Open Mike 18/01/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 18th, 2018 - 181 comments
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181 comments on “Open Mike 18/01/2018”

  1. Bill 1

    Two very good posts over at Open Parachute.

    The first begins –

    I have long considered myself a “lefty,’ a “liberal” and a “progressive.” But I have despaired over the last 18 months at the behaviour of what I have often considered “my side.” The sinking of “fellow liberals” into a quagmire of political partisanship, political conspiracy theories, confirmation bias and hateful hostility to anyone daring to present an alternative viewpoint distresses me.

    Hear, hear Ken.

    Fire and Fury.
    Russiagate

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      …Clinton’s story…

      I suppose that’s one way to pretend that Papadopoulos and Flynn’s testimony doesn’t exist.

    • red-blooded 1.2

      It seems that the “very good” in your comment basically means, “confirming my viewpoint”, Bill. Isn’t that pretty much the definition of “confirmation bias” (the focus of a lot of the article’s discussion?

      I thought the one commenter on the site asked a lot of pertinent questions, pointing out inconsistencies in the argument being put forward.

      It’s also telling that a person writing a post entitled “Fire and Fury” has this to say about the book: “ I even have my own copy but am unsure now whether to waste time reading it. Wile the mainstream media is promoting it, more rational comments suggest the book is a disaster.” How does this guy measure what is “more rational” if he hasn’t read it?

      I’m currently reading “Fire and Fury”. It’s one person’s thinking, based on extensive observations and interviews. It doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. It certainly isn’t the last word in Trump scholarship (in fact, it’s not a work of scholarship), but that’s hardly surprising this early in the regime. I would say that yes, there is a bias at work (the guy doesn’t like or respect Trump), but I’d also say that it’s not exactly hidden, and when he’s not sure about something he gives various possible explanations or scenarios.

      I’m only halfway through the book and so far he’s not suggesting any direct collusion with the Russians – the focus is much more on the dysfunctional relationships within the administration. And whether or not you like Trump, it’s hard to argue that an admin that one year in has left so many critical positions unfilled, has fired so many close-in people and has invented positions for family members is functioning smoothly.

      One last comment (a bit of a segue) – I note the author of Open Parachute is an anti-flouride campaigner. Not known for their pro-science, evidence-based approach…

      [You note wrong. Very wrong. It’s not at all flash to throw a patently false accusation out there in order to undermine or discredit someone]- Bill

      • greywarshark 1.2.1

        I think that Open Parachute person and others should make a point of stating whether they are talking about international matters or in this country. There is a lot of waffle about Trump, which is reasonable as he himself is full of waffle.

        But there is a need for analysis about what is happening in NZ, and the rest of the world impinges on it. But criticising all lefties’ discussion, when the person seems to mean that which is happening about Trump, and North Korea, and Russia is a different matter to what happens on the ground here and is likely to happen in the near and medium future.

        So will people please state their point of interest when they are dissing lefties?
        I can’t change anything about Trump and watch with foreboding. But I may be able to influence things in NZ, and surely that is the main focus of many people here.
        I think most feel in their bones and synapses all the blows to the left. Those who want to be progressives have to spend time looking at planning and testing which ways they think we should try and progress. That is of direct interest I believe to most of us here.

        The rest is of interest and concern, but watching and trying to avoid stupid and toxic decisions overseas has to be balanced with the need to do so here. So please lefties with real concern about NZ social needs and climate change and business don’t take your minds away from each other, keep in touch. Please don’t think that you’ll stop taking part here in the discussion if you get annoyed, just drop in each day with something of interest, comment on one thing from someone you know is a mind worker, and then we will keep the intelligent conversation going. It will prevent TS from being affected by pollution from RW maliciousness or careless crap.
        Keep putting into the clean stream of thought please, for the mental health of the people devoted to leftie ideas that are bent towards a successful, busy, fair society with the twin goals of kindness and practicality.

        • Muttonbird 1.2.1.1

          Well said, grey.

          Open Parachute’s missive seemed more a complaint about tabloid populism in US politics and media but when has it ever been different? So someone wrote a book criticising Trump – big whoops – he invites it.

        • Ad 1.2.1.2

          +100 well said Grey.

          Death to careless crap.

          Life to clean streams of thought.

        • Sam 1.2.1.3

          The point that should be made is that there is a split between the right and Left of Labour and they must be brought back to heel.

      • One Two 1.2.2

        I note the author of Open Parachute is an anti-flouride campaigner. Not known for their pro-science, evidence-based approach…

        Flouride, pro or anti is neither ‘science’ nor ‘evidence based’ policy…

        That you made ‘one last comment’ serves to show you’ve not read or understand the ‘flouride’ debate…

        So you did a fart in the lift…then walked away…

        • Anne 1.2.2.1

          Are you or have you ever been a dental professional? Obviously not. Research by all the scientists in the field have proven without a shadow of doubt that fluoride is beneficial for teeth and reduces decay by 70% at the least.

          That means its a “science, evidence- based approach”. RB did not use the word “policy” so stop throwing red herrings into conversations because you think it makes you look clever.

          • Rosemary McDonald 1.2.2.1.1

            “Research by all the scientists in the field have proven without a shadow of doubt that fluoride is beneficial for teeth and reduces decay by 70% at the least.”

            Citation, please?

            • Anne 1.2.2.1.1.1

              I recall that information from Dental lectures I attended admittedly a good many years ago now, But the information hasn’t changed. Go look the subject up Rosemary. There must be oodles of information available from the professionals in the field.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                There is ‘oodles’ of information…some of which appears to contradict your “…all the scientist in the field have proven….” narrative.

                Yet, today, when a community swamps a free dental service there is no mention of fluoride as a preventative to tooth decay.

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?
                c_id=1&objectid=11976798

                Fluoride is not, and never will be, a panacea for dental health.

                • Anne

                  Who is saying Fluoride is a panacea for all ills? No-one here or elsewhere. But it does assist in the prevention of tooth decay especially among children.

                  Tests have proven as much. Children of the 60s, 70s and 80s who lived in areas where there was fluoridated water had a far lower incidence of tooth decay than those consuming non-fluoridated water.

                  https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/panacea

                  Edit: it took me 10 secs to come up with updated information:

                  http://www.ehinz.ac.nz/indicators/drinking-water-quality/oral-health-of-children/

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    Anne….much as I would love to get into this issue…I simply do not have the time right now.

                    Having to deal with the results of an OIA request for information from the Ministry of Health about a completely different issue under their purview.

                    I was sent a file of over 30 megabytes of scanned documents…much too large for me to share with other affected parties unless it is broken down into manageable portions. Which I can’t do because the file cannot be altered unless the Ministry does it.

                    Which they have…but still requires me to send four separate emails to 13 or so people with appropriate commentary.

                    AND, and, despite the monster 30 megabyte break -the -gmail file…I still haven’t got the information I requested.

                    Sighs. Rolls eyes.

                    Hopes Anne and others understand why when the Mystery of Health makes dogmatic statements regarding any issue my automatic reaction is to doubt their every word.

                    • Stunned Mullet

                      “…when the Mystery of Health makes dogmatic statements regarding any issue my automatic reaction is to doubt their every word.”

                      Don’t mistake incompetence for duplicity.

                    • Anne

                      Yes, You have told us in the past about some of your experiences with the ministry and I have much sympathy for you Rosemary. I, too,
                      have been on the receiving end of a government ministry (not the same one as yours) whose attitude left a great deal to be desired.

                      So I understand your reluctance, but in the case of the fluoridation issue… most of the original research was carried out under the auspices of the WHO which, of course, is an apolitical international body whose findings can be relied upon as accurate.

            • McFlock 1.2.2.1.1.2

              knock yourself out.

              The link is to a search of the moh site which yields study reviews, cost effectiveness analyses, and comparisons of decayed/missing/filled teeth in NZ schoolchildren based on their flouridated water status.

              700ppm-1000ppm is optimal for tooth health.

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Oh my goodness! My kids have been brought up on untreated tank water….and barely a filling between them.

                OTOH….even well into their twenties, they still act really, really guilty if they’re caught with a can of fizzy.

                https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/78269090/rotten-to-the-core–our-childrens-dental-decay-problem

                Terrible parent am I…

                Fluoride or no fluoride…I don’t really give a toss either way…just get the bloody message through that weaning baby onto sugary drinks is really, really irresponsible.

                • McFlock

                  And there are almost certainly kids in fluoridated areas who have awful teeth, and kids in non-fluoridated areas who drink fizz all the time and have not a filling between them.

                  Fact is, from a population perspective fluoridation is one of the best and easiest ways to improve kids’ teeth. Pointing to the results of one individual doesn’t count against that statement, even under experimental conditions.

          • One Two 1.2.2.1.2

            Anne, leaving aside the obvious and many misinformed comments in your response….

            You’ve made no mention of K2 or its place in the the body’s function with tooth development and maintenance…

            The ‘fluoride dental industry’ is….not what you think…that is clear from the statements you’ve made…

            • Anne 1.2.2.1.2.1

              Oh piss off. You come across to me as a fraud suffering from some sort of Dunning Kruger disorder.

              • One Two

                Anne…

                You responded to my comment which I had posted to someone else, and when you don’t like my reply to your interruption. …you tell me to “piss off”…

                That’s itrational….

                You seem to believe WHO are independent and apolitical…which of course they are not…

                No surprise that you think I’m a fraud…

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I don’t think you’re a fraud. Dunning-Kruger is the inability to recognise your own incompetence, whereas fraud involves an element of malice.

          • spikeyboy 1.2.2.1.3

            My body is more than my teeth. If I replace rotten parts of my teeth with a mercury containing filler that is durable and seals against any further infection my teeth will be stronger.
            But as is the case with mercury, fluoride is also a known poison to other parts of my body.
            It has been decided that the poison effect outweighs the dental benefits for mercury and it is still an open question on the cost/benefit with regard to fluouride. Many antifluoride people are quite able to acknowledge the dental benefits of fluoride but believe that the poison effect is great enough to negate these benefits.

            • Anne 1.2.2.1.3.1

              Everything in excess is poisonous or dangerous. Everything. Even water. Based on your hypothesis we’d all be dead in a week or so. Best to stop reading pseudo-scientific claptrap. It’s bad for you.

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                Exactly. Toxicologists have an expression, “The dose makes the poison”.

                Everything has toxic effects at some dose, and everything has no toxic effects at another. To think of something as inherently “toxic” or “non-toxic” doesn’t make a lot of sense.

                Fluoridation is a fantastic public health measure IMHO.

              • spikeyboy

                Youre exactly right. Everything has a level of toxicity and it is the level that is the key along with the exposure time. Also people who take the dcientific approach in which I include myself dont usually feel the need to resort to abuse. As you say. The science should speak for itself

          • mikes 1.2.2.1.4

            I find that 70% figure hard to believe. Where did you get that from? My cousins were brought up in and still live in a non fluoride country and all 3 of them have zero fillings even well into middle age. I think diet has much more to do with it.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2.2.2

          Your ‘position’ seems devoid of nuance.

          “Flouride, pro or anti is neither ‘science’ nor ‘evidence based’ policy…”

          Is that your considered opinion? That (pro) fluoridation is neither ‘science’ nor ‘evidence-based’ policy?

          As long as the city that hosts NZ’s Faculty of Dentistry (29th-best dental school in the world) continues to fluoridate its public water supply, I’ll be happy for the council that provides services for the city I live in to do so too.

          http://www.otago.ac.nz/humannutrition/research/otago609491.html

          Fluoride is a trace element with important roles in dental health. Dental caries are the most prevalent preventable disease in New Zealand; water fluoridation has been proven to be an effective public health strategy in the prevention of dental caries. We will be assessing the fluoride intakes of 120 children from schools in fluoridated and non-fluoridated regions of the South Island of New Zealand, using 24-hour urine samples, 24-hour duplicate diets, and tooth brushing analysis, and investigating the impact this has on fluoride intake and dental health.

          http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/services/water-supply/methods

          Fluoride is added to the water to reduce tooth decay. The decision to add fluoride to the water is based on recommendations from the Ministry of Health. The council adds fluoride to water at a target dose rate of 0.75 mg/l in order to achieve dosing at the lower end of the Ministry of Health’s recommended range of 0.70 to 1.0 mg/l.

          Fluoridation occurs only at Mt Grand and Southern water treatment plants, which service Metropolitan Dunedin, excluding Mosgiel.

          Alternatively, it’s all a dental conspiracy, and fluoridation of tap water pollutes our precious bodily fluids, and actually weakens teeth ultimately channeling $$$ into the pockets of the evil dentists!

          • Anne 1.2.2.2.1

            A former lecturer of mine used to say by way of an easily understood scenario:

            A person would have to drink a full bath of fluoridated water in one sitting before they succumbed to any detrimental effects.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2.2.2.1.1

              They’d also succumb to hyponatremia after the first seven-or-eight litres.

              Dosage rears its fact-based head again.

          • One Two 1.2.2.2.2

            You’ve misinterpreted my comment, completely…

            And then you’ve posted irrelevant details…

            • Drowsy M. Kram 1.2.2.2.2.1

              I have misinterpreted some comments on this site, and am trying to learn. Which of your fluoride-related comments @1.2.2 did I misinterpret?

              Flouride, pro or anti is neither ‘science’ nor ‘evidence based’ policy…

              That you made ‘one last comment’ serves to show you’ve not read or understand the ‘flouride’ debate…

              So you did a fart in the lift…then walked away…

              • One Two

                http://www.cochrane.org/CD010856/ORAL_water-fluoridation-prevent-tooth-decay

                NOTE: Large extract cut/paste

                Authors’ conclusions:

                There is very little contemporary evidence, meeting the review’s inclusion criteria, that has evaluated the effectiveness of water fluoridation for the prevention of caries.

                The available data come predominantly from studies conducted prior to 1975, and indicate that water fluoridation is effective at reducing caries levels in both deciduous and permanent dentition in children. Our confidence in the size of the effect estimates is limited by the observational nature of the study designs, the high risk of bias within the studies and, importantly, the applicability of the evidence to current lifestyles. The decision to implement a water fluoridation programme relies upon an understanding of the population’s oral health behaviour (e.g. use of fluoride toothpaste), the availability and uptake of other caries prevention strategies, their diet and consumption of tap water and the movement/migration of the population. There is insufficient evidence to determine whether water fluoridation results in a change in disparities in caries levels across SES. We did not identify any evidence, meeting the review’s inclusion criteria, to determine the effectiveness of water fluoridation for preventing caries in adults.

                There is insufficient information to determine the effect on caries levels of stopping water fluoridation programmes.

                There is a significant association between dental fluorosis (of aesthetic concern or all levels of dental fluorosis) and fluoride level. The evidence is limited due to high risk of bias within the studies and substantial between-study variation.

                • McFlock

                  You missed out the bit where they excluded any study that couldn’t provide a “before and after” picture, and also the bit where they said that

                  The introduction of water fluoridation resulted in children having 35% fewer decayed, missing and filled baby teeth and 26% fewer decayed, missing and filled permanent teeth. We also found that fluoridation led to a 15% increase in children with no decay in their baby teeth and a 14% increase in children with no decay in their permanent teeth. These results are based predominantly on old studies and may not be applicable today.

                  • One Two

                    It’s all in the link , McFlock

                    Nothing was missed…you managed to find it

                    The outdated information speaks for itself…it’s all unreliable…

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      🙄

                      “We don’t know everything, therefore we know nothing”.

                    • McFlock

                      Meh. Even if we periodically de-flouridated the entire country and then refluoridated 12 years later, you’d still be unconvinced. And be pissed at nationwide experimentation.

                      Every single year comparisons in school kids based on fluoridation levels show a increase from fluoridated to nonfluoridated catchments.

                      At some stage calling the quacky waggly thing a duck is a pretty dafe assumption.

                    • One Two []

                      Don’t make assumptions, or crystal ball on my behalf, McFlock….

                      Your comment leaves the impression that FL in or FL out is the start and end of the metric for reporting….

                      Surely you’re not that simplistic…

                      If you weren’t, you might have provided links to the data captured, to which you refer…and provided some analysis on the limitations of the data…Cochrane did…

                      But you didn’t…

                    • McFlock

                      Besides empirical evidence being an alien concept for you, you confuse “studied a topic to my satisfaction” with “can be bothered writing a text book in order to improve the ‘impression’ of some internet stoner on an acid trip”.

      • Anne 1.2.3

        I note the author of Open Parachute is an anti-flouride campaigner.

        Is he perchance also a CC denier? Does he believe the moon landing was a fake?
        Is he one of those who is convinced the Twin Towers tragedy was an inside job eg. the CIA?

        If they’re one pf the above they are usually all of them. I think I will continue to bypass Open Parachute.

        • greywarshark 1.2.3.1

          It should be noted that the spelling is fluoride. Flour is finely ground something usually grains.

          • red-blooded 1.2.3.1.1

            Well-spotted, Greywarshark. A silly typo.

            • greywarshark 1.2.3.1.1.1

              And we can remember this particular learning. If ever we want to upset a thread, just put something about fluoride, or perhaps 1080, vaccinations, feminists, rape culture, cats being forbidden….into it, and the cogs and wheels will start turning and all the afficianados will come out and enter the fray. And take it all away. Household hint No. 1.

        • One Two 1.2.3.2

          If they’re one pf the above they are usually all of them.

          Not a very considered position, Anne…’life’ is more nuanced than that statement of generalized ‘missive’…

          It leads to opinions being formed from ignorance, which is ultimately, hypocritical thinking…

        • Bill 1.2.3.3

          Well, since RB has got things all arse over tit (ie – Open Parachute belongs to a blogger in favour of fluoridation), I guess you’ll row back on the groundless stuff about moon landings and what not?

          Or is it open season on any one who doesn’t toe a particular anti-Trump line?

          And if not “moon landing, 9/11” or whatever, then does the mere fact someone doesn’t witlessly jump aboard the anti-Trump bandwagon mean they’re as well being seen as a “moon landing, 9/11” etc flake…and worthy only of opprobrium and dismissal?

          I guess the answer to that query is largely “yes”.

          He’s far from the only person on the left to observe “The sinking of “fellow liberals” into a quagmire of political partisanship, political conspiracy theories, confirmation bias and hateful hostility to anyone daring to present an alternative viewpoint distresses me.”

          A fair few of the comments in this sub-thread serve to illustrate that “hateful hostility” he mentions. And all off the back of a mistake or a lie on the part of Red Blooded that would have taken ‘one click and two seconds’ to get to the bottom of.

          From Open Parachute

          Fluoridation articles
          Some of the anti-fluoridation propaganda can get pretty extreme. Even the less extreme material is often misleading.

          I have collected below links to my articles where I debunk these myths and expose the misinformation.

          • red-blooded 1.2.3.3.1

            Well, sorry about that… I admit that I didn’t check out the two sections of the blog devoted to fluoride (one labeled “Fluoride” and one “The Fluoride Debate”). Please note that an error isn’t the same as a lie, though, Bill. Usually when people refer to something like “the Fluoride debate” or “the climate change debate” they’re trying to suggest that there is a debate, not trying to refute it.

            Perhaps you could see my comment (without having read the appropriate sections of the blog) as being akin to the blogger’s confident commentary on Fire and Fury, without having read the book.

            • Bill 1.2.3.3.1.1

              You made a fucking accusation based on nothing, nada and zilch. And you made the accusation with the sole purpose of undermining someone.

              Your attempt at some innocent moi “an error isn’t the same as a lie” bullshit is just plain sickening.

              A straight up apology would have been appropriate.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                “fucking” “bullshit” “sickening”, all in response to a comment that begins “Well, sorry about that…”

                Thankfully, red-blooded apologised for her error; imagine the invective if she hadn’t.

              • red-blooded

                Bill, it’s sometimes hard to respond to you, because it pretty much guarantees ad hominem attack and abuse. Thanks to Drowsy M. Kram, for pointing out that I did actually apologise. (Have you ever done that, I wonder?)

                Perhaps you’ve noticed that I often (although not always) disagree with you. This is sometimes because of a difference in values and sometimes because I believe you’re drawing false conclusions based on limited (or misinterpreted) evidence. Even when I think you’re making a mistake, I don’t call you a liar, though, and the reason is that to be a liar, you have to be purposefully promoting something that you know to be untrue. I didn’t do that in my comment above. I’ve admitted a mistake, I’ve explained what caused it and I’ve apologised for it.

                [I wrote in relation to your false accusation, and because I’m not a mind reader, that it was a mistake or a lie. You don’t get to play victim in this and also accuse me of making definitive statements I never made. Take a week off. Next Wed.] – Bill

                • veutoviper

                  I understand RB – I also find it difficult to communicate with Bill. Although I also often disagree with his POV, I do find his posts thought provoking but usually refrain from participating in discussion on his posts to avoid the ad hominems etc. So thanks for saying to him what I have not had the courage to say!

                  I also hope that you have read the last two paras of my comment at 1.2.3.3.2 below. As indicated, my suggestion to check out someone”s background was not aimed at you as much as the other people who commented more specifically on fluoridation issues in the thread below your original 1.2 comment. I note that that ‘conversation’ is still continuing. Perhaps they should read some of Ken Perrott’s research articles …

                • I didn’t do that in my comment above. I’ve admitted a mistake, I’ve explained what caused it and I’ve apologised for it.

                  That doesn’t count for much with some people. I hope we’ll see you back again later, although it would be understandable if we didn’t.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    +1

                    It’s not like you to employ weasel words though, PM. Feet, meet eggshells 🙁

                    • Yeah, but I got bored the last time I was banned – mud-wrestling gimps at Kiwiblog palls quickly.

                    • weka

                      There’s a general comment in Daily Review about moderation (a reminder of how it works).

                      But for a more specific comment here, I looked at r-b’s comments once Bill had started moderating and what I see is someone arguing about the moderation and taking up a moderator’s time. That’s me coming in and looking from the outside, with no real investment in the conversation.

                      For me that stuff is hugely problematic and it’s the experience of a number of authors that if you don’t put a strong boundary up then you just have to keep dealing with increasing amounts of shit over time. That’s why some of us moderate the way we do.

                      If you don’t like how Bill debates, then don’t get involved in those discussions. If you don’t like how he moderates, then figure out where the boundaries are in terms of respect on his terms and take your chances if you want to argue about it (hint, calling a moderator baas is likely to up the ante).

                    • Union city greens

                      “If you don’t like how Bill debates, then don’t get involved in those discussions. If you don’t like how he moderates, then figure out where the boundaries are in terms of respect on his terms and take your chances if you want to argue about it ”

                      Or write to the site admin stating your reasons why you think a moderator has lost the illusion of impartiality.

                      [that is an option too, and that will sometimes lead to a discussion in the back end about a particular moderation, which can be useful. But to be really honest, what I’m seeing here from commenters is not ok. It’s largely disrespectful and some of it looks personal.

                      btw, moderation isn’t about impartiality. It’s about a number of things including protecting the site, protecting the community and protecting the authors. Needless to say if one thinks that attacking an author is going to lessen the protection around authors, one is really really missing how moderation here works. I suggest people read the note in Daily Review – weka]

                    • Union city greens

                      It’s definitely an option I recommend people take, but worth noting, reply to lprent directly, and not the generic standard address.
                      The address is on the contact page, and it does state to use for complaints and operational matters.

              • North

                Bill it seems to me that you are not infrequently redolent of the very types you complain of in your endorsement of Ken’s Open Parachute piece. You enjoy exceptionalism do you Bill ? Tirades OK for you……slam the same in others. Things are reaching the pitch they did when CV was at his worst. Losing interest……as are others.

                • Bill

                  I endorse the right of people and their opinions not to be just summarily dismissed by association with the peddling of demonstratively and patently false accusations…not just because it’s a shite thing to do, but because it can make this site vulnerable to legal action.

                  Hows about you?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    RB making a mistake and acknowledging it exposes the site to legal action? Just trying to make sense of your justifications: would you please clarify that?

                    • Bill

                      No. That’s not what I wrote. Can you not read?

                      edit – in response to your edit. My comment was explaining something.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yes baas. Edit: yes baas.

                      [Too many levels of offence there OAB. 8 days (you managed to skip a step 😉 ] – Bill

                • + 1 Mate I’m gone. Wishing all those I enjoyed reading lots of good vibes – mauriora

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    I hope you’ll be back Marty. You’ve educated me more than once.

                  • joe90

                    Appreciate your take on things, Marty.

                    Hope you’ll be back.

                    • greywarshark

                      I’m concerned Bill. We don’t want to lose regular good thoughtful feisty commenters. I detect a tendency for all moderators to tighten up too much now the election is over. I believe that you could sit back and let the regulars snap a bit and only step in when there was good reason.

                      There seems to be micro management entering into the style of the blog. But the long-time commenters are part of the pillars of the blog, and stuck it out and learned a fair bit about how the discussion should go. It should be a discussion between equals, not hand slapping for this and that like schoolkids. A stand-down for a while would be rare for the regulars. but they could suggest it for some of the newbies who just want to disrupt and haven’t a clue to bless themselves with. I’d like to see more relaxation and less didactic approach, and it would be easier on the mods.

                      We like respect and enjoy TS. Perhaps we need to get a bit sloppy and sentimental like Chris Knox. People who want to be in a good place in coming years need to stick together with others the same.
                      ‘Cause it’s you that I love
                      And it’s true that I love
                      And it’s love not given lightly
                      But I knew this was love
                      And it’s you that I love
                      And it’s more than what it might be

                    • weka

                      I’ll just keep repeating this. It’s not a discussion amongst equals when commenters have a go at authors. Authors take precedence.

                      I really hope marty and rb come back, both are big assets to this site. But I’m way more concerned about losing authors. No-one seems too concerned about the lack of posts or authors currently. When I see the commentariat putting energy into how to support authors or the site or making the place that new authors might want to come to, I’ll probably see the comments about moderation as being more pertinent.

          • veutoviper 1.2.3.3.2

            Just to add to this post by Bill, when I did a quick scroll through of the replies to Bill’s original post at 1 on the Open Parachute posts (without reading these), something was gnawing in my memory – and this increased when the subject of fluoride came up and the resultant discussion as to whether the Open Parachute author was anti-fluoride (and anti-CC etc).

            A quick check of the About Me on the Open Parachute site and its sections on fluoridation, and from there the Researchgate link, confirmed the reason for my disquiet.

            Ken Parrott, author at open Parachute is not just another blogger – he probably has far higher professional qualifications, experience etc etc in the field of fluoridation than anyone here on TS.

            https://openparachute.wordpress.com/about-me/

            https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ken_Perrott?ev=hdr_xprf

            A google search on his name/country NZ also provides a wealth of links re his background in the fluoride field, including a guest post a couple of years ago on TDB.
            https://www.google.co.nz/search?q=Ken+Perrott+NZ&rlz=1C1LDJZ_enNZ499&source=lnt&tbs=ctr:countryNZ&cr=countryNZ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjloKSRi-DYAhVKa7wKHU1ACRAQpwUIIQ&biw=1024&bih=724

            http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/02/11/guest-post-ken-perrott-making-sense-of-the-fluoride-debate/

            The links also include this very recent (Dec 2017) Scoop article on an article just published in the British Dental Journal by New Zealand researcher Dr Ken Perrott highlighting flaws in a 2015 research paper, widely cited by fluoride opponents, that had reported a connection between fluoridation and ADHD. On a quick glance, it appears to be a good example of a pro-science, evidence-based approach to peer review

            http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1712/S00027/fluoridation-is-not-linked-to-adhd.htm

            Not criticizing anyone who commented, but just suggesting that it sometimes does pay to take a minute or so to check out professional backgrounds etc, before making claims that someone is this, that or the other. It helps to avoid egg on face syndrome – I know from previous personal experience of this!

            (EDIT – I see that Bill has now added a further reply to RB … Mine is aimed a bit wider than RB as i had no problem most of RB’s post at 1.2.

        • OnceWasTim 1.2.3.4

          Here we go again @Anne (it seems) – re something a bit funny has happened this early new year.
          I’m not sure if its just that contributors are wearing the undies someone bought them for Christmas – two sizes too small, or whether there is something other than fluoride in the water.
          Roll on 2018, and we’ll see if it’s all as sustainable as we would like, or whether we’ll shoot ourselves in the tootsies

    • Gold. A commenter on the “Fire and Fury” thread writes:

      I’m waiting for all information before jumping to conclusions.

      The blogger responds:

      That is more or less my position – and why I call the media promoted story of Russian Collusion as fact a “myth.”

      Er, yes – declaring something “a myth” is what normal people always do when they’re “waiting for all information before jumping to conclusions.” That one’s almost funnier than his comments about everyone else suffering from confirmation bias.

      • Bill 1.3.1

        Reporting Russian Collusion as “fact” is, in terms of there being no presentation of concrete evidence on which to base the conclusion that it actually happened, kinda creating a myth.

        But hey, here’s Greenwald from last year, because he’s far more erudite and in depth than me.

        Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?

        But no matter. It’s a claim about nefarious Russian control. So it’s instantly vested with credibility and authority, published by leading news outlets, and then blindly accepted as fact in most elite circles. From now on, it will simply be Fact – based on the New York Times article – that the Kremlin aggressively and effectively weaponized Twitter to manipulate public opinion and sow divisions during the election, even though the evidence for this new story is the secret, unverifiable assertions of a group filled with the most craven neocons and national security state liars.

        That’s how the Russia narrative is constantly “reported,” and it’s the reason so many of the biggest stories have embarrassingly collapsed. It’s because the Russia story of 2017 – not unlike the Iraq discourse of 2002 – is now driven by religious-like faith rather than rational faculties.

        No questioning of official claims is allowed. The evidentiary threshold which an assertion must overcome before being accepted is so low as to be non-existent.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3.1.1

          I’m struggling to think of a high-profile official investigation into something or someone that didn’t also involve public speculation out the wazoo, so it’s hardly surprising that this one also has its partisan followers.

          OJ Simpson springs to mind, as does the attempted Clinton impeachment.

        • Psycho Milt 1.3.1.2

          No questioning of official claims is allowed.

          Writes the man busily questioning official claims. Now there’s a myth being created.

    • Ed 1.4

      You for the excellent links.

      Is “Russiagate” another deception like Iraqi WMDs? ‘
      Yes

      The media is corralling people’s thinking by spreading this lie.
      Just as they did over WMD, Vietnam, McCarthyism. If we are lied to enough times, then most believe.

      Fortunately there are independent journalists like Patrick Cockburn, and Eva Bartlett who have told us the truth about what has been happening in Syria, Ukraine, Yemen, Russia, the US and Iran.

      Thank you Bill for sharing these important stories that go against the neoliberal lies.

      • reason 1.4.1

        Israel has been buying usa politics for decades ….. wielding so much power and influence,…. that the usa Govt did a white wash and covered up when Israel killed or injured around 200 u.s navy sailors.

        At the time of the attack and attempted sinking “The Jewish council could influence 169 of the 270 elctoral votes needed to win the white house”

        “The Israelis used code-names to protect their white house agents” …

        Does anyone seriously believe the Russians have anywhere near the involvement or influence on U.S politics than Israel ???

    • francesca 1.5

      At last!

      • Bill 1.5.1

        I wish I could share your apparent relief or enthusiasm francesca.

        Unfortunately, we’re in a kind of cultural morass that sits somewhere between that which surrounded Iraqi WMD and McCarthyism. My impression is the latter was more enthusiastically taken up by the public at large than the former.

        I could be wrong on that front, but assuming I’m not, I’d suggest the level of acceptance of Trump/Russia blah tends more towards the McCarthy side of any WMD/McCarthy scale than it does towards any WMD side.

        Media and elites had to sell the idea of WMD to a skeptical public, whereas this stuff…fck, it’s just getting gobbled up.

    • weka 1.6

      “I have long considered myself a “lefty,’ a “liberal” and a “progressive.” But I have despaired over the last 18 months at the behaviour of what I have often considered “my side.” The sinking of “fellow liberals” into a quagmire of political partisanship, political conspiracy theories, confirmation bias and hateful hostility to anyone daring to present an alternative viewpoint distresses me.

      Hear, hear Ken.”

      The problem with those kinds of very generalised statements is we have no idea who he is talking about. And that just creates confusion.

      (and there is no single anti-Trump movement, hard to get past a headline like that).

      • Bill 1.6.1

        Well, I took it to refer to anyone expressing “hostility to anyone daring to present an alternative viewpoint…”

        And that being in relation to the rather specific anti-trump bandwagon running on allegations of collusion with Russia; rubbishy innuendo (that is not to be called out), and baseless gossip (also not to be called out).

        On Russia, supposed collusion is to be treated as an accepted truth. The evidence will be forthcoming (apparently). Asking for concrete evidence now (after 18 months) is kinda “not cricket” and worthy of (in Ken’s words) “hostility”.

        I don’t think Ken was implying there is a single anti_Trump movement, but was referring to ‘the’ anti-Trump movement – bones that both his pieces give flesh to.

        Most of the political people on the left I speak with in the real world get that. Notwithstanding, it’s true to say we don’t tend to engage in political discussions with those who stray too far from our own views in real world situations.

        Glen Greenwald an others have pointed all this out and termed it as a new McCarthyism. I don’t think they are wrong in having that view.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.6.1.1

          On Russia, supposed collusion is to be treated as an accepted truth.

          Is it? There’s evidence that it happened, but evidence has to be weighted and considered before you can claim it’s proof of anything.

          The closest thing we have to first hand knowledge of the motivation behind the investigation is Glenn Simpson’s testimony to Congress, in which he states that he and Steele became concerned that Trump is the victim of blackmail. Other fascinating nuggets include Trump claiming he does business deals in Russia when no such deals exist (which I take to mean that no property changes hands, no companies are registered and so-on – at least on paper), and that the FBI has a source in Trump’s organisation* (whether it predates his run for office remains unclear).

          Assuming Simpson isn’t just lying about his motivation, that sheds an entirely different light on latter events.

          When Trump says “there was no collusion”, perhaps that’s because he’s being extorted and blackmailed instead. Or perhaps But But But Hillary framed him or something.

          Or perhaps it’s all just weak-sauce bs, as you seem convinced of.

          The length of the investigation is a red herring.

          *which means, btw, that their evidence probably won’t see the light of day until any trial occurs, for obvious reasons.

          PS: Simpson says Steele severed links with the FBI because he came to the conclusion that they were interfering in the election. Make of that what you will.

          • Bill 1.6.1.1.1

            So far yes, It’s all weak-sauce bs as far as I’m concerned.

            That’s qualitatively different from being convinced it will all wind up being nothing more than weak-sauce bs. That’s merely a suspicion, and one that grows the longer no concrete evidence is produced.

            There will be others, but Greenwald seems to be particularly surgical and thorough in his approach to supposedly factual claims being made by mainstream liberal outlets, and has very good pieces mapping out the who’s who of those behind pushing (many now debunked) “collusion and interference” stories through those outlets.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 1.6.1.1.1.1

              it’s completely possible (and probable, really) that the CIA possesses hard evidence that could establish Russian attribution — it’s their job to have such evidence, and often to keep it secret.

              Sam Biddle, The Intercept.

              If such evidence exists it would no doubt provide part of the case against Trump or his henchmen, and wouldn’t be revealed until then, just like anything provided by the FBI’s purported mole.

              Its continued absence until then should be expected. I certainly wouldn’t firm up my position on that basis.

              • Bill

                Why would concrete evidence being provided to underpin claims of the Russian government hacking DNC emails “no doubt provide part of the case against Trump…” ?

                Also, there’s no mention of the FBI or an FBI mole in the piece you linked to.

                Did you link to the wrong piece? Or are you just taking random Russia/Trump stuff and throwing it all in the same pot hoping to conjure up a Trump stew?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Wild projection/speculation about stew aside, I discussed Glenn Simpson’s testimony (in which he mentioned the mole) at 1.6.1.1.

                  Why would concrete evidence being provided to underpin claims of the Russian government hacked DNC emails “no doubt provide part of the case against Trump…” ?

                  For the reasons Biddle outlines in the article I linked: because it would validate the provenance of the phishing attack on the DNC, and thus provide strong evidence that anyone possessing that information (and offering it to Trump) was also working for the Russian government.

                  It would add context and flavour to any eventual charges or case for impeachment, for sure.

                  It’s worth reading Simpson’s testimony first-hand, if you have the time.

    • Ed 1.7

      Collusion.
      There is none.

      Author of Trump-Russia Collusion Book Can’t Name Single Instance of Collusion in 30-Minute Interview

      I bring this up because I just watched an interview with Guardian journalist Luke Harding, who recently released a bestseller called Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump Win. The host of The Real News, Aaron Maté, repeatedly pressed him on concrete examples of proven collusion, and the result was embarrassing—Harding had a whole heap of nothing.

      Harding wasn’t prepared for what amounted to a skeptical interviewer. I have no doubt that if Paste’s writers were present, …….and Harding’s stumbling incompetence doesn’t necessarily mean there was no collusion. That said, a simple fact remains: The man who wrote the book on Trump-Russia collusion can’t point to a single concrete instance of said collusion.

      That’s pretty damning, right?

      You can watch the video below, or read the transcript.

      • Bill 1.7.1

        Like one of those repeat comedies that has you laughing as hard the second time around as the first. 🙂

        • Ed 1.7.1.1

          The most revealing quote of all.
          I’m a storyteller.
          Not a journalist, then.

          LUKE HARDING: Yeah. Right. Don’t kind of quite appreciate the nature of Vladimir Putin’s state. I mean I lived there for four years. I was there for between 2007 and 2011. I was eventually kind of kicked out for writing stories about kleptocracy, about Putin’s fortune, about human rights, about journalists. I’m not sure if you know, but some of my friends in Moscow who are journalists have been murdered. This is not a nice or benign regime. It’s-

          AARON MATÉ: [crosstalk 00:10:04] I’m certainly not arguing that Vladimir Putin is a nice person or that he has great policies, but to me though, that doesn’t automatically mean that he waged a massive influence campaign that got Donald Trump elected. Part of the reason why I’m skeptical of that is that, again, there still is actual … There’s zero evidence so far. There’s a lot of supposition and innuendo.

          LUKE HARDING: Well I’m a journalist. I’m a storyteller. I’m not head of the CIA or the NSA…

      • Ed 1.7.2

        Luke Harding is further evidence of how far the Guardian has slid in the past 15 years.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.7.3

        “Pretty damning”.

        This book about daffodils doesn’t mention Friesian Cows once!

        • Bill 1.7.3.1

          Was the existence of the daffodils dependent upon the presence of Friesian cows?

          No?

          No matter whether mention is made of cows or not then.

  2. Stuart Munro 2

    I wonder if Wolff’s Faulkner reference has any substance.

  3. red-blooded 3

    This article in the Guardian is worth checking out. It’s about PFIs (the British equivalent to PPPs), with a particular focus on the implications for the public sector when it’s left picking up the bill for (oh, so efficient!) private sector companies if they fail/declare bankruptcy when delivering public sector services or infrastructure.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      So is the concern that a public company gets to run on private business lines and go for profit and big salaries, but if it strikes a bump and loses money, or is damaged and goes bust, then the taxpayer enters the picture and picks up the tab and pays out all the other business players involved?

      • red-blooded 3.1.1

        Basically, yes.

        I have to say that I don’t know enough about the NZ situation to say that things are exactly the same here, but in Britain at least, it seems that the economic benefits of PFIs were sold on the theory that they were a lower cost to the public purse than straight government funding, but that was only (marginally) true if the idea of “risk transfer” was factored in: “When you examine the claims made for the efficiency of the private sector, you soon discover that they boil down to the transfer of risk. Value for money hangs on the idea that companies shoulder risks the state would otherwise carry. But in cases like this (building hospitals), even when the company takes the first hit, the risk ultimately returns to the government. In these situations, the very notion of risk transfer is questionable.”

        “The costing of risk is notoriously subjective. Because it involves the passage of a fiendishly complex contract through an unknowable future, you can make a case for almost any value. A study published in the British Medical Journal revealed that, before the risk was costed, every hospital scheme it investigated would have been built much more cheaply with public funds. But once the notional financial risks had been added, building them through PFI came out cheaper in every case, although sometimes by less than 0.1%.

        Not only was this exercise (as some prominent civil servants warned) bogus, but the entire concept is negated by the fact that if collapse occurs, the risk ripples through the private sector and into the public.”

        • greywarshark 3.1.1.1

          Thinking about risk in ventures and assessing it over time and possible cost and so on. Is that what is called actuarial? Anyway I just mention something that got into my head when reading about the great oil spill from a tanker near Alaska. I think it was the Exxon. The risk of the transport of oil had been assessed and it was felt likely that there might be an accident once in 25 years. To protect and mitigate against that there were requirements made of government keeping an overview, and shipping kept in the area for the especial purpose of handling large spills and damage to this large oil tanker.

          25 years and perhaps an even shorter time, seems to be too long for people in general, and even government or business, to maintain a watching brief with the awareness and readiness as required by the assessment papers. When the disastrous accident happened, the government overview had been scaled back and to an extent the watchdog role had been captured by the company and industry, and the safety vessels with remedial equipment had been sent off to distant posts, and were
          days, weeks away when needed urgently to deal with a very bad spill.

          So government can not contract out effectively as it is the entity where the buck stops, and no other entity is going to take responsibility for the services or safety in the same way as the government does, as supposedly serving and answering to its citizens.

    • Pat 3.2

      Carrillion is a very salient and timely lesson…PPPs (by any name) exist to enable the use of accounting deception (which no one believes) …even without the collapses and public bailouts they are a foolishly expensive method of funding capital expenditure/public service due to the shareholder returns, inflated salaries, self serving bonus culture and race to the bottom in terms of quality (both in construction and service) to win……another appalling example of short- termism.

      • greywarshark 3.2.1

        I hadn’t gone to the link at the beginning of the thread and in case if others haven’t, the below paras are the start of an important column relating to the collapse of some ambitious entity called Carrillion.

        Again the “inefficient” state mops up the disasters caused by “efficient” private companies. Just as the army had to step in when G4S failed to provide security for the London 2012 Olympics, and the Treasury had to rescue the banks, the collapse of Carillion means that the fire service must stand by to deliver school meals.

        Two hospitals, both urgently needed, that Carillion was supposed to be constructing, the Midland Metropolitan and the Royal Liverpool, are left in half-built limbo, awaiting state intervention. Another 450 contracts between Carillion and the state must be untangled, resolved and perhaps rescued by the government.

        We have the penetration of our business opportunities by these international and overseas-modelled companies. Profitable business is their game, and the game is moulded around contracts that are set rock-hard by legalities, if not in any physical legal form, probably all on-line.

        The music suitable to the acting out of the whole enterprise, I think would be Chess. The satirising that I know and enjoy best, would be from the Telegraph’s Alex by Peattie and Taylor.
        They are on a robot theme at present, and the robots are coming off second best to the simple cunning of stock traders. May as well laugh while business goes on going forward. I like January 15.
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/alex/?cc=10151369

    • reason 3.3

      Our medias bias will not give much coverage to another rip off and the failures of Privitization ….. or as its modern bastard children are called …. PPP’s, PFI’s, charter schools etc

      Its core national party ideology .

      With a PPP failure the money is burned and contracted services do not get delivered … Meaning tax payers will pay twice

      Even worse in the latest failure from england…. their contracted company also destroyed half a billion pounds of workers pension money …

      Here’s a Swedish PPP scam example, which our media has probably never reported on …. As it also involves our Ex PMs line of work ….

      “Swedish authorities in 2010 gave a single bidder the contract in a so called public-private partnership (PPP) – not only to build the hospital but also account for the financing and maintenance for decades to come.”

      “” (Mission: Investigation) can now reveal that large sums in the prestigious project is routed to the tax haven of Luxembourg.”

      https://www.icij.org/investigations/luxembourg-leaks/controversial-swedish-hospital-partnership-has-luxembourg-links/

      https://www.svt.se/nyheter/granskning/ug/new-karolinska-advanced-tax-scheme-in-luxembourg

  4. greywarshark 4

    Trade Me making change in dog breed advertising that seems very ethical – reported
    by The Wireless.
    http://thewireless.co.nz/articles/pugs-prohibited-trade-me-bans-sale-of-brachycephalic-breeds

    • red-blooded 4.1

      Yes, One News reported this last night, interviewing the head of the NZ Veterinary Association who said that even if owners were unaware of it, most of these dogs suffer and that their breathing problems are like trying to breathe through a pillow. I note the SPCA are also in favour.

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        My neighbour, died recently of emphysema. Very sad. There was the difficulty in breathing and talking made it worse and it was hard to listen to the effort. It seems unfair to the dogs to put them through that state of limiting breathing.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    I see Treasury has admitted an error, again!! It is amazing when they get it right.

  6. joe90 6

    Straight out of Doctor Strangelove.

    A newly drafted United States nuclear strategy that has been sent to President Trump for approval would permit the use of nuclear weapons to respond to a wide range of devastating but non-nuclear attacks on American infrastructure, including what current and former government officials described as the most crippling kind of cyberattacks.

    […]

    But the biggest difference lies in new wording about what constitutes “extreme circumstances.”

    In the Trump administration’s draft, those “circumstances could include significant non-nuclear strategic attacks.” It said that could include “attacks on the U.S., allied, or partner civilian population or infrastructure, and attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities.”

    The draft does not explicitly say that a crippling cyberattack against the United States would be among the extreme circumstances. But experts called a cyberattack one of the most efficient ways to paralyze systems like the power grid, cellphone networks and the backbone of the internet without using nuclear weapons.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/16/us/politics/pentagon-nuclear-review-cyberattack-trump.html

  7. phantom snowflake 7

    It appears that the totalitarian dystopia of countless sci-fi movies is almost upon us. (Or am I just late to the party??) This tender…

    NZ Police are seeking proposals from suitably experienced, qualified and resourced companies to provide the ABIS 2 (Automated Biometric Identification Solution) Facial Image Identification and Management, Scar, Mark and Tattoo, and Clothing database Technology Solution(s).

    https://www.gets.govt.nz/NZP/ExternalTenderDetails.htm?id=19367937

  8. Anne 8

    I have high hopes for Cabinet Minister, Tracey Martin. If she can match her deeds with her verbal down to earth, commonsense approach, she will be a very good minister in the Lab. led government.

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/ministry-vulnerable-children-today-drops-its-name

  9. Ed1 9

    From usenet (yes it still exists!)
    __________________
    Time to bring back the Ministry of Works

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/16/pfi-bosses-carillion-money-george-monbiot

    Time and time again we see that private companies are more efficient
    than the State – but only in relation to transferring profits to
    shareholders and key managers, not to actually producing the goods and
    services that they are contracted to provide.
    Let this be a lesson to governments – the previous National
    governments saw failures that cost taxpayers; will the LGNZF
    government be fooled the same way?

    The reality is that financing costs are cheaper for the government
    than for anyone else – that is an immediate benefit for not having
    partnerships with private companies that finance at higher rates. Then
    there is control, and whether quality and risk are actually managed
    well – for if anything goes wrong, the taxpayer ends up footing a
    higher bill.
    _________________

    There is another perspective than mitigating financial risk – it is the time frame of the different parties. That of business is only a few years, and getting shorter. Under National, some roading projects were contracted to special purpose companies set up by interested parties to undertake the work entirely on borrowed money – those tendering had little capital of their own invested in the project. When the first Labour government decided to build social housing, they used government employees for design, engineering, planning, plans; they used largely contractors to do detailed work, but they used government employees to supervise the work and ensure that standards were understood and maintained. They built to last – and many state houses from that era are now regarded as well built, if now dated in style, and are still being used ovr 60 years later.

    As an example of how we have fallen from those standards, consider the Defence Department. They moved out of their Stout Street headquarters, purpose built for them many years ago, to a new building in Aitken Street. In recent years the old building, which was structurally very sound, had become too small and in need of refurbishment. It was sold to a private developer who did that work and now leases it to another governmetn department. Meanwhile, the Aitken Street building is I am told being pulled down as it is now an earthquake risk. Similarly Statistics New Zealand moved to a new building which partially collapsed, fortunately not killing anyone, but leaving many archives lost as the building remains unsafe – in both cases while earlier buildings built with long term use in mind rather than “lowest cost is all that matters,” remain standing and able to be used.

    Taking a longer view can be difficult – sometimes a slower project can only deliver full benefits in the next parliamentary term or even later, but running a system that respects employees with proper training programmes and high business ethics can bear fruit in a lot of other ways as those people move into other jobs in the private sector. Fair dealing used to mean something in business, and still does in some parts of the country. I believe the current government can afford to plan for a second term; provided they pander to short termism enough to be elected, but deliver enough permanent solutions in that second term to have a very good chance of a third term.

    • Ad 9.1

      Do the work and run the counterfactual then.

      The state builds everything as you want, and what happens next?

  10. joe90 10

    Addled dotard claims he has the best brain because he found his way through a dementia screen.

    He blamed his three immediate predecessors, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, for failing to resolve the crisis and, a day after his doctor gave him a perfect score on a cognitive test, suggested he had the mental acuity to solve it.

    “I guess they all realized they were going to have to leave it to a president that scored the highest on tests,” he said.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-exclusive/exclusive-trump-says-russia-helping-north-korea-skirt-sanctions-pyongyang-getting-close-on-missile-idUSKBN1F62KO

    • Ed 11.1

      A gift for you.

    • Puckish Rogue 11.2

      When you already have this:

      Several exemptions can be granted such as if the mother is at risk of violence, or if there is insufficient evidence of who the father is.

      Why change it?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2.1

        For example, articles seven and twelve of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

        • indiana 11.2.1.1

          With regard to privacy, in the case of receiving a state funded benefit, I think most people would agree that if the conditions for receiving the benefit are met, even if one of those conditions require revealing who the father is, then equality under the law has been met. Though I don’t believe it is a law that benefits must be paid to citizens – they are just policies of the government at the time.

          If privacy is the main concern, then the government has no need to know how much money I earn to tax me.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 11.2.1.1.1

            I don’t give a shit what you and “most people” agree on. Human rights are universal, no matter how many justifications you can come up with.

          • veutoviper 11.2.1.1.2

            +1 in respect of OAG’s response to you.

            You appear to have no understanding of NZ’s obligations and responsibilities resulting from NZ’s ratification of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and ratification of other related International Conventions and Covenants etc since 1948 relating to things like the rights of the child, the rights of persons with disabilities, elimination of all forms of racial discrimination, status of refugees to name but a few of these – all of which are enshrined in various pieces of NZ legislation.

            IMO this statement in your comment is astounding in its ignorance – “Though I don’t believe it is a law that benefits must be paid to citizens – they are just policies of the government at the time.”

            If you really believe that then you obviously have no understanding of other pieces of NZ legislation such as the various iterations of the Social Security Act etc that have been enacted in NZ over the last 80 years since 1938 with the introduction of the first Labour Government’s social welfare programme – and which set out both rights and obligations of both the government and the recipients of welfare payments.

  11. The Chairman 12

    Trouble brewing for the new Government.

    It seems property investors are fleeing the rental market with Labour’s policies being one of the driving factors.

    With a sufficient number of new homes from Kiwibuild being years away, coupled with an insufficient number of new state homes proposed thus far, Labour are likely to face an increase in the number of homelessness and tenants facing soaring rents (along with their related ills) over its first term. Risking widespread voter disillusionment.

    How will Labour overcome this? Will they buy private rentals and turn them into state rentals? Will they buy and turn private rentals into Kiwibuild homes?

    Will they be forced to house more in motels? Giving the opposition their stick to hit them with.

    • Robert Guyton 12.1

      “Trouble brewing for the new Government.”
      You’re excited, I can tell!!

      • The Chairman 12.1.1

        I don’t find a potential increase in the number of homelessness and tenants facing soaring rents exciting, Robert.

    • BM 12.2

      How will Labour overcome this? Will they buy private rentals and turn them into state rentals? Will they buy and turn private rentals into Kiwibuild homes?

      That’s going to force up house prices.

      Desperate government = ask for whatever you want.

      • Sam 12.2.1

        Hold it. Every one look at BM becoming a stable genius. How amazing it is the house prices will go up. Your a real fucking genius you know that BM… Amazing…

      • The Chairman 12.2.2

        It will offset falling investor and owner buyer demand. Thus, will make little if any net difference to demand, hence market price.

        • Sam 12.2.2.1

          You know at some point when investors make shitty investments they should actually lose out on it when it goes tits up. I mean. My god, the government can’t keep bailing out unsophisticated investors all the time.

          • The Chairman 12.2.2.1.1

            It’s not about bailing out investors (which maybe an unintended consequence) it’s about securing homes for people and families.

            • Sam 12.2.2.1.1.1

              Nah. It’s like BM is reading from a script or something… Like he’s given these messages to say with out even understanding the words that are coming of his keyboard and when ever he goes off script he just comes across as a Nigerian con artist. He’s worthless.

        • BM 12.2.2.2

          In Wellington, it will, if it became known the government was buying existing rentals and they were desperate for them, then it becomes a seller’s market and you can start asking above the going rate.

          Not like the government has to go to the bank and get a mortgage.

          Anyway, the big issue is that people have taken their rentals off the market, so unless the government can convince these people to either sell their rentals to the government or put them back on the market it will make no difference.

          The problem still is there’s not enough rentals, complete fuck up by Labour.

          • Sam 12.2.2.2.1

            I mean that’s the definition of a property bubble. If the government purchase above market rates then who will pay the next trench up of house prices… See the false ideology? People want security not a Ponzi scheme.

          • The Chairman 12.2.2.2.2

            Regardless of it being Wellington or not, they would merely be shoring up the downfall in demand, thus largely maintaining current market prices, not increasing them.

            Due to the poor condition of a number of rentals (especially in Wellington) and the fact the Government’s budget will be limited, one would expect offers will be realistic, despite any perceived desperation.

            • Sam 12.2.2.2.2.1

              We’ve already had BMs hysteria over drug testing state houses, and not even been unfit for habitation. Now BMs so thick in the head he dosnt even understand that he’s pushing a Ponzi scam. He’s a totally con.

              • Alan

                he does understand supply and demand

                • Sam

                  If you think all rentals and tenants are the same then you’re insane… Because when BM assumes that all tenants and rentals are the same it’s actually mathematically impossible for BM to derive a supply curve…

                  I mean… Fuck me… This is why I don’t educate flaky virtue signallers.

    • David Mac 12.3

      If carefully managed a glut of homes for sale that eases pricing in the ‘1st home’ category could be a good thing. I think it would be interesting to see what price range of properties investors are selling up. Gut feel tells me it won’t be the expensive end of the rental market, those tenants are better placed to absorb increases. The renters that are finally able to afford a starter home of their own will be making their previous rental home available to others with their move.

      • The Chairman 12.3.1

        At this stage, easing pricing to widen accessibility to more first home buyers would more than likely require prices to fall. And a falling housing market would exacerbate the new Government’s problems. Which is one reason why Labour campaigned on slowing the rate of increase, not dropping the current value of homes.

        • David Mac 12.3.1.1

          Investors selling up basic boxes in West and South Auckland could see an over supply in one sector of the market, prices easing in that under 500k sector. I guess there would be a spill-over to the 1.5 million dollar McMansions but that sector could remain quite buoyant. Investors won’t be pumping stock into that sector, not increasing the supply.

          • David Mac 12.3.1.1.1

            Great spin potential for Jacinda’s mob.

            “Does the Prime Minister acknowledge that 2000 rental homes have had ‘For Sale’ signs hammered into their verges in the last 3 months?”

            “Yes, 1st home ownership take-up is the highest it’s been for 5 years and rising. Those first home buyers are vacating rental homes.”

            • Sam 12.3.1.1.1.1

              The problem is with the realestate industry needing sales volume, so pretty much convincing retirees to sell the family home for a million and scale down. The problem is those scaled down beach homes or what ever… Is closing in on the million dollar average. And this is usually the one nest egg for retirement so it’s like once the money gone. Then what?

              If there’s continued down turn in construction then there will be a recession kiwi style so consideration must be given to keeping the kiwi home, not selling.

            • The Chairman 12.3.1.1.1.2

              “1st home ownership take-up is the highest it’s been for 5 years “

              With record high immigration, thus new immigrants looking for their first NZ home, it’s not that surprising.

              “Those first home buyers are vacating rental homes”

              While some of them will be, evidently it’s done little to ease the current rental shortage problem with demand exceeding supply. Which suggests it’s more a case of new immigrants buying their first homes squeezing locals out, hence forcing more to rent.

              https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/100675144/rentals-in-hot-demand-and-shortage-wont-ease-anytime-soon-trade-me

          • The Chairman 12.3.1.1.2

            @ David Mac (12.3.1.1)

            While it will be largely centered around the lower end of the market and in areas with a high number rentals, it won’t be solely limited to that end or area of the market. So yes, their will be spillover. Along with a heighten risk it could all quickly unravel.

            Buyers are far less inclined to buy in a declining market, preferring to hold off (thus adding to the downward spiral) expecting to save thousands as they anticipate prices to further decline.

  12. joe90 13

    The world dodged a bullet when the warmonger lost…oh

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Wednesday committed the United States to an indefinite military presence in Syria, citing a range of policy goals that extend far beyond the defeat of the Islamic State as conditions for American troops to go home.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/us-troops-will-stay-in-syria-to-counter-strategic-threat-from-iran/2018/01/17/eeed9d16-fb8f-11e7-9b5d-bbf0da31214d_story.html?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.04b2a86d0a7a

  13. Ed 14

    Not clean.
    Not green.
    Wasteful.

    New Zealand is the most wasteful country in the developed world but investment in organic waste facilities could reduce that by almost a third.

    Research published on Waste Management World has found New Zealand produces 3.68kg of waste per capita per day, the worst in the developed world and the 10th worst of countries worldwide surveyed.

    ‘Idiotic systems’: NZ most wasteful country in developed world

  14. Ed 15

    The greed of farmers, the weakness of neoliberal politicians and the devastating impact of irrigation
    Its consequences.

    Millan Ruka on Facebook

    Millan Ruka I paddled this beautiful living river around 2009. Now its life force has been sucked from it and nobody cares (except Matt Coffey). The RMA has clauses to stop this greed but our leaders do not have the will or the guts to implement restrictions. Come on Labour Coalition instruct the Local Government to put immediate restrictions on irrigation

    Photo 1

    Photo 2

    Photo 3

  15. Ed 16

    A history lesson…….

  16. Morrissey 17

    Before you condemn Fox News as the most outrageous media outlet in
    the world, have a look at the English version of French state television.

    France 24 News, 11 p.m., FACE TV (Sky Channel 83), Tuesday 16 Jan. 2018

    We are depressingly accustomed to television “news” being often little more than a conduit of state propaganda, whether it’s on the BBC, ABC (the Australian one), RT, Deutsche Welle, Al Jazeera, PBS, CBS, ABC (the American one), NBC, MSNBC, Fox News, and our own TVNZ and NewsHub. As craven as all of the above are, however, the other night I saw something that equalled, perhaps even surpassed, all of the above for sheer brass-plated, malicious, bloody-minded dishonesty: I watched the first ten minutes of the English version of France 24.

    The alarm bells were ringing on this from the first live cross on the very first item, about the call for the PLO to cut its ties with Israel. That cross was to “our correspondent in the region, Irris Makler.” Now, long-time listeners will remember that we encountered this shamelessly one-sided Israeli-Australian back in July 2011 when RNZ National wheeled her on to talk about a convoy of peace activists trying to break the illegal blockade of Gaza. She joked to Kathryn Ryan that the Gaza peace convoy was “dead in the water”, sneered that there were “celebrities like Alice Walker” on board, and ignored the presence of the 86-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein. [1] A week later, she was still defaming peace protestors, this time for Deutsche-Welle. [2])

    It turns out that Irris Makler has not changed her modus operandi in the slightest: “You know Palestinians will pay a price internationally,” she intoned darkly. Then she claimed, in contradiction to all evidence, that the Oslo agreements had led to “great changes” in the Occupied Territories.

    Unbelievably, there was worse to come. The newsreader, one Alexander Aucott, introduced the next item, about Ahed Tamimi, the 16 year old Palestinian girl arrested and charged for slapping an armed IDF soldier. He read out, with a straight face, that she had been:

    caught on film pushing, kicking, and hitting the soldiers, who did not respond. The video provoked outrage in Israel, but she has been hailed as a hero by Palestinians.”

    Alexander Aucott should have mentioned that just before Ahed Tamimi slapped one of the soldiers who’d invaded her yard, she had learned that her 15-year-old cousin Mohammed had been shot in the head at close range by an Israeli soldier. But for some reason Aucott—or more likely, his scriptwriter—chose to ignore all that and instead portray her as an aggressor and the soldier as a victim. It’s not many years since French state media and scurrilous tabloids approvingly covered the Sarkozy government’s loading of gypsies on to trains and expelling them from France. Clearly, honesty and integrity still count for little or nothing in the French state media.

    The impression of shabbiness and lack of professionalism was only magnified by the appearance of Alexander Aucott, who looks like a young, scruffy clone of Neil Kinnock, and glowers at the camera reproachfully as he mouths his loaded lines. The wretchedness of all this was only magnified by its following immediately after a brilliant Democracy Now! special on Martin Luther King.

    [1] https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-04072011/#comment-347912
    [2] https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-11072011/#comment-350723

    • One Two 17.1

      Take a look into the ‘free speech’ laws in France…

      They’re currently seeking to control ‘fake news’…

      No doubt you’re already aware…

      • Union city greens 17.1.1

        No, he’s lucky, there are no fake news laws in NZ.

        • Ed 17.1.1.1

          Well all Stuff and rhe Herald provide is propaganda and fake news.
          Hence the apathy and ignorance of some many New Zealanders.
          So many people vote against their own interests, supporting ghastly neoliberal policies that ruin society and the environment.
          The media corral people into opinions by repeating the lies.

      • Morrissey 17.1.2

        France 24 is fake news. At least it was on Tuesday night. And I’m sure it regularly and dependably delivers such nasty propaganda; I don’t think Mr Aucott’s gruesome performance was an aberration.

  17. eco maori 18

    Trump is a direct result of the Clinton’s. Why do I say this well first Trump and the Clinton’were associates and Bill would have told trump about the Mana that A President of America has and this would have made Trump obsessed with the goal of becoming President in my view. Bill was that obsessed with getting that Mana back through Hillary that he minupulated the Democratic party to get Hillary as there front runner candidate and not Bernice Sanders and wallar we have Trump as President the way trump is behaving is because of what Bill told Trump. I say if it looks like one talks like one than he is a Racist Bigot who panders to his polling that is what is keeping him in power and he will use anything through anyone under the bus say anything to keep this Mana that he is intoxicated with. This is a very dangerous man with the world future in his hands and you know what comes first in trumps world Trump. Is this the person whom is supposed to look after all Americans wellbeing Ana to kai

  18. eco maori 19

    Sorry about the heat morning rumble you should have got the bug spray out and sprayed the sandflys lol. They won’t shut you down that would make OUR Mana even greater I wonder what happened to that South Waikato airial of yours last year???????. I figure out that when I get a random phone call unanswered my phone is been hacked they can’t stop me using it for posting on the standard but they can listen and use the camera and also change my alarm and turn alarm off. Every time the sandflys try and spin shit about me they end up with shit in there face. This will allways happen because I have done nothing.

    Its cool being famous from Pokai Tikapa Waiomatatini Tairawhiti I go into the Putaruru supermarket and there is a lot of chatting and excitement going down I start shopping and when I got to the checkout everyone’s vanished. The sandflys have followed me into the shop and told/bullied everyone and told them to not let me know that I’m well known. I have been going into this supermarkets for 12 years off and on The same thing happens at Rotorua pack and save they are so _____ its not funny Ka kite ano

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