Open Mike 24/09/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 24th, 2016 - 318 comments
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318 comments on “Open Mike 24/09/2016 ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Why is the US policy in Syria so confused, and why is the US media backing it with hardly any questions?

    RT’s Peter Lavelle talks to commentators and experts in London, New York and San Francisco on the contradictions in US foreign policy and actions in Syria and the surrounding region.

    How did a Nobel Prize winning president end up running bombing and droning campaigns in 7 countries in just the last few years (Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan).

    And does the fatigue of the American people with endless foreign war explain part of the popularity of Donald Trump despite ongoing MSM and left wing portrayals of him as a racist cheating ignorant inexperienced clown con artist who is completely unfit to be President?

    In 25 minutes this is a better and more in depth and critical discussion of current events than 90% of the western MSM is willing to provide.

    • TheExtremist66 1.1

      I’m staggered that you continually go to, post, and seemingly shape your world view from a propaganda channel akin to Fox News

      And Trump IS a racist, cheating ignorant clown

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        I post it so people can watch it and decide for themselves instead of listening to your jingoism.

        • TheExtremist66

          Jingoism? What part of calling a state sponsored propaganda channel a state sponsored propaganda channel is jingoism?

          Also, why do you continually blame the media for making Trump out to be a racist ignorant clown when he actually IS a racist ignorant clown?

          • Paul

            Just as the BBC is a state sponsored propaganda channel.
            We look at both and come to our opinions.

            Ken Loach just proved beyond doubt that the BBC is brainwashing the British public

          • Colonial Viper

            Jingoism? What part of calling a state sponsored propaganda channel a state sponsored propaganda channel is jingoism?

            All parts of it. Watch the show, listen to the arguments, weigh the different points of view.

            Instead of repeating your jingoism and your simple minded labelling.

            • TheExtremist66

              It’s not simple minded labeling – that’s what RT is. A highly misleading propaganda channel.

              • Colonial Viper

                Going on then convince me give me your examples of RT reporting in a “highly misleading” way on what is going on in the Middle East wars.

                Or you’re just full of western imperial jingoism.

                • TheExtremist66

                  Yeah, calling RT for being a propaganda channel makes one a western imperial jingoist. You actually think in such black and white terms? Life isn’t binary.

                  You’re a fucking idiot.


                  • Colonial Viper

                    And critically, from your link:

                    Ofcom did not consider the accuracy of the claims made in the Truthseeker programmes as the show is considered current affairs rather than news programming.

                    The big issue they raise is on the claimed chemical attack by Assad a couple of years back.

                    You should know that despite the MSM hysteria about how a “red line” had been crossed, it was finally concluded that anti-Assad rebels were the ones who had used the chemical weapons. Apparently in an effort to discredit the Assad government.

                    And the MSM fell for it because it neatly supported the neocon regime change line.

                    • TheExtremist

                      Here’s your problem CV – and this has been pointed out to you several times. You couch every attack on Russia, RT, Putin, Trump et al. as the respondent somehow being pro-West/USA.

                      That is incorrect and a logical fallacy. A typical pattern is as follows:

                      Person A: “Russia is bad because x y and z”
                      CV: “Yeah but as a supporter of the liberal West military complex you don’t bat an eyelid when they go ahead and a b and c
                      Person A: “WTF?”

                      I support neither the US or Russia but your blind rage at the US has completely clouded your judgement. Russia is just as bad as the US and your attempt at character assassination of anyone who questions Russian actions speaks volumes. You *know* this but can’t seem to back down.

                      Fact: Russia is an oligarchy which suppresses freedom of speech
                      Fact: Russia engages in international espionage and cyber warfare
                      Fact: Russia invaded a nearby neighbour and waged a massive propaganda war to justify it
                      Fact: Russia regularly jails political opponents
                      Fact: Russia has been implicated in assassinations of political opponents
                      Fact: Russia persecutes the LGBT community

                      None of this in any way implicates me as pro-West. So stop making that stupid argument and open your fucking eyes

                    • Paul

                      “Fact: Russia invaded a nearby neighbour and waged a massive propaganda war to justify it.”

                      Which country?

                      As to the US, here’s an impressive list.

                      1. Grenada (1983-1984)
                      2. Bolivia (1986)
                      3. Virgin Islands (1989)
                      4. Liberia (1990; 1997; 2003)
                      5. Saudi Arabia (1990-1991)
                      6. Kuwait (1991)
                      7. Somalia (1992-1994; 2006)
                      8. Bosnia (1993-)
                      9. Zaire/Congo (1996-1997)
                      10. Albania (1997)
                      11. Sudan (1998)
                      12. Afghanistan (1998; 2001-)
                      13. Yemen (2000; 2002-)
                      14. Macedonia (2001)
                      15. Colombia (2002-)
                      16 Pakistan (2005-)
                      17. Syria (2008; 2011-)
                      18. Uganda (2011)
                      19. Mali (2013)
                      20. Niger (2013)
                      21. Yugoslavia (1919; 1946; 1992-1994; 1999)
                      22. Iraq (1958; 1963; 1990-1991; 1990-2003; 1998; 2003-2011)
                      23. Angola (1976-1

                    • Tim []

                      Mali? The U.S. and France are helping protect Malians from Islamic fundamentalist terrorists there.

                    • Paul

                      Fact: Russia engages in international espionage and cyber warfare

                      The U.S.’s surveillance record is impressive.

                      Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowed information to be intercepted in all but 4 of the world’s countries, according to a new report
                      The National Security Agency exempted four countries from its list of places where it could rightfully intercept information, leaving the world’s 193 other countries open to surveillance, according to a new set of top secret documents leaked by Edward Snowden.


                    • TheExtremist

                      WHOOSH! And somehow, without a single sense of irony, you prove the point I am making.

                      I’ll repeat the key point which seems to have flown straight over your head:

                      Person A: “Russia is bad because x y and z”
                      Paul: “Yeah but as a supporter of the liberal West military complex you don’t bat an eyelid when they go ahead and a b and c
                      Person A: “WTF?”

                      No one is supporting, forgiving, excusing or remarking on the US. You cannot justify Russia’s actions by comparing it to the USA – neither country has any justification for their actions.

                    • Paul

                      Do you ever comment on the US?

                      Through the filter of the western propaganda machine we only hear one side of the story.

                      We don’t hear the other side.

                      I’m not defending everything RT does. However it includes some valuable content that we wouldn’t hear if we just listened to the BBC, the Guardian and the rest.

                    • TheExtremist

                      If someone here, if you or CV, were posting pro USA comments in the same vein as you do Russia – then I would have a lot to say about it.

                      But again, your making the same false equivalence, reworded and reposted.

                    • TheExtremist

                      And again, pivot to the USA.

                      Three times you have done that now.

                    • Paul

                      OK, let’s stick with Russia and your list of ‘facts’.

                      ‘Fact: Russia invaded a nearby neighbour and waged a massive propaganda war to justify it.’

                      Crimea had a referendum.
                      It voted to join Russia.

                      Please provide your sources that show Russia invaded the country.
                      An independent source, not the western propaganda machine.

                    • TheExtremist

                      The UN seems pretty clear

                      Also this “referendum” you mention…pretty easy to get the response you want if you start disappearing agitators:

                      And you scored an impressive own goal by comparing US action in Iraq to Crimea.

                    • Paul

                      Not as clear you say say.

                      100 Votes in Favour, 11 against, 58 Abstentions for Text on Ukraine
                      So 69 countries didn’t go along with the US.

                      95% is a huge vote.

                    • TheExtremist

                      And back to the US again….

                      that’s four times now. Jesus.

                    • Paul

                      Do you condone the rest of the US invasions?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The US ran a regime change op in Kiev to destabilise Russia’s economic and military security and was planning to turn Sevastapol into a NATO base removing Russia’s only warm water naval port.

                      In effect, the US spent billions in order to get rid of a democratically elected (if corrupt/incompetent) Kiev government, to replace it with a completely unconstitutional corrupt/incompetent/fascist Kiev government.

                      The Russians said, “NYET”, took over the Crimea, and legitamized the move via referendum. The result of which was that a massive majority of Crimeans democratically decided to secede to Russia, which is a valid outcome under international law.

                      And why not, since the failing US/UK backed regime in Kiev is backed by a fascist right wing who operate neo-nazi paramilitaries like the Azov Battalian.

                      While running the remnants of the Ukranian economy into the dirt.

                    • Paul

                      Summed up superbly.
                      The US has undermined the democratic process in the Ukraine – by a coup. It’s just another example of the country’s disrespect for democracy in other countries.
                      The US is frankly a rogue nation.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Chur Paul. As for the US, it is a hyperpower. Rules and laws are for everyone else.

                    • Paul

                      Beats me why so many of the left wing so slavishly accept the neocon narrative – on Iraq, Syria, Libya, 9/11, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Russia….
                      Do I need to go on?

                    • TheExtremist

                      Beats me why you continually divert from Russia’s atrocious human rights record and persecution of the LGBT.

                      Beats me why so called ‘lefties’ could have anything other than scorn for both the US and Russsia.

                    • miravox

                      “Which country?

                      Pedant corner, but it’s important.

                      Crimea is not a country. To march into Crimea, Russia had to march into The Ukraine.

                  • Adrian

                    Not going to enter this debate on RT, but I don’t think using a Guardian article as a point of reference for unbiased reporting is a good starting point, The Guardian have proved themselves to be one of the most dangerous MSM outlets for the Left over the past year.
                    Cloaking themselves as a liberal progressive news source, they have unashamedly gone on to undermine, belittle and display straight out contempt to both the Sander and the Corbyn movements.
                    As I have said before The Guardian editorial staff would rather eat their own babies than let their readers believe that another political/economic alternative is possible, outside of their centrist, free market ideology.
                    The media bias report..
                    The Guardian response…

                    • Wayne

                      Your comments (3:28) on Ukraine are basically crap. You might just as well be part of Putin’s propaganda arm.

                      On Syria not so bad. At least you don’t actually blame the US for Assad’s ruthless actions against his own people. However, the West is going to have to accept Assad, backed as he is by Russia.

                      But ultimately there will be a reckoning just as there was for Milosevic, though he never seemed as bad as Assad. You may recall it was the Serbian govt who gave up Milosevic.

                  • b waghorn

                    give me your address mr extreme i want to send you a wall to bang your head on , as it will save you time.

                    • TheExtremist

                      Thanks, I have destroyed all mine today

                    • McFlock

                      Been largely offline lately. I find it funny when cv uses words that he almost, but not quite, understands. Jingoism this time. And last time he wanked about Clintons health, it turned out she’d been fundraising so he seamlessly went to his “1%” playbook.
                      Tired lines and lies that he wouldn’t need if he had facts.

              • Stuart Munro

                They’re not so bad outside Russia’s direct interests.

      • Paul 1.1.3

        So what do you shape your opinion from?

        The NZ Herald?
        Or the BBC?
        The Guardian?

        All are just echo chambers; repeaters for the Western establishment.
        After 2003 and ‘weapons of mass destruction ‘, any thinking person would know not to trust the western media any more.

        Where are your sources?
        Are they more credible on Syria than RT?

        • TheExtremist

          All of the above plus:
          The Atlantic
          The Economist
          The New Yorker
          Al Jazzera
          Der Speiegal (sp?)
          New Scientist
          Scientific American
          Fox News
          Multiple blogs from the right and left
          The Independent
          Human Rights Watch
          and on
          and on
          and on

          Fucking everything from every angle

          • Paul

            Which do you find the most credible?
            And which source provided you with the ‘fact’ that ‘ Russia invaded a nearby neighbour and waged a massive propaganda war to justify it.’

            • TheExtremist

              Um, all of them.

              The real question is – why are you supporting a government that persecutes the LGBT community, locks up dissidents, assassinates political rivals and effectively runs an oligarchy?

              • Paul

                I am not supporting that government.
                I just don’t parrot western propaganda.
                I note the Crimean ‘fact’ is no longer mentioned.

                • TheExtremist

                  No, you parrot Russian propaganda instead.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The US is also an oligarchy (a plutocracy to be exact), and I think that the way they have treated whistleblower of conscience Chelsea Manning – including considering criminally charging her for her suicide attempt – is indicative of where that nation is heading.

                    Pick your poison, dumbass.

                    The main difference being that the Russian President is (far) more democratically popular than the US President.

              • Cinny

                If someone posts a clip from RT it doesn’t necessarily mean they support Russia, it also doesn’t mean that they buy into any propaganda slants it may be given.

                It’s not a pissing competition it’s war it’s life and death every moment of every day for those whom live there.

                What I’d like to see is Putin, Assad, Russia, the Rebels and US etc work to bring down ISIS. The ‘in fighting’ between the ‘Rebels’ and Russian backed Assad is helpful to NONE in the grand scheme of things. After ISIS has been depleted then there should be an election, if Assad is really that great he will be voted back into power.

                This bullshit goes on and on and on, all about the $ and control, pick a religion.. they are all about control.

                “This is the world we live in. People relying on each others mistakes, in order to manipulate one another and use one another, even relate to one another. A warm messy circle of humanity”

                • In Vino

                  I am not impressed by Extremist. He claims to favour neither side because he is excellently informed from all possible sources. A true paragon – yet he criticises those who, living in a country where the media are owned by the Right, dare to support some of what RT tells us. It sounds to me as if he is criticising any dissent from the Right Wing view, asking us to believe that he reviles the USA, but criticising anybody for supporting evil Russia. False posturing.
                  Crimea – after evil Stalin deported Tartars and replaced them with Russians, Crimea became a state with a Russian majority. Ukrainian Khrushchev later gifted Crimea to the Ukraine, but never envisaged the possibility of the USSR breaking up – he believed that the USSR would bury Capitalism. Small wonder that when the USA prompted a Right-Wing coup in the Ukraine, the majority of Crimeans voted to go with Russia.
                  Despite all this , Extremist calls it an invasion… I think this tells us what kind of extremist Extremist is – a biased Right-Wing one.

        • Stuart Munro

          Not quite – it’s like the difference between parliamentary debate and the infantile bullshit the Key Kleptocracy get up to.

          Good parliamentary debate makes selective use of the truth to further its ends – the public are not served by outright lies, which ultimately discredit the utterer – which is why no-one on this site can take Wayne seriously.

          The BBC was a bastion of sound reporting for decades – but they didn’t always report everything. They’ve also retreated somewhat from that standard of late.

          RT is useful to the extent it confines itself to the truth. This varies considerably from story to story. Al Jazeera is more reliable – they are at present less aggressive in pursuing geopolitical ends.

          Our own news has become shamefully vacuous and biased – it is pitched at a mental age of 8 – core Gnat supporter level.

          • Paul

            Ken Loach explains the inbuilt bias of the BBC


            • Stuart Munro

              Yes I’ve seen it. and I’ve some connections who work there – it has declined. Nevertheless it was a very reputable organisation for a long time – which is why it served as the model for Al Jazeera. Unfortunately all our public institutions are being raped by neo-liberalism, they were often conservative but now many of them are just rubbish. Parliament chief amongst them unfortunately – neither representative nor public interested – it has become merely a brawling pack of troughers who should be in prison.

            • Red

              Keep your tinfoil hat on Paul and you will be fine

          • Leftie

            Yes our msm is like….
            Fox News Makes You Less Informed

            “It’s not like we really needed a study to tell us this, but the survey “What You Know Depends on What You Watch,” undertaken by Fairleigh Dickinson University, found that watching Fox News results in knowing less about the world. Researchers asked 1,185 respondents which news shows they consumed and then asked general questions about newsworthy events.”

            “Five questions were asked, and those who watch Fox News exclusively got 1.04 correct, on average. Individuals watching MSNBC, on the other hand, got 1.26. NPR listeners? They got an impressive 1.51. The Daily Show? Surely a “fake news” program couldn’t make you more informed than “the most watched cable news channel in America.”

            “Yep, as it turns out, The Daily Show viewers scored 1.42 on average. The best thing about this study, though? It asked questions to people who watch no news at all, and those individuals scored 1.22 on average. That’s right: Fox News makes you less informed than watching no news at all.”

            5 Scientific Studies That Prove Republicans Are Plain Stupid

            <a href="

    • How did a Nobel Prize winning president end up running bombing and droning campaigns in 7 countries in just the last few years (Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan).

      Well, even without the dubious benefit of sitting through 25 minutes of Russian government propaganda, I can answer that. Those are the countries with lots of Islamic extremists who need big holes put in them and governments that are too fucked to stop the US from doing it. Given that there’s over a billion Muslims in the world and it’s an ideology that’s inherently opposed to liberal western values, no doubt future US presidents will also be putting holes in religious fascists for quite some time to come. I won’t be shedding any tears over it.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        “Western values” OK do you remember how the USA was founded on the genocide of tens of millions of native American Indians?

        Or how Madeline Albright was confronted with the fact that US sanctions had led to the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children, and she said that it was worth it?

        How many wedding parties and village gatherings have been randomly droned in the last ten years? And the surviving brown natives then offered US$100 in compensation for their dead family members.

        My friend, the world outside the privileged white OECD is very familiar with what “Western values” actually are in practice.

      • Richard Rawshark 1.2.2


        Hey PM, never read so much fucked up wrong and completely off the track shit in all my life. Say that to my face and you’ll have found trouble all right.

        every Christian is a crusading mass murder who kills babies and places them on spikes, Every black mans a drug dealer.. your fucked..,stereotyping, generalizing blaming wanker.

        Every time I read a comment of yours now i’m going to laugh at you.. please fuck off.

        and this gem “ideology that’s inherently opposed to liberal western values”

        shows just what a complete fuckwit and dumb dickhead you really are.

        Whaleoil for you, off you go, it’s about your intelligence level. Munted Nut.

        • Tim

          He’s right though isn’t he? There’s a certain amount of nut jobs out there (Isis or al Qaeda types) that do need to be addressed by someone out there, through non violent or violent means.. I’m also not going to lose sleep if those people are targeted

          • Draco T Bastard

            The best, in fact only, people who should address ISIS and other local despots are the locals.

            • Psycho Milt

              You may not want to be at war with them, but they certainly do want to be at war with you. No easy ways out of that one.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Then it becomes local and we deal with it. What we don’t do is go round invading other countries because some people are doing things that we don’t like.

            • Tim

              Just leave it to the locals eh? That sort of idea doesn’t really help people who are currently being victimised does it? Would that have helped those being killed by Hitler during WW2? I don’t like the focus on the term western values. What we’re talking about are basic human values which ISIS lack.

              • Paul

                So, if you actually believe the propaganda you are echoing, explain why the war in the DR Congo has not been stopped by the West?

                • Well, if one side decides to declare war on the West and send people to carry out attacks on western democracies, my money would be on various of its leaders finding themselves getting blasted by drones within a fairly short timeframe. But that’s not likely to happen, is it?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Just leave it to the locals eh? That sort of idea doesn’t really help people who are currently being victimised does it?

                Yes and yes it does.

                Would that have helped those being killed by Hitler during WW2?

                It was up to the locals to stop Hitler before it went too far. They didn’t and we ended up with a war.

                Every time we go in to ‘protect the locals’ we dis-empower the locals. Of course, often after we’ve gone into ‘protect the locals’ they’ve become a client state after paying tribute in one form or another or simply a failed state that’s far worse off than they were.

        • Psycho Milt

          Say that to my face and you’ll have found trouble all right.

          Your anger management issues aren’t my problem.

          • Colonial Viper

            Those are the countries with lots of Islamic extremists who need big holes put in them

            It’s apparent that it is you who have anger management issues.

          • alwyn

            “Your anger management issues aren’t my problem”

            If he finds out who you really are and where you live they might be.

        • Red

          You and PM need to get a room

        • James

          Richard at 1.2.2

          Calm down sweetheart – you will have a heart attack going off like that.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.3

        So, which Western Values are those?

        Imposing themselves on other nations so as to get that nations resources for their own people?
        Impoverishing the many so as to enrich the few?
        Fucking up the environment?
        Blaming victims for the crimes carried out against them?

        Our Western ‘liberal values’ seems to liberally ignore the atrocities that are carried out in our name.

        • Psycho Milt

          When you find that utopia you’re looking for, let us know.

          • Draco T Bastard

            So, what you’re saying is that you don’t actually know what those “liberal western values” that you mentioned are?

            • Psycho Milt

              No, I’m pointing out that if you want to live in a human society that’s completely devoid of the less-pleasant features of human societies, you’re wanting a utopia. Unless you were intending to claim that bigotry etc are somehow exclusive to western societies, in which case I can only suggest you try living in a non-western one for a while so you can lose that naivety,

              • Draco T Bastard

                No, I’m pointing out that if you want to live in a human society that’s completely devoid of the less-pleasant features of human societies, you’re wanting a utopia.

                No you’re not. You declaiming the concept of Western Values but not actually giving any indication of what those values are.

                Unless you were intending to claim that bigotry etc are somehow exclusive to western societies…

                Not exclusive to it but they have certainly been a large part of our ‘liberal western democracy’ for the last couple of centuries which you were holding up as some Divine Light.

                • They have certainly been a large part of every human society, ever. Unlike you, I’m not looking for perfection, just “better-than.” And I don’t think pointing out that Islam is incompatible with liberal western values constitutes “holding [liberal western democracy] up as some Divine Light.”

                  • One Two

                    “I’m not looking for perfection, just better than…”

                    Narcacissm and vanity are ugly traits usually the reserve of cowards

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Unlike you, I’m not looking for perfection, just “better-than.”

                    I’m not looking for perfection – just asked you what these fictitious Western Values are that you seem so fond of.

    • Wayne 1.3

      I didn’t bother looking/listening at the article, but it seems to me that despite their differences both the US and Russia know that any Syrian deal has to go through them and has to have their joint endorsement.

      And the shape of that deal is increasingly clear. Assad gets his bit, the US backed insurgents get their bit and Kurds, at least in the east get their bit. Most of the ISIS territory goes the US backed insurgents.

      Admittedly not a very satisfactory outcome. A bit like Bosnia of twenty years ago which is still governed on sectarian lines. And Bosnia is all the poorer for that.

      The US is clearly got the staying power in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIS. There is no real difference between Clinton and Trump on this. They will both do pretty much as Obama is doing.

      Possibly Trump is in a better position to cut a deal with Putin. I suspect there have been background discussion as to how a Trump administration and the Putin govt will act, not just on Syria but on a wide variety of issues.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        It may come down to the scenario you suggest, Wayne.

        However, if the US insurgent territory ends up as a training ground of Islamic extremism as opposed to a secular governed province, I can see the Russians back sooner rather than later bombing the hell out of it.

        Do you see Turkey abiding by the creation of an internationally recognised Kurdish nation?

        • Psycho Milt

          I can see the Russians back sooner rather than later bombing the hell out of it.

          Oh no! What if they hit a “brown natives'” wedding party or village gathering?

          • Colonial Viper

            Speaking of western values supporting Islamic head choppers, did you notice how President Obama has just vetoed legislation which would have allowed 9/11 terrorism victims families to take Saudi Arabia to court?

        • Wayne


          On the Kurds, no Turkey won’t accept them as an independent nation, but that is not what I am proposing. In my proposal essentially Syria would have 3, maybe 4 autonomous self governing regions.

          Maybe in 20 to 30 years they would interact freely, but maybe not – look at Cyprus 40 years on from the Turkish invasion.

          Kurdistan in northern Iraq is an obvious local example. The Turks accept it. It is essentially self governing but still sits within Iraq as its nation state.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        And the shape of that deal is increasingly clear.

        Yes, the US and the West should get the fuck out of the Middle East.

        Assad gets his bit, the US backed insurgents get their bit and Kurds, at least in the east get their bit.

        No, Assad gets his entire country back and the US gets out of there altogether.

        Most of the ISIS territory goes the US backed insurgents.

        Nope because that’s actually invasion and is illegal according to international law.

        The US is clearly got the staying power in Iraq and Syria to defeat ISIS.

        Just like they beat the Vietcong eh?

        I suspect there have been background discussion as to how a Trump administration and the Putin govt will act, not just on Syria but on a wide variety of issues.

        I suspect that you’re talking out your arse.

        • miravox

          “No, Assad gets his entire country back …”

          Is this a good idea though? given that Syria, in the first place, is lines drawn on a map by imperial powers. These lines don’t reflect the realities on the ground, nor has Assad’s government.

          The US would secretly heave a huge sigh of relief if Assad took control again, I suspect… anything to close the whole unmitigated disaster down. This was a (clearly not the only) potential outcome if the ceasefire the other week was actually a ceasefire.

        • Wayne


          But not Russia. Frankly you are operating in an alternate universe with your narrative.

          ISIS is going to be defeated. They are not like the Vietcong which was backed by North Vietnam and the Soviets. ISIS doesn’t have the support of any nation state. US and coalition air power and special forces are having their effect, as is already evident In Iraq they are nearly defeated. Within two years ISIS will not occupy any territory in Iraq, and probably Syria.

          Do I have actual evidence that there has not been some contact between the Trump camp and Putins allies. No, but why wouldn’t there be such contact. Trump has quite a few close supporters who have close relations with Putin’s business supporters.

          If you think you are going to win, you start with preliminary quiet discussions with people you may be dealing with on some key issues. Why would this surprise you.

      • reason 1.3.3

        When a bullshitter calls something crap …………..

        Wayne Mapp has history as a dishonest warmonger who helped spread false information and needless fear when he was demanding New Zealand participate in Bush & Blairs illegal war ……….

        Other statements of his in support of war display either stupidity or dishonesty …..

        Wars and all its associated death and maiming of civilians and children should be used to try and get trade deals for New Zealand according to people like wayne map ……. If that sounds dodgy or illegal that does not matter to a ‘man like him ………….. when in Parliament he helped block legislation that would have required Nz to obey international law.

        A bad mapp is worse than no mapp ……… following it leads to corruption and war crimes.

    • DH 1.4

      What do you expect, or want, the US to do CV?

      Syria is a moral quagmire, there aren’t exactly a lot of good guys to support there. The US isn’t blameless but of of all the meddling interlopers I’d think the US is one of the least blameworthy. For them it seems they’re damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

      • Colonial Viper 1.4.1

        Firstly, give up on the concept of illegal regime change by Islamist proxies.

        Secondly, partner with Russia to utterly destroy any rebel groups who refuse to ceasefire.

        Thirdly, co-operate with the UN to ensure the running of full and fair democratic elections within 12 to 18 months.

        • DH

          What makes you think it would be possible to have these full & fair democratic elections? That would be handing power over to the rebels, do you really think Assad and his allies would let that happen?

          • Colonial Viper

            You asked me what should be done and I told you.

            BTW you’ve made an assumption that the Turkish/Qatar/Saudi backed Islamist Rebels have popular Syrian support. They don’t.

            • DH

              I’m just looking at history & applying some common sense CV. Iraq is majority Shia and it’s Govt is now dominated by Shia through democratic elections. That was pretty predictable, it’s how democracy works.

              Syria is majority Sunni and there’s no chance of Assad continuing to rule in any ‘fair’ election. He’d be turfed out by any Sunni dominated Govt and following that so would Russia and Iran.

              There’s no way Russia or Iran would go along with that so why would the US want to join with them in any kind of alliance?

              • Colonial Viper

                Most of the Syrian Sunnis have been targeted for killings by the Salafist Takfiri ideology of ISIS and related “Sunni” rebel groups.

                • Funny – most of them seem more concerned about Shi’ite militia from Iraq and Iran. Not that any non-western countries would ever consider interfering in the Syrian conflict, of course.

                • DH

                  I don’t think so CV. At heart Syria is still a sectarian war. The Assad regime may presently have some numbers of Sunni supporters but that support would evaporate in any climate of genuinely free & fair elections. The various Sunni groups would form their own political movements.

                  If a ceasefire & elections were possible moderate Sunni aren’t going to vote for a Shia Iran backed Assad Govt and Iran sure as hell aren’t going to just walk away from Syria.

                  I still can’t see how it would be in US interests to support Russia in eliminating the rebels. They’d be ending one war only to see the start of an even bigger war.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    It seems to me that you don’t understand the religious and sectarian dynamics of the ME. I barely do myself, but at least I understand that Takfiri Salafist terrorists aren’t really “Sunni” and do not regard “moderate Sunni” Muslims of worthy of respect.

                    If a ceasefire & elections were possible moderate Sunni aren’t going to vote for a Shia Iran backed Assad

                    Why not? Assad’s clan is Alawite, which has some relationship to Shia Islam but is also its own thing.

                    And Assad’s government has always been secular in nature – with Sunni, Shia, Alawite and Christian cabinet ministers.

                    • Paul

                      That’s why folk like Patrick Cockburn are so interesting.

                    • DH

                      And you seem to be forgetting that it wasn’t Takfiri who started the uprising in the first place CV. It was a popular revolt against the depredations of the Assad regime.

                      Do you really believe it can go back to the way it was and people will forgive & forget all the bloodshed?

                      People there might, for survival sake, accept for a while the choice of the lesser of two evils but that kind of peace would be a fragile & transient one. It’s no solution.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And you seem to be forgetting that it wasn’t Takfiri who started the uprising in the first place CV. It was a popular revolt against the depredations of the Assad regime

                      That’s bullshit. The unrest in the major cities was driven by a multi-year climate change drought which had forced hundreds of thousands of poverty stricken Syrians off the land and into urban areas.

                      Foreign powers then decided to weaponise what had been largely peaceful protests against these dire economic circumstances via agent provocateurs, causing many fatalities in both the security forces and other protestors.

                      Assad then moved to a violent martial law crackdown which resulted in more deaths of protestors.

                      The west’s allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Jordan then used this as a pretext to continue to train, fund and arm more rebels, facilitating the infiltration of many thousands of foreign Islamist fighters into Syria (including from Iraq).

                      Remember, the primary goal of the western powers in Syria has never been to ensure the stability and security of Syria; it has been to regime change Assad at any cost, via any proxies required.

                      Do you really believe it can go back to the way it was and people will forgive & forget all the bloodshed?

                      Of course not.

                      However, Syrians are more than smart enough to understand that NATO member Turkey, with the tacit approval of the United States, and the co-operation of western allies Qatar and Saudi Arabia, are primarily responsible for the violent disintegration of their country via fundamentalist Islamist proxies.

                    • DH

                      You’re just trying to rewrite history to suit your own narrative now CV. The start of the conflict is a matter of public record. Ordinary people began protesting and Assad’s security forces started shooting them. It got progressively worse from there as the tit for tat escalated.

                      To suggest the rebels are all islamists, and only islamists, is to deny recorded history and common sense.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Many of Assad’s security forces were killed by gun fire from “protestors” (probably foreign agent provocateurs) in the early days of the protests.

                      Yes Assad’s response did eventually become heavy handed and a number of civilians were killed.

                      The guts of it though, is that the west’s allies created this pretext for a longstanding regime change operation and the US was OK with it as the Pentagon neocons had wanted this since about 2000.

                      Also, Syria is in the middle of its worst drought for several hundred years, and it is likely associated with climate change. This drought was a key driver for social unrest in the country.

          • reason

            DH the u.s.a has a long history of opposing elections and supporting civil wars ….

            They have a long history of direct involvement in the overthrow of elected governments with support and training being given to death squads time and time again ……………..

            Last Century the only thing which killed more people than the u.s.a was world war 2 ……….

            They have literally slaughtered millions ……………… either directly or by proxy .

  2. Gangnam Style 2

    Harsher penalties for fleeing drivers, freakin’ genius, whats the bet if the law is passed there is an escalation of fleeing drivers & more teenage death. Suits the simpler thinkers out there, more ‘tough on crime, lenient on banksters’ bullshit, “want to do rich mans time? do rich mans crime”.

    • I think you’ll find that when rich people commit crimes that kill others, it’s treated as seriously as when fuckwit teenagers and car thieves do it.

      • Gangnam Style 2.1.1

        You missed the news the other day about the sentence handed down to the rich fuckwit kid beating a cop senseless obviously.

        • alwyn

          A number of lawyers, including Graeme Edgeler at

          have said that the charge and sentence were what they would expect for any 18 year old first offender. It was not a case of a rich person “getting away” with something.
          It surprised me a little but a first offender apparently has to commit a very, very serious offence to get jail time.

          • KJT

            Absolute bullshit.
            Seen a great many young Maori, or poor, get much worse sentences for much less serious crimes.
            Dope possession, for one.

            And young people in Whangarei get serious sentences and fines where Dunedin University students get discharged without conviction.

            Of course it depends on how expensive a lawyer you can pay.
            Bribery paid to the system if you like.

            • alwyn

              ” get much worse sentences ”
              There are two major things.
              Were they young, ie about 18?
              And, apparently quite critically, was it a FIRST offense?
              “discharged without conviction”.
              In the case we are talking about he pleaded guilty to a serious charge and WAS convicted.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        I think you’ll find that when rich people commit crimes that kill others, it’s treated as seriously as when fuckwit teenagers and car thieves do it.

        Sure, except if they are (as you put it)

        Given that there’s over a billion Muslims in the world and it’s an ideology that’s inherently opposed to liberal western values, no doubt future US presidents will also be putting holes in religious fascists for quite some time to come. I won’t be shedding any tears over it.

        And that ladies and gentlemen, is Psycho Milt’s version of “liberal western values.”

        • Psycho Milt

          If you think about it really hard, you might be able to discern the way in which the actions of political leaders carrying out acts of war are different from criminal offences against NZ law. The fact that Winston Churchill wasn’t arrested and given multiple life sentences for ordering the killing of German fascists (and German civilians, for that matter) doesn’t mean that someone in NZ has a moral right not to be prosecuted for murdering his neighbour. I should be surprised that I have to tell you this, but I’m not.

          • Colonial Viper

            And I’m not surprised that Tony Blair wasn’t arrested for his illegal war on Iraq undertaken on completely false pretences.

            Liberal western (imperial) values at work again.

        • Adrian

          Yes well this is all hardly surprising this ‘Psycho Milt’ is also the same person who passionately defended the right of moderators on this site to abuse commenting guests in a debate with me about a week ago ( “Open Mike 15/09/2016” ) until I got kicked off that is…. and all the while using the Crass emblem as his avatar, go figure.

          • Psycho Milt

            Way to hold a grudge mate. I don’t have any prizes to offer, sorry.

            • Adrian

              No grudge here, just an observation.

            • Richard Rawshark

              I read your ..many, many, outrageous, inflammatory, rude in some cases, and generally provocative comments since reading your first on this thread, all through this post you have basically turned up stirred shit and tried to wind anyone up you can.

              I don’t mind reasonable, and reasoned arguments, but you inflammatory remarks on Muslims and the ME in general are quite racist in their undertones. Due to your mannerism here on the Standard, i’d like to comment on it, say it’s not the first time you have done this sort of thing, and often the person who retaliates against your lunatic, racism and wild accusations is banned.

              I’m just chucking that out their for a comment from you is that what you came here for?, or do you have a reasoned knowledge of muslims and the Middle East and would like to make a proper point?

              Your all Arabs or/and muslims are terrorists and should be bombed into oblivion, is quite frankly real low brow teenager arguments.

              • In Vino

                I suspect that Psycho Milt will not get around to reading your message, RR…

              • Well, you’re entitled to your opinion about my comments. My opinion of your comments is that they suggest very poor reading comprehension, a willful determination to misinterpret opinions you disagree with and a predisposition to violence. So what? The world isn’t ever going to be filled only with people whose opinions we like.

                To answer your specific questions:

                What I came to this thread for is to dispute the views of the blog’s resident Putin supporters. It disgusts me that there are people on the left who are apologists for totalitarian dictatorships (eg, former USSR) or right-wing authoritarian nationalist regimes (eg, current Russian Federation). I’m happy to write comments disagreeing with them.

                Yes I do have some knowledge of Muslims and the Middle East, having lived in a Muslim country there for three years. That doesn’t make me an expert, but it gives me more knowledge and direct experience than most of the people who decry my “ignorance” and “racism” in this blog’s comments threads. It certainly made me a much more outspoken opponent of Islam than I was before I went there, but if you imagine that has something to do with ethnicity (ie, racism) you really need to educate yourself better.

                As to making proper points, I’ve made a number of them on this thread – why not have a go yourself?

                • In Vino

                  Glad you replied Psycho (not to me).. I would just say that my perception is that you come across as a hard-nosed defender of hard-line policy. When you lived in that Muslim country for 3 years, did you live with and mix with the people of that country, or did you live in a protected enclave with other Westerners? Am I wrong to doubt the former and suspect the latter?

                  • I wouldn’t say I’m a defender of the US government’s drone attacks on Muslim extremists, I’m just not surprised that they’re taking the opportunities available to kill these guys and don’t really have a problem with it.

                    No enclaves – Whitey gets to rent an apartment same as everyone else. The employer finds one for you and provides a minder to get you through the initial dealings with the bureaucracy (national ID card etc), but that’s the extent of the protection. However, even if I’d been in Saudi Arabia having to live in a compound so that locals could be protected from my pernicious influence, I’d still have more knowledge and experience than most of the authors and commenters on this blog, so your question is a bit disingenuous.

  3. Paul 3

    The top two stories in the Herald today.
    Unintended irony?

    What’s planned for Auckland’s biggest seafront house site
    A mansion is set to rise on one of Auckland’s most scenic waterfront spots on a site featuring 16 separate street addresses – with one real estate industry expert saying its land value alone would top $50 million.

    More than a million Kiwis locked out of home ownership
    More than one million renters are locked out of the home ownership dream because they can not afford the deposit new data shows.
    New figures from Statistics New Zealand reveal 78 per cent of those currently renting – or 458,000 households – have a net worth of $120,000 or less which means they can not afford the 20 per cent deposit on the average New Zealand home.
    Net worth includes significant assets such as savings, KiwiSaver, investments and cars against all debts.
    A typical Auckland renter had a net worth of just $41,000.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      That’s wealth that makes the1%’ers on $250K pa look poor.

    • Wayne 3.2

      When you think about this it is entirely expected, and will have been true for renters and young people for decades.

      For instance most Housing NZ tenants will have close to zero net worth. Typically they own furniture, clothes, a car (not new) and maybe $1000 or so in the bank. This will cover 70,000 Housing New Zealand households.

      Most young people have very low net worth. Certainly up until my early 20’s my net worth would have been in the order of a couple of thousand dollars, or less. Home ownership changed that situation.

      The issue is not that renters have low net worth, that has always been true and will always be true.

      The challenge is setting the conditions so that the average younger family can buy a house in Auckland. That means at least $50,000 in the bank or in Kiwisaver. Many moderate income young people will be able to do that. But a $450,000 mortgage is quite a problem if there is an interest rate increase.

      They need to be able to lock in the current low rates for at least 5 years. Either the banks have to provide such products, or the government has to be able to provide such guarantee. If rates stay low the guarantee for the govt would cost virtually nothing. It only will cost if rates rise, say above 5%.

      • DH 3.2.1

        “When you think about this it is entirely expected, and will have been true for renters and young people for decades.”

        That just isn’t true Wayne. Yes we’ve always had housing inflation but it used to be all general inflation. Now we just have housing inflation. In the old days wages kept pace with housing inflation, now they don’t.

        On top of that we had high interest rates for savers. The compounding interest, at rates pushing 8-10% and higher, let people save the deposit faster than inflation increased it. With today’s low interest rates the deposit is increasing faster than the savings.

      • Macro 3.2.2

        $50,000 won’t meet the deposit requirement on any house Wayne!
        Please do catch up.

        How much deposit do you need?
        In most cases, you will need at least a 20% deposit. There’s some great information and calculators on to help you get started.

        There aren’t too many houses for $250,000 in Auckland that I’m aware of….

        • Andre

          $250k won’t even get you a bare section any closer than Pukekohe.

        • Wayne

          If you qualify for the Kiwisaver grant first home buyer situation, the deposit is 10%, as i understand it.

          • Macro

            If you’ve been contributing to KiwiSaver for at least three years, you could be eligible for a KiwiSaver HomeStart grant (formerly the KiwiSaver first home subsidy). There are two levels of funding available:
            If you are buying an existing home, you could be eligible for $1,000 for each year you’ve been contributing – up to a maximum of $5,000. This means that if you’re buying a house with a partner and you both qualify, you could get up to $10,000.
            If you are buying a newly built home or a proposed home off plans, you could be eligible for $2,000 for each year you’ve been contributing – up to a maximum of $10,000. This means that if you’re buying a house with a partner and you both qualify, you could get up to $20,000.

            Still not enough.

          • Macro

            Take the situation of this hard working family in Hamilton (I have referred to it below).
            Essentially the situation was this:
            They saved enough to buy the State house they are living in when it was offered to them as “surplus to requirements” at $315,000 in November last year. Both parents are working on minimal wages. But in the meantime, the price has risen to $450,000! Way beyond their capacity to finance.
            So now they are threatened with eviction, because they can no longer afford to buy, but our heartless govt still insists that it is “surplus” housing stock!

          • Paul

            Wayne, someone who defends a government that allows this.


          • Macro

            Yes I see that if you have never owned a home before and have a combined income of less that $120,000 pa you may be eligible for a Welcome Home Home loan – with a total price of less than $600,000 in Auckland.
            There happens to be such a home listed in Auckland (Manakau city to be precise) with an asking price in the region of $569,000. That’s the cheapest I could find which wasn’t a box or a small apartment 15 floors up.
            So you would need to gather together a deposit of $57,000 for this house to start with and then fund a mortgage at around $1400 per week.
            Assuming a combined income of $100,000, with kiwisaver and student loan each partners take home pay is around $693.75 per week – ooopps not enough!

            • Wayne


              If you are saving for a house, you will actually have to do some saving beyond Kiwisaver. That is why I mention $50,000 in total of which $30,000 is actual saving.

              People don’t typically buy their first home on the basis of zero savings. So for five years or so they will have to save $30,000 to get the total of $50,000.

              It can be done, and is being done by many young families on relatively modest incomes. Generations of kiwis have done so.

              But I appreciate some never will. And that has always been the case. Housing NZ houses have always been for those who cannot save, and for whom owning a house is not likely to be possible.

              On your comment (1:41) where do you get the idea that a $500,000 mortgage costs $1,400 per week, which is $72,800 per year. In fact a 30 year mortgage at 4.75% with the ANZ is $2,608 per month. There are better deals around that that.

              • Macro

                To save $30,000 over a 5 year period would require saving $6,000 per year.
                For the couple who earn $100,000 per annum and pay student loans their take home pay is around $1400. Their cost of rental is in the region of $500, leaving $900 for food clothing transport electricity medical education etc. To save that $6000 will require saving $120 per week i.e. their “discretionary” spending for essential items reduces to around $780 per week. The cost of food for a family is around $200 especially if both partners are working because the cheaper cuts etc take more time to cook (that’s why they are cheap!) So that leaves $580 per week. Then there is the cost of transport. Having to live away from their work in the city for the cheaper rent the couple have to travel around 5 to 6 zones to their employment. Using the discount rate of around $6 per trip that adds up to around $100 per week. For their 1 child under 3 the cost would be
                “Te Rito Maioha Early Childhood NZ says Auckland fees for fulltime care of children under 3 range from $220 to $408 a week. Child Forum director Dr Sarah Farquhar estimates an average of $320, and Sara Jones faces paying $80 a day.” That leaves around $100 per week – if they are lucky – (and we haven’t included costing for a car) for electricity, insurance, and clothing. This is from a young family with one child who are well educated and have secure employment earning well above what many young people earn
                around $50,000 each pa. Perhaps they are both young teachers.
                The current starting salary for a primary school teacher with a Bachelor’s teaching degree is $47,039. The starting salary for a primary school teacher with a Bachelor’s degree (not a teaching degree) and a recognised teaching qualification is $48,165.
                In the meantime – as they are strenuously saving the minimum of $6000 per year for their $30,000 proportion of the deposit and paying off their student loan and paying child care and rent etc … the cost of buying a house is escalating at a rate more than they earn in a year.

                I obtained the calculation of $1400 per fortnight from the kiwisaver web sight mortgage calculator and that admittedly was over a 25 year period.
                A $700 per week mortgage is still barely do-able on $100,000 per annum income

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.3

        When you think about this it is entirely expected, and will have been true for renters and young people for decades.

        It was expected in the 1980s by quite a few people but it wasn’t and hasn’t been true for decades. And even if it had that’s not a valid excuse for it to be true now.

        Typically they own furniture, clothes, a car (not new) and maybe $1000 or so in the bank.

        No, that won’t be typical. That’s about 1000 times richer than what would be typical.

        Most young people have very low net worth. Certainly up until my early 20’s my net worth would have been in the order of a couple of thousand dollars, or less. Home ownership changed that situation.

        And there you just managed to contradict your first sentence.

        That means at least $50,000 in the bank or in Kiwisaver. Many moderate income young people will be able to do that.

        Only if they’ve got rich parents.

        They need to be able to lock in the current low rates for at least 5 years. Either the banks have to provide such products, or the government has to be able to provide such guarantee. If rates stay low the guarantee for the govt would cost virtually nothing. It only will cost if rates rise, say above 5%.

        Actually, the government can, and should, provide loans at 0% interest.

      • Stuart Munro 3.2.4

        Tell the truth – you never wanted these people to have houses. They will have slums. The brighter future, brought to you by Wayne and his accomplices.

      • Paul 3.2.5

        Just not true.

      • Poission 3.2.6

        Sorry Wayne,you need to address the elephant in the room as the RBNZ LVR is constrained ,

  4. Paul 4


    A sycophant is a person who tries to win favor from wealthy or influential people by flattering them. Also known as brown-nosers, teacher’s pets or suck-ups. Sycophant is from Latin sycophanta, from Greek sykophantēs, from sykon “fig” and phainein “to show, make known.”

    Audrey Young.

    • Muttonbird 4.1

      Anyone know who pays for these embedded journalists to travel with the prime minister?

      • Paul 4.1.1

        Name %
        Allan Gray Australia Pty Ltd. 15.5%
        21st Century Fox, Inc. 15.0%
        Perpetual Investment Management Ltd. 7.18%
        BT Funds Management (NZ) Ltd. 4.94%
        The Vanguard Group, Inc. 1.45%
        Vanguard Investments Australia Ltd. 0.51%
        Perennial Investment Partners Ltd. 0.47%
        Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. 0.10%
        Dimensional Fund Advisors LP 0.080%
        TIAA-CREF Investment Management LLC 0.072%

    • Paul 5.1


      a person who behaves obsequiously to those in power.
      “she is a lickspittle for the Establishment”

      Claire Trevett.

  5. Pat 6

    “I know this is a sore, and contested, point among those who chose Nader, who to this day blame Gore for not doing enough to appeal to the left (forgetting perhaps that he also had to appeal to centrist voters in order to win the election). But the basic case is surely clear. In a two-party system like America’s, if you want to stop Trump, then a vote for Johnson or Stein will not do it. Only a vote for Clinton can prevent a white nationalist bigot becoming the next US president.”

    • AsleepWhileWalking 6.1

      Actually nobody will be voting for Clinton. She is about to withdraw from the race. Or maybe die as the hosts of a news show last week were discussing her “death” that was yet to happen.

      She must withdraw because she isn’t healthy enough to go for 90 mins straight.
      Bye bye Killary!

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Clinton is so healthy she is popping up at public campaign rallies everywhere. Not.

        Seems like she has almost no public appearances scheduled before the first debate, just like the previous month of her campaign.

        • Pat

          of course Trump could have a stroke or be hit by a bus tomorrow as well….or is he immortal?

          • Richard Rawshark

            Yes but like all good US presidential families in waiting, the kids are standing by, straight out of good old Stepford, programmed and ready to war.

            Have you seen The Don’s kids…wow. normal is not a word used much in that home.

          • rhinocrates

            He will rise again on the third day.

          • Colonial Viper

            Show me any public campaign rally Clinton’s done in the last few days. Go on. It’s six weeks to the election. This is coming down to the home straight. She must have done some right?

            Show me.

            Meanwhile in the last FIVE DAYS Trump has done massive public rallies in:

            Chester PA.
            Toledo OH
            Kenansville NC
            Cleveland Heights Church
            Highpoint NC
            Fort Myers FL
            Colorado Springs CO

            Five states in five days.

            How many campaign rallies has Clinton done in this time?

            • rhinocrates

              Has he done Nuremberg yet?

            • Manuka AOR

              It is not her mission to incite hatred in the way your mate does.

              • Paul

                I think the reason why Hilary is not staging rallies is to do with her health.
                Invading and/or bombing Iraq, Libya, Serbia, Syria etc seems a sure fire way of inciting hatred.
                Drones and cluster bombs create a lot of hatred.

                • Colonial Viper

                  It seems obvious to me that is the most likely answer. A few weeks before the Presidential election and sweet FA public rallies. It’s a wtf.

                • Manuka AOR

                  In the videos I’ve seen, there seems to be a level of racist and misogynistic hatred throughout Trump’s rallies, which his words often fan up into greater hatred.

                  But oh yes, “Bombs!” “Wars” – Heck, the entire Military Industrial Complex. Yes, they exist.

                  So, that means, “Hillary baaaad…”

                  It is Trump who has asked more than once, “As we have nuclear weapons, why aren’t we using them?”

                  • Colonial Viper

                    In the videos I’ve seen, there seems to be a level of racist and misogynistic hatred throughout Trump’s rallies

                    Trump’s rallies frequently attract 5,000 to 10,000 people.

                    Hillary can barely get 1,000 to one of her rallies.

                    Shit man, does that mean according to you that racist misognynists out number ordinary Americans 10 to 1?

                    • Manuka AOR

                      I’m saying that Trump uses his rallies to whip up hatred, in a way not seen in other presidential rallies that I can recall. They seem more like some sort of religious revivalist meeting in some ways.

                      The “Nuremberg” comment earlier was not too far off the mark, imho

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So how come Trump gets so many more people to so many more rallies than Hillary Clinton does?

                      I look at the crowds at his rallies and there are plenty of women in those crowds. In your view then, are these self hating women going to a misogynist-fest?

                      I mean, why else would these women go to a woman-hating Trump event?

                    • Paul

                      Sanders had even more to his rallies.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Yep, but the Democratic hierarchy conspired against him at every turn in favour of their favourite pro status quo candidate.

                    • Paul

                      That explains the lack of interest in Clinton.
                      Only big business and big finance supports her.
                      Plus the deluded left here, who still support fake left wing candidates even after Douglas, Prebble, Clinton, Blair.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Goff, Shearer.

                    • rhinocrates

                      It’s a well-known rule of human nature that if a demagogue points a finger in your direction and says “You are the enemy”, you think that he’s pointing at the person standing beside you and you cheer for him.

            • Pat

              and your point?

              • Colonial Viper

                It’s pretty self explanatory, Pat, it’s not a trick question. Trump has worked hard and travelled hard, holding public rallies in all those states.

                Where has Clinton been in that same time?

                • Pat

                  and how does that address the fact he could be hit by a bus tomorrow?…your (and others) obsession with Clintons health is a pointless exercise.
                  What is impressive however is your ability to hold diametrically opposed positions re Trump and climate change while simultaneously expecting to be taken seriously.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Clinton’s not up to campaigning. She’s not physically fit to be President. I think that is pretty relevant even if you do not think it is.

                    Further there ain’t even 5ppm CO2 difference between Trump and Clinton.

                    • Pat

                      Whether Clinton is up to campaigning is irrelevant, she obviously is….and would be curious to see the formula you use to determine 5ppm CO2 difference between a climate change denier who will withdraw from COP21 and someone who will ratify.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      COP21 is irrelevant. Nothing binding, no reviews of performance in a time frame which matters, exclusion from considering all flights and shipping.

                      Whether Clinton is up to campaigning is irrelevant, she obviously is…

                      Where were her campaign rallies held this week then?

                    • Pat

                      so Clinton isn’t holding campaign rallies this week (or last) and yet she’s in the running…go for climate change , i guess you’ll be suitably reticent should Trump be elected and fire up coal sourced generation…..but then on past form you are unlikely to be.

                    • TheExtremist

                      FDR had polio….was a fine president.

                      And all this “Clinton health” BS is just speculation based on little to no evidence apart from a swoon on a hot day

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Pat: do you expect to see Clinton out on the campaign trail this coming week then?

                      TheExtremist: a “swoon” on a hot day? She lost control of her hips, knees and ankles. Then her doctor said that she had pneumonia. When those aren’t pneumonia symptoms.

                      Re: FDR, who was was quite sick and died in office.
                      Knowing this, why did you choose FDR as an example?

                      Further, the Secret Service also actively helped FDR to hide the true extent of his illness from the press and from the public.

                      It seems that they may be doing similar again.

                    • Yep that 5ppm is absolute rubbish with zero basis in reality. It does seem to be handy to help pretenders though.

                    • Pat

                      do I expect to see Clinton on the campaign trail this week?….I expect nothing and it means nothing.

                      FDR is a fine example…particularly in light of the fact he won a record 4 elections and was President for 12 years ,polio an all, not to mention his policies.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey Marty Mars, as a Democratic President, Obama has always taken Climate Change seriously, right.

                      Yet CO2 levels have gone up around 20ppm under his watch, and a massive shale oil industry sprung up all over the USA along with new permits for deep sea drill rigs, even after Deep Water Horizon.

                      Get real mate, there ain’t fuck all material difference between Trump and Clinton on climate change, although the “hot air” differs.

                    • You say that but it is not based on anything other than what you think you need to say to push your guilt down, that’s assuming you feel that for promoting a climate change denier. Later on you’ll be all teary about the effects of climate change – hypocrisy writ large. A joke if it wasn’t so serious.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re making weird comments now, marty mars. What has my “guilt” have to do with it?

                      Obama, a Democratic President, oversaw the growth of a massive shale oil industry, and bragged about America being “energy independent” because of it. He approved more off shore drilling even after Deep Water Horizon. And world CO2 levels have risen 20ppm on his watch.

                      Both Clinton and Trump will perform similarly to this Democratic President IMO.

                    • You are a hypocrite – quick out a climahe change post – you know describing everything we have to do – lol a denier endorser is a denier imo

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But you agree with my description of what has happened under Obama, a Democratic President who acknowledges that climate change is a severe problem, right?

                    • TheExtremist66

                      She fucking fainted. I had a terrible flu last week and nearly collapsed myself. Jesus Christ man, you swallowed the conspiracy health scare hook line and fucking sinker.

                    • Yep we need action NOW. And we have been let down by our politicians. Not many summer’s left to change and having deniers and their enablers around spinning their lies does not help.

                    • fisiani

                      Clinton is in better health than Winston Peters who will be lucky to be alive in 12 months time.

            • Lanthanide

              Surprised no one else has said this.

              She hasn’t had rallies because she’s prepping for the debate. She actually tries very hard not to lie and make crap up on the spot like Trump does. She knows that she’s an unpopular candidate, and the debates offers her best chance to cement her lead over Trump.

              Going to public rallies is not her best strategy at the moment, hence why she isn’t.

      • Manuka AOR 6.2.1

        From that link:
        Despite our growing dread, we do not imagine that protesting students will be gunned down at Kent State and Jackson State. That Hoover’s FBI will get the green light to go after Nixon’s enemies.

        We have a failure of political imagination. We have a failure of moral imagination.
        Where Obama in 2012 received 60 percent of voters under 30, when Johnson and Stein are included in the polls, Clinton is receiving only 31 percent of those voters. A significant group of Sanders supporters cannot bring themselves to support Clinton, the candidate of the establishment, no matter what the threat from Trump and no matter how hard Bernie campaigns for her.
        The only way Donald Trump does not become president of the United States is if Hillary Clinton does. In any closely contested state, staying home or voting for a third-party candidate is, in its impact, a vote for Trump. It does not take a great leap of moral or political imagination to envision the damage a Trump presidency will bring to our nation and to the world.

  6. Richard Rawshark 7

    I’d say on this post that we , frankly led the way. Press control was tested here, then implemented in the States and UK and Australia.

    Slowly they have been monopolizing the media outlets Murdock etc, into a few small wealthy right wing hands. Well that the only place it could go as they are the only ones in the media businesses.

    It’s a pity the like of Gates or Branson didn’t go into the media business to level the field, but they are to normal to do that I think. I would expect balance from more liberal rich media men, sadly I fail to find a one.

    As technology has exploded expotentially in the last two hundred years so have governments had to change as much to keep up. News, speed of information etc.

    In the future i see the media being licensed and ownership of a media outlet will be controlled like a gun license. In the information age the authenticity of the data going out to the public will have to be, A, either controlled by the state, the Orwellian life, or B, we end up going the other way and ensure it’s always from reliable people without vested interests. Laws around information/data and what you can and cannot put out will have to really catch up as at the moment no one knows what the real truth is.

    and if someone were to get to the top and have control of a information system via their party and contacts, and a nuclear arsenal, and was not well upstairs, imagine the harm they could do if they wanted too. Scary.

    Good post for the Sat AM, Thank you.

    • Adrian 7.1

      Are you serious that you think Gates or Branson would be any different to what already exists in media moguls today? They just like every other billionair will defend at least the status quo of this free market ideology to their dying breath, and why wouldn’t they, it has worked very well for them.
      All you would end up with is the same bullshit so called liberal media sources we have now, and look at how they all reacted when alternatives in the form of Sanders and Corbyn showed up. Direct unashamed hostility to how they treated and are treating both those promoters of real progressive change.

  7. RTM 8

    Public debate about the future of Kermadecs has been hampered by a lack of knowledge of the islands’ long & tragic past. Maori got to the Kermadecs many centuries ago, & in 1863 tragedy arrived, in the form of a Spanish ship filled with slaves from half a dozen Polynesian societies:

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Sounds more like an attempt to rewrite history to show more Māori connection to the Kermadecs than there really was.

  8. Penny Bright 9

    FYI – seen this?

    A Bright $0B Plan to Fix Auckland’s Gridlock | Scoop News

    • Penny Bright wants folks to look on the bright side. 

    Saying: “activists get things done”, she suggests that “right now, if we get more people carpooling, to get more people in a fewer number of cars, that would help stop the congestion.” 

    Having a PhD in ‘fuss-making’, she says as mayor she would say “listen, if you are sick of congestion here is what you can do: here’s an app, on your phone, you are going from A to B, I want you to see if you can get another couple of people in your car. 

    I mean, where is the campaign? 

    Where are the TV ads, the PUSH to try and stop congestion, making do with what we’ve got and encouraging people to do carpooling, etcetera? 

    There will be less congestion because I will make sure that happens.”

    (5 minute You Tube clip 🙂

    Auckland Mayoral Election 2016 Penny Bright Transport Pitch – YouTube

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  9. Macro 10

    OK a bit of a thread grab – but really, anyone concerned at the shabby dealings of this current “Govt” needs to read this:


    Hamilton Refugee Family Story Highlights Privatisation of State Housing

    • Cinny 10.1

      Dang, that blows. Not just for the family who’ve obviously had a hard enough life as it is, but how dodgy are the dealings re offering the house to whom for what, I was under the assumption that it was only to be offered to certain ‘parties’. Well written by Sue Moroney

    • Ad 11.1

      You have to wonder how many other petro-states will go to the wall with barrel $$ so low for so long.

    • Colonial Viper 11.2

      Statoil seems to do quite fine, Gossie, as does Aramco.

      I guess the big difference is support by the US financial establishment.

    • Stuart Munro 11.3

      NZ Electricity was cheaper and more reliable under state control – vastly cheaper. Now we have some of the most expensive in the world. One month’s bill in NZ would cover my power in Korea for the whole year. Private enterprise has been allowed to fail without being disciplined. There’s a huge ass-kicking coming for non-performing former state businesses.

  10. JMG has another interesting post up

    “The word I’ve coined for the strategy under discussion, retrovation, is obviously backformed from “retro” + “innovation,” but it’s also “re-trove-ation,” re-finding, rediscovery: an active process of searching through the many options the past provides, not a passive acceptance of some bygone time as a package deal. That’s the strategy the Lakeland Republic puts to use in my narrative, and those of my readers who know their way around the backwaters and odd corners of history may find it entertaining to figure out the sources from which I lifted this or that detail of Retrotopian daily life. The rhetoric of progress, by contrast, rejects that possibility, relies on a very dubious logic that lumps “the past” together as a single thing, and insists that wanting any of it amounts to wanting all of it, with the worst features inevitably highlighted.”

  11. Paul 13

    Ken Loach is one of the greatest directors of our time.

    • Red 13.1

      Jeez Paul even his ex wife does not rate him as a husband or a leader,

      • Adrian 13.1.2

        #Red, So let me get this right, you are critiquing Corbyn using statements made by his ex wife from 1979? maybe you should be writing for the Guardian, as that is the type of low level, bottom barrel scraping, dumb ass political analysis they seem to indulge in these days.

        • Red

          Oh and also labour under Corbyn are unelectable, ie below 30pc, his own party politicians detest him but 128k hard left nutters back him in a country of 50 plus mil, yep wining formula there

          • Barfly

            and you as a RWNJ are complaining??….sniff, sniff, …I smell a rat

          • Adrian

            Ok so let me get this straight, you are using polling taken in the middle of a vicious and divisive leadership battle, and also as it happens, at a time when something like 80% of the media coverage has been negative against Corbyn, to frame your position? that could hardly be considered a representative poll number, taken under these circumstances, don’t you think?

            I find it strange how you centrists bang on about how unelectable Corbyn is, yet you have lost elections time and again in the UK and here in NZ on your own defunct and debunked centrist ideological platforms.
            Funny how it is that Corbyn and Sanders have mobilized and inspired tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of citizens into action on the Left. Sanders winning more votes than Trump in the primaries, and in Corbyn’s case growing the UK Labour party to be the biggest socialist party in Europe, yet, nope not good enough for you… that says volumes about your position I would say.
            Don’t you find it uncomfortable that pretty much all MSM from The Daily Mail to The Guardian would support Owen Smith and relentlessly attack Corbyn, doesn’t that tell you something, doesn’t that ring some alarm bells for you? I mean come on it’s not rocket science.

            Maybe it’s time you realize that the progressive socialist Left is here to take back our labour Party’s, and it is you centrist’s that will lose, because your ideology doesn’t work, hasn’t worked and will never work for an equal and fair society for all citizens.
            Turn Left.

            • In Vino

              I like that!

            • rhinocrates

              Voters tend to be very, very harsh on parties that are visibly divided. They rightfully think that such a party is not fit to govern.

              The sabotage of Labour by the Blairites in the UK and the ABCs in NZ has certainly been the cause for the crash in the polls. People like party policies – they just see that the careerist MPs don’t give a damn for them and the party itself has gone bugfuck.

  12. Paul 15

    The power of the liquor industry and the power of supermarkets subverts democracy in Dunedin.
    The profits of these businesses are more important than the health of New Zealanders.
    And with a government captured by the market, watch the continuing health and social effects of alcohol to damage the fabric of society.
    No doubt Katherine Rich, ex Nat MP and now head of the quaintly named ‘New Zealand Food & Grocery Council ‘ ( in real language a lobbyist for big sugar and the liquor industry) will be at the centre of propping up big big business interests above her fellow NZers.
    These people should have their time in court.

  13. James 17

    Key looking to stay for the entire fourth term….Excellent news.

    • In Vino 17.1

      James, you need to find somebody who shares your interests.

    • b waghorn 17.2

      gee i wonder how many more places on the world corruption scale he can lower us in another 3 years.

    • Paul 17.3

      Why excellent?
      I assume you are wealthy.

      • James 17.3.1

        Depends on what you call wealthy.

        • Paul

          Anyone not wealthy would not support this government.

          • James

            Now that is provably incorrect.

            Edit – Deleted poor taste joke. With applogies

            • Paul

              Key’s reelection is excellent news for the wealthy elite who are in the process of selling this country off to foreign interests.
              It is excellent news for multinational corporations, the roading industry, the liquor industry, Sky City, ….

            • In Vino

              Well, you must be getting tired after all your fruitless trolling duty. A joke needing withdrawal, and a classic failure to spell ‘apologies’. Why don’t you take an early night?

              • James

                Joke was withdrawn as soon as I posted it. I deleted it because it could have been taken in poor taste and I try to not be insulting to people on here.

                You should try the same.

          • Red

            Most of the country must be wealthy then, if we follow your logic and we know that many wealthy people support greens and labour, yet Nats still govern

            • mauī

              Nats govern because they have the most funding and as many people don’t vote as vote for them. They are also a part of making this undemocratic environment.

              • Red

                The fabled missing million labour voters, why can’t labour sell thier ideas to raise funds or voters. Is it because they have nothing to sell, para phrasing CV, they have nothing to sell that national is not already selling

    • Cinny 17.4

      He has to win it first, and he knows that his chances are slim, telling body language in Gowers interview.

      The panel discussion at the end of The Nation was insightful, yes Nick Smith needs to go far far away all the way out of the beehive, and I’m more than happy to help with that process.

    • Stuart Munro 17.5

      Why don’t you just marry him James? Then you can work through your man on man issues without frightening the horses.

      • Lanthanide 17.5.1

        Bigamy isn’t legal, despite many of the objectors to gay marriage claiming it would be the next cab off the ranks onto the slippery slope.

  14. James 18

    Now this is interesting … and sad.

    Where does the NZHerald get its news

      • James 18.1.1

        Because I think NZ needs more and better journalism – just taking AP feeds is less than we need.

        Stuff Nation is even worse.

        • Paul

          We agree on something.

        • BM

          Problem boils to to ad blockers, the media isn’t making much money off the web so they save their decent articles for print and just put regurgitated shit on the website.

          People want better news, you’re going to have to turn off your ad-blocker.

          • Stuart Munro

            Actually there’s not much connection between media profitability and journalistic quality. Since Murdoch plenty of money has been made but standards have eroded dramatically as he shores up support for ugly rightwing regimes. Now customers are deserting en mass – news only has value to the extent it reflects reality.

  15. Chooky 19

    Another excellent interview on RT: the great American journalist Chris Hedges interviews the Italian economics analyst Loretta Napoleoni , who specialises on investigating and following the financing of terrorism.

    ‘Refugee trafficking with Loretta Napoleoni’

    “Chris Hedges tracks the evolution of the kidnapping industry in the Middle East post-9/11 with Loretta Napoleoni, author of “Merchants of Men: How Jihadists and ISIS Turned Kidnapping and Refugee Trafficking into a Multibillion-dollar Business.”

    RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the Islamic State’s involvement in the lucrative business of trafficking migrants fleeing from war-torn lands.”

    • In Vino 19.1

      Oh my God Shock Horror!!

      You are praising something on RT again? If Extremist were dead, he would perform somersaults inside his coffin.

  16. Barfly 20

    Idea for the eventual next Labour led government….compulsory voting as in Australia…..hell…throw in a $50 tax credit….

    • Leftie 20.1

      Lol not such a bad idea, and at least it would be for everyone, unlike the Nats, who will only do “favours” for their big donor voters.

    • Chooky 20.2

      +100 Barfly…to “compulsory voting as in Australia”

      …enrolling to vote and how to vote should be taught in schools as well as civic education….information about political parties and politicians

      …everyone who doesn’t vote should be fined $100 as punishment

      …even if they are on their deathbeds the rellies can pay!…

      VOTE or ELSE!

  17. rhinocrates 21

    One of many looking at the white supremacist and anti-semitic elements being courted by Trump. In this case, Trump Jr.

    One detail is the odd frog figure that pops up frequently in Trump-supporting memes

    Given that millions of people who aren’t being attacked regularly by anti-Semites on Twitter have never heard of Pepe the Frog, thinking it was “a frog in a wig” might seem like a perfectly plausible explanation. On the other hand, it’s exactly this level of plausible deniability that makes a good dog whistle.

    It’s origin here:

    And general alt-right, which is basically F*scism for hipsters:

    Trumps long connection with and use of White Supremacists:

    Aided by his choice of Stephen Bannon, whose Breitbart media links directly to Neo-N*zi sites such as Red Ice:


    You’ll see names like Milo Yiannopoulos, racist misogynist cyberstalker and essentially an Ernst Rohm wannabe and words like “cuck”, which is short for “cuckold”, used as a misogynist term of abuse for liberal men who have been “emasculated” by women.

    It takes a pretty strong effort of will to ignore Trump’s N*zi inclinations, or a great deal of dishonesty.

  18. Stunned mullet 22

    This blog appears to have reached a new level of god awfulness…congrats to all contributors to this thread.

  19. Olwyn 23

    Jeremy Corbyn has won the UK Labour Party leadership vote with 61.8% of the vote – up a bit on his 59% last time:

    • James 23.1

      Excellent news.


    • Colonial Viper 23.2

      if Corbyn wants to be taken seriously he needs to purge Labour top to bottom.

      • Red 23.2.1

        Even then he does not have chaiisma, ability or X factor to bring general population with him or his party

        • Adrian

          @ Red, What the hell are you talking about, he just won the election by 62% with 80% of all media stories from the Guardian to The Daily mail on him being negative…and there you are saying he doesn’t have “chaiisma, ability or X factor” it sure doesn’t look that way from here, or am I missing something?
          Or are you really that frightened of any change to the status quo, that you can’t even acknowledge an incredible victory against all the power and sway of establishment MSM and establishment politics when you plainly see one?

      • James 23.2.2

        Sadly for him. I don’t think even that will be enough.

        • In Vino

          Don’t pretend with words like ‘Sadly” – you are drooling for his failure. Be an honest troll.

          • James

            I will help you. Read the entire sentence. I said sadly for him. I think it’s great for the UK because it will keep Labour out of power for a long long time.

      • Leftie 23.2.4

        That fact that Corbyn had an outstanding victory, I would say he is being taken seriously, very seriously indeed. Agree that he needs to purge the disloyal trouble makers.

    • Leftie 23.3

      Excellent, I knew Corbyn would win it again.

  20. Adrian 24

    Congratulations to the Socialist winner of the UK Labour Party contest, Jeremy Corbyn.
    Transformed the failing UK Labour Party into the biggest Left Wing party in Europe.
    An inspiration to all Labour and left wing parties around the World.
    One of the select few political leaders whose political principles and political integrity are never questioned.
    Turn Left.

  21. Nick 25

    Well done JC….. That other guy was a shocking little shit

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    1 week ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    1 week ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
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  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
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  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    1 week ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
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  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    1 week ago

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