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Open Mike 31/01/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 31st, 2017 - 149 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 …

149 comments on “Open Mike 31/01/2017”

  1. Paul 1

    The New Zealand Institute is a far right neoliberal think tank.
    How come its pronouncements get so much airtime on RNZ?


    • tc 1.1

      Same reasons hooten, farrar, boag, franks etc all get airtime, to push the themes and messages to manufacture consent.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        Which shows that right wing bias and propaganda exists in all Management of NZ msm media, including RNZ.

        • Pat

          consider how easy it is….you have (alleged) experts waiting and willing to give (informed?) comment…..or you can do the analysis yourself…sometime in the never never when its too late.

          its not as if there is much on offer of formal alternative analysis….so msm conspiracy? unlikely…..reason the right fund it? of course

        • greywarshark

          Don’t overlook supporting Scoop.

          Give Radionz their due, when they aren’t telling us the latest horror from the USA, full coverage, of fire, flood and pestilence, they are digging out some interesting stuff using OIA. They are trying.

      • Adrian Thornton 1.1.2

        @ TC, While I agree Hooton etc get air time to push an acceptable agenda, I think the manufacturing consent component is more subtle.
        Most people understand Hooton and friends are from, and are promoting a specific political view, so in my mind not all that threatening politically.
        What I would say is more in line with the ‘manufacturing consent’ theory in regards to RNZ, would be some of the following, you can add your own….
        1.Having the markets referred to and analyzed constantly all day.
        But at the same time no constant updates on labour/workers news, in fact no daily news or views on workers issues at all.
        2. Having bank economists as the main commentators on the economy.
        3. Having that useless centrist Mike Williams on the Monday politics with Kathryn Ryan. RNZ are prepared to have a right wing ideologue like Hooton, which I think is fine, but not prepared to have the Left wing equivalent.
        So the Left, with Williams speaking for it, generally come out looking weak and ineffectual, ( which sadly, probably pretty accurately describes the political playing field now actually).so no indepth ideological debates to be had on that show.
        4. You only have to look at the presenters, Guyon Espiner, ‎Susie Ferguson, Jesse Mulligan, ‎Kathryn Ryan, when was the last time any of these four really held power to account? a pretty rare occurrence to my knowledge.
        The only saving grace is John Campbell with his quite effective dripping tap technique.

    • Siobhan 1.2

      Far right neo liberal think tank huh?
      And how come Labour are ‘certainly open to the idea’ and ‘one they would definitely look at’?
      Are you implying that Labour are open to far right neo liberal ideas there Paul?

    • mauī 1.3

      And TVNZ, another win for the right wing backed by their presstitute media.


      NZ business doesn’t want immigration questioned, its worth too much for them.

    • saveNZ 1.4

      The New Zealand Institute is the Business Roundtable, rebranded.

  2. Andre 2

    A brief history of the vampire squid Goldman Sachs’ entanglements with the US government and how its spawn have been welcomed into Trump’s swamp to continue sucking the country dry.


  3. Sanctuary 3

    Went to the cricket yesterday, a fine day spent becoming sun kissed little solar babies! But anyway, there were 12 of us, and as they were mostly average Joe kiwi blokes at the pub before hand I did a quick survey as to what people thought of Trump’s immigration ban. Only two people (and me) thought it was a bad thing. All the rest supported it. I suspect, depressingly, Trump’s ban will turn out to be rather popular.

    • James 3.1

      Perhaps people just didn’t want to talk politics on such a beautiful day. You and I disagree on almost everything but even I think his plan is “too far” or at least could have been implemented a hell of a lot better.

      But it was a beautiful family day and a lot of people wouldn’t want to ruin it having an argument or discussion on trump that could cause arguments.

    • garibaldi 3.2

      That’s right Sanctuary, and the sad fact is that’s what all this promotion of sport, sport and more sport is all about ….. bread and circuses to numb the masses.

      • James 3.2.1

        Actually no – it’s just that some people enjoy sport.

        Its entertaining, it’s a fun day out with the family. Quality time with kids.

        Not some vast conspiracy to numb masses and stop them thinking.

        Ffs – do you even believe what you type.

        • Paul

          Some reading for you, James.
          It’s usually best not to take a strong viewpoint until some research on the subject has been done.

        • garibaldi

          Ffs, to put it more plainly , your average avid sports fan is a boofhead.

          • Paul

            I think that’s a bit harsh.
            Wilfully or naively ignorant, I’d say.

            • garibaldi

              OK Paul, I will put it in a question.
              What’s more important in this Country – Rugby or Politics ?
              As to your second sentence…..yes that covers many basically unacceptable excuses for not getting involved in democracy.

          • Alan

            bit of a narrow view there Garibaldi

            • garibaldi

              A narrow view maybe, and a minority view in godzone when compared to avid sports fans. However I am not going to resile from my belief that sport is over emphasised deliberately ( by the likes of Sky, ‘professionalism’ and politicians) in the knowledge that it is escapism/entertainment to keep the masses happy whilst it encourages the winner/loser mentality. I am all for individual excellence but the tribal team/nation aspect is nigh on war.
              The winner/loser mentality plays right into the Capitalistic free market/neoliberalism agenda – leading to more CC and economic unsustainability and boom/bust cycles, and to our impending total demise.
              We need a cooperative society, not a combatative, resource depleting, winner takes all doomed situation like we currently have.
              The general population seem to be ‘wilfully or naively ignorant’ of the connection I am pointing out.

      • Paul 3.2.2

        The decline of Empire looks the same, whether it be in Roman times or today.
        Their gladaiators, our sports ‘stars.’

  4. Cinny 4

    Will the outgoing PM speak out about Agent Orange.. NOOOO of course not, he would rather reassure people that it won’t happen here, that’s it. Gutless, the leader of NZ is an embarrassment, we need a strong leader, one that condemns the bad decisions of other leaders, English is not that person.

    Jack Tame interviewed English this morning..


  5. jcuknz 5

    People with no responsibility for the good of the country shoot their mouths off, but English tolerates idiots and thinks about the effect on the country of a fruitcake PM or President yakking on. Espiner was just his usual bloody minded self asking unreasonable questions.

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    Blood stained toddler…where is he/she now?


    • Rosemary McDonald 6.1

      Good on Smalley for (eventually) speaking up, I suppose…

      ….actually, nah.

      She should have spoken up in a loud clear voice to the staff at reception and in triage that there was a bloodied child who needed attention right NOW.

      Mum may or may not be known to those at A&E…and this happens….but bringing in a child in that condition…
      1) she either knew it would attract attention and she would finally get the help she needs, or
      2) she doesn’t give a shit about her child’s condition.

      Either way…help should have been on hand.

      If/when this wee one becomes a statistic….

      • jcuknz 6.1.1

        I wonder what would happen if A&E went on strike like junior doctors recently did … would they get more money to adequately staff the A&E at known busy times?
        Heaven forbid that strike happens when my family need help BUT all this cost cutting by having more bean counters and not enough medical staff is crazy.
        The BCs cannot say X number can be seen in Y time because good doctors give each patient the time they need for their problem and the rest have to wait … the only answer is to have ‘spare capacity’ rather than saving money.

  7. saveNZ 7

    Scary stuff coming out of the White house.

    “On Inauguration Day, Trump apparently filed his candidacy for 2020. Beyond being unusual, this opens up the ability for him to start accepting “campaign contributions” right away. Given that a sizable fraction of the campaign funds from the previous cycle were paid directly to the Trump organization in exchange for building leases, etc., at inflated rates, you can assume that those campaign coffers are a mechanism by which US nationals can easily give cash bribes directly to Trump. Non-US nationals can, of course, continue to use Trump’s hotels and other businesses as a way to funnel money to him.
    (6) Finally, I want to highlight a story that many people haven’t noticed. On Wednesday, Reuters reported (in great detail) how 19.5% of Rosneft, Russia’s state oil company, has been sold to parties unknown. This was done through a dizzying array of shell companies, so that the most that can be said with certainty now is that the money “paying” for it was originally loaned out to the shell layers by VTB (the government’s official bank), even though it’s highly unclear who, if anyone, would be paying that loan back; and the recipients have been traced as far as some Cayman Islands shell companies.
    Why is this interesting? Because the much-maligned Steele Dossier (the one with the golden showers in it) included the statement that Putin had offered Trump 19% of Rosneft if he became president and removed sanctions. The reason this is so interesting is that the dossier said this in July, and the sale didn’t happen until early December. And 19.5% sounds an awful lot like “19% plus a brokerage commission.”
    Conclusive? No. But it raises some very interesting questions for journalists to investigate.”

    View at Medium.com

  8. greywarshark 8

    A lot of energy and thinking here goes into present news. politics and future elections, and discussing present and future policies needed. Some space also provides stories about smart and/or clever ideas that advance our living standards, education and thinking.

    (I put these separately because our education system has not been spent on thinking and discussing so that we end up understanding our society, economy, and our place in that of the world and how we all fit into the environment on the planet, or not.)

    TS could be a place where there was some space for discussion in a post about ideas for better living, indeed eventually, for better surviving. Some people need to be thinking beyond our next wrestling match with lordly politicians and the wealth accumulators, and the dogma of those who want us to stop thinking and be obedient to the latest fashionable cult or religious edict made well before the industrial revolution and the useful art of making toilet paper, flush toilets and hand washing. These have been vital in preventing plagues, but as shown in Havelock North, are like many of our systems are under stress or deteriorating.

    I would like to be part of an on-line discussion group who all read a certain book about human directions and our fading future, and then put up a post and discuss the points we have taken. If mickey savage, ie Greg, does pursue his politics in real time it would bring other important topics to the blog. There would be another avenue for consideration and discussion of thought. It would bring ‘disruption’ ie a different approach.

    I was thinking that EF Schumaker “Small is Beautful: a study of economics as if people mattered’ book which was praised some years ago, and which I never read, would be a good one to start on. (On Trade me under title.)
    It would be good if even two or three commenters would group and take a month to read it and make notes as they go along with ideas that they would be positive about, and some that they might enlarge on. One of us would have to set up a post and if no-one else wanted to do that I would stop thinking about it and actually learn to do it and moderate it.

    There are some deep thinkers and some very concerned people who write here. It would be good if we could concentrate our brains to light some ideas for the future. Anyone who will do this please indicate by reply on Open Mike and we can co-ordinate. If I have annoyed someone in the past, remember that the idea is sovereign and sharing thoughts with people disagreed with is essential for getting broad understanding. If we only take notice of people we agree with we never get wider perspective.

    • r0b 8.1

      Do you want to do some guest posts along these lines?

      • greywarshark 8.1.1

        Yes I think that I may have to do that, but I like the idea of having concentrated thinking being done ahead of the actual post, rather than the post being set up as the subject du jour and getting 5 comments of varying perspicacity, or words of that nature !

        When it comes to examining the weighty problems of humankind, and how to manage ourselves, the one sentence comment from some idiot savant doesn’t get us far. I have ideas, posters have ideas, authors in the mainstream have ideas. Commenters have ideas, and some get raised in Open Mike, and never taken further, so hope having pre-reading would result in some better response and could lead to further research from links that people would find.

        With the decline of government for the people, we citizens need to find our own experts and make our own draft policies for the country’s betterment then lobby for ones that are therapeutic of our ills, not just reactionary to events. The corporates already draft legislation to suit themselves as a small but influential group. We ordinary citizens are a large but not influential group and have to get smart, or get trodden on. Sort of like the giant foot that I think Terry Gilliam drew for Monty Python, with us being like sticky mud between the toes.

        • greywarshark

          Please can anyone, either commenter, or reader, or briefly passing through who would like to apply their mind to reading an agreed book, and then putting forward intelligence on a dedicated post, please indicate now or in the next few days. If there is silence I will have to draw the conclusion that we are mainly a nation of fence sitters, and cargo cult recipients, with no backbone to make change and demonstrate our own analytical skills in humanities and development. We can contact through the blog, don’t have to have personal involvement but personally contact each other’s names or pseudos on this blog.

          I want to know now if we have enough people who are not already fully stretched on one area of interest. There are some like that, but many who are marking time while others do the thinking for them. And likely it won’t be appropriate, or too late.

          How many would like to be in on building knowledge so as to develop new ways of managing ourselves in the future that is getting ever difficult and coming closer all the time.

          • weka

            I haven’t had a proper read through this thread yet, but I’ve been thinking about a book or film club idea for TS so would love to follow your lead on this. I’m interested in the Schumacher book too. Thanks for bringing this up. I’m away out for a while, hope to catch up later.

            • greywarshark

              Glad you like the sound of it. It would be good if it came within your ideas for advancing the value of The Standard. So look forward to your thoughts. I’m going out for a while. But I’ll be back.

            • greywarshark

              Including us two that makes seven who have shown interest. So if most were willing and we got a modus operandi going, we could get started.

              I like EF Schumaker as an idea but people might need time to get a copy. There is one in the stack at the local Nelson library, there are new ones under $20 from a bulk book merchant in Hamilton, I have one in my books somewhere but…. Second hand bookshops are thinner on the ground than they used to be. We might need two weeks between books for all to get copies. For some of these older authors Gutenberg might have them.

              Practicality might result in getting an easily available one to start off with.

              Rob was talking about guest posts, I like the idea of that when we have got some good quotes to a=start discussing and arguing about.

              • weka

                I just got an ebook copy from Amazon for around $10. It looks like about a 4 hour read. Cheap paper copies there too. It looks like it’s available in many libraries, so I would expect it to be available on interloan (that’s something like $6 or $7 I think).

                A couple of initial thoughts. We can put up a post introducing the idea and the first book. I’m thinking Sunday is good. It’s often a quiet day but it continues with the sunday magazine idea we used for putting Robert Guyton’s posts there. People can get to know that we have those kinds of posts on that day. (someone used to do a Sunday Reading posts, a kind of round up of the week). I can put it up on a busier day, but on those days people tend to go for the topical posts.

                In the post we put links to how to access the book and how long it takes to read (that’s available online), and a timeframe for reading, and maybe ask for who is interested. We need to make that encouraging 🙂

                Then x weeks later, I put up another post which is the discussion one. This discussion can primarily be for the people that read the book, but I think it would make sense for the conversation to be broad enough that anyone can join in if their interest gets piqued.

                Is that the kind of thing you were thinking of, or something else?

                The more work that other people can do the better. I’ve got a pretty full load of things to be doing here already, so if all I have to do is put the post up that’s easy, but if I have to write a lot of copy etc that’s more work and less likely to happen.

                What I would need for the first post is:
                Content of the post (intro and explanation, how to find the book etc)
                Any relevant links
                A photo for the front page
                A blurb for the front page

                • greywarshark

                  That sounds practical and likely to be supported. The Sunday reads in my opinion didn’t get as many comments as deserved and I myself didn’t get to read them often. This would be similar I think, in intention, but more structured, and likely to get more attention over
                  a longer period.

                  So Always on a Sunday would be just the job. Following on Robert Guyton’s input which was so good with continuing episodes , ‘The Knowledge’ club would be sporadically continuing each month but we could weekly put some favourite quote of what we had read already just for general interest at that stage.

                  It’s Wednesday. and what you suggest about having an initial post about it on Sunday would be good. With explanations of how to access book etc. But I would like to know first that there was a core group who are intending to read the entire book and discuss its points at the end. Anyone could join in at any time reading some or all of the book, but we do need a core group going right through.

                  I would like to call for hands-up of the initial core participants (it would be best to have minimum of four), to make a reasonable discussion at end. I’ve seen Paul, Pat, Asleep While Walking saying good idea. Macro likes the idea but has to source the book again but might do a reprise (I thought Schumaker because he was famous and first in his time Macro), KJT has commented referring to UBI, which looks like it will get highlighted again. And Weka and greywarshark.

                  So can we have confirmation of who, whom will start us off and get welcomed onboard? Hi there.

                  Once we have the core number of readers and commenters, then this list from you Weka which I can probably do by 12 February – may need to ask advice for some things. And we would be set and off – and if anyone wants to work on it to get it up faster then good.
                  Weka’s list
                  What I would need for the first post is:
                  Content of the post (intro and explanation, how to find the book etc)
                  Any relevant links
                  A photo for the front page
                  A blurb for the front page

                  Everyone needs access to a copy, (eg weka’s advice on how and which outlet to access E-books or other internet offerings.) (And if hard copy from library – I’ll enquire how long it takes to get inter-loan and will initiating library send direct to your address as provided by your home library? This could be helpful for the disabled, or people distant from their own library.) Buy hard copy – local bookshop? Amazon weka says E-book $10 and hard copies, and on Trme about $17 from Hamilton address quickly if paid quickly – look under Small is Beautiful.

                  In our discussions of whatever book when we quote pieces we must give chapter sources and page or topic references with our response which builds our ideas on or against. This would follow the usual practice of confirming and enabling reference to our source. Which you would want weka and would help to keep ourselves and readers
                  on track.

                  I think this would be valuable to us individually and to add to the political nous in the country. I have been concerned that serious and important background info often gets 12 comments, while the latest political gaffe or flagrant or fragrant behaviour gets 112.

                  We are watching the lampooning of our political system and the clowns are entertaining us, keeping us occupied and away from our important business of looking after all our own interests as citizens in our country. It’s fascinating, sometimes grotesque to watch but some of us have to turn away from the view, and work out what we can do together to repair this crumbling long-running show of democracy-as-we-know-it.

                  • weka

                    ok, let’s go for Sunday the 12th as the first intro post. That will avoid Waitangi weekend and associated posts too.

                    So for the first post we need:

                    intro to the whole idea, keep it succinct, maybe 3 paragraphs?
                    naming and a brief intro to the first book

                    Links to who Schumacher is (note spelling)
                    Guardian review

                    Info and links on how to get book:
                    Your ideas
                    Te Puna search for interloans/which libraries have the book
                    Amazon link for ebook and cheap 2nd hand
                    Other option links?

                    Other links?

                    Front page photo
                    Front page blurb

                    I will need all that in a single document, ordinary text. If any of the content is a direct quote, please put it in ” ” and put a link at the end of the sentence/paragraph for where it was taken from.

                    I’m happy to help out while you organise that too, just ask or comment here.

                    As for getting people to commit, I think we can ask again. Try today’s OM, and I’d suggest keeping to the point and making the comment easy to read and engage with. However I also think there will come a point where we just need to do that work and see what happens.

                    • greywarshark

                      Okay first step I have put comment on Open Mike 1/2 No. 17 asking for keen Standardistas. So that’s all for now as I have to do something else. This could be good once its going. I remember some really good and long discussions around CV’s ideas and also Bill’s.

                    • weka

                      nice one grey, I’ll follow on there too.

          • Pat

            Assume (one shouldn’t) the book is “Small is beautiful” E F Schumacher…?

            • greywarshark

              Yes. I thought that one to give an overview from the past – he died in 1977 I think. He sounds like a nice guy.


              I thought a harmonica action – expand, contract to NZ (Rosemary suggested Marilyn Waring could be next) then out to someone like Joseph Stiglitz? world economics, then perhaps Max Rushbrooke here in NZ etc.

              That would open our minds away from strictly NZ. Say we kept to the local, global then repeat but we took a vote or a priority list of authors each time, say once a month then two week break then again.

          • Paul

            Great idea.

        • r0b

          greywarshark – OK, sounds interesting! I don’t always catch what’s going on in comments, so I’ll email you…

          • greywarshark

            Are you interested in being in the first reading group? If you have time, as well as writing posts, as well as whatever else you find to pass the time away!
            Please don’t tell me what as I think I would be exhausted hearing. But over a month you could find the time perhaps, weka says it doesn’t take long to read, but of course the reading would have to have some note taking of points as well, even keywords, and that would slow it up. And also lead to links being included to give direction to the points.

            I thought I’d ask though you are no doubt busy, and if not this time, then at a later time perhaps. Could you advise thanks.

    • Rosemary McDonald 8.2

      What a good idea greywarshark. I read posts and comments here on TS and sometimes get the impression that folk seem to think that they are saying something new. That their ideas are novel and groundbreaking….when in reality most of these thoughts have been said and/or writ before….often by people who have spent a lifetime in active research and discussion in their particular field.

      There is nothing new under the sun.

      Alongside Schumaker (and perhaps ahead IMHO 🙂 ) would be anything written by our own Marylin Waring. http://www.marilynwaring.com/html/books.html

      “Safe drinking water counts for nothing. A pollution-free environment counts for nothing. Even some people – namely women – count for nothing. This is the case, at least, according to the United Nations System of National Accounts. Author Marilyn Waring, former New Zealand M.P., now professor, development consultant, writer, and goat farmer, isolates the gender bias that exists in the current system of calculating national wealth.

      As Waring observes, in this accounting system women are considered ‘non-producers’ and as such they cannot expect to gain from the distribution of benefits that flow from production. Issues like nuclear warfare, environmental conservation, and poverty are likewise excluded from the calculation of value in traditional economic theory. As a result, public policy, determined by these same accounting processes, inevitably overlooks the importance of the environment and half the world’s population.

      Counting for Nothing, originally published in 1988, is a classic feminist analysis of women’s place in the world economy brought up to date in this reprinted edition, including a sizeable new introduction by the author. In her new introduction, the author updates information and examples and revisits the original chapters with appropriate commentary. In an accessible and often humorous manner, Waring offers an explanation of the current economic systems of accounting and thoroughly outlines ways to ensure that the significance of the environment and the labour contributions of women receive the recognition they deserve.”

      …and if like me you haven’t got the book (on my list when scouring the second had bookshops) you can watch….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS2nkr9q0VU

      When Trump et al have all moved on to wherever defunct politicians slope off to we, the people will still be here trying not only to survive another day, week, month…but also doing what we can to make the lives of our kids (and their kids) better and more secure.

      And we must learn to do this irrespective of which coloured flag flies atop our parliamentary seat. We do get so bound to the ‘we MUST change the government’ narrative instead of concentrating on what you, greywarshark, suggest giving space for “stories about smart and/or clever ideas that advance our living standards, education and thinking.”

      I fear though, the usual ‘I know best voices’ will prevail here and elsewhere on the net…as history appears to have been deliberately ignored as the world seems hell bent on repeating it. 🙁

      • greywarshark 8.2.1

        Rosemary McDonald
        I am interested in people who will opt in, not just people who think it is a good idea. So will you opt in Rosemary? Marilyn Waring would be good too. Would you join the reading, discussing circle?? If the post was moderated effectively, only useful discussion that added to the discourse would go in so the usual riff raff would have to shape up or ship out.

        Anyone can comment, critique, it’s essential that some actually do the hard yards of getting informed on the same text and subject and then raise points of disagreement, doubt, positive visions if…so and so was done, and how lack of finances could be circumvented etc.

        Looking at achievable objects, how to avoid having Johnny come latelies take over and drive the project too fast, or too far into middle class materialisms, or too idealistically and rigidly, purely etc. Tailoring projects to allow for human nature, and climate change, and continuity, and rewarding and respecting all participants in suitable ways. Those are things that wise thinkers would be incorporating in ideas for projects.

        How to provide jobs for ourselves in the future would be one of the things to consider. There is the constant theme that this or that is going to happen and that’s the word so get used to it. We have knowledge from education and wisdom but the poem of Ozymandias sorrowfully reminds us of our overweening desires and fantastic visions. That poem came from the discovery of a creation of Rameses BC 13th century. So can we so many centuries later actually see above those grand confabulations, and think as pragmatic idealists. As Rutherford said “We haven’t much money, so we need to think”.

        In antiquity, Ozymandias (Ὀσυμανδύας) was a Greek name for the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II. Shelley began writing his poem in 1817, soon after the announcement of the British Museum’s acquisition of a large fragment of a statue of Ramesses II from the thirteenth century BC, leading some scholars to believe that Shelley was inspired by this.

        The 7.25-ton fragment of the statue’s head and torso had been removed in 1816 from the mortuary temple of Ramesses at Thebes

        • KJT

          Have a look back on the UBI conversations on the Standard.

          A group of us, Authors and commentators, not always people who agreed with each other, agreed this was one thing we could be united on.

          I think we should again get behind the UBi, and other solutions, of course?

          • greywarshark

            Yes I will thanks.

            • greywarshark

              And here is something I found that is a long standing and presumably experienced project team. was called the Intermediate Project or something to help adapt to intermediate technology – I saw it on EF Schumaker site – Practical Action –

              • KJT

                When I was at Waikato Uni, the engineering department were looking at technologies transferable to third world countries, with inadequate infrastructure and capabilities. Small scale water treatment, for example.

                • greywarshark

                  I don’t know whether you would consider it a genuine engineering project but this morning I came upon a Greenpeace? info leaflet about the work that had been done on constructing low cost toilets using local materials after studying 500 people going to the toilet to advise on the best design!
                  I am not sure how they did this, probably studying the aftermath.
                  They worked out a plan, it has plaited palm leaf sides on wooden frame, a 100mm vent pipe going high covered with flyproof gauze, and can be shifted to another spot when hole is filled. I see that as a beautiful and elegant design myself. What do you think?

                  And while we are communicating – can you come into the first reading group looking at E F Schumacher over a month with a big discussion on his ideas at end? We could do with a practical innovative open mind on this. Could you let me know?

          • weka

            It would be great to revisit the UBI this year. I’ve got some half finished posts from around the time of Labour’s discussion paper. Maybe we could republish some of the previous ones and invite people to take the idea forward. We could do a week on the UBI at The Standard.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “I am interested in people who will opt in, not just people who think it is a good idea. ”

          Tomorrow my partner and I head off into the wild blue yonder after 3 months of enforced houseboundness. Too busy for the likes of us over the silly season, having to compete with the thousands of others for dwindling free/cheap camping spots.
          Our Bus is basic. Very basic. Living in a space measuring 7mx2m certainly forces one to think very carefully about what is needed to ensure a tolerable standard of living and what is mere want. And while other Brethren of the Eternal Highway have embraced mobile internet, we have not…considering it a luxury and an unnecessary extravagance. Our 300w of solar on the roof removes the need (over the sunny months) for us to scuttle into a commercial camp every 7-10 days to plug into the 240V to charge our house batteries and do some internetting…so any engagement in forums such as this will be limited to the occasional hook up via the Aotearoa People’s Network at the local library if we should wander into a town. We do not have an ipad, android, smartphone etc…just a couple of unsmart 3G flip phones…one for each of the major networks.
          It is not unusual for us to have no cellphone coverage either. And we don’t have telly. We read, a lot. And listen to Natrad…and Sport Radio (for the cricket, because relationships only survive close proximity if the other person’s peccadilloes are tolerated and accommodated).
          But don’t be concerned that I will be bereft of intelligent and informed discourse on politics, history and social issues in general as the regions are teeming with interesting folk who make very pertinent observations and have formed credible opinions about life the universe and everything.
          Usually while waiting for the fish to bite. 😉
          And the conversations we have with young and not so young overseas travelers…coming to the realisation what a small world we live in and how remarkably similar we all are.
          So no, I can’t commit to opting in on a regular basis, and it would be rude to pop in now and again like a johnny come lately riff raff type who comments and runs without engaging with the whole discussion. But I will be checking in now and again to see how such a project is shaping up because, I do think it is a goer. 🙂

          • greywarshark

            I am talking about a study circle. And if you can spend some of your time while you are travelling reading and then contribute when we have our post at the finish that will be fine.

            And if a number of people can start doing this, each time we had another study subject you or anyone else could come in for that. That is all I am talking about. Spending time concentrating on one thing, as a special project apart from other activities and input.

          • mauī

            Cool, you got me wondering about your solar power system, I wouldn’t mind playing around with something similar. Did you setup the solar power yourselves? Was it easy? Do you store the power in deep cycle batteries? What appliances can you run from the 300W panel?

            You’re probably busy trying to get ready for your holiday, but thought I’d ask anyway 😉

            • Rosemary McDonald

              Hiya maui…not holiday as much as normal life for us!

              We had the Bus fitted out by the experts…but many clever folk do their own work. Lots of help/advice on line…ask mr. google “motorhomes/rv solar power”….some of those guys are real technophiles. I’ll happily do plumbing…but I’ll leave the sparky stuff to the experts!

              We started off with 80W of solar and doubled that as $$$ came available…one of the reasons for Bus dwelling was because house living too expensive….we can save, living in the Bus. Anyway, 2x80w panels not quite enough to keep pump, toilet, 12v fridge and lights going and charge the batteries on the power assist wheelchair wheels on a dull day…so after the solar controller folded (you need a controller able to take the maximum input from your panels) we upgraded to a 30A…then added another 140w panel. Total keeps our 4 aging deep cycle batteries topped up…might get another year out of them. We live lean…seriously…our fridge is less than 25litres, no telly etc. So 300w is plenty. Some of the Brethren have 2000w solar and Lithium batteries and run coffee machines and hairdryers!

              for mobile solar talk…here’s the best place to look http://www.nzmotorhome.co.nz/NZMotorhomeForum/viewforum.php?f=55 there’s a really good search facility.

              For a house…these guys…good reputation and happy to share the knowledge…http://www.indepower.co.nz/index.html

              Or…if you’re out and about and you spot a house with solar proud on the roof…try knocking on their door…most folk living off the grid are more than happy to turn others to the light side. 🙂

              • mauÄ«

                That is very cool, life on the road huh. Sounds brilliant. Yeah, I could have used google, but nothing beats talking to someone direct and getting an interesting nugget of information or two. Thanks, its good to get to know a bit more about how these things work. Enjoy your travels!

    • AsleepWhileWalking 8.3

      Good idea.

    • Macro 8.4

      I read Schumaker’s book some years ago – then stupidly lent it and never got it back. It made good sense then and I suspect even more sense now. There are a number of books out along similar lines, many of them following the sustainable economy framework of zero growth and prosperity without growth. I have some on my book shelves now but regrettably no longer “Small is Beautiful’.

  9. Agora 9

    Give the guy a break – he has been thrown without warning into the aftermath of Key’s amoral opportunism and wrecking-ball approach to constitutional propriety .. and the economy. Does this remind anyone of Trump ?

    • Sabine 9.1

      so you are saying Bill English was not Vice PM all those years? That was an alternative version of Bill English?

      • Agora 9.1.1

        True, but he is not Trump or Key. He’s an old style Southland boy.

        • Sabine

          he is a bigot. and a spineless one. someone without courage and conviction. someone who likes his bread buttered both sides and who is a ‘benefit fraud’.

          he is very much like the others.

        • Leftie

          Who knows the score and has been in politics a long time and is a key player behind all the corrupt, wrong abuses this government, (and the previous National government), has done and continues to do.

          No, Caretaker Bill doesn’t deserve to be given a break, not at all.

  10. joe90 10

    Theocrats have been busy.

    An executive order from President Donald Trump opening up discrimination against the LGBTQ community on the basis of religious belief is expected sometime this week, possibly as soon as today.


    From what we’ve heard, the executive order could be far-reaching, and could include: making taxpayer funds available for discrimination against LGBTQ people in social services; allow federally funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ parents; eliminate non-discrimination protections in order to make it possible to fire federal employers and contractors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity; and allow federal employees to refuse to serve people based on the belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, and that gender is an immutable characteristic set at birth, which would impact a broad range of federal benefits.

    The order is expected to come in the packaging of so-called “religious freedom,” which argues that someone’s religious beliefs should be enough to prevent them from having to provide goods and services to members of the LGBTQ community if doing so would conflict with said beliefs.


    • …and that gender is an immutable characteristic set at birth…

      That one’s not just obnoxious, but also stupid. Gender refers to differences between the sexes that are social rather than physical in nature – by definition it isn’t “immutable” or “set at birth.” Presumably they mean sex is an immutable characteristic set at birth, but even that’s only true most of the time. Biology isn’t the manufacturing of identical units, it’s vague and messy at the edges.

  11. Andre 11

    At the risk of spreading fake news, the link below is an interesting read. A lot of the claims made are by nature unverifiable, and the author doesn’t appear to be a particular expert on the topic, but it does pull the threads together into a thought provoking picture.


  12. AsleepWhileWalking 12

    The other ban


    “A growing bandwagon of academics and policy makers in other countries, including the United States, UK, Australia, etc. has been calling for prohibitions against cash.

    It’s always the same song: cash is a tool for criminals and terrorists.

    Harvard economist Ken Rogoff is a leading voice in the War on Cash; his new book The Curse of Cash claims that physical currency makes the world less safe.

    Rogoff further states “all that cash” is being used for “tax evasion, corruption, terrorism, the drug trade, human trafficking. . .”

    Wow. Sounds pretty grim.

    Apparently pulling out a $5 bill to tip your valet makes you a member of ISIS now.

    Of course, this is total nonsense.

    A recent Gallup poll from last year shows that a healthy 24% of Americans still use cash to make all or most of their purchases, compared to the other options like debit cards, credit cards, checks, bank transfers, PayPal, etc.

    And the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco released a ton of data late last year showing that:

    – 52% of grocery purchases, along with personal care products, are made in cash

    – 62% of purchases up to $10 are made in cash

    – But even at much higher amounts over $100, nearly 1 in 5 purchases are still made using physical cash

    This doesn’t sound life nefarious criminal activity to me.

    It seems that perfectly normal, law-abiding citizens still use cash on a regular basis.

    But that doesn’t seem to matter.

    A bunch of university professors who have probably never been within 1,000 miles of ISIS think that a ban on cash would make us all safer from terrorists.

    You probably recall the horrible Christmas attack in Berlin last month in which a Tunisian man drove a truck through a crowded pedestrian mall, killing 12 people.

    Well, the attacker was found with 1,000 euros in cash.

    The logic, therefore, is to ban cash.

    I’m sure he was also found wearing pants. Perhaps we should ban those too.”

    • greywarshark 12.1

      I am very concerned that there is such a big push for banning cash. I use EFTPOS a lot but I don’t want to have my every transaction be scrutinised and digitalised. The only way many can manage in this unfair system of people having to pay the rich for the right to exist and have some government support is to utilise the black economy. Now that we have this impost of 15% GST on practically all our spending, and very low wage rises to match the inflation that is so low that it mainly benefits large investors, the poor are being screwed by our economic system and RW government.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1

        I am very concerned that there is such a big push for banning cash. I use EFTPOS a lot but I don’t want to have my every transaction be scrutinised and digitalised.

        It may be digitised but there’s almost no chance that it will ever be scrutinised. Really, nobody cares – unless you’re committing a crime.

        The only way many can manage in this unfair system of people having to pay the rich for the right to exist and have some government support is to utilise the black economy.

        The answer to that is to limit the rich. Make it so that they can’t oppress others. In fact, get rid of them altogether.

        Now that we have this impost of 15% GST on practically all our spending, and very low wage rises to match the inflation that is so low that it mainly benefits large investors, the poor are being screwed by our economic system and RW government.

        Which tells us that the system needs changing and not that we should keep it the way that it is.

        • greywarshark

          It may be digitised but there’s almost no chance that it will ever be scrutinised. Really, nobody cares – unless you’re committing a crime.

          You are always so certain. I am certain that I don’t always believe you.
          You just cannot make sweeping statements like the above in a time when some can track one’s keying on the computer, and follow where you go on the internet and then try and sell you something or remind you what you did yesterday. The insatiable desire to know everything you do, surveil it control it, profit from it, sanction it. That’s what is abroad these days from government and corporates.

          No to a cashless society and don’t believe there would be no charges – only a matter of time before there were.

          • Pat

            hear hear…and not only charges…ask the Greeks or the Cretans how they felt about the frozen accounts and the usefulness of cash….with the ability to identify, pigeon hole and control ALL purchasing opportunity the assumption that the system will not be misused punitively is naive….indeed i would suggest it is a certainty, the only question is how long it would take?

            Having said that, it will likely happen and there will sweet FA we can do about it.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Having said that, it will likely happen and there will sweet FA we can do about it.

              There is always something we can do about it. It’s this belief that we can’t that prevents us from making our political system better and more responsive to the people rather than the corporations.

              • Pat

                post election this year the government announces that in 12 months time cash will will no longer be legal tender and all transactions will be electronic…..what effective response do you foresee?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  A general strike.

                  Although I’d prefer a plan to remove the present banking system and replace it with a new one based around the government being the sole creator of money in the system. This money would be digital and introduced into the economy through a UBI and other government spending. Private banks would not be able to create money at all.

                  • Pat

                    cashless society and private banking are two separate issues…a general strike assuming it was widely supported, may reverse the decision…perhaps but then that could be said of any policy….has it happened in neolib times?…and what makes you think “this time it will be different”?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      cashless society and private banking are two separate issues…

                      No they’re not and they shouldn’t be treated as such.

                      and what makes you think “this time it will be different”?

                      We work to make it different rather than just whinging that it’s too hard.

                  • Pat

                    just because you desire to link the two doesn’t mean it will occur as such and general strike?good luck with that….last one was in 79, not even the advent of the ECA triggered one…..power of positive thought only takes you so far, then reality hits.

                  • Pat

                    more bloody invective but no answers.

      • james 12.1.2

        “The only way many can manage in this unfair system of people having to pay the rich for the right to exist and have some government support is to utilise the black economy”

        You mean tax avoidance. Deliberately running small businesses and not paying tax or being customers knowing that the business is avoiding tax in order to get cheaper goods yourself.

        Isnt this something you were against? I thought people were supposed to pay their fair share – this means everybody.

    • Sabine 12.2

      but you can’t put charges on cash as you can with ‘bank accounts’.
      And you can deprive anyone of access to their money via a an IT issue, or an outage, or or or or.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1

        but you can’t put charges on cash as you can with ‘bank accounts’.

        And with the government as issuer and maintainer of the money supply then there won’t be any charges.

        • Sabine

          little story from my life.

          i once had a nice paid job and because i had money go into my account every month and because it was over a certain amount, my account was ‘free’ of charges.
          then i lost my nice paid job due to restructuring and the first month not receiving my pay me previously ‘free’ account suddenly was not so ‘free’ anymore but cost me ‘account service fees’.

          now if i were paid in cash every month in by either my boss or receiving unemployment benefits it would not matter, but you just lost your job, you are on a benefit and your account of several years suddenly costs you 10 bucks.

          Yeah, mate, no matter how much you like the idea of digital, virtual reality money, i like cash.
          and i also dislike the idea that those of us that like cash, because we can control our spending better, because we don’t like to be paying transaction fees and the likes to be ‘considered’ criminals, cause if you don’t have anything to hide you would not care.

          I also like to point to the demonetization debacle in India just recently were the only ones that were not hurt were the ones that already had money. The poor and the very poor as always can get fucked.

          btw, if I wanted to pay for drugs via a bank transfer, or pay pal who the fuck would stop us from doing so, unless you really like the surveillance tool that comes with virtual reality money.

          • Draco T Bastard

            i once had a nice paid job and because i had money go into my account every month and because it was over a certain amount, my account was ‘free’ of charges.
            then i lost my nice paid job due to restructuring and the first month not receiving my pay me previously ‘free’ account suddenly was not so ‘free’ anymore but cost me ‘account service fees’.

            Yep, happened to me as well.

            Still, it was the privatisation and high profit model that did that. Which is why I say that that infrastructure should be state owned and run with no fees.

            btw, if I wanted to pay for drugs via a bank transfer, or pay pal who the fuck would stop us from doing so,

            Funding a crime is, as a matter of fact, a crime in itself.

            Now, I’m all for legalising drugs so buying drugs doesn’t bother me. It’s the avoidance of paying taxes that the drug sellers do and can get away with doing by only taking cash and thus ripping off the rest of us that does.

            Yes, there’s a surveillance issue but it more comes down to if the figures match then we don’t look but if they don’t then we do type thing. Nobody’s going to be looking into the figures unless something is wrong.

            • McFlock

              So, basically, it’s a cool idea as long as we trust all future governments to not privatise it or abuse its surveillance opportunities, we can ensure criminals don’t go back to barter or use a proxy commodity as a means of exchange, we can ensure employers don’t pressure employees to under-report hours worked, everyone’s online in every location, and you don’t lose your card.

              Cash is still a damned good option for any number of reasons. Hell, there’s a twenty in my pocket right now – it was the most convenient way to transfer the money at the time and location.

              • Draco T Bastard

                it’s a cool idea as long as we trust all future governments to not privatise it or abuse its surveillance opportunities

                Not trust. Put in place processes that allow us to keep an eye on them.

                Trust but verify

                we can ensure criminals don’t go back to barter or use a proxy commodity as a means of exchange

                Going back to barter would decrease the number of possible clients that the criminals have decreasing their income and it would show up elsewhere.

                we can ensure employers don’t pressure employees to under-report hours worked

                Employers do that already. Having cash doesn’t change that and many employers now refuse to pay in cash any way.

                everyone’s online in every location

                Secure coverage should cover our entire EEZ.

                and you don’t lose your card.

                I’ve lost my card once in the last five years and it took me two days to notice. Once I did it took another day to get it replaced. It was never a concern.

                I pretty much stopped using cash ten years ago. The few times that I’ve needed it was because the buses in Auckland either didn’t have HOP card or used a different one that was incompatible. Now that they all use HOP so even that’s no longer an issue.

                Basically, you’re at the point of having to invent disaster scenarios to produce fear of the new to prevent it coming in.

                • McFlock

                  I’m not the one inventing secure data coverage throughout the EEZ.

                  How does it decrease clients? People already use drugs, stolen groceries, and various commodities as pretty difficult-to-trace means of exchange. Hell, even ramen noodles have become a standard currency in US prisons, after cigarettes got banned.

                  And that’s not even getting into standardised slugs of gold used as a means of exchange.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    I’m not the one inventing secure data coverage throughout the EEZ.

                    Well, if we don’t invent it then we certainly won’t have it.

                    How does it decrease clients?

                    By decreasing the availability of trading.

                    People already use drugs, stolen groceries, and various commodities as pretty difficult-to-trace means of exchange.

                    Most of the people who use drugs aren’t going to go out and become a criminal to support their habit.

                    And that’s not even getting into standardised slugs of gold used as a means of exchange.

                    Do you have any idea as to how difficult that is? Gold is well controlled and so is pretty much every other mineral/element.

                    And, at the end, you need to be able to exchange the barter goods for money and that’s in the system. And the figures won’t match.

                    • McFlock

                      We don’t have the technology to implement it anytime soon.

                      It doesn’t decrease the availability of trading to criminals. It inconveniences them slightly, and every innocent person who prefers to use cash.

                      Druggies might not be thieves, but drugs are already a means of exchange/barter.

                      You’ve obviously never bought precious or semi-precious metals.

                      It’s pretty easy, and all they have is my word for who I am. As long as they get the cash, it’s all good. And I read an article recently about how topline watch/jewellery manufacturers pay couriers to fly to the client state with the new watch as “personal jewellery”, thus avoiding all import/export duties. So to make your cashless society effective, now you’re going to have to control how much bling people can wear before it’s “for supply”.

                      And you only need to exchange barter goods for money for the side of your finances that’s legitimate. Even then, you’re not doing much more than what a fence does every day.

              • KJT

                Well. If we had Democratic control of the Government, instead of the managerial model of Government?

        • One Two

          The government WON’T be the “issuer and maintainer”..

          The core premise of your argument is counter to comments you make about government on a number of other topics …

          Which tells me you have a technological hard on which confuses and misdirects you!

          • Draco T Bastard

            The government WON’T be the “issuer and maintainer”..

            That’s actually the only valid option. Leaving it to private enterprise will make the whole financial system even more of a scam than it is now.

            The core premise of your argument is counter to comments you make about government on a number of other topics …

            WTF are you talking about?

            • One Two

              Money is privately owned, issued and controlled either directly or indirectly through government structures such as exist in NZ

              Who owns the NZ public/govt/private debt Draco?

              Your belief that digital only currency will be managed and controlled by benevolent governments is that of a fantasist

              Same response to your comment 12.4.1

              • Draco T Bastard

                Money is privately owned, issued and controlled either directly or indirectly through government structures such as exist in NZ

                Yes, so we change the system. If we don’t then it all keeps going the same as it is now.

                • One Two

                  There is currently no public engagement about many issues of governmental privatization. It’s not going to suddenly change tact to accommodate an open and honest discussion around digital only currency

                  An open and honest discussion about digital only currency, fails and falls apart immediately as there is no single coherent point which will pass a logical sniff test. Evidenced by the illogical incoherent utterings of the ‘experts’ fronting the propaganda campaign

                  The procession of privately sponsored and paid for ‘experts’ will remain, along with the privately and industry authored legislation which will be rolled out and dutifully passed into law by the paid for governments who represent the same private agendas!

                  Those who comment here on the topic can see and understand the blatant negative consequences, should physical cash no longer be legal tender

                  You don’t. I’ve provided the reason why I believe you don’t!

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Dude, the problem you have is that you’re solely concentrating on the digital money. You’re forgetting that we need to change the whole system.

                    If we only do one part then it won’t work as the present system itself doesn’t work.

                    • One Two

                      No, that’s not it, in broader context anyways…

                      The example of this discussion while singular in its nature is part of a plethora of threads which make up, what is becoming a transparent nefarious agenda. An old agenda which is becoming increasingly difficult to wave away using such terms as ‘conspiracy theory’

                      That the system as a whole needs to be changed (disposed of and built from the ground up) is a given should the majority of life on this planet wish to regard itself as ‘ free’ or ‘living’ in a near term timeline

                      The ‘digital agenda’ is at the very core of the roadmap that I see, and is totally incompatible with freedom and living organisms, and their continuance to exist. The planet and all inhabitants are functional in analogue. Resonant frequencies which support and enable life are analogue, and as such are incompatible with the ‘digital agenda’. Should I say the ‘digital agenda’ is incompatible with the natural world of analogue

                      The major issue as I see it, is that there is no visible path to how the required change will happen (current frameworks) and I don’t forsee a critical point reached before the lock down under digital technological dictatorship (that’s what it is) has taken a hold which can’t be rolled back without severe consequences and violence

                      Private entities will fight with all they have to continue the ‘deployments’

                      The articles written here about stepping out of the existing systems are good examples of what I agree needs to happen, but I don’t believe the numbers are high enough and it essentially becomes those who ‘exit’ and those who ‘remain’ (essentially giving mandate to the privately owned and controlled ‘democracys’ masquerading as the governments of entire nations of peoples

                      The tipping point required to halt the agendas in flight is reliant on those who ‘remain’ ….

                      ‘And the meek shall inherit the earth’

    • Draco T Bastard 12.3

      This doesn’t sound life nefarious criminal activity to me.

      Which, of course, isn’t the point.

      The point is the ‘cash jobs’. You know the ones where the trady says that he’ll do the job for a few percent less if you pay cash – because it doesn’t go through his books and so doesn’t pay tax.

      And I’m pretty sure that the drug dealer isn’t going to accept credit card or even bank payments either.

      1 in 5 purchases are don in cash – all criminal purchases, that aren’t covered by those stats, are done in cash because it can’t be traced.

      Now consider this. ~98% of all money is bank money. Bank money is 100% electronic money tracked by the banks. Considering that cash makes up such a small amount of money in the economy why are so many purchases still done in cash?

      Of course, the private banks do hide the movement of money from the government.

      See, it’s not just about going cashless but there also only being one issuer of money per country and that money only then exists on that issuers systems and cannot leave the country.

    • One Two 12.4

      The current system has been destroyed by those who own and direct said system, and now they’re looking for a way to continue the plunder…

      Cashless is the next step as directed by the same owners of the monetary and financial systems

      The companies and agencies leading the propaganda campaign against ‘cash’ are the companies , institutions and agencies who will most benefit from the implementation of ‘digital only’,as well as the operational theft which will follow….should there be no hedge agaist the intended theft through digital

      Cash money is the hedge…

      • Draco T Bastard 12.4.1

        Cashless is the next step as directed by the same owners of the monetary and financial systems

        You don’t leave it to the private sector. That’s simply a bad move.

        In fact, the major problems we have with our financial system is that we leave it to the private sector. And they use it as a Ponzi Scheme.

        Cash money is the hedge…

        Cash is the only money that’s of government issuance. You make it so that digital money is also the only money of government issuance and that there is no bank money at all.

  13. Andre 13

    More info about the suspect in the Canadian mosque shooting. It seems he’s a pro-Trump white nationalist. But somehow Trumpets are using him as further lying justification for their travel ban on a few Muslim majority countries.


    • Sabine 13.1

      look white male shooters and mass murderers are ‘lone wolfs’ who have ‘legitimate grievances’ and ‘who are misunderstood’ and who ‘just lost the plot’ and and and.

      its the others that you are to be afraid of. be the effn afraid.

    • Human ingenuity knows no bounds. Over at Whaleoil, the attacker was a Muslim, not a White nationalist, because he shouted Allahu Akbar. At Kiwiblog, the first comment on the thread says the propensity for bigots to kill Muslims is just another reason our country would be safer if we didn’t let Muslims immigrate.

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    The Evolutionary Importance of Grandmothers

    Hawkes then takes this even further, suggesting that when certain apes started pursuing more complex resources — for example, by developing tools for hunting — grandmothers came about in order to ensure that small children weren’t left behind. With the kids provided for, natural selection was free to favor those with larger brains, thus paving the way for those apes to evolve into humans. And grandmothers’ style of upbringing, with its emphasis on social dependence, gave rise to “a whole array of social capacities that are then the foundation for the evolution of other distinctly human traits, including pair bonding, bigger brains, learning new skills and our tendency for cooperation.” Grandmothers, Hawkes says, are what make us human.

    It’s so obvious that we’ve evolved to be a socialist species. Capitalism is against that nature.

  15. Poission 15

    the red river runs.


    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • Bill 15.1

      Yup. Interesting and disturbing piece on a subject I’m not entirely unfamiliar with. But I’m struggling way too much to see how it’s connected to the topic of the post.

  16. Andre 16

    Heh. What it might be like if women got the power to decide what men could do with their bodies. Ejaculation ban!


  17. HDCAFriendlyTroll 17

    Donald J. Trump :
    The American dream is back. We’re going to create an environment for small business like we haven’t had in many, many decades!

    After securing the borders the Don is set to bring wealth and employment back to America!

    You Lefties should be celebrating!

    • garibaldi 17.1

      The American Dream has always been a nightmare for the majority, and Trump will certainly make it grow.

  18. alwyn 18

    I wonder if the Green Party will be apologising to Hawkes Bay dairy farmers?
    They were the ones blamed for the water pollution shambles in Havelock North, after all.
    Indeed it seemed to received wisdom that it was all caused by the conversion of farms from sheep to dairy.

    Now it appears that it was all due to sheep farming in the area. It wasn’t dairy at all.

    Looks as if Ms Delahunty’s crusade against dairying was misplaced.
    “He knows, as we al do, that the real and lasting damage to our rivers is from stock in waterways, farm run-off, sewage and intensified dairy farms among others – he just won’t admit it,” Green Party water spokeswoman Catherine Delahunty said.”

    • KJT 18.1

      Where did Ms Delahunty say it was “only” Dairy farms.

      Intensive Dairy, of course, makes it worse.

    • “farm run-off” says Catherine Delahunty.
      And she was correct.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.3

      Looks like you’re lying again.

      • Steve Withers 18.3.1

        They don’t lie so much as see what they want to see……..

        I know a lot of people who will read a thing and inside their head it gets converted into something else…..and they don’t even realise they are doing it.

    • mauī 18.4

      That’s the Hastings District Council water manager’s opinion of what caused the outbreak. From the same organisation that poisoned thousands of people. Not exactly independant is it..

  19. One Two 19

    ..Follow distractions…

    …waste your own life…

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  20. joe90 20

    The pumpkin pinochet’s first international achievement.

    BREAKING: U.S. official confirms Iran carried out ballistic missile test Sunday— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 30, 2017

  21. weka 21

    Lots of interesting, insightful, engaged commentary across a range of topics and posts/OM on TS today. Am also noticing an absence of the RW trolls as well as noting who is currently banned. Making connections 😉

    Well done us.

    • Bob 21.1

      There are a few of us still floating around in the shadows, I just don’t disagree with a lot of what is being said (with the exception of Paul who thinks quotes from the New Zealand Initiative shows that right wing bias and propaganda in NZ media. I notice he doesn’t think quotes from Trade Unionists show a left wing bias…but talking to Paul is like talking to a brick wall, so I just let it slide)
      Overall, making reasoned comments stops me commenting, so I concur, well done you!

      • Paul 21.1.1

        Yes when I listen to the radio it is awash with the views of trades unionists , while bankers are hardly ever heard at all…….

  22. ianmac 22

    Dimpost is still on the Private viewing link. Any news on this?

    • I asked Danyl about it – he’s taking another break. I presume switching it to private is to prevent comments in the meantime. Hopefully it’s not permanent.

      • ianmac 22.1.1

        Thanks Psycho. Hope he returns. His is one of my daily visits.

      • Steve Withers 22.1.2

        Though in doing so he has effectively removed his entire back catalogue of posts from the Net……which is unfortunate.

  23. The Chairman 23

    Something for Labour to seriously ponder?

    There’s not one comment on the thread: Little’s State of the Nation speech.

    An uninspiring Labour is the biggest obstacle to changing the Government.

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