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Open Mike 24/10/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 24th, 2016 - 74 comments
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74 comments on “Open Mike 24/10/2016 ”

  1. weka 1

    [Please note, we are trialling something new for Open Mike and Daily Review.

    In order to keep OM and DR free for other conversations, all comments, link postings etc about the US election now need to go in the dedicated US election discussion here.

    If you are unsure, post in that thread rather than here. It’s not possible for moderators to shift comments from OM to there, so any comments here may get deleted.

    Have fun folks – weka]

  2. Jenny 2

    Will John Key and the Nats pick up on the trend?

    The rise of the personality cult.

    The Putin Calender

    Weirdly reminiscent of Benito Mussolini’s crafted He Man image, Putin like Mussolini is often seen posing on a horse.

    Reputedly Mussolini could barely sit on a horse for a posed photo shoot, and had to use a body double for the horse jump. Though it is possible that Putin unlike Mussolini can actually ride a horse.

    But whether Putin a pudgy over weight middle aged politician is still actually a black belt capable of tossing much younger men to the ground is probably less likely.

  3. Jenny 3

    Of course the personality cult serves a much more sinister purpose. When I was in Syria in 2010, the oppressive image of the dictator Basha Assad was everywhere, on huge over head bill boards and hoardings, on motorway over bridges, in every public place. I was told by my guides that to make any negative comment about the dictator and the ubiquity of his image, signaled disloyalty to the state and if overheard by the many spies and informers could result in detention or worse.

    Anita McNaught reports from Syria


    • Ad 3.1

      Ah for an ounce of charisma in the Labour leadership.
      Just an ounce is all I’m asking.
      It’s not too much without going all Assad on everything.

    • reason 3.2

      Knowing a Syrian lady refugees here in NZ …….I must say her views and opinions are Nothing like the war propaganda that Jenny posts …… And unlike Jenny she has personally suffered with her brother having been killed….. and she has also lost her home and former way of life.

      The Syrian lady I know says most people in her country prefer Assad over the religious head choppers that the u.s.a has been supporting …..

      “analyzing the factions involved in the global jihad, takes a careful look at who is fighting against Assad in Syria. To what should be no one’s surprise — but will apparently be very surprising to many — the bulk of the opposition consists of Islamists.” http://www.nationalreview.com/article/439161/aleppo-syria-moderate-secular-rebels-al-qaeda-muslim-brotherhood-russia-iran

      Holding elections would be the legitimate way to change the Government in Syria ….

      Assad would probably win the elections which is why the U.s.a and European countries who want to remove him oppose them,, ….

      Assad won the last elections held …….. “an international delegation led by allies of Assad[17] from more than 30 countries including Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, India, Iran, Iraq, Nicaragua, Russia, South Africa and Venezuela[18][19] issued a statement claiming the election was “free, fair and transparent”

  4. Tautoko Mangō Mata 4

    IT WAS A POWERFUL piece of technology created for an important customer. The Medusa system, named after the mythical Greek monster with snakes instead of hair, had one main purpose: to vacuum up vast quantities of internet data at an astonishing speed.

    The technology was designed by Endace, a little-known New Zealand company. And the important customer was the British electronic eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ.


    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 4.1

      Sept. 23 2015 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand-founded Endace, which develops technology that measures, monitors and protects high-speed networks, is understood to have laid off about two-thirds of its workers, a move that could potentially trigger claw-back provisions for government research and development funding.

      The company formed in 2001 to commercialise research out of University of Waikato, was sold for $154 million in 2012 to Californian networking solutions firm Emulex, which in turn, was sold in May to Nasdaq-listed Avago Technologies for US$587 million.

      That sale led to a spat between Endace co-founder Selwyn Pellett and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce over the $11.1 million in taxpayer funding it had received. Pellett was concerned the company was being sold to overseas interests without having to repay the grants, even though he personally benefited from the deal as a shareholder.

      Joyce said the government was trying to encourage R&D in New Zealand by funding companies that continued to do that work here regardless of ownership.

    • Takere 4.2

      Endace. Joyce’s baby. Received a $11m government “loan” at a little over 2.25% interest and only had to pay the interest of the $11m to the government.
      Same deal as Media Works getting a $41m “loan” for license payments for 5 years?? Tried to spin it as an advance?? Since when do governments pay for commercial private entities operating licenses? Oh, when crony governments kicked in, in 2008?

  5. Jenny 5

    While The Standard’s resident Lord Haw Haw enjoys some well deserved time off, it might by a time to reflect on his role as a cheerleader for genocide.



    [Attacking authors again?! Are you ever going to learn Jenny? One week off (again)] – Bill.

    • Garibaldi 5.1

      Get a grip Jenny. American sponsored genocide – now there’s a story you should tell. Start, say, with Vietnam then proceed through Central and South America, then onto Middle East, North Africa etc. Dig into Israel’s activities and Saudi Arabia and Turkey for good measure.
      Syria is but a drop in the bucket in the overall plan of the American backed Zionists.

      • tinfoilhat 5.1.1

        if you trawl through Jenny’s comments on this blog you’ll notice she is equally damning of all warmongers and their respective backers – I suspect this is a novel position for the likes of yourself and other cheerleaders for ‘my enemy’s enemy’.

        Edit – really Bill ? Are people not allowed to critique CV’s position on Syria and/or Trump ?

        The moderation and behaviour on this site is really beyond the pale.

        [How many boxes did you just tick with this comment? A fair few. When I first read this comment it was solely in reply in Garibaldi. Even then, it was close to the line. You want to accuse people of being war-mongers, then put up supporting evidence instead of just apparently splabbing shit that may or may not – depending on any given moderators mood – read like bullshit ad hom. Jenny’s banned. If you want to self martyr, just let me know.] – Bill

        • Ad

          Entirely reasonable.
          Read the policy Tinfoil.

          Also, objectionable to accuse anyone of filling a role of a British citizen who worked full time as a Nazi collaborator under Goebbels during World War Two, which is what Lord Haw Haw was.

        • weka

          There is a difference between critiquing someone’s position, and attacking them. Jenny has a long history of attacking authors and is frequently banned for it. She also lies about authors, intentionally IMO. She knows exactly what she is doing and why she gets a ban.

          She just said one of the authors supports genocide. On its own that might not be a big deal, just let it slide. But when it goes on all the time it affects authors and the community. If someone is misrepresenting an author’s position then that tends to keep coming up including when they write posts. Moderators and authors generally don’t have time to chase up attacks to see if they are based in fact. It’s on commenters to figure out how to critique someone’s position without attacking them.

          The priority here is to keep authors and to get new authors to write.

          There has been a lot of criticism of moderators/authors in the past week. Some of that is understandable (the moderation system isn’t perfect). However it also takes time to deal with and puts off existing and potential authors and moderators.

          If commenters want things to improve I suggest that they stop attacking moderators and authors, and either focus on the debate points or put up constructive suggestions of how things would work better (bearing in mind that telling moderators what to do doesn’t count as constructive criticism).

          • tinfoilhat

            “If commenters want things to improve I suggest that they stop attacking moderators and authors, and either focus on the debate points or put up constructive suggestions of how things would work better (bearing in mind that telling moderators what to do doesn’t count as constructive criticism).”

            Well it would also help if the site wasn’t a hot bed of misogyny, testosterone, bullying and group think but then again that’s why I left the site a while back – guess i made a poor decision to come back.

            • weka

              I appreciate the sentiment. Those of us trying to do something about that could do with some support tbh.

              • Incognito

                It’s a tricky one and I’d like to give some support but other than ignoring the ‘stuff’ and refusing to engage with it I don’t know what I can do to help. FYI, I completely ignore the newly-setup posting categories, which is a shame because I will miss out on useful and interesting information, but life is too short to have to dig deep for those raw diamonds and gold nuggets.

          • Karen

            Well put Weka. I had stopped looking at The Standard at all over the past week and on my return I see there have been some welcome changes. The quarantining of US election material is a brilliant idea and it seems a few of the destructive forces are having a break. Positive moves IMO.

        • tinfoilhat


          [banned two months for abusing an author, wasting moderator time, self-martyrdom and deliberately ignoring moderation requests and winding up moderators – weka]

          • Bill

            In the spirit of this wonderful new bar for intelligent and thoughtful commentary that you’re setting – have a sticky out tongue with a rattling raspberry tinfoilhat.

            edit. Oh. Or then again…

      • reason 5.1.2

        +100 Garibaldi ………… Jenny may not be a troll but on Syria she’s as one eyed as a Penis …… and it’s only a short step to become a dic pic ( troll ) from there

        tinfoilhats dishonest smear post supporting her shows what a drippy little dick he is …..

        He should keep his raincoat on more

    • xanthe 5.2

      thanks bill

      • North 5.2.1

        CV has been an entitled arsehole around this site for a couple of months. Like he appreciates he’s royalty here and can do whatever. I’m not sure I understand the need for Anne’s ban. Just saying not contesting. As far as I know Anne has never behaved in a way which is damaging to this site. CV has. Brusquely, unapologetically.

  6. save nz 6

    Love how the council are planning on cutting jobs and services from libraries while spending over a billion on failed IT and now more cash on a waterfront stadium. sarc.

    It should be clear why that only 17% approve of the council, i.e. 83% do not approve of the job the council are doing.

    On a similar theme was at Long Bay Regional park, which was packed with people in the weekend, a lot of them families who were engaging in sports like cricket at the park. The grass was long and uncut, there was not enough parking for the amount of people and a big billboard proclaimed, donate to preserving the regional park. Ok, so now parks are a charity and big business vanity projects are where ratepayers money goes? In the back ground were multi million dollar housing projects and clearly millions of money doing to the council but not being returned to the area.

    Have to wonder about Phil Goff’s credentials for Labour is the first thing he oversees as Mayor is to cut jobs and cut library hours while taking about a vanity real estate sports stadium project for Auckland. We already went through that disaster with Murray McCully. Cut the Grass at the parks and upgrade it with council money, because that is where the kids are playing sports and families can have free fun (not pay $300 for professional sports tickets).

    And cutting jobs and hours at the library… really…. WTF?

    • b waghorn 6.1

      ‘Have to wonder about Phil Goff’s credentials for Labour ‘ I think it’s a well established fact that goff is no worker for the lesser peoples , that said he’s got to be better than anything the nat/act types could put up.

      • save nz 6.1.1

        @ b waghorn – I’m not so sure that Goff is better than the Nat/act types as he believes in similar principles. Ratepayers want social amenities for their elected councillors and don’t actually care what political party they come from. Len Brown got in for saying he was going to make the swimming pools free and get public transport working. If Phil Goff’s first job as Mayor and the newly elected councillors first job is overseeing employees being made redundant at Christmas and cut their hours at the libraries – is that why people voted for them – I think not? Everyone uses the libraries old to young, rich to poor, even the homeless can be found in the CBD library enjoying a snooze. Likewise libraries are one of the most multicultural areas of the city.

        It’s about time the elected councillors show some teeth to the imposed CEO structure. I hope Mike Lee in particular who was nearly pushed out by a taste of electioneering dirty politics, but saved by voters who care about the city and society, actually fights hard for his voters to stop the rot. Cathy Casey also was popular and I don’t see her as one to be diminishing services to the libraries.

        • save nz

          Also if the library lending is decreasing, it could be the $1 a day fines per book when overdue. That means within a very short amount of time the public can encrue huge fines.

          With that N/ACT brainiac idea to discourage use, it means most people are then trained to take as few books out as possible and not at busy/stressful times in your life when you might return the books late.

          If you are poor and can’t afford the fines, you are cut off from the library.

          And then it also looks like library lending is declining – which is great because you can then justify cutting services.

          Another plan, to reduce the educational ability of the population.

      • Sacha 6.1.2

        Like the other righties, Goff campaigned on capping rates and making ‘savings’. That means cutting staff and services.

    • Sacha 6.2

      “there was not enough parking for the amount of people”

      If you want enough carparks for a busy day, there won’t be much beach or grass left the whole time. Previous years they’ve put on extra bus services at busy times.

      • save nz 6.2.1

        We seem to need to spend billions of tax payers money on roads (for the ‘growing’ population), but when it comes to services the council and government takes the money from the newcomers but then cuts services. Would think that with our increased population in Auckland we would need more jobs for the libraries and longer opening hours, not less? Of course that would employ a low paid worker which is a crime under neoliberalism. sarc.

        As for the parking, the Long Bay regional park is a large area and there could be plenty of room for all if it was laid out better and bothered to do small things like cut the grass – some of the grass people were parking on and trying to play sports on was nearly half a meter high. I know it’s been wet, but still… is it like the user pays berms, when you go to the beach and take your lawn mower too, mow your way in, is that really the third world look we want for NZ, on a public holiday?

        Considering how each member probably pays in rates, it’s a disgrace.

        As for cutting costs, $250 a week for lawn mowing – is it really too much? That’s like half an hour for a council lawyer to help ports of Auckland steal our harbour. Probably cost $5000 to lay out the parking better there. We are not talking big bucks at all. Just a lack of interest in real public services that is the problem.

        It’s not about the amount of money the council has, it is how they spend it that is the problem.

        • Sacha

          I recommend visiting http://transportblog.co.nz for detail about parking vs alternatives like public transit.

          No idea what council is doing with lawn-mowing but they have been constantly cutting costs at the insistence of those who set up the amalgamation along with those current ratepayers more focused on this year’s rates bill than what sort of region they leave their children. Auckland has suffered from that equation for many decades, and we have the polluted beaches after any storm to show for it.

          • The New Student

            Catching a bus is easy. As long as there are buses to catch. Been doing this my whole life. I don’t know why others can’t at least try

            • Sacha

              To be fair, it’s less easy to carry everything a family wants to take to the beach. But with places like Long Bay PT is just going to become the most common way as our city becomes designed to suit a larger population and not having to drive everywhere. Going to be an awesome next 30 years.

    • millsy 6.3

      The first thing left wing (or even centre left) people do when they take office is lose their backbone.

      • rhinocrates 6.3.1

        Do you mean to imply that at some point Goff was left wing? He was always an eager acolyte of Douglas and ambitious for power. Very likely the only reason that he never left Labour for Act was that he expected to be PM and knew that would never happen as a member of a minor party. He’s always been a right winger genuinely interested only in his own advancement.

        • Sacha

          While we use FPP for local elections Auckland’s mayor is most likely to straddle left and right, more right-leaning to match the older people who actually vote. Brown fitted that bill as does Goff. Most local issues do not match that binary in any case.

    • Gabby 6.4

      Phil knows the gumming won’t come to a jobs and services party but they’ll turn up to a white elephant party with their hair in a braid and bells on their toes.

    • Sacha 6.5

      “spending over a billion on failed IT”

      I should also note in the interests of accuracy that this allegation comes purely from the Herald’s shockingly poor local govt reporter Bernard Orsman and has been recycled since by righties including Crone with no evidence to back it. Given how legendarily stupid the guy is, I would not be surprised if he’s read the next decade’s operating costs from a budget and turned that into a headline. His editors for some reason keep him on.

      Yes, council have stuffed up the regional IT systems merge and the responsible manager has now been removed, but the cost blowout is nowhere near that level and current systems seem to be working in the meantime. It does our activism no favours to be based on misinformation.

  7. save nz 7

    Great to see standards are high (sarc) with Atomic and Nuclear Physics industry, in which a gobbledygook paper written using Apple’s iOS autocomplete – and filled with nonsense was accepted by a nuclear physics conference in the USA.


    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      It was probably accepted by software as well…

      It’s the machines – they’re taking over

  8. joe90 9

    Greenwald puts the slipper in, questions Wikileak’s ethics.

    DS: That approach is different than what WikiLeaks has done, where it puts everything out there. Why have you taken a different approach?

    GG: Well, because I think that — not just as a journalist but as a human being — I have the ethical responsibility to avoid actions that can harm innocent people. And if you look at some of things that WikiLeaks has published, even in this latest batch of material from John Podesta’s emails, there are things in there talking about the mental health problems of individuals who have no power in Washington, people whose private lives have been exposed for no reason whatsoever.

    DS: And what’s wrong with putting everything out at once?

    GG: It’s not a difficult call. You’d have to be a sociopath to think that we ought to just take all of this material and dump it all on the internet without regard to the impact that it will have for innocent people.


    • Karen 9.1

      I particularly like the sociopath line. While Greenwald and Snowden have always behaved ethically with due regard to the effect on innocent people, Assange doesn’t seem to care about collateral damage.

    • Karen 9.2

      Joe, have you seen this?
      Interesting analysis of the motivation and character of Assange from a former wikileaks insider:


      • Bill 9.2.1

        Not to distract from the info in your link Karen, but for me the basic downfall of Assange is and always has been his ego.

        Unlike Snowden who insisted that the story was the material he was releasing, Assange positioned himself front, centre stage and self promoted as some kind of crusader. Beyond that, for me, there isn’t really much of worth or interest that can be added in terms of his character.

        And ‘over there’, Wikileaks have done some sterling things and some woeful things.

        • xanthe


          statement from wikileaks re status of assange, equador, and internet access

        • Karen

          I absolutely agree with you that “Wikileaks have done some sterling things and some woeful things.”

          As for ego being the main problem with Assange I would mostly agree, though I also think there is a fair measure of misogyny in his character as well.

      • weka 9.2.2

        That was an interesting read Karen and gave some context that I hadn’t understood before. Not sure what to make of it. The journalist’s story and take on things seemed plausible, yet the photos of the trashed bookcase, and the last few paragraphs jarred. Maybe that was an editorial thing.

        • Karen

          Photographs and headlines are usually editorial but I’d say Jamie Ball has written it all including the last few paragraphs. I found it an interesting analysis from someone who was once part of Wikileaks, but in the end it is still his opinion (albeit based on a more personal relationship than the rest of us have).

      • xanthe 9.2.3

        i dont buy it, looks like a hit job

        “Now it is the darling of the alt-right, revealing hacked emails seemingly to influence a presidential contest, claiming the US election is “rigged”, and descending into conspiracy. ” ….. ahh yes who dosn’t think the US elections are rigged . thats not an “alt right” view

        “Neither Assange nor WikiLeaks (and the two are virtually one and the same thing) have changed ” …….. ummm maby ! maby not .

        the whole story about “adam” … not creditable, lots of column inches lots of innuendo, no actual verifiable content!

        lots of “opinion” about the swedish investigation at odds with the documented facts

        quite simply IMHO an uninformed smear!

      • joe90 9.2.4

        He is indeed a rather odd character, Karen, who seems to have made more than a few enemies for himself and his organisation.



  9. Draco T Bastard 11

    Population growth gives Australians misleading picture of economy

    Commonwealth Bank senior economist Gareth Aird has released a report showing population growth was helping the economy and keeping some key figures looking positive but may not be improving the lives of many ordinary Australians.
    “The economy might be growing at 3 per cent but that is being massively assisted by population growth and the fact we might be selling more commodities offshore,” he told news.com.au.

    No, where have we seen that before?

    “If you have more people, they can buy more things,” he said. “If there’s faster population growth, you can have a faster rate of growth of prospective customers.”

    Which is, of course, the drive for ever more exports. The problem when those exports are physical is that it results in a real decrease in the wealth that the country has.

    And, no, more spending is not a positive.

  10. Muttonbird 12

    The RNZAF is getting back at Key for stripping funding, literally.


    Pretty embarrassing for the prime minister to be on a biz-tour to India with his good mate BMac only to arrive days late.

    • Muttonbird 12.1

      Updated. What a shambles.

      The Mumbai leg of the trip has now been cancelled – the business delegation travelling with Key were meant to be taking part in an innovation showcase while there.

      Key would also miss a visit to Shree Siddhivinayak Marble Temple, speaking at the Bombay Stock exchange, meeting the chief minister of Maharashtra and signing an education agreement.


      I can just hear him now: When in India, do as the Indians do.

      • b waghorn 12.1.1

        i bet he would have made it if he had of gone with an airline instead of on clownforce1 .

      • Sacha 12.1.2

        The business people must be pissed off. Amateur hour.

        • Muttonbird

          I’ll say. Imagine the resources spent attending this cheap labour love-in. To then have a no-show by the chief clown himself is a massive loss of face.

      • Muttonbird 12.1.3

        Audrey Young tries to shit in her own nest on this but ends up blaming the wrong people.


        She seems so preoccupied and upset that John Key has ‘been made to look bad’ by the RNZAF, rather than looking deeper into the issue of why the RNZAF can’t keep its aircraft in operational order.

        She must be on this flight as one of Key’s embedded journalists and is stung by the increasingly amateurish nature of official tours.

        • Paul

          Audrey Young is a shameless propagandist.

          • Muttonbird

            Nothing more than a mouth piece for John Key’s penny-pinching, do-nothing government. Even at her most upset – when her junket tour to India has been disrupted – she can’t put two and two together and sheet the blame home to where it lies.

  11. b waghorn 13


    the pirates are taking over icelands government (maybe if they get elected)

  12. weka 14

    [In order to keep OM and DR free for other conversations, all comments, link postings etc about the US election now need to go in the dedicated US election discussion here.

    If you are unsure, post in that thread rather than here. It’s not possible for moderators to shift comments from OM to there, so any comments here may get deleted – weka]

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