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Open mike 18/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, May 18th, 2014 - 191 comments
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openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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191 comments on “Open mike 18/05/2014”

  1. “..10 Biggest Pot Myths – Debunked by Science..

    By any objective analysis –

    cannabis and cannabinoids exceed the FDA’s existing standards for medicine..”


    • “..Four glasses of wine is enough to harm your health – scientists say.

      ..Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School –

      found that a single alcohol binge can cause lasting damage to the body..”



      and of course..in a country with such a large alcohol problem as we do..

      ..a major positive from decriminalising/regulating/taxing cannabis..

      ..will be the corresponding harm-reduction drop in alcohol consumption..

      ..this is what has the booze-pushers running scared..

      ..and why they are putting do much pressure on those politicians they own outright.lock-stock-and barrel..like peter dung…

      ..and on those parties they ‘contribute’ to..to do nothing to change the status quo..

      ..(and that tactic seems to be working a treat for them..so far..)

      ..this is all about bottom-line/patch-protection for those booze-pushers..

      ..and couldn’t be clearer/sadder-for-us example of our gutless/’owned’ politicians..

  2. karol 2

    Deborah Russell explains clearly and fairly briefly, the difference between left and right views on “fair tax”:

    Think of it like this. Imagine three people wanting to look over a fence to see a parade: a short person, a middling person and a tall person. If we find a box of exactly the same size for each of them to stand on, then the short person still can’t see over the fence, and the tall person has a great view. That’s “fair” because we made sure each of them had the same size box — but the short person is left staring at the fence.

    Then imagine if we gave two boxes to the short person, and the tall person just stood on the ground. Each person could see the parade because we made sure that we took their individual needs into account. That’s being fair, too.

    So which sort of fairness is best? Treating everyone exactly the same or treating people according to their needs? The right of politics prefers people to be treated the same. The left thinks we ought to take some account of individual needs so everyone can get a fair go.

    When you look at our tax system, you can tell what matters to New Zealanders. We don’t want to make everybody tall but we do want everybody to be able to see the parade.

    Actually, on second thoughts, rather than a metaphor of everyone being able to watch the parade, I’d prefer everybody being able to participate in their local community – but it doesn’t create as clear an image as the parade one.

    • struggling..with..weighty..metaphor….

      ..and i am looking forward to labours’ ‘big-box’ policy…

    • mac1 2.2

      Didn’t someone say something along the lines of “From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs”? Seems to meet the idea of fair taxation……….

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Yeah I think that old timey formula is the best…communicates the message in 90% less words…

        • Except that to people who aren’t already sympathetic to leftwing ideas, it sounds like “you’re going to take away my stuff from me to give it to bludgers.” Rightwing ideas about individualism and “equal treatment” have become really ingrained in our political discourse, and we’re not going to overturn them by sticking to old school Marxist buzzwords.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Of course, it’s not actually their stuff in the first place. They’ve just managed to get it because our system is, effectively, a system of legalised theft.

            • Colonial Viper

              Whoah. That’s too much truthiness there bro. Apparently the modern idea is that you can ‘overturn our current political discourse’ by carefully not presenting the kinds of ideas and speech which directly confront and challenge that political discourse with other alternatives.

              I have no idea how that works, but anyways.

              • I really don’t understand your comment. Deborah Russell’s article clearly does present important ideas which challenge rightwing ways of thinking. It sounds like your objection is that she’s just not doing it using the exact words you want her to, and therefore you’re happy to write off everything she’s said.

                • Colonial Viper

                  The old timey metaphor is superior to the one about looking over fences and I gave one reason why (brevity and concision). I haven’t read Russell’s article and have made no comment on it.

                  • Well, first off it’s not a metaphor. And brevity is only an advantage if your audience are already familiar with the concepts you’re discussing – and as my first comment noted, if someone isn’t already familiar with Marxist ideas, they’re not going to properly understand a brief, context-free quote, however snappy it is.

              • Saarbo

                +1 CV…spot on the mark.

            • Tracey

              plus fucking one

              “they” are taking “our” jobs.

              “giving” women the vote.

              the biggest upheaval came when sectors of societies starting saying

              “hey… share with us.”

            • Huginn

              Draco T Bastard:

              ‘Legalised theft’ is an oxymoron.

              If it’s ‘theft’ then it isn’t legal. If it’s inside the law, then it isn’t theft.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Wrong. A husband raping his wife used to be perfectly legal and, most importantly, wasn’t called rape.

                Just because something is legal doesn’t make it right.

                The reason why our laws keep changing is because they’re not perfect. We have a few more laws that need cleaning up and the laws that allow people to benefit from other peoples work are amongst them.

          • Colonial Viper

            Marx’s metaphor has lasted now into a third century because it embodies a compassionate vision of a different way of human relations that has stood the test of time. It is used even today because it shines new light on to those principles which have been deliberately extinguished in our society by corporate forces.

            In contrast, I’m not sure that the fence peering metaphor you prefer will make it to the end of the year.

            • Bill

              The thing about Marx’s ‘ideal truism’ or whatever you want to call it, is that it’s crap.

              In reality there would be a battle line drawn between, on the one hand, those demanding that their ‘needs’ are met by those with the ‘ability’ to meet their needs for them, and those with the alleged ‘ability’ denying they have the ability to meet those needs and (probably and in addition) that those with ‘needs’ have the ‘ability’ or potential to realise the ability themselves.

              • Colonial Viper

                Not disagreeing as Marx himself recognised that his saying would only apply in a world where labour and economic relations had already moved on from the existing capitalist one.

                That is why it is so powerful – it implicitly embodies that change.

                Having said that, Marx neither took into account the “psychosis of permanent war” that has been applied to western peoples, nor the phenomena of resource and energy depletion.

                So we are still going to have to chart our own course forward…

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Energy depletion is certainly looking to be a concern in the next few years:

                  The study found that the UK has just 5.2 years of oil, 4.5 years of coal and three years of gas before it completely runs out of fossil fuels, said the researchers at the Institute based at Anglia Ruskin University, in the East of England.

                  France is also in poor shape with less than a year’s worth of fossil fuels in reserve, and Italy has a single year of oil left and less than a year of gas and coal, but France unlike its southern neighbor generates almost 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.

                  And I’m pretty sure that we’re not in much better shape.

            • Stephanie Rodgers

              The fence/boxes metaphor is actually a pretty widely-used one, often accompanied by this image:

              And I don’t know why you think this has to be a competition. Marx’s language is strong and powerful and lasting, obviously. But, shocking though it may be to you, not everyone is a scholar of Marx, especially the readership of the New Zealand Herald.

    • Gosman 2.3

      Simplistic nonsense. Tax is not like giving somebody a leg up. It is like expecting the tall person to hold up the short person so they can attempt to see and then requesting they lift the person higher because they want a better view.

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.1

        Yes Gossie, or another way of putting it is the tall standing on the bodies of the short because that’s the way they think things should be run.

        • phillip ure

          gossy would be more than happy.. to just stand on that metaphorical small person..

          ..if it gave him some economic-advantage..however micro..if he needed a ‘box’..

          ..and his motto is..

          “..from each of the poor..as much as we can screw out of them..(higher g.s.t..!..cut welfare..!.plse..!..)

          ..to be funneled to each of the elite/already-rich…”

      • mac1 2.3.2

        Not at all nonsense, Gosman. It all depends upon your view of what a community is, and how we should look after each other. And that, I believe, is where the right and left divide.

        Taxation is this society’s method. It used to be the responsibility of the tribal leader, the paterfamilias, the church, the lord, the king. Now it is the state.

        • Draco T Bastard

          The seeming preference of RWNJs is that we went back to having kings and lords – with them as the lords.

      • vto 2.3.3

        And there you go again gosman, exposing your naïve view of people and communities.

        You think we are all individual with no connection. Fool, such a fool. Your view would mean that if you lived alone on the planet then you could live the life you do now – ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
        ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
        ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

        Fortunately there appears to be just one of you in the world, so everyone can continue to ignore you.

        • Gosman

          The fact we live in a community is not under discussion. What is under discussion is that fact should mean the people better off should be forced to provide more assistance to those less well off.

          • vto

            That is a hopeless response to the self-exposure of your incredibly idiotic views on how communities operate.

            The matter under discussion is entirely about how we live as a community. Sheesh man.

          • mac1

            Gosman, yep, I agree. This is what our discussion is about.

            This is what people who are better off do when they live in a community worth living in. Now, well adjusted people who know the meaning and practice of empathy would look after the poor and needy in their community but we all know that a proportion of any community are non-responsive to others’ needs. They need encouragement……….

            Funnily enough, it seems that the better off people are, the less responsive they become- which is why we have taxation shelters, trusts, false income declarations, under table payments, and a whole generation of lawyers and accountants to service this greed and sociopathy.

            • Draco T Bastard


            • Bill

              If the community (however defined) was the economic unit, rather than the individuals within communities being cast as economic units, then almost all economic disparity would vanish.

          • Clemgeopin

            The SOCIETY helped you get to be ‘better off’ by many individuals and state services giving YOU a little each. A caring state asks you to give a LITTLE back to society. You will STILL be better off anyway.
            You COULDN’T have got to be “BETTER OFF’ all by yourself without any societal input, could you have? Imagine you living on earth as just one solitary individual/baby from the very beginning all by yourself.

          • Draco T Bastard

            How about we have some discussion about why some people are better off. Some reasons such as inheritance, legalised theft, bias in the justice system and enforced poverty by the state so that the rich can benefit. These things do need to be discussed and addressed.

          • TheContrarian

            “What is under discussion is that fact should mean the people better off should be forced to provide more assistance to those less well off.”

            No people shouldn’t be forced – empathy and care for others is generally something that human beings posses naturally.

            • Colonial Viper

              While that may be a sound approach for a community charity, Governments and nation states don’t provision themselves on such a basis.

            • mac1

              My issue with your comment, TheContrarian, if I may express a contrary view, is with your word ‘generally’. First, how many are in this category? It’s bigger than you seem to want it to be. Secondly, those who do lack empathy and care for others tend to become more dominant than their mere numbers, and are especially to be found in positions of power and influence.

              Care of others can often be found to be spread no further than family and close friends, and empathy has to be taught and acquired. My old education tutor at Training College I remember saying that most did not attain true adult maturity in terms of the psyche.

              During the Great Depression, one third were impoverished, one third kept the same level of
              matertial security and one third enriched themselves. A ‘generally’ empathetic and caring society should have done better.

              • Colonial Viper

                During the Great Depression, one third were impoverished, one third kept the same level of
                matertial security and one third enriched themselves. A ‘generally’ empathetic and caring society should have done better.

                It’s what happens when you put bankers, financiers and asset speculators in charge of your society, and then exalt them as the ultimate example to follow.

                • mac1

                  It ain’t for nothing that the main targets of Christ’s wrath and condemnation were the moneychangers who had their tables overturned, and the wealthy who were told that their path to heaven was pretty skinny. Funnily enough, he also acknowledged the role of the state (‘render unto Caesar’) but also condemned rapacious state tax gathereres who fattened themselves- but not for the tax itself but for the extra they took for themselves.

      • tricledrown 2.3.4

        Yesman money is about power over other people to you Yesman.
        Just like your pathetic example above .
        Just like short sighted neanderthal like yourself Gos needs a heart to stop being an emotionaly aloof intellectually barron cripple.
        Your an intellectual and emotional pigmy that can,t see beyond his bank balance.

      • mickysavage 2.3.5

        Gossie prefers the maxim “from each according to their powerlessness, to each according to their greed”.

        • Tracey

          gossie finds factoring in human traits wrecks his pre program9med schpiel

        • mac1

          Spot on, mickysavage. Alas, the poverty of spirit which says that my wealth is my worth. I despair at its human cost to the greedy individual himself and become angered at the human cost to others.

      • Tracey 2.3.6


        reading is a skill

      • McFlock 2.3.7

        It is like expecting the tall person to hold up the short person so they can attempt to see and then requesting they lift the person higher because they want a better view.

        That happens every day between people who give a shit about each other, you fucking sociopath. Ever been to a Santa Parade, for example?

    • Tracey 2.4

      plus 1.

      that speaks to quotas… to gender equity programmes…

      everyone has the same finish line but start in different places.

  3. BM 3


    Huge ask for David Cunnliffe, took Clark 6+ years and lots and lots of media training before she was accepted by the NZ public

    Expecting Cunnliffe who has had one year in charge to beat Key, the most popular prime minister in NZ history really is a bit ridiculous.

    Like Clark he may eventually be accepted, but it certainly won’t be at this election.

    Long road ahead for Cunnliffe, will Labour stick with him after this years election defeat?, I think they should.

    • felix 3.1

      Nah, you think they should dump him immediately and get Shane Jones back. Or you think they should never have gotten rid of Shearer who was the only chance Labour had.

      Stick to your script mate, you’re getting confused. Leave the revisions to the smart kids.

    • Paul 3.2

      Read the same article and it just reminded me how biased and desperate the MSM has become.

    • McGrath 3.3

      I agree. Labour need a stable leader, and removing Cunnliffe after Labour’s probable defeat this election will send Labour right back to square one again.

    • tricledrown 3.4

      Bought Media
      Keep lying pride before the fall.
      Helen Clark Muldoon Savage king dick seddon were all liked more than PinoKeyO.

      • McGrath 3.4.1

        Key is liked more than Cunnliffe, which is a problem for Labour. Attacking Key direct for the last six years has not worked either. Change of strategy needed.

        • Tracey

          and yet arrogance is now prominently associated with key according to the same article.

          • McGrath

            What the left see as arrogance, the rest see as confidence.

            • Tracey

              not by the left, by the article telling you what to think about our leaders. you briefly dropped your personna mcgrath.

              in any event… the left account for about 44% of nzers.

              • McGrath

                Leaders perceived as arrogant do not have approval ratings in the high 40’s

                • Draco T Bastard

                  They do when a large percentage of the population, the authoritarian right-wing to be specific, prefer it in their leaders.

                  • TheContrarian

                    “They do when a large percentage of the population, the authoritarian right-wing to be specific, prefer it in their leaders.”

                    A large percentage of NZ’s voting public are authoritarian right-wing? Apart from the fact this has no basis in fact whatsoever if the majority prefer that then welcome to democracy, Draco.

                    • felix

                      Who said it was undemocratic?

                      And yep large parts of NZ society are underpinned by what I would describe as an authoritarian mindset.

                      As a contrarian this can’t have escaped your notice.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Certainly haven’t noticed any authoritarians in my social or professional circles…the last CE I worked under was a little I guess, but not to any great degree.

                      Perhaps you should get out more?

                    • felix

                      What makes you think it’s me who needs to get out more?

                • bad12

                  There was an interesting discussion going on there until McGrath, i assume deliberately diverted it off its course,

                  The problem of inequality is simply one of the false use of various means to ‘value’ our labour,

                  In some forms of economic activity the measure is the value of the output of the individuals production helped along with the individualization of various companies that produce a particular good or service in an economy,

                  In other forms of industry the measure is the level of education which is the precursor to a decision on the level of remuneration to be paid to the individual,

                  There could be mounted an argument over who produces the most good from say a WINZ office on any given day, those who deliver customer services during the day or the lower paid cleaners who clear away the mess made by those workers,

                  Of course if the State owned all the profits of every business in theory all workers could be paid the same with the cleaner of the factory floor receiving no less than the CEO of the company in question,

                  In theory our economy generates enough profit to pay the average wage to everyone, cleaner to manager to solo parent, how such a system would be achieved is another story of course…

                  • McGrath

                    Not at all. I was just following on from BM’s comment, which I thought was interesting and a good idea. Dumping Cunnliffe I believe would be the wrong idea if Labour lose. I imagine that Key had low approval ratings as well while in opposition (though I could be incorrect on that score). With time, Cunnliffe could have approval ratings up round Key’s current level.

                    • felix

                      Labour aren’t going to lose. Labour and the Greens will form the next government and start the process of taking this country back.

                    • bad12

                      Yep your right, BM waved the conductors baton to divert the discussion and you as the chorus joined in,

                      Personal popularity contests as measured by opinion polls are only really of value to the right, Helen Clark was polling in those opinion polls 6% befor She become the Prime Minister so they are an indicator of nothing much really, simply a device for ‘wing-nuts’ to hang there hats upon which is again nothing much really,

                      The end result of the Stuff.co poll on the budget i did not get to see, BUT, at the point i viewed it, the story of the week, The Budget, had those who liked that budget polling 47.5%, those who disliked it 52.5%,

                      In a tight election contest it is numbers like that which indicate what the wider electorate is thinking,

                      i don’t have to even like David Cunliffe and have an expressed distaste for much of Labour’s policy platform, BUT, my votes will be cast to ensure that He becomes the next Prime Minister and Labour becomes the major Party of the next Government simply because there is at the moment no other alternative…

                  • Clemgeopin

                    Pay equality is impractical and against human nature.

                    What can work better is having a maximum pay difference between the highest paid and lowest paid in an organisation. Say, Highest=50 x Lowest.

                    If the top guys are paid non job related perks such as shares, holidays etc, equivalent (at 50 times less value) shares/holidays should be paid in cash or kind to the lowest paid and other equivalent perks/value paid to those in between.

                    This system has more positives than negatives in my view.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Considering that Key doesn’t know anything about being a PM it can’t possibly be confidence. Which means it must be arrogance and hubris.

        • felix

          Everybody on the left, please leave Key alone.

          Also, if you could focus all your energy back onto the Labour leadership that would be sweet.


          Right-wing Fuckwits Everywhere.

        • JanM

          If you read the statistics again you will also realize he is hated less too

        • Penny Bright


          John Key would have to be one of the most SPIN-DOCTORED politicians on the planet.

          Which is why I am going to stand against him in Helensville – in order to help keep the BLOWTORCH on corruption (at both central and local government level).

          It should be FUN!

          I’m looking forward to it 🙂

          Penny Bright

    • Tracey 3.5

      funny how ralston got a position at tvnz notwithstanding his close training of the pm.

      interesting to see the impact of nats catchphrases like tricky. showing you dont need facts just repeated memes. cunliffe doesnt have to change or if he did it would make no difference cos the labelling is not factually based.

      key is thought of as arrogant… which is more interesting to me cos it shows the truth can seep through.

      bm… you disappeared during judiths lying. how proud you must hsve been

    • Clemgeopin 3.6

      Cunliffe, in his 8 short months, does not have the power or media exposure that Key has had for 6 long years. Hopefully he will get more media exposure in the coming months. At one time, before getting elected, Clark was at 11%.

      In the comparative stats mentioned in the article, what was revealing to me was the fact that Key has a HIGHER negative rating than Cunliffe! 30 per cent negative for Key while Cunliffe has a lower negative rating at 25 per cent!

      It is kind of ironic to see heaps of ‘advisers’ in the article and in the comments under the article advising Cunliffe that he should take less advice!

  4. Jenny 4

    From Stuff.co.nz

    David Cunliffe fails to connect with the voting public because he’s not being true to himself, experts say

    I am no expert but….

    Compare this: https://www.labour.org.nz/media/speech-dolphin-and-dole-queue

    With this: /david-cunliffe-on-the-standard/

    Former TVNZ political commentator turned media trainer Bill Ralston said Cunliffe came across like he “doesn’t know himself”…..

    Cunliffe, who at times proved he had the ability to connect, was a thoughtful man who was likely to be over-analysing problems, he said. “He shouldn’t try to be anything else other than himself.”

    Media trainer Brian Edwards, who has worked with Cunliffe, said the Labour leader was coming across poorly “which is curious because in the past he’s come across very well indeed. He doesn’t look relaxed, he doesn’t look spontaneous, he looks like he is reciting extended sound bites that he has been given by advisers.”

    Where is the Cunliffe of old who could shoot from the hip and speak from the heart?

    Brian Edwards says:

    It seemed this had forced Cunliffe to over-prepare and use scripted responses at a time when it was better to wing it. “You can have this problem of too many voices. You’re given all this advice and you end up with scrambled brains.”

    My advice to Cunliffe is, ditch the advice, go with your gut. After all you couldn’t do any worse.

    • ianmac 4.1

      I think that David has to be pretty careful about what he says because the media a waiting to pounce on any mis-step.

      • Chooky 4.1.1

        God Bill Ralston is looking like an old ‘has been’ these days! (how does he come across these days!)…and as for Brian Edwards( much the same)…a touch of envy here?…..I would say Linda Clark is a far better, younger ‘up with the play’ media trainer!

        Go David …you are doing just fine!…..next Prime Minister of New Zealand!…in coalition with the Greens, NZF and Mana/Dotcom!

        Remember the better you get the more some will be squealing and trying to undercut you….Take it as a compliment and just get tougher and more determined…really TOUGH! (in this regard maybe get some advice from Helen Clark!)

        • Disraeli Gladstone

          I’d much rather Cunliffe performs a little better so he can just be in a coalition with the Greens.

          If Mana goes ahead with the Internet Party, then any Dotcom scandal suddenly becomes relevant to a new Labour government if Mana is in government. And Winston will be a brake on any real left-wing policy.

          Labour/Green majority is the best outcome. And unfortunately, we’re still probably 6-9% away from that.

          • Colonial Viper

            And Winston will be a brake on any real left-wing policy.

            Winston’s policy on keeping the retirement age at 65 is pretty damn “left wing.” As is buying back the SOEs that National pawned off.

            In fact, doesn’t that strike you as being far more left than Labour’s positions on those issues?

            • Clemgeopin

              I think you should balance your thought with another thought and it is this:

              Winston’s primary aim is to make sure he gets his 5% party vote threshold. He needs votes from both the left and the right.

              The Buy back Assets sound bite appeals to the Left.
              Keep Universal Super age at 65 appeals to the Right.

              [Noise against Asians appeals to heaps of left, right and centre!
              Besides, lots of lovely elderly still love their Winny]

              • Draco T Bastard

                The Buy back Assets sound bite appeals to the Left.
                Keep Universal Super age at 65 appeals to the Right.

                I think you’ll find that those appeal to the more conservative of the left and the right while also appealing to the more broadly left. The more libertarian right will absolutely hate the latter.

              • Colonial Viper

                Keep Universal Super age at 65 appeals to the Right

                Raising the retirement age = cutting benefits. Not raising the retirement age is a pure left wing policy. The reason it appeals to the Right is they know Labour is going to get smashed on it at the polls.

            • Naturesong

              Problem is, once the votes are in, Winstone has a history of ignoring the platform that got him those votes in exchange for a few baubles.

        • Anne

          I reckon Bill Ralston and Brian Edwards have got the pip with Cunliffe because he chose the younger ‘up with the play’ Linda Clark to media train him.

          And while I’m here:

          Yesterday Redlogix called Fran O’Sullivan a trout. I suggested – in a tongue in cheek sort of way – that was a bit unfair. I wish to retract that comment! Redlogix is right. 🙂

          Just seen her on Q&A and she looks like a trout, she acts like trout and she is a trout! What a shocking performance from both her and Bryce Edwards. They showed their true colours. Laila Harre had to shout over the top of them in order to get a word in edge-wise.

          At one point O’Sulliavn is castigating Labour for a punitive CGT and a few minutes later she contradicts herself by saying it’s not going to have any effect anyway. Geez!!!

          • vto

            ” O’Sulliavn is castigating Labour for a punitive CGT ”

            The lack of a CGT is punitive to those who earn money by wage and salary.

            p.s. trout are in fact beautiful amazing creatures, so a different description needs to be found, which is old trout. Ever seen one?

    • anker 4.2

      Jenny@4…………What ????????……Clearly none of these people watched DC on The Nation yesterday. He was faultless. Looked rested (unlike Key)…………..10 out of 10 Mr C.

      We will win this election despite the likes of Stuff, Ralston, Fran, Claire etc etc.

    • Tracey 4.3

      john key media trainer bill ralston…

      held posts with news orgs while media teaining pm… but no inquiries.

      • Colonial Viper 4.3.1

        of course not, its a cosy club of courtiers to the power elite, which one of the journalists in the press gallery would not like to be at least asked to become press secretary in the PMs office?

        • Tracey

          yip… ralston… henry… hoskings… basically mosf of newstalk zb…. but thats ok.

          evil linda clark. bad girl. baaaaad girl.

  5. Morrissey 5

    Glenn Greenwald: Zero evidence supporting claims Snowden jeopardised lives
    Friday 16 May 2014

    When Edward Snowden decided to leak top secret documents from the National Security Agency in the US, he contacted American journalist Glenn Greenwald. What followed was a series of events, straight out of the pages of a spy novel. The leaks revealed that the US was conducting a program of mass surveillance on a global scale Glenn Greenwald tells the story in his new book called “No Place To Hide”. He talks with Steve Cannane for his first Australian TV interview to promote the book.



  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Feeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US cities

    Right now, there are dozens of major U.S. cities that have already passed laws against feeding the homeless. As you will read about below, in some areas of the country you can actually be fined hundreds of dollars for just trying to give food to a hungry person. I know that sounds absolutely insane, but this is what America is turning into. Communities all over the country are attempting to “clean up the streets” by making it virtually illegal to either be homeless or to help those that are homeless. Instead of spending more money on programs to assist the homeless, local governments are bulldozing tent cities and giving homeless people one way bus tickets out of town. We are treating some of the most vulnerable members of our society like human garbage, and it is a national disgrace.


    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      And don’t forget that doing the same things here.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Let them eat cake

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        Damn, doing too many things at once 😳


        • Colonial Viper

          Go Len Brown

        • bad12

          Yep Draco, and there was another article in the Herald last week about the ‘Ranui holiday Park’ out in West Auckland where Paula Bennett called a public meeting of its residents to cry faux tears over the amounts of money the owner is gouging from the State via its ‘end of the line’ tenants,

          It appears that now Brown’s council has got in on the act and issued notices for a large number of the tenants to quit the place, their last refuge befor homlessness, because there are no resource consents in place for the ‘park’ to house permanent residents,

          It gets even worse in what must be a total ”mind fuck” for the tenants who are deemed not to be permanent residents IF they are on the HousingNZ waiting lists,

          Of course under the ”new rules” that govern the HousingNZ waiting lists none of the tenants can be placed on HousingNZ waiting lists because their current accommodation in the ‘holiday park’ is deemed by the rules put in place by Bennett and Nick Smith to be ‘suitably housed’ in such accommodation,

          And Labour???, lets not even go there…

        • Murray Olsen

          I used to have a bit of time for Mike Lee, but these days he doesn’t seem to do anything remotely good. He sticks to giving a civilised veneer to outrageously bad policies.

    • Tracey 6.2

      the land of the free…

    • The Al1en 6.3

      I think I mentioned to you some time ago that growing, cooking and giving away healthy free food was my thing, but leaving that aside, what a horrible world view some people have.
      I don’t do lotto, but did notice the jackpot was $18m before Saturday, if it’s not gone I might luck in like Trevor from Te Kauwhata did, though I’m confident that in publicly pledging to give it away I wouldn’t suffer his publicised troubles.

      Maybe if it gets to the must go draw at the very end I’ll risk the the minimum power ball option of four boards for $4.80 and along with my food farm, wind turbine, kitchens and free diner/restaurant I’ll fund a sports academy as home base for the cities amateur sports groups to operate out of, a free leisure centre for Hamilton South.

      Not quite a DB9 with a sunlight powered hyper drive, but what ever floats your pod, as they say.
      Besides, with the Green’s bank and kiwi ingenuity, we’ll be flying like in Futurama in no time. 😀

      • Colonial Viper 6.3.1

        I don’t do lotto, but did notice the jackpot was $18m before Saturday, if it’s not gone I might luck in like Trevor from Te Kauwhata did

        I’d reform Lotto into Socialist Lotto.

        Instead of an $18M jackpot which might be shared out by a small handful of people, or even just one person, I would have the system geared to 36 x $500,000 prizes.

        Enough to transform the life of 36 families in other words, not just give one or two families a shot at living it up like Hollywood stars.

        • Lanthanide

          Yip, definitely agree. If you look at the prizes by lotto, it is very very highly weighted to the top prizes.

          2nd division lotto was $21,000 this last weekend – nothing to sneeze at, but not really going to be life-transforming for many. 3rd division was a paltry $660, which is probably the most the average lotto player could have a reasonable expectation to win once in their lifetime of buying tickets. Powerball 2nd division was only $25,000, although the 3rd division was a more satisfying $1,368.

          I’ve started buying lotto tickets now, but only because I won’t miss the money and “if you don’t buy a ticket you have 0 chance of winning”. I only ever buy when they have one of their promotions of 100 additional prizes, eg the recent Easter and Mother’s Day promotions, and also when it goes to a “must be won” jackpot – not because I’m hoping to win 1st division, but because I’m hoping to win 2nd division and have no-one win 1st.

        • phillip ure

          @ viper..lotto-idea..

          ..plus one..

          ..i am also sure that would drive up their business…

          ..to have winner numbers increase..at the pot grows..

          ..and to have higher prizes for the minor winners..

          ..altogether more scaled..

          • Colonial Viper

            Although the name “Socialist Lotto” probably needs some work 🙂

    • RedLogix 6.4

      Ordinary Americans have a long and admirable traditions of personal generosity and community volunteering – and these new laws are very much at odds with that. Deeply so.

      It is always worth keeping in mind that the USA is an astoundingly diverse nation – every possible variation and extreme of human value and experience is to be found there.

      • Tracey 6.4.1

        you mean like donating to their ivy league colleges to ensure a spot for their children no matter how stupid or registering their assets in georgetown and then donating to the usa.

        ordinary americans are no more giving than the ordinary kiwis… its the very very wealthy who wait til their pillage has borne fruit then to perpetuate a personal image they donate… like owen glenn in nz

        • RedLogix

          Yes and no. I agree with what you are saying about the extremely wealthy – but they are not the people I’m thinking of.

          If you’ve spent time there – it’s a generosity found in places you’d least expect it.

          • Tracey

            I know who you mean. I see the same behaviour here. although nz is losing the volunteer mindset amongst what I call the us tv raised generations.

        • felix

          “you mean like donating to their ivy league colleges to ensure a spot for their children”

          Or to a european art school so your daughter can spend 4 years taking selfies?

      • RedLogix 6.4.2

        Then again you have this – if you have the stomach to read it. Especially recomended to Gosman:


        • phillip ure

          chrs 4 that link redlogix..

        • Draco T Bastard

          Ah, libertarian heaven.

        • Colonial Viper

          And it is shocking to think that Camden (which Hedges features prominently in his book Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt) is a mere 3 hour drive from the heart of empire, Washington DC. Hedges reports on companies who sole job it is to break down abandoned offices and houses and rip out anything worthy of scrap, load it on boats which then take it away to China and other places for melting down.

          It really is the catabolic breakdown of western civilisation. Hedges calls these places the “sacrifice zones” of capitalism, and these zones are spreading.

          In other words, when the American power elite is doing this to their own people down the road, do you think they really care one whit about anyone else further away.

          • Draco T Bastard

            In other words, when the American power elite is doing this to their own people down the road, do you think they really care one whit about anyone else further away.

            Whatever makes you think that they ever cared about anyone else? There’s a very good reason why the original rich were called Robber Barons. It’s just a matter of time before we call them that again. In fact, we should already be doing so.

      • Colonial Viper 6.4.3

        Ordinary Americans have a long and admirable traditions of personal generosity and community volunteering – and these new laws are very much at odds with that. Deeply so.

        Yep. And one could make a case that Republican voting families and the Christian Right help out in their local communities even more so than most other Americans.

        • Tracey

          but it is conditional by those groups. I recall when habitat for humanity wouldnt build house for gay families. dont know if its still the case.

    • Clemgeopin 6.5

      From that article :

      “And without a doubt, the need to help the homeless is greater than it ever has been before. Right now, there are 1.2 million public school students in America that are homeless. That number is an all-time record, and it has grown by 72 percent since the start of the last recession.

      In addition, there are 49 million Americans that are dealing with food insecurity. Even in the midst of this so-called “economic recovery”, poverty is absolutely exploding.”

      Welcome to America the land of the free and plenty.

      PS: A reader posted below the article :
      ‘Better pull him over…..he looks like a Good Samaritan!’

    • Naturesong 6.6

      Tom Joad – Part 1
      Tom Joad – Part 2

      It is not worth while to try to keep history from repeating itself, for man’s character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible

      Mark Twain

      The Ghost of Tom Joad

    • vto 6.7

      CV “Feeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US cities”

      Feeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US cities

      Feeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US cities

      Feeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US cities

      Feeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US cities

      Feeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US cities

      Feeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US cities

      Feeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US cities

      Feeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US cities

      Feeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US cities

      Feeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US citiesFeeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US citiesFeeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US citiesFeeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US citiesFeeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US citiesFeeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US citiesFeeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US citiesFeeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US citiesFeeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US citiesFeeding the homeless now being criminalised in dozens of US cities

      • mickysavage 6.7.1

        Im afraid that we do this over here as well. My first standard post was on how we were outlawing begging …

        Outlawing Begging

        • vto

          Yes. How is it possible that an authority we are part of goes and does this? I don’t understand. Does this mean that the majority of Aucklanders and Americans want to do this?

          • Colonial Viper

            The Onehunga Business Association has more weight than a hundred thousand voters. It’s how the system works.

            And in the US/UK, literally millions of people were opposed to the 2nd Iraq War. But the western power elite did what they wanted regardless. Which is not a surprise according to Dmitry Orlov quoting some recent Princeton research:

            In case you missed it, the US is not a democracy. A Princeton University study by Gilens and Page performed a regression analysis on over a thousand public policy decisions, and determined that the effect of public opinion on public policy is nil. That’s right, nil. It doesn’t matter how you vote, it doesn’t affect the outcome in any measurable way. By extension, that also goes for protesting, organizing, dousing yourself with gasoline and setting yourself on fire on the steps of the US Senate, or whatever else you may get up to. It won’t influence those in power worth a damn.

            Here’s the plot that shows the relationship: public support for any given issue may vary from 0% to 100%; the probability that public policy will follow remains stuck at 30%. It doesn’t matter whether or not you vote, you are throwing your vote away regardless. Or, if it makes you feel better, it is thrown away for you.


            • vto

              No that can’t be right. How so kemosabe?

              • Colonial Viper

                I refer to your comment

                I don’t understand. Does this mean that the majority of Aucklanders and Americans want to do this?

                Of course, you know that we do not live in a full democracy where each persons’ voice has equal weight, and what’s the bet that Auckland’s homeless were encouraged to speak or lobby for themselves about this proposal, in front of Council – nil or close to nil, right?

                • vto

                  hmmm of course. There are other things that are much more important …..

                  (tui ad)

  7. Jenny 7

    Time to relocate?

    Tsunami evacuation maps with evacuation routes.


    Maybe even a list of multistory buildings that are tsunami resistant could be good too. Video of the Fukushima earthquake showed that those who made it to the upper floors of such buildings also survived.

    P.S. Also handy knowledge in the case of storm surge related to hurricanes, which due to climate change are expected to strike the North of the North Island within the next 20 – 30 years.

    The storm surge that hit the city of Tacloban in the Philippines was 6 metres high.

    “I was talking to the people of Tacloban,” said senior presidential aide Rene Alemendras. “They said ‘we were ready for the wind. We were not ready for the water.’

    “We tried our very best to warn everybody,” he said. “But it was really just overwhelming, especially the storm surge.”

    While the storm surge proved deadly, much of the initial destruction was caused by winds blasting at 235 kilometers per hour (147 mph) that occasionally blew with speeds of up to 275 kph (170 mph), howling like jet engines.


  8. risildowgtn 8

    So if there is No Work why did Bennett announce $3k to Christchurch policy???


    • weka 8.1

      Because Bennett’s work and welfare policies aren’t based in reality, they’re based on ideology and (if we are more cynical) manipulation towards privatisation.

      • felix 8.1.1

        …and based on spreading right-wing propaganda. Because now we can say for sure that anyone without a job/without enough work is 100% to blame for choosing their own predicament.

        After all, if the govt will give you 1000s and 1000s of dollars to go to Christchurch, and you don’t take them up on it, you must really really not want to work, right?

    • Tracey 8.2

      this is the woman who pretended to be dyed in the wool westie and has dumped them like a hot potato now she will stand for the wealthy of upper harbour. I hope that clarifies it for you.

      • felix 8.2.1

        Perhaps when her “always been a Shore girl at heart” election hoardings go up, someone might want to redecorate them in Westie style.

  9. could edwards-the-younger be more of a babbling rightwing-toad..?

    • Skinny 9.1

      Like you Phil I don’t rate Edwards at all. His opinion of David Parkers interview was quickly dismissed by Harrie as was Fran Wilde’s. Did you notice bumbling Bill English turn all insecure when he heard Parker was about to be asked to critique his lack luster budget. I had a chuckle when Parker burst into a hysteric belly laugh referring to snake oil being peddled by English and National. DP just firmed up any wavering swing voters minds watching, that National are vision less having very poor policy direction.

      • Skinny 9.1.1

        Ha ha *Fran O’ Sulliavn sorry

      • phillip ure 9.1.2

        parker started ho-hum..but finished well..

        .and he does that a lot..doesn’t get firing until the home straight..

        ..(maybe he needs to be prepared for interviews..like a prizefighter..?

        ..maybe he needs a professional ‘goader’ to travel with him..?

        ..he/she cd wind him up backstage..

        ..so he can start as he finishes..

        (and cd someone take him to get some new glasses..?..f.f.s..!

        ..not ones that slide up and down his nose all the time..and a frame that doesn’t hide his eyes..

        ..viewers/voters like to look into politicians’ eyes..

        ..and with parker..instead of pupil..you get spectacle-frame..

        ..it may seem a little thing..but it counts..

        • Ergo Robertina

          Have always rated Parker, liked his response to Dann over immigration being populist (‘what’s wrong with being populist’?)
          Disappointing though to see him physically recoil at Dann’s suggestion the top tax rate could go to up to 45 cents, and repeat reassurances it won’t.

          • Jenny



            Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee English and Parker write New Zealand’s future.

            President Barack Obama’s science advisor, Dr. John Holdren is the US equivalent of New Zealand’s Professor Peter Gluckman, science advisor to John Key.

            This is what Dr Holdren says about climate change:

            “The amount of rain coming down in heavy downpours is increasing. Drought in the West and South-West in the United States. The increase that has already occurred in heatwaves across the middle of the United States. All of these are phenomena are going to have a direct adverse affect on human well being on the different parts of this country…..

            The 1st component is reducing carbon emissions in the United States.

            The 2nd component is helping communities increase preparedness and resilience.

            And the 3rd is global leadership, to get countries around the world to join us in emissions reductions that will slow the rate of climate change around the world and help cities like Miami that are particularly vulnerable…..

            Dr John Holdren The Weather Channel, May 8, 2014

            Dr Holdren’s comments strongly correlate with Professor Gluckman’s advice to our nation contained in the nzgovt. webpage on climate change; http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/climate-change/

            “New Zealand is a small emitter by world standards – only emitting some 0.2% of global green house gases. So anything we do as a nation will have little impact on the climate – our impact will be symbolic, moral, and political”

            Sir Peter Gluckman Chief Science adviser to Prime Minister Key

            So how are New Zealand’s political leaders heeding the advice of science advisers like Dr Holdren and Professor Gluckman for global leadership?

            New Zealand’s net greenhouse gas emissions increased 111 percent between 1990 and 2012. Total emissions increased 25 percent.

            Statistics New Zealand nzgovt.

            English and Parker call the shots:

            Labour says views on mining close to Govt’s

            Labour’s finance spokesman, David Parker, says his party’s policies on oil, gas and mineral extraction are close to those of the Government.

            “I don’t think we are much different from National,” Parker said. “They’ve continued on with the programme that we started in respect to oil and gas,” he said yesterday after a breakfast for the Mood of the Boardroom survey in which chief executives expressed strong support for mining.

            “We think that mining outside the Schedule 4 areas is appropriate.

            “There need to be appropriate environmental controls around risk minimisation.”….

            Parker was Energy Minister during the last Labour Government and said about $20 million was spent on seismic surveys to supply to big oil companies and entice them to New Zealand….

            Finance Minister Bill English outlined six business-friendly growth initiatives, one of which was to bring in new rules for the country’s 200km exclusive economic zone.

            “We believe that New Zealanders will support better use of our natural resources provided it is economically responsible,” English said.

            Grant Bradely NZ Herald, July 27, 2012

            The sooner these two sickly extreme Right sychophantic servants to the Polluters and Plutocrats, and traitors to the People and Planet, are removed from any and all positions of influence the better.

            • phillip ure

              there is that about parker..

              ..wherever he has been..after he has gone..

              .you have to get out the vac..to clean up the coal-dust..

            • Clemgeopin

              I am with Parker on this.

              Blindly calling a BLANKET ban on RESPONSIBLE CONTROLLED mining or mineral and oil exploration, or blindly opposing TPPA even before knowing the details is stupid and sort of throwing a baby out with the bath water.

              This does not preclude us in the meantime developing and starting NEW environmentally focused industries.

          • Tracey

            labour needs to pull him from epsom to avoid distraction. having such a high profile labour mp there is wrongly tell people to vote for him for electorate mp.

            • Skinny

              All the opposition party’s are are guilty of not playing MMP as you can, the Greens have put up Genter. I guess they could intend saying vote the Nat candidate as your electorate vote, or maybe go down as list only?

              • bad12

                Julie Ann will in my opinion have done a good job in Epsom if the Green Party vote goes up again in that electorate, AND, the far too high in 2011 electorate vote for the Green Party candidate goes down,

                The same i would suggest will be the measure of David Parker’s success or not in that electorate,

                Between both Parties Labour/Green they have some 8000 electorate votes from the 2011 numbers, a quarter of which if either candidate is able to convince their supporters to vote for the National Party candidate will unseat ACT from the Parliament,

                i would like to think that both David Parker and Julie Ann Genter are going to approach the 2014 election with the firm intentions of achieving exactly what i write above but have my doubts,

                The Green Party are fully aware of the situation in Epsom having given the previous candidate there a spanking over the manner in which He campaigned in the electorate in 2011,

                As far as David Parker goes tho i have serious doubts, with, from memory, around 5000 electorate votes from the Epsom electorate in 2011 He more than holds the key to ACT’s fate this election and therefor possibly the key to who Governs,

                Hopefully Labour strategists have educated Parker in what is needed in this particular crucial electorate…

                • Skinny

                  Yes and MP’s need to put their own egos aside and play MMP as they should. How many will vote the National candidate? I think the Mana candidate did and told his supporters there to do the same. My own family who live in Epsom have voted ACT/National in the last 2 elections but have abandoned them after watching mind the gap. They proudly confirm they are now Green supporters and intend giving 2 them 2 ticks, I will be turning their way of thinking soon, we need the likes of them to candidate vote national and party vote Green obviously. A campaign using this strategy may just work the oracle?

                  In saying all that, National through the budget played the ACT card which will be good for about 2% of party votes gifted to them. By this wolf in sheeps disguise, PR stunt, the rightwing of National-Act will pull 4%. If they get a third term they will piss on the lot of us till a spring bok tour revolt occurs. Thinking of going on a 2.5 year World holiday to places I’ve always wanted to see. Be back for the next election fight. Still think NACT will cop a hiding though.

        • greywarbler

          pu +1

      • Clemgeopin 9.1.3

        The Q and A is no where near as good as in the earlier years.

        Corin Dann is an irritating interviewer as he interrupts before the speaker has completed his point. Interrupting in the middle a speaker’s sentence is rude and stupid. Let the person at least COMPLETE a sentence man! Both English and Parker tried their best to answer the questions in spite of the crap attitude/manners of the interviewer.

        The panel today was also irritating because the host not at all being in control, the panel members constantly interrupted each other like uneducated little unprofessional cretins.

        The show should be about discussion and information for the audience and not become an ego exercise slot for the so called ‘journalists’ and ‘commentators’.

        The ‘Nation’ does it much better I think.

        I wonder why they no longer get the highly impressive, astute intellectual, the professional Colin James?

        • Anne

          I wonder why they no longer get the highly impressive, astute intellectual, the professional Colin James?

          I doubt he would want to lend his name to a second-rate, once over lightly and partisan programme like Q&A. The Nation would be a better place for him.

          Btw, I agree about the panel scrapping and interrupting each other, but it should be noted the main culprits were Edwards and O’Sullivan talking down Harre every time she tried to say something. In the end, she joined in but that was the only way she could any points across.

          • phillip ure

            that was mainly because smalley was meant to be adjudicating..

            ..with almost every appearance smalley just confirms her skills are purely around reading teleprompters..

            ..and what a mistake it was expecting more..

            ..her analytical-skills are nowhere to be seen..

            ..and she can’t interview..

            ..send her back to the news-reader chair..

          • Tracey

            why do we need panels. why do we need opinion pieces. its to tell us how to think and raise the financial stocks of the panelists and opinion writers.

            duncan garner just commented on a piece about a young man with a terminal ilness ” what a great attitude to life”. had to be scripted cos he shows no understanding of bigger picture issurs beyong himself in his work. oh the irony.

            • Draco T Bastard

              why do we need panels. why do we need opinion pieces. its to tell us how to think and raise the financial stocks of the panelists and opinion writers.


          • greywarbler

            It seems that some of the interviewers like Gluon are not interested in the answers, just in posing questions which so how sharp they are. The interview is to demonstrate their skills and to acquire some information that provides material for ongoing news, and so that they can score some point, spurious or note, against the interviewee. That’s my impression of late.

        • phillip ure

          “..The Q and A is no where near as good as in the earlier years…”

          dunno about that..

          ..they used to have jessica mutch…


          ..what a relief it was when mutch was sent off to be the one who stands outside buckingham palace..

          ..sometimes i thought she was only there as an attempt to make the compere look better..

          • Tracey

            when pippa left breakfast did they clone her first? her replacement looks scarily like her…

  10. tricledrown 10

    Gos its obvious that you have the same MO as Srylands.
    So lesson 1 Democracy gave more power to everybody including the poorest.
    They have a right to vote in a government that shares resources more evenly.
    The Result is free education which gives more people a chance to make a good income and pay taxes to lower the burden on you selfish one.
    Healthcare ensures more people are aloud to participate and keep working to lower the tax burden on you.selfish one.
    Economic History shows that having a more equal society means having a more stable and vibrant economy much less prone to recession or depression.
    Which means more people get to keep their wealth like selfish idiots like yourself.
    Diseases spread are reduced hugely by having universal healthcare so when you visit your ladies of the night you are far less likely to end up with Aides tuberculosis stds excetera.
    Education is good because I can get to read over 1,000 economics books for less than $100 .As the university students throw out their expensive books .
    So my knowledge of economics is light years ahead of your pathetic propaganda that you repeat from your Act pamplet you selfish sorry little yesman.

  11. Clemgeopin 11

    FPP style Indian Election:

    In one of the most fiercely contested general elections, the right wing nationalist BJP (Bharathiya Janata Party) has won 282 seats, making it the only party to win single majority in the Lok Sabha since 1984. The total seats in the house=543+(2 nominated)=545. Needed for outright majority=272

    This year’s Lok Sabha polls witnessed the highest-ever turnout with 66.38 per cent of an estimated 814 million voters exercising their franchise — the highest ever in the history of general elections. These elections saw a total of 8,241 candidates fighting it out for the 16th Lok Sabha and included 3,234 independents.

    One of the facts that interested me was the absurdity and unfairness of the FPP system:

    In terms of vote share, BJP is on top, with ONLY 31 % of votes. But this gave them 52% of the seats. 282 !

    Followed by 19.3 per cent vote for the Congress party, but gave them only 8% of seats, a mere 44!

    I am so glad we here chose a more democratic and a fairer system of representative government. MMP is any day way better than FPP.

    Seats 282 (51.9%) 44 (8.1%) 37 (6.8%) 34 (6.2%) 0 (0.0%)

    • Tracey 11.1

      and the money he put into his campaign and the disproportionate coverage he got from privately owned media.

      funny ghat its called democracy at all.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        India remains a remarkably unequal country; it still has a strong caste system still in place, and millions do not have reliable clean drinking water or sanitation although it has been improving. Over 600M Indians still defecate outside in open air arrangements, however.

        Oh, and according to Forbes, India now has over 50 billionaires. Good on them.

        • Clemgeopin

          To me the measure of success for India will be when every house in every town and village has a toilet, running water and electricity.

          The very wealthy are very very filthily rich and the poor are sadly very very poor.

          Corruption in every sphere of life is rampant. Greed, selfishness, pursuit of wealth, dowry, unfairness, parochialism, nepotism, religious extremism, intolerance and hardship is beyond the pale.

          Hats off to innumerable good caring volunteers trying to make positive changes against huge odds where ever possible.

          India has so many well educated wise, kind and good people too, but changing the traditional ingrained mentality and effecting a paradigm shift is a monumental task which even the very great Mahatma Gandhi was unable to fulfill.

          Remains to be seen if the election of this far right party with its religious, nationalist and capitalist agenda will be good for that nation’s poor and ordinary people in the short and long term. I really wish them success, but I am very skeptical and fear for the minority Muslims and Christians.

    • Naturesong 11.2

      The Indian election put into perspective by John Oliver

    • Clemgeopin 11.3

      I did not type the last line completely. Here it is.

      % Votes, No.of Seats, % Seats, …..for various parties.

      31.0%, 282, 51.9%
      19.3%, 44, 8.1%
      03.3%, 37, 6.8%
      03.8%, 34, 6.2%
      01.7%, 20, 3.6%
      01.9%, 18, 3.3%
      02.5%, 16, 2.9%

  12. amirite 12

    In his blog post today, Rob Salmond swiftly and concisely exposes Key’s blatant lie that the 12% of top earners in NZ pay 76% net tax.


    • bad12 12.1

      i think the ‘wing-nuts’ use of that little divisive device relies upon what is then redistributed by Government’s via various programs from Working for Families, welfare benefits, Housing subsidies etc etc etc,

      As a straight calculation of actual dollars paid in taxes by the various groups without subtracting amounts of monies given back by these various programs the story would i believe be entirely different,

      Shown as taxation paid as a % of income the tale is then turned on its head to show those with the least income pay a greater % of that income as taxation than any other group…

  13. Penny Bright 13

    See this article in the business section of today’s Sunday Star Times?

    “In the business pages of the Sunday Star-Times today, anti-corruption campaigner Penny Bright points out that New Zealand is one of only a handful of countries NOT to have ratified the UN Convention on Corruption.”

    (Thanks to Auckland Councillor Cathy Casey posting it on facebook).

    How come NZ’s Minister of ‘Justice’ Judith Collins has not yet introduced her ‘Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill’ into the House?

    This ‘Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill’ needs to be passed before NZ can ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) .

    Ratification of UNCAC is supposed to have been a priority for the last SIX years.

    Perhaps if Judith Collins had been a bit more competent and focused in her publicly-funded role as Minister of Justice, instead of focusing on helping to organise private business ‘net-working’ and ‘profile-building’ opportunities for Oravida, which is owned by her very close friend ‘Stone’ Shi, and whose managing director is her very close friend Julia Xu, the other director being her HUSBAND David Wong Tung – then NZ would have a domestic anti-corruption legislative framework now in place?


    (See pages 83 – 84 for the MFAT briefing on the pre-planned tour/visit of Oravida facilities by the MINISTER of Justice Judith Collins on 23 October 2013, and the photo STILL up on the Oravida website which proves this:

    http://www.oravida.com/lwl/newsen/ )

    The time-frame for the introduction and passage of legislation is normally six months.

    However – it is now 18 May 2014, and the last sitting day of this Parliament is 31 July 2014.

    (I checked with the appropriate Parliamentary staff).

    Minister of ‘Justice’ Judith Collins’ much vaunted ‘Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill’ has STILL yet to surface in the House …………..

    Why is Judith Collins STILL a Minister – when she is obviously NOT ‘fit for duty’?

    Because NZ PM John Key has been bending over backwards /forwards to also help promote Oravida, thus has difficulties holding her accountable to the ‘highest ethical standards’, when he appears to lack them himself?

    “Oravida’s chairman plays golf with NZ Prime Minister”


    There is a LOT more to come on this story …..

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

  14. KMB 14

    Shocking display of National Party propaganda on the page 2 of the Sunday Star Times today.
    They must be running close to being sued it’s so blatant.
    Of course it’s yet another supposed survey about who is the best leader;Key or Cunliffe? And no prizes for guessing as to who came out of it smelling of roses!
    It’s clearly a counter to the rave reviews David and Karen Cunliffe have been getting for their very authentic ‘at home with the leaders’ appearance with John Campbell.
    I expect to see National declare that Mediaworks donation.If not,why not?

  15. vto 15

    will john minto ever be a knight?

    • Mike the Savage One 15.1

      He already is, you are a fool to think it requires a Queen to handle and put upon the sword. We are all “knights” in our own right, are we not?

  16. Jenny 16

    Where’s ACT when you need them?

    The ol’ invisible hand of the free market goes into spastic convolutions throwing out hundreds of thousands of new cars onto the world market with no buyers in sight.

    Unfortunately for the free market, the hand may be invisible but its crazy handiwork is clearly visible on Google Earth

    You really gotta see THIS!

    It is a sorry state of affairs and there is no answer to it, solutions don’t exist. So the cars just keep on being manufactured and keep on adding to the millions of unsold cars already sitting redundant around the world.

    Below are parked tens of thousands of cars at Royal Portbury Docks, Avonmouth, near Bristol in the United Kingdom. If you look on Google Maps and scan around the area at say 200ft you will see nothing but parked up unsold cars. They are absolutley everywhere in that area practically every open space has unsold cars parked up on it.

    Below is that same area in Avonmouth, UK, but zoomed out. Every gray space that you see is filled with unsold cars. Anyone want to hazard a guess at how many are there…

    As it is, there are more cars than there are people on the planet with an estimated 10 billion roadworthy cars in the world today.

    We literally cannot make enough of them. Below are seen just a few of the thousands of Citroen’s parked up at Corby, Northamptonshire in England. They are being added to daily, imported from France but with nowhere else to go once they arrive.

    Tens of thousands of cars are still being made every week but hardly any of them are being sold. Nearly every household in developed countries already has a car or even two or three cars parked up on their driveway as it is.

    I wonder how ACT would solve this problem of the market?

    Lay off the auto workers?

    Followed by the steel workers, then all the component manufacturers? Maybe slash any remaining workers wages?

    This sounds like the sort of idiocy that ACT would resort too.

    And what would be the result?

    Tens of thousands of newly unemployed, who will not be buying any new cars, they will not be buying any old cars, they will not be able to afford to put petrol into the cars they already own, they will not be buying as much groceries and most definitely like all unemployed they will not be buying any luxuries, in fact they will not be able to spend money they no longer earn on anything. This gathering snowball of falling demand will see more factories of all sorts close. Tens of thousands of unemployed will balloon out into hundreds of thousands and then millions of unemployed, the recession will blow out into a full scale depression to rival the 1930s collapse.

    So how did they get out of it?

    Maybe even ACT would agree that it is time for just a little bit of government intervention?

    The WWII solution.

    State intervention writ large

    Out the outbreak of war, by government decree, all private automobile production was stopped and all the car plants of the warring nations were converted within months and even weeks in some cases to churning out tanks and planes and other weapons of destruction to win the war against fascism.

    Fortunately, (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it), we already have all the tanks and planes and drones and missiles and bombs and guns we can use, and their destructive power is exponentially greater.

    What we don’t have is the wind turbines and solar collectors and smart grids necessary to win the war on climate change.

    So here’s the plan: The war to Power 100 percent of the Planet with Renewables within ten years

    (ironically behind a pay wall)

    Here’s a taster: using the manufacturing capacity of our automotive industry enough wind turbines could be churned out to fully power all the electricity grids of the world, including all the electric cars not yet built within ten years. This is not to even to mention solar, which with molten salt heat storage technology can reliably deliver base load power 24/7 to fill in the gaps that come from intermittant wind generation. Even with out base load Solar. The wind is always blowing somewhere, with Super Grids the local intermittency of wind is largely overcome.

    “A large-scale wind, water and solar energy system can reliably supply the world’s needs, significantly benefiting climate, air quality, water quality, ecology and energy security. As we have shown, the obstacles are primarily political, not technical.”

    Scientific American

    Interestingly the comments section has several critiques of the Wind Water Solar solution submitted by the Scientific American authors. Advocates of nuclear or bio fuels argue that their chosen solutions would better make the necessary changeover to zero emissions within the same ten year time frame. They don’t question the urgent necessity for making this changeover to zero emissions, or that it is possible, both these premises are taken as scientific givens.

    • Clemgeopin 16.1

      WOW! Just astounding! What a mind opener!

      Everyone needs to look at this article and pictures.

      Great post. Thanks very much!

      [lprent: Both the spam checkers and myself look for comments that look exactly like this one. As the link puts it “5: Comments full of adulation”. I’d suggest a different wording, as that one had my finger hovering over the spam button ]

      • Jenny 16.1.1

        “5: Comments full of adulation”. I’d suggest a different wording, as that one had my finger hovering over the spam button


        Maybe Lynn if you don’t like people saying nice things about my contributions you could consider the LIKE button, like over at TDB.

        And by the way this is only one comment not five.

        And for the record I do not know clemgeopin, or solicit their comment.

        PS. Thanks Clem,

    • Jenny 16.2

      From behind the pay wall.

      Today the maximum power consumed worldwide at any given moment is about 12.5 trillion watts (terawatts, or TW), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The agency projects that in 2030 the world will require 16.9 TW of power as global population and living standards rise, with about 2.8 TW in the U.S. The mix of sources is similar to today’s, heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

      If, however, the planet were powered entirely by WWS, with no fossil-fuel, nuclear or biomass fuels, intriguing savings occur. Global power demand would be only 11.5 TW, and U.S. demand would be 1.8 TW. The decline occurs because, in most cases, electrification is a more efficient way to use energy. For example, only 17 to 20 percent of the energy in gasoline is used to move a vehicle (the rest is wasted as heat), whereas 75 to 86 percent of the electricity delivered to an electric vehicle goes into motion.

      Even if demand did rise to 16.9 TW, WWS could provide far more power. Detailed studies by us and others indicate that energy from the wind, worldwide, is about 1,700 TW. Solar, alone, offers 6,500 TW. Of course, wind and sun out in the open seas, over high mountains and across protected regions would not be available. If we subtract these and low-wind areas not likely to be developed, we are still left with 40 to 85 TW for wind and 580 TW for solar, each far beyond future human demand. Yet currently we generate only 0.02 TW of wind power and 0.008 TW of solar. These sources hold an incredible amount of untapped potential.

      The other WWS technologies will help create a flexible range of options. Although all the sources can expand greatly, for practical reasons, wave power can be extracted only near coastal areas. Many geothermal sources are too deep to be tapped economically. And even though hydroelectric power now exceeds all other WWS sources, most of the suitable large reservoirs are already in use.

      The Plan: Power Plants Required
      Clearly, enough renewable energy exists. How, then, would we transition to a new infrastructure to provide the world with 11.5 TW? We have chosen a mix of technologies emphasizing wind and solar, with about 9 percent of demand met by mature water-related methods. (Other combinations of wind and solar could be as successful.)

      51 percent of the demand, comes from 3.8 million large wind turbines (each rated at five megawatts) worldwide. Although that quantity may sound enormous, it is interesting to note that the world manufactures 73 million cars and light trucks every year.

      40 percent of the power comes from photovoltaics and concentrated solar plants, with about 30 percent of the photovoltaic output from rooftop panels on homes and commercial buildings. About 89,000 photovoltaic and concentrated solar power plants, averaging 300 megawatts apiece, would be needed.

      The rest includes 900 hydroelectric stations worldwide, 70 percent of which are already in place.

      Only about 0.8 percent of the wind base is installed today. The worldwide footprint of the 3.8 million turbines would be less than 50 square kilometers (smaller than Manhattan). When the needed spacing between them is figured, they would occupy about 1 percent of the earth’s land, but the empty space among turbines could be used for agriculture or ranching or as open land or ocean. The nonrooftop photovoltaics and concentrated solar plants would occupy about 0.33 percent of the planet’s land.

      If we stick with fossil fuels, demand by 2030 will rise to 16.9 TW, requiring 13,000 large new coal plants, which themselves would occupy a lot more land, as would the mining to supply them.


  17. Mike the Savage One 17

    With all this going on, perhaps better forget the Internet Party also, given the personal drama, and the distress, and how the “mind” behind it will be too distracted to worry about politics in little New Zealand now:


    Perhaps the “progressive” parties should get their acts together and now focus on fighting the election on their own, with their resources and manpower?

    Mana also better rethink some “grandiose” ideas and plans. It is all over in my view, re Kim Dotcom, he is (rightly or wrongly) being “dismantled”.

    • bad12 17.1

      According to Vikram Kumar who is in essence running the Internet Party on behalf of DotCom the breakup of the marriage will have no effect on the plans of the Internet Party,

      My view is that Mana should continue discussing an alliance with the Internet Party, the latest Roy Morgan having the Mana Party polling 1% and Internet polling 1.5% would suggest such an alliance could reap 3–4% of the vote in September,

      The Roy Morgan showed both Labour and the Green Parties to have also risen in their %’s of popular support in that poll as well, so its obvious that neither Mana or Internet are taking votes from either of those parties…

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      Why is that even news? You don’t see any one else’s breakups going in the news paper so why the hell is KDC’s?

  18. Jenny 18

    The life of a politician is a lot more demanding than that of a successful business tycoon. For one thing, you are expected to attend lots of public meetings often in the evenings or weekends, (when the prols can attend),

    And you can barely afford to miss any of them. Especially a high profile public event organised and advertised by an important political ally.

    This is the new Dotcom life.

    And this is not to mention the horrendous strain of persecution by the most powerful and intrusive secret police force of all time, the NSA and their secretive global allies.

    Kim Dotcom and the NSA are now in the end game. Dotcom’s move into politics is another chess piece n this game, and potentially a very powerful one.

    Unfortunately and tragically something had to give, for Kim Dotcom it his family life.

    When I was little my grandmother whose family was ruined during the depression used to tell me, “Where there is life, there is hope.” and while Dotcom still has his freedom anything is possible.

    I wish him and all his loved ones all the best in this difficult time.

    Kia kaha. Ka wha whai tonu Matou. Ake! Ake! Ake!

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