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Daily review 16/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 5:10 pm, December 16th, 2021 - 33 comments
Categories: Daily review - Tags:

Daily review is also your post.

This provides Standardistas the opportunity to review events of the day.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Don’t forget to be kind to each other …

33 comments on “Daily review 16/12/2021 ”

  1. weka 1

  2. Molly 2

    Australia fines minors for Covid rule breaches.

    The Guardian – Almost 3,000 children in NSW hit with fines of up to $5,000 for minor Covid rule breaches

    Almost 3,000 children have been hit with hefty fines of up to $5,000 for minor Covid breaches in New South Wales, prompting a furious response from legal groups, who say the punishments are crushing disadvantaged families.

    Data obtained by the Redfern Legal Centre under freedom of information shows fines worth $2.1m have been issued to 2,844 children aged 10-17 since the middle of last year.

    Table of fines issued in the article.

    Redfern Legal Centre’s police accountability solicitor Samantha Lee said she had seen examples of children with intellectual disabilities receiving fines.

    The penalty amounts, she said, were disproportionately hurting those from disadvantaged areas, causing both financial burden and stress.

  3. Koff 3

    No worries in NZ with a potential Omicron outbreak (according to Bill, Open Mike) it's all OK. He sounds like the Tory government in New South Wales. Meanwhile, because of low vax rates in the third world, the virus couldn't give a shit what the armchair experts say and just keep evolving to stay ahead. NSW case rates and hospitalisation rates are now skyrocketing. Michael Baker is right. Keep Omicron out.

    • Robert Guyton 3.1

      "No worries in NZ with a potential Omicron outbreak (according to Bill, Open Mike) it's all OK. He sounds like the Tory government in New South Wales."

      Koff! Koff!

    • Bill 3.2

      No mention of skyrocketing hospitalisations in that article. [+30]

      And since cases are merely positive test results, they really don't mean much – except insofar as skyrocketing case numbers with no corresponding skyrocket in hospital numbers would be a good thing.

      From the article you linked to

      “NSW reported 1742 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday…and…
      There are now 122 confirmed Omicron cases in NSW (more in the pipeline)

    • Drowsy M. Kram 3.3

      Just like Delta, NZ can't keep the Omicron variant out forever, but imho it would be imprudent to usher it in (à la rabbit calicivirus) until 'we' know a bit more about it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SARS-CoV-2_Omicron_variant

    • mauī 3.4

      "Skyrocketing" cases could be explained by a lot of Aussies having had enough and now they're carrying on with their lives without the fear and propaganda.

      • Koff 3.4.1

        Not sure whether the concept of "Aussies" has much relevance at the moment as each state/territory has been/is pursuing a different strategic pathway. Queensland has only just opened up to the southern states, with strict rules, still. Fear, propaganda? Don't think Queenslanders, WAers, Tasmanians, South Australians have suffered too much over the last nearly two years by isolating themselves from NSW and Victoria. The issue is that the virus will always have a chance to evolve in unpredictable ways until mass vaccination occurs worldwide giving the virus far less chance to circulate. Will that happen? Probably not.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Interesting history lesson, revealing the kiwi psyche, from Mike Grimshaw, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Canterbury…

    The writer Bill Pearson’s essay, Fretful Sleepers, written in the wake of the 1951 waterside dispute, famously depicted his fellow citizens as what some might now call “sheeple”.

    He warned there “is no one more docile in the face of authority than the New Zealander”, a condition he said arose from “a docile sleepy electorate, veneration of war heroes, willingness to persecute those who don’t conform, gullibility in the face of headlines and radio pep talks”.

    But there’s another critique that, while not as well known, is arguably more balanced and nuanced. It can be found in an address to the Civil Liberties Council in 1955 by Arthur Prior, the greatest New Zealand philosopher of the 20th century.

    In his speech, titled “The Threat to Civil Liberties in New Zealand, Today and Tomorrow”, Prior identified three “rather deep-seated national habits and weaknesses […] in our national temperament”. He argued these threatened our liberties more than any organised or systematic action by an individual or group.

    Firstly, Prior identified “what might be called our habit of lazy and careless legislation” – laws that enter the statue books not because of any conspiracy but because “of a lack of concern and watchfulness”. He warned:

    Something will be brought in during an emergency or supposed emergency – and at such times it is always liberty that suffers first – and then it just stays there, like a ‘temporary’ building, but with less justification.

    Some warnings have been issued re covid-induced emergency powers. They didn't bother me. Yet.

    Prior defined the second weakness as “unscrupulous party spirit” – what today we might call political tribalism – whereby “we cannot admit that sometimes our own bunch are wrong and the other bunch is right”.

    We see this today in entrenched party political positions, where few or none are prepared to dissent publicly or vote against their own party.

    The other element of this tribalism is the new populism… This combines traditionally left- and right-wing ideas in new, emotive ways that pitch “the people” against a claimed corrupt political and media “elite”.

    This one is also a valid correspondence, in which group partisan loyalty defeats and suppresses truth within the partisan's mind.

    Prior identifies the third weakness as “a certain excessive readiness to take offence which we New Zealanders exhibit”. As he put it:

    For some reason it is only too easy for a person or organisation to go to the powers that be and say, ‘Look here, it hurts us to hear somebody saying so-and-so’, and the powers that be will reply, ‘Goodness me, I’m sorry to hear that – we’ll just stop them saying it then’.

    Prior thought New Zealanders were “too touchy” and authorities too willing “to silence voices which this or that group not only does not want to hear, but does not want others to hear”.

    This sounds similar to the rise of 21st century “cancel culture”, whether that be the “pile on” tendencies of the Twittersphere or the vexed intricacies of the proposed hate speech legislation.

    You bet! Not just in Aotearoa though. The tendency towards monoculture kicks in whenever folks feel threatened by diversity of thought & belief.

    So the sociologist has got the historical parallel right & the famous kiwi philosopher (who I'd never heard of!) deserves his reputation. enlightened

    https://theconversation.com/priors-warning-what-would-nzs-greatest-20th-century-philosopher-have-said-about-civil-liberties-in-the-covid-age-173405

    • Gezza 4.1

      So. These philosophers, way back then, were kind of right about these issues & the lazy average Kiwi psyche that still persists but:
      1. did they predict the Māori cultural renaissance & the Waitangi Tribunal?
      2. do Māori fit that average Kiwi psyche nowadays?

      I also seem to recall that we’ve had a couple of government-led statutory reviews looking for out of date regulations etc since the 1970s.

      I have the distinct impression that the Covid-related loss of freedoms are very unlikely to be simply tolerated into the future without objection from average Kiwis.

      Though I can see how vaccine passports could maybe too easily turn into the thin edge of the wedge of a future government population track & control system, they’re also a political meal for Opposition parties to feast on.

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        Yeah I share your broad overview. Re #1, almost certainly not. Re #2, I honestly have no idea to what extent if at all.

        Since the turn of the millenium I've been critical of the Maori propensity to cling to their patriarchy (the sexist privilege apparently given to males evident in speaking rights on the marae) & when I did so onsite here some years ago a bunch of folks raised feeble objections to my doing so & issued unconvincing rationalisations for that traditional behaviour.

        I also note that renaissance of traditional Maori culture has not included eating each other. Perhaps the missionaries were successful in suppressing that permanently, or perhaps the revivalists edited it out of the prescription. Also the selling of the heads of slaves to pakeha traders seems to have been discontinued. One could also cite slavery itself as a third tradition non-revived.

        So although they make a big thing out of their cultural continuity, tacit denial of evolutionary progress is also a happening thing…

        I realise these were more cultural conventions than mass psychology. Well, at least in retrospect. One thing I'm confident we do share with Maori is exemplified by the trad kiwi male expression `she'll be right'. A laid-back ethos.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 4.1.2

        There's a time (and place) for vaccine passports – this pandemic is such a time, imho.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccine_passports_during_the_COVID-19_pandemic

        Attempts by governments to extend vaccine passports beyond the duration of a pandemic, and/or morph them into other "track & control" systems, are likely to enjoy less support in NZ and elsewhere. Otoh – "Nothing to hide, nothing to fear."

    • gsays 4.2

      Thanks Dennis for bringing this up. Both the article and making me aware of Arthur Prior.

      The lazy legislation reminds me of Simon Power and the removal of Provocation as a defence following the murder of Sophie Elliot and conviction of her murderer.

      I understand Provocation was used as a defence in the 1996 Seeds of Hope East Timor Ploughshares, where 10 women disarmed a Hawk jet that was going to bomb folk in East Timor.

      https://wagingnonviolence.org/2015/10/seeds-of-hope-east-timor-ploughares-book/

  5. Gezza 5

    The New Zealand Government backed a campaign by Kiwi beekeepers to prevent Australian rivals from using the word “manuka”.

    They claimed they had the rights to the term, arguing that mānuka was a Māori word and was a distinctive product of New Zealand.

    Britain’s Intellectual Property Office this week rejected the trademark application, saying there was no evidence the public believed the product was exclusively from New Zealand.

    The Australian Manuka Honey Association, which fought the application in court, said it would have been deeply unfair and financially devastating to deny producers the right to use the term.

    “This decision is the right decision and a fair decision. The term manuka has been used in Australia since the 1800s and the Australian industry has invested significantly for decades in manuka honey science, research and marketing,” chairman Paul Callander said.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/300479977/australian-beekeepers-win-manuka-honey-trademark-battle-against-new-zealand-producers
    … … … … …

    Well, I guess that’s that then. 😕

    • RedLogix 5.1

      The term manuka has been used in Australia since the 1800s

      I guess most kiwis will be baffled by this decision, but it has some basis in truth. In the 1800's the two countries were in many ways even more socially connected than they are now and the use of the word manuka in Australia is not surprising.

      • Blazer 5.1.1

        If this information is correct,it's a wonder NZ can use the term …Manuka Honey!

        Australian Manuka Honey – The History and Origins of Australian Manuka (manukaaustralia.org.au)surprise

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.2

        more socially connected

        And economically. Onsite here a year or two back I quoted from a colonial newspaper report reproduced in a history book I'd been reading out of the local library. One gentleman encountered another down by the Sydney docks.

        "What's in your bag?" "The head of a New Zealander." He opened it and showed him, and explained he was taking it to a ship's captain on the way to London so it could be sold on the market there.

        Apparently it was normal to call Maori folk New Zealanders in the early 19th century…

    • Blazer 5.2

      Well they have Australian Waygu beef…maybe they should have to call it…Australian Manuka.Do they have Australian Kiwifruit?

      I guess we can have NZ Champagne,just so people are not confused!

      • Gezza 5.2.1

        I thought the Frogs had successfuly prevented our sparkling wines producers from using the Champagne label, either in Court, or by threatening to see them there if they didn’t cease & desist?

        • joe90 5.2.1.1

          They've blocked the use of the name to describe sparkling wine not made in the Champagne region of France.

          • Gezza 5.2.1.1.1

            The yanks still get away with it somehow with sparkling wines made in California, I think I read somewhere.

            • joe90 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Just the cheap shit.

              The Treaty of Versailles, which brought an end to the war, is where the loophole was unintentionally opened that allows the continued existence of California Champagne. Article 275 of the treaty was designed – in part – to establish that only sparkling wine from Champagne could be labeled as Champagne:

              Germany undertakes on condition that reciprocity is accorded in these matters to respect any law, or any administrative or judicial decision given in conformity with such law, in force in any Allied or Associated State and duly communicated to her by the proper authorities, defining or regulating the right to any regional appellation in respect of wine or spirits produced in the State to which the region belongs, or the conditions under which the use of any such appellation may be permitted; and the importation, exportation, manufacture, distribution, sale or offering for sale of products or articles bearing regional appellations inconsistent with such law or order shall be prohibited by the German Government and repressed by the measures prescribed in the preceding Article.

              Although this article was inserted primarily because of a dispute between France and Germany over mislabeling of sparkling wines and brandies, the ultimate result was that the use of Champagne on sparkling wine labels was curtailed in all of the nations party to the treaty. We say party to, because although the United States signed the treaty, the Senate never ratified the treaty.

              Despite the insistence by the French of a provision protecting her wines, that the U.S. never ratified the treaty was probably not a great concern in Reims and Épernay in 1919, as Prohibition was about to put California’s winemakers out of business. As the Paris Peace Conference came to a close, the French were likely more concerned with the loss of a large export market as this quote from the journal of an American participant illustrates:

              https://vinepair.com/wine-blog/loophole-california-champagne-legal/

    • joe90 5.3

      A macron to note the provenance of Mānuka Honey?

  6. Gezza 6

    The latest security issue to sweep the internet has a perfect 10 out of 10 score for badness. That is, the newly discovered vulnerability in Log4j is considered as bad as it gets and may see many cybersecurity experts cancelling Christmas.

    “In the 15 or so years that I’ve been working in cybersecurity, this is probably the worst vulnerability I’ve seen,” said Adam Boileau, executive director of security testing and assurance at cyber security company CyberCX. “It’s one of the most interesting technically.

    We are constantly surrounded by technology, and it’s all at risk of security flaws. As these flaws are identified, they’re assessed with a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) score from 0.1 (Pfft, whatever) to 10 (OMG! Everything is on fire!!).

    Security issues with a CVSS score of 10 aren’t that unusual, but they usually pop up in somewhat obscure pieces of software where the impact is limited. They’re also often fixed before anyone even realises they exist.

    But the new Log4j vulnerability is different. Firstly it is a “0-day” vulnerability, meaning the software’s makers have had zero days to fix it: the world found out about it at the same time the developers did. Secondly, it’s very widespread. In fact, it’s so widespread that no one really even knows how many products and services are affected.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/irl/16-12-2021/inside-the-security-breach-throwing-the-it-world-into-a-panic

    Man, I never feel entirely safe & protected using any device to access the internet these days. When my files get auto-backed up to the Cloud, I don’t regard that as entirely safe either.

    The writer makes the point that home systems are probably not so much at risk, but it seems someone can always figure how to get in to any system – and as time goes on they’ll probably just get even better at it, using AI.

  7. Pat 7

    Merry Christmas

  8. Best news in ages… and the tweet is almost viral…

  9. Byd0nz 9

    So Omicron arrives in NZ at a MIQ facility. Will National now tear up that petition to close them down in favour of trusting self isolation.

    They had made a big song and dance about this petition and have accused Labour of being too cautious, so had National been the Government at the start of COVID, where would we be now?

    Don’t need to answer that obvious question. The real question is, will they take flak over this.

    • Peter 9.1

      Don't need to answer but it's good to contemplate no lockdowns, no MIQ, no restriction on people coming into the country.

      I'm still imagining what I heard the other night from a Nat. A million kiwis wanting to come home, should have simply just rolled in. Coming home because it's a safe haven. Which it would have been with no lockdowns, no MIQ, no masks of course.

      Any impact on housing?

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