Open Mike 30/11/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 30th, 2016 - 159 comments
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159 comments on “Open Mike 30/11/2016”

  1. Andre 1

    Interesting, anti-immigrant groups in the past have used a “competitor standing” doctrine to try to limit immigration on the grounds that immigrants compete with local workers and harm their prospects. Now that doctrine may get used to go after Trump.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/trump-immigration-legal-theory-231899

  2. Rosemary McDonald 2

    Sit still for a wee while and read this….http://www.radionz.co.nz/stories/201825742/justice-delayed-justice-denied

    “At first she didn’t think of the state welfare homes as incarceration. But when she started to interview people she changed her mind. The regimes they were subject to were very similar to prison regimes.

    “They were horrific. Really austere. Children were left in the secure cell during the day with nothing. Nothing. A concrete plinth. They even removed the mattress so they wouldn’t be comfortable during the day. They’d be boiling in the summer, they’d be freezing in the winter. In some institutions they even had a nodding system where the guards or workers wouldn’t even speak to them. You can’t imagine what that would do to you if you’re an adult let alone if you’re 11, 12, 15, that dehumanisation.”

    That dehumanisation included regular use of physical violence as punishment, including electric-shock therapy. Some victims say the shocks were applied to their genitals and other parts of their bodies. Some children were controlled with drugs that sedated or knocked them out.

    Not only are victims deeply distrustful – the state is still acting in ways that call into question its trustworthiness. Currently the process for making a complaint about abuse in state institutions means going through a system set up and administered by the government department that ran the institutions where the abuse happened.”

    Great work by Aaron Smale supporting this morning’s RNZ’s piece about the reports about abuse in State care.

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

    Interview with Judge Henwood, and currently Kim Hill has Anne Tolley on the griddle. I hope the audio will be available later.

    Anne Tolley’s current defense is along the lines that only 3.odd percent of the 100,000 who went through State care during this period have made complaints.

    Heartless bastards.

  3. DH 3

    Meantime back on planet NZ where life still goes on our despicable Government is caught out by whistle-blowing from Housing NZ and no-one appears to have even noticed, likely because they’re too obsessed with Donald Trump.

    The opposition parties have been handed the opportunity of a lifetime and I’ll bet few if any even know it.

    • Ed 3.1

      OK I’ll bite – I haven’t noticed – do you have a cite?

      • DH 3.1.1

        Page 72 of their annual report….. hidden away in the notes.

        http://www.hnzc.co.nz/assets/Uploads/Annual-Report-2016.pdf

        • millsy 3.1.1.1

          ?

        • James Thrace 3.1.1.2

          If you’re talking about the Tamaki Redevelopment Co notes, that’s already been covered off on an earlier Open Mike.

          The Tauranga and Invercargill property sales are dead in the water.

          If it’s not either of those things, a more specific example that’s not a vague reference to “hidden away in the notes” would be more helpful.

          • DH 3.1.1.2.1

            Just how hard is it to download the file and read a page James?

            • James Thrace 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Point.

              >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>You.

              I read it, but it wasn’t immediately obvious to what you were referring to.

              More clarity next time please.

              Thank you.

        • Graeme 3.1.1.3

          HNZC is a social housing agency.

          But they have to make an allowance in their asset valuations for an impairment for a small proportion of their stock that they are selling to account for being a social housing agency.

          WTF

          So they are valuing their assets, and the return on those assets as if they were a normal commercial landlord. They say themselves that their assets are overvalued by 50 – 60%

          Jeez, if a private sector business tried that on it’d get messy fast.

          • DH 3.1.1.3.1

            Yup. And a whole lot can be read and concluded from that.

            One logical conclusion is they’ve established a formula for pricing the state houses they intend to sell to social housing providers. They’ve just announced the intended sale of 2400 state houses in ChCh and using their own formula they’d be intending to sell $1 billion worth of property for $380 million.

            Selling significant publicly owned assets for only 38% of their value is not condusive to staying a government. Even National voters wouldn’t wear that, we all know what property is worth.

            • alwyn 3.1.1.3.1.1

              Really? That sounds exactly like the proposed Labour Party policy of building houses and selling them to people with low incomes at a discount.

              The fact that the Party website says
              “KiwiBuild homes will only be sold to first home buyers. To avoid buyers reaping windfall gains a condition of sale will require them to hand back any capital gain if sold on within 5 years”
              clearly implies they expect to sell them at below market value.

              I wonder how you qualify to buy one? Will production of a Union Card or proof of Labour Party membership be required?

              • DH

                You need to go back for further programming alwyn, that was a pretty weak attempt at diversion even by your standards.

                • alwyn

                  You mean it is true and you don’t know how to justify it.

                  • DH

                    Ah, no alwyn. Meaning your hearing is impaired. The information you posted doesn’t sound anything like what you thought you heard. No mention is made there of discounting the houses, indeed they’re doing the opposite in taking any capital gain that might accrue.

                    Now either your reading comprehension is so poor there’s no point in me conversing with you for fear of having my words misread, or you’re merely trying to derail & divert in which case there’s no point in me conversing with you there either.

                    Back to the reprogramming booth for you.

            • Graeme 3.1.1.3.1.2

              Good that HNZC recognise that covenants are required to protect the social housing use once sold to the private provider. But that should have been explicit in the valuation, and expected return on that valuation, from the very beginning.

              When the beginning was will have considerable political import, and along the way someone may have miss-understood, or been devious / deceived around the basis of valuation.

              Time to sit well back and see where this cow pat lands.

              It’s not that they were “Selling significant publicly owned assets for only 38% of their value”, the assets were overvalued by 163%

              • DH

                They’re not overvalued Graeme, HNZ are required to declare their housing stock at “Fair Value” according to IFRS rules and have done so for quite some time.

                The social housing providers are non-profit organisations so there is no commercial valuation here. This is really about funding IMO. This tells me the charities that the Govt wants to sell to have no spare money. They look to be needing to borrow the dosh to buy the houses and HNZs income statement reveals the nett rental return from the properties won’t even come close to paying the interest on substantial levels of borrowed funds.

                They can’t fund the deal on borrowed money at market rates, the rental income won’t pay the interest, so I’d expect the only way the deal can proceed is if English gives them a humungous discount or fronts them a low/no interest loan.

                • Graeme

                  And they would have been valued under the same rules once the covenant / encumbrance had been applied to the property title. But nothing has changed about the property or it’s use, just the expected owner.

                  I see it more as explaining how inappropriate the “dividends” HNZC paid to the shareholding minister were. Both from the moral repugnance of it all and the usurious way that these dividends appear to have been calculated. No wonder the govt got out of there as quickly as they did.

                  • DH

                    Oh come now Graeme, do you seriously believe that a 25 year encumbrance really lowers the value of a house?

                    Commercial properties are often leased out on encumbrances like 7×7 terms, do you see any of those having their price lowered because they have to be leased for the next 14 years?

                    Get real mate, the encumbrance values are bullshit. All housing NZ properties are rented out at market rates and you’re trying to justify them being sold at a 60% discount to market price?

                    • Graeme

                      Well one of them is bullshit, as I said at the start nothing has actually changed, just a different way of looking at it.

                      The original valuations would have reflected the commercial value of the properties that could be rented and sold on the open market. The second reflected properties that could be rented as social housing, but not on-sold for capital gain.

                      The govt has got themselves in a bit of a hole there, as it would be politically difficult if the properties were on-sold for a profit, hence the encumbrance.

                      Whether HNZ’s properties were, or could be rented or sold on a commercial basis on the open market is a very debatable concept due to it’s social housing responsibilities and function. It does increase the possible / requires dividend if the assets are viewed as fully commercial however. I tend to the view that it’s actually the first valuations that are questionable.

                    • DH

                      “Well one of them is bullshit, as I said at the start nothing has actually changed, just a different way of looking at it.”

                      Huh? A very fundamental change has occurred, $240 million worth of a publicly owned asset has been written off for no good reason or reward.

                      “The original valuations would have reflected the commercial value of the properties that could be rented and sold on the open market. The second reflected properties that could be rented as social housing, but not on-sold for capital gain. ”

                      One would need to have come down in the last rain shower to fall for that line Graeme. These new valuations occurred in the context of the Govt being in lengthy negotiations with a potential buyer. It would be a complete fool who gives away their bottom line price to the other party wouldn’t it, clearly the ‘valuations’ were retrospective.

                      Of course they can be on-sold for capital gain. They can be held for 25yrs, amassing very considerable gains, and on-sold to anyone or on-sold earlier to another social housing provider. It’s little different to the situation of operators like Rymans and they don’t get to buy their retirement complexes at 38cents in the dollar do they.

                      “I tend to the view that it’s actually the first valuations that are questionable.”

                      You’d be questioning IFRS there and it’s not really relevant to the topic.

  4. Tricledrown 4

    Tolley the terrible.
    She is under orders to minimise the financial damage.
    Having an independent agency and enquiry will show its more like 70% of children who were state wards were violently sexually psychologically abused.
    Tolley’s dispicable obfuscation including she was just a child(still).
    I know many many state wards most seriously damaged unable to function as adults.
    Nasty Nasty piece of Work .
    Shame on you Tolley.

    • tc 4.1

      Thats why she is there along with collins, parata and bennett.

      Nasty people in a nasty party doing nasty things in govt.

      Recall kate wilkinson, far to nice and nowhere near nasty enough so got moved on.

  5. Ad 5

    The interview with Minister Anne Tolley on RNZ is going to go down in infamy as one of the worst and most heartless pieces of work in modern New Zealand politics.

    Has anyone heard anything like it in the last three decades?

    Also a particularly stupid juxtaposition:

    On the one hand, Minister of Education Hekia Parata shuts down a Special Needs school in Dunedin for allegations about two teachers where the Police don’t see a case to answer, and so far there’s no evidence to be seen anywhere. So far.

    Quite a strong reaction from the state to protect people under its direct control and care.

    And on the same day, the Minister of Social Welfare cannot open her mouth and utter the word “I am sorry” for decades of solidly proven abuse on behalf of the state while protecting people under its direct control and care.

    This story is now set to roll.

    • jcuknz 5.1

      And also reported one parent who saw nothing untoward at that Dn school.
      Me thinks some stirrers with bees in their bonnet at work. Perhaps that parent has brought up their child correctly?

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1

        “Perhaps that parent has brought up their child correctly?”

        You might want to back up the judgmental truck there a tad jcuknz.

        The whole issue of managing meltdowns and difficult behaviours is nuanced…requires a little more knowledge and experience that perhaps some commenters lack.

    • Rosemary McDonald 5.2

      Natrad is on fire this morning!

      Although, having to listen to the smarmy, patronising and eventually whiny tones of both Tolley and Parata in the same morning is almost too much.

  6. Puckish Rogue 6

    I don’t always agree with him but he’s pretty much spot on here:

    http://www.philquin.com/blog/2016/11/29/castro-mourning-by-hipster-lefties-makes-me-sick

    • joe90 6.1

      Or is it the 79,000 extrajudicial killings?

      Quin’s source for this figure, his arse or the lunatic claims of the exile community?.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        Phew that’s lucky, here I was thinking Castro was an unpleasant person, glad that’s cleared up:

        https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/11/fidel-castro-s-human-rights-legacy-a-tale-of-two-worlds/

        Upon establishing his provisional government in 1959, Castro organised trials of members of the previous government that resulted in hundreds of summary executions. In response to an international outcry and amid accusations that many of the trials were unfair, Castro responded:

        “Revolutionary justice is not based on legal precepts, but on moral conviction… we are not executing innocent people or political opponents. We are executing murderers and they deserve it.”

        • KJT 6.1.1.1

          From a supporter of our Government of serial child abusers.

          FIFY.

        • joe90 6.1.1.2

          Oh, he was a particularly unpleasant person but unless of course Quin counted the estimated Balseros death toll, 79,000 extrajudicial killings, really.

          February 19, 2008 Update on Findings

          This work documents loss of life and disappearances of a political or military nature attributed to the Cuban Revolution. Each documented case is available for review at http://www.CubaArchive.org and substantiated by bibliographic/historic data and reports from direct sources. Due to the ongoing nature of the work and the difficulty of obtaining and verifying data from Cuba, the following totals change as research progresses and are considered far from exhaustive. Cuba Archive is currently examining additional cases –most are expected to be added to this table. Experience has shown that as additional outreach efforts are undertaken, many more cases are likely to be uncovered’.

          […]

          Documented Cases

          Firing squad executions 4,074

          Extrajudicial killings not in prison 1,334

          Missing and disappeared 219

          Other, including deaths in prison(1) 2,215

          http://www.cubaverdad.net/genocide.htm#Other

          • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1.2.1

            It’s good that since Quinn got those numbers, allegedly, wrong everything else can be safely ignored 🙂

            • McFlock 6.1.1.2.1.1

              It does bring to mind the question of the accuracy of “everything else” if estimates vary that wildly.

              Frankly, seven thousand just after the revolution seems a bit low to me – they captured 1200 in the Bay of Pigs, I would have thought many of those would have been put on trial and received severe sentences.

              Even so, Cuba’s better off than if Batista had remained.

      • Gosman 6.1.2

        The moral bankruptcy of people on the left is truly wonderful to behold. I suspect you think the ends justifies the means.

        • KJT 6.1.2.1

          You crying for Batista’s bunch of criminals.
          LOL.

          • Gosman 6.1.2.1.1

            Ummm… you seem to be making a massive leap there. Not surprising for supporters of brutal leftists dictators like Castro. The idea that if you are not with them you must support who they disposed is one of the reasons human rights went out the window when Castro took power.

            • KJT 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Local councils with democratic control who send remits and consensus upwards to their Government.
              Cubans have more democratic control over things that affect them than we do.

              Meanwhile, in the USA, everyone is terrified of what Trump may do with his dictatorial powers.

              Castro saved Cuba from being one of the many examplars of US controlled South American capitalism.
              Haiti, Nicaragua, Chile, Mexico. All poverty and crime ridden failed States.

              Funny we never hear about all the people trying to leave them. Except for Trump and Obama trying to send them back.

              If you are going on about human rights. There are some really serious and continued abuses in Cuba. In the US controlled Guantanamo Bay.
              Not to mention, on our own doorstep. In Indonesia and Australia/Nauru

              • Gosman

                You really think the average Cuban has more control over their life than we do? Pray tell how the average Cuban can afford to go to a holiday resort in their own country without access to hard currency and why should they be denied that right?

                • Clump_AKA Sam

                  I don’t know much about Cuba. But Britians have less control than Cubans

                • Draco T Bastard

                  This may come as a surprise but going to a holiday resort isn’t a human right.

                  • Gosman

                    Except in moderately developed economies the vast majority can afford to spend some time at a holiday resort at some stage.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Have you got proof that Cubans can’t?

                    • Gosman

                      If you think the vast majority of Cubans are able to access a resort (even a relatively down market one) more power to you.

                    • KJT

                      Tell that to the jobless brown kids in Whangarei.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      If you think the vast majority of Cubans are able to access a resort (even a relatively down market one) more power to you.

                      Ah, so you don’t have anything to back up your assertion. That would make what you said a lie.

                      But that’s all we can expect from RWNJs – they have to lie because reality doesn’t conform to their delusional beliefs.

                    • ropata

                      RWNJ’s think that an independent nation should just bend over and take it when US corporations want to rape and pillage.

                      The Cubans should not have stood up for freedom and justice, they should have let themselves be impoverished and exploited by criminal US enterprises.

                      Remind us, which nation throws people into Guantanamo Bay without trial?

            • Tricledrown 6.1.2.1.1.2

              Was that when the mafia ran Cuba into communism.
              After years of exploitation by the Mafia anything was better as far as the peasants were concerns.
              American foreign policy could have solved the problem but alas just like in Syria the Russians gave Fidel Castro a better deal.
              The Americans have propped up nasty dictators all through Central America for over a century!

              • Gosman

                Castro was always a communist dictator (either in waiting OR in power). There was no way he was going to be some sort of Carribean Social Democrat. The Soviet Union didn’t force him to outlaw private enterprise or send Cubans offshore to ferment Communist revolution in other nations.

            • joe90 6.1.2.1.1.3

              human rights went out the window when Castro took power

              .

              Yeah, if you ignore the 20,000 Cubans murdered by the Batista regime, human rights in Cuba prior to Castro were just fucking peachy.

              • Gosman

                So that makes it okay in your book does it? Somehow all Castro’s human rights abuses are fine because the person he replaced was worse. I suppose that would explain why many leftists in the West supported East Germany. At least they weren’t the Nazi’s

                • Draco T Bastard

                  No it doesn’t make it right but it does show that he actually made life better in Cuba from what was before.

                  Unlike our present NZ government which is actively making life worse for the poor so a few rich people can get richer. And, yes, there’s probably deaths involved as well from those policies.

                  • Gosman

                    The average poor person in NZ has a life that the average Cuban could only dream of. That is the tragedy of Cuba. With better economic management the country could have been a success story. Instead it is an economic basket case.

                    • adam

                      Basket case, yeap you put an embargo on NZ for half a century and see where we end up. I like how you cherry pick and ignore facts Gosman.

                    • Red []

                      Trade is bad, ask Draco and the Nz loony left, any decent planned economy does not need it, so sorry no out there Also hard to trade with some one that wants to nuke you

                    • Gosman

                      Stop with the nonsense of the embargo. There is not one documented case of Cuba not being able to trade with a nation outside the US as a result of the embargo. Heck the country traded with the Soviet Bloc for 30 years. It can trade with the EU or China or even NZ. Name me one item that it couldn’t get from outside the US.

                    • KJT

                      Looked far from a “basket case” to me.

                      Actually havn’t seen so many clean, happy leisured people anywhere else, apart from New Zealands dairy farmer retirement towns, Mt Muanganui and Cambridge.

                      Especially glaring compared to parts of New Jersey, and Haiti and Jamaica.

                      You’ve been reading far too much propaganda from the same people who say that Chavez was a dictator?

                    • KJT

                      Life expectancy in Cuba is better than the USA, and not far behind us.

                    • adam

                      Car parts. Kiwifruit. There two.

                      Your utter refusal to look at how international politics, and how it works Gossy is outstanding. The Embargo had the effect of stopping trade with anyone who did not want to piss off the USA. Which was a big group, that even NZ was part of till after the fourth labour government.

                      But lets leave aside your lack of understanding of international politics. The other effect was to limit hard currency Cuba could lay it’s hands on. You understand what that does to an economy right?

                    • Gosman

                      Car parts and Kiwifruit? ?? The Cubans can get those from any number of nations. As for the US applying pressure on countries not to trade, there is no evidence for that. Indeed I believe Mexico is one of Cuba’s largest trading partners. That is not indicative of the US causing problems.

                    • Macro

                      Facts to Gosman are such horrid things.
                      Cuba is the living example of what life will be like post oil.
                      Gossy take a hard long look and if you happen to be young enough to survive to until the time oil becomes so expensive it is no longer extracted, just think of what it must have been like for Cubans for the past 50 + years.
                      By the way – if you ever need a doctor in that part of the world – make sure you are in Cuba – not the US. In Cuba its free – you will come out minus an arm and a leg in the US.

                    • adam

                      Are being obtuse Gossy, or are you really that ignorant of international politics and it’s machinations?

                  • Red

                    Yes I give you Castro did well in convincing left ideologues and his people of that, as does North Korea howeve pre and post Cuba economic stats don’t support your rediculous statement, even before contrasting living standards in Cuba vs Latin America, Europe pre revolutions to now

                • adam

                  Geez Gossy your lot have many on the right supporting old PInochet. It’s a dilemma for your lot.

                  The Cuban revolution was better than what became before, I know you find that hard because a leftist made it better. But they were far from perfect. Guess what – it’s a imperfect world.

                  As for many of your dumb assertions over the last few days have been sickening. The Cuban revolution was born out of nasty set of events. It was led by a Castro and like all authoritarian regimes it was crap. But, and it’s a big but, it was better than the authoritarian right wing gangsta nation it was before he came to power.

                  But lets not forget that for 2 million dollars a day the USA put Cuba under an embargo for almost half a century. So, so much for your free trade ah Gosman, so much for freedom there.

                  • Gosman

                    I don’t think many people on the right have claimed Pinochet was anything but a brutal military dictator with blood on his hands. He certainly hasn’t been set up to be some sort of Right wing icon who people should aspire to and that despite Pinochet leaving the country a whole lot better off economically than the mess Allende was making of the place. Noone can claim the same of Castro and Cuba.

                    • adam

                      Actually you just did, by saying he was economically better.

                      You just put him on a pedestal.

                    • Gosman

                      I’m not putting him on a pedestal. As I stated he was a brutal military dictator with blood of his opponents on his hands. Are you willing to state the same for Castro?

                    • adam

                      But you did, when you said he was economically better. That is supporting his world view, and economic choices.

                      I have never said otherwise about Castro. But what I have with you is simple, your blanket statements, and ignoring that the Cuban economy was bulldozed by the US.

                      Plus, I think you are conveniently ignoring how bad it was before the revolution. The gangster state before the revolution, was one of the worst in the whole of America’s.

                    • KJT

                      The economy in Chile took 20years to recover from Pinochet.

                      In what right wing phantasy world did he improve it?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      In what right wing phantasy world did he improve it?

                      Rich people got richer and that’s all that the RWNJs care about.

                • Gabby

                  You agree it was an improvement then.

        • Brigid 6.1.2.2

          “the ends justify the means” ..like in say Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay?

    • Morrissey 6.2

      Puckish Rogue, you are a fool to quote Phil Quin for ANYTHING, let alone something where he is clearly so far out of his depth.

      Perhaps the most risible part of the rant you linked to was the sentence beginning: “Anne Applebaum, a brilliant Washington Post reporter, hardly of the right….”

      Anyone who has any familiarity with the views of Anne Applebaum—and Quin obviously does not—would immediately recognize that statement as an absurdity. Applebaum is an “adjunct fellow” at the American Enterprise Institute, a notorious extreme right think tank. Her writing is shrill, biased and the antithesis of scholarly: on one infamous occasion she claimed, outlandishly, that the late Ho Chi Minh, Salvador Allende and Fidel Castro were similar to Stalin, Mao and Kim Il-Sung.

      Applebaum is one of the loudest and most incessant agitators on behalf of the Ukrainian junta, and she has been trenchantly condemned by leading thinkers like Glenn Greenwald.

      On top of all that, she is actively involved in attempts to minimize and trivialize the under-age rape allegations against her friend Roman Polanski.

      Yet Phil Quin, that vacuous chuntering radio ninny, claims she is “brilliant” and “hardly of the right.”

      I don’t expect anything intelligent from Phil Quin, but I must say, Puckish Rogue, that I do expect better from you.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.2.1

        Fair enough, so whats your take on Castro?

        • framu 6.2.1.1

          he appears on way too many t-shirts

        • Morrissey 6.2.1.2

          I think Castro was a brave and inspirational leader, and a symbol of freedom and resistance against oppression. However, that doesn’t mean that I think he was not deeply flawed. His intolerance of gays was notorious, which of course makes him pretty similar to a significant portion of the United States House of Representatives. And I never fail to be deeply angry and depressed when I think about Castro’s bumptious and destructive attitude toward the beautiful avante-garde architectural work of the National Art Schools.

          http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/witness/2015/05/cuba-unfinished-spaces-150519094656409.html

          So my take on him is complicated. But let’s not forget the reality of the situation he faced: He was demonized and targeted for assassination by the United States, which never forgave him for the radical act of leading a popular revolt against Fulgencio Batista, the dictator it backed. Cuba was in a permanent state of siege, as a vengeful superpower pursued a vicious, illegal and internationally condemned jihad against the island state for more than half a century.

          Castro’s legacy should be rigorously criticized—-but by serious scholars, not by shallow know-nothings like Phil Quin.

      • Stunned Mullet 6.2.2

        4th rate stenographer is outraged….outraged I tells ya !

    • adam 6.3

      No hipsters are not left Puckish, Liberal (but, so is John Key) but not left. Most hipsters are all about money.

    • reason 6.4

      Right wing death squads kill millions and you do not give a stuff ….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwJMJqjqEdw

      Sick ol Puck …….

      http://www.amara.org/en/videos/lCHCQE8uqUJb/info/jagal-the-act-of-killing-full-movie/

  7. Red 7

    Cuba income before revolution where 60 pc of European levels, amoung the highest in Latin America they are now the poorest in line with Central America. GDP 1950 per capita was approx 3k still as such in 1999, all hail the planned economy and the great Castro before we even consider the human rights record

    • Gosman 7.1

      Ah yes but GDP doesn’t count for many leftists. So long as education and health care are ‘free’ that is the real definition of a successful state. No matter that medical professionals don’t earn enough and many have to moonlight in jobs that pay hard currency, or that there is usually not enough drugs or other medical supplies and patients have to provide their own, or that the education they receive hasn’t led to any innovative new businesses or helped develop the Cuban economy at all.

      • Red 7.1.1

        strange also not many people drowned sailing from Miami to Cuba,

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        You do realise that the healthcare available in Cuba is better than that available in the US don’t you?

        In fact, everything you said there sounds like a lie started and propagated through right-wing fake news outlets.

        • Gosman 7.1.2.1

          No it’s not. What you are stating is the health care in Cuba is better than the health care available in the US for the uninsured. This may well be the case but I suspect in the US poor people are able to access health care of some level that does not need them to provide their own drugs and health supplies.

        • Red 7.1.2.2

          For the socialist elite and offshore paying customers yes, for the average Cuban, get real, smell the roses Many Cuban doctors are simply sent offshore to generate hard currency for the state

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2.2.1

            Many Cuban doctors are simply sent offshore to generate hard currency for the state

            [citation needed]

            Although it sounds like more RWNJ false news.

            • alwyn 7.1.2.2.1.1

              From the New York Times

              “Havana gets subsidized oil from Venezuela and money from several other countries in exchange for medical services. This year, according to the state-run newspaper Granma, the government expects to make $8.2 billion from its medical workers overseas. The vast majority, just under 46,000, are posted in Latin America and the Caribbean. A few thousand are in 32 African countries.”

              http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/17/opinion/a-cuban-brain-drain-courtesy-of-us.html?_r=0

              The article is quite strongly opposed to the US Government’s action but it does confirm the claim about being a source of income to Cuba.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Ok.

                But this brings up an interesting question:
                What is it about this trade that upsets the right-wing?

                I’m pretty sure that they’ve been telling us how great trade is for centuries. Is it just that there isn’t a private individual making a profit from the work of others as corporations would?

              • reason

                https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/02/28/indonesia-and-act-forgetting

                “I was a couple of months old in October 1965, when the Indonesian government gave free rein to a mix of Indonesian soldiers and paramilitaries to kill anyone they considered to be a “communist.” Over the next few months into 1966, at least 500,000 people were killed (the total may be as high as one million). The victims included members of the Communist Party of Indonesia (P.K.I.), ethnic Chinese, as well as trade unionists, teachers, civil society activists and leftist artists.”

                The Act of Killing

                The film focuses on the perpetrators of the Indonesian killings of 1965–66 in the present day; ostensibly towards the communist community where almost a million people were killed. When Suharto overthrew Sukarno, the President of Indonesia, following the failed coup of the 30 September Movement in 1965, the gangsters Anwar Congo and Adi Zulkadry in Medan (North Sumatra) were promoted from selling black market movie theatre tickets to leading the most powerful death squad in North Sumatra. They also extorted money from ethnic Chinese as the price for keeping their lives. Anwar is said to have personally killed 1,000 people.

                Today, Anwar is revered as the right wing of a paramilitary organization Pemuda Pancasila that grew out of the death squads. The organization is so powerful that its leaders include government ministers who are openly involved in corruption, election rigging and clearing people from their land for developers.”

                A right wing Gangster nation where mass murders are celebrated and walk free …………. I think we either just did a trade deal with them ,,,,,,,,,, or maybe it was a tax haven/offshore network meeting

                Its hard to know with john keys nats ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

              • McFlock

                okey dokey.
                That says 50-odd thousand doctors overseas.

                CIA reckons 6.7 docs per thousand Cubans (looks like 2010 WHO stats).
                Cuban population is 11.1 mil (same source).
                That’s roughly 75 thousand doctors.
                50,000 overseas, that’s 25,000 remaining.
                Or, reversing the process, that’s 2.25 doctors per thousand.
                NZ is 2.74, US is 2.45 per thousand.

                Jamaica is 0.41 per thousand. Just as comparison.

                • alwyn

                  I really couldn’t care less.
                  DTB asked for a citation that Cuba sent medical people overseas as a way of raising money.
                  I had been talking to a Cuban born friend who was telling me what incredibly low incomes the people in Cuba have. I found this reference when I was googling for info on that subject and remembered it when DTB asked for a reference. I posted it to satisfy his curiosity.
                  For the record I think that Castro was a miserable SOB. Not in the class of Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao or Hitler but a despicable specimen none the less.
                  I am old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962. The one who came out of than looking sane was Khrushchev. Castro wanted to start WW3 and Kennedy wasn’t much different.
                  Castro was willing to destroy the world.

  8. greywarshark 8

    Hi Robert Guyton
    Are you involved with this new Southland initiative? Sounds promising in the line of other Invercargill moves like adopting toothy Tim as Mayor. You people might be a role model for the Far North, isolated and languishing a bit though trying but with too many conservatives sitting on their prejudices I think – up for violent disagreement with that. (Note a recent radio piece on the police difficulties and understaffing there).

    Southland can only go up along with feisty Stewart Island – after that there is only the Southern Ocean rocky outposts and sealife.

    • The lost sheep 8.1

      ‘a bit languishing’
      Violent offense duly taken.
      Southland / Northland
      GDP per capita – 57,135 / 34,825
      Mean household income – 87,100 / 70,000
      Unemployment rate – 3.6% / 8.8%

      ‘Isolated’
      I’ll give you that one, and you forgot to point out that the weather in Southland is shit.

      • And Gore, though I think greywarshark was making his languishing comment with regards the Far North, rather than Southland but it certainly brought out the Parochial Defender in you. Good thing too.

        • The lost sheep 8.1.1.1

          I’ve spent a bit of time in both places (Dang, sold the holiday home at Shipwreck Bay way too early!).
          IMO the primary reason for the economic disparity between the two regions is that while the kind of grass cows eat grows brilliantly in both, Southland has the good fortune to be crap for growing the kind you smoke.

          • Robert Guyton 8.1.1.1.1

            It’s cooler here, so more incentive to dig and delve, rather than head to the beach and the bong.

          • greywarshark 8.1.1.1.2

            That’s not a woolly idea. But I figure that with intelligent forward and smart thinking pollies instead of the prim and punitive little greasers we now have…if gummint could get its head around the growing and sale of marijuana under standards they would have a fast-moving expansionist economy. T

            he Northland area would have a ready-made expertise in growing the weed and just need strong guidance to be marketed properly and to standard and be controlled by and keep the returns in, local trusts shared by the community, but employing Maori and pakeha half and half. There would be problems for sure, but just on a better level than at present.

  9. Hi greywarshark
    Do you mean the SoRDS (Southland Regional Development Strategy) that’s being launched this morning in the presence of Steven Joyce and Nathan Guy and seeks to establish fin-fish farms in Fiordland National Park, amongst other things?

    • greywarshark 9.1

      @Robert G
      Ho ho ho – I little innocent thought that Santa Claus had come with pressies that would be good to play with!

      • Sounds like it, doesn’t it. “Swords” though, eh! Economic development, bring in the tourists, double our production, full steam ahead and damn the torpedoes! Pretty keen on drilling and fracking to, that Tom Campbell, Head Sword-wielder. Seen Tom’s name before?

  10. greywarshark 10

    Ray Columbus has died. Stuff entertainment had this item.
    I thought this was a funny anecdote which relates to Gerry Brownlee – Vicki Anderson at http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/music/87016165/Ray-Columbus-always-had-the-last-word-even-for-Gerry-Brownlee

    2013, I wrote a story about Christchurch talent quest stars the Manetti Brothers, Gerry Brownlee and former schoolmate Richard Holden.
    The pair performed a unique mix of country and western and jazz cover songs around Christchurch bars from 1980 to 1986.

    Towards the end of their career, the Manetti Brothers auditioned in front of Ray Columbus for a TV show.
    “He subtly told us we were crap,” Brownlee told me in 2013.
    He went on to describe the audition as a “cock-up” on Columbus’s part.

    “It was the most appalling thing. We went to the second floor of the now demolished TVNZ building to audition,” said Brownlee.
    “Ray Columbus was there, very small he was. I had to look down to see him, and he said ‘show us what you’ve got’. We only got a little way through our act and he said ‘that’s enough, you guys’. I’m not bitter about it but it was a cock-up in my opinion.”
    Oh how Ray laughed when I read Brownlee’s quote to him.

    • alwyn 10.1

      I really think you should have included the last bit of the article

      “”All right,” Ray eventually agreed when I suggested he should have right of reply. “But you can only print this response when I’m gone.”
      As I said, Ray did always like to have the last word.
      “I may be short, Mr Brownlee, but at least I could sing.””

      How true those last 3 words were.

      • greywarshark 10.1.1

        Yes Alwyn true, the last three lines are good. But Brownlee has now found how to squeeze the rest of us till we sing.

  11. Rosemary McDonald 11

    Deeply insightful piece by renegade farmer journalist Rachel Stewart.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/environment/news/article.cfm?c_id=39&objectid=11756771

    She listened to Guy ‘humans only have ten years left’ McPherson and experienced a personal epiphany….

    “Many try to believe that politicians will soon see the error of their delays, act quickly on our behalf for the good of the planet, and all will be well. Business helps the environment, neoliberalism will save the kea, and continued fossil fuel extraction is a necessary evil. Technology will ultimately save the day. Hurrah!

    I’ve thought hard on what was emotionally so different about McPherson’s short timeframe versus my unquestioning belief in a much longer one. Obviously, the longer timeframe means I’d get to live out my natural life.

    I had never, for one second, consciously entertained the idea that human extinction was conceivable in the near term.

    In other words, I’m basically okay with the sadness and anxiety about some far-off future generation seeing the collapse of humanity. Just not this one. My one.

    Which tells me everything I didn’t want to know about myself. I possess precisely the same procrastination, selfishness and denial that got us into this mess.

    Turns out, I’m only human.”

    • greywarshark 11.1

      @Rosemary
      Makes you gulp more than a little. Most people I know are ignoring warnings, but trying to make rational decisions based on the expectation that an ordered society will be possible in the long term. Short term, well more earthquakes, tsunami, a change of government, but near extinction no!

      And how many people are putting the Syrian and African refugees to the forefront. I gave some money some months ago but have been sidetracked by other costs of money and time. Though they are just ordinary people like us who deserve their chance to live and have settled communities without being bombed and murdered because they are inconveniently in the way of strategic assets wanted by giant powers.

      I am part of a group trying to do something for now for the community with an eye for the near to mid- future and having hard enough job to keep people on reality track when their heads are full of untested ideas, beliefs, personality clashes, examples from different times, areas etc which may not be replicated, differing understandings of what we are doing and about, what is of first priority etc. And trying to keep control from being wrested by charismatic loud voices that disdain questioning, quiet and meaningful analysis.

      • Rosemary McDonald 11.1.1

        “Short term, well more earthquakes, tsunami, a change of government, but near extinction no!”

        A Young Twentysomething of my acquaintance has (and sometimes is blighted by) what she terms ‘Apocalypse’ nightmares. End of the world stuff in full living colour and 3D. Every disaster, natural or manmade that dominates the headlines results in a sub conscious -produced movie that robs her of the settled sleep she needs to function well. Often this will be a mish-mash of various cataclysms…a bit of earthquake, tsunami with a sub plot of volcanic eruption and civil disorder.

        I can’t say…”Chill, child, it’ll never happen”, that would be lying, but I do try to say that combining all these different types of incidents into one big nightmare is a bit OTT. Then…she points out, that in the middle of the earthquake, and the resulting tsunami warning, miserable scrotes broke into the houses of evacuees and robbed them. Such are humans…and do we really deserve to inhabit, never mind dominate, the planet? I try the “Not all folk are like that”, line, pointing out some of the good stuff that people do…but looking at the Big Picture, the Overall View of The World….???

        • Rosemary McDonald 11.1.1.1

          Lyrics…. No lullaby
          Keep your eyes open
          And prick up your ears
          Rehearse your loudest cry.
          There’s folk out there
          Who would do you harm
          So I’ll sing you no lullaby.
          There’s a lock on the window;
          There’s a chain on the door:
          A big dog in the hall.
          But there’s dragons and beasties
          Out there in the night
          To snatch you if you fall.

          So come out fighting
          With your rattle in hand.
          Thrust and parry. Light
          A match to catch the devil’s eye.
          Bring a cross of fire to the fight.

          And let no sleep bring false relief
          From the tension of the fray.
          Come wake the dead with the scream of life.
          Do battle with ghosts at play.

          Gather your toys at the call-to-arms
          And swing your big bear down.
          Upon our necks when we come to set
          You sleeping safe and sound.

          It’s as well we tell no lie
          To chase the face that cries.
          And little birds can’t fly
          So keep an open eye.
          It’s as well we tell no lie
          So I’ll sing you no lullaby.

    • inspider 11.2

      McPherson is a moonbat who follows a long line of millerites and millenialists.

      Stewart has been gullible to be sucked in by him as there is little in the way of a life lesson to be drawn from McPherson’s ‘science’ (except perhaps ‘There’s a sucker born every minute’).

      Stewart is particularly obtuse if she’s never encountered the possibility of humanity ending – as an opinion writer she’s remarkably uninformed if she has never read theories or novels on comet impacts, germ warfare, plagues, nuclear war, vogons, zombie apocalypse etc etc.

      • ropata 11.2.1

        The IPCC always gives conservative estimates of AGW impact, as I see it McPherson is looking at worst case scenarios. Unlikely perhaps but not outside the realm of possibility.

      • greywarshark 11.2.2

        inspider
        Don’t be such a jerk and know all. Plenty of totally unreal things have happened in the last 150 years, they have been real – not unreal, rarely have many imagined their unpleasant possibilities.

        I think you should read this wikipedia page that goes into the realms of thinking and knowing.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_are_known_knowns

        And for those others who already know everything and just look sarcastically at others flailing around trying to open and expand their minds – note the numerous thinking pattern systems:

        Black swan theory
        Dunning–Kruger effect
        Epistemic modal logic
        Four stages of competence
        I know that I know nothing
        Ignoramus et ignorabimus
        Ignotum per ignotius
        Johari window
        Known and Unknown: A Memoir
        List of political catch phrases
        Outside Context Problem
        Russell’s teapot
        The Unknown Known
        Wild card (foresight)

        • ropata 11.2.2.1

          These are not even unknown or unpredictable events, any science that contradicts the relentless pursuit of profit is treated as a pariah.

          History shows that all civilizations have a limited life span, and there are so many things going wrong with the climate and ecosystems sustaining human civilisation, I think we will see in our lifetimes massive collapses of cities and nations, but hopefully not complete extinction of humanity.

          Our species faces some existential threats but down here in Planet Key we are pretending it’s business as usual for as long as possible. Until it’s too late.

          – record levels of extinctions
          – collapsing bee populations
          – widespread soil degradation
          – increasing pressure on water supplies (fracking, cowshit, mining)
          – human population still growing out of control
          – destruction of remaining rainforests
          – overfishing and fish dumping
          – ocean acidification, warming, and gyres of floating garbage
          – methane emissions from thawing tundra
          – sea level rise and extreme weather events
          – donald trump

  12. Rosemary McDonald 12

    Can anyone else hear “Woman of the Year” Helen Kelly cry….YES! ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11757719

    “Coroner Bain concluded: “Having reviewed all the evidence, the Court does not support the view that Mr McMurtrie is in effect, the author of his own misfortune. Considerable issues are raised by the family and the Counsel for Trade Unions in respect of fatigue and in the Court’s view this may well have played a significant part in what occurred,” he said.

    “The Court, on the balance of probabilities, finds no fault with Mr McMurtrie.”

    Coroner Bain went on to repeat general findings from three inquest findings released on Friday, in which he said the forestry industry was a far safer place to work now than it was when the eight men died.

    “The primary driver in highlighting the lack of safety in the forestry industry and the need for accountability and urgent safety reforms has been the CTU and, in particular, Helen Kelly,” he said.””

    • reason 12.1

      +100……. thanks for the post Rosemary

      It made me happy … and sad.

      For both Helen Kelly and David McMurtrie …

  13. Incognito 13

    Many people appear to be concerned about the spread and influence of “fake news” in this so-called post-truth era and agonise about how to deal with it. I don’t think there’s an easy answer – it would be worth a lengthy post here on TS if I knew it would ever get published – but this piece may be a step in the right direction although I don’t think it is nearly enough or sufficient:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/86918289/why-we-should-be-teaching-philosophy-in-schools

    • ropata 13.1

      Nope, even philosophy 101 would be far too abstract for most kids.

      Would be good to get the opinion of a teacher, but I remember learning about Nazi propaganda in social studies, and reading ‘1984’ and ‘Brave New World’ (and probably Fahrenheit 451) at various points.

      So I think the basics are covered, if the high school curriculum is anything like it was in the 80s.

      • Incognito 13.1.1

        I don’t think philosophy needs to be abstract, rather the opposite, it can be highly practical and relevant. I think it would be great if more emphasis would be given in schools to ethics, logic, analytical thinking, etc. The (human) brain has awe-inspiring capabilities but if we don’t get taught how to engage our brains awful things can and do happen plus it is just a waste of our tremendous potential both individually and collectively IMHO.

        Obviously, you tailor your teaching to the children but IMO philosophy starts at a very young age.

    • Puckish Rogue 14.1

      Leggett didn’t leave Labour, Labour left Leggett 🙂

      • James Thrace 14.1.1

        Leggett has been right wing all the way through.

        He supports Rogernomics, Goff, hated Cunliffe, and thinks that Labour should focus more on the businessman.

        In short. Typical RWNJ and only out for himself.

    • james 14.2

      This was interesting in the same link:

      “There are reports a deal with the Greens to stand aside in Nelson has fractured the local electorate, with as many as eight people said to have quit the party in protest.

      Labour sources suggested to Fairfax there were more.”

      Someone is telling porkies – But it sounds like its possible some of the members are not happy with the MOU implementation.

      • lprent 14.2.1

        I believe I have pointed out previously that this is what I’d expect. I’d also expect that the number of people actually voting for the local candidates would drop. I think that the party votes for the area will also drop.

        It may make “political” sense for people in Wellington. However I suspect that overall it is a vote loser.

        Personally as a matter of principal I’d simply vote against whatever party did it. Doesn’t matter if it is National in Epsom or Labour in Nelson. The idea that a political party ‘owns’ votes is just outright dumb. If you have a decent candidate (and Labour and National usually do), then put them up and let the voters make up their mind. Don’t do deals that cut into the voting base.

        We have enough issues with the slow but steady reduction of the turnout already.

  14. McFlock 15

    Seems to me that that’s the good direction for Labour to lose members.

    There needs to be a fundamental difference between the two main parties, imo. And a step to the left is illustrated by those who jump to the right 🙂

  15. Ad 16

    Very interesting move from the NZ Reserve Bank to seek powers to limit lending to home buyers if they do not earn enough.

    English wants a bit more time to see if the current measures will continue to cool the Auckland market enough. But that’s quite a call if all this debt starts to get riskier.
    I seem to recall Minister Smith this morning saying how important it was that young people didn’t rack up more mortgage debt than they could bear, after figures came in showing the percentage of debt increase for fist home buyers over the last two years. (better jaw jaw than act act, or something).

    For example, events may change fast in the global economy that really push up interest rates up fast, so anyone with a mortgage that isn’t fixed gets in real trouble because it’s just too hard to pay back. Trouble Capital T.

    We will see Ministers meet with the Reserve Bank in the next few weeks to nut this one out. It’s a biggie.

  16. James 17

    Latest Roy Morgan is out.

    Ouch for labour. A dismal 23%. Jesus wept.

    National on 49.5%.

    Confidence in the government right up:

    The NZ Roy Morgan Government Confidence Rating has increased strongly to 141pts (up 14.5pts) in November with a high 65% (up 9.5%) of NZ electors saying NZ is ‘heading in the right direction’ compared to only 24% (down 5%) that say NZ is ‘heading in the wrong direction’. This is the rating’s highest score for nearly two years since January 2015.

    • ropata 17.1

      The lolly scramble and two-tier economy is working well for Gnat supporters.
      So is the media adulation and careful PR image of AB captain/beer swilling kiwi PM.

      We are ranked near the top of the OECD on all sorts of measures except for absolute basic stuff like education, health, and housing. But that’s all swept under the carpet.

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