Open mike 17/12/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:24 am, December 17th, 2014 - 120 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

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

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

Step up to the mike …

120 comments on “Open mike 17/12/2014”

  1. Colonial Rawshark 1

    Great, the west has started financial world war 3 with Russia. And this week Obama is going to sign into law the provision of lethal US military aid to Ukraine. Which is the US way of provoking Russia into sending armoured columns into Ukraine. Because just as the US would not allow nuclear missiles with a 10 minute flight time to Washington DC to be based in Cuba, Russia is certainly not going to allow similar in Ukraine.

    • Philip Ferguson 1.1

      And at the time when the Russkies had nuke missiles in Cuba, the Yanks had nuclear missiles in Turkey and Italy pointed at Russia. Although the deal was mutual removal, when the Soviet leadership removed their missiles from Cuba, the US government (Kennedy) kept theirs in Turkey and Italy.

      When you’re imperialist top-dog you make up the rules to suit yourself, as in the days when Britannia ruled the waves and waived the rules.

      Phil

      • nadis 1.1.1

        This is a good view of how both sides see each other:

        http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/viewing-russia-inside#axzz3M3XjUDKd

        Not sure what conclusions I’d draw from it, apart from sanctions can destroy the russian economy but won’t necessarily effect any political change. The Russian economy is dire, I’ve seen people blabbing on about how insulated Russia will be bvecause of their foreign reserves – these have declined 20% in 2014, 10% in the last 3 weeks. Previous examples of currency collapse show you can burn through all those in a month if things get dire. The Ruble will trade at 200 within 3 months. Just rewind to 1998. Banks have stopped quoting on USDRUB – that is the start of the death spiral. While the fall in the ruble insulates somewhat against the fall in oil, every other import becomes unobtainable for the average Russian. The real problem in Russia is too much is being siphoned off by Putin and his cronies.

        http://www.bloomberg.com/video/ruble-implodes-is-it-1998-all-over-again-mD4759gESfG4QbugVxZAdQ.html

        The only real pressure point on Putin is more likely to come from his oligarch mates:

        http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000339649

        I suspect that is the bet the Americans and Germans are making.

        • Skinny 1.1.1.1

          Putin is a declared billionaire and will have plenty of undeclared cash/gold and assets also stashed away in foreign Countries. Russia revolves on corrupt practices, it’s normal.

          I have a Russian girlfriend that studied management here. Apart from being stunningly beautiful, smart & quick witted, she was from a wealthy family. I once questioned her about where the wealth came from and joked ” your old man isn’t involved with the Russian mafia is he.” she laughed and said “everyone is linked to the mafia and black market, how you think my parents come here to NZ once a year and me travel home or holiday in Europe every year, it’s part of our culture.” She invited me to go out for dinner with them next time they come over. Her mother was warm and bubbly, her father was reserved and serious and spent alot of time talking stern on his mobile phone. He was big and tall and had the straightest back I’ve ever seen. I asked her later after we dropped them at their motel, your dad looks like an army man, she laughed and replied ex army General who fought with honour in Afghanistan, he has lots of medals. She told me the ex army men just transferred the power they had to running businesses. Sounded more like racketeering to me.

          • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.1.1.1

            Do you think that the current decaying American empire is a match for a Russia led by people like your g/f’s family.

            • Skinny 1.1.1.1.1.1

              You just have to look at Putin for your answer, he make the rest of the World leaders look like pussy cats. Coupled with the Russian’s close assoiation with China and I’d say no match whatsoever CV.

          • greywarshark 1.1.1.1.2

            @ Skinny
            It’s what you do when there is the opportunity. This country was stripped of great public entities which were bought relatively cheaply by fast guys, when Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble got the wind in their sails. Serious money was made when they either resold them at a profit or built other aspects into them.

            As soon as neo lib came in NZ and some top private positions were created in the place of public, a new guy in Auckland was off overseas with his wife and I think they managed to find hotel rooms at $2,000 a night. It seemed like a triumphal blow out at the cost of the stupid what they seemed to view as the ordinary mass of yobboes in the street. Their mantra was, and is, government can’t do anything right. The greed-gatherers got drunk on power and opportunity here just as they have in Russia.

            • Skinny 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Yeah Fay & his side kick merchant banker partner duped the taxpayer. I remember Fay’s first lieutenant drunkenly boasting at my sisters wedding how well they had done out of asset stripping our railways. I physically had to restrain my brother (who was a loco driver & got sucked into taking transrail shares by smooth talking Preeble) from knocking him out. This clown turned up at the swanky reception with a young hussey in tow and his own bottles of Dom. His ex was there and he started making a right Charlie of himself harassing her. My other brother and myself done the honours grabbed champagne Charlie and through him in the pool to cool off, much to everyone’s laughter. He stormed off, jumped in his porsche, dropped a burnout down the road like a spoilt brat. Yes plenty of money grabbing happening in the 80’s.

        • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.1.2

          I’ve seen people blabbing on about how insulated Russia will be bvecause of their foreign reserves – these have declined 20% in 2014, 10% in the last 3 weeks. Previous examples of currency collapse show you can burn through all those in a month if things get dire.

          Pah! Russian gold reserves have been climbing steeply all through 2012-2013-2014, including record purchases in the last couple of months. Whatever inaccurate and propagandised sources you are reading, you should get new ones.

          http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-31/russian-banks-buy-1814-tons-gold-2013

          http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-19/gold-rises-after-unusual-russian-central-bank-gold-buying-announcement

          • nadis 1.1.1.2.1

            Russian gold reserves might be increasing but not their total reserves.

            I wouldn’t rely on ZeroHedge for great insight. “Tyler Durden” has been calling for a market correction in the S&P500 since about 1400, though he went remarkably quite around 1700. great gossip site but that’s what you’d expect from a convicted Bulgarian inside trader. His view on the world is always distinctly bearish – to paraphrase many others he has called about 35 of the last 2 market corrections. And he has a distinct political bias – which is fine, just correct for that.

            Russia has been a buyer of gold, latest data I can see (31/10/14 via IMF) is that their total reserves are USD416.2 billion, of which gold holdings are 37.575 million oz. At $1193 per/oz that gold is worth about $44.8 billion, so a bit more than 10% of reserves. A ton of gold sounds impressive but is “only” worth around US$38.7 mm. So a purchase of 77 tons of gold is ~3 billion. Not too significant in the scale of Russia’s reserves or in the daily turnover of gold trading – London bullion exchange clears around $18 billion of physical gold a day, then add in futures trading.

            Russia has around US$700 billion of foreign debt with 125 billion due in 2015 – that won’t roll over. Before the current turmoil the Russian govt was planning on spending 1.5 trillion rubles over the next 3 years, will be a lot more now.

            Just wait and see how this current ruble devaluation pans out – right now Russia is experiencing full on capital flight – when the dust settles we’ll see what position a) their reserves are in, b) domestic inflation, c) growth. I’m picking all 3 will be disastrous. Plenty of smarter people than me are seeing a bleak outlook.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Russia has all the energy in the world. It also has about 40% of the EU’s gas requirements.

                It just needs to wait things out and continue to work with the rest of the BRICS.

                Let’s see how things play out. My bet is Russia wins.

                • nadis

                  no your 40% number is incorrect. It’s 28% and the most dependent countries are the ex-soviet satellites.

                  http://www.vox.com/2014/7/25/5936521/why-europe-wont-punish-russia-in-one-map

                  I don’t think Russia will disappear, they’ve survived worse than this. The first link I put up today is a much more nuanced view of what might happen. But equally Russia won’t win either – fascist states never do, but they can lash out militarily.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Be careful who you are calling “fascist” – it is the declining US empire which is an amalgamation of corporate, financial, governmental and military power that lashes out internationally.

                    • nadis

                      If you do a checklist of the classical signs of a fascist state, no major nation ticks as many as Putin’s Russia.

                      The US has got a long way to decline. Russian GDP is now about $950 billion.

                      Here’s how that compares to some other entities:

                      State of North Rhine Westphalia $800 billion
                      City of Los Angeles $630 billion
                      City of New York $1.1 billion
                      Chicago+ Boston + Philadelphia $1.02 trillion
                      States of Washington + Maryland + Indiana$ 1 trillion
                      State of Texas 1.4 trillion

                      To really put it in perspective, Russian nominal GDP is now about 6 times larger than NZ.

                      Go Putin!

      • greywarshark 1.1.2

        @ Philip F
        Britannia ruled the waves and waived the rules.
        Very neat aphorism I think.

    • adam 1.2

      They already have the cash for this misadventure their CR. Or there reassurance fund.

      A back door to funding and a new term we may hear more of – The European Initiative.

      http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/12/11/16479/long-term-blank-check-war-spending?utm_source=email&utm_campaign=watchdog&utm_medium=publici-email&goal=0_ffd1d0160d-40abf15259-100020097&mc_cid=40abf15259&mc_eid=c346e018f7

  2. “..More Nails in the Drug War Coffin: Top Stories of 2014..

    ..There’s been so much going on with drug policy reform this year -’

    – it wouldn’t all fit in a ‘Top 10″ list..”

    (cont..)

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/drug-war-coffin-nails-top-stories-2014-0

    • (also of interest..is that ex-junkie russell brand has done a doco on drugs..

      ..that has been very well received..)

      “..This might be the only time almost all of Twitter agree with Russell Brand..

      ..This week has seen a social media turn-around for the star –

      – following the airing of BBC 3′s Russell Brand: End the Drugs War..”

      (cont..)

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/this-might-be-the-only-time-almost-all-of-twitter-agreed-with-russell-brand-9928057.html

      ‘cos unlike what some claim..my campaigning on this isn’t just because i want to smoke a joint..(i can do that already..eh..?..)

      ..it’s also because of my experience/history of having been addicted to heroin/cocaine/crack etc..

      ..that showed me that just about everything that is now done about ‘drugs’..is just so so wrong..on so so many levels..

      ..(and don’t get me started on that vile muck methadone..the ‘nazi-smack’..

      ..a textbook illustration/example of the maxim of the cure being worse than what it purports to heal..)

    • emergency mike 2.2

      Interested and encouraging list that Phil.

      Jebus, 105 opiate overdoses in the US per day

  3. karol 3

    Hard News top ten words of the year: “Dirty Politics” #1:

    #dirtypolitics is, of course, the hashtag version of Dirty Politics, the title of a book by screaming conspiracy theorist Nicky Hager, whose insistence on pursuing his rights has currently brought the entire New Zealand legal system to a halt. The aftermath of the book’s publication also gave rise to Whaledump (third) and Rawshark (eighth).

    “I can only suppose that a hacker has penetrated the special Google voting software,” said a near-comatose Brown. “I’ve asked Pete George to investigate.”

  4. Philip Ferguson 4

    Some Australian left-wing commentators on Sydney siege.

    On the first day: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/on-the-sydney-siege/

    On the day after: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/12/16/the-sydney-siege-the-day-after/

    And something the mainstream news media, for some reason, choose not to cover much at all; US drone strikes and how they kill 28 people for every one target: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/us-drones-target-one-murder-twenty-eight/

    Phil

    • vto 4.1

      Somebody should ask John Key’s view on his mates murdering 28 people for every 1 target …. drill down into it with Key ….

      Which is more important? 28 people in Pakistan, or 2 people in Sydney?

      • Manuka AOR 4.1.1

        Meanwhile, while the NZ pm is trying to spin the events as justification for enhanced surveillance, the Aus pm is noting the abject failure of their newly upgraded system.

        Despite multiple charges against him, obvious signs of instability, and calls from within his own community for his investigation, and he himself virtually jumping up and down saying “Pick Me! I’m going to do something!” – though “known to them”, the deranged loner was “Not on the appropriate watchlists”.

        “If I can be candid with you, that is the question that we were asking ourselves around the national security committee of the cabinet today,” Mr Abbott said.

        “How can someone who has had such a long and chequered history, not be on the appropriate watch lists, and how can someone like that be entirely at large in the community?”

        NSW Premier Mike Baird echoed this: “We are all outraged that this guy was on the street … the community has every right to feel upset. I’m incredibly upset,” he said.

        http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-martin-place-siege-gunman-was-known-to-asio-but-not-on-terror-watch-list-20141216-128hdj.html

      • @ vto..

        ..key has been quite open about how we help with the targeting of those drone attacks..

        ..those attacks in which 28 innocent men/women/children are slaughtered..

        ..for every ‘terrorist’ killed..

        ..his hands are drenched with/in the blood of these innocents..

        ..and as this is done by him in our name..

        ..so are ours..

        ..we..by siding with america..by actively helping in the execution of these killings..

        ..and by in general being such eager spear-carriers for america..

        ..we are also ‘the bad guys’..

      • greywarshark 4.1.3

        I was wondering if someone has worked out an Israeli body count rate of exchange. Perhaps 1 Israeli = 20 Palestinians, 5 houses, 2 olive groves, 1 school, and 1 hospital.
        It’s a tough world currency this balancing the political values for each side, though fairly stable in its extreme unfairness.

  5. (we need some of this to happen here..)

    “..Mom Calls C-SPAN To Scold Pundit Sons On Live TV..”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/16/mother-calls-cspan-to-yell-at-brothers-on-live-tv_n_6334652.html

  6. adam 6

    A list and explanation of roles of those responsible for the US breaking their own constitution and using torture.

    http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/12/12/15221/whos-responsible-cias-torture-policy?utm_source=email&utm_campaign=watchdog&utm_medium=publici-email&goal=0_ffd1d0160d-40abf15259-100020097&mc_cid=40abf15259&mc_eid=c346e018f7

    With more state house evictions coming soon – Let me keep reminding people – YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Neoliberalisms madness has infected the whole western world.

    http://libcom.org/news/protest-staves-eviction-liverpool-family-16122014

    I meant to put this up a few days ago – Asks some tough questions about health and our attitude towards that concept.

    http://libcom.org/blog/healthcare-only-tiny-part-health-13122014

    I know this is an old blog – but re-read this the other day – and found it very much on the money.

    http://libcom.org/library/dear-jamie-oliver

    • ianmac 6.1

      Watched all your links Adam. Pretty depressing stuff. No wonder people don’t want to know and skirt around the difficult stuff.

  7. mac1 7

    I’ve been listening to Mr Ludbrook, president of the Northland Fed farmers saying that because the deaths on quad bikes died of crushing injuries and not of head injuries, that the wearing of helmets should be a personal issue. This in response to a Marlborough couple getting $20,000 fines each for repeated refusal to wear quad bike helmets, purchasable for about $120.

    Surely the fact that people don’t die of head injuries is a tribute to the wearing of helmets? All those people who hit their heads on the ground, rocks, trees, posts etc have survived- great.

    Or is he saying that there are lots of people not wearing helmets and having accidents but their heads don’t get involved fatally?

    Or is he saying that the people who died of crushing injuries weren’t wearing helmets but got no head injury?

    Or they were wearing helmets but got no fatal head injury – which is what I’d expect if they wore helmets?

    It defies logic to argue that helmet wearing should be a personal issue because people who die on quad bikes die of crush injuries but didn’t get head injuries because they wore helmets.

    In other words, can he argue logically that the absence of death by head injury had nothing to do with helmets?

    I think the man is a libertarian fishing for arguments to not be forced to wear a helmet on a quad bike, especially when repeated refusals might cost the offender $20,000.

    He’s been on National radio, but the interviewer did not challenge his logic nor did the other side get an airing as to 1) why people should wear helmets on quad bikes, 2) why they should be compelled and 3). why a fine of $20,000 should apply and be awarded.

    Nor did the particular aspects of this case get discussed. In all fairness to the judge, the lawmakers, the enforcing agencies, the court system, farm employees, farming family members and the taxpayer, the issue should have been more widely discussed rather than only permit a muddled-thinking libertarian talk about being reasonable.

    • Rosie 7.1

      I didn’t hear the Ludbrook interview, just the news about the fines. I suspect their will be a RW backlash about the “unfairness” of the fines.

      My thought at the time was the couple had been warned several times about not wearing their helmets on their quad bikes, so they had plenty of opportunity to prevent receiving the fines. Why didn’t they comply? Serious question.

      The agriculture sector is up there for workplace injuries:

      http://www.dol.govt.nz/whss/statistics.asp

      and I seem to recall Helen Kelly from the CTU mentioning the highest rates for workplace death last year occurred in this sector, ahead of the forestry sector.

      So why would you want to chance it by not wearing Personal Protective Equipment? What do you have to lose by simply just putting your PPE on in the workplace, the farm? Your stubborn pride?

      • mac1 7.1.1

        My concern is not for those two fined but for workers and families in the industry.

        I was a farm worker for three years, and safety was an issue. I can imagine the 18 year old farm worker told by his non helmet wearing boss, or the child told by their non-helmet wearing mother or father, to get on the quad bike and go do a job. No helmet provided, no helmet available, and no expectation that a prudent person should wear one.

        The element of compulsion gives protection to the vulnerable. As it did with compulsory bike helmet use for our helmet wearing kids who longer got jeered at by the foolish but could quote the law and find safety with it.

        • Rosie 7.1.1.1

          “My concern is not for those two fined but for workers and families in the industry.”

          Absolutely mac1. It’s those with the responsibility for others safety (eg, boss, parent as above) that need to lead by example. It’s their duty to promote a safety culture.

          Too often in NZ, workplace H&S protocols are cynically referred to as tick box exercises. Too many times I’ve seen employers grudgingly and speedily go through an H&S procedure with a new employee without any thought for the reason or importance of it, and seem to miss the concept that they need to promote a safety culture not just for the sake of compliance but for safety itself.

          • Skinny 7.1.1.1.1

            Yes and with the regulator Work Safe being empowered the Bosses are all positioning the liability back on the workers, which is just typical.

            • b waghorn 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Once a boss tells a worker to were a helmet then surely it is up to the worker to do it , bosses cannot monitor there workers at all times.

      • b waghorn 7.1.2

        I think the fines are excessive a drink driver is far more dangerous and 3rd time offenders get $1000 fine

    • greywarshark 7.2

      mac1
      Talking about bike helmets, I was surprised at the fervent negative attitude of a man in a bike hiring business who says that his European customers won’t wear them. He talks about Netherlands where nobody wears helmets. They also have a very flat country and are more self centrolled and disciplined than we are in my opinion.
      I have heard others putting down helmets. Why do they think we now have them?
      Some men are just so narcissistic and self-centred that they have trouble obeying any rules and guidelines.

      • “.. Why do they think we now have them?..”

        control-freak/nanny-state gone mad..

        ..that’s why we ‘have them’..

        ..and far be it from me to speak for all men..

        ..but i think as many women wd oppose cycle-helmets as do men..

        ..helmet-hair is gender-neutral..

      • RedBaronCV 7.2.2

        No doubt the non helmet wearing promotors also expect the rest of us to pay their medical costs. Funny how individual choice is not equated with individual responsibility.

        • vto 7.2.2.1

          wear a helmet when you drive a car then – same argument exactly

          sheesh

          • northshoredoc 7.2.2.1.1

            How is it the same argument ?

            Surely a better but still not correct argument would be to wear a seat belt when you drive a car.

            • vto 7.2.2.1.1.1

              Do you recall the argument for forcing people on bikes to wear helmets? The number of head injuries in the average bike accident.

              How many people who have a car crash on the open road come out without head injuries?

              Same argument

              Wear a helmet when you drive a car.

              • batweka

                For that argument to have any weight you would have to provide stats and analysis on car accident head inuries that could be prevented by helmet wearing.

                • vto

                  Hey I aint a professor having to prove some thesis.

                  Try anecdote as a first step. Average open road car crash – how many without head injuries? I would suggest very few. Certainly more head injuries than non-head injuries. Makes the argument for car helmets more compelling than the argument for cycle helmets, actual ..

                  • batweka

                    “Try anecdote as a first step. Average open road car crash – how many without head injuries? I would suggest very few. Certainly more head injuries than non-head injuries. Makes the argument for car helmets more compelling than the argument for cycle helmets, actual..”

                    I think that prohibition laws are based on stats and risk vs benefit. So we don’t reduce the open road limit to 50km/hr because the lives lost at 100km are not worth the lots time if we all drove more slowly. In order to make that judgement for society as a whole, the numbers would have to be crunched.

                    Anecdata is fine in some situations, but in this case I really do think you’d have to compare head injuries preventable by helmets in cars and weight that up against other factors like moveability, head space, inconvenience etc.

                    If we really wanted to reduce head injuries in car accidents we would lower the speed limit and redesign roads and put check points outside every pub car park.

                    • vto

                      I think the only reason this hasn’t been attempted is the same sort of reason that alcohol is given a free run in our society – it would make too many people grumpy. Cyclists are a small group but car drivers are everyone.

                      I think the argument and the stats and facts would win but people don’t always like facts and stats, they prefer to stick head in sand, fingers in ears, and cry “nya nyah nyah – cant hear you…”

                    • batweka

                      The reason cyclists were made to wear helmets is because it was an easy thing to do with great benefit.

                      Ditto seat belts. And prohibiting cell phone use in cars.

                      Wearing a helmet in a car is not straight forward for a whole bunch of reasons, so it’s not as simple as saying it would be unpopular.

                    • vto

                      Not if the helmets were light like cycle helmets or slim and close fitting, or even made of glass so that sight is not obstructed……

                      Seems to be fine for motor-racing drivers and they need far more of those convenience things like manouervering (can never spell that word) and wide vision and quick physical actions than those of us dawdling around in Honda citys and Hillman avengers..

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Car Accident TBI

                      Over half of all reported traumatic brain injuries are the result of an automobile accident.

                      Bicycle Helmet Usage and Head Injury Prevention

                      Each year over 600,000 people are treated in emergency departments (EDs) for bicycle-related injuries and 824 die from this type of injury. Head injury is the most common cause of death and serious disability in bicycle-related crashes; head injuries are involved in about 60 percent of the deaths, and 30 percent of the bicycle-related ED visits.

                      Of course, the reason why we’re seeing airbags in cars is because people would refuse to wear helmets in them.

                    • @ weka..

                      “..Wearing a helmet in a car is not straight forward for a whole bunch of reasons,..”

                      cd u give us a couple of those reasons..?

                      ..’cos following yr logic around cycle-helmets..

                      ..the case for car-driver helmets is compelling..

                      ..(especially if you are going to be driving over 50 k per hr…

                      ..now there’s a policy..!..target the speedsters..!..)

                • i think we should all have to wear big rubber/foam-rings..

                  ..around our waists..

                  ..all the time..

                  ..then we wd be at no risk of bumping into each other..

                  ..why should everyone else have to pay for those injuries..?

                  ..when universal rubber/foam-rings wd take care of that..?

                  ..and yes..!..rugby players/the all blacks..wd have to wear them too..!..

                  ..do you know how much acc now pays out each yr on rugby-injuries..?

                  ..whoar..!

                  ..it makes bike-injuries look like chump-change…

                  ..and yes..it will change the game..

                  ..but you can’t be too careful now..can you..?

                  • b waghorn

                    Save on birth control to re stopping people bumping into each other

                    • yes..the benefits of the ring-solution are many and multi-faceted..

                      ..and a natural form of contraception is definitely one of them..

                      ..as only rubber/foam fanciers/fetishists will be turned on by the ring..

                      ..it wd probably save acc money/make financial sense for acc to supply the compulsory-rings for free…

                      (and hey..!..if peter jackson is looking for a new ring-riff.?

                      ..to make a new trilogy out of..

                      ..and then a prequel-trilogy after that..?

                      ..just saying..!..)

                    • and of course..cyclists that fall off..will just bounce..

                      ..and roll down the road..

                    • and i am pretty sure that weka..representing the control-freak wing of the greens..

                      (‘you must wear a helmet..!..and no..!..you can’t smoke a joint..!..

                      ..and don’t you even think of getting on a bicycle after smoking a joint..!’..

                      ..i think the greens actually support breathyliser-locks on all bikes..

                      ..’blow before you go..!’..)

                      ..will be in wholehearted support of the idea of the ring…

                      (..probably wishes she thought of it..)

                  • vto

                    I have always said that cars and trucks should be made of soft bouncy rubber rather than bone-crunching flesh-tearing metal.

                    • now yr talking..!

                      ..those wellington buses cd definitely do with big rubber bump-guards..

                      ..metal on flesh hurts so…

                    • miravox

                      “I have always said that cars and trucks should be made of soft bouncy rubber rather than bone-crunching flesh-tearing metal.”

                      Could make pedestrians wear helmets when crossing roads…

                      The social cost of road crashes involving pedestrians is estimated at $290 million annually (four year average to 1999).

                      …or we could design and built roads and paths that are fit for purpose and let people go about their business without being armour-plated.

                  • miravox

                    Ahead of their time?

  8. Rosie 8

    I heard this song on the radio this morning. It is an evocative piece of atmospheric electronica music written for Eric Garner, the man who died at the hands of Police, earlier on in the year. You might recall they suspected he was selling tax free fags.

    We Are Temporary explain:

    “The five-minute 22-second piece includes some of Garner’s last words, as recorded on cellphone video, on July 17 to the NYPD, seconds before one of its officers put Garner in a chokehold and killed him. At the 2:25 mark, the bass and drums cut out as Garner can be heard telling the officers, “I’m minding my business; please, just leave me alone. I told you the last time, please just leave me alone.”

    It’s not an easy listen, says Roberts, who’s 35 and lives in Bushwick. “It is a little manipulative. I’m aware of the fact that Garner’s life and the situation might be more complex than the video shows, but I think what I wanted to do is allow the music to create empathy for a person who was dying.

    “For me, there’s something really desperate and childlike in ‘please,’ and I wanted that to come across.” ”

    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2014/12/listen_to_i_cant_breathe_the_song_about_eric_garner.php

  9. Paul 9

    ‘What can you say about a society whose food production must be hidden from public view? In which the factory farms and slaughterhouses supplying much of our diet must be guarded like arsenals to prevent us from seeing what happens there? We conspire in this concealment: we don’t want to know. We deceive ourselves so effectively that much of the time we barely notice that we are eating animals, even during once-rare feasts, such as Christmas, which are now scarcely distinguished from the rest of the year.’

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/16/perpetual-denial-food-meat-production-environmental-devastation

  10. Clemgeopin 10

    JIM MURPHY ELECTED SCOTTISH LABOUR LEADER.

    Mr Murphy, addressing Labour party members at the Glasgow Emirates Arena, declared: “This is a fresh start for Scottish Labour. Scotland is changing and so too must Scottish Labour. I’m ambitious for our party because I’m ambitious for our country.”

    “The majority are fulfilled, getting on, getting by, being successful. A minority are falling behind, denied opportunity, trapped, unable to escape the hardship of their upbringing.

    “That inequality is wrong and it is my driving purpose, it is our driving purpose, it is the Scottish Labour Party’s driving purpose to end that type of inequality once and for all.”

    Mr Murphy said the best way to tackle poverty was to boost the economy.

    “The most effective anti poverty measure is a successful economy,” he said.

    “It’s about backing businesses, it’s about creating jobs, because if redistribution is our aim, which it is, then we need more wealth not less. We want more entrepreneurs, not fewer. A growing middle class that more families are able to join.

    “The debate about how we spend our wealth starts with how we earn it.”

    Read more here:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/labour/11291800/Jim-Murphy-announced-as-new-Scottish-Labour-Party-leader.html

    • Murray Rawshark 10.1

      He sounds just like FJK.
      “It’s about backing businesses, it’s about creating jobs, because if redistribution is our aim, which it is, then we need more wealth not less.”

      We just need to wait for that “more wealth” to be made before the redistribution starts. Somehow, I don’t think we should hold our breath.

  11. Colonial Rawshark 11

    What it means to piss off the western empire: financial, banking and capital attack

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-16/western-banks-cut-liquidity-russian-entities

    Presenting Russia’s banks: now cut off from the outside world as the second cold war goes nuclear, at least when it comes to the financial system:

    Such banks as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. this week started rejecting requests from institutional clients to engage in certain ruble-denominated repurchase agreements and other transactions designed to raise cash, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Bankers and traders say the moves to restrict some ruble transactions have become increasingly widespread among major Western financial institutions this week, even as the same institutions continue to try to profit from the ruble’s wild swings. The moves, which the banks are deploying to protect themselves against further swings in the currency, have the potential to add to the strain on Russia’s financial system.

    Goldman in recent days largely stopped doing longer-term ruble-denominated repurchase agreements, or repos, in which securities or other assets are swapped in exchange for cash, said a person familiar with the matter. The Wall Street bank is still doing short-duration ruble repos, those that mature in less than a year, this person said.

    • nadis 11.1

      What do you expect?

      You come to me for a loan and I say what is your collateral?

      You say “these Russian ruble denominated assets”

      What would you do?

      • Colonial Rawshark 11.1.1

        This is about assets; It’s a financial cold war between a dying empire and its pretenders. There’s nothing else to be said about it.

        • Ad 11.1.1.1

          Not sure who you want me to have sympathy for here.

          This US corporate action won’t kill them – it will drive their clients and their assets into the hands of China. That isn’t in US interests either state or corporate.

  12. (while looking for something else..i stumbled upon this..

    ..back in february i told labour what they had to do to avoid a caning from national/key..

    ..i guess they weren’t listening..

    ..and what i warned of..they didn’t heed..

    ..and what i said would happen if they didn’t..did..)

    http://whoar.co.nz/2014/commentwhoar-ed-the-mire-labour-find-themselves-in-how-to-get-out-of-that-mire-and-how-to-avoid-an-election-campaign-caning-from-keynational/

  13. ianmac 14

    An excellent write up. Just glanced at it then was hooked.
    The New Yorker:
    The Big Kill
    New Zealand’s crusade to rid itself of mammals.
    By Elizabeth Kolbert
    …”Sirocco’s chaperone, a Department of Conservation ranger named Alisha Sherriff, had brought along a little metal container, which she passed among the visitors. Inside was half a cup’s worth of Sirocco’s shit.

    “Have a good sniff,” she suggested.

    “It’s earthy!” one woman exclaimed.

    “I think it smells smoky, with notes of honey,” Sherriff said. When the container came to me, I couldn’t detect any honey, but the bouquet did strike me as earthy, with hints of newly mown hay. Sherriff had also brought along a ziplock bag with some of Sirocco’s feathers. These, too, had a strong, sweetish scent.

    New Zealand birds tend to smell, which was not a problem when the islands’ top predators were avian, since birds hunt by sight. But, as mammals hunt with their noses, it’s become yet another liability…..”
    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/12/22/big-kill

    • greywarshark 14.1

      Looked up Sirocco NZs spokesbird and after a few shots of a wise and questing kakapo who pops up but yek! The well known conservationist, laying down his life for the planet.

      • phillip ure 14.1.1

        is it nick ‘the gurner’ smith..?

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.1

          No that’s my point. It’s Key looking confidentially enthusiastic – Smith might have appeared further on but I cut the connection fast. Too much yek is toxic, I have to watch my health.

          The authorities warn about legionella when handling compost etc, and a mask should be worn. As yet no health alerts have gone out about watching and listening to yek but I think they are overdue. However it should be added, that there is likely to be a window of contamination with yek as in ebola. Trouble is no-one is sure of how to know when the threshhold of infection is crossed.

  14. b waghorn 15

    In a regularly article in the ‘Rural News’ titled agtwits called a “irreverant and hypothetical look at what’s happening in the rural world”
    sbrowninggreen:Don’t you you just love MMP when a tree-hugging,organic-munching,treat Ebola-with-homeopathy nutjod like me gets into Parliament and is given the green party’s responsibility for ag#whythegreenssuck#iamaclown.

    Damienoconnormp: So the self serving unionist beat the gaggling gay for the leadership of the party viola,I’m back on the back bench again.#evenwheniwnilose#whatdidisaywrong

    @littleandrewlabour:I have little interest in farming,Little to offer agriculture and Little chance of changing labours anti-farming attitude. I guess I’m to little to late.#redflag#unionforever

    Johnkeypm: I was going to text Andrew Little to congratulate him on winning the Labour leadership.However, I can’t because it would mean that I’m in proactive contact with a vile,poisonous, delusional loser.#delete message
    #roflmao

    I’ve copied as accurately as possible seems pretty nasty in spots for what’s meant to be light hearted

    • greywarshark 15.2

      Sounds as if the writer has played rugby a lot and gone straight back on the field after being slightly concussed too many times. It has cumulative effects I’ve heard. Add regular jars of ale and after a while of that, anything that differs slightly from the known and prescribed norm is strange and amusing.

      • b waghorn 15.2.1

        It reeks of attack to me .further on in the same paper there’s this
        “WANTED” A Political home for labour agriculture spokesman Damien O’Connor. A solid, talented and knowledgeable performer, he has been hung out to dry by his own party which seems to have no interest in agriculture apart from imposing a cgt and cuddling with the Greens who essentially want a return to peasant farming.

        • vto 15.2.1.1

          This is evidence of the ignorance in the farming sector.

          It is no wonder that for generations they have claimed they want to leave the land in a better state than when they got it, yet the evidence shows that they have done exactly the opposite.

          Ignorance on a grand scale.

          • b waghorn 15.2.1.1.1

            See claiming all farmers are bad just confirms some of what fukwits like who ever wrote that stuff i posted above say about the left, there are plenty of good farmers doing good stuff.

            • vto 15.2.1.1.1.1

              Of course there are, including a big chunk of mine …

              It was a generalisation and I didn’t say all farmers are bad – I merely looked at the claims they have on average been making for the last couple of generations or so, and looked at the average evidence around those claims, and come up with an answer to their claim.

              And if I might be so bold as to generalise even more – I see this all the time in our circles. That which you outlined in your original comment above is, imo, the average view of the average farmer (including the bad ones, and excluding the good ones). They are very pig-headed and stubborn. They spend so much time in their one world that they cannot fathom anything different ( or so says my opinion, after most of life in and out of such circles) – which is of course a very human trait and if I was now a farmer I would likely be doing the same ….

              • Jimmy

                Prejudice and preconceived ideas confirmed then vto. Sigh

                • vto

                  No you are wrong Jimmy.

                  Not pre-judged because as mentioned opinion is based on a lifetime of direct and indirect experience.

                  And not preconceived because as mentioned opinion is based on a lifetime of direct and indirect experience.

                  You should learn the meaning of words before using them. Sigh.

                  • Jimmy

                    I understand the terminology no problem vto, just dont beleive you.

                    • vto

                      If you understand the terminologies than next step is to learn how to use them properly.

                      As for not believing my claim – non problema. It is my experience but you haven’t been by my side during that time so I can see how it can be difficult.

        • greywarshark 15.2.1.2

          @ b waghorn
          It just reeks of some of the empty minds we get here regularly. Bereft of any sense of how little they utilise their own intelligence they build themselves up by mocking those who do. Unwilling to test their own ideas and find them wanting, they hold onto untested myths which they accept as sureties, and then throw scorn on those who look outside the square for different possibilities.

          Those people consider different ideas that when tested may prove unsuitable. Those who never dare to think out something individually, only to find it doesn’t work, or isn’t correct, remain safe, always protecting themselves from the scorn their type pours out on the thinkers and questers.

          • b waghorn 15.2.1.2.1

            The reason I put these things here is to highlight what turns up in rural papers on occasion, in the hope that if any readers here that are linked to Labour and the Greens might come up with ways to counter it.

  15. Tracey 16

    Sssorry if this has been posted before.

    I was watching Newsroom, a US tv show which traverses many issues. On this episode one of the journalists is interviewing someone who has created an App enabling “citizen journalists” to post the whereabouts of celebrities on a map for the titilation of fellow citizens.

    It turns out it was based on a real website called gawker stalker and a real interview. It made me think of the constant pandering to base human behaviour that is substituting journalism.

    It reaaly is worth watching, especially for the website owners reactions.

  16. Murray Rawshark 18

    From Mohammad Reza Alizadehfard: Syd Hostage: Who was Haron Monis?
    1. He was born in Iran in a city called Borojerd.
    2. His birth name is Mohammad Hassan Manteghi Borojerdi.
    3. He was the director of a travel/tourism agency in Iran
    4. He stole about $200,000 from his customers and escaped to Australia.
    5. Iranin authorities through Interpol police asked Australian
    government to hand him back to Iranian judiciary system. However,
    Australia refuses to do so as He claimed he is a political refugee and
    Iranian regime prosecuted him because of his liberal/democratic beliefs.
    Australian government gave him political asylum in 1996.
    6. In 2007
    Sheikh Kamal Mosalmani, head of Australian Shia Council, wrote a letter
    to ASIO warning them about his suspicious activities.
    7. He presented himself as a Shia cleric with no confirmed official or formal education.
    8. In 2014 Nov, he announced on his website renouncing Shia Islam and
    paying allegiance to “the Caliphate of time Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi”, the
    head of ISIL. Australian government was aware of his conversion and
    support for ISIL in the last month.
    (This the exact Arabic quote from his website:
    أطيعوا الله و أطيعوا الرسول و أولي الأمر منكم
    البيعة مع الله و رسوله و أمير المؤمنين – أبايع الله و رسوله و خليفة المسلمين
    الحمد لله رب العالمين و الصلاة و السلام على نبينا محمد و على اله و
    أصحابه أجمعين و التابعين منهم والسلام على أمير المؤمنين خليفة المسلمين
    إمام عصرنا الحاضر و الحمد لله الذي جعل لنا خليفة في الأرض و إماما يدعونا
    إلى الإسلام و الإعتصام بحبل الله سبحانه و تعالى. و الحمد لله الذي
    شرّفني ببيعة إمام زماننا . إنّ الذين يبايعون خليفة المسلمين فإنما
    يبايعون الله و رسوله يد الله فوق أيديهم . و قال رسول الله صلى عليه و سلم
    من مات و لم يعرف إمام زمانه مات ميتة جاهلية . والحمد لله الذي لم يجعلني
    من الذين ماتوا و لم يعرفوا إمام زمانهم . و الحمد لله على نعمة الإيمان و
    كفى بها نعمة و أفوض أمري إلى الله إنّ الله بصير بالعباد
    والسلام على من اتبع الهدى
    هارون – سيدني أستراليا
    الإثنين 24 محرم 1436
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————
    في الزمن السابق قد رفعت راية غير راية الإسلام فأستغفر الله و أتوب اليه و
    أقسم بالله العظيم أن لا أرفع راية غير راية رسول الله صل الله عليه و سلم
    ————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
    9. And as you all may know he has been charged for writing hate letters
    to Australian soldiers ‘family, 40 sexual assaults and killing of his
    wife. The last but not least he was known to have psychological issues.
    So, If we want to play blame game who is the one to be blamed first and foremost?
    %————————————————————
    From me: While real political refugees get treated like shit, it looks like criminals who steal from people the government doesn’t like get the red carpet treatment. Compare this case with what happened to Ahmed Zaoui in Aotearoa.

    • Colonial Rawshark 18.1

      Plenty of egg to go around the Australian security, surveillance and immigration services.

      The answer must to reward such stellar performance by giving them more powers!

      • greywarshark 18.1.1

        In the Alice books they have a tea party. I think they end up by picking on a dormouse which has been quietly sleeping and presents an easy target for malicious behaviour. When the tea party protagonists have used their cups and spoons, they move on to the next setting. But of course they eventually go round again to settings with old dirty utensils.

        It seems that some people with excessive powers are incapable of cleaning up their act. They carry their dirty habits with them, and the downward slide in standards and ‘hygiene’ goes on. More powers just increases the slovenly moral behaviour.

  17. Morrissey 19

    An excellent thought experiment

    Radio: “U.S. troops say they were locked in coffin-like boxes and endured countless near-drownings.”

    A Republican-voting housewife comments: “The Taliban says it was legal, so that’s OK with me.”

    https://twitter.com/astroehlein/status/544822901640531968/photo/1

  18. MrSmith 20

    I see Phil Goof has apologised.

    Little must be fuming having to put up with these fools, and he has every reason to be the angry man the right are trying to portray him as. Labour still need to sweep a lot more out the door before they will even be in the game next election, some of these old heads have to much baggage.

    Experience is a good thing for Lawyers, Tradesmen, Accounts etc, but not necessarily in Hookers or Politicians because eventually the Baggage gets to heavy to carry and the makeup starts to run.

  19. Morrissey 21

    Who Created Cartoon Character “Man Haron Monis” Behind “Sydney Siege” Circus?

    http://www.activistpost.com/2014/12/who-created-cartoon-character-man-haron.html
    by Tony Cartalucci , Activist Post

    Previously an outspoken critic of Iranian government, was interviewed by Australian media in 2001, loved Western society…

    As predicted, the suspect amid the “Sydney Siege,” has long been on the radar of Australian law enforcement, as well as a frequent visitor to Australia’s court system.

    Before that, however, he came to Australia as a political refugee, an opponent of what he called the “Iranian regime,” and was even interviewed by Australia’s ABC network in 2001 as part of an ongoing anti-Iranian propaganda campaign. ….

    Read more….
    http://www.activistpost.com/2014/12/who-created-cartoon-character-man-haron.html

    • greywarshark 21.1

      Saddam Hussein was a poster boy for a while, then he lost favour, was hunted and captured and is now dead. So all malefactors can find a golden period of amnesty and tolerance insufficient to make them happy and give them a long life.

      That Sydney guy was trouble with a capital T. But Oz politicians and spooks found him useful for their propaganda machine, and gave him a long rope, and the public have suffered from that. The deaths result from the hands of their Oz two-faced, machiavellian political masters who are subservient to an anti Middle East hegemony.

  20. Michael 22

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/miles-mogulescu/the-speech-that-could-make-elizabeth-warren-president_b_6319142.html

    I really, really, really hope Elizabeth Warren runs for US President in 2016. She’s the only one not afraid to attack the banks, and even Obama — her own party’s president. She may be one of the only ones left not bought and paid for by Wall St.

    • Morrissey 22.1

      Don’t kid yourself. She’s as corrupt and as heartless as anyone in Congress….

      At a town hall in August, she defended Israel’s shelling of targets in Gaza, saying that Israel had a right to defend itself against attacks from Hamas.

      “America has a very special relationship with Israel,” she said, according to the Cape Cod Times. “Israel lives in a very dangerous part of the world, and a part of the world where there aren’t many liberal democracies and democracies that are controlled by the rule of law. And we very much need an ally in that part of the world.”

      http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/elizabeth-warren-israel-113141.html

  21. Morrissey 23

    Who will be Discredited When Venezuela Doesn’t Default? Nobody.
    https://zcomm.org/zblogs/who-will-be-discredited-when-venezuela-doesnt-default-nobody/
    by JOE EMERSBERGER, 17 December 2014

    In this article [1], Bloomberg (Ye Xie, Katia Porzecanski and Pietro D. Pitts) wonder who will seize Venezuelan assets if the government defaults.

    A better question would be “How will Bloomberg’s reporting change when Venezuela doesn’t default?”

    The global economic meltdown that took place a few years ago, and from which we are still recovering, answered for us. The reporting won’t change at all.

    Being an elite investor, big credit rating agency or highly regarded economist means never having to say you’re sorry. It is quite a prestigious group that couldn’t see (or wouldn’t admit to seeing) gargantuan housing bubbles in the USA and elsewhere that led to worst global economic recession since WWII. The big credit rating agencies gave mortgage backed securities the highest possible ratings just before they blew up. The Federal Reserve of Boston put out a paper [2] exploring why the vast majority of the professional economists proved as useless as “the markets”.

    We must add to the list of the “never-accountable-for-anything” corporate news agencies like Bloomberg who hype the “concerns” of all these people. The appalling track record is always a non-issue.

    [1] http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-15/who-gets-citgo-s-assets-if-venezuela-defaults-.html

    [2] http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/ppdp/2010/ppdp1005.pdf

  22. Draco T Bastard 24

    This pic is the lesson that the RWNJs, neoliberals and other Randian types have forgotten.

  23. nadis 25

    And you think the NZ media sucks up to the government……

    http://www.vox.com/2014/12/16/7402469/putin-russia-ads

    • Murray Rawshark 25.1

      They’re not that much different from what we get on Channel 9 in Brisbane. And yes, the Kiwi media does suck up to Key.

      • Paul 25.1.1

        The fact that our media are not reporting the reasons and geopolitics behind the collapse in oil prices shows that our media is not telling us what’s really going going on.
        Our media, not Russia’s, is the one we concern ourselves about, as it impacts on our own perception of reality more.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts