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Open mike 18/07/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 18th, 2013 - 164 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

164 comments on “Open mike 18/07/2013 ”

  1. rosy 1

    Open mike 17/07/2013

    I posted this overnight, but reckon it’s worth doing again. McDonalds agrees workers require two jobs to to make a living in the U.S. …

    According to their helpful budget you can work two jobs and

    have almost anything you want as long as you plan ahead and save for it.

    Take a look at this Bloomberg article from last year to check the difference between the $8m and then some CEO and the plight of the minimum wage workers that increases shareholder profits for him.

  2. Jenny 2

    I hereby resign in protest effective immediately……..

    I have served the post-911 Military Industrial complex for 10 years, first as a soldier in Baghdad, and now as a defense contractor……

    ……I have always believed that if every foot soldier threw down his rifle war would end. I hereby throw mine down……

    ……Recent revelations by fearless journalists of war crimes including counterinsurgency “dirty” wars, drone terrorism, the suspension of due process, torture, mass surveillance, and widespread regulatory capture have shed light on the true nature of the current US Government. I encourage you to read more about these topics at the links I have provided…….

    Brandon M. Toy Stryker Engineering Project Management

    General Dynamics Land Systems
    Sterling Heights, Michigan


    Though on a smaller scale. Our own military and security agencies are just as complicit in these crimes. The efforts of one of our own top journalists to expose our complicity is met by deliberate counter efforts by NZ military commanders to smear and cast him cast him as a liar. What Defence Force Chief Lietenant General Rhys Jones and the like are frightened of, are that following the revelations revealed by Jon Stephenson, are that Kiwi versions of Brandon Toy, Edward Snowden, and Bradly Manning within our own military, security and surveillance agencies will be moved to also put down their rifles and speak out.

    In May 2011, a Metro magazine article by Mr Stephenson said SAS troops in Afghanistan took prisoners who were handed over to authorities known to use torture…..

    ……Mr Stephenson is suing the Defence Force for defamation, saying its press statement on the subject suggested he “made stuff up”. He is seeking damages of $500,000…..


    Reading the defence force press releases and statements in court reveals inconssitencies and backtracking in their testimony that speak of deliberate lying. Jon Stephenson deserves the full amount of compensation he is seeking as a lesson to the deliberate liars and defenders of our role in torture and abuse and assault on civil liberties here and around the world.

    On May 2, 2011, General Jones issued a press statement that said: “The CRU commander denies speaking with this journalist. The journalist has provided no evidence that he has ever entered the CRU base. We have evidence that he was denied entry.”……

    ….Lawyer Hugh Rennie, QC, who is representing Defence Force chief Lieutenant General Rhys Jones and the Defence Force, said Colonel B could not be found. However, he said General Jones now accepted that, on the face of it, from what he had heard in court since Monday, Mr Stephenson did go to the base and probably spoke to the colonel……


    So our defence force spoke to the CRU colonel, who they claim denied that he was interviewed by Stephenson. Yet now, despite this unequivocal statement, admit that Stephenson probably did talk to him. If they had actually talked with the CRU colonel as they claimed, they would have known that what they now admit was “probably” true, was actual fact all along.

  3. Here you go folks!

    Those of us who have announced our candidacy for Auckland Mayor, were each given 300 words by the NZ Herald to explain why people should vote for us.

    (I’ve listed the Auckland Mayoral candidates alphabetically.)

    Split vote could lead to close mayoral contest

    Why you should vote for me: Penny Bright

    Why you should vote for me: Len Brown (incumbent)

    Why you should vote for me: John Minto

    Why you should vote for me: John Palino

    Why you should vote for me: Uesifili Unasa


    ‘Her Warship’ 😉

    Penny Bright


    • Thanks Penny I enjoyed reading all of those.

      Len – as usual is all about him
      Uesifili – good stuff about southern auckland and diversity
      John Minto – great points, well made
      John Palino – interesting how he made the same general points as John Minto but somehow I think his motivation is different
      Penny – you were certainly the only one talking about the stuff you talked about

      for sure Auckland will get the mayor they deserve.

    • Winston Smith 4.1

      So what? The industry pays actors what they think they’re worth which is why the porn industry pays women more.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        [citation needed]

      • Suitably Clueless 4.1.2

        Wow, such insight. It needs no citation, it is unfortunately true throughout the industry. But it is certainly not a so what moment, the fact that, in gender ratios, the two lists would be the complete opposite, is not a slam dunk moment Winnie. Back to school and up your national standards before we drug test you at your own expense for being such a numpty.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      The Iron Man series of films have been blockbusters. Unfortunately, films with female leads often fail to lead annual box office charts. That suggests a whole other set of issues. Including the fact that female leads in movies are usually younger than male leads and get paid less.

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      That and you picked an exclusive male only list, Mary. Forbes does another list for “actresses”.

      • Mary 4.3.1

        I did have a chortle when you pointed that out because I hadn’t realised. In any case, though, it’s still interesting that the top eight are still men:


        • Colonial Viper

          There’s no doubt that the whole industry is skewed towards “leading men” in the movies. The way they make the real big bucks is by getting a % of the box office takings. In the case of films like Iron Man that means big ongoing pay packets after a film is released.

          Even in ensemble films like The Avengers, women are typically paid less.

          • karol

            Generally, in recent decades, Hollywood movies predominantly target a (fairly young) male audience:

            Ever since the success of Star Wars in the ’70s, studios have banked on young men aged 13 to 25 to drive the box office, says Oliver Lyttelton at Indie Wire. But of this year’s Top 15 moneymakers, only three were aimed at that demographic — The Avengers, Men in Black 3, and Wrath of the Titans — and the latter two have earned significantly less than their franchise predecessors. And while action movies Battleship and John Carter flopped, female-targeted films like The Hunger Games, The Vow, Think Like a Man, and Magic Mike all surged past expectations. Studios would be wise to ease “off the relentless targeting of teenage boys, and start courting the ladies.

            It’s thought that, when women go to the movies with men (eg on dates), it’s the male choice that tends to dominate.

            In contrast, TV is seen as more of a medium that attracts women – being mostly viewed in the domestic sphere – that is why soap opera formats have been strong. Soap operas originally targeted housewives. In the later part of the 20th century, many TV genres included a “soap” element (focused on relationships and human behaviour). So ongoing dramas of all sorts tend to have that kind of an element included. Ditto “reality TV” etc.

        • Winston Smith

          Thats what happens when ideology meets the real world because I’m guessing you think its wrong that female actors arn’t paid as much as male actors.

          The studios are there to make money and they give people what they they want and this is what they want.

          Most (but not all of course) movies wouldn’t make as much money if the male leads were replaced by females.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Most (but not all of course) movies wouldn’t make as much money if the male leads were replaced by females.

            Are you sure about that or is it your inbuilt sexism talking?

  4. vto 5

    A smile always rises when any group of humans gets all hot under the collar because their “culture” or their “heritage” or their “tradition” gets told to sharpen up as it is today inappropriate inhumane abusive racist sexist etc.

    Latest example being Poland banning Halal and Kosher slaughtering of animals. The Jews are getting all hot under the collar bleating like the entire world is after them. The Muslims are…. well, don’t know because the news article concentrated on the Jews.

    Never mind the poor animals eh. Culture and tradition must survive.

    Culture and tradition is very often like a big vast empty tub into which anything can be tossed, worthy or otherwise.

    • Augustus 5.1

      And just as often culture, tradition and heritage are just euphemisms for religion, because the latter is meant to be kept out of politics, so can’t be openly cited as the ‘reason’ for opposition.

    • King Kong 5.2

      You can be rest assured that whilst their response has not been reported, Muslims are strapping on the bomb vests as we speak.

    • Populuxe1 5.3

      It’s quite clear to me you have no idea what you are talking about. Kosher slaughter specifies that animals must be slaughtered with “respect and compassion”

      Nor does Halal slaughter cause any more and possibly less trauma than other practices

      Also, given neither Jews or Muslims eat pork, that creates a whole category of cruel and inhumane farming practices that both are entirely innocent of. Nor does the flowing of blood and unconsciousness suggest any more suffering than death by electrocution or a clumsy bolt to the brain.

      You also seem to be ignoring the rather unhappy history of the Jews in Poland, and that they might have a point about people being out to get them – precedence and all.

      Still, now I can add to the list of things VTO doesn’t like:

      Gays wanting to get married
      South Island Maori land owners
      Jews eating.
      Muslims eating.

      Carry on.

      • felix 5.3.1

        I’m no expert on animal slaughter so I’ll leave that well alone.

        However vto saying people shouldn’t slaughter animals in a certain way is not at all the same thing as saying people shouldn’t eat.

        It’s that same old set/subset/superset thing you often have so much trouble with.

        • Populuxe1

          Well either you are denying them religious freedom or you are condemning them to vegetarianism, based almost entirely on some very dubious views about the cruelty of a practice. Poland, for example, has, along with Italy, ignored EU regualtions against battery farming http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/03/egg-producers-challenge-imported-battery
          and other practices
          So I can only conclude that these Polish law changes are motivated by bigotry, and vto’s cheering them on is only making him/her/it complicit in that bigotry.

          • felix

            “Well either you are denying them religious freedom or you are condemning them to vegetarianism”

            I’m doing neither actually Pop. As I stated, I don’t know enough about animal slaughter to have much of an opinion.

            Take the emotive language out (condemning?? You fucking drama queen), and all vto is saying is that religious freedom should not supersede animal welfare.

            It’s a far fucking cry from saying they should not eat.

            • Populuxe1

              So you admit you haven’t got a clue about the practice that supposedly should not trump animal welfare and are just arguing for the sake of arguing. You’re no better – you are trying to impose another set of beliefs on another by pretending it’s somehow more ethical when you have admitted a priori you have no idea whether this is the case or not.

              I have made a clear case that halal and kosher slaughter is no more and possibly less stressful on the animal than other more widely used methods. I have demonstrated the hypocrasy of th elaw change given Poland actually flauts EU animal welfare laws in the secular context. I am arguing from the specific example vto is gloating over, not some abstract hypothetical situation.

              • felix

                “you are trying to impose another set of beliefs on another by pretending it’s somehow more ethical when you have admitted a priori you have no idea whether this is the case or not.”

                No, I’m not. I simply don’t have a view on it.

                As I’ve explained very clearly twice already, my comments have nothing whatsoever to do with halal/kosher issues in any way shape or form.

                My comments are purely about your misrepresentation of vto’s comment, as it’s an example of something you do here with monotonous regularity.

                Your repeated misrepresentations of mine on this topic are illustrating the point beautifully, thank you.

                • Populuxe1

                  Oh poppet, you’ve got me all wrong. I’m not misprepresenting your arguments at all, I’m just not fucking interested in them because all you are doing is trying to derail my small, simple truth that in this case the law change may very well be religious persecution and vto shouldn’t be so quick to gloat.

                  VTO said something I found repellant – I proceeded to show why using his Polish example. You don’t like me, so you attack on sight even though you “simply don’t have a view on it”. Business as usual. Fuck off you addlepated carbuncle.

                  If you used that tiny little brain it might occur to you that if kosher or halal food is not available, Jews and Muslims are forbidden to eat it, THEY CAN NOT EAT IT – am I getting through? It sounds very much like a ploy to force them out altogether.

                  • felix

                    Of course you’re getting through. I never had any trouble understanding you, it’s just that you’re objectively wrong.

                    Not eating halal meat =/= not eating.

                    Now you don’t have to like that but it’s a fucking fact, so how about you behave like an adult and argue with what vto actually said for once in your life.

                    • Populuxe1

                      So they should become vegetarians?
                      No, if you can’t actually comprehend that a Muslim is about as emotionally able to eat non-halal meat as you are of eating one of your own children roasted, I’m going to ignore you. It’s a mortal sin, taboo. And lamb and goat in particular are central to the cuisines of most Muslim nations. I’m sorry you can’t grasp that some people are not prepared to give up a central element of their culture and their very core identity just to please bigots, or in your case stubborn dickheads who think you can be empirical about ethics – it’s a matter of human rights.

                    • felix

                      None of that is relevant to my comments in any way whatsoever.

                      For the fourth time (ffs) my only concern is that you accused vto of saying muslims and jews shouldn’t eat, and that’s blatantly objectively self-evidently bleeding-obviously a lie.

                    • vto

                      If you read closely Pop and stop letting your amazing knowledge of everything in the entire world getting in the way of your brain, you will see that I used this as an example of the absolute hubris and bullshit that gets tossed into the overused tub of culture and tradition from time to time… In this instance the apparently barbaric manner of animal slaughter that is involved in halal and kosher slaughter.

                      Nothing more nothing less.

                      But don’t let that stop you from adding all of that other crappola you have added in your above posts. You seem to confuse knowledge and understanding…

                      But really I suspect it was the Jewish connection that got you wasn’t it. Objectivity eh, such a tricky thing to master..

                    • McFlock

                      What’s so “barbaric” about halal/kosher methods of slaughter?

                      It’s routinely done in NZ, in accordance with animal welfare guidelines.

                    • vto

                      ask the poles

                    • McFlock

                      You’re the one who framed it here as a conflict between animal welfare and cultural practise.

                    • vto

                      No I didn’t, that is what the poles did, according to the media article. I merely passed comment on the poison that variously gets dumped into the culture and heritage tip across all peoples. I used the pole example as an example.

                      And it is true.

                      Some cultural traditions are horribly sexist, some are racist, some are barbaric.

                      But yes maybe you and pop are right and culture and tradition trumps everything, no matter the effects on other peoples and living organisms on this wee planet, as pop says here ……. ” I’m sorry you can’t grasp that some people are not prepared to give up a central element of their culture and their very core identity just to please bigots, or in your case stubborn dickheads who think you can be empirical about ethics – it’s a matter of human rights.”

                      You see mcflock? It is all about us. Fuck everyone else. As Pop said one other time – get in first because if you don’t then someone else will. I mean, that’s right isn’t it. Go hard, go first, we’ve got the bomb and all that ………

                      the MO becomes very clear. Especially in Pop’s case.

                    • Which and whose cultural traditions are racist?

                    • McFlock

                      sorry, I ended up going out for the night.

                      You made that argument here. And repeated it. No source, no reasoning as to why kosher or halal slaughter is more cruel than standard industrial practises, nothing. Pop has provided several links, you provided nothing. And yet you still argue that it’s a case of “culture and tradition trumps everything, no matter the effects on other peoples and living organisms”.

                    • vto

                      mcflock, where did I say I agree with the poles that halal and kosher slaughter is barbaric, or inhumane, or should that be inanimale?

                      The Poles have banned those slaughters on those particular grounds. I merely passed comment on the reaction to it by jewish and muslim communities and their treasured traditions – on the fact that at times peoples get upset when out of date traditions etc get told to change with the times.

                      Do you see? The comment was made on the reaction to the issue, not the actual issue. Comprehendez vous?

                    • McFlock

                      I am merely pointing out that you chose to comment on the issue that “at times peoples get upset when out of date traditions etc get told to change with the times”, rather than the issue that sometimes nations use enlightened justifications to impose restrictions on the cultural expressions and practices of minority groups (animal welfare in this case, women’s rights and secularism in France regarding hijab, and visual resource management in Switzerland regarding minarets), but upon examination the enlightened pretext doesn’t hold up nearly so much as a desire by parts of the majority culture to limit the expression of others.

                      Given that you have presented no basis for preferring one perspective over the other, I merely asked if there was some basis for your choice to do so.

                      It appears not.

    • Adele 5.4

      Kiaora vto

      Its been a long time since you have written something sufficiently annoying enough to cause me to respond. How we kill animals in this country is neither humane nor animal focused. The utilitarian benefit we attach to animals translates to mechanised slaughtering on such a massive scale that the NZ animal welfare code reads like a horror tale.

      As it happens, New Zealand is, apparently, one of the world’s largest exporters of halal sheep meat in the world. Your culture and tradition obviously continues to suffer from delusions of moral superiority.

      • vto 5.4.1

        You see the problem Adele is that people so often misread, make assumptions and see things in posts that are not there and are not even remotely commented on. Your post is a classic example of this.

        Who said anything about New Zealand’s morality in this issue? Not me. That is your assumption, mis-reading, lack of focus…..

        In fact to the contrary, what you say there enforces the point I originally made.

        ’til next time

        • Adele

          Kiaora, vto

          My apologies for taking so long to get back to you. Lets me count the ways that your missives ever say what they mean:

          Perhaps you should take up knitting instead.

      • Rosetinted 5.4.2

        Kiaora Adele
        Haven’t read you lately. You always have something stern to bring us into line. Probably needed. Like your icon. It’s a particularly attractive koru I think.

        I guess you are vegetarian? Killing things is never noble. How should we kill our animals?

        • Adele

          Kiaora, Rose-tinted

          I am an avowed meat eater although I remain conflicted in terms of liking pigs and loving pork.
          I kill fish, my female boss shoots ducks, my sister works in the bush and hunts pigs. My dad and uncle owned butcher shops.

          I have recently moved back to my turangawaewae in the East Coast of the North Island and it appears that the only household that doesn’t have a gun is Tame Iti’s.

          Killing animals is not the issue. Its western society fooling itself that it is more humane in its killing practices in comparison to other cultures that would rather confront the death of an animal face on than to sanitise the reality through mechanised killing factories.

  5. Morrissey 6

    Humbug Corner


    “Coming up: heartbreak all over New South Wales as Queensland wins the deciding State of Origin!”

    —Rachel Smalley tries to talk up the world’s most boring two-horse race.
    TV3 Firstline, 8.15 a.m., Thursday 18 July 2013

    Humbug Corner is dedicated to gathering, and highlighting, the most striking examples of faux solicitude, insincere apologies, and particularly stupid recycling of official canards. It is produced by the Insincerity Project®, a division of Daisycutter Sports Inc.

    More humbugs….
    No. 17 Jay Carney: ““He is not a human rights activist, he is not a dissident.”
    No. 16 Barack Obama: “I wish Muslims across America & around the world a month blessed with the joys of family, peace & understanding.”

    Open mike 11/07/2013

    No.15 John Key: “They know this is an issue of national security…”
    No. 14 Charles Saatchi: “I abhor violence of any kind against women…”

    No. 13 Toyota New Zealand: “The more Kiwis that lean, the more motivated our ETNZ crew will be to win.”

    No. 12 Pem Bird: “We’re there to do the business of advancing our people.”

    No.11 Whenua Patuwai: “They’re my brothers and to see one of them goes [sic]—it’s tough.”

    No. 10 [REMOVED]


    No. 8 Barack Obama: “…people standing up for what’s right…yearning for justice and dignity…”

No. 7 Barack Obama: “Nelson Mandela is my personal hero…”

No. 6 John Key: “Yeah well the Greens’ answer to everything is rail, isn’t it.”
    No.5 Dr. Rodney Syme: “If you want good, open, honest practice, you have to make it transparent.”

    No. 4 Mike Bush: “Bruce Hutton’s… integrity beyond reproach…such great character…”

No. 3 Dean Lonergan: “Y’ know what? The only people who will mock them are people who are dwarfists.”

No. 2 Peter Dunne: “What a load of drivel and sanctimonious humbug…”

No. 1 Dominic Bowden: “It’s okay to be speechless.”

  6. Morrissey 7

    Populuxe1 will no doubt be joining in the campaign against THIS whistleblower


    Unless he’s a canting hypocrite, of course.

    • Populuxe1 7.1

      Why would I do that? I know nothing about him, his politics, or his motivations. However I suspect his actions will have far greater impact on basic human rights and freedoms more sorely needed than those of Bonnie Prince Snowden. Of course, the main difference is that the US government needs to keep its shenanigans secret from its public whereas Mugabe can pretty much steal from and massacre thousands of Zimbabweans with complete impunity – that says rather a lot about your comparison.

      • Morrissey 7.1.1

        Ha! Just as I thought.

        You condemn yourself with every craven sentence you write.

        • Populuxe1

          I would never normally cite a professional philosophy troll like Slavoj Žižek, but in this instance his take down of Numb Chumpsky nails perfectly the reasons that make you a tosser


          • Morrissey

            You are out of your depth. You already know that painful fact, of course, but it needs to be said.

            Quoting a poseur like Žižek is of no help to your already shattered credibility.

            “Numb Chumpsky”? Oh I see what you’re doing! You’re quite the wit.

            • Populuxe1

              And yet he’s absolutely right about you and Chomsky – you pretend you are being empirical but really you are just not interested in inconveniently subjective things like context or intent. You are a sad inflexible muppet.

              • Morrissey

                If by “inflexible” you mean “not prepared to abandon all standards of decency and humanity just because the State Department instructs one to” then you are right on the money, my friend.

                Actually, that IS what you mean. I am not joking at all here.

      • Morrissey 7.1.2

        Ha! Just as I thought.

        You condemn yourself with every craven sentence you write.

      • Morrissey 7.1.3

        …the US government needs to keep its shenanigans secret from its public

        Ha! Just as I thought.

        You condemn yourself with every craven sentence you write.

  7. Rosetinted 8

    For those feeling ennui! about politics and would like to wash the dirty dust off their person – here is someone campaigning for clean water who is 150% sparking compared to the rest of us. He is motivational and we could all do something worthwhile being involved with a campaign like this.

    Radionz http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon
    10:05 Tara Okan – waste water scientist and magician
    Tara Okan is a waste water scientist working for DCM Process Control Limited.The company has high-tech machines which can measure the waste products from sewage treatment and industrial plants.
    In his spare time he is also a magician. (And that is fascinating too.)

  8. Te Reo Putake 9

    Weird letter from a Taliban leader apologising for shooting Malala Yousafzai, but still claiming it was her fault. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/17/taliban-letter-malala-yousafzai

    A bit embarrasing for the loon posting here the other day claiming the shooting never happened. Shamed by the Taliban; a world first.

    • Winston Smith 9.1

      “You made me shoot you”

      – Sounds depressingly familiar

    • muzza 9.2

      Are you still buying this, Voice.

      The Teleban leader apologised, what a crock of shite!

      You can smell the stench on the Malala story a mile away!

      The loons are those taken in by these, stories, which is all they are, fantasy to sucker in the believers!

      • Populuxe1 9.2.1

        I don’t have a car and if I go to town at night I usually take a taxi. Most of the time by that hour the drivers are Afaghni, and because I speak a little Pushtun and Farsi I quite often strike up a conversation. Innevitably the story about home and the Taleban is exactly the same – it isn’t a fantasy, it’s all true and very much what life was like under the Taleban. The only loon is you.

        • travellerev

          Oh, would those be the Afghans who worked as translators? While I’m not blaming them for anything I have to say that those who collaborated with the Germans in Holland during the occupation ended up in jail or covered with tar and feathers and bald if you where a female. Much nicer than the Afghans would deal with the people who had to leave Afghanistan and all they had known for their entire life because the threw in their lot with the invaders.

        • muzza

          Pop, notice, I am not saying the Teleban, are/are not for real, or that they are good/bad/ugly.

          I am only stating my opinion on this particular point – That is, the Malala story, is piffle!

          Designed and timed, for whatever reason, to serve whatever purpose!

  9. When Māori rituals are undertaken without context – misunderstandings and misinformation occurs. Whose job is it to ensure that participants and those involved understand that context? Well I think the iwi do, but the general public don’t and king definitely doesn’t. The Government has a responsibility to help people understand but they don’t and haven’t because it doesn’t add to the divisiveness they require and that has been both labour and national. Now I’m not actually talking about pōwhiri here because that is just the particular battleground on this day and believe it or not Māori have been and are debating and discussing this for quite a while imo.

    Interesting to note that King has decided what is best for tangata whenua

    Labour MP Annette King said she was not comfortable with the “segregated nature” of the welcoming.

    “In no way would this have happened during Helen Clark’s day,” she said.

    Ms King said she would strive for gender equality for future Powhiri’s so that they could “accurately reflect” the House of Representatives.

    “A change is long overdue, in my opinion,” she said.


    Short answer from me is, get stuffed king, you don’t get to tell tangata whenua what to do.

    • Rosetinted 10.1

      Great mighty mars. You have to give clear direction to all these middle class women coming from a professional level as they tend to think they know everything and have reached the heights of understanding with only one-way interaction between them and others – downwards from their two and a half pillars of wisdom.

      And I mention women because now that many have had the chance to move up from the lower positions once held, they have become more self-satisfied than men because they are so proud of that new achievement.

      • marty mars 10.1.1

        I can’t tell if you are being serious or sarcastic Rt sorry – imo all inequality is wrong and should be addressed in whatever way it can be by those who suffer from, and advocate for the removal of, that inequality. That includes gender, sexuality, ethnicity, ability, age and all of the others. But it is not the oppression-olympics and privileged people cannot impose solutions that they like onto other groups less privileged.

        • Rosetinted

          Well I’m being serious and not at all sarcastic. And I think your approach is really good. Mighty! It is not for Annette King to impose cultural behaviour in the name of Maori, it should be Maori who approve it. I have heard Maori say that it would be better not to have a powhiri at all rather than do a half-pie version.

          This should be a matter for discussion with Maori to find what would be a suitable ritual. If one of the problems is the length of time required for a true powhiri, which sometimes is hard for timetabling that needs a discussion with those concerned.

      • karol 10.1.2

        Middle class women more “self-satisfied” and arrogantly pontificating,…. than…. whom? Gerry Brownlee? Simon Bridges? Ranting shock jock Laws? etc, etc? Peter Dunne?… etc, etc.

        And then there’s Metiria Turei, Jane Kelsey, Anne Salmond….. etc, etc.

        • muzza

          Karol, people need to make no mistake, the woman in politics, by and large, are chosen for for certain traits they have, and share many of the male politicians.

          One only has to look at the female power players, in NZ and abroad, to see they are every bit, as poor quality, and corrupted as the men.

          I know people believe that equality is a path to , well, equality, but thats too simplistic.

          Certain types are chosen to rule over us, male/female, make no difference, because its got nothing to do with it, other than keep the little people snapping each others heels…

          We gotta get rid of the sociopaths and such like, which means the system, has to go, because the players won’t change!

      • Populuxe1 10.1.3

        Oh those wicked women not knowing their place, not gratefully accepting the right to vote and resignedly slinking back off to the kitchen to be seen and not heard /sarc

    • Populuxe1 10.2

      But it sounds like you’re saying Maori tikanga is dead and static. I always understood it to be adaptive and evolving – you know, a living culture. I don’t know many Maori under the age of 35-40 who would still buy into that gender segregation crap.

      • marty mars 10.2.1

        Of course it is a living culture and continually evolving – you know that and you know I think that. It isn’t gender segregation – bloody hell why does everything have to be filtered through your particular worldview. The debate is there within Māoridom with strong advocates on all sides. Have you actually considered any of those views? Have you considered for instance that, as some argue, the whole debate about who gets to speak is based on a context where male behaviour is used as the norm against which female behaviour is judged. Or how about the idea that within an oral culture there are many ways to speak not just the obvious one and that women speak in many ways throughout pōwhiri and within a Māori cultural context – but oh it doesn’t fit the ‘right’ way to speak which is based upon an imposed western cultural system which is assumed to be the best way. Anyway there are many other angles and points around this other than the knee-jerk – oh look at the gender segregation. A living culture is able, entitled and obligated to evolve within its own parameters and worldview without interference from those who assume a superiority that isn’t deserved or matched with the realities they create in the world they dominate.

  10. Morrissey 11

    Woman’s mag editor humiliates dyspeptic old sod
    “Let’s Ditch the Royals”
    The Vote, TV3, Wednesday 17 July 2013, 8:30 p.m.

    I swear this dog of a program only ever gets worse. I just cannot sit through the whole vacuous, advertising-larded hour, but here are a few of the “highlights” I garnered from brief looks at last night’s travesty.

    For the Moot: Duncan Garner, Louise Wright, Ron Mark, Simon O’Connor
    Against the Moot: Guyon Espiner, Laila Harré, “Sir” Robert Jones, Shane Jones
    Moderator: Linda Clark

    Like a fish, a show rots from the head. Linda Clark has a law degree and is actually quite bright, but you would never know it by watching her on this program. Guyon Espiner might as well not even be there, he’s so disinterested. And Duncan Garner’s sole idea is to shout, “You’re a HYPOCRITE, Sir Bob!” intermittently throughout the hour.

    As if Clark, Garner and Espiner aren’t substandard enough, just take a quick gander at the “talent” the hapless producers have lined up for this show. Louise Wright? She’s the particularly vacuous editor of a vacuous magazine, the Women’s Weekly. “Sir” Robert Jones? He’s unpleasant, cantankerous, and often physically violent. Linda Clark hinted the other day that Jones “behaved very badly” during this show; perhaps he will actually “do a Rod Vaughan” on Ron Mark or Simon O’Connor. Louise Wright is probably safe, though—even “Sir” Robert would probably not punch a woman on television. Ron Mark is notorious as a vacuous motormouth who has that rare ability to keep talking, even though he is actually saying nothing that makes sense. His too long tenure in parliament was marked by only one thing: his extraordinarily lengthy, anacoluthonic masterpieces during Question Time. Mark evidently considered himself to be quite clever. As anyone who listened to his questions, or managed to sit through last night’s program will know, he is anything but. In contrast to those three, Simon O’Connor, Laila Harré and Shane Jones should perform reasonably well.

    So the choice of Wright, Mark and “Sir” Robert is a stark demonstration that the producers have absolutely no commitment to producing a serious show. Perhaps, though, the “talent” will confound us….

    Actually, Louise Wright does exactly that, when she deals to the dreadful old property millionaire. She is vapouring on interminably about the love New Zealanders have for the Queen, and the great affection the Queen has for New Zealanders, when this happens…

    SIR ROBERT JONES: [scowling and spluttering] Arrrrrghhhh! You would have been big on DOLLS when you were a little girl!

    There is an uncomfortable silence. Just as animals in the wild can sense when a creature is rabid, the audience has quickly divined that Jones is slightly unhinged. Linda Clark dutifully breaks the tension…

    LINDA CLARK: [nervously] Ha ha ha ha ha!
    AUDIENCE: [hesitantly] Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    LOUISE WRIGHT: [icily] Your charm is exceeded only by your beauty.
    SIR ROBERT JONES: Arrrrrrrrggghhhh! Harrrumph! [He scowls and slumps into a resentful, glowering silence.]

    For the rest of the program, Sir Robert mostly retreats into his shell. He has been upstaged and humiliated by not only a woman, but the editor of a woman’s magazine. For someone who labors under the ridiculous impression that he is an antipodean Evelyn Waugh, that is a catastrophic humiliation. Occasionally he will emerge from his glowering silence to snarl out angrily, “Arrrrrgggghhhh!”, “Pass the vomit bucket!” and “That’s ridiculous, RIDICULOUS!”

    Perhaps the funniest thing Sir Robert says all night—funny because he is absolutely serious—is when he utters a threat: “You all heard that, there’s a defamation suit going out next week!” and then waved his arms in angry dismissal of the whole assembly. For a more disturbing display of pathetic, even heart-rending anger, you’d have to watch Twelfth Night, with the humiliated Malvolio swearing, “I’ll be revenged on the lot o’ you!”

    The rest of the program was, as I suspected it would be, simply dreadful. Ron Mark has gotten even more full of himself since leaving parliament. Now he sports a natty Van Dyke, which somehow serves to underline his glibness and vacuousness. He embarked on one of his trademark wandery locutions, and would not have stopped if Linda Clark had not intervened. As Mark rambled on, Jones buried his head in his hands.

    DUNCAN GARNER: Are you saying we should throw out everything from England, Shane?
    SHANE JONES: No I’m not. I’m talking about an organic set of changes.
    DUNCAN GARNER: Well what does THAT mean? “An organic set of changes”.

    After that, there is an especially witless exchange between Guyon Espiner and Ron Mark, mercifully broken up by the ever cheerful “moderator”….
    LINDA CLARK: All right! Let’s cut it there! LOTS to think about when we come back….

    After the break, Sir Robert Jones is back on the warpath. Having failed against the woman, he sets his sights on the youthful National MP for Tamaki, Simon O’Connor….
    SIR ROBERT JONES: [dyspeptic, choking on bile] He’s wearing BROWN SHOES, for God’s sake!
    AUDIENCE: [uneasily] Ha ha ha ha ha!
    SIR ROBERT JONES: You’re a thirty-five-year-old octogenarian! If you are the future of the National Party, then—- arrrrrrrggghhh!
    AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    SIR ROBERT JONES: This is NONSENSE! The question is ABSURD! [choke, splutter, snarl] Arrrrrrgggghhhh. It’s ABSURD!
    LINDA CLARK: Pause! Just PAUSE!


    Sir Robert Jones’ epically funny meltdown was cringe-inducingly bad, but someone even more pathetic was to come. Regular listeners to Jim Mora’s Panel and Larry Lackwit Williams’ dire Huddle segment on NewstalkZB will have recognized the hapless figure that featured next: Tim Watkin unconvincingly pretending to “work the phones”, frenetically updating viewers on the “live voting”—no numbers ever supplied— for the New Zealand “Head of State” if we ever became independent: “A lot of votes for Mateparae, lots for Apiata….” he shouts breathlessly, as if he’s in the middle of a conflagration in a war zone. As Watkin spews out this garbage, he is backed by urgent music, to underline the high drama of the occasion. Then it’s back to the top-level debate….

    SIR ROBERT JONES: Look, I don’t want to be unkind, so I’ll just be FACTUAL. Look, most of them are quite STUPID!
    AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    SIMON O’CONNOR: Look, Prince Charles earned hundreds of millions of pounds last year for charity. He is a man who LOVES New Zealand. He has promoted New Zealand wool….
    SIR ROBERT JONES: Arrrrrrgggghhhh!
    AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    LINDA CLARK: Ha ha ha ha ha! Sir Robert, you’re like that grumpy old bastard from the Muppets!
    AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    LINDA CLARK: I was tempted to come down and do a Rod Vaughan on you!
    AUDIENCE: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    At the end of the program, all the voting is tallied up—-no actual numbers given, mind you—-and the pro-monarchy side has triumphed by 59 percent to 41. Nobody is surprised.

    DUNCAN GARNER: I’m going to continue the debate on my Radio Live Drive program tomorrow. Thanks for watching The Vote.
    GUYON ESPINER: Good night!

    • handle 11.1

      “For the Moot … Against the Moot” – you had a 50% random chance of getting that one right.

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    I/S is on to it again:

    Another story on the problems created by contracting out in the UK. last week it was fraud; today its cherry-picking and cost-dumping:

    This government is contracting out more and more of essential state services. It really is to the point to ask if the government is doing this because of these malpractices that boost profit.

    • Tim 12.1

      Fraud, cherry picking ….
      AS IF we haven’t been through it ALL before. (User pays in the health system during the 90s – for example).
      Dear dear ole Helen had SUCH an opportunity in her third term to reverse some of those ills. It’s a shame she chose to have a lay down and a cuppa – it gave the likes of the ABC a foot in the door.

      Now Labour are wondering why the masses are ditching them.
      – Having a lay down in the third term
      – 3rd Wayism
      – Losing the principles on which they were founded (and that allowed most of them their careers)
      – Continued sense of having ‘payed their dues’ and entitlement – all the while forgetting that they were ‘elected representatives’ (quaint idea I know).

    • Yep – it’s time to CUT OUT THE CONTRACTORS!

      At both central and local government.

      Penny Bright

      • muzza 12.2.1

        Good luck with that Penny.

        Top independent rates I see around

        $250, $225, $220, $215, $195, $175, $165, $150….hundreds of independents, all just chewing up Auckland dime!

        Even some administrators around $100ph

        Of course, once you map out the relationships, and all the alumni, it becomes clear that council, is run over by corporate types, most with no public sector experience what ever, and many only recently arrived in NZ!

    • richard 12.3

      I wonder if Serco are adopting the same sort of practices in running the NZ prison as they are accused of in the UK.

    • richard 12.4

      I wonder if Serco are adopting the same sort of practices in running the NZ prison as they are accused of in the UK.

  12. Rosetinted 13

    There has been a suggestion that people in South Africa do something for each other or the country to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s great achievements.

    I wonder what John Key would provoke or enthuse people to do for each other in NZ.

    • Morrissey 13.1

      The best way to honour Nelson Mandela would be to do what he used to do: struggle for justice. For instance, you might like to drop a line to New Zealand’s best journalist, John Stephenson, who is currently battling in court against the New Zealand Army, which has slandered him. Or you might sign up for this petition….

      Suggesting that John Key, who is the absolute antithesis of Mandela, “do something to celebrate Mandela’s achievements” is utterly inane.

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        Suggesting that John Key, who is the absolute antithesis of Mandela, “do something to celebrate Mandela’s achievements” is utterly inane.

        Good job that Rt didn’t suggest that then.

        • Morrissey

          Good job that Rt didn’t suggest that then.

          Oh God, I’ve flown off the handle without checking carefully, yet again. Sorry, Rosetinted. I thought you were smarter than that, and you are.

          As “Sir” Robert Jones would say: “Arrrrrrrggggghhhh!”

          • Rosetinted

            Okay. You have been working so hard exposing the triviality of some on our airwaves probably you’ve got overheated. Turn off and drop out for a while. Did you listen to the clip link I put up for Bob Dylan and the lyrics too?

  13. Morrissey 14

    Forget the morality, worry about the ACCENT
    Noelle McCarthy on the case

    On today’s edition of The Panel, Noelle McCarthy chortles, they will be talking about Benedict Cumberpatch’s new movie role: as Julian Assange. What is exercising McCarthy’s mind is not whether this is another hatchet job on Assange, which is what a serious and intelligent journalist would be concerned about. No, what Noelle McCarthy is worrying about is whether or not Cumberpatch can do a passable Australian accent.

    And don’t expect any intelligent or humane contributions from Zoe Ferguson, Chris Trotter or Lisa Scott, either. Ferguson is as determinedly frivolous and as reflexively right wing as Susan Baldacci, and as for Trotter and Scott, well, here’s how they went last time they were on the programme….

    Open mike 14/06/2013

    As you read these transcripts, or sacrifice valuable time listening to their witless witterings, just remember that this is where YOUR tax money is going.

    • Tim 14.1

      Doctor’s advice Morissey:
      Don’t listen – you’ll do yourself an injury! I just turned her off after Van Morrison.

      Let her pump her ego. It’s all the rage

      • Morrissey 14.1.1

        Don’t listen – you’ll do yourself an injury!

        Thanks, Dr. Tim. But I have to listen, and I have to transcribe. It’s a kind of sickness, I know, but I have to do it….

  14. freedom 15


    the company has tipped its hand and shown us the dark side of a culture where books are only available in electronic form. If the WhisperNet service from Kindle allows the company to delete books silently from your device, what other information might they have access to? Can the company monitor what you’re reading and when – and then hand that over to law enforcement? Can it replace a book file with a different file whose content is changed?

    In the world of today, that final question "Can it replace a book file with a different file whose content is changed? "is a largely overlooked concern. Who regularly checks all their folders to see if any contents have changed? A recent spring cleaning of storage devices of various ages was an excellent reminder of how much data a person can collect. Even legally acquired/created data quickly piles up to the point there is no way a person will be able to reliably track what it is in their possession. (Add illegal movies and tunes into that mix and it is even more challenging)

    • muzza 15.1

      Indeed, Freedom!

      History is written by the *winners*, nothing has changed, other than now, those who control history, can re-write it or delete it, and no one will realize!

      We are in the very dangerous time of existence, which so many are blinded by the gadget bling, they simply can’t see where its all going to finish up.

      Once life is fully digital, its good night from me, and its goodnight from him!

  15. felix 16

    Just heard Matthew Hooton on the radio saying if the Pakeha Party gets into the game they’ll be taking votes from Winston Peters.

    lolz. 50,000 facebook likes didn’t come from NZ First supporters you fool.

    Would anyone like to hazard a guess which party the large numbers of i’m-all-right-jack, middle nz, anti-treaty, it’s-pc-gawn-mad, one-law-for-all, casually racist bbq dickheads have voted for in the last, oh let’s say three elections?


    • Populuxe1 16.1

      How many of those “likes” were for trolling purposes, though?

      • felix 16.1.1

        No way of knowing, but I wouldn’t imagine it’s a huge number compared to 50,000.

        I’d like to think a lot of that number were just clicking like because they thought it was a laugh and they weren’t really thinking too much about it.

        But then I remember 2005…

  16. mickysavage 17

    Latest Roy Morgan is out. National up to 47%, Labour down to 31%, Greens drop 1.5% to 11.5%.

    Not good …


    • McFlock 17.1


      What I find concerning is that it’s the third consecutive RM fall for Labour (even if still above 30). Haven’t previously had consecutive falls this term. Although the descent seems to be slowing, so we’ll see, but it’s still concerning.

      At least it’ll cheer up CV.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        Not fussed mate; I see the true level of support for Labour as sitting around 32%-33% so this falls exactly in line with my expectations +/- 2%.

        However once National pile on the pressure in election year (Labour not fit to govern etc.) I expect that figure to drop by quite a bit.

        • McFlock

          There you are, back to happily predicting another national government.

          • Colonial Viper

            I’m hoping Robertson uses his sway in caucus to move Shearer on and initiate a leadership primary, instead of letting that Shearer based defeat occur.

            • McFlock

              Well, I suppose I have a little happiness matrix regarding election2014:

              🙂 🙂 🙂 Optimum outcome is a Lab/grn coalition under Shearer, just to laugh at the chicken littles.

              🙂 🙂 Second-tier result is lab/grn coalition under someone else (C/R/who gives a shit). You’d be insufferable, but the nats would be out.

              :)Third-tier is lab/grn/nz1 govt under anyone.

              🙁 🙁 Fourth-tier (and first negative) result is Nat govt with Labour campaigning under C. I’d be insufferable, but the nats would be a third term govt.

              🙁 🙁 🙁 Worst result is a nat govt with Labour campaigning under S. A third nat term and you’d be insufferable.

      • Chooky 17.1.2

        The Labour Party caucus is a sick man…with constipation

    • Bill 17.2

      Perfect numbers for the right wing dead wood of Labour who would get to sidle up to Winston and lock themsleves in for another few years…

    • Daveosaurus 17.3

      … and I suppose it’s never occurred to some of the Labs that they might start getting more traction by actually calling the Government to account for its incompetence, instead of indulging in an orgy of tragic butthurt because their favourite missed out on the Party Leader job…

      • gobsmacked 17.3.1

        I’ve read that several times but it still doesn’t make any sense.

        Who is not calling the government to account? Or, who is?

        • Daveosaurus

          Who isn’t? All the people who are whining about Shearer when they should be taking on the Nats, that’s who.

          • JK

            Hang on Daveosaurus – its all those pro-Shearer Labour MPs who are NOT taking on the Nats, and who should be – that’s the real problem with the Labour caucus

            • McFlock

              Under-performing caucus in your opinion?

              Two options:
              A) whine on the internet and pass as much ammunition as possible to the greasy cetacean and his ilk; or
              B) use one’s political brilliance by caning the branch selection process and winning a seat to show the sluggards how it’s done.

              It would appear that very few commenters here have chosen method B.

          • Jimmie

            Rubbish that is happening.

            Look at posts on The Standard. Every day around 80% of posts are bleating on about real or imaginary faults of the National Government.

            Left leaning folks use every opportunity to bag Key and his ‘cronies.’

            Sadly though this is all preaching to the faithful.

            The general public aren’t buying the bleating so it is ineffective and much hot air.

            This is primarily why 2014 will go to Key and then the divided (and reduced) Labour caucus will flap around like fish out of water trying to decide how they lost election number 3.

            • Alanz

              Robertson holds the key to not losing election number 3.
              Go Grant!
              Go Go GO!!
              Let’s do it!!!

    • Saarbo 17.4

      Not a surprising result, National have started campaigning and have scored some easy points against a pathetic Labour Leader.

    • Rich the other 17.5

      I think you are all a callus bunch of dreamers , leave Shearer alone he and his party are doing a grand job.
      With the labour getting on so with the greens our futures are all secure .
      This combination will get the result they truly deserve at the next election .

      Don’t ya just love it.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      The Japanese Government has assured people that they are safe and that the situation is stable and closely monitored.

      Who are we to disagree?

    • muzza 18.2

      No not really.

      Earths atmosphere is already loaded with radio active isotopes, its only lies and such which keeps people from understanding the real danger we have been in, since science began earth, sea and sky with nuclear weapons!

      Thousands of detonations over many decades, add chernobyl, etc!

    • Rich the other 18.3

      No wonder they are replacing there nuclear power stations with coal fired generation , Germany the same.

  17. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10899523

    Who are members of the Committee for Auckland – who are the real corporate controllers of the Auckland region?


    Check for yourself………………

    Penny Bright

  18. Wolf 20

    Does Shearer need a “I’m with Stupid –>” T-shirt?


    • Paul 20.1

      Spending time in the sewer is not good for you.

      • felix 20.1.1

        Yes Wolf, but perhaps with the arrow pointing upwards.

        ps pay no attention to Lusk, he’s a coward who hides behind a fool.

  19. Draco T Bastard 21

    UK Invests in World’s First Air-Breathing Rocket Engine

    ABRE has the potential to create 21,000 high value engineering and manufacturing jobs; maximize the UK’s access to a conservatively estimated £13.8 billion launcher market over the next thirty years; and provide economic benefits from spill-over technology markets.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, we need our own, government funded, space program.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Just like our own advanced semiconductor industry? No, I don’t think so.

      • Draco T Bastard 21.1.1

        Got a reason why not?

        • TheContrarian

          The massive expense of a space program in light of other areas that are in desperate need of funding is a start.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The massive amount of resources and people we have sitting idle would tend to indicate that we could do the space program while also addressing those other areas. Funding really isn’t the problem – government just needs to create the money, spend it and possibly raise taxes slightly.

            • felix

              They’re always going to object to ideas that create jobs and use our resources for our own advantage.

              If you want the likes of TheContrarian to support it you’ll have to find a way to funnel the profits and benefits offshore.

              • Colonial Viper

                I’m not for the idea of developing a highly toxic, polluting industry for the sake of importing lots of printed overseas dollars, and which does little (or nothing) to help us adapt to climate change or fossil fuel depletion. There’s got to be a better way.

                • felix

                  No doubt there is. Perhaps a massive investment in solar energy and catskin farming.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Catskins are renewable and while solar is not, it should be good for another couple of hundred million years.

                    • felix

                      Damn right it’s renewable. We feed the rats to the cats and the cats to the rats and get the cat skins for nothing.

                • Draco T Bastard


                  1.) It’s not highly polluting if you do it properly
                  2.) I really couldn’t care less about the imported dollars but while we’re trading in the world then we actually do need them
                  3.) Last time I looked James Hansen was employed by NASA so I’d say that there was a high probability that a space program would help us adapt to climate change

                  There’s got to be a better way.

                  Perhaps you’d prefer it if we went back to living in caves?

              • TheContrarian

                Yeah, right. Funnel money offshore. Uh-huh.

  20. karol 22

    Say what? Do some MSM journalists have a sufficient understanding of out political system? Or is the problem off-shore copy editors?

    NZ Herald Amelia Wade article on out of control wheel clamping in Mt Roskill:

    Mt Roskill Minister for Parliament, Phil Goff, said NZ Wheel Clamping was using enforcement as a “money-making racket”.

    Or did Phil just switch sides?

    • Draco T Bastard 22.1

      Switch sides to what?

      Here’s his facebook post.

      Of course, neither Goff nor the MSM seem to realise that the actual problem is people using cars to pick up their kids from school.

  21. gobsmacked 23

    Morgan poll is hardly surprising. It looks like even Shearer has given up …

    Did anything happen in July? Apart from government pissing on the law, shafting the poor and other trivial matters?

    • felix 23.1

      He lost his phone a few weeks ago. His staff are gonna get another one, no hurry though.

      • handle 23.1.1

        And none of them know how to use Twitter from a computer instead.

        • felix

          Yeah but they have to set up a new twitter account for him. He lost his phone.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And they’ll get him a new phone once they find the insurance policy and make the required claim?

            • felix

              Yep, and if they wait another 6 months they can still get the no-claims bonus for this year.

              Long term strategic thinking they call it.

              • Colonial Viper

                Did they check the Sky City corporate box?

                • felix

                  Yeah they found the smashed up remnants of a phone but it was beyond identification.

                  Looked liked it had been hurled at the wall by a passionate man in a manly fit of passion.

      • Alanz 23.1.2

        I hope it was just his phone.

        Am beginning to feel more despondent for Labour.

  22. Morrissey 24

    Unforgettable Ass-Kickings
    No. 1: Ed Herman deals to Christopher Hitchens

    Rejoinder To Christopher Hitchens
    by EDWARD HERMAN, 25 August 2008

    In a “Rejoinder to Noam Chomsky” in early October, Christopher Hitchens put up two sentences regarding my own writing, as follows:

    “Mr. Herman has moved from opposing the bombing of Serbia to representing the Milosevic regime as a victim and as a nationalist peoples democracy. He has recently said, in a ludicrous attack on me, that the ‘methods and policies’ of the Western forces in Kosovo were ‘very similar’ to the tactics of Al-quaeda; an assertion that will not surprise those who are familiar with his style.”

    This packs a lot of misrepresentation into two sentences. Nowhere in my writings have I ever used any one of the three words “nationalist peoples democracy” to describe the Milosevic regime and never would, so Hitchens’ language is straightforward fabrication and misrepresentation. For Hitchens I must be an apologist for Milosevic because I have “opposed the bombing of Serbia,” just as one might be called an apologist for Saddam Hussein for objecting to the “sanctions of mass destruction.” But of course he is not an apologist for NATO and Bill Clinton for supporting the bombing of Serbia.

    Notice also that he speaks of my making the “Milosevic regime” the “victim” of NATO bombing rather than the people of that regime. But I have never focused my sympathy on the regime as victim, just the people killed, injured and traumatized. Imagine how Hitchens would assail for outrageous insensitivity to the real civilians massacred an individual who spoke sarcastically of somebody being bothered by the recent New York/Washington attacks which only “victimized” the “Bush and capitalist regimes.”

    Hitchens says that I equate the tactics of Al-Quaeda with those of the Western forces “in Kosovo.” But the text that he is criticizing was comparing the attack on civilians in New York and Washington with the systematic NATO bombing of civilian facilities in SERBIA, not the military operations in Kosovo. In both the attacks on New York/Washington and Serbia, civilian “collateral damage” was either entirely acceptable or positively desired. In the Serbia bombing case there is solid evidence that the destruction of civilian facilities and inevitable civilian deaths and injuries were planned for and seen as positive….

    Read more….

    • North 24.1

      Christopher Hitchens is/was a common prostitute to the ruling money class.

      One of these people who are so flakey as to be “look at me look at me” wahanui Trots’ and Commies early on and then jump heaps of fences clear to the other side of the political spectrum. Announcing their arrival with redoubled tino wahanui as though no one’s noticed. Classic con-men/women. For example Rob Campbell…….Progressive Youth Movement back in the day……..latterly a seriously malevolent right wing Ports of Auckland schemer.

      I must have got it wrong but I thought the unappealing egomaniac Hitchens died a couple of years ago. If you want some fun have a look on YouTube at the debate at some US university – Hard out George Galloway and Mr Pompous Narcissist Hitchens.

      Beautiful ! In keeping with the narcissism Hitchens thought he’d won. HaHaHa !

      • Morrissey 24.1.1

        I thought the unappealing egomaniac Hitchens died a couple of years ago.

        He did indeed, but not before writing a particularly stupid autobiography. It looks like the poor fellow spent most of his last few months trying to get even with all those who had humiliated him over the last shameful decade of his life.

        And by the way, no one considered that Hitchens got the better of Galloway in that epic confrontation in 2005. The person who, more than anyone else, realized that Galloway had vanquished him was Hitchens himself.

        That laughable autobiography of his fires a few limp shots at Galloway, but I think even as he composed his bilious and dishonest prose, the dying Hitchens realized he was flogging a dead horse.

        I recommend it if you want a good laugh, or indeed, a melancholy look at what happens to the venal and unfeasibly self-important.

  23. logie97 25


    National education data shows schools are not meeting the ambitious targets set by the government as part of its better public service targets…
    Just what does Hekia hope to glean from these figures? Apparently she said the data was for regions to look at and understand. Well she could start by telling the journalists to provide us with some accurate data. (Apart from the percentage of children who can stand on their heads while reciting the magna carta and drink through a straw.

    Take a look at the national standards for these central regions. They have an awful symmetry about them.

    Manawatu – Wanganui:

    National standards 2012:

    Reading – 77.4 per cent

    Maths – 73.6 per cent

    Writing – 70 per cent

    and Wellington:

    and Tasman:

    and Marlborough:

    and Nelson:

    and West Coast:

    and Canterbury:

    and Otago:

    Exactly the same figures for them all … lazy journalism, bad cut and paste, or meaningless data.

    The schools warned that she would misuse the data and this is obviously a starter.

  24. North 26

    In the round this is at least a moral win for Stephenson……….”the authorities” have had to admit that the ShonKey Python style of governance, the stock bizo ……. “deny and mock” ……. is shit.


    Just hope he’s able to negotiate David’s legal costs being met by Goliath. Otherwise it’s a case of them cynically calling him a liar………he goes to court to force them to admit that he’s not, they admit they were wrong and they finally admit he’s not a liar like they said, then it costs him his entire worth.

    Not right !

  25. Paul 27

    On the Herald…..Why you should vote for me: Uesifili Unasa
    “As a young migrant from Samoa, growing up in Kelston, ministered in Mangere, living in Parnell

    Lives in Parnell..so well out of South Auckland, then. Indeed as he admits himself, he now lives among the wealthiest. Hope they have not put him up to split the Pacific Island vote and let a wingnut in.

  26. Draco T Bastard 28

    The Drone That Killed My Grandson

    The [US] government has killed a 16-year-old American boy. Shouldn’t it at least have to explain why?

    • Colonial Viper 28.1

      Apparently a recent drone crash in the US was that of a QF-4. Its a full size Phantom F-4 jet fighter kitted out to be flown remotely from the ground. This makes me wonder what other full size jet planes they can fly remotely…


      • Draco T Bastard 28.1.1

        This makes me wonder what other full size jet planes they can fly remotely…

        Any and all. All they need is the plane to have fly-by-wire and it’s easy to convert. If it doesn’t then it’d be slightly harder.

        BTW, those military drones aren’t small. One of the bigger ones mentioned is described as having the wingspan of a 727. It’s not as big as a 727 but pictures I’ve seen of them would indicate that it’s bigger than a Beechcraft Baron.

      • Murray Olsen 28.1.2

        They’ve been flying QF-4s for years. They’re basically just a supersonic target, following a line begun years ago and passing through the Queen Bee, a drone Tiger Moth (which certainly lacked fly by wire). They don’t have any of the offensive capabilities or autonomy found in Obama’s latest toys.

        Drones can be as big as they like. They typically make them big enough to do the job, and no bigger. They start at about the size of a mosquito, which obviously won’t have much range or payload.

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