One in 10 Kiwis are always or mostly vegetarian – poll shows..

More than 10 per cent of New Zealanders now identify as vegetarian – and the rate is higher in one island.

More than one in 10 Kiwis now say they are always or mostly vegetarian, up two percentage points from 2011.

The figure comes from a poll carried out by Roy Morgan Research which also found a much higher rate of vegetarianism in the North Island than the South Island.

The poll carried out among people aged 14 or older found 10.3 per cent of New Zealanders overall described themselves as mostly or always vegetarian.

That was up from 8.1 per cent in 2011.

In the North Island the figure was 11.1 per cent up from 8.4 per cent while in the South Island it was 7.8 per cent up from 6.9 per cent.

The proportion of men identifying as vegetarian leapt to 9.3 per cent from 5.7 per cent while among women the figure was up one percentage point to 11.3 per cent.

The results indicated a generational divide with vegetarianism more common among those aged under 34.

In the 14-24 age group 13.3 per cent were always or mostly vegetarian – in the 25-34 group it was 13.8 per cent.

For those aged 35-49 it was 8.1 per cent and for those 50-plus it was 8.7 per cent.


Source: One in 10 Kiwis are always or mostly vegetarian, poll shows |

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In the age of all-American anger: Bernie Sanders – ‘The Big Short’ & a nation that’s had it up to here.. 

Nearly a decade after plutocrats exploded the economy we’re just as unequal as ever — and people are fed up.

We are always told that life isn’t fair and most of us accept that truism.

I have to be honest and tell my kids that they might not be the smartest fastest luckiest or richest people out there.

That’s just how it goes.

However ‘fairness’ isn’t the same thing as justice.

The biggest financial crime of my lifetime the financial collapse of 2008 is a historic injustice that has gone unpunished.
The people who caused it also profited from it.
The plutocratic class spanning from Wall Street to Silicon Valley   manipulate politicians to get whatever they want while the rest of us get almost nothing for our votes.
This state of affairs is obvious to anyone who cares to look and it’s the driving factor behind Bernie Sanders’ strong performance in Iowa.
If this election becomes a referendum on that unaddressed outrage Sanders can and should become the next president.

The housing collapse and subsequent bailout of Wall Street was a graft of Biblical proportions and an animating factor in my own political evolution from Republican voter to liberal.

Trillions were spent bailing out banks eventually making the financial class even wealthier while the rest of us suffered job losses – declining asset prices and a reversal of hard fought fortunes.

There was no reckoning for the kleptocracy.

Conservatives and liberals often agree about the stupidity and injustice of bailing out Wall Street while leaving the rest of us hanging but conventional politicians on both sides of the aisle have done nothing to rectify this historic wrong.

I would add that this incident stands as Barack Obama’s greatest failure.

Regular people paid the tab for the graft and corruption of Wall Street and frustration and resentment have been brewing ever since – driving the rise of the Tea Party – Occupy Wall Street – Donald Trump and growing white mortality.

Despite the greatest economic reaming since 1929 consumers and taxpayers have answered only with self-destruction and impotent rage – while our slimy gutless and corrupt political class begs more campaign cash from the same people who caused the mess.


Source: In the age of all-American anger: Bernie Sanders, “The Big Short” & a nation that’s had it up to here –

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Donald Trump endorses beheading – robotic Marco Rubio self-implodes and the GOP insanity only gets wilder.. 

In New Hampshire, Marco Rubio drives into the ditch while Donald Trump goes full barbarian.

This is your GOP.

He was aggressively confronted by Chris Christie who went right up in his face and Rubio’s stump speech became a sort of nervous tic that he momentarily could not control.

It’s doubtful this means anything important about him except that he’s not ready for the presidency which is to say the least a nerve wracking job.

Rubio unexpectedly came close to knocking of Trump for second place in Iowa and was on the rise in New Hampshire. Establishment endorsers were coming out of he woodwork assuming they’d finally found their standard bearer.

But his performance on Saturday night is now infamous and not in a good way.

Mistakes like that are lethal.

Think of James Stockdale saying ‘Who am I? Why am I here?’ Or Dan Quayle being zinged by Lloyd Bentsen for comparing himself to JFK.

This may be worse than those.

We’ll soon find out.

Meanwhile the rest of the debate was notable for its return to enthusiastic bloodlust and torture.

The real GOP frontrunner Donald Trump went for it.

When asked about waterboarding he eagerly endorsed it and more:

MUIR: … Mr. Trump you said not only does it work but that you’d bring it back.

TRUMP: Well I’ll tell you what. In the Middle East we have people chopping the heads off Christians – we have people chopping the heads off many other people. We have things that we have never seen before — as a group we have never seen before what’s happening right now.

The medieval times — I mean we studied medieval times — not since medieval times have people seen what’s going on. I would bring back waterboarding and I’d bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding.

This was greeted with ecstatic applause from the audience.


Source: Donald Trump endorses beheading, robotic Marco Rubio self-implodes, and the GOP insanity only gets wilder –

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Health charge for New Zealanders and Australians is UK being ‘pretty cheap’ says John Key.. 

John Key says charging New Zealanders and Australians £200 a year to access some NHS services is ‘not in keeping with the history of the countries’

The New Zealand prime minister John Key has accused Britain of being ‘pretty cheap’ after it revealed plans to make New Zealanders and Australians pay a surcharge to access some health services.

Australians and New Zealanders visiting the UK for six months or more – or who are already in the country and are applying for an extension – will now have to pay an annual fee of £200 (about $AU410 and $NZ437) for health and dental care.

Those aged 18 to 30 will pay a discounted surcharge rate of £150.

Key said the change was ‘chipping away of New Zealanders’ rights in the UK’.

Visitors from Britain will continue to be entitled to free health care in Australia and New Zealand under reciprocal agreements.

On Sunday Fairfax New Zealand columnist Stacey Kirk wrote that New Zealand should bring in the same surcharge.

She said there were about 63,000 New Zealanders living in the UK – or about 0.09% of the population – compared with 265,500 UK citizens living in New Zealand or 5.7% of population.

‘It’s a pittance for the UK but the same policy applied here could add up to $115.2m to our cash-strapped health budget’ she wrote.

‘Besides that there has to a be a point where we stop rolling over’.


.Source: Health charge for New Zealanders and Australians is UK being ‘pretty cheap’, says John Key | World news | The Guardian

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Mansplain it to Me: inside the Stupid Hackathon for extremely stupid ideas..

Soylent dildos, – a device triggers a pee warning – Arwa Mahdawi goes inside the world of needless and strange ideas and concocts her own rent-a-minority.

 I am watching some of the best minds of my generation build dildos – disrupt solid foods and monetize children.

It’s the third annual Stupid Hackathon a one-day event in which ‘participants conceptualize and create projects that have no value whatsoever’.

Organized by creative technologists Sam Lavigne and Amelia Winger-Bearskin the Stupid Hackathon satirizes a strain of first-world ‘innovation’ that sees funding pour into gimmicks such as ‘smart cups’ -connected devices that tell you how much water to drink.

The event is also a critique of technological utopianism – the idea that complex sociopolitical issues can be algorithmically resolved.

The increasing popularity of ‘hackathons’ – marathon work sessions in which groups of technologists get together to solve various crises with code – is one of the more glaring examples of this philosophy.

Hacking the hackathon

This is my first hackathon and I’ve come prepared to ask a lot of questions. I’ve brought my laptop – Red Bull – a terabyte of terrible ideas – and a packet of Soylent the meal-replacement beverage.

Soylent marks the first significant step towards food being transformed into pill form – relieving humanity of the laborious processes of preparing chewing, and enjoying food so it can concentrate on maximizing productivity.

Some tech types see the product as representing a utopian Future of Food and it has received $20m in funding.

Not bad for a substance reported to taste like a combination of semen and liquid cement.

But before the Soylent: a strategy.

I decide a good way to hack this hackathon is to find the smartest person in the room and attach myself to them.


Source: Mansplain it to Me: inside the Stupid Hackathon for extremely stupid ideas | Global | The Guardian

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Bernie Sanders may win big this week. Our panelists share why he has their vote..

The senator from Vermont is an idealistic truth teller who wants to rebuild our society’s faulty foundations.

Steven W Thrasher:He is ready to critique capitalism’

Steven W Thrasher
Steven W Thrasher Photograph: The Guardian

Bernie Sanders offers the possibility of a better political future – kind of world I’ve been contemplating since the Black Lives Matter movement began.

That’s appealing to me.

I am not so naive as to think a Sanders presidency will solve everything or even much at all.

But I am tired of being told I cannot imagine a better world.

You can’t alleviate any of the systemic problems facing society today – like racism, sexism or income inequality, to name a few – without an honest and sustained critique of capitalism.

My support for Sanders stems from his radical (in this country, anyway) willingness to reimagine how our financial system can work.

His presidency could open a broader debate about it before the whole thing collapses.

I certainly wish Sanders had enough room in his capacious political imagination to consider the (UN recommended) concept of reparations for slavery.

But he seems to get how our economic structure harms most of us and he’s gotten better at articulating the link between economics and racism since black women challenged him.

Whatever her other qualities Hillary Clinton is beholden to maintaining the system as it is.

She will not (indeed given her donors and speaking gigs at banks she cannot) entertain criticism of capitalism or even Wall Street and therefore is not an appealing candidate to me.

The status quo of late-term American capitalism is making it so we can’t breathe.

I don’t want to vote for someone who is going to maintain our broken system at all costs.

Therefore, I look forward to voting for the democratic socialist Bernie Sanders.

  • Steven W Thrasher is a columnist for Guardian US.

Source: Bernie Sanders may win big this week. Our panelists share why he has their vote | Opinion | The Guardian

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German plan to impose limit on cash transactions met with fierce resistance..


€500 notes

Proposals to ban payments above €5,000 have been condemned in country where 79% of transactions are in cash.

A plan to introduce a limit on cash transactions in Germany has been met with fierce resistance across the country.

Proposals to ban cash payments of more than €5,000 (£3,860) to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism were revealed by the German finance ministry last week.

They face opposition from a broad alliance of political parties as well as the country’s bestselling newspaper.

The Bild published an open letter on Monday entitled ‘hands off our cash’ which in keeping with the analogue theme it encourages readers to sign – cut out and post to the finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

Political groups ranging from the Green party to the liberal Free Democrats to rightwing Alternative für Deutschland have condemned the proposed measures which also include a ban on €500 notes as an attack on data protection and privacy.

‘Cash allows us to remain anonymous during day-to-day transactions. In a constitutional democracy that is a freedom that has to be defended’ tweeted the Green MP Konstantin von Notz.


Source: German plan to impose limit on cash transactions met with fierce resistance | World news | The Guardian

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