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Open Mike 31/12/2018

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, December 31st, 2018 - 164 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

164 comments on “Open Mike 31/12/2018 ”

  1. ScottGN 1


    How convenient for the developer who has been trying to approval to demolish for ages?

    • greywarshark 1.1

      How mad of the impractical Auckland City Council to insist that nothing could be done and that this old historic building couldn’t be demolished. No-one wanted it. If the Council wanted it saved it should have bought it itself, sharing with the developer inm a PPP and come to an agreement for low cost homes and apprenticeships.

      Turn a lemon into lemonade. But the decision makers aren’t contracted to run their jobs for the benefit of the people and the City as a whole; so stick close to they must stick close to the wording of a narrow contract.

      • ScottGN 1.1.1

        The council didn’t insist that nothing could be done. That’s not their job. They simply applied the rules in the Unitary Plan and gave the building a B Heritage listing. The developer was always able to develop the building into whatever adaptive use they wanted (into apartments for example) within those parameters. But they weren’t happy with that because it wouldn’t deliver the profit they wanted. Well tough luck.

        • greywarshark

          Scott GN
          Some facts there. With all the powers that the sub-agencies of the ACC have, I am surprised that they couldn’t pull strings and go over the historic classification to let it be utilised. I have been involved with a lovely old church and a declining congregation. It seemed that the building had right of way over the Christian activity. I really like historic buildings. But they can’t all be kept. We have lost so much in NZ that is far more important.

          And there is a lot of money goes into the investment. I presume you didn’t have any to put in. It would have been good to get some good apartments up. If the Council had watched like hawks and spied on their roving checkers to see what they did and didn’t, we would have had buildings to replace those going down the toilet in other areas.

          • ScottGN

            Sorry greywarshark. After decades of greed driven demolition of our finest buildings I’m grateful for whatever scanty protections are now in place to protect our much diminished built heritage in Auckland. And I don’t really give a fuck if that puts developers on the outer.
            If you want low cost housing you don’t even have to go a kilometre from the St James Church in Mt Eden to find acres and acres of crappy post 60s cinder block light- industrial buildings perfect for rebuilding as housing stock. Knock yourself out.

            • greywarshark

              So you think all historic buildings should be kept even if no-one wants them? Sounds impractical to me.

              • ScottGN

                Yeah I do actually. And I don’t believe that no one wants them. That’s just a lazy notion on which to base the excuse to demolish and maximise economic potential. Look at Britomart and all the Victorian and Edwardian warehousing in that area that we were told was of no use and that nobody wanted and which came so close to being demolished. It’s now one of the most vibrant downtown neighbourhoods.

  2. marty mars 2

    The Honour’s system.

    Best overall commenter – McFlock – rarely goes overboard, often deadly accurate, always relevant.

    Best mod – mickey cos he hardly ever does much

    Best rightie – tough one but puckish gets it for excessive wit.

    Best try and make it different initiative – robert guyton – you’ll be a mod soon if you don’t watch out.

    Most missed – so many

    Most provocative (personal view) – TRP close but I’m going with bill

    Most important – lprent you are a legend

    Important mentions – Ann – thank you, VV – good you are vocal, muttonbird – keeping us on track, macro – love your comments.

    And of course many others, too many to name such as joe, ed, grey, maui, rosemary, dennis, pat, andre, Patricia, gabby and so on…

    All the best for the next year everyone.

    • Anne 2.1

      Not a bad list marty mars. Thank you. But naughty, naughty… you left off the “e”. 😉

      Incognito is also a favourite of mine. His comments are always very thoughtful.

      And a plug for Wayne. He comes here frequently so he must enjoy this site. We may not see eye to eye with with him, but his vast experience and knowledge of the subjects he chooses to comment on should be acknowledged. I, for one, have learnt stuff I didn’t know before.

      • Anne 2.1.1

        Oh and btw, Sanctuary should receive a mention although his forth-rightness does upset some people. Oh dear, the list goes on …….

        • marty mars

          BM too and alwyn is fighting a good retreat. The morrie too – we are indeed blessed. Sorry about the e.

          • alwyn

            “alwyn is fighting a good retreat”.
            Retreat? What on earth do you mean sir?

            I take my lead from US Marine General Oliver P Smith.
            His most famous statement, made during the Korean War, was
            “Retreat Hell! We’re just attacking in another direction”.

            I wouldn’t, of course, use the Royal “we” so just change the “We’re” to “I’m”

      • halfcrown 2.1.2

        “And a plug for Wayne. He comes here frequently so he must enjoy this site. We may not see eye to eye with with him, but his vast experience and knowledge of the subjects he chooses to comment on should be acknowledged. I, for one, have learnt stuff I didn’t know before.”

        Yeah agree with that Anne.

    • fender 2.2

      Test. (3rd time lucky)

      Have to agree regarding McFlock, have thought so for quite a while now. I’ll always read what he has to say as there’s much intelligence and wisdom there. Puddleglum was right up there too but sadly has gone silent both here and on his Political Scientist blog since Aug. 2017.

      Thanks lprent and everyone else involved in keeping TS running.

      Happy new year all.

    • Puckish Rogue 2.3

      I’ll accept half wit 🙂

      • fender 2.3.1

        You’ll have no choice but to accept halfwit if you are going to continue to promote the nasty JC 😀

    • veutoviper 2.4

      And to you and your whanau, marty.

      And thank you for the mention. You are really “brave” making an honours list. One of those situations where we always manage to leave someone out and upset them. LOL!

      • marty mars 2.4.1

        Ha for sure. It is my way of expressing that whakataukī that gets used alot – it is about people and if so, who are the people.

        I couldn’t do it but I know someone who writes memoirs – be cool to see one about the people of The Standard imo from then to now.

    • patricia bremner 2.5

      Marty, Thanks. You get the most sincere prize. xx

    • McFlock 2.6

      Gosh. Thanks for that!

  3. Pat 3

    Word for 2019…..LESS.

    We (humanity) have a problem, and perversely it is the cause of all our woes but that which we devote all our abilities to, and it is ‘growth’ or alternatively ‘more’.

    Irrespective of our political leanings our models are designed to serve this desire no matter how it is dressed…and it would appear the most effective model to deliver to these desires is market capitalism, but it is not the only participant in the race for more, merely the current leader.
    Recent volatility indicates a growing fear of missing out , albeit a subliminal understanding, it is like a rush on supermarket shelves when a shortage is announced or the mayhem at a “Black Friday” sale in the US…..but this is a (fire) sale that we cannot choose to avoid when every government pursues an agenda of growth.

    Until we recognise this, design and implement a contrary model we will destroy ourselves for in this world of ‘more’ there is one thing that gets less and less …and that is time.

    • The Chairman 3.1

      With a growing population (locally and internationally) I don’t think growth can be avoided.

      • Pat 3.1.1

        I’d suggest one way or another it will be….either by choice or imposition. One gives an outside chance of control and success, the other?

        • The Chairman

          “Either by choice or imposition” – is that going to be the new slogan for the Greens?

          • Pat

            i doubt any political party would choose to be so blunt, but it dosnt change the facts…..and the imposition is not necessarily human though it may be.

            • Pat

              or perhaps it would be better to say…not necessarily political

            • The Chairman

              The facts are the population is growing, thus until that is turned around growth is required. The occurrence of a natural imposition forcing major change is years away. Therefore, I can’t see “less” being the word for 2019.

              Moreover, what happened to the goal of trying to achieve sustainable growth?

              • Pat

                there is no such thing as sustainable growth in a finite environment….the only relevant factors are the size of the environment and the rate of growth….I dont think anyone can seriously argue that we have reached the limits.

                As to a growing population driving growth , while that may have some impact the reality is much of the worlds resources (and the downstream impacts) is wasted on non essentials……reduce the non essentials and more resources are available for the essential….and then theres inequality.

                • The Chairman

                  “There is no such thing as sustainable growth…”

                  Well there is your first hurdle as many believe there is.

                  “I dont think anyone can seriously argue that we have reached the limits.”

                  Again, which is why I don’t see “less” being the word for 2019.

                  However, I agree a lot of resources are wasted on non essentials, thus there will be more publicly acceptable scope for improvement in that regards.

                  Inequality is a big one to overcome in any transition, less is not a word people that are currently struggling can afford to hear. And having less is not likely to be something the well to do will willingly surrender too.

                  Our debt based money supply is another (often overlooked) factor driving the need for growth.

                  • Pat

                    “Well there is your first hurdle as many believe there is”

                    Am well aware its a message that is unlikely to be well received or easy to sell. It remains a message that needs to be expressed however.

                    “Again, which is why I don’t see “less” being the word for 2019”

                    That needed to be edited…and wasnt, to read “…have not reached the limits”. And it is ‘aspirational’.

                    “Inequality is a big one to overcome in any transition, less is not a word people that are currently struggling can afford to hear. And having less is not likely to be something the well to do will willingly surrender too.”

                    Not only the well to do, though they have more to lose and greater influence…..but again, they have a choice.

                    “Our debt based money supply is another (often overlooked) factor driving the need for growth.”

                    “Until we recognise this, design and implement a contrary model we will destroy ourselves for in this world of ‘more’ there is one thing that gets less and less …and that is time.”

                    • The Chairman

                      It may be a message that needs to be expressed but if you can’t sell it and people aren’t willing to take note, it won’t be one that willingly takes hold.

                  • Pat

                    sometimes things develop a life of their own….seeds need to be planted, (and nurtured) and theres quite a bit of unconnected planting happening at the moment.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram


                    Humanity is ‘wedded to growth’; it’s basic biology/psychology. So much misdirected intelligence, so little wisdom.

                    This is wisdom:

                    Any discovery which renders consumption less necessary to the pursuit of living is as much an economic gain as a discovery which improves our skills of production. (Kenneth Boulding, 1945)”

                    There are few indications that humanity can collectively imagine or magic its way out of wedded-to-growth messes.


                    “The current economic system being utilized and internalized relies on perpetual growth. It has long operated counter to the reality that we are confined to a finite planet with finite resources. Yet, this system continues to be practiced and promoted globally. As the environmental and social repercussions of disbelief in limits become increasingly clear, so does our need for a new economic system —one that is not wedded to growth. Neither growth in the number of consumers nor growth in the amount consumed.”


                    “So far the politicians and economists are so wedded to growth that they insist that economic growth is itself the main characteristic of sustainable development.” – a fine example of magical thinking; our leaders have so many constraints on their imagination.

                    • The Chairman

                      Totally agree, Drowsy. We are a society largely wedded to growth and there is little sign of that changing anytime soon.

          • greywarshark

            People are lost and don’t know what to do or think, so often don’t think, including you The Chairman and you follow the general RW stance of carefully stamping on any idea until it loses all its puff. If we all stick in your rut with you we will likely find when TSHTF that you have a backdoor sorted for yourself and those you consider worthy. But the trouble is, that your world will be so changed that having further time in the world with the remnants of civilisation, will be a poisoned chalice.

            • The Chairman

              To be honest, greywarshark I believe it was Pat that failed to think this out. I can’t see “less” being the word for 2019. Perhaps at some stage in the future, but not in 2019.

              At this stage, even the Greens are still talking about sustainable growth.

              • Pat

                Or perhaps I have thought it through a little further than yourself….less is a theme of des gilets jaunes. Less tax on the poorest, less inequality, less hypocrisy, less of the elite….and the yellow vests arnt only in France so maybe ‘less’ will be the word for 2019.

                • The Chairman

                  “Less tax on the poorest, less inequality, less hypocrisy, less of the elite…”

                  You must be joking, right? This Government is supportive of regressive taxes. Are full of hypocrisy and are taking a slow and insufficient approach when it comes to addressing inequality.

                  Unlike the French, we took our petrol tax hikes rather well, thus I can’t see people with yellow vest hitting the streets here in numbers. Well, not in 2019 anyway.

                  • Pat

                    Isnt the point of the post that what governments are promoting at the moment needs to change?….and the French are old hands at public protest so its not surprising they would be among the first…NZ is a ‘fast follower’…well at least according to Key so I wouldnt write it off.
                    Theres always a tipping point and politicians have a history of being unable to judge it.

                    • The Chairman

                      “Isnt the point of the post that what governments are promoting at the moment needs to change?”

                      Indeed. But you are dreaming if you expect that change to happen here in 2019.

                      “NZ is a ‘fast follower’…

                      Ha, I get the impression we are more like the land of Pineapple Lumps.

                      While there is always a tipping point and politicians have a history of being unable to judge it, we a far from it yet.

                      Many here still believe Jacinda will deliver. Once the disillusionment sets in, we may then see a tipping point. Then again, the majority may just show their discontent by voting for National or more may not vote at all. People taking to the streets in mass is not something I foresee in this country’s near future.

                    • Pat

                      “I can’t see too many people that are currently struggling to cope as it is asking that question but I can see an increase in the number of those struggling going forward.”

                      Id suggest that those wearing the yellow vests have already asked and answered that question…..Macron is now deciding the current answer on behalf of the French elite….it wont be the last time .

                  • Pat

                    People taking to the streets is only one method….change is coming whether we choose it or not. A question that will be increasingly asked is how much am i willing to give up to avoid losing everything…that question will hit different people and different societies at different times but its unavoidable.

                    • The Chairman

                      “Change is coming”

                      Not in 2019. Well, not the change your are hoping for.

                      “A question that will be increasingly asked is how much am i willing to give up to avoid losing everything…”

                      I can’t see too many people that are currently struggling to cope as it is asking that question but I can see an increase in the number of those struggling going forward.

                      And at this stage, I don’t think there are many that can afford to relinquish feeling as if they are faced with losing it all if they don’t.

      • greywarshark 3.1.2

        The way to go is to understand what can be done now. We have to unerstand and circumvent the wealthy and their running dogs (very communist term that, but i am noticing similarities in capitalism and communism – both attempt to snatch everything for the leaders’ control and advantage).

      • OnceWasTim 3.1.3

        Great pivoting platforms and leverages going forward Chairperson, I do hope you’re wrong.

  4. DJ Ward 4

    Today in the US it’s National Bacon Day.

    Gives this feeling when living with a vegetarian. It’s a GIF so just let it sink in while it loads.


  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    The links on both of the ‘Ten most…’ posts are acting weird. When I right-click and open in new tab they both open in the new tab and have that page go on to the clicked link. This does not appear to be an issue with Firefox as other pages are working fine.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Actually, maybe it does have something to do with Firefox as it’s not doing it in Chrome.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    I am heading up north for a week, so have a happy new year and see everyone in 2019!

  7. veutoviper 7

    For diehards like myself (and mickysavage?), the mystery continues of the continuing leaks from someone in the National caucus despite Jami-lee Ross no longer being a member of the Nat Caucus or Party.

    Obviously Chris Trotter is also a diehard in this regard, and yesterday he posted a piece on interest.co.nz which has not appeared on his own blog, Bowalley Road or on The Daily Blog.


    Well worth taking a few minutes to read, Trotter’s article starts with a quote from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of Silver Blaze” and then ponders the possibilities …

    Gregory (Scotland Yard detective): “Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?”

    Sherlock Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”

    Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

    Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

    The Adventure of Silver Blaze – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    What would Sherlock Holmes make of the fact that National’s caucus kept on leaking against Simon Bridges even after Jami-Lee Ross had been thrown out of it?

    So much time and effort had been put into tracking down the person responsible for leaking Bridges’ travel expenses – almost as much as that dedicated to disciplining and punishing the alleged culprit. Ross’s response to this latter effort provided what was easily the most spectacular political story of 2018. Having metaphorically poured petrol over himself and struck a match, Ross was, unsurprisingly, hauled off the political stage. End of story? Not at all. The leaks kept coming.

    What does that tell us? The obvious response: if Ross was no longer in a position to leak sensitive information from the National caucus, then somebody else must have done it. And, if that is the case, then it is surely arguable that Ross may never have been the leaker. Except, that would mean that he had been set up. That he was the designated patsy in a complex plot to leave Bridges vulnerable to attack by removing Ross from the equation. (Anyone who’s watched The Godfather will instantly recognise the move. Before “hitting” Don Corleone, his enemies were careful to first eliminate his fearsome bodyguard, Luca Brasi.)

    The curious incident of the dog that continues to bark raises a great many subsidiary questions concerning Bridges long-term future as National’s leader. Not the least of these is: Whose conspiracy are we witnessing? Cui bono? …

    Any more would be a spoiler so I will leave it at that, other than to say that he has expressed extremely well what I have been thinking but in a much less orderly and rational manner.

    AND the comments to date are well worth reading – if only for the contrast in their quality compared for example to those on Stuff articles. I don’t often venture to interest.co.nz but have now bookmarked it for further exploration of existing articles and future ones.

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      Excellent analysis, & the leaker is the sleeper issue for the new year until another leak wakes everyone up. Trotter’s theorising assumes intelligence in the National camp. Bit of a stretch, that, always.

      “If it’s Bridges’ intention simply to act as some sort of Far-Right John the Baptist to Judith Collin’s Messiah, then, from the moderates’ perspective, the sooner he’s politically beheaded the better.”

      He’s arguing for the Collins coup not to be delayed till late 2019. Assuming the moderates in National are a credible faction (rather than a vortex of flotsam & jetsam) and will coalesce around a rightist JC semi-plausibly reinvented as a bland moderate. If, in an interview, when asked about any past alignment with Lusk, she replies “Simon who?” she ought to be credited with wit. Journalists would immediately run a plethora of stories claiming it to be a put-down of Bridges.

      Until she fronts as that clever, I can’t see caucus moderates being drawn into her orbit – unless she passes Bridges in the preferred PM poll. Nat rats deserting the sinking ship would then tip the balance. Ralston reckons “that Ross has been used by a couple of Machiavellian plotters on the Nats’ periphery to pave the way for Collins to oust Bridges”. Naive. No such leverage from the periphery is ever possible. However, if he means Lusk protégés working with one or more team-builders with current influence on the caucus thinking, the theory is feasible. Seems to me that JLR was indeed set up, but as likely by Bridges working with other leading Nats as by any such Lusk-masterminded operation.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        Deeply thoughtful vv. Was that the one where Holmes looked to see if there were limping sheep, having a thought that the favourite for the race could have been knobbled with a small cut to a tendon, and the sheep used for practice so the main job would be perfect.

        • veutoviper

          Yes, but those details are not relevant to Trotter’s specific reference to the conversation between Gregory and Holmes about “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time”, in particular:

          Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”

          Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

          The dog did nothing – eg it did not bark. Why?

          Because it was an inside job. There were no strangers and the dog did not bark because it knew the person who took Silver Blaze from its stall and out onto the moor.

          That Conan Doyle quote has long been used as a metaphor (?) for inside jobs where the perpetrator may well be “hoist with his/her own petard”. Just to throw in a bit of Shakespeare for what Trotter is intimating in his article. LOL

          • greywarshark

            I wondered whether it had the sheep in it too. I got the bit about the dog that didn’t bark. I wonder if the gang has tried something similar on someone else in the past as a test case?

      • veutoviper 7.1.2

        Go back and read it again – you seem to have not read or ignored almost the entire second half of the article other than the final two paragraphs..

        It starts with this teaser (my bold):

        Then again, what we have witnessed over the past few months may actually be the preparations for a pre-emptive coup: a blocking move intended to make a Collins takeover impossible. But who could do that? Who possesses the necessary political skills to manoeuvre one poorly performing leader out of his job in order to prevent a colleague determined to shift the National Party sharply to the right from taking his place?

        • Dennis Frank

          A feasible scenario, but of less import than the others. Why? It requires a level of machiavellian thought I doubt exists within the Nats. We just never get evidence that much happens there above the level of simple-mindedness. I’ve been watching them since the late sixties. The consistency of thought that prevails in National Party culture has always been summed up by their`morons rule, okay?’ mindset.

          But hey, if you see evidence of that scenario firming up, I’d be keen for you to share it. Anything other than their usual incompetence would be a pleasant surprise.

          • veutoviper

            Chris Trotter has also been close to the action for many years – probably much closer than you or I as a political commentator. He has shared it as a scenario and I have then shared his thoughts.

            IMO you are naive it you think all Nats are simple minded and consistent in their thoughts – and judge them on that singular perception. Machiavellian thought is well within the realms of possibility for some and has been evident over the years – eg how did Key get parachuted in and by whom?

            • Dennis Frank

              Key told Roughan that he decided to be PM when he was a child. Or maybe he told his mother that, can’t recall. But it’s in the biography. Don’t need Machiavelli. Occam’s razor.

              Re Trotter, yeah, no problem apart from the lack of evidence offered. He has to dream up scenarios to make features from. Infotainment is okay.

              • veutoviper

                Yes, Key always wanted to be PM, but the way that he ended up coming back to NZ and being parachuted into the Helensville electorate, etc involved a lot of maginations behind the scenes within National involving people like Michelle Boag etc …

                Those moves were certainly not simple-minded, above board maneuvering. Occam’s Razor is not always right.

  8. joe90 8

    Racist talking heads spouting diseased foreigners rhetoric, inciting hate, popularising indifference, identification, isolation, mass detention….you’re almost there, ‘Murica….

    VIDEO: Staffers caught dragging, slapping, & pushing migrant children at a detention facility operated by Southwest Key (a nonprofit whose CEO makes millions on the backs of undocumented children). Full video as obtained by the Arizona Republic: https://t.co/0rt2KKaqWa pic.twitter.com/svGwFemlrb— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) December 29, 2018


    “Though Southwest Key is, on paper, a charity, no one has benefited more than Mr. Sanchez, now 71. Serving as chief executive, he was paid $1.5 million last year — more than twice what his counterpart at the far larger American Red Cross made.”


    “Mr. Sanchez is central to the administration’s plans. Southwest Key can now house up to 5,000 children in its 24 shelters, including a converted Walmart Supercenter that has drawn criticism as a warehouse for youths.“


    ”The system is nearing a breaking point, with a record 14,000 minors at about 100 sites — a human crisis, but also a moneymaking opportunity.”

    • greywarshark 8.1

      What’s the bet that Mr Sanchez was originally Cuban. The money making elite driven out by the people attempting to shift power there, have carried a deep grudge that they were forced away from their feeding stalls.

      The same will happen here if we can make changes. Be prepared for hard times.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      But… But, profit always brings about Good Things – the economists told us so.

  9. Morrissey 9

    Pretty sad when the most intelligent television commentary
    comes from a right wing host on Fox News.

    As Jimmy Dore says, “If Tucker Carlson can get it right, then you should get it right, too. You should be embarrassed that Tucker Carlson asks questions that you won’t.”

    • joe90 9.1

      Dore’s the comedian who admitted that until last week, he knew nothing about Rojava and YPG Kurds.


        • joe90

          Over the years Dore’s made dozens of videos monetised Syrian suffering with titles like Truth about Syria etc, but his ignorance about the plight of Rojava and YPG Kurds makes it pretty damn clear that disingenuous prick never really bothered researching the issue.

          • francesca

            of course he has
            Thats what they all do
            Entertainment and click bait Serious journalists who do the hard yards and research are the ones to read, even if you don’t always like what they say

        • Andre

          They’re a distinct people trying for a degree of self-determination spread among four different nasty authoritarian regimes, with some sort of war going on involving them for most of those people’s lifetimes. That’s quite a shitty situation to be in. So it’s not entirely surprising some of their ways of dealing with that are in turn shitty as well.

          That observation isn’t excusing the shittiness, it’s just acknowledgement of shitty realities. And it’s good reason to be sympathetic and helpful towards their self-determination goals.

          But yeah, anyone holding Rojava up as some sort of paragon to be aspired to is either deluded or in possession of some pretty shitty values and priorities themselves.

    • Puckish Rogue 9.2

      The thing, to me, about Tucker is hes a smart on to it guy, he knows what hes talking about but he spends far too much time hosting nutters on his show

      Yeah its fun watching him dismantle the loons but its easy, low hanging fruit so its good to watch him stretch himself a bit

    • DJ Ward 9.3

      I rate Tucker as one of the best question askers there is.

      Antifa who attacked his home are LWNJ who Trump correctly said are as bad as the White racists.

      • Morrissey 9.3.1

        Jesus, you are actually stupid.


        Are there no checks on what this fool says?

        • DJ Ward

          What was wrong with what I said? Can you explain, no!
          I’ll try.

          Tucker is good at his job. You may not like him because he works for Fox but that’s irrelevant.

          Antifa are an organised group of cowards who cover there faces, and use violence to oppress other people. There arguments get destroyed by people like Tucker, so since there ideas are mostly worthless they resort to violence to get there way. They especially hate free speech, a modus operandi of the radical left. Attacking a persons home because Tucker can so easily mock them was this years most childish act of protest. If they took there masks off, had some signs, and used no violence, and didn’t flee before the police arrived, then they might have had a tiny bit of credibility. They have none.

          • millsy

            The KKK and their offshoot the Black Legion are way worse than Antifa will ever be. They used to actually kill black men for even looking at white women. Kill them. 30000 blacks were lynched by the KKK from the 1870’s to the 1960’s, and we now have Trump who wants to encourage that activity again. But you condone that behavior.

          • Morrissey

            You think black civil rights activists are the equivalent of the KKK.

            You’re a moron.

            • greywarshark

              I thought that is the opposite of what he said. Your reply does not fit the context.

              So apologise.
              The Black Legion was an authoritarian, quasi-military organization, which forced discipline upon its heavily-armed members by initiating them at the point of a gun and threatening death if they ever disclosed the secrets of the group to outsiders. To join the organization, a person had to swear that he was a white, native-born, Protestant American citizen and agree to take up arms, when called upon, against the group’s enemies.

          • joe90

            Carlson was lying but hey, the bow-tied coxcomb lies for a living.


            • Morrissey

              But in the interview with that hapless ex-Obama underling, Carlson was not lying—apart from when he smoothly claimed that Israel was democratic.

        • DJ Ward

          Another Tucker, critique by Dore.

          He also comments, contrary to Joe90 at that he has been de-monetised.

  10. CHCOff 10

    We don’t really understand what’s under the hood in this:


    But a little non beltway cause and effect analysis could suggest at heart it is a architecture for the systemic creation of black markets on a global scale, exposing ill-equiped societal institutions to organised crime syndicates.

    A changing of the guard from that of the political rorting classes to those of mafia type extortion in the body politic.

    Political economy is never satiated, it never has enough, & even when the bountiful garden is transformed into a disease festering mud sludge, it will still be demanding more like nothing has changed!!

    • Dennis Frank 10.1

      What’s so difficult to understand? Prof Kelsey demonstrates that she doesn’t understand democracy yet again. Simple. Dunno where you get all that mafioso stuff from!

      Will the alt-trade initiative she discusses turn out to be just as ephemeral as Sue Bradford’s leftist think-tank? Probably. But I hope not. We need a credible alternative to the pragmatic neoliberalism the coalition is using.

      • greywarshark 10.1.1

        But Prof Kelsey has good points. She is saying that we aren’t proceeding democratically isn’t she? That we are being forced into a corner with these trade agreements.

        • Dennis Frank

          The way representative democracy was designed to operate is for electors to elect representatives to make decisions on their behalf. When a majority of these form a govt, that govt therefore puts democracy into practice via legislation.

          Which is precisely what has happened with the modified TPPA. What part does Kelsey continue to fail to get?? And why try to spin democratic decision-making as being forced into a corner? Is she really that keen to get a public reputation for being delusional? I marched against the thing, but as soon as the Herald published their editorial pointing out that the secret lawyer tribunal that decided in favour of Exxon, when the govt of Ecuador penalised them for failing to clean up their jungle pollution, had been unable to enforce the judgment, I agreed with the Herald that paranoia was unnecessary. Reality has since then continued to prove that the thing has no teeth. Kelsey prefers paranoia to reality, obviously, but I see no reason to agree that bad mental health ought to be contagious…

          • veutoviper

            Well said, Dennis. I had just started drafting a reply to you that had got as far as the quote below when I decided I had wasted too much time here today already and to leave it and get outside.

            Dennis, you make some good points re Kelsey and it is good to see some people finally getting there. Kelsey is anti any form of trade agreement – period, And always has been. I have met her and she is a nice person and very intelligent, but she is intransigent on that point.

            Whether people like it or not, NZ, and most countries in the modern world are trading nations with imports/exports integral to their economies and ways of living.

            People can dream all they like, but until the world as we know it blows apart (through climate change or other factors) trading between nations will continue – with a requirement for agreed methods, procedures etc of doing so.

            Like any form of commerce, inter-nation trading requires ongoing negotiation, compromise, agreement etc within agreed parameters for doing so. Such negotiations are ongoing continually and cover a multitude of areas and fields other than just pure trade.

            One of the main objectives of a democratic elected form of government is that people vote in representatives to act on their behalf in undertaking such negotiations, compromises and agreements. Very little would ever be achieved if every single such agreement had to be put out to a democratic vote by everyone.

            So “snap” in terms of the last para above and your first para.

            I could write volumes on the subject of trade generally, older style trade agreements, the more recent ones etc but won’t go there today. I grew up as the child of a NZ Trade Commissioner and we lived overseas for my teen years in that capacity; I then went on to similar forms of government jobs involving international govt interaction on specific areas I will not go into.

            But fresh air time. Happy New Year.

    • greywarshark 10.2

      I think you are onto it. The power base in government has been corrupted, it is full of minor princelings who love their money, the women who never were feminists but have jumped with alacrity into moneyed, prominent positions, they see things along efficiency and class lines. There isn’t much integrity there, it is staying in power, and playing the credulous, incurious or value-bereft society like a fisherman with multi-hook lines.

  11. Morrissey 11

    When Jeremy Corbyn becomes P.M. it will be like this.

    Thirty years ago, they predicted the tiresome and absurd smears about being a Russian agent, and even the bitching about him choosing to travel second class on the train…

  12. greywarshark 12

    This Brian Eno thinkpiece was on TS a decade on, but in case anyone misses it I am putting it here also. I like his thinking. What is your feeling? (3 minutes)

  13. greywarshark 13

    Something I don’t like – nasty flesh eating bug and the medical establishment in Australia doesn’t see to know enough about it apart from its name.

    Cases are also getting more severe, leading to larger wounds that can take longer than a year to heal.

    “It’s got a toxin that actually does three things,” explained Associate Professor Daniel O’Brien from Barwon Health.
    “One is dissolve flesh.
    “A second thing is it produces is an anaesthetic agent so a lot of the time, especially early on, patients don’t feel it.
    “The third thing is it actually paralyses the immune system.”

    The flesh-eating bacteria, Mycobacterium ulcerans, is related to the infection that causes leprosy.
    It stays dormant in an infected person for months before a wound starts to bulge.
    “It is an aggressive disease that’s not easy to treat,” Dr O’Brien said.

    “It’s not your usual bacteria, so normal antibiotics don’t work….

    Over several weeks, it swells into a much larger and more obvious red bulge.
    Eventually, the skin breaks open, exposing a raw and pus-filled wound that continues to grow.
    This is how a Buruli ulcer forms, the result of flesh-eating bacteria that is infecting hundreds of Victorians.

    “It was really scary,” university student Jacinta Mazzarella said. “I was really worried I might lose my limb.”
    Several months ago, the 18-year-old developed a Buruli ulcer that was bigger than an Australian 50-cent coin on her left ankle…

    “I couldn’t work because I wasn’t allowed to stand on it for a long period of time, so I had a good four, five months off,” she said.
    “I’m a dancer – I had to stop dancing.”

    Fortunately, medical advancements have meant treatments are much more effective than in the past, and Ms Mazzarella’s skin is starting to heal after extensive medical care….

    Over the past four years, the annual number of infections reported in Victoria has almost quadrupled.

  14. The Chairman 14

    Here’s one that put a smile on my dial. I’ve posted it before but some may have missed it, so here it is again.

  15. The Chairman 15

    Although Labour failed to reduce GP fees down to $8 as announced in their election campaign, they have nonetheless lower them.

    The question now is are they going to also lower prescription fees?

    A colleague visited the doctor the other day and was charged $18.50. They were then charged $30 for their prescription. While some may think $48.50 in total isn’t much, for those struggling it can be a major setback. It certainly put a dent in their Christmas. Therefore, it would be good to know if Labour are also working on getting these costs down too?

  16. mauī 16

    Now is also a good time to remember those who have passed on. Armed Offenders Bloke, Psycho Milk, MalcolmInTHeMiddle to name a few.

  17. The Chairman 17

    The price of tobacco is set to increase again tomorrow. Increasing the fiscal hardship for smokers and no doubt spurring more violence and crime.

    When will we put an end to this madness?

    • marty mars 17.1

      Time to stop smoking perhaps. The madness ends quickly after that.

      • The Chairman 17.1.1

        You don’t have to be a smoker to be negatively impacted by this madness.

        Ever had your house, workplace or car burgled? Ever had a knife pulled on you and money demands put on you on the street?

        Think of the shop owners and their staff and how many of them have been harmed or killed. Think of the children that have been and are likely to be caught up in a shop holdup.

        • marty mars

          “Ever had your house, workplace or car burgled? Ever had a knife pulled on you and money demands put on you on the street?”

          Shit didn’t think things had got so bad – freaking pulling a knife because of tobacco – ffs I gave up smoking no point holding me up.

          • The Chairman

            Seems you are out of touch, Marty. Things are bad out there and this madness will only worsen it.

            • marty mars

              Even more reason to get them off the ciggies – maybe a much bigger increase would help them even more to quit.

              • veutoviper

                The continual increases in price are apparently having diminishing results in encouraging people to give up, marty.

                In recent months, there has been quite a lot of publicity and calls for this approach to be dropped or relooked at due to the unintended consequences of increased attacks etc on shop keepers etc.

                The approach is also seen as out of step etc with the approach to alcohol sales – and more lately, to the moves towards decriminalisation etc of cannabis.

                Big subject so above is pretty rough but one for discussion another day.

                Not about to search links etc out today!

                • marty mars

                  Yes a big subject.

                  I’m sure various links could be put up from all sides.

                  Diminishing returns are expected with this approach.

                  I’ve read plenty this year about the attacks and what not – anyone being robbed is horrible.

                  Put the price up and get an increase in robberies is a bit simplistic for me – I think many more variables are in the mix AND that doesn’t diminish the impact of this factor of price.

                  So a wide approach across a broad front with support and help available and a continued incremental price increase is a plan I like.

                  There is no law that says people should be allowed to smoke – things change.

                  I gave up 2 years ago because of price.

              • The Chairman

                Tax increases are no cure for addiction, Marty.

                However, it may lead to more beating their partner due to the related stress it will create, but you won’t see too many reports highlighting that.

          • DJ Ward

            When there’s thousands behind the counter, and pennies in the till, guess what happens.

            • marty mars

              Isn’t the till behind the counter too? It should be otherwise it’s just asking for trouble.

              • Anne

                The most famous till in the world:

                • gsays

                  Nurse Gladys Emmanuel!

                  • Anne

                    I don’t think he ever got to even kiss her.

                    The nearest he came was to wait outside the house at night in the hope she forgot to close the bedroom curtains and he might catch a glimpse of her undressing for bed.

                    Priceless comedy.

                • mac1

                  My father was a corner grocer from when I was five. I loved using our cash drawer but wanted a proper till à la Arkwright for Christmas. Santa visited our store and I told him i wanted a till. The poor old gent became very hard of hearing until my mother appeared after about three increasingly louder versions of “I want a TILL”!

                  Surprisingly, he then understood me, I got a little red till for Christmas to play shops with, and an increased understanding about life from then on………

                  Now I too am a store Santa in the season and get very hard of hearing sometimes.

                  • greywarshark

                    A great Christmas story thanks mac1. Santa is very important to us all, encouraging us to think of others, to turn towards children and bring some fun and a ritual that is positive into their lives. The commercialisation and stress is because the trend has been away from that, to what’s in it for ‘me’.

    • joe90 17.2

      When tobacco is reclassified as a class A drug.

      • The Chairman 17.2.1

        Little will have his hands full reducing prison numbers and taxpayers will be gutted at the high cost of imprisoning them.

        It’s a health issue, hence time we treat it as one.

        • Ad

          Tobacco is already a crime issue as you note.

          Marijuana will in time be just as regulated, with tax and with access. The referendum in 2020 will propose declasdafication.

          commodification comes next.

          • The Chairman

            The buying and selling, consumption and possession of tobacco products is not a crime. Users are generally addicted, which makes it a health problem.

            What I noted was crime related to the soaring cost due to the continued tax hikes.

            It wouldn’t surprise me that the Government plans to tax it hard, but unlike tobacco, the marijuana black market is well established, which will make it extremely difficult for the Government to compete if they tax it too hard.

            • Ad

              i was agreeing with you.
              i’m sure you can follow that.

              this government is already preparing a rationale for higher taxes on (future) legalised marijuana even if non-smoked marijuana is less addictive than smoked.

              it is doing that by preparing enforcement regimes through the Police showing risk of public harm while driving influenced. Nash will take this to Select Committee first quarter.

              this also responds to Nick Smith’s citizen petition on road deaths caused ny drugged drivers.

              this comm9n harm rationale sets up the regulatory equivalence between tobacco and marijuana.

              • The Chairman

                Are there tests that can explicitly show a driver is under the influence and is not merely showing they have consumed it sometime in the past week or month? And are the Government planning on introducing these tests as part of this new enforcement regime?

                • Ad

                  yes and yes.

                  that is what will be brought to Select Committee.

                • Yes there are, TC. Saliva based testing gives a snapshot of recent use (hours, rather than days). However, the standard for saliva testing at evidential level has not yet been approved. That should happen in the next few months and it will impact on workplace testing as well.

                  • The Chairman

                    Sarah Leamon (a Vancouver lawyer specializing in cannabis law) said “the bottom line is that all of these devices don’t have any reflection on the level of impairment at all when it comes to the subject of the test”


                    Seems Labour may have to rethink this, bet they won’t.

                    • You are correct that Labour won’t rethink this. It’s nothing to do with them. It’s a statutory body that sets the guidelines, not the Government. There is widespread acceptance in the testing industry that saliva is the way to go as it is more accurate in showing impairment, rather than historical use. However, those wedded to the profits to be made from urine based testing are dead against.

                      What it comes down to is whether we are testing for safety reasons or because we like to punish people for their lifestyle choices. I can tell you that NZ employers are over the moral argument; they just want good, safe employees who turn up for work. What the workers do in the weekends is no longer the issue.

                    • The Chairman

                      “What the workers do in the weekends is no longer the issue.”

                      It is when they are being tested by a device that is unfit for purpose.

                      It seems these testing devices don’t indicate any reflection on the level of impairment. Therefore, showing someone smoked a joint on Sunday night doesn’t mean they are impaired, thus unfit for work (or to drive) the following morning. Hence, it’s far from fair and just, thus Government shouldn’t support it.

                    • They literally do show the level of impairment. That’s the point of them and why they are superior for evidential purposes. I’d prefer we simply don’t test at all, but if we are going to do it, then best we go for the most accurate devices.

                    • The Chairman

                      “There is no one blood or oral fluid concentration that can differentiate impaired and not impaired,” says Marilyn Huestis, who spent over 20 years leading cannabinoid-related research projects at the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

                      I’m guessing Labour will try and get around this by creating limits for THC levels in oral fluid concentration. This is essentially a legal shortcut that will allow police to lay an impaired driving charge based on a driver’s oral fluid concentration level, without actually having to prove impairment.

                      While police already use limits for alcohol impairment, blood alcohol concentration has been shown to have a close, predictable link to impairment. The same is simply not true of saliva testing and blood THC levels, and this is where things become underhanded and unjust.

                  • greywarshark

                    So that is top of the list to do. This cannabis thing has gone on for years; far too long. Let’s do all that is needed to get a sensible thoroughgoing system in place without room for doubters and ditherers to put their spoke in.

                    Evidence-based thinking. That is a term i have heard is regarded as best practice. It might be the right way to go in dealing with cannabis in all its issues, which are so clouded with emotion and its history. It would be better than listening to all those who can think of a thousand reasons not to do something. Result, nothing settled and achieved and we can never move on, and the undealt with matters of importance to our lives linger around and cause so much pain that is totally avoidable.

      • The Chairman 17.2.2

        If tobacco were to be reclassified as a class A drug, wouldn’t we then have to compensate the tobacco companies?

    • DJ Ward 17.3

      The costs (tax) of smoking has far exceeded compensating the Crown for costs.
      Cullen declined increasing tax on tobacco as he said the Crown already recovered costs. Less superannuation etc.
      Presently smokers are being ripped off.
      Smokers are financially compensating healthcare for other industries like sugar.

      Smokers are charged for the cost of healthcare in ordinary taxes, then pay more than full health insurance in descriminatory taxes. They pay more than twice, but only die once.

      Health nuts that live to 90, need rest homes, healthcare, super etc for much longer, cost us a fortune and don’t pay there fair share of taxes. Hypocricy.

      • The Chairman 17.3.1

        And to top it off, smoking prevalence is higher among those with lower socioeconomic status.

        It’s a regressive tax largely hurting the poor. And the damage (stress and fiscal hardship) it bears down upon families and individuals is largely unreported.

        • Sacha

          If the tax helps more poor people than rich ones give up smoking, its outcome is progressive in health and social terms.

          • The Chairman

            Clearly, for them (the poor that quit) it will be. But that overlooks the impact for those that don’t. And of course, the wider ramifications.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.4

      When every stupid idiot stops smoking?

      • The Chairman 17.4.1

        Isn’t that the day that will never come? Akin to the day we totally stop other forms of drug use?

  18. Gabby 18

    Aren’t you supposed to be focusing on the roads while those billboards are up cherry?

    • The Chairman 18.1

      My focus on the roads was more related to Labour’s failure to deliver a 4 lane expressway. And yes, National failed to deliver on it as well. Which just reaffirms they both suck.

      • Robert Guyton 18.1.1

        Our “cheerie” Chairman and Pete George have a similar “footprint”. They both clothe their antipathy for Labour in a cloak of reasonableness.

      • Sacha 18.1.2

        “failure to deliver a 4 lane expressway”

        and a pony.

        • greywarshark

          Like this one!
          Followed up by Mrs Doyle who is as persistent as a National Party political female. And at the back is an example of a a male polly past his use-by date.

  19. Dennis Frank 19

    2018 seems to be ending with the sound of reality sucking the rug out from underneath Trump. “Right-wing columnist Ann Coulter – author of In Trump We Trust – recently predicted he will not be re-elected. “Without a wall, he will only be remembered as a small cartoon figure who briefly inflamed and amused the rabble,” she wrote.”

    “The idea of a concrete wall on the US-Mexico border was dropped early on Donald Trump’s presidency, his outgoing chief of staff John Kelly says.” https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/379276/mexico-wall-trump-aide-says-concrete-wall-idea-was-dropped-early-on

    “Before leaving, he gave a rare interview to the LA Times, published on Sunday, in which he called the role a “bone-crushing hard job”. “To be honest, it’s not a wall,” Mr Kelly said, when asked about plans for the border. The former Marine Corps general was initially appointed as Mr Trump’s homeland security secretary before becoming chief of staff in July 2017. As soon as he did so, he told the LA Times, he sought advice from those who “actually secure the border”.”

    All in all, it’s just another non-brick in the non-wall – Kelly reckons steel slats are the current plan (so the guards can see through). “Trump has tweeted the term “wall” 59 times this month alone.” Gotta keep them rednecks fixated on their dream. Trump has a mandate from voters to build the wall, but cannot give voters what they want until Congress agrees on the funding. And, as Coulter reminded us, voters means rabble.

    Stalemate in the haggling process has caused Trump to threaten to close the border. Both Democrats and Republicans tacitly agree that a partial govt shutdown is better than deciding on the amount of expenditure. Neither has been honest enough to explain this to voters/rabble. Agreeing on the wall budget would give voters/rabble the result they elected Trump to produce. Both parties insist the current sham is better than real democracy.

  20. Dennis Frank 20

    Kid from Remuera gets knighthood: “Sir Timothy Richard Shadbolt KNZM (born 19 February 1947) is a New Zealand politician.” Doesn’t say left-wing. Karl Marx was the name of his concrete mixer (the one that he towed behind the mayoral car in ’83). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Shadbolt

    He was “editor of Craccum in 1972. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, he became prominent in the Progressive Youth Movement, a radical left-wing organisation, and was arrested 33 times during political protests”. One News re-ran a selection of shots of young Tim in rabble-rousing mode from the early seventies.

    Reminds us that saying bullshit in public was illegal back then. Tell that to younger generations now and I bet they refuse to believe you. Try it.

    “In the 1996 general election he stood unsuccessfully as a candidate for the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party.” Ah, but will he campaign for legalisation in 2020?

  21. Robert Guyton 21


  22. Robert Guyton 22

    “primus inter pares – the first among equals.”

  23. Instauration 23

    Nation – Kiwi – Fern – Black Cap – Sailing – New Zealand – All Black – Triumph – Loss
    Has nothing to do with me
    I have no influence or control over the outcomes
    I have no right to bask in the glory of the success of individual or minor collectives
    Just like every other entity bounded by this coastline
    Most are deluded
    Born here – by accident – like all.
    New Zealander ?

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