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Open mike 20/07/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 20th, 2022 - 39 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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39 comments on “Open mike 20/07/2022 ”

  1. Adrian Thornton 2

    Well whatever meagre creditability The Guardian might have had left in any serious critical thinkers minds, can now be well and truly disregarded (although why anyone would take it seriously at this point I don’t know)… The Guardian is The Guard Dog of Western Imperialism for Liberals..nothing more.

    Grayzone challenges Guardian reporter on US state-funded Syria smears

    • Jenny how to get there 2.1

      I'm surprised, pro Assad regime propagandists, like Aaron Mate, usually shrug off criticisms like water off a duck's back.

      Mark Townsend's original Guardian article must have really hit a nerve.

      Adrian, since neither you or Aaron Mate have linked to the original Guardian article, I am guessing it was this one;

      Network of Syria conspiracy theorists identified

      Campaign disseminating disinformation sent thousands of tweets, often targeting the White Helmets

      Mark Townsend


      Sun 19 Jun 2022 12.10 BST

      ….Among those named in the report as an influential spreader of disinformation are Vanessa Beeley….

      …In September 2015 Beeley accused White Helmets of being in league with al-Qaida and other terrorist organisations, claiming that the footage they gather as they rescue civilians from bombed-out buildings is staged….

      ….There is also a group of British academics accused of spreading pro-Syrian regime disinformation and conspiracy theories promoted by Russia. Since 2020, journalist Aaron Maté at the Grayzone is said by the report to have overtaken Beeley as the most prolific spreader of disinformation among the 28 conspiracy theorists identified. [Maté rejects the claim – see 10 July 2022 footnote.]

      ….Others include Canadian independent journalist Eva Bartlett who appeared on a Syrian government panel at the UN, alleging that the White Helmets stage rescues. One version of the talk has been viewed 4.5m times on Facebook…

      ….White Helmets volunteers are the most frequently attacked targets with more than 21,000 tweets designed to discredit the group or encourage attacks against their first responders….

      ….The effect of this barrage of disinformation, according to The Syria Campaign, has been to sow confusion and doubt among government policymakers, helping create anti-asylum policies, normalisation of Syria’s Assad regime and emboldening Russian president Vladimir Putin to replicate the tactics in Ukraine…..

      ….Aaron Maté, who was not contacted for comment prior to publication of this article, responded afterwards. Maté said that, “neither the study or the Observer offer any evidence [for the assertion that I am ‘the most prolific spreader of disinformation’ on Syria among a ‘network’ of ‘28 conspiracy theorists’]”; he said the study did not substantiate that anything he had shared was disinformation and “does not even attempt to refute a single claim of mine”….


      What is it that Aaron Mate dislikes about this article?

      Is that he has been identified? Or that he has been specifically identified as the current number 1 most prolific spreader of disinformation?

      Being a spreader of disinformation 'bad', but not as bad as being the Number One Culprit. Nobody wants that tag. Especially if there is any chance that there may be war crimes trials in the offing.

      Aaron Mate's other complaint is that Mark didn't him contact him before publishing the article mentioning his name.

      Having actually been to Syria and seen this fascist style police state close up.

      In my opinion, supporters and conscious deniers of genocide, do not warrant such journalistic niceties.

      Admittedly my visit to Syria was just before the Arab Spring protests reached Syria and the Assad regime shot the protesters down in the streets, and 'disappeared' thousands more.

      But I did get to witness a live feed on social media of low flying Syrian war planes strafing a place I knew well, the Ramel Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia, where I had been only months before.

      • Bob 2.1.1

        What you wrote here reads like pro-wrestling commentary. It is standard practice to interview people that you are doing a story on. The only reason Townsend et al had to avoid an interview, is that they were completely making it up. Townsend crumpled like paper when actually challenged. The guardian is a shadow of its former self.

        • Jenny how to get there


          8 August 2022 at 1:01 pm

          …..Townsend crumpled like paper when actually challenged. The guardian is a shadow of its former self.

          Personally I don't think low-life genocide deniers and vile on-line propagandists warrant any of the usual polite niceties.

          But hey, that's just me.

          I am also getting heartily sick of pro-Assad and pro-Putin apologists making bald statements with no links and nothing to back them up. Like we are supposed to accept everything you say.

          For instance where did Townsend crumple like a piece of paper?

          Just a little reminder of the genocide your propagandist mate is covering for.

  2. Anne 3

    This is Climate Change showing the world what is going to happen to them. We can expect the same to occur in NZ in the very near future:


    Will governments around the world finally get off their butts … ignore the threats coming from industrialised sources … and do something concrete about CC?

  3. Kat 4

    According to report in Herald today from latest curia polling National have more support with women than Labour….the link is premium so won't bother to post it.

    Can this be true surprise

    • Belladonna 4.1

      Hmm. Here's the take from The Spinoff – which I don't think is pay-for-view (it's at 10.04 am – since the page seems to be regularly updated throughout the day)


      Given that the data was 'leaked' rather than released – I don't know that I'd put too much confidence in it.

      However, what does seem undeniable is that, although Luxon’s ranking in the preferred PM stakes dropped significantly, this was not matched by a drop in voting for National – which was virtually unchanged (a drop of .7% from the previous Curia poll – which is entirely within the margin of error)


      • Kat 4.1.1

        The 2023 election campaign is definitely underway in the opposition ranks. Its the old tactic of repeating things often enough and perhaps enough people will believe it. Media such as the Herald are just megaphones, there is no attempt at validating at all.

    • Adrian Thornton 4.2

      "Can this be true "….It seems pretty certain to me that Labour is going to get completely smashed in the next election.
      Everywhere I go and everyone I speak to seem to express a deep dissatisfaction with Ardern and Labour, and often coming from quite surprising sources as well.

      Still I suppose Labour has had full control of the country this term and haven't exactly covered themselves in glory during that time, so not exactly sure what they where expecting would happen to them in terms of public perception?

      • Kat 4.2.1

        Ah ha, the old perception is reality trick which is exactly the tactic used as a wedge to divert others who have limited knowledge or understanding of reality into accepting another preferred so-called reality. I would agree though that Labour needs to be more nimble in responding to the often unqualified spin emanating from the media megaphones.

    • An apt article:

      NZ has a rat king of regulatory capture, it's regulatory capture all the way down until you reach the general public, squished at the bottom underneath a mass of fat cats pretending they’re not rodents but actually just delighted to serve ordinary Kiwis.

      We’re being milked for everything we have or ever could aspire to have, so those at the top of this grotesque structure of wealth-hoarding, asset capture and feral network of lobbyists and associations can keep getting richer.

      Many NZ businesses are so soft they wouldn’t survive without absolutely everything being in their favour. That’s what they’re used to and that’s what they built here.

      And her conclusion is priceless:

      So yes Christopher, I agree with you. New Zealand businesses are soft.

      What is your plan to fix this? I am all ears.

  4. ianmac 6

    I made a brief submission to Government re 3 Waters yesterday.

    Today I found a great summary on Twitter by @moirathemaori. The proposal explained in plain language and like many of the comments, we know a hell'iva lot more and I feel even more strongly that the process started then abandoned in 2014 by National, must be adopted. (Hard to copy and publish this effectively. Wish I had read it before submitting to Select Committee – closing on Friday.)

    [unlinked quote deleted]

  5. Molly 7

    For those that can handle the considerations therein, SexMatters in the UK has posted a report from a survey with 6,000 contributors on why they value single-sex provisions, spaces and legislative protection of such.

    Full report (133 pages) here:


    These considerations should have been part of the public discussion here in NZ, where similar concerns were ignored and dismissed as bigotry.

    The legislative position for the protection of single-sex spaces and provisions remains unclear.

    • weka 7.1

      what an amazing resource. Just reading some of it.

      Post childbirth I have more body anxiety than I used to.

      This one stood out. Knowledge of the degree to which women feel vulnerable has been suppressed in recent years. Or maybe it's always been like this but losing women's spaces is making it more visible. I get it from some men, but women who are ok removing women's space from other women are a conundrum.

  6. Anne 8

    "… losing women's spaces is making it more visible."

    I think so. Take for example women's bathing sheds. I recall at a younger age it was almost a social occasion when women were changing in and out of swimsuits. We were relaxed and could converse with each other despite the fact we did not personally know one other.

    Some years ago I attended a seminar where the toilets were unisex. No. there was no abuse or harassment, but without going into detail… it was not a pleasant experience. I will never go to that venue again under any circumstance.

    • Anne 8.1

      A reply to weka @ 7.1

      Senior moment.

    • weka 8.2

      Even at a low level many women feel uncomfortable.

      • Muttonbird 8.2.1

        It's hard but it's also not hard. Just wait, or more to the point make him wait. Make a human response rather than be horrified. Might actually make a human connection!

        Life isn't perfect and there are 10 million awkward interactions like this every hour of every day.

        • weka


          There are so many important, compelling, and reasonable reasons why women should have single sex spaces. If you don't understand why this isn't a matter of awkwardness, then you're missing a big part of the picture. Try looking at the whole.

          (also, patronising much. You think women don't know how to manage awkward situations?)

  7. Robert Guyton 9

    All of our chitter and chatter will be swept into the "insignificant" basket, by the incoming climate news.

    Just sayin'.

    • Kat 9.1

      Climate change…..bout time Ardern and the Labour guvmint stopped doing nothing and did something about though don't you think Robert………wink

      • Robert Guyton 9.1.1

        Bout time all of us got real, Kat.

        • Kat

          Real, that 'reality' thing again…. I would say many of us are Robert, I have had that reality feeling ever since I read Rachel Carson's Silent Spring way way way way back…in the days in the days in the days not that long after rock and roll……..

          • weka

            and yet how many of us are willing to stand up and fight?

            • Kat

              It's inevitable that the majority will be forced to fight or in other words as the stark reality of climate change bites there will be a fair amount of acquiescing amongst the deniers taking place.

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