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Open mike 19/11/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 19th, 2015 - 62 comments
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62 comments on “Open mike 19/11/2015 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Leading thinker explains why mass killings by our side is okay:
    “The difference is not in the NUMBERS, it’s in the INTENTIONS.”

    The Panel, RNZ National, Wednesday 18 November 2015
    Jim Mora, Jock Anderson, Ellen Read, Zara Potts, Jesse Mulligan

    depravity n. 1. Moral corruption or degradation. 2. A depraved act or condition. 3. Wickedness.

    JIM MORA: … And just ahead of Zara, our one—I was gonna say THREE Quick Questions, actually, but they ARE quick —-

    ZARA POTTS: [mirthlessly] Ah, ha ha ha.

    JIM MORA: Ahhh, the first one: “The killing of, ahhh, innocent civilians in Paris and above the Sinai in a Russian plane are unforgivable atrocities, but do we have an estimate of how many innocent civilians have been killed by American drone strikes in various countries and how many in other military and quasi-military actions around the world?”—William, from Waipara. Robert Ayson—Professor Robert Ayson—ahhh, from Strategic Studies at Victoria University.

    PROFESSOR ROBERT AYSON: [speaking slowly to convey how serious and thoughtful he is] The difference is not in the NUMBERS, it’s in the INTENTIONS. The drone attacks are not designed to kill innocent civilians. That’s not to say that civilians are unaffected; one study has estimated that more than two thousand four hundred people have been killed in U.S. drone strikes during the Obama administration, and of these over three hundred have been civilians. But the terrorism in Paris and in the case of the Russian plane over the Sinai is qualitatively different; it reflects a clear intention to target and kill innocent civilians, to cause great shock and fear, and then to affect political decisions.

    JIM MORA: Professor Robert Ayson. [brightening up] Second question: “At the moment we have two alternative national flags for New Zealand vessels, the red ensign for merchant ships and for use in places or on occasions of Maori significance, and the white ensign for the Royal New Zealand Navy. Will there be similar alternatives if a new flag is selected, and if so, what? Has in fact this matter been considered by the Flag Consideration Panel?”—Larry Robins. Ahhh, Suzanne Stevenson speaking for the Flag Consideration Project…..

    ….ad nauseam….

    • tc 1.1

      Ahh I see the banality has given way to a more overt ticking of boxes now with the carefully chosen ‘panel’ of predictable themes.

      Validate western actions, check. Promote flag, check……..thanks morrissey for keeping us updated on the decline of broadcasting.

      • Morrissey 1.1.1

        And it was dealt with in the “One Quick Question” feature, which never has any follow-up. Mora—or more likely his producer—made sure that it would not be dealt with any further by burying it with two more “Quick Questions”.

        In spite of that deliberate attempt to stymie any further discussion, if even one of the Panelists had any moral fibre, or gumption, he or she would have contested Professor Ayson’s horrifying little homily.

        • savenz

          +1 Morrissey

          • Grindlebottom

            These sorts of comments by prof Ayson, Western coalitions, Russia, and others engaged in bombing and wars around the globe implying the families and compatriots of thousands of civilians killed as “collateral damage” should somehow regard those killings as unfortunate, qualitatively different, and in no way warranting any kind of reciprocal response, are just bizarre.

            We never get to hear about the real numbers of innocent people killed by these “great powers” but those who live there all know the situation. Of course some of them will seek vengeance. The righteousness of seeking vengeance is the very example their attackers keep giving them!

    • North 1.2

      Professor Ayson – “That’s not to say that civilians are unaffected”.

      Hmmm ……. ” Following the drone attack 27 villagers were found ‘not unaffected’ in the rubble. In accordance with local custom their bodies will……”

      And closer to home…….” The father of three who was airlifted to Whangarei Base Hospital was ‘not unaffected’ on arrival “.


    • Crashcart 1.3

      This guy has drunk the Sam Harris cool aid.

      Intentions are a matter of perspective.

      The US would say that they don’t intend to do evil things. They bomb a funeral hoping to get some terrorists knowing that civilians will die or a hospital but it is not their intent to do an evil deed.

      Russians don’t think their actions are evil. They are supporting what they see as an ally and bombing what they see as terrorists. For any one to try and make a distiction between the US actions and Russian is a sure sign of dishonesty.

      Muslim extreemists don’t think they are evil either. They believe that what they are doing is in defence of their religion and that it is the only way to take the fight to those who they see as oppressing them and killing them back home.

      All of them do horrible things and the way they can do that is by justifying it to themselves is that its for the greater good. Intentions is the most redicuolous reason to try and distinguish one from the others.

  2. Rosemary McDonald 2


    “It is five years on from this explosion and as we know from the Royal Commission of Inquiry and from the excellent book Tragedy at Pike River by Rebecca Macfie that this accident was always going to happen.

    A gassy mine, insufficient ventilation, untested mining processes, pressure to produce, and a bullying culture that criticised those that raised concerns, very high staff turnover, lack of training, no viable second way out of the mine, these factors meant that a disaster was, in many way, inevitable.

    There was also a dysfunctional, lazy and captured regulator that failed to support the miners who, contrary to popular myth, regularly and formally raised multitudes of serious safety concerns including one miner scrawling “this mine will blow” on his exam papers he was sitting at the local polytech.”

  3. esoteric pineapples 3

    I was surprised to find out yesterday that there is one mainstream television sports presenter who publicly supports the Green Party and the upcoming climate change march – Hayley Holt. She is actually encouraging Green Party members to join the march in an official Green email. I’ve always (perhaps unfairly) assumed all television sports presenters are either apolitical or conservative, and certainly never likely to openly publicly represent a progressive party.

    I was discussing this with a friend this morning who said she used to be in a relationship with Ritchie McCaw. Given that more often than not people who get together tend to share similar points of view, could it be that McCaw is actually (quietly) a supporter of Labour or the Greens……

    • alwyn 3.1

      “Given that more often than not people who get together tend to share similar points of view, could it be that McCaw is actually (quietly) a supporter of Labour or the Greens……”

      As an alternative may I suggest “Given that people who split up tend to have had a disagreement over a point of view could it be that McCaw dropped her because she was a luddite?”.

      Not knowing either of the people concerned it is of course just as much pure speculation as your own proposal.
      On the other hand don’t you realise that McCaw is an evil man who associates with John Key and has been expelled by the enthusiasts of this blog to the lowest levels of Belial’s domain?

      • Crashcart 3.1.1

        Can’t say I have seen any one here attack McCaw. More attack John Key for humping his leg at every opertunity.

        McCaw can have what ever political view he likes. Pleasantly unlike Dagg and others he has not chosen to use his position of influence to openly back a party as far as I am aware. Even if he did so what. as long as it is within election rules go for broke Richie.

  4. Puckish Rogue 4


    I like that we both have things in common…the first Omen movie still gives me chills even more so than The Exorcist

    • tracey 4.1

      Both scared the crap out of me, but the Omen, it was much more subtle and makes me shiver still thinking about it.

      Would have thought Jonah was too young for either of those movies?

  5. Wayne 5

    Chris might be on fire, but he is mostly burning himself.

    And is Iprent really endorsing Chris’s latest post, which, at least to me, seems to be excusing the crimes of Stalin and Mao.

    [lprent: As you clearly haven’t read either my post or his, I’m moving this to OpenMike as being offtopic. Come back when you have read them and argue what is in the post rather than being reflexive reactionary burbling your silly mantras. ]

    • lprent 5.1

      Did you read his post or mine? He dealt with your usual whine in it.

      I was surprised that your comment there dropped directly into repeating exactly what he’d said would be your type of response. And you didn’t say anything different to what he anticipated.

      Do you have a cut-n-paste to go with your lack of reading skills.

    • RedLogix 5.2

      Whether you agree or disagree with Chris Trotter’s precise political analysis, I have always found his moral compass exceedingly reliable. The reason for this is because he knows where we have come from.

      When people get lost in the bush the SAR experts tell us that oddly enough the last thing most people think to do is to backtrack the way they came until they recognise where they are again. (Instead most people blunder on with some illusory idea or wrong-headed strategy that they’ll eventually ‘walk out’)

      Trotter not only knows where we have come from, but offers thoughtful and provoking analysis’ of why and how we took these paths. Voices reminding us of our past are not always comforting or pleasing to us; but we’d do well to respect them little more than we are in the habit of.

    • tracey 5.3

      Is this a TPP post or one of the ones you no longer make comments upon?

    • Olwyn 5.4

      You didn’t read it carefully enough.

      They forget, of course, that the vast majority of those killed were individuals who refused to accept the right of either of these parties to impose their will on the people in whose name they had accomplished the overthrow of the old oppressors.whoever, in the name of justice and equity, takes a stand against an oppressive system of domination, coercion and exploitation is, by definition, a leftist.

      Chris is defending those who stand up to coercive power, whoever wields it.

    • tracey 5.5


      There are more people living in slavery today than at any time in our history.

    • vto 5.6

      And there we have the classic right wing nutter unthinking knee-jerk response, exactly as Trotter intimates.

      Well done Wayne you have underlined the post.

    • Pat 5.7

      Over the years the ability of politicians has steadily declined…I sometimes wonder if perhaps I have a nostalgic view of what came before but I can always rely on you Wayne to confirm my opinion that the quality of thought of the modern politician has indeed descended to a new level of ineptitude.

  6. Sabine 6

    There seems to be a bit of brouahaha in Parliament, and there is a petition to sign.
    So Go Sign it.

    Quote”National is trying to shut down debate about their appalling record on cold, damp housing.
    But National MP David Carter, Parliament’s Speaker, blocked Labour Leader Andrew Little’s healthy homes bill – a law that would have guaranteed warm dry homes for our children.

    And when Andrew told the public this was the Speaker protecting National, he was sent to the Privileges Committee – they want to punish him for telling the truth.

    But the more they try to shut down the fight to get healthy homes for all New Zealanders the more we’ll push back – in Privileges Committee, in Parliament, in public.

    Together we can make it clear that we will not be silenced. Please, lend your support to this crucial campaign before Andrew Little appears before the Committee in a few weeks time.

    Because every Kiwi kid deserves a warm, dry home.”

    • tracey 6.1

      The Speaker must have “heard” about this transgression… I mean it’s way worse, what Little did here, than, say, calling all LP MPs supporters of rapists and child molesterers (sic). Right Mr Speaker, Right?

      • Sabine 6.1.1

        It’s the “Labour does it too” syndrome.

        in this case, can we have more of it? Thank thee kindly.

  7. Sabine 7

    This is a letter our Doctors that have to write repeated ‘sickness’ certifications for our terminally ill job seekers should send to our WINZ offices and address them all to Pullyer Bennefit.


  8. Chch_chiquita 8


    I was so angry when I read it this morning. An entire industry coming together to do good and Nick Smith claims there is not enough data to show if the waste stream was actually causing significant environmental harm. How deep is his head buried in the sand?

  9. weka 9

    “Death keeps its own promises. Love requires us, and our labor, and our courage, over and over again.”

    Terrorism, imperialist, capitalism


  10. Morrissey 10

    Seeking answers from Professor Ayson
    Thursday 19 November 2015

    Jim Mora’s producers made sure that there would be no chance for the Panelists to debate with the VUW Strategic Studies professor Professor Ayson yesterday.

    Open mike 19/11/2015

    This bothered me, as I found Professor Ayson’s comments to be profoundly disturbing. Unlike Jim Mora, his producers and the four other silent people in that studio yesterday, I don’t think anyone, leave alone a university professor, should be allowed to make such statements without having to defend or explain them.

    I have, therefore, just sent the following email to Robert Ayson. I’ll publish his response when it comes in….

    Some questions about your statements on RNZ National yesterday afternoon

    Dear Professor Ayson,

    Yesterday on RNZ National, you claimed that the terrorism in Paris and above the Sinai “reflects a clear intention to target and kill innocent civilians, to cause great shock and fear”. You also stated that when “the West” kills innocent civilians, it is “qualitatively different”.

    Could you please explain how you would categorize the intentions of the United States’ strategists when they decided to attack hospitals and kill patients and medical staff, as in Fallujah, Iraq in 2004 and Kunduz, Afghanistan just last month.

    Thank you for your time,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

  11. Morrissey 11

    Professor Ayson replies
    Thursday 19 November 2015

    Dear Morrissey

    Thanks for your email. If you have information which shows that the United States was deliberately targeting medical staff and innocent patients I would be interested to see it. I don’t believe that is what they are intending, and I think this makes the comparison with the Paris terrorism problemmatic. But those in the US and similar countries who are making decisions about the use of force and the armed forces personnel who undertake these attacks can and do get targeting wrong, and in seeking to target people and groups they believe to be in particular locations they sometimes make poor judgements about the wider consequences.



    • Sabine 11.1

      so his excuse is simply that as long as the US and its allies proclaim innosence and lack of knowledge in finding their targets it make the killing more human and less murderous?
      Good one.
      So next time the terrorists just simply state that their suicide drivers drove to the wrong establishment, and oops its ok, cause no harm was intended there.

      • Morrissey 11.1.1

        I replied thusly…

        Dear Professor Ayson,

        The United States military was repeatedly given the coordinates of Kunduz Hospital. They didn’t get their targeting wrong.

        When they “conquered” Fallujah General Hospital in November 2004, U.S. troops tied up doctors and nurses, and forced patients out of their beds, before also tying them up. Again, that doesn’t seem like getting their targeting wrong.

        Yours sincerely,

        Morrissey Breen

  12. Morrissey 12

    Liars of Our Time
    No. 53: RICHIE McCAW

    “The win over France in the quarter-final put some demons to bed.”

    —Richie McCaw, at media conference to announce his retirement, speaking as though the French team had tried for even one minute in that 62-13 disgrace.
    Thursday 19 November 2015, 12:20 p.m.

    The demons of that 2011 RWC final débâcle, of course, remain very much alive.

    Liar 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.”

    More liars…

    Open mike 20/10/2015

    • Magisterium 12.1

      I think he was referring to the last time the ABs met France in a knockout World Cup match in Cardiff.

      • Morrissey 12.1.1

        Yes I know he was. But there were no “demons” after that loss; they were simply beaten by a better team, as they had been four years before, when they lost to Australia, and four years before that, when they were demolished by the Tricolors.

        The demons, if one is to accept McCaw’s terminology, all belong to the 2011 farce.

  13. Murray Simmonds 13

    Dunno if any of you are into creating your own videos – e.g. by rendering YOUR OWN video frames in software like DAZ Studio, or BRYCE or POSER.

    Anyway, Microsoft has been sending ENDLESS Windows updates to people still using Windows 7 and Windows Vista since the TPA was signed.

    I’m no software guru by any stretch of the imagination. But today (after receiving yet more updates overnight) I find I can no longer post-process MY OWN videos. By “My Own” i mean videos entirely and totally legitimately created by me and therefore OWNED by me no matter how you define “Copyright”.

    And they ARE currently hell-bent on trying to get everyone to upgrade to Windows 10. So I’ve turned off Windows updates on both machines.

    Is this Corporate Madness gone a step too far?

    I don’t trust Microsoft any further than I could throw them (if only I were able to pick them up).

    They are, after all, a corporation.

    • James 13.1

      I think you will find its just a bug, or something that you are doing wrong as opposed to some global conspiracy.

  14. Ad 14

    Russia’s bombers have a good lash at ISIS:


    Spare me I simply cannot figure out if I should be cheering on the Russians or not.
    Maybe I’ve seen too many James Bond movies in a row.

    • Puckish Rogue 14.1

      Russia simply doesn’t play by the same rules the West play by so yeah I’m confilcted here as well

      • Morrissey 14.1.1

        The “West” plays by the rules? When did “we” start doing that?

        • Puckish Rogue

          The moral rules as laid down by the media unfortunately

          For example could what happened in WW2 (the atrocities committed by the allies specifically) be allowed to happen in this day and age or would the media make sure that every civilian back safely at home knew about it

          I don’t think it would be allowed to happen in this day and age, could you imagine the dam busters raid going ahead?

          The Dresden fire bombing, the treatment of prisoners of war etc etc

          Whereas Putin cares not for the opinions of the journalists and is just doing what he thinks is right, he is right in this situation but the West should have the moral courage to do what needs to be done and not leave to Russia

          • Pascals bookie

            Depends I think.

            Loads of people get hard ons about WW2 but those days are gone.

            The wars the west has fought since have all been wars of choice. The last existential threat we facded was the USSR, and that never got hot. the proxy wars were all wars that we could lose.

            that’s the diff, I think. In a war you can afford to lose, getting genocidey is seen as fucking abhorrent.

        • Chooky

          Is this what it is all about?

          ‘As Syria Reels, Israel Looks to Expand Settlements in Golan Heights’


          “MEROM GOLAN, Golan Heights — There is a building boom quietly underway in this little kibbutz, the first established after Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 war…

        • Draco T Bastard

          Heh, beat me to it 😈

  15. joe90 15



    One is a Nazi cartoon laughing at Jews denied entry to democratic countries. The other is the Daily Mail today.



  16. savenz 16

    ON TPP – The Fall Rising website focuses its critique on three areas: deregulation, privatization, and the right of corporations to sue governments over expected future profits. Small businesses and poor and oppressed populations, it says, would be the hardest hit. Ten other U.S. and Canadian cities joined in the “Urgent Call to Action” to “stop the global corporate coup.”


  17. James 17

    There was a nice post on here yesterday about Jonah Lomu.

    Really disappointed to see how tasteless people can be trying to use this for a political point. FFS – his poor family are grieving and he is not buried as yet.

    “Rugby player dead. John Key to immediately return from Vietnam to urgently rub himself against the corpse.”

    From no other than No Right Turn. No class.

  18. veutoviper 18

    An interesting article is now up on the Herald website by Juha Saarinen on the IT aspects of the police raid on Hager, as made public via the Court documents released by Scoop.


    I am no IT expert (quite the opposite) but the criticisms expressed in the article are close to my thoughts when reading the police evidence and MO as set out in the court documents.

    I’d be interested in the comments of those here who are much more IT competent than me.

    • McFlock 18.1

      There are some comic elements around the raid too. As part of cloning of one of Hager’s laptops, the police took a photo of it to record the information on the screen.

      This was apparently because the police needed internet access because they didn’t have a 3G/4G mobile data connection with them. You’d think that a mobile data connection would be standard issue so that the police don’t have to obtain internet access via the systems they’re investigating.

      That’s as stupid as executing an arrest deemed dangerous enough to warrant armed police and a helicopter insertion, but not having an ambulance on hand when the pregnant wife of the obese target needs medical attention.

      We have a serious problem with police forgetting basic details, such as “things they might need during the operation” and “the law”.

  19. Pascals bookie 19

    “Slater was ordered to pay Blomfield costs.”


    Slater lucks out on pretty much everything as far as I can see.

    Quite a few stories for him to not blog about at the moment

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