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Open Mike 25/01/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 25th, 2017 - 147 comments
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147 comments on “Open Mike 25/01/2017”

  1. More Trump: http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/88738307/donald-trump-surrounded-by-men-signing-antiabortion-executive-order-sparks-outrage.

    Good on ya Stuff for putting the “This is what patriarchy looks like” photo on your front page, but then you go and caption the photo with “US President Donald Trump, surrounded by senior staff, signs an executive order to reinstate the banning foreign aid being used for abortions overseas.”

    US foreign aid already was banned from being used to fund abortions, but readers skimming the piece probably don’t know that. At least the article itself gets it right: “The order blocks United States funding to foreign organisations that perform or provide advice on abortions.”

    I recommend saving a copy of this photo somewhere so you can attach it to your reply, next time right-wing fuckwits are sneering about Cunliffe apologising on behalf of men. It’s not like we’ve nothing to apologise for, you lackwits.

  2. Ad 3

    This is Mark Zuckerberg’s own Facebook page and message, and it sounds like the beginning of a Presidential run to me:

    Mark Zuckerberg

    3 January at 13:43 ·
    ..

    Every year I take on a personal challenge to learn new things and grow outside of my work. In recent years, I’ve run 365 miles, built a simple AI for my home, read 25 books and learned Mandarin.

    My personal challenge for 2017 is to have visited and met people in every state in the US by the end of the year. I’ve spent significant time in many states already, so I’ll need to travel to about 30 states this year to complete this challenge.

    After a tumultuous last year, my hope for this challenge is to get out and talk to more people about how they’re living, working and thinking about the future.

    Priscilla and I have enjoyed taking road trips together since we started dating. Recently, I’ve traveled around the world and visited many cities, and now I’m excited to explore more of our country and meet more people here.

    Going into this challenge, it seems we are at a turning point in history. For decades, technology and globalization have made us more productive and connected. This has created many benefits, but for a lot of people it has also made life more challenging. This has contributed to a greater sense of division than I have felt in my lifetime. We need to find a way to change the game so it works for everyone.

    My work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice. I want to personally hear more of those voices this year. It will help me lead the work at Facebook and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative so we can make the most positive impact as the world enters an important new period.

    My trips this year will take different forms — road trips with Priscilla, stops in small towns and universities, visits to our offices across the country, meetings with teachers and scientists, and trips to fun places you recommend along the way.
    I’ve enjoyed doing these challenges with our community and I’ll post tomorrow about how everyone around the world can join in. I’m looking forward to this challenge and I hope to see you out there!

    • Carolyn_nth 3.1

      Geezus… what is it with these wealthy guys that think they are the right people to be the new rulers of the world?

      • Morrissey 3.1.1

        Lucky this country doesn’t have such shallow and arrogant rich people….

        http://mediawhores.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/bob-jones.jpg

        • Sabine 3.1.1.1

          i raise you a wanna be called Gareth Morgan.

          • Paul 3.1.1.1.1

            I raise you.
            Mike Hosking.

            • Morrissey 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Paul, have you heard rumours that “The Hosk” (as Jack Tame calls him) is thinking of making a run for parliament?

              Until recently, I would have written that off as a not particularly amusing joke, but not any longer.

              • Paul

                No I had not.
                What a horrible thought.

              • aerobubble

                Well Seymour is a dud…

              • Wensleydale

                If Maggie ‘Garden Show’ Barry can do it, why not Hosking? Actually, it’ll probably be easier for him. Auntie Mags had to drop that carefully nurtured facade of warmth and amiability she’d been trading on for so long on the telly. Hosking, by contrast, has all the warmth of a fucking glacier, so he’ll slot right in as though he was born to it. (Pro-tip: Mike Hosking was not actually born. He was grown in a vat in a bio-tech facility run by a faceless multinational corporation controlled by a rogue artificial intelligence.)

                • Morrissey

                  Mike Hosking was not actually born. He was grown in a vat in a bio-tech facility run by a faceless multinational corporation controlled by a rogue artificial intelligence.

          • Morrissey 3.1.1.1.2

            Gareth Morgan is a serious and credible commentator. Bob Jones is not, and neither is Mark Zuckerberg.

            Please don’t interpret that as an endorsement of Morgan: I don’t particularly like him.

            • Sabine 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Gareth Morgan is a self indulging wanker.

              Bob Jones is a self indulging wanker.

              Mark Zuckerberg is a self indulging wanker.

              Donald Trump is a self indulging wanker.

              Considering who just became president i think all of he above must also be qualified.
              And the public pays the up keep of these self indulging wankers. No difference anywhere. All the same non taxpaying rich guys that are gonna make life for the tax payers easier once voted into office . Yeah, right Tui.

              • Morrissey

                That’s too simplistic, Sabine. You need to consider carefully what each of these people has said and written over a long time.

                One of them—Gareth Morgan—is a genuine, serious thinker. That doesn’t mean you have to like him.

                • aerobubble

                  Mars has an atmosphere due to CO2 being a greenhouse gas. Increasing CO2 is akin to putting a blanket on a bed, traps heat. So after a decade of increasingly hotter temperate rises its utterly stupid to continue throwing more blankets on the bed each summer. Yet this serious thinker went out of his way to consider that climate change was impossible for humanity to achieve. This is akin to saying we didn’t goto the moon.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  http://www.stuff.co.nz/oddstuff/9134900/If-anybody-can-Gareth-Morgan-can

                  ”What they found [his travelling party] surprised them – a people who were poor, yes, but wonderfully engaged, well-dressed, fully employed and well informed. In Gareth’s view, what North Korea has achieved economically despite its lack of access to international money has been magnificent.”

                  Yeah a serious thinker

                  [Something over here needing your attention Puckish] – Bill

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Done and if you still want to ban me then its all good, just please not for racism (I’ve no issue with the colour of their skin)

                  • Morrissey

                    Yeah a serious thinker

                    So, because he refused to simply regurgitate the catechism of “North Korea is evil”, he’s not a serious thinker?

                    Yes, I think, like you do, that it’s more than likely that Morgan in that case was suckered by a Potemkin scenario, but it shows that he at least is open to thinking about things, and doesn’t feel compelled to mouth received “wisdom”.

                    I don’t think he’s always right or wise, but he IS serious, and intelligent. That’s not something anyone could credibly say about Mike Hosking, “Sir” Robert Jones, Mark Zuckerberg or Donald Trump.

                • Sabine

                  i have read what he is writing, i carefully considered and he is a self indulging wanker.

                  • Morrissey

                    Fair enough, Sabine. But, even so, he’s far more intelligent, and far more serious, than Mike Hosking, “Sir” Robert Jones, Mark Zuckerberg or Donald Trump.

                    • Sabine

                      mate, he is a wanker. No matter how dumb or intelligent he is a wanker. In fact, if he is so intelligent its even worse as he knows he is a wanker and he is doing it for shits n giggles, while the world has run out of shits n giggles a long time ago.

                      nah, he shall climb on his bike and go to Mongolia. ride a goat or such.

          • DH 3.1.1.1.3

            You might have his measure there Sabine. Gareth Morgan has been pissing off NZers for as long as I can remember. He’s far too pushy and opinionated, I can’t see his party getting anywhere.

            • Carolyn_nth 3.1.1.1.3.1

              Morgan openly said on Checkpoint last night, that he’d made his “Uncle Tom” comment at Ratana, to get attention to issues he wanted to raise. Maybe he’s trying to take a leaf from Trump’s book. These days, there’s no telling what that kind of approach may achieve, whether we like it or not.

              • DH

                I don’t pay much attention to him Carolyn_nth. In his earlier days he always seemed one of the enemy, a right little free-market fan club.

                He might be a born again socialist now but that just says to me he was wrong in his earlier views and if was wrong then what makes him right now?

                • Carolyn_nth

                  I’m not aiming to be a cheerleader for TOP. Just pointing out that sensationalist publicity that pisses off a lot of people, seems to work for some people politically.

                  • DH

                    Fair ’nuff. From what I’ve seen of him he manages to annoy almost everyone and you don’t win many friends that way.

                  • Sabine

                    Great, and that is what got the World Trump. Cause politics is just fuckwits pissing of other fuckwits into voting against ‘the others’.

                    not to better their country, not to create a more equal society, but simply to fuck of the others.
                    Great.
                    As i said before Trump/Morgan are the same kind of over rated rich fuckwits.

                    btw, i read the comments he made at Ratana, and frankly he should have been pelted with rotten eggs and tomatoes pretty much immediately. Fuckwit.

    • Morrissey 3.2

      So Zuckerberg, who is one of the worst underminers of U.S. public education and a zealous promoter of profit-based “charter schools”, has read only 25 books “in recent years”. That doesn’t surprise me.

    • Johan 3.3

      Mark rationalizing that he really is a good person not just a wealthy prick.

    • RedBaronCv 3.4

      Or he could challenge himself to pay proper taxes

  3. Ad 4

    Remember all that successful pressure the left put on President Obama to stop the Dakota pipeline?

    Trump just overrode all that.
    The Dakota pipeline is back on, by Presidential decree.

    And to remind all fellow lefties why Trump was always going to be so much better than anything else, this is what a massive pipeline does; 200,000 litres of fracked oil on native land, since Friday:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/us-canada-pipeline-leak-idUSKBN1572UJ

    And for all who expected to see those steel mills rolling again in little towns, the quote for the day is:
    “Creating a second Flint does not make America great again”.
    – Dave Archimbault II, Chairman, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

    • HDCAFriendlyTroll 4.1

      Yep. Trump is bringing industry back to the greatest industrial powerhouse the world has ever seen. Fantastic stuff.

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        I suppose that might be a second good thing about the trump presidency:

        if he follows through on his plan of tax breaks for companies that invest in automation (sorry, “bring jerbz back to murka”), other (more sane) governments around the world might be forced to sensibly consider their transition to a low-employment society.

    • Cinny 4.2


      “Creating a second Flint does not make America great again”
      A’ho !!!!

    • adam 4.3

      The new national anthem…???

  4. Carolyn_nth 5

    Naomi Klein on The Intercept about Trump’s disaster capitalism.

    She says that history shows us exactly what will happen under the Trump administration.

    WE ALREADY KNOW that the Trump administration plans to deregulate markets, wage all-out war on “radical Islamic terrorism,” trash climate science and unleash a fossil-fuel frenzy. It’s a vision that can be counted on to generate a tsunami of crises and shocks: economic shocks, as market bubbles burst; security shocks, as blowback from foreign belligerence comes home; weather shocks, as our climate is further destabilized; and industrial shocks, as oil pipelines spill and rigs collapse, which they tend to do, especially when enjoying light-touch regulation.

    All this is dangerous enough. What’s even worse is the way the Trump administration can be counted on to exploit these shocks politically and economically.

    She writes about the way Pence put disaster capitalism into action after hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

    What stands out in the package of pseudo “relief” policies is the commitment to wage all-out war on labor standards and on the public sphere — which is ironic because the failure of public infrastructure is what turned Katrina into a human catastrophe. Also notable is the determination to use any opportunity to strengthen the hand of the oil and gas industry.

    So, in case anyone thinks impeachment is the solution to Trump…. Pence is no solution.

    Watch out for Trump using the cover of (allegedly) positive legislation for workers, while dodgy practices (some illegal and unchecked) will be used to benefit private corporations. eg the likes of Halliburton.

    This is the disaster capitalism blueprint, and it aligns with Trump’s own track record as a businessman all too well.

    … disasters, …are coming fast and furious. Trump has already declared the U.S. a rolling disaster zone. And the shocks will keep getting bigger, thanks to the reckless policies that have already been promised.

    • Siobhan 5.1

      Thank Goodness we have the Democrats to fight the good fight…or maybe not…

      “FOURTEEN SENATE DEMOCRATS joined all but one Senate Republican in confirming Rep. Mike Pompeo as the new CIA director on Monday evening”

      “On the surface, the drug companies won a battle against Senator Bernie Sanders as his bill to allow pharmaceutical distributors and pharmacists to import cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and other countries lost by a narrow 52-46 vote. And Sanders is fuming at the 13 Democratic Senators who essentially killed the bill by voting against it.”

      and this is just the start.

  5. Sabine 6

    Student walk out in the US cause Climate Change.

    sorry guys, but your world is being fucked over again by those that should look out for your interest. But i am sure it will make all these young people feel good to know that America will be made Great Again, one pipeline at a time.

    rejoice young ones and say thanks to your parents especially those that voted for that bullshit.

    http://www.ecowatch.com/student-protest-trump-2209339481.html

  6. Tautoko Mangō Mata 8

    An interesting read on a NZ citizen, Peter Thiel, titled
    The evolution of Mr Thiel
    The tech billionaire has morphed from a libertarian into a corporate Nietzschean

    http://www.economist.com/news/business/21699954-tech-billionaire-has-morphed-libertarian-corporate-nietzschean-evolution

  7. Morrissey 9

    Don’t despair—America will survive because it has people like this

    At a time when the United States seems to be over-run with people like Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel and Donald J Trump, it’s important to remember that there are still decent, heroic people there. People like Norman Finkelstein….

    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2017/01/24/norman-finkelstein-die-gedanken-sind-frei-3/

  8. Andre 10

    Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at the inauguration.

  9. The Chairman 11

    When did ripping into Winston become an objective of The Opportunities Party?

    • Sacha 11.1

      When that’s one of their competitors for votes.

      • Wayne 11.1.1

        There is zero chance that Gareth Morgan will benefit from his attack on Winston Peters, who in fact will benefit from it.

        Who on earth is even going to vote for TOP?

        Presumably it would have to be people who are disenchanted with all existing parties. It won’t be people who are not already voting. Why would TOP suddenly be the thing that motivates them to vote?

        I will be surprised if TOP gets much more than 1%, if that.

      • The Chairman 11.1.2

        As there is a good chance Peters may be part of the next Government, is it wise for The Opportunities Party to rip into him when their stated objective is to substantially influence the policies of the Government of the day?

        Moreover, if The Opportunities Party is targeting NZF supporters, wouldn’t it suggest there are synergies they can build upon to substantially influence the policies of the Government of the day?

        Ripping into Peters fails to assist in that.

  10. Glenn 12

    Interesting comments in The Sydney Morning Herald.

    “we can no longer slothfully afford to leave our national strategy on autopilot, as we’ve done since John Curtin unilaterally declared we “look to America” in 1941. We now need to identify exactly what’s in our interests, and what’s not. The way a lot of people are talking at the moment suggests this is something they haven’t bothered thinking through.

    Sure, and just like the Philippines, we’d prefer it if the Chinese weren’t militarising artificial islands across the South China Sea. But does preventing this require a war? Definitively not. In exactly the same way, it would be preferable if ASEAN was offering a united front against Beijing. It’s not and won’t. The tectonic plates of alliance politics are shifting, and wishing things were otherwise is both pointless and futile.

    So we’ve got to move with the times too. The vital thing is to avoid getting locked into definitive positions that risk curtailing the possibility of negotiation. …

    …Artificial-island building is an irrelevancy compared with climate change, yet it risks somehow becoming the focal point of Western engagement with China. We will never achieve real security until we envisage the problem in its broadest sense. It’s time, now, for some urgent action. Before Trump curtails our freedom to manoeuvre.

    Nicholas Stuart is a Canberra writer.

    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/now-trumps-president-we-need-a-new-strategy-20170122-gtwlpv.html?wpmm=1&wpisrc=nl_todayworld

  11. The Chairman 13

    Will National succumb to ACT’s bottom line or will ACT be left out in the cold?

    “The bottom line for ACT is that if we hold the balance of power after the next election, the Government must remove urban councils, those with more than 100,000 people, from the jurisdiction of the RMA and introduce new legislation that promotes an adequate supply of housing.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/88670392/ACT-leader-David-Seymour-calls-for-action-on-housing-affordability

    • Brutus Iscariot 13.1

      They won’t need them – they’ll have to deal with NZF anyway. They’ll continue to prop up their existence in Epsom, but Seymour will be a fringe figure in the next government.

      • The Chairman 13.1.1

        National tends to utilize ACT’s position. It helps them get things considered a little more extreme through while remaining at arms length.

      • Nic the NZer 13.1.2

        ACT, the only party who are so incompitent that they were taken over in a coup by an outsider (John Banks). Since then, just a branch of National. No doubt these demands were actually thought up at head office.

        Shopping around for alternative partners requires actual independence, which ACT does not have.

        • The Chairman 13.1.2.1

          “No doubt these demands were actually thought up at head office.”

          It’s a shame Labour don’t tend to leverage off the smaller left wing parties in a similar way.

  12. Brigid 14

    At the United Nations conference on the Syria crisis in Helsinki on 24th January, where journalists and Syrian representatives were not invited to any discussions, Helen Clarke was asked a question that made her a tad uncomfortable.

    • Bill 14.1

      It’s the palpable relief shown by the guy next to her as he realises Helen has ‘an angle’ that got me.

      Watch Clark’s body language while the question is being asked – the ‘leaning in’, the subsequent ‘sitting up and slightly back’ and then the “gotcha” swilling of the glass of water…she had it covered (as in had constructed a ‘get around’).

      As a politician she is very good.

      • Brigid 14.1.1

        The ‘we’re really not doing anything’ angle?

        • weka 14.1.1.1

          The ‘we can say something that sounds really good while directly avoiding answer your actual question’ angle.

          Clark looks appalling. Hunched, crazy eyes, stiff body. I had a hard time watching her.

        • Bill 14.1.1.2

          Aw Brigid. They’re having meetings! And as everyone of a certain mind-set knows, meetings are the ‘go to’ places if you want things done!

          The UN’s in a fucking pickle. They fucked up big time on Syria (they still endorse regime change) and they’ve been reduced to making their mendacity palpable for a western audience (most of the rest of the world – and certainly the Arab world – already knows that the UN’s just a faithful lap dog ‘fetching the slippers’ for US/NATO/western masters and mistresses).

      • inspider 14.1.2

        I think they were thinking “what’s this idiot going on about?” Clark was gracious in her answer.

    • Morrissey 14.2

      Clark looks like she wanted to unload on Vanessa Beeley in the same way she unloaded on the likes of Selwyn Manning when she came under pressure to explain her government’s persecution of Ahmed Zaoui.

      But since she’s only a minor figure here rather than top dog, she resorts to windy nothings. Change the accent, add a few repetitions of “uh” to indicate moral sincerity, and it could have been the Chief Windbag himself, Barack Obama.

    • Who invited them? Well, duh the Assad regime and its patrons don’t want the UN involved in any form, not even the UNDP. Of course they haven’t been invited. Fortunately, the UN doesn’t require invitations from one side in a civil war to take an interest in looking after the victims of it (to the extent that a huge, inefficient and pretty corrupt bureaucracy is capable of looking after people, at least).

      Of more interest is why the Assad regime has one of its shills trying to discredit UN efforts to render humanitarian assistance.

      • One Two 14.3.1

        Do you genuinely believe the UN is a ‘renerderer of humanitarian assistance’ in Syria?

        • Psycho Milt 14.3.1.1

          What? The? Fuck? Here’s some of the recent activity:

          18 January 2017 – Amid an overall scale-up in relief operations in Syria, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the country, Ali Al-Za’tari, approved today $19 million from the Syria Humanitarian Fund to sustain immediate life-saving and early recovery assistance for tens of thousands of people in war-ravaged Aleppo.

          Also:

          in 2016, UN agencies and partners operating in Syria and cross-border disbursed more than $220 million for programmes and services to people in need in Aleppo city, which included $14 million from the Syria Humanitarian Fund.

          source

    • inspider 14.4

      It didn’t make her uncomfortable at all. It was an effing stupid, grandstanding and irrelevant question, which showed that the questioner was clearly in the wrong room. Clark politely showed that in her clear, concise response to the so called “independent journalist” (which can probably be more rightly be said as “self appointed activist with a blog”).

      • Morrissey 14.4.1

        ???

        The person in the wrong room was that trougher über alles Helen Clark. Your ignorant dismissal of Vanessa Beeley, who is one of the world’s best journalists reminds me of Clark’s foaming hostility towards two of New Zealand’s finest: Nicky Hager and Selwyn Manning.

        • Andre 14.4.1.1

          Vanessa Beeley appears to do a lot of associating with David Icke and Alex Jones. Seems like odd behaviour for “one of the world’s best journalists”.

          • Morrissey 14.4.1.1.1

            Really? She subscribes to their mad views, does she? Or are you simply smearing her?

    • Paul 14.5

      Vanessa Beeley is a great independent journalist.
      Whereas Helen Clark sold her soul a long time ago.

      • Psycho Milt 14.5.1

        Dunno about you, but I find “great independent journalist” and “Assad regime shill” incompatible.

        • Morrissey 14.5.1.1

          Telling the truth is not shilling for a regime.

          Which side has funded ISIS and Al Qaeda in Syria? Russia? Or the United States and its vassals?

          • Psycho Milt 14.5.1.1.1

            Telling the truth is not shilling for a regime.

            No indeed. However, travelling the country with the regime’s representatives and its military, talking to people the regime allows you to talk to, then promoting the regime’s interests in every available venue, is shilling for a regime.

  13. Brigid 15

    This is the complete live broadcast.
    The arrogance and ignorance of them is astounding.
    https://formin.videosync.fi/2017-01-24-press

  14. Puckish Rogue 16

    Ok well this for starters

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1510866/Poll-reveals-40pc-of-Muslims-want-sharia-law-in-UK.html

    That’s in the UK, not the middle east and I don’t want that kind of foothold starting here

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Islamist_terrorist_attacks

    As you can see there has been an increase in terrorist attacks by the followers of Islam over the last couple of years

    a possible reason why:

    http://www.commonsenseevaluation.com/2013/06/03/muslim-behaviorterrorism-correlated-with-population-size/#sthash.OzpQ7VGF.dpbs

    and the figures are from here:

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2122.html

    So that’s a no from me for muslim refugees or at least we match some of these countries:

    http://usherald.com/heres-simple-reason-wealthy-muslim-countries-taken-zero-syrian-refugees/

    Theres this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-go_area#Sweden (links onto the UK)

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/sweden/12103667/Suddenly-the-Swedes-are-talking-about-their-refugee-problem.html

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jan/13/sex-assaults-sweden-stockholm-music-festival

    and that’s without going into Germany so I genuinely believe that, based on the experiences of European countries, bringing in mass muslim refugees will lead to bad outcomes for our country, maybe not now, maybe not even later, but a generation or two down the line we’ll experience the same issues (on a lesser scale) as being dealt with in Europe

    We can still take refugees in but I don’t see why we have to specifically take muslim refugees over Christian refugees (which you would think would be an easier assimilation) especially as to how Christians are treated in Syria

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-22270455

    Almost forgot, its just starting to happen in Australia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_Australia#Endeavour_Hills_stabbings_.282014.29

    So in the end I want to err on the side of caution

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  15. Anno1701 17

    “Better rich americans then moslem refugees”

    ohhhh shit no, id take a good honest working class refugee over some weird , over moneyed pointless bouji parasite thank you very much…

    yuck..

    Mind you if the proverbial hits the fan i suppose they are good ” stock piles” if nothing else…

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    [sorry Anno, not your fault, but the best place to split the convo and move it after PR’s derailment – weka]

    • Red 17.1

      Don’t forget sharia law would a good long term benefit as well, no interests rates

    • ropata 17.2

      There was this whole Western European thing called the Renaissance and the Enlightenment that means there are a whole set of cultural values like democracy and freedom that we seem to take for granted these days. PR has a point, we should allow immigration on our terms, I am sick of our open slather policy. Winston was right…

      • Red 17.2.1

        Well put

      • Puckish Rogue 17.2.2

        I’m not an expert (no surprise) but as I understand it Islam hasn’t had any sort of reformation like what the Christians had and that’s why the bible has the new testament and the Koran doesn’t

        Or I have lost the plot completely?

        • ropata 17.2.2.1

          The NT predates the Reformation, but the reformation broke the hegemony of the Catholic Church, allowing anyone to interpret the Bible & think for themselves. Dictators & religious control freaks don’t like that sort of thing.

        • Roflcopter 17.2.2.2

          The Bible started off ugly, and then got better (but still ugly).

          The problem is that the Koran started off nice, and then got real ugly the further through you read… compounded by the proclamation that anything you read early on is superseded by anything that follows that may contradict earlier reading.

        • McFlock 17.2.2.3

          Yes, yes you have.

          For one thing you’re conflating cultural norms with religious norms.

          You’re also confusing the Reformation with the entire “oh snap, there’s a guy called Jesus that we’ll write about” that occurred something like 1200 years earlier (there was a lag between the reported events and the documentation in the testaments). And that’s if one views Protestantism as any better than Catholicism anyway (compare the comments of the Pope with the comments of Falwell, for example).

          The basic rule I follow is that one’s religion says nothing about one’s character, it’s the passages in your holy text one chooses to elevate over the others that describes it.

          • Puckish Rogue 17.2.2.3.1

            Thanks for that, I guess the issue becomes when cultural and religious norms overlap or are similar enough that theres no issue with either but then I’m cultural norms are probably mostly derived from the dominant religious norm of the time

            Or not

            • McFlock 17.2.2.3.1.1

              yeah, not.

              Hence the wide variety of clothing (mostly) men insist women wear across the globe, regardless of religion.

              • Puckish Rogue

                I’m not disagreeing with you, in fact you’re probably right, but this is starting to get into one of the areas that I’ve self-censored myself from joining in so I’ll just quietly slip out the door

                • McFlock

                  A bit like my attitudes to cyclists 🙂
                  Wise move.

                • It’s probably a good idea to self-censor when discussing Islam on a left-wing blog, but I’m a poor self-censor. The reason we should minimise our intake of Muslim refugees is that Islam’s a totalitarian ideology that’s inimical to liberal values so the chances of importing a dangerous fascist are pretty high (higher even than the chances of importing one among our South African religious fundamentalist immigrants, which is pretty fucking high if you ask me).

                  • McFlock

                    You can say that about almost any religion, if you obsess on their worst elements.

                    • False equivalence. Islam is a totalitarian ideology per se – no focus on its worst elements is required and no other religion (that I’m aware of, which isn’t particularly comprehensive) fits that bill.

                      It’s also a fairly obvious scam, but given the number of Mormons in the world White people don’t have any reason to feel superior about that.

                    • McFlock

                      I figure most religions would fit that bill, frankly. Islam doesn’t seem much different from what I gather.

                    • Not so. To stick to the most obvious ones: Islam comes with a legal code (Sharia) and the right of religious authorities to classify all human behaviour into five categories ranging from compulsory to forbidden (ahkam). Someone who is born into it or agrees to join it is not permitted to leave. Those are the features that make it a totalitarian ideology, and other religions tend not to have them. Those other religions may or may not feature just as high a proportion of fucked-up individuals as Islam, but they aren’t totalitarian ideologies per se.

                    • McFlock

                      Never heard of ecclesiastic law? Apostasy or heresy? Excommunication? Shunning?

                      Yes, many nominally “christian” countries are pretty relaxed – unless you need an abortion, or are gay. Then the number of relaxed countries decreases markedly.

                      Nobody rewrote the Bible after 1600. Translated, yes, but all the prohibitions are still there. All the Leviticus bullshit. The reason Christians don’t go around stoning witches or adulterers today is because they choose to ignore specific passages. The few jerks who choose to obey those passages do so because of the cultural and personal baggage of their society, not because they’re better at following an inherently self-contradictory and historically doubtful book than everyone else.

                    • Never heard of ecclesiastic law? Apostasy or heresy? Excommunication? Shunning?

                      Sure. All of it was made up. Authorities can invent legal code whenever they want, but there was none written into Christianity in the first place. They had to make it up. The legal code’s written into Islam to start with, which is why it’s different.

                      Same with heresy – of course religious authorities of whatever stripe will persecute their opponents if they get the chance, but Islam’s the only religion I’m aware of that proscribes apostasy right there in the documentation. In Islam, there is no dispute over whether apostasy is proscribed or not because it clearly is – the only dispute is over whether the punishment for it is death or not.

                      …all the prohibitions are still there. All the Leviticus bullshit.

                      Yes, Judaism’s also pretty shit, but it’s not in Islam’s league.

                    • Thinking further about it, this might be a better explanation. If I say that fascism is a totalitarian ideology because it prescribes a one-party state in which the leader has absolute authority, a person could make the counter-argument that it’s bullshit to single out fascism, because Turkey and Russia are nominal democracies that have effectively become one-party states in which the leader has absolute authority. That counter-argument would be wrong, because democracy can succumb to those features but it doesn’t prescribe them.

                      NB: the above is to illustrate the logic of an argument, not to equate Muslims with fascists.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, I’m not questioning the logic of your argument, just its accuracy.

                      The Bible has entire lists of “crimes” and their punishments (generally involving rocks). Apostasy? Check out Deuteronomy 13.

                      But even if the Quran were exceptional (as you claim) in explicitly requiring violent ends for violators of religious law, the fact remains that Muslim refugees are fleeing religious literalists. The problem isn’t the text, the problem is the emphasis people place on random passages they happen to agree with. Nice people follow all the peace and mung beans passages. Arseholes will go out of their way to interpret the peace and mung bean passages as requiring executions of heretics.

                      I recall the story of one particular Catholic order of monks during the height of the inquisitions: they really wanted to get in on the “torture heretics and confiscate their lands” action, but the founding saint had explicitly forbidden the order from shedding blood.

                      Then some imaginative monk remembered hot oil and fire pokers. Theological quandary solved.

                  • Andre

                    But…but…”liberal” is a dirty word around here.

  16. Puckish Rogue 18

    I’ve knocked judges before but cases like this, well you can only go damn

    The judge certainly earned their keep on this one

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11788494

  17. The Chairman 19

    Too generous, not enough or did the Government and councils get the balance about right?

    A 50 per cent subsidy and a one year time-frame.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/nz-earthquake/88752734/new-earthquake-laws-could-force-building-owners-to-strengthen-within-a-year

    • The Chairman 19.1

      A low interest loan (utilizing Government’s low cost of borrowing) would have been a more prudent use of taxpayers money.

  18. weka 20

    Nice.

    “The responsible application of science to government”

    What is the Scientists’ March on Washington

    UPDATE: 4:00 1-24-16 : Since 10am today, over 50 people have volunteered to help make this event a reality! We’re going to get back to everyone and try to make sure that everyone’s time is put to the best use possible. A single google hangout looks unfeasible if volunteers keep coming in at this rate until Saturday, so we’re working ways to break into working groups. Stay tuned!

    Twitter: @ScienceMarchDC
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1862739727343189/
    Reddit: /r/scientistsmarch
    Get Email Updates
    To help: https://goo.gl/forms/zAdY02dBEz3Ykii42
    Contact: scientistsmarchonwashington@gmail.com

    We accept the following as provisionally true:

    The Earth is becoming warmer due to human action.
    The diversity of life arose by evolution.
    An American government that ignores science to pursue ideological agendas threatens not only the environment of which humans are a part, but America itself.
    Scientific research in the United States is underfunded.
    Politicians who devalue expertise risk making decisions that do not reflect reality.

    Who can participate:

    Science is a methodology and a way of thinking. Anyone who uses and values these tools for understanding the world, not just professional scientists, may participate.

    How can I help?
    We are still in the very early stages of organizing this event. We need all the help we can get, especially from people with expertise in the following areas:

    Web Design
    Logo/Graphic design
    Law, incorporation of a not-for-profit
    Fundraising
    Public relations and media relations
    Social media management
    Organizing large events
    Acquiring permits in DC
    Contacts with possible speakers

    You don’t need to be a professional scientist to participate. Just fill out this google form: https://goo.gl/forms/zAdY02dBEz3Ykii42 and please let us know how you can help.

    How can I donate?
    You can’t yet. We’re working on figuring out a legal framework that will allow you to donate.

    When will it be?

    We’re still in the very earliest stages. The date will be announced as soon as it is available.

    Isn’t science apolitical?

    Yes. Scientists, however are not. The march is non-partisan, however it is intended to have an impact on policy makers.

    http://www.scientistsmarchonwashington.com/

    • Cinny 21.1

      Agent Orange suddenly feels his small hands growing LMAO

    • weka 21.2

      “While the impressive numbers are more to do with the easy access to live video online than Mr Trump’s popularity, we need more measured analysis when it comes to the new president – his record viewer claim certainly isn’t the most ridiculous thing he’s ever said.”

      Lol.

  19. Morrissey 23

    The same recipe of deep meaningful sighs, chuckling, and sardonic little quips:
    Jim Mora’s light chat show has not improved one whit since last year

    The Panel, RNZ National, Wednesday 25 January 2017
    Jim Mora, Mai Chen, Peter Fa’afiu

    First “expert” today is….(wait for it)….Professor Al Gillespie. This time he’s delivering his anodyne pronouncements on the topic of trade negotiations post-Brexit and post-rational America. Mai Chen, as ever, tries to talk “street” style….

    MAI CHEN: It’s all very well for us to rock up and say, Mr Trump, we want a bilateral trade deal…

    JIM MORA: [drily] Yes, we’d need Chris Liddell lobbying very hard.

    MAI CHEN: [appreciatively] Ha!

    AL GILLESPIE: New Zealand as a small nation is a law TAKER rather than a law MAKER.

    JIM MORA: We can rest our hopes on Britain, we can be best friends with everybody in the middle east, except Israel….

    PETER FA’AFIU: We’ve got the best trade negotiators in the world—and I don’t say that because I was one of them.

    JIM MORA: Heh!

    PETER FA’AFIU: We punch well above our weight. ….

    JIM MORA: Thank you Peter, for your great injection of optimism.

    PETER FA’AFIU: Ha ha ha ha!

    …..

    4:26 p.m.: I’ve just heard Mai Chen say that “we” should charge people to see the Punakaiki Rocks and other tourist attractions. She attempted to justify this by citing the example of having to pay tolls in Israel to swim in the Sea of Galilee. I can’t take any more of this bilge today. If they say something interesting, someone might like to tell the rest of us, but I presume the next half hour will continue on like this.

  20. Paul 24

    Eating no meat has a bigger impact on reducing one’s carbon footprint than any other action, including flying.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  21. Steve Wrathall 25

    So, 11 years ago Al Gore said in An Inconvenient Truth that pacific Islands were being evacuated to NZ because of climate change. Has anyone identified these mystic islands yet?

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Paul 25.1

      Denying climate change is on a par with holocaust denial.
      Millions more will die because of our inaction, which you encourage.

      • Morrissey 25.1.1

        What’s the bet this fool Roberts will be quoted, seriously and respectfully, by Jim Mora some time soon? Mora regularly gives oxygen, without demur, to one of our loudest and dimmest science-deniers, Jordan Williams….

        Open mike 17/04/2013

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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
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  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
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  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
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  • Prime Minister’s remarks halfway through Alert Level 4 lockdown
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  • Licenses, WoFs and regos extended under lockdown
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  • Inquiry report into EQC released
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  • More time for health workers and elderly to get flu vaccine
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  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
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  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
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  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
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  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
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  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
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  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
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  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
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  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
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  • Statement from David Clark
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  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
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    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
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  • Further measures to support businesses
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  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
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  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
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  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
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  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
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  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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  • Advance payments to support contractors
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  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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  • State of National Emergency extended
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