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Open mike 26/11/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 26th, 2022 - 210 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 Policy).

Step up to the mike …

210 comments on “Open mike 26/11/2022 ”

  1. Chris T 1

    Bit of a left field one.

    Does anyone know how to completely uninstall that annoying "Petal" app from a Samsung Galaxy?

  2. Ed 2

    Angela Merkel has come out and said she was prevented from from having a dialogue with the Russian President , before leaving the post of German Chancellor.

    In an interview with Der Spiegel, she said that the start of the special operation was not unexpected, because the Minsk agreements were destroyed.

    That sets the cats amongst the pigeons.

    • Jenny are we there yet 2.1

      Another thin tissue to cover for Russia's unprovoked aggression and vile targeting of civilians.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/russia-ukraine-war-russia-rains-missiles-on-liberated-kherson/JA36MYOQTBANPHE6R7WKR6TUAY/

      • mikesh 2.1.1

        Russia's strategy now seems to be to hold the territory they've gained and force the Ukranians to the negotiating table. To this end they are trying to make the rest of the country unlivable in. Given that Ukranian aggression sees no signs of abating, it would seem to be the Russian's only sensible strategy. Tough on Ukranian civilians, of course, but latter seem to be showing no signs of wanting a ceasefire and negotiations, any more than the military.

        • Mike the Lefty 2.1.1.1

          Blame the victim.

          • mikesh 2.1.1.1.1

            Blame the victim.

            Nobody is blaming the victim. Such statements are just propaganda.

            • Mike the Lefty 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Describing Ukraine's defence of ITS own country and attempts to regain ITS territory as "aggression" is quite clearly victim blaming, whether you realise it or not.

              • mikesh

                At present Luhansk, Donetsk, Mariupol etc. belong to Russia, and I don't think Ukraine will be getting them back, so they had best come to terms with Russia before the latter does even more damage to the rest of their country. As I say the ball is now in the Ukranian court. Time, I think, to start negotiations, rather than continue with their aggrefssion.

                • Well, yes. But you didn't think that Ukraine would gain any territory back following the Russian invasion. So your prediction that Russia will retain those territories is somewhat .. suspect.

                  Given that Russia attacked a sovereign nation – and is continuing to deliberately bomb civilian infrastructure (and, is apparently unworried by the collateral loss of lives) – I know who I would characterise as the "aggressor"

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1.1.1.1.2

              100% you are blaming the victim, while cheerleading for and excusing vile war criminals.

              Since when was having your country invaded by a military that then proceeds to establish torture chambers across your territory, "Aggression"?

              Yuk Yuk Yuk.

        • bwaghorn 2.1.1.2

          The Russians killed a 2 day old baby in a maternity ward, fuck them fuck putin if I was Ukrainian I'd try kill them all.

          • mauī 2.1.1.2.2

            If you've been fooled once about a maternity hospital, what's to say you've been fooled again? Have a read, keep an open mind.

            "A key witness to the widely publicized incident at the Mariupol maternity hospital has punctured the official narrative of a Russian airstrike on the facility, and raised serious questions about Western media ethics. Meanwhile, news of a massacre in the city of Bucha contains suspicious elements."

            https://thegrayzone.com/2022/04/03/testimony-mariupol-hospital-ukrainian-deceptions-media-malpractice/

            • Andy 2.1.1.2.2.1

              The first casualty in war is the truth, as the old saying goes.

              All I can say is that (a) war sucks and (b) the media are not telling us the whole truth about Ukraine

              • aj

                I've been watching since the Vietnam War and what I've found out is that the media lines we are feed are mostly a constant inversion of the truth, anyone who took any notice of the middle east wars in the last 20yrs will know that. The question I have to ask is why would they suddenly be telling the truth after 70yrs of lying.

            • bwaghorn 2.1.1.2.2.2

              The first thing that came up when I googled "who's greyzone" was its a conspiracy theory spreading outfit.

              Not to surprised as you usually are a bit out the gate with your stuff.

            • Sanctuary 2.1.1.2.2.3

              The entire civilized world is behind the Ukraine. The fact you seem to want to make common cause with the theocratic monsters of Teheran, the butchers in Beijing, the tinpot despots in Russia, the punctilliously murderous regime in North Korea and the BJP chancers in India is, I guess, a matter for you and your conscience.

          • mikesh 2.1.1.2.3

            Of course you would like the bombing to stop so the Russians can lose the war. The Ukranians are not going to stop their aggression..

            • joe90 2.1.1.2.3.1

              The Ukranians are not going to stop their aggression..

              Russian mobiks offered up in full-frontal assaults by brutal, corrupt commanders continue dying. Hypothermic Russian mobiks at the tail end of a corrupt logistics chain, denied adequate winter attire, kit, shelter and food continue dying.

              Why would Ukraine stop their aggression?

              • Sanctuary

                There are dozens of videos on telegram channels showing mobs of freezing and apathetic Russian mobiks being killed by AFU drone attacks and artillery strikes. They are untrained, poorly equipped with no warm clothing in sub-zero temperatures and have been basically abandoned by their officers.

                The Russian 155th Naval Brigade apparently lost 450-500 men KIA and about the same woulded in just two days frontally assaulting the town of Pavlivka (Donetsk Oblast) – almost all it's infantry, and all it's tanks and AFVs – for zero gain.

                This is what happens when a regime run by criminal desperadoes who have no regard for human life fight a war.

                Everyone suffers, but at least the AFU sooldiers are dying for the noblest of causes – to defend their homeland from an invader.

                • joe90

                  Snow on the ground and some of the poor buggers appear to have no gloves. Another fortnight and night temperatures will be below -10°C and not rise until late February, the ground will be frozen solid so they won't be able to dig in, artillery will be more effective, Kälteidiotie, cold idiocy, will set in and a night out in the open will be unsurvivable.

                  And Poots knows it, hence the must negotiate talking point pushed by hishasbarists.

                  • Sanctuary

                    TBH it seems clear the Russian high command is simply sacrificing some of the first wave of mobiks as speed bumps while other units get better training and equipment. A criminal waste of life, but who would notice another crime from Putins gangster state?

                    • joe90

                      Yup, one rifle, two men. There's a short video of a Chehcen, apparently identified by the red trainers they wear, NVKD like barrier troop blocking a Russian serviceman on a rural road and beating him around the head as he was sending him back to wherever he'd come from.

                      Cruelty is their thing.

            • bwaghorn 2.1.1.2.3.2

              'The Ukranians are not going to stop their aggression..

              Thanks for clarifying that ypu are just an idiot troll.

        • Belladonna 2.1.1.3

          Well, no. Russia's sensible strategy would be to withdraw behind the previous frontier – and declare a cease-fire & request negotiations. Of course, Putin shows no signs of 'sensible' in any of his communications.

          I fail to see how conducting some kind of scorched earth policy – self-proclaimedly against civilian targets – is in any way admirable.

          This type of 'attack the civilians' policy would be condemned – and very rightly so – by the left across the world – if just about any other country were conducting it.

          Why on earth would you support it as in any way admirable?

          • mikesh 2.1.1.3.1

            Well, no. Russia's sensible strategy would be to withdraw behind the previous frontier – and declare a cease-fire & request negotiations. Of course, Putin shows no signs of 'sensible' in any of his communications.

            That would not be sensible. The ball is in the Ukranians’ court: they need to negotiate.

            • Sanctuary 2.1.1.3.1.1

              A brutal and genocidal Fascist enemy from a despotic country run like a giant criminal enterprise launch an unprovoked invasion of New Zealand. Only after a most desperate and valiant defense they are repelled from seizing Auckland and Wellington in coup-de-main.

              After heavy fighting, they retreat to Northland, Taranaki and the King Country after looting anything of vlaue and destroying everything they can't steal – leaving behind tales of torture, rape and mass graves of anyone who dared to say they were a proud New Zealander.

              After months more of fighting, they are driven out of Northland in a brilliant counter attack and forced to retreat from the King Country. The enemy is on the backfoot, our Allies have supplied us with heaps of weapons. Just Taranaki and bits of Whanganui remain held by the invaders. The invaders respond by annexing all of the territory they’ve occupied and constantly repeating maximalist war aims that include the complete destruction of the New Zealand stae and it’s absorption into their country.

              Thousands and thousands on New Zealand soldiers have died to liberate their country. We are united in our determination to drive out the invader. The enemy responds to defeat by mercilessly bombing our hydropower stations, and blowing up the Cook strait cable. They begin attacking our cities indiscrimantely with hundreds and hundreds of cruise missiles in a deliberate attempt to terrorize us into submission, weapons against which we have little initial defense and whose bombardment our citizens must endure.

              mikesh says we should negotiate, because to continue to defeat the invader to liberate all our land and free our people would be unnecessarily aggressive.

              You seem to me to be the sort of Quisling who would welcome your new overlords and take every opportunity to inform on the resistance because you want to be on what you assume to the winning side, and you didn't like the government anyway.

              • mikesh

                A brutal and genocidal Fascist enemy from a despotic country run like a giant criminal enterprise launch an unprovoked invasion of New Zealand. Only after a most desperate and valiant defense they are repelled from seizing Auckland and Wellington in coup-de-main.

                How awful. When did that happen? Are any of our cities still standing. I would hope that we did not mount a defense on the basis that Uncle Sam would assist us, and then found that he let us down, being only interested in supplying weapons.

                • Sanctuary

                  "…mount a defense on the basis that Uncle Sam would assist us, and then found that he let us down, being only interested in supplying weapons…"

                  Ummm, call me an old fashioned pedant, but I am reasonably sure that "supplying weapons" constitutes "assisting".

              • mauī

                You missed out the rather important part of the story where New Zealand was shelling enemy territory for 8 years prior, and not allowing some of the enemy territories any independence. Just the main precursor for the war… don't worry though it sort of ruins a good piece of fiction.

                • RedLogix

                  You missed out the rather important part of the story where New Zealand was shelling enemy territory for 8 years prior,

                  That is a selective simplification of a much more complex matter. And rather leaves out the small matter of Russia invading and annexing Crimea at the same time. Hardly a gesture that was going to assure the Ukrainians of Putin's fine brotherly intentions.

                  • mauī

                    Hmm, that's a written history of a war that relies heavily on references from the BBC and a Ukrainian newspaper. Would I be right to question that history?

                    The other point I would make is that it makes no mention of the ongoing shelling in the Donbass, that has been reported by countless independent media, and seems to have a lot to do with why Russia got involved.

                    • joe90

                      Would I be right to question that history?

                      Tankie reckons don't cut it.

                      /

                    • RedLogix

                      I appreciate there a lot of reasons not to unthinkingly trust any media source these days maui. I think most of us struggle with making sense of the world one way or another. I don't expect perfection from anyone, but I do try to understand what direction they are heading in – up or down?

                      Setting aside the politics, perhaps one good measure of this is the resolve and morale of the Ukrainian people themselves. Their courage and sacrifice has meant their military has completely outperformed all pre-war expectations – and on that undeniable basis I give them them my support.

            • Belladonna 2.1.1.3.1.2

              Oh, so Russia doesn't need to negotiate…. because they hope that they can sufficiently destroy civilian life in Ukraine, so that Ukraine will offer an unconditional surrender.

              And, you, apparently, feel this is a worthy strategy. My contempt is deep.

              Luckily, your opinion doesn't seem to be widely shared on the left – judging from the spectacular lack of support on TS – (or in the centre, or, to be fair, by much of the right).

              This style of jackbooted militarism seems to be out of favour with most civilized countries.

              Tell me, if this was the US – launching an attack on Mexico – and raining down missiles on the civilian infrastructure to force a surrender – would you still be so supportive of the military strategy? I somehow, think not.

              • mikesh

                So the situation is hopeless. Neither side wishes to negotiate. So the mayhem continues. Do you think that is a good thing?

                It is not Russia's cities being bombed, so the ball is in Ukraine's court.

                It is not that I approve of any of of this. I’ve simply resigned myself to the fact that Russia will not relinquish her gains willingly. It’s just not going to happen.

                • It's Russia doing the bombing. The ball is in Russia's court. They can stop any time they please.

                  You haven't answered my question BTW.

                  "Tell me, if this was the US – launching an attack on Mexico – and raining down missiles on the civilian infrastructure to force a surrender – would you still be so supportive of the military strategy? I somehow, think not."

                  • RedLogix

                    Exactly. If Russia removed all of it's troops back to the widely recognised 2014 borders and stopped bombing Ukraine – the war would be over tomorrow. (The converse – Ukraine invading and bombing Russia being exceedingly unlikely in the current circumstances.)

                    Unfortunately because nothing the Russians sign up to can be relied upon – Ukraine would also have to become a full member of NATO. As have Sweden and Finland.

                    Nothing else can assure their sovereignty now.

                • woodart

                  just because youre a quitter, dont expect the ukrainians to do the same. and if you any sort of student of history, you will know that once invited, the russians stay and expand.

              • mikesh

                Tell me, if this was the US – launching an attack on Mexico – and raining down missiles on the civilian infrastructure to force a surrender – would you still be so supportive of the military strategy? I somehow, think not.

                I don't know. I could only answer such a question if it happened, and I was able to look at the surrounding circumstances. Unlike you I first of all apply the the "little grey cells" (to plagiarize Agatha Christie).

                • Gosh, your strict adherence to critical reasoning, in this instance has completely passed me by /sarc/

                  I've seen plenty of uncritical acceptance of Russian propaganda. And very little application of "the little grey cells"

              • mikesh

                This style of jackbooted militarism seems to be out of favour with most civilized countries.

                It seems to be out of favour with the USA as well.

            • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1.1.3.1.3

              "The ball is in the Ukranians’ court: they need to negotiate."

              They are negotiating – on the battlefield, which is the only negotiation that will work. Russia has proven entirely unreliable in all agreements previously. Not to mention being murderous, looting, raping war criminals.

              Every democratic country should assist Ukraine with their "negotiations" to the maximum extent possible.

            • Tony Veitch 2.1.1.3.1.4

              The Russians, I am sure, would love to negotiate – which they will do, as usually, in bad faith.

              Negotiation time is time for them to regroup, to reequip, ready for the next onslaught on the Ukrainians.

              • mikesh

                “Every democratic country should assist Ukraine with their "negotiations" to the maximum extent possible.”

                Every democratic country should have made clear right from the start – even before the invasion started – that Ukraine would not be accepted as a member of NATO, and they should not have pledged support for Ukraine against Russia. As Kissinger pointed out at a recent conference countries in the area, such as Ukraine and Finland, should follow a policy of strict neutrality.

                As for “sovereign rights”, rights come with obligations.

                • Sanctuary

                  Hang on though, Russia wants to conquer Ukraine to de-Nazify the place, you Putin fanbois have got shorter memories than my goldfish.

                • Why?

                  Sovereign means just that, Sovereign.

                  Ukraine gets to decide who they want to play with on the international stage. Russia doesn't get a veto – just because they *used* to be the imperial power.

                  The parallels with Czechoslovakia and Nazi Germany are too stark for anyone with even a modicum of historical knowledge. Which is why Europe pledged support against Russia.

                  • mikesh

                    Sovereign means just that, Sovereign.

                    Ukraine gets to decide who they want to play with on the international stage. Russia doesn't get a veto – just because they *used* to be the imperial power.

                    Fine. So they accept the consequences. Russia's alarm at their joining N'ATO is understandable.

                    • If the consequences of exercising your sovereignty is your neighbour declaring war on you (because we all know that's what it is despite Putin's fig-leaf of a "special military operation") – then one can see why Ukraine would seek support from other countries.

                      Your metaphorical rabbit hole is getting very dark.

                      "Might makes right" is a philosophy – but not one I'd expect to see espoused on TS.

                    • mikesh

                      Sovereignty does not give them the right to threaten a neighbouring country. Clearly, their joining NATO is a threat to Russia, as also is their stated intention to obtain ownership of Crimea, presumably by invasion as Russia is not going to give it up.

                      Russia also has a fear of fascists, which is understandable given their experience of WWII.

                    • You mean the Crimea – which was outright stolen from Ukraine in 2014 – in a military annexation!

                      Ukrainian fascists are Ukraine’s problem. Not Russia’s. That’s what sovereignty means.

                      Eastern Europe also has a fear of Russians, which is understandable, given their experiences in the latter half of the 20th century – considerably more recently than WWII.

                    • mikesh

                      “You mean the Crimea – which was outright stolen from Ukraine in 2014 – in a military annexation!”

                      Both Crimea (and Ukraine were part of Russia prior to the early nineties, when Ukraine gained independence. This had been the case since Tsarist times. When Ukraine became independent the Crimean population, who were mostly Russian anyway, made it clear that they did not wan to be part of Ukraine, preferring to be either completely independent or part of Russia. So Ukraine effectively 'stole' Crimea at that time.

                    • "When Ukraine became independent the Crimean population, who were mostly Russian anyway, made it clear that they did not wan to be part of Ukraine, preferring to be either completely independent or part of Russia. So Ukraine effectively 'stole' Crimea at that time."

                      Do you have any evidence that the overwhelming majority of the population in Crimea A) didn't want to be part of Ukraine in 1991 (at the time of independence); and/or B) still didn't want to be part of Ukraine in 2014 (when Russia invaded)?

                      Evidence, that is, other than Russian propaganda.

                      In any case, military annexation was a violation of Russian agreements to safeguard the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

                    • mikesh

                      "Do you have any evidence that the overwhelming majority of the population in Crimea A) didn't want to be part of Ukraine in 1991 (at the time of independence); and/or B) still didn't want to be part of Ukraine in 2014 (when Russia invaded)?"

                      Referenda were held on both occasions. And both indicated that the majority did not want to be part of Ukraine.

            • Gabby 2.1.1.3.1.5

              They are negotiating, with the Americans.

        • Gabby 2.1.1.4

          How long before Russian power plants start to go down for no detectable reason.

      • weston 2.1.2

        Only the evil Russians could do something so " vile" eh jawty ?

        Ukrainians couldnt do anything bad ……..noooooooo

        they wouldnt for example spread 'petal 'mines all over a civilian neighborhood

        nooooooooo

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qyo5U5Umns

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1.2.1

          That video ("MAIMED In A PLAYGROUND") provides zero evidence of who deployed the mine in question. Curiously, it is the Russians who have been documented hitting playgrounds etc with missiles.

          Here is an article that discusses the presence of PFM ("petal") mines in Ukraine:

          https://observers.france24.com/en/europe/20220817-ukraine-russia-donetsk-petal-butterfly-antipersonnel-mines

        • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.1.2.2

          Human Rights Watch notes that Ukraine signed up to the Ottawa ban on anti-personnel mines, while Russia did not. The loudest accusations of Ukraine using PFM mines come from Russian government sources ('accuse the other side of that which you are guilty').

          Russian forces have used at least seven types of antipersonnel mines in at least four regions of Ukraine: Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kyiv, and Sumy. This marks an unusual situation in which a country that is not party to the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty uses the weapon on the territory of a party to the treaty

          There is no credible information that Ukrainian government forces have used antipersonnel mines in violation of the Mine Ban Treaty since 2014 and into 2022.

          (Background Briefing on Landmine Use in Ukraine)

          • weston 2.1.2.2.1

            Well maybe Human Rights Watch reckons "no credible info " that Ukraine has used petal mines etc but ive seen lots of video showing widespread dissemination of 'petal 'mines in Donetsk .Tanks in one example running up and down city streets trying to explode as many as possible .Mines scattered accross rooftops ,verges ,streets ,parks etc even video of neighborhood kids deliberately detonating them with air rifles !!

            Some months ago since their initial use but i'll endeavour to track some down by the way yr first link does'nt work just comes up 'Forbidden' !

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                That is another video reporting the presence of PFM mines in Donetsk (which is not disputed)….but the question is – who put them there?? Several times the video says "Ukrainians" but provides no actual evidence that it was Ukraine at all.

                Russia was notorious for widespread use of PFM mines in Afghanistan and have refused to sign treaties banning them. Ukraine on the other hand signed the treaty in 1997 and have been destroying their old stocks of them.

                Other banned anti-personnel mines have been scattered in Ukraine (POM-2, POM-3), and these are mines that Ukraine has never possessed but which Russia has plenty of.

                Who is more credible?

                • weston

                  "Who's more credible " ?

                  Which option is the more logical ?

                  What possible reason would Russia have to deliberately over time pollute the cities of its allies and countrymen with antipersonnel mines ???

                  Seems to me that the idea of Russia shelling its own infrastructure or that it controls is inherently flawed although that is exactly what we are ever increasedly expected to believe !!

                  So following Ukraine's warped logic Russia shells its own pow facility ,was plotting to blow the dam across the Dnipro river in order to drown its own soldiers and wash away the pontoon bridges that were the only supporting structures of a precariously held bridgehead !!??Likewise we're expected to believe they'd shell a nuclear power station that they are guarding ?!!Do you not get the impression that we are getting bullshitted to by Ukraines ott propaganda dept ?

                  Perhaps Ukraine's signature on the landmine agreement signifies good intent but its by no means clear how much ordinance it has left undestroyed and the fact that it has been shelling civilians in Donetsk for a very long time would tend to support the contention that it was Ukraine that spread the petal mines imo.

    • Joe90 2.2

      A seat on a petro board in the offering?

      /

      https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/merkel-condemns-russian-invasion-legacy-comes-under-scrutiny-2022-02-25/

      • Sanctuary 2.2.1

        • RedLogix 2.2.1.1

          For the most part Merkel seems to have been guilty of believing that trade alone could be a path toward unity and peace. Sadly for her that was never a sufficient condition. In my view until both the Kremlin and the CCP fully repudiate their marxist heritage – neither can be trusted.

        • Gabby 2.2.1.2

          That'll be the day, when a pollie goes to gaol for putting party before country.

  3. arkie 3

    With the RBNZ manufacturing a recession to reduce consumer spending those who rent are going to find that difficult as landlords pursue increased passive income:

    Trade Me property data shows rental prices have returned to a record high.

    The national median weekly rent was $580 last month, matching the record prices recorded in April.

    It was an increase of $20 per week, or 4 percent compared with October last year.

    That was despite the oversupply of rental properties on the market.

    He said in particular the official cash rate hike was likely to flow on to rental prices.

    “It’s a cost for a landlord out there, and unfortunately in some cases what we do see is that cost does come across to rents.”

    Lloyd said the trend of high rental prices was expected to continue over the next year.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/479433/rents-on-rise-again-as-landlords-pass-on-costs

    Rent is an unavoidable cost that is seemingly completely disconnected from traditional supply/demand price fluctuation. The Government must reinstate the Rent Freeze.

    Rent rises outpace wage growth for decades

    Renters United petition here: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/rent-controls-now

    • It's difficult to accuse landlords of pursuing passive income – when their costs (rates, mortgage, insurance, maintenance, improvements (healthy homes stds), etc.) are also increasing.

      Passing these costs on, in the form of rent increases is the way the market operates.

      Unless you want the Government to nationalize all rental housing (in which case, bye-bye to any chance of a left government in 2023) – there is little the government can actually do about this.

      Perhaps you can point to a successful long-term rent freeze – which has not resulted in 'unintended outcomes'.

      What this graph appears to actually show is that inflation is out-stripping wages. Which is not news.

      • arkie 3.1.1

        Passive income is any that is generated by capital rather than labour. This is definitionally what property income is. Landlords ‘earn’ profit above and beyond the costs you mention merely by ownership.

        The graph is demonstrating that fixed costs for over a million NZers are diverging further and further from affordability. In a functioning market an oversupply of rental properties would result in lower cost rentals, but this is not the case as people have to live somewhere. Landlords are able to make increasing profits from this need for housing, a human right.

        Rent controls exist all over the place, can you point to our housing and rental market and say its working for anyone other than Aussie banks and those already owning multiple properties?

        • Belladonna 3.1.1.1

          In that case, all investments – even your $100 in the bank for a rainy day – is passive income.

          Well, yes. Landlords are *running a business* – if they don't make a profit (either in income stream or capital value) – then they exit the market.

          If the Government wants to have an 'oversupply of rental properties' – then they need to adjust the costs of construction and supply – as well as making owning rental property an attractive proposition.

          I hope this isn't news, but *no one* apart from the government (or those supplying to the government) is building for the lower end of the rental market – because there is literally no money in it. All of the development going on (and most of that is coming to a halt) is at the mid- and upper- end.

          If rent controls exist all over the place, perhaps you can point to one working successfully, in a market similar to NZ (i.e. with the majority of the rental stock privately owned).

          • arkie 3.1.1.1.1

            Yes, all investments are passive income. Most forms of investment aren’t just about rent-seeking though. For the majority of people their only significant source of income is earned income, that which they acquired from their labour.

            It’s got nothing to do with what the government wants, there is currently an oversupply of rentals but rental prices have reached record highs despite this. This is isn’t a functioning market.

            Until relatively recently both local and central government built and rented low cost housing in significant numbers. Those assets were sold. It was a decision that a less-regulated market would provide what is needed but as you state there is no incentive for businesses to provide for those in need; there’s literally no money in it. One of the major problems of applying ‘market-solutions’ to providing for people.

            If we believe that housing is a human right then the government must substantially alter the balance of the current market so that it can perform it’s basic function of housing everyone. As NZ previously demonstrated, and weka’s link explains, social housing is necessary for a more equitable and healthy housing market for everyone. Leaving it to capitalism has demonstrably failed.

            • mikesh 3.1.1.1.1.1

              It’s got nothing to do with what the government wants, there is currently an oversupply of rentals but rental prices have reached record highs despite this. This is isn’t a functioning market.

              Too many have borrowed heavily to get into the market. Now that interest rates have risen their investments have turned bad. To recover they are, by passing on their mortgage costs as part of the rent, trying to make the tenant pay for their "mistakes".

              • TBH – that doesn't seem to have been true in NZ for at least the last 2 years.

                Investors needs a 40% deposit to buy an existing property, and 20% for a new build

                https://www.opespartners.co.nz/mortgage/lvr

                The increase in mortgage costs doesn't mean their investments have turned bad – it means that the cost of operating their 'business' has increased – and they need to increase income (in this case, rent) Just as if you're running a delivery business – the increase in petrol/diesel costs means you have to increase delivery fees; or if you're running a restaurant – the increase in staff costs means you have to increase prices.

                The higher LVR means that they have quite a cushion in terms of property price before they'd be in negative equity territory. Remember that a 20% drop (which is what the RB is signalling) just puts prices back where they were in early 2020.

                • mikesh

                  it means that the cost of operating their 'business' has increased – and they need to increase income (in this case, rent)

                  It is only the interest component of the mortgage that has recently become non deductible. The principal was never deductible. However the mortgage, both principal and interest, represents the cost of the house to the landlord, and has nothing to do with the tenant. The tenant should not have to pay for the landlord's property, so the mortgage should not be a determinant of how much rent he pays. If the cost to the landlord of operating his business has increased and that increase is due to an increase in mortgage costs, then so be it: he has simply made a bad business decision and he is being "punished" by the market. That's what capitalism is all about.

                  • AFAIK – there isn't a political party in NZ which has this rather radical policy – to prevent landlords from recouping interest costs or even capital repayments from rental income.

                    And, no. No business owner makes the decision to just give up because costs have increased. They first look to see if they can increase their income.

                    Do you also propose that trucking firms should somehow absorb petrol/diesel price rises? And that restaurants should somehow absorb the increased cost of staffing? Should they, too, be "punished by the market" for making bad business decisions?

                    Of course, if it is not possible to increase income to offset increased costs, then the landlord goes out of business – and sells up – potentially at a loss; just as the trucking firm and restaurant also go broke.

                    Your argument seems to be that, like Weka, you regard rental housing as a public good – and that, therefore it should not be commercialized (i.e. it should all be government owned, or owned by non-profit entities; and rents should be controlled by the ability to pay.)

                    Well and good – but not practical in NZ. Unless you have a realistic pathway to get there from here.

                    • mikesh

                      “Do you also propose that trucking firms should somehow absorb petrol/diesel price rises? And that restaurants should somehow absorb the increased cost of staffing? Should they, too, be "punished by the market" for making bad business decisions?”

                      No, I do not. I instance interest because, unlike diesel, etc, it is not a true 'business cost'. since businesses don't borrow. Proprietors borrow and the cost of their borrowing, ie interest, is a personal expense. It makes no difference to a business whether or not interest is paid on the capital invested in it.

                      Some have argued that it was unfair of Grant Robertson to single out landlords for this treatment and I would agree. Non deductibility of interest should apply across the board; but I guess that's another story

                    • mikesh

                      AFAIK – there isn't a political party in NZ which has this rather radical policy – to prevent landlords from recouping interest costs or even capital repayments from rental income.

                      Raf Manji, leader of the Opportunities Party has mentioned the possibility of preventing banks from lending for the purpose of financing residential rental investments. I don't know whether this was just an off the cuff remark or whether it is TOP policy. If it isn't then I think it should be.

                  • mikesh

                    since businesses don’t borrow. [sic]

                    The additive "(sic)" seems entirely appropriate. The author of the link, presumably the RBNZ, seems to have been a little loose in their description of what actually happens. A business is not a person so it cannot walk into a bank and ask for a loan. Only a person, usually the proprietor, can do that.

                    Accountants have a convention they call the "entity convention". This asserts that the proprietor and his business are separate entities for business and accounting purposes. Interest is an expense incurred for by the proprietor for the purpose of raising capital. It is of no concern to the business.

                    The Income Tax Act says that an expense is deductible if it is incurred for the purpose of gaining "taxable income". Capital, as any accountant will tell you, is not income, taxable of otherwise, so expenses relating to the raising of capital should not be deductible.

                    • Incognito

                      As usual, you concoct your own narrative twisting ordinary language into sophistry and techo-gibberish that only you seem to believe in. Sadly, it doesn’t stop there and you seem to have your own ‘unique’ view of reality that, unfortunately, sucks up a lot of oxygen here.

                    • mikesh

                      I would have more respect for your comments if you explained them. For instance, why do you call my comments "sophistries and techno-gibberish"? Do you have an argument to support that claim? If not, then you may as well stop your blathering.

                  • mikesh

                    As a matter of interest I took a look at TOP's housing policy as per their website, these are the relevant parts:

                    • introduce a land value tax of 0.75% – a small annual tax paid on the value of urban residential land.*
                    • Remove the current Bright Line Test and allow tax deductibility of interest for landlords, which is replaced by the land value tax.
                    • Require a deposit of 100% of the value of an existing home when purchased for investment purposes.

                    The third item would seem to prevent borrowing for private rental purposes, so the question of tax deductibility mentioned in the second item would not arise, except for current rentals. The only reason for borrowing would then be to carry out renovations after purchasing, but this would be covered by the new builds provisions presumably. Or for normal business expenses such as rates, insurance, repairs, etc, for cash flow purposes.

                    This, the third item aside, would bring the business more into line with normal businesses. I still think that all interest should be non deductible, but that, as I said somewhere else in the comments to this blog, is another story.

      • weka 3.1.2

        Perhaps you can point to a successful long-term rent freeze – which has not resulted in 'unintended outcomes'.

        https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/12/vienna-housing-policy-uk-rent-controls

        I don't give a flying fuck about how some people think the market should work. Human rights take precedence.

        • Roy Cartland 3.1.2.1

          +1

          Same issue with this outrageous 'manufactured recession'. If the market working as it should, screws us over to protect others' "wealth", then it's not fit for purpose as a governing philosophy.

          • arkie 3.1.2.1.1

            Tautoko Roy and weka

          • Poission 3.1.2.1.2

            The manufactured recession is a consequence of having to constrain inflation due to lowered interest rates,increased money supply,and keynsian fiscal stimulus that create asset bubbles,that implode leaving both debt,unemployed politicians,and distressed consumers with buyers remorse.

            It is an expectation of MPS tightening,why it surprised politicians,shows ignorance rather then discovery,the inability to be able to suggest policy that removes cost,show an inability to govern.

            • SPC 3.1.2.1.2.1

              Not all of the inflation is caused by stimulus, some comes from supply chain (foreign and domestic) disruption, including to international logistics (containers etc).

              And reducing demand by higher interest rates is not the best way to encourage investment in labour replacement (crop harvesting machines, machine milking and the like). Some of price escalation is caused by monopoly (gib board) practice.

              Actions such as lower petrol taxation and a rent freeze also lower inflation.

              PS Orr held interest rates down too long, he also allowed investors off the deposit ratio to buy property with cheap money (rather than directing them to new investment to reduce price pressures caused by rental shortage) to increase our collective debt.

              • Poission

                Freight rates have been decreasing since March,they are now down to pre covid levels.A substantive portion of the imported inflation is from the depreciation of the NZ dollar,due to capital flight and the appreciation of the US$ as a safe haven,with higher debt liquidity,without the forex hedge costs.

                There is no shortage of rental properties,there is a shortage of suitable tenants due to policy changes,and the difficulty in removing poor performing tenants,

          • bwaghorn 3.1.2.1.3

            Yip they'll force them onto the dole then hate them for taking it.

        • Belladonna 3.1.2.2

          From your link

          "two-thirds of Viennese citizens live in municipal or publicly subsidised housing. "

          Which certainly doesn't apply in NZ – and can't, in the near – or even mid- term, without massive Government acquisition of rental property either by paying market price or compulsorily (cf above comment on one quick way to ensure there is no left government in 2023)

          "Where rent controls do work, many Viennese agree, is in tandem with Vienna’s vast offering of unghettoised, social housing and an aggressive policy to add more of these homes."

          The market doesn't care whether you approve or not. If there is a shortage of housing – and/or increasing provision costs – the price will go up. Whether that's 'officially' or the plethora of ways that a landlord can move out tenants (renovations to meet standards is a current favourite), and re-let at a higher price.

          If you want to have massive amounts of government subsidised housing in NZ – then you have to find an effective pathway (i.e. one which can gain electoral support) to get there from here. I've yet to see one which is even vaguely achievable.

          • SPC 3.1.2.2.1

            The (phased) end of mortgage interest deductability will, with a higher OCR, lead to more sales by landlords (and at lower values than now) to first home buyers.

            A rent freeze and the option of 5 year loans (lower than the floating rate of the next year or two) to these first buyers would help. An alternative is for government to buy off landlords and on-sell to first home buyers later when the mortgage rates fall back.

            • Belladonna 3.1.2.2.1.1

              Where do you think the money for the Government to buy from existing landlords is going to come from?

              Kainga Ora are well over their current budget for builds both underway and in the planning phase. And, are well behind their targets for getting their current rental stock to meet healthy homes standards.

              With the Government being told by the RB to restrain their spending – I doubt a big new property acquisition income stream is going to magically appear.

              • SPC

                It's not spending if it is buying and on-selling. It's just a transaction. And Orr is not boss of government, and governments can borrow on the bond market anytime they want.

                • It most certainly is spending. If you (the government) purchase something, then you need to have the income stream to do so (it has to be in the budget somewhere).

                  You (the government) may later sell off part of your assets – and that then becomes positive cash balance in a later budget cycle.

                  I really don't think that the government want Orr to be telling the country that increased spending in their 2023 budget will increase inflation even further – so, they will be listening very closely to what he has to say.

                  Kainga Ora is already using bonds – and, as you can see, it's reported as a liability against the government accounts

                  https://debtmanagement.treasury.govt.nz/investor-resources/new-zealand-debt-management-undertake-financing-kainga-ora

                  There really is no magic money tree.

                  • SPC

                    One has an income stream from rent to pay the cost of the debt and then the money from selling the property (to those who would buy once the OCR comes back down) to pay the debt back.

                    Whether the government, or first home buyers borrowing from banks with 5 year loans, buy up property makes no difference to aggregate spending in the economy.

                    • Different budget cycles. Unless you are postulating that prices would crash significantly within a year.

                      It also postulates a capital loss on every sale (government selling for significantly less than they bought the property) – so you would never recover even the base price from sales – let alone the borrowing costs.

                      Rental income might cover the borrowing costs (maybe…) – but wouldn't do a thing to cover the capital cost.

                      Orr is commenting on the *government* needing to restrain spending. And, is also predicting a fall in house prices of around 20% (don't rejoice too soon, that would get us back to about 2020 price levels – hardly sustainable)

                      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/130565288/reserve-bank-telling-government-to-slow-spending-to-bring-inflation-under-control-economist-says

                    • SPC

                      A rent freeze would assist house price fall. The government would determine the timing of its buy in.

                      Rental income might cover the borrowing costs (maybe…) – but wouldn't do a thing to cover the capital cost.

                      Re-sale would, and there will be more businesses looking at buying into this market with the end of interest deductablility for investors speculating for untaxed CG using borrowed money.

                    • Poission

                      Housing corp has both a budget deficit ( 344 m at 1 july) an increased debt 9.8b 1 July,increasing again ( by 2.3 b in nov) as it now needs to borrow on the government account due to the lack of interest in the secondary bond market.

                      https://www.nzx.com/markets/NZDX

                      It now has no ability to repay debt,due to now borrowing for operations and maintenance.A revaluation downwards of 10% in its asset valuations,how does it provide a sustainable income?

                    • "Re-sale would, and there will be more businesses looking at buying into this market with the end of interest deductablility for investors speculating for untaxed CG using borrowed money."

                      There is no possible way this can be true. If the government buys and then waits for the market to fall before re-selling – as you postulate – there is no possible way that they can recoup even the capital cost – let alone the cost of borrowing.

                      If the government buys at 1 million – and sells, 3 years later at 750K – they've made an absolute lost of 250K + whatever the borrowing costs might be.

                      I'm sorry, but I have better use for my taxes.

                    • SPC

                      If the government buys and then waits for the market to fall before re-selling – as you postulate

                      I said

                      A rent freeze would assist house price fall. The government would determine the timing of its buy in.

                      Government policy leads to a price fall and then the government buys in and then on sells to first home buyers (they would be still be waiting for mortgage cost to fall).

                    • SPC

                      @ Poission

                      A devaluation in Housing Corp assets (with a downward correction in the market value) has no impact on its operational finances (just more difficulty borrowing against its assets – which is sorted out via new government input as is the case at present).

                      The period of greater cost – increasing property to the required standard is a one time thing. And inevitably required government input. Another impost will be sufficiency of disability housing with aging tenants.

                  • mikesh

                    People don't spend money, they spend incomes. A money tree does exist: it's called the "velocity of money". As money moves through the economy it creates income, and the faster it moves the more income it creates. If we wish to avoid demand inflation we need to ensure that the flow of goods and services matches that increase in income.

          • weka 3.1.2.2.2

            Which certainly doesn't apply in NZ – and can't, in the near – or even mid- term, without massive Government acquisition of rental property either by paying market price or compulsorily (cf above comment on one quick way to ensure there is no left government in 2023)

            You didn't ask for an example that could be used by NZ without NZ having to change much. You asked for an example that,

            Perhaps you can point to a successful long-term rent freeze – which has not resulted in 'unintended outcomes'.

            Which is the standard line from people who believe in TINA. But TINA is something that neoliberals made up. We have choices and TINA basically says fuck off poors, we don't really care about you.

            The market doesn't care whether you approve or not. If there is a shortage of housing – and/or increasing provision costs – the price will go up. Whether that's 'officially' or the plethora of ways that a landlord can move out tenants (renovations to meet standards is a current favourite), and re-let at a higher price.

            The market is a system that humans created. It doesn't have opinions of feelings. Humans can change that system.

            Your example of how the market works fails in two fundamental ways.

            1. we intervene in markets all the time, there is no such thing as free market. The argument is about how we intervene.
            2. Landlords can only move tenants out because the state is intervening in some ways and not others. That's a choice.

            Humans rights matter more that the ability of some people to make passive income. What would help change things if is we were honest about the fact that adhering to TINA = relinquishing the right to a healthy and meaningful life.

            • Belladonna 3.1.2.2.2.1

              Apologies for not specifically stating that I was looking for an example of a rent freeze in a country which was comparable to NZ.

              Because, right now, all the examples I can see – which are trying to resolve rocketing rents – rather than being long-term 'the way we do business' – have very significant unintended consequences.

              If you want to argue for massive state intervention in the market – switching NZ to majority state ownership of rentals – go to.

              I'd like to see your thinking on how to get there from here – other than handwavium. Because the budgetary implications are staggering.

              However, I don't think a rent freeze is going to win an election for the left in 2023.

              Humans matter in lots of ways. Our government doesn't support or fund lots of areas effectively (livable income for sickness beneficiaries, dental treatment, timely hospital care, routine medical treatment, etc.). Housing is just one instance.

              If the answer is simple and obvious, then no doubt we'll see it as a central platform of the Left in 2023.

              • weka

                Housing isn't just one of many instances though. It's fundamental to everything. Because we all need a home, and because the cost of housing is now the main driver of poverty here. Anything else the government and NGOs do to alleviate poverty is undermined by the cost of housing. Even raising benefits will partially fail because landlords will raise rents in response.

                If the answer is simple and obvious, then no doubt we'll see it as a central platform of the Left in 2023.

                Snort, we don't have a left to adopt such a platform. And it's not simple or obvious, it's really fucking complex. TINA arguments make it that much worse.

                There are no single, silver bullet solutions. A rent cap would need to be strategic and part of a broader overall plan. Which means not just housing but everything eg we cannot solve the housing crisis without looking at Accommodation Supplement and we can't look at that without looking at benefits and welfare.

                Have a look at the GP policy to see where we might go on this.

                https://www.greens.org.nz/housing_policy

                • RedLogix

                  Well if you are going to abandon market mechanisms altogether – or in your own words:

                  I don't give a flying fuck about how some people think the market should work. Human rights take precedence.

                  the alternative you seem to be espousing is that the govt provides housing as 'a human right'. This is your core jsutification.

                  Now given that human rights are universal, it is fair to ask why the govt would only provide some people with housing and not others. And why it might charge some people more than others. Or why it might provide some people with houses in more desirable places than others. Or newer ones for some people, but not others.

                  I have lived in such a housing system for a while – a standard Soviet apartment building – but I am not sure this is what you have in mind. Nor what I suspect most New Zealanders would choose either. So if we are to get past the handwavium – how about giving us some hard details as to how you think this human rights based universal state housing system would work please?

                  As for the Green Party policy – again long on handwavium with multiple contradictions around keeping rents and mortgages less than 30% or 25% – but then nothing on keeping costs down. Quite the opposite a long whole wish list that demand more capital and costs. Even if you want to reject markets altogether I am not sure how anyone can square that circle.

                  • weka

                    Fuck off Red. I've told you so many times that you are making shit up about what I believe, there's no point in engaging with you seriously. Basically you just take what I say, shift it out of context and/or misrepresent it, and then use that to push your own barrow.

                    For the benefit of others reading,

                    1. I didn't advocate abandoning market mechanisms altogether (and I don't believe in such)
                    2. I don't believe that the state should be the sole provider of housing.
                    • RedLogix

                      I quoted your exact words:

                      I don't give a flying fuck about how some people think the market should work.

                      That statement is a repudiation of market mechanisms if I ever read one.

                      If you are going to base your argument that on the idea that housing is a human right – again your words precisely – then they have to be universal. Or do you think some people get different rights to housing depending on intersectionality or something?

                    • weka

                      yes you quoted my words and completely misunderstood what I meant. This is what I have been saying for ages, you actually don't understand my arguments, politics or position. And you almost never ask for clarification.

                      And here you are doing it again, thinking you know what I meant when I’ve already told you you don’t and you still don’t ask for clarification.

                    • RedLogix

                      Combine your statement that emphatically appears to repudiate markets, with your reference to Green Party policy that seems to demand both rental reductions and cost increases at the same time – then you maybe could offer us ignorant ones some clarification about how you think markets should work.

                      And if you are going to base your argument squarely on the claim that housing is a human right – then you also need to clarify how you think that will work. Because as I explained – there are some fairly obvious practical problems with this approach.

                    • SPC

                      The property market in New Zealand was already overvalued because investment is directed into land ownership as there is no CGT.

                      And allowing people to speculate by borrowing money cheaply to own property made things worse.

                      Fortunately there is a plan – end deductability of interest to encourage sale to first home buyers or business ownership (subject to company tax on CG and can claim interest as a cost).

                      A way to improve on this plan would be a rent freeze and better regulation of property being up to standard. Thus increase the pressure to sell and thus take down property values – fix Orr's mess.

                    • weka

                      Red, you just keep making shit up about my views and I'll just keep not responding.

                    • RedLogix

                      Nah – you resort to the 'you are just making shit up about my views' persecution ploy whenever I offer even the simplest and most obvious challenges.

                      If you do believe in markets – as you now claim – then how do you markets manage to decrease rental prices while increasing supplier costs at the same time?

                      And if housing is a universal human right – then how do you allocate it if – as you now claim – you do not think the state should be the universal provider?

                      These are really obvious questions that did not require me to make up anything.

                    • weka []

                      It’s not that I have to resort to it, it’s that you make it so obvious I just have to point it out.

                      I don’t “believe in” markets. Again, you simply don’t understand my position, nor do you want to.

                      I’d suggest you go read what rights to housing so you can stop arguing with your staw man there.

                      No way am I going to engage with the points you are making until you stop misrepresenting mine.

                    • SPC

                      The problem is solved by a collapse in property values. Such is crisis capitalism.

                    • RedLogix

                      @SPC

                      Current prices are reducing because interest rates have increased.

                      But unless you happen to have the purchase price sitting around in cash, most people are going to need to borrow – and increasing interest rates will pretty much cancel out any gain from decreasing prices.

                      And in a falling market, banks quite reasonably tend to demand higher deposit equity – which does not help affordability either.

                      Worse still if the market falls far enough, as you seem to wish, a large fraction of existing homeowners will go underwater with their mortgage – ie the value of the property becomes less than the mortgage. Which means either they will not sell unless forced to, reducing supply on the market. Or if they do have to sell and wind up with no equity, they finish up back renting again and increasing demand in that sector.

                      And in Aus and NZ you cannot walk away from a mortgage if you have made a loss on it – the residual debt remains.

                      Lots of interacting factors your simplistic demand to collapse the property market does not really take into account.

                    • RedLogix

                      @weak

                      If you refuse to explain yourself – then why are you upset with me?

                    • weka []

                      upset would be overstating it, but now you’re basically trolling me 🙄

                    • RedLogix

                      First of all you say you don't give a flying fuck about how other people think markets should work, then you say you don't believe in abandoning market mechanisms altogether, and now you say you 'don't believe in markets'. No wonder no-one knows what you mean, because it seems to shift about from comment to comment.

                      And when asked how you think the housing market should work when you both reduce rental prices and increase rental costs at the same time – crickets.

                      Over the years I have contributed both at length and in detail on this topic – in essence arguing that if you are going to try and fix something as complex and important as housing in this country – it would be a good idea to demonstrate that you have a solid, well thought out idea of how it worked. Because in my experience, taking a simplistic blunt hammer to a complex mechanism rarely has the claimed result.

                      And again if you are going to base your argument on housing being a human right, then it has to be a universal human right. One that only the state can deliver on – universally. That you have not thought this through does not change the fact of it.

                    • weka []

                      First of all you say you don’t give a flying fuck about how other people think markets should work, then you say you don’t believe in abandoning market mechanisms altogether, and now you say you ‘don’t believe in markets’. No wonder no-one knows what you mean, because it seems to shift about from comment to comment.

                      And again. The reason you don’t know what I think is because you spend all this time, every time, asserting what I think instead of asking. In this case, you are just plain wrong. As I said, I’m not going to talk politics with someone who does this so consistently. What would be the point.

                      You can also keep asserting your ideas about human rights, but without out referencing the work people have done on the rights to housing and what that means in a HR frame, all that’s happening is you are sitting in a room arguing with a bunch of straw men.

                    • mikesh

                      But unless you happen to have the purchase price sitting around in cash, most people are going to need to borrow – and increasing interest rates will pretty much cancel out any gain from decreasing prices.

                      Everybody has a right to a home, but no-one has an automatic right to own rental properties, Purchasing rental properties increases demand and presumably pushes up prices. Bank lending for that purpose is therefor counterproductive. To become a landlord it should be necessary to either have a spare freehold property that you can rent out, or sufficient dosh to be able, without borrowing, to purchase one. .

                      The leader of TOP has suggested that banks be prevented from lending for that purpose. I don't know whether this is TOP policy, but I think it probably should be. It would also probably lead to a lowering of rentals since landlords would then have no need to illicitly pass on mortgage costs to tenants.

                    • RedLogix

                      @mikesh

                      Everybody has a right to a home,

                      Everybody? All New Zealanders or everyone on the planet? And do they get a choice of which home, or do you imagine some govt entity would allocate them on what basis?

                      Perhaps even if they had no income or savings and if this is going to be a proper meaningful right, then it would have to be a free home. But why then would some people get free houses and others have to pay? Maybe they should all be free?

                      This is the problem with making housing a right. Rights are an abstract universal and apply equally to all humans. Housing is not; they are in different locations, different sizes, styles and quality. Not to mention all differing ages. There is nothing abstract or universal about housing. Jamming the two concepts on top of each other results in an absurd mess the moment you look past the superficial slogan.

                      In any real world case whether you are borrowing from a bank directly, or indirectly via a landlord (who is effectively providing the equity and creditworthiness you do not have) – there is no such thing as free houses.

                      The problem extreme left wingers have is they are generally too poor to even qualify for the capital to own a home outright; and deeply resent the fact they have to ask others – either a landlord or a bank – to provide it for them. Hence the blind desire to smash capitalism – rather than make it work intelligently for everyone.

                    • RedLogix

                      @ weka

                      You can also keep asserting your ideas about human rights, but without out referencing the work people have done on the rights to housing and what that means in a HR frame,

                      Well about three comments ago would have been a good moment to provide a reference. Like how you insist other do all the time.

                    • Muttonbird

                      A breathtaking departure at 9:50pm by WhiteLogix from what defines the socially conscious left.

                      Left wingers are too poor to qualify for capital.

                      ACT in nature, ACT in name.

                    • mikesh

                      Everybody? All New Zealanders or everyone on the planet? And do they get a choice of which home, or do you imagine some govt entity would allocate them on what basis?

                      Oh, stop blathering. People have a right to a home, as distinct from an (automatic) right to own rental properties.

                    • SPC

                      @RedLogix

                      House prices are falling because

                      1. they only rose to those levels because Orr facilitated an abnormally low level of mortgage rates.

                      2. Orr wants an abrupt change to higher than normal mortgage rates to cause a recession.

                      The guy over-reacts to everything.

                      The government needs to assist in lowering inflation by freezing rents. If this means there are more landlords willing to sell (before fully impacted by the phasing out of interest deductability) but there is a lack of buyers (waiting for mortgage rates to fall to normal levels) then

                      1. the government can buy and later on-sell to first homeowners (when the mortgage rates ease)

                      2. the government and or Orr or the banks could manage this period with more 5 year loans to first home buyers.

                      Worse still if the market falls far enough, as you seem to wish, a large fraction of existing homeowners will go underwater with their mortgage

                      You cannot be serious, mortgagee sales only occur when someone cannot pay the mortgage.

                      Which means either they will not sell unless forced to, reducing supply on the market.

                      No it does not. How does someone staying in their property reduce the number of houses in the market?

                      Or if they do have to sell and wind up with no equity, they finish up back renting again and increasing demand in that sector.

                      If they have to. And not necessarily because if the property goes to a first homeowner, they move into the rental vacated by them elsewhere.

                      Lots of interacting factors your simplistic demand to collapse the property market does not really take into account.

                      Stuff and nonsense.

                  • Bazza64

                    Appreciate your comments Red, nice to have some logic to the discussions on here.

                    If housing is a human right, wouldn't food come before that ? Problem is someone else is required on the other side of the transaction to deliver the goods (at no cost ?)

                    • RedLogix

                      Well put. The hard left often overlooks that for every human right there is an complementary and balancing human responsibility.

                    • weka

                      Do you know what a human right is?

                      Yes, there is a human right to food.

                      https://www.ohchr.org/en/special-procedures/sr-food/about-right-food-and-human-rights

                      By all means make an argument against the human right to food, I'd like to hear that. But please reference the actual right not what you are imagining.

                    • mikesh

                      If housing is a human right, wouldn't food come before that ? Problem is someone else is required on the other side of the transaction to deliver the goods (at no cost ?)

                      Are you telling that the human right to food is not being met. That's terrible. It's certainly something that should be rectified.

      • SPC 3.1.3

        Landlords deduct those costs from rent income before tax on rent is assessed. Rents are higher here than overseas, not because of these costs, but because of seeking a rate of return on the land/property values (which were overvalued and are now falling).

        Landlords are losing their right to deduct mortgage cost (where these are existing properties rather than new builds) against rent income. This encourages sales to first home buyers and purchase of new builds.

        A rent freeze for a year, alongside the reduction in petrol taxation, is a way to reduce cost in the economy. It would assist the RB in reducing inflation and thus result in an earlier return to lower mortgage rates.

        It's a no brainer. And given National would not do it, is an easy political win with renters.

        • Belladonna 3.1.3.1

          But, also guaranteed to lose votes from all of the Mum and Dad investors (that's around 1/3 of the rental stock in NZ). A heck of a lot of them voted Labour last time. Do you really think Labour want to risk it?

          • SPC 3.1.3.1.1

            They deserve to lose, if they do not. There are not that many such landlords either. And in any case they are already losing their right (being phased out) to deduct interest under Labour … .

            • Belladonna 3.1.3.1.1.1

              Sorry. Are you saying that Labour deserve to lose?

              According to this article, around 1/3 of rental properties in NZ are owned by Mum and Dad investors.

              https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/part-time-paradise-mum-and-dad-landlords-own-more-than-a-third-of-property/L5S3MVSOUZLW74K575GKOAO3NU/

              It is dated from 2020 – so may have changed a bit – but I haven't seen anything in the news about the rental property ownership profile changing significantly.

              Landlords know that they are losing the right to deduct interest. That's part of the reason that rents have been going up (it's one of the increased costs I mentioned above).

              • SPC

                I'll repeat.

                Do you really think Labour want to risk it?

                They deserve to lose, if they do not.

                If Labour freeze rent for a year to reduce inflastion, the incentive to these landlords to sell will increase. Labour wants more first homeowners – thus earlier decision to end mortgage deductability. Landlords who own their property without mortgage, or run it as a business (thus can claim interest as a cost and thus pay tax on any sale CG) are not affected. And some investors will buy into 100% property ownership once values fall far enough, as will some companies.

                • Whereas, my pick is, that they will lose if they do put a rent freeze in place.

                  Too many middle NZ investors are tied into property. Governments meddle with this at their peril.

                  Labour would be putting a lot of 'soft' centre votes at risk. These are people who voted Labour in 2020, and like Ardern (or don't like Luxon) – but have no 'tribal' loyalty to Labour.

                  Put their economic future at risk (most Mum and Dad investors, are doing this to cover their retirement) – and they'll change their votes.

                  As you point out – rent-freeze policies going to be more popular with the renters – but how many of them vote National or ACT (or, vote at all, for that matter)?

                  Of course, just my opinion.

                  • SPC

                    The polls indicate they have already moved from Labour, and given National's offering the return of interest deductability (and threshold movement), for mine Labour's best chance is to hold down rent costs and make the chance of owning greater.

                    Currently our level of home ownership is lower than that of the UK and it is going down. Labour has to be seen to be acting.

                    And its actions need to also include houses to get people out of motels (before on-selling them later).

                  • RedLogix

                    Loss of interest deductibility was tolerable when rates were around 3% – much less so if they go back up to the > 7% range.

                  • weka

                    Too many middle NZ investors are tied into property. Governments meddle with this at their peril.

                    So don't just freezer rent, but help middle class NZ either protect their investments in other ways, or find other ways to invest.

                • mikesh

                  or run it as a business (thus can claim interest as a cost and thus pay tax on any sale CG) are not affected.

                  Who are these? I thought all (residential) landlords were affected.

      • mikesh 3.1.4

        The landlord shouldn't really be passing on mortgage costs. The tenant might be expected to pay a fair rent, but he shouldn't have to pay for the landlord's property.

      • tWiggle 3.1.5

        I disagree. The reason is that housing is a basic need, and comes out of income before anything else. Landlords as a group are a monopoly, as social housing is the only alternative to living in your car. They can form cartels to push the cost up, and have been. Property managers, who earn a % of the rent, encourage increases as often as possible.

        However, residential property investors are acting as if they carry no risk, despite the fact they are investors, and all investments carry risk. The property investors (and banks) expect renters to top up their extra costs, to retain a nice annual return, plus untaxed capital gains. But they, along with banks should carry the negative consequences of investment as well as the positive. I'd especially like to see banks have to eat loses in property value, as they did for the 20% drop in California residential property after the 2008 housing bubble crash. After all, the banks magic the money for mortgages out of thin air, and then charge us interest for the privilege.

        The number of landlords/businesses lodging residential bonds is 120, 00 or so from the link below, for more than 500, 000 rentals. This small percentage of NZ is trying to convince the rest of us to suck it up for their benefit.

        Once again, housing costs come first out of income, before food and power. If we can push rents down by making the banks and landlords take the hit for their investment risk, many more Kiwis would be in a stronger position to weather other inflationary costs.

        https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/homed/real-estate/124320645/nearly-80-per-cent-of-landlords-own-just-one-property-data-shows

        • RedLogix 3.1.5.1

          Landlords as a group are a monopoly, as social housing is the only alternative to living in your car. They can form cartels to push the cost up, and have been.

          Yet later on you state:

          The number of landlords/businesses lodging residential bonds is 120, 00 or so from the link below, for more than 500, 000 rentals.

          Obviously 120,000 landlords cannot be a monopoly – and claiming they are 'as a group' adds no meaningful information whatsoever. You might as well argue all farmers are a monopoly cartel because there is 'no alternative to eating'.

          As for your quaint notion that landlords carry no risk, this really tells me you know nothing about the business – nor the slim margins it operates on.

        • Belladonna 3.1.5.2

          In which case, you should argue (as others have above) that rental housing should only be provided by the government or other not-for-profit social agencies.

          And provide a mechanism to get there from here.

          ATM, rental housing is a business – just as running a restaurant or a delivery company is a business.

          If you don't want it to be a business (with bottom line profitability a significant factor), then you don't want private landlords in the game, at all.

          • mikesh 3.1.5.2.1

            ATM, rental housing is a business – just as running a restaurant or a delivery company is a business.

            Businesses produce goods or services. Rentier activities produce nothing, but merely exploit existing assets.

            • Belladonna 3.1.5.2.1.1

              Provision of housing is a service.

              • mikesh

                A house is capable of providing accommodation. The landlord did not create that capability, he merely purchased a pre-existing house and exploited it for his own gain. He cannot be deemed to be "providing a service".

                A service would normally entail active participation such as, for example, when a barber gives you a “trim”.

                • So, according to your argument: the owner of a storage unit is not providing a service; the owner of a hire car is not providing a service; the owner of a for-lease post-hole borer is not providing a service.

                  None of those entail active participation. They involve ownership of a capital asset which is rented or leased out for a period of time.

                  • Muttonbird

                    The storage unit is subject to some sort of regulation I expect. Hire car definitely needs a WOF. Not so a rental property. If "provision of housing is a service", why do landlords and their bodies squeal like stick pigs when they are asked to provide a decent product?

                  • mikesh

                    The operator of a storage unit will have built the facility himself. He is renting out capabilities which he has created. A car hire firm has to hire car groomers, mechanics to check over cars, office and counter staff, drivers to drive cars to where they are needed. and quite independently of the cars themselves, they have hire or own premises. Both are clearly providing a service fromwhich the community benefits, in much same way that a shop owner provides a service although he does not actually create the goods he sells. These businessmen are providing locations where people know they can obtain specific goods or services.

                    PS: I forgot to mention advertisiing.

                    • Ah, so now your service definition has morphed to 'one where the community benefits'

                      I think that it's entirely arguable that the community benefits from the service of providing housing.

                      Landlords also hire lots of people (maintenance, cleaning, repairs, renovation, lawn care, etc.). And most owners of storage units certainly didn't build them, themselves.

                      Really. If you want to argue that the provision of housing is too important (and/or critical) to be provided by individuals – and should be a government monopoly – then stick to that argument.

                      Because, this one has more holes than a colander.

  4. newsense 4

    It’s weird to compare the reaction to the Sandringham murder to Pike River. The way nobody was at fault, everything was a tragedy at Pike River.

    Here immediately everything was the government’s fault. The government, not the police were called soon to investigate and solve the crime.

    But both were preventable workplace deaths.

    Probably too soon to be talking about it.

    • Hmm. One was the result of (possible) institutional systems failure in the mine – and was an isolated event; the other was the result of a criminal act by an individual – which followed a pattern of multiple other similar criminal acts which (by luck) didn't result in deaths.

      There's a strong element of 'I told you so' going on. Everyone could see that it was just a matter of time before someone was killed in one of these attacks on shops.

      • newsense 4.1.1

        Failures in workplace safety and anyone to take responsibility is not an isolated event. We’ve had many industries where contracting out and avoiding responsibility is standard.

        Even a Granny Weatherwax tribute act (at least in name) should be able to see that.

        • Belladonna 4.1.1.1

          This was in relation to Pike River. I'm not aware of a sequence of similar workplace safety failures in that or any other mine.

          And, I still don't see the equivalence with a series of similar criminal attacks, which have now resulted in a death.

          Two very different incidents. With two very different public responses.

          • newsense 4.1.1.1.1

            Ahh, workplace deaths are isolated incidents not at all related.

            Whereas ram raids, where a feature of the crime is an empty shop, is part of a series of crime where death is inevitable?

            I agree, very different reactions from David Seymour and his ilk. A preventable death is a preventable death. No one should face death as part and parcel of their regular duties at work.

  5. SPC 5

    When one walks away from tribalism.

    The LGBTQ writer said 'groupthink' led her to believe the Harry Potter author was a transphobe

    In the tread, EJ Rosetta wrote: 'Right, I'm done. 3 months ago, I was tasked with writing an article detailing '20 Transphobic JK Rowling Quotes We're Done With' After 12 weeks of reading her books, tweets, full essay & finding the context of these 'quotes', I've not found a single truly transphobic message.'

    Rosetta concluded: 'You're burning the wrong witch. I stand with @jk_rowling.'

    "Group think, brainwashing & listening unquestioningly to the voices of my LGBT peers over critical thought & doing my own research/thinking. 5 years I have spent nodding along while JK was buried, and for that I apologise [sic]. I’m glad to report I’m thinking for myself again now," Rosetta wrote.

    Rosetta has previosuly called herself a reformed TERF, trans-exclusionary radical feminist, a term used to describe women who others believe is excluding trans rights from women's rights movements.

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/huffpost-writer-defends-jk-rowling-no-evidence-transphobic-quotes-burning-wrong-witch

    • weka 5.1

      Rosetta's been on fire this week. The original thread,

  6. Temp ORary 6

    I haven't been onsite this past week to address the Incitement to Hatred and Discrimination legislation that has been drastically watered down as regards the rainbow community of Aotearoa. Various reasons; other commitments, shock, and grieving amongst them. But at least there are more solid details about the proposed reduced bill that will be presented to parliament before next election:

    The Green Party said it sent a signal to gender, rainbow, and disability communities that they were less deserving of protection, worried that those communities were targets of extremism.

    Executive director of Auckland Pride Max Tweedie welcomed the change for religious groups, but said it should not take a “heinous terrorist attack for hate speech laws with that affected community to take effect”. He was disappointed the proposal did not include the Rainbow community, gender minorities and people who were disabled. “It’s frustrating when issues are so clear-cut to our communities. Hate speech has consequences. I really hope it doesn't take another mass violence incident … for some action to be taken on this issue.”…

    The Law Commission will undertake a review of “legal responses to hate-motivated offending, and of speech that expresses hostility towards, or contempt for, people who share a common characteristic”, Justice Minister Kiri Allan said. “It will include whether further protections should be afforded to specific groups, including the Rainbow and disabled communities.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/130534545/hate-speech-change-what-it-means-and-why-it-matters

    The public submissions to the select committees progressing this legislation are likely to have restricted terms of reference, and the Labour government has enough votes to pass it even without the Green party – who will likely vote for it, after a few speeches saying it should go further. But I will have to wait for specifics of the bill before working on my own submission, so don't have much to say about that yet.

    Instead, I will focus on reasons for expanding the prohibition of Incitement of Hatred against not just the present; race, skin colour or national origin, not just to religion, but also; gender, rainbow, and disability communities. With particular LGBTQ+ emphasis; given recent events, plus my own familiarity with that community, and the all too frequent Incitement to Discrimination with which it is beset.

    Under present NZ law; there is no Hate Crime against the LGBTQ+ community, which does not reflect the lived experience of Aotearoa's rainbow people. There is provision in the Sentencing Act (2002) for some regard to be paid to hate crimes as Aggravating and Mitigating factors:

    In sentencing or otherwise dealing with an offender the court must take into account the following aggravating factors to the extent that they are applicable in the case…

    (h) that the offender committed the offence partly or wholly because of hostility towards a group of persons who have an enduring common characteristic such as race, colour, nationality, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or disability; and

    (I) the hostility is because of the common characteristic; and

    (ii) the offender believed that the victim has that characteristic:

    https://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2002/0009/latest/DLM135545.html

    However, this is not very useful for deterrence if the perpetrator has an effective lawyer, as:

    In sentencing or otherwise dealing with an offender the court must take into account the following mitigating factors to the extent that they are applicable in the case:

    (a) the age of the offender:

    (b) whether and when the offender pleaded guilty:

    (c) the conduct of the victim:

    (d) that there was a limited involvement in the offence on the offender’s part:

    (e) that the offender has, or had at the time the offence was committed, diminished intellectual capacity or understanding:

    (f) any remorse shown by the offender, or anything as described in section 10:

    (fa) that the offender has taken steps during the proceedings (other than steps to comply with procedural requirements) to shorten the proceedings or reduce their cost:

    (fb) any adverse effects on the offender of a delay in the disposition of the proceedings caused by a failure by the prosecutor to comply with a procedural requirement:

    (g) any evidence of the offender’s previous good character:

    (h) that the offender spent time on bail with an EM condition

    To see how this works out in practice, we turn now to an example from this year's Pride Month that has been wending its way through the courts:

    On October 12, two of the four men appeared in court and were discharged without conviction.

    A third man is due to be sentenced in December.

    "The attack left me feeling shaken and vulnerable," victim Sam Duckor-Jones said…

    On June 2, four men attacked his house with anti-Semitic and homophobic graffiti while he slept inside, and a burnt rainbow flag was left staked on the front.

    "It is commonly known that I am a member of the LGBTQIA+ and Jewish communities," Duckor-Jones said.

    "The four men planned the attack on my home for weeks, including a getaway driver and change of clothes."

    "I expressed to police that I was unconcerned about any damage to property but that rather I was concerned about the nature of the attack – a hate crime.

    "I attended an effective Restorative Justice session with two of the men…

    Duckor-Jones said he learned through the media that one of the men told the court at the sentencing he had made a $500 donation to a charity of his choice.

    "This is untrue. I also learned that the men had all written letters of apology to me.

    "At that time, I had not received, read or been made aware of the existence of any letters of apology. Following the discharge without conviction I was emailed said letters."

    Duckor-Jones said it was "deeply concerning" to him that hate crime could be dismissed by the court in such a blase manner.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/distressed-and-dismayed-greymouth-hate-crime-victim-worried-after-offenders-discharged-without-conviction/5RJ3UUPQP5UF4DMXHJGT76B5JU/

    • Temp ORary 6.1

      {The previous post was thrown together mostly from unposted writing last weekend (trimmed and updated). This second one dealing with more recent events needs more of a CONTENT WARNING for the references to a mass shooting (particularly in the links). Edit: also the colour stayed after I removed the in-text links, I can’t recall how to get around that.}

      In understanding the need for Incitement to Hatred and Discrimination legislation to protect LGBTQ+ people in NZ, I turn now to overseas examples of where unchecked campaigns of incitement against Rainbow Communities can lead.

      Firstly, I find this Stochastic Terrorism model a valuable lens. Here described by Brynn Tannehill (author of American Fascism) in a September 28th Salon interview with Chauncey Devega:

      Tannehill:The right-wing propagandists and the others who are inciting violence will of course say that they are not responsible for it, or that it is all a hoax. That is the model of stochastic terrorism they are using. The next massacre is imminent. Tucker Carlson and other right-wing personalities and leaders across cable news and now online are targeting hospitals and other places that provide care to trans youth. They are lying about trans youth.

      For example, there's the ridiculous lie that children are being mutilated. It's outright fear-mongering and hatred. The right-wing propagandists and hate-talkers are becoming ever more brazen about directly targeting specific people for violence. Eventually someone is going to walk into one of these hospitals or gender clinics, and they're just going to start killing people. They're going to kill as many people as quickly as they can. One of these terrorists is going to specifically target parents and medical providers. It is almost inevitable…

      Devega:Tucker Carlson has literally been telling "neighborhood dads" to attack teachers if they dare to do their jobs by educating children about gender identity or human sexuality. What are the elements of the propaganda model that the right-wing opinion leaders are using?

      Tannehill: This is what is known as the "firehose of falsehoods" model. It just needs to be high volume, repetitious and simple. What is being spread doesn't even need to be particularly consistent. It only needs to be loosely associated with reality, if at all. You can just make up whatever you want people to believe, as long as it confirms their pre-existing beliefs.

      https://www.salon.com/2022/09/28/trans-activist-and-author-in-a-fascist-america-lgbtq-folk-will-be-systematically-targeted/

      This was not just the opinion of a Trans Activist, but also shared by medical professionals at the time – from October 3rd:

      The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the Children's Hospital Association (CHA) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland urging him to "investigate the organizations, individuals, and entities coordinating, provoking, and carrying out bomb threats and threats of personal violence against children's hospitals and physicians across the U.S."

      "The attacks are rooted in an intentional campaign of disinformation, where a few high-profile users on social media share false and misleading information targeting individual physicians and hospitals, resulting in a rapid escalation of threats, harassment, and disruption of care across multiple jurisdictions," the groups wrote in the letter to Garland…

      The groups noted that children's hospitals across the country have had to substantially increase security and are working with local and federal law enforcement to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

      https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/features/101030

      So with hospitals being less easy targets than previously, and the November midterms concluded, it looked almost like Tannehill might be wrong in her prediction, at least for this year. But then came November 19th in the USA (already the Transgender Day of Remembrance in Aotearoa):

      {Grzecka}The co-owner of the Colorado Springs gay nightclub where a shooter turned a drag queen’s birthday celebration into a massacre said he thinks the shooting that killed five people and injured 17 others is a reflection of anti-LGBTQ sentiment that has evolved from prejudice to incitement…

      Authorities haven’t said why the suspect opened fire at the club before being subdued by patrons, but they are facing hate crime charges…

      Grzecka said he believes the targeting of a drag queen event is connected to the art form being cast in a false light in recent months by right-wing activists and politicians who complain about the “sexualization” or “grooming” of children.

      Even though general acceptance of the LGBTQ community has grown, this new dynamic has fostered a dangerous climate, he said… I would rather be spit on in the street than the hate get as bad as where we are today.”… “Lying about our community, and making them into something they are not, creates a different type of hate,” Grzecka said.

      Grzecka, who started mopping floors and bartending at Club Q in 2003 a year after it opened, said he hopes to channel his grief and anger into rebuilding the support system for Colorado Springs’ LGBTQ community that only Club Q had provided.

      https://apnews.com/article/business-crime-shootings-colorado-springs-774c94125cbad7cf05af2c99b81d42cc

      Finally, Rebecca Shaw makes important points about the fragility of safety for vulnerable people, and the need for solidarity:

      conservatives, transphobes and “gender critical” forces have created a climate of scrutiny and fear around transgender and queer people.

      It is almost impossible to wholly explain why LGBTQI spaces like Club Q and others are so sacred... the special feeling, the rare feeling, is that in those moments, we can thoroughly relax, like we can’t anywhere else. I don’t even mean just because we are protected from bigotry, or from people who don’t like us (although that’s great).

      I mean that in those spaces we get a break. We get a break from noticing strangers seeing us, clocking our differences, thinking about us, discussing us. I can have some drinks and kiss my girlfriend on the dancefloor, without having to assess who might be noticing us. In those spaces, when I feel comfortable, looking around first doesn’t even have to enter my mind – that’s the break. It’s a beautiful, vital relief.

      But these spaces are becoming fewer, and harder to find, even in a city like Sydney. Colorado Springs has a population of about 500,000 and, until recently, Club Q was the only queer bar in the city…

      But it is not just an American problem – it is being imported to Australia. Drag brunches and storytelling events in Australia have already started being targeted by various groups…

      The voices driven by hate are already trying to use this horrific incident to further their agenda. They are twisting things, blaming trans people for the attack, and trying to separate transphobia and homophobia – hoping the trans community will become even easier to target.

      It can’t work. We cannot let it. An attack on some of us is an attack on all of us. It’s time to decide which side of history you are on.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/nov/25/club-q-was-an-inclusive-welcoming-space-for-everyone-its-assault-is-an-attack-on-us-all

      • Molly 6.1.1

        Moderators – could this be elevated to a post if Temp O'Rary is willing?

      • Sanctuary 6.1.2

        This "firehose of falsehoods" technique has been adopted from Russian propaganda, and we see it in this thread in the nonsense being posted by the Putin fanbois who demand Ukraine negotiate or claim the Ukraine is somehow the agressor.

        Adopted by Trump and US Fascists and disseminated here frequrently by pro-Russia posters, their claims are repetitive, lacks commitment to objective reality and they lack commitment to consistency.

      • Anker 6.1.3

        My condolances to all the victims of this shooting. And all the victims of the countless shooting across the US.

        The writer of the Guardian ariticle article speaks of how important it is for the LBGT community to have safe spaces such as the nightclub to go and I couldn't agree more.

        I am puzzled though.. The writer of the Guardian article says

        "Defence attorneys have since told the court that the alleged shooter is non binary, and that the motive for the shooting is yet to be determined"

        Shouldn't we wait to verify that this person is non binary (not quite sure how you do that because it is afterall a declaration) and tease out the motives for the crime before we talk about it being a hate crime?

        Because until we know that it was a hate crime,motivated by hate towards the LGBT community it is mischeif making to go on to do what the author does and I quote

        "conservative, transphobes and Gender Critical have created a climate of scrutiny and fear around transgender and queer people". She is associating people who scrutinize gender ideology and queer theory with a mass shooter.

        You mention the likes of Tucker Carlson and others who have made threats against gender clinics, all of which I condemn. And thats where our current hate speech laws serve us so well. Because my understanding is if anyone threatens or incites violence in NZ, it is a crime. And that's how it should be.

        I will just talk about my impressions in NZ. Over the decades of the 70's 80s and 90s there were a small number of transgender people (transexuals or transvestites as they were known as). Three very prominant trans people over these decades were Carmen, Bob Moodie (a police commissioner who crossed dressed) and of course Georgina Beyer. All of them were publicly well known. Georgina of course was able to secure enough support to be voted in as Mayor and then an MP. All were judged on thier merits. Did these people have a hard life (undoubtedly). Were they generally accepted? Seem to be. Were they free of harrassment? Unlikely.

        Gender critical feminists became concerned about the gender ideology for many reasons. Our concerns include the increase in young people identifying as trans and being fast tracked into a medical intervention (see Laura Lopezs excellent article about this published yesterday). We are concerned that medics are using drugs to treat gender dysphoria, that they are not licenced to do. (especially when the use of such drugs are being rolled back in other countries (Sabine also put a clip of Dr Marci Bowers in the comments section of Laura's article. In this Dr Bowers admits that children started on PBs at Tanner stage 2 cannot orgasm.

        I would argue that the above situation with the medicalisation of children are deserving of scrutiny.

        GC feminists are also concerned about laws such as self id that allows any male who identifies as a female access to womens change rooms, accomodation, sporting competitions etc. Women are entitled to feel protective of their spaces. Not everyone believes that because a man says he is a woman that makes it so. It is gas lighting to expect people to accept it as truth. It may be someones personal truth, but that doesn't make it so.

        So I am not sure if you were hoping that the hate speech laws would shut down gender critical voices? Again I think it is essential that women's voices be heard around these issues.

        • Temp ORary 6.1.3.1

          Anker: There are, and have been, many more gender diverse people in Aotearoa than the three you mention. Many of them died at their own (or another's) hands, disappeared, or been forced to live inauthentic lives behind a socially acceptable mask. So it is hardly surprising that there is a bit of a backlog in trans people coming out now that some slight social acceptance is possible.

          Our current "hate speech" laws do not serve us at all well, with very few successful convictions to the point where it is hardly worth the effort to lodge a complaint. Even if successful, the penalties are so low that that they wouldn't even prevent someone convicted of the offense of being elected to public office:

          Section 131 states that a person who commits the criminal offence is "liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to a fine not exceeding $7,000”.

          https://consultations.justice.govt.nz/policy/incitement-of-hatred/

          I had been avoiding referencing the (alleged) mass murderer, as they are more of a symptom than a cause. But waiting until all the details have been ironed out in court is not far removed from ignoring the event entirely. The (alleged) shooter's past does not seem to back up their lawyer's claims (for whatever reason) of their client being nonbinary. The name change seems to be more so the mother could cut contact with the (proportedly) violent meth-head of a father:

          Included in the court documents, the suspect’s defense team noted: “Anderson Aldrich is non-binary. They use they/them pronouns, and for the purposes of all formal [court] filings, will be addressed as Mx. Aldrich.”

          The Gazette reported District Attorney Michael Allen said following the advisement hearing, that Aldrich’s identity as nonbinary would not impact how the District Attorney’s Office prosecutes the case.

          “His legal definition in this proceeding is ‘the defendant,’” Allen said…

          “Just expressed he didn’t like the LGBTQ community,” said Xavier Kraus, a neighbor of the accused shooter, said he and his girlfriend lived across the hall from Aldrich and his mother until September. “And pretty sure at one point he expressed he hated the LGBTQ community, he hated gays.”

          Kraus said he specifically remembered one time “Aldrich vocalized verbally using a derogatory term for them [LGBTQ people].” He added that many other “outbursts” were “racial.”

          “This is not the type of person I would take around my gay friends,” he said.

          Kraus told NBC 9 News he and Aldrich became close friends last year. They bonded over tech and video games. Kraus added that Aldrich never mentioned being nonbinary in their times together…

          KFMB-TV CBS News 8 San Diego spoke with the biological father of the suspect, a former federal inmate and adult porn actor Aaron Brink, 48, who told News 8 “we’re Mormons, we don’t do gay!” He added that his ex-wife called him from Colorado in 2016 to tell him their son, Nicholas Brink, had changed his name to Anderson Aldrich, and had killed himself…

          Brink, who currently works as a mixed martial arts coach says he taught his son how to fight.

          “I praised him for violent behavior really early. I told him it works. It is instant and you’ll get immediate results,” Brink said.

          https://www.losangelesblade.com/2022/11/23/club-q-suspect-in-court-friend-says-never-claimed-to-be-nonbinary/

          • Francesca 6.1.3.1.1

            Oh but if they say they're non binary, then they are .How dare you question them?

            • Visubversa 6.1.3.1.1.1

              The transtwittersphere is having multiple meltdowns over that. One side is "he is lying to get off the hate crime charges", the other side is "how dare you challenge their identity" and the "third side" is sniping in with "I thought you folx always say that nobody will ever lie about their gender identity for nefarious purposes". Much popcorn consumed on the sidelines.

                • weka

                  the thing about blaming UK feminists bears examination. Not because it's daft (it is in the extreme), but because we probably should be figuring out how someone's thinking can be like that. I get that some people believe that GC feminism somehow convinces people to be transphobic and act out on it, but it's such a vague idea with no substance to it. Which leads us to the problem of genderists not being able to make even a halfway decent argument for their position. It was the same in the Cambridge debate that Stock was in. The genderists had very little in the way of rationale for what they were saying (some were better than others, and I've only listened to the first half so maybe it go better).

              • Sabine

                He is not only lying to get of the hate crime charge, being a non binary allows him to identify into a female prison with the born women who are of course not allowed to say a thing in protest to having an entire male locked up with them lest they are happy with loss of privileges and such for misgendering.

                And lets also not discuss the amount of dead women that litter the ground of the US, or the amount of dead kids that litter the US, or the amount of native american women that recorded as missing but never found, or the amount of men that get shot in mass shootings or police killings as quite a few blokes of all colors/creed/identity get shot down quite routinely and so on and so forth.

                I pity all those that go out for a night of fun, go to school, go to work, go shop in a grocery store and do so without even thinking of having a right to be free of shootings cause it is the US and every dick and john have a gun or a whole collection thereof.

                • Anker

                  Sabine how can you possibly say the criminal is lying about being non binary to get out of being prosecuted for hate crimes and to go to a women's prison. That would never, ever, ever, ever happen. Its sounds like you are being transphobic

          • Anker 6.1.3.1.2

            Of course there have been many more gender diverse than the three I mention Temp. I was merely using them to illustrate how NZders are a pretty accepting bunch and will take people how they find them. This isn't to say that there is a small minority of a..holes who will bully and torment anyone who is different or vulnerable.

            I don't think you can account for the exponential growth of young girls identifying as trans nowadays is that it is because there is now "slight social acceptance". If there was we would be seeing a comparable rise in women in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60's coming out as trans and that is not happening.

            I agree that many have been forced to live inauthentic lives behind a mask. These would be the male to female cross dressers who often married women who had no idea they liked to cross dress. A lot of this group are made up of autogynophiles.

            How do you mean they "disappeared"? Sounds a little 1984ish

            • Temp ORary 6.1.3.1.2.1

              I mean that they disappeared; one day they were there, and the next they weren't. Given that it's a community that is almost defined by their difficulty in getting their names on official documents and often lacking traditional families, it has been difficult to get police to take an interest. That's if anyone was keen to interact with police in the first place, which has historically had its own dangers. Best case scenario is they left town and set up under a new (or old) name elsewhere. But that is a bit optimistic.

              "Autogynephiles"? I have no more time for Blanchard and his discredited pseudoscience, than I do for Freudian; "penis envy".

              • Visubversa

                Well then – where is the "discrediting"? They are all around you – middle aged men with wives (usually ex-wives) and kids – littering lesbian dating services. I personally know at least 2 of them right here in Auckland.

              • Anker

                http://healthcareguild.com/transgender_files/Download%20-%20History%20of%20Autogynephilia.pdf

                You may have no time for Blanchard and his "discredited pseudoscience" but in this article Blachard and his colleague Lawrence quote trans who idendify with autogynophilia and the concepts Blanchard was proposing. It describes their experiences of cross dressing and sexual arousal.

                God I thought you queer theorists were all for breaking down the charmed circle (as in Gabrielle Reubin's term for hetero sexual monogamous sex).

                People get aroused by all sorts of things. As long as it isn't children or animals, degrading women or violent porn. What is your problem with the idea that some men get arounsd at the thought of themselves being and dressing as women. TBH it absolutely isn't my thing and I wouldn't want to be part of it, but in the privacy of one's own home and all that?

                By denying autogynephilia you are the one making it shameful. As I say, I dont care if this is what some men get off on (as long as it doesn't involve my knickers or clothing or me in anyway). The problem I have with it is they are wanting me to agree with the idea that they are women and can access my spaces.

                • weka

                  it’s the same thing again. People with AGP are the wrong kind of trans women, only accept people’s self-assessment when it suits.

                • Temp ORary

                  The problem with Blanchard's transsexualism typology is that it rests upon a dichotomy of homosexual and autogynephilic transsexuals. Which is insufficient to explain the spectrum of gender diversity even within white trans women in north America, let alone trans men and nonbinary people of differing cultures and ethnicity. Leaving aside the issue of generalizability of Blanchard's notions, there are still the problems of his research lacking; control groups, and replicability by others. Still, better than Freud I guess.

                  Here Serano refers to Feminine Embodiment Fantasies (FEFs) rather than AGP, because research that used a control group of cis women to the trans women found similar patterns of reported behaviour in both groups to the same questionnaires that had Blanchard used previously to posit his typology.:

                  Amongst the most prevalent objections to the theory were:

                  [over long copypasta deleted]

                  https://www.juliaserano.com/av/Serano-AutogynephiliaEmbodiment.pdf

                  • Anker

                    Blanchard was a clinician who was attempting to make sense of the patterns he was seeing amongst his clients. It is common for research to start with observation, case studies and the RCTs.

                    I agree the trans umbrella encompasses many variations. AGP being one of them.

                    As for teenage girls presenting as trans, their pathway is often through chat rooms. Girls who have body disatisfaction who then develop a trans identity on line. There is a huge social contagion factor here. prior to 2012 which happens to be when the smart phone was introduced, that number of teen girls presenting as trans was extremely low. The exponential increase is a new cohort. They have high rates of other mental health issues including anoerexia. This new cohort has appeared not because it is now more socially acceptable to be trans. If it was as I previously wrote we would see middle age women presenting in increased numbers as trans.

                    The ideology has hijacked the needs of the very, very small minority of people who suffer from gender dysphoria and it is clouding the work of clinicians such as Blanchard who are trying ot make sense of peoples suffering

                  • Molly

                    Julia Serano has skin in the game, around reframing the conversation around AGP.

                    Queer theory language distorts and obscures, rather than clarifies and Serrano is skilled in its use:

                  • Molly

                    "Which is insufficient to explain the spectrum of gender diversity even within white trans women in north America, let alone trans men and nonbinary people of differing cultures and ethnicity."

                    It refers to a specific group that resides under the current trans definition, it doesn't claim to define all.

    • SPC 6.2

      The story so far

      The Government in 2020 promised to make changes after the RC Inquiry into the Christchurch mosque terror attacks found the law failed to “appropriately capture” hate-motivated offending, or deal with hate speech.

      After public submissions on proposals to strengthen the incitement provisions of the Human Rights Act 1993, the Government has announced it will amend the law to address incitement towards religious communities.

      It first announced reforms last year, but they were largely unpopular.

      Justice Minister Kiri Allan said any further change will “face a battle” against ACT, National and other groups outside Parliament who oppose the idea, she said.

      Meanwhile, members of the Muslim community have told the commission it’s unfair other groups aren’t covered, and that they did not want any other community to suffer what they have.

      “The Government has forgotten its fundamental human rights duty to protect vulnerable groups,” he said.

      “Sometimes the Government has to do the morally right thing, it has to stand with vulnerable groups and not the majority.”

      …​​ Paul Hunt said fears legislating against speech which incites hostility and hatred based on disability, sexual orientation and gender would infringe on free speech have been “greatly exaggerated”, and based on a misunderstanding.

      This was because the threshold for hate speech was never up for debate, only who can be affected by it. There have only been three cases of hate speech prosecuted in the last 40 years, he said.***

      ”The threshold is high, and it should be,” he said.

      The Government has referred to the Law Commission for a “fundamental review” (of incitement, discrimination and hate crimes), but Hunt said this could take years, and in the meantime it could “get cracking” with expanding the scope of who is covered by hate speech laws.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/130588973/hate-speech-disabled-rainbow-communities-and-women-forgotten-in-watereddown-plans

      For mine, the essential problem was that hate speech law – incitement of hate was too nebulous (too easy to connect to taking offence at what others say). If they had toughened it up to an "incitement to hate crimes "standard, then few would have seen it as a limitation of free speech to include birth sex, gender ID, sexuality along with religion.

      Then leaving the matter of speech that incites hostility and hatred to the review as to regulation of social media etc.

      ***There have been only three prosecutions because the police and courts have applied a higher threshold than stated in the legislation (there is no guarantee that would continue).

      • Temp ORary 6.2.1

        SPC, The wording on the; Proposals against incitement of hatred and discrimination, were not at all nebulous. Though it may be over a year since you read the discussion document, the pdf is still available through

        https://consultations.justice.govt.nz/policy/incitement-of-hatred/

        From Appendix 2, starting on page 29:

        Proposal 1 This proposal would change the wording of the criminal (currently section 131 but see Proposal 2 below) and civil (section 61) incitement provisions in the Human Rights Act so that they applied to more groups protected from discrimination by section 21 of the Human Rights Act (see Appendix One for this section)…

        Proposal 2 This proposal would create a new criminal provision in the Crimes Act that has the same purpose as section 131 of the Human Rights Act but would be clearer and simpler. This proposal would maintain the requirement that there be the mental element of intention. In other words, the person would need to intend to incite hatred. This is appropriate for a criminal provision with the level of penalty that is being proposed. The terms “hostility”, “ill-will”, “contempt” and “ridicule” would be replaced by “hatred”. The Royal Commission noted that this would mean that the new offence would be more narrowly expressed than the current section 131. This proposal would prohibit speech which “maintains or normalises” hatred, in addition, to speech which incites or stirs up hatred.

        The section 131 offence currently requires the following elements:

        1. A person publishes or distributes or broadcasts speech or written matter which is threatening, abusive, or insulting

        2. With intent to excite hostility or ill will against, or bring into contempt or ridicule

        3. Against any group of persons in New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons, and

        4. The words or written matter are likely to excite hostility or ill-will against, or bring into contempt or ridicule, any such group of persons in New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons.

        A new provision would be added to the Crimes Act, which would create a new offence with four key elements. It would be a crime to:

        1. intentionally incite/stir up, maintain or normalise hatred

        2. against any group protected from discrimination by section 21 of the Human Rights Act

        3. through threatening, abusive or insulting communications, including inciting violence

        4. made by any means.

        The exact wording of this provision will be determined following consultation. This includes whether to use the term “incite”, “stir up” or some other term with the same meaning. 31 Detail of proposal Current wording of Human Rights Act Proposed change to Human Rights Act or Crimes Act The proposal would also include incitement through ‘explicit or implicit calls for violence’. The Royal Commission stated ‘that this would further pre-empt reliance on a defence along the lines that the defendant was only “only” preaching to the converted’. This proposal does not include the requirement that the communication must be “likely to” incite, maintain or normalise hatred. This exists in the both section 61 and 131 currently (and is not proposed to be removed from section 61). The Royal Commission did not think it was a necessary element of a new offence. We are interested in feedback on this. The proposal would cover all methods of communicating speech. The current provision does not clearly cover communication by electronic means (unlike section 61). This new offence would be placed in the Crimes Act 1961. 32 Detail of proposal Current wording of Human Rights Act Proposed change to Human Rights Act or Crimes Act The current requirement in section 132 that the Attorney-General consent to any prosecution for the criminal incitement provision is intended to be retained…

        Proposal 4 This proposal would change the wording of section 61 of the Human Rights Act to include “inciting/stirring up, maintaining or normalising hatred” alongside the existing wording…

        Section 61 is focused on speech that is “likely to excite hostility against or bring into contempt any group of persons in or who may be coming to New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons.”…

        Proposal 5 This proposal would add “incite others to discriminate against” certain groups protected by section 21 of the Human Rights Act to the behaviour of exciting hostility or bringing into contempt in section 61 of the Human Rights Act.

        Yes, as noted in the Proposal 4 excerpt: "The exact wording of this provision will be determined following consultation", so not every detail was specified in advance. And there will be public submissions yet to the select committee on whatever text is presented to parliament next year. However, it seems fair to assume that the final text will be less, rather than more; nebulous, than the current asystematic mishmash of legislation. For example (from proposal 2); "The terms “hostility”, “ill-will”, “contempt” and “ridicule” would be replaced by “hatred”".

        • SPC 6.2.1.1

          My comment was guided by that of Paul Hunt

          because the threshold for hate speech was never up for debate, only who can be affected by it. There have only been three cases of hate speech prosecuted in the last 40 years, he said

          Nebulous refers to the difference between legislation and applied standard. In the same period there were no blasphemy law cases in courts.

        • Visubversa 6.2.1.2

          This Parliament quite cheerfully passed legislation about Conversion Therapy and the ability to change the SEX marker on a Birth Certificate without having the slightest idea of what "gender identity" or "gender expression" actually means.

          There is no agreed definition of "gender" as opposed to "sex" and there will not be because gender is an ideology – a belief system. Therefore it is what you say it is, the minute you say it is – and it is something else 5 minutes later if you change your mind.

          Writing legislation on any other basis for this belief system is almost impossible.

          • Temp ORary 6.2.1.2.1

            There are agreed definitions of the words sex and gender amongst biological scientists, though you might not agree with them yourself Visubversa. There is always academic debate, of course; some of it more sincere than others. Here is the WHO definition – as it was quick to google, and a good nontechnical summary:

            Gender refers to the characteristics of women, men, girls and boys that are socially constructed. This includes norms, behaviours and roles associated with being a woman, man, girl or boy, as well as relationships with each other. As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can change over time.

            Gender is hierarchical and produces inequalities that intersect with other social and economic inequalities. Gender-based discrimination intersects with other factors of discrimination, such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, age, geographic location, gender identity and sexual orientation, among others. This is referred to as intersectionality.

            Gender interacts with but is different from sex, which refers to the different biological and physiological characteristics of females, males and intersex persons, such as chromosomes, hormones and reproductive organs. Gender and sex are related to but different from gender identity. Gender identity refers to a person’s deeply felt, internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond to the person’s physiology or designated sex at birth.

            Gender influences people’s experience of and access to healthcare. The way that health services are organized and provided can either limit or enable a person’s access to healthcare information, support and services, and the outcome of those encounters. Health services should be affordable, accessible and acceptable to all, and they should be provided with quality, equity and dignity.

            https://www.who.int/health-topics/gender#tab=tab_1

            • Visubversa 6.2.1.2.1.1

              Gender is to sex what astrology is to astronomy. We don't make laws based on astrology. Astronomy got us to the moon.

              And nobody is designated a sex at birth. Your sex is determined at the second of your conception. It is with you all your life – every drop of your blood tells the truth about your sex. The truth is in your bones, and even in your cremains.

              The things described as "gender" are just the usual sexist stereotypes that most of us moved on from decades ago.

              Your "gender identity” shares a room in your head with your immortal soul. Nobody in a civilised society should be forced to believe in either of them.

            • Molly 6.2.1.2.1.2
              1. Sex relates to biological reality, and remains significant in a number of ways. (Gender sometimes used historically for the genteel, which lead to conflation later).

              2. Gender – a different meaning and application, was used when speaking around issues that related to societal manifestations due to sex, eg. gender pay gap, gendered violence;

              3. Gender stereotypes – societal/cultural expectations regarding presentation, behaviour, interests achievements based on someone's sex,

              4. Gender identity – someone's self-declared personal identity.

              Your excerpt above mixes gender 2. and 3., and conflates all in the final paragraph:

              Gender influences people’s experience of and access to healthcare.

              Actually, sex is very important in healthcare delivery, much more significant than 2., 3. and 4. Yet is not mentioned.

        • Molly 6.2.1.3

          The term "hatred" is impossible to define in a legal sense, and so is difficult to discuss pre-legislative change.

          There is no sense of what the intended outcome is.

          Is it preventative, or punitive as a means of reducing harm?

          And what level of harm is considered legally harmful? IIRC – existing laws prohibit an incitement to genocide – a high bar, but a necessary distinction.

          Humans are messy, imperfect, intolerant and obnoxious. While these aspects are not welcomed, should they be criminalised – is one of the discussion points – and how will this be practically managed – is another.

          We know increased punishment for violent crime is unsuccessful at persuading those who commit it to restrain themselves. (Sometimes, it increases the violence as they don't want any witnesses). It is unlikely to be a preventative measure here. UNLESS, the threshold is lowered to the point that people are unwilling to speak or challenge orthodoxies for fear of prosecution, or the fear that there may be negative impacts on their livelihood, families and well-being.

          In which, case, this legislation should not go ahead.

          If it is intended to be punitive, there is also a problem. ANY crime of violence and harm to a person, should have a level of punishment associated with that crime that is applied after successful prosecution.

          We should not have a two-tier system of victim, that considers that it is the victim's protected characteristics that increase the level of punishment.

          This is disrespectful in two ways: one, that the victims' most important characteristic was in the protected category to which they belonged, two: victims not so categorised do not require the same diligence and outcome, and the impact of their loss or harm on their family and friends is not so great.

          For example, taking the conversation above regarding landlords. There is a lot of rhetoric and shaming being directed to landlords as the primary reason (unsubstantiated) for people being unable to find secure, affordable housing.

          If someone developed a "hatred" of landlords due to their own housing crisis, and decided to break into a Property Investors meeting and committed violence, would this be a "hate" crime?

          This legislation proposal is performative, and as such is vague and does not identify the level of need for it, the intended outcomes, and the measures by which those outcomes will be achieved.

          Due to this, a full and frank discussion is unable to take place. But this method has worked previously – unfortunately we may end up with further legislation that was well-intentioned but badly conceived, written and implemented.

          • Temp ORary 6.2.1.3.1

            Molly; any word can be given a strict legal definition, though it may not correspond well to conventional usage within a given portion of the society subject to those laws. The definition of; "Hatred", and whether any other terminology might be preferable instead of, or as well as, this; was one of the main foci of the public consultation last year. And once we finally get to see the draft legislation next year, will be the subject of submissions to the relevant select committee.

            Laws not being perfect instruments seems a poor reason for a government to not introduce new laws. As for results, I would appreciate that those found to be guilty of; incitement to hatred and/or discrimination, be barred from public office in the future. Which under our present system takes an offense with a maximum jail term of over 2 years – whether or not they receive that sentence.

            • Molly 6.2.1.3.1.1

              The hate definition remains a problem, but it is not the fundamental issue:

              Why create a two-tier system of crime and punishment for the same crime?

        • weka 6.2.1.4

          I deleted one of your long copypastas yesterday. Please stop doing this. The protocol goes something like this*:

          • make your point
          • use select quotes to support it
          • provide a link for the quotes

          You can direct people to read a longer quote by quoting the start of it and linking.

          Two reasons for this.

          1. we want to hear people's own arguments and limiting copypasta encourages this and discourages people spamming the site with long pieces
          2. people on phones especially have to do a lot of scrolling to get past the thing you find interesting and they don't.

          *it's not absolute, but it's a good guide.

  7. joe90 7

    Class.

    England fans dressed as crusaders have been banned from entering World Cup stadiums at the risk of upsetting locals.

    Two supporters were seemingly led away by security this week after turning up at the Khalifa International Stadium donning chain mail and helmets depicting the Patron Saint of England. Footage appears to show Qatari officials ushering the duo away from the turnstiles though it is unclear as to whether the fans were later allowed to watch the Three Lions' opening Group B fixture.

    https://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/england-crusader-costumes-world-cup-28574756

  8. adam 8

    I'm sure this is the video that got his house fire boomed.

  9. Roy Cartland 9

    This guy! I always suspected there was more to his Twitter 'purchase'. He didn't care about the cost – how could he as a centi-billionaire – but control. He will now have direct insight into our transport habits, buying habits and philosophical leanings. And use them to change our behaviour, not just respond to it.

    More fool us; the guy is a doof but he's far from stupid.

    https://znetwork.org/znetarticle/the-techno-feudal-method-to-musks-twitter-madness/

    (An easy, short read. Very articulate. Scary)

  10. Sanctuary 10

    A good news story – how one man made Peru the world's blueberry powerhouse in a decade.

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