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Open mike 01/05/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 1st, 2022 - 141 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 …

141 comments on “Open mike 01/05/2022 ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    For most of my life, I have been a complete sceptic about reported UFO sitings, thinking that most of it could be put down to natural phenomenons or overactive imaginations.

    However, the Pentagon has recently been forced to release its own information about UFO citings.

    As this Under Investigation documentary shows, there is little doubt that UFOs (renamed UFP- unidentified flying phenomenon) are actually a thing. As the documentary shows, there have been a lot of sightings by military pilots that have been captured both visually and by other instruments such as radar, that they have not been able to explain.

    So it seems to be that there is some unknown technology that is behind these reports. The main question seems to be whether this technology is of earthly or alien origin.

    The likely earthly candidates would seem to be:

    The US themselves? Possible. But would seem unusual they be exposing their technology in such a way that it could get into the main stream so easily.

    China or Russia? Unlikely. If they possessed this sort of technology then why aren't they in charge of the world order now? And certainly unlikely to be Russia given their performance in Ukraine.

    The Israelis? Possible. They have already demonstrated high technological advance with their high energy beam air defence system that seems straight out of science fiction. But why they would be buzzing the American airforce, their natural allies, would seem a bit strange.

    As unlikely as all the above explanations are, those earthly possibilities are probably still more likely than an explanation attributed to aliens from another planet. But who knows:

    • Adrian 1.1

      Years ago almost pre-internet in an obscure publication I read a story of a UCLA researcher studying rocks from deep in the San Andreas fault by putting them in a crusher to study the cracking and deformation and they were surprised to find in some cases that forming just above the surface in the moments before collapse a very small example of ball lightning tracking the imminent fracture in the rock. This tweaked my interest because here in Marlborough there are historicly a lot of UFO reports and of the 4 or 5 I know of ( and one personally ) the movement of the phenomen generally followed known earthquake fault lines. One of the worlds best known and studied UFO events was the Kaikoura UFOs and it wasn't until the big quake down there that it was discovered that there were a huge number of previously unknown faults along that coast. It has long been known that large aerial light displays are common at the time of large earthquakes. There is a PhD in there somewhere.. oh if only I hadn't spent my university days pissing up walls and falling over drunk.

      The buzzing of AirForce jets may be coincidental because generally these things are seen on radar and jets are scrambled to intercept them.

      • tsmithfield 1.1.1

        Yes, I do remember the Kaikoura lights which were never adequately explained.

        I think those were initially attributed to lights from squid boats. The problem being I think they were caught on radar as well.

        For a skeptic, it is one of these things that can’t be explained that tends to get put into the “too-hard” part of the brain.

      • Anne 1.1.2

        “One of the world’s best known and studied UFO events was the Kaikoura UFOs …”

        There is a more mundane explanation for that phenomenon provided by the Met.Service at the time that everyone chose to ignore. After all, as we are frequently told by some… what do the experts know?

        At the time of that incident, there was an intense high pressure system which, iirc, was centred off the East Coast of the South Island. An inversion had formed in the lower atmosphere at about 2000 feet caused by the air warming as it rose rather than the usual cooling process. In these conditions, dust and other particles get trapped in the air beneath the inversion often creating a low level haze visible to the naked eye. It is also possible if the inversion is over the sea for surface reflections to be captured during night time hours at the top of the inversion layer.

        It was known that a Japanese fishing fleet was in the area and was probably fishing inside the 200 mile zone at the time. They were using bright lights and it is believed what was seen was a reflection of those lights as they bobbed around in a choppy sea. That could have given the appearance of flying saucers nipping around the skies in no coordinated pattern which I believe is what happened.

        I’m not saying there are no genuine mysteries out there but I say… always look first at the Earth generated answer to such mysteries.

        • tsmithfield

          Yes, and the article I linked to does make some of those points.

          The Pentagon stuff is a bit harder to explain though. The US government seems to think something is there, whether from earth or…

          • Dennis Frank

            The ones in which fighter pilots tried to chase down flying saucers were always compelling – particularly when you read their personal descriptions of what they saw. No way can any of the usual feeble diversionary explanations fit those circumstances!

            Was 1963 when I gave a talk to my third form class on UFOs. One of Adamski's books prompted that but in retrospect he's one of the dodgier authors. There are some compilations by diligent researchers with critical faculties that are worth buying (I own a selection).

            • Anne

              Are you inferring that the Meteorological Service was indulging in feeble diversionary explanations to "fit the circumstances" of the Kaikoura sightings? That is nonsense. I was there.

              Their observations etc. are based on scientific knowledge and how the atmosphere can create curious 'images' of one sort or another. They don't bother with fairy stories and they certainly are not party to political or ideological games.

              • Dennis Frank

                No, I agree that atmospheric inversions could reflect lights somewhat. I regard that as semi-plausible. If there had been separate reports of them doing so on other non-ufo occasions, I would delete semi.

                I had in mind some of the other loopier standard official explanations such as weather balloons or the planet Venus. Weather balloons are not know for their ability to perform sudden right-angle turns when chased by fighter jets. Indeed, it's almost as if weather balloons don't know when/if fighter jets are chasing them. But don't tell the authorities that – they may get upset…

                Likewise, Venus has consistently demonstrated a strange inability to perform evasive action. It's remotely possible that officials are troubled by this. If so, I haven't seen them discuss their anxiety in the media – but perhaps their employment contract has a privacy clause.

              • Adrian

                Yes Anne the Metservice theory got a lot of traction at the time but was rejected because the mystery lights showed up on Wellington Radar and reflections would not have done that. The Earth contains huge amounts of static electricity which is sometimes verified by ultra fast photography that shows that lightning strikes seem to have a very, very fine precursor electric discharge from the ground up to the charged cloud which the large cloud discharge then follows to the Earth. Ball lightning is another phenomonen that has not been so far explained and one of the strange things about it is that it has been reported that it moves rapidly away from any approaches, and similar things have been seen in a very small way in large electric motors, physicists have theorised that it may even be evidence of a 5th dimension and the Large Hadron Collider is running experiments on trying to solve these mysteries at the moment. There are a lot more things in Heaven and Earth that we have no idea of yet…Who said that?

                I don't think aliens are one of them but Putin does come close.

                • Anne

                  I can't say I heard about the radar image.

                  What you have to remember though… the air immediately beneath the inversion line would have been dense with trapped dust and other debris particles. Whether they would show up on a radar screen I would have no idea.

              • Adrian

                Yes Anne the Metservice theory got a lot of traction at the time but was rejected because the mystery lights showed up on Wellington Radar and reflections would not have done that. The Earth contains huge amounts of static electricity which is sometimes verified by ultra fast photography that shows that lightning strikes seem to have a very, very fine precursor electric discharge from the ground up to the charged cloud which the large cloud discharge then follows to the Earth. Ball lightning is another phenomonen that has not been so far explained and one of the strange things about it is that it has been reported that it moves rapidly away from any approaches, and similar things have been seen in a very small way in large electric motors, physicists have theorised that it may even be evidence of a 5th dimension and the Large Hadron Collider is running experiments on trying to solve these mysteries at the moment. There are a lot more things in Heaven and Earth that we have no idea of yet…Who said that?

                I don't think aliens are one of them but Putin does come close.

                • Anne

                  "I had in mind some of the other loopier standard official explanations such as weather balloons or the planet Venus."

                  Oh yes. that one used to pop up intervals. I'm not sure they were official claims or rather the MSM trying to infer some mysterious 'goings on' high in the atmosphere. There were goings on alright. Met staff recording the wind directions and speeds plus temp. data at multiple levels. They wore that one out in the end.

                  • KJT

                    The sightings coincided with the time there were hundreds of squid boats on the coast and a temperature inversion. Funny if aliens decided to visit exactly when that occurred. Camouflage?

                    I've seen a lot weirder things at sea during inversions than, "lights in the sky".

                    As for RADAR sightings, most of those date from earlier days of RADAR, before some of it's idiosynchrocies, such as false echos, beam width errors, reflection and double echos, were fully understood.

                    One of the series of UFO sightings, in NZ, still published in UFO literature, was an Otago University capping stunt. I knew some of the culprits, including an NAC pilot.

                    Alians are a definite possibility. However the chances of any being at a stage of development advanced enough to be peeking at earthlings, at exactly the same moment, over eons of time, when "supposedly intelligent", life is around on earth to record it, is statistically improbable!

                    • Anne

                      I go with the Japanese squid boats/inversion theory because it is the most plausible and fits in with the meteorological conditions at the time.

                      Approx. every two years when the news flow is slow, Newshub come up with the flying saucers theory. I wrote to them once and told them to get a life and go with the scientific experts rather than spin fairytales. They never replied. smiley

                    • KJT

                      As I was sailing through the squid fleets and saw it, I definitely go with inversion Another interesting effect of the inversion was recieving Aussie VHF radio stations. Normally marine VHF has a max range around 60NM, depending on aerial heights. Can get similar effects with RADAR. Targets hundreds of miles away showing because of refraction. Of course the return pulse arrives after several scanner rotations, making the targets appear to be much closer.

                    • KJT

                      Another one was a whole series about "strange" lights around Pandora bank.

                      Funnily coinciding with a search with helicopters etc for a depth charge that went AWOL. Hopefully a practice one

            • Blade

              Bruce Cathie and Trevor James Constable.

              Two little known New Zealand researchers. Cathie, however, was better known overseas because of his gridline energy theory and software.

  2. Ad 2

    A team of some of the biggest and most respected names in the Green movement turn a small development into a legal quagmire.

    Debt, distrust and deadlock: How peace at an idyllic eco-village was shattered | Stuff.co.nz

    Bob Corker, his wife Kay Baxter, the Koanga Institute, Peter Alexander the owner of Chantal Foods, versus a group of idealists who ponied up the money to live in idealistic togetherness inland from Wairoa.

    Lots of court cases, lots of money lost, bunches of accusations, and a general mess.

    Developments go down every day in Auckland, run by tradies who think they can step up.

    But this one is a far cry from what was to have been, according to Corker and Baxter’s promotional material, “a shared dream of embracing a regenerative future through independent village living, local economies and co-evolution”.

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      An excellent report. Realising dreams has been a tough learning curve for those of us who did the hippie thing & the story resonates on several levels. Few people are even aware that realise originally meant make real, and nobody ever gets taught how to build on common ground. Such teaching ought to be part of education.

      So the ethics of sharing become a focus of experiential learning. Mistakes made can be rectified but if those involved cover them up instead the situation will inevitably become toxic. Individuals in our culture of narcissism are entrained to think of themselves first, second, and third. Factoring in the views of others requires a serious cognitive shift. Responsibility and accountability aren't trendy…

      • RedLogix 2.1.1

        I was talking with another engineer socially yesterday and he made the observation about how not all that many people actually know how the world works. And how people who think ideology and ideals are a substitute for experience and skill are the most accident prone of all.

        • Blazer

          I'd be interested to know how you think the world…'works'.

        • AB

          "How the world works" is of course already in itself the expression of an ideology – and if you don't come from that milieu, or hold a contrary ideology, or are (sometimes) just too good a person, you will indeed get taken for a sucker.

          Point is that, outside the pure sciences, there is not a privileged something called "how the world works" with everything else being reduced to mere ideology.

        • Dennis Frank


          The Anglo-American system of politics and economics, like any system, rests on certain principles and beliefs. But rather than acting as if these are the best principles, or the ones their societies prefer, Britons and Americans often act as if these were the only possible principles and no one, except in error, could choose any others. Political economics becomes an essentially religious question, subject to the standard drawback of any religion—the failure to understand why people outside the faith might act as they do. To make this more specific: Today's Anglo-American world view rests on the shoulders of three men. One is Isaac Newton, the father of modern science. One is Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the father of liberal political theory. (If we want to keep this purely Anglo-American, John Locke can serve in his place.) And one is Adam Smith, the father of laissez-faire economics. From these founding titans come the principles by which advanced society, in the Anglo-American view, is supposed to work.

          And then the writer shifts into a different paradigm…

          In Japan economics has in effect been considered a branch of geopolitics—that is, as the key to the nation's strength or vulnerability in dealing with other powers. From this practical-minded perspective English-language theorists seem less useful than their challengers, such as Friedrich List.

          Although List and others did not use exactly this term, the German school was more concerned with "market failures." In the language of modern economics these are the cases in which normal market forces produce a clearly undesirable result. The standard illustration involves pollution. If the law allows factories to dump pollutants into the air or water, then every factory will do so. Otherwise, their competitors will have lower costs and will squeeze them out. This "rational" behavior will leave everyone worse off. The answer to such a market failure is for the society—that is, the government—to set standards that all factories must obey.

          Friedrich List and his best-known American counterpart, Alexander Hamilton, argued that industrial development entailed a more sweeping sort of market failure… The German view is more concerned with the welfare, indeed sovereignty, of people in groups—in communities, in nations. This is its most obvious link with the Asian economic strategies of today. Friedrich List fulminated against the "cosmopolitan theorists," like Adam Smith, who ignored the fact that people lived in nations and that their welfare depended to some degree on how their neighbors fared. In the real world happiness depends on more than how much money you take home. If the people around you are also comfortable (though, ideally, not as comfortable as you), you are happier and safer than if they are desperate.

          • RedLogix

            Britons and Americans often act as if these were the only possible principles and no one, except in error, could choose any others

            I think most honest observers would claim that these principles were simply the ones we have through painful centuries of trial and error found to be the least worst ways to organise a political economy. All the known alternatives having a much worse track record.

            In crude terms we have tried over the past four centuries of industrialisation, liberal capitalism, socialism and fascism in a context when everything was growing. But as we enter a novel era of stable and declining populations, and constrained resources – I would suggest we have no idea what the optimal political economy might look like.

            • pat

              or even if we will retain one

            • Poission

              In recent times (due to deregulation) we have seen the rise of Financialization where the status of the financial sector has risen above that of the real sector,enhancing inequality.

              Financialization is a process whereby financial markets, financial institutions, and financial elites gain greater influence over economic policy and economic outcomes.Financialization transforms the functioning of economic systems at both the macro and micro levels.

              Its principal impacts are to (1) elevate the significance of the financial sector relative to the real sector, (2) transfer income from the real sector to the financial sector,and (3) increase income inequality and contribute to wage stagnation. Additionally, there are reasons to believe that financialization may put the economy at risk of debt deflation and prolonged recession.


              This has lead to overpriced financial assets which when reaching the boundary positions of growth,have only one direction to travel.


              • Blazer

                A long way to go.

                'There is no better snapshot of the Fed’s failure as a banking supervisor than this one fact that is called out every quarter in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Report on Bank Trading and Derivative Activities. Table 14 of this report (see page 19) shows that the 25 largest bank holding companies in the U.S. are sitting on $234 trillion notional (face amount) in derivatives but just five bank holding companies are responsible for $200.18 trillion of that exposure or 86 percent of the total. Those mega bank holding companies are: JPMorgan Chase (ticker JPM), Citigroup (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Bank of America (BAC).'

            • KJT

              Proof for that assertion?

              Or. Simply your! religious belief?

  3. Ad 3

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    Europe cooperates on gas, as Russia turns off taps to Poland and Bulgaria | News | DW | 30.04.2022

  4. Blazer 4

    Gee the Natz really do 'care' about …people….I guess those all on $180,000 plus will respond saying why they need a tax cut to help them get..by.

    National launches website for struggling Kiwis to share how cost of living crisis is affecting them (msn.com)

    • Chris T 4.1

      How many people do you actually think are on 180k or more in NZ?

      I am genuinely curious.

      i m also curious as to you not thinking NZ inflation has got out of hand. Even Ardern admits this.

      • Blazer 4.1.1

        High inflation is worldwide.

        The point is the wealthy certainly do not need a..tax cut.

        Reducing govt spending to fund one is…ludicrous.

        • Chris T

          Apologies, but the fact that any basic tax cut for those on lower incomes will inevitably affect the first 48k – 70k or so of rich people, is no excuse to not give lower income people a tax cut.

          They refuse to even change the fricken tax brackets to more realistic and logical levels.

          Because the current govt really is that uncaring and unkind

          Edit: lets put it this way. Ardern temporarily has taken 25% off petrol excise tax.

          Surely this is nasty to you given rich people don’t pay that 25%now either?

          Or is that different somehow?

          • Jester

            I have thought that even John key's govt should have adjusted the tax brackets. Paying 30% PAYE on income over $48k IMO is way too high. Wages have increased significantly sine 2009 or whenever those brackets came in, and $70k is no longer a 'rich pricks' income.

      • Incognito 4.1.2

        Use Google and get your abacus: https://figure.nz/chart/UnE8CtjDJuqPUk9U

        • Chris T

          4000 people!

          My god! No wonder hey refuse to help poor people!

          • Incognito

            OMG! Try again, as your abacus evidently had a major failure and did not compute.

            • Chris T

              Fair call 4,220

              Forgive me for rounding

              • Incognito

                Why are you wasting our time & space with dim-witted comments? You asked a specific Q, I put in some effort to give a useful & helpful A, because you’re too lazy to do it yourself, and you screw it up not once, but twice!?

                • Chris T

                  Fair enough.

                  I will roll with your figures and your theory that the 58,820 people on 180K or more, you consider rich, must be really honest people to disclose their true incomes and pay their taxes, and that people who say they all avoid doing that are wrong.

                  [You’re too kind to roll with the figures provided by Inland Revenue, eventually.

                  You asked @ 4.1:

                  How many people do you actually think are on 180k or more in NZ?

                  I gave you the answer on a platter.

                  I did not give my personal theory on anything and you put those words in my mouth and made up a whole lot of BS about me.

                  Given that my first Mod note for you had not appeared yet, you escape a longer ban. Take a fortnight off – Incognito]

          • arkie

            Adding together all those above $180,000 per annum is 47,290 not 4,000, but well done on having a go.

            • Chris T

              TBH I lost my faith in the reliability of that site when I noticed it says 40,000 on over 200k

              Which I think we all know is bollocks

              • Incognito

                The only thing we know is your failure to understand the data and the bollocks you spout here, again and again. If you don’t like the answer then don’t ask the question and stay and go play in your sandpit.

                Anyway, each bar represents an interval or band of $5,000 above the previous one and as any person can see from the graph I linked to there is a long tail at the higher end.

            • Chris T

              So why is Ardern not making these people pay full fuel prices?

              Does she hate poor people?

              [More inane drivel from you; you’re simply trolling again.

              Not committing to taxing those higher incomes does not equate to hating poor people.

              Your suggestion for fuel taxes for the well-offs is utter impractical and stupid.

              Stop trolling and showing off your stupidity. This is your warning – Incognito]

    • DukeEll 4.2

      Thanks to this government, and certain overseas factors, someone on $180k this year will effectively only be on $167.4K by next march, but will still pay tax on $180k

      someone on 70k will only be earning 65.1k effectively in twelve months but will still be considered in the top tax bracket

      inflation sucks

      • mikesh 4.2.1

        The 39 cents per dollar tax they pay will be worth 32.5 cents per dollar.

        • DukeEll

          Typical socialist tax maths.

          39 less 7% is 36.2 FYI

          Which doesn’t make inflation suck less

      • Blazer 4.2.2

        Pretty stupid statement,even for you.

        The same dynamic applies if inflation is 2 or 3%.

        • DukeEll

          Pointing that out that wage earners are paying more tax on higher brackets while effectively earning in lower brackets is stupid because of a ratio difference of 100%?

          A remarkably stupid observation from one renowned as an idiot

  5. Molly 5

    An Australian professor talking to the Australian Christian Lobby in 2020, during the pre-cursor to their "conversion therapy bill" being passed in several states. Similar to the one that was celebrated here on TS.

    Why do I post this here, given the complete lack of robust debate?

    I continue to hope that a long-standing left-wing platform will be able to withstand the discomfort of addressing these issues, and show how #NoDebate is a flawed approach. Also, there may be some reading here, that do look for information rather than rhetoric.

    So, for them, Professor John Whitehall talks about some of the studies regarding the effects of "completely reversible" puberty blockers, and also cross-sex hormones. You can check the studies if you are that way inclined.

    For those who are not concerned by evidence of harm, you may wish to add your names to the open letter – which has been signed by over 7,000 in response to the grave news that the current social and medical protocol for children is causing harm. Of course, they don't provide counter evidence – they just reiterate the same slogans and assertions that got them thus far.


    • Rosemary McDonald 5.1

      '80% of children who just have therapy go on to live with their biological sex. 90% of children who are given puberty blockers go on to cross sex hormones…' Speaks out…gets cancelled.

      • Molly 5.1.1

        Yes. Good interview. Ridiculous behaviour from Childline and University.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          Around 15 mins begins an interesting discussion around the paradox of trans people not wanting to be pathologised (ie treated like they are unwell), to be accepted as 'normal' … yet in order for them to feel comfortable in their bodies they often demand some seriously invasive and irreversible medical interventions.

          • Molly

            New Benjamin Boyce interview up.

            Haven't watched it yet but will, as it has both Helen Joyce and Stephanie Davies-Arai.

      • Molly 5.1.2

        Recent post from father of TiF who estranged from 'abusive family'. Seemingly, as common a part of transition as changing hair colour.


        Making a commitment to really understand what our daughter was telling us, just after leaving home (but which we couldn’t in all honesty make any sense of) involves taking the opportunity to explore a multitude of different voices and perspectives. Cutting to the quick, what we really started to see was the way that men (as lefty “woke” men, as trans women and as trans allies) were using social media to bully and silence women in order to protect and maintain their power and status – and this requires subjugating women’s voices and opinions. It soon became clear that it was only women putting in the emotional labour of forging some kind of pushback against the excesses of the gender jugganout. Most men weren’t much bothered by any of it, as they were simply benefiting from it by osmosis – and these benefits are also pretty invisible to the chaps.

        Gender ideology doesn’t really impact men of course, too busy virtue signaling, and too preoccupied with manly stuff to actually give a moments thought to what’s happening to their daughters, wives, sisters. Many women without skin in the game, don’t see it either, life’s just too hectic. Just gotta carry on being kind. Support these “special” people, groomed and indoctrinated by men and their trans-supporting handmaidens.

        I was finding a whole host of men (as non binary, or trans women) enjoying huge adulation and success as “non binary mayors”, brave cross-dressing chairmen of this corporation, or that organisation, gaining positions on shortlists, winning women’s prizes, and so on. Was there a balancing proportion of women of a similar age desperate to be middle-aged men, I wondered, identifying as nb or transmen enjoying the same privileges? Nope, the exact opposite. While around 85% of transwomen have NO SURGERY whatsoever, a much younger demographic of young women make irreversible changes to their bodies, endure failed phalloplasties, become medical patients for life, suffer early menopause, vaginal atrophy, loss of sexual function, increased risk to certain cancers, and many of these damaged young people end up detransitioning. Complaints that they were never fully assessed or other mental health issues addresses are rising fast, as the number of detransitioners grows. 29,000 last time I looked on a Reddit group for detransitioners…

        …Almost 4 years ago now, in the absence of any meaningful discussion with our daughter, I was asked to Educate Myself. Well I did just that and I’ll be discussing more of it here. Please feel free to comment or discuss anything, or sign up for my newsletter once I get this set up.

        Educate Yourself.

        This might be the most important slogan of the gender ideology movement.

        Of course, it meant Indoctrinate Yourself. But many have not been inculcated into the appropriation of language and did set out to learn without bias.

        So, this one slogan I agree with: Educate Yourself.

        • Nic the NZer

          Separation from family is a phase of psychological development which happens during mid-late teenage years to early adult hood. Most teens will want to hang out with peer group rather than participate in family activities. This seems to be part of forming their own personality.

          I read up on this after looking at Stefan Molyneux, who may have been using his understanding of this (via his psychologist trained wife) to shepherd people into his amateur online counselling service, it seemed to often involve getting young people to separate from their families. There were similar accusations he was trying to setup a cult involved there also.


          • Molly

            Separation of family from child has been legislated from the age of 4, in Scottish Education.


            Don't assume that I am talking about the natural separation of a child from their parents. That's a natural part of growing up.

            Diversity clubs in primary schools, are promoting the keeping of secrets from parents at young ages, and facilitating the premise that families that question their ideas are 'abusive'. We have school resources in NZ that both promote this idea, and the idea of setting up school clubs along the same lines of the US and the UK.

            Given that medical interactions delay brain maturation and psychological development, we potentially have young children not going through the necessary pubertal maturation to allow for healthy division of self and family.

            Look deeper than just writing it off as normal development. This is not what is happening.

            • Nic the NZer

              I was suggesting there is a typical developmental mechanism where young adults separate their identity from their families. I don't think that implies these cases should be characterized as normal development. Quite the opposite in the case of Stefan in fact.

              • Molly

                Sorry, unsure about the point of your comment, and misread it.

                However, do you have concerns about gender ideology being taught in schools?

                Do you think relationship and sexuality curriculum resources should be created and provided by the MoE to ensure quality, accuracy and transparency?

                • Nic the NZer

                  I do have some concerns about what seems to be taught as parts of it are patently untrue.

                  On the other hand I have found that some of the material presented around schools for political purposes by conservatives is rather miss leading, and I don't really think it has the impacts implied in those cases.

                  If any institution is determining what goes in the curriculum its going to be the MoE. That's appropriate, but clearly parents should be enabled to understand what is being taught.

          • Anker

            i may be misinterpreting you Nic, but separating from parents in the mid teens is age appropriate development. However that doesn't mean the parents abandon them or disappear. Parents need to connect with there teens in a way that helps them have some idea of what they are up too. Kids can get up to really bad shit and this is when a got parent steps in. The kids that truly go off the rails can be the ones whose parents are off duty from whats going on.

            • Nic the NZer

              I agree, separation is maybe not the best description. Maybe individuation is better. But in almost all cases the young adults maintain contact with their families.

              I just think its worth understanding that young adults may be more susceptible to certain ideas while they are going through this developmental stage. I also think if this was understood by the young people while going through it they may be able to understand where some of their motivations are coming from.

              • Anker

                Agreed Nic. And I think we can all remember the things we did to individuate during our teens (horrors!). But mostly these things are not permanant like for example a double masectomy

        • Visubversa

          I did educate myself – that is why I signed up for Team TERF – Truth Exclaiming Real Females!

          • Molly

            Yes, probably the most self-defeating exhortation gender ideologists could have made.

        • Anker

          Agreed Nic. And I think we can all remember the things we did to individuate during our teens (horrors!). But mostly these things are not permanant like for example a double masectomy

        • This is appallingly sad. Its not like a child growing up and leaving home. Those ones come back. This is a child who has been indocrinated into a religious cult with a set of imcomprehensible beliefs and encouraged to reject her family. This is the real conversion therapy. Yet in an owellian twist our legislation would condemn someone who tried to question a young person who wanted to have cosmetic surgery removing their sexual organs and breasts, about what the consequences of their actions might be as being guilty of conversion therapy. A big con.

    • Anker 5.2

      great talk Molly.

      I like you continue to hope that people of this left wing site will listen to what we post and start to think critically or at least engage in debate about gender ideology and the medical transitioning of children.

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Here is an example of why some people get paid the big bucks.

    An interview with Ukrainian presidential advisor, Oleksiy Arestovych from back in 2019 where he gave an eerily accurate prediction of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. He predicted the most at risk years of the invasion were 2020-2022, and gave a pretty much blow by blow account of what he predicted would happen, most of which actually has happened in the invasion.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Time traveler.surprise

      • tsmithfield 6.1.1

        Maybe he had been reading Peter Zeihan's stuff?.

        • RedLogix

          Speaking of which:

          • tsmithfield

            Yes, I thought the Russians cutting off gas to Poland and Bulgaria was a pointed threat to Germany, showing that they are prepared to take this sort of action.

            The problem for Russia is that they also depend on Germany for foreign funds to fight their war. So, cutting off gas to Russia would be a major problem for Russia as well.

            I was in Germany a few years ago, and they were shutting off their nuclear and coal power stations back then. They may have to reactivate these in the short term I think.

            Recognising this, Germany may be prepared to call Russia’s bluff and go without Russian gas for a month or two.

            A good thing is that with summer coming gas is not so much needed for heating, so may make alternative sources adequate in the short-term anyway.

          • tsmithfield

            Just further to that video, I do find that Peter is a bit self-contradictory sometimes.

            For instance, in one video he was talking about the oil service eompanies leaving Russia, and how that was going to affect China due to Russia not being able to fix them.

            On the other hand, in a video I saw the other day, he was still expecting Russia to win due to overwhelming force, despite saying this was going to deteriorate into a long war of attrition that could last years. At that point, he didn't seem to recognise the fact that many aspects of the Russia arms manufacturing system has ground to a halt due to the sanctions, and all the other logistics such as rail that are dependent to some degree on Western expertise that could also start breaking down soon.

            In a war of attrition, those who can replace their losses have the advantage. Given the problems Russia is facing and all the arms pouring into Ukraine from the west now, it seems that Ukraine has a huge advantage in a war of attrition.

            And on the issue of German gas, on another video Peter was talking about how the Russians couldn't afford to shut down output to Europe long term because the issues such as pressure build up would result in them having to close the production off altogether.

            Thus, my comment that Germany could call their bluff, because I don't think Russia could afford to cut output for very long.

            • RedLogix

              ‘Just further to that video, I do find that Peter is a bit self-contradictory sometimes.’

              I agree. It would be really good to see more interviews where he is challenged on some of his conclusions.

              I think what I value is not so much his predictions – but the broad geopolitical tools he brings to the discourse. Ideas around rivers, oceans, rainfall, terrain, security, agriculture and so on. His best argument is that these factors more than anything else determine the fate of nations.

              Where I think he is weaker – and this is true for all of us – is in predicting the near-term chaos of events, where personalities and politics plays a greater role.

              Also I tend to forgive some of his more provocative predictions – he is after all making an effort to bring some life and wit to a traditionally dull topic.

              • tsmithfield

                I think also because he commentates on such a wide array of geopolitical issues it must be hard to remember all the previous statements to stay consistent with.

    • Yes, that is why all the financial experts get paid such big bucks-because they all accurately predicted the GFC back in 2008….oh hang on a minute….

      • tsmithfield 6.2.1

        Whether they deserve to get the big bucks is another matter.

      • Descendant Of Smith 6.2.2

        And all the CEO's got paid big bucks to plan for a pandemic – one they were warned would eventually happen and actual planning had taken place for in NZ at least and there had been close calls with regionalised outbreaks.

        Their planning amounted to head in sand ostrich-like behaviour.

  7. RedLogix 7

    An interesting home affordability proposal from the ALP:

    Anthony Albanese says a Labor government will make it easier for 10,000 Australians per year to buy a home by taking an equity stake of up to 40 per cent in their property.

    The scheme, called Help to Buy, is designed to help Australians buy a home with a smaller deposit, a smaller mortgage and smaller mortgage repayments.

    It is claimed that, in some parts of Australia, this will cut the amount people will have to pay on their mortgage by up to $380,000. The government would contribute up to 40 per cent of the price and subsequently own that portion of the property. The owner would then be able to buy out the government’s stake.

    The actual shortage of housing stock is the obvious problem, but I have long advocated that the hidden issue with housing is the inability of an increasing fraction of people to access a mortgage – at any price. Qualifying for a mortgage is more than just having a deposit and being able to service the payments – for example any kind of credit risk or criminal record is a show-stopper. Or a precarious income.

    This seems one concrete way to address this – albeit very expensive for the govt.

    • Blazer 7.1

      Probably less expensive than the long term social consequences of homelessness and young families reliant on landlords.

      Look at the cost of the accomodation subsidy and paying for motels here.Billions.

      Soft loans for FHB 's with conditions re selling are an obvious model going by past experiences in NZ.

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.1

        I still think one of the better options is for the government to own the land (lease free if need be) and the householder to just have to pay for the house and infrastructure costs for new builds. Take land prices out of the equation.

        • RedLogix

          I did a quick search and came up with this:

          There are many elements to a solution.

          1. Housing NZ should be turning over 5-10% of its total stock every year and replacing them with new affordable homes that it builds. NZ has a LOT of rubbish housing stock that needs either upgrading or bulldozing. HNZ should be leading the way in this.

          2. All Residential LAND should be owned by the govt. Leasehold should be the norm. This would prevent banks from using land as security which is the main driver of price speculation.

          3. The Govt should be the lender of first resort for all first home buyers. The shared equity scheme currently being trialled in a limited form is fundamentally a good idea. Indeed, most residential mortgages should be with New Zealand owned banks. It is flat out dumb to be paying billions of dollars in interest to Australian banks.

          4. The interest paid by New Zealanders on their family home mortgages should be either tax deductable. This would eliminate most of the fiscal differential between home ownership and residential investment.

          Back in 2008.

          • Descendant Of Smith

            Can't disagree with any of that really. Singapore does with with the state owning the land. Just imagine all that money going into more productive (but maybe higher risk) investments such as start-ups and businesses who wish to expand.

          • mikesh

            4. The interest paid by New Zealanders on their family home mortgages should be either tax deductable. This would eliminate most of the fiscal differential between home ownership and residential investment.

            Interest is an expense, and expenses should only be deductible against taxable revenue. Where is the revenue to come from which would support this arrangement. The wage/salary earners' income will already have been taxed at source.

            • RedLogix

              You seem to have it completely backwards.

              • mikesh

                You seem to have it completely backwards.

                You seem incapable of presenting a cogent argument.

            • KJT

              Isn't having somewhere to live also an "expense" incurred in order to earn taxable income?

              No home no work

              • mikesh

                No groceries = no food = no energy = no work.

                So, by your reasoning, groceries should be a deductible expense. And what about clothes. A worker can't go to work naked.

                • KJT

                  Workers clothes already are. But, in NZ, only for employers.

                  Employees also cannot deduct travel. But, a sole trader can.

                  Until recently “Managers” were allowed to deduct two hour lunches. Which now attract FBT, much to the dismay of the posh restaurant industry.
                  You have a constant habit of claiming various accounting definitions, which are simply conventions set by tax law, are written in stone.

                  • mikesh

                    Income tax taxes revenue revenue, but allows deductions in respect of expenses which contribute to the earning of revenue. That's not just some "accounting or taxation definition not set set in stone" but just plain common sense. If one is not going to accept this method then there is no point in taxing income in the first place.

                    In the case of private residences there is no income, from the properties themselves, against which residential or private expenses can be deducted. The distinction between business and private expenses is one that has to be made, if taxation is to have any logic to it.

                    • KJT

                      The "distinction between business and private expenses" is purely arbitrary and nothing to do with "common sense" as the examples I've given, show.

                      In fact claimable "private or business expenses" have varied greatly since my first aquantance with Accounting Standards.

                      Individuals in the past allowed to claim, "clothing for work". Just one example of many.

                    • mikesh

                      The "distinction between business and private expenses" is purely arbitrary

                      The distinction is not arbitrary. It's just that some persons are able to get away with breaking the law. eg Where a vehicle is used for both business and private uses, the owner is supposed to to include only the costs applicable to its business use on his tax return, but in all likelihood many don't. Clothing is only deductible if has been purchased only for, and is only worn on, the job.

                      Bus fares and interest are interesting cases. The IRD argues, probably correctly, that a worker doesn't start earning income until he enters his workplace, and that bus fares, which of course are incurred prior to that, should therefore not be deductible. I would argues that the same thing applies to interest. Income is not being earned until an investment is made, and, since borrowing is prior to investment, interest should also not be deductible. The IRD doesn't seem to agree with me on this, which is why I have always argued that deductibility of interest is an anomaly in the Income Tax Act.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              Donations are tax deductable but have nothing to do with earning an income. In the past a non-working spouse was tax deductable as was a life insurance policy.

              I my view absolutely nothing should be tax deductable and taxation should be based on turnover. Expenses should solely be between the shareholders and the people running the company.


              • mikesh

                Donations help to promote a good relationship with the wider community, and could therefor be seen as beneficial where profitability is concerned.

                Deductions for non working non working spouses, and insurance premiums, were deductions in respect of personal incomes rather than business incomes, and were an indirect form of welfare similar to W4F.

                Taxing revenue only might work if the tax rate was low enough, though I don't see it as an improvement on the present system. I think costs would be subject to a multiplier effect were stuff passes from one companiy to another before reaching the final customer.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  Companies currently set up vertical structures to have each tier designed to reduce tax liability. Reducing that would save millions of dollars in unnecessary costs as there would no longer be a need to do that.

                  • mikesh

                    Reducing that would save millions of dollars in unnecessary costs as there would no longer be a need to do that.

                    I think just the opposite is the case. If there is no deductibility of expenses then those expenses get passed from firm to firm, and get taxed many times. The expenses would get taxed at each step of their journey. Under the present system each firm pays tax only on its own contribution to the final cost.

                    Vertical integration can save costs, and this is a good thing. However I don't think think the cost savings come from tax savings. The more profitable the firm the more tax it pays. However, a system in which tax liability was based on revenue, without deduction of expenses, would certainly encourage vertical integration

          • Blazer

            Those 4 points are a far too sensible solution,so had no chance of being adopted.

            • mikesh

              I would agree with points (2) and (3), and with point (1) inasmuch as I would agree that HNZ's housing stock should be kept up to scratch, though I'm not sure whether 5% – 10% would be the appropriate amount of churn. Point (4) I would not agree with, for the reasons given in my response to the comment.

          • Craig H

            I'm not personally opposed to 2 as that was originally the case in feudal England as all land was owned by the Crown who then leased it out e.g. 999 year leases. Likely to be decidedly unpopular however, and I'm not entirely sure how it makes any difference to the Public Works Act, as short term leases would be about as popular as leasehold currently is i.e. not popular at all.

            4 would mean higher taxes somewhere else to replace the lost revenue (for every $1B of deductible interest, that's $300M @30% in tax reductions, more for higher tax rates), so also likely to be unpopular. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/c35 suggests approx. $10B p.a. in residential mortgage interest, and while some of that will be deducted anyway by home businesses, that's $2-3B to find from somewhere.

            1 and 3 are the main ones to me – no reason other than ideology why the state can't just do both of those. 5% replacement looks more likely than 10% though as even that is a complete turnover in 20 years.

            I would add:

            5. Make the Income-Related Rent Subsidy (IRRS) exempt from requiring specific appropriations in line with the Accommodation Supplement and main benefits. From a conversation with ministers, my understanding is that's the main fiscal constraint on government activity in this area, not anything else, so unlocking that seems key to KO and other social housing providers building significantly more houses.

            6. KO keeps building and does rent-to-own of houses to FHB at a multiple of their income which is reassessed annually so the payments are set at 1/4 of pre-tax household income for 12 years. Basically, pay rent set at the normal rates, and after 12 years, the FHB owns it. Normally, the cap on the 25% is market rate, but that would not apply here because the occupants will eventually own it. This would also have to come with some rules about selling at a profit for a set amount of time, but the point here is to get someone into a house, not overly moralise about potential Crown losses.

            • mikesh

              I would add:

              (7) Make it illegal to rent out houses unless the are owned freehold by the landlord. Competition from would-be landlords increases demand for, and probably pushes up the prices of, properties. If a landlord had to have sufficient funds to purchase, without having to borrow, before he entered the market then that competition would be reduced. Also, I think taking out a mortgage tends to push up rents since most landlords will try to recover their mortgage costs from the rents that they charge. I'm not sure what one would do about existing landlords who have mortgages though.

    • Craig H 7.2


      Not quite as generous from the looks, but a shared equity scheme exists here already in which KO will put in up to 25% or $200,000 and the first home buyer is expected to buy them out later (within 25 years at the latest).

  8. joe90 8

    Free speech except for the bits you have to pay for.


    When meeting with lenders, Musk pointed out that Twitter lags behind Facebook and Pinterest when it comes to its gross margin, and therefore could make more money. To help achieve this, Musk is mulling over monetizing tweets “that contain important information or go viral,” according to the report, as well as charging websites a fee to quote or embed tweets from verified accounts. He is also looking at having moderation policies that are “as free as possible.”


    • RedLogix 8.1

      You will pardon me a frisson of pleasure for having boycotted Twitter from the get go.

    • AB 8.2

      “as free as possible”

      As always – who gets to define "possible" and who does not? What do we call someone who has the power to define "freedom" for the hundreds of millions of people who use the platform he owns? Where will it all end if we do not ultimately shut these things down and dispossess the owners of all their money?

    • roblogic 8.3

      Reminds me of when Justin Timberlake purchased MySpace for $35 million. A money hole. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy

      • Blazer 8.3.1

        An even 'nicer ' guy sold it to him!laugh

        ‘Murdoch’s News Corp. acquired MySpace just over six years ago, paying $580 million dollar for the popular social network. Years of subsequent mismanagement and failure to compete with the meteoric rise of Facebook took their toll on the social network, and Murdoch eventually sold off MySpace to advertising company Specific Media and pop star Justin Timberlake last year for $35 million — a small fraction of its original purchase price.’-yahoo.news

  9. arkie 9

    May Day! Also known as International Workers' Day. A time to celebrate the victories of the labour movement and also remember the effectiveness of mass action; we can and must support each other in the struggle for a more equitable and free world.

    On 21 April 1856, Australian stonemasons in Victoria undertook a mass stoppage as part of the eight-hour workday movement. It became a yearly commemoration, inspiring American workers to have their first stoppage. 1 May was chosen to be International Workers' Day to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. In that year beginning on 1 May, there was a general strike for the eight-hour workday.


    • Patricia Bremner 9.1

      New Zealand's history of the eight hour day with Parnell is interesting.

      Bill Birch's Contract Act scuppered the last vestiges.

      The Fair Pay Agreement Legislation is a baby step to a fairer future.

      Plus legislation in 2022 . Well done Labour.

      • arkie 9.1.1

        History can be very inspiring.

        I’m most interested in the further advancement of worker democracy – measures to ensure democracy at work – board representation, shares and profit sharing, etc. I’d be pleased to see these concepts taken up by any party even if it is to get the topic into wider discussion, for the moment.

        • Patricia Bremner


        • Sacha

          Imagine if there was a website dedicated to discussing the labour movement in Aotearoa..

          • mac1

            You could make the suggestion to the National Party. They're open to new discussion forums and have a sense of humour.

          • arkie

            We can but try to encourage the discussions we want to see!

            And so; if anyone is interested this is a long but worthy video overview of the evidence around worker democracy from Unlearning Economics:


            It’s good, but far from perfect

            • weka

              Would you be interested in writing a guest post?

              • arkie

                I could well be, I'll see if I can assemble something I'm happy with, haha

                • weka

                  don't let perfection be the enemy of the good 😉

                  My suggestion is do something simple to start with, aim for 300 – 500 words, link as appropriate. Let me know if you want to submit it, and I will email you. You can email the main address too, although I'm not sure how often Lynn checks it, so reply here and I'll give him a heads up.

                  Some of what you have written in the past few days could easily make a post 🙂

      • arkie 9.1.2

        And in that spirit, here's the CTU's easy form to make a submission on the Fair Pay Agreements or those who would like to; https://www.together.org.nz/fpa_submission

        Fair Pay Agreements will be vitally important to turning around Aotearoa New Zealand's low wage economy and ensuring that people's incomes grow so they can support themselves and their families properly and so that their working lives improve.

        The legislation to make this hugely positive employment change will be under significant pressure from a small number of employers that benefit from low wages and insecure work and the groups that represent them.

        That's why it is so important that the stories behind this legislation are heard. We need the decision-makers to understand the kind of good FPAs will do.

        Doing your bit is easy. You don't need to be an expert on employment law – the CTU has a highly skilled policy team who will submit on the technical and legal detail of the legislation.

        Our job is to illustrate why this law is needed.

        And that's as easy as telling your story using the form on this page – and once the submission process is open we'll send your story on to the Select Committee.

        • Patricia Bremner

          Good for you Arkie. My Dad was a union man, rep and promoter.

          He called the Union the worker's voice and opportunity to push for improved conditions and pay.

          It is 20 years since I taught, and I was in NZEI all my working life. 95% of Primary teachers were. We had achieved equal pay before Bill Birch, so the treasury looked at allowances, stopping senior pay from counting towards super contributions. Wiping sick leave back to a week if you moved to a new position.

          I think life is more difficult now with mbls and video of every comment and slip up, and the unkind choose the least flattering view.. powerplays and bullying.

          Oh, and Matariki 24th June will be celebrated as a wonderful winter Holiday. Well done Labour. Cheers.

      • KJT 9.1.3

        Are you aware that private contractors, such as Parnell and his fellow carpenters, clubbing together to set pay and conditions such as the 8 hour day, would nowadays be banned, under the commerce Act.

        • Craig H

          I gather that's why the Fair Pay Agreements Bill is going now in its current form of including employees only – the intention is to expand to contractors, but that's legally complex in part because of the Commerce Act and prohibitions on cartel behaviour.

  10. weka 10

    This is funny, but it’s also scary. I’ve seen intelligent, educated people make this sane kind of argument in an attempt to deny that biological sex exists and in humans is binary, just without appearing so stupid. The level of disconnect is alarming.

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    Holy shit! Three News led with a new scientific assessment of sea-level rise that factored in coastal land-dropping rates for the first time ever, reducing the time-horizon to around a third of what it was. Parts of Auckland got hit.

    Tomorrow I expect real estate values to head into free-fall. The exit door will clog up with desperate owners wanting to be the first out. Insurance industry? Gone already.

    How long till multi-millionaire rows on the Takapuna waterfront feature in camera pans in news stories reporting that they're all uninsurable? A matter of weeks, perhaps. Denial will be the first default. Everyone will seek flaws in the science.

  12. joe90 12

    Fascinating thread about life, the ocean, and plastic.

    It started when this guy name Ben Lecomte started swimming. He'd already freestyle'd his way from Japan to Hawaii, and now he was going to California. SWIMMING. And luckily for us…


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