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Open mike 02/05/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 2nd, 2020 - 102 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 …

102 comments on “Open mike 02/05/2020”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    "Labour leftwingers have been frustrated at the party’s refusal to seize on the crisis as a moment to propose a radical overhaul of the economy and society. Jon Trickett, now relegated to the backbenches from his position of shadow cabinet office minister, says: “The country’s crying out for a longer-term vision. We need to map out a great vision for the kind of new normal that can exist after this pandemic.""  https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/01/labour-keir-starmer-coronavirus-covid-19-new-era

    I agree with the UK leftists.  Which hardly ever happens.  I get that the new Labour leader prefers a cautious approach, and it is indeed understandable that in these fraught times Sir Keir would rather not hit the ground running.  Problem is, the opposition is there to provide a viable alternative to the govt.  There's a real danger the public will get irritated by the lack thereof.  Timidity is a prescription for failure.

    "These meetings, and polling seen by Labour strategists, are telling them the public don’t want to hear knee-jerk criticism of the government. “The approach we’re getting from the public is, ‘All of us need to be together, getting through this,’” said a party source."

    Yeah, folks hate partisans.  Being reasonable is the right way to go, but there are better ways to do that.  You can actually be respectful and helpful while signalling the path to the future.  I'm puzzled UK Labour is failing to comprehend this.  Seems elementary.

    • Morrissey 1.1

      I get that the new Labour leader prefers a cautious approach….

      ???? Caving in to ceaseless bullying by the most brutal and implacable pressure group on earth is not "cautious". There are other "c" words to describe such a person: careerist, cynical, compromised….



      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        So he's a zionist, eh?  Well, that does change my view of him for the worse.  A lot. But I presume Trump will thump the table with glee when he discovers it, and acclaim him as a sensible leftist.

        The idea that the Israel lobby slaughtered Corbyn is a joke.  He got done by the electorate in the usual Shakespearean fashion (character flaws).  His own worst enemy.  Like Sanders, his inner narcissist prevailed over his political acumen.  How many times did I express my wish here that they would realise socialism will only fly with younger generations if it is reframed to suit the new millennium?  I lost count.  Their intellectual laziness doomed them.

        • Morrissey

          So he's a zionist, eh?  

          No, he's a supporter—however reluctantly, under a horrendous amount of pressure—of the state of Israel. The distinction is important. 

          The idea that the Israel lobby slaughtered Corbyn is a joke.

          ???? Your assessment is at odds with the facts. The initial attempts to ridicule and marginalize Corbyn—"Traingate", the sneering at his riding a bicycle, the scoffing his dress sense, and the attempts to portray him as a "traitor"—all failed to gain any traction.

          Then the fantastical denunciations really started. Jamie Stern-Weiner sums it up:

          Throughout the “Labour antisemitism” controversy, mainstream Jewish organizations demanded deference on issues of antisemitism, on the basis that they represented the affected constituency. These bodies in fact lack substantial democratic legitimacy: the JLC is unelected; BOD elections are largely uncontested, and do not engage either ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jews or most Jews who do not attend synagogue. But even if they did speak for a majority of British Jews in what they said about Corbyn, Labour, and antisemitism, that did not change the fact that it was wrong — just as British Hindu groups were also wrong to ascribe Labour’s support for human rights in Kashmir to anti-Hindu racism.

          One of the ugliest aspects of this entire affair has been the scorn and contempt heaped by Britain’s Jewish establishment on Jewish Labour supporters, who have been marginalized and dismissed as “fake Jews” or collaborators. Corbyn’s association with left-wing Jews has itself been cited as evidence of his malice, while the BOD’s pledges includes the demand that Labour “engage with the Jewish community via its main representative groups, and not through fringe organizations.”

          No ground should be given to such authoritarian blackmail. ….

          … The main objective of the “Labour antisemitism” campaign was never to reduce antisemitism, but rather to bog Labour down in a time-consuming, soul-destroying internecine conflict. It succeeded because, for honorable as well as cynical reasons, Labour leaders allowed it to. 


          • Dennis Frank

            Yeah, I did read Finkelstein's analysis a while back and found no reason to dispute it.  However while the Israel lobby played the divide within Labour effectively, I don't agree that they defeated Corbyn in the public mind.  I do agree he was not sufficiently adept to control the narrative.  I just see it as a side-issue in the minds of most voters.

            • Morrissey

              It wasn't a side issue, it was a non-issue. The charges were ludicrous, fantastical from the beginning. I agree with you about Corbyn's ineptness: would you or anyone else here try to placate people accusing you of imaginary crimes the way Corbyn tried to placate his accusers? His passivity in the face of those mobs astonished Max Blumenthal when he visited Britain in 2015.


        • Bearded Git

          "The idea that the Israel lobby slaughtered Corbyn is a joke". 

          No it's not Dennis. I suggest you take a look at some of the investigative journalism thecanary.co has done on this issue. Accepting that this site has a left wing bias (how terrible) it has demonstrated that there is a mass of proof that Israel has lobbied long and hard against Corbyn.

          But much worse, and probably much more damaging to Corbyn, is spelt out in the Labour Party report recently leaked. This shows that there were high-up Labour Party members  who were willing to sabotage Corbyn winning the last election because they hated him and his somewhat radical left-wing policies.

          They were willing to put an extreme right-wing idiot into power for 5 years and sabotage the (majority) anti-Brexit campaign simply to satisfy this Corbyn hatred.

          Starmer's reaction-trying to shoot the messenger (the leaker(s))-rather than listen to the message says it all about him. 


    • bill 1.2

      These meetings, and polling seen by Labour strategists, are telling them the public don’t want to hear knee-jerk criticism of the government.

      And that precludes promoting vision and ideas that would contribute to "a radical overhaul of the economy and society"….how?

      No need to debate the merits and demerits of the play being acted out by government – change the script in a way that captures the moment. Maybe that's a 'step beyond' for myopic tribalists who are lacking in imagination and only concerned with 'getting a turn' at  playing boss?


      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        Yeah, you put your finger on the problem alright.  Those who get to have a political career as servants of the status quo while pretending to be progressive.  Democracy keeps promoting the pretenders – because most voters are easily suckered.

    • RedLogix 1.3

      Yeah, folks hate partisans.  Being reasonable is the right way to go, but there are better ways to do that.  You can actually be respectful and helpful while signalling the path to the future.  I'm puzzled UK Labour is failing to comprehend this.  Seems elementary.

      Everything you are saying on this theme resonates with me strongly. In the current atmosphere reasonableness seems an quixotic, suicidal ask, but that will only make the small victories along the way, all the sweeter.

  2. Tricledrown 2

    Australias mobile tracing app doesn't work on Australias largest network plus other problems especially with I phones.

    • Koff 2.1

      Do you have a link for that? I downloaded the app on to my Telstra only phone the other day. Telstra is Austalia's biggest network. The only problem is that I didn't have a working SIM on it and my older Samsung smartphone won't accept the app. Just over 3 million Aussies have downloaded the app so far, but no idea how many actually use it. Seems a bit fiddly and annoying. Can imagine that many won't bother or may give up if there are technological problems. Seems easier just keeping away from everybody and remembering who you have been close to. Rules are 1.5m distancing here, not 2 m like NZ. Wonder if Aussie coronaviruses can't jump as far?

    • Gabby 2.2

      Horeskin will be demanding we adopt it immediately.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    "Behavioural economics looks at how people make decisions in the real world – warts, irrational biases and all – and applies this to public policy. Its signature policy is set out in the 2008 book Nudge, by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler. The central insight is that changing the way choices are presented to people can have a huge impact."

    Haven't read it but I suspect nudges work via framing.  The frame you create can focus the attention of others on whatever you want.

    "Coming just as the financial crisis hit, Nudge was perfectly timed to achieve maximum traction by offering politicians the chance to reap savings through low-cost policy. Sunstein was quickly appointed to a senior job in the Obama administration, while David Cameron set up the behavioural insights team, dubbed the “nudge unit”, led by psychologist turned policy wonk David Halpern."

    "The nudge unit has since had a mixed track record: there have been some real successes on pensions and tax payments but in other areas it’s been a bit of a damp squib. So I was surprised when Halpern popped up to talk about the government’s pandemic strategy in the press in early March. It was he who first publicly mentioned the idea of “herd immunity” as part of an effective response to Covid-19 (the government has since denied this was ever the strategy)." https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/26/nudge-theory-is-a-poor-substitute-for-science-in-matters-of-life-or-death-coronavirus

    "Halpern is reportedly on Sage, the government’s scientific advisory committee for emergencies, and he is also the government’s What Works national adviser, responsible for helping it apply evidence to public policy. So one might expect there to be something substantial behind the idea of behavioural fatigue."

    Well, yes.  Obviously the hundreds of breaches of the lockdown here, and consequent prosecutions, suggest there's behavioural fatigue out there in Aotearoa.  "Goddam, I've been doing this isolation shit too long already, I'm tired of it."

    "But evidence presented to government by the Sage behavioural subcommittee on 4 March, representing the views of a wider group of experts, was non-committal on the behavioural impact of a lockdown, noting that the empirical evidence on behavioural interventions in a pandemic is limited. Shortly after Halpern’s interviews, more than 600 behavioural economists wrote a letter questioning the evidence base for behavioural fatigue."

    Clever buggers.  The evidence is out there, but if nobody collects & collates it, then you can dismiss it as anecdotal.  Social science 1.01 – and who wants to pay for the research?  No govt would do that while mired in lockdown admin.

    "“Behavioural fatigue is a nebulous concept,” the review’s authors later concluded in the Irish Times."  Ah, smart move.  Nobody does nebulous better than the Irish.  Readers would resonate with the critique big-time.

    The writer suggests "you understand that the Behavioural Insights Team is a multimillion-pound profitable company, which pays Halpern, who owns 7.5% of its shares, a bigger salary than the prime minister."  You should.  Psychologists with that much leverage in commerce and politics are extremely rare.

  4. pat 4

    Global reserve currency?

    "The Washington Post, citing two people with knowledge of internal discussions, reported on Thursday that some officials had discussed the idea of canceling some of the massive U.S. debt held by China as a way to strike at Beijing for perceived shortfalls in its candidness on the COVID-19 pandemic."


    the criminally insane running the asylum have stopped taking their medication.

    • SPC 4.1

      That would involve risk of higher cost of debt when issuing future boinds – it also implies USA QE is open-ended. 

      • pat 4.1.1

        would involve more risk than that….it would collapse all markets.

        If the US decided to arbitrarily not honour its bonds they become worthless and consequently who would wish to hold them?

        It implies (should they do so) that the US is going full autarky…no trade with outside world.

        An alternative would eventually be found but the damage meantime would make covid look like a stroll in the park.

        But possibly even more concerning is grand scale defaults such as that would be, precede and provoke wars.


  5. Ed 5

    It would appear that Boris Johnson and his motley crew are tinkering with the numbers again.

    First, they did not count COVID deaths in rest homes and at home. Now they are creating magical figures for testing.

    Donald Trump's U.S is the pits.

    And Boris Johnson's U.K. is chasing it hard as a rogue nation.


    Government counts mailouts to hit 100,000 testing target

    • Muttonbird 5.1

      Is self-testing even legitimate? If it's the same test used here I can't imagine people are going to do that to themselves with any degree of accuracy.

      • I Feel Love 5.1.1

        I doubt it is Muttonbird, but just an easy way for the govt to do "something".

  6. Morrissey 6

    Justin Trudeau: "There is no use and no place for such weapons in Canada."

    He was talking, slowly and solemnly and not in blackface on this occasion, about assault weapons. The place to use them is, of course, Venezuela. 



  7. I Feel Love 7

    I love that Stuff headline, "Simon Bridges wants lockdown to end now.", he comes across as an unreasonable toddler. 

    • Dennis Frank 7.1

      "Bridges has also drawn attention for repeatedly saying the confusing phrase “the medicine is worse than the cure”.

      Advertising works if you keep repeating the message.  He gets that part.  The part he doesn't get is that the message is meant to sell something.  The Leader of the Opposition is expected to sell the idea that the Opposition would make a better govt than the current one to the public.  I don't see how telling them that the medicine is worse than the cure is gonna achieve that. 

      Kids learn that you endure the medicine to get the cure.  Adults are supposed to have moved on from that phase.  Wrestle with more complex problems.  Politicians are meant to solve the difficult commonly-experienced problems.  Perhaps his minders forgot to take off his training wheels?

      • I Feel Love 7.1.1

        He's just showing how ineffective he is by his shouting, "liberate Tauranga" & no one is listening. 

  8. Morrissey 8

    Israel lobbyist funded Labour’s new leader

    by ASA WINSTANLEY, 22 April 2020

    A multi-millionaire pro-Israel lobbyist donated $62,000 to help Keir Starmer win the UK Labour Party’s leadership election, it was revealed last week.

    The official register of lawmakers’ financial interests shows that Trevor Chinn donated the sum as part of Starmer’s leadership campaign.

    During the campaign Starmer said “I support Zionism without qualification.” Since his election he hastilted the party sharply towards Israel.

    Starmer came under criticism for not disclosing all his donors during the campaign itself, when Labour members were deciding who should replace Jeremy Corbyn.

    The donation from Chinn was not registered until five days after Starmer won the election, although it was received in February.

    Although there is no suggestion of illegality, Labour members may consider this a violation of their trust.

    Trevor Chinn

    A retired auto industry mogul, Chinn has in the past funded both Labour Friends of Israel andConservative Friends of Israel.

    He also plays a leading role in the Israel lobby groups BICOM and the Jewish Leadership Council.

    In 2018, Chinn co-hosted a high-profile celebration of the life of late Israeli president Chaim Herzog, attended by Israeli ambassador Mark Regev. Published photos show that Tony Blair also attended.

    Read more….


    • sumsuch 8.1

      He can call himself Keir as much as he likes but this is the end for me. Just describing yourself as a Zionist, which is the same as being in favour of the conquest of India, is too much.


  9. Kim Jong Un is up and about, apparently.

  10. Morrissey 10

    Something for the Dear Leader to read as he recuperates. In fact, everyone should read this, or at least marvel at the beauty of the artwork….


  11. Adrian Thornton 11

    Apparently this is the Best the Democratic party can offer the world…although I guess it does illustrate just how shallow their pool of talent has become…what a joke.

    Biden’s Touching Behavior


    Here are all the times Joe Biden has been accused of acting inappropriately toward women and girls


    John Stewart Calls Out Joe Biden For Groping in 2015

    (Creepy) joe Biden accuser Tara Reade speaks out….

    • Andre 11.1

      I'm curious what you think you'll achieve by spamming the site with the same March 26 clip over and over again after others had also spammed us multiple previous times with it.

      Nevertheless, if anyone's curious about the bigger picture but not enough to actually go looking, here's a piece that looks into the background of the allegations.


      • Morrissey 11.1.1

        The author of your link is a shameless Democratic Party careerist and, not surprisingly, a Russiagate truther. He recently praised that empty bag of wind Pete Buttigieg: "Pete's intellect, empathy and ability to articulate his sound policies place him a cut above decades of politicians on both sides of the aisle."

        No doubt this smear against Tara Reade will advance his own career.


        • Andre


          Even if that were a fair assessment of the author, how does that affect the facts he's pointed to that raise red flags around the credibility of Reade's allegations?

          Also, what purpose do you think is achieved by spamming this site over and over again with the same month-old clip?

          • Morrissey

            He doesn't raise any red flags. All he does is try to smear her. I guess you have to admire his dogged persistence, given that he wrote his hit piece after the tape of her mother ringing up Larry King came to light.

        • Gabby

          The yankers will end up with a bigmoney guy as prez no matter how much you fulminate.

          • Morrissey

            Where have I "fulminated", Baggers? The only fulmination in this discussion, other than that by our friend Andre, is by Michael Stern, that former prosecutor-cum-Democratic Party careerist and conspiracy theorist.

      • bill 11.1.2

        Christ Andre! The guy starts off with a false sub-header. (Only rabid idiots have ever said  we must blindly accept every allegation of sexual assault)

        And in case you missed it, the #metoo movement has hardly covered itself in glory when it's come to Tara Reade. For example, see this piece on Time's Up.

        The NYT took weeks to report on the story at all even though there is far more corroborating evidence for her allegation that there was for Christine Blasey Ford – and allowed the Biden team to edit their piece when they finally did run something.

        Biden could put the entire thing to rest by having the seal broken on the University of Delaware files of his senatorial papers. (He has publicly refused to do that)

        Trotting out nonsense about Russia in an attempt to discredit her is straight up fucking woeful.

        It's not as if there are have not been other concerns raised about Biden's behaviour around women, right? And it's not as if the only time women claiming sexual harassment are to be taken seriously is when the allegation is against a perceived 'bad guy', right?

        Anyway. I'm not a US voter, but the idea that a nation gets to choose between two alleged sexual predators for their president is …actually, I'm at a loss for words.

      • Adrian Thornton 11.1.3

        I think that anyone who is actually serious in examining these allegations ( unlike our Biden or bust boy here Andre) would do themselves more a service in reading the links provided below from from some serious jurno's instead of the Dem hack that speaks to and confirms Andres well known bias…

        Ryan Grim



        Rich McHugh 


        Of course what is really the problem here is Andre, just like many of his centrerist cohorts on this site are just to dishonest and spinless to come out and say what we all know they are thinking, yeah Biden could well be a rapist, but I still think he's is better than Trump…but then again after the way they all lost their shit over the kavanaugh rape allegations or the way they went feral on Assange allegations I guess they can't..LOL!!!…man talk about the chickens coming home to roost…it's fucking hilarious.

        Ryan Grim: Dems Will Back Biden As Long As They Think He’ll Beat Trump


        • Morrissey

          … the way they went feral on Assange allegations…

          The allegations against Kavanaugh, Trump, Biden, and Clinton were all backed up with credible evidence. The ludicrous "allegations" against Assange were concocted by British and U.S. black ops.


          • Adrian Thornton

            Yes I agree with you (Assange was probably the wrong example) what I was getting at is that liberal MSM and their supporters like Andre have, and without even the slightest hint of embarrassment or even a blush, used one set of standards in reporting on the allegations against Kavanaugh, Trump etc than they have with these allegations against Biden, the blatant hypocrisy is just jaw dropping..

          • SPC

            Na, the allegations against Assange were genuine enough – but the prosecution side of it in Sweden became political. The claim that requiring a guy to use a condom each time, or get consent each time, was part of a political entrapment is conspiracy theory and based on nothing more than the now ironic and embarrasing word association of wiki leak to lack of use of a condom. 

            • Morrissey

              You really need to do some reading, my friend. And thinking.

              Just a few months ago, you were posting humane and thoughtful views on this outrage. Why the change?

              Open mike 28/11/2019

              • SPC

                your first post
                The claims against your hero are non existent but others are all credible – yeah sure. Right. Got it.  

                Your edited second post
                And the old, we who are better read and who do more thinking are right – so there. An all time classic.

                Your edited third post
                My opine has not changed. My politiical support for Assange is not influenced by the events in Sweden.

                • Morrissey

                  No you haven't "got it", at all. Your representation of my views is as devoid of merit as your NewstalkZB level comments on the case.

            • Andre

              A wikileak now refers to condom malfunction or absence?

              *checks Urban Dictionary*

              Well, waddaya know, indeed it does.

              • Morrissey

                In the real world, as opposed to the world of “Never Trump” Republican factionalists, Russiagate conspiracy theorists and Twitter trolls that you inhabit, WikiLeaks refers to the site that angered the U.S. and many other rogue states by revealing their crimes to the public.

                • Andre

                  RIP wikileaks the site for holding shitty governments to account. Such a promising youth with massive potential for brilliance, brought low by narcissism and power intoxication. Now a mere empty husk of what could have been.

                  • bill

                    Wikileaks hasn't faded because of any personal defects Assange may or may not have. Wikileaks has faded because corporate/liberal outlets and their journalists jumped on board with states and went all out to discredit and marginalise it as a credible source for news.


                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    The idea that Assange is solely responsible for his own downfall, and the 'husking' of WikiLeaks, is convenient, but feeble.

                    'Narcissism' and 'power intoxication' descriptors are better directed at the leader of the country seeking to extradite Assange for his 'crimes'.

                    It is very much to Melzer’s credit that he admits that he was himself initially taken in by the propaganda campaign. He reveals that, in December 2018, he was asked by Assange’s lawyers to intervene. He declined:

                    "I was overloaded with other petitions and wasn’t really familiar with the case. My impression, largely influenced by the media, was also colored by the prejudice that Julian Assange was somehow guilty and that he wanted to manipulate me."


                    • Andre

                      'Narcissism' and 'power intoxication' descriptors are better directed at the leader of the country seeking to extradite Assange for his 'crimes'.

                      Also directed. Not necessarily better directed. Which just adds to the irony of his actions to help boost the Douche ex Machina into the Oval Office.

                      Since Hillary and whomever she appointed to Attorney General would have been much more likely to agree with Holder and Obama's 2013 conclusion that the "New York Times problem" meant it would be against the interests of the US as a whole to go after him.

                • Ed

                  The establishment would never forgive Assange for showing up the true nature of imperialism. 

      • McFlock 11.1.4

        I'm sure if they all whinge just a few more days, Biden will pull out and only Sanders will reactivate his campaign and walk into the convention upon a path of rosepetals as the sole candidate for the dem nom. It is destiny.

        • Adrian Thornton

          @ McFlock, what the fuck are you talking about? what has this got to do with Sanders?…look if you think it's OK voting for an alleged rapist  because he is a better sort of alleged rapist than the guy from the other party then just say so and stop beating round the damn bush..and don't blame us that your people are usually seriously dodgy in some way shape or form…it is just the natural result of selling out your principles and values for power…in case you hadn't noticed.

          • McFlock

            I've said repeatedly that it's not okay. Even less than 24hrs ago. But it is the situation: vote for Biden, or do nothing to get rid of Trump. Clear enough for you?

            What you guys have never answered is "what do you you expect a US voter to do?" They have three options: vote Biden, vote Trump, or abstain/3rdparty (same diff: only helps the incumbent). No option is ideal, or even "okay". But whatever they do in November will be one of those three.

            So please do me the courtesy of answering me as clearly as I answered you.

    • Macro 11.2

      Perhaps you should read this:


      • bill 11.2.1

        The filed allegation would be in the sealed files of the University of Delaware, not the National Archives.

        • francesca

          Amazing how easily some  were convinced of the allegations of rape against Assange, yet find the allegations of known creep Biden so difficult to believe 

          Are these the same people who cried rape apologist! Women dont lie?

          How depressingly partisan the whole thing is, no real underlying empathy, just point scoring 

          • Morrissey

            … some were convinced of the allegations of rape against Assange …

            They weren't convinced of the allegations, francesca. Nobody who looks at that shameful business believes a word of those fantasies. As you rightly point out, it’s partisanship, and involves as much regard for the truth as supporting a sports team.

          • RedLogix

            How depressingly partisan the whole thing is, no real underlying empathy, just point scoring 

            I think that's about all that needs saying. Thank you.

        • Andre

          Is that independently verifiable fact, opinion, unsubstantiated assertion, or something else?

          • Adrian Thornton

            Mate you would make the most awesome camp guard…no training needed for this guy, he's perfect right out of the box!.

            • Andre

              So, pointing to an article that discusses some relevant facts that were conveniently ignored in the one-sided story-making by hard-core Berners, and asking for clarification on the status of an unsourced assertion makes me a "camp guard"?

              Cool bananas.

              I'm still curious what you think will be achieved by spamming us with the same month-old clip over and over again.

              • adam

                "hard-core berners" – that right wing smear again. 

                But have you actually got anything but your usual slurs? 

                • Andre

                  If I was motivated, I could come up with a lot more slurs than just that. But you're not worth it.

                  • adam

                    I'm use to right wing trolls attempts at wit falling flat, but man that was sad. 

                    My point was simple – argue the point, which is a case of sexual assault has been leveled at Biden. A pretty serious case, which you have been hell bent to undermine at every turn. Mostly with slurs and personal attacks, I'll give you it's a normal response for this sort of thing. 

          • bill

            Rich McHugh (one of the journalists who has reported on Tara Reade's allegations) claims he has spoken to the National Archive, and they say they would not hold any such record.

            That's at the 11min 20sec mark in this Democracy Now interview.

            Add that to the fact others have previously pointed out (before Biden's little diversion tactic), that the University of Delaware has Biden's congressional papers under seal, and that is where a filed report of sexual harassment would be held.

            Biden or the University of Delaware could unseal the records, but seem hell bent on keeping them sealed until two years after Biden exits public life or some such.

            • Andre

              So, a second-hand assertion that they would not be in the National Archives, one of the three places suggested so far where such a record, if one existed, might be stored. Not a refutation of the possibility that it might be stored within the Senate's own administrative system, as suggested by the letter Macro posted.

              • bill

                All journalism is second hand assertion now is it?

                And when the National Archives say they have no such record, are you going to argue the University of Delaware lift the seal on their records, or run around forums like this one proclaiming Biden's innocence and Tara Reade's malevolence?

              • sumsuch

                Andre, the Left that requires the approval of the powerful, isn't. 

        • Macro

          Well we shall await the advice back from the Secretary of the Senate with interest wont we.

          Even if she was an intern, the employing authority would still be the Senate, and the immediate office for reporting such an occurrence  would be the The Office of Fair Employment Practices


          • bill

            I've added the bold for those who are experiencing problems digesting pretty basic info….

            And @UDelaware — which houses the collection of Joe Biden's senatorial papers — just confirmed to me that the papers "will remain closed to the public until two years after Mr. Biden retires from public life."

            • Andre

              I've never worked for the US Senate, but everywhere I have worked in the US, personnel records have been kept very distinct from the records generated by my actual work.

              To the extent that when the division I worked for was sold off to another company, my personnel records stayed with the original parent company, while all my engineering calc sheets, drawings, test reports etc went to the new owner.

              So it's entirely plausible, probable even, that the personnel records for the staff in Biden's office are stored separately to the intellectual information generated by his work duties as a senator.

            • McFlock

              Which sounds plausible, until one considers whether the only copy of his senatorial paycheques are in his papers at Delaware. Is it more likely that HR stuff will kept by the senate, too? Including complaints?

  12. Carolyn_Nth 12

    Maybe parents are right to fear sending their children back to school or early learning centres. In the US a small number of children and other under 20s have died from C-19.  There are also a minority of children with serious symptoms linked to C-19.

    The problem is complicated because those under 20yrs in the US are not being tested. Some of the children with serious conditions are maybe being misdiagnosed with other conditions that have similar symptoms.  Latino children are a significant proportion of children diagnosed with C-19.

    Intercept article:

    80% or C-19 recorded deaths in the US are for people over 65yrs. At least 20 people under 20 yrs have died from C-19. In New York state by end April 30 C-19 positive children died and 56 were admitted to pediatric ICUs.

    Doctors in several countries are reporting inflammatory syndromes in children linked to C-19. Symptoms include diarrhea, cough, fever, sore throats, vomiting, and can look like aseptic meningitis or Kawasaki disease.


    • Ed 12.1

      The Guardian have picked up on this story as well.

       In an article entitled 'European schools get ready to reopen despite concern about pupils spreading Covid-19, the writer points to Christian Drosten, 'a virologist and Germany’s leading coronavirus expert', has conducted research which 'found that the viral loads in children differed little from those in adults.'

      'Drosten’s study, which was released this week, examined the viral loads in the throats of 3,721 people, including more than 100 children, who tested positive for coronavirus in Berlin between January and April.'

      “The end result is as clear as glass,” Drosten said “Children do not have significantly different concentrations of the virus in their respiratory passages compared to adults.”

      I wonder if our health experts are investigating this.

      Link to Guardian article is here.


    • SPC 12.2

      How many under 5? 

      • Carolyn_Nth 12.2.1

        The research report referred to in Ed's Guardian article doesn't break it down by age specifically, but uses the term Kindergarten age youngest age group. It seems to be a German-based research, and in Germany, the kindergarten age is 3-6 years.

        In that age group, 1749 children were tested, with 37 testing positive ie 2.10% of the group. This compares with 2.25% of 1-10 year olds. Compares with 6-11% approx of over 60s.

        The Intercept article I linked to above, refers to the Covid research project in the US.  It breaks the 1-10 ages down to 0-2 & 2-11yrs.

        They have a chart showing the estimated numbers of under 2s positive for C-19 (83,333), and the numbers in a critical condition in ICUs (35);  2-11 year olds = estimated 11667 positive & 49 in ICUs

        • SPC

          From the account

          Whereas the attack rate in children seems to correspond to that in adults (2), it is obvious that children are under-represented in clinical studies and less frequently diagnosed due to mild or absent symptoms. 


          An estimate based on the number of symptomatic admissions in a specialist pediatric hospital assumes that thousands of pediatric cases were missed during the early phase of the Wuhan outbreak, at a time at which only ca. 10,0000 adult patients were registered (13). Because they are mostly asymptomatic, children may not be presented at testing centers even if they belong to households with a confirmed index case.


          There are many other factors that complicate the determination of infection rates in, and transmission rates from children. For instance, the age profile during the early phase of the outbreak in many European countries makes it difficult to derive transmission rates from household contact studies. Early transmission clusters were started by travellers of adult age, making children less likely to be index cases in households (4). Another circumstance making children less likely to carry the virus into households is that kindergartens and schools were closed early in the outbreak in Germany.


          These combined effects will cause children to be more likely to receive rather than spread infections in households for purely circumstantial reasons. This observation may be misunderstood as an indication of children being less infectious.

          Which should lead to younger teachers overseeing the primary school age children during the on-line phase and pre schools using younger teachers only while the numbers are still small.

    • lprent 12.3

      Maybe parents are right to fear sending their children back to school or early learning centres.

      My fear with kids is somewhat more basic. This is an almost unknown disease that we're just starting to get information on. Like all unknown diseases or for that matter unknown drug or any unknown environmental change, it isn't just the obvious effects that you need to worry about. It is also the ones that haven't been picked up yet.

      For instance blood clots with covid-19. In the hospitals on lifer supports. In the lungs. In young adults. And even in 'covid toes' of children

      These are all relatively immediate symptoms. But as a species we have no idea of where this disease is getting to or its full range of behaviours – especially over the longer term. After all we’ve only known about it for (at most) 4 and half months.

      I was reading about an autopsy reports of residual covid-19 RNA in the lungs of a recovered patient (who died of something else).  There wasn't anything about if it was active or not.

      One of the things I've been worried about is if covid-19 is one of the stealth viruses. After all this damn thing has 30,000 base pairs – which for a virus is one hell of a lot of code, and presumably very little of it is unused because virus evolution tends to be ruthless about ‘junk’.. The host species, bats, are well known for how ferocious their immune systems are. As they'd have to be given their communal nesting habits.

      You have to wonder about what the longer-term effects of having the virus are, and especially in a child that has 60+ years of life ahead of them.

      • In Vino 12.3.1

        Thank you lprent. I am but a simple teacher of languages, yet (or maybe because of that) I find your comment above  most compelling evidence as to why we should wait, and not follow the short-sighted advice of those concerned mainly with commerce – eg, dear young Simon Bridges and his supporting cortège….  (Not sure whether I got the right French word there. Time will tell.)

        • Herodotus

          So if schools remain closed when we move to the next level – what do those families who have all adults working do ?

          Unfortunately when we reach level 2 – a consequence will be schools and ECE centres opening – due to necessity. An unfortunate consequence of our economic system that requires multi incomes to sustain a family.

          Extend lock down and Labour replicates the 2013 team NZ sailing: losing what is "Not Losable".

  13. Tricledrown 13

    Paul Goldsmith now making a Dick of himself by saying cash should be given to failing businesses only

    Since When have National ever supported this strategy.Canterbury Earthquakes No.Droughts No.GFC No.

    Never before desperation setting in for National !

    • Barfly 13.1

      Perhaps Goldsmith is thinking the National Party is a"business"?

      • Tricledrown 13.1.1

        Barfly he would complain if the Coalition put forward such a Stupid Policy.Goldsmith would be saying why should viable non subsidized businesses tax be going to failing businesses.

  14. RedBaronCV 14


    I don't quite get this one – does anybody know anything more? Is the NZ government subsidising overseas airlines ( some state owned with no profit incentives)? Are these markets that Airnz is unable to fly to for some reason? Yes we need to get the goods home and away but use our own carrier first?

  15. bill 15

    This has been doing the rounds…

  16. RedBaronCV 16

    The headline doesn't really match the story. Looks like 380 complaints out of total of 991 are still active.



  17. Gotta say, Radio NZ is a national treasure. "Music 101" is such a cool programme. Today they're playing a Breaks Co-op concert from Leigh in 2007(ish) 


  18. SPC 18

    A comparison – German efficiency and the UK in Sars Cov2 testing.


    • RedLogix 19.1

      Good read, it's encouraging how many people are rediscovering geopolitics.

    • gsays 19.2

      Thanks for the link, I read a few of his essays.

      Good food for thought.

  19. Fireblade 20

    For those who are interested, here is a list of some countries and their Covid-19 tests per one million population. New Zealand's testing rate is quite impressive.

    Israel 42,108
    Italy 33,962
    Spain 32,699
    Ireland 31,179
    Germany 30,400
    New Zealand 30,191
    Russia 25,354
    Singapore 24,600
    Australia 23,770
    Canada 22,050
    USA 20,241
    UK 15,082
    South Korea 12,153
    Sweden 11,833
    Saudi Arabia 9,392
    Iran 5,656
    South Africa 3,668
    Taiwan 2,659
    Pakistan 878
    India 708

    The complete list of countries and their stats are on the worldometer website.

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