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Open Mike 24/02/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 24th, 2017 - 108 comments
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108 comments on “Open Mike 24/02/2017 ”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    I see Lawrence Yule has got the nod for the Nats in TukiTuki. What an crazy choice!
    Yule has Tony Blair levels of delusion as to his effectiveness and popularity. He might be able to win the mayoralty on the back of a low turnout of mainly dedicated Tories, but is deeply unpopular with practically everyone else (Napier people can’t stand him). He is heavily tainted with the water contamination scandal of last year and is blamed in many quarters for Hasting’s huge debt problem. If Labour has a good a good candidate and puts in the effort he’ll struggle to win I reckon.

    Anyone know anything about Anna Lorck’s capabilities?

  2. dv 2

    From the stuff article today

    On the interactive maps the Government released alongside the announcement, its quality for swimming is marked as “good”,

    despite the (seemingly limiting) fact there’s no water to swim in.

    Hmm no water- safe to swim!!!!!!!!!!!

    • gsays 2.1

      it occured to me the new ‘water standards’ announced by the ptb, have fonterra management thinking all over it.
      the watering down of standards is akin to the idea of getting contractors to wait an extra 2 months for payment and to force a 10% discount on them.

      potentially the state can solve homelessness, poverty, gaol stats etc.. just change the figures.. you know, make stuff up!

      • greywarshark 2.1.1

        True weka. But when talking about the test of mettle, it is how we manage to contain ourselves and control our punches if there are going to be some (verbal), that counts.

        The writers I alluded to are letting their tongues and their minds run free like emotional drunks, and their often wild language reflects that. Our world is disappearing I think, and I want to hold onto elements of respect, kindness, honesty, in our dealings with one another like life buoys as the social climate deteriorates. And I won’t give us swearing or insults, and not calling on anybody else to go cold turkey, but there should not be combined attacks on people putting forward interesting ideas, and language needs to be chosen. A single WTF is very effective.

        This is when the nobility of people is needed. Not just nasty vengeful, angry self-oriented snipers drunk with their own importance and taking pot shots at anyone who comes within their range. The end doesn’t justify the means, until when managing near the end, there is no alternative to use such a stark decision maker.

  3. Penny Bright 3

    URGENT!
    NIKI RAUTI UPDATE!

    TENANCY TRIBUNAL ADJUDICATOR HAS MADE DECISION – BUT WE DON’T KNOW YET WHAT IT IS!

    Friends and supporters of Niki Rauti in her brave fight to help stop the privatisation of State housing, and defending the rights of the poor, sick, elderly and vulnerable against gentrification and the destruction of working class communities!

    Gather at 14 Taniwha St
    Glen Innes!

    WHEN: 24 February 2017

    TIME: From 9am.

    For those of you who are able to make it – see you there!

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-privatisation / anti-corruption campaigner’.

    2017 Mt Albert by-election candidate.

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Meanwhile life goes on for better off people and a nicely done up old house down the road has been sold for the second time, the first being three months ago. I was thinking that with everything paid for the first buyer could still have made a cool $5000. The agent says that ‘all the buyers who enquired were fresh to the market since our campaign late last year’ – for the original buyer. So people continue to pour into the country.

    • Leftie 3.2

      Thanks penny, keep us updated please.

  4. logie97 4

    Technology replacing jobs.
    If a company introduces technology to increase “efficiency” and it replaces employees as a result then that technology needs to be taxed at the rate of the lost PAYE.
    It’s time industry started paying for the pool of great unwashed it is creating.
    Thatcher once hailed the likes of Sinclair (ZX81…) as creators of greater leisure time for us all.

  5. rhinocrates 5

    Some hilarity for the morning: Stephen Colbert on Alex Jones (who more than one person here thinks is a reliable news source).

    Don’t drink juice out of a box, it’ll make you into a woman – unless you already are one (maybe then it’ll turn you into a hat stand). Also, EVERYONE was behind 9/11 (I knew it!)

  6. joe90 6

    Remember when the trumpette said Trump was going to deliver a peace dividend.

    President Donald Trump said on Thursday he wants to ensure the U.S. nuclear arsenal is at the “top of the pack,” saying the United States has fallen behind in its atomic weapons capacity.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-idUSKBN1622IF

    • Andre 6.1

      “America First” doesn’t mean some kind of neo-isolationism, it looks more like it’s intended as some kind of exploitative neo-colonialism.

      http://www.salon.com/2017/02/23/will-trump-and-bannon-drag-us-into-another-big-ground-war-it-could-happen-sooner-than-we-think/

      Well, even more exploitative than the US has been in the past…

      • McFlock 6.1.1

        Speaking of which, apparently England wants the US to join the Commonwealth. Doesn’t seem to be bullshitnews, but who knows.

        Anyway, it seems like one faded empire is seeking new life by inviting a declining empire to join its special club. And the declining empire gets official access to the room when CHOGM happens.

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          The United Decrepits Club.

          I never did understand why Britain seemingly just threw the whole Commonwealth thing under the bus in favour of the EU. If they could have positioned themselves as the hinge or conduit between the two, they’d have had quite significant influence in the world. I think.

          Anyway…

        • Andre 6.1.1.2

          warning for anyone following McFlock’s link, it’s got a photo of Farage wearing one of his best “world’s much punchable faces”. I’m lucky I didn’t crack my screen.

          • Strategos 6.1.1.2.1

            The Economist argues for moving the capital from London to Manchester, due to prohibitive costs of renovation.

            http://www.economist.com/blogs/bagehot/2017/02/go-north

            • lprent 6.1.1.2.1.1

              Good article. Hopefully it will be in this weeks edition. I may even have time to read it after it arrives on my phone.

              Arguably the Wellington vs Auckland already does this. Imagine how awful NZ would be if the capital had stayed up here. As it is the rest of the country have the politicians, most of their flunkies, and the mandarins corralled and quarantined in a pokey city constrained by geography.

              Even better they are on the most destructive fault line in the country which brings the enticing prospect of exiling the survivors further south at some point in the future. I would suggest Omaru

              Just so long as they don’t come to Auckland 🙂

  7. saveNZ 7

    “CETA To Cost Average Working Canadian $2,460 In Lost Income:

    As Canada and the European Union reach the home stretch to an historic free trade deal, a new research report says the agreement was made on the basis of flawed, unrealistically optimistic economic models.

    The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), negotiated by the previous Conservative government and now championed by the Liberal government, will reduce employment throughout the trade area, depressing wages in Canada and Europe, the report warns.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/02/21/ceta-cost-canadians-lost-income_n_14909238.html?utm_hp_ref=canada

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), negotiated by the previous Conservative government and now championed by the Liberal government, will reduce employment throughout the trade area, depressing wages in Canada and Europe, the report warns.”

      Higher profits, lower wages – exactly as designed then.

  8. joe90 8

    So, the war’s on again.

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggested Thursday the federal government could crack down on recreational marijuana use across the country, even in states that have legalized the drug.

    https://mic.com/articles/169471/white-house-hints-at-coming-crackdown-on-recreational-marijuana#.n77UU94Zd

  9. Karen 9

    So Bill English has not only has refused to have an inquiry into the abuse of children in state care he won’t even agree to have a meeting with Susan Devoy to discuss the
    matter.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/325234/snubbed-devoy-says-english-won't-meet-her-about-abuse

  10. Gabby 10

    NZers farming in Australia are so not his problem Bingles can’t even bother saying it’s not his problem.

  11. Suicide

    The problem in New Zealand today is as stark as it is urgent. The rate of Māori youth suicides is more than double that for non-Māori youth. Across all ages, it is male Māori who dominate the statistics, but the disparity is in fact greater for Māori women, and that rate has been steadily increasing: in 2015 it was the highest for 11 years. It is part of a wider pattern, too: in 2013 the intentional self-harm rates for Māori female youth had risen 77 per cent since 2004.

    http://www.mana.co.nz/magazine/issue-133/suicide.html

    This is a very big and interesting article – a good but hard read.

    There is no one solution and cultural connection, awareness and conceptualization are important. “How do I fit within this space? Where is my place within this space? Who am I within this space?”

    • Karen 11.2

      Very tough read, but so important.

      Mental health is seriously under resourced in this country, particularly outside the main centres. There needs to be a helluva lot money put into mental health and into Māori led community programmes to try and turn these stats around.

    • Bill 11.3

      Not quite finished reading the link marty, but this has just jumped out because I’m constantly hearing the same or similar from friends and just people I come across who work in what we might broadly term the ‘social sector’ – ie, housing, violence, addiction, education etc

      She rejects the Five Ways to Wellbeing, a model adopted from the United Kingdom, based on 2008 research, as a “total farce”.

      “Translating the slogan into te reo as a tokenised ploy to appear diverse for funding is a disgusting strategy employed by almost every mental health and community development organisation in New Zealand.”

      It is no secret in community circles, she says, that the Ministry of Social Development has been draining the funding pool, pitting organisations which were once happy to collaborate against each other to streamline services.

      “Your CEO or clinical director will sink their teeth into Anne Tolley or Paula Bennett over morning tea and then pose for a photo for the community newsletter with them because no one dares criticise the hand that feeds them.”

      And practice gets subverted by those doing the actual work in order to do real stuff while energies get dissipated for the sake of ticking boxes to secure (inadequate) funding…it’s all a crock of shit squatted over by out of touch government bureaucracies and (often) incompetent managers…or so I’m constantly being told.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.3.1

        It is no secret in community circles, she says, that the Ministry of Social Development has been draining the funding pool, pitting organisations which were once happy to collaborate against each other to streamline services.

        Competition is destructive. We see the destruction that it causes all around us but tell ourselves that its good instead.

      • Korero Pono 11.3.2

        The problem, in my opinion, lies with the social service organisations who have allowed themselves to fall into the position of selling themselves, and by virtue their client base to the lowest bidder. These organisations will not collaborate with each other to effect decent outcomes for clients because they are too busy vying for each pittance of funding, where ticking their boxes and meeting their KPIs over-ride the needs of the people they are supposed to serve. I have witnessed this time and time again.

        Most of these organisations pay lip service to operating in a culturally appropriate way, hell even hiring the odd token ‘brown’ face to tick some of their contractual boxes. They even do the whole Maori language week once a year to prove how culturally aware they are. And as long as they can rote learn the three P’s, and use words like tikanga and manaakitanga, and spiel off a poorly pronounced mihi, they deem themselves culturally competent to work with Maori. The problem with a western understanding of intervention is it does not account for a holistic approach to well-being. And when you see communities coming together to address a problem, in this case suicide, they struggle to get off the ground to support people because they cannot tick the contractual boxes and are up against the big players (think the dominant NGOs), all of whom not only have the structure and expertise to win the lousy contracts but are willing to sell their souls and make it unsafe for families to seek help (think compulsory data sharing).

        Meanwhile said organisations who claim some sort of expertise to address this or that social problem, including suicide, cannot even keep their own house in order. They spout off, using the right buzz words in their mission statements, their values and their aims, whilst treating their work force like crap. In my experience across a range of agencies and my many networks within the social service sector the stories are the same. Workers are bullied, under-paid, over-worked and burnt out by inept box tickers, whose only purpose is to meet funder demand, even if it involves faking outcomes, manipulating KPIs and essentially screwing over workers and clients.

        In my opinion these big players are too dysfunctional to be allowed near clients, particularly those vulnerable to suicide. If these organisations cannot even practice what they preach, they should not be allowed within a hairs breadth of vulnerable people. I suggest the community can and should take back control of supporting those who deem themselves in need of support. The current social service sector, is in most cases, driven by the government’s agenda, not necessarily what the community needs or wants. I am sure these communities can do far better than the current dominant players.

  12. joe90 12

    Humans, huh.
    /

    This morning, a video of Siberian tigers playfully hunting (and disemboweling) a drone was everywhere on the internet. A tweet from ITV News, a British television network, quickly made an appearance in dozens of stories.

    […]

    The tiger farm, according to Big Cat Rescue, has operated under the guise of an animal rescue for some time. Busloads of tourists are given the rare opportunity to gawk at fearsome felines that would otherwise rip your face off.

    But Harbin Siberian Tiger Park also specializes in contraband like tiger bone, meat, pelts, and a speciality called “bone wine.” A visit by McClatchy investigative reporters “found animals in deplorable conditions… merchants openly sold bone wine, despite a 1993 ban by China on bone products sourced from both domesticated and wild tiger

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/that-viral-video-of-tigers-chasing-a-drone-is-from-a-slaughter-farm-folks?

  13. McFlock 13

    So a cricketer in a hesaid/shesaid rape trial is found not guilty, even after making the “she was dressed like she was up for it” defense. Oh, and although he was “persistent” in pressuring her for sex that’s okay because she eventually said yes, according to him.

    Frankly, my immediate impulse is that anyone who runs that package of defense arguments should be immediately charged with some equivalent of recklessness/negligence as to whether they’re committing rape or not.

    • Pete 13.1

      Frankly, my immediate impulse to this is to ask if you were in the court to hear all that was said and also observe what happened there.

      And to ask if you suggest that anyone who runs packages of defence arguments you don’t like be charged with some offence.

      • DoublePlusGood 13.1.1

        Frankly, my immediate impulse is to think that you apparently consider it acceptable, and not rape, to pressure a drunk woman into sex with you until they relent, and then try to get away with it by stating that the woman was dressed sluttily so she was asking for it.
        My second impulse is to wonder why you support such an obvious example of rape culture in action.

        • repateet 13.1.1.1

          I saw the case referred to as a “she said/he said” case. That means it was always going to be complicated. That probably means the people in the best position to make assessments about what happened or didn’t were the people in the courtroom.

          Of course not a perfect position, there is none, because they like all juries they had to rely on all sorts of stuff affected by all sorts of factors. That includes a range of emotions and motivations.

          You have made a judgement on what you know about the case. The jury made one on what on they heard and saw and presumably according to the law. On my observations about the way the system works you say I support a rape culture.

          Do you say that defence lawyer Phillip Morgan, QC also supports a rape culture?

          Do you say that all legislators who do not actively move to instigate law changes to make the accused in rape allegations deemed automatically to be guilty, support a rape culture?

      • McFlock 13.1.2

        “Some offense”.

        If you’re out on the piss, hook up with someone who’s drunk, and then nag them for sex, that’s about as reckless and driving around at night with no headlights.

        And you know the nice thing – I don’t have to be in court for something so obvious. If the guy had thought at all about consent, news reports like this would have been so biased as to have immediate complaints to the press council and general outrage from the Waitakere Men.

        • Psycho Milt 13.1.2.1

          Yeah, the content of that news story is like an intro 101 for rape culture. She was dressed “provocatively,” her general demeanour persuaded him she was gagging for it, he was sure she wanted it to happen, the fact she was too drunk to resist = consent. He’s an object lesson in how feminism’s still relevant.

        • repateet 13.1.2.2

          The other nice thing is we don’t have a system where someone makes summary comments as you and DoublePlusGood have done and guilt is automatic.

          The way to achieve that outcome is not to wait for societal change which see such awful incidents as this one is not happening but to instigate changes in the law.

          • McFlock 13.1.2.2.1

            Actually, I haven’t made any summary judgement on whether he committed the rape. I’m not re-opening the debate as to whether the burden of proof in sexual assault cases should be shifted at all, or whether some arguments should be barred as a defense, or even whether it should be juries vs judges for such cases.

            But even the circumstances as he and the defense described point to a lack of awareness about consent and an absolute recklessness as to whether he was having consensual sex with someone or causing harm.

            At the moment we have a situation where the accused is either a rapist or not, and if the issue is so complicated, maybe having a binary solution is not really a solution at all.

            • inspider 13.1.2.2.1.1

              we’ve had innocent till proven guilty for over 1000 years; there’s a good reason for that, and there needs to be an even better one to change it.

              It’s very difficult to bring in a new process that doesn’t breach rights that are considered fundamental in most other circumstances. A relative has been involved in a number of rape trials and has seen innocent men go to prison and guilty predators walk free. It does seem a lottery but changing the burden of proof doesn’t look the answer to me. just having an accusation that goes public can screw up people’s lives, and the accused has rights too.

              Until we learn to read minds reliably, education, empathy and encouragement to report may be the best justice weapons we have when the only evidence is balancing he said/she said.

              • McFlock

                It’s lucky that I didn’t discuss shifting the burden of proof then isn’t it.

                Mind you, the jury system is buggered from the get-go: twelve independent people make their determinations, then all get together and let group dynamics swerve the weakest decisionmakers.

                But without changing the burden of proof or the jury system, what about an intermediate trial where someone might have been careless as to whether the other party was genuinely consenting?

                • inspider

                  Yes sorry. Completely misread that paragraph…

                  I don’t think anything can change within the current structure. It likely needs something new, which could be what you’ve suggested. There will still be people sitting in judgment and that is never perfect

                  • McFlock

                    All good.

                    I suspect that the only real change that’ll happen is the swings and roundabouts of culture change. We can but hope.

    • Rightly or Wrongly 13.2

      The difference between lawful sex and rape relies on a 3 step legal consideration relating to consent.

      Step 1: What was the complainant (victim) thinking – did they give consent to the act?

      Step 2: What was the defendant thinking – did they believe that the victim was consenting?

      Step 3: If the defendant believed that the victim was consenting – was this belief reasonable? Would a reasonable person in the defendant’s shoes believed that the victim was consenting?

      Its quite a hard process to work through. Not an issue where it is a stranger rape but can be tricky to work through when it relates to people who know each other and where it is one person’s word against another.

      There are of course a number of statutory situations where acquiescence to sex does not amount to true consent sex:

      This includes:
      – The use/fear of the use of force
      – Where the victim is asleep or unconscious
      – Where the victim is so affected by drugs/alcohol that they are unable to give consent
      – Where the victim is mistaken as to the identity of the defendant or is mistaken as to the nature of the sex to occur.

      The drunken situation is tricky. You can be drunk and give consent however there is a stage of intoxication beyond which you cannot give consent even though you tell the other person you want to have sex.

      I suspect that in a lot of he said/she said situations Jurys side with the defendant simply because the consequences of a rape convictions are so severe that they are reluctant to convict unless they are absolutely sure that the defendant is guilty.

      • McFlock 13.2.1

        True to a certain degree (although in such cases the other party is often significantly more drunk than the accused), althoug a little victim blaming doesn’t go astray.

        But I’m actually beginning to like my original idea of a separate charge of something like “culpable recklessness as to consent” in the case of sexual assault, a bit like how murder can be bumped down down to manslaughter

        • weka 13.2.1.1

          This is a really good idea. I’d love to know what’s been done in this and whether the problem with doing that is that it’s tricky to define in law, or whether there are still too many men (lawyers, politicians etc) realising that what they considered sex is actually a problem for the woman they were with. It would also mean a substantial change in the drinking culture in NZ.

          • McFlock 13.2.1.1.1

            Someone must have thought of it before, surely.

            I mean, the Land Transport Act talks about people driving carelessly and recklessly, and recklessly causing injury or death, so it’s not like the law can’t deal with the concept of someone being careless.

            • weka 13.2.1.1.1.1

              True, but with cars it’s not like anyone is looking at the victims and seeing them a culpable for the behaviour of the reckless driver. And by anyone one I mean the police, the prosecutor, the judge, the jury, the lawyers, the lawmakers.

              That’s quite a big one to get over in the case of sexual assault or culpable recklessness. You’d have to not only change the law, but change the culture within the legal profession. Given that point above about being allowed to run a defence based on ‘she was wearing a short skirt’, I think we have some way to go on that.

              What would the judge be directing juries on for instance, and would they all have to be trained in what rape culture is? This is certainly what should be happening.

        • inspider 13.2.1.2

          that reckless offence sounds similar to what Julian Assange is facing in Sweden. A lot of people scoffed at the concept when the charge was laid.

          In these difficult cases it’s not usually debated that sex took place but that consent wasn’t given. If you reduce that to an assault charge then you’re saying intercourse can’t have taken place and you are widening the definition of sexual assault quite significantly.

          it would also imply that there is a victim, but she’s only a half victim (because if she were a real victim then it would be a rape charge). I’m not sure that is a concept that would appeal to many feminists – if she’s only a half victim does that mean she half deserved it? What If the guy was more drunk than the girl? Surely it’s only fair that she be charged….

          • McFlock 13.2.1.2.1

            No, it’s not what assange was about to be arrested for.

            What a wider charge (not assault, but recklessness) would do is make the surrounding circumstances of the intercourse part of the consideration. In this case, the “he said she said” was whether she said “no” in bed. But the alcohol they’d drunk, the comments he’d made about her to other guys, they’d be indicative of whether he was actively considering consent at the time.

            It doesn’t even imply that there is a “victim”, any more than careless driving implies there was an accident. Just that the party was careless about an issue they should have cared about. Not “half a victim”, otherwise the jury would have determined that rape had been committed. Just that the person complained against had been careless about confirming consent.

            And you know what, if both parties make a complaint then yes, that’s something for courts to figure out. Hell, you might end up with them accusing each other of rape. I suspect the one gloating to their mates beforehand that the other person ‘obviously likes to fuck’ has a higher chance of being found guilty than the other person.

      • BM 13.2.2

        I suspect that in a lot of he said/she said situations Jurys side with the defendant simply because the consequences of rape convictions are so severe that they are reluctant to convict unless they are absolutely sure that the defendant is guilty.

        That’s the key point, you can’t hand out a rape conviction unless it’s beyond reasonable doubt.

        Once convicted that individual life is stuffed, you’ve got to get it right.

      • miravox 13.2.3

        I suspect that in a lot of he said/she said situations Jurys side with the defendant simply because the consequences of a rape convictions are so severe that they are reluctant to convict unless they are absolutely sure that the defendant is guilty.

        ^This.

        And that is the irrationality of ‘lock ’em up’ politics. McFlock’s suggestion of “culpable recklessness as to consent” is worth considering for cases like this. With a different sentencing range, a conviction is possibly more likely and the victim not re-traumatised all over again by going through a thoroughly negative trial.

        Also, people who have been sexually violated may be more likely to make a complaint if the sentences did not seem disproportionate.

        But really, it’s way beyond time that education about rape culture was compulsory for teens and young men, and older men supported that. Because this kind of sexual violation, fuelled by alcohol, bravado, entitlement and ignorance, will continue until they realise that in the moment, only ‘yes’ means ‘yes’.

    • mauī 13.3

      The cricket and rugby fraternities seem to make a good pair. The CEO of his representative team appears relieved at the result:

      http://www.espncricinfo.com/newzealand/content/story/1084065.html

      Another issue is that the accused had been representing his province for the last few months at least (seen him on tv), and I think he was playing for them last season after the initial trial. Why the hell he wasn’t stood down from all representative cricket while this was going on I do not know. That alone really pisses me off.

  14. greywarshark 14

    I detect a hardness a nastiness entering the site. I noted the term softcockery coming from Ad yesterday. I note aerobubble’s vigour in argument and hostility against whoever is in his sights. I note Leftie trying to take over the site as the leftish decision maker. I note OAB and co having a go at Colonial Viper whenever he makes an assertion different from their strongly held opinions. Colonial Viper seems no longer to guard his tongue.

    Weka is trying to maintain authority and receive respect in keeping the site under reasonable control, but is questioned and under attack. Is this the extreme version of the attitudes that have caused some of our thoughtful TS regulars to drop away? I had to defend myself from aerobubble’s attack yesterday.

    t is getting very unpleasant. And what is more unpleasant is to wonder what sort of government these people I refer to would welcome? I feel it isn’t one that I would.
    So what do the left want, for others, in a government, or is it just a national sporting match and winning numbers are what counts, with not too many fouls or broken necks or other bits?

    It is getting to the virtual fistifcuff stage and it’s only February.

    [I’ve moved this to Open Mike, it looks like an important conversation and it was just off topic in the other thread – weka]

    • lprent 14.1

      We get periodic surges of this. Especially in the “phony war” period of the election campaigns. As boring as it appears to me, it just seems to be something we periodically have to live through.

      This one appears to be unusually sustained, probably in this case due to the nature of the US elections leading into our elections. I suspect that we get a bit of a resonance effect due to the different election cycles. I noticed the same thing with the UK elections, and to a lesser extent with the Aussie elections.

    • weka 14.2

      I’m not sure what it is, but my own thinking is that the world is a pretty hard place now because of CC and what has happened/is happening in the US and the challenged in NZ from natural disasters and our vulnerability to CC becoming more apparent. The ground under our feet has shifted again, and we’re still adjusting. Add to that the election year and the very real fear of a 4th term NACT govt and what that will mean long term for NZ.

      It makes sense that those paying the most attention to the political spheres would be more affected.

      The test of our mettle is what we adjust to, and what we do to next to create something better.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.3

      Had a gutsful of liars, personally. They are destroying the world, quite literally. You want to play nice? Yeah, we tried that, and got ECAN, Charter Schools, climate fraud, and a tax haven.

      I’d like a government that prosecutes fraud, rather than defunding the SFO.

    • marty mars 14.4

      It is actually desperate times. Cc is here. Trump lies and gets in, our rivers are shirty, more kill themselves every year, race relations keep resetting to zero, women earn less for no good reason.

      I am guilty of being not nice and you have told me so. My kids are 2 and 9 in fighting for their future and some on here and out there don’t give a damn. I give a damn and they will know how I feel if that get in the way of me trying to make the world a fairer, cleaner and more equal place.

      I’m sorry you have been spoken to harshly, I try not to do that to you.

      • Leftie 14.4.1

        I give a damn Marty, that’s why I want the Gnats and their supporting co partners out.

        • marty mars 14.4.1.1

          You know leftie I have formed 3 or 4 replys to your comment and started again each time. I’m not going to rip into you for your insenstivity or insults – you have shown your mettle. You imo lack.

    • Leftie 14.5

      “I note Leftie trying to take over the site as the leftish decision maker.”

      Really? that’s news to me Greywarshark, so you are another one who has gotten the pip, because I dare to have an opinion that doesn’t line up with yours etc. Incredulously, I have also been accused of making too many comments on TS.

      • weka 14.5.1

        Technically, there’s always going to be one person who makes the most comments 😉 Grey told me off once for talking too much, it was a fair point.

        • Leftie 14.5.1.1

          Do you think it’s a fair point?

          • miravox 14.5.1.1.1

            I don’t necessarily agree with your views leftie, but as far as I’m aware it’s not the quantity or comments that are of concern to the moderators. So keep talking.

          • weka 14.5.1.1.2

            I don’t have a problem with people that comment a lot, but I think it’s worth paying attention if people start saying things about it, just for social cohesions sake. Maybe be more discerning. (it’s not a moderation issue, that’s just my personal thoughts).

            Grey has a sharp tongue at times, as do many of us.

            • Leftie 14.5.1.1.2.1

              Lol so ok if that’s what people think. I have been commenting on here for a number of years now, and to me, this election is crucial for the left in kicking out National, so I thought I would make more of an effort to spend more time on here. I will back off.

              • Jenny Kirk

                No – don’t do that, Leftie. Your contributions are helpful – to me, at any rate.
                And I’d contribute more, and say much more, if I had the time, the app (whatever that is) and had done the research (which takes time too).

              • McFlock

                Nah you’re not the biggest jerk on the site yet by any means 🙂

                As a fellow habitual commenter, I tend to get a little embarrassed when I scroll through a thread on occasion and my avatar is suddenly all over the place, especially in tit-for-tat arguments against a single other commenter. A few comments by each party and we’re at the depth of subcomments and going all the way down lol

                What I try and do these days (especially if it’s a slow day at work and a big day politically) is if I find I’m making a lot of comments, I think twice about the pithy one-line comments that that are satisfying but not really productive to a conversation, especially if it’s a tense issue.

                For me it’s very easy to start commenting like it’s a pub chat, rather than forming a coherent point, ensuring it’s clear and maybe has a supporting link thrown in, and that any abuse is directed at a tory and is pretty reasonable.

                Some people think I’m a jerk and wouldn’t miss me, others I hope get the occasional chuckle or thought, but at least it moves the discussion on so I might learn something from the next commenter 🙂

                • + 1

                  You are an interesting commentor mcflock who i enjoy reading. Plus that is good advice.

                  Leftie you drive me up the wall sometimes and I like that you comment. I think your heart is in the right place – I’ll try to not get worked up when bouncing comments with you and I’ll withdraw early.

              • Don’t you back off mate I thought you wanted to change this government. Come on mate all hands on deck, let’s get into the mahi.

            • miravox 14.5.1.1.2.2

              ” I think it’s worth paying attention if people start saying things about it, just for social cohesions sake. Maybe be more discerning.”

              An interesting perspective weka, from several aspects.

              The first being, yes, commenters do need to be aware of the way their comments are seen – the blog is for discussion and communication, not meant as a space for talking to yourself – although, hey, if you don’t attract the moderators and it fills a need…

              A second aspect – are you saying it is ok for telling someone to shut-up on an relatively open forum is ok? Especially telling a woman (you, that is, I’ve no idea about Leftie) that she talks too much? Have you done any analysis of the comments that offended grey so much that they felt the need to tell you to keep quiet? I’m very interested to know what those might be.

              A third, as a (it seems to me) tireless fighter for the rights of the marginalised, you’re suggesting it’s ok for you to shut up for social cohesion sake? Really? Certainly I have no problem with taking on board criticism and adjust accordingly if it is valid… but to quieten yourself, when the quality of your comment is usually outstanding, (and not out to start flamewars or troll) for social cohesion? That seems contradictory to me.

              • weka

                From what I remember it wasn’t the content so much as the quantity. I didn’t take it as being about shutting up so much as toning it down a bit. So is the issue whether that can ever be too much (the amount someone comments). If other people end up feeling like they can’t get a word in, then yes, I think that’s a problem. But the solution isn’t to shut up (and I hope Leftie doesn’t take it that way). I seem to remember I just dropped the number of my comments a bit, not taking up so much space. It’s not a hardship for someone that comments a lot.

                It’s like this in RL too. It’s easy for me to say what I think, but I am aware that often people who are not so strong voiced don’t get heard. That’s not helpful to the cause IMO.

                A third, as a (it seems to me) tireless fighter for the rights of the marginalised, you’re suggesting it’s ok for you to shut up for social cohesion sake? Really?

                Well the irony there is that I have a fair amount of freedom as a commenter, but not as an author. A significant part of the current conflict is over who has speaking rights. I’m not talking about formal rights, I’m talking about what the culture will allow. That’s on TS, but much wider too, the whole backlash against solidarity politics and whose voices are considered valuable and whose aren’t.

                Back to the third point, I am thinking through the whole don’t bash Labour, it’s election year thing, and that conversation will certainly affect what I write. Not because I feel that I have to shut up, but because I think that there are more important things at stake than my personal desire to speak or be heard. So not shutting up, but taking note of the people in my community and where the meeting points are. If it was just about me, I’d say what I want 😉 But if it’s about us all and how we can get along and change the govt, then I want to hear and understand what others are saying. This fits in with your point about taking on board criticism and adjusting I think.

                • miravox

                  Thanks for expanding on your comment. Obviously there is a balance to around taking up conversational space on a blog and in real life. My concern, with everything going on lately, was that you felt pressured to change your commenting style. I’m reassured that someone who produce the quality comments you do, is making a considered choice about commenting style, rather than feeling pressured to do so.

                  I agree that sometimes that shared causes take are more urgent than being heard on other matters. Although that requires a degree of compromise from everyone in terms of tone and subject matter, rather than suspending personal beliefs and values. As for authoring, I guess a cooperative decision for people other than me to make! I very much appreciate the content that is posted.

    • lprent 15.1

      I was just up at the pub with him. Should I have asked?

      • Leftie 15.1.1

        Lol I don’t know. I just got a bit of a shock when I read it. Guess I had gotten used to the more scathing CT.

        • Jenny Kirk 15.1.1.1

          Yeah – me, too. I’d quite gone “off” Chris Trotter – couldn’t be bothered reading him. But it seems he’s had an epiphany – goodness knows, what’s caused it but long may it last !

          • greywarshark 15.1.1.1.1

            What I like about Chris is that he explores an idea, he will run with it, tease it out, what if etc. Is there good in Trump, hidden, what will his chaotic practices lead to, good or bad. He may explore the good possibilities when everyone only sees the bad. Then he might pick up on some of the latest outrages and try and analyse the mind behind them.

            It could be that good Labour and Green followers are busy keeping their minds honed and eyes on the road to the preferred election outcome. There isn’t time in their minds to go racketing around looking at the back doors of policies, and who goes in and what comes out. Trotter can and does act as devil’s advocate and whatever he says, someone will be thinking it. so for a week he holds a mirror up to that sector, and we understand them a bit better.

            This is well put from Guerilla Surgeon in I think the 2nd to latest post, and I think touches on aspects of freedom we should hold sacred, and when, and what freedom becomes licence, and eventually may destroy.

            And:
            “If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.” Worth repeating.

            So intolerance of intolerance is still intolerance? But still necessary for a free and open society.

      • weka 15.1.2

        “I was just up at the pub with him. Should I have asked?”

        Can we give you a list of questions for next time? 😈

        • lprent 15.1.2.1

          Sure. But I am unlikely to be bothered remembering them. My ‘local’ is on the other side of Newton Gully from home. I often stop there on the way home from work because it is also a brewery and the beer is particularly good.

          Mostly on Fridays. Same for a number of other left of centre people. Good place to argue when I have the time.

          Besides. He reads here.

    • Anne 15.2

      Very interesting blog by Trotter. Has he had an epiphany of sorts?

      Whatever, some of what he says is little different to what some of us have been saying these past few weeks. We had our butts kicked by all and sundry in the process, but glad to have our reflections annointed by Chris Trotter. 😛

    • miravox 15.3

      Probably he thought Andrew Little was finally paying attention to him.

      And believes that now that Little has dealt to the Māori Party, we’ll see a resurgence in Waitakere Man and beneficiaries on the roof.

      Do I need a /sarc with that?

      • Jenny Kirk 15.3.1

        Andrew Little is not Waitakere man, miravox – nor Waitakere bloke which might be a better description of the rough-speaking brute you seem to think resides within West Auckland.

        And yes, you need a sarc with such a comment, because I, for one, am getting sick and tired of the attacks (even sarcastic, or funny ones) on Andrew Little and what he is doing.

        As far as I can see, with limited knowledge – just from the media (or lack of it) – he’s doing a bloddy good job as being Leader of the Labour Party and guess what – he might even lead us all to victory …… if you would all let him do it without the constant carping at him. (And by you, I mean all the posters here who think its a great sport to have a go at Andrew Little when in reality your enemy is the National Party).

        • miravox 15.3.1.1

          Sorry, Jenny that you mistook what I said as an attack on Andrew Little.

          It was cynical about Chris Trotter. There is no way the worm has turned there, I believe.

  15. Dragonz 16

    We are seeing more vitriol in comments etc due to increased frustration with the status quo. I grew up in the punk years – favourite saying – eat the rich. Why did people vote brexit, trump? Frustration with the norm and the possibility/promise of change.
    NZ in 2017, what are our options? More of the same or desperate rhetoric to try and shake the tree and create options.

    [lprent: It took you 3 tries, but you (as a newbie) finally managed to write a comment that actually said something (anything) that I could in all conscience let through. Well done. Not that I agree with it.

    Please read the about and the policy. Because of your first comment slackness you are on probation until we see a commenting pattern that doesn’t sound like it came from a pre-programmed app and instead sounds like something human. ]

    • weka 16.1

      Yeah, but the thing about NZ is that it’s not in the situation of the UK or the US. The enemy doesn’t look the same here. What would people be voting against? What’s the protest, fuck you vote?

      • Jenny Kirk 16.1.1

        That’s the problem. Heaps of so-called “middle-class” (especially in Auckland) will be feeling rich and wealthy because their fairly ordinary homes have become millionaire status, and suddenly – they don’t have to care about anyone else but themselves – just like the real rich do.

        So – are all those homeless people going to vote? They won’t be able to, because they don’t have an address for their voting confirmation to be sent to……
        oh, its a very clever system we have ….. need a proper address to allow real people to vote, not those who are homeless, living in a tent, or a car and who really need to be able to vote in a government which cares about them.

        Sucks, eh ! ?

        • weka 16.1.1.1

          Yep, and while I can think of ways around that, they involve time and resources that we just don’t have enough of.

  16. Dragonz 17

    The f u protest I guess is Winnie at the moment. Scary.
    As a green voter since they became an option, I will prob not this year, as same as labour I do not see a cohesive, strong alternative to the current status quo. Where is the leadership who will bring in say all new builds must have solar panels so help the national grid. Bring in lunches so the students we teach can focus on their futures rather than just survival?
    As a newbie, after reading about and policy, I do have to ask is iprent always so rude and condescending? reminds me of an old thesis advisor keeping the academic tower ivory coloured.

    • Jenny Kirk 17.1

      Dragonz – yes he is, and you are not allowed to comment on authors or moderators, so you might not see this comment !

      [we are allowed to comment on authors and moderators so long as it’s not an attack or telling us what to do.

      I like how Lynn put it earlier “Trying to tell us how we should write posts or to moderate isn’t something that you are permitted to do (polite whining is accepted)”.

      If you watch the moderations over time, and the conversations about them, you will see what works and what doesn’t. There are harsher moderations now because of election year – weka]

    • weka 17.2

      Do you mean you won’t vote? For me not voting is the same as voting for National.

      Lynn isn’t always that rude. But he’s been online since the internets began and he’s got little patience for things that make running the site harder. At the moment there’s too much need for moderation, which is making us grumpy. It’s more an issue of the regulars IMO, but Lynn likes to get newbies on board fast (or they leave).

      It’s worth taking the time to learn how the culture of the place works, you can do some of that by reading the moderator notes on other people’s comments, and listening to what the regulars are saying about what is going on. It does take time though, and not everyone has that. The biggies are don’t attack authors, don’t tell us what to do, and don’t talk about TS as if it’s a person or as if it belongs to Labour. If you make big claims be prepared to back them up, and if not, then express opinions rather than state facts. And if Lynn gets bolshy with you just try and look past the rudeness to see what he is saying, because it will be important.

      I didn’t see your first few comments so am not sure why Lynn said what he did to you. On the face of it it looks like a bold comment in the context of a whole range of stuff going on a the moment. e.g. there are more spambots around at the moment, and it’s Lynn’s job to clean them up. And often mod notes are there for everyone to see and take notice of. I really think that people on the front end have no idea how much work is involved in running TS (or mostly they just don’t think about it).

  17. greywarshark 18

    “It is getting very unpleasant. And what is more unpleasant is to wonder what sort of government these people I refer to would welcome? I feel it isn’t one that I would.”

    That’s what I was thinking earlier on. I guess I want it all, I want a change of government to a left-style government, I want NZs to receive a proper concern from government to our needs, and a proper plan and considered action to see needs met which prepares us for our harsh future. I want some tolerance for each other but lines in the sand that mean we are firm to some principles, and try to respect those who do.

    The people who come here on the left seem to want this, but I still see the start of individualistic identity politics, ie thinking that what the individual wants and considers top priority is all and others can get to the back of the queue. We are going into hard times, we have to be strong ourselves yet consider others and be prepared to see they aren’t ignored or met with automatic hostility, unless they bloody well deserve it. Sentimentality won’t help us prepare for our future, problem solving will.

    Trying to problem solve, and deal to the really bad, nasty, vicious in our society but give everyone a bit of the pie is what I want. No-one will ever get all they want in this present shrinking world. So understanding and resigning oneself to this new normal is essential when getting angry about distribution, allocation and unfairness of the past. We have to keep trying to be kind people, not too much because we have to be strong not sentimental, but refrain from ‘red’ anger and the hasty words that pop out. I’m being thoughtful about what we will need to impose on ourselves and on others, just to survive and conserve resources. And people won’t agree with me, be strongly against one thing I have thought. I think we will have to bring the death penalty back for people like firelighters. That particular obsession is so destructive to so many people, food and tree crops, houses and other built structures, tools and machines, that it has a worse effect than a murder.

    There are so many problems around and looming, that keeping cool and kind to those who are attempting supportive, practical communities where all have a voice and a place until they are too destructive or mean to include is going to be essential.
    Take for instance, Dotcom. Analyse what he did to see whether he was destructive of life for us, well no. Mean, he was making money from others’ work which is bad, so that needed rectifying. A new way of making judgments and expecting atonement, rather than administering punishment will be needed. But punishments may have to result in ensuring there is no recurrence of destructive behaviour.

    A lot of people are not thinking about this century. They are still hankering for a return to the late 20th. But climate change is changing our ways for us and we have to change our thinking, holding onto what good we can, and the thinking must be concentrated. Not on political personalities, they are really distractions with their place in last century. Get with it, or we’ll be without so much we won’t know which way to turn. Think of me as crazy, in actual fact I am uncomfortably sane,
    and I only let these thoughts into part of my day so I can still enjoy my life, but every now and then I hear a scientist bravely telling it like it is, perhaps weeping.

    I am tucking this away in yesterday’s thread but for those who were thinking about it,
    I thought I would explain myself a bit more then you can understand what is at the back of my mind when I talk about not being too hard, not being too soft, and respecting each other to a certain extent, respecting our moderators and our tech builder and facilitator Lynn. We are just entering the zone of understanding of our plight, which is being greeted with fervent denial by many, and are burdened with a political and limited-ethic system that was bad when it was introduced 30 years ago, and which is in no way ready to abandon its comfy chair. TS will help us and we must help each other, and then let what must go, we will do what we can, and then move on to a higher ground literally and figuratively.

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