Open Mike 25/04/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 25th, 2017 - 166 comments
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166 comments on “Open Mike 25/04/2017”

  1. The Chairman 1

    David Scott said the council was trying to force him to resign over the incident because he was the lone voice of dissent around the council table, which included voting against a pay rise for the chief executive.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/91880052/kapiti-councillor-under-investigation-for-allegedly-pressing-himself-against-female-staffer

    • saveNZ 1.1

      There’s a lot worse happening in the work place – and I would not place it in the criminal sphere, more a warning level about workplace conduct and a training about workplace harassment. It does seem very suspicious that investigation happened after voting against pay rises for the CEO!

      • The Chairman 1.1.1

        It does make one wonder if the incident is being exploited as a means to silence dissent.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.2

      I saw the headline and didn’t bother reading it at first. Now that you point it out it does sound very odd.

      Predatory men in my experience wait until the victim has no witnesses to support her story, and then defend themselves by accusing the victim of behavior that caused them to react. There is also a history of similar behavior even if it goes unreported.

      What really happened here?

      • RedBaronCV 1.2.1

        Good comment and yes it does look odd.
        The article says “was recently sent a letter from the council, which is understood to outline more complaints about his behaviour from multiple people who came forward after the morning tea incident”
        Implying that there was a pattern of behaviour suddenly come to light. The Mayor goes “and I am concerned about the [female] staff”.

        But really how much time do Councillors actually spend with the staff of an organisation like the council in their offices or workspace? I would have though that they would go to “public type events” like the council meetings and otherwise work through the CEO not be roaming the offices at will.

        • The Chairman 1.2.1.1

          It seems the other complaints are from the same event (thus is not past history, hence doesn’t imply a pattern of behaviour) and relate to compliments he made.

          He claims he has never had similar complaints made against him in his life.

          • RedBaronCV 1.2.1.1.1

            That seems to compute even less.
            There are no past history complaints? but all of a sudden at this one public function he allegedly runs amok? so to speak and has all sorts of people complaining about his behaviour to them? or are they suddenly all complaining on behalf of someone else?? ( which experience suggests doesn’t usually happen?)
            But I see the mayor has advised him to get a good lawyer (which is going to hurt financially I imagine) while all other legal costs get paid by whom?? the council?- ratepayers??

            • The Chairman 1.2.1.1.1.1

              The other complaints seem to be trivial (arising from a number of compliments he made) but there sudden reporting can also be seen as conveniently timed (helping to bolster the initial complaint) especially if political forces are gunning for him as he claims.

              The initial accusation can have serious ramifications and is said to be under investigation, thus recommending he lawyers up is to be expected. I suspect he would be liable for his own legal costs.

      • mary_a 1.2.2

        @ AsleepWhileWalking (1.2) … Absolutely agree.

        Perhaps this is a veiled threat to anyone else who goes against council policy. A form of bullying to toe the line, or else.

        Bit strange all the same, particularly if the alleged incident took place in a crowded area, which as you say doesn’t quite fit in with usual predatory behaviour.

        A case now of wait and see how this one unfolds.

    • JanM 1.3

      This is a bog standard way of getting rid of people that are not liked by people in power who have indifferent standards of ethics. It usually occurs when the accused has stood up for something they believe is right but that doesn’t sit well with the people in power for their own, usually not very ethical reasons. It is very nasty and very effective because there is no real means of combatting it in a way that reinstates your situation.

    • Carolyn_nth 1.4

      I’d be interested to know if a woman/women has complained about they way he treated her/them, or if it’s other guys complaining about what they have seen or heard?

      No indication in the article, although it gives the impression it’s other guys making the compliant.

  2. Ad 2

    Canada’s state of Ontario trialling a 4,000 person $150m Universal Basic Income regime:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/apr/24/canada-basic-income-trial-ontario-summer

  3. The Chairman 3

    Kapiti has a high pensioner demographic, yet Kapiti’s mayor has defended a proposed rate increase that tops the Wellington region.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/91648268/rate-hikes-defended-as-kapiti-coast-mayor-says-to-region-youre-eating-your-future

    Here’s a thought, instead of further increasing rates, why not find ways to cut back on expenditure?

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.1

      Agree. Who wants another Kaipara. I know it’s not a sewerage scheme but council spending has gotten well out of hand.

      • tc 3.1.1

        Its not just central govt the hollowmen have managed to spread their gospel to.

        • saveNZ 3.1.1.1

          @TC – once the government get their neoliberal agenda into the CEO structure of councils and treating them as businesses (only the are not businesses because there is no choice and you have to keep paying them when they screw up), the rest is history.

          Look at the super city foisted onto Auckland ! Now major social, housing and transport problems in Auckland. Yep centralising power and making private profit more important than people (for some sort of fantasy trickle down) and it all being run by a handful of ‘expert’ economists, lawyers, management consultants and engineers suffering from asperger’s is not a good idea!

          Now our councils are turning into Natz Bots, crony capitalists, corporate welfare to their mates, idiot ideologs and of course pay rises in keeping with ‘overseas’ models.

          Do everything possible to avoid a living wage for all though, cos low wage economy keeps us efficient and we can’t afford real wages or even workers for that matter, mowing the lawns on minimum wages.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            Yep centralising power and making private profit more important than people (for some sort of fantasy trickle down) and it all being run by a handful of ‘expert’ economists, lawyers, management consultants and engineers suffering from asperger’s is not a good idea!

            If they had Asperger’s then they wouldn’t continue making the same fuckups as they’d actually learn from their mistakes.

            The problem is the profit motive and that’s driven by the psychopaths.

            Now our councils are turning into Natz Bots, crony capitalists, corporate welfare to their mates, idiot ideologs and of course pay rises in keeping with ‘overseas’ models.

            Yeah, the psychopaths.

          • Sacha 3.1.1.1.2

            “Now major social, housing and transport problems in Auckland. ”

            which are all within the control of central govt, not councils.

            “suffering from asperger’s”

            please don’t say stuff like that.

          • rhinocrates 3.1.1.1.3

            I don’t suffer from Asperger’s, I suffer from ennui reading the ramblings of bigoted idiots.

    • saveNZ 3.2

      8 million to Singapore Airlines in Wellington city council , millions to Westfield mall developers, never ending CEO and consultant fees escalating out of control, billion dolllar stadiums and convention enters and then the councils are crying poor and making library workers redundant and telling rate payers to pay more and mow their own berms while the are at it!

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Here’s a thought, instead of further increasing rates, why not find ways to cut back on expenditure?

      And how many important aspects of society are then going to be cut?

      Instead of finding ways to cut rates again how about finding ways to ensure that people have a reasonable living standard and that our society isn’t cut out from under us?

      • The Chairman 3.3.1

        I agree we should strive to ensure people have a reasonable living standard. But currently, a number don’t. Hence, forcing a rate increase upon them due to pipes being revalued isn’t going to improve their living standards. Moreover, nor are rate increases well above the rate of inflation.

        Councils have to live within their means. I’m not calling for rates to be cut, but the rate of increases generally has to slow down.

        Additionally, it’s a relatively small amount for council to absorb, hence cuts to important services wouldn’t necessarily be required.

        Surely, there will be some extravagant expenditure that could withstand a small cut or savings from wasteful expenditure could be found.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1

          But currently, a number don’t. Hence, forcing a rate increase upon them due to pipes being revalued isn’t going to improve their living standards. Moreover, nor are rate increases well above the rate of inflation.

          I agree that once pipes are in the ground that they shouldn’t be revalued. Their value once in place is the service that they provide. but they still need to be maintained and replaced and if what’s required to do that is going up at rates greater than the rate of inflation, as they are, then rates will also need to go up faster than the reported rate of inflation.

          Councils have to live within their means.

          That’s a ridiculous thing to say. A councils means are equal to the total means of the people and resources in that area. In other words, they have the means but the people don’t want to pay for the services that they use.

          Additionally, it’s a relatively small amount for council to absorb, hence cuts to important services wouldn’t necessarily be required.

          But cuts will be required. This is the problem as all the services that a council provides are essential.

          Surely, there will be some extravagant expenditure that could withstand a small cut or savings from wasteful expenditure could be found.

          Wages of the high paid CEOs. CFOs etcetera are about it. Of course, I’ve been calling for public service jobs to have a maximum pay rate of $100k.

          • The Chairman 3.3.1.1.1

            Sure, pipes required to be maintained and replaced but the cost for that doesn’t necessarily have to result in a rate increase, further eroding living standards.

            As stated above, it’s a relatively small amount for council to absorb and surely there will be some extravagant expenditure that could withstand a small cut.

            Not all council spending goes towards essential services. And high paid CEOs, CFOs etc aren’t the only extravagance. You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard/seen the reports over the years – i.e. excessive amounts being spent on the commissioning and purchasing of sculptures, throwing parties, Sky TV subscriptions (see links below). Therefore, if one looked hard at Kapiti’s expenditure, I’m confident they’d find similar extravagance that could be cut.  

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11397385

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/85428572/wellington-city-council-spends-51000–on-celebration–just-dont-call-it-a-party

            http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/pay_per_view

            Resources and incomes are limited, thus it’s not ridiculous to expect councils to live within their means.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Sure, pipes required to be maintained and replaced but the cost for that doesn’t necessarily have to result in a rate increase, further eroding living standards.

              Except for the fact that it does because of the new developments and higher than inflation price rises for the stuff that needed to do it.

              As stated above, it’s a relatively small amount for council to absorb and surely there will be some extravagant expenditure that could withstand a small cut.

              You’re assuming that there’s room for the council to absorb it.

              You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard/seen the reports over the years – i.e. excessive amounts being spent on the commissioning and purchasing of sculptures, throwing parties, Sky TV subscriptions (see links below).

              I don’t think that sculptures are excessive as we don’t have enough art and culture in our cities as is. Could they be cheaper? Probably not because of the way that artists aren’t supported in this country.

              The party wasn’t really the problem. The problem was that it wasn’t held in a council events centre and it cost $30,000 for one night from a private establishment. I may have some issues with celebrating such a business arrangement but I don’t really have an issue with the council putting such events on.

              The Sky subscriptions should be a no go.

              Resources and incomes are limited, thus it’s not ridiculous to expect councils to live within their means.

              And there you go pulling BS line out again. The problem isn’t that they’re not living within their means but that people are complaining about how much it costs to maintain a city with no understanding of those costs.

              • The Chairman

                “Except for the fact that it does “

                No. That is incorrect. It’s also possible to defer or cut back on other expenditure.

                “You’re assuming that there’s room for the council to absorb it”

                Yes. Considering councils are known for extravagant and wasteful spending, I’m confident savings could be found and expenditure could be better prioritised.

                For instance, art may be nice to have if one can afford it but it’s not a must have. Thus, can be deferred.

                Parties are also nice to have, but partying like they have money to burn (while telling ratepayers rate increases are required) is a no no.

                Resources and incomes are limited, thus it’s not BS.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Considering councils are known for extravagant and wasteful spending, I’m confident savings could be found and expenditure could be better prioritised.

                  There is some wasteful spending, no doubt, but I doubt that it would save enough to cover the amount that you insisting that the councils cut from their income.

                  For instance, art may be nice to have if one can afford it but it’s not a must have.

                  If you want to live in a drab and lifeless city then it’s a nice to have. But if not then it’s a must have. I tend towards the latter.

                  Parties are also nice to have, but partying like they have money to burn (while telling ratepayers rate increases are required) is a no no.

                  Actually, parties are a must have as they promote the social connections that are necessary for a society to connect to another. The reason why that one you linked to cost so much was because they had to go private for the venue.

                  Resources and incomes are limited, thus it’s not BS.

                  Yes and no. People can afford to pay more and they should be paying more to maintain and improve their cities. They should be ashamed to pay only minimum wage to those who work for them for starters.

                  And, because they’re government, councils should be creating the money that they use.

                  Yes, elderly and young people have lower incomes. But that should only show that rates should be a percentage of income and not that rates shouldn’t go up.

                  • The Chairman

                    5 to 6% savings on total expenditure is a small amount to find. Moreover, non priority expenditure could also be deferred, thus my confidence you’re incorrect.

                    Unfortunately, I don’t have time to do a line by line analysis of Kapiti’s expenditure. However, in his defence of the rate increase, it was interesting the Mayor didn’t even imply they considered looking at deferring projects or investigating if expenditure savings could be found.

                    While you may favour rate increases for city art projects, deferring a small number of art projects won’t result in a totally drab and lifeless city. It’s not as if I’m calling for a total ban on future art projects, nor am I calling to sell off all the city’s current art work.

                    “The reason why that one you linked to cost so much was because they had to go private for the venue”

                    No, they didn’t’ “have” too. They “chose” too. As if they had money to burn.

                    People are already paying for the running of their cities. It’s rate increases well above the rate of inflation that is the problem. Some people (those currently struggling, a number of pensioners and other low income earners) can’t afford to continually pay more and more.

                    Sounds like you’re advocating for councils to price the poor out of their regions.

                    Unfortunately, rates aren’t currently priced at a percentage of income. And councils don’t currently create their own money supply. Thus, largely invaliding your position in this matter. While we can work towards change, until change eventuates, we have to deal with problems in their current settings.

      • saveNZ 3.3.2

        I’m talking about cutting money from crony capitalism not public services!

  4. AsleepWhileWalking 4

    20% of people can’t change a lightbulb. Surprisingly high number can’t make a meal on the fly, clean their clothes after spilling food on it, or change a tyre either.

    https://www.studyfinds.org/change-lightbulb-household-chores-study/

    • greywarshark 4.1

      AsleepWhileWalking
      About people who ‘can’t change a lightbulb’. In the link it shows the question asked and it would lead people to give an uncertain response, not saying that they could not do the various tasks ie Task Percentage who feel confident doing this task.

      And these are the percentages and questions below.. Wouldn’t anybody be likely to give these answers? There are lots of things I do, but have to think about to remember, or look up info before I feel confident how to do it. Read a map? It takes me a while to remember that maps are printed with north at top. Do you remember if going south then all the side roads as you travel will be opposite to what is on the map? Change a light bulb? The answer probably reflects that people are uncertain about LEDs, or the latest green version, compared to the old, simpler incandescents.

      This is a good example of how supposed facts can be skewed because they don’t represent the actual truth, or they have been misreported for some reason, and then passed on – chinese whispers-style so later people are being told crap facts.

      Task Percentage who feel confident doing this task.
      Boil an egg 81%
      Change a light bulb 79%
      Cook a complete meal without using a recipe 69%
      Read a map 66%
      Sew on a button 65%
      Unblock a sink 62%
      Remove a stain from a carpet or clothing 59%
      Change a baby’s nappy 57%
      Wire a plug 57%
      ‘Bleed’ a radiator 53%
      Check oil levels in a car 53%
      Put up a shelf 47%
      Put up wallpaper 39%
      Change a flat tyre 37%
      Change a washer on a tap 30%
      Fit tiles 22%

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Interesting link to Scientific American. Great that Paleoclimatology can give us so much insight.

      “What’s really incomprehensible,” Bujak said, “is that the previous process of our planet cooling and CO2 dropping took 50 million years to unfold. Now, we may be reversing this process in a matter of centuries.”

      Or are you going to use this opportunity to display your stupidity some more?

      • Bill 5.1.1

        What’s the stupidity infused is displaying? Atmospheric CO2 levels are about 2ppm above where they were this time last year. So that’s pointing to something like 402ppm as an average for the year.

        • Poission 5.1.1.1

          Sometimes things are not what they seem.

          If it was suggested that an increase in the atmospheric airborne fraction of methane emissions in the 21st century was in part caused by a decrease in methane emissions,what would your understanding be?

          • Poission 5.1.1.1.1

            Edit.

            Rephrase the problem.

            If it was suggested that an increase in the atmospheric airborne fraction of methane emissions in the 21st century was during a period of a significant decrease in methane emissions,what would your understanding be?

          • Bill 5.1.1.1.2

            I kind of wouldn’t have any immediate understanding. It reads as a contradiction.

            But if I am to make sense of it, I’d guess it might mean that other emissions dropped off faster than methane emissions.

            Do I get a chocolate fish or not? 🙂

            edit – you changed the bloody question! Hang on brb

            Okay assuming the fraction is the ratio between airborne and elsewhere, and that only human emissions are being measured, I’d assume that other emissions not directly attributable to human activity – indirect ones, were increasing – eg, via melting permafrost

            • Poission 5.1.1.1.2.1

              No total emissions decreased,and the atmospheric fraction increased.

              • Bill

                Then, back to the first answer. If methane as a fraction increased, then (some or all) other emissions must have been decreasing faster than methane ones.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.2

          The question asked in Infused’s link is:

          what happened 3 million years ago to cause CO2 levels to be higher than they are today?

          The answer starts out by saying:

          …a lot happened 3 Ma, during that period the Earth transitioned from a “greenhouse” earth to an “ice house” Earth as the Northern hemisphere glaciated.

          An “ice house” Earth during a period when CO2 levels were higher than today. Can you see where the stupid is yet?

          • Bill 5.1.1.2.1

            So ‘the stupid’ isn’t infused’s then, but someone who made a comment beneath a linked piece about a very high CO2 ‘count’.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Nope. The person I quoted is well-informed and goes into much more detail of exactly how the above scenario occurred, which is why I mentioned Paleoclimatology.

              I also mentioned my belief that Infused’s intention is to display some stupidity, ergo, the display hasn’t fully developed yet.

              My assumption is based on Infused’s comments history. That’s as much added explanation as you’re getting.

  5. Draco T Bastard 6

    ohn Deere just told the copyright office that only corporations can own property, humans can only license it

    John Deere has turned itself into the poster-child for the DMCA, fighting farmers who say they want to fix their own tractors and access their data by saying that doing so violates the 1998 law’s prohibition on bypassing copyright locks.

    Deere’s just reiterated that position to a US Copyright Office inquiry on the future of the law, joined by auto manufacturers (but not Tesla) and many other giant corporations, all of them arguing that since the gadgets you buy have software, and since that software is licensed, not sold, you don’t really own any of that stuff. You are a licensee, and you have to use the gadget according to the license terms, which spell out where you have to buy your service, parts, consumables, apps, and so on.

    And the the monopolization of our lives by the corporations continues.

    • joe90 6.1

      Where there’s a will…..

      “What you’ve got is technicians running around here with cracked Ukrainian John Deere software that they bought off the black market,” he added.

      https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/why-american-farmers-are-hacking-their-tractors-with-ukrainian-firmware

    • lprent 6.2

      I have been watching this one with interest for a while. What is at stake is the wish of John Deere (and other farm equipment manufacturers) to ‘own’ the franchising of the repairs and maintenance plus the data about their systems and to take a cut of it. The way that they are doing that is to hold the software that allows access into the systems. Of course being the US it has now gone legislative and will wind up in the courts.

      See:
      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/mar/06/nebraska-farmers-right-to-repair-john-deere-apple
      And naturally you can get hacked versions
      https://www.extremetech.com/computing/246314-farmers-pirating-john-deere-tractor-software-stick-man

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        What is at stake is the wish of John Deere (and other farm equipment manufacturers) to ‘own’ the franchising of the repairs and maintenance plus the data about their systems and to take a cut of it.

        That’s what i figured after reading that article. They’re looking to lock everyone in to using the services that they provide so that they can charge more. It’s typical rentier capitalism.

        And naturally you can get hacked versions

        And eventually you’ll get people doing their own software replacement, i.e, Linux. But still, what they’re trying, should not be allowed.

        • lprent 6.2.1.1

          Agreed.

          They need to look at how that went down in the software community originally. About the only retail company that tries to do it these days is Apple. Which is why I don’t buy any of their gear (and when I have done it tends to get bootcamped into a usable OS).

          It is just asking for hacking. You control the use of software by defining a clear and relatively open API. That way you specify what is allowable and what is not. Then developers will generally stay at that level.

          If you try to lock it down, then they will hack the entrance holes and exploits into it anyway.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1.2

          so that they can charge more

          Or they believe that by doing so they can provide a better service, or so they can lock customers in for longer, which will increase revenue whether or not they charge more.

          There’s a rationale for everyone there. The more we hit these roadblocks, the more I think (from outside the industry) that open source everything is the best solution.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.2.1

            Or they believe that by doing so they can provide a better service, or so they can lock customers in for longer, which will increase revenue whether or not they charge more.

            It’s the latter. If they simply provided good service then they wouldn’t need to lock people in to paying them for the service.

  6. For those of you who have commented about statcounter slowing down the site earlier this year.

    Well it has been doing more than that. It has been significantly under reporting the page views on the site for the last 3-4 months compared to the google analytics and the underlying logs.

    Last month for instance showed page views of 366k, while google analytics showed 439k (and the rougher analysis of the logs showed 448k).

    I can’t see why. It looks like some kind of fault back at the server side or client side browsers blocking it’s script. So I’m shutting it down.

    The only real consequence is that we won’t continue to update Open Parachute’s blog ranks because he picks up from open stats. Since that was the only reason for putting statcounter in, and it isn’t being reasonably accurate – no loss. I will try to find some time to talk to Ken about getting from semi-public access to analytics.

  7. adam 9

    The first part of this is amazing. Talking about sick building syndrome, a interview with a former Organised crime investigator from the FBI.

    Yes from RT America so all the liberals might want to avoid, I mean sheesh you might have to think, can’t have that.

    • McFlock 9.1

      lol thinking’s not the issue.

      Watching a half hour video and then having to research whether the interviewee is who they say s/he is, do extensive research to see whether the issue they choose to raise at this time is a systemic vs rare occurrence, look for several different sources because we sure as fuck can’t trust RT, ruminate upon their agenda for raising this issue now, speculate as to whether it’s simply in the category of “sowing alarm and despondency”,and then try to figure out whether the report adds anything new or useful to my existence.

      So, yeah, thinking isn’t the issue, but the rest of it is a fucking ‘mare.

      • Bill 9.1.1

        Yup. That’s why I’ll only watch Aunty Beeb. Best of blinking British that’s ‘100% honesty and impartiality guaranteed’ and all coming wrapped up in a pleasant fug of gentlemanly cricket and jolly hockey sticks. 🙂

        • McFlock 9.1.1.1

          ahahahahahaha

          That’s part of the ongoing communication divide, folks who read “RT is a fucking useless fake news site that has a purely coincidental relationship with the truth” as “The BBC is 100% honest and impartial”.

          In reality, the beeb has a compromised relationship in the truth as the truth’s proximity with british interests increases. Same with most actual news outlets and their owners.

          Unlike RT, which just seems to have the objective of overloading the media dialogue with random shit and contributing to the “my ignorant opinion is equal to your informed knowledge” cancer that’s reversing any trend towards democracy that the internet offered.

          • Bill 9.1.1.1.1

            I’ve no idea how much RT you must have watched to come to that pretty jaundiced conclusion McFlock. A fair bit, I guess. Or then again….maybe not.

            All I can say is that RT carries some useful stuff…or I’m just an idiot who can’t recognise chaff from grain.

            Given the caliber of some of their hosts and interviewees…oh, of course! All chaff. 🙄

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Occam’s Razor suggests that confirmation bias, as opposed to idiocy, is a far more likely explanation for your opinion of RT.

              • Bill

                So I find that Chris Hedges can be informative because ‘confirmation bias’? What about when i disagree with what he’s saying?

                And are you suggesting that if someone like Chomsky is interviewed on RT, that the interview is dismissable, whereas if the very same interview aired on Al Jazeera, it would be worthwhile, even though Al Jazeera has been caught with its pants well and truly down (lost 16 or 17 reporters over it) generating false protest footage for propaganda purposes?

                Or maybe a Chomsky interview would only be worth watching if it was on the Beeb, because the Beeb have only been pinged doctoring spoken statements from interviewees – and that’s just such small fry.

                They’re all much of a muchness OAB. The nice thing is that depending on the topic, the bias of one can be exposed by watching one of the others. Which is valuable.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  dismissable

                  Nope, that isn’t what I’m saying. I’m saying that you – like the rest of us – cleave to narratives that suit your existing beliefs, and that this may have led you to lend more weight to the Kremlin’s mouthpiece than is good for you.

                  • Bill

                    Nope. It hasn’t led me to lend undue weight to RT. Rest easy.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Whereas I think McFlock’s narrative rings true.

                      Watching a half hour video and then having to research whether the interviewee is who they say s/he is, do extensive research to see whether the issue they choose to raise at this time is a systemic vs rare occurrence, look for several different sources because we sure as fuck can’t trust RT…

                      a former Organised [sic] crime investigator from the FBI

                      Oh, the FBI is your source. Trustworthy with a capital ‘t’ they are. 😆

                  • adam

                    Really you happy to just buy the corporate media line. Truly odd position there One Anonymous Bloke.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yeah, that’s totes what I am. Utterly and completely defeated by your persuasive argument, that’s me.

                      🙄

                    • adam

                      Oh goodies, a smug put down by One Anonymous Bloke, then later in post complains about ad hominions. Funny, silly, or just rude?

            • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1.2

              longer reply below, but the basic issue is that there are massive amounts of chaff with no systematic way to find the wheat.

              • adam

                Hope this helps – the source material from the interviews.

                http://alanbell.me/index.php/about/

                http://projectcensored.org/

                So you count Chris Hedges and Larry King as complete write offs?

                • McFlock

                  sigh. See? now you expect me to read entire websites.

                  And seeing as I never bothered clicking on the link, I still have no idea what point you are trying to make, if anything at all.

                  Grow up and learn to fucking express your own ideas rather than lazily using clickverts as a mental crutch.

                  • adam

                    Poor Mcflock, asks questions and does not like the answers. Or were you just spewing venom to feel better?

                    You said “the basic issue is that there are massive amounts of chaff with no systematic way to find the wheat.”

                    I gave you links around your assumed chaff. You chose to ignore it, that fine. But pot kettle calling – is a bit daft from you, me thinks.

                    • McFlock

                      and I also wrote

                      Watching a half hour video and then having to research whether the interviewee is who they say s/he is, do extensive research to see whether the issue they choose to raise at this time is a systemic vs rare occurrence, look for several different sources because we sure as fuck can’t trust RT, ruminate upon their agenda for raising this issue now, speculate as to whether it’s simply in the category of “sowing alarm and despondency”,and then try to figure out whether the report adds anything new or useful to my existence.

                      So, yeah, thinking isn’t the issue, but the rest of it is a fucking ‘mare.

                      When all you had to do was make your own point so I could decide whether to launch myself on that particular joyous journey of education and edification.

                      But no, you just plopped out a link and implied that anyone who didn’t waste half an hour of their life at the very minimum was afraid of thinking.
                      Whereas you’re too much of a coward to state a point in your own words. Any positive value from this thread happened despite you, not because of you.

                    • adam

                      irony1
                      ˈʌɪrəni/
                      noun
                      the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.
                      “‘Don’t go overboard with the gratitude,’ he rejoined with heavy irony”
                      synonyms: sarcasm, sardonicism, dryness, causticity, sharpness, acerbity, acid, bitterness, trenchancy, mordancy, cynicism; More
                      a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result.
                      plural noun: ironies
                      “the irony is that I thought he could help me”
                      synonyms: paradox, paradoxical nature, incongruity, incongruousness, peculiarity
                      “the irony of the situation hit her”
                      a literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character’s words or actions is clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.
                      noun: dramatic irony; plural noun: tragic irony

                      Yeah right…

                    • McFlock

                      was that you trying to make a point? 🙄

                      When you link to RT, the likelihood of chaff multiplies

          • mauī 9.1.1.1.2

            You probably just need to dig a bit deeper before you pass judgement on the credibility of RT. For instance where else would you get a scoop on BP and Shell oil execs giving up a $1 billion tax cut! Was a turning point for me.

            • McFlock 9.1.1.1.2.1

              OK, let’s assume that this link is 100% accurate, impartial, and breaks the lid off a major world event.

              It comes right from the same source that had half a dozen nutbar theories about mh17, a whole bunch of bullshit about the US election, and all sorts of other shit. That’s my point. We’re now up to 40minutes of video time in one subthread because it’s easier to link to a video than it is to form your own argument and link to specific parts.

              I’m a cynical bastard so I suspect that’s their objective: when some idiot can’t form a coherent argument without contradicting themselves (like “non-sarin” spikeboy), just link to a video which has a vibe you agree with, and you don’t have to do anything more.

              RT provides building blocks for folks who can only manage the Courtier’s reply. I have read a load of their links, and there’s no discernable measure that you can take into account when judging normal bias – when something involves russian interests, they just produce more stories, any one of which might be accurate. The problem is that most seem to be levels of bullshit, so it’s impossible to separate the wheat from the huge quantity of chaff.

              With most media, you can get some picture by guesstimating their bias and angle – not so much fox and RT. Too much bullshit.

              edit: what probability do you place on the four items either side of that link being reliable and reasonable?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Duane Gish with money to burn.

              • Bill

                A whole bunch of bullshit about the US election – “It was the Russians, the Russians!!” – CNN, MSNBC, CBNC, ABC and all the rest of the alphabet spaghetti US networks.

                And all sorts of other shit – The white helmets are heroes!, People in eastern Aleppo will be massacred en masse!, Iran is the biggest funder of international terror, Gadaffi’s troops are on viagra! and of course – it’s the Russians, the Russians!!

                But, western msm is seemingly to be judged by a completely different standard. Why’s that?

                And if RT are solely a propaganda outlet for ‘The Kremlin’ (you any idea how many competing interests vie with one another in the Kremlin?), then wouldn’t their line be consistent (as OAB claims it to be)?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Overly consistent, yes, in a particular context.

                  In the wider context they are at least consistently untrustworthy, even adept at dezinformatsiya, and so-on.

                  Bias is inevitable. Deliberate bias (such as displayed by eg: Exxon or Rothmans or Cameron Slater or RT) is another thing entirely.

                  • McFlock

                    where I disagree with you, oab, is that RT doesn’t even have a bias in the details of what it spreads – especially obvious in mh17. They put out arguments that the ukrainians did it by sam, by air, the yanks did it, radar tracks said X Y and Z, the yanks are covering up radar tracks, etc etc etc.

                    And regular propaganda campaign would have just built a fabricated case against the ukrainians and rammed it home to provide enough deniability to the russians.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      regular propaganda campaign

                      Regular according to what measure? The value of a Gish Gallop isn’t consistency, it’s confusion – putting out fires.

                      “If your enemy is exhausted, tire him out.” Sun Tzu.

                      The “enemy” in this case is public opinion.

                    • McFlock

                      regular in being the same as the usual.

                      And the objective isn’t to tire the enemy, it’s to sow discord in the enemy army so it fights itself.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      In that case, confusion is still a better servant than consistency.

                    • McFlock

                      well, the usual choice is to try to get the opposition to desert, but horses for courses I guess.

                • McFlock

                  All media should be judged by the same standard. That’s why I said “With most media, you can get some picture by guesstimating their bias and angle – not so much fox and RT”.

                  And congratulations – you’re discovering the difference between fake news and propaganda.

                  Fake news is a fog of information. Some is correct, much is bullshit.
                  Propaganda is trying to skew your perspective.

                  The only consistent line fake news needs is to create more dense fog the closer things get to the interests of the paymaster.

                  Propaganda needs to be consistent to be persuasive. Fake news needs to be diverse in nature, so people falling for confirmation bias argue with each other when they should be on the same side.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Propaganda needs to be consistent to be persuasive…

                    Depends what the goal is. If the goal is to undermine faith in institutions, or strangle the government in the bathtub, or other gaslight type strategies, it’s pretty good for purpose.

                  • Bill

                    And congratulations – you’re discovering the difference between fake news and propaganda.

                    “Fake News” is a convenient construct that liberals are using these days to dismiss anything that they might find uncomfortable or inconvenient. It’s lazy and it’s dishonest and pretty soon, it’ll be slipping over into outright censorship (facebook already ran a limited trial on their platform)

                    You of late, have made it into a bit of a nasty habit – attacking any and all sources as “fake”, or slyly as “alt” (scribd, znet, truthdig) among others, when you simply don’t want to contemplate ‘uncomfortable’ info, or news, or analysis.

                    If you’re consistent, you’ll be cheering on that censorship when it comes, because right now, you’re acting as a noble foot-soldier ‘for the cause” and could (if you did) only hypocritically speak out against facebook’s trial run at censorship.

                    • McFlock

                      Again, not “any and all sources”. I think the number of fake news services I’ve labelled as such is two: RT and fox.

                      As for the alt media crowd, whatever. If it’s “sly” to refer to them as such, whatevs. It seemed to denote the list of members reasonably enough for you, even though I’m not familiar with some of those names.

                      Bear in mind that scridb is just a document dump service, isn’t it? Literally no editorial oversight or external assessment. It’s not a news service, AFAIK. I have found some good documents there, but also some unreliable stuff from what I recall.

                      What’s FB up to now?

                    • Bill

                      Given the use of the term ‘alt right’, I think it’s reasonable to take the term ‘alt’ as being being loaded and derogatory, no?

                      The MiT professors document was placed on scridb by RT. That he’d had to go to RT in the first place speaks quite a bit to the impartiality and openess of western msm. Seems intelligent people or in depth analyses get bugger all air time these days – just sound bite muppets and commissars.

                      Facebook took a story on slavery (it was a piece of shite trying to compare Irish Americans to African Americans) and had (I think) three windows pop up dissuading people from sharing it and then putting a marker on it when it was shared.

                      Big problem was that they’d used snopes among others as authoritative voices on why the stuff was ‘fake’, but they themselves (snopes) peddled a ‘fake’ takedown – essentially redefining what “real” slavery was and airbrushing bits of history.

                    • McFlock

                      Given the use of the term ‘alt right’, I think it’s reasonable to take the term ‘alt’ as being being loaded and derogatory, no?

                      Oh, shit no I didn’t mean that. Just hippies and weirdos alternative media.

                      The MiT professors document was placed on scridb by RT. That he’d had to go to RT in the first place speaks quite a bit to the impartiality and openess of western msm. Seems intelligent people or in depth analyses get bugger all air time these days – just sound bite muppets and commissars.

                      So the actual source was RT. We’re back where we started.
                      As to why he only gets coverage with them, maybe he’s got a talking head contract with them and not others. Maybe other news orgs had their own experts take a look at his paperwork, and his report wasn’t overly persuasive to them? Maybe he’s just a dick who alienated everyone, or maybe nobody can touch him because some general is still pissed about the missile systems being exposed. Could be anything.

                      FB: oh interesting – I’d heard they were trying to create some sort of distinction between outright bullshit and actually true stuff. Dunno how I feel about three boxes to work through, but I actually like the labelling idea. Obviously they have some issues to work through, but it should make my feed a bit easier to deal with. Every time I block one antivax link my hippy friends find another to share with their friend list lol.

                    • Mcflock your hippie hatred deserves the strongest response – hippies are cool again. Trump and his alt right fake news believers and peddlers ain’t cool thus they AREN’T hippies.

                    • Bill – alt is a descriptive term to differentiate – the fact that it is describing certain belief systems and actions is not the descriptors fault. Alt right is derogatory because of what it describes and I have to say the alt right seem to be comfortable and embrraced the term – some seem proud of the term. This is understandable because alt right is also a euphemism used by alt right to hide the real aspects of their disgusting views.

                      Plus wake up man rt is NOT worth arguing for – ffs you seem to have decided to be cv2 – I miss the bill I used to read and learn from.

                    • Bill

                      The term ‘alt-right’ also, and unfortunately, lends an air of respect to the right – cause you know, they ain’t like those crazy ‘alt-right’ types. And I’ve seen it used as an attempt to discredit or dismiss left wing thoughts – ‘alt-left’.

                      And I’m not ‘defending’ RT so much as pointing out that it’s damned stupid to wholesale and instantly dismiss something on the basis of who has picked up on it.

                      All these peeps so eager to have RT demarcated as some unacceptable news source do, I presume, get some info from The Herald in spite of it being a pre-stained shit rag.

                      @ Mcflock. If you seriously think that western msm do not systematically block and suppress info that doesn't 'fit', and people who don't 'fit', then you….actually, nothing – I'm left speechless by the degree of naivety.

                    • McFlock

                      @ Mcflock. If you seriously think that western msm do not systematically block and suppress info that doesn’t ‘fit’, and people who don’t ‘fit’, then you….actually, nothing – I’m left speechless by the degree of naivety.

                      Did I say that? No. I don’t think I did.

                      And crystalhealing FBIreadmythoughts DopeCausesGenius websites aren’t going to do a damned thing to solve that bias. Every “suppressed” story genuinely exposed is treated with the same validity as the hundred fluoride chemtrail lizardqueen bullshit stories either side of it.

                      Here’s the thing: “bias” skews facts and endorses lies consistently. “Bullshit” is beyond fact/lie, it’s just about creating an ocean of shit. There is no equivalence between the two.

                    • Bill

                      You gave a list of reasons as to why Postol and his demolition of the White House Report might not have featured on western msm outlets, and all of those reasons revolved (yet again) around discrediting him or his findings.

                      You avoided the most obvious reason.

                      But moving on.

                      Liberals like to think there’s this thing called the fourth estate that holds power to account. If that was the case, then Postol’s analysis, given who he is and the expertise he has, would have been picked up and a response demanded from those who (by Postol’s analysis) bombed a foreign country off the back of flawed, or even deliberately dishonest information.

                      I’m going to point out yet again that (as far as I can find) in the field of expertise Postol’s coming from, no-one has questioned or contradicted his analysis. That on its own suggests it’s solid.

                      Meanwhile, there are multiple questions being asked from multiple quarters about the whole story we’ve been sold that was used as a pretext to bomb another country. Some of those questions are pertinent. None have been answered.

                      But throw all that aside – maybe a news network has its own experts who found Postol’s report wanting. Sure. And that’s why they neither reported on its deficiencies nor gave him the time of day. Makes sense.

                    • McFlock

                      OK, let’s look a systemic effort to suppress and ignore Postol’s complete exposure of the sarin faked attack:

                      every news editor has received an instruction to ignore his work, yet this instruction has been kept completely secret even from the sites that report postol’s work.

                      That’s not hugely likely.

                      Liberals like to think there’s this thing called the fourth estate that holds power to account. If that was the case, then Postol’s analysis, given who he is and the expertise he has, would have been picked up and a response demanded from those who (by Postol’s analysis) bombed a foreign country off the back of flawed, or even deliberately dishonest information.

                      What, just because he’s one of literally hundreds of security and explosives experts they can go to?

                      Maybe he’s being ignored because the margin for error in his analysis is (or should be) so wide that it really doesn’tadd any new information to the discussion. Being ignored doesn’t give anyone credibility. It just means that they don’t matter. Maybe he should change the world with a 45minute youtube video.

                    • Bill

                      Where did he say it was a fake attack McFlock? He has never said that.

                      What he has said is that the White House Report is fraudulent. And he has used their very own info/evidence to demonstrate that.

                      But since you dismiss anything that comes from a source you disapprove of and walk away after ‘dispatching the messenger’ as it were, I guess you can be excused for not having the foggiest.

                      And, oh look – the rest of your comment is promoting and excusing some mythical benign liberal establishment thing and shooting the messenger again. Utter twattery.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh come on, he’s arguing that the evidence they based the WH report was fraudulent. The evidence came from the people in the area – or at least nobody on the receiving end has contradicted it. Which apparently now counts as some sort of validation.

                      But since you dismiss anything that comes from a source you disapprove of and walk away after ‘dispatching the messenger’ as it were, I guess you can be excused for not having the foggiest.

                      Anything that comes from a messenger who has proved incredibly unreliable in the past is, by its nature, suspect. And a messenger who lies about international relations so frequently probably should be shot. At the very least, everything from that messenger should be thrown in the bin as being likely compromised or fabricated.

                      And RT is that messenger. Alongside fox news. That’s pretty much it in my book, apart from one or two commenters here.

                    • Bill

                      The evidence came from known terrorists. That’s not incidental.

                      As for your take on media and their lying – that puts all networks against the wall.

                      And on Syria, it’s somewhat curious (to say the least) that every single independent journalist who goes (all the ones I can find anyway, and I do search far and wide on this topic) reports back the same thing – that we’re being lied to. And when members of Congress have gone, they too have reported back the same (eg – Tulsi Gabbard).

                      edit – I should add (in case you’ve missed it) that western msm are generally reporting on what terrorists say and filing reports from outside of Syria.

                    • McFlock

                      The evidence came from known terrorists. That’s not incidental.

                      That’s as maybe. The fact remains that when Postol suggests that the sarin might have been planted on the ground, and argues about dirt covering in still photos, and people on the ground say it was an airstrike, yes he’s arguing that the attack was faked to look like an airstrike.

                      As for your take on media and their lying – that puts all networks against the wall.

                      Nope. Mostly just RT and fox. There goes your false equivalence again.

                      And on Syria, it’s somewhat curious (to say the least) that every single independent journalist who goes (all the ones I can find anyway, and I do search far and wide on this topic) reports back the same thing – that we’re being lied to. And when members of Congress have gone, they too have reported back the same (eg – Tulsi Gabbard).

                      Well, John McCain doesn’t seem to have come back with the same opinion as Gabbard, for one.

                      But yes, “curious”.

                    • Bill

                      Who was John McCain meeting up with again McFlock? Ordinary people or…oh, that’s right – known fucking kidnappers in 2013 and US troops in February of this year.

                      Not exactly mixing it with, y’know, every day people on the streets of Syria.

                      On lies about foreign policy, which is apparently a reason to single out RT…

                      The BBC on Iraq. Were they honest? What about their reporting on Venezuela? Or Indonesia? Or the Philippines? Yugoslavia? The Ukraine? Libya?…

                      You seem to be suggesting that an endless ream of lies from some networks is not to see them regarded in the same vein as other networks who trundle out reams of lies. In you’re world it’s as though you see honest lies and dishonest lies…trustworthy falsehoods and untrustworthy falsehoods.

                      And so you cleave to Papa Bear and add your wee growl of supportive disapproval towards whatever or who-ever Papa Bear says should be subject to disapproval.

                      Which is fine. You’re a liberal and you have a myth of western liberalism to protect and uphold.

                    • McFlock

                      And Gabbard was meeting with Assad. Probably found him really polite and nice, too.

                      As for RT vs the rest, are you seriously telling me that the BBC or CNN lies, as in reports outright and blatant untruths, just as often as RT? Seriously?!

                    • Bill

                      ‘Met with’ or ‘went to meet with’? There’s a huge difference between those in terms of motive or potential motive. Who else did she meet and mingle with?

                      So now we agree that CNN and the BBC and Rt and whatever other of the spaghetti alphabet brigade lie. For me, it doesn’t matter a toss how often they lie – I treat them all – their stories or reports – with the suspicion due a liar.

                    • McFlock

                      well who did mccain meet and mingle with?

                      So now we agree that CNN and the BBC and Rt and whatever other of the spaghetti alphabet brigade lie.

                      We always did. You just interpreted criticism of RT as approval for BBC.

                      For me, it doesn’t matter a toss how often they lie – I treat them all – their stories or reports – with the suspicion due a liar.

                      Yeah, that’s your false equivalence. Any lie, told by anyone in the past, apparently means they should be treated like a compulsive liar / bullshitter. And the amount of effort you’ve put into defending material sourced from RT suggests that for some reason you don’t treat all liars with equal suspicion.

                      As soon as one recognises veracity is not a binary condition for an organisation that claims to disseminate news, compared to most other sources RT looks like a nactoid “swimmable” waterway: full of shit.

                    • Bill

                      I’ve obviously a more jaundiced view than you.

                      Just to reiterate. You do know I can’t access RT from this IP address, yes? That means they are not the first port of call for my curiousity. Same as for the BBC. I can’t access their video or programming and don’t have a TV anyway.

                      So maybe I’m getting accidentally pre-filtered and only accessing those youtube posts that people think are worthwhile.

                      Regardless, if I’m curious about something, I search down relevant info and news reports across a range and number of sources and critically evaluate and compare the info they have (I have the time).

                      Sometimes that leads to something worthwhile from RT…or Al Jazeera…or the BBC… or whoever (it really depends on the issue or topic as to which of the alphabets will have the more informative report…and sure, as OAB said, confirmation bias comes into it).

                      Seems your point of access is the the networks though – so if you see something reported on RT (or hear of it being reported on RT) you just instantly decide it’s not worth while and that it is probably (to use your term) fake. And once you’ve done that, you almost have to dismiss any other source that is reporting that same info…like you’ve done with Postol’s analysis of the White House Report on chemical weapons use.

                      Your bias would be somewhat crippling if you had curiosity and a desire to have better understanding.

                    • McFlock

                      Seems your point of access is the the networks though –

                      actually, as I said elsewhere my main point of access for international stuff isn’t the networks.

                      so if you see something reported on RT (or hear of it being reported on RT) you just instantly decide it’s not worth while and that it is probably (to use your term) fake.

                      No, I view any relationship it has with the truth is purely coincidental.

                      And once you’ve done that, you almost have to dismiss any other source that is reporting that same info…like you’ve done with Postol’s analysis of the White House Report on chemical weapons use.

                      Thing is, Postol’s work is interesting. But it’s only half the story. Is it accurate? Who knows? He makes quite a few assumptions and calculations – how reasonable are they? Maybe I could trawl through the internet looking for someone suitably qualified who bothered to respond to it, but that involves filtering out every nutbar site from the left right and wherever. If RT were a news agency rather than fake news, they would have mentioned doing some of that work themselves.

                      Your bias would be somewhat crippling if you had curiosity and a desire to have better understanding.

                      The fact is, I’ve been bitten by RT far too many times to form an opinion based on anything they release. I’ve found it’s actually quicker and more effective to just ignore it and fox and just wait for it to turn up on other, more credible sources. And no, I don’t just mean CNN.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The Courtier’s Reply

                Thanks for that McFlock. It has a name! 🙂

              • mauī

                I was kind of stirring, apologies. The link I provided has 0% accuracy in a sense with it involving two comedians . But in another sense it’s quite revealing of RT, a major tv network does a comedic item on how a moral oil company might behave. I’m not sure if other major US networks would do the same and expose the moral bankruptancy of corporations, and nothing instantly springs to mind. That’s what I find makes RT so interesting is that there’s a wide range of issues discussed and often they’re getting at the truth on a regular basis by going where the mainstream networks won’t go, looking at banking, the economy, geopolitics, environment. There’s a good reason the US establishment (politicians) have been so publicly critical of RT and the so called “propaganda” that it puts out. Its seen as an information threat alright.

                • lprent

                  The link I provided has 0% accuracy in a sense with it involving two comedians . But in another sense it’s quite revealing of RT, a major tv network does a comedic item on how a moral oil company might behave. I’m not sure if other major US networks would do the same and expose the moral bankruptancy of corporations, and nothing instantly springs to mind.

                  As far as I can tell that is the best thing that RT does.

                  But you find exactly the same techniques being used by John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Noah, whatwashisname Corbon? etc. Especially Oliver whose team appears to do a massive research effort on most of the long-form satires he runs.

                  For that matter John Clarke did it in this part of the world for a long time.

                  But the question is – is that what you need to do the analysis yourself? Because ultimately humans apart from our parrot analogues winds up making their own decisions based on the information that they have available. RT tends to provide entertainment for the mindless – it isn’t particularly useful for anything else because it is so one-eyed. It is alarmingly like Fox News who they seem to have cloned their style from verbatim

                  • mauī

                    I take your point on John Oliver and John Clarke, although I haven’t seen enough of Oliver’s work to see how far he goes to criticise. John Clarke I think had the benefit of a publicly funded broadcaster too, he was on ABC I think… I’m not sure if he would have had the same license from the likes of Channel 7 or 9.

                    I’ve got a poor attention span so getting information from somewhere like RT is reasonably quick and entertaining at the same time. It’s critical of the west or willing to analyse what’s going on in the west so I find that a good starting point to form a reality based view. I don’t find it’s packed full of conspiracy theories and the commentary is usually pretty rational, with the exception of some commentators who you can give a wide berth. I realise a few commenters here disagree with that assessment of RT, oh well, I doubt its going to be resolved anytime soon.

                    • lprent

                      I’ve got a poor attention span so getting information from somewhere like RT is reasonably quick and entertaining at the same time.

                      I have the exact opposite issue. Once it gets into long term memory I tend to remember everything in both a slow release detail and fast summary, think strategically all of time (ie whatifs) to churn it into memory, and absolutely hate anything that I can figure out the punchline in the first couple of minutes.

                      Since I read a couple of books per day and watch a lot of media when I’m sick, this tends to diminish my interest in entertaining material. It turns out that there simply aren’t that many plots and storylines.

                      I realise a few commenters here disagree with that assessment of RT, oh well, I doubt its going to be resolved anytime soon.

                      This is the net – it never is. What is important is that it gets discussed and mulled over.

                      But what tends to get me annoyed on the net (or media) are two things. One is whenever anyone asserts anything without good sources or links to a source without managing to say why I should look at it. The other is when I wind up having to dig out the same references for different people when they come up with the same old crap for the 20th time in a decade.

                      The classic for the latter at present appears to be a few climate change deniers on email who keep coming up with the ‘CO2 after the glaciation’ without bothering to look it up (currently number 12 on the sceptical science list if anyone is interested). You’d think that deluded fools would just look it up on google so at least they understood the crucial difference between correlation and causality – – so I don’t have to take time to explain it yet again!

                      Anyway, my issue is the opposite. I have to manually hold my mind open and actually read the links if they provide any. But I do get annoyed when I find that there is NOTHING substantive apart from insinuations and vapoury conjecture. If I wanted that I could have spent less time and just looked at any TV news or just made it up myself.

                      Unfortunately RT in my view tend to be like climate change deniers. The only linkages they provide are self-referential and make some staggering presumptions. As McFlock also points out, for a given topic, the same individuals there will give five different explanations for the same event – all of which are straight assertions without any real checkable links. Basically they are, in my view, completely untrustworthy as a source for information.

                      I tend to notice crap like that. I can’t see any real difference between RT and those fuckwits at Fox…

              • adam

                So you don’t watch fox news, what is wrong with you? Can’t handle actually finding out what the right think?

                • McFlock

                  oh, I reckon I pick up enough of that bile from other sources.

                  • adam

                    Name names please. Because at this point I’m thinking you are in a echo chamber.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, some links from here, you know, the people who express a point and include a relevant link in support.

                      TV and newspaper for local/national events mostly.

                      International news is more difficult: a couple of email bulletins from foreign policy magazines (like Foreign Policy magazine), warisboring.com is pretty good, vice.com seems to be really interesting but only read that for a few weeks so far, gwynn dyer, a few others.

                      Most of the fb links I get turn out to be bunk.

                      edit: btw, I think you’re just a jerk with more arrogance than intellect, but whatever.

                    • adam

                      Sounds kinda like an echo chamber.

                      How delightful, I think of you as a smug know it all McFlock. So not too much of a difference of opinion there then.

                    • McFlock

                      congratulations, you actually managed to make two points of your very own in a single comment.

                      I note you were too chickenshit to subject yourself to the same examination, but it’s a start.

                    • adam

                      Let the anger flow through you McFlock – it almost lets you get to a comedic place. But not quite – maybe a bit more rage!

                      Jandals and handles is it.

                      Oh dear McFlock, you seemed to have missed, that I’m not tethered to having to be right. Fine if I’m proved right, but I don’t have to be.

                    • Right, schmight – what would be nice is seeing you actually making an argument for once.

                      [All three of you – draw a line under this childish nonsense now. Thank you.] – Bill

                    • McFlock

                      Fine if I’m proved right, but I don’t have to be

                      bold words for someone who took how many comments to make even a basic point? And I’m sure you’re right about what your opinion of me is.

                      [See above. Enough.] – Bill

          • lprent 9.1.1.1.3

            Same with most actual news outlets and their owners.

            Which is why I limit myself to taking media that I know what the bias levels are like. The Economist comes to mind – I know that they are always going to prefer a liberal (in the economic sense), but that they will usually point to the alternate arguments while dismissing them.

            Unlike RT, which just seems to have the objective of overloading the media dialogue with random shit…

            I’ve watched a reasonable amount of RT. When you’re around hotel rooms in Europe it is one of the few English language channels. Their app is also on my TV (along with a large numbers of others).

            I treat it as being only useful for entertainment value only, just like Fox News and for exactly the same reasons). When I have investigated stories from there that sounded interesting, you usually run into the issue that they seem to have carefully left out all of the bits of debate that don’t fit their preferred narrative.

            But it is broadcast media – which is pretty useless at doing anything apart from expressing opinions. Their ‘facts’ usually just depend on what footage they captured, or the talking heads that they corralled for the day.

            Basically it is like reading Bomber or Cameron Slater or Paddy Gower or the complete dork Hoskings.

            They expect me to follow their story lead with a drooling tongue without bothering to check the presented facts or consulting my brain. It infuriates me is that they often present their opinion as being hard facts – usually in time frames that clearly make it impossible to be certain of anything. Faced with alternate scenarios, like Fox or Bomber, they seize on any microscopic discrepancy and try to build a mountain of discord off it. I guess that is easier than actually thinking about it.

            Basically just trash entertainment level only. Give me clearly biased media outlets that aren’t so interested in avoiding dispute and dissension in their presentation of fuzzy facts. That are less interested in avoiding displaying their underlying ignorance.

            So the only value in RT is to see why they are pushing a particular meta-narrative. But it is like watching game or reality shows – it usually only takes a couple of minutes to see where they are trying to push drama buttons.

            BTW: I have a pretty simple basis for evaluating the obvious deficiencies. Just look at the quality of links to source materials and to alternate opinions. If they haven’t just pulled their story out of their arse, then they researched it at least a bit.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1.1.3.1

              the only value in RT is to see why they are pushing a particular meta-narrative.

              …and the only real value in that is to better predict their next move, which is a dull, reactive pursuit at the best of times.

              “He hit me, so I hit him first”. Knowing your opponents moves is good defence, for sure, but it doesn’t leave much time for growth.

        • Anne 9.1.1.2

          …and all coming wrapped up in a pleasant fug of gentlemanly cricket and jolly hockey sticks.

          Couldn’t be better put…🙂

          • lprent 9.1.1.2.1

            I agree with that to. BBC world is better in print than on the box. The box is an exercise in untangling unspoken presumptions. The print is a more up to date version of wikipedia – a page written by committee.

      • adam 9.1.2

        For you McFlock when it comes to international issues, thinking is a real issue. I’ve never seen you not parrot the official line. Not once that I can think of, if you can prove me wrong, I’d be happy to apologies.

        P.S.

        I know you did not watch it – which begs the question why comment. Feeling touchy about not being a socialist? Why do I know, because you missed the second part of the show – irony is a funny thing.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.2.1

          Do you have anything substantive to bring to the discussion or are you just going to wave the ad hominem white flag some more?

          • adam 9.1.2.1.1

            Yes, I going to ask, do you read any right wing press?

            • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Of course I do. Mostly it’s dull and irritating and I wonder why I bothered: their rhetoric is so derivative and predictable.

              As for videos, however, I prefer to read transcripts: much easier to separate the wheat from the chaff that way.

              • adam

                So the right wing press you read is not propaganda? Nor the corporate media?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Sorry, not playing this “twenty-questions” game. State your purpose. I’ll read it tomorrow.

                  • adam

                    Simply put, what is your definition of propaganda? And why do you not use a filter or source checking with absolutely everything you read? I do, filter that is – absolutely everything. And I fact check the lot. No point in singling out one source or other as bias, start with premises all are bais, and take out what is good.

                    Nothing I put up here is truth with a capital T. Not a damn thing. I do have a problem with the hate people have for RT. Which I find silly and just a little sad, filter it, like you should with everything else.

              • lprent

                A lot faster as well. Video is goddamn slow.

                • adam

                  Video has it’s place, when you are doing other things, and/or have a pile of other reading to do.

                  It’s why the narrative approach of documentaries can be good, good ones generating a good pace, and keeping you engaged. But they have many of the same issues of bias.

        • McFlock 9.1.2.2

          couldn’t be bothered wasting half an hour of my life watching a link from a nutbar. It takes concentration to watch videos, whereas I can keep the telly or music on for reading and writing.

          As for my opinions, you’re welcome to criticise them. Just try to use your own words, yes? It’s good for one’s brain.

          • adam 9.1.2.2.1

            So I’m a nutbar now. Such a please having that personal attack McFlock. You are such a joy to talk with, well no more.

            p.s. if I’m a nutbar why all the blue screen from you, and the response in the first place?

            • McFlock 9.1.2.2.1.1

              you utter hypocrite. You accompanied your link with an ad hom, and get pissy when people do that to you.

              The response was because you had misrepresented the issues with looking at an RT post. I’m intrigued you haven’t yet worked that out.

              • adam

                My first comment was not a ad hom directed at an individual. If you took it as such – sorry for you.

                • McFlock

                  lol nice – it’s somehow less of an ad hom if it’s aimed at a group of people, rather than a specific individual? You’re still a hypocrite.

                  • adam

                    Funny I always though ad hominem was directed at an individual.

                    As the Latin was “to the person”

                    But like everything, please just change the real world to suit you McFlock.

                    • McFlock

                      so people in a group aren’t people? Good to know. /sarc

                      It is still attacking the people in that group – those who chose not to risk wasting their time with your link.

                      You might want to debate the latin semantics of verb conjugation, but that’s just like pleading that you’re guilty of a massacre but not the murder of a named individual who was killed in that massacre.

                    • adam

                      Edit: Fair enough Bill.

                    • McFlock

                      just saw bill’s order.

                    • Bill

                      Thankyou. Disagree as vehemently as you like, but when it all goes down the toilet of personal vitriol…yeah, ‘ts’ isn’t a message board, aye?

  8. joe90 10

    Charming.

    Theresa May would fire Britain’s nuclear weapons as a ‘first strike’ if necessary, the Defence Secretary has said.

    Michael Fallon said the Prime Minister was prepared to launch Trident in “the most extreme circumstances”, even if Britain itself was not under nuclear attack.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/theresa-may-nuclear-weapons-first-strike-michael-fallon-general-election-jeremy-corbyn-trident-a7698621.html

    On Fox right now the round table is recommending a "pre-emptive" nuclear strike.— digby (@digby56) April 24, 2017

    edit: video

    http://crooksandliars.com/2017/04/charles-krauthammer-preemptive-nuclear

    • Wayne 10.1

      joe90

      I suspect that the only circumstance where this would happen is if there was a nuclear attack on a NATO member.

      Otherwise it is virtually impossible to imagine the circumstances where this would happen (other than the UK being subject to a nuclear attack).

  9. Ad 11

    While I was and am convinced that Hillary Clinton was the superior candidate, just looking at Macron’s rise from pretty much political nothing to likely President of France there’s a democratic lesson for me as much as anything:

    Much and all as Wikileaks, the CIA, and the Russians all had their effect, Hillary wasn’t the fresh, bold charismatic star that the Democrats needed. I sure ain’t saying Sanders or Corbyn was any of that either. All destined to be wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Now I look at Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macon, Alexander Van Der Bellen in Austria and I find people of substance, excellent training and experience, yet not tainted by being part of some stale elite. It’s a good reason Theresa May is surprising the UK: how can someone new yet experienced appear out of the woodwork and be a competent leader?

    Answer: appear both fresh and competent, and not spooky-scale radical, and the public will reward you.

    • the pigman 11.1

      Macron is an investment banker cut of the same cloth as the Smiling Assassin.

      As for your “answer” Ad, you know as well as anyone that private equity-owned media define who is “spooky” and who is “fresh and capable” these days. Theresa “I’m not going to call a snap election” May is night and day different to Macron. All they share is their pandering to financial elites who reward those leaders whose policies will align with their investors’ interests.

      • Ad 11.1.1

        “All they share is their pandering to financial elites” is a fair bit to share.

        While May is a Euroskeptic of course, her economic and social politics look pretty similar to both Merkel and Macron.

        The centrists, more and more, are looking like the remaining grownups.

        • millsy 11.1.1.1

          Too bad they all support privatisation, deregulation and the paring back of social services.

  10. Bearded Git 12

    Nicola Sturgeon is growing in stature all the time by daring to call it as it is.

    https://www.thecanary.co/2017/04/24/nicola-sturgeon-just-said-no-one-else-dared-tories-video/

    • Anne 12.1

      Nicola Sturgeon: The Tory vision should be ringing alarm bells loudly and clearly… Because make no mistake… the hard-liners have taken over the Tory Party. And now, those Tory hard-liners want to take over the country as well… It’s no surprise that UKIP, right now, is losing support to the Tories. Because the Tories are now threatening to take the UK in a direction that, a few years ago, UKIP could only have dreamed about.

      It sure looks that way. Thanks for the heads up BG.

    • lprent 12.2

      Theresa May should probably be glad that the SNP doesn’t campaign south of the border. I suspect that there are some demographics in the younger voters (ie <45 yo) in the urban parts of the south of England would put aside their accents and start speaking with a burr.

    • RedBaronCV 13.1

      This has a certain appeal!

      • Xanthe 13.1.1

        well it is a reasonable line to investigate
        Did the NZ police know they were breaking the law when they broke it?
        Did the FBI know they were breaking NZ law when they broke it?

        Putting James Comey on record over this and requireing him to seek answers from further down the food chain could very possibly bring out an answer to these questions.

    • lprent 13.2

      That isn’t likely to happen . However I suspect it can consume a court hearing. Which means he gets another one. That makes it worth while for him.

      The daft thing about this case, which has been dragging on fruitlessly since Jan 2012, is that there simply isn’t a case to answer under NZ law – which is why after 5 years it has shifted from copyright to fraud. It is highly questionable if there is a case to answer under the US laws specified (like ‘racketeering’ – a politicians nonexistent and non-provable offence if I ever heard one). However I guess that keeping DotCom in court has now become and end in itself. He has now has a hell of a civil case against the NZ and US governments.

      Surely some senior idiot lawyer (even Findlayson) is eventually going to realise that ratcheting this stupid cockup is just going to make things worse for them in the long term. And it isn’t like the film industry are going to put their hand out to help.

      All in all, the DotCom case provides a perfect example about why NZ shouldn’t get involved in the daft cesspit that Americans call law and why we shouldn’t accept anything like the last drafts of the TPPA before Obama got booted.

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