Open mike 20/07/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, July 20th, 2019 - 131 comments
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131 comments on “Open mike 20/07/2019 ”

  1. Jenny - How to Get there? 1

    Not to be missed event, The 'Syria Speaks Hui'

    The Leftist Daily Blog gives solidarity to the "Syria Speaks' Hui

    The Centrist Standard) only posts pro Assad opinion.

    The Far Right have issued death threats against the organisers of the Syria Speaks Hui, (which have been passed on to the police in the interests of attendees safety).

    The Liberal Agenda; Syria Speaks

    By The Liberal Agenda / July 19, 2019 / 1 Comment

    TDB recommends Voyager – Unlimited internet @home as fast as you can get

    Syrians in New Zealand speak about the uprising against the Assad government, the violence that has followed, the role of foreign governments in the conflict, and what New Zealanders can do to help…..

    FRI, 26 JUL AT 19:00

    Syria Speaks

    The Peace Place·22 Emily Place, Auckland City

    Syrians in New Zealand speak about the uprising against the Assad government, the violence that has followed, the role of foreign governments in the conflict, and what New Zealanders can do to help.

    An informational meeting supported by Fightback and by Organise Aotearoa (views of speakers do not necessarily represent OA). The new edition of Fightback magazine, “Syria: Revolution and Counter-Revolution”, in English and Arabic, will be available.

    (NOTE: this meeting was originally scheduled for March 15, [the anniversary of the start of the popular revolt against Assad]*, but was postponed after the massacre that day of 50 worshippers at Christchurch mosques, some of whom were Syrian refugees).

    ALI AKIL came from Syria as a teenager and has lived here for two decades. His father was an activist against the Assad regime who was imprisoned, tortured and narrowly escaped execution. Ali was the founder of Syrian Solidarity NZ, which was established in 2011 in response to the dignity uprising in Syria.

    MIREAM SALAMEH (by Skype from Melbourne) was born in Homs, Syria in 1983. When the Syrian Revolution broke out in 2011, Salameh was persecuted both as a revolutionary and visual artist. Miream, with her friends, founded a magazine called (Justice) in which they documented Assad abuses in the city of Homs. Due to her involvement in anti-government activism, she was forced to leave her homeland after regime forces made threats of rape, arrest and murder against her, looting and destroying most of her artwork. With her three remaining artworks, she fled her homeland to Lebanon in 2012 and came to Australia in 2013 as a refugee. Miream’s artwork addresses issues of social justice, freedom and the suffering of the Syrian people, who are being violently oppressed for resisting dictatorship.

    Enquiries to [email protected]

    *My edit. J.

    • Morrissey 1.1

      Trouble with Syria is that the U.S., Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., and France have diplomatically and militarily supported Al Qaeda, ISIL, and al-Nusra.

      • reason 1.1.1

        To true morrissey …. although I should thank jenny for leading me down the road to learn a lot about the christchurch sub-uber racist killer.

        Which she tried to blame on Assad … in a sickness on top of sickness kind of way.

        Here's some real info from a little internet digging


        Reading NZ papers on wikileaks I learnt John Key was in Obamas company , giving a speech , immediately after Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik, killed 77 people in 2011.

        Key took the opportunity to call for more resources and surveillance to counter and stop future terrorist attacks … Cynically.

        The budget for spooks and security went from $56 Million in 2011 … up to over $ 150 million now.

        They brag about how they have made us safe page 39 …

        But apparently while 'making us safe', they were not looking at people like Anders Behring Breivik … who our killer admired in posts on known ‘extreme’ chat rooms … and he wanted to achieve a similar kind of racist immortality.

        In the days and hours ahead of his deadly killing spree at a New Zealand mosque on Friday, the alleged shooter left a trail of digital evidence
        His followers knew to tune in because he had advertised the shooting—and the fact that he would stream it live—on the message board site 8chan,

        Here’s your UN compact! … was one of the many twink scrawled message written on one of the assault rifles in Christchurch … a message that ricochet back at the tRumps … and our Nacts… who effectively gave ammo to a sick mind.

        Vote buying and stoking a toxic minority … Invaders!

        To lift the topic ,,,,,,I’ll finish with a bloody good powerful Aussie rock song about Aussie racism and exploitation …

  2. Jenny - How to Get there? 2

    Jenny – How to Get there?

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    20 July 2019 at 7:25 am

    Not to be missed event, The 'Syria Speaks Hui'

    The Leftist Daily Blog gives solidarity to the "Syria Speaks' Hui

    The Centrist Standard) only posts pro Assad opinion.


    The Far Right have issued death threats against the organisers of the Syria Speaks Hui, (which have been passed on to the police in the interests of attendees safety).

    • Sacha 2.1

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      That does tend to happen when you include nine live links and an email address, yes.

  3. Andre 3

    Just the regular necessary reminder that most of the economics profession is dedicated to pushing ideas that are flat-out wrong, but happen to benefit wealthy people and screw the not-wealthy. Hence their symbiotic relationship with the "conservative" part of the political spectrum.

  4. SPC 4

    A truly silly column by Fran O'Sullivan in the Herald where she offers the opine that the PM should not have annoyed the hosts by making representations over the deportations of Kiwis, but instead raise the matter of New Zealand banking rules.

    The thing is the PM is now in the position to quote their words back at them when they representations on behalf of their banks.

    And to have raised the matter of banking with the Oz government would have been to undermine the sovereignty of our regime in this matter.

    • Observer Tokoroa 4.1

      Fran O'Sullivan discards herself as a piece of rubbish. She does not understand the horrendous, indeed Attrocius destruction of Human Life that Australians have carried out on their Country – and continue to carry out.

      Concerning Australian Strong arm Deportation

      Contrary to little Fran,

      I do not see that we need to accept any deportation attempted by the Australian Government.

      As far I know, New Zealand has never undertaken to off load citizens from an unfriendly nation.

      Any attempt to fly any aircraft or sail any ships into our waters without permission will be deemed a violation.

  5. Jenny - How to Get there? 5

    Feeding Racism.

    How the (Centre) Left's support for the Assad regime has helped feed and spread the growth of fascism beyond Syria's borders.

    The Enemy’s Enemy is Not Your Friend

    June 1, 2019 by Gregory Smulewicz-Zucker

    Rohini Hensman is a Sri Lankan scholar-activist who has long been involved in the labor, feminist, and anti-imperialist movements. Gregory Smulewicz-Zucker interviewed her by email about her recent book, Indefensible: Democracy, Counter-Revolution, and the Rhetoric of Anti-Imperialism.

    To what extent do you think excusing non-Western imperialism actually manifests a form of racism?

    The first time this struck me was when the Arab uprisings started, and I noticed that a section of the Left lumped together the attack on Iraq by U.S.-U.K. imperialism with the uprisings in Libya and Syria, falsely claiming that the uprisings were simply examples of imperialist intervention. This happened despite the fact that we saw huge crowds on television chanting, “The people want the downfall of the regime!” But to this section of the Left, apparently, the peoples of these countries are too backward to fight against an oppressive dictatorship or to want democracy, and those massive crowds simply showed that they were fools being manipulated by Western imperialism and Islamist fundamentalism…..

    It seems that this support for authoritarianism leads to a blurring of the line between Left and Right. Do you think this is the case? Is there reason to see this as part of a left-wing authoritarianism that finds affinities with the Right on the issue of imperialism?

    Look at the people and parties that admire Bashar al-Assad or have visited him: former KKK leader David Duke, the white supremacists demonstrating at Charlottesville, British National Party leader Nick Griffin, Greek fascists of Golden Dawn, the French National Front, the Belgian Vlaams Belang—all of them are neo-fascists who see their own politics reflected in Assad’s ruthless totalitarian regime. Yet at the same time you find people who are seen to be on the Left, figures like Seymour Hersh, Robert Fisk, David North and Alex Lantier of the World Socialist Web Site, and Max Blumenthal supporting Assad by spreading his propaganda. You find the same convergence between the extreme Right and people seen to be on the Left like John Pilger supporting Putin’s imperialist annexation of Crimea…..

    • SPC 5.1

      And those supporting Israel's annexation of the Golan heights and East Jerusalem … also supporting the removal of Assad (but failing) …

      The right wing white race nationalists only prefer Assad to Islamists. The secular left wingers prefer a secular dictatorship to one based around Islamist theocracy. Compaining about that is in service to the former – the White House and its UK poodle and Israel.

      Israel and the USA do not care for ME democracy – being onside with Sisi and the Riyadh Crown Prince and the censorship of al Jazeera.

      • Jenny - How to Get there? 5.1.1

        While the Centre Left still, even now, courts racism and fascism, Leftist webcaster, Democracy Now, offers a different perspective.

        “For Sama”

        …..And regarding the lies, I think the propaganda has led the conflict to be between al-Assad and the Russians against terrorist groups, ISIS, al-Nusra. And like through all the years, like in 2015, nobody was saying anything about a revolution, about like civilians who are protesting, what happened to those people. All the focus of the media was about beheading people, the ISIS, and the Russians and the Syrians fighting those people.

        I think that was the most depressing part for me as a Syrian, to be like ignored from all the Western media, and not mentioning anything about me…..

        …..Hamza, you were working as a doctor in Aleppo in 2016 when there was reportedly a chlorine gas attack. There are clips in the film where you see children and adults wearing gas masks. Now, there was some uncertainty about whether there was in fact a gas attack at that time and who was responsible for it. What do you know of what happened?

        DR. HAMZA AL-KATEAB: We heard that there was an attack in a near neighborhood. And then, when the casualties, the people started to rush into the hospital, you immediately can tell by the weird smell of the people’s clothes. And it was just like the—it was just chlorine. And we started immediately to get rid of the people’s clothes, wash them, and then start to just examine their respiratory system and try to give them oxygen. This is the only thing that we could do. And the most, like, frustrating thing that the [inaudible] WHO or the U.N. or Security Council, they’re always like uncertain about who does this. Like, when Al Quds Hospital was attacked in April 2016, and it was like obviously attacked by an aircraft, all the reports and the statements by WHO, by the U.N., by the Security Council was the hospital was attacked. Like, they are not sure who attacked it. And there are only like aircrafts there by they can tell exactly what aircrafts were flying at that day…..

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        • SPC

          Racism and fascism is a good description of the governments in Israel and the USA at the moment.

          • Jenny - How to Get there?

            SPC to keep things simple, and to avoid the running into the pitfalls of Godwin's Law. I reserve accusations of racism and fascism to;

            1/ Those like Philip Arps who openly self identify as fascists, racists/white supremacists/anti-semites/Islamophobes etc.

            2/ Those like David Irving who cover up or excuse genocide.

            3/ Those like Bashar Assad who commit genocide

            As for the governments of the US and Israel

            A war of choice launched by the US against Iran, (which would be a genocidal war), in my opinion, would elevate Donald Trump from xenophobic racist to fascist.

            I think that it can be reasonably argued, and it has been, that Benjamin Netanyahu is guilty of committing genocide against the people of Gaza. Which by my definition would also qualify Netanyahu as a 'fascist'.

            • solkta

              Given that the term "fascist" has been around for a hundred years it seems silly to try and re-invent the meaning of it now.

              • Sacha

                Trying to impose order on a chaotic world can seem soothing to some, I guess.

              • Jenny - How to Get there?

                The term ‘fascist’ might well have been around for a hundred years* But in the age of the internet Godwyn’s law rightly warns against the devaluation of the designation of 'fascist' to anyone who disagrees with you.

                Godwyn himself has since said that this should not be used to avoid using this description where it is apt and justified.

                This obviously makes necessary to define the term in a concise manner where it is accurate.

                You might disagree with me that my determination that those who commit or excuse genocide fit this designation. personally I think it is accurate.

                *The term fascist has been around for over 2,000 years referring to fasci or sticks carried by Roman Senators which when bound together could not be broken. The symbol of which was adopted by the modern fascists.

                It might pay to remember that the ancient Roman Empire which the modern fascists so admire was a brutal slave society.

                • solkta

                  Fascism is a form of political and social organisation. It is not primarily about genocide.

                  Godwyn himself has since said that this should not be used to avoid using this description where it is apt and justified.

                  Exactly. So why don't you do that?

                • Andre

                  Jenny, the problem you run into when you use words that already have well-established meanings to mean different things is that nobody then has any chance of figuring out WTF you're on about.

                  In this particular case, genocide and fascism are separate things. Some genocides were carried out by fascist governments, some were not. Some fascist governments have been genocidal, some have not.

                  • Incognito

                    Instead of re-defining a word or language to suit one’s narrative one should re-phrase and re-frame one’s narrative to avoid ambiguity and confusion as much as possible. That is a golden rule in and of communication, especially on a blog site. The problem is that not all people have an equally good grasp of language, which on its own is not a major issue and can be ‘corrected’, but when they dig in and refuse to accept their ‘lingual faux pas’, it can become a major one.

                    It seems to me that some commenters here are only interested in writing their own comments but not in taking on-board comments by others. In fact, they often become defensive and aggressive or evasive when challenged …

                  • Jenny - How to Get there?

                    Genocide and fascism are two different things?

                    The most notable aspect of fascism is the use of genocide.

                    At the very least genocide could be called a sub-set of fascism.

                    I have termed (at various times), the Assad regime as "a fascist style regime" because of its of genocidal air campaign against its own citizens.

                    Another notable feature of fascist style regimes is the maintenance and operation of mass detention and death camps.

                    Of which the Assad regime has several, the most notable of these being Saydnaya on the outskirts of Damascus.

                    You say that I am redefining the meaning of the word fascist. Well one thing I know for sure, a fascist is no longer an ancient stick bearing slave owning Roman Senator.

                    Next you will be telling me that I would be wrong to label General Pinochet of Chile a fascist. Or General Franco of Spain a fascist. Because they don't meet your Hollywood characterisation of German fascists.

                    You say that I shouldn't define fascists as people who commit genocide.

                    What would you call people who commit genocide?

                    • solkta

                      Why don't you do some research on the term "fascism" while putting aside the genocide thing for a while? Learn what the term means and then come back. Even just reading the wiki page would be help you heaps.

                    • Andre

                      Next you will be telling me that I would be wrong to label General Pinochet of Chile a fascist. Or General Franco of Spain a fascist.

                      While Pinochet certainly displayed some elements of fascism, fascist really isn't a good descriptor for Pinochet's flavour of pseudo-populist ultra-nationalist despotism. Furthermore, while Pinochet had a weak spot for mass-murder of his opponents, the fact that it was his political opponents he was murdering rather than attempting to eliminate a particular ethnic/cultural group makes genocide an inaccurate descriptor for Pinochet's murders.

                      Fascism certainly is a good descriptor for Franco's particular nasty flavour of ideology. However, like Pinochet, genocide is a poor descriptor for Franco's mass murderous activities since it was targeted at political opponents rather than elimination of ethnic/cultural groups.

                      You say that I shouldn't define fascists as people who commit genocide.

                      What would you call people who commit genocide?

                      Genocidal is a pretty good descriptor for those who commit genocide. Rwanda is an example of genocide without fascism.

                  • Jenny - How to Get there?

                    Andre, You say that the word "fascist" has a well-established meaning. (which I have got wrong).

                    If the 'meaning' of the word fascist is, 'well-established' then you would have no trouble telling us what it is.

                    I await your reply.

                    Which of course you won’t give, despite it being so “well-established”.

            • Blazer

              A couple more for you Jenny-Armenian genocide by Turkey and the Rape of Nanking by Japan.

              • Jenny - How to Get there?

                Indeed. Even though the Japanese Empire, did not explicitly share the Italian and German fascist icongraphy and language, (harking back to the glories of the Western Imperial slave society of ancient Rome). Following the Rape of Nanking, the Japanese imperialists (rightly in my opinion) were termed fascists.

                In its brutality and carnage on the same scale as the destruction of Homs by the Assad regime.


                • reason

                  One of many main problems jenny … is who are you asking to win your war….. surely not the people commiting genocide in Yemen ??

                  And even if we were to believe your good war / we must kill more and add more deaths …. to stop a genocide logic.

                  Lets look at the 'care' towards civilians you are asking for …. a recent war crime shows a good example …of your good war, being nothing but a uncaring death and refugee machine.

                  So who are you calling on to kill more ?? Turkey is your best option for dragging it out at the moment.


                  • Jenny - How to Get there?

                    In their campaign against Isis the US has slaughtered civilians also identified by the Assad regime as enemies.

                    I have never denied Reason, that the US has committed massive crimes against the people of Syria in fact I have written about them long before you. As soon as the Amnesty report came out. I wrote on these pages about this crime.

                    The US is in Syria for its own reasons. The US has never unleashed the same fury against the Assad regime that it has unleashed against perceived enemies of the US. In the two air strikes against regime resources the US gave the Assad regime, (through its Russian ally), advanced notice of both attacks. And notably, no regime forces were ever killed or wounded in these two attacks. The US didn't exercise such niceties toward the civilian population of Raqqa.

                    The West and particularly the US has a fetish against anyone (but themselves of course) having weapons of mass destruction, WMDs. As horrible as these weapons are, most of the regime's slaughter of civilians has been conducted with so called "conventional weapons" which the US has raised no real objection to, and has certainly not acted to stop.

                  • Jenny - How to Get there?

                    You are not anti-war, if you are not anti-Assad's war.

                    ….So who are you calling on to kill more ?? Turkey is your best option for dragging it out at the moment.


                    It is actually you reason, who is calling to kill more.

                    In your comment above you are of course alluding to Idlib.

                    Idlib had previously with Turkish support been declared a deconfliction zone.

                    Lately the Turkish government of Erdogan has made its peace with the Assad regime and their Russian ally, giving the green light for the regime and Russia to continue their genocidal campaign against the Syrian people into Idlib.

                    Completing the encirclement Erdogan has ordered the closing of the border to civilians fleeing the impending slaughter, leaving them no where else to go.

                    Reason you are cheering on this slaughter to begin.

                    And even when the regime conquers Idlib, the killing will not stop. This is a regime that is currently rounding up and "disappearing" thousands of civilians in the areas it has already retaken.

                    • Jenny - How to Get there?

                      A year after “reconciliation”: Arrests and disappearances abound in southern Syria

                      ……Among those arrested was Rateb al-Jabawi, the former head of Jasim local council during the opposition rule. In September 2018, al-Jabawi was taken from his home and arrested by a security service patrol in the city of Jasim. “[His arrest] is one of the most important violations of the settlement deal,” said the former military commander.”

                      Security and military patrols have also been conducting raids and searches on houses of civilians in the town of Rasm al-Halabi, a village in the countryside of al-Quneitra, and have specifically targeted former members of the Civil Defense (The White Helmets). They have recently arrested two brothers who formerly worked with the White Helmets, Bilal and Ala’a Shubat.

                      A week before the arrest of the Shubat brothers, three former members of the Civil Defense from the village of Saidah al-Joulan, near the Golan Heights, were kidnapped while traveling between the city of al-Sheikh Maskin and Nawa in the Daraa governorate. Local media outlets accused the Syrian government security forces of being behind the kidnappings.

                      Mohammad al-Ahmad (a pseudonym), a member of the Civil Defense who was displaced from al-Quneitra to Idlib, said that he had nine Civil Defense colleagues working in al-Quneitra.

                      “Some of them have disguised themselves, as they’re still wanted by the regime. Other [members] are paying money to officers in the regime to ensure that they are not pursued and that they’re protected from arrest.”

                      Al-Ahmad’s house was raided after he was relocated to Idlib. His brother was at the house at the time and was arrested and taken to an unknown location, while his family was evicted from the home. Security forces also confiscated his cars, farmland, and family possessions.

                      Al-Ahmad is not the only member of the White Helmets that has faced arrest, expropriation and the detainment of family members at the hands of security services, who have repeatedly accused the group of working with terrorists. He has heard similar stories of White Helmet members and their families being pursued by security services.

                      Though many members of the group fled the south before the government retook the area, others were unable to make it to the specified spot in time to be “evacuated”.

                      In July 2018, 400 members of the White Helmets and their families crossed through the Occupied Golan Heights to reach Jordan, after which they were granted refuge in Britain, Germany, and Canada.

                      After the completion of the evacuation operations, the government campaign against the White Helmets intensified. The Syrian government accused them not only of working with terrorists but also of being Israeli agents.’ The remaining members became wanted by the government, especially in al-Quneitra.


                      Don't support fascism. (It really shouldn't have to be said).

                    • reason

                      Jenny , you just cant stop your bullshitting your one sided propaganda can you ?? …

                      Things like your wild conspiracy theories about the Christchurch racist mass murderer … or the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox … both being caused by Assad / Syria ….

                      Leave you with sub-zero credibility…. You've proven you'll write any shit.

                      your comment above you are of course alluding to Idlib.

                      My comment was about a 100 mile deep strip running the length of the border with Syria ….

                      Perhaps Turkey was promised it … and Israel the Golan Heights too… in a pre-arranged divy up upon the destruction / balkinization break up of Syria …. which was all on course and following the script of Libya ,,,

                      before the Isis / al nusra tide was repelled.

                      Regarding Idlib and ignoring your asshat blather ….The problem with Idib is all the foreign fighters / mercenaries, ,,,which their home countries do not want them to returning too.

                      New Zealand had 1 ,,,,, and there was a big fuss about him …. Britian and France have hundreds,

                      “He was part of the al-Muhajiroun network. They were Anjem Choudary’s boys. When the Syrian war first broke out, these guys were organising a lot of people to go there and fight. They did it under humanitarian cover, pretending they were going to give aid and stuff.”


                      Both the brits and frogs have previously stated they would rather have their radicalized citizens killed than returned … do your own internet search.

                      So I imagine the best result for the sponsors of your peaceful bloodbath would be to block their return … yet pretend moral outrage when they lose their last Jihad battles.

                      Personally I believe quite a few could be de-radicalised ,,,,,, so unlike you I'm not into more war / killing….

                      And I heard that you stayed with people …. like the fine ones in this video … during your time in syria ;(


                      The video link about Raqqa very specificly disproves one of your

            • SPC

              Assad is not a racist (anti-Zionist maybe), and whether a one party (not based on race, ethnicity or religion) tyranny posing as socialist qualifies as fascist is debatable (a matter of technical definition). Resorting to methods (bombing in civilian areas and economic blockade) used by the Allies during WW2 is not genocide, though war crimes are/were involved. Each would claim they did it to defeat a fascist threat (and Islamo-fascism was ultimately the alternative posed to the regime, not a democracy).

              I would also argue that Netanyahu has not committed genocide, albeit collective punishment and war crimes. An ethnic state asserting its will by force is racist and fascist.

              As for Trump, his white race nation, "the will of our God and our nation be done" assertion of economic and military power (including sanctions against those nations that refuse to enforce sanctions against targeted states) is fascist in its belligerent exercise of power.

              • Jenny - How to Get there?

                SPC you object to me identifying the Assad regime "fascist" as inaccurate and a redefinition of the word. Yet you have no hesitation of identifying Assad's opponents as "Islamofascists".

                The crimes of Isis are dire and extreme, but don’t reach by numbers anywhere near the sheer scale of the crimes committed by the Assad regime.

                You criticise me for redefining the word fascist and then make your own redefinition, fascism is the "beligerant exercise of power".

                In my opinion your definition is too tame and too broad.

                Fascism is something much worse than this.

                In my opinion you have fallen into the Godwyn trap.

                But even using your definition Assad is a fascist.

                • SPC

                  Er no, I disagree whether the term fascist is accurate for Syria's Baath regime and explained why (I did not discuss redefintion of the word fascist but mentioned the technical use of the term, as distinct from the colloquial use which both of us are doing). Many have called Moslem terrorists intent on imposition of their rule Islamo-fascists. And not just Islamic State, but also al Nusra.

                  And I did not redefine fascism as "belligerent exercise of power" but noted that such was practiced by fascist regimes – fascist in its "belligerent use of power" (either domestically and externally).

                  Yes the Assad regime did exercise "belligerent use of power", but not until it was subject to a conspiracy to depose the regime (its earlier use of gunfire to intimidate democratic protesters in Damascus was commonplace tyranny).

      • Jenny - How to Get there? 5.1.2

        What I find notable SPC is that in his recent extended interview on Democracy Now in which Noam Chomsky covered a wide range of issues, imperialism, the rise of fascism in the ’30s, the campaign against nuclear weapons in the ’80s the Iraq war, the war in Yemen. the war in Libya. But during this extended interview where he was given the complete floor to say whatever he wanted Noam Chomsky never mentioned, (apart from a mention of Israel annexing the Golan Heights). Chomsky never mentioned, not even once, the war in Syria.

        This could represent one of two things;

        1/ That Chomsky is changing from his previous held position of endorsing the US regime change conspiracy theory spread by the Assad regime and its supporters.

        2/ That Chomsky has not changed from his previous position, but knows that it is indefensible, and that Democracy Now will challenge him on it.

        I would like to believe that it is the first case not the second.

        • Morrissey

          Thanks for that learned theory about Chomsky's "indefensible" position on Syria. Do you think he should come out in support of Al Qaeda and the Al Nusra Front?

          • Jenny - How to Get there?

            Don't you think it worthy noting SPC that a learned scholar like Noam Chomsky did not feel confidant enough to make a comment on Syria before people who he knew would challenge him on it?

            • Morrissey

              Chomsky did not feel confidant [sic] enough....


              Chomsky is not some cowardly politician. And he has never supported a "regime change conspiracy theory."

              • Jenny - How to Get there?

                Chomsky is not some cowardly politician. And he has never supported a “regime change conspiracy theory.”


                How Noam Chomsky Betrayed the Syrian People

                ……While those who support Chomsky’s position on Syria may label supporters of the revolution, like myself, as “neoconservatives” or “pro-imperialists,” they are, in fact, more deserving of these epithets themselves.

                The Contours of Chomsky’s Views

                During his September 2015 Harvard lecture, Chomsky was asked whether Russia’s deployment to Syria was imperialistic. In response, Chomsky repeated the capricious claim that the entire Syrian opposition is either part of ISIS or some variant of al-Qaeda.

                As even the most casual observer of the Syrian conflict knows, however, this claim is false. A major contingent of Syria’s rebel forces is not “jihadist” in any sense. Even among those who are Islamist, many support a democratic government, in some form, and are more similar to Hamas than ISIS or al-Qaeda.

                Instead of reckoning with these and other realities of the Syrian revolution, Chomsky has tacitly endorsed the logic of the “war on terror,” accepting the view that allying with dictatorships in order to defeat terrorism is perfectly ok…..

                …….In 2014, during the height of ISIS’s expansion, Assad and his allies attacked the group only 6 percent of the time, while 64 percent of ISIS attacks were against the Syrian rebels. There have also been numerous cases in which ISIS and Assad’s forces have effectively been allied, with Russian airstrikes often aiding, instead of hindering, the group.

                Clearly, the Syrian regime’s sectarian slaughter, backed by Iran and its proxy militias, has generated unprecedented support for ISIS, making Chomsky’s support for an anti-ISIS alignment with Assad ironic at best and unsupportable at worst…..

                …..In an interview with Jacobin, Chomsky provides a glimpse into the deeper reasons behind his views on Syria. In response to a question asking for his thoughts on the West’s bombing efforts against ISIS, Chomsky noted that the “sectarian conflicts that are tearing the region to shreds are substantially a consequence of the Iraq invasion.”

                For Chomsky, as well as much of the left, the United States’s perceived proximity to the conflict (or the pathological belief that the United States is responsible for the devastating war) has alternatively shaped indifference to and hostility toward the Syrian revolution. In other words, because the United States is against the Assad regime, the left feels compelled to either ignore the revolution all together, or oppose the regime’s enemies.

                In his case, Chomsky has expressed ideological disdain for revolutionary forces by supporting their complete annihilation. In the same interview with Jacobin, Chomsky said the outcome in Syria could be “just as bad [as an ISIS victory] if the jihadi elements supported by Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are the victors.” His statement amounted to tacit approval for the brutal war being waged against these so-called “jihadi elements” by Russia, Iran and Assad…..

                …..Though Chomsky and the wider left might not appreciate this, the part they are playing in Syria’s counter-revolution is discrediting leftism. In this way, their actions are comparable to those “socialists” who destroyed the left for generations because of a blind loyalty to the nightmare of Stalinism.

                Sadly, the conservative, orientalist, and incoherent stance on Syria expressed by Chomsky and his supporters is symptomatic of a leftism that has no reason to exist beyond the narrow parameters of its own subculture.


                • Morrissey

                  Quoting wacky blogs does nothing for your argument, Jenny. The ridiculous sight of a lightweight like “analyst Sam Hammad” calling Noam Chomsky, of all people, “conservative, orientalist, and incoherent” is almost as ridiculous as the shrieking charge that he “betrayed” anyone.

                  • Jenny - How to Get there?

                    Sam Hammad is a 'lightweight'

                    Ironic then that the most common go to source, for Assad apologists on this site, is 9/11 Truther and comedian Jimmy Dore


                    Posted on April 30, 2017 by Sam Hamad

                    When I read Manufacturing Consent as a teenager, in the summer of 2002 to be precise, at the beginning of War on Terror fever, I never thought that one day its most esteemed author, Noam Chomsky, would accuse me of supporting al-Qaeda. In the following exchange, he does exactly that, as well as accusing me of supporting Daesh. That makes it three times, by my count, that he’s issued this most scurrilous and ironic smear, with his initial accusation of my support for Daesh coming in a response he gave to a friend who had sent an article I wrote criticising his stance on Syria for Muftah……


  6. Pat 6

    The difficulties presented by polarisation

    "And even if it is an immediate disaster, visible on day one, there are few guarantees that leavers would admit their error and seek once more the embrace of Brussels. As Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform puts it, “Just because babies are dying, does that mean they’ll say we were better off in the EU?” Aren’t they just as likely to blame the beastly Europeans for inflicting such a hellscape on an innocent nation? After all, even Boris Johnson once thought Britain could leave the EU and keep its seat on the European council of ministers. The Brexiters will cry, “How we were to know that leaving the EU meant leaving the EU?” And if they don’t blame Brussels, they’ll blame someone else: foreigners, minorities, anyone but themselves."

    Exchange Brexit for climate emergency …..the same process is in play

  7. Sacha 7

    Whaleoik's lawyer begs to be allowed off the case but judge refusing his client's illness or bankruptcy as further delaying tactics. Sheds light on how the slob has been gaming the court system for years.

    • James 7.1

      he looks like he is in for (another) hard life lesson – most of which are of his own doing and could have been resolved years ago if he was reasonable.

      No sympathy for his current legal predicament.

  8. SPC 8

    Massey University’s Dr Andy Towers, from the School of Public Health, wants minimum pricing for alcohol as part of a campaign to make it socially unacceptable for poor people to drink – saying “Sub-groups” who continue to smoke, even though it’s socially unacceptable and expensive, they’re addicted. The same would happen with alcohol if minimum unit pricing came in”

    Mimimum pricing would of course have no impact on the craft beers and wines drunk by the well to do, for whom drinking would presumably remain socially acceptable in more upmarket locations and more exclusive private clubs (a bit like in Teheran behind the walls of the well to do).

    The Panopticon Society rears its head via Public Health policy academics, their cohorts in criminology presumably justify targeting of the underclass without religion with fear and obey policing intimidation.

    The enemies of equality and freedom come out in public like this because they have no shame.

    If Andy Tower stuck his head out the window he would realise poor people can barely pay for their rent, pay off their tertiary loan and save a deposit to buy a home and this is why less young people drink. We have the highest rent to house value in the world and the second most expensive property to wages in the world.

    Using "price to signal that drinking is unacceptable" (and reserving it as a privilege for those whose drinks prices will remain unchanged) is of an alliance between the haves and those who want to control the behaviour and lives of the common folk. His agenda to describe poor people who drink as addicts is telling.

    • alwyn 8.1

      If this study was accurate it would appear that the people who drink to much are the old rich ones.

      Manual workers apparently drink much less than wealthy professionals. Price increase aren't therefore likely to have any effect.

      • SPC 8.1.1

        There is an article linked to the story on Stuff the about a study by Andy Towers himself coming to the same conclusion that the increase in drinking is by those is by those over 50 – so he should know minimum pricing would have no impact on that.

    • Using "price to signal that drinking is unacceptable"…

      Unacceptable to whom? Seriously, apart from devout Muslims, who wants to "signal that drinking is unacceptable?" Some technocrats in government departments in universities, maybe? I was at a pub last night and drinking seemed pretty acceptable to everyone present.

    • McFlock 8.3

      ISTR a low minimum pricing/quantity deters kids when there's not age restriction (e.g. single cigarette sales I think were banned before tobacco became R18). Keeps it just outside the reach of their pocket money.

      But I suspect that as the price of alcohol goes up, the more people bring homebrew to parties for their friends. Maybe with a nod and a wink, maybe gratis. None of my business.

  9. The Chairman 9

    Foreigners' unpaid medical debts revealed. And this is just for the Auckland region.

    More than $35 million in unpaid debts by foreigners treated for healthcare in Auckland has been written off in the past three years.

    Acting Health Minister Julie Anne Genter and the DHBs declined to comment. But in Counties Manukau's OIA response, it stated significant resource goes into determining a patient's eligibility status, and then seeking payment.

    Here's a possible solution. Require them to have insurance when entering the country, making it available for those that don't already have cover. No insurance, no entry.

  10. John Clover 10

    Yesterday I heard a worker at the Maori agency [sorry forget its name] say the problem with Maori babies being taken is that the department will not build/get more housing so Mother AND child can be helped away from their bad life situation.

    Such a simple solution to the problem … it must be correct and so beyond the comprehension of beaurocrats

  11. One Two 11

    Joint Statement of The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Public Health Service (FDA & CDC), July 7, 1999

    The Process of Public Policy Formulation: The Case of Thimerosal in Vaccines


    Thimerosal is a mercury-containing compound that has been widely used as an antimicrobial agent in vaccines for over 60 years.

    Human exposure tomercury may have potentially significant health con-sequences.

    By mid-1999, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had discovered that children could be exposed to an amount of mercury from vaccines that exceeded 1 of 3 existing federal safety thresholds.

    After this realization, the organized medical and public health communities in the United States became involved in a series of urgent and intense discussions to determine an appropriate response to the issue.

    • Higherstandard 11.1

      Not sure how may of the vaccines on the NZ schedule contain thiomersal as formulations and preservatives are constantly evolving but as ever it’s disappointing that Philu is still spreading his antivac. drivel….

      First, there is no mercury in vaccines, and never was. And thiomersal is not banned, anywhere.

      Let’s start with the beginning. Thiomersal is a powerful antiseptic, that, even in tiny doses, (nanogram levels) blocks the growth of bacteria. Up until the anti-vaccination movement invented some tropes about thiomersal, we had less expensive, multi use vials for many drugs, including vaccines. Thiomersal prevented bacterial growth, which is much more dangerous than the imagined danger of thiomersal.

      The claim that it is mercury is silly and shows of an ignorance of chemistry. Thiomersal is not a fancy name for “mercury” it is the proper chemical term for ethyl mercury, an organic compound attached to the mercury molecule. They do not disassociate in the body, and is quickly eliminated through the kidneys.

      Table salt is sodium bonded to chlorine. Elemental sodiums is explosive. And elemental chlorine, a gas, is deadly. Yet when they are combined, they became a stable salt. And it does disassociate (unlike thiomersal), although the ionic forms of the sodium and chlorine are not dangerous.

      Reducing chemistry to the basic elements is not how biochemistry works. It’s the whole molecule that matters, not the individual parts. So thiomersal does not add to the mercury burden of a human being, unless you have some nobel prize winning research that shows that somehow the mercury atom cleaves from the organic molecule in water. And we have no evidence of that.

      Moreover, there simply is no research whatsoever that has established a link between thiomersal or anything, up to and including autism.

      What’s next on your list Phil…fluoride in the water ? or is it back to the 5G ?

      • Rosemary McDonald 11.1.1

        I could very well be missing something here Higherstandard, and everyone else in the world knows the source of your quoted text, but help me out here and provide a link.

        Please? wink

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Sorry Higherstandard, that simply takes me to generic search page…which particular paper are you quoting from?

        • One Two

          Dr. Baskin: Baylor School of Medicine Neurologist “

          There is more data, more and more data on ethylmercury. The cells that I showed you dying in cell culture are dying from ethylmercury. Those are human frontal brain cells. You know, there has been a debate about . . . ethyl versus methyl. But from a chemical point of view, most chemical compounds that are ethyl penetrate into cells better than methyl.

          Cells have a membrane on them, and the membrane is made of lipids, fats. And ethyl as a chemical compound pierces fat and penetrates fat much better than methyl. And so, you know, when I began to work with some of the Ph.D.s in my laboratory and discuss this everyone said, `oh gosh, you know, we've got to adjust for ethyl because it's going to be worse; the levels are going to be much higher in the cells

          ' So . . . I think at best they're equal, but it's probably highly likely that they are worse. And some of the results that we are seeing in cell culture would support that.''

          Dr. Baskin explained that according to scientific research in humans and animals, brain tissue absorbs five times more mercury than other tissues in the body.

          The vaccine industry plays games suggesting that 10 times the EPA, FDA and WHO maximum ingestion of mercury is safe.

          That is not only untrue, but deceptive as oral exposure is very poorly absorbed, whereas injected exposure is 100% absorbed

        • One Two

          Thimerosal: clinical, epidemiologic and biochemical studies.


          The culmination of the research that examines the effects of Thimerosal in humans indicates that it is a poison at minute levels with a plethora of deleterious consequences, even at the levels currently administered in vaccines.

          • Ad

            One Two do you have any medical qualifications to make that claim to us?

            • higherstandard

              One Two do you have any medical qualifications to make that claim to us? laugh

              Not unless he's been holding out on us this chap below does have some medical knowledge though…


              It may all be rather pointless discussion though ….. as I said above I not sure if any vaccines in the NZ schedule use thimerosal as a preservative anymore. If philu wants to tell us whether they do he can search it up on the Medsafe website.

              • Andre

                Had a wee look.A bunch of different credible sites say thimerosal has not been in any New Zealand childhood vaccines since 2000, and is not currently in any vaccines of any kind in New Zealand (although flu vaccines overseas are commonly cited as still possibly containing thimerosal). Haven't spotted anything that gives a date on when the last vaccines containing thimerosal were phased out in New Zealand.

                There's an odd absence of triumphant articles claiming reductions in illnesses previously attributed to thimerosal due to the removal of it, however.

                • Sacha

                  The chemtrails took over where the evil vaccines left off. Stay in your caves, comrades!

              • Andre

                Also, the links in that SBM piece all appear to be dead. But searching for Geier debunked brings up plenty of relevant info.

                • One Two

                  But searching for Geier debunked brings up plenty of relevant info.

                  As if it wasn't blindingly obvious how you manage to maintain yourself at such a stunted level of ignorance.

                  To the point where you openly…and seemingly without a sense of shame or awareness… share your base level technique

                  Andre keyword search:

                  [subject matter] | [persons name] | [debunk]

                  Bravo. Shameless.

                  • solkta

                    I can't believe anybody still references that guy. But there it is before my eyes. Stunning.

                  • Andre

                    Ooooh, sounds like this time it's going to need more than a hug and a kiss and a make-up sesh.

            • One Two


              The culmination of the research that examines the effects of Thimerosal in humans indicates that it is a poison at minute levels with a plethora of deleterious consequences, even at the levels currently administered in vaccines.

              If you read the linked material… you should have managed to figure out that I had forgotten to used the <blockquote> on

        • One Two

          Mitochondrial dysfunction, impaired oxidative-reduction activity, degeneration, and death in human neuronal and fetal cells induced by low-level exposure to thimerosal and other metal compounds


          The present study showed that Thimerosal-induced cellular damage among in vitro human neuronal and fetal model systems in a concentration- and time-dependent fashion.

          Thimerosal at low nanomolar concentrations was able to induce significant cellular toxicity in human neuron and fetal cells.

          Thimerosal-induced cellular cytotoxicity similar to that observed in pathophysiological studies of patients diagnosed with ADs. Namely, in both cases, there was evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction, reduced cellular oxidative–reduction activity, cell death, and cell degeneration.

          The present study also revealed that Thimerosal is significantly more toxic than several other well-established neurodevelopmental toxins.

          Finally, future studies should be conducted to further evaluate additional mechanisms for Thimerosal-induced cellular damage and to further assess potential co-exposures that may work to ameliorate or enhance its toxicity.

        • One Two

          Low-dose Thimerosal in pediatric vaccines: Adverse effects in perspective

          Vaccines are prophylactics used as the first line of intervention to prevent, control and eradicate infectious diseases.

          Young children (before the age of six months) are the demographic group most exposed to recommended/mandatory vaccines preserved with Thimerosal and its metabolite ethylmercury (EtHg).

          Particularly in the less-developed countries, newborns, neonates, and young children are exposed to EtHg because it is still in several of their pediatric vaccines and mothers are often immunized with Thimerosal-containing vaccines (TCVs) during pregnancy.

          While the immunogenic component of the product has undergone more rigorous testing, Thimerosal, known to have neurotoxic effects even at low doses, has not been scrutinized for the limit of tolerance alone or in combination with adjuvant-Al during immaturity or developmental periods (pregnant women, newborns, infants, and young children).

          Scientific evidence has shown the potential hazards of Thimerosal in experiments that modeled vaccine-EtHg concentrations. Observational population studies have revealed uncertainties related to neurological effects.

          However, consistently, they showed a link of EtHg with risk of certain neurodevelopment disorders, such as tic disorder, while clearly revealing the benefits of removing Thimerosal from children's vaccines (associated with immunological reactions) in developed countries.

          So far, only rich countries have benefited from withdrawing the risk of exposing young children to EtHg. Regarding Thimerosal administered to the very young, we have sufficient studies that characterize a state of uncertainty:

          The collective evidence strongly suggests that Thimerosal exposure is associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes.

          It is claimed that the continued use of Thimerosal in the less-developed countries is due to the cost to change to another preservative, such as 2-phenoxyethanol.

          However, the estimated cost increase per child in the first year of life is lower than estimated lifetime cost of caring for a child with a neurodevelopmental disorder, such tic disorder.

          The evidence indicates that Thimerosal-free vaccine options should be made available in developing countries.

          That concludes the background detail around the toxins which triggered US governmental intervention more than 20 years ago, leading toward so called ‘settled science’…

          I’ll be posting about closed door sessions held by the IOM who were hired by the CDC to provide desired outcomes…which the CDC had paid service fees to receive.

          Leading to reports (including 2004) which were based on inconclusive studies which can’t ever show ‘safety’…the 2004 report also essentially removed any required for future necessary lab research.

          The handful of studies are cited globally including in NZ as ‘settled science’….

  12. MickeyBoyle 12

    16000 more beneficiaries since Labour won the treasury benches, and hardship grant's up from 270,000 which were a disgrace under National to 490,000 per year now. Jeez this politics of kindness is great isn't it, and all the while the neoliberal machine keeps thundering along…

    • alwyn 12.1

      Don't be so mean. Everything is absolutely wonderful. Beloved leader says so so it must be true.

      On the other hand she said that her meeting with the Australian PM had been a great success. Perhaps she was talking about her future career after she get bounced from her current role next year.

      I heard a suggestion that she and Clarke were going to become stand up comedians. She was practicing for that and her prepared patter at the meeting certainly seemed to cause much hilarity for the Australians didn't it? Scott Morrison and his colleagues were openly laughing at her complaints about the deportations.

      • marty mars 12.1.1

        ha – at least you're not trying to bully the baby anymore you sad sack of doggy doos

        • alwyn

          I don't believe I ever attempted to bully Jacinda Ardern.

          What on earth are you dribbling on about, you sad little git?

          • marty mars

            yeah you’re real ignorant alright – make your idol t.rump look genius level

    • Ric 12.2

      There are some details at

      The main increase is in job seeker support and it would be interesting to know why given that many employers are struggling to find staff.

      • Ad 12.2.1

        Like the Key government, and the Clark government before it, it's going to take over 2 parliamentary terms for the shine to come off this one, no matter the actual results.

        • AB

          And it goes both ways:

          The shine WON'T come off inside two terms no matter the actual results – and the shine WILL come off after two terms no matter the actual results. Which points at an electorate detached from, and maybe unaware of, actual results. Depressing really. It results in an excellent government killed off by fear of low-energy light bulbs, and a terrible government surviving fiscally unnecessary public sector austerity.

          • Ad

            The Ardern-Robertson Budget accountability framework will at least show the annual results on poverty alleviation to hold them to.

            I have a sneaky feeling the media will warm to that task.

    • The Chairman 12.3

      Meanwhile, at the other end of the pay scale

      Cream at the top for public sector chief executives

      Public sector salaries are once again under the spotlight after the announcement that Christchurch City Council's new chief executive will earn almost $500,000. But are they really that bad? DOMINIC HARRIS investigates.

      A good read.

  13. Fireblade 13

    National MP and climate change spokesperson Todd Muller, supports the government's low emission vehicle rebate policy.

    Simon Bridges and the National Party oppose it.

    • John Clover 13.1

      I would dispute Todd Muller's disapproval of old cars as at 87 I have been driving for over sixty years, all sorts of vehicles from Trucks to 50cc motorcycles with few problems. Most of which were old and now have a 14yo WV which looks like new to me when washed and waxed, an import. Careful driving and responsible attention to road and conditions rather than arbitary rules.

      Driving experience is important and I am sure this started for me as my grand dad drive our 1937 Morris 8 with me beside him sitting on Nan's lap …. not that I would reccomend that 🙂 [no seat-belts in those days]

      Plus cycling to school in the easy days before the roads were littered with cars during WWII.

      Then there are JAG's speed changes. A good driver slows when the road suggest it and driving in America it was a constant worry looking out for endless speed restriction signs … apart from motorways which are a delight to drive on often above the limi when safe as no cars around and long distances to be covered.

      It seems silly to reduce speed limits when all new imported cars are capable and safe at well over the limits.

      • Ad 13.1.1

        Regrettably there are too few responsible drivers and car owners like yourself.

        Fresh regulation occurs when the system overall is failing. (usually 😉 )

        With the road toll and urban air pollution as it is, we need new regulation.

  14. Morrissey 14

    Western Elites Spruik Media Freedom While Torturing Julian Assange In Belmarsh Supermax.

    Jim Mora, Chris Knox, Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, Graham Bell, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and other such worthies are amused no end by Assange’s persecution and suffering, but serious people, like the Australian psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson don’t see the funny side….

    The state-sanctioned mobbing of Julian Assange, the likes of which Professor Melzer has not seen in his 20 years investigating torture, has involved abuse of both legal and political process to pursue, harass and defame the Wikileaks founder. This sustained assault has been augmented by a vicious and baseless smear campaign, conducted through the media, to alienate public support and to hound, humiliate and intimidate Julian Assange, including multiple calls for his assassination.

    Treatment such as this, Melzer warns, “aims straight at the destruction of your innermost self, albeit without leaving a physical trace… Through relentless over-stimulation, confusion and stress, it eventually causes total exhaustion, cardiovascular failure and nervous collapse”.

    So much for the UK Foreign Office commitment to the safety and protection of journalists.

  15. marty mars 15

    Deeper look at some of the aspects of the simple question – worthwhile read imo

    The simple question “where are you from?” becomes, again, regardless of the intent of the questioner, a declaration: “I am entitled, because of my white European-ness, to ask you where are you from.” The pathology becomes most apparent when the person being asked the question is Indigenous. Because of the sense of entitlement that oozes out of it – and that is what is often hard, but not impossible, for others to understand – the question becomes threatening: a person of non-white European ancestry can immediately discern in the power to ask “where do you come from?” the residual power to say: “go back to where you came from”.

      • McFlock 15.1.1

        Or you could read the article Marty linked to. It was quite interesting.

        • Morrissey

          Yes, I know that. Just be careful, that’s all. The Grauniad is dodgy, to say the least.

          • marty mars

            yet you refuse to accept the truth – when will you front up moonbreen

            A pregnant African American lawmaker in Georgia said she was verbally attacked in a supermarket Friday by a middle-aged white man who used profanity, called her vulgar names and told her to “go back where you came from” as her nine-year-old daughter looked on.

            Erica Thomas, a Democrat and Georgia state representative from Austell, said the man was irate that she was in an express line with too many items. Thomas said she was in a line for customers with 10 items or less because she cannot stand for long periods of time.

            “And this white man comes up to me and says, ‘You lazy son of a bitch,”’ Thomas said, sobbing as she described the confrontation in a Facebook video. “He says, ‘You lazy son of a bitch; you need to go back where you came from.”’


          • McFlock

            And yet, and I can't stress this enough, that particular link to the Guardian was incredibly pertinent to the times we live in, the rise of fascism from the dustbin of history. Or so we thought – maybe we just hadn't wanted to notice that the lid wasn't shuit on the dustbin.

            You want to bitch about the Guardian not meeting your approval. That's your thing. Ok. I'm fucking worried about if there's anything I can do to stop these bastards, because they will end up killing us all quicker than climate change ever would. Physics doesn't care if we live or die. Fascists actively want to kill all non-fascists. Not just over there, over here, too.

            We need to maximise inclusion. That means learning new things about how our behaviour excludes or intimidates groups of people, even if innocently intended.

            Putting up with the paradox of tolerance meaning that we have to exclude people with whom there is no compromise on exclusion isn't enough. That's the pointy bit of the pyramid. But the wider bit, about avoiding unintended exclusion, That's what the pointy bit sits on.

            So what are your specific thoughts on the Guardian article? Given that you know that the article was quite interesting, what are your thoughts on the topic?

  16. Muttonbird 16

    Kirk out

    To get really mad about something to the point of yelling or fighting. To go out of one's mind because of the gravity of the seriousness of the situation. To lose it or flip out. Reference to Captain Kirk from Star Trek and the way he used to sign off the com speaker “Kirk out” when he was upset.

    National Party embedded journalist, Stacey Kirk, kirks out of journalism. This is yet another example of a right wing media person throwing their toys and quitting because the National Party are in opposition.

    True to form, her letter of resignation is nothing more than a John Key puff piece, mentioning him, oh, a dozen or so times.–its-a-hard-road-making-a-difference-but-thats-politics

    It's the ones who make no attempt to stay neutral who don't last. Bye Stacey, your partisan scribblings will not be missed.

    Watch now for the announcement she has joined the National Party press team. She will have returned home.

    • Sacha 16.1

      Great news. Though it says she's going to "a new public service career".

    • ianmac 16.2

      Notice that the puff piece from Kirk used a bold photo of Key and English and a small one showing mostly Jacinda's hair.

      Sad that a replacement will probably be a Trump trained mouth.

      • Sacha 16.2.1

        Love how she frames her whole departure as if she's rilly smart and getting out on top just like that John guy whose loafers she tongued for so long.

  17. joe90 19

    The things a million dollar inaugural gift to tRump can buy.

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will not halt a pesticide linked with brain damage from being sprayed on crops, the agency said Thursday in response to a lawsuit.

    Chlorpyrifos, known on the market as Lorsban, is used on a wide variety of crops, including corn and cranberries, and farmers often call it a last line of defense against certain insects.

    A federal appeals court in April gave the EPA 90 days to decide how to deal with the pesticide.

    Environmental groups have long contended it’s dangerous and have spent years suing the EPA to end its agricultural use. Studies have linked chlorpyrifos to learning and memory issues and prolonged nerve and muscle stimulation.

  18. Ad 21

    Won't be much trouble getting new planes for the NZDF now that the Prime Minister and journalists got stranded in Melbourne when their official RNZAF 757 broke down with a computer malfunction.

    Bet the PM ditches our own military service next time and just goes commercial.

    Get it together RNZAF!

  19. The Chairman 22

    Bernard Hickey calls out Jacinda

    If the Prime Minister was really serious about improving wellbeing she would accept the recommendations from her own Welfare Experts Advisory Group to increase benefits by $5.2b/yr now..

    • Ad 22.1

      Instead of raising benefits, the Minister of Finance would do better to bully and force seasonal employers to put their wages up, because that is where the workers are needed.

      Instead we open the doors to foreigners with temporary visas just to get the apples and grapes in. So unemployed NEETS don't see enough attraction to work in season areas.

      With Brexit, the US-China trade crisis pulling Chinese economic demand down, and now Iran heating up, and having one of the top two most exposed housing markets in the OECD, I see plenty of reason for the Minister of Finance to keep plenty of debt capacity in reserve.

  20. The Chairman 24

    Justin Pemberton talks to Kim Hill this morning about the film Capital In The Twenty-First

    • Andre 25.1

      Insulin manufacturers have basically done a Shkreli. Incrementally, rather than in one hit, so it didn't quite get the attention.

    • There's also a lot of expensive stuff that comes with it – injector pens, needles, blood glucose monitor, test strips etc. I pay a small fraction of what all that costs, thanks to what US right-wingers contemptuously dismiss as "socialised medicine." They'd much rather have ideological purity, readily available at the low, low cost of lots of dead poor people.

  21. joe90 26

    Playing footsie with the murderous Assad wasn't such a good idea.

    As she runs for the Democratic nominee for president, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) also faces a primary challenge for her seat in the House. But if recent filings made by her political team are any indication, she’s not sweating.

    Gabbard raised just $11 in the second quarter of 2019. That number does not factor in a $31 contribution refund, which means her campaign committee ended in the red during that three month period.

    The committee spent just $8,828.59 during the quarter—almost all of which was on financial compliance—leaving it with just over $30,000 cash on hand.

    The absence of any fundraising or spending on her House race has left political observers with the impression that Gabbard may not return to Congress at all if her White House bid falls short. By contrast, during this quarter in the 2018 election cycle, Gabbard brought in more than $225,000 in net contributions, per federal filings.

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  • Inquiry announced into school property
    The Government will conduct a Ministerial Inquiry to address problems with the school property system where the scope of property works planned was unrealistic and unaffordable. “The coalition Government has inherited a school property system bordering on crisis,” Education Minister Erica Stanford says. “There have been a number of cost escalations ...
    3 days ago
  • New Chair for Guardians of NZ Superannuation
    Company director and investor John Williamson has been appointed as the new Chair of the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, the Crown entity that oversees the NZ Super Fund and the Elevate NZ Venture Capital Fund, Finance Minister Nicola Willis announced today.  Mr Williamson will take up his new position ...
    3 days ago
  • Northland open for business as critical works to repair SH1 Brynderwyn Hills begin
    The Government is encouraging New Zealanders to support, visit, and explore Northland, as the closure and detour of SH1 at the Bryderwyn Hills begins, and critical repair work by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) gets underway, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Many regions across the country suffered extensive and devastating ...
    3 days ago
  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    4 days ago
  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    5 days ago
  • Government grants $6.6 million to clean up old landfill sites
    The Government has granted $6.6 million to clean up four historic New Zealand landfill and dump sites vulnerable to extreme weather events and coastal erosion. At the BlueGreens Forum in Paihia today Environment Minister Penny Simmonds said that the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund grants will go towards fixing former landfills ...
    5 days ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    6 days ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    6 days ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    6 days ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    6 days ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    6 days ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    7 days ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    7 days ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    7 days ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    7 days ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    7 days ago
  • Finalists of Ahuwhenua Trophy announced
    Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the two finalists for this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy at Parliament yesterday.  “I am pleased to see such a high calibre of Māori dairy farms featured as finalists this year,” Mr Potaka says. The finalists for 2024 are: Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani Whakatōhea Māori Trust ...
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    7 days ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    1 week ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    1 week ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    1 week ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    2 weeks ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    2 weeks ago

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