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Open Mike 19/12/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 19th, 2017 - 342 comments
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342 comments on “Open Mike 19/12/2017”

  1. Ed 1

    Scale of ‘nitrate timebomb’ revealed

    ‘The scale of damage nitrates will cause from current intensive farming is only going to increase over time as they filter through to drinking water supplies across New Zealand.

    We need action now to limit herd numbers across the country.’


    ‘Huge quantities of nitrate chemicals from farm fertilisers are polluting the rocks beneath our feet, a study says.

    Researchers at the British Geological Survey say it could have severe global-scale consequences for rivers, water supplies, human health and the economy.

    They say the nitrate will be released from the rocks into rivers via springs.

    That will cause toxic algal blooms and fish deaths, and will cost industry and consumers billions of pounds a year in extra water treatment.’


    • Johan 1.1

      Indeed, all those concerned people knew this a long time ago, and also that pure water would become a highly priced commodity, thanks to the greedies.
      Better encourage ex-politicians to start and manage water bottling plants, draining our aquifers, after all Shonkey said no one owns the water.
      Oooops, that been done already, and isn’t Jenny ripping us off again and again?

    • Sabine 1.2

      it’s ok, we will all drink milk.

  2. Ed 2

    ‘Global warming may be turning the Arctic Ocean inside out’

    ‘There’s something special – and very counterintuitive – about the Arctic Ocean.
    Unlike in the Atlantic or Pacific, where the water becomes colder as it gets deeper, the Arctic water becomes warmer as it gets deeper. The reason is that warm, salty Atlantic-originating water that flows into the Arctic from the south is more dense, and so it nestles beneath a colder, fresher surface layer that is often capped by floating sea ice. This state of “stratification” makes the Arctic ocean unique, and means that waters don’t simply grow colder as you travel farther northward – they also become inverted.
    But in a paper in Science released on Thursday, a team of Arctic scientists say this fundamental trait is now changing across a major part of the Arctic, in conjunction with a changing climate.
    “I first went to the Arctic in about 1969, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Eddy Carmack, a researcher with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and one of the study’s authors. “Back then we just assumed the Arctic is as it is and it will be that way forevermore. So what we’re seeing in the last decade or so is quite remarkable.”


    ‘Paul Beckwith describes this most serious of positive feedbacks in which a reversal in the Beaufort Gyre means that rather than ice being taken via the Fram Strait into the Atlantic warm water from the Pacific is being taken into the Arctic Basin via the Bering Strait.’


  3. eco maori 3

    One of my clients had enough of the attention that these people were giving her because of there obsession WITH ECO she was Indian so she moved out and the new tenants he is A south African. My nan taught me be ware of a stranger bearing gifts this numdy brought me a coffee while I was mowing I kindly refuse his offer. Two weeks later he has a trailer and the wrong ride mower on as the make is rubbish I just keep to myself then he got a big rubbish van I laughed because I new that was going to blow up and one day this south African was following me around all day I just ignored him because I no who put him up to this he was very nervous. And what do you no one day when I was mowing the neighbours lawn he is towing the rubbish van back it’s parked up now. These muppets would have told him get into lawns an it won’t be long and we will have locked up this idiot ECO Maori we no all his clients so we will refer them all to you .
    There moves are so easy to read they sit there playing with themselves planning to take down ECO MAORI IDIOTS. Ana to kai

  4. Andre 4

    A bit of a look into how the smear machine operates, using the propaganda attack on the Syrian White Helmets to illustrate the workings.


    • DH 4.1

      The world would be a better place if Russia was cut off from the internet.

      • Andre 4.1.1

        It’s not just Russians. Though they may have been moderately successful early adopters, the techniques are useful to anyone with an interest in pushing a dishonest message. Or even just obscuring reality with a pile of bullshit.

        • DH

          True, but they’re the dominant propaganda force and the rest would fade away if Russia were gone.

          They’re also the biggest crooks on the internet, responsible for most of the spam, malware and other ‘net attacks on the general public.

          • Andre

            “…dominant propaganda force…”

            Personally I’d hand that title to the Republicans, Nats, Fox News and related organisations that have successfully sold about half the public on ideas that only benefit the 1% and screw the rest of us. But hey, different priorities …

            • DH

              Can’t see your reasoning there, it wasn’t Fox News who got Trump elected was it.

              • Andre

                I see Trump as just the surface manifestation of the disease underneath.

                If there hadn’t been decades of people and organisations trashing ideas of objective reality, openly and unrepentantly spouting outright lies, happily discarding anything that looked like principle just for the sake of winning, promoting ideas that all opinions are equal etc, then I don’t think the Russian efforts would have got anywhere near the traction they did.

                • DH

                  Still can’t see your reasoning. The likes of Fox News are heavily outnumbered in the US by the liberal press. NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, LA Times and many others … all anti-Trump.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    You’re quite correct: you are unable to see Andre’s reasoning. Hint: it isn’t about the quantity of news media you can identify as “liberal” or “conservative”.

              • cleangreen

                DH + One Anonymous bloke = “concerned troll alert” – beware of dribble here.

        • Bill

          And the irony that you’re blind to one of the time honoured techniques that is used by those with an interest in pushing a dishonest message or of obscuring reality with a pile of bullshit isn’t lost over here.

          (Hint: the Guardian piece is an illustration of it)

      • James 4.1.2

        A while back some people on here were calling the Internet a human right.

        Now you want to cut an entire country off it.

        • Bill

          The internet has the potential to undermine “official” lines – ie, liberal propaganda (both left and right wing btw).

          So throw up a bogey man (Russia) and demonise everyone who isn’t “toeing the line” by tarring them with one of two brushes – alt right or influenced by Russia.

          I noticed the piece Andre linked to contained nothing much beyond baseless assertions and character assassination. But many will accept it as reasonable, truthful and accurate nevertheless.

          Meanwhile, the first steps in censorship will be shutting down those who everyone agrees to be “unsavoury”….Oh look!

          After a period of “purging” the end of net neutrality can work its magic of narrowing the scope of readily available information.

          • DH

            You might try talking to people heavily involved in internet security before you shrug the Russkies off as ‘bogeymen’ Bill

            The Russian Troll Army isn’t a figment of the imagination either.

            • Bill

              It’s 400 fucking people! And a lot of the stuff some claim to be coming from them just isn’t political in any way, shape or form.

              Kinda nice for any western elites who might be pushing bullshit to avoid justifying their position in the face of any counter factual narrative through the simple ploy of screaming “Russian!” though, innit?

              No. I guess you don’t/won’t see it that way 😉

              • DH

                The post was about how the smear machine operates Bill, using the white helmets as an example. The Russkies were the ones behind the smearing there.

                • Bill

                  There was and is no smearing.
                  There was a western creation (the White Helmets). That’s well documented.
                  They were funded by western entities (charities and governments). That’s well documented.
                  They only operated in territory occupied by jihadists. That’s well documented.
                  There was cross-over between the White Helmets and armed Jihadists (eg – Al Nusra Front/ ISIS). That’s well documented.
                  They absolutely indulged in creating propaganda pieces for western consumption (Omran Daqneesh, the boy in the ambulance, is a good example of that)
                  And their numbers are drawn exclusively from the Sunni population.

                  I’d suggest you actually go and search through the net with a critical eye. But I know you won’t. You prefer to be presented with some nicely joined dots that make for an easy colouring in picture. Life’s easy like that. And hey! They even threw in a pencil sharpener! You’re set.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    There was and is no smearing.


                  • red-blooded

                    I don’t see you documenting any of your “well documented” assertions, Bill.

                    I don’t claim any special insight or knowledge about the White Helmets. I look at the Guardian piece and see plenty of documentation, though. I look at your comment and see what looks remarkably like something that fits the description of being “propagated online by a network of anti-imperialist activists, conspiracy theorists and trolls”.

                    • weka

                      have you tried searching TS for previous discussions? (google by site search is probably better than the WordPress one).

            • One Two

              Who are you speaking ‘heavily’ with in ‘internet security’, DH

              Perhaps you can explain for this audience what ‘internet security’ is…

              No definitions…your words and explanation…

            • mauī

              The Russian Troll Army isn’t a figment of the imagination either.

              The Troll Army is certainly highly sophisticated, launching their Buff Bernie cartoon ad to “..meddle..” in an election that cost a grand total of $2 and was seen by some 54 people.


              Then they took over the Pokemon game, according to CNN they lead innocent people hunting a Pikachu on their phone to black live matter events. Obviously an outside actor trying to start some race division 😆

              The evidence is damning, what will the mediaz come up with next lol.

            • cleangreen

              troll alert = DH is dribbling again.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            We don’t have net neutrality in New Zealand.

            Interesting tool, that ‘Hoaxy”. Quite revealing. If I neither fear nor believe in bogeymen does that mean I can notice the shit that Russia does without having to listen to some patronising non-argument?

            • Bill

              The US did have. My understanding is it’s just been legislated away. Am I wrong? And I don’t know about various European countries, or what the potential effect of routing information through the US might be now.

              If you do not believe in the creation of convenient bogeymen and therefor casually accept everything “our side” says about Russia and supposed Russian interference as being true or accurate or justified, then you are most assuredly not noticing the shit “our side” does.

              That’s the important bit OAB.

              • DH

                How about you stop being an acccusatory dick and instead try discussing Bill. Russia’s use of social media as a propaganda tool is no secret, all it takes is a little bit of observation and anyone can see for themselves Russia in action. They always were clever bastards and they make the western media look like a bunch of amateurs.

                • Bill

                  You accusing me of being accusatory when I’m obviously discussing something? What you call that DH? Any body parts spring to mind?

                  “Everyone” uses whatever modes of dissemination there are for propaganda purposes.

                  • DH

                    To quote your own words…..

                    “I’d suggest you actually go and search through the net with a critical eye. But I know you won’t. You prefer to be presented with some nicely joined dots that make for an easy colouring in picture. Life’s easy like that. And hey! They even threw in a pencil sharpener! You’re set.”

                    The impact of Russian organised crime on the internet is something I’m well informed on, more so than you will ever be, And the modus operandi of the troll army I’m also very familiar with, some of the forums I’ve frequented for years have been infested with them for a long while now. But hey, what would I know, I’m not perfect like you am I.

                    • Bill

                      Net based organised crime has got nothing to do with this particular discussion. And 400 people trolling forums really isn’t an army, nor is it in any way numerically significant, or in any other way much of anything.

                      You want to see a narrative formed; a line taken and pushed by powerful actors so that opinions are shaped?

                      Then you really don’t have to look any further afield than western liberal media outlets with their connections into government (where they often enough take their cues from) and their media reach by traditional means (TV, radio, newspapers and journals) as well as their penetration via the net.

                      I thought the colouring in book was quite an apt metaphor for encapsulating your laziness and/or lack of critical thought processes btw. Posted at 9:53 – which means your supposed response to it at 9:50 is quite a feat. Either that or it simply serves to underscore my point about your apparent lack of critical thought processes.

                    • DH

                      You’re not a nice person are you Bill. You resort to bullying and aggression whenever your own world view is challenged. You strike me as a bit of a chickenshit too because I know if I decide to fight your bullying ways you’ll ban me just like you’ve done it to so many before.

                      I don’t come here for this shit, the conch is yours buddy enjoy your echo chamber.

                      [I’ve just looked in the ban list and I can’t see your name at all. You wouldn’t be so silly as to be using multiple handles here right?

                      There’s a bit of rough and tumble going on in this thread, I don’t see anyone being particularly worse than anyone else. Maybe everyone could try and be more congenial? (plus the usual about not having a go at authors/moderators) – weka]

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Net based organised crime has got nothing to do with this particular discussion.


                      Unless of course the organised criminals and the state actors are the same people.

                • SpaceMonkey

                  I had the opportunity once to lead a team of Russian IT developers back in the early noughties. Head and shoulders the best coders I’ve ever worked with… simply brilliant. They hacked an encrypted security key on a product we were using “for the lulz” in about 15 minutes.

                • cleangreen


                  You are becoming vicious and arrogant BM.

                  Kill the bad act will you and get some manners as we are becommming very iritated with your accussations.

                  You are comiong over as a Nasty dictator.

                  Go and have a xmas with your family somewhere and chill out.

                • cleangreen

                  DH = is an active national troll = “conerned troll alert”

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                …and if I do none of those things that entire second paragraph is moot.

                The decision to scrap net neutrality in the US will be made in court, since various State attorneys are now suing the FCC.

            • tc

              Net neutrality is a concept that’s virtually unenforceable when the largest players like google don’t comply and specifically curate their tools to only show you ‘favourable’ sites/hits.

              If you stay with the big boys search engines (as one example) you’re already been filtered by those lovely folk to protect you from the dark side….well what they consider the dark side anyway.

      • cleangreen 4.1.3

        DH that is tommy rot and just rubbish.
        “The world would be a better place if Russia was cut off from the internet.”

        You are another McCarthy era protagonist.

        Want to back there again eh?

        If so you need your head cleared.


        • DH

          You sound like a typical user there cleangreen, never questioning how your computer or internet works just taking it all for granted.

          China is only interested in commercial and military secrets so they don’t bother us much, their hacking and security intrusions are largely aimed at different targets. Russian organised crime on the other hand is after yours, and mine, money. All that spam, the ransomware, malware and other attempts to scam our dosh.. where do you think most of it originates from? Certainly they’re not the only ones at it but they’re far & away the best at it.

          The Russian Govt gives them safe harbour, they won’t extradite or act to stop them. So, yeah, the internet and world probably would be a better place if they were cut off.

          • One Two

            You sound like a typical user there cleangreen, never questioning how your computer or internet works just taking it all for granted

            DH, for the audience…

            Explain how ‘the internet’ works…

            Explain what ‘internet security’ is…

            Explain how ‘internet security’ functions and how it could be exploited… (specifically how ‘The Russians’ are exploiting ‘the Internet’)

            Explain how you are not a ‘typical user’….

            I’m anticipating there will be much knowledge for you to share, given the bold statements you’ve been making..

            Go ahead…

          • cleangreen


            You are joking?

            I take internet for granted!!!!!!

            ‘Better without Russia on the internet’?

            DH; – Do you really think we dont know we bare being spied on by all and sundry by now?

            You cant be watching the media and the NZ scandals around our own intellegence spying on us already within our borders!!!!!

            So you are saying Russia is the bad guys here??????

            Rubbish; – tommy rot!!!

            Unbelievable is what you are.

            We cant take you seriously.

            • One Anonymous Bloke


              No, DH referred to fraud and theft. If you can’t even paraphrase their argument correctly why should anyone take you seriously?

    • One Two 4.2

      Andre, that is the opposite of ‘astute’

      You’ve been ‘had’…

    • A bit of a look into how the smear machine operates, using the propaganda attack on the Syrian White Helmets to illustrate the workings.

      Funnily enough, when I read your comment I assumed there’d be various responses under it claiming that your linked article is an example of the propaganda it describes, and sure enough, there they are.

      On the one hand, we have a Guardian article with evidence of how the “White Helmets are terrorists” stories come predominantly from a few Russian and alt-right propaganda sources, and other hand we have some claims that the Russian and alt-right propaganda is more credible because the Guardian is mainstream media. Sometimes you just want to bang your head on the desk…

      • Bill 4.3.1

        ..we have a Guardian article with evidence of how..

        Woah! Stop there. What evidence did they present? Anything? The author of the piece makes claims and devotes a wee few column inches to character assassination.

        And the claims are designed to insinuate that any serious criticism or concern about the White Helmets, or investigation into the White Helmets, is mere alt-right and/or Russian propaganda, and so can be ignored or dismissed out of hand on the grounds of being just alt-right and/or Russian propaganda which…well, if that itself isn’t propaganda, then what is?

        • Psycho Milt

          Woah! Stop there. What evidence did they present?

          Er, everything from the subheading “The research that shows the link” (bit of a giveaway there) on downwards, with the section “The mannequin challenge” providing an example to illustrate the campaign in operation.

          To that I’d as circumstantial evidence the fact that “White helmets are terrorists” stories really took off after Russia intervened on behalf of its client regime. Before that it really was just a few cranks peddling the idea.

          • Bill

            The Guardian spoke to several researchers… who said stuff, and made assertions around the meaning of their research. No links, no nothing. That’s not evidence PM.

            I remember “the mannequin challenge”. It was …bizarre. And from memory, I remember the criticism being that it was tasteless…and bizarre. (There was also some commentary on the fact that the participants ‘unfreeze’ and a sound track of sirens and people shouting kicks in.)

            I don’t recall reading anyone citing it as evidence for staged rescues. Those claims, whatever you may think of them, have always tended to sit separate from the mannequin shit as far as I know.

            You merely repeat what the Guardian article claims in regard to timing.

            Russia intervened in Syria 11 months after the founding of the White Helmets. They were founded in Oct 2014 and became active after whatever period of time was required for recruitment, training and funding

            Vanessa Beeley was running in depth stories on trying to get to the bottom of who or what the White Helmets were a full month (Sept 1st 2015) before direct Russian military involvement in Syria (30th Sept 2015)

            What I can say is, that if you’re dismissing everyone who has doubts over the veracity of the White Helmets being who or what they claim to be as cranks, then you haven’t bothered your arse to look into things.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Vanessa Beeley was running in depth stories on trying to get to the bottom of who or what the White Helmets were a full month (Sept 1st 2015) before direct Russian military involvement in Syria (30th Sept 2015)

              The most effective propaganda is when you find someone who believes it then give them support – you don’t create them from scratch.

              Scott Lucas.

              Can you explain the process by which “running stories” “gets to the bottom” of anything?

              First you publish the story, then you look for sources. Something like that, eh.

              Edi: “It was bizarre”. So what was stripping it of context and turning into into propaganda? An innocent mistake? Boys being boys? What?

              • Bill

                Maybe read the link provided OAB instead of playing silly buggers with how I’ve phrased stuff? Good boy.

              • Bill

                Edi: “It was bizarre”. So what was stripping it of context and turning into into propaganda? An innocent mistake? Boys being boys? What?

                As far as I know, that didn’t happen.

                The White Helmets put up a video that went from “frozen” to “active” and put a “post bomb” soundtrack over the unfrozen portion – that showed the two “rescuers” carrying the “victim” away as though they actually were a victim.

                The mannequin meme the White Helmets were hooking into is (surprisingly enough!) all about keeping stationery. Coming out of that straight into a moving fiction of “Oh look, were rescuing someone and can you hear the cries and sirens” was what they themselves did.

                Did some random people maybe pick up on that as WH running false rescue missions? Probably. Did anyone doctor anything or change anything? No. Was it generally used as evidence of the WH faking rescues? No.

                • Ed

                  OAB and Psycho Milt are too closed minded to look at an issue like this.
                  I find it quite disheartening to witness such blinkered thinking.

                  • Bill

                    A right wee pair of Washibots. McFlock must be o a different shift today 🙂

                    • Ed

                      Is there a point discussing with them?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      What you’re missing, Bill, is that failure to accept the RT narrative does not equal acceptance of Washington’s.

                      Perhaps you can think of some reasons why someone might be skeptical of all “information”. Here’s a few to get you started:

                      1. The fog of war.
                      2. The fog of war.
                      3. People tell lies.
                      4. Unconscious bias.
                      5. Faulty instruments.
                      6. Inattention.
                      7. Conflicts of interest cf: 3 & 4.

                      You want to swallow the Beeley Bartlett narrative hook line and shrinkum, be my guest. Just don’t try and recruit me into the same daft behaviour.

                    • Bill

                      What you’re missing, Bill, is that failure to accept the RT narrative does not equal acceptance of Washington’s.

                      No. I’m not missing that at all. Although…it does seem that you equate having an opinion on Syria as necessarily being either pro or anti Washington/Moscow….or of being on someone’s side.

                      There’s stuff Beeley comes out with that I just don’t buy. (Her take on the autonomous regions for example). And she’s definitely over-egged some other stuff. That said, her general analysis is sound.

                      Washibot was, I thought, quite funny. And you have to admit that you and PM and McFlock do tend to argue from the same position as that put forward by western liberal media when it comes to things like Syria or Russia. And western liberal media always goes along with what the government of the day reckons. And that’s usually in broad agreement with what Washington reckons.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      you have to admit that you and PM and McFlock do tend to argue from the same position as that put forward by western liberal media when it comes to things like Syria or Russia.

                      Do I? Or perhaps driving trucks through the gaping holes in RT propaganda is as easy as driving trucks through the gaping holes in Western Liberal Media propaganda, and it does seem that you do one but not the other.

                    • McFlock

                      And you have to admit that you and PM and McFlock do tend to argue from the same position as that put forward by western liberal media when it comes to things like Syria or Russia.

                      Personally, I think we tend to come at it from a more skeptical perspective. That means assuming a level of reliability of current reports in proportion to the reliability of past reports from each source when matched against things like internal consistency, third party investigations, and whether they have displayed any regard for truth or journalistic integrity whatsoever.

                      If that suggests a bias towards western liberal media, well, maybe not all sources are equally bad. All might be shit, but some are more pungent than others.

                    • McFlock

                      miss me?

                    • Bill

                      I don’t think the general thrust of your (plural) views reflect much in the way of skepticism at all – but hey.

                      Western liberal media narratives are cut and paste jobs from government – so, of course the government of a country designated as an official enemy is a “regime”. The people being funded and armed by western governments are, of course, “rebels” and (in the case of Syria) their Sunni radicalism quietly passed over. Organisations endorsed and funded by western governments spoon feeding western media (Syria Observatory on Human Rights) having their opinion uncritically and routinely reported as being from a neutral or independent source is predictable…etc

                      And no attention seems to have been paid to Syria’s history (the long standing conflict between secular Arab socialism and Sunni radicalism), or the broader picture of western foreign policy in the region (attempted regime change in all secular Arab states for the purpose of both opening markets and marginalising Iran).

                      And so the omissions, the distractions, the innuendo, the downright fanciful, the character assassinations etc just wash in a front page torrent that drowns out any critical appraisal of what’s been going on.

                      Except it’s kind of fallen over.

                      And all of the above that barely scratches the surface has nothing whatsoever to do with any reporting from any media connected to Russia.

                      I do kind of quietly wonder how many of the people who so vociferously object to any notion that the White Helmets are not quite as claimed on the packet, actually donated to them at some point. Because that would be a bastard of a thing to face – that best intentions and good will have been so cynically exploited.

                      Syria has been a very nasty ‘have’ by western governments on their populations (not to mention a living hell for Syrians) – aided and abetted by a compliant media who have refused to ask even the most basic of questions in response to spoon fed stories.

                      And yes McFlock. Of course I missed you! I could be a little hurt that you might have thought otherwise. 🙁

                    • McFlock

                      Now why do you almost never (if ever) apply the same length and depth of criticism to RT?

                      I suggest it is because of a lack of scepticism on your part.

                    • Bill

                      To repeat (and for the umpteenth time) – I cannot access RT from my computer. So in the same way you won’t see me saying much of anything about Fox because I don’t watch it…

                      Besides which, the propaganda I’m subjected to on a daily basis is western and not Russian – and being unable to read Russian or any language apart from English, it would be kind of difficult to express anything other than a broad brush stroke opinion about propaganda in other languages. (It’ll be in a similar vein to what we get from our governments, no doubt)

                    • McFlock

                      So when I, who have seen reports from both Western MSM and RT, say that there’s a massive difference between reporting in the guardian and the bullshit shilled by RT (and fox), you really don’t have any basis on which to agree or disagree with that statement.

                      Good to know.

                    • Bill

                      But that’s not what you do McFlock.

                      You do make claims of comparison, but such that one supposedly sits on the platform of small t truth or accuracy. And you come to your conclusion by way of nothing beyond making generic claims around (in your words) “reporting in the guardian” and “the bullshit shilled by RT”.

                      And your claims become kinda “interesting” when stacked against your oft-repeated position – of not watching or paying any attention to RT.

                      So there’s a lot of silly knee jerk reactions going on – that are routinely rolled out as attempts to discount and/or distract from any analysis to an event that may differ from that “reported” by western liberal media outlets.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, I stopped looking at RT after it published satellite photos of a ukraininan ground attack aircraft firing a missile at a malaysian airliner. Complete with obvious scaling errors. And never made a retraction.

                      A decision made from experience. And nothing our loyal RT regurgitators have posted have indicated any change in editorial policy since then.

                      What you call “analysis” with no basis to evaluate it, I call “bullshit” because the supplier of the “analysis” has demonstrated that it doesn’t care whether the “analysis” is true or an outrageous fabrication.

                    • lprent []

                      Essentially my viewpoint as well. Because of their habit is to routinely and knowingly lie when told to, RT is completely useless for either news or analysis.

                      While biased outlets like CNN, NYT, WP, BBC, SMH, JP, Guardian, and even my old favourite the economist all have distinct biases – they are credible with the information. Those biases of opinion frame their opinion and selection of facts. But you can mostly trust that errors of fact are mostly genuine

                      RT is just useless if you want reliable factual information because they aren’t interested in facts. They want just enough real facts to meld with their made up ones to convince simple minded fools to think that their biases and bigotries are valid. They are a simple minded propaganda organ of their state.

                      They have even less credibility to.me than Nick Smith making a statement about anything. I guess it is ok if you like simple fantasies. But frankly Smith is more inventive.

                    • Bill

                      What you call “analysis” with no basis to evaluate it, I call “bullshit” because the supplier of the “analysis” has demonstrated that it doesn’t care whether the “analysis” is true or an outrageous fabrication.

                      But that’s not what I call analysis. And I’d also call bullshit on info for the reasons you mention. So, for example the supposed dossier on Russian interference in US elections that various US intelligence orgs released, but that had no basis bar simple ‘say so’, and heaviy relied on an already existing bias in the viewer/listener and a chorus of megaphones on repeat…that wasn’t analysis.

                      It did provide a basis for a wee peek at “our” propaganda; how it works and what it requires to be effective though 😉

                      I guess Lynn, you’d call that simple minded of me 🙂

                    • McFlock

                      Okay, that’s a pretty good example: one dossier with plausible means, motive, and opportunity, but little to no third-party verifiable evidence because “secrets”. Taken as gospel or called a pro-Clinton deep state conspiracy by a variety of msm outlets depending on their bias. It relies on independent confirmation or disproving of some details, such as the hacker who claims to have left breadcrumbs in it for if he were left out in the cold.

                      So at the very least in that case we’re talking levels of bias around reporting what might be an intentional lie.

                      So I did a web search restricted by two different sources: “dnc hack site:theguardian.com” and “dnc hack site:rt.com”.

                      The first produces a fairly consistent, albeit relatively uncritical, list of results.
                      The second produces a maelstrom of conflicting headlines, spanning Russina hackers, Russian hackers framed by US agencies, all the way to intentional internal leaks by DNC with no hacks whatsoever.

                      But that’s probably a google conspiracy against RT – better try it with a couple of other engines, just to be sure…

                    • Bill

                      You honestly don’t realise that even your search criteria is loaded? “DNC hack”? Seriously? In case you miss the point, that’s a conclusion some arrived at from stuff in a prior document containing that and other accusations.

                      Try “ODNI Russia”. At least that references the source document

                      And then you might try throwing in a third site search (something like the Intercept) for something with which to stack the other two against – unless of course you’re one of the conservative liberals who are always going to be convinced of anything “our side” says because “Russia bad” and “us good”.




                      edit – because I doubt you’ll click the links, I’ll just state it. The Guardian (by the headlines) asks no questions whatsoever…it just blithely accepts the report as worthwhile. Both RT and The Intercept raise serious questions about it and the reporting it spawned.

                    • McFlock

                      Even using your search term, the point is still valid. There’s a qualitative difference between the guardian (and, yes, the Intercept as well, not that I’m overly familiar with it), and RT.

                    • Bill

                      So hang on.

                      You start by asserting the whole ODNI stuff is a “good example” that would illustrate your point. ( ergo – reporting in the Guardian and bullshit from RT).

                      You then put in ‘loaded’ search terms from when the dogs are well out of their traps and past the first bend. I pointed that out to you and replayed your little exercise, but with source material rather than secondary material.

                      And it showed no inquisitive reporting from the Guardian and quite a lot of fundamental questions being asked by RT. By way of comparison and contrast I put the same search terms through The Intercept – a liberal site for sure, but one that has a reputation for being serious and level headed.

                      The results for The Intercept align far more with results for RT than they do for The Guardian.

                      And that underscores your original contention that the Guardian is in the business of reporting, whereas RT is in the business of “shilling bullshit”…how?

                    • McFlock

                      I actually don’t care what search terms are put in, it’s the results that are illustrative.

                      The results for The Intercept align far more with results for RT than they do for The Guardian.

                      No, the results from the Intercept are just more critical than the results from the Guardian.

                      The first page of Guardian results has a couple of background articles, but generally emotionally-neutral reporting terms: “calls for”, “officially accuses”, “senators question”. Not perfectly neutral, but pretty staid.

                      The Intercept generally follows that pattern, too.

                      RT is more about providing emotional context: “RT stars in”, “Kremlin slams”, and so on.

                      Why is RT priming me to feel those things, rather than letting facts and reports speak for themselves?

                    • Bill

                      The search terms matter McFlock. They matter quite a lot.

                      I don’t know how you get to “emotional manipulation” from the headline “RT stars in” when the story is about the seven pages of the report devoted to RT broadcasts. It is a kind of starring role, no?

                      And “slammed” is a reasonable description based on the quotes provided by a Kremlin spokesman in that piece, who said there was a witch hunt and the US intelligence agencies were tiresomely amateurish (paraphrasing)

                      Now I know that liberal outlets would never stoop to using emotive language in headlines and…oh, hang on – they do. They do it all of the time.

                      Now, what criticism of the ODNI report does the Guardian offer? You said The Intercept was more critical than the Guardian, but I’m aware of precisely zero criticism of the ODNI report from The Guardian (as would be the expectation when dealing with a mainstream liberal outlet). But you obviously saw something. A link would be appreciated.

                    • McFlock

                      Search terms don’t really matter if the discussion is about the style of search responses, rather than trying to find out a specific thing within a single response.

                      If you think that calling someone or something a “star” in any context other than astronomy is emotionally neutral, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

                      I never argued that TG was devoid of emotion in its headlines, just that RT is way more into emotional priming. Assange “blasts”. “re kidding, right?”. “Blindly supports”. And that’s not including the quotes they choose to include in their headlines, eg “witch hunt” and “embarrassing”. All in the first search page. It’s shrill. It’s telling me how to feel, not giving me information to think about.

                      As for criticism in the guardian, the very first link extensively reports kremlin rebuttals of the ODNI accusation.

                    • Bill

                      Yet again McFlock, there is not one word or sentence calling the ODNI report or anything about it into question. That link(“US Officially Accuses Russia of hacking DNC and interfering with election”) is a straightforward propaganda piece amplifying and underscoring a government narrative.

                      The fact that it reports Putin and the Russian government as calling bullshit on the accusations is not in any way, shape or form The Guardian being critical of the ODNI report.

                      Or maybe the “critical” comes in some other space than that reported response in a piece that “just happens” to throw in accusations of Russian war crimes in Syria and John Kerry calling for an investigation on that front before uncritically repeating the lines of US government agencies as per the ODNI report?

                    • McFlock

                      The fact that it reports Putin and the Russian government as calling bullshit on the accusations is not in any way, shape or form The Guardian being critical of the ODNI report.

                      Reporting criticism of the report is just as effective as reporting that the report exists.

                    • Bill

                      Reporting criticism of the report is just as effective as reporting that the report exists.

                      Well, that’s true enough.

                      But about critical evaluation of the report or its contents and claims…

                      …nothing in The Guardian (that I ever remember coming across). Likewise for the BBC. And the New York Times, CNN, Washington Post etc…they all took and take the announcements of government agencies at face value and apply zero critical analysis in their haste to run with what their domestic political ‘masters’ want them to run with.

                      Maybe it’s a bit like Pravda had been published in several different editions that contained the same content, assumptions and ideological bent in spite of some superficial differences in “packaging” such as different covers and banners…and some people claiming that represented plurality and healthy political debate essential for the preservation of democratic ideals.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, not entirely – here’s one from the Guardian when the allegations came out which they linked to in the page reporting the odni accusation.

                      this NYT report mentions the fact that the odni report is scant on public evidence, and looks at a few different angles.

                      But I’m not really sure why you’re going down this angle: just becaust the MSM news outlets should be more critical or whatever doesn’t mean that they are as bad as the likes of RT.

                      I’ve already mentioned some of the outrrageously fabricated stories that stopped me bothering to click on any RT links, but I don’t recall having done a headline comparison side-by-side against e.g. the guardian. The level of emotional priming in RT headlines (way above the non-entertainment western MSM) simply underlines my decision – they are very different beasts, whatever you want to call them.

                  • If only we had your brilliant grasp of just how valuable logical fallacies can be in helping us to understand the world, eh Ed?

                  • cleangreen

                    True that is Ed spot on couldnt have said it better.

                    They are all natz trolls.

            • Psycho Milt

              The Guardian spoke to several researchers… who said stuff, and made assertions around the meaning of their research.

              That’s what news reporting of research consists of. The Guardian isn’t an academic publisher.

              More to the point, the researchers didn’t just say stuff and make assertions, they provided graphics from their research illustrating what they were talking about, and those graphics do show what they’re claimed to show.

              Vanessa Beeley was running in depth stories on trying to get to the bottom of who or what the White Helmets were a full month (Sept 1st 2015) before direct Russian military involvement in Syria (30th Sept 2015)

              Which doesn’t alter the fact that the explosion in “Terrorists!” propaganda pieces turned up when Russia got involved, courtesy of those “many known pro-Kremlin troll accounts.”

              • Bill

                So they threw in some pictures too. Ffs PM. So as long as someone calls themselves a “researcher” or maybe “an unnamed official” then it’s fine to just uncritically run with what they say?

                Maybe what you term the explosion in “Terrorists!” propaganda pieces was just the whole western narrative unraveling at a faster rate of knots. Maybe, quite simply, more people were querying the fact that all the so-called “rebels” seemed to be Sunni? That and that many of their constantly rebranding groups tended to have connections to Sunni radicalism?

                Unless, that is, one is dead set on believing everything one reads in the newspapers – in which case, forget all that. It must be putinbots and trolls and god knows what other shite.

                edit – have you bothered to look up the “Syria Campaign” the Guardian article uses?

                • So as long as someone calls themselves a “researcher” or maybe “an unnamed official” then it’s fine to just uncritically run with what they say?

                  That’s more Ed’s style (albeit with “respected independent journalist” instead of “researcher” or “unnamed official”).

                  Maybe what you term the explosion in “Terrorists!” propaganda pieces was just the whole western narrative unraveling at a faster rate of knots.

                  Maybe. But, on the one hand I have some evidence of a Russian propaganda campaign in support of its client regime in Syria, and on the other hand I have… what, exactly? The possibility that it was just a spontaneous outpouring of popular sentiment? Forgive me for preferring the option that has some evidence behind it over unlikely possibilities.

                  • Bill

                    Well, on the other hand you obviously have a propaganda campaign that imploded – ie, it failed to convince increasing numbers of people – who then started voicing their doubt and misgivings in (among other places) comment sections beneath newspaper articles. (“The Independent” unlike “The Guardian” tends to still have comments sections. They can make for interesting reading.)

                    And the newspapers (in case you were also blind to this too) stopped reporting on Syria at about the time of Mosul and have only started up again very lately. Given that ISIS et al have, to all intent and purposes, been defeated in Syria as well as Iraq, that peace talks are on the table and refugees are returning to Syria, it makes me a tad nervous that they’re trying to re-invigorate their failed propaganda campaign.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So I notice that you’ve stopped linking and referencing the Rojava Report. I guess mainstream media journos aren’t the only ones who ‘move on’, or is that an unfair characterisation?

                    • Bill

                      I was never in the habit of linking it OAB. (Maybe in one, possibly two posts I penned on the topic?) Stop being a twat, eh?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So it’s an unfair characterisation, which probably makes me even more of a ‘twat’.

                      Doesn’t change the fact that our attention is divided and we reward those who ‘move on’.

                    • Bill

                      No OAB. Your twattery is in your refusal or inability to engage in an honest exchange and exhibiting that by habitually diverting away from legitimately made points and/or by shutting down/sealing off with oozes of ‘snide’.

                      Comes a point where it’s just really fucking tiresome.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You think your points are legitimately made. On that we can agree.

                    • Ed

                      And making personal attacks…

    • francesca 4.4

      I’d say this was a smear tactic on those, and there are very credible journalists and observers amongst them..who have discovered the true nature of the White Helmets
      I’m surprised Bellingcat, citizen journalists specialising in social media have nothing to say about the White Helmets posting extremist jihadist Al Nusra pieces on Facebook
      Why aren’t the White Helmets, dream child of ex UK military intel officer James le Mesurier, recognised by the International Civil Defence organisation in Switzerland, as the real Syrian Civil Defence, funded by the Syrian gvt is?
      I’m not convinced that a gnarly, experienced tough old rooster like John Pilger, war correspondent and film maker of many years, has suddenly become a stooge of the Kremlin.
      Max Blumenthal’s 2 part long essay on the Syria campaign was well researched and rigorous in its investigation of the White Helmets.
      I found the Guardian article absolutely ridiculous, that so many hardened journalists , long time critics of imperialism in any form , could be “turned”
      It is the Guardian, that has been turned.
      Embarrassingly they urged for the Iraq war, the sacking ofLibya, and were relentless in their demonisation of Jeremy Corbyn

      • Morrissey 4.4.1

        Well said, francesca.

        The Grauniad has a history of attacking dissenters. In 2005, the rag’s less than brilliant editor instructed a hapless would-be attack dog called Emma Brockes to have a go at Noam Chomsky. The result was a cringe-inducing failure….


        • Ed

          Their bias on Corbyn and the Scottish referendum and Israel has been noticed by independent journalists and citizens.

      • Psycho Milt 4.4.2

        Why aren’t the White Helmets, dream child of ex UK military intel officer James le Mesurier, recognised by the International Civil Defence organisation in Switzerland, as the real Syrian Civil Defence, funded by the Syrian gvt is?

        Because they’re a bunch of volunteers with the same-coloured helmets, not an official civil defence organisation.

        I’m not convinced that a gnarly, experienced tough old rooster like John Pilger, war correspondent and film maker of many years, has suddenly become a stooge of the Kremlin.

        You’re not convinced that John Pilger might find it within himself to back whoever the US is calling the bad guys? Seriously?

        I found the Guardian article absolutely ridiculous…

        And yet you don’t have any basis for disputing it beyond the Guardian having taken some editorial positions you don’t like.

        • Morrissey

          Psycho Milt, when the U.S. starts supporting good guys, people of conscience will support them. Why would you or anyone with a heart and a brain even consider supporting U.S.-backed entities like Al Nusra or the violent, democracy-hating insurrectionaries in Venezuela?

      • Bill 4.4.3

        Wouldn’t it have been nice to have read comments beneath the article? 🙂

        • francesca

          The Guardian has long since abandoned comment sections on most of their articles, as they were badly shown up by their lack of accuracy and purposeful omissions
          There seemed to be a campaign to dismiss any dissenting view as paid by Putin. It was tedious and shut down meaningful discussion

          • Ed

            Some people blame Russia for everything.
            Sounds like McCarthyism….and our friends OAB, Psycho Milt are in the front line defending the lies of the corporate media.

            • Morrissey

              By “some people”, Ed, you mean especially the Democratic Party “leadership.” I have been especially disturbed to see that a lot of the burden of the public speaking about this Russian fantasy nonsense has been given to members of the Congressional black caucus, such as John Lewis. No doubt they will bear a lot of the blame when this fantasy strategy fails, and Trump and his gang are re-elected in a landslide.

              Open Mike 16/01/2017

            • cleangreen

              Ed these right wing trolls today are orchestrating a hate Russia campaign and using us as bait so we need to ignore these trolls they are operating just like McCarthyism again.

              Ignore the shallow hollow vessels.

              • Ed

                We do need to counter arguments made by ‘journalists’ like Solo, though.
                Otherwise these opinions become facts.

            • cleangreen

              100% correct ED they are “red under the bed” dribblers.

      • Ed 4.4.4

        Jonathan Freedland is responsible for a lot of that decline.

    • Ed 4.5

      Independent journalists have shown up the White Helmets for what they are.

      Eva Bartlett

      • Ed 4.5.1

        Vanessa Beeley

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Bartlett and Beeley get a mention in the Guardian article. If you follow their “Hoaxy” link, you might be able to figure out why that is.

          • Ed

            You have been had.

          • Ed

            ‘Independent journalists such as Patrick Cockburn, Eva K Bartlett, John Pilger, and Robert Fisk have broken down and exposed many a crucial lie in the Battle of Aleppo, in which a systematic anti-Assad narrative, from the “use of chlorine and sarin gases against civilians by Assad’s Syrian Arab Army”, to using of civilians as human shields and slaughtering them, etc, have been levelled at the Assad-Putin coalition.’


          • Ed

            Patrick Cockburn.

            ‘This is why everything you’ve read about the wars in Syria and Iraq could be wrong

            The Iraqi army, backed by US-led airstrikes, is trying to capture east Mosul at the same time as the Syrian army and its Shia paramilitary allies are fighting their way into east Aleppo. An estimated 300 civilians have been killed in Aleppo by government artillery and bombing in the last fortnight, and in Mosul there are reportedly some 600 civilian dead over a month.

            Despite these similarities, the reporting by the international media of these two sieges is radically different.

            In Mosul, civilian loss of life is blamed on Isis, with its indiscriminate use of mortars and suicide bombers, while the Iraqi army and their air support are largely given a free pass. Isis is accused of preventing civilians from leaving the city so they can be used as human shields.

            Contrast this with Western media descriptions of the inhuman savagery of President Assad’s forces indiscriminately slaughtering civilians regardless of whether they stay or try to flee. The UN chief of humanitarian affairs, Stephen O’Brien, suggested this week that the rebels in east Aleppo were stopping civilians departing – but unlike Mosul, the issue gets little coverage.’


            • Psycho Milt

              I hate to tell you this, but argument from authority hasn’t somehow become less of a logical fallacy since “Paul” was posting these links last year.

              • Morrissey

                So if you don’t accept the evidence, gathered and presented with unimpeachable honesty and rigour by these renowned journalists, who DO you trust? Oh, of course—that’s painfully clear.

                • If I don’t accept arguments from these authorities, which arguments from authority do I accept? That’s a depressing but not particularly surprising question.

                  Here’s a thought – perhaps it’s not a good idea to just trust what someone’s telling you on the basis that supports your own gut feeling.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Nonsense. The gut has more nerve endings than the brain 😉

                  • Morrissey

                    The point, Milt, is that journalists such as John Pilger, Eva Bartlett, Robert Fisk, Patrick Cockburn, Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill, Amira Hass, Gideon Levy, Jon Stephenson and Nicky Hager—to name just a few—have established themselves as respected authorities because of the accuracy and the integrity of their reporting over decades. They have shown they are not for sale, and have often annoyed politicians from all sides: vide Nicky Hager’s being targeted by Helen Clark after his reporting of her government’s complicity in secret genetic modification research, and then being labeled a “conspiracy theorist” by Key and his henchmen in 2014.

                    Of course I accept that these journalists have credibility, hard earned and maintained in the face of continuous abuse—but I’m also skeptical. Remember that even the most seemingly brilliant writers can go mad—just look at the sad case of Christopher Hitchens.

                    • If you were skeptical, you wouldn’t be kidding yourself you can take some journalist’s word for it on the basis that they’re “respected authorities” – especially if you class people like Eva Bartlett among those “respected authorities.”

                    • Ed

                      They prefer to listen to Kuenssberg or other establishment tools.

                    • mauī

                      Good list of independent journos there Morrissey, interesting how they clump together and get airtime on RT and little opportunity on any other major network.

                      This of course means they’re Russian propagandists by default, lol.

                    • Ed

                      A most impressive list.
                      Still PM and OAB know better.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @Ed: last time I checked, RT is an establishment tool. If you have the time, it can be worth listening to establishment tools to see what narrative they’re pushing today.

                      It’s time consuming but. Especially when you notice that the narrative is shallow and predictable.

                      Nothing to see here. All rise for the flag salute.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @Maui: no, it doesn’t. I’m sure you can think of some examples of local pundits who fail to conform to establishment narratives.

                      RT, like all other media, has what might be termed shareholder expectations to satisfy. In an amazing coincidence, this is why I stopped relying on The News™ for information some years ago.

                      Hotel maids smile in unison.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  if you don’t accept the evidence, gathered and presented with unimpeachable honesty and rigour by these renowned journalists, who DO you trust?

                  When it comes to information, nobody.

          • Bill

            What “hoaxy” link? There’s no such link in that article. Not that I can see anyway.

            edit – found it.

          • Bill

            Hoaxy claims to map out who tweeted who and add up facebook shares. Big deal.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Searching for the “White Helmets” reveals a handful of sources generated hundreds of stories about the organisation. “It’s like a factory,” he said.

              The same handful of people are quoted as “experts” in articles that are repackaged and interlinked to create a body of content whose conspiracy claims gain a semblance of legitimacy.

              That’s right Bill, move along, there’s nothing to see here.

              Nothing much, anyway.

              Does this source often make similar claims?

              Insignificant nit-picking I expect. Carry on.

              • Bill

                Given that only a handful of sources were querying the “White Helmet as heroes” narrative and writing about it from an investigative journalist standpoint, it makes sense that critical stories were coming from that same handful of people/sources.

                Too logical?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I suppose all the other journalists were too busy working for the CIA or something.

                  • Ed

                    Most journalists are REPEATERS not reporters.
                    If you did any research on the topic, you would know that.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I’ve heard the term “stenographers” used, which I thought was apt and quite witty.

                      Your patronising gobshite on the other hand is just patronising gobshite, and I’m still three decades ahead of you.

                      PS: watching Youtube is not “research”. Just saying.

                    • Ed

                      Keep reading and believing the Washington Post…..

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I don’t believe anything I read, fool. Haven’t you grasped that yet?

                    • Morrissey

                      Ed, you’re wasting your time. This fellow doesn’t read, and knows about as much as, say, Mike Hosking knows.

                    • Ed

                      It amazes me people cannot look at the list of journalists you presented and be swayed by such evidence.

                  • Bill

                    I suppose all the other journalists were too busy working for the CIA or something.


                    The other journalists were busy writing stories that would get printed in the newspapers they worked for or broadcast by the radio stations or whatever that they worked for.

                    You have heard of institutional capture and how it relates to media, yes?

                    And you also know how the gung-ho young reporter who was “out to change the world and find the truth”… soon learned they had to “play the game” and/or adopt the culture and assumptions of their environment, if they wanted to get ahead in the world of newsrooms and editorial offices, right?

                    And how journalists these days are generally plucked from journalism schools who’s graduates are inculcated with “correct” world views…meaning there aren’t really any “gung-ho” newbies these days anyway.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @Bill: this happens to all journalists except the ones who work for RT. Fascinatingness.

                      @Morrissey, I read copiously and widely, and have done so for decades. I know nothing, although I’ll admit to varying degrees of confidence in this ‘n’ that.

                      I think I met you in Don Quixote. Or maybe it was Crass.

                    • Bill

                      Explain the RT stuff again OAB?

                      I can’t get it on my computer for some reason. (Pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before)

                      RT journos reporting on western stories probably get far more lee-way than western journos working for the NYT, BBC or Guardian do.

                      And much of that will simply be down to the fact that RT doesn’t have to keep the government or government departments happy to ensure continuing access to government around breaking news stories.

                      edit – as an illustrative example, I can’t see the likes of this showing on the BBC, CNN or TVNZ. Can you?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      So I live in a country that practices austerity and I need RT to explain it to me? The Standard does a better job.

                    • Bill

                      So Mark Blyth is RT now?


                      And there are commenters or authors on this blog who have a better grasp of what austerity is and can explain it clearer than Mark Blyth can?

                      I think your snide twattery just burped up and ate you this time OAB.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      No. You failed to grasp my argument, which has a lot more to do with my direct experience and personal relationships with my peers (A hint from your local twat: “I live in a country…” English comprehension 101?) than anything I can see here or anywhere else.

                      The Standard often provides a wider context than my immediate circumstances and conversations, and generally is still confined to NZ examples.

                      Agin the immediate signal, RT is just noise, whatever its chosen pundits say.

                      Probably that’s just my “twattery” though. Like that matters here nor there.

              • cleangreen

                Take a break OAB its xmas in case you havent yet nnoticed in your andiod world.
                Merry xmas.

                • One Anonymous Bloke


                  ‘Take a break’, says the person who’s just made twenty-one comments in the space of sixty minutes. I wonder if any of them contain anything substantive.

        • Psycho Milt

          It’s kind of you to provide examples of what the Guardian is referring to.

          • Ed

            The Guardian has form….


            • Psycho Milt

              I guess this bears repeating:

              “And yet you don’t have any basis for disputing it beyond the Guardian having taken some editorial positions you don’t like.”

            • red-blooded

              Ed, how much have you read on the site you linked to?

              If this comment in the “About” section of your linked-to site is any clue – “sick of being stifled, moderated, abused or slandered as Putinbots or worse” – these folk definitely have form of their own!

              Here’s a quote from the “media fakery” page (and, oh – that phrase seems sooo familiar! where can I have heard it before?): “The US barely wears a fig leaf of democracy. The dismissal of the fraud case brought against the DNC for stealing the presidential nomination from Sanders last year is ample evidence of this. Leaders are chosen over cigars in back rooms. It’s been that way since the uniquely underqualified Harry Truman secured the Democratic vice presidential nomination ahead of Henry Wallace in 1944, long before the advent of the internet or so-called ‘Russian hackers’.

              The elephant and the ass are equal in every way that matters, especially so since the fall of the Soviet Union. Western liberal democracy didn’t win the Cold War; fascism did. The end of dialectical materialism was the death knell for democracy. Flip a coin: Identitarian-environmentalism or conservative-libertarianism. If you’re lucky you might score a small victory for women’s equality, as long as those women don’t happen live in North Africa or Central Asia, or anywhere else the United States of Amnesia claims the sovereign right to bomb with impunity. The US has but one political party. It is the party of war, owned and controlled by finance.

              Now, I agree that there are big problems with US democracy and that big money plays far too big a role. The whole “flip a coin” assertion is ridiculous, though, and I note the “so-called” and quote marks around “Russian hackers”.

              These people are extremist conspiracists at best. At worst..?

              • Ed

                Don’t trust my sources?
                Look at Francesca’s.
                Don’t be sucked in by the lies of the corporate media.

                • cleangreen

                  Geez all these right wing trolls are out in force today eh Ed?

                  ‘Reds under the bed shit’ they are the “extremists” not the Russians.

                  Thes trolls are doing themselves a dis-service here, they look like fools and now unbelievable.

                  • Ed

                    There are two groups. The out and out NACT trolls, like BM and James, who come here, like David Farrar says to ‘foment mischief.’
                    I never know if they are cynical paid trolls, naive ideologues or ignorant fools.

                    Then there is the 2nd group, who are sometimes left wing, yet support neocon foreign policies like OAB and PM.


                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You really are dull and inattentive if you think anything I’ve written here conveys “support” to anyone or any policy.

    • Andre 4.6

      Well, it wasn’t really my intention to kick off this particular Batley Townswomen’s Guild Re-enactment of the Battle of Pearl Harbour. I was kind of more interested in post-truth and the mechanics of spreading … erm … alternative facts.

      But OAB has helpfully shared Michael Shermer’s Baloney Detection Kit.


      The number one tool in that kit is: How reliable is the source? Applying that test to the people being lauded as “independent journalists” such as Vanessa Beeley, Eva Bartlett, Max Blumenthal turns up a lot of articles such as these:



      So hmmm, who’s more credible? Activists that align themselves to the overt propaganda arm of dictatorships that are directly involved in the conflict? Or the reports of media organisations that still retain a commitment to fact-checking, issuing corrections when they get it wrong, and the other general conventions of responsible journalism, that are also mostly corroborated by a wide range of organisations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, Amnesty International etc ? It really doesn’t look like a difficult choice.

      • In Vino 4.6.1

        Regarding your last paragraph, I for one would feel more comfortable if the said ‘media organisations that still retain a commitment to fact-checking, issuing corrections when they get it wrong, and the other general conventions of responsible journalism,’ were not all owned by private, Capitalist concerns or by States that limit their independence…
        I remember the Tonkin Gulf Incident, and how it was obediently reported by all and sundry at the time. Only many years later when the USA had probably already decided it was going to withdraw from Vietnam did those courageous media suddenly start to dis-illude those who had believed them.
        I think we have horribly unreliable media here in the West, and those who decry RT are deep into the pot, kettle and black business.

        • Andre

          I agree that any and all individual reports need to be viewed skeptically. And yes, their reports need to be viewed through the lens that they are corporate owned, although there’s a variety of owners whose interests diverge in significant ways. But by looking for contrary reports and checking the credibility of contrary reports, it’s possible to build a consensus of evidence that points fairly closely to the real state of affairs.

          For instance, those screeching blanket denunciations of all mainstream media all the time are fond of citing the buildup to the Iraq War. But at the same time as the MSM were reporting Bush and Blair’s bullshit, most of them were also reporting what Hans Blix and his UN inspections were finding, ie nothing that could possible justify the invasion. Or more recently, that bizarre sensationalist report of Russians hacking into Vermont’s power system was very quickly debunked by other mainstream media.

          In contrast, RT is simply the overt propaganda arm of the russian government. It’s utterly shameless about omissions, misdirections and outright lies to try to manipulate opinion. Any correspondence with reality is purely coincidental, or it’s a topic the russian government doesn’t really care about. It’s only value is as a window into what the russian government would like us to think. Much like a press briefing from Sarah Huckabee Sanders (or pretty any other pollie for that matter). On the rare occasions RT do break something genuinely new and significant, it’s almost certainly also going to get picked up soon enough by other media.

      • Ed 4.6.2

        So you take the side of a junior journalist from San Francisco over Cockburn, Pilger, Greenwald………

  5. cleangreen 5

    Good morning to Ed & eco maori,

    Yes we need radical changes in 2018 to reverse the comming devistation and pestulence we are being sent to by the past draconian National administration that deliberately made changes to make our lives more miserable.

    So we meed to place our concerns right at the door of our new coalition Government to make sitable changes without the past “punative” changes national had caused to make our lives so awfully depressing of late.

    Then as our ‘tender’ relationship with ‘mother earth’ is now in jeopardy as you point out Ed, the new coalition Government need to respect our ‘mother earth’ again instead of following the last money hungry government of National/ACT who was only interested in the ‘financial bottom line’ to aggressively rob & pillage the limited resources mother earth had to give us all.

  6. Ad 6

    Game of Throne libertarian edition:

    Don’t worry he gets it in the end.

    • greywarshark 6.1

      Just played that Game of Thrones bit and now my computer is ticking – fast. What can this mean?

  7. It sounds like the medical Cannabis to be introduced this week may be severely watered down.

    Ardern said the Green Party and NZ First had been involved during the development of the Government’s bill.

    She indicated the Government bill would not go as far as the measures in Swarbrick’s private member’s bill, because it was necessary to put up something that NZ First would support.

    “What we are producing is a bill that we know has the support of the House to get through,” Ardern said.

    “We have undertaken that we would improve on the status quo. And we are doing that. And we can guarantee with the bill we have got we can do that. We can’t guarantee that with the member’s bill. There are differences, and you will see that when the bill is introduced.”


    If Labour and the Greens can’t get NZ First support for a decent bill there’s not much they can do about it, National have been hopeless on medical cannabis.

    It must be a difficult situation for Ardern given her feelings expressed last year.

    It was sometime in the middle of last year when the political suddenly felt personal. It wasn’t a party, it wasn’t even a social occasion. I was visiting my friend who had spent the evening periodically flinching, doubling over, and rocking, and was now reaching for a form of cannabis as she tried to deal with her pain.

    My friend was dying.

    I think that’s what gets me most about the medical marijuana debate. It’s the perfect example of the brutal reality of people’s individual situations, and the layers of complexity that emerge as soon as you dig into it as a politician.

    As policy makers, we are meant to park the personal, and deal with the big picture. But perhaps it’s those personal experiences that force us to figure out a way to get back to some simple principles. There are people who are terminally ill, who are experiencing extraordinary pain, and who are asking to access relief that works for them without being blocked by a minister of the Crown, and without being criminalised. Simple.


    Unfortunately not so simple with a three party Government.

    • Ad 7.1

      Looking forward to seeing the text of the bill released.

      Need to see how ACC and Pharmac and Foodsafe will regulate the active ingredients in these products for safety and specific dosages, distribute through the DHB system and through pharmacies, and see it approved for common use.

      Step by step.

      I would also feel more confident that this will have the broad support of New Zealand if this had the support of National as well. Otherwise there will be a protest that it should be done as a conscience vote, which would kill it.

      • Stunned Mullet 7.1.1

        PHARMAC will regulate nothing – they are a funder not a regulator, regulation of medical products is the job of Medsafe.

        PHARMAC will also not go anywhere near funding medicinal cannabis.

        • Incognito

          PHARMAC will also not go anywhere near funding medicinal cannabis.

          What are PHARMAC’s reasons?

          • Stunned Mullet

            Ask PHARMAC.

            • Incognito

              I’m asking you because you made the assertion.

              Your evasiveness speaks volumes but thanks anyway for your valuable contribution to public discourse on another important matter.

              • Stunned Mullet

                🙄 Well I’m sure you’re right. PHARMAC is so open to funding cannabinoids such as Sativex which has been registered in NZ since 2010 🙄

                • Incognito

                  Thank you, but surely that is not the sole reason on which you base your assertion and formed your opinion, is it? For example, do you agree with PHARMAC’s reasoning and do you think their arguments were and still are valid regarding their decision to not fund Sativex?

        • Ad

          Yes aware. Just grouped all three as a system.

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.1.2

        Many people will be waiting in anticipation to see the wording of this Bill…

        Any chance of a separate post on this issue????

      • The Chairman 7.1.3

        “Looking forward to seeing the text of the bill released.”


        Then we will be able to see if it really is good news as Shaw claims.

        Merely having a bill passing in the house doesn’t necessarily mean the bill will meet the objectives sought.

        And if it fails to meet the desired objectives, a number will be questioning why James Shaw thinks it’s good news?

    • The Chairman 7.2

      The following quote is from your NZ Herald link.

      “But the good news is we know there is also a Government bill that has the numbers to pass the House” – James Shaw.

      Shaw seems to be easily pleased.

      One wonders if medicinal users will be as pleased with Labour’s bill?

      Guess we’ll soon see when the text is released.

    • The Chairman 7.3

      “Ardern said the Green Party and NZ First had been involved during the development of the Government’s bill.”

      MCANZ is concerned there has been zero consultation with the patient community on the bill and that any briefings or BIMs David Clark has had on this topic are being refused release.


    • It sounds like the medical Cannabis to be introduced this week may be severely watered down.

      Well, duh. You could write “It sounds like we have a coalition government” and convey the same meaning. The crap politicians involved in this aren’t Labour or Green ones, look to NZ First and National to identify defective personalities preventing any progress on this. And feel free to campaign vigourously against those parties at the next election.

      • Me 7.4.1

        Did someone get an early start on the medical marijuana?

      • The Chairman 7.4.2

        If Labour and the Greens can’t sway NZF and National on this (which seems to have overwhelming public support) then surely we must be asking how “crap” are they?

        • Rosemary McDonald

          It would appear that Labour’s proposed Bill is going to be less than satisfactory.

          Clark.. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/99986020/medicinal-marijuana-bill-will-be-introduced-to-parliament-today… already sounds like his predecessors…

          he claims, when asked, that he has consulted with the Drug Foundation many, many times, but NOT on this specific issue…WTF???

          • The Chairman

            “Green Party leader James Shaw said he would like both bills to get support “

            Shouldn’t Shaw be advocating for the Green party members bill?

            The Greens require a more formidable and assertive leader. A leader with a bit more backbone and fight in them.

            This guy Shaw seems to be a real pushover.

          • The Chairman

            Labour seem to have presented National with an opportunity to scupper Labour’s medicinal cannabis bill while signaling to the Greens they can possibly work with them by supporting their (the Greens) members bill.

            Additionally, failing to (support the Greens members bill) makes their (National’s) criticism of Labour look extremely weak.

        • Psycho Milt

          A political party that can’t persuade opposing political parties to agree to its policies is crap? That would mean your definition of a “crap political party” is synomymous with “political party” and therefore superfluous.

          • The Chairman

            No. Nice try but that’s not what I said.

            A political party along with their support party that can’t sway their coalition partner (along with the lead opposition) which are publicly dissing them (Labour) on a policy that seems to have overwhelming public support should leave us questioning their ability.

            • Psycho Milt

              On this issue, their coalition partner NZF, a party of parochial conservatives, is an opposing party.

              I’ve yet to see this “overwhelming public support” demonstrated, too. Most people like the idea of reducing our carbon emissions only up to the point at which it begins to seriously impact their lifestyle – any serious attempt to go zero-carbon by 2050 is going to be wildly unpopular, and both NZF and the Nats know it.

              • The Chairman

                “On this issue, their coalition partner NZF, a party of parochial conservatives, is an opposing party.”

                Yet, NZF backed having a cannabis referendum, hence they aren’t as conservative on this issue as you claim.

                Moreover, it therefore wouldn’t be a great leap to sway them to support this.

                And the public are overwhelmingly behind it (see link below) which brings into question why are Labour being so conservative in this regard?


              • cleangreen

                Psycho Milt

                “Bullshit”; – dont tell us as a NZF members what we know, we believe the planet is in real trouble you ostrich.

                So go bury your head in the sand and leave us NZF members out of your false claims about us, with your anti climate change orchestrating fallacy.

  8. cleangreen 8

    Yes SM you are 100% correct thank you.

    Medsafe is “every thing but safe for us” at present.

    Our Environmental Health Centre has had several protracted discussions with “medsafe” about their draconian method of banning the ‘conventional medical suppliments’ from us in NZ; – things like Natural based gentle medications such as Melitonin, L-Glutathione, COQ10 and many others.

    They have been ‘gradually’ using the ‘sinking lid policies’ by stopping us all buying some of these commonly used suppliments used and allowed to be imported privately in Australia & many other overseas countries from suppliers with the correct global accreditation documents, from many US based companies, who are one of our largest trading countries.

    The ‘Medsafe’ weakly constructed reasons for these bans were “we have not been testing these suppliments here for their safety and efficacy”

    While we agree with ‘that statement’ – “we have not been testing these suppliments here for their safety and efficacy”; – we are also wondering why they haven’t appplied the some ‘rational’ and bannned all the other “big Pharma” invasive prescription medications also as they have not tested them either.

    So either you need to test all medicines whether they are “supplimental or Chemically sythesised based prescription medines all under the same “strict regime”, or allow us to import them just for our own use.

    You cant have one ‘law/rule” without applying it to others.

    • Stunned Mullet 8.1

      “While we agree with ‘that statement’ – “we have not been testing these suppliments here for their safety and efficacy”; – we are also wondering why they haven’t appplied the some ‘rational’ and bannned all the other “big Pharma” invasive prescription medications also as they have not tested them either.”

      Your statement is factually incorrect, all medicines registered in NZ are subject to many testing requirements both before registration and ongoing testing post registration while available in NZ.

      • cleangreen 8.1.1

        SM you read my statement wrong sunshine, I said

        Your statement is factually incorrect, regarding my subject statements.

        We said of the currect registered medicatiions “they are not tested in NZ” and this is correct.

        Medsafe have sent letters confirming this, and only rely on some Big Pharma prescription medicine studies/testing procceedures they claim.

        So we are rightly and correctly statiing that they are not being equally balanced measuring all manufacturers accedication testing proceedures, but they prefer to choose just some.

        “They have been ‘gradually’ using the ‘sinking lid policies’ by stopping us all buying some of these commonly used suppliments used and allowed to be imported privately in Australia & many other overseas countries from suppliers with the correct global accreditation documents, from many US based companies, who are one of our largest trading countries.”

        So “medsafe” testing requirements both before registration and ongoing testing post registration while available in NZ” is fasely constructed to benefit their own preferences.

        You cleverly omitted the explation as to why Australia allows their citizens to freely import these “alternative medicines” that medsafe will now ban us from use without a qualified reason?

        “all medicines registered in NZ are subject to many testing requirements both before registration and ongoing testing post registration while available in NZ”.

        • Stunned Mullet

          The ‘medicines’ you mention are in no way tested and subject to the same manufacturing standards as the registered and funded medicines in NZ.

          If they wished to register them with Medsafe they would no doubt be able to sell them OTC in the NZ market – until such time as they do you can probably still access them for personal use off the internet as long as they are not controlled drugs.

          • cleangreen

            Stunned Mullet you are talking such dribble now arent you.

            Do you work for the Medical establishment or pharmaceitical industry?

            Our research library is full of toxicology reports and studies that the NZ Health Authorities dont even know about or have said they cannot abtain, so you are peddling lies here, and to oprove this I was chemically poisoned in 1992 whiel working in anada and US was only place who carried our full toxicology analysis on me to find what cased my permanent disability and even today in NZ the health ministry 25yrs after my uinjury has no testing regimen or documentation of how to treat Chemical poisoning.

            Oh yes we have letters from the ministry admitting this fact.

            We in NZ don’t even have any trained qualified workplace injury specialists as “toxicocologists” or suitable medical professionals to carry our any analysis of my toxic chemical injuries or any other poor chemical poisoned worker.

            Dont tell me whether I should trust the NZ medical system, it is an irralevent operation running on low skill knowledge low budget system sunshine believe me.

            Don’t insult my inteligence.

            My chemical poisoning was proven by US experts that even Canada did not have, and I won my WCB from this not by believing in the establishment medical ‘authorities’ as they are very good at covering their tracks by stating the type of dribble you just sent me.

    • Planet Earth 8.2

      Hi cleangreen – you do have to import your own melatonin, but L-Glutathione and CoQ10 certainly aren’t banned – you can buy them from any health shop. Got a good deal on CoQ10 on special from the local Health 2000 shop this week, if that helps.

  9. Ed 9

    If you’re rich and powerful, you can use that to dodge the full impact and transparency of the law.
    Dan Carter is rich and powerful.

    ‘All Blacks great Dan Carter was given a light $1700 fine on a French drink driving charge, according to documents his lawyer tried to keep out of the public eye.
    Field said: “This is first time we’ve got our hands on this document. We applied for them in November. The clerk of the court said we couldn’t have them even under the freedom of information act because Mr Carter’s lawyers asked for the hearing to be private.
    “No public were allowed into the court room. I appealed that decision and today we received details of it.


    • james 9.1

      as well as that – he lost endorsement deals with Land Rover – so this financial impact to him was far greater than the ‘normal’ person.

      Also – there was huge (In NZ and France) public awareness of the charge.

      So the impact to him was greater than the usual person.

      So – be rich and powerful (or famous), and you get punished MORE than the usual person.

        • james

          Well – your first example with Dan Carter was a piss poor effort.

          The last one you quote – states very clearly “Allegedly”. No mention if he was found guilty (if he wasnt – then he hasnt escaped anything has he?).

          Not very good at this are you.

          • Ed

            Of course James.
            The rich and powerful are a victimised group. You are free to believe that.
            Most people disagree with you.

            • james

              I didnt say that either (you need to work on your comprehension).

              I was simply pointing out that your comment “If you’re rich and powerful, you can use that to dodge the full impact and transparency of the law.”

              Is not necessarily always true.

              Like a lot of your comments really.

              • Ed

                Given the fact you take no interest in researching topics and issues, this comment of yours is quite amazing.

                What is your view on the levels of inequality in this country?

                • James

                  What’s your views on grilled vs low and slow cooked ribs?

                  Neither question (this or yours above) has anything to do with the topic at hand.

                  Just because I have no interest in researching your vegan views that you kept asking me (and others to the point of boredom) yesterday dosnt mean I don’t research.

                  I just don’t do it on something I consider a idiotically driven eating disorder.

                  • Ed

                    The fact you won’t research animal agriculture and the issues surrounding it does show you up to be close minded. You are unwilling to find out about an important current events topic.

                    I may have bored you, but please don’t speak for other. Just ignore my comments.

                    Your final comment shows your ignorance of the whole issue; the key points are ethics, the environment and health.

                    • cleangreen

                      Ed James seems to also suffer from ‘comprehension’ issues too here.

                      He needs to take a break as do all the other angry right wing bloggers here now.

                      Go have a good xmas National clingons and get over living in a “labour coalition planet” now. It’s better than living in a Planet key with all the scandals and daily shock and horror shows we had to endure. Gosh life is now brighter.

                    • Ed

                      James is paid to be here.

      • Sabine 9.1.2

        hang on,

        why would LandRover use someone who drinks and drives to endorse their product? Surely we can agree that Land Rover would never want to be associated with some moron who is driving himself about town while under the influence.

        Drink Driving is literally someone who is happy to kill himself, his passengers and any poor sob who is trying to cross the road or unlucky enough to share the highway with the drunk driver.

        Poor thing, being all rich and famous and to fucking tinny to pay someone to drive his drunk ass about town.

        So really his being famous was an issue in his loosing his job for drink driving? Fuck did the idiot at least loose his liscence for a few month or would that have been an impediment to his lifestyle? We should feel all sorry for him? Why, because he made his money running after a ball and posing in tight shorts”?

        He is rich, he is also fucking stupid, callous and happy to kill people.

  10. Morrissey 10

    Liars of Our Time

    “The United States and our allies are working together throughout the Middle East to crush the loser terrorists and stop the reemergence of safe havens they use to launch attacks on all of our people. ….”

    No. 55 James Cameron: “I remember almost getting in a fight with Harvey Weinstein…”
    No. 54 Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “The greatest supporter of ISIL is the Assad regime.”
    No. 53 Richie McCaw: “The win over France in the quarter-final put some demons to bed.”

    Open mike 19/11/2015

    No. 52 Michael Cheika: “I genuinely feel for Craig Joubert. It’s so unfair. No other referee has had this stuff put out there like that and he’s a very good referee.”
    No. 51 Binyamin Netanyahu: “Israel is a law-abiding state.”
    No. 50 Cameron Slater: “I don’t break the law, and that’s the end of the story.”

    Open mike 07/06/2015

  11. Ed 11

    Chris Hedges with Mark Blyth : The Cost of Austerity

  12. Ad 12

    How China is trying to resist the effects of climate change in its northwest: billions and billions of trees:


  13. Ed 13

    Will you watch Dominion?
    The Latest Vegan Film.

    • Will you watch “Lesson 22: One Man and One Woman?” The latest Jehovah’s Witness film.


      • Ed 13.1.1

        A completely false equivalence.

        What Jehovah’s Witness say is a matter of faith. And from the video you posted a disturbed and hateful faith.
        What happens to animals in factory farms is a matter of fact.

        I don’t see the comparison.
        Please explain.

        Some possible explanations for your visceral and reactionary approach to debate about this topic.

        You are an animal farmer.
        You work for Fonterra.
        You have a vested interest in animal agriculture.
        You are scared of change.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Debate about which topic? That you have to watch Ed-approved movies to understand ethics?

          • Ed

            I just get the feeling you and others choose not to research topics which might force you to reflect on some of the choices you make in life,.
            Is this too uncomfortable for you?

            • One Anonymous Bloke


              Your feelings are leading you astray, Ed. My choices are three decades ahead of you.

            • Psycho Milt

              I just get the feeling you’ve never looked up the meaning of non-sequitur, or you wouldn’t post “this video made me feel bad so you must become a vegan” comments.

      • cleangreen 13.1.2

        Psyco milt is a trolll, ‘national alert “concerned troll” – bribble. – ignore his dribble for health reasons.

    • james 13.2

      Did you watch barbecue – showing how important BBQing is across other cultures?

    • The Chairman 14.1

      As with a number of Labour’s policies, this is another that falls far short of what’s required.

      • dv 14.1.1

        So explain how you would improve the bill TC.

        • The Chairman

          Add a hard hitting tax as a disincentive.

          • dv

            On capital gain?
            Then if they are not allowed to purchase,how does the tax on capital help?

            • The Chairman

              Land tax.

              “If they are no allowed to purchase,how does the tax help?”

              That’s the main reason it falls short, too many will still be able to purchase as there are too many exemptions.

              • dv

                But if they are not allowed to purchase how does a land tax help?

                • Carolyn_nth

                  They are allowed to purchase land to build new houses on.

                  The Bill provides that overseas persons would be able to buy sensitive land that is residential land in certain situations. These are—

                  if they will be developing the land and adding to New Zealand’s housing supply; or

                  if they will convert the land to another use and are able to demonstrate this would have wider benefits to the country; or

                  if they hold an appropriate visa and can show they have committed to reside in New Zealand.

                • The Chairman

                  There are too many exemptions, thus a hard hitting tax would act as a disincentive to purchase.

    • BM 14.2

      Australians and Singaporeans are exempt.

      Apparently, we will have to renegotiate our free trade agreement with Singapore.

  14. Ed 15

    Bomber nails it as ever.

    ‘While you squeal with vanity on social media about your Secret Santa delivery – here is the rest of NZ’


    Bomber on fire today.

    ‘This is the reason why middle NZ ignored dirty politics, mass surveillance lies and grotesque underfunding of our social infrastructure…’

    Property makes Kiwis wealth surge to $1.5 trillion over last decade: Statistics NZ’


    • ropata 15.1

      Bradbury sees clearly, the property bubble was basically an unparalleled vote buying spree

      This isn't wealth creation, it's a monumental transfer of wealth from those who don't own property to those who do, paid for by the kids living in cars and a generation locked out of home ownership. We've got to do better. https://t.co/dzqOtnsuHZ— Neale Jones (@nealejones) December 18, 2017

      Property makes Kiwis $1.5 trillion richer over last decade: Statistics NZ https://t.co/l0CU1Keq0u pic.twitter.com/ZRaCHZIZPP— nzherald (@nzherald) December 18, 2017

    • james 15.2

      “Bomber nails it as ever”

      That has to be the funniest quote of the year.

      Even a lot on the left think Bomber is, well, special.

      • Ed 15.2.1

        Another snide comment.
        Why can’t you contribute something positive?

        • james

          The Irony of you making that comment is hilarious.


          • Ed

            1. Scale of ‘nitrate timebomb’ revealed
            2. ‘Global warming may be turning the Arctic Ocean inside out’
            9. Dan Carter
            11. Chris Hedges with Mark Blyth : The Cost of Austerity
            13. Will you watch Dominion?
            15. Bomber nails it as ever.

            6 comment starters.
            A positive input with lots of ideas for the standards.

            I think all you have started with is a bbq.

            • james

              Well done Ed.

              But you lose all credibility with “Bomber nails it as ever”

              Im still laughing at that one.

              • ropata

                why don’t you argue with the actual comment instead of making dipshit ad hominem remarks. or are you personally profiting from the property bubble and misery of others?

                • Ed

                  I wonder if he’s paid to come on here.

                  • james

                    Nope – Im here because I like it. No money at all.

                  • Muttonbird

                    Unlikely. He’s a picture of the deliberate arrogance of privilege though.

                    The ‘I’m having a barbecue’ post was a perfect indication of that. So too was the dripping false concern for the man who set himself alight on parliament ground before the election.

                    Like most RWNJs, James occupies a space where anybody and everybody should and could be great, just like him. But James and those like him fail to recognise the massive discrepancies in opportunity their world has thrown up.

                    I’ve gained a little faith that the tide is turning because one of the loudest mouthpieces of James’ sort of thinking just quit his very lucrative Seven Sharp TV program because of the change in government and because he couldn’t stand the thought of apologising to Maori for misleading political broadcasts.

                • james

                  “or are you personally profiting from the property bubble and misery of others?”

                  yes I am – but no more than millions of other Kiwis. Jacinda for example.

              • cleangreen

                James is a National party troll.

                This is a ‘concerned troll alert’ – avoid his dribble for health reasons.

          • cleangreen

            Nasty little troll you nreally are James,

            Go and look at the wall and dream of a nicer place for you and go there.

            Bugger off troll.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.2.2

        ..and even his tarnished credibility towers over yours.

    • ropata 15.3

      Another great piece from Bradbury:


      Bomber is worth any ten MSM “journalists” (with few exceptions). A good reminder of the unbelievable shit the Nats got away with all these years.

      • Ed 15.3.1

        The section on the media is especially good.

        ‘1: The NZ mainstream media utterly missing in action for 9 years

        The greatest fraud in the BIMS reports that highlight the horror of National’s 9 years in power is that the NZ mainstream media unquestioningly allowed these scumbags to get away with it for a decade!
        Where the hell was the NZ media for the last 9 years when the conclusions of the BIM reports were so obvious to everyone else?
        Let’s call the last 9 years of National’s rule what it really was – class-austerity. A draconian policy that destroyed the most vulnerable but because media are middle class they never saw it and allowed them to get away with it.
        How can we have such an apocalyptic conclusion of 9 years worth of policy failure and the vast majority of NZ media not pick up on the enormity of damage being perpetrated?
        How did this all go unnoticed for so long?
        The biggest story for the mainstream media this year was demonising and destroying Metiria Turei for having the audacity to tell her story of misleading Social Welfare to feed her child with her chin up.
        We don’t just need a new Government, we desperately need a new media!’

        • ropata

          Harsh austerity for the working poor and massive property bonanza bribes for the well-heeled “liberal” middle class… as well as guttersnipe dirty politics and every indication of corruption and collusion with Chinese interests at the highest echelons of the NatCorp™️ political prostitutes’ collective

      • James 15.3.2

        I doubt that you will get many sane people agreeing with you about bomber.

        • ropata

          He is far more reliable than you and the other RWNJ crony capitalists, of course it’s in your pecuniary interest to discredit him.

        • cleangreen

          James you are an arrogant troll arent you,

          Bomber is 1000 times the man you are.

          Martyn has fought for the real truth; – while you spead only dribble.

          So take your xmas time to be with family and give us a break.

  15. joe90 16


    The top congressional committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has set its sights on the Green Party and its nominee, Jill Stein, according to a former campaign employee.


    • joe90 16.1

      And the second campaign the Senate Intel Committee is looking at…?

      Burr confirms SSCI is investigating Jill Stein's campaign, saying there are TWO campaigns the committee has just started looking at.I asked what he's looking for from Stein's campaign."Collusion with the Russians," he said.— Emma Loop (@LoopEmma) December 18, 2017

  16. Morrissey 17

    Is Josie Pagani advising this guy?
    The appointment of Rob “Fuckwit” Fyfe casts serious doubt on Andrew Little’s judgement

    In 2007 it was revealed that Air New Zealand (rather than the Royal New Zealand Air Force) had been secretly and illegally flying Australian and US combat troops to staging areas for the Iraq war. This was all kept secret from the New Zealand government, which reacted with predictable fury to the news. The Air New Zealand C.E.O. in 2007 was one Rob Fyfe.


    Just after the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe in March 2011, the Japanese government was secretly considering the evacuation of Tokyo. At the same time, Air New Zealand C.E.O. Rob Fyfe came on television to assure people that the fuss over so-called nuclear leaks was a beat-up, and there was nothing to worry about. He advised us to do as he did, which was to accept the word of the Japanese government’s PR people, and not to trust the word of so-called “experts”.

    In the history of New Zealand television, I doubt if there’s been a more complacent, irresponsible or simply plain foolish appearance by anyone.

    And now, despite all of this, Andrew Little has appointed this prize chump as “an independent advisor on the manned Pike River re-entry.” When Little became Opposition leader in late 2014, one of the first things he did was to vote for—not against, but FOR—the Key regime’s snooping legislation. Apparently his advisers—people like Phil Quin and Josie Pagani—figured that this would show the Labour Party was “responsible”.

    The appointment of Rob Fyfe shows a similar level of judgement and wisdom from Andrew Little.

    Meltdown at Fukushima

    Open mike 06/05/2013

    Open mike 21/12/2012

    • ropata 17.1

      The Govt could do worse than the charismatic CEO who turned around the fortunes of our national carrier. He’s an asset, you’re too critical mate.

    • At the same time, Air New Zealand C.E.O. Rob Fyfe came on television to assure people that the fuss over so-called nuclear leaks was a beat-up, and there was nothing to worry about.

      I presume that’s what Rob Fyfe telling people there’s no point in panicking about possible but unlikely nuclear catastrophes looks like after it’s been through the Morrissey Mistranslation Service. Maybe Little’s not a subscriber?

    • tc 17.3

      Fyfe’s a hired hand who will be careful to deliver a fair outcome as there’s more waiting for him if he does a good job.

      Little’s no idiot as appointing Fyfe immediately shuts down any perception of anti big business bias by using a former CEO of a big business.

      Clever move from Andy IMO.

      • Morrissey 17.3.1

        I don’t mind him appointing someone from big business, I mind him appointing Rob Fyfe, who as I have demonstrated, lacks judgement, morality, and common sense.

    • Anne 17.4

      Sorry, but what evidence do you have Morrissey that Pagani and Quin were advisers to Andrew Little? I seriously doubt they were. There would certainly have been contact between them and David Shearer because Pagani’s husband, John was Shearer’s campaign manager for the Mt Albert by-election in 2009.

    • srylands 17.5

      Air New Zealand is a commercial airline. They will pick up any charter that pays market rates. To turn down business would be acting contrary to the interests of shareholders.

      You are ridiculous.

  17. eco maori 18

    Well the muppets show must go on these idiots don’t feel one bit of remorse for me or my family so _________them I’m going to tell the people exactly what I think of these muppets they think with the wrong head and are bigots they are losing this battle I’m so happy that I can tell the people of there farcical ways Kia kaha

  18. The Chairman 19

    Ardern indicated the Government bill would not go as far as the measures in Swarbrick’s private member’s bill, because it was necessary to put up something that NZ First would support.

    Yet, Health Minister David Clark confirmed it was a conscience vote so MPs could vote individually and not along party lines.

    Therefore, what’s going on here?

    Labour seem to be using NZF as an excuse, yet Labour’s own health minister seems to have blown their cover away.

    Moreover, why do NZF oppose the Greens medicinal cannabis bill?

    Do they want to sustain the pain, suffering and criminalisation of the ill?

  19. Ric 20

    Good to see the government has moved quickly to establish an interim unit to start work on Kiwi Build . This will be an important issue in 2020.
    More at https://www.interest.co.nz/property/91462/housing-minister-announces-establishment-interim-unit-within-mbie-start-work-100000

  20. francesca 21

    The Guardian’s article takes as indisputable fact and bottom line that the White Helmets are humanitarian volunteers. Theyr’e not, for a start they earn $150 a month, not a “stipend” its more than a Syrian soldier gets.
    They also get media training,and funding for film studios, unlike any civil defence group I’ve ever heard of
    The Guardian goes on to frame longstanding and credible journalists and academics as witting or unwitting stooges of the Kremlin, in the hopes of discrediting or shutting them down
    And yes, RT does interview these journalists, dissident voices don’t tend to get an airing on the partisan western media any more. But to malign those serious journalists, historians and academics as tools of Russia is a dangerous road to go down
    I also take objection to “officially known as the Syrian Civil Defence” As I wrote above, only the real Syrian Civil Defence, paid for by the Syrian govt has that distinction
    Pointing out these unwelcome facts now gets smeared as propaganda

    • Ed 21.1

      And PM believes The Guardian- although he says he trusts no-one.
      Real journalists ( as listed by Morrissey) have exposed the White Helmets as frauds and gangsters.
      The fact the Guardian chooses to attack such respected independent journalists says a lot about how far the Guardian has fallen in the past 5 years.

    • Bill 21.2

      The heartening thing francesca is that ever fewer people are buying into that kind of line any more. Even this thread, with only two recalcitrant washibots :-), has a vastly different weighting of expressed opinions than it would have had (say) two years ago.

      Common sense is getting there. Slowly.

      • Ed 21.2.1

        More proof of the Guardian’s bias.

        Guardian editor’s hypocrisy on anti-semitism

        ‘I have been a critic of Jonathan Freedland before on these pages, but he – and the BBC – sank to a new low last week on the BBC’s Question Time.

        Question Time is a current affairs show that allows an invited audience to ask pre-agreed questions on topical issues to a panel of public figures. The panel is dominated by politicians from the main political parties, but a token radical is occasionally allowed to appear. Last week it was Respect MP George Galloway.

        Galloway has complained about the BBC and Freedland’s behaviour, accusing the broadcaster of setting him up. He has written a scathing piece about his experience here.


      • Ed 21.2.2

        I wonder how much time Olivia Solon has spent in Syria researching her story on Russia and the White Helmets.
        Or did she never leave San Francisco?


        By camparison, this is Patrick Cockburn’s profile.


        Who to trust??

      • marty mars 21.2.3

        Well bill I agree with OAB and PM but I’m on a lurk at the moment. Isn’t there a rule about the “owned” meme? Just because people can’t be bothered arguing doesn’t mean you won the argument. Just like I won’t argue much with 911 conspiracy people or racists or rwnj’s – not because I can’t – but because it is an exercise in futility. The big ‘discussion’ today is in that category for me.

        • Macro

          Same for me too Marty – an exercise in futility – and more important things to do.
          By the way – I see Jill Stein is now under investigation – because she was interviewed on RT (I’m sure there is nothing untoward in the Green campaign and the release of her emails to the public will verify that). However, Putin has achieved pretty much what he set out to do. To spread dispute and dissent in the West – this makes Russia all the more powerful.

          • Bill

            So who is investigating her for appearing on a TV programme? And that links back to Putin, how? I mean, did he or some Russian entity push for Stein to be harassed or something?

            • marty mars

              did you see the ‘same for me’ bit at the start of the comment?

              so that’s 4 respected commenters that I agree with – yay the numbers keep going up.

            • Macro

              Putin has been fiddling in the West via social media for some time now. The infamous troll factory of which you are aware with its 400+ persons has some of the most capable trolls working full time on twitter, facebook, and influencing google (ask Lynn how this is done). An up to date report of the troll influence in the the US around the time of the US elections is here:
              The number of twitter accounts linked back to the kremlin is here:
              (that is 65 pages long and contains some 2752 accounts). These were most active during critical phases in the US election process and as can be seen from the link above became more and more active right up to and including the election day.
              From the link above:

              While no single tweet from a fake account threw the race, the matrix of Russian troll activity reveals the shape of a sophisticated, researched and targeted effort by a foreign adversary to subvert the conversations and opinions of Americans as they chose their next president.

              “Thinking about this in a binary of ‘did it cause someone to change their vote?’ is overly narrow,” said Laura Rosenberger, director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy. “It’s about influence over time.”

              We also know that these trolls have been active in the UK leading up to the BREXIT vote, during the French Elections, and in the German Elections.

              We know that Putin’s background is from the KGB – that is no secret. But the role of the KGB is to work to undermine the democratic process of the West as it has always been. Divide and Rule is a maxim that is as true today as it has always been. Frankly I don’t think Putin cares either way whether it was Trump or Clinton in the White House. But a country divided within is a weakened country, no matter what it’s material strength, and for Putin – that is all that matters.

              RT – directly funded from Russia is just another facet in the programme. It retains its credabilty with credible reportage, but is just as likely to report “alternative facts” (to use Conway’s description of the size of the crowd on 20 Jan).

          • joe90

            I see Jill Stein is now under investigation – because she was interviewed on RT

            About who paid the expenses to attend the RT function, herself or her campaign, and because Flynn failed to disclose his appearance fee , whether she was paid to attend.

        • Ed

          Bill is correct.
          More and more people ( after the Gulf of Tonkin, JFK, 9/11, Iraq and WMD, Scottish independence referendum. Syria, Venezuela, Palestine, Yemen, Ukraine) have first hand evidence that the corporate msm lies.
          And they don’t trust them anymore.

        • Bill

          So it’s all about “winning arguments” for you marty? k. And you agree with two people….about something. Very good.

          • marty mars

            That is what YOU said bill – I pointed out that I don’t argue futile arguments with those that argue this shit. Did you actually read my comment before smacking the keys?

            to help you here is YOUR quote

            “The heartening thing francesca is that ever fewer people are buying into that kind of line any more. Even this thread, with only two recalcitrant washibots :-), has a vastly different weighting of expressed opinions than it would have had (say) two years ago.

            Common sense is getting there. Slowly.”

            “EVEN IN THIS THREAD… insult, abuse…and so on” Hopefully I don’t have to be bothered bolding it as well as caps.

            yeah nah it’s not common and definitely not sense imo, but be heartened lol

    • Have you worked your way round yet to considering the possibility that your thoughts on the merits or otherwise of the White Helmets are of only marginal relevance to the topic under discussion?

  21. Stuart Munro 22

    Seem to be a lot of people here who haven’t done their homework on Putin. RT isn’t the best place for that.

    • Ed 22.1

      Seems to be a lot of people who haven’t done their research on the western corporate media. The Guardian isn’t the best place for that.

      • Stuart Munro 22.1.1

        Friend of mine was a friend of Politkovskaya. Putin had her murdered. We aren’t all stupid enough to get all our info from the media – in the long term other sources become available that provide a fuller picture.

        Putin has been in the public eye for a long time now, and much of the truth about him is out. But you won’t find any of it on RT. Ask any journalist who’s been in the room with Putin when something went down, or if you don’t know any, go through his biography and put the pieces together.

        Check out the Soviet genocides and the attempted Chechen genocide. It gives context to Putin’s invasion and the Chechen response. https://www.amazon.com/Chechnya-Small-Victorious-Carlotta-Gall/dp/0330350757
        is a decent resource if you have no Chechen friends.

        Remember Litvinenko? What was all that about? Did his killers go ‘off the reservation’ or did Putin back it? How would you be able to tell?

        What about the Nemtsov assassination? Why were no security present and no tapes available from the most heavily surveilled area in Russia? Could not happen without high level access.

        And don’t go to RT – they are compromised – by all means use their sources if they give any.

        • francesca

          This may help to answer some of your questions
          In fact the cameras were on , and footage was supplied to the investigators


          • Stuart Munro

            It’s rather slanted:

            ““This area is under constant, minute surveillance.” Really?”

            Yes. This is the place where, notoriously, if you drop so much as a cigarette butt at any time, day or night you will be speaking to police with two minutes.
            If you haven’t lived in Moscow you might be forgiven for swallowing this water-down, but that doesn’t make it true.

            • francesca

              The writer has indeed lived in Moscow. Clearly you didn’t read in full his experience of that area

              • Stuart Munro

                Why would I bother, he’s lying – I’ve been following Putin since his first rigged election (decades) – and you recent RT converts with no perspective of this murderous cold war dictator are falling all over the genocidal scumbag.

                Get it straight Putin had Nemtsov murdered. He even promised to take personal responsibility for the investigation – which of course went nowhere. This is Putin’s modus operandi – it’s not by any means an isolated incident.

  22. David Mac 23

    I feel an urge to place credence in the word of those journalists that support my own world view. Their accuracy counts but they’re off to a head start in the credibility stakes.

    Like the Finn Brothers, for me, those guys are off to a head start in the music that grabs my fancy stakes before I even push ‘Play’.

  23. Ed 24

    Yet another way Russia is undermining our society

    ‘The recent news that Russia has topped the Progress in International Reading and Literacy Study (PIRLS), has sent shockwaves through the civilised world, with analysts believing that this is yet more evidence of a mendacious scheme by the Kremlin to destroy our values and way of life.

    The study, which is based on tests taken every five years, measures literacy rates amongst 10-year-olds around the world, with around 320,000 children across the globe sitting the tests. According to the most recent results, Russian children came in first, whilst children from more enlightened countries, such as the US, UK and Canada were much further down the list. Western analysts are in agreement that this simply cannot be the case, given the vast amounts of money pumped into the education systems of those countries every year.

    According to a spokesperson for the British Government’s Department of Education, the results provide yet further evidence of Russian meddling and manipulation, this time using innocent children as pawns in a sinister game:
    “As everyone knows, whilst Britain has a world class education system that is the envy of every nation, Russia is a poor country where nothing works and everyone is force-fed a constant diet of Kremlin propaganda. Given that this is the case, we simply refuse to believe that it is possible for Russian children to have better reading results than British children, and it is obvious to us that the explanation for these results must be a more sinister one.”
    One theory put forward is that the Kremlin has been running a state-sponsored duping campaign, whereby the results from the reading tests have been manipulated and falsified to give Russian children higher marks than their Western counterparts. The theory has been put forward by Dr. Georgy Rodzyanko, who used to work in the Russian Department for Education, before fleeing the country after being arrested for corruption – a charge that is almost certainly trumped up………….’


  24. francesca 25

    Jonathan Cook has written an excellent essay about the process by which journalists end up churning out articles supporting the foreign policy status quo


    He used to write for the Guardian about Israel /Palestine but was dumped when his writing became too critical(for the Guardian’s sensibilities)of Israel
    He’s also been involved in a recent spat with Monbiot over the Khan Shaykoun
    I think he;s a terrific journalist


    • Ed 25.1

      I referenced an article he wrote exposing Jonathan Freedland (Guardian) and his pro Israel bias.

  25. eco maori 26

    The good things about having mokos earlier in ones life is if you have a runner well you can keep up with him for now anyway my eldest grandson is a full of life little person he just needs good netureing and guidance and he will climb high on his journey up his ladder of life with ECO giydince to there are negative to but the positive far out weight the negative. It makes one open his eyes and see reality as it is I know people are tracking my phone all good. I sometimes think WTF I’m getting nothing for this invasion of my privacy. But then I’m thankful that ECO has the Thunder to help make changes for a equal more humane society that will whership mother earth which is the culture we will need to survive global warming Ka kite ano

  26. Muttonbird 27

    It’s Christchurch. It’s how they roll.

    Christchurch man stunned after tradie calls him the n-word


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    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
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    4 days ago
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  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
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    7 days ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
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    1 week ago
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  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
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  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
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  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
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