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Open mike 19/04/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 19th, 2016 - 84 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

84 comments on “Open mike 19/04/2016 ”

  1. Tautoko Mangō Mata 1

    It’s time to act! Chris Hedges:

    The question, as the philosopher Karl Popper pointed out, is not how to get good people to rule. Most people attracted to power, Popper wrote, are at best mediocre and usually venal. The question is how to build movements to stop the powerful from doing sustained damage to the citizenry, the nation and the environment. It is not our job to take power. It is our job to keep power constantly off balance and fearful of overstepping its reach to pillage on behalf of the elites.


    • Whateva next? 1.2

      Thank you for the link, and exactly the sort of thoughtful intelligent debate we need to be having.celebrity politics is having a filed day, but as it’s power wanes, and we get closer to the source, it feels like walking through a minefield of trolls and traps. I guess it’s what any army may do when defending their base.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 1.2.1

        Here’s another reason to take to the streets.

        Not much is known about the Trade in Services Agreement, otherwise known as TISA. However the little that has been made public, or the little that has been leaked, has caused much concern. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) pales in comparison to TISA and it makes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) seem small. It is, however, most similar to the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is a massive “free trade” agreement that has been negotiated entirely in secret with 24 countries and the European Union. Altogether, TISA accounts for over 70 percent of world trade in services. You may be asking: “how does this affect me?” The best one sentence response I can come up with is: “how does this not affect you.”
        ….. New Republic reports that under the agreement, “governments may not be able to regulate staff to patient ratios in hospitals, or ban fracking, or tighten safety controls on airlines, or refuse accreditation to schools and universities. Foreign corporations must receive the same “national treatment” as domestic ones, and could argue that such regulations violate their ability to provide the service. Allowable regulations could not be ‘more burdensome than necessary to ensure the quality of the service,’ according to TISA’s domestic regulation annex. No restrictions could be placed on foreign investment—corporations could control entire sectors.”

        Wait: foreign corporations must receive the same national treatment as domestic ones? Since when do we allow foreign countries and foreign companies dictate what we must or must not do? Thanks to Investor State Dispute Settlements (ISDS), we have officially given up our democracy to foreign entities.


    • Olwyn 1.3

      Thanks for that Tautoko. This is the bit that particularly struck me: The building of movements and sustained civil disobedience is far more important than voting. Voting without powerful and organized movements is futile. Voting without profound electoral reform, including banishing corporate money from politics, is useless.

      • Bearded Git 1.3.1

        Saying voting is a waste of time is stupid.

        We have a good electoral system here in NZ. If 30% of people voted Green we would see real change. Civil disobedience/demonstrations certainly have their place though.

        • Olwyn

          I agree that to say that voting is a complete waste of time is going too far. But a vote for change can achieve very little without a grassroots movement pushing from behind. Neoliberalism was achieved by right wing movements, hungry for things to go their way, lobbying, threatening, getting like-minded people into positions of influence, etc. Meanwhile the left have been persuaded that voting is a bit like choosing an item from a menu, and getting disappointed when the resultant dish doesn’t match the description. And the more real power the right gets, the less effective that attitude becomes.

        • greywarbler

          +100 Points right on target.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 1.3.2

        Thanks for picking out the most important point, Olwyn.

        We are spending too much time criticizing Labour for not getting their act together instead of creating the movement ourselves and thus pointing the opposition parties in the required direction. National are laughing at the fact that they can slag off Labour and then watch us join in the slagging. Labour are only impotent and unsure because we are sitting on the sidelines. We need to lead from the streets in a movement which is not allied to any particular political party but which provides a vision of a better and fairer political system that makes neocapitalism obselete.

        • Olwyn

          Thanks, and a great comment too. Especially this: We need to lead from the streets in a movement which is not allied to any particular political party but which provides a vision of a better and fairer political system…

        • Sacha

          Support political organisers beyond the party system, like ActionStation and Generation Zero.

    • Shifty 1.4

      Kia ora

    • Agora 1.5

      Aucklanders beware – is the Great Auk a candidate for de-extinction ?


  2. Ed 2

    It is sad to see a site established for positive change misused by biassed and viciously deceitful propaganda for no positive purpose for New Zealand:


    I suspect many of the comments were made by the same person

  3. save NZ 3

    From Granny
    “Since 2011, the Government has put $18 million into the Matavai resort as part of its efforts to boost tourism to Niue. That included $7.5 million to build a conference centre soon after Scenic Hotels took over.”

    What the Fuck? In what planet can private conference centres be seen as aid??? Is that to bring in more ‘chefs’ and ‘waiting staff’ to keep the locals as poorly paid serfs? So that overseas politicians can have a nice place to stay and ‘do business’ as tax havens to hide money?

    Conference center in Christchurch for Brownlee vanity project, conference centre in Auckland for Sky City for John Key (btw Sky City fraudster venue of choice

    Yep, can really see the appeal of ‘aid’ to private real estate projects as a great way to launder tax payers money as bribes.

    • Chooky 3.1

      +100…yes it is weird the fixation on conference centres…when there are far more important community facilities and issues on which the scarce public money should be spent first

      …imo it is a way of making local councils bankrupt so they have to sell up valuable publicly , locally owned, strategic utilites eg airports, port facilities

      …just look at how this jonkey nact government annexed Environment Canterbury away from its elected local democratic representation and governance

    • Rosie 3.2

      Thanks for the additional information about this, what appears to be, rotten corrupt deal with Scenic Hotels, Niue, and this wealthy Nat and ACT donating Earl Hagaman character. (whose tax affairs should be looked into incidentally, as Niue is a tax haven)

      Part two of the problem, once you move away from the link between party donations and “aid” is why is NZ funding private business in another country? That is not aid to benefit the people of Niue and support their infrastructure. That’s taxpayers propping up Scenic Hotels. This isn’t the Pacific aid programme that you would associate with legitimate aid work.

      Beyond bonkers.

  4. Chooky 4

    ‘The Big Ones: Scientist warns up to 4 quakes over 8.0 possible under ‘current conditions’ ‘


    “Sunday’s devastating earthquake in Ecuador might just be the beginning, according to a seismologist who says that current conditions in the Pacific Rim could trigger at least four quakes with magnitudes greater than 8.0….

  5. Rosie 5

    Reply to Chooky and save NZ at 3 and 3.1. (The reply button doesn’t appear to be working).

    Convention centre mania is rife. Even Wellington is likely to be getting one, when we don’t need one, when the heavily indebted WCC has to borrow more money and pay the thing off over 50 years, when rates will be going up, and when people may not be travelling to conference centres in 20 years when the full impact of climate change is felt and the brakes will have gone on air travel (which currently contributes 3% to greenhouse gas).

    But you have groups like the Property Council cheerleading for such wasteful projects that bring little benefit to people:

    Handy when you have the deputy mayor on the executive board of the Property Council to help move the project along smoothly.

    It’s all about the money honey and for a bonus insult Peter Jackson gets to tag along and get his film museum paid for by us. Joy!

    • save NZ 5.1

      The conference enters have also the added advantage of driving up rates and therefore the poor out of the main cities as well as even better, sell of council assets like water! There is always a helpful crony from wall street and banks keen to buy up the part/partial/private or whatever weasel words they describe to seize former public assets. (I hear the idea of a sports stadium is being floated for Auckland on top of the Sky City convention centre and of course the 1 billion of wasted IT that the council does not care about).

      This is what happens when things go wrong….



      • save NZ 5.1.1

        And it gets worse for Detroit inhabitants… from 4 days ago…

        High copper or lead levels seen in 19 Detroit schools’ water
        “The testing was prompted by the crisis in Flint, where lead flowed from taps after state authorities switched that city’s water supply from Detroit’s system to the Flint River to save money. About 8,000 Flint-area children under age 6 have potentially been exposed to lead.

        In Detroit, school officials discovered that even though the municipal water complies with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, elevated levels of lead and some of copper were found in the drinking water fountains or kitchens at 19 of the 62 schools tested so far…..

        “It provides clear evidence that schools have to be proactive in finding and fixing these problems – it is not going to go away by itself,” said Marc Edwards, a Virginia Tech professor who helped expose Flint’s water crisis.”


        Ok so they privatise the water, try to save money, but now it is the SCHOOL’s responsibility to protect the kids from the water…

        On top of this…

        “Michigan lawmakers recently approved $48.7 million in emergency funding just to keep Detroit schools open this academic year. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder also is pushing a $720 million school restructuring plan to pay off the district’s operating debt, and wants to spend $18 million over two years to test water in every state school.”

        What an amazing country the US is and how efficient is neoliberalism, sarc.

        • Rosie

          I watched a doco about poor cities in the States in regard to accessing basic services like water connections. They suffer in ways that hard to fathom in a first world country. They are totally at the mercy of “business”, whose needs come first, and private water supply is big business in the States, with cost cutting leading to a lack of maintenance and care.
          These poor areas also seem to suffer the worst of non regulation for safe rental accommodation, affecting health and even physical safety when landlords refuse to repair dilapidated locks, doors and windows, as well as broken electrical circuits. The advantages of council bylaws was weighted in favour of the landlord.
          Saw this doco on Al Jazeera a couple of months ago but can’t recall the name sorry, or the city where they interviewed the tenants.

      • Chooky 5.1.2

        Judging from tonights Checkpoint with John Campbell most Christchurch residents don’t want a convention centre

        …so why is it being foisted on them?

  6. swordfish 6

    In the wake of the latest Colmar Brunton, one or two of our regular Tory Gentlemen-Callers have been enthusiastically pushing some of David Farrar’s carefully misleading and de-contextualised rhetorical strategies:

    Here are two of these strategies:

    (1) At this point in National’s Second Term (April 2013), Labour was polling at 36% and “went on to get thrashed”. Labour is presently polling at 28%
    (Farrar’s post here … http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2016/04/latest_poll-36.html)
    (Tory Gentlemen-Callers comments here … http://thestandard.org.nz/bowron-on-a-tired-government/#comment-1162085 and here http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-11042016/#comment-1158863 and here )

    (2) That Andrew Little is deeply unpopular, while John Key is overwhelmingly loved, admired and celebrated.
    (Farrar … amongst many other posts of the same ilk … http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2016/04/houston_we_may_have_a_problem.html)
    (Gentlemen-Callers … http://thestandard.org.nz/can-we-trust-john-key/#comment-1159832 and here http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-10042016/#comment-1158359 and here http://thestandard.org.nz/can-we-trust-john-key/#comment-1160612 and here http://thestandard.org.nz/can-we-trust-john-key/#comment-1159836 and here http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-13042016/#comment-1159795)

    On (1) … Farrar’s modus operandi is to only make Poll comparisons when it favour’s National or looks particularly bad for Labour. You’ll only see these very brief comparative analyses when Labour / the Left have (I) fallen in a recent poll and (ii) the comparative poll from a previous term was unusually good for Labour / the Left. So that, overall, the comparison looks particularly bad for Labour’s current prospects. He disingenuously presents both the previous and current figures as typical.

    Look at the Colmar Bruntons taken either side of the April 2013 one that Farrar cherry-picks for comparison and you’ll see that Labour were doing appreciably worse than 36%, with the Left and Opposition Bloc also well down on the April figures. 36% was the very highest Labour ever rated under Shearer and was entirely atypical.

    Or go back to the same point in Key’s First Term (April 2010) and you’ll find that National in 2016 are 4 points down, the Govt a significant 6 points down, while the Opposition Bloc is now a massive 9 points up.

    Notice too that Farrar, for instance, made no comparison when the July 2015 Colmar Brunton put the Opposition Bloc as much as 5 points ahead of the Government. If he had, we would have seen that the Nats were (in July 2015) down 9 points (on July 2009), with the Govt Bloc down 12. You could say similar things about the Sep 2015, Oct 2015 and Feb 2016 Colmar Bruntons.

    On (2) … In the Colmar Brunton and Reid Research Preferred PM Polls, John Key has fallen to his lowest average (39%) since becoming PM. That’s 10-14 points down on his First Term.

    Meanwhile, his net Favourability ratings are down to a net positive of just + 2. That’s his lowest rating ever. Key may be well ahead of Little in the Preferred PM rankings (arguably a somewhat blunt instrument given the traditional incumbency advantage) but he’s been lagging behind the Labour leader on the Favourability measure for most of the last year.

    2015 Quarterly Net Ratings
    Key…………..+ 22……………+ 15 ………….+ 10……………+ 16
    Little…………+ 24……………+ 25…………..+ 16……………+ 15

    Notice, incidentally, how far Key has fallen since 2015 – a net positive Favourability rating of
    + 22 in the first quarter of 2015 and now, in the immediate wake of the failed Flag Referendum, a plunge to just + 2. Back in 2014 Key was on + 27, and in his first year as PM (2009) on an average + 58 rating !!!

    He’s become a polariser in the same mould as Muldoon. As many people consider him Unfavourably as have a Favourable attitude towards him.

    • Puckish Rogue 6.1

      Kind of missing the main point though (or is this a gee up the troops thing?) National is still far ahead of Lab/Greens after eight years in power, John Key is still far ahead of Andrew Little in preferred PM, in fact Andrew Little is behind Winston Peters for preferred PM

      But hey its all good

      • swordfish 6.1.1

        Da, Comrade, Da.

        In broad terms, don’t dispute anything you’ve said there. Labour certainly want to be up above 35%, with the Lab+Green total 45% + to be in with a reasonable chance of pulling Peters their way …

        Do, however, want to point out that:

        (1) The Preferred PM measure is not necessarily the gold standard. In the UK, for instance, Approval, Favourability and Satisfaction ratings are very much at the heart of leadership poll analysis. They assign much lower priority to the (infrequently sampled) Preferred PM stats. There’s no particular theoretical reason why the New Zealand MSM should focus so obsessively on the Preferred PM stats, apart from the fact that most local pollsters tend towards that measure.

        (2) As I’ve said, there’s an obvious incumbency effect that renders the Preferred PM rating’s usefulness questionable (though it’s still up for debate)

        (3) Key is by no means as popular as he’s always been (despite constant repetition of this meme in the MSM and among you highly enthusiastic Tory interlopers)

        (4) Just how misleading Farrar’s Party Support numbers are. Very good at leaving entirely misleading impressions (always, of course, in National’s favour) for any passing strapped-for-time journos to gratefully pick up on. (As they so often do). Things are rather more finely balanced than Farrar (or indeed you (above) Nats far ahead of Lab+Green) imply.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.2

      You’ve convinced me. Labour are sweeping to power. They are unprecedentedly popular with an adoring public.

      Keep up the good work.

      • swordfish 6.2.1

        This is beginning to sound like insubordination, Mr Gormster.

        Is that your little plan ? It is isn’t it ? Insurrection ? Mutiny, Mr Gormster, Mutiny ??? What ? Seize the good ship Labour from us loyalists ?, sail her through the treacherous Seas of High Finance, turning her in the direction of no-man’s land before ruthlessly scuttling her on the Reef of Despair ? Is that your little plan ? Aye, but not before you Tory Blaggards and Scurvy Cut-throats have rowed ashore every last barrel of rum, I’ll be bound !!!

        Least ways, that’s how I sees it.

    • Magisterium 6.3

      go back to the same point in Key’s First Term (April 2010) and you’ll find that National in 2016 are 4 points down

      This in itself is astounding. A government in its third term – six years later! – is polling only 4 points lower than during its honeymoon.

      • swordfish 6.3.1

        No, you’re confusing National with the entire Government Bloc. Nats down 4 points (in terms of the respective Colmar Bruntons), Government down 6 points, Opposition Bloc up a massive 9 points.

        The Key Government’s honeymoon was in 2009 when it averaged 59% in the polls. By 2010, it had fallen to 56% and remained there throughout 2011 (we’re talking annual averages here).

        With the exception of this latest poll, all of the Colmar Bruntons and Reid Research polls since May 2015 (that’s 8 consecutive polls) had the Government on 48%. 11 points Down on its 2009 honeymoon average and 8 points Down on its 2010-2011 average.

        So not necessarily all that “astounding”.

        • Puckish Rogue

          and yet, somehow after all that analysis, National will win a fourth term

          Crazy old world eh

          • swordfish

            Yeah, I preferred your earlier reply: “Fair enough”. Had a slightly more … respectful, almost obsequious tone about it. Suddenly you seem to have become emboldened all over again. It’s almost as if you are Jean-Claude Van Damme !!! I have a feeling Gormy and Magisterium turning up at the last minute has lifted your morale, stiffened your resolve, as it were. Three former Young Nats together, none of you wanting to lose face in front of the others.

  7. Penny Bright 8

    I predict Bernie Sanders will win the New York primary.


    Bernie Sanders Just Accused Hillary Clinton of Violating Campaign Finance Laws

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • indiana 8.1

      What are your predictions for your mayoralty race?

      • Penny Bright 8.1.1

        As, in my opinion, the female ‘Bernie Sanders’ of the 2016 Auckland Mayoralty – I predict that I am going to do VERY well 😉

        Penny Bright
        2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

        • tinfoilhat

          Sadly my friends in the US believe that Bernie will be reasonably easily beaten in the NY primary.

    • Wayne 8.2

      Big call by you Penny, given the polls. We will know tomorrow whether you a seer, or then again, not

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.1

        Will we ever find out whether you feel ashamed of your personal involvement in money-laundering?

        • tinfoilhat

          OAB, Wayne is one of the few right wingers who comments here without being an outright troll, is it really necessary to stalk him when there are many other more right wingers who are deserving of your attention.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            I pay his wages. He’s been deriving his income from the public purse for long enough to cope with a bit of personal responsibility for his decisions, don’t you think?

            In any case, I’m genuinely interested: he was a member of the executive that involved us in organised crime, after all. Did anyone bring it up at the Cabinet table? “John, why are you cuddling up to crims?” That sort of thing.

            Edit: I suspect he can’t answer the question because he’s in the National Party’s pocket. Aren’t you even a little bit curious?

        • On the fence

          Wow OAB that’s a big call out. I’m curious to see what you have to back that up.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Don’t you understand the connection between tax havens and money laundering?

      • Macro 8.2.2

        Big call Wayne – given the trend in the Polls
        You could be in for a surprise.

    • Chooky 8.3

      +100 Penny…GO GIRL!…and GO Bernie Sanders!

  8. weka 9

    Hey Lynn, that bug is back where the Name and Mail fields are blank on every new comment (my browser normally stores them). I noticed this first yesterday.

  9. Tautoko Mangō Mata 10

    The TPP has a two-track outcome on biologics protection. Parties can choose to provide effective market protection through at least 8 years of data protection. Alternatively, Parties can choose to provide effective market protection through at least 5 years of data protection, along with other measures, These measures and circumstances include regulatory settings, patents, and the time it takes for follow-on medicines to become established in the market.

    Froman: U.S. Sending Out TPP Implementation Teams, Undecided On Fixes
    U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Monday (April 18) said the U.S. government is sending teams to Trans-Pacific Partnership countries to discuss how they will implement their obligations on intellectual property (IP) and other issues, as well as the capacity building they may require in order to meet them.

    We need to make sure that the information from these team discussions is fully reported.

  10. cowboy 11

    Winston has just thrown a spanner in the works re Silver Fern Farms sellout to Shanghai Maling. Nicely timed to coincide with the PMs China visit.


    The process of coercing farmers into voting for this deal was always suspect. My understanding is there is much more to run on this story yet. Good on Winston for taking up the cause.

    • Yep. The NZ Taxpayer could have prevented this sell off for the price of a couple of flag referendums. No surprises that SFF management are closely watching how Talley’s are getting away with brutalizing their workforce.

  11. Follow The Money Or Why We Should Arrest People Like John Key And His Banking Mates

    Probably, most people, when reading about the Panama tax dodgers and New Zealand’s quiet achievement in becoming as “tax” haven, wonder how the rich always getaway with shit like this and kind of wished they were in the same predicament: Filthy rich and hiding their money from the tax people.

    The next thought is probably if they can get away with it why should I pay tax? Both are legitimate sentiments but what it does not address is that apart from the obvious crime of theft these rich people are committing and the subsequent deprivation of the poor as a result of that theft, the money is not just resting in a safe place. It is being used.

    Tax havens therefore should not be called tax havens but more correctly Secrecy Jurisdictions.

  12. Magisterium 13

    Nearly 10,000 dead in the ongoing Haiti cholera epidemic. The CDC knows exactly how it started and who’s to blame, but isn’t allowed to tell anyone.


  13. Once was Tim 14

    “The whiff of corruption follows McCully around” …. the ultra-cleverness of the ultimate coder out-wits the GUI / WYSIWIG / reasonably intelligent expectations of the Joe Evridge poster (unrelated to Edna).

    If it was going to get any more complicated or time consuming – why bother?

    Here’s a comment that may or may not appear on that thread.

    (The whiff of corruption follows McCully around). btw L …. as you know – you’ll never be able to code for every pillock, but if you consider it worth your marriage, and an aid to dealing with whatever your obsession avoidance – it’s worth a shot – arrogant cunt eh?) – or maybe just bleeding obvious

    Christ Almighty – it goes a frikken sight deeper than McCully who probably only succumbed to his own naivety, aided and abetted by that Chez Longe upholstery material cladded vixen; know-it-all member of something we used to call a 4th Estate – now more aptly described as the ass-licking Thorndon bubble press gang. (Most of whom don’t/can’t see the medium/long term). Just another Rosemary McCluck lookalike aspiring to claim their rights to a higher class (otherwise known as social climbing wankers)

    …… NOW we have our dearest Leader, John Key (side-by-side with knock-kneed Adonis son Mex – whose beauteous presence pervades as much social media as he and his acolytes can muster) suggesting he’s ‘open’ to an extradition treaty (provided of course, ewwmun roights britches en the deth penty don’t figure in such an arrangement).
    Apparently there are 50 on a list (that is 50 that are known of presumably)

    They reap what they sow. I wonder jst hear relexed he’s gunna b when he reterns home on Earforce 1. (John – you really must get that 757 repainted!)

    • Once was Tim 14.1

      Oh wow….. it appears to have worked from the submitter that’s not the dedicated follower of fashion or fad or hero worship.

      Y’all are really gorgeous tho’. Have a nice day. Missing you already

  14. Ovid 15

    Aaron Hawkins has announced his intention to run for mayor of Dunedin under the Green Party banner. I think he’s been a good councillor so far and I’ll be interested in his mayoral platform. One good thing about Dunedin is that the voting system for mayor is STV, so the left bloc won’t be split.

  15. Tautoko Mangō Mata 16

    What’s the rush, Mr Key?

    Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 10:56 am
    Press Release: Professor Jane Kelsey

    Government seeking to stymie Waitangi Tribunal report on TPPA
    “Why the government suddenly announced it is fast-tracking the report date for the select committee considering the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) from the end of May to 4 May is now clear.

    It gives the Waitangi Tribunal three rather than seven weeks to produce its urgent report on the claim brought by prominent Maori that the Agreement violates the Crown’s obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi”, says Professor Jane Kelsey who has been advising the claimants.


  16. Penny Bright 17

    Seen this?


    NAFTA And The TPP – Hillary Clinton’s Free Trade History

    Hillary Clinton is not my ‘sister’.

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    (Who is actively opposed to the TPPA and corporate control by the 1% – locally, nationally and internationally.)

  17. Penny Bright 19

    Where do you stand Wayne, on New Zealand’s secretive ‘foreign trusts’?

    Do you think that there is any legitimate purpose for New Zealand secretive ‘foreign trusts’?

    If so – what – in your view is this ‘legitimate purpose’?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  18. Chooky 20

    ‘Sanders’s criticism of Israel is long overdue’


    “Bernie Sanders is not only taking on the Washington establishment in his campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, he is also challenging many of the received truths that make up the ideological foundations upon which its power rests…

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