Open mike 23/10/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 23rd, 2015 - 122 comments
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122 comments on “Open mike 23/10/2015”

    • David H 1.1

      And Bennett responds with a. ” Look over there Filthy HNZ tenants turning down houses, why? Because the birds sing too loudly”

      Fark she is a nasty piece of work, the worst kind of Politician. The pull the ladder up behind me type.

    • whateva next? 1.2

      Mentioned yesterday, the NON- story deputy Leader, King v Ardern got traction in MSM purely to distract from Key’s flacid flagpole, what will they conjure up next? Be prepared, it will be even more ridiculous….I can’t wait

      • Anne 1.2.1

        … what will they conjure up next?

        They already have. Their most noxious female minister, Paula Bennett is on the benny bashing trail again. This time it’s state house tenants. That should be good C/T fodder for the Tory media. Let’s give the bludgers a miserable Xmas… it’s all they deserve.

        God, what a truly vile woman.

        • whateva next? 1.2.1.1

          I hear people saying they won’t vote National (any more) because of her, so let’s hope she keeps it up. She is all that is National, in fact all those dreadful female National Ministers are from the same “mould”!

  1. Paul 2

    Declining water quality and increasing emissions.
    We have too many cows.

    ‘But there has been a decline in water quality and a 42 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2013.
    It also found damage to land from more intensive dairy farming was a significant problem.
    Prime Minister John Key said farmers needed to continue to work on reducing their environmental footprint.
    “They are doing that – you are seeing them fencing off all of their waterways and by 2017 that will be compulsory, you are seeing dramatic changes in the way they treat effluent playing out so there is clearly more work to be done.”‘

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/287638/environment-report-depressing-opposition

    • Paul 2.1

      New Zealand – beholden to Climate deniers since the 1990s.

      http://www.nzonscreen.com/title/hot-air-2014

      • Paul 2.1.1

        We must gear rid of capitalism if we want to solve cliamte change.
        Naomi Klein.

        • Paul 2.1.1.1

          Naomi Klein at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas

          • Tautoko Mangō Mata 2.1.1.1.1

            “It’s just incredible to me. I’ve never seen anything like this before.”

            That’s what Jessica Blunden, a climate scientist with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), told the New York Times in an interview following the agency’s release on Wednesday of new figures showing that last month was the hottest September since records began and offered further confirmation that 2015 will ultimately be the hottest year experienced in modern human history.”
            http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/10/22/never-seen-anything-2015-set-be-hottest-year-record

            Article shows graphs of monthly temperatures of last few years
            shows list of Billion dollar weather disasters around the world for this year SO FAR.

        • ianmac 2.1.1.2

          Thanks Paul. Watched all of the first three. Like all big big problems it is not only hard to get our heads around but even harder to figure out what we little unimportant people can do about it. Government will not act on long term solutions because it would upset the business of market forces.
          Deforestation. Dairying. Fossil fuels. Ugh!

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.2.1

            Government will not act on long term solutions because it would upset the business of market forces.

            It’s not that it would upset market forces but that a few people wouldn’t be able to get rich from doing the same thing that they’ve always done. They’d have to actually spend money on developing the industry.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      The problem with Cowspiracy is that it misrepresents the positions of multiple organisations.

      • weka 2.2.1

        The more I hear about this film the worse its reputation gets. It’s also apparently plays fast and loose with the facts on many levels.

        edit, just seen that that Greenpeace article is written by a long term vegan. Heh.

        • Rosie 2.2.1.1

          Didn’t yourself and Philip Ure have a real humdinger of an argument over this doco? I think thats where I remember the name from……..

          • weka 2.2.1.1.1

            Indeed Rosie, although it was more a case of me making an argument and phil posting a series of ad hominems 😉

            • Rosie 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Yes, I remember his style well…………………..

              I also remember being put off watching Cowspiracy. Bit of a silly name too

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.2

          It’s a pity because the points that it raises about livestock being a major problem is a serious concern and we need to address it but telling lies and misrepresenting other peoples actual position detracts from that message. It leaves people asking Well, if they lied about that then what else did they lie about? rather than them taking on the message and working to produce solutions.

          • weka 2.2.1.2.1

            Yep. And it’s a real shame to see the promotion it’s getting by people who are unwilling to look at the film critically. This is the problem with starting from a place of dogmatic ideology, it skews one’s ability to assess things.

  2. Tautoko Mangō Mata 3

    1. “TPP sets time limit on corporate suits against states”
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact limits the period for foreign companies to file damages lawsuits against host states over sudden regulatory changes to 3½ years, it was learned Wednesday.

    The limit, included in a TPP provision on investor-state dispute settlement, is designed to prevent abuse of litigation by multinational businesses.

    The provision also states that member governments will not be forced to change regulations even if they lose lawsuits from foreign businesses.”

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/10/22/business/tpp-sets-time-limit-corporate-suits-foreign-states/#.Vikjln4rLDd

    *The last sentence means that countries can retain their sovereignty- but they might have to pay dearly for it!

    2. Connolly To Press WH For Early 2016 TPP Vote; Fears GOP Defections
    Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said Wednesday (Oct. 21) that he plans to drive home the message to the Obama administration that it must bring a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) implementing bill to a congressional vote within the first two or three months of 2016 or risk delaying the vote until the lame-duck session after the November elections. http://insidetrade.com/

    • Tracey 3.1

      Sorry, no time to read your links at this stage, who leaked it do you think?

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 3.1.1

        The political tradeoffs have been done and the text has now been sent to Tokyo to undergo the ‘legal scrubbing’ process. I guess the Japan Times were given the info.

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata 3.1.1.1

          TPPA . “As we expected there are very few trade benefits, while the deal gives corporates and foreign investors a lot of power to run roughshod over our democracy.”

          But it hasn’t been signed, and the fight continues!
          14 November is another Nationwide Day of Action against the TPPA!”
          Kerikeri – 2:30pm at Kerikeri Library
          Auckland – 1:00pm at Myers Park
          Hamilton – 1:00pm by Cock and Bull Te Rapa
          Tauranga – 11:00am at Red Square
          Rotorua – 1:00pm, location TBC
          Gisborne – 1:00pm, location TBC
          Palmerston North – 1:00pm, location TBC
          Wellington – 1pm at Midland Park
          Christchurch – 1pm, location TBC
          More locations to come
          http://itsourfuture.org.nz/campaigns/its-not-over-14-november-nationwide-day-of-action/

          • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1.1.1

            “…while the deal gives corporates and foreign investors a lot of power to run roughshod over our democracy.”

            and widens the door for increased corporate and foreign investor dominance of government funded contracts.

            And why not?

            According to Auntie “kick the ladder” Paula, these are “a “double A rated, Government guaranteed investment product”

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11533295

            Contracts loaded and locked, then sue our collective arses when they fail and we try, through democracy, to put them right.

            Housing. Health Care. Disability Care. Child Protection. Early Childhood Education. Work Testing. Mental Health. ACC. Prisons.

            There’s a recurring theme here….

            Thanks TMM for the list of protest dates, times, locations.

    • RedBaronCV 3.2

      So if you pass stuff that comes into effect in 3 and 3/4 years they can’t sue as they have had sufficent notice?

      • Tracey 3.2.1

        3.5 years is a long time for a company though. They can get proceedings issued in hours. I wonder what the definition of “sudden” is going to be?

    • ianmac 3.3

      “The provision also states that member governments will not be forced to change regulations even if they lose lawsuits from foreign businesses.”
      Yes. Devil in the detail.

  3. A good read for the blog’s resident Assad/Putin enthusiasts: Four Syrian hospitals bombed since Russian air strikes began, doctors say.

    Take-home message: Russians much better at getting away with war crimes than Americans.

    Mind you, the Syrian “government” is no slouch:

    Physicians for Human Rights said it had documented 313 attacks on medical facilities and the deaths of 679 medical personnel in Syria since protests against the regime of Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011 until the end of August 2015. “Syrian government forces have been responsible for more than 90% of these attacks,” the organisation said.

    • Tracey 4.1

      “Russians much better at getting away with war crimes than Americans.”

      History suggest that they both are pretty adept at getting away with them. It’s all a fucking mess. And still the innocent keep dying.

    • northshoredoc 4.2

      @PM

      What a complete shambles, very depressing we can only imagine how bad it must be for those living there while we continuing to bleat about our lot back in NZ.

      • Tracey 4.2.1

        Is that the measure we set for ourselves Doc? As long as we are not Syria or India we should shut up and question nothing? I know how lucky I am to be here in NZ Doc, but I also know a number for whom each day is a struggle in NZ.

        • Rosie 4.2.1.1

          Nothing more irritating than the old “you should be more grateful, at least you’re not living in India/Syria/Afghanistan/ add-any-impoverished- war-torn country- here”.

          A stock standard line for the RWer. Not only does it insult the citizens of that country named, it suggests a person is incapable of standing up to attempt to get their own needs met AND have compassion for others who are suffering in different circumstances from themselves.

          A classic example of dichotomous thinking. The logic behind this kind of thinking is “I struggle week to week, I am depressed and unwell and can’t get help but I should just STFU because there are people in other countries worse off than me.”

          Northshore Doc: It’s possible for a person to consider both their own needs, their country’s needs and the needs of others in other countries while understanding that they differ greatly and all suffering is relative.

          Suffering isn’t a contest.

          • Karen 4.2.1.1.1

            +1 Rosie
            I shall use your “suffering isn’t a contest” next time I hear someone bleating on about how it is so much worse in other countries. Those of us who are concerned about the poor and disadvantaged in NZ are also the ones who are concerned about injustice and poverty elsewhere in the world.

          • northshoredoc 4.2.1.1.2

            I think the word I’m looking for in response to you is diddums Rosie.

            Or perhaps 🙄 will suffice.

            • Rosie 4.2.1.1.2.1

              Um. What?

              There’s no need to be nasty and I don’t know what you are saying “diddums” too. I don’t know what part of my comment would provoke a “diddums”. Can you please explain?

              You know, sometimes, for someone in the health profession you have some strange ideas about compassion. I hope you don’t tell your patients who are unwell, and struggling to cope with their financial situations “don’t worry, it could be worse, you could be a Syrian refugee”.

              • northshoredoc

                No I usually tell them something like…

                ‘Don’t worry things could be worse you could be a dreary moaner who spends their life on political blogs.”

                • Karen

                  Are there any moderators out there?

                  This is beyond offensive.

                  Kia kaha Rosie. You are one of the few “must read” contributors on the Standard for me.

                  [lprent: For me as well. However Dr Mengele is actually keeping within the policy bounds for OpenMike. His comment(s) express his opinion even if they are pointed abuse. ]

                  • gangnam style

                    spot on rosie, thank you.

                    • Yep good comment Rosie

                    • weka

                      I appreciated it too Rosie, well done.

                    • Rosie

                      Thanks for your comments folks.

                      It’s quite funny, doc’s last comment. I think he spends more time on TS than I do. I don’t know when he spend time with his patients.

                      (Glad I don’t have someone like him for a Doctor. We both went into a mini period of mourning after last years election defeat, during a consult. He knows what harm this govt has done. He see’s it in his surgery)

        • northshoredoc 4.2.1.2

          Tracey I don’t know why you felt the need to put words in my mouth that I didn’t say ?

          “I know how lucky I am to be here in NZ Doc, but I also know a number for whom each day is a struggle in NZ.”

          Me too …your point ?

    • Grindlebottom 4.3

      Take-home message: Russians much better at getting away with war crimes than Americans. Mind you, the Syrian “government” is no slouch:

      Very good point. I’ve seen a few reports on tv and in online news articles that Russia and/or Syrian forces have bombed hospitals of late. But they don’t get anything like the days of tv and newspaper reports of follow up interviews, demands for explanations & apologies, calls for independent investigations that the US airforce’s attack on Kunduz did. Curious really, you’d think the Western press would be all over these situations.

      It’s still a situation where Russia and Assad have the initiative and are controlling events there though. The West still has a problem determining how much support they can safely give the “moderate” opposition fighters, because there really aren’t too many “moderates” there from what I can see

      Although all the analysts I’ve read say that win or lose Assad has no future, the sad reality is nobody yet has been able to describe any realistic form of stable unitary government that might succeed him. And ISIS has firmly embedded itself into the communities of the areas it controls. Driving them out must necessarily involve yet more masses of refugees and civilian casualties.

      • Pasupial 4.3.1

        Assad’s Regime and Putin’s Russia don’t much pretend to be better than they are. Evil bastards doing evil things in the pursuit of power doesn’t have far to go as a story. However, with the hypocrisy of the US claiming to be all for; democracy and human rights, then bombing hospitals and weddings, that story just has more legs for a journalist.

        [edit] Also the rendition of US captives to Assad’s Syria last decade for the purposes of torture just adds to the hypocrisy.

        • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.1

          France, UK, USA, Russia have been running military flights and airstrikes into and out of Syria.

          Only one of those countries asked for permission from the Syrian Government – Russia.

          The others just decided to invade the airspace of another country…because they could.

      • Colonial Viper 4.3.2

        Very good point. I’ve seen a few reports on tv and in online news articles that Russia and/or Syrian forces have bombed hospitals of late. But they don’t get anything like the days of tv and newspaper reports of follow up interviews, demands for explanations & apologies, calls for independent investigations that the US airforce’s attack on Kunduz did.

        Firstly, Russia has declared that it will not airstrike civilian targets like mosques and hospitals, *even if they are being used as military bases or staging points by Islamists*.

        Secondly, the reason that western media has not been “all over” the reports of such attacks is that most of them won’t stand up to scrutiny.

        Thirdly, the United States and its allies have funded and equipped a destructive, multi-year proxy war against Assad, completely against international norms and international law.

        The West still has a problem determining how much support they can safely give the “moderate” opposition fighters, because there really aren’t too many “moderates” there from what I can see

        Well the US has changed its strategy from “training and equipping” fighters in Syria to simply equipping them – via blind parachute drops of munitions and hoping they don’t fall into the wrong hands. Ridiculous.

        • Grindlebottom 4.3.2.1

          Firstly, Russia has declared that it will not airstrike civilian targets like mosques and hospitals, *even if they are being used as military bases or staging points by Islamists*.

          Secondly, the reason that western media has not been “all over” the reports of such attacks is that most of them won’t stand up to scrutiny.Hard to say

          I’m no fan of the US military or its commanders. But I don’t see any reason to believe the Russians aren’t hitting hospitals in the face of reports they have hit hospitals. Physicians for Human Rights doesn’t seem to be the sort of organisation likely to just be making it up:
          http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/press/press-releases/russian-warplanes-strike-medical-facilities-in-syria.html

          And even if the Russians are not deliberately targeting hospitals, you can bet Assad’s forces would have no qualms about doing so.

          • Colonial Viper 4.3.2.1.1

            I don’t trust PHR’s statement on this.

            For starters: how exactly does a small volunteer group of medics can tell whether it was an American, French, UK or Russian airstrike which hit a hospital. Especially as Russian planes are staying above 5000m altitude during missions in order to avoid MANPAD fire from infantry.

            Secondly this statement from their press release:

            “Bashar al-Assad’s forces have been relentlessly attacking Syria’s health care system for the past four years and the Russian government is now following in their footsteps,” said Widney Brown, PHR’s director of programs. –

            These are weasel words. Assad and his father *built* Syria’s public health system. The US and its allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar have been fuelling a massive war against Assad.

            By the way I have no doubt that Assad’s forces have shelled medical facilities previously – just as I have no doubt that the Islamists have done so. After all, entire towns in Syria have been levelled to roughly 1m high.

            • Grindlebottom 4.3.2.1.1.1

              Assad doesn’t have any fighter-bombers. The only bombs his forces have been able to drop have been barrel bombs, dropped from helicopters. If bombs are hitting these hospitals, they’ve come from bombers. And at times when the Russians have confirmed they were conducting air operations in those locations.

              • Colonial Viper

                So describe to me again how medical doctor volunteers for PHR managed to conclusively decide – and then definitively state- that the airstrikes were Russian, but not US, French, or UK?

                Or is it just as you say – the Russians have started bombing, so these bombs must have been Russian?

                To cut to the chase – PHR might very well be an NGO funded by the US Gov. I have not seen any other group corroborate their claims about multiple hospitals being hit by Russian forces.

                • Grindlebottom

                  This article explains how the people being bombed know that it’s Russian SU-35 fighters doing the bombing. One doctor (now resident in Germany) suggests maybe the Russians aren’t deliberately bombing hospitals but are bombing based on information from the Syrian army.
                  http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2015/10/05/russians-blamed-for-attack-on-syrian-hospital.html

                  How do they know the strikes were not by US, French or UK aircraft? Because they’re hitting areas where and when the Western coalition’s aircraft are not operating. How do we know they’re not operating there? Because the Russians would be telling everybody if they were.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The Russians only operate a few SU-35s in Syria; the bulk of their attack force are much older SU-24 and Su-25s.

                    How do we know they’re not operating there? Because the Russians would be telling everybody if they were.

                    ?

                    I’m surprised that you think you know what info the Russians would release about US airstrikes and what they wouldn’t, but OK.

                    By the way the Russians have brought high tech surveillance and recon gear to Syria (via Foreign Policy journal). I agree that if hospitals were hit by the Russians, it would have been a fully deliberate and conscious choice.

                    https://foreignpolicy.com/2015/10/06/spy-planes-signal-jammers-and-putins-high-tech-war-in-syria/

                    • Grindlebottom

                      I’m surprised you think the Russians would keep quiet about seeing Western Alliance aircraft in the vicinity of where they were operating, and then not mention it when they were being accused of bombing hospitals. But then, there you go. I suppose if everything is a devious US plot that would be a logical conclusion.

                      (Looks like there were four SU-30SM’s sent to Syria, not SU-35’s. They do look a bit alike.)

                    • Colonial Viper

                      you’ll notice that Russia doesn’t bother to respond directly to most of the noise in the western MSM.

                      Re: “devious US plot”

                      the US has confirmed CIA backed anti-Assad fighters in the field, and wilkileaks has produced US diplomatic cables detailing how best to destabilise Syria.

                      I presume that counts.

                    • Grindlebottom

                      Yes, sure, it most certainly does count in your favour in the situation we’re discussing if those diplomatic cables suggest that to destabilise Syria the US and/or allied aircraft should bomb hospitals at the exact same time and location as Russian aircraft are carrying out ground attacks.

                      Do they do that, do you know?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I guess we’re going to keep doing this dance?

                      Basically, PHR claims to know for certain that all those hospitals were definitely hit by Russian airstrikes, and not by any US, UK, or French planes. In fact they don’t even mention the possibility.

                      I have a very simple question – where did an organisation of volunteer medics on the ground get that information from?

          • Colonial Viper 4.3.2.1.2

            How can you tell a “good” airstrike from a “bad” airstrike?

            From the War Nerd:

            Now for the next accusation, that the Russian strikes are brutal.

            Well, yeah, they are. That’s the general idea. I don’t mean to be flippant here, but air strikes only look neat when you stay up there and watch from the pilot’s angle…

            As a rule, you can tell when the media approve of air strikes by the angle. If it’s all nice clean pilot’s-view of distant explosions, it’s a good strike. If they show you funerals, weeping relatives, blasted apartments, it’s a bad strike. So you can tell, just from the headline—“This Is What the Russian Air Strikes in Syria Look Like from the Ground”—that it’s a bad strike…When the strike is done by our own airforce, you still don’t see them unless you go to foreign or marginal leftist sites. But boy do they start popping up when it’s the Russians playing their air-to-ground video games.

            There are a total of 29 photographs here, and three-quarters of them are of the pity-inspiring variety. First photo, a ruined neighborhood; second, column of smoke; third, weeping old woman; fourth, civilian car covered with rubble; fifth, horrible scythe-shaped cluster munitions; sixth, a wounded civilian being carried to hospital…

            It’s not that there’s anything false about these images. They’re a pretty good montage of the horror of an air strike…Russians are bombing more or less the way all the other foreign air forces in Syria are bombing.

            https://pando.com/2015/10/19/bombed-stupid/1a09532b73281d33b41afae34cc6d8cc1bf58b4c/

          • One Two 4.3.2.1.3

            Sounds as ‘legitimate’ as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’

            • Colonial Viper 4.3.2.1.3.1

              That’s what I am thinking.

            • Colonial Viper 4.3.2.1.3.2

              Check out this PHR press release on the Kunduz MSF incident where US forces assaulted the hospital for over half an hour.

              1) Count how many times PHR rhetorically attacks the US Government or US military for the incident by name. (None).

              2) Note how the last 1/3 of the PHR press release on the Kunduz MSF incident in AFGHANISTAN somehow manages to turn into an attack on the SYRIAN Government.

              Make your own conclusions.

              http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/press/press-releases/physicians-for-human-rights-condemns-attack-on-clinic-in-afghanistan.html

              • Grindlebottom

                Read it. The fact it came out too soon, bought the original US line about “collateral damage” and was never followed up by another one specifically condemning the yanks once the US admitted it was them, and that they’d attacked the hospital for an hour, doesn’t mean they are wrong about the Russians and Syrian forces attacking Syrian hospitals.

                They’re not so pro-US they don’t criticise them:
                http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/issues/torture/us-torture/reports-on-torture.html

                The US and Western alliance in Syria has been completely stymied which is hardly surprising as they have no idea what they’re doing there or all the forces in play. But Assad and the Russians are going to kill thousands taking back control of people who don’t want to be under his control. The place has become a hell-hole with no discernible satisfactory outcome likely.

                Edit: Putin’s bottom line is that the Western Alliance must stop supporting the opposition forces attacking Assad’s forces before Russia will join them in joint attacks on ISIL forces. He is so far most in control of the situation there, apart from the Kurds in the North.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yes, the Russians and the Syrian Army are going to kill a lot of people in the next few weeks. It will be very unpleasant.

                  Worth remembering that perhaps 2/3 of the people who have fled the fighting in Syria have fled to Assad-controlled areas.

                  My view is that Russia/Assad are trying to build a viable coastal Alawite/minorities sector of Syria and that they will leave the inland areas to ISIL/Al Nusra.

                  Read it. The fact it came out too soon, bought the original US line about “collateral damage” and was never followed up by another one specifically condemning the yanks once the US admitted it was them

                  The line in that press release which fingered it as BS was where PHR called on “all parties” in the conflict to show restraint. When the incident could only have been a US airstrike, deliberate or accidental.

                  And the last 1/3 of a press release on Afghanistan pivoting to become an attack on the Syrian Government.

                • Colonial Viper

                  RE: your edit

                  I will go with the War Nerd’s conclusions around this – only Russia currently has an air campaign which makes any strategic sense. The US/coalition air campaign doesn’t have strategic cohesion which is why it has accomplished so little against ISIL in the last year plus.

                  btw I suspect Putin will not be counting on the West and its allies to stop supporting anti-Assad fighters, and will instead just burn them out, sector by sector, including with heavy weapons such as illegal cluster munitions.

                  • Grindlebottom

                    Worth remembering that perhaps 2/3 of the people who have fled the fighting in Syria have fled to Assad-controlled areas.

                    Yes, I read that somewhere too a few days ago, but only in one article, and I haven’t been able to find it again. I found it a bit hard to believe to be honest. I’m not saying it’s wrong but I’ve not had much success in finding any source that shows where all the reported 11 million internally displaced refugees have gone.

                    I agree with your btw. I think Vlad the Lad is just twisting the knife there for a bit of fun. He knows he’s on stronger ground than they are.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      A lot to Jordan, Iran, and Lebanon I think…relatively ‘few’ (though several hundred thousand) towards Europe.

                      Most internally displaced.

                      (AFAIK)

                      One presumes the people who have left Syria either had no choice or were mostly anti-Assad in inclination.

        • Psycho Milt 4.3.2.2

          Firstly, Russia has declared that it will not airstrike civilian targets like mosques and hospitals, *even if they are being used as military bases or staging points by Islamists*.

          The country that declared it didn’t have any troops in the Crimea or in Ukraine also declares it doesn’t destroy hospitals, despite having bombed four of them? Quelle surprise.

          Thirdly, the United States and its allies have funded and equipped a destructive, multi-year proxy war against Assad, completely against international norms and international law.

          Your tinfoil hat is very fetching, but isn’t really relevant to the fact Assad and Putin have been bombing hospitals and other medical facilities.

          • Colonial Viper 4.3.2.2.1

            ?

            The Americans have made very well reported statements officially objecting to Russia hitting CIA backed forces in Syria.

            • Psycho Milt 4.3.2.2.1.1

              To see the tinfoil hat, try seeing the American Revolution as “France funded and equipped a destructive, multi-year proxy war against George III” – there’s a way in which you could kind of see the conflict that way, but only if you have a very bizarrely misplaced sense of what’s significant.

              And it remains irrelevant.

              • Colonial Viper

                but only if you have a very bizarrely misplaced sense of what’s significant.

                Correct – history will decide in 20, 50 or 100 years time what is significant out of this Syria issue.

          • Colonial Viper 4.3.2.2.2

            The country that declared it didn’t have any troops in the Crimea…

            ?

            Russia had 20,000 to 25,000 based troops in Crimea via treaty agreement with the Ukraine.

            • McFlock 4.3.2.2.2.1

              does that include the russian-speaking units who putin reckoned had been equipped by bulk shopping from army surplus stores?

              • Colonial Viper

                Maybe Putin has been reading a copy of Sun Tzu gifted to him by Xi Jin Ping?

                • McFlock

                  So now you are arguing that Putin is adept in the art of deception.

                  Which makes Russia’s declaration “that it will not airstrike civilian targets like mosques and hospitals, *even if they are being used as military bases or staging points by Islamists*” at best unreliable.

                  It’s something they threw out for gullible little putinestas to regurgitate because if Fox News is bad, RT must be true. The hegemonic enemy of my hegemonic enemy must be the benevolent liberator of the oppressed…

                  • Colonial Viper

                    McFlock, only one country in the world has “hegemonic” aspirations. Its the one with over 800 military bases (or almost double that number depending on how you categorise a ‘military base’) in over 50 countries.

                    • McFlock

                      only one country in the world has “hegemonic” aspirations

                      lol

                      So now I’m not sure whether you’re really that naive, or that you’re simply scurrying away from the two contradictory positions you’ve established.

                      Your first counter to the proposition”Russians [are] much better at getting away with war crimes than Americans” was that Russia has declared that it will not airstrike civilian targets like mosques and hospitals, yet a few comments later you are praising Putin’s willingness to deceive in order to further his (absolutely non-hegemonic /sarc) geopolitical interests as being akin to something out of Sun Tzu.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Neither Russia nor China have global imperial intentions.

                      As I said, only one world power does.

                      It is the one with over 800 military bases in over 50 countries.

                    • McFlock

                      Neither Russia nor China have global imperial intentions.

                      Then why is China making aircraft carriers? Don’t need those for home waters defense. Why does Russia want to keep its port in the med? Doesn’t need that for home defense.

            • Psycho Milt 4.3.2.2.2.2

              We both know I’m referring to the Russian soldiers operating without identifying badges who were involved in the annexation – although, I’m sure that for you they didn’t exist because the Russian government has said they didn’t.

  4. Tautoko Mangō Mata 5

    Here is some reading for Hekia Parata and David Seymour.
    “CHARTER SCHOOL BLACK HOLE: SPECIAL INVESTIGATION
    REVEALS HUGE GAPS IN PUBLIC INFO ON TAXPAYER MONEY SPENT”
    A REPORTERS’ GUIDE by the Center for Media and Democracy

    “:The study attributes this lack of accountability “to the way the charter industry has been built by proponents, favoring ‘flexibility’ over rules.”

    “That flexibility has allowed an epidemic of fraud, waste, and mismanagement that would not be tolerated in public schools,” CMD states, noting that charters “are often policed—if they are really policed at all—by charter proponents, both within government agencies and within private entities tasked with oversight.”

    In fact, that oversight is so spotty that CMD’s investigation turned up dozens of “ghost” schools, where federal grants were awarded to charters that never even opened.”
    http://www.prwatch.org/files/new_charter_school_black_hole_report_oct_21_2015.pdf

    How many more times will the National Govt follow flawed policy from overseas even when the evidence of the failure of that policy is readily available! Why do National wilfully ignore any evidence that contradicts their chosen plan?
    Is it stupidity or deceitfulness …or both?

    • tc 5.2

      Parata and Seymour are well aware of this as that’s why this policy exists and it’s pinned to the national subsidary ACT’s donkeys tail for spin and distancing purposes.

      More enrichment of a select few at taxpayers expense and deliberately excluded from the OIA.

      They’re not ingoring the evidence they’re relying on it.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Why do National wilfully ignore any evidence that contradicts their chosen plan?

      Does it contradict their plan? Seems to me that it’s working as National would want it to as it transfers huge amounts of public money into private profit. They don’t seem to care if we get any services from that expenditure.

  5. Northsider 6

    The end of an era.
    The Tories yesterday voted to reduce the voting powers Scottish MPs in Westminster.
    Since 1707, when Great Britain was formed from the Union of England and Scotland, every MP had an equal vote. Yesterday that ended. This will accelerate the campaign for full Scottish Independence.

    “Labour’s Gerald Kaufman, the longest-serving member of the house, declared “a day of shame for the House of Commons”. He decried the debate as “one of the nastiest, most unpleasant I have attended in 45 years”, prompted by “a government with no respect for the House.”

  6. RTM 7

    Forgotten history: if New Zealanders remembered the refugees that filled their roads in 1863 & 1933, they might empathise with today’s Syrians: http://readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2015/10/new-zealands-road-of-refugees.html

  7. Penny Bright 8

    WHICH ‘developers, company directors, property valuers and lawyers’ are allegedly involved in this ‘large scale Auckland mortgage fraud’ being currently investigated by the SFO?
    _______________________________________________________
    ‘Large scale’ Auckland mortgage fraud

    Thursday, 22 October 2015
    The New Zealand Herald

    The Serious Fraud Office says Auckland’s property market and the scale of commercial developments is a ‘key environmental risk’.
    The Serious Fraud Office is investigating large-scale mortgage fraud in the Auckland property market involving developers, company directors, property valuers and lawyers.

    “Auckland’s property market and the scale of impending commercial developments represent a key environmental risk,” the SFO said in its 2015 annual report released this week.

    “We have invested significant resources into investigating a large-scale mortgage fraud involving highly organised teams of property developers, shell company directors, property valuers and lawyers.”

    The SFO, which aims to reduce the impact of serious financial crime on both the economy and the public, said the investigation is ongoing and declined further comment.
    ______________________________________________
    Penny Bright

  8. Atiawa 9

    The Taranaki Daily News reported on Keys visit to New Plymouth yesterday. Having a close involvement in the oil & gas industry I was surprised by the contradictory quotes by our PM. My understanding is that there will be no off-shore “prospecting” activity around NZ this summer and very little land based “prospecting” activity.
    I called the journalist at the newspaper and enquired as to what he believed the PM was referring to when he spoke about “prospecting” activity and how busy the industry would be. Surprise, surprise he couldn’t tell me, although he wrote the story!

    Take a look for yourself and decide if our PM is simply full of it!

    http://WWW.Stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/73296265/no-increase-in-oil-prices-any-time-soon-says-pm

    • Grindlebottom 9.1

      This probably matches up with this announcement:

      Govt releases new areas for oil and gas exploration:
      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11425029

      • Atiawa 9.1.1

        The issuing of exploration licences and the time-frame involved to utilise the licence is under review. Explorers – new or established – will not be coming here this summer. Yet Key had this to say yesterday;

        ” This summer is expected to be the biggest season in prospecting we’ve seen around NZ”.

        Where?

        • Grindlebottom 9.1.1.1

          Hmmm. Yeah, I dunno now. All I can find in that herald report is a one liner that says “New permits will be announced in December.” I thought maybe they’d be all set up to go on receipt of a licence but doesn’t sound right.

          So, don’t know. Seems an odd thing to do to promise a busy summer of exploration if it’s not happening. PM’s a known fibber. But then, who knows what he said. The reporter doesn’t exactly sound like a bright spark either.

          • Atiawa 9.1.1.1.1

            The reporter told me he had it all on tape, hence the quotation marks in his story. I suggested he call PEPANZ the industries lobby group – similar to Federated Farmers I would imagine – to clarify the PM’s comments.
            He promised that he would along with enquiries to the PM’s office.

            Once again a classic example of shoddy journalism.
            The Prime Minister said it so it must be right.

            • Grindlebottom 9.1.1.1.1.1

              At least he agreed to chase it up. Be interesting to see if he gets back to you. Did he say he would?

  9. Pasupial 10

    I’ve been accused of being PC often enough when objecting to the more offensive utterences of others (retard, gay, slut, nigger etc). A lot depends on context, but it does seem to come down to basic courtesy, and recognising that others are as human as yourself. This Guardian article is a good examination of that term, though I feel that it is more; defense of privilege, and habit, rather than fear that lies at the heart for most.

    if the antithesis of some dreaded oversensitivity is spewing vile, hateful and venomous rhetoric about people who are leading movements both big and small to strengthen and enhance all of humanity, then, at a bare minimum, we are going to need a little more sensitivity.

    But there is the fear of “political correctness”, and then there is the reality of what’s considered politically acceptable. It is not politically correct to recognize and honor the lives of undocumented immigrants and their children in this day and age…
    It is not politically correct to object to the gender pay gap…
    It is not politically correct to highlight the fact that black and brown people are violently profiled, discriminated against and underrepresented in government and industry…
    It is not politically correct to ensure that transgender people are the arbiters of their own experience, and believe that they should be deferred to on matters of their safety and livelihood…
    We are more interesting and nuanced as a culture and a society when we both recognize and value our variances and seek to include rather than exclude.

    Right now, that feels a little politically incorrect to say.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/oct/22/fear-lies-at-the-heart-of-opposition-to-political-correctness

  10. Tautoko Mangō Mata 11

    Gordon Campbell writes about the retrograde nature of the TPP wrt copyright.
    ” At a time when the US courts are making a case for the defence of “fair use” and “transformative” use” and are loudly re-stating the over-riding “public good” arguments for a limited copyright term, the US entertainment industry moguls – and their political cronies – are headed in the opposite direction, and are intent on maximising their commercial gains and elevating them above all other relevant issues.

    The ‘free trade’ banner is being abused by these US companies to roll back the losses they’ve been suffering in court over the past decade. Regularly, the multinationals have lost even the civil actions they have taken – eg Viacom vs Youtube – over alleged copyright infringement.”
    ……
    “Genius, as the writer Lewis Hyde once said, needs to “tinker in a collective shop”. In the misleading name of ‘free’ trade, the TPP is trying to shut that shop down to new entrants. ”
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1510/S00047/gordon-campbell-on-copyright-the-authors-guild-case-tpp.htm

    TPP is NOT a free trade agreement! March on 14 November!

  11. Dazzer 12

    Keep up with it guys. It simple shows the left are preparing for an occupation of the opposition benches rather than preparing to act as a government.

    All I’m see is a policy that was effectively the same as Labour’s re the flag being opposed now simply because it’s being promoted by National.

    No wonder the flip flop meme has disappeared.

    [lprent: troll from 2008 repeats comment from 2008 that doesn’t have anything to do with post. Diverted to OpenMikr. ]

    • Atiawa 14.1

      Good read and ideas around organising, but I fear that unless industry agreements are reached – something along the lines of the old award bargaining system – the union movement will continue to chase it’s tail.

  12. Ovid 15

    Jacinda Ardern: Breaking Silence. Jacinda responds to Hooton’s recent criticism.

  13. Dazzer 16

    If my comment has been deliberately removed I’m amazed and amused. Clearly only certain types of agitation are acceptable (I will go away and read the about policy too).

    The head post is not about the process but about the failure of the public to accept the PM’s enthusiasm to change the flag.

    I simply pointed out that Labour had the same view that we should review the options. There is no difference except a fierce determination that no such nation(al) building should happen under Key.

    [lprent: It was deliberately removed to OpenMike. We permit diversions. But when you are commenting on a post, then comment on the topic of the post. This one also moved to OpenMike becasue it appears to be all about your habit of self pleasuring while writing. That is the last time I will exert myself to educate a idiot troll. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 16.1

      Divisive characters tend to have that effect on people (Thirty percent of the electorate is not a consensus.) Your argument ignores other far more substantive concerns.

  14. Grim 17

    “the Guardian” is that the British world for “Herald”

    Designed to influence not inform.

  15. Morrissey 18

    Will Jesse Mulligan give this monster the treatment he deserves?
    Or will he let him dominate and chortle complicitly, as Paul Holmes did ten years ago?

    in 2005, the massively over-rated British and Irish Lions coach Clive Woodward appointed Tony Blair’s disgraced hitman Alistair Campbell as manager of the team. At the team’s first training session, in Albany, Paul Holmes dared to ask him about his role in the death of Dr David Kelly. Campbell contemptuously brushed him off.

    Now Campbell is back on our radar. This intriguing little notice appeared on the Radio NZ website recently….

    COMING UP ON JESSE MULLIGAN, 1–4PM
    3:10 pm Tuesday 27 October:

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Alistair Campbell

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Strategy, leadership and teamship. This is the Holy Trinity of winning according to Alistair Campbell who helped Tony Blair win three terms as British Prime Minister as his press secretary His position gave him access to winning business leaders, athletes, artists and politicians. His new book, Winners: And How They Succeed examines the qualities of everyone from Richard Branson and Sir Clive Woodward to Bill Gates and the Queen to identify what it takes to win.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/20151020

  16. Neil 19

    Key is a traitor to nz

    [lprent: Why? Moved to OpenMike as being irrelevant to the topic of the post. ]

  17. Logie97 21

    Trougher group spending up large on taxpayer as their sense of entitlement.
    Key warns of excessive hotel bills coming up for MPs to be able to get to RWC.
    Mmmmm we’re currently travelling around S.E. England and using Booking.com for our accommodation needs and securing Wonderful double rooms breakfast included for around $200 per night. Car hire is very reasonable so staying in the Home Counties increases accommodation choices.
    How did these people manage to secure tickets in the first place anyway?

  18. North 22

    “Mr Key goes to London for a live wank over Richie !”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11534171

    Prick never ‘packed down’ in his life. Making up for it with a feast of ‘packing off’ now.

    What a piece of shit. This is Marie Antoinette stuff ! Mind you…..he’s a good man……giving us ‘fair warning’. Yeah Yeah Yeah…..Trev’ from the Herald knows…..she’s probably there too, as per…..where there’s a Key there’s always a Trev’.

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    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three 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. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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