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Open Mike 26/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 26th, 2017 - 122 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 …

122 comments on “Open Mike 26/03/2017”

  1. Tony Veitch (not the partner-bashing 3rd rate broadcaster 1

    America is – there’s no other way of saying this – fucked! But . . . but . . . but you’ve gotta laugh!

    Two short clips to set up your Sunday morning:

    The first, from Bill Maher, was posted last night by Bruce, but with terrible sound sync. Donald Trump the con man. I particularly like: ‘At least with a used-car salesman, you get a car . . .”

    And John Oliver on the Federal Budget. What a way to run a country!

    https://www.youtube.com/user/LastWeekTonight

    Enjoy – but wring your hands too!

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-03-24/canada-passes-blasphemy-bill-silence-critics-islam

    A number of Conservatives running for the the party’s leadership have been outspoken about the problems they see in M-103.

    Brad Trost said he could not support the motion because it “will only serve to strengthen extremist elements within the Muslim community itself that seek to preserve and promote their own form of hate and intolerance.” He added that any “serious plan to combat religious discrimination in Canada should include all faith groups, including Christians and Jews.”

    Pierre Lemieux said that Canadians should be wary of the language in the motion.

    “Do you have a valid concern about Islam? Do you disagree with Sharia Law? Uneasy about radical Islamic terrorism? The Liberals may very well classify you as Islamophobic,” he wrote in an email to supporters.

    Lemieux, who called on supporters to pressure MPs to force a recorded vote on M-103, called it a “great day for accountability and for freedom of speech in Canada” when almost two dozen MPs stood up on Tuesday to demand such accountability.

    Leadership contender Andrew Scheer also added his voice of opposition to the motion shortly before the vote, saying that it “could be interpreted as a step towards stifling free speech and legitimate criticism” of Islam.

    “M-103 is not inclusive. It singles out just one faith. I believe that all religions deserve the same level of respect and protection,” he wrote in an email to supporters.

    “I will be voting against it because I believe in Freedom of Speech,” he wrote.

    • Seems like it’s one of those feel-good “the House opposes bad things” statements rather than oppressive new legislation: http://globalnews.ca/news/3256675/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-anti-islamophobia-motion-making-waves-in-ottawa/.

      Of course, something calling itself the “Liberal Party” should have been opposed to this in principle, and the idea of a “Muslim Liberal MP” is just ridiculous.

      • SpaceMonkey 2.1.1

        “…and the idea of a “Muslim Liberal MP” is just ridiculous.”

        Why? Why could there not be liberally minded people who believe in Islam? In a religious sense, there can’t. But I am sure there are millions of Muslims around the world who, while agreeing with the basic tenets of Islam, differ on how the traditions and teachings should be applied to the practicalities of dealing with everyday life. Some more progressively than others. That has certainly appeared the to be the case for most of the Muslim people I have met and know.

        • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.1

          Why could there not be liberally minded people who believe in Islam?

          Because a liberal would recognise an ideology that consists of a bunch of arbitrary commands (“Put your arse in the air five times a day and make obeisance!” “Give to charity!” “Visit the town where Mohammad and his relatives have their business interests!” “Starve yourself at these appointed times!” “Don’t eat pork!” It’s a long list) and that proscribes freedom of expression (see punishment demanded for blasphemy) and freedom of conscience (punishment demanded for apostasy) is fundamentally, irredeemably illiberal.

          There certainly are people who call themselves Muslim and liberal, but the two are incompatible – one way or another they’re fooling themselves, whether it’s in believing themselves liberals or believing themselves Muslims. Judging by this motion, Iqra Khalid falls into the first category.

          • Morrissey 2.1.1.1.1

            Just like liberalism and Christianity, in other words.

            • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Christianity’s also problematic for liberalism in that it’s predicated on God having authority over you and your body, but that difficulty’s at a fairly abstract level: the kind of prescriptions and proscriptions that make Islam fundamentally illiberal are at a practical and directly-experienced level.

              • Morrissey

                Quite true, Milt. The problem we have, however, is that some of the most destructive and violent ideologues on the planet, including the likes of Tony Blair, George W. Bush, and of course one Donald J. Trump, regularly invoke the Christian scriptures to justify their violence. The results of their actions—just look at Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia—are anything but “fairly abstract.”

                • Well, first up that’s irrelevant what-aboutery. But, accepting your invitation to go off on a tangent: do you have some evidence for Blair, Bush and Trump’s military activities being based on religious ideology rather than ordinary old great power politics?

                  • Morrissey

                    Blair and Bush were infamous for their sanctimonious invoking of religion to bolster their aggression against Iraq and Afghanistan. Trump claims the Bible is his favorite book. Like you, I see their religious posturing as mere cant, but that doesn’t change the fact that they, and other dangerous fanatics like Paul Ryan, continue to invoke Christianity as they go about their business.

                    I’m interested to see that you choose to claim that my calling you out for your hypocritical singling out of Muslim fanaticism is going “off on a tangent”. I would have thought that, to any reasonable person, pointing out a blinkered determination to excoriate only the crimes of Muslims, while ignoring the (far more destructive and widespread) crimes of Christians, was dealing with the heart of the issue, not tangential to it.

                    • Tui

                      hi morrissey. just wanted to say me and my very close friend carol love your posts esp the satirical ones!

                      ~ tui

                    • Morrissey

                      Thanks for your kind words, Tui. Perhaps you and carol might like to pop round to Chez Breen for a glass of Pimms one of these days.

                    • …they, and other dangerous fanatics like Paul Ryan, continue to invoke Christianity as they go about their business.

                      Yes, but you’re missing the bit where you explain how politicians invoking religion in support of their activities reflects anything useful about the characteristics of the religion in question.

                      … my calling you out for your hypocritical singling out of Muslim fanaticism…

                      I realise that’s the fantasy you’ve got going on in your head, but it bears no resemblance to my comment at 2.1 or the ones following. My claim was that liberalism and Islam are incompatible – do you have any comment about that other than pointless what-aboutery? I must admit I’d find it unusual if you did.

                    • Poission

                      My claim was that liberalism and Islam are incompatible

                      The paradox is well known.

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

              • Johan

                To Psycho Milt: Do you paint your pictures with a broad or fine brush?

                • I don’t paint. I am, however, reasonably good at argument – do you have one of those?

                  • Morrissey

                    In your zeal to ridicule Muslims you claim that they are all required to obey the following command:

                    “Put your arse in the air five times a day and make obeisance!”

                    Yes, yes, yes, I know that you were simply trying to be funny, but that sort of thing makes you look like hatemongers such as Sam Harris, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Leighton Smith, rather than someone who is “reasonably good at argument.”

                    • I, in turn, have opinions on what your comments make you look like, but personal opinion doesn’t carry a lot of weight outside the opinionator’s own head.

                    • Morrissey

                      I, in turn, have opinions on what your comments make you look like….

                      Please share them with us. I’m sure they’re “rather good.”

                  • In Vino

                    Look at Johan’s question more carefully.. I see a metaphorical argument in it that you have deliberately ducked, PM.

                    • I prefer arguments more explicitly stated. That one seems to be saying that a blanket declaration that Muslims can’t be liberals fails to take individual circumstances and philosophies into account, but that’s an assumption on my part. Arguments that leave you guessing at the meaning are not very good arguments.

              • Incognito

                One of the core concepts of Christianity, and many other religions for that matter, is free will.

          • McFlock 2.1.1.1.2

            lol

            They thought occurs that you share your definition of “true Muslim” with groups such as ISIL, and nobody else on the planet.

            A bit like the Brethren definition of “true Christian”. Most would disagree.

            • Psycho Milt 2.1.1.1.2.1

              So stupid is it not. Like a lot of other people, I was raised Christian. It was pretty obvious that the number of “Christians” in town bore no relationship to the number for whom being a Christian meant anything other than ticking a box on the census form and having somewhere to hold weddings and funerals. Along the same lines, 1940s Germany was full of fascists and 1920s – 1980s Russia was full of communists, but for quite a few of them it didn’t matter what was actually involved in being a communist or fascist. I’m talking about the people for whom the prescriptions and proscriptions of Islam actually count for something – it’s a much smaller number than 1.6 billion, just like the number of Christians in New Zealand when I was growing up was much smaller than 3 million.

              • McFlock

                You forget the billions of christians, muslims, and even communists who actually regularly read their respective books, agree in general with the contents, and try to follow the general gist of the entire text rather than elevating a few passages above others with extreme literalist interpretations.

                • So, you read a comment in which I point out that dilettantes aren’t really relevant to a discussion about the thing they’re idly dabbling in, and tell me I’m forgetting about all the dilettantes? The Muslim world is packed full of people who call themselves Muslim but pay little attention to what that actually means – it’s human nature, and also a natural consequence of making apostasy a terrible crime worthy of draconic punishments. Those people can perhaps be liberals, but only by ignoring what their religion is actually about – and we can tell from her sponsorship of this motion that Iqra Khalid is not one of those people.

                  • McFlock

                    The trouble is that the people you and ISIL call “dilettantes”, pretty much the rest of the planet call “Muslims”.

                    • Well, if most of the billion and a half people who call themselves Muslims thought the five pillars of Islam were suggestions only and the fact that God prescribed punishments for blasphemy and apostasy were a “general gist” sort of thing that no-one actually needed to pay attention to, from my perspective that would be totally fucking awesome, but unfortunately it bears no correspondence to reality.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, I expect the proportion is probably pretty similar to the number of christians who think people should be stoned for various pointless but prescribed reasons.

                    • If you’re imagining that the proportion of Muslims who reject fundamental tenets of Islam is similar to the proportion of Christians who imagine Jesus wanted them to stone people to death, you don’t have a very good grasp of what a religion is.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m not sure I have any grasp on how you, specifically, use nouns when it comes to belief systems.

                    • You’re peddling a thesis that Da’esh are the only Muslims who believe in the five pillars of Islam, punishments for blasphemy and apostasy, and the many other prescriptions and proscriptions of Islam. OK, that was probably hyperbole and your thesis is just that few Muslims actually believe it. Don’t be surprised that I don’t take your thesis very seriously, because it’s ridiculous.

                    • McFlock

                      It takes a very special kind of believer to believe in the literal truth of every single part of their hallowed documents, especially the bits that are contradictory or demonstrably inconsistent with the historical record.

                      Most believers can follow, say, the ten commandments and believe they came from god without believing that anyone who eats shrimp should be stoned to death for offending god, let alone insisting upon it and volunteering to do so.

                      You might argue “no true scotsman” would ever forget the words to “To a Mouse”, but the rest of the planet doesn’t really seem to have the same exceptionally narrow definition as you.

                    • “No true Scotsman” my arse. Either there’s a definition of Muslim, or it’s a meaningless term and people should stop using it. And there isn’t any useful definition of “Muslim” that’s also compatible with any useful definition of “liberal.” Not unless we’ve reached the “a woman is someone who identifies as a woman” level of semantic idiocy, at least.

                      Anyway – like I said, it’s easy enough for a person who disbelieves the fundamental tenets of the Muslim faith to be a liberal. No argument there.

                    • McFlock

                      But your definition isn’t at all useful, as it’s made redundant by pre-existing terms for religious or specifically Islamic extremists.

                      Whereas you leave no term to describe the majority of the billion or so folks everyone but you (and ISIL) calls “Muslim”. Or “Christian”, for that matter.

                      At least the commenters here using “liberal” differently (economic vs social vs all permutations) are roughly even in number, but you seem to be the only one following a hardline definition.

                      When it comes to the crunch, language is about communication. If you insist on using nouns differently to the majority of people, there’s not much point to your contribution because your act of communicating can only lead to misunderstanding.

                    • If you’re operating a definition of “Muslim” that doesn’t involve belief in the fundamental tenets of Islam, it’s you that’s using a noun differently from everyone else.

                      And when it comes to something calling itself “The Liberal Party,” it’s reasonable to assume they mean it the same way Wikipedia does.

                    • McFlock

                      If you’re operating a definition of “Muslim” that doesn’t involve belief in the fundamental tenets of Islam, it’s you that’s using a noun differently from everyone else.
                      Some tenets? All? Which bits are “fundamental tenets”? How deeply do you have to believe them? How literally do you have to believe them?

                      I’m using “Muslim” in the same way that wikipedia does when it says there are 1.6 billion of them whereas there are only a million or so members of ISIL/AQ/Al shabab etc. I guess everyone else wikipedia refers to is not a true Muslim because they’re not running around killing infidels and apostates.

                    • The fundamental tenets are the five pillars of Islam, which you can look up for yourself. The absolute minimum is the shahadah, but that’s the basis for the lack of religious freedom in the Muslim world, so even the bare minimum effectively rules out liberalism.

                      As to the false dichotomy strawman you’re putting up (my argument supposedly based on anyone outside Da’esh et al not being a “real” Muslim), fuck knows how you came up with it but please stop.

                    • McFlock

                      So anyone who does faith, prayer, charity, fasting and gets around to the pilgrimage, you count as a “real” muslim?

                      Why does someone being monotheistic rule out “liberalism”?

                    • Well, maybe there’s a version of liberalism which is compatible with believing that all humanity has been issued with a serious of arbitrary and irrational but nevertheless compulsory commands by a supreme and unquestionable supernatural authority and that these are the final commands ever to be issued by that authority, but I’m not familiar with that version – does it ring any bells for you?

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, classical liberalism will do.

                      Religion is what you believe. Liberalism is whether you think you can force your religion on everyone else. Which is why 99.99% of followers of all Abrahamic religions over much of the world don’t immediately run out and stone every fornicator they see. Sure, they believe their magic books, but they choose to not be a dick about it.

                    • Liberalism and religion are both philosophy. Some philosophies are incompatible with others, depending upon their content. Whether individuals want to be dicks about something or not is irrelevant to that. Individuals are only relevant to the extent that an individual claiming to follow two incompatible philosophies is probably a bit confused about one or both.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                      So you’re right about how you define whether a person is an adherent of a particular religion, it’s just that few billion Christians and Muslims are “a bit confused” about what they claim to believe?

                    • It doesn’t matter what a person believes or doesn’t believe, or who I might or might not define as a member of a particular religion. Those things remain irrelevant no matter how often you repeat them. What matters in this case is whether two particular philosophies are compatible or incompatible, and the one with a long list of illiberal features is not compatible with liberalism.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, that’s what you keep saying.
                      It’s just at odds with the way much of the planet seems to view those terms and actually practise their monotheism.

                    • What? As witnessed by those bastions of liberalism, the Muslim countries of the world? We have an ideology that’s composed almost entirely of illiberal features (from the name “Submit” down through the list of prescriptions and proscriptions that are its only substance) and that has proved fundamentally illiberal everywhere its followers form a majority of the population. I find that pretty persuasive evidence that it’s not compatible with liberalism. For evidence to the contrary, you have… I’m not sure what. You know some Muslims and they’re OK blokes?

                    • McFlock

                      Given that many of those countries are in a continent that has Christian countries that are about as permissive as their Islamic neighbours, and given the liberalism of Russia or some areas of the US, I tend to wonder whether one religion is worse than another, or simply that regional culture has more to do with whether someone feels compelled to be a dick about it.

                      Especially when almost everyone seems to change their tunes and stop stoning folks when they get to more liberal regions, sometimes within the same damned country.

      • Incognito 2.1.2

        Do you consider National MPs liberals?

        • Psycho Milt 2.1.2.1

          For the most part. “Liberal” doesn’t imply “left-wing” – there are plenty of liberals with very unpleasant politics, David Farrar probably being the most-familiar one to Standard readers.

          • Incognito 2.1.2.1.1

            O.k. let me be more specific: do you consider Tim Groser a liberal?

            • Poission 2.1.2.1.1.1

              he is both an apostate and fundamentalist ie the duality being both a Moslem and a believer in the church of the hidden hand.

            • Psycho Milt 2.1.2.1.1.2

              I presume he is – politically, he comes across as one. I see where you’re going with this, but see my comment 2.1.1.1 above:

              “There certainly are people who call themselves Muslim and liberal, but the two are incompatible – one way or another they’re fooling themselves, whether it’s in believing themselves liberals or believing themselves Muslims. Judging by this motion, Iqra Khalid falls into the first category.”

              Groser might well be a third category: liberals who declared themselves Muslim so they could marry a Muslim, but don’t actually believe the bullshit they signed up to. From what I remember, Groser isn’t married to a Muslim any more, but he’s probably aware by now that it’s a cult not easily backed out of once you’re in – we non-Muslims wouldn’t give a shit if he committed apostasy, but at best it would seriously inconvenience his future dealings with Muslims. At worst he could be charged with an offence if he visited Indonesia or other Muslim countries. Much easier to just let it slide.

              • Incognito

                I will let it slide mainly because of your comment that you repeated twice:

                There certainly are people who call themselves Muslim and liberal, but the two are incompatible – one way or another they’re fooling themselves, whether it’s in believing themselves liberals or believing themselves Muslims. Judging by this motion, Iqra Khalid falls into the first category.

                To me this comes across as extremely judgemental and patronising or just plain ignorant of how others might reconcile concepts and beliefs that you find obviously irreconcilable and you thus deny offhand. To use and paraphrase a part-quote by John Searle in this context:

                Your dualism makes the problem insoluble for you

                • You’re entitled to whatever opinion of it you want to have. But it’s arguments that count – if you have some actual argument for how the tenets of Islam are compatible with liberalism, feel free to present them.

            • Tamati Tautuhi 2.1.2.1.1.3

              Very socially upwardly mobile and a follower of US Corporate policy and indoctrination, Key, English and Groser are disciples of Corporate America and the US Bankers. Loyal to the IMF and the Federal Reserve.

              • garibaldi

                Why have the Jews been left out of this comparison of Monotheists?
                In my view they are all as guilty, bigoted and delusionary as each other.

                • One Two

                  Correct!

                  Not to a tribesmen, however

                • Why have the Jews been left out of this comparison of Monotheists?

                  In my case, because the comment was about a supposedly Liberal Muslim MP. Only Morrissey can tell you why he dragged another religion into it, and why that particular one.

                  In my view they are all as guilty, bigoted and delusionary as each other.

                  And you’re fully entitled to that view. Is there a reason other people should care? Your opinion matters only to you. Only what you can argue persuasively should matter to other people.

    • joe90 3.1

      He’s been busy.

      So who funds this endeavor? Who pays for a team of young men to travel the country in a tour bus? The answer resides in the organization behind the tour. Glittering Steel, LLC is a small production company located at the same address in Beverly Hills as Breitbart News and a number of other companies owned and supported by Trump-supporting Hedge funder Robert Mercer.

      https://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2017/mar/24/mercer-milo-tour/

  3. saveNZ 4

    From Granny…. The lawyers who manage the process get more in fees than the victims… but thats just efficient capitalism under National I guess…

    “The Ministry of Social Development spent more than a million dollars paying private lawyers to fight claims of abuse at a state-funded bootcamp on Great Barrier Island before finally settling with victims for $340,000.

    Settlement with four claimants to proceedings, the last of which came in February, followed a 12-year battle in the courts which also saw the Ministry stuck with costs due to Legal Aid of $369,000.

    Labour Party deputy leader Jacinda Ardern called the expense and delays extraordinary and questioned whether it was a just or wise use of taxpayer money.

    “No one is going to look at a case like this – with extraordinary amounts spent on legal costs and small outcomes for victims – and think this is a good process,” she said.

    Ardern said figures provided to her office showed $6.5m had been spent in total by MSD on external legal counsel fighting a handful of historic abuse cases over the past decade, with only one getting to trial.”

    • AsleepWhileWalking 4.1

      Yep, it’s shocking alright.

      Abuse victims deserve that money (I mean the amount paid to the lawyers, not the trickle of piddle they are currently awarded). They suffer through the abuse, and then suffer again through the legal process which is super highly skewed towards the state / the abuser.

      Worst abuse of all is that because many are considered “already damaged” the payout only reflects the additional damage. The reality is that abuse in this type of situation reinforces exsisting issues and makes further recovery almost impossible.

      Taken to it’s extreme someone in a vegetative state, gang raped in care would be ineligible for any payout, because how can you prove that any damage occurred?

      Abuse in care is the ultimate dehumaniser.

  4. Morrissey 5

    John Pilger being interviewed by Wallace Chapman right now!

    RNZ National, Sunday 26 March 2017, 10.17 a.m.

    As I suspected would happen, the callow Chapman has already been corrected twice by Pilger after making foolish and ill considered comments. But it’s still worth a listen…

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday

    Wallace speaks to award-winning journalist and filmmaker John Pilger about his latest film, The Coming War On China, which examines the increasing focus of the United States on the Asia-Pacific region.

    • Red Hand 5.1

      David Hutt shows in this article how Pilger consistently glosses over China’s past crimes while dwelling on America’s.

      http://thediplomat.com/2016/12/the-trouble-with-john-pilgers-the-coming-war-on-china/

      • Morrissey 5.1.1

        You’ve chosen, for whatever reason, to cite something which is nothing more than a dishonest and ideologically driven attack on Pilger. It’s slightly more elevated in style, but not essentially different to the dyspeptic anti-Hager ranting we’ve heard from the likes of Mark Richardson, Leighton Smith and Mike Hosking over the last few days.

        His sleazy insinuation that Pilger’s journalism is comparable to the methods of Goebbels is enough to instantly discredit him, but perhaps the best way of assessing the moral and intellectual credentials of David Hutt is to savour the casual indifference and brutality of the following….

        Certainly what the United States did was a crime, but it was a crime committed decades ago.

        You need to read more, and read thoroughly, Red Hand. And you need to read with discrimination.

        • Red Hand 5.1.1.1

          Reading with discrimination to me means reading writers with different points of view. The Pilger interview shows his anti US bias. I chose the article because it exposes this.

          • Morrissey 5.1.1.1.1

            You clearly chose that article because it attacked Pilger. He is not “anti-US”, as you claim, but anti-imperialist.

            I believe in reading writers with different points of view, but not in citing them as any kind of authority if they are as flagrantly biased and contemptuous of the facts as David Hutt.

        • Psycho Milt 5.1.1.2

          … the casual indifference and brutality of the following…

          Context is your friend, Morrissey. In this case, the context is that the 40 minutes Pilger spends dwelling on the crime in question is irrelevant to a documentary supposedly about a coming war against China. So, not “indifference and brutality,” just “rational argument.”

          From Hutt’s description, Pilger’s lengthy segment on the USA’s crimes against the Marshall Islands is simply framing. You need to introduce the bad guy and show him doing something evil, so the audience knows who the bad guy is and satisfies itself that Bad Guy is indeed a Really Terrible Person. It’s part of movie-making, albeit not usually part of documentary movies – but then, we are talking about John Pilger here.

          • Morrissey 5.1.1.2.1

            So Pilger’s detailed history of American crimes against humanity in the region are not relevant? He should just ignore it, or better simply not know about it in the first place, like such outstanding journalists as Mike Hosking and Duncan Garner?

            You’re concerned that a full contextualising of the conflict in the South China Sea makes the United States look like the bad guy. Sadly, that’s also the result if you contextualise the conflicts in Central and South America, in Indonesia, in the Philippines, in much of Africa.

            I understand your concern. Context is not your friend, Milt, that’s for sure.

            • Psycho Milt 5.1.1.2.1.1

              I’m not “concerned” about Pilger framing great-power politics as good guys vs bad guys, but it is mildly annoying and some of the dimmer bulbs among his fans seem to lap it up, so it’s worth a mention.

  5. Herodotus 6

    As a unforeseen consequence of (in particular) Auckland House prices, it has been noticed of quite a number of smaller spec builders are now being seen to be exiting the market and there are no new young replacement builders/tradies etc turning to the spec market.
    Why ? To buy a section would cost $400k and then you have to manage and fund the process of the build. Banks are uncomfortable to fund such large loans in the vicinity of $1m. So we see less spec builders and the increase of “corporate/franchise” coys. active within the industry.

    • Sabine 6.1

      nothing unforeseen about this.

      i went for a drive round Taupo the other day. The lake front is now Fast Food or Junk food alley. No beautiful old victorian buildings housing eateries and such, no Lonestar, Burgerfuel, KFC, McDo, Sierra Cafe etc etc.
      The priciest real estate right by the lake front is essentially priced in such a matter that individual private businesses can’t afford the leases. And with this goes the fabled right of ‘choice’ and ‘free market’. But you can have crab food for $5 to go with your minimum wage.

      And the Taupo council is happy for businesses to apply for Grants for up to 25000 a tick to locate their business to their fair town. Sadly so, this would not even cover a years worth of ground lease plus outgoings.

      We are killing any and all business with these costs. Maybe we need to import some more cheap labour to make up for the lazy drug addled kiwis that are no good at business and work.

      • saveNZ 6.1.1

        If it is anything like Auckland it seems to be a exploitation/immigration scam with food franchises… many of these places seem near empty of customers in Auckland and yet they are still paying exorbitant leases…. something doesn’t seem right.

        It’s also driving others out of business. Place in Ponsonby, Auckland used to be a Baker’s Delight, been empty for nearly 2 years in a prime spot.

        You have to wonder who owns it if they are willing to have it empty for nearly 2 years…

        Someone was telling me they leased a place on Queen ST about 15 years ago, they paid $220,000 a year for the lease. Then you have to do the refit, then you have the rent increases… etc… etc… all is not well in NZ small businesses…

        Apparently the Malls are very exploitative to the businesses.

        As well as not being able to afford to buy our own houses under National.

        We can’t afford to be tenants in our country.

        And we can’t afford to run a business in our own country.

        • JanM 6.1.1.1

          Michael Friedlander owns a lot of properties in and around Ponsonby – he’s been responsible for many businesses going to the wall, or at least leaving, as a result of exorbitant rents

          • Sabine 6.1.1.1.1

            Ponsonby in ten years will look like Downtown AKL. Friedlander is land banking and has been doing this systematically since at lest 20 years.
            Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Herne Bay, Symond Street, K-Road etc…..all will simply become part of down town with the appropriate shit architecture cause nothing says progress like crap Plattenbau.

        • Sabine 6.1.1.2

          A chocolatier in AKL from whom i worked many many years ago, could not believe that Queen Street charged at much lease as Rive Gauche in Paris.

          Malls are ludicrous. From the fixed opening hours, to the lack of toilets for staff only and the total lack of lunchspaces to the crap air to the noise pollution to the fact that people hang in Malls but actually spend very very little.

          In NZ however it pays to keep rents so high as to be un-affordable and simply claim a loss on your property. IF you could not write of the loss a landlord might be ‘incentivesed’ so as to drop the rent to something the ‘market’ could pay.

          And we are already tenants in this fair country. Very little really still belongs to NZ. Water, Electricity and land is all flogged of at bargain prices – get rich now while you can.

    • Johan 6.2

      To Herodotus: Are you telling us that the influx of dodgy money out of China has ended?

      • Herodotus 6.2.1

        There have been some Property deals since Christmas that required offshore funding, to have failed due to the increased difficulty in being able to access the funds. With a few cases I am aware of where the contracted buyer vanished !! Perhaps they found out that they had paid too much, as if there was some appreciation in the property values all that would have happened was that it was on sold. Even if tax was paid better to pay that than incur a loss of the deposit.

  6. Iraq suspends Mosul offensive after coalition airstrike atrocity.

    One anticipates a flood of posts from the resident Assad/Putin apologists declaring that these fake western media propaganda outrage stories can’t be trusted, that the claims of civilian casualties are Da’esh propaganda, and we mustn’t let western governments’ support for jihadis interfere with this operation to liberate the people of Mosul…

    • Morrissey 7.1

      Your sarcasm can’t cover up the fact that the United States and its vassal states (Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Kingdom) have created and supported Da’esh, and are ultimately responsible for the carnage in the Middle East.

      • Red Hand 7.1.1

        The people who design, manufacture and sell weapons are ultimately responsible.

        No arms industry, no carnage.

        You and others write about events as though they are due to the actions of states, avoiding the fact that they are due to the actions of people. People who design, manufacture, sell and buy weapons, recruit mainly men into military groups and train them to obey orders.

        In the Pilger interview, he mentions an episode during the Cuba Missile Crisis in which a few people at the Kwajalein Base were moments from activating the launch of a nuclear armed missile. The US is an abstraction. Not a person with a code and means to activate it.

        By personifying states the responsibility of individual human beings for events is avoided.

        • Morrissey 7.1.1.1

          Your ignorance and naivete are breathtaking.

          • Red Hand 7.1.1.1.1

            So you agree with what I wrote ?

            • Morrissey 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Do you really think I envisage “the United States” as an abstraction? Really?

              And do you think those thriving arms industries in China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Israel, and the United States would thrive if they were not massively supported by the governments of those states? Not those abstract governments that you’ve dreamed up, but real brutal regimes, run by nasty people like Trump, Netanyahu, Putin and Xi Jinping.

              • Red Hand

                The US is an abstraction, not a concrete reality. The ICC prosecutes individuals, not states.

                Yes, governments support arms industries, but are not essential to their existence.

                Labelling Trump, Netanyahu, Putin and Xi Jinping as “nasty people” is unnecessary I think.

                • Morrissey

                  Yes, governments support arms industries, but are not essential to their existence.

                  Really? You think that (for example) cluster bombs would still have continued to be produced and exported if the United Kingdom, French, U.S., Russian and Israeli government had not supported their manufacture and use?

                  Labelling Trump, Netanyahu, Putin and Xi Jinping as “nasty people” is so silly !

                  So how would YOU describe Trump or Netanyahu?

                • Johan

                  To Red Hand: “The US is an abstraction, not a concrete reality.” WTF?

            • Morrissey 7.1.1.1.1.2

              I actually agree with most of what you write, apart from when you misconstrue my comments.

              Please ignore that insult of mine at 7.1.1.1—I see you’re much smarter than that, and I withdraw and apologise.

              • Red Hand

                Thanks, but no need to apologise. I did not intend to misconstrue your comments.

                • Morrissey

                  No, no, I insist! I was in the wrong, and on reflection, you didn’t misconstrue me; we simply disagreed.

  7. Poission 8

    Assad/Putin apologists declaring that these fake western media propaganda outrage stories can’t be trusted

    Indeed the irrefutable evidence presented say by the NYT or the WP or the economist,routinely cited by progressives,suggest that one should never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C7UNaooVAAAvQwV.jpg:large

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C667ZFHU8AAIqxI.jpg:large

    • Morrissey 8.1

      Thanks for that, Poission. I suspect, however, that even if Psycho Milt bothers to click on those damning links you provide, it won’t dent his devotion to these sources on which he relies for the “arguments” at which he rates himself “reasonably good.”

  8. saveNZ 9

    Harrowing stuff..
    Trafficked and enslaved: the teenagers tending UK cannabis farms
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/mar/25/trafficked-enslaved-teenagers-tending-uk-cannabis-farms-vietnamese

    • Sabine 9.1

      it is truly time the world over to just build a legal frame work such as we have with alcohol and be done with the fake pious ‘but wont anyone think of the children’.

  9. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/90853933/after-denials-over-sas-raid-in-afghanistan-nzdf-admits-suspected-civilian-casualty

    The NZDF and the Nat’s sounding like Maxwell Smart, Agent 86 is the 1960s comedy show……………..”what you believe………????”

    • The Chairman 10.1

      I see the government is expected to make an announcement on an inquiry shortly.

  10. Ad 11

    A little feminist sic fi primer for the upcoming film The Handmaid’s Tale:

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/25/dystopian-dreams-how-feminist-science-fiction-predicted-the-future

    For those who can still imagine utopias, as well as dystopias.

      • Sabine 11.1.1

        there are very few around that would happily throw women under the bus in order to provoke change.
        After all its only women, and they are not women.

    • Incognito 11.2

      A good read although I did miss a reference to one of the best-known Utopias/Dystopias: Amazonia/Feminye [sp?].

      Economic downturns make vulnerable people more vulnerable – and societies in trouble tend to retreat to an imagined past of certainty and stability. To put it another way: justice feels affordable in times of plenty, and starts to feel like a luxury in times of want.

      QFT

      • Ad 11.2.1

        Which is one thing I really miss: a government that makes you look up to the horizon.
        I miss it because in my lifetime I haven’t seen it. S’cuse me going all Ernst Bloch.

        • Incognito 11.2.1.1

          Utopia is a favourite theme/concept of mine; I have written about it here on TS and even once submitted a writing for a Guest Post Utopian Musings: Companionship, Community, Compassion, Passion but it never saw the light of day; it was probably too lengthy – it was long – and/or just not good/interesting enough.

          Personally, I am influenced by Zygmunt Bauman. According to him we now live “inside a Utopia” rather than “towards a Utopia”.

          It is no coincidence that Utopia or Utopian thinking keeps reoccurring here on TS and elsewhere; it is (more than) a stubborn meme.

  11. adam 12

    TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM TERRORISM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh wait he’s white – it will be out of the news cycle in a day.

    No wait, only coverage I’ve seen

  12. Morrissey 13

    Nice sinecure if you can get it

    Cook 250 looks like the worst taxpayer rort since the Flag Consideration Project and/or Bill Douple Dipper English’s housing scam….

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1703/S00739/jenny-shipley-to-visit-whitianga-to-help-progress-cook-250.htm

  13. Tui 14

    i am so angry!!! this woman is a traitor!!!

    http://www.oliviapierson.org/blog/rape-culture-carping

    “The sex at least is mostly consensual, but an accusation of rape can follow from a girl who feels sexually used, or taken for granted, and who seeks to inflict some measure of vengeance (like in the case of Mattress Girl).”

    women like pierson fuel rape culture!!! if a woman feels sexually used or taken for granted then as my close friend carol says she was raped!!!

    ~tui

  14. xanthe 15

    @lprent

    you probably know all this but interesting thing is I click on “replies” i get nothin BUT it i “open in new tab” they there, if that helps 🙂

  15. AsleepWhileWalking 16

    George Webb (YouTube citizen journalist) deserves some kind of humanitarian award.

    For a long time now he has been diligently sifting through Podesta (I think) emails via Wikileaks and uncovered the Clinton crime family maneuvers.

    If you are new to George best to go back over the oldest YouTube’s you can find (he was subject to a YT take down a few months ago), probably the ones with the title “Where is Eric Braverman day__”. You need to do this in order to follow the more recent ones.

    Think ratlines, drugs, mangos, children, organs, dodgy appointments with suspiciously high security clearance. Ugh.

  16. Cinny 17

    Defence Force, are unavailable for comment (stitching their story together),

    Then they lose “the report”

    but this, this takes the cake, news just in…

    Keating said an ISAF investigation found that a gun sight malfunction on a helicopter resulted in several rounds falling short, missing the intended target and striking two buildings.

    “This investigation concluded that this may have resulted in civilian casualties but no evidence of this was established.”

    But, but.. dude didn’t you fellas lose the copy of the report/investigation? Lol

    Brownlee has had a busy afternoon, catching up with English and Keating prior to this article coming out. Just because they say it didn’t happen, does not mean that it did not happen.

    Was Wayne Mapp hallucinating?

    A good journalist would be asking many questions by now.

    • Anne 17.1

      The Defence Force will be in full damage mode. Nobody does “full damage mode” like the Defence Force. I spent 5 years as a civilian working on a Defence Force base in the late 80s and early 90s and it was an illuminating experience. Somebody found out I had been a supporter of the Labour’s Govt’s anti-nuclear legislation and I ended up under close watch night and day. Even my trips to and from my home to the base were monitored. Talk about excessive paranoia!

  17. joe90 18

    Congratulations National, you’ve selected a lazy, principle free idiot.

    The National Party’s Whanganui electorate delegates have chosen Whanganui lawyer Harete Hipango to contest the September election.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11825896

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