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Open mike 28/11/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 28th, 2019 - 219 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

219 comments on “Open mike 28/11/2019 ”

  1. esoteric pineapples 1

    This is a fascinating and revealing interview. The short version of it is that Iran is close to now being a net importer of oil because 1) it's petrol prices are so cheap that smugglers are selling the oil overseas for profit and 2) Iran itself is consuming more and more oil. To counter this, the Iranian government doubled the price of petrol at the pump from about NZ19 cents to NZ40 cents. The extra money being collected is going to the the poorest 70 percent of the Iranian population. Which would make you wonder why they are rioting. The interviewee who is an Iranian college professor in Iran who teaches English literature says that that while there is some opposition to the government with around 100,000 protestors protesting across the county on one particular day, that night another much smaller set of protestors started violent riots, destroying around five banks per hour (total 300 in three days), supermarkets, underground train stations etc. This group seemed to be very well organised and the peaceful protestors stopped protesting.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTpIJ9ekwkI&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR1Pocz-wmD0jtR0Hwe6CaqlNvlbYqwG6B4TNGvJmS59RRrdXTQA__uOlno

    • weka 1.1

      thanks ep. It's very hard to keep up with what is happening in various places (Brazil is another).

  2. Sabine 2

    anyone knows a group called

    WaterFront 2029?

    they are very active on FB wanting to move the port of akl to whangarai.

    but they don't state who they are where their funding comes from etc.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Matthew Hooton is behind them. Paying gig I presume …

    • JanM 2.2

      I read somewhere that both Helen Clark and John Key are part of it. Strange bedfellows!

      • Adrian Thornton 2.2.1

        No not at all, Helen and Key are very similar, both Liberal Free Trade politicians, who just happen to go about it in different ways, but the results are exactly the same at the end.

        The legacy of the Clark/Key years is NZ today…just drive out to your local motel strip and see how many of the motels are always fully booked…not with happy holiday makers, no with homeless NZ citizens, look at the booming inequality the stagnant wage growth, job insecurity, I could go on but why bother.

        Fuck Helen Clark and fuck John Key.

        Here is just part of their shit legacy..

        https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/398741/homeless-moved-from-cars-to-motels-it-s-just-shifted-the-problem

        'The problem is so bad': Govt says motels will have to house Hawke's Bay's homeless this winter

        https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12222609

        A Detailed Report into Insecure Work in New Zealand – NZCTU

        • Incognito 2.2.1.1

          Don’t stop at those former leaders. Also, implicate their Caucus members, their parties and bedfellows, the people that voted for them, and the society at large that condones this.

        • Ad 2.2.1.2

          Their shared objective to shift the Auckland port is a good one.

          And it needs cross-Party support.

        • James Thrace 2.2.1.3

          I'm amazed that MSD pays almost $2000 a week to motels for "emergency housing" usually consisting of a studio unit with a minimal kitchenette, when there are houses for rent around $500 pw which could be utilised instead. Not sure of the policy rationale as to why a motel should be considered "emergency" when it would be far better, and cheaper, to rent out an entire house as "emergency" and house people that way. Providing assistance as normal, and getting people back on their feet that way.

        • Sabine 2.2.1.4

          and this has got nothing at all to do with what i asked. But yeah, what evs.

          • James Thrace 2.2.1.4.1

            Responding to Adrian Thornton's link about housing homeless in Motel units. It's why I replied to him, and not to you, as seen by the number sequencing.

      • Naki man 2.2.2

        I don't know if they are part of it but they agree with the idea.

      • McFlock 2.2.3

        In general, relocating industrial activities out of the centres of major cities has a lot of attraction across ideologies.

        It lowers the number of big trucks on the streets, frees up the inner city rail for other services, and opens up the freight storage areas to waterfront development (although whether that's community space or gifts to developers is by no meanse a cross-party consensus).

        As for this particular case: not my monkey, not my circus.

    • Dukeofurl 2.3

      Its not too hard to think of North Port and various Whangarei business interests behind it.

      Its a dead issue really as that sort of capital isnt available through government sources to build a major port first before you move.

      It all based on the fantasy that the small part of port that is off limits to the public is important in the overall foreshore of the Waitemata.

      Once the proposal was to move /extent the port to Te Atatu – the former AHB owned all the land for it – but that never happened too.

      This type of thing becomes a bouncy castle of politics – supported by a lot of hot air , can be moved where ever and then disappears to later become the next bright shiny thing

      • Wayne 2.3.1

        If the government wants to do it, the capital is readily available.

        Basically $3 billion to 4 lane the road, $1 billion to double track the rail, probably $2 billion for the port and related infrastructure, and $1 billion for an inland port in the northwest of Auckland. Total of $7 billion. National was already committed to the road, Labour is to the rail, so those parts are already sorted and funded. The rest is about 2% of current government borrowing.

        I reckon the government will commit to it next year, with actual work starting 2022. With JK and HC in support they will have full political protection. National may not ultimately oppose. Too risky politically.

        • SPC 2.3.1.1

          It would be worth it to get the rail and road link to the north sorted.

        • Sabine 2.3.1.2

          so you know who is responsible for this fb page?

          Cause they do a really good job of not disclosing whom they are and whom they receive funding for and one would assume that if that is 'bipartisan' they would have no issues telling the public?

          At the moment it looks literally just like a real estage vulture trying to tell people that 60% of Aucklanders are happy to see the port go without any link to the poll and such.

          so maybe its just a national front not wanting to disclose that they are shilling for hte no mates party?

        • Sacha 2.3.1.3

          Why would you also need a 4-lane highway if you have an upgraded rail link?

        • Blazer 2.3.1.4

          I thought John Key had sold his beach house…why would we need a new highway…now?

        • Dukeofurl 2.3.1.5

          Puhoi to Warkworth 4 lanes ,16km for $950 mill for which Fletchers built at a loss

          That leaves another 100km from Warkworth to Whangarei for the remaining $2 bill.

          Like I said a bouncy castle of doom, full of hot air . Wayne you should be ashamed of your self.

    • gsays 2.4

      Isn't the message more important than the messenger?

      The little I have heard is that it is a no-brainer to shift the port north.

      The rail infrastructure build alone makes it a win-win. Let alone the needed shot in the arm it so will give Whangarei/Northland.

      • JanM 2.4.1

        I agree. It would benefit the north (who knows – they might even include us in their weather forcasts on the tele !) – it would also give downtown Auckland the chance to join the 21st century and stop looking like something from the back end of nowhere

        • Anne 2.4.1.1

          (who knows – they might even include us in their weather forcasts on the tele !)

          We used to (past tense) JanM. Whangarei iirc. Then along came neo-liberalism in the 1980s/90s and you dropped off the map. 😉

      • Sabine 2.4.2

        Actually yes, i would like to know who is selling this and why.

        As you said, it could be a win win – well unless you are a port of auckland worker, but i guess htey can just move elsewhere, right?

        Also, does anyone really believe that any new port that is gonna be build will actually bring jobs.

        And next, in our world of global warming and climate change and bullshit, we are gonna build a 4 lane highway to bring the goods from Whangarai back to AKL and beyond.

        We are so utterly fucked, if that is what we would consider a 'Win Win'.

        However i am very very sure that the real estate vultures (subsidiary wholly owned by national no mates party) would rejoice if the port of auckland would become a private owned enterprise with people paying good money for access.

        • Molly 2.4.2.1

          My partner did an assignment on the ports for a university paper earlier this year. While talking to him, and looking at his work it seemed apparent that Whangarei has been looking to future-proof their industry and location, whereas POAL have not.

          If anything, it almost seems as if POAL is too aware of the value of land they occupy and that knowledge reduced any intention to make their organisation long-term sustainable. Unfortunately, we'll find out whether my suspicions are confirmed if in several years time, land that is currently owned by POAL in defacto trust for Aucklanders, mysteriously ends up being sold to private interests.

          Unfortunately, IIRC Northport is privately owned so all infrastructure costs and relocation which will require significant government investment will benefit those shareholders considerably.

          • James Thrace 2.4.2.1.1

            I'm of the opinion that if any <b>substantial</b> government funding goes to supporting a private enterprise to build its capability, that the government takes a shareholder interest in the company.

            Much like how it should have done when it gave $30 million to Rio Tinto

            • Molly 2.4.2.1.1.1

              I agree. But I also believe that government should only be making these investments in infrastructure that supports the common good. Investments in Rio Tinto, America's Cup, the Saudi farm etc don't fall into this category.

        • KJT 2.4.2.2

          If you are a port worker in Auckland you cannot afford to work there and live in Auckland. Which is why POAL keeps importing Tuvaluan's. Who don't know that NZ living costs will take most of, to them, high wages.

          The higher paid general port workers, crane and straddle drivers are losing their jobs, right now, with automation.

        • KJT 2.4.2.3

          Only Wayne wants the four lane highway, for his bach.

          An extended Marsden point wharf can be serviced by rail, and a reduced Auckland port for smaller, feeder, ships. Facilities for couple of Ro Ro ships from Te Atatu or South Auckland, or the existing port, is much cheaper and more sustainable than encouraging thousands of trucks.

          Of course, while the heavy subsidies for trucking, continue, trucks will be the cheapest option for freight forwarders.

          Privatization and fake competition between ports has made a few shareholders rich, and cost the entire country, billions.

  3. Adrian Thornton 3

    Obama shows his centrist neoliberal colours as wades into the 2020 Dem elections..

    Yep anyone but Bernie is the new catch phrase of the establishment liberal centre, they have made it plainly obvious that they would rather lose to Trump than win with Bernie..just think about that for moment…the ideology of centrist liberalism ( like Labour NZ) has more in common with Trumps/Republican ideology than it does with that of the progressive Left.

    Obama privately said he would speak up to stop Sanders: report

    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/472090-obama-privately-said-he-would-speak-up-to-stop-sanders-report

    The liberal establishment are the number one enemy of progressive transformative change that is needed to fight climate change and inequality..it is them and not the Right who are doing the most to undermine and do their upmost to destroy at every turn the agents of progressive change in out lifetime.

    Turn Labour Left!

    • Dukeofurl 3.1

      The majority of Democrat voters didnt support Sanders in the popular vote n primaries either. he did better in the Democratic party organised caucuses ( so much for the DNC controlling anything during each states primary election)

      Sanders won 12 caucuses to Clintons 7

      The closest polling trend line gave Clinton 50% to Sanders 45%

      He raised more money that Clinton so wasnt disadvantaged in that area.

      Sanders has a lot more competition this time

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.2

      Obama is a staunch defender of the status quo – in particular having the very rich in charge of the country and the population.

  4. Stuart Munro. 4

    From time to time I mention things here about the state of the fishing industry and the shortcomings of the QMS. Here's a long form article from NZ Geo that explains the matter in reasonable depth.

  5. SPC 5

    A Moslem majority state in India is now divided in half to form two territories now under central government control.

    Apparently the purpose is to enable Hindu settlement, and to from a new majority population (a bit like China's policy in Tibet).

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/anger-india-diplomat-calling-israel-model-kashmir-191127150235613.html

    • Dukeofurl 5.1

      Kashmir was always called 'Jammu AND Kashmir' as a princely state . There are geographical and population differences . Kashmir also includes other historical regions like Ladakh.

      Plenty of other states in India have been divided for demographic ( linguistic, geography) reasons, its not even a 'thing' any more to do so.

      The States Reorganisation Act of 1956 reorganised the states based on linguistic lines resulting in the creation of the new states.

      In November 2000, three new states were created; namely, Chhattisgarh from eastern Madhya Pradesh, Uttaranchal from northwest Uttar Pradesh (renamed Uttarakhand in 2007) and Jharkhand from southern districts of Bihar…. Telangana was created on 2 June 2014 as ten former districts of north-western Andhra Pradesh

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

      Its a fascinating way a large and complex country like India deals with internal nationalism and the problem of colonial boundaries including those remaining from the Mughal empire , which was an earlier colonisation before the British.

      • SPC 5.1.1

        Given

        1. the formation of Pakistan and India

        2. the dispute/wars fought over the princely region on their northern border

        3. establishing direct central government central rule over two Moslem areas is not the same as recognising local identity interests but subverting their existence in this case.

        This is more like the West Bank and Tibet.

        • Dukeofurl 5.1.1.1

          Essentially Jammu is a existing hindu majority region

          They are distinct regions, Jammu the foothills and Hindu,

          Kashmir the famous valley and the mountains surrounding and Muslim

          and further regions Ladakh ( part occupied by China and culturally connected to Tibet and Buddhism)

          and Gilgit -Baltistan controlled by Pakistan.

          Jammu and Kashmir was already under Delhi control via the Indian army who seemed to be brutal about it.

          Dont know where you got the idea the split was about getting Hindu migration, when the split makes sense in the way India has sub divided itself along religious/linguistic etc lines

          • SPC 5.1.1.1.1

            Thanks for the Homer Simpson impersonation. Good one.

            • Dukeofurl 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Do tell us about the "2nd " muslim area Cletus Spuckler

              • SPC

                The self governing state (majority Moslem) was divided into two territories – one – Jammu and Kashmir, is majority Moslem, and the other Ladakh is Moslem and Buddhist in a rough balance. Now both areas are under direct rule.

                The article I linked to – did you read it, – referred to the agenda to send Hindus into Jammu and Kashmir to create a Hindu majority – thus the Israeli and Chinese policy as to the WB and Tibet. Something not possible without the change to direct rule over the once self governing state.

                Happy thanksgiving.

  6. mosa 6

    We banned the export of many animals for slaughter in 2003. Now it’s time to end the entire trade for good.”

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/11/26/14000-sheep-trapped-inside-capsized-live-export-ship-safe/

    • Dukeofurl 6.1

      Are you just repeating this in every Open Mike ? Its was a similar comment with same link previously . Whats new

      • Incognito 6.1.1

        Are you referring to this comment by greywarshark two days ago with the same link? https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-26-11-2019/#comment-1669134.

        • mosa 6.1.1.1

          Are you referring to this comment by greywarshark two days ago with the same link?

          Quite possibly i did not see his or her comment but i am glad they raised an issue that does not get a lot of coverage.

          If it is a repeat then great and the sky won't fall in as a result.

          • greywarshark 6.1.1.1.1

            mosa. Interesting how people jump on you for putting up your concerns following a similar earlier one.

            This says something about trends in NZ. One trend is to note things, pass some sort of judgment, then pass onto something else. There are plenty of things to pass on to. And the ones noted and commented on pile up behind unattended to; no that is operational, it is SEP, it is being considered next year by a Special Committee, blah blah or even silence greets the expression of concerns.

            This is the sort of shallow response to unsound behaviour that has led to us sliding into the Slough of Despond that we are in.

            A second thing to note is that this is Open Mike; yours was a reasonable, concise comment on something concerning about NZ business behaviour that needs urgent restraint.

            It is so necessary to keep looking at our activities; so little is actually being done to remedy things in NZ. It is absolutely necessary to repeat things rote-like (but from different angles to use a prismatic view of different angles) before anything can penetrate this incredibly dense atmosphere in NZ that repels knowledge it recognises as troublesome, like an immune system rejecting a virus.

            • greywarshark 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Thinking further – the incredibly dense atmosphere I noted, could also be called a 'force field' resistant to those sparks of ideas.

              Defenceless under the night
              Our world in stupor lies;
              Yet, dotted everywhere,
              Ironic points of light
              Flash out wherever the Just
              Exchange their messages:

              May I, composed like them
              Of Eros and of dust,
              Beleaguered by the same
              Negation and despair,
              Show an affirming flame. https://poets.org/poem/september-1-1939

              (Interesting review of the poem 1 September 1939 by WH Auden of which the above is the last verse.) I present it from time to time, it is like a hymn of hope and human caring.
              https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/aug/31/wh-auden-september-1-1939-poem

              • Sacha

                People do not like having their energy and time wasted. Not because an 'idea' is too novel or brilliant. Repetition does not change that.

          • Incognito 6.1.1.1.2

            My query was directed at Dukeofurl, not at you.

            • greywarshark 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Edit
              I guess my comment was directed largely in the same direction but if I am too direct I can be rapped on the knuckles; but also I do not want to reinforce dominating behaviour and appeal to the recipient's apparent desire for notice and response from others because of the continual correction of others’ comments and contention.

            • Dukeofurl 6.1.1.1.2.2

              Thanks incognito, it was same story and link but different commentator

              Clearly the increased publicity this time has raised its awareness.
              You’re welcome !

      • veutoviper 6.1.2

        Duke, I cannot find any earlier comment from mosa here on TS on this subject – and suggest that you may be getting confused with mosa's comment on The Daily Blog's Open Mike for yesterday (27 Nov) where mosa has reminded people of this issue with a link back to TDB's post on this sad issue re live sheep exports dated 26 Nov 2019, ie

        mosa November 28, 2019 at 8:56 am

        The live export trade is inherently cruel.

        https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/11/26/14000-sheep-trapped-inside-capsized-live-export-ship-safe/

        Reply

        Link to mosa’s TDB OM comment is https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/11/27/the-daily-blog-open-mic-wednesday-27th-november-2019/#comment-482954

        Personally I fully support mosa in bringing this very cruel practice to notice.

        • mosa 6.1.2.1

          Thank you veutoviper and grewwarshark for your comments.

        • belladonna 6.1.2.2

          It is a barbaric practice that needs to end in this so-called civilised country.

          • veutoviper 6.1.2.2.1

            Its a barbaric practice that needs to end not just in respect of live exports from this country but worldwide. The current tragedy is in relation to the live export of 14,000 sheep in a ship that capsized off the coast of Romania last Sunday.

  7. mosa 7

    Remembering Erebus today on the fortieth anniversary since the accident and the amazing courage of Justice Mahon as his quest for the truth was unwavering.
    An orchestrated litany of lies still resonates since his report was released in April 1981.
    Had Mahon not been so unrelenting the flight crew would have always been wrongly blamed for causing the crash.
    My thoughts are with the families and the emergency crew who endured the most miserable of conditions to bring all the victims home.

    Kia kaha

    • Anne 7.1

      My sentiments too.

      It would be the icing on the cake if – today – Air NZ was to admit their culpability in the tragedy, and lift the stigma the families of the two pilots have had to endure for 40 years.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        If Airnz did admit culpability they could be open to legal demands for a very large reparation. If we want to keep our airline we may just have to leave matters as they are. There have been lots published about it, and thinking people can see where the fault lies. I have just been reading a stuff 2009 report that says that no-one has ever been fingered for the altering of the co-ordinates that led to them facing onto the mountain and not beside it where their previous settings would have placed them.

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/features/3123531/Dark-day-that-everyone-remembers

    • Dukeofurl 7.2

      Apology by Air NZ ?

      "The airline said today's apology was to take care of some of the "many of the gaps and failings that occurred in the days, months and years after November 28, 1979".

      Mr Fyfe told the gathering the airline made mistakes and apologised to families who did not get enough support after the crash."

      Isnt that admitting culpability ?

    • Karol121 7.3

      Thank you Mosa, for the tribute and starting this thread.

      The Erebus disaster may not get too much more attention perhaps for another decade.

      That is, aside from the current debacle over the memorial, which appears to be causing more grief and anguish for many.

      The actual impact with the mountain slopes occurred at around 1:50pm, (NZ daylight Time).

      For me, this event has highlighted and epitomised a series or links of human actions which, if any one event had not taken place, it all could have been avoided.

      While this applies to most any event, unique to this tragedy is that every link was a human failure link.

      So I deliberate and without assigning blame (which I would not ever wish to do), I suggest that:

      The pilots could be considered as culpable as the person working at the Auckland based Air NZ navigation unit who fed the incorrect (A)INS coordinates into the computer.

      Why did they descend below published and stated minimas depicted on the CAA radio navigation charts when Visual Flight Conditions could not be guaranteed?

      Why did they not make use of the mapping mode/terrain alert facility available to them on the Bendix weather radar in the cockpit which was right in front of them?

      But, as culpable as the person in the navigation unit could be considered as culpable as the airline management who allowed for such a haphazard situation to develop, trading welfare of the passengers for entertainment and profit?

      But, as culpable as those other pilots associated with the Antarctic promotion/operation who exerted peer pressure and influence on Capt Collins and others, and who did not insist on better flight training and briefings pertaining to
      such an operation, including alerting all Air New Zealand pilots associated with the Antarctic operation as to the inherent dangers
      associated with complete loss of horizontal definition or "white out" conditions and also adequate remote (Scott Base) approach
      and landing procedures, on snow and ice runways?

      But, as culpable as the (then) Ministry of Transport, Civil Aviation Division airline inspectors who appear to have failed to
      adequately monitor the airline in relation to this operation, as they should have, and instead just left it to the company itself to call the shots for the most part?

      In the past forty years, the blame game has never stopped.

      All that can be gained from the event it is a very tragic lesson, and the hope that other pilots and airline operators have learnt heaps from it, which they apparently seem to have done.

      The person in the navigation unit, whoever he or she was, probably went through absolute Hell after the event, and yet he/she alone was not the cause of this event.

      Mission mentality, inadequate procedural training and poor communications were the main culprits.

      To finger this person (even if he or she were still to be alive) would be a positively awful thing to do to somebody who probably ended up very emotionally damaged by it, and probably re-lived the tragedy in his or her mind, on a daily basis.

      I know for a fact that in the years after the event, the company did a lot of soul searching.

      Many pilots went on to become safety
      ambassadors and airline trainers to other national operators around the region, instilling
      a Crew Resource Management philosophy and guiding pilots on how to best avoid getting trapped in an obedience to authority,
      command gradient situation which might lead to fears by a first officer about appropriately asserting themselves if or when a captain was observed operating outside of specified safety guidelines and procedures.

      So actually, good has come out of the tragedy.

      On an adjunct matter, Air New Zealand is an airline operation firstly and foremost, and therefore, safety efficiency and economic
      operations whilst making a profit, and serving it's clients are the prime considerations.

      I just think that is so sad that while so many in the airline put in 110% effort in to trying to achieve the above, so many in marketing
      and elsewhere appear to choose to play around with customers, nit pick, and even attempt to unjustifiably embarrass them, such as the
      shifting of a male passenger away from an unaccompanied child antic they tried on some time back, as if the passenger was some sort of convicted pedophile.

      This bullying or demeaning type sickness has also popped it's head up elsewhere as well.

      It is though just a few within the airline appear to have developed some sort of egotistical, them against us mentality over the years.

      If this is manifesting, it simply HAS to cease, because not everybody is on board with them in relation to this damnation behaviour style
      which, worse, is converted in to a form of self promotion or hype.

      In fact, many are not even on board with the "burnt tail" image either.

      From outside of the airline, I really do hope that this memorial thing gets sorted out to everybody's satisfaction,
      and with no more hurt also.

  8. SPC 8

    Given Julian Assange is being incarcerated 23 hours a day – deprived of sunlight, library and gym – the treatment is essentially a form of psychological warfare which is designed to prematurely end his life.

    While the UK will not act on requests for extradition for death sentence offences – and the US has guaranteed they will not seek such a sentence in the Assange case. It would appear that the UK and US are covertly arranging for his early death – either before, or after, a show trial in the USA.

    These two NATO powers are corrupt.

    • greywarshark 8.1

      +100 Very bad.

      • aj 8.1.1

        At what level of poor health would a person being held on remand be admitted to hospital. As opposed, for example, to an axe murderer. If his health is as poor as being reported, it is difficult to comprehend the lack of simple humanity being shown by the prison system in this particular case.

        • McFlock 8.1.1.1

          That's the "if", innit.

          Assange doesn't seem to be treated differently to any other high security prisoner. If that amounts to arranging an early death I'd expect every assangist to join the Howard League immediately and work to save all prisoners.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 8.1.1.1.1

            Why Assange is feeling 'poorly' is immaterial. If, in a medical doctor's clinical opinion, Assange should be hospitalised, then (unless he objects) he should be hospitalised, no? Is Assange any different to you or me in this specific regard?

            Or maybe Assange deserves 'special consideration' wink

            "Julian Assange's health is so poor he could die in prison, according to a letter to UK government from 60 doctors"

            https://www.businessinsider.com.au/julian-assange-could-die-prison-before-hearing-60-doctors-letter-2019-11?r=US&IR=T

            Doctors’ open letter defending Julian Assange wins global support
            https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/11/27/assa-n27.html

            Germany: ‘If this continues, he will die’ – Assange’s father attends Berlin hearing

            • McFlock 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Did those 60 doctors all personally examine him, or are they making clinical judgements based on information received from parties with vested interests? In which case it would simply be 60 cases of malpractise.

              "Why" is very important, as it suggests that Assange is being treated exactly the same as every other high security prisoner. In which case the issue isn't Assange at all, but the state of UK prisons and probably NZ prisons, too. Hence why you should join the Howard League.

              • Brigid

                Are you a member of the Howard League McFlock?

                • McFlock

                  Nah. I reckon any doctor who bases their medical opinions on stuff coming out of the Assange camp is pointlessly discarding their professional integrity.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    McFlock, a few days ago, in a reply to a comment of mine, you rather cheekily suggested that "some people would be happy for him [Assange] to actually get away with rape". https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-21-11-2019/#comment-1668103

                    In the spirit of your reply then, and your comments in this thread, might I rather cheekily suggest the possibility that 'some people would be happy for Assange to just curl up and die, no questions asked.' Do you think such people also exist?

                    Just to be clear, I’m not implying that you are such a person, any more than you might have been implying that I would be happy for Assange to get away with rape. But it’s an interesting question.

                    • McFlock

                      I outlined the behaviour of some people that would lead me to draw that conclusion about their beliefs regarding Assange. I wasn't being "cheeky". I feel that misrepresenting what he was accused of suggests that the misrepresenter does not care if Assange really did those things, the misrepresenter just wants him released with no regard to what he actually did.

                      While I believe some people around the world would be happy (for a variety of reasons) for Assange to drop dead with no questions asked, I haven't observed any commenters here express behaviours that would indicate such an outcome.

                      Do you refer to anything in particular?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "the misrepresenter just wants him released with no regard to what he actually did." – by "what he actually did", do you mean (principally) rape / sexual assault, skipping bail, and seeking asylum in an embassy?

                      Alternatively, 'the misrepresenter just wants him banged up with no regard to what he actually did.'

                      Now that Swedish prosecutors have dropped their investigation, and Assange has served his time for jumping bail, my preference would be for Assange to be released from prison before he is extradited to the US and/or dies, but I'd settle for hospitalisation.

                      Assange is a weak man, a Weinstein of the web.” And I'm unconvinced that Assange has been getting a fair shake this year either.

                      Nils Melzer, the UN Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel and Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or punishment, met with Assange on 9 May 2019, after which he demanded immediate measures to protect Assange's health and dignity.

                      "Despite the medical urgency of my appeal, and the seriousness of the alleged violations, the UK has not undertaken any measures of investigation, prevention and redress required under international law," Melzer charged.

                      Assange "continues to be detained under oppressive conditions of isolation and surveillance, not justified by his detention status," he said. Melzer also attacked the U.S. role: "While the US Government prosecutes Mr. Assange for publishing information about serious human rights violations, including torture and murder, the officials responsible for these crimes continue to enjoy impunity." And, "despite the complexity of the proceedings against him led by the world's most powerful Government, Mr. Assange's access to legal counsel and documents has been severely obstructed." This, he said, had effectively undermined "his most fundamental right to prepare his defense."

                      On 1 November 2019, Melzer warned: "Unless the UK urgently changes course and alleviates his inhumane situation, Mr Assange's continued exposure to arbitrariness and abuse may soon end up costing his life."

                    • McFlock

                      I mean whether or not he actually sexually assaulted two people is important.

                      As is whether or not people acknowledge that he wasn't just being accused of having sex.

                      As for Melzer, he's a lawyer not a doctor, but I'm sure Assange put on a good performance. And calling for the release of someone with a track record of evading arrest or skipping bail in two jurisdictions is just fucking stupid.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      It absolutely is important – just not sufficiently important to continue the investigation until the statute of limitations on the more serious (rape) allegation expires.

                      So Assange is just putting on an act? Thank goodness you aren't as easily fooled as all those partisan medics, not to mention the UN Rapporteur who actually had a face-to-face meeting with Assange.

                      It seems that our respective opinions on Assange’s conditions of imprisonment and health status are irreconcilable. I'm leaning toward the gullible medics and the UN Rapporteur – no doubt there will be plenty of (unbiased) professionals in the “Assange is a weak man, a Weinstein of the web.” ‘camp’.

                    • McFlock

                      Dunno about an "act" so much as a typical "woe is me" whinge from a privileged jerk when they're not treated like god's gift to humanity.

                      Assange is a flight risk, and probably a bit of a target to other prisoners. So he needs to be in prison, and isolated. If he's a self harm risk he needs constant supervision. Belmarsh has a hospital wing, and there are other hospitals in the area.

                      He doesn't get special treatment.

                      just not sufficiently important to continue the investigation until the statute of limitations on the more serious (rape) allegation expires.

                      Because it’s a wise use of prosecution funds to pay to watch him appeal out the clock on those charges, too?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Sorry, should have been "good performance" (your words), not "act".

                      You think Assange isn't getting 'special treatment'? Seems naive.

                      "Julian Assange is currently confined in almost complete isolation at Belmarsh Prison on the health ward. He is confined for up to 23 hours a day, and other prisoners are sent into lockdown when he is moved around the prison. He is severely limited in his visitation rights to family, supporters and even lawyers and his legal documents. Belmarsh has withheld his ingoing and outgoing mail which included legal documents for extended periods. He has been unable to contact his lawyers in the US."

                      "Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei visits Julian Assange in prison hospital, urges Britain to stop WikiLeaks founder’s extradition to US." My God, he's got 'em all fooled (except McFlock) – what a colossal egoist!

                      “Because it’s a wise use of prosecution funds to pay to watch him appeal out the clock on those charges, too?”

                    • McFlock

                      How has he been treated any differently from any other person who was wanted to face sexual assault charges and absconded from bail?

                      Looks like he's category B with escape conditions.

                      These people visiting him (while he's so horribly isolated) and saying how great the injustice is are only visiting him because he's the guy behind wikileaks. That's the choice they made. With the possible exception of UN folk, his visitors have decided that wikileaks or their personal relationship with him are more important than his refusal to face sexual assault charges. So when he talks about how awful prison is for him (when he seems to be under some pretty normal high security conditions), none of them are going to say "maybe you should have fucking stayed in Sweden".

                      He might even get more visitors than most other inmates in Belmarsh.

                      TL/DR: you can write up the conditions he’s facing all you want. You haven’t written up how his conditions differ from those of other prisoners in that prison with his classification.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "With the possible exception of UN folk…" – that's mighty generous of you.

                      "…none of them are going to say "maybe you should have fucking stayed in Sweden" – but you can say it, McFlock; you can speak for them.

                      "He might even get more visitors than most other inmates in Belmarsh." – well, that's pretty conclusive; 'case' closed I think.

                      Because it’s a wise use of prosecution funds to pay to watch him appeal out the clock on those charges, too?” I don't recall the Swedish deputy chief prosecutor including ‘limited funds‘ in the reasons given for dropping the rape investigation – have you got a link?

                      The fact that for several years Assange’s meetings with lawyers were filmed and streamed live to the CIA was also raised as a critical issue.
                      https://newint.org/features/2019/10/31/journalists-must-pay-attention-julian-assange

                    • McFlock

                      What happened in the embassy assange chose to flee to has nothing to do with conditions in Belmarsh today.

                      As for the dropping of the case, I didn't say it was dropped due to "limited funds". I implied it would be a stupid waste of money. The specific reason was that although he hasn't quite run out the clock on the statue of limitations yet, he ran out the clock on the evidence. At least that part of his plan worked for him.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I agree that, on the face of it, Assange's living conditions and treatment in the Ecuadorean embassy have nothing to do with his conditions and treatment in Belmarsh prison. Except that recent revelations about how the CIA obtained recordings of Assange's meetings with his lawyers do speak to the behaviour of powerful state organisations and how they may chose to go about their intelligence gathering.

                      "The CIA’s operations thrive on secrecy and lax oversight from the legislative branch. They were deeply annoyed and displeased by the unwanted scrutiny that WikiLeaks brought to them."

                      I doubt that Belmarsh prison staff would facilitate any unwarranted, let alone illegal surveillance of Assange, but it only take one bad apple (or one good apple, depending on your point of view.)

                      In an interview on Democracy Now!, Noam Chomsky called Assange's [April 2019] arrest 'scandalous in several respects' and expanded:
                      "One of them is just the effort of governments—and it's not just the U.S. government. The British are cooperating. Ecuador, of course, is now cooperating. Sweden, before, had cooperated. The efforts to silence a journalist who was producing materials that people in power didn't want the rascal multitude to know about […] that's basically what happened. WikiLeaks was producing things that people ought to know about those in power. People in power don't like that, so therefore we have to silence it. OK? This is the kind of thing, the kind of scandal, that takes place, unfortunately, over and over."
                      https://www.democracynow.org/2019/4/12/chomsky_arrest_of_assange_is_scandalous

                      "We're going to extradite him. It will be really good to get him back on United States soil. So now he's our property and we can get the facts and truth from him." – Democratic Senator Joe Manchin
                      https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1904/S00136/assange-arrest-so-now-hes-our-property.htm

                    • McFlock

                      The yanks hate Assange. This is not news. Which is why I find it confusing that if Assange was facing completely false allegations constructed at the behest of the CIA, he skipped Sweden in order to go to the USA's closest ally in Europe.

                      All I have to say about Chomsky is that if the Swedes weren't "cooperating" so much as "going through due process on a legitimate sexual assault investigation", and if the English weren't so much "cooperating" as "going through due process on a legitimate extradition request", then once again it looks like someone is arguing that wikileaks should be a "get out of jail free" card for a couple of sexual assaults.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Chomsky’s a yank, so not all Yanks hate Assange.

                      A “get out of jail free” card for a couple of alleged sexual assaults which are no longer being investigated.

                      You weaken your case by implying that Assange is guilty as no-longer charged, but I think I understand where you’re coming from.

                    • McFlock

                      As I've said before, anyone advocating that e.g. the Swedes were working at the behest of the US or should not have tried to extradite him for whatever reason is either sure he is innocent or believes that whether he is guilty does not matter, he should have walked free with impunity.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      As I've said before, there is at least one person (me) who genuinely doesn't know whether or not Assange perpetrated rape / sexual assault.

                      That person also finds the views (of Chomsky and others), that 'authorities' from various countries have been working at the behest of US 'authorities' to achieve their desired goal of publicly punishing and humiliating Assange, persuasive.

                      I'm a fence-sitter in both instances – the evidence against Assange in the rape / sexual assault cases is compelling, and will never be tested in court, while Chomsky and other Assange 'sympathisers' paint a convincing picture, also with some strong evidence, of US agencies (and collaborators) pursuing a vendetta. I just don’t know, in either case.

                      To summarise, I'm not sure that Assange is guilty (or not guilty) of rape / sexual assault, but I certainly believe that whether he is guilty (or not guilty) matters – how could it not matter? I just can't follow your rationale – could you spell out why Chomsky’s views means that Chomsky is necessarily either sure that Assange is innocent, or believes that whether he is guilty (of rape / sexual assault) does not matter?

                      Might you be putting words / thoughts in the mouths / minds of Assange sympathisers? Not everyone thinks like that, IMHO.

                    • McFlock

                      The clearest bit in Chomsky's comment is

                      Sweden, before, had cooperated. The efforts to silence a journalist who was producing materials that people in power didn't want the rascal multitude to know about […] that's basically what happened. WikiLeaks was producing things that people ought to know about those in power. People in power don't like that, so therefore we have to silence it.

                      That seems to me to be a categorical accusation that the investigation and arrest warrant had nothing to do with the possibility that a sexual assault had actually occurred.

                      Because as far as I can tell, the behaviour of the Swedes was consistent with a legitimate proceeding against someone fleeing sexual assault accusations.

                      So the actions could be a legitimate response to a legitimate criminal accusation. But Chomsky is categorical that the actions of the Swedes were at the behest of the yanks.

                      BTW, the British are barely "cooperating". They received a formal extradition request and are working through that legal process, like with any other extradition request.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "So the actions could be a legitimate response to a legitimate criminal accusation. But Chomsky is categorical that the actions of the Swedes were at the behest of the yanks."

                      I suppose both could be true (or false) – it's a 'funny' world we live in, where people of many different persuasions are all so sure that only they see the truth, and have right on their side.

                      Assange is a weak man, a Weinstein of the web.

                    • McFlock

                      For both to be true, Sweden would have nefariously "cooperated" with the yanks by doing exactly what they would have done anyway.

                      If there's no change in behaviour, there's no cooperation.

                      Now, if the Swedes had basically invented or inflated the accusations to justify their sexual assault investigation, that would be "cooperation" (and very wrong).

                      But if they are acting on a legitimate complaint, they have performed their duties correctly and there has been no "cooperation".

                      There's a smidge of overlap if there is a legitimate complaint that the Swedes would not have properly pursued until they found out it was Assange, then the yanks called the swedes and asked them to actually do their jobs. But in that case, their injustice is against every other sexual assault complainant, not Assange or his accusers. But then Chomsky&co seem to avoid that possibility, anyway. Which is what makes me suspicious of them: a confidence of proclamation that fails to account for what they do not and cannot know. Either they are blind to the uncertainty, or they do not care about it.

                  • Brigid

                    In that case I'd say you need provide proof that those doctors based 'their medical opinions on stuff coming out of the Assange camp'.

                    Explain what this 'stuff' is, and then having shown without a doubt that the doctors have been influenced by said 'stuff', why you object.

                    Lastly (for now) explain what the ' Assange camp' is.

                    • McFlock

                      people who think he has had 60 secret referrals to to different doctors for medical attention while in prison. And still pretend he's somehow lacking in medical care.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      The 'Assange camp' likely includes the UN Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel and Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or punishment.

                      Pesky things, those UN Rapporteurs – why can't they, like Assange, just ‘go away‘?

                  • KJT

                    Getting all national party. "Tough on crime" " lock em up and throw away the key". Eh?

                    How’s about we just bring back the Star chamber?

                    • McFlock

                      nah

                      but I wouldn't be opposed to adding the time spent absconded from bail to the statute of limitations for the offence.

    • gsays 8.2

      Heh- At the mention of his name I can hear the shrill cries of 'but his condoms!'

      • francesca 8.2.1

        Love it!

        Right on point there gsays

        • Sabine 8.2.1.1

          yep, he should have used them if he had them. 🙂

          • aj 8.2.1.1.1

            Condom use is FAR more important than exposing war crimes /sarc

              • Sabine

                for some it seems that rape and sexual assault are excusable.

                And for what its worth, it was Chelsea Manning doing the exposing, J.A only published what she exposed. And as i have said before she is in prison and has been there for while now on principle for refusing to testify against J.A.

                Yet i see very few comments to her well being or how she is treated in there.

                • francesca

                  "for some it seems that rape and sexual assault are excusable. "

                  Allegations of non use of condoms are not actually proven charges Sabine

                  You think we're living in Nazi Germany? or the Soviet Union?

                  You're advocating for guilty until proven innocent ?

                  • weka

                    "Allegations of non use of condoms"

                    Actually, one of the complainants story was that Assange had sex with her while she was asleep, and without a condom.

                    Having sex with someone when they are asleep is illegal (unless prior consent is given I guess). The reason for this is because you cannot give consent when unconscious.

                    The Swedish also have laws about condom use.

                    People arguing that what was reported to have happened is a minor, trivial matter, are basically saying that it's ok for men to have sex with women without their consent. That's a fucked up view for lefties to hold.

                    • Francesca

                      You're still not getting the difference between an allegation and a conviction

                      Honestly ,some people

                      would like to do away with the whole notion of judicial process

                    • weka []

                      there’s noting ‘still’ about it, this is my first comment in the thread. I understand what an allegation is, and I’m pointing out that your representation of the allegation is misleading and wrong. You can argue a strawman all you want about allegations not being a conviction, but you’re still misleading in your comment.

                      People who can’t support Assange without running rape culture lines are a serious problem.

                  • Sabine

                    No i am advocating to a. believe women, b. if accused don't run away, c. don't hide in a room of an embassy without any power, d. don't blame others for what one is responsible off, e. only have sex with people you trust, especially when you are a wanted person and there are groups of people out there that will do nigh on anything to get their hands of you.

                    And again, fwiw, I don't make the laws in sweden.

                    All i am saying is that he has acted stupidly ever since the accusation were levied against him, and he is now where he is today largely of his decisions.

                    And while i don't want him to suffer, no more then i want anyone else to suffer in prison ( i do not approve of the idea of torture just because someone broke a law -), he did not help his cause.

                    And to pretend all that did not happen is also not helpful .

                • KJT

                  There have been more than a few.

                  But, there has been no controversy on here about Manning.

                  No one here wants Manning to be imprisoned forever without trial, or fair treatment. Unlike Assuage. Who it seems to me, has been punished way put of normal proportion for his "alleged" crime.

                  • Sabine

                    I don't want either in prison to be honest.

                    But i don't like the minimising what he has done. Firstly. Secondly, i think he was stupid ( and i know that annoys some of his supporters), but i honestly believe if he would have shown up in Sweden he would have been fairly save. AS in his supporters would have known where he is, the media would have followed this with eager eyes and the accusation of sex without consent/condom would have been washed aside as we do with most cases of sex without consent/condom/ etc.

                    Any misunderstandings that are could have been solved. But to go to the UK (seriously that was a dumb move) and to then hide in a room in the embassy of a fairly poor country that does depend a lot on the good will of the US was even sillier. I men seriously, did he really think he could spend the rest of his life there? Did he think he will be allowed to just walk out of there? And fwiw, Brexit did not help him.

                    And lastly to believing that Trump will be easier on him then Obama. Trump will have his balls off in public if it were to curry him favor with voters or supporters and he would do so without remorse, Heck he would post it on twitter just to own the libs. Obama however did grant clemency to Chelsea Manning – cause whistleblower laws. I posit that Obama – keen on good publicity – would have been equally "generous" to J. A.

                    This however does not mean that i want to see J.A. in prison, or torutred, or in solitary confinement. No more then I like seeing Chelsea Manning in prison since March/April this year for refusing to testify.

                    But this is the US, and what was then is no longer of value. People voted and wanted that change, that break down of society as we know it, they wanted Trump and his brand of 'democracy' and now its there.

                    And to finish, just because a man / women does something good (wikileaks) does not mean they can't be sexual predators.

                    And then all the stuff that Weka said.

              • greywarshark

                "Rape and sexual assault are war crimes."

                To some women the sexual act with a man is the equivalent of a war crime. It is after all, when carried out in the time-honoured way, a penetration within a woman's body with a hard object. Blood may even be spilt.

                If it was looked upon as a special ritual of charisma or love that we make occasion for as part of our human condition, we would have better human relations. If Grace Millane and Amber had not treated it so lightly as a holiday indulgence or a lifestyle to embrace with a buzz of excitement that came from their core to which they had become addicted, then they would be still alive.

                Assange didn't kill the woman who had participated in sex with him willingly. He should have used a condom, but he was just being human and aroused as happens, pregnancy or HIV didn't cross his mind but they should have. Not good behaviour, but the invective against him says about the people speaking it, of people who have become negatively biased or deeply hurt and are dumping their feelings on Assange, who is not a despicable perpetrator.

                • weka

                  So many rape myths and rape apologism in one short comment.

                  Conflating sex and rape as a way to deny rape happens.

                  If women accepted sex as a metaphor of violence and ritualised it we would all be better off.

                  Women's behaviour causes rape (and murder) and if they changed that behaviour they wouldn't be raped or murdered.

                  Women lie about rape.

                  People who weren't there can tell whether a woman was raped or not.

                  Having sex with a woman when she is asleep and without her consent isn't rape, despite there being legislation that says it is.

                  Rape culture, you're not only soaking in it but actively perpetuating it.

                  • Pingau

                    Came across this about 1 week later – Greywarshark's comment is totally shocking for all the reasons Weka pointed out and for saying that because Assange didn't kill a woman, it must be all good. For fucks sake.

  9. Anne 9

    Today the young man accused of sexual misconduct at the Labour Party Youth camp was discharged without conviction:

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12289079

    To have left a group of teenagers to their own devices without any form of supervision was the real story in this sorry saga. I know Labour has insured it will never happen again, but it is sad to think it happened in the first place.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/404327/young-labour-summer-camp-assaulter-discharged-without-conviction

      He looks such a nice tidy young fellow even through the blurred image.He is wearing a suit and tie, looks pakeha too. Well we can't be too hard on him can we. Now if he was brown we might have to take steps? Rap-tor his knuckles perhaps!

      • alwyn 9.1.1

        Bravo! I thought it was a truly magnificent decision by the Judge. It was worthy of Solomon at his finest.

        Put that man on the Supreme Court. Give him a position at the next vacancy. I am sure that David Parker has already started on the paperwork.

      • Sabine 9.1.2

        we currently have a non pakeha fellow being released on parole after serving a 6 years of a 10 year sentence for rape of a 5 year old swedish girl who needed serval hours of reconstructive surgery.

        https://www.google.com/search?q=16+year+old+rapist+of+5+year+old+girl+released+on+parole+nz&oq=16+year+old+rapist+of+5+year+old+girl+released+on+parole+nz&aqs=chrome..69i57.10415j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

        The child is now eleven years old, and chances are that one day someone will have to tell her that seh ain't gonna have kids cause rape.

        But as we were told the young man had therapy, had this and had that, he was only 16 at the time of offending blahblahblah and thus is now considered 'safe' for re-integration.

        Grace Milane is 'kinda somewhat or somehow' responsible for her rape and death, cause apperantly having 'rough sex' gone wrong aka strangulation is now a thing.

        Etc etc etc

        We don't give a flying piece of fudge in this country or any other country on this planet when it comes to rape, assault, harrasment and so on.

        Why would this be different?

        • greywarshark 9.1.2.1

          Some women constantly place all the responsibility for sex being bad and wrong on men. It takes two to tango is the cliche, but truism.

          Rape with a teatowel stuck down her throat and her death was the outcome for one NZ woman and finally the perp is established and it looks as if he won't be let out again. If we got onto the real rapists and locked them away for ever that would be using jail for a good purpose.

          Then make the lesser perps sit through psychology lectures, and lectures on human sexuality until they dropped in their chairs, and had to pass exams which would test what they remembered. In the end they would say 'Too much information' and find it hard to see it as exciting again!

          Also part of the treatment would be talk to others about why they, like so many, are screwed up about sex, finding it bad and good at the same time. With luck both parties might go off it completely and the birth rate would continue to decline.

          It could be hard to achieve that though. I remember the film Zorba the Greek which was enigmatic and developed several themes including sexual hunger, relating to a lovely young woman who is a widow and has not accepted any offers made to her. This is from a discussion reviewing parts of the film.

          I’ve thought a lot about Zorba the Greek actually. The other great sub-plot is the whole thing with how they kill the widow. Nietzsche wrote a lot about “resentment” and how it was such a powerful and ugly force in society. Do you remember when they’re in the tavern how Zorba tells Basil that they are all seething because they want her but cannot have her and so they detest her? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that in a movie before or after. Very penetrating observation. From there to murdering her as a mob is only a hop-skip and a jump, of course.

          https://gointothestory.blcklst.com/great-scene-zorba-the-greek-284abcdb2f

          (To digress further the lovely duet of the two male friends In the Depths of the Temple in The Pearl Fishers is about how they transcend their mutual desires for the same woman and decide to put her aside and build their friendship instead.)

          Sexuality will always remain a force that needs to be understood and talked about preferably in the early teens. The sex education being left to teachers is foolish, too hard for them to take on this role that is totally different from usual on this special topic. There need to be mature, trained registered people who run workshops with time for questions and answers.

          Zorba the Greek appears to be owned by Netflix.
          And it has a great theme and dance. All happy.

          The Ottawa Greek Community perform a flash mob in the Byward market to promote the 2011 Ottawa Greek Festival.

          • Sabine 9.1.2.1.1

            well i agree with you,

            if

            'some' women

            were not to complain about rape there would be no rape and thus all is good.

            other then that i think that you should send your screed to the little 5 year old (now 11 – 12years old) and explain to her that she just had a little bout of sex gone wrong and no harm done – other then the several hours of reconstructive surgery. And you do know what they reconstructed, right? You could think this whole blahblh up, now think about what was reconstructed surgically and ask yourself if she will be able to have children later in life. But yeah, tango, sex gone wrong, and some women………

      • Naki man 9.1.3

        " Well we can't be too hard on him can we. Now if he was brown we might have to take steps?

        Colour has got nothing to do with it, This was always going to be buried, perks of having a mother in high places.

    • Jimmy 9.2

      Doesn't send a good message though. Getting drunk and groping is ok as not a punishable offence if done at camp. Of course permanent name suppression will be given.

      • Anne 9.2.1

        For me the message is: there is a binge drinking culture in this country that needs to be addressed. I know it doesn't just apply to young people, but that is where efforts to change the culture need to be primarily focused.

        • Jimmy 9.2.1.1

          The message for me is if you are drunk, you can successfully use that as an excuse for bad behaviour….consequences do not apply.

          • Incognito 9.2.1.1.1

            Context and nuance still apply in the real world.

          • Psycho Milt 9.2.1.1.2

            …if you are drunk, you can successfully use that as an excuse for bad behaviour….consequences do not apply.

            I guess that could be a reasonable conclusion, if we were to regard being arrested, made the subject of a political smear campaign and subjected to a trial to constitute "successfully" evading "consequences." Is there some reason why we should regard it that way?

            • greywarshark 9.2.1.1.2.1

              I think this part of the quote is correct.

              '…if you are drunk, you can successfully use that as an excuse for bad behaviour….'

        • Dukeofurl 9.2.1.2

          Good point Anne . Its amazing how binge drinking by teens , even when under nominal adult supervision is still seen as OK.

          • JanM 9.2.1.2.1

            Of course it's not ok, but drunk men of all ages behaving badly is so common in Nz that you could clog up the courts in no time with this level of offending. Darned if I know how it should be stopped, but I'm not sure the courts are the right place.I doubt whether this case would have come to court if it didn't have politics all mixed up in it.

            • Sabine 9.2.1.2.1.1

              Maybe what needs to be done is simply give the sentence that would have been given if the bloke had not been drunk.

              And then simply say, that 'getting yourself pissed to the point where you don't know that you have raped someone, beaten someone, killed someone etc. is not a good defense.'

              And maybe then people will realise that getting drunk is not gonna be a 'get out of prison ' card. Cause now that is what it is.

              So yeah, the courts should be clogged, the sentences should befit the crime, and then maybe sexual assault/rape/murder would not be a cavaliers crime anymore for which we blame the victims more then the crims.

              I mean we are asking women all sorts of question in regards to their behavior that might have contributed to their sexual assault. Heck the 16 year old that raped the five year old got himself drunk before he committed the rape….so should he have gotten out on parole even earlier cause he was incapacitated?

  10. weka 10

    Handy graphic for explaining how tax brackets work.

    Edit, credit to @MonaChalabi

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Marx quote (Groucho Marx): 'They say a child of five could understand this. Send for a child of five!'

      Thanks for that weka – the true understanding of how progressive tax works should be part of civics learning that starts being taught at age eight and be in frequent discussion after that age. It's just another thing that we think we know, but we don't know we don't know etc

    • Jimmy 10.2

      It's sad that many people (adults) do not understand the tax brackets and that 33% only applies to income over $70k in NZ. However, I do think it is long overdue for them to raise the brackets in NZ as $70k today is not what it was 9 years ago.

      • SPC 10.2.1

        It should be 30 cents from $50-100,000. A 40 cents rate over $100,000 would cover the cost.

        Some might not like that, and to them I say then pay a CGT or estate tax then – just about everyone else in the world has these.

        • Jimmy 10.2.1.1

          Personally, I think 30% on income over $48k is far too steep. I would like it to be more like 30% on income over $70k, and 33% on income over $100k and one or two higher brackets for income over $130k eg. like 40% as you've suggested or even 45% for very high incomes.

          I would also lift the 10.5% bracket and 17.5% brackets to say, $20k and $40k

          • KJT 10.2.1.1.1

            I would go for a tax free bracket, the current top tax rate cutting in around twice the median income and higher rates on 150k and above. Don't know if it is still the case in Oz, but the top rate kicked in about 300k and the first 19k was tax free. Of course, they have State taxes as well.

            But, as people rightly complain, we rely too much on income and consumption taxes, which means those just over the median income pay 60% of total taxes, while taxes on wealth and property speculation have been removed.

        • Stuart Munro. 10.2.1.2

          The real thing that's missing is further higher brackets. If you're going over $500 k you can afford a bit more, and if you go over a $million a bit more again.

          But dead right on CGT and estate taxes.

    • You_Fool 10.3

      I will leave the best response to t his to the actual creator of the image

      Man with less professional experience shares my work with no credit and gets more attention. Gents, bloody story of my life. https://t.co/etioYlimrJ— Mona Chalabi (@MonaChalabi) November 25, 2019

      https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

      https://twitter.com/MonaChalabi/status/1198944215113388032

    • Dukeofurl 10.4

      Wasnt there a 'loudmouth' during one of the UK debates who was loudly claiming how Corbyn/labour taxes on the top 5% where going to have a ( small) effect on little old him.

      He refused to believe that £80k per year , his taxable income put him into the top 5%

    • greywarshark 11.1

      Oh ho that is a good leak – getting info about unscrupulous deals relating to the NHS from the RW. Good on Corbyn and Labour. The public need to know what sort of game they are backing.

      What else is burning on the stove:

      26/11 https://www.bbc.com/news/election-2019-50564965General election No apology from Jeremy Corbyn over Labour anti-Semitism claims

      27/11 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/11/27/general-election-2019-jeremy-corbyn-anti-semitism-brexit-news/General election 2019: Jeremy Corbyn accused of lying over the NHS as Labour MP shouts down Jewish journalist

      27/11 https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/nov/27/corbyn-says-labour-offered-apologies-to-antisemitism-victims

      What was the row about? What constituted anti-semitic comments regarded as very serious and unacceptable – background:

      What was the row over the definition of antisemitism?
      …635 complaints were made in the first six months of 2019, which resulted in eight expulsions from the party during that time period.

      Many of the allegations against Labour members involve sharing social media posts that contain antisemitic tropes, such as suggesting Jews are wealthy or control the government or media. Critics of Corbyn also say that criticism of Israel among some of his supporters, for example about the treatment of the Palestinian people, can too readily tip over into a generalised condemnation that becomes antisemitic.

      Is there an investigation taking place?
      Yes. Aside from internal Labour investigations, in May the Equality and Human Rights Commission said it had placed Labour under formal investigation over whether the party had unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they were Jewish.

      Has Corbyn himself been criticised over antisemitism?
      Yes, particularly his record when he was a backbencher. For example, Corbyn has said he regrets calling members of Hamas and Hezbollah “friends” at a meeting in parliament in 2009. Last year, he accepted he had made a mistake by supporting a graffiti artist after his work, featuring several known antisemitic tropes, was removed from a wall in east London after complaints….

      Labour faced criticism from some Jewish groups after it adopted a working definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, but left out one of the 11 examples given in the definition, which said it would be antisemitic to claim “that Israel’s existence as a state is a racist endeavour”. Labour later adopted all 11 examples.

      • SPC 11.1.1

        that Israel’s existence as a state is a racist endeavour”.

        Not in existence as a state, but as a "Jewish state" in which the majority of Jews do not want any non Jewish MK involved in forming a Knesset majority government, it has become one in practice.

  11. greywarshark 12

    Chap shot by the police. One Radionz heading: Shot father-to-be Jerrim Toms: A generous jokester

    Jerrim Toms will be remembered by his family and friends not as the 29-year-old man shot dead by the police, but as the "jokester" and an incredibly generous man who would – and literally had – given the shirt off his back for others, they say.

    This emotional stuff is supposed to engender sympathy and outrage I suppose. Making news and part of the victim rapport we hear so much of, where our emotional buttons are pushed. But not far enough to actually lobby government for better conditions for the strugglers in society who generally are the ones most affected by tragedies and crime.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/404332/police-were-justified-shooting-at-man-12-times-ipca
    In a statement, police said a significant number of community members came forward to say they had witnessed Mr Toms' erratic driving and behaviour, and "we also know he had gone to a service station earlier in the evening where he threatened to kill the sole attendant".

    Police also said they knew "that Mr Toms was under the influence of methamphetamine, cannabis and alcohol".

    That isn't jokey stuff. And he was definitely menacing the police as well as the public. People have to take care when they start using drugs; if they were being forcibly injected them by the government there would be an outcry. Instead they abuse themselves and end up hurting themselves and others. And he was a father-to-be – WTF.
    .
    …Police pursued Mr Toms for the next 40 minutes, using road spikes on three occasions.
    At times, the authority said, Mr Toms would stop and interact with police before driving off again.

    Eventually Mr Toms – and the seven patrol cars which had been following him at a distance – stopped about a kilometre north of the Johnstones Hill Tunnel.
    Mr Toms got out of the Subaru and approached one of the two closest officers, who also got out of their vehicle. He was still carrying the machete and ignored the officer's shouted commands to stop, drop his weapon and get on the ground.

    When he got to within about 1.5 metres, that officer and his partner both began firing shots at him: a total of 12 within about four seconds….

  12. Jimmy 13

    Well if you carry a machete and advance towards a police officer (or anyone for that matter) they are entitled to defend themselves.

    If a policeman tells you to put the machete down and you do not, then there is a good chance you will be shot. Seems reasonably straight forward to me. Only thing I find slightly strange is that the policeman let him get to within 1.5 metres of him….that was risky.

    • joe90 13.1

      So you're all good with the cowardly fucks who carried on shooting a disturbed man after he thought better of his actions and tried to run away.

      eight of the 12 shots were fired after Mr Toms had turned and started running away

      • Jimmy 13.1.1

        "It determined that although eight of the 12 shots were fired after Mr Toms had turned and started running away from the officers, they were all legally justified as the officers were acting in self-defence and defence of others."

        Yes I'm all good with the brave officers that had to face up to a man advancing on them at least twice with a machete. He would of only turned his back after the first 4 shots hit him else we would probably have at least one dead policeman.

        I guess you believe the police should not have shot the guy in Tauranga that had a knife (or machete) held against a child too?

        • Stuart Munro. 13.1.1.1

          I guess you believe the police should not have shot the guy in Tauranga that had a knife (or machete) held against a child too

          Police shooting the people they are paid and sworn to protect is always a failure. In the Tauranga instance the children had machete wounds, which argues that it may have been, regrettably, necessary.

          all legally justified

          When you have a professional police force they want to be sure they are justified morally, not merely legally.

          • Jimmy 13.1.1.1.1

            The child's life was saved so in my opinion it was morally justified.

          • greywarshark 13.1.1.1.2

            I hear regularly that someone has not been physically injured and while that is a good thing for the victim's safety their wellbeing is likely to be badly compromised perhaps for life. The psychological shock of running into a hunk of viciousness from an adult when you are a child would shake you to the core. You may never feel secure around people again. If it was your mother's boyfriend, then you can't trust her at all. She may be all right for a while but has no sense of judgment in whom she associates with, so basically you are on your own in your little world. Very sad.

            And now the government in their wisdom, says that if you smile at a guy twice, or he stays overnight in your house, then he can be your partner. It is Victorian, anti-woman and anti-feminist, with no respect for the female and operating under warped, moralistic, class-ridden policies.

            • Stuart Munro. 13.1.1.1.2.1

              I'm not sure that police enthusiasm for firearms as a solution is protective except through happenstance. The shooting of Mike Taylor at least left his partner regretting that she had called the police. The decision to use lethal force is better left to temperate, senior, and well-trained officers who know better than to needlessly escalate confrontations.

      • McFlock 13.1.2

        Actually in this case I'm pretty leery on criticising the decision to fire. 1.5M is way too close for safety when the dude has a machete. Letting him get that far is not at all "cowardly".

        There are other factors to address before the decision to fire, like why they failed to maintain a distance and why other options like tasers weren't used.

        There does seem to be a common thread in some police shootings where the stress response fixates officers on intervening then and there, when there is little risk to members of the public at that time. Maybe property damage (as in the case of Steven Wallace), but really as long as distance is maintained the situation won't endanger anyone else. If the dude (and it's usually a dude) is running at them, fine they might need to shoot. But otherwise there doesn't seem to be any inclination in these instances to maintain a moving perimeter around the person until they can be calmed or taken down safely.

        To an officer with a hammer, every offender looks like a nail, I guess.

        • Peter 13.1.2.1

          When both of the mentioned cases happened I was probably in bed.

          When incidents like these happen I'd hope that the best trained people in the world would be there to deal with them. When incidents like these happen I'd hope that the individuals best able personally to deal with the split second critical decisions would be there. Those able to not just manage the emotional aspects but able to rise above them and act in ways that everyone would see as perfect.

          Unfortunately those who act on my behalf in such situations are people. Unfortunately, regardless of their training, personal attributes and capabilities they will never have been in the exact situation before and are will never be in precisely the same situation again.

          Unfortunately for me those who expect such events to work out exactly as classroom lessons or textbooks say they should, and that human beings in the once in a lifetime situation will act to perfection, were like me, in bed.

          If they were on site doing whatever needed to be done things would have been done to perfection and everything resolved and we'd have endings like the kids' books, where everyone lived 'happily ever after.'

          I'm not saying that police shouldn't be held accountable, that we shouldn't expect the best or that these weren't tragedies, just recognising there are difficulties. It's a job, someone's got to do it and maybe the people who would be best at it didn't take it up for some reason. But they're good at saying how things should go down.

          • McFlock 13.1.2.1.1

            I'm not talking about perfection.

            I'm talking about a common thread between the previously mentioned incidents and armed police taking shots at fleeing people on highways (and killing a civilian in broad daylight). ISTR armed police rocking up to another incident that other officers already have in hand, and immediately shooting the offender.

            The failure to acknowledge others on the scene or ensure a safe background on the fleeing person points to a systemic undertraining on things like objective fixation and tunnel vision. How to deal with adrenaline. A big part of it is knowing what to expect when your physiological reaction kicks in.

            Contrast with the officers who arrested the chch fuckwit. At any time in that encounter they would have been completely justified in shooting him dead, but they maintained discipline and did it well, so nobody else died. I suspect the major part of that was because they'd literally just been training how to do it. Which then leads to the obvious idea that maybe these other situations went south because officer training wasn't quite so recent or thorough.

            • weka 13.1.2.1.1.1

              Were the police who arrested the Chch shooter ordinary cops or AOS?

            • Peter 13.1.2.1.1.2

              I think I understand what you're getting at. Maybe it is that people, regardless of the amount of training will operate at different levels and react differently when it gets to things like objective fixation and tunnel vision in the most stressed situations. And deficits aren't found until extreme crisis.

              Solution? In training be rigorous and ruthless and anyone slightly not up to the most extreme mark is deemed not suitable for the police force? Then maybe they say that happens now but that training can't replicate 'real life.'

              They seem to be trying to get more people to enrol for the police at the moment. Is heightened recruitment going to get the most suitable people to apply? A good question to ask around the table is ‘would you have ever considered going the police? Why, why not?’

        • joe90 13.1.2.2

          I have no problem with police shooting offenders presenting firearms but Migs Morgan threw an axe, Steven Bellingham was breaking car windows with a damned hammer and Steven Wallace you've mentioned.

          What pisses me off is that in those situations the fuckers confronted obviously disturbed people and prioritised holding their ground rather than making every effort to defuse the situation by retreating out of harms way and negotiating.

          And every time this happens I think that perhaps if the rambo who failed to correctly identify the target and shot killed and Halatau Naitoko and injured another passer by had been held to the same occupational standard that any electrical worker would be had they transposed a neutral and killed someone, and faced the courts then things might be different.

          • McFlock 13.1.2.2.1

            Except we're talking about people in a high-adrenaline situation, not a lecky calmly working on a socket.

            When people are genuinely trying to do you harm, beyond anything from a boxing match or whatevs, one gets overwhelmed by a physiological reaction that needs to be experienced to be believed. People yell things at you and you don't hear them. You have to fight tunnel vision and your brain fixating on one thing. You lose fine motor control. Time slows down but you don't speed up the laws of physics, so it feels like you're doing nothing when you first experience it. I found recollection of the experience was a sequence of snapshots, rather than a film reel. Then there's the backlash afterwards.

            The way to lessen the functional impact of an adrenalin overload the first time it happens is by training.

            I found the second time was sort of fun. Haven't had a third time.

            • weka 13.1.2.2.1.1

              what was the training?

              I'm wondering if women respond differently (in part because of physiology, but also because of socialisation), and if they'd be better in those situations.

              • McFlock

                News reports said it was training on dealing with an armed offender on a disused floor of a hospital.

                But they were also mature cops, and had worked together a lot, apparently.

                I mean, looking further down the linked article it was a textbook high-risk arrest: they formulated a plan before hand, established clear reasons to intercept there and then vs pursuit, maintained sightlines, made specific decisions but did not fixate on them (e.g. ditching the idea to radio because he lost sight of the suspect when going back to the car), called to keep the public away, assessed and warned colleagues of the risk of explosives…

                Even allowing for a bit of paperwork retconning, it was exceptional work in a very good way.

                • Sabine

                  Maybe we just need better trained cops and less guns?

                  And while i have sympathy for cops that genuinely feel threatened, one doe not fire 8 more shots when the bloke is running away from you. And if one does, ones training was either no good, not successful or the copper don't care cause people will make excuses for them.

                  • McFlock

                    You do if, in the almost four seconds from firing the first shot, you're not sure whether he's running away or clocking back to hit you or your colleague with a machete, and you're not sure your previous shots have had the desired effect because he's still upright and might be one of those guys who can run 20 yards with a bullet through his heart before he figures out he's dead.

                    Oh and you're working according to training reflex and might not even know how many shots you fired until you check the mag.

                    I've read some criticism of Grossman's books
                    "On Killing" and "On Combat" (mostly that he builds his concepts on a face-value rather than critical interpretation of SLA Marshall's research), but he has lots of real-world examples from people he's counselled or trained.

                    • Sabine

                      if they can't stop shooting, then they are not well trained.

                      if they shoot to kill rather then incapacitate then they are not well trained.

                      and then we really need a better police force lest we end up with yahoos that look like cops in the US.

                      So maybe we don't want guns on our cops.

                    • McFlock

                      I certainly don't want routine carry in NZ.

                      But shooting is the training. You shoot until you know you are safe. Shooting to injure requires precision, which requires fine motor skills. Guess what – those are largely gone. If you shoot then look, you're screwed if you missed the first time. If you do manage to shoot the machete out of his left hand, tunnel vision might mean you haven't seen the spanner in his right hand and he brains you with it.

                  • Jimmy

                    "if they shoot to kill rather then incapacitate then they are not well trained. "

                    I believe they are well trained and trained to aim at the largest part of the target ie. the chest. No good going for a head or leg shot as likely to miss.

                    "if they can't stop shooting, then they are not well trained."

                    If the guy has been shot four times and is still upright and running he is still a threat to them or general public – sorry Sabine but I think you would fail your police training

              • weka

                sorry, I was meaning training you had had (I might have misunderstood, but thought you were implying that training changed the experience for you between the first and second times).

                • McFlock

                  oh gotcha.

                  Only civilian security stuff, and unarmed at that. Not sportfighting though. Lots of contact, saw some pretty stuff – more than I ever saw as a bouncer lol. But there was also some desensitising training and dealing with the tunnel vision and all that. I met some very serious and tough chaps, even though I'm not one myself.

                  The first time, a fairly unremarkable removal from a pub turned into a situation where it was all on – I was pretty certain he was going to try to stomp on my head if I let go. Not like the usual drunk jerks, who generally want to escape rather than eliminate. I'd had the training, but it was still more "oh shit so that's what they were talking about" territory.

                  The second time I was good to go – it was actually a traffic accident that sent me careening off my wee 50cc. I remember someone afterwards saying "your shaking", but I knew it was just adrenaline rather than anything serious. Survived with barely a scratch – did a forward roll that must have looked ninja, so the training still works. I can remember looking down at the road as I went over the bars with the feeling "ah good, tucking the shoulder in nicely" lol

                  • weka

                    so is the training spending lots of time in intentional high energy, high adrenaline situations so you can learn how to manage your body when that is going on in an actual accident/fight?

                    • McFlock

                      Mine was more of a progression – get the techniques and principles down into muscle memory via rote-learning, then escalation of degree and intensity of the (mostly perceived) risk, such as introduction of real weapons into defense drills under close scrutiny by instructors. That adds stress, because if you screw up you get stabbed – but it's funnyweird because the first switch to real knives and everyone slows right down and is much more careful, then that speeds up after a few weeks.

                      But training is training, and although there's a lot of aggression nobody really wants to do you harm. So you get absolutely knackered (like when two people are doing the assessment, and it's like the batteries run out in the energiser bunny and they can't keep their guard up) and it really is a pointy blade coming at you, but it's not generally going to give you nightmares. And the control&restraint training for hospo work was largely about how to avoid injuring or killing the punter while keeping everyone else safe.

                      I did see a crushed throat once, but it was usually the TKD students in the local rec centre who kept breaking each other's limbs as far as I could tell.

                      edit: sorry, rambling about back in the day.
                      Short answer was the muscle memory put it in your body and gives a simple menu to select from in the moment, and the assessment under exhaustion lowers the power of the blows (safety) but also mimics the motor control loss under adrenaline.

                      There’s an old adage about not fearing the fighter who has performed a thousand moves once, so much as the fighter who has practised one move a thousand times.

                    • weka []

                      rambling about back in the day was good too, illustrating the stuff I was curious about.

    • joe90 14.1

      But not as ugly as apologists for the genocidal actions of an hereditary, totalitarian thug and his regime.

      /

      In the end, Assad will be remembered as an authoritarian tyrant whose regime represented little more than the interests of a rich neoliberal business class and a fascistic security apparatus. Those who have thrown their intellectual weight behind his campaign of brutality have cast the sincerity of their commitment to popular struggle and anti-imperial resistance into serious doubt. By denying the Syrian people the right to revolution while supporting the Palestinian struggle, they are no less hypocritical than the Zionists who cynically celebrate the Syrian uprising while seeking to crush any iteration of Palestinian resistance. In my opinion, the right to resist tyranny is indivisible and universal. It can be denied to no one.

      some bloke called Max

      • adam 14.1.1

        So you'd rather support ISIS now Joe90?

        • joe90 14.1.1.1

          I support Syrians who want to rid themselves of an authoritarian tyrant whose regime represented little more than the interests of a rich neoliberal business class and a fascistic security apparatus.

          /

    • francesca 14.2

      Caitlin Johnston , whose writing continues to get better and better has done a great takedown of the Bellingcat attempt to deny and downgrade the OPCW Douma team findings

      https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1911/S00144/narrative-managers-faceplant-in-hilarious-opcw-scandal-spin.htm

      Good old Gordon Campbell regularly features Caitlin

      • Stuart Munro. 14.2.1

        When someone starts their article with "Imperialist propaganda firm Bellingcat" you know they've left the tattered shreds of their journalistic integrity at the door – unless they apply comparable pejoratives to the funding of the likes of RT.

        Bellingcat was not set up by the National Endowment for Democracy, they were late comers. But he did demonstrate that Assad was using chemical weapons in Ghouta, before NED funding – which is why, as with the White Helmets, Assad and Putin apologists can never forgive them.

        • francesca 14.2.1.1

          You say Higgins ,I say Hersh, lets call the whole thing off

          • Stuart Munro. 14.2.1.1.1

            No, let us determine the truth.

            Assad is a military dictator and the son of a military dictator who routinely commits warcrimes against his people.

            You merely try to discredit the witnesses.

            They have a lot more credibility than you.

            • francesca 14.2.1.1.1.1

              And you are trying to discredit the scientists of the OPCW FFM

              • Stuart Munro.

                I was wondering when you'd bring up that little piece of Putinist propaganda again – seems you didn't do your homework – and your fake news sites certainly won't do it for you:

                Over the weekend, WikiLeaks released an email from an employee within the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) indicating that the OPCW “misrepresents the facts he and his colleagues discovered on the ground”. This email has since been used to call into question the impartiality and effectiveness of the OPCW’s conclusion about the alleged chemical weapon attack in Douma, Syria.

                However, a comparison of the points raised in the letter against the final Douma report makes it amply clear that the OPCW not only addressed these points, but even changed the conclusion of an earlier report to reflect the concerns of said employee.

                https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2019/11/25/emails-and-reading-comprehension-opcw-douma-coverage-misses-crucial-facts/

                • Francesca

                  You say Higgins I say Fisk and the Opcw's team on the ground

                • francesca

                  Despite what the White Helmets asserted there was no sarin attack and there was no chlorine gas attack …according to the FFM team on the ground.The chlorine samples?

                  "They were comparable to and even lower than those given in the World Health Organisation’s guidelines on recommended permitted levels of trichlorophenol and other COCs in drinking water. The redacted version of the report made no mention of the findings.

                  Alex described this omission as “deliberate and irregular”. “Had they been included, the public would have seen that the levels of COCs found were no higher than you would expect in any household environment”, he said."

                  https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/11/15/the-opcw-and-douma-chemical-weapons-watchdog-accused-of-evidence-tampering-by-its-own-inspectors/

                  And if you want a retort to the Bellingcat article

                  https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2019/11/my-response-to-the-bellingcat-attempt-to-spin-away-the-devastating-implications-of-the-opcw-douma-leak-i-have.html

                • adam

                  It's tiresome and really disingenuous to throw around terms like Putin puppet/propagandist.

                  Also like joe90 your binary arguments are fucking painful as well. Just because people believe that ISIS and other Jihadist groups created a false flag chemical attack, does not mean they support Assad.

                  I'm struggling to find anyone of this site who ever has supported Assad, and yet fucks like you keep implying anyone who disagrees with you – suddenly supports Assad and/or is a Putin Puppet or some other bullshit fuckwankery.

                  You do know the white helmets are currently working hand in hand with Turkey whilst they fuck the Kurds. Too soon…

                  • Stuart Munro.

                    I guess you haven't joined the dots between the disinformation and its source yet.

                    It's not coincidence that the same people performing prodigies of suspended disbelief with in respect of Assad's gas inventory are also those who support Putin's invasion of the Ukraine, or deny Russia's role in MH17, which was solid enough to satisfy the insurers who had to pay for it.

                    You do know the white helmets are currently working hand in hand with Turkey whilst they fuck the Kurds.

                    I don't know that, and I'm not sure that humanitarian relief outfits are really tooled up to take on experienced fighters like the Kurds. It looks like one of those extraordinary claims that requires extraordinary evidence.

                    • adam

                      Seriously it's hard to argue with someone who wants to bury their head in the sand this much.

                      This is one incident, where the west claimed there was a chemical attack by Assad – they then bombed them. It now seems to many that this one (notice how I'm not extrapolating beyond one) incident is raising more than few eyebrow because there are issues with the OPCW report. You know José Bustani was on the panel who interviewed the latest whistleblower?

                      Here that https://couragefound.org/2019/10/opcw-panel-statement/

                      Mind you I see you seem you happy to rollover and play nice to another dictator – Funny that.

                      Heard of a joint called Afrin region, yeap the Turks bombed the shit out of it – they then got the Jahadies (oppps white helmets) to clean up.

                      https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/5820a186-bc70-40af-836a-7555811f145a

                      funny also on wikipedia

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

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      @Adam Seriously it's hard to argue with someone who wants to bury their head in the sand this much

                      Right back at you.

                      Mind you I see you seem you happy to rollover and play nice to another dictator – Funny that

                      To whom do you refer?

                      then got the Jahadies (oppps white helmets) to clean up.

                      You've got an allegation that white helmets work or can work in Turkish or jihadist held areas. What you don't have is evidence of white helmets participating in the conflict – your 'proof' seems to amount to histrionics.

                    • adam

                      your 'proof' seems to amount to histrionics.

                      Misogyny your adding misogyny to you talking points now, joy.

                      Your avoiding the topic, bit dishonest don't you think? It also shows you have not seen the video when your claiming no proof.

                      You might want to read The Canary, The Intercept and the Grey Zone, I'd suggest you also just pick any Kurdish publication – as the association of the white helmets and Jahadies is well documented.

                      Then again, all you done this thread is try to shut down the debate with personal attacks and snied b.s. I'm expecting you to carry on in that vein though, as you got nothing but snide b.s and personal attacks.

                      EDIT:

                      You know if you looked at any of the links I provided, you wouldn’t have had to make your misogynistic comment. Because inside the reporting is a link to the white helmets own twitter feed with them proudly saying they are working in the Turkish occupied parts of Syria.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      Wow – way to convince people.

                      I have looked at the links you provided – they don't amount to a serious indictment of the white helmets unless you've already bought into the narrative that they are somehow illegitimate. Clearly you have. I require actual evidence.

                    • adam

                      What is you problem, don't you understand how threads work – You said you wanted proof that the white helmets were doing the clean up for the Turks – that was the links were.

                      The original video has why the white helmets are scum. But as you will now come up with some other way to miss the point – Meow.

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      Yeah you see you're making these allegations – somewhat shrouded allegations – about the white helmets, who your article states are moving into areas as the Turkish forces advance. What you're failing to do is establish why that's a problem. It seems to be the Turks who are fighting the Kurds here, but they don't seem to excite your ire.

                      why the white helmets are scum

                      You and others have asserted this many times, but are invariably short on evidence. It seems to be a vagrant opinion loitering without means of support – rather like the pejoratives applied to Bellingcat that started this thread.

        • Brigid 14.2.1.2

          How did Bellingcap demonstrate that Assad was using chemical weapons? You're surely not referring to Higgins' woeful understanding of chemistry and his attempt to fool you into believing the chemical is question was sourced from Syria.

          HIggins doesn't even care that he is made to look a complete idiot every time he publishes anything.

          Stuart don't you know what Bellingcap is? If they were paid well enough they'd disseminate trumped up charges against you.

  13. Bruce 15

    E-cigarette, vaping legislation delays worry experts https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/404355/e-cigarette-vaping-legislation-delays-worry-experts

    I guess anything's possible when you can buy a government.

  14. Sabine 16

    and a little laugh

  15. Instauration 17

    Hey Munro – this is not about apologising for Assad.

    It is about the OPCW and their legitimacy crisis.

    Too many whistleblowers and leakers are now published for the OPCW to perversely assert – "does not fit the conclusion" – re Douma

    http://syriapropagandamedia.org/

    https://twitter.com/tim_hayward_?lang=en

  16. Instauration 18

    Munro – Today 16/12/2019

    Do you still ascribe or assert credibility to the scientifically impoverished claim ;

    "OPCW confirms chemical weapons use in Douma,"

    ?

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