Open mike 31/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 31st, 2015 - 172 comments
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172 comments on “Open mike 31/01/2015 ”

  1. bloody hell..!..is this the end-times..?

    ..rightwinger roughan has come out swinging..

    ..for beneficiaries..(!)

    (i know..!..i know..!..colour me surprised too..!..)

    ed:..well..!..knock me over with a feather..!..rightwinger roughan has come out in support of the ‘pariahs’..beneficiaries..

    “..Boston and Chapple make a good case for increasing benefits by the rate of average wage rises.

    It is strange that Labour did not make this change 10 or more years ago when it had budget surpluses –

    – National should do now.

    Ideally it would backdate the increases as far as surpluses might permit –

    – giving benefits quite a boost in the next few years.

    Pensions have long enjoyed increases pegged to wages –

    – and it is not fair to treat superannuitants so much more generously than other state dependants –

    – particularly children..”

    (cont..)

    http://whoar.co.nz/2015/ed-well-knock-me-over-with-a-feather-rightwinger-roughan-has-come-out-in-support-of-the-pariahs-beneficiaries/

    • and the other rightwinger o’sullivan..

      ..has come out with a plea for turei to also stand down..(!)

      ..o’sullivan thinks turei is too left..

      ..(and that she sometimes says nasty-things about key..)

      ..i won’t link to it..

      ..because it is a pile of steaming-horse-shit..

      • Karen 1.1.1

        Yeah, I love how all the right wing journalists keep trying to advise the Green Party that if only they were more like National they would be able to be a minor part of government and then maybe they could get the occasional environmental policy enacted. Nothing too green of course, nothing that would stop Nats’ mates continuing to wreck the environment. The Herald editorial has a similar flavour to O’Sullivan’s piece. Unbelievably patronising with absolutely no understanding of how the Green Party operates.

        The problem with rightwingers is they can’t comprehend the concept of having principals and sticking to them. For them it seems power is all that counts.

        • saveNZ 1.1.1.1

          Getting into bed with National totally worked for Act and the Maori Party, NOT! The Greens not so stupid…

    • millsy 1.2

      I guess only Nixon could go to China….

      • Morrissey 1.2.1

        ….only Nixon could go to China

        That’s political class bilge if ever there was. Nixon “went to China” in order to drive a further wedge between the USSR and China. Don’t forget that at the time he went to China, Nixon was supervising the destruction of Indo-China.

        As well as that, his backdoor emissary to the Chinese was Yahya Khan, the bloodsoaked leader of Pakistan. Because of Khan’s sterling work, the United
        States refrained from speaking out against Pakistan’s murderous war on East Pakistan, which became Bangladesh.

        The idea that the Democrats would somehow have lacked the credentials or political weight to undertake certain actions is as nonsensical as the notion that Obama is a great reformer who is held back by those ornery Republicans.

    • millsy 1.3

      I guess only Nixon could go to China….

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      It is strange that Labour did not make this change 10 or more years ago when it had budget surpluses –

      No it’s not as they were, and still are, keeping to the neo-liberal BS that benefits should be low so as to keep wages low.

      National should do now.

      Ideally it would backdate the increases as far as surpluses might permit –

      – giving benefits quite a boost in the next few years.

      And yet what National will do is give tax cuts to the rich.

  2. Ad 2

    These long queues we are seeing for people trying to find a place to rent are only going to get bigger and bigger. So the political story will grow too.

    Surely this should have an asset-sales scale campaign from a party or parties? Labour and Greens are so close on this.

    • b waghorn 2.1

      Another day another Auckland housing story it really is hard to care when most of the problem seems self made buy people flocking there and others indebting them selves to the eye balls.

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Politics is made by people working crowds.

      • weka 2.1.2

        Make it a Chch story then.

      • sabine 2.1.3

        i agree…everyone who has not lived for at least 20 years in Auckland should move…somewhere else.

        simple as that. If they can’t find jobs – pffft who cares. if they are elsewhere the govenrment and its water boys has got no more problems.

        • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.3.1

          You can’t fit 1/3 of the population of NZ in 0.3% of the land area without the whole thing being a shit fight.

        • b waghorn 2.1.3.2

          Unless you were going in on a income of $150k minimum you would be mad to move there.

        • b waghorn 2.1.3.3

          @col you can if people stop with the mansions and the lawns

          • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.3.3.1

            Sure, it can be done with affordable apartment buildings, subways and public transport, like any modern city of the world.

  3. North 3

    How right you are Granny Herald !

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11394465

    This Catton girl has been SO naughty……..stroppy little poppy she is. But, as you say, best we all back off a bit. Just wait and see what a good and grateful girl she CAN be I’m sure.

    Ekshilly, Je suis just a little bit unsettled what with this freedom of speech thing and its patent gratuitousness (clutching pearls to beat Maggie Smith)………”I mean this is ALL about the prime minister for goodness sake and while she didn’t use the words “traitorous hua”……..well, it’s a slippery slope and there ARE limits !”

    Mr Key, FAR more proficient with fiction than she ever was simply does not deserve this sort of thing !

    • vto 3.1

      Pathetic Herald surprise surprise ……..

      the Herald’s rich money-grubbing right wing owners would not approve of Catton’s comments so it is hardly surprising the Herald has not engaged with the issue raised by Catton, namely rich money-grubbing right wing people.

      The Herald is conflicted all to hell

    • whateva next? 3.2

      yes, Mr.Key, “50’s Shady n Grey”

  4. Morrissey 4

    Kim Hill’s guest says destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan were “mistakes.”
    Maziar Bahari needs to divest himself of his smug “friends.”

    Radio NZ National, Saturday 31 January 2015

    At 8:30 this morning Kim Hill interviewed Iranian Canadian journalist and film-maker Maziar Bahari, the author of Then They Came For Me, a memoir about his imprisonment, beating and interrogation in Iran for over 100 days in 2009. The memoir was the inspiration for Rosewater, a feature film directed by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show. In 2013, Bahari launched the Persian/English website Iranwire.com, which focuses on current affairs, culture and politics. He is also involved in Journalism for Change, a platform devoted to citizen journalism, and in the worldwide campaigns Education is Not a Crime and Journalism is Not a Crime. He is visiting New Zealand this week as part of a global campaign leading up to Education is Not a Crime Day on 27 February. His documentary film To Light a Candle – about the denial of education to Bahá’ís in Iran – will also have its New Zealand premiere while he is here.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday

    Sounds great, right? Well, Maziar Bahari turned out to be an interesting speaker, and obviously a nice fellow. Unfortunately, though, his judgement and/or integrity is less clear, as I pointed out in the following email to Kim Hill….

    Maziar Bahari’s carefully tailored words

    Dear Kim,

    Maziar Bahari described the illegal invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan as “mistakes”, not crimes. He also spoke about journalists who are locked up “in Saudi Arabia, Russia and China”—carefully not mentioning the United States or Great Britain.

    Perhaps he needs to reassess his relationship with Jon Stewart, who a few weeks ago unctuously referred to the United States and its allies as “Team Civilization”.

    Yours sincerely,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    • “..unctuously..”..?

      ..or an exercise in irony..?

      ..(and is that your ‘reading’..?..)

      ..’cos going on stewarts’ past-form..

      ..i wd plump for the latter.

      • Morrissey 4.1.1

        He was absolutely sincere about it. It was a teary-eyed homily after the Charlie Hebdo killings.

        He did and said nothing similar after Israel targeted and killed journalists in Gaza last July.

        • phillip ure 4.1.1.1

          yeah..?..u sure..?

          ..it has echoes of sth park..

          ..how about giving us the link..?

          ..so we can judge for ourselves..

          • Morrissey 4.1.1.1.1

            Here you go, phillip—American “liberal” hypocrisy at its most ignorant and galling.

            Note that the intro. to this clip claims that Stewart “opened his normally comedic Daily Show Wednesday night with somber words of support for the victims in the assault on Charlie Hebdo….

            http://adage.com/article/media/jon-stewart-paris-attacks-team-civilization/296502/

            • phillip ure 4.1.1.1.1.1

              morrissy..

              ..is stewart not referring to the international cadre of journalists..

              ..as ‘team civilisation’..?

              ..not america and its’ allies as ‘team civilisation’..

              ..as u claim..?

              • Morrissey

                Even if he was referring just to the “international cadre of journalists”, describing that collection of sycophants, propagandists and war-mongers as Team Civilization would make even less sense than if he had meant the Western world in general.

                It’s as absurd and insulting to our intelligence as the regular sight of Pentagon stooges talking about the victims of some bombing as “the bad guys”.

                • morrissey..you stated that stewart said that america and their allies were ‘team civilisation’..

                  ..that is completely and utterly untrue..

                  ..and i am astounded you made such a ‘reading’ from what stewart said..

                  .and shouldn’t you apologise to the readers here for misleading them/mis-representing stewart..?

                  ..and why the fuck am i having to factcheck u all the time..?

                  ,,why are u so fucken sloppy with yr facts..?

                  ,.how do u think it can help yr credibility in any way to do that..?

                  “..It is absurd and insulting to our intelligence..”

                  • Morrissey

                    He said it. Watch the video. What should I apologise for, exactly?

                    • “.. Jon Stewart, who a few weeks ago unctuously referred to the United States and its allies as “Team Civilization”..”

                    • Morrissey

                      Jon Stewart, who a few weeks ago unctuously referred to the United States and its allies as “Team Civilization”.

                      He did. His style was intimate, warm, compassionate. If he had had the strength of character and the intelligence to simply condemn the killings, and express support for the dead cartoonists and the policemen, that would have been a decent, serious statement.

                      But he didn’t simply do that. Instead, he went on to talk of “Team Civilization”, as though the West is enlightened and democratic and civilized, as opposed to the frightening savages out of Africa and the Middle East.

                      For argument’s sake, let’s concede your point that he was talking specifically about the “international cadre of journalists”: if he was, that would be even more of an indefensible thing to say. The corporate media—from the BBC to Fox News to their parrots at TVNZ—are crucial components of the propaganda system. If Stewart is stupid and depraved enough to be confused about that, you should not be so gallant as to try to spin his stupidity and depravity into something else.

                      Seventy years ago, the likes of Stewart were condemning, with an eye to those in power, the killers of another racist journalist, Julius Streicher.

                    • Bill

                      I’d have thought the bigger point was his declaration to the effect that it was not our business to make sense of it because there was no sense to it.

                      That’s a very fucked approach to what was a very easily understood event.

                    • Morrissey

                      I’d have thought the bigger point was his declaration to the effect that it was not our business to make sense of it because there was no sense to it. That’s a very fucked approach to what was a very easily understood event.

                      Very well said, Bill. Here’s Norman Finkelstein addressing this ridiculous idea that atrocities are mystical and beyond analysis….
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-KlwJR3P0o

        • McFlock 4.1.1.2

          I took it as a wider team than “America and its allies”.
          It looked to me like a comedian was reflecting upon people who will kill other people because of comedy, and referring to folks who do not shoot other people over comedy as “team civilization”.

          Just a thought.

    • nadis 4.2

      Who are the journalists imprisoned in the USA and UK?

      https://www.cpj.org/imprisoned/2014.php

      • Morrissey 4.2.1

        Jesus H. Christ, are you SERIOUS?

        • nadis 4.2.1.1

          well yes, I am – only because I don’t know. If you want to abuse people because they ask an honest question then that points to some serious character flaws.

          How about this:

          I apologise for asking you a polite question about a topic I don’t know much about, but one on which you claim to be an expert. I even googled what appears to be an impartial source and helpfully posted that link in order to facilitate a mature dialog with you. Turns out in fact you are an arrogant fuckwit.

          • Colonial Rawshark 4.2.1.1.1

            Sami al-Hajj was an innocent Al Jazeera cameraman that the US Government detained for years at Guantanmo Bay with no charges laid.

            The US tends to more target whistleblowers (Thomas Drake, Bill Binney, Chelsea Manning, John Kiriaku) and journalist-type individuals (Julian Assange) for harassment, charges and imprisonment.

            Having said that if you look at the map and identify those nations which the USA explicitly supports with funding and arms:

            Bahrain 6
            Egypt 12
            Israel and Occupied Territories 4 (Israel also killed several journalists last year)
            Saudi Arabia 4

            In the USA if you drift out too far from the editorial line you simply get your ass fired and become unemployable as opposed to imprisoned (eg Nasr, Clancy).

          • Morrissey 4.2.1.1.2

            Sorry, nadis, I shouldn’t have jumped at you like that. I (wrongly) assumed that you were playing the Te Reo Putake game of stonewalling and asserting that black is white and up is down.

            I appreciate you are genuine in trying to find out more about this, but the “Committee to Protect Journalists” is about as reliable as Fox News—which is one of its “corporate media donors” along with the Associated Press, CNBC, and CNN. The CPJ has close ties to extreme right wing Cuban “exile” terrorist groups in Miami and New York.

            Like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, the CPJ is a suspect and deeply compromised organisation.

            • Te Reo Putake 4.2.1.1.2.1

              Fuck me, what a load of shit. The CPJ is highly respected, has a long and proud record of campaigning for journalists and indeed, saving the lives of many who have been imprisoned. Y’know, real journalists, not the imaginery ones in your head, Moz.

              Have a read and feel ashamed at your dismal effort at slandering them:

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_to_Protect_Journalists

              • Morrissey

                From your (sadly for you) very useful link….

                Funding
                According to the organization’s 2011 Annual Report, financial supporters include individuals, corporations, and foundations. The report does not include details on the largest financial supporters. Corporate media donors include the Associated Press, CNBC, CNN and Fox News.

                “Highly respected”, indeed. Not highly respected by real journalists and people who bother to read more than the Grauniad and the Daily Mail, but “highly respected” by certain “corporate media donors”.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  So fucken what. They are staunchly independant, do good work and save lives. You … not so much.

                  • Morrissey

                    So fucken what.

                    Excellent! A first rate response to being exposed. Possibly the funniest and most bewildered “So what” since Garth George was similarly confronted by Jon Stephenson……
                    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1012/S00457/journalists-clash-on-media7-over-war-reporting.htm

                    They are staunchly independant, [sic] do good work and save lives.

                    They are funded by a retinue of establishment pillars, including Fox News and extreme right wing Cubans. Their “surveys” are selective and partisan, just like you would expect from a “Committee” funded by Fox News and extreme right wing Cubans.

                    But please, go ahead and call the CPJ “independant”. It’s your (paper thin) credibility that’s on the line when you back such partisan sources.

                    You … not so much.

                    Okay, sling off at me if you want. After that, have a listen to Jeremy Scahill, who is definitely NOT the kind of American journalist who endorses Fox News and extreme right wing Cuban terrorists…..
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlQHUEWYigM

      • Te Reo Putake 4.2.2

        Cheers, nadis. I was wondering the same thing myself.

        • Morrissey 4.2.2.1

          As you know perfectly well, they are pursuing Julian Assange and Edward Snowden with implacable ferocity; Assange is currently in asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and Snowden has found refuge in Russia.

          Yes, I guess you could quibble and claim that Snowden is not a credentialed journalist in the way that such outstanding practitioners of the craft as John Roughan and Fran O’Sullivan are credentialed, but the fact remains: if you speak the truth and reveal what the Government is trying to hide from its citizens in the United States, you can expect massive retaliation from the criminals you expose.

          Have you ever heard of James Risen? Thought not……
          http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/06/us/james-risen-in-tense-testimony-refuses-to-offer-clues-on-sources.html?_r=0

          • Te Reo Putake 4.2.2.1.1

            It’s not a quibble to point out that neither man is a journalist and neither man is locked up in the USA or the UK. If you have the names of journalists who are imprisoned up in those countries, please feel free to post them. If there are any then they need to have their cases publicised. Telling us their names would be a great start.

            • Morrissey 4.2.2.1.1.1

              It’s not a quibble, it’s a lie. But obviously your mind is made up.

              If Assange is not a journalist, then neither is James Risen. I note that you did not even bother to mention Risen’s case.

              Of course, this is the “non-journalism” that compels the U.S. government and its legion of unpaid hounds to bay after Assange….
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0

              • Te Reo Putake

                BZZZZT! Wrong answer. We were looking for journalists imprisoned in the US or UK, that’s journalists imprisoned in the US or UK. Next contestant please. For ten pounds, can you tell me what is wrong with Moz? I’ll repeat the question: what is wrong with Moz? You may confer with your teammates or phone a friend.

                • Morrissey

                  I appreciate the levity, Te Reo, but you haven’t done anything to answer the challenge: what about James Risen?

                  Just so you get on with that task, we’ll pretend for a moment that Assange, Snowden and Manning are not in asylum, exile or prison for their role in exposing momentous crimes.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    BZZZZT! We were looking for journalists imprisoned in the US or UK. Contestant, you have answered James Risen who is … (checks notes) … not imprisoned in the US or UK. No points. Do any of the other contestants know the names of journalists imprisoned in the US or UK? Take your time …

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      What’s your point? The US doesn’t officially torture people within its own borders either. It subcontracts it overseas.

          • nadis 4.2.2.1.2

            Well actually I have, and it turns out he isn’t imprisoned nor is he in jail which tends to invalidate the main thrust of your rant. In fact in the story you linked there is this:

            “Mr. Holder pledged not to send reporters to jail, which would normally be the consequence of refusing to testify in a case like Mr. Sterling’s. Then, he indicated that he would not force Mr. Risen to reveal his sources, but would instead force Mr. Risen only to reveal limited information that he had already acknowledged.”

            So not only has not been in jail, isn’t currently in jail, the US Attorney General has ruled out putting him in jail.

            Right – I see your point exactly.

            I have mixed views on Snowden and Assange. The bulk of what they released should not have been. The evidence of crime (i.e., Chelsea Manning’s helicopter video) – no problem, but stuff which endangers people or hinders legitimate law enforcement I’m less supportive of.

            And on this:

            “if you speak the truth and reveal what the Government is trying to hide from its citizens in the United States, you can expect massive retaliation from the criminals you expose.”

            Are you equally as strident about the worse behaviour of Russia, China, Turkey, Iran etc? Last time I checked the US government wasn’t sanctioning extra-judicial murder of domestic critics.

            So despite your bold claim

            “He also spoke about journalists who are locked up “in Saudi Arabia, Russia and China”—carefully not mentioning the United States or Great Britain.”

            you cant come up with a single example?

            • Morrissey 4.2.2.1.2.1

              Are you equally as strident about the worse [sic] behaviour of Russia, China, Turkey, Iran etc? Last time I checked the US government wasn’t sanctioning extra-judicial murder of domestic critics.

              With the odd exception, my government does not usually support the crimes of Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, etc. It routinely does so for the crimes of the United States and the United Kingdom.

              You speak confidently about Snowden and Assange exposing “stuff which endangers people or hinders legitimate law enforcement.” What evidence do you have that they did that? I’d be intrigued if you put it up on this site for us, because neither the U.S. nor U.K. government could manage to do so.

              I am as opposed to state power being abused in Russia, China, Turkey and Iran as I am to it being abused in Australia and New Zealand. Are YOU?

              • nadis

                Yes.

                Can you please focus on providing evidence for your earlier (mis)-assertions, otherwise people will continue to believe you are a flake. Just trying to help you out.

                • Morrissey

                  Just trying to help you out.

                  That remark was a bit snide and unfunny. Hmmmm….

                  Okay! Stop the play-acting, Te Reo! Your “nadis” persona is as irritating as it is dopey.

                  • nadis

                    I can assure I am not TRP. Are you are going to back up your earlier (mis)-assertions or not?

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Riiiight. Well spotted, Moz, two different people asking the same simple question* must be evidence of either a conspiracy or a Vulcan mind meld.

                    *and that question was ‘which journalists are imprisoned in the US and UK ‘ as you claimed. Answer came there none.

                    • Morrissey

                      Here’s one. Don’t be put off by the fact he looks like Moss from The IT Crowd….
                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josh_Wolf_(journalist)

                      But, yes, you’re both right—journalists can usually speak out without fear in the United States. Thank the radicals and liberals who framed the Constitution for that.

                      However, constitutional and legal protections can only go so far—when governments bring their powers to bear on an individual truth-teller, they will tear down the protections if they can get away with it, including such troublesome notions as legal sanctuary and asylum. Some in the Cameron regime even suggested storming the Ecuadorian embassy to get their hooks on Assange.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      I guess that’s as close as we’re going to get to you acknowledging your mistake, Moz. Some weasel words and a link to a court case last decade. Ah, well, the real takeaway from this discussion is that you don’t feel obliged to hold yourself up to the standards you demand of others. The Greeks probably had a word for that (though it may have been sold off to the troika by now).

                      ps. If you’d thought about it harder, you could have resorted to pedantry by mentioning all those Murdoch employees currently doing porridge in the UK. Of course, they’re not in jail for journalism, but for actual crimes.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                    • Morrissey

                      I see, Te Reo, that you’ve garnered some (belated) support from one of our friends—one with a rather insalubrious record of credulity. He posted his intelligent comment at 3:46 p.m., more than four hours after everyone had gone home.

                      Better late than never, I suppose.

                      Or is it?

                    • McFlock

                      asynchronous communication is a bitch, ain’t it?

                      It’s almost as if this example of you making shit up in a froth-frenzy (and then wriggling around trying not to admit you fucked up) will remain as yet another permanent record of your loose relationship with reality.

  5. Halfcrown 5

    Is it me, or is something seriously happening to NZ and are we well and truly stuffing up this once clean green country that Keys likes to promote but still allows dairying to pollute.

    Normally when we have a hot dry weather you are deafened by the Cicada’s. This year the silence of the Cicada’s is deafening, Silence. Hardly a sound. The other thing I have noticed over the last few years, when I came to NZ over 45 year ago, the Myna’s used to line up at the side of the road to get the dead insects hit by cars, and jump out of the way ”just in time” before they were hit by a vehicle. The number of Myna’s doing that now, to me seems to have decreased.

    In my non expert opinion, these two things, along with the Kauri die back and the devastation of the Cabbage tree by a virus concerns me that all is not well with the environment of NZ.

    • millsy 5.1

      Yeah, I noticed that there are a lot less cicadas than usual. Cicadas and summer go hand in hand for me. I love them, always have. When summer kicks off I always listen out for the first cicada.

    • cricklewood 5.2

      Cicada’s have a long in ground life cycle (5-7 years) and years where there are lower numbers can be traced back to adverse weather events during breeding. They also forecast ‘mast’ years by the same logic. I think from memory there was one in the Hutt Valley 4 or so years ago where literally thousands could be seen on a single lamppost.
      Regarding the cabbage tree virus it is actually a long existing disease called Phytoplasma that proliferated with the arrival of a new vector in this case passion vine hoppers the same has happened with Phormium.
      Kauri dieback is more interesting I cant help but suspect that the particular phytophera strain has long existed but has been inadvertently spread or subtle climate changes have allowed it to proliferate. Phytophera exists in all soils and is usually kept in check by other naturally occurring organisms like trichoderma.

      • weka 5.2.1

        natural cycles can be adversely affected by humans messing with the ecologies, either local, or global (CC).

      • greywarshark 5.2.2

        Perhaps we are loving our kauri to death. I looked at available bookings to view the great kauri in Northalnd I think it was Tane Mahuta himself, but it was booked up for months. It is said that the numbers of people going through the kauri are probably transporting this nasty whatsit around. I looked at an old book the other day and there was one of the old super giant kauris in it and two people standing at the base were dwarfed and I don’t know how many people it would have taken to stretch arms round the trunk.

        We have probably reached the stage where we have to limit visitors and make times for NZs to visit. It would be nice to get a chance. There are limits to viewing Tiritiri Matenga Island – it’s special and same with kauri. And keep pigs off – they are said to be another problem, and then they would draw hunters and their dogs after them.

        • Jenny Kirk 5.2.2.1

          There is an extensive board walk and board platform to view Tane Mahuta from – built in recent years – designed to protect the forest floor around the old giant.

          What I think should be of more concern is that huge logging trucks trundle up and down the road beside that forest – I would think that causes much more damage reverberating from roadside thru to the forest – than people on a board walk.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2.2.1.1

            I suspect the trees may have grown used to the ground shaking after all these millennia; it’s the temperatures that’ll they’ll struggle with.

    • Clemgeopin 5.3

      Instead, an army of swarming frustrating flies has invaded New Zealand.
      P.S :
      I have made four fly traps using empty plastic coke bottles as shown in the link below. The fly attractants I have used/experimented include liver, honey, fish and , fermenting yeast.
      While some flies have been attracted and get caught, I am still not satisfied as there are heaps of flies still flying about. I have read that different types of flies are attracted to different types of bait!

      Question : Do any of you know which may be the best fly attractant to the contemporary flies we have?

      Here is the info for a very simple home made fly trap! You are welcome!

      http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/How_to_make_a_fly_trap/

      • swordfish 5.3.1

        “I have made four fly traps”

        Instead of taking the all-out nuclear option and viciously killing flies, have you ever thought of just trying to reason with them ? You know, being a decent human being by making an effort to appeal to their moral sensibilities ? Next time you see a couple of flies flying around like out-of-control boy-racers, just try telling them (preferably in an authentic Yorkshire accent) ‘Come on, luds, there’s no need for all this, there was never any need for it. Let’s just let bygones be bygones.” And if that doesn’t do the job then just corner one of them and have a quiet word along the lines of: “If this sort of behaviour continues, young man, then I’m going to have to have a serious talk with your father”. Works a treat every time. Flies are people too, remember.

        “…the contemporary flies we have”

        I prefer to think of them as Post-Modernist.

        • Clemgeopin 5.3.1.1

          Hm, that may be my last resort….Simple sweet talking sound bites to these filthy-free-market neoliberal buggers hovering around with such utterly gutterly misappropriating maddening minds.

          I won’t be surprised if the crooks come with embedded mobile and GPS these days!

      • Jenny Kirk 5.3.2

        Fans – if you have them – are an effective deterrent to flies.

      • Skinny 5.3.3

        Your better with a pair of frogs in a terrarium, and using a butterfly net to catch the flies. Great light excise and quite addictive seeing how many you can scoop. Give us a laugh seeing (all arms & legs) & hearing them crashing about the foliage nailing their prey. You know when really content, as Mrs & Mr Froggy sing with delight. Amazes me how they can eat so many as the next morning very few are left.

        • b waghorn 5.3.3.1

          There is bugger all flies aroung mine this year and being a farm house that’s a surprise. We’ve had a 30ish swallows living with us so i wonder if that’s the cause.

    • Poission 5.4

      Normally when we have a hot dry weather you are deafened by the Cicada’s. This year the silence of the Cicada’s is deafening,

      Cicadas (species specific ) have long life cycles and have evolved over time to select periods determinable with prime numbers to constrain predation ie they tend to outlive their predators.

      http://www.baltimoresun.com/bal-te.ms.cicada10may10-story.html

      • greywarshark 5.4.1

        @ poission
        Hi can you tell me anything about raising nz preying mantis successfully. They are in decline around here.

      • Skinny 5.4.2

        Usually at this time of year we are feeding our yellow bearded dragon lizard them, he goes crazy chasing them around his terrarium, something’s up their absence if strange. In the interim plenty of crickets from our back section. Out place is a zoo, all good makes a happy home.

    • Foreign Waka 5.5

      Would you say that the water quality is of very great concern? I personally feel that there is being more and more taken from the qualifier and wonder why the Farmers and associated industry do not (want to?) realize that their water will one day be saline because of it. At the same time, water quality is being compromised at all levels with the excuse that it is OK to have a “certain amount” of pollutants go into streams and lakes. It already affects the health of people due to high nitrate concentration in the water table – our drinking water.
      I think this is connected to all living things and beings.

  6. Te Reo Putake 7

    This is a quite sobering read; the brief biographies of some of the many women who have died fighting ISIS in Kobani:

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/30/kurdish-women-died-kobani-isis-syria

    • Morrissey 7.1

      Indeed, Te Reo. Which makes you wonder why the United States and United Kingdom continue to fund and support ISIS in Syria.

  7. rawshark-yeshe 8

    [Sorry RY but best if this site does not link to that site – MS]

    yesterday’s blog … seriously worth the time.

  8. Sanctuary 9

    Looks like the home of democracy is serious about once again defending itself against a polyglot empire far more powerful than they….

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jan/30/greece-finance-minister-yanis-varoufakis-shun-officials-troika

    I have to say, the Greek fight against the German led Troika is stirring all my romantic Byronic philhellenism!!!

    When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home,
    Let him combat for that of his neighbors;
    Let him think of the glories of Greece and Rome,
    And get knocked on his head for his labors.

    To do good to mankind is the chivalrous plan,
    And is always nobly requited;
    Then battle for freedom wherever you can,
    And, if not shot or hanged, you’ll get knighted.

    -Byron, 1820

    • nadis 9.1

      But what comes next?

      If a deal isn’t struck then Greece as a whole and the poorer parts particular will get economically smashed as Greece has a massive budget shortfall. Someone will blink first – Greece or the EU?

      With EUR exit off the table I can’t see what options Greece has. They can’t fund current expenditure by themselves let alone service their debt. I’m assuming Tsipras has a plan, but so far with the cancelling of asset sales, re-hiring and raising pensions/salaries he has cocked his nose at the Germans who are paying his bills, while at the same time building a level of expectation within Greece that will be very difficult to wind back if necessary. Maybe he is just going nuclear and saying “we are going to default, so get your check book out”. If so, I think that is a miscalculation – I think the Germans would let Greece default and leave the Euro. It would actually make it stronger as it removes an outlier from an appropriate policy perspective.

      What has been disappointing from a Syriza policy perspective is any talk about cracking down on corruption, tax evasion and the cosy corrupt monopolies that enrich the top end of Greece. If they addressed some of those issues the discussions with Germany would be lot easier plus Greece would have a ton more fiscal revenue.

    • greywarshark 9.2

      @ Sanctuary
      Like

  9. Morrissey 10

    Guess which of these two women was called a “fiery
    human rights crusader” by the New York Times

    https://twitter.com/KeaneBhatt/status/561045999284916224

  10. Morrissey 11

    This is how a police state protects “secrets”:
    Jeffrey Sterling, the CIA and up to 80 years on circumstantial evidence

    Sterling’s conviction should chill anyone who believes in investigative reporting in a free society
    by MARCY WHEELER, Salon, 29 January 2015

    The participants in the economy of shared tips and intelligence in Washington D.C., breathed a collective sigh of relief when, on January 12, the government announced it would not force James Risen to testify in the trial of former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling. “Press freedom was safe! Our trade in leaks is safe!” observers seemed to conclude, and they returned to their squalid celebration of an oppressive Saudi monarch.

    That celebration about information sharing is likely premature. Because, along the way to the conviction of Sterling this week on all nine counts – including seven counts under the Espionage Act — something far more banal yet every bit as dear to D.C.’s economy of secrets may have been criminalized: unclassified tips.

    To understand why that’s true, you need to know a bit about how the Department of Justice larded on charges against Sterling to get to what represents a potential 80-year maximum sentence (though he’s unlikely to get that). Sterling was accused — and ultimately convicted — of leaking two related things: First, information about the Merlin operation to deal flawed nuclear blueprints to Iran, as well as the involvement of a Russian engineer referred to as Merlin in the trial. In addition to that, the government charged Sterling separately for leaking a document (one which the FBI never found, in anyone’s possession): a letter Merlin included along with the nuclear blueprints he wrapped in a newspaper and left in the mailbox of Iran’s representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency. So the government convicted Sterling of leaking two things: information about the operation, and a letter that was used in the operation.

    Then, having distinguished the operation from the letter, DOJ started multiplying. They charged Sterling for leaking the operation to Risen, then charged him for causing Risen to attempt to write a 2003 New York Times article about it, then charged him for causing Risen to publish a book chapter about it: one leak, three counts of espionage.

    Then they charged Sterling for improperly retaining the letter (again, FBI never found it, not in CIA’s possession, not in Sterling’s possession, and Merlin purportedly destroyed his version before anyone could find it in his possession). Then DOJ charged Sterling for leaking the letter to Risen, then charged him for causing Risen to attempt to write a 2003 New York Times article including it, then charged him for causing Risen to publish a book chapter including verbatim excerpts from it (apparently Risen is a better investigator than the FBI, because he found a copy): one letter, four more counts under the Espionage Act. ….

    Read more….
    http://www.salon.com/2015/01/28/this_is_how_a_police_state_protects_secrets_jeffrey_sterling_the_cia_and_up_to_80_years_on_circumstantial_evidence/

  11. Morrissey 12

    Homework assignment for “nadis” and Te Reo Putake

    Research the following topics and then argue how the United States is not a dire threat to journalists:

    1.) Giuliana Sgrena

    2.) Al Jazeera office, Baghdad, April 8, 2003

    3.) Palestine Hotel, Baghdad, April 8, 2003

    4.) Abu Dhabi strikes, April 8, 2003

    • Te Reo Putake 12.1

      Nice goalposts, Moz. Did you shift them all by yourself?

      • Morrissey 12.1.1

        Shouldn’t you be doing your homework?

        • Paul 12.1.1.1

          I agree with Morrissey.
          On top of the various examples he has presented, there is also the simple fact that the west has other powerful ways of controlling journalists.
          You only get a job or get promoted if you say the right things.
          Look at the Eleanor Catton affair to see the state of the media here and the role in suppressing dissent.

          I recommend everyone watches Shadows of Liberty.
          The story of Gary Webb shows what happens when a US journalist questions the system.
          Sobering.
          http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1543807/

  12. This is lovely

    The roots of one of our leafy tenants had cracked the pipe and, while the plumber chap was seeking out the best fitting replacement part, I sawed another chunk of exposed root away. “Sorry, mate,” I said as I patted the tree.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503462&objectid=11394630

    Talking to trees and other plants is healthy imo. And saying sorry is also healthy. And calling a tree ‘mate’ is very healthy.

    • weka 13.1

      There’s more and more research suggesting that plants have a kind of sentience beyond what we normally consider. Nature is intelligent and it behooves us to behave as if that were true, for our own sakes as much as for nature’s.

      “And saying sorry is also healthy”

      That one seem especially important all things considered.

    • alwyn 13.2

      You, or at least the person who cut the tree root, is a brute.
      That wasn’t the English word “mate” but the Maori word with the same spelling.
      He was saying sorry because he had killed the poor tree. Very healthy indeed!

      • marty mars 13.2.1

        very funny al – the tree didn’t die.

      • weka 13.2.2

        Cutting some roots won’t kill a tree (depending on the tree, how big it is, how many roots are cut etc).

        • alwyn 13.2.2.1

          Hey, I had just say down after a long, lazy, mildly alcoholic brunch.
          Let me have an (albeit possibly a weak one) attempt at a joke.

          • weka 13.2.2.1.1

            Sorry. A 😉 always makes things clearer.

            There’s probably another pun there on the word mate to do with what marty was talking about, mea culpa mea mate, to mangle it completely, but I’ve been online too long to come up with something better.

          • marty mars 13.2.2.1.2

            It would make a nice poem 🙂

            You,
            or at least
            the person who cut
            the tree root,
            is a brute.
            That wasn’t the
            English word
            “mate”
            but the Maori
            word with the
            same spelling.
            He was saying sorry
            because he had killed
            the poor tree.
            Very healthy
            indeed!

            as an aside maybe phils prose should be read as poetry 🙂

    • Clemgeopin 13.3

      Talk to water too!
      The following links say there is scientific evidence to show that water undergoes structural (not chemical) changes constantly depending upon different factors. Good happy thoughts or bad thoughts affect the structure of water doing good or harm to you. Take a look!

      Structured Water : How music/words/thoughts affect structure of water[8 minutes]
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YwaNfNcurvQ

      Water effects :Sadhguru at IIT Madras (Part V) [9 minutes]
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6C1p4HUHlfE

      Water has memory: Very interesting doco [1 hour 25 min]
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFdXLmbHM2I

  13. millsy 14

    Good luck to the Queensland Labour Party today.

    If the LNP get another term, Queenslanders can kiss their power grid goodbye, among other things.

  14. saveNZ 15

    If anyone needs some light relief – here is something very funny

    Richard Dawkins Reads Hate Mail From “Fans”

    http://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/richard-dawkins-reads-hate-mail-fans

    Hilarious…

    Could do the same with whale oil views on lefties….

  15. Olwyn 16

    In the thread about Syriza’s victory I picked out this sentence from one of the articles, “To start from priorities and then define the method.” I think it is very important that parties on the left do just that if they want to be taken seriously. Andrew Little seems to get this, since he has listed four priorities he intends to discuss over his coming speeches, and I hope he does not waver from it.

    If we look at how, say, the Capital Gains tax was presented last election, the order ran the other way – it was put forward as a method for curbing house-price inflation and addressing inequality. But people were expected to trust that the stated objectives would follow from the method. And this is my point – when you declare an aim you are making a commitment, and people can assume that you will adapt your method accordingly. When you declare a method, insisting that some desired objective will result from it, you are effectively asking for unwarranted trust, since your commitment stops at the method. For this reason, the method-before-aim order comes across as more of a pitch than a promise.

    • weka 16.1

      That’s very good. So with the CGT, it should be presented later as a solution to some other aim? eg we’re going to do x, y, z (eg build more houses), and here is how we pay for it.

      • Olwyn 16.1.1

        Yes, if you put the intended result first, it can be assumed you will adjust your method if the one you have in mind doesn’t work. For example, let’s say, “We are going to build more houses and we will pay for it with a capital gains tax.” However, house sales slow down and we are not getting enough from the CGT, so we are obliged to look for another way of paying for the houses. Whereas if we say, “A CGT will result in more houses being built” and this doesn’t happen, we are committing ourselves only to the CGT but not the houses – if things don’t result as we said they would, well too bad. I think people sniff out the difference intuitively without the need to analyse the arguments.

        • Colonial Rawshark 16.1.1.1

          Quite right Olwyn, but it’s like you are having to teach Labour, the oldest political party in the country, the bloody ABC’s.

          • Olwyn 16.1.1.1.1

            The thing is, National do not have to meet any such standards – their commitment is to their cronies and their pitch is to the public. And National voters know that the pitch is merely to placate waverers and ward off criticism. Labour does not have, and cannot have, that luxury. They did have something like it in the eighties, when aspiring young men of the city gravitated their way, but then they had not yet lost the trust of working class and National had not won over the aspiring young men. Now, they have no choice but to say what they mean and mean what they say. Convincingly.

            • Anne 16.1.1.1.1.1

              … their commitment is to their cronies and their pitch is to the public

              Which of course is exactly what Labour has been doing in recent years. That is, trying to be National lite and adopt their type of strategy. Cunliffe tried to shift the paradigm but he didn’t have enough time or support to do it. Now Labour has a new leader who understands that for Labour to succeed it must be the other way around – a commitment to ordinary NZers and a pitch to potential cronies. He started down that road this week just gone.

              • Olwyn

                I agree. I voted for Andrew, and I am glad I did. I like the fact that he has four priorities he intends to discuss in the next little while – the SME one being his state-of-the nation speech. You know where you are with someone who can clearly articulate their priorities.

    • saveNZ 16.2

      If Labour starts back on CGT again, it is a vote killer. Most people in Auckland know what the problem is, immigration and high cost of materials and commercialisation of housing and low wages that are not keeping up with inflation. There are so many other ways to solve or relive the housing in Auckland. For example in the old days, you could have a granny flat on your property or rent out a basement or whatever to help with the rent/mortgage etc or to house other members of the family like your elderly parents etc. Not only did it help to provide additional income for lower income people it also allowed a cheaper nicer place for affordable accommodation in better areas for renters.

      Now, no way. Has to be an apartment to be affordable which has Body corp fees, no pets normally, and not so good for children. To get through a legal granny flat there is a huge amount of red tape to get one in a domestic house.

      (BTW Nothing to do with RMA and the National RMA reforms are to make unaffordable housing and to polluters to wreck the environment!) You can bet no one has suggested Granny flats in the unitary plan – that because in NZ, democracy is a business, full of lobbyists – they actually don’t want real people who want housing to have a say, just barristers of people who have land and want to develop it (which will not be for affordable housing but for unaffordable housing to make a profit) or politicians who don’t really know much about housing.

      Currently to create a granny flat/minor unit on dwelling in Auckland, you need to pay approx $10,000 straight to council for 2nd unit, approx $12,000 for separate water meter, god knows for separate power etc etc. Quite frankly that is why you have no affordable housing. Because of the above to create an affordable unit that is council compliant would be about $40,000 before you actually do the work. AT say $300 a week for rent it would take about 3 years before you paid back the council and the utility connections alone. But in most parts of Auckland you are not allowed to have a granny flat anyway. If the council allowed Granny flats cheaply then you could make about 20% more housing in Auckland for the cost of conversion of a 2nd kitchen.

      Utilising existing housing stock would be the easiest way in the short term to create more housing in rental shortage areas.

      What is wrong with this country is that people only have 1 idea and then they just keep bringing it up to solve a problem that is different to the solution. It is simpleton politics.

      65% of Kiwis or something like that own property, it is their key asset and they do not want to lose it by some politician in Wellington trying to solve a housing problem in Auckland, that will not be solved by CGT but instead impact them on their retirement of their biggest asset, all while the top 1% are paying practically no tax. If anything should be learn’t by Greece, don’t target middle class to pay the taxes of the mistakes of the super rich. They see red, (and don’t vote for it).

      • Colonial Rawshark 16.2.1

        If you wanna kill housing price rises (and none of the top 5% with a big property portfolio does), you tamp down bank lending, and you put a big fuck off stamp duty on every residential property transaction a person undertakes over 1 transaction every 3 years.

        Also we cannot have 1/3 of NZ’s population living in 0.3% of NZ’s land area.

        • saveNZ 16.2.1.1

          I’m totally for stamp duty if there is a tax on property, to make sure even the super rich and immigrants pay it too. Not only would it be an immediate way to get taxes, you could target for the poor. i.e. under $250k no stamp duty. First home owners, no stamp duty, etc. But should be very low like 1/2 percent or something like that. That way when you buy your 10 million dollar mansion in Auckland, hey presto, $50,000 in revenue for NZ taxpayer and all collected by title transfer and no way to get out of it by clever accounting.

          • Colonial Rawshark 16.2.1.1.1

            Good arguments; just remember that real estate agents take 3% to 4% of the sale price, sometimes for doing sweet FA.

            • saveNZ 16.2.1.1.1.1

              When you look at growing inequality – whereas it predicted that 1% of the world is going to own 99% of world’s assets, it is pretty clear that governments need to target the 1% owning all the assets. If you look at John Key, owns 50 million in assets but nobody really knows cos it’s in various trusts etc – that is who should be paying more tax and targeted.

              Going on about the ‘greedy’ investors, ‘greedy baby boomers’ greedy landlords etc latest scapegoat, is missing the point. Why are some people owning 50 million in assets and gaining more and more every year? If that super rich group, paid more tax then maybe we could afford more for everybody else.

              In Italy they actually targeted people driving about in Porsches and expensive cars, guess what, found a lot of them could not account for their cars, and many claimed subsidies and on the lowest tax bracket.

              Labour and Greens need to stop whipping the PAYE middle class for tax and actually look at fair ways to target consumption such a stamp duty. Personally I would prefer someone (often coming into the country) to have to pay a small tax to purchase an expensive house. Even if stamp duty was on houses over 3 million – again it is stopping super expensive houses being speculated on and farm sales etc

              Soon, in Auckland in places in the inner city they are going to reach that level with the constant speculation (often on the family home so not affected by any CGT if that came in) and that is actually locking out families that used to live in those areas.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                There are many flexible and varied ideas which can be used. I generally agree that taxation via PAYE and GST is over used and taxation on capital/land/speculation/financial transactions under used.

                Although to make a statement, I would introduce one more much higher PAYE threshold set at 10x the minimum wage = over $280,000 pa.

          • nadis 16.2.1.1.2

            The numbers aren’t great from a stamp duty.

            The total value of houses sales in NZ in 2014 was 40 billion. Assuming you get a 0.5% stamp duty on every one of those you’ll raise 200 million. Exclude all houses under 400,000 and you’ll raise 120 million.

            120 million is equivalent to about 240 houses at the NZ median house price. Thats a rough idea of the demand impact of a stamp duty (studies into Tobin tax indicate the reduction in turnover is roughly equivalent to the tax raised. A heroic assumption but gives an idea)

        • b waghorn 16.2.1.2

          What if a government passed into law that house values could only rise at inflation

          • Colonial Rawshark 16.2.1.2.1

            Too inflexible and prone to failure in my view. Might be used as a short term emergency measure. Controlling down house prices over the longer term will require a range of powerful measures.

            • b waghorn 16.2.1.2.1.1

              Had a feeling it would be full of fish hooks but if we were ever to move to a steady state economy rampant house booms would need sorting.

              • nadis

                Price controls, subsidies, extra taxes etc may all work in the short term but eventually distort completely the market they are applied to. Imagine what would happen if the government mandated a maximum price of 29 cents per kilogram for bananas? Eventually two things would happen – supermarkets would sell no bananas, and there would be black market where you actually ended up paying higher prices.

                The best way to reduce the Auckland housing shortage is by incentivising people to act in their best interests. Build a fast rail from Auckland to Whangarei and Auckland to Hamilton. Any new Govt sector jobs have to go outside Auckland. Make it easier to build new houses in Auckland. Encourage high density housing initiatives. Bring in Singapore style traffic congestion charging.

                • b waghorn

                  Little bit hard to sell a house on the black market.
                  I’m all for
                  “”The best way to reduce the Auckland housing shortage is by incentivising people to act in their best interests. Build a fast rail from Auckland to Whangarei and Auckland to Hamilton. Any new Govt sector jobs have to go outside Auckland. Make it easier to build new houses in Auckland. Encourage high density housing initiatives. Bring in Singapore style traffic congestion charging.”
                  And would add if we as a nation invested in small town nz in stead of letting them fade away less people would drift to the big smoke.

                  • nadis

                    Well actually no its not hard. There would be plenty of ways to avoid the price cap – paying too much for chattels, settling in 6 months time but renting at a premium in the mean time, losing at high stakes poker etc. Why would a person sell their property for less than waht someone is prepared to pay? Don’t underestimate peoples capacity to innovate. I hesitate to call anything around economic behaviour a law, but the closest you get is individuals acting in their own best interest. It’s been that way for millions of years of evolution.

                    One of my children is thinking about buying a first home – unless something amazing pops up, I don’t think there is any harm in waiting. Economic cycles and all that – anyone with grey hair can think of plenty of times in the past where we have had similar fears about asset prices. And guess what, eventually they revert.

                • Foreign Waka

                  Singapore already owns part of Auckland city shares, so why not. Just remember, what goes up must come down. Its a matter of time.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Fast fact: 80% of residential property development in Singapore is done by the public sector. That’s how important the Singaporean government views stable housing supply and pricing.

                    The Singaporean public sector develops everything from cheap social housing to million dollar luxury appartments.

                    I suspect that Singapore modelled its system off the NZ of the 1950s and 60s.

                    • nadis

                      I’ve lived in Singapore – it’s a resource constrained (land + everything else) country and the deal the population has done with the govt is that they will give up a certain amount of civil rights in exchange for certainty around things like housing and minimum standard of living.

                      Not sure NZ’ers would embrace 1 or 2 room HDB housing.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Understood. It’s not exactly the Kiwi dream. Yet in the peculiar Auckland environment I think the market has shown that ‘cheap’ 2 bedroom 80m2 apartments will sell like hot cakes to young people and first home buyers.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Cripes I basically agree with all you’ve written here.

      • The Other Mike 16.2.2

        Majority in favour of CGT historically – as long as it is not on family home – which was exactly what Labour was proposing prior to the election:

        “Vote Compass asked tens of thousands of people whether landlords should pay more tax on the sale of their rental properties. Nearly half either agreed or strongly agreed, while a third weren’t happy” http://tvnz.co.nz/vote-2014-news/compass-support-capital-gains-tax-6063134

        Currently we have speculators making a killing in Auckland – tax ’em as well. The Nats really need to do something more in Auckland than make fancy (but useless) speeches.

        • nadis 16.2.2.1

          I think the framing of the question is important. Essentially that survey asked: “Are you in favour of other people paying capital gains tax?” I’m surprised 100% weren’t in favour of that.

          Speculators should be getting taxed under existing rules. If you buy an asset – any asset – for a trading or speculative purpose – any gains are taxed at your personal tax rate. The rules are in existence. All that needs to change is the threshold that is applied to assessment. At the moment it is something like 6 property transactions in a 2 year period. That could easily be lowered to capture more.

  16. Philip Ferguson 17

    Politicians get houses, we get bullshit:
    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/01/31/10809/

  17. millsy 18

    Just read this off a Facebook group that I belong to:

    “….I heard a rumour this morning, and would like to know if theres any truth to it,if there is, then its an outrage.
    Ok, the rumour is…. that all those 3 bedrooms that people are being kicked out of,and extra bedrooms added are not for larger families at all.They are ‘social housing’ in the broadest sense of the word,meaning they are to be ‘shared; in the same manner as a boarding house,anyone single without dependants is to be put in this ‘shared social housing’ the small ablution block style houses reserved for those with dependants.
    If theres anyone on here thats matey with a local MP, could they please get that MP to check and see if this is correct,as my old neighbour was offered a place in one and was told this was the arrangement for adults with no dependants nowadays by her tenancy manager…..”

  18. Morrissey 19

    How to say: “I give up, I got nothing”
    with a witty little graphic

    So how DOES one concede that one has been shown up, out-pointed, exposed as a fraud, a scoundrel and a liar?

    A useful convention occasionally employed on this site is to type a colon (:) then the word roll then another colon (:)

    : roll :

    Remove the gaps and you will end up with this pleasing little image: 🙄

    which says so eloquently: “I concede, and I skulk back to my corner in disgrace.”

    vide….

    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-31012015/#comment-960330

    • marty mars 19.1

      I dunno about that M – they gave you quite a few chances to answer the question or provide the evidence but alas twas for nought.

      • Morrissey 19.1.1

        No, Marty, you’re wrong. I conceded—admittedly after a bit of squabbling—their point that not a lot of journalists are actually in jail in the United States—pointing out that this happy state of affairs is entirely due to the radicals and liberals who wrote the Constitution, and to generations of activists who have fought for the right to speak freely in America.

        I also pointed out, with a few examples, that the United States regime has been, and is, a grave threat to journalists all over the world.

        Perhaps you need to read a little more thoroughly and widely on this topic. Here’s a good place to start….
        https://www.aclu.org/blog/free-speech/journalism-under-attack-and-not-just-ferguson

        • marty mars 19.1.1.1

          Thank you for your concern my friend – you would have had more luck quoting figures for people of colour wrongly imprisoned or maybe indigenous people wrongly and unjustly imprisoned, even today – maybe some of them were journalists too.

  19. Colonial Rawshark 20

    NZ ranked 7th highest cost of living

    Ahead of high income countries like France, UK, Luxembourg, Finland.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-30/visualizing-cost-living-around-world

    • The Other Mike 20.1

      Interesting link on your web site there about the “American Dream” – or lack of it any more.

      The stats there are very similar to ones I’ve seen here in NZ… one that really caught my eye about child poverty:
      “#15 Right now, more than one out of every five children in the United States is on food stamps”

      Great stuff, but too obvious for the current “administration” here I suspect.

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-01-30/death-american-dream-22-numbers

  20. McFlock 21

    Graphene Could Double Electricity Generated From Solar .
    Early days yet, but a promising development for solar.

    • Colonial Rawshark 21.1

      15 years to deploy 25,000 Benmore dams worth of generation mate. I’ll be waiting in anticipation.

      • McFlock 21.1.1

        I can tell. Pull your pants up. If one of your doomsdays does occur, I suppose your last words will be an orgasmic “I told you so” that, sadly for you, nobody else will hear.

        In the meantime, how’s the NZ ebola epidemic going? Aren’t we all due to have it by now?

  21. Clemgeopin 22

    Greece sacks heads of privatisation agency immediately:

    The reasons are here:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/30/greece-politics-privatisation-idUSA8N0UD01M20150130

    There is an anti Greece pro capitalist article in the Kiwi blog. I put the above link there and made the following comment.

    “I hope our stupid, lying neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, narrow, myopic and money-hungry pro wealthy, pro corporate, capitalist National/ACT government changes its agenda and stops all its shallow, pro rich and anti people, anti nation policies such as for example, the sale of state houses immediately. The uncontrolled, mega rich corporate driven capitalist free market agenda is a fraud on the ordinary people, the less privileged, the ‘under class’ and the poor”

    What do you think?

    • nadis 22.1

      No-one will take you seriously because you are obviously hiding your lack of knowledge behind over the top jargon which is so exaggerated it is meaningless.

      You sound like an exaggerated version of Wolfie Smith.

      • Clemgeopin 22.1.1

        What ‘knowledge’ do you think I am hiding and lacking?

        I made a succinct comment to encapsulate everything that I abhor about the RW and our present destructive government.

        I had never heard of Wolfie Smith. Will watch some episodes on You Tube to see if he is good or bad!

        Thanks for your response.

      • Murray Rawshark 22.1.2

        Myopic means short sighted. Make a list of the other words you don’t understand, and we can explain them to you.

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