Open Mike 29/12/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 29th, 2016 - 146 comments
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146 comments on “Open Mike 29/12/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    George Monbiot nails it.
    Neoliberalism is at the root of all of our problems

    ‘Imagine if the people of the Soviet Union had never heard of communism. The ideology that dominates our lives has, for most of us, no name. Mention it in conversation and you’ll be rewarded with a shrug. Even if your listeners have heard the term before, they will struggle to define it. Neoliberalism: do you know what it is?

    Its anonymity is both a symptom and cause of its power. It has played a major role in a remarkable variety of crises: the financial meltdown of 2007‑8, the offshoring of wealth and power, of which the Panama Papers offer us merely a glimpse, the slow collapse of public health and education, resurgent child poverty, the epidemic of loneliness, the collapse of ecosystems, the rise of Donald Trump. But we respond to these crises as if they emerge in isolation, apparently unaware that they have all been either catalysed or exacerbated by the same coherent philosophy; a philosophy that has – or had – a name. What greater power can there be than to operate namelessly?’

    [If you are going to quote someone else’s words via cut and past please provide a link. I’d also suggest using ” ” rather than ‘ ‘, as ” imply a direct quote. Thanks – weka]

  2. Paul 2

    Bomber is spot on about the media, fake news and Israel.

    ‘There are 8 topics that you simply can not talk about in the NZ mainstream corporate media because if you do, you suddenly get blacklisted as a commentator. Those 8 topics are…

    The 30 year neoliberal experiment in NZ and its damage to our society
    Our appallingly high suicide rate and why it’s really happening
    Child Poverty and the Governments obligation to solve it
    Real Climate Change and its impact on our weather right now
    How racist our prison system and judiciary really are
    The power of the dairy interests over our water and environment policy (although Rachel Stewart bless her battles the pricks)
    Real abortion rights for women
    And Israel. You can not talk about Israel and its brutal occupation of Israel
    …the self censorship on those issues by the corporate mainstream media means we can not as a society grow.

    I did a show on Israel for Waatea 5th Estate this year and we immediately had a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority that we were un fair to Israel so part of this self censorship is simple cowardice on part of the corporate mainstream media. They are there to sell adverts pretending that there is endless growth for consumerism, they are not there to frighten that audience off with controversial issues.

    But even by the corporate mainstream media’s normal self censorship standards, the utter silence over Israel threatening us that our support for the UN resolution against them would amount to a ‘declaration of war’ is fucking unbelievable.

    I appreciate the graduate student C team is wheeled into staff the news room over the Christmas period, hence their breathless updates on the bloody holiday road toll, but surely someone in charge has to appreciate the magnitude and enormity of Israel’s language and threats toward us?’

    • Paul 2.1

      Continues…..

      ‘We are New Zealand, we don’t put up with threats of war from anyone. The mainstream media’s silence on this is only further proof of how completely redundant their role has become. They are merely a clickbait farm and it highlights what the term ‘fake news’ should really means.

      ‘Fake News’ isn’t a lie that is spread on social media pretending to be news, that’s just propaganda and manipulation. The real ‘fake news’ is the bullshit nothings that the corporate mainstream media push into their lead positions to avoid real debate.’

    • What bits of all that did YOU write and what are QUOTES because that needs to be shown imo.

      Also why not put YOUR opinion and a quote to support it instead of just regurgitating screeds like some seabird spewing up fish?

      edit – I see you’ve used ‘ I find them good for paraphrasing and eyebrow raising, as in “The ‘real’ government…”

      ” are the best for quotes – not trying to be a pain paul – actually trying to help and I realise that is a pain in itself therefore I offer a 🙂 to compensate 🙂

    • james 2.3

      “Bomber is spot on about” – you lost all credibility for you post right there

  3. From what I’ve seen the National led Government of the last eight years has most often been criticised for being too ‘steady-as-she-goes, even do-nothing under John Key’s leadership and Bill English’s economic management. Quite conservative and cautious.

    But not everyone sees them that way.

    When describing the opponent, she tests that word “radical” again.

    “They have a very radical economic and social agenda. They have failed to deal with public’s concerns about the environment and climate change.

    “The housing crisis continues, and they’ve just gotten rid of the Minister for Housing – how could they have been so stupid?

    “Not only are they out of touch, but their radical agenda will become more obvious because they don’t have the friendly face of John Key to soften its blow.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/87880900/Theres-a-new-political-landscape-now-and-Greens-co-leader-Metiria-Turei-is-here-to-play

    That’s from the leader who is probably seen by most as associated with a very radical economic and social agenda.

    Is Metiria Turei playing the alt-right game and label her opponents with perceptions of herself?

    I think that voters have shown a resistance to electing a government strongly influenced by Green idealism, especially Turei radicalism. That may make things difficult for Labour now they have aligned more with the Greens.

    • garibaldi 3.1

      Well Paul, it was going OK until an alien life form interceded. What is your plan B?

    • framu 3.2

      garbage in – garbage out

    • “but their radical agenda will become more obvious because they don’t have the friendly face of John Key to soften its blow.”

      you don’t see the truth pete because you are part of the problem not the solution but I’d suggest you meditate on that quoted statement for the rest of the day – within it is unlimited truth.

      • Carolyn_nth 3.3.1

        Good to read Turei is energised by next year’s election.

        Some of the more strongly left wing MPs are leaving the Greens – Hague, Delahunty. And some more centrist ones have been enlisted – Shaw, Swarbrick.

        • Pete George 3.3.1.1

          Hague was hardly strongly left wing, he was realistic, pragmatic and willing to work with anyone. He is a big loss to the Greens, and since he left Turei seems to be dominating.

          Labour have a challenge presenting themselves as a credible Labour+Greens alternative but needing to somehow downplay Turei’s more radical idealism.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 3.3.1.1.1

            Petty George need clicks. Won’t somebody visit Yawnz? Please?

            • HDCAFriendlyTroll 3.3.1.1.1.1

              Why don’t you?

            • weka 3.3.1.1.1.2

              Classic PG tips. The sly inference that being left wing is somehow grubby or bad. Hague isn’t left wing! Oh no, he’s one of the good ones. 🙄

              Next up is the sly misogyny. Now that lovely Hague is gone, Turei is a dominator who will cost the left the election 🙄 🙄 :tripsoverironyandhypocrisy:

              And finishing off with it’s all Labour’s fault. Ta da!

              I tell ya, the man’s an arch troll.

              • You’re making things up again.

                Of course Hague was generally left wing. The point I made was that he wasn’t strongly so, he was prepared to work with anyone on issues of interest to him.

                Weren’t you recently trying to explain how Greens weren’t left wing?

                It’s beyond pathetic whining misogyny for suggesting that Turei appears to be dominating the Greens.
                :tripsoverstupiditybecauseofwhatyousaidnotbecauseofyourgender:

                I didn’t say that anything was Labour’s fault. I pointed out something many others have also said – Labour getting closer to the Greens poses some real challenges for them.

                You don’t appear to have argued on any of the issues raised. Are you deliberately trying to disrupt the thread?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I pointed out something many others have also said

                  Polly wanna cracker? Or this year’s award for vacuous argumentum ad nauseam?

                • weka

                  “You don’t appear to have argued on any of the issues raised. Are you deliberately trying to disrupt the thread?”

                  Lol. Nice try trolly. I just popped in earlier to point out that you were running radical centrist astroturf lines and BM was running RW ones. And I did provide an analysis for both.

                  • Making things up and using silly labels isn’t analysis.

                    • McFlock

                      Maybe your comments will improve now you’ve figured that out.

                    • Macro

                      Beat me to it McF.

                      This whole thread has been driven by his mischievousness at worst, or ignorance at best.
                      When he quotes a dictionary definition of “radical” he is careful not to include the political usage of the term.

                      political radicalism (or simply, in political science, radicalism) denotes political principles focused on altering social structures through revolutionary means and changing value systems in fundamental ways.

                      Of course this is precisely what Key, English, and co have been doing in their underhand way. Selling State houses and State Assets, changing welfare provisions and systems, against the wishes of the people, is radicalism of the most insidious form.

                      PG quotes a Stuff reporter who is desperately trying to impress her boss, and either mischievously at worst, or unknowingly at best, misunderstands the political usage of “Radical”. PG then thinks he will have a little fun here, by quoting it at length ,and again either fails to fails to understand the error (at best), or mischievously at worst, continues to perpetuate the error.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      There’s no doubt: Petty George is bland, dishonest and utterly unoriginal.

                      Above all, however, he is malicious. What used to be known as a “poison-pen”.

                    • “PG quotes a Stuff reporter who is desperately trying to impress her boss” – are you making that up or can you support that claim?

                      Macro, you didn’t quote everything on radicalism (Turei didn’t use that term). Here’s some more from your link.

                      Conservatives often used the term radical pejoratively, whereas contemporary left radicals used the term conservative derogatorily; thus contemporary denotations of radical, radicalism, and political radicalism comprehend far left (hard left, radical left), and far right (hard right, radical right).

                      Turei was quoted as saying “They have a very radical economic and social agenda.”

                      Some on the left try to portray the current government as radical, even very radical, but I think National are far more commonly seen as mainly moderate.

                      Perhaps it was a bit radical of them to raise benefits, the first time they have been boosted beyond cost of living increases for forty years.

                    • Macro

                      Thank you for proving my case PG.
                      “Mischievous” would best describe your offerings here.
                      What you think is of little consequence. It is what National are doing, or not doing that is the crux of the matter.
                      Now I have far better things to do than, waste time pointing out your errors.
                      Good night.

          • BM 3.3.1.1.2

            I agree.

            Turei is one of the major roadblocks to a left-wing government in 2017, she needs to go.

            Even though I’m no fan, Julie Genter would be a much better option and a lot more salable to the voting public than the female version of Rick from the Young ones.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.3.1.1.2.1

              Thanks for your insincere weasel words. It’s such a shame they’re all you can manage.

              Any politician who would appeal to you is unfit for office.

              • BM

                Turei is one of the main reasons the greens aren’t considered fit for government.

                Seriously, the Greens struggle for credibility yet front with Turei? obviously, they can’t get rid of her.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Seriously, you and credibility are strangers.

                • lprent

                  I think that BM thinks he is speaking for the true misogynists of kiwiland.

                • Macro

                  Well for misogynistic bigots I guess that she is a problem.
                  Fortunately you don’t represent the whole of the voting public.

                  • BM

                    Is this some left wing thing,? any criticism that involves a woman is considered misogynist?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      That isn’t what Lprent said. Nor Macro. I suggest you read their comments again, paying careful attention to the meaning of words.

                      Edit: for example, “criticism” and name-calling are not the same thing, and all you’ve done wrt Turei is the latter. English comprehension 101?

                    • Tricledrown

                      Considering this is a thread on the failure of neoliberalism.
                      BM flailing around with personal derogatory crap.
                      Unable to defend Boring Monetarism.
                      Next the Pope who has said that neoliberalism is causing most of the war’s and poverty in the world today.
                      Pure Greed is what he has called Neo liberalism.
                      Because he is a man its OK.
                      Materia is a wonderful person who I would have over for tea.
                      That’s why she is a threat.

                • Turei is one of the main reasons the greens aren’t considered fit for government.

                  By voters like yourself, yes. However, voters like you aren’t going to vote for a left government no matter who’s leading the Green Party.

                  Seriously, the Greens struggle for credibility yet front with Turei?

                  Actually, the fact that right-wingers really, really hate her isn’t a credibility problem from a left voter perspective. You may assume that you and your acquaintances are ordinary, typical voters so the fact you revile her must translate to her being voter repellent on a mass scale. However, you and your acquaintances aren’t anything other than you and your acquaintances. There’s nothing to suggest the Greens have a credibility problem because of Turei – they may still have a credibility problem due to MPs like Kedgeley and Browning making them seem like a bunch of hippies, but memories of that are fading fast.

                  • weka

                    “However, voters like you aren’t going to vote for a left government no matter who’s leading the Green Party.”

                    Yep.

                    BM looks to me like he is running out and out RW troll lines. Zero analysis of Turei, what she does, and why Green voters support her, and zero theory on why people might not vote for her. Just repeated blather about how she is the problem and until they get rid of her and replace her with someone else they won’t get anywhere (in other words, make the Greens unstable, and why shouldn’t they have a leadership coup!). I’d laugh except that it’s a tad too close to astroturfing.

                  • I don’t know how you can presume how “voters like you” might vote.

                    I voted for Labour in 2005 preferring them to Brash and National, and knowing that the Greens were unlikely to be a major player in any coalition.

                    I voted for Greens in 2002 because I wanted them to keep a strong environmental voice in Parliament. I respected the leadership and focus of Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald.

                    • Based on BM’s comments here, I’m pretty sure he/she is unlikely to vote for a left-wing government. BM is a right-winger, whereas you represent a more insipid, bland conservatism. You say you voted Green in 2002, but when I say voters like BM (and you, since you’ve volunteered) wouldn’t vote for a left government, that’s exactly what I mean. Would you have voted Green in 2002 if there’d been a real likelihood of Green Party cabinet ministers in the resulting government?

                • swordfish

                  BM

                  “Turei is one of the main reasons the greens aren’t considered fit for government … Seriously, the Greens struggle for credibility …”

                  Not so fast, young fulla …

                  https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-12052015/#comment-1013458

      • Pete George 3.3.2

        Funny – the ‘truth’ according to marty mars?

        Something for you to meditate on – most voters probably see Turei as a Mad Hatter compared to TweedleDumLabour and TweedleDeeNational.

        • framu 3.3.2.1

          “most voters probably ”

          aww – you were so certain of your self at comment 1 – now your all “most voters probably “

        • marty mars 3.3.2.2

          you seem angry rather than feeling the humour there pete.

          The truth of Turei’s statement is self evident if you aren’t, like you, part of the problem as a gnat lover – that is why she said it – get that do you? want me to repeat it? sure?

          • Pete George 3.3.2.2.1

            No not angry, I think it’s very funny you calling me a Nat lover for saying what many people say, Key’s legacy is more what he hasn’t done than what he has done. He notably (and many have noted this) hasn’t undone Labour’s student loans and working for families policies, that’s hardly radical.

            Even Turei says Key hasn’t done anything to justify ‘legacy’, and then contradicts herself calling them radical. If she’s going to try the reverse attack trick she should at least try to have a consistent message (although Trump gets away with being inconsistent).

            There’s things I would have liked National to be even slightly radical on, like superannuation, medical cannabis. But no, they’ve kicked the can down the road on a lot of things.

            You haven’t even tried to say why National might be seen as radical just reported to diversionary dissing. That’s not radical, it’s your norm.

            English’s social investment moves might be seen as a bit radical, but I think moves to address things like criminal recidivism and rehabilitation is more common sense than radical. It will take quite a bit of time to see the benefits though, but effective change often takes time, especially with social issues.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 3.3.2.2.1.1

              Since when is an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff radical? It isn’t. Only a bland fool would suggest otherwise.

              The fact that the National Party is throwing increasing numbers of people off the cliff on the other hand…will induce some sort of beige denial bullshit which won’t disguise your hostility towards the Green Party one little bit.

              For someone who’s clearly motivated by resentment you’re awfully dull.

              Cue the beige bullshit.

              • “For someone who’s clearly motivated by resentment you’re awfully dull.’

                The jokers are out in force today. Or maybe as one of the most resentful people here you don’t see the irony. But very funny anyway.

            • Sacha 3.3.2.2.1.2

              “what many people say”

              Please do read the linked evidence about that from Swordfish’s comment above: https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-29122016/#comment-1280549

              • I’d support the Greens in a coalition in some circumstances. With National would be good. With Labour now (and over the past few years) not so good

                Recent election results suggest that voters prefer an alternative to Greens+Labour.

                Green support seems to have plateaued over the last two elections, and polls tend to indicate this since. The have ranged between about 10% and 15% but have usually done less well in actual elections.

                This suggests a reluctance to vote for Greens in Government (and a reluctance to give Winston the balance of power too). Or perhaps you can suggest other reasons.

                And note that Swordfish refers to a UMR poll in 2013, before ‘Dirty Politics’, before the 2014 election and before Russel Norman left Parliament.

                • Sacha

                  The most recent election result would be the Mt Roskill by-election where, knowing of the Labour/Greens MOU, local voters rejected the Nats by a large majority.

                  The 2014 election is not a useful guide of preferences given what has unfolded since. But if that is what you are basing your statements on, please reference it in your original declaration.

                  • I wouldn’t assume too much from Mt Roskill. I don’t think by-elections are reliable indicators of what might happen in general elections – the Christchurch East result in 2013 didn’t mean much in the general election ten months later.

                    Electorate results often differ significantly from party votes even in general elections.

                    The Green Party vote in 2014 down slightly on their 2011 result, polls since (mostly 10-15%), and their tendency to under perform in general elections, all together suggest they are struggling to improve their support. The MoU hasn’t made a noticeable difference.

                    Greens were down 2 to 11% in the November Colmar Brunton poll and have ranged from 8-14% since October 2015.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Mt Roskill by-election turnout was low, even for recent by-elections.

                      Labour voters could barely be bothered to turnout; National voters could not be bothered to turnout.

                • swordfish

                  “And note that Swordfish refers to a UMR poll in 2013, before ‘Dirty Politics’, before the 2014 election and before Russel Norman left Parliament.”

                  Yep. But very similar results in the New Zealand Election Study carried out in the immediate wake of the 2014 General Election, Pete. (Greens Good+Neutral = UMR 2013 = 57% / NZES 2014 = 55%. In both Polls, the Greens were the Minor Party voters could most live with (they were either positive or neutral about them) and had the weakest negative scores.

                  In addition, a 2014 Herald-digiPoll asked respondents which minor party they’d prefer as a coalition partner for Labour – if the latter were to lead the next Government. 50% chose the Greens, 35% NZF.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Have the prospects of a NAT/NZF tie up increased?

                    • swordfish

                      Howdy, CV. Welcome back. The site definitely loses a degree of dynamism when you’re away. (you’ve now got this little window of opportunity to relax before TRP’s ban ends. Then it’s back to fisticuffs at dawn)

                      “Have the prospects of a NAT/NZF tie up increased?”

                      With Key gone – I guess so.

                      But I still think It’ll come down to whether or not the aggregate Lab+Green vote tops National’s (or, at the very least, draws level). That seems to be the benchmark (if Labour advisors are to be believed). Of course, it’d help the prospects of a Labour-led Govt if NZF were to receive a higher Party-Vote than the Greens.

                      (Russel Norman appears to have been the main stumbling block for Peters. Now that he’s gone – the Greens may well have become a little less “toxic” to Winston)

                    • “a 2014 Herald-digiPoll asked respondents which minor party they’d prefer as a coalition partner for Labour – if the latter were to lead the next Government. 50% chose the Greens, 35% NZF”

                      That doesn’t surprise me. While NZF are increasing their support (in polls) I think Winston is viewed with suspicion by many and I suspect quote a few would prefer him nowhere near governmemt.

                      The poll didn’t ask how many would like a Labour+NZF+Greens government to a National+NZF government? That’s what many voters will be considering, and it’s likely to be promoted by media, they seem to like pushing Winston as kingmaker.

                      The balance of power of something like 40+10 versus 30+10+10 may be a voting dilemma for quite a few people.

                    • “whether or not the aggregate Lab+Green vote tops National’s (or, at the very least, draws level). That seems to be the benchmark (if Labour advisors are to be believed).”

                      Is that based on polls or wishful thinking?

                      Isn’t it a bit sad that Labour are targeting a benchmark of Lab+Green versus National? They seem to have given up on trying to compete head to head, which, against a three term government, is an admission of weakness.

                      NZF > Greens is quite a possibility, especially if you go by previous elections and polls where NZF have outperformed polls and Greens have under performed.

                      But who knows what Winston is thinking on this, and how he might think if he holds the balance of power after the election?

                      How many bottom lines will he have?

                      Super has always been a NZF bottom line, and he has also mentioned at least three others:
                      “If two things go with this, if mass immigration continued and for example a parallel state where you’ve got a state within a state because of separatist racist laws then we will not go down that path and I’m saying it right now.” – Winston Peters: Separatism and mass immigration bottom lines for NZ First

                      And Winston Peters says Pike River re-entry is bottom line to election deals

                      I don’t think National would agree to all Winston’s demands. Would both Labour and Greens?

                      What if the Maori Party end up in a balance of power position with NZF also required to make up the numbers?

                      It’s a long time until the election with many unknowns – and one of the biggest is what National support will do under Bill English’s leadership. I wouldn’t assume it will drop and remain dropped.

                    • Isn’t it a bit sad that Labour are targeting a benchmark of Lab+Green versus National? They seem to have given up on trying to compete head to head…

                      Isn’t it a bit sad that Pete George either doesn’t understand NZ politics or is engaging in disingenuous trolling? The left has two parties, the smaller of which is polling at 10-15%. The right has two parties, the smaller of which is polling at 0-0.5%. That difference is reflected in the relative support for the larger parties. You’re effectively saying it’s “sad” that the parties of the left don’t have way over 50% support, which we all know you’re not actually sad about at all. Disingenuous and dishonest as usual.

                    • No PM, you’re being dishonest making things up.

                      I think it’s sad to see Labour declining to their current level of support. I’d far prefer to see two strong leading parties rather than one dominant one.

                      Have you forgotten that the MoU isn’t permanent, it expires on election day? Labour has conceded ground and will have to deal with a weakened hand.

                      Labour versus Greens in Mt Albert will be interesting, especially if it is Ardern versus Genter.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hi swordfish, thanks, likewise its great to see your grounded contributions here.

                      “But I still think It’ll come down to whether or not the aggregate Lab+Green vote tops National’s (or, at the very least, draws level).”

                      That sounds about right. However, I see National still has one or two more moves in its planned shell game and Labour has zero buffer for complacency.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Thanks, swordfish. National has a couple more moves planned in its shellgame. Labour has no room for complacency.

                    • HDCAFriendlyTroll

                      What the fuck are you doing back here? Glutton for punishment or what? At least TRP has has the good sense not to come back (tho that might probably be because he’s still banned, lolz).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      just adding a dash of spiciness to the proceedings

            • Sacha 3.3.2.2.1.3

              “Even Turei says Key hasn’t done anything to justify ‘legacy’, and then contradicts herself calling them radical.”

              Joyce and English will eventually get the credit for their radical financialisation of NZ’s public sector. Teflon John ambles into the sunset, easily forgotten.

        • Tricledrown 3.3.2.3

          PG if Labour is tweedle this and National tweedle that.
          It makes you what a fence sitting hypocrite.

    • JanM 3.4

      look up ‘radical’

      • Pete George 3.4.1

        Good idea.

        adjective

        1. relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough.

        2. characterized by departure from tradition; innovative or progressive.

        noun

        1. a person who advocates thorough or complete political or social reform; a member of a political party or part of a party pursuing such aims.

        2. a group of atoms behaving as a unit in a number of compounds.

        National are about as much like noun 2 as the other definitions.

    • AB 3.5

      Turei is right. We have been living inside a radical status quo for 32 years. Google ‘Overtons Window”.

    • HDCAFriendlyTroll 3.6

      “Is Metiria Turei playing the alt-right game and label her opponents with perceptions of herself?”

      No, that’s the alt-left. Look at how after they lost they did everything they said Trump would do if he lost.

  4. Carolyn_nth 4

    Apparently the Israeli attorney general has ordered a full criminal investigation into some of Netanyahu’s activities – according to some on twitter it was on Israel’s channel 10 news. This case has been going on for a few months, but has gone up a few gears yesterday.

    Found the following articles on it:

    Israeli PM Netanyahu faces ‘criminal investigation’ over fraud and bribery claims

    Police are calling for criminal investigation into Netanyahu affairs

    It was reported that the police wants to launch a full-blown criminal probe into a corruption case.

    Israel’s Channel 2 said on Monday that police had recently gained access to a new document in a secret case which was opened nine months ago.

    After receiving the documentation of receiving bribes and engaging in aggravated fraud, police called on Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to permit the operating of a full criminal probe into Netanyahu’s affairs.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      This will prove a testing time for our resident RWNJs. On the one hand they follow their leaders slavishly whatever they do. On the other, they know that the Police are always right and never investigate anyone who’s innocent.

      Law’n’order, or lickspittle sycophancy. What a dilemma!

  5. Rosemary McDonald 5

    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news

    http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/editorial/1.761523

    The oldest Israeli daily, tending left, and no fan of Netanyahu…

    “Netanyahu is trying to cover up his defeat with arrogant and hollow rhetoric and by lighting Hanukkah candles at the Western Wall. It’s one thing that he can’t look reality in the eye and refuses to understand that an agreement with the Palestinians is a paramount Israeli interest. What’s worse is that the prime minister is dragging his country into the abyss.”

  6. Cinny 7

    By crikey already am sick of freedom campers, and they aren’t just from overseas.

    The carpark at the salt water baths in Motueka is heaving with them, rubbish bins are overflowing.

    Two days ago went down to the sand spit for a kayak, the amount of people pulling up in vans etc getting out to read the signs looking for a free place to camp, dang, kiwis and everything, kudos to my man, he directed them to the local camp ground. Bloody free loaders, we have a number of reserves here by the beach with facilities, $5 per night per adult, kids free. It’s cheap as, but still people are looking for somewhere free.

    And whom is footing the bill for the clean up, me and the rest of the rate payers, crikey that sucks, most of us want our rates to go towards something like a new library, not on extra rubbish removal etc for the free loading campers.

    I shudder to think about what is going on at our Tapu places, karma be a coming to those whom trash nature with their freedom camping.

    Tourist tax please, or ban the freedom campers, give them a map of all the DOC camps, reserves and camping grounds, places to stay with facilities, how about a little booklet including things like, don’t use soap, shampoo etc in the rivers, how to take a crap in the bush (dig a hole away from the water etc). Step up fines for littering, breaks my heart to drive up the valley and see all the rubbish chucked out of car windows on the side of the road.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/87994964/bush-pooping-freedom-campers-shock

    • JanM 7.1

      I feel really picky saying this, Cinny, because I mostly like what you say, but could you possibly look up when to use ‘who’ and when to use ‘whom’? I’ve resisted the urge to say something so far but ‘whom’ comes up in nearly every post of yours – sorry – wish I knew how to send this message privately 🙁

      • Cinny 7.1.1

        All good JanM and thank you for the tip, don’t feel picky, feel good that you are teaching me. I’m open to learning, and appreciate any info or advice that I receive.

        • JanM 7.1.1.1

          Thanks, Cinny, that’s very gracious of you 🙂

          • In Vino 7.1.1.1.1

            As a matter of interest, ‘whom’ is not needed at all in modern English. Just use ‘who’ and you are never wrong. ‘Whom’ is slowly disappearing from common usage.

            • Robert Guyton 7.1.1.1.1.1

              According to whom?
              “According to who” sounds owlish. Mind you, I still prefer gotten to got – “Ill got gains” is clumsy, whereas “Ill gotten…” sounds piratical!

              • In Vino

                True – but most young people would now say, “According to who?”

                Older people might say, “About whom are you talking?” But most modern English speakers avoid the ‘whom’ by instead asking, “Who are you talking about?

                ‘Whom’ is going the way of ‘hither’ and ‘thither’.

    • Richard Christie 7.2

      Woundn’t revenue that the tourists bring to the local economy go toward “is footing the bill for the clean up”.

      • Cinny 7.2.1

        No that revenue goes towards business owners, like supermarkets, petrol stations and the like, I haven’t seen any public loos or rubbish collection sponsored by Countdown or Z.
        There is a koha box down at the salt water baths, so that is something. No idea how much is collected from it.

        Tourism is thriving here but that’s nothing new for this time of year, however the environment appears to be suffering as a result. A simple booklet on how to respect the NZ environment when freedom camping would be helpful. I wonder if there is already such a thing?

        • JanM 7.2.1.1

          I know that if the campers hire vans they get all the information from the companies, but that wouldn’t reach the locals who have their own vehicles. Also I know that a number of overseas campers buy and sell the vans when they arrive and depart, so they wouldn’t have access to this information either. Have you got an Information Site at Motueka – they have lots of pamphlets too. The trick is to get them out there to the right people. I know Motueka has always been a tourist town – I remember camping at Kaiteriteri myself as a child, so you may just need to find community ways of dealing with the rubbish – see if your supermarket can help.
          I think $5 a night sounds really reasonable, by the way. I’m sure most people wouldn’t mind paying that, surely!

          • David C 7.2.1.1.1

            Go talk to your Council.

            Napier Council has its shit together WRT freedom campers and the self contained campers. There are large carparks on the beach for each along with water, showers and toilets. Rubbish bins emptied daily. Walking distance to town.
            Probably 100 vans parked there now, that is a lot of tourist spending.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2

        No, it doesn’t:

        The Councils said they did not get enough direct revenue from visitors to upgrade the roads and pipelines needed to cope with the tourism boom.

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.3

      Agree with the tourist tax/levy/DOC Pass…..$200 per head, unlimited nights at DOC campgrounds….will solve a whole heap of issues.

      Build more toilet facilities…and…educate the tourists about the Great New Zealand Longdrop…using one won’t kill you unless you fall down it or drop a lighted cigarette.

      The article you linked to was about Reid’s Farm in Taupo…kinda answers it’s own question

      ” Sharland said while toilets were available at the southern end of Reids Farm there were none at the northern end.”

      Not all the folk ‘shitting in the bushes’ are tourists. I have seen Kiwis, in their own town, piss against the outside of the public toilet wall rather than wait for a few seconds while the incumbent finishes their business.

      Likewise for rubbish thrown from car windows….

      As someone regularly ‘freedom camps’, (albeit from the point of privilege of a CSC vehicle) I take umbrage at when territorial locals blame us for all the environmental damage around popular tourist spots. Spend a day or two just watching…

    • weka 7.4

      Can’t do anything about any of that while we have industrial tourism. Same issues as industrial dairying, this is what happens when we sell our souls for pieces of silver.

      Myself, I’d ban free camping for anyone who is not a NZ resident or citizen. NZers have a right to camp, we’ve been doing it for a long time. And here we could be educating people on how to do it well. But the problem really is from the overload on natural spaces from the humungous numbers of tourists we bring into the country each year.

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.4.1

        “NZers have a right to camp, we’ve been doing it for a long time.”

        And indeed might be forced into such a way of living….as the Freedom Camping Situation Analysis reports….https://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/Files/Freedom-Camping/$file/Freedom-Camping-Situational-Analysis.pdf

        “Homelessness and permanent freedom camping living
        There appears to be an increasing group of local people who are living temporarily and permanently in motor vehicles. This activity can cause primary and secondary harms, especially when vehicles are grouped together. People living in these vehicles are also at increased risk of harm from harassment and theft [see Christchurch example]. There are also a number of temporary and seasonal workers who may use motor vehicles for the duration of their employment as the availability of affordable accommodation options are not present.
        Existing bylaws and public services do not manage this group well. With few places to park, limits on nights spent at any one place, limited litter bin capacity, and few public toilets open at night. ‘Homeless’ campers may be caught by enforcement action under the Act, which just moves them to a different location and adds to their existing financial burdens. This does not address the campers’ needs or the effects on public areas generally. Central Otago District Council has issues regarding seasonal workers for the fruit picking season who are unable to find affordable accommodation.”

        Its not all about tourists…but what would make the lives of homeless Kiwis slightly more bearable…toilets, water, rubbish bins…would also mitigate the harm from disrespectful tourists and don’t give a shit locals.

        Provide these facilities…then there’s no excuse for fouling.

        • Cinny 7.4.1.1

          The Nelson Council wants to spend $80k of rate payers money to give freedom campers comfy accommodation including wifi, and ever since that announcement a few weeks back the paper has been brimming with letters to the editor from pissed off rate payers condemning that idea.
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/87857091/Backlash-over-Nelson-City-Councils-bizarre-plan-for-freedom-campers

          Over here in our little town, I don’t think the Tasman District Council has the funds to provide more for facilities for the freedom campers. However they have upped their budget, but that is for boots on the ground enforcement not for extra toilets etc. At least people aren’t allowed to camp in the salt water baths carpark, that was a nightmare last year, instead they have to use the dedicated area for freedom camping next to the carpark.

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/86985422/tasman-district-council-boosts-freedom-camping-enforcement-budget

          But I will go and check it out, as well there is a by election for our local community board, an amazing young fella is standing, I’ll be supporting him, I must go down to his cafe and ask him how he feels about the matter and if he has any ideas.

          I’d like a tourist tax for overseas visitors, collected at the airport and then distributed to the local councils so they have the funds to build toilets, extra rubbish removal and recycling bins next to rubbish bins.

          Might start suggesting to any looking for a place to camp to head up to the commune, water, toilets etc provided in exchange for a little bit of work in the garden or with the animals and they can stay as long as they need to.

          The tourists make our little town hum this time of year, we are all grateful for that, and we all love watching newcomers buzz out on where we live, it’s just a shame about the rubbish etc that many leave behind. Most of the locals here are great at not dumping rubbish, in fact many of us pick up any dropped rubbish no matter who it belongs to.
          But there are a lack of rubbish bins in the tourist hot spots in our region, and many of the rubbish bins are full up with recyclables such as beer bottles etc, would love for recycle bins to be next to all the public rubbish bins, am sure that would make a difference.

          • In Vino 7.4.1.1.1

            I bought my Kombi Camper van in 1977 and I still own and love it now. NEVER have I soiled the environment in the way Cinny describes.

            The people in the campers need to be controlled. and since they are largely tourists, that should be possible at renting source. Impose fees!

            I personally do not want to be abused if I quietly and cleanly park up somewhere to spend the night, then find a public toilet next morning. I have been doing so since 1977.

          • Rosemary McDonald 7.4.1.1.2

            “Most of the locals here are great at not dumping rubbish, in fact many of us pick up any dropped rubbish no matter who it belongs to.”

            Different story altogether in Our Nation’s de facto capital….

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11770907

            Whatever happened to the “Tidy Kiwi” campaign?

  7. Andre 8

    More about fake news, that happens to use the tragedy of Aleppo to illustrate what’s happening. How it suits the interests of nasty authoritarians to destroy the idea that fact-checking journalism is an important part of a free society. Because if you can destroy the trust in facts, then anybody can say any shit they want and it’s of equal value. Personally, I’ve got a special kind of disgust for the useful idiots that happily shill for brutal authoritarians by spreading the propaganda.

    “It’s not just an information war on America—it’s a war on information itself. The point of it is that you can’t trust anything. Then there’s no baseline. You can say and do whatever you want, and then deny it ever happened,” said Watts.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/28/putin-tv-aleppo-slaughter-is-fake-news.html

  8. maui 10

    Hooten has his own show on newstalk zb, on air right now. If the last few minutes are anything to go by the whole purpose is to troll Labour. A Labour candidate he jokes should be gay, and he can’t get the Labour leaders name right. Oh boy.

    • Johan 10.1

      The boy is an Act supporter, so like many of his trolls will try put a divide between Labour, the Greens and NZF co-operative efforts. The aim of demonizing the opposition parties will be in vogue from now until election time.

    • alwyn 10.2

      “he can’t get the Labour leaders name right”.
      I think that is quite a funny comment.
      A genuine case of the pot calling the kettle black.
      You do realise that the person you are complaining about is Hooton, not “Hooten”?

    • Gabby 10.3

      Mind you he’s so slimy he may just alienate the listeners.

  9. Andre 11

    An interesting insider realpolitik view of the Israeli settlements issue.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/obama-trump-and-the-settlers-214556

    • swordfish 11.1

      Nah, sorry, saw the author’s name and didn’t bother.

      Martin Indyk has a long history of systematically misrepresenting the historical record … always in Israel’s favour.

      Not quite as crass or banal as the horrendous propagandist Alan Dershowitz, I’ll grant you that, and certainly more than willing to weave some reasonable-sounding “faults on both sides” rhetoric into his analyses to make them seem more palatable … but always around a solid core of Israeli apologetics.

      Along with his good chum, Dennis Ross, Indyk’s career usefully highlights the way the US Israel Lobby’s penetration into the senior echelons of the US Foreign Policy Establishment reached unprecedented heights during the Bill Clinton years.

      From the passionately Zionist wing of the Australian Jewish community (albeit born in the UK), Indyk was a long-time functionary (and ultimately deputy research director) of the most powerful component of the US “pro”-Israel Lobby – AIPAC.

      He then “with support from the pro-Israel community” (his words) helped start (and became Executive Director of) the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP), a think-tank established by AIPAC to provide a more “respectable”, less controversial Washington insider image for the group. (set up with AIPAC donor funds and extensive board member involvement. Ross, former Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon and various scholars from the Israeli armed forces have all been prominent in the organisation).

      WINEP cultivates the image of a serious group of objective “scholars and wonks” deliberating Middle East policies in a rigorously academic fashion while, in reality, they’re simply polishing “pro”-Israeli policy objectives, rich in toned-down, more sophisticated-sounding renditions of AIPAC ideology.

      Indyk’s reported to have said that the purpose of the Institute was to “counter Arabist views.”

      He was then made a US citizen (by a special Act of Congress) immediately after Bill Clinton took Office and appointed as United States ambassador to Israel and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs. With Ross also taking a series of Senior policy-making positions. (imagine the outcry from the US MSM if Clinton had appointed officials from the Arab American Institute into senior Middle East roles)

      After their time at the top of the Clinton Administration, they return to the Israel lobby – Ross back to WINEP (as Director), Indyk meanwhile founds the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. Essentially a takeover by AIPAC of Middle East policy at Brookings (one of the most influential policy think tanks), the Center was massively financed (starting with a $13 million grant) by Israeli dual citizen, television magnate and pro-Israeli benefactor Haim Saban (famously quoted by the New York Times as saying, “I’m a one-issue guy and my issue is Israel.”). The multi-billionaire (at one point the 98th richest person in America) also funded and established the Saban Institute for the Study of the American Political System within the University of Tel Aviv.

      As ambassadors and so-called “peace negotiators”, Ross and Indyk were viewed by everybody on the Palestinian side (and indeed by many neutral journalists and observers) as hopelessly biased in favour of the Israeli position … in fact they apparently adopted positions more extreme than those of most of the Israeli delegates themselves.

      • Andre 11.1.1

        What he has to say isn’t entirely what I expected, given his background. Which is one of the reasons i thought it interesting enough to post.

        • swordfish 11.1.1.1

          Fair enough. Don’t want to sound ungrateful, pushy, know-it-all or censorious re-your desire to provide readers with an interesting link. But that’s Indyk’s style, you see … tries to sound reasonable – “faults on both sides” – while smuggling in a whole series of untruths which just happen to favour Israel’s interests.

        • GregJ 11.1.1.2

          Thanks for posting it Andre. It’s important that we don’t get locked inside our own echo-chamber and take some time reading things which may not always sit comfortably with our worldview.

  10. adam 12

    It’s like three days to go, who else, I’m sitting here freaking out, who else…

    The reason I loved Carrie Fisher, forget star wars, forget the drugs, forget she was born to Hollywood royalty.

    It’s this simple chestnut, she helped in opening up mental health as a topic people can talk about, and she did it with class.

    One of my all time favorite quotes from her.

    “I am hoping to get the centerfold in Psychology Today.”

    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/how-carrie-fisher-championed-mental-health-w458009

    • One Two 12.1

      Why would you be freaking out?

      People you don’t know ‘die’ every day

      Are they less deserving of your ‘freak out’ energy?

      • Glenn 12.1.1

        Well Carrie Fishers mother has just been added to the list. Debbie Reynolds 84 has died of a stroke. She was taken ill while preparing her daughters funeral.

        • One Two 12.1.1.1

          That does not address my query to Adam, although it is likely to raise his freak out level should the information be ‘true’

          Perhaps hollywood will spare the Carrie Fishers daughter

      • adam 12.1.2

        God save me from liberal literalness.

    • GregJ 12.2

      I think my favourite story of hers (and about Debbie Reynolds) was when they were about to visit the Nixon White House around the time of Watergate and Carrie (I guess about 16 or 17) didn’t want to go because she thought Nixon was a crook & should be impeached and her mother told her if she didn’t go she’d confiscate her credit cards. It was told with wry humour and self-awareness of her fiesty nature, “privileged” upbringing and developing social awareness.

  11. adam 13

    This cartoon explain a lot. Big ups to Ted Rall. Also have a wee look at his other work very funny.

    The difference between a leftist and a liberal.

    http://rall.com/comic/leftist-vs-liberal

  12. swordfish 14

    Dang ! Well, that was a short sharp earthquake here in Wellywood.

  13. Colonial Viper 15

    the destruction of the Democratic Party under the watch of Barack Obama

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-28/huffpo-turns-obama-he-presided-over-destruction-democratic-party

  14. Pat 16

    “Visions of imminent social collapse might be taking all this a bit too far. Or maybe not, for as Tainter writes: “Civilisations are fragile, impermanent things.” Are modern societies vulnerable? It’s a common belief, he says, that our technological capacity, energy resources and our knowledge of economics and history mean our civilisation should be able to survive “whatever crises ancient and simpler societies found insurmountable”.

    But as a corrective, he then quotes the revered German classicist Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff’s sobering take on the lessons of the Roman empire. Gin and Radiohead at the ready, then: “Civilisation can die, because it has already died once.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/29/trump-brexit-society-complex-people-populists

    he might be onto something with this…..there certainly appears to be an inability to unwind the current system for fear of collapse.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      For hundreds of millions around the world civilisational collapse is a past tense. Of course, up in the first class cabins of the Titanic the idea of “civilisational collapse” still seems like a quaint little hypothetical.

      • Pat 16.1.1

        granted….and it has always been so, at least at a localised or regional scale..but i think his thrust is pertaining more to the (known) world as a whole,hence the Rome reference.

  15. TheExtremist 17

    CV is back?

    Who wants popcorn?

  16. McFlock 18

    I was hoping his arrival would dovetail with fatweta’s departure, but it seems we have them both.

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