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Open Mike 23/12/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 23rd, 2017 - 98 comments
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98 comments on “Open Mike 23/12/2017 ”

  1. Stunned mullet 1

    Beautiful piece by Steve Braunias in the herald this morning.

    • ScottGN 1.1

      He’s got 2 pieces today.
      The Secret Diary of Christmas and a rather wonderful ping pong rematch with the PM.

        • ScottGN 1.1.1.1

          So that’s 3 today. Is he the only one left working for the herald?
          And, yes, that is a, typically lovely piece.

        • funstigator 1.1.1.2

          Yep, nice article. Today is the first day of my precious 2 1/2 weeks with daughters. They live with their mum at the other end of North Island and seeing them walk off the plane yesterday afternoon I had a double take – suddenly at 11 & 13 they are no longer just my little girls but increasingly confident young ladies. One begins her “middle year” of a fantastic integrated school, the youngest having just finished primary will join her. Both doing well socially and academically. We’ll go camping for 2 weeks at a place that I almost grew up – 50 years ago my first visit. Their grandparents & family friends will be there, as will the babies of the children I remember climbing their first trees. The girls will “hold the bag” as their Grandfather & I attempt to catch some crays the old Maori way, we’ll teach them perhaps how to catch them too, as my father did for me in the same place. I’m looking forward to a wonderful, happy & peaceful break after a big year, and even though I think that most on this site are wrong-headed and quite nasty I’ll wish the same for them.

    • Sanctuary 1.2

      The “beaming assassin”. LOL

  2. Sanctuary 2

    I was talking to a friend of my in Washington DC yesterday. her health insurance is now $1600 A MONTH.

    She is young, fit and very healthy and she pays almost 20k a year for health insurance.

    Crazy bad.

    • Rosemary McDonald 2.1

      Looking for something else…I found this….

      • Stunned mullet 2.1.1

        Great video Rosemary, really interesting perspective from a couple of plain speaking yanks. Must check out their other vids.

        • Rosemary McDonald 2.1.1.1

          The thing is…and I’m mindful that for these Yanks the concept of a Publicly Funded Health and Disability System is foreign…the video presents a picture that for an increasing number of New Zealanders doesn’t actually exist.

  3. phantom snowflake 3

    I recently came across a job vacancy that I found quite chilling:

    Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) Coordinator – Mental Health for Older People (Ward 6C) Dunedin Hospital. (22 Hours per week)
    https://www.southerndhb.govt.nz/careers/view-vacancy/?job_id=8203

    I’m thinking to myself: 22 hours per week represents a hell of a lot of ECT sessions for a group of elderly, vulnerable hospitalized people. I took a look at the “Office of the Director Of Mental Health Annual Report 2016”
    https://www.health.govt.nz/system/files/documents/publications/office-of-the-director-of-mental-health-annual-report-2016v4_0.pdf
    Statistics related to ECT administration for 2016 are covered on pages 59-65.
    What stands out most is the massively greater number of females (156) than males (95) given ECT, and also that the 70-74 age group contains the highest number (33) of people receiving ECT of any age group. Raises a lot of questions for me…
    [It’s not my purpose (at this time) to critique ECT; however I note ongoing claims from some of the psychiatric establishment that ECT is “lifesaving”. I can’t see how that claim can be anything more than mere speculation, and I’m being charitable here.]

    • weka 3.1

      From memory, Dunedin historically has had a significantly higher rate of ECT usage than the rest of the country. If that is still going on, that’s fucked up.

      I’m really ok with critiquing ECT, there are major issues with its use in the past as a tool of oppression, and I’m not convinced we are passed that yet. Haven’t looked at this issue for some time but much of my criticism would be that the medical model used by psychiatry and society is why so many people end up in a situation where ECT is being considered. Plus, as you mention, the gender and age disparities.

      • phantom snowflake 3.1.1

        Have found an interesting, if rather long, feminist critique of ECT:
        Electroshock as a Form of Violence Against Women
        https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/602d/2a60d4eaf167a1941d0f158bb4fc67281f7e.pdf

        There is no question that women can find themselves in severe emotional distress and in need of help. And there is no question that most practitioners who administer ECT are more or less convinced that they are helping, for they are fashioned by the psychiatric profession and its norms. Nonetheless, as this article demonstrated, electroshock is a part of the repertoire of the patriarchy; and it functions as a fundamental patriarchal assault on women’s brains, bodies, and spirits. It is an assault that has much in common with traditional battery. It is traumatizing, even traumatizing “patients” who only witness it. It controls women and, indeed, is used to control women. It combines with other forms of violence against women. It is a special threat to women who are severely violated. And is used to silence women. As such, its very use is a feminist issue.

    • JanM 3.2

      Gosh, I thought that legalised torture went out with the ark!!! 🙁

    • phantom snowflake 3.3

      Another really scary statistic: Of the 251 people who were given ECT in New Zealand last year; 102 did not give consent. That number is made up of 92 who supposedly “did not have the capacity to consent” plus 10 who “had capacity and refused consent.”

  4. Devastating climate change could lead to 1m migrants a year entering EU by 2100

    Climate change will drive a huge increase in the number of migrants seeking asylum in Europe if current trends continue, according to a new study.

    Which is something that I’ve been saying for years. As place become inhospitable due to increasing temperatures then people will leave. Fairly obvious when you think about it.

    They concentrated the study on Europe but similar pressures will come to bear on other countries such as NZ.

    Solomon Hsiang, professor at Berkeley, University of California, and author of a previous study linking conflict and climate change, who was not involved with the current research, said the world must prepare. “We will need to build new institutions and systems to manage this steady flow of asylum-seekers. As we have seen from recent experience in Europe, there are tremendous costs, both for refugees and their hosts, when we are caught flat-footed.”

    Being prepared for the increase in refugees and immigration is something that we haven’t been doing either. Especially considering that NZ’s food production will be decreasing as the world warms.

  5. adam 5

    What the hell is up with this russian stuff. It’s getting odd. no wait, this is getting downright silly.

    It’s now attacking Jill Stein.

    .

  6. joe90 6

    Mass executions and the imprisonment of millions in an empire of forced labour camps should be celebrated because patriots.
    //

    We stand for organized terror – this should be frankly admitted. Terror is an absolute necessity during times of revolution. Our aim is to fight against the enemies of the Soviet Government and of the new order of life. We judge quickly. In most cases only a day passes between the apprehension of the criminal and his sentence. When confronted with evidence criminals in almost every case confess; and what argument can have greater weight than a criminal’s own confession?

    Felix Dzerzhinsky

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared the infamous Soviet Cheka secret police “integral” to the country’s history and stated that those who served in the ranks of the Kremlin’s security forces were patriots.

    http://www.newsweek.com/soviet-secret-police-was-full-true-patriots-says-vladimir-putin-754991

      • joe90 6.1.1

        Twenty million dead Russians but hey, let’s play whataboutism.

        /

        • Ed 6.1.1.1

          How many native Americans were there in 1776?

          • joe90 6.1.1.1.1

            Someone’s celebrating the perpetrators?.

            • Ed 6.1.1.1.1.1

              No…it just seems you bash the Russians all the time and forget that the Americans record is hardly flash.

              You’re highly defensive.
              Or as Adam puts it, ‘precious.’

              • Stuart Munro

                Meh.

                You’re letting your anti-Americanism create false positive characteristics for Russia.

                And, you don’t have the excuse the old left had, of belief in Soviet adherence to a value system that would theoretically create a better world.

                Measure the yanks by yank failings, and the Russians by Russian failings.

                Neither has a damned thing to boast of.

                • stunned mullet

                  To be fair, despite their many failings both Russia and the US have much to boast of, their rich histories and many scientific achievements being just some of them.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Which must be weighed against oppressive nationalist enterprises like Molotov/Ribbentrop, the Soviet genocides, the killing of half the Chechen population, the Citrus War, the mufti use of Russian regular forces in the Ukraine, the failure to implement the rule of law, cheating in elections and the murder of journalists and opposition politicians.

                    In the US the long history of invading third world nations and massacres there, political interference in South American countries like the imposition of Chicago school economics in Chile that wrecked that country as thoroughly as Rogergnomics wrecked NZ, failure to resolve race and law and order and corruption issues, and subverting important international institutions like the UN and World Bank to prevent them from performing the functions for which they were established every time some crooked American industrialist can make a bent penny out of it.

                • Ed

                  I’m not.
                  Russia has a terrible history and anyone in the west would know of it.
                  I just get bored of hearing how amazing America is. We don’t hear about the genocides it performed.

              • No…it just seems you bash the Russians all the time and forget that the Americans record is hardly flash.

                Yeah, because, like, who can recall any comment ever by Joe90 pointing out ugly shit Trump comes out with, right? /sarc

                • Ed

                  I acknowledge he mocks Trump incessantly.
                  But American ideals?

                • Andre

                  Why narrow it down to comments about the Dork from New York? There’s been plenty of joe90 commentary about other things that are fucked up about the US. Starting from well before the terracotta turdface splattering onto the scene, IIRC.

                  • Trump just seemed the obvious US alternative to Putin in this instance. But yeah, as usual, the extent to which Ed doesn’t know what he’s talking about is easily underestimated.

                    • adam

                      So one stinking capitalist pig dog, (putin) is fighting with another capitalist pig dog, (trump) and were supposed to pick sides? Is that the agenda?

                    • Well, you tell me. Seems like anyone who points out what a shit Putin is attracts rebuttals by left-wing authoritarians I can only assume are deeply confused (given that Putin’s a right-wing authoritarian). If those commenters haven’t picked a side, what’s the alternative explanation?

                    • adam

                      You do know I agreed with joe90, he the one who made an ass of himself and me, with his very wide of the mark assumption.

                      As the overwhelming majority of my arguments revolver around the state being the enemy, I find it odd you can’t comprehend my question.

                    • I saw that you claimed you were agreeing with him, yeah. What he and I both saw was something different: Joe90 posts about a current world leader praising the enforcers of a reign of terror arguably worse than the Nazis, and you respond with a comment that the US government kills people too. Hence the response re “whataboutism.” If Angela Merkel were quacking on about the heroic patriotism of the Gestapo and the Algemeine SS you’d probably have less trouble figuring out why “Yeah, but America…” responses would annoy people.

                    • adam

                      Funny as I posted this first

                      I have friends in Russian prisons, and I spoken about that on a regular basis.

                      I see no difference between the USA and Russia, both are capitalist scum bags. Both use hard and soft power to control their citizenry, and both play the empire game badly.

                      I would have thought on a site which supports worker rights or socialism in some form. A critique of both Russia and the USA was valid.

                      Sheesh a critique of marxism-leninism is always welcome, wouldn’t you say?

                      Are not debates meant to evolve, and take on a life of their own. But no, let’s shut down any debate by the latest newspeak buzzword. Last week “fake news” this week…

                    • adam

                      P.S.

                      This video which puts it on the line, but it’s Russian. So maybe you won’t watch.

                    • Ed

                      The usual smears, abuse and insults from Milt.

        • adam 6.1.1.2

          I said, did you miss it,

          “States are nasty things.”

          I did not counter what you said, but supported it. Being precious much.

    • Bill 6.2

      I reckon the old Stalinist regime outdoes the USA in terms of any mass execution of its own citizerny by factors containing a fair string of zeros. But the rate of imprisonment? And prison labour?

      Throw in those plea bargains where innocent people are routinely ‘taking the hit’ because they are shit scared of what the US (so-called) justice system will land them with if it turns up a guilty verdict, and yeah…the results aren’t so different to what Dzerzhinsky’s quote describes.

      And patriots? I don’t anyone need say anything about popular, mis-guided and dangerous patriotism where the US is concerned.

  7. Ed 7

    Hope srylands is feeling calmer today.

    • SPC 7.1

      A suggestible lad, I recommend you try to avoid triggering him with topics involving the term middle finger.

  8. Ant 8

    Trivial trivia:

    “Visibly moved, the President…..”
    If it was not “visible” how would the journo have known he was moved?

    Even stranger (on a bottle of contact lens cleaner) “…. this solution is visibly tinted.”
    Mischievously I asked the chemist “if it was invisibly tinted would it be tinted?” She said “I guess not.”

    “That time is his personal best.” Surely if its “his” its personal?

    “Mrs Jones has given birth to a new baby.” Would be a shocker if she gave birth to an old one.

  9. SPC 9

    The new tech bubble burst back in 1999.

    The crypto-currency craze will go the same way. They either prove themselves, or they will wither on the vine – they are pretending to be useful information record technology (various), usable currency and stores of value.

    I am reminded of the 1985-86 doubling in our local bubble share market before the collapse. Then a dead cat bounce back to the 1986 high in 1987. Then another collapse – recovery here only came with the 2002 global monetary expansion and post GFC QE.

    Back in the day bitcoin was 30 cents, then rose to $30, then collapsed to $3. This is the course of every upward expansion massive gains and massive corrections.

    But because of growing publicity there are more “takers”, so the pyramid scheme continues and the continuing upward rise (more takers) gives the whole scam credibility – till there is market saturation (cue 1929 shoe-shine boy as investor story). At peak value the whole thing just exposes itself as another new tech bubble albeit hidden behind a crypto-currency front.

    What its actual new tech value will be one factor then (like gold blockchain and other information storage tech it has its uses). But even that will be confused by posing it as an alternative store of value/currency to gold (worth a little over $1000 per ounce and it fluctuations are related to monetary expansion, inflation levels and concerns about the reliability of money in banks).

  10. joe90 10

    Accidental, of course.
    /

    Trump has changed the "challenge coin":—The presidential seal is replaced by an eagle bearing Trump’s signature—The 13 arrows representing the original states are gone—The national motto, “E pluribus unum,” is replaced with “Make America Great Again”https://t.co/MeckemSi5W— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) December 22, 2017

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DRsTIv7VQAAiNNo.jpg

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DRsTIv9VAAAeY3C.jpg

    The eagle is also looking the other way. Like this. pic.twitter.com/7JOP88IYl4— L-science based evidence-Z (@LZ181818) December 23, 2017

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DRsTrjcUEAAJRka.jpg

  11. Morrissey 11

    Drummer of mediocre pop band thinks he’s an intellectual.
    “You’re incredible!” sighs the Fox bimbette.

    This insufferable blowhard says he speaks four languages. Don’t know about his Hebrew and his German, but in very bad Japanese, he tells the woman in this panel of admiring dopes: “You’re beautiful.”

    • Barfly 11.1

      Yeah but he does have a really long tongue

    • James 11.2

      Well he plays bass not drums and is the lead singer of KISS.

      They are in the rock and roll hall of flame.

      Given that you call him a drummer of a mediocre pop band just shows you ignorance.

      Given he’s Israeli- I’m guessimg he knows Hebrew from German – so I’m guessing you are wrong there as well.

      Compared with you – I guess he’s an intellectual giant.

      • fender 11.2.1

        Paul Stanley is actually the lead singer of Kiss, that overrated band with the creepy bass player Gene Simmons who brags about having had sex with thousands of woman. Simmons is an ego-maniac who just recently attempted to trademark a hand gesture he claimed he invented despite the fact people were using it long before he ever did.

        Simmons is also a Trump supporter.

        • James 11.2.1.1

          They both have lead vocals – buy gene is listed as lead vocals along with Paul – it’s not a one or other. He certainly isn’t the drummer tho ‘

          Also after fans but 75 million records what makes them overrated?

          • fender 11.2.1.1.1

            Listening to their music will illustrate how overrated they are. Wearing the cartoon character makeup is about all they have contributed to music.

        • James 11.2.1.2

          So what that he a trump supporter- millions are.

          • fender 11.2.1.2.1

            Well I hope all those millions aren’t misogynistic blowhards like those two.

            • James 11.2.1.2.1.1

              Some will be. Some not. Just like the supporters of any political party.

            • BM 11.2.1.2.1.2

              Even if they are, It helps balance out all those simpering browbeaten eunuchs that are so prevalent on the other side.

              • fender

                Having a decent society doesn’t require a pack of assholes to create some kind of imaginary balance.

              • Barfly

                Wow BM that’s sick…even from you

                • BM

                  Struck I nerve did I?
                  Truth is though Left-wing men do tend to be complete and utter pusses.

                  • fender

                    Maybe you could walk around Hamilton wearing a sandwich board declaring your reckons that left voting men are what you say they are. Do the experiment and then see if a nurse could post the results here on your behalf.

                    Your mate Slater sure showed everyone how tough he was.

      • Psycho Milt 11.2.2

        Well he plays bass not drums and is the lead singer of KISS.

        We’re talking Morrissey levels of accuracy here, so “drummer of mediocre pop band” is about as good as you could expect.

      • Morrissey 11.2.3

        Given that you call him a drummer of a mediocre pop band just shows you ignorance.

        Kiss had less musical credibility than the Bay City Rollers.

        Given he’s Israeli- I’m guessimg he knows Hebrew from German – so I’m guessing you are wrong there as well.

        Well, judging from his hopeless grasp of Japanese, I doubt he speaks German very well either.

        Compared with you – I guess he’s an intellectual giant.

        That statement is about as convincing as Simmons’ claim to have shtupped five thousand shiksas.

        • James 11.2.3.1

          for A guy who doesn’t know that the guy at the front singing and playing a guitar isn’t the drummer for will forgive me for thinking you know less than nothing.

          • Ed 11.2.3.1.1

            Kiss were a really really bad band. And Simmons likes Trump.

            • James 11.2.3.1.1.1

              75 million record sales say you are wrong. (Yet again)

              Induction into the rock and roll hall of fame say you are wrong (yet again)

              Your just not good at this game are you.

              • fender

                They were only inducted out of sympathy for their 14 previous unsuccessful nominations.

                There are many shit products that have become commercially successful, doesn’t mean they’re any good.

                • James

                  You seem to suffer the lefties self righteous view of the world that just because you don’t like something that millions of other people are wrong.

                  • Ed

                    This isn’t a political issue.
                    It’s a matter of musical taste.

                  • fender

                    But I never said people who liked Kiss were wrong to do so did I Dr. James.

                    Let’s just say your music tastes match your taste in political party’s: Lots of bullshit and bluster with very little substance.

              • Ed

                Popular and good is not necessarily the same.
                The Spice Girls sold a lot of records.

                • Pat

                  All that needs to be remembered about Kiss (and probably all that will be) is that once the makeup came off nobody listened to them any more….their popularity (bubblegummers) was in the marketing ,never the music.

          • Morrissey 11.2.3.1.2

            Simmons’ reputation rested entirely on that long tongue of his. He might have been pretending to play the piano for all anyone cared.

            Certainly not one Kiss “fan” actually cared for their “music”, which everyone acknowledged was nothing more than crap.

  12. Morrissey 12

    “What says ‘peace and democracy’ more than
    being shot dead from a helicopter by a prince?”

    One way of shutting up awkward comedians is to send them off on a tour of Afghanistan and/or Iraq. They then feel obligated to say nothing but nice things about the Army. So instead of criticizing the aggression against Iraq as he had in 2003, Lewis Black became a fervent advocate of U.S. troops after being paid to go over there and “entertain” them. David Letterman and Al Franken were similarly muzzled after their trips to Iraq.

    Similarly, the New Zealand comedian Mike King was willingly inveigled into becoming a part of the New Zealand government’s propaganda machinery, travelling to Afghanistan to “entertain the troops” and making a propaganda doco called Postcard from Afghanistan (“I’m just HOPING there’ll be no dramas of the TALIBAN kind!”)

    http://www.throng.co.nz/2012/07/postcard-from-afghanistan-with-mike-king/

    Not all comedians can be bought, however. Like there are some honest politicians, and some honest journalists, there are still some honest comedians too. One of the best of them is Glasgow’s brilliant Frankie Boyle….

    [From the beginning]…We had the Queen’s 91st birthday a couple of months ago. …. Why do they call the Queen “Her Majesty”? Is she majestic? Really? I think of an eagle as being majestic, not a shuffling old woman who hasn’t cracked a fucking smile since Diana died.

    …..

    [From 4:41]…. Prince William and Prince Harry have been fronting a campaign urging people to talk more about their mental health. They’ve been very well received, everybody thinks that this is a great idea. I wonder if Prince Harry ever spares a thought for the mental health of the families of the various shepherds that he gunned down from his twenty million pound death helicopter in Afghanistan. I wonder how he justifies that to himself. “I pictured Dodi’s face on every shepherd I killed! Every Arab we shot serves my mother in Hell! I know that Afghans aren’t Arabs, but I, Prince Harry in this joke, believe that they are!” That’s Britain, man, exporting peace and democracy to the world, and what says “peace and democracy” more than being shot dead from a helicopter by a prince?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TecCuUhLHk

  13. Sabine 13

    Jakarta, slowly but surely drowning in the sea.

    Quote:
    But global warming turned out not to be the only culprit behind the historic floods that overran Rasdiono’s bodega and much of the rest of Jakarta in 2007. The problem, it turned out, was that the city itself is sinking.

    In fact, Jakarta is sinking faster than any other big city on the planet, faster, even, than climate change is causing the sea to rise – so surreally fast that rivers sometimes flow upstream, ordinary rains regularly swamp neighbourhoods and buildings slowly disappear underground, swallowed by the earth.

    The main cause: Jakartans are digging illegal wells, drip by drip draining the underground aquifers on which the city rests – like deflating a giant cushion underneath it. About 40 per cent of Jakarta now lies below sea level.

    Coastal districts, like Muara Baru, near the Blessed Bodega, have sunk as much as 14 feet in recent years.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/jakarta-is-sinking-so-fast-it-could-end-up-underwater

    At some stage we really have to ask how long we can continue to fool us to the forthcoming realities of loosing human habitat to a changed environment.
    Might have to watch Waterworld again 🙂 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waterworld

  14. eco maori 14

    It is so hilarious watching these people try there stupid plays on me I read 99% of them they were trying there best tricks today. When I’m driving I just keep a gard up and ignore them it’s comical. Many thanks to my te puna for the sense to see there dum ass moves. What I also find comical is what bullshit they have come up with to carry on this farcical man hunt it should be
    A big warning to everyone that one can be a good person and cross swords with the wrong person and you have the most of the police force trying to intimatedate you and run a smear campaign oppress you WTF. I say if the police are like this in New Zealand then most of the police around the world will be the same. Ana to kai

  15. joe90 15

    Mike “thuper therum” Cernovich thought an AMA was a good idea.

    Hilarity ensued.

    I’m Mike Cernovich – Journalist, Author, and Filmmaker. Ask Me Anything from IAmA

  16. joe90 16

    Finnish study reckons 100% renewable 2050 is achievable and cheaper.

    Or we could burn the joint down.

    Transitioning the world to 100 percent renewable electricity isn’t just some environmentalist pipe dream—it’s “feasible at every hour throughout the year” and is more cost-effective than the current system, which largely relies on fossil fuels and nuclear energy, a new study claims.

    The research, compiled by Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the Berlin-based nonprofit Energy Watch Group (EWG), was presented Wednesday at the Global Renewable Energy Solutions Showcase, a stand-alone event coinciding with the COP 23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany.

    https://www.ecowatch.com/100-renewable-energy-by-2050-2519335518.html

  17. Macro 17

    Finally Mueller meets Trump!

  18. joe90 18

    Austria’s far right Freedom Party gets to helm foreign, interior and defence ministries.

    But Heinz-Christian Strache isn’t a nazi, now.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-austria-politics-ministries/austrian-far-right-to-control-foreign-interior-ministries-spokesman-idUSKBN1EA0EG

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