Open Mike 17/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 17th, 2017 - 58 comments
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58 comments on “Open Mike 17/03/2017”

  1. Morrissey 1

    If Boa Esporte get rid of this bloke, the ACT Party and/or Garth McVicar’s S.S. Trust would no doubt snap him up as a spokesman….

    https://www.balls.ie/football/brazilian-goalkeeper-murderer-361142

    • Antoine 1.1

      You have that exactly wrong. Those are anti-crime, not pro-crime, groups.

      A.

    • Siobhan 1.2

      Speaking of which, Maybe Garth should invite Stuart Nash aboard.
      Calling for prisoners to scalp a fellow inmate…bold statement from a member of the Labour Party, Spokesperson for Police, no less, not that Labour seem to mind. Certainly I would have thought that a call to gross violence would be a no-no. But then I’m not a member of the Labour Party.

      “Nash went on to suggest that a fellow inmate should scalp Smith.

      “Scalping is associated with American Indians but it was actually started by Europeans.

      “Perhaps someone in jail who isn’t too fond of monsters who destroy little boys[sic] lives by stealing their innocence in the worst way possible could reintroduce Mr Smith to the practise[sic].””

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=11820250

      • rhinocrates 1.2.1

        When is Nash going to realise that acting like a huge dick won’t give him one?

      • greywarshark 1.2.2

        That is on a par with another brutal and mindless comment that men tend to make and that is implying male rape when they talk about not dropping the soap in the shower apparently because you are vulnerable when you bend over to pick it up.

        Gloating over some miscreant and wishing them bad experiences is descending to their level, and if Nash did that then he should be kicked out of Labour. I thought it was considered at one time, or was it a commenter who felt that Gnashonal was his true home.

        • Sanctuary 1.2.2.1

          If an unrepentant and unreconstructed pedophile like Phillip John Smith was to meet a sticky and untimely end behind bars I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it. That fucker has no shame and no remorse. I’d be concerned that it indicated a wider failure of corrections to be able to control the prison system, but as for Smith, nah. To late mate. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

          And that, dear Standardistas, is where Mr. Nash comes in. His job is to innoculate Labour from the law and order brigade and charges of being namby-pamby liberals soft on the crims. Over on pundit.co.nz Andrew Geddis is suggesting Smith should lay a complaint under the harmful digital communications act. I think Smith should lay a complaint, and Andrew Geddis ought to act as his lawyer. Because having a loathed pedophile and well known ivory tower academic ganing up on a politician who is hardline on law and order is, my gentle friends, electoral paydirt, a vote winning bonanza for Nash and Labour that has the added benefit of shutting down any sort of attack on Labour from National and ACT.

          • Siobhan 1.2.2.1.1

            You do realise that there are all sorts of people in prison, for all sorts of crimes of varying consequence, even the very occasional white collar criminal, and that the majority of them will one day be walking the streets again.
            You think that letting prisons become some sort of Apocalypse Now Gulag or slaughter house, where anything goes, is going to churn out the kind of people you want in society?? You think we can ‘select’ from the outside which prisoners should get brutalised??
            Okey dokey, good luck with that. Taking Mexico, or Russia or Thailand or France or America as your prison model is not the path to a good nights sleep.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Sounds like a career criminal to me who should have had his residence dropped years ago.

    • Once was Tim now no longer 2.2

      INZ are only targeting ‘low value’ (money-wise) people at the moment. As one lawyer put it recently: “flushing the pool” . Flushing the pool so the whole shady system can carry on fleecing a new batch of people.
      It’s all very reminiscent of dawn raids after car assembly went into decline.
      They have to keep all those Private Tertiary Institutions, immigration ‘consultants’ running on black money, and below minimum wage employers running after all.
      Damn sight cheaper than properly resourcing the Labour Inspectorate and INZ.
      Lie, bullshit and attract them here, fleece, then boot, rinse, start again
      (/sarc)

  2. locus 3

    Who wants environmental protection or health and social services when you can have a nice big army…

    The $54bn boost for the military is the biggest since Ronald Reagan’s presidency in the 1980s………. financed by cutting the Environmental Protection Agency by 31% (with the loss of more than 3,000 jobs), the state department by 28% and health and human services by 17.9%. The budget would eliminate completely the National Endowment for the Arts, legal services for the poor, low-income heating assistance and the AmeriCorps national service program established by Bill Clinton.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/16/donald-trump-immigration-budget-healthcare-plans-congress?CMP

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Poverty is one way to encourage people to join the armed forces. It’s been used for centuries to do so.

      • exkiwiforces 3.1.1

        Having work along side the yanks on operations and peacetime it show’s and they are the most poorly payed in western world. We aren’t allow to discuss our pay rates when we work along side them BTW that goes for the Kiwis as well. For example what my US counterpart makes in a year, I make in 6mths and that’s without deployment money.

    • millsy 3.2

      Well, so much for Trump’s promises to not go to war all the time.

      And it seems that his agenda is very much to reduce the size of of then US government to pre civil war levels.

      • mauī 3.2.1

        He seems to be doing a reasonable job on his campaign promises, one of which was reducing involvement in wars.

        • Robert Glennie 3.2.1.1

          I can’t stand Trump, but he seems to be at least in Europe telling N.A.T.O. allies to take more responsibility for their own defence. In that sense it is fair enough as the first priority of any nation is to protect their civilian population from attack by another country.

          In saying that though, in some respects Trump is ratcheting UP the pressure on other nations, such as China, Iran and North Korea.

          In the case of China, I think Trump has been winding up Beijing. Whilst billions of dollars in trade shall continue to flow between the countries, what if things got so bad that one or the other slapped an export ban on all but their largest exports? That would rock the markets.

          Unless I have missed something Trump is not keen on the nuclear deal that got hammered out in 2015. And that should bother people massively, because in doing so, he is in effect sanctioning Bibi’s poisonous anti-Iran rhetoric and giving the Ayatollahs munitions in a propaganda war that they simply do not deserve.

        • joe90 3.2.1.2

          ,

          one of which was reducing involvement in wars

          .

          A return to hard power with a $54 billion increase in defence spending, cuts to diplomacy and foreign aid, bombs, lots of bombs, and a ramping up of covert drone strikes is reasonable?.

          The weeklong blitz in Yemen eclipsed the annual bombing total for any year during Obama’s presidency. Under the previous administration, approval for strikes came only after slow-moving policy discussions, with senior officials required to sign off on any action. The Trump administration has proven much quicker at green-lighting attacks.

          google cache

          WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has given the Central Intelligence Agency secret new authority to conduct drone strikes against suspected terrorists, U.S. officials said, changing the Obama administration’s policy of limiting the spy agency’s paramilitary role and reopening a turf war between the agency and the Pentagon.

          […]

          The Obama administration put the military in charge of pulling the trigger to promote transparency and accountability. The CIA, which operates under covert authorities, wasn’t required to disclose the number of suspected terrorists or civilian bystanders it killed in drone strikes. The Pentagon, however, must publicly report most airstrikes.

          http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-gives-cia-new-authority-to-direct-drone-strikes-on-terrorists-2017-03-13

          • mauī 3.2.1.2.1

            Let’s have some context on Yemen before we blame it all on Trump.

            http://therealnews.com/t2/story:18582:Trump-Admin.-Moves-from-Direct-Support-to-Direct-Bombing-in-Yemen

            The U.S. has been supplying the weapons, the logistics, giving all sorts of support to the Saudis, in a bombing campaign that has left over 10,000 Yemenis killed. But even more than that, it caused a catastrophe that according to the UN has left seven million Yemenis not knowing where their next meal will be coming from.

            That’s before even Trump was in office. But I do agree Trump is getting the US more involved which is not good for anyone, and goes against what he said while campaigning.

            Benjamin has also pointed out before that Obama increased the number of drone strikes by 8 times since George Bush. Making him out as “holier than thou” is very problematic.

            • joe90 3.2.1.2.1.1

              Yes, let’s have some context – him and his mob plan to finance their hard power, and push defence beyond the current 20% of federal spending, by slashing funding for science, the environment, climate research, art, public broadcasting, national parks, healthcare, public health, education, meals on wheels, school lunches, low income housing, occupational health and safety, public transport, oversight of banking and finance, regional assistance, economic development, etc, etc,…
              /

              https://newrepublic.com/minutes/141394/meet-mick-mulvaney-trump-goon-wants-poor-kids-go-hungry

              https://qz.com/933398/in-donald-trumps-america-first-budget-the-american-military-comes-first/

              Oh, and more context…

              Fun Fact: Trump's Budget could save most of the programs and services for arts, poor and elderly if he and his family lived in the WH only.— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) March 16, 2017

              edit: more context

              https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7EEq9iWoAAl20y.jpg

              • Yep he is going to make sure the military are beholden – that’ll sway some of them on the day of reckoning – the day that they chose who they are.

            • Sabine 3.2.1.2.1.2

              according to this your Peace bringing Tumps is doing that

              https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/25604-drone-strikes-up-432-percent-under-donald-trump

              Quote:
              As reported by Micah Zenko:

              During President Obama’s two terms in office, he approved 542 such targeted strikes in 2,920 days — one every 5.4 days. From his inauguration through today, President Trump had approved at least 36 drone strikes or raids in 45 days — one every 1.25 day

              snip

              Here’s the story as told by Foreign Policy online on March 9:

              After a week of punishing airstrikes loosed on al Qaeda in Yemen that saw 40 targets go up in flames and smoke, American pilots took a breather the past two nights, watching the dust settle.

              The weeklong blitz in Yemen eclipsed the annual bombing total for any year during Obama’s presidency. Under the previous administration, approval for strikes came only after slow-moving policy discussions, with senior officials required to sign off on any action. The Trump administration has proven much quicker at green-lighting attacks.

              Of course, you can’t say President Trump has broken all his promises. After all, during a campaign appearance in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, candidate Trump swore (literally) that he would “Bomb the shit out of” the Islamic State (AKA ISIS). “I’d blow up every single inch, there would be nothing left. We’ll get Exxon to come in there and in two months … I’ll take the oil,” Trump boasted at that same event in November 2015.

              snip

              About a month after the deadly raid resulted in the death of a SEAL Team member, U.S. forces were back in the area, continuing the killing. Here’s the report according to Digital Journal:

              According to residents, U.S. forces carried out “indiscriminate shelling” of the area on March 2-3, killing numerous civilians, including Ahmed and Mohammed al-Khobze, two brothers, ages 10 and 12. Pentagon spokesperson Capt. Jeff Davis said U.S. forces carried out more than 30 strikes in 36 hours, exceeding the 32 confirmed drone strikes in Yemen all of last year. Over the past two years, U.S.-backed Saudi Arabian aerial bombardment has killed thousands of Yemeni civilians, with more than a third of Saudi attacks hitting civilian sites.

              then there is this

              http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-cia-power-drone-strikes-military-a7628561.html

              The CIA can now kill potential terror suspects with drone strikes after being granted new powers by President Donald Trump, according to a new report.

              The new authority – said to have been granted shortly after Mr Trump’s inauguration – takes drone strikes out of the sole control of the military, sparking fears about accountability.

              Under the drone policy of the Obama administration, the CIA could find a suspect, but the armed forces would carry out the actual strike.

              http://www.salon.com/2017/03/09/more-troops-in-syria-trump-orders/

              boots on the ground in syria

              http://peoplesvoice.ca/2017/03/16/us-puts-boots-on-the-ground/

              http://www.nationalreview.com/article/445801/donald-trump-syria-troop-deployments-regional-leverage

              http://observer.com/2017/03/dennis-kucinich-donald-trump-adds-troops-war-syria/

              but i am sure he is gonna follow up on his promise of beautiful healthcare for all, school choice for all, investment into infrastructure, job creation and the likes, o hang on, no he does not.

              He gave to the military, he gave to the customs and immigration, and he is making sure that the US Americans are going to be paying for his beautiful wall. Yeah, right.

              You know, at some stage one stops to listen to the blahblahbalh that comes out of Trumps bloated face, but one rather pays attention to what Trump and his enablers in Congress and Senate are actually doing.
              And as always Digby says it the best
              http://digbysblog.blogspot.co.nz/2017/03/trumps-american-carnage-agenda.html
              ” That’s right, we’re spending millions to ferry that asshole back and forth to Florida every week-end and millions more to keep his super model wife at arms length in his golden tower in New York. But they’re going to starve old people and kids. Literally. ”

              Cause meals on wheels and heating assistance to poor and low income people only created dependence and if they want a warm bed and three square meals they just join the Armed Forces and for sure they will never be used in an actually war.
              Bless yer little cotton socks.

            • joe90 3.2.1.2.1.3

              Context.
              /

              A suspected U.S missile strike hit a mosque full of 300 people tonight in Al-Jinah, west #Aleppo.57+ killed so far.#Syria pic.twitter.com/EwjDF0frm5— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) March 16, 2017

              • mauī

                Yes context. Syria, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen are wrecked countries with millions of lives affected and a Democrat president presided over a lot of the destruction. But hey let’s blame it all on the Donald.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  We’re not blaming it all on The Donald – we’re blaming the upramp of bombing under his presidency on him and that’s all because that is his responsibility.

                  As for those countries – The US spent decades destroying them so that they could loot them.

                  • Sabine

                    The US has only one export really, death and destruction. and now its Trump turn. And that is what a lot of us have always said, and it is what he is doing now.
                    No more blaming this or that, time to own this shit.
                    And for what its worth, he was always quite vocal about what he was gonna do. He actually spoke about it, but i guess no one wanted to hear this, and besides, emails, and she devil who will start world war three, despite the fact that we have yet to finish world war 1.

  3. locus 4

    if you have a spare 40 minutes, Fareed Zakaria’s documentary on Putin is well worth watching if you want a different picture than the one crafted by Kremlin controlled media

  4. Ad 5

    As Chinese reliance on foreign oil imports increases, news that the China Investment Corporation and China National Petroleum Corporation is preparing to take a majority stake in Aramco:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-16/china-saudis-said-to-discuss-cic-cnpc-investment-in-aramco-ipo-j0bynknm

    Did I just feel the world tilt a fraction?

  5. joe90 6

    AIPAC, Israel’s national strategic asset, financed the hate machine.

    But AIPAC has done more than just tolerate the U.S. tilt toward extreme and often xenophobic views. Newly released tax filings show that the country’s biggest pro-Israel group financially contributed to the Center for Security Policy, the think-tank that played a pivotal role in engineering the Trump administration’s efforts to impose a ban on Muslim immigration.

    http://lobelog.com/aipac-gave-60k-to-architect-of-trumps-muslim-ban/

  6. Bill 7

    Looks like Teresa May just made a howler of a Freudian slip. In rejecting any talk about a second independence referendum for Scotland, she elevated the need for a focus on BREXIT talks with the EU, but said…

    To be talking about an independence referendum would, I think, make it more difficult for us to get the right deal for Scotland and the right deal for the UK.

    Hardly the words of a unionist to be separating one country out from the union, now, is it? Any unionist worth their salt would have quite naturally – effortlessly – said something like “the right deal for Scotland and the right deal for the rest of the UK”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/16/may-sets-up-battle-with-sturgeon-as-she-rejects-referendum-demand

  7. Andre 8

    One pollie tells another how it is with renewable energy. Normally I’m just meh watching pollies grandstanding, but this is just gorgeous.

    https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/03/south-australias-premier-just-ripped-the-federal-government-a-new-one-on-renewable-energy/

  8. Red Hand 9

    High tourist numbers are outpacing the necessary infrastructure according to this article.
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-16/americans-sleep-in-maori-hall-as-tourists-overwhelm-new-zealand

    Business and other personal travel was the second top export after dairy products to June last year.
    https://www.nzte.govt.nz/en/invest/statistics/

    Tourist arrivals increased each year under this National government, with Key as minister. National is still promoting an industry full of low value low wage jobs. http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/tourist-arrivals

    Another reason to change the government. Labour for example is committed to a productive and innovative economy with high value high wage jobs.
    https://www.labourparty.org.nz/sites/default/files/New%20Zealand%20%20Labour%20Party%20Policy%20Platform.pdf

    • greywarshark 9.1

      High value, high wage jobs. Oh yeah. Probably all in the computer industry.

      Exactly what have you in mind to ensure that there are the hv-hw jobs Labour? Lovely talking point, but the reality is in the middle of the Pass the Parcel game. Every election and sometimes between we get to take another layer off, I wonder what will be in the centre at the finish, probably a defunct smartphone with dud batteries and none made currently that will fit. That’s what suckers like us in NZ get.

      Went to hear Gareth Morgan last night. He isn’t planning any smart government intervention to aid employment. Just adjust the crazy setting of the market and she’ll be right.

      Can’t get things right the first time with a new initiative, the second time – nah?, the third time – what was it that we were trying to achieve last time?

      The fourth time – oh that’s old hat now things will be different in the future, more flexible, changing with new vistas opening up that we haven’t even thought of yet. But people are almost starving, sleeping in the streets! Well that is progress isn’t it, there is always a fall out and it takes time for the economy to adjust and to retrain new people, and let’s face it some of those on the streets can’t even write, so how can they expect to find employment, etc etc.

    • Red Hand 9.2

      The Tourist industry is thriving, so there should be room for better wages.
      Labour’s intention to promote collective bargaining and guarantee unions a voice would be worth a try don’t you think ?

      • Graeme 9.2.1

        Yeah, we’re “thriving” if you just look at the metric of visitor numbers. But these are generally low yield visitors and / or markets that externalise their costs to the resident population. Often the profitability, and ability to pay any wages, let alone decent wages, is just not there.

        A change in focus from greater numbers towards greater profitability would do a lot for the sustainability of our tourist industry. But that doesn’t seem to be the Nat way, just more and more of everything at decreasing returns until the whole thing goes tits up…..

  9. Carolyn_nth 10

    Eye-opener. Special investigation by Ruby Joy, on The Daily Blog.

    Bunnings car parks are welcoming (or at least don’t stop it) to people living in cars staying over night. It seems quite a big thing, with many homeless workers with vehicles using the carparks at night.

    • McFlock 10.1

      Of course they do. It means their staff don’t have an excuse to be late.

    • Macro 10.2

      If only Bunnings were more respectful of their staff needs as well!
      In Aussie the shop in Rockingham WA is enormous. It is almost completely “off grid” with solar panels, wind turbines, and massive rain water tanks. No plastic bags!
      So some green washing there I guess – but better than nothing.
      Good that they are showing some social responsibility as well – but frankly there shouldn’t be any need in a country of plenty.
      At the other side of the pond (USA) the number of homeless is set to skyrocket (around 750,000) as the chump vindictively cuts funding.
      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/16/trump-budget-cut-eliminate-homelessness-agency

  10. mac1 11

    This has not yet been said today but Happy St Patrick’s Day to yez all from Mac1.

    I have been thinking about Patrick’s life. What generosity of spirit and of forgiveness to go back after being enslaved and convert the irish people to Christianity.

    Or was it his revenge?

  11. greywarshark 12

    marty mars
    Interesting piece by Chris Trotter on the Maori King and political moves.

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2017/03/the-maori-kings-over-mighty-subject.html

    • marty mars 12.1

      Thanks grey

      “This unprecedented foray into electoral politics is reckless on at least two counts. First, the King’s disparaging reference to Mahuta’s current status betrays an inadequate grasp of the intricacies of Pakeha politics. Second, it assumes a willingness to be directed on the part of the voters of Hauraki-Waikato which may not, in practice, extend anything like as far as the polling booth.”

      seems like both his points are completely subjective to me – chris wouldn’t know, let alone understand any long term goal the King may have – why would he – he just gets access to the little tiny wee dribble that goes public.

      “Clearly, Morgan is convinced that the outcome of this second attempt to establish dual sovereignties within a single, unitary state will turn out very differently from the first. Moreover, he has been successful in persuading the Maori King to test his hypothesis.”

      no there is no clearly at all – just the chris lens of interpretation which sadly for him has no discerning ability when confronted with Māori politics. So anything which moves us (imo or someones I respect) towards tino rangatiratanga is GOOD – will it work – not if the powers that be are against it which they are – does that mean we give up – nope that is NEVER going to happen.

      “The Labour Leader, Andrew Little, and Labour’s Maori caucus, are betting that Maori voters on both the Maori and General electoral rolls are nowhere near ready to indulge the Maori Party President’s political fantasies to this extent. They are convinced that if the choice presented to Maori voters is between restarting the Land Wars of the Nineteenth Century, and winning improved access to employment, housing, education and health services in the Twenty-First, then they will opt, overwhelmingly, for the latter.”

      and this is why chris has no mana when it comes to this type of analysis – it is restart the land wars or improved access to stuff. Yeah nah chris your crayon style of understanding just serves you and those like you and this is known.

  12. Carolyn_nth 13

    YesWeCareNZ is campaigning for better health services in NZ, with a focus on this year’s election. They have various unions on board.

    They are doing a road show through NZ throughout March to collect people’s stories about how our health service is working.

    There’s about 10 videos of these stories on Youtube so far:

  13. Bill 14

    A five minute read. Well written and basically on point. (Boil the jug and sit yourself down)

    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/03/new-zealand-neoliberalism-inequality-welfare-state-tax-haven/

  14. Cinny 15

    It appears that Oravida would like to thank Nick Smith for the free water with a $50k donation to the National Party.

  15. dv 16

    See that ORAVITA ARE paying for the water.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11820377
    50k donation to the Nats

  16. mac1 17

    Today is St Patrick’s Day, the patron saint of Ireland, but countries and social movements can have their own patron saints, founders and heroes.

    The Marginal Mennonite Society page on Facebook has a series of religious and social activists who may well be admired for their being in that pantheon of saints and heroes. The MMS posts regularly and most welcomely on my Facebook.

    The latest post which inspired me to mention this on The Standard is the life of Bayard Rustin, a black, gay, pacifist, socialist, civil rights activist who died in 1987 aged 75.

    His life resonates at so many levels for me when you read about him and his life and times.

    Wikipedia has a fine article on Bayard Rustin who was born today in 1912. Inspiring stuff!

  17. Graeme 18

    WTF is going on at Fletcher Building?

    https://www.nbr.co.nz/article/fletcher-building-trading-halt-pending-review-construction-unit-b-200806

    There appears to be more under lock & key at NBR if anyone’s got a sub.

  18. Kelly-Ned 19

    So because I am a person who is not persuaded completely you get to label me as lazy? Really? Very professional.

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

    • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1

      Nah, I think you’re lazy because you demand to be spoonfed that which is freely available, and then you reject anyone with a spoon.

  19. Petee 20

    A former GSCB employee responsible for drone strikes is now overseeing MSD’s big data focus on beneficiaries and rape victims.

    Anyone see a problem with this?

    State targets, state scapegoats.

    [lprent: No link. No reference to what you are talking about.

    Hectoring tone. Acting like a astroturfing troll pushing some kind of vindictive line.

    I have a problem with that. I will let this through as a topic. But you will have to do a lot better than that before I will let you off comment probation. ]

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