Open mike 26/12/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 26th, 2023 - 64 comments
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64 comments on “Open mike 26/12/2023 ”

    • SPC 1.1

      The act was passed earlier this year by the former government on the back of the high-wealth individuals research project. The project revealed disparity between the effective tax rates paid by the super wealthy compared with us ordinary folk. It catalysed another political mud-slinging match over wealth taxes and realised and unrealised capital gains.

      The subsequent principles – essentially about fairness, efficiency, and certainty – were about shining more light on our tax system and Inland Revenue was required to report against them annually.

      The principles included horizontal equity, meaning people with similar income should pay similar amounts of tax, and vertical equity, meaning the system should be progressive and see people on higher incomes paying a higher proportion of their income in tax. Others pertained to revenue collection efficiency, minimising compliance and administration costs and revenue integrity.

      The Government’s narrative for the repeal centred around the extra resources required to produce reports at a time when the focus should be on getting the books back in order.

      Inland Revenue’s Regulatory Impact Statement attributes 2.5 full-time equivalents to meeting the act’s requirements. I understand wanting to slash spending that is failing to produce meaningful outcomes, but times aren’t this desperate, are they?

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.2

      To me this is one of the most egregious acts by this new government, because it protects extreme economic injustice for the long term.

      Should get a lot more coverage.

  1. Robert Guyton 2

    What would posses the NACTFirst Government to move so fast on blocking progress on cycleways and lower speed limits? Odd behaviour, I thought. Rewarding their truck-industry donors? Spitefully sticking it to the greenies? Seems rather, they're pandering to/repaying the cooker-voters who live in fear of what they believe to be strategies to impoverish and de-power, the "ordinary person", the plebs. The "15 minute cities" concept threw the cookers into a panic; they could see themselves being corralled into "camps" from which they would be barred from leaving; the cycleways and lower speeds were more subtle ways of restricting freedom and ease of travel. Has the present Government adopted these beliefs? Winston's certainly flying a flag for the conspiracy crowd – is he being supported by others in the Government?

    • adam 2.1

      It's a sad day when our so called leaders are besotted by conspiracy theories.

    • weka 2.2

      maybe but I suspect it's something more likely to be because National and ACT's supporters include the owners of roading companies and town centre real estate.

      • weka 2.2.1

        (not for want of trying on Peters' part though. He did grift on anti-15m city rhetoric as he learnt about it over the election campaign. I just think that NACT have bigger fish to fry).

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.2

        Well, I did too, until I read cookers celebrating the moves. I was puzzled by the indecent haste as well – sure, the truckers will get their dues in return for their campaign support, but ordinarily, it'd be done during a quiet time, without fanfare – this was theatre, as loved by cookers. I think there was a concern that unless some bones were thrown early, the tinfoil hats would be brought out again and a new camp established on Luxy's Lawn.

        • weka 2.2.2.1

          those are good points. Occupy Luxy Lawn would be a site to be hold 😈

        • joe90 2.2.2.2

          until I read cookers celebrating the moves.

          I was cornered by my relation's cooker neighbour. He told me that cycling, five minute cites, contrails, 9/11, the war in Ukraine, Jacinda Ardern and Covid, etc, etc, are all part of the of the ending humanity.

          The armies of the Juice, Klaus Schwab, HRC, and co, are working toward the great transhuman reset, the enslavement of humanity and the ushering in of an age of forced sterilisation of people of child-bearing age. the extermination of the elderly and the disabled, child trafficking, sex slaves, and satisfying the elite's craving for freshly harvested children's blood.

          Poots, tRump, and Orbán are the good guys, though.

          ..

    • Kay 2.3

      I'm a greenie in a newly-Green electorate that has been Green local body for some time, but I can assure you that many of us wish that ANY central government had blocked progress on cycleways around here much sooner, since the social damage (even to non-drivers) is beyond rediculous, yet alone the physical danger they (the very few cyclists seen using them) have been put in.

      • Descendant Of Smith 2.3.1

        As someone who has never had the health or opportunity to drive a motor vehicle and has therefore ridden on bikes, without an inch of lycra I might add, for over 40 years I can tell you it is much safer now with cycle lanes.

        Peak getting hit by cars from behind and from people opening car doors for me was definitely the 80's and 90's. Idiot car drivers not paying attention and over extending out at T-intersections pushing you out into the car lanes and even stupider people – mainly taxi drivers cutting in front of you and turning right across intersections are now the biggest hazards.

        Sure lanes separated from traffic are just the best but clearly marked and designated cycle lanes are miles better than what used to exist. The worst people at understanding this are drivers who do not use them anyway and born again cyclists who are still figuring out that you don't put your inside to the gutter foot down when you stop at intersections or lights – they have no idea what it used to be like.

        I don't care how many people are using them – I just know as someone who doesn't have the jump in a car option they are great. Definitely much safer using them in every town and city I've biked in. People who don't actually use them are way too vocal.

        I'm more than happy for you all to give up entire roads to cyclists if you are genuinely concerned about our physical welfare. Boot the cars off completely. That would be even better.

        • Kay 2.3.1.1

          I have a life-long medical ban from driving, so I'm certainly not coming from the car-owning angle. And I'm fully appreciative of the dangers of cycling, especially in Wellington on the very narrow roads. But not putting better controls onto idiotic drivers at dangerous intersections (ie traffic lights) cancel out any safety the lanes otherwise provide.

          One of the rare times I saw a cyclist with a toddler on the back, they were both almost taken out by a car zooming around the corner that hadn't bothered to give way. The official council response to my submission on this safety issue- "traffic lights aren't our problem, that's NZTA." In other words, too much of a hassle.

          I've lived on that corner for years and witnessed numerous crashes and near crashes, and they've put a cycleway through the middle of it despite knowing this. Any wonder we're angry??

          • Descendant Of Smith 2.3.1.1.1

            So cyclists used the intersection prior to the cycle lane and had near misses but now it has been made even clearer to car drivers that cyclists are there it is a problem?

            I don't understand the concern. There's a stretch of road here that has a third laneway emerge that turns into a turning lane. If as a cyclist I'm going straight ahead car drivers found it confusing as you had to either go in the turning lane and then go straight ahead or go in the car lane. Especially with trucks and buses beside you you often ended up in a crush situation. Now there is a cycle lane between the two car lanes cars, buses and trucks definitely give you more space. Visibility of where cyclists go is of great practical benefit to cyclists.

            We were biking in those spaces previously anyway.

            • Kay 2.3.1.1.1.1

              It's no safer at all, for cyclists, pedestrians trying to get across, or cars. That's my point. Too many drivers are lazy, stupid, and impatient, and don't believe they should give way, even when the signs say to. The next street down has become a no right turn to cater for the cycle lane running across it; however, on a daily basis, numerous vehicle ignore this (including several Council cars).

              For many people I speak to now this has become more than cycle lanes- it's a symptom of the complete contempt council holds for the citizens. When a Council has somehow managed to alienate most of the city over cycle lanes they have clearly gone around the process the wrong way. What could have been a positive thing is despised by too many.

              For the first time ever I will no longer be voting in local elections, I cannot see any point, nor can several others I've had this conversation with.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Are you someone who cycles it? Do the cyclists who use it think it is now a bit safer – not perfect and more could be done but better than it was?

                Incremental improvements are often the best we get. They are still valuable.

    • AB 2.4

      who live in fear of what they believe to be strategies to impoverish and de-power, the "ordinary person"

      Those strategies exist, but not in the form of cycleways and speed limits. And it's not quite right to call them strategies – they are not drawn up on a whiteboard in some corner office. They are powerful mechanisms, settings, shared understandings of what is natural, obvious and right. Together they form what we call a market economy or market society.

      The so-called “cookers” have correctly identified the disease, but they attribute the wrong symptoms to it.

      • weka 2.4.1

        yep. And we ignore and ostracise them at our peril.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 2.4.1.1

          yes Shouldn't ignore their beliefs/motivations – maybe try to understand them?

          The term "truth seeker" is adopted by some conspiracy theorists when describing themselves on social media.

          Conspiracy theorists are often referred to derogatorily as "cookers" in Australia. The term "cooker" is also loosely associated with the far right.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory#Terminology

          "It refers to soneone(sic) whose brain has been cooked by overexposure to conspiracy theories and unhinged online rhetoric".
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_English_vocabulary#cooker

          Engagement is tricky – best left to those with plenty of empathy & patience, imho.

          Can you unscramble an egg? [Sydney Uni Science Eureka Prize; YouTube]

        • Cricklewood 2.4.1.2

          The ease at which the term 'cookers' get thrown around on TS does my head in. Fact is theyre a bunch of people that for various reasons have found themselves on the outer edges of society. Calling em cookers just pushes them further out and actually makes they problem worse, its no different in mindset to the current govt wanting to get rid of cultural reports at sentencing for example. It saddens me somewhat to see solidly left wing people use the term so easily.

          • Descendant Of Smith 2.4.1.2.1

            Fact is theyre a bunch of people that for various reasons have found themselves on the outer edges of society.

            Really. Most of the ones I know including family members are nowhere near the outer edges of society. Got jobs, own houses, share some of the same interests and hobbies. Some are far more wealthy than I am.

            Somehow, just somehow they believe a load of nonsense. To be fair some did before COVID as well – chemtrails, mystic power of gemstones, homeopathy etc etc.

            I also dislike the term cookers and in part cause it seems to suggest poor and downtrodden.

            • Cricklewood 2.4.1.2.1.1

              Kinda my point, outer edges but not always in traditional terms and often quite well educated.

              Calling them cookers just entrenches their postion. Hell, reading below and given my anti mandate postion im a 'cooker'.

              I dont know the way to get them back but I know 'cookers' isnt it. During covid I met a helluva lot of normal people who for a whole bunch of reasons were against the vaccine and especially mandated vaccinces and for a bunch or reasons. From sucked into conspiracy theories through to some pretty serious harm in state care leading to a serious distrust of the 'system'

              That damage is done the work we need to do to get them back is going to take a long time. Nonetheless it needs to be done.

              • Belladonna

                The evident contempt that is frequently displayed to them by the mainstream Left – makes it clear that these people will not be voting Left for some time (if at all).

                Given the very small margins between the Left and Right in the last election (and in the 2017 one) – to arbitrarily rule out this quite substantial grouping – seems an act of madness.

                It's also not a single group. There are many traditionally Left allies (who were anti-vaccination, and certainly anti-mandated-vaccination, long before Covid) – as well as some of the more anti-government conspiracy theorists. Divide and conquer would be a more effective Left strategy.

    • Descendant Of Smith 2.5

      ” the cycleways and lower speeds were more subtle ways of restricting freedom and ease of travel. ”

      How in the hell do cycleways restrict freedom – particularly for us non-drivers. I get to go further, more easily with more safety than ever before.

      Maybe us non-drivers aren't considered ordinary people. These people get more moronic everyday.

      • weka 2.5.1

        I think part of it is the need for normalcy in a scary world. Normal is driving, biking is what some people choose to do, a minority, those people can do that, but most people don't kind of thing. So the fear is that we will all be pushed out of our safety and comfort at a time when we need more safety and comfort (this is an underlying dynamic in all politics now imo).

        There is also a strong libertarian ethic in that counter culture. Not so much you'll take my guns from my cold dead hands, but cars. They symbolise the freedom to move at will, where we want, when we want. That's why the lockdowns were so terrible for those people, but for people like me who are both used to restriction and understand the value in it, they were a good thing.

        Cycling doesn't represent freedom to a lot of people, and enforced cycling parses as constraint.

        • Descendant Of Smith 2.5.1.1

          "we ignore and ostracise them at our peril."

          Alternatively the more attention they are given the more they are given validity for their beliefs.

          Maybe they need to understand history a little more.

          https://www.nationalgeographic.com/history/article/how-bicycles-transformed-world

          But it was the middle and working classes around the globe that truly made the bicycle their own. For the first time in history, the masses were mobile, able to come and go as they pleased. No more need for expensive horses and carriages. The “people's nag,” as the bicycle was known, was not only lightweight, affordable, and easy to maintain, it was also the fastest thing on the roads.

          Maybe if they want to go whole conspiracy theory they should think about GPS tracking in cars or more low quality RFID chips in tyres. Maybe cars don't give them the freedom they think it does. There is loads of stuff we can choose to be paranoid about.

          • weka 2.5.1.1.1

            Alternatively the more attention they are given the more they are given validity for their beliefs.

            Obviously, and just as well I didn't suggest that. Peters is gratuitously pandering to this particular subculture. That doesn't mean our only choice is ridicule and ostracisation (would love to know how that is supposed to actually work).

            And sure, 'they' need to understand things that the good, true lefties know. Have you thought about how that attitude might come across? What's the strategy here?

            My own view is that the people in those subcultures aren't a hive mind, and varying people have varying beliefs and to different degrees. As a matter or urgency we should be building bridges with those people who still share ideas and philosophies that we do. I'm not talking about hard core anti-15m city conspiracy theorists so much as the people that are being influenced by them instead of by progressive politics. Because progressive politics is telling them they are stupid/wrong/evil. Why would they listen to us?

            • Descendant Of Smith 2.5.1.1.1.1

              It is an interesting debate though. At the time of the 81 Springbok Tour I was firmly of the view that ostracism was a worse option that allowing the Springboks to tour and to see alternate ways of doing things, particularly as by then we had finally pushed back about the whole "honorary whites" stupidity.

              Years later a Springbok player said that it was the conflict that erupted in NZ over the tour that was the catalyst for changing his mind about apartheid.

              Most people I know who were opposed to the tour would still today not accept that engaging with South Africa was the way to go, even after the schisms that occurred in our own country as a result. Progressive politics has long been fickle about ostracism vs engagement, about telling people they are stupid/wrong/evil vs trying to show the alternative.

              No different to conservative politics either though in my view their choices between the styles tends towards hypocritical. Muldoon's work with gangs is likely a good example compared to today's National Party going down the ostracism route.

              And no I'm never quite sure when one is the preferred solution over the other. A pyschologist did once tell me though that continuing to engage with a certain gentleman was simply reinforcing his own (false) sense of importance and wasn't helping his mental state and recovery in the slightest.

              Maybe it is more about what you engage about that finds the middle ground but at some point even that can become pointless – experience tells me that you can bite your tongue when needed but they still quite happily espouse their beliefs.

              Human behaviour is vexed.

        • adam 2.5.1.2

          So how violent are they going to be when we can't get the fuel to run their cars?

          The Mad Max films were born out of the crisis of oil, we are fast approaching another oil crisis, and a whole lot of people in this country are delusional about it.

          And before people think I'm talking peak oil, I'm not – I'm talking war, and the fact oil is going to become heavily restricted because of it.

          • weka 2.5.1.2.1

            So how violent are they going to be when we can't get the fuel to run their cars?

            dunno. More or less violent than other groups in society who are likewise in denial about the future we are heading into?

            We still have a choice at this point about how that future goes. Mad Max or transition to something that is very different from what we have now but is still functional and liveable?

            No-one who supports the ostracisation and ridicule strategy has been able to explain how that will actually work as society comes under increasing pressures and things we take for granted start to fall away. To me it looks like we should be building strong relationships especially at the community level, because the alternative will make the parliament grounds occupation look like a kindy sandpit fight.

          • Patricia Bremner 2.5.1.2.2

            Water will be worse, and is why this Government was desperate to win imo

            • adam 2.5.1.2.2.1

              Water, the lack of?

              I'm guessing we will also be a staging point for Antarctica where the last of us will scratch out a living.

        • Cricklewood 2.5.1.3

          In Auckland at least the lack of consultation with affected communities as done alot of harm, in a few cases its lead to cycleways which have been downright dangerous to everyone. This as a good example https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/local-government/129345252/auckland-community-furious-as-drivers-hit-new-cycle-lane-protectors

          That one still isnt resolved and post installation accidents for cyclists have increased There are others like this where the rubber sections are still on the road and visible to no one in rain or dark.

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/local-government/131074750/aucklands-2m-tim-tam-cycle-lane-to-be-replaced-after-less-than-a-year-with-another-which-could-cost-4m

          A bit more care would go a long way as a bad project undo's the good of 1o0 good ones.

          • Belladonna 2.5.1.3.1

            We have a local cycleway in a quiet residential neighbourhood – which was put in place as a link to an initiative which was later canned.

            It is very badly designed. Cycle lane is on the inside of the parked cars – next to the footpath.

            Given the camber of the road and the size of the people-movers frequently parked there – it is virtually impossible to see a small person (especially a child) as a car is turning into the side streets. It is actively dangerous. And consequently, no parent would consider letting their kids ride on it. Where they do cycle (which is pretty infrequently), they cycle on the footpath (as they did prior to the cycleway being installed).
            Since the link now goes nowhere – and has no prospect of ever going anywhere – and is dangerous to boot – it's very rarely used (maybe 2 or 3 die-hard cyclists – who could perfectly well use the road – which is hardly full of traffic)

            This kind of development absolutely gets offside with the locals. It cost a fortune. It's actively dangerous. And it doesn't meet the stated goal of encouraging cycling. Reinforcing the perception that the Councils are just wasting money on this cycling infrastructure which is badly desinged, dangerous, and isn't being used.

      • Robert Guyton 2.5.2

        Yours is an accurate summation, weka, imo.

        "non-drivers aren't considered ordinary people"

        Correct. Our behaviours identify us – not only to our friends but also to those who aren't. Got an unmown verge? You've been noticed.

        Cookers see bicycle lanes as preparation for a "no cars for the poor" future – trapped, we will be, trapped, in our own country!! Same with speed limits (Freedom!)

        • alwyn 2.5.2.1

          What is a "cooker" Robert?

          Apart from the kitchen item the only meaning I am aware of is a person who "cooks" Meth, and that doesn't seem to be what you mean.

          • weka 2.5.2.1.1

            it's Australian slang for someone who believes in conspiracy theories, is anti-vax/mandate etc. I think it predates the pandemic and meant someone who was crazy, related to cooker as someone who cooks meth (the drug) and is off their head. Now it is used to mean a conspiracy theorist/anti-mandater etc.

            I'm in two minds about its use on TS. We don't have another single word to replace it with, but it's a pejorative term generally used in the context of othering a person or people. In that sense, it's not that different from other words/language we don't generally allow here, under the rules about not using "tone or language that has the effect of excluding others". I'll have a think about it in the new year.

            • alwyn 2.5.2.1.1.1

              Thank you, and to others who replied.

              I have never heard it before until I read this string of comments. One lives and learns.

              Actually, having just looked back through the comments I now see that it was explained by DMK, at 1.53pm, just before I asked the question. I didn't see it there at the time though.

            • gsays 2.5.2.1.1.2

              My 2 cents worth in regard the use of cooker.

              Akin to the slur, TERF, it bundles a group of folk (as you say, not a hive mind) from questioning GCFs through to full blown misandrists.

              I find the use of it to be lazy and kinda hand- wavy. Attacking the individual rather than their argument.

              More crucially it is othering. A tendency I find more and more common amongst those who like to identify as lefties.

              This term, while the centre left and left is in opposition is a time to heal, seek common ground and formulate the vision and path for 2026.

          • Terry 2.5.2.1.2

            I believe that “cookers” is a derogatory term (tho that depends on what side of the fence you’re on) it refers to “conspiracy theorists” similar to “white trash” I guess. It’s another term that obnoxious people use to elevate themselves above others

            • Robert Guyton 2.5.2.1.2.1

              "white trash"???

              Nah. Cookers are from across the spectrum.

              You could be one. Gsays could be one. Cooking knows no class, political, religious or race boundaries.

              • Terry

                Robert, I’d first of “cooker” a few weeks ago from some of the younger and hip guys where I work. From what I understand, it refers to “white trash” and “conspiracy theorists”. It’s kinda offensive, when you think about it

          • gsays 2.5.2.1.3

            I'm interested in how (if) Robert answers yr question, Alwyn.

            The left, such as it is, loves to splinter, particularly along purity lines- not sensitive enough to gender issues, not proficient enough in Te Reo, not earnest enough about CC, not enthusiastic enough with recycling etc etc.

            • Robert Guyton 2.5.2.1.3.1

              The left loves to splinter?

              People from left, right and centre use the term "cooker".

              It's reflective of the word "sheeple" which found favour with the cookers earlier on.

              Did you use "sheeple", gsays?

              • gsays

                Not a fan of banding about monikers, not even as a "gentle reproach".

                So, in your eyes, someone who is/was opposed to the mandates is a cooker?

                • Robert Guyton

                  No. I'm meaning those who hoover up all of the crack-pot ideas without any filters at all.

                  If the majority of commenters here felt the term should not be used, I'd be fine with shelving it, but as I say, it has light-hearted connotations for me.

          • Robert Guyton 2.5.2.1.4

            Hi alwyn – thanks for asking. Weka's explanation is a very good one. To me, it's a "gentle reproach" at most, but still has a nice ring to it. Rather than meth though, it brings to my mind the image of leg of lamb wrapped in tinfoil; cooker 🙂 Many of my friends are cookers, imo.

        • Drowsy M. Kram 2.5.2.2

          "non-drivers aren't considered ordinary people"

          And the inculcation starts early – about 10 years ago I was walking past the house of a work colleague and, waving hello, said that I was off to the University. They had family visiting and a young tacker asked "Why don't you drive there?"

          My response (that I enjoy walking and wasn't in a hurry) cut no ice then, and I suspect little has changed if trends in car ownership are anything to go by.

          The total motor vehicle fleet of 2021 equates to 889 vehicles per 1,000 people – one of the highest rates of vehicle ownership in the world.
          https://www.transport.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/Report/AnnualFleetStatistics.pdf

        • Kay 2.5.2.3

          Our entire system is set up on the presumption that ALL adults hold a valid drivers licence, and it doesn't cope very well when it runs into people who don't.

          When asking for ID, the default for many still seems to be "can I see your licence" followed by the very confused look when told I don't have one, but here's my passport. Kudos to whomever finally clicked on there are a lot of people sans licence or passport who can now use the Kiwi Access card for a lot of ID needs.

          Some public hospital systems don't cater for people to get to outpatient appointments at different further afield campuses if they don't have their own means of transport and/or public transport there isn't possible. Even the health system expects everyone to either drive, or have someone who can drive them.

          For a long time during the pandemic, it was not easy to get a PCR test without being able to drive to get one, unless you lived in walking distance of a testing station. I will never forget the guy from the Covid line who suggested I take a bus there…frown

          My only wish is that our car-obsessed society could understand that even if they want to deny oil running out, climate change and everything else, NONE of them are immune to copping a medical driving ban tomorrow.

          • Descendant Of Smith 2.5.2.3.1

            It was pretty demeaning though to be told in your 40's to get an 18+ pub access card particularly from places like banks who you had banked with since a kid.

          • Obtrectator 2.5.2.3.2

            "NONE of them are immune to copping a medical driving ban tomorrow."

            Too many of them would view that as a form of bureaucratic interference with their "rights", and carry on driving regardless.

          • Belladonna 2.5.2.3.3

            Even the health system expects everyone to either drive, or have someone who can drive them.

            I agree that there is an automatic assumption that you will have a friend or family member who is able to drive you to outpatient appointments.

            A couple of years ago, I had to have a minor investigative procedure which was to be done under general anaesthetic as an outpatient at the hospital. The requirement was that I not drive after this (entirely reasonably), and that I needed to be with someone who could monitor me for the next few hours in case I collapsed (again, a reasonable precaution).

            My proposal that I uber to the hospital, then uber to my Mum's place – about a 10-minute trip each way – was rejected.

            The *only* acceptable solution was to have someone drive to the hospital and for me to be released into that person's care. My Mum doesn't drive, and for one reason or another, there was no other family member free to drive me on that day. I saw no reason to ask friends to take a day off work – for what seemed like a piece of unreasonable bureaucracy.

            I protested – and they eventually agreed to carry out the procedure under local anaesthetic. Which was absolutely a double win as far as I was concerned – the recovery from general is much worse.

            But, it did make me wonder how people who don't have family networks, and/or aren't stroppy sheilas who don't take 'no' for an answer, fare in the 'system'. I expect that the answer is badly.

  2. Kat 3

    “I think there won’t be a lot of memory about Jacinda Ardern other than, she was a young woman that was appointed to the job of Prime Minister, a job she once claimed she never ever wanted to do. The second term was overwhelming for her. But really it just shows you, given the overwhelming support she had two years ago, how ill-equipped she was to do the job by quitting a year early.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/politics/dame-jacinda-arderns-legacy-barry-soper-and-audrey-young-on-the-front-page/RCI563RTNZF5RBQ7J5J75LB6UI/

    We live in a supposed free country but it is still galling to see the utter crap spewed out from the low-life likes of Barry Soper on the front page of a national newspaper.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 3.1

      'Ill-equipped to do the job' – any job – describes snarky Soper to a tee.

      In 1969, after finishing high school he attended the Royal New Zealand Police College at Trentham for six months before he withdrew from studying.

      In 2010, Soper was fined and disqualified from driving for six months for drink-driving.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Soper

      • Kat 3.1.1

        Personal requirements for NZ Police………

        Police officers need to be:

        • excellent communicators
        • able to relate to and have empathy for people from all cultures and backgrounds
        • mature and responsible, and able to keep information private
        • good at solving problems and making decisions
        • patient and helpful with a sense of humour
        • honest and committed to people's safety
        • disciplined and able to remain calm in emergencies
        • good at written and verbal reporting
        • able to work as part of a team.

        It appears Soper would fail on most of these….……

      • Blazer 3.1.2

        laughSome wag here …named him…'Barely Sober'…luv it.

    • Obtrectator 3.2

      BS apparently didn't learn much at his high school – that last sentence quoted from his piece isn't even grammatical, never mind factually correct.

  3. Blazer 4

    I guess this will be filed under ant-semitism…but imo…it is an indictment on the Israel/U.S doctrine in the M.E.

    At least 100 journalists have been killed since Israel’s war on Gaza began on October.

    International law!=whats dat?

    Gaza media office says 100 journalists killed since Israeli attacks began | Israel-Palestine conflict News | Al Jazeera

  4. joe90 5

    A good read about printer Aldus Manutius​, the bibliophile’s bibliophile who, between 1495 and 1515, issued more first editions of classical texts than had ever been published before or since.

    Venice was a city of printers and readers. In his World of Aldus Manutius, Martin Lowry made a rough guess that, in 1500, Venetian presses produced twenty books per member of the city’s population. There were more printshops – and more booksellers, stationers, bookbinders – in Venice than anywhere else in Europe: twice as many editions were printed there than in Paris, its closest rival.

    https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v45/n24/erin-maglaque/case-endings-and-calamity

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