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Open Mike 19/01/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 19th, 2018 - 165 comments
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165 comments on “Open Mike 19/01/2018 ”

  1. spikeyboy 1

    The video of the apache helicopter crew laughing as they murder unarmed civillians in Baghdad that was leaked by Chelsea Manning was an event that forever changed my view of what collateral damage actually meant.

    It is well known that information is power so unsurprising that elites strive to control the public narrative and unsurprising that Manning paid such a high price. To my mind Obamas finest act was one of his last when he commuted her 35 year sentence.

    Manning has just cofirmed her candidacy for the Maryland senate race as a Democrat against the incumbent Ben Cardin. As you may expect this has gone down like a lead balloon. Partly this is because of the realisation that due to her name recognition Cardin will have to spend money rather than just sleepwalk to victory.

    So how will Cardin rise to the Manning challenge? Early indications are that the attack lines will be Manning as Russian puppet leaking to an arm of Russian intelligence (wikileaks).

    So I guess that answers the question of whether with the whole Russia thing we are dealing with WMD or McCarthyism. The perception of an evil enemy has been created and now all dissenting views get tarred with the evil enemy brush.

    I link a twitter post of Zac Petkanas relating to his views on Chelsea Manning and also a Hill article explaining his position and role at the DNC where he leads the narrative of Trump as Putin puppet



    • Stunned mullet 1.1

      The main reason manning’s candidacy has gone down like a lead balloon is that there is very strong support for the military by the US public and rightly or wrongly Manning is seen by many in the public as breaching the trust/treasonous and adding in the sex change in what is still a deeply conservative populace won’t help either.

      • spikeyboy 1.1.1

        Sorry for being unclear but I meant gone down like a lead balloon with the powerful not the general population. As regards the general population we will soon know their feelings about Manning

        • Stunned Mullet

          Ah OK – Will be interesting to see the public response in Maryland, I would expect the general public response will be less than enthusiastic.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I think you’ll be surprised.

            Trump is where he is because of his anti-entrenched power rhetoric. He’s then gone on to entrench the power of the rich even more.

            Manning actually did something against that entrenched power. And the USians do support their troops and they support people doing the Right Thing at great risk to themselves.

      • Ad 1.1.2

        Cardin is a solid left Dem with a 50 year service record in elected Maryland offices. He’ll have no problem.

        Check his Wikipedia entry for the actual record.

        • Stunned Mullet

          Yep I do sense another over hyped ‘moment of truth’ from certain sectors is on its way.

    • Partly this is because of the realisation that due to her name recognition Cardin will have to spend money rather than just sleepwalk to victory.

      Cardin’s dealings with AIPAC should ensure money’s not a problem.

    • Bill 1.3

      And to go alongside your Petkanas twitter stream, we have Neera Tanden, who’s apparently the president of the largest Democratic Party think tank in Washington re-tweeting :-

      “Senator Cardin authored and released a 200 page masterpiece on Russian influence in western elections. Suddenly he has a primary from Kremlin stooge Assange’s Wikileaks primary source Chelsea Manning. The Kremlin plays the extreme left to swing elections. Remember that.”

      The commentary on that from Greenwald runs…

      This conspiracy theory mocks itself. The idea that Vladimir Putin sat in the Kremlin, steaming over Cardin’s report on Russia and thus, developed a dastardly plot to rid himself of his daunting Maryland nemesis — “I know how to get rid of Cardin: I’ll have a trans woman who was convicted of felony leaking run against him!” — is too inane to merit any additional ridicule. But this is the climate in Washington: No conspiracy theory is too moronic, too demented, too self-evidently laughable to disqualify its advocates from being taken seriously — as long as it involves accusations that someone is a covert tool of the Kremlin.

    • Graeme 2.1

      And to put it in a new Zealand context, one word


      • Tricledrown 2.1.1

        Corporate Welfare Graeme $400 million for dodgy repairs supervised by Fletcher’s.
        Casino Capitalism the Casino Contract etc.

    • Graeme 2.2

      Another example of private sector “efficiency”


      Although the private providers would probably argue that they were providing a “better”standard and environment for their customers.

      • Stunned Mullet 2.2.1

        How is the information in that article and example of efficiency or the lack thereof ?

        • Graeme

          The only “efficiency” I can see in the private education sector is in it’s ability to extract profit out of gullible RWNJs who can’t bear the thought of their little darlings being under the influence of the State system, least their poor wee minds be corrupted by alternative views to what they get at home.

          • Stunned Mullet

            Yes yes all good, but as I said above …

            How is the information in that article and example of efficiency or the lack thereof ?

          • OnceWasTim

            …. and of course its ability to exploit foreigners from the 3rd world – aided and abetted of course with a bureaucracy (a private and public partnership) designed to lie and cheat to anyone that comes into contact with it.
            It’s almost like a Nigerian internet scam.

    • cleangreen 2.3

      100% correct Save NZ.

      National Party spin doctors (Joyce/(Hooten) was all about this PPP stuff then back as far as the 2014 election when this happend.

      Listen at the closing statement from Hooten/Boag then.


      Now we need new Labour Coalition Government to investigate the past publicly broadcast allegations made by Matthew Hooten on Radio Live against the last National Government illegal activities.

      “put these dead bones to rest”

      Specifically Hooten began rolling the ball in a ‘lively discussion’ with Miscelle Boag the past secretary of the National party.

      Mike Williams was also on this debate as the past secretary of the Labour Party also and ca recall this event during the investigations that should now take place.

      The first allegation was against the then “Minister of transport” Steven SS Joyce, who was apparently involved with a shady deal to allow his close mate’ of his who was a roading contractor to secure a multi million dollar road contract.

      But the roading contractor apparently got into a dispute with MBIE “Ministry of Bussiness Innovation and Employment” over the contract.

      The allegations can be heard here on this link to the audio on from ‘Radio live’ at that time 31/8/14.

      Mark Sainsbury hosts ‘Sunday morning’ at RadioLIVE with guests Michelle Boag, Mike Williams, Matthew Hooton & Duncan Garner 31 Aug 2014
      MP3 file

      The debarkle was AT THE 28 minute mark near the end of this 40 minute debate between Hooten and Boag.

      Mark Sainsbury says criminal charges should now be leveled and an investigastion needs to be made.

      This whole sordid event of “collusion against all political opponents” including the 2011 attack on Labour MP leader Phil Goff, (the Hanover financial ruin debarkle) and all these resulting shady deals be investigated by the new Government over these allegations since National at this time failed to investigate these inappropriate events during the sacking of the ‘Justice Minister Judith Collins and how the SIS obtained the “leaked email” – documents to fire the Minister using Whaleoil Cameon Slater and his connection with the PM and Jason Ede and PM office Wayne Eagleson as Mike Williamson is also importantly also saying on this clip he believes “an investigation is warranted”.

    • Actually, that is the benefit of PPPs – massive profits for the private sector with all the risk and extra costs landing on the public generating even more profits for the private sector.

      They’re just of no benefit to the public as they cost more and provide less service.

      • Stuart Munro 2.4.1

        Yeah … It’s not so much a problem of PPPs as such as the corruption of the government that administers them. PPPs in Korea deliver as promised or get restructured, and their CEOs investigated by the prosecution service. Strangely this make them work very hard not to bilk the greater population, and to deliver services as promised or better. Those that don’t do not survive.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Part of the problem highlighted in that article is the collapse of the private provider to bankruptcy.

          Now, when that happens should the government step in and prop up the business and thus rewarding failure?
          Should it buy out the business as the 5th Labour government bought out Transrail for an extortionate amount and thus rewarding failure?
          Or should it let the business collapse and the service it provides go with it? This way doesn’t rewarding failure as the other two do but then it’s a government service and is probably essential.

          PPPs are essentially a way to get government guaranteed profits with all the risk taken up by the government.

          If corruption is a problem, and it is, then we need better laws covering it and I can hear the screams from the RWNJs about that already. Of course, we should still put such laws and investigators in place.

          Then there’s the question of if there’s even enough scale in the country for the services provided. Is there really enough ex-government road building in the country to warrant having multiple contractors available to do it? Or are those contractors solely there because the government contracts out road building? I’m pretty sure it’s the latter which means that it’s far more efficient to simply re-institute the MoW and have the government build all their own roads.

          If the government is the sole client to keep contractors going then it’s better done directly by the government. Removes huge amounts of bureaucracy and the dead-weight loss of profit.

  2. Ed 3

    The Herald calls it ‘weird weather.’
    Rachel Stewart asks if we’re worried yet.

    Global temperature figures show 2017 one of world’s hottest years on record

    Last year was one of the hottest years ever, according to new temperature data.

    Provisional figures published by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit shows 2017 was the third warmest on record and the hottest ever without El Niño – a natural phase of the climate system that results in warmer temperatures in the Pacific Ocean.

    The global average temperature last year was about 1C above pre-industrial times, and 0.4C above the 1981-2010 average.

    The figures are released on the same day as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Nasa release their independently produced records of Earth’s surface temperatures.

    “Forget what the sceptics will tell you, climate change is real and is happening right now,” said Professor Martin Siegert, a climate change expert at Imperial College London.

    “With it comes the extreme storms and droughts experienced at historical levels across the world. This is yet another wake-up call – to develop a zero-carbon, sustainable economy before it’s too late to mitigate further dangerous climate change. Our efforts must be redoubled.

  3. Ed 4

    In the Herald.

    Want to be a vegan? Here’s how to do it, safely

    Plant based diets and specifically vegan diets are all the rage right now. In fact, vegan foods were one of the fastest growing supermarket categories of the last few years.

    It appears the promotion of plant-based lifestyles in mainstream media and among celebrity circles — think Ellen and Portia, Alicia Silverstone and Ariana Grande — is continuing to gain momentum, both for the associated health benefits as well as environmental concern and to support animal rights.

    There are numerous health benefits associated with plant based diets — lower body weights, reduced risk of developing some types of cancer, reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes and a longer lifespan.

    The health benefits associated with a vegan diet comes from a diet based largely on natural, unprocessed foods.

    • Puckish Rogue 4.1


      As we got more, our guts shrank because we didn’t need a giant vegetable processor any more. Our bodies could spend more energy on other things like building a bigger brain. Sorry, vegetarians, but eating meat apparently made our ancestors smarter — smart enough to make better tools, which in turn led to other changes, says Aiello.

      • Anon 4.1.1

        And the health benefits of bigger brains and better tools include digging up fossil fuels, population explosion, climate change, increased lead in the enviroment, WMDs and genocide…

        • Stunned Mullet

          …and music…and art..and literature……… and mathematics….. and science..so not all bad stuff.

          Ye Gods I’ve turned into PhilU

      • Robert Guyton 4.1.2

        Does it have the same effect on an individual in these advanced times, Puckish? If not, your argument is not worth a fig.

        • Draco T Bastard


          We’re still evolving after all and each generation gets smarter.

          • Macro

            Interesting link Draco! I found the comparison between average IQ scores of 1937 and 1997 (80 rising to 100) startling to say the least. *

            There is also the well known factor of secular development within a population. While it is not clear that these trends are entirely the result of improving nutrition –

            Changes in nutrition alone could not account for the trends which exceed the original socioeconomic differentials. In the United States, there have been per capita increases in the intake of protein and fat from animal sources, decreases in carbohydrates and fat from vegetable sources, and little change in caloric intake. It is not clear that these changes constitute better nutrition. The secular trends could reflect environmental improvements, specifically changes in health practices and living conditions leading to improvements in mortality rates and life expectancy. These factors are interrelated with those concerning family size. Also genetic factors, especially heterosis, may have played a small role in causing the secular trends


            * For those who are going to argue that this is a misunderstanding of IQ and the average is always 100 – go and read the link Draco provides to see how the 80 figure for 1937 is arrived at.

      • Ed 4.1.3

        What about the pressing issue of saving life on this planet?
        Does that not get factored in?

        • Puckish Rogue

          What would happen to these animals if everyone went vegan?

            • Puckish Rogue

              No Ed, what would happens to all those animals right now.

              The, probably, hundreds of millions sheep, cows, pigs, chickens and deer

              Would you have them all slaughtered and their carcasses not used

              What would you do Ed

              • Ed

                What do you think?

                • Stunned Mullet

                  No …what do you think ?

                • Puckish Rogue

                  No Ed I don’t know what you think because I’m not a mind reader, thats why I’m asking what you would do and preferably if you could answer without the use of some random youtube that has nothing to do with the question

                  • Ed

                    It is a hypothetical question as industrial farming is not going to stop this second.
                    Once it stops, it will be phased out.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Stop being a coward and answer what is a pretty straight forward question Ed

                    • Ed

                      I do not answer hypothetical questions.
                      From memory you don’t answer any questions.

                      And cut the abuse.
                      I am over it from the right wing brigade who come on this site simply to disrupt debate.

                    • Stunned Mullet


                    • Puckish Rogue

                      “From memory you don’t answer any questions.”

                      Maybe this will help


                      Red Meat to Feed Brain

                      10. Improving Memory

                      Omega 3 including the food intake of the brain that plays an important role in the development of cell membranes in the brain and neurological system signal path. Medically proven omega 3 is able to optimise the development of the brain’s memory both in children and adults. This means that better met the needs of omega 3, especially for those who find it easy to forget.

              • Tricledrown

                PR fertilizer.

          • bwaghorn

            what i want to know is how vegans would stop nz being over run with wild deer,goats and pigs if we stopped hunting them ,because short of releasing a wolf breed and probably a big cat overrun we would be , spose we could just poison them.

            • Ed

              Why don’t you become informed on the subject?
              Watch this film.

              [I’m putting you in premod until you stop spamming the site with videos. You’ve been warned about this multiple times before. If it happens again I will give a ban.

              To be clear, spamming is when you start a conversation, someone asks you a reasonable question and instead of answering that you post a link to a long video and expect them to watch it. Or worse, in this case to a trailer that doesn’t in any way address the question.

              Spamming is also posting multiple video links without context. Or just posting too many. If you are still unclear, ask and I will pick the comment up on Moderation. – weka]

            • Ed

              Some more educational material


            • Puckish Rogue

              He’d probably suggest that government cullers are sent out to kill them but under no circumstances is the meat or skins to be harvested or maybe the animals are trapped and exported

              Ahh poisoning…now theres a topic to get everyone going

              By the by I don’t know if you’ve heard of this:


              but a NZ version is going to be trialled in Canterbury and then, if successful, rolled out to the rest of the country

              • weka

                Excellent! I hope they add in an animal welfare and there is enough flexibility to give away the meat but otherwise a bloody good idea.

              • Tricledrown

                PR meat and milk will be made in labs .
                Farming will collapse as we know it.

              • bwaghorn

                in general pests are in control from what i see. although since it became next to impossible to sell wild venison there numbers could are building up massively , i’m just dying for a vegen to tell me how we would deal with it if we stopped harvesting them.

                • weka

                  rabbits are still a huge issue in the SI. Farmers now use 1080 and other poisonings are routine. It’s a requirement from some councils to control, so if you don’t poison you have to do something else. A scheme that matches landowners with shooters sounds very useful to me.

                  I agree about the vegan thing. Even putting farming aside for a minute, huge damage is done to ecosystems from rabbits alone. This is why DOC uses poison on the conservation lands, it’s very hard to regenerate native plants in many places because of the rabbits. I’ve seen places eaten back to bare soil and stone (although that’s also to do with previous land management practices like overgrazing and burnoffs). If we don’t act as the main predator of rabbits we are basically saying it’s ok for those ecosystems to be impoverished permanently, or to even die.

    • Stunned Mullet 4.2

      The health benefits of being a vegetarian/vegan are undeniable, that certain celebrities promote them is one of the poorest reasons to become vegetarian.

      I would expect the largest barriers locally to becoming vegetarian/vegan in no particular order would be:

      Cultural attitudes to food
      Perceived cost
      Perceived lack of choice/taste
      Satisfaction with current diet

      • Ed 4.2.1

        There is also the more urgent issue of saving our planet.
        And the moral imperative of animal welfare.

      • mauī 4.2.2

        You are part of the problem blocking a no meat world.

      • Anon 4.2.3

        Actual cost (especially when you include spoilage), the huge hurdle to adapt (I’ve involuntarily vomited nearly every vegetable I’ve ever eaten). But sure, for those who can afford the mental, physical, and financial toll – or who don’t have it – good on them.

        • Robert Guyton

          Do you also gag on grains? Puke over pulses? Barf after bananas and hurl on hummus?

      • Psycho Milt 4.2.4

        The health benefits of being a vegetarian/vegan are undeniable, that certain celebrities promote them is one of the poorest reasons to become vegetarian.

        Two things:

        1. Being a vegan is detrimental to your health – you have to work pretty hard at managing your diet to maintain even a semblance of good health as a vegan, which is one reason people tend to drop it after a while.

        2. The health benefits of being a vegetarian require context. Yes, being a vegetarian is way healthier than a standard western diet of refined carbs and fat, but that has little to do with meat consumption or the lack of it. The typical Masai warrior of a few hundred years ago rarely ate a vegetable but could snap your typical vegetarian like a twig.

        • Ed

          Completely untrue. I quote from the article I posted at 4.
          “There are numerous health benefits associated with plant based diets — lower body weights, reduced risk of developing some types of cancer, reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes and a longer lifespan.”

          Watch this as well

          • Psycho Milt

            “There are numerous health benefits associated with plant based diets — lower body weights, reduced risk of developing some types of cancer, reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes and a longer lifespan.”

            Compared with the high-carb standard western diet, yes. But lots of us non-vegetarians don’t eat that diet. There are no health benefits for us in a vegetarian diet, just crappier food and extra work to get decent nutrition.

            • Macro


              • weka


                Lots of vegans have health problems after the first few years. I’m sure some people can do ok on vegan diets long term, although we don’t know how that plays out over the really long time frames. Most people need animal products in their diet in some form.

  4. You_Fool 5

    Ahh, a Herald article that everyone can complain about

    New Zealand’s first man receives welfare check

    A title designed to lead to confusion over if the First Man is receiving public money, but it actually being a fluff piece on Clark Gayford so people can get upset about low level news designed to have positive news about our lovely PM (whilst ignoring ow the previous PM’s got the same quite a lot)

    • Anon 5.1

      Not a welfare cheque though ;p. Also pretty sure welfare cheques don’t exist, that you must have a bank account.

  5. savenz 6

    God what an eyesore, did the architect reuse plans from the early 1990’s? What a shithole it looks like “Albany on sea” for the ‘fast tracked’ America’s cup.


    If only normal people got such benefits as fast tracking, but if it comes to billionaires, hobbies and sports then… all hands on board from taxpayers money, stealing the harbour and fast track consenting of an eyesore. Couldn’t they at least design something that looks architecturally sophisticated?

    I guess it is a slight step up from the shed 10 efforts/Cloud that bares no relationship to the harbour at all or each building, and has become a knic knack/bad experiences ghetto, that Aucklander’s keep away from.

    Another wasted opportunity where corporates and politicians with little imagination and skills siphon off taxpayer money and resources with crap ideas and designers to make a dollar for some corporate enterprise or grab the limelight for themselves, while pretending it will have some use for the wider public later.

    Some good public spaces in Auckland, Auckland Art gallery, The tank farm areas and Ponsonby central… all those areas humming day and night, not the ghetto’s that other spaces become.

  6. greywarshark 7

    I am thinking that you need to think about moderation and discuss with the other mods to find some way to manage it better. There are obvious cases of keeping trolls who want to upset , divide, sneer diminish not disagree and discuss.

    It would be a shame to lose the interesting minds that come here and have helped make TS the blog it is. I think it is time to democratise the moderation. I also think
    that regular writers with something to say should be able to be paused quietly when in the midst of some long obssession about the usual suspects. And let’s not have onerous PC chastisements. You are all clever buggers, you should be able to come up with a rewritten treatise for mods. The terms under which we operate everything now are changing and we have found we have to be adaptable to stay up with the flow. What is important to you, and I think having concerned, sincere, thoughtful, practical and kindly people who try to be literate and try to use the modern systems online must be, and surely you want to keep them coming and supporting the site or you could lose this.

    It seems to me we all are in a slow war. The French Revolution was bloody and dramatic, this is slower but is impacting all the same, and the nobs are trying to turn the revolution over, get their advantages and prominence back. We are getting the let them eat cake while they sleep in the cars and drink themselves silly with our welfare money stuff. We are like WW2 Resistance, who were trained to be fast thinkers and practical doers, and flexible, and were also prepared to die because what they were fighting for was freedom from tyranny.

    I think that you and the mods are important for whatever we are fighting for, the exact vision of which is unclear because of fast moving events, but the knowledge of what is already happening and what is likely to occur, should spur us on. Let all good men come to the aid of the party. All sounds a bit hysterical doesn’t it, but if we don’t stimulate those brain cells and get through to others, we are on a hiding to nowhere. TS is useful, good, and needs some changes to keep it in its premier place, and it’s your baby. So could you and the others consider changing mod practices which were drawn up early on, but the baby is now an enquiring, questioning teen ready for a Bar Mitzvah or something like that coming of age recognition.

    [from the Policy, one of the reasons for moderating,

    Abusing the sysop or post writers on their own site – including telling us how to run our site or what we should write. This is viewed as self-evident stupidity, and should be added as a category to the Darwin Awards.

    Maybe have a rethink about how you are framing your comments here. Also, the amount of work you are saying we should be doing. You could try educating yourself about how moderation and writing works here and why it is the way it is before venturing into telling us what we should be doing – weka]

    • cleangreen 7.1

      100% greywarshark; well said,

      “you need to think about moderation and discuss with the other mods to find some way to manage it better. There are obvious cases of keeping trolls who want to upset , divide, sneer diminish not disagree and discuss.”

      Agreed fully greywarshark, these trolls add nothing of any value to the uplifting of our health/well-being/quality-of life for all here and just put others off, which is their only role sadly.

      Over at Martyn Bradbury’s ‘The daily blog’ he has heavily sanctioned these trolls already.

      So we need to be mindful of keeping the discussion focused on the article we all contribute to assist the new labour coalition in making our country better to live in with a far better enjoyment of life.

      Hope we get rid of these National Party disruptive trolls finally.

    • Robert Guyton 7.2

      Could we at least sacrifice one troll? We could do it spectacularly, all pile on, beat the stuffing out of them and block their responses? That’d be a larf! Pete George already thinks we do that to him whenever he visits, poor luv. We could (metaphorically) barbecue James or give Pucky a good rogueing 🙂

    • Ad 7.3

      The left are in power so we attract the opposition.

      It’s just business Grey.

      Takes a bit to get used to after 9 years.

      I could moderate but I’d be too permissive. Plus it’s too much time.

    • Anon 7.4

      Censorship, echo chamber, and propaganda – enough on the left already beat themselves with these things.

    • tl:dr – Greywarshark doesn’t like seeing comments by right-wingers and Something Must Be Done.

      • Macro 7.5.1

        No I think Grey is musing about something completely different – but I won’t elaborate as I might get myself banned. Just have a look at yesterdays OM for background.

      • greywarshark 7.5.2

        It’s a waste of time trying to talk reasonably with some of you.

    • OnceWasTim 7.6

      “It would be a shame to lose the interesting minds that come here and have helped make TS the blog it is.”
      and “including telling us how to run our site or what we should write. This is viewed as self-evident stupidity” (moderators comment).

      Leading horses to water, and all that. We’ll see how long those interesting minds continue to visit, and whether or not they can be bothered with the dogmatic and egotistic.
      And of course, if ‘they’ (them, the other) were really committed and discontented, they’d set up their own blog apparently.

      Easier sometimes to just peruse and watch what happens.
      Anyway, for the next few weeks, I’m off to places in the third world where community, compassion, integrity, etc., (values ‘the left’ once prided itself on) still exist and are necessary for survival.

      • greywarshark 7.6.1

        Yes OwT here I and you are thinking of survival of humanity and some graciousness, and many that come here one would think, to discuss that, don’t give a tinker’s curse about it. I’ve been coming here for years and observing and thinking and writing and I don’t know if there has been the enlightenment of all and esprit de corps that I expected after all that time – seems to degenerate all the time into just a place for verbal scrapping and point scoring. Bit disappointing really.

    • greywarshark 7.7

      You could try not batting back any suggestions for alteration of your approach, and actually treat the commenters as fellow workers in a thinking community, not like students that need behaviour conditioning. It seems that you are an academic or in the teaching profession or have adopted didactic behaviour. There is a group of moderators who have for years adopted a general attitude to the blog which has had a robust flexibility, that seems to be reduced. All commenters are treated the same, with little respect for long-term commenters who have tried to add to the value of the blog.

      Not everyone can manage moderation, and that seems to create a division.
      I am thinking that there should be a level below the moderators made up of commenters who like to act responsibly.

      Anyway I have written enough now, something on OM 18/1 I think and a couple today. I seem to just strike anger in you. How dare I put my ideas forward and want them heard and considered? So I am bowing out, I am not wanted and just get my serious and sensible suggestions to develop the blog further ridiculed by others so i won’t bother further.

      [“How dare I put my ideas forward and want them heard and considered?”

      It’s all about the *how. There is a difference between sharing ideas and telling Authors/Admin what to do. I know this because I commented on moderation for years as a commenter, in some pretty tense situations, and was never moderated. I paid a lot of attention to the moderators, including very hard out moderators like Lynn. I listened to what they said, and why they did what they did, so that I could understand how it worked here.

      And yes, given the shit that’s gone down on this site in the past few years, and what that has cost people, including losing Authors, I don’t actually rate your views on moderation when they are presented in such ignorant ways. You still don’t get it and show no interest in listening to people who have a great deal more experience and knowledge about moderation here than you do.

      And yes, I am fucked off now. Because after over a day of trying to evenhandedly explain some things here about moderation I’m still having to deal with people who think it’s all about them. Fellow workers? FFS, when I see commenters taking responsibility and doing some of the mahi around here to help the site instead of treating TS as some kind of personal sand pit where their needs are paramount, I’m sure that things will be more equitable. But as it stands the more work you create for moderators the more likely they are to crack down harder. Lynn set the tone for that and it predates myself and Bill by years.

      I actually think you have some good ideas, but your framing and timing is just way way off. Take some time out, because now I am shutting this down. There is no problem with talking about moderation, but you don’t get to tell Authors what to do or how to run the site. If you can’t figure out the difference, then ask when you get back and I’ll explain it. But this has run long enough. 1 week ban. If you have a problem with that, try emailing Lynn and he can explain to you why moderation in the end is precisely about behaviour modification. – weka]

    • Ad 7.8

      Hang in there Grey I’ll stick a post up about The Standard itself shortly.

      • Union city greens 7.8.1

        Can you bring back TRP as well?

        • Ad

          and i’ll just pluck perpetual goodness out of my capacious ass.

          go get us a punchy author or two Union :-}

        • te reo putake

          Comment o’ the day, Ucg!

          Technically, I can start writing again any time (I still have an author log in) and I’m actively considering it because the TS community means a lot to me and the blog itself clearly needs a shot in the arm.

          However, the problem remains that at least two of my fellow authors (with mod powers) appear to find working class voices hard to handle. Ironic given that this blog started out intending to be a voice for the labour movement and is now appears to be almost exclusively written and moderated by folk whose exposure to workers is limited to ordering flat whites from them.

          The real sadness of the situation is that when CV and I were booted out in late 2016, losing two male authors was supposed to usher in a new dawn of women writers. TS was suddenly going to become a ‘safe space’ for women and a thousand flowers would bloom. Predictably*, that never happened, and what has happened is that other writers, male and female, have drifted off.

          I note TS is losing some terrific commenters too. When we piss off the likes of Marty Mars, the site drifts ever closer to being a blandly bourgeois bore fest.

          On the upside, we have some new talent writing. Advantage continues to delight and I can’t begin to tell you what a terrific chap Enzo is, both as a writer and an activist. Fingers crossed there are more engaging writers to come.

          So, I’m going to have a hard think this weekend about resuming writing here. Like everyone, I have other calls on my time and energy, however, I think TS is worth the effort.

          *I wrote a post, ‘Broken’, which touched on what I saw as the difficulties for women participating on blogs. I still think the post is relevant.


          [By the general agreement of the Authors in the back end last year, TRP’s login permissions are set at Contributor not Author. This means he can’t publish posts here. He can submit posts, but they will have to be approved by an Author with Editor level permissions. The dropping of his permissions to Contributor happen some time after he left the site, and it was prompted by him maligning TS off site (dropping permissions also meant he could no longer access the back end discussions but he hadn’t been involved in those for some time anyway).

          There are so many mistruths in what he just wrote. I’m not even going to begin to untangle that, because we’ve been here too many times before. Given the last time he was banned as a commenter was for telling lies about an author, it’s really hard to see how he could return as an Author now and not have the same old shit go down again.

          As far as I know there are only two Authors that have had their permissions dropped at TS – CV and TRP. TPR’s came after several years and multiple rounds of conflict that cause problems for the community, site, and authors. He is also one of the reasons why it is so hard to get women to write here.

          Had he been willing to work *with other authors here, he would know that quite a lot has been done in the background on the women writers project. I will note that he had on a number of occasions worked against women and what we are wanting to have happen here. I think this comment demonstrates that he is still largely incapable of being here without causing problems.

          I’m sure there will be discussion about this in the back end but I am going ban him now from commenting here, because of the lying and because of the potential to create the same sets of problems he was responsible for before. I also want the women’s project to largely have a free run once it gets into the public.

          12 month ban from commenting – weka]

          • Union city greens

            Second comment of the day, TRP lol

            I reckon this site needs you now more than ever.
            Hope your hard think works out for us mortals at the standard.
            Off to read that blog now. Always a pleasure, never a chore. 🙂

          • mickysavage

            The problem was your moderating … and you and CV had terrible fights …

            • Union city greens

              And rightly so, the guy was a fucking shill.

            • Bill

              There was much more to it than that Micky. But I’m fed up of reading stuff that’s just people throwing lit matches and petrol. So….end.

          • Union city greens

            [given the abuse I’ve just read in the back end in your comments sitting in moderation, I’m not even going to look at this further. 6 month ban – weka]

            [further escalating and misogynistic abuse has led to a permanent ban. – weka]

            • weka

              I’m dropping your comments into Moderation until I have a chance to look at them. You can probably expect a shortish ban for attacking Authors. I’ll put a moderation note up when I’ve had a better look.

  7. Puckish Rogue 8

    So not political at all but


    So its not enough that Seth Rogen ruins probably the greatest comic series ever written (Preacher) but know he wants to take a big, steaming dump on the best superhero parody ever (although The Pro is pretty good)

  8. Adrian Thornton 9

    Media Lens

    “A Liberal Pillar Of The Establishment – ‘New Look’ Guardian, Old-Style Orthodoxy”


    Liberal “Left” media like The Guardian are probably one of the the greatest enemies of real Progressive Left change in the west..IMO.

    • Ed 9.1

      The Guardian’s Luke Harding’s recent interview was another low by the Guardian.

      “I’m a storyteller.”
      Sums up the paper nowadays – sells a narrative .

    • Ed 9.2

      And then there was this article by Olivia Solon.
      How Syria’s White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine

      Which was brilliantly dissected here.

      someone elses text

    • Ed 9.3

      And I think Jonathan Freedland is about the worst at the Guardian.
      A pro Israel hawk, he led a non stop assault on Corbyn. He makes Josie Pagani and Phil Quinn look like mice.

      “Conspiracies don’t happen….here.”

      Jonathan Freedland, writing one of his toxic editorials in The Guardian, begs to differ. The fact that CIA didn’t release any evidence they did it…is evidence they didn’t do it, according to Freedland. His column, long on mockery and self-righteous smears but short on evidence (as usual), does nothing but demonstrate three things:

      1. He is only just barely acquainted with the facts of the JFK case.
      2. He has no faculty for basic logical thinking.
      3. He is not averse to practicing intellectual dishonesty.

      If you’ve been paying even the slightest bit of attention, none of these will come as a surprise.

      But this article isn’t about JFK – we’ve written about that before, and will do again. But not today. This article isn’t about Freedland’s aggressively uninformed opinions, his cloying prose or his ill-deserved sense of moral superiority. It’s about the world-view he’s trying to market between banner ads begging for money. It’s about his smug insistence that conspiracy theories just don’t happen.

      Or, to be more specific, conspiracy theories don’t happen…here.

      Because, despite his deep-held belief that Conspiracy Theories are dangerous, he certainly believes in a lot of them. He thinks the Russian Government poisoned Alexander Litvinenko. He thinks Vladimir Putin had Boris Nemstov shot. He thinks Russian banks have been backing the far-right in Europe and supported Brexit. And he thinks the FSB “hacked” the American presidential election in order to get their Manchurian candidate elected.

      Buzz in when you spot the connection.

      These are all, by definition, conspiracy theories – but they are also all things done by the other. Conspiracies happen over there. They are done by the bad guys. We don’t do them.

    • Ed 9.4

      A beginner’s guide to the Guardian

      The Guardian newspaper is a limited company and has been since 2008 when the Scott Trust was wound up and replaced by The Scott Trust Ltd, which appoints a board comprised of bankers, management consultants, venture capitalists and other classic left-wingers. The paper itself is written nearly exclusively by elite-educated members of the upper middle class. The viewpoint you would expect to come from this privileged set-up is what you do get.

      Murray McDonald, in his Hidden History of the Guardian, explains that The Guardian was launched to undermine working-class leaders of the early 19th century reform movement (whose members were massacred at Peterloo), and during its 150 year history has denounced Ireland’s freedom fighters, Women Suffragettes, Abraham Lincoln’s campaign to end slavery, third world nationalism and pretty much any kind of genuine independence from the system. It supported Tony Blair, even when the worst of his crimes were known and continues to give him uncritical space, it regularly presents official pronouncements as news, regularly disguises adverts for its corporate sponsors as news and regularly finds time to pour bile on Jeremy Corbyn, Julian Assange, Media Lens and Noam Chomsky, who was so appalled by Emma Brocke’s infamous and outrageous distortions he forced them to print a long retraction.

      In short, The Guardian is far to the right — just read a few articles by Nick Cohen, Jonathan Freedland or Michael White (with whom I had some correspondence a few years ago about thought-control in his paper) if you doubt where on the actual political spectrum the UK’s ‘leading left-liberal newspaper’ is situated.

  9. Ad 10

    Brian Fallow calls out business on their pro-National and anti-Labour government bias, clearly feeling so miserable about their businesses when unemployment, inflation, economic growth, interest rates, and bunches of other stuff are going so well for so long in New Zealand:


  10. adam 11

    Is anyone else quietly worried about the commodification of space?


    Or that private companies are adding the spy networks?


    It’s feeling more and more like “in the mirror darkly”, rather than “to boldly go”.

    • Sam 11.1

      I’m worried to the extent that space travel becomes so cheap that people with overgrown lawns and hoarders become those nasty Martian neighbours from hell you see on TV… Overwhelming the criteria for gaining a seat on a shuttle is so high it weeds out the unfit. Unless some one makes a nano sky crane to space I just don’t see how it’s economically viable to get those commodities back on solid ground.

      Although military commanders do accept that the first person to colonise the moon will be the most powerful man in the solar system. Because unlike earth bound natives who have to spend vast resources getting weapons systems to the moon, any one who colonises the moon can just chuck devastating rocks back at us for free basically.

      So there are problems and we don’t really want nasty neighbours from hell.

      • McFlock 11.1.1

        Yeah, but if we can support a moon base to the point it’s sustainable, similar players can still obliterate the moonbase or its mother country. And if the moonbase is big enough to declare independence, the major nations down here will have the ability to put counter-battery fire in orbit. Even in the 1970s it would have been technically trivial to convert a rocket motor turbopump into a turbogenerator for a decent rail gun

        Same fucking “game”, bigger scale.

  11. eco maori 12

    Mr Peters will become the first Maori Priminster even only for 6 weeks this is a good thing for Maoris culture and Mana Ka pai. There is going to be a lot of howls from all the neoliberals racist bigots they can go get_____LOL. I’m happy that my Ngti Porou IWI has taken down shonky keys photo teno pai.
    Now my Maori culture people know this if any dum stuff goes down at Waitangi this year I won’t be as polite as I have been with other Maori issues I have involved myself in. Ka kite ano

    • JanM 12.1

      I think, with this cool government, that you’ll find that Waitangi this year will be the celebration it’s meant to be. Ka kite

  12. joe90 13

    Following Pelosi releasing the Senate version, Nunes has released the House Intelligence Committee testimony by Fusion GPS.

    Okay, politikids. Grab thyselves a beverage and settle in.I just careened through 180-pages of House Intel Committee testimony by Fusion GPS and it was just chockablock with tasty bits.Let's hit the buffet.1/— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) January 19, 2018


  13. Mack 14

    This Dave Kennedy needs to harden the f. up and get real. It’s weather, not climate, you looney true believer. Start reading here…
    Amongst all this, take particular note of this comment and link….
    If confusion still exists in his mind that there is no atmospheric “greenhouse effect” ,the penny should finally drop with this comment….

    [I don’t allow climate change deniers on posts I put up, especially not ones that can’t pass even a basic test of manners in a new place to a guest post.

    I also note that following your first link takes me to a page that is a comment by you that has a link to another page that is a comment by you, and eventually ends up at a climate change denier site. Way below the standard of debate that is acceptable here. Claims such as you are making require actual evidence. I’m moving this to Open Mike, you might find someone who will debate with you, personally I think it’s an utter waste of time. btw, have a read of the site Policy. – weka]

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  14. R.P. Mcmurphy 15

    deafening silence on legalising marijuana.
    the dompost can run a front page confabulating P with cannabis all mixed up and a million fallacies of composition to write a crummy ad for the justice industry but their standards have fallen into the abyss and it is to be hope that a progressive government will do the right thing immediately.

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