Open Mike 26/11/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 26th, 2016 - 232 comments
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232 comments on “Open Mike 26/11/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    Sobering news.

    Arctic ice melt could trigger uncontrollable climate change at global level.
    Scientists warn increasingly rapid melting could trigger polar ‘tipping points’ with catastrophic consequences felt as far away as the Indian Ocean.
    Arctic scientists have warned that the increasingly rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 “tipping points” in the region that could have catastrophic consequences around the globe.
    The Arctic Resilience Report found that the effects of Arctic warming could be felt as far away as the Indian Ocean, in a stark warning that changes in the region could cause uncontrollable climate change at a global level.
    Temperatures in the Arctic are currently about 20C above what would be expected for the time of year, which scientists describe as “off the charts”. Sea ice is at the lowest extent ever recorded for the time of year.
    “The warning signals are getting louder,” said Marcus Carson of the Stockholm Environment Institute and one of the lead authors of the report. “[These developments] also make the potential for triggering [tipping points] and feedback loops much larger.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/nov/25/arctic-ice-melt-trigger-uncontrollable-climate-change-global-level

  2. Paul 2

    Sobering news 2.
    George Monbiot.

    The 13 impossible crises that humanity now faces.
    From Trump to climate change, this multiheaded crisis presages collapse. And there’s no hope of exiting the ‘other side’ if political alternatives are shut down.
    Please don’t read this unless you are feeling strong. This is a list of 13 major crises that, I believe, confront us. There may be more. Please feel free to add to it or to knock it down. I’m sorry to say that it’s not happy reading.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/25/13-crises-we-face-trump-soil-loss-global-collapse

  3. Paul 3

    Sobering news 3.
    Guy McPherson.

    Humans ‘don’t have 10 years’ left thanks to climate change
    There’s no point trying to fight climate change – we’ll all be dead in the next decade and there’s nothing we can do to stop it, a visiting scientist claims.
    Guy McPherson, a biology professor at the University of Arizona, says the human destruction of our own habitat is leading towards the world’s sixth mass extinction.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/world/humans-dont-have-10-years-left-thanks-to-climate-change—scientist-2016112408

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Short term I believe Trump will de-escalate military tensions with Russia and China so the risk of super power war in the next couple of years has reduced. Other than that, we are in a dire situation and people are still running around pretending that we can still avoid 1.5 deg C and 2.0 deg C levels of warming.

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        And Trump is the least suitable leader imaginable for dealing with climate change. So why support him?

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          And Trump is the least suitable leader imaginable for dealing with climate change. So why support him?

          because most Americans are not single issue voters, and if they were on the issue of climate change, Jill Stein would have won.

          Also my rationale – which people around here seem to hate – is that there wasn’t (and isn’t) 5ppm difference between the Repugs and the Demorats.

          I will admit that Clinton’s words on climate change was much nicer sounding to environmentalist ears, however.

          • Clump_AKA Sam 3.1.1.1.1

            Conspiracy theorists on right see our own govt & elite behind every incomprehensible outrage. Those pushing tinfoil from left see Trump.

          • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.2

            When Trump cancels funding for data collection on the effects of climate change and puts it into space exploration want to come back and admit you were wrong?

            • Clump_AKA Sam 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Wrong: https://youtu.be/_GBnJNLoBuw

              And wrong: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX

              And, no. I’m difinitley not wrong. I’ll put my forecasting skills up against yours any day my boy.

              There is no doubt that Trump is powerful and he is 1 state legislature away from gaining the majority needed to amend the US constitution: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/18/republicans-build-on-their-dominance-in-state-legislatures.html

              But no president of the United States can go full on communists and stop the March of capitalism. I think it’s a mistake to view Trump as the most powerful man with in America.

              • reason

                The march of corruption would be more apt ….

                http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/wall-streets-naked-swindle-20100405

                “On Tuesday, March 11th, 2008, somebody — nobody knows who —made one of the craziest bets Wall Street has ever seen. The mystery figure spent $1.7 million on a series of options, gambling that shares in the venerable investment bank Bear Stearns would lose more than half their value in nine days or less. It was madness — “like buying 1.7 million lottery tickets,” according to one financial analyst.” …..

                ….”by the weekend, it was being knocked to its knees by the Fed and the Treasury, and forced at the barrel of a shotgun to sell itself to JPMorgan Chase (which had been given $29 billion in public money to marry its hunchbacked new bride) at the humiliating price of … $2 a share. Whoever bought those options on March 11th woke up on the morning of March 17th having made 159 times his money, or roughly $270 million. This trader was either the luckiest guy in the world, the smartest son of a bitch ever or…

                more recent financial ‘news’ ….” At least 367 companies, or 73 percent
                of the Fortune 500, operate one or more
                subsidiaries in tax haven countries.

                All told, these 367 companies maintain at
                least 10,366 tax haven subsidiaries.
                http://ctj.org/pdf/offshoreshellgames2016.pdf

                Goldman Sachs
                Group
                987
                Bahamas (1), Barbados (4), Bermuda (19), British Virgin Islands (6), Cayman Islands
                (537), Channel Islands (17), Costa Rica (1), Cyprus (2), Gibraltar (1), Hong Kong
                (19), Ireland (64), Isle of Man (3), Luxembourg (197), Mauritius (49), Monaco (1),
                Netherlands (45), Panama (1), Singapore (18), Switzerland (2)

                Morgan Stanley
                669
                Bermuda (4), Cayman Islands (280), Channel Islands (33), Cyprus (4), Gibraltar
                (1), Hong Kong (18), Ireland (45), Luxembourg (76), Malta (1), Mauritius (16),
                Netherlands (131), Singapore (58), Switzerland (2)

                J.P. Morgan
                Chase & Co.
                385
                Bahamas (7), Barbados (1), Bermuda (19), British Virgin Islands (9), Cayman Islands
                (149), Channel Islands (18), Cyprus (1), Hong Kong (17), Ireland (13), Luxembourg
                (61), Malta (13), Marshall Islands (3), Mauritius (33), Netherlands (12), Singapore
                (25), Switzerland (4)

                KKR
                300
                Cayman Islands (249), Channel Islands (6), Hong Kong (3), Ireland (19),
                Luxembourg (9), Mauritius (5), Singapore (9)

                Bank of New
                York Mellon
                Corp.
                188
                Bahamas (2), Bermuda (6), Cayman Islands (69), Channel Islands (13), Hong Kong
                (2), Ireland (55), Luxembourg (16), Malta (1), Mauritius (1), Netherlands (18),
                Singapore (4), Switzerland (1

                Bank of
                America Corp.
                109
                Bahamas (2), Bermuda (4), Cayman Islands (18), Channel Islands (13), Costa Rica
                (1), Gibraltar (4), Hong Kong (3), Ireland (8), Luxembourg (13), Mauritius (6),
                Netherlands (25), Netherlands Antilles (1), Singapore (8), Switzerland (3)

                ……….

                And have I got a political donation for you 😉 …. https://www.icij.org/offshore/leaked-records-reveal-offshore-holdings-chinas-elite#

        • mauī 3.1.1.2

          Clinton wasn’t going to do much about climate change, not with her corporate backing. It would be steady as she goes. Trump is the change agent, so even though he may be worse for climate change in the short term it puts us closer towards making the radical change we need.

          • save nz 3.1.1.2.1

            I kinda agree with Maui – yes there is short term damage but Trump post reign might force radical change and awareness that the world needs.

            Sometimes “thump thump” there is no climate change is easier to rebuttal than the democrats saying they want to do something, they get reports about the issues, they have media events – but the actually climate change doesn’t get done or is delayed by being put into a long ‘process’ with non binding requirements and governments are able to not do anything like the Key government buying polluting credits sorta converting it into a neoliberal process about money than actually about reducing emissions and doing quality research.

            But the public and media are not up in arms, because it still looks like the governments are doing something.

      • marty mars 3.1.2

        You can’t have it both ways and expect to be taken seriously. Imo your support of denier trump shows any caring about cc from you is just crocodile tears. If trump could make money from cc he’d be on it like a rash. You don’t appear as dim as trump, you have less excuses for your deliberate ignorance.

        • In Vino 3.1.2.1

          I have never seen CV claim that Trump is good for dealing with Climate Change. He has only pointed out that HC would in fact be no better. Why do you see things so black and white, then put words into others’ mouths?

          • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1

            Exactly.

            Perhaps someone could point out how disastrous Obama’s reign has been for actual climate change results. And despite his billions invested in solar power etc and lots of soothing talk about alternative energy. World now consistently over 400ppm, multiple years of record breaking temperatures during his term in office, no change in emissions trajectories, etc.

            He’s the guy who greenlit deep sea oil drilling again after Deepwater Horizon ffs and the dems all fell into line behind him.

            But somehow Demorats better than Repugs. They are on one count: creating the illusion of caring about climate change, despite their actual physical track record.

            • marty mars 3.1.2.1.1.1

              You cv the dude in dunners not denier trump. Getting pretend upset about the real and devastating effects of cc, whilst supporting even endorsing a cc denier who TWEETED that it was a hoax set up by the chinese, is incongruent imo.

              • Colonial Viper

                Well, I got used to the incongruency because the real world is incongruent.

                I’ve listened to a dozen or more Guy McPherson talks in the last few months and decided that Clinton versus Trump on the issue of climate change was like asking a WWII POW to choose between being held by the Germans, the Soviets, or the Japanese.

                Multiple flavours of fuck all difference apart from the terminology.

                • Yeah well if you are a doomer then guy would appeal. Just an iteration of disaster porn imo.

                  All of trumps rhetoric around change is fake because he isn’t considering cc. It is part of where the con comes in.

                  It is good imo that you are honest about your view of cc and your membership of doomer Inc. Thanks for that.

            • mosa 3.1.2.1.1.2

              Makes Obamas campaign slogan of Hope a total farce with his track record in this and other areas and of course the pipeline at Standing Rock.

          • marty mars 3.1.2.1.2

            I wasn’t saying that. How about you read instead of kneejerking to me – I’d appreciate it or even better make some actual argument.

            • In Vino 3.1.2.1.2.1

              At the point I wrote I was replying to both you and mickeysavage. Mickey said that, and it appeared to me that you were backing the same idea. You accuse CV of supporting ‘Denier Trump’. I have not seen that.
              CV has always admitted Trump’s failings, but he sends you into an insane fury by giving info that suggests that HC is no better. CV is suggesting that it is not black and white. It appears to me that some cannot cope with that concept, choose their side, then regard all critics as supporters of the opponent. Life is not that simple. Kneejerks are.

              • He said ‘least suitable’ that is a long way from your made up lines. And I wasn’t writing about that at all so my ‘read’ line stands plus don’t make up stuff and say I’m putting words in someone elses mouth when that is not true it is just that you didn’t read the comments well enough – that is a kneejerk isn’t it?

                cv has parroted trump supporter lines and links for months – AND he expressly used the ‘not 5ppm difference’ line as his defense when he says he believes in cc and trump is a declared denier. So all of that stuff you wrote is false – once again read instead of assuming or making stuff up eh.

                I’m not in an insane fury now or then thanks – I can’t stand bullies and bullshitters like trump, cv and anyone else that does that.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Mate you’ve been an outstanding Clinton preferring bullyshamer last few months.

                  Me, I try not to use ugly demeaning labels and personal jibes against people who preferred Clinton.

                  As for Trump being a cc denier – well, I think he knows the truth about CC but he took campaign and policy positions of convenience. They won’t make even 5ppm of difference though.

                  • Thanks cv – opposing fascist, racist misogynist 0.1%ers like trump and minitrumps like you makes me feel great. Yeah you do use smooth language often – just reminds me of 1984 really because the message behind the calm words is horrendously violent and disgusting imo – still it snared a few supporters for you on here eh so good strategy.

                    trump is a cc denier FACT he said it many times – sure he’s bullshitting now because even his peanut brain can work out that he is an idiot and the science is clear – oh and he might lose money on all of his billionaire property investments if they happen to be beside some water somewhere – yep a real man of the people that one LOL

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re well on the way to becoming the very thing that you hate.

                    • what’s it like?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s pretty good.

                      Picking up the on-the-ground trends way ahead of time while the commentariat walk around in circles disconnected and lost in their own intellectual space.

                      Watching identity politics driven political correctness and self censoring stumble and fall over as a political force.

                      And now watching that same Clinton Preferring commentariat running around losing their minds and doubling down on their losing strategies instead of learning a single thing.

                    • cool

                      I’m happy to be an identity political, cc resilience building, hard leftie with a focus on equality. Like really happy.

                      I wouldn’t change a thing, as you wouldn’t for you,so we are both happy – cool again.

                      And I am also pleased we are on opposite sides of the political divide and we really are although you do seem to want to pretend sometimes but hey maybe it’s because you comment so prolifically here instead of a more natural home for your non left views. 🙂

                      I would say you do appear a bit cocky and that can lead to disappointment so a friendly heads up from a fellow dunners person.

                • In Vino

                  I think that you also need to practise more careful reading comprehension (mainly with CV) and that it is strange that I like everything you have recently written apart from your virulent responses to CV. A message from CV brings out in you the same faults that you accuse me of.

                  • I’m human. I do try not to let his stuff get under my skin. I can also get worked up with racists pretty strongly too. Anyway I’ll try to take your comments on board 🙂

                    • Colonial Viper

                      NB compared to Obama/Romney (2012):

                      – Trump closed the Democratic lead amongst African Americans by 7%.
                      – Trump closed the Democratic lead amongst Latinos by 8%.
                      – Trump closed the Democratic lead amongst Asian Americans by 11%.
                      – Trump increased the Republican lead amongst white voters by a negligible 1%.

                      So go ahead pick Donald Trump as the target of an anti-racist crusade, but in reality he did quite adequately with minorities and noticeably better than Mitt Romney in fact.

                      Trump will improve his performance further in 2020.

                    • In Vino

                      Cool Marty. I am never quite sure about myself either…

                    • mate there are desperate people in all ethnicities – don’t you get that?

                      trump is a misogynist and a racist and a 0.1% billionaire real estate tycoon – that is all fact from his own twisted mouth – none of that is made up – HE SAID IT – do you get that? Sure now he’s backtracking and saying he didn’t mean it, different times, and so on. The truth of a person is what they actually do and not their political spin to keep the turkeys from getting restless.

                      please take this as the intrinsic power of the universe saying you are a fool for trusting trump – if you even do.

                    • In Vino

                      I don’t trust Trump at all. And although CV is sharp and well-informed, for the first time I think he is pushing it a bit with what I think is a tongue-in-cheek prediction about 2020. I think CV sometimes enjoys needling people – maybe because the debate gets too passionate.

                    • it is the standard cv trick – doesn’t bother me because I needle him back.

                      I don’t think he is sharp or well informed and I’m pretty sure he knows I think that 🙂

                      Anyway, what is is and what will be will be.

                      I’m looking forward building the momentum to get rid of the gnats and key. And I’m looking forward to those who believe in left values, the left ethos to work together to throw the gnats and ALL of their supporters out – inside and outside parliament. But the truth is people here are getting as desperate as the usaians and key is a smooth liar like trump so unless we focus in on the real important bits then trouble. I don’t see any worthwhile contribution towards that cause coming from cv – the opposite in fact.

                    • In Vino

                      As you say, que sera sera. CV is very disillusioned with the left, but I don’t believe his criticisms mean he has turned right and no longer wants the left to have a positive influence.

                      Well, as you say, let’s work for the left…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      mate there are desperate people in all ethnicities – don’t you get that?

                      Yep. And they are figuring out that they owe the Democratic Party zero.

                      The truth of a person is what they actually do and not their political spin to keep the turkeys from getting restless.

                      Yep. Yet the Left keeps harping on and on about what people SAY and how they SAY it.

                    • McFlock

                      Trump’s actually beginning to do political things. All we had previously were his words and his trail of dodgy dealings.

                      Now we have an ultra-conservative veep and an alt-right named as advisor.

                      He has said he’ll backtrack on some of his nuttier policies, and yet his proposed appointments suggest the world is in for a bumpy ride.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And yes, he will also accelerate the implementation of charter schools, he will put conservative constitutional justices on to the Supreme Court, he will massively drop the tax rate on Apple and he will work with Russia to annhilate Islamic extremist militants in Syria.

                      Now we have an ultra-conservative veep and an alt-right named as advisor.

                      Bannon is a brilliant tactician who helped steer the Trump campaign to victory over Clinton.

                      And Pence is deeply conservative but also a very steady experienced hand with regards to the Republican house.

                      As for “alt-right” (ignoring the commentariat turning it into another in a long list of lefty smear terms) this phenomenon is exactly what was needed to up end the staid, neolib/neocon warmongering consensus of the Republican Party.

                      It is, as the term implies, a brand new alternative right wing.

                      Now, where is the alt-left phenomenon which is required to renew and reinvigorate the deeply status quo left.

                    • McFlock

                      Thanks for your concern, toryboy, but we can do without alt-left demagogues who match the alt-right for stupidity, bigotry, hate and fearmongering.

                      If we’re all very lucky, the latest blustering winds will blow themselves out without fucking the world up irreparably, and the deplorables (sorry, as you called them the “red meat” trump supporters) will be reduced to weeping and gnashing their teeth online.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Plenty of alt-radical-left bullyshamers to pick from.

                    • McFlock

                      awwww, do bigots not like having their prejudices named? They should be ashamed.

                      #sorrynotsorry

  4. Paul 4

    Meanwhile the msm focuses on the really important stuff.

    The All Blacks’ holiday plans.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11754383

    The film ‘Netowrk’ predicted this dystopian future.

    “Television is not the truth. Television’s a god-damned amusement park. Television is a circus, a carnival, a traveling troupe of acrobats, storytellers, dancers, singers, jugglers, sideshow freaks, lion tamers, and football players. We’re in the boredom-killing business. ”

    http://www.wnyc.org/story/how-network-predicted-todays-media-culture/

    • Red 4.1

      Hey Paul take Guy Mcpherson advise as a declared anarchist, its not worth worrying about, hope is pointless and destructive ( quoting Nietzsche) live for now, hence the media is doing exactlty that, so give them some credit

      Also something to cheer you up schrodinger had his uereka moment on quantum mechanics after a conservation with Eisenstein in which Einstein pontificated that it is quite wrong to find theory on observable magnitude alone, Often the theory drives what is observed Maybe apply some of this to your daily observations and doom reports, Here is some good news, google it, recent research on Antarctic show ice cover no different that 100 years ago, scientist can alter plants to absorb way more carbon than inially thought, the planet is greening, likewise cement manufacturing is a large creator of carbon is now believed by scientist to absorb most of it back, NASA impossible engine lifts the game re space travel Not saying the world is in a good place but it’s not all bad, everything You are not an oracle and there is a lot of good

      • Paul 4.1.1

        I don’t agree with McPherson on doing nothing.
        That’s suits selfish people like you.

        • Red 4.1.1.1

          Yes dear

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2

          I don’t agree with McPherson on doing nothing.

          McPherson has NEVER said that individuals and communities should “do nothing.”

          As far as I can tell he has a simple message – be the best person you can be for yourself, and for others.

          • Paul 4.1.1.2.1

            It does concern me that his views encourage climate deniers to promote doing nothing.
            I can’t work out if he is right or not.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2.1.1

              McPherson isn’t responsible for the various delusions of climate change deniers.

              For me, I simply realised that there was no difference between ‘doing nothing’ and ‘effectively doing nothing’.

              • Paul

                Do you agree with his conclusions?

                • Colonial Viper

                  That we have multiple unstoppable climate change positive feedback loops now engaged? Yep.

                  On his specific time frames however, I think there is a lot of uncertainty there. But I do think livable habitat for humanity will be largely gone within the next 30 or so years and that global population levels will be down to ~1B within 100 years..

                  • garibaldi

                    You’re being a bit too positive there CV!
                    I think with there being many more factors than just cc in play that Capitalism/ greed etc will see us perish sooner rather than later.

          • Red Hand 4.1.1.2.2

            By survivors accounts and personal experience the way through is to have a plan. “being the best person you can be” has not been shown to work, as far as I know.
            By the way, would “being the best person you can be” stop you eating a human corpse ?

            http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-historic-famines-caused-cannibalism.php

      • pat 4.1.2

        that report refers to sea ice ,the increase of which is amply explained by the models and is a result of decreasing salinity due to continental ice melt….so hardly good news

  5. In the Herald Geoffrey Miller points out John Key v Donald Trump – the five similarities.

    1. Highly pragmatic – and willing to compromise

    Like Trump, Key has a long history of pragmatism over ideology – dating back to his early days as Opposition leader when he replaced Don Brash. For both Key and Trump, it’s all about the art of the deal.

    2. Both are independently wealthy

    As high net worth individuals, neither Key nor Trump are dependent on politics for income or status. Both have involved a high degree of financial risk and failure, as well as ultimate reward.

    3. Neither are career politicians

    There is a growing proportion of career politicians, who seem more intent on securing long term lucrative employment than risking rock the political boat. Key and Trump both buck this trend.

    4. Strange behaviour is part of their political brand

    One of the hallmarks of John Key’s enduring personal popularity has been his anti-politician style. It works for many, and it repels others. He gets it wrong sometimes – ie pony tail pulling and prison jokes, but gets away with it. Trump’s behaviour problems have been more extreme but he has got away with it too, so far.

    5. The answer is golf

    Trump recently said: “Golf is a great game for getting to know people…you can never ever get to know people at lunch or dinner like you can on a golf course”. Key, like Trump, has recognised the function of golf as an elite pastime to cultivate connections with people who matter – as proven by his success in ultimate success in gaining a tee time with Obama.

    So has New Zealand already been experiencing our Brexit/Trump for the past eight years?

    More details: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11754436

    • Paul 5.1

      There are many differences as well.

      1. Key is establishment.
      2. Key supports neo-liberal global trade deals such as the TPP.
      3. Key comes from big finance.
      4. Key has sold the country to foreign interests.

      And one unmentioned similarity.
      Their dreadful way the behave towards women. Pony tail pulling and pussy grabbing misogynists.

    • Gristle 5.2

      Key’s been in parliament since 2002. 14 years makes him a career politician. Your list is full of crap and reminds of those people who tried to draw similarities between Lincoln’s and Kennedy’s assassinations.

      In casting around you missed things like
      1. Both have histories of assaulting females
      2. Both are male
      3. Both are right handed

      Meanwhile the dissimilarities are greater.
      1. Key was in opposition benches for 6 years
      2. Key had full support of the party and was eased in.
      3. Key had no public profile before being PM.
      4. Age
      5. Work experience
      6. Inheritance of wealth
      7.Upbringing
      8. Place of birth
      And thousands of others.

    • mosa 5.3

      Pete George has just solved the countries problems by declaring the answer is golf.

      That will increase the membership down at the club.

      They will be thrilled sharing the greens and facilities with a discount membership rate so everyone can join.

      They will need bigger car parks for all the people movers and vans.

      The clubs and their current members are going to really get to know people and solve all those problems.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3.1

        Petty George didn’t “solve” anything: he simply plagiarised Geoffrey Miller’s opinion. In fact his whole comment contains nothing original, just like every other comment he’s ever made.

        • Pete George 5.3.1.1

          By that definition TS is full of plagiarism then. I summarised an article, I identified the author and I linked to the source, similar to what others do here fifty or a hundred times a day. The sort of thing that keeps sites like this going amongst the stupidity of inane attacks.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.3.1.1.1

            Your tedious regurgitation does not keep this site going. The authors and moderators do.

            If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say this is another of your feeble attempts to boost site visits at Yawnz.

    • Jenny Kirk 5.4

      Pete George – I read the Herald piece as just another of the never-ending ShonKey public relations spin. And I don’t think I’m wrong. He’s realised (ie his polling shows) there’s some sympathy for Trump “out there” in the world he doesn’t inhabit, and so his Crosby-Textor mates put together a similarity piece.

      • Pete George 5.4.1

        Jenny do you have any evidence of that? If not it’s quite offensive to Geoff Miller making things up like that.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 5.4.2

        Yeah Jenny, what if poor Geoff got offended and everything? I think someone needs to write a lengthy blog post on how mean you’re being to Geoff. expressing your opinion like that.

        It’s just so unfair! 😆

    • Draco T Bastard 5.5

      5. The answer is golf

      Trump recently said: “Golf is a great game for getting to know people

      Actually, it seems to be a great game to getting to know certain types of people – notably the psychopaths.

  6. Paul 6

    More shakes in Wellington.
    4.6 this morning.

    http://www.geonet.org.nz/quakes/2016p890807

  7. James 7

    Gee paul you are gloomy for this early on a Saturday morning.

    Here is some good news for you – http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11755007

    • Paul 7.1

      You think Auckland’s housing situation is good news.
      My goodness, the Key fans are truly delusional.

      • James 7.1.1

        I’m saying it’s changing – slowly – which is a good things. Nationals plan is starting to work.

        would you have preferred it to stay the same ??

        • Paul 7.1.1.1

          I concern myself with more pressing issues than how much you plan to make out of nth investment property.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.1.1.1

            Check out the state of the apartment market in cities like Sydney Melbourne New York London.

            A crash is coming soon…

            • Ad 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Nah. A plateau and a minor softening for a while at the $600-$900 end.
              Standart balancing in Auckland apartments, but we are a long, long way off from an oversupply.

              We are also hugely under-built in retirement villages and other seniors housing in all our cities.

              We may just have to admit that Key’s policies to soften the market carefully are working.

              • Colonial Viper

                Luckily I don’t have to admit any such thing as I am uninterested in the Auckland apartment market 😛

                • Ad

                  Come up for a visit and I’ll show you the scale of activity going on – much of it is underpinned by public money not private.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Cheers Ad 🙂

                  • Jenny Kirk

                    Agree Ad – on a visit to Auckland the other day, I saw that “scale of activity” and thought yes, this does sort-of show a “good” economy at work ….. we all know that’s bullsh-t but it keeps the money spinning in Auckland and people feel good at seeing it. All part of the ShonKey perception that everything is rosy.

                    • Ad

                      Well, just from the public realm:

                      – City Rail Link $3.4b of needed public transport
                      – Waterview SH20 tunnels $1.4b of needed motorway completion
                      – Hobsonville Land Co $400m or thereabouts for basically a model town
                      – National Convention Centre $700 m or thereabouts
                      – University of Auckland, AUT, and other campus rebuilds $500m
                      – Waterfront Co $700m
                      – Tamaki Development Co $260m
                      – Squillions more on water and sewer upgrades, rail upgrades, and new housing,

                      It’s not bullshit. It’s real.

                      You don’t have to like it.

                      But this is the most Keynesian National government since Muldoon. They are doing what they should; supporting the growth of Auckland as the commercial centre of New Zealand with public investment which in turn supports more private investment and achieves policy goals.

          • Red 7.1.1.1.2

            Your biggest pressing issue is steering back at you in the mirror 😀

        • John up North 7.1.1.2

          National has a plan?? bwwaaahahahaha, please explain this said plan.

          • Jenny Kirk 7.1.1.2.1

            Ad @ 7.1.1. I didn’t mean that the actual building going on in Auckland is bullshit – that is very clearly real, and keeps the Auck economy booming.

            What is bullshit is that its claimed to be part of a good productive economy – yes, its necessary buildings but it is not new production and its only sustainable because the govt is putting money into it. And its borrowing heavily to do so.

            The govt is not putting money into new trading ventures, into research, into developing new ways to build a good economy nor is it putting money into health services or public education, or into regional development, and so on.
            Its a bit like the re-build of Ch’ch – that helped our perception of the economy being good, but it was only replacement of what had already been there.

            The Auckland build is necessary infrastructure because of greater population, not anything new or innovative – but it does keep the economy spinning around and provides jobs for some.

    • b waghorn 7.2

      wohoo lucky fools get to shackle themselves to massive mortgages on unproductive assets . good way to keep the masses with their nose to the grind stone.

    • BM 7.3

      Interesting, market is starting to turn.
      if I was a first home buyer I’d hang off for at least the next six months. especially if interest rates begin to climb, you’ll find a lot of “investors” under the pump and need to off load there properties fast which will cause quite a lot of downward pressure on the real estate market.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11724396

      Next year or so could be a bit grim for the over extended property investor.

      • Ad 7.3.1

        If Key achieves a soft landing for the Auckland housing market due to the variety of measures his government has put in place, it will be nothing short of a policy miracle.

        If he achieves that, and the propertied class of Auckland don’t rise up against him, that will be a political miracle.

        Both together would take his largest risk to a fourth term in power largely away.

        • BM 7.3.1.1

          Reading that article, does rather point to the market starting to turn, read almost like the real estate sector desperately trying to pump a bit of air in a deflating market.

          Once it starts gaining momentum you’re going to see a real cooling off of the property market for the next year or two.

          It will come back to life rather rapidly though because you still have the underlying issues of under supply and a growing Auckland population.

          This down turn will clear out the multi property investor who’s over extended themselves trying to make quick profit off capital gain.

          The average property owner in Auckland will be left unscathed, really starting to look good for a National outright win in 2017.

          • Ad 7.3.1.1.1

            More cooling would be good.
            But very very hard to do with the massive greenfield and brownfield growth going on.

            Regional growth will also continue in Tauranga, Christchurch, and Central Otago.

    • Paul 7.4

      Just as a matter of interest, James, how do you find anything about the melting Arctic to be cheerful about?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.5

      Whereas you happily support the gloomy outcomes that National always bring about with their sociopathic policies.

    • mary_a 7.6

      @ James (7) … so you think Paul @ (6) should be jumping for joy over the earthquakes, a frightening fact of life for some Kiwis?

  8. Andre 8

    How trolls mess with people’s heads.

    “One of the most significant and pernicious ways that members of the alt-right use trolling is to create a sincerity-proof chamber of distortion surrounding what their actual message is. They do this by pretending that what they’re really doing is satirically spoofing how progressives and members of the media view conservatives.”

    http://www.vox.com/2016/11/23/13659634/alt-right-trolling

    There’s lots more in the whole article. Sadly some of these techniques are even appearing here on The Standard.

    • weka 8.1

      Thanks, useful link. The politics of confusion. I agree about what is happening on ts.

      • Grey Area 8.1.1

        So when it’s obvious what the plan is Weka why do people here indulge the trolls and allow discussion to be diverted and derailed so often?

        There is no block button but people can use their own troll filter. Just imagine you’ve got troll-cancelling headphones (or glasses) on.

        When I see certain names appear I just move on as I can’t be bothered to waste my time any further. Regular visitors to The Standard know who these people are, or recognise the same tactics under new names that pop up.

        Please don’t give these people air. Ignore, don’t engage.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          Yes, there is much less head pain just sticking to political perspectives which are congruent with your own ever-narrowing world view.

          • Grey Area 8.1.1.1.1

            At the risk of not following my just-expressed advice: How do you infer that from what I said?

            Same reaction for Pyscho Milt’s totally erroneous response.

            I used troll in the throwaway, incorrect usage. I mean commenters with an agenda of diverting and derailing debate and causing confusion, who in my opinion and others, seem to have no real intention of genuinely debating.

            I see ignoring as a perfectly legimate option. No-one is obliged to enter into debate with someone they consider has ulterior motives. It’s not being unwilling to argue a viewpoint or not being prepared to change yours, it can be a sensible option to choose not to play the game.

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1.1

              thanks for your explanation Grey Area, my knee did jerk a bit there, I must admit.

        • Psycho Milt 8.1.1.2

          …why do people here indulge the trolls and allow discussion to be diverted and derailed so often?

          Why do people here allow commenters Grey Area doesn’t like to post opinions Grey Area finds offensive? It’s one of those great mysteries of life that I guess will never be solved.

        • Andre 8.1.1.3

          I try really hard to ignore them, and most of them time I can. But sometimes it’s just too hard to let a particularly harmful bit of bullshit stand unchallenged.

      • Pasupial 8.1.2

        This is interesting – though more propaganda distribution, than trolling tactics. However, you do have to consider the motivations of the interviewee (who runs “Disinfomedia”, at least until his identity was revealed):

        This is a right-wing issue. Sarah Palin’s famous blasting of the lamestream media is kind of record and testament to the rise of these kinds of people. The post-fact era is what I would refer to it as. This isn’t something that started with Trump. This is something that’s been in the works for a while. His whole campaign was this thing of discrediting mainstream media sources, which is one of those dog whistles to his supporters. When we were coming up with headlines it’s always kind of about the red meat. Trump really got into the red meat. He knew who his base was. He knew how to feed them a constant diet of this red meat.

        We’ve tried to do similar things to liberals. It just has never worked, it never takes off. You’ll get debunked within the first two comments and then the whole thing just kind of fizzles out.

        http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/11/23/503146770/npr-finds-the-head-of-a-covert-fake-news-operation-in-the-suburbs?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1

          I think you’re missing the context here.

          The mainstream media tried every angle of smear, stretched every truth, gave up all pretense of actual journalism, in their support of Clinton and undermining of Trump, over the last 6 months.

          And large parts of the USA recognised it and turned them off.

          This whole episode has been a business and professional disaster for these large corporates.

          So much so now that the President-Elect of the United States is actively circumventing these mainstream media sites to talk directly to the American people.

          • Pasupial 8.1.2.1.1

            Did you even read the linked article, CV? It was more about the; search for, and; interview with, someone who had been running a fake news organization (and whose words should thus be taken with a large amount of salt). Trump is only really mentioned as someone who took advantage of the credulity of the right-wing for his own purposes.

            As for context; we could compare the billions in free advertising which the media gifted Trump by publicizing his antics for their own benefit. Compare to the long-sustained scrutinizing of the Clinton home email server (billions worth of attack ads for the Republican candidate). No charges for Clinton after the election, almost as if the entire thing was a beatup to create drama for the horse-race, and so fill the “news” space between ads.

            Yes, in the end; most of the media had turned against Trump. Much in the same way that Baron Frankenstein turned against his Monster once he saw the mob with the pitchforks heading for his castle. In both cases, much too late.

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.2.1.1.1

              I think you missed the wikileaks emails on how the Clinton campaign deliberately used its media contacts to elevate Trump whom they initially saw as an easily beatable “Pied Piper” fringe Republican candidate.

              This was done in order to lock out serious competition like Jeb Bush and make the Republican party look extreme in the general election.

              The Clinton strategy backfired on them.

              http://www.salon.com/2016/11/09/the-hillary-clinton-campaign-intentionally-created-donald-trump-with-its-pied-piper-strategy/

              Compare to the long-sustained scrutinizing of the Clinton home email server (billions worth of attack ads for the Republican candidate).

              Yes. And the daily drip of wikileaks emails undermined her positions and authenticity continuously.

              Nevertheless, 76% of the American public picked up that the mass media were totally in the tank for a Hillary Clinton win. And many didn’t like it.

              • Pasupial

                Actually, I didn’t mind the wikileaks emails; though I didn’t manage to get through them all. I do wish there had been a leak from the Trump camp though (even Stein & Johnson’s campaigns would have been interesting enough). I never really felt she had any authenticity to undermine though. Rather that the status quo was better than the status quo ante.

                The media favoured Trump during the primaries, but slowly came around to condemning him as an actual candidate. If I recall correctly, all the polls showed that Trump was the only Republican that Clinton had a chance of beating, whereas Sanders would have wiped the floor with any of them.

                “Journalists seemed unmindful that they and not the electorate were Trump’s first audience. Trump exploited their lust for riveting stories,”… The majority of Trump coverage was positive or neutral in all outlets studied, ranging from 63 percent by The New York Times to 74 percent by USA Today. [in June]…

                in issue-related coverage of Clinton, an overwhelming 84 percent was negative in tone, the study found, compared with 43 percent for Trump, 32 percent for Cruz and just 17 percent for Sanders.

                http://www.politico.com/story/2016/06/media-study-trump-helped-clinton-hurt-224300

                • Colonial Viper

                  The media favoured Trump during the primaries, but slowly came around to condemning him as an actual candidate.

                  yes, but as wikileaks revealed, this early elevation of Trump by the mass media was part of a deliberate Clinton strategy to sideline ‘more serious’ Republican candidates like Jeb Bush.

              • mosa

                Backfired is an under statement CV.

                This was nuclear for Clinton.

                • garibaldi

                  Yes mosa. I wonder if this campaign was the worst the Dems have ever run. It must be right up there – a total cock up.

    • BM 8.2

      Personally, I think there’s very few trolls on the standard.
      I see disagreement, I don’t see trolling.

      Any trolls that do show up get the big bold font rather quickly.

      • Pasupial 8.2.1

        Do you not consider yourself a troll, BM?

        • Ad 8.2.1.1

          Don’t confuse a standard centrist grumpie for a troll.
          They are different species.

          If the left and the greens don’t persuade people like BM to vote for them, they may as well shut up shop.

          • Pasupial 8.2.1.1.1

            I never find BM ads anything to a discussion, just takes up space in which someone might say something interesting. I guess that’s not precisely the same as trolling, more spamming.

        • BM 8.2.1.2

          Not really.

          If I was a troll wouldn’t I have been banned by now?

          • In Vino 8.2.1.2.1

            Recently simple trolls like BM, PR, etc have pursued a policy of matiness and no personal abuse, just to avoid giving excuses for bans by moderators. As for the more subtle, deceptively destructive varieties, I wonder if we are not starting to see Reds under the beds. Very suitable accusation to make against somebody whose views one does not find convenient.

            • Robert Guyton 8.2.1.2.1.1

              In Vino has a very accurate view of this issue, imo. Trolls like Puckish Rogue have adapted their behaviour to fit in but still maintain their intentions to subvert. Chumminess and self deprecation are tools of camouflage and our good natures are being cunningly exploited in a way that right wing commenters patrolling their own blogs, don’t allow. We need to sharpen up without becoming nasty. The best approach is to play the idea/strategy, not the man. That’s a more difficult route, but will improve understanding amongst everyone who comments here. Of course they’ll soon adapt to that strategy as well… 🙂

              • In Vino

                Beautifully written, Robert. It saddens me that some of our own side have opted for the quick gratification of the clever put-down involving personal abuse, thinking, I guess, that the end justifies the means. It does not help informative debate (nor do trolls). I have great sympathy for the moderators trying to deal with it all.

          • weka 8.2.1.2.2

            “If I was a troll wouldn’t I have been banned by now?”

            Remind us how many times you’ve been banned and what for?

            Personally I think your comments add to the site, but you do troll as well. It’s possible to troll within the site’s rules, because the site has a lot of latitude.

            But the original comment wasn’t about trolling. It was about the behaviour and tactics of the alt-right. A completely different conversation that one, and I wouldn’t put what you do as even close to that. Whatever disagreements I have with your politics, you’re not a proto-fascist. It does present a problem for the right though, what to do about the co-option.

            • Robert Guyton 8.2.1.2.2.1

              Creative tension is a vital ingredient for good debate, however if one party or other is insincere or intends to subvert, the feeling pervades the discussion and no one feels satisfied. That’s what we are sensing here, I reckon. Taking the wide view of any commenter here is easy; just click on their name and look at their comment history; like Leunig’s duck, it’ll show you.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.1.2.2.2

              If the establishment right wants to do something about the alt-right, they could stop providing them with shelter and sustenance, and instead they installed a rat-fucking unit in the Prime Minister’s office.

      • Paul 8.2.2

        Yet you are a blatant troll.

    • Colonial Viper 8.3

      Andre: how is it the alt-right is doing a better and more efficient job of propagandising than the alt-radical-left?

      I also note that outlets like VOX were so pro-Clinton campaign in the last few months they didn’t see a Trump victory coming until it smacked them in the face on Nov 8.

      Articles like this demonstrate that they are still going through the stages of grief.

  9. Xanthe 9

    Here is an interesting and well researched article from Dec 2015 about the fake prosecution of assange
    http://theindicter.com/prosecutor-marianne-ny-is-just-embarrassing-the-swedish-legal-system/

    Written by one lynn prentice of thestandard fame

    • Morrissey 9.1

      This is a fine summing up of the farcical and frightening persecution of Assange; I was even more impressed this time than I was when I read it last year.

      Congratulations Lynn! And thanks to you, Xanthe, for bringing it to our attention again.

    • ianmac 9.2

      Thanks Xanthe. Lynn puts a pretty clear case of Swedish abuse of legal system. If they can get away with that with Assange, how many others in Sweden are abused?

  10. save nz 10

    MPs call for student allowance tax loopholes to be closed

    (essentially people now can hide all their money into trusts and now look poor for tax purposes and be entitled to payments for genuinely poor students). That is why I support taxes like Robin Hood taxes so that people can’t use tax avoidance! Saying that just because someone parents are rich does not guarantee them to support their adult children at university!

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/mps-call-for-student-allowance-tax-loopholes-to-be-closed-2016112515?ref=newshubFB

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      essentially people now can hide all their money into trusts and now look poor for tax purposes and be entitled to payments for genuinely poor students).

      It’s been like that for a long time. It’s how the truly rich in NZ always have less income than the top tax bracket.

      This has been known for a long time as well and so we can only conclude that it’s that way now so that rich people can continue to rip off the country.

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    RT: Washington Post article on “sophisticated propaganda campaign” damaging Clinton’s election gets mocked

    The Washington Post was blasted on social media for its latest hit-piece claiming a “sophisticated [Russian] propaganda campaign” influenced the US presidential election. Citing a Cold War think tank and an anonymous ‘anti-propaganda’ group, the piece used the word ‘propaganda’ 20 times.
    Trends
    Viral

    The article references “independent researchers” who determined that Russian state media, including RT and Sputnik, produced misleading articles online with the purpose of “punishing Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy”.

    The Twitterati were quick to accuse the media outlet, acquired by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in 2013, of hypocrisy.

    https://www.rt.com/usa/368182-election-russia-propaganda-claim/

    Zero Hedge, also singled out as a Russian propaganda tool also covered the story

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-25/washington-post-names-drudge-zero-hedge-anti-clinton-sophisticated-russian-propagand

    It seems anyone who disagrees with the corporate mainstream media perspective is now part of a ‘sophisticated Russian propaganda tool.’

    • Andre 11.1

      Old fashioned news outlet that still believes in fact-checking and corrections when they get it wrong reports on subversion of news by propaganda and fake-news outlets. Gets ripped by propaganda and fake-news outfits that happily spread outright lies.

      • Psycho Milt 11.1.1

        Thank you for that excellent precis – nicely summed up.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.2

        Sure, you can keep getting your news from these “old fashioned news outlets” which you claim believe in fact checking and issuing corrections, but then don’t complain about the biased and unfair coverage of the NZ Herald and the Dom Post eh.

        Meanwhile, a huge proportion of Americans (ten to one) reckoned these unbiased old fashioned news outlets were completely in the tank for a Hillary Clinton win.

        Perhaps they too have all had their minds contaminated by sophisticated Russian propaganda?

        The American public thinks the media wants Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to win by an almost 10-to-1 margin, according to a new poll.

        The Suffolk University/USA Today poll released Friday asks, “Who do you think the media, including major newspapers and TV stations, would like to see elected president: Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?”

        Of the 1,000 adults surveyed, 75.9 percent answered Clinton, while just 7.9 percent picked Trump, the Republican nominee. Just more than 16 percent of respondents chose either “neither” or “undecided.”

        BTW those numbers are from a USA Today/Suffolk poll. Reported in The Hill. Are they part of the sophisticated Russian propaganda machine now too, Andre?

        http://thehill.com/media/303552-poll-public-overwhelmingly-thinks-media-is-in-the-tank-for-clinton

    • Pasupial 11.2

      CV
      Russia Today and Ivandjiiski are the source of your rebuttal to the claim that Russian propaganda had a role in the election of Trump? I’m sure that they are completely unbiased (I’ve only read your RT excerpt, but it seems weak that their main source is social media outrage). But, yeah; the Washington Post is not unbiased either.

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        (I’ve only read your RT excerpt, but it seems weak that their main source is social media outrage)

        When top independent journalists like Glenn Greenwald and Max Blumenthal are also ripping into this WaPo story (yes ok it is via Twitter admittedly) it tells me that it’s not all smoke and mirrors.

        Just partially smoke and mirrors 😛

        • garibaldi 11.2.1.1

          It never ceases to amaze me how one-sided we so called ‘enlightened’ people are when it comes to Western propaganda. Why ? It has been proven wrong so many times. Try a bit of balance and look at both sides. So many on this site will only accept the West’s version, as if it is the gospel truth(not).

          • Colonial Viper 11.2.1.1.1

            It’s such a totally colonial attitude.

            Not unlike the faux-intelligentsia pretending that they are somehow too enlightened and too educated to be influenced by marketing campaigns, commercial branding, advertising etc.

            When it is plainly obvious to everyone that they fall for it as hard as or even harder than most.

          • Pasupial 11.2.1.1.2

            I’ve said before that I don’t see the BBC as much different to RT or Al Jazeera in terms of propaganda. They are all superior to anything on our television stations anyway. The thing is that Western media is much easier to access because it is written in English (translation isn’t quite the same), with an understanding of the concerns of the audience. The major problem I see is the tendency of people to seek out information that confirms their prejudices, and have to actively remind myself to be suspicious whenever I find myself in agreement with an information source.

            I’m not so big on the; “look at both sides” idea of balanced reporting. Because that implies that both sides are sincerely representing their positions, denying the possibility of one being disingenuous. However, certainly don’t just accept the viewpoint of any one source as true without seeking independent verification.

    • Cinny 11.3

      LMFAO !!! The excuses some media are using to justify Hillarys loss, and all these ‘russian propaganda tools’ lolooloz no mention of the ‘american propaganda tools’ like Fox News etc.

      Tooo funny. Wikileaks for the win… dang imagine people knowing the truth and making an informed decision.

      Betcha Pepe Escobar is on ‘the list’ love his work.

  12. Rosemary McDonald 12

    The Nation….TV3….Right now!!!!

    Hear how the ‘worst piece of legislation in NZ history’ has affected NZ’s most vulnerable.

    • The Chairman 12.1

      A heart-wrenching story, but one that needs to be highlighted nonetheless.

    • The Chairman 12.2

      Check out Sunday tonight on TVNZ

    • Cinny 12.3

      Was thinking of you, Rosemary, wow, brilliant piece. Wondered if Gower knows someone affected, he was very emotional, even red eyed after the story, Most humane I’ve ever seen him, ever, was blown away by his reaction.

      The outgoing government has been exploiting the families of those with disabilities, and it’s shocking. Even going so far as to change the law to try and prevent them from taking action while littering the way with red tape and ridiculous questions.

      When someone is required to care for a person with a disability they should be paid to do so. If that person is a family member, then they should be paid, fairly, just the same as someone contracted to the state to do so.
      Paying a family caregiver fairly would enable a better quality of life for the person with the disability. It’s a messed up system. Apparently a huge breach of human rights.

      Highly recommended viewing, really moving stories. Much love to them all

      http://www.newshub.co.nz/tvshows/thenation/are-family-carers-getting-a-fair-deal-2016112611

      • Rosemary McDonald 12.3.1

        TC and Cinny…thank you both for your thoughts…but please…avoid the handwringing (yeah, I know, its Paddy’s usual state.) and tears.

        It is not the impairment that disables… it is how society treats the person with the impairment.

        And those New Zealanders with disabilities who have been assessed as having high and very high care needs and who are not supported by ACC are treated like shit. Family carers are in many cases the best and often the safest option for support….and we are treated like shit.

        In case its not obvious…there’s a recurring theme here….

        Cliff is right…the Ministry of Health are a bunch of bastards and my partner and I wrote a letter that was published in a special interest group’s magazine in 2009 anticipating that the Government would do what they did with the PHDAct(2) 2013…we said then they were a bunch of miserable bastards.

        Cliff, and Dianne and Margaret (from The Nation piece) are taking a real punt by going public like they have. The Misery of Health has had disabled people paralysed and struck mute with fear of punitive measures for over a decade…the reason I will personally post and comment in my own name about the Ministry’s crimes is that they can take nothing further from my tetraplegic partner and myself.

      • Cinny 12.4.1

        Thank you for the link TC, I missed Sunday tonight.

        Glad this is issue is getting good coverage at present, the stories need to be told and solutions found. Because what is happening, is just wrong

        • The Chairman 12.4.1.1

          Wrong indeed.

          Lets hope the media continue to hold their feet to the fire. The Government need to correct this and they need to do it now.

      • Rosemary McDonald 12.4.2

        Thanks TC. There were a few gaps in the Sunday piece, but overall, (Paddy’s tearful handwringing aside ;-)) it reiterates how purely malicious the Misery of Health is.

        The Nation piece…apart from the ‘pity porn’ intro from the studio crew (oh why do they do that???)…was brilliant. Those staunch women…asking for nothing but for the Ministry to do the right thing ,and looking dead into the camera and telling the Ministry… WE WON”T BACK DOWN!!!

        The politicolinguists here on The Standard should read the ‘Funded Family Care Notice’, published in the NZ Gazette.

        https://gazette.govt.nz/notice/id/2013-go6248

        Bear in mind that this document is aimed at the disabled person….Johnny, Marita, Shane and Paul, who are the employers of their parent carers.

        My most quoted piece from this devil’s work is the Ministry of Health’s definition of “good faith”. (footnotes)

        “11 Good faith generally means to discuss with each other any matter which affects the delivery of the disability support services in an open way so that all matters are “on the table”, to be active and constructive in establishing and maintaining a good relationship, being responsive, providing information, and not doing anything that might mislead or deceive each other.”

        The last thing the Misery did throughout this whole saga…16 years and two Governments… was act in ‘good faith’. They lied, they misrepresented, they grossly exaggerated. They took our expectations that they would treat us….the disabled person and their chosen family carer…with respect and consideration, and yes, perhaps a tad of fucking compassion and humanity, and trampled all over them. We will NEVER trust the Ministry of Health ever again.

        How about that for being “active and constructive in establishing and maintaining a good relationship,”?

        Good faith, my arse.

        • The Chairman 12.4.2.1

          One can only imagine the daily struggle the disabled and their family carers go through, let alone having to battle for funding.

          The unnecessary anger, frustration and despair it causes is outrageous.

          They should be treated with respect and understanding.

          Frankly, it sickens me. The Government should be doing its best to make life easier for them.

          With the amount of car accidents taking place in this country, any one of us could end up in this position.

          Putting it right is long overdue.

          • Rosemary McDonald 12.4.2.1.1

            “With the amount of car accidents taking place in this country, any one of us could end up in this position.”

            The Chairman….the people lucky enough to become members of the disability community as a result of a car accident will be covered by ACC.

            A crip of a completely different species.

            A species with legislated entitlements to treatment, rehabilitation, equipment, home modifications and care and support in their own home. Unlike their non ACC cousins…none of these entitlements are means or asset tested. They are entitled to care, and hence are entitled to choose family as their paid carers. The Human Rights Review Tribunal heard that over 50% of funded care through ACC is paid to family.

            For significant permanent injuries there are lump sum payments…sometimes well over the $100,000 mark, and then there is the 80% of their pre accident earnings….or a cost of living/projected earnings living allowance which makes for a more comfortable life than a non ACC crip battling WINZ for the Supported Living payment.

            If anyone is interested….the Miserly of Health and ACC got together back in 2012 and conducted a study into Spinal Cord Impairment.

            This document, http://www.acc.co.nz/PRD_EXT_CSMP/groups/external_providers/documents/project/wpc119428.pdf has a chart on pages 83-85 which compares ACC supports with MOH supports.

            When one considers that research shows that the household income for an ACC spinal impaired person is twice that of the household income of a non ACC spinal impaired person 30 months post incident….the picture for non ACC spinal impaired is pretty grim.

            • The Chairman 12.4.2.1.1.1

              True. I overlooked that vital point.

              Thanks for pointing out the disparity in the treatment of the two.

  13. Andre 13

    A few glimmers on the horizon for actively removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

    https://cleantechnica.com/2016/11/25/3-new-studies-show-promise-carbon-capture/

    One area that particularly interests me is cement production. At the moment, cement production burns a lot of fossil fuel for process heat. But that process heat could easily come from zero-carbon electricity. Cement production also releases CO2 during the calcination process, but the resulting concrete reabsorbs most of that CO2 over its lifecycle. So by changing the process heat to zero-carbon, and capturing the CO2 produced during calcination, concrete production could actually become a tool for removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    This is what happens when governments impose austerity:

    The number of hospital beds in England taken up by patients being treated for malnutrition has almost trebled over the last 10 years, in what charities say shows the “genuinely shocking” extent of hunger and poor diet.

    Official figures reveal that people with malnutrition accounted for 184,528 hospital bed days last year, a huge rise on 65,048 in 2006-07. The sharp increase is adding to the pressures on hospitals, which are already struggling with record levels of overcrowding.

    Critics have said the upward trend is a result of rising poverty, deep cutbacks in recent years to meals on wheels services for the elderly and inadequate social care support, especially for older people.

    We’re seeing similar increases in poverty and rises in poverty related diseases under this government and yet they still have the gall to say that they’re managing the economy well.

  15. joe90 15

    Chomsky on the Ignorant, thin-skinned megalomaniac

    .

    “He has no background at all in any political activities. Never held office, been interested in office. He has no known political positions,” says Chomsky. “He’s basically a showman.”

    Chomsky, who has spent decades critiquing US presidents, calls Trump an “ignorant, thin-skinned megalomaniac” and a “greater evil” than Hillary Clinton.

    “Do you vote against the greater evil if you don’t happen to like the other candidate? The answer to that is yes,” says Chomsky, on Americans who cast their votes for third party candidates or simply stayed home on election day.

    “If you have any moral understanding, you want to keep the greater evil out,” says Chomsky. “I didn’t like Clinton at all, but her positions are much better than Trump’s on every issue I can think of.”

    • swordfish 15.1

      “Chomsky. “I didn’t like Clinton at all …”

      Jesus, I imagine you’d be pretty pissed off with Chomsky for this, joe90.

      After all, haven’t you spent the last few months angrily denouncing all criticism of Hillary as nothing more than diabolical Far Right smears ? (whilst screwing your eyes tight shut and sticking your fingers firmly in your ears)

      • Macro 15.1.1

        I think you, and several others here who shall remain nameless, are deliberately, misunderstanding the stance of those rooting for Clinton over Trump. It is exactly as Chomsky says – read it carefully

        Do you vote against the greater evil if you don’t happen to like the other candidate? The answer to that is yes,” says Chomsky, on Americans who cast their votes for third party candidates or simply stayed home on election day.

        “If you have any moral understanding, you want to keep the greater evil out,” says Chomsky. “I didn’t like Clinton at all, but her positions are much better than Trump’s on every issue I can think of.”

        So Chomsky is completely aligned with what Joe has been saying. You twist his words to maintain anything else.

        And there was a very dirty campaign run against Clinton (whether you liked her or not). In my opinion the head of FBI has a great deal to answer. As has the head of SIS here in NZ wrt the 2011 elections.

        • marty mars 15.1.1.1

          yep Macro – sad to someone like sordy going down this road of misrepresentation.

          It still amazes me the thinking that thinks, ‘oh they don’t like trump because of everything he says, does, and is, so they must love clinton because she is standing against trump, and they don’t like trump’.

          No wonder the world is going to hell in a handbasket with that sort of finking in play.

        • swordfish 15.1.1.2

          (1) My comment was premised on the assumption that Chomsky’s Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils argument was pretty bloody self-evident. In other words, I took it as read that anyone reading my comment would have been fully aware of Chomsky’s broader stance. My point lay elsewhere.

          (2) Despite your assertions to the contrary, a number of those “rooting for Clinton over Trump” here (including joe 90) have taken a remarkably naïve innocent abroad” approach, using the deeply unconvincing apologetics of prominent Clintonistas in the US MSM to paint Our Hillary as whiter than white on a regular basis. A long way from Chomsky’s Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils argument.

          (3) I’ve always had a lot of time for joe 90 (particularly his good sense on Israel-Palestine), which is why his ingénue naivity surrounding (dyed-in-the-wool-AIPAC-girl) Hillary was so (a) perplexing and (b) disappointing.

          • Macro 15.1.1.2.1

            What marty says!
            particularly

            “It still amazes me the thinking that thinks, ‘oh they don’t like trump because of everything he says, does, and is, so they must love clinton because she is standing against trump, and they don’t like trump’.”

            Furthermore – to argue against injustice – no matter where it is perpetuated is IMHO the morally right thing to do, and there was a vast amount of false news and misinformation and wrongful accusations levelled as much against Clinton as there ever was against Trump.

            • swordfish 15.1.1.2.1.1

              “What marty says !”

              Re-read my point (2).

              joe 90 was one of a number of commenters here specifically suggesting that all critiques of Hillary were entirely false. A long way from Chomsky’s Vote for the Lesser of Two Evils argument.

              I certainly noticed, however, the precise reverse of what you’re suggesting – those critical of Hillary’s uber-Hawkish, pro-Aipac, Wall St/Corporate-shilling record (not to mention her ex post-facto enabling of Bill’s rape/abuse) being casually smeared as Trump fans.

              • no you are wrong, joe90 did not do that at all and I’m sure he will come and tell you that himself.

                No one, and I read a lot of those posts and comments, tried to excuse anything bill clinton did. Sure a couple of times the haters put up fake accusations and insinuations and often they were rebutted from snoopes or someone – they were rebutted because they were out and out lies.

              • joe90

                suggesting that all critiques of Hillary were entirely false

                Nope. Consistently ABT.

            • Colonial Viper 15.1.1.2.1.2

              Clinton set up an insecure, unofficial, email server to handle both her confidential SecState and private/personal business from.

              As a bit of context, let’s recognise that the State Dept is used to setting up and and administering secure offsite private servers.

              They do so for every US embassy and consulate in the world, scores and scores of them. They could have easily set one up for Hillary at her home.

              But that’s not what Hillary Clinton wanted. She wanted something else.

              This was a deliberate decision from her to hide her communications from official oversight and to hide her emails from official information requests.

              And when asked about it, she lied about all of the above to the FBI and to Congress.

              This pile of shit that she made herself was so high, and stunk so much, it buried her campaign in a defensive mode during the entire year.

              • mickysavage

                Yep someone having an insecure mail server verses someone who is a misoginist prick and a threat to the free world and wants to pull out of the Paris protocol and put money into spacecraft rather than measuring climate change I would totally go for the misogynist, climate change denier any time …

                • Colonial Viper

                  You’re a lawyer MS.

                  The real questions are WHY hjc needed a private server outside of official oversight. WHY she deleted tens of thousands of emails from it after receiving a subpoena to preserve all evidence. And WHY she then lied to the FBI and Congress about her actions.

                  Clue: it probably wasn’t for the convenience of being able to print documents more easily.

                  As for misogynist racist Presidents of the USA, even if Trump was all those things (which he isn’t) the US has done fine with many such Presidents before.

                  Re: climate change, Trump’s position on this is worse than Clinton’s but not materially so in terms of CO2 ppm outcomes.

                  In terms of being a “threat to the free world” – well, he is a change agent with regards to the existing Anglo-US global military imperial order. But that’s not the same thing.

                  And here’s a dose of reality for the Democratic Party in the USA. Under Barack Obama they have lost hundreds of elected legislators. They have lost 10 US Senators. They control outright only 7 states out of 50 in terms of state houses, senates and governors.

                  The Republicans control 26 states outright.

                  And shortly, the Supreme Court is going to get another conservative justice who will probably serve on the bench for the next 25 years.

                  Perhaps one day Democrats will learn that prioritising identity politics, political correct languaging and labelling people racists, misogynists, bigots and xenophobes has done nothing more than lead them to a near total nationwide political collapse.

                  • mickysavage

                    No the real question is why worry about this crap and work out which leader is going to do something about climate change. It aint Trump.

                    As for the loss of legislators read a bot about the gerrymander and corruption of the US electoral system that is happening and then blame Obama.

                    Then question why Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court was not voted on. If you think it is fair then I suggest you go back to basics.

                    Perhaps one day supposed lefties will learn that the right do not play by the rules.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      1) Neither Clinton nor Trump nor Obama were (are) going to do anything effective about minimising climate change.

                      2) Yes there has been some pretty ghastly manipulation of electorate boundaries. Nevertheless the underlying mood can be identified by those elected officials where gerrymandering is not a factor. Republicans hold 31 state governorships and Democrats just 18. That’s 10 states down from when Obama took office.

                      And the Republicans still hold the balance of power in the Senate. Those positions aren’t as susceptible to gerrymandering.

                      BTW here is a good summary of the Democratic elected officials hemorrhaging under Obama. Around a thousand democratic legislators toast.

                      You can blame this mostly on “gerrymandering” or you can blame it mostly on the Democrats out of touch and in steep decline. I reckon the latter.

                      http://www.christianpost.com/news/democrats-lost-since-barack-obama-election-171598/

                      3)

                      Then question why Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court was not voted on. If you think it is fair then I suggest you go back to basics.

                      Of course it was totally, utterly unfair. But it was also an absolutely brilliant political move by Mitch McConnell Republican senate leader. One that the Democrats had no reply to.

                      And because of this move, the Republicans may be able to confirm ~two Supreme Court positions during Trump’s first term, changing the balance of the Supreme Court for an entire generation.

                      Now figure this – Barack Obama remains one of the most popular 2 term presidents ever, at the end of his second term. But the states have decided that they now want something completely different to him.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.2

        What I reckon burns the faux-progressives deep into their souls late at night is that they KNOW that they could have easily beaten Trump.

        All they needed to do was support an actual left wing progressive pro-working class candidate like Bernie Sanders.

        Instead, the mass of middle of the road establishment minded Clinton Preferrers acted to deliver us President Elect Donald J Trump.

        • marty mars 15.1.2.1

          riiight so the fake progressives should have backed an actual left wing progressive candidate? Would they still be fake if they did that? Oh the humanity!!!

          You bubbling on about what lefties and so forth should do is hilarious. Your man is in – roll in that shit and rejoice!

          • Colonial Viper 15.1.2.1.1

            Going to watch a rerun Fox News election night coverage with a few beers this afternoon, it’s always good fun.

            Especially the bit when Megyn Kelly announces that Wisconsin has gone for Trump and her blue wall has fallen in momentous fashion.

            • marty mars 15.1.2.1.1.1

              I’m sure you’ll have extra absorbent tissues handy for when Hail Trump comes in

              • Colonial Viper

                The funniest lefty joke I’ve heard about that is of the Orangegrupenfuhrer.

                The problem the Democrats have now is that Donald Trump is going to be a moderate who is determined to own the new middle ground of American politics.

                • a moderate just like adoof was…

                  do you think you’d ever do the stiff arm salute if you met him? trump that is

                  • Morrissey

                    Come on now, boys—play nicely. I think we can all agree that Hillary is awful, and Trump is awful. It’s silly to squabble over which is worse, when the real problem is: WHY THE HELL WAS HILLARY CLINTON THE CANDIDATE INSTEAD OF THE FAR MORE POPULAR, AND DECENT, BERNIE SANDERS?

                    http://www.idiomartandgifts.com/idiom_all/no-brainer.jpg

                    • the bernie meme – who cares – he didn’t run – he endorsed clinton – trump won – end of story.

                    • Morrissey

                      “Who cares?” Well, you should—and so should anyone who was disturbed by the Democratic establishment’s dirty tricks.

                      Sadly for them, no one bought their nonsense about the Russians backing Trump. And, judging by their shrill but utterly unconvincing repetition of the smear, they obviously didn’t believe it themselves.

                • Macro

                  Do you not have even the slightest quiver of anxiety that Trump surrounds himself with his kins folk even at such important international meetings as the meeting with the Japanese PM? (His daughter Ivanka attended) That he involves his son-in-law in much of his decision making? Or that Kushner may end up with a role in the White House?

                  ” A source close to Kushner told NBC News late Wednesday that he was considering whether to serve in the White House in a role along the lines of a special adviser or special counsel after being approached by Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.”

                  This, even after the US amended the consitution following JFK’s appointment of his brother Robert as Attorney General? The nepotism law has a purpose – and that is to stop the formation of Dynastic tyranny. Trump, apparently, has no such qualms about such matters.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Says a bunch of precious Clinton Preferrers who for so long appeared to have absolutely no issue with Hillary Clinton following on from Bill Clinton into the West Wing to continue on a Clinton dynasty.

                    • umm you had the dynastic problem with clinton (and trump hammered it) and now it’s all cool (cos it is a potential trump dynasty)

                      good you used the words ‘appeared to have’ – I think a few lefties had issues with that.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I don’t believe that I ever said that I had any dynastic problem with the Clintons. My main problem with her following on from Bill Clinton’s foot steps is that she would bring a known sexual predator back into the White House.

                      I think a few lefties had issues with that.

                      Did you or Macro ever say that there was a serious problem with having a Clinton political dynasty? I don’t think so but am happy to be corrected.

                    • So you don’t/didn’t have dynastic issues with clinton – really. I’m surprised by that.

                      Personally the bush’s, the clinton’s, the Obama’s, the trump’s and any dynastic family presidential revolving door is not a great thing imo – but I cannot say I ever said it so – I did think that Michelle Obama would be great at the top but not because she was an Obama, more rather I think she is smart and effective and likeable.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Michelle Obama of the “when they go low, we go high” fame. She’s very likeable, like her husband.

                    • mickysavage []

                      Yep compared to her Trump is such a likeable person #sarc

                    • her speeches were great and they did put trump under the blowtorch but the alt racist right don’t like people of colour, no matter how talented.

                  • Morrissey

                    Better for Ivanka and that ten-year-old boy to make policy rather than the likes of Rudolf Giuliani and John Bolton.

                    • Ivanka will have power in this administration and I would not be surprised if she decides she wants the top job at some point.

                    • Macro

                      She is suposedly to run her fathers company. And sits in on affairs of state between foreign countries. Had she done that when Trump is President you can expect an impeachment order the next day!

                      Norman Eisen, Chief Ethics Counsel for Barack Obama, views the current situation as dire. If Trump is permitted to be sworn in as president without selling his companies, he says, the country is facing a “wholesale oligarchic kleptocracy of a kind that we have never seen before in our history.”

                      Article 9 of the US constitution states:

                      No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States: and no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.

                      This provision was specifically created to prevent the President, most of all, from being corrupted by foreign influences

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      The only thing that would have helped the US and the world in this was if every single democrat and worker voted Jill Stein. If you wanted the lesser evil, there it was. Clinton sure as hell wasn’t it.

      Still, the increased speed of collapse of the US with Trump and his lot in charge will probably bring about some good even if it’s going to take longer.

      • marty mars 15.2.1

        what good?

        more people suffering and dying earlier as their society splinters as the ‘increased speed of collapse’ occurs.

        What about the environment? A speedy collapse is certain death to many species as exploitative destruction of the land and water and air intensifies as desperation bites hard.

        • Draco T Bastard 15.2.1.1

          The change in attitude of the people as civilisation continues it’s inexorable collapse.

    • Ad 15.3

      Not even Noam Chomsky would keep Noam Chomsky happy.

      • Incognito 15.3.1

        I personally don’t know Noam Chomsky but I hazard a guess that it is not the pursuit of happiness that drives him.

        Many talented & gifted people and tortured souls have created and delivered their best when they were not exactly in a ‘happy place’.

        The ones that say they are “relaxed and comfortable” are the ones to watch; they try to lull you into a false slumber of relative comfort and privilege AKA “happiness” and almost without exception manipulate perceptions to maintain status quo. They create nothing, they remove the “creative tension” [thank you Robert Guyton], i.e. the spark and driver of human behaviour and creativity. They are suffocating.

        I prefer ‘not happy’ Chomsky any time.

      • In Vino 15.3.2

        Diddums.

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    Countries slashing their donations to Clinton Foundation

    All happening now that Hillary Clinton won’t be in the White House. Coincidence? Zero Hedge (warning – fake news lol!) reports:

    For months we’ve been told that the Clinton Foundation, and it’s various subsidiaries, were simple, innocent “charitable” organizations, despite the mountain of WikiLeaks evidence suggesting rampant pay-to-play scandals surrounding a uranium deal with Russia and earthquake recovery efforts in Haiti, among others.

    Well, if that is, in fact, true perhaps the Clintons could explain why wealthy foreign governments, like Australia and Norway, are suddenly slashing their contributions just as Hillary’s schedule has been freed up to focus exclusively on her charity work. Surely, these foreign governments weren’t just contributing to the Clinton Foundation in hopes of currying favor with the future President of the United States, were they?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-25/australia-joins-norway-it-cuts-clinton-foundation-donations-0

    • Pasupial 16.1

      I imagine the imminent auditing and investigation of the organization, despite assurances to the contrary, has something to do with the donor dry-up too. At least Clinton structured her (alleged/ probable) corruption so that it was legally plausible as a charity. Trump is so far refusing to do even that much:

      “the founders did not want any foreign payments to the president. Period.” This principle is enshrined in Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution, which bars office holders from accepting “any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state.”… Trump’s businesses, foreign and domestic, “are receiving a stream of such payments.” A prime example is Trump’s new hotel in Washington DC which, according to Eisen, is “actively seeking emoluments to Trump: payments from foreign governments for use of the hotel.”…

      This problem will be repeated “over and over” again with Trump’s other properties and business interests. The only way to cure this Constitutional violation is for Trump to sell his companies and set up a blind trust before he takes office… Thus far, Trump has not shown a willingness to do anything. Trump told the New York Times that he is under no obligation to set up a trust and he “could run my business perfectly, and then run the country perfectly.” Instead, he plans on having his adult children run the company while he retains ownership.

      Trump told a room full of reporters that “the law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.”…

      Meanwhile, Trump has already sought to leverage the office of the presidency to pressure foreign governments to take actions that would improve his bottom line. Trump admitted that he asked a group of British politicians to kill a proposed wind farm he believed would mar the views at a golf course he owns in Scotland. He reportedly asked the president of Argentina to approve permits for a high-rise in Buenos Aires. (Trump denied the allegation, although his local partner announced the project was moving forward the next day.) Trump has also had his daughter Ivanka, who is supposedly managing his day-to-day business interests, sit in on meetings with heads of state.

      Eisen views the current situation as dire. If Trump is permitted to be sworn in as president without selling his companies, he says, the country is facing a “wholesale oligarchic kleptocracy of a kind that we have never seen before in our history.”

      https://thinkprogress.org/electoral-college-trump-top-lawyers-8a8b6e0ca916#.tri6j5itn

  17. ianmac 17

    “Are Carers Getting a Fair Deal?” The Nation today gives a pretty awful outline of the rotten way carers are treated – still.
    http://www.newshub.co.nz/tvshows/thenation/are-family-carers-getting-a-fair-deal-2016112611

  18. Robert Guyton – you are a star

    “In the small town of Riverton and the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island is Robert and Robyn Guyton’s amazing 23-year-old food forest. The two-acre property has been transformed from a neglected piece of land into a thriving ecosystem.
    Living the Change
    This film was made as part of our Living the Change series. For this series we’re traveling around New Zealand making short documentary films about permaculture farms, tiny houses, and sustainable living.”

    http://happenfilms.com/film/permaculture-food-forest/

    • Ha! It’s a great little film, I reckon; the Happen Films people were lovely and their work awesome. The drone footage is cool too, and the music they chose as background, excellent. I’m pleased you enjoyed it, marty. The film went online last night and is attracting a lot of positive attention.

      • marty mars 18.1.1

        Just shared it on fbook which is where I found it. Onya mate.

      • mauī 18.1.2

        I was reading our local (community) paper this week too Robert (and I’m up in the north island), and a familiar name appeared with a whole half page on gardening. I thought to myself what is going on here, is Mr Guyton trying to take over the world or something! But seriously, it was very refreshing to see, I just hope fairfax who I think owns the local rag is paying you.

      • One Two 18.1.3

        Wonderful to see the vision as described in the articles you have posted here, Robert

        “A great little film” , indeed

        Gratitude for the inspired desire to absorb further information regarding, natural restoration, and contributing to it, somewhere, somehow…

        MM , great link

  19. The Chairman 19

    Tax cuts

    Key hinted that he’s leaning towards tweaks to Working for Families and the accommodation supplement.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/key-families-first-in-line-for-tax-cuts-2016112613

    While dressed to help struggling tenants, this will help provide landlords with some security that tenants will be able to sustain further rent increases going forward.

    And of course while dressed to help struggling families, increasing Working for Families entitlements will reduce wage pressure on employers.

    The question is, will voters vote for the extra funding?

    • Incognito 19.1

      I agree.

      Interesting that John Key mentions fairness as a consideration.

      The problem with Working for Families and the accommodation supplement is that they are not a given [no pun]; people have to apply for these and meet (strict) criteria. Would these “tweaks” reach all people, would they reach the people that need it the most?

      In any case, this Government has not changed its dogmatic stance on surpluses, debt reduction, and debt relative to GDP.

      IMO the simplest, fairest, and very effective thing to do would be to lower GST back to 12.5%. In addition, the minimum hourly wage could be increased above and beyond CPI and the living wage could be more encouraged for public servants, for example.

      • The Chairman 19.1.1

        Mentioning fairness as a consideration is all part of the sales pitch.

        And yes, it will be limited to those that can meet the set criteria.

        As GST is a harder tax to avoid, it has its positives. But it does impact upon lower income earners harder. Perhaps an exemption can be made, say through the use of community cards and gold cards or something similar?

  20. Hi, mauī, yes, world domination is my aim 🙂 I’ve no complaints about Fairfax, as they recompense me generously for my efforts, such as they are. The sharing of my writing across the local papers is a bonus, as far as I’m concerned, as it’s the message that’s important, in my view.

    • mauī 20.1

      Ah cool, yeah go global, don’t believe what they say about this globalism thing being in trouble.. haha. I shall be giving the gardening page a second glance from now on!

  21. The Chairman 21

    With Shaw now a Green co leader, will his higher profile increase his support in the Wellington Central seat?

    And if so, doesn’t this run the risk of further splitting the left’s vote, potentially allowing National to come through the middle?

  22. Ad 22

    Castro!

    Cuba Libre!

    RIP comrade

  23. Muttonbird 24

    Andrew Little rips Nick Leggat a new one.

    Does Leggat not comprehend that it was his Labourness which got him his success in Porirua – the only success he’s ever known. Now that he’s ditched Labour and all the constituents who trusted him he’s known nothing but failure.

    Long may that continue.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/nick-leggett-wasnt-true-labour—andrew-little-2016112615

    • Anne 24.1

      From the link:

      People who are aligned to the Labour cause actually genuinely take action about improving housing, about lifting incomes, about making sure that schools are properly funded, and our hospitals are properly funded.

      “What they don’t do is go around looking for those on the highest incomes to back them – to challenge whoever because that’s all they want. Labour people, passionate Labour in their heart – they stick with Labour, they campaign on Labour issues, and for the Labour Party. Nick’s not one of those people.”

      Bang on Andrew Little. You can add the names of Phil Quin and Josie Pagani. None of them lifted a practical finger for Labour except when they once aspired to be the personal beneficiaries.

      • Leftie 24.1.1

        +1 Anne, totally agree, and what was that BS in the Newshub article that said: “Mr Leggett had previously been tipped as a future leader of the party”
        When was that? Never heard of that before, have you?

    • Leftie 24.2

      +1 Muttonbird

  24. Draco T Bastard 25

    Love this 😈

  25. Pat 26

    this may never appear which would be a great pity because its the sort of informed rational comment that is desperately needed.

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&Itemid=74&jumival=17692

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