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Open mike 25/02/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 25th, 2020 - 164 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

164 comments on “Open mike 25/02/2020 ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    "This initiative is called The Million Hazelnut Campaign, and I love it. It aims to do three things: First, raise awareness of how terrific hazelnuts are, environmentally, and as an economic engine for farmers, as well as a tasty food. Second, the campaign intends to persuade some farmers to take a gamble on hazelnuts, and transition some land to the shrubby nut-bearing trees. Finally, it wants us restaurant-going city-types to kick in some cash to make it all happen. So buddy, can you spare $7 to plant a local hazelnut tree?"

    Here’s what hazelnuts do that’s good: First, like all plants, they take carbon out of the air, and put it back in the ground. However, hazelnuts have a sturdy root system, and unlike, say, corn, once they get established, their land never has to be plowed again, preventing erosion. They also pull an ever greater amount of carbon out of the air as they grow. They prevent erosion and protect waterways. They’re drought-tolerant and don’t need irrigation. They’re bird, critter, and pollinator-friendly and provide habitat up and down the web of life. They’re hardy and pest-resistant and don’t require poisons like pesticides or other inputs. They’re permaculture crops that can live for many years, possibly centuries, because after they’re planted, if they get old and weak you can cut them to the ground and they’ll start up again. “I think it’s on my generation to start showing a real way out of this climate crisis,” says Gamer. “For the farmers who are drowning in debt and input-costs, and for everyone. The way out is hazelnuts.”

    http://mspmag.com/eat-and-drink/foodie/is-it-time-for-a-million-hazelnuts/

    • WeTheBleeple 1.1

      Reads as freebies for US farmers to me. Plenty of causes closer to home that require attention.

      • JanM 1.1.1

        But wouldn't you agree that many of its benefits are a sound answer to many of the issues we have here?

        • WeTheBleeple 1.1.1.1

          I've been arguing for tree crops for years though I also advocate for regenerative farming. Basically, in NZ, we could combine both in many instances, and do very well by it. I can't speak for the rest of NZ but in the Auckland bioregion Macadamias, Walnuts and Hazelnuts are low-no maintenance high value crops.

      • weka 1.1.2

        Good crop option for Otago and Southland. As with many foods, seasonal hazelnuts taste incredible.

        • Graeme 1.1.2.1

          My neighbour has quite a few hazelnut trees and production is pretty good, like more than the neighbourhood can consume. But they are bloody hard on the fingers getting the things out of the shell, really needs a mechanised sheller.

          The plus side is that the rats can't get into them either so aren't attracted. Chestnuts or walnuts are another story, they'll pull every rat in town if you don't collect the nuts as soon as they hit the ground.

          • weka 1.1.2.1.1

            Pretty sure there are hazelnut shellers already, but I bet the availability and design would improve if more hazelnuts were being grown/eaten. The people who sell them off their land are shelling them, so there must be a way to do it that is worth the while.

            You don't have an excess of rats you have a shortage of hunting cats 😉 (to paraphrase a permaculture solution).

            • Graeme 1.1.2.1.1.1

              The hunting cats are all good until they present you with a nightly rat from under the walnut tree, on your pillow, at 3am, as an expression of their love…..

              Empty rabbit wrappers between the toes on the kitchen floor in the half light of dawn are another delight

              • McFlock

                lol we had a big cat when I was growing up – it used to leave the rabbit colon behind the best chair in the living room. Ate the rest. Used to have breakfast with us on occasion – the crunching sounds put us off the meal lol

              • Andre

                Under the duvet, still alive, for some more playtime.

                • Anne

                  The family cat from yesteryear used to shove her dead mice into the toes of our shoes. Not a good experience. 🙁

        • Bearded Git 1.1.2.2

          My ex bought me a huge bag of Central Otago hazelnuts (unshelled) from Xmas-superb.

          • weka 1.1.2.2.1

            how did you shell them?

            • Bearded Git 1.1.2.2.1.1

              Slowly, savoured them for a few weeks…I bought a wooden nut-cracker in Spain a few years ago that tightens with a screw-action…does the trick.

            • Pingao 1.1.2.2.1.2

              I use a pair of plumbers multigrips (slipjaw pliers) to shell hazelnuts. This works very well if you have small hands and means you can't gobble them all up in one go. It also works for other nuts as you can adjust them.

    • Puckish Rogue 1.2

      and who doesn't like nutella, win – win

    • Anne 1.3

      Hazelnut flavoured plunger coffee is superb.

      • Matiri 1.3.1

        We're considering planting hazelnuts as part of a big planting project on a 40 hectare block we own.

        Lots of delicious things to do with them – hazelnut butter for example.

        • Robert Guyton 1.3.1.1

          Growing them from nuts is easy. Buy "Whiteheart" and sow and grow en masse, then purchase as many pollinators as you need (not many). The idea that "city folk" might support a farmer wanting to transition to tree cropping, is to my mind, a very good one, especially if the connection is kept via an app or something, tracking how "your" tree is doing. Sweet chestnuts are an even better option, perhaps, and just as easy to grow from nuts. I imagine someone growing sweet chestnuts and hazels in their back yard might be able to find places to plant them somewhere in the neighbourhood smiley

        • Anne 1.3.1.2

          Hazelnut yoghurt.

          We could be the hazelnut empire of the world. 😀

      • Jilly Bee 1.3.2

        So is Frangelico!

      • Jilly Bee 1.3.3

        ​​​​​So is Frangelico! wink

      • Puckish Rogue 1.3.4

        Coffee flavoured anything is blah (though I understand most people would disagree)

    • Gabby 1.4

      Can cows eat them bobs?

      • Robert Guyton 1.4.1

        Only if you shell them, toast them, dip them in molasses and serve them up on a silver platter, but sure, they'll eat them!

  2. Adrian Thornton 2

    Russiagate 2.0 drowns out Trump's reckless escalation of US-Russia nuclear arms race

    'Pushback with Aaron Maté US media is once again consumed with evidence-free claims that Russia intends to interfere on Donald Trump's behalf. But as Democrats accuse Trump of being "Putin's Puppet," Trump is overseeing a hawkish agenda that has worsened US-Russia tensions. Nowhere is that more dangerous than Trump's escalation of the nuclear arms race with Russia: abandoning arms control treaties while deploying and developing new nuclear weapons. Former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter joins Pushback to discuss the overlooked dangers. Guest: Scott Ritter, former UN Weapons Inspector, Marine Corps Intelligence Officer, and author of "Scorpion King: America's Suicidal Embrace of Nuclear Weapons from FDR to Trump."

  3. Anne 3

    Trump is overseeing a hawkish agenda that has worsened US-Russia tensions. Nowhere is that more dangerous than Trump's escalation of the nuclear arms race with Russia: abandoning arms control treaties while deploying and developing new nuclear weapons.

    Of course he is escalating tensions around the world. He is the new Hitler. But I would have thought his principle target – apart from the Middle East – was China.

    I don't care all that much who he's aiming for, just so long as the war mongering thug is annihilated before he destroys all of us.

    • Gosman 3.1

      Trump is nowhere near being a new Hitler. At most Trump represents a return to a muscular American first diplomacy that the US developed pre-WWI.

      • Anne 3.1.1

        Bullshit. He's an obsessional, narcissistic maniac in exactly the same way as Hitler was.

        There are none so blind as those who cannot see. Why are conservatives so devoid of insight and comprehension?

        • Gosman 3.1.1.1

          Hitler had multiple personality flaws but I'm not sure narcissism was one of them. How is Trump a maniac exactly? What has he done that suggests some sort of mania?

        • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1.2

          Black unemployment under Trump is the lowest its ever been, elections are still held, hes beloved in Israel and his daughter converted to Judaism…

          It Trumps like Hitler then hes not a doing a good job of it

          • Macro 3.1.1.2.1

            Perhaps you might read this Opinion piece in the New Yorker:

            https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/when-its-too-late-to-stop-fascism-according-to-stefan-zweig

            WHEN IT’S TOO LATE TO STOP FASCISM, ACCORDING TO STEFAN ZWEIG

            I wonder how far along the scale of moral degeneration Zweig would judge America to be in its current state. We have a magnetic leader, one who lies continually and remorselessly—not pathologically but strategically, to placate his opponents, to inflame the furies of his core constituency, and to foment chaos. The American people are confused and benumbed by a flood of fake news and misinformation. Reading in Zweig’s memoir how, during the years of Hitler’s rise to power, many well-meaning people “could not or did not wish to perceive that a new technique of conscious cynical amorality was at work,” it’s difficult not to think of our own present predicament. Last week, as Trump signed a drastic immigration ban that led to an outcry across the country and the world, then sought to mitigate those protests by small palliative measures and denials, I thought of one other crucial technique that Zweig identified in Hitler and his ministers: they introduced their most extreme measures gradually—strategically—in order to gauge how each new outrage was received. “Only a single pill at a time and then a moment of waiting to observe the effect of its strength, to see whether the world conscience would still digest the dose,” Zweig wrote. “The doses became progressively stronger until all Europe finally perished from them.”

            And still Zweig might have noted that, as of today, President Trump and his sinister “wire-pullers” have not yet locked the protocols for their exercise of power into place. One tragic lesson offered by “The World of Yesterday” is that, even in a culture where misinformation has become omnipresent, where an angry base, supported by disparate, well-heeled interests, feels empowered by the relentless lying of a charismatic leader, the center might still hold

            • Stunned Mullet 3.1.1.2.1.1

              That such a piece can be written and published when Trump is President suggests that real similarities between Trump and Hitler and not quite as apparent as his opponents would want people to believe.

              • WeTheBleeple

                Oh he's for sure a wannabe Hitler, and an emergent toddler to boot. How tenaciously people grip at straws to defend this so called leader only lends understanding as to how Germany sunk so low in the grip of such a man. Goose-stepwise we go, into the abyss.

                • Gosman

                  He's for sure a wannabe Hitler based on what exactly ? Seemingly we just need to take your word as gospel and agree with you.

                  • McFlock

                    Let's see:

                    subverting the judiciary in order to oppress religious minorities

                    an obsession with militarism, especially parades

                    a disjointed organisational structure that encourages competing power blocs within his leadership, including people with unclear and overlapping roles

                    encouraging his followers to commit violence.

                • WeTheBleeple

                  If reality is too harsh for a child, they retreat to fantasy. It seems this translates to adults telling themselves they're all good with Trump, or even those who sense cracks in the matrix, but think 'it's not that bad.'

                  It is that bad. Trumps (convenient for some) climate denial alone threatens the planet. The people he chooses and the people he refuses shows nothing but absolute self-absorption and contempt for all else. He is a fascist bully boy to whom his supporters are just a means to an end. They are the abused children who live in fantasy – for their reality (that their caregiver is abusive) is dark.

                  Trump is a spinner of lies and discarder of lives.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    You know who was like Hitler? Hitler was like Hitler, not Trump not anyone.

                    All that equating Hitler with Trump achieves is minimising what Hitler did

                    But hey Orange Man Bad right

                  • Stunned Mullet

                    Who is saying they're all good with Trump on this site ?

                    All people are commenting on is that comparisons of Trump with Hitler are a bit daft.

                    • Andre

                      Give him time. He's only had three years so far. It took Hitler six years to get serious about lebensraum and ethnic cleansing.

                    • WeTheBleeple

                      It's only daft in the sense that any person compared to another will also have points to contrast.

                      The slow methodical dismantling of common decency, the slow build up of public tolerance to bullshit, the loading of the courts, the dismantling of judicial process… the targeting and blaming of others… You know I could write a seriously lengthy list of 'colorful quirks' this drug fucked fascist has. You can play pick-a-part all you want, he's a little Hitler wannabe. That's not actually Hitler, in case you were struggling with that bit.

          • Adrian Thornton 3.1.1.2.2

            Yep Trump beloved by Israel (enough said), he might not be a Hitler but he is a clear and present danger to the future of the planet that's for sure…

            ‘Unprecedented brutality’: Family of Palestinian mangled by bulldozer condemn Israel

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRsX1I8tKkw

            Chomsky: Republican Party 'most dangerous organisation on earth'

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghO77CTvy_s

      • Sacha 3.1.2

        Like that muscular relationship Poland enjoyed, eh.

    • gsays 3.2

      As an aside, I have just finished 'Blitzed' by Norman Ohler. It's about the drug use by the Nazis during WWII.

      The blitzkrieg was in part fuelled by methamphetamine, soldiers and tanks non stop advancing for three days.

      Hitler had a personal physician that kept The Fuhrer 'detached' using, amongst other concoctions, opiates, pure cocaine and amphetamines. Sometimes in the same injection.

      Apparently Hitler was a pathetic shell of a junkie leading up to his demise.

      • Adrian Thornton 3.2.1

        Yes I have listened to several interviews with that author, there really was some crazy drug abuse going on during WW2, and not just with the Germans, I must read that book, thanks for reminding me.

      • WeTheBleeple 3.2.2

        It's not really an aside. US has a drug epidemic right now. And their leader is a ritalin raddled racist.

    • Morrissey 3.3

      Trouble is, Anne, the Democrats—apart from Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard—are little better. Trump has not started any new strife, he's just continuing what Obama, the Bushes and Clinton did in Central America, South America, Africa and the Middle East.

  4. Muttonbird 4

    Farrar watch:

    Today has been an interesting one and it's not even luncheon. Twice already DFP has thrown his support behind what he considers dangerous left-wing extremists solely for the purpose of attacking other, presumably more dangerous extremists.

    He claims if he were eligible he would vote Bernie Sanders over Trump in that possible scenario.

    And he uses Sue Bradford's opinion piece as an attack on The Green Party.

    Just goes to show PDF will work with anyone, so bereft of principle is he.

    And to Sue Bradford. I drive past the Avondale race course a lot and a bigger eyesore and testament to decline you could not see. That place does not embody healthy community spirit unless you mean the weekend market in the car park.

    That place reminds the community not of what could be but of what was, and not in a good way. I think West Auckland wants houses there, not a decrepit third race course in a city whose future demographic doesn’t scream for whipping horses and running them until they drop dead, literally.

  5. Adrian Thornton 5

    "a return to a muscular American first diplomacy that the US developed pre-WWI." read, a ultra aggressive US foreign policy (otherwise known as interventionism) that has changed little in over 100 years, destabilizing, destroying and wreaking havoc at will around the world for their own self interest and that of their corporations and industries.

    Nothing has changed in US foreign policy since Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler wrote his famous dissertation on the matter titled War is A Racket, in which he wrote;

    “I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service… And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers.”

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/02/21/where-have-you-gone-smedley-butler/

  6. Andre 6

    Bernie's lived a charmed political life where he's been able to just skate away from awkward situations and questions. Nobody has ever really gone hard after him on anything, mostly because he has basically been an irrelevant sideshow that just needs to be occasionally tossed a minor amendment to a bill to keep him voting for Dem priorities.

    That's about to change. Hopefully he'll be properly tested before the majority of primary votes happen. Because sure as shit if he's the nominee, he's in for a firestorm orders of magnitude greater than he's ever faced before, so he'd better get a bit of training before it hits. To see if he can deal with it.

    Here's just the first few gentle licks of what's coming, and his answers on his past support of Castro and Ortega, as well as the costs and how to pay for his proposals, are frankly quite crap.

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/02/24/florida-dems-uproar-sanders-cuba-comments-117213

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/24/politics/bernie-sanders-donald-trump-2020/index.html

    • Morrissey 6.1

      That's about to change.

      Could you give us an example of what's going to be unleashed on him? Will the "firestorm orders of magnitude greater than he's ever faced before" be lit by those same experts in the Democratic Party who targeted Trump with their awesome powers?

      Is Bernie Sanders a Russian stooge? Will they be able to convince people like they've done in the case of Trump? enlightenedfrownwink

      • Gosman 6.1.1

        Trust me, what he has faced to date with the Democratic party establishment is going to be nothing compared to what Trump and the GOP attack machine will throw at him if he become the Democrat nominee

        • Incognito 6.1.1.1

          Trust me, …

          You just need to add … and we have the holy trinity of the hard left belief system.

          Seemingly we just need to take your word as gospel and agree with you.

          Three comments in a row from the same commenter 🙂

        • Morrissey 6.1.1.2

          Trust me…

          LOL.

        • Alan 6.1.1.3

          agreed, I disagree with his policies but on a personal level I feel sorry for him, the heat will be unbearable

        • Tiger Mountain 6.1.1.4

          Ooh scary–Bernie will be questioned–and he will likely answer, as he does most enquiries now, in short sentences that can be easily understood, even by “Trumpettes”.

          Trust you Gosman? to drop floaters in the pool on daily basis perhaps.

          Win or lose, the Sanders Campaign will have changed US politics by the end of the year. People are backing themselves in increasing numbers and next election the young, black, Latino, working class vote will have the best chance ever to defeat the reactionary remnants.

      • Andre 6.1.2

        I've no idea what Repugs might have dug up and are holding in their back pockets.

        But just in terms of what is already known, and ratfuckers' propensity for fabricating misinformation leveraging off a kernel of truth, there will be stuff attacking Sanders about his record on gun laws purportedly from concerned lefties, Jane's dodgy dealings will get a thorough working over and embellishment, his support for the likes of Castro and Ortega will be blown way up and possibly be 'added to' with deepfakes, his honeymoon in Russia and so on.

        Kerry was successfully swiftboated in 2004. There's vastly more technology to create and spread falsehoods available today, and Sanders' background has a much richer variety of source material to provide a kernel of truth to leverage off than Kerry ever did. How do you think Sanders is going to fare against that kind of attack if his defenses are as weak as the fumbling shown in the two links above?

        • Morrissey 6.1.2.1

          his support for the likes of Castro and Ortega

          You mean his support for the people of Cuba and Nicaragua, and his opposition to his own government's illegal blockades and terrorism against those people.

          Kerry was successfully swiftboated in 2004.

          Kerry, as has become abundantly clear in the last decade or so, is not in the same stratosphere as Sanders, either morally or intellectually.

          How do you think Sanders is going to fare against kind of attack if his defenses are as weak as the fumbling shown in the two links above?

          Fair comment. But can you imagine the unspeakable Michael Bloomberg, the ludicrous Mayor Pete or that ridiculous Elizabeth Warren handling the attacks any better?

          • Gosman 6.1.2.1.1

            Illegal blockade – LOL!!!!

            There is nothing illegal in what the US did with Cuba in relation to the embargo (not blockade). They are in fact doing something similar with Iran. What international law stops them doing that?

        • joe90 6.1.2.2

          I've no idea what Repugs might have dug up and are holding in their back pockets.

          Work in progress.

        • weka 6.1.2.3

          "How do you think Sanders is going to fare against that kind of attack if his defenses are as weak as the fumbling shown in the two links above?"

          I don't think they do show that though. If the issue here is that Sanders needs to be prepared for the shit storm about to rain down on him if he wins the nomination, where's the evidence that he isn't prepared?

          The first link is an article that talks a lot about the issues of Sanders' political positioning, but it doesn't show him responding to those. Likewise for the video. Neither are evidence that he is fumbling. In fact the video halfway down the page of you first link, shows him being strong and rebutting some stupid communism comment from Bloomberg.

          • Macro 6.1.2.3.1

            There is a very good article on Vox which looks at this issue in some detail here:

            https://www.vox.com/2020/2/24/21147388/bernie-sanders-cuba-60-minutes-nicaragua

            We can be sure that whatever the nuances in play – the Republicans and Trump will spin this to the maximum.

            • weka 6.1.2.3.1.1

              Yes, I accepted Andre's basic premise that much shit will be thrown at Sanders. What I'm saying is that I don't see the evidence for Sanders being weak at dealing with that. His political positioning might be a mistake, but that's not a weakness in Sanders' ability to deal with shit being thrown at him.

              eg if I were to give an example of where Cunliffe failed in the 2014 election I'd show the video of him debating Key on national television where he looked like he was being repeatedly punched. His policies were good, but he didn't have the strength to deal with the shit that Key and National were throwing at him. I took Andre's comment to be about that kind of thing, but maybe I misread and he really meant the political positioning.

            • weka 6.1.2.3.1.2

              btw, that vox article is a very good example of irony.

              “They would also be required to take government-approved courses that didn’t tolerate any criticism of socialism as a way of life. In other words, education was seen as key to the revolution taking hold and creating a literate population loyal to the government.”

              Castro used education bribes, Trump uses social media and hackers.

          • Andre 6.1.2.3.2

            He's fumbling because when it comes to Cuba, there's a large group of swing voters that will totally miss all the nuance in his explanation and just take away 'Bernie thinks Castro did good'. Fantastic fodder for attack ads, so Bernie probably now has zero chance to win Florida in November. That's a fumble before the game has even started.

            He's fumbling on the price of his proposals and how they are going to be paid for by not having clear defensible numbers. Numbers he comes out with may turn out to be complete bullshit, but if they are stated confidently and clearly, it sets the frame. By dithering, his opponents can be first out of the blocks with numbers and thereby set the frame.

            Similarly with paying for Medicare for all – there's an opportunity for a message like 'right now, employed people's health plans are mostly paid by the employer, and that is how Medicare for All will be paid too. But as workers, the savings from eliminating insurance admin will come back to you by eliminating co-pays'. But no, Bernie's quite quick to say taxes will go up to pay for it. Nobody likes to hear their taxes are going up.

            • weka 6.1.2.3.2.1

              "That's a fumble before the game has even started."

              Yeah I think I misunderstood what you meant. To me that's an issue of political positioning rather than weakness (see explanation above).

              "but if they are stated confidently and clearly, it sets the frame."

              That's more what I was thinking, but I didn't see him not doing that in the links. Not saying you are wrong, and I agree that he needs to be able to demonstrate he can hack the pace before he is nominated, but that applies to all the front runners I assume.

    • Sacha 6.2

      Bad for the heart, too, all that pressure.

    • mauī 6.3

      Calling the strongest candidate the american left has an "irrelevant sideshow"… enlightening.

      • Adrian Thornton 6.3.1

        What else would you expect to hear from a centrist attack dog like Andre', a statement like that is him all over.

    • adam 6.4

      Every time with you Andre, the same attack lines that the MSM media generate against any left candidate.

      You did the horse shit "poor union members and their medical insurance" attack line – and what did the union members do – voted for bernie ON MASS!

      You did the racist and sexist bernie bro meme. Well enough said on that lie.

      And now this, fsheesh Andre why don't you just admit your a corporate lackey and be done with it.

      But like most of your arguments there is the sad attempts at spin, but this time the concern trolling is way over the top. I'm surprised you didn't bring up Bernie being anti-semitic – no wait – joe90 covered that for you. Can always trust joe90 to go all tin foil hat.

      • joe90 6.4.1

        Bury your head all you want but the repugs are honing their attack lines and the day Sanders is nominated, there will be an absolute deluge of negative material released.

        From 2016 –

        So what would have happened when Sanders hit a real opponent, someone who did not care about alienating the young college voters in his base? I have seen the opposition book assembled by Republicans for Sanders, and it was brutal. The Republicans would have torn him apart. And while Sanders supporters might delude themselves into believing that they could have defended him against all of this, there is a name for politicians who play defense all the time: losers.

        Here are a few tastes of what was in store for Sanders, straight out of the Republican playbook: He thinks rape is A-OK. In 1972, when he was 31, Sanders wrote a fictitious essay in which he described a woman enjoying being raped by three men. Yes, there is an explanation for it—a long, complicated one, just like the one that would make clear why the Clinton emails story was nonsense. And we all know how well that worked out.

        https://www.newsweek.com/myths-cost-democrats-presidential-election-521044

        • adam 6.4.1.1

          Come on, grow up. Pointing out there will be attacks is not a new idea. I'd be shocked if the GOP weren't working on it.

          Like how the last loser the DNC put up – and how her depraved husband happened to be a real hinderance.

          Sure – but rather than be all tin foil hat about it, – offer solutions. Short sharpe solutions.

          Because when the GOP do the whole anti-semitic thing to Bernie – the response from the Bernie camp is probably going to scear you. So many people have been working on it.

          I get you don't like the social democratic left – and personally I would like them to be far more radical – but the reality is a social democratic is way more preferable to any sort of authoritarian leftist, or the utter failings of the liberal left.

      • Andre 6.4.2

        adam, I live in hope to see the day your reading comprehension skills develop to the point where you can see your idol's name in close proximity to something not entirely positive, and not immediately jump to the conclusion that your chosen one is being sacrilegiously attacked.

        Today is not that day.

        • adam 6.4.2.1

          When you repeat the same shit over and over, and use attack lines straight from the corporate media – it's tiresome. Be nice if you offered solutions, rather than vapid concern trolling and rehashing baiting memes.

          I'm no fan boy of Bernies – I'm for the left actually having a line in the sand. That means not being corporate lap dogs, nor wimps.

          When you can pull your head out of your ass, and see the difference. Maybe people would not have to point out your shortcomings. You get there is an actually chance of having a change in the US which will end the failed economics of the last 40 odd years. The bullshit you pull is the odd politics of defeat and wimpish shortcoming. Grow a spin.

          • McFlock 6.4.2.1.1

            case in point.

            • adam 6.4.2.1.1.1

              What is that comment, apart from trying to start a flame war?

              • McFlock

                It was an observation that a response that has little if any connection to the comment it is following on from simply demonstrates the point of the previous comment if the previous comment suggests the responder has poor and overly defensive reading comprehenson skills.

                I didn't start the fire. You're a walking flame war, because you don't make even a cursory attempt to read what people actually write.

                Bernie faces a massive shitstorm of bullshit in this election, and berniebros going off half-cocked like you do could well cause him more harm than any actual and intended slights or slurs.

                I prefer Warren. Between Bernie and the mayor, I prefer Bernie. I reckon he'll achieve less than Obama did (or even mayor pete might), but he'll keep changing the game to the left.

                Most of the people you spend your time abusing probably have a similar opinion. try fighting some tories once in a while.

                • adam

                  The liberal left like yourself are the new tories.

                  • McFlock

                    awwww, you called me "left", that's sweet.

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      No you are quite right there McFlock, adam is quite wrong, liberal centrists are more like a cancer in Left politics that need to be cut out before they destroys their host..which people like you have been doing for far far to long….not not Left wing in any sense of the word that is for sure..I mean just look at how the centrists in the UK and USA have shown quite plainly and out in the open that they would rather lose to the Right than win with a Left progressive project, exposing that their ideology is more closely aligned with the Right than that Left.

                      Yes it's about time you lot grew some back bone and just slink off and start your own centre lane political parties…but then back bone is something centrists have never made much of displayed of.

                    • McFlock

                      lols damn now I'm a cancer.

                      Yes it's about time you lot grew some back bone and just slink off and start your own centre lane political parties…but then back bone is something centrists have never made much of displayed of.

                      Let's see – fair call on NZLabour, it definitely tilted right from the left in the 80s.

                      But the dems? They did start their own party. Bernie only joins it when he wants to use dem organisational resources to run for president. By your logic, he's the one who should start his own damned party.

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      Not really sure what you are talking about there, the Dems have swung Right over the past few decades…as with the Labour UK (before Corbyn)

                      Here is a good piece unpacking some of the reasons why most liberal centrists don't understand this obvious truth…

                      Why Can't the Media Admit the Democratic Party Has a Right Wing?

                      https://www.truthdig.com/articles/why-cant-the-media-admit-the-democratic-party-has-a-right-wing/

                    • McFlock

                      Not even FDR argued for "medicare for all".

                      Did Johnson ever push for it?

                      I didn't say that the dems don't have a right wing. I said that the dems have never been anywhere as left wing as Bernie is. This is why Bernie joins the dems when he wants to run for president, then becomes an independent again.

                      The dems built their own party. Bernie piggie-backs on it. He has good policies, but I can see why some people who have worked for the dems for their entire lives would want him to fuck off.

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      "..but I can see why some people who have worked for the dems for their entire lives would want him to fuck off."

                      The Dems aren't working for working people, haven't for a long long time…so tough shit for them, it's time for them to fuck off and let working people have a voice that really is on their side first and foremost..and if that great thing does happen ( which I will be surprised if it does) hopefully some of that real Left wing progressive excitement will spill over into our political sphere..who knows?

                      ..maybe then our hospital here in the Hawkes Bay will get some love instead of having to operate like some sort of seventies era Soviet satellite state run hospital…which liberal austerity forces upon it today under both Labour and National, it's a fucking disgrace!

                    • McFlock

                      So if someone doesn't completely conform to your politics and does not have their own party, they should make their own rather than join someone else's.

                      If they don't conform to your politics and have their own party, people who do conform to your politics should be able to take over that party with no hard feelings, and the people who don't conform to your politics should slink off and start another "center lane" party all over again.

                      People who do conform to your politics should just take over a center lane party and not expect any pushback on that at all.

                      As for hospitals, apparently they're starting demolition on the site for the new Dunedin hospital, oft-promised by the nats and delivered by Labour. Hawke's Bay got a railway and building prefab plant, didn't it?

                    • weka

                      For all the commenters in this subthread, a reminder about the Policy, especially this bit,

                      We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views. But this site run for reasonably rational debate between dissenting viewpoints and we intend to keep it operating that way.

                      What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others. We are intolerant of people starting or continuing flamewars where there is little discussion or debate.

                      I'm not following US politics particularly closely, so when I take a gander at some of the threads here the problem comments (in terms of the Policy) really stand out for me as a moderator.

                      The closer we get to the election the tenser things will be and the more likely it will be that moderation will be required. May as well signal now that the constant name calling and focus on the player not the ball is unlikely to run. There is a plethora of political content in the US election this year, more than enough to focus on. If you can't do that, and are making a comment to simply have a go at another commenter you have history with, then understand that sooner or later that will get moderator attention.

                      Please, step back from the aggro and make the political points instead. Every person in this subthread is very capable of making political arguments and the debate will be better for that being the focus. The range of political views of commenters here should be an asset (and has been in the past), let's see if we can make it that way again.

                      Edited to add: I don’t mean any of that to put people off commenting here today. There’s plenty of analysis going on as well, but just a pointer to the problem of the name calling and personal attacks getting out of hand.

    • aj 6.5

      Andre 11:05 ……

      100% to Bernie who completed owned his Cuba comments in today's CNN Town Hall with Chris Cumo. And he also owned the China comments (lifting millions out of poverty) that he took artillery for last year.

      "I'm only speaking the truth"

      All power to his arm.

  7. Paaparakauta 7

    Weinstein may be a convicted rapist – but also guilty of aesthetic crime in persuading Jackson to turn Tolkien's fantasy into neo-Wagnerian megalomania.

    • Adrian Thornton 7.1

      True that, except Wagner was a great artist from beginning to end where as Jackson had a very good period starting with Bad Taste and ending with The Frighteners, well IMO anyway.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ3GvutirCQ

      • Morrissey 7.1.1

        Was Wagner bullied by a mega-corporation's lawyers into not paying his workers properly?

        • Adrian Thornton 7.1.1.1

          Hello Morrissey was wondering where you had got to?

          I don't know what Wagner payed anyone, however the story behind his Der Ring des Nibelungen is well worth diving into, it is almost as epic as the opera itself.

          As far as Jackson goes, I really believe that his movies have suffered from way too much budget, all his later movies are top heavy and to long for purpose..not to mention he completely butchered both King Kong and Tin Tin, two of my personal favourites.

          When my children where young I used to play the original King Kong on 8mm film at their parties (5 reels from memory) all the kids loved it.

    • ianmac 9.1

      June is sooner than the experts thought. Will be a great lead up to the Election especially if "evidence" proving to smear beyond the four charged. I still wonder about the three who say that they were just following the process that they were told to follow.

      By whom?

    • Sacha 9.2

      Brief statement from the Serious Fraud Office – note that they are calling this "the National Party donations case" which is worth repeating often: https://www.sfo.govt.nz/defendants-plead-not-guilty-in-national-party-donations-case

      Sorry, I needed to bold that to stand out from the adjacent pollution.

      • Alice Tectonite 9.2.1

        The party name just keeps on coming up despite Simon's attempts at distancing & distracting.

        Media are mentioning National Party a fair bit too. Examples from quick Google search:

        • "… fraud case over National Party donations …" Stuff
        • "National Party donations scandal defendants deny fraud charges." NBR
        • "… fraud charges arising from a series of donations to the National Party." TVNZ
        • "… National Party donations charges" NewsHub
        • "… charges over donations made to the National Party …" RNZ
  8. Morrissey 10

    "If we all pull together, guys, we can still stop this madman from giving us healthcare and a decent education."

    In the following clip, those bizarre, anti-democratic Democratic Party "strategists" and their MSNBC mouthpieces are by turns hilarious, hysterical, horrific. Especially funny is the loathesome Clinton apparatchik James Carville at the 1:30 mark, and Chris Matthews at 2:30—especially the part where he says Carville is "damn smart."

    Enjoy….

    • ianmac 10.1

      A free Health System? Sanders must be mad! Must be another Hitler surely?

      Thanks Morrissey for the link.

      • Puckish Rogue 10.1.1

        Sanders is more like Ardern. Except that Kiwibuild was probably more achievable than Healthcare but both are simply not going to happen

        • adam 10.1.1.1

          So you don't live in a country which has free health care like many other hundreds of millions right across the western world their Puckish Rogue?

          So you did move to North Korea then?

    • Cinny 10.2

      That was fantastic Morrissey, thanks for posting yes

  9. Morrissey 11

    In that clip, Chris Matthews actually compares Sanders' win to the Nazis defeating France. Then he goes on to call James Carville “damn smart.” I never thought I'd see a broadcaster more abject and stupid than Duncan Garner, but now I have.

  10. Sacha 12

    Oh how I have missed this post degenerating daily into a shitstorm of denial about US politics. Thank goodness the various bans have expired.

    • Morrissey 12.1

      Nice to see you again, Sacha, and thanks for the warm welcome. yes

    • Incognito 12.2

      A few more long-term bans are about to expire.

      Because it is Election Year, cretinous commenting is on the increase, it seems, and Moderators’ tolerance levels are inversely related to this.

    • Jimmy 12.3

      Seems to me like its become more of an echo chamber lately with people getting banned who have different opinions. Personally, I like reading their alternate views even if I do not agree with them

      • Sacha 12.3.1

        Then you won't mind reading them in a separate post for foreign politics.

      • Muttonbird 12.3.2

        More that those banned who have different opinions struggled to articulate them in a responsible way.

        Those banned who have different opinions are on the wind-up first. Articulating those different opinions is secondary.

      • lprent 12.3.3

        It usually isn't the different opinions that are the issue for moderators, it is how they are expressed. Basically moderators get pissed off cleaning the crap and peeing of the simple of mind who want to have excrement contests. Especially those who go way off topic in posts.

        So they see some dickwaving and decide to cut off the flag waving genitals earlier so they don't have to clean up the crap later. After a while the process becomes to cut deeper so we don't have to see the fuckwits for longer.

        After all we aren't here to give juvenile morons toilet training. We're here to moderate a robust discussion. Getting rid of reflexive fools who can't control themselves is the easiest and simplest solution. I'm always amazed that most of the moderators don't follow my solution. In election year I start banning repeat offenders who can't seem to help themselves until after the election – for both their own good and for that of everyone who can control themselves.

    • Sacha 13.1

      From I/S in the sidebar: http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2020/02/more-nz-first-corruption.html

      Meanwhile, NZ First has been blocking a fisheries review, as well as monitoring cameras on boats and other tighter regulation. Which obviously is a complete coincidence, right?

      • Andre 13.1.1

        Surely WinnieFirst's position on the Kermadec Marine Sanctuary was not in the slightest influenced by anything like this?

        • Sacha 13.1.1.1

          Problem is, we do not know. Personally I'd say him and his oafish sidekick would have backed a fishing industry wishlist without any fiscal encouragement. But I can't prove it.

        • Climaction 13.1.1.2

          Got to look strong though by refusing the calls to look at a governments partners poor behaviour, let alone look at it.

          • McFlock 13.1.1.2.1

            Isn't it already being looked at by the relevant authorities?

            No doubt the voters will make their opinion known. If they don't want NZ1 in government, they shouldn't vote for 'em. Coalitions are about policy compatibilities.

            • Climaction 13.1.1.2.1.1

              C0aLiTions ArE aBOuT PoLiCY CoMPaTaBiLiTie/

              not this one. This one is all about clinging to power for NZ1 and not actually having policies to implement.

              keep telling yourself it’s pure and excellent though. 2/3 parties could be but refuse to cut the anchor chain

              • McFlock

                The three government parties have a lot of common policy areas: regional development, infrastructure, helping poor people (albeit with different ways of doing it).

                They have disagreements about other things – fisheries for example.

                The coalition document outlines what the govt will work on. Everything else is on a case by case basis, and disagreement on those things isn't a government-breaker.

                But to be clear: without NZ1, this government will fall and the other two parties will look like weak failures. Cutting ties to NZ1 because of allegations in order to be propped up by the party whose former bagman is facing actual charges would just be bloody stupid, differing policy frameworks aside.

                So unless there is an explicit and demonstrated reason to disown NZ1, labgrn might as well work with them.

                • Climaction

                  So little has been achieved or delivered by this government, largely due to NZ1, it could be argued it's a deal breaker to stay with them. But hey, they managed to work together for 2 years doing little without any serious fights. many successful marriages are built on less

                  • McFlock

                    Even if I agreed that the govt had achieved "little", the alternative was a nat/nz1/act govt achieving a lot – in the other direction. So be careful which house you burn down first.

                    • Climaction

                      love your binary fpp thinking there. plenty of space to be occupied on the cross benches by any party. National has even less to gain by working with NZ1 on any issue, the greens hand is stronger than they let themselves believe

                    • McFlock

                      "Binary fpp thinking"? It was the result of the 2017 mmp election.

              • Cinny

                climaction, there's an election in Sept, let the people decide.

                Last election, the people decided that they didn't want a national led government and voted for change.

                This election 25% of sitting national MP's have decided to resign, they don't want to be part of simons national led government either.

                • Climaction

                  won't you let the people decide climaction???

                  I never knew my low opinion of NZ1 could be so powerful or persuasive. Thanks Cinny.

                  Let me make this very clear, my abhorrence for NZ1 has nothing to do with a secret like for simon and national. He looks more like a human thumb every day. the koru croissants are killing him

                  I'm surprised 25% of National left. If they didn't want simon bridges as leader all they had to do was stay and lose by the narrow margin they likely will when the greens finally grow a spine and attack the soft neo cons in nz1 in the week before the election

                  • Cinny

                    If you are going to quote me, do make sure it's accurate, rather than adding words, swapping words around or adding question marks.

                    climaction, misquoting people makes you appear dishonest.

      • Cinny 13.1.2

        And PT turning up to hear Winston speak at the Motueka RSA during last election cycle was perfectly normal.

        PT can't stand conservationists, he hates them. He hates the media just as much and is incredibly private.

        Am not one little bit surprised about this news. After all TCER forms and the like, would have to be filled in accurately if vessels had camera's on board.

    • cricklewood 13.2

      Well look for NZ to take a tumble in the next corruption index, 2 Major political parties one in govt, one recently out are involved in what appears to be fraudulent behavior of a serious nature around funding.

      Its corruption plain and simple lets call it as such and

      • Sacha 13.2.1

        Seems impossible for the local branch of Transparency International to whitewash it any longer.

  11. Puckish Rogue 14

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12311405

    There maybe more to it but c'mon this seems (on the face of it) an easy decision to say yes to, the sort of people we want to encourage here

    • ianmac 14.1

      Notice that those nice people were refused in 2016 by the then National Government. So now were are to be pulled by emotional response to allow them a free pass?

      Pretty obvious National ploy to undermine the integrity of Immigration helped by an unscrupulous Puck?

      • Puckish Rogue 14.1.1

        What Labour could say is that National were wrong not to let these people stay so we'll fix Nationals error and we'll let them stay

        An easy win-win for Labour I'd have thought

    • Ad 14.2

      With the number and ferocity of career criminals that Australia is sending back here, it's high time that there was a really strong handover of files from Australian state police to our own on these people so that they can be tracked until the very end of their days.

      I'm looking forward to the social welfare system, tax system, the intelligence system, and the justice system wrapping all their services around them just to let them know how truly supported they really are.

  12. Puckish Rogue 15

    For all those who think Trump is anything like Hitler:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hrn6vnOjRs

    • Muttonbird 15.1

      Trump is a lot more like Hitler than any President of the United States since Hitler.

      That he can't pursue Hitler-like programs is not for want of doing so, rather the impossibility of the task under the US system.

      He is dabbling though. Muslims and Mexicans being the new Jews and Gypsies, etc.

      Didn’t watch your video, by the way.

    • weka 15.2

      I watched the start, but not all of it because it's a year old and it's about some local UK politics, not the rise of fascism in the US. I think the UK is at risk of fascism, but I don't think it's happening yet despite the right there using some of the tactics of 45's team.

      If Pie's argument and thus yours, is that UK politics isn't anything like pre-Nazi Germany, then bear in mind that there's plenty of good political analysis of the US situation from people who have studied fascism (and people who have lived through it) pointing to all the things happening in the US that are in fact parallels of what happened in pre-Nazi Germany. They're different because it's the 21C, but the dynamics are the same. We can't say we weren't warned.

    • McFlock 15.3

      oh, the kiddiecamps. I forgot the kiddiecamps and subsequent "adoptions".

    • joe90 15.4

      You're right. His creeping paranoia makes him more Stalinist than Hitlerite.

      The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, assembled detailed lists of disloyal government officials to oust — and trusted pro-Trump people to replace them — according to more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort who spoke to Axios.

      Driving the news: By the time President Trump instructed his 29-year-old former body man and new head of presidential personnel to rid his government of anti-Trump officials, he'd gathered reams of material to support his suspicions.

      • While Trump's distrust has only intensified since his impeachment and acquittal, he has long been on the hunt for "bad people" inside the White House and U.S. government, and fresh "pro-Trump" options. Outside advisers have been happy to oblige.

      In reporting this story, I have been briefed on, or reviewed, memos and lists the president received since 2018 suggesting whom he should hire and fire. Most of these details have never been published.

      • A well-connected network of conservative activists with close ties to Trump and top administration officials is quietly helping develop these "Never Trump"/pro-Trump lists, and some sent memos to Trump to shape his views, per sources with direct knowledge.
      • Members of this network include Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and Republican Senate staffer Barbara Ledeen.

      https://www.axios.com/trump-memos-deep-state-white-house-ce5be95f-2418-433d-b036-2bf41c9700c3.html

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