understand and use Systems Analysis for it is used for fixing all maner of broken systems.

    Step one: determine what the nature and the purpose of ‘The System’ should be

    Ask the questions..
    Who should the sytem be for?
    What should its purpose be?

    The answer to the first question should be ‘the people’ not just some but all of the people.

    The answer to the second should be whatever the optimal state is for those that the system should be for.
    For people that is to be in a state of happiness.

    Happiness = Maslows Hierarchy for people
    Happiness is different for each individual but some or all of the contents of Maslows are required in an individuals life for them to be happy.
    Maslows is also used as the basis for much economic theory so its a good place to start.

    Step 2: Establish a new consitution based on Maslows to protect and enshrine in legislation an individuals right to happiness.

    Step 3: Introduce a UBI
    This is to ensure that whilst you transition to a better system for everyone, that until the transition is made that with a UBI in place people will have a much better chance at happiness.

    Step 4: Undertake a review of all businesses/organisations in all sectors.
    Determine the roles performed in these businesses

    Step 5: identify those roles that can be automated with todays technology.

    Step 6: direct resources towards automating them and freeing yourselves from having to work.

    Step 7: introduce the concept of usership instead of ownership. Important Note: allow people to transition to usership at there own pace. do not force this, instead let it happen organically but provide goods and services in a way that makes sense for them to do so. If people need a good example of ‘Usership’ show them the internet.

    Step 8: When it is no longer required, remove the money. Again do not force this but do it when collectively as a society it makes sense to do so.

    Good Luck and Best Wishes.

    Make the world a place you would be proud to bring a child into.

    • + 1..


    • Coffee Connoisseur 7.2

      apologies that it isn’t spell or grammar checked. The train was pulling into the station r it would have been.

    • gsays 7.3

      hi coffee,
      i would humbly add teaching and practicing meditation in schools. according to the dalai lama we would eradicate all violence in one generation.

      see here themindunleashed.org/2015/02/bring-meditation-schools.html

      btw, do you have a favourite drug of choice/bean?
      my three favourites are sublime, cafe laaffaire and dkd espresso.

      • Coffee Connoisseur 7.3.1

        I completely agree that teaching and practicing meditation in schools would help a great deal towards such a goal but it would be a hard ask to get the schools of today to accept such enlightened thinking and to implement it across the board.
        That said many young adults are much more aware of the issues in the world today than I was at there age so perhaps it is time to put messages like that to them also.

        As for the coffee, my wife cries if we get anything other than Robert Harris Espresso Roma. I do like Cafe Lafafaire too though.

        • tricledrown

          Cheap nasty crap coffe conmansewer.
          Your writing is top shelf coffee taste plunges to bottom shelf.
          Your coffee taste has me frothing in my capacino,laughing in my latte’,steaming in my expresso.
          Flapping in my flat white.
          Those brands you mentioned sell stale grounds.
          Nothing like freshly roasted then ground coffee!

          • Coffee Connoisseur

            When I want proper coffee I buy a bag of beans from flight cafe in Wellington.
            When I want my coffee made so I can sleep for an extra 10 mins before getting up I get what my wife gives me. She likes Espresso Roma so thats what I get.
            Sometimes its best not to rock the boat, happy wife happy life and all that…

    • greywarshark 7.4

      @ Coffee Connoiseur
      Something to think about.. Stop at happiness though. What we need is wellbeing, then it should be possible to find happiness. But happiness is an individual thing.

      I don’t consider it was an apt word to choose for putting in the American Constitution.
      Jefferson’s text :
      We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty,
      & the pursuit of happiness; …

      Jefferson’s happiness included falling in love with a black slave and whether that caused her happiness I do not know. I have forgotten the details but it is an interesting story.

      Happiness on google includes well-being but covers a host of other meanings from contentment to high-spirits merriment and gaiety. I would be quite happy with something quieter and everyday.
      Well being goes from welfare to protection to prosperity. It sounds a longer-lasting feeling that I would wish for everybody. Something that could be obtainable, rather than pie in the sky emotion. I do like Pharrell williams Happy video though. It makes me Happy watching and listening to it, for a while. Piano Man Billy Joel makes the bar patrons happy for a while, but wellbeing would be the one to get to the goalposts.

      • Coffee Connoisseur 7.4.1

        This is exactly why I posted it here so that it could be pulled apart.
        The reason for specifically selecting happiness is the direct relation to Maslow’s Hierarchy. In fact I would go further to say that anything written in a new constitution must reference Maslow’s so that the definition of happiness cannot be watered down over time to suit various agendas (as we see happening today).
        Wellbeing is, however, a great term as it is difficult to argue that someone on a low income struggling week to week and living in fear of bills coming is living in a state of wellbeing.

        Happiness is an individual thing as you have said. From a systems analysis point of view, this should be taken into account and the system designed with this in mind. If it isn’t you run the risk of creating a system that by its very design fails to meet the requirements of individuals in society leading to discontentment and over time will end up failing as a system. It may take 100s of years, but it will eventually fail or at the very least causing continual problems that will no doubt result in workarounds.
        Workarounds may be acceptable but then the reality is that they will be fixing a problem for an individual or group of individuals.

        I do realize that talking of individualism can be like a red rag to a bull around here, but it is not the same individualism that we see with Capitalism.
        I see it as collective individualism (RBE) vs competitive or even combative individualism (Capitalism).
        There is an assumption which has been made though (by me) and that is that the world today has the ability through resources and technology to meet the needs of each and every individual. This may not be the case however and would certainly not be the case under Capitalism with individual ownership of everything.
        The point being that individualism is a requirement of the system. How society decides is the best way to meet that requirement in each case is what is really key here.
        Example: As an individual under Capitalism I need to own a lawnmower as I need to mow my lawns. The reality is that I don’t need to own one. The ‘true’ requirement is simply that I need to mow my lawns. It takes me 1 hour to mow my lawns so the true requirement is that I need access to a lawn mower for one hour so my lawns can be mowed.
        This could be through the current model of ownership (although not a good use of resources given the time it sits idle.
        I could get one from a library and return it when I am done.
        I could have one delivered to my property by drone that automatically mows my lawn and sends a signal to the drone to come and pick it up once it is completed ready for delivery to the next person.
        There are many different ways to meet individual needs that don’t have to have an adverse effect on the rest of society. But we will need a cultural shift in the way we think and go about finding solutions to problems.

        Back to ‘Happiness’ vs ‘Wellbeing’.
        On reflection, I don’t think it should be either or. If anything incorporating both into the constitution along the lines of ‘Individual right to happiness and wellbeing makes it a more robust statement. I do think that in light of what we see in the US who have this in their constitution, you raise a very valid point.
        The exact definition of both in relation to the constitution would need to be clearly recorded elsewhere so that it can be referenced should anyone attempt to weaken the intent behind them.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Hmmm designing a well balanced society to produce contented, well people sounds like it is going to reduce both consumption and consumerism.

          Can’t have that.

        • weka

          Good discussion.

          I agree wellbeing works better than happiness as the baseline. Some people don’t aspire to happiness. Others can’t attain it. The pressure to be happy is hard on some people. Wellbeing on the other hand, I think this fits better with Maslow’s heirachy of needs and it supports and respects people without expectations on their mood or outlook etc.

          As for the lawnmower, I would say plant your section in veges and truit trees 😉

      • Draco T Bastard 7.4.2

        I don’t consider it was an apt word to choose for putting in the American Constitution.

        Considering culture and general education levels it probably was – at the time.

  8. Skinny 8

    Notice to activists ACT Conference this Saturday Gibbs farm. I am picking Hooton stands as Party President. I think I picked there AGM was soon by the way Hooton was spinning lately.

    • Murray Rawshark 8.1

      And Hide is going for a revitalisation of ACT via his criticisms of FJK. Makes sense.

    • halfcrown 8.2

      The other day with the weather being so good we had a day out and a picnic.

      As usual like a lot of people we had some spare bread over we decided to start a riot by feeding the the birds

      Watching the sparrows and gulls scrambling over the bread I realised what I was really looking at was the Act party

      This really came home when a small lame sparrow tried to get at the bread, didn’t stand a chance as he was shoved out of the way by the other birds.

      Yes definitely the Act party as I realised the reason the lame sparrow was missing out was because of the life style he had chosen. The others were well and truly telling him to get out of the way as there was bread to be had.

    • greywarshark 8.3

      Hooton trying to sound like he is the next version of human evolution into Practical Efficient Type or PET.

  9. given that eion musk is developing uber-efficient batteries that will be able to be used to power houses..

    ..should we be arguing for the full privatisation of the power-companies..?

    ..while they still have some value..?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      given that eion musk is developing uber-efficient batteries that will be able to be used to power houses..

      Batteries don’t power anything as they don’t generate power – they store it.

      .should we be arguing for the full privatisation of the power-companies..?

      Nope. We’re going to get a lot more diversification in generation but we’ll still need the big power generators like hydro and geothermal to reliably power our manufacturies.

      • phillip ure 9.1.1

        yes..i know batteries store power..

        .r u not aware that one of the current (pun intended) problems with solar is the storage of the power..?

        ..are you able to join those two dots..?

        ..do u have a big enough crayon..?

        • Draco T Bastard

          .r u not aware that one of the current (pun intended) problems with solar is the storage of the power..?

          Have you noticed that we’ve got some really big fucken lakes and geothermal fields that, um, store power?

          In NZ, because of our massive renewable generation plant, we don’t need batteries to store power.

          • phillip ure

            the fact of the matter is..

            ..if you can throw up some solar panels..and buy a battery..

            ..and wave good bye to the power companies..

            ,,become self-sufficient for no ongoing costs..

            ..it doesn’t matter how many lakes we have..

            ..what do you find so hard to understand about that..?

            ..do you think punters will stay paying the power companies out of loyalty..?

            ..why would they/you..?

            • Draco T Bastard

              if you can throw up some solar panels..and buy a battery..

              ..and wave good bye to the power companies..

              Yep, you can. Been able to do that for decades in fact. The big question is if that’s the best option for the community and I don’t believe it is. I don’t think it’s the best option for the individual either as it decreases their resilience.

              ,,become self-sufficient for no ongoing costs..

              And now you’ve become as delusional as a RWNJ. Of course there’s ongoing costs. Maintenance of the panels and wiring and necessary replacement when these things fail.

              .it doesn’t matter how many lakes we have..

              Yes it does because of that resilience that a community needs to be sustainable.

              ..what do you find so hard to understand about that..?

              I understand it but realise that what you postulate is only a small part of the whole and is thus an incorrect conclusion because it ignores everything else. It’s the same BS that’s driven neo-liberalism for the last 30+ years.

              ..do you think punters will stay paying the power companies out of loyalty..?

              Nope but that’s why I keep saying that it needs to be a government service and that it also needs to be explained to the people as being part of a whole rather than just at the overly simplistic, really bloody stupid, individualistic level.

              • Coffee Connoisseur

                “Nope but that’s why I keep saying that it needs to be a government service and that it also needs to be explained to the people as being part of a whole rather than just at the overly simplistic, really bloody stupid, individualistic level.”

                Dtb I agree with everything prior to this.
                It doesn’t necessarily need to be a government service that is simply one method of delivering a solution to the end users, Private enterprise is another. I would agree with you that something such as Hydro which is fully automated and likely requires minimal ongoing cost to produce power does not deliver the best outcomes by having it in the ownership of private enterprise. Likewise, I don’t think it needs to be explained to people as being part of the whole rather than at an individualistic level. People are individuals and continuously failing to acknowledge and accept this plays into the neo lii agenda every time.

                It should be approached from the opposite end and again should be brought back to system requirements.
                Who is the system for? People (All people).
                People need access to power.
                What is the best most optimal and most efficient way to get power to the people using the resources available.

                Everyone would like power delivered at the lowest cost possible.
                The answer is the same, but the rationale doesn’t give the Neolib privatization solution to automatically fill the void. It then simply becomes one option of many to solve the underlying requirement.

                If it can be shown that its is likely to be a higher cost solution to the end user over time then it simply isn’t the best solution and should be dismissed in favour of lower cost ones.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  It doesn’t necessarily need to be a government service that is simply one method of delivering a solution to the end users, Private enterprise is another.

                  Running it as a government service is the more efficient system due to the reduced complexity from the removal of competition and the decreased costs from the removal of profit.

                  People are individuals and continuously failing to acknowledge and accept this plays into the neo lii agenda every time.

                  I’m not ignoring that people are individuals, I’m pointing out that individualism ignores the fact that everything is part of the whole that is society.

  10. Chooky 10

    Rich cheats endorsed by the law….poor beneficiaries persecuted by the law

    Keiser Report on:

    ….”the plague of benefit cheats occupying positions of power. And whilst they sponge off the benefits of bank bailouts, free money, quantitative easing, zero percent interest rates, secret trade deals, privatizations and peerages, the rest of the population must pay for this free money world with being forced into ever dodgier investments

    ….also George Galloway about crowdfunding, peerages, blood money and UK politics.


  11. “..Pot Could Save Your Life: 4 Ways Cannabis is Good for Your Brain..

    ..It’s not just about getting high –

    – cannabis could save your life..”



  12. greywarshark 12

    The news has daily drama of the latest outbreak of something unpleasant or deadly. I was thinking that there is a known advantage to going to war – it is presented as defensive to prevent attack on the people, it gives an excuse for introducing martial or rigid controls, it makes people fearful and more pliable, and it allows jingoistic declarations of false concern about The People, and loud Defending ourselves against the Robber Invaders and Destructors of Our Way of Life.

    It used to be applied nationally. Now it is being applied internationally, in a larger callous, cold-blooded, calculated manner. And working reasonably successfully, any small blips will be surveilled and dealt to sooner or later. Meanwhile we live in a phoney war scenario with bold-faced, hard-eyed men (and women) who stride the boards of International Political Theatre wherever two or three get with others clever in improvisation performances. Where’s the reason, how to detect the motive for this crime drama? Look for the money? Or revenge, anger, pride, or all?

  13. ianmac 13

    “What is The Problem with a Universal Minimum Income?
    by Brian Easton ”
    An interesting discussion on this issue given the issue raised by Gareth Morgan (and Katherine Moody?) And did we know that Roger Douglas promised a Guaranteed Minimum Family Income?

    • rawshark-yeshe 13.1

      but he also promised GST of 20% and no other benefits at all !!

      ( sorry, ian .. haven’t read your link yet, I still have a knee-jerk reaction whenever Douglas’ name is mentioned !!)

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        Douglas brings you out in boils does he? Just raise a nice glass of water and dilute the acidic bodily effect. Don’t take to drinking alcohol or you might find not even a vat of the good stuff will make you forget and you’ll just become an alcoholic which will complete your metamorphosis from wonderful human into mindless consumer man/woman.

        • rawshark-yeshe

          thanks grey. don’t drink. have perfect Ph so no acid going on ! just remember the great harm he brought, and promised more of .. and it continues now via Mr Seeless et al in Epsom.

    • Naturesong 13.2

      Roger Douglas position is entirely consistant with Friedman and Hayek who both viewed a UBI as a necessary strut in the creation of the Great Society.

      A fair amount of mental gymnastics are used to ensure that the reason a UBI is required has nothing to do with social justice or fairness, and most definately is not a redistributive policy (it clearly is).

      Brian’s article is thought provoking, but I think the back of the envelope calculations too simple to describe how one would be implemented.
      For instance, the 60% tax rate he arrives at is based on the average wage, and assumes that all wages are the same. I think it gives an unrealistic impression of a UBI’s level of support, and the resultant buying power of people from different income brackets.
      While at the same time producing a tax rate that scares the shit out everyone.
      It’s missing a lot of context.

  14. Philip Ferguson 14

    Is science the liberator of humanity, or the tool of despots? Is the attempt to control the laws of nature the handmaiden of progress, or the suicidal act of ignorant fools? These are the kind of issues being raised today, as the world’s pressing demographic and environmental problems make more people ask whether progress is such a good thing. What answers can we come up with?

    Marxists support the unlimited growth of scientific knowledge and capacity. The dangers posed by the application of modern science arise from the nature of the societies in which it takes place not from the science itself. The system which dominates the globe – capitalism – is at best stagnant. Without the constraints this system imposes, the potential exists for fundamental scientific advances to be made and used for the good of us all. In opposition to the Marxist view, however, there is a growing belief among radical thinkers that humanity is inevitably threatened by technological and scientific advance. . .

    full at: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/science-capitalism-and-human-liberation/

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      That really is a bit of a silly piece.

      It is striking that support for Malthusianism has risen with each major economic recession since 1873. The argument that these recessions were caused by too many people soon looked ridiculous when economic expansion restarted and the population rose as well.

      With no recognition of the carrying capacity of the planet with and without fossil fuel energy, the writers are clearly in a dream land.

      Science and technology are today are largely the servants of human ambition, and human ambition today is dominated by corporate goals and corporate power.

      Think of the most dire problems facing societies around the world over the last decade. All of them could be solved with the science and technology of 10 years ago.

      Waiting for our civilisation to be dis-assembled by semi-intelligent nano-replicators is hardly something to look forward to.

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        Hear, hear my good man. A sterling piece of wisdom! And no kidding, I couldn’t agree more.

      • Murray Rawshark 14.1.2

        “Think of the most dire problems facing societies around the world over the last decade. All of them could be solved with the science and technology of 10 years ago.”

        Then the important question becomes “Why haven’t they been?” My answer is because capitalism does not have solving problems as its motivation. Many scientists that I know realise this, but keep working nonetheless. Science is a tool. It can be used better. What Mike Joy says about water, for example, could be taken seriously by FJK. Don’t blame Mike for the sins of John.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Then the important question becomes “Why haven’t they been?” My answer is because capitalism does not have solving problems as its motivation.

          Indeed. Solving problems is not very profitable, after all. As Bill Binney NSA whistleblower has said – the NSA has no intention of solving the preventing terrorism problem because you have to “keep the problem going in order to keep the money flowing.” Bigger budgets. More people. Larger empires.

          As an alternative example, let’s say a drug company has $100M in R&D funds to spend. It can choose to develop a new medicine which might, after a few doses, cure the disease. Or it can choose to develop a new medicine which helps patients control and suppress the symptoms – as long as they keep taking it every day for the rest of their lives.

          Which makes the business case with the better ROI?

  15. Philip Ferguson 15

    I guess there are a few people here old enough to remember the Muldoon years and the reactionary social-political legislation that got passed during that time. One of the key pieces was the Contraception, Sterilisation and Abortion Act of 1977, at the time one of the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the world.

    Under the previous Labour government there had been attempts, led by Labour MPs like Dr Wall, to restrict access to abortion and get the Auckland abortion clinic closed. Under Labour, there was a big police raid on the clinic and a prosecution, which thankfully failed.

    However, Muldoon was determined to see the job through and so the CSA was gotten on the books. With the closure of the Auckland clinic, Sisters Overseas Service (SOS) was set up to organise flights to Australia for women seeking terminations.

    Fortunately, those days are long gone and *in practice* the intentions of the CSA Act are happily violated every day of the week.

    However, the law remains on the book. There have been two Labour governments and two National governments since Muldoon and none of these four governments has done anything to take abortion out of the Crimes Act. Only the Greens seem interested in getting rid of the CSA Act.

    See, for instance: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/getting-abortion-out-of-the-crimes-act/

    See also, Fighting for the right to choose (review of Alison McCullock book): https://rdln.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/abortion-rights-in-new-zealand/


    • greywarshark 15.1

      @ Philip F
      There seems a reluctance by government of any colour to date to actually govern in tune with the needs of the people and the times. Their task, as they see it, is really just holding the fort while they get nice incomes, say and do some things that result in the loss of historical and useful knowledge, if they are UNACTs, do stuff or make contacts and friends that will help them, and if they are Labour get the lower class working more efficiently and eating healthy food with any medieval laws abolished.

      This while they are looking at the advance of the internet and reeling to keep up with the relentless pace of technology.

      Neither of them have much of a handle on what is being lost, or foregone, or substituted, or what changes wisely sought, and find it hard to even try to keep their heads up and swim in the rip that sweeps us all along. They don’t even ensure we can all swim in this sea bound country, which is a telling example of how our future is beginning to parallel our old colonial days.
      (In New Zealand’s early colonial history, so many settlers died while trying to cross rivers that drowning was known as “The New Zealand death”. Wikipedia Drowning)

  16. “..John Oliver Eviscerates Tobacco Industry Giants..”

    (ed:..this just confirms that it’s ok that jon stewart has gone/is retiring..

    ..his space in the pantheon is guaranteed..

    ..and a big thank-you! to him..

    ..but it’s ok..

    ..’cos now we have john oliver..)



  17. Clemgeopin 17

    A heart warming, mind enhancing, educative video and article about a nine year old transgender child:


    • Murray Rawshark 17.1

      I felt a tear when I watched that. Bullying at school must be terrible for him. He’s such a brave little guy and his parents seem great as well.

  18. Ron 18

    I am surprised at Andrew Little’s decision to install Shearer as the second opposition person on Parliamentary Intelligence Committee instead of including a Green MP
    I am not sure what is going on here but Shearer is probably the last person I would include on any committee. The fact that Key is applauding Little’s decision is indication indeed that its the wrong decision.
    If I had to choose anyone I can see no reason why Russell Norman could not have been selected He has a good knowledge on the subject and the fact that he is stepping down in June from leader would give him more time to dedicate to the committee.
    I will watch with interest to see what happens because of this deision

    • Puckish Rogue 18.1


      He’ll get more votes doing things like this rather than cuddling up to them

    • Murray Rawshark 18.2

      I’m not surprised. Labour thinks they are the whole of the opposition. As their voting record shows, they agree with FJK when it comes to secret squirrel powers. Norman might rock that boat and ask questions that would be uncomfortable for the consensus. Shearer won’t. Given his stance on mercenaries, he might actually suggest contracting squirrel work out to Serco or something equally inane.

    • music4menz 18.3

      It seems almost as though Andrew Little stitched this up in collusion with Key simply to shut out the Greens. This doesn’t bode well for future co-operation between Labour and the Greens and Key looks as though he is deliberately trying to drive a wedge between the two main opposition parties. His support for Andrew’s choice of Shearer as the 2nd opposition member of the committee and failure to inform the Greens about his decision indicates this might be so.

      • b waghorn 18.3.1

        The only thing I can draw from this move is that Mr Little is planning to get labour back up into the 40% territory come election time .

    • Draco T Bastard 18.4

      This just shows that we need another law ensuring that government committees have at least one person from each party on them.

      • b waghorn 18.4.1

        Any one would think we still live in a 1st past the post would every elected party should be in on over site of the spooks .

  19. rawshark-yeshe 19

    Rest in peace, Celia Lashle.

    Today we lose a deeply compassionate woman who effectively dedicated her life to improving the lives of others. RIP.


    • greywarshark 19.1

      Pancreatic cancer. Celia said it was too late to do anything. It is very hard to fix in that area of the body. Another good woman lost but not forgotten.
      This is about her professional life in the social services and prison.

      Over the last few years, Celia (“Ces”) Lashlie, through her outspoken and sometimes controversial rhetoric, has become a well-known and popular speaker on criminal justice issues in New Zealand. She is qualified to do so. Beginning her professional life in 1984 as a probation officer in Lower Hutt, she then joined the prison service and in December 1985 became the country’s first female prison officer to work in a male institution. Having served over three years at Wi Tako and Ohura Prisons, she then worked in a number of roles at Head Office in Wellington before being appointed General Manager of Christchurch Women’s Prison in 1996. She remained there until 1999 and in 2000-2001 was employed as Area Manager for Specialist Education Services in Nelson.

      The Journey to Prison is a collection of Ces Lashlie’s reflections and observations, based on her 15 years of experience with corrections in New Zealand.

      Here is a comment she put in reference to a prison worker being unlawfully prevented from running a check on an inmate.

      Celia Lashlie on August 3, 2013 at 05:24 said:
      What saddens me about this is the degree to which Corrections continue to develop their siege mentality in their interactions with the public and, as in Roger’s case, people who are doing their best to offer support to those in prison who want to make changes in their lives. Are there people in prison who are dangerous and/or who will do everything they can to smuggle in contraband? Yes. Are there people outside prison who are willing to try to smuggle contraband in and who in doing so, make the work of prison staff difficult and/or dangerous? Yes.

      That said, what we need to remember is that the ‘average’ person in prison is someone who has made a bad choice or who has been boxed into a corner by the life they were born into and who, given half a chance, will take any opportunity they are given to learn to live life differently. Corrections need to stop operating from the lowest common denominator in terms of their policies and procedures and need to remind themselves often about their oft-stated objective of the reduction of re-offending. Another way of saying that is perhaps that they perhaps need to get over themselves and get a grip.

    • weka 19.2

      Very sad. One of the most amazing NZers we’ve had.

      In a statement on her website, she says: “Late last year I slowly became unwell. The stress of the lifestyle I was living, the demands I made of myself, the demands other people made of me and expected to meet became too great and as 2014 closed I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that had spread to my liver,” she wrote on her website.

      “No treatment, no cure, only palliative care. I’d waited too long to look after myself and my body broke. It’s time to leave the work to others now.”

      She adds: “I’m now focused on the moments of magic that are appearing in front of me: The laughter of my grandchildren; a smile of a friend attempting to walk this journey with me and the pure beauty and strength of my adult children as they battle their anger, grief and sadness at what is happening to their beloved mother.”

      That says heaps about the culture that social justice activists work in. Honest and real until the end.


  20. Tracey 20

    the following piece addresses some convenient myths people perpetuate to enable them to feel comfortable in their indifference to the poor.

    sadly many of them wont bother to read it


  21. Tautoko Mangō Mata 22

    Here is an excerpt from the 2004 Report of the US Defense Science Board Task Force on
    Strategic Communication on causes of terrorism – commissioned by Rumsfeld.

    2.3 What is the Problem? Who Are We Dealing With? p 39, 40 of document (p 47,48 of pdf)
    “American direct intervention in the Muslim World has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the United States to single-digits in some Arab societies.
    • Muslims do not “hate our freedom,” but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states.
    • Thus when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy. Moreover, saying that “freedom is the future of the Middle East” is seen as patronizing, suggesting that Arabs are like the enslaved peoples of the old Communist World — but Muslims do not feel this way: they feel oppressed, but not enslaved.
    • Furthermore, in the eyes of Muslims, American occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq has not led to democracy there, but only more chaos and suffering. U.S. actions appear in contrast to be motivated by ulterior motives, and deliberately controlled in order to best serve American national interests at the expense of truly Muslim selfdetermination.”

    Exactly! So what has changed???

  22. Pascals bookie 24

    Now I can’t speak the veracity of any of this, and probably not worth getting too excited about until there are reactions or not, but worth being aware of in any case:

  23. Draco T Bastard 25

    World’s First 3D Printed Bicycle

    News: British bicycle brand Empire Cycles has collaborated with additive manufacturing company Renishaw to build the world’s first 3D-printed metal bike frame.

    Using a 3D printer developed by Renishaw to print metal parts, Empire Cycles has created a titanium alloy frame that is over a third lighter than a traditional frame, increasing design flexibility while reducing production costs.

    As I said earlier, 3D printing is set to radically change manufacturing. Economies of scale, already essentially non-existent, are set to be removed completely. Technology like this won’t be specialised to produce bicycles but be able to produce anything that fits within the printer which means that a manufactury won’t be limited to the demand for one item.

    This is the type of technology that the government needs to be developing ASAP so that we can return manufacturing to our shores and this kill our dependence upon trade making it possible to go to a steady state, sustainable economy.

    • “..his is the type of technology that the government needs to be developing ASAP so that we can return manufacturing to our shores and this kill our dependence upon trade making it possible to go to a steady state, sustainable economy..”

      + 1..

    • Lanthanide 25.2

      It’ll only be of significant use once several different metals are supported, and circuit boards can be printed.

      Until then, it’s going to remain pretty niche.

      • McFlock 25.2.1


        ISTR titanium is notoriusly difficult to work, so printing might be a go-er for it.

        The only thing that seemed to be missing from the article was how long it took to print – the 3d printers with plastic I’ve seen take fecking ages. I.e. you might make a mold with it, but the full production still needs the old injection molding to get volume in production.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The only thing that seemed to be missing from the article was how long it took to print – the 3d printers with plastic I’ve seen take fecking ages

          3D printers are slow but they’re also small and cheap which means to say you could have two or more for the same price and resources used for traditional manufacturing.

          I.e. you might make a mold with it, but the full production still needs the old injection molding to get volume in production.

          No molding was used in the production of that bicycle frame. The whole point is to remove that part of the process because it gets in the way of better design.

          • McFlock

            The bicycle frame is made of titanium. The amount of working eg on a CNC machine might be unfavourable compared to printing. High melting point and high strength make molding or working prohibitive.

            But aluminium, stock steel or plastic? Seriously, I could make 50 in the time it takes to print, one, minimum.

            Good for bespoke piece that would require good craft skills to create by hand, like templates, but not mass production.

            …Yet 🙂

            • Draco T Bastard

              But aluminium, stock steel or plastic? Seriously, I could make 50 in the time it takes to print, one, minimum.

              Sure, you could make them faster but I doubt 50 times faster but you couldn’t make them as strong and you’d be using a lot more materials. And 3D printing is getting better/faster all the time.

              It’s the future but it’s coming in now. If NZ wants to catch the wave then we need some massive R&D funded by government and the infrastructure also built by government and we need to start doing it now.

              • McFlock

                I was in a workshop for two hours and the 3d printer running on the bench had barely done an iphone case.

                In that time I could use one template to prepare, fill and clean 50 molds easily.

                Yes it’s improving all the time.

                But it’s not there yet, and probably not even close.

                How long did it take the printer to make a titanium bike frame? 1 hour? 1day? a week? The better part of a month? Unlessthey said, their ommission makes me suspicious

                • Lanthanide

                  The 3D printing can be done overnight though as well. So if you’re talking about a domestic situation, you can dial up the object you want and go to bed and have it done in the morning – or maybe tomorrow night when you get home from work.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I remember my sisters Commodore 64 back in the 1980s and how long it took to load a single program from tape. I also recall the dot-matrix printer that she had and how many minutes it used to take to print on page, in black & white, characters only.

                  I bring these up because nobody expected such device to stay that way and they didn’t. The same will be true of 3D printing. NZ can either be at the forefront of that revolution or the pauper tagging along behind. Now, I’m sure that National and probably Labour are happy with us being the pauper but I’m not.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Have a read of the links I put below.

                    Your analogy to computer software is flawed, because software isn’t a physical thing. Similarly a mechanical mechanism that transfers ink to paper can also be speed up by improving that mechanism.

                    The materials (plastics) used in 3D printers have physical properties, such as the temperature they need to be heated to, how strong they are, how fast they can be extruded, how long they take to cool etc, and these properties are innate limitations of the materials.

                    Making something that melts at a lower tempature and is easy to extrude, will likely make it weaker. It’s difficult to get all desirable properties at once.

                    “Now, I’m sure that National and probably Labour are happy with us being the pauper but I’m not.”

                    Well it’s a free market. You could go start up your own 3D printing company yourself and drive this innovation that you seem to think is so inevitable and easy.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Your analogy to computer software is flawed, because software isn’t a physical thing.

                      At no point did I use a computer software analogy.

                      The materials (plastics) used in 3D printers have physical properties, such as the temperature they need to be heated to, how strong they are, how fast they can be extruded, how long they take to cool etc, and these properties are innate limitations of the materials.

                      This may come as a surprise but modern printers all use a great deal of heat. The head of an inkjet printer has internal temperatures of 900c. The paper needs to be strong enough to be rushed through the rollers without being torn apart but not too thick that it impedes the process. And the paper itself is also heated. These stresses have all been overcome and are being improved upon.

                      Well it’s a free market.

                      No it’s not – it’s owned by the rich and they don’t want competition which is why they’ve driven government out of innovation.

                      You could go start up your own 3D printing company yourself and drive this innovation that you seem to think is so inevitable and easy.

                      1. At no point have I said it would be easy. In fact, I’ve said it would take a great deal of R&D
                      2. In NZ the government is the only entity that can support the 50+ year career paths that would produce the necessary innovation

        • Lanthanide

          The most likely course for disruptive 3D printing, at least in the medium term, isn’t a printer in everyone’s house, but a local print shop that have multiple high-spec machines. You take your designs to them (or email them), and they print them up for you, then you go collect them yourself. They could also offer modelling design services – like print shops do where they can design brochures etc for you as well as print them.

          The fact is that at the moment, 3D printing is only of benefit for bespoke 1-off pieces. Mass production and shipping the resultant product is still far cheaper than 3D printing, especially as the materials that can be 3D printed are very limited compared to what is available with traditional methods. There are very few things that 3D printing can achieve better than traditional methods (again, excepting prototyping and 1-off or small job lots).

          A lot of people imagine that everyone is going to want a 3D printer in their house so they can print out new objects whenever they want. But that’s frankly unrealistic – to get a decent quality machine that can do very fine, accurate details, at a decent speed, is still very expensive. How many pure high-density plastic objects do you actually have in your house / use on a day to day basis? Even the humble ballpoint pen has metal in it that can’t be done by a 3D printer. Then, would you spend $800 on a 3D printer to make these things once in a blue moon, or do you just go down to the Warehouse and buy what it is you need for $20?

          Also 3D modelling to create brand new pieces that are strong and fit-for-purpose is a technical skill that takes time and effort to learn to do properly. 3D scanners help when it comes to copying things, but then you also have to buy a 3D scanner and from what I understand, most scanners have pretty low resolution which requires the model to be cleaned up afterwards anyway.

          There’s a lot of hype around 3D printing, but even at the rate of progress that is being made, it seems unlikely that it is going to revolutionise the world the way a lot of the evangelists are claiming that it will.

          Source – my BF has been fairly involved in 3D printing and industrial mass production.

          • Draco T Bastard

            There are very few things that 3D printing can achieve better than traditional methods (again, excepting prototyping and 1-off or small job lots).

            From the first link I gave you:

            “General Electric (GE) is set to generate 100,000 jet fuel injector nozzles in the near future,” says Wilhelm Meiners from the Frauenhofer Institute for Laser Technology. “That is a mass production to be reckoned in the realm of jet engine construction.”

            That’s not a one off and, as with the bike, they’re better, stronger and lighter.

            A lot of people imagine that everyone is going to want a 3D printer in their house so they can print out new objects whenever they want.

            Yep, that’s basically a stupid idea same with having a normal printer in every house. Much better to have dedicated printing services.

            Also 3D modelling to create brand new pieces that are strong and fit-for-purpose is a technical skill that takes time and effort to learn to do properly.

            Getting so that even that’s not needed. From the bike link:

            What is topological optimisation?

            From the Greek word for place, “topo”, topological optimisation software is the term given to programs that are used to determine the “logical place” for material – normally using iterative steps and finite element analysis. Material is removed from areas of low stress until a design optimised for load bearing is evolved. The resulting model is both light (due to the low volume) and strong. The historical challenge in manufacturing these shapes can now be overcome with additive manufacturing, enabling physical 3D models to be realised.

            So, 3D model the shape and size that you want, put in the strength that you want, hit the go button and the software works it out.

            • Lanthanide

              “That’s not a one off and, as with the bike, they’re better, stronger and lighter.”

              It’s also a very specific niche product, and it isn’t being sold to consumers. Are we going to see 3D printed hair combs? Laundy hampers? Rubbish bins? Or are all of those things so cheap to make using existing methods that there’s no need to 3D print them?

              “Yep, that’s basically a stupid idea same with having a normal printer in every house. Much better to have dedicated printing services.”

              Have a look around your room right now, and see how many things you have that are purely plastic and don’t have metal components or electronics in them. The only thing I can see from where I’m sitting in my lounge, at my desk, is a hair comb. I can buy one of them for $1 from a shop. Oh, and I guess some curtain hooks; $1.49 for a pack of 50 from The Warehouse.

              “Getting so that even that’s not needed. From the bike link:”

              Now that software I wasn’t aware of. But I’d suggest that that software is probably pretty expensive; yet another cost barrier to adoption by the home user.

              Some counter-articles:

              “The technology has applications in healthcare, construction and manufacturing, but is unlikely to be suitable as a household product beyond small, novelty printers which may be fun to print out gifts or designs, but no more than that.”

              “3D printing is severely overhyped — and I should know, because it’s what I do for a living.”

              “Consumer 3D Printing More than 5 Years Away from Mainstream Adoption, Says Gartner”

              • Draco T Bastard

                It’s also a very specific niche product, and it isn’t being sold to consumers.

                And that’s where it’s going to start off and get the development going. Same as ICs got a boost from the US space program because they needed lighter and faster computers.

                Have a look around your room right now, and see how many things you have that are purely plastic and don’t have metal components or electronics in them.

                I was actually agreeing with you.

                But I’d suggest that that software is probably pretty expensive; yet another cost barrier to adoption by the home user.

                But again, it doesn’t get bought by the consumers but by the dedicated printing services. The consumer use it free as part of the service.

            • McFlock

              The thing about jet fuel injector nozzles is that they work in an extremely hostile environment of temperature and pressure fluctuations. So they probably involve some extremely durable materials which have a difficulty in working with that corresponds to their durability.

              Other similar products that might be effectively printed now include rocket combustion chambers and nozzles, submarine hulls, tank hulls, boat propellors, etc.

              But easily-worked materials will take quite some time to become 3d-viable on a mass scale. If only because all the plastic is bunged into a mold at once, rather than in 0.5mm layers.

      • Draco T Bastard 25.2.2

        That’s what R&D is for – to make it so that more manufacturing can be done this way.


        I really don’t think that different materials are that much of an barrier.

        As for circuit boards. I’m sure those really aren’t that far away but I’d be looking more to fibre optics between components rather than copper.

        • McFlock

          still need a power bus. Might as well use it for data.

          • Draco T Bastard


            That said it would probably still be better to use copper as it wastes less power but that copper could be in the form of wires rather than a board.

            • McFlock

              the reason a board is used is that it’s quicker and easier than wires.

              • Draco T Bastard

                When you’re talking about hundreds of connections sure but when you’re only talking about three then maybe not. It would depend upon the device, the design and if it was put together by a person or by machine (and I think no device should have a person go near it during manufacture) if you continued to use a board or not.

                • McFlock

                  well, you need some manner of frame for all the components. boardseems reasonable.

                  So then you have the relative functions of speed and efficiency of production against the durability of circuit on the board or via wires. But wire durability could be increased by encasing the entire thing in some sort of thermoconducting resin to suck heat to the heatsinks.

                  Basically, there might be an intersection point where 3d printing overtakes conventional mass production, but I don’t think we’re that close to it yet.

  24. McFlock 26

    So Key addressed first-years at Otago Uni.

    The photo looks like he enthralled the crowd.

    The other thing that comes to mind is that if he’d studied the humanities rather than commerce (for the money), he might have known that calling his state house “infamous” implied that it was a negative thing that he was ashamed of.

    Really, it’s the house that should be ashamed of him.

    • marty mars 26.1


      “The other lesson was ”education is the only thing they can’t take off you”, he said.”

      oh dear – what about principles, beliefs, morals, courage – got to have them first i spose

      • Draco T Bastard 26.1.1

        And yet National is working very hard to make getting an education next to impossible for the majority of the population.

        • fisiani

          Your claim about National denying education is not substantiated


          Is the majority >50% in your dictionary? Do you understand impossible? Sorry to hear about your lack of education. There are remedial classes.
          Record achievements in education are being achieved year or year.

          • Draco T Bastard

            1. National Standards will lower education standards as teachers are forced to teach to the test rather than teaching children to be able to think critically.
            2. Making it so that people can’t go on to get their doctorates makes it harder to get an education.
            3. Charter Schools will, again, lower education standards.

            All of these National have done and they all make getting an education harder. The only thing that they’ve done which may help is to increase government funding of private schools which only helps a very, very small percentage of the population. Everyone else is being screwed.

      • weka 26.1.2

        Education is very useful when there aren’t enought jobs to go around.

    • RedBaronCV 26.2

      Notice it was only first years. second and others labouring under student debt are unlikely to be so passive.

    • weka 26.3

      lolz, great photo, would make a good caption contest post.

  25. Anne 27

    One to the left of us and one to the right. It’s looking better for the farmers next week.


  26. fisiani 28

    The war on the poor???????
    Insulation of over 200,000 homes
    increased access to GPs
    free GP care for under 13’s coming soon
    an intensive campaign to reduce rheumatic fever
    boosted budgeting advisory services
    low cost procurement of household essentials like washing machines
    low interest loans to combat loan sharks
    partnering with charities providing food and clothing to poor children
    home visitation programmes like Early Start
    extended income-related rents to non-government social housing
    Whanau Ora
    Which of these is war on the poor?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 28.1

      Employment law.

    • sabine 28.2

      0 hour contracts
      gst increase
      boarding up and not maintaining state houses
      not letting state house to people in need
      selling state houses
      Insualtion of over 200000 stathouse as promised by National ?



      quote : …….
      “Of the 68,386 houses under Housing New Zealand’s management, 30 percent have not been insulated. That is a dismal failure which shows National cannot be trusted to keep its promises,” Mrs Turei said.

      “National promised in its 2011 election manifesto that, ‘by the end of 2013, every state house built before 1978 that can be practically insulated, will be insulated’.”

      In answer to written questions, Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith said the Government hadn’t recorded the number of properties insulated, nor did it record among those it had failed to insulate, how many had received the alternative of ‘energy efficient interventions’.

      “Dr Nick Smith can’t quantity how many houses have had these alternative interventions, nor how much they cost. That is just unacceptable,” Mrs Turei said.

      and last but least
      A healthy contribution to your insulation costs
      The Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart grant (also known as an Energywise grant or EECA subsidy) can make a real difference to the cost of installing ceiling and underfloor insulation. It can cover a third of the costs of installing your insulation, up to a maximum of $1,300.

      Currently this money is available to any New Zealand homeowner with a property built before 2000, subject to a home visit and report by a registered insulation assessor. The insulation must then be installed by an approved installer and inspected afterwards to ensure it meets the required standards. The insulation subsidy simply comes off the installer’s bill.
      – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
      anyone who owned a property build before 2000 could apply….did you apply fisi? you poor bugger you?

    • Paul 28.3

      ‘Insulation of over 200,000 homes’
      That was the Green Party, fisi.

    • Clemgeopin 28.4

      Oh, fisiani, you idiot!

      First of all, that is a list you have simply COPIED from the K blog of the Penguin DFF, in the same manner that this cunning, BS of a pseudo ‘pretentious-socialists-for votes-and -deception’ RW rogue National/ACT government has COPIED and tinkered the social and economic policies of the last Labour government led by the brilliant and caring Helen Clark and Michael Cullen.

      This pro wealthy, pro capitalist government is an untrustworthy outfit fooling the gullible people and is led by Two Thickos, Key and Joyce, as exposed by their various corporate ‘deals’ over the years , including the current SkyCity fiasco.

      Don’t fall for their sweet talk and spin, dear fisiani, unless you are one of their RW rogues or just another simple numpty.

    • Colonial Rawshark 28.5

      Destroying NZ social housing system.

      You are involved on the war against the poor, Fisi. It’s a very bad look for you. Makes you look like an arsehole regurgitating runny shit for the 1%.

      • fisiani 28.5.1

        More money than ever will be spent on social housing

        • Lanthanide

          Yes, just like “more money than ever” will be spent on health this year too. But that doesn’t mean it’s enough money, or that it’s keeping up with inflation in the health sector or the increasing demand placed upon the sector by our aging and ailing population.

          I note that National rolled back Labour’s ban on fatty and sugary foods in school canteens as one of their first moves after the election, helping to ensure that the next generation on children will be fatter than their parents.

    • Lanthanide 28.6

      “increased access to GPs”

      You forgot increasing prescription fees from $3 to $5. Definitely war on the poor.

      That adds up when you’ve got to fill 5 prescriptions every 3 months.

      • fisiani 28.6.1

        So which of the items I listed constitutes a war on the poor? Your gripe of a $2 rise on a $40 medicine for the first time in ten years is pathetic.

        • Lanthanide

          “So which of the items I listed constitutes a war on the poor?”

          You’re missing the point, of course. It is all the items you failed to list that constitute a war on the poor, such as John Key lying and breaking his promise not to raise GST, by raising GST to 15%.

          “Your gripe of a $2 rise on a $40 medicine for the first time in ten years is pathetic.”

          And yet at the time the raise went ahead, there were numerous health providers and organisations that deal with lower income people (such as budgeting advice services) saying that although it didn’t seem like a lot, for some people the $2 price increase would be a big deal.

          It’s pretty telling that you just write these concerns off as “pathetic”.

        • felix


          It’s a $2 rise on a $3 medicine so millionaires like John Key can pay a bit less tax.

    • mac1 28.7

      No poverty, no homelessness?

      Fisiani, you didn’t read yesterday’s headline story in the Marlborough Express about these issues.

      Try today’s headline.


      Twenty people homeless in Blenheim. 2000 homeless in NZ at that rate. People who are sick, unwell, poor, unsupported, sleeping outside on pizza boxes for a mattress. Sleeping in a car.

      Which of these can you say is not a victim of the callousness of this government? We can all wait for a report to come out in July when the winter is at its worst. That will really house them warmly and well.


  27. Richard@Down South 29

    I was wondering if anyone experience with the ERA could give me some advice on a question I have in regards to wage negotiations (or lack of)

    • Clemgeopin 29.1

      Best to contact a lawyer or some Union office (if you are a union member) so that you can express your problem in detail and in confidence.

      Or, may be you should post here what is the ‘question you have’ and see if someone who knows may have an answer to your question.

    • Fire away if it’s suitable for posting here, Richard. I’ll happily give it a crack.

      • Richard@Down South 29.2.1

        I was wondering if an employer that pays minimum wage, after the minimum wage goes up, is required to negotiate in good faith, or can just say ‘im paying minimum wage, deal with it’

  28. Paul 30

    The Herald finds someone who supports the TPP.
    Ignores the many who don’t.



  29. Weepus beard 31

    Trevor Mallard really needs to be retired to pasture.

    He undermined Labour’s election campaign and now has stuck the knife into Celia Lashlie via Twitter upon her passing.

    Celia Lashlie not easy to work with…


    What a gross and conflicted human being he is.

    • weka 31.1

      Full tweet “Celia Lashlie not always easy to work with but a woman with a massive heart RIP”

    • If I read the thread correctly, Mallard quickly deleted it. I suppose that’s a small improvement on previous form. Ironically, I was talking with a friend earlier today about how disciplined the caucus seem under Little’s leadership and how it was ages since Mallard had put his foot in it. So it’s probably our fault for jinxing it.

    • Paul 31.3

      Does Mallard imbibe?

  30. Draco T Bastard 32

    10 Space Myths We Need to Stop Believing

    Number 8 has been pissing me off for about 30+ years and I fully agree with:

    More and more people are becoming less interested in space and that is a real shame because it truly is one of the most ambitious and important undertakings of mankind as a whole.

  31. greywarshark 33

    What is new this morning? An apparent quote that police will charge charities for the police checks on their volunteers they are required to get. And further that police have the right to charge something, in this case $5, for whatever they do not consider is their core business.

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