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Open mike 22/07/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 22nd, 2011 - 120 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

120 comments on “Open mike 22/07/2011”

  1. This doesn’t address the cost of super, but it could address one major problem with raising the age of eligibility – people who are worn out from hard work get the choice to receive super sooner.

    Super age options

    “United Future’s Dunne calls for revamp of Govt Superannuation policy that would allow payments from 60 years of age”

    • Vicky32 1.1

      Good idea! (Back in the day, women qualified at 60, which meant that my Mum did get some super before she died at one month past 62! (Otherwise she’d have been on a sickness benefit, she had a terminal illness and the last of her children had hit school leaving age, so she couldn’t get a widow’s benefit any more)

  2. Gee granny Herald is displeased with John boy Key.

    I cannot disagree with use of the word “inept”.

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    So who’s up for a bit of hot tub action with Garth McVicar and Stephen Franks?

    Come on whaddareyas? It’ll be great.

    Get all hot and bothered with Garth, Stephen, and a couple of the boys; chew the fat about double-bunking, and how what this country really needs is for all those naughty naughty boys to be punnished good and hard.

    Can’t hack it eh? Nancy boys the lot of you.

    http://www.justicehottub.co.nz/15173/index.html

    • Morrissey 3.1

      After what happened to his daughter, you would have thought that Gil Elliott would not associate with people who loudly and shamelessly supported the knife killing of a young person.

      I note that the Hot Tub guidelines state that, “as a matter of policy”, discussion should be “informed” and “elegant”.

      Presumably that’s an aspiration, rather than a likelihood.

  4. JS 4

    Treasury staff get lots of free lunches from banks tendering for their business. Major conflict of interest, and against their own guidelines, although new Treasury man from the UK tries to defend it. Perhaps they do things differently there? Where is the Minister? This is highly unethical behaviour from top public servants yet no one seems to have a problem with it. So now Min of Health officials can take freebies from tobacco and alcohol companies, then?

  5. The whole strange “Now their here, now their not” Israeli saga with John Key changing his story and the Israeli ambassador telling us that “honestly they were just innocent backpackers” and the press changing the story leaving all off us who dare to ask questions once again in the “Oh, you nutty conspiracy theorists” corner.

    But if even Iprent links to it with the comment: This Israeli thing is just weird, I thought perhaps for those interested it would be nice to know that we are not alone in the “what the fuck are Israelis doing all over the place” department.

    In fact there were Israelis all over the place in the US and while to a lot of people that would go without saying here are a few links to events which took place just before, during and after the events of 911.

    So here are some links to doco’s about the subject:

    Here, here, and here is a link to a full length doco about, amongst others the strange art project giving fourteen Israeli “Art students” an office to live in and full pass cards to be able to enter all and every space in the twin towers while they were conducting and art project in one of the towers.

    • higherstandard 5.1

      What ? There were Israelis in New York…… Do you think Herschel Krustowski was involved in 9/11 ?

      I also hear Santa was involved in the search and rescue team in CCH…. see link below.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5323420/Key-confirms-inquiry-Israeli-backpackers-were-questioned

    • Morrissey 5.2

      Oh, puh-leeeeeaze! Are you seriously suggesting the 9/11 attacks were organized by the Israelis?

      Let’s concentrate on their actual crimes, and leave the fantasies to Hollywood.

      • travellerev 5.2.1

        I am not suggesting anything I’m just stating and linking to evidence about Israeli activity in and around the “hijackers” and the WTC before during and after the events of 911. That’s all.

        The “dancing Israelis” were a well documented (even by Fox news which is one of the links) event and they spend 10 weeks behind bars being interrogated after which they were discretely released and any connection Israeli’s might have had became classified. They were interviewed on Israeli TV and made the following statement: “We were there to document the event.” (See links)

        We would like a new and independent investigation, properly funded and with the full investigative powers of a judicial process, able to subpoena witnesses to find out what really happened on that day.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.2.1.1

          “Hijackers”.

          Comedy gold use of quotation marks.

          • travellerev 5.2.1.1.1

            Two paper passports flew miraculously unscathed through the infernos upon impact giving us two names of alleged hijackers.

            None of their names or any Arab sounding names were on the fly lists.

            The one surviving video of Atta “boarding” one of the planes turned out to be a video of an altogether different plane boarding on a different day and several of the alleged hijackers were still alive after 911. 

            This is fun! Keep em coming.

            • McFlock 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Goddamn, you’re just a sponge for every conspiracy theory out there, aren’t you?

              Did you hear the one about how a bunch of religious nutbar Saudis and Egyptians were responsible for 9/11, so the US invaded secular Iraq? They did chase one of the Saudi financiers in Afghanistan for years, but he turned up in US-allied Pakistan.

              • As good as any and no proof whatsoever. So let’s stick to the facts which show clearly that the above is just rubbish and demand a new and independent investigation.

                • McFlock

                  “stick to the facts”?

                  You’ve been stomping around this issue for years and still haven’t noticed that “facts” and “the internet” are frequently nowhere near each other?

                • McFlock

                  oooo – follow up: what’s your take on the Apollo moon landings?

                  • OK, let’s start small:

                    The laws of motion. Here is a link to a children’s page with nice power point presentation about Newton’s laws of motion (really cute and easy to understand even for a moron like you.)

                    Next try to clap your hands 180x in 11 seconds. The claps represent the floors collapsing and the 11 seconds is the time in which the slowest building collapsed. If a steel framed building of a 180 floors can collapse naturally in 11 seconds into its own footprint breaking all the laws of motion surely you can clap that many times in 11 seconds.

                    Lastly watch the three buildings collapse especially the one which has the top keeling over before it dissolves in mid air POOF!!! and try to apply the really simple laws of motion. Especially the one of the path of least resistance.

                    And last but not least go to the Architects and engineers site and sign their petition for a new and independent investigation.

                    As far as your stupid and oh, so predictable question about the moon landings, what of the moon landings and what does it have to do with the issue at hand?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Come on travellerev, you have to admit that Building No 7 instantaneously collapsed directly on to its foot print because of a series of a small office wastepaper bin fires. Even though it wasn’t hit by any jets. This kind of building failure for minimal reason happens all the time.

                      Its also clear that the steel framed structure of the Twin Towers disintegrated at free fall speed due to an aviation fuel fire only slightly hotter than that needed to roast a chicken. That too happens all the time.

                      BTW did anyone explain how molten steel was pouring out of the windows of the towers like warm golden syrup due to the 600 deg C avgas fire? I personally thought that steel didn’t melt under 1300 deg C. But what would I know, materials science was never my strong point. Someone smarter probably figured it out and its not my place to question.

                      Anyway I know for a fact what they said on the news was correct, I have no reason to doubt the impartiality of the global MSM.

                      I did think it was slightly unusual that despite 20 airbases in or near Pennsylvania, New York and Washington DC, and scores of F15s and F16s sitting around, not a single fighter interceptor was launched that entire morning? Weird.

                      I guess even the USAF has its off days, Like most people I won’t question it any further. Probably routine maintenance or something.

                    • McFlock

                      Okay, try putting this together.
                      I’m not claiming certain knowledge about 9/11. I’m claiming that your so-called “facts” are no more than conjecture that might the the product of some wacko’s delusions in Chicago or someone else’s intentional manipulation in Zurich or someone else applying a first-year textbook to a complex system or someone overanalysing 3 pixels on 640×480 video footage. OR it might be someone who knows what they’re talking about and has a point.

                      The exact same situation is with the moon landing conspiracy theorists – the few people who might raise reasonable concerns are needles in a haystack of general nuttiness.

                      And quite frankly, suggesting that hand clapping is any use as a model for structural failure puts you firmly in the camp of “nutbar with extra nut sprinkles on top who is simply seeing what they want to see”. It’s just as valid as saying “try clapping your hands 180 times in 11 seconds – each clap represents travelling 1 metre. That is how fast you are travelling when you are driving a car, against the laws of physics, at just under 60km per hour”.

                      Maybe one of your many conspiracy theories is right. The trouble is, you’ll never prove it using teh interwebz, or indeed the MSM for that matter.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      1) Aviation fuel burns in the open air at under 300 deg C, as does office/domestic furnishings.

                      2) Structural steel melts at 1400 deg C

                      3) Highly liquid molten steel was observed both flowing out of the intact towers and under the rubble after collapse

                      1 + 2 + 3 = official explanation of tower collapses is highly implausible.

                      Maybe one of your many conspiracy theories is right.

                      These facts aren’t a “conspiracy theory”. They simply tend to invalidate the common narrative of why/how the WTC buildings collapsed.

                    • rosy

                      I spent half a Sunday looking at the NIST report and a popular mechanics going over of this stupid conspiracy theory. I’m happy to believe what was written in both is genuine.

                    • McFlock

                      1)ok
                      2)ok (although structural failure due to heating would occur long before flowing stages of melting)
                      3) That’s the internet claim.

                      1 + 2 + 3 all being true and reliable demonstrated = official explanation of tower collapses is highly implausible. But that rests entirely on “flowing melted structural metal” being observed and correctly identified by people who do not require intensive psychopharmaceutical therapy.

                      The conclusion “official explanation of tower collapses is highly implausible” + its logical requirement of a plan by more than one person to at least hide the “true cause” of the structural failures (with or without the option of a plan by the FederalZionistCommunistNeoConLiberals to attack the WTC and US seat of government and frame Al Qaeda for it) together form a conspiracy (i.e. a covert predetermined plan involving more than one individual) theory (an unproven hypothesis).
                       

                  • Vicky32

                    oooo – follow up: what’s your take on the Apollo moon landings?

                    Hostile and irrelevant.

      • D-D-D-Damn! 5.2.2

        CHOMSKY-SMEAR IN NEW ZEALAND LISTENER

        A few weeks ago, Morrissey outlined the latest attempt to smear Noam Chomsky in The Guardian.  Here’s an almost unknown one from The New Zealand Listener December 2008.

        Although almost 3 years old, it’s important to provide an outline here because it’s received very little criticism (and no doubt Chomsky is unaware of it). The only critique I’ve found to date (by progressive Jewish-Australian journalist, Michael Brull) focusses solely on the ‘Chomsky supported Pol Pot’s genocide’ smear.

        Brief Outline

        Young Australian journalist, Ben Naparstek, conducted a series of interviews with high-profile writers and academics (including Chomsky) between 2001-2009. A number of Naparstek’s 2000-word summaries of these interviews were published in The New Zealand Listener in 2008 (with all of these articles subsequently published in the collection In Conversation in 2010).

        As far as I’m concerned, Naparstek attempts to ridicule and undermine Chomsky’s reputation by: (1) grossly falsifying Chomsky’s core position on the Israel-Palestine conflict (and his underlying rationale for this position); (2) employing the outrageous Friend of Neo-Nazis smear (much favoured by Israeli apologists like the torture-advocate, Alan Dershowitz); (3) presenting a particularly crude rendition of Chomsky’s views on the role of the mainstream media/’manufacturing consent’; (4) displaying a quite remarkable contempt for his readers’ intelligence by implying that Christopher Hitchens remains a Leftist colleague (and former champion) of Chomsky and that therefore Hitchens’ criticism of Chomsky over recent years proves just how beyond the pale the latter is (the look, even his friends and comrades are deserting him ! smear). Presumably, Naparstek assumes his readers aren’t aware of Hitchens’ (very well documented) swing to the Neo-Conservative Right since 9/11 and his subsequent biting criticism of former colleagues and political allies; and (5) repeating the time-honoured Chomsky-smear: that he ignored, downplayed or celebrated the Pol Pot atrocities (the one aspect of Naparstek’s article that Michael Brull critiques).

        In this comment, I focus solely on the first of these – Naparstek’s falsification of Chomsky’s Israel-Palestine position.

        CONTEXT

        (1) Who is Ben Naparstek ?

        Born into the Melbourne Jewish community in 1986 (son of psychiatrists), Naparstek was wrting book reviews for The Canberra Times at the tender age of 15 (in 2001), conducted these interviews (including the Chomsky one) through to his early 20s and in 2009 (aged 23) was appointed editor of Melbourne’s The Monthly magazine (beating several highly-qualified candidates after the controversial resignation of former editor Sally Warhaft). He apparently blitzed through University and was working on a PhD in the US when he was approached for the editorship. Clearly, a very clever lad.

        (2) My Doubts about Naparstek’s objectivity (even before his Listener article on Chomsky)

        In some of his early New Zealand Listener reviews and opinion pieces (around 2006/2007), Naparstek seemed quite progressive and fair. His rendition of interviews with Robert Fisk and Tony Judt, for instance, seemed reasonable (although I have one or two qualms) and, more recently, he co-edited an anthology of work by the progressive British/Jewish scholar and critic of Israeli policy, Jacqueline Rose.

        However, Naparstek’s review of Norman Finkelstein’s Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History for the right-wing Jerusalem Post began to raise serious doubts about his objectivity. It consisted of little more than a stale pastiche of the kind of ugly smears levelled at Finkelstein by his bete noir, the deeply unpleasant Israeli apologist and celebrity lawyer, Alan Dershowitz (Dershowitz – a man who, for instance, set-up a website in which he claimed Finkelstein’s Jewish mother survived Nazi Concentration Camps and The Holocaust because she was a “kapos”/collaborator – later played a key role in destroying Finkelstein’s academic career).

        We might also consider the influence of The Monthly’s dominant chairman Robert Manne – a long-time critic of/polemicist against Noam Chomsky. Former editor Warhaft’s resignation was accompanied by accusations of Manne’s editorial interference and critics predicted Naparstek would become little more than the chairman’s puppet.

         
        Certainly the signs don’t look too promising. In 2009, The Monthly under Naparstek’s new editorship published a Nick Dyrenfurth/Philip Mendes attack on the Australian human rights call for an academic boycott of Israel (which they suggested was directed at “the (Israeli civilian) victims of terror.”) And just a few weeks ago, Naparstek published yet another Dyrenfurth opinion-piece devoted – surprise, surprise – to smearing Noam Chomsky (and getting even the most elementary facts wrong).

        (3) So What’s Chomsky’s core position on a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict ?

        Simply put, the written record shows that over the last 4 decades Chomsky has consistently supported and promoted the two-state solution.

        Indeed, his exhaustive research has played a central role in greatly clarifying such a settlement. In the early 80s, Chomsky coined the term “international consensus” to denote a crucial dimension missing from mainstream media discourse – namely the solution long-favoured by the international community and solidly grounded in international law. (The media had typically talked only of the “Israeli position” compared to the “Arab position”).

        Registered in numerous forums – most notably in a raft of UN Resolutions (more recently in the authoritative findings of the International Court of Justice 2004) – and endorsed by all leading human rights groups, this International Consensus supports a two-state settlement incorporating the provisions of Resolution 242 (full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank/East Jerusalem/Gaza in return for Arab recognition of Israel’s right to live in security), along with the establishment of an independent Palestinian State (based on key UN Resolutions from the mid-70s).

        While sentiment in Chomsky’s milieu has recently been shifting towards a one-state solution, Chomsky himself has not deviated from advocacy of the two-state settlement in his extensive writings, lectures and interviews on this topic over the past 37 years  (including interviews immediately before and after Naparstek’s). He places total emphasis on the urgent need for such a solution on the grounds that, although far from ideal, it’s the only practical, politically-viable basis for a settlement that provides a modicum of justice for all parties concerned.

        Chomsky has always backed this argument up with a detailed and sophisticated analysis of both international law and the post-1967 political and diplomatic record in the Middle East. Like Norman Finkelstein, he has expert knowledge of this record.

        Less frequently and with far less emphasis, he has expressed a hope that eventually the people of the two states living side-by-side will come to view the establishment of a Bi-National State as a positive development. But only as a natural evolution, a mutually-agreed process (contingent upon full agreement from both Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs) occurring over the fullness of time (certainly years and probably decades after the two-state solution has been agreed, implemented and thoroughly embedded).

        So, Chomsky’s
        – Substantive Position on an immediate settlement to the conflict: Two-State Solution
        – Long-term hope for distant future: That eventually these two independent states will naturally evolve into a Bi-National entity.

        So, how does Ben Naparstek render this eminently reasonable Chomsky position on a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict ?

        NZ LISTENER ARTICLE

        ‘Who’d have Thought’, Ben Naparstek in conversation with Noam Chomsky, New Zealand Listener, December 13 2008: (text italicised)

        “But to Chomsky’s detractors, few pundits have a shakier grasp on reality than him.

        His call for Israel to become a bi-national state
        makes him a hate figure for many Jews, who argue that a system in which the Jewish people became a minority in an Arab-dominated country would be suicidal. “I think the hostility would decline”, Chomsky says simply. There are moves towards federal arrangements in many parts of the world, he muses, and Israel should follow suit: “Life’s a complicated and diverse affair. We all gain by having these cultural and linguistic systems enriched”

        Even those who tolerate Chomsky’s extreme views on Israel are usually troubled by his association with neo-Nazis.”

        Right, so, putting aside the friend of the neo-Nazis bullshit (easily demolished), let’s take a look at what Naparstek has done in this brief ‘summary’, supposedly of Chomsky’s definitive position on the conflict. Essentially casting Chomsky as some sort of disoriented old duffer, Naparstek clearly implies that he is: (1) advocating an immediate one-state solution to the conflict, (2) doing so for very vague, wishy-washy, ill-thought-out reasons and that (3) this makes him both extreme and way out of touch with reality.

        Yet as we’ve seen, this portrayal of Chomsky’s position grossly falsifies his entirely consistent, sophisticated, well thought-out advocacy of the two-state solution over the last 4 decades (including in interviews conducted in the months immediately before and after Naparstek’s).

        In his Introduction to the published collection of these interviews, In Conversation, Naparstek tells us his rendition should be seen as “deeply subjective…..synthesised from one or two hours of conversation into just 1500-2000 words…..they are very partial constructions of lives based on brief encounters.” Could this be Ben Naparstek’s bid for a get-out clause in case of severe criticism ?

        My guess about Naparstek’s methodology (based on views expressed by Chomsky in all of his other interviews/writings) would be the following: He asks Chomsky about his position on a solution to the conflict, Chomsky goes into detail about why he favours a two-state settlement, before ending by briefly expressing the vague hope for the eventual evolution of a bi-national state at some time in the distant future. For his own reasons, Naparstek assiduously avoids Chomsky’s substantive position (two-state solution), instead rendering his wistful after-thought (idealistic hope for eventual bi-national state) and his brief reasoning behind this (hostility would eventually fade) as the definitive Chomsky position on how to resolve the conflict.

        He then rips Chomsky’s reply to some completely different question from another part of the interview – “Life’s a complicated and diverse affair. We all gain by having these cultural and linguistic systems enriched” – out of its original context and presents this now vague, meaningless, utterly de-contextualised quotation as Chomsky’s substantive reasoning behind his supposed one-state advocacy.

        Overall, Naparstek clearly wants to depict a dangerously-senile old man, completely out of his depth by: (1) grossly falsifying Chomsky’s core position, (2) describing this fictional position as “extreme”, barely tolerated, and thus making him a “hate figure”, and then (3) entirely contriving an utterly inadequate, lame-sounding rationale for this erroneous position by constructing a dishonest pastiche of de-contextualised quotes. Use of loaded/whimsical terms like “he muses” and “Chomsky says simply” in response to Jewish fears of annihilation further reinforce this craftsman-like contrivance.

        One might also ask here precisely who the “extremist” is ? Naparstek appears to have no qualms whatsoever writing for a hawkish, right-wing, Lukidnik publication, The Jerusalem Post , which consistently opposes Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territory, dutifully regurgitates the most extreme propaganda from official Israeli sources and – mirroring the views of its now-disgraced former owner, Conrad Black – is happy to splash the ugliest racial slurs about Palestinians across its front page. In stark contrast, Chomsky has consistently advocated the international consensus – and the substantial body of international and human rights law on which it rests – for almost 40 years.

        Naparstek’s scurrilous rendition of Chomsky’s supposed position also, of course, aims to de-legitimise the whole idea of the one-state solution by framing it as “extremist”. Yet increasing numbers of progressive Jewish scholars are advocating this sort of post-South African Apartheid-style solution. Not least because Israel’s on-going colonisation/ethnic-cleansing of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley is making the prospect of a two-state solution evermore distant, if not downright impossible.

        Now, I’d originally intended to rebut the other 4 smears contained in Naparstek’s article here but, Christ !, look how many bloody words I’ve wasted already !

        [I’ll release this from moderation, but in future for long quotes please use extracts and link to the full text. Thanks. r0b]

        • Morrissey 5.2.2.1

          Thanks for this. Because it was in the Listener, which has not been worth reading for at least eight years now, I had never seen it before. I’ll have a good read of it this evening.

        • Morrissey 5.2.2.2

          1.) …the ‘Chomsky supported Pol Pot’s genocide’ smear.
          That’s nonsense of course, but it’s often repeated by people who either have no knowledge of Chomsky’s writing, or have an agenda, like Naparstek does.

          2.) Naparstek attempts to ridicule and undermine Chomsky’s reputation
          That’s all that Chomsky’s denouncers CAN do. Open and honest debate is simply beyond them.

          3.) Hitchens’ (very well documented) swing to the Neo-Conservative Right since 9/11 and his subsequent biting criticism of former colleagues and political allies
          On Kim Hill’s programme in late 2001, Chomsky memorably dismissed Hitchens as “incoherent”. Hitchens has also been soundly trounced and humiliated by Tariq Ali, Norman Finkelstein and George Galloway. He should have stuck to attacking people who couldn’t answer back—like Princess Diana and Mother Theresa.

          4.) Naparstek was wrting book reviews for The Canberra Times at the tender age of 15 The Canberra Times is a Fairfax paper, and therefore a stable-mate of the egregious New Zealand Herald and your beloved Dom-Post. It’s a measure of the respect the editors have for the readers that they would employ a 15-year-old to write reviews for them. Naparstek produced such shoddy, mean-spirited work as this at the age of 22, so I shudder to think what his book reviews were like at age 15.

          5.) He apparently blitzed through University and was working on a PhD in the US when he was approached for the editorship.
          On the evidence of this botched hatchet job on Chomsky, he is pushy rather than talented. His parents are both psychiatrists, so it’s a surefire bet that he has powerful connections in academia. Alan Dershowitz was also a prodigy at Harvard Law School, and Roger Kerr was top School Cert. scholar in New Zealand in 1960. But neither Dershowitz nor Kerr is respected as a serious thinker or a person of integrity; Dershowitz has been irrefutably exposed as a fraud and a plagiarist, and (to quote the late Bruce Jesson) Kerr is listened to not because his ideas have any merit or intellectual heft, but because he represents substantial power. From what I can see here, this fellow Naparstek is similar to those two reprobates.

          6.) Clearly, a very clever lad.
          Really? You think someone as craven and dishonest as this fellow is clever? That’s a word that used to be used for Rupert Murdoch. (The Times, the New York Post and Fox News still use it for him.)

          7.) Now, I’d originally intended to rebut the other 4 smears contained in Naparstek’s article here but, Christ !, look how many bloody words I’ve wasted already !
          Please do when you can find the time. You’ve done a truly excellent job here. I see that the people from Radio Transcripts Ltd. have already inducted you onto the team and published your critique on nz.general and soc.culture.israel

          And have you thought of sending this off to Media Lens or to Dr. Norman Finkelstein?….

          http://www.medialens.org/
          http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/

          • D-D-D-Damn! 5.2.2.2.1

            Cheers, Morrissey.

            Just got back from a three-day weekend away, so this is the first chance I’ve had to look here since posting that monster of a comment a few days back. I wasn’t even entirely sure The Standard would allow it out of moderation (so thanks to R0b for that).

            Yeah, my original intention back in late 08 was to email Norman Finkelstein with some of the details. Naparstek’s Listener piece ends by mentioning that Chomsky’s wife was seriously ill (and, of course, she’s since died). So, the last thing I wanted to do was contact Chomsky directly. He clearly would have had far more important things to worry about than yet another smear from yet another, ruthless, overly-ambitious young journalist on the rise. But it was one of those tasks that somehow – despite always being at the back of my mind – I never quite got to. But now that I’ve finally got around to laying out the core points, I might very well contact Finkelstein.

            Regarding the quality of the New Zealand Listener – absolutely ! It quite possibly reached its apex during the Finlay MacDonald years – with the considerable help of Steve Braunias, Philip Matthews and, above all, Gordon Campbell (although I wasn’t particularly taken with the way Matthews – together with the Eating Media Lunch team – uncritically accepted local Israeli apologist David Cohen’s spin during the Malcolm Evans Affair).

            We used to buy The Listener religiously, week-in/week-out, and we continued doing that for the first year or two of Stirling’s reign. But it was clearly both moving to the Right and relentlessly dumbing-down (the latter at least partly the corollary of the former). Once Matthews and then Braunias went, I remember saying that if Campbell goes we probably shouldn’t bother anymore. And, of course, Campbell left a few months later. Still buy it occassionally – but not much more than 10 issues a year rather than the previous 50 or more (always skim through it in Supermarket to see if it’s worth buying – 3 times out of 4 it isn’t).

            Dershowitz and Kerr. Yeah, I know all about the odious Dershowitz. Finkelstein ripped the sad fuck to shreds. Absolutely hillarious to see Dershowitz calling Norman a “pseudo-scholar” during the excellent American Radical documentary. This from a man who, in The Case for Israel, attempted to ‘prove’ his interpretation of Resolution 242 by citing an out-of-context, single sentence quote culled from a ‘letter to the editor’ of the Orlando Sentinel newspaper from some guy off the street called Ricky Hollander of Brookline, Massachusetts. Extraordinary. And this guy’s a Harvard Professor ?!!!, while a brilliant, courageous, original thinker like Finkelstein is denied tenure (despite overwhelming support from his and other faculties).

            I heard Kerr attacking MMP a week or so back on National Radio. Apparently completely unaware of the fundamental contradictions underlying his argument, Kerr placed major emphasis on the idea that MMP was not democratic enough (because politicians rather than voters supposedly decided who would win government), yet also essentially argued that it was too democratic (because MMP supposedly prevented governments from taking ‘necessary’, but unpopular action).

  6. Bored 6

    The pressure is beginning to get into the cracks. Watched on the News the rogue who bears the title of Isreali Ambassador whinging that Isreal was regarded as a Pariah state….and that the media was unfair, and that we NZers jump to conclusions too fast, moan moan whinge moan!!! Poor old fool, needs to get out more and see what his fellow citizens are doing in Gaza.

  7. Morrissey 7

    We know what really happened that day. And, despite what the “9/11 Truther” fantasists say, this wasn’t a brilliant inside job. Hell, the Bush regime couldn’t even blow the cover of one of its agents (Valerie Plame) without being exposed.

    But if you want to believe that “they” have flown hundreds of passengers to a remote tropical island, and that the U.S. government was in on this vast and complex and seamless conspiracy, then go ahead.

    • Ummm, no we don’t.
      We have for example several different NORAD time lines as to how and why they responded so late in the complete failure to protect US air space, and the two most protected areas of all Washington and New York. 
      We have no reasonable explanation as to how and why 19 young men were able to hijack 4 planes and were able to fly these four planes without any experience for 1.5 hours without any intercepts.

      We have no explanation as to how three steel framed buildings (One of which twice reinforced to withstand a nuclear blast) could collapse into free fall speed (6.5, 10,11 seconds. Try clapping a 180 times in say 11 seconds because that is the speed with which these buildings “pancaked”) into their own footprint breaking all laws of physics on that day, as a result of two planes crashing into two of those buildings. These building being the only ones ever to collapse in that way in the entire history of steel frame reinforced buildings being used.

      We have no reasonable explanation as to why micro spheres of molten iron were found since the buildings were reinforced with steel and that broke in 30 meter lengths, just right for putting on trucks.
      We don’t have an explanation as to why micro chips of unexploded Nanothermite found their way into the dust as that is material that can only be produced in one or two military laboratories in the US.
      We would also like to know why against all protocol George Bush was allowed to stay in the class room looking like an absolute fool before he decided to leave, Protocol dictated get POTUS to safe place instantly)
      What we do have is a thoroughly unsatisfactory Official Conspiracy theory which has never been proven with a thorough investigation.

      So no, we don’t know what happened that day and until the survivors of that day have had an answer to all of their unanswered question we will keep on demanding a new and independent investigation.

      As to your assumption that the poor sods in those planes were give a nice cushy existence on a tropical Island the following. More than a million Iraqis who had fuck all to do with what happened on 911 were murdered in the illegal war waged against their country Both Iraq and Afghanistan are contaminated with Radioactive dust from DU contaminating thsoe countries for the next 4.5 billion years so what makes you think “they” (Big oil and the new American century boys come to mind) give a crap about some stupid Americans finding themselves in their way?

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        As to your assumption that the poor sods in those planes were give a nice cushy existence on a tropical Island the following.

        This is the bit I don’t like.

      • Morrissey 7.1.2

        As to your assumption that the poor sods in those planes were give a nice cushy existence on a tropical Island

        Not my assumption. That’s what the Truthers say.

        • Vicky32 7.1.2.1

          Not my assumption. That’s what the Truthers say.

          No, it’s what some of them say!

    • Vicky32 7.2

      We know what really happened that day.

      I disagree, sorry… What happened that day is exactly what we don’t know! I was taken aback that very morning, when listening to Leighton Smith (Yes, I did in those day, and I am rightly ashamed) and hearing one of his callers say “I am amazed, the whole scenario is straight out of a novel by (I think) Tom Clancy!” I can’t remember what book he cited, but LS replied that the “Muslims” must’ve got the idea from the novel… WTF?
      Inside job or not? Who nows. But the “official story” stinks on ice. As it turns out they (whoever the real perps are) haven’t needed to plug the holes, as most people have a peculiar blind spot about it. I remember reading in about 2002, a site where an American expressed real shock that the Reichstag fire was an ‘inside job’. That explains the Americans but us?
      I wrote a story in 2003, when I was waiitng for the other shoe to drop (the shock and awe in Baghdad to begin.) The story was set circa 2103, and was about two schoolgirls talking about a history assignment about the Iraqi war, and trying to understand why the people of the time (us) had been so stupidly gullible!

  8. Carol 8

    Why on earth do we want US Marines to visit NZ, in a ceremonial capacity or otherwise?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5323749/US-Marines-to-visit-New-Zealand

    Key is inviting an escalation of US militarism & imperialism in NZ? Great!

    • According to this Mike Moore initiated it.

      Marines will receive ‘NZ’s gratitude’

      The Pentagon has agreed to send a group of Marines to New Zealand next year after an invitation from Prime Minister John Key.

      New Zealand ambassador to Washington Mike Moore was the driving force behind the bid to get the Marines to New Zealand.

      I don’t see what harm it will do, and it is good for our improving relationship with the US.

      It doesn’t mean we have to agree with everything the US military has done (some of which has been very helpful for us).

      • Morrissey 8.1.1

        It doesn’t mean we have to agree with everything the US military has done (some of which has been very helpful for us).

        Could you tell us how what the US military did in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia have been “very helpful for us”?

        After that, you might like to explain how the illegal invasion of Iraq, and the hundreds of thousands of deaths it has caused there has been “very helpful for us”.

        After that, you can maybe explain how the destruction of Afghanistan has been “very helpful to us”.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2

        …and it is good for our improving relationship with the US.

        Do we want to improve our relationship with a sinking empire?

        • travellerev 8.1.2.1

          Or have free trade agreement with a bankrupt lawless robber baron Nation?

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1.1

            They’re not lawless, they have very many laws. Which the rich now use to buttress their hostilities against the poor.

            It doesn’t mean we have to agree with everything the US military has done (some of which has been very helpful for us).

            Perhaps you are referring to the US support for authoritarian, undemocratic and extremist regimes in the oil rich Middle East?

    • Campbell Larsen 8.2

      Agreed Carol, sucking up to ‘Team America – wannabe world police’ is completely undignified for NZ and makes a mockery of the principled stance we have taken in regard to a nuclear free Aotearoa.
      Mike Moore has been completely domesticated by the US – when he is not inviting their murderous military machine to come and ‘receive our gratitude’ he is promoting the sale of NZ honors to rich americans who use thier wealth to try and influence our political process.
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10740072

      • Tigger 8.2.1

        Actually this is a great thing – will be a nice touchstone for an anti-war march taking place the same day in the same place. Always useful to have some stupid military might exercise to push against/organise around.

      • Morrissey 8.2.2

        wannabe world police

        The idea of the United States being a “police force” is ridiculous. The police have at least a notional commitment to law and order.

        The United States, on the other hand, was found guilty by the World Court of being a terrorist state in 1986. It has not improved a jot since then.

  9. Janice 9

    What is in it for the Destiny Church for Hana Tamaki to go to the lengths she has to become president of the Maori Womens’ Welfare league? Does the league hold or have access to surplus funds or is it that they can make funding applications as a neutral organisation?

    • framu 9.1

      i think you last sentence pretty much nails it

      • Tiger Mountain 9.1.1

        Destiny is a cash harvesting cult like organisation that has clamoured for wider political acceptance and revenue bases for a while.

  10. prism 10

    When’s the Weekend Social thread coming? Its not that I’m doing anything interesting but I have found a couple of quotes that will give a laugh which I thought would be welcomed and healthy (have you heard of laughing therapy).

  11. jackal 11

    John Key Lies Again

    On Tuesday it was revealed that an Israeli man named Ofer Mizrahi, who died in the February Christchurch earthquake had five or six passports on him. Apparently the other three Israeli people traveling with Mizrahi, took their own passports with them when they left the country, but before departing they handed over the deceased man’s Israeli passport to Israeli representatives.

  12. Tigger 12

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5327001/National-will-back-Dunne-for-Ohariu

    A kick in the teeth for Katrina Shanks. Unlike the Greens-Labour agreement, here National is crapping over someone who has been working in this electorate for years.

    • Carol 12.1

      Desperation from National. The Greens usually go after the party vote, & backing a sure Labour electorate candidate is pretty sensible. The Greens get enough party votes for themselves, while UF would likely be history this election without National support. I’ll be interested to see where the votes go in that electorate.

      • Jim Nald 12.1.1

        Thanks to DonKey-like DunneKey double stitch-ups, Katrina skanks Ohariu voters to get two lame duck NACT MPs into the House.

        Quack Quack for the right wing zoo.

        • Jim Nald 12.1.1.1

          Sorry. A bit slow for the edit button. Trying again:

          Thanks to the DonKey-DunneKey double stitch-ups
          Katrina skanks Ohariu voters
          while Goldsmith banks Epsom
          to get more than four lame duck MPs into the House
          Quacks for the right wing zoo

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      Simple answer for Katrina. One good turn deserves another, after all.

      Endorse Charles Chauvel.

    • Lanthanide 12.3

      Though that article doesn’t mention it, it’s a press response by National headquarters because Katrina Shanks said on National Radio this morning that she absolutely would not be making a special deal for Dunne and he’d have to compete just like any other candidate.

      So they’ve put Katrina in her place.

  13. Morrissey 13

    http://www.justicehottub.co.nz/15173/15564.html

    Justice Hot Tub

    Meet GARTH McVICAR

    Garth McVicar is a farmer from Mohaka in Hawkes Bay. He left school at age 16 and moved into land development, earth moving contracting, house relocation and farming.

    In 2001 concern about escalating crime and the treatment of crime victims led to Garth founding the Sensible Sentencing Trust. The goal of the Trust is to ensure debate on crime and victim issues with the goal of creating a safe New Zealand. The S.S.’s success was recognised in 2006 by being named Trust of the year. As spokesman for the Trust, Garth has worked tirelessly to bring balance back to the justice system, campaigning for victims’ rights and reform.

    In 2008 Garth decided to jettison the practice of advocating for victims, and boldly tilted his organization in the direction of supporting the rights of a select group of offenders to steal, maim and kill. He bravely spoke out in suppport of knife-killer Bruce Emery, after Emery chased down and stabbed a Maori boy to death in South Auckland. In spite of this deviation into knife-use advocacy, Garth was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship award by Rotary and named Toastmaster of the year.

    In 2010 Garth declared that S.S. lawyer David Garrett, convicted of assaulting a doctor in a hospital and of stealing the identity of a dead child, “deserved another chance and has done much good work for us.”

    Garth believes we have a responsibility to ensure the environment we create is sustainable, safe and secure for future generations. If the level of violent crime by Maori and other dark races in New Zealand is not addressed, he does not see this happening.

    http://www.justicehottub.co.nz/15173/15564.html

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      ffs this guy needs to be kicked off his soap box

      • Morrissey 13.1.1

        ffs this guy needs to be kicked off his soap box

        Unfortunately, and unbelievably, in spite of his bloodthirsty utterances and his endorsements of knife-killer Emery and grave-robber Garrett, McVicar is still accorded respect by Radio New Zealand.

        He is still regularly interviewed (often billed, ludicrously, as a “victim’s advocate”) whenever a “law and order” question is covered.

        Yesterday Leilani Momoisea presented a lengthy item on the youth justice system, and chose to give McVicar a good twenty seconds to run his mouth off.

  14. Ianupnorth 14

    People I would gladly hit in the face with a frying pan….
     

    Garth McVicar
    Garth George
    Bob McCroskie
    Jude Dobson 9and all that Family health Diary Posse)
    Greg O’Connor
    Don Brash
    John Banks
    Farrar!
    Whaleoil

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      A frying hot frying pan, preferably…

    • chris73 14.2

      The problem being that Whaleoil would hit you back and probably harder

    • Another reason why we have a violence problem in New Zealand, it’s openly promoted as a solution to frustrations.

      • Colonial Viper 14.3.1

        Another reason why we have a violence problem in New Zealand, it’s openly promoted as a solution to frustrations.

        Actually, decent paying jobs are the solution to many frustrations, but National refuses to promote those.

    • prism 14.4

      I was thinking along these lines as I listened to Dame Margaret Bazley this morning. Gotta try to keep the gender balance.

    • jackal 14.5

      I could beat all these losers with one hand tied behind my back. Although Jude Dobson and the Family health Diary Posse might be a challenge.

  15. chris73 15

    Ok Colonial Viper

    Most of the time I disagree with you on political issues but really it doesn’t matter in the scheme of things because Labour will get back into power within 3 or 6 years and then National will have a go then it’ll be Labours turn again and so on and so

    But

    since you’ve now outed yourself as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist (otherwise known as dick head losers) any comments you make will be tinged with the thought that you’re probably wearing a tin foil hat and listening to police scanners

    I can’t really be bothered going into 9/11 so I’ll throw you link that popular mechanics did on this subject:

    http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/news/1227842

    (but remember its what “they” want you to think)

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      since you’ve now outed yourself as a 9/11 conspiracy theorist (otherwise known as dick head losers)

      *Shrug* I always knew you were a follow the crowd kind of sheeple.

      Structural steel melts at around 1400 deg C

      Av gas (= graded kerosene) and usual office flammables burn in the open air (i.e. non controlled/non oxygen force fed/non high pressure environs) at 300 deg C. Give or take 50 deg C.

      That popular mechanics article talks about steel “weakening”, it does not explain how flowing molten steel and pools of molten steel could have occurred.

      Re: WTC 7 collapse – there is absolutely no footage of an “intense fire” burning through the office for hours. Just a typical oxygen starved relatively cold office fire burning through paper and office furniture.

      • chris73 15.1.1

        The nice thing (I suppose) about being a nut-bar is that you have a nice warm feeling, knowing that you (and generally you alone) “know” the truth and that everyone else is ignorant

        The X-files was one of my favourite shows but I viewed it as entertainment, I guess you viewed it as a documentary

        (Don’t say too much though because “they” might be snooping on you)

        • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1

          Ahem, a 300deg C fire can’t liquify 1400 deg C melting point structural steel.

          Dance around that all you want matey.

          knowing that you (and generally you alone) “know” the truth and that everyone else is ignorant

          You do know that several hundred engineers, architects, scientists, officials, emergency workers etc are all on record backing calls for additional inquiries to be made, yeah?

          • chris73 15.1.1.1.1

            http://www.debunking911.com/moltensteel.htm

            Since you don’t believe the official word (if you see someone in a black suit coming towards you, run!) would you care to enlighten the rest of us with your opinion on 9/11

            (You know echelon is reading this…)

            • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Aluminium melts at 660 deg C give or take, how does a 300 deg C aviation fuel / office fire do that?

              would you care to enlighten the rest of us with your opinion on 9/11

              All I know is that the official explanation for the destruction of the towers is physically impossible.

              A 300 deg C fire cannot melt 660 deg C melting pt Al or 1400 deg C melting point structural steel.

              (By the way, the pools of molten material found later at the base of the rubble was steel, not Al)

              • chris73

                Being that I’m a member of the VRWC trust me when I say that you (and I mean YOU) should not drive down any deserted country roads during the next 72hrs

                (I can’t say anymore then this…)

                • Colonial Viper

                  I talk about materials melting points, what are you talking about mate? 🙂

                  • McFlock

                    So let’s complicate your model a little bit – was jet fuel the only thing burning in the building at the time?
                    If not, then screaming about the minimum open-air temperature not being hot enough to melt aluminimum is a bit silly. How hot would you expect an office fire to get? Especially that it would be a fun mix of paper, plastic (carpets, furniture, computers, etc), some glues and solvents, desks, panelling, paint,…. Any ideas? Still at 300C are we?

                    • Vicky32

                      So let’s complicate your model a little bit – was jet fuel the only thing burning in the building at the time?

                      That’s really the whole point, isn’t it? What else can you suggest that might have been burning hot enough to melt steel? (Because we’ve established that jet fuel won’t do it.) Why are you so desperate to believe the official story? Do you want an excuse to “kick Muslim arse”, or simply religious arse? Either way, please bear in mind that a mind that’s firmly slammed shut and locked, as yours seems to be, can learn nothing.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Which of those items you listed do you think would burn much hotter than 300 deg C? Eg. paper obviously won’t.

                      Feel free to include any standard construction materials including flooring, false ceilings, insulation materials, network cabling etc.

                      Now I do know what burns much hotter than 300 deg C. And that is a fine Al or Mg powder, associated with a high oxygen source or oxidation agent.

                    • McFlock

                      Okay, this  NIST study of a housefire experiment in 1998 measuerd temperatures in excess of 700C. Nowhere do they mention putting in a few kgs of thermite.
                       
                      Secondly, and this is to Vicky32, I’m in a party that basically chose electoral ostracism because its caucus voted in favour of NZ sending troops to Afghanistan. I don’t want to justify most wars (though I’m not a complete pacifist), and these current invasions in particular are incredibly fucked up. But I DON’T see a need to look for shapes in clouds. By which I mean wishful thinking and an over-analysis of video footage, when the most plausible answer is staring one in the face.
                       
                       
                       
                       

                    • McFock,
                      Let’s ask Edna Cintron shall we? Who is Edna Cintron you ask.

                      Edna Cintron is a lady who worked in the twin towers and who on the morning of 911 was caught in the mayhem. She was filmed waving to a helicopter standing in the hole made by the plane impact. She is holding on to one of the steel girders and doesn’t seem to be having any problems doing so. No scorched hair or clothes and no problems with holding on to the steel.

                      She perished in the sudden collapse.

                      Or let’s listen to the fire fighter who said that to engines would suffice to kill whatever remained of the fire after the impact.

                      You’re a bloke right? Maybe you like your music really loud and you have a thing for those cooling blocks on the back of your amplifier. That is what steel does. It serves as a heat sink. So all those tons of steel would dissipate whatever heat there was after most of the Kerosene burned of outside of the buildings in the first seconds of impact.

                      And yes, McFlock it really is that simple. No one and I mean NO ONE and NOTHING breaks Newton’s Laws of motion. Believe me, if anything taught me that it is 18 years of working in real world special effect (I.e. not computer generated ones) for films.
                      That was the main request. Do something that seemingly breaks the laws of motion. It can not be done. So if it walks like a duck, quacks like duck and looks like a duck it is because IT IS A FUCKING DUCK!!!

                    • McFlock

                      Okay, now you preach about the laws of physics at the same time as having no idea how a heat sink works. Metal conducts heat, dissipation is a function of surface area and ambient temperature difference.
                      And I’m sure a couple of fire trucks would have been very useful, the only trouble would be getting them 300m into the air.
                      And the collapse of a massive structure is never “simple”, unless you want to switch off your critical thinking circuits for the duration. Slide rules cannot be applied so crudely. Especially when they are measurements based on clapping your hands really fast.
                       
                       
                       

          • rosy 15.1.1.1.2

            CV, you have read the NIST reports haven’t you? Not just the sites disagreeing with them?

            • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.1.2.1

              No, gotta admit I haven’t read the NIST reports myself.

              • rosy

                I did because I was getting grief about 911 from a family member. NIST is a good place to start and convinced me more than he did. I also read the conspiracy theories on everything he told me then googled the theory with ‘debunk’ on the end. One thing I didn’t do was watch the collapses over and over and over again pausing every tenth of a second all the while thinking to confirm conspiracy theories.

                Anyway, I have a feeling that people can’t go into this without preconceptions – some despise Americans so much they instinctively believe anything official is a lie and will never be convinced otherwise. I believe Bush, Cheney et al did some evil things and are lying cheating b*****ds but not that they will destroy their own symbols of prosperity and their own moneymakers in such a dramatic way. I do believe however they are so self-centred and incompetent in running a country that there will be gaps in procedures and process that will allow others to do so.

              • Colonial Viper

                Yes fair enough. I’m certainly not willing to speculate on Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, insurance policies and politics etc around 9/11.

                I simply understand that from an engineering perspective, buildings do not naturally fall neatly and directly on to their own footprints.

                re: NIST and WTC 7 you should view this sometime. I have seen the presentation of their final report on this building.

                Also questioning of NIST on the molten metal found at the base of the towers

                • rosy

                  I’ll watch those if you read NIST 😉

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I’ve been through their presentation on WTC 7, that’s enough for me 🙂

                    So maybe you pick just one of the two above to watch 🙂

                    • Did you mean the NIST report that stops at the moment the buildings start to collapse and doesn’t give a single explanation as to why three buildings collapse in freefall speed breaking all the laws of Physics? You mean that one?

                      The report that only uses computer models in programs that we are not allowed to use ourselves and that have been fed data which never occurs in the real world?

                      Or that allow for one bolt to snap taking the whole building with it because of “thermal expansion” used in a seriously creative way?

                      For fuck’s sake Rosie yeah, lets:

                      NIST, NIST WTC 7, 911 commission report

                      Here are some links, links, links to videos discussing the reports

                      And VC and Vicky32… I love you!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      *shucks* 🙂

                • rosy

                  re videos… I’m more of a reader than a watcher – I prefer to take a little time to absorb things – especially those bits I know nothing about like engineering, and physics. And when I want to check-up on verbatim quotes.

                  • Locus

                    On the subject of buildings burning for hours, as an investigator and responder to major accidents, I give the NIST report a 9/10. It is an absolutely brilliant analysis of all the photographic evidence of the fire, and provides some very important and well-reasoned recommendations on fire risk reduction, mitigation and emergency response.
                    On the subject of building collapses due to fire or controlled demolition, I have about as much knowledge as the millions of people who so roundly criticise the NIST report. I’ve read far, far more on the justification of the controlled demolition theory than the theory that the building collapses were due to inherent failures in the design and structural failure due to thermal expansion. The amount of pro-demolition theory reading matter out there is truly mind-numbing, and anyone who has dipped into the wonderfully entertaining world of conspiracy theories will be aware that the views of most (whichever side you take) have attained a level of belief which only god could question.
                    What I find very unfortunate is that most of the critics of the NIST report have not acknowledged the NIST teams’ honesty and intellectual rigour in analysing data and building models to explain the entire sequence of events from the beginning of the 9/11 event through to the eventual collapse of WTC buildings. Critics of the NIST report largely focus their criticisms on the mysterious data which is missing from the NIST report (which they use to prove their case regarding demolition and that dastardly forces have conspired in a massive cover-up) and have criticised the NIST teams’ interpretation of the evidence provided. Some conspiracy theorists go even further of course and believe that the evidence used by NIST was cooked up – clearly by the same people that organised the building demolition. The critics of the NIST reports base ALL of their criticisms on attempting to justify their unalterable belief that the building fell due to demolition charges. Anyone who reads the NIST report and has anything positive to say about it is harried and hounded by screams of indignation and disgust, because the demolition theory has already been ‘proven’ so you must be completely deluded and/or incompetent and/or a blind follower of the ‘official’ line.
                    However, the engineering ‘experts’ that have supposedly ‘proven’ the demolition theory have not gone even one percent of the way towards putting together an engineering model of where all the explosive charges would have to be placed. Once the necessary location and size of all the explosive charges has been affectively argued the next step would be to show how all of this demolition placing work could be achieved without any of the building users and services teams observing anything. Once this was ‘proven’ then it would be necessary to give an acceptable technical analysis of how explosive charges could be placed in multiple locations throughout a burning building and yet manage to remain unexploded. Once this is proven, you then need to prove how any kind of firing mechanism would also have survived the fire. Then explosives experts would have to prove how evidence of multiple large-scale use of explosives could so incredibly have been concealed in the debris. The conspiracy theorists also need to convincingly prove why the sound waves and shock waves from multiple explosive charges were not heard, not picked up on the video evidence, and not picked up by seismic devices.
                    Now I’m as open minded as I can be on this subject, and I have fair knowledge about demolitions and fires after 20 years of professional experience involving these subjects, but I’ve yet to see any convincing analysis put forward using ALL of the data available which would give me some degree of belief in the demolition theory.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      On the subject of buildings burning for hours, as an investigator and responder to major accidents, I give the NIST report a 9/10.

                      Your 9/10 is a worthless rating hence your entire argument is suspect.

                      The first two towers were not burning for hours before they came down. Less than an hour wasn’t it.

                    • Locus

                      Yep – my opinion is worthless to anyone who has not thoroughly read the NIST report – or who doubts the data or capability of the NIST teams

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Remind me how the NIST report accounted for symmetrical collapse of the buildings directly and vertically on to their own foot prints at near-free fall speeds, after each building had suffered significant assymetrical fire damage?

                    • Locus

                      Answering any of the questions I’ve posed regarding demolition would be a more fruitful exercise for this discussion than repeating all the criticisms I’ve already read elsewhere

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No, seriously, I don’t doubt at all the logistics you point out of how executing a controlled dem on those buildings would be extraordinarily difficult, expensive and time consuming to prepare.

                      Just tell me how NIST explained the steel framed buildings which suffered highly assymetrical structural and fire damage ended up collapsing entirely symmetrically and vertically on to their own foot prints at near free-fall speeds.

                    • Locus

                      Rather a pointless exercise trying to summarise hundreds of pages of data and analysis. You’re a smart person CV whose reasoning I invariably respect. I urge you to read and really try to understand the NIST report. The answers are there.

    • millsy 15.2

      You dont have to be a tinfoil hat wearer to realise that a lot of the events that happened on, after or around 9/11 contain aspects that dont add up.

      For example the National Transportation Safety Board has admitted that it cannot find the black boxes of the hijacked planes. Im no aviation expert, but black boxes have been recovered from more inhospitable environments than DC, NY and the Pennsylvania countryside.

  16. Lanthanide 16

    Just spotted a white stencilled / red background Asset Sales advert on stuff.co.nz.

    Good on you Labour!

  17. prism 17

    A subject for Discussion – The Times cartoon connecting famine with the phone hacking scandal. Are these real people, or just deeply cynical brittle smarts playing on social standards looking for a sharp satire with a feeling of being wronged and actually having no real concern about famine victims or anybody beside themselves?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/21/murdoch-times-cartoon-hacking-somalia_n_905899.html

    • Morrissey 17.1

      Truly disgusting and cynical. It’s diversion posing as moral concern. What the Murdoch Times is doing here is nothing new. It’s a strategy used all the time by Israel and its supporters—chief supporter, of course, being one Rupert Murdoch.

  18. Cunliffe says CGT will apply to Kiwisaver and other Super:

    Hawkins: “Will the proposed CGT apply to all or any capital gains made in course of the trading operations of KiwiSaver funds, superannuation schemes including NZ Super, ACC investments and other retirement schemes or managed funds?”

    Cunliffe: “The general approach we are intending to take is that… in circumstances in which there would currently be no tax payable on capital gains, the 15% capital gains tax would tend to apply. “

  19. jackal 19

    Friday Fun with Photos #10

    First monkey covered his eyes and spoke,
    “See no evil”…
    By refusing to see and confronting evil
    Victims are born of doubt, guilt and fear
    Clear sight sheds light and illumines evil

  20. Morrissey 20

    Gator Attacks Naked Crack Smoker

    • felix 20.1

      I have no capacity to scroll past that headline.

      I’m also disturbed by the fact that the alligator is going to be put to death because of the incident.

      What’s this human obsession with taking revenge on animals just for being animals? The guy was smoking crack and wandered naked into a swamp full of alligators FFS.

      People. What a bunch of bastards.

  21. Vicky32 21

    Secondly, and this is to Vicky32, I’m in a party that basically chose electoral ostracism because its caucus voted in favour of NZ sending troops to Afghanistan. I don’t want to justify most wars (though I’m not a complete pacifist), and these current invasions in particular are incredibly fucked up. But I DON’T see a need to look for shapes in clouds. By which I mean wishful thinking and an over-analysis of video footage, when the most plausible answer is staring one in the face.

    I am putting this here because for some unknown and at this time of night, unknowable reason, there’s no reply button under your diatribe.
    But why in heaven’s name, did you ever support the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan? At least you realise how f***ed up ‘these invasions’ are – but Afghanistan is one of them! Do you not get that? You’ve been had, unless you really believe that OBL was in a cave in Afghanistan cackling manically as he planned to destroy the infidels in the west by demolishing several heavily insured buildings in New York. A fundamental investigative principle is “who benefits?” The beneficiary clearly wasn’t OBL or the largely fictional Al Qaeda!
    I am not going by video footage. For many reasons I can’t even see videos, much less fine details in them. But as I have previously said, the official story stinks on ice, to use Spider Robinson’s fine phrase. (He’s an sf writer not a ‘truther’, so don’t bother attacking on those grounds, he used it in a film review, so no distraction tactics please, thanks in advance…) So, your little dig about shapes in clouds has failed!
    I don’t get why you are so adamant about the official story. Surely you show more scepticism about Key etc, unless you’re one of the RWNJs, and I don’t think so! I know that in the case of one of the other abusers of ‘truthers’, it’s his sense of his own superiority, but I don’t think that’s the case with you.
     
     
     

    • McFlock 21.1

      there’s a limit of ten replies to replies of replies of replies (etc).
       
      I DIDN’T support the NZ contribution to the invasion of Afghanistan. Jim Anderton did, and went against Alliance policy to do so. The dick.
       
      I agree that their are aspects that are doubtful, dodgy or seriously need to be investigated (e.g. the flight out of Bin Laden relatives, which ISTR has been reasonably well -if quietly- documented in the MSM). however, I don’t see any major issues in the commonly accepted facts of the case – a bunch of (to use Reza Aslan’s description) “cosmic warriors” flew planes into buildings in order to indirectly destabilise the Saudi and Egyptian regimes (among others) through US overreaction.
      What they didn’t get was that the cosmic warriors on the other side were happy to kill iraqi civilians and US soldiers as long as they could loot preferably Iraq, but option B was the US treasury. Mission Accomplished.

      • Carol 21.1.1

        And now Oslo, a small country, small military and posibly a weak link in the US-UK-Europe Afghanistan alliance…. When the Clark government didn’t join the coalition of the willing that attacked Iraq, NZ was seen as a place least likely to be attacked by terroists/resistance fighters. So why is our PM now trying to negotiate a closer alliance with the US military and its dirty little wars?

    • rosy 21.2

      ” You’ve been had, unless you really believe that OBL was in a cave in Afghanistan ”
      You’ve been had if you think he was in a cave, just the same as you’ve been had if you think he was a crippled old man. He was a ‘guest’ of the government of Afghanistan and from there launched bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. No reason he couldn’t plan attacks on the U.S. in 2001. (BTW that doesn’t mean I supported the invasion of Afghanistan either, although it makes it understandable. It was definitely no excuse for the invasion of Iraq, which was not involved in 9/11 at all).

      Who gained? anyone who wanted to see the demise of the U.S. as a world power and financially cripple it. You’ve gotta admit that has been a largely successful outcome. Not a bad strategy if you’ve already seen that happen to the Soviet Union.

      • Colonial Viper 21.2.1

        Who gained? anyone who wanted to see the demise of the U.S. as a world power and financially cripple it.

        Interestingly many US corporations who outsourced their operations to China etc fall into this general group. Not that they deliberately set out to do this, but they took actions which would clearly head in that direction because it was beneficial to themselves and their shareholders.

        Another thing to remember is that many of the most powerful and wealthy in the world no longer have any loyalty to this old fashioned idea called ” a country” or “a sovereign state”.

        This is a group which has after all pushed relentlessly for ‘globalisation’ and for global borders to business and capital to weaken and disappear.

        This is a powerful group which has pushed for the impoverishment of their own peoples (e.g. dropping minimum wages and labour protections), destroying their own industries (e.g. offshoring factories, contracts and orders), and taking apart their own national infrastructures (e.g. privatising strategic public assets).

        The simplest conclusion: the top 0.01% are typically loyal to only themselves as a group, not any quaint ideas of assisting “their fellow countrymen”, the “national wellbeing” etc.

        • rosy 21.2.1.1

          Yes, that’s the point isn’t it? Following the money is not going to give an answer because the opportunism is so widespread. Your simplest conclusion is fair enough, but the top 0.01% seem to forget that they are not a cohesive group and are prey to those with nationalist instincts who also have money.

          • Colonial Viper 21.2.1.1.1

            you are very correct – alliances are made and broken and remade, at convenienve, and depending on where the money and advantage is seen to be.

            In other words, its an awful life.

      • Vicky32 21.2.2

        You’ve been had if you think he was in a cave, just the same as you’ve been had if you think he was a crippled old man. He was a ‘guest’ of the government of Afghanistan and from there launched bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. No reason he couldn’t plan attacks on the U.S. in 2001. (BTW that doesn’t mean I supported the invasion of Afghanistan either, although it makes it understandable. It was definitely no excuse for the invasion of Iraq, which was not involved in 9/11 at all).

        Ma dai! Honestly, Rosy, how gullible are you? That he was a ‘guest of the government of Afghanistan’ was Dubya’s excuse for the bombing of Afghanistan that began on my ex’s birthday in 2001, 8th October. I remember very clearly at the time, reading the BBC (who had a very different view then from what they have now!) who stated that the Afghan government offered to try to find OBL (who was not their guest!) and even to let Americans have a look, if they would only refrain from bombing the country to hell! Dubya simply said “Nah, don’ wanna’, and started the bombing – after all there  was a f***ing pipeline to save for Cheney! I am so incredibly angry at the re-writing of history that you and others are doing. You can whine all you like about how you’re not really sure that Iraq was involved (how stupid is that, of course they weren’t!) but I simply don’t believe you give a **** about brown people in some other country…

        • rosy 21.2.2.1

          “you can whine all you like about how you’re not really sure that Iraq was involved ”

          I suggest reading my comment again

          I very much care about the brown people being bombed, shot, and starved into oblivion by organisations that think their ideology is more important than their people.

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    7 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
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    1 week ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
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    1 week ago
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    2 weeks ago