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Open Mike 25/05/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 25th, 2017 - 57 comments
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57 comments on “Open Mike 25/05/2017 ”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Good article on the Wireless from an NZ journo in Manchester: on the feeling there, and on how the way to respond is from an understanding of the injustices that fuel violent attacks like the Manchester bombing:

    While these events are undeniably evil and tragic, I strongly feel that any response needs to remember that at the root of the hatred that motivates them is injustice. Responding to terror attacks with defiantly pro-West rhetoric is, in my view, fuel to the extremist fire. It only deepens the spiral. I’m not sure what the alternative is, but calling the attackers “evil losers”, who must be “obliterated”, as Donald Trump has done is unhelpful to the nth degree.

    Democracy is broken. Capitalism is broken. Their fix is not necessarily their opposite, but it’s time to stop clinging to ideologies that have clearly run their course. It is time to engage with people, and to listen – and it is time to stop ignoring the real root causes of the pain we see around us.

    Well, democracy isn’t happening that well. A better version of participant democracy is needed. Capitalism is showing its inevitable downsides, and from the destruction it is causing, we need a new left way forward.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 1.1

      +1 “the root of the hatred that motivates them is injustice. “

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 1.1.1

        In a way it is karma
        If a country makes money out of manufacturing and selling arms which it knows will be causing misery and destruction elsewhere, then that country will be perceived as being part of the problem by those who have been impacted by the weapons…… drug producers and sellers are considered to be criminals, but it seems that arms manufacturers and sellers should be seen in the same light.

        US 1.29 billion (£848.6m) worth of bombs to Saudi Arabia
        http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34838937

        Blood money: UK’s £12.3bn arms sales to repressive states
        http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/blood-money-uk-s-123bn-arms-sales-to-repressive-states-8711794.html

      • North 1.1.2

        TMM @ 1.1……..as in (particularly re Palestine)……..”Justice the Seed, Peace the Flower”.

        Fell about laughing when I heard someone on CNN or somewhere saying Trump in his ‘best result for everyone’ line has leverage over the Palestinians on account of the $US400 million of annual US funding which goes their way (apparently).

        No mention of the annual $US 3,000 million from the same source which goes the way of Zionist Israel, nor the leverage that might provide.

  2. Ad 2

    The Pope looks just so spectacularly unhappy to hang with Trump:

    https://www.vox.com/world/2017/5/24/15684774/donald-trump-pope-meeting-vatican-photo

    • David Mac 2.1

      I understand the Pope is going to take Donald’s confession. He is expected to be back at the White House in November.

      • The decrypter 2.1.1

        When is the pope coming here to take a series of confession from double dipper. (H’d better allow a week or two)

    • North 2.2

      Appalling…….get the gawping mid-west used-car salesman. Again, it’s all about President Petulant Child.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Omen

    • joe90 2.4

      Contempt.

      Look at the Pope's face when he looks at Trump. pic.twitter.com/0wvBVesUdP— Yashar (@yashar) May 24, 2017

    • adam 2.5

      Ad, that photo opened up a really cool discussion on one of the game groups I’m in on facebook. A lot of republican women play the game, and for many of them the photo cut through the divide of dem/rep. They then really opened up about their disquiet about the trump administration. In the end it became about their fears around health care. Myself and a Aussie talked about our system – which they all said they liked.

      Just one more reason to love this Pope.

    • mary_a 2.6

      @ Ad ( 2) … Looks like the Transylvanian Trump show has arrived at the Vatican. Pope obviously picked up some satanic vibes there, hence his less than happy expression! The women look very creepy indeed. The pair of them, along with the Don of course could haunt a haunted house!

      BTW, why is Ivanka always there hanging out with dad and step mum?

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    So… you think you own the vehicle you buy?

    Not if it’s a John Deere tractor.

    When you buy one, you’re actually purchasing an “implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.“ Basically, a rental contract. With the difference being that even when the rental is paid off, you are still bound by the contract.

    Yes, really.

    It has to do with two things – the code that runs the tractor (yes, them too) and the ownership claims to that code asserted under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

    You may recall the ruckus that erupted about a year ago when the car companies floated the idea that even though you bought their car, it was still their code that ran the thing – and this code remained proprietary. That is, their property. To “tamper” with anything that could conceivably affect the code, their lawyers proposed, would violate both the warranty and copyright laws. Effectively making the car not your property, no matter the name on the title.

    https://ericpetersautos.com/2017/05/23/nothing-runs-like-deere/

    • David Mac 3.1

      I’m surprised we haven’t seen something like ‘Apple Finance’. Miss a payment and the device shuts down until the payment + penalty is paid and an automated system boots the iwhatever back up again. Phone finance is notorious for defaulting.

  4. Pete 4

    Just saw the Herald on-line but won’t read it: “Mike Hosking: Dude, where’s my tax cut?
    Mike Hosking wants to know why the Government can’t give us a tax cut.”

    Is he starting a Givealittle because he’s on the bones of his arse?

  5. Ad 5

    Lovely quote from Gordon Campbell re Mr Matthews as both Auditor and as CE of Ministry of Transport failing to figure fraud out faster, and failing to acknowledge it properly when it all came out:

    “…the indulgence granted to senior executives is in stark contrast to the 90 day employment rules that operate elsewhere in the labour market. If you’re being paid say, $30,000 a year, you’re out on your ear if you under-perform. Yet if you’re being paid more than 15 times that amount to lead a government department, you are not held responsible for systemic failings that flourish on your watch. If you’re lucky, you could even be promoted to a position of greater responsibility.”

    • RedLogix 5.1

      The Auditor General’s role demands the highest standards of probity, judgement and widespread respect. How the hell did Mathews even get on the short list?

      • Ed 5.2.1

        An interesting and well written article, covering the points that have been avoided by many – and in particular the government. It appears to have been written just before the auditor-general decided to step down while an investigation is held – perhaps prompted by the many comments similar to those in the article. It is of course the minimum response – less than the recent resignation of a lower level official from another department, but a reasonable response nevertheless. He is to be congratulated for the initiative – it does not mean that he did not make mistakes in his previous job (and as Labour has pointed out it does not constitute evidence wrongdoing and indeed there has been no evidence of fault) – but he has had the sense to see that an independent investigation was needed. Certainly the court case should have shown that there should have been at least an internal review of procedures, and the State Services Commission should also have asked questions to ensure that if there were faults they did not also apply to other departments – and whether they should have been picked up by audit. The Minister should also have been asking questions.
        Now the SSC have stepped in to ‘take over’ some investigations (news reports are not clear whose investigation they are ‘taking over’) but the standing down has it appears prompted that response.
        But where was the Minister in all this – hiding. There is such a willingness to separate their position from that of their department that there is no accountability at all at Ministerial level for anything – as we have seen recently with Ngaro. Coupled with a culture of bullying departments themselves, and tolerating bullying within departments (that’s how they get things done, so why wouldn’t they encourage the same behaviour in others) it is no wonder the system doesn’t question itself too deeply. So I congratulate Matthews, but ask why there has not been corresponding condemnation of those who sat back and let (encouraged!) the system degenerate to the extent that such fraud could have happened and go effectively unquestioned. This is yet another failure of government at Cabinet level. Don;t hold your breath for any Minister to even share a smidgeon of the blame . . .

  6. Lions tour carries terror risk – English

    “But as the horror of the attack continues to unfold, New Zealand’s thoughts are already turning to the upcoming Lions rugby tour, and whether there will be a need for increased security.”

    Playbook.

  7. dv 7

    This is not good.
    Crime scene pics of the bombing SHARED with US intelligence were LEAKED to the New York Times

    So much for cooperation.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11862785

    Crime scene photographs were leaked to the New York Times, apparently after being shared with US intelligence agencies by British investigators.

    The pictures were leaked despite a direct plea from Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, to the US authorities to stop leaking information about the fast-moving inquiry.

  8. Tautoko Mangō Mata 8

    The recent Manchester incident has prompted me to ask these questions.

    1. How do I feel about the 22 Manchester killings of mainly young women?

    2. How do I feel about the 225 civilians, including 36 women and 44 children killed in Syria by US Airstrikes in the month from 23 April -23 May this year.

    3.Do the words “collateral damage” seem appropriate to either example above?

    4. Do I think the pain of relatives of any of the above will be less?

    5. How would I feel if a relative was killed by accident but the perpetrators denied it happened and tried to cover up the situation? Would the cover up increase the burden of loss even more?

    6. How would I feel if I killed someone by accident and I was forced to keep the secret by others? Would this prey on my conscience? Would I be the type to be a hit-and-run driver leaving the victim or would I always stop and try to help.

    7. Can I imagine the extra burden on those SAS members who carry the mental baggage from the Afghanistan raid which Jon Stephenson has investigated?

    8. Where does my compassion start and end? Why? Why not?

    • Bill 8.1

      I guess this is just a response to no. 8.

      We live in a discompassionate world. I’m using the word “world” here to refer to the contrived socio/economic paradigms we accept and live by. Every day, when we go to work or think about saving for that deposit or whatever, we are endorsing ways of life that don’t just constrain us (our ‘acceptable’ or possible expressions of humanity) but that pit us one against the other for the sake of ‘success’.

      And to avoid submitting a huge comment, I’m just going to suggest those pointers tie back in with the final paragraph of carolyn_nth’s comment at the top of the thread.

      Most of 1 through 7 is covered by her, I’d have thought, pretty obvious observation.

      At the end of the day, it’s our world. Maybe it’s time to take it back; to wrest control of our world away from the fish eyed misanthropes and tear up their books of rules and lies. Maybe that process begins with small steps of disengagement – a growing refusal to participate in their discompassionate world…

      • Whadda ya mean,”maybe”? 🙂
        You’ve already “begun”, Bill, as have many, many others here and elsewhere, so far as I can tell. Engaged and compassionate is the path and the direction, swelling the crowd is the action most needed now.

    • weka 8.2

      That would make a good Guest Post. I’d be happy to put it up as such if you are ok with that.

      • The decrypter 8.2.1

        Like throwing in “Daddy what did you do in the war” sort of angle?

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 8.2.2

        Sorry, it needs more thought, but I really valued Bill and Robert Guyton’s comments.

        Engaged and compassionate is the path and the direction, swelling the crowd is the action most needed now:Robert Guyton

        Somehow we have to show our leaders that there are better ways to deal with the issues of violence , punishment, revenge, escalation of hate, etc. If corporate media are only interested in fanning the flames of hatred, we need to overpower this with social media and public demonstrations.

  9. swordfish 9

    Voters don’t have to settle for uninspiring neoliberal centrists like Hillary Clinton. Let’s not do it again

    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/05/shattered-hillary-clinton-campaign-defeat-trump

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 9.1

      Good article, well worth a read I thought.

    • RedLogix 9.2

      Same here.

      While over the past few decades, workers have been increasingly shafted, poverty has exploded, and Americans continue to be bankrupted or killed by what can only generously be described as a health care “system,” Clinton couldn’t understand why people were so angry. Six months in, “she still didn’t grasp the underlying sentiments of the electorate.” “What is the appeal of a Sanders?” she wondered. Nearly a year in, she confessed to an aide: “I don’t understand what’s happening with the country. I can’t get my arms around it.”

      It’s exactly why so many of us saw Clinton as such a weak candidate. She’s a political operator insulated from the real world and it showed. Trump by contrast was really good at faking it.

    • Andre 9.3

      Yet, somehow, as flawed a candidate as Hillary was, 3.7 million more Democratic primary voters voted for her than for Sanders. Shouldn’t the clearly expressed will of the voters count for something?

      • joe90 9.3.1

        Shouldn’t the clearly expressed will of the voters count for something?

        But purity….
        /

        NEW CBO score on AHCA-23 million more uninsured-Saves $119 billion-$834 billion Medicaid cuts-$992 bn tax cuthttps://t.co/VeFPeLffEy— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) May 24, 2017

      • RedLogix 9.3.2

        The other way of putting it is that Sanders came within 3.7m votes despite not being the Democrat’s officially anointed candidate from the outset. Yes the will of the voters prevailed, but in hindsight everyone realises what a bungle it was.

        It might be tempting to come away from Shattered viewing the Clinton campaign as a one-off aberration, a horrifyingly and uniquely misjudged series of errors that couldn’t happen again. To be sure, there’s much about Clinton’s campaign that could support this conclusion, from everything surrounding the private email server to her campaign’s disregard for traditionally blue strongholds like Wisconsin and Michigan.

        But the deeper problems that plagued Clinton’s run are not necessarily ones unique to Clinton. Her lack of vision, her refusal to shift her centrist policies to the left, her campaign-for-a-campaign’s-sake, the centering of her campaign around an individual rather than a set of principles — these are all factors that could easily be repeated by the next establishment candidate.

        • Ad 9.3.2.1

          Sorry to sound like Colonial Viper, but I think it’s worked out as nature intended.

          Trump is revealing what a properly revealed Republican administration looks like,
          and the Democrats have needed a lot more time to reorganise and revive.

          Trump will assist the Democrats to gain a few more in the mid terms.
          And will continue to drag the reputations of other Republicans down with him as the various inquiries publish their results.

          Meanwhile, those democracies that have re/elected strong states and long-term revival programmes are doing just great.

          • Andre 9.3.2.1.1

            That view seems somewhat … Zizekian. But it’s starting to look like it might not be wrong.

          • McFlock 9.3.2.1.2

            or 4 years of this will leave the state electoral offices well entrenched in their disenfranchisement role so voting entitlements are rigged enough that the republicans have a straight 50 years in power.

            • Ad 9.3.2.1.2.1

              Even the current Supreme Court is seeing through the overt racism that redistricting is.

              It’s going to take as long for the Democrats to recover as Labour is here or in the UK.

              • McFlock

                Redistricting is only part of the issue (and can be good). Voter ID, booth locations, roadworks… Sure, the most outrageous and explicitly partisan/racist ones get smacked, but there are enough republicans smart enough to refrain from saying “we did this just to stop democrats voting” that I fear the US is committed to the downhill slope.

                The thing is that there are so many ways to fuck with who can vote and how that vote is recorded, leaving SCOTUS as the only check won’t be enough by itself.

        • Andre 9.3.2.2

          “…her refusal to shift her centrist policies to the left, her campaign-for-a-campaign’s-sake, the centering of her campaign around an individual rather than a set of principles — these are all factors that could easily be repeated by the next establishment candidate.”

          But the Democratic platform coming out of the convention was a long way left of Hillary’s positions going into the campaign.

          Presidential campaigns are about individuals, like it or not. Policies and principles run a very distant second and third place. There remains the lesson from O’Malley’s popularity (well, extreme lack thereof). He’s a solidly competent, non-neo-liberal, somewhat generic Democrat. But just got nowhere with the electorate. Sanders had a personality that fit the moment, but when you dug down to the bones of his actual positions and history (which Hillary never did in an attack mode) there was a lot that would be unappealing to progressives.

          Campaign-for-a-campaign’s-sake. Well, yeah. Bush the Elder had the same issue. I could never figure out why he wanted the presidency, except as the final flourish on a glowing CV. Fortunately all the likely prospects for 2020 at this point seem to have issues they’re passionate about. As long as Hillary doesn’t get it in her head to have another go.

          • McFlock 9.3.2.2.1

            As long as Hillary doesn’t get it in her head to have another go.

            The dems will go with someone significantly younger. Clinton would be the oldest starting president if she ran in 2020 (72), and the trolls had more than enough fun with her health in the campaign as it was. and if Trump falls back to a non compos mentis defense like Reagan did…

            Obama and Bill C were at the other end, while most started term in their 50s.

  10. Andre 10

    *snort*

    Ummm – what’s my best move to defend myself against a “witch hunt” into my links with Russia? Aha, I know. I’ll hire a lawyer with links to Russia to represent me…

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/05/24/politics/trump-attorney-kasowitz/index.html

  11. UncookedSelachimorpha 11

    Lance O’Sullivan takes on the anti-vaxxers. He’s a great guy with a long history of doing good work in poor communities, and speaking out. I agree 100% that the last thing any community needs – let alone disadvantaged communities – is harm to their health from unscientific nonsense. Vaccines are a wonderful thing and we should be thrilled to have them.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/201845029/lance-o-sullivan-lashes-out-at-anti-vaccination-film

    • David Mac 11.1

      Dr Lance is a neat genuinely humble family focused guy that doesn’t talk about making a difference, he does. Same with Kelvin, he took a school that was producing the jail population of tomorrow and turned it into a state run academy of excellence.

      I think Dr Lance would make one helluva Minister of Health.

    • One Two 11.2

      Narrow banded thinking is not something to be ‘proud’ about

      The toxic poison is out of the vile, and it won’t be going back in..

      Too many understand the gaping holes in the ‘argument’ …

  12. joe90 12

    BREAKING: Successful businessman Earl Hagaman, who recently sued Andrew Little, has died aged 92. pic.twitter.com/GORm3o2vNv— NBR (@TheNBR) May 25, 2017

    • adam 12.1

      Is it just me, or is trying to score political points off someones death, truly vulgar?

      I’d be tempted to say it a new low for NBR and hooten, but i’m sure in the coming weeks and months, they will dive for even newer lows.

      • North 12.1.1

        Dishonest NBR. True headline would have said – “…….recently ‘unsuccessfully’ sued Andrew Little……”.

  13. McFlock 13

    An interesting article about the history of the FBI’s political operations.

    One thing it mentioned that hadn’t occurred to me (stupid, now it’s so obvious) was that the PR campaigns in the 1930s chasing bank robbers like Kelly, Dillinger, and suchlike was largely to evade comparisons with Nazi and Soviet political/secret police, even though the FBI had the bulk of its work in a substantially similar role.

  14. JC 14

    Government being sued over climate targets!

    A Hamilton law graduate, Sarah Thomson, is going to the High Court, requesting a judicial review of aspects of the government’s climate change policy. It’s thought to be the first case of its kind in New Zealand. The move wasn’t initially taken that seriously, with John Key dismissing the case as a “joke”.

    But the case is going to the Wellington High Court next month.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/289535/law-student-tackles-govt-on-climate-change

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/201845139/government-being-sued-over-climate-targets

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