The Standard Week: August 15-22

Written By: - Date published: 12:39 pm, August 22nd, 2008 - 54 comments
Categories: standard week - Tags:

As expected, the polls out last weekend did not show National being hit by the secret agenda tapes scandal because they were conducted before the story had fully emerged. We will have to wait for the next round of polls to see what effect there has been – although sources say both National and Labour’s internal polling shows the gap narrowing by 4-5% already. A Colmar Brunton poll, also conducted before the secret agenda tapes had fully emerged, showed voters do not believe National is being open about its plans and do not support its borrowing for tax cuts policy. Other than the polls, there was a grab-bag of smaller issues, but look forward to fireworks when Parliament resumes next week for the last session before the election. Here are our favourite posts of the week:

Ambitious for transport
Why are we spending $1 billion on Transmission Gully when by the time it is finished the price of petrol will be up to $10 a litre according to a study by the Australian CSIRO?..[more]

Did you say “wages”, John?
That’s nice to hear but given National’s policy is to reduce work rights and make it harder for working Kiwis to negotiate a better deal it seems a bit rich….I guess it’s this kind of credibility gap between what National says and what it does that makes it so hard for voters to trust them….[more]

Reviewing the weekend polls
As I said last week, the polls that came out this weekend can not reflect any impact of the secret agenda tapes…Labour will be heartened to have moved up in 2 of the polls (including an 8% gain in the last two Colmar Brunton polls) and recorded no change in the third. The Greens polled under 5% in two of the three polls, but nobody seriously expects that they won’t win 5% on election day… [more]

Greens call for public input on ETS
The Greens should vote for the ETS not because it is perfect but because it is good, because it has been improved by negotiations between Labour and the Greens, and because the alternative is much worse…[more]

Nats: some of us look like youse
you’ve got a woman at 7, another at 10, yet more at 17 and 20 – you’re talking up to four women in a National Cabinet! And two of them aren’t even Pakeha!…good on National for joining the twentieth century. I look forward to the day they move beyond tokenism but I won’t be holding my breath…[more]

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54 comments on “The Standard Week: August 15-22”

  1. Rob 1

    Over all a good week for National John will be happy came through the polls well. People like their pragmatic approach to Energy. Welfare also has the support of the Majority.

    A few problems for the Labourites with the flavoured condoms getting a lot of exposure yet still no Herceptin very touchy subject.

    The Sex Ed in school caused some very lively debate and would expect that to come up in the house next week in terms of the Material they are handing out. Labour is obviously trying to desensitise people realign their moral compass but don’t believe its working for them.

    ETS is going to be a problem Greens worried about the cost on the average person. Also Labour wont declare where the money is going so just becomes another Cullen Tax, Labour with a real chance of being defeated not a good footing to start off a Election platform.

    Summary pretty good week for Crosby keys & textor

  2. watch out, jokers and jokesses, the Majority has spoken via that medium of world renown – Rob.

  3. MikeE 3

    Any comments on the EMPU’s treatment on Shawn Tan from a “workers” perspective?

    I see Idiot/Savant is against it

    http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2008/08/just-not-on.html

    Surely the standard would be against such a disgusting abuse of workers rights by this terrible employer.

  4. Rob 4

    Steve sorry there was one thing I forgot to add there is still the Saga of Winston hanging around Helen even though she is trying to distance herself from it. It appears to be getting murkier by the day I mean who would not remember or forget whether they paid a $40000 bill or not. It funny how the tune changed when they got caught out do we believe him Yeaa Right !! just another casualty of the EFA rather ironical I think.

  5. Rob 5

    Just as the Police have decided to charge the man who flicked his Sons ear in Christchurch. Great news the Bradford / Clark bill will be gone by Lunch time. Helen will’try and defend not holding it with the Election but wont make her look very good.
    A referendum will be held on anti-smacking laws after parliamentary officials confirmed a petition calling for the ballot had enough valid signatures.

    The Clerk of the House said an audit of the petition found that 310,000 of the 390,000 signatures were valid.

    This was 25,000 more than needed to trigger a referendum.

    Petition organiser Larry Baldock said the vote should be held in conjunction with the election.

    The Government has ruled this out, saying it would best be held as a postal ballot next year.

    [lprent: Enough. Putting you into moderation. This isn’t a damn news service for talkback or Wishart repeater clones. You’re annoying me and a high proportion of commentators. Take a weeks ban for being a bloody nuisance.

    I have to say that you’ve just had a unique accolade. You don’t fit any of the usual criteria, but I’ll add a section to the Policy about what I’ll do for bloody nuisance.

    This is one time I’ll invite comment about a decision (of course I’ll make my own decision). However I suspect it is going to be quite popular. ]

  6. Matthew Pilott 6

    Any comments on the EMPU’s treatment on Shawn Tan from a “workers’ perspective?

    Depends how long he will need to campaign… Common courtesy would dictate you inform your boss if you’ll need a few months off.

    I’m glad to see, MikeE, that you’ve come so far around you think that an employee should be able to walk off their job and expect to have it waiting for them three months later, without mentioning why to their boss.

    Tell you what – you’ve got an even stronger opinion about it than I – but it’s wonderful to see you recognising the inherent imbalance in power between worker and employer, the necesity for strong employment law protection for workers, and that you’re throwing your full support behind the workers. I look forward to reading further comments from you and your newly-found extreme pro-workers’ rights viewpoint!

  7. MikeE 7

    “However, he said his supervisor told him he should resign if he was thinking about standing for Act when he first raised the subject.”

    Mathhew…. I believe the above would amount to constructive dismissal in anyones books…

    Also from the EPMU website:

    “Discrimination means that the employer has not treated the worker in the same way as other workers because of the worker’s:

    * Sex
    * Religious beliefs
    * Colour
    * Ethnicity
    * Age
    * Employment status
    * Sexual orientation
    * Marital status
    * Ethical beliefs
    * Race
    * Disability
    * Political opinion
    * Family status
    * Union involvement”

    http://www.epmu.org.nz/discrimination-2/

  8. Matthew Pilott 8

    MikeE, I was going on the story that said he decided to run without telling his employer, despite the time required to do so.

    If he’d done the same for a holiday would you be here asking the same?

    Good to see you supporting the goals and aims of the EPMU. I look forward to your words of encouragement for workers, and against employers, in all further industrial disputes.

    You could start out with agreeing to the following: “Act are scum as they refuse to deal with Unions in principle.”

  9. Billy 9

    Lprent, since you asked…

    Banning someone for being annoying? How come you keep letting Rogernome comment?

    [lprent: He doesn’t cause me extra work – see my comment below]

  10. Matthew Pilott 10

    Lprent – make it a new category, willful ignorance! It’s not just annoying, constant threadjacking does prevent a good debate.

    After all that I’m going to say that this is the one post that I think Rob-style comments would be tolerated (i.e. a bit of a Friday Misc thread, but a few links, accurate comments and less clipping-service style stuff would be the go) but pretty much all of the others have been nuked, none of them vaguely close to the topic. Not exactly constructive.

  11. Billy – as a special treat you can ban roger for a day next time he comments on our blog…

  12. Billy 12

    Must you address me as if I am wearing a gimp suit?

  13. Also from the EPMU website:

    Ha! From the Act party 20 point plan:

    12 Labour. Allow freedom of contract to make it easier to trial new workers and replace poor performers. Business runs better with right staff. Workers and company earn more. Contract protects both parties.

    http://www.act.org.nz/files/pledge/20pointplan.pdf

    Ironically if Tan’s party had their way he wouldn’t have a leg to stand on – I suspect he still doesn’t…

    What a dick.

    edit: Billy – I thought it was my turn to wear the suit!

  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    When you to are old men will you play chess in the park and bicker like…old men? I hope so.

  15. Anita 15

    lprent,

    Being a bloody nuisance is very subjective.

    Making shit up, on the other hand, is clear as day – repeatedly using masses of completely incorrect and unreferenced facts, making no attempt to correct factual errors, and showing no interest in moving towards being truthful is easy to assess.

    I know it probably pisses me off a lot more than it does most people, but… 🙂

    I really think that there is a problem with allowing completely untrue pseudo-facts to stand uncorrected in the comments; for a start someone might actually believe them, and they might even attribute them to The Standard, it uses The Standard’s cred to spread bullshit. One off srcew ups are one thing, repeated barefaced inaccuracy is another.

    Thanks for listening 🙂

  16. Billy 16

    To demonstrate your point, Matthew Pilott:

    ‘sod, just why do you suspect Tan doesn’t have a leg to stand on? Are you in favour of employers sacking employees for their political affiliations?

    If, as Matthew has pretended, it is because they are concerned about his ability to perform both jobs (oh, puhlease) surely natural justice wouldn’t allow a summary suspension.

  17. Anita 17

    My understanding of employment law precedent (someone please correct me – this is rusty!!) is that there is an acceptance that the actions of an employee may be so inconsistent with the business of the employer that the employee’s behaviour, in and of itself, undermines the employment relationship.

    Say, for example, someone who was a public face of an organisation trying to reduce NZ’s binge drinking spent their off hours encouraging binge drinking by 18-24 year old (by running alcohol centred events for example), that behaviour was picked up by the media, the employee did not change it, and it undermined their ability to speak credibly against binge drinking, and undermined the employer’s position and authority. I believe that in that circumstance the employee’s employment relationship could be altered or terminated because their actions have significantly damaged it.

    Does that sound right/fair?

  18. higherstandard 18

    Begs the question as to why the EPMU didn’t just say that all their employees are welcome to participate in the democratic process and just leave it at that.

    If Mr Tan gets into parliament he’ll have to leave the EPMU to take up his new job.

    Seems to me the EPMU have played this poorly

  19. higherstandard 19

    Anita

    Bit of a long bow to suggest participating in the democratic process is inconsistent with the business of the EPMU.

  20. Matthew Pilott 20

    Apparently it’s in their contract that if they are thinking of a candidacy they must inform their employer.

    Anyone else find it ironic that sokmeone running for Act would willfully violate a work contract, especially in light of ‘sod’s comment above? So much for contracts protecting both parties!

    Billy – why ‘pretended’? Do you think running for parliament is a 7pm – 8:30pm every second Tuesday kind of affair?

    HS – I suppose the EPMU could have allowed him to violate his contract wilfully, but that isn’t something they should have to suffer to ‘play’ a situation well…

  21. Matthew Pilott 21

    Bit of a long bow to suggest participating in the democratic process is inconsistent with the business of the EPMU.

    Bit of a long bow to suggest that running for a party that would happily destroy all ability for the EPMU to function isn’t inconsistent with working for the EPMU…

  22. lprent 22

    Anita: All of the moderation on here is totally subjective and up to the moderators judgement. For instance one persons troll is another’s “Telling it like it is”, personal attack from one persons viewpoint could be calling them anything whereas another wouldn’t blink an eye, one persons inaccurate facts are another’s “brave attempt to overthrow entrenched orthodoxy” (eg in the climate change debate), etc.

    Generally I’ll (usually) tolerate quite a lot in ambiguous situations because I think the debate is worth having even when I disagree strongly (eg climate change).

    In this case, the deciding factor isn’t even any one of these. It is a combination that requires I have to spend too much time reading comments and debate that is essentially about bugger all.

    Each time someone complains about someone else here, I usually have to track back to the relevant comment to see if there is a good reason (ie the personal attack provisions). Rob has a goodly number of these against him and the level of personal attack in each comment is rising. Almost all of them are about partial (but usually not full) inaccuracies. Rather than having to eventually ban people who are complaining about him, I’ll ban the cause.

    So in this case he was becoming a bloody nuisance – to me. That is what he is getting banned for, and hopefully he’ll modify his behavior when he gets back on.

    Billy: I think that also answers your query about roger as well. Also why I don’t ban d4j or randal for the same reasons. They don’t cause me extra and unnecessary work.

  23. Daveo 23

    This is an Act party beatup. The union’s rules and collective agreement appear to be very clear, staff who wish to stand for public office must get approval from the national executive.

    Tan broke his contract, he got suspended pending an investigation (possibly on full pay for all we know). There’s no story here.

    It’s also worth pointing out that there’s a major conflict of interest between being a union organiser and an Act party candidate. You can’t credibly spend half your time helping workers to enforce their rights and spend the other half trying to remove those rights.

  24. Daveo 24

    Mike: Idiot/Savant is a terribly excitable nobody who’s inclined to fly off the rails before all the facts are in. This plays right into the hands of people like Farrar who then use his misinformed outrage to give the right a moral highground they don’t deserve.

    To cut to the chase, I wouldn’t put too much stock in his analysis.

  25. Gustavo Trellis 25

    You can’t write a contract that negates the law either.

  26. higherstandard 26

    MP and Daveo

    “You can’t credibly spend half your time helping workers to enforce their rights and spend the other half trying to remove those rights.”

    “Bit of a long bow to suggest that running for a party that would happily destroy all ability for the EPMU to function isn’t inconsistent with working for the EPMU.”

    I didn’t know ACT was running on a ticket of banning Unions ?

  27. CMR 27

    I have just heard the lawyer for Mr Tan speaking to Larry on Newstalk ZB.

    The lawyer is confident that Mr Tan will proceed to the Employment Court. Good luck to him.

    The behaviour of the union thugs is graphic in this context. How can anybody on this blog simply dismiss it as an “Act party beatup” (Sic!)

    Please note the lawyer does not believe Tan has been “suspended pending an investigation!” (As Daveo states.)

    Mr Pilott optimistically suggests common courtesy ought dictate the circumstances here. Excuse me! The alleged facts from Mr Tan’s lawyer’s perspective admit he DID attempt to give notice but on doing so was summarily tossed from his job! Is this any form of courtesy? Certainly not “common courtesy.”

    While all employers have the right to set the conduct of employees the action by this union is unspeakably grotesque. How do they treat their members? Bloody hell the thought is a scare!

  28. higherstandard 28

    What’s next – producing propaganda and demanding their members only vote for certain parties ?

  29. randal 29

    hs…randal will start a morons party and force you to vote for it.

  30. Matthew Pilott 30

    I didn’t know ACT was running on a ticket of banning Unions ?

    Read my comment again… You were discusing inconsistency and long bows, I elucidated.

    CMR – I guess there’s a reason I don’t rely on Talkback. I might wait until the real facts come out. As I gather, Mr Tan did not inform his employer, as he was contractually obliged to; this was the cause of his suspension. As to what you say, the obligation is to inform your employer before the fact, not after. I wouldn’t take either of the two stories as Holy Writ though, as you’ve chosen to.

    I suppose you have to, though, to muster such righteous indignation.

  31. Anita 31

    hs,

    Bit of a long bow to suggest participating in the democratic process is inconsistent with the business of the EPMU.

    It doesn’t seem that the issue was Tan’s involvement in a democratic process as a whole. It was an issue of the party he chose to be very publicly aligned with, the extent of his public alignment, and the policies of that party.

    If, for example, a school teacher were to stand for a political party whose sole objective was the legalisation of sex between adults and children, I suspect their promotion of that viewpoint might be seen as undermining the employment relationship between the teacher and the school.

    I am not saying the Tan/ACT/EPMU situation is that clearcut, but nor is it as clearcut as those who’d argue it should have absolutely no effect on this employment. There is black, white and grey in this area of employment law and political participation.

  32. Draco TB 32

    The lawyer is confident that Mr Tan will proceed to the Employment Court. Good luck to him.

    He’s certainly going to need it. Willfully breaking contract isn’t defensible.

    EDIT: Willfully breaking contract also indicates that he’s not ready for government either.

    Please note the lawyer does not believe Tan has been “suspended pending an investigation!’

    The alleged facts from Mr Tan’s lawyer’s perspective admit he DID attempt to give notice but on doing so was summarily tossed from his job!

    Facts tend to be essential here and so far you haven’t provided any. Neither has the lawyer.

    While all employers have the right to set the conduct of employees the action by this union is unspeakably grotesque.

    In what way?
    He broke contract and was suspended for doing so. Seems perfectly normal to me.

  33. Sarah 33

    So if anyone provides an opposing view lprent you ban them?

    Sure the presentation of his arguments isn’t fantastic but he’s perfectly entitled to make the points he’s making.

    It’s a discussion of the week in review. He’s commenting on the week in review. But because he makes some points that come from a source you don’t agree with (“Wishart repeater clones”) you ban him. I’m sure if he did the same from a lef-wing source, he would not get the same punishment.

    All you’re doing is banning anyone who has a view opposite to you, so when the time comes to discuss a point of importance, no one will disagree with you because there simply isn’t anyone left to argue back.

    That’s not a democracy. It’s a joke.

    [lprent: This blog isn’t a democracy – it is private property – I pay for it. The reason Rob got a ban was because he was chewing too much of my valuable time. Do you think that I should waste my time unproductively? If he added something to the site it wouldn’t have been a problem. But most of the comments directed towards Rob’s comments was about how inaccurate his information was. ]

  34. CMR 34

    Draco: Have you read the contract? I have read many in my time and while there are a series of customary provisions it is not essential that all employment contracts are identical. If you have not actually read the contract which pertainsd to Mr Tan’s employment then you are rather presumptuous are you not?

    Breach of contract is defensible on numerous grounds: Frustration: Common Mistake: Vis Major: etc…

  35. Bill 35

    Interesting reading through the comments relating to Shawn Tan. So he’s suspended on full pay because he apparently did not declare a conflict of interest. That’s how it’s reading to me.

    But the question being begged, which no-one has touched on is, I would have thought, blindingly obvious.

    How many more ‘Shawn Tans’ are there within the union movement and what does that say about the state of NZ’s union movement?

    Once upon a time unionists were unionists. It would have been unthinkable that a union organiser could hold views in line with those of the Act Party.

    Has unionism degenerated to become a vehicle for careerists and opportunists? How can a person work in a workers organisation and be so removed from working class roots?

    If Shawn Tan has been discriminated against (and I very much doubt he has been) then he will get compensation.

    But as I have said, I really do not think that is the pertinent point here. What the hell was he doing working for a union in the first place!?

  36. vto 36

    As someone else said ‘imagine if the employer had been BusinessNZ or some such and Tan had wanted to stand for labour or the greens’. The shrieking would be heard across the land.

    interesting interesting. Whatcha gonna do Mr Little?

    Also, are the greens in fact doing a Lockwood Smith and swallowing a dead rat over the ETS?

    interesting interesting. Where are those principles so loudly stated over the tapergate thing?

  37. higherstandard 37

    Anita I find your example nauseating

  38. Lew 38

    Interesting situation.

    My initial position was that of Idiot/Savant – that he should get his job back. However the suspension was not that he was standing for the ACT party – it’s that he breached contract by standing for office without seeking approval first; and indeed, having been informed he should seek approval, and then having failed to do so.

    All that said – this seems to me a very minor breach. `Breach of contract’ is a symbolic term which anyone who believes in the rule of law will decry, absent additional information. However as others have noted there are defences for some breaches of contract, and in some cases it’s justifiable.

    In this situation it seems the EPMU has been mean-spirited; but it’s important to remember that the game’s not up yet. Pending the disciplinary process, they can yet show themselves to be bigger than the political scandal by standing up for this worker’s rights, and backing to the hilt his right to stand for office for whatever party he sees fit as long as it doesn’t prevent him doing his job. I’ll watch with interest.

    I also have some sympathy for Bill’s point: what the hell was someone with ACT sympathies doing working for the EPMU in the first place? This rests upon the presumption that ACT is inherently opposed to the union movement, and instinctively I think it is. Anita’s point (distasteful but illustrative example aside) is also relevant: it may be that the EPMU considers this a position which undermines his credibility as an EPMU staffer.

    What’s clear from all this is how political the union movement is – in a micro sense, as well as a macro sense.

    L

  39. higherstandard 39

    Not another moron’s party Randal surely we already have enough in NZ.

  40. Anita 40

    hs,

    Anita I find your example nauseating

    Sorry 🙁

    I was trying to find an utterly totally clear example, and that was the best I could come up with. ’tis clear though :-/

  41. Draco TB 41

    As it stands the situation is:

    Tan was suspended for breach of contract. Not fired or dismissed but suspended. A valid action by the employer where a potential conflict of interest arises from the breach in contract.

    Human rights would be an issue if he had been fired immediately which he wasn’t. He announced several months ago that he was a member of ACT and kept his job and, by all appearances so far, was discriminated against in any way. Further, the law takes into account conflicts of interest so, if a conflict of interest is proved which is likely considering that the two political institutions involved are ideologically opposed, there would be no human rights issue if the EPMU do dismiss him.

    Breach of contract is defensible on numerous grounds:

    Yeah, agreed. This isn’t one of them though due to the potential for a conflict of interest.

    What’s clear from all this is how political the union movement is – in a micro sense, as well as a macro sense.

    The union movement has always been political. They’ve always striven to change the way society operates. Labour came about as their political arm when they finally realised that just protesting wasn’t working and that they needed someone on the inside of parliament.

  42. dave 42

    This is not just about breach of contract, it is about human rights. If an employer was to breach the an employees human rights by telling him he should resign if he stood for a certain political party, because of the political party stood for, while telling him not to bother asking for permission as he wont get it – then a persons human rights was breached before a contract was breached.

    And Anita, that was a pretty bad example. Do try harder.

  43. higherstandard 43

    No problem Anita, I just thought the comparison was overly ugly.

    What’s your take on why ACT’s policies are such an anathema to the EPMU that they feel they have to go down this track.

    I find the whole thing completely topsy turvy in that a supposed protector of employees rights is acting against what they’re supposed to promote, while people supporting the right for individual contracts are taking the opposite view.

  44. Anita 44

    hs,

    What’s your take on why ACT’s policies are such an anathema to the EPMU

    I don’t have a detailed view on this, and am unlikely to gain on while stuck on the end of a slooooow modem link. But I can guess wildly 🙂

    ACT’s pledgecard says:

    Allow freedom of contract to make it easier to trial new workers and replace poor performers

    I can’t find any more detail on what they mean by this (either their website has a blank page in their policies section or modem speed is causing me grief), but I would guess that it is an even more radical variant of National’s 90-days free fire trial period as well as some alterations to the ERA to make firing easier.

    The EPMU has come out strongly against National’s proposal, and led the campaign against Mapp’s earlier attempt. So we’re talking about someone working for the EPMU and campaigning for a stronger version of something the EPMU is campaigning against.

    Much like a ramped up version of my (hopefully less ugly) binge drinking example.

  45. higherstandard 45

    With my tongue firmly in my cheek can you I say that I would have thought that the EPMU should be all for making it easier to trial new workers and can only shy away from the replacement of poor performers if the think employers will abuse the right to replace poor performance which is after all already a reason for replacing staff.

    I’m getting the distinct feeling that the EPMU is one of the weaker unions in NZ and is far too heavily involved in the affairs of the Labour party and vice versa – they should take a leaf out of some of the other prominent union’s books and concentrate more on working for their members and less on playing politics.

  46. Daveo 46

    Lew. There’s a lot of information swirling around the movement at the moment that isn’t in the media. Be careful not to form your opinions on the basis of sensationalist media stories or the excitable moral outrage of Idiot/Savant.

    Why was he in there in the first place? I don’t know Shawn personally but the story goes that as recently as two months ago he was a leading green party activist and had previously been employed by two other unions. Mu understanding is he’s very immature and was easily bought off with an offer of a place on the act party list. This story is just a little exercise in self-promotion on Tan’s part.

    Higherstandard. I’m an EPMU member and they’re at the forefront of the new zealand union movement both politically and industrially. Think four weeks annual leave campaign, fair share 5% in 05, the campaign against the 90 day bill, stopping the air nz engineering jobs going overseas. I’d be interested to hear if you have any basis for that comment other than right wing blog talking points.

  47. Anita 47

    hs,

    With my tongue firmly in my cheek can you I say that I would have thought that the EPMU should be all for making it easier to trial new workers

    With my tongue equally firmly in my cheeck can I say I think you should join the EPMU and advocate for a change in policy? 🙂

    But back to reality for a moment… given what the EPMU is campaigning for, and what ACT is campaigning for, what do you think of the situation around Tan?

  48. Draco TB 48

    Eeep :0

    …by all appearances so far, was discriminated against in any way.

    That’s supposed to say wasn’t

  49. higherstandard 49

    Anita

    On the face of it my thoughts are that Tan sounds a bit odd and that the EPMU should just have kept their traps shut.

  50. bill brown 50

    Lynne, wrt Rob,

    It’s only the thread jacking that I find to be a pain in the arse, if his comments are on topic then so be it – if they’re inaccurate they’re usually easy to refute – bit of easy meat to help break up the day.

    Oh, and I’ll miss his naked yearning for JK – it always warms my heart.

  51. higherstandard 51

    Daveo

    Just my opinion but I think Laila Harre, Deborah Powell etc do a better job.

    The EPMU just seems too spend much time trumpeting Labour good National bad all the time.

  52. Daveo 52

    Laila Harre does good work, Deborah Powell is a crook who runs her union like a business and has been convicted of rigging a union election ballot. Shows how much you know about the trade union movement ‘higherstandard’.

    Mate you seem like a good sort, so I’d advise you to steer clear of the crap you hear on Kiwiblog and come to debates like this armed with facts before slagging off my union.

  53. Daveo 53

    “the EPMU should just have kept their traps shut.”

    They did – it was Tan who went squealing to the media to beat this minor employment disagreement into a story.

    From my experience as a union delegate going back twenty years he’s almost certain to get the sack now, but then I suspect that’s what he wanted all along.

  54. randal 54

    if he is anything like wodney he will be squealing like a weasel and acting like a toad…that is the act style my friend…sad but true!

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    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    2 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    4 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    6 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    6 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

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