Open mike 19/12/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:32 am, December 19th, 2014 - 113 comments
Categories: open mike, uncategorized - Tags:

TerroristsOpen mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

113 comments on “Open mike 19/12/2014”

  1. millsy 1

    Just letting you all know, if I dont post before then, that I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy 2015.

    2014 was a disaster for the left, but from here, we can only go up.

    Its not over. Not yet anyway…

  2. vto 2

    So there has been a vicious water row in the Hurunui, the river/s and catchment in North Canterbury already over-choked with farm run-off pollutant. The ground is mostly bony stony with too easy drainage. Ngai Tahu have (locally) famously applied to intensify this bony land immediately adjacent to the Hurunui River with more cows and cow shit and urine and fake-green barren grasses – the river is already over-loaded yet still they and most other farmers in them parts try it on…

    …why do they try it on? Money.

    Well it seems there has been some local warring going on http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/64301780/Vicious-campaign-in-Hurunui-water-row Local people with more environment-friendly views have been intimidated into silence and farmers use their local economic power to shut people with such views out.

    …why do they do it? Money. And a particular manner.

    I often express pretty strong views about farmers and their practices, for which no apology is made, though clarification in detail is often required… One of those views expressed is that farmers can be pig-headed and live in such a particular world that it is difficult for them to believe there can be other ways of life on the planet (this is of course a human trait and not limited to farmers).

    They are also very difficult to discuss things with as in my very long experience they will simply grump, dismiss the views with personal abuse as some loony greenie hippy thing, and storm off in a huff. It should be borne in mind that they vote for National and a comparison to that National support blog Kiwiblog shows similar behavioural traits, most recently evidenced in the Sydney Siege threads. Also evidenced in recent comment by mr waghorn /open-mike-17122014/#comment-941388 around opinion pieces in rural publications.

    Imo, this article about the warring in Hurunui is further evidence of this poor approach to issues. Little debating in good faith and a great deal of shouting and personal abuse. They need to change.

    ..

    And as to the particular issue in Hurunui – if farmers think that the public should butt out of their business then the farmers need to first butt out of the public estate. For as long as they keep ruining the public estate the public will be quite rightly on their case.

    Here endeth (for the moment)

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      if farmers think that the public should butt out of their business then the farmers need to first butt out of the public estate.

      Which is physically impossible as the land can’t be removed from the commons and so the farmers need to shut and listen.

    • ianmac 2.2

      Ecan has not done the job that it was supposed to do. Supposed to monitor and care for water purity and set river flow limits which are affected by water/irrigation. Income trumps Environmental welfare. Sad.

      • tc 2.2.1

        It’s done exactly as the NACT wanted, couldn’t risk it with an elected board so they sacked them and installed their sock puppets with no sign of returning it to a vote.

        McGlashan should redo the blams song as ‘there is no suppression in NZ…’

        • vto 2.2.1.1

          Yep, and the same bunch of farmers and National Party people rail against dictators and lack of democracy, and even send our people to war over it, in other countries…..

          hypocrites extraordinaire

    • Murray Rawshark 2.3

      Most of the farmers I’ve known were up in Te Tai Tokerau. Although there were a few like Titford, most of them did want to look after the land to some extent. I think some of that has changed, particularly as outsiders have opened up land around the Hikurangi swamp and wrecked the Northern Wairoa. Their farms were probably much smaller than what you get down Hurunui way.

  3. Paul 3

    Perhaps the most fawning, nauseating article of the year.
    ‘Journalism in NZ 2014.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11376479

    • aj 3.1

      “He listed his most admired player as Tiger Woods; his favourite current player as US up-and-comer Jordan Spieth; his most loved tournament as the Masters; and the best course he’s played as the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles – “It’s full of history and I shot an 81 there.”

      So he most admires Woods who is a miserable excuse for a human being, a serial cheater on his pregnant wife, a narcissistic sociopath, so that shouldn’t surprise anyone.
      Key shows his roots in that sentence, there is no homage to the origins of the game. He is American.

    • tc 3.2

      Yes and pitched so that anyone who raises issues about it will be portrayed as ‘envious’ ‘tall poppy syndrome’ etc

      A graph of parliamentary attendance across the this and the last 3 PM’s ( 3 nat and one labour) would make for interesting reading.

      Takes alot of work to go from around 20 handicap to about half that so can’t be too busy running the country can he as each actual game takes up to 4hrs before you factor in the travel etc.

    • Murray Rawshark 3.3

      Yuck. Reminds me of the old joke.

      An old bloke went to the doctor complaining of a sore back. It was affecting his golf handicap and he asked how he could get it down as low as FJK’s.

      “Lie” said the doctor.

  4. Colonial Rawshark 4

    Hitler wanted to destroy Russia. Everyone needs to remember how that ended

    And other Putinisms from his annual mega pressor.

    ““Our US friends, whether directly or from behind the scenes always affect our relations with our neighbors. Sometimes it’s unclear whether to talk to the authorities of the country, or to their US patrons.”

    http://rt.com/news/211411-putin-state-address-top10/

    • nadis 4.1

      and yet last night, overnight rates in moscow rose from 19.8% to 27.3%…….

      Putin’s address was aimed entirely at his populist basis. Nothing concrete or thoughtful about how to wriggle through the crisis. With Rosneft asking for a $49 billion bailout, and the banking/corporate sector demanding the same, he is in something of a conundrum.

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1

        That’s just the bullshit spreadsheet games.The west used low oil prices as a weapon to collapse the Soviet economy and the Soviet rouble in the 1980s. You really think they are going to be lucky a second time doing the same thing? Russia and Putin is playing the real economy game – maintaining the supply of food, critical services and energy to its citizens.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Nations have been trying to invade/destroy Russia for centuries – none have succeeded.

      • Ovid 4.2.1

        Well, the Mongols did.

      • Gosman 4.2.2

        Those sorts of historical comparisons are meaningless. The same could be stated about England since the time of the Norman’s. No nation has conquered it despite many trying. Or you could equally argue that the US has never lost a war in which it was actively involved in.

      • McFlock 4.2.3

        Germany and the AHE didn’t do too badly in 1917.

  5. Rosie 5

    On the theme of the woman’s placard in the Open Mike header I’m reposting this atmospheric piece of electronica written for Eric Garner, the man killed by police, for the suspicion that he was selling tax free fags.

    It’s an evocative piece of music. Sinister and beautiful at the same time.

    http://blogs.villagevoice.com/music/2014/12/listen_to_i_cant_breathe_the_song_about_eric_garner.php

  6. Tony Parker 6

    Thank you Dita De Boni. At last some sensible media commentary about education in NZ.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11376389

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Thanks Tony. Dita deBoni has impressed over the years. Her articles are nicely written, interesting and have a fine compass.

      We keep hearing that the New Zealand education system is excellent, except for the “tail” of underachievers. What our current Government could have done is look to countries in which the “tail” has been reduced – Finland, Canada, Estonia, South Korea – and emulate some of the ideas that make those systems great (great in the sense not just that students test well, but they achieve, regardless of their socio-economic background).

      In these systems, the public system is well funded and prioritised; collaboration is actively encouraged between colleagues, and there is not the focus on relentless testing of a few national standards. In Finland, considered the best system in the world, kids are subject to only one standardised test in 12 years – the one they sit before graduating.

      Now exactly why is so hard to understand?

      • KJS0ne 6.1.1

        This is something we need to lobby Andrew Little and Hipkins about.

      • greywarshark 6.1.2

        @ Red Logix
        That’s great reporting about other countries’ achievements. I listen to the drones in NZ education with scepticism. It’s demented to pull something apart and rebuild it for no good reason or vision.

  7. mac1 7

    Nicky Hager is on National Radio talking about Dirty Politics. He said that he would never write anything on the topic of Cameron Slater.

    Is such a non-book to be known as a “Hagerography”?

  8. Bill 8

    Does Kathryn Ryan [r0b – deleted – to be cautious] or has she already received one resulting in a lobotomy?

    Having real difficulties listening to this so-called interview of Nicky Hager. I keep seeing her with her fingers poked deep inside her ears going ‘LALALALA!’ while running an irrelevant, skew whiff line of questioning.

    • KJS0ne 8.1

      Interesting that in the States, NPR is this juggernaut of high quality left journalism, and yet here in NZ our state radio is full of trite National pups suckling at the tit.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.2

      I’m going to suggest that the first line of your comment be edited/deleted, Bill

    • Bill 8.3

      (thinks that’s being over cautious, but hey)

      How’s about an absent question as to whether she has been studying ancient Egyptian embalming techniques? And exploring their practical applicability? And if she hasn’t, whether she should?

      This is a reply to 8, which I mention because the reply box has positioned itself down the bottom of comments.

    • batweka 8.4

      “Having real difficulties listening to this so-called interview of Nicky Hager. I keep seeing her with her fingers poked deep inside her ears going ‘LALALALA!’ while running an irrelevant, skew whiff line of questioning.”

      Not surprised given her immediate and consistent response to Hager’s book the morning after it was released was to say that hasn’t politics always been dirty?, leaving the lasting impression that she had read the title and no further. God knows what her producers were doing.

    • saveNZ 8.5

      Totally agree. listened to the interview but it was so painful. Kept thinking are we ever going to get to the content of the book? Nope. Just again and again the same questions – but how were those emails obtained? Do you know Rawshark? Did Dotcom Hack it? Is there a double standard? Is this Aprils Fools Day?

      Boring Boring Boring. Those questions should have taken 2 minutes to be put to bed. I bet on the BBC they wouldn’t conduct an interview about an expose scandal but never actually get to the scandal as soo interested in a police style interrogation about how the information was obtained.

      More interested in the content of the book and about the dirty politics. But she never really got there. She probably did not read the book (or maybe couldn’t understand it), so just went with a right wing discourse question sheet probably emailed from the National Party.

      So postmodern. Have a non interview that appears to be an interview about dirty politics but the content of the book was never really discussed. Just used up the interview time so they can say – we interviewed Nicky Hager – we are being fair.

      Nope.

  9. Ashoka's Hell 9

    Listening to nine to noon Kathryn Ryan interview Nicky Hager about dirty politics.

    Nicky came across balanced, calm and smart under some hard questioning.

    Well done you Nicky.

    Keep up the GOOD work.

    • Paul 9.1

      Kathryn Ryan running Slater’s lines for him.
      RNZ …another let down.

    • ianmac 9.2

      Ashokas Hell@9. Listened to that interview. Thought it was very good. The questions that had to be asked were. Nicky’s answers were concise and credible. If Kathryn had just asked patsy questions, then Nicky’s non-supporters would be disgusted.
      I was drawn into those tricky elements about the morality of leaked/hacked emails v Public Interest. I am glad of that interview though the Key lot would rather that he had no voice at all. A good interview.
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/20161721

      • batweka 9.2.1

        It wasn’t the questions so much as her pushing her agenda. She obviously feels really uncomfortable with the hacking aspect but instead of asking the questions that would bring out more in depth understanding of what Hager thinks, she kept harping back to the bit she had a problem with. She looked like she was letting her personal feelings control where the interview went instead of using the questions to take us deeper.

        I thought Hager’s answers about how professional people all the time have to make decisions about where to draw the line in accessing personal information was good, but I would have liked to have seen that explored more esp in the context of where the state and foreign powers are now routinely doing what Rawshark did. Ryan patently didn’t want to go there, my guess is because she’s old school in her thinking that some forms of hacking are legitimate and some aren’t depending on who is doing them rather than why they’re doing it (which is kind of weird given she’s of the Watergate generation).

        Her has this point about being uncomfortable about the idea that non-sanctioned people can hack your personal details because they don’t like what you do, and that that’s scarey. Well welcome to the world outside of the middle classes Kathryn. You obviously trust the state (because you are part of the privileged part of society), the rest of us don’t. Try reading DP from that perspective and see how it changes your thinking.

        • Ashoka's Hell 9.2.1.1

          Paul, Inmac and Batweka

          I am going to fence sit here.

          Yes I agree with Paul to a point, Kathryn (just before the election) also seems to be running someones lines ( CS though? probably just old boys/girls right wing network “talking to her”)

          Inmac, yes she did need to ask some curly questions, Nicky stood up to them well. If the facts are there, the interviewee should be able to combat any question articulately (which Nicky did). The problem happens when you don’t have someone of Nicky’s class on to do this.

          Batweka, you said

          “she kept harping back to the bit she had a problem with. She looked like she was letting her personal feelings control where the interview went instead of using the questions to take us deeper”

          Just before the election and up until now Kathryn has been showing similar behavior.

          Kathryn’s first comment that attracted my attention, has been the standard line on RNZ news and MSM, i.e. dirty politics is just normal, everyone does it. Cool, I’m glad we’ve cleared that one up. No questions about how do you keep the light shining on such dirty dealings and are there better ways of tidying up politics etc.

          Her second comment I found most strange, it was something like:

          “Why do people need to know that this dirty politics is going on, your just patronizing them?”

          Ok, so if Nicky is patronizing us with News about events that we can supposedly easily find out about (because we are all genius hackers with lots of time to spare), what the hell is the MSM and RNZ doing. Maybe we should dispense with the news altogether and put reruns of the magic roundabout on instead (same BS… spinning)

          It brings to mind a catch phrase from one of our beloved MSM outfits: The News You Need To Know.

          Patronizing?

          Go well (oh and you to Kathryn)

          • batweka 9.2.1.1.1

            Ryan’s behaviour after the release of the book was cringeworthy. She came across as someone who had completely missed the point and couldn’t be bothered. I picked up a similar feeling in today’s interview where it’s almost like the whole thing is too draining for her to cope with and she just wants the whole thing to go away. Maybe I am misreading that, but she used to be a reasonable interviewer and her grasp of the DP issues is just appallingly bad.

            • philj 9.2.1.1.1.1

              The Kathryn Ryan interview of Nicky Hagar on NZ’s only state, non commercial broadcaster was disappointing as Kathryn seemed to have prejudged DP and largely missed the point. Her opinion is sounding increasingly like those expressed in the biased Tory commercial media. Is this willful distraction or simply poor quality journalism?

      • Rodel 9.2.2

        I agree with Ianmac- quite a good interview in which she asked some challenging question to which he provided good logical answers without slippery spin which is quite refreshing.
        Where she failed I thought was the way she tried to overtalk him, starting to sound more like the dick jocks on talk-back radio ritalin and radio retard who like only the sound of their own voices and attempt to sound superior to the listeners who phone in- not a difficult task usually.

        I guess she’s used to political types who don’t normally give straight answers and felt as though the content of her interview was getting out of her control.

        Hager (and Little) are good straight talking interviewees.

  10. Clemgeopin 10

    “Hi Mars One supporter,

    In 2018, we will send our first unmanned mission to Mars. One of the payloads on board will be a university payload selected from universities world wide. We are now down to the final ten potential payload projects!

    The best part of all? Your vote will help decide which payload receives this extraordinary opportunity. Find summaries of the ten proposed payloads and voting details below. ”

    http://us5.campaign-archive2.com/?u=24d8ce153d9cbd2546aca36de&id=ee2f6926ab&e=d2915e610c

    • KJS0ne 10.1

      There is a really big problem with Mars One that students at MIT uncovered, they don’t have the technology to separate nitrogen from oxygen and pump it out, leaving the o2 and regulating the atmosphere within the living quarters at the prospective base. Essentially, the people there would die within a year of suffocation.

      Mars One’s response? Technology will be there by 2020, don’t worry, human ingenuity will save the day! Are they doing anything about it? That remains to be seen…

      http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/191862-the-first-mars-one-colonists-will-suffocate-starve-and-be-incinerated-according-to-mit

      • batweka 10.1.1

        Then there’s the really really big problem that this huge amount of scientific endeavour is being done at a time when we can’t find an adequate response to the impending catastrophe that is AGW.

        • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1.1

          As Greer has remarked, the credibility of scientific and technological endeavour is declining steadily as more people see that corporate/vanity projects are consistently put ahead of science for the public good.

          • batweka 10.1.1.1.1

            But without the space program we wouldn’t have velcro!!!

          • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1.1.2

            No, the credibility of science isn’t declining. It still works.

            The real problem is that we pushed too far too fast causing problems with our ignorance. Those problems were, IMO, more a result of commercialisation than science.

            • greywarshark 10.1.1.1.2.1

              The problems we have with science are that we are too reluctant to accept new thoughts and ideas and they are coming thick and fast. We are like the proverbial donkeys stamping our little feet on the ground and refusing to budge from our convenient and known positions, so we can’t prepare properly for already known and unknown outcomes.

              • batweka

                Not sure if you meant to imply this but that sounds as if you mean that we should be accepting all the shiney new things and aren’t because we have a problem with change. I haven’t read the Greer article but the comments that CV has made suggested to me that too many mistakes have been made by science and public trust is diminishing as a result. While rate of change will be a factor in that, there are many changes happening that just shouldn’t be, and science is not being responsible in that when it should be. ie the criticisms of science are largely sound.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I haven’t read the Greer article but the comments that CV has made suggested to me that too many mistakes have been made by science and public trust is diminishing as a result.

                  IMO, that’s more someone’s personal perception than actual reality.

                  While rate of change will be a factor in that, there are many changes happening that just shouldn’t be, and science is not being responsible in that when it should be. ie the criticisms of science are largely sound.

                  Actually, the majority of criticisms of science are unsound usually because the people criticising it don’t have a friggen clue WTF they’re talking about.

                  • batweka

                    “IMO, that’s more someone’s personal perception than actual reality.”

                    I think it’s both. Pretty easy to make a very long objective list of science fuck ups and where science has created problems.

                    “Actually, the majority of criticisms of science are unsound usually because the people criticising it don’t have a friggen clue WTF they’re talking about.”

                    It’s exactly that condescension that people of sick of. Yes, there are many people who aren’t scientifically literate enough to put a scientifically rational argument to their views, but that doesn’t mean their views are invalid.

                    eg many people had a very intuitve negative response to genetic engineering when the issue first came to attention, both because of the inherent problems with it and because of how science was unlikely to use the precautionary principle (there’s the contamination with commercialisation too). I went to a public meeting once where a science head got up and sneered at the largely anti-GE crowd and said that most people in the room wouldn’t know what DNA was. Irrespective of whether that was true or not, it was missing the point. People don’t need a science degree to have an opinion about science and its role in the world. They can see when things go wrong and they can see the things that are ethically wrong.

                    When scienceheads tell those people to stfu because they’re stupid, the divide gets bigger. Yes we need more science literacy, but we need scienceheads with more social literacy too.

                    One thing that drives me nuts is when scientifically illiterate people try and use science to bolster their argument. But there is a reason why that happens so much, it’s because science has been presented as the only valid way of knowing something.

                    btw, just for clarity’s sake, I think it’s useful to differentiate between the practice of science/the scientific method, and what most people think of as science (how it plays out overall). I think you tend to talk about the former (hence you believe that science’s credibility is still intact, because the scientific method still works), whereas myself and CV talk about the latter (science in its bigger sense has overreached and lots of people aren’t buying the science is god thing anymore).

                • greywarshark

                  My feeling is that we need to be looking at what science is coming up with, examining it, getting it explained, comprehending it, then discussing it. I think we put off discussing it and all the previous steps. We are too lazy, or it’s going to mean money required, different actions, different outlooks. And we’re she’ll be right here, which leads us to some right cock-ups, which we don’t draw conclusions from and make necessary changes. And so on.

                  Think of fluoride and the time and money in combatting and explaining it. And I understand that the opposition comes from results from a flawed study anyway.
                  Meanwhile dentists are seeing too many decayed teeth in small children. Getting mothers to change their habits is a good step, with education and enthusiasm and ideas from them as to how they can replace the sweets habit.

                  But fluoride as well would make a huge difference to children’s teeth, and properly measured, is non-toxic. And mouths with healthy teeth and gums could mean less sickness, as it seems that mouth health and body health are more in sync than we knew before science told us different!

                  • batweka

                    I think fluoridation, like homeopathy, is almost impossible to talk about in this context. They’re too polarising and the conversations get sidetracked into the details rather than the meta discussion about science. Better to pick something that is still common but not so controversial.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      That’s just it, fluoridation shouldn’t be controversial. I’d really like to know where all the BS is coming from and who benefits from it.

                    • batweka

                      you can pursue that line of enquiry but I doubt it will shed much light on why people are increasingly critical of science.

                      (and if you want to really understand why people are anti-fluroidation, you will need to look at things from their perspective)

                    • McFlock

                      Are people increasingly critical of science?

                      Or is it just that there are more media and mechanisms for people to oppose facts they don’t like?

                    • greywarshark

                      @ batweka
                      I take your point about fluoridisation but think like DTB that it is explainable if one looks at th facts. It may be the very good example of the need for people to look at science in a thoughtful way that we think is needed.

                      Homeopathy is different. I feel there must be a strong placebo effect, which science has examined also.

                    • greywarshark

                      @ McFlock
                      I feel that arguments about science and people feeling critical about it may have been there for some time and come from people being a bit frightened about innovations that seem likely to be introduced in a rush.

                      There have been notable things such as the electric shock treatment of patients with depression, and its use at high effect, and also its use as a punishment and behavioural tool. There has been agricultural playing around with rice, corn, terminator seed. There has been the legal bulldozer effect of seed companies polluting crops with their seed and then charging farmers so affected, with having possession of their seed genes.

                      And lastly there is the cherrypicking of bits of science that suit the religious fanatics who can persuade their congregation that they are wise and know that the earth was formed 6.000 years ago. Or was it man developed then. They misuse science till you don’t know whether you are Adam or Eve. Science is what they say it is, and they will be its master or mistress.

                    • batweka

                      @McFlock, compare people’s attitudes towards their GP even 20 years ago compared to now, that will show you some of the shift. People don’t accept science at face value anymore, they want to know detail and they want to have their own opinions valued. They’re not going to accept something just because a scientist says it. Following on from that there is a much higher awareness of the problems associated with science and how science has either made mistakes, or been coopted, or taken us down paths that are ultimately harmful.

                      (note, there is nothing in what I have just said that negates the good or useful things that science has done).

                      “Or is it just that there are more media and mechanisms for people to oppose facts they don’t like?”

                      This is also patronising. What’s wrong with opposing things you don’t like? (and how is that not being more critical anyway?). I don’t like nuclear power generation and I don’t need science to tell me why that’s valid. I also don’t need science to tell me why nuclear power is good, but it does, which is one of the reasons I am critical. We got brought up with the idea that science is supposed to be value free, but it’s not and it’s time it got to grips with that and started by being honest.

                      @grey, science, esp medical science, is never solely about facts. It’s also about ethics, and where we are going as a society. With medicine, facts are only part of the picture, there are loads of other very important things like agency, informed consent, family and societal context, cultural views etc. Facts are not always as cut and dried either. Medical research has often promoted things that later turn out to not be as presented. Some of that is mistake, some of it’s commercialisation, political agenda, some of it is differences in world view.

                      For instance, in the 90s one of the big Hormone Replacement Therpay trials made health promotion claims that resulted in drug companies and then GPs majorly pushing the medicalisation of menopause. Women’s health advocates spoke out against this at the time, not just on grounds of the research, but on the social issues of the problems with medicalising natural life events (eg Sandra Coney argued in NZ that to prevent age related fractures it was better to do things like work with the elderly in their homes to make them more safe from falls than to put all women on HRT).

                      Eventually further research showed increased cancer risks, which led to a change in prescribing practices as well as an acknowledgement that the original idea to get as many women on to HRT was mistaken. All this happened on a large scale globally (within the overdeveloped world).

                      So what you have there is (a) science making a mistake (although it’s actually the practice of science that is the problem with the drug companies having too much control and being driven by profit motives), and (b) one world view being promoted over another (menopause as pathology vs menopause as natural event), and (c) this being done in ways that muddied informed consent. I remember the arguments on all sides, and watched women who were less inclined to trust drug companies find other ways of managing menopause, but many women brought the wonder idea that they could avoid menopause and some of those women paid dearly for it.

                      As an aside, medicine is now so contaminated by special interests that even medicine itself recognises the problem eg a high proportion of journal articles are considered to not meet the standards required, but they still get published as if they do. It’s illustrative of why science needs to stop being so precious about itself, and why people should apply critical thinking to science esp when it says trust us, we know what we are talking about and you don’t.

                      And of course there is much that is good and magical and incredibly helpful about science.

                    • McFlock

                      @weka
                      1: I only know my own attitudes to doctors. And maybe a few people I know. Extrapolating from that anecdata to assume a societal shift (or lack thereof) seems a touch unscientific.

                      2: I didn’t say oppose things. I said oppose facts. Like the existence of AGW, or the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation or vaccination. This is not a value judgement, or a “polarising” issue. It’s overwhelming real-world, repeatable evidence being ignored in favour of magic books or nutters on the interwebs. Sometimes being “patronising” is actually a pretty reasonable attitude to take.

                      Yes, there are short-term issues with scientific accuracy and special interests, and intellectual property and a whole pile of other shit. But we’re a shitload better off today in damned near every measure than we were 300 years ago, and I dont think that can be said of any other time in human history to anywhere near the same degree.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      1: I only know my own attitudes to doctors. And maybe a few people I know. Extrapolating from that anecdata to assume a societal shift (or lack thereof) seems a touch unscientific..

                      More and more patients are using “complementary and alternative medicine”.

                      Most do not tell their medical doctors.

                      Calling Weka’s position seemingly a touch unscientific is actually a touch unscientific in of itself. Which is typical with the scientific attitude nowadays.

                      Greer pointed this out recently. A suspected phenomenon gets brought to the attention of science. But it goes against current accept scientific knowledge or at least is not explainable by current scientific knowledge.

                      Instead of being inquisitive and asking questions about what has been raised (i.e. in the manner of science), the act of raising is immediately rubbished (by those claiming to be the champions of science) as being “unscientific.”

                      It’s very funny to watch in action.

                    • batweka

                      McFLock,

                      1: I only know my own attitudes to doctors. And maybe a few people I know. Extrapolating from that anecdata to assume a societal shift (or lack thereof) seems a touch unscientific.

                      I on the otherhand have many years experience in patient’s rights and working with practitioners and clients in different capacities, so am very familier with the dynamics and shifts. Did you miss the patient’s rights movement, the Unfortunate Experiment, the establishment of the Health and Disability Commission and patient advocacy etc?

                      As for unscientific, what is wrong with that? Science isn’t the only valid way of knowing. Anecdata is very useful if you know what to do with it. Institutional memory is an example of how anecdata can be very important.

                      As CV alluded to, you missed an opportunity to learn something. If instead of minimising my comment as unscientific you had asked what are the societal shifts around attitidues towards GPs (or medicine) and why do I think that? then we might have had an open and progressive conversation and learned something.

                      2: I didn’t say oppose things. I said oppose facts. Like the existence of AGW, or the safety and effectiveness of fluoridation or vaccination. This is not a value judgement, or a “polarising” issue. It’s overwhelming real-world, repeatable evidence being ignored in favour of magic books or nutters on the interwebs. Sometimes being “patronising” is actually a pretty reasonable attitude to take.

                      And yet you conviently ignore the fact that some people are opposed to vaccinations for reasons you don’t understand or care about. You write them off as unscientific, but I am willing to bet that you would be unable to summarise the reasons why people are opposed to vaccination that are beyond the hard science. I’m not talking about the scientifically challenged on the internet (what you call nutters).

                      This is why CV finds you funny. You claim scientific rigour but are unwilling to apply it evenly across the board, you pick and choose. You write off my anecdata, but then want your own to be taken seriously. You want everyone to adopt your science is god belief system and then you ridicule other people with diverging belief systems. While that’s understandable (lots of fundamentalists do this), it’s unscientific

                      Yes, there are short-term issues with scientific accuracy and special interests, and intellectual property and a whole pile of other shit. But we’re a shitload better off today in damned near every measure than we were 300 years ago, and I dont think that can be said of any other time in human history to anywhere near the same degree.

                      Ah, that old chestnut. It’s ok that science fucks up because look at all the good things it does.

                      “shitload better off today”. How scientific*. Got a meta-analysis that proves that?

                      *not. Just incredibly loaded with ethnocentric and modernist prejudice.

                      btw, AGW isn’t a short term accuracy issue. Neither are the ways in which the patriarchy have been controlling women’s bodies and psyches via medicine (let’s say at least 300 years with a long handover from religion). The monumental fuck up that is the fat hypothesis is also not particularly short term, given we’re now going to see intergenerational issues.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘I take your point about fluoridisation but think like DTB that it is explainable if one looks at th facts.’

                      Grey – The problem with the debate is both sides are extreme. And it deters moderates from becoming involved – both sensible academics and lay people.
                      Thus, it is heartening to see a report in the ODT this morning (can’t find it online) of a letter from academics to the New Zealand Medical Journal which says both sides of the fluoride debate are cherry-picking evidence to suit their argument.
                      The academics, including a research psychiatrist, point out fundamental design flaws in a recent Otago University IQ study that said fluoride was safe.
                      The academics are saying the neurotoxin/brain development question is not settled.
                      I’d rather take advice on that matter from a brain researcher than an oral health researcher.
                      But more importantly, it is good to see the debate, in this case, conducted on a rational sceptical level, rather than the patronising public health bullying level that has characterised the fluoride argument.

                    • greywarshark

                      Thanks ergo robertina – your perspective is helpful.

                      Colonial Rawshark thinking about your –
                      Instead of being inquisitive and asking questions about what has been raised (i.e. in the manner of science), the act of raising is immediately rubbished (by those claiming to be the champions of science) as being “unscientific.”

                      The Semmelweis ‘gambit’
                      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Ignaz_Semmelweis#The_Semmelweis_gambit
                      and
                      Semmelweiss’ ideas and reaction to them examined.
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_reaction_to_Ignaz_Semmelweis
                      Semmelweis and his place in history.
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignaz_Semmelweis
                      Other sites about scientists and their findings
                      http://www.cracked.com/article_18822_5-famous-scientists-dismissed-as-morons-in-their-time.html
                      Somebody has named disdain of his idea the Semmelweis reflex. People linking autism with vaccinations have latched onto this with their own argument.
                      http://www.ageofautism.com/2007/10/the-semmelweis-.html
                      An interesting collection of scientific breakthroughs that couldn’t get through to others.
                      http://amasci.com/weird/vindac.html

                    • McFlock

                      I on the otherhand have many years experience in patient’s rights and working with practitioners and clients in different capacities, so am very familier with the dynamics and shifts. Did you miss the patient’s rights movement, the Unfortunate Experiment, the establishment of the Health and Disability Commission and patient advocacy etc?

                      Nope.
                      Really, all I know is that about the same number of my social group have about the same attitudes about their doctor – good or bad – as they did 20 years ago. Some were pill-happy, some weren’t. And about 20 years ago I had to tell my doctor to debride a wound that wouldn’t heal rather than dicking around with creams that were obviously ineffective.

                      As for unscientific, what is wrong with that? Science isn’t the only valid way of knowing. Anecdata is very useful if you know what to do with it. Institutional memory is an example of how anecdata can be very important.

                      And reliance on institutional memory is a sign that the institution is on the brink of dysfunction, imo.

                      As CV alluded to, you missed an opportunity to learn something. If instead of minimising my comment as unscientific you had asked what are the societal shifts around attitidues towards GPs (or medicine) and why do I think that? then we might have had an open and progressive conversation and learned something.

                      But you itemised the societal shifts you think occurred: “People don’t accept science at face value anymore, they want to know detail and they want to have their own opinions valued. They’re not going to accept something just because a scientist says it. Following on from that there is a much higher awareness of the problems associated with science and how science has either made mistakes, or been coopted, or taken us down paths that are ultimately harmful.” You merely provided no evidence for it.

                      And yet you conviently ignore the fact that some people are opposed to vaccinations for reasons you don’t understand or care about. You write them off as unscientific, but I am willing to bet that you would be unable to summarise the reasons why people are opposed to vaccination that are beyond the hard science. I’m not talking about the scientifically challenged on the internet (what you call nutters).

                      Who says I don’t understand? They’re idiots. Idiots believe random shit. Why would I even want to know why some moron refuses to accept reality, sorry ‘opposes scientific fact for reasons that are “beyond the hard science”‘? Some days I feel like dealing with idiots patiently. Those days are rare.

                      You claim scientific rigour but are unwilling to apply it evenly across the board, you pick and choose. You write off my anecdata, but then want your own to be taken seriously.

                      [citation needed]

                      You want everyone to adopt your science is god belief system

                      [citation needed]

                      and then you ridicule other people with diverging belief systems.

                      Yes. Because by definition their belief systems are not verifiable in the real world.

                      While that’s understandable (lots of fundamentalists do this), it’s unscientific

                      No, it simply doesn’t give credibility to assertions about “knowledge” that are comepletely unverifiable.

                      “shitload better off today”. How scientific*. Got a meta-analysis that proves that?

                      Shit. It’s almost as if you expect me to be a robot simply because I expect that someone who claims to be a healer is able to demonstrate that what they do actually heals people.

                      Name a measure that’s verifiable in the real world.
                      Hell, pick 20 or 30.
                      What percentage of measures a thousand years ago do you think will be even roughly equivalent to, let alone better than, those measures today? Life expectancy? Health? Nutrition? Quality of housing? GINI? GDP? Recovery times? Literacy? Fuel poverty? Water supplies? Variety of goods?

                      btw, AGW isn’t a short term accuracy issue. Neither are the ways in which the patriarchy have been controlling women’s bodies and psyches via medicine (let’s say at least 300 years with a long handover from religion). The monumental fuck up that is the fat hypothesis is also not particularly short term, given we’re now going to see intergenerational issues.

                      Intergenerational is a blink of an eye when you look at human progress – things like expansion into the Americas by Europe took decades or centuries.

                      BTW, an argument about science vs idiots is not a scientific argument. I do not expect any of my opinions here to be published in BMJ. They are merely my honest reaction to people who think that idiots should be treated with respect.

                      @greyshark – your wikipedia thing on the Semmelweis gambit made me giggle here:

                      However, this comparison is flawed because Semmelweis had statistical evidence,[2] which was rejected because of the establishment’s close-mindedness, while most of CAM has only anecdotal evidence, which is rejected because anecdotes aren’t good evidence.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      You claim scientific rigour but are unwilling to apply it evenly across the board, you pick and choose. You write off my anecdata, but then want your own to be taken seriously.

                      [citation needed]

                      If the search machine was working it would be possible to find examples of your superstitious and unscientific view of animals, by searching McFlock + sentience + meatbots

                    • Poission

                      If the search machine was working it would be possible to find examples of your superstitious and unscientific view of animals

                      Skinners superstitious pigeons are well known

                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._F._Skinner#Superstition_in_the_pigeon

                    • McFlock

                      @ergo
                      You mean this (ever hear of a search engine called “google”)?

                      My full ‘meatbot’ comment:

                      Personally, I’d be against eating meat if I thought they could tell us what they did on their holidays. Hence whales and gorillas would be doubtful, ethics-wise.

                      But I think a lot of folks simply anthropomorphise human feelings onto meatbots.

                      I fully agree, philosophical discussions about sentience and ethics are not scientific discussions.

                      lol: the phrase that comes to mind is “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘I fully agree, philosophical discussions about sentience and ethics are not scientific discussions.’

                      You were denying the physical reality of something.
                      You demand your own eccentric notions be considered in a different paradigm, but extend nothing but reactionary intolerance to the ”idiots” whose views do not align with your (rather narrow) understanding of the evidence-based paradigm.

                    • McFlock

                      “Something”?
                      What physically-real thing was I denying, specifically, in the meatbot comment?

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      The physical reality is sentience, and that does involve what you characterise as ‘human feelings’; like pain, and empathy.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      In the 1890’s chiropractors had already conceptualised a systematic intelligence in the operation of all material, energetic, and living systems i.e. intrinsic to all aspects of the observable universe and in the expression of life itself.

                      Of course, they had sourced this perspective from more ancient philosophies.

                      Materialists who posit that only physically measurable matter based phenomena are worthy of rational consideration are badly stuck in a Newtonian age. And only 100 years or so behind new ideas that physicists started toying with.

                    • McFlock

                      @ergo:
                      The physical reality I have apparently denied in the meatbot comment:

                      The physical reality is sentience, and that does involve what you characterise as ‘human feelings’; like pain, and empathy.

                      If you reread the meatbot comment, I think you’ll find that I acknowledged sentience existed in humans, and even said that I have seen enough evidence to suggest that some animals are sentient to the point that I have ethical qualms about killing them for food.

                      If you have evidence that a slug or beetle has empathy, I might need to rearrange my gardening policies.

                      @cv:
                      You know what, even if physicists prove the existence of something like midichlorians, any relationship between them and what you describe will be as coincidental as any similarity between George Lucas’ imagination and that reality.

                      But when they are demonstrated to exist and maybe even treatments based on them are demonstrated to be effective (as opposed to a hundred and twenty years of unverified claims) then that knowledge will be part of “medicine” rather than “alternative medicine”.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      The meatbot term referred to sheep and cows and the like. Animals farmed for their meat. Not protected species or garden slugs.
                      I eat meat, albeit very little these days; I don’t rationalise away the fact they are sentient sensitive creatures in order to do so.

                    • McFlock

                      God forbid I should go to Japan.

                      So your assertions are:
                      1)that it is a fact that cows are sentient; and
                      2)that in the meatbot comment I stated that they categorically are not?

                      The first has no evidence that persuades me to make an ethical distinction in the case of cows, which is what I actually wrote rather than your second assertion.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      ‘The first has no evidence that persuades me to make an ethical distinction in the case of cows, which is what I actually wrote rather than your second assertion.’

                      Your statements are inconsistent. You say you would need evidence to persuade you on this matter, but earlier you said the animal sentience argument was a philosophical question that was by its nature not a scientific discussion.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      But when they are demonstrated to exist and maybe even treatments based on them are demonstrated to be effective (as opposed to a hundred and twenty years of unverified claims) then that knowledge will be part of “medicine” rather than “alternative medicine”.

                      It’s this weird world where you think everyone wants to be a card carrying member of a particular privileged club in society, but really, it’s not the case.

                      “Medicine” as you call it has many practical and important uses, but at the same time as an applied science and commercial enterprise it doesn’t have any monopoly on human health, healing or knowledge.

                    • McFlock

                      The nature of sentience is philosophical.

                      Whether a particular organism displays evidence of characteristics that (we might agree for the sake of argument) philosophically imply sentience is a matter that can be observed and verified.

                      Do you believe snails are sentient? They are farmed and eaten in some localities. Or are only some animals sentient, in your opinion? If so, how do you make that distinction?

                    • McFlock

                      “Medicine” as you call it has many practical and important uses, but at the same time as an applied science and commercial enterprise it doesn’t have any monopoly on human health, healing or knowledge.

                      Well, it does on the bits that can be demonstrated to work.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      I’m not getting into a sliding scale thing.
                      Scientific arguments tend to have a philosophical element, e.g community water fluoridation, genetic testing, vaccination, stem cell therapy, pillow angels, GMOs, etc.
                      In this respect the animal sentience question is no different, but you deploy it as a quibble and divert tactic.
                      It is your prerogative to adhere to an 18th century notion of animals as machines if you wish. Just as a person might also hold the philosophical view that the sun will not rise tomorrow, or that women are inferior.

                    • McFlock

                      So you want me to explain my opinions to you, but you refuse to reciprocate.

                      🙄

                      But feel free to keep making shit up about what I wrote, anyway.

                    • Ergo Robertina

                      No need to throw your toys out.
                      If the only device you have is a sliding scale argument leading to the moot point of whether rocks/plants/microbes or whatever are sentient, then your case is weak.
                      And yes, the onus is on the person holding the unusual or anachronistic view to persuade of its merit.

                    • McFlock

                      sorry, I didn’t realise that your previous comment was intended to continue the debate.

                      And the prevalence of beef eating in this country suggests that yours is the unusual or anachronistic view, according to the debating rule that you just made up.

            • batweka 10.1.1.1.2.2

              “Those problems were, IMO, more a result of commercialisation than science.”

              Agreed that commercialisation has had a very negative impact on both science and the perception of science. There’s also the fact that the science has been repeatedly presented as value free when it’s patently not. Commericialisation is a big part of it, but not the cause IMO.

            • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.1.1.2.3

              No, the credibility of science isn’t declining. It still works.

              Yeah of course it works, mainly against the poor, low skilled and indigenous populations not aligned with western power. And it mainly works for the wealthy, the professional and the power elite.

              That’s why it’s losing credibility.

              • McFlock

                🙄

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Really, you guys?

                You both need to, as a parallel, identify the difference between Christ’s vision of how one worships, the actual modern day core beliefs/tenets/practices, and the organisational/political/power/economic infrastructure of the Church.

                At least in religion one has words to help distinguish between those facets; in “science” all those things tend to get rolled into one.

                FWIW I think many aspects of the scientific approach and methodology is valuable and will hopefully last into the future. I think the majority of the current day scientific endeavour and infrastructure will collapse and go away when the modern fossil fuelled economy collapses and goes away.

      • Murray Rawshark 10.1.2

        Um, no. According to the article, they will actually have a problem with excess oxygen from their crops. They need to separate this and get rid of it somehow, or risk spontaneous combustion. They can make oxygen from the Martian CO2, but it seems that they don’t have a source of new nitrogen. Hence the partial pressure of oxygen will keep rising. Too much oxygen is extremely dangerous.

        It could be the best reality tv ever. Or the worst.

        • McFlock 10.1.2.1

          That makes a bit more sense.

          I suppose they could always burn candles and scrub the required amount of CO2. Or maybe condense the resulting water and tip it outside but that would probably require huge amounts of fuel to burn.

          • Colonial Rawshark 10.1.2.1.1

            Exactly. I had no idea why it said they didn’t have the technology to remove oxygen from a nitrogen/oxygen atmosphere.

            Get a wood burner and have it venting outside, for starters.

            Although one would lilkely need an additional source of burnable biomass…

    • joe90 10.2

      Another planet to consider visiting before a trip to Mars – NASA is studying how to send people to Venus.

      http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/space-flight/nasa-study-proposes-airships-cloud-cities-for-venus-exploration

  11. Molly 11

    I know we were busy at the time, but did anyone else notice this ruling from a federal judge in Detroit – from September this year? A US judge declares Detroit residents have no right to water

    I was looking up the IMDB for the film, Even the Rain about the Cochabamba water protests in Bolivia in 2000, and noticed the reference in the reviews.

    “In a ruling on Monday, the federal judge overseeing the bankruptcy of Detroit declared that workers, youth and retirees have no “fundamental right” to water, as he threw out a lawsuit challenging the city’s policy of shutting off tens of thousands of residents from one of the most fundamental necessities of life.

    The cruel decision by judge Steven Rhodes is an object lesson for the entire working class. Rhodes exposed the logic of the capitalist system, the ruthlessness of the corporate and financial aristocracy that oversees it and the class character of all the institutions of the state.

    Attorneys for the plaintiffs, which included victims of the water shutoffs, argued that irreparable harm had been inflicted on their clients and residents of Detroit. If the policy continued, they contended, it could lead to the outbreak of disease and death.

    Rhodes acknowledged that such harm had occurred and that “water is a necessary ingredient for sustaining life.” Nevertheless, he insisted, a finding of irreparable harm “does not suggest that there is a fundamental enforceable right to free or affordable water. There is no such right in law. Just as there is no such affordable right to other necessities of life such as shelter, food and medical care.”

    Halting the water shutoffs was unacceptable, Rhodes asserted, because it would interrupt the flow of revenue to the banks and big bondholders, which get 50 cents out of every dollar the municipally owned water department collects. “Detroit cannot afford any revenue slippage, and its obligations to its creditors require it to take all reasonable and business-like measures to collect the debt that is owed to it,” Rhodes insisted.”

    • Ovid 11.1

      There was a great episode of Planet Money a few months cback called Detroit’s water bill. The economy is incredibly dire in the city.

    • greywarshark 11.2

      I’ve been looking at the background to this judge Rhodes, who would deny water to Detroit USA citizens at the drop of a gavel. His photo shows a neat, smiling man looking the perfect picture of a smug-arse middle-class general out of his depth in his powers. Sort of like getting Brownlee, to pontificate on Christchurch, who should have been poured away if he was where his namesake is found, at the bottom of a red wine bottle.

      Rhodes got a BS in mechanical engineering then something in the law and then went to the bankruptcy appellate panel where he has remained ever since. He has heard the case of Detroit since it filed for a Chapter 9 bankruptcy.

      As a result of the filing, Detroit had the power to avoid paying some debts and petitioned Judge Rhodes to approve canceling contracts, notably those with public employees.[…
      In early December 2013, Judge Rhodes agreed that public employee pensions should be treated like the other debt of the municipality. This allowed the City of Detroit to cut benefits to retirees as a course of bankruptcy,…

      Judge Rhodes approved Detroit’s bankruptcy plan on November 7, 2014, describing it as a “grand bargain.” It was the largest bankruptcy case in the United States as of that date. The plan removed $7 billion of the city’s estimated long-term debt….

      It seems as if he should not be making fundamental moral decisions such as deciding that the governance of any place can withdraw from serving the people’s needs at will if there is money debt involved. I would have thought an appeal to the most high courts of poobahs in the USA would have put this shamus to shame.
      edited

  12. Robert Glennie 12

    Kia Ora

    The Commissioners were never going to be good news for Environment Canterbury, and to a large extent that has been entirely true.

    Only the Government and their supporters think the Commissioners were ever going to be good. There are quite a few good examples of the bad they have done:

    1) The Waimakariri River Regional Park, set up to promote sustainable uses of the Waimakariri River and the land corridor on either side of the river had extensive trails in and around Poynters Reserve where one could go for a picnic, go for a walk, go fishing, observe the local flora and fauna. When I last went to the reserve in 2013, it was overgrown, the tracks had fallen into disrepair, the signage was vandalized and vehicle access was not being very well maintained.

    2) The Commissioners have been cold and aloof to democratic processes with one going so far as to say he did not see what the purpose of it was.

    3) They lied about so many things in the Creech Report. One was that there was no management plan for the Waitaki River – one was prepared, but the Council of the day killed it. Another was that the Natural Resources Regional Plan was not going t be completed – it would have been made largely operative in 2010 without the Commissioners.

    4) Environment Canterbury was nearly invisible to the media after 04 September 2010 earthquake, even though it was the first to have its C.D. centre activated.

    5) The consents section might have been slow processing resource consents in June 2009 when Nick Smith slammed Environment Canterbury, but they were one of the better performing councils by the time the Commissioners arrived.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      2) The Commissioners have been cold and aloof to democratic processes with one going so far as to say he did not see what the purpose of it was.

      Get any ‘leader’ in National in a darkened room and they’ll tell you the same thing. It’s why they tried to get rid of MMP and replace it with something far less democratic.

  13. Paul 13

    Wonder who has got more leverage? The government or Sky City?
    Not a good look if even more sweeteners handed out to the gambling industry.
    Yet the government is over a barrel on this.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11376916

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      The government will cave. That’s basically what Joyce said here:

      Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said he expects the cost difference to be bridged through cost-cutting and in the procurement process, though would consider other funding options if needed.

  14. Paul 14

    Another snivelling example of the state of the media in NZ. Radio Sport.

    And if you look at the caption contest, the Edge also had a love in with Key.
    This is what happens when all the media is owned by the same people.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503077&gal_cid=1503077&gallery_id=147363

    • Paul 14.1

      Key name drapes throughout…Gone Fishing, I was in the changing room with Brendan McCullum etc

    • Murray Rawshark 14.2

      I always suspected Graeme Sinclair was a bloody Tory. I hated the way he used to go out on boats and keep all the fish he caught, but make other people throw theirs back. I was fishing with my boy off the wharf in Niue once. Sinclair turned up, not filming, and tried to order us out of the road so he’d have room to cast a fly. I suggested he participate in an activity involving travel and sex, to the delight of my Niuean mates.

      I am not at all surprised that he took FJK fishing.

      • Paul 14.2.1

        I wouldn’t recommend listening to Key on the Edge or Radio Sport if you’ve just eaten, but the two episodes really do show how owned and compromised the media are.
        They are simply cheerleaders for the Key cult.

  15. newsense 15

    Surprise!

    Josie Pagani on Paul Henry.

    First two questions all about Josie Pagani and how the left is going the wrong way. Repeat yourself and repeat yourself.

    How does one become a ‘left wing commentator’?

    Appropriate she appears with David Seymour.

    I wonder if anyone has done any media analysis overseas to see if this sort of concern trolling of commentary comes out of a particular play book?

    • McFlock 15.1

      I only saw the ad where he said “the last paul henry show ever”.

      Cheered me right up.

      • greywarshark 15.1.1

        But did it finish “in 2014”? It could have been a big teaser by Henry just to get everyone hoping. Taking the approach of an annoying little child who annoys to get some attention.

        • McFlock 15.1.1.1

          lol

          Even if he’s out of the 2230hrs slot, I’m sure the obnoxious little scrote will be back in some form – someone at mediaworks loves him, no matter how much he fails to live up to expectations.

          But I have a dream to hold on to over the xmas break 🙂

          • newsense 15.1.1.1.1

            prefer him as a late night TV host than a morning host.

            Rather have him trying to be funny with licence, than trying to be John Laws

          • greywarshark 15.1.1.1.2

            @ McFlock
            Hold onto that dream tightly McFlock. And have a happy Christmas even a merry one if it can be stretched that far. And to everyone else I so enjoy being here with, all you minds and bodies have a good holiday or an enjoyable break in between work when you can. Cheers, jingle bells and sea shells and cooking smells and happy yells.

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  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    7 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 week ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago

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