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Open mike 25/06/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 25th, 2013 - 126 comments
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Step right up to the mike…

126 comments on “Open mike 25/06/2013 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    The propaganda offensive against Edward Snowden moves into overdrive
    How much does the NSA pay Simon Marks?

    Monday 24 June 2013

    Just after 9 a.m. yesterday I turned on my car radio to listen to the BBC World Service News. An angry, deadly serious American voice, evidently someone high up at the National Security Agency, was carefully laying down the media’s talking points for the next few days and weeks. “He has made things so much harder for the United States and our allies…. remember we are going after bad guys… we are going after terrorists…. we are going after bad guys…”

    In a clip of not much more than ten seconds, he used the phrase “bad guys” twice, used the term “terrorists” once, and lamented the irresponsibility of this “whistle-blower” at least twice. Over the next few weeks, see how many times you hear any or all of these tropes being parroted by our loyal and obedient media, led, of course, by the impeccably on-message BBC.

    Later in the day, on Radio NZ National’s Checkpoint, the go-to guy was not one of the many serious, well informed or principled analysts or journalists who have commented on this case but (surprise, surprise) another BBC drone—or at least a former BBC drone. If ever a vengeful regime wanted a megaphone with a built-in sneer to amplify its propaganda, Simon Marks is that megaphone.

    He is billed on his ghastly website as an “independent reporter”, but his tone and style is BBC through and through. Marks asserts, with evident approval, that NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander harbours a “barely concealed disdain” for Edward Snowden. There is a clip of Alexander’s gruff voice: “He betrayed the trust and confidence we had in him. This was an individual with top secret clearance whose duty it was to administer these networks. He betrayed that confidence and stole some of our secrets.”

    Marks seems to be amused by the fact that Snowden has had to take refuge in Russia—“albeit,” he chortles, “in more congenial circumstances than Mr Assange’s in the Ecuadorian embassy!” Then Marks assumes a serious air, and intones, with all the gravitas he can muster: “By running to Russia, Snowden has shown that he is willing to work with repressive governments when it suits him. For Checkpoint, I’m Simon Marks in Washington.”

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Concomitant with his role as a an imitation BBC reporter, Simon Marks spends a lot of time writing puff pieces for the likes of Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, Vaclav Havel and Margaret Thatcher…
    http://simonmarks.com/

    • Jenny 1.1

      Edward (Goldstein) Snowden

      • rosy 1.1.1

        I’m not sure I should ask, but Edward Snowden’s full name, as a comment on it’s own, (if that’s what it is) is important because… ?

        • Morrissey 1.1.1.1

          I think Jenny means he looks a bit like the guy in the ASB ads. The actor who played Goldstein also appeared in The Sopranos.

          • rosy 1.1.1.1.1

            ahh – I can’t see the resemblance, but there you go – each to their own.

            • Morrissey 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Tall, geeky, bespectacled. Like you, I think the resemblance ends there, but I am sure Jenny can explain a little more fully.

              • Pascal's bookie

                An overwrought 1984 reference surely?

                • Descendant Of Sssmith

                  I thought he looks more like a young Daniel Vetorri myself and then slightly.

                  Cue (or queue) cricket puns….

                • Winston Smith

                  I’ll be the judge of that

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Fairly sure Eric Blair would think you’re a dick tbh.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                      Wonderful way to humanise folk we put on a pedestal: imagine showing them some of the people who ignorantly appropriate their works and then hearing them utter an astounded “but the guy’s an absolute dick!”

                    • Rogue Trooper

                      spotted; not all reptiles are chameleons.

              • Colonial Viper

                Notice how in the compliant media the entire focus is on Snowden, with a big fat zero on what he has actually revealed about how every person is under constant surveillance and recording.

                • …yes, because if what Mr Snowden told us was highlighted, people might work out that when the American government is working against the interests of their people, (spying in such a manner and to such an extent goes against some well-established rights, namely peoples’ liberty) then it can be clearly seen as entirely WRONG to accuse Mr Snowden as acting in a manner ‘against the government’ or more importantly ‘against the interests of the public’, (noting that ensuring that the interests of the people making up the society is well catered for is one of the main purposes of a government’s existence), therefore he cannot be accused of, let alone ‘done’ for, treason, sedition, espionage or any similar notion.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Um, are you sure? The coverage has been overwhelming about what he has revealed. But, obviously, the captivating story right now is his leaving HK and his asylum bid, so that’s what’s getting the headlines. However, to give one example, the Guardian headline is ‘US hunts for Snowden amid mystery over whereabouts’. But there are links to half a dozen other related stories right below it, including exposes of his revelations.

                  • I have to admit to not being a great commenter on our mainstream media, due to having an aversion to watching and reading the diluted crap that we are dished out, however, in response to your query TRP:

                    Any ‘event’ is an opportunity to relay the issues at stake and the implications to us, the punters, and if every ‘event’ was used in this way, we would all be more informed.

                    Yesterday I looked on the internet to find out what was going on with Mr Snowden and I learned that many countries have snubbed American demands for Mr Snowden’s capture and have also asked America for details and reasons for why they are being spied on.

                    TV1 news, thankfully (for small mercies), did mention Mr Snowden’s travel from Hong Kong to Russia and how an Equadorian (I think it was) car indicating someone from high office was present at the airport. However, there was no mention of any details of the days goings on including the concern being expressed by other countries with regard to the illegal and uncivil spying that Mr Snowden has alerted us all to.

                    The opportunity to let us all know just what a load of crap it is that America could even begin calling the guy ‘traitorous’ has been lost to be replaced with the bare minimum physical travel details being reported.

                    Some may call this coverage ‘objective’ and others might consider it biassed in its omission and consider such as leading the general public to be left in the dark as to the real effects of Mr Snowden’s disclosures and left ignorant as to the real nature of a country spying on not only its own, yet also every other citizen of any other country’s private and economic affairs.

                    Personally I’d rather risk being killed by a ‘terrorist’ than live under the level of paranoia that the United States has historically proven itself to specialize in.

          • The Pink Postman 1.1.1.1.2

            I certainly hope so Rosy but I’m hoping it’s not something nasty. Perhaps I’m over sensitive . But I don’t like it .

    • Rogue Trooper 1.2

      Alexander is pissed; all that ‘subterfuge’ down the drain.

    • fambo 1.3

      Excellent but scary article at http://www.democracynow.org – FBI’s Use of Drones for U.S. Surveillance Raises Fears over Privacy, Widening Corporate-Gov’t Ties – plus more up-to-date interviews on Snowden

  2. Jenny 2

    The campaign against coal.

    http://coalactionnetworkaotearoa.wordpress.com/

    Mining and burning coal is the highest emitter of carbon dioxide on the planet. If we don’t phase out all coal before 2030, says retired NASA scientist-turned climate activist Professor James Hansen, and begin significantly reducing all fossil fuel emissions, it’s game over for the climate. That’s game over for our children’s future.

    CANA Coal Action Network

    A growing protest movement is building against coal. As the Green Party prepares to go into a coalition government that will approve the biggest expansion in coal mining in this country’s history. This will inevitably lead to a clash with Green Party members and supporters.

    If the Green Party can not get concessions over Denniston, (or deep sea oil). It would be better for the Green Party to only promise confidence and supply to Labour, which would leave their hands free to oppose coal mining and the other terrible for the environment practices that Labour is committed to. The alternative is to agree to have their hands tied by cabinet responsibility.

    The Green Party must seriously question whether their drive for cabinet positions is worth it.

    Maybe someone could tell me….

    What on earth do the Green Party politicians hope to gain by gaining cabinet seats?

    The Greens will be a minority in cabinet even if they get the full proportional number of seats they are seeking, (which Shearer is rejecting) they will still be out voted on every issue. But then will be tied to the majority decision to their cost.

    A strong argument can be made that the Green Party will, and have, achieved more for the environment by being out of government, and staying in touch and working with their grass roots activists and lobbyists.

    (Just witness the electric train service being built in Auckland)

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Jenny, what are coalition agreements and how do they work in our parliament?

      That’s the answer to your question right there.

      Offerring C&S from ouside of a coalition isn’t a position of strength, it’s a free gift. That would be saying to a NZ First Labour govt, ‘Go right ahead and govern, we’ll back you up and you don’t need to agree to anything at all for us to back you as long as you let us say bad things every now and then, so as not to upset the symbolic purists in our support base’.

      It’s a stupid game playing bunch of crap. I know you think that the Greens would be able to vote against everything they were not 100% behind, rejecting compromise to retain purity, but in practice, the major parties would react. And guess who would lose?

      Parliament isn’t a theatre, although it has theatrical aspects. And it isn’t chess although you need to think strategically. The rules aren’t written in stone. There isn’t a script. People can change them, and they do change in response to tactics.

      I’d predict that if a minor patry offered C&S in the way you suggest, and tried the strategy you suggest (sort of a one foot in one out, all take and no give) the major party would respond by making more votes matters of Confidence and daring the small party to bring down the government.

      • David H 2.1.1

        But if the Greens have a serious concern then the Govt would have to listen, for the simple reason is that National will probably vote against it as a matter of course, most of the time.

  3. Morrissey 3

    Pity poor Vladimir
    He has to consort with war criminals

    When you are president of Russia, you are obliged to cozy up to some pretty repellent entities. Look at this photo carefully: the look on Putin’s face shows he does not necessarily find it easy wading through slime as a career….
    http://rt.com/files/politics/obama-putin-russia-us-g20-mcfaul-reset-496/obama-putin-president.si.jpg

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1

      Read up on Putin’s war in Chechnya and how it was prosecuted.

      Obama (for all his faults, which are multitude) is Pete Seeger compared to Putin in the war crime stakes.

      • Ennui 3.1.1

        Yeah, but Bambam allows Henry Kissinger to remain unprosecuted…..then theres the criminals from the CIA who ran the “dirty wars” in central America…need I go on. Putin may be dirty, but nobody is clean…and our own Shonkstar plays patsy to whatever Washington says. Pukesom, a whole cadre of psychos.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1

          for all his faults, which are multitude

          Yeah, it’s a long list. But the idea that he would make Putin queezy is just laughable.

          • Morrissey 3.1.1.1.1

            But the idea that he would make Putin queezy [sic] is just laughable.

            Really? Who has the higher body count? Who presides over an administration that is actively killing civilians in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Iraq? Who presides over a gulag extending from Cuba to Uzbekistan and beyond? Who backed Mubarak right until the very end of his dictatorship? Who heads a massive system of international kidnapping, torture and summary execution? Who could have stopped the Israeli massacres in Gaza, and demanded justice for the killing of nine peace activists on international waters in 2010 but instead chose to defiantly express support for the perpetrators? Who has done absolutely nothing to stop the illegal spread of settler-terrorists in the Occupied West Bank? Who is making moves to arm al Qaeda terrorists in Syria?

            Clue: the answer is not “Vladimir Putin.”

            • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Who flattened Grozny?

              Seriously, read up on the 2nd Chechen war. Putin makes Obama look like a pussy cat.

              • Morrissey

                I’m not defending Putin, you fool. I’m trying to find out why YOU are defending Obama, who is far more blood-drenched than Putin.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  I don’t think its a competition, Moz, but I suspect Putin has been quite literally blood drenched in his previous career.

                  • Morrissey

                    You are no doubt correct, Te Reo. I have been incensed, however, over the last week or so to hear media commentators portraying Obama as having to pinch his nose before dealing with this rebarbative, ruthless Russian.

                    It’s like the routine comment whenever a western leader goes to China: will he mention the human rights situation? The Chinese quite rightly have nothing but contempt for such talk, and no doubt so do the Russians.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Here’s what you said:

                      Pity poor Vladimir
                      He has to consort with war criminals

                      When you are president of Russia, you are obliged to cozy up to some pretty repellent entities. Look at this photo carefully: the look on Putin’s face shows he does not necessarily find it easy wading through slime as a career….

                      That’s just nonsense. Putin wades through slime by choice. He ran the 2nd Chechen war, which he started on pretty dubious grounds, brutally. That’s all I’m saying, and it’s not a defence of Obama to say so.

      • Professor Longhair 3.1.2

        Obama has the blood of Pakistani, Afghani, Iraqi, Yemeni and Palestinian citizens on his hands, not to mention the thousands of U.S. soldiers he has condemned to an early grave.

        You’d have to be smoking drugs to compare Obama to Pete Seegar. What are you on—Blue
        Mountain Hydroponic?

        • Rogue Trooper 3.1.2.1

          Climate Change “speech” coming up next, to be damned to the annals of oblivion; such a disappointment he must be to his mother…(have you read his biography?…oh, she was too into consciousness…).

        • felix 3.1.2.2

          “You’d have to be smoking drugs to compare Obama to Pete Seegar”

          You’d have to be on mushrooms to think anyone did.

          • Morrissey 3.1.2.2.1

            At 7:17 yesterday morning, Pascal’s bookie wrote: “Obama (for all his faults, which are multitude) is Pete Seeger compared to Putin in the war crime stakes.”

            What part of “Obama is Pete Seeger” do you not understand?

            • Pascal's bookie 3.1.2.2.1.1

              What part of “compared to Putin” do you not understand?

              • Morrissey

                What part of “compared to Putin” do you not understand?

                That’s wrong, of course. Putin is not as bad as Obama, no matter what index you use. You can, of course, as you have chosen to do, ignore the U.S. depradations in the middle east and Asia, ignore the U.S. gulag, ignore the U.S. war against democracy, ignore the U.S attempts to undermine and destroy Cuba and Ecuador and Bolivia and Venezuela, and you can ignore the U.S. support of Israel, Saudi Arabia and now, God save us all, al Qaeda.

                If you choose to ignore all that, as you have done, then Putin is a monster, and Russia is the most dangerous country in the world, and those U.S. whistleblowers are really just “crooks”, as the U.S. and U.K. politicians keep telling us.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  I haven’t ignored that:

                  “(for all his faults, which are multitude)”

                  “Yeah, it’s a long list”

                  “makes US COIN efforts (as bad as they are)”

                  Stop lying about what I say. It’s not like people can’t see what I write, just because you choose to ignore it.

                  “Russia is the most dangerous country in the world, and those U.S. whistleblowers are really just “crooks”, as the U.S. and U.K. politicians keep telling us.”

                  Where did I suggest anything of the sort?

                  The only ignoring go on is by you.

                  You ignore what I say, and you claim that Poor Putin must feel awful about having to deal with Obama, ignoring Putin’s long blood soaked anti-democratic career. For shame Morrissey.

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.2.3

          Prof Longhair, re-read what I said.

          Your mate said Obama is worse than Putin in terms of war crimes. That comparison is simply ridiculous. Look up Putin’s war record (I suspect you both watch RT, you’ll have to look further afield than that).

          Russian counter isnsurgency doctrine, as practiced by Putin in Chechnya, makes US COIN efforts (as bad as they are) look like a bunch of hippie bullshit.

          Russian special forces would go into suburbs round up the elderly, and execute them. They’d wrap people in barbed wire and drag them behind their APC’s. There are many mass graves in and around Grozny that serve testament to this, and more.

          • Morrissey 3.1.2.3.1

            Russian counter insurgency doctrine, as practiced by Putin in Chechnya, makes US COIN efforts (as bad as they are) look like a bunch of hippie bullshit.

            That’s an even more inept and depraved simile than your Pete Seeger failure.

            • Pascal's bookie 3.1.2.3.1.1

              Explain why. Make an actual argument, just once. Show me you know something, anything at all, about how Russia prosecutes war.

              Are you seriously suggesting that Putin’s efforts in Chechnya were more humane than USian?

              • Morrissey

                Are you seriously suggesting that Putin’s efforts in Chechnya were more humane than USian?

                No, I am not. YOU are the one who is trying to claim, against all evidence, that Obama has some moral ascendancy over Putin. Your obscene invoking of Pete Seeger only makes you seem even more foolish and desperate, of course.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Evidence?

                  The record of the Chechen war compared to that of Obama. Obama’s record is awful, but if you are talking about war crimes, he has a long way to go before he matches Putin.

                  And if you weren’t claiming that Putin is more humane, then why did you suggest it would be so awful for him to consort with Obama. How does that make sense if you agree that his own record is worse?

                  Instead of explaining or justifying your logic, you get all upset about my metaphors. hmmm.

                  Lift your game Morrissey. Or bring one, or something.

                  • Morrissey

                    And if you weren’t claiming that Putin is more humane, then why did you suggest it would be so awful for him to consort with Obama. How does that make sense if you agree that his own record is worse?

                    My post was a response to media “reports” over the last few days stating that Obama finds it distasteful to even talk to that Russian scoundrel. The implication, unchallenged by the stooges at the BBC, Radio New Zealand and most other outlets, was that the Americans have some kind of moral ascendancy over the Russians. They don’t.

                    Your attempt to show that Putin has a worse human rights record than Obama is not only dishonest, it’s depraved.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      But your response was just as dishonest as the “reports” you didn’t link to.

                      (EDIT: Just to be clear, I think you are also lying about what these media “reports”, “state”. )

                      So is it your position that Putin’s record is better than Obama’s? You seem to bounce around on that.

    • rosy 3.2

      Putin’s looking like that because he just found out Russia got out-spied by the U.S. It’s a dirty, dirty game they play.

      Edit: I also heard on the news the U.S. warning Russia about helping Snowden… something about breaking trust between the two nations. I lolz’d.

      • Pasupial 3.2.1

        As an ex KGB Lt Colonel, Putin does have form on wading through slime (+ what PB said re: Chechnya).

        However, Snowden would probably be best to just stay in Russia and go for citizenship; as Russian citizens can’t constitutionally be extradited. Though they can still be gunned down in the street, or fall down lift-shafts (not legally, but more frequently than I’d be comfortable with). I just hope the proposed run to Ecuador via Cuba is a ruse to throw the USA spooks off his trail.

        • rosy 3.2.1.1

          As an ex KGB Lt Colonel, Putin does have form on wading through slime (+ what PB said re: Chechnya)

          Not many leaders would be prepared to sacrifice what Putin did in Beslan and the cinema hostage crisis in Moscow either.

          Russian citizenship might be the best option. Sadly, it’s not looking to promising for Snowden at the moment with Ecuador – something to do with U.S. trade deals being at risk, last I read. Hopefully he’ll find a safe haven and people will start talking about the crap Snowden uncovered, and what that represents, rather than false memes about who or what he might represent.

  4. logie97 4

    No doubt we will be hearing eulogies delivered by all sorts of people in the next few weeks – some even by people who didn’t appear to understand the significance of 1981 and can’t even remember what they were doing at the time.

    • Ennui 4.1

      I do, it hurt…lots.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        Yeah – especially when my sister made me laugh after the last test and I found out how bloody awkward stitches in my batoned lip were going to be.

    • David H 4.2

      I was working delivering booze for Super liquor man, and I had to get back to the Basin from Island Bay. I had a very, very, slow drive back.

      • marty mars 4.2.1

        I was marching, running, yelling and doing other stuff – generally trying to make life difficult for everyone not with us – including you David 🙂 I have to say I was pretty stuffed by the end (had a bit to carry) and pumped too – could have used a beer then.

    • Would you believe my wife and my first dates were on Springbok protests?

      • logie97 4.3.1

        Rumour has it that a certain PM is beginning to wish that he had been part of the demos as well.

        • Anne 4.3.1.1

          When Nelson Mandela leaves us, I don’t think I will be able to handle the faux expressions of loss and grief coming out of the mouth of Key. That will be too much…

          Geez, I have nothing but contempt for that man.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    A curious but perhaps insightful detail – here is a glasses wearing Gen. Keith Alexander from back in the day in fairly normal three star general uniform – http://www.thenewnewinternet.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/nsa_director_keith_alexander.jpg

    And here he is now, promoted to head the NSA and sans spectacles and with his four stars arranged on his shoulders like he is expecting to be assigned to the Union’s Army of the Potomac any day now – http://a.abcnews.go.com/images/Politics/abc_keith_alexander_this_week_jt_130623_wg.jpg

    The lack of glasses is probably just vanity. But uniforms are highly symbolic, and I wonder what symbolism Alexander is intending to portray with those stars on his shoulders? I think U.S. Grant was the first four star general. Perhaps Alexander is telling us that he has a similar determination to Grant in his evangelical mission to save the union from its enemies, no matter if it means laying waste to anything (like democracy) that gets in his way?

  6. Maui 6

    If you are living in or around Napier, be very afraid.

    “The Kiwi nation is embracing the oil rush ..”

    http://www.angelnexus.com/o/web/47449

    I reckon Aaron Gilmore and his mates have a few shares in this play.

  7. aerobubble 7

    Dumb government. Benefit changes means nobody will lose the benefit income. Oh wait…
    …no, now that sickness benefit has been rolled into the unemployment benefit, there is a new requirement that those on a benefit for a year reapply. Yes, you see if they are in a hospital bed, house bound, or for some other reason do cannot visit the benefit office, and their sickness certificate stipulates their illness is ongoing, then the dumb government can ignore reason and demand people attend and hold up the basic income support until they do.

    • Rosetinted 7.1

      aerobubble
      No no the government is making it easy and efficient to communicate with them. So the bene will be able to call them from their hospital bed and put their fingerprints on a special pad, or probably look closely into their camera function and send their iris to the terminal for the department. Talking about terminal….

      When I was on a benefit for a while I had to call from the phone at my seasonal job workplace in the country (and lucky there was one there – before cell phones), to report in, and was criticised because I was supposed to report in person.

      The endless debilitating controls of a government reluctant to provide a sensible, positive social system enabling people to be mostly self-supporting and ensuring that opportunity to all, and reluctant further, to manage the country in a way that produces a healthy, vital economy and producing the best results possible to all people.

  8. muzza 9

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1945/0041/latest/DLM239213.html

    Section 8 – Repealed in 1991, by the National Government

    When will NZ begin officially be mined for Uranium?

    What might the significance and/or relation to the 60-60 rejection of Depleted Uanium Prohibition Bill (June 2012), be?

  9. Rogue Trooper 11

    Matthew 5:14 etc;
    You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

    As lights of the world, they are illustrious and conspicuous and have many eyes upon them. Some admire them, commend them, rejoice in them and study to imitate them; others envy them, hate them, censure them and study to blast them.

    The gospel is so strong a light, and carries with it so much of it’s own evidence, that like a city on a hill, it cannot be hid, it cannot but appear to be from God. It will give light to all that are in the house, to all who will draw near to it, and come where it is.

    The knowledge must be communicated for the good of others, not put under a bushel, but spread.
    The disciples of Christ must not muffle themselves up in privacy and obscurity, under pretence of contemplation, modesty or self-preservation.

    We must do good works that they may be seen to the edification of others.

    That those who see your good works may be brought, not to glorify you, but to glorify God.

    There is winning virtue in godly conversation.

    18:2 A fool finds no pleasure in understanding
    :4 The words of a person’s mouth are deep waters, but the foundation of wisdom is a bubbly brook, benath the Pons asinorum

    Dominiom Post, Headline : Traffic Chaos may go on all week- cos’ The Road goes on Forever and the party never ends. 😎

  10. Angelique 12

    Had John Boscawen been a Labour speech writer then this is what David Shearer would have said in response to Winston Peter’s untrue, ignorant opportunistic attack on Chinese people in NZ.

    “Winston Peters is trying to drive a wedge between the Chinese community and the rest of New Zealand in a sad attempt to engender support for his party, LABOUR Party Leader David Shearer says.
    “In a speech today, Winston made a number of assertions aimed at establishing a false picture that Chinese immigrants take more from New Zealand than they contribute. This is far from the truth,” Mr Shearer says
    Chinese families who immigrate here are hard-working people who move to make a better life for themselves and their children. In the process, many start their own businesses, employ staff, pay taxes, invest heavily in education and contribute to the growth of New Zealand’s economy, the LABOUR Leader says.
    “Every year, thousands of Chinese students arrive on our shores to pay top dollar to gain qualifications from our universities. The universities benefit from increased revenue, and the students’ time here, immersed in our culture, serves to strengthen economic ties between China and New Zealand.
    “China is New Zealand’s second biggest trading partner. In 2011, bilateral trade between our two nations amounted to $12.7 billion and this will continue to grow.
    “Tourism is one of our most significant export industries. Why shouldn’t the Government do all it can to attract wealthy Chinese visitors to our country to spend their tourist dollar? Australians don’t even need a visa to visit New Zealand, so the idea that some Chinese visitors getting ‘fast-tracked’ visas amounts to special treatment is laughable.
    “Winston also claimed that non-resident Chinese buyers are one of the major drivers behind the Auckland housing affordability crisis. This is unfounded. The latest BNZ-REINZ survey shows that Chinese buyers represent a mere 1.3 per cent of the market. We don’t hear Winston complaining about the British who buy more homes than the Chinese do.
    “The LABOUR Party rejects Winston’s claims that Chinese are somehow ripping New Zealanders off. Chinese migration and trade is of significant benefit to the New Zealand economy and, unlike NZ First, the LABOUR Party welcomes their contribution,” Mr Shearer says.”

    Thanks to NBR & John Boscawen.

    • Rogue Trooper 12.1

      Winston is a grave digger; seen who attends his meetings and speeches?

    • Te Reo Putake 12.2

      Yeah, the Labour leader really should use the ACT president, and sole remaining paid up party member, as a speechwriter. Still. Boscowen did a wonderful job promoting lamingtons, so there maybe something in it.

  11. King Kong 13

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Two week ban. You know the rules. Don’t insinuate facts directly or indirectly about authors unless you are able to put up incontrovertible legal level proof. Now this isn’t an easy standard to meet as it requires that you either get an ‘out’ admission from the author themselves or have some kind of backend access to The Standard. The latter isn’t going to happen, and in the case of James neither has the former.

    Which of course is why Cameron Slater (aka “PornDream”) is simply a liar in his many confident lies about our authors.

    Damn I was really tempted to make that run until after my vacation to reduce moderation effort… But I resisted. ]

    • Rogue Trooper 13.1

      Another ‘profound’ comment from King Kong.
      Domitian finalized the conquest of Britain, strengthened the Rhine / Danube frontier, suppressed immorality, as well as freedom of thought in philosophy and religion.

    • Allyson 13.2

      Why are authors anonymous?

      [lprent: If you can’t read the about then you really are kind of illiterate. Of course I could *educate* you, but just at present I’m more likely to ban you for diversion trolling and wasting my time. Perhaps you should use your post-anal scratch finger and a dictionary and try to figure it out word by word without my help….

      Moving this thread to OpenMike as being off topic for the post. ]

      • Rogue Trooper 13.2.1

        tell you later behind the bikesheds

      • felix 13.2.2

        Why are you?

      • weka 13.2.3

        The standard rarely has posts from anonymous authors now. I think you mean pseudonymous. After you’ve read Lynn’s link, try this one –

        http://ideologicallyimpure.wordpress.com/2012/08/27/pseudonymity/

        You can also put ‘pseudonym’ or ‘pseudonymous’ into the search box at the top of the page, for some interesting reading on the use of pseudonyms on ts.

        • lprent 13.2.3.1

          I don’t think we ever had an anonymous author. One of the admins always knew who they were. We had to because otherwise they couldn’t have gotten a login. Similarly the guest posts require that one of the admins puts it up.

          The nearest we ever get to it are the pieces that are posted in Notices and Features. Where possible we try to put in a definitive link. However when some of the images turn up in the email or on facebook or twitter…

          • weka 13.2.3.1.1

            I was thinking of guest posts that had no author name attached (ie anonymous to readers, not to admin). There seem to be way less of those now.

  12. Seen this?

    DOCTORS PRESENT THE CASE TO END FLUORIDATION

    Sat 29th June 7pm – 9pm

    Freeman’s Bay Community Hall, 52 Hepburn Street, Auckland Central.

    Come and judge for yourself whether fluoride is something you would want in your tap water!

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Hamilton City Councillor Dave MacPherson giving his considered opinion, explaining why Hamilton City Council voted, in the interests of public health, to remove fluoride from drinking water supplies.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Do you think the Ministry of Health can be trusted for advice regarding the safety of NZ drinking water?

    Or that Watercare really cares about public health when it comes to safeguarding the quality of our drinking water?

    If so – I suggest you read this…………………

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/?page_id=15

    Penny Bright

    [For the public record, as an Auckland Mayoral candidate, I am opposed to the fluoridation of public water supplies.]

  13. For exposure of the corporate 1%, in whose interests the Auckland region is being run, don’t bother reading ‘The Daily Blog’ (from which Martyn Bradbury has me banned) – try this?

    Press Release from Auckland Mayoral Candidate Penny Bright:

    “Open the doors! Open the (submission) books! Stop this ‘democracy for developers’!”
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    “Revolt over Unitary Plan secrecy”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10892671

    “Auckland Mayor Len Brown is facing more grief over the Unitary Plan process with one councillor vowing to boycott secret meetings and local boards demanding access to public submissions.

    Chris Fletcher said the process was appalling and was boycotting secret workshops – starting with one tomorrow on height limits – until she received full disclosure of the 22,700 public submissions on the controversial plan.

    This followed revelations in the Herald that last week’s first workshop on height limits and volcanic viewshafts contained feedback from the Property Council, Fletcher Development and Tramlease, but no counter view from the Volcanic Cones Society or community groups. …

    Mr Brown has refused to release background papers used by the political working party to develop rules for heritage and the mixed housing and terrace housing and apartment zones. Chief executive Doug McKay has instructed lawyer Wendy Brandon to keep the work on heritage rules hidden. ….”
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    “It is an absolute disgrace in a so-called ‘democracy’, that the Auckland region is effectively being run by an unholy alliance of big business and property developers – the Committee for Auckland and the NZ Property Council, and those who serve their interests, ” says Auckland Mayoral candidate, Penny Bright.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Who are the Committee for Auckland:

    http://www.committeeforauckland.co.nz/

    “Our vision: Auckland as a global city.

    In 2013 we will be an influential voice for all of Auckland, creating cross-sectoral solutions to the city’s issues and
    Focusing on a future beyond the electoral cycle helping New Zealand’s only world-ranked city to achieve its potential for the region and the country
    The Committee for Auckland (CFA) has played a prominent role in galvanising positive change for our city. Our members are all specialists in the city’s issues and fervent advocates for its success. Having contributed significantly to the new shape of Auckland as one city, 2013 is the platform for a re-focused Committee to drive the agenda for Auckland as a world leading destination as well as the welcoming gateway to New Zealand.”

    Membership of the Committee for Auckland:

    http://www.committeeforauckland.co.nz/membership
    “Membership to the Committee for Auckland is by invitation. Members meet quarterly and are invited to be involved in those aspects of the work programme that interest them.

    Members are Chairs of Boards, Directors and Chief Executives

    Corporate Membership annual fee $10,000. ……”

    “It is interesting to note how members of this VERY powerful private lobby group are intertwined with Auckland Council and Auckland Council ‘Council Controlled Organisations’ (CCOs),” states Bright.

    The current list of members of the Committee for Auckland:

    http://www.committeeforauckland.co.nz/membership/member-organisations

    Doug McKay Chief Executive Officer Auckland Council

    Brett O’Riley Chief Executive Officer ATEED

    Robert Domm Chief Executive Officer Regional Facilities Auckland

    Mark Ford Chief Executive Officer Watercare

    John Dalzell Chief Executive Officer Waterfront Auckland

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    “Also, how the Committee for Auckland includes key members of the NZ Property Council and property developers,” Bright continues.

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    Connal Townsend National Director Property Council of NZ

    Evan Davies Chief Executive Officer Todd Property Ltd

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    “The way to stop arguably corrupt practices is through transparency,” says Bright.

    “Where is the transparency, when elected Councillors have not yet ‘received full disclosure of the 22,700 public submissions on the controversial (Draft Unitary) plan’, and secret meetings are being held behind closed doors, from which the public are excluded?”

    “Why are the Auckland Council CEO, Doug McKay, and General Counsel for Auckland Council, Wendy Brandon, the Mayor and apparently some Councillors, continuing to violate this fundamental principle of the Local Government Act 2002?

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2002/0084/latest/DLM171810.html

    14 Principles relating to local authorities

    (1)In performing its role, a local authority must act in accordance with the following principles:

    (a)a local authority should—

    (i)conduct its business in an open, transparent, and democratically accountable manner; ..”
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    “As an Auckland Mayoral candidate, with a proven track record in fighting for ‘open, transparent and democratically-accountable’ local (and central) government, I call for:

    FULL disclosure of the 22,700 public submissions on the Auckland Draft Unitary Plan to be made available to both Auckland Council elected representatives and the public.

    For ALL ‘workshops’ on the Auckland Draft Unitary Plan to be open to ALL elected representatives and the public, who wish to attend.

    Open the doors! Open the (submission) books!

    Stop this ‘democracy for developers!'”

    (More evidence linking Auckland Council with the Committee for Auckland can be found in the following High Court document:

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/OCCUPY-AUCKLAND-APPEAL-APPLICATION-BY-APPELLANT-BRIGHT-TO-ADDUCE-NEW-EVIDENCE-pdf.pdf

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption/anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  14. Te Reo Putake 16

    So, farewell then United Future
    it was the worm that made you
    now
    you are wormfood

    EJ Dunne (14 and a half terms)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8838701/Speaker-backed-in-Dunne-funding-row

  15. ropata 17

    Bwaahaha!!

    http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/the-internaut/john-key-asks-twitter-what-it-thinks/

    The prime minister’s entertaining adventures in social media continue.
    At 10.30 this morning he posted – or, rather, the staffer who runs his Twitter account did; I’m not even sure if he personally knows he has a Twitter account – this inquiry to the online masses:

    This is why I think economic growth is important. What do you think?

    • Rogue Trooper 17.1

      they are laughing at you John, not with you ya clown. Wotta dick! showing his age.
      Lord of all he surveys, master of nothing but his fortune.

    • Rogue Trooper 18.1

      The Unguarded Moment.
      Instruction 1: Patience is enjoyed upon the believers. 16:127
      Patience is made a condition of success and prosperity. 3:200
      The reward of those who exercise patience is doubled. 28:54

  16. Just announced ,Dunne is an independent MP. I wonder how this will effect the government .

    • Te Reo Putake 19.1

      Good question, postie. For starters, it may mean the arrangement for UF to be in Government might have to be rewritten to take into account Dunne’s new status. Assuming Dunne wants to continue the arrangement, that is. As a lowly backbench MP with no extra salary and perks, he may feel the arrangement no longer delivers in the way it did in the past.

      • Im thinking that Key will promise Dunne a lucrative deal The alternative is Dunne leaves parliament, .then a bye election that the Nat’s may well lose, Interesting time.

        • Boadicea 19.1.1.1

          The Knighthood?
          Another non-compete in Ohariu?
          Nomination to international institutions?
          A friendly law firm to offer a consultancy?
          A guest lectureship at a School of Journalism?

    • logie97 19.2

      Has anyone else noticed the change in tone/style in the PM recently. He is becoming quite nasty in his old age. The smiling assassin is feeling a little isolated and hitting out and getting quite aggressive. He is aiming directly at Shearer (who may be an easy target) and is becoming more obviously just another politician – not the image of the clean-new-broom that was heralded on his taking up the leadership. His delivery in The House today certainly was “Muldoonesque”. What say John Armstrong now …?

      • Anne 19.2.1

        I noted it on the TV news this evening. Small black eyes unblinking… devoid of character/emotion… the eyes of a mercenary which is exactly what he is in a political sense.

        The real John Key has stood up.

  17. McFlock 20

    So Berlusconi got a nominal seven years – but he won’t be detained while he appeals, and if his appeals fail he’ll probably pull the “too old for prison, like health n stuff” card.

    Oh well.

    • Rogue Trooper 20.1

      oh dear, how sad, nevermind; two ‘bosses’ in one week, with the Saviour’s passing to come.

  18. Tom 21

    Breaking news .. Speaker strips Dunne of funding

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8838701/Speaker-backed-in-Dunne-funding-row

    What are the implications ?

    Presumably he will still deliver Confidence and Supply to this government .. but
    it nibbles away at its legitimacy.

  19. Rogue Trooper 22

    On the GCSB Bill, “it’s all about safety” -Key
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10892844
    (not play-time, don’t you know?)

  20. Rogue Trooper 23

    The GCSB, “dependent on The Daily Blog” for it’s source”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10892829
    well I’ll bfd!

  21. Rogue Trooper 24

    The return (or resurgence) of anti-semitism in Britain
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10892870

    Mormons to park up the bicycles and begin knocking on Windows 8
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10892862
    (or picking Apples)

  22. beatie 25

    ‘And to fight for the Labour Party is to fight to lose. There will be no end to austerity if Ed Miliband is elected, as he chose to make clear himself in a speech elsewhere over the weekend. The struggle we face now has little or nothing to do with party politics and everything to do with class war – and the modern Labour Party is on the wrong side.’

    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/the-legacy-of-the-peoples-assembly-could-be-manufactured-surrender/

    Just like here…..

    • Colonial Viper 25.1

      TRP reassured me recently that the NZ Labour Party is the political party of the working class. That’s why he continues to support them. How can I doubt him? He knows what he is talking about. Right?

      • Herodotus 25.1.1

        Labour or National is like being able to choose between presidents Snow or Coin.
        There are no correct answers just least wrong.

      • Te Reo Putake 25.1.2

        100% correct, CV. Thanks for showing such faith in me ;). It’s based on the fact that most working class people identify with Labour, though MMP has deluted that somewhat with other options. I’m rather hoping the 2 by-elections will prove the point.

        edit: Herodotus: bloody Romans etc.

        • Colonial Viper 25.1.2.1

          It’s based on the fact that most working class people identify with Labour

          No, I don’t really agree with that. A notable proportion of the working class might still yes, but well under 50% nowadays.

  23. Colonial Viper 26

    Re: Edward Snowden “It was his fearlessness that tore off Washington’s sanctimonious mask”.

    I sense some East-West tension haha.

    “In a sense, the United States has gone from a ‘model of human rights’ to ‘an eavesdropper on personal privacy’, the ‘manipulator’ of the centralised power over the international internet, and the mad ‘invader’ of other countries’ networks,” the People’s Daily said.

    The White House said allowing Snowden to leave was “a deliberate choice by the government to release a fugitive despite a valid arrest warrant, and that decision unquestionably has a negative impact on the US-China relationship”.

    The People’s Daily, which reflects the thinking of the government, said China could not accept “this kind of dissatisfaction and opposition”.

    “The world will remember Edward Snowden,” the newspaper said. “It was his fearlessness that tore off Washington’s sanctimonious mask”.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/25/peoples-daily-savages-us-over-snowden

  24. Tim 27

    Q:
    Anybody else following Oliver Stone’s “Untold History of the U.S.”? Opinions?
    I’ve never really given the guy much credence since he ‘sexed up’ the ending of Midnight Express and I seem to have missed a huge part of the series but it looks interesting.

  25. Tim 28

    Why the hell did Labour not pick David Cunliffe to lead?

    • Tim 28.1

      Because he doesn’t suffer ‘honourable member’ fools easily?

    • Draco T Bastard 28.2

      From what I can make out? Because he’s likely to challenge the status quo.

    • ropata 28.3

      he’s too left wing and bolshie for the mallard-robertson-goff nexus
      they prefer to muddle along, and retain the patronage of wealthy sponsors like Owen Glenn

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • 195,000 children set to benefit from more mental health support
    Budget 2022 will continue to deliver on Labour’s commitment to better mental wellbeing services and support, with 195,000 primary and intermediate aged children set to benefit from the continuation and expansion of Mana Ake services. “In Budget 2022 Labour will deliver on its manifesto commitment to expand Mana Ake, with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago