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Open mike 26/04/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 26th, 2021 - 120 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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Step up to the mike …

120 comments on “Open mike 26/04/2021 ”

  1. Ad 1

    I think we can see what a retreating role for UN Peacekeeping or straight US global intervention looks like. No one helps the Ukraine,

    no one raises a finger for Myanmar, no one except maybe France helps in the Congo, but they'll keep the Taiwan shipping labe open.

    Plenty of interventions haven't led to democracy or functioning states.

    But the alternative is to just watch television news.

    • Morrissey 1.1

      Speaking of television news: things are looking dire for one partisan channel.

    • Stuart Munro 1.2

      It may be that the current combination of sanctions and sabre rattling were enough.

      Or, small former soviet states may make their own defensive alliance, to keep the wolf from the door.

      • Peter 1.2.1

        There are bound to be some quid pro quos going.

      • Adrian Thornton 1.2.2

        By the wolf I assume you mean those small former soviet states stopping western corporate hegemony from taking over their countries?

        • Forget now 1.2.2.1

          AT, the "wolf" link takes you to a Time piece that clearly indicates that the wolves in the metaphor are; unofficial Russian invasion forces. I personally thought that was a nice rhetorical flourish of SM's, though only skimmed the first paragraphs of the article without scrolling down.

          • Adrian Thornton 1.2.2.1.1

            Time magazine has never seen a US lead intervention or war it did not like, so I wouldn’t take the piece of shit rag too seriously if I where you.

            • Forget now 1.2.2.1.1.1

              There's a reason that I didn't scroll down when I saw it was a Time article, AT. But, at that, I do take their words more seriously than I do yours.

              [fixed typo in e-mail address]

        • Stuart Munro 1.2.2.2

          If you read the link, or knew a little more about Russian culture, you would understand the reference. While Russia has often been symbolized in the West by a bear, the people themselves prefer to identify with wolves.

          • Adrian Thornton 1.2.2.2.1

            I choose my reading material carefully..it does not and rarely has included Time magazine…though I found that copy of Time with Thelonious Monk on the cover in an opp shop many years ago..that was pretty cool.

            • Stuart Munro 1.2.2.2.1.1

              I certainly don't read it regularly – the pro US bias used to be thick enough to cut with a knife. But it has the occasional thing worth reading. This piece seems to be the result of interviewing, which is refreshing.

              Insurgencies are no pretty thing, no matter who arms them.

    • RedLogix 1.3

      Yes. All the anti-US cohort here loves ranting about the evils of the US. Yet for better or worse it's inevitable that in any community the 'policeman' will have a monopoly on the use of force – in essence everyone else gives up their right to violence in favour of one party who is trusted to use it within a rules-based framework.

      In the immediate aftermath of WW2 the US undertook this role in parallel with institutions such as the UN. During the Cold War (that in reality was also a series of nasty little hot wars) the logic of this role was largely accepted by default. And while it's easy and obvious to point to the list of conflicts the US has been involved in during this period, it's also important to keep in mind the huge absence of conflicts between almost all of the other nations. This came about mostly because the US-led global trade order and security guarantee took the need for conflict off the table for everyone else. The idea that you can have a peace without some entity willing and able to enforce it is of course as idiotic as the idea that you can defund the police and crime will stop.

      But after the Cold War ended we never had the global conversation around "what next?" The next logical evolution would have been the winding back of the US as the centre of the system and a ceding of the right to conduct war by all the nations in favour of the UN. Well that never happened, although GH Bush did attempt something like it. In this all the major powers must accept responsibility for a terrible failure of leadership.

      Now as you say Ad, the US (much absorbed with it's own internal navel gazing) is certainly not going to put fresh boots on the ground anywhere. In the wake of Trump and COVID the US is no longer all that interested in, nor especially needs to. play the role of 'world policeman' anymore, although much of the old rhetoric will continue to be recited. As a result we're seeing a devolution back to the conditions that applied pre-WW1/2 – where the major powers each vied openly with each other to establish and defend their individual spheres of influence and competing trade systems.

      • Morrissey 1.3.1

        All the anti-US cohort here loves ranting about the evils of the US.

        "Ranting"? On this excellent site I have seen many well-informed, well-written, even scholarly analyses of the crimes carried out by the United States and its vassals like the U.K., Australia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel. These analyses have been written by various members of the "authoring crew" and by casual commenters. Your contemptuous dismissal of those serious and thoughtful critics says nothing about the critics of these violent and lawless regimes, but it says a great deal about yourself.

        …. the 'policeman'… one party who is trusted [sic] … the police… role of 'world policeman'…

        Surely a policeman has at least a notional commitment to the law? What sort of “world policeman” routinely trashes the rule of law and carries out or supports unspeakable crimes?

      • aom 1.3.2

        …. the 'policeman'… one party who is trusted [sic] … the police… role of 'world policeman'…

        The self-appointed world police are an unelected self-serving and bullying dictatorship led by the senile or insane that know no bounds! In that role, the US is every bit as corrupt and self-serving as their own enforcement agencies. The only reason the US is not putting fresh boots on the ground is that the poor non-white cannon fodder are increasingly unwilling. Thus the new policing strategy of threats and sanctions. It is concerning that and the rest of the world's 'power-brokers' don't aggressively acknowledge that sanctions are 'the new war crimes' that it should be strenuously opposing. It seems the current orthodoxy is that it is better to kill off millions of the undeserving poor then pick over their resources to further enrich the 2% This is done all in the name of Democracy.

        • RedLogix 1.3.2.1

          You are both so predictable.

          • Morrissey 1.3.2.1.1

            What a witty putdown. There's just no answer to such a masterly debater, aom.

          • Adrian Thornton 1.3.2.1.2

            " You are both so predictable." …coming from the guy who is always beating the same drum…but then so do we…you beat the the drum for some sort of contemporary liberal ‘soft’ imperialism while we beat the drum for international liberty, equality to brotherhood….in other words you seem set on an ideology that is at best evolutionary stagnant, while the ideology we advocate for is at least trying to help in the actual evolutionionary process (thought of course very slowly) of the human race.

          • aom 1.3.2.1.4

            Not as predictable as yourself Red. Your opinions on international alignments never drift far from singing the praises of the most devastating empire since Rome. It is also noteworthy that you seldom put up credible arguments to support your views, apart from 'scaredy-cat' paranoid justifications for hiding behind colonialist mentality countries that don't give a stuff about the sovereignty of independent states.

            • Incognito 1.3.2.1.4.1

              Question for you: what is the topic that you are debating here?

              If the answer is “RedLogix”, you can stop that crap right here and now.

              My suggestion to you: pick a topic and kick off a discussion thread here. Hint: some topics are more suitable and lead to more ‘fruitful’ discussions than others do.

            • RedLogix 1.3.2.1.4.2

              Your opinions on international alignments never drift far from singing the praises of the most devastating empire since Rome.

              Oddly though a 'devastating' enough an empire that saw human development gain dramatically everywhere. I'm sorry that you're blind to it, but the truth is most people in the world are living far better lives in 2021 than ever before in all of our history. Ever. Period.

              Your rabid anti-US bigotry blinds you to the obvious. Yet at the same time I'm not 'singing praises' to the US either, merely pointing out that they've played a rather unique role in global affairs since the end of WW2 that if we consider it carefully shows us the extraordinary potential in the idea of a global order.

              There is no question that the US mishandled 'world policeman' badly, their motives were often muddled and their methods ill-informed and damaging. No question, no quibble. In many ways they were the least qualified nation to undertake the role. But even so the global trade and security order they almost accidentally created has delivered far, far more benefits to most of humanity than 'devastation'.

              And personally I'm unapologetically grateful that the US won the Cold War. All the plausible alternatives that might have led to Stalin or Mao's ghastly regimes spreading across the globe were unthinkable. The fact of the US taking a leading role in standing against the truly devastating marxist catastrophes of the 20th century must be set to their credit – balanced against their many flaws and failings.

              Now of course I realise you're going to read all the wrong messages into what I've just written above – so in one last effort here I'll repeat my crucial paragraph:

              But after the Cold War ended we never had the global conversation around "what next?" The next logical evolution would have been the winding back of the US as the centre of the system and a ceding of the right to conduct war by all the nations in favour of the UN. Well that never happened, although GH Bush did attempt something like it. In this all the major powers must accept responsibility for a terrible failure of leadership.

              • Morrissey

                All the plausible alternatives that might have led to Stalin or Mao's ghastly regimes spreading across the globe were unthinkable.

                Except the United States didn't stop Stalin's or Mao's ghastly regimes. What the United States and its vassals have (with varying degrees of success) attacked, crushed and rubbed out permanently were non-aligned and democratic regimes in Indonesia, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Chile, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Grenada, Bolivia, Panama, Argentina, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela, Indochina, Iran… (the gruesome list goes on and on and on.)

                • RedLogix

                  non-aligned and democratic regimes

                  You misunderstand – the logic of the Cold War was simple and very blunt. You were either on the US side against the communists or you were not. 'Non-aligned' was not an option. (And pretending that the Soviet and Maoist regimes were not busy expanding their own influence and communist agenda wherever possible doesn't do much for your credibility either.)

                  In the aftermath of WW2 there was always going to be one superpower left standing, It was either going to be the US or Stalin's brutal regime. The vast majority of the world picked the US as the better of the two options – much to the enduring chargrin of closet marxists everywhere.

                  The 'gruesome list' doesn't go on and on – the large majority of the 200 odd nations understood what was necessary to win the Cold War and got with the program. It wasn't meant to be 'play nice' – it was an intense and dangerous struggle that lasted many decades. And had many casualties – both direct and indirect.

                  Yet having created this global system in order to win the Cold War, the US had no fucking clue what to do once they did win. We've now had four Presidents, Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump who pretty much did nothing to evolve their leadership to it's next logical stage of development. Instead they pursued short-term, expedient agendas with no coherent vision for a better world. In this they've egregiously betrayed their avowed principles and wasted one priceless opportunity after another.

                  At a more pragmatic level, what I think we're seeing now is the US quite rapidly retreating from global engagement – something I would imagined you'd be cheering on – and a return to the bad old days of multiple empires competing openly with each other.

                  • Morrissey

                    You were either on their side against the communists or you were not.

                    The governments targeted for destruction by the United States and its crony regimes were independent, and mostly democratic. They were not communist.

                    'Non-aligned' was not an option.

                    Yes it was. That's why Nehru's government, and Indonesia, and Moussadeq’s Iran, and Guatemala, and Cuba, and Chile were such a threat to the U.S.

                    • Incognito

                      Why and how was India under Nehru “such a threat to the U.S.”?

                    • RedLogix

                      Again you misread the era – it was a war – one that nearly ended in utter disaster several times. Both sides exerted themselves to the utmost and I'm not shrinking from or minimising the terrible impacts this had in many places. If anything I'd argue that while our attention is readily drawn to hot kinetic events like Korea and Vietnam, we tend to forget that all of these were being played out in the context of a much larger and more dangerous conflict.

                      Yet oddly enough despite this grim reality – at the same time large parts of the world suddenly found themselves in a whole new environment in which for the first time there was the security and mechanisms necessary to allow trade and development on an unprecedented global scale.

                      And this largely because the US bribed, and in some cases compelled, most of the nations of the world to be 'on the same side'. In this they took conflict off the table, and replaced it with an opportunity to become wealthy without invading and occupying your neigbours.

                      Well my point is this – with the US no longer all that interested or even capable of playing this role – what do we imagine might take it's place?

                    • RedLogix

                      @Incognito

                      Just as an aside I've personally been shown a Visitor's Book at the Uralmash Museum, in Ekaterinburg, that was signed by Nehru on the occasion of his state visit to Russia. (It's quite an extraordinary item, it has the autograph's of a whole range of well known figures of the Russian and Soviet era, including Lenin, Stalin and Castro to name just a few.)

                      There is no question that Nehru's overtures and alignment with the Soviets would have been regarded very dimly by the Americans.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    much to the enduring chargrin of closet marxists everywhere

                    Plenty of Marxists were quite capable, like Popper, of seeing Stalinism for what it was, and rejecting it – and one would have to be blind not to notice that Soviet Eastern Europe was no garden of sweets – which is why the West still has Left parties.

                    You're dead right however, that America's aegis was more desirable, except when corporate interests bent it too far out of shape. Even then, it only ended up worst equal with its opponents – there was little to choose between Pinochet's Chile, and Sendero Luminoso – no enlightened governance to be had from either.

                    A few month’s under the care of ‘little father’ Putin and Morrisey would be a sadder and a wiser fellow.

                    • RedLogix

                      You're dead right however, that America's aegis was more desirable, except when corporate interests bent it too far out of shape.

                      Thanks for this. The US, and by extension the broader West, lends us plenty of raw materiel to to criticize – yet our freedom to do so is not one of these things.

                    • Morrissey

                      …. which is why the West still has Left parties.

                      ???? The West—the USA, Britain, France, Germany and all the rest—had "left" (socialist, democratic, syndicalist) parties and democratically organized unions long before the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia.

                      A few month’s [sic] under the care of ‘little father’ Putin and Morrisey would be a sadder and a wiser fellow.

                      I have no time for "little father" Putin, just as I have no time for Trump or anyone else in the Republican Party. But the fact that I don't like him does not mean I have to fall in line with the absurd Russian meddling fantasies concocted by the angry and befuddled Clintonistas, aided and abetted by spooks like James Clapper, John Brennan and Michael Hayden, and amplified by such ridiculous and discredited media agents as Luke Harding, Rachel Maddow, and our own Richard Harman. "Little Father" Putin, for all his crimes as Russian leader, did not (as the talking heads on CNN claimed incessantly for four years) run Trump as a puppet, or make America into a racist country, or suppress the votes of millions of black people.

                      And it was not "Little Father" Putin who instructed those DNC strategists to make a point of keeping Hillary Clinton away from working class areas, and instead put all their energies into making godawful, toe-curlingly embarrassing, trash like this:

                    • Morrissey

                      The US, and by extension the broader West, lends us plenty of raw materiel to to criticize – yet our freedom to do so is not one of these things.

                      How do you square this encomium for freedom with the denunciation, persecution, and exiling or locking up of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange? (To name only the most famous victims of the U.S./U.K. political class).

                    • Incognito []

                      Freedom is not absolute, never has been, never will. Whistleblowing (that’s what some call it) is one very special category of ‘criticism’, isn’t it? Please engage your brain before you comment here, thanks. BTW, I note that you’re free to criticise away here and even spout your ill-considered nonsense.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      I imagine in the same way that you ignore the murder of Politkovskaya, and Nemtsov, the poisoning of Navalny and the Skripals and so forth.

                      You might want to think about how your preferred global hegemon would have handled Manning for example. A traitor in Russia, with gender issues as well, is not long for this world.

                    • RedLogix

                      I don't square it at all – all of these cases have been a terrible betrayal of principle that have been widely protested.

                      But then again the recent rise of cancel culture is evidence enough that it's not just the political class who're rather over-fond of silencing their critics these days.

                    • Morrissey

                      I imagine in the same way that you ignore the murder of Politkovskaya,

                      I've always been a great admirer of Anna Politkovskaya. I treasure my book of her investigative articles. I don't "ignore" her murder either, or deny it happened, or try to excuse it.

                      and Nemtsov,

                      ditto

                      the poisoning of Navalny and the Skripals and so forth.

                      Careful! Now you're entering into Bellingcat and Luke Harding territory. Just because Richard Harman, that outstanding New Zealand journalist*, cited "the work of Luke Harding" at that Orwellian "World Press Freedom Day" in Wellington in 2019, doesn't mean you are obliged to pretend to believe these British disinformation agents as well.

                      You might want to think about how your preferred global hegemon

                      My "preferred global hegemon"? You're making it up as you go. Unlike you, I don't want to be anyone's slave.

                      would have handled Manning for example. A traitor in Russia, with gender issues as well, is not long for this world.

                      So you reckon the United States treated her decently and humanely and justly, do you?

                      • That was a joke, of course. wink
                    • Morrissey

                      Freedom is not absolute, never has been, never will. Whistleblowing (that’s what some call it) is one very special category of ‘criticism’, isn’t it?

                      Indeed it is. I support the people who uncover secrets that criminals and politicians (often one and the same thing) want to keep hidden from us. Do you?

                      The rest of your comment is simply abuse.

                      [Well, you allege I abused you, presumably because I told you to engage your brain. That would be the most pathetic accusation given that I need and have corrected you on a regular basis and given that you actually agreed with me on the whistleblowing although you forgot to comment on and confirm your freedom to criticise. No thank you expected or was that “abuse” too given that it was the rest of my comment but repeated your obvious lack of full brain-engagement?

                      You can pull your head in and up your game instead of wasting our time here with your Swiss cheese reckons – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      See my Moderation note @ 9:06 am.

                    • RedLogix

                      @Incognito

                      Whistleblowing (that’s what some call it) is one very special category of ‘criticism’

                      That's a very good point, and one I admit I completely overlooked. As much as I very much believe Manning, Assange and Snowden have been treated shamefully, I do accept that the line between 'whistleblower' and 'traitor' can be a pretty thin one at times.

                      It's not surprising I guess that it's a wobbly line that different people will draw in different places. Wikileaks was always going to be a controversy magnet, yet in reality it was doing nothing more than what our press was supposed to be doing.

                      If the notion of liberal democracy is going to thrive we're going to have to get better at more consistently drawing and defending this distinction.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      @Morrissey – well I'm glad that you have taken the trouble to know some of these folk.

                      Assange is a complicated issue. Although the line the US has chosen, that he endangered military personnel, seems to be entirely false, not all his releases seem to be well motivated – the diplomatic correspondence for instance, was titillating rather than incriminating – there was no public interest argument for its release the way there was with Manning's drone killing material. I could go on – but it's a lengthy conversation – for my part some minor sanctions were not out of order, but his punishment has already been excessive.

                      absurd Russian meddling fantasies

                      Those fantasies have vivid life in Chechnya, Ingushetia, the Crimea and eastern Ukraine – do not deceive yourself – Putin would have his army across that border in a flash if he thought he could get away with it – and his paramilitaries are doing it now, just like the US Contras in South America.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Your rabid anti-US bigotry blinds you to the obvious.

                A disappointing comment, imho. In the words of Tony Hancock:

                Can you put is another way? Put it another way. Say it differently.

                To a Louse – Robert Burns
                O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
                To see oursels as ithers see us!
                It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
                An’ foolish notion:
                What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
                An’ ev’n devotion!

                • RedLogix

                  You can be disappointed all you like – but it's still the truth. And why have you no objection to idiotic claims like 'the most devastating empire since Rome'? Or the similar one-eyed rantings some contributors constantly repeat?

                  By contrast I'm quite clear that like all things human, the US has a mixed record of both good and bad, but that on the whole having a liberal democracy (albeit a flawed one) as the global superpower in the aftermath of WW2 was better than anything Stalin or Mao might have spawned. I don't see anyone admitting to this, instead all I get is lurid rants on the evils of the US as if these commenters haven't learned anything since sometime in the 80's.

                  Most of the wars and interventions the US has undertaken in the post-WW2 period were motivated either by the very real and urgent considerations of the Cold War, or in response to 911 and events in the Islamic world. Omitting this context is both selectively dishonest and strips away any useful understanding or meaning to US actions in the past seven decades. Put bluntly, the US was fighting a tough and dangerous enemy across a global front, and as in all wars bad things were going to happen. But in doing so they contained and eventually overcame the monstrous marxist regimes of both Stalin and Mao at considerable cost.

                  And the hegemony the US created to win this war looked nothing like any of the conventional 'empires' prior to WW2. Crucially it contained within it nascent institutions such as the UN, WTO, World Bank etc – that are the foundation of an authentically global order that humanity must evolve into this century – or perish.

                  But instead of addressing my substantive point – the big question of what comes next after the US order – all I'm getting from you is tone policing. Disappointing alright.

                  • Tiger Mountain

                    The Non Aligned Movement (NAM) is still operating, with around 120 members. The numbers equate to just over half of UN members.

                    Post Cold War, US Imperialism did exactly what it’s national section of Capital and Finance Capital proscribed-put the pedal to the metal on neo liberalism and globalisation.

                    It is close to psychopathic to claim the Cold War was an unavoidable and positive strategy!

                    • RedLogix

                      The NAM originated as a fig-leaf for the pro-marxist ambitions of Castro, Tito and Nehru. And while there was considerable merit in much of it's stated goals and rhetoric, in reality it tilted toward the Soviets far too much to ever be regarded a credible 'independent' movement.

                      And born of the Cold War, it's struggled to find much relevance since the end of it. It might yet play a constructive role, but not in it’s current form.

                      It is close to psychopathic to claim the Cold War was an unavoidable and positive strategy!

                      And what alternative do you propose?

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    One last try (promise), and then you carry on lacing your comments with the pejoratives you clearly find essential to advocating your PoV.

                    Do you truly believe that multiple offerings along the lines of:

                    That's just the sort of reflexive, unhinged comment I'd expect from a rabid ideological anti-Marxist bigot.

                    are conducive to rational discussion/debate?

                    The least such a commenter could do, imho, would be to add an 'imho' to their inflammatory invective, unless they were deliberately trying to initiate or propagate a flame war. Others may have a greater tolerance, or possibly even an appetite, for such posturing – tbh I've had my fill.

                    John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address
                    To that world assembly of sovereign states: the United Nations. . . our last best hope in an age where the instruments of war have far outpaced the instruments of peace, we renew our pledge of support. . .to prevent it from becoming merely a forum for invective. . .to strengthen its shield of the new and the weak. . . and to enlarge the area in which its writ may run.

                    • RedLogix

                      Maybe the experience of actually visiting the site of two gulags has caused me to be a little biased.

                      Consider this; I suggest we would all expect legitimate right wing political people to understand that the right can go too far and step into fascism. Specifically I would expect them to fully renounce and condemn in highly prerogative terms anything to do with the nazi movement and it's derivatives.

                      Well from a left wing perspective I'm doing the same with respect to marxism. I reserve the right to condemn it and any of it's apologists in any terms I consider fit. The fact that drawing this line in the sand is still so difficult and controversial speaks directly to why the left still struggles to obtain a clear moral legitimacy.

      • Ad 1.3.3

        I have a sneaking suspicion that with global crises occurring faster and faster and with global tsunami-like reverberations, the opportunities for multilateral cooperation will get stronger and stronger.

        Covid18 will certainly assist climate change cooperation better than CPTPP ever will.

        Won't always be military, but occasionally will be.

  2. Morrissey 2

    No one helps the Ukraine…

    The United States has "helped" the Ukraine like it has "helped" Iraq and like it has "helped" Syria, Venezuela, Libya, and Bolivia. The Obama/Biden regime "helped" the bloody insurrection in Ukraine by funding and verbally championing neo-Nazi groups such as the Azov battalion.

    Azov began in 2014 as a volunteer military battalion that helped Ukraine defend itself against an invasion by Russia and its separatist proxy forces. The battalion’s symbol is similar to that of the Wolfsangel, the insignia widely used by the German military during World War II. Although human rights groups accused the battalion of torture and war crimes during the early months of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, in late 2014, Ukraine’s National Guard incorporated the Azov battalion into its official fold, where it was renamed the Azov regiment.

    The military unit has been a favorite bogeyman of the Kremlin, with Russian President Vladimir Putin using the group to justify his attacks against Ukraine as fighting against fascism. Although the group is not broadly popular in Ukraine, its neo-Nazi links are clear. In 2010, the battalion’s founder, Andriy Biletsky, said that Ukraine ought to “lead the white races of the world in a final crusade … against Semite-led Untermenschen.”

    https://moderaterebels.libsyn.com/biden-admin-hawks-push-for-dangerous-ukraine-russia-war

    ….maybe France helps in the Congo

    ????? France helps in the Congo? That certainly was not the case in 1960, when the U.S. and its European satellites swiftly moved to snuff out democracy in that country. Tens of millions of Congolese have paid for this "help" in the ensuing sixty years.

    https://www.rfi.fr/en/africa/20170701-france-lumumba-murder

    • Ad 2.1

      You can check the non-interventionist route in Rwanda and western Congo right through the 1990s. The interventionist moral quagmire is often better than the virtuous coward.

      Sometimes the difference between the two comes down to good media coverage and other assorted luck.

      • Morrissey 2.1.1

        The United States "intervention" in Indochina was more devastating, and had a far higher body count, than the Rwanda genocide.

        • McFlock 2.1.1.1

          Vietnam has a far higher population than Rwanda, so I'd like to see your workings for "more devastating".

          • Morrissey 2.1.1.1.1

            Cambodia and Laos were also victims of the American "intervention." You forgot to put them into your moral calculus.

            • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1.1

              And you're neglecting Burundi and DRC from yours. Whatevs. You're the one arguing some sort of hierarchy of national suffering while evading opportunities to explain whatever reasoning you might have.

              • Morrissey

                No I didn't forget them, I referred just to the example you gave. And I posted, at 8:40 this morning, a reminder of what the United States and its vassals did to the Congo sixty years ago, firmly and finally snuffing out democracy there, as well as the life of Patrice Lumumba. Shortly after that "intervention", the U.S. "intervened" to hand the South African version of Lumumba, Nelson Mandela, over to the authorities of the apartheid state.

                • McFlock

                  You mentioned Burundi as related to the Rwandan genocide? Cool, I missed that.

                  I'd still like to see the working behind your hierarchy of suffering, though. But I fear such consideration doesn't actually exist.

                  The thing is, the question about whether or not to intervene is a key question on how we get from where we are now to go somewhere better.

                  Murca is bad, m'kay. European colonialism is bad, m'kay. Global warming is bad, m'kay. Large power intrigues are bad, m'kay. Regional power sabre-ratlling is bad, m'kay

                  But all of those stressors mean there will be more riots, despots, wars, and genocides. Even if the stressors all stopped as of ten minutes ago, the byproducts being local wars and genocides will continue. Your whataboutism won't stop them, but intervention by the international community might.

                  • Morrissey

                    You mentioned Burundi as related to the Rwandan genocide?

                    No, as I made clear to you, I referred just to the example—Rwanda—that you gave.

                    Cool, I missed that.

                    No, you attempted to make an issue out of nothing.

                    I'd still like to see the working behind your hierarchy of suffering, though.

                    I have never tried to construct any "hierarchy of suffering." You're making it up as you go.

                    But I fear such consideration doesn't actually exist.

                    That's correct. You got one thing right. That’s encouraging.

                    The thing is, the question about whether or not to intervene is a key question on how we get from where we are now to go somewhere better.

                    So which kind of "intervention" do you think "we" should decide to inflict on the people of Myanmar? The Ukrainian Neo-Nazi kind of intervention? The "moderate rebels" that "we" have supported and armed in Syria, Libya, and Iraq? Or perhaps you think the "intervention" should be bombing them back into the stone age, like "we" did to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

                    Murca is bad, m'kay. European colonialism is bad, m'kay. … <snip remainder of a truly lame attempt at humour>

                    Your whataboutism…

                    ???? Did you get permission from the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party before you employed that weakest form of abuse?

                    …. won't stop them, but intervention by the international community might.

                    There's been precisely one decent military intervention in the last fifty years: that was the newly independent Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia and its toppling of the Khmer Rouge in 1978. The U.S. and the U.K. backed the Khmer Rouge government in exile for more than a decade after that. And so, to our eternal shame, did New Zealand.

                    http://www.nzjh.auckland.ac.nz/docs/1999/NZJH_33_2_05.pdf

                    • McFlock

                      I have never tried to construct any "hierarchy of suffering." You're making it up as you go.

                      cf:

                      The United States "intervention" in Indochina was more devastating, and had a far higher body count, than the Rwanda genocide.

                      If you did not wish to suggest one was worse than the other (i.e. a hierarchy), then your use of the comparators "was more" and "had a far higher" were poorly chosen.

                      "Precisely" one? What was the problem with INTERFET, as a recent example?

                    • Morrissey

                      The suffering was, of course, dreadful and horrible in both cases. But Rwanda's infrastructure was not razed into nothingness by decades of bombing and strafing and napalming.

                    • Incognito

                      There's been precisely one decent military intervention in the last fifty years: …

                      Exhibit #2: UNPROFOR; it also included NZ troops.

                      Your assertions have more holes than a Swiss cheese, as usual.

                      For example, since when did the US “hand over” Nelson Mandela to SA? Did they ‘arrest’ him at LAX and deported him back to SA? Did they ‘extradite’ him from US soil?

                      Your #whatabout is the action of a dimwit, especially when you deny doing it 🙁

                    • Morrissey

                      Exhibit #2: UNPROFOR; it also included NZ troops.

                      Thanks. I did indeed exaggerate. Your rigorous correctives are always appreciated.

                      … since when did the US “hand over” Nelson Mandela to SA?

                      Since 1962.

                      A tip from a CIA spy to authorities in apartheid-era South Africa led to Nelson Mandela’s arrest, beginning the leader’s 27 years behind bars, a report said on Sunday.

                      Donald Rickard, a former US vice-consul in Durban and CIA operative, told British film director John Irvin that he had been involved in Mandela’s arrest in 1962….

                      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/15/cia-operative-nelson-mandela-1962-arrest

                    • Incognito []

                      Good, the USA/CIA did not “hand over” Nelson Mandela, as you asserted, but “tipped off” the SA authorities. What a difference it makes when you use the appropriate words and description!

                      I’ll leave McFlock and you to debate the possibility of France helping in the Congo; I feel you’ve almost reached common ground there and it has been a joy to read and follow your discussion so far 😉

                    • Morrissey

                      Thanks Incognito. You have a good night now. smiley

                    • Incognito []

                      Thanks, but it is not my bedtime yet; five more minutes.

                    • McFlock

                      The suffering was, of course, dreadful and horrible in both cases.

                      yup

                      But Rwanda's infrastructure was not razed into nothingness by decades of bombing and strafing and napalming.

                      Mate, when something affects a nation's population growth chart like this and hundreds of thousands are killed in neighbouring countries, your "but" is simply abstract point-scoring between events well beyond any conceivable level of human suffering.

                      Except normally when e.g. astronomers compare the relative mass of black holes in far distant galaxies, they have more reasoning behind it than a visceral conviction that the USA is always bad.

                    • Morrissey

                      … a visceral conviction that the USA is always bad.

                      There is a great deal about the USA that I love and admire. The violent, destructive and militantly anti-democratic foreign policy of the U.S. political class is not something I, or many other people, love or admire.

                      My conclusion that the United States' international record is nearly—not always—bad is based on empirical evidence, not on a "visceral conviction."

                    • McFlock

                      your hierarchy of suffering, however, seems to be devoid of reasoning beyond your visceral conviction that anything related to the US must be worse.

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      “the USA/CIA did not “hand over” Nelson Mandela, as you asserted, but “tipped off” the SA authorities. What a difference it makes when you use the appropriate words and description!”…

                      …what an absolutely and completely bizarre statement, it is hard to imagine what would drive anyone to get into semantics over this one…but then again incognito never fails to amaze me as to what depths they will sink to when it comes to harassing you..though I have to say this one made even my jaw drop a bit!!

                      Retired CIA Agent Confirms U.S. Role In Nelson Mandela's 1962 Arrest

                      “retired CIA agent Donald Rickard, acknowledging that he helped the South African apartheid-era government arrest Nelson Mandela”

                      https://www.npr.org/2016/05/16/478272695/retired-cia-agent-confirms-u-s-role-in-nelson-mandelas-1962-arrest

                    • Incognito []

                      Indeed, who cares about semantics or slippery use of language when the aim is to spin a narrative of populist propaganda about the good guys on one side versus the bad guys on the other?

                      That you don’t give a shit about this typifies your kneejerk aggressive ‘activist’ attitude towards some here who dare to use a sharper better-defined and better-articulated language that contains nuance and context that challenges the narrative of the dove-vs-hawk myth. Of course, such people cannot be tolerated and have to be attacked and bullied into submission, or marginalised, mocked, and ridiculed, at least. Don’t address the message, just attack the messenger.

                      The sad thing is that you are proud of your polarised partisanship and fighting the ‘good fight’. People such as you never build bridges, never look for common ground, never compromise, but keep on fighting until there is no one left to fight, like Agent Smith in The Matrix. It shows in almost every comment you make here.

                      Here’s an idiosyncratic example (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-26-04-2021/#comment-1789763) of only a few hours ago; read and weep:

                      JC [Jeremy Corbyn] biggest fault was he was naturally so inclusive and for some reason didn’t seem to understand that the Blairite Liberals in Labour were his sworn enemy, and he should have dealt with them accordingly.

                      Here’s another credo of yours (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-26-04-2021/#comment-1789716):

                      … while we beat the drum for international liberty, equality to brotherhood….in other words you seem set on an ideology that is at best evolutionary stagnant, while the ideology we advocate for is at least trying to help in the actual evolutionionary process (thought of course very slowly) of the human race.

                      Another one, showing your dogmatic belief (https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-24-04-2021/#comment-1789474):

                      … just as much as every other ideologue defends theirs..myself included, the only difference is that I happen to be fighting for the right one and they are not.

                      I almost get the feeling you see your ‘adversaries’ here on TS as objects, not as fellow humans with whom you share a community platform for robust debate – all you need to add is that “it’s nothing personal” AKA homo homini lupus. You show your disgust and disdain, no respect or trust and the inverse of that to those who are ‘on your side’; dichotomous thinking and acting.

                      Instead of dropping your jaw or feeling offended or annoyed, lift your game, change your attitude and demeanour, look at your comrades here and embrace them as such. Impossible?

    • Subliminal 2.2

      Morrissey: I find it interesting that even you are willing to perpetuate the myth that Russia wants to invade the Ukraine. Since the 2014 western backed coup of the democratically elected Yanukovich govt, the Ukraine economy has been in freefall with a large exodus of the population of an age able to, leaving. Russia sees itself as having a duty to offer protection to the large number of citizens and Russian associating people in the east but has no desire to take control of an economic basket case.

      So what is happening in the Ukraine? As stated, the Ukraine is an economic basket case which even the west has little use for other than its potential to provoke some kind of reponse from Russia. At present, 18% of the Ukraine gdp comes from the transit of Russian gas to Europe. This is close to ending soon as the Nordstream 2 pipeline nears completion. So its now or never for the Ukraine. This is the last fighting season in which they will be able to have any effect on Nordstream. If Russia can be portrayed as an aggressor then maybe Germany and the EU can be persuaded to disconnect from Nordstream. The Ukraine moved their military hardware first. Russia followed

      "I think it would be difficult for the Kremlin not to come to their rescue if these 'republics' faced a threat of major defeat," Mr Kortunov says, noting that Ukraine's military was significantly better equipped and trained now thanks to US and European support.

      But he still doubts that Vladimir Putin is planning an intervention.

      "I don't see anything the Kremlin could gain by direct military engagement in the Ukraine crisis. I think Russian policy is more focused on maintaining the status quo and assuming that Ukraine will implode from mounting problems and Ukraine fatigue in the West," Mr Kortunov says.

      Russia demonstrated what it is capable of and the speed in which it can amass overwhelming superiority as a warning. From the same siurce:

      Despite renewed talk on state TV of "fascist" Ukrainians, there's little sense that all-out war would be popular among Russians already coping with Covid, sanctions and the impact of a low oil price.

      Andrei Kortunov believes the "mobilising potential" of foreign policy adventures is now "almost depleted" with people more concerned with their own problems than in the more comfortable context of 2014.

      I've used the bbc because many here are averse to more Russia friendly sources but an extremely good outline of all that has happened in the Ukraine along with the political maneuvering can be found here. I have watched the you tube video of the interview but it has strangely become unavailable so that all that seems to be left is the sound cloud audio.

      • Morrissey 2.2.1

        I find it interesting that even you are willing to perpetuate the myth that Russia wants to invade the Ukraine.

        No, that's not what I was intending to convey, and it's certainly not what Aaron Maté, Ben Norton or Max Blumenthal were saying.

  3. Forget now 3

    I found this heartening to read earlier:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/25/indigenous-people-canada-sinixt-us-border-hunting-rights

    Sure, it's a poor compensation for centuries of systematic theft and genocide, plus unreciprocated on the US side of border, but it is something. International borders are often arbitrarily imposed (once you are past the great lakes it is just a line of latitude, as near as 19th century surveyors could reckon, until Vancouver. But people live in landscapes, not geometric shapes.

    • Ad 3.1

      The right to hunt Elk. Seriously.

      Why don't they just forget their tiresome gun lust and pop down to their supermarket meat chiller like anyone else.

      • Sabine 3.1.1

        because the elk in the nature is their supermarket meat in the chiller?

        I dont understand why that is so hard to understand? Many of the indegenious people in Northern America would have serious food issues were it not for sustainable hunting and fishing. So yes, this is their right to hunt elk, as they did forever, as much as it is the right of Maori here to go fish/gather on the shore.

        Not everything is tiresome gun lust. As far as the quality of the meat goes, that too would be vastly superior to what one can find in the supermarket in Northern America.

        • Ad 3.1.1.1

          And you can stop that noble savage crap right there.

          • Sabine 3.1.1.1.1

            dude.

            http://traditionalanimalfoods.org/mammals/hoofed/page.aspx?id=6134

            i think its about as noble as it gets. people have hunted for food since ages ago. Supermarkets are a thing of the last 80 odd years, and so are fridges.

            Even NZ has stories full of hunters and bushman. Nothing about noble savage there?

            I actually find your comment offensive, and i am not easily offended. And yes for some in the far north (northern hemisphere) – alaska, siberia, finland – etc hunting for elk, seal and the likes is going to the supermarket no matter if it contrary to what us 'civilised' people believe or are accustomed to.

          • Adrian Thornton 3.1.1.1.2

            Ad, have you ever mixed with people who live along the East coast of the upper North Island of New Zealand?..plenty of them live to a large extent by hunting and gathering…from the sea and the land, growing and hunting…and I don't mean all the boomers and rich foreigners who have invaded the placed over the past decade.

            What exactly is wrong with hunting your own food with a gun?…every meat eater should have to kill, gut, skin and butcher a large animal at least once in their life IMO.

  4. Morrissey 4

    More than 25 British-Palestinian Labour members condemn 'hostile environment' within the party

    Starmer, the King of Nothing, is a disaster. How long can he hold on to the poisoned chalice of the "leader" of the Blairite rump?

    UK Labour leader Keir Starmer has failed to respond to a letter sent to him by more than 25 British-Palestinian Labour members in which they raised concerns about internal treatment.

    The letter, obtained from Labour sources and seen exclusively by Middle East Eye, accuses the party of creating a "hostile environment" for Palestinians under Starmer.

    "Some of us have been members of the party for decades under different leaders and never have we experienced a party environment so hostile and unwelcoming to us as it has been since you took over its leadership," the statement reads. "Not even during the dark days of the illegal war on Iraq.

    "Our community of traditional Labour voters is therefore deeply concerned and alarmed, and we fear that without your immediate action, their growing alienation from the Party will become a permanent rift."

    The letter, which was signed by over 25 Palestinian Labour members, including writer Nadia Hijab and academic Ghada Karmi, was sent in mid-March. It has yet to receive a response.

    https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/palestine-labour-starmer-iftar-cancellation-bds-ignores-letter

    • greywarshark 4.1

      Interesting Morissey. Watch this arena eh!

    • AB 4.2

      So spineless obeisance when faced with bogus/wildly exaggerated accusations of anti-semitism doesn't work. It sunders the coalitions on which your political party is based. How surprising.

      • Morrissey 4.2.1

        Indeed, AB. The Labour Party will never be the government again in the United Kingdom. That's entirely down to the incendiary campaign run by the right wing of the party, and its willing media amplification.

        • greywarshark 4.2.1.1

          Never say never Morrissey. There's more roads to hell than we can dream of.

          • mac1 4.2.1.1.1

            Just remember that here in NZ National in 2005 just cleared the 20% mark and the same now, yet ruled for 9 years of the sixteen since then.

            A lesson for the Left in both GB and here.

            • Morrissey 4.2.1.1.1.1

              National was not ruined by a fantasy witch-hunt instigated by a right wing faction determined to exterminate any democratic or humanitarian elements in the party. Not one of the dissident factions in National—not Marilyn Waring, not Mike Minogue, not Bob Jones, not Winston Peters, not Jami-Lee Ross—exhibited anything remotely like the malice and bloodymindedness of the likes of Tom Watson, Lord John Mann, Yenta Hodge, or Keir Starmer.

              And I don’t think any National leader would appease such brutal and disloyal people the way that, sadly, Jeremy Corbyn did continually.

              • greywarshark

                I wondered about Jeremy Corbyn. He seemed to keep waiting for a clear direction from the mass of UK Labour but I think they were confused, saw him as a buoy in a sea threatening to drown them. and looked to him to get them ashore. They might have even thought that he could virtually part the sea and lead them to dry ground. Instead he got bogged down in ineffectual delay, and the moment was lost. That's how I see it. Anyone else's thoughts about it?

                • Stuart Munro

                  I liked him. He should have treated the antisemitism allegations with the contempt they deserved, and thrown the wretched scoundrels who used them out.

                  Labour may well come back however – the inequality that drives its natural supporters is stronger than ever, Boris is showing those conservative features which make a government ripe for replacement, and the current UK Labour leadership are so pathetic that they too seem not long for this world.

                  Nicola Sturgeon need only lead a movement south and the effete English will roll over like round bottom toys.

                  • greywarshark

                    But they have amazing bounce-backability. I think they need a dose of something that will get them moving.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      What rhubarb, senna, or what purgative drug,

                      Would scour these English hence? Hear’st thou of them?

                      ~ The Scottish Play Act V Scene III line 57

                • Tiger Mountain

                  Jeremy just needed to do 2 things and he could easily have been PM.
                  1. Play hardball with the party machine and committed right wingers–sufficient sackings of head office personnel, and electorate deselections of recalcitrant MPs in favour of left candidates, would have got the Blairites attention.
                  2. Pledge to fully respect the Brexit result AND implement “For the many not the few” platform of strategic renationalisations etc.

                  Jeremy seemed to be exactly who he seemed–unfortunately for the UK working class–an allotment gardening mild mannered guy. He certainly rattled the ruling class cage though, with senior Military brass stating publicly that there would be a coup if Jeremy Corbyn ever became PM. So the stakes are incredibly high, which is why the Brit Labour Party is loaded to the gunwales with opportunist class traitors!

                  • Morrissey

                    He certainly rattled the ruling class cage though, with senior Military brass stating publicly that there would be a coup if Jeremy Corbyn ever became PM.

                    That very scenario was foreseen by Channel 4 back in 1988…..

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    @Tiger Mountain, I agree completely
                    JC biggest fault was he was naturally so inclusive and for some reason didn't seem to understand that the Blairite Liberals in Labour were his sworn enemy, and he should have dealt with them accordingly.

                    He was the best PM the UK never had…though that being said, after the savage and outrageously biased display by all the UK press (including of course the Guardian) in their 'reporting' on JC, I also think he probably dodged a bullet by not being PM when Covid hit…it doesn't take much imagination to know that the UK press would have tried pinning every single death from Covid squarely on him, it would have been ugly.

                    • Morrissey

                      savage and outrageously biased display by all the UK press (including of course the Guardian)….

                      CORRECTION:

                      including especially the Grauniad….

                  • greywarshark

                    It seems that Yannis Varoufakis' aimed verbal thrust at the EU with mention of Brexit and being tailored to fit the lean and hungry oligarchs dotted around Europe, which UK might have felt it wise to resile from, should have a place somewhere in this thread. I said the other day that I thought I was naive about the EU and now I feel sure I was right.

                    https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2021/02/14/the-eus-multiple-failures-are-due-to-its-immunity-to-democracy-the-new-statesman/

        • WeTheBleeple 4.2.1.2

          I'd put a bit of the onus on Murdoch, myself.

          • Morrissey 4.2.1.2.1

            That's the "willing media amplification" I mentioned! Murdoch and the BBC, and the dismal crowd at the Grauniad.

  5. greywarshark 5

    There needs to be a group of wise people separate from the government but mounting lobbyist/s that advocate for a practical, capable, self-sufficient NZ – that also exports. The skilled NZs at both practical, physical and keeping our basic tech, transport, etc. going need to be appreciated and conserved.

    This blacksmith would be one of the skilled people we support.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/national/programmes/countrylife/audio/2018792818/the-blacksmith-who-wants-to-save-his-trade

    Rob, who has a forge in rural Waikato about half an hour from Te Awamutu, believes his is probably the last traditional blacksmith's forge in New Zealand.

    In this case, not only would he continue to provide a useful service, he would also demonstrate to the young what physical work and skills actually are. And the satisfaction of being able to do something well yourself, not just watch things on a screen, spend your days sending concepts and electronic messages to counterparts elsewhere, removed from the physical world.

    Also it has a tourism potential. If we could keep 20th century features alive and kicking, we will have people beating a path to our door from areas where people live in huge cities with civic restraints from doing many things, and without space to do them. Being 'quaint' will be trendy as well as fascinating – the hoary story about finding milk comes from cows when all that had been known of it was bottles in the supermarket.

    Comfortably-off people are often in cities and because of tech hegemony, withdrawing themselves from real life, living like avatars in minimalist designed rooms in houses tidy, controlled, sterile. If they shift to the country they can become a nuisance to the local community who live by and from their farms, with the city-born and bred being unhappy with noisy, smelly life and exerting their 'rights' to blissful unreality.

    And I also have the idea that town and country could form useful alliances. People who wanted to keep in touch with the physical, see the backblocks, the country and those in farms who want a change, visit town and see the sights, use amenities, could join a group that brings such people together. Perhaps it would have a stall at A&P shows, and both enrol new members and hold social times while all were in the same place, plus others throughout the year.

    People would be required to circulate and get to know all to make sure that the friendship, widened social contacts and the bonding would come about. Once people found others they enjoyed knowing and learned about their background, pairs or groups could form within the 'club' who would then start their two-way movement between town and farm. Also the group might want to set up seasonal help for farmers, and take caravans to their properties and have working holidays staying at the farms of their club members. The children of the members would have a fuller life, rich in experiences and understandings of the other people in the nation.

    Probably this is happening informally, but we need to do it with a nation-wide reach. It would be good for building cohesion in the nation, and give good farmers more support and help to keep them on the land owning their own farms instead of those mainly interested in 'capital accretion.'

    I wonder what bwaghorn thinks about this?

  6. greywarshark 6

    So that we may endure to the last. Oh my country so bare and so wretched. Two lines from Speed Your Journey (The Hebrew Slaves Song from Nabucco, Verdi). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kKHT3smyRo

    I feel that those lines are ones to spur us on in NZ to salvage what we can from the present and future that threaten to ruin us culturally, mentally and physically.

    This is well sung by the combined constabulary choir of Avon and Somerset, England. Who better to sing it in New Zealand where they will be at the font line of the confusion and anger of people who have no place to stand, or meaning for existence, now and worsening in the future, without a big change in direction and attitude by a majority in this country.

    I think it would be good for our police to form into choirs singing around the country for good esprit du corps and to help retain the good man or woman inside they were before meeting those who have slipped into viciousness. Perhaps the police themselves could work out ways to prevent this happening by involving children in activities that help to build personal strength and self-respect.

  7. Incognito 7

    <sigh>

    Let’s hope that me wading in here will have the intentional chilling effect on the usual suspect(s).

    Firstly, let me remind you of what OM is and is not about. From the excerpt of OM:

    Open mike is your post.

    For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

    The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

    Some here interpret this as a carte blanche to spout whatever BS they can ‘think’ of and/or to attack others whom they don’t agree with or simply dislike. They treat this site as their personal sandpit and soapbox.

    Let me remind them of the first two paragraphs of this site’s Policy:

    Rules

    We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views. But this site run for reasonably rational debate between dissenting viewpoints and we intend to keep it operating that way.

    What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others. We are intolerant of people starting or continuing flamewars where there is little discussion or debate. This includes making assertions that you are unable to substantiate with some proof (and that doesn’t mean endless links to unsubstantial authorities) or even argue when requested to do so. Such comments may be deleted without warning or one of the alternatives below may be employed. The action taken is completely up to the moderator who takes it.

    Unfortunately, some die-hards here think it is their right to attack others whom they deem to be on the wrong side. These die-hards justify this by claiming they are fighting for the right cause. They are wrong!

    Everybody who comments here – which is free for everyone unless temporarily or permanently banned from this site and thus losing their commenting privileges here – should read the Policy and let it sink in.

    As you can tell, we do not tolerate personal attacks and flame wars, for example. They are not conducive to robust debate. Commenters who keep breaking the Rules run a high risk of losing their commenting privileges here. In fact, they can count on it angry

  8. greywarshark 8

    The Marshall Islands much used, abused by… all western nations actually bear some weight of fault.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/441151/marshalls-gets-pacific-voice-heard-at-climate-summit
    The Marshall Islands has issued a plea for help and a call to action at the US Leaders Summit on Climate Change.
    Addressing the virtual meeting on Friday, President David Kabua laid out the existential threat facing his country and the Pacific.

    Kabua is the lone Pacific leader invited by US President Joe Biden to the two-day talks.
    Kabua shared the stage with the world's biggest economies and pressured those he said held the Pacific's future in their hands…

    President Kabua said [they] were a series of island nations already feeling the effects of rising oceans.
    He said the Pacific now faced an even greater threat.

    "We are low-lying atoll nations, barely a metre above sea level," he said.

    "For millennia, our people have navigated between our islands to build thriving communities and cultures.
    "Today, we are navigating through the storm of climate change, determined to do our part to steer the world to safety."

    Education from the west has been a great help to small, primitive communities. It has taught them the language of the big powers so they can, if they are lucky, attend their pow-wows and address the PTB in their own language about their lands being destroyed by them, and beg for help which can't be misunderstood on the basis that it was made in a foreign language! /sarc

  9. Sacha 9

    Delays at our hugely under-resourced national employment authority reward dodgy employers who can outwait the staff they have ripped off. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/124908201/the-body-meant-to-resolve-employeremployee-disputes-has-huge-backlog-of-cases-with-long-delays-common

    • Sacha 9.1

      And look, one previous thief has enough money to fund a research organisation now. https://www.newsroom.co.nz/8things/disgraced-restaurant-boss-bankrolls-covid-drug-research

    • RedBaronCV 9.2

      Unions would be a big help in sorting out this sort of behaviour. Delays among other things let employers transfer assets and shut down companies. Employers need to be pushed hard to negotiate and pay because a large chunk of the time it is basically theft from employees.It also theft from the community at large. Other employers who follow the rules lose business to unfair competition.

      Employers should face being barred from running company's especially if they don't pay.

      Employers should face withdrawal of visa's and cancellation of citizenship and deportation. That is what happens to employees if they err

      All work visa employees should have a union (CTU) membership paid for by the employer as part of the deal and a number of paid hours to see the union.

      There must be other sanctions that the court could use. The huge backlog tells us that there is little attempt by employers to negotiate because they have little to lose.

      Plus I would have expected the IRD to have written to all employee IRD's used to claim the subsidy, advising them that they should have received wages for the period claim. False claims need to be criminally prosecuted. And how about making all the claims list public like they said they would !! Who's money is it?

  10. joe90 10

    Our Trev's finally made it aboard the wingnut welfare train.

    https://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/government-and-politics/6998962-Minnesota-countys-GOP-event-featured-far-right-conspiracy-theorist

  11. Anne 11

    The truth of the matter is:

    The nasty, ignorant right wing element inside the British media are insane with jealousy because NZ and Australia have done a superb job controlling the virus, while the Brits made a total balls-up of their own response.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/04/british-writer-under-fire-for-scathing-review-of-new-zealand-s-covid-19-border-measures.html

    How dare a bunch of hicks down under try to outshine the mighty British Empire.

  12. Incognito 12

    You just cannot ‘win’ in healthcare in NZ.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/greenlane-hospitals-renal-unit-closes-dozens-of-patients-devastated/BXJLNQAGGWC437SRCDWWLCZYLA/

    Meanwhile, dialysis care across New Zealand continues to be a "postcode lottery".

    For example, Whanganui dialysis patients have to travel 75km to Palmerston North at least three times a week to be hooked up to a machine for hours on end.

    • Sacha 12.1

      Beat up. Two dozen people need to go to either Pt Chev or Glen Innes instead. Wah. Most of the demand is in the region’s south, as you’d expect.

      • Sabine 12.1.1

        from the above link

        "We are replacing the Greenlane Clinical Centre dialysis unit as it is no longer fit for purpose and we have been told by our patients that they wanted their care closer to home."

        The Herald was told by a source the decision to open Kereru Kidney Centre was based on a 2011 survey which showed 25 out of 38 patients lived closer to Glen Innes but that was no longer the case. Now, 10 years later, the majority of patients live closer to Greenlane.

        We seem to add postcode locations according to data that people in government think is carved in stones. Rather then basing the decision of such a building on current use they should do a future assessment, like where will people live….oops they still live in Greenlane rather then Point Chev.

        Why not keep the old location and build a new one considering that diabetes is one of our bigger killers and chances are we will need more dialysis facilities.

        And how long are we gonna have to wait until an 'expose' will show us that people will have longer waiting times, will spend a lot of time in Auckland traffic, and please keep in mind that these people will simply die if not afforded this service. Just keep that in mind before you complain about lousy kidney patients daring to 'beat' up whom? The last government? Or this government? Or that some newspeople dare write anything else but ‘the government will safe me’ sobstories.

        Or that even matter?

        Patients who need dialysis treatment have entered the end stage of kidney disease and nearly all their kidney function is lost.

        A letter to the DHB, signed by 35 patients and seen by the Herald, said: "We have no issues with building more dialysis capacity but this is NOT achieving that, at HUGE cost.

        "Greenlane unit needs to be kept operating as it also offers good dialysis plus proximity for the people who rely on its services."

        last but least, it seems to me that we should add another postcode location to that, the one that is South Auckland. But then that is not the nice postcode that Point Chev is becoming, you know all nice, very expensive and almost Ponsonby.

        • For every one New Zealand European or Asian patient starting dialysis, there are about six Pasifika patients and four Māori patients who start dialysis on average.

        again, no matter who runs the show, when it comes to healthcare no brain, no guts, no foresight, and above all no changes.

        • Incognito 12.1.1.1

          As I said at the beginning: you cannot win 🙁

          • Sabine 12.1.1.1.1

            Its what i ahve been saying for a while now, there is virtually no difference between the large parties and their ideologies. Non serve us well. That is the only time these suits are bipartisan, when they can cut services people need under the guise of 'better' or 'austerity' which somehow are the same.

            • Incognito 12.1.1.1.1.1

              All cars are the same, some are red, some are blue; there are good reasons for that. This is the simplistic meme stuck in your head like a crap song on a broken record; National and Labour are as bad as each other, peas in a pot, and the many variations on that theme. So simplistic, so futile, so sad.

              If you think the opening of a new dialysis unit that is fit for purpose and cost $7 million is serving us/the people badly then what would you think of not planning, not investing, and not building that and keep using a unit that is no longer fit for purpose? With moaners like you, one can indeed never win.

              Should we now bulldoze this new unit to the ground or repurpose it for the homeless? Can you see the headlines?

        • Sacha 12.1.1.2

          A media beatup. And yes, the far greater priority is in the south as I said. Carrington Rd is a long-established hub of regional health services including Rehab Plus and CADS.

          Health services not being able to use reliable population statistics is because they do not have the data systems for that. The public whinges when money in invested in that sort of thing, then local and national politicians favour the here-and-now rather than the future.

  13. greywarshark 13

    Meanwhile bits of Siberia are exploding into big holes. The northern reindeer herders must be a bit alarmed, they report seeing fire and smoke.

    https://www.bbc.com/reel/video/p097w5p3/the-mystery-of-siberia-s-exploding-craters

    While the pollies at the top seem bent on Roman-like drama, that Shakespeare might dream up, the peeps around the world are trying to tame the brutes and find a way to cope with a world that is changing under their feet.

    • Stuart Munro 13.1

      One cannot help but feel the Deccan Traps are coming for our species again.

      Time to make like Lystrosaurus.

    • Sabine 13.2

      Its been exploding since at least 2014m and no why would the world care, surely someone soon will find a way for all that methane and besides, when the permafrost is gone someone will go drill baby drill, either for oil, or some mineral that the same people need for batteries, so that rich people still can drive around in single serve cars so as to better pretend that they are still on top of it all, and sooooooo green.

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