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Open mike 23/07/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 23rd, 2013 - 132 comments
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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…

132 comments on “Open mike 23/07/2013”

  1. just saying 1


    As a regular round here, I’m getting really sick and tired of Bryce Edwards misrepresenting this place. Bryce is an academic, and analysing the political blogoshere is supposed to be his bread and butter. And yet he continually presents us as a cardboard cut-out of his own creation, in support of his own political worldview. The antithesis of research. He obviously reads very little of this site, and yet feels he knows enough to endlessly repeat: the The Standard is ‘Labour Party aligned’. He hasn’t noticed that TS is the most fierce critic of the Labour Party in the entire blogosphere, and has been for the years now, that I’ve been reading it. And Party supporters make up a minority of both the authors collectively, and of the the regular commenters. It is no more Labour than it is Green, Te Mana, or (sadly) NZ first, marxist, anarchist or ‘other’.

    Another of the behaviours that intensely annoy me is his repeatedly misrepresenting TS in support of his hypothesis that within the broader left the ‘leftists’ are in conflict with supposedly much more right-wing, neoliberal “identity”-politics supporters. TS proves the opposite of his theory as the writers and commenters most concerned with ‘identity’ progression and vocal in its support, also tend to be more left wing than the average of their fellow authors or of their fellow commenters.

    How about you do a bit more than seek out confirmation of your pet theories, Bryce.?

    • JK 1.1

      I agree, Just Saying. When Bryce Edwards started out, his comments were interesting. But now he just copies what others are saying – there’s nothing new or perceptive in his comments, and he’s just become boorrrrrrring. Not worth reading.

    • Veutoviper 1.2

      Totally agree, just saying. My blood pressure rose rapidly when I saw Edwards’ latest article last night. referring to the TS as “Labour Party aligned”.

      I have also noticed over recent months that he regularly includes in his links a certain well read (NOT) blog by someone who no longer comments here – thank goodness. I refuse to name the person/blog but it is mentioned in the last sentence of the paragraph on the GCSB Bill in Edwards’ latest article.

    • Santi 1.3

      I agree. As a visitor I’d say The Standard is a Green Party blog, not Labour’s.
      Far more people here support Norman than Shearer.

      • felix 1.3.1

        But you’re not a visitor. You live here.

      • Te Reo Putake 1.3.2

        Santi, after being exposed as a liar and a thief yesterday, your observations on anything have no value at all. You’re a fraud.

        [lprent: I saw the discussion related to Santi and Bertram yesterday. However I didn’t see anything about “thief”. That looks like a pure flamewar starter. Not exactly the safest thing to do, so I’d suggest that you either point me in the right direction or desist – because it looks like going beyond the “robust debate” ]

        • Clockie

          According to Wikipedia Ben Johnson introduced the term “to describe as a plagiary someone guilty of literary theft.”

          Perhaps someone should ask Santi to prove their claim that “The words are all mine.”

          Given that Santi’s comment /open-mike-22072013/#comment-666261
          is word for word the same as Alwyn’s earlier comment on Kiwiblog.

          Seems to fit Ben Johnsons definition of literary theft to me.

    • Tim 1.4

      It seems to be what becomes of human nature in the new age. Some academics (and journalists) maintain the fire in their belly and are interested in actual research and reasoned critique.
      Jon Stevenson for example, plus several others in journalism and academia – often they don’t get a look in – they don’t fit the corporate academic or media model.

      Others, once they’ve nestled into their cuddly position and think they’ve become nice and secure – able to pay the weekly bills, frequent the Ponsonby cafe circuit once in a while, pay the daycare, the mortgage et al, and have ‘quality time’ with their young offspring, they just settle down into Muddle Classhood.

      You’ll notice its not just limited to academics. Its affected most of the mainstream media’s “journalists” – those bastions of the 4th Estate. Its COMFORTABLE for them and having that disrupted – well its just a hassle really!

      Those ‘political commentators’ as well.

      The best place to see them all on display is to watch The Nation, or Q+A once a week – or even listen to the nicest man on Earth everyday.
      One of the most noticeable in recent time as far as I can see is Greg Boyed. Once actually quite an enquiring and critical journalist when hosting the News bulletin that used to air on TVNZ7. Look at the transition to 7 Sharp. (There’s a cruel joke in there somewhere).

      Watch what happens though when there’s a surfeit of them, they’re knocking 40 or 50, and redundancy hits.

      The above is a very judgemental opinion – I know! No more so than what’s inflicted on us by the likes of Bryce daily though!

  2. karol 2

    Switched on to RNZ around 8am – royal news. Switched off. Just switched back on to RNZ – still royal baby news. Spare me!

    • AsleepWhileWalking 2.1

      Royalty watching isn’t my thing, but whenever I caught glimpses of the media pack surrounding the birthing suite all I could think was that poor lady!

    • bad12 2.2

      Another Right Royal Bludger for life is born to suck the life out of the British working people, that makes Him if my long departed Grandma was correct the great-great-great grandson of an Irish ‘pisspot emptier’, (chambermaid),and a long dead English King…

      • ABS 2.2.1

        Guess that makes you a Nazi supporting, despot loving, Taliban apologist. How many years have you spent in Afghanistan waiting for your head to be shot off again?

        • Murray Olsen

          What? I get the Nazi bit – you mean Pwince Hawwy in his Nazi uniform, but you’ve lost me with the rest.

    • Veutoviper 2.3

      While I am neutral on the birth of a royal baby, I have just heard on RNZ News that the birth will be marked by a 21 gun salute in Wellington at midday – just two hours away.

      This is the first I have heard of this as a possibility.

      Just what our frazzled nerves do not need at present is the boom of cannons – especially those Wellingtonians who have not heard about the salute.

      • GregJ 2.3.1

        Nah – Pretty standard procedure – 21 Gun Salute when Willliam was born – I would imagine most people would be aware of it or the possibility of it or soon realise what it is for (after all you can hardly miss the news).

      • chrissy 2.3.2


        It was actually part of the news! The guns banging away (to be fair only three times on the one I heard) Really!!!! Recorded gunfire is news? Lucky this baby was born today otherwise there would have been no news. Anything being passed under urgency while we have no news. Is Mangler Key going over to kiss the baby? Is he going to wear his pounamu suit. Hope the poor little sod(baby) doesn’t have Charlie’s ears.

    • Anne 2.4

      I have a terrible confession to make. It’s many years (too many to admit to here) since I was living in London and I came across a ‘live’ link outside St Mary’s hospital. I sat glued to it until 3am this morning because I loved watching the passing parade of disparate English folk in all their tasteless but fascinating regalia (or the lack of it) and their delightful accents. I finally gave it away and went to bed and the baby was born and I missed the most interesting bits.

  3. muzza 3


    What strikes me is the mention of $630k as the cost, is simply a joke number, why not $666!

    Either way, this is little more than another confirmation piece, of what has been going on!

  4. Johnny 4

    Labour are a complete mess. The party is in disarray. I have a good feeling it’s still being controlled by a certain bullyish leader in New York. So many left over hacks from the Clark Regime still with their nose in the trough. Labour are in for a huge loss next year. They are no longer a party that represents working party and this fantasy of a labour/green/mana/maori/nz first government is a complete joke. It would be the biggest disaster to ever hit NZ. Labour aligning itself with a racist extremist like Hone? Say goodnight Shearer ….

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      lolz, Clark has got a world to sort out, her former colleagues of 34 MPs are on their own.

    • Rosetinted 4.2

      Have you been reading detective fiction with ‘cherchez la femme’ as a theme? The old guard in Labour go right back to Rogered Douglas don’t they? Perhaps someone would like to put me right as to whether there are some still here that were around then.

  5. The HYPOCRITES Prime Minister John Key and (now) ‘Independent’ MP Peter Dunne, who are very quick to defend their privacy when they think it’s under attack, now want to legislate against the lawful rights of New Zealanders to privacy.


    Protests against the GCSB and TICs Bills have been organised around New Zealand for this Saturday 27 July 2013.


    In Auckland, this Thursday, 25 July at 7pm, at the Mt Albert War Memorial Hall, there will be a Public Meeting at which Kim DotCom (and others) will be speaking.


    Where are all the Libertarians and ACT members who supposedly are against ‘Nanny State’ and the lawful rights of citizens to freedom of expression and privacy?

    This proposed legislation is BIG BROTHER STATE – on steroids!

    Why is ACT MP for Epsom, (the DEFENDANT John Banks) supporting the GCSB Bill?

    Can he just please himself when it comes to voting in Parliament, or do ACT members no longer have clear policies and /or principles to which they hold accountable their elected representative?

    FYI – this is what I sent directly to Geneva, (for which I have received formal acknowledgment and thanks), as New Zealand’s human rights record is now under review, through the ‘Universal Periodic Review Process’ :

    “…. Also, our lawful rights to privacy and our human rights not to be subjected to arbitrary search and surveillance, are currently under attack.

    FYI, here is a video and transcript of my raising my concerns directly with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, at a hearing on 2 July 2013, of the Security and Intelligence Committee on proposed changes to the Government Security and Intelligence Bureau Act, which would effectively allow widespread spying on citizens of New Zealand.

    GCSB – Penny Bright vs John Key ”

    What is happening here is a DISGRACE people!

    What are YOU going to do about it ?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption /anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    • muzza 5.1

      Penny, the people have shown they will take anything given!

      The people have spoken, baa baa baa

    • fear all 5.2

      How is that 2 members of parliament can hold the country to ransom over a bill to install fascism in our country
      It appears no matter what lessons are taught by history it will surely repeat when arrogant fear mongering people run our country

      We dont need Keys govt but we do need our democracy
      What threat are we to the govt of this country or its security that this little fascist prick can do what he is doing to this country
      Fuckin kick your arse if I could

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Where are all the Libertarians and ACT members who supposedly are against ‘Nanny State’ and the lawful rights of citizens to freedom of expression and privacy?

      Most of them will be in support of the new surveillance state. It’s not for nought that I coined the term:
      Libertarians: Dictators hiding behind liberal values

      They’ll be supportive of anything that protects their privilege.

      • karol 5.3.1

        I have begun to think that (right wing) libertarians, are people who resent any authority telling THEM what to do, but want everyone else, usually those with least privilege, to be in a subservient position to them.

        And they do seem to consist of a lot of middle class white males (and a minority of females), who, ultimately support policies that maintain those old boy positions of privilege.

    • ABS 5.4

      Pay your rates. Or shut up. Preferably the latter.

      • muzza 5.4.1

        ABS, do the things Penny talks about make you uncomfortable?

        Are you in on the theivery?

        Perhaps you can tell us here, what you’re doing by way of active involvement!

      • Murray Olsen 5.4.2

        Cut your hedge. Put your rubbish out. Insulate your house. Chew all food 32 times. Or shut up.

      • felix 5.4.3

        “Pay your rates. Or shut up. Preferably the latter.”

        Oh ABS. I’ve often noted that people who get angry about Penny’s rates protest are really trying to silence her dissent.

        And there you go, admitting out loud that you care more about shutting her up than you do about her paying.

        Sort of QED I think.

    • Rob 5.5

      So Penny, as being a candidate for Mayor, what is your view on Auckland home owners not paying rates. Our rates bill has gone up 13% after revaluation?

  6. Could they lend us Kevin Rudd for a few weeks ? Or perhaps just Therese Rhein ?
    Key might then meet his Waterloo ..

    ALP would win Federal Election. ALP 52.5% cf. L-NP 47.5%


    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      I wonder if the boat people agreement with PNG is going to help or hurt Rudd. Silly question, it is Australia after all.

      • Murray Olsen 6.1.1

        It’s not that simple any more. In many ways, Australians have progressed while Kiwis have gone backwards. There have been reasonably large protests and a lot of adverse comment in the media. I am proud of many of my Australian friends.

  7. Agneya 7

    How do you know it will be a boy ?

  8. Molly 8

    Henry Giroux at Truthout The Violence of Organized Forgetting. Well worth the read.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      His real “crime” is that he demonstrated how knowledge can be used to empower people, to get them to think as critically engaged citizens rather than assume that knowledge and education are merely about the learning of skills – a reductive concept that substitutes training for education and reinforces the flight from reason and the goose-stepping reflexes of an authoritarian mindset.


      One thing I’ve maintained for a while now is that specialisation in learning for work has resulted in a loss of general knowledge and that loss is detrimental to our society as people no longer understand how different parts of society fit together. That lack of understanding then allows them to be more easily conned by the rich and powerful.

      • karol 8.1.1

        Ah, yes. Many working in education have long thought that. I recall a staff member’s retirement speech in a college where I worked in England. The guy was an ex-pat South African – with the then current Thatcher vocationalist changes in mind, he said that would produce excellent technicians without a wider understanding of their work context: workers who would be excellent at following orders without question. He said the 3rd Re1ch produced such excellent technicians for their death camps.

      • Molly 8.1.2

        Yes. With two teenagers in the house, education in it’s many guises is one that come up often for discussion.

        I value the internet for making available these articulate views.

    • Rogue Trooper 8.2

      Yes. Thanx

  9. karol 9

    Fantasy world of “neoliberal”/libertarian (?) digital corporations.

    I was just looking around to update the connections with Crosby Textor and Big Tobacco, in the light of further revelations about Crosby Textor’s influence on privatising UK Health Care.

    Found an article from earlier this year, from the Lancet, that also names lobbying firm Luther Pendragon as one working for Big Tobacco.

    Google seemed to think I was searching for Uther Pendragon, allegedly the father of King Arthur.

    This reminded me of “Palantir” (name taken from the fantasy world of Lord of the Rings), Peter Thiel’s company, which also operates in NZ. Then came across his new NZ-based venture, a iOS app that provides a virtual dream world that customers can explore – based on climbing Everest:

    The San Francisco-based startup’s revenue model is based around intent marketing, selling advertising tailored to the steps and goals users upload to the site. For instance if someone’s goal is to hike the Tongariro Crossing, tourism operators can suggest ways to get to National Park and camping stores can do deals on hiking gear.
    “We know what people want to do, that’s the most valuable data in the world … We want to ultimately provide people with great suggestions for the things they need to achieve their goals. We’re working on how to do this in a thoughtful way and make the purchase as seamless as possible,” says Pedraza.

    neoliberal dreamweavers? Everest – coming to a country near year, packaging your country, and selling it overseas for their profit.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Stick people in a misinformed escapist fantasy world while they continue to consolidate power and control over the real world.

      • karol 9.1.1

        Ack! Slip of the wrist and I lost a comment I’d typed on yesterday’s Open Mike porn filter thread.

        But, I could re-construct some of it here.

        I began agreeing with weka on the need to counter the damaging porn, especially when it is misogynistic and involves children.

        However, I am also wary of the way such filters can block LGBTI sites, and especially how it can block access for those that most need it. It can be used as a way of harrassing and suppressing those who are already relatively powerless.

        Earlier this morning I looked at the site for Palantir Technologies (the firm linked to providing the software for US surveillance agencies like the NSA and founded by Peter Thiel).

        One of the things Palantir aim to do is to provide technologies to combat “child exploitation”, which they link to “human trafficking”.

        In my post on the <a href='/the-long-reach-of-5-eyes-not-in-our-name/“Long reach of 5 Eyes” I wrote about how issues of human trafficking, domestic violence and child porn are being used as a point of access by the state agencies to surveillance of people’s computers.

        In the early 80s in London, a flatmate reckoned our phone was tapped as a result of her acting, at the time, in a Gay Sweatshop play. She said all people involved in Gay Sweatshop productions got their phones tapped, and that the signs were all there on our phone. Since then, I have been extremely wary about the uses of state surveillance on those who are already marginalised. And more evidence has come to light about how that happens: eg in the submissions to the GCSB Bill.

        Filtering porn sites, will not help to stop damaging porn and its industrialisation/corporatisiation by profiteers. It will merely result in the producers, promoters and users of such porn becoming more sophisticated.

        • Colonial Viper

          There is already discussion on the internet that Cameron’s war against internet porn will soon extend to things like: internet sites featuring terrorist and extremist Islamic ideology, and how-to self harm/suicide/euthanasia information.

          Clearly those things can be damaging to young people as well, and should be banned. From there, grounds would exist to limit access how-to information around the use and enjoyment of elicit drugs, etc. Definitely wouldn’t want young people to be learning about that stuff either.

          Since then, I have been extremely wary about the uses of state surveillance on those who are already marginalised. And more evidence has come to light about how that happens: eg in the submissions to the GCSB Bill.

          In general I think we need to be a lot more skeptical of government powers and intentions. One important thing to remember is that we are not guarding against how a David Lange, Helen Clark or Jim Bolger might have used these increased technological powers, but how a future Muldoon or Holland (or even worse) would.

          • McFlock

            To be fair, there is probably “discussion on the internet” to the effect that PRISM is a tool for aliens to control our minds.

            Basically, my objection to government internet filters is not so much the idea of the Great Firewall of China being implemented so nobody can report black helicopters, but more a combination of that and the fact that it doesn’t really work. So while the same old perversions will be going on online, mum and dad will happily think that they’ve blocked the nasty sites and be unaware that their teenage son has the latest TOR build because they let him surf the web and play computer games in his room with the door locked.

            And, like now, the child pornographers will be caught because someone paid by credit card, or the police got a warrant to search his server while he was detained for filming up skirts (so he couldn’t switch it off and let encryption and/or electromagnets do their job), or a distinctive tattoo was on file from previous charges, or because the teacher thought that the photoshop “swirl” function was as good as redaction, or because someone could get a shorter sentence by testifying about other people’s crimes.

            • Colonial Viper

              Well, the other angle on this is political of course, that Cameron is making a big noise about how he cares for the well being of kids, while impoverishing families by the many thousands per month.

            • muzza

              I enjoy how McFlocks fears always manage to pereate through his comments.

              Black helicopters, mind control, aliens etc!

              It’sout of your hands McFlock, and those who you and others here, deem to be beneath you, are already right, they always were, and they always will be!

              Well, right up until it’s made illegal, and the infomation/communication channels locked down and controlled, until everyone, is learning/repeating, only what they system wants you to!

              Get used to it bro, the conspiracy theorists, have been proven to be correct!

              Edit: See J90 link below about pine gap..was not many years ago, people blew the existence of pine gap off, as conspiracy!

              • McFlock

                I enjoy how you’re a fucking moron who doesn’t realise the difference between a “conspiracy theory” that rests more on evidence than supposition, and the bullshit you serve up on a daily basis.

                You are beneath me, that’s why, for example, I didn’t bother responding to any of your idiotic comments today.

                Although it’s quite obvious that you think you have an intellect vastly superior to everyone else here – how’s your personal, unreviewed, ethically-unexamined experiment on us going? Still the lead investigator for Project Onan?


                • muzza

                  You are beneath me, that’s why, for example, I didn’t bother responding to any of your idiotic comments today.

                  But you did, didn’t you!

                  Thanks, McFlock, I needed the giggle, truth always finds it’s way out.

                  Good to know you read the link I posted today, while showing restraint to not reply, most likely (I’d like to give you credit for) because you’re a man of humility!

                  I’m no better than anyone, I have explained this to you before, it’s just stages of the journey, and some are further along theirs than others, that’s all!

                  • McFlock

                    Yeah, I tend to respond to morons when their comments specifically about me have no bearing on reality.

                    As for being “no better then anyone” and following it up with that “further along” the journey drivel, what a load of shit. That’s just you pretending to be humble but not being able to stop your ego leaking all over the screen. You’re a delusional idiot, pure and simple, and frankly I’d prefer it if you kept me out of your fantasies.

                    • muzza

                      You’re free to believe what you like, McFlock, but it will continue to be exposed around you, as it has been, with increasing velocity!

        • Draco T Bastard

          I wrote about how issues of human trafficking, domestic violence and child porn are being used as a point of access by the state agencies to surveillance of people’s computers.

          A similar point made in this article as well.

          It was reported that Bridger had been watching violent porn only hours before he killed April, and anti-porn campaigners have seized on the chance to draw a causal link. It’s the latest development in a handy alliance between social conservatives, antiporn feminists and those who seek to restrict access to communications technology for more sinister reasons.

          Internet porn is also being targeted in the name of protecting young people. That child murder has not increased since online pornography became widely available does not matter, and nor does the fact that we already have strict laws against the possession of images of child abuse.

          I remember reading an article about co-option, where people who really do want to limit peoples freedom (decrease democracy) are using the language of the liberals to bring about an enhanced police state often with the support of the liberals who would normally oppose these things.

          • Colonial Viper

            frickin sheeple

          • muzza

            I remember reading an article about co-option, where people who really do want to limit peoples freedom (decrease democracy) are using the language of the liberals to bring about an enhanced police state often with the support of the liberals who would normally oppose these things.

            The controllers, long ago were able to master the mind of the masses, they are many steps ahead at all times, the techniques are transparent, but require a degree of awareness!

            The controllers simply identify, locate then manipulate the next point of access they require, then direct the journey to the desired outcome, using the tools they have, which is all of them!

            The challenge is for people to understand the danger they are in, however with the controllers of modern life having dulled the innate ability to sense danger, the challenge is going un-met!

            Will the challenge be met? No I believe that time was lost, many years ago!

        • weka

          “Filtering porn sites, will not help to stop damaging porn and its industrialisation/corporatisiation by profiteers.”

          True. The value in family filters is to protect children, not influence the porn industry.

          “It will merely result in the producers, promoters and users of such porn becoming more sophisticated.”

          Why? I imagine that most of the people that don’t turn the filter off aren’t porn users anyway. And those that are will get their internet porn somewhere else.

          I take your point about the effect on the GLBTI communities and people, although I’d still like to see some discussion about the technology (beyond superficial “there is no technical solution” and “all govts are all evil therefore its all bad”).

          • Draco T Bastard

            The value in family filters is to protect children,

            And it doesn’t do that either. Filters are, inevitably, quite easy to get around. That’s been true ever since they first came on the market last century.

            • weka

              I don’t know about that Draco. You are treating this as if everything is equal (eg all children have the same level of expertise). I’d be more interested to know the detail.

              • Draco T Bastard


                They’re on the bloody internet thus they don’t need the expertise – just the knowledge of how to find it and if they don’t have that then one of their friends will. Someone’s already mentioned the Tor Network. Children determined to see porn on the net will see porn on the net and, IMO, doing so won’t actually harm them if they’ve been well educated and supported about sex.

                The harm that children need protecting from is the harm that adults do to them and an internet filter won’t help there at all.

                • weka

                  “Children determined to see porn on the net will see porn on the net and, IMO, doing so won’t actually harm them if they’ve been well educated and supported about sex.”

                  Some children determined to see porn on the net will see porn on the net and, IMO, doing so won’t actually harm them if they’ve been well educated and supported about sex.


                  So you don’t think ten year olds watching rape porn has a negatie effect on them?

                  “Well educated and supported about sex” – good luck with mandating that then. If a parent personally has not seen violent porn, how could they educate their children to process what they are seeing in a healthy way (assuming they even knew their child was watching that kind of porn). I’m not convinced that you understand the issues around much porn defining heterosexual relationships in negative ways re women and the effects of that, so again, how could you support children in dealing with that?

                  I suspect there are large parts of the politics of this that you might be unaware of. If you are interested, there are some interesting discussions on feminist blogs about women who have partners that watch alot of porn and how that affects their sex lives, including the kinds of sex women are expected to have because their men are getting their ideas from internet porn in particular about what women should do. The social implications here are serious IMO, as we have generations of young men in particular being influenced (alongside many other influences obviously).

                  • weka

                    “Some children determined to see porn on the net will see porn on the net and, IMO, doing so won’t actually harm them if they’ve been well educated and supported about sex.”

                    What percentage of kids will use tech to bypass family filters?

                    Again, I think you are treating things as if they are all the same. If kids really want to smoke cigarettes then making it illegal won’t stop them. But it does reduce the number of kids smoking. Which is good.

                    Of course if you think that smoking isn’t bad for kids, then it’s easy to argue against restrictions.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    “Well educated and supported about sex” – good luck with mandating that then.

                    So, you think it’s better for us adults to continue to fail our children and that all that needs to be done is for the government to put in filters that don’t actually work?

                    IMO, I think we, as a society, should just become more open about sex and teach children to ask first.

          • wtl

            Here is a simple way to look at the ‘feasibility of the technology’:

            Is there a way in which we, as humans, could define pornography and ensure that there is universal agreement as to what is porn and what is not porn?*

            If there answer to do question is no, then it can’t be done. Even if we had actual people reviewing every site on the internet and defining at is porn or not porn, there would still be disagreement on the filtering process. Of course, in practice, the filtering will be done by computer, which will make filtering even worse, as the computer can only look for patterns in the material and there will inevitably be false positives and false negatives.

            * It isn’t as simple as one might think. What about nude art? Mills & Boon books?

            • Murray Olsen

              The Australian ex-Minister of Broadcasting wanted to ban pictures of small adult breasts, because he thought they encouraged paedophilia. Good Labor man, that one.

            • weka

              Porn/not porn isn’t the issue. The issues are whether different kinds of porn have negative effects on individuals or society that outweigh the rights to freedom of producers and consumers of porn. It’s not about morality, nor prudery, it’s about safety, the rights of children to be free from harm, and the rights of women to challenge misogyny.

              “Of course, in practice, the filtering will be done by computer, which will make filtering even worse, as the computer can only look for patterns in the material and there will inevitably be false positives and false negatives.”

              So? I have to put up with that crap from google every time I search for anything

              • wtl

                Porn/not porn isn’t the issue.

                How can it NOT be the issue? I thought this discussion was about whether filtering porn was feasible or not. Surely we need to be able to define what porn is before we can filter it?

              • wtl

                So? I have to put up with that crap from google every time I search for anything

                The false positives might be LGBTI sites, or pages describing how to practice safe sex, or STIs. Children will not have access these pages and be more exposed to harm, rather than less. You are far too eager to dismiss this issue for someone who claims to care about protecting children from harm.

                • weka

                  I suppose I wasn’t really thinking about 8yr olds needing to access websites on safe sex or STDs.

                  It’s not so much that I dismiss the issue, as I dismiss when people say things like “we can’t tell porn from not porn therefore we shouldn’t bother”, or “we can’t build useful filters therefore we shouldn’t bother”. Present some alterate solutions if you want me to take your point seriously.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Considering all the factors which are most damaging to childrens mental and physical health, where does porn rate again?

                    How many households in poverty or reliant on the benefit even have broadband? Good ol PM Cameron, he knows how to target the constituency of nervous middle class parents worried what their kids are looking up in their bedrooms on their new MacBook Air.

                    • weka

                      “Considering all the factors which are most damaging to childrens mental and physical health, where does porn rate again?”

                      That’s a good question (assuming it wasn’t rhetorical). I’d put it in the context of how much damage is being done to children and society by the sexualising of children and childhood.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’d put it in the context of how much damage is being done to children and society by the sexualising of children and childhood.

                      In terms of sexualisation in society, Cameron has already made it clear that P3 girls are still welcome at the dairy next to the school

                    • weka

                      “In terms of sexualisation in society, Cameron has already made it clear that P3 girls are still welcome at the dairy next to the school”

                      Not sure what your point is there CV. You think more porn is ok because some porn already exists?

                      Surely you can see that not all porn is the same.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m thinking if the real issue is sexualisation in society, Cameron’s just given you a nice big irrelevant distraction to run after.

                    • weka

                      I really don’t give a shit about what Cameron thinks, and was more interested yesterday in what others were saying in the UK about this issue. I’m not running afer Cameron’s idiocy, I’m taking the opportunity to discuss issues that liberal people should have come to terms with a long time ago.

                    • muzza

                      <blockquoteIn terms of sexualisation in society, Cameron has already made it clear that P3 girls are still welcome at the dairy next to the school

                      Well spotted, CV – Distraction, it most certainly is!

                      With a helping of known outcome, thrown in!

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m not running afer Cameron’s idiocy, I’m taking the opportunity to discuss issues that liberal people should have come to terms with a long time ago.

                      Yes, liberal people should have come to terms with government censorship and restrictions on the internet a long time ago.

                    • weka

                      “Yes, liberal people should have come to terms with government censorship and restrictions on the internet a long time ago”


                    • Colonial Viper

                      ahhhh, hilarious, “liberal progressives” who are actually just waiting for state authoritarianism to do its good in the world.

                  • wtl

                    It’s not so much that I dismiss the issue, as I dismiss when people say things like “we can’t tell porn from not porn therefore we shouldn’t bother”

                    But you aren’t even trying to engage on this issue. You just keep repeating slogans about protecting children from harm or women from misogyny. Anyone who disagrees with you is ‘dismissing’ the issue.

                    My point was that we cannot agree on what is porn or not porn. Some ultra-conservatives might suggests that all nudity should be filtered, as well as sites giving safe sex advice to teenagers or those dealing with LGBTI issues, as these are morally wrong. More liberal people might say that material dealing with nudity is okay but not hardcore material. In any case, government-imposed filtering provides the opportunity for one group to dictate what material is appropriate or not, and this opens the door for certain groups in society to push their moral views onto others.

                    I suppose I wasn’t really thinking about 8yr olds needing to access websites on safe sex or STDs.

                    I never said that 8 year olds would need access to these sites. The term ‘children’ in this case would apply to all those under 18, and therefore include teenagers as well. It seems to me that you are deliberately misconstruing the meaning of my comment.

                    • weka

                      “My point was that we cannot agree on what is porn or not porn. Some ultra-conservatives might suggests that all nudity should be filtered, as well as sites giving safe sex advice to teenagers or those dealing with LGBTI issues, as these are morally wrong. More liberal people might say that material dealing with nudity is okay but not hardcore material. In any case, government-imposed filtering provides the opportunity for one group to dictate what material is appropriate or not, and this opens the door for certain groups in society to push their moral views onto others.”

                      We already make decisions that some groups in society don’t like. Think abortion. Or the age of sexual consent.

                      As I said, this isn’t a moral issue (not in the way you mean). The fear that moral groups in the future will gain power and impose conditions on others exists irrespective of this issue.

                      “I never said that 8 year olds would need access to these sites. The term ‘children’ in this case would apply to all those under 18, and therefore include teenagers as well. It seems to me that you are deliberately misconstruing the meaning of my comment.”

                      No, I was letting you know what I was thinking about when I talk about child protection. By the time someone’s of the age that their peer group is sexually active, issues of safety are different. I think this is where it is more complex, and where it overlaps with the issues of misogyny and how porn often portrays relationships between women and men.

                      I’ll just say it again. I’m not dismissive of the issues being raised (the difficulty of creating useful filters, govt surveillance). I’d just like to see those issues discussed by people who also care about how the porn industry affects society. I’m not sure that conversation is happening here. What I am hearing is that there really isn’t that much wrong with porn, and the stuff that is wrong, we either can’t do anything about it or it’s a separate issue. That’s not good enough.

                      I’m also largely unconvinced by the blanket argument that the internet can’t be controlled. It’s controlled all the time. The debate should be about who controls what and when. Talk details and I’ll be more sympathetic.

                    • wtl

                      The issue of the effects of porn on society is a complex one, and I don’t think it is necessarily bad. For example, I am quite sure that I have seen some evidence that access to porn reduces sexual violence, with the one explanation for this being that the use of porn helps people to fulfil their fantasies or urges in a safe manner.

                      One thing I am quite sure of though, is that going around and telling men that porn is bad because it is misogynistic or portrays male-female relationships poorly is not going achieve a lot, mainly because men are not really thinking about the images portrayed in that much detail (even if it is true). A better approach to reduce or alter porn use might be to point out that porn (and sex in general) is actually being used to manipulate men into buying (or doing) something by taking advantage of a strong biological urge inherent in many men.

                    • weka

                      wtl, if you go back and read all my posts on this topic today and yesterday, you will see that I don’t treat porn as one thing. So nowhere have I made a blanket statement that porn is bad because xxx. I’m talking about specific kinds of porn, and who accesses them. You might want to have a think about why you are assuming that I think porn in general is somehow bad, because that idea isn’t coming from me.

                      “A better approach to reduce or alter porn use might be to point out that porn (and sex in general) is actually being used to manipulate men into buying (or doing) something by taking advantage of a strong biological urge inherent in many men.”

                      By all means, try that approach for yourself. Please don’t tell me how to approach porn as a political issue until you understand where I am actually coming from.

                      “The issue of the effects of porn on society is a complex one, and I don’t think it is necessarily bad. For example, I am quite sure that I have seen some evidence that access to porn reduces sexual violence, with the one explanation for this being that the use of porn helps people to fulfil their fantasies or urges in a safe manner.”

                      Please stop treating porn as one thing and all the same. Please go and educate yourself on the connections between different kinds of porn and violence and how women get affected (I also think some kinds of porn are bad for men too). Then come back with some credible citations for what you just claimed.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Mills & Boon books?

              At one point I was using a dictionary and the definition of porn and erotica were exactly the same. Given the present dictionary definition of pornography perhaps we should just start calling it erotica.


    • yeshe 9.2

      oops .. this seems to have slipped out of place in the answers …

      Hi Karol .. did you see the several weekend Guardian/Observer links I posted on Lynton Crosby, The Lizard of Oz, on Open Mic just a couple of days ago ..

      And one of those links reported Luther Pendragon resigned from the tobacco PR which thusly cleared the way for Lynton Crosby and his $10 million contract. .. October 2012 I think it was ?

      (So tempted to sign off as Morgana, but resisting I am !)

      Again for you:

      Here the several links :

      “David Cameron urged to probe claim that aide had £6m tobacco deal — Lynton Crosby comes under renewed fire over Philip Morris links as row over cigarette packaging rages on” July 20


      “David Cameron under attack over fracking firm links to Lynton Crosby” July 19


      “Lynton Crosby: David Cameron’s Lizard of Oz” ( love it !) July 20


      And in future, perhaps we all offer him this marvelous name, Crosby, Lizard of Oz !

      • karol 9.2.1

        Thanks yeshe. Useful links.

        • yeshe

          Hopefully one day you will write to expose how it affects us here … so many factors now combining including the Crosby destruction of the NHS .. alcohol, tobacco, fracking, health depts .. all here, same same with Key et al following his scripts.

          Thx Karol.

  10. Tim 13

    @ Morissey (where ever you are)
    The nicest man on Earth was just talking about X Fekta (?)
    …. Domnuk Beardin (?)
    It was really deep and meaningful stuff, and what we ALL need to know!

    …. but, but but you know what?
    He used the labels “legubrious” and “ephemera”

    Legubrious Ephemera – NOTHING like the nicest, most artikyalit man on Earth’s “show” though.

    It was memorable – I’ll treasure it, I’ll remember it for life!

    Now there’s some guy called Nick singing the descant

  11. gobsmacked 14

    Has the tide turned? Can David Shearer ride the waves to victory?

    His people are not sure …


  12. gobsmacked 15

    He’s not leaving a sinking ship, he’s just in the mood for a swim …


    • Olwyn 15.1

      I have done much crystal ball gazing and entrail reading about the Labour Party lately. Today I got thinking about the change that happened to the Listener a few years ago, when it was decided that is should lose its left wing bias and cater to “the middle.”

      Who still reads it? A few loyalists who appreciate Jane Clifton and Diana Witchel, a few people for whom it remains a habit, a few incidental people who are captured by a headline at the checkout. The shiny people ate whom it is aimed do not read it, being more inclined to flick through Vogue or Cuisine. However, it has enough turnover to keep paying Pamela Stirling, and it is no longer a vehicle for the left.

      This I think is the plan for the Labour Party under Shearer, with dissenters getting shuffled to the back benches or advised to leave. So what if it never rises above 30%. If the plan works it will still generate enough votes to pay a leader and a few shadow ministers, but most importantly, it will cease to be a vehicle for the left. It will be the political equivalent of the Listener.

      • weka 15.1.1

        Very good Olwyn!

        As an aside, I grew up with the Listener, and bought it pretty much every week of my adult life until about five years ago. The only think I really missed were the TV pages and the cryptic crossword. Since I no longer have a TV and the internet is a better source of info on TV shows, it doesn’t matter. Occasionally I see the Listener in a dairy and am tempted to buy one, but then I look at the cover and it invariably has me grimacing before I’ve even opened the front page. My parents and siblings still read it, it suits their white, liberal middle class sensibilities well (they don’t seem to have noticed the slide to the centre, or maybe they don’t care).

        I do read Toby Manhire online sometimes.

        btw, I think the Listener started to go down hill when Gorden Campbell left.

        • vto

          I think it went uphill when Finlay MacDonald left. He was obsessed with the “middle class”, whatever that is…

      • Tinshed 15.1.2

        Olwyn – I have to say this is one of the most perceptive comments I have seen on this blog. Something needs to change, I don’t know what it is, but I fear that the Labour Party is doomed to getting only a third of the vote, unless something dramatic changes. I don’t know what that change might be. But, as you point out, Labour is doomed to irrelevance and/or niche market unless something changes. And I don’t mean a leadership change. Once upon a time Labour stood for something, and now, I don’t know what that is any more. I am an ageing baby-boomer who cut his political teeth at the Princes Street branch. My children, who would have joined the Labour Party as I did all those years ago, see no relevance in Labour at all. They don’t read the Listener either.

        • Olwyn

          Thanks Tinshed, I agree that something needs to change. We desperately need a solid opposition right now, and for the next generation to find reason to engage politically.

          • Tinshed

            My two children – or adults as they really are – see the Greens as the only real alternative. The Labour Party simply doesn’t connect with them – it has no relevance to their view of the world and its issues. To some extent me too. I grew up on notions of Socialism and Social Democracy. Reading the New Left Review was the part of what we did to stay in touch. But, sad to say, I really can not connect with the current parliamentary Labour party. I feel guilty to feel that very few of them seem worthy of the heritage of the party they now represent. Perhaps as this is my problem, but it concerns me deeply that less than 1/3 of the country now support the party of Savage, Fraser, Nordmeyer, Kirk, or Clark who were such titans of 20th century New Zealand. They all made such a difference. This lot, not all. Nothing.

      • Rosetinted 15.1.3

        Olwyn That’s a good comparison. That I can relate to.

  13. hush minx 16

    Newsroom reporting Fran Mold is Shearer’s new CoS: “newsroom.co.nz understands there has been disquiet in Labour ranks about poor political management in the leader’s office…A former NZ Herald and TVNZ reporter Mold was originally employed by former leader Phil Goff and played a key role behind the scenes in the 2011 election campaign.”
    And we know how well that went!

    • George D 16.1

      The loss of Cameron is more concerning. A very smart guy, very talented. I won’t speculate on the dynamics that led to this departure – since I have absolutely no idea, but it’s disappointing all the same.

      • Alanz 16.1.1

        And again, the saying comes to mind:

        You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

  14. yeshe 17

    From NASA — Earth from Saturn photographed by Cassini spacecraft two days ago … so beautiful !

    How tiny and fragile we are ..


    click on wallpaper for larger image

  15. George D 18

    The state of the polls, via Danyl McLaughlan and Peter Green.


    • karol 18.1

      “temporarily unavailable” – yep – matches up with my view of the value of political polls.

  16. yeshe 19


    NYT reporting how Goldman Sachs turns aluminum into billions in profits by warehousing and hoarding world stocks forcing prices up …. legally, but what criminals they are.

    and it seems copper is next on the list …

    “Over the past three years, Goldman has raised the price of aluminium by buying a huge warehouse and intentionally slowing down service so they could charge higher storing fees. These fees, handed down to consumers, have netted Goldman Sachs over $5 billion. And there’s nothing illegal about it.”

    and this in NYT in same investigation report:

    In 2011, for instance, an internal Goldman memo suggested that speculation by investors accounted for about a third of the price of a barrel of oil. A commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the federal regulator, subsequently used that estimate to calculate that speculation added about $10 per fill-up for the average American driver. Other experts have put the total, combined cost at $200 billion a year.

    • muzza 19.2

      Its how all commodities are manipulated!

      Done with psychical hoarding/wars, as well as virtual, via futures markets etc!

      Imagine what else humanity is being kept away from, if everything else is uses as a weapon!

      • Te Reo Putake 19.2.1

        Wow! Where can I get one of these psychical hoarding/wars, Captain Onan? Spiffy!

        • muzza

          Physical hoarding (of commodities), and hoarding of commodities via war – See how the oil wars in Iraq, for example have not lead to greater supply or cheaper fuel, in fact the opposite has happened, as was the intended result.

          It why the worlds supplies are being so aggressively hunted down, not for money, for control!

          Wars are manufactured for many reasons, resource control, is at the top of the list. Resource control can come in the form of so called commodities, or resource control by population control.

          All wards are banker wars, and all commodities are controlled by very specific interests, with not only the financial prices which the end consumer does see, but in the technology, which the end consumer will never see!

  17. vto 20

    Something for Wellington and Marlborough, for being stalwarts in the face of adversity. For taking arms against a sea of continent and by opposing get tossed around. For holding on. For thinking, my god, what have I done.. ?

  18. North 21

    For Fuck’s Sake….. breathlessly, on TV3 Late News (probably the same at 6.00 pm)……..the Royal Hairdresser has been seen “entering” the hospital. Cut and colour for wee bubby maybe ?

    Yes…..I know…….Kate and Wills and bub are gonna be on the balcony soon.

    Meantime here in NZ there are kids whose fucking hair is falling out with scabies, affliction of the poor, because the poor little buggers at 2 and 3 years of age scratch it out.

    I know it’s churlish not excitedly to join in the rejoicing for people who’ve had a kid who’ll be driven home in a Bentley with police outriders.

    You know……..as a human being I’m genuinely happy for them, but really……..

  19. Rosetinted 22

    Welcome to the new royal boy.

    There was a lovely photo of Julia Gillard with knitting needles aloft before she was replaced with ruddy Kevin. – Former prime minister Julia Gillard was photographed knitting a kangaroo for the royal baby in Women’s Weekly. Photograph: Women’s Weekly

    The baby which was once destined to get a kangaroo personally knitted by a sitting prime minister will now receive an arguably less sentimental gift from its subjects in Australia – a zoo research project funded in his name.

    As the world celebrated the birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son by lighting up iconic landmarks in blue and even sending the couple condoms, Kevin Rudd announced a bilby research project at Taronga Zoo would be given $10,000 in funding in the name of the future monarch as a gift.

    NB Bilby desert dwelling marsupial omnivore

  20. Draco T Bastard 23

    They Finally Tested The ‘Prisoner’s Dilemma’ On Actual Prisoners

    As for the difference between student and prisoner behaviour, you’d expect that a prison population might be more jaded and distrustful, and therefore more likely to defect.
    The results went exactly the other way for the simultaneous game, only 37% of students cooperate. Inmates cooperated 56% of the time.

    Oh, look at that, economists were wrong – yet again.

    • Murray Olsen 23.1

      Two things don’t surprise me here. The first is that economists are wrong. The second is that prisoners were less selfish than students. Prisoners, and crims in general, have a common enemy in authority, and learn early on that a lot is at stake if they cooperate with that enemy. Students are getting more and more indoctrinated into the selfish sociopathic rubbish that comes with neoliberalism.

      It’d be interesting to give this test to politicians from all our main parties. My guess is that Mana and Greens would cooperate, some in Labour would, and NAct would be chomping at the bit to inform on each other. You wouldn’t even need to run it with Dunne.

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    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    6 days ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    6 days ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    1 week ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    1 week ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public health, externality, and vaccination
    Paternalism is contentious. Arguments for state action to protect us from ourselves are fraught. I come down pretty heavily on the anti-paternalism side of the argument, but I’ve heard respectable defences of paternalism. But policy around vaccination is hardly paternalistic. There’s a clear market failure that could be pointed to ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Happy Halloween
    Its Halloween, so its time for annual pumpkin trepanning and chocolate eating ritual. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s novel Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, considered as one of the very earliest science fiction stories. In brief, Monsieur Aronnax and a couple of sidekicks are taken prisoner by Captain Nemo and his mysterious crew and treated to an underwater voyage around the world ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago

  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    4 hours ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    5 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    5 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    6 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Two years of progress
    This week, we’re taking action on climate change, expanding trades education – and celebrating two years of progress! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs to visit the Republic of Korea and Japan
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week. “The Republic of Korea and Japan are two of New Zealand’s closest partners in the region with whom we share common values and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to lead Bougainville Referendum Regional Police Support Mission
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters has announced today that New Zealand is leading a police support mission in Bougainville as the region prepares to vote in a non-binding referendum on its political future. “New Zealand has accepted an invitation ...
    3 weeks ago
  • We’re taking action on climate change
    “I refuse to accept the challenge of climate change is too hard to solve.” – Jacinda Ardern ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones annoyed at “elevated sense of entitlement from a lot of immigrant leaders”
    New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is defending Immigration New Zealand (INZ) after it instructed officials to stop granting visas as an exception to instructions. He has also lashed out at immigrant leaders upset with the tightening of the rules, saying they had an “elevated sense of entitlement”. Members of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand public likely to vote on euthanasia bill thanks to NZ First
    A change to the End of Life Choice Bill was passed in Parliament, meaning if politicians decide to vote for the law it must be approved by the public first. A binding referendum was a condition insisted on by New Zealand First, and Jenny Marcroft’s supplementary order paper (SOP) successfully ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Tairāwhiti Workforce development projects get $1.6m PGF boost
    Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), through its skills and employment programme, Te Ara Mahi, is investing a further $1.6m into Tairāwhiti’s workforce development, said Parliamentary Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. “This PGF funding follows on from significant PGF investment earlier this ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    52 mins ago
  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
    The recently crowned Bird of the Year, the hoiho/yellow eyed penguin, is getting a much needed helping hand alongside more than 168 other community conservation projects announced Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage today. 168 community conservation projects throughout New Zealand are benefiting from $8 million in government grants, including $500,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New safety measures for modified pistols
    Controls on assault rifles and semi-automatic firearms are to be broadened to include some types of pistols, under changes to a bill currently making its way through Parliament. Police Minister Stuart Nash has tabled a Supplementary Order Paper to the Arms Legislation Bill, which is currently before a Select Committee ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit Singapore and Thailand
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark will travel to Singapore today to conduct a counterpart visit and to co-chair the third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting with his counterpart, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen. “Singapore is one of our most important defence partners in the region, and our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Resource management reform options released
    The panel undertaking a comprehensive review of the Resource Management Act has identified the main issues to be addressed and options for reform and is calling for feedback to inform its final report.  In July the Government announced the comprehensive review of the resource management system, including the RMA - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission established
    An important safety valve has been added to New Zealand’s criminal justice system with the third reading of the Criminal Cases Review Commission Bill today. The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) will investigate claimed miscarriages of justice. “We’ve seen how our justice system can very occasionally get things spectacularly wrong, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Racing Industry destined to be on-track
    Racing Minister Winston Peters welcomes the tabling of the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) 2019 Annual Report in Parliament today. He says the 2019 Annual Report marks the point when New Zealand’s racing industry’s decline was arrested and a turnaround started. RITA’s 2019 Annual Report recorded an industry net profit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New Zealand firefighter support to Queensland
    The New Zealand Government is today sending 21 firefighters to help fight the ongoing catastrophic Australian bushfires. “The fires in Australia are in some of the toughest, most challenging conditions ever,” says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin.  “As of yesterday morning, there were 100 active bushfire-related incidents across Queensland and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Supporting all schools to succeed
      More frontline support for schools through a new education agency, as part of a redesigned Ministry of Education More support for principals and school boards including through a new centre of leadership and local leadership advisor roles New independent disputes panels for parents and students Management of school property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Reform to support better outcomes for Māori learners and whānau
    The Government’s reform of the Tomorrow’s Schools system is a watershed moment in education and an opportunity to create meaningful change for ākonga Māori and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis said today. “Last year through Kōrero Mātauranga | Education Conversation, Māori teachers, parents, ākonga, whānau, hapū and iwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Infrastructure pipeline growing
    Infrastructure Minister is welcoming the first of many updated project pipelines from the newly established New Zealand Infrastructure Commission today. The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission, Te Waihanga, has released an expanded pipeline of major capital projects – another crucial step towards delivering better infrastructure outcomes. “The first iteration of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tighter firearms law to further improve safety
    Tougher gun laws designed to improve public safety through firearms prohibition orders are proposed in a new document released for public input. Police Minister Stuart Nash says firearms prohibition orders (FPOs) would give new powers to Police to ensure high-risk individuals come nowhere near firearms. “We have already prohibited the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New TVNZ chair & directors confirmed
    Andy Coupe has been confirmed as TVNZ’s new Board Chair. “Mr Coupe has strong commercial and capital markets experience and TVNZ has benefited from his technical knowledge of business and finance, as well as his extensive governance experience,” the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Kris Faafoi said.  Andy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Hutt Road cycle path officially opened
    Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter today officially opened a separated pathway, following the completion of the Kaiwharawhara Stream bridge, which will improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along Hutt Road.  The $6.8m Hutt Road project provides a separated path for cycling and pedestrians, the replacement of informal parking ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Announcement of new Ambassador to Russia
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of career diplomat Si’alei van Toor as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “I’m pleased to appoint Ms van Toor to this position. She brings a wealth of experience to the role having previously served as Senior Trade Adviser to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update
    The Treasury’s 2019 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) will be released on Wednesday December 11, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Coalition Government will publish the 2020 Budget Policy Statement at the same time, outlining the priorities for Budget 2020. Further details on arrangements for the release will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Giving a Boost to Kiwi small businesses
    A new initiative to better support small businesses through hands-on mentoring and advice has been launched by the Minister for Small Business. The first event in the Kiwi Business Boost series of regional workshops and online tools has been launched in Wairoa by Stuart Nash. “The Business Boost initiative combines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Nearly three quarters of Rolleston connected to UFB
    The latest Quarterly Connectivity Report shows that more and more New Zealanders are moving to Ultra-fast Broadband (UFB), with Rolleston having the highest uptake at 74 per cent, as at the end of September. “This means that nearly three quarters of Rolleston’s households and businesses have moved to ultra-fast services. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Historic day for landmark climate change legislation in New Zealand
    The passing of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill will help ensure a safe planet for our kids and grandkids, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said today. The landmark legislation which provides a framework to support New Zealanders to prepare for, and adapt to, the effects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Release of Oranga Tamariki Practice Review
    The review of Oranga Tamariki practice around the planned uplift of a Hastings baby in May shows significant failings by the Ministry and that the planned and funded changes to shift from a child crisis service to a proper care and protection service need to be accelerated, Children’s Minister Tracey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister wishes students success in exams
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