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Open Mike 18/12/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 18th, 2016 - 154 comments
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154 comments on “Open Mike 18/12/2016 ”

    • Jenny 1.1

      On the fall of Aleppo.

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        “The triumph of fascism in Aleppo will not be confined to that ancient city.”

        Sam Hamad

        To which I would add; “The triumph of fascism in Spain did not remain confined to the Iberian Peninsular.”

        http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/we-are-no-better-nazi-appeasers-if-we-ignore-bashar-al-assads-genocide-aleppo-1594541

        • Paul 1.1.1.1

          The author appears to be based close to the aaction.

          ‘Sam Hamad is a Scottish-Egyptian writer based in Edinburgh. He specialises in Middle Eastern affairs.’

          Whereas independent journalists working in Syria and the Middle East come to a more nuanced conclusion.

          http://www.dailyo.in/politics/aleppo-syria-war-assad-western-media-eva-bartlett-robert-frisk-patrick-cockburn-media-narrative/story/1/14562.html

          • Paul 1.1.1.1.1

            Some key excerpts to note from that article.

            Patrick Cockburn has chided mainstream media for relying on unverified sources belonging to the Syrian opposition, as in Iraq, to base their rabidly anti-Assad stories on. Cockburn compares and contrasts the coverage of Aleppo with Mosul, both fallen into rebel/terrorist hands and the attempt to liberate them by respective government forces are/were ongoing, and shows that although there have been far more casualties in Mosul, the war cry over Aleppo has been exponentially high.

            Eva K Bartlett says those are plain lies. In a scathing video recorded on December 9, 2016, four days before Aleppo officially came into Syrian Army’s hold and rebels “surrendered” after Putin and Erdogan “brokered a deal” for the safe passage of civilians, Bartlett – an independent Canadian journalist with massive experience in covering Iraq, Gaza and Syria – accuses BBC, Guardian and NYT of propagating Anglo-American lies and relying on Syrian rebels and NATO-backed terrorists for so-called information on Aleppo.

            Robert Fisk warns us that there is more than one story in Syria and that the international meltdown over Aleppo is more to serve Western interests than actually an instance of genuine sympathy for residents of Aleppo. According to him, “regime change” is the biggest interest driver in the NATO intervention, even though there is major populist support for Assad.

            The framing of the Syrian crisis has been gravely wrong. As early as December 2013, veteran journalist Seymour Hersh expressed his reservations over the accusations against Assad that he gassed his own population, resulting in a no-fly-zone declaration within Syria. Hersh asked why would Assad take the route that would automatically invite international censure and make for terrible press, when he could effectively combat the rebels in conventional warfare. It must be noted that at that point, Russia hadn’t officially entered the Syrian equation, and Vladimir Putin was only giving informal and ideological support to Assad and his government.

            Questions are being raised on the maelstrom of “fake news” generated by establishment media and the social media arms of well-known Anglo-American bodies. Images of children orphaned or killed by shelling are being photoshopped from music videos and then circulated as anti-Assad propaganda.

            Eva Bartlett is scathing in her account of the “White Helmets”, who were in fact the first runners-up in the race to the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016. Bartlett says White Helmets have deep links with UK military and have been known to recirculate the same pictures and names over and over again, often using photos of children maimed and killed by shelling and aerial bombing and blaming it all on Assad’s forces, or Putin fighter jets.

            If the revolt against mainstream media has been so extreme in 2016, we need to ask why and shift the arena from within troubled Western countries to their imperial laboratories in West Asia and North Africa, where a crisis of information repression and twisting of narrative has been going on without remorse.

            The belated lament over Iraq War has not sharpened the editorial eyes of establishment media houses such as the Guardian, BBC, New York Times, and they continue to see the “Middle East” through terribly biased lenses, seeing the vast swathes of land and people as mere resource basins in an increasingly resource-crunched world.

            It helped to portray Aleppo as the Auschwitz of our times. Problem is it’s more Baghdad than anything else, but for the outcome. In the outcome alone, there may be shades of Vietnam in the grim four-year-long Battle of Aleppo.

              • Paul

                So you read Cockburn, Fisk, Bartlett and Hersh, did you?
                Did you believe the Weapons of Mass Destruction story as well?
                I am not disputing that Assad is a dictator – however I am questioning how lovely the rebels are. They are no heroes. And the media is hiding how awful they are.

                • Stunned mullet

                  Yes Paul the various groups in Syria are awful. The dictator Assad having invited in Putin and his mafia continues to slaughter, gas, maim and starve any and all those who he perceives as a threat – hopefully once Syria is dragged out of the hell it is enduring those who thought that there could be a democratic change while a piece of filth like ASsad was in charge will realize the error in their thinking.

                  • Paul

                    Yes and the ‘rebels’ also ‘slaughter, gas, maim and starve any and all those who they perceives as a threat.
                    It’s more nuanced than the propaganda you are reading.

                  • mauī

                    Assad was voted in by 88% of voters in a 2014 election that had a high turnout, comparable to our turnout. It looks like your understanding of the Syrian people is questionable.

                    • Jenny

                      The dynastic Assad dictatorship has ruled Syria with an iron fist for over 50 years.

                      One of the silliest claims made by Western supporters of the Assad regime is that Bashar Assad is a democratically elected leader.

                      That Bashar Assad can claim stratospheric levels of voter support is not unusual for dictatorships. Bashar Assad’s brother dictators, Ben Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, also claimed near 90% voter support; Just before they were toppled in massive popular revolts!

                      Just like Kim Jong-un of North Korea, Basha Assad was handed the role of dictator in a succession on the death of his father Hafez Assad. Originally of course the succession was supposed to be handed on to Bashar’s older brother Yassin before Yassin was killed in a car accident.

                      As well as the leadership being handed down from father to son, the leadership of the Assad regime is stuffed full of Assad family members and relatives.

                      Why?

                      Because like most dictators the Assad regime can only be sure of the loyalty of those closely related to them. And not even then. Which is another reason why familial ties are important in dictatorships. Because family ties can be used to influence and coerce any relatives that might want to stray from the fold.

                      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/mubarak-wins-egypt-vote/

                      http://www.economist.com/node/3964252

                    • alwyn

                      “Assad was voted in by 88% of voters in a 2014 election that had a high turnout”
                      Is that all? The man wasn’t even trying.
                      He should study more carefully the way the people of North Korea vote for their Great Leader.
                      100% turnout and 100% for the status quo.
                      http://time.com/17720/north-korea-election-a-sham-worth-studying/

                • KJT

                  “Dictator’ Assad, was elected with more votes than Trump, Key, or Obama.

                  Just like the “Dictator” Chávez.

                  Shows the pervasive effect of false memes.

              • Jenny

                In the famous Revolutionary Syrian song (below), @2:04 minutes, is the line:

                “Time for you to go Bashar”

                “You create thieves every day, Shaleesh, Rami and Mahar”

                The “Rami” that the song refers to is Rami Makhlouf, Basha Assad’s cousin who is Syria’s version of Roger Douglas, Don Brash and Michael Fay all rolled into one.

                Rami Makhlouf, commonly known in Syria as “Mr Ten Percent”, was one of the architects, (and single biggest beneficiary, aside from the foreign banks) of the Neo-liberal reforms the ruling elite around Assad imposed on Syria in the 1990s.
                Just like here in New Zealand, the neo-liberal reforms imposed on the Syrian people by the rich elite in alliance with the world bank, devastated the working class and poorer Syrians while massivley increasing the incomes of the wealthy elite around Assad.

                But starting from an even poorer base than New Zealand, these neo-liberal reforms were much more devastating to the working people in Syria than they were here.

                • Jenny

                  The other names mentioned in the famous song “Time for you to go Basahar”, (apart from the dictator himself) are “Shaleesh” and “Maher”.

                  Read the Wikipedia profile of these characters to know why the Syrian people are fighting for freedom.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maher_al-Assad

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhu_al-Himma_Shalish

                  • Morrissey

                    In Jenny-speak, “the Syrian people” = ISIS, Al Qaeda and their affiliate the Al-Nusra Front.

                    • Paul

                      Useful atrocities

                      Who outside of Syria knows the names Yara Abbas, Maya Naser, Mohamed al-Saeed…? The corporate media has inundated us with news of the two American journalists allegedly beheaded, the first of whose execution video has been deemed faked. But what of the non-Western journalists and civilians beheaded and murdered by ISIS, al-Nusra, and associated terrorists in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine?

                      Why didn’t the August 2012 execution (which some reported as a beheading) of TV presenter Mohamed al–Saeed, claimed by the Nusra gang, create the same outrage? Or the December 2013 kidnapping and point blank execution in Idlib by ISIS of Iraqi journalist Yasser al-Jumaili?

                      Why wasn’t the murder of Yara Abbas—a journalist with al-Ikhbariaya, whose crew’s car was attacked by an insurgent sniper—broadcast on Western television stations? Or that of Lebanese cameraman for al-Mayadeen, Omar Abdel Qader, shot dead by an insurgent sniper on March 8, 2014 in eastern Syria.

                      Maya Naser, Ali Abbas, Hamza Hajj Hassan (Lebanese), Mohamad Muntish (Lebanese), Halim Alou (Lebanese)…all were media workers killed by the Western-backed insurgents in Syria. Their deaths were reported by local media, some even got a passing notice in corporate media, but none resulted in a media frenzy of horror and condemnations as came with the alleged killings of Westerners. Another at least 20 Arab journalists have been killed by NATO’s death squads in Syria in the past few years.

                      The killing of 16 Palestinian journalists in Gaza, at least 7 targeted while working, during the July/August 2014 Zionist Genocide of Gaza, also fell on deaf ears. Nor were the previous years of murdering Palestinian journalists noted, let alone whipped into a media frenzy. [see also: Silencing the Press, Sixteenth Report, Documentation of Israeli Attacks against Media Personnel in the opt ]

                      In Syria, there are thousands of civilians and Syrian soldiers who have been beheaded—and in far more brutal and realistic manner than the SITE videos insinuate—by the so-called “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA), al-Nusra, Da’esh (ISIS), and hoards of other Western-backed mercenaries. At the hands of the various NATO-gangs, tens of thousands more civilians have been assassinated and subjected to various sadistic practices—torture, mutilation, crucifixion, burning in ovens, throwing into wells, and a sick lot more. Thousands more, including children and women, remain missing after being kidnapped during mercenary raids and massacres.

                      Keep reading by clicking below

                      https://zeroanthropology.net/2014/10/26/useful-atrocities/

          • Psycho Milt 1.1.1.1.2

            ‘Sam Hamad is a Scottish-Egyptian writer based in Edinburgh. He specialises in Middle Eastern affairs.’

            Whereas independent journalists working in Syria and the Middle East come to a more nuanced conclusion.

            So, could you point me to the bits where Fisk and Cockburn refute the claims about mass death and torture in detention that Jenny linked to? Or was there just no point to you re-posting (yet again) these articles? I know which one I think it is, but feel free to prove me wrong.

          • Morrissey 1.1.1.1.3

            Paul, she’s an unwitting supporter of head-choppers and heart-eaters. You’re wasting your time trying to reason with her.

            • Jenny 1.1.1.1.3.1

              Maybe if you marshalled up some facts it might help your case. Just saying.

              • Paul

                Did you read the articles I attached?

                • As per my comment 1.1.1.1.2 above, the articles you linked to don’t refute the claims in Jenny’s posts or even cast doubt on them, so there wouldn’t be much point in her reading them, except maybe for entertainment. Why do you believe those articles are relevant to her posts?

                  • Paul

                    If you read Jenny’s posts, there is a clear inference that one side are the ‘goodies’ and the other the ‘baddies’.
                    Such simplistic ideas are dangerous.

                • Jenny

                  Opinion, no matter how ilustrious the person giving it, is still just that, Opinion.

                  Personally I post links of verified facts, backed up by my own personal experiences and observations of my time in Syria.

                  I notice that most of the Assadists try to avoid making statements on these facts, or offer any counter argument against them. And continually make claims with no factual backing at all.

                  Having been in Syria, not long before the Arab Spring, I was surprised and dismayed when John Pilger made statements in support of the Bathist regime of Bashar Assad.

                  In my opinion Pilger has let his well justified hatred of US imperialism cloud his judgement.

                  Syria is not Iraq, Syria is not Afghanistan.

                  The Syrian popular revolt and civil war is a completely different thing altogether.

                  The Syrian revolt has more in common with the revolts in Tunisia and Egypt.

                  Leftists and those who pride them selves on their liberal credentials should never support the mass aerial bombing of civilian cities whatever the excuse.

                  Pilger, Fisk and countless other lesser luminaries who support the Assad regime’s one sided genocidal air war against its people, believing it is necessary to defeat terrorism, might justify this support by agreeing with the saying; “The end justifies, The means.”

                  What these lunimaries great and small need to keep in the front of their minds instead, is the saying; “Rotten means, usually mean rotten ends”.

                  http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=drone+fly+by+of+bombed+syrian+cities+you+tube&view=detail&mid=FFAEC2126A0EF7395F9AFFAEC2126A0EF7395F9A&FORM=VIRE

              • Morrissey

                You’re obviously far beyond reason, Jenny. I and many others here have tried to make you see sense, but you are indifferent to the truth, and clearly believe everything you are told on radio and television.

                • Paul

                  I would ignore her – but I don’t believe the Standard should be relentlessly subjected to views you’d hear on Larry Williams’ ZB talkback show.

                  • DH

                    Paul jenny has as much right as you to post here. Your attitude here is pretty repugnant IMO. Someone posts an alternate view to yours and you challenge their right to air their opinions. That’s the way of tyrants.

                    For what it’s worth I think your own argument has deteriorated to a pissing contest. It hasn’t gone unnoticed that you’ve started deliberately inflating the ‘credentials’ of your copy & paste sources and framing your argument along the lines of “My journalistic references are better than yours so mine must be right and yours therefore are wrong”. It’s quite irritating.

                    • Morrissey

                      Nobody is challenging Jenny’s right to post here. This is not Whaleoil Beef Hooked.

                    • Paul

                      Yes Jenny is free to post.
                      However, she can expect to be challenged on her support for extreme Jihadist groups.

                • Paul

                  And cannot and will not read articles presented to her.

                • Jenny

                  “….you are indifferent to the truth, and clearly believe everything you are told on radio and television.”
                  Morrissey

                  If you thing that is where I get my information from, you are mistaken.

                  I have been to Syria Morrisey and seen the Assad regime close up. (Admittedly getting out just before the Arab Spring erupted.) But that was enough to convince me that this was nightmarish police state, no need for any persuasion from the MSM radio or TV.

                  But if I get the meaning of your words Morrissey, then we shouldn’t believe the evidence of our eyes provided by the drone video of Syrian cities flattened by massive Aerial bombardment by the regime and its allies, scenes that humanity has not witnessed since the bombing of Warsaw by the Nazis in WWII.

                  Would you really have us believe, Morrissey, that all this drone video footage which is a record of genocide, is digitly altered computer generated fiction?

              • Penny Bright

                Seen any work by independent journalist Vanessa Beeley?

                “…Through the White Helmets we are seeing the eradication of Syrian state institutions and the implanting of a Syrian shadow state by predominantly the UK, the US and supported by EU governments, says Vanessa Beeley, independent researcher and journalist.

                With Syria’s White Helmets having been in the running for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, grabbing headlines as ‘Heroes of Peace’, with the media and politicians endorsing them, RT spoke with Vanessa Beeley, independent researcher and journalist.

                Beeley discussed whether The White Helmets are indeed “independent, impartial and unsullied by Western cash”.

                I have taken the time to do a lot of googling from a variety of sources on the ‘White Helmets’ of Aleppo Syria.

                In my view, given who set them up, funds them, and their role – it’s to push ‘regime change’ in Syria, and, in my view serve USA / European corporate / militarist interests.

                In my view, NZ should NOT be supporting in ANY way the ‘White Helmets’ in Aleppo, Syria.

                Penny Bright.

                • Seen any work by independent journalist Vanessa Beeley?

                  No. But based on your quote there, she sounds like a complete nutcase.

                  • Morrissey

                    Why are you here? You have nothing intelligent or interesting to say about any topic.

                    MEMO Site Administrators:

                    Is there any moderation on this site?

                    • Stunned Mullet

                      Well they appear to allow third rate stenography …

                    • Paul

                      And fourth rate right wing trolls….

                    • Paul

                      I give up with PM.
                      I admire your patience with the man.

                    • I guess I should apologise. I skimmed Penny’s comment and didn’t recall that actually I have read stuff by Vanessa Beeley, and that she’s an Assad regime shill, not a nutcase. I’m not sure “regime shill” is an improvement on “nutcase,” but accuracy is important.

                      Why are you here?

                      Assuming that’s not a general philosophical question, the reason I’m responding to all these pro-Assad propaganda links is outlined in this comment.

            • Paul 1.1.1.1.3.2

              I am beginning to think this as she equates Sam Hamad to Patrick Cockburn and Robert Fisk.

              • Jenny

                An alternative narrative to the simplistic and outdated and clunky “US regime change” narrative template, that Western leftists have tried to force over the Syrian civil war.

                Below is video from Tahrir Square in Egypt, part of the heroic region wide 2011 people’s revolt, against dictatorship and authoritarianism, commonly known as the “Arab Spring”.

                After witnessing the toppling of his fellow dictators Ben Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, the dictator of Syria Basha Assad faced a choice, step down and grant the democratic reforms the protesters were demanding, or attempt to drown the Arab Spring in blood with unbelieveable levels of state violence.

                In move he since may have had cause to regret, the beleagured dictator chose the second option.

                Just like in Egypt and Tunisia many of the members of the Syrian armed forces refused to shoot down the protesters and instead turned their guns on the regime.

                Only the Syrian airforce remained loyal.

                And so began the ferocious genocide from the sky that has killed over 400,000 Syrians and driven millions more from the country.

                Without an army to speak of, (or at least one that could be relied on), and with the loyalist airbases being slowly over ran, one by one, the regime turned to foreign allies to preserve their rule and turn the tide of the war.

                Witnessing all this the Western powers and the UN turned a blind eye and stood aside. There has never been a popular movement that they didn’t distrust.

                • Paul

                  Have you read Cockburn, Bartlett or Fisk as part of your understanding of Middle East geopolitics?

                  • Jenny

                    Could Egypt have become another Syria?

                    Believe it or not, it was a close thing.

                    • Paul

                      Have you read Patrick Cockburn on Syria?

                    • Jenny

                      @03:50 minutes:

                      One Woman’s Story From The Egyptian Revolution

                      “The stakes are high, if people’s power works here, it could sweep away undemocratic governments across the Arab world.”

                • Tim

                  Thanks for sharing this Jenny. Nobody is saying there was not popular support for the Syrian uprising (except idiots) but the question is was it largely an Islamist uprising or was it more people in search of secular democracy?

                  • Jenny

                    Either way that is their right. Or democracy means nothing.

                    For instance in the Egyptian revolution; in the elections that people fought so hard for, despite the clearly secular and multi-denominational nature of the uprising, the electorate delivered up the Muslim Brotherhood led government of Mohamed Morsi.
                    Rather than letting this democratically elected government work out its contradictions. Under US pressure and the payment of a bribe of an extra $6billion in military aid by the Obama administration, the Egyptian military stepped in to take power, and another pro-Western dictator Adel Al Sisi rules again.

                    This coup has been followed with the business as usual massacres and banning of protests.

                    What it might pay to remember is that the Muslim Brotherhood is a close political ally of Hamas in Gaza, which was also elected democratically.

                    I think we need to stop looking at this issue through Western eyes and see it how those in th Middle East see it. Hamas which is an Islamic movement, started as a religious charity providing medical and food aid to the Palestinians displaced and living in the refugee camps in Gaza. The reason Hamas became so popular in Gaza, (and the Westbank), is that the secular political movements like the Palestine Authority had failed the Palestininan people. Unfortunately for all its early hope, the PA had become corrupted and infiltrated by the Zionists.

                    The Zionists had a lot more trouble infiltrating and buying off Hamas compared to the PA, finding the religious Islamist movement completely impenetrable, and because of their deep held faith, pretty much incorruptible.

                    http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=muslim+brotherhood+in+egypt+banned+and+massacred&view=detail&mid=4FD504647B90DE61CD874FD504647B90DE61CD87&FORM=VIRE

                    • Tim

                      thanks jenny – that is a lot more revealing of your outlook. I’d side with Israel against Islamism

                    • Morrissey

                      So Israel is not simply bombing hospitals, cutting water off at whim, attacking peace convoys with lethal force, blowing up houses and illegally dispossessing people of their land. We now find that all these apparent crimes are nothing more than fighting “against Islamism.”

                      Tim, your post at 1:12 p.m. is as depraved as it is stupid.

                    • Tim []

                      Yes yes Israel is evil and eats people’s babies etc etc, heard it all before buddy.

                    • Paul

                      A bit silly Tim.
                      Not so funny for folk from Gaza though.

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lO4zxFQs4QQ

                    • Morrissey

                      Yes yes Israel is evil and eats people’s babies etc etc, heard it all before buddy.

                      Your flippant response confirms what I suspected.

                    • Tim []

                      What did you suspect? That I’d side with the clearly more just and rational side in a longstanding conflict? Your nonsense transcripts confirm to me how biased and out of touch you are.

                    • Morrissey

                      Israel is “more just and rational”, is it?

                      You really do not have a clue.

                    • Tim []

                      Easily. Maybe you should leave it to younger types who still have working brains to figure out where to go from here? Thanks for all your ‘work’.

                    • Morrissey

                      A request to Standardistas:

                      I think this poor bloke is trying to have a go at me, but he’s not very coherent. Could someone interpret please?

                    • Paul

                      Tim your arrogance does not strengthen an argument. It weakens it.
                      It looks like you don’t support democracy after reading your points about Egypt and Israel.
                      Israel has killed many innocent Palestinian children in Gaza – great you support a country that does this.
                      You need to read more widely than Fox and CNN to get the news.

                • Penny Bright

                  Another view on the ‘Arab Spring’?

                  http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-arab-spring-made-in-the-usa/5484950

                  According to Bensaada, the MENA Arab Spring revolutions have four unique features in common:

                  None were spontaneous – all required careful and lengthy (5+ years) planning, by the State Department, CIA pass through foundations, George Soros, and the pro-Israel lobby.1
                  All focused exclusively on removing reviled despots without replacing the autocratic power structure that kept them in power.
                  No Arab Spring protests made any reference whatsoever to powerful anti-US sentiment over Palestine and Iraq.
                  All the instigators of Arab Spring uprisings were middle class, well educated youth who mysteriously vanished after 2011.

                  • In Vino

                    Interesting. But those who have become passionate will not listen – that is the way it goes..

                  • Jenny

                    @Penny Bright.
                    My that is certainly some conspiracy theory.

                    I had no idea that all those millions of people were all being paid by the CIA. Who Knew. And that they were all magically spirited away afterwards, presumably to the US, that was something else.

                    Next you will be telling us that NASA faked the moon landings and the satelite evidence of climate change.

                    That climate change is a conspiracy invented by the Chinese to destroy our jobs.

                    And that the twin towers was an inside job.

                  • None were spontaneous – all required careful and lengthy (5+ years) planning, by the State Department, CIA pass through foundations, George Soros, and the pro-Israel lobby.

                    That’s ridiculous. Everyone knows the Arab Spring uprisings were orchestrated by the Lizard People. The CIA is behind the chemtrails.

                  • Paul

                    Really interesting.
                    So like the colour revolutions in the Ukraine?

    • Broze 1.2

      In October, the Chicago Tribune ran a story covering #StandWithAleppo, a popular twitter handle and hashtag created by “two Chicago moms” looking to document the plight of children in besieged E. Aleppo. But as some observant social media users have since discovered, one of the women turned out to be a journalist, the other the head of a SuperPAC.

      In the run-up to eastern Aleppo’s liberation by the Syrian army last week, #StandWithAleppo was turned into an extremely popular Twitter hashtag, users joining the Western mainstream media in condemning the Syrian government and accusing it of committing war crimes in the city. In spite of numerous stories, photos and video materials by alternative media showing that the city’s residents were actually mostly relieved by their liberation, the hashtag has effectively become a rallying cry for the anti-Assad, anti-Russian narrative pushed by the mainstream media and Western governments. But as one very observant Twitter user searching for the origin story behind the viral #StandWithAleppo campaign has since discovered, Becky Carroll and Wendy Widom, the “two ordinary moms” who launched the campaign, are anything but ordinary. 2. Described by Chicago Tribune as a “Chicago mom,” Carroll is in fact CEO of “public affairs & strategic communications firm ” C-Strategies — Club des Cordeliers (@cordeliers) 15 декабря 2016 г. ​The Chicago Tribune, which interviewed the two women in October, described Carroll as a strategic affairs consultant who “decided it was time to do something” to help the suffering people of the city.

      Read more: https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201612181048717861-standwithaleppo-origins-analysis/

  1. Cinny 4

    How embarrassing for NZ…

    “Tourists are shocked to discover New Zealand’s “Middle-earth” is dirty and polluted, says a Lord of the Rings actor who now leads high-end tours.”

    Meanwhile Paula says…

    “Acting Tourism Minister Paula Bennett disagreed, saying the Government was actively working to improve the quality of New Zealand’s waterways, including setting minimum water quality standards and an extra $100 million clean-up fund for lakes, rivers and wetlands.”

    I say… the outgoing government has failed to protect our environment, putting profit over everything else. Now they are trying to look heroic attempting to fix a problem that should have never happened in the first place.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/87554686/lord-of-the-rings-actor-and-tour-guide-outraged-by-polluted-middle-earth

    • John up North 4.1

      Well here we go, from the linked news article, our minister for the environment (though she did admit to knowing nothing about the job when first given the portfolio)

      When asked if the 100% Pure campaign was aspirational only, she replied: “It’s an award-winning campaign that is working brilliantly for New Zealand with record growth in visitor numbers. It’s not, and never has been, an environmental measure.”

      “It’s not, and never has been, an environmental measure”

      At least she’s a bit more honest than our bail out ex-pm. But!!! does that mean this award winning campaign which brings tourism and $$$ into our country won’t/can’t be also used to provide some relief (or shock even $$) to help maintain our environment so maybe the “industry” of tourism is sustainable?

      It may have the unintended side effect of our environment also being sustainable, that may be a good thing, methinks.

      • Cinny 4.1.1

        O.O i see where you are coming from, that makes sense and if that’s what it takes so be it.
        So many of us contribute to maintaining and helping the planet, it will be a wonderful day when the rest realise that all the money in the world doesn’t matter if the planet is dead.

        As for 100% Pure, it’s all just a big marketing campaign exploiting our natural environment while some allow others to rape it even more.

      • Wensleydale 4.1.2

        Hardly surprising. Paula Bennett has form for not wanting to measure things that might paint the government in a less than stellar light. Like poverty. The entire thing is wholly disingenuous. You’re showing photos of pristine alpine wilderness and glittering lakes, alongside the slogan “100% Pure”. The inference is obvious, and pretending that inference isn’t absolutely deliberate is complete bollocks.

    • The Chairman 4.2

      First we hear tourists are shocked to discover New Zealand’s “Middle-earth” is dirty and polluted.

      Surprisingly, acting Tourism Minister Paula Bennett disagreed as she highlighted a $100 million clean-up fund for lakes, rivers and wetlands.

      If they are not dirty and polluted then why the $100 million clean-up fund, Paula?

      • Cinny 4.2.1

        Dang Chairman that’s just too logical, cut that out 😀

        Lolz Paula the putz yup that’s her alright, just rolls off the tongue like truth to the world.

  2. Morrissey 5

    Great Moments in Broadcasting. NOT.
    No. 6: Phony liberals mug furiously as Aretha sings.

    38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors, Washington D.C., December 6, 2015

    A year ago the Kennedy Center held a special tribute concert for Carole King. As great as Carole is, however, it was the legendary Aretha Franklin who stole the show, singing her timeless hit “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman”. [1]

    Aretha is unimpeachably brilliant of course, but there’s something repellent about the over-the-top reaction shots of selected audience members, who seem to think they are obliged to show the audience just how reverent they are in their worship of the Queen of Soul. Carole King herself, I’m sorry to say, is excruciating in her ridiculous wide-eyed, face-pulling luvvie antics; she starts her performance at the 13 second mark. Sitting behind her is the great cellist Yo-Yo Ma; obviously embarrassed by her shenanigans, he is by the 2:02 mark displaying annoyance and contempt for her.

    But even worse is the appalling couple who start an obviously well rehearsed routine of painfully excruciating finger-clicking and head-nodding at 0:46. The man, who has been lambasted for his insincere posturing [2] in the past, even pretends to brush away a tear, so profoundly moved is he by the song. Never has the old truism been truer: guilty feet ain’t got no rhythm.

    [1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bYwgi4htXE

    [2] https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-30062013/#comment-655545

    Great Moments in Broadcasting. NOT is an occasional series highlighting some of the worst moments in our shameful history of broadcasting mediocrity and downright failure.

    • DoublePlusGood 5.1

      So we couldn’t possibly allow that someone enjoy themselves and get a little too into it at their own tribute concern?

      • Morrissey 5.1.1

        Not like that. It was toe-curlingly embarrassing. Yo-Yo Ma’s expression of distaste spoke for everyone who finds luvvie behaviour unacceptable.

  3. Stunned mullet 6

    Great Moments in Stenography. NOT is an occasional series highlighting some of the worst moments in moz’s shameful history of mediocre stenography and downright fabrications.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      Nothing fabricated about any of these “Great Moments, NOT”, my friend…..

      No. 6: Phony liberals mug furiously as Aretha sings. (Sun 18/12/16)
      No. 5: Chris Trotter puts on a “funny” South American accent (Sun 11/12/16)
      No. 4: Susan Baldacci and Jim Mora talk about “lack of empathy”. (Sat 10/12/16)
      No. 3: Kevin Roberts’ performance on TV3 chat show The Panel, late 2001. (Sun 4/12/16)
      No. 2: Noelle McCarthy’s patsy interview with Mark Bowden 8/1/13 (Sat 3/12/16)
      No. 1: Pippa Wetzel grovels and simpers before a slimy criminal…. (pubd. Fri 2/12/16)

      Keep an eye out, fellas, there’s more to come!

      • james 6.1.1

        You need to get out more – there is a lovely country out there – enjoy it. You will be a lot happier then spending hours in your basement banging out post of newsclips.

        • Morrissey 6.1.1.1

          You need to get out more – there is a lovely country out there – enjoy it.

          Thanks James. I intend to do just that this afternoon.

          You will be a lot happier then spending hours in your basement banging out post of newsclips.

          Certainly getting outside will make me happy—but happier than spending time in the basement, composing masterpieces? I don’t think so.

          • james 6.1.1.1.1

            “Thanks James. I intend to do just that this afternoon.”

            Excellent – hope you have a great day.

        • Paul 6.1.1.2

          Regurgitating the Henry paradise line……

          • james 6.1.1.2.1

            Actually – Ive traveled – a lot – more than most (for which I am thankful).

            Its not a myth that NZ is a paradise. It has some faults sure – But a paradise it is.

            • KJT 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Don’t worry. Governments since 1984, have been fixing that as fast as they can get away with.
              We will be a country of bag ladies, beggars, combined with a few obscenely wealthy, as fast as we can.

            • One Two 6.1.1.2.1.2

              Use of the word paradise in respect of NZ has become a twisted narrative repeated by the delusional

              The delusional who enable the incrimental decline by comparing it to places that are ‘worse off’

              So long as there is people suffering, starving, living in the street or in cars and garages and killing themselves in record numbers….use of the word ‘paradise’ is twisted

    • Gabby 6.2

      It’s a great advertisement for deaf aids though.

  4. John up North 7

    Oh my God!

    The govt is finally doing something about the shit state school facilities have degraded to, wonderful, wonderful, magnificent minister Parata has loosened the drawstrings on her money bag to halt the slide many schools have had to endure due to budgets being concreted over.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/320685/govt-spends-up-for-school-upgrades

    I sense the lolly bag has been brought out in anticipation of building up good headlines and shizzle for the coming election, watch this space for more National kindness (aka funding shit you’re supposed to).

    But, as per normal these clowns just kant get it rite. Not only do we have public funding cut to the bone but of course the private system gets it by the wheel barrow, Charter schools and now the Integrated schools funding rorts bubbling to the surface. C’mon MSM do your job and get into these bastards, there’s a ugly sore needing a good picking over.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/320436/integrated-schools-boosting-costs-and-bending-rules,-committee-told

    • Wensleydale 7.1

      When the election eventually rolls around, I sincerely hope someone from Northland asks Simon Bridges where the bridges he promised them have got to, and if they’re still going to get them. And when he gets all slippery and evasive (or even better, does a Brownlee and throws his toys out of the pram), someone else from Northland throws a dildo at him.

  5. RedBaronCV 8

    On another subject entirely – does Fonterra need to get a life or something similar.

    Lewis Road had developed a niche market for good quality milk (and some other flavoured milk products) but then when I went to the supermarket to buy my very small quantity of it I found a similar product crowding the shelf alongside from Fonterra.

    All was explained by some newspaper articles suggesting that Fonterra are possibly trying to tie up shelf space to the detriment of other producers. Next stop by the look of the articles is the Courts.

    So my question for Fonterra is:
    you have supposedly a large international market- can you not use these links to sell these premium milk products rather than trying to maybe crowd out a smallish local developing company?? This smallish company may grow into a premium exporter to the benefit of a lot of people so
    Shouldn’t you be bigger than that?

    • Wensleydale 8.1

      If you’re expecting Fonterra to take the high road on that one, you’re a hopeless optimist. I’m pretty sure they’ll quite happily walk all over the little guy for the sake of increased market share, and Kiwi solidarity can take a hike. Watch and smirk as they wheel out that hoary old chestnut “competition is good for the consumer”, especially when that competition is so small as to be virtually non-existent.

      About 15 or so years ago, there was a tiny ice cream company in Whangarei that used to manufacture niche ice creams, most of which contained liquor – rum and raisen, creme de menthe, cointreau and so on. As I recall, they were bought out by Tip Top, who promptly ceased making these wonderful flavours… and so no, competition is not always good for the consumer. Sometimes it’s only good for corporates who enjoy throwing their weight around.

  6. Ad 9

    For when the new cabinet is announced today, some suggestions for the PM:

    1. Prime Minister Bill English: SIS, Tourism
    2. Paula Bennett: Housing, Auckland Issues, Associate Finance
    3. Stephen Joyce: Finance
    4. Simon Bridges: Economic Development, and Transport
    5. Nikki Kaye: Social Development, Education
    6. Todd McClay: Trade, Foreign Affairs
    7. Michael Woodhouse: Health
    8. Chris Finlayson: Attorney-General, Treaty Negotations, and Arts+Culture
    9. Judith Collins: Defence, Police
    10. Dr Jian Yang: Minister of Tertiary Education, Associate Minister Foreign Affairs
    11. Andrew Bayly: Ministry for Primary Industries (Forestry, Fisheries, Agriculture)
    12. Gerry Brownlee: Chief Whip, Earthquake Recovery
    13. Joanthan Coleman: Justice
    14. Scott Simpson: Revenue
    15. Alfred Ngaro: Corrections, Pacific island Affairs
    16. Nick Smith: Conservation, Environment
    17. Jamie-Lee Ross: Local Government

    • Intercepted and decrypted this coded message to Hawaii just this morning. not signed but probably from kiss curl bridges? { –mr key ,thanks so very much for your excellent support of myself for my govt position.} mr English told me it was very important.The lots of time you told me and said-lovely boy,sholders back,stand tall–fine set of sholders ,made me what I am. –simon.

    • KJT 9.2

      Reminds me of the joke.
      That if you want the worst possible country, make the politicians Italian, the cooks English, the police German, the entertainment Flemish, and the security police, Russian.

    • Muttonbird 9.3

      Completely wrong as usual.

    • Jenny 9.4

      Some interesting and creative inside the box thinking from Ad.

      But I see Ad, that you have out left climate change (currently Paula Bennet’s portfolio), altogether.

      Any particular reason for this oversight Ad?

      Are you in favour of abolishing this portfolio?

      If not, who do you think it should go to?

      • Muttonbird 9.4.1

        Why on earth is ‘Climate Change Issues’ different to ‘Environment’? Why two portfolios?

        Is it to separate the carbon commitment which the current government has no intention of supporting from the general weak approach to New Zealand water concerns?

        • Jenny 9.4.1.1

          Climate change ignoring, is the new climate change denial.

          Why two portfolios?

          Because climate change is not an environmental issue.
          (well not in the traditional sense, like clean rivers for instance. While polluted rivers is a terrible obscenity a polluted river does not endanger the whole planet).

          The way to think about climate change, is to think of it as akin to nuclear war.

          It is undeniable that the side affects nuclear war, or climate change, will be bad for the environment.

          But that is not the main reason why we oppose them.

          Though the environmentalists may disagree….

          In our human-centric view, we oppose nuclear war and climate change, not because they will damage the environment but because they could drive humanity to extinction.

          Most governments give climate change and the environment seperate spokes people.

          Any attempt to role one into the other, must be seen as a threat to diminish the importance and danger of both.

          Which leads me to my point.

          You haven’t answered my question.

          Are you in favour of abolishing the climate change portfolio?

          If not, who do you think it should go to?

  7. Craig H 10

    Michael Woodhouse should also remain Minister of Immigration, and you also need an Associate Minister of Immigration.

    I assume Dunne remains Minister of Internal Affairs.

  8. The Chairman 11

    Social enterprise groups are welcoming a Cabinet paper as a positive step forward for the growth of social enterprises in New Zealand.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/87500263/government-paper-a-step-in-right-direction-social-enterprise-groups-say

    Shouldn’t the Government be focused on growing and improving its own social services instead of further relying on and assisting in the growth of social enterprises?

  9. Rosemary McDonald 12

    I admit to sometimes being out of touch with yoof culture, and it appears that not doing faceache and twitterer makes one a cave dweller….however…a Young Person directed me here…https://www.facebook.com/memoirsofamaori

    …and I haven’t laughed so much in ages and ages. This girlz a gem.

    (warning…will challenge, but take heart…she offends everyone.)

  10. Paul 13

    Neoliberalism is a species of fascism

    by Manuela Cadelli, President of the Magistrates’ Union of Belgium

    ‘The time for rhetorical reservations is over. Things have to be called by their name to make it possible for a co-ordinated democratic reaction to be initiated, above all in the public services.

    Liberalism was a doctrine derived from the philosophy of Enlightenment, at once political and economic, which aimed at imposing on the state the necessary distance for ensuring respect for liberties and the coming of democratic emancipation. It was the motor for the arrival, and the continuing progress, of Western democracies.

    Neoliberalism is a form of economism in our day that strikes at every moment at every sector of our community. It is a form of extremism.

    Fascism may be defined as the subordination of every part of the State to a totalitarian and nihilistic ideology.

    I argue that neoliberalism is a species of fascism because the economy has brought under subjection not only the government of democratic countries but also every aspect of our thought.

    The state is now at the disposal of the economy and of finance, which treat it as a subordinate and lord over it to an extent that puts the common good in jeopardy.

    The austerity that is demanded by the financial milieu has become a supreme value, replacing politics. Saving money precludes pursuing any other public objective. It is reaching the point where claims are being made that the principle of budgetary orthodoxy should be included in state constitutions. A mockery is being made of the notion of public service.

    The nihilism that results from this makes possible the dismissal of universalism and the most evident humanistic values: solidarity, fraternity, integration and respect for all and for differences.

    There is no place any more even for classical economic theory: work was formerly an element in demand, and to that extent there was respect for workers; international finance has made of it a mere adjustment variable.

    Every totalitarianism starts as distortion of language, as in the novel by George Orwell. Neoliberalism has its Newspeak and strategies of communication that enable it to deform reality. In this spirit, every budgetary cut is represented as an instance of modernization of the sectors concerned. If some of the most deprived are no longer reimbursed for medical expenses and so stop visiting the dentist, this is modernization of social security in action!’

    https://off-guardian.org/2016/07/13/neoliberalism-is-a-species-of-fascism/

  11. Muttonbird 14

    While denying increasing income inequality but accepting increasing wealth inequality yesterday, Wayne’s solution to tackling increasing wealth inequality was to have the government pay private banks any amount above a 3% interest rate for low income mortgage holders.

    I’m no economist but this seems crazy for several reasons, not least of which taxpayer money is being paid to private companies for no service whatsoever.

    Also there is no cost limit to this because as interest rates rise so too does the bill to the taxpayer.

    Will not the banks enjoy raising rates (and they have total freedom to do this) with the knowledge that the NZ taxpayer has to pay?

    Also, if Wayne is dishing out subsidies to home-owners banks, what should non-homeowners expect? Should they expect say a $5000- annual payout when interest rates climb to 4%, because that is effectively what the government would be paying home-owners banks on interest only or interest heavy repayments for the rock bottom house prices in Auckland.

    It struck me as odd that a Nat would promote a policy where the ongoing costs to the taxpayer are unknowable.

    Far better to address the demand side of housing unaffordability by restricting immigration temporarily, and increase spending on building and national infrastructure to address the supply side. Neither of which the current government seems willing to do.

    Open Mike 17/12/2016

    • Paul 14.1

      As was clear from yesterdays discussion, Wayne doesn’t have a plausible argument.
      But he sticks doggedly to his point to justify his privileged position.

      • Muttonbird 14.1.1

        What he proposed was so weird given that he’d already admitted a severe and problematic increase in wealth inequality as a result of house price inflation.

        Why not consider that equity gain on houses (perhaps own home excepted) be considered income? After all that’s what it is, a fact completely accepted by Wayne.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1.1.1

          A while back, he also confessed that the increase in inequality caused in part by the cabinet he was a member of, was “deliberate”. His own words.

          • KJT 14.1.1.1.1

            Because he was envious of wharfies. Also in his own words.

            I am sure it is an improvement that, real estate agents, lawyers, housing speculators, asset strippers, bank managers, land hoarders, politicians and tax dodgers, now make infinitely more than wharfies. And infinitely more than educated hard working professionals, also.

            Overpaid they may have been, but At least, wharfies do a socially useful job, pay tax on all their income, and spend and invest locally.

      • KJT 14.1.2

        The really scary thing about people like Wayne, is they really do believe their own bullshit.

      • Red 14.1.3

        Paul you are sounding very sanctimonious today., get some sun to cheer yourself up

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      It struck me as odd that a Nat would promote a policy where the ongoing costs to the taxpayer are unknowable.

      It shouldn’t do as the whole purpose of the National Party is to shift public wealth into private hands.

    • Gabby 14.3

      Looks more like a notion to subsidise speculators.

  12. Muttonbird 15

    Oh dear. Farrar will be in a spin. He opposes the idea of a runway extension in Wellington for whatever reason, but now the environment court opposes it too. Farrar will not for one second want to be seen to be agreeing with the environment court so he’s in a real bind.

    The objectors include residents, not surprising but they did buy a house next to a fucking airport, didn’t they? Another objector was, interestingly, Air New Zealand. Could it be that Air New Zealand are shit scared of other international operators flying routes into Wellington?

    It surprises me that Farrar is happy to open Auckland up to all sorts of unregulated immigration and infrastructure stress but packs a sad when economic benefits to Wellington are proposed for Wellington with a runway extension.

    Perhaps Farrar is being paid by Air New Zealand to fight increased competition???

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/320703/longer-runway-largely-opposed-at-environment-court

    • alwyn 15.1

      Air New Zealand’s objection is very simple.
      If the extension is built, at an estimated figure of $300 million, the users of the airport are going to have to pay for it. Either that or the poor bloody ratepayers like me get thumped.
      The only reason to go ahead with it is the deluded idea, largely propagated by our previous Mayor that there is a large, unfilled, demand for seats on long haul flights out of Wellington. The extension is NOT required for short haul flights to Australian airports like Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.
      There is however no evidence of any demand at all for long haul travel from Wellington.
      Look at Christchurch. There is only a single commercial flight a day out of Christchurch that goes past Australia. That is a flight by SIA to Singapore. Christchurch has a very long runway and a similar population to Wellington but there is no interest in anyone introducing new flights.
      Look at all the other New Zealand cities that built facilities for an “International Airport”. How many of them get any use?
      If the runway is built, and has to be paid for, it will have to be by the airlines that use it at present. That is primarily Air New Zealand who provide most of the existing flights. They don’t want to get lumbered with the enormous costs of the runway when they don’t need it. They don’t give a damn about other international airlines that don’t want to fly from here at all unless they are, like SIA, heavily subsidised by the Wellington ratepayer, to fly out of here to Canberra.
      I regularly fly long haul to Europe. I am entirely happy to fly up to Auckland and fly out from there. So, I think, are most long haul travellers.

      • Muttonbird 15.1.1

        I suppose you are right. Why anyone would fly to Wellington is a mystery. There is nothing to do there. There’s also nothing to do in the lower North Island which is about to be opened up upon the completion of Transmission Gully. Nothing to do in Nelson/Marlborough which Wellington is a gateway for, nothing at all.

        That international carriers into Christchurch is used as a reason to not bother with international routes is obscene quite frankly when Christchurch has been left to rot by the current government as a tourist destination.

        • alwyn 15.1.1.1

          I must say how much I admire your wonderful parody of a Jafa, that strange sub-tribe of Auckland residents.
          You must have observed them closely.
          We residents of Wellington have broad shoulders but we do have a few burdens to bear. What have we done to be cursed with both the Leader AND the Deputy-Leader of the Labour Party choosing to live here? No city deserves such a terrible fate.

      • mpledger 15.1.2

        Most of the money that would be spent on extending Wellingtons runway will go into dumping rocks off the South Coast.

        If you’re going to spend that much money then do something better with it then spend it on rocks.

  13. Muttonbird 16

    So Nikki Kaye is going to be thrust up the order and into a senior position according to reports.

    Strikes me that this promotion is more about trying to bring youth to cabinet in order to appeal to a broader range of voters rather than actually considering Nikki Kaye herself. Also it is a direct response to the steady rise of Jacinda Ardern.

    Would the National party be guilty of putting their interests ahead of Nikki’s health? I think they probably would.

    I am not a doctor but I would have thought putting a recent sufferer of cancer into one of the most high intensity jobs in the country so soon after treatment is bad for that person’s long term prospects.

    • james 16.1

      “Also it is a direct response to the steady rise of Jacinda Ardern”

      Really – Nikki has bet her twice already – and now Ardern has to run off to another area so not to lose a third time.

  14. Draco T Bastard 17

    Automation beyond the factory

    is month, Amazon made headlines with its announcement of the opening of a new convenience store in Seattle that would go without one staple: cashiers. Using a combination of “computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and sensor fusion” to track purchases, Amazon Go allows customers check in to the store using a smartphone app and walk out with what they need, much as one enters and exits a subway station. A similar event occurred in October when the autonomous vehicle company Otto delivered 50,000 cans of beer in Colorado using a self-driving truck. What the headlines don’t convey is the potential impact on the millions of workers currently employed in the U.S. as cashiers and truck drivers. Though still in development, these two technologies signal major changes ahead for a labor force still adjusting to previous rounds of worker displacement from automation.

    Basically, say goodbye to probably the largest chunk of the ‘service industry’ – retail shop assistants and truck drivers.

    • jcuknz 17.1

      consequences, simply consequences. Think of the freedom to pursue more interesting activities rather than retail or driving …. SARC

      • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1

        I do think of that but to bring it about requires more people going into tertiary education both as tutors and as students. Over the last couple of decades our governments have been discouraging people from going back to school.

        We should be looking to get 25%+ of our working age population into R&D.

  15. Muttonbird 18

    I drive a lot through the Lincoln Rd, Ranui, Swanson area of West Auckland and what always amazes me is the permanent nature of Alfred Ngaro’s campaigning profile there. It’s like he’s never not campaigning.

    I wonder if this is at the expense of actually doing good for his constituents? Oh, that’s right, he doesn’t have any.

  16. Muttonbird 19

    Cone-head gets the sack. Re-Joyce everyone!

    He was the minister of doing fuck all for so many years and his greatest claim to fame was having a sex toy thrown at him.

    • Red 19.1

      I dunno leading national to 3 election wins as campaign manager over the evil left is not bad for a start, be four this time next year

      • Muttonbird 19.1.1

        You’re only as good as your last campaign and his last was a disaster. And the one before that.

        Could be a trend.

  17. Foreign waka 20

    I have read an article about entitlement of pensions for immigrants in todays paper showing an elderly lady with white skin and blue eyes.
    May I officially state that most European and British immigrants who have come here as adults do have an entitlement to a pension that they been paying at the time of their working live overseas, similar to the Kiwi saver program.
    Once the moneys are drawn they have to be declared and either “handed over” and deducted from the basic pension or one has to declare not to draw any NZ funded pension at all but rather have the O/S fund cover the need.
    If Diane Maxwell would care about the truth she would have to stop scaremongering and making NZ belief that they have to pay for immigrants. THIS IS NOT SO and in fact there are already comments that if the overseas pension is akin to Kiwi saver than in fact “confiscating” the moneys might be unjust.
    Not that I would say a double dipping is commendable but there should be one law for all. Kiwi saver is paid on top of the pension.
    As for some of the Asian immigrants bringing their parents to NZ, please consider that in their culture elderly are far more dependent on their children than we ever would consider. Dignity would come to mind and whilst there maybe in some cases cause for means testing, it should be applied before residency is granted.
    NZ has to look into the ramifications of returning Kiwis too, especially when the retirement age goes up (Australia).
    However I would suggest that the first step would be that every time a residency visa is granted the person receiving that visa needs to get to know the consequences to their lifestyle if they choose to stay for many years or even forever.
    Fairness is the keyword here.

  18. Red 21

    Mean while in the socialist nirvana of Venezuela as reported by the economist

    President Nicolás Maduro says that the constant shortages of more or less everything in Venezuela are caused by evil speculators. (They are actually caused by his price controls.) Mr Maduro claims that “mafias” in Colombia are stockpiling lorryloads of bolívars, the Venezuelan currency, and sneaking across the border to buy up price-controlled goods. Given Venezuela’s soaring inflation, this seems improbable. “The idea that anybody would want to hoard a currency that has lost 60% of its value in the past two months is absurd,” says David Smilde of the Washington Office on Latin America, a think-tank.

    Pres Nic also confiscated a load of toys as he believed they where too expensive and he will play saint nic and re distribute himself for free

    What is amazing that after a 100 years people still think socialism is the answer

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      It is, isn’t it, especially since it’s the social democracies that get the best outcomes. However, while for the most part. Socialists understand this, right wing nut-jobs still cling to Randist drivel, “free” “market” dogma, and Grand Wizard Trump.

      Have a nice day.

      • Red 21.1.1

        So it’s just a matter of degrees then but we agree far left is nut job territory, glad that’s sorted , many would argue nz is a social democracy, centre left or centre right, very little between them barring ego and it’s my turn, many on this site here are however not arguing for social democracy

        Have a nice evening

        • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1.1.1

          Even your feeble attempts at civilised discourse are useless and vain. We do not agree. Arguing for (say) public ownership of the means of production is not morally equivalent to your vile hate speech.

    • joe90 21.2

      Meanwhile, the land of the free, by many public-health metrics — including infant mortality and preventable deaths and a variety of others, narrows the gap.

      We don’t know how bad the United States’ burgeoning mortality crisis is going to get. Russia provides a disturbing worst-case scenario. “Sometime in 1993, after several trips to Russia, I noticed something bizarre and disturbing: people kept dying,” wrote Masha Gessen in New York Review of Books in 2014. “I was used to losing friends to AIDS in the United States, but this was different. People in Russia were dying suddenly and violently, and their own friends and colleagues did not find these deaths shocking.” She went on to explain that “In the seventeen years between 1992 and 2009, the Russian population declined by almost seven million people, or nearly 5 percent — a rate of loss unheard of in Europe since World War II. Moreover, much of this appears to be caused by rising mortality,” with alcohol a prime culprit. This is what happens when the insides of a developed country begin to rot.

      The United States isn’t Russia. Probably.

      http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/12/america-is-failing-the-bad-break-test-and-people-are-dying.html

    • ropata 21.3

      How can a New Zealander who was raised on public education, drives on public roads, enjoys free health care, and whose infrastructure was built by public works, write such utter drivel?

    • KJT 21.4

      Another country, that, like New Zealand was too dependent on one commodity.

      Failing for the entirely capitalist reason of shortage of demand for oil.

    • DoublePlusGood 21.5

      Trolling about Venezuela being a socialist nirvana? Are you Gosman on a sockpuppet account, perchance?

  19. Rosemary McDonald 23

    Wrong. We’re all wrong.

    Australian economist waxes lyrical about the NZ economy. Apparently we’re ‘smokin’ and we ‘re all as happy as pigs in poo.

    All to do with the fact that 99% of New Zealanders…

    “…. say they have family or friends to rely on in times of need.”

    We have ‘social capital’ (see, say’s Bill ‘the Lizard” English, my social investment scheme works!!!!) lots and lots of social capital.

    Okay, so this guy is basing his opinion on the Legatum Institute’s ……http://www.prosperity.com/rankings

    “”But, wait!” I want to say. “We’re heaps richer than our cuzzies!”

    It’s true. If you go to NZ you notice the material standard of living is slightly lower. They tend to have slightly older cars. Slightly smaller houses. Slightly older smartphones. Etc.

    The report says this doesn’t matter.

    “Some deliver a lot of prosperity with little wealth. Others have vast wealth, but have not turned it into better lives for their citizen,” it claims.”

    Better lives…who knew?

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  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    2 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    2 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    3 days ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    4 days ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
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    4 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    5 days ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
    Rebels In A Wrong Cause: The truly frightening thing about Jami-Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s success in persuading thousands of New Zealanders that Covid-19 is just another trick, just another way of stealing away their power, is realising just how many of them once marched at the Left’s side. ...
    5 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    5 days ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
    Media Statement For Immediate Release 10th September 2020 The income and wealth inequality lobby group, “Closing the Gap” thinks the Labour proposal a great start says Peter Malcolm, a spokesperson for the group. But they need to be aware of what many of the rich do and of what do ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
    ACT is pushing a "no-nonsense climate change plan". What does it involve? Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme, reversing the fossil-fuel exploration ban, and allowing mining on conservation land. In other words, repealing any policy which might actually reduce emissions. Which is the very definition of nonsensical. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    5 days ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
    Wage theft is a problem in New Zealand, with a widespread practice of forcing employees to work without pay, and regular cases of underpayment and exploitation. One reason why its such a widespread problem is impunity: rather than a crime, wage theft is merely a tort, dealt with by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
    New Zealand’s media and online politics often reflect the values of liberal and progressive agendas. According to Liam Hehir, the current proposals to lower the voting age to 16 years – which the media overwhelming supports – is indicative of a wider mismatch with society, which is not good for ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
    My wife and I, through a combination of good luck and good management, have managed to retire in comfortable circumstances. We celebrate our good fortune by making relatively small but regular donations to a range of good causes – to rescue services like the rescue helicopters, St John’s Ambulance and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
    Jacques Raubenheimer, University of Sydney If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context. For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics showing we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    6 days ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
    Gabrielle Po-Ching In November 1918, the cargo and passenger ship Talune travelled to Apia, Samoa from Auckland, carrying a number of passengers who had pneumonic influenza. From these passengers stemmed the biggest pandemic Samoa had ever seen. With around 8,500 deaths, over 20% of the country’s population at the ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
    So the Greens co-leader James Shaw recently made a mistake. In his role as Associate Finance Minister approving funding for “shovel-ready” projects, he fought hard for a private “Green school” to get funding to expand their buildings and, therefore, their student capacity. There are many problems with what he did: ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
    Over the last three years there have been growing calls for the government to provide dental services under the health system – universal free dental care. This is because at the moment there’s an anomaly in which teeth are regarded as different from the rest of the body which means ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 through Sat, Sep 12, 2020 Editor's Choice With California ablaze, Newsom blasts Trump administration for failing to fight climate change Trinity River Conservation Camp crew members drown ...
    7 days ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Participating in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training
    It finally happened: about 13 years after first watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT) in 2007 when it became available in Germany, I recently completed the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training! Participating in this particular training had been on my to-do list for quite some time but it ...
    1 week ago
  • Dysfunctional Design
    Windows 95 is famous for requiring the shutting down the system by clicking ‘start, like stopping your car by turning the ignition key on. Why are so many interfaces so user-unfriendly? The Covid app to register your entering premises can be so clumsy. Sometimes I have signed in, sat down ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Can we trust the polls?
    Is the 2020 election result really the foregone conclusion that the polls and commentators are suggesting? Josh Van Veen suggests otherwise, pointing to some of the shortcomings of opinion polling, which could ready some politicians to say “bugger the pollsters” on election night.   In November 1993, opinion polls foretold ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • The UK wants climate action
    Back in 2019, six select committees of the UK Parliament established a Citizen's Assembly to investigate how to respond to climate change. The Assembly's deliberations were forced online by the pandemic, but it has finally reported back, and overwhelmingly supports strong action: Taxes that increase as people fly further ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • In the US, the End of Days.
    I am feeling a bit impish today and so for no particular reason I thought I would share this thought, which I first posted over on twitter: “Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, heatwaves, street protests, armed vigilante militias, a lethal pandemic and a corrupt authoritarian using the federal government for partisan and ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Government too slow in deploying military to assist with Covid-19 response, former defence minister ...
    Wayne Mapp (Photo: Tsmith.nz via Wikimedia) A former Minister of Defence says the government was too slow to involve the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. But Wayne Mapp, a National MP from 1996-2011 who served as Minister of Defence for three ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Underwhelming
    Transport is our second biggest polluter after agriculture, making up 17% of our national emissions. Cars and trucks emit 15 million tons of CO2 every year. So, if we're serious about tackling climate change, we need to eliminate this entirely. Public transport and better urban design will be a key ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
    Five things we’ve learnt 1. We know where the virus ultimately came from We know that the virus originally came from bats, and most probably a species of horseshoe bat in South East Asia. However, the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, which allows the virus to attach to cells and infect ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Stewardship land is conservation land
    The Greens' greatest disappointment while in government this term has been the failure to implement a ban on mining on conservation land. Promised by Jacinda Ardern immediately after gaining power, it had long been assumed that the problem was NZ First (who have a long history of environmental vandalism). But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The price of Green co-operation just went up
    If they get into Parliament, everyone expects the Greens to form a coalition with Labour. But James Shaw has said that that might not be the case, and that they might instead choose to sit on the cross-benches: The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance
    Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Driving Out The Money-Changers Of Reactionary Christianity.
    Den Of Thieves: They describe themselves, and the money-making rackets they dignify with the name of church, “Christian”, but these ravening wolves are no such thing. The essence of the Christian faith is the giving of love – not the taking of money. It is about opening oneself to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should b...
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A Time To Begin Again.
    A New Holy-Day: Perhaps, by accepting this gift of Matariki from the first arrivals in Aotearoa, we late arrivals, shorn of our ancestors’ outlandish fleeces, can draw strength from the accumulated human wisdom of our adopted home. Perhaps, by celebrating Matariki, we can learn to take ownership of our colonial ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s tax trauma victims and how they might help the Greens
    If there was any doubt left, we can surely call it now. Time and date. End of. Finito. Perhaps you thought you saw a flickering eyelid or a finger move? You were wrong. Labour has given up on tax reform for the foreseeable future. One of the key remaining left/right ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Labour gives up on tax transformation
    Will the rich get richer under Labour’s latest tax policy? Based on the analysis in reaction to yesterday’s announcement, the answer would seem to be yes. The consensus from commentators is that inequality and severe economic problems will remain unchanged or even be made worse by Labour’s new policy. Although ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Labour on energy: Business as usual
    Labour has released its energy policy, and its basicly business as usual: bring forward the 100% renewable target to 2030, build pumped storage if the business case stacks up, restore the thermal ban and clean car standard (but not the feebate scheme), and spread a bit of money around to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Overshoot
    California is burning down again. In Oregon, the city of Medford - a town the size of Palmerston North - has had to be evacuated due to the fires. In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Rene has become the earliest "R"-storm to form since records began, beating the previous record by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Says it all
    What's wrong with Labour? The end of yesterday's RNZ health debate says it all: Do you have private health insurance? Reti: "I do." Hipkins: "Yes, I do." Hipkins is Minister of Health. But it turns out that he won't be waiting in the queue with the rest ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Secret Lives of Lakes
    McKayla Holloway The helicopter carries a team of four Lakes380 scientists and me; we hug the Gneiss rock walls that tower over Lake Manapouri. It’s arguably one of New Zealand’s most well-known lakes – made famous by the ‘Save Manapouri’ campaign of the 1970s. My chest is drawn back into ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Winning Joke: Why The Traditional Left Will Just Have To Live With Rainy-Day Robertson’s Disappoin...
    Rainy-Day Man: Is Labour’s tax policy a disappointment? Of course it is! But it’s the best the Traditional Left is going to get. Why? because Labour’s pollsters are telling them that upwards of 200,000 women over the age of 45 years have shifted their allegiance from National to Labour. (Where else, ...
    1 week ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Volume VIII
    When we last left our intrepid Drow Rogue, he was sitting in a tavern with his companions, only for a crazy Paladin to burst in, and start screaming about the Naga. It soon turned out that ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #36, 2020
    Slight tweak to New Research Articles in NR are categorized by domain, roughly. This introduces the problem of items that don't neatly fit in one slot, or that have significance in more than one discipline (happily becoming more frequent as the powerful multiplier of interdisciplinary cooperation is tapped more frequently). ...
    1 week ago
  • Pressing the pause button after an adverse event happens to a vaccine trial participant
    Today AstraZeneca pushed the pause button on its late-stage trials of a COVID-19 vaccine. A clinical trial participant has experienced a serious health event and an investigation is underway to determine the cause. What does it mean? A cautious approach – trials can halt to assess safety data With over ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • ‘Compassionate conservation’: just because we love invasive animals, doesn’t mean we should pr...
    Kaya Klop-Toker, University of Newcastle; Alex Callen, University of Newcastle; Andrea Griffin, University of Newcastle; Matt Hayward, University of Newcastle, and Robert Scanlon, University of Newcastle On an island off the Queensland coast, a battle is brewing over the fate of a small population of goats. The battle positions the ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Is Euthanasia a health priority for New Zealand at present?
    Dr Ben Gray* This blog discusses what will be needed to operationalise the End of Life Choice Act in the event that it is approved at referendum. It argues that this will take significant resources. Judging by the experience in Oregon it is likely that this may only benefit ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Tuhia ki te rangi: a new space for student science communication
    Nau mai, haere mai – welcome to our newest addition to Sciblogs: Tuhia ki te rangi. Over the eleven years Sciblogs has been operating, the face of science communication has changed dramatically. Where a decade ago there was a burgeoning number of scientists and other experts looking to stretch their ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    1 week ago
  • If not now, when?
    I'm grappling with my sheer fucking anger over Labour's pathetic tax policy. Yes, it utterly contradicts their pretence of being a "centre-left" party and shows that they have no interest whatsoever in fixing any of the problems facing New Zealand. Yes, its self-inflicted helplessness, which will allow them to cry ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • TikTok suicide video: it’s time platforms collaborated to limit disturbing content
    Ariadna Matamoros-Fernández, Queensland University of Technology and D. Bondy Valdovinos Kaye, Queensland University of Technology A disturbing video purporting to show a suicide is reportedly doing the rounds on the popular short video app TikTok, reigniting debate about what social media platforms are doing to limit circulation of troubling material. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Is that it?
    Labour announced its tax policy today: a new top tax rate of 39% on income over $180,000. And that's it. No intermediate rate between the current top rate of 33% at $70,000 and the new one. No land tax. No wealth tax. Nothing (in fact worse than nothing, because they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Methane is short-lived in the atmosphere but leaves long-term damage
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Methane is a shorter-lived greenhouse gas – why do we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Community Values
    Most mornings, when we’re at home, my wife and I will have coffee on our deck. I am the barista of the household and I make the coffee, the way we like it, on our espresso machine. This winter we have sat with our coffee, day after day, in glorious ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
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