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Open mike 01/03/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 1st, 2022 - 122 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

122 comments on “Open mike 01/03/2022 ”

  1. PsyclingLeft.Always 1

    At Gloriavale, Levi Courage felt that he had no freedom, no money, no way out.

    On a rainy night last June Courage finished work and told his parents, Aaron and Joy, he was leaving Gloriavale – for good.


    A young Man. And Courage…. an apt name !

    Onya matey. Absolutely wish you all the best !

  2. Adrian Thornton 2

    Some rather disturbing analysis on the Ukraine crisis from Professor Richard Sawka….

  3. hamish 3

    Effectivness of masks

    On the 24th I posted in open mike, following some commentary about non mask wearers.

    UncookedSelachimorpha, You took issue with my position and supporting links

    “”Coupla misinterpreted technical articles and the actual conclusions from a link to an unreviewed article (published on a conspiracy "news" site) written by a sacked physicist with no particular expertise in the field – although he does have a background in climate change denial.

    Why bother.

    There are plenty of reputable peer reviewed articles from reputable sources that prove masks work against covid transmission in the real world (which is the proof of the pudding). Here is one that gives background on how masks work as well.


    Due to farm life and intermittent internet, the can be some gaps between posting here so rather than post as a reply in an old thread, I am posting it here.

    Firstly could you please get specific with your issues with my post.

    I did a follow up on the link you provided to support your position that masks are effective against covid

    First up is a quote from the article you cited, the most relevent section was

    "4.3 Cases studies on protection effective of masks"

    Mask effectiveness has been demonstrated in prevention of influenza and some other infectious diseases. Van der Sande et al. (2008) showed that the use of any type of ordinary mask may reduce the risk of exposure to viruses and infections.Some observational results confirmed that frequently using masks in a community can prevent spread of infection from sick and infectious people (Jensen et al., 2005; Rockwood & O’Donoghue, 1960; Srinivasan et al., 2004; Weaver, 1919). As a non-pharmaceutical intervention to control virus transmission during the influenza pandemic, persistent use of masks significantly reduced the risk of influenza-like-illness-associated infection (Cowling et al., 2008; Maclntyre et al., 2009). Masks were shown to have protective efficacies in excess of 80% against clinical influenza-like-illness (Macintyre et al., 2008). “

    Bold mine

    I followed up on the links in order, and below I list them with either my brief comment and/or a quote selected from the cited paper.

    Van der Sande et al. (2008) “may reduce” enough said…looking for evidence it DOES reduce

    Jensen et al., 2005; Paywalled. could only see the astract.


    “presented recommendations for TB infection control based on a risk assessment process that classified health-care facilities according to categories of TB risk, “

    Rockwood & O’Donoghue, 1960; looking at the history of masks, but paywalled

    Srinivasan et al., 2004; Not on if masks worked or not…. just how prepared for SARS medical facilities were, and what their procedures were.


    “Results . Overall, 456 members (53%) responded. Although only 138 (30%) reported that their hospital or medical center had cared for ⩾1 patient who met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definition for a suspect or probable case of SARS, 410 respondents (90%) indicated that their facility had plans in place to address SARS “

    Weaver, 1919 a bit old… and paywalled !

    Cowling 2008 Practical experiment to see if masks were effective, answer was no.


    "randomized to 1) control or 2) surgical face masks or 3) hand hygiene." ( the arms)

    "The laboratory-based or clinical secondary attack ratios did not significantly differ across the intervention arms."

    Maclntyre et al., 2009). Practical experiment to see if masks were effective, answer was no.



    1. surgical masks (3M surgical mask, catalogue no. 1820; St. Paul, MN, USA)
    2. P2 masks (3M flat-fold P2 mask, catalogue no. 9320; Bracknell, Berkshire),
    3. a control group (no masks used). “”

    “with no significant differences noted among the 3 arms. “

    “our study suggests that community use of face masks is unlikely to be an effective control policy for seasonal respiratory diseases “

    Maclntyre et al., 2008 The link goes to an article with nothing about masks.


    “The aim of this study was to determine the presence and typing of DEN-Vs in hospitalized patients in western region of Saudi Arabia. “

    So the article you put forward that masks work, stated that the studies cited showed masks worked, but if you look at the studies, they find they don't.

    You thoughts?

    Regards Hamish

    P.S. It is ironic that at the start, I was in the minority wearing masks in the supermarket etc, and bitching to my local MP that the health care worker doing treating my 84yr old father at home was not wearing a mask and refused to wear the new one provided…

    I started to look on line to get backing to complain harder, and look where I ended up…..

    • weka 3.1

      please provide a link to the OM post, put a full stop at the start of the URL or it will revert to the post URL rather than the comment.

    • SPC 3.2

      “our study suggests that community use of face masks is unlikely to be an effective control policy for seasonal respiratory diseases “

      The coronavirus is not seasonal, it's 12 months a year

      And for another point of view – where quality masks are used (N95).

      • hamish 3.2.1

        Not much research on all year round viruses, because the most problematic ones are seasonal I presume…

        The thrust of the post was to show that a person here who is certain masks worked cited a paper, and the paper claimed that the studies found they worked, but when I read them, well look back above


        In the article there are a number of links.

        And some of them find no difference between surgical masks and N95's

        As far as I have found, once you look down at actual studies, there is not much evidence they work, and a fair bit they don't

        The twitter thread seemed to be just opinions without any references to research papers, cant see much of use. Any pointers to what I am missing?

        I like this paper, because it is based around standard surgical masks in a very controlled setup with known machine generated aerosols, was not susceptible to the variabilities of how good people are at wearing mask, and looks at the physics of how and why the aerosols behave in tightly controlled lab experiments.

        In their results "did not exhibit any significant level of resistance against penetration of virus under our experimental conditions (i.e., 0% filtration efficiency). "

  4. PsyclingLeft.Always 4

    Fonterra has increased its forecast farmgate milk price for the current season – to a record midpoint of $9.60 a kilogram of milk solids.


    Hmmm I wonder if this will quiet the groundswell whine….or give the low paid Dairy Farm slave…EMPLOYEES a pay rise ?

    Yea right.

    • Peter 4.1

      More money to buy a new ute to drive in the next protest to complain about the government destroying farming, their way of life and them.

      Oh and how evil Ardern is.

      • Shanreagh 4.1.1

        Yes, I have mentioned my experience seeing ute after ute of scowling 30-50 year old males with their signs or flags in the first convoy to Wellington. Some of this demographic seems particularly triggered by seeing a successful woman in charge. That's my view. My partner's view is these huge ute/SUV drivers are buying to make up for a lack in the male appendage…..this from a male with a PhD. He has been annoyed about this for a while especially when the spare car in those days – heavy, diesel and unwieldy had to be used by wives./partners doing the school run in paean to the males appendage concern. No querying of the logic please.

        No problem for using them for work purposes or for accessing the back country..

        Short story about a workmate who took his brand new 4WD into the first service that he had to pay for after the 4WD came out of warranty. In Wellington. When he came to collect it they said 'no charge' Jack said 'But, but I am out of warranty and I pay from now on'. 'No you don't the boss says you're the first owner to come in for a week or more with a 4WD that has been out and about as it is designed for, and we've given it a complimentary oil change and clean'.

        • I don't think the 'ordinary' New Zealander realises how deep misogyny percolates through the veins of males in this country.

          Personally, from my experience of a lifetime, I think NZ has been better governed by women than men (though Shipley gives me pause for thought!)

          • Shanreagh

            I agree about the misogyny. It never ceases to amaze me though…..I am often pulled up short by a misogynistic comment or joke from someone I expected better of.

  5. Blazer 5

    'freedom' in the West…

    'Denounce Putin or lose your job: Russian conductor Valery Gergiev given public ultimatum'

    Denounce Putin or lose your job: Russian conductor Valery Gergiev given public ultimatum | Valery Gergiev | The Guardian

  6. Sanctuary 6

    The National Bank of the Ukraine allows you to donate to the Ukrainian military – I made a donation based on what I thought would be enough money to buy a Kalasnikov and ammunition.

    I won't directly link to the bank's website because I know giving money to a country at war to directly buy weapons (rather than, say, donating to the red cross or something) could be regarded as a bit militant but it is easy enough to find.

    • aom 6.1

      Don't be a pussie – get over there and put your arse on the line rather than indulge in a pathetic no risk show of misguided conscience. When you go to sleep tonight, it is hoped you will visualize a Russian weapon in the hands of a Ukrainian kid with Rambo aspirations being gunned down as a threat to an older kid in a Russian uniform.

      Obviously you didn't bother to view the clip that Adrian Thornton linked to.

      • Peter 6.1.1

        Get over there? The ship leaving Wellington in the weekend is booked out. All those Freedom fighters whose antecedents embarked from the same place all those years ago to fight for freedom.

        The freedom to complain about freedom.

      • swordfish 6.1.2


        Don't push Sanctuary any further … you have no idea what he suffered in 'Nam nor what he's capable of.

        After 'Nam he became a troubled and misunderstood Vet (specialising in small animal surgery) who came to rely on his combat and survival skills to make his way in an increasingly uncaring & alienating modern world.

        Push him too far & you'll trigger flashbacks of his time as a POW in Son Tay on the outskirts of Hanoi … and when an ex-Green Beret & recipient of the Medal of Honor like Sanc gets angry … trust me, you really don't want to be around.

        He’s an expert at guerrilla warfare on Twitter and wilderness survival in the dark, depraved depths of the Blogosphere.

        If pushed, Sanc will unleash Hell on this site.

        • Ad

          Why no one here wants to actively defend the Ukrainian people, and instead just wants to slavishly follow the line of our government to do nothing, can only be answered by the high likelihood that they have no historical memory of what the international left used to believe and do.

          Still, I'm sure tonight Kyiev residents huddled in train stations appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

          • swordfish


            My highly articulate, if somewhat cheap, outburst of First Blood-inspired sarcasm should not be taken as indicating in any way my views on Ukraine.

            Suggesting Sanc is a Vietnam Vet & former POW who has come to rely on his combat and survival skills to make his way in an increasingly uncaring & alienating modern world, while specialising in small animal surgery … isn't quite the same as insisting we should just "slavishly follow the line of our government to do nothing" on Ukraine.

            Nor, for that matter, that Chamberlain should have so easily given up the Sudetenland.

    • weston 6.2

      Good grief so your happy to contribute to the bloodshed are you sanc ??Wonder how many landmines for example your donation might buy ?Would you still be happy if that was what your "donation " was gonna purchase ? Way to go good luck sleeping !!

      • Ad 6.2.1

        With that attitude it is highly unlikely you are a citizen of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, or Moldova, or indeed Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, or Finland.

        When the left are afraid of the sight of blood they have forgotten the fight to get here.

      • Sanctuary 6.2.2

        I've never done such a thing before although my German girlfriend at the time (quite a red firebrand she was) almost talked me into joining her to go off and defend the Sandinista revolution from the Contras in the mid-1980s.

        I am not sure if it was the right thing to do, I am aware that I am helping to enable violence but what choice do the Ukrainians have? If there was a just war, it is their resistance to this act of aggression. But then again I remembered that my grandfather on my mothers side was a mate of Fred Robertson and knew Tom Spiller so I'd like to think I come from at least a tradition of standing up for peoples right to be free.

        Anyway, Ukraine needs arms not alms and sometimes the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who sit on the fence.

    • Ad 6.3

      Sanctuary you have just done a whole lot more than our government is.

      With the United Kingdom, Germany, United States, Australia and more all sending weapons so that the Ukrainians have a chance to defend themselves at great risk to their lives, and all of them are generating independent sanctions against Russia since Russia is Chairing the UN Security Council at the moment, Ardern's government is looking just pathetic.

      When Ardern announced that she was going to Europe she said:

      “When we look back in 20 years’ time at this period in our country’s history, I don’t want people to just see Covid. I want them to see an economy and country that was fundamentally repositioned to become more sustainable and resilient and taking on the challenges of poverty, inequality, climate change and mental health, problems the world is grappling with."

      Ardern to lead trade visits in 2022 to Australia, Asia, US and Europe (1news.co.nz)

      Unfortunately the Queen of Mt Albert doesn't get to write the future.

      She will now be asked by the EU leaders she meets there: how did you help defend us? Why should you get a free trade deal for that?

      The left proudly defended others in Spain in the 1930s, and in New Zealand formed cross-Parliament Cabinets to unify their whole government. Where is the leader of Socialist Youth now?

      Unfortunately we have a Prime Minister who is so brittle she can't cope with a few protesters on the front lawn, so we can't expect her to have the fortitude to deal with an actual war.

      • Blazer 6.3.1

        Anything NZ did would only be tokenism anyway….and she would then be criticised for…that.

        • Ad

          How tiresome the argument is that "We're so tiny so we don't matter ."

          Any of your people serve? Can you wear a medal to ANZAC Day parades?

          • Blazer

            Yes some of 'my' people did serve.

            What does that prove?

            Brave soldiers sent to die in Gallipoli with an ill thought out invasion of…Turkey.R.I.P

            This conflict could easily have been avoided and the West is certainly not blameless.

            • Ad

              It proves that being a small country doesn't let you off the hook from military action when it's needed.

              • Blazer

                Where Britain goes ,the sheep follow,while the ruling classes divvy up…the spoils.

                Here's a putty medal for you…soldier boy.

              • Tricledrown

                Ad nothing stopping you from donating or going to Defend Ukraine.

                Leaders lead by example and one thing Jacinda Ardern isn't is a whinger like you Ad.

        • Belladonna

          Anything NZ did would only be tokenism anyway

          That's not an argument that the Left want to hear when it comes to Climate Change.

      • Sanctuary 6.3.2

        I think it was Napoleon who said the flaw in his opponents was that they saw everything; He only saw one thing, his opponents main force and he went after that.

        Too many on the left suffer a similar failing – they see everything, when sometimes you just need to see the main thing.

      • Anne 6.3.3

        Oh dear Ad. What did Jacinda do to upset you so much. Did she ignore your advice or something?

        Jacinda Ardern has proven she has "fortitude". Twice. The ChCh massacre, and the determination to lock down NZ when just about everyone else did not have the fortitude to do so. It proved to be the right decision despite all the brickbats thrown at her and her government at the time.

        I don't blame Jacinda for the protesters on the front lawn. It is not her place – nor anyone else's – to interfere in police operational matters.

        Direct your concern to the NZ police.

        • Ad

          She was quite happy to get involved in the Police operational matters you mention.

          Even the Mayor of Wellington met them, without drama.

          • Anne

            The PM (whoever it may be) should never meet with a bunch of deluded, irrational idiots whose mode of operation is to lie, cheat, break the laws, bully and intimidate others and generally cause mayhem. Meeting with them is to give them oxygen they don't deserve.

            With the exception of the opportunistic Seymour, I note neither Luxon, Shaw and Davidson have met with them either and no doubt for the same reason as Ardern.

            • Poission

              The PM (whoever it may be) should never meet with a bunch of deluded, irrational idiots whose mode of operation is to lie, cheat, break the laws, bully and intimidate others and generally cause mayhem.

              Yes but she argues it is her job to meet and subsidize that bunch from Big Travel,and so she alone can fly to the US and Europe to save the world,and all in 60 minutes including ad breaks.

  7. hamish 7

    In a thread in open mike? A few days ago the was some discussion about freedom.

    I and my family are basically vaccinated for everything except covid.

    I am quite libertarian leaning, and heavily support the idea that individual rights are the most important.

    So much data from government sources is inconsistent, or poorly organized or presented. Just look at the Scotland data (which they have stopped publishing) which seemed to show that double vaxxed were more than twice as likely to catch covid as the unvaxed and also more likely to be hospitalized than the unvaxed

    [citation needed]

    Pinning down a number for the risk of death by vax is even worse…

    Nzmedasfe vax data (19 Feb to Nov 30), all causes death rate in 21 days from shot are HALF of “expected” but most notably in the 20 to 29 bracket for shot 2 , only 1/8 of the death rate…They say “one reason for the number of deaths in the vaccinated group appearing lower could be that the healthcare professionals of extremely frail patients give advice not to get vaccinated”

    [citation needed]

    (Say what ? Don't vax the vulnerable ???)

    The way they are analyzing the data it is almost as if they do not want to find anything.

    Other data indicate most of deaths from vax occure 5 days after the shot. Looking only at the 21 day 'average' helps hide any signal. Other countries looked at it by looking at days after shot to death, and a hump is visible, peaking at day 3-4 and back to close to normal after 7 days.

    The above analysis issue is beyond bad, and these are the same people who are telling me the vax is safe…

    Hell no will I trust them with the above sample of their work

    Regarding the coercive vaccination program of 5 to 11 yr olds

    CDC's 5 to 11 yr old annual death data


    [repost proper link please

    Deaths in children 5 to 11 per 100,000

    Accidents 3.4

    Malignant neoplasims 1.8

    Cogeninatal abnormalities 1.0

    Homocide 0.7

    Heart disease 0.4

    Chronic respitory 0.4

    Influenza 0.3

    Suicide 0.2

    COVID 0.2

    Cerebrovascular diseases 0.2

    Septicemia 0.2

    And about 85% of the deaths were in those with a pre existing comorbidity.

    An act newsletter using the CDC data worked out that if all 5 to 11 yr olds in NZ caught covid, 0.16 healthy children will die

    [is this online, please have a look and link]

    In NZ on average 6 children are killed by drunk drivers each year.

    So Jacinda is forcing a vaccine with uncertain risk of death, no long term safety data ( how can there be as there has not been time for it ) for a disease that they are at very low risk of dying from.

    And then there is the obesity issue. 80% of all hospitalizations, deaths are in people who are obese.

    [citation needed]

    The risks for the obese from covid could be reduced by about the same margin as the vaccine achieves if they lost enough weight to get out of the danger zone.

    The main reason for the mandates is to keep the death rate and hospitalization down, so in effect Jacinda is forcing healthy people to take an uncertain risk death by vax rather than forcing the fat to lose weight to achieve the same result.

    And think of the health benefits to the ex obese, and the cost savings for the hospital system and us poor taxpayers

    How about alcohol.

    Because of those selfish people that want the freedom to drink, putting their hedonistic desire above community good, 6 children ( and many more adults) are killed each year in car car crashes, and cost the taxpayers millions for the cost of the injuries that also result.

    So where should the balance be ?

    Regards Hamish

    [please provide the above links. You are now in premod until this is done, which means none of your other comments will appear until this is resolved. We have a robust debate ethic here, and this requires a high level of evidence for claims of fact on controversial matters. I’ve given you the guidelines in your post above, the onus is on you to do the work. Read the site Policy if you haven’t already – weka]

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 7.1

      yea……thems a long lot of reckons. With no links. I call BS

    • Sanctuary 7.2

      Misinformation, dis-information, BS.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.3

      Those darn conspiracy theorists strike again

    • Anne 7.4

      Just look at the Scotland data (which they have stopped publishing) which seemed to show that double vaxxed were more than twice as likely to catch covid as the unvaxed and also more likely to be hospitalized than the unvaxed

      A deliberate misinterpretation!

      Of course there are going to be more vaxxed people catching Covid than unvaxxed people you twat. Take New Zealand for example. 95% of the population are double vaxxed and only 5% unvaxxed. Get the picture?

      The vaccine has never been sold as being able to prevent people catching Covid. But you are going to get a mild version of the disease with no long term consequences. A factor you choose to ignore.

      From what I understand world-wide… the most serious cases resulting in death are almost always among the unvaxxed so… if you choose to take that risk then be it on yourself if you end up in hospital gravely ill.

      I'm not sure you are worthy of this response but it just might ring a bell.

      • Hamish 7.4.2

        Might have got the wording a bit off.

        My reason for mentioning the Scottish data was not as trying to show vax was inefective, but of how even the health system has problems with their data and interpretations of what it means.

        I have a problem with people claiming certainty where the data is so ' all over the place'

        Like with the medsafe page table 7

        That table is screaming very loudly your assumptions or data are seriously messed up, and you have a lot of work to just figure out where you are going wrong

        • Hamish

          Ps scottish report

          On phone with low data so going from memory, but in one of the tables, the unvaxed population jumps by 900,000

          Unless it was in a previous report…

          Any way they postulate that the unceryainty over the unvaxed population is the cause, but at a quick glance they would have to be out by 1 million un vaxedto make the vax look good, in a population of 5 million.

          All was can be certain of is that they have no real idea of what is going on…

          • KJT

            Well. I can be pretty certain you slept through stats in your high school maths class.

            You are not on your own however.

          • crashcart

            There are a lot of scientists who have the skill and time to interrogate the data and extrapolate findings from that data. Their job is to pick out the important information and provide advice on that. Overwhelmingly they appear to support vaccination.

            This is not meant to be a dig but I just don't think you have the capacity when working a farm and having limited internet connection to apply as much effort and experience to this data. For that reason I would be far more inclined to accept the advice of the experts in that field than the expert in your field.

      • Hamish 7.4.3

        I am not trying to miss represent anything in the scottish data.

        They were publishing RATES PER 100,000 of each distince sub population.

        Their earlier tables also had the total population of each sub group week by week.

        You look like you assume i am making the mistake of thinking that since there are more vaxed in hospital the vax is innefective….

    • RosieLee 7.5

      Send me your address and I'll post you a roll of aluminium foil.

    • Bearded Git 7.6

      Hamish….do you really think a serious scientist like Siouxsie Wiles (among many others) is spinning us a web of lies?

    • weka 7.7

      mod note, please respond before posting any other comments.

      • hamish 7.7.1

        Did a reply to you with all the links but I don't see it yet.

        lol, it appeared just after I posted this…

    • hamish 7.8

      Scottish data

      Have an image of another earlier one but cant see how to get it into here and the url is broken.

      It covered the peak where weekly cases were much higher, and had a unvaxed case rate of 958 per 100 k and double vaxed cases 1361 per 100 k for boosted

      And no I am not making a basic mistake, that is the rate per 100k

      unvaxed cases 9105 unvaxed population 988033 "ages standardised rate per 100,000" 958

      The crude rate is 921on those numbers, so whatever they do to age standardise bumps it up to 958. Could be that young more likely to be unvaxed?

      There are certainly wierd data being displayed as the unvaxed population in the PDF the link goes to has unvaxed population in the various tables

      cases table 962k

      hospitalization table 780k

      death table 1,500K


      CDC 4-11 yr old death data

      Act newsletter. I was sent the news letter by a friend. Looked at Act website and did not see where to find it. May only go out to members?

      But I had got the same answer using the CDC data, and the NZ population of 5 to 11 yr olds. before I saw the act newsletter.

      Drink driving


  8. Adrian 8

    Hamish, a Scottish name; noun, from Old Scot for Hamster, from old Scot legend, dumb as a hamster, hamster; Small Scotland based rodent, found in unsanitary conditions living in its own shit surrounded by others of the same ilk, to be avoided at all cost as a strong vector for disease and contagious stupidity.

    [don’t personally abuse commenters. If you don’t have an actual political point, then stop commenting. Count this as a warning – weka]

    • Tricledrown 8.1

      They also have a propensity to crawl down rabbit holes.

      And once their they get stuck on the conspiracy wheel they are to dumb to climb off.

    • Just Saying 8.2

      …..rodent living in its own shit surrounded by others of the same ilk, to be avoided at all cost as a strong vector for disease and contagious stupidity.

      Dehumanization – Wikipedia

      Bingo. This must be today’s current winner for the greatest number of dehumanising buzz words and phrases in a single sentence.

      From Wiki -linked above:

      "Dehumanisation is viewed as a central component to intergroup violence because it is frequently the most important precursor to moral exclusion, the process by which stigmatized groups are placed outside the boundary in which moral values, rules, and considerations of fairness apply."[18]

    • weka 8.3

      mod note.

  9. Adrian 9

    If we are the sheep, how come the idiots in Welly, Picton, Chch and Auckland are the ones sleeping on the grass?
    P,s, and eating hay by the look of it!.

  10. Reality 10

    Hamish, you must be in a fantasy world if you think people are going to read your ramblings. Most people in the real world prefer to listen to a range of qualified scientists and medical experts.

  11. Drowsy M. Kram 11

    As NZ's wave of Omicron cases continues to surge, BAU agitators were in full 'socialise the risks' cry this morning.

    National Party wants all travellers allowed into NZ now
    [RNZ Morning Report, 1 March 2022]
    Get out there and spend that money. – Bishop

    But what gives you the confidence to take that risk?

    Reconnect NZ to the world, open those borders and allow tourists to come home and get on with things.

    "Allow tourists to come home" now eh, when no one knows how far off the Omicron peak is, and with some challenging days ahead for our public health service.

    Once Omicron has passed, and/or the relative risk of domestic versus tourist COVID changes, will the Nats change their tune? Don't bet on it.

    Nats, advocating risk – during the worst phase of the pandemic in NZ so far – nuts! Most prospective tourists have more sense.

    Covid-19: Dropping self-isolation for international arrivals will have minimal effect – Skegg [1 March]
    We do need to, I think, prepare for some difficult days in the next month.

    There still is time for many people, and most people haven't yet got infected, so anyone listening to this programme who hasn't had their booster, I would strongly urge them to get it today.

    The message should have got though to people, that if they want to protect themselves they need that third dose.

    • Macro 11.1

      And as we hit peak covid and the availability of staff for hospitality, food supply, and supply chains reaches crisis point; causing places across the country to put up "closed" signs – great time to invite tourists.

      • AB 11.1.1

        Ah – but if tourists with Covid need to go into our (already stretched) hospitals we can make them pay. It's a revenue opportunity that could be privatised by say, persuading tourists to buy private Covid-specific health insurance that will cover any hospital costs in NZ. And why stop there? You could offer the same coverage to non-citizen, non-resident foreign students – maybe with extra high premiums if they stay in university halls of residence but lower premiums if they stay in private rentals owned by the same people offering the insurance?

        Your mistake Macro is to view the world as a place where people need to live lives of meaning and purpose, not as one endless carnival of opportunities for private gain.

        • Macro

          Your mistake Macro is to view the world as a place where people need to live lives of meaning and purpose, not as one endless carnival of opportunities for private gain.

          You are so right! Why didn't I see this. laugh

  12. Koff 12

    Australia opened up to tourists a week ago, but I've only seen 2 so far on my wanderings and they might have been a couple of backpackers stuck here over the Covid period. All the tourist operators dependent on international tourism continue to wail but the weather here has done more damage than the nasty virus the last week, with half of the east coast under water. Think you would have to be very brave to be a tourist atm.

  13. Herodotus 13

    Have not read this but anyone else who has caught Covid, I was wondering if you have noticed the same as with my household ?

    When showering your fingers immediately get that wrinkled/pruney state like when you have been in a spa or swam in the sea for a long period.

  14. Adrian 14

    My drive to town is a 50 km round trip which happens a couple of times a week but on the last one I noticed hitchikers for the first time in a few years but be warned, they looked like refugees from Wellington, in the manner of dress and appearance and a bit haggard. I know this sounds alarmist and conspirational but they are more likely to be crook with covid than most others one would see out and about, so think twice about sharing your car for a long trip.

  15. Molly 15

    The Herald has a follow up article to the one I posted yesterday.

    Child sex abuse claimants need more support in court – experts

    Kathryn McPhillips, a clinical psychologist and the executive director of sexual abuse support organisation HELP Auckland, said adults giving evidence in sexual violence trials could access support through NGOs, which received government funding, but there was not adequate support available for children facing the courtroom.

    "If adults need that support, children and young people need that even more," she said.

    Her comments come after RNZ reported that a child who was indecently assaulted by his firefighter father vomited for a week after being cross-examined in court. His abuser's lawyer had repeatedly asked him if he was lying.

    The research was released last year by the office of the Chief Victim's Advisor Dr Kim McGregor. That's A Lie! found children in New Zealand courts were frequently asked leading questions, accused of lying, and subjected to myths about sexual assault to challenge the plausibility of their evidence.

    Dr McGregor said in 13 out of the 15 trial transcripts analysed, the children were accused of lying.

    A copy of the report 'It's A Lie' can be found here. It makes for an interesting read.

    Similarly, in the following excerpt a six-year-old complainant is asked why she continued to return to the bach of her offending grandfather if she did not like the regular abuse that he inflicted.

    Q. Did you like Poppa putting his finger in your [vagina]?


    Q. If you did not like Poppa putting his finger in your [vagina] in the bach why did you keep going back to the bach?

    A. 'Cos he buys lollies and chewing gum and noodles.

    This questioning may overestimate a child’s power, agency, and understanding in the context of abuse, and discounts the likely impact of grooming and the perpetrator being in a caregiving relationship on a child victim’s behaviour.

    There's multiple transcripts in the report that will demonstrate the bullying nature of questioning.

    It's clear that court guidelines for lawyers cross-examining children needs to be updated to avoid unnecessary and/or further harm.


    The way in which young complainants of sexual violence are questioned during cross-examination is characterised by use of sexual violence misconceptions, questioning the character of the complainant and/or their family, accusations of lying and leading styles of questioning. Young complainants report cross-examination to be highly distressing and this distress is likely to be largely due to the tactics of cross-examination highlighted in this paper. This distress seems in many cases to be needless and avoidable, and certainly not conducive to quality of evidence. There have been longstanding concerns with the way in which Aotearoa’s court system fails to accommodate the needs of young complainants, particularly in sexual violence trials. However, tangible change has been slow. The findings of this study highlight a pressing need for action if Aotearoa’s justice system no longer wishes to be an additional source of harm to young victims of sexual abuse.

    • Puckish Rogue 15.1

      You would have thought that after the utter shambles of the Christchurch Civic Creche case the courts could sort this kind of thing out

      Guess not

    • Belladonna 15.2

      What a pity the complainant can't sue (once the offender is convicted) for the trauma inflicted by the accused choosing to go to trial and engaging in aggressive and intimidating cross-examination.

      With both the offender (who authorized the abuse) and the lawyer (who inflicted it) liable.

  16. Yes, I have mentioned my experience seeing ute after ute of scowling 30-50 year old males with their signs or flags in the first convoy to Wellington. Some of this demographic seems particularly triggered by seeing a successful woman in charge. That's my view. My partner's view is these huge ute/SUV drivers are buying to make up for a lack in the male appendage…..this from a male with a PhD. He has been annoyed about this for a while especially when the spare car in those days – heavy, diesel and unwieldy had to be used by wives./partners doing the school run in paean to the males appendage concern. No querying of the logic please.

    No problem for using them for work purposes or for accessing the back country..

    Short story about a workmate who took his brand new 4WD into the first service that he had to pay for after the 4WD came out of warranty. In Wellington. When he came to collect it they said 'no charge' Jack said 'But, but I am out of warranty and I pay from now on'. 'No you don't the boss says you're the first owner to come in for a week or more with a 4WD that has been out and about as it is designed for, and we've given it a complimentary oil change and clean'.

  17. Gypsy 18

    Kudos to Efeso Collins. It seems he stared Labour down and won.

    • Molly 18.1

      Someone for me to vote for without reservation.

      Earlier this month, two-term mayor and former Labour Party leader Phil Goff confirmed he would not seek re-election. Goff did not endorse Collins, but said he met the definition of a new generation of leadership.

      It was his wish that a younger person would take on the role.

      Collins has been a councillor, representing Manukau, since 2016.


      • Gypsy 18.1.1

        Labour wanted a mayor who would tow their line, which is why they encouraged Richard Hills to stand. I'm sure they expected Efeso to bow out quietly, but he stared them down, knowing Labour would be splitting their vote if they endorsed someone else.

        Richard Hills would have been Jacinda’s puppet, and would have been a disaster for Auckland. Collins, not so much.

        • Dennis Frank

          Bomber explains the saga here: https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2022/03/01/oh-happy-day-auckland-establishment-left-forced-to-back-efeso-collins-as-mayor/

          The one thing not clear to me, having read that, is who was the force actually with?? Who forced Labour into it? 🤔

          • Barfly

            It was probably that bloke Mr. Common Sense

            • Dennis Frank

              Possibly, except for the disturbing lack of common sense apparent to anyone familiar with the trajectory of the Labour Party since the end of WWII.

              I suspect this deity has been working quietly behind the scenes, deep within the subconscious of Labour minds:

              ANANKE was the primordial goddess (protogenos) of necessity, compulsion and inevitability. In the Orphic cosmogony she emerged self-formed at the dawn of creation–an incorporeal, serpentine being whose outstretched arms encompassed the breadth of the cosmos.

              Ananke and her mate Khronos (Chronos) (Time), their serpentine coils entwined, crushed the primal egg of creation splitting it into its constituent parts of earth, heaven and sea to form the ordered universe.


              You can see how her & her mate work together within Labour: it always takes time for them to figure out a necessity…

          • Gypsy

            Hey thanks for the link. His claim that labour 'begged' Shearer to reconsider is an interesting one…just shows how desperate they were.

            Who forced labour into it? Their own hubris. They thought they had a ready made and compliant candidate in Hills. Collins blindsided them and then refused to play ball. All power to him, although I'd rather central government parties kept their sticky beaks out of local government politics.

  18. Molly 19

    For those wanting to critique or support a podcast on Ivy League swimmer, Thomas.

    Women's Declaration International (WDI) Feminist Question Time is our weekly online webinars. It is attended by a global feminist and activist audience of between 200-300. The main focus is how gender ideology is harming the rights of women and girls. You can see recordings of previous panels on our YouTube Channel.

    Around 7:52 a mother of one of the female swimmers relates the support offered by the ACLU:

    'Let me tell you a certainty, the ACLU will never offer support to cis women against women.'

    Biological sex matters.

    Women are considered an adjunct ((un)necessary evil) to their own sex category by the American Civil Liberties Union.

  19. Adrian 20

    Apparently loss a smell and taste is not a common symptom of Omicron but is of previous strains according to Doctor Ashley at 1pm. Bugger I might have had it last week! Thought I only had a snotty.

  20. Puckish Rogue 21

    In these troubled times we could all do with some classic, timeless entertainment.

      • Puckish Rogue 21.1.1

        Good song, not quite light entertainment but still a good song

        • joe90

          Poots nuke announcement got me thinking about nuclear songs. Two Suns, Two Tribes and 99 Luftballoons came to mind but after some googling I realised just how many songs about nukes there are.

  21. SPC 22

    It appears that claims that vaccine RNA would not enter the cell nucleus were false.

    An accepted and published Swedish study demonstrates for the first time the presence of Pfizer-BionTech vaccine in liver cells.

    It is reverse transcribed by LINE-1 proteins of the cells. They are not sure if it gets integrated in our DNA or not


    Dr Been discusses the risk of autoimmune hepatitis

  22. An interesting article outlining why the Russian army is struggling in Ukraine:


    "The Russian army has always been bad at setting up and sustaining supply lines. Gen. Omar Bradley once said about different types of military officers, “Amateurs talk strategy, professionals talk logistics.”* In that sense, Russians are amateurs. This is well known. It is why Ukrainian soldiers explicitly attacked the Russian supply lines. It’s why so many tanks and other vehicles have been spotted stuck on the side of a road.''

    I do feel sorry for the young, poorly trained, Russian soldiers who are poorly motivated, don't know why they are there, and, in some cases, don't even know where they are.

    "'There is a larger factor here: The Russian army is composed, by and large, of one-year conscripts, who are poorly trained (even within the confines of Russian military training), badly treated, and uninspired by ideology or any other motivating spirit. Hence the stories of captured Russian troops who had no idea why they were in Ukraine. At least a few didn’t even know that they were in Ukraine—they thought they were still doing exercises in Belarus. Others have reportedly been found knocking on village doors for food or, in one case, asking a local police station for fuel.''

    • joe90 23.1

      Whatever happened to these chaps?

      “This is … the first day of your new life.” “Here pain makes you stronger, scars are a daily occurrence … without an enemy there is no battle, and without a battle there is no victory. But in reality, the main enemy … is you, the you from yesterday.”

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