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Open Mike 20/12/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 20th, 2016 - 137 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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137 comments on “Open Mike 20/12/2016”

      • Cinny 1.1.1

        This is very concerning and alarming. OOhhh fuck is right, history springs to mind.

      • Stunned Mullet 1.1.2

        The RT troll farm has got it all sorted…apparently is was a false flag organised by the CIA on the orders of Mossad.

        • Cemetery Jones 1.1.2.1

          Doubt it. As one of your resident Putlerbots, I’m calling it for a final act of desperation on the part of one of Gulen’s dwindling supply of useful idiots.

    • Andre 1.2

      Especially relevant locally, as well as globally. How animal based diets and agriculture are particularly harmful. Causing harm while extracting subsidies to do that harm.

      https://cleantechnica.com/2016/12/19/animal-agriculture-subsidies-threaten-planet/

      • Pat 1.2.1

        how much longer do you think our collective heads will remain in the sand?

        • Andre 1.2.1.1

          I’ll guess not until the heat stress death toll in southern asia/middle east/africa goes over a billion total. Or a few thousand annually in southern US and Europe. So at least a couple of decades away. By which time it will be so much harder and more expensive to turn things around.

          • Pat 1.2.1.1.1

            you’re an optimist i see.

            • Andre 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Well, yeah. We have the know-how to turn things around now, plus a lot of interesting developments in the pipeline. Putting in a serious effort to turn things around would be a massive economic boost, which should make most people happy all across the political spectrum. We just haven’t found the right argument to bring the electorate on board.

              The biggest real obstacle remaining is the power and money of existing fossil-fuel interests that will literally do anything they think they can get away with to try to keep their power and revenue. A solid effort over a couple decades might break that down.

              • garibaldi

                Andre do you seriously believe mankind can/will get its act together and save the planet? Take a look around the world and wonder how. Have you got a formula to overcome our rapacious greed, corruption and outright stupidity? What about Capitalism? What about impending climate wars, let alone the silly wars we have now? Can you see something I can’t in mans make up that will make us realize how deeply we are in the shit already? So far what have we done? A totally inadequate Paris Accord will not cut it, in fact most Countries are making a mockery of its already puny measures.

                • Andre

                  Like Pat says, I’m an optimist. Of sorts. “Saving” the planet isn’t going to happen. We’ve already irreversibly changed the planet, for the worse in my opinion. Even if humans stopped actively changing the planet right now it would still take decades to reach a quasi-steady state from all the changes we’ve started.

                  But societies usually get around to making some good choices, mostly after making a whole lot of bad choices. China has gotten serious about clean energy, after seriously fouling their own nest. They also got serious, in a viciously brutal way, about controlling population growth several decades ago. In general, the natural environment in the US is getting better. The list goes on….

                  Eventually we will make the choices necessary to stop emitting more carbon and trashing what’s left of the natural environment. If only because there’s more money in it that way.

                  The question is whether we do it soon enough that most of the current temperate zone remains habitable, or whether our descendants get forced to retreat to high latitudes and domed habitats while they desperately try to terraform the rest of the earth back to a habitable state. After a massive die-off.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Putting in a serious effort to turn things around would be a massive economic boost, which should make most people happy all across the political spectrum.

                Yep, it would but it would kill the profits of the capitalists and revive their power and so it’s not done.

          • Macro 1.2.1.1.2

            Hey the increase in deaths caused by the 2004 heatwave in Europe was over 20,000.
            Europe gets it – that the planet is warming, and is trying to do something about it.
            On the other side of the ditch however …. The Chump is doing his damnedest to ramp it up – and Aussie idiots want to join him.
            By the way – there are more deaths to heat waves in Aus than there are those caused by bush fires, or any other natural extreme event.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          As long as the capitalists can keep them there so as to support their continued profits.

  1. Jenny 2

    With the news that hundreds of males from East Aleppo between the ages of 30 and 50 who have placed themselves in government hands have gone missing, the UN is seeking to monitor the evacuation of Aleppo.

    “Hundreds of men from east Aleppo go ‘missing'”

    According to the Japan Times Russia has announced that they will veto any UN resolution to allow UN observers to monitor the evacuation.

    “Bus torchings cloud Aleppo evacuation effort as Russia threatens to veto U.N. resolution for access”

    UN human rights spokesman Rupert Colville told a news briefing the office had heard “worrying allegations that hundreds of men have gone missing after crossing into government-controlled areas” of Aleppo.
    “Given the terrible record of arbitrary detention, torture and disappearances, we are of course deeply concerned,” he said.
    Colville said family members had reported losing contact with the men, who are between the ages of 30 and 50, after they fled opposition-held areas of Aleppo about a week ago.
    His comments came as Syrian government artillery bombarded the fast-shrinking rebel enclave in the heart of Aleppo on Friday. 
    The army has recaptured 85 percent of the eastern part of the city which the rebels had held since summer 2012.
    The assault has prompted a mass exodus from east Aleppo where at least 80,000 people have fled their homes, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    Media With Conscience

    • Jenny 2.1

      The world needs to ask the Assadist regime and their Russian and Iranian allies what are you trying to hide?

      http://europe.newsweek.com/photos-syria-allegedly-show-torture-systematic-killing-278894?rm=eu

      Don’t support fascism

      (It really shouldn’t have to be said)

      • Paul 2.1.1

        PM – have you noticed who is posting the daily tedious propaganda?

        • Stunned Mullet 2.1.1.1

          ‘..have you noticed who is posting the daily tedious propaganda?’

          Yes

          • Peter Swift 2.1.1.1.1

            Is it Paul? The supporter and head cheer leader of a barrel bombing, chlorine gassing, hospital targeting killer of women and children?

        • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.2

          To refresh my memory, I looked back at yesterdays Open Mike and stopped counting when I reached nine posts by you containing links to pro-regime propaganda. Jenny posted one link, to a Herald report about an anti-regime demonstration in Auckland. So, yes, I have noticed who is posting the daily tedious propaganda.

      • Paul 2.1.2

        So why do you put out the propaganda of al Nusra, al Qaeda and ISIS – all ultra-authoritarian ‘fascist’ organisations?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamofascism
        http://isj.org.uk/fascism-and-isis/

        • Peter Swift 2.1.2.1

          From Jenny’s link in post two – Japan Times

          Who’d have ever thought the Japan Times would be under the control of and a propaganda mouthpiece for middle eastern terrorists. lol

    • Ah, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (or as I like to call it, the Salafist Observatory for Jihadist Rights) and their phoney numbers. I believe they were behind the original truthiness of “250,000 civilians” in East Aleppo. Now the UN has stopped quoting them, having been caught out by reality when using their ‘estimates’. Now the Salafist Observatory’s 250,000 has become 80,000. I wonder what number their Salafist masters in Riyadh and Qatar will dream up for them when that number gets mugged by reality.

  2. millsy 3

    Sooner or later, the West is going to have to think about military intervention in Syria, and I don’t mean dropping smart bombs on supply depots.

    • Ad 3.1

      Why?
      What would be different this time?

      • Paul 3.1.1

        We have a few armchair warriors on the Standard, who believe the msm’s propaganda.
        They believed this

        • Paul 3.1.1.1

          And now they believe all the stories we’re told about Syria.

          • Paul 3.1.1.1.1

            Lies have been used to start wars before.
            Especially after assassinations.

          • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.1.2

            Yes, that’s two videos featuring bare-faced liars with an unsavoury agenda. There really are a lot of suckers out there.

            • Cemetery Jones 3.1.1.1.2.1

              What was Eva Bartlett lying about?

              • There are plenty:
                A ceasefire would have no benefit to people in Syria.
                Aleppo is being “liberated” by regime forces.
                American forces targeted Syrian Army positions (not so much a lie as an unsubstantiated assertion).
                US and western leaders have funded terrorists in Syria.
                She knows the “will of the people of Aleppo” having been there four times (lie of omission, she’s only been to regime-held areas and only spoken to people the Assad regime let her speak to).
                The people of Syria support their government (the fact there’s been an armed uprising against that government for years is a bit of a giveaway).
                The people of west Aleppo are suffering terribly under a siege and bombardment by “terrorist factions” (true in itself, but effectively a lie of omission because she doesn’t mention that the people in east Aleppo are suffering a siege and bombardment orders of magnitude worse, courtesy of the regime she’s shilling for).
                I got bored at that point, but overall she’s peddling bullshit for a despotic hereditary dictator – if anything, Bush is the lesser of the two, on the basis that he could at least claim to be not very bright.

                • I agree with some of that, but on the whole seems better than the coverage I’ve seen from British and American media.

                  I would have to say in particular that ceasefire agreements have been pointless there – militants have consistently thwarted any attempts for people to leave. As with Mosul, many civilians were clearly being held for the human shield factor. They really just used the time to re-up – and then continue fighting.
                  And the largest and most significant groups were Al Nusra and Al Zinki, who are terrorists in any sane person’s book. In that sense, calling their removal liberation isn’t as truthy as some of the stuff I’ve read from BBC, AP, Reuters, Washington Post, Torygraph, etc.
                  I think it’s also important to notice that a significant number of foreign fighters are in the rebellion.
                  Assad has foreign support too, but your argument was that the rebellion is the clue that he doesn’t have popular support. I would question that the rebellion signifies this given how much of it is manned by foreigners. Note that fighting age male Sunni make up the majority of refugees heading into Turkey and Europe. Had they remained, they wouldn’t have been conscripted by the army – they’d have been conscripted by foreign fighters whose strategic aim is to turn the Syrian Republic into a Caliphate – a Salafist Caliphate whose orientation is of course towards the people who sent them weapons and helped them enter the country in the first place – Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
                  But if they hated Assad that much, they’d surely join their foreign co-religionists and fight? Well, the reason they wouldn’t is that they don’t share their extremist aims. Syrian Sunni arriving in Germany have complained that the Saudi-run and financed mosques which predominate in Germany preach a version of Islam that they find extreme. In that sense, the majority of the rebels really are the angry nerds club of the Sunni world.

                  • Capturing a city so you can bring it back under the control of your despotic hereditary dictatorship doesn’t fit any definition of “liberating” in which words still mean something.

                    Re conscription, read some of the accounts by refugees – I’ve seen plenty that refer to fleeing conscription into the army, none that mention fear of conscription by the rebels.

                    Also, the rebellion was five years ago. Sure, now it’s a war fought largely by clients of the regional powers involved (Iran vs the Gulf states), but that’s only because the Assad regime did such an excellent job of capturing, torturing and murdering the people back in 2011 who fancied a future featuring something a little closer to good governance.

                    The current disaster is mostly due to Assad’s response to the initial demonstrations against his rule, which he only got away with thanks to his Iranian and Russian patrons. If you don’t like seeing Aleppo full of Islamofascists, sheet the blame home where it belongs – the people currently claiming to be “liberating” Aleppo back into servitude.

                    • “Capturing a city so you can bring it back under the control of your despotic hereditary dictatorship doesn’t fit any definition of “liberating” in which words still mean something”

                      Unless the alternative is that it becomes part of a Salafist caliphate, in which case almost anything else is liberation. We’re talking about the sort of sad cunts who even ban music and kite flying. There’s a massive gulf between Baathism and Salafism.

                      “Also, the rebellion was five years ago. Sure, now it’s a war fought largely by clients of the regional powers involved (Iran vs the Gulf states), but that’s only because the Assad regime did such an excellent job of capturing, torturing and murdering the people back in 2011 who fancied a future featuring something a little closer to good governance.”

                      Oh, I agree – but that’s the problem; we’re too late now. It’s Baathism or Salafism. There simply aren’t enough secularists (or actual Syrians) in the rebel forces for it to end any other way.

                      “Re conscription, read some of the accounts by refugees – I’ve seen plenty that refer to fleeing conscription into the army, none that mention fear of conscription by the rebels.”

                      Yeah I have to be fair seen some saying this, but I do remember there being others cited by Voltairenet, the Saker and others who were saying this. And, likewise, my other point – that the Syrian Sunni who are arriving in Germany etc. find the Saudi run mosques too extreme for them – because they preach the sort of Salafism which the rebels are inspired by. If you find what they can get away with preaching in Germany too extreme, imagine what they’ll be up to in areas of Syria where they now have free hand.

                      “The current disaster is mostly due to Assad’s response to the initial demonstrations against his rule, which he only got away with thanks to his Iranian and Russian patrons. If you don’t like seeing Aleppo full of Islamofascists, sheet the blame home where it belongs – the people currently claiming to be “liberating” Aleppo back into servitude.”

                      I partially agree. Russia of course wants a tin pot ally which will let them host its naval forces at Tartus, but this is systemic. NATO and Russian strategy which treats the region like a chessboard plays out how it will. For me, it’s unfortunately just a realist question. Russia’s ally, Syria, is a tin pot dictatorship but it’s secular. NATO is playing with Wahhabi fire – and it will always burn its handler, and anyone else who gets in its way. Syria hasn’t invaded anyone since those ridiculous Arab wars of conquest against Israel in the 60s and 70s. Wahhabists on the other hand will always seek to conquer. That’s why smart geopolitics involves not hiring or arming those kind of lunatics. For some reason the American intelligence services are always either picking the most feckless, or the most unhinged.

                      Final analysis from me, you can coexist with Putin or Assad if you negotiate with them honestly and like a grown up. You can’t negotiate with Salafists. For that reason, they have to lose.

          • marty mars 3.1.1.1.3

            “On 10 December 2016, Eva Bartlett — an activist and blogger who openly says she is biased in favor of the Syrian regime — was featured in a circulating YouTube video that says she is “schooling” a “mainstream media” reporter by making a series of outlandish-sounding claims, including that international media are conspiring to fabricate stories of hospital bombings and that anti-government activists are “recycling” victims to cast the Syrian military in a negative light. (She also refers to all factions fighting President Bashar al Assad’s forces as terrorists.)… ”

            “… Bartlett’s claim that the child victim Aya, is “recycled” is the same type of charge levied by conspiracy theorists at parents of children who were killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school massacre. It is a claim also promoted by David Icke, who is best known for believing the world is controlled by Martian lizard people.”

            http://www.snopes.com/syrian-war-victims-are-being-recycled-and-al-quds-hospital-was-never-bombed/

            • Bill 3.1.1.1.3.1

              Good to see the mainstream character assassination begin. When that happens to someone, it usually means they’re hitting a few points bang on.

              No link to the vid where she claims to be making shit up (the one ‘doing the rounds on youtube)?

              ffs – she’s unconscionable (according to scopes) because she refers to’ terrorists’ where ‘our’ side is meant to refer to ‘rebels’!!!

              There are a number of questionable claims, exaggerations and subtle dishonesties made in that article (eg – the elections were not just held in government areas, but across the whole of Syria and in Syrian embassies in foreign countries – That’s widely documented and accepted. She has said the hospital was never destroyed not that it was never hit…and so on)

              I thought snopes was about ensuring accuracy, not doing hatchet jobs.

              • so you don’t like snopes

                “Snopes.com /ˈsnoʊps/, also known as the Urban Legends Reference Pages, is a website covering urban legends, Internet rumors, e-mail forwards, and other stories of unknown or questionable origin.[3] It is a well-known resource for validating and debunking such stories in American popular culture,[4] receiving 300,000 visits a day.[5]

                Snopes.com was created by Barbara and David Mikkelson, a California couple who met in the alt.folklore.urban newsgroup.[6] The site is organized by topic and includes a message board where stories and pictures of questionable veracity may be posted…”

                ” …In 2012, FactCheck.org reviewed a sample of Snopes’ responses to political rumors regarding George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, and Barack Obama, and found them to be free from bias in all cases. FactCheck noted that Barbara Mikkelson was a Canadian citizen (and thus unable to vote in US elections) and David Mikkelson was an independent who was once registered as a Republican. “You’d be hard-pressed to find two more apolitical people,””

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snopes.com

                yeah they are real establishment hit-people…

                • Bill

                  Until now, I’ve had no opinion one way or the other about ‘snopes’. So I get that you’re assuming ‘I don’t like’ them on the basis that I’ve called that piece into question.

                  I’ve watched and listened to fair bit of Bartlett and the Bartlett I’ve been listening to and watching and reading simply hasn’t taken the positions or made the claims that snopes alleges.

                  Now sure, maybe my own bias has utterly deafened me to some outrageous aspect of Bartlett’s reporting. I doubt it though.

                  Meanwhile, I know that snopes has a reputation for debunking shit and that a fair number of people check it out (I guess that aligns with the “well-known resource for validating and debunking such stories in American popular culture,[4] receiving 300,000 visits a day” bit.) – my emphasis because…

                  Popular culture and mainstream…synonymous might be too tight a binding. But y’know….

                  • personally I think the ‘mainstream media’ is a crock of shit – it seems just oh so convenient and more than a little suspicious to have scapegoats whenever the news we think should be seen isn’t, or we see stuff we think we shouldn’t have to.

                    fact checking is monotonous work in the land of post-truth – good luck to snopes or anyone that does it – and yes I am sure it is IMPOSSIBLE to find a truly independent, unaffected voice or fact-checker – as with the quantum – when you look at it, you alter it.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Now sure, maybe my own bias has utterly deafened me to some outrageous aspect of Bartlett’s reporting. I doubt it though.

                    I don’t.

                    The fog of civil war is a real pea-souper. Maybe you can see through it. I know I can’t, other than to be certain that the choice is between atrocity and conversation and I know which I’d like to see.

        • Ad 3.1.1.2

          No we would have no fewer.
          After all, you’re one of them.

        • Andre 3.1.1.3

          Have you kept count of how many times you’ve posted this exact same video? You did it only yesterday, and it was already boringly familiar then.

      • mauī 3.1.2

        Not much, the West would still be supporting an array of terrorist groups to overthrow a government they don’t like.

        • Stunned Mullet 3.1.2.1

          So just like the “East” then.

          • mauī 3.1.2.1.1

            How is it just like the “East”?

            • Stunned Mullet 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Geopolitical groups and individual countries have been supporting terrorists, freedom fighters and other (insert tag du jour) since forever to support their ideologies, wants and needs and expansionist policies.

              To suggest that a nebulous tag of ‘the west’ are the only ones who do this would be blinkered in the extreme.

              • garibaldi

                The point is that the west are masters at it and then smother us with propaganda which too many people get sucked in by.

                • Paul

                  Like PM, Jenny, Peter Swift, Andre and others.
                  Wish they’d read the work of Patrick Cockburn.

                  • Peter Swift

                    A simple question for a simple mind.

                    Paul, do you deny the use of chlorine gas and barrel bombs against a civilian population by the Assad regime?

                    • garibaldi

                      Before you get carried away just consider the weapons the US uses Peter.

                    • Peter Swift

                      That point is totally irrelevant to the question asked. What we have to determine is whether verified reports of war crimes are being dismissed or ignored and what part they play in Paul’s open support for a dictator who has slaughtered innocents and why he pushes his agenda here, on a left leaning web site.

                      Paul has a duty to respond sincerely to save any semblance of credibility.

                    • Morrissey

                      MEMO to the Moderators of this site:

                      This fellow “Peter Swift” is deliberately repeating lies that have been discredited thoroughly.

                      Are there any standards of veracity here, or are people like him going to be allowed to say anything at all, no matter how obscene and demonstrably untrue it may be?

                    • Peter Swift

                      What’s ‘lies’ in question here?

                      Is it Paul’s apparent support for Assad’s Syria?
                      That barrel bombs and chlorine gas attacks aren’t war crimes?
                      That barrel bombs and chlorine gas attacks haven’t been inflicted upon the civilian population?
                      That barrel bombs and chlorine gas attacks have been verified?
                      That Paul has to respond to save his cred?
                      Or this is a left leaning web site?

                      I’m happy for the moderators (except Jock) to pit my record against yours and for them to boot the sh1ttiest one of us out for good. 😉
                      Let’s face it, if they’d rather keep a no talent hack, mental stalker of radio shows over a half decent, left of center labour/green supporter, then it’s not really a place I’d want to remain part of anyway.

                    • Draco T Bastard []

                      Barrel bombs are no more a war crime than any conventional weapon used in a city. Use of chemical weapons are of course. I do wonder why the UN has suddenly said that such use was by the Syrian forces when a) they never had proof before and b) all Syrian chemical weapon stockpiles were surrendered years ago.

                    • Poission

                      then we have the uk cluster bombs in yemen

                      http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-38364694

                    • Foreign waka

                      You do realize that most of the people in Syria are Christians and the whole war has a strong religious undertone. Russia is to 75% Orthodox Christian and the odd one out is Turkey, being Muslim in the mix. Everybody KNOWS that they play a double game appeasing the Americans and shooting the Kurd’s on both side of the border. Of cause this is about money, lots of it.
                      There are no honorable people involved anywhere. The biggest fear is that when the refugees have been evacuated all hell will break loose, whatever is left of Syria will be bombed to bits. Meanwhile, to the south Yemen is starting to burn. BTW, Yemen’s are Shafi’i Muslims or Sunni in majority.
                      Do you really belief that this discriminate bombing and suffering of mostly the very young or old and women will end soon? Really?

                    • Paul

                      A few facts – I don’t I openly support Assad’s regime.
                      I merely ( as you know) have pointed people to the work of independent journalists in Syria.
                      It seems much clearer that you have active support for the al Qaeda ‘rebels’ of East Aleppo?
                      Do you support their practices of throat cutting, heart eating, beheading?

                    • Paul

                      Are you aware of the phosphorous bombs and depleted uranium used by the US in Iraq?

                  • Wish they’d read the work of Patrick Cockburn.

                    I’ve read various pieces by Cockburn about this conflict, so your wish is granted in my case. Was there some point to your wish?

  3. greywarshark 4

    Friendship is very needed in this world – even positive moves towards previous enemies if that will produce some good.
    Seventh day of Christmas with Friendship quote:

    You do not know how much they mean to me, my friends,
    and how, how rare and strange it is, to find in a life composed so much of odds and ends…to find a friend who has these qualities,
    who has, and gives those qualities upon which friendship lives.
    How much it means that, I say this to you – without these friendships – life, what cauchemar! (nightmare)
    T.S. Eliot

  4. Muttonbird 5

    “It increasingly feels like we’re being stretched. It’s harder for, if you’re on a low income, to move out of being on a low income. Yet, there are people at the top who are doing exceptionally well.

    “And that’s the result of policies and laws. Policies create the economy, and here we are,” he said.

    Lawyer, Olympian, socially-conscious, and high-achieving Ben Sanford stands for Labour in Rotorua against the corrupt McLay who lied about suppressing law-changes to international trusts after a lobby meeting with John Key’s lawyer.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/87592441/ben-sandford-named-labours-rotorua-candidate

    Good luck in unseating this corrupt government.

  5. Draco T Bastard 6

    What Lies Behind the Brexit Vote?

    The British have always valued their independence – and, translated into modern terms, that means the value attached to self-government and democracy. That is the element that, in their keenness to emphasise their “Europeanness”, is overlooked and misunderstood by the Brexit critics.

    Much of the impetus behind the decision to leave the EU came, in other words, from that long-standing British commitment to running their own affairs, without interference from Continental powers. They wanted to regain “control” – perhaps an abstract concept but one that mattered to many Brexit voters.

    Those who condemn those voters for their ignorance and bigotry might ask themselves whether it is not the critics who reveal their ignorance. Even at 12,000 miles distance, I fancy that I understand what those voters were seeking to achieve. The drive to achieve and retain the right to self-government is not to be derided; it has served both Britain and Europe very well in the long history they share.

    And this is the same reason why I think we need to withdraw from FTAs, the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO. Through these we’re giving away too much of our independence.

  6. Sacha 7

    Beginning to wish there was a separate Middle East post like those US election ones…

  7. pdm 9

    Those Nato spooks you refer to – they would be Helen Clarks people wouldn’t they.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1

      Learn the difference between NATO and the UN. Forget it, you’re incapable.

    • adam 9.2

      Stupidest comment for 2016 – I think we may just have a winner – in a very strong field!

    • pdm is an old chum of Keeping Stock who was featured in Nicky Hagar’s “Dirty Politics”. Rightwing blogger Keeping Stock, much admired and supported on his blog by pdm was exposed as a player in National’s dirty political games. Why is pdm here on The Standard? How can he say and believe such daft things, endlessly and with the witless confidence usually attributed to fools ?

  8. Cinny 10

    Looks like last weeks jelly eggs have hatched, by crikey. If you are coming to Tasman to holiday this week or next just beware, they are only a problem if you make it one.

    Tips…

    Wear something on your feet and inspect the high tide mark, and just have a look through the shells and sticks to see if there are any blue bottles/man o war around. Will give you an idea if there are any in the sea.

    Still want to swim in the sea but arent sure, i’d suggest a wetsuit

    If you get stung, make sure you are ready for it, YOU HAVE TO REMOVE THE TENTACLES THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT otherwise it will sting like hell and the more you move around the more poison is released into the body. So get some tweezers, a stick, razor blade, credit card etc and make sure you have removed all the stingers. Only after all the stingers have been removed bathe the area in warm water. You may want to take some paracetamol or ibuprofen. If it’s still hurting about 30 mins later you may have not removed all the stingers, so check again and if really concerned seek medical attention.

    Whatever you do don’t put vinegar on it or piss on it especially if the stingers are still in there it will only make it worse.

    If you have symptoms such as severe muscle pain (abdomen, chest, limbs, etc.), headache, weakness that may result in collapse, having a runny nose and watery eyes, difficulty in swallowing, sweating and rashes, head to A&E or get some professional medical help asap.

    Still want to swim, go to the rivers, there are plenty and great fun, baby rapids for the kids to enjoy with a tyre tube, pools for snorkeling and rocks and bridges to jump off of, take your insect repellent and you will have a great time.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/87727398/Swarms-of-Portugese-man-o-war-jellyfish-lurk-off-coast-of-Nelson

  9. Cinny 11

    Hey, hey… ALL THE BEST TO BEN SANDFORD, the newly selected Labour Party Candidate for Rotorua.

    “Labour candidate Ben Sandford says the social problems he grew up with have not been solved – and he’s running against Todd McClay in 2017 so he can fix them.”

    “A qualified lawyer, Sandford represented New Zealand in skeleton racing from 2002 to 2014. He finished 11th at the 2010 Winter Olympics.”

    Look forward to hearing more about you in due course, and CONGRATULATIONS 😀

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/87592441/ben-sandford-named-labours-rotorua-candidate

  10. Muttonbird 12

    As the media cottons on to the fact he doesn’t think too quickly, Bling will increasingly get caught out making old-white-male comments like this. He reminds me of Prince Charles or Prince Philip in this respect.

    Here he both denies and trivialises more than a century of struggle for women’s rights.

    Bill English: I don’t know what ‘feminist’ means.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11770336

    • alwyn 12.1

      That is absolutely appalling. The next thing we know he will be coming out with the ultimate heresy.
      He will admit that he doesn’t actually see any need for him to apologise for being a man. How low can he go?

      After that we will discover he has all sorts of strange beliefs. I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually believes in faithfulness in marriage and other strange practices that will be anathema to the 20% of New Zealanders who are on the hard-core left of politics. He may even think that it is right for him to support his family.

      • JanM 12.1.1

        I have the sense that your grip on the meaning of ‘feminism’ is as shaky as the prime minister’s. I take it you’re quite happy to see women as inferior beings?

        • alwyn 12.1.1.1

          “women as inferior beings”.
          Of course not. How could I possibly think such a thing when I consider myself compared to my wife? She is a far superior being.

          Actually a friend of mine claims he is smarter than his wife and that his wife agrees with the proof.
          He says that he married her, which was a very smart move on his part.
          He then points out the she married him which was a very foolish thing to do.
          They are still married though.

    • weka 12.2

      “Bill English: I don’t know what ‘feminist’ means.”

      Lots of analysis floating round on twitter (he’s too smart to not know what it means and it’s a dog whistle). I also think it’s highly likely that he is still strongly anti-abortion and that that factors in there somewhere.

      Yeah, one of those weird ideas that lefties have, a woman’s right to choose, is not held by the NZ PM.

      • Chris 12.2.1

        I wouldn’t take it so seriously. He was asked whether he regarded himself a feminist and while answering that question he bumbled around in his usual way and what came out was a bunch of garbled non-sense.

        What was more interesting is how he came across as stuttering and awkward – reminiscent of his 2002 days. And when you’re the leader you can’t afford to appear like that. With English, though, he can’t change. That’s how he is. That’s why with Key gone the nats are toast next year, even if they do only go down a few points because that’s all they need to lose.

  11. Morrissey 13

    In Absurd Theatre of Israel, Netanyahu Submits to Settler Outlaws
    by YOSSI VERTER, Haaretz, Dec. 19, 2016

    To avoid the violent scenes that ensued during the last evacuation of the illegal West Bank outpost of Amona, Netanyahu was willing to spend millions and bend every rule of proper governance. …..

    Read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.759892

  12. Morrissey 14

    Obama—about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike

    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2016/12/18/cant-this-guy-shut-up-already/

  13. Morrissey 15

    If there’s a special Hell for the nastiest hypocrites,
    this woman is going there direct.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    [The woman is indeed an idiot and is spouting some nonsense that’s easily debunked – eg “double tapping” that was first reported on in relation to US forces, not Russian. And of course, she omits to mention that the lack of basic medical supplies is because of illegal sanctions imosed by the US and others….but it didn’t belong in that thread Morrissey] – Bill

    • Morrissey 15.1

      Thanks Bill. However, I posted it on the “Question…” thread because Samantha Power is chuntering on about Syria. I thought it was the appropriate place for it, but I accept your judgement.

  14. Rosemary McDonald 16

    Toby Morris nails it again…

    http://thewireless.co.nz/articles/the-pencilsword-she-ll-have-the-fish

    Well, he’s advocating for piscene violence should politicians tell us what we want…

    • Carolyn_nth 16.2

      Well, it’s a violent metaphor – but non-fish (Nat policies) eaters are being asked to speak up.

      Good piece of graphic story-telling

    • Poission 16.3

      its a variation on the IYI as described by taleb.

      What we have been seeing worldwide, from India to the UK to the US, is the rebellion against the inner circle of no-skin-in-the-game policymaking “clerks” and journalists-insiders, that class of paternalistic semi-intellectual experts with some Ivy league, Oxford-Cambridge, or similar label-driven education who are telling the rest of us 1) what to do, 2) what to eat, 3) how to speak, 4) how to think… and 5) who to vote for.

      But the problem is the one-eyed following the blind: these self-described members of the “intelligentsia” can’t find a coconut in Coconut Island, meaning they aren’t intelligent enough to define intelligence hence fall into circularities — but their main skill is capacity to pass exams written by people like them. With psychology papers replicating less than 40%, dietary advice reversing after 30 years of fatphobia, macroeconomic analysis working worse than astrology, the appointment of Bernanke who was less than clueless of the risks, and pharmaceutical trials replicating at best only 1/3 of the time, people are perfectly entitled to rely on their own ancestral instinct and listen to their grandmothers (or Montaigne and such filtered classical knowledge) with a better track record than these policymaking goons.

  15. Muttonbird 17

    Government buckling under the pressure from the Pike River families.

    Good to see, although if they’d taken the advice of Pete George and other authority worshipping quitters, they’d have given up by now.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11770396

    • Rosemary McDonald 17.1

      Yes. Left up to the luminaries who inhabit Yawns and Kiwibog the Pike River families would have been sealed up in the mine along with the 29 and Winston Peters.

      Utmost and deeply abiding respect for these people.

      Along with Helen Kelly, they will be at the top of the Real New Zealanders of the Year list.

  16. Xanthe 18

    Yay paula bennett is a feminist.. we won , might as well pack up and go have a holiday the fight is over

    • Carolyn_nth 18.1

      Liberal feminists are about achieving equality within the current structure and accepting individualism etc.

      Socialist feminists want a different structure and values. Bennett sure as hell isn’t a socialist feminist, or even a social democratic feminist – evidence is in the way she has made life tougher for solo mothers – they are the ones who have suffered most as a result of Bennett’s punitive social welfare policies.

      • Xanthe 18.1.1

        Thanks carolyn thats a very clear distinction, So those feminists promoting identity politics would be liberal feminists then. A social feminist would be working to remove inequality for all.

        • weka 18.1.1.1

          “So those feminists promoting identity politics would be liberal feminists then.”

          No. https://overland.org.au/2016/12/this-is-what-solidarity-looks-like/

          I wouldn’t classify Bennett as a liberal feminist either. She’s neoliberal, so she’ll use whatever politics suit her at the time, hence her part-time feminist comment.

          • Xanthe 18.1.1.1.1

            Ahh your link promotes liberal feminism

            • weka 18.1.1.1.1.1

              ah your comment is anti-women.

              If you think that that article was about promoting liberal feminism, you missed the point, and it yet again demonstrates both your poor understanding of feminism and your unwillingness to allow women to have their own politics.

        • Carolyn_nth 18.1.1.2

          I have come to dislike the term “identity politics” – it tends to be used by opponents to feminism as a stick to beat them/us with. But from the anti-identity politics crowd, I do get the sense that that have a view of feminism that is more like liberal feminism.

          A liberal feminist is more likely to want to leave capitalism in tact. Today, Judith Collins cited Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem as her feminist influences from way back..

          I’d say Steinem is a liberal feminist, though she sees herself as a radical feminist

          A radical feminist focuses more on the patriarchal structure and values – many also are critical of capitalism, while some aren’t.

          Friedan is also seen as a liberal feminist. Cited here:

          Wikip on Liberal Feminism

          Liberal feminism is an individualistic form of feminist theory, which focuses on women’s ability to maintain their equality through their own actions and choices. Liberal feminists argue that society holds the false belief that women are, by nature, less intellectually and physically capable than men; thus it tends to discriminate against women in the academy, the forum, and the marketplace. Liberal feminists believe that “female subordination is rooted in a set of customary and legal constraints that blocks women’s entrance to and success in the so-called public world”. They strive for sexual equality via political and legal reform.[1]

          I certainly think that is what Trotter is talking about in his recent piece on left wing conservatism. He talks about a focus on “individual rights”.

          Sue Bradford used to call herself an Eco-feminist and socialist on her twitter profile, as I recall.

    • Rosemary McDonald 18.2

      Sigh.

      I understand you being desperate for a Minister of Women who is an avowed feminist….be it a liberal, socialist or fascist…so I get that you can, in your overwhelming and unbounded joy, make a small, but important mistake.

      What Paula Beenitt ackshully said to that nice lady who speaks funny on the wireless this morning was that she was a feminist “most days.”

      …..”said she was one, most days.

      “You know there’s some days when I don’t even think about it and I’m getting on being busy, but I still get a bit worked up about some of the unfairness that I’ve seen, mainly for other women and not for myself these days.”

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/320897/pm-wouldn't-describe-himself-as-a-feminist

      And come on…she has the backing of Our New Leader, Bull….

      :…English said he thought Bennett’s example was the most important thing.

      “She has such an inspiring story herself that everyday of the week she is achieving things and doing things which will be inspiring to a lot of, particularly younger, women who can see that we are in a country where there are no boundaries if they are able to do it, want to do it, they can get to do it.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11770336

      So there.

  17. halfcrown 19

    What a distorted and inequitable strange world we live in
    Christine Lagarde Head of the IMF was found guilty of fraud. Another Neo fucking crook not paid one cent in tax but was let off by the courts with no sentence, If it had been a small deprived French kid stealing from a French equivalent of Pak & Slave he would have had the book thrown at him.
    Also at the moment visiting NZ the world’s biggest drug cheating cycling dickhead Lance Armstrong, Going by tonight’s news, he is worshipped and idolised by many of the cycling wankers in NZ.
    If it was a Russian Athlete who may not have been involved in the so-called Russian drug cheating, they would have been banned and no doubt booed by the media.

    • alwyn 19.1

      Can anyone identify a photo of Trevor Mallard in the crowds around Armstrong?
      I’m willing to bet he was there but he may have been hiding at the back of the crowd.

      • halfcrown 19.1.1

        Agree with that Alwyn, incidentally I have enjoyed a lot of your opinions this year, have not agreed with them and at times you have gone off on a tangent. But at least you, like a lot of people who visit here have given me food for thought at times. Compliments of the season to you and your family mate.

    • Corokia 19.2

      The crowds around Armstrong are the people who idolise celebrity.
      Cycle racing fans I know suspected Armstrong of cheating for years before he was finally exposed and think he is an arsehole.
      It’s the fame those Aucklanders are following.

  18. repateet 20

    Big Gerry’s majority is going to balloon with a Cathedral rebuild.

  19. Jenny 22

    FIANZ Press release:

    http://www.fianz.co.nz/node/629

    “The Syrian and Russian regimes have committed and are continuing to commit genocide on innocent civillinas including thousands of women and children.
    Syrians and Russian governments have lost their moral compass and their legitimacy as responsible members of the international community. They must now answer to the international community’s calls for their criminal actions to be scrutinised by the International Criminal Court.

    The Federation most strongly condemns the criminal actions of Syrian and Russian governments. We call upon the New Zealand, United Nations and all world leaders to rally strongly against the Syrian and Russian governments and their allied foreign forces for their atrocities and massacres in Aleppo and to bring them to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.”

    Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand inc.

    • Paul 22.1

      Does the FIANZ also condemn the indiscriminate killing of civilians by the Jahadi ‘rebels’ in Aleppo?
      Seems like Syrian people a lot closer than Auckland are relieved al Nusra, al Qaeda and ISIS have been defeated.
      Still, keep churning out the propaganda Jenny.

    • mauī 22.2

      13 December 2016 – About 37,000 people have fled eastern Aleppo for western areas of the city or the countryside, according to the United Nations.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/13/world/middleeast/syria-aleppo-civilians.html?_r=0

      Why would so many people flee to the Government controlled area of west Aleppo if they were at risk of genocide? Why would 75% of Aleppo’s population be in west Aleppo if it was under the control of Government tyrants?

  20. joe90 23

    The fascist internationale comes together.
    /

    BERLIN — The leader of the Austrian far-right Freedom Party has signed what he called a cooperation agreement with Russia’s ruling party and recently met with Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the designated national security adviser to President-elect Donald J. Trump of the United States.

    […]

    The Freedom Party, founded in the 1950s by ex-Nazis, surged this year to nearly capture the largely ceremonial presidency of Austria in May, but was defeated in a final runoff on Dec. 4. Still, its ascendance, alongside the rise of rightist parties in many European countries and with Mr. Trump’s victory, has raised new questions about political realignment across the continent.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/19/world/europe/austrias-far-right-signs-a-cooperation-pact-with-putins-party.html?smid=tw-share

  21. Jenny 24

    “The Conservative Left”

    Who are they?

    What do they believe in?

    https://fightback.org.nz/2016/12/20/trump-brexit-syria-and-conservative-leftism/

    “The Assadist “Left” are clearly conservative anti-imperialists, taking the “campist” position that the main leaders of opposition to neoliberal globalisation are the leaderships of various states, who range from authoritarian to totalitarian in their internal regimes – thus excluding any role for mass action in changing the world, and indeed smearing the Arab Spring uprisings as CIA-sponsored attempted coups.”

    Daphne Lawless

    “…conservative-left reactions to the Trump debacle have ranged from welcoming it as a blow to neoliberal globalisation (ludicrous, given the identity of the various plutocrats whom Trump is naming to his cabinet), to the less wild-eyed interpretation that a “revolt of the white working class” defeated Hillary Clinton. This latter interpretation conveniently lends itself to calls for a more “traditional” left politics targeting “ordinary” (read: white, male) workers, and throwing not only the feminist movement but oppressed queer, ethnic and religious minority workers under the bus.”

    Daphne Lawless

    • Muttonbird 24.1

      Chris Trotter, and by association some of own authors are conservative left.

      I’d call them the do-nothing left. They wait and they wait for apologies for injustices to white males under previous Labour governments. They obstruct the current Labour party still demanding apologies more than 30 years later.

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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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  • Statement from the Minister of Health Dr David Clark
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  • Free lunches served up to thousands of school children in the South Island
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  • New fund to help save local events and jobs
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  • Right to legal representation in Family Court restored today
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