Open Mike 18/02/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 18th, 2018 - 262 comments
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262 comments on “Open Mike 18/02/2018”

  1. Ant 1

    Did Kipling prevision UBI?

    “…….and no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame,
    But each for the joy of the working, as each in his separate star,
    Draws the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.”

    One of the objections to UBI is folk sitting round doing nothing. Bollocks. Setting us aside from the animal kingdom is creativity, and by the very nature of individual temperament everyone is a creator and is at their best when putting personal talent to work. Creativity spans the limitless spectrum of politics, education, fiscal policies, the arts, environment, science and medicine, idealism and philosophy, charity, culture.

    The new education (I am making this up) will deliver only 4 subject areas: language, maths, science and philosophy. Within small classes students develop competence in these disciplines; more importantly they discover and develop individual talent within safe, supportive settings. Electronic media provide ample scope for specialisation once interest and preference have been unearthed.

    Then, supported by UBI to step forth as individuals and like-talented associates to forge a new mode of existence. Destruction of the planet, so profoundly achieved through rampant capitalism and out-of-control greed will be replaced by cooperative endeavour as the incentive to “get ahead” is eclipsed by self expression through any one or more creative activities aligned with re-construction and restoration.

    The rise of cooperatives globally is far more than the economy of pooled resources. I am not the first to claim cooperation, where individual talent contributing towards group objectives is mobilised, is more fulfilling than competition.

    We have seen what competition/capitalism carried to extreme results in: universal poverty, environmental degradation, high stress living. Competition, by its very nature has no half-measures. You can’t ‘half-compete.’

    If the cooperative model fails to deliver we can always return to our ‘dog-eats-dog’ former lifestyles.

    ”UBI is neither left nor right but forward.”

    • Ad 1.1

      Here’s the kind of evaluation Finland is getting from just its first start at their version, with parties from left, right and Green having pretty strong words about it:

      http://blogi.kansanelakelaitos.fi/arkisto/3316

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        So, exactly as expected, people criticised the set-up. That’s what your link says.

        Try something a little more up-to-date.

        the Finnish experiment will at least “produce meaningful results – albeit in a limited field,” according to Kanerva. In an area where convictions are often more abundant than facts, “It has forced people to talk specifics.”

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          Yes. They are criticizing the framework because there are no final results yet.

          That is when they will criticize the final results.

          If you criticize the setup, you prepare the ground to criticize the results.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1.1.1

            So you didn’t read the link that dates from eighteen months after yours, eh. Slack.

            The Finnish experiment’s design and objectives mean it should perhaps not really be seen as a full-blown UBI trial at all, cautioned Kanerva: “People think we’re launching universal basic income. We’re not. We’re just trialling one kind of model, with one income level and one target group.”

    • Antoine 1.2

      I can never understand how Greens can champion the UBI with a straight face.

      My thinking is pretty straightforward:

      – Our wealth comes in the large part from the environment
      – When our environment is in good health, we prosper
      – We are damaging the environment
      – When our environment is damaged, we will be poorer
      – We will not be able to afford to pay anyone to do nothing.

      I think it is more likely that within my lifetime we will have _no state funded social welfare system at all_, than that we have an UBI.

      I think a true Green belief system would involve getting everyone off the couch and working _now_, to get them into the habit, before the harsh times that lie ahead.

      A.

      • Incognito 1.2.1

        My take from Ant’s comment @ 1 is that our wealth comes from us; it is our creativity and expression of who we are, individually and collectively. Thus, the way I see it and interpret Ant’s comment, and many other writings on this subject, is that a true UBI gives us the opportunity to redefine “wealth” in a more holistic way that is in stark contrast to the narrow neoliberal and materialistic ‘definition’. A UBI gives us a real chance, for the first time in a long time, to reconnect with our true nature and find, or create rather, the fulfilment that so many have been seeking, unsuccessfully, I may add. Thus, it would fit very well with the Greens IMHO.

        • Antoine 1.2.1.1

          I worry that we’ll be too busy trying to find something to eat, to have time to reconnect with our true nature

          A.

          • Incognito 1.2.1.1.1

            Hang on, Antoine, you sledged the Greens on their championship of a UBI with a straight face based on your misguided ideas about the Green belief system and I replied on-topic. Now you move the goalposts to foraging for food!? Are you genuinely interested in debate or just trolling?

        • Ant 1.2.1.2

          “A UBI gives us a real chance, for the first time in a long time, to reconnect with our true nature ….”

          Agreed. Humanity has ever been dual: competitive and self-seeking on the one hand, altruistic and aligned with planetary well-being on the other. The former has led us into pending disaster the latter (if we hurry) will guide us out of it.

          Bit like penguins on the edge of an ice flow. All know they gotta take the plunge, it takes one or two to get the mob mobilized.

      • cleangreen 1.2.2

        I support Antoine here;

        Protecting the environment firstly before we plan any wealth generation models using “our creativity and expression of who we are, individually and collectively” because Antoine is correct;

        We need first to ensure the fundamentals are in place first such as a healthy sustainable environment ‘foundation’ to work from.

        To not consider the health of the environmental foundations before planning is fool hardy.

        • Ant 1.2.2.1

          “Destruction of the planet, so profoundly achieved through rampant capitalism and out-of-control greed will be replaced by cooperative endeavour as the incentive to “get ahead” is eclipsed by self expression through any one or more creative activities aligned with re-construction and restoration. ”

          I have precisely the environment in mind with restoration. The options are limitless from individual application ( lawns replaced by food gardens) to national endeavour (replanting, dairy reduction or elimination, pooled transport, etc)

        • Incognito 1.2.2.2

          I support Antoine here

          Is this some kind of leadership contest? I’m sure Antoine doesn’t really need your “support” as such but he may appreciate that you agree with him 😉

          Anyway, I think we’re all quite close in our views in that a healthy environment is paramount. We seem to disagree on the order of things, in time (chronological structure) and in priority of importance (hierarchical structure). It is my understanding that the Greens, for example, view and treat these issue as equally important and very tightly connected, in time and mutual influence (cause & effect), and thus place (much) less emphasis on prioritising one over another and follow a simultaneous multipronged integrated & holistic approach.

      • I can never understand how Greens can champion the UBI with a straight face.

        Quite easily.

        My thinking is pretty straightforward:

        – Our wealth comes in the large part from the environment
        – When our environment is in good health, we prosper
        – We are damaging the environment
        – When our environment is damaged, we will be poorer
        – We will not be able to afford to pay anyone to do nothing.

        1. All our resources comes from the environment. We turn those resources into wealth through human endeavour.
        2. True.
        3. True but why? The problem is capitalism and the desire to have ever more.
        4. True.
        5. We pay quite a few people to sit around and do nothing – they’re called shareholders.

        I think a true Green belief system would involve getting everyone off the couch and working _now_, to get them into the habit, before the harsh times that lie ahead.

        A UBI will do that batter than the present welfare system simply because it would actually encourage people to work rather than penalising them for doing so.

        • Antoine 1.2.3.1

          > A UBI will do that better than the present welfare system simply because it would actually encourage people to work rather than penalising them for doing so.

          Maybe not if the UBI is enough to live on and the marginal tax rate is high.

          A.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.3.1.1

            With a UBI when you work for wages you’re always better off. This is not true under the present welfare system.

            • Antoine 1.2.3.1.1.1

              When is it not the case? (Genuine question)

              • When going to work will incur marginal taxation greater than the amount the amount earned.

                This happens when the abatement rate of 70 cents cuts in. You can earn, IIRC, $100 dollars before that happens. That’s less than a full days work at minimum wage. So a couple of days work each week can see people seriously worse off than not going to work at all.

                Effectively, the only time it’s worth going off the UB is when a person has a full time job available. Doing part time work even if it’s the only work available simply isn’t worth the effort.

                • Antoine

                  Interesting, some bad design there that should be addressed. (But I don’t think you need to go to an UBI to fix it – just tweak around with abatement rate, tax rates etc)

                  • Actually, the only way to address it is a UBI. I don’t believe any abatement rate will work. Low enough to make working a couple of days per week worthwhile would mean that people working full time could actually be worse off than people working part time.

      • AB 1.2.4

        “I think a true Green belief system would involve getting everyone off the couch and working _now_,”
        But we already have a large class of people who get income from doing nothing – we call them “investors”. I seem them idly infesting cafes in my neighbour on weekdays around mid-morning enjoying the fruits of their non-labour in the form of housing capital gain.
        Should they get off the couch too?

    • millsy 1.3

      IMO UBI is a big have. We should be focusing on universal basic services, ie housing, health and education.

      If you took the entire welfare budget and divided it up between the whole population, you would get the grand total of $211 per person.

      • alwyn 1.3.1

        I think it best that you redo the calculation.
        The Treasury figures say that the Social Security and Welfare expenditure is about $30.6 billion, ie $30.6 thousand million
        http://www.treasury.govt.nz/government/expenditure
        If we take the population of New Zealand as being about 4.8 million we would get a total of about $6,375 per person.
        Not a spectacular UBI but vastly more than the number you quote.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_New_Zealand#Population

        • AsleepWhileWalking 1.3.1.1

          So at the figure above we would have around 120/week to pay…rent in a low cost area.

          Paying benefits to those who don’t need them will inevitably lead to the punishment of people welfare should support.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1.1.1

            You do understand that a UBI is countered by large taxes right?

          • alwyn 1.3.1.1.2

            A UBI is possible, and will probably be needed in the future.
            It just won’t be as generous as people dream.
            The problem we are going to have is that a lot of jobs are going to be wiped out by automation. They won’t just be blue collar jobs either. A lot of legal work will go for example.
            Putting up minimum wages isn’t going to help of course. The higher the wages employers have to pay the more organisations will be pushed to automate.
            I lean toward the view that the state should pay benefits that will augment wages and salaries and provide a reasonable standard of living that way. Ordering firms to pay a “living wage” is futile and is doomed to failure.
            I am also in favour of universal benefits. Australia means tests things like Super and their system is a complete shambles. Saving toward you retirement simply diminishes you living standards both before AND after your retirement.
            Western Sydney McMansions are merely the most obvious outcome of their foolishness.

  2. Ed 2

    Personally I trust Lavrov more than the FBI .
    Frankly after Iraq and WMD, the lies about Libya, the CIA coup in Ukraine the war in Yemen, the clandestine support of ISIS in Syria ( and lies about chemical weapons used there) why is RNZ just falling hook,line and sinker for the next set of lies?

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national

    In this interview one of the key western media peddlers was shown up as a fraud

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      What evidence has Lavrov produced?

      Anything on Evgeny Prigozhin?

      In your own words, can you explain how “one of the key western media peddlers was shown up as a fraud”, rather than expecting people to watch a cherry-picked video that you agree with and then guess what you mean?

      Your RNZ link is useless, since it doesn’t go to the article you’re referring to.

      • Just think of it as a variant on those YouTube clips headed “[Authority I trust] DESTROYS a [member of group I hate]!” There’s usually nothing to back up the heading.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1

          That’s what I figure too. I still want to see it in Ed’s own words, though.

          • Ed 2.1.1.1.1

            He could not provide any evidence of collusion.
            Clearly you follow the imperial foreign policy beliefs of Blair and Clinton as you are forever advocating for them.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Clearly I touched a nerve, because you’ve started lashing out with lies and flamebait. Something which I note you have also already received several warnings about.

              You bring nothing to this table.

        • Ed 2.1.1.2

          The video shows Harding has no evidence of collusion.
          Just smears.
          He is just a pimp for western power.
          My , how the Guardian has fallen.

          • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.2.1

            The video shows Harding has no evidence of collusion.

            Or, to translate into YouTube-speak: “Aaron Maté OWNS a liberal MSM journalist!”

            Your initial claim was that the video shows that Luke Harding is a fraud. When asked to substantiate that claim, you’ve provided a reduced claim that Harding “has no evidence of collusion,” in other words you’re aware your initial claim was wrong but you’d rather not admit it.

            However, even that reduced claim needs substantiating. You declare that he has no evidence for his claim of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and yet he outlines the basis for his claim in the interview. So, you’re in effect declaring either that you find his evidence unpersuasive, which you’re entitled to do but which is entirely a matter of personal opinion, or that his evidence doesn’t constitute proof, which would be an unreasonable expectation in the first place. Why should either of these declarations persuade anyone? You haven’t presented an argument for them.

      • Ed 2.1.2

        You should watch the video./
        Harding cannot provide any evidence of collusion after 25 minutes of questioning.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1

          PM already destroyed your “argument” at 2.1.1.2.1.

          So, you’re in effect declaring either that you find his evidence unpersuasive, which you’re entitled to do but which is entirely a matter of personal opinion, or that his evidence doesn’t constitute proof, which would be an unreasonable expectation in the first place…

          Further, why would I take the viewing advice of a lying unoriginal troll?

          • Ed 2.1.2.1.1

            Please desist from abuse.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1.1.1

              you follow the imperial foreign policy beliefs of Blair and Clinton

              When you stop telling lies, troll, and come up with something original, I’ll consider it.

    • mauī 2.2

      Correct once again Ed.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        Perhaps you can explain it to me then. Don’t worry about the assertion of “lies about chemical weapons”, I already know what Ed thinks he knows about that.

        I note that the intelligence services accurately stated that Iraq did not possess WMD, so don’t worry about that assertion either.

        Perhaps explain how RNZ has fallen, “hook line and sinker” by interviewing Lavrov, or identify the “proof” (lol) in the cherry-picked video.

        By the way, Ed has been banned before for posting videos with unexplained assertions attached. In case you missed it.

        • mauī 2.2.1.1

          I am merely showing my support for Ed who I think is right about lots of things. He’s an up and comer who I think can drive the left forwards.

          Personally I have no problem with videos and I prefer watching those as supporting arguments than reading through large screeds of text, but that’s me. I thought the ban was around posting too many vids (I can see why that could be annoying for some) rather than content.

          • McFlock 2.2.1.1.1

            Ed usually strikes me as being a bit of a gullible ass, but each to their own I guess.

          • greywarshark 2.2.1.1.2

            maui
            I think your reply to OAB is an example of what seems common, not reading thoroughly for understanding.
            OAB says “By the way, Ed has been banned before for posting videos with unexplained assertions attached.”

            Which I take to mean that he just stuck the video up with –
            1 either no explanation of what it was meant to illustrate, what it’s connection was with the thread it was in, or
            2 because it took his fancy and made a connection with the thread discussion in his head and he dumped it then moved on to his next argument.l

            You have not read the point made and jumped to a different problem – having a block of images on a thread which is meant to be more text filled with discussion, and less a picture gallery or verbal soapbox.

            Actually there is little problem of having lots of vid links if the conditional hyphen at front end is put in ‘(‘ . That stops vid from opening in the thread, requiring reader to open the link.

    • Personally I trust Lavrov more than the FBI.

      Given that the FBI has just released a dossier of evidence and Lavrov has released nothing other than a statement of denial, your level of trust in him is remarkable, especially so when he’s the spokesman for an authoritarian nationalist kleptocracy (something that doesn’t ordinarily inspire trust). What information has Lavrov provided on this subject that leads you to trust him?

      • Ed 2.3.1

        Heard of Iraq and WMD?
        And you still trust the US…..

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.3.1.1

          There’s nothing in PM’s comment that indicates he trusts the US. I note that these sorts of false accusations are your stock-in-trade whenever anyone observes that you can’t back up your assertions.

        • Anne 2.3.1.2

          Ed, do you only read what you want to read?

          As AOB says at 2.2.1.

          the intelligence services accurately stated that Iraq did not possess WMD, so don’t worry about that assertion either.

          I recall that information becoming public knowledge after the Iraq war. The WMD was a fiction dreamed up by Bush and Blair and never had the backing of the British or American intelligence agencies.

          I can imagine how annoyed they must have been having their reputations for accuracy being impugned by a couple of vexatious political leaders trying to hood-wink the public into supporting a war that should never have been started.

        • Psycho Milt 2.3.1.3

          Heard of Iraq and WMD?

          I have, but I haven’t noticed that Lavrov has released any information about that, or that it’s in any way relevant to the subject at hand.

          And you still trust the US…

          That would be very foolish of me, wouldn’t it? Fortunately, it’s untrue.

      • Sanctuary 2.3.2

        I’ve been having a laugh on Facebook by mocking a group of anti-vaxxers, anti-flouriders and anti-1080ers by pretending to be even crazier than they are. The poor morsels have not been coping well because they all have no sense of humour or irony or self-reflection. I guess that comes with the territory. You don’t hear of many enormously funny anit-vaxxers, or of anti-flouride people making wry jokes at their own expense.

        The big thing that leaps out from these people, apart from their self-important stupidity, is a complete mistrust of evidence and experts. Now, I live my life by certain guidelines. For example, if a nuclear scientist advises me not to stand next to an atomic bomb he/she is planning to detonate on the grounds that they have three PhDs in nuclear science and can predict what might occur next with 99.9999999999% accuracy and I should on the basis of this expert knowledge and experience heed their words then I will be sure to stand a considerable distance away from said atomic bomb – probably in the order of several tens of miles, at least. Or if a dentist takes a peek inside my mouth and tells me I need a filling my first thought isn’t to tell him/her they are wrong and produce a whacky website to back me up. In other words if someone who has greater knowledge and expertise in a area gives me their informed and considered advice, I take it. Because you know, they know more about nuclear bombs or dentistry (or flouride or vaccinations or 1080) than I do and it is jolly lucky for me they do, because it saves me having to guess or spend forever finding out .

        I blame the fetishisation of the cult of the individual and a society that encourages everyone to believe their opinion and views hold an equal value to that of anyone else, regardless of the actual value of such opinions (which are usually worthless) for this disease of insufferably opinionated fools.

        So if we live in a society where everyone’s ambient values are I am the most important person in the world and my evidence free opinion is equally valid to your one no matter if yours is backed up by demonstrable science then of course it is perfectly valid for someone to believe the opinion of the Foreign Minister of Russia over a dossier of evidence from an expert institution whose expert opinions I can dismiss as having no more weight than mine, because they are mine. And I am the most important person in the world so my opinions are etc etc. And around and around the circular reasoning goes.

        This unfortunate reasoning from narcissism is everywhere.

        • Antoine 2.3.2.1

          > I’ve been having a laugh on Facebook by mocking a group of anti-vaxxers, anti-flouriders and anti-1080ers by pretending to be even crazier than they are

          Dude, life’s too short. Just be yourself

          A.

          • Anne 2.3.2.1.1

            That is an unnecessary response Antoine. Might be an idea if you read what Sanctuary actually says and learn from it because his analysis is – as usual – spot on!

            • One Two 2.3.2.1.1.1

              Sanctury shared, nothing…

              There was nothing to learn, no analysis, Anne…

              Irconically, the comment was dripping with narcissism…

              Entirely about him/herself…while pissing all over other people…and bragging out it…

              “Learning” , “spot on”..

              No and No…

              • Brigid

                Yes. I noticed that too.

              • greywarshark

                Sanctuary
                The weight of the rubbish we have to deal with every day gets too much
                when one looks at it deeply and sees the facts rather than brushing them aside as is normal.

                My solution for you is to take a break, or you could break down and we would lose a serious thinker. Relax and read a book with light ideas, or listen to music and look at something that fills your mind with a vision that does not make you anxious. This is good advice – you can only fix yourself at the moment, all your thoughts and concerns won’t change anything quickly, only in time people can catch on and something can happen then.

          • AsleepWhileWalking 2.3.2.1.2

            😀

        • One Two 2.3.2.2

          This unfortunate reasoning from narcissism is everywhere

          Including that lengthy diabribe, which is entirely about your own self…

          And the limitations you have, as expressed in the words and actiones you’ve claimed to do…

          • Anne 2.3.2.2.1

            ONE TWO @2.3.2.2 in response to Sanctuary @ 2.3.2

            “This unfortunate reasoning from narcissism is everywhere.”

            … that lengthy diatribe (fify) which is entirely about your own self…

            And the limitations you have, as expressed in the words and actiones you’ve claimed to do…

            You insufferable prick. From lengthy observations of many of your comments, I’d say you are describing yourself.

            Edit: that should be good for a hit back – narcissists cannot abide criticism.

            • One Two 2.3.2.2.1.1

              …You insufferable prick…

              Given your reaction, it is no surprise you felt that Sancturys comment was ‘spot on’…

              That comment from Sanctury is so puerile, by defending it, you’ve sunk to the same level in this instance…

            • McFlock 2.3.2.2.1.2

              @Anne

              well predicted. 🙂

                • One Two

                  Edit: that should be good for a hit back – narcissists cannot abide criticism

                  I read that comment as you patting yourself on the back for the personal insult, Anne….Personal abuse is what you believe to be ‘criticism’…. that would be fitting….

                  But having defended Sanctury [really to defend your own poor interpretational capability of the comment] with a personal attack….

                  It seems you were then seeking to affirm your [incorrect judgement] as if my responding to your personal abuse, it somehow validates your assessment, that I am one of the narcissists on this site….

                  Brilliant!

                  Have a quiet word with yourself, Anne….

        • weka 2.3.2.3

          Funnily enough, one of the reasons that so many people don’t trust medical science is because of the mistakes that medical science makes. So I apply my critical thinking to that as well as everything else. You might be ok trusting an expert simply because they hold expert status but there are distinct limits to that. Not only does medical science make rather a lot of mistakes, but people working in the field routinely express opinions about things that they aren’t expert in e.g. alternative medicine (including evidence based alternative medicine). Not limited to doctors of course, people who think that science is the one true way do this too.

          I’d like the people who mistrust medical science to get better science literacy, not because I want them to become what you just espoused, but because I want them to be fighting the useful battles (atm, they’re often fighting stupid ones) and to fight them way better.

          I find this dynamic fascinating too – that some of the people who say science is the one true way can’t see how their own beliefs are the core of that view.

          • McFlock 2.3.2.3.1

            I think some of it is about recognising the limits of one’s own control.

            Same with robotic cars and aeroplanes – the main reason we’ll still have pilots for passenger aircraft in 20 years is because people feel safer with them, even though robots are safer.

            The ones who are used to being in control are often the biggest idiots when it comes to things like vaccines and fluoride – the educated middle classes.

            • weka 2.3.2.3.1.1

              Not sure that is true McFlock. I see plenty of people in both those communities who I wouldn’t consider middle class.

              • McFlock

                Lack of control is still a factor in some of it. The ones who convince themselves they’re just trying to make an informed choice while at the same time disagreeing with pretty much everyone who’s spent their careers studying the issue.

                Oh, general stupidity counts, too, as well as a generalised suspicion of authority. But I can’t help but think that some of it has to do with people wanting to be in the driver’s seat.

          • Incognito 2.3.2.3.2

            MDs (medical doctors) are not scientists and have not done or received formal scientific training. Just saying.

            • adam 2.3.2.3.2.1

              That is a incredibly big pile of cow excrement there incognito. Just saying.

              • Incognito

                And I am saying that you’re wrong Adam and you have no idea what you’re talking about. Just saying. Go and find somebody who went through medical school and put the question to them, will you please. And then come back here and we can talk again. Goodbye.

                • adam

                  You mean my cousins, yeah I talked to them when they were training. They did so much science your head would spin.

                  Next you’ll tell me biology is an art, and chemistry if just the stuff of fantasy? What they spend their time engaged in reading chicken entrails and rubbing sticks together?

                  But just to make my argument, it seems the first year at medical school has not changed much since they did it.

                  http://www.otago.ac.nz/courses/qualifications/hsfy.html

            • weka 2.3.2.3.2.2

              Are you saying that doctors shouldn’t be considered experts in medicine?

              • Incognito

                No, not at all. I’m saying that they are not scientists, not even medical scientists. An MD is not even closely related to a BSc, MSc or PhD; completely different streams in academia and different degrees. Have a look at the University of Auckland and the different Schools in the Faculty: https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/fmhs.html [drop-down menu @ About the faculty]

          • KJT 2.3.2.3.3

            Sorry Weka, but “evidence based alternative medicine” is called “medicine”.

            Science gets it wrong, but invariably when people do not follow the principles of science. Like drug companies hiding adverse results, in clinical trials.
            Or those who do not keep an open mind, and look at all the possibilities.

            I spend half my life on a ship. I am not going to trust myself to one built and crewed by anyone who isn’t experienced and qualified.

            Generally those who have studied a subject in depth are way more credible than individual Jo public. I admit there are exceptions. Economists, of course. The modern equivalent of reading chicken entrails. 🙂

            • weka 2.3.2.3.3.1

              not sure what your point is KJT.

              Science gets it wrong, but invariably when people do not follow the principles of science. Like drug companies hiding adverse results, in clinical trials.
              Or those who do not keep an open mind, and look at all the possibilities.

              Sure, but the people at the end point of that have been harmed don’t give a shit about abstract differences between the scientific method and how science gets used by people. They care about iatrogenesis, and fuck ups like the fat hypothesis or HRT or the end of the age of antibiotics. They also care about the fact that their doctor spouts nonsense about alternative health but pretends to be an expert, and that they can’t get integrative care because there is still this massive push to make out that alternative health is at best suspect and at worst quackery.

              “Sorry Weka, but “evidence based alternative medicine” is called “medicine”.

              That attitude right there, that somehow medical science owns alternative medicine, that’s part of the problem. Until the science is god people understand what the issues are for the people that don’t treat science as god, the gulf will continue to widen.

              This division between medicine and not medicine, where the former has to be approved by people who can’t think outside the reductionist, mechanistic belief systems, that shit is harming people and the planet.

              • McFlock

                It’s not about “approval”. It’s about whether the “rubbing a dead cat on the wound” treatment has detectable, documented, refutable, repeatable events that show a significant improvement over non-treatment or other existing treatments.

                The entire medical regulatory system is about trying to ensure those treatments are used, and not mystic bullshit and snake oil.

                • weka

                  That argument, that we should wait until there are sufficient RCTs done before we attend to our health, is another reason why people are rejecting medical science and choosing alternatives.

                  Also, people promoting science who compare alternative health to rubbing a dead cat in the wound.

                  “The entire medical regulatory system is about trying to ensure those treatments are used, and not mystic bullshit and snake oil.”

                  Actually no. The entire medical regulatory system is about ensuring that medical practice is safe and efficacious. It has no jurisdiction over most alternative therapies, as much as some people like to pretend it does.

                  • McFlock

                    Okay, which alternative treatments are better than rubbing a dead cat on the wound?
                    Crystal therapy?
                    Homeopathic “concentrations” of deadly nightshade?
                    Poultices made from some plants might be. Which plants, though?

                    Now demonstrate that those treatments are better without using the scientific method. You’d blow my mind.

                    As for the jurisdiction over alternative therapies, yeah, that’s a legal problem that needs to be addressed imo. Because that the moment, some of them should just split the difference and sell bottles of holy water to cure cancer. [edit: this bit I just deleted might have been a bit far. Haven’t decided yet.]

                  • KJT

                    How can you show that “alternative medicine” works without using scientific methods?

                    I give you a bottle of snake oil, you get better.
                    That is proof you got better, not that the snake oil worked. . You have to administer it to a thousand people and control for other options, usually with a similar group who don’t take it, to be sure it works.

                    Aspirin/tree bark was “alternative medicine”? Well not really. Centuries of elders deduced from direct observation, that it helped with pain and inflammation. Same as we deduced that certain species of toad-stalls kill, and you should boil potatoes before eating.
                    Scientific observation of many, many people.

                    And sure. you can obtain objective scientific evidence individually. If Pot makes your pain better than tramadol does, with less side effects. That is evidence that it works for you.

                    But have to watch out and control for coincidence.
                    All cold cures work. You don’t still have a cold, do you?
                    Rain dances work also? It always rains someday after the rain dance.

                    Until you falsify it, and take into account all the other possibilities, you cannot be sure what caused the result.

                    It is fine to distrust scientists, and experts. I prefer to assess the evidence for myself, also.

                    But to distrust “science” is ridiculous.

            • Incognito 2.3.2.3.3.2

              Why do some people seem to think that science is ‘infallible’ as long as the scientists strictly adhere to the scientific method? Model predictions, simulations, extrapolations, and uncertainty, probability & confidence limits are part & parcel of science.

              Regardless of pharma companies hiding or withholding potentially negative data and results and irrespective of people being grossly negligent and unethical bordering on being criminally culpable – how rampant do you think is anyway – all drugs can and do cause side effects.

              This is well-known and regulatory agencies have to weigh these risks against the (therapeutic) benefits. All drugs get tested in trials before they get approved for market registration. These trials can be very large and long but they can never test on the whole patient population under all possible circumstances. This is not about science getting it “wrong” but a known risk that is deemed acceptable, generally speaking.

              The technology and construction of ships is different because it is a much better understood process, with tighter parameters from which designers and constructions engineers can only deviate within narrow specified limits, and a much more predictable outcome and results than clinical practice. Disclaimer: I know very little about ship building and design but the same arguments can be made about building a car or a house, for example.

              • weka

                Regardless of pharma companies hiding or withholding potentially negative data and results and irrespective of people being grossly negligent and unethical bordering on being criminally culpable – how rampant do you think is anyway – all drugs can and do cause side effects.

                It’s not regardless thought, it’s central to the point of why people don’t trust science. Medical science has a major issue with corrupt research. Major enough to suggest that the rest of your comment is off base. There is the issue of science never being 100%, but also the problems of the corruption, and the problems with the culture (science is god, doctor knows best etc).

                How many women would have taken up HRT if they’d been told that the science might be wrong and they might end up getting cancer? If that degree of honesty was explicit, then you might have a point, but it’s not. Power and control is deeply entrenched in medicine, and it’s obvious when you look at the politics of medicine and its history.

                I’m just waiting to see if there will be lawsuits in the US once people start realising just about many people died from the faulty advice given about the fat hypothesis despite it being known that the science was wrong.

                • Incognito

                  People don’t trust science? That’s news to me.

                  Yes, there are major problems with conflict of interest in the pharmaceutical industry and the medical fraternity (in NZ less so than in the USA, for example). There are similar issues within science, any science, for funding, for promotion, career & prestige, and within the publishing industry of scientific results (in peer-reviewed journals) in particular. So yes, there are major issues and thus we write off everything and distrust everything? Taking this reasoning to the absurd extreme we face total chaos and collapse of society and all the institutions that underpin it.

                  Indeed, medics and scientists are not immune to the lure of power & control. I would argue that both professions, because that’s what they are, have the best self-regulation in place that’s currently available, i.e. the best of the worst.

                  My point was that not all the distrust of (medical) science and mainstream medicine is due to human weakness and failings but also caused by false expectations that people have of (medical) science because of poor understanding and misconceptions. For this reason science communication is now more important than ever; it is up to the professions to deal with the major internal problems that plague their fields but also to establish much better communication with the general public. This is the only way they can have any hope of restoring some of the trust; they will never regain and enjoy (!) the full authority they once had, for a number of reasons that I won’t go into now.

                  Science informs us but we, and the doctors (MDs) in the context of this thread, not the scientists, make the decisions. Lastly, I re-emphasise that medical/clinical practice is not the same as medical science; they are performed by different people with different training & education. It is one of the other problems that needs to be sorted: how to bridge the gap between clinicians and (medical) scientists. The gap is very real!

                  • weka

                    “People don’t trust science? That’s news to me.”

                    Read upthread. Sanctuary is talking about anti-vaxxers, anti-1080 people etc. Of those people, many are distrustful of science. Likewise in the alternative health communities.

                    So yes, there are major issues and thus we write off everything and distrust everything?

                    I’m certainly not saying that. I think you have misunderstood my comments 🙂

                    • Incognito

                      Fair comment and my apologies for my misunderstandings – there are (too) many.

                      Distrust seems to be a human disease that’s affecting the whole of humankind 🙁

                      I am not keen on winding up people because of their beliefs even when I strongly believe (!) that they might be partly based on wrong or even false information. When we talk about Facebook pages mocking “anti-vaxxers, anti-flouriders and anti-1080ers by pretending to be even crazier than they are” and think we have gone well past simple and justified distrust and have moved into tribal land with its own specific agendas (and rules of engagement; using derogatory labels is just one of them). The solution is to get people back to at least have an open mind, a willingness to listen, to be open & honest (and admit shortcomings and errors/mistakes), to show mutual respect (!) and re-engage as mature adults. It is so bloody hard though …

                    • weka

                      I agree. I think Sanctuary is just making things worse. I also think they probably don’t care.

                      I guess my point was that some of the people that like to mock anti-vaxxers etc often have motes in their own eye. Or a log.

                    • KJT

                      Part of the problem is that the general public see “science” through the lens of Journalists, doctors and other non-scientists.

                      Access to original papers are, unfortunately behind paywalls in journals and other publications. (The fact we have to pay to access research which is paid for, mostly, by our taxes, is another issue.).

                      Scientists for example, have been concerned about Global warming since Arrhenius. If you read newspapers you would think it is still controversial. Instead of being almost certain. As far as we can know. Real scientists know there are no absolute certainties. Only degrees of probability.

                      I will still prefer science to design an aircraft or inform my healthcare, than, someone who “just knows it works that way”.. Without research and evidence.

                    • weka

                      “I will still prefer science to design an aircraft or inform my healthcare, than, someone who “just knows it works that way”.. Without research and evidence.”

                      Given that aircraft building and health care both involve people who aren’t scientists I’m not sure what your point is.

                      Also not sure why you are talking about without research and evidence, because no-one has suggested that people without competence build aircraft or have medical licences.

                      There’s a false dichotomy there, that appears to come from your personal belief system. Which is fine, so long as we are clear that’s what’s being discussed. If we wanted to talk about evidence and research we would be having a much broader conversation.

                      For instance Traditional Chinese Medicine has a tradition thousands of years old, that includes knowledge based on science, it’s just not western ideas of how science should be done. I have no problem at all if you don’t want to trust TCM for yourself. I do have a problem if your politics say that we shouldn’t have TCM in NZ until each thing has been through and RCT.

                    • KJT

                      I think that before someone sells something as “medicine” they should have to prove it works.

                      Otherwise. I have some Rhino horn to sell you!

                    • weka

                      The Chinese have been demonstrating TCM working for thousands of years. Is that good enough?

              • Why do some people seem to think that science is ‘infallible’ as long as the scientists strictly adhere to the scientific method?

                I don’t know who those people are. Actual scientists I know are generally of the opinion that the scientific method is just the least-crap method we currently have for finding stuff out, not “infallible.”

                • Incognito

                  It was a reply to KJT @ 2.3.2.3.3 and perhaps I over-stated it a little. Point was and is that many lay-people have many and major misconceptions about the scientific process and its limits. Unfortunately, there also are scientists that have a semi-religious confidence in science or try to exude more confidence in the process (and in themselves!) than is justified – the modern-day ‘High Priests’; I’m not one of them … A closely-related issue is scientism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientism

              • KJT

                Incognito.

                You would be surprised at the amount of uncertainty there is in ship design.

                We are only just learning more about wave dynamics, and the effect on structures such as ships, recently. Helped along by some notable ship disasters in recent times. Science allows us to improve and update our knowledge as we learn more and get more accurate tools.

                For centuries ship structure has been designed on the basis of, “if it came back it was strong enough. If it broke, it wasn’t”. Then Naval architects designed scantling rules, on the basis of the ships that didn’t break.

                Now we use finite element analysis and computer models of wave action. It makes ship design more accurate and the probability of failure less. But it doesn’t remove it entirely.
                Then there is also the incentive to build a ship closer to the limits to cut costs. 🙁 One step forwards, one backwards.

        • Stuart Munro 2.3.2.4

          I’m a little concerned to see this easy conflation of three quite distinct issues. The antivaxers grew out of a peer reviewed paper, since debunked, that claimed a risk of autism. Until this was widely known the skepticism was pretty reasonable.

          Fluoride is a similar issue of consent – neither natural fluoride levels in Europe, nor the absence of it is provably critical, though there is evidently some dental health benefit. Nothing irrational about not wanting it however – and there is no population immunity to preserve as there is with vaccines.

          1080 is rather a different issue. NZ is anomalous in making widespread use of it, almost no other country does. The large scale use of air dropped poisons is not particularly desirable. From what is published you’d think the object of 1080 drops was Key’s facile lie about making NZ predator free by 2050, but it’s not DOC but some amorphous animal health outfit that’s dropping it. Disease protection for dairy. It’s not as if there’s a shortage of material about native bird or dog kills, but no-one official responds to that. For my part I consider poison the kind of thing you want to use very selectively – ground team set baits to reduce unintended kills spring to mind. That’s how DOC use poisons. Not just topdressing them.

          • One Two 2.3.2.4.1

            The antivaxers grew out of a peer reviewed paper, since debunked, that claimed a risk of autism. Until this was widely known the skepticism was pretty reasonable.

            This is incorrect, Stuart…
            By about 150 years +/-

            • Stuart Munro 2.3.2.4.1.1

              Orly.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Wakefield

              Let’s see your evidence.

              • One Two

                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1181850/

                With respect, Stuart…

                Those who cite ‘Wakefield MMR’ when discussing this aspect of vaccination…..are likely not widely versed on the subject…

                • Stuart Munro

                  Ok, so it has some history – though that scarcely joins up with the modern movement.

                  But the suggestion that public fears on these issues are irrational is simple condescension – of course they are not equipped to parse the validity of research results. Even other researchers get it wrong.

                  They are obliged to make judgements about such matters, and scorn does nothing to soften their natural caution. Errors like thalidomide or dioxin are never very far away from the public mind, nor should they be.

          • KJT 2.3.2.4.2

            After 150 years of objective proof of the effectiveness and value of vaccines.

            Becoming anti on the strength of one paper, which at worst, implicated one vaccine with causing a slight rise in a side effect.

            Is nuts.

            • One Two 2.3.2.4.2.1

              It’s not ‘anti’, for millions of people, including scientists and medical professionals and those who have directly/indirectly been killed or injured around the world…

              What’s ‘nuts’, is the ignorance in your comment I’m responding to…

              • KJT

                Whoa. Where?

                As against the millions whose lives, and health, have been saved by vaccination. Over 150 years is pretty compelling evidence.

                No one denies that there are very occasional serious reactions to vaccination. Just as there are to peanuts.

                Compared to the benefits, however the adverse effects have been minimal.. Thousands to one.

                This is exactly why we should look at the research and evidence. Not opinions.

                • One Two

                  Hi KJT,

                  Lives and health saved…

                  By improvements in sanitation and nutritional understanding…..not through needles…..

                  There is no ‘science’ which can tell any individual they were ‘saved’ by a needle….

                  The generalist comments, indicate you’ve not invested the time required to understand the complexities, or some of the conflicts which exist….

                  Research and evidence, are degraded under profit driven motives…

                  Once that hurdle is cleared, the actual science will expose the pharmaceutical charade of the last 30/40.years…

                  I’d say about 4-9 years more…then it’s over…

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    By improvements in sanitation and nutritional understanding…..not through needles….

                    That…
                    explains…
                    why…
                    when…
                    vaccination…
                    rates…
                    fall…
                    the…
                    rate…
                    of…
                    preventable…
                    diseases…
                    increases…

                    No…
                    Wait…

                  • KJT

                    The strange decrease in children in iron lungs, was due to “sanitation and nutrition”?

                    FFS.

            • Stuart Munro 2.3.2.4.2.2

              No, it is the skepticism which is the natural product of empiricism. It goes like this:

              1. “The experts” assert something to be true, based on the best available scientific knowledge at that time.

              2. The public go along with that assertion, trusting in the prudence and professionalism of “the experts”.

              3. Subsequent studies show that “the experts” were wrong, they change their minds.

              4. The public try to reduce their exposure to “expert” judgement.

              Although the medical field is often the most consequential for public mistrust, the same phenomena is found in distrust of economists or lawyers, which no-one suggests is irrational except the economists or lawyers concerned.

              Furthermore, a substantial proportion of medical research proves not to be replicable or is subsequently overturned.

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1182327/

              The solution, if one exists, lies in more truthfully representing the state of knowledge to the public. Our experts’ knowledge is far from comprehensive and even they themselves should be cautious in making public assertions from it.

              • KJT

                I see the “experts” reporting honestly most of the time. I.E. “At the current state of our research”.

                Journalists and politicians, the ignorant, are the ones who have certainty.

                I see it all the time. The research paper cautiously says they have a tentative new cancer treatment, which may work, after a great deal of work and research is completed. The News paper headline. “New Cancer treatment”. Then the public is wondering what happened to it?
                John Key. “If a scientist doesn’t agree with me i will find another one”.

                • Stuart Munro

                  It certainly has a kind of logic that hysteria and fake news rise as journalistic standards fall. Not just them and politicians, I imagine, but corporations also elide the careful qualifiers of more scrupulous workers.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    KJT’s right: spend any time reading scientific fora and you find plenty of examples of experts railing at mis-reported findings, especially in those fields which attract popular attention.

                    Read any modern scientific paper and you will find reference to uncertainty. If you don’t, treat its claims with extreme caution 🙂

                    • weka

                      It’s still a problem for society though, because for most people science is the whole thing, not just the bits done in the lab and written about. So in the case of medical research there are problems all the way through that process.

    • Andre 2.4

      You shouldn’t trust either of them, not in the slightest.

      However, it is possible to get a reasonable idea of whose narrative is closer to reality by looking at things like corroboration from other sources, evidence that can be examined by others, what motive someone may have to shade the truth or even just outright lie, whether there is a plausible alternative explanation for the known observations etc etc. Quite a lot like applying the Baloney Detection Kit, but to political claims rather than science claims.

      Using those tools to look at the situation as a whole, the FBI narrative seems much more plausible than Lavrov’s.

      • spikeyboy 2.4.1

        Well then please explain how creating click bait pages is anything other than an enterprise aimed at making money. It is the same as many mainstream media. You get a following from taking some topic or angle and and hold that audience by continuing to say the things that they like to hear and then sell the attention of these people to advertisers who have something to sell to this category of viewer. The more categories you have the more diverse and broad your appeal to advertisers. So pro Clinton and anti Clinton. Pro LGBTQ and anti….etc. Except of course when you are Russian. Then its trying to doo something evil.

        http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/10/3000-facebook-ads-the-russian-influence-campaign-is-a-profitable-click-bait-scheme.html

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.4.1.1

          explain how creating click bait pages is anything other than an enterprise aimed at making money

          Easy: when the stated purpose of said enterprise is:

          “information warfare against the US”, and “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump—we support them)”

          I wonder why the article you linked makes no mention of these stated aims. Perhaps because it’d be difficult to fit them into the “nothing to see here” narrative.

          • spikeyboy 2.4.1.1.1

            I guess it would be hard for you to see anything of value in that site since they find russiagate pretty infantile…but there are many other articles about people cashing in on the wierdest election ever between the two most unpopular candidates ever. The early focus in stories was on Macedonia where one teenager openly admitted to wanting to have an effect on the elections but I guess Macedonia doesn’t have quite the same ring to it?

            https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/aug/24/facebook-clickbait-political-news-sites-us-election-trump

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2016/11/18/this-is-how-the-internets-fake-news-writers-make-money/?utm_term=.de92b9ee2370

            Oh and Canada and Georgia. Heres a copy and paste

            Mr. Latsabidze said he was amazed that anyone could mistake many of the articles he posts for real news, insisting they are simply a form of infotainment that should not be taken too seriously.

            He started with a pro Clinton site but couldnt generate any traffic.

            https://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/11/25/world/europe/fake-news-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-georgia.html?referer=

            Always amusing in a perverse sort of way how stuff that was tolerated suddenly becomes evil cause…Russia!!!

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.4.1.1.1.1

              It’s like deja vu all over again. I’ve already answered your argument in discussion with Bill.

              In fact, I already answered it in my previous comment to you.

              Something about “stated aims” ring any bells?

              • spikeyboy

                Stated aim of Macedonian youth also the same but no indictment. Why? Cause not Russian. Cause doesnt fit with political thread. Cause democrats not blaming Macedonia for losing to the Orange one.Cause Macedonia not in evil classification. Russia is though so lets make a big thing about it. If we all shout really loud people will remember there was a thing about Russia troll farms but will have forgotten the pathetic details. But at least the narrative will continue and thats all that really matters cause we cant get Trump on abything that really matters cause that would set a precedent that the democrats would have to live up to too. Wont even get him on money laundering because that also will set a precedent. So we’ll just keep banging on about how evil Russia is cause pretty sure we’re gonna someday need to hit them pretty hard maybe in Syria or Donetsk or some place else and then everyone will remember evil Russia even if they forgot how or the details or whatever. So sorry but you didn’t answer why Russia and why not Macedonia.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Stated aim of Macedonian youth also the same…

                  Yeah, nah. From your link:

                  They were not interested in the veracity or political direction of their content. Their only interest was to attract viewers. They made thousands of dollars by selling advertisements on their sites…

                  …we cant get Trump on anything that really matters…Wont even get him on money laundering

                  Oh really?

                  …he had made a number of trips to Russia and talked about doing a number of business deals but never did one, and that struck me as a little bit odd and calling for an explanation…

                  Glenn Simpson.

                  “Evil”. Bollocks: the scope of the investigation is illegality, not moral turpitude.

                • Andre

                  Nice bit of whataboutery there amid the wild diversionary ranting.

                  But a reasonable reason for an indictment of the Russians and not the Macedonians would be if the investigators had evidence the Russians were involved in a coordinated effort (ie conspiracy) with the backing of the Russian government, for the purpose of messing with the election.

                  Whereas it may be that the evidence available to the investigators is that the Macedonians were acting as individuals for the purpose of scamming a few bucks. Or maybe an indictment of Macedonians is coming. Or maybe there’s grounds for indictments against the Macedonians, but their activities were so peripheral it’s not worth the time.

                  • KJT

                    US Democrats are still in denial that they lost the election because they abandoned the majority of the public, to support the plutocracy.

                    Seizing on any excuse, apart from the real reason.

                    • Andre

                      Democrats have nothing to do with Mueller and his team. Mueller is a Republican, and was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein who was appointed by the terracotta turdface and is also a Republican.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Seizing on any excuse, apart from the real reason.

                      That’s very likely true. This means we should ignore the FBI investigation because…?

    • Ed 2.5

      15 years ago millions of people marched to stop the lies of WMD in Iraq.
      Many people have not forgotten the lies of that day.
      It has led to war in

      Afghanistan
      Iraq
      Syria
      Yemen
      Ukraine
      Libya

      There had never been a moment like it in protest history. Millions of people around the world joined in public demonstrations on every continent.
      Across different time zones, protests were taking place over two days around February 15 2003, involving an estimated 30 million.

      ………….In any genuine democracy that would and should have been enough. An opinion poll carried in the Guardian showed that at least one person from one out of every 25 households in Britain marched on that day — that puts the number at 1.5 to two million

      ……………With the war in Syria threatening to turn into a much bigger inter-imperialist conflict, with growing numbers of deaths in Afghanistan, and with the Saudi war in Yemen aided by British arms and military trainers, there is more reason to protest against war than ever.

      http://www.counterfire.org/articles/history/19460-15-years-on-from-the-biggest-protest-in-british-history

      Jeremy Corbyn spoke on that day.
      The article refers to him.
      His words sadly proved to be prophetic.
      And now on this site, the neo-cons continue press for more war.
      This time against

      North Korea
      Iran
      Russia
      and China.

      the movement has had long-term consequences in terms of British politics. While the movement failed to stop the war, to the bitter regret of millions, it did change public opinion in this country, with growing numbers of people opposing interventions, culminating in David Cameron being defeated in Parliament in August 2013 over the proposed bombing of Syria.

      The movement was also a major contributing factor to the election of one of its major figures, Jeremy Corbyn, as leader of the opposition.

  3. Ed 3

    Jacinda was the first Prime Minister to walk in Auckland Pride
    The reception she received was rapturous.

    The National contingent were met with a much quieter response.

    And, at the same time in Auckland, Labour retake Maungakiekie-Tamaki from National.

    The times. They are a changing.

  4. Ed 4

    Jacinda was the first Prime Minister to walk in Auckland Pride
    The reception she received was rapturous.

    The National contingent were met with a much quieter response.

    And, at the same time in Auckland, Labour retake Maungakiekie-Tamaki from National.

    The times. They are a changing.

    • funstigator 4.1

      I’m sure I remember seeing Shipley part the Hero Parade when she was PM.
      I guess that doesn’t fit the “cult of Jacinta” narrative so gullibly bought in to by the fans.
      Maybe just another “Journalist” angling for a job with on the taxpayer.

      • alwyn 4.1.1

        The inhabitants of the left have air-brushed Jenny Shipley out of the pages of New Zealand History. If they have to accept that she existed they would have to drop the silly claim that Saint Helen of the Sword was not the first woman Prime Minister.
        That they cannot do.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1

          So you can no doubt point to “the Left” making that claim, eh.

          First directly elected female PM, sure, but that won’t support your twisted narrative.

          • alwyn 4.1.1.1.1

            “First directly elected female PM”.
            Really? I cannot remember any election New Zealand has held where there was a line on the ballot that said anything about a vote for Prime Minister.
            What year did that appear?

            Helen Clark got to be Prime Minister by being elected the leader of a party that could at some time sling together a majority of support in Parliament.
            That is all Helen ever did. She just got less votes than did Shipley.
            Helen got there by getting 26 votes from her caucus.
            Shipley was, I believe, elected unopposed by a caucus of 44 MPs.

            There was never a vote which said. Who do you choose for Prime Minister of the country?. There never has been in this country.. We have a Westminster, not a Presidential system.

            A minor correction. The word “not” should not appear in the second to last sentence of the 4.1.1 comment. It should read “was the first”

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1.1.1

              So you can’t point to “the Left” making that claim then. Were you lying deliberately or just running your mouth?

              • alwyn

                Your memory is failing you.
                Even Guyon Espiner said it
                https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/08-05-2017/stop-saying-helen-clark-was-nzs-first-elected-woman-pm-its-wrong-and-its-sexist/
                When Hellen became the PM it was the standard claim of most Labour Party supporters.
                You really are getting very defensive these days aren’t you?
                Are you going to withdraw the ridiculous claim that she was “directly elected”?
                When you said it were you lying deliberately or just running your mouth?

                • We all know NZ prime ministers aren’t directly elected, it’s just useful shorthand. We don’t have a brief phrase to describe the first instance of becoming a female PM in which voters knew that voting for her party was a vote for a female PM.

                  • alwyn

                    This is getting a little tedious but one can equally argue that the fact that far more people voted for the National Party than the Labour Party is some sort of evidence that people DIDN’T want a female PM last year.

                    You also noticed of course that Labour in 1999 only got 38.7% of the vote. By your “useful shorthand” people didn’t want H Clark. Well less than 40 % wanted her.

                    It is a silly debate about something that doesn’t exist of course.
                    Quite simply we don’t have any such thing as an election for PM. We have elections for parties and what happens afterwards is purely the parties business.
                    End of story.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  So, your original claim, that “the Left” “claim that [Helen Clark] was not [sic] the first woman Prime Minister”, was a lie, and you know it was a lie, because you’ve changed your claim to something else.

                  QED.

                  • alwyn

                    I suppose I might as well simply say that
                    So, your original claim that Helen Clark was the first directly elected female PM was a lie, and you know it was a lie, because there is no such thing.

                    QED

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      What PM said: it’s useful shorthand.

                      We don’t have a brief phrase to describe the first instance of becoming a female PM in which voters knew that voting for her party was a vote for a female PM.

                      Whereas the following sentence is not only false, and if read literally, means the opposite of what you wee trying to say, but also exhibits malice and ill-feeling.

                      …the silly claim that Saint Helen of the Sword was not the first woman Prime Minister.

                      All in all not your best work, Alwyn.

                    • alwyn

                      Oh, give up you silly fellow.
                      Admit it, you hadn’t even noticed that I had accidentally put the word “not” into the sentence until I pointed it out, and corrected it.
                      You have noticed, at last, that I corrected the statement at 1.16pm.
                      You are now, at 2.10pm, having seen my correction, trying to pretend I didn’t put the correction out there.
                      You are too late. Once I have provided an unsolicited correction it is far to late to pretend that the original statement stands.
                      You poor, thoroughly confused, little chap.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      😆

                      You can correct a typo, but not the malice and ill-feeling.

                    • adam

                      Someone hand alwyn a napkin, it’s dribbling on the carpet.

                    • alwyn

                      My, my.
                      Adam has arrived. We have a toff in our midst.
                      Napkin, no less. How very la-di-da he is.
                      http://www.countryliving.co.uk/news/news/a2593/english-vocabulary-upper-class-etiquette/
                      Alternatively perhaps he is a red-neck from the Louisiana bayous.

                      Do you ever have anything intelligent to say Adam? If it is too hard to think of anything yourself just copy someone else.

                      [I can’t see anything in that comment that amounts to anything other than a pointless personal attack. Read the Policy and count this as a warning – weka]

                    • weka

                      mod note above.

                • alwyn

                  @weka.
                  May I suggest you have a look at the sort of comments that adam makes?
                  You might then see why I, like one anonymous bloke, tend to get a little unhappy with him. Typical examples are.

                  Mueller v Russia

                  Mueller v Russia

                  Mueller v Russia


                  By the way did you see the list of what I would consider to be attacks by the Green Party that I posted at your request.

        • AB 4.1.1.2

          Why would “the left” do such a silly thing as air-brush Jenny Shipley out of the pages of NZ history?
          She is such a perfect example of the sociopathic malice of the National Party.
          As I recall Rob Muldoon saying from the backbenches when Bolger promoted Shipley to Minister of Social Welfare; “anyone who puts an overweight farmer’s wife from North Canterbury in charge of social policy needs their head read. Heh Heh heh!”
          The old tusker was indeed prescient.

          • alwyn 4.1.1.2.1

            And the old ratbag was much more than overweight. He was just like the Austin Powers villains.
            He was a mini me for Lange. Same shape but much shorter..

      • red-blooded 4.1.2

        A quick check confirms that Shipley visited the Hero parade while PM. It seems that Clark had been going to the parade for some years and publicly criticised Shipley for not supporting it. This led to Shipley visiting it in ’99 – so, not exactly enthusiastic support, but we still have to give her credit for going.

        • veutoviper 4.1.2.1

          Thanks for that confirmation. I was pretty sure that both Clarke and Shipley had been at the parades over the years – and also John Key or were his appearances at other Pride events?

          Anyway, most reports I have seen or heard re Ardern seem to have been specific in saying that she is the first PM ‘to walk in the Parade’. Big team of Labour MPs with her.

          Great video coverage by Tamati Coffey on his Facebook page – over half an hour of it.

        • patricia bremner 4.1.2.2

          A “visit” is quite different to cutting the start ribbon, leading and walking with Labour’s float for the whole parade all the way.

          Great to see and hear real support, which Jacinda also offered and received at Waitangi , by attending for 5 days.

          Who cares what Helen or Jenny did? That was then, this is now, and going by all the young lining the streets, it is Jacinda and the coalition for the foreseeable future. Yay!!

          So Collins,, Bridges and Adams eat your hearts out!! Can’t see 5 to 15 deep lining the street for you crowding every deck balcony and window calling your name. (See above Tamati’s Facebook link)

          Next she spoke to a business meeting, giving them a personal summary of the government’s programme, and speaking to business confidence. She is entirely inclusive, and talked of putting more into Rand D, even Liam Dann felt she was
          charming.

          Of course he added his “riders” “She will not find this group easy to convince”, and though he did not totally explain or provide her speech he alluded to corporate generosity as a feature of it.

          At least Jacinda spoke directly, and her words will not be relayed through spin. It will be interesting to read the speech when it is provided. (See Scoop.)

      • I guess that doesn’t fit the “cult of Jacinta” narrative so gullibly bought in to by the fans.

        If you’re so ignorant of the subject that you can’t even name the person you’re talking about, maybe it’s better to remain silent and only be thought a fool?

        Shipley and Clark both attended the parade, as spectators. I haven’t seen anything to suggest Shipley walked in the parade.

    • Carolyn_Nth 4.2

      Good on them all.

      But I also want to know how MPs attending Pride parades will benefit the LGBTI community, rather than seeing it as a vehicle for chalking up points for MPs.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1

        It probably helped get marriage equality through the House.

        • Carolyn_Nth 4.2.1.1

          Good point.

          I wish the MSM would focus on those things as much as who in the public eye is appearing at Pride parades.

      • Ed 4.2.2

        What is more nauseating is seeing corporations like Sky City, the big Australian banks and international insurance companies using the occasion to market their toxic products.

        • Carolyn_Nth 4.2.2.1

          I have mixed feelings about Pride Parades these days (as someone who marched in them decades ago before they became cool, and when we risked negative impacts on our jobs).

          On the one hand, all these powerplayers wanting to be seen there is a mark of the success of things we protested about, back in the day.

          On the other hand – it seems to have been somewhat co-opted as a commericalised/commercialising extragavanza.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.2.2

          All sorts of people try to hijack Pride for their own purposes. I think it’s important to realise that gay people come from all walks of life. Company participation reflects that – as well as the baser motives you mention.

          From the Pride website:

          Applications from individuals, groups or organisations that are not part of New Zealand’s Rainbow communities are also welcomed – provided the entry communicates a clear, supportive and positive message relating to the Rainbow communities and the 2018 Parade theme.

          We encourage commercial organisations that wish to participate in the Auckland Pride Parade to show their support by partnering with local groups from within the Rainbow communities.

          Queens of Sky City, for example.

          Or ANZ’s “GayTMs“.

          PS: what have you got against insurers? They never lied to me about fossil fuels.

        • indiana 4.2.2.3

          It must be nauseating for you that there is a very capitalist industry that has evolved from the the LBGT community. In fact that community lives and breathes by capitalism.

      • veutoviper 4.2.3

        Re your 4.2 – But I also want to know how MPs attending Pride parades will benefit the LGBTI community, rather than seeing it as a vehicle for chalking up points for MPs.

        Fair enough. I take it you apply the same standard to all MPs not just Labour ones, including the Green MPS and National MPs who also marched in the Pride Parade last night in Auckland as mentioned in this report.

        https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/jacinda-ardern-becomes-first-prime-minister-walk-in-pride-parade

        Do you know what benefits came from the Green MPs marching in previous years’ Pride Parades? For example 2014:
        https://home.greens.org.nz/events/green-party-marching-auckland-pride-parade

        And here are some wonderful photos of Meteria Turei and Russel Norman at that parade (Photos 2 – 4 )
        https://www.gettyimages.co.nz/event/auckland-pride-parade-474493555#/green-party-coleaders-russel-norman-and-metiria-turei-take-part-in-picture-id474111469

        • Carolyn_Nth 4.2.3.1

          Yep. All MPs jumping on a band wagon need to be using their visibility to highlight the continuing discrimination and its impacts, and not be in it for their own self-promotion.

          My criticism is as much of the media as the pollies – though they are somewhat intertwined.

          This is the important quote from Ardern from your TVNZ link:

          “But we can’t be complacent. As long as there are kids in New Zealand, if they are LGBTQI, if they have high levels of mental health issues or self harm, that tells us that we still have work to do.”

          Turei, though, was in such parades before she became and MP – as a relative non-entity anarch-feminist in Hero parades:

          From a high school drop-out to a rising star in Parliament, Green MP Metiria Turei has taken a more than unorthodox path to the heart of Aotearoa’s democratic institution. In between she has worked as a corporate lawyer, smeared herself in body paint to march in Auckland’s Hero Parade, lead the festival group the Random Trollops and was famously labelled an Anarcho-Feminist by a bemused Helen Clark in the lead-up to last year’s general election.

          My main point, though, is I don’t want to see public figures and businesses as a vehicle for self-promotion.

          Rather, I want to see that their participation is supporting improvements in the lives of LGBTI people.

          Who cares who was the first MP or PM to attend or participate.

          • red-blooded 4.2.3.1.1

            I think the fact that Ardern left the Mormon church of her upbringing and family because they were anti homosexual law reform shows that her participation in the Pride event is much more than jumping on a bandwagon or using it for visibility. She’s clearly very committed to justice and empowerment for LGBTQI people and has been prepared to take a personal stand on this well before she was a political leader.

            • Carolyn_Nth 4.2.3.1.1.1

              Ardern leaving the Mormon Church was a good thing.

              But these days, being seen in the Pride Parade is not pushing any boundaries – rather, I guess, it’s more of a celebration of success.

              Pollies have been involved for several years – Collins with the police contingent a few years back was a very cynical thing. Some have always gone because they are gay/lesbian (Robertson, Kevin Hague, Jan Logie, etc).

              I’m sure others like Nikki Kaye are not homophobic.

              The Parade is a spectacle, so it invites attention getting. And like everything else these days, it’s been infiltrated by commercial motives. And for the most part, wealthy and powerful people and entities are not really taking any risks appearing in the Parade.

              In recent years I’ve been more interested in other activities during the Pride Festival – e.g. young LGBTI documenting their daily experiences and struggles. But such things don’t get the MSM attention of PMs and celebs appearing in the parade.

          • veutoviper 4.2.3.1.2

            I absolutely agree with the three points at the end of your comment. Good one. Kia kaha

            PS – did you see my long comment re what I found out re Avaaz and Monsanto. Interesting situation which I must keep following as I personally am very anti-Roundup and the like, so thanks for raising it. It sparked my interest and a long journey down a rabbit hole. LOL

            Edit – And the thread is immediately below this one.

          • alwyn 4.2.3.1.3

            The first LGBTI politician in New Zealand was Carmen I would think.
            Carmen ran for Mayor of Wellington in 1977. Carmen, who owned a couple of coffee/strip places in the city, was supported in the campaign by another Wellington identity who was being bitterly attacked on this site recently.
            If you are going to look at the link, and don’t know the story, be warned.
            You might see Carmen with someone you disapprove of.
            Carmen was well beaten by Michael Fowler but, if I remember correctly, she came very close to a place on the Council.
            https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/69481625/carmens-scandalous-run-for-wellington-mayor–150-years-of-news
            Carmen was great fun. One of her places was very near where I was working at the time and we used to see her, and a lot of other transvestites, there.

  5. Carolyn_Nth 5

    I don’t know much about Avaaz, but it seems Monsanto is going after them with a class action, and a massive discovery subpoena.

    We’ve just been hit with a 168-page court subpoena from Monsanto.

    We have only days to respond, and it “commands” us to hand over every private email, note, or record we have regarding Monsanto, including the names and email addresses of Avaazers who have signed Monsanto campaigns!!

    This is big. They’re a $50 billion mega-corporation, infamous for legal strong-arm tactics like this. They have unlimited resources. If they get their hands on all our private information, there’s no telling what they’ll use it for.

    So we’re going to fight this. Because Monsanto may have unlimited resources to intimidate, but Avaaz has unlimited people power, and our members just aren’t afraid.

    I suppose it must be happening in the US…?

  6. Cinny 6

    There are some very amusing headlines and opinion pieces in the papers this morning… this one is a standout !!!

    Damien Grant: National Party a relic that should be dismantled

    “National has never had an underlying belief system, even if a few of its members occasionally stumble across an economic text book. They are committed to keeping Labour out of power but never really sure what to do when they find themselves in office.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/101523338/damien-grant-national-party-is-a-relic-that-should-be-dismantled

  7. Cinny 7

    And in the Herald another opinion piece re the nats….

    Paul Little: As Bill English vacates National leadership – what took him so long?

    “Does this mean Bill can finally get that tattoo?

    And finish that mix tape for Todd Barclay?

    Does he understand that when the Ted Talk people say no, they mean no?

    Is the Dipton Rotary Club ready for the shake-up that’s coming its way?

    How will Lorde cope in a world where, for the first time since she was born, Bill English isn’t trying to become Prime Minister?

    Twenty-seven years is a remarkably long stretch – how many other people would take that long to get the message?”

    ROFL!!!!!!!!!!!!! LMFAO !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Andre 8

    Here’s one for the fusion enthusiasts. A retired plasma physicist gets real about ITER.

    https://thebulletin.org/iter-showcase-drawbacks-fusion-energy11512

    As for all those other private companies pursuing alternative routes to fusion power, well, as far as I’m concerned working fusion power plants are just as mythical as the unicorns that will prance around excreting them out their back ends. Until someone can show one actually producing more output power than it requires in input power.

    • millsy 8.1

      Kinda like the hydrogen powered car movement which has been around for the past 40 years or so.

      • Andre 8.1.1

        Kinda like, but different as well.

        Hydrogen powered vehicles, and even a whole hydrogen economy, are real demonstrable things that have actually been created and used. Technologically it’s all entirely feasible. Well, maybe not hydrogen powered long-haul aviation, but pretty much any other fossil fuel user *could* switch to hydrogen. It’s just that the hydrogen proponents never acknowledge, or at best just hand wave away the very real downsides to widespread use of hydrogen.

        • Exkiwiforces 8.1.1.1

          There is a book called “British Secret Projects- Hypersonics, Ramjets & Missiles”

          Chapter 11, Fuel and Materials for Hypersonic Flight- sub chapter under Cryogenic. Talks about using Hydrogen as a fuel for Aircraft, but there are number of problems to using Hydrogen and really came down 3 major issues for aircraft design weight vs drag = more powerful engines so it was a vicious spiral upwards. There is a sub chapter on Exotic fuels and Zip fuels.

    • eco maori 8.2

      +1000 Andre

    • RedLogix 8.3

      Andre,

      Very late in replying, but may enjoy this:

      In simple terms a new superconductor technology that enables much stronger magnetic fields may well tip the balance. Also:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARC_fusion_reactor

      • Andre 8.3.1

        Looks like unicorn poop to me.

        As a young fella fresh from my university training in math, physics, and engineering, I too was all starry-eyed about the wonderful things fusion energy was going to do for humanity. Then I got to spend time with an uncle who was a plasma physicist working on modelling what was going on inside reactors.

        His view was there was some fundamental plasma and nuclear physics that was still not understood adequately, while the managers were treating the whole issue as just an engineering problem. Since then I’ve found that a useful question for any of these press releases is: Does this demonstrate a real advance in understanding what’s going on with the plasma and nuclei, or is it just fiddling with the engineering?

        That’s not to underestimate the engineering obstacles still involved after sustained controlled ignition is reliably achieved – such as how to extract power station amounts of heat from a reaction chamber that’s fully surrounded with superconducting magnets that need to be cooled to aroundabout liquid nitrogen temperatures.

  9. eco maori 9

    https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-17-02-2018/ here is what ECO MAORI has to say about our export sector and export system they are not delivering a premium price

    • eco maori 9.1

      OUR BEEF that’s exported to America gets grounded up and mixed with there fat feed lot Beef to lower there fat content. I say that’s a sham they do that so the American public don’t get to taste OUR premium quality BEEF. That’s the way of the world at the minute keep the little country down. Ana to kai. Ka kite ano

      • eco maori 9.1.1

        All he tangata the good people of Atoearoa New Zealand need to read up on Maori culture tangata read about OUR whakpapa to understand why we want to preserve OUR environment and all the beautiful creatures on Papatuanukue its not about MONEY
        Its about the connections Maori tangata have with everything that is the reason we treasure everything in OUR environment. Ka kite ano

  10. joe90 10

    Beastie smashes through a fence, breaks a human’s arm and escapes on her way to the works. And then she swims to uninhabited island where she’ll get to live out her days.

    Go the cow!

    “She escaped heroically and infiltrated the island in the middle of the lake, where it remains today,” Mr Kukiz said, according to Polish news magazine Wprost. “She did not succumb to firefighters who wanted to transport her by boat and she was still on the battlefield.

    “I am not a vegetarian, but fortitude and the will to fight for this cow’s life is invaluable. Therefore, I decided to do everything to cause the cow to be delivered to a safe place and in the second stage, as a reward for her attitude, give her a guarantee of a long-term retirement and natural death.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/cows-escapes-slaughterhouse-poland-rams-fence-swims-island-lake-nysa-a8214266.html

    • eco maori 10.1

      Maori believe that the creature on Papatuanukue are to be used in a humane respectful way not used and abuse we use to say a prayer before the kill. Humans need protein our brains burn to much energy to have a healthy life I would not want to raise a child on vegetable alone as the child wound not reach it true potential growth in interlect and stacher size. You know who’s system we are using now don’t you JOE90.
      Ka kite ano

      • solkta 10.1.1

        ” I would not want to raise a child on vegetable alone as the child wound not reach it true potential growth in interlect and stacher size.”

        Bollocks.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 10.2

      This cow is my hero.

  11. Andre 11

    Chaos and divisiveness in the US suits Russia just fine. So what better way to stir the pot than through one of the most polarizing issues of all: guns?

    https://edition.cnn.com/2018/02/17/opinions/russian-meddling-guns-opinion-ghitis/index.html

  12. Carolyn_Nth 12

    Congrats and best wishes to Julie Anne Genter, on her way to reinforcing this NZ Parliament as a baby-friendly place.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/350662/green-mp-julie-anne-genter-expecting-first-child-in-august

  13. Ed 13

    I referred to this story last week.
    Christine Rose has picked up on it.
    Her article makes for compulsory reading.

    We need to nationalise the banks.

    Overseas banking villains suck New Zealanders’ wealth offshore’

    The news that the four main banks in New Zealand, all foreign owned, made record profits in the last financial year, and shipped those profits offshore, generated little obvious controversy. But economists and commentators agree that NZ’s oligopolistic banks are in a privileged position. They can create their own wealth out of thin air, lend it out to the public, charge rent on it in the form of interest, and shift profits offshore. This means the banks share ‘an extraordinary privilege’ not enjoyed by any other type of business. But their huge market share means the four biggest banks operating in New Zealand, are among the most profitable in the world, and last year, they made their biggest profits in three decades.
    The biggest banks in New Zealand, ANZ, BNZ, Westpac, and ASB, all owned by Australian banks, who all own each other, plus Kiwi owned, Kiwibank, collectively made a $5.19 billion profit last year, including a massive increase of 7.35% or $355.11 million in net profit, after tax, last year. They own $504.19 billion in (NZ) assets. The four big overseas banks own about 90% of New Zealand’s banking industry, as well as insurance and other financial services. Though they’re bit players, other overseas banks also recorded record profit increases, with three Chinese banks, growing profits by as much as 139%. 95% of those total whopping great banking profits leave the country and are lost to peoples’ disposable incomes, to their pockets, and the New Zealand economy.
    Unfair fees and charges, arbitrary interest rates and induced debt, add to poverty, dangerously high levels of personal debt, a distorted housing market, inequality, and economic instability. Banks act like parasites, sucking the money and life out of debtors and shifting the profits off shore.
    Fees comprise almost 40% of the banks’ profits, and the big four Australian owned banks in New Zealand charge higher fees here than their Aussie parents do at home. New Zealander debtors are wage slaves to overseas owned banks who owe no loyalty to their customers (It’s a business transaction), or their staff (note banking sector layoffs of late), or communities (branch closures). These banks encourage debt and trap the public in to unjustified credit and account charges. In a perfectly competitive market with ‘well informed and rational consumers’, customers would reflect their dissatisfaction with such a rort by finding another bank. But when the main banks dominate the market (“monopolistic competition”), and customer inertia is high, it’s hard to swap banks and most of them are the same in different guises anyway. Marginal competition means marginal choice, and maximum chance of consumer capture.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/02/18/overseas-banking-villains-suck-new-zealanders-wealth-offshore/

    • eco maori 13.1

      If the government does not intervin we can all choose to use a local owned bank I don’t bank with overseas banks 5000 million could make real advances to a environmently friendly sustainable economy. The government to scared the sky will fall on there head to make such bold moves.
      Ka kite ano

    • David Mac 13.2

      We don’t need to nationalise them. We need a Kiwibank that identifies the advantages they have over public companies and the devices that can be employed that will make banking with anyone other than Kiwibank a mug move.

      A good start would be realistically serviceable packages that get Kiwis into their own Kiwibuild home.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 13.2.1

        Govt could just loan out money to buy homes, skip the middleman.

        • David Mac 13.2.1.1

          Exactly and the place to go to get one of those loans is Kiwibank. Cover overheads and a small levy to NZ Inc and an ANZ mortgage will look outrageous.

          eg: Offer a mortgage package that stretches over several generations that can be easily serviced by someone on a benefit. If either generation comes into an increased income, they can pay it off quicker.

  14. greywarshark 14

    Are NZ businessmen and women prepared to deal with exports after Brexit?
    They have had all sorts of help of recent decades. What hand-holding will they need now – and businesses do need help from government in a properly running country (individuals can’t set up arrangements to suit themselves alone). But what sacrifice now will ordinary NZs have to encompass?

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2018632538/brexit-s-legal-minefield-jurgen-basedow
    economy law
    Brexit’s legal minefield: Jurgen Basedow
    From Sunday Morning, 7:11 am today
    Listen duration 17′

    There are still many legal hurdles to overcome before Brexit becomes a reality. Professor Jurgen Basedow from the Max Planck institute in Hamburg is an expert in European economic law – and says Kiwi businesses operating in the UK and Europe need to be thinking about the ramifications now.

  15. Chris T 15

    I see now Genter is pregnant.

    Congratulations to both her and her partner on the news.

    Obviously the baby and now garaunteed co-leader

    • savenz 15.1

      Yes congratulations to Genter and her partner!

      Not so sure it will guarantee her co leadership though, who knows what will happen there.

      Who ever does not get the co leadership should not be thought of as missing out, because the competitive approach is against the Green Party ethos and sadly it was a small bunch returned to parliament representing the Greens and therefore even more important they work together for the greater good.

    • Antoine 15.2

      How nice 🙂 🙂 🙂

      A.

  16. savenz 16

    This is shocking! For a while I’ve been concerned about how large centrally run and seemingly more interested in donations that results many charities have become.

    Charity is best served locally if possible. The corporate model is not only a failure these days for corporates (Fletchers), and offshoots like COO’s (Auckland Transport), PPP’s and even major charities seem to have lost their way and become unworkable using modern corporate processes.

    The biggest mistakes is these charities also lose control of their employees and people representing them by outsourcing things like aid collection and allowing in workers and managers that poison the charity from within.

    Then they don’t want their ‘brand’ damaged which helps conceal all the abuses and allow the abusing workers to get away with it.

    Word Vision charity workers admit to trading food for sex in Haiti

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11997061

  17. adam 17

    Time for a good giggle!!

    Best political comedian ever – the late Bill Hicks.

  18. Carolyn_Nth 18

    Laila Harre’s speech (text version) “The TPP labour rules – not a gold standard”

    In my time tonight, I want to do three things:

    * first, to debunk this myth of the TPP as a “gold standard” treaty for workers’ rights;

    * second, to add to warnings about ISDS, in this case about its risks to progressive labour law reform;

    * and third, to reflect on priorities for engaging with the new government on these issues in trade and investment treaties

    And her conclusion includes this:

    From my own study of labour standards and investment agreements, I’d like to advise that no more political capital – either of the union movement or government – should be spent on labour chapters. Labour advocates should focus on the demand for national policy space, including sovereignty over labour laws and regulations. And that should also be the focus of transnational union solidarity.

    Our ongoing case against ISDS must be rooted in a respect for the power of local communities to pick their own battles. As a labour movement, and a country, our job is to back those fighting for workers’ rights. That means stopping the norms of international labour law being enlisted by those who would use them to disempower workers. In the end, protecting the space for people to contest their national laws, and providing solidarity to those who fight for workers’ rights, will take us far further than any labour chapter could ever hope to.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      +1

      Very well said Laila Harré.

      • David Mac 18.1.1

        I’m turning, my support for TPP is waning.

        There are only 3 ways to increase profitably for any business. Or for a nation to extract more value from exports.

        1. Cut overheads. That’s a toughie for NZ Inc, what are 2 and 3?

        2. Get more customers. This is the primary aim of TPP, it’s an option.

        3. Get more from the customers you’ve got. I’m now leaning towards this option. Lets surf our international reputation and turn our logs into bassinets and bed frames. Our sacks of milk powder into 100% Pure Yogurt and Ice Cream. We’ve got a great story to tell.

        The average income in China is rising like a ping-pong ball in a pond.

        An Aussie bloke I do a bit of work for over here has a large nursery operation in Queensland, supplies Bunnings, Govt motorway plantings etc. He’s ready to retire and the primary interest in his business is coming from Chinese interests. They intend growing strawberries there. Apparently there is growing skepticism amongst Chinese middle classes about the safety of food products grown domestically and an Aussie grown strawberry attracts a premium price. The same would go for NZ grown fruit chopped into a tub of Kiwi yogurt.

        • Macro 18.1.1.1

          The same would go for NZ grown fruit chopped into a tub of Kiwi yogurt.

          That’s very true. But we already have a FTA with China, and for Aus – China is their biggest customer too – so I fail to see why we need a further FTA, when we could not possible meet the growing demand for strawberries and yoghurt that exists already!
          The main problem with our FTA with China is that they dictate what we can and cannot send! Take sawn timber for instance, all those unsawn logs trucked to the ports around NZ for shipping to China could and should be sawn here. But we cannot send timber to China – only unsawn logs.
          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11186116

          • David Mac 18.1.1.1.1

            Yes China are of course protective of their domestic market. Car companies wanting in couldn’t ship new vehicles, they had to build plants there.

            Your link shows no sawn timber exports to China but it does show a growing export market in pulp and paper products, there are avenues open.

            Do we invite potential new clients (TPP) to our box at Eden Park or do we invite those that support us already? (Adding value). I’m starting to think we should be spending our TTP money on the Chinese and schmoozing their import legislators. Invite our existing customers to the box. Expand on what we’ve got….there are 1.4 billion of them, we don’t need that big a slice of the escalating action.

        • greywarshark 18.1.1.2

          I’ve added a bit to the anti-TPPA call in the bit on BMSB bug further on –

          Open Mike 18/02/2018

  19. greywarshark 19

    How soon can small criminality in NZ be stopped and the perpetrator separated from his or her prey? Seems a long job for our crime busters and they may have to move away from the postage stamp sized pavement that they patrol watching the computer-generated, possible, point-high, usual suspects.

    Since 2009 then numerous from December 20016 – seems a while.
    \A Thames man was arrested on Wednesday on a number of dishonesty charges and will appear again in court next month.

    Police said they have received a number of complaints, dating from 2009 from people across the North Island alleging they have been left out-of-pocket by the man after agreements with him to buy or sell motor vehicles.
    They said they are aware of incidents occurring in Auckland in April 2009, Whangarei in December 2016, New Plymouth in December 2016, Hastings in January 2017, Hamilton in May 2017, Pukekohe in July 2017 and Turua in November 2017.

    They said the man particularly engaged with truck and tractor dealers and people wishing to sell vehicles for scrap metal.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/350654/police-appeal-for-motor-fraud-victims

    A friend is chasing a fraudster back and forth to Court and knows others who are after this man but he is adept at keeping them at bay and runs rings around them. It is costly to travel if you want to see what happens, and there is time wasted, and money spent trying to get an order made to repay, then spent trying to get payments ordered. And the Joker just plays the game.

  20. eco maori 20

    We are all the 99.9 %, In slaved by money

  21. greywarshark 22

    This stink bug in imported vehicles thing. Heard about it before? Well they have been thinking about it, working on it since 2015. Being referred to as BMSB and I think we will hear a lot about this soon and we should ask if not, WHY NOT?

    RadioNZ 11 Feb 2015
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/265804/biosecurity-officials-go-to-war-over-bug

    Radionz
    New Zealand Regional
    25 Feb 2015
    New bug threat looms over NZ
    9:24 am on 25 February 2015
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/267027/new-bug-threat-looms-over-nz
    The Northland Regional Council is sounding an early warning about an insect that could do more damage than the Queensland fruit fly.

    The Brown Marmorated stink bug is native to China, Japan and Korea, and has recently invaded 40 states in America.
    And there is a high risk it would get into New Zealand in the next year or so, according to the Ministry for Primary Industries….

    As a potential threat to industry, he says, it is up there with foot and mouth disease, and it is also a domestic nuisance.
    “It doesn’t take long to find examples of this on YouTube, in America, where it’s invaded, to see the sort of alarming populations that it can grow to, occupying people’s houses and making them smelly.”The stink bug attacks not just fruit trees, but field crops, like maize, and ornamentals like roses.

    The Ministry for Primary Industries says quarantine officers have found brown stink bugs on 13 occasions and most of the finds have been in the past six months.

    The ministry’s cargo manager for the northern region, Stuart Rawnsley, says MPI has strengthened its border surveillance and was now on high alert for the insect.
    He says bugs had been found in machinery and cars coming from the southern states of America, and in one case, in a passenger’s suitcase at Auckland airport.
    We’ve found live and dead ones and we’ve found them across a range of pathways as well, in personal effects; in general cargo, and one or two on ships. ”
    Mr Rawnsley says there is a small chance that the brown stink bug is already in New Zealand, undetected.

    November 2015 – http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/290892/stink-bug-practice-for-mpi

    Now:-
    16/2/2018 – http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1802/S00372/decisive-action-on-brown-marmorated-stink-bug-necessary.htm (from NZ Winegrowers)

    “We don’t want them in New Zealand. A large number of bugs have been discovered on vessels carrying vehicles from overseas, and because they seek out nooks, cavities and enclosed spaces, heat treatments and fumigants are not necessarily effective in destroying them.”

    http://www.kvh.org.nz/bmsb (Kiwifruit Vine Health who don’t seem to know what day it is because I can’t find any date but one entry refers to January 2018). This has videos that illustrate the problem.
    The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) is the kiwifruit industry’s second-most unwanted biosecurity threat after fruit flies; and the risk of it entering New Zealand is considered extreme.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/350667/stink-bug-causing-havoc-on-nz-car-imports

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/101510434/the-cause-of-the-spate-of-stink-bug-ships-is-not-yet-known (in NZ Farmer publication)

    We seem to be hearing about this because imported cars are being held up in ports. Can’t we take protective action, get the present orders fumigated and stop importing cars from the source areas, Asia and USA. Why haven’t we gone on to alert asking for the public to watch out, let’s get serious about this serious problem? Stop wrecking our country with bloody imports that cost us a drain on our national finances and threaten our whole economy – that is something we need to consider. Instead Labour is still diddling around trying to sit on the fence and sign up to TPPA or other alphabet letters, with hardly any safeguards that were promised.

    Let’s put our efforts into stringing out our present fleet, and introducing electric cars?

    Time for a change you irresponsible dinosaurs before we all go that way after a short and brutal life fighting off every bug known to man and animal on this earth.

  22. Robert Guyton 23

    Julie-Anne, pregnant!
    Genter’s Green but it’s almost inevitable that she’ll go into Labour.

  23. weka 24

    MetService have issued a warning for Cycline Gita to be affecting NZ from Canterbury northwards this week.

    They’re suggesting flooding, sea inundation/big waves and strong winds.

    MetService advises people to take time over the next couple of days to prepare for potential severe weather. Civil Defence’s Get Ready Get Thru website is a very helpful place to start. As always, MetService is working closely with regional councils and emergency management teams, and recommends people follow advice from their local Civil Defence and council.

    Good explanation of what is happening here http://blog.metservice.com/node/1174

  24. Leonhart Hunt 25

    Cyclone Gita on RSOE (shows actual predicted path and its current location) http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php you can find it near NZ

    I use this quite a bit, its actually better than the news for alerts/weather/disasters.

  25. mac1 26

    Powerful stuff! Emma Gonzalez, a fellow student in Parkland, Florida, where 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 on Thursday, spoke at a gun control rally.

    “…….. it’s time for victims to be the change that we need to see. This was not just a mental health issue. He would not have harmed that many students with a knife.
    “And how about we stop blaming the victims for something that was the fault of the people who let him buy the guns in the first place, those at the gun shows, the people who encouraged him to buy accessories for his guns to make them fully automatic, the people who didn’t take them away from him when they knew he expressed homicidal tendencies.

    The rest of her speech reported, critical of Trump and other politicians. is here.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2018/02/florida-school-shooting-student-addresses-gun-violence-in-heatbreaking-speech.html

    It ends.

    “They say no laws could have prevented the hundreds of senseless tragedies that have occurred. We call BS. That us kids don’t know what we’re talking about, that we’re too young to understand how the government works. We call BS.”

  26. Colonial Viper 27

    Evening

  27. eco maori 28

    ECO MAORI is not going to write about trump any more it seem to me that my words just impower his Ego. Everyone knows my opinion of him.
    Ka kite ano

    • eco maori 28.1

      Morning Rumble Rock radio you good people are giving me a sore face again Ka pai.
      Ka kite ano

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