Open Forum – Thursday

21 December 2017

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73 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  December 21, 2017

    Fonterra is using psychological pricing to trick shoppers into buying more expensive butter, which is already at record prices, an analyst says.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/100002780/fonterra-launches-smaller-more-expensive-butter

    Well, let’s face it, they’ve got to find a lot of money to pay their CEO. Can you blame them? 😕

    • PartisanZ

       /  December 21, 2017

      I’m surprised there isn’t a big advertising campaign along the lines of “Valuemetric – Eat Less, Pay More – The Healthy Alternative – It’s for your own good” …

      The ethics of consumer capitalism summed up in one ‘product launch’ …

      • Gezza

         /  December 21, 2017

        Have to agree PZ. Did you read their pathetic defence?

        Fonterra Brands sales director Tim Carter said: “We introduced this new Valumetric butter to give consumers more choice and compete with other 400g butter options already in the market”.

        “The 400g Valumetric is clearly labelled and comes in smaller packaging.

        • PartisanZ

           /  December 21, 2017

          “More choice” and “freedom to choose” and suchlike *lietruisms or ‘NewSpeak’ were the linguistic vehicles of neoliberal indoctrination IMHO …

          Such was the rationale of the Employment Contracts Act …

          “It is difficult to overstate the mendacity of the ECA. In crudest terms, it was a law designed to strip away the legal rights of hundreds of thousands of working-class New Zealanders.

          It didn’t matter to the New Right idealogues … that these rights were guaranteed by the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the conventions of the ILO and many other covenants and agreements.

          The new legislation pitted the individual needing to sell his or her labour in order to survive against employers in full control of the employment relationship.” (Chris Trotter – No Left Turn)

          What we need is a Universal Declaration of Consumer Rights …

          Which begs the question, why aren’t consumer rights included in human rights?

          I mean, who the f*#k else does the consuming …?

          • PartisanZ

             /  December 21, 2017

            The inestimable value of life is defined by the limits placed on it …

            Maybe its the same with ‘choice’ … ?

      • Blazer

         /  December 21, 2017

        I’m surprised they haven’t launched. .’I can’t believe it isn’t butter ‘ here. .yet.

    • I’m on to them.😁

    • duperez

       /  December 21, 2017

      I was surprised to see the words “Fonterra is using psychological pricing to trick shoppers.”

      It’s just marketing. Some might call it a simple strategy to bullshit the public. See packet of butter, pick it up, buy it get it home and find it is smaller than expected.

      At least Westland Milk Products which has the 400g packs has fancy gold paper and calls their product ‘Westgold.” (Even has a Russian version.) That looks and sounds more classy than the Fonterra product so I suppose that’s where the ‘psychological’ aspect comes in.

      Remember Keeping Up Appearances with Hyacinth Bucket (“Bouquet”)? Would she go for Westgold or Valuemetric ?

      I remember the fuss when Bluebird potato chips downsized their main packs from 200g to 150g. They used the word “Original’ on packets no doubt to suggest nothing had changed. Marketing.

      • PartisanZ

         /  December 21, 2017

        “Marketing” … Hmmmm … that’s that ‘medium’ where common decency doesn’t apply eh?

        I wonder where we got the idea for “fake news” ….?

    • NOEL

       /  December 21, 2017

      Gotta see the irony.
      Big adverts how proud they are the brand is so well know in some Asian country whilst duping people where the cows are.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 21, 2017

        If anyone can’t work out that Countdown (which is so expensive that I can’t see why anyone would choose to go there if they had any choice) has done some daft pricing here, they deserve to pay more.

        I wonder what Pak & Save charges for this,

        As all dairy products come from the same source, I buy the cheapest brand. It was a surprise that P & S’s house brand of marge is lower fat than most of the ‘low fat’ ones and the same or .1g more than the lowest…and much cheaper. I had high cholestorol so looked at them all to see which was the lowest fat version. Caveat Emptor.

        Duping people about where the cows are ? Why, where are they ? And how are they duping people ? If there is false advertising going on, why don’t you dob them in if you know this ?

  2. lurcher1948

     /  December 21, 2017

    I hope New Zealand remembers that the USA will be watching when the UN votes over Jerusalem, let’s not get carried away like last time by shafting ISRAEL for arab trade and let’s not vote along with the Muslim/arab block against the USA…
    I dont think POTUS #45 will forget.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/20/politics/nikki-haley-taking-names-on-jerusalem/index.html

    • Gezza

       /  December 21, 2017

      We don’t have much trade with the USA & we’re not likely to. And as we can’t afford their military equipment & materiel I don’t see why it’s a problem to do the decent thing & vote for El Sisi’s resolution?

    • PartisanZ

       /  December 21, 2017

      We’ve got no worries on that score lurcher1948 … all indications are POTUS “What number am I again?” is starting to forget what he said a few minutes ago … had for breakfast this morning … or last threatened Kim Jong il ….

      What’s this Red button for … ?

    • lurcher1948

       /  December 21, 2017

      I laugh when people say apartheid ISRAEL NASTY JEWS and say radicalised muslims good here, HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED by jews and ISRAELIS driving rented trucks GEZZA, all over the world ,pray tell us Gezza????

      • lurcher1948

         /  December 21, 2017

        Some people say if we support the radical muslim countries ie like IRAN,and Palestine BOTH SHIA OR SUNNI,killers both they won’t drive trucks or use suicide bombers against us, thats like paying the gang over the fence not to come over to RAPE your females and bomb your house, we are Christian and two days ago the religion of peace killed heaps in a church in Pakistan.THEY HATE US its in the koran

        • Gezza

           /  December 21, 2017

          Lurch do you actually understand that the terrorist attacks against the West have been by people who are NOT Palestinians OR Iranians?

          • lurcher1948

             /  December 21, 2017

            MUSLIMS ALL, insult ALLAH you insult the muslin world…

            • Gezza

               /  December 21, 2017

              Of course you do. What do I care? They’re all as deluded as each other – Jews, Christians & Muslims. If the Israelites had invented their bullshit Jaweh to justify attacking their neighbours & grabbing their land. the Christians wouldn’t have had a leg to stand on when they invented their 3 for the price of one bullshit God, & Mohammad would never have got the idea to invent his own version of Jaweh & tell his deluded bunch of camel drivers the Angel Gabriel told him the others had got it wrong. What’s at the heart of most of the strife plaguing the world at the moment is deluded religionists attacking each other.

            • Gezza

               /  December 21, 2017

              *If the Israelites HADN’T invented their BS God, I meant, of course.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  December 21, 2017

        The Jews – have had the majority population in Jerusalem since before 1900 – but have no claim to it apparently:

        • Gezza

           /  December 21, 2017

          What’s your source?

          • lurcher1948

             /  December 21, 2017

            Whats the problem with his source,Gezza, are you a muslim the world IS NOT SCARED OF JEWS, but muslims thats another problem ALLAR AKBAR

          • Gezza

             /  December 21, 2017

            Piss off Lurch. If you’re gonna talk shit like that, talk it to someone else.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  December 21, 2017

            Sources under the graph:

            Sources & Notes:
            Sources by Year:

            1910
            Bernard WassersteinDivided Jerusalem, p.46, Yale Nota Bene, 2002
            1922 & 1931
            British Census (Census conducted by the British Mandate Government.)
            1946 & 1967
            Bernard WassersteinDivided Jerusalem, p.46, Yale Nota Bene, 2002
            “Account should be taken of the changes in the municipal boundary of Jerusalem over the past century. Apparent discrepancies in the ‘total’ column reflect the presence of small numbers of persons whose religion was classified as ‘other’ or ‘unknown.'”
            1972 – 2005
            Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics “Statistical Abstract of Israel 2007: Population by district, sub-district and religion,” ICBS website accessed on Sep. 20, 2007

            https://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000636

            From what I have seen Jews were a significant part of the population and sometimes majority for hte history of Jerusalem. They have been the majority population since mid-1800.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 21, 2017

              Yes HFD. Shall we just put this down to an …inconvenient truth

          • Gezza

             /  December 21, 2017

            Yes, I’d already found that with a Google search. I’m dubious about any stats that come from the Israelis. Why did the UN determine Jerusalem should not be the capital of Israel? And other stats in there show figures for the whole of Palestine over time without accounting for the numbers of Palestinians driven out, the numbers not permitted to return, & the numbers of Jews streaming in to Israel who were never born there to bolster its population.

            It’s no skin off my nose that some people want to back the Israeli Government’s State terrorism & land grabs & its apartheid rules that give rights to Jews that are denied to Palestinian Arabs because they identify with them as “one of us”, like many whites did with South African whites, but it doesn’t mean others should.

            And those other population factors I mention are actually relevant to this issue as well.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 21, 2017

              Good stuff G. Tends to support HFDs source. As to why the UN bats for the arabs, here’s an interesting read…

              http://time.com/4604739/david-friedman-jerusalem-jewish-israel/

            • Gezza

               /  December 21, 2017

              Thanks for that link.
              The main points I draw from these are that:
              1) demographic information on the populations of Palestine over time as a whole are unreliable, disputed, subject to bias, & in the case of Jerusalem subject to manipulation & interpretation depending on which boundaries of Jerusalem are being used
              2) you cannot look at population data for Jerusalem in isolation from that of Palestine in general & decide that’s all that matters (well, you can, but you can’t really expect Palestinians or probably other Muslims to)
              3) The UN had the best solution to this problem & it still is.

              US Presidents have all played to the Christian fundamentalists & Jewish populations in the US to get elected by adopting & not rescinding the decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem & accept as Israel’s capital but have stopped short of implementing this foolish policy because of the probability it would result in bloodshed, which will mean as it always does these days, the Israelis murdering Palestinians in droves.

              Trump is just playing to that part of his base who are the Christian fundamentalists & the Jewish population & paying them bsck what he owes them & into the Zionist’s hands. He doesn’t give a shit what happens anywhere outside America unless it threatens American interests. And he of course thinks that American interests take precedence everywhere they decide they do, because that’s what American Presidents do.

              The next few years will be interesting. Other countries don’t think America’s interests are as important as theirs. And they’re not so far behind the US as they were. And they know how to manipulate him to their advantage. Look at Bibi, & the Saudi Arabian Royal Family, & Putin. Xi I think is playing an inscrutable game rather than flattering him to get what he wants.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 21, 2017

              I think you are drawing as much from your own views and prejudices as from the piece itself. Here’s another piece you will enjoy. Attempts to explain why arabs tend to be so woeful at warfare…

              http://www.meforum.org/441/why-arabs-lose-wars

            • Gezza

               /  December 21, 2017

              I think you are drawing as much from your own views and prejudices as from the piece itself.
              Well, no doubt, c. But that’s what happens with Israel & Palestine, Religion & Atheism, & politics anywhere, isn’t it?

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 21, 2017

              Yes indeed G. Truth is an abstract notion. Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities where truth isn’t…as an old Zen monk once told me

            • Gezza

               /  December 21, 2017

              Hmm. 1999. Sunnis control Iraq?
              Probably a lot of that is true though.
              Curious. Has the author done any update examining how the Iraqi army defeated ISIS yet?
              Or one on how the US defeated the Taliban?

            • Conspiratoor

               /  December 21, 2017

              The thought occurred to me also. However the Kurdish forces and one elite us trained Iraqi division beat Isis in Iraq. The Iraqi army proved ineffective without us air support. I’m not sure the taliban example is relevant

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 21, 2017

              The UN is as biased an anti-Israeli forum as it is possible to get. You simply cannot take an objective look at the sheer number or resolutions and condemnations put forward by the UN, and the lack of any counterbalancing voices against Palestinian terrorist actions and come to any other conclusion.
              I would not use the UN as any basis for what the correct course of action is regards Israel, Palestine or Jerusalem..

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 21, 2017

              Israel took East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 6 day war. They have held it ever since and since 1994 have had good diplomatic relations.
              Jordan is not asking for its land back and Israel has had its government buildings in the area for decades.
              Some see Trump as being inflamatory, but the reaction so far has been muted and all he has done is look through the Emperors clothes and recognise the current reality.
              Israel were ready to concede Jerusalem as the price for peace back in 1948 – the Arabs disagreed and turned it into a conflict

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 22, 2017

              In an interview on December 16, 2016, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, said that the UN has issued a “disproportionate volume of resolutions, reports and conferences criticizing Israel.”
              Ban continued by remarking that “in many cases, rather than helping the Palestinian cause, this reality has hampered the ability of the UN to fulfill its role effectively.”
              During the last decade the UN passed 223 resolutions condemning Israel, while there were only eight resolutions condemning the Syrian regime as it has massacred its citizens over the past six years.

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2017

              So your argument is that if Israel persecutes & kills its own citizens instead of Palestinian Arabs it would be better off at the UN?
              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 22, 2017

              My argument is that the UN is antisemitic. It engages in abhorrent relativism and ignores multitudinous atrocities around the world while fixating ion Israel in a one sided fashion – as admitted by the Secretary General of the UN.

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2017

              The UN is not anti-Semitic. It passes resolutions condemning the illegal actions of the Government of Israel. So far as I am aware it has not passed any resolutions condemning Jews, who reside all over the globe. As you have made the claim it is anti-Semitic, link me to any resolutions condemning Jews per se.

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2017

              And here is Ban Ki Moon’s full address, which is a balanced criticism of both the Israeli & Palestinian responsibility for the conflict.
              https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2016-12-16/secretary-generals-briefing-security-council-situation-middle-east

              I await your links to UN resolutions condemning Jews & not the Government of Israel.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 22, 2017

              I mispoke – anti-Israel as opposed to anti-semitic.
              It was a good address – the key points being Israel cannot negotiate with an organisation that refuses to remove the obliteration of Israel from its charter, and that Israel must stop its heavy handed security as long as Hamas stops firing rockets indiscriminately into populated areas – something it has not done as yet.
              He notes that he tried for 10 years to put a stop to the anti-Israel bias at the UN (he doesn’t mention he failed miserably).

              The Palestinians and Arabs have had their destiny in their own hands for almost a hundred years. They have refused to deal and have spurned every opportunity to negotiate a 2 state solution.

              They are the authors of their own misfortune and in my opinion Israel, with a few exceptions, have been remarkably restrained to date.
              What some may call illegal occupation, others call taking land that prevents rockets being fired into Israel.

              The other important point is that the majority of land Israel has taken has been to counter when other countries attacked them in 1948 and 1967 – Israel has not been the invader.

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2017

              When the Zionist-dominated Israeli Government stops building illegal settlements on Palestinian land & evacuates those already illegally settled (remember they do this by force of arms) AND allows the return of the Palestinan diaspora, they will be making a genuine peace offer the Palestinians can consider. Hamas will be rejected.

              Trump told the Israeli government to stop building illegal settlements while he negotiated the deal to sort it all out. They of course have already started on building even more because they have him in their pocket & they know they don’t have to with Trump, a bigot, on their side & Jared & his daughter in his ear.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 22, 2017

              I could answer, but this answer covers it nicely. I’m sure you will see it as one sided, but I broadly agree with it.

              https://politics.stackexchange.com/questions/1838/why-does-israel-build-settlements-in-palestine

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2017

              Well, it’s obvious you’re pro-Israeli & anti-Palestinian so of course you will look for material & authors who back your preference.

              But if you mean this, from that link, then we agree on a lot more than you have indicated.

              “Founding Myths
              Most states that are nations (I’ll explain the difference in a moment) have a “founding myth”, identity, slogan or rationale justifying its existence. It is stuff that answers questions like “Who we are?”, “Where do we come from?” and so on. It is not negative at all that countries have founding myths.

              For example, United States’ slogan is “the land of the free” because freedom is a core concept of the US founding myth. It is expressed in the constitution but also in various poems “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…”

              Syria, on the other hand, has no strong founding myth. It’s a state that was formed by the colonial powers carving up a piece of land and handing it over to an Arab despot. This is why Syria in a sense is a state but not a nation.

              I suspect a lot of states which are volatile (such as Syria) are so because they don’t have a Nationalistic founding myth which glues their populations together.

              Israel’s Founding Myth
              Back to Israel. It’s founding myth is: a Jewish homeland in the land the Israelites previously inhabited.

              3000 years ago under King Saul when the kingdom was at its greatest extent it looked like this map:

              Note that this map includes a big chunk of land east of the Jordan river. Indeed, some of the extremist early Zionists wanted to claim that land too, but the political situation made it impossible and the claim disappeared from the founding myth. (The Rise of the Israeli Right, p. 138, Schindler).

              A large chunk of Israel’s Jewish population isn’t religious, but they still subscribe to the basic idea of the nation. That they are the same people as the ancient Israelites and that they therefore have the right to return to the land they once lived in.

              Israeli Democracy
              I’m skipping over a lot of stuff here because my answer is getting to long. A lot of the early Zionists were Communists and Socialists and they wanted a Democratic state just as much as they wanted a Jewish one. Israel still has those strains in it and overall is much more left-leaning than the US for example.

              That left-wingers has acted as a counter-balance to the right-wingers who would prefer to drive all Palestinians out. These two forces met in the middle and resulted in a compromise consisting of the settlement program.

              Population Transfer
              Most settlers are of course are neither left nor right wing. They are just ordinary people with no strong political opinions and they sincerly Just. Want. Peace. But they are being used by the government trying to Judaize the West Bank. Much like China moves Han Chinese into Tibet, the Soviet Union moved Russians into Estonia and Morocco moved Moroccans into Western Sahara.

              The idea is that people won’t support decisions that negatively affect them. Israel deciding to relinquish the West Bank would negatively affect the settlers as they would have to leave their homes. Therefore, the more settlers there are on the West Bank, the harder it becomes for future cabinets to remove them.

              This policy is known as “creating facts on the ground”. Eventually, the original Israeli justification for keeping the West Bank, “God gave us this land”, will fade away and be replaced with “We have been here for a long while” which is much more palatable to the rest of the world.

              It is very similar to the concept of Manifest Destiny which were a widespread belief among Americans in the 19th century that the US should expand from coast to coast. Even that it was God’s will that they should. It helped them justify the Indian Removal Act and various other not so very nice things that were done against the natives.

              Cost/Benefit
              From a rational perspective, the settlements are a huge drain on the Israeli economy. Military spending / capita is 5.4% which is more than what the US spends. The security benefit is non-existent as anything gained from them is lost many times over by having part of the population living in hostile territory. If Israel was a corporation, the settlements would have been abandoned long ago, purely as a cost-cutting measure.

              But Nationalism isn’t rational so most Israelis prefer that the settlements are kept even if the costs outweights the benefits.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 22, 2017

              I’m not necessarily anti-Palestinian. But I have a great deal of difficulty with the concept that Israel needs to bargain in good faith with an organisation who’s major “founding myth”is that desire to wipe them off the map.
              The fact there was never a “Palestine” is not mentioned above?
              While there is a great cost in defending settlements, it does enable the rest of the country to function with more relative security and as such is probably a price they are happy to pay..
              From what I have seen the Israeli’s have come to the table on many occasions with offers that should have been sufficient to enable a deal to be reached. It is the Palestinians and Arab neighbours who have derailed the process & resorted to military or violent actions from 1948 onwards.
              They have been made to pay each time, and Israel has expanded every time they were attacked.
              Say what you will about Israeli actions, but they come pretty much exclusively from a point of self defence.

              Both Arabs and Jews have lengthy histories in the area, and Israel is not a “jewish”state – it’s Arab population has grown consistently over time.

              I’m sure we have much we would agree on. But my perspective is that Israel trying to find a peaceful solution with Hamas and the Palestinians is like trying to find peaceful co-existence with radical jihadi’s who want to live next door to you and consider you infidels.

            • Gezza

               /  December 22, 2017

              HFD, there has never been a genuine peace offer by Israel. It has never agreed to allow the return of the Palestinian diaspora to Palestine, while continually encouraging the return of the Jewish diaspora to Israel. That is crucial and understandable demand from Palestinians.

              The British caused this problem. Allowing the return of Jews to a land their ancestors the israelites seized on the pretence a mythical non-existent God gave it to them, that they actually held as an independent state for only about 300 years – during part of which time it was actually two states, Judah & Israel, because they couldn’t even hold one state together – and which for most of the past 1500 years has been Muslim lands, was never going to be a happy situation.

              Israel has only survived as a state because Christian countries have enabled it to but as two generations of Israelis have now been born there and won’t abandon it is & the fact that it now exists is something Palestinians & Muslim countries will have to accept because Western Christian/secular countries are committed to its survival & so is the UN.

              But until Israel agrees to the return of the Palestinan diaspora they deliberately continue to make only fake offers of peace & statehood for Palestine, knowing they will be unacceptable. We’re probably best to end this discussion here. The thread’s now an old one. And so are our arguments.

            • High Flying Duck

               /  December 22, 2017

              OK, happy to end it here.

              This is a good article on the Arab exodus. I don’t believe the Israeli’s have any responsibility to allow the Palestinians to return – they left due to Arab causes and there is a strong argument that they forfeit their rights to the land they left.

              http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/foreigners/2011/11/israel_and_1948_did_israel_plan_to_expel_its_arabs_in_1948_or_not_.html

      • Gezza

         /  December 21, 2017

        Are you losing your mind, Lurch? I detest Islam & muslim terrorists so I have no idea why you’re asking me this? What’s happening inside your brain at the moment? Have you cracked a few beers, or fallen over & knocked your head or something?

        Israelis don’t need to rent trucks to kill innocent Palestians. They use guns, tanks, warships, fighter bombers, & drones. Their government owns these weapons of mass destruction & the illegal settlers are armed to the teeth when they go out and harrass palestinian farmers with soldiers guarding them whike they do it.

        Question for you, when you’re sober if you’re on the plonk, or had your head seen to, if you’ve had an unfortunate head knock. How many Israelis have had their land stolen by Palestinians, been ringed by fences and subjected to daily harrassment by an armed-to-the-teeth Palestinian occupation force, & been murdered & had their neighbourhoods destroyed by Palestinian snipers, tanks, military aircraft, navy vessels & drones?

        • lurcher1948

           /  December 21, 2017

          Bit hard on me Geeza???,” Question for you, when you’re sober if you’re on the plonk, or had your head seen to, if you’ve had an unfortunate head knock”
          Gezza i support ISRAEL whats the problem, the computer im posting on the guts are ISRAELI but continue supporting your beliefs

        • PDB

           /  December 22, 2017

          • High Flying Duck

             /  December 22, 2017

            I started the video…and just couldn’t turn it off. It was almost hypnotic. Haven’t heard Chas & Dave for a few years…

  3. David

     /  December 21, 2017

    Trump is finishing off an exceptional year with his historic tax cuts, a year of winning comes to a close. 86 all time highs for the Dow, 17 year low in unemployment, 11 year low in food stamps, lowest ever illegal border crossings, ISIS have lost 100% of their caliphate, better relations with Arab partners, record number of regulations eliminated…the list is too exhaustive.
    And most importantly its been bloody entertaining with the added bonus is he drives lefties over the edge in apoplexy as they focus on the words and miss totally the results.

    • “his historic tax cuts”

      High risk, widely unpopular, and will raise the US debt by trillions of dollars.

      The tax cuts, which advantage large corporations and the very rich the most, may do some good, but they also risk doing a lot of damage to the US economy and the world economy.

      It may take years to see the real effects.

      • David

         /  December 21, 2017

        no surprise they are unpopular the media coverage has not exactly been balanced, apparently all tax changes poll very poorly but its hard to argue that dropping the outrageous corporate rate from 35 to21 is a bad thing or raising the tax threshold to 24k before you pay any tax wont be appreciated by the low paid.
        Dropping inheritance tax from small farms is great for the many family held farms…its not a perfect bill but then we live in a country with the worlds best tax system.

      • duperez

         /  December 21, 2017

        Will the dramatic tax changes see companies have more money to invest in expanding their businesses?
        You know, invest in more automation so they can have less workers? 🙃

    • Gezza

       /  December 21, 2017

      Well, I don’t know if he’s ended up with better relations with Arab partners? They’re all supporting the resolution drafted by Egypt to get him to rescind the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Nikki’s disgraceful veto notwithstanding it’s reported the El Sisi is now seeking to put it before the General Assembly where the odds are they’ll all vote for it again, like everybody else.

      And he’s backed the Saudi blockade of Qatar, which has embarrassed Tillerson, who knows it’s based on bullshit & has been trying to get them to stop their nonsense. And it hasn’t ended up doing any real damage to Qatar who are now getting any shortfalls made up by clsoer ties & massively increased trade with Turkey & Iran. Which could become a bit of a problem because the largest US base in the Middle East is in Qatar. If I were them I’d tell them to move it back to Saudi Arabia, which kicked them out after the Gulf War because their people wanted them gone.

      As far as his budget goes we’ll have to wait & see – the principal beneficiaries seem to be corporates & the rich. If it doesn’t trickle down to Joe & Josi Bloe fast enuf he might get even more unpopular with the voters than he is now.

      I understand it’s his only legislative success in a year.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  December 21, 2017

        “Donald Trump was a joke until nominated, unelectable until elected, incompetent until he succeeded on most fronts, and about to be impeached until he debunked the collusion nonsense; he has had a very successful year. His enemies have been weighed in the balance and they have been found wanting. They shall have their reward. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all readers, especially the president and Mrs. Trump.”

        Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454754/donald-trump-2017-successful

    • High Flying Duck

       /  December 21, 2017

      “As the year ends, President Trump is compiling a solid record of accomplishment. Much of it is unilateral, dependent on extensive executive actions rolling back President Barack Obama’s regulations, impressive judicial appointments and the successful fight against ISIS overseas. The tax bill is the significant legislative achievement that heretofore has been missing.

      For much of the year, Trump’s presidency had seemed to be sound and fury signifying not much besides the welcome ascension of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Now it’s sound and fury signifying a discernible shift of American government to the right.

      It’s hard to see how a conventional Republican president would have done much better, except if he had managed to repeal ObamaCare, which was always going to be a dicey proposition given the narrow GOP majority in the Senate.”

      https://nypost.com/2017/12/18/trumps-first-year-is-starting-to-look-like-a-big-win/

  4. I learnt a new word yesterday – prolix, and in the context it was used it seems very appropriate.

    It was in this High Court judgment (abuse of process ruled): https://forms.justice.govt.nz/search/Documents/pdf/jdo/8b/alfresco/service/api/node/content/workspace/SpacesStore/700012a2-1fbd-45a1-9e57-67f4c92fb633/700012a2-1fbd-45a1-9e57-67f4c92fb633.pdf

    • It sounded painful at first gaze. 😣

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  December 21, 2017

        It means verbose, wordy…

        But it could be used as a medical term; it sounds like a health remedy.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  December 21, 2017

          I mean something like Healtheries and Red Seal; ‘Prolix’ Fish Oil and Bee Pollen etc.

    • phantom snowflake

       /  December 21, 2017

      No idea how these clowns manage to afford their ongoing and pointless legal expenses. Slowest trainwreck ever.

  5. PartisanZ

     /  December 21, 2017

    Whinging voice: “It’s not the breed! Its the owner and the training … or lack of it …”

    ‘Visiting midwife greeted with bloody dog attack’ – Herald

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11962602

    We should apply this “all nurture” philosophy to human beings more!

    When a government plucks up the courage to address the ‘attack dog’ [guard dogs of inverse totalitarianism] issue in New Zeal Land I’ll know the ship of State has finally charted a new and better course … Collision with the iceberg of ‘rational self-interest’ and drowning in the freezing seas of unbridled individualism will have been avoided …

    Ψ

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  December 21, 2017

      There’s no answer to that, is there ?

      • PartisanZ

         /  December 21, 2017

        This might conceivably be because it’s not a question Miss Kitty … ?

        Its my opinion, which I welcome anyone questioning, debating or contesting.

        For me it’s a silly season reminder that there are malicious, dangerous dog breeds out there, some savagely guarding their owner’s fear-bound ‘safety’ … and that throngs of innocent people suffer each week, nay, each day, because of the ideological creed these canines represent …

        They arrived with neoliberalism – motifs of New Right ‘freedom’ – and today, IMHO, they are as much symbols of its worst excesses as the Dobermans and Alsatians of Hitler’s Third Reich …

        They are the dogs of ‘free market’ global capitalism … where we Kiwis export our best and import ‘their’ worst …

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  December 21, 2017

          It’s not only questions that are given answers, PZ. But this particular rant is too irrational to deserve one.

  6. lurcher1948

     /  December 21, 2017

    At the ends of times WOO that’s a strong term,…. Geeza merry christmas to you and your loves and your extended family look after yourself,and have a great holiday Its only views relax,

    • Gezza

       /  December 21, 2017

      You too, Lurch. But don’t ever say or imply I’m a supporter of Islam or any form of terrorism, individual or state-sponsored, again.

  7. Kitty Catkin

     /  December 21, 2017

    .