Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, October 29th, 2016 - 97 comments
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Clinton Trump

When the Roman army crossed the Mediterranean to attack Carthage in 149 BC, they really went to war. They lay seige to it for two years. The Carthagenians were offered surrender terms, but would not do so unconditionally. So the Romans broke in and took it, house by house, temple by temple, massacred everyone they could find, and sold the rest later into slavery. They then burnt it entirely into the ground. It’s claimed that they then got tonnes of salt, and ploughed it into the fields, so that even when any determined survivors returned a little, it would be really hard to grow crops for a very long time. Carthage would never rise again.

Now, with the repetition of a single word – rigged, rigged, rigged – and with the help of Russian hacks into the voter logs of Arizona, and voting machines in Florida, Donald Trump is seeking to poison the field of democracy for the current likely winner Hillary Clinton: if you can’t inherit the land, sow it with salt.

We saw similar tricks played in Ukraine and Georgia when they sought to wrench themselves free of Russia’s orbit and become part of the West. Putin probably understands that he has lost these vassal states for a very long time.  But he has invaded both and ensured that even if they wanted to join NATO, they simply couldn’t. Putin has salted the fields of Ukraine and Georgia for future Western engagement.

Trump is not Putin. America is not Russia. It wasn’t hard for Putin to destroy democratic institutions in countries were capable democracy was less than a decade old. But make no mistake: Trump is seeking to salt the land of U.S. democracy more thoroughly than any Presidential candidate since the U.S. civil war.

In some ways it’s good to seriously debate things like: nuclear capability in North Korea, or Iran, or even the existence of NATO. But Trump is attacking the process of debate: the media are rigged, the democratic system is rigged, he won’t accept the result. Rigged, rigged, rigged.

If you argue against this post, you are helping to sustain the process of debate, which is the lifeblood of democracy. You are stopping the fields from being salted.

97 comments on “Rigged ”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    Arent you overdoing the ‘wrench themselves free of Russia’s orbit’ thing a bit. Vassal states ? Are you the publicist for Frank Frank Bainimarama , as he says much the same things about NZ and Australias relationship with Fiji.

  2. xanthe 2

    Waaa-a-aa you seem to be purporting to provide citation for claims that russia is running an organised attack on american democracy by a series of hack. None of your links provide any evidence of russian involvement in hacking . At this point claims of russian involvement in the various hacks relevant to US elections are BULLSHIT.

    What is very clear is an organised attempt to create a belief in russian involvement by the clinton campaign team. In the absence of any actual evidence this approach is dishonest.

    • The FBI are part of the Clinton campaign team? That’s one hell of a claim, xanthe!

      • xanthe 2.1.1

        Thats an interesting claim , but not one i have made

        • te reo putake

          Actually, that is exactly what you are claiming. It’s the FBI who reckon its the Russians. The DNC might also believe it to be true, but it’s not them investigating the hack.

          • xanthe

            are you perhaps conflating a claim that…. some unnamed and therefore off the record officials suspect….. with…. FBI

            in either case it remains your claim not mine

            • te reo putake

              Nah, it’s still your claim. The DNC don’t run the FBI and it is that organisation who are investigating the hack and who are saying that its most likely Russian run. You could google if you want, but I’m guessing you’d find the results challenging.

              “What is very clear is an organised attempt to create a belief in russian involvement by the clinton campaign team. In the absence of any actual evidence this approach is dishonest.”

              You mistake the DNC for the FBI.


              • xanthe

                of course the FBI is investigating the hack, thats their job! and of course they are following up the possibility that russia is behind it presumably amongst other possibilities. and of course “officials” can be found that will confirm that the FBI is investigating the possibility that its the russians… what else do you expect. not a great leap to report that FBI officials suspect russia … actually not an actionable lie .. just misdirection!

                The point is that the FBI in this case are only doing their job…… they are not pushing the story that the russians did it. and I have not said they did.(so who is?) You are playing silly games.

    • dukeofurl 2.2

      I understand the security briefings which she and Trump are getting provide more evidence. That cant be revealed of course.

      CIA I long thought had NZ Mp (s?) on payroll as sources/agents. perhaps the full story wont come out till he is in his grave
      Other countries meddling in a different countries elections ?. Old news, its just the use of email makes it a little bit up to date.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Sen Hillary Clinton said in 2006 that US should have rigged the outcome of Palestinian elections

        “I do not think we should have pushed for an election in the Palestinian territories. I think that was a big mistake,” said Sen. Clinton. “And if we were going to push for an election, then we should have made sure that we did something to determine who was going to win.”


        • Gabby

          Well, I guess she MIGHT have meant do something decent and beneficial to ordinary voters.

        • North

          …………………….is ba-ack !

        • dukeofurl

          Dont you think its a bit odd, a quite explosive claim she makes just sits quietly for 10 years in a jewish newspaper office ?
          maybe at the time she wasnt someone anybody had heard of, not the most high visibility woman in America who was running for the Senate….yeah thats must be it.

    • dukeofurl 2.3

      Whos involved?

      “On Thursday, private security researchers said they had concluded that Mr. Podesta was hacked by Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the GRU, after it tricked him into clicking on a fake Google login page last March, inadvertently handing over his digital credentials.”

      “The fact that Mr. Podesta was among those breached by the GRU was first disclosed Thursday by Esquire and the Motherboard blog, which published the link Russian spies used against Mr. Podesta.

      Are these things planted ‘false flags’ ? xanthe will claim these arent evidence, wearing his/her judges hat.
      The reality is security services are always looking at these things to get inside info.

      • xanthe 2.3.1

        hmm it seems to me that what is clamed is not a hardware or software “hack” at all but rather a phishing scam .. wetware hack.. now that being the case where does all this “toolkit only used by the GRU” come into it? they scammed his gmail credentials with a phishing email such as you and i recieve several per week It is not creditable that this phishing email contains “russian fingerprints”

        given that we are talking about a gmail credentials phish the only two paths to identify the perpratrator are. the IP of the website that harvested the credentials and more pertinant the IP of whoever accessed the gmail account.

        So basically (wearing my Judge Judy hat thanks dude :)) I ignore all talk of “toolkits” or any hardware software hack,(its just obfustication) only interested in facts relating to the harvest server and gmail access.

        Now quite possibly this line may bear fruit but the point in this context is that evidence surfacing now that points to russian involvement (or not!) will not change the fact that the DNC has been pushing this line for some time without that evidence

        • Draco T Bastard

          they scammed his gmail credentials with a phishing email such as you and i recieve several per week It is not creditable that this phishing email contains “russian fingerprints”

          It’s credible that it can be traced back to Russian territory – but that’s probably about it.

          There’s plenty of scams run out of Russia and often by contract so the big question is probably who commissioned it.

          • xanthe

            You are correct drak the source of the phish email is another avenue for investigation.(which i omitted above) But as you also point out “oh the sender IP is in russia” (for example) would not actually identify the source of the attack

        • dukeofurl

          “It is not creditable that this phishing email contains “russian fingerprints”

          Read it more clearly, Im not up with the latest stuff but having been writing and using programs since the days of punched cards, I think I can pick out the right bits that sort of wipes away your claims.
          “SecureWorks built a target portfolio to see who Fancy Bear was working for. Lo and behold, the addresses attacked included a host of military, political, and government leaders in Ukraine, Georgia and other former Soviet states. They also sent spear-phishing emails to NATO military attachés, diplomatic and military personnel from the US and Europe, and critics of the Russian government from around the world.
          “We track these groups by the toolsets they use, the malware they use because they tend to have bespoke sets of malware that’s only used by one group.”

          It seems credible to me, but I wouldnt have the knowledge to say its definitive.
          What your software background X ?

          • xanthe

            spear-phishing for credentials does not use malware , when an argument is made that malware used in a particular spear-phishing attack comes from a specific toolkit you are being bullshitted. Dismiss the crap about malware in this case. However the suggestion that they could find a larger target set from the target URLs from the same perpetrator is interesting. I dont think this on its own would identify the perp but does open lines for further investigation.

            • dukeofurl

              I think malware is a very broad term. Kapersky labs agree

              “So what is malware? It comes in a bewildering variety of forms.
              …. One of the most popular ways to spread malware is by email, which may be disguised to look as if it is from a familiar company such as a bank, or a personal email from a friend.”

              It would seem that ‘spear phishing ‘ is malware. Would you like to point to a reputable source that agrees with you. Any way they describe in some detail the forensics of the investigation they have done, so we can ‘get over’ minor definitions.
              Like I said before the evidence is strong but not definitive. Your rebuttals are pretty weak

              • xanthe

                spear-phishing can be used to direct the user to a site that installs malware.. but that is not being alleged in this case..

                • dukeofurl

                  ‘disguised to look like a familiar company ‘ – like google.

                  As I said malware is a very broad term, the experts say so not me, so you really should let it go.
                  I can see some problems with their claims but I dont think you have enough knowledge to go there.

                  • xanthe

                    glad I was able to help 🙂

                    • dukeofurl

                      Glad to help: if you had got over your semantics obsession this should have been the pertinent issue to raise.

                      Confidence level it was Russia was only moderate.
                      ‘Hence SecureWorks’ “moderate confidence” that Russia is behind these hacks, a level which generally means that “the information is credibly sourced and plausible but not of sufficient quality or corroborated sufficiently to warrant a higher level of confidence.”

                      Staring at you in plain sight! There were other weaknesses but require a greater depth of understanding

  3. Great post, Ad! There are many structural failings in the States, health, education and welfare to name but three, but they do take their democracy seriously. Just about every public post from dog catcher up is voted on. The results might not always be wonderful, but in the case of this election, democracy is going to win.

    If you think about how Trump and his dad ran their businesses, there is no indication that either man ever gave a thought to the opinions of others. My way or the highway. Trump Jr does not give a toss about America’s democratic traditions and his regular comments inciting violence suggest he’d much rather skip the election altogether and go straight to dictatorship.

    • Garibaldi 3.2

      The Deep State doesn’t give a toss about America’s democratic traditions either. Hillary is their candidate and they will get her in by taking the necessary ‘steps’.

      • If the ‘deep state’ doesn’t give a toss about democratic traditions, why do they have a candidate? Just for the record, using the phrase deep state is a credibility killer. It’s an intellectual white flag.

        • xanthe

          “Deep state” refers to those who exercise control over public policy regardless of who is elected. A useful term to reference a rather amorphous but still very real faction.

          • te reo putake

            Capital is an even better term. And it’s got the benefit of being based in day to day reality, rather than just vague theories from a few individuals. Capitalism is the problem. Poverty, climate change, prejudice; all the products of capitalism.

          • George Hendry

            Greetings Xanthe 🙂

            Thanks, well argued.

      • Andre 3.2.2

        If the Deep State is so all-powerful, how come there’s been a Kenyan-born Muslim in the White House for the last eight years? Especially since McCain was the perfect Deep State military-industrial-complex candidate.

        • dukeofurl

          Your vacuous thesis falls over as anyone who knows anything about McCain knows hes quite the enemy of a lot of the wasteful military-industrial companies.

          • joe90

            The Chairman of the Armed Services Committee seems to be quite popular with wasteful military-industrial companies.

            John McCain is a top recipient from the following industries in 2015-2016:

            Defense Electronics (#1)
            For-profit Education (#1)
            Misc Defense (#1)
            Professional sports, arenas & related equip & svcs (#1)
            Recreation (#2)
            Business Assns (#3)
            Defense Aerospace (#4)


            • dukeofurl

              Thats not what your link says
              #1 retirement industry – you say defence electronics (not mentioned)

              only defence related category is #18 defence aerospace
              The data covers the six years for a senate election cycle.

              There has been an uptick from defense industries since his job as chairman of senate armed services (2014) but he hasnt changed
              “Supporters say that the extra money won’t mean a change in McCain’s policies, and that he’s the same person who, in 2011, called defense spending policies “a windfall” for the defense industry but a “recipe for disaster” for taxpayers and the military.”

              of course back in 2008 when he was running for President he was a thorn in the side of the M-I-C.

          • Andre

            But isn’t that just more of Lanth’s plausible deniability?

        • Lanthanide

          Plausible deniability, of course. People like you say “see, here’s the evidence that the deep state doesn’t exist” – which is exactly what the deep state wants.

        • Draco T Bastard

          If the Deep State is so all-powerful, how come there’s been a Kenyan-born Muslim in the White House for the last eight years?

          Considering that you have to be both an US citizen and be born in the US how can there possibly be a “Kenyan-born” person in the White House?

          • Andre

            Well, Ted Cruz was Canadian-born (to an American mother and therefore an American citizen) and there weren’t many people besides Trump that disputed his eligibility to become president.

            BTW, I’m starting to understand the attraction of trolling. It’s fun when people seriously respond to a facetious comment.

      • mosa 3.2.3

        +100 Garibaldi
        Silencing and knee capping Bernie being one of those “steps.”

        What a total waste of time voting before or on November 8th if you are expecting REAL change in America.

        A bit like the 2017 election will be in Gods Own now John Key has salted NZ democracy.

        • dukeofurl

          Who is using that slogan ? Get over this idea that voters want ‘real change’

        • Draco T Bastard

          What a total waste of time voting before or on November 8th if you are expecting REAL change in America.

          The fact that voting no longer matters, if it ever did, means that real change will be coming no matter who’s voted in.

          Countries that tend to ignore what the people want tend to have revolutions.

          • dukeofurl

            tell that to Roger Douglas and co. The voters found they were getting real change they didnt want ( labour voters that is , national voters were mostly happy)

            • Draco T Bastard

              And the voters got rid of 4th Labour ASAP. Unfortunately, that only left National who then continued the shafting of the country. Got rid of them ASAP as well but the 4th Labour government continued it.

              Poverty continues to increase
              Prices continue to increase
              Government continues to ignore the people

              If this continues there will be a revolution.

              The US is further down this path than we are and thus the revolution is likely to start there – but it won’t stop there.

              • red-blooded

                “And the voters got rid of 4th Labour ASAP.”

                Hmmm… Not quite, Draco. Let’s remember that Douglas et al were a TWO term government. We tend to oversimplify this time in our memories: Muldoon had been an over-controlling, incompetent arsehole (remember the wage-price freeze, anyone?), plus there were various aspects of that government that people were happy with and proud of (remember the nuclear free NZ policy? The Homosexual Law Reform Act?…). Lots of us were very unhappy with Rogernomics, but the Nats decided to go even further and that’s partly why Lange and Douglas were returned for a second term. They had a really strong majority and only lost one seat, compared to ’84.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Lots of us were very unhappy with Rogernomics, but the Nats decided to go even further and that’s partly why Lange and Douglas were returned for a second term.

                  You’re mis-remembering there.

                  In 1987 nobody trusted National after the Muldoon government and they didn’t quite distrust Labour enough to vote them out. But the important thing here was that National were still sticking to Muldoon type policies. In fact it was the fact that they were promising to go back to the policies before the 4th Labour government that got them elected in 1990.

                  National narrowly got in in 1993 and they not have got back in in 1996 if NZFirst had gone the way that they’d implied that they would go which was with Labour.

                  • Anne

                    Ahh… not quite right (but nearly) DTB. That is, if my memory has not played tricks on me.

                    The “greed” factor became a significant force back in the mid to late 1980s. Labour was returned in 1987 because a lot of Nat voters voted for Rogernomics. Remember the old true-blue FPP seat of Remuera? The seat came within a whisker of electing a Labour candidate, Judith Tizard.

                    Labour lost in 1990 because, by that time, Lange had stopped to have his ‘cup of tea’ and the party imploded with Douglas walking the plank followed by Lange. The Nats returned to the National Party. I’m sure that had a bearing on National’s newly developed enthusiasm for Rogernomics – or Ruthanasia as it subsequently became known. Then Bolger did a Lange and had his version of a ‘cup of tea’ by sacking Ruth Richardson and she walked the plank followed by the Shipley coup which saw Bolger walk the plank.

                    They were weird times the 1980s and 90s.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.4

        The Deep State doesn’t give a toss about America’s democratic traditions either.

        Actually, considering that the entire US democracy was set up to prevent democracy I suspect that they’re quite supportive of “America’s democratic traditions” – because they don’t actually exist.

    • Ad 3.4

      Much obliged TRP

  4. Richard Rawshark 4

    Well both Clinton and Trump have done the same thing in different ways, Clinton foundation is a front same as Keys Cabinet club, democracy for those who can afford it.
    She sewed salt in the white house itself if that’s how your analogy works?

    Keys cabinet club idea probably came from Camp Clinton in the first place.

    There is no right, when everyone’s wrong Ad.

  5. Olwyn 5

    Is a conspiracy theory still a conspiracy theory when the establishment itself, rather than a handful of its alienated victims, mythologises a perceived threat? Or does it then become a reasonable hypothesis? Mendacity and distortion within the US establishment did not begin with Trump, and he is far from being the first to shout “rigged I tell ya.” Rather than being personally responsible for salting the earth, he is probably a rare life-form that still flourishes in earth that has already been salted.

    • xanthe 5.1

      Very good olwyn

    • weka 5.2

      Generally once the establishment is involved, it’s not conspiracy, it’s meaningful theory 😉

      “Rather than being personally responsible for salting the earth, he is probably a rare life-form that still flourishes in earth that has already been salted.”

      Two things. One is that it’s not that he’s calling attention to the possibility of it being rigged, it’s how he is doing it and the context he is has created to do it in that is the salting.

      Two, flourishing in earth that won’t support other life is nihilistically parasitic. One no-longer has any need to support or pay attention to the things that are necessary for the health of the ecosystem. That does seem to be Trump in particular (and the US presidency in general).

  6. Apollo 6

    Who is really the winner ..when HRC wins

    • Good question! I think that, at worst, American workers will not go backwards under Clinton. There is also a chance that if the Dem’s win the senate as well as the White House, then Clinton can make progress on healthcare, welfare and wages.

      But the essential problems will remain, I suppose.

    • Richard Rawshark 6.2

      Coke Cola

    • Ad 6.3

      Depends if Democrats get the Senate and use that majority well.

  7. johnm 7

    Selling ‘Regime Change’ Wars to the Masses

    Propaganda is now such a pervasive part of Western governance that any foreign leader who resists the prevailing power structure can be turned into a demon and made a target of a “regime change” war
    John Pilger

    A Freak Show

    To most of us, the American presidential campaign is a media freak show, in which Donald Trump is the arch villain. But Trump is loathed by those with power in the United States for reasons that have little to do with his obnoxious behavior and opinions.

    To the invisible government in Washington, the unpredictable Trump is an obstacle to America’s design for the Twenty-first Century. This is to maintain the dominance of the United States and to subjugate Russia, and, if possible, China.

    To the militarists in Washington, the real problem with Trump is that, in his lucid moments, he seems not to want a war with Russia; he wants to talk with the Russian president, not fight him; he says he wants to talk with the president of China.
    In the first debate with Hillary Clinton, Trump promised not to be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into a conflict. He said, “I would certainly not do first strike. Once the nuclear alternative happens, it’s over.” That was not news.

    Did he really mean it? Who knows? He often contradicts himself. But what is clear is that Trump is considered a serious threat to the status quo maintained by the vast national security machine that runs the United States, regardless of who is in the White House.

    The CIA wants him beaten. The Pentagon wants him beaten. The media wants him beaten. Even his own party wants him beaten. He is a threat to the rulers of the world – unlike Hillary Clinton who has left no doubt she is prepared to go to war with nuclear-armed Russia and China.


    I just heard an NPR presstitute declare that Texas, a traditional sure thing
    for Republicans was up for grabs in the presidential election. Little wonder if this report on Zero Hedge is correct. Apparently, the voting machines are already at work stealing the election for Killary.


    What Is At Stake In The Election

    Paul Craig Roberts

    Here Are The Presstitutes Who Control American’s Minds: http://www.veteransnewsnow.com/2016/10/26/1010359-65-us-journalists-at-a-private-dinner-with-hillary-clintons-team-and-john-podesta/

    The Failure of Democracy, How The Oligarchs Plan To Steal The Election

    By: pcr3|28 October, 2016|Categories: Articles & Columns

    The Failure of Democracy How The Oligarchs Plan To Steal The Election Paul Craig Roberts I am now convinced that the Oligarchy that rules America intends to steal the presidential election. In the past, the oligarchs have not cared which candidate won as the oligarchs owned both. But they do not own Trump. Most likely you are unaware of what… refer paul craig roberts


  8. johnm 8

    Rigged Elections Are An American Tradition — Paul Craig Roberts
    October 21, 2016 | Categories: Articles & Columns | Tags: | Print This Article Print This Article

    Rigged Elections Are An American Tradition

    Paul Craig Roberts

    Do Americans have a memory? I sometimes wonder.

    It is an obvious fact that the oligarchic One Percent have anointed Hillary, despite her myriad problems to be President of the US. There are reports that her staff are already moving into their White House offices. This much confidence before the vote does suggest that the skids have been greased.

    The current cause celebre against Trump is his conditional statement that he might not accept the election results if they appear to have been rigged. The presstitutes immediately jumped on him for “discrediting American democracy” and for “breaking American tradition of accepting the people’s will.”

    What nonsense! Stolen elections are the American tradition. Elections are stolen at every level—state, local, and federal. Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley’s theft of the Chicago and, thereby, Illinois vote for John F. Kennedy is legendary. The Republican US Supreme Court’s theft of the 2000 presidential election from Al Gore by preventing the Florida vote recount is another legendary example. The discrepancies between exit polls and the vote count of the secretly programmed electronic voting machines that have no paper trails are also legendary.


    • dukeofurl 8.1

      “It is an obvious fact that the oligarchic One Percent have anointed Hillary,”

      So it didnt matter that their primary system ( which no other western country uses) had 17 million people voted for Clinton.
      Back with 12 mill was Sanders, so it was a real choice

      Its pointless doing a cut/paste on 5th form level nonsense. It destroys your arguments that you want to make.

      • johnm 8.1.1

        17 mill doesn’t sound like much to me! There are 325million people in the US a lot of whom would be adult voters!

        • dukeofurl

          how many do you think 1% is ?
          How many countries even have a system where 60 mill people get to chose two main candidates before an election ?
          How many people chose the Green party candidate ?

          Some real numbers since you not really sure – I used google.
          146 mill registered to vote- out of 219 mill eligible.
          last time round 126 mill actually voted

          You might want to think again your statement about the 1% choosing Clinton, as its clearly false.

          • johnm

            I suggest you read American commentators such as Paul Craig Roberts: they know what’s happening in their own country unlike dilettante commentators on the standard.


            • dukeofurl

              I answered all your claims with numbers which debunked them. Its laughable that you point to dilettante

              Ill point to something else:
              The Standard policy on rubbish posts
              ” This includes making assertions that you are unable to substantiate with some proof (and that doesn’t mean endless links to unsubstantial authorities)

              Ill not claim ‘ to know whats happening’- oh the absurdity. You should stick to Roberts talking points and not venture out on your own.

  9. johnm 9

    Paul Craig Roberts — Vladimir Putin Is The Only Leader The West Has
    July 11, 2016 | Categories: Articles & Columns | Tags: | Print This Article Print This Article

    Vladimir Putin Is The Only Leader The West Has

    Paul Craig Roberts

    A Reuters news report under the names of presstitutes Robin Emmott and Sabine Siebold shows how devoid the West is of honest, intelligent and responsible journalists and government officials. http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-nato-summit-idUKKCN0ZN2NN
    First we will examine the dishonesty or incompetence of the reporters and then that of Western government officials.

    Emmott and Siebold describe NATO as a “Western defense alliance.” Since the Clinton regime NATO has been an alliance for waging offensive war, a war crime under the Nuremberg rules established by the United States. Under the NATO banner a number of countries have been bombed, invaded, and had their governments overthrown by Washington acting under the cover of NATO.

    These destroyed countries posed no threat whatsoever to the countries of the NATO alliance and undertook no aggressive actions against NATO members. How is it possible that Reuters’ reporters and editors are not aware of this? Why do they call an instrument of Washington’s aggression a “defense alliance”?


    How can there be so much Russian aggression and no evidence of it?

    Recently, President Putin dressed down to their faces the Western media whores who are fanning the flames of World War III by repeating without question Washington’s propagandistic lies. These lies are reckless. They endanger all life on planet Earth.

  10. infused 11

    You obviously need to do some more reading. Your crappy history lesson can’t hide that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    And the US and Russia have been in proxy wars for years. Neither will back down which is why Syria is like it is.

  11. Pasupial 12

    Trump’s ship is foundering, and his crew set to abandon him once their pay stops. This is the only song that seems fit for that bunch of muppets and their desperate short sightedness:


  12. The whole ‘salting the earth’ analogy used in this post distracts from the far more important state of the ‘soil’.

    At just about any other time, Trump’s manner and mouthings would be like the proverbial seeds that fall on rocky ground. Rather than worrying about ‘salting the earth to prevent democracy’, the far more interesting question is why, now, Trump’s mouth scatterings are finding so much fertile soil to germinate in.

    And that includes his comments about the election being rigged. Those comments aren’t ‘salting’ the ground; they’re taking root in hospitable soil. Why?

    Trump is neither here nor there. (Same with Clinton). He’s merely an individual caught up in something far more significant than him. When it comes to these issues, individuals aren’t the point.

    The point is not what Trump is doing to the soil, it’s why the soil has changed to become so fertile for his approach.

    Trump can be stopped but how does the soil get ‘salted’ so that his politics can no longer germinate?

    I’m afraid the American left is far too infused with liberal ideology to know how to respond. It sometimes seems that it can’t even conceptualise the issues at stake beyond shouting ‘It’s racism! It’s sexism!’. As if those were explanations rather than simplistic restatements of the problem.

    Worse, it seems to be in the process of deluding itself to the point of thinking that stopping Trump will solve the problem; that a Clinton presidency will sweeten the soil for liberalism for the foreseeable future.

    Not gonna happen.

    So? How do you stop it? How do you ‘salt the soil’ to prevent Trump’s kind of politics from taking root?

    • weka 13.1

      Salting the soil to stop an opponent or someone perceived as a problem is exactly what the post was referring to. It doesn’t matter what the ideology of the person doing it is, it’s still inherently damaging to the ecosystem. Trump isn’t the soil, his constituents are, and that destroying that ecosystem will just create refugees who take their trauma with them.

      Robert Guyton would perhaps suggest growing something else in the soil to outcompete the seeds that Trump is sowing (apologies to Robert here, but the reference is his food forest commentary). So instead of the polarised and antagonised debate (including the bits that think the left all do/think alike, and that identity analysis is incompatible with class analysis, and that left wing analysis is inherently superficial, and that liberals are to blame), how about we we work with ecological health? What are the needs of the people involved, all of them? How can those needs be met? What happens when those needs are in conflict? How is the health of the system strengthened where those needs intersect? What grows truly healthy, vibrant and sustainable communities?

      There are people out there talking about all those things. You don’t hear them much on ts, because they know that their voices are not heard here above the shouting.

      • Puddleglum 13.1.1

        Thanks weka. You always make me think through – and hopefully express myself – more carefully.

        I’ll clarify my last question about how to ‘salt the soil’ in order to avoid Trump’s politics from taking root.

        I was referring to what you call the ‘ecosystem’ of his voters (more particularly, their lives and experiences). That is, my starting point was that ‘the soil’ was Trump’s supporters and their lived experiences – certainly not Trump himself.

        ‘Salting that soil’ was just me stretching the analogy perhaps a step too far. In effect, what I meant was that what needs to happen is to help alter the lives – and experienced efficacy over their own lives – of these people (all people in fact) so that Trump’s ‘solutions’ will look less appealing. (Perhaps my ‘salting the soil’ suggestion is really a process of ‘de-salination’.)

        I think, though, that the post was saying that Trump is – deliberately or otherwise – ‘salting the soil’ to make democracy unworkable. I was arguing that this gets it around the wrong way. Trump is taking advantage of soil that has already been very effectively ‘salted’ in a way that has minimised the likelihood of democracy operating effectively- and Trump wasn’t the one to do this.

        To clarify further, this ‘salting of the soil’ has happened irrespective of the fact that, technically, the U.S. has one of the most democratic of infrastructures. As Ad points out, just about every public official is up for election and local communities potentially have much greater latitude to determine their fate than in just about any other country.

        Yet – and this is the point – apart from some towns and communities in places like California that are populated by educated and relatively wealthy people the reality seems to be that that democratic infrastructure is hardly used. To put it into familiar words, most people are ‘disaffected’, feel ‘marginalised’ and ‘alienated’ from democratic processes and are remarkably cynical about the likelihood that it could ever really work on their behalf. (Educated, professional people probably less so because they have some sense of how to work the levers.)

        A good proportion even seem to be living their lives entirely detached from any recognisable political process or, perhaps, even awareness.

        That is, the democratic soil was already saturated in sodium chloride long before Trump entered the fray. That’s what is in need of solution.

        The questions you ask in your second to last paragraph are all good ones and it would be excellent to gain some sense of the answers. Meeting the needs of everyone, for example, would be great, and knowing how to proceed when those needs are in conflict would be even better.

        But these questions can’t just be asked and answered by educated people deeply immersed in the aspirational values of the middle classes. It has to be handed over to everyone – even at the ‘risk’ that people would decide to do some things that the educated middle classes disapprove of. And there’s the rub. Giving people power (as a collective) means they could do something you don’t want them to do.

        Which leads to liberalism and its contradictions.

        My singling out of the liberal left in the U.S. is largely based on what I understand of liberalism as a historical and philosophical political ideology – its prioritisation of the individual (hence human rights and individual rights); of rationality; and property. Its focus on knowledge, technology and science; its faith in progress, or at least its possibility.

        This political vision tends to privilege technocratic problem solving and, even, the dissolution – or ‘disappearance’ – of the quintessentially political problems of power and conflict. It assumes that all conflict is a ‘technical’ problem that reasoned debate and response can (should) resolve. If only people would be patient – the creed could be – all needs will be satisfied and all interests considered.

        Unintentionally, perhaps, this privileges the educated, the articulate and the clever – people who then go on to fill positions in careers such as law, medicine, politics, corporate management, the ‘creative’ industries and so benefit greatly from the liberal ideology, materially and in terms of social status and cultural capital.

        It is this ‘class’, I think, that both comes to dominate the lives of others (through implementing processes deemed the most reasonable, ‘progressive’ and, today, ‘sustainable’) and has become the target of much of the resentment behind Brexit, Trump, etc..

        There’d be too much to say if I put down all my thinking about this issue so I’ll just make a few personal comments.

        I come from a very working class, north of England background. Most of my extended family back in England may well have voted Brexit (don’t know for sure as I haven’t asked them).

        All I can say, is that most of them would also think politics is not for them, is not what life is about (or what matters in life) and is largely a sideshow. And that sideshow they’d see as engaged in by people who are too educated for their own good, think they know better than anyone else (and that they think they are better than anyone else) and are probably just in politics to make money and be famous.

        Two generations before, similar people would have seen politics as their only hope of getting decent lives. And they would have deeply admired those who went into it representing their interests.

        Something’s changed.

        • weka

          that is a great comment Puddleglum, thank-you. I’m going to think about this, but would really like to come back to these points and questions.

        • Ad

          Setting up liberalism as a prioritization of the individual is in this context just a really, really bad conflation of values with processes.

          Re: “Privileging of the educated, articulate, and clever”
          Complain about the bourgeoisie all you like, but you’ll miss them when they’re gone. They are the people who base their opinions on old fashioned things like research, ethical guidelines, alternative opinions, rules of discourse, and concepts like public policy and public service. When the media fail at those things, the bourgeoisie complain about them, precisely because they hold those values and expect them and enforce them in society.

          And what you call “technocratic problem solving” is accurately termed “policy”.

          Re: Cynicism
          You’re making some general points about cynicism about political processes in the US from your own experience in northern England. It’s a far enough point that fewer people are involved in politics in the US: about 58% voted in the last US Presidential election.

          But that forgets how deep democracy is in the US system. Far more so than the English systems. You vote in the Sherriff. The School Board. The local Council and Mayor. Bunches more at a local level. Many states have binding referenda. The Judges. The District Attourney. The state legislature. The governor. The Congress. The Senate. …and then you get to the President.

          So there’s a bit more to be added onto that 58%. No, “most people” don’t “feel marginalized”. Some do.

          Re: “Something’s changed”
          I’ve written here about the high point of liberalism before. But after Brexit I think we are getting too quick to announce yet another Fukuyama moment on the “death of history”.

          We don’t have to like Hillary, heck you can hate all she stands for. But if she went down in a screamer she would defend your right to vote to send her packing, and she would accept the result as she did against Obama (and far earlier than Sanders did in the same position). She would uphold the democratic structures of the US – imperfect as they are – and go back to being the loyal opposition, because she of all people knows that the system is necessarily bigger than her own personal ego.

          None of that is true of Donald Trump.

          • Puddleglum

            Thanks for the response Ad. Much appreciated.

            I was pointing out the prioritisation of the individual to highlight why I think that liberal ideology makes it difficult to see explanations beyond the level of individual attributes (e.g., that people vote certain ways or support certain movements because they are racist, sexist, lazy, ignorant, etc.). I just don’t see explanations of social and political phenomena cast as outcomes of individual psychology as useful or robust.

            Since liberalism (the ideology) depicts voting, for example, as an individual ‘choice’ it tends to lead to those kinds of explanations (not inevitably, but it weights the outcomes towards those kinds of explanations – they come more ‘naturally’ and readily under that ideology).

            Process versus values:
            Democratic processes are institutionalised in ways that reflect individualistic ideology and values. So I think processes and values are enmeshed.

            If you think about it, that’s the very reason that America has processes by which it elects individuals to so many posts (judges, Sheriffs, etc.). It’s also why liberal democracies have secret ballots and why the catch cry is ‘one person one vote’. It’s also the reason why everyone is so focused on the character attributes of the individuals running for President (or Senate, or – in NZ – for Prime Minister).

            I’m not saying this is all bad by any means. Elections in representative democracies (as opposed to processes in more participatory versions of democracy) are based on selecting the ‘best’ individuals to go away, make decisions (i.e., ‘govern’) and then get a report card from the electorate at the next election.

            In today’s world that’s generally as good as it gets for democracy and I’m definitely not in a hurry to tear down those processes just because they are based on individualistic, liberal ideology (as opposed to more collectivist models which assume that ‘self-governing’ refers to active, collective engagement rather than representation).

            The liberation – even invention – of the modern individual is a triumph of western civilisation; which is why it is now so much part and parcel of a whole range of processes: our legal system, electoral system, economic system and, frankly, the metaphorical air we all breathe through discourse, discussion and debate.

            Privileging of the educated, articulate and clever:
            I think it’s self-evident that the educated, articulate and clever are privileged in liberal societies. I notice that you don’t deny that. Which is not surprising since most liberals emphasise education as the pathway to a decent life (which surely assumes that it leads to greater privilege, status, income, wealth, connection, etc.). It’s also why the ‘liberal arts’ are (or at least were) so valued and named.

            I’m definitely not ‘anti-intellectual’ or, even, ‘anti-bourgeoisie’. Not sure where you got that from in my comment. I thought I was simply describing the role of the educated, professional, middle classes rather than judging it. The fact that (a) they receive benefits from today’s world and that (b) their role is largely to coordinate and manage the activities of others I would have thought was nothing more than stating the obvious.

            And your reference to the reliance on research and reason is the very point I was making. For those who don’t share in a reliance on such processes is it any surprise that they feel irritated by what seem like intrusive impositions into their lives made on some abstract basis (the ‘evidence’ as deemed worthy by experts on what counts as ‘good’ evidence)?

            I’d also point out that any researcher of human behaviour or society is unlikely to think that human and social processes can be governed by blunt application of rationality via policy. Paradoxically, that would be to deny the evidence of what we know about human, social and, for that matter, natural processes. That is, it would be irrational to have that expectation.

            Rationality (evidence, observation, theoretical activity) is, at best, a tool of democracy. It certainly should not be the sole mechanism of decision making or policy making. That would be unwise for the reasons just given.

            I also think this is how those outside the educated professional classes experience ‘evidence-based policy’ – as a technocratic (rather than democratic) process of decision making and domination. And if ‘policy’ is simply ‘technocratic problem solving’ then that explains a lot about why many people resist such policies – there’s no room in the policy-making for the non-expert; for them.

            Technocratic reinvention of the process of solving, and deciding upon solutions for, social issues has, I’d hazard, been a large part of the cause of people’s sense of estrangement from decision making (i.e., democracy) in society.

            Not realising this is one of the reasons I’m critical of the perspective of some liberals. It seems to be a denial of the evidence before our eyes.

            If someone can’t reason to the standard deemed sufficient then they feel they are excluded from the ‘game’. Guess what happens then? People stop wanting to play the game.

            As for my comments about disengagement of people, I take your point about the extensive democratic opportunities in America. I admire them. My point was about the extent to which they are actually used (or misused, I guess).

            Where – and by whom – is extensive use being made of this democratic infrastructure? Where are participation rates highest in this thoroughgoing representative democratic system? To be honest I don’t know – I was, speculatively, assuming it would follow the usual trend and be used mostly in areas in which well-educated, professional people live. That may not be the case.

            I should add that despite my working class origins I’m probably as much an educated, middle class, professional liberal (in the sense of being a product of liberal institutions and embedded liberal values and ideology) as anyone else reading or commenting on this site.

            But I grew up amongst people who definitely weren’t (I still live in that kind of place, too) and, because of that, I can sense, even in myself, an irritation at those who seem to use their education, knowledge and cultural capital to subtly demean and dominate those who have very different lives – even if they claim they’re doing it ‘for their own good’.

            If I can sense – feel – that irritation then it’s absolutely no wonder to me that Brexit, Trump, neo-fascism and the like are mushrooming around the world. I utterly oppose the divisiveness, the prejudice, the misogyny, the racism and the raw brutality that has been expressed through those movements so you’d think I’d embrace the liberal left with a great big bear hug.

            But I don’t.

            And not because I lack an appreciation of the value of reasoned debate, rationality, evidence, etc.. In some ways it may even be what I see as a lack of such values and capacities amongst some members of the liberal left that makes me wary of it. (Hypocrisy, even if of an intellectually elaborate and ‘plausibly deniable’ variety, is not pretty.)

            But maybe I’m imagining it all.

            On a conciliatory note, some years ago I read Stephen Holmes’ book ‘The Anatomy of Antiliberalism‘ in which he distinguished, then critiqued, a series of non-Marirxist antiliberals from the protofascist to the communitarian. Here’s a sympathetic review, although other responses have been more critical.

            If you haven’t read it already I think you’ll find it interesting and that it would resonate in some ways.

            I have a lot of respect for many classical liberal thinkers such as Adam Smith whose ‘Theory of Moral Sentiments’ is a brilliant dissection of the conditions under which particular ‘sentiments’ arise.

            I wonder what he’d make of the phenomenon of ‘Trumpism’?

    • weka 13.2

      “Trump is neither here nor there. (Same with Clinton). He’s merely an individual caught up in something far more significant than him. When it comes to these issues, individuals aren’t the point.”

      While I agree with the general point here (I would say that in politics, and US presidential politics in particular, it’s the system that is the problem and take out any individual and they will be replaced with a clone), and that we need to look at the overall problem, I think with Trump we are talking about the power of a particular individual in addition to the system issues. If Trump weren’t a player, then we’d just have a regular Republican opposing the regular Democrat. Trump is a new element in the system, and we shouldn’t make the mistake of regarding him as BAU.

      • Puddleglum 13.2.1

        This is one of those perennial issues about the relative roles of individuals and the world they find themselves in.

        Much of Trump’s popularity – and therefore why he has individual power in terms of this political ‘race’ – is that he isn’t a ‘regular Republican’. He’s not BAU because the times are not BAU (though some still want to say they are).

        If this election had just been between two ‘regular’ candidates then the tensions that led to Trump’s rise wouldn’t have disappeared. Having said that, I have no idea how they would then have evolved.

        I’m not arguing for lack of agency of individuals but that agency – in respect of any and all action – is only ever the exploitation of opportunities provided by the world.

  13. keith ross 14

    I think that this is a great summing up of the real reasons and is well worth the watch if you want to see the real reason.

    • ropata 14.1

      Interesting link, the source material is this article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr:

      “As we focus on the rise of ISIS and the search for the source of the savagery that took so many lives in Paris and San Bernardino, we might want to look beyond the convenient explanations of religion and ideology and focus on the more complex rationales of history and oil, which mostly point the finger of blame for terrorism back at the champions of militarism, imperialism and petroleum here on our own shores,” Kennedy advised in an editorial for Ecowatch.

      Kennedy’s critical look at the United States’ history of meddling, interventionism, and hegemony — almost exclusively to maintain the flow of oil — makes apparent its role in destabilizing the entire Middle East, particularly Syria. Indeed, more than fifty years of violent intercession — ultimately in the interest of the fossil fuel industry — has stoked enormous resentments. Essentially, American geostrategic corporatism — under the guise of militaristic peacekeeping — created the same violent Islamic Jihadism the U.S. now battles against.

      • Jenny Kirk 14.1.1

        this is it – in a nutshell, Ropata.

      • Ad 14.1.2


        Syria is primarily a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran for regional dominance. Neither are successfully using the US and Russia as proxies. There’s a few moist activists who’d like to blame everything on some grand all-conrolling conspiracy of the United States and Russia (of course they have some immediate influence) but the bipolar Us-Russia world left about third years ago.

        In under a decade the US will be freed of its dependence of Middle Eastern oil, and the entire Saudi sphere will figure out that they can have the game to themselves to sort out.

    • George Hendry 14.2

      Thanks Keith. Good to see Jimmy Dore again.

  14. The salting the fields analogy is saying that trump is deliberately destroying democracy for EVERYONE including himself. I just don’t think don wants it all to go away – he won’t be able to make money that way and making money is actually what this is all about.

    • dukeofurl 15.1

      Maybe. How long after the election do you think will it take for the NYC police to dig deeper on Trumps accusers. Crosby thought he was safe for years , no longer.

      • Pasupial 15.1.1

        At least those who allege that Trump has sexually assaulted them have access to legal counsel now:

        Given Trump’s history, few would be surprised that he would deploy his arsenal of intimidation against the ever-growing list of women who corroborated the acts of sexual assault Trump bragged about in the Access Hollywood video tape.

        This time, however, Trump isn’t merely the crass billionaire bullying his critics into silence. This time, Trump is a presidential candidate who announced his intention to bully his accusers into silence. This time, the threat of a lawsuit won’t work.

        Attorneys who specialize in first amendment cases have offered to represent Trump’s alleged victims for free should he make good on his threat to sue them.


        And the case that is due in courts in December now seems to have the benefit of good legal advice too. It seems that it was initially thrown out in California because Katie Johnson/ Jane Doe was representing herself. It is now refiled in New York (which as Trump’s state of residence makes more sense, though I would have thought; Florida, as that’s the state where the rape allegedly occurred). Her lawyers have also located corroborating witnesses and reduced the claim from $10 million to $75 thousand plus legal fees.

        This link has a video interview with the Jane Doe that may need a trigger warning (she’s disguised and her voice has been processed, but the wordpicture is pretty grim). One surprising thing there is the identity of one of the plaintiff’s supporters:

        Steve Baer, president of United Republican Fund of Illinois and a conservative donor who has been trying to get media attention for Johnson, told Independent Journal Review that he too believes Johnson:

        “The case is jaw dropping in that it’s not simply that Katie alleged what happened, but she had a witness who is also testifying. Very rarely with rape do you have an eyewitness.


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  • An impermanent public service is a guarantee of very little else but failure
    Chris Trotter writes –  The absence of anything resembling a fightback from the public servants currently losing their jobs is interesting. State-sector workers’ collective fatalism in the face of Coalition cutbacks indicates a surprisingly broad acceptance of impermanence in the workplace. Fifty years ago, lay-offs in the thousands ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • What happens after the war – Mariupol
    Mariupol, on the Azov Sea coast, was one of the first cities to suffer almost complete destruction after the start of the Ukraine War started in late February 2022. We remember the scenes of absolute destruction of the houses and city structures. The deaths of innocent civilians – many of ...
    1 day ago
  • Babies and benefits – no good news
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – Ten years ago, I wrote the following in a Listener column: Every year around one in five new-born babies will be reliant on their caregivers benefit by Christmas. This pattern has persisted from at least 1993. For Maori the number jumps to over one in three.  ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 day ago
  • Should the RBNZ be looking through climate inflation?
    Climate change is expected to generate more and more extreme events, delivering a sort of structural shock to inflation that central banks will have to react to as if they were short-term cyclical issues. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāMy pick of the six newsey things to know from Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix of the news links
    The top six news links I’ve seen elsewhere in the last 24 hours, as of 9:16 am on Thursday, April 18 are:Housing: Tauranga residents living in boats, vans RNZ Checkpoint Louise TernouthHousing: Waikato councillor says wastewater plant issues could hold up Sleepyhead building a massive company town Waikato Times Stephen ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the public sector carnage, and misogyny as terrorism
    It’s a simple deal. We pay taxes in order to finance the social services we want and need. The carnage now occurring across the public sector though, is breaking that contract. Over 3,000 jobs have been lost so far. Many are in crucial areas like Education where the impact of ...
    1 day ago
  • Meeting the Master Baiters
    Hi,A friend had their 40th over the weekend and decided to theme it after Curb Your Enthusiasm fashion icon Susie Greene. Captured in my tiny kitchen before I left the house, I ending up evoking a mix of old lesbian and Hillary Clinton — both unintentional.Me vs Hillary ClintonIf you’re ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 day ago
  • How extreme was the Earth's temperature in 2023
    This is a re-post from Andrew Dessler at the Climate Brink blog In 2023, the Earth reached temperature levels unprecedented in modern times. Given that, it’s reasonable to ask: What’s going on? There’s been lots of discussions by scientists about whether this is just the normal progression of global warming or if something ...
    1 day ago
  • Backbone, revisited
    The schools are on holiday and the sun is shining in the seaside village and all day long I have been seeing bunches of bikes; Mums, Dads, teens and toddlers chattering, laughing, happy, having a bloody great time together. Cheers, AT, for the bits of lane you’ve added lately around the ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Ministers are not above the law
    Today in our National-led authoritarian nightmare: Shane Jones thinks Ministers should be above the law: New Zealand First MP Shane Jones is accusing the Waitangi Tribunal of over-stepping its mandate by subpoenaing a minister for its urgent hearing on the Oranga Tamariki claim. The tribunal is looking into the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What’s the outfit you can hear going down the gurgler? Probably it’s David Parker’s Oceans Sec...
    Buzz from the Beehive Point  of Order first heard of the Oceans Secretariat in June 2021, when David Parker (remember him?) announced a multi-agency approach to protecting New Zealand’s marine ecosystems and fisheries. Parker (holding the Environment, and Oceans and Fisheries portfolios) broke the news at the annual Forest & ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • Will politicians let democracy die in the darkness?
    Bryce Edwards writes  – Politicians across the political spectrum are implicated in the New Zealand media’s failing health. Either through neglect or incompetent interventions, successive governments have failed to regulate, foster, and allow a healthy Fourth Estate that can adequately hold politicians and the powerful to account. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Matt Doocey doubles down on trans “healthcare”
    Citizen Science writes –  Last week saw two significant developments in the debate over the treatment of trans-identifying children and young people – the release in Britain of the final report of Dr Hilary Cass’s review into gender healthcare, and here in New Zealand, the news that the ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • A TikTok Prime Minister.
    One night while sleeping in my bed I had a beautiful dreamThat all the people of the world got together on the same wavelengthAnd began helping one anotherNow in this dream, universal love was the theme of the dayPeace and understanding and it happened this wayAfter such an eventful day ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Texas Lessons
    This is a guest post by Oscar Simms who is a housing activist, volunteer for the Coalition for More Homes, and was the Labour Party candidate for Auckland Central at the last election. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's pick 'n' mix of the news links at 6:06 am
    The top six news links I’ve seen elsewhere in the last 24 hours as of 6:06 am on Wednesday, April 17 are:Must read: Secrecy shrouds which projects might be fast-tracked RNZ Farah HancockScoop: Revealed: Luxon has seven staffers working on social media content - partly paid for by taxpayer Newshub ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Fighting poverty on the holiday highway
    Turning what Labour called the “holiday highway” into a four-lane expressway from Auckland to Whangarei could bring at least an economic benefit of nearly two billion a year for Northland each year. And it could help bring an end to poverty in one of New Zealand’s most deprived regions. The ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • Bernard's six-stack of substacks at 6:26 pm
    Tonight’s six-stack includes: launching his substack with a bunch of his previous documentaries, including this 1992 interview with Dame Whina Cooper. and here crew give climate activists plenty to do, including this call to submit against the Fast Track Approvals bill. writes brilliantly here on his substack ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • At a glance – Is the science settled?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    3 days ago
  • Apposite Quotations.
    How Long Is Long Enough? Gaza under Israeli bombardment, July 2014. This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • What’s a life worth now?
    You're in the mall when you hear it: some kind of popping sound in the distance, kids with fireworks, maybe. But then a moment of eerie stillness is followed by more of the fireworks sound and there’s also screaming and shrieking and now here come people running for their lives.Does ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • Howling at the Moon
    Karl du Fresne writes –  There’s a crisis in the news media and the media are blaming it on everyone except themselves. Culpability is being deflected elsewhere – mainly to the hapless Minister of Communications, Melissa Lee, and the big social media platforms that are accused of hoovering ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Newshub is Dead.
    I don’t normally send out two newsletters in a day but I figured I’d say something about… the news. If two newsletters is a bit much then maybe just skip one, I don’t want to overload people. Alternatively if you’d be interested in sometimes receiving multiple, smaller updates from me, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Seymour is chuffed about cutting early-learning red tape – but we hear, too, that Jones has loose...
    Buzz from the Beehive David Seymour and Winston Peters today signalled that at least two ministers of the Crown might be in Wellington today. Seymour (as Associate Minister of Education) announced the removal of more red tape, this time to make it easier for new early learning services to be ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Will politicians let democracy die in the darkness?
    Politicians across the political spectrum are implicated in the New Zealand media’s failing health. Either through neglect or incompetent interventions, successive governments have failed to regulate, foster, and allow a healthy Fourth Estate that can adequately hold politicians and the powerful to account. Our political system is suffering from the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Was Hawkesby entirely wrong?
    David Farrar  writes –  The Broadcasting Standards Authority ruled: Comments by radio host Kate Hawkesby suggesting Māori and Pacific patients were being prioritised for surgery due to their ethnicity were misleading and discriminatory, the Broadcasting Standards Authority has found. It is a fact such patients are prioritised. ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • PRC shadow looms as the Solomons head for election
    PRC and its proxies in Solomons have been preparing for these elections for a long time. A lot of money, effort and intelligence have gone into ensuring an outcome that won’t compromise Beijing’s plans. Cleo Paskall writes – On April 17th the Solomon Islands, a country of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Criminal ecocide
    We are in the middle of a climate crisis. Last year was (again) the hottest year on record. NOAA has just announced another global coral bleaching event. Floods are threatening UK food security. So naturally, Shane Jones wants to make it easier to mine coal: Resources Minister Shane Jones ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Is saving one minute of a politician's time worth nearly $1 billion?
    Is speeding up the trip to and from Wellington airport by 12 minutes worth spending up more than $10 billion? Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The six news items that stood out to me in the last day to 8:26 am today are:The Lead: Transport Minister Simeon Brown announced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Long Tunnel or Long Con?
    Yesterday it was revealed that Transport Minister had asked Waka Kotahi to look at the options for a long tunnel through Wellington. State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the ...
    3 days ago
  • Smoke And Mirrors.
    You're a fraud, and you know itBut it's too good to throw it all awayAnyone would do the sameYou've got 'em goingAnd you're careful not to show itSometimes you even fool yourself a bitIt's like magicBut it's always been a smoke and mirrors gameAnyone would do the sameForty six billion ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • What is Mexico doing about climate change?
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections The June general election in Mexico could mark a turning point in ensuring that the country’s climate policies better reflect the desire of its citizens to address the climate crisis, with both leading presidential candidates expressing support for renewable energy. Mexico is the ...
    3 days ago
  • State of humanity, 2024
    2024, it feels, keeps presenting us with ever more challenges, ever more dismay.Do you give up yet? It seems to ask.No? How about this? Or this?How about this?When I say 2024 I really mean the state of humanity in 2024.Saturday night, we watched Civil War because that is one terrifying cliff we've ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Govt’s Wellington tunnel vision aims to ease the way to the airport (but zealous promoters of cycl...
    Buzz from the Beehive A pet project and governmental tunnel vision jump out from the latest batch of ministerial announcements. The government is keen to assure us of its concern for the wellbeing of our pets. It will be introducing pet bonds in a change to the Residential Tenancies Act ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • The case for cultural connectedness
    A recent report generated from a Growing Up in New Zealand (GUiNZ) survey of 1,224 rangatahi Māori aged 11-12 found: Cultural connectedness was associated with fewer depression symptoms, anxiety symptoms and better quality of life. That sounds cut and dry. But further into the report the following appears: Cultural connectedness is ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Useful context on public sector job cuts
    David Farrar writes –    The Herald reports: From the gory details of job-cuts news, you’d think the public service was being eviscerated.   While the media’s view of the cuts is incomplete, it’s also true that departments have been leaking the particulars faster than a Wellington ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell On When Racism Comes Disguised As Anti-racism
    Remember the good old days, back when New Zealand had a PM who could think and speak calmly and intelligently in whole sentences without blustering? Even while Iran’s drones and missiles were still being launched, Helen Clark was live on TVNZ expertly summing up the latest crisis in the Middle ...
    4 days ago
  • Govt ignored economic analysis of smokefree reversal
    Costello did not pass on analysis of the benefits of the smokefree reforms to Cabinet, emphasising instead the extra tax revenues of repealing them. Photo: Hagen Hopkins, Getty Images TL;DR: The six news items that stood out to me at 7:26 am today are:The Lead: Casey Costello never passed on ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • True Blue.
    True loveYou're the one I'm dreaming ofYour heart fits me like a gloveAnd I'm gonna be true blueBaby, I love youI’ve written about the job cuts in our news media last week. The impact on individuals, and the loss to Aotearoa of voices covering our news from different angles.That by ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Who is running New Zealand’s foreign policy?
    While commentators, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark, are noting a subtle shift in New Zealand’s foreign policy, which now places more emphasis on the United States, many have missed a key element of the shift. What National said before the election is not what the government is doing now. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #15
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, April 7, 2024 thru Sat, April 13, 2024. Story of the week Our story of the week is about adults in the room setting terms and conditions of ...
    5 days ago
  • Feline Friends and Fragile Fauna The Complexities of Cats in New Zealand’s Conservation Efforts

    Cats, with their independent spirit and beguiling purrs, have captured the hearts of humans for millennia. In New Zealand, felines are no exception, boasting the highest national cat ownership rate globally [definition cat nz cat foundation]. An estimated 1.134 million pet cats grace Kiwi households, compared to 683,000 dogs ...

    5 days ago
  • Or is that just they want us to think?
    Nice guy, that Peter Williams. Amiable, a calm air of no-nonsense capability, a winning smile. Everything you look for in a TV presenter and newsreader.I used to see him sometimes when I went to TVNZ to be a talking head or a panellist and we would yarn. Nice guy, that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Fact Brief – Did global warming stop in 1998?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from our Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Did global warming stop in ...
    6 days ago
  • Arguing over a moot point.
    I have been following recent debates in the corporate and social media about whether it is a good idea for NZ to join what is known as “AUKUS Pillar Two.” AUKUS is the Australian-UK-US nuclear submarine building agreement in which … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • No Longer Trusted: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    Turning Point: What has turned me away from the mainstream news media is the very strong message that its been sending out for the last few years.” “And what message might that be?” “That the people who own it, the people who run it, and the people who provide its content, really don’t ...
    6 days ago
  • Mortgage rates at 10% anyone?
    No – nothing about that in PM Luxon’s nine-point plan to improve the lives of New Zealanders. But beyond our shores Jamie Dimon, the long-serving head of global bank J.P. Morgan Chase, reckons that the chances of a goldilocks soft landing for the economy are “a lot lower” than the ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • Sad tales from the left
    Michael Bassett writes –  Have you noticed the odd way in which the media are handling the government’s crackdown on surplus employees in the Public Service? Very few reporters mention the crazy way in which State Service numbers rocketed ahead by more than 16,000 during Labour’s six years, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago

  • Minister to Europe for OECD meeting, Anzac Day
    Science, Innovation and Technology and Defence Minister Judith Collins will next week attend the OECD Science and Technology Ministerial conference in Paris and Anzac Day commemorations in Belgium. “Science, innovation and technology have a major role to play in rebuilding our economy and achieving better health, environmental and social outcomes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Comprehensive Partnership the goal for NZ and the Philippines
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.  The Prime Minister was accompanied by MP Paulo Garcia, the first Filipino to be elected to a legislature outside the Philippines. During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon and President Marcos Jr discussed opportunities to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government commits $20m to Westport flood protection
    The Government has announced that $20 million in funding will be made available to Westport to fund much needed flood protection around the town. This measure will significantly improve the resilience of the community, says Local Government Minister Simeon Brown. “The Westport community has already been allocated almost $3 million ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Taupō takes pole position
    The Government is proud to support the first ever Repco Supercars Championship event in Taupō as up to 70,000 motorsport fans attend the Taupō International Motorsport Park this weekend, says Economic Development Minister Melissa Lee. “Anticipation for the ITM Taupō Super400 is huge, with tickets and accommodation selling out weeks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Cost of living support for low-income homeowners
    Local Government Minister Simeon Brown has announced an increase to the Rates Rebate Scheme, putting money back into the pockets of low-income homeowners.  “The coalition Government is committed to bringing down the cost of living for New Zealanders. That includes targeted support for those Kiwis who are doing things tough, such ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government backing mussel spat project
    The Coalition Government is investing in a project to boost survival rates of New Zealand mussels and grow the industry, Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones has announced. “This project seeks to increase the resilience of our mussels and significantly boost the sector’s productivity,” Mr Jones says. “The project - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Government focused on getting people into work
    Benefit figures released today underscore the importance of the Government’s plan to rebuild the economy and have 50,000 fewer people on Jobseeker Support, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Benefit numbers are still significantly higher than when National was last in government, when there was about 70,000 fewer ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clean energy key driver to reducing emissions
    The Government’s commitment to doubling New Zealand’s renewable energy capacity is backed by new data showing that clean energy has helped the country reach its lowest annual gross emissions since 1999, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory (1990-2022) published today, shows gross emissions fell ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Earthquake-prone buildings review brought forward
    The Government is bringing the earthquake-prone building review forward, with work to start immediately, and extending the deadline for remediations by four years, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Our Government is focused on rebuilding the economy. A key part of our plan is to cut red tape that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Thailand and NZ to agree to Strategic Partnership
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and his Thai counterpart, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, have today agreed that New Zealand and the Kingdom of Thailand will upgrade the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership by 2026. “New Zealand and Thailand have a lot to offer each other. We have a strong mutual desire to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government consults on extending coastal permits for ports
    RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Transport Minister Simeon Brown have today announced the Coalition Government’s intention to extend port coastal permits for a further 20 years, providing port operators with certainty to continue their operations. “The introduction of the Resource Management Act in 1991 required ports to obtain coastal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Inflation coming down, but more work to do
    Today’s announcement that inflation is down to 4 per cent is encouraging news for Kiwis, but there is more work to be done - underlining the importance of the Government’s plan to get the economy back on track, acting Finance Minister Chris Bishop says. “Inflation is now at 4 per ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • School attendance restored as a priority in health advice
    Refreshed health guidance released today will help parents and schools make informed decisions about whether their child needs to be in school, addressing one of the key issues affecting school attendance, says Associate Education Minister David Seymour. In recent years, consistently across all school terms, short-term illness or medical reasons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Unnecessary bureaucracy cut in oceans sector
    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is streamlining high-level oceans management while maintaining a focus on supporting the sector’s role in the export-led recovery of the economy. “I am working to realise the untapped potential of our fishing and aquaculture sector. To achieve that we need to be smarter with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Patterson promoting NZ’s wool sector at International Congress
    Associate Agriculture Minister Mark Patterson is speaking at the International Wool Textile Organisation Congress in Adelaide, promoting New Zealand wool, and outlining the coalition Government’s support for the revitalisation the sector.    "New Zealand’s wool exports reached $400 million in the year to 30 June 2023, and the coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Removing red tape to help early learners thrive
    The Government is making legislative changes to make it easier for new early learning services to be established, and for existing services to operate, Associate Education Minister David Seymour says. The changes involve repealing the network approval provisions that apply when someone wants to establish a new early learning service, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • RMA changes to cut coal mining consent red tape
    Changes to the Resource Management Act will align consenting for coal mining to other forms of mining to reduce barriers that are holding back economic development, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “The inconsistent treatment of coal mining compared with other extractive activities is burdensome red tape that fails to acknowledge ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • McClay reaffirms strong NZ-China trade relationship
    Trade, Agriculture and Forestry Minister Todd McClay has concluded productive discussions with ministerial counterparts in Beijing today, in support of the New Zealand-China trade and economic relationship. “My meeting with Commerce Minister Wang Wentao reaffirmed the complementary nature of the bilateral trade relationship, with our Free Trade Agreement at its ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon acknowledges legacy of Singapore Prime Minister Lee
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today paid tribute to Singapore’s outgoing Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.   Meeting in Singapore today immediately before Prime Minister Lee announced he was stepping down, Prime Minister Luxon warmly acknowledged his counterpart’s almost twenty years as leader, and the enduring legacy he has left for Singapore and South East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PMs Luxon and Lee deepen Singapore-NZ ties
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon held a bilateral meeting today with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. While in Singapore as part of his visit to South East Asia this week, Prime Minister Luxon also met with Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and will meet with Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong.  During today’s meeting, Prime Minister Luxon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Antarctica New Zealand Board appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has made further appointments to the Board of Antarctica New Zealand as part of a continued effort to ensure the Scott Base Redevelopment project is delivered in a cost-effective and efficient manner.  The Minister has appointed Neville Harris as a new member of the Board. Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister travels to Washington DC
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to the United States on Tuesday to attend a meeting of the Five Finance Ministers group, with counterparts from Australia, the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  “I am looking forward to meeting with our Five Finance partners on how we can work ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Pet bonds a win/win for renters and landlords
    The coalition Government has today announced purrfect and pawsitive changes to the Residential Tenancies Act to give tenants with pets greater choice when looking for a rental property, says Housing Minister Chris Bishop. “Pets are important members of many Kiwi families. It’s estimated that around 64 per cent of New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Long Tunnel for SH1 Wellington being considered
    State Highway 1 (SH1) through Wellington City is heavily congested at peak times and while planning continues on the duplicate Mt Victoria Tunnel and Basin Reserve project, the Government has also asked NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to consider and provide advice on a Long Tunnel option, Transport Minister Simeon Brown ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand condemns Iranian strikes
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have condemned Iran’s shocking and illegal strikes against Israel.    “These attacks are a major challenge to peace and stability in a region already under enormous pressure," Mr Luxon says.    "We are deeply concerned that miscalculation on any side could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge interest in Government’s infrastructure plans
    Hundreds of people in little over a week have turned out in Northland to hear Regional Development Minister Shane Jones speak about plans for boosting the regional economy through infrastructure. About 200 people from the infrastructure and associated sectors attended an event headlined by Mr Jones in Whangarei today. Last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Health Minister thanks outgoing Health New Zealand Chair
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti has today thanked outgoing Health New Zealand – Te Whatu Ora Chair Dame Karen Poutasi for her service on the Board.   “Dame Karen tendered her resignation as Chair and as a member of the Board today,” says Dr Reti.  “I have asked her to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Roads of National Significance planning underway
    The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has signalled their proposed delivery approach for the Government’s 15 Roads of National Significance (RoNS), with the release of the State Highway Investment Proposal (SHIP) today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  “Boosting economic growth and productivity is a key part of the Government’s plan to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Navigating an unstable global environment
    New Zealand is renewing its connections with a world facing urgent challenges by pursuing an active, energetic foreign policy, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Our country faces the most unstable global environment in decades,” Mr Peters says at the conclusion of two weeks of engagements in Egypt, Europe and the United States.    “We cannot afford to sit back in splendid ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ welcomes Australian Governor-General
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Australian Governor-General, His Excellency General The Honourable David Hurley and his wife Her Excellency Mrs Linda Hurley, will make a State visit to New Zealand from Tuesday 16 April to Thursday 18 April. The visit reciprocates the State visit of former Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pseudoephedrine back on shelves for Winter
    Associate Health Minister David Seymour has announced that Medsafe has approved 11 cold and flu medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Pharmaceutical suppliers have indicated they may be able to supply the first products in June. “This is much earlier than the original expectation of medicines being available by 2025. The Government recognised ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and the US: an ever closer partnership
    New Zealand and the United States have recommitted to their strategic partnership in Washington DC today, pledging to work ever more closely together in support of shared values and interests, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “The strategic environment that New Zealand and the United States face is considerably more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint US and NZ declaration
    April 11, 2024 Joint Declaration by United States Secretary of State the Honorable Antony J. Blinken and New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs the Right Honourable Winston Peters We met today in Washington, D.C. to recommit to the historic partnership between our two countries and the principles that underpin it—rule ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and US to undertake further practical Pacific cooperation
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further New Zealand cooperation with the United States in the Pacific Islands region through $16.4 million in funding for initiatives in digital connectivity and oceans and fisheries research.   “New Zealand can achieve more in the Pacific if we work together more urgently and ...
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    1 week ago
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