Open mike 19/01/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 19th, 2024 - 111 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

111 comments on “Open mike 19/01/2024 ”

  1. Robert Guyton 2

    The Crown…"prioritised European land owners' interests to the disadvantage of Māori land owners"

    Was that a "Crown thing, a pākehā thing, a coloniser thing or a farmer thing, I wonder?
    To whom do we sheet that kind of behaviour?

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      Yeah, you got the right questions. One could perhaps deem it a commons thing: the state created a ludicrous situation in the colonial era, and in our neocolonial era the view we all hold in common is that democracy is incapable of fixing it.

      The proof of that lies in the track record of govts: a century of leftists & rightists working together in collusion to evade the problem is extremely compelling.

      It’s totally understandable that everyone still believes in democracy despite the evidence: you just ignore the evidence and everything's fine. Who could ignore such universally-successful magical thinking?

      • Pat 2.1.1

        I'll bite

        "It’s totally understandable that everyone still believes in democracy despite the evidence: you just ignore the evidence and everything's fine. Who could ignore such universally-successful magical thinking?"

        By all means describe a better alternative…..and then convince enough people your proposition will improve things.

        • Dennis Frank

          Persuasion usually doesn't work, so I leave it to those motivated to give it a go. In respect of Maori figuring there's got to be a better way (than a century of failed democracy), the wisdom of that crowd ought to prevail.

          Complaining about the Crown's behaviour hasn't solved the problem, so they ought to apply diy…

    • Tiger Mountain 2.2

      All four surely, maybe five, add in tory sheep shaggers.

      “infamy, infamy–they’ve all got it in for me”
      Carry on Cleo 1964

      It is usually one step up and two steps back for Māori interests in this country.

    • bwaghorn 2.3

      Crown, colonialism, and farmer where one in the same back then I believe.

      • Robert Guyton 2.3.1

        Indeed. And now..?

        • bwaghorn

          Most of them are that busy trying to keep their heads to gather while the hamster wheel spins faster they haven't got time to think.

          But on an ancadata front I recently got half a story about a farmer offering easement to a large piece of landlocked moari land but the vogons made it so hard everyone gave up,

  2. Dennis Frank 3

    Luxon's triad:

    Luxon says he wants his MPs focused on three things.

    That's sensible. Best way to wean simpletons off binary thinking is to make them focus on 3 not 2.

    First was a focus on the electorate. "I want you to be focused on the needs of your people, build those relationships across the local government, build those relationships across iwi, build them across the different community groups and the different businesses that are in your electorate, have presence and be very present in your electorate, take time to explain the problems and the reality that we're facing. Most importantly, take the time to explain how we're going to resolve that, how we're going to solve those problems.

    Building local community relations grounds your identity in their view of the world, and explaining how to solve problems differentiates the Nat brand from Labour.

    Second, he called for a focus on the work of Parliament. "We've got lots of new MPs, and we've talked a lot about it and recent caucus meetings, but make sure you become good Parliamentarians. You know, learn the House, learn Parliament, make diligent contributions."

    Finally, he urged the MPs to work together. "We've made immense progress over the last two years on because we've built a high performance team. And as I've said, from day one, politics is not an individual sport, politics is a team sport. We all play positions on our team.

    Playing as a team with due diligence also recycles traditional wisdoms. The vital thing is not doing anything clever or new – that would destroy conservative authenticity – but they all already know that anyway. Back to the future again…

    • Anne 3.1

      Corporate speak from someone who thinks he knows all the answers but who, in reality, doesn’t know much apart from how to make a bob or two.

      What he's telling them is what MPs have been doing since God made little apples. Sure, some are better at it than others but anyone who has to be told those things shouldn't be there.

      Finally, he urged the MPs to work together. "We've made immense progress over the last two years on because we've built a high performance team. And as I've said, from day one, politics is not an individual sport, politics is a team sport. We all play positions on our team.

      He'll probably have them performing ritualisitic type bonding sessions before each caucus. sad

      They've built a high performance team? With a few exceptions, I think they will prove to be a bunch of mediocres whose sole purpose is to look good on the debating chamber benches and wouldn't be capable of a complete original thought between them.

    • Muttonbird 3.2

      Being present in the electorate and learning parliament seem to competing priorities. One of the two, or both, will be diluted. Who knew?

    • George 3.3

      This is the interesting bit

      "take time to explain the problems and the reality that we're facing. Most importantly, take the time to explain how we're going to resolve that, how we're going to solve those problems.

      " It reads to me that it's like an old sales pitch from a vacuum cleaner salesman – identify (invent) a problem that your product can solve so you can sell the story that you solved it and attach it to the madam has a deep pile carpet that no matter how much you vacuum with a conventional cleaner won't be clean EVER and you NEED to have this thing the size and price of a truck to fix that problem – which didn't exist until he arrived at the front door and told you. Business is not like politics.

  3. Robert Guyton 4

    What will this Government be known for, asks Nick Rockel;

    "So far it looks like cancelling things and changing names… but is it really what Kiwis were expecting when they voted to get the country, “Back on Track”?"

    Well, Nick, yes, I think that is what many of those who voted NACTFirst hoped for; cancelling things and changing names.

    • James Simpson 4.1

      I agree with you Robert.

      National didn't promise to do anything positive or new. It was simply "we will cancel, repeal or stop stuff".

      I am not entirely sure what the hell they will do once the 100 days are up and they have completed their 'stop stuff' campaign.

      • Chris 4.1.1

        They'll then look to dismantle anything that works so they'll have a fresh set of problems they can say they're going to fix.

      • Cricklewood 4.1.2

        I suspect Act will be more than willing to fill that vacuum and no doubt Winston will hop on the bandwagon if it helps get a pet project or 3 across the line.

      • George 4.1.3

        James Simpson – I think the media are closely watching that very large and cavernous space.

    • Ad 4.2

      Maybe a term of just stabilising the country, repairing what needs repairing, and otherwise not trying too hard is what we need.

      • Robert Guyton 4.2.1

        Don't try too hard, don't rock the boat, because the wide-world is a benign, stable place, demanding nothing of us, except holding the line, sticking to our knitting.


      • bwaghorn 4.2.2

        When have this bunch ever repaired anything, the great undoing is this lots legacy, aucklanders are doomed to another 15 years atleast of idling their life away in their cars, now the light rail is dead, and I bet bo 2nd crossing come either.

  4. Dennis Frank 5

    Mental health is relative to normalcy. Who wants to be a norm?

    New Zealand’s first ever Minister of Mental Health, Matt Doocey, will be busy putting together a work programme for his return to Parliament at the end of summer. Labour failed to deliver on their promise of transforming mental health in their six years of power. What will be different about National’s approach and what advice will he be getting?

    Firstly, he will need no reminding that mental health will not be moving off the agenda. We are now a knowledge-based economy, and conditions that impact the way we think, feel and interact with others – the essence of our mental health – will continue to touch the lives of all New Zealanders.

    Current services, which remain largely unchanged since our asylums were decanted in the 90s, are no longer fit for purpose. These one-size-fits-all institutions were transplanted into the community but have retained their paternalistic and isolated ways. Mental illness now impacts one in five of us every year and half of us over our lifetime, and we need a suite of services and options to meet our needs that are fully integrated into the mainstream of health provision.

    Gosh, it's almost as if the prospect of reform looms. How ghastly a thing for a conservative to be forced to contemplate. A sad fate. Yet they do say `cometh the hour, cometh the man'. Judging by the state of that English, they've been saying so for quite a while. Maybe it means his time has come.

    • gsays 5.1

      Not meant to be a diversion from what you are highlighting, but…

      I am reminded of the observation of Jiddu Krishnamurti ; “It is no measure of health to be welladjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

      Politically, economically, socially, by any measure, we live in a sick society.

      Aotearoa grows enough food to feed it's citizens amply. Yet, foodbanks are in greater demand. Working folk need welfare to 'get by'. Ecosystems are collapsing and flora and fauna are disappearing at a great rate.

      Mental ill health and the profoundly mentally ill are on the increase.

      I'm not pretending to have all the answers, but, again the answer is local. Share your food, your time, your love.

      This next sentences are probably a tad irresponsible, as I am gonna pop out for most of the day but here we go anyhow.

      The sick society aspect raised it's head for me back in 2007/8. Personal circumstance and growth, the state of the world etc, I was made aware of the Free man on the land concept. Quite possibly closely linked to the current manifestation of the Sovereign Citizens.

      When society is so broken; rising inequality and growing poverty, a big disconnect between the work done and the renumeration received (Covid and our essential workers care givers, nurses, home help etc), vs CEOs of companies or bankers and bank profits. Seemingly the only tool is to vote every three years to get a regime of a slightly different hue. Made a mockery when one considers the influence and hold of the trucking lobby, for instance.

      There can be a desire to question, if we live in a free society, are we free to leave it? What happens when a flesh and blood human being does not have a birth certificate? . The person is the legal subject or substance of which rights and duties are attributes. But not every human being is a person as was the case in Old England when there were slaves.

      I have no desire to convince anyone nor defend the worst of those that claim sovereign citizen status. (Lots that I have seen are putting the cart before the horse and shooting their mouths off. After all Jesus said, go quietly amongst your people.)

      At the heart of it, was to be let love be the rule. Where there is love, there is no law. Where there is law, there is no love.

      Edit; if you wanna have a looksie yrself try googling Robert-Arthur:Menard Freesoul-on-the-Land

      • Robert Guyton 5.1.1

        Geewhizz, gsays, that's a big reveal!!

        I hope that when you return, you'll be ready to defend your quarter 🙂

        I attended a meeting of would-be, wanna-be Sovereign Citizens. I listened to their spiels. I asked some straightforward questions. I nearly got lynched!

        There were crackpots aplenty at that meeting. Each of them went on to protest Covid measures, some at Parliament, a couple were arrested.

        Can we know a person by the company they keep 🙂

        I wasn't invited back.

        • gsays

          Heh, I imagine akin to turning up to a Biodynamic growers meeting espousing the benefits of potassium, nitrates and phosphorous.

          If yr opinion is that the last Labour government wasn't so bad, this isn't for you.

          • Robert Guyton

            I didn't espouse anything at all, I just asked a couple of questions. Perhaps I could ask you? One woman described what to do and say when stopped by police; refuse to comply, make the Sovereign Citizen statement, show the certificate of exemption etc. She was adamant the police would wave her through. I asked if she thought the police might have discussed this possibility, given there had already been some instances and might have decided to simply arrest the Sovereign, despite their protestations. This flummoxed her mightily. and she left to her feet etc.

            Where do you stand/sit on the issue of exemption from the laws of NZ?

            • Visubversa

              The halfwits up the road from me have a bunch of signs on the gates saying that you are not allowed on the property unless you have a specific invitation. I bet the Police will just walk past it. They are there quite often as the "affordable accommodation" has a bunch of people with "ankle bracelets" so they will be doing bail checks.

            • weka

              I understand what gsays is talking about. Most of their comment was about the social and political conditions that have given rise to the movement.

              I have friends who are into that stuff. I don't talk to people locally about it because I value the friendships, and because some of it is irrational. Of course the police are doing to arrest a free man if they have cause. That's just basic power analysis.

              The one that gets me is the faith in the position despite the evidence (I think gsays calls this cart before the horse, but it's also a lot of deception on some level).

              However, those people aren't wrong about the state of society. Call them nutters, but are they any more fucked up than successive governments that have resisted meaningful climate action? The main differences I see there are around who has power and who knows how to play the mainstream game in wielding that power. There are some who are batshit crazy too, but it's now how I would characterise the movement generally. They're just counter culture instead of NACT MPs.

              • Robert Guyton

                Sure you mean't not how…

                I believe I know what gsays means also, in the same way I believe I know what the anti-vaxxers mean, what the terfs mean 🙂 but it's the inability of those people holding those views to bat ideas about that don't fit the rigid confines that come with those positions that gets me; get a word wrong and all hell breaks loose 🙂

                The Soverigns though – Cooneys all 🙂

                • weka

                  I'm highly confident that you don't actually know what Gender Critical Feminists mean, based on seeing what you have said on TS.

                  If you use terms like terf and cooney, I will moderate. Please stop with this, it says clearly in the site Policy that tone or language that has the effect of excluding others is not acceptable. I don't want a semantic argument about this, I've cut you a fair amount of slack on this already, but now the demeaning and dehumanising language has to stop. It's akin to flaming, and as far as I can see its usage is exactly to exclude people.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    Sovereigns too?




                    It's a tangled web we weave!

                    • gsays

                      Bro, from where I sit it's less the words it's the attitude behind them.

                    • weka

                      As I said, I'm not interested in semantic argument.

                      I've watched you for a number of weeks using language that is either inflammatory or insulting to people that comment here. I'm asking you to stop because I don't want to moderate.

                      If you don't understand where the boundaries are here, please ask in a straightforward manner using whole sentences.

                  • Robert Guyton


                    You seemed to think "Gunnites" might be okay.

                    Liz Gunn's real last name is Cooney.

                    • weka

                      All I'm seeing is you ignoring moderation Robert. For the third time, I'm not interested in a debate about semantics. If you don't understand the boundaries, please ask as I suggested above.

                    • weka

                      and to pre-emptively clarify, the word cooney is a US pejorative. Most people won't know that it is also Liz Gunn's previous name. My reading right now is that you were making a play on words, and understood the pejorative well enough. I'm thinking that because in this whole conversation for the past weeks you've just shifted from one pejorative to another. I've explained the problem a number of times, you keep ignoring it.

                      And this is exactly the problem. Maybe you think it's a lighthearted thing, but a mod is starting to get pissed off at having to waste our time. Again.

                      Second rule of moderation, don't waste the mods' time. This is why you got banned last time. You took a position of not having to work within moderation of the site.

                      It's personally horrible for me, because I consider you an online friend.

                      I've offered you a relatively easy way through this. Ball is in your court.

                    • lprent

                      Robert, I'd suggest that you listen to weka. It isn't what you're arguing that is the issue – it is repeatably using silly slogans without context or argument.

                      Using words for effect occasionally is one behaviour, using them repeatably is a whole different one and one that the moderators (including me) watch for.

                      Even a damned tree-fornicator should be able to understand that. 🙂

                  • Robert Guyton

                    " My reading right now is that you were making a play on words, and understood the pejorative well enough."

                    I wasn't, I didn't. No matter, I understand the situation, thanks.

            • gsays

              ”Where do you stand/sit on the issue of exemption from the laws of NZ?”

              Yr not gonna like this.. when you operate from love there is no need for law.

              • weka

                how does that work with rapists?

                • joe90

                  Or the rich?


                  Combined wealth of 5 richest billionaires…

                  In 2020: $405 billion

                  Today: $869 billion

                  They got $14 million richer…every single hour.

                  Meanwhile, 60% of the global population has become poorer since 2020.

                  Inequality is eating the world alive.


                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    The story of Master of Paxwax, Mann's second book, centers around the life of Pawl Paxwax. Pawl – and his name is significant – is the second son of the Fifth Family in a galaxy-wide empire ruled by Eleven Great Families.

                    Top 10 Wealthiest Families in the World

                    • At $305 billion, the Al Nahyan family—oil tycoons, politicians, and royalty—is the richest family in the world.
                    • The Waltons are the second richest family in the world with a fortune estimated at $259.7 billion thanks to their massive stake in Walmart (and only recently, in 2023, were usurped by the Al Nahyan family for the top spot.)

                    NZ GDP (2022): $248 billion.

                    It's a ‘funny’ old world.

                • gsays

                  Clearly with rape there is no love.

                  There is law for that.

                  • weka

                    can you explain that a bit more please? I'm obviously not understanding the adages here

                    • gsays

                      Hypotheticals are wonderful.,,

                      I am not 100% sure what yr question is.
                      Parrotdog may or may not have something to do with that.

                    • weka []

                      Gsays: … At the heart of it, was to be let love be the rule. Where there is love, there is no law. Where there is law, there is no love

                      Robert: ”Where do you stand/sit on the issue of exemption from the laws of NZ?”

                      Gsays: Yr not gonna like this.. when you operate from love there is no need for law.

                      Weka: how does that work with rapists?

                      Gsays: Clearly with rape there is no love. There is law for that.

                      How I took that originally was you saying that society wouldn’t need laws if everyone related from a place of love.

                      Not everyone does relate from a place of love. So we need laws. Which means the aphorism “At the heart of it, was to be let love be the rule. Where there is love, there is no law. Where there is law, there is no love” is philosophically sound but has no meaning in real life terms in society.

                      What am I missing?

                    • gsays []

                      Not missing anything as such.

                      A rapist is not operating from love. There are laws and consequences to deal with them.

                      Police have two main roles. Primarily, keeping the peace. Then policy enforcement, hence the name.

                      Rape contravenes the peace and policy.

                      A rapist can not legitimately claim freeman on the land status.

                      Edit.”Where there is love, there is no law. Where there is law, there is no love” is philosophically sound but has no meaning in real life terms in society.”
                      Correct, and that is why some seek to remove their strawman, their personhood from said society.

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.2

        I've been consciously aware of living in a sick society since I was a teenager in the 1960s, so this option seems like part of my cultural tradition (alt-Aotearoa):

        Praxis of relativism applies though, and living within/without mainstreamers (simultaneously) has long been my pragmatic response option. The oscillating blend of the lifestyle & trajectory forms a triadic function, organic.

        Whilst it was 1% of the whole back then it now seems in the region of 20%, which is apparently the critical mass threshold – so I expect an increasingly alternative future.

        • gsays

          Cheers Dennis, TBH I've had to let yr comment percolate bit.

          I reckon the 20% may be a tad high, but the commitment and enthusiasm is definitely there.

          Organisation is what is needed.

      • weka 5.1.3

        yes, local, and love. I don't see any other way out of current predicament. I don't think it's possible to have love without law, or that law inherently means no love. We have to have ways of collectively managing society, that's law. And love.

        • gsays

          Chur weka, appreciate yr elucidation above.

          I know a fully hardcore Greenie, organic and permaculture up the wahoo. Great source of knowledge and inspiration. Deals in the essence of flowers and homoeopathy.

          I wouldn't follow her to a toilet however. As grounded in her land and horses as she is, let her into the city, she is as prone to a supermarket rottisserie chicken as anyone.

          My laboured point is, none of us have it sussed and are true to our convictions. Ignore the extremes of folk, get the common ground and we are unstoppable.

          Robert and crew's initiative of the electric bus doing the produce loop in Riverton and environs is precisely the sort of thing that needs to happen.

          I don't wanna chip him for his lack of a response to a recent question about contributing to paying ACC levies or Road User Charges because it's a jolly good idea. Money/trade kept local, empowering primary producers and fresh fresh fresh. (This is my cyber equivalent of yr not wanting to talk to friends about it because you value their friendship). Just cause there is a wee wedge, no need to hit it.

          • weka

            My laboured point is, none of us have it sussed and are true to our convictions. Ignore the extremes of folk, get the common ground and we are unstoppable.

            Completely agree. One of the reasons why I keep my relationships with people I disagree with going as much as I am able.

        • Obtrectator

          Good ol' Aleister put it like this: "Love is the law: love under will". (I'll just have to wear any ticking-off.) Elucidations/interpretations abound all over the web.

          • weka

            are the free man/sovereign movements referencing Crowley? Because that would put a new and important spin on things.

            • gsays

              I've never heard Crowley come up in these circles. It has been a while since I investigated it though.

    • George 5.2

      "Current services, which remain largely unchanged since our asylums were decanted in the 90s, are no longer fit for purpose. These one-size-fits-all institutions were transplanted into the community but have retained their paternalistic and isolated ways"

      What does retain it's paternalism is the total lack of oversight of some of the support and conditions of whaiora who live in support homes and emergency accomodations while landlords who provide these disgusting conditions rake in the cash. Some of these landlords are upstanding citizens and in my mind also responsible for the actual financial and other emotional abuse that can take place there. The community trusts that are supposed to be helping very unwell people are also coining it from both ends. It's not new and it was there under previous national governments as well. National are equally responsible for these top heavy services and the capitalist corporatisation of mental wellness in our communities which happens at the detriment of vulnerable people. They DO NOT have the right to throw stones about this they encourage it. And it needs to be stopped. Btw I work in mental health with whaiora who are the people exploited by these slumlords and fake carers. These people need to be put in the frickin stocks but they'll probably run for council instead.

  5. Rolling-on-Gravel 6

    What do you all make of this? He's rejecting Biden on Palestine.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday vowed to oppose a Palestinian state in any post-war scenario. Netanyahu’s comments underscored the growing rift between the Israeli and U.S. governments. The Biden administration has supported Israel’s offensive in Gaza, which has killed more than 24,000 people, according to Palestinian authorities, but has called on Israel to scale back its attacks and said the establishment of a Palestinian state should be part of the “day after” the war. Netanyahu, who has long opposed the formation of a Palestinian state, rejected any such notion on Thursday.

    • Rolling-on-Gravel 6.1

      A shift in thinking at the European Parliament on the topic of ceasefire.

      The European Parliament has made a groundbreaking decision to tie a call for a ceasefire in Gaza to the condition of dismantling the terrorist organization Hamas and the immediate, unconditional release of all abductees. The resolution, passed with a resounding majority of 312 supporters against 131 opponents, sets a precedent in the European stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict.

      Whatever works, I hope they find a route out of this hell somewhere.

      • Nic the NZer 6.1.1

        Sounds like the Europeans are saying no ceasefire then, but they would accept unconditional surrender by Hamas in return for ending the ongoing atrocities and collective punishment of every Palestinian.

      • SPC 6.1.2

        This sounds like a warning across the bow to Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and the Houthi as much as to Hamas.

        This is a Europe facing Russia in Ukraine without much American help this year (and next year maybe), and letting everyone know they will not be heavied, by attacks on their shipping, into supporting a cease-fire and allowing Hamas to continue as they have been.

        If the Hamas political wing does not find shelter in the PLO, it looks they are going into exile when the PA (and if they refuse …. ) takes over Gaza.

    • Ad 6.2

      Blinken has enabled untagged weapons delivery to Israel and hence lost all leverage – and doesn't seem to be worried by the loss.

      Fully consistent with stronger US withdrawal out of anything from Afghanistan to Iraq to Syria, other than naval hits and the UAE bases.

      This is what dissolving US hegemony feels like in real time.

    • SPC 6.3

      Biden needs a PA he can work with.

      A Gulf, EU/USA rebuild of Gaza based around Hamas in the PLO, the military wing dismantled and the PA back in Gaza and in control of the gun. Also parliamentary and presidential elections.

      From there two options, either a Gaza Palestine nation state (own borders, sea port, airport and economic zone) member of the UN while Israel continues to occupy the WB, or restoration of the peace process with Israel.

  6. Morrissey 7

    has called on Israel to scale back its attacks…

    What I make of that is what has been clear from the beginning of this slaughter: the U.S. supports it, but is squeamish about it. Sort of the same position it was in when it was Saddam Hussein's armourer and dipolomatic protector.

  7. Rolling-on-Gravel 8

    To bring it back to Aotearoa/NZ politics, here is the latest of what ACT is doing.

    The ACT Party has lodged a bill to put an end to trading restrictions on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. If passed, the private member's bill by ACT MP Cameron Luxton would allow retailers to keep their doors open as normal through Easter.

  8. Morrissey 9

    Jonathan Cook is a British freelance journalist formerly based in Nazareth, Israel. Like another outstanding independent, Glenn Greenwald, he used to work for the Grauniad, but he could not put up with that paper's complicity with the British state's campaigns of disinformation and its character assassination of dissenting journalists. This is his latest piece….

    Why is the real story of October 7 off-limits to western, but not Israeli, media?
    Israeli army 'ethics' chief says crimes committed by soldiers against Israel's own civilians are 'horrifying'. How is this not newsworthy for British journalists?
    Jonathan Cook
    18 Jan 2024

    The Israeli Haaretz newspaper interviewed this week the army's “ethics” chief, Asa Kasher, of Tel Aviv university, about two major incidents on October 7:

    1. An Israeli commander ordered a tank to fire into a home in Kibbutz Be'eri knowing that there were 14 Israeli civilians inside, incinerating them.

    2. Israeli helicopters fired missiles at dozens of cars with Israeli hostages inside, killing the inhabitants, again often by incinerating them.

    In both cases, the official Israeli narrative is that Hamas was responsible for these “barbaric” acts, supposedly justifying the genocide Israel is carrying out – “in response” – against the civilian Palestinian population of Gaza.

    Haaretz and Kasher ascribe these “friendly fire” incidents to Israel's classified “Hannibal directive”, which requires soldiers to stop Israelis being taken hostage at all costs. Kasher thinks – probably wrongly – that the directive was misunderstood and misapplied by commanders on the day.

    Urging an immediate investigation, Kasher says of the first incident: "How is it possible that a high ranking army official would give a command that so immediately and definitely endangers the life of so many civilians? It's just horrifying."

    And of the second incident, he says: "This sounds totally unacceptable from every aspect. Against orders. Against procedure. Against values. Against ethics. And possibly against the law."

    Efforts to re-examine the Israeli government's October 7 narrative are all over the Israeli media. Many of the families of the Israelis killed on October 7 are demanding an investigation.

    So how is it possible that the BBC and the rest of the western media keep revisiting the horrors of October 7 but never to raise these issues , even though they have been so prominent in the Israeli public space for many weeks?

    The only possible answer is that western media outlets are consciously censoring this story because it directly conflicts with the West's ideological and strategic agenda. It raises disturbing questions about western complicity in genocide. ….

    Read more….

  9. Adrian 10

    It maybe what Blinken et al are afraid of is Israel turning into a real multi player shit fight and having to find space for batcrazy fundamentalist Israeli refugees in the US who would present real problems for the Democrats in particular. It probably can’t afford to have The IDF fail.

  10. Robert Guyton 11

    " This is why a coalition government under National party hegemony is perhaps the best expression of what New Zealand’s collective identity looks like; it may not be one the centre-left likes but it is the normative expression of our collective myths in power and action."

    Oh, yeah? TheLuxon/Peters/Seymour "monster mash" is what we see when we look in the mirror?

    • Dennis Frank 11.1

      Dunno who he is but that citation only seems credible when Labour is in eclipse (like now). If Labour were to return to source to regain credibility his proposition would be tested! Nothing like a bit of pie in the sky thinking to ruffle normalcy, eh?

  11. Herodotus 12

    Seen the results of wonderful work both in the Kaikōura rebuild and the efforts with wlike seals and dolphins everywhere to be seen up the coast and plenty of vantage points on the road – well done to all involved.

    But why do visitors bring their dogs and cats to doc camp grounds where there are signs everywhere that dogs and pets are not allowed in the camp grounds at any time ?? When you book there is info of this as well as signage everywhere, how to potentially destroy all the hard efforts my many doc staff and volunteers😤

  12. Adrian 13

    Have you seen how much it costs to put them in kennels for a fortnight Herodotus ? Its cheaper to cyrogenicly freeze them and chuck them in the fridge while you're gone and thaw the buggers out when you get back.

    • SPC 13.1

      Sounds like they should just have the dog walkers come around to walk them, feed and ensure available water.

  13. Grey Area 14

    “The public service has been knee deep in this interpretation so it’s not surprising its advice mirrors this. New Zealanders want a respectful debate on the constitutional future of our country and that’s what they’ve voted for.”

    How to counter this sort of BS from Seymour? To say "New Zealanders" want and voted for a parliamentary bill on the principles of Te Tiriti implies a majority, when in fact only 8.7% of those who voted in the 2023 election voted for ACT and their divisive, racist policy.

    • Dennis Frank 14.1

      Merely a shadow-boxing play. They're taking it to first reading, to give ACT their opportunity at due parliamentary process. Nats have signalling this with the tacit flag that they aren’t intending to support it further.

      I agree Seymour's framing is naive. At most those who voted to replace the govt are okay with a public debate but I bet any precisely directed science-based sampling of public opinion would discover the proportion of voters interested in any such public debate would be around a quarter max. Too many other concerns…

      • Grey Area 14.1.1

        Agreed about the process for the bill. But I don't think Seymour's framing is naive. It's devious and disingenuous.

        And you hear it in other spaces – that "this" is what "the majority" voted for.

  14. Morrissey 15

    Just looking at its providence (the would-be Kim Hill bête noir Karl du Fresne) will be enough to alert a discriminating reader that this article will be highly dodgy at best. Five words in it, however, confirm just how dodgy it is: those five words occur at the beginning of the second sentence in the eleventh paragraph.

    Right now, the object of du Fresne's contempt is Golriz Gharaman. In the early days of the Key regime, it was Kim Hill he could not stand. Her sin? Making an unsavoury politician a little uncomfortable….

    • roblogic 15.1

      Ani O'Brien continues the same crap for natstalkzb, ignoring the facts that GG fronted up, resigned, and is fully cooperating w police. It's just a hate-fest at this point.

      Ani O'Brien: Making excuses isn’t taking responsibility (

    • roblogic 15.2

      There's a guy on Xitter 💩 who was tweeting nasty things about GG and I asked him to show some christian compassion and kindness.

      This of course earned me mockery, scorn, and insults.

      (I will be deleting X soon as it's just too toxic. Elon and Matt Walsh are slagging off therapy and suggesting that people should just harden up. Tell that to combat veterans with PTSD. The platform is awash in fakeness and abuse.)

      • adam 15.2.1

        The platform is awash in fakeness and abuse.

        Because that is how it makes money. Thank facebook for this brave new world.

        • SPC

          One of the worst is SP, but I suppose he lives in fear of the loss of his turf to Cranmer's ZB+.

      • weka 15.2.2

        Instead of deleting your account, you could try curating it. I have to go look for the abusive posts now (mostly). DM me if you want tips.

        • roblogic

          Thanks 🙂

          The one about Golriz actually hurt, the guy broke a long term cordiality in favour of malice.

          I'll take a break and think on it.

      • SPC 15.2.3

        I just glaze over D (ACT) and G (NZF) to get the zitgeist of the where the TF is these days, the corner of the paddock is the safest option – those with the wrong crowd but not as mean as those at the core.

        Our JC and MM, an odd couple – in the end a points win to JC, when MM left the GOP and became a libertarian.

  15. Dennis Frank 16

    I'm thrilled that our public service is proposing to make me a chief of the land I own. In the second of its proposed principles as it appears in the video from the Maori Party co-leader, I mean:

    It said there was a need for the legislation because the principles of the Treaty were not defined in legislation, and "their importance requires there be certainty anc (sic) clarity about their meaning.

    Parliament should be intentional n (sic) the principle's (sic) definition, and how they operate in law and society".

    Looks like they might have had a few beers first. I can imagine their glee in composing the thing: `this'll rattle the mental cage of those prats!'

    What are the chances Lux will bite? Zilch. Any aspiring aristocrat knows you widen the circle at your peril. Every capitalist knows profit-sharing must be stingy to teach hired help their place in the social hierarchy. Exceptions in Silicon Valley? Yeah, them dudes are naturally progressive. However his stance could wobble if conservatives agree their inner chieftainship ought to be acknowledged so it can then be acted out in real life.

    If so, the young guys who kept on calling me chief a few decades back may become precognitive in retrospect (no big deal as they called other guys chief too – it was echoing Maxwell Smart of the 1965 tv comedy Get Smart)…

  16. Pat 17

    An open letter from Brian Easton to the PM….which as Mr Easton is wont to do, contains some well considered advice.

    • Muttonbird 17.1

      Easton wants to do two things:

      Dilute identity by appealing to diversity within a group. Divide and conquer. Colonialism, cultural erosion and David Seymour come to mind.

      Reduce decision making to the lowest and most flawed host of democracy, local government. Extremely poor turnout consolidates power to the already wealthy.

      • Pat 17.1.1

        Obviously you didnt read the letter…..or at least one would hope not if your comment is any indication

      • aj 17.1.2

        Easton is writing this to a fundy with a gaggle of other fundies with his party who feel threatened by the very changes which Easton thinks are great. No hope.

        New Zealand is a diverse society. For over a century we suppressed this truism by relegating women to the kitchen, Māori to the pa, gays to the closet, and ignoring the role of religion in secular life. We practised majoritarianism by a group – who among other things were straight, Pakeha, Anglican, middle-class, male, rugby followers – which pretended theirs was the only acceptable lifestyle and the country should be run in their interests. Those who did not conform to this majority were ignored, treated as quaint eccentrics, or repressed.

    • SPC 17.2

      Presumably Brian Easton means well, yet he admits supporting the move to market organisation of society (from 1984) while conceding the results were poor (because of …. excuses).

      And wants the government to go further in that direction (as too does Douglas), he calls it the government not being authoritarian, not controlling from the centre (despite it being the area reformed via MMP and accountability via both financial and oversight systems) instead devolving to the more local level (without any reference to funding and capacity issues, competence and lack of media oversight/informed consent processes).

      To the extent this has been done already, we have foreign companies providing ECE for profit and Australians profiting from managing ownership of assets from older New Zealanders to foreign organised/centralised/corporate capital).

      And he wants to encourage more of this to the government, in education and health etc … . He seems to imagine a society as somehow more coherent and less divided, if managed around NGO's secular and or religious, rather than centralised government supply and delivery. It seems of a nostalgia for a time when there was a more active voluntary community – eroded by the necessity two working partners to afford housing, end of the 40 hour week – fragmentation of shift work (reducing participation) and of late, living cost pressures.

      He is encouraging the right to move where it intends to go, without thought to the consequences – just as in 1984.

      • Pat 17.2.1

        "… yet he admits supporting the move to market organisation of society (from 1984) while conceding the results were poor (because of …. excuses)."

        Although I have never seen him state it, I suspect his reasoning is that NZ as a small trading nation had no choice but to follow the international order as was being constructed by the neolibs at the time….the (….excuses) are a recognition that while we may have had little choice we could have done the transition considerably better and with less damage. (something I have seen him state on numerous occasions)

        He calls for more de-evolution of decision making as opposed to centralisation….something many here have also called for in their areas of interest…the funding and oversight are not that difficult to implement if the will is there, and are unnecessary for the purposes of the article.

        Subsiditarity is not (necessarily) privatisation and may explain why you attribute a right wing bias that is not apparent.

  17. Morrissey 18

    Jewish activists shutting down Grand Central Station to protest against Israel's genocidal onslaught in Gaza was only the start

    Rabbi's daughter Ilana Cruger-Zaken: "We're in the building. Anti-Zionist Jews are here to stay, and there's no way that Zionists can hold a meeting now without hearing us."

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