Open Forum – 1 January

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you, or you think may interest others.. 

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113 Comments

  1. lurcher1948

     /  1st January 2020
    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  1st January 2020

      Actually Simon had a profession before politics, Lurch. Jacinda is the one who didn’t.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  2nd January 2020

        Attn commentators.

        The working group have reported back regarding changing the format for YNZ POTY.

        The panel have agreed to implement a change.

        The last 2 winners,Duperez and Gezza have been worthy and popular choices.

        Going forward the award will be decided by the incumbent POTY ..i.e Gezza,who may consider nominations.

        Reply
  2. Conspiratoor

     /  1st January 2020

    If lurch doesnt beat me to it i get to open the decade on yournz. For me i can look forward to retirement and 10 years of determined coddiwompling around the planet. Best wishes to all

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  1st January 2020

      Wishing you good health to enjoy it, C. I hope never to retire from the pleasure of being able to do things. So far so good.

      Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  1st January 2020

        Thanks Al, you, lurch and pg are an inspiration for the blog/life balance you’ve achieved in your mature years. Also G and his little flock deserve a mention. As a wise old zen monk once told me …we shouldn’t take life so seriously, since none of us are going to get out of it alive

        Although I do sometimes wonder whether you only swing by here to torment those earnest folks on the left end of the political spectrum

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  1st January 2020

          Unkind thought, C. You wouldn’t want me to give up one of life’s little pleasures?

          Reply
        • Corky

           /  2nd January 2020

          You forgot Kitty. Brighten up her austere existence… and feeling of worth.

          Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  1st January 2020

      I was first

      Reply
      • Conspiratoor

         /  1st January 2020

        You crafty old dog lurch, you must have been lurking in moderation when I posted …so it looks like you get the new year honours

        Splendid effort in 2019 btw

        Reply
        • lurcher1948

           /  1st January 2020

          I’m happy our/my host PG(HAPPY NEW YEAR) PG allows me to post here,I’m not rabid but feel,sorry, and get intense at times, This is a great blog….not an echo chamber, far better than the(total) hate on YSB and as balanced as Kiwiblog, moderation is sorting that out there too.

          Reply
        • lurcher1948

           /  1st January 2020

          Conspiratoor, i would love to thank my late MUM and DAD for my upbringing,i was a rebellious piece of shit, a hippy sporting longer hair than my wife at our marriage and look how i turned out,a shit and still here at 71 years of age, a rebellious piece of shit
          BUT happy 2020 fellow posters

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  1st January 2020

            Nice to know you haven’t changed, Lurch. At least your wife knew what she was in for.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  2nd January 2020

              Lurch, do put a photo of you with long hair up for us to see. We know what you look like now.

  3. lurcher1948

     /  1st January 2020

    its the roaring 20s now,we have passed the teens by,so good luck

    Reply
  4. Corky

     /  1st January 2020

    When the Queen dies, strange protocols will be enacted, starting with ”London Bridge has fallen.” I heard a chap on talkback explaining this. Otherwise I would have been none the wiser. Talkback is a great teacher.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/mar/16/what-happens-when-queen-elizabeth-dies-london-bridge

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  1st January 2020

      London Bridge story was covered in the newspapers or BBC ages ago, like 2017…TalkBack is just a repeater of stale stories

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  1st January 2020

        So the date on the link would suggest. It was a caller if I remember correctly. Of course if I interviewed 10 people on the street and said:”London Bridge has fallen.” I bet 10/10 wouldn’t have a clue what I was on about. But what would I know? About the same as you before I posted this story.😊✔

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  2nd January 2020

          most people know the…words to that..song!

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  2nd January 2020

            It’s actually ‘London Bridge is falling down.’

            So people who were stopped and told that London Bridge had fallen would certainly wonder what the person telling them this was on about.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  2nd January 2020

              And as the code for the Queen being dead is supposedly ‘London Bridge is down.’ people would be none the wiser. anyway. even if they had read the story or heard Joe Redneck repeating it on talkback.

        • Corky

           /  2nd January 2020

          A feeling of worth. Picking things apart to the nth degree…when most have already got the message with little use of brainpower, or the mad desire to comment on inanities.🤔

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  2nd January 2020

            Maybe Joe Redneck is Joe Readneck.😂✔

            Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  2nd January 2020

            No; rednecks don’t read. They may be able to, but they don’t, they prefer to listen to talkback.

            Anyone commenting on what you say is by definition commenting on inanities.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  2nd January 2020

              Putting a tick and laughing emoji on something doesn’t make it clever or funny. If it is, it doesn’t need them.

          • Corky

             /  2nd January 2020

            ”Anyone commenting on what you say is by definition commenting on inanities.”

            Yep..I guess so. 🤣

            I wonder how Rednecks voted for President Trumpy. Oh, they ticked the box.😊

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  2nd January 2020

              Most people DO ‘tick the box’ when they vote, as you would know if you did .

              Either that or make some mark against the person or party’s name to indicate that this is the one they want to vote for. It may not be a literal ticking of a box, but it’s something along those lines.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  2nd January 2020

              How did you think that voting worked, forsooth, if not by marking a voting paper* in some way ? Either a mark is made or, in some parts of the US, a hole is punched. This is done beside the name of the person or party that the voter wants to vote for.

              * I should have spelt out that it needn’t be an actual piece of paper, as some voting is done online. One forgets that not everyone is a lateral thinker and able to work these things out.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  2nd January 2020

    Hard to beat for millennial journalistic drivel:
    https://i.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/118545469/five-radical-ideas-to-make-new-zealand-fairer-better-and-less-annoying
    … makes you wonder why journalists are allowed to vote.

    Reply
  6. Corky

     /  2nd January 2020

    Gee, thanks Labour and National. On behalf of tobacco companies I would like to thank you.
    Not only are you making the poor smoker -poorer. You are taxing them for that privilege.
    What ever happened to the working man’s perk? Is it too much to ask, given many poor folk will never enjoy the perks of the ‘well heeled,’ that they be given the solace of cheap fags with a cuppa?

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2019/11/21/913218/nz-tobacco-using-tax-increases-as-cover

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  2nd January 2020

      Who is given free or even cheap cigarettes as a perk of their job ? A perk is, by definition, something given as part of someone’s salary. Perks go with the job, like free flights for airline staff or free railway travel for railway workers.

      Smoking is not a perk, it’s a choice.

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  2nd January 2020

      Colloquialisms (?) with Corky. Or ministering to those with little worldly experience.😃

      ”A perk is something extra you get, in addition to a salary, in exchange for working. … You can also talk about the perks, or benefits, of a situation: “I have to ride to school with my annoying neighbor, but the perk is she always brings donuts.” As a verb, perk means “to become more energetic or cheerful.”

      Poor – Perk – Smokes

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  2nd January 2020

        If you seriously think that smoking is a perk as opposed to something that someone has to buy so is not a reward or perquisite*, (your own definition contradicts your absurd view), there is little point in trying to convince you that this is nonsense. Go on believing this idiocy.

        Perk as a verb needs to be qualified with ‘up’ unless it’s an abbreviation for percolate.

        * perk is short for perquisite

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  2nd January 2020

        You are using “perk” incorrectly, unfortunately, Corky. Cigarettes might be a perk if they were given to certain workers or a particular group for free or at a reduced price. The example you cite of the donuts is a perk because the passenger gets a free treat for riding with the annoying teacher.

        Cigarettes aren’t a perk of the poor. A perk is not a synonym for a treat or a simple pleasure, which seems to be the context in which you have used the term.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  2nd January 2020

          *annoying neighbour

          (Dunno where I got teacher from – Freudian slip maybe.)

          Anyway, whatever – Kitty’s right.

          Reply
        • Blazer

           /  2nd January 2020

          message for you G…2nd post this thread.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  2nd January 2020

            Kind words, Blazer. I’m happy to let the matter coast until later in the year.

            Reply
      • Corky

         /  2nd January 2020

        This is interesting.

        ”If you seriously think that smoking is a perk as opposed to something that someone has to buy so is not a reward or perquisite.”

        Quora:

        https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-perks-of-being-a-rich-person.

        https://www.thefrugalgene.com/11-perks-of-being-poor-growing-up/

        Maybe Kitty misunderstood from the start…linear thinking? Maybe she really doesn’t get it?
        Of course she ”gets” it. She is just being her usual rude self.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  2nd January 2020

          I am fully aware of what a perk is and what it isn’t.

          Nothing will make me ‘get’ something that is arrant nonsense.

          You can deny the meaning as much as you like and provide irrelevant sources that supposedly support your definition, but that won’t change the meaning of this or any other word.

          Accept that you are wrong.

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  2nd January 2020

          The perks in the second link are the free lessons & life experience benefits that the author argues one gets from growing up poor in the US. It’s stretching the term into the abstract but they can still be understood broadly as perks because he argues essentially that these are free or available only to the poor.

          It’s not same thing as suggesting smoking is a perk of the poor, Corks. The poor don’t get cigarettes for free or any special discount or allowance for cigarettes.

          Your main point seems to have been criticism of Labour & National for continually raising the price of fags which appears to hit the lower socio-economic groups, who seem to comprise those most heavily addicted, the hardest.

          Getting yourself caught up in trying to prove your use of the word perk was valid has diverted you & everyone from that.

          Are you arguing that the government should make cigarettes cheaper for bennies?

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  2nd January 2020

            ”Getting yourself caught up in trying to prove your use of the word perk was valid has diverted you & everyone from that.”

            No, Kitty diverted us. When I was in the union I heard this phrase a million times ( OK many times). The Union was the Storeman & Packers Union. Now defunct I believe(?)

            Kitty’s criticism was just a good excuse to stretch my skills of getting out of situations. However, my criticism of her still stands. That said, maybe this phrase isn’t as well known as I thought

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  2nd January 2020

              I can’t understand why you didn’t just ignore it.

              Yep. The working man’s perk is a phrase well known to me & others of our vintage (so to speak). It used to apply to things like getting off cuts & construction materials free from building or demolition sites, or part-damaged goods for free, as well as subsidised rates or other benefits provided free by employers.

              Perk also got misused by wharfie workers who nicked stuff from their job (“fell off the back of a truck”) & who considered their employer just considered some level pilfering a normal operating cost – until they got caught & done for thieving).

              I think perks is probably still understood as meaning things like supermarket & other staff legitimately getting staff discounts on purchases, but I dunno how common the practice is these days.

              On your main point, I agree. The government raising the price of cigarettes 10% every year supposedly as a strategy to encourage (economically penalise) smokers into quitting seems to have hit a plateau & now it just penalises some of our poorest, most heavily addicted, who would have quit long ago if they could.

              I never realised Big Tobacco was also sneaking in their own increases as well, but it comes as no great surprise they have been now they’ve been outed for it.

              I don’t think the extra tax has all been fed into smoking reduction & health cost treatment. And cigarettes now seem to have become another lucrative target for violent robbers & thieves. As well as a (probably growing) black market for cheap cigs from overseas (there was a 1News item on this a couple of weeks ago).

              I think it has helped reduce the overall numbers of smokers, but now it’s just impoverishing hard core addicts. And the number of people taking up vaping – with all those solvents – as an alternative looks like it’ll become the next thing to cause major health problems for a fair whack of the population worldwide.

            • Conspiratoor

               /  2nd January 2020

              “I can’t understand why you didn’t just ignore it.”

              G, i can’t either. When he gets sucked in by a pedantic fool’s persistent attempts to derail his posts this tells me corky’s starting to lose the plot. Honestly who gives a rats arse what the word means in the context of the point he was trying to make. Cheers,c

            • Corky

               /  2nd January 2020

              ”I can’t understand why you didn’t just ignore it.”

              I told Maggy to do the same with my comments. She seems to have done so. Kitty, however, will never learn. I cannot let bad manners go unpunished.

              Paragraph 2 – That was the usual use of the word ”perks.” However, as
              our delegate used to say : smoko time and being treated fairly by our employer is part of our ”workers perks agreement.” ”Comrades, without the union there would be none of the rights you presently enjoy.”

              Re smokers: Talkback interviewed some chap who claimed smoking numbers had increased He was an official, but I didn’t get his organisation .It will come out in the media eventually.

            • Corky

               /  2nd January 2020

              ”G, I can’t either. When he gets sucked in by a pedantic fool’s persistent attempts to derail his posts this tells me Corky’s starting to lose the plot.”

              Not a big reader are you..C?

              ”Pedantic fool.”

              That’s a little nasty. What makes you think she’s a pedantic fool? Do you believe anyone could be that thick?

            • Gezza

               /  2nd January 2020

              Paragraph 2 – That was the usual use of the word ”perks.” However, as
              our delegate used to say : smoko time and being treated fairly by our employer is part of our ”workers perks agreement.” ”Comrades, without the union there would be none of the rights you presently enjoy.”

              Smoko TIME is the perk, Corky. Not smokes. It harks back to the time when time out for tea & coffee breaks were written into collective employment agreements negotiated by unions, & when such breaks were known as smoko time because so many workers smoked & also used to have a smoke during their tea break.

        • Corky

           /  2nd January 2020

          ”Colloquialisms.”

          ” Get.” @ it again. She cannot help herself.

          Accept your lumps and crawl away..again.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  2nd January 2020

            Maggy must have become tired of your trolling, bile and personal abuse. I wonder how many others have decided to just forget it.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  2nd January 2020

              One must hope that your viciousness, bigotry and spite don’t kill YNZ.

          • Corky

             /  2nd January 2020

            What’s your secret, Conspiratoor ? If I wrote what you wrote above there would be hell to pay. 😉

            Reply
  7. Gezza

     /  2nd January 2020

    I’ve been watching developments in Iraq since the US airstrikes on Iranian-backed militias in Iraq over the weekend that killed 25 of their fighters. The Iraqi government is in the bizarre situation of having strong alliances with both Iran & the US, implaccable foes. And of the mostly Iranian-aligned Shiite militia groups of the Popular Mobilisation Forces, who were crucial in the fight against IS in Iraq, now being officially part of the Iraqi Defence & Security forces.

    While US-trained Iraqi security forces have now surrounded the US Embassy in Baghdad, & the Popular Mobilisation Front forces & supporters, who attacked & vandalised the embassy & got through into its compound, have now withdrawn (but only after their own commanders ordered them to do so, saying they had made their point) it seems clear that the Iraqi government was either unable to prevent these demonstrators getting through into the Green Zone or tacitly allowed them to get to the embassy.

    Video of US Apache attack helicopters flying over the Embassy while the PMF forces were still surrounding it was a freaky-looking situation.

    As was video of other Iraqi protestors in Tahir Square in denouncing the PMF demonstrators at the US Embassy, because these protestors (who reportedly include Shiites) have been demanding an end to Iranian influence on the Iraqi government, & the resignation of the government.

    Trump’s praising the Iraqi caretaker PM for now securing & protecting the embassy (although they made no effort to forcibly remove the PMF members & supporters – they only left when ordered by their own commander), & the US has deployed an extra 750 troops from Kuwait to Iraq. There are reports they may yet deploy up to 4,000 more – most of the 5,000 odd there at the moment have reportedly been involved in training Iraqi security forces for the fight against IS.

    Trump & Pompeo are blaming Iran’s government for orchestrating the demonstration/attack on the US Embassy; they of course deny it.

    The PMF demonstrators have only withdrawn from the Green Zone after securing agreement from the Iraqi government to consider & vote on draft legislation requiring the departure of all foreign troops in Iraq. They have set up camp on the other side of the Tigris to await the result of that vote next week.

    What a mess. The US seems to have been caught completely by surprise by this development. Trump’s declaration of economic warfare on Iran is producing unintended consequences in Iraq which nobody can calculate the likely outcome of.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  2nd January 2020

      Quite a good, concise backgrounder by the BBC’s Jonathan Marcus here:
      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-50966958

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  3rd January 2020

        Things just hotted up further in Baghdad. Initial reports (eg Reuters) claimed katyusha rockets had been fired at Baghdad airport, but now it’s possible this might’ve been a targetted US precision strike.

        “At least five members of an Iraqi paramilitary group and two of their “guests” were killed when rockets believed to be fired by US forces hit their vehicles, as they were traveling at Baghdad’s international airport.

        Sources from the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) told Al Jazeera that the rockets destroyed two vehicles carrying “high profile guests”, who had arrived at the airport and were being escorted by a PMF public relations official.

        The identities of the PMF members and guests have not been released.

        Al Jazeera’s Osama bin Javaid, reporting from Baghdad, said the incident appeared to be a targeted strike.

        PMF sources believe that the strike was carried out by the US.

        AFP news agency, meanwhile, reported that at least eight individuals were killed in the attack.”

        https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/iraq-3-katyusha-rockets-fired-baghdad-airport-200102232817666.html

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  3rd January 2020

          Is there a rocket with Ali Khamenei’s name on it yet?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  3rd January 2020

            Dunno. No claim of responsibility from the Pentagon or anyone else yet. The Pentagon hasn’t responded yet to questions about it. If it is the US, Mark Esper warned they might make pre-emptive strikes if they received intelligence warning of any further attacks on US bases. Sounds like one of those killed is believed to be the instigator of the rocket attacks on US bases.

            A very senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Qasem Sleimani has been killed.

            Reply
          • Gezza

             /  3rd January 2020

            REUTERS:
            “BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis were killed late on Thursday in an air strike on their convoy in Baghdad airport, an Iraqi militia spokesman told Reuters.

            “The American and Israeli enemy is responsible for killing the mujahideen Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and Qassem Soleimani,” said Ahmed al-Assadi, a spokesman for Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces umbrella grouping of Iran-backed militias.”

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Mahdi_al-Muhandis
            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qasem_Soleimani

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  3rd January 2020

              Sounds like a very surgical strike. Don’t you love Trumpy? No doubt boosted by intelligence from his good friends in Israel.

              Khameini will be reflecting on Gaddafi’s fate and contemplating having to satisfy so many virgins at his age.

            • Gezza

               /  3rd January 2020

              They seem to have taken out Iran’s most popular & most famous General. Still silence from the US State Department & the Pentagon. Aljaz tv speculating that any announcement may have to come from Trump.

              The Iraqi government’s only an interim one; they’ll have to explain to Iran how this guy’s movements were known.

              Who knows what will happen next? Iraq might have to demand the US leaves the country? But there’s footage of some people running through Baghdad’s streets celebrating Soleimani.

            • Gezza

               /  3rd January 2020

              *celebrating Soleimani’s death, that should’ve said.

              Hard to not see the country descending into a civil war…

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  3rd January 2020

              Likewise Iran the way it is heading.

            • Gezza

               /  3rd January 2020

              Likely to have the reverse effect in Iran, I suspect. This is very explosive development & the reverberations across the whole Middle East region are difficult to calculate. Surgical strikes are one thing but what happens on the ground with Islamic populations – who knows?

            • Gezza

               /  3rd January 2020

              Aljaz presenter is reading out a detailed statement from the Pentagon issued at the direction of Trump confirming this was a targeted US airstrike assassination & detailing why.

    • Gezza

       /  3rd January 2020

      Here is the full statement from the Department of Defense:

      At the direction of the President, the U.S. military has taken decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization.
      General Soleimani was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region. General Soleimani and his Quds Force were responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members and the wounding of thousands more. He had orchestrated attacks on coalition bases in Iraq over the last several months – including the attack on December 27th – culminating in the death and wounding of additional American and Iraqi personnel. General Soleimani also approved the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad that took place this week.

      This strike was aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans. The United States will continue to take all necessary action to protect our people and our interests wherever they are around the world.

      https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/03/top-iranian-general-qassim-soleimani-killed-in-us-airstrike-in-baghdad-pentagon.html

      One former US State department adviser on Aljaz tv just said something about going to bed last night worried about an email sent out to US nationals in Iraq last night warning them to make sure they had a will?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  3rd January 2020

        US urges citizens to leave Iraq ‘immediately’
        The United States is urging US citizens to leave Iraq “immediately”, citing “heightened tensions in Iraq and the region”.

        A State Department statement added that “due to Iranian-backed militia attacks at the US Embassy compound, all consular operations are suspended. US citizens should not approach the Embassy.”

        That comes after a crowd attempted to storm the embassy in Baghdad earlier this week to protest US air strikes against a militia supported by Iran.

        Hezbollah to continue path of Soleimani after US strike – TV
        Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said his group would continue the path of Soleimani after his death, broadcaster Al Manar reported.

        Nasrallah said the US would not be able to achieve its goals with this “big crime” and just punishment was the responsibility of all fighters, Al Manar reported.

        Israel’s military on high alert
        Israel’s military had gone on heightened alert amid fears that Iran could strike through its regional allies such as Hezbollah to the north, or through Palestinian group Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

        Israel’s foreign ministry and defence officials announced a high-security alert at Israel’s oversea delegations, fearing retaliation by Iran following the death of Soleimani.

        Israel’s defence minister summoned the country’s military and security chiefs to Tel Aviv in the wake of the killing. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly cut short his trip to Greece.

        Syria condemns killing of Soleimani – state news agency
        Syria strongly condemns the “treacherous, criminal American aggression” that led to the killing of Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, state news agency SANA cited a foreign ministry source as saying.

        The source said the attack constituted a “serious escalation” and reaffirmed U.S. responsibility for instability in Iraq, according to SANA.

        Iraq’s Sadr mourns Soleimani, reactivates Mahdi army
        Iraq’s prominent Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said the killing of Soleimani was targeting Iraq’s opposition and Jihad, adding that it will not weaken its resolve.

        In a statement, Al-Sadr called on his militias (Army of Imam Mahdi) and “other national and disciplined” armed groups to be prepared to protect Iraq. He also sent his condolences to Iran.

        Qays al-Khazali, the head of Asaib Ahl al-Haq armed faction, said “all fighters should be on high alert for upcoming battle and great victory”.

        “The end of Israel and removal of the US from the region will be the result of the assassination of Soleimani and Muhandis,” he said in a statement published by Iraqi media.

        Pro-Hezbollah newspaper Al-Akhbar: ‘It is war’
        Lebanese pro-Hezbollah newspaper Al-Akhbar is leading with a comment by its contributor Hassan Alaiq on the killing of Soleimani.

        The Arabic article has a simple headline: The martyrdom of Soleimani: It is war

        – Aljazeera

        Reply
        • Pink David

           /  3rd January 2020

          ““As a soldier, it is my duty to respond to your threats,” Soleimani said on Thursday, telling Trump that he should direct his threats at him and not President Hassan Rouhani. “If you want to use the language of threat … talk to me, not to the president (Hassan Rouhani). It is not in our president’s dignity to respond to you.”

          Soleimani then reportedly mocked Trump as a man who uses “the language of night clubs and gambling halls.””

          Soleimani might be regretting his big mouth.

          Reply
      • Gezza

         /  3rd January 2020

        Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has condemned the killing of General Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, in a US air strike at Baghdad international airport as an “act of international terrorism.”

        “The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism,” Zairf said in a statement on Friday, warning that the move would strengthen resistance against the United States and Israel in the region and the world, Iranian state television reported.

        “The brutality and stupidity of American terrorist forces in assassinating Commander Soleimani … will undoubtedly make the tree of resistance in the region and the world more prosperous,” said Zarif.

        ‘Harsh retaliation’
        Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei warned that “a harsh retaliation is waiting” and also announced a three-day mourning across Iran.

        He said the killing of Soleimani, who he considered a close friend and confidant, would double the motivation of the resistance against the US and Israel.

        “All enemies should know that the jihad of resistance will continue with a doubled motivation, and a definite victory awaits the fighters in the holy war,” Khamenei said in a statement carried by state TV.

        Mohsen Rezaei, the former commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, also warned the US of “revenge”.

        “He [Soleimani] joined his martyred brothers, but we will take vigorous revenge on America,” Rezaei, who is now the secretary of a powerful state body, said in a post on Twitter.

        Reporting from Tehran, Al Jazeera’s Dorsa Jabbari said that a strong Iranian response was expected.

        “There’s a clear indication that there will be a military response at some point.

        https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/iran-condemns-killing-quds-force-head-qassem-soleimani-200103060355006.html

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  3rd January 2020

          It’s best these people are dealt with while Trumpy is in office. I would seriously warn Iran not to knock on Israel’s door. The Great Satan would then be the least of Iran’s worries. That said, war with Iran can only go two ways for Trump.. he either gets reelected with unprecedented support…or the American people decide they don’t want another war they can’t win..and they bury him for good.

          Maybe my astrologer is right. He predicted the start of a world changing decade around the 12th of this month.

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  3rd January 2020

          Trump should take out Khameini. Plenty of Iranians would celebrate that. One more provocation from Iran should be sufficient justification.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  3rd January 2020

            You mean like they took out Saddam Hussein in Iraq & brought peace?
            Or like they tried to take out Mullah Omar & won the war in Afghanistan?
            Starting a war is a lot feckin easier than winning one and finishing it, Al.
            Joe Biden’s right. Trump just threw a stick of dynamite into a tinder box.
            The ramifications are yet to be seen.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  3rd January 2020

              Nope, not like either of those which both involved sending in an army. Just taking out the chief source of evil surgically and leaving the Iranians to choose someone better.

            • Gezza

               /  4th January 2020

              Yes I think that might well be the strategy. They alone might have the intel & stealth capacity to get to him. But I think he will be well-protected & harder to get than Soleiman. And he may just be replaced.

              That Islamic theocracy is still well-embedded into the fabric of Iranian society. The restive young may now swing in behind the current leadership because Soleiman kept IS out of Iran, is a national hero, & Trump has effectively now declared war on Iran.

              We’ll have to wait & see what happens next. Americans right across the world & certainly around the Middle East or in any Islamic countries will be at heightened risk of attack by suicidal relgious fanatics.

          • Corky

             /  4th January 2020

            ”Trump should take out Khameini. Plenty of Iranians would celebrate that.”

            Excellent idea. The young need to be shown photos from our generations upbringing. Photos of mini skirts, relative freedom and the Western way.
            They then need to be shown how quickly Iran reverted to the stone age under the Mad Mullahs.

            Sure we can compare notes with rule under The Shah. But like you say, let the people decide.

            Nothing would be better than another Western beachhead in the Muslim lands. I’m sure better relations with Israel could then be formed.

            Reply
      • Gezza

         /  3rd January 2020

        BAGHDAD (REUTERS) – Iraq’s prime minister condemned on Friday the U.S. killing of Iranian Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis and said it would “light the fuse” of war.

        The United States killed Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force and architect of Iran’s spreading military influence in the Middle East, in a strike at Baghdad airport. Muhandis, an adviser to Soleimani, was also killed.

        “The assassination of an Iraqi military commander who holds an official position is considered aggression on Iraq … and the liquidation of leading Iraqi figures or those from a brotherly country on Iraqi soil is a massive breach of sovereignty,” Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said.

        Abdul Mahdi, whose government has the backing of Iran, said in a statement the U.S. air strike was “a dangerous escalation that will light the fuse of a destructive war in Iraq, the region, and the world.”

        The prime minister resigned in November due to anti-government protests, but remains in office in a caretaker capacity. At least 450 people have been killed in the unrest, some which was driven by anger at Iranian influence in Iraq.

        The prime minister said the U.S. strike violated terms of the U.S. military presence in Iraq, adding that U.S. troops were exclusively in Iraq to train Iraqi security forces and fight Islamic State within the framework of a global coalition.

        Abdul Mahdi called on parliament to convene an extraordinary session to “take legislative steps and necessary provisions to safeguard Iraq’s dignity, security and sovereignty.”

        He did not specify what those provisions would entail, but some officials and parliamentarians have called for steps to expel U.S. troops from Iraq.

        https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-01-03/iraqi-pm-condemns-us-killing-of-irans-soleimani-statement

        Reply
  8. Corky

     /  2nd January 2020

    Read and weep. A word that comes to mind is ”gurgler”. Not for folk with a delicate disposition.

    https://www.nzcpr.com/2019-in-review/

    Reply
  9. duperez

     /  2nd January 2020

    The other day there were warnings that a particular party pill was circulating which was dangerous. The discussion around the table was ‘why would you?’ Because people like to get some sort of buzz seemed to be the consensus. And the hope that no-one we knew, especially family members, would be stupid enough to indulge.

    “A laced batch of MDMA is suspected to behind a death, and several illnesses, at a Hamilton house.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/118556177/unwell-people-hospitalised-from-scene-of-unexplained-death-in-hamilton

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/118515654/party-drug-mdma-in-new-zealand-at-tripledose-levels

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  2nd January 2020

      One uncomfortable LSD trip when 19 was enuf for me to leave pills alone, I never trusted them. I stuck with beer or a few tokes on a joint when partying or going to music festivals.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  2nd January 2020

        some of the LSD around then was absolutely mind blowing….hallucinations bigtime…’Purple Haze up in my brain……..’Jimi Hendrix.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  2nd January 2020

          A schoolfriend took it once when we were at university. It didn’t sound like anything I’d want to try, although it wasn’t really a ‘bad trip’. I stuck to dope.

          Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  2nd January 2020

        I spent the sixties as a chemist trying to avoid ingesting everything we worked with most of which could kill you in various exciting ways. Somehow that completely put us all off voluntraily swallowing dubious substances.

        Reply
  10. Corky

     /  2nd January 2020

    Geez, just watched the Aussie bush fires on OneNews. I couldn’t but help thinking back to a time on this blog when I was given my lumps for writing about preppers. As the Aussie fires are being called a ” humanitarian crisis,” I watched Aussies running for their lives as bushfires destroyed eveything they owned. I wonder how many thought they would never be in such a situation? I wonder how many thought they would never be able to use their cellphones…or internet?

    1- People who have come around to my residence have often laughed at my landline. Well, watching fire victims line up at obsolete phone boxes, I think I have been vindicated.

    2- Imagine when we have a cashless society and a similar scenario happens. So much for your money. What money? Preppers always have at least $300 in cash in their survival kit.

    3- No guns. Everything is OK at the moment because the authorities are still in control. But what happens if the fire jumps into Melbourne or Sydney cities, as an example. Looters, murderers, people driven insane with fear. You name it. So how will you defend yourself? Yeah..good luck. Swing that baseball bat.

    4- Food?! I saw many people lining up to receive dwindling food supplies. What happens when supplies run out in cut-off communities?

    The wise will take good counsel from this experience. We don’t have enough bush to have bushfires grow into a major threat. What we have to worry about is worse – earthquakes.

    Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  2nd January 2020

      This from a local…

      “This morning all holiday tourists on the NSW south coast were asked to go home. Now ( because only one winding mountain road is open) we have a 200 Km+ traffic jam… through heavily forested country, with no traffic management in place. This in itself could turn into a major tragedy.

      The weekend is looking BAD.”

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  3rd January 2020

        They use ‘catastrophic’ every week or so…. a new scare word is ‘humanitarian disaster’… its like an Ethiopian famine ..apparently

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  3rd January 2020

          Well, you have a point. I thought that way until I saw people huddled on the beach waiting to be ferried to a Navy Frigate. No home, no money/insurance, no hope, no possessions, no community…yeah, I’m willing to use the term ‘humanitarian disaster.’

          Reply
    • Conspiratoor

       /  3rd January 2020

      Corkys point 2. In some places the atms have gone belly up and folks have run out of hard currency. This from my man on the ground in the Bega Valley…

      “I heard from a camper today that in one town there was 3k queue for gas and no power in the town.
      People couldn’t get money out or use the eftpos.
      Another place 4000 people were trapped”

      Reply
  11. Alan Wilkinson

     /  2nd January 2020

    This is the cause of Australia’s fire disasters, environmentalists not climate change:
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/sydney-man-fined-40-000-for-chopping-down-74-trees-on-north-shore-20200102-p53oe7.html

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  3rd January 2020

      There was similar case in Melbourne where a person cut down trees to form a fire break around his property. His house survived the Melbourne bushfires unscathed a few years back…while some of his neighbours were cooked like lobsters as they sheltered in their bathtubs from the flames.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  3rd January 2020

        Talkback is floating the idea of bush fire refugees coming to NZ. That is a possibility. Even indirectly the smoke pollution is turning out to be a killer in Australia. Given a good dollop of rain will see trees and undergrowth regenerate, the future looks decidedly grim unless Australia builds a Great Wall Of China fire break across the continent.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  3rd January 2020

          If Australia can deport our crims surely we can block their environmentalists?

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  3rd January 2020

            Starting with Russel Norman?

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  3rd January 2020

              A vicious feral of the first water. As a politician he refused to meet
              a delegation of businessmen. He turned on his heels and refused to shake their hands. Deport him..or block him – whichever is applicable.

    • Gezza

       /  3rd January 2020

      I don’t know that chopping down trees to make firebreaks everywhere would have been considered necessary by everyone before this year’s disasters, Al. Aussies have had to contend with bush fires every year & I imagine they also like the shade & greenery trees bring to towns & settlements.

      As far as I can make out, prolonged drought, record high temps, & high winds have all combined in a perfect storm to make this record-breaking outbreak of bush fires occur on an unprecedented scale – way beyond the Fire Services capacity to contain them.

      Videos have shown blazing embers flying through the air that may have come from kilometers away. Water shortages have prevented some firefighting efforts having any effect.

      In a country chock-full of highly flammable eucalypts, & currently dry as a bone, they are surely going to have to do a complete rethink of their environmental vs safety issues though.

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  3rd January 2020

        Burn offs were a recognised way of removing the undergrowth , and as its the embers which can travel 100m or more that spread the fire chopping down trees nearby wont help.
        The answer was burnoffs before the fire season. This year is not that dissimilar to events every 1-15 years or so. I remember as a teenager in NZ smoke form Australian fires being a feature over our summer here.
        The small towns mentioned are surrounded by large natural forests which will burn no matter, and those cant be burnt off when they are so called ‘national parks’ ( a low standard compared to NZ which just calls them ‘forest parks’). The burn offs should occur around the town

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  3rd January 2020

          Embers aren’t fires. They create fire. They need the right conditions to ignite their surroundings.

          A lack of clustered trees in your safe space reduces the risk considerably. Nothing wrong with spaced out trees near your home. A rain of embers is easier to defend against than a rain of fire.

          Councils bylaws are a major problem in Australia.

          https://www.thisoldhouse.com/ideas/firesafe-landscaping-defensible-space

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  3rd January 2020

            Yes, they’ve just abandoned a town as indefensible because it has a forest park next to it. Who would have thought? Certainly not an environmentalist. Frankly that judge needs a cannon put up his backside.

            Reply
      • Pink David

         /  3rd January 2020

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  3rd January 2020

          Wikipedia jpg’s don’t display when you post the link for some reason.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Thursday_bushfires#

          “The Black Thursday bushfires were a devastating series of fires that swept the state of Victoria, Australia, on 6 February 1851. Twelve human lives were lost, along with one million sheep, thousands of cattle and countless native animals.

          The Black Thursday bushfires, were caused in part by an intense drought that occurred throughout 1850 when the continent suffered from extreme heat. On 6 February 1851, a strong furnace-like wind came down from the north and gained power and speed as the hours passed. It is believed that the disaster began in Plenty Ranges when a couple of bullock drivers left logs burning unattended, which set fire to long, dry grass affected by the recent drought. The year preceding the fires was exceptionally hot and dry and this trend continued into 1851.

          Intense bushfires are not uncommon in southern Australia. The region is one of the three most fire-prone in the world. Within the last two hundred years, the area has experienced and documented at least twenty-five major fires, beginning with Black Thursday in 1851. The intensity of these fires is due in part to natural fuels, such as sclerophyll forests in the region. While adapting to cope with drought and predators, the trees’ leaves turn into prime fuel for fires…”

          Not unprecedented it seems.

          Reply
  12. duperez

     /  3rd January 2020

    Last week’s discussion about the church shooting in Texas was like most others when such incidents happen. According to some the best way to deal with a shooter intent on killing people is to have everyone armed. Trained and armed. Just in case. So in every church and every school prize-giving everyone has a loaded gun in their pocket or bag. Just in case.

    Washington Post view:
    “The Texas church shooter should never have had access to a firearm”

    “Keith is a violent paranoid person with a long line of assault and batteries with and without firearms. He is a religious fanatic, says he’s battling a demon … he is not nice to anyone.” That is how one of his ex-wives described the gunman in 2012 as she sought a protective order against him. He had an extensive rap sheet in numerous places across the United States. Included in his troubled history was a 2012 determination by an Oklahoma judge that he was mentally incompetent to stand trial on charges he attacked the owner of the doughnut shop; he was committed to a psychiatric facility in 2016, he was arrested after being spotted acting suspiciously near an oil refinery in New Jersey while armed with a shotgun; he ended up pleading guilty to criminal trespass

    None of that prevented him from getting a firearm. Exactly how is unclear but Texas has one of the nation’s least restrictive gang laws with no requirements for background checks when the seller is not a licensed dealer. That irrational permissiveness needs to be addressed, but gun advocates cheered on by President Trump – instead seized on the terrible events to promote their agenda that the answer to gun violence is more guns. So much for not politicising tragedy and never mind the rates of suicide and never mind the rates of suicides and homicides in Texas, to that the state has been home to some of the country’s deadliest mass shootings.”
    ———–

    The debate will rage forever. The calls will always be for ‘strong leadership’ from the head of government.

    For some the only acceptable strong leadership will be the head of the government saying, “Everyone should be armed if they want to be, and trained, just in case. In every church and every school prize-giving everyone who wants it should be able to have a loaded gun in their pocket or bag. Just in case.”

    Scrambling to get a gun out of your pocket or from the clutter of a bag with the necessary speed could be a problem. Maybe handgun holsters could be the new fashion accessory.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  3rd January 2020

      ”According to some the best way to deal with a shooter intent on killing people is to have everyone armed. Trained and armed. Just in case. So in every church and every school prize-giving everyone has a loaded gun in their pocket or bag. Just in case.”

      No one suggested that. Obviously everyone can’t be armed for various reasons, mainly because most folk don’t want to be armed.

      “The Texas church shooter should never have had access to a firearm”
      Fair comment.

      ”None of that prevented him from getting a firearm. Exactly how is unclear but Texas has one of the nation’s least restrictive gang laws with no requirements for background checks when the seller is not a licensed dealer. That irrational permissiveness needs to be addressed, but gun advocates cheered on by President Trump – instead seized on the terrible events to promote their agenda that the answer to gun violence is more guns. So much for not politicising tragedy and never mind the rates of suicide and never mind the rates of suicides and homicides in Texas.”

      Don’t live in Texas would be my advice.

      ”For some the only acceptable strong leadership will be the head of the government saying, Everyone should be armed if they want to be, and trained, just in case.”

      Too true. You may not value your life, or those of your loved ones. For me they are the most precious things I have.

      ”Scrambling to get a gun out of your pocket or from the clutter of a bag with the necessary speed could be a problem. Maybe handgun holsters could be the new fashion accessory.”

      That shows you know very little about guns. Only a fool would carry a gun in a handbag; and only under certain circumstances. As for holsters.. take your pick. They are always in fashion.

      Reply
  13. Kitty Catkin

     /  3rd January 2020

    NZ’s 2019 road toll was 352, which was down on last year’s.

    The worst year was 1973, when there were 843. The population then was 3,000,000, so if the road toll per capita was the same now, it would be about 1400. Or if it had been the same then as now, the 1973 toll would have been 210 in round figures, I think.

    Reply
  14. Corky

     /  3rd January 2020

    Ah ha…too coincidental. My guess is both know Muslims have won the war. Best to jump before their heads wind up on poles in Trafalgar Square .

    Paywalled- but enough present to get the general Kaupapa.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/12/28/heads-mi5-mi6-expected-stand-2020-despite-dangerous-times-britain/

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  3rd January 2020

      One has been known for some time to be retiring at the end of his five year term with MI6 and the other may have his term of office extended, talks continue. The Telegraph story (such as it is) only says that they are going and becomes paywalled before going into detail which can be found elsewhere.

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  3rd January 2020

      This is interesting. It may be read many ways, depending on your point of view:

      ”The heads of both MI5 and MI6 are due to step down in the new year at a time of ongoing threats from Islamist extremists, Russia and the rise of China, The Telegraph understands.”

      Reply
  15. Roger Woodgate

     /  3rd January 2020

    In New Zealand the authorities let dangerous nutters into the community and will not admit the decent people are in danger. The method they use is to defend the criminal against justice. The victims are on the wrong side of the law if they have the cheek to defend themselves. However the police can take two weeks to answer a complaint. The decent people of this country are doubly defenseless. Better the American way. It may take a few seconds to take out a gun but not so long as one man could kill 51 and wound 40

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  3rd January 2020

      I prefer not to live in a place where there are massacres in schools, universities, synagogues and churches as well as at concerts and where there are fewer days without a mass shooting than there are with one

      Self defence is perfectly lawful in NZ, contrary to what some people think. People who defend themselves against assault or attacks will NOT find themselves on the wrong side of the law.

      Reply
  16. Corky

     /  3rd January 2020

    Self Defence of property and self? Yeah..right. If anyone believes Kitty, they are as ignorant as her.

    Now what would have happened if the farmer had taken a baseball bat out to confront these men? I will tell you.They would be thinking, fuck this C. There are three of us. We can take this c…, then do his home over as well. They would have circled him. Finally subdued him. Then kicked him to death.

    But..but..he had a gun. Boy did those ferals run.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3000562

    Made no difference to the Police…they dragged the farmer through the courts. If I see a Police officer in trouble, he’s on his own. I now have no time for the police. I find that a very sad thing to say.

    It’s easy to see the rebuke to my post. Watch how the basics of self defence is lost in semantics.

    BTW..there was another case where a homeowner shot someone point blank.He was dragged through the courts but was found innocent. Can anyone remember that case?

    Reply
  1. “Five radical ideas to make New Zealand…”? | Your NZ

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