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Open mike 25/07/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 25th, 2012 - 110 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…


110 comments on “Open mike 25/07/2012”

  1. Labour list MP Maryan Street has added her End of Life Choice Bill to the ballot. This tries to address controversial euthanasia issues.

    I have, after 6 months’ work, finished my End of Life Choice Bill. You can find it here.

    I think the social conversation has moved on from the last time such a bill was debated in 2003 and lost 60-58. The two missing votes at that time were one abstention and one voted not lodged. So that was close.

    I hope I have enough specificity and enough safeguards in place for people to support it this time. I am sure it can be improved.

    I am equally sure that is time that we approached this issue with compassion and gave people the right to be as self-determining at their point of death as they have been in life. It would only apply to people who were of sound mind and suffered from a terminal illness, or an irreversible condition which made their life unbearable, in their own view.

    It also provides for people to register End of Life Directives in the event that these situations occur and they are unable to communicate their wishes to receive life-ending medication.

    Other features include:

    – the need for two medical practitioners to attest that the person is of sound mind, has the condition they say they have and have not been coerced into their decision;
    – the need for counselling and a period of reflection;
    – and a Review Body to examine the law after a period of time to ensure it is not being abused and is operating correctly.

    Let me know your thoughts.


    This is a well researched and consulted bill, and deserves to be voted through the Select Committee for public input and MP debate.

    • prism 1.1

      It would only apply to people who were of sound mind and suffered from a terminal illness, or an irreversible condition which made their life unbearable, in their own view.

      Once again when considering euthanasia legals we have the know-all approach, the controller, the do it my way, about choice of death. If I get old and tired and pissed off enough and would like to go through the process of preparation and certification so I can go when I want to, that should be my right, without some supercilious jerk telling me that I’m not sick enough.

  2. Logie97 2

    Keeping up the standards of English in interviews with our elected members.

    What say we highlight incidents every time they do it, with a hope
    that one of their more literate colleagues might have the guts to correct

    For starters.
    John Key and Paula Bennett (both)
    “There are children which …”
    “There’s lots of …”

    John Key

    • locus 2.1

      Logie 97, you missed this charming dispatch from Keystania in yesterday’s Dom Post:


      • vto 2.1.2

        John Key’s poor understanding of our language is an absolute indication that he is poorly read. He is not a deep man. He has little understanding of wider society. He is just a shallow dipstick with a forked tongue.

        • Dv

          He uses words like he uses numbers.

          • idlegus

            the ‘prime ministers hour’ is coming up again on radio live, starting to advertise it. the last one was very enlightening. his shallowness & blankness came out loud & clear. that day i put the radio on & heard a very serious news reporters voice saying our credit rating had been downgraded, then i hear john keys bubbly air headed radio dj blather, it was quite surreal. all that ‘how are the hobbit movies doing sir peter my freind?’, the strange way he says ‘sir’, so bad its good (but not really good, still very bad) kinda entertainment.

            • Draco T Bastard

              So, that would be more free advertising for NACT from MediaWorks?

    • Vicky32 2.2

      John Key and Paula Bennett (both)
      “There are children which …”
      “There’s lots of …”
      John Key

      SIGH! 😀
      I am keeping a wee note of what my late brother called ‘blutions’ on Radio NZ in particular, and some TV ones, and ‘there’s lots of’ crops up a lot!
      Nucular is another one and one guy on TV3 keeps referring to the ‘Tullybin’ instead of saying Taliban…

  3. The producers of a new film and book think that Tonga, a place often overlooked or mocked by New Zealanders, can provide solutions to the problems of education and race relations in this country:

  4. vto 4

    I think the right wing and business part of NZ politics has really lost it… some examples just this morning;

    1. The newly formed Heartland Bank is offering loans to its execs to buy the bank’s shares, apparently as an incentive. This is what Lachie McLeod at South Canterbury Finance got and look what it made him do – all sorts of terrible lending and carry on, ultimately hastening its demise. That Heartland has to offer such is an admission that the business model is flawed. Also, beware, Heartland is tied up with all them blu-nosed Cantabs off the last four ships such as George Kerr and they tend to make mincemeat of these things.

    2. Gerry Browlee has been swiped by the High Court over his land zoning decision-making process in Christchurch. Following Skycity casino being reviewed, and the Akaroa marine reserve decision being tossed out, and others, it shows this government are cowboys with a completely cavalier attitude.

    3. The welfare handouts to firstly teh NZX, a private business, in the sale of state assets to bolster the NZX’s performance is nothing short of a ripoff. I have a business that is struggling, can I please have a government handout too?

    4. The looters bonus share scheme in the sale of assets is also an admission that the business model around the floats is flawed and incapable of success without the taxpayer subsidising it.

    Seriously, this lot are incompetent. It feels like a last gasp for the right wing, a final grab of air before silently slipping beneath the waves for good. Not a single one of their major activities at the moment is worthy. They are not up to scratch. They are wheelers, dealers and wide boys with not a skeric of deeper understanding of the communities they live in. Fail.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      You’ll probably find that those Heartland Bank loans to its execs don’t have to be repaid. In other words, it’s most likely an under the table bonus that doesn’t have to pay tax on and is also in line for untaxed capital gains.

      • David H 4.1.1

        Surely IRD would be all over that like a rash.

        • Draco T Bastard

          I suppose that would be dependent upon the language used. I seem to recall something like it happening a few years ago. Can’t remember where though.

  5. Jackal 6

    Another judicial ruling against National. Court finds minister acted unlawfully:

    Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee did not act lawfully when he used his wide ranging powers under the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act in a land zoning decision last year the High Court has found.

    In a ruling released this afternoon the High Court’s Justice Lester Chisholm granted the application for a judicial review of Mr Brownlee’s decision in October last year in which he fast tracked a Christchurch land rezoning decision.

    Justice Chisholm overturned Mr Brownlee’s decisions which ruled out housing development on land near Christchurch Airport owned by Independent Fisheries, supermarket operator Progressive Enterprises and other property developers.

    Mr Brownlee’s decision also allowed development of land elsewhere and had the effect of terminating a number of appeals to the Environment Court.

    I wonder when that higher standard of accountability thing that Key talked about is going to appear?

  6. bad12 7

    Shock Horror!!! 25% of cancer deaths are caused by smoking, wow,

    Said another way, 75% of cancer deaths are caused by not smoking,

    And who would have thinked it, there’s a 20/80% split in the adult population who do and don’t use tobacco products

    • McFlock 7.1


        • McFlock

          Ok, that goes back to cancer society, and that goes back to a CS factsheet, which references this. That gives attrib vs nonattrib rates for mortality. If you want to find out how they identified attributable deaths without hard data on pop smoking rates, it seems that they used this method. I.e. usung a function of lung cancer mortality as a proxy for smoking rates, given that the relationship between smoking and lung cancer is well travelled. Sometimes you have to put together workarounds to compare international apples with apples.
          Have a read of them, in particular the age breakdowns. 

          • bad12

            Your not a used car salesman by any chance are you???

          • bad12

            In effect your accusing Smokefree New Zealand and a number of other organizations using the ”25% of all cancer deaths are caused by smoking” of spreading misinformation???…

            • McFlock

              I was pointing out how you could go back to the original research and see how those percentage cuts are possible.
              To make it simple, let’s use an hypothetical population of 100 (i.e. the raw number = the total population rate %) in a 1 year snapshot:
              100 people.
              40 cancers.
              20 smokers. 
              80 non-smokers.
              30 cancers in non-smokers.
              10 cancers in smokers.

              Total cancer incidence: 40%.
              Non-smoker cancer incidence: 37.5% (30/80*100)
              smoker cancer incidence: 50% (10/20*100)
              % of cancers in non-smokers: 75%
              % of cancers in smokers: 25%
              And we can actually calculate the number of cancers attributable to smoking in this population (although HS might want to check my math if they can be bothered – I tend to put things in the wrong order when doing it manually ❓ ):
              smokingCancers-(smokingpop * nonsmokingIncidenceRate) = attributable cases.
              10 – (20*0.375) = ac 
              10 –  7.5 = 2.5
              So in that population of 100, each year on average 2.5 cancer deaths are attributable to smoking.

              The actual numbers, if you go back to source, are the same ratios, just much bigger numbers.

              • bad12

                Which just proves the Smokefree link is correct,

                Not smoking causes 75% of cancer deaths in any given year,

                Smoking causes 25% of cancer deaths in any given year,

                The percentage of the NZ population who do and do not smoke is 19.9% who do and the rest don’t,

                So, as far as DYING from cancer goes theres just as much chance, or more,of snuffing it with cancer whether or not you have ever smoked,

                The difference being, and i havn’t had my nose in the figures for this yet, is the age at which one cohort snuffs it as opposed to the non-smoking cohort right???…

                • McFlock

                  So, as far as DYING from cancer goes theres just as much chance, or more,of snuffing it with cancer whether or not you have ever smoked,

                  No. Read it again:

                  Non-smoker cancer incidence: 37.5% smoker cancer incidence: 50% 

                  By those ratios, you are 1/3 more likely to die of cancer if you smoke, than if you don’t.
                  50-37.5 = 12.5, 12.5 = 1/3 of 37.5, therefore smoking = 1.33*nonsmoking.
                  This is nowhere near “as much chance if not more”. It’s “smoking seriously increase the chance you will die of cancer”.

                  • bad12

                    Your mathematical gymnastics amuse me Mc, if 25% of the cancer deaths in any given year in New Zealand are caused by smoking then 75% of the cancer deaths in any given year are caused by people who do not smoke,

                    Sorry you cannot grapple with that little fact, perhaps you have been educated into being unable to grasp the simple fact,

                    It takes no complicated mathematics, either the ‘Smoke-free’ 25% of cancer deaths a year is wrong or my outlandish assertion that ‘not smoking’ causes 75% of the yearly deaths from cancer is right…

                    • rosy

                      “then 75% of the cancer deaths in any given year are caused by people who do not smoke”

                      …then 75% of the cancer deaths in any given year are not caused by smoking. fify.

                      btw, can you name another single product that causes 25% of all cancer deaths in a given year?

                    • McFlock

                       if 25% of the cancer deaths in any given year in New Zealand are caused by smoking then 75% of the cancer deaths in any given year are caused by people who do not smoke,

                      Wow. That piece of stupidity actually did help me see a problem in my math. I confused incidence with attrubutable number (i.e. “caused by”). 75% occur in nonsmokers. It’s not “caused by not smoking”. I.e. if you start smoking you’re at risk of those cancer plus the tobacco cancers.

                      pop: 100
                      Smoking: 20
                      Nonsmoking: 80
                      Cancer: 40
                      Smoking attributable cancer: 10.
                      nonsmoking cancer + cancers in smokers that weren’t attributable: 30.
                      Nonsmoking cancer rate: 30%
                      # Smokers with non-attributable cancer: 30% of 20 = 6.
                      # nonsmokers with NAC: 30% of 80 = 24.
                      NAC = 6+24 = 30
                      AC = 10.
                      Cancer number in smokers = smokers’ NAC + AC = 6+10 = 16. 
                      Smoker’s cancer rate = 16/20*100

                      Fuck I hate doing it manually. But at least it doesn’t involve confidence intervals or p-values 🙂

                    • McFlock

                      btw, can you name another single product that causes 25% of all cancer deaths in a given year?


                      But motor vehicles seem to be involved in 75% of road fatalities.

                    • rosy

                      But motor vehicles seem to be involved in 75% of road fatalities.

                      I learn something everyday…. not much chance of me being in a road fatality because I’m not a motor vehicle … 😉

                      (now when I step outside I’m going to have to cross my fingers to ward off sod’s law)

                    • bad12

                      Rosy, yeah i can,at 75% of the deaths from cancer each year that are not linked to tobacco you would have to say fresh air figures way above the 25% attributed to tobacco use…

                    • bad12

                      Mc, good one,more mathematical gymnastics, BUT,as you figured it that way,(to suit how or what your thinking), then surely you can see that from the other,

                      IF 75% of cancer deaths have no link to tobacco use then it is obvious that even if they DID NOT use tobacco products 75% of those 25% of tobacco cancers would in fact get and die of cancer,

                      Do some rithmatic and tell us the answer to that one…

                    • rosy

                      I guess you might have a point Bad12, seeing as cancer rates increase with age, so the longer you breathe….

                      Still that’s a pretty fatalistic attitude (pardon the pun) given the health experts know there are risk factors for particular cancers e.g. smoking and lung cancer, alcohol and breast cancer, cured meats and stomach cancer and so on.

                    • bad12

                      Mc, i got that a little wrong,it should read that if the 25% of smokers didnt, their number would still be decimated by cancer deaths as the same rate as the % of the population that now die of non-smoking related cancer,

                      So,25% of cancer deaths a year down to just tobacco use, nah not even…

                    • McFlock

                      It’s math, not gymnastics.

                      What’s your point? Everyone will eventually die? Agreed.
                      The issue is whether people drop dead of cancer or heart disease at 40 or 50, or heart disease or azheiners at 80 or 90. At the moment we have more of the former thqan the latter.

                  • bad12

                    Thanks rosy i will take that point,as i need a few Mc keeps beating up on my brain wiff His rithmatic,

                    Gee i see that kids author, Margret Mahy, cancer got Her,i threw this one into the debate the other week,the biggest cause of death for us all is living, tick tock and one day the battery stops,

                    The problem with having such closed minds surrounding the supposedly iron clad statistics around cancers is that things might just get missed, fifty year old studies there might be, but, they didn’t have the study of genes back then,

                    As i pointed out in the debate the other week, there is one small gene study that shows that lung cancer at least is down to ‘genetic propensity’ where those who get the lung variety, both non and smokers, have a genetic anomaly at number 15 on the genome,(i think that’s how its described),

                    But how do those studying genetics gain the funding to do the really broad ranging research into such cancers where the shop is effectively closed by the medical fraternity and the politicians pushing their barrows,

                    My point there is IF the genetic anomaly is where lung cancer starts there is some small or large chance that such anomaly’s exist elsewhere on the genome which account for the other cancers,(and why we all don’t get em), once identified we are half way to the next step of looking for the treatment which stops those genetic anomaly’s from being able to produce cancers…

                  • Vicky32

                    It’s math, not gymnastics.

                    Sigh, It’s maths not math.. This is not America!
                    (Every time some careless idiot says “math”, or “center” or “theater” or “gotten”, David Bowie cries, and my father spins in his grave. He’s halfway to Italy by now, with all the careless stupid people who can’t spell, or who wish they lived in Oakland, Warshington, Denver or Connecticut!

                    • McFlock

                      youz done forgot to close them curvey brackets.

                    • Morrissey

                      Sigh, It’s maths not math.. This is not America!

                      The American version makes much more sense. I’m all for ditching “maths” with its ridiculous “ths” diphthong.

                      (Every time some careless idiot says “math”,

                      or “center” or “theater”

                      I think you mean every time some careless idiot WRITES “center’ or “theater”.

                      or “gotten”,

                      That’s as English—and New Zealand—as it is American. Come ON, Vicky.

                      David Bowie cries,

                      Let’s just hope his crying is not as inept and cringe-inducing as his “dancing”…

                • higherstandard

                  No, there is a higher risk of dying from many cancers if you are a smoker.

                  Most notably cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder, pancreas, stomach, and cervix, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.

                  The immediate health benefits of quitting smoking are substantial:

                  Heart rate and blood pressure, which can be abnormally high while smoking, begin to return to normal. Within a few hours, the level of carbon monoxide in the blood begins to decline.

                  Within a few weeks, people who quit smoking have improved circulation, produce less phlegm, and don’t cough or wheeze as often.

                  Within several months of quitting, people can expect substantial improvements in lung function.

                  Before you post in response to this let me make it clear, if you want to continue smoking feel free it is not illegal and you personally may not suffer any of the adverse effects of smoking, across an population however, the adverse effects of smoking on morbidity and mortality are clear and have been proven with very robust studies many times.

                  • Vicky32

                    Within a few weeks, people who quit smoking have improved circulation, produce less phlegm, and don’t cough or wheeze as often.

                    Oh how I wish that was true! (My experience of quitting in 1989, showed that it isn’t…) but if it was, it would give me much more of an incentive to quit!
                    Given that my experience has also shown that any coughing/wheezing I do is directly related to vehicle exhausts, in that I visit a friend in Wellington, who lives in a ghastly semi-rural area where there’s maybe one car a day, and I don’t cough – I come home, walk along Carrington Road past buses, and B-Double diesel road trains, and cough as if I am dying, quitting smoking will not help. But if I die soon, watch my death certificate say I died of smoking, even if I die because one of those barsteward diesels hit me and smacked me into the next world!

                  • mike e

                    and a longer life HS something not to be scoughed at.
                    May be they are that unhappy in their lives they prefer to drag it out
                    No mre puffery from me

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Oh how I wish that was true! (My experience of quitting in 1989, showed that it isn’t…) but if it was, it would give me much more of an incentive to quit!

                    And yet my experience is that it is. I also dropped about 5 years in the “looks” department – in other words, I looked younger (about 5 years younger).

                    Given that my experience has also shown that any coughing/wheezing I do is directly related to vehicle exhausts, in that I visit a friend in Wellington, who lives in a ghastly semi-rural area where there’s maybe one car a day, and I don’t cough

                    Yep. I’ve had that as well. Moving from Auckland to Dunedin did it for me – until I started coughing again a few months later. That said, Auckland cars cause significant deaths per year from respiratory diseases.

    • I certainly hope no one takes your pro smoking crusade seriously, bad12.

      • bad12 7.2.1


        • TheContrarian

          Because I have followed your comments for the last few weeks regarding smoking and your ideas fly directly in the face of the overwhelming medical and scientific consensus not to mention over 50 years of study, research, double blind and peer reviewed scientific inquiry.  

        • vto

          You’re up against it mr bad12… but don’t fret as the current crusade to stop everyone smoking goes against the grain of human history and I predict that the current amonoly will disappear in the future and big chunks of the population will start smoking again. It’s just too desireable. 2c

          • TheContrarian

            The evidence is not on your side bad12. As a smoker I’d love it to be otherwise. 

          • bad12

            Oh i don’t fret, what i do do though is get angry at attempts to stop me consuming a product that i am legally allowed to consume when punitive taxation is used to try and leverage the issue,

            That of course would also require me to believe that such taxation is being applied to me for the stated reasons and is not just a revenue grab,

            The Treasury in it’s briefing to the Government seems to believe it to be the latter even going so far as to advise the Government that such taxation was good because the users of the product are addicts who mostly WON’T give up use of the product…

          • bad12

            PS, note the first comment in open mike today, never mind who put it there, BUT, the sponsor of that particular piece of Legislation is also a vocal anti-smoking campaigner who in the Legislation She is attempting to promote into the Statutes wants everyone to have the right to self determine the point of their death,

            See any shadow of the hypocrite between the anti-smoking and ‘the right to self determine the point of ones death???…

            • Draco T Bastard


              • vto

                Really mr draco? I have never been able to understand the apparent lack of reconciliation between, say, anti-smoking policy, allowing boxers to smash each other causing brain damage, euthansia type proposals, allowing the sale of cars that do 150mph and kill people, and etc.

                How are they not mismatched and hypocritical?

                edit: oh, and lets not forget the mismatch with alcohol policies too

                • Draco T Bastard

                  How are they not mismatched and hypocritical?

                  One affects only you, the other affects everyone else as well.

                  Yes, there are mismatches and we really should be looking at them as well. The law has become far too complex over the centuries with huge amounts of loopholes and contradictions and so what is required is a wholesale dumping and replacement of that existing law. Unfortunately, today’s political parties just don’t seem capable of doing that and so they play around on the edges making it even more complex and convoluted and not fixing anything.

                  • McFlock

                    But, of course, treating us as lepers also affects our health
                    So e.g. ranting about the trace-element risk of passive smoking from smokers in public open-air spaces, or even ranting at them in a very confrontational manner, endangers their health. Rather hypocritical, don’t you think?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      1.) That has nothing to do with what I said
                      2.) You’re the ones inflicting the risk of death upon others. If you then get upset about others pointing this out then I suggest you ask yourself who’s to blame.

                    • McFlock

                      1) You seemed to imply  that if euthanasia affected others, then supporting it while opposing smoking would be hypocritical. I actually think that risking the lives of others by forcing a confrontation is just as hypocritical.
                      2) Bullshit. We’re not talking smoke-filled workplaces here. A footpath by its very nature is a fleeting exposure at minimal concentrations. Think “smoke-alarm or VDU probability”. And if that’s too much for you, it’s a footpath. Walk away, just as you would if I failed to bath or had lousy fashion sense. Don’t endanger my life and yours with a confrontation, and don’t endanger my life by legislating that I be treated like a leper so that the police escalate the confrontation for you.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You seemed to imply that if euthanasia affected others, then supporting it while opposing smoking would be hypocritical.

                      Yes, and?

                      I actually think that risking the lives of others by forcing a confrontation is just as hypocritical.

                      How is a confrontation being forced? Hint: It’s not the non-smoker.

                    • McFlock

                      Nonsmoker choosing to make a big deal out of it.
                      After all, the chances are that the smoker is addicted. Not much choice there. What next, kicking crutches away from the disabled because they take up too much of the footpath?  

                      edit: “Yes, and?” . . . and I went on to explain the relevance.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    After all, the chances are that the smoker is addicted.

                    It’s possible to overcome the addiction and thus stop the confrontation.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s a cigarette. Not a confrontation. Or should we never do anything in case some deranged obsessive has no sense of perspective and abuses, even assauts us?

              • bad12

                Open your mind then…

            • mike e

              Suicide is illegal no matter how slow and painful it is.
              Those shadows are on most smokers lungs
              Addicts are selfish
              When an addict is cornered the excuses just keep coming.
              So if its so good how come most smokers achually want to Quit.
              But Can’t why is that.
              It damages families when your loved ones don,t have someone as their rock
              So subsidizing Giant Corporations sucks especially when they have been proven to be liars and frauds conning our healthy young people to get addicted You can tell a smokers face
              a mile a way .
              Bad 12 you have been hooked line and stinker.
              Kids get asthma from smokers

  7. gobsmacked 9

    Only caught the first part of Question Time in the House today. Half-time report …

    Key can’t stand Norman. It’s really funny, he’s a primary school kid getting shown up in front of the class, and he hates it. Key was reduced to shouting “Rubbish! You iz rubbish!”.

    Robertson did a pretty good forensic job on Key. It may not be a headline-grabber, but it still keeps up the pressure. Shearer did OK on the Monday holidays issue, though again I lament the missed opportunities (why let Key get away with the desperate ANZAC card? Couldn’t somebody just … “Point of order, I seek leave to table an Australian calendar … seek leave to table reports of Australian ANZAC ceremonies”, etc, etc).

    Overall, a pass mark for the Opposition.

    • ScottGN 9.1

      Key is probably still shitty about yesterday’s Question Time. Norman made him look like a total dick.

      • bad12 9.1.1

        Russell Norman didn’t make Slippery look like a ‘total dick’, the Prime Minister has been that all along, Russell just provided Him the opportunity to highlight the fact…

  8. gobsmacked 10

    Nature abhors a vacuum, and so does politics.

    Latest poll shows the Conservatives joining the mix …


    Labour won’t win by default. Voters who get disillusioned with Brand Key can shop around … Colin Craig, Winston, Mana, the couch.

    It should be hard for Labour to lose the next election. But first, they have to fight it.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      It should be hard for Labour to lose the next election.

      It should be but it looks like they’ll succeed in losing anyway.

  9. Morrissey 11

    Grant Asylum to Assange
    by Mairead Maguire

    July 23, 2012

    I would like to add my voice to those of many people of conscience, around the world, in urging President Correa of Ecuador to grant political asylum to Julian Assange. The editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks is currently inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

    The British courts shamefully refused Mr. Assange’s appeal against extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning in response to accusations of sexual molestation (no criminal charges have been made against him). Mr. Assange has said he is willing to answer questions relating to accusations against him, but to do so in the UK. He has good reason not to want to be extradited to Sweden, as he could find himself imprisoned in solitary confinement, and then very likely extradited to an American prison.

    The American media has reported that the U.S. Justice Department and the Pentagon conducted a criminal investigation into “whether WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange violated criminal laws in the group’s release of government documents, including possible charges under the Espionage Act.” Mr. Assange’s only crime is he cared enough about people to respect their right to the truth, and he had the courage and bravery to print the truth, and in the process he embarrassed powerful governments.

    The WikiLeaks release of thousands of State Department cables, and of the video footage from an Apache helicopter of a 2007 incident in which the U.S. military appears to have deliberately killed civilians, including two Reuters employees, revealed crimes against humanity. For this “truth telling,” he has incurred the wrath of the U.S. government, and has been targeted in a most vindictive way (as has Private Bradley Manning). (I support WikiLeaks right to publish leaked information, as it is in the interest of the public and their right to know. WikiLeaks were not the leakers or whistleblowers but an on-line news media).

    Many believe there are those in high places who not only wish to punish Assange for outing them, but want to make an example of him so others will remain silent. They will not rest until Assange is behind bars in the USA and there are even some American politicians who have put Assange’s life in grave danger by calling for him to be assassinated.

    It is ironic that Assange’s basic human rights have been breached since he is a journalist working for people’s rights to a free press and the freedom of speech.

    The Australian, Swedish and UK governments have a responsibility to see that this man of courage be treated fairly and with justice. He ought to be allowed to tell his story in the UK when he can prove whether the incompetent and contradictory accusations against him are true or false.

    It must also be remembered if Assange ends up in an American prison for a long time, in grave danger to his life, and maybe even face the death penalty, we all have to ask, “Who next?” and “Where goes freedom, human rights, and justice?”

    We, as world citizens, need to support Julian Assange, who tried to protect the innocent by outing the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is they who should, one day, be made accountable for their crimes.

    Mairead Maguire ( http://www.peacepeople.com ) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1976.

    • McFlock 11.1

      Grant Asylum to Assange
      The British courts shamefully examined all the legal issues and decided to extradite him to Sweden so a sex crime investigation could progress. No charges have been laid as a result of him leaving the country before an arranged investigative interview.
      Mr Assange says he is willing to be interviewed under conditions of his choosing, just like he said he was for the interview he failed to attend when he left Sweden.
      Sweden is a client state of the US, apparently much more so than the UK.
      Wikileaks pissed off the US.
      Because he volunteered to be the face of wikileaks, the US is pissed off at him, too. 
      Assange is a journalist working for freedom, so it is a violation of his human rights to be investigated for rape.
      The Swedish justice system should take place in the UK, at Assange’s convenience.
      If Assange is granted asylum by Ecuador, we would all have to ask “so if I was really famous, I could get away with rape?” or even “if someone famous rapes you, don’t even bother reporting it because the cops won’t be able to do anything and the rapist’s fans will plaster your name all over the internet and make all sorts of crap up about you. Much better to just keep letting rapists rape with impunity”.
      After all, if someone pisses off the americans, they should get a free pass on sexual assault investigations.

      • Morrissey 11.1.1

        Hmmmm…. here’s a true clash of the Titans. McFlock versus Mairead Maguire. Which one is serious, thoughtful and formidably well informed? And which one is, well, … none of those?

        I’ll leave it to our regulars to work that out.

        • McFlock

          And who merely cut&pastes without anything himself? Except, today, an appeal to authority.

          Really persuasive /sarc

          • Morrissey

            And who merely cut&pastes without anything himself?

            I’ve given plenty of my own opinions on many topics. Maybe you’ve seen them.

            Except, today, an appeal to authority.

            With respect, I don’t think you know what you’re talking about. By printing her appeal, I have merely pointed out another leading human rights and peace activist calling for Ecuador to grant asylum to the U.S. regime’s most feared and detested political dissident. I have argued Assange’s case in my own words on many occasions. But, yes, Mairead Maguire’s testimony is certainly authoritative, and compelling. Compare her moral and intellectual stature with that of the people whose rancid and witless views you choose to parrot on this site.

            Really persuasive /sarc

            I’m being scolded for sarcasm by somebody who launched into that bizarre “so if I was really famous” fugue on message 11.1. Now THAT’s funny!

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.2

        If Ecuador does grant asylum they should also say that the rape will also be carried out under Swedish law. It would just happen in their country with no possibility of extradition to the US.

      • Bill 11.1.3

        I’m not able to speculate on whether or not some line was crossed by Assange during his sexual encounters with two women in Sweden.

        But when I look at the corporate media coverage of the former IMF chief, where they were quite happy to denigate the victim in what looked like, from the evidence supplied, a fairly straight forward case of sexual assault. And I contrast that with their equally happy commitment to denigating Assange, there is one obvious observation.

        In both cases the media is siding with power. And that makes me uneasy.

        • prism

          Bill 11 1 3
          That’s a point. It does make an interesting comparison. Mr Dominic whatname can do whatever, and has done whatever before, but can wriggle out of it. Whereas Assange might have thought that his women truly liked him for himself, till they were advised this was not a reasonable point of view. Now he is to be charged and the hounds are after him.

          For the wealthy, they can get away with much, especially if they pay for it. Did Mr Dominic not pay? This maid must be short of money, and women’s self-respect and agency is always regarded by such men as open to tender. The coldness that lies behind men’s eyes…

          • KJT

            In fact Strauss-Kahn got away with it for years. He was charged only when he dared to suggest the IMF should water down their Neo-liberal approach, because of the harm it was doing.

            Similarly. It is unlikely Assuage would have been charged with sex crimes in Sweden, without the politics. Note that the first prosecutor said there was no valid case. So they massaged (if that is the right word) the evidence a little.

            When are the troops in Afghanistan, and their leaders from Bush down, going to be charged with the massacres of unarmed civilians.

        • Morrissey

          In both cases the media is siding with power.

          The establishment had no particular reason to go after Strauss-Kahn. On the other hand, Assange has to be destroyed. The zeal with which they are going after him is similar to Soviet anti-dissident campaigns in the 1930s.

          • Te Reo Putake

            I think i may make hyperbole my word of the day. What do you think, Mozza?

            • Morrissey

              I think i may make hyperbole my word of the day.

              I think “trivialization” is the most appropriate word for your attitude, my friend.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Ok, in what way is asking Assange to defend himself in Sweden similar to Soviet anti-dissident campaigns in the 1930s? And, no, ‘they’re both countries in Northern Europe’ isn’t the right answer.

                • Morrissey

                  Ok, in what way is asking Assange to defend himself in Sweden similar to Soviet anti-dissident campaigns in the 1930s?

                  The full power of the state apparatus is aimed at Assange, who is a dissident non-pareil in the West. The state apparatus consists of secret machinations against the target, backed up by compliant and largely unquestioning media, which is where most of the public gets its “opinions” from. That’s what you are doing, unwittingly: parroting official lies and propaganda. The spectacle of immense state power being wielded against a target has parallels only with totalitarian regimes like Stalin’s, and Mao’s in the 1960s.

                  And, no, ‘they’re both countries in Northern Europe’ isn’t the right answer.

                  There he goes again, with the trivialization. Not funny, either.

  10. Morrissey 12

    An e-mail to Jim Mora
    Wednesday July 25, 2012

    Much huffing and puffing by Jim and his panelists over the rogue shooting by a clearly deranged man in Colorado. Bit of a contrast with the way they all but ignored the most recent massacre by U.S. troops in Afghanistan. As I do occasionally, I decided to goad Mr Mora’s conscience…

    Dear Jim,
    I am intrigued that you and your panelists continue to talk about James Holmes’ bloody rampage in a Denver cinema. I cannot recall you expressing similar concern about an even bloodier shooting spree just four months ago, when one Robert Bales killed sixteen civilians, most of them children who were sleeping. He then poured chemicals over their dead bodies and set fire to them.

    This surely merited discussion on your programme, but neither you nor Susan Baldacci saw fit to mention it. Was that because Robert Bales was a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army and his victims were not Americans but Afghan civilians?

    Yours sincerely,
    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    • Vicky32 12.1

      Morrissey Breen
      Northcote Point

      Did you get a reply? Do let us know if you do… Good luck! 🙂

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      Much huffing and puffing by Jim and his panelists over the rogue shooting by a clearly deranged man in Colorado.

      Did you read this? I’m not going to say that it’s definitive but it does raise some interesting questions. Was he deranged or had he snapped/driven under the pressures of modern society? Is there a difference?

      • Morrissey 12.2.1

        Thank you, Mr Bastard. Very interesting indeed.

      • Colonial Viper 12.2.2

        Was he deranged or had he snapped/driven under the pressures of modern society? Is there a difference?

        The Michael Douglas movie Falling Down was written about this very phenomena.

  11. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 13

    Today David Shearer said:
    “Labour is conscious of the need to be thrifty and to make sure that the extension to paid parental leave is affordable. We will work with other political parties and experts, including Treasury and IRD, to find a workable solution in the current economic climate”

    We do not have to apologise or be ‘nice’ about seeking to legislate for these conditions.
    The Kiwi worker is the most Dilligent, hard-working, most hours working, flexible working pattern employee in the world.
    Why the fuck should we consult with National to get these minor increments to our work conditions. Will the EMA/ National do anything other use every card in the deck to block us?

    Have we lost the fucking plot? Jesus wept! Who is writing his press releases?

    • prism 13.1

      A Labour opportunity lost. They could have got behind a positive thing for motorists and road safety but no. They had to agree with the NACToid, I think Collins, who criticised the idea of police having marked camera vans. It only slows down people for a moment said NACT and Labour’s transport safety spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway agreed. So WTF? It is a safety symbol that will affect people’s behaviour, it is more transparent and it’s not sneaky to have the signage but NACT and Labour thought it was wasting money. Oh how pathetic.

  12. Vicky32 14

    You’re the ones inflicting the risk of death upon others.

    How exactly DtB, are we inflicting the risk of death upon you or anyone else? Ok, we are at a bus stop, in the open air. I am smoking. Diesel buses are roaring past us every few minutes.
    You screech and scream at me that my cigarette is endangering your life, even though you’re sitting in the shelter, and I am standing in the wind or rain 3 metres away. You’re breathing in particulates from the diesel exhaust, and mistaking them for the smoke that’s blowing away from you at 50 kph..
    I would laugh if it wasn’t making me so angry.
    (Based on true encounters.)

    • Draco T Bastard 14.1

      1.) I can tell the difference between diesel and cigarette smoke
      2.) I’d be cursing both
      3.) I wouldn’t actually be cursing you because, despite the fact that it’s a disgusting habit, I would also recognise that you’re making an effort not to inflict it upon me

    • KJT 14.2

      Personally, I am opposed to both.

      And. I appreciate the, few, smokers who do make an effort to avoid making me smell them.

  13. Morrissey 15

    When did Christine (Spankin’) Rankin become a “child advocate”?

    Last time I saw this snarling harridan, she was advocating the right of people to beat their children. I’ve just seen her on TV1’s pisspoor Closeup programme, and she was called a “child advocate” on several occasions by Mark Sainsbury.

    When did Spankin’ Rankin stop advocating the beating of children and become a child advocate?

  14. newsense 16


    The pressing thing for the National Party Ladies Home Journal (read Joanne Black talk about her kids and how crap people who exploit people for reality tv are) is the Labour -Green coalition possibility-

    The polls must be good!

    • bad12 16.1

      The main-stream polls are still the usual National way ahead but tracking downward, but, it’s National’s own polling which has got them lashing out angrily at all and sundry,

      Apparently they show Labour/Green within a few percentage points of National whose slump has made ‘them’ believe that if their polling occurred on election day 2014 they couldn’t do it with the ‘Hairdo’, John(the convicted)Banks, and, the current number of Maori Party MP’s,

      NZFirst isn’t going away either and if that Party were to be included in a Labour/Green coalition then it is game over for the Tory’s anytime they want to call an election…

  15. Campbell Larsen 17

    Justice Minister Judith Collins said Anzac day was a day of commemoration and remembering the dead.

    “Frankly to reduce it into a three day weekend is, I think, very disrespectful to the people whose lives have been lost. If people need to have a holiday to go and actually turn up at dawn parade then there’s something wrong.”

    Is this the reason we didn’t have Old Shonkey fronting the issue?

  16. Vicky32 18

    That’s as English—and New Zealand—as it is American.


    Oh don’t be absurd! It may be New Zealand, (and even then, only New Zealand in the last 20 years) but it is absolutely not English! I should know.
    Yes, McFlock, I did forget to close the brackets, I often do! Too many subordinate clauses, – I hope they don’t tax you unduly, Morrissey? I simply abhor inaccuracies, and I equally abhor the somewhat grovelling nature of New Zealand’s cultural cringe before all things American. I saw an example in the programme on TV3 about tattooing – a Maori man with prison tattoos was making out that they are legitimate cultural tatts, when as far as i could see, that was not the case. “No different than” he said – and I just sighed. He looked older than Don Brash, who was the first gastropod to say “different than” on NZ TV (in January). No one in his 70s grew up saying ‘different than’. The bl**dy Yanks don’t need to bomb NZ, or even to take us over with money – if American troops marched up Queen Street tomorrow, ‘Kiwis’ would fight each other for the privilege of throwing flowers and licking Amerikan boots. Women would fling themselves at the feet of the American troops, flinging their skirts over their heads and their legs in the air.

    • McFlock 18.1

      feel better?

    • Morrissey 18.2

      Women would fling themselves at the feet of the American troops, flinging their skirts over their heads and their legs in the air.

      Sounds exactly like the reception that modern women give to Julian Assange.

      • Vicky32 18.2.1

        Sounds exactly like the reception that modern women give to Julian Assange.

        At first glance, I’d do him! But then, as me old Mum used to say “handsome is as handsome does”.

        • Morrissey

          And what would you say, Vicky, if this writer (i.e., moi) were to tell you that he looks just like Julian Assange?

          • Vicky32

            if this writer (i.e., moi) were to tell you that he looks just like Julian Assange?

            I’d say ‘Cool!’ (I am superficial like that, and have a weakness for blond men). 😀
            However, I am guaranteed to be older than you are, so you’d never be interested…

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