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Open Mike 22/01/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 22nd, 2019 - 83 comments
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83 comments on “Open Mike 22/01/2019 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    RNZ was interviewing the Minister of Education about the housing crisis not long ago, and he said “these things take time”. I half-expected Espiner to respond with “Well, what takes more time, education or house-building?”

    Anyway, Hipkins said that 4,000 houses had been contracted for. He also said 10,000 were in the planning stage. So Twyford’s program looks good on paper.

    “Stuff’s KiwiBuild tracker shows that the government has a grand total of 110 homes either built or under construction. This progress represents just 11 per cent of its target of 1000 homes by July this year.” https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/110031696/resignation-another-step-to-kiwibuild-failure

    So the prospects Twyford will reach his target in six months time aren’t looking rosy. And spot that gap between contract signings and consequent building!! Media ought to focus on explaining this differential.

    The head of Kiwibuild exited due to the govt shifting his goalposts, but looks like he was the wrong choice for project manager anyway: ” I heard both Phil Twyford and Barclay speak at a conference in June last year. At that stage, Barclay had been in the role about a month, and I was disappointed that his presentation mostly consisted of parroting the Labour Party’s policy platform for KiwiBuild. To me, there was little indication that he really comprehended many of the obvious flaws in the programme and potential obstacles to its success.”

    A competent manager rectifies planning flaws to ensure delivery. He does not recycle govt propaganda. He explains how the goal will be achieved. Then he achieves the goal. Get someone who knows how, and can do.

    • Gosman 1.1

      Perhaps the goal was unobtainable to begin with. a good Project manager should be able to let the stakeholders know this as early as possible.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        Ha! You think so, huh? In real life, they don’t accept the job on the terms offered if they believe the task is impossible. Some may have sufficient mana based on reputation or expertise to renegotiate the deal in order to close it, but the chosen contender seems to have lacked that – or the nous of how to do it.

    • Herodotus 1.2

      I hope there was NO golden handshake, given that the CEO resigned. If so it makes a mockery of remuneration packages. The “gods” have clauses to be paid extra in exit payments, yet the plebs/serfs have to tip hats to those in authority and paid pittances.
      Especially as we have a government from the Left and they exist to serve the masses.

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        Yeah, likewise. I wonder if any MP is sufficiently on the ball to ask the question. Given that such clauses have been incorporated into employment contracts of CEOs by both right/left govts, it has become standard practice inducement. Any govt who broke the contract would get sued & lose in court. I disagree that govts of the left serve the masses – any historical pretence of that got invalidated by realpolitik long ago!

  2. Gosman 2

    This is actually quite a good piece from the Daily Blog.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/01/22/guest-blog-bryan-bruce-our-housing-is-severely-unaffordable/

    He is almost completely misguided in his views but at least he is offering a left wing critique of housing policies in NZ.

    This would be good to see more of on this site which I have stated previously is getting rather stale in it’s approach to discussing politics.

    • OnceWasTim 2.1

      Not sure if you’ve tried to challenge Bryan Bruce on his ‘misguided’ views – on TDB. Comments often take a while to be posted. I’ll wait a while – sometimes “these things take time”, but just in case you haven’t made the attempt at a critique, perhaps you could tell us why they’re misguided here and now.

    • Blazer 2.2

      ‘This would be good to see more of on this site which I have stated previously is getting rather stale in it’s approach to discussing politics.’

      I guess the irony is lost on you.When did you drop the other o from your name?

    • mauī 2.3

      Bryan Bruce sits outside the liberal lefty elite. That is why you rarely see him quoted here. You are much more likely to encounter Bryan Buzzfeed in these parts.

    • ropata 2.4

      Bruce is excellent, and he’s challenging the Government on its own terms. Doesn’t go far enough though. I would prefer it if all land was nationalised and economic rents accrued to the people rather than landlords. Income tax is inherently unjust. We ought to tax wealth – end this awful tyranny of ‘investors’ who do nothing but own shit and live off the proceeds of other people’s labour.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgism
      https://aeon.co/essays/is-it-time-to-upend-the-idea-that-land-is-private-property

    • Ian 2.5

      Selling Jacinda is like trying to flog off a dead horse.Stale air is hard to avoid at the core .

  3. greywarshark 3

    100 years of being in business in Wellington CBD – Freemans Bookshop is closing after many years of the family being in business.
    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/380421/the-freeman-family-s-100-years-of-service-in-wellington

  4. rata 4

    Compared to life in 1919 NZ 2019 is a veritable paradise.
    Us Kiwis live in luxury.
    Owning your own home is seriously over rated
    and is seriously unnecessary.

    • Gabby 4.1

      You live somewhere where the average rental is below the average wage I take it ratty.

      • ianmac 4.1.1

        How about “•Long term leasing rather than ownership” as a compromise between owning a house and renting a house?
        What an interesting idea.

      • rata 4.1.3

        Council unit.
        So yes excellent rent they do any electrical and plumbing.
        Small unit but its all I need.
        Modern compact kitchen spacious shower tolet laundry.
        No deck no garage no swimming pool who needs them?
        Nice small gardens. Lawns done for us. Community hall.
        Great fencing, roadways, foot paths lighting.
        safe area. Good neighbours. Fibre available
        40 units in an area which would take maybe 10 quarter acre sections.
        $112 p/w 🙂
        Compact communal living.
        What’s not to like about it?

        • Sabine 4.1.3.1

          Everything about this is to like,

          but sadly its not being build.

          And above all its not being build for low income families. And its not being build next to good infrastructure with schools, close by to supermarkets, swimming pools, play grounds, green spaces etc etc etc.

          So count yourself lucky if you have access to one. Cause i remember that during the years of 2008 – 2016 under the no mates party Council flats were sold. And its inhabitants were told to go look on the free market.

        • ianmac 4.1.3.2

          The previous Census which I did on foot had me visiting a cluster of small council units. People seemed happy relaxed and clearly on friendly terms with neighbours. And sounds good like yours rata.

        • Gabby 4.1.3.3

          You’ll be hoping the council doesn’t sell it then ratty.

  5. ianmac 5

    A recent discussion about Food Banks threw up the belief that a family is only allowed one visit/collection per year. If that is true that one visit would do nothing to solve the problem.
    Is “one visit” true?

  6. Alan 6

    The PM expounds the virtues of free trade, excellent.

  7. ianmac 7

    Newsroom:
    “A stake through the heart of neoliberalism
    Our exclusive, highly unequal society based on extreme wealth for the few may seem sturdy and inevitable right now, but it will collapse, warns tech billionaire Nick Hanauer”

    Chilling: “The top rates of tax on the wealthiest people and corporations are lower than they have been for decades. Unprecedented levels of tax avoidance and evasion ensure that the super-rich pay even less.” USA but true in NZ?

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/01/21/407903/a-stake-through-the-heart-of-neoliberalism?preview=1

    • greywarshark 7.1

      It used to be the saying ‘Make hay while the sun shines’. The trouble is that there is too much sun now, we need a change in weather. And also a change in the present sayings and practices of the wealthy. Here is a bit of background as to wat they are and where they could go next.

      Just looking up google on wealth etc.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilded_Age
      This about the Gilded Age (about 1870-1900) and not that shortly after there was the great stockmarket crash.
      The Gilded Age in United States history is the late 19th century, from the 1870s to about 1900. The term for this period came into use in the 1920s and 1930s and was derived from writer Mark Twain’s and Charles Dudley Warner’s 1873 novel The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, which satirized an era of serious social problems masked by a thin gold gilding.

      The early half of the Gilded Age roughly coincided with the middle portion of the Victorian era in Britain and the Belle Époque in France. Its beginning in the years after the American Civil War overlaps the Reconstruction Era (which ended in 1877).[1] It was followed in the 1890s by the Progressive Era.

      Plutocracy or Plutarchy
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutocracy
      …[people] have condemned plutocrats for ignoring their social responsibilities, using their power to serve their own purposes and thereby increasing poverty and nurturing class conflict, corrupting societies with greed and hedonism.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy
      Oligarchy
      …is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may be distinguished by nobility, wealth, family ties, education or corporate, religious, political, or military control. Such states are often controlled by families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term. …

      In the early 20th century Robert Michels developed the theory that democracies, as all large organizations, have a tendency to turn into oligarchies. In his “Iron law of oligarchy” he suggests that the necessary division of labor in large organizations leads to the establishment of a ruling class mostly concerned with protecting their own power.

      This was already recognized by the Athenians in the fourth century BCE: After the restoration of democracy from oligarchical coups, they used the drawing of lots for selecting government officers to counteract that tendency toward oligarchy in government.[5][page needed] They drew lots from large groups of adult volunteers to pick civil servants performing judicial, executive, and administrative functions (archai, boulē, and hēliastai).[6] They even used lots for posts, such as judges and jurors in the political courts (nomothetai), which had the power to overrule the Assembly.

      SEE ALSO:
      Aristocracy
      Dictatorship
      Inverted totalitarianism
      Iron law of oligarchy
      Kleptocracy
      Meritocracy
      Military dictatorship
      Nepotism
      Netocracy
      Oligopoly
      Oligarchical Collectivism
      Parasitism
      Plutocracy
      Political family
      Power behind the throne
      Stratocracy
      Synarchism
      Theocracy
      Timocracy

      • CHCOff 7.1.1

        ‘his was already recognized by the Athenians in the fourth century BCE: After the restoration of democracy from oligarchical coups, they used the drawing of lots for selecting government officers to counteract that tendency toward oligarchy in government.[5][page needed] They drew lots from large groups of adult volunteers to pick civil servants performing judicial, executive, and administrative functions (archai, boulē, and hēliastai).[6] They even used lots for posts, such as judges and jurors in the political courts (nomothetai), which had the power to overrule the Assembly.’

        That looks like a form of ‘Reset’ gws, a evergreen principle to organisational dynamism in maintaining balance

        In a post or two not long back, i blogged about a example of how that could function in a modern application of direct democracy with proportional representation.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      USA but true in NZ?

      It’s pretty much true in every Western nation.

  8. greywarshark 8

    A Drug Court advocate from USA tells how by using this approach we can save money and probably lives. We have started but expanding it would be worthwhile. Maybe the approach would work for other offenders?

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2018679210/judge-peggy-hora-effectiveness-of-drug-treatment-courts

  9. cleangreen 9

    Clean green NZ is it??

    I dont think so!!!!!

    When the Local council ‘as the principal regulatory environemental agency’ says; quote; –

    ” Hawke’s Bay Regional Council regulation group manager Liz Lambert admitted Pan Pac was in breach of its consent by discharging onto the beach, but no action would be taken yet.

    “We’re satisfied they’re doing all they can. We’re dissatisfied with the amount of time it’s taking and obviously the impact it’s having in the local area.”

    What a baset case we have now in NZ as foriegn companies come here and destroy our ‘cleangreen country’ and leave it destroyed with no changes made against them.

    So much for the benefits of globalisation and “progress”

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/brown-foamy-wastewater-leaking-onto-hawkes-bay-beach-angers-residents?variant=tb_v_1

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Yes cleangreen I caught that bit you quoted. I thought that it sounded like what is called ‘regulatory capture’ by business. The regulators were always supposed to work with business but get so close and helpful, that they are working for the business, concerned about its welfare rather than the compliance of regulations put in place for a good reason.

    • OnceWasTim 9.2

      Ae!
      When local and central government politicians spend as much time and effort on concern for the people that elect them as they do being business and large corporate enablers, we all might start to have a little more respect for them. (They’ve got a fair way to go)

      And when ‘impartial’ public servants recognise that they are actually servants in the employ of the public and have a primary duty to act in their interests in a legal and ethical fashion, then I’ll start to have a little more respect for them.

      Unfortunately both have become part of the problem and they’ve yet to realise that the mathematics of it all don’t stack up all that well if they continue to behave in the way they do. (The natives – in growing numbers, as they’re alienated one by one, eventually get restless).

      It was all an inevitability though – at least, for me anyway, I have the lugsury of retirement age looming, and I don’t owe nobody nuttin
      Wouldn’t wanna be in their shoes eh?

    • Poission 9.3

      it seems the 2.4km pipe is a new addition.The new resource consent and construction undertaken in 2017/2018/

      page 37 section 4

      https://www.hbrc.govt.nz/assets/Document-Library/Consents/Notified-Consents/CD170262W-and-CL170267O-Pan-Pac-Application-AEE-FINAL-29-June-2017.pdf

      if there is a health risk you can ask the medical officer of health to respond ( better powers and showed better leadership after the Havelock water debacle.)

    • Herodotus 9.4

      “There was little point in issuing an abatement notice to fix the pipe as the company was already trying to fix it, she said.”
      Even if no further action is required given “We’re satisfied they’re doing all they can. We’re dissatisfied with the amount of time it’s taking and obviously the impact it’s having in the local area.” BUT an issuing an abatement notice puts the event into being recorded, with no notice the coy can next time say that they have a “clean” record as nothing official has been recorded.
      And the timeline given is for “Replacing the pipe could take between eight and 12 months, and Pan Pac should know by the end of this week if that was needed.” and that took 3 months to work it out 🤢

  10. greywarshark 10

    Scoop item on our firefighters going overseas again. This perhaps follows from the idea that business and government don’t have to do everything themselves, and can just hire contractors to do stuff they don’t regard as core.

    If so then everyone better disabuse themselves of such a stupid notion with regard to firefighting. Each country will have to be proactive in having an all-locals approach to firefighting, A country needs to have vast reserves of people to handle them,
    and not just under the Civil Emergency which however would be connected with the fire emergency system. We cannot afford to have our firefighters away helping others so frequently. Once a country has had to call in other countries it is aware that it needs to take further measures itself. There is too much reliance on bringing in others and even in NZ the firefighting system is under stress with being expected to attend road crashes, first responder stuff. I feel really uneasy about this, and the profit-oriented planners and leaders are not to be relied on to ensure we have the most practical and useful system adequately funded for NZ needs.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1901/S00096/fire-and-emergency-nz-deploys-to-tasmania.htm
    Fire and Emergency NZ deploys to Tasmania
    The frontline fighters will be from Fire and Emergency New Zealand (five), the Department of Conservation (five) and forestry companies (11).

    It is the 23rd time New Zealand fire personnel have been deployed overseas since 2000, the 12th time to Australia and third time to Tasmania.

    Mr Rasmussen says the deployment highlights the high regard in which Fire and Emergency New Zealand personnel are held internationally, following the August 2018 deployments to Canada and the United States.

    • veutoviper 10.1

      Or you could look at it from another entirely different perspective to that you have expressed.

      I, and many others much more experienced in firefighting etc, see this situation of our firefighters going to overseas fires as one of co-operation AND in so doing, to allow our firefighters to get real experience and training in these large scale fire fighting situations that only occur very intermittently here in NZ (as yet), and nowhere on the scale of the Australian and Californian fires, for example.

      Exactly the same situation as the overseas expert rescue teams that came to NZ to help in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes.

      • greywarshark 10.1.1

        Yes true VV but the experience once gained remains. The next step is for the host countries to increase their own experienced personnel because these disasters will be more common.

        I have just put up a few things on wealth and types of government, and one thing that crops up is that governments can get to a stage where the ones at the top only worry about their own affairs, and the country’s needs are run down. This is happening world wide, so we have to ensure that the goodwill in a country’s citizens to help others, doesn’t get abused.

        A big firefighting capacity is needed in NZ to prepare for the near future. Are our firefighters being pushed to near their limit? Are other countries likely to make a call on us a regular seasonal thing and undersupply for their own needs?

    • Sabine 10.2

      A lot of these guys going overseas are voluntary fire fighters. I know a few of them.
      this – for what its worth is an excellent training exercise. I did ask my partner once what would happened if these volunteers die (cause they are volunteering to go overseas and again not everyone can), if there is anything in place to help the spouse etc etc etc. When he said he did not know i told him in no uncertain terms that he will never ! volunteer for such a mission.

      as for the idea that government invest in our civil emergency services? LOL. LOL.LOL

      Try to find out where your shelter/assembly point would be in the case of an emergency like an earth quake, fire, flooding etc. In Auckland you will find nothing on the net. YOU will advised when the emergency is underway. Why is that? Because ther is no infrastructure in place and not enough people. If you live in Papamoa and the tsunami siren goes off? Die in your vehicle on the one and only street out. Cause that is it, one road. That is emergency planning in NZ in newly build suburbs.

      Most fire stations in NZ are staffed by Vollies, and not only the rural ones the in town ones as well. It is harder and harder to attract volunteers, as those with rentals don’t even need to apply. Why? Cause you need to live in close proximity to the Station, and if you rent, you might move in 6 month and then you are not in close proximity anymore. This is happening a lot in Auckland and other larger cities that have issues with affordable rentals or simply no rentals on the market ever (Taupo, Turangi, etc).

      Same for the ambulance drivers, medical staff, etc etc etc.

      To build a system up that would work within the community you have to have a community. what you have currently is a small part of the community that has a fixed address i.e. own their home, and the rest is transient. And you have government missing in action – again irrespective of their stripes. When it comes to civil emergency NZ is scary.

      • greywarshark 10.2.1

        I am enormously respectful of firefighters. They might be, and nurses, caregivers and doctors, the last people in NZ who have real concern for the people of the community and put themselves out for others. (And their families who support them.)

        Your comment was very helpful at painting the woeful picture of NZ caring services. Thanks for updating us. I sat next to a woman on a bus trip talking about this and that, and she said that her husband was leader of a highly trained firefighting response team and his basic rate of pay was in the $60,000s I think, not high for a leader.

        • Sabine 10.2.1.1

          nope they are paid averagely. One of the reason many who would love to join the forces permanently don’t do it, because they can earn more elsewhere. They volunteer and do that for as long as they can. And believe me it takes a lot of commitment from the families.

          In west Auckland voluntaries were scheduled on 10 non stop on call over christmas and new years eve. I guess its a good way to not pay the fulltimers holiday pay. It does fuck up the holiday period for the volunteers tho. Had me spitting to be honest. Two weeks leave per year, and you spend it sitting at home waiting for the darned beeper to go of because some idjit is b urning rubbish, or is killing himself while lightning a bbq with gasoline.

          Not to mentioned the bake sales so that they can buy more equipment. 🙂

          • greywarshark 10.2.1.1.1

            Oh dear nothing like hearing it from the frontline! I think I have the present country governance system worked out well. Sisters and brothers doing it for themselves and ‘we’ spend the tax money on hosting the Americas Cup etc.

      • Ad 10.2.2

        Turn this into post Sabine.

        I know nothing in this field and could do with being educated.

  11. James Thrace 11

    There seems to be a problem viewing some posts on mobile for me lprent.

    Some of the Brexit posts, today’s post on the MAGA kids as examples where I can open the page, but nothing loads.

    Using Samsung, viewing either on Chrome or duckduckgo has the same result. Blank page. At least there’s always open Mike 🙂

  12. Andre 13

    A critique of AOC’s 70% tax rate proposal worth reading.

    https://www.salon.com/2019/01/21/aocs-symbolic-attack-on-the-legitimacy-of-wealth-accumulation-has-no-practical-effect/

    tl;dr Inequality of capital and the direct and indirect income derived from capital is a much bigger problem than income inequality. If you only focus on income, then it further reinforces and entrenches the capital inequality part of the problem.

  13. joe90 14

    Today’s WTF – tRrump’s social media accounts photoshop his pics to slim him down and lengthen his fingers.

    https://gizmodo.com/president-trump-posts-altered-photos-to-facebook-and-in-1831909849?IR=T

  14. ropata 15

    Peter Fitzsimons is horrified at the crackpot rantings of David Moffett

    David, get a GRIP. You are an intelligent man. Global warming is a "UN conspiracy."??Jacinda Adern is a "traitor."This is embarassing loony-tunes twaddle, and I can't believe the man I knew thinks that.Have you had a stroke?Peter https://t.co/82REianlFP— Peter FitzSimons (@Peter_Fitz) January 21, 2019

  15. Draco T Bastard 16

    Bryan Bruce documentary

    https://youtu.be/HzSAmOQuyjU

    • ropata 16.1

      Tragic and scandalous. And completely avoidable, but we were deceived by Rogernomes and the Business Roundtable. Typical theft of the commons by greedy elites.

      IMHO Asset sales have been the #1 political issue over the last 35 years, but we were continuously sold out by neoliberals, facilitated by one Winston Peters. We even changed our electoral system to try and stop it. But now the Overton window has shifted so far, rampant pillage is the new normal for NZ 🙁

  16. patricia bremner 17

    I am on Tramadol… some strange effects. Does anyone else have experiences?
    I’m wondering how long it is safe to use?

    I have had the misfortune to develop a hairline fracture (minor) on the edge of my acetabulum where the cup (socket) beds in for a full hip replacement.
    The first time I walked was fine ‘no pain’ the second time was different pain was up to 3 even on heavy meds.

    It appears my recovery will take 9 months rather than the usual 6, as the bone needs to heal as well. Sadly if it doesn’t another operation may be needed to change the face of the socket for a new cup… an x ray in 2 to 4 weeks will clarify if a repair or replacement will happen, as bone growth and bedding should have started.

    Apparently the long wait for healing is painful (my bad luck) so hence my queries about the opium based meds. Any help would be good.

    • McFlock 17.1

      Damn, sorry to hear that.
      Sadly I know nothing about opioids from a user perspective.

    • Stunned Mullet 17.2

      Hi Patricia

      In consultation with your Dr you should be decreasing your tramadol and transitioning to non narcotic pain relief when appropriate.

      While most people don’t have issues on tramadol a number of people get a variety of side effects with dizziness, nausea, sweating, tiredness, headache, asthenia and constipation being the most common.

      • patricia bremner 17.2.1

        Stunned Mullet I believe that also. It makes me feel drunk and wobbly, seeing my Dr tomorrow.

    • veutoviper 17.3

      Hi Patricia, so sorry to hear about this setback when you were doing so well.

      I had a few problems with Tramadol so was only on it for a day, but I had very little pain after my op so did not need heavies. Went back on to good old Naproxen which is the only anti-inflamatory that I can use.

      Anyway, I would really speak to your doctor again as soon as you can. In the meantime, rather than select the various links to reliable articles to send to you, here is a Google search for “Tramadol medsafe” which has quite a few good NZ sources of information on Tramadol. By that I mean that the Medsafe links are the ones I would check out and also the bpac ones. Both highly reliable NZ sources for information on pharmaceuticals etc.

      https://www.google.com/search?q=tramadol+medsafe&rlz=1C1LDJZ_enNZ499&oq=tramadol&aqs=chrome.5.69i57j0l5.8953j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

    • Sabine 17.4

      Can not take tramadol, makes me violently ill and sea sick. I find it the most horrible medication there is.
      I would ask for something else, it can be quit addictive. So if you have to use it for a long time …..not sure.

      in saying that i can take codeine without any side effects but must drink heeps of water.

    • WeTheBleeple 17.5

      Tramadol are highly addictive and they will get you high. They work in good synergy with weed if you want less opiates more natural in your meds. Used as directed people go off their meds and don’t become addicts but long term opiates is not great. The fact is those are some strong stuff. Good you are wary. Be careful with alcohol you’ll feel wonderful then throw up or worse get ill. I had some for a back one time, interesting.

      Some chronic pain sufferers I know have gone the route of meditation, I know it certainly works for emotional pain, and for them physical too. It takes practise. You can meditate sitting up, lying down, it’s better comfortable than making like a lotus blossom to ‘do it right’.

  17. patricia bremner 18

    Thanks I see him around the 30th, but could go earlier. Yes this is a bit sad the crack in the acetabulum is painful.

  18. Patricia Bremner – after knee replacement surgery I found Tramadol gave me ghastly nightmares. I tried not to sleep at night so GP gave me better meds that had no side effects. Time will be your great healer – I wish you well.

    • patricia bremner 19.1

      Thanks Patricia, I will ring and ask my Dr., as I feel insecure and woozy as well as the extra pain problem. Healing will take 6 to 12 weeks more depending.

  19. joe90 20

    Two years of the GOP controlling both houses with no movement towards the wall and suddenly, just as a the Democrats are about to take control , crisis.

    The shutdown is all about tRump and McConnell suspending democracy, not a fucking wall.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      I’m pretty sure that you’ll find that the GoP doesn’t like democracy and does everything in its power to circumvent it. Removing polling booths from where they’re needed most if they suspect that those people won’t vote for them, throwing millions off of voting lists for whatever, and other means of disenfranchising those that they don’t like.

  20. Sabine 21

    the ‘compromise’ offered by the shitstain was released and it is appropriatly shitty.
    Not that i expected differently, after all we are talking about the shitstain and his enablers.

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.appropriations.senate.gov%2Fimo%2Fmedia%2Fdoc%2FEnd%2520the%2520Shutdown%2520and%2520Secure%2520the%2520Border%2520Act.pdf

    this guy has made a list for your viewing pleasure – cause who wants to read hundreds of pages of shittyness?

    Mcconnel will let this bill go to vote in the senate, after all he is good as doing as he is told to do. It might be vulgar and such, but yes, the man knows how to kiss arse, he is very very good at it and he has no issues doing it.
    Never mind, that the bill will still have to go back to congress where it is dead on arrival.

    but never mind, this is not racism, this is just an expression of the economically anxious white male working class, the only class that counts.

    • ropata 21.1

      However distasteful to the open borders left, it is perfectly valid to defend your sovereign borders. Residence/citizenship for aliens is a privilege not a right.

      The question of ethics and moral obligation is something for voters to decide – the Trump administration is upholding its election pledges.

  21. mary_a 22

    And here we have Paula Bennett admitting she indulged in marijuana in her youth. A criminal act?

    Yet Metiria Turei was hounded out of Parliament by media and just about every other right wing scoundrel, through her admittance of committing benefit fraud as a single parent trying to make ends meet!

    Can we now expect msm to put the boot into Bennett, the same way as it did to Turei? I eagerly await the outcome of this one. However, I won’t hold my breath.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/110079623/paula-bennett-appointed-nationals-drug-reform-spokesperson

    • Sabine 22.1

      its ok if you are from the no mates party.

      i do however stand by a point i made earlier, the no mates party will run on legalizing, decriminalizing weed in order to win an election. And it is labours and the coalitions own fault if they dont’ start articulating a solution to this dilemma. Every poll taken for as long as i have been here has always favored some sort of reform and if only to keep people out of prison for possession, growing and distributing. If they want to reform prison, if they want to help lower income communities, if they want to keep families together then the first thing would be to decriminalize simple possession and growing for own use, then take anyone out of prison who is in there for possession and growing – especially teh non violent ones. But sadly i do see no one in the Labour party that would have the guts to do so.

  22. mary_a 23

    Seems Jami-Lee Ross is about to enter the starting gates for a return to Parliament next month, as an Independent MP.

    Simon Bridges’ worst nightmare is about to come back to both taunt and haunt him. Oh dear, what a shame, never mind.

    Could be an interesting year in politics.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/110093611/jamilee-ross-to-return-to-parliament-as-police-probe-text

    • ianmac 23.1

      The full text of Jamie Lee’s letter is here:
      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12194471

      He writes that he is in better health and intends to get back to being a good person and a good MP for Botany.

      He will not use hate and anger towards Simon and Paula.
      How kind of Paula and Simon to wish Jamie “good health.”

      “I don’t have hatred or animosity towards Simon or Paula anymore for the way they treated me. At the time they were doing all they knew how to do with the skill set they have.

      But I still take responsibility, because it wasn’t fair on them. It wasn’t fair on Simon and Paula for them to be put in a position where they had to choose between helping someone with a health issue, or to put that person under more pressure because it was the better political move to make.” (Think on that for a moment!)

      “I do want to say thank you to the people that tried to help. I have subsequently learnt that at least two of the four women in the October 18 Newsroom story first spoke to the National Party leadership because they were concerned about my health and wellbeing. They identified that I was struggling and they were doing what they thought was the right thing. I want to thank them for caring.

      Should the National Party’s response have been to send them out to talk to the media? Probably not, but people don’t always do very rational things in the heat of a political crisis when they are under pressure.”

  23. Morrissey 24

    Loon Alert.

    No wonder this creep got on so well with Murray Deaker.

    https://twitter.com/DavidMoffett47

  24. greywarshark 25

    The battle on the frontline of climate change in Mali
    https://www.bbc.com/news/the-reporters-46921487

    These people have really big worries. They will need resettling. Thinking of the horrible climate change graph the other day showing the unlivable hot spots around the middle of the planet.

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