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Open mike 19/04/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 19th, 2015 - 102 comments
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102 comments on “Open mike 19/04/2015”

  1. vto 1

    anzacs
    war
    defence forces
    john key and American wars
    militarism
    honour
    patriotism
    gallipoli

    all piled up together in some hell-stink pile of shit

    Anzac day is about the men who died imo, nothing else, and especially not the fucking military who caused them all to die.

    this twisted mixed-up pile will exaggerate itself this week with all manner of crap wrapped around the deaths of these 2,500 men…

    I remember my family and the men that were killed.

    Nothing else.

    • Roflcopter 1.1

      They died so you could post that.

      • Visubversaviper 1.1.1

        I don’t think so. They died because we were dragged into a war because of a complicated system of alliances between Queen Victoria’s relatives meant that when a Serbian nationalist shot an Austrian Prince, a lot of strutting and posturing and “my cannon is bigger than your cannon” lead to a totally un-necessary conflict which affected most of the world.

        • And the men who died specifically at Gallipoli did so because no one bothered to update the strategy after the Turks were kicked out of Russia. Most pointless invasion ever.

          • Tracey 1.1.1.1.1

            those conscripted went cos the choice was death or prison

            those who volunteered believed the propaganda that it would be quick… painless and adventurous

            they did not get killed, maimed or mentally scarred so that 100 years later politicians could exploit their memories for their own ends

            the auckland war memorial museum has poignant interviews with people who went and their reasons for going. many talk about being pacifists afterwards. i honour their words more than roflcopters propandic judgments.

            i had 2 great uncles die in france in ww1. one in action. one as a result of wounds sustained at the somme. they were cannon fodder for colonels and generals who valued livestock higher than their men.

            blackadder goes 4th is practically a documentary in its depiction of british command.

            • alwyn 1.1.1.1.1.1

              “those conscripted went cos the choice was death or prison”.

              None of the New Zealand soldiers who went to Gallipoli were conscripts Tracey. They were all volunteers.
              After all, the landings at Gallipoli were in 1915 and New Zealand did not introduce conscription until 1916.

              http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/conscription-conscientious-objection-and-pacifism/page-1

              • odysseus

                The reasons men went to war in 1914- 18 was many and varied and changed over time – those that volunteered early thinking it would be a bit of adventure and be over by Xmas may have different reasons than those who were conscripted later and did have some idea of the slaughter that was going on.

                So reasons could be a sense of adventure, social or peer pressure, a response to propaganda, a feeling that it was the ” right thing ” to do or one’s duty , to get a paying job, to defend Belgian neutrality, hatred of Germans , a Christian duty, and no doubt many other reasons.

                It is easy , but quite wrong, to generalise .

              • Tracey

                when did wwi come to only include gallipoli alwyn… or even anzac day

                • alwyn

                  I took your statement to be referring to Gallipoli, and not that it was a general statement about the war, because it is a reply to a comment by Stephanie Rodgers who said, at the very beginning of her comment.
                  “And the men who died specifically at Gallipoli”

                  I thought that when you were replying to a comment that said that that you were also talking about Gallipoli. A perfectly reasonable assumption I would have thought.
                  I wouldn’t have been mislead about your meaning if you had made your comment a reply to Rolfcopter, rather than to someone else.

                  • McFlock

                    🙄
                    Well, you obviously thought all that without bothering to read Tracey’s comment, particuarly when she refers to relatives dying in France in WW1.

                    Don’t blame other people for your comprehension fail.

                  • Tracey

                    Fair enough but I thought the references to other than Gallipoli and WWI would be enough. Sorry.

      • vto 1.1.2

        you will need to expand on that to be understood

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.1.3

        They died so you could post that.

        They died due to incompetent and misguided political/military leadership.

        In essence, they died so that we would remember that.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.4

        What a load of BS. Chances are that even if the West had lost WWI or WWII we’d still be able to post on the internet. Oppressive regimes tend not to last too long.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.4.1

          Hard to say the internet would have been invented, developed and evolved as it has.

          It’s actually quite amazing that the internet managed to be released to the public with so little in the way of regulation and oversight. It seems to be too late to put the genie back in the bottle now.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.1.4.1.1

            Hard to say the internet would have been invented, developed and evolved as it has.

            IMO, as soon as we had computers the internet was inevitable. Sure, it’s development may have taken longer and a different direction but we still would have got it.

            • Lanthanide 1.1.4.1.1.1

              We had BBS. It’s entirely possible that TCP / IP could have been kept as a DARPA / military-only technology, and we would have had an ad-hoc linkage of BBSes together. Really the fact that private ISPs were allowed to get IP addresses and connect to the network is what enabled the spread; it is very easy to imagine a world where private ISPs like that simply weren’t allowed to join the ‘military’ network.

              Also it’s very easy to slip into thinking that ‘the world-wide web’ is ‘the internet’. Of course the internet didn’t gain broad popular appeal until the web was created; before that it was gopher, usenet and other clunky text-based systems.

              But sure, some system of wide networking probably would have been invented eventually, but again it’s easy to imagine a system that was very heavily controlled by a state (or states), and required such things as real-name identification online, strict controls around porn and other ‘dubious’ content etc.

              • Adele

                Kiaora,

                From my understanding, the explosive growth of the worldwide web was fueled in the very early days by pornography. An ideal way to share pornographic pictures worldwide anonymously.

                So in other words, the worldwide web was impervious to state control from the very beginning.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  From my understanding, the explosive growth of the worldwide web was fueled in the very early days by pornography.

                  Which pretty much proves that you don’t have any understanding at all.

      • The Murphey 1.1.5

        They died at the behest of the same controllers still waging war around the globe today

      • Foreign waka 1.1.6

        Its war propaganda instead of remembrance. So many people died and for what? The way we should remember them is to ask the question whether we want to see their great great great great etc children experience the same. It would open a debate that is about a better world and safe place for humanity.
        I belief that would at least make sure their death was not in vain.

      • Skinny 1.1.7

        Sounds a bit Anzacary there cobbah!

      • halfcrown 1.1.8

        “They died so you could post that.”

        Yes maybe. However VTO has some valid points and as an ex National Serviceman I agree with him. It is all bullshit. it is glorifying war so the next generation can expect to be cannon fodder for the right wing aresoles.

        If I hear the last post played one more time I will go up the fucking wall.

        You only have to read about butcher Haig and his class (O golly gosh we have lost 20 00 men, never mind send over another 20.000 peasants) My interpretation of those aresoles.

        Spike Milligan summed it up once when he said about the upper crust duchesses, “must knit something for our poor lads at the front,” but when the surviving “poor lads” came back to “a land fit for heroes” these same upper crust duchesses could not give a shit about the conditions and slums they lived in with kids undernourished getting sick with diseases like TB and Rickets.
        I can’t see any difference today, Key can attend the bullshit but does not give a shit about the child poverty that is increasing in NZ.

        I for one does not need the bullshit to remember family members who fought in both wars. My dear old dad, stretcher bearer on the Somme. My lovely eldest brother doing his bit at Imphal stopping the Japanese invading India, my other lovely brother working all hours servicing transport aircraft on the Berlin Airlift and school mates who did National Service,(we had no choice had to do it,) ending up in places like Aden, Cyprus, Malaya, Kenya, and Suez, and the follow on generations who the the right wing prats sent to places like Vietnam, Falklands, The Gulf, and the on going Afghanistan, Iraq.

        • Skinny 1.1.8.1

          Good call there cobbah halfcrown.

          It is annoying every man and his corporate dog jumps on the ANZAC bandwagon in an attempt to craft a buck. Key tried it on with an Anzac theme to send our troops off to the Middle East. Disgraceful.

          • halfcrown 1.1.8.1.1

            Thanks for that Skinny. I can tell many a tale about my family and my dear lovely mother who was devastated when her first born lovely son was sent off to Burma and how determine she was to keep me and my other brother well fed and safe under extreme circumstances during the war. I feel the mothers and wives left behind were also hero’s but do not get the recognition they deserved. Anzac day should also acknowledge them. My wife says I should write my history as a kid in the east end during the war, but who will read read it? Not the right wing fuckwits who are brain dead, They are only interested in how much they can sell their overvalued house for and the next brain numbing episode of Master Chef on the television.

      • Murray Rawshark 1.1.9

        Vto posted that because they died. They died because British strategists considered that Johnny Turk was too deficient in manly qualities to stand up to British Imperial steel. They died so Vickers could make a fortune. They died for nothing that made any sense.

        If they had not died at Gallipoli, at Al Alamein, at Monte Cassino, at a rice growing hamlet in Viet Nam, at thousands of miles from home in Afghanistan, we’d still be able to post whatever we like, maybe more than we’re allowed today. Militarism and worship of military adventure has been used to curtail our rights, not to defend them.

      • Rawsharkosaurus 1.1.10

        No, they died because they were sent to bail out the bloody Belgians.

        Sure, Belgium today is a joke country (cobbled together out of the Dutch that Holland doesn’t want, and the French that Paris doesn’t want), but the Belgians of a hundred years ago were the Khmer Rouge of their day – estimates of the total killed in the “Congo Free State” range from 2½ to 5 times the number killed by Pol Pot.

        And, because of an overdose of ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ type thinking, they got sent to interfere in a Middle Eastern situation that nobody in command had a clue about. A hundred years later, our government is still sending our youngsters out to die in the Middle East, in a situation that nobody in command has a clue about, and ignoring all the times that the “West” has interfered in the Middle East and made matters worse for everyone. (“Yay, we got rid of Mossadegh! Oh shit, here comes the Ayatollah! Let’s give Saddam shitloads of money and set him up against the Ayatollah! Oh shit, what’s he doing in Kuwait! Yay, we got rid of Saddam! Oh shit, here comes Daesh!” etc. etc. etc.)

    • Anne 1.2

      I sympathise with you vto. At the moment the media is full of maudlin’ gushing which goes on and on and on… Its the usual over-kill the media love to wallow in whilst the news of the day is almost entirely ignored. Expect more draconian government measures to be announced this week that will go largely unreported.

      Its a time to remember one’s own family and the trials and tribulations they endured – not this vulgar, blustering jingoism that means very little and achieves even less.

      • Anne 1.2.1

        And on a related issue:

        Here’s an interesting “Insight” interview with SIS Director, Rebecca Kitteridge this morning.

        For once (just this once 😉 ), Key may have got something right. I was impressed. A woman Director untainted by the Cold War rhetoric and paranoia of yesteryear is a welcome improvement.

        http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/insight/audio/20175123/insight-for-19-april-2015-how-real-terrorism-threats-in-nz

        edit: the whole programme is well worth listening to.

      • seeker 1.2.2

        Agee wholeheartedly Anne. I am also a little disturbed by what rather looks like a WW1 theme park created by jackson (my son of 25 gave it this description). Is it helpful for young people or does it detract from the honour and respect I have always given our wonderful heroes that gave their lives for us. I still hear the solitary gun that went off at 11 am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month as I was growing up. Man woman and child would be silent for two minutes in memory of our lost. And the poppies.

        I liked the memorials in Wellington and London. I thought they added to the stature our lost ones deserved.

        • McFlock 1.2.2.1

          I used to do the dawn service thing, but stopped when it seemed that most people there didn’t know the meaning between “commemoration” and “celebration” – literally, people would say it was a celebration of our war dead.
          Sigh.

          • Tracey 1.2.2.1.1

            Our media are still referring to it, Anzac day, as a celebration. Mind you, today our PM referred to the Police as “retailers” when advising parents concerned what to do if fearful their child is being pulled toward terrorism. he meant vis a vis…. GCSB? or something. But it shows you how he thinks, everything is measured against a market type interpretation or reference point. Money baby.

        • Anne 1.2.2.2

          I went to an Armistice Day memorial at the London Cenotaph forty plus years ago. It was the most moving event I have ever witnessed. London fell silent. Not a sound. I swear there were a million plus people present – all standing quietly in rows. At the 11th hour of the 11th day… the bugle played loud and clear. The only sound was the the odd person who broke into sobbing. The memories were still very deep and painful.

          That day changed me forever. I abhor the way it is now being celebrated as a false glorification of war. Most of those who were present n that occasion, I am sure would be horrified at the way it has been cheapened.

    • Tracey 1.3

      and women who died. who were injured. who nursed.

      • halfcrown 1.3.1

        Well said Tracey, there is not enough reconition to what the women did during these terrible times, and are still doing in places like Gaza.

    • Rosie 1.4

      +1 vto. Sums it up for me. As mentioned earlier this week, the thing that tipped me over in my response to the morbid sensationalism around the centenary of Gallipoli was the sight of chocolates in the shape of WW1 tin helmets, for sale at New World. Just crass.

      +1 to all replies after that except for Roflcopter.

      Anne is right about the maudlin gushing of the media, its meaningless. Remembering our own families roles in war and the consequences for them I agree with.

      If anything those memories should strip away the faux collective military flavoured grief. That just leaves you with the reality of what those memories mean for the family and the disappointment of what nations haven’t learnt.

      For us, those reflections are for our Grandfather who was lucky enough to have his leg blown off by friendly fire on the eve of the Battle of the Somme, who went on to live a good and full life, and for our Aunts husband who on returning from WW2 was sent to another part of the country for work, far away from his iwi, and not coping with the adjustment to civilian life and the racism he encountered, suicided.
      A post war casualty.

      • Scintilla 1.5.1

        Link to good podcast on Gallipoli as the Australian nation-builder by Peter Fitzsimons, Australian author, journalist, ex-Wallaby who wrote a recent book on Gallipoli and is currently writing on the Western Front. About 20 minutes. Very down to earth take on it – he notes that one of the reasons Aussies went to war was that they were the best-paid soldiers on 6 shillings a day (Brits on 1shilling). Hence they were very popular with the ladies in Cairo and had a massive reputation as drinkers and larrikins. Quel surprise!

        Peter Fitzsimons

  2. Paul 2

    Record world temperatures again.
    Groser, Bridges and Key’s solution.
    Put their heads in the sand and drill for more oil.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-04-17/this-has-been-the-hottest-start-to-a-year-on-record

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      To fair, that is not their “solution” to climate change at all.

      That’s their solution to growing our economy.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        Good point – they don’t give flying about climate change and the effects on people, communities, and the environment and have no plan/solution – but they do care about growing ‘our’ economy – ffs I hope (not really tbh) they can drink or eat dollar notes

  3. Paul 3

    Brilliant cartoon by Sharon Murdoch in the Sunday StarTimes today
    Can’t find a link to it.

    It summarises in one picture how goddam awful our media ( Christie – Rawden and Julie), Weldon, Hosking, Henry, Williams, ….) are.

    Brilliant.

  4. lol – rodney defending henry by telling off blue – ‘You don’t know what feminism is, you’re not a male’

    ffs has rodney hide EVER done anything that could slightly be respected – nah, didn’t think so

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11434877

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Rocket Lab unveils world’s first battery rocket engine

    Auckland-based Rocket Lab has unveiled what it says is the world’s first battery-powered rocket engine.

    The engine on its Electron rocket will do away with expensive and complex gas generators and instead use small high-performance electric motors and lithium polymer batteries to drive its turbo pumps. The engine will also incorporate parts made by 3D printers to cut costs and speed up the manufacturing process.

    So that shows that we can keep up with the firms in the US and elsewhere as far as tech goes.

    Rocket Lab is a privately funded company with its major investors including Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1 and United States firms Khosla Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners and Lockheed.

    Unfortunately, I figure that soon after it achieves success it and it’s technology will be bought out and shifted to the US. And before anyone goes on about private owners being allowed to do that:

    The company has developed and launched a number of smaller rockets and received up to $25 million of New Zealand government funding over five years.

    Commercial success via government funding with the ones who will benefit not being NZ.

    Now think of what we could do with dedicated government funding that can’t be bought out and shifted offshore by foreigners.

    • Tracey 5.1

      but how would usa companies get their risk subsidised your way dtb? we owe it to them.

  6. Colonial Rawshark 6

    The Intercept: new movie describes how FBI sets up innocents as “terror suspects” using a network of 15,000 informants

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/04/15/fbi-informant-stung-fbi/

    • Bill 6.1

      Interesting that quite a few people, including – from memory – some on these pages, have been resistant to the idea that so-called terrorists have been nothing more than poor suckers set up by self appointed defenders of our freedoms.

      An aside – I noted yesterday that the Australians seem to be targeting kids now.

      Four teenagers who had knives and, allegedly, some half baked scheme to stab cops at ANZAC memorial services. Now, even if true, stabbing cops is not terrorism. That the Australians are now apparently planning to be flooding memorial services with cops is risible all things considered.

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1

        Transition to a surveillance and security state, on the flimsiests of pretexts.

    • Murray Rawshark 6.2

      It’ll all be pushed by field agents chasing promotion, and managers wanting more power. They employ unscrupulous criminal types and off they go. I wouldn’t be surprised if 100% of the convictions were fabricated.

      Our ngati poaka, especially the drug squads, have a long history of similar stuff and will happily transfer their skills to manufactured threats. With their infiltration into animal rights groups, they already have. They don’t protect us. They look for new ways to control us.

  7. I highly recommend this – inspiring

    “16-year-old Amandla Stenberg played Rue in “Hunger Games,” but her career as an actor and activist is just getting started. The evidence is on her Tumblr, where she posted a video she and a classmate made for their history class. Titled, “Don’t Cash Crop My Cornrows,” the video shows Stenberg explaining the appropriation of black culture. ”

    http://www.makers.com/blog/%E2%80%9Chunger-games%E2%80%9D-star-perfectly-explains-cultural-appropriation

  8. Morrissey 9

    “Bill, you look AWFUL. What the hell happened?”
    “Glenn Greenwald happened.”

    Bill Maher Gets Owned by Glenn Greenwald Over Benghazi and Interventionism – May 10, 2013

    See also….

    Open mike 28/03/2015

  9. Penny Bright 11

    How is THIS not a major and potentially corrupt ‘conflict of interest’ in the U$A?

    Where former corporate lobbyists lead the Office of the United States Trade Representative, responsible for negotiating the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) and TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), from which the main beneficiaries will arguably be those same corporations?

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/04/16/tpp-revolving-door/

    The Office of the United States Trade Representative, the agency responsible for negotiating two massive upcoming trade deals, is being led by former lobbyists for corporations that stand to benefit from the deals, according to disclosure forms obtained by The Intercept.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed free trade accord between the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim countries; the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a similar agreement between the U.S. and the E.U.

    The Obama administration is pushing hard to complete both deals, which it says will increase U.S. trade opportunities. Critics say the deals will provide corporate interests with sweeping powers to challenge banking and environmental regulations.

    Here is information on three major figures in the Trade Representative’s office, gleaned from their disclosure forms:

    — Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, the assistant U.S. trade representative for agricultural affairs, recently lobbied for the Biotechnology Industry Organization, a trade group for biotech companies. Lauritsen’s financial disclosure form shows she made $320,193 working to influence “state, federal and international governments” on biotech patent and intellectual property issues. She worked for BIO as an executive vice president through April of 2011, before joining the Trade Representative office.

    — Christopher Wilson, the deputy chief of mission to the World Trade Organization, recently worked for C&M International, a trade consulting group, where he represented Chevron, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, British American Tobacco, General Electric, Apple and other corporate interests. Wilson’s financial disclosure shows he made $250,000 a year, in addition to an $80,000 bonus in 2013, before he joined the Obama administration. Wilson left C&M International in February of 2014 and later joined the Trade Representative’s office. C&M Internationalreportedly lobbied Malaysia, urging it to oppose tobacco regulations in Australia.

    — Robert Holleyman, the deputy United States trade representative, previously worked as the president of the Business Software Alliance, a lobbying group that represents IBM, Microsoft, Adobe, Apple and other technology companies seeking to strengthen copyright law. Holleyman earned $1,141,228 at BSA before his appointment. Holleyman was nominated for his current position in February of last year.

    These disclosures about the revolving door at the trade agency come after U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman received scrutiny over a special bonus paid to him in 2009 after he left Citigroup to join the Obama administration as deputy assistant to the president. Froman received more than $7.4 million from Citi in the year prior to joining the administration.

    Critics note that under the TPP, corporations will be empowered to file lawsuits against governments to block laws that could impair future profits. The lawsuits would fall under special tribunals set up by the World Bank.

    Many of the former clients of the trade officials now negotiating these agreements stand to gain immensely.

    …….

    _______________________________________________

    Penny Bright

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

    • Sacha 11.1

      Copying and pasting an entire article is poor form, as is not acknowledging that the words are not yours.

      • marty mars 11.1.1

        but good form to have your name 3 times – I can’t understand that – your name is on top of the comment you don’t need to sign off with your name again, and Penny if you put your website in when you put the comment in you will get a blue name where people can connect directly to your website.

      • The Murphey 11.1.2

        Q. How much do you contribute in the ‘activist space’ Sacha ?

        Both your comments and martys are asinine

        • Sacha 11.1.2.1

          Whatever.

        • seeker 11.1.2.2

          wasn’t michael froman one of the main players in the global financial meltdown who unbelievably ended up with obama. saw it on a full length documentary / film about six months ago but can’t remember the name of it. ( it was about the money men and the global bank collapse.)

          And thanks Penny,very informative.

  10. rawshark-yeshe 12

    sorry to post from Daily Mail, but it seems they provide the answer on who/what Key really is … the clear likeness is wonderful, even to the hair line !! a ray of light in a dark day anyway … lol .. and just like Key, it can “can react to facial expressions, engage in conversation and even make eye contact”.

    And, and … it’s even known as Ham 😀

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3044955/Aye-robot-Amazingly-lifelike-humanoid-incredible-range-facial-expressions.html

  11. Sirenia 13

    The nurses who served in the First World War were not allowed to march or participate in ANZAC days when they returned – took several decades for the women’s contribution to be acknowledged. Even in the 1970s the women victims of war were not allowed to be mentioned on Anzac days. So there is a lot of sexism in the war commemorations. Only one woman in the Te Papa exhibition.

  12. Skinny 14

    Looking forward to attending a Union gathering in Auckland on the 28th April where we
    be honouring the dead and fighting for the living. Its World Workers Memorial day, tragically far too many workers leave for work and never come home. Hoping to catch up with some of you Auckland unionists from here.

  13. Skinny 15

    Looks like a one sided survey. I don’t believe toll roads is the answer a regional fuel tax would be far cheaper and would cover public transport funding too.
    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/aucklanders-want-road-tolls-to-fund-transport-network-2015041715#ixzz3Xb25pDsm

    • cricklewood 15.1

      Yeah there wasnt a ‘none of the above’ option either. I think people who voted for the toll option failed to take into account the volume of traffic that will leave/avoid the motorways and move through residential streets where ever possible.

    • Penny Bright 15.2

      Why should the public subsidise what we no longer own or operate?

      How much Auckland citizen and ratepayer public monies could be saved by ‘cutting out’ the privately-owned passenger transport services and returning them ‘in-house’, under the ‘public service’ model?

      Same applies to the trains.

      Penny Bright

      http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

  14. Penny Bright 16

    Are NZ Prime Minister (ex-Wall Street banker) John Key, and his pro-corporate mate U$A President Barak Obama ‘cruising for a bruising’ with TPPA
    ‘FAST TRACK’?

    Too much FIGHTBACK against FAST TRACK?

    “Obama’s Fast Track Bill a last-ditch move to rescue TPPA”, says Professor Jane Kelsey …..

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1504/S00149/obamas-fast-track-bill-a-last-ditch-move-to-rescue-tppa.htm

    Friday, 17 April 2015, 11:41 am

    Press Release: Professor Jane Kelsey
    Obama’s Fast Track Bill a last-ditch move to rescue TPPA

    ‘With less than two months until the window is likely to close for President Obama to get a deal in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) under his watch, the administration has put a bill before Congress to grant him “fast track” authority’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey who monitors the negotiations.

    The controversial process of Fast Track, euphemistically called Trade Promotion Authority, would require Congress to vote yes or not to a final text and it time limits the debate to prevent filibustering.

    According to Professor Kelsey a number of governments at the TPPA table have recently said they won’t reach a final deal unless Obama has Fast Track, including New Zealand.

    ‘Doing something this week was really do or die for the President, even though he doesn’t have the votes to get the bill through, especially in the House of Representatives’, Kelsey said.

    The 110-page Bill is a generalised wish list of what the US wants from the TPPA, while protecting its domestic interests. Although the content has been heavily negotiated before being introduced, the negotiating objectives can be ignored.

    …… ”
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

  15. Draco T Bastard 17

    7 Ways E-Bikes May Surprise You

    So I bike down Pt Chevalier Rd towards Unitec instead, carefully threading the needle between the stop-start traffic on my right and the parked cars on my left. The other night, between Meola Rd and the traffic lights, a distance of 1km, I passed 43 cars crawling along.

    Anyway, I sidled through the traffic jam, revved up Carrington Rd, and made it to my destination in exactly ten minutes. As I tied my iron pony to the railings and headed into class, I realised I’d seen the future… and it sure as heck wasn’t self-driving cars.

    I just use a standard bicycle on my commute but slowly passing the parked cars in rush hour traffic is highly amusing and I find that I enjoy riding far more than I ever enjoyed driving.

    And, of course, this. Can’t just have bicycle lanes – we need good public transport as well.

  16. Clemgeopin 19

    Would you like a cockroach with that?

    Woman chomps on cockroach in Big Mac.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/news/67862922/woman-chomps-on-cockroach-in-big-mac

  17. ianmac 20

    Oops. TV1 Poll.
    49 % National
    31 % Labour
    42 % Key
    11 % Little
    10 % Peters

    • Anne 20.1

      Have you noticed ianmac there has been virtually no political news since the byelection? The MSM has gone dead quiet. To my knowledge Andrew Little has only been ‘allowed’ one spot on the 6pm TV news since that time. Nobody from the Greens have had a look in.. to anything.

      Out of sight and out of mind? I think so.

    • Paul 20.2

      So NZ is still sound asleep.
      Unbelievable.

      • Anne 20.2.1

        They are now in a politically comatose state – as planned.

        • Paul 20.2.1.1

          I wonder what will happen when the housing bubble bursts?
          Or when the collapse of the milk prices affects them?

          You really do wonder how disconnected from reality people are.

        • Paul 20.2.1.2

          “Go back to bed, America. Your government has figured out how it all transpired. Go back to bed, America. Your government is in control again.

          Here. Here’s American Gladiators. Watch this, shut up. Go back to bed, America. Here is American Gladiators. Here is 56 channels of it! Watch these pituitary retards bang their skulls together and congratulate you on living in the land of freedom. Here you go, America! You are free to do what we tell you! You are free to do what we tell you!”

    • fisiani 20.3

      Oh Dear What can the matter be
      Nae drop in in the poll of the T V
      Little’s tae chicken to sit on the highest tree
      He kens he’s gonna get beat

      • keyman 20.3.1

        Andrew little is no match for John key .john key just uses his awesomeness knock blows to all opponents and john key has more money knows the game

      • Clemgeopin 20.3.2

        Don’t forget that National is the main RW Tory party with no other real RW party for support under MMP, where as the opposition to National has three main parties : Labour, Greens and NZF.

        National= 49%

        Labour 31+Greens 9+NZF 7= 47%

        Not too far off.

        And, the general election was only a few months ago. There are still about
        2.5 years to go. That is a long time in politics.

        However, in the mean time, do enjoy that poll for now.

  18. Clemgeopin 21

    One of the most touching, enlightening, thought provoking and lovely articles I have read:

    A Colorado teacher who posted notes from her third grade class online and started a social media whirlwind under the hashtag #IWishMyTeacherKnew said the assignment had been a revelation for her.

    Kyle Schwartz, 26, asked the 8- and 9-year-olds at her Denver inner city school to write down something they wished she knew about them, partly as a writing exercise, and partly as a way for her to learn about her pupils.

    Read about some of the moving responses:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/67864071/i-wish-my-teacher-knew-third-grade-assignment-gets-heartbreaking-response

  19. Draco T Bastard 22

    This is the Brighter Future National is delivering to us:

    After she went into a home, diabetic David turned to the state for help while he looked for work.

    But under the Coalition’s callous new benefits rules he had his £71.70 a week Jobseeker’s Allowance axed – merely because he missed an appointment with an adviser.

    Stripped of his income, the 59-year-old could not afford food or electricity and died starving, ­penniless and alone at his home.

    David Cameron slammed for ‘brushing off’ death of starving soldier killed by benefit cuts

    His grieving sister Gill Thompson has called for the Government to review the way that benefits are “sanctioned” in the wake of the tragedy.

    But a spokeswoman for the Prime Minister has brushed off calls for change.

    Asked if it was right that a diabetic man had had his benefits taken away she said: “Judgments that are made around benefits are based on individuals circumstances relevant to their looking to find work, their various conditions.

    “Even when someone is sanctioned then they can still get financial support through the Hardship Fund.

    “And before people have their benefit sanctioned there will be a series of efforts to contact people by letter and by phone if they fail to attend an appointment.”

    Pretty much amounts to state sanctioned murder.

    • Tracey 22.1

      the difference between the propaganda and the reality

    • Murray Rawshark 22.2

      These Tory governments find a shitload of hapless Adolf Eichmanns to work for them. They have the mentality of clerks, where only ticked boxes on a list are real. Life and death don’t enter into it. How have so many either lost, or never had, any basic humanity?

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