Open mike 27/11/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 27th, 2015 - 54 comments
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54 comments on “Open mike 27/11/2015”

  1. Gavin 1

    The closing of iPredict is probably a good step for political democracy in NZ.

    For years, Hooton, Farrar, Slater and other right-wingers played with this site mercilessly, jacking up National’s chances in general. More recently, a few on the left have put some decent money in, and we’ve shown that contrary to their publicity about thousands of punters coming up with results – these polls, bets or trades- can be swayed by just one person, for days on end. Most of the predictions are lightly traded, and a few are actively monitored by the right, to keep them in trim.

    In the Northland byelection, leftie bets on Winston Peters were strong on iPredict, and National’s wilted away under the onslaught. I knew weeks before the byelection, that National had already given up on their candidate. I even made a good profit.

    Since then, iPredict has been noticeably quiet with no press releases, and why? Ongoing money has been used to pull back National’s chances of winning in 2017, so any report would have been damaging to National/Act. And we all can guess that Matthew Hooton did the closeoffs for these reports from his Exceltium office, at a time of his choosing, and after some predictions were ‘adjusted’. But for a good few days recently, Labour bets swamped National’s, used up all their shorts and pretend bets that they’d placed without any money backing them. Never reported.

    Of course, the board of Victoria University allowed all this to happen too, and some of them are fairly right-wing, to the extent that they are members of USA think-tanks.

    Good riddance to iPredict, this is another tool that National can’t use with their next election campaign.

    • alwyn 1.1

      I enquired of someone I know who is involved with iPredict what he thought of your opinions about the site, and whether your suggestions were accurate.
      He said his answer were best be summed up here.

      • Tracey 1.1.1

        And if, say, the poster was right would the person you know at ipredict admit it to you and would you then post that here?

      • Gavin 1.1.2

        alwyn, please tell me which parts of my post are wrong.

        Prof Neil Quigley is/was on the Vic Uni board in question, and he’s a member of a USA think tank. He’s carving up Waik Uni parking spaces and charging parking fees to staff members, effectively a pay decrease, at the moment.

        I had a big hand in overriding National’s bets a few weeks ago. This was probably the first time their position had been overtaken in years, probably scary for them. I have proof of the National-leaning predictions being modified quite a bit in the minutes just before closeoff, on several occasions since early 2014. At the time, Exceltium was closing off the reports at changing days/times of their own choosing, ‘pro bono’. The last scoop closeoff in June 2015 was at an unspecified time and by an unspecified party. How can that be relied on?

        iPredict should have had a proper disinterested third party closing off the reports, not an extreme right-wing person like Exceltium’s owner, Matthew Hooton. And, they should be reporting at least every month between elections. Why don’t they let someone like me close it off? That would be fun.

        I’ve seen big shorting or supporting bets disappear as soon as they are accessed, that’s because they were placed there when the person had cash reserves, but they are not charged against their account until they are called in. So National people have been placing heaps of fake bids over time, and their people probably ran multiple accounts too. I never did.

        I noticed a response to taunting bids that would upset National politicos within a few minutes, at most hours of the day or night. They were certainly there watching and responding in a consistent way.

        When the reports were done, they were couched in such a way as to support National if at all possible. If they couldn’t say that it looks like National will take out the next election, they just don’t report.

        Of course, even when the Scoop/press reports don’t come out, politicians do look at the prediction figures, and make some conclusions. Closer to elections there have been TV items, and daily reports to the press.

        It appears to me that iPredict’s purpose was fundamentally to support National and neoliberal policies in NZ. If it couldn’t do that consistently, it needed to be shut down.

        • alwyn

          Please provide proof that the people you name made the contracts you claim.
          All you have to do is provide proof of the details of the contracts entered into by Hooton, Farrar and Slater.
          Don’t just claim that ” So National people have been placing heaps of fake bids over time, and their people probably ran multiple accounts too”.
          You have to able to prove who it was and that they happened. Otherwise it is “Only dreaming”.
          You need details you can prove or they are only things you “think” might be true. ie “Dreams”.

          • Gavin

            You are a real smartarse alwyn. Obviously everyone is anonymous on iPredict. Except when they brag about how they’re gaming the system, like Farrah and Slater did, on record. Who else supports National predictions related to winning by bets in the hundreds, bets that later prove imaginary as they’ve spent their $2500 allocation for the six months on that account? The bids keep coming in, they’ve just started another account.

            Hooton is the most obvious person to be playing with the bids just before a report closeoff. You’d have to be placing opposing bets to notice it, so that’s just a few lefties who would know. I’m telling you, when the time of the closeoff was notified at the foot of the press release, often some crucial power-sharing bids were heavily modified a few minutes earlier, always in National’s favour. Bloody rogue.

            iPredict is doomed – there will be cash flying out of there because no-one cares what the site reports anymore, it’s obvious it was mostly pro-National bullshit.

            • Morrissey

              Is “smart” the right word to use for Alwyn?

            • alwyn

              That is all the claim of “dreaming” says. There is no attempt to verify the identity of the people involved with iPredict. To identify certain individuals and to go into detail about what they are meant to be doing is impossible to know. I could probably set up an account in the name of David Farrar and no one would ever know who it really was.

              Your proposals may actually be true. However neither you nor I can possibly know. Saying things like “Who else supports” and “Hooton is the most obvious” doesn’t prove it. It is only an opinion aka “dream”.

              It is a little like my own musings about why reporters regularly claimed that David Cunliffe had a MBA from Harvard when he actually had an MPA. There seemed to be far to many giving MBA for it to be a coincidence. I hypothesised a reason but it was only my idea. I couldn’t possibly know whether it was actually true. That is the same as what you are doing.

              • Gavin

                alwyn, you’re clutching at straws now. Cunliffe always said officially he had an MPA, not his fault if some dopey press renamed it as a similar more well-known degree. But the scale of iPredict is a lot bigger, this is a site politicos had a lot to do with at crucial times of the election cycle. You have not explained your point of view that it was all right for someone like the heavily biased Matthew Hooton to write up the critical reports on iPredict, and why, if his time is so valuable, he’s done that for free. Nicky Hager provided evidence of emails that prove the concept of National bloggers gaming the site. The book didn’t stop that from happening, but it slowed them up. Over a year later, they’ve all seen the writing on the wall, and conceded the site has passed its use-by date.

                If I’ve helped in that process, I’m very pleased.

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    Update on Ukraine situation

  3. weka 3

    Simple and effective political action. Brunel University invites anti-welfare bigot to speak, so the students attend en masse and when she starts stalking they stand and turn their backs on her. After a minute they walk out.

  4. greywarshark 4

    Mike Field on RADIONZ this morning talking about odd things going on in Fiji. But outstanding to me is that while Fiji has long been sending troops for peacekeeping
    actually the UN is behind in paying its dues to Fiji to the tune of $30 million.

    This is a lot to a small country, which has regarded those duties for the UN as being a source of needed revenue. The USA is spending trillions on its Middle East Boys-Own-Adventures-Gone-Wrong. The USA is a big contributor to the UN, which is based in the USA in the middle of New York and is a big money maker for New York. So UN should pay up to the countries smaller than New York, who have far less resources than that city in that country. (New York City population 2013 8.406 million, Fiji Islands population 0.9 million 2014 est.)

  5. Puckish Rogue 5

    So that’ll be another percentage point or two for Jacinda

  6. Rosemary McDonald 7

    I’d like to think that this….

    would spell the end of this fwit’s tilt at the US Presidency.

    He is described as being teflon coated…just like Someone Else….

    • Andre 7.1

      Careful what you wish for, Rosemary.

      What’s really amazing is if you look past the packaging and delivery to actual policy positions, Trump is actually … um …the least unpalatable of what’s on offer from the Republicans.

      If you disagree, please tell us which of the Republican candidates you prefer over Trump and why.

  7. Draco T Bastard 8

    Reform 101: Why do we want to redefine money? (Post 1)

    The point here is that the health of our payments system, which underpins the real economy, depends on the lending decisions and risk taking of private banks, (even though the more banks lend and the more risks they take the more potential profits they can make). Accordingly, the success of the current monetary system is ultimately dependent on whether the government intervenes when banks fail.

    Deposit insurance and too big to fail give banks a layer of protection from their respective actions. This system allows for profits to be privatised but losses to be socialised. It thus engenders a certain level of moral hazard, where banks take on more risk knowing that someone else will bear the burden of those risks.

    My bold.

    When we have a close look at the present banking system we can see both the massive subsidies that the banking system gets from the state and the vulnerabilities built into it that force the state into bailing out the banks.

  8. The Chairman 9

    A Government-commissioned report aimed at attracting more investment into New Zealand’s growing food and beverage sector says about a quarter of the sector is already foreign-owned.

    Food and beverage (F&B) exports account for 46 per cent of all goods and services exports – $30.7 billion of the $66.2 billion total in 2014.

    Read more:

    Selling the goose that laid the golden egg?

    What percentage of the sector do we want to maintain ownership of?

    Does Labour have a bottom line in this regard?

    Should they?


  9. Mike the Savage One 10

    So on Radio Live we got more of the mentally semi retired “political commentators” Michelle Bo(a)g and Josie Pagani(ni) present their supposedly “well informed” and “enlightening” opinions on the topics of the week, actually rather making a mockery of their “profession” as commentators.

    Firstly Josie repeated that nonsense that it was about 50 years since a NATO country shot down a “Russian” jet (commenting on the shooting down of a jet at the border with Syria two days ago). While the details about that more recent incident continue to be argued about between Turkey and Russia, the earlier incident she must have meant was actually 62 years ago, over Korea, during the end of the Korean war. The US was there not so much active as part of NATO, but as a nation on another war front, far away from the North Atlantic and Europe, where NATO had declared its strategic interests, and the plane shot down was a SOVIET Union air-force plane. The US did there not represent NATO, nor was it simply a “Russian” plane that was shot down, but we know how the MSM treat facts, do we not? So it proved again, how NZ self appointed, opinionated “commentators” parrot off what they hear and read in some media reports, without doing their own home-work, and yet they get plenty of air-time to spread their ill-informed drivel over the radio or TV.

    Here is one of those poorly written media reports from the US media:

    Russia was part of the USSR, but not THE USSR!

    But re the “Russians” or “Soviets”, they were not always that fussy about shooting down planes that came near their air-space, even civilian jets, e.g. two Korean civilian airliners, carrying hundreds of ordinary traveler. See that among other “downings” of civilian airliners by various forces over the decades:

    Yet the US have their own dark chapters in history to answer for, besides of the bombing of a hospital in Afghanistan not long ago:

    Then on Radio Live there was discussion about the threat of ISIS, and Michelle Boag defended “other cultures” and “their rules” or laws, when Josie brought Saudi Arabia into the discussion. So the Sharia based laws used in Saudi Arabia, although not that pleasant, particularly for her as a woman, were what we cannot do anything about and have to basically accept, Michelle commented.

    As for that law upheld in Saudi Arabia, and also often commented on here on TS, we know what that means:

    Beheadings are apparently done in an “orderly fashion” when it comes to a “different law following” nation we do trade with, but it is appalling when done by ISIS. Now that is a really convincing argument, I suppose to build a strong and convincing front of opposition to that terror organisation.

    Then it went on later, to the “flag referendum”, and Josie shared her preference for that white fern on a black background, although it was not favoured for certain reasons (maybe being a bit similar to flags ISIS often use).

    That is what passes for “informed commentary” on Radio Live these days, and I did not even go into other stuff not worth listening to:
    (Play the slots after 11 am on Friday, 27 Nov. 2015)

    Those two women should in my view not be allowed near a microphone to comment on serious matters!

    • Tc 10.1

      Just more govt shills ticking 2 boxes. Pushing nact themes and turning away the objective thinkers from RNZ.

  10. Anne 11

    I was having a lovely tranquil day until I read Scott Yorke’s latest ‘work of art’.

    • Tracey 12.1

      Sadly there will be a few celebrating…

      Katherine Rich being one

      • Psycho Milt 12.1.1

        Another being me. Every diabetic in the country has cause to celebrate whenever one of these old-school dogmatists quits and makes room for people who may be less committed to the failed orthodoxy of the past. The current dietary recommendations for diabetics are still appalling recipes for making the condition worse, and improvement can only come with the retirement of Toomath’s generation of doctors, nutritionists and dieticians.

        • Tracey

          Yeah that will be the real reason why no progress has been made. Nothing to do with govts dragging the chain and resources.

          • Psycho Milt

            I know you’re being sarcastic, but seriously, that is the most important reason no progress has been made. I’ve been enduring their dogma since I got type-1 diabetes in the mid-80s, and I’m well pissed off about the years of failed efforts to control blood sugar that I went through before learning that their advice was making things worse rather than better. The fact that the current government rejects advice from people like Toomath is one of its very few good points.

            • weka


              Also, it’s pretty hard to take someone seriously who thinks that 1 in 3 NZ adults are obese (I assume RNZ got that from her).

              • Tim

                It is actually type 2 diabetes (not type 1) which is associated with obesity and it is true that almost one third of NZ adults are obese. You two should try dealing in facts and specifics rather than trying to insult someone who has been trying to help… Shameful really.

                • Morrissey

                  Psycho Milt and Weka are continuing a long and dishonorable history of contempt for experts. Some years ago Raybon Kan and Gary McCormick, those leading intellectuals, were up to the same thing…..

                  Open mike 11/03/2011

                • The dietary advice is the same for both Type 1 and Type 2. Facts and specifics: the dietary advice is to eat little of the kinds of foods that don’t raise your blood glucose level significantly, and instead to eat lots of the kinds of foods that do. High blood glucose levels = high insulin responses, and insulin is among other things the hormone in charge of storing fat. Little expertise is required to understand it.

                • weka

                  “It is actually type 2 diabetes (not type 1) which is associated with obesity and it is true that almost one third of NZ adults are obese. You two should try dealing in facts and specifics rather than trying to insult someone who has been trying to help… Shameful really.”

                  I know that the connectiong is between obesity and type 1 diabetes. I’m rejecting the notion of 1 in 3. I’m happy to talk facts so why don’t you start with posting the evidence for 1 in 3?

                  Milt is right. The official advice on fat and diet has been wrong for a long time.

  11. ianmac 13

    Bryce Edwards says that Matthew Hooton writes that “Joyce associates openly talking about leadership change.”
    (Saw on Twitter but not sure how to link.)

    • Tracey 13.1

      Hmmmm so openly no one in the media knew til Hoots tweeted.

      He has been very quiet recently

      • The Chairman 13.1.1

        Busy plotting leadership change?

        • Tracey

          Well he did turn on Key after Key “lied” about Hoots.

          You know the Right, they dont mind Key lying about anything… except them

          • Once was Tim

            The one redeeming feature of Hoots is that he’s never really liked John Key – oft trying to spin him as left wing such as on ninetonoon and elsewhere.
            Its probably more that Key has managed to be more effective in spinning bullshit than Hoots has. How dare that plebian Phil Stein be more convincing and believable to Joe Everidge Public than the highly sophisticated legend-in-his-own-mind Mr Hooten – it’s just not right!
            Its just a bloody big shame that whilst Hooten can see through our Dear Leader, and has done from the start, the public don’t seem to have yet.
            He should really be careful what he wishes for though – he’ll do himself out of a job.

            • Gangnam Style

              Hooton usually moans about Key because Hooton believes Key wasted political capital by not making more unpopular policies palatable, he thinks Key has been too safe.

  12. Draco T Bastard 14

    NZ features in Isis’ latest propaganda video

    Former CIA analyst Paul Buchanan, who runs an intelligence analysis consultancy called 36th Parallel Assessments, called the featuring of the New Zealand flag as “an omen of things to come”.

    “The moment we announced we were going to send troops into the training role we put ourselves on their radar scope. I’m not surprised at all we figure, even briefly. I think (authorities) have to take it seriously, as small as the reference is.”

    Well, many of us did say that sending troops to the ME would make NZ a target and now we’re a target.

    • ianmac 14.1

      Maybe that is Cameron’s dilemma as well. Cursed if you join in. Cursed if you don’t.
      (By the way interesting to scan the complement of flags shown on the link. Colour. Simplicity. Geometry.)

    • Tracey 14.2

      John Key will see it as a badge og honour and will wilfully ignore which came first…

      His rhetoric and eagerness to do whatever the yanks want or Isis including our flag.

      Of course the real issue is that they could differentiate between our flag and australias

    • The Chairman 14.3

      “Well, many of us did say that sending troops to the ME would make NZ a target and now we’re a target.”

      The price for being in the club.

      • Colonial Viper 14.3.1

        The price paid by ordinary Kiwis being sent over there; our elites as usual pay no price for their stupidity and senility.

  13. ianmac 15

    Can keep track of the number of Referendum votes received here:
    About 370,000 so far for 4 days,

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    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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